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21 The abondoned temple

    "Wait." The Taoist priest said.

    He said those words softly, but there was a commanding tone to it. As if there was no one in the world capable of defying his orders.

    The farmer wanted to get away from this place as quickly as possible. His mind was telling him that he could not stay there a moment longer, but his legs were doing otherwise. His feet suddenly turned around as he faced the Taoist priest.

    "Yes."He managed to say.

    "I have been studying your face, I would like to warn you that it is best if you do not enter the imperial city. If you do not heed my warning, then only death awaits you in the imperial city." The Taoist priest says solemnly.

    It seemed that he was extremely confident in his fortune telling skill, if he could he would probably swear on his life to those that distrusted him, but that would never happen.

    "What are you saying you charlatan, how dare you curse me to death!" The farmer was quite angry at what he was saying and stomped off, back to his wagon.

    "Those who leave me cannot be left behind, those who make me angry today will bring me nothing but worries." The Taoist priest said as he flicked his horsetail whip and went off into the night. It would be some time before he would be seen again.

    "Just you wait, I can report you to the authorities for speaking nonsense." The farmer muttered under his breath, as he glared at that hateful Taoist who cursed him.

    He would continue to wait for the city gates to open the next morning, it seemed that the fortune teller was unable to deter him from entering the capital city.

    After all, everyone wanted to make a few extra coppers before the winter came.

    It was said that this year, the winter would be one of the worst, and no one wanted to be caught unprepared when it came. One can always learn from past, when winters came harshest, causing millions to freeze or starve to death.

    ~

    After walking for a distance. The little girl came across a small structure. It was hidden beneath a jungle of vines and trees. The original place was no longer recognizable.

    It could have been a small wooden cabin that people had once lived in, or a stable where horses lived in, maybe a small shack where hunters kept their seasonal hunting equipment.

    It didn't matter what that structure used to be, because now, it was abandoned. Even if it was once a royal palace, now it was nothing more than a pile of rotten wood.

    Going inside, there was a smell of moldy incense. The floors were of broken tiles and the shelves were crumbling stones. There was a large Buddha statue in the center of the crumbling structure.

    This place had once been a temple, but now, it had broken down and this place had been forgotten.

    The Buddha statue almost reached the top of the temple. The statue seemed to be unaffected by the ravages of time, the Buddha was gilded in a layer of gold, sitting upon a golden lotus, he looked down upon the people of the world, his eyes full of compassion.

    Even if one did not know how the statue looked at its full glory, they would still be able to tell that the current state of the statue was not far off from its original.

    She sat down in a corner of the temple with her legs crossed and started to meditate.

    Meditating was something that her grandfather taught her. He had always believed in fate and divine, saying that it was fate had brought them together and that without it, they would never have met.

    After an unknown time, she heard footsteps from the outside the temple.

    [Why would there be anyone outside at this time?]

    But she did not care and continued to meditate silently.

    Soon, the Taoist priest entered the abandoned temple, he looked at the child sitting in the corner meditating to herself.

    It was surprising to see such a young child be so patient. It was so rare to find such a mature quality within a young child, it was simply unnatural.

    He sat down with his legs crossed in an opposite corner and stared at her, as if trying to find clues of who she may be, his eyes widened in shock.

    Soon, his expression returned to normal and he closed his eyes

    They both sat crossed legged, quietly in meditating.

    Things between them remained silent, until...

    "My dear, what is your name?" The Taoist priest suddenly asked, his eyes were still closed.
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