𝐇𝐞𝐥𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐍𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐞
Yue Yue is only 9 years old this year, but she is very skilled in some household matters, even more so than some adults.
She can cook, wash clothes, and even embroider handkerchiefs to sell.
Whenever Mrs. Hao goes out, Yue Yue will follow her.
Mrs. Hao is blind, so Yue Yue acts as her mother’s eyes.
Four days ago, Mrs. Hao’s old asthma condition flared up, and Yue Yue went out with her to a pharmacy they were familiar with. While Mrs. Hao was waiting for her medicine, Yue Yue went to the shop next door to buy thread because the materials for embroidering handkerchiefs at home were almost used up, and she needed to buy new ones.
But she never came back.
Mrs. Hao waited for a while and sensed something was wrong, so she hurriedly went to the shop to look for her. The shop owner said that Yue Yue had already left, and he vaguely saw a strange woman walking towards her, talking and walking away together.
Mrs. Hao’s heart sank at this point.
She searched nearby for half a day, asked many people, and in the end, the answers were all the same—
Yue Yue had left with that woman.
“Does no one know the direction that woman took Yue Yue?” Jiang Chu asked after hearing the story.
“I asked, but no one really knows. Two people spoke up, but what they said didn’t match. One said east, the other said west, and I don’t know which one is true,” Mrs. Hao said, starting to wheeze and cough again.
“Mrs. Hao, have you always lived here?” Jiang Chu looked around the room.
“We originally had a house, but after my husband left, we owed debt and had to sell the house to pay it off. After that, we’ve always lived here.”
“Do you have any enemies?” Jiang Chu asked, “Could it be the family to whom you owed money seeking revenge?”
“We are a widow and an orphan, we don’t dare to offend anyone. Where would we have enemies?” Mrs. Hao was almost crying, “We paid off the debt after selling the house, there’s no more owed, and we’ve never contacted them again. They have no reason to come after us.”
“You haven’t held grudges with anyone?”
“No, truly not. Even if we did, they wouldn’t have a reason to take Yue Yue. It’s been four days; if it was kidnapping for ransom, they should have contacted us by now!” Mrs. Hao wiped her tears, “My poor daughter, I don’t know what’s happened to her. If something happens to her, I don’t want to live either. . . . . .”
Jiang Chu noticed Mrs. Hao’s hands.
It’s not even winter, but her hands were already covered with sores and scars.
For her livelihood, she could only take washing jobs, regardless of the season, and her hands had become rough and worn.
In terms of age, Mrs. Hao might not even be considered an “old woman”; she might be around thirty, but because of poor living conditions and hard labor, she looked much older, like she was in her forties or fifties.
“So it’s been four days, and you have no clues at all?” Jiang Chu asked.
Mrs. Hao opened her mouth.
“Do you have anything you’re hiding from me? Madam, I’m not interested in anything from your home. I just want to help you find Yue Yue. If you find anything, please tell me in time. Maybe we can still find Yue Yue together,” Jiang Chu frowned, saying.
“I don’t have. . . . . .I truly don’t have any clues, but I can’t understand why someone would kidnap Yue Yue. I can only think of one possibility. . . . . .but I dare not dwell on it.”
Mrs. Hao covered her face, crying silently.
“You mean…” Jiang Chu seemed to understand.
“Yue Yue was a lovely child when she was young. Although I don’t know what she looks like now, as I’m blind, every time we go out, people compliment her on her looks. . . . . .”
Mrs. Hao did not say anything more, but Jiang Chu understood.
A 9-year-old girl, neither too big nor too small.
If she looks ordinary, she might be taken away and then sold to another family, or be sold off as a servant or slave. But if she’s pretty, then. . . . . .
“Which are the famous places in the city for. . . . . .those kinds of things?” Jiang Chu asked, “Don’t think too much about it. I just want to find out in advance so that I can pay more attention when I’m looking.”
After asking everything that needed to be asked, Wu Yu returned. When Mrs. Hao had her porridge and lay down to sleep, Jiang Chu instructed Wu Yu to make medicine for Mrs. Hao, and stay here to wait, while she herself returned to the inn.
Closing the door, taking out the divination sticks, Jiang Chu took a deep breath and began to divine.
To find someone, to find a direction, divination was the best way.
A moment later, Jiang Chu looked at the divination sticks she had drawn.
The person she was looking for was to the south, and according to the divination, not too far away.
Knowing just these two points was still too difficult; it only narrowed the range by half, and finding the person quickly based on this was almost impossible.
Jiang Chu was so anxious that she scratched her head――
“This damn spiritual sense will kill me with anger sooner or later, ah, I’m going to go crazy!”
She had never been so frustrated before!
If it were a more complex divination method with 27 or 36 sticks, she could have narrowed down the range to within 50 feet with one try, and might even have found the person with a second try.
Now, she could only use the most basic divination with limited information.
Gritting her teeth, Jiang Chu tried again.
If once was not enough, she would try several times until there was enough information.
The second time, Jiang Chu only got one keyword. . .. . .
South, not far, wine.
A wine cellar?
This was too vague.
But. . . . . .she seemed to lack enough spiritual sense to try a third time today.
Jiang Chu put her elbows on the table, supporting her face with her palms, squishing her soft cheeks into various shapes as if this action could vent her frustration.
Being weak was scary.
Taking a deep breath, Jiang Chu finally stopped abusing her face and got up to open the door, calling the coachman.
“Come, take me around the city. We’ll head south and stop wherever there’s wine or a strong smell of alcohol.”
Sitting in the carriage, lifting the curtain, Jiang Chu stared at the passing wine houses, stopping at each one to look around.
After looking, if she found nothing, she would ask the shopkeeper or waiter about Yue Yue.
Jiang Chu searched until dark but found nothing. Seeing the carriage moving further and further away, already leaving the “not too far” range of the divination, she had to stop reluctantly, and told the coachman to return to Qingshan Alley.
Seeing that Mrs. Hao had taken the medicine and was sleeping soundly, Jiang Chu called Wu Yu to return to the inn to rest, planning to continue searching in the morning.
The consumption of spiritual sense needed time to recover, and after resting for a night, she should be able to divine again tomorrow.
(End of the chapter)