RFF - Chapter Seven (Part 1)
Half a month later, Tao Tu Yun recovered and walked outside the bedchamber in a white dress and a fur cape.
Tao Tu Yun took a deep breath. The snow was melting. She didn't think she would stay at the Tao Manor past winter. She silently asked her heart if she should accept Tao Fang Ao's love.
'Mistress, what are you thinking about?' Su Wu asked.
'Nothing,' Tao Tu Yun said.
'Mistress, let's go back inside,' Su Wu said. 'Mistress, I don't want you to catch a cold.'
'I want to go for a walk,' Tao Tu Yun said. 'I'm worried if I don't use my bones after being bedridden for half a month, I can't move my bones anymore. Su Wu, where is he?'
'Who?' Su Wu teased. 'If mistress mean second master Tao, he's outside giving rice grains to the poor.'
'Su Wu, take me to see him,' Tao Tu Yun said. 'I want to see if there's anything I can do to help.'
Tao Tu Yun didn't wait for Su Wu, she walked quickly to the front gates.
Outside the Tao Manor, poor people like beggars lined up to receive rice grains.
Tao Tu Yun understood why the Tao Household were loved by the citizens of Luo Yang province. The Tao Household's sincere generosity was admirable.
Su Wu noticed Li Tai Fang standing next to Tao Fang Ao and she frowned.
'Mistress, I'll take you over to second master Tao,' Su Wu said. 'Mistress, you can't give Li Tai Fang a chance to steal second master Tao.'
'There's no rush,' Tao Tu Yun said.
Tao Tu Yun could see clearly how much Tao Fang Ao hated Li Tai Fang standing close to him. Whereas Li Tai Fang pretended Tao Fang Ao's patience wasn't running out.
Tao Fang Ao felt Tao Tu Yun's presence. He turned around and saw Tao Tu Yun then he ran to her. In contrast Li Tai Fang glared at Tao Tu Yun.
'Tu Yun, what are you doing outside on a cold day?' Tao Fang Ao asked. 'Go back inside and wait for me.'
'I'm alright,' Tao Tu Yun said. 'It's not too cold. I want to stay here and wait for you.'
Tao Fang Ao hugged Tao Tu Yun.
'Alright,' Tao Fang Ao said. 'If you want to stay outside, I'll keep you warm.'
Tao Tu Yun was used to Tao Fang Ao hugging her in public so she didn't blush every time he hugged her.
The poor people whispered to each other and they speculated the beautiful woman in Tao Fang Ao's arms was his fiance, Tao Tu Yun.
Tao Fang Ao was a skilful swordsman so he heard everyone gossiped about Tao Tu Yun. He hated people gossiping about Tao Tu Yun. When he was about to escort her back to the bedchamber, she let go of him and ran to help give the rice grains to poor people.
Tao Tu Yun ran to a little girl about eight years old. The little girl fell in the crowd and dropped the heavy bag of rice grains.
'Little sister, you don't need to pick up the fallen rice grains,' Tao Tu Yun said gently.
Tao Tu Yun held the little girl's cold hands in her hands. Her heart broke to see the little girl carrying a heavy bag of rice grains on a cold day. Where were the little girl's parents?
'But they stopped giving out rice grains,' the little girl said tearfully.
'Don't worry,' Tao Tu Yun said. 'Big sister will help you carry another bag of rice grains home.'
Tao Tu Yun helped the little girl pick up the bag, and Tao Fang Ao helped Tao Tu Yun stand.
'Tu Yun, when will you know how to take care of yourself?' Tao Fang Ao asked.
Tao Fang Ao passed the bag to a servant. He instructed the servant to fill the bag with rice grains, fill another bag with fresh food and help carry the bags to the little girl's home.
'Tu Yun, next time take a look around you and see if there is anyone who you can ask for help,' Tao Fang Ao said. 'Don't take everything onto your shoulders.'
Tao Fang Ao sensed the assassin following Tao Tu Yun's movements. If Tao Fang Ao didn't keep Tao Tu Yun close to his side, he was scared of losing her.
'I'm sorry,' Tao Tu Yun said. 'I won't worry you again.'
Tao Tu Yun understood Tao Fang Ao was worried about her. She smiled warmly to reassure him.
Tao Fang Ao didn't know what to do with Tao Tu Yun. She read his moods perfectly but he wasn't fooled, she was going to worry him again because behind her gentle facade was an intelligent, cunning and a stubborn person.
Tao Tu Yun waved farewell to the little girl.
'Little sister, it's cold today,' Tao Tu Yun said. 'Go straight home so you don't catch a cold.'
'Yes big sister,' the little girl said. 'Thank you big sister.'
The little girl smiled at Tao Tu Yun and she ran home.
Suddenly Tao Tu Yun felt faint. Tao Fang Ao held onto to her and he heard her heart beating fast.
'Tu Yun, what's wrong?' Tao Fang Ao asked.
Tao Tu Yun had a premonition of the little girl drowning in a river in three days. She wasn't going to let the little girl drown, she needed to visit the little girl's home and warn her to avoid rivers for three days.
'Isn't the little girl called Dou Dou and her adoptive grandma is the fortune teller?' elder Jiang asked.
'Elder Jiang, do you know the little girl?' Tao Tu Yun asked.
'Yes lady Tao,' elder Jiang said. 'Dou Dou is an orphan until the fortune teller adopted her.'
'Elder Jiang, why is Dou Dou's adoptive grandma known as the fortune teller?' Tao Tu Yun asked.
'The fortune teller is famous in Luo Yang province,' elder Jiang said. 'The fortune teller can predict a person's future.'
'Does the fortune teller and Dou Dou live together alone?' Tao Tu Yun asked.
'Yes lady Tao,' elder Jiang said. 'The fortune teller is elderly. She sends Dou Dou to look for food often.'
'Dou Dou...' Tao Tu Yun said.
Tao Fang Ao squeezed Tao Tu Yun's waist.
'Tu Yun, enough,' Tao Fang Ao said. 'Dou Dou's life is none of your business.'
Tao Fang Ao suspected Tao Tu Yun had a premonition about Dou Dou's future. He didn't want Tao Tu Yun to risk her life again to save another person's life.
'Tu Yun, I'll escort you back to the bedchamber,' Tao Fang Ao said.
Elder Jiang watched Tao Fang Ao escort Tao Tu Yun to the bedchamber. Elder Jiang rubbed his chin. Judging by Tao Fang Ao's reaction to Tao Tu Yun's curiosity about Dou Dou's life, he suspected Tao Tu Yun foresaw Dou Dou's future too.
Elder Jiang cursed inwardly. He knew Tao Tu Yun's life would be in danger because she would warn Dou Dou. He was determined to keep a close watch over Tao Tu Yun to make sure she didn't sneak out of the Tao Manor to warn Dou Dou, he didn't want anything bad happen to Tao Tu Yun.
End of Chapter Seven (Part 1)