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After Fu Tian’s birthday was over, the weather grew colder and colder. The lively atmosphere on the streets was getting stronger and stronger. It seemed that it was the New Year in the blink of an eye.
Red lanterns hung inside and outside the Fu house. Couplets were posted on doors and windows. Even the servants put on red clothing and beamed.
On December 30, every family was busy worshipping and praying.
After offering sacrifices to the ancestors and the heavens, a whole morning slipped away. The family then sat down to eat New Year’s Eve dinner.
Only family members were there, so they didn’t mind the rules. They didn’t sit at separate tables and had a lively reunion dinner together. Then they lit a stove in the main room and gathered around to welcome the New Year.
A pot of wine was warming on top of the stove. They couldn’t sleep that night because they had to welcome the New Year, so they could only drink and chat.
Fu Youqin and Fu Shuyue sat to the side and held embroidery hoops. Fu Tian held a cup of warm wine and leaned lazily agains Chu XiangTian. Chu XiangTian held a Huaben [book of folk stories] and told him a story.
The story was about a fox demon repaying kindness. The story went on that a beautiful red fox was raised in Qingyang’s Duke Zhangguo fu. This red fox was brought back when Duke Zhangguo went hunting. After raising it for a year, the red fox suddenly disappeared. Duke Zhangguo searched anxiously for it. After three months, Duke Zhangguo suddenly brought back an extremely beautiful woman. The woman was slim and had a jade-like face. She had a bewitching pair of eyes like an alluring spirit that could hook someone’s soul out.
Duke Zhangguo particularly doted on this woman. He didn’t go to any other concubines’ courtyards and even neglected the Duchess. The Duchess was jealous, so she sent people to harm that woman. The people went, but none came back.
Not long after this, servants began to disappear one by one in Duke Zhangguo fu. There were servants who said that there was a man-eating monster in the fu. The Duchess went to the temple and invited a monk over. The monk saw through the fox’s disguise with one glance.
So, the woman whom Duke Zhangguo brought back was the red fox that ran away. The fox wanted to repay Duke Zhangguo’s kindness, so she married him. But an animal was an animal and it couldn’t change its nature. So, she killed people in Duke Zhangguo fu.
“And then what?” Fu Tian sat up and asked with interest. “What happened to the fox demon?”
Chu XiangTian closed the book and said, “Of course, it was taken away by the monk. Not long after, the Duke passed away because he missed it.”
Fu Tian whispered, “Aren’t there only stories of beautiful ladies and talented men in Huabens? So what’s this?”
Chu XiangTian poked Fu Tian’s forehead with the Huaben. Then he deliberately lowered his voice to scare him. “Because this story…… is true.”
Fu Tian: “……”
He subconsciously looked around. It was past Zi Shi [11 – 1 a.m.] right now, so it was pitch black outside. There were the sounds of a few firecrackers. Hearing such a strange story now really was a bit scary.
Chu XiangTian looked at Fu Tian fearful expression and couldn’t help but laugh. “You really believed it?”
Fu Tian widened his eyes and glared angrily at him.
Chu XiangTian held his smile back and soothed him. “But it’s not completely false.”
“Hmm?” Fu Tian’s interest was aroused. Even the embroidering Fu Youqin and Fu Shuyue looked curiously at him.
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