Chapter 64 Insidious and Sinister Part 2

 Chaos amongst the disaster victims had passed by; slowly, Dali had recovered its calm.
But this peaceful period didn’t last long because after every disaster, an epidemic disease broke out.
This was especially common in areas where disaster victims were afraid of the spread of diseases that they immediately buried the disease-infected people, horses, cows, and sheeps in the ground.
This behavior unintentionally infected the water source, causing more people to become infected.
The Emperor sent large numbers of medical official to disaster areas to treat the epidemic and eventually the situation was soon under control.
But because many traveling officials returned to the capital, the epidemic followed along back to the capital.
Commoners were often determined to work every day so after receiving treatment, they recovered very soon.
Unfortunately for the groups of nobilities, as people that didn’t move often, it was much more difficult for them to recover once infected.
Three to four highly ranked court officials had died in a row, causing shock and fear. Prime Minister Li had been busy with this problem, which had caused him nights of restless sleep. Da Furen saw this and slowly felt that the opportunity had come. 

That night, Li Xiao Ran was tossing and turning restlessly, he couldn’t sleep at all.
At the moment, Da Furen suddenly sat up with sweat drenched over her forehead. Li Xiao Ran was surprised, he saw Da Furen’s unease expression and asked: “Furen, what is going on with you?” Da Furen’s expression was absentminded, it was as if she was perturbed; she uttered something yet couldn’t speak recognizable words. Li Xiao Ran felt anxious, he said: “What is going on!” Using the candle’s light, Li Xiao Ran noticed that round-face Da Furen’s lower jaw was very pointy as if it could poke someone and her eyes had greenish-black shadows underneath, making her look anxious. 

 Da Furen tightly held herself as her whole body trembled: “I had a nightmare, it’s very frightening Lao Ye!” It was only a nightmare, Li Xiao Ran laid back down and obviously didn’t care about what she said. Da Furen felt angry inside but she suppressed it and said: “I suddenly dreamt of many wooden people, and in their hands were wooden pegs, they used them to beat Lao Ye —“ Hearing this, Li Xiao Ran’s expression immediately worsened, he solemnly said: “What kind of dream is this!”

 Da Furen showed a troubled expression, after a while, she probingly said: “Could this dream have some sort of omen ……” Li Xiao Ran didn’t speak yet he had an uneasy feeling in his heart. He suddenly thought of twenty years ago, the Emperor had just ascended the throne.
That year in the summer, a drought broke out.
Alchemists and necromancers in the capital used their evil ways to bewitch commoners; some even caused chaos in the harem, teaching concubines how to use voodoo.
The concubines in the harem envied, berated, and exposed one another, accusing one another for cursing the Emperor.
The Emperor furiously ordered the whole city to be searched and in many concubine’s halls and commoner’s homes, countless of voodoo things were found.
Under harsh torturing, imperial maids and concubines admitted that they were bewitched by superstitions and used voodoo to curse the Emperor and other maids and concubines.
This incident implicated many innocent officials and had caused the deaths of many.
As a result, the Emperor ordered that anyone found to have done voodoo, regardless of gender and age, must be executed or exiled.
Now that Da Furen had this dream, did it foreshadow something? 

Thinking of this, Li Xiao Ran thought of the recent outbreak of epidemic and naturally couldn’t sleep.
Da Furen dreamt of a wooden person and it aimed at him, was it an omen of misfortune? This guess made him displeased and nervous. In the middle of the night, a sound was heard at the window, which roused Li Wei Yang from sleep. Bai Zhi immediately took a look and busily said: “Xiaojie, it was just the wind, it’s nothing, Nubi has closed it.” Li Wei Yang didn’t know why sweat appeared on her forehead.
She lightly wiped it and then laid that back down again.
She didn’t know why she felt that a calamity was coming — an ominous premonition …… This night, a storm was brewing3.

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