Wu Xie’s Private Notes: Chapter 10 Qimen Fortune Teller Qi Tiezui The Eighth

Qimen (1) Fortune Teller Qiu Tiezui (2) the Eighth was a peculiar man in the lower three clans.

The Huo and Xie families were big families, who devoted themselves to expanding their businesses. From eastern Inner Mongolia to Lingnan, both families had their tracks all over these areas, but Qi Tiezui went in the complete opposite direction.

Ever since Qi Tiezui started his business, he had only one shop, which was a fortune-telling booth in the old tea camp in Changsha.

This fortune-telling booth was in the depths of an alley, and behind it was a small incense hall where he did the fortune telling.

If people wanted to buy antiques, they needed to pay six pennies before the fortune teller would take them into the inner hall. There was a large hall in the back that was full of treasures.

Under normal circumstances, this kind of small shop would easily be eliminated, but the Qi family’s shop had been open for several generations. Business was booming, and the small incense hall flourished.

Some people found it very strange and didn’t know why his business was so good. Later, they learned that Qi Tiezui had a strange rule.

If people wanted to buy antiques, he would do fortune telling for them. He was the number one fortune teller in Changsha, and his predictions were extremely accurate. He only did it for people who bought antiques, and called it “Buy antiques, get free fortune tellings”.

Nowadays, we might call that competitive differentiation or derivative value.

The people who robbed graves and sold antiques were rather superstitious. Qiu Tiezui was very famous, so even if there were some people who didn’t actually want to buy antiques, they would go to him for fortune telling and buy an item randomly. That was why his business was always popular.

So, how accurate were his predictions? People said his skills were divine.

On the eve of liberation, a broker came to buy goods in Qi Tiezui’s shop. He didn’t want anything except for an incense burner that was in the incense hall.

This incense burner wasn’t an antique, so it was clear to see that the broker didn’t know how to determine the value of items.

The underling at the time asked Qi Tiezui for instructions, but Qi Tiezui was very disciplined. He was selling antiques, so how could he sell incense burners? As a result, Qi Tiezui wouldn’t sell it.

His underling became greedy. He felt that the incense burner didn’t cost much, so he could sell it himself and secretly buy another one to replace it and keep the money. As a result, he secretly sold the incense burner. He was afraid that Qi Tiezui would find out, so he asked the broker to leave quickly.

At that time, Qi Tiezui was waiting to tell the broker’s fortune, and found it strange that the broker walked away without looking back.

When he asked the underling what happened, the underling got scared and confessed to the whole thing. Qi Tiezui told him that he had offended the gods and ancestors by committing such a big taboo, and he was afraid that the underling would get retribution.

People would piss their pants when Qi Tiezui said something like this, because his words usually came true. As a result, the guy was so frightened that he immediately took out all the money. He said that he had only been greedy for a moment and asked if there was a way to resolve it.

At that time, the underling was about to collect rent in the village. After Qi Tiezui did the fortune telling, he frowned and returned all the money back to the guy. He had him carry the money on his body when he went to the village, and told him to put the collected rent at the bottom of the box. Moreover, he told the guy that he shouldn’t collect rent from the melon farmers.

The guy was puzzled as he began his journey. When he made it to the village, he found that the heavy rains that year had caused a reduction in the number of melons produced. There was no way he could collect the money from the melon farmers, so he told them that they didn’t have to pay the rent.

On the way back, he met a robber. All the money on his body was taken, but strangely enough, he wasn’t hurt at all, and the robber ran away without searching his box. Soon after he returned to the incense hall, the robber was caught. It was a melon farmer from the village.

It turned out that the melons had been soaked by the rain, and the melon farmer had no choice but to become a robber. When he saw that his victim was the one who hadn’t made him pay rent, he couldn’t bear to kill him. At the same time, he was afraid that he would get recognized, so he took the money and hurriedly ran away.

If the underling had asked the melon farmer to pay rent, then he definitely would’ve died. And if he didn’t have the money he got from the incense burner, the money in the box would have definitely been taken.

Afterwards, the guy asked Qi Tiezui how exactly he had predicted it, and Qi Tiezui told him that the money he got for selling the incense burner was also the money the broker paid in order to buy the incense burner.

“Buy the incense burner” sounded like “Buy the road” (3), which meant that he would encounter a robber, who would steal the money he got from the incense burner.

And the broker hadn’t done the fortune telling. “Didn’t do the fortune telling” sounded like “Didn’t count the melons.” (4)

Qi Tiezui said, “You’ve committed the sin yourself, but your ancestors know that it’s your first offense, so they gave you a way out. You must be careful in the future and not make this kind of mistake again.”

The guy listened and never dared disobey Qi Tiezui again. The story of this incident was also spread, and soon, all of the people in the city had heard about it.

<Wu Xie’s Private Notes: Chapter 9 Huo Xiangu><Table of Contents><Wu Xie’s Private Notes: Chapter 11 Xiao Xiejiu>


TN Notes

(1) Qimen, which refers to Qimen Dunjia, is an ancient form of divination from China. Wiki link

(2) The Chinese characters actually mean “Qi Iron Mouth.” “Iron mouth” is an idiom meaning someone who can tell fortunes very accurately.

(3) (4) These sentences are pronounced similarly in Chinese.


2 thoughts on “Wu Xie’s Private Notes: Chapter 10 Qimen Fortune Teller Qi Tiezui The Eighth

  1. Qi Tiezui was one of my favorite characters from The Mystic Nine drama. He definitely didn’t seem like a lesser member. It will be interesting to see what actually happened between them all in Lao Jiu Men.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s