Joy of Life - Chapter 221[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:47:40]
Chapter 221: Ripping the White Robe
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“What an affectionate and honest man you are, Yan Bingyun.”
That sentence was filled with heartbreak and despair. Even Fan Xian, with his heart of iron, couldn’t help but sigh. Wei Hua was exceptionally angry. He glared at Yan Bingyun, who was sitting in his chair, as if wanting to immediately cut this enemy spy into pieces.
With much weak sobbing, Miss Shen finally left the room.
Fan Xian sighed again. “What an affectionate and honest woman.” Though that was what he said, he was still very suspicious. Even if Miss Shen was the daughter of the boss of Northern Qi’s Brocade Guard, and even if Yan Bingyun had been emotionally involved with her during his years in Northern Qi… who was Yan Bingyun? He was the highest-ranked Qing spy caught by Northern Qi in the past fifteen years. Being locked away under such security, how was Miss Shen allowed to walk in so openly and coincidentally put on a show in front of these Southern Qing officials?
Fan Xian’s heart suddenly leapt. He understood what these Northerners were thinking.
The prison—which was much unlike a prison—was now much quieter. Yan Bingyun didn’t stand up from his chair. He just poured himself a cup of tea and drank slowly. This impressive character who had lurked in Northern Qi for many years had such a cold and unapproachable expression. He gave off a feeling that he didn’t care for anything—even his own life.
Wei Hua calmed down and frowned at Yan Bingyun. “Mister Yan, at any rate, we have been good friends during recent years… That we hail from different nations isn’t such a big deal in the first place, but I want you to remember, there are certain things I can never forgive. After you leave, please remember to never set foot in Qi again. His Majesty had send down an order through Sir Shen that if you, in the future, take a single step on Qi soil, we will risk three thousand knights for your head.
Yan Bingyun half-lowered his head as if he didn’t hear Wei Hua. He toyed with the teacup’s handle in his hand. Ever since his identity was exposed last year and he became imprisoned, this great genius Yun, who was once so socially active in Shangjing, seemed to have become a person who was born mute.
“Today I’m only here to see him,” Fan Xian said to Wei Hua expressionlessly. “I need an exact date for when I can bring him back to the envoy.”
“He must not go back to the envoy. He may only leave Shangjing in secret. Do you know how many people in Shangjing… want to rip your Mister Yan to pieces?” Wei Hua said chillingly.
Fan Xian shook his head. “I was ordered by my emperor to bring Sir Yan back to the envoy. We will take care of disguising his return. Do you think we want to stir up unnecessary trouble?”
Wei Hua frowned. He knew Xiao En and Si Lili were already in Shangjing. In this secret negotiation, Southern Qing had done more than enough for their part, making it hard for him to delay any longer. And while Fan Xian taking the liberty to go to his manor had invoked much criticism, Fan Xian’s seemingly absurd suggestion was somehow able to move those in the palace as well as Sir Shen, who held much power.
“I will begin the procedures immediately.”
Fan Xian calmly nodded. “Could you excuse us for a moment? I want to have a chat alone with Sir Yan.”
Wei Hua frowned. If they really wanted to plot something, wouldn’t it be safer to do it after he takes Yan Bingyun back to the envoy? Wei Hua couldn’t figure out what this Sir Fan was thinking. Giving Fan Xian a nod, he left the room.
Now there was only Fan Xian, Wang Qinian… and the aloof Yan Bingyun with his head half-lowered
Fan Xian was not at all self-conscious about being in the enemy nation’s Brocade Guard prison. With a warm smile, he pulled a chair and sat in front of Yan Bingyun. “My name is Fan Xian”
Fan Xian knew he had already entered the capital before Yan Bingyun’s capture. As the northern leader of the Overwatch Council, Yan Bingyun must have heard of the name.
As expected, after hearing the name “Fan Xian”, Yan Bingyun’s fingers slowly left the handle of the teacup and he looked up.
Unexpectedly, his gaze was full of ridicule and disdain.
“Fan Xian? The illegitimate son of the treasury’s Fan Jian. The one who grew up in Danzhou, enjoys alcohol, and has no talents; that is all,” Yan Bingyun said. His voice was very soft, completely in contrast to his cold expression. “What are you doing here?”
Fan Xian sighed. “Sir Yan, much has changed since you were locked away. My father has become the Minister of Revenue, and I, the one without any talent, am now the head diplomat of this envoy. My main purpose for coming to Northern Qi is to bring you back.” For some reason, Yan Bingyun seemed to despise the name “Fan Xian”.
“Bring me back?” Yan Bingyun slowly raised his head. He was no more than twenty years old, but strands of silver could already be seen in his eyebrows, giving him a strange look. “Who are you? Why should I believe you?”
“I am Fan Xian. I am the current Commissioner of the Overwatch Council.” Fan Xian knew Yan Bingyun, as the head spy, was being extra cautious; he must be trying to figure out if this was one of Northern Qi’s tricks. So Fan Xian took off the plaque on his waist and showed it to Yan Bingyun.
Yan Bingyun scanned the wooden plaque and frowned, knowing it was extremely difficult to forge. But he still couldn’t believe this youth younger than him was the Lord Commissioner of the Council. That position was a supreme existence just below the director. While the eight Bureaus weren’t under the Commissioner’s jurisdiction on the surface, they were still under the Commissioner’s control.
Being imprisoned for over half a year made Yan Bingyun lock away his emotions; he wouldn’t believe any illogical developments. He dared not to take any risks, because anything he exposed could potentially destroy Qing’s entire spy network in Northern Qi.
Wang Qinian, who had been quiet so far, said, “Sir Yan, Sir Fan was recently appointed Commissioner. He has come here today to rescue you.”
Yan Bingyun gave Wang Qinian a cold look. “You’re Sir Wang from the First Bureau?”
“Correct.” Facing Yan Bingyun somehow made Wang Qinian a bit nervous. Knowing Yan Bingyun had been imprisoned for over half a year, Wang Qinian didn’t know whether to admire or pity him. His time in prison must not have been easy.
“I don’t need you to confirm my identity.” Fan Xian gently patted Yan Bingyun on the shoulder. “In any case, all this will be over soon. You may keep silent and follow the envoy back to Qing. You don’t have to talk until after seeing Chen Pinging or your father. I think such arrangements will put you at ease a bit.”
Hearing that, Yan Bingyun frowned. He knew that couldn’t be what Northern Qi was planning.
But Fan Xian saw something in Yan Bingyun’s frown. With a chilled expression, he carefully pinched Yan Bingyun’s collar.
Yan Bingyun, with a sense of ridicule in his cold eyes, gave Fan Xian a look. “You want to see?”
“Yes,” Fan Xian calmly replied. Slowly, his fingers parted Yan Bingyun’s white robe, which was as plain as the clouds and snow. As the fabric parted from Yan Bingyun’s body, however, there was a most subtle ripping sound.
Yan Bingyun’s face remained unchanged, he didn’t even twitch an eyebrow.
Fan Xian, on the other hand, looked uneasy. Beneath the white robe was the horrifying skin on Yan Bingyun’s neck, covered in scars. Judging by how much it had healed, Yan Bingyun must have been in recovery for some time now. With so many wounds on his neck, one could imagine just how much suffering the rest of his body endured.
Wang Qinian cursed out, while Fan Xian regained his calm. “How long has it been since your last torture?”
“Three months” Yan Bingyun answered with a laugh, as if his tattered body did not belong to him.
Fan Xian carefully readjusted Yan Bingyun’s collar and sighed, “Northern Qi knew when we would arrive, so they stopped three months ago. Even after three months, your wounds are still horrific. You have suffered so much, Sir Yan.”
Yan Bingyun gave Fan Xian a bland look, as if not satisfied by the Commissioner’s words. “You seem like you worry unnecessarily.”
Fan Xian didn’t know how to respond. He had merely wanted to show his concern, and in return he was mocked as being unprofessional.
“Before the negotiation is confirmed, I will not say anything.” Yan Bingyun looked Fan Xian in the eyes. “I’m just curious, what methods did our Imperial court use to be able to free me from Northern Qi’s grasp?”
Without waiting for an answer, Yan Bingyun sighed and said viciously, “Don’t tell me the Imperial court was stupid enough to trade the plains of Qianlong Port for useless old me.”
“Rest assured, even if I wanted to, His Majesty is not that stupid.” Fan Xian shook his head and briefed Mister Yan on the actual negotiation.
The room suddenly sank into a strange silence. Yan Bingyun hung his head and didn’t speak for a long time. Suddenly, Fan Xian heard him talk to himself. “Trading Xiao En for me?”
Yan Bingyun suddenly raised his head and stared at Fan Xian with a gaze of ridicule and hatred. However, he still managed to calmly keep his voice down.