Joy of Life - Chapter 231[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:47:44]
Chapter 231: Ruoruo Is Getting Married!
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“Congratulations?! Stop screwing around!” Fan Xian became angry at the thought of more things to deal with. He even did a full imitation of Chen Pingping’s catchphrase: “They worry so much over nothing, but they don’t care if they work us half to death.”
Such outrageous heresy startled Lin Wen, who tried to explain. “The Imperial court has rules in dealing with things. But the palace has its own ways. Sir, there’s no need to be overly concerned.”
Fan Xian nodded. While this marriage seemed improper, seeing both sides in such a panic made Fan Xian believe that this was the scenario that everyone wanted. However, since Southern Qing and Northern Qi were currently the two most powerful nations, if the two were to join through political marriage, the emperors of nearby lesser nations probably wouldn’t be laughing anymore. Of course, the most troublesome aspect would still be Dongyu City, which was guarded by Sigu Sword practitioners.
“Oh yeah. Didn’t you just say there’s something worth celebrating?” Fan Xian frowned, not knowing what there was for him to celebrate about the Great Prince’s marriage.
The Lin brothers looked at each other and chuckled. “You will know after reading this letter from the court.” Customarily, since the head diplomat wasn’t present to receive a letter from the Imperial court, Lin Jing, as the vice-diplomat, had the authority to open it.
“Just tell me.” Fan Xian rubbed the area between his eyebrows, feeling a sense of uneasy that came from nowhere and was getting more intense.
“As you wish.” Lin Jing smiled. “The Great Prince’s marriage has been arranged, as has the Second Prince’s. As per His Majesty’s order, the Second Princes is to marry Ye Ling’er next spring.”
Fan Xian paused slightly. The news gave him a strange feeling. “That young girl who calls me mentor is also getting married?” He had met the Second Prince and knew the Second Prince was well-educated, yet he was still unsettled and worried for Ye Ling’er. At the same time, he wondered what His Majesty was planning. This marriage would bind the Second Prince and the Ye household together. Could His Majesty really wish to… change the candidate for crown prince?
While shocked, Fan Xian did not show it on his face, “What does that have to do with me?”
Lin Wen spoke before his brother did. “Congratulations, Sir Fan. His Majesty also complimented the Young Lady of the esteemed manor as being virtuous and cultured, and arranged her to marry Prince Li Hongcheng…”
“The Young Lady of the esteemed manor?” Fan Xian felt stupid, “Which manor is that?” Only after a while did he realize something. “Could it be Ruoruo?”
Ruoruo is going to be married to Li Hongcheng?
“No!” Unexpectedly, Fan Xian stood up and whipped his sleeves!
The officials nearby all opened their mouths wide, not knowing why Sir Fan had reacted so strongly after finding out about his sister’s marriage. Their congratulations had been genuine. In the Fan family, Count Sinan Fan Jian was the Minister of Revenue who was in control of Qing’s money and food; Fan Xian was the Commissioner of the Overwatch Council and was married to the daughter of the Prime Minister who held a distinguished status; now Young Lady Fan was to marry Li Hongcheng, a proper prince… they would be the most influential family in Qing.
To think Sir Fan responded with… rejection?!
Fan Xian lost focus for a moment. He looked at everyone’s shocked expression. Immediately, however, he recollected himself and laughed. “That won’t do. Li Hongcheng visits brothels every day. If I, his brother-in-law, do not approve of him, there’s no way I’d give my sister to him unless he plies me with a few hundred jars of top-quality liquor.”
Fan Xian covered himself well. The various officials knew he and Crown Prince Jing were good friends, and therefore Fan Xian must have been joking.
The officials laughed along. Some promised to pay Fan Manor a visit after returning to the capital, while others joked to go with Sir Fan to find Crown Prince Jing and try to get some wine out of him.
Fan Xian chatted with officials with a lively expression, acting just like an elder brother who was overjoyed by news of his younger sister’s marriage.
After the crowd dispersed, Fan Xian walked alone to the quiet rear courtyard. Standing next to a pillar, he stared at the stars peeking out between the dark clouds in the south. He was speechless for a long time.
My younger sister is getting married.
My younger sister is getting married!
He knew this was going to happen sooner or later. Not too long after he arrived into this world, when he told the story of Snow White to that little girl in Danzhou, he knew that little yellow monkey would get married to someone someday. Through the letters between the capital and Danzhou, Fan Xian also thought about the girl he was writing to, whom he had yet to meet. She, too, would get married to some man one day.
After coming to the capital, he finally met her. She was intelligent and revered him both as an elder brother and a mentor. Fan Xian chuckled as he thought of how her life would be difficult if she were to marry an ordinary man.
One day—perhaps on the day when Fan Xian guessed his identity—Fan Xian started to purposely refuse to think about his sister getting married.
Even after the emperor told both of them that he would arrange Ruoruo an excellent marriage, Fan Xian still refused to think about it.
But things couldn’t always change according to one’s desires. After Fan Xian’s marriage, Fan Ruoruo’s marriage naturally came next.
Fan Xian gently tapped the pillar next to him. His mind was a mess. He had once discussed this with his sister, promising her that, as her brother, he would definitely find her a good husband. But now that things had reached this point, Fan Xian, who always liked to play dumb, actually started to feel like he was. Countless lines darted across his mind, making breathing and thinking difficult.
The sound of his palm slapping the pillar echoed in the yard.
“What a racket.” A cold voice came from the other end of the hallway.
Fan Xian smiled bitterly. He was so shaken that he forgot Yan Bingyun shared this courtyard with him.
“Sir, you appear troubled.” Yan Bingyun wasn’t speaking out of concern, but out of curiosity, since this Commissioner normally kept his thoughts to himself while putting on a clear and cheery front.
Fan Xian stopped looking at the night sky and thought for a moment. “My sister is getting married.”
“The young lady of the Fan household?” Yan Bingyun said quietly. “A talented woman, famous in the capital. This marriage must have been arranged by His Majesty.”
“Indeed. My future brother-in-law is Crown Prince Jing, Li Hongcheng.”
Yan Bingyun said, “All the young men in the capital knew he liked your sister.”
Fan Xian blanked out a bit. “Really? How come I never knew that?”
“I hear that you and Li Hongchen are good friends. Now with Fan Manor joining King Jing, outside of a few members of the royal family, there really isn’t anyone comparable. Sir, I must congratulate you.”
Fan Xian felt that Yan Bingyun’s cold congratulation held a hint of malice. He tilted his head and smiled. “True, it is joyful indeed.”
“If so, why are you so worried?”
Fan Xian smiled, “Hongcheng is my friend, of course I like him. However…” He shrugged, “having a frequent visitor of pleasure boats as my brother-in-law; I believe anyone would be worried.”
Yan Bingyun coughed twice and jeered. “Sir Fan, are you saying you have never visited a brothel in your life?”
Fan Xian shook his head with a smile; he was in a strange mood today and didn’t want to argue with Yan Bingyun. Currently there were no candles lit inside and the stars were scarce in the sky. It was all dark and quiet in the courtyard. Fan Xian turned around to look at Yan Bingyun’s constant coldness. Suddenly, something came to him and he asked:
“Do you want to marry my sister?”
“Nonsense!” Yan Bingyun chided such an absurd question.
Fan Xian shrugged and sighed. “Figures. You only love yourself; you wouldn’t know how to treasure a woman.”
Yan Bingyun ignored him.
Fan Xian continued, “How did things conclude with Miss Shen? You lied to her. Shen Zhong isn’t a push-over.”
Yan Bingyun’s face was chilling as always, but Fan Xian, with his sharp eyes, finally discovered a hint of sadness in Yan Bingyun’s eyes. Yan Bingyun said quietly, “I’m no lecher. As for Miss Shen… there’s nothing going on between us.”
Fan Xian understood. Yan Bingyun and Miss Shen were bound to live their separate lives far apart. While Fan Xian didn’t know whether Yan Bingyun had been emotionally moved by the separation, he should have felt at least somewhat guilty.
Fan Xian’s thoughts once again returned to Ruoruo’s marriage, and his worries resurfaced. Truthfully, everyone was right; it would be better for Ruoruo to marry Li Hongcheng than the other princes. Fan Xian should be happy about this, but he couldn’t be.
In truth, not even Fan Xian knew what he himself was thinking. But perhaps some details—his initial reactions, such as first rising, or then dimly clapping his hands—revealed his deepest wishes that even he was no aware of.
He said to Yan Bingyun, “Of course Miss Shen can’t marry you. But if… if that possibility existed, what would you do?”
“I never dwell on the impossible,” Yan Bingyun replied coldly.
Fan Xian grinned and left. Yan Bingyun, staring at his figure, which disappeared into the darkness, fell deep into thought.