Joy of Life - Chapter 288

[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:48:06]
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Chapter 288: Follow Me Home

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

What kind of person was Fan Sizhe?

Actually, he was a fairly ordinary young man of the capital, whose heritage was that of a wealthy family. Due to his family’s affluence, he had always been a popular child in the city. He was only a small boy when Fan Xian arrived at the capital, and at 12 years of age, hated his brother with a passion. Of course, he was a smart guy, and so he knew that he had been restricted by the baron’s heir. He was the sort of person that could not stand losing, but when it came to his personal interests, he was always keen to read ledgers and other financial documentation. Perhaps he did not even realize it himself, but he was exceptionally articulate and knowledgeable when it came to business and financial management.

There are many sides to a person, and that most certainly applied to Fan Sizhe. As a 14 year old noble of the capital, he was naive, enthusiastic, presumptuous and he even contained a streak of a callousness. It would not be fair to look at him from solely one perspective.

His father was a prominent man in the government, for he was the minister of the Ministry of Revenue. His name was Fan Jian. Fan Sizhe’s grandmother was a nanny for the Emperor, and his birth-mother was a valued friend of Yi Gui Pin. His big sister, Fan Ruoruo was perhaps the most famous, intellectual woman in the entire city and soon, she was to be married to the Crown Prince, Li Hongcheng.

And with his big brother, to which it seemed as if he held great contempt towards, they actually got along fairly well with each other. His brother was perhaps the finest linguist of the generation, the Emperor’s most trusted young officer, and to top it all off, he was the commissioner of the Overwatch Council. The man was an idol to every scholar, student and remote intellect in the entire world. He had married a princess, sorted out the palace treasury and even sat in the Emperor’s study room! His brother must have been the luckiest person to ever exist and his name, at this point, must have been distinguished enough to be heard by all. It was as if he had garnered so much renown, he was like a shining statuette of gold whenever he walked amongst the populace.

Yes. That was his amazing big brother, Fan Xian.

With an illustrious heritage such as this, they seemed to be a one-in-a-kind entity. It was doubtful that any other family had achieved as much success ever since the very establishment of the Qing Kingdom. Being born into such an environment, however, what could be expected of him, Fan Sizhe?

Before Fan Xian entered the palace, Fan Sizhe was already an infamous thug of the capital. Back then, it was due to him being young and still undecided as to what he wanted to do with the life he had been given. Therefore, what he chose to do was to be little more than a delinquent, in which he would spend his days eating freely, thieving from others, riding horses in the street and being a plain, old bully to others. He never went overboard or was responsible for huge misdeeds and grievous crimes, however, for Ruoruo was in charge of familial discipline. But this was the sort of life he had grown accustomed to. It was in his bones and it beared the seeds of today’s recklessness.

After Fan Xian entered the capital, he was allied with his big sister and big brother, and with them, they reigned in Fan Sizhe; they attempted to turn his life around and have him become a well-behaved individual. His parents were always putting pressure on him as well, forcing him to study arduously to become an officer, but such burdens were reduced upon the arrival of Fan Xian. It was if Fan Xian had opened a whole new door for Fan Sizhe, providing opportunities no other nobleman had ever given him.

And now, Fan Sizhe finally knew what he wanted to do. He discovered what he wanted to do with his life. He wanted to obtain the sort of wealth that the hostess of Ye possessed. That sort of wealth would be enough to threaten an entire country. Therefore, he set to utilizing all the knowledge he had accumulated about accounting, business and finance he had gathered over the years.

As he grew older, his life goals became clearer and clearer. Through both his intellect and noble authority, he became reckless; he became Fan Sizhe, he who was afraid of nothing.

If he desired to do business, what would garner him the most revenue? Even though the Danbo bookstore was being looked after by Fan Sizhe and was being managed by Shopkeeper Ye of the Qingyu Hall, the books they sold did not yield a terrible amount of profit. And this was even after several other branches of the business had opened up, in different corner of the kingdom. Furthermore, the bookstore was still under Fan Xian’s name. Even though the latter point did not concern him too much, Fan Sizhe desired to build a career of his very own.

At the same time, the third prince of the palace, the cousin of Fan Sizhe, held great disdain for the prospect of receiving education. He could not stand listening to scholars talk all day long. But still, the prince had a mind of greater maturity and so, these two began to plot and devise the founding of something grand in the capital.

One was 14 years of age, and the other was eight. It was this strange combination that led to the creation of the much renowned Bao Yue house.

While this collaboration may have seem childish, the outcome was indeed quite fruitful for them both. And undoubtedly, it was the result of both of their unique backgrounds. The restrictions employed by the government turned out to be of benefit to them. And much to Fan Sizhe’s surprise, he later learnt of Crown Prince Li Hongcheng’s tight business relationship with the Liu Jing He brothel. It was from this place that he borrowed the manager, Yuan Meng.

It was the results of Fan Sizhe’s business acumen, Yuan Meng’s ability to run a brothel effectively and the third prince’s power and authority that led to the Bao Yue house becoming what it was. The brutality and reckless nature of their operations also aided their ambitions, and served well to close down most of the competing brothels in the capital, all within two to three months. But as for the death toll they had incurred, and the lives they had ruined? They did not care at all.

His name was Fan Sizhe. Although he was young, he was a noble, the very reason he was not concerned with others’ necks being on the chopping block. He was young, reckless, and didn’t much care about or think through the things he did. This is what Fan Xian and Wan’er always worried about.

But Fan Sizhe did fear something.

He did whatever he could to make the Bao Yue house shine whilst his brother was away in the north for a few months. When the business was established, and it had achieved the popularity he desired, he didn’t worry too much. Fan Sizhe believed that even if Fan Xian was to later find out about the brothel, there was nothing he could because of how far it had come.

But he hadn’t thought that something so major would happen half a year after his brother had left.

The Fan family was still really close with King Jing during the spring. People believed them to be aligned with the second prince, which is why he didn’t think it was all that bad, making Li Hongcheng a business associate, that is. Nor should there have been a problem getting closer with the third prince, that had been raised by the second prince. But after Han Sen returned, it surprised him to learn that his brother was now in conflict with the second prince.

As the brother of an officer, Fan Sizhe didn’t think his wretched misdeeds would insult and set off his brother in the way that they did. But in regards to the politics of it, he knew that if he got too close, and his brother found out, it would mean big trouble!

Ever since September, he had ordered the workers of the Bao Yue house to maintain a lower profile. He was desperate to get out of the business, and it had led to him being extremely busy recently. But he didn’t know who made the third prince hide in the palace, delaying everything until today.

Fan Sizhe nervously looked at Deng Ziyue, and recognized him. He was a member of the Overwatch Council and was the head of Fan Xian’s bodyguards. But at the moment, he had given up the idea of killing him. He knew his brother would find that he was the owner of the Bao Yue house eventually, and if he killed even more people, things would only get worse for him.

“Go back. I will tell him about this.”

Fan Sizhe’s fat cheeks trembled in fear. He waved and gestured for the hitmen to hold off on their assault. His admiration for his big brother still came first, it would seem.

Deng Ziyue looked at him, bowed and then left.

Third prince, with his childish voice, yelled out, “You let him go? How am I supposed to show my face in the capital now? How can I allow an officer to bully me?”

Fan Sizhe sighed. He sat down, and glided his hand across the table’s smooth surface. He looked at the woman called Si Qing’er. He asked her, “Where is Yan’er?”

Si Qing’er was already confused by what she had just witnessed, wondering why he would be afraid of an officer from the Overwatch Council. But her status wasn’t high enough for her to learn and be involved with such complicated affairs. So, she just said, “Yan’er is resting in the backyard. Would you like to see her?”

Fan Sizhe was only fourteen, and yet had a cruel look only adults tended to have. After a while, he said, “It’s nothing. Everything will remain the same.”

His heart was panicking as he raced to find a solution that would get him out of this ordeal. If his father learnt about all this, he was sure he would be beaten to death. His mother loved him and would most likely go beg before Yi Gui Pin so that she would beg Fan Xian… but he wouldn’t even let the eldest princess go. He wouldn’t be convinced by Yi Gui Pin.

His heart jumped and he looked happy. He thought he might be able to beg his big sister and sister-in-law. If they both said something on his behalf, perhaps he wouldn’t be punished so cruelly.

“I have something I must do. I have to go now.” Fan Sizhe coldly looked at the third prince, and he knew something strange was going on. Although he was young, he was brave. He then coldly said, “I won’t be visiting this place again. I don’t care about the benefits. But in the next three months, hand me my share.”

The third prince shook his head while laughing, and said, “There is my second brother and your future brother-in-law here to support you; what are you afraid of?”

Fan Sizhe ignored him. With an evil look in his eye, he told Si Qing’er, “That ten thousand cheque, send it to him. It may save your life.”

Si Qing’er silently agreed. She knew that she had offended someone she shouldn’t have the night before.

At the pond near the Bao Yue house, Fan Xian was watching the boats and birds upon it and the people that wandered around it. His fingers were tapping a table, and he calmly contemplated everything that had been transpiring. He didn’t use much energy in formulating his plan of action.

This brothel’s owners was Sizhe and the third prince, so the government would assuredly not look into it. The Overwatch Council wouldn’t do anything because of him. Perhaps the populace might be led to believe the brothel was Fan Xian’s. No one would report to him, and they would even hide it. Mu Tie had some balls to mention this whole thing to his face.

Fan Xian had a wry smile on his face as he sipped some wine. He knew Sizhe had been up to something strange lately, but as his older brother, he didn’t pay him much notice. He told off Ruoruo and Wan’er, not expecting in this world where men were the boss, as a sister and sister-in-law, they couldn’t control Fan Sizhe if he desired to do something bad away from home.

And in regards to the second prince’s plans, Fan Xian knew all about them.

In the spring, his relationship with the second prince hadn’t been too bad. The reason why the second prince was doing business with the third prince and Sizhe was to earn some money. He didn’t think there was anything bad he was doing to the Fan family, he just thought he could improve their ties through the whorehouse. So, he hid himself, all the while believing he was doing himself a favor.

In his past life, he had an experience at a brothel. What was the relation between opening a brothel and welcoming a customer? If there was really a connection, then it would be difficult to separate.

But there were some small changes following his return to the capital, and the second prince was surprised.

With this situation, the Bao Yue brothel was supposed to improve relations. Instead, it became a tug of war.

If Han Sen wanted to make a move on the second prince, he would have to acknowledge the assistance of the Bao Yue house. After all, Fan Sizhe had done some terrible things there. With the evidence the Overwatch Council had discovered, the place could be shuttered and Sizhe could go to jail. If people found out, even though the Fan family could escape the law, it’d weaken everyone’s integrity. It would be a difficult thing for the Fan family to bear.

To Fan Xian, to be able to stand in court, he knew that aside from his strange identity, the most important thing was the way he would fight for his reputation in the past two years.

The brothel that the Fan family opened with the third prince, had just ended up with harming all parties involved.

Fan Xian, who was always so cool, was now finally annoyed. He didn’t have to care about clearing his own name, but he did feel compelled to care about his brother’s fate now, not to mention how his father would take things. Chen Pingping always said he owned his father. So far, things wouldn’t be too difficult to settle. He just needed to be nice and everything that happened in the Bao Yue house would be taken care of in the capital. He also had enough time to think about what he might do with Sizhe. What he needed to do was just shake his hand. It seemed as if that would be the simplest option for benefiting them both.

But Han Sen would not shake hands with the second prince’s dirty hands. Even if his hands were offered as a call for peace, he would be very careful in testing out his sincerity. He wouldn’t do anything real.

He could tolerate other people threatening to ruin his reputation, but he could not tolerate someone using his brother to threaten him. No matter what the second prince was thinking, he still missed the most important part. He always thought of things through the benefits they might yield. That was his sole point of view. He looked at Fan Xian as little more than an officer, and he didn’t realise there was a lot more to certain prospects than just their benefits. And Fan Xian was not your usual officer.

Deng Ziyue safely got aboard the carriage and left Bao Yue house.

Fan Xian felt pleased, now knowing that his brother could still be saved. He raised his hand, pushed the door open, and walked into the room. He then pushed open another door.

He looked at the strange people in there. Fan Sizhe looked both surprised and afraid. With a emotionless voice he said, “Follow me home.”