Joy of Life - Chapter 400

[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:48:51]
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Chapter 400: Hua Garden’s Brainstorm

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

In front of a valley about 20 li from Suzhou, was an unremarkable manor peacefully waiting for the dusk to fall.

With the fall of dusk, night also arrived. Four hundred Black Knight steeds, with muffled bits and cloth-wrapped hooves, silently surrounded the manor like a nighttime god of death.

Then came a bloody massacre. The Black Knights outside the manor fired in flaming arrows, while the people on the inside also lit fires. The fire-beacon lit up and lives were snuffed out. The manor was completely destroyed.

The Black Knights were the Fifth Bureau of the Overwatch Council. It was the department with the strongest martial ability but did not have someone in the yamen. They were always outside Jingdou waiting for Chen Pingping’s directions, until the Overwatch Council gained a young commissioner. Now, the Black Knights were divided in half, with 500 following Fan Xian. From this, it was possible to see Chen Pingping’s high opinion of Fan Xian.

When Fan Xian went as a diplomat to Northern Qi, the Black Knights had escorted him to the boundaries between the countries. By the Wuduhe, they successfully wiped out the military squadron Shang Shanhu had sent out to rescue Xiao En. The strength of their martial prowess was evident.

The Black Knights that had been waiting since then in Jiangbei and finally had a place to use their martial abilities. Yet, the deputy commander of the Black Knights, who was on his horse at the foot of the mountain, did not have an excited expression. For him, this was just a simple task.

Commander Jing sat firmly on his horse and watched the roaring fire in the garden. His right hand gently pressed against his face and removed a black colored mask that had hidden his appearance, revealing a slightly pale face and pair of cold, emotionless eyes.

The task the Commissioner had assigned had been completed. They had not expected that the garden would have such strong martial power, so the Black Knights had taken some losses. The most terrifying was that everyone in the garden seemed to know they had come to the end of their road and resisted with their lives; not a single person surrendered.

Commander Jing did not know who was in the garden, he was only carrying out the commissioner’s orders. Furthermore, the people in the garden had also lit fires, any evidence that could not see the light of day had probably long been destroyed.

He pulled the reins, the hooves clip-clop-ed, and he slowly rode closer to the burning garden. His Black Knights were looking after the injured members and cleaning up the scene. His eyes kept a close watch on all of this when suddenly his eyelid twitched.

Five horses broke out of the fire, glinting like black fire. They were like ghost horses from the underworld.

On the five horses, other than the black armor-clad knights, there were a few extra figures trussed up like zongzi.

Commander Jing brought his right hand back to his face and replaced the black mask before the five riders approached. His thin lips parted slightly and an icy cold voice rang out. With some surprise and shock, he asked, “Alive?”

The five riders rode closer to him and reported, “These five hid in the well; they surrendered.”

Although Commander Jing remained cold, he was happily surprised. The corner of his mouth moved, and he revealed an icy smile, “The commissioner should be happy.”

Given this garden’s attitude of fighting to the death and the plans to kill indiscriminately, to capture some alive was indeed not an easy task. Commander Jing looked at the five captives on the horses and felt it was strange.

“Back to Suzhou.”

The black colored masks reflected the golden yellow flames and appeared to be extraordinary splendid and brilliant; it made people shiver despite the lack of cold.

Below the mask, Commander Jing coldly gave out orders. The horses outside the garden neighed and tore through the silence of the dark night in the valley. The horses’ hooves sounded chaotically before they reformed into ranks, neatly divided into three lines of a black current. They wound their way around the blazing manor and slanted over the road at the foot of the mountain before disappearing into the black night.

Not long after the Black Knights had left the mountain like spirits and headed back, they ran into Deng Zi Yue’s group, which carried the commissioner’s newest orders.

Commander Jing was silent. He then ordered a small squad of knights to escort the captives to Jingdou. The rest of the hundreds of nighttime gods of death did not enter the city, instead, the silently searched for a place to cross the river and returned once more to their camp in Jiangbei.

When Deng Zi Yue returned to Hua Garden to give his report, Fan Xian only nodded his head to show he had heard. Having written the secret memorial for the Emperor in the study, he handed it to a subordinate in the Council to send back to Jingdou by urgent post.

Alone he went to the main hall, where bright lights hovered high above and lit everything brightly, particularly the chest full of snow-white silver. It was lying quietly, reflecting an alluring brilliance.

Fan Xian glanced at the silver. He shook his head and sighed. Sitting on a chair beside the chest, he thought silver was indeed very effective. The 138,880 liang of silver just sat neatly in the chest. He couldn’t resist taking another glance and sighed again. In the end, he still gave up what he was thinking.

When faced with Ye Liuyun, the feeling of helplessness and weakness actually made Fan Xian a little angry. He did not feel much self-pity or any humiliation since to be unable to defeat a Great Grandmaster was absolutely fair and reasonable, but…

He knew that no matter how his life developed, there would be a day that he would have to face a Great Grandmaster. Even if it wasn’t Ye Liuyun, if it was Sigu Jian or the person in the Palace, in the end, he would have to face them.

But today, Ye Liuyun’s ability to destroy half a building with one strike and the unnatural imposing manner that seemed to surge out from between the heaven and earth made Fan Xian realize that himself in the present could do nothing to someone at the realm of a Great Grandmaster.

It was like how the Ming family could do nothing to him; it was the same logic.

A Great Grandmaster was too strong, so strong that they could ignore any usual attempts to besiege them by military force. It was no wonder that the Emperor treated the Ye family so even-handedly, Ku He could support so many orphans and widows, or that even the idiot Sigu Jian could protect Dongyi.

Fan Xian thought and sighed. He began to miss his dear Uncle Wu Zhu.

He immediately dismissed his own thoughts. In his life, he couldn’t always depend on his uncle to resolve his worries and difficulties for him. Plus, Wu Zhu would not have an advantage against these Great Grandmasters. From the depths of his heart, Fan Xian could not bear to let his Uncle Wu Zhu brave such dangerous and difficulties.

So, how could they kill a Great Grandmaster?

With the company of the chest of silver and light of the hall, Fan Xian sank into deep thought. In a moment, his mind had modeled many scenarios and topics. What kind of place did he have to create where death was certain and a perfect opportunity for murder so that he could kill a Great Grandmaster on the spot?

His palm unconsciously slapped the chest and he suddenly stood up. In a loud voice, he called, “Meeting! Meeting!”

As he called, he walked to the back hall.

The commissioner had called for a meeting, so no one dared to neglect it. The upper-level officials of the Overwatch Council situated in Hua Garden, all the members of the Qinian Unit, and the seven Tiger Guards gathered in the discussion hall.

Fan Xian’s had barely sat in the chair before he couldn’t resist it anymore and laughingly scolded, “Take Mr. Lin back to play.”

He glared at the Third Prince, who had come to see the commotion, and Da Bao, who had run in at some point, and had the servants help take them outside.

He glanced again at the people present and shook his head. “Have Shi Chanli and Sang Wen come in as well.”

The subordinate received his order and left. Shortly after, Shi and Sang arrived in the hall. Shi Chanli often helped his teacher handle various matters, so he was not unfamiliar with these meetings. The hesitancy and surprise hung on Sang Wen’s face. The imperial envoy was naturally discussing matters of state, what could she, a mere singer, do?

“The topic of today’s meeting is simple. Everyone open your minds. If you have any outlandish ideas, feel free to share them out loud.”

Fan Xian rubbed his temples and said with a headache, “I really cannot think of an idea by myself.”

Tiger Guard Gao Da glanced at him and saw that the commissioner was worried, but he did not know what he was worried about. In a low voice, he said, “Please instruct us as needed.”

“Let’s pool our knowledge for mutual benefit,” Fan Xian smiled bitterly and said. “Come and help give ideas.”

Everyone looked at him curiously, not sure what kind of ideas they were to give.

Fan Xian very seriously said, “How do you think…we can kill a Great Grandmaster?”

The discussion hall immediately chilled, and everyone looked at each other. Sang Wen was so shocked that the corners of her slightly wide mouth was pursed into a small cherry. Shi Chanli felt even more intensely an urge to turn around and leave.

What were they discussing? How to kill a Great Grandmaster?

If someone could truly think of a way, then the first thing the South Kingdom and Northern Qi would do was send someone and legally kill Sigu Jian, then the two countries would split Dongyi’s wealth and the noble girls of the aristocratic families as bounty.

Of everyone in the hall, only Deng Zi Yue’s ranking was somewhat high and was close to Fan Xian. Looking at his expression, and the strange expressions on his colleagues’ faces, he carefully said, “Sir…have you been injured by the sword qi?”

Fan Xian started and then roared in anger, “I haven’t hurt my head!”

He didn’t acknowledge his subordinates’ shock, instead he forced everyone to give ideas. For a moment, the people in the discussion hall had no other choice and could only pick some absurd ideas to give. As they gave ideas, they felt very ill at ease. The Great Grandmasters were revered by tens of thousands of people. His role was like that of an immortal, yet at this moment, they had to follow the commissioner’s orders and think about how to harm them…

The Overwatch Council was a dark yamen following with dark water. After talking a bit, everyone became daring and felt a strange sense of excitement. To have a meeting to discuss killing a Great Grandmaster…even if they couldn’t kill them, just thinking about it was exciting enough.

In the name of opening the discussion, someone said since they definitely couldn’t beat a Great Grandmaster, in order to defeat him they had to weaken his strength and increase their own, so they suggested poison.

Immediately someone countered and said that the Great Grandmasters’ abilities had already surpassed the boundary. When poison entered their body, it would immediately turn into a puddle of snow water, so it wouldn’t work.

Then someone suggested they should choose a kind of medicine that would stimulate a body’s special quality. It was not a poison but was able to, in a short amount of time, mobilize the body’s emotions and energy. Afterward, they would naturally be weak.

Fan Xian interrupted coldly and said, “That’s an aphrodisiac.”

Someone else said that desire steals a person’s life. First, they had to throw his resolutions into disorder and then desire would be his downfall. Then, they had to make him crazy and create a special scene to arouse the Great Grandmaster’s emotions and force his state of mind into chaos and confusion.

Fan Xia nodded in approval but in his heart he was cursing that Ouyang Feng was even crazier.

Deng Zi Yue thought for a long time and suddenly slapped the table. “It’s actually not difficult. We just have to think of a way to create a situation where the other party cannot easily escape, then surround them with the Six Bureau’s archers and fire methodically without rest or stopping, burning up his zhenqi. Even if it needs tens of thousands of arrows, we must weaken the other party…and then have the Black Knights of the Fifth Bureau charge in. After all, the Great Grandmaster is not a god. He can stand against a thousand, but a thousand Knights…he will eventually die.”

Fan Xian looked at him and asked, “With your plan, how many people do you think will die?”

Deng Zi Yue calculated and reported, “All the archers of the Sixth Bureau will probably die, 10 percent of the Black Knights should survive.”

Fan Xian shook his head and said, “I want to kill someone, not send my own people to death.”

Deng Zi Yue excitedly said, “If it could succeed, it doesn’t matter how many people die.”

Fan Xian’s eyebrows rose and he smiled coldly. “How can you stop the other person from moving and just let you shoot and charge at them? It’s not like he’s a scarecrow…”

Deng Zi Yue was silent.

The brainstorm continued. Everyone’s ideas became more and more absurd and nonsensical. Suggestions included kidnapping, causing an avalanche, and even rigging up a toilet.

Then, the counter arguments followed. First was that Sigu Jian did not have any relatives because he had killed all of them himself. At the same time, Dongyi never saw any snow from one end of the year to the other. As for the last suggestion, everyone snorted and did not even bother to acknowledge it.

Fan Xian gazed at this scene coldly and felt more at ease. The seemingly absurd meeting today was actually to lighten the fear in his subordinates’ hearts concerning the Baoyue Brothel today. Without a doubt, Ye Liuyun’s sudden appearance today cast a strong shadow on these people’s hearts. It was even difficult to see the usual determination on Gao Da’s face.

Working with this group of subordinates, he could not allow them to sink into these kinds of inappropriate emotions.

So,Fan Xian publicly asked everyone to discuss how to kill a Great Grandmaster. After a series of discussions, it could clearly be seen that the fear pressing down in the depths of everyone’s hearts had lightened greatly. The excitement was effective in sweeping away the shock everyone received today.

Of course, the people in the discussion hall had indeed raised some very effective ideas. No one knew whether or not Fan Xian would make use of them in the future. As for his subordinates, imagining Sigu Jian as the enemy was indeed a little out of Fan Xian’s expectations.

The people and officials of the Qing Kingdom would never think to defeat Ye Liuyun.

Since they were currently in the honeymoon period with Northern Qi, and because of Fan Xian and Haitang’s relationship and the fact that the mistress of the Fan family was now Grandmaster Ku He’s last disciple, his subordinates would not discuss how to kill Ku He in front of the commissioner.

Once again it was poor Sigu Jian.

The discussion continued until the candles burned out. After everyone had dispersed, they continued to talk secretly in the corridors in the garden. They could not contain their excitement for the commissioner’s bold proposition.

Fan Xian shook his head and called over Sang Wen. “The Baoyue Brothel has been half destroyed. It will take at least half a month to fix it. What arrangements have you made for the girls?”

When the streets were first evacuated, the clients in the Baoyue Brothel had left. The girls had also been removed to a safe location. Only now did Fan Xian had the time to worry about his brothel business.

Sang Wen replied respectfully, “The girls have temporarily been settled in other brothels. Those owners were very easy to persuade and took them all in. Only, it is not a done thing for them to stay long in another brothel.”

Fan Xian nodded. At this moment, there was no one in Suzhou who dared not to watch his mood. The brothel owners were probably overjoyed to help take in his girls.

“Then it’s settled. Shi Chanli will lead the repairs. You can take a break these days.” Fan Xian suddenly thought of a matter. His brows rose and a ruthless expression appeared on his handsome face. “Keep all the receipts, large and small, safe. When we return to the capital next year, I am going to find someone to collect the account.”

Sang Wen made a noise of acknowledgement.

Fan Xian asked, “You don’t need to live outside. Hua Garden is large. Over the next few days, keep Sisi company and help look after that uncle of mine.”

Sang Wen smiled straightforwardly. She covered her mouth and did not say anything.

“What’s wrong?”

“Haitang also said that,” Sang Wen laughed lightly and said. “And those two girls are also going to be brought to the garden.”

Fan Xian was startled and then understood that she was talking about the two headliners—Liang Diandian and Ma Suosuo. He couldn’t help being surprised at the thoroughness of Haitang’s considerations. Liang Diandian had not officially debuted, so it was indeed inappropriate for her to enter another brothel. As for Ma Suosuo…shewas the concubine of the Great Prince, so she had to be carefully looked after.