Joy of Life - Chapter 409[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:48:54]
Chapter 409: Negotiations With Wife’s Family
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
It was said that Fan Xian and his group had long left Hangzhou and been in Wuzhou for almost half a month. Other than letting the Emperor know of this ahead of time, it was not revealed, so the people of Wuzhou did not know.
However, there was no such thing as a complete secret. Matters like going to visit an old family home made it even more difficult to hide. Thus, the first disciple of the Northern Qi Imperial Advisor, the first master in the Palace Lang Tiao, knowing of Fan Xian’s movements was not something difficult to imagine.
Lang Tiao’s trip to Jiangnan also involved another strange and interesting problem.
From the beginning of the sixth year of the Qing calendar, the Northern Qi Sage girl Duoduo had gone to Jiangnan to meet with Fan Xian. The story of these months had long traveled North and South across the Yangtze River. Under Fan Xian’s propaganda, the rumors spread and everyone believed that between the imperial envoy of the South Kingdom and the Northern Qi Sage girl Haitang was a layer of unclear and ambiguous connection.
Similar to the situation that Fan Xian and Haitang had worried about in that bed under those blankets, this kind of romantic story between a man and a woman moved too many people’s hearts in an expected manner. The Qing Kingdom had not had any reaction, but Northern Qi could no longer remain calm.
Haitang was Ku He’s favorite disciple. She was the aunt disciple closest to the Northern Qi Emperor and the Northern Qi empress dowager’s favorite of the younger generation.
She was an outstanding girl. She was the image of a Tianmai being responsible for carrying the burden of the essence of the Northern Qi people and promoting the morale of an entire country. This wonderful girl was, rumors said, going to marry into the South Kingdom.
This reality made the Northern Qi people angry and the Northern Qi Emperor anxious. Furthermore, people in high positions knew of Fan Xian’s position in the South Kingdom and the dishonorable role he played. The Northern Qi Emperor greatly approved of Fan Xian, to say the least. He was a fan of the “Story of the Stone,” and also known as a Stone Fan. Although the empress dowager was not very old, her personality was a bit stubborn. She would not allow a marriage to happen.
Concerning Shen Zhong, Shang Shanhu, and the general of the Brocade Guard, the young Emperor of Northern Qi had successfully forced his mother to compromise. In matters relating to marriage, the Northern Qi empress dowager’s words carried significant weight, so the young Northern Qi Emperor could not push forward.
Besides, in the depths of his thoughts, the young Northern Qi Emperor might not wish to see Haitang marry into the Fan manor. First, there was the matter of the few million liang of silver. Second, there was the problem of the Emperor’s thoughts. So, he maintained a silence on this matter, while the main initiator was the empress dowager.
The empress dowager’s opinion was simple. How could Duoduo, the Sage girl of a nation, be embroiled in such a dirty rumor without being able to extract herself? How could her favorite marry Fan Xian, a scoundrel without any status?
So, she sent out a group of people with Lang Tiao at the head to invite Haitang back to Northern Qi. She also found a suitable marriage for Haitang within their nation.
When all was said and done, no matter what, she would not let Haitang marry Fan Xian.
This was the wish of the entire Northern Qi nation.
As for Haitang’s marriage, the empress dowager had promised her to the son of Marquis Ning: her own nephew, the leader of the Brocade Guard, Wei Hua. The two people’s ages were similar, and Hua Wei was indeed a capable official with a high status. It was a good match.
Wei Hua was not an idiot. He did not wish to marry a woman much more powerful than himself or want to offend Fan Xian. Everyone knew Fan Xian had inherited an eccentricity from Chen Pingping, which was to solidly shield his shortcomings and firmly hold a grudge.
To steal his wife, how big a grudge would that be? Every time Wei Hua thought about the things Fan Xian had done in Northern Qi, even though he was surrounded by guards from the Brocade Guard, he still felt a chill in his heart.
No matter how much Wei Hua did not wish to marry, he did not have boldness to rebel against the empress dowager’s edict. He could only send a personally written secret letter via the Brocade Guard to the Overwatch Council in the South to explain the matter to Fan Xian. At the same time as reminding him of this matter, he also removed himself from it.
Thus, the people going South still came, with that stubborn Lang Tian and Lang Tian’s female disciple, Wei Hua’s younger sister, Wei Yingning.
She liked Haitang just like all of the girls in Northern Qi. She had always believed that the Overwatch Council commissioner in the South had used some shady trick to make Haitang stay in Suzhou. When she learned that the empress dowager had orders for aunt disciple Haitang to become her sister-in-law, she was the happiest person. After coming to Qing Kingdom, she had become the angriest person.
From another perspective, everything Fan Xian had done and said was an unbearable humiliation to Marquis Ning’s manor, the home of Haitang’s future husband. Thus, Wei Yingning had appeared so impetuous. Her impetuousness did not mean that her teacher, Lang Tian, would also be impetuous.
Lang Tiao was the first of Ku He’s disciples, a notable and powerful figure in the world. He knew why the empress dowager had himself and this group of people come on a diplomatic mission to the South Kingdom. After passing through the Wuduhe, they had traveled south but stopped in Wuzhou and did not go directly to Suzhou to get Haitang and take her back.
Whether or not Haitang returned was not only a matter concerning Haitang, it also concerned this young man in front of him.
Lang Tiao looked at Fan Xian’s delicate and peerless face and couldn’t help sighing. If he and his people went to Suzhou to bring Haitang back, whether or not his disciple sister was willing, without receiving Fan Xian’s permission, a grudge would certainly be made.
Everyone under heaven knew that the South Kingdom’s Sir Fan junior and Northern Qi’s Haitang was a match made in heaven.
Even as proud as Lang Tiao was, he did not dare provoke Fan Xian too far. If they wanted to take Haitang back to Northern Qi without Fan Xian’s permission, he was afraid they would face the South Kingdom army chasing them down and capturing the. He had the group stop in Wuzhou so he could meet Fan Xian and report this matter to him.
However, Fan Xian clearly knew that these people were in Wuzhou but refused to see them. This was normal. If one knew one’s wife’s family had sent people to have their wife marry someone else, who had the time to acknowledge them? Not sending the army to completely wipe out the other party was already good enough.
This was the background and prelude to a series of clashes in the restaurant.
Hearing Fan Xian’s frivolous tone, particularly his talk about uncle this and uncle that, the Northern Qi people in the restaurant couldn’t help but become angry. The thought the South Kingdom people were indeed shameless and even one such as Fan Xian was not free from vulgarity and acted in such a lowly manner. How could they talk about matters between men and women without their parents’ consent and the words of a matchmaker?
Lang Tiao was one who understood Fan Xian. He laughed bitterly and said, “You knew that this matter was impossible. Why be so stubborn?”
Fan Xian rubbed his nose like he had smelled something unpleasant. With a cold smile, he said, “Brother, I have no idea what you are talking about.”
Lang Tiao was Haitang’s elder brother disciple, so Fan Xian’s words were relatively respectful. However, his words couldn’t help be provoking as they fell onto Wei Yingning’s ears. She truly was the other party’s niece now.
Lang Tiao thought for a bit, smiled, clapped his hands, and had his disciples all leave the restaurant.
Fan Xian also smiled. Lifting the front of his robe, he sat down opposite Lang Tiao. Before them was the tea an Overwatch Council subordinate had brought up earlier. The two sat across from each other at the table and faced each other without speaking.
A moment later, Lang Tiao said warmly, “You have been avoiding me. I’ll eventually have to go to Suzhou.”
Fan Xian nodded and smiled slightly. “Suzhou’s scenery is very good. Duoduo and I often wandered the streets. We both like it very much.”
Lang Tiao’s gaze focused slightly. He changed the topic and said, “There are many things that can be as you want them.”
Fan Xian avoided answering and straightforwardly said, “To be honest, there has been nothing in my life that I have wanted and been unable to accomplish.”
As the saying goes, when the words are not right, more words are pointless. Lang Tiao’s brows furrowed. He didn’t what to deal with the scoundrel in front of him. He could guess some of Haitang’s thoughts, so he found more and more that the task the empress dowager had set was becoming a thorny problem.
Fan Xian glanced at him and lightly smiled. “The Northern Qi empress dowager wants you to go to Suzhou, so you should go. As for whether or not you can take the person, how is that related to you?”
Hearing these words, Lang Tiao thought for a while and actually smiled. There was an unfathomableness to his smile. “You are so confident. Is it because you are sure that Duoduo will not come back with me?”
Fan Xian was silent and didn’t say anything. In this matter, Haitang’s desire took the most important position. No one could change anything. Regardless of whether it was Northern Qi or himself, it was futile to try and influence her decision.
Lang Tiao said in a warm voice, “Perhaps you have misunderstood something. I came to Wuzhou to see you not because I need you to help me persuade her…I only want you to know we are going to take her back. This is a matter of etiquette. We are not asking for your permission.”
Fan Xian gritted his teeth slightly and said coldly, “Her problem…is that not also my problem?”
“I’m afraid…that perhaps she doesn’t think that way.” Lang Tiao smiled slightly and gazed at him. “I am her elder brother who has watched her grow up. Although you are friendly with her now, I’m afraid I know much more clearly her true thoughts. She is a proud person. Think about it. Will she stay in Suzhou forever?”
Fan Xian once more became silent. He knew Lang Tiao’s words were right. Duoduo looked like a village girl and did things warmly, but because of her powerful ability, she had developed a strong self-confidence in her bones along with pride. It would indeed be difficult to have a girl like this wait for him in Suzhou. Most importantly, up until now, Fan Xian could not promise her anything.
This was a love story. It is the story of a stallion, but really is just a story of a person with another person. It was slightly sad and helpless.
“She is a Northern Qi person,” Lang Tiao stared at Fan Xian’s eyes and said gently. “This is not a concept forced upon her, rather, it is an understanding she has formed since her youth. When her personal path clashes with the interests of the court and the people, you should be able to guess how she will choose.”
Fan Xian furrowed his brows and opened his mouth, “When have you all ever respected her opinion?”
“You’re wrong,” Lang Tiao very directly rebutted. “It is only that…you have always influenced her opinion.”
Fan Xian was angry. He slammed the table and said, “You people are unreasonable.”
Lang Tiao gazed and him and didn’t say anything. After a long while, he broke the silence and smiled coldly. “What can you give my sister disciple? I won’t care about what the empress dowager thinks or what my teacher thinks. If you can marry her, I will stand on your side!”
These words were said so resoundingly and powerfully that one did not dare doubt them.
Fan Xian replied, “I have worked hard for such a situation, naturally, it is so I can marry her in the future.”
Lang Tiao gave a not-quite-there smile and said, “How will you marry her? Will you put aside your current wife?”
This was Wuzhou, Lin Ruofu’s old home. Fan Xian was Wuzhou’s uncle. It also was Wan’er’s hometown. Regardless of whether it was Lin Wan’er or Haitang, neither were people who could be a concubine. On this problem, Fan Xian had not found a solution. A long time ago, he had once ridiculed the Eldest Princess, believing that her vision was limited because she had limitations. Now, he had sadly discovered that he also had limitations.
He was not as good as Ye Qingmei, as good as his mother. He had sat down in this world and temporarily did not have a way to break through the obstacles in it.
Seeing Fan Xian’s state of mind, Lang Tiao smiled faintly. “Coming to Wuzhou, it was just etiquette to let you know. After all, in Qing Kingdom, it is just you that we are closest to. It would not be good to hide this from you. Speaking honestly, if we go to Suzhou, Duoduo is certain to go back with us.”
Fan Xian was silent as he thought about Duoduo’s personality and character. He knew Lang Tiao’s words were true. She was too clever, so she was too foolish. She was too kind, so she was too cruel to herself…
“Go to Suzhou.”
Fan Xian spoke with a slight smile as if perhaps he had thought something through.
Suddenly it was Lang Tiao who was startled.
Fan Xian warmly said, “I have realized that it is not good to be too selfish in this matter. To have her bear the pressure of a country is also not good…if she wants to go then she can go, it will be like going back to her home.”
Lang Tiao sensed a glimmer of uncertainty in his words.
Fan Xian continued to smile and said, “So what if she returns to Northern Qi? You know your sister disciple. How could she marry Wei Hua? It will not be as simple as your empress dowager wants it to be.”
Lang Tiao gave a muffled hmm.
Fan Xian closed his eyes slightly. The glimmer of a mocking smile rose to the corners of his mouth, “Even if you asked Imperial Advisor Ku He to come forward to force Haitang to marry…but…”
“But…under heaven, who else dares to marry her?”
Fan Xian stared at Lang Tiao’s eyes and said the most arrogant thing in his new life. Mockingly and coldly, he slowly said, “Everyone under heaven knows she is my woman…who dares to offend me to marry her? Does Wei Hua have that daring?”
A deathlike silence fell over the restaurant. A light breeze picked up outside the building and blew across the sweat on the two bodies. Lang Tian was silent for a moment. He had heard Fan Xian’s intention to destroy indiscriminately in his words and couldn’t resist smiling. “I really do not understand you. Why must you make this matter so horrifying?”
Fan Xian shook his head and said, “There are many things that you see as very unimportant but are very important to me.”
Lang Tian fell into silence again. After some time, he gave a pained smile and said, “Such a stupid joke.”
It was indeed a stupid joke. The two people were not talking about something else, it was something relating to her.
Lang Tiao gazed at Fan Xian’s calm eyes and lightly smiled. “To talk about such matters in Wuzhou…are you not afraid that Prime Minister Lin will feel uncomfortable in his heart and the Princess will be unhappy?”
This was Fan Xian’s Achilles’ heel. Earlier, Lang Tiao dared to use words to block him because he was counting on this point. He was sure Fan Xian would not dare say some things boldly and confidently.
Fan Xian was slightly startled. He did not acknowledge him. He only smiled coldly and said, “Today, we have already met. Why are you still not going to Suzhou? Do you need me to accompany you?”
Lang Tiao also did not acknowledge these words. His mind suddenly wandered a little and he asked warmly, “There is something I have to ask…last year, in front of the West Mountain precipice, that black-clothed man, was that you?”
These words had come too suddenly and unexpectedly as to have caught Fan Xian a little off-guard, but his training since his youth was truly very solid. He expression was startled and he asked, “What black-clothed man?”
Fan Xian had already told everything to Haitang concerning West Mountain, Xiao En, and the Temple. He learned from Haitang that Imperial Advisor Ku He had already found the problem, but this was something he would never admit. He would hold out for as long as possible.
Fan Xian trusted Haitang. She would not betray him on these vital matters.
As expected, Lang Tiao did not continue asking. He only said in a quiet voice, “Since it is so, then there is no need to talk about it anymore. I am going to Suzhou, and you are in Wuzhou, hopefully, there will be no problems.”
There was certain to be problems.
Fan Xian was calm and quietly said, “There will be problems. If you dare to not be considerate of her intentions…no matter who, even if your teacher came out, if you force her to marry, trust me…really, please trust me.”
The tone was very warm, yet Lang Tiao’s heart was slightly chilled. He, as someone who already reached above the ninth-level, had noticed that although Fan Xian’s progress was unusual, he was still not as shrewd as himself. Hearing these warm and gentle words, he still couldn’t stop a chill going through his heart.
“Trust you in what?”
Fan Xian smiled slightly and said, “If you dare to force my second wife to marry, I will definitely find a way to wipe out Northern Qi.”
Lang Tiao was silent. Regardless of whether or not Fan Xian’s threat could be realized, given his connection to Northern Qi, if he valiantly joined the Qing Kingdom’s Iron Blood Faction, it was still a loss that no one could endure.
“Trust me,” So Lang Tiao also warmly said, “I won’t let my sister disciple marry someone she doesn’t want to marry.”
Fan Xian thought for a bit, smiled, and extended his hand to hold Lang Tiao’s thick, broad, and powerful hands, “This is a man’s promise.”
A glimmer of a smile suddenly flashed through Lang Tiao’s eyes, “Perhaps it is not only men’s.”
Fan Xian was slightly surprised but didn’t acknowledge it. “To reply to your earlier question…as for Duoduo’s matter, I am only respecting my father-in-law’s opinion. Whether or not I can marry her, at least…I can’t let others marry her.”
Who would have thought that this old man, his father-in-law Lin Ruofu, would have set down such a rule for Fan Xian? Perhaps no one had thought of such a thing.