Joy of Life - Chapter 411[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:48:55]
Chapter 411: Leaving The Mountain
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
While he was in Suzhou, Fan Xian had been anticipating the Wuzhou trip because he knew that the old Prime Minister in front of him had only become silent this year. It was as if he had disappeared from the world in order to prevent the Emperor from being on guard against him.
Of course, truth becomes fiction when fiction becomes truth. After acting in this way for too long, the feeling would often sink into the bones. Fan Xian admired his father-in-law’s spirit of daring to lose and win.
The court was not somewhere to stay long, so he left lightly. There was no need to finely negotiate any details. In any case, he had left Fan Xian this tail in the capital. Giving the Emperor sufficient face, the court would give the honorably retired ex-Prime Minister some face too.
This kind of political intelligence made Fan Xian trusting of his father-in-law’s judgement. After hearing these words today, although he felt a chill and a faint excitement, he was sunk deep in thought preparing for the waves about to arrive. They would be difficult to calm. Although his was one of the hands stirring it up, it seemed Fan Xian had underestimated the influence of this matter.
He understood the Eldest Princess’ thoughts but was unable to capture the Emperor’s thoughts. However, Fan Xian did have his own advantages. For him, the people who knew most of the secrets in this world were that old cripple, his father, and his father-in-law.
These three people were, in the five years after the new policies, the Qing Emperor’s most capable three subordinates. They were three intelligent and capable officials of the Qing court. Fan Xian remembered clearly that before he arrived in Jingdou from Danzhou, his father and Chen Pingping were practically strangers who had essentially never talked. Prime Minister Lin and Chen Pingping were each other’s strongest oppositions in the court.
Accurately speaking, it was impossible for these three people to tell each other information.
Following Fan Xian’s entry into the capital and his marriage to Wan’er, all this had become a stance buried under old paper. At that time, other than the Emperor, there now was Fan Xian who could also gather together the resources from the three elders and enjoy information from three sides. He was a fortunate man.
For Fan Xian, the present him could see even more clearly than these three elders. However, this kind of luck, or perhaps power, seemingly could not be given to an official. No matter what, one of the three had to back down.
Prime Minister Lin Ruofu, because he was not the Emperor’s childhood friend, had become the first sacrifice.
Sometimes when Fan Xian searched his heart, he found that this emergence from obscurity into a governmental position had indeed, for the Lin family, brought great harm. The Emperor would not stop at that. At the end of spring, there was the matter of investigating the Ministry of Revenue during a court conference in Jingdou.
Fan Xian woke from his thoughts and couldn’t help but shake his head. The court clearly still had many problems within it, yet the Emperor was rushing to kill his dogs…but the prey had not yet been killed…what was happening? Just where did the Emperor’s confidence come from?
“I won’t ask about the Jiangnan matter,” Lin Ruofu broke his line of thought and slowly said. “I trust in your abilities. Although it appears that on this trip to Jiangnan you have overdone things, however, I trust you have an escape plan. However, it is best to make some preparations for when you return to the capital to report on your post, particularly since we don’t know when those people will make a move.”
Fan Xian thought for a bit and couldn’t resist smiling. “Relax, nothing will happen.”
Lin Ruofu also couldn’t resist smiling. He looked with approval at the son-in-law in front of him. Looking at the steadiness and confidence on the young man’s face, he asked, “The Emperor’s confidence comes from historical proof…but you, this baseless confidence, where is it from?”
Fan Xian thought for a bit then replied with a smile, “I believe that my luck is the best in this world.”
Lin Ruofu was speechless and shook his head helplessly. A moment later, he said evenly, “What do you think of Yuan Hongdao?”
Fan Xian was slightly startled. He knew of Yuan Hongdao. He was once an important guest of the Prime Minister’s manor and was also a longtime good friend of Lin Ruofu. However, it seemed that after the Prime Minister stepped down, he had played various dishonorable roles. He had shadily become Xinyang’s top strategist. Without question, his honor had come from selling out friends.
Fan Xian did not understand why his father-in-law would suddenly bring him up. He furrowed his brows remembering that his father-in-law had not thought to kill this person for revenge at the time and felt it was strange.
“Yuan Hongdao is a very powerful person as well as a very free person,” Lin Ruofu smiled slightly and said. “I still do not understand why he would betray me.”
“Is he not on the Eldest Princess’ side?”
“Does…Yunrui have this ability?” Lin Ruofu sighed. “I am not sure. A year has already passed by. My hatred toward Hongdao has also gradually lessened, so I cannot understand the truth behind this matter at the time.”
“Ask him for me,” Lin Ruofu wore the glimmer of a cold smile, “…why.”
Fan Xian nodded sincerely, thinking that meeting will either be with a sword or a bow.
Lin Ruofu watched his expression and shook his head. “If the capital really does become a mess later, perhaps he can help you.”
Fan Xian was startled. He didn’t understand what this meant.
Lin Ruofu sank into thought, also thinking about this problem.
Perhaps that old cripple in the garden outside of Jingdou was busy being pleased with himself.
Fan Xian and his group stayed in Wuzhou for a number of days. When he had the time, he would be in the study asking advice from his father-in-law. He wanted to learn more about what happened in the past and some political tricks. Although he was a person of two worlds and had heaven-given talent as well as a wealth of life experience, in these matters, there was an evil Prime Minister of the ages in front of him, so he could not pass up this opportunity.
When he had gone on a diplomatic mission to Northern Qi, Fan Xian had once learned from Sir Xiao En in the carriage. This was Fan Xian’s biggest advantage. He could ensure his mediation at the second hour in the morning and would seize every chance to learn skills to protect his life. This kind of perseverance and determination was at odds with the laziness he showed.
In the conversations over these days, Fan Xian focused on studying the important parts of the court, particularly the military branch that was the most unfamiliar to him and contributions the Qin and Ye families had made since the beginning of the country. He had greatly increased his perceptual awareness. Fan Xian found it stranger and stranger how a generationally loyal family like the Ye family could be involved with the Eldest Princess’ side.
This question could only be buried in the depths of his heart.
Concerning the Jiangnan matter, although Lin Ruofu did not want to be involved, in the end, he still wrote a letter to Governor Xue Qing. As for the contents of the letter, Fan Xian couldn’t be bothered to care. Whether or not the governor would give the previous Prime Minister this face was another matter. Most importantly, his father-in-law analyzed Xue Qing’s personality for him.
Xue Qing was an official close to the Emperor. He was fond of achievements, and his thoughts were meticulous. If a large meritorious deed was given to him, he would secretly cooperate.
The palace treasury smuggling was still ongoing. The investigation and seizing on the seas was still happening, and the exploitation and weakening of the Ming family had not stopped for a single day. According to the messages coming from Suzhou, Ming Qingda played both the snake and the mouse. Yet, he wasn’t able to truly maintain contact with Taiping money house. Without another choice, he increased the amount of money he was moving through Zhaoshang money house.
Fan Xian thought, Very good. As long as it passed that critical point, that was when the Ming family would be destroyed.
Outside Wuzhou, there were plenty of green mountains that hid much of the extreme heat from the South. Adding to the gentle mountain breeze blowing away the heat, it was the best place to go to avoid the heat of summer.
Fan Xian and his group also lived comfortably in Wuzhou. Once he was far away from matters of politics, he would go with Wan’er and Dao Bao to wander around the surrounding mountains, hunt animals, seek out little streams, roast frogs, and tell Wan’er the story of the orphaned melon seed.
There were times they would spend the night in the mountains. The stars would dot the sky. Nothing more beautiful could be imagined. They watched the magpie bridge gradually come closer and the Milky Way go with the wind. Fan Xian held his wife in his arms, quietly teasing and making a clamor. Looking at the star-filled night sky, he did not know whether the world was going to come together or split, he only knew that the time for the Cowherd and the Weaver girl to meet had almost come.
Leaving behind the worldly irritation was a great joy.
With great mutual understanding, he and his wife did not discuss Suzhou, Jingdou, or matters from anywhere else. They didn’t talk about Haitang, the Eldest Princess, or the Emperor. Only occasionally they talked about her sister Ruoruo who was currently cultivating in Northern Qi, the wild game made by the Teng family in the Fan clan manor outside of Jingdou, the extremely delicious chicken legs that Dezhou exported…
All the way west, the two pointed at mountains and asked about mountains, went into the water when they saw water, pitied the little deer they met, were fierce to the lone wolves they met. They walked alongside the creek beside the woods, flowing by the precipice and into the clouds. This was a rare interaction after their marriage. It was as if nothing existed besides them: there was only Fan Xian and Lin Wan’er.
Wrong, there was still Da Bao.
However, what was loveable about Da Bao was that he was often silent.
These days could not last forever. If Fan Xian wanted to save days like this, he had to leave the mountain once more and enter the world of human affairs.
“Da Bao is coming with us?” Fan Xian’s eyes were wide open. “Were we not meant to bring him to father-in-law and have him keep him company?”
Lin Ruofu lived alone in Wuzhou. Although there were countless people in their family, there were very few who were truly close to him at his side. Wan’er had to follow Fan Xian. If Da Bao also went with them, who would keep the old Prime Minister company?
Without his child, with essentially no children at his knee, Fan Xian could sympathize with this kind of loneliness.
“Father insisted,” Wan’er spoke quietly. After Fan Xian’s careful care these days, in addition to the traveling in the mountains, Wan’er’s body had indeed recovered greatly. A healthy flush shone through on her smooth cheeks, and the eyelashes on her big eyes blinked at him.
Fan Xian gazed at her with a smile and gently held her hand. “Both is fine.”
Days later, that group of black carriages left Wuzhou and slowly drove toward the east. Along the way, they passed numerous little cities and big mountains until they arrived at a crossroad.
This was already within the territory of the Dongshan Road. This crossroad led to two of the provincial cities under the governance of the Dongshan Road.
To the east was Danzhou, toward the north was Jiaozhou.
“Go to Danzhou and wait for me. I have to handle some matters in Jiaozhou,” Fan Xian stood on the carriage and spoke evenly to Wan’er in the carriage. “At most I’ll be 10 days behind you.”
Of course, Wan’er knew what he had to do in Jiaozhou and sighed in her heart. She knew Fan Xian could not refuse the Emperor’s command. She could only push a warm smile on her face that would reassure them both. She stuck out her tongue and said, “Don’t you think about going to pick flowers and trample the grass.”
Fan Xian smiled embarrassedly and bowed. “Rest assured, wife, I will not go pick flowers on the side again.”
Beside Wan’er, Da Bao had been sitting with a wooded expression. Hearing these words, he suddenly interjected, “There are…flowers in the garden.”
Fan Xian felt a slight anger. Wan’er felt a slight regret. Da Bao had no idea what had happened. At this, the three said their farewells.
Not quite three li after heading north from the crossroads, Fan Xian burrowed out of the carriage and stretched. To the subordinate beside him, he asked, “Everything ready?”
“Everything is ready, commissioner.”
Beside the mountain woods in the distance, a platoon of grave black riders with a chilling murderous aura could faintly be seen waiting.