Joy of Life - Chapter 420[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:48:59]
Chapter 420: I Came From Faraway To Make Our Appointment
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The oil lamp in the study flickered, and the room brightened then dimmed again. Fan Xian looked at the changing yellow light on the general’s face. He narrowed his eyes and didn’t speak for a while. An oil lamp flickering should be, according to Qing Kingdom’s superstitions, a joyful thing. However, Fan Xian currently could not confirm this fact.
“Talk about your past and speak your thought.”
Fan Xian slowly sucked in a breath and tried his best to make his expression softer.
“My name is Xu Maocai.” The general smiled slightly and began to narrate his identity and connection to Fan Xian.
Fan Xian nodded. Such a normal name was indeed a necessary requirement for those who wanted to hide their identity. However, he did not know the other person had escaped the purge back then. He understood even less why the other person would choose this moment to show himself.
“Young master, I am not a person of the Fan manor or a person of the Overwatch Council,” Xu Maocai calmly said. “I am a person of the Ye family. More accurately, I was the Mistress’ person.”
“You were one of the Quanzhou Navy?”
After confirming his guess, Fan Xian’s brows did not relax.
“Correct,” Xu Maocai replied. “Twenty years ago, I was an officer on a Quanzhou Navy ship. After the Quanzhou Navy was disbanded, it became the three large navies of today. I came to Jiaozhou and have stayed in the military until now.”
Fan Xian knew the story of this part of history. It was connected to the Ye family, and a story that could never be ignored. That year, something happened in Jingdou and his mother was suddenly attacked in an isolated manor of Taiping. Uncle Wu Zhu only had time to pick up. Perhaps it was because of Fan Xian that Uncle Wu Zhu didn’t use the might of one person to challenge the entire country…
The old Ye family in Jingdou was destroyed in one day. The problem was, the Ye family was not limited to just Jingdou. They had property in various provinces and roads. This kind of influence had already extended to all aspects of Qing Kingdom. The military was not an exception.
After the Emperor had come back to the court with Fan Jian and Chen Pingping had hurried back to the capital, the situation was already set. Other than revenge, the problem placed before the officials was how to deal with massive property the Ye family had left behind, as well as their influence.
Just as history recorded it, and just as Fan Xian knew, the Ye family’s three large workshops were taken by the royal family and became the palace treasury that was now Qing Kingdom’s economic lifeline. The shopkeepers of the Ye family were put under house arrest by the court, and the Ye family was thus pinned with the crime of rebellion.
Four years after the Jingdou incident, the Emperor led Chen Pingping and Fan Jian in a bloody counter-attack and revenge. He wiped out one-third of the noble families in Jingdou. He even went as far as to completely wipe out the empress’ very powerful family. Yet, he was still unable to change some things, such as the Ye family’s crime and how the Ye family was punished, because this matter was certainly related to that old woman in the Palace and involved the peace under heaven.
Ye Qingmei had died strangely and unjustly. In order to prevent a counterattack from the Ye family, the court had to carry out a purge on the Ye family and a screening of their inheritance. For the stability of Qing Kingdom, this was the only option. Judging from later developments, it looked like Chen Pingping and Fan Jian had implicitly consented to this point.
Thus, all the shopkeepers of the Qingyu Hall who were Ye members were allowed to struggle on whilst at death’s door. Many years later, they were released to breathe the fresh air by the grown Fan Xian. However, the powers the Ye family had left in the court and military were mercilessly swept clean, leaving behind not a trace.
Because the Quanzhou Navy was once responsible for protecting the shipping of palace treasury goods, it was particularly saturated with the Ye family. From various perspectives, it could be said it was Ye Qingmei family’s private army. Thus, in the purging after the incidence, the Quanzhou Navy was targeted first and merciless split by the court into three parts. After being secretly purged and stabilized, it became the present three navies of Qing Kingdom.
Every time he thought of the events of the past, the sinister fire that had long been suppressed in the depths of Fan Xian’s heart began to rise. He knew that since Ye Qingmei had already died, those elders had to make this choice for the sake of the world’s stability. If he was the Emperor, he was sure that he also wouldn’t have been lenient. However, he was still uncomfortable and unhappy in his heart.
Seeing that Fan Xian’s mind was starting to wander, the Quanzhou navy elder, Xu Maocai, gently coughed a few times.
Fan Xian’s attention snapped back. He looked at General Xu with a complicated expression. Countless questions welled in his heart. How could this old member of the Ye family have survived the purge? How had he hidden his identity until today? The power of the Ye family had not died completely. However, most of the people were like the treasurers in the palace treasury…forgetting their past identity. After revealing themselves, they became a member of the court.
Xu Maocai was clearly not like this.
Fan Xian expressed his questions straightforwardly.
Xu Maocai replied even more straightforwardly, “I entered the navy too late. The Mistress had originally arranged for me to train for two years on the sea and then enter the Overwatch Council to help the Direction…however, as you know, some things happened later, so I never had the chance to connect with Director Chen. Very coincidentally or fortunately…I have survived until today.”
“What you mean is if Chen Pingping knew you were someone of the Ye family, he would not tolerate you remaining in the military,” Fan Xian said coldly.
Xu Maocai was slightly startled. After thinking for a moment, he slowly replied, “I don’t know but my luck is already sufficient, so I wouldn’t bet on it.”
“What about my father?”
Xu Maocai knew that this young man was certainly not talking about the man on the dragon chair but Minister Fan of the Ministry of Revenue. After thinking for a moment, he said, “Matters back then were too strange, I…didn’t dare trust anyone.”
Didn’t dare trust anyone. Although his tone was still calm, Fan Xian could hear a glimmer of coldness and disappointment in it. After the Jingdou incident, no one in the court had cried injustice for the old Ye family. Furthermore, the situation at that time was indeed too strange. As an agent of the Ye family, Xu Maocai always had suspicions in his heart as to just what role Chen Pingping and Fan Xian had played in the incident.
Fan Xian’s expression still did not change. Instead, he smiled slightly and said, “I trust that you know my connection to the Ye family. However, I don’t understand why you are telling me all this at this time.”
This was a test, from the beginning of their chat to now, Fan Xian had not expressed anything that could be used by others against him.
Xu Maocai raised his head with confusion, looking at Fan Xian like he was looking at a stranger. He had suddenly forgotten, before today, he and Fan Xian were strangers.
“Young master, you are the Mistress’ only flesh and blood,” Xu Maocai said in a deep voice. “The Mistress’ family property must be inherited by you and her revenge…as her son, naturally it also falls on your shoulders. I have no talent, but I am willing to serve.”
Fan Xian was silent for a while before slowly saying, “According to what I know, the nobility that participated in that matter had all been killed 13 years ago by the wisdom of the Emperor, even though these shameless bandits had lived an extra four years. Revenge? Who should I find for revenge?
While Xu Maocai had hidden in the Jiaozhou Navy all these years, he did not know much about the movements in the upper echelons of the court. But very strangely, in this general’s heart, he had a strong instinct that not all of the Ye family’s foes had died. Furthermore, it was impossible they had all died so easily.
He said with slight worry, “This is a problem you need to think about.”
Fan Xian was admiring of the man before him. Xu Maocai had not revealed any traces of himself to the court and now he was a high-ranking general in the Jiaozhou Navy. It was completely possible for him to continue his life in such contentment, to throw everything about the Ye family and the Mistress into the back of his mind, and just enjoy his position without needing to think about seeking revenge against the court for such a terrifying matter.
Furthermore, according to what he had said, when he entered the Ye family back then, it hadn’t been for long. He had been just a young man in his early 20s.
Fan Xian remained unmoved and smiled slightly, “Why should I think about it?”
“You are a descendant of the Ye family.” Xu Maocai’s breathing seemed to have sped up a little as if he was slightly disappointed.
Fan Xian shook his head and said, “General, I respect your personal character but you seemed to have missed something. I am not only my mother’s son; I also have a father.”
Xu Maocai suddenly raised his head and stared coldly at Fan Xian’s face. A moment later, disappointment, shock, understanding, surrender and various other complicated emotions appeared on his face. He smiled bitterly and said, “That’s right, after all, you are a prince.”
According to the way of the world, Fan Xian was a descendant of the Ye family but his more important identity was that of being the Emperor’s illegitimate child. Particularly with the early death of Ye Qingmei, how could a person who had grown up under the secret gaze of the Royal Palace have much emotion toward a mother he had never met? If the target for the revenge of the Ye family was the court…would this prince be willing to rebel against his own family clan?
This society was still a pure patriarchal society.
Although Xu Maocai was disappointed, he was not too surprised. However, a bitter smile pulled up the corners of his lips. He thought to himself that he had endured for all these years, but today, after he had suddenly seen the flesh and blood of the Mistress, he could not resist any longer. However, he didn’t know if what awaited him immediately was a silencing.
Unexpectedly, Fan Xian only warmly asked, “Since you understood my earlier words, then please tell me, why did you dare to come find me tonight?”
Xu Maocai did not understand why he would be asked this. After a moment of silence, he said, “Ever since the news spread, I had been secretly paying attention to news about you, following your actions…as well as thinking of ways to learn about what you’ve done these years after leaving Danzhou. Regardless of whether it was controlling the Overwatch Council or taking over the palace treasury, I always felt that your method and style of handling matters as well as the heart hidden away was very similar to the Mistress’. Thus, I chose to come see you.”
Fan Xian couldn’t resist a self-mocking smile. He did not know whether or not his mother had been so sinister and shameless in the past. However, to be able to create such a large family industry from nothing, it looked like she didn’t shy away from tough methods. Furthermore, she could not escape suspicion from the deaths of the two Princes. As for the similar hearts that the sensitive Xu Maocai had found?
Both were time travelers from the edge of the world. They had met but why did they need to get to know each other?
Fan Xian smiled warmly, thinking, if you wanted to find two people whose thoughts were similar and could understand each other, there was probably only himself and Ye Qingmei. This kind of connection seemed every more miraculous than that of usual mother and sons. Perhaps they had lost some closeness in blood, but they had some extra closeness in spirit, and it was difficult to weaken.
This was something the Qing Emperor could not have guessed, even Fan Xian and Chen Pingping would not be able to imagine. The entire world would think it something impossible to understand. As a prince, why did Fan Xian have such deep emotions for a mother he had ever met, to the point that he had thrown far away the so-called family bonds of this world as well as the royal family?
As no one was able to understand the emotions between Fan Xian and Ye Qingming, so it was that the clever people in this world could not guess Fan Xian’s true thoughts. However, at important moments in the future, some people would pay the price for this.
“Hong Changqing.” Fan Xian did not continue his questions with Xu Maocai. Rather, he raised his voice slightly and called for a subordinate of the Overwatch Council.
Qing Wa, who had survived the desolate island and been fortunate enough for Fan Xian to take under his wing, came into the room. He originally had a name, but since he was now working beside Fan Xian, Fan Xian changed his name. It was also to make it easier for him to do things in the future. As for why he was called Hong Changqing, for one, this came from Fan Xian’s memory of heroic figures from his previous life. Second, it was because ever since Hong Zhu was surnamed Hong, his luck had been very good.
“Be more alert,” Fan Xian lowered his head and said. “Don’t let anyone get within 10 steps of this room.”
Hong Changqing took his order and left.
Xu Maocai looked with askance at Fan Xian.
Fan Xian gazed at him and smiled slightly. “At this time, you can take out your evidence to make me believe the connection between you and my mother.”
Xu Maocai’s heart leaped, he immediately understood what Fan Xian meant. A difficult-to-name excitement surged up in his heart. He licked his slightly drip lips and carefully took something out from his shoe and handed it to Fan Xian.
Since he dared to come to Fan Xian and name his allegiance, he definitely had the evidence to convince Fan Xian of his past.
Fan Xian held the metal bullet. In a flash, his mind wandered. As for that chest, the only people in the world who knew about it were himself and Uncle Wu Zhu. This bullet not only explained Xu Maocai’s identity, it also plunged him into a daze. It was as if he had returned the seaside in Quanzhou all those years ago, when, for some reason, a young man just about to enter the navy had received the appreciation of the Ye Mistress and such a treasure.
The Emperor was looking for that chest. Chen Pingping was also looking for that chest. No one had ever found it.
“How did you get this?” Fan Xian’s smile was a bit distant.
Perhaps, Xu Maocai was also thinking of past events. His eyes grew red, and he quietly said, “The Mistress was throwing this for fun beside the sea. I saw that it was delicately made and felt that it was a pity…”
Twenty years ago by the Quanzhou seaside, a beautiful and ageless woman was bored to death. She had taken out an M82 A1 bullet and threw it into the sea, hoping to hit a fish that was gradually sinking because of her beauty.
Beside her, the young man’s face expressed his pity at this. The woman smiled and casually threw one to him to play with.
Yes, back then, the scene was just like this.
Fan Xian rose. Two of his fingers slowly rubbed the metal surface of the bullet feeling the sensation and lines that did not belong to this world and took a deep breath. In this instant, everyone else in the admiral’s manor seemed to have disappeared. What Jiaozhou Navy? What Eldest Princess? What Junshang Conference? They all receded from his mind like sea foam.
He was only thinking of this bullet and the woman who played with this bullet. She had tilted her head and smiled. He thought perhaps he had rushed from so far away just so he could make his appointment with her?