Joy of Life - Chapter 427[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:49:02]
Chapter 427: Return Home With Honor (1)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
As the boat with the white sail slowly moved along the bends of the shore toward the side, a small boat came from the direction of Danzhou. The little boat moved quickly and soon neared the large boat. The men on the boat made hand signals, and the two boats slowly came together.
The rope ladder was let down and a sweaty official climbed up, panting heavily.
Fan Xian had already changed into normal clothing and was currently pulling on his shoes. Unable to speak for the moment, he nodded to indicate for the official to speak.
The official wiped at the sweat on his forehead and said in a trembling voice, “I am the Dianli of Danzhou, here especially to welcome you back to your hometown.”
Hearing these words, Fan Xian was slightly startled. He hadn’t noticed the man’s official robes earlier. Hearing the man say he was a Dianli, he couldn’t help but be surprised.
He was not someone who liked to be flattered and fawned over, but he knew that for an Overwatch Council Commissioner and an imperial envoy to return home, the parent officials of Danzhou must feel very honored and would certainly do their best to curry favor with him. How come the Zhizhou did not come? Why was it a Dianli who came?
He unconsciously looked at the ant-like people on the dock and narrowed his eyes, “Where is the Zhizhou?”
It was only a casual question, however, it landed in the Danzhou Dianli’s ears like thunder and scared him severely. With a tearful face, he said, “Sir received the message that Sir would be arriving. At this moment, he should be rushing to docks to welcome Sir. Sir shouldn’t blame Sir, it is because…Sir didn’t know that Sir would arrive so early.”
This string of “sirs’ confused even Fan Xian. Only after parsing it for a while did he understand. Danzhou had not thought his boat would arrive this quickly.
He smiled and said, “What is there to blame? I’m just returning home as a private individual. There is no need for such a grand welcome.”
However, it was already a grand event on the dock. Fan Xian’s vision was startling. He could faintly see people rushing to prepare the canopy, and there were more officials rushing toward this area. There were also a great deal of Danzhou commoners gathered there.
The Danzhou Dianli’s heart eased slightly. He gathered his courage and raised his head to evaluate this major figure who had not returned to Danzhou in two years. He had been transferred to Danzhou after Fan Xian left, so he had only heard rumors from the strange young master in the Count’s manor. In the officialdom, he heard even more stories these two years about the glorious works that Sir Fan junior had done in Jingdou and everywhere else. He had long been filled with curiosity about this important figure who hailed from Danzhou.
Indeed…he is a figure from heaven. The Dianli was startled by Fan Xian’s appearance and immediately lowered his head to report the day’s situation.
It turned out that Wan’er, the princess, who had taken the Third Prince and a group of people back to Danzhou, had startled the entire city. After Danzhou’s seaport business failed, it had long become an isolated location. Although the Emperor conferred favor on it each year, reduced taxations, and the people were happy, who had ever seen such a grand event? This was the prince and princess.
Everyone guessed that since his wife and student had both returned, Sir Fan junior would also return. So, they had long begun to make preparations. However, they had not expected that Fan Xian would be handling matters in Jiaozhou. None of the officials or commoners had any idea when Fan Xian would arrive, so they had gradually relaxed their thoughts. Until today, when a troop of completely black riders suddenly appeared outside the city, went through the city defenses, and went directly to the dock to begin laying out defenses. Only then did the people guess that Sir Fan junior was about to arrive.
Time was too tight, thus, only the Dianli who had coincidentally learned of this matter had rushed over while the Danzhou Zhizhou and other officials were probably still in their manors avoiding the summer heat. They were probably hurriedly putting on clothes and rushing over.
The Danzhou Dianli was terrified that the provincial government wouldn’t be ready in time and anger Fan Xian, so he had come quickly on a little boat to apologize humbly.
He carefully looked at Fan Xian’s expression.
Fan Xian suddenly opened his mouth and asked, “How is the old woman?”
The Dianli smiled flatteringly and said, “She is very healthy. The Zhizhou often visits the manor to pay his respects.”
“Hmm, Wan…hmm?” Fan Xian suddenly furrowed his brows.
The Dianli’s heart jumped. He thought that this young master was finally about to begin expressing his displeasure at today’s welcoming party. He was so scared, the amount of sweat on his back tripled in amount.
However, Hong Changqing, who was beside Fan Xian, understood that he was just suddenly confused, not sure how to refer to his wife in front of this official. So he smiled slightly and said, “Has the Mistress come?”
Fan Xian let out a breath and nodded. Although this Dianli in front of him was a low-ranking official, he had no reason to make him use Mistress to refer to Wan’er, although this Dianli would certainly be very willing to have Lin Wan’er as his grandmother[JW1] .
“Your wife is in the manor,” the Dianli said carefully. “The old mistress is also in the manor. Today is very hot. I was worried that she would miss you and insist on coming to the dock to welcome you, so I haven’t reported this to the manor yet.”
Fan Xian nodded, pleased, and patted this Dianli with approval on the shoulder. It was also his intention to not have the Black Knights inform the manor. He was preparing to surprise the old mistress as well as some other people in the city.
The Dianli was overwhelmed by this show of favor.
“Have everyone on the dock disperse,” Fan Xian smiled and said. “Lend me your little boat to use. I’ll go back by myself later.”
Since the old mistress and Wan’er had not come to the dock, he couldn’t be bothered to go socialize with officials. It wouldn’t be too late to talk with the Danzhou locals and elders later. Having experienced the uncomfortableness of sitting properly under the canopy in Suzhou, once was enough.
Unexpectedly, upon hearing these words, Hong Changqing and that Dianli said at the same time, “This cannot be done.”
Hong Changqing was worried about Fan Xian’s safety. After a moment of silence, Fan Xian smiled slightly and said, “Qing Wa, you haven’t been with me for long. Remember in the future, you are a person of the Overwatch Council. Concerning my decisions, you just have to accept them. I can’t get rid of those Tiger Guards the Emperor has granted me. Do you also want to stick to me and let not me have a moment of peace?”
Although his words were gentle, the meaning was heavy. Hong Changqing forced a smile and didn’t say anymore.
The Danzhou Dianli said, with a bitter face, “Sir, although this side appears to be smooth beaches, the back is all precipices and cliffs. There is nowhere to go…you can only onshore from the dock. If you want to go for a walk and travel the mountain, it is best to wait for another day.”
Fan Xian rose and tightened his clothes. He looked at the cliff being slowly left behind on the side of the boat. He looked at that incredibly familiar reef and couldn’t help sighing in contentment. He asked, “Sir, I grew up in Danzhou. Would I not know the way home?”
Danzhou was not big. But, in the past few decades, it had produced a Minister of Revenue and an Emperor’s wet-nurse. This was already glorious enough. Now, there was also an imperial envoy, and this imperial envoy had lived there until he was 16. In the past two years, all of the commoners in Danzhou had felt excited and happy about this. When socializing with people from neighboring provinces, they had an extra glimmer of confidence and pride.
The Black Knights of the Overwatch Council had come to the docks to lay down defenses. Although the people were scared, they also guessed that this major figure was about to return home, so they all crowded around. They wanted to see whether the young master of the Count manor who was as pretty as a girl had changed in appearance during these two years in Jingdou.
A matron holding a basket with eggs in it muttered loudly, “They said he was coming back after the New Year, but in the end, it wasn’t a real person. This time it should be the real person, right?”
A person to the side smiled and said, “How can it not be the real person? Didn’t you see that the Third Prince and the Lady Fan had both come back?”
Another person spoke spiritedly, “I wonder if Sir Fan has changed? When he went to Jingdou, who knows how many girls in Danzhou cried until their eyes were swollen.”
That matron laughed loudly. “How can appearances just change like this?”
“I don’t think it’s impossible, even fathers can change just…”
Immediately, this unknown person was dragged into a small alley by the excited crowd and beaten.
After the slight awkwardness and silence, the Danzhou commoners gathered around the dock waiting for Fan Xian. They gradually turned the topic of their conversation back to Fan Xian himself and stories from the past.
“Do you remember, every time a hurricane came, young master Fan liked to stand on the roof at their manor and yell loudly for everyone to take back their laundry?”
Everyone laughed. Those young people who were close to Fan Xian in age couldn’t help remembering many things from the past. At that time, Fan Xian was only the illegitimate child of the Count’s manor. Occasionally, he would even mess around with the children in the streets. However, as they grew older and with their different identities, they had long become people of two worlds.
In the eyes of the young men, there was only admiration and some complicated emotion. Someone said in a small voice, “I’ve heard the imperial envoy tell a story.”
His speaking voice was very small, and the contents of what he said would probably not be believed by most people. Most of the people unconsciously had their ears filter these words. Seeing no one acknowledging him in the group, the young man angrily said, “It’s true…I still remember that it was a treasure hunting story.”
Still, no one paid any attention to him. That matron with the basket of eggs said, full of amusement, “Speaking of our young master Fan, he is truly not like other people. Even as a child, he was obedient and well-behaved. There were also a few strange things. Every time he went onto the streets with the serving girls from the Count’s manor, when did he ever let the serving girls carry things? Tch, tch, this master is truly very kind.”
The discussions on the dock flew wildly with numerous stories. In a short time, the Danzhou Zhizhou, leading the other officials, arrived in a hurry. They were panting and tidying up their official’s robes. Looking at the white-sailed boat that was about to reach the shore, they let out a breath in their hearts. They were happy that after all their rushing they had finally made it.
However, no one expected that the imperial envoy was not on the boat.
The Danzhou Dianli came down the ladder and faced the Zhizhou’s angry gaze. With a tearful face, he said, “Sir left halfway. At this moment, he should have already returned to the manor.”
The Zhizhou was shocked and glared at him. In his heart, he was anxious to get to the Count’s manor. However, he didn’t dare to leave at this moment because although the imperial envoy had disembarked, there were still a number of officials on the boat he had greet. In front of Fan Xian’s trusted aides, he didn’t dare be overly arrogant.
Hearing these words, the surrounding crowd couldn’t help but yell in unison. They then shortly they began to complain, their tones full of pity.
Wearing the official robes of the Overwatch Council, Hong Changqing led a group of Overwatch Council secret agents off the boat and looked at the group of people on the dock. The crowd was swept by this cold gaze and immediately fell silent. Unexpectedly, Hong Changqing pushed a warm smile onto his face and said, “The Commissioner is distressed that everyone is being burned by the sun on the dock, so he thought of this unwilling idea. In future days, he will come out to meet with everyone.”
He turned again and bowed to the Zhizhou and intimately said, “Sir truly did not wish to startle the local officials, so he accepts your kindness. However, please lead everyone back for now.”
On a cliff not far outside Danzhou, there was a white figure energetically climbing up. Perhaps energetically is not an appropriate term because the white dot of a person on the rock face was climbing very easily, The tips of his toes pushed slightly, and his fingers curved slightly. HIs entire body was stuck against the wet and slippery rock face, moving up in a smooth curving line. It was impossible to tell it was difficult.
He seemed to be strangely familiar with this deserted cliff face filled with bird nests and moss. The route chosen was also incomparably precise. His hands and feet landed without a trace of hesitation like he knew where the protrusions were and where the crevices for his feet were.
There was no need to say more. It was Fan Xian, who had left the white-sailed boat.
Since he was a child, he had begun to climb this cliff under Wu Zhu’s supervision until he was 16. A full 10 years he had spent on this cliff, so he was as familiar with each piece of grass and tree as the lines on his palm.
He hadn’t climbed in two years, Fan Xian evened out his breathing and leaned close to the cliff he had not seen for a long time, to the seabirds and mud he had not seen for a long time, and climbed.
Before long, he was already standing on the highest cliff looking down at the waves slapping the rocks and the sight of Danzhou in the distance.
He turned and unintentionally saw a large group of blooming little yellow flowers. Other than the fact the flowers were blooming more, everything on top of the cliff seemed to be exactly the same as two years ago.
Fan Xian sighed and sat down. His feet dangled over the side of the dangerous and tall cliff. A faint worry and longing rose in his heart.
Uncle Wu Zhu was not here.
It’s a play on words here also mocking the Dianli.