Joy of Life - Chapter 446[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:49:09]
Chapter 446: Three People, Three Thoughts
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Of course, Chen Pingping did not believe it. As a man from that time, he knew about the chest in the hands of Lady Ye. When she was attacked, she did not use this chest. This meant, at the time, the chest was not in the Taiping Courtyard. After the incident, in Chen Pingping’s thorough search of the Courtyard, he still did not find any trace of it.
Naturally, this out-of-the ordinary object could not have casually been lost.
Then, only Wu Zhu knew the location of the chest. With Fan Xian gradually growing up and living in such a dangerous environment as Jingdou, Wu Zhu would certainly have given the chest to Fan Xian to carry around to avoid danger that could come at any time in case he was injured and couldn’t be beside him.
This was Chen Pingping’s deduction. His deduction was not very far away from the truth.
However, he was wrong on one point. Neither he nor the Emperor had ever personally seen that chest, so they had no idea of its volume and size.
Fan Xian did indeed have the chest. However, it was impossible to hide the chest from others and bring it alongside him. When Fan Xian was attacked in the valley because of his own carelessness, that chest was floating on some body of water.
Meeting the old cripple’s ridiculing gaze, Fan Xian sincerely pushed out his hands and said, “I truly don’t know about a chest.”
This was a secret he had to keep. Even if this old man in front of him guessed something, he couldn’t admit it. Otherwise, if the Emperor knew that the chest was in his hands, as the ruler of a nation, he would not allow a mysterious treasure that could kill aces to stay with his own son.
The Emperor would open his mouth and ask for it. From the very beginning, Fan Xian would not admit to it.
Chen Pingping shook his head and couldn’t be bothered to keep asking. He knew the kid had to keep back some kind of treasure to protect himself.
Fan Xian smiled slightly and changed the topic. “Uncle Wu Zhu and that mysterious chest are two of the things you didn’t account for. Then what is the third?”
Chen Pingping gazed at him mockingly. “The third matter is very simple. I didn’t account for the Council’s carriages that clearly could have protected you for a while. Given your and the Shadow’s abilities, it would not be a difficult matter to escape into the snowy woods. Even if there were injuries, it wouldn’t be like what you have now. You’ve been in the Council for a while. You know that an ace and an assassin are of two completely different worlds. It is very simple to kill an ace, but it is very difficult to kill an assassin…and other than the council, very few people know you are a ninth-level assassin.”
“What I didn’t account for was that I didn’t think you would be so stupid.” Chen Pingping’s face was full of slight anger.
Fan Xian smiled coldly and said, “Are you talking about me killing my way into the snowy woods to get rid of those crossbows? Is this stupid? Even if I could escape…but what about my subordinates? Don’t forget, in this valley incident, I lost almost 20 subordinates. I haven’t called you out as being cold-hearted, yet you are calling me stupid.”
“Cold-blooded?” Chen Pingping gazed a Fan Xian with almost a smile. “Did you forget that what the Overwatch Council needs the most is cold-bloodedness? Where did your usual coldness and emotionlessness go?”
Fan Xian clenched his fist slightly and said in a low voice, “Those were my people.”
“They were only your subordinates, yet you were unwilling to sacrifice them. If, in the future, you need to sacrifice more important people, what will you do? Your action this time easily destroyed your appearance of coldness and revealed your weakness, that is what is stupid. A strong person is not just strong in body, but also strong in spirit. Emotions such as weakness would only cause you to have a tragic end.” Cold light shone out from Chen Pingping’s narrowed eyes.
“That isn’t a weakness,” Fan Xian refuted without hesitation. “That was something I had to do.”
“You can’t care too much,” Chen Pingping yawned and said. “There can’t be too many things that you must do. I think that your mother-in-law must be very happy now that she finally knows where your Achilles heel is.”
Fan Xian’s heart stuttered, and he felt a glimmer of ominousness. Immediately, he furrowed his brow and said, “I only care about the people I care about. No matter how many other people…die in front of me, I won’t even bat an eyelash.”
“Your mother cared about everyone under heaven,” Chen Pingping closed his eyes and said. “In this area, you are cleverer than her, stronger than her, but it is not enough. At most, you will only live a few days longer than her.”
Fan Xian clapped his hands and warmly said, “Then there is little point in talking about this matter. In any case, it would be best if all of us could live long lives.”
He shook his wheelchair and turned in a flourish. Raising the front of it, he made a half circle around Chen Pingping.
Looking at this scene, Chen Pingping couldn’t resist smiling and said, “Is this very fun?”
“It’s very fun,” Fan Xian said seriously. “You’ve been in a wheelchair for so many years, yet you don’t think of making some games to get rid of the gloom. That means you are a very boring person. Morning to night you’re submerged in a dark and blurry world. What meaning is there in living your whole life like this?”
In Fan Xian’s opinion, it was best for Chen Pingping to not get involved. In the past years of his life, he should go to some relatively large mountain tops, taking with him his beautiful women and concubines, and have a honeymoon or something. It would be better than giving his entire life to the boring business of politics and plotting.
However, he knew that for Chen Pingping, calculating these things was perhaps not just a job, it was also an enjoyment and an art. So, he didn’t say anything.
“After I die,” Chen Pingping raised his withered hands and casually waved it around in the air of the garden, “this garden will be given to you. The women in here, you can keep them if you wish. If not, then let them go.”
Fan Xian understood. This old man would not, because of the lives of these beauties, do much, however, after interacting for many years, there was probably always a glimmer of attachment. He very naturally nodded his head.
“How should the problem of the Qin family be dealt with?” Fan Xian suddenly opened his mouth and asked. Although Chen Pingping had asked him to look at the big picture and to not reveal his intentions right now, he had to give him something in return.
Chen Pingping shook his head and said, “Everyone wants you to die. The Qin family is not particularly good or particularly bad. If you act now, you will ruin my big picture. Endure, for now, and see how their family clan will entirely perish in the future. This is a very joyful matter in and of itself.”
Fan Xian furrowed his brows slightly and a glimmer of impatience appeared on his pretty face. “Endure again?”
“In this area, you have to learn from your father,” Chen Pingping said with a not-quite-there smile. “Everyone in this world has died, yet I see your father is still alive…don’t say this isn’t a skill. To be able to survive, that itself is already the greatest skill.”
The tips of Fan Xian’s brows suddenly drew together sharply, and he slowly said, “After all, I am a young man. I have to make my attitude clear on this matter. Otherwise, any random person will try to kill me, which would be inconvenient.”
Chen Pingping looked at him.
Fan Xian seemed to not feel the old man’s cold and severe gaze. He smiled slightly and said, “I’ll give you face. I won’t touch the Qin family. I’ll help you hide it until the moment of the big explosion. However, the other people, I have to kill a few to accompany my subordinates in death.”
The lines on Chen Pingping’s face became deeper and he sighed. “What do other people have to do with the killing this time in the valley?”
“Didn’t you say? Everyone wants me to die?” Fan Xian smiled. “Since it is so, no matter whether or not they had anything to do with this attack, I’ll first kill a few to establish my power. I trust that the Emperor would not overly rebuke me.”
Chen Pingping shook his head in disapproval. “Yan Xiaoyi was never involved in this matter to start with, why are you forming a deadly feud with him?”
Fan Xian smiled coldly. “What about Yan Xiaoyi’s son? Half a year ago, you only said he had a very powerful son. You did not tell me that San Shi was killed by him. You also didn’t tell me that this little archer was in the Jingdou garrison.”
Chen Pingping was silent. He had not told Fan Xian everything about this to start with. He guessed that Fan Xian had used his own power to find out. There wasn’t much for him to say, so he only slowly said, “You want revenge…but you also cannot touch the old Qin family, are you going to kill indiscriminately?”
“The old Qin family has already been pushed by you to the Eldest Princess’ side.” Fan Xian reminded him rudely. “I’m going to strike at my mother-in-law and have them shoulder some of my anger in the place of the old Qin family. Is there a problem?”
“There isn’t a problem,” Chen Pingping said in a dark voice, “however, your actions…are not reasonable.”
Fan Xian spluttered in laughter and said, “Meeting someone like you who is too reasonable, I can’t be bothered to waste my breath. Do you not know, us young people, we’re used to being capricious and unreasonable?”
Jingdou’s winter was very cold. Although it was not yet the coldest days of the year, the snow already swallowed up residences and cut off walls. The sky filled with snow that fell occasionally, and all of Jingdou was enveloped in cold air. The red walls of the expansive Royal Palace had become wet from the snow and water. In its wetness, it appeared black.
Just like the change in the red palace walls, the civil and martial officials in court knew the mood of the Qing Emperor was somewhat dark and black.
The news of Fan Xian being attacked by an assassin had long shocked Jingdou. Gradually, everyone knew the details of the incident and guessed that there had to be a capable figure from the military involved in this matter. Every time they thought about how problems had appeared even in the military that was strictly controlled by the Emperor, the civil and martial officials all became silently cautious and did not dare say anything extra.
In the small court conference in the following days, other than state affairs, the topic most discussed was the attack on Fan Xian. The investigation, led by the Overwatch Council and in cooperation with the Supreme Court and the Bureau of Military of Affairs, had long begun. However, the 200 human heads had been drawn and matched, but not a clue could be found. The survivor the Overwatch Council had caught was on his dying breath and was only just hanging onto life. For the moment, there was no way to question him.
Other than the five city-guarding crossbows and clues such as clothing, the investigation into the case of the attack on the imperial envoy did not have any progress.
Although the Emperor’s expression was still calm, the officials fortunate enough to participate in the court conference could feel the anger hidden in the Emperor’s eyes growing stronger and stronger. However, they didn’t know when the fire would spray out and incinerate all of them into ash.
Everyone knew why Sir Fan junior had been appointed as the full authority imperial envoy to Jiangnan and had urgently left the capital.
It was because of the rumor from Northern Qi that had directly exposed that layer of hidden connection between the Emperor and Sir Fan junior. To prevent unrest in the situation in Jingdou and the dignity of the royal family, and more so to allow the Qing court to escape from this awkward secret news, the Emperor covertly banished Sir Fan junior to Jiangnan.
No one expected that once Fan Xian went to Jiangnan, he would do so many things. He governed the palace treasury, organized the bidding, and greatly supported the river works. In just half a year, in the turn of a hand, he had solved the problem of the emptiness of the national treasury that had troubled Qing Kingdom for many years. Taking the opportunity to go home and visit relatives, he also cleaned out the nest of old mice in the Jiaozhou Navy.
The Deputy General of the Jiaozhou Navy, Dang Xiaobo, had long been escorted back to Jingdou. His confession was taken down, and it had become a watertight case. He was set to be beheaded in autumn. The treasury silver in Jiangnan had long been moved back to Jingdou, and the court finally had the confidence to begin major repairs to the river banks as well as to provide disaster relief and reducing taxes. Each of these expenses was a meritorious deed from Fan Xian to the Qing court.
All of the officials were thinking that such a figure, of course, he couldn’t stay forever in Jiangnan. He eventually had to come back to the capital. Furthermore, the Emperor was sure that after a year, the news had long faded and the powers in Jingdou would learn to accept this situation. The banished illegitimate child would finally openly take his place in court.
However, no one expected that on Sir Fan junior’s journey back to the capital to report on his work, he would be attacked.
This was not just an attack on the imperial envoy or just an attack on a royal child, this matter had touched on the court’s bottom line. If the matter this time could not be investigated properly, then it could only mean that the Emperor’s control over Qing Kingdom was far from what it used to be.
In a time when the competition for inheritance was gradually rising to the surface, this kind of signal was like a giant whale in the sea bleeding out drops of red blood. It was enough to attract countless sharks to come forth to greedily fight for food.
However, the case continued to be like a ball of fog. It was impossible to see the truth within. If it dragged out for a few more days, the Emperor might, in his anger, disregard the consequences and demonstrate his thunderous anger.
This was the kind of situation the important officials in the court were most afraid of. They worried that because of his love for Fan Xian and his dignity, the Emperor would, without evidence, attack without limit and punish without boundaries and expand this matter to a point that could not be endured by the Qing Kingdom.
“Please reconsider, Your Majesty!”
An old official standing among the civil officials stood out and kneeled in front of the dragon chair, speaking in an anguished voice.