Joy of Life - Chapter 448[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:49:10]
Chapter 448: Big Brother, Don’t Scold Second Brother
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Fan Xian held the sword and smiled bitterly.
After his father entered the room, he put on the most sincere smile and said, “Father, you’re home so early?”
Fan Jian nodded and sat down in front of the bed. “There isn’t much going on at the Ministry of Revenue at the moment, so I don’t need to be there all the time.”
After saying this, he handed over an oil paper bag and said, “Steamed buns from Xinfeng Restaurant…these few days, the Third Prince has been studying. Since he’s been out for a year, she is keeping a close eye on him. Although he knows the news of your injury, he can’t come out at the moment. He only remembers that you like to eat the steamed buns from Xinfeng Restaurant, so he had someone buy them and deliver them to you.”
Fan Xian accepted the still warm paper bag. Taking a steamed bun out, he took a careful bite and found that the soup inside was no longer very hot. Fan Jian looked at his son’s appearance and couldn’t help but furrow his brows and shake his head.
Fan Xian had a bite and placed the paper bag on the table. Unconsciously, he twisted his head to glance at the accumulated snow on the windowsill. A glimmer of envy appeared in his eyes.
“Don’t think about going out again,” Fan Jian could see what his son was thinking and said sternly. “The day before yesterday, I let you slip out to go to the Chen Garden. Be content with that. Right now, there is snow everywhere in Jingdou and the roads are slippery. You’re also still injured. You should be calmer.”
Fan Xian smiled self-mockingly. “Am I so popular? Surely, not everyone wants to stab me. Furthermore, in Jingdou, are there actually people who would dare to move against me?”
Fan Jian smiled coldly and said, “Inside and outside of Jingdou is only the separated by a distance of a dozen li. How different do you think it is?”
After he was silent for a moment, he quietly said, “For this matter, it’s best if you’re calm for now. The Emperor will, naturally, find justice for you.”
Fan Xian agreed respectfully with his mouth. In his heart, he thought completely differently. Chen Pingping and Fan Jian both seemed to be watching the Emperor’s attitude, but the two elders both had secret plans. However, they were both keeping them from Fan Xian, not wanting him to be involved too deeply. Fan Xian knew that the person injured was himself, so he should also bear the brunt of it. Always secretly enduring, it really did not accord with his principles of living.
As for what the Emperor would do next, through his conversation with Chen Pingping, Fan Xian could faintly guess some of it. However, the changing of people in court seemed to have little to do with him.
After his father left the room, Fan Xian’s mind spun and he stretched, testing. He found that the wound on his back had mostly recovered. His own medical skills and strange physique was indeed very suitable for a life dancing on the point of a knife.
He got off the bed and dressed as quietly as possible to avoid alerting the serving girls outside his room. Sitting on a round stool beside the table he furrowed his brows for a bit and felt that leaving the chest as it was should be safe. There were many clever people under heaven, but for everyone who was overly clever, they would never think he would act in such a way.
His thoughts settled, and he gently pushed open the innermost curtain. A gust of hot air washed over him from the furnace outside. He shattered a medicinal pill between his fingers and a light fragrance gradually filled the space.
A drowsy-eyed serving girl was standing by the furnace feeling sleeping. Seeing the young master come out, she was first startled. After inhaling the fragrance, she immediately re-entered the land of dreams. Fan Xian tilted his head slightly, looked at the charmingly naïve serving girl, and couldn’t resist smiling. It looked like the fate of Si Qi, this serving girl, was to be put to sleep by him. Wan’er thought the trip to Hangzhou was too long, so she didn’t bring this serving girl. Unexpectedly, after he returned to the capital, he still had to send her to sleep.
Wrapping a thick overcoat around him, Fan Xian carefully stole along the corridor toward the back door. In the manor, were the Teng couple, and their management of servants were always a bit lax. In such heavy snow, if the masters had no orders, the servants liked to hide in their rooms to be lazy. Coincidentally, no one along the way discovered Fan Xian’s escape from home.
When he neared the big metal door, there were always guards standing duty. However, Fan Xian glared, and the guards could only pretend to be mute. Young master, old master, they were both masters. It was not good to offend either of them.
He easily left the manor and climbed into the normal looking carriage. Mu Feng’er carefully helped him into the carriage and then sealed the curtains around the window. Fan Xian shook his head and said, “I want to see the scenery. How can I do that if you’ve sealed all the windows?”
Mu Feng’er smiled and didn’t say anything. Swinging on a straw raincoat, he covered the Overwatch Council robe inside. Shaking his wrist, the horse whip spun a few times in the air and brought down a few snowflakes. Slowly, the carriage began to move.
Swordsmen from the Sixth Bureau followed along in secret, and an Overwatch Council secret agent was disguised as a pedestrian, blending in with the sparse travelers in Jingdou.
The carriage drove through a lively area in Jingdou and carefully avoided the pedestrians.
Fan Xian lifted a corner of the curtain and gazed out. He saw that the stalls on either side of the street were open as usual. Those stall-keepers selling snacks held large umbrellas and used the heat from their pots to battle the severe cold. There was not a sliver of difference from what he saw a year ago.
He couldn’t help but smile. For the court, the imperial envoy being attacked by an assassin was indeed an incredibly major event. For these commoners, presumably it was the most enthusiastically discussed topic around meals these days, however, the impact of the event was not very big. Those who had to do small business still had to do their small businesses. Those who had headaches about having enough food still had their headaches. Him being attacked by an assassin more upset the court. For the normal lives that lived through the same each day, there was not a lot of change.
Suddenly, his heart jumped. He stared at the people in the neighboring street and didn’t move his gaze for a while. The people, who clearly looked like aces, were warily guarding a young man. It was clear that the young man had disguised himself, but how could he fool Fan Xian’s eyes. He felt a great shock.
“Catch up to them,” Fan Xian ordered in an urgent voice. He watched as the group bought something and climbed into their own carriage.
Mu Feng’er made a sound of acknowledgement. Gently raising the reins, they moved toward them.
The two carriages, one in front and one behind, circled around the prosperous street and turned into a relatively quiet but also relatively luxurious area. At this moment, it was still early in the day, so none of the winter entertainments had begun. Thus, the buildings on this street were all rather quiet. Only in the middle of the street, in the best location, the brothel’s red lights were already hovering up high. Its curtains provided shelter from the wind and their colors within attracted the male lifeforms outside in the wretched wind and bitter snow.
It was Jingdou’s most famous Baoyue Brothel.
Fan Xian watched as the group of people disembarked from the carriage and walked into the building. He furrowed his brows, thinking to himself that perhaps his eyes had really gone bad after the injury. With his head full of thoughts, he didn’t even think before having Mu Feng’er drive the carriage into the Baoyue Brothel’s inner courtyard from a side street. They stopped outside a door beside the lake in the back of the building.
He was Baoyue Brothel’s true owner. The housemaid waiting by the back door saw him come down from the carriage and jumped in shock, thinking, Wasn’t the master injured? How could he have the leisure to come visit? However, she didn’t dare say much. As she quickly sent someone to inform the second shopkeeper, Shi Qing’er, she carefully led Fan Xian to the prettiest stand-alone courtyard by the lake.
Fan Xian shook his head, thinking about the person he saw earlier. He went directly through the snow beside the lake and slowly walked toward Baoyue Brothel. Going up to the third floor, he came to the room belonging only to the owner. Fan Xian took a moment to compose himself. Hearing the soft words coming from inside, he couldn’t stop the corners of his lips tilting up slightly and smiling.
The housemaid behind him didn’t say anything, she didn’t even dare cough. Earlier, she had sent someone to inform the second shopkeeper, but it was no good. She could only hope with all her heart that the person in the room would speak carefully.
After listening quietly for a while, Fan Xian pushed open the door and entered.
“Who is it?”
With a rasp, the sound of a curved knife being unsheathed rang out. A heart-chilling knife strike surged forward. However, Fan Xian did not dodge or escape, he walked forward with an ugly expression on his face.
The person who had struck out with the knife wore normal clothing and adornments, however, there was wariness and calm between his brows. Having struck out with his knife, there was no return. Seeing that this young and noble figure in front of him did not even dodge, he knew something was wrong and forcefully pulled back his knife. Zhenqi clashed and his entire face flushed red.
Mu Feng’er, who was behind Fan Xian, followed him into the room and turned to close the room door properly. He smiled warmly at the person with the knife, thinking to himself that it looked like they would be colleagues in the future.
At the same time, the group of people who had entered the room first had all suddenly stood up and surrounded Fan Xian, who was in the lead, in the middle.
Following this, there were two crisp crashing sounds. The tea bowls in the hands of a woman and a young man fell to the floor at the same time. These two people stared with dumbstruck expressions at Fan Xian and couldn’t speak for a moment.
“Everyone put your knives down!” The young man came to his senses first and roared angrily at his followers. “Are you looking to die?”
His followers looked at each other, thinking, Just who was the newcomer? Why did it make their big boss so agitated?
Fan Xian was not agitated. He approached the young man. Curving two of his fingers slightly, he ruthlessly brought them down. With a thud, a red mark immediately appeared on the young man’s slightly chubby cheeks.
“Are you looking to die?” Fan Xian scolded in a rage. “Who told you to come back?”
The young man pulled his mouth down and said with matchless grievance, “Brother, I miss home…”
Everyone was chased out of the room. Even Shi Qing’er, who wanted to help the young man explain a bit, was chased out by Fan Xian. Only then did he arrogantly sit down in a chair in the center and looked at the respectful young man in front of him without saying anything for a while.
After a long silence, Fan Xian smiled coldly and opened his mouth to speak. “The big boss is quite impressive now with Northern Qi aces beside you as bodyguards. Looks like I don’t have much of a presence anymore.”
The young man in front of him wasn’t just anyone. He was the second son of the Fan manor that had been sent to Northern Qi a year ago by Fan Xian, who now completely controlled the Cui family’s previous production route and the economic genius who managed the smuggling business between Fan Xian in Jiangnan and the royal family in Northern Qi. The person whose face still had irritating pockmarks was Fan Sizhe.
Fan Sizhe moved to stand in front of his brother and carefully helped him massage his arm. He laughed a little and said, “With money…what kind of ace can’t one get?”
Fan Xian was angry about more than one thing and scolded, “How come you just snuck back like this? Do you not know the posters everywhere are still up?”
Fan Sizhe smiled and said, “Those are just pieces of scrap paper. I glanced at one outside the Cangzhou city gates. It had long been soaked into mush by the rain. It was impossible to be my appearance.”
Fan Xian couldn’t resist scolding, “Don’t smile so ingratiatingly! Tell me, what is all this about? Why did you sneak back? Why didn’t you tell me first?”
Fan Sizhe was stuck for words for a moment. After scratching his head for a while, he said, “In a few more days, it will be father’s birthday…”
Only now did Fan Xian remember. Looking at his brother’s clearly thinner face, he couldn’t hold back a sigh. Thinking of him being by himself in Northern Qi for over a year and having to handle such complicated matters at such a young age, he was rather pitiful. Fan Xian’s heart softened. He didn’t have the heart to keep scolding him. He shook his head and said, “If you want to come back, so be it, but you have to at least let me know ahead of time.”
Feeling wronged, Fan Sizhe said, “If I had said earlier…you, for sure, wouldn’t have agreed.”
Fan Xian suddenly thought of a problem and furrowed his brows. “Where is Lao Wang? He was in Shangjing watching you…if you left, why didn’t he tell me?”
He huffed coldly and looked at his unspeaking brother.
Fan Sizhe’s mind spun. Rather anxiously he said, “Is Sir Wang also back? I came with him all the way…brother, don’t blame him for this.”
Fan Xian slapped the table and roared, “This old bastard also arrived early? Why didn’t he tell me either? You’ve all rebelled! Daring to hide everything from me.”
Fan Sizhe trembled and didn’t say anything. He knew very well that when his brother became truly angry, he hit people…and he was truly willing to use his feet to kick.
“Since you’re back, why didn’t you go home?” Fan Xian frowned.
Fan Sizhe was slightly surprised. Immediately, a glimmer of fierceness rose on his face. “Brother, the moment I entered the capital yesterday, I heard about that matter. I was afraid that if I go home at this time, it would bring more trouble for you…also, hasn’t the court not found anything? I thought I would see whether or not Baoyue Brothel had any news, so I first stayed here to see if I could help you.”
Fan Xian had already overheard these words outside the room. Hearing his brother say this personally, he felt very moved. He gently patted his head and sighed. “What trouble are you worried about? It’s not like the Emperor doesn’t know about your matter. Who would dare to do anything? Come home with me in a moment. As for Baoyue Brothel’s news, if I need it, I will have someone come ask. You are a proper merchant. Don’t get involved in these matters.”
He couldn’t help but glare at his brother again and said, “Don’t think I don’t know what’s going on in that melon head of yours…you’re afraid that if you go home directly, I would scold you, so you wanted to do something to make me happy. Don’t you use these tricks on me. Put these thoughts to use on father and mother. After more than a year without seeing you, did you think about how much Aunt Liu missed you? If this matter gets to her, see how your mom is going to deal with you. I certainly won’t ask mercy for you.”
Fan Sizhe nodded his head with chagrin, thinking, Is it not because of your might that I felt timid as I approached the manor and didn’t dare to knock on the door?
“You grew a bit taller.” Fan Xian looked at him with a smile and patted his shoulder. A year without seeing him, he also felt excited and happy. “Also, a bit sturdier…looks like you lived well in Northern Qi.”
Fan Sizhe was just about to complain a bit and rat on his future sister-in-law when he heard knocking from outside the door. The knocking was soft and careful, mournful and sorrowful.
Fan Xian laughed coldly. “Roll on in. You played a supporting role, so don’t act all plaintive now.”