Joy of Life - Chapter 491[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:49:26]
Chapter 491: Mountain Wolf Amongst The Descendants (1)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The laughter did not continue long before it stopped. Fan Xian suddenly realized that he was being too pleased and savage, which was not a good sign.
Ming Qingda woke from his faint. His silk robes moved without wind. His fists were clenched tightly, and his eyes were slightly red as he stared at Fan Xian’s face.
The laughter stopped, and the fainted person awoke. It was as if the earlier scene had never happened. However, everyone knew that 30 percent of the Ming family’s shares had already landed in Fan Xian’s hands.
If it was just 30 percent, it was still far from sufficient.
Ming Qingda looked at Xia Qifei standing behind Fan Xian and thought of the 10 percent of shares that he held and then thought of the Fourth Ming Master, who was gradually growing distant from the family. He felt his heart grow colder and colder. However, he still maintained a spark of hope.
“Send off the guests.” The old man took one last look at the document in Fan Xian’s hands and spoke tiredly and listlessly.
Fan Xian did not move. He narrowed his eyes and looked at the beautiful construction in the Ming Garden with appreciation on his face, as if this garden was already his.
Ming Qingda’s expression changed again.
Xia Qifei flashed out from behind Fan Xian’s body and glanced at his elder brother. He then quietly said, “Send off the guests.”
It was the same order to send off the guests, but it came from two people’s mouths. This meant that Xia Qifei was already formally standing out and beginning to challenge Ming Qingda for ownership of the Ming family and identity of the Master of the Ming family.
The guests in the hall watching the ceremony knew that today’s matter was going to blow up. They didn’t know what would happen next or what the old Ming Master would do in his thunderous rage. In a wise choice to protect themselves, everyone quickly left without even bothering with etiquette. Everyone, including the witness officials from the Suzhou government, quickly bowed to Fan Xian and escaped out of the garden.
Immediately, the hall fell silent. The people left included Fan Xian’s people and the men from two branches of the Ming family. Although there were a number of people, everyone knew that they were about to lay their cards out on the table. No one made a sound.
Ming Qingda glanced at Fan Xian coldly. He took out a contract and slowly ripped it apart. “Why were you not shameless and also take Ming Lanshi’s shares?”
Fan Xian glanced at him and shook his head. “I am an official of the court not a businessman. What would I want with your son’s shares?”
He walked behind his people and sat down on the chair without saying anything more. He just quietly appreciated the scene.
He had come to Suzhou today for two reasons. One was to see this show, and the other was to support Xia Qifei. The Ming family had been in Jiangnan for a long time and had thousands of private soldiers at their command. If things really did get messy, Xia Qifei’s Jiangnan water bandits may not be able to handle it.
Xia Qifei stood in front of Ming Qingda and smiled slightly. “The owner of Zhaoshang money house had written an endorsement ahead of time. The 30 percent of shares in his hands would be controlled by me. Earlier in the year, the Suzhou government ordered you to provide compensation to me at your discretion. You were generous and gifted me 10 percent of the shares. I am forever grateful. In the future, when you retire to Ming Garden, I will certainly look after you well.”
With the support of his son, Ming Qingda barely managed to stand in the hall. He glanced at the men of the Ming family behind him and a wretched smile rose to his face. “It looks like a number of people have secretly leaned to your side, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to speak so confidently. Speaking of which, during this year, the Ming family’s attention has all been focused on dealing with Sir Fan junior and had ignored you.”
As these words came out, the expressions on the faces of the male members of the Ming family were complicated. Those who had already secretly fallen in with Xia Qifei looked ashamed while those who were not privy to inside information wore an expression of shock. Only the Fourth Ming master looked at the sky with an unspeakable indifference.
Ming Qingda took in a deep breath and looked very old. He knew that since the other party dared to fight for the position of the Master of the Ming family, then they must be very certain of the outcome. However, he still had the desire for one last struggle.
He turned his head to stare at the Fourth Ming master and bit out each word, “Did you give your shares to him too?”
“A wise man submits to the circumstances,” The Fourth Ming master said slowly.
Ming Qingda gave three wretched sounding laughs and cursed while pointing at him, “Idiot! The Ming family is doomed because of this, and it’s all because of you! How will you go greet the Ming family ancestors when you die, and how will you face your mother in a moment?”
The Fourth Ming master was slightly shocked but immediately smiled coldly. His smile appeared to be very vicious. “Brother, I have no face to see them? Last year, I was seized by the Suzhou government and thrown into prison. Not only did you not send people to save me, you actually sent people to assassinate me…such a brother, do you have the face to see them?”
Ming Qingda stared at him and said, “There was no other choice at the time…”
“I understand,” the Fourth Ming master smiled maniacally and said. “You wanted the Jiangnan scholars to be sympathetic to our family, so you wanted me to die in prison…but did you not think that I am also a son of the Ming family? Why is it me who has to die? Why didn’t you go die?”
Why didn’t you go die?
Ming Qingda’s entire body trembled. He turned to yell sharply at Xia Qifei, “Show me all your cards! Even if Third and Fourth, these two children of the concubines, have fallen in with you, you still don’t have enough!”
Xia Qifei glanced at him and slowly opened his mouth to say, “Zhaoshang money house has more than 30 percent of the shares.”
“More than 30 percent?”
“Correct.” Xia Qifei was calm. “You know how much money the Sixth Ming master has owed these years…he was the old matriarch’s favored baby son. You’ve always disliked him, so you have been very restrictive of his spending and strictly prohibited him from having a hand in the family property. However, he likes to have fun and is someone who loves to spend money, so he can only stretch out his hand to borrow from outside sources. He doesn’t have property, so, of course, he could only use the shares the old matriarch had left for him as deposit.”
“Sixth?” Ming Qingda’s eyes widened. He would never have thought that the most important stroke in the Ming family changing hands would have come from his own brother. He abruptly turned his head to look at the terrified Sixth Ming master, who had been retreating towards the back. He said in a daze, “Sixth…are you crazy?”
At this moment, the Sixth Ming master’s face was filled with grief. He hid, half bent, behind the group of people away from his brother’s devouring gaze. Under the mighty Ming Qingda’s, Master of the home’s, these male members of the family were all scared back one step by his seemingly murderous stare.
“It’s not he who is crazy, rather, it is everyone in the Ming family that has gone crazy,” Xia Qifei said coldly. “Look at this garden. Everyone in here has their own agenda and a stomach full of vile…including me. Everyone with the family name Ming has selfishness and weakness shining innately from their bones. In a time of crisis, who still remembers their family name? After all is said and done, the reason for the collapse of the Ming family is still you. You were on guard against everyone in the clan, yet constantly retreated in the face of external pressure…with such actions, how could you not be defeated?”
Silence in the hall.
Ming Qingda suddenly laughed loudly. His laughter was unspeakably hopeless and angry. He pointed at Xia Qifei and said, “Do you think that because you have 50 percent of the shares your words count for anything in the Ming family? Don’t forget, the Palace and military both have shares in the Ming family business. What you control…is still not enough.
At this moment, Fan Xian, who had long been silent, finally opened his mouth and quietly said, “Those are free shares.”
The words “free shares” illuminated the situation.
Fan Xian looked at Ming Qingda, who had almost sunk into insanity, and said, “They are unlisted shares, can you use those openly in a trial?”
Ming Qingda stared at Fan Xian’s disgustingly delicate appearance and said, “Sir Fan junior, do you…truly dare to take over the Eldest Princess and old Qin Master’s shares?”
Fan Xian stood and tilted his head slightly. He thought for a while and then warmly smiled and said, “If I don’t dare take them, then why did I come here today?”
In a quiet little courtyard in Ming Garden, Ming Qingda sat alone at a study desk. His appearance had lost its luster like a copper lamp that had burned dry its oil. It was unspeakably wan and sallow. This afternoon, Xia Qifei had already chased him off from the position as Master of the Ming family with the shares he held in his hand. At the same time, with the notarization, or perhaps it is better to say under the surveillance, of the Jiangnan Road and the Overwatch Council, all of the accounts had already been frozen. Everyone in the garden had been completely switched out.
The previous Master of the Ming family, who had endured bitterly for a year, at this moment, was completely unable to send out his orders. Although it had only been half a day, he knew that once he had sunk into such a situation, being forgotten by the people of the Ming family and the people in Jiangnan was only a matter of time.
“Why…did Fan Xian do this?” The old master could not understand no matter how much he thought of it. The deep lines in his forehead were the color of dead ash. He muttered to himself, “The Eldest Princess will help me.”
“What do you think?” he asked vacantly.
A glimmer of terror appeared on the concubine’s face. She had originally been the Eldest Princess’ personal serving girl and had been sent to the Ming family in Jiangnan. One reason was for surveillance, and the other was to be responsible for communications. Last year, when Ming Qingda strangled his own mother, he had gone through her, the old matriarch’s serving girl, and obtained the nod from the Palace.
“I don’t know…the Palace never replied, has something gone wrong?”
Ming Qingda laughed wretchedly. “No wonder…no wonder Fan Xian would be so confident. He knew that the Palace wouldn’t be able to help us. If even the Eldest Princess has run into problems and is just a fat piece of meat in his mouth that could be swallowed at any moment, and yet he still devised such a plan. It could be said that he thinks quite highly of me.”
“It’s not that I think highly of you.”
Leading Xia Qifei, Fan Xian pushed open the door and entered. He rubbed his slightly cold hands and sat across from Ming Qingda. “From the very beginning, you and I both knew that if the court wanted to destroy the Ming family, it would be too easy a matter…the problem was, the court did not want to destroy you.”
Ming Qingda glanced at him.
“The Emperor wanted a whole and complete Ming family, not a Ming family on the edge of bankruptcy and its final breath, or one where everyone was dead. So, it was actually quite difficult to bring you down,” Fan Xian said. “Furthermore, it would be best if this could be resolved peacefully and not cause too many casualties or disturb the lives of the Jiangnan people…as you know, the Ming family is a giant beast. It is not an easy thing to tame it.”
He continued, “I had given you an opportunity, but you didn’t take it.”
Ming Qingda took two rather rough breaths and said, “What are you going to do now? You have to know that I have almost half the shares in my hand.”
“From now on, you no longer have the right to talk for the Ming family,” Fan Xian said. “From today onward, Xia Qifei runs the Ming family.”
To the side, Xia Qifei opened his mouth as if he wanted to explain to Ming Qingda but also as if he was carrying out one last attack on the depths of the old master’s soul. “I have already given the order for all of the Ming Garden account books to be sent to the Jiangnan Road’s Governor’s manor. We will fully cooperate with the court’s investigation into the frequent incidences of the palace treasury ships being attacked by pirates in the past.”