Joy of Life - Chapter 492 - Mountain Wolf Amongst Descendants (2)[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:49:26]
Chapter 492: Mountain Wolf Amongst Descendants (2)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
He continued to speak, “As the Master of the Ming family, I will need to cooperate with the investigation. As for any members of the family who have acted with impunity against the law, I must hand them all over.”
“Lanshi!” Ming Qingda stood up in horror.
“Correct. Ming Lanshi has already been transferred to the Suzhou yamen to explain the matter of illegal salt.” Xia Qifei stared into Ming Qingda’s eyes. “As for the matter of someone impersonating pirates, I trust that it will also come to light soon.”
Ming Qingda took a few heavy breaths and said, “You don’t know, but if this goes on, the Ming family will be truly done for! Even if mother and I had once mistreated you, but, after all, you’re…father’s youngest son, your family name is Ming! Are you going to watch as the Ming family is destroyed in your hands?”
“Relax.” Fan Xian lifted his eyelids and said. “The court does not have much interest in business. I also understand that if the government overly interferes in such a matter, it will only turn a bucket of gold into a toilet. Earlier in the year, I had already spoken with the Emperor. The court will not stretch their hands into Ming Garden. It will still be the Ming family’s Ming Garden. However, this Ming Garden will be much more obedient.”
He spread his hands and calmly said, “I will have the palace treasury transport company cooperate with the Ming family to the best of its abilities. Within a year, you will certainly see a newly flourishing, no, an even more prosperous Ming family!”
Ming Qingda was shocked and sat down powerlessly.
Amidst all the things that had happened throughout the year, the Qing government, or more accurately speaking, Fan Xian, had successfully obtained control over the Ming family. What was particularly important was that the present change in the ownership of the Ming family did not have too much governmental influence. Xia Qifei was originally the seventh son of the Ming family. He had every right to be the Master of Ming Garden. Furthermore, all the tricks had been commercial, so it would be much easier for the Jiangnan people to accept it.
At least there wouldn’t be many scholars parading outside the Suzhou government saying that the Overwatch Council had forcefully stolen the people’s property. The people’s property was still the people’s property. However, the owner of this property was now Xia Qifei, a secret member of the Overwatch Council.
Fan Xian shook his head and said, “In this year, neither you nor I have been living comfortably. Now that there is a result, you and I can be free.”
“Although sir is someone who likes to humiliate others, I presume your visit right now is not as simple as just announcing your victories.” Ming Qingda interrupted what he was saying and stared at him. “Presumably you will slowly use these people to prop me up, but you…cannot trap me in the garden. I can always go out.”
“I came to talk about this matter.” Fan Xian bit off each word carefully. “You, cannot leave the garden.”
Ming Qingda smiled coldly and said, “How are you going to stop me?”
“I am under orders to investigate the case of the Jiaozhou Navy’s rebellion. You are one of the witnesses in the case. If you don’t care about being accused of escaping for fear of punishment, then you can leave all you like.”
The Jiaozhou Navy case had ended a long time ago, but Fan Xian only needed to find an excuse. Ming Qingda laughed coldly and said, “Who are you trying to fool with that?”
“There is also the case of the attack on Zhaoshang money house and the assassination attempt on Xia Qifei,” Fan Xian smiled slightly and said. “You stretched your hand out too far in the past. There are too many mistakes that could be used.”
Ming Qingda was angry but, on the contrary, he smiled. With great interest, he looked at Fan Xian. “If you really wanted to investigate these cases, you could have done so before. Why wait until now?”
“Because, previously, you were the Master of the Ming family. If I investigated you, everyone in court would think the Overwatch Council was persecuting merchants and stealing their wealth,” Fan Xian chuckled and said. “Now that you don’t have this position, it’s much easier.”
“You seem to have forgotten to mention one reason,” Ming Qingda replied coldly.
“Yes.” Fan Xian sighed. “The Eldest Princess can’t help you know. When I do something, anything goes. It is very joyous.”
He glanced at the woman behind Ming Qingda.
Ming Qingda’s brows furrowed tightly. “This is also something I couldn’t understand earlier. If you’re sure that Jingdou will not be able to help me, then you could directly destroy the Ming family with this method…why bother circling around so many times?”
“I said earlier, I wanted a whole and complete Ming family,” Fan Xian said. “In the past, if I used such lightning methods you would, in your position as the Master of the Ming family, call to arms the entire Ming family to fight against the court. You could even cause unrest in Jiangnan…however, presently, you don’t have this status anymore. Thus, what you say no longer has this power.”
“Status appears to be unimportant,” Fan Xian said seriously, “but actually, it is a very important matter.”
He smiled slightly and said, “I have to admit, you are only a merchant, so you fall far short of me. No matter what, you would not be able to stand against the anger of the court. However, you were able to exhaust all your means and endure all the bitterness to delay me for an entire year…it is truly very admirable.”
Ming Qingda smiled slightly and said, “At least I am still the landlord of the Ming family. You won’t let me leave the garden but, presumably, you also won’t be at ease in letting me stay in the garden. How are you going to deal with me? Given your methods, you won’t kill me at this critical juncture and leave yourself open to gossip and derision.”
“You’re wrong again,” Fan Xian said seriously. “I admire you, but your status is not comparable to mine. Even if you died now, it won’t cause any big waves.”
“Of course,” he warmly urged, “a bad life is better than a good death. I urge you to enjoy a few days of retirement in Ming Garden.”
As he spoke, Xia Qifei wore a complicated expression on his face. He took out a long piece of white silk and gently placed it before Ming Qingda on the study desk.
When the white silk came out, Ming Qingda’s expression did not change, but it terrified the concubine behind him so much that her teeth chattered audibly.
“The white silk is here. When you have the courage to resist me with death, then please take it and use it,” Fan Xian gazed at Ming Qingda and said. “However, I know that you don’t have the courage to commit suicide, so you will continue living by following my orders until I no longer need you to keep living…a person who strangled their own mother must be very aware of the terror of death and must afraid of seeing that old woman below the Yellow Springs after they die.”
“It is best if you don’t die. It is very unlikely that Ming Lanshi will come out from prison. If you die, the shares in your hands will transfer to that not yet 2-year-old infant.” Fan Xian furrowed his brows. “As you know, for a child to have this much money in their hands…it’s not a good thing.”
After he finished speaking, he turned and left the study. Behind him, Xia Qifei carefully closed the study room door properly, not leaving a single crack. The study once again sank into darkness.
Ming Qingda stared at the white silk on the desk. He was silent and speechless. It was after a long time before he slowly said, “What a vicious wolf cub…”
The guards in Ming Garden had already been cleared out and replaced. The beautiful garden sank into a quiet but uneasy atmosphere. Strangers could be seen everywhere. Now that Xia Qifei was in control, if he wanted Ming Garden to change, there were not many people in the clan who dared oppose his orders to his face.
“Ming Garden’s private soldiers already had their weapons confiscated by the provincial soldiers that Sir Xue Qing had sent.” After Xia Qifei received the message, he immediately came to Fan Xian’s ear and said, “The power in Ming Qingda’s hands has already been wiped out.”
“Were there any problems?”
“Forty-something people died.”
“Make a record of Sir Xue’s favor.” Fan Xian lowered his head and was silent for a moment before he raised his face with a smile. “Now, the Ming family is finally yours. How does revenge feel?”
Xia Qifei lowered his head and respectfully said, “The Ming family is yours.”
Fan Xian shook his head in disapproval. Xia Qifei quickly explained, “What I meant to say was, the Ming family is the court’s.”
Fan Xian turned his head to stare at him and said, “The Ming family is yours, and that’s it. When did it become the court’s or mine? Do you think everything I said to Ming Qingda in the study was a lie? Relax…the court has no interest in the Ming family. They only want the Ming family to be obedient.”
Xia Qifei was silent. He didn’t know what to say. The court had spent a great deal of money to finally completely control the Ming family. Were they just going to hand it to him to manage?
Fan Xian sighed and explained, “People in different positions think about different things. Who is the Emperor? The Emperor is the master of the world. The people of Qing Kingdom are all his people. Since this is so, whatever his people have, he also has it. As long as the person manages this thing well…and can bring benefits to the people and the court, it is fine. If the court really brought the Ming family in, what would the merchants in Lingnan and Quanzhou think? Furthermore, given the court officials with their adherence to old ideas, who would be able to manage this large family business properly? So, you can relax.”
Xia Qifei’s mouth tasted bitter. He suddenly had a thought. If the Emperor was the master of everyone under heaven and didn’t care about the people’s property, what about Sir Fan junior? Why was he satisfied with not taking anything from the Ming family?
Fan Xian’s words broke his train of thought. “I asked you earlier, how does getting revenge feel?”
Xia Qifei shook his head in a daze. “Walking through Ming Garden as the Master doesn’t actually feel like anything because this garden is very unfamiliar. I always thought that since I had grown up here, if, one day, I would come back and take on the mantle, it would be a very joyous matter. However, for some reason, I just don’t feel that much happiness.”
“Revenge is like this.” Fan Xian paused for a moment. “Once a great revenge is had, it feels very boring.”
Xia Qifei suddenly thought of something and carefully asked, “Actually, my thoughts are very similar to Ming Qingda’s. Looking at the scene today and then looking at your year-long preparations, it seems to be a bit overly cautious.”
“A peaceful change is always a long process,” Fan Xian smiled and said. “Stability is important above all else. A peaceful transition is the true way…I am just helping the Emperor to run errands. The Emperor requested there to be no blood spilled, so I can only do so…”
Following this, he forced a smile and said, “Besides, in the past, Ming Qingda had the help of the Eldest Princess and the princes, as well as the support of the military. How could I be as impudent as I have been today?”
Speaking of the Eldest Princess, Xia Qifei furrowed his brows and asked, “Just how should we deal with the percentage of free shares?”
“Get rid of all of it. In any case, they are just things on paper and not real goods.” Fan Xian delegated, “Make a report, I will send it to the Palace.”
Xia Qifei suddenly smiled bitterly. “This will really offend the Eldest Princess…I wonder how she will retaliate.”
Fan Xian smiled and didn’t say anything, but he was thinking that the Eldest Princess in the Palace had already offended him to the breaking point. As for retaliation…she wouldn’t have the time to think of such things.
He waved his hand at Xia Qifei. The two illegitimate children began to wander around the Ming Garden that had recently changed ownership. As they walked, they talked about future matters in a quiet voice, as well as appreciated the beautiful scenery in one of the three most famous gardens in the world. Both the environment and their spirits became beautiful.
Deep in the Royal Palace in Jingdou, since one month ago, a rumor began to spread. In all places were nobility gathered together. The servants serving these nobility always liked to gossip, speak of old stories, and discuss their shameful secrets and scandals. However, this rumor was truly too shocking, so it only floated around for a few days before it quietly disappeared without a sound.
This was because it truly had no origin. No one knew where it had come from, and there was also no evidence. Furthermore, although the eunuchs and serving girls liked to gossip, it didn’t mean they didn’t have a brain. They knew that if it continued to spread and reached the ears of the nobles, then their own lives would certainly be removed.
Rumors have a long historical precedent and were an essential part of life in the palace. Most of them would be forgotten. No matter how sensational the topic, if there wasn’t any explosive aftermath, it would be impossible for them to stay fresh for a long time.
The leading topic this year in the palace also disappeared like this very naturally. However, some people had not forgotten, particularly the most sensitive of people. In the dark of night, they still discussed this topic.
Eunuch Yao said, in a quiet voice, “The little bastards all have lowly mouths. I know what to do.”
The middle-aged man on the low couch put down the memorial in his hand. Without a shred of the tyrannical air an Emperor ought to have, he calmly said, “I heard a serving girl died in the Eastern Palace?”