Joy of Life - Chapter 502 - Pit[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:49:30]
Chapter 502: Pit
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
As the day neared dusk, the reflections from Xi Lake and colors of the mountains melded in the golden light with an indescribable beauty. Amidst this dusky light, Fan Xian came to a mound by the lake alone. He looked at the young man holding a green banner. He tilted his head. “I heard that you’ve been telling fortunes in Hangzhou and have received the favor of some girls from wealthy families?”
The young man holding the green banner was the last disciple of Dongyi’s Sigu Jian, the ninth-level ace who had helped Fan Xian kill Yan Shendu. Fan Xian always found his existence and the help he offered later to be as perplexing as the avant-garde shows he had heard of in his previous life. No matter how one sampled it, it always left a strange taste behind.
Although Sigu Jian, that idiot, appeared to be thinking clearly, Fan Xian felt that this matter was a mess. Not many people knew of the relationship between Thirteenth Wang and Sigu Jian. If Fan Xian turned his face and refused to honor the deal, how would Sigu Jian explain it to the Eldest Princess and Yan Xiaoyi?
Thirteenth Wang’s face was turned toward the direction of Xi Lake. The faint golden light lit up his handsome appearance and gilded it with a pleasing glow, making him appear very gentle.
“Now, the entire Jiangnan area knows that I am your private ace.” The young man smiled amiably. “Naturally, those officials have to give me some face. Of course, this fortune-telling business can’t be too bad.”
A light breeze blew over from the surface of the lake. It followed the green trees along the foot of the mound upward and gently moved one corner of the green banner in Thirteenth Wang’s hands. It co-incidentally revealed the words “Tie Xiang.”
The people who were present and had experienced Zhaoshang money house’s invasion of the Ming family shares had all guessed that the young man standing behind the Zhaoshang money house’s shopkeeper must have been an ace Sir Fan junior was using to keep an eye on the money house.
As the imperial envoy’s trusted aide, his life in the Jiangnan region had been very good.
“Fortunately, you are not in the habit of bringing harm to the girls of good families.” Fan Xian smiled and stood at his side. He turned his head to glance at him. A complicated emotion rose in his heart.
The green mountains beside the lake and golden light reflected off the surface made Fan Xian involuntarily think of the top of the cliffs in Danzhou. The man closest to him in the world also seemed to have been enveloped in a bright light.
The man covered with a piece of black cloth seemed to be saying farewell from someplace, but what about Thirteenth Wang? Fan Xian unconsciously shook his head. He didn’t understand why he habitually connected this man with his blind uncle.
He missed Wu Zhu very much, particularly when Jiangnan was at peace. He didn’t know whether or not Uncle Wu Zhu had recovered from his injuries. Even Chen Pingping didn’t know where Wu Zhu was hiding to recover.
And, what kind of injury needed more than a year of recovery?
Fan Xian furrowed his brows.
Thirteenth Wang glanced at him curiously and asked, “Sir Fan, do you have something on your mind?”
“Yes.” Fan Xian didn’t hesitate. “I have something that I need your help with.”
“What is it?”
“The Crown Prince of my court is currently heading toward Nanzhao. All along the way, poisonous miasma fills the air. The path is treacherous. I am a bit worried about his health,” Fan Xian said calmly.
Thirteenth Wang’s brows were pulled together tightly. His breathing deepened slightly. After thinking for a long time, he slowly said, “The imperial guards, Overwatch Council, and Qing Kingdom’s Tiger Guards make for a very formidable defense. Even if I die, I still might not be able to get close to his body.”
Fan Xian smiled. “You misunderstood my meaning.”
Thirteenth Wang looked at him and didn’t say anything.
“Bring him an antidote pill on my behalf.” Fan Xian lowered his head slightly as if hiding from the increasingly strong golden light on the surface of the lake. “Help me protect him secretly and ensure his safety on this journey.”
Thirteenth Wang’s brows tightened even more. He did not understand why Fan Xian had suddenly tossed out this mission. After hesitating for a long time, he quietly said, “Why? Given my understanding of the situation in Jingdou, with the Eldest Princess imprisoned and the Crown Prince clearly losing his power, other than the Qing Emperor, there is no one else to stand against you.”
Fan Xian smiled and didn’t know how to explain it. So, he didn’t explain it.
“What exactly happened in Jingdou?” Thirteenth Wang asked as curiously as a child. “Is it related to you?”
He unconsciously used the polite version of “you.” Fan Xian spat and said without good humor, “I’m in Jiangnan. No matter how long my reach is, I can’t reach Jingdou.”
Thirteenth Wang thought about it and accepted his explanation. After scratching his head, he said, “But, with the Crown Prince heading south, it looks like your Emperor has some plans. You want me to go protect him? Is it because you’ve guessed something? But If I guessed correctly, aren’t you putting yourself against the Emperor with what you are doing? I have now become a secret that everyone knows about. If I act so blatantly against your Emperor, are you not worried?”
“Never mind. Stop guessing wildly.” Fan Xian sighed. “This matter has nothing to do with the Emperor. It’s purely because of Wan’er’s request in her letter. After all, I am half a royal son. I have to do something.”
Thirteenth Wang smiled. He knew what he said was not true, but he did not expose it.
Fan Xian furrowed his brows and glanced at him, “Don’t smile like Lord Rabbit. At this moment, it seems that you are not a complete idiot…”
Thirteenth Wang spread his hands and said, “When have I ever been stupid?”
“When you killed little brother arrow.” The present Fan Xian had long learned the specifics of the entire process of the night time attack on the Yuantai camp from Thirteenth Wang’s mouth. He knew about Thirteenth Wang’s bravery that night and had sighed silently countless times. At this moment, he repeated once again, “Brave soldiers die very easily.”
Thirteenth Wang smiled self-mockingly. “I’m probably only used to such a style of fighting.”
For some reason, Fan Xian suddenly thought of the brave general played by Lin Qingxia and absurdly began to laugh. Under Thirteenth Wang’s confused gaze, he gently patted his shoulder. “Presumably, your teacher had you follow me for some matter far in the future. Since it is so, it is best to value your life. On the trip to Nanzhou, just follow behind them secretly. Of course, it would be best if you don’t have to take action.”
He was silent for a moment and then said, “I am not threatening you. However, the Ming family is now in my hands. The palace treasury eastern route authority is also in my hands. You should be aware that your teacher and I have worked together well during these two months, so please help me with this.”
Watching the green banner disappear into the golden willows on the side of the lake, Fan Xian fell silent. He crouched down and sat on the green mound. He watched, in a daze, the beautiful Xi Lake and the broken bridge that did not exist and never existed.
If Wang Qinian, who knew the inside information, knew of his arrangement, he would certainly be scared half to death and think that he had lost his mind. However, Fan Xian knew that he hadn’t gone crazy. In the past, he had to bring the Crown Prince down. If the Crown Prince took the throne, he would not have a bright future.
At this moment, he needed to keep the Crown Prince alive to create trouble for the Qing Emperor. Once the Eldest Princess and Crown Prince had been completely removed, and there was no longer any buffer between him and the Emperor, a stripping of his power would immediately happen. Fan Xian was more worried about Chen Pingping and Fan Jian’s safety.
He was aware that the Qing Emperor was some who cared a great deal about his reputation. This was abundantly clear from the Royal Palace incident. In order to hide a scandal of the royal family, he didn’t hesitate to kill hundreds of people in the Palace. He had even tossed out the Eastern Sea island massacre case and details of Yan Bingyun being sold out.
In this way, the Eldest Princess’s fall had solid reasons. The Emperor had taken so many twists and turns because he didn’t want his reputation to be damaged. This was not a scandal of the royal family. It was the Eldest Princess’s scandal only.
The arrangements concerning the Crown Prince also demonstrated this. Presumably, the Emperor had a headache as to how to depose the heir since he didn’t want to slap himself in the face. The Crown Prince had been very well-behaved and restrained these two years. What excuse could the Emperor find?
During the journey to Nanzhou, many things were certain to happen. Fan Xian had sent Thirteenth Wang, this variable, to get rid of some of them.
Fan Xian wasn’t stupid enough to raise the Crown Prince up again. He only wanted to cause some small problems for the Emperor so that he would not notice him or Zhaoshang money house. He also did not want the Emperor to start having thoughts about the two old men who stood behind Fan Xian.
He missed Uncle Wu Zhu. He knew that in Qing Kingdom, there were many people he cared about. For the sake of those people, he had to stop here. If it was just Fan Xian himself, he truly would not be worried or scared of anything. Even if he broke relations with the Emperor, he could still brashly and rudely stick his middle finger up at the Royal Palace.
In the eyes of the Second Prince and many clever people, all of Fan Xian’s power was just on paper. He couldn’t stand up to a single attack. He also knew that the people in this world all had an innate worship of imperial power. Beside the Overwatch Council, even his Qinian Unit and Sir Yan, who was far away in Jingdou holding down the fort, would perhaps stand against him because of an imperial edict.
Even if everything he had was completely taken away by one edict from the Emperor, he would still not be afraid and confirm the Second Prince’s words. He had a modern person’s heart that had stopped for a long time. He never had a sliver of fear for such things as imperial power. He had the ability to talk with Seventh Ye and create a copy of the palace treasury’s industrial arts development process. He himself was a ninth-level ace who specialized in killing others.
He still had the chest. He still had the lover of the Emperor’s one night stand. He still had Uncle Wu Zhu.
Fan Xian sat silently on the mound. He narrowed his eyes as he looked at the dusky red clouds in the distance. If one day he was forced to give the middle finger to the Royal Palace, what a magnificent sight that would be!
Qing Kingdom was the most powerful country in the world. In the past dozen years, the Eldest Princess Li Yunrui had hidden behind the Qing Emperor’s back and done many things that tricked the other two powers out of countless benefits. For example, she used the matter of Northern Qi and Dongyi’s attempt to assassinate vice-minister Fan’s illegitimate child to restart the war and take large amounts of Northern Qi territory. Additionally, she turned around and sold Yan Bingyun to Northern Qi in exchange for Xiao En returning North. This caused chaos in the Northern Qi court and the two factions in the country to clash against each other.
Amazingly, the Eldest Princess actually maintained a good relationship with the Northern Qi empress dowager and Dongyi’s Sigu Jian. For things such as the palace treasury, they even worked together.
No one knew what the people of foreign countries were actually thinking.
No matter what they were thinking, the Eldest Princess’s sudden imprisonment brought a strong sense of shock to many places under heaven. It made many people begin to think of things that might or might not be true. This forced Fan Xian to again focus his strategies on the Emperor.
The people in high places in Northern Qi and Dongyi would come to their own conclusions.
The Great Grandmaster in Dongyi had sent the disciple he was most proud of to Fan Xian’s side but did not know that his disciple had been sent by Fan Xian to be a bodyguard. His mind was not on this at the moment. He was only concerned with the matter of the Eldest Princess being imprisoned.
The feeling of spring was heavy in the air. Dongyi, being out in the ocean, was filled with the scent of salt and damp. The wind on the ocean had blown warmly for many years, so the people in the city were not overly grateful for this sense of spring.
In the center of Dongyi was the manor of the Master of the city. It took up a large amount of space. He was responsible for leading all of the commercial matters in the city. In this commercially prosperous city, the so-called state affairs were also business affairs. Such problems as keeping the peace were rarely. There were not many pirates bold enough to attack where the most ninth-level aces gathered in the world, except young Wang Qinian in the past.
Everyone knew the place that truly guided the direction that Dongyi progressed and its survival was not in the manor for the Master of the city. Rather, it was in the unbroken row of straw huts outside the city.
The straw huts formed a U shape. The opening did not face the main road. Rather, it faced the large mountain behind. If someone wanted to enter these straw huts, they had to go around the back of the mountain and follow the mountain trails down.
Rumors said that this was the easiest way for Sigu Jian to test his visitors.
In the center of the U was a massive ditch. It was filled with the swords that aces who had once challenged or learned from Sigu Jian left behind. They were like a chaotic forest piercing toward the sky.
It was not easy being a newly minted Great Grandmaster.
Fortunately, the tide of challenges finally ended after the massive pit gradually filled in. No one was stupid enough to challenge Sigu Jian again. As for those who really were stupid enough, they had already died in the straw huts.
This was the sacred location of the Sword Hut that martial artists all over the world worshipped, admired, and could never forget.
Some also referred to it as Sword Master, which was very beautiful and meaningful name.
However, Sigu Jian would only use one word to describe the sacred place he lived next to—Sword Pit.
“This is just a pit.” A mocking sound came from amidst the straw huts. The owner of the voice seemed very young. “Does that bastard Qing Emperor and that crazy woman Li Yunrui both take me for a true fool?”
Outside the straw hut, the famous sword master of a generation, Yun Zhilan, knelt properly on the stone steps and listened to this rather young voice.