Joy of Life - Chapter 540 - A Child Jumped over the Wall[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:49:45]
Chapter 540: A Child Jumped over the Wall
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The cry to kill rang out from all directions in the little alley. Countless people surged toward Fan Xian, who was standing in the center. The wave of people advanced. It was like a river meeting an unyielding boulder with water spraying in all directions. The sound of sharp blades slicing through flesh ran out in people’s ears. The four people in the lead fell down like wooden blocks.
They fell holding their throats as fresh blood endlessly poured out.
A black dagger had appeared in Fan Xian’s hand. There were a few drops of dark blood on the lightless blade.
The killing of a few people was not enough to push back everyone’s attack. There was not even a pause in the soldiers’ attacks. Once again, they flowed over Fan Xian.
The black light flashed out again. This time, Fan Xian chose to attack lower down. He no longer tried to kill with one strike and slit the throats of the soldiers. Moving at unbelievable speed, he left wounds on the thighs and abdomens of the people around him.
Fresh wounds dripping with blood appeared simultaneously on a few of the people. The exposed flesh sprayed out fresh red blood. A moment later, the blood became something black. A faint stench wafted out.
A number of wretched cries rang out in the alley. The people who were injured did not die at once. Rather, they were plunged into excruciating pain by the poison smeared on Fan Xian’s black dagger. The repeating screams finally brought the soldiers surrounding Fan Xian back to their wits. It made the people holding long spears and sharp blades in their hands remember Sir Fan junior’s legendary power and viciousness.
The wave of people paused.
Taking this opportunity, Fan Xian moved like a spirit back toward the rear of the alley, killing people along the way. Like a shadow and the wind, he stuck close to the people’s bodies as he passed. He occasionally stretched out an evil palm and gently stroked it over those people’s ears, fingers, armpits, and other weak spots.
With each stroke, there was a wretched scream or someone falling to the ground, never to rise again.
In a split second, Fan Xian chose a little trick that best conserved his energy and didn’t drain too much of his zhenqi in a battle. With the violent surge of people, such action was the most appropriate method. Every time he struck out, he no longer attempted to make the soldier next to him fall. He wanted to make them cry out in pain and jump up, becoming a leap tree and covering him, the cunning beast. In the dusk, he headed toward the rear of the circle surrounding him.
Not far away, the general who had organized the attack watched. A glimmer of coldness and fear flashed through his eyes.
He had never thought that there was someone in this world that could turn themselves into a spirit. Someone who could, under the gaze of a thousand watching eyes and through a group of people that wanted to kill them, leave behind only a trail of blood and take away vivid lives. Yet, he appeared to do so easily and casually. It was like passing through a bush of tens of thousands of flowers without a single leaf sticking.
There was not even an injury on Fan Xian’s body, yet he had already killed and hurt over 20 people. He had managed to move forward 30 meters in the chaos of the attack.
“Stop him!” The general watched as the disturbance moved further and further away from him. His pupils constricted slightly. In a raspy voice, he yelled, “Capture the criminal!”
The sound of crossbows being loaded rang out. In such a chaotic environment, it actually appeared very weak, but it was still particularly terrifying.
As he moved through the crowd with three fingers on the dagger and gently making intimate contact with the soldiers’ skin and flesh, Fan Xian’s right hand suddenly paused the moment the crossbows outside the encircled area rang out.
His ears had accurately caught a familiar sound. His heart tightened as he allowed his right hand to pause. He plunged it into the chest of a covering bailiff leaping toward him and forgot to pull it out.
Inside Jingdou, crossbows were strictly prohibited, except for the Overwatch Council, which had received special permission in an edict. Hearing this noise, Fan Xian knew that the Eldest Princess’ side had already, through either the Qin or Ye family, moved the power of the army into Jingdou. He didn’t have time to consider the problems of the 13 city gate guards. He unconsciously felt an icy chill. The dangers of the attack in the valley had left too deep an impression on him.
These thoughts happened in an instant. In the next moment, he stamped down with force on the hard paving stones with a boom.
It was only one foot, but that square and hard paving stone cracked. The corners shot out toward the bodies of the soldiers leaping toward him.
While he was moving lightly through the encirclement, it appeared to be relaxed and easy. In reality, it contained unusual speed and power and precise control. He needed this powerful stomp to stop his body, which was moving at a high speed.
The paving stone split. In that instant, he became unusually still very quickly.
This sudden change between two extremes made the air around him make an involuntary tearing sound.
The soldiers, who had been following him like a rising wave the entire time, didn’t keep up in this instant. Very wretchedly, they continued to fall forward and left a meter of empty space in front of him.
The sounds of arrows breaking through the air ran out, disappeared, and entered the dirt. The area by Fan Xian’s foot seemed to have sprouted crops, growing a dozen sinister and terrifying crossbow bolts. They almost pierced into his body.
His right hand remained stretched out. The bailiff’s body hanging on the dagger was sent flying forward with the sudden decrease in speed. The fleshy body slid through the black dagger. With a tearing sound, it split open half the body before landing heavily on the ground, sending up a spray of blood.
The soldiers behind Fan Xian could not pull back their feet. They charged straight into his suddenly still body.
He turned his elbow back.
The muffled cries and two shadows flew up, shattering in the dusky colors that enveloped the sky. It drew countless shocking arcs through the sky.
Before the next round of crossbow bolts arrived, Fan Xian glanced at the general in the distance at the head of the alleyway. He rose to his toes and, out of everyone’s expectations, followed the two “shattered shadows” that he had sent flying toward the sky above the other end of the alley.
The general felt Fan Xian’s icy gaze from a distance and couldn’t help shivering with cold. He gritted his teeth and ruthlessly said, “Wolf Camp, go. Don’t let him escape.”
In the air, shattered flesh and bone fell on the ground with slapping sounds.
Immediately after, whistling sounds broke through the air as a dozen aces from the military flipped onto the eaves and gave chase to Fan Xian, who was running across the residential eaves not far in the distance. In a moment, the aces from the Jingdou Government and Ministry of Justice also led most of their subordinates along the roads on the ground to continue giving chase.
“I want him dead.”
Inside Guangxin Palace in the Royal Palace, the Eldest Princess returned behind the layers of silk and spoke without expression.
The “him” in her words referred to Fan Xian, who was playing guerrilla warfare with her presently in Jingdou. As long as Fan Xian was still alive, it was difficult for a smile to appear on her face.
“Something seems to have gone wrong in Chen Garden,” the Eunuch beside the Eldest Princess said. “Something also seemed to have gone wrong with the report deliveries from Dongshan Road. The last piece of news was what happened three days ago.”
A strange red glow suddenly flashed across Li Yunrui’s beautiful and cold face. The glow was like sunset clouds on the horizon. With a single gust of wind, it immediately disappeared, becoming one last glimmer of pale white before the night.
The corners of her lips tilted slightly. She said in a quiet voice, “I only want Fan Xian dead. You don’t need to worry about the Overwatch Council.”
“Yes, Your Highness.” The eunuch bowed respectfully and then raised his head. It was one of the Qing Emperor’s trusted eunuchs, Eunuch Hou, who was the same rank as Eunuch Yao.
The Eldest Princess looked at Eunuch Hou’s face with a slight smile and said, “The fire you lit in the Eastern Palace was very good. I want to see how well you do with this last fire in Jingdou.”
After the incident at Dong Mountain, Eunuch Hong’s survival was uncertain. Eunuch Yao had already followed the Qing Emperor into the next life. Presently, in the Royal Palace, the one with the highest ranking, the most power, and most trusted by the empress dowager was Eunuch Hou. In the past, Fan manor and the Liu family had put down a great deal of money to buy the loyalty of this eunuch. No one who would have thought this money had fallen into nothing. From the beginning, Eunuch Hou belonged to the Eldest Princess.
The Qing Emperor and Fan Xian had long guessed who lit the fire in the Eastern Palace, but they would have thought of Eunuch Hong.
Eunuch Hou bowed respectfully and said, “I will ask the empress dowager to send out an edict. However, my words don’t have that much power. At most, the empress dowager would send an order to the Imperial Army to join the search…” He lifted his head and glanced carefully at the Eldest Princess. “However, as you know, we’ve used everything available to us. Earlier, the Imperial Army appeared in Yangcong Alley, but they didn’t move at all. It is clear that the Great Prince has other thoughts.”
The Eldest Princess said calmly, “We cannot command the Imperial Army.”
Eunuch Hou said probingly, “Although a major incident happened in Taiji Palace today and now 40 or so officials have been thrown into prison, the empress dowager’s thoughts have not changed. Since it has already been decided that the Crown Prince will inherit the throne, do you think it is time to move the Great Prince’s position?”
“You want me to speak to my mother?” The Eldest Princess asked slightly mockingly. “Don’t make such preparations. The Jingdou Garrison is completely in my hands. The 13 city gate guards are still swaying back and forth, and the Qin and Ye family armies’ are only days from the capital. If the commander of the Imperial Army is switched out, how could my mother be at ease?”
“As long as Lady Ning behaves in Hanguang Palace, the Imperial Army will belong to Prince Heqing,” the Eldest Princess said coldly. “Mother has to find a balance. Otherwise, she would be worried that one day I will destroy this Royal Palace.”
Eunuch Hou shivered and didn’t say anything more.
“Fan Xian has a weakness,” the Eldest Princess continued speaking and smiling. “I have caught it. He cannot be far from Jingdou. He can only endure in Jingdou. I want to see how he will continue once the dozens of officials can’t hold out anymore, once the officials in the Department of Rites in Taichang Temple cannot continue, and once the Crown Prince has ascended the throne publicly and openly.”
Eunuch Hou glanced at the Eldest Princess with respect and fear. Carefully, he said, “It is a pity that when the empress dowager gave the order, Fan Xian’s pregnant concubine had escaped to somewhere unknown.”
“It wasn’t an escape.” The Eldest Princess’ eyes narrowed slightly. Her long lashes trembled slightly. “Someone is protecting him. I am very curious. Can the person who has lost their master protect themselves?”
“Your Highness has clever schemes.”
“There isn’t much to calculate. Go prepare. Perhaps I will leave the Palace in a few days,” The Eldest Princess said with a smile. She didn’t know why she chose to leave the Palace.
Eunuch Hou smiled ingratiatingly and said, “It is time for me to return to Hanguang Palace.”
“Go.” The Eldest Princess said. “Make mother’s heart more determined.”
Eunuch Hou accepted his orders and left. Passing through the deadly quiet Palace, he faintly heard the sound of sorrow fall into his ears. Returning to Hanguang Palace, he said a few words in front of the empress dowager. Looking at the empress dowager’s white hair, listless expression, and lack of energy, the eunuch sighed in his heart. He thought secretly to himself that the empress dowager had been such a powerful figure in the past. Now, she could only maintain peace in court but could not bring forward much boldness. He had followed the Eldest Princess for many years. This was a very wise decision.
After Eunuch Hou left, the Eldest Princess lowered her eyelids slightly and said a few words quietly to her trusted aide, it seemed she wanted to send a message out of the Palace. A few of the words could faintly be heard. They had something to do with the situation outside of Jingdou.
She sat for a while silently and alone and then clapped her hands. A serving girl bowed respectfully as a man and a woman walked in from the rear of the Palace to sit beside her.
The Eldest Princess gave a slight smile and said to her daughter, who looked nothing like her, in a quiet voice, “Chen’er, I have already found Fan Xian.”
Lin Wan’er lowered her head slightly and gently bit her lip. She was not shocked by these words and didn’t even raise her head.
The Eldest Princess furrowed her brows slightly. It was as if she felt a sliver of involuntary anger toward her daughter’s emotional response. In a low voice, she said, “Fan Xian is only a mouse. If he truly cares about you, then he will come to the Palace.”
Lin Wan’er abruptly raised her head. Her usually warm and gently rippling eyes were icy and indifferent. She looked at her mother. Her eyes were like two knives digging into her mother’s heart. Enunciating each word, she said, “You took me from Hanguang Palace… I had initially thought that you still felt some mother and daughter bond, but you are just using your daughter as bait.”
Lin Wan’er’s expression was calm as she said, “But that’s right, uncle said many times that you were crazy and your actions cannot be judged by normal standards. Don’t worry, I won’t resent you.”
She laughed gently and appeared composed. “For a lunatic like you, hatred is an unnecessary emotion.”
“Is that so?” Li Yunrui slowly closed her eyes. “I gave birth to you, of course, you have no right to resent me. Sisi, the lowly woman, isn’t she living just fine outside right now? Why did the Fan manor protect her and not you? If you want to be resentful, resent your husband and your father- and mother-in-law.”
Lin Wan’er’s legs shook slightly. “You got one thing wrong. Perhaps no one thought that you would act against your own daughter.”
The sound of metal hitting together rang out from her legs. She had been shackled with leg-irons.
Li Yunrui calmly said, “If Fan Xian died, then everything would be easy.”
“Is that so? It’s a pity that you’ll never be able to kill him. Since he managed to come down from Dong Mountain alive, he will definitely continue to live on.” A confident light rose in Lin Wan’er’s face.
The Eldest Princess furrowed her brows. “Some people’s life and death are not in their own control. I have never been worried about my good son-in-law, even though he has been living so brightly these two years, but I still did not worry.”
She glanced at her daughter and at Da Bao next to her, who had his shoulders up in fear. His chin was unconsciously trembling. A glimmer of disgust flashed through her eyes.
“I understand my son-in-law too well,” Li Yunrui said coldly. “As long as you and Da Bao are here, other than dying, what other way out does he have?”
“Oh, I had no idea that mother thought An Zhi had so much affection.” Lin Wan’er calmly watched her mother’s eyes. “I am his wife. Even I am not stupid enough to think that he would give up his life because of your tricks. I have no idea where your confidence comes from.”
“You don’t understand. No one understands,” The Eldest Princess said calmly. “Fan Xian may be a hypocritical person to his bones, but for some of the people at his side, he is caring to an extreme.”
She paused and then said with a smile, “I won’t underestimate him. I will make preparations for him to truly turn the tables. In a few days, he may have the opportunity to turn this entire Royal Palace on its head. That is why I will take you two out of the Palace and have him worm into this barrel by himself.”
Lin Wan’er looked at her calmly. “Looks like you already control the 13 city gate guards and the Ye and Qin family armies could enter the capital at any time.”
The Eldest Princess smiled. “My daughter is indeed quite like me. You see things very accurately.”
Lin Wan’er slowly lowered her head. She knew that Fan Xian would think of a way to enter the depths of the Royal Palace and use the Great Prince’s Imperial Army and his spies in the Palace to turn it upside down. She had not expected that her mother would not care about the losses and gains of the Royal Palace. She was planning to have the various enemy powers enter the Royal Palace and counter-attack with heavy military.
“What exactly do you want?” Lin Wan’er suddenly raised her head and asked with a trace of mockery. “Whether the Crown Prince or the Second Prince becomes the Emperor, it doesn’t make a difference for you. So, what exactly do you want?’
“What do I want?” The Eldest Princess suddenly narrowed her eyes and stared at a wall in Guangxin Palace. After a moment of silence, she said, “I want the entire world to know that, in this world, there are some people who can still do extraordinary things without men.”
She turned her head to gaze at her daughter and quietly said, “It’s fine to not have men. After Fan Xian dies, you are still a lofty Princess, so there is no need to be sorrowful ahead of time.”
“I don’t know what I will be like after my man dies, whether or not I will feel a sorrow that is difficult to restrain.”
Lin Wan’er suddenly laughed and picked up the soft left hand of the man beside her. With her head down, she didn’t even glance at her mother. “I know that after you lost your man, you truly went crazy. So, you should keep these lessons for yourself.”
“Impudence!” The Eldest Princess’ beautiful appearance became cold. “What bastard words!”
“Is that not so?” Lin Wan’er asked calmly and mockingly. “Didn’t uncle want to strangle you to death on that wall? Now that uncle has died because of you, do you feel joy and sullenness in your heart? Do you want to slice your face open?”
“I am not someone who knows nothing,” Lin Wan’er said with a mocking smile. “I am just disgusted by these things. Thus, mother, your nature is a pitiful one that cannot survive without men. Why be so pretentious?”
After a moment of silence, the Eldest Princess suddenly opened her mouth and coldly said, “You are my daughter. Without bringing me any benefits, do you think I would kill you just because you have angered me?”
“However, I have to admit, your words are very hurtful.” She suddenly sighed and gently stroked her daughter’s slightly thin face. “I haven’t spent enough time with you. I did not realize that my obedient daughter is actually a very vicious person.”
Lin Wan’er watched her gaze quietly and said, a moment later, “I am a powerless person, so I can only use words. Perhaps you will succeed, but you cannot make me admire you one iota.”
She was calm and proud in her confidence. Her lips closed tightly together.
Suddenly, Da Bao mumbled quietly at her side, “Sister, you’re hurting my hand.”
The Eldest Princess smiled and then lightly said, “My good daughter, don’t be so angry. I will have Fan Xian die in front of you. At that time, you will be even angrier.”
She gently patted Lin Wan’er’s ice cold face.
Fan Xian found himself sinking into the sea of civil war. Even if 80 percent of the Jingdou people believed he was wronged, there were still 20 percent who truly saw him as a heinous criminal who had assassinated the Emperor, colluded with foreign powers, and was an insane traitor to the country.
There were too many people in Jingdou. Even if it was only 20 percent, that was enough to form into a terrifying power.
Looking at the common people banging gongs and drums while calling out for government bailiffs and soldiers to go and capture him, Fan Xian, who was running through the streets and alleys, smiled bitterly. He couldn’t resist wanting to curse them all. He wished he could grab a loudspeaker and ask those people, who had venerated him as an immortal poet in the past, If I was truly such a bastard, why would I return to Jingdou?
Although the Overwatch Council was being closely watched by the internal court, the secret agents in the First Bureau would still purposely cause chaos to help him. He had not thought that despite this, at this moment, he would still not shake off the Eldest Princess’ people following him.
The dozen of aces from the military were truly a headache. Even more troublesome were the bailiffs from the Jingdou Government and officials from the Ministry of Justice. They had spent many years hanging around Jingdou and had close connections with the common people. Under the relentless pursuit, even an ace like Fan Xian could not stay hidden for more than a quarter of an hour.
Fan Xian leaned against the wall of the First Bureau. He narrowed his eyes at the increasing darkness of the night and saw the bright moon on the horizon. Involuntarily, he furrowed his brows and began to curse the heavens and Qing Kingdom’s unusually good environmental protection work.
Under the bright moon and faced with the largest search and strictest search in Jingdou history for an imperial criminal, Fan Xian was still confident that he could disappear into the sea of residences.
The slight cold seeped into his heart and calmed his emotions slightly. It also made him cough. His injuries had not completely healed. He had forcefully circulated the Tyrannical zhenqi. Even if he had a body made of metal, it would still feel a sliver of tiredness.
The clamor of hooves and a cry rang out on a street not far away. It was another warm-hearted and patriotic citizen pointing in the direction Fan Xian had escaped into government officials.
If it was just to escape, Fan Xian had enough confidence. He could even carry out a half a month of guerrilla warfare with the Eldest Princess side and be confident that he wouldn’t be captured. He could even slowly assassinate each of the important enemies, making them disappear like a spring dream.
However, his wife and family were under house arrest in the Palace and outside. He had to consider them and find a quiet place as soon as possible to contact his powers and obtain precious intelligence reports. Slyness was the correct path of action.
The Eldest Princess’s relentless pursuit would clearly not allow him to find a temporary and quiet shelter.
As for the exposure of his tracks, it was not that Fan Xian did not have suspicions. However, the dangerous and urgent search left him no time to consider these things.
Outside, people’s voices were getting closer. There was also the sound of horses. Fan Xian turned his head to look at the dead end of the alley. His left hand curled around the skin of the wall. Circulating his zhenqi, he pulled down a few shattered stones and leaped toward the corner of the wall in the dead end.
With a few light clatters, a few extra unremarkable marks appeared on the rock face of the dead end as if someone had climbed over from there.
Fan Xian bent his fingers. He floated up like a big bird. He flipped toward the wall in the rear of the courtyard.
He had already checked. Behind this wall, there was a decent manor. Looking at the decorations, it was probably the home of a court official. He decided to take a gamble to see whether or not he could find someone familiar he could trust. Even if he couldn’t find anyone, he still had to try and hide.
Flipping over the courtyard wall, he walked past the rock gardens and flowing water. Going up to the second floor, he entered a room filled with the scent of scrolls. Outside, the sound of soldiers and horse rang out louder and louder. Fan Xian didn’t have time to think. He rounded the bookcase, pulled out his dagger, and rested it on a person’s neck.
His luck was not that good. It was impossible for him to find someone he knew in court in Jingdou’s sea of people. However, his luck also wasn’t that bad. He had thought this was a study so, thought the person inside was the owner of the home. Unexpectedly, it was a pitiful girl under the blade of the black dagger.
This was not a study. It was a boudoir.