Joy of Life - Chapter 622 - The Secret In The Dusk[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:50:18]
Chapter 622: The Secret In The Dusk
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
After Fan Xian finished what he was saying, the Northern Qi Emperor did not immediately think of the legendary blind master, much less reflect on the mistakes he had made these two years because of the Qing Kingdom’s powerful pressure. Rather, he looked in shock at Fan Xian and unconsciously raised his hand to rub at his forehead. The anger in his eyes gradually deepened. Finally, he could not hold it back anymore and snarled in a low voice, “You dare to hit me!”
Of course, Fan Xian dared to hit him. Since he had kidnapped an Emperor, what were a few knocks? The little Emperor knew this. But, he just couldn’t accept that Fan Xian would violently knock on his forehead. This kind of hitting was not in the midst of a life and death battle. In his perspective, it was a strike that carried clear implications of humiliation.
Fan Xian didn’t pay any attention to his anger and furrowed his brows. “These few years, our cooperation has gone well. I’ve brought Northern Qi a great many benefits, if I do say so myself. But, you always want me to die. Isn’t that a bit inappropriate?”
The Emperor was still being tormented by the pain and humiliation. He looked at Fan Xian with disbelief. It was as if he didn’t know where such a strange person, who had no respect for an Emperor, had popped out from.
Fan Xian saw him grit his teeth like a little lion and laughed. Shrugging, he said, “I am just pointing out the big mistakes you made.”
He suddenly closed his eyes and thought for a moment. He then quietly said, “In the past, the impression you left me was that of a very shrewd ruler. Your behavior these two years has appeared overly short-sighted. The world is so miraculous, yet you are so violent. That is not good, not good.”
The little Northern Qi Emperor knew that circumstances were more powerful than people. He had fallen into the other’s hands. In addition, there was the secret bias of the Great Grandmaster in the Sword Hut, who had yet to show his face. His citizens outside the Hut probably could not enter the Sword Hut to rescue him. He could only force down the anger in his heart and coldly said, “What need is there for me to explain my actions to you?”
Fan Xian’s eyes narrowed as a cold light appeared. “I have given you too many benefits. Even if it were investments, you have to report to me, the shareholder, rather than try to kill the shareholder.”
The conversation between the two of them returned to the starting point. The Northern Qi Emperor was silent for a long time. He then slowly said, “I must admit, you helped me a great deal a few years ago. However…”
“However, you are the Qing Emperor’s illegitimate child, after all.” The little Emperor smiled self-mockingly and put his hands behind his back. Usually, this action would seem relaxed and full of imperial aura. Now, he had been shaken until he was dizzy. Then, he twisted his ankle. It was impossible for him to stand steady. With a yelp, he fell down.
Fan Xian stretched out a hand and scooped him back onto the bed, looking at him calmly.
The little Emperor furrowed his brows and said, “You are a Qing person and the illegitimate child of the Qing Emperor. For the time being, regardless of whether or not I believe you have the sincerity to carry out our agreement, mother and the officials in court will not entrust this faint hope to a powerful official of the Qing Kingdom.”
He closed his eyes and slowly said, “You are not a Qi person. You don’t know what life has been like for the people of the Qi Kingdom these years after Imperial Advisor Ku He’s death. The Qing Kingdom sleeps with spears by their pillows and could send troops to invade us. Although I have been planning for a long time, in the end, time is still short. My country cannot support itself for many years. Under these circumstances, all past friendships and promises are illusory. I must place my hope on my own people, or even on Dongyi, but I cannot place it on you.”
Fan Xian listened quietly. He knew that this logic was simple. Putting aside the Northern Qi Emperor, even Haitang, Chen Pingping, and his father would not believe that he would really help Northern Qi resist the Qing Kingdom.
If he was going to be a traitor, there had to be benefits. Fan Xian was second only to the Emperor in the Qing Kingdom. If he was going to sell out the Qing Kingdom for self-interest, did he want the Northern Qi Emperor to give him the throne?
He smiled self-mockingly and thought that no one in the world would believe this, much less the people of Northern Qi. However, he had truly never thought of selling out the interests of the Qing Kingdom to satisfy the demands of Northern Qi founding a country. He just wanted to do his best to lessen the possible battles that would make blood flow like a river.
Just as Li Hongcheng criticized in Dingzhou’s General’s manor, this was a childish and ridiculous idea. From some perspectives, it was impossible.
It seemed that Northern Qi wanted to kill Fan Xian to tie Dongyi to their own war chariot, which seemed like an inevitable course of action.
As for that legendary blind master? It was not that the Northern Qi Emperor did not know of him. It was that his actions were too mysterious. Even if he was a Great Grandmaster that stood behind Fan Xian, his threat to Northern Qi was not as realistic as the powerful Qing Emperor and the Qing army.
Watching Fan Xian sink into thought, the Northern Qi Emperor did not disturb him. Instead, he closed his eyes and began to think about this situation, as well as what could happen next.
One person was the ruler of the North. The other was an official of the South. They sat across from each other in the silent room, each with their own thoughts. They did not notice time passing like flowing water. Unconsciously, the dusk outside the Hut became like blood and shone on the pit of swords. It shone on the old and broken swords, each dyed with the blood of a thousand autumns. No matter how long they were washed by sea wind and rainwater, they could never be clean.
Fan Xian rose and walked to the window to look at the pit silently. He knew what the countless swords in it symbolized. It represented Sigu Jian’s superior sword technique and strength, and the status of the Sword Hut in the hearts of the millions of people under heaven. It also represented the deaths of countless swordsmen and those pieces of legend that made one’s blood heat and boil.
The stable and ongoing existence of any reputation or status needed baptism by sword and blood.
In this world, how could a better future be left those who come later? Did it also need a baptism through blood and fire from the South to the North? Fan Xian didn’t have any ability to differentiate and decide. Even though he had once discussed it with Yan Bingyun and fought about it with Li Hongcheng, he still didn’t have the ability to decide. Which would be better, splitting or unifying the world? Drawn out pain? Short pain? Those were problems for historians and not problems for those living in the present needed to consider. It was instinct to be selfish.
Without question, Fan Xian was a selfish person. Even if the great floods came after his death, he only requested that while he was alive, this world would be one that he liked. A world with flowers, trees, grass, insects, birds, people, poetry, art, alcohol, and gold, and without pain, disaster, blood…
He deeply considered himself a Qing person and not the first soldier for internationalist. He had grown up to be a pacifist. He wished that for the time he was alive and his children were alive, Spiderman or Taka Kato’s famous gesture would always be held up.
The Overwatch Council training from his youth and living his life on the edge for so many years had made Fan Xian grow into a pacifist. This appeared absurd and unbelievable. It also indirectly proved that the conviction a person developed when lying in a hospital bed and waiting to die could influence an entire life, even two lives.
Only by knowing the terrors of death could one know what they should treasure life.
“I know the reason for your consecutive mistakes.” Fan Xian said without turning his head. “The Qing Kingdom has put too much pressure on you. Although the Emperor has not raised his army these years, each of his steps was in preparation for a future war. The Emperor is taking the right and proper path. He has already removed the existence of Great Grandmasters. He would not deign to use his own Great Grandmaster power to create chaos in the world.”
“He has the confidence to properly conquer you.” Fan Xian suddenly felt the light of dusk outside was blinding and closed his eyes. “Actually, I understand the Emperor very well. Not going all out for the Northern expedition 20 something years ago was a difficult setback for him. For the Emperor, such strange creatures as the Great Grandmasters should not exist in this world, even though he later became one.”
“He has his own brain and plots. It is enough for him to rely just on these two to conquer everything. He despises and looks down on personal martial prowess from the depths of his heart. However, he had no choice but to first sweep clean the Great Grandmasters before he could unleash this kind of disdain.”
Fan Xian smiled self-mockingly. “I think that before Ku He died, he also saw clearly my Emperor’s conviction. That is why he slowly laid down pawns in Xiliang and my court. He wanted to have one last great match against the Emperor. He forgot that he had already died and could not know all the details of what would happen after his death. Furthermore, he entrusted his hope to you and Haitang. Both of you made an unforgivable mistake.”
The little Emperor had been silently listening to Fan Xian’s analysis. Hearing this, he opened his mouth and asked, “What mistake?”
“You both underestimated my anger.” Fan Xian turned. He looked at the little Emperor. “I can guarantee you that the two steps Ku He made before he died are both going to fall on me in the end. You have tried to kill me twice. Regardless of whether you succeeded or not, if Ku He knew of your actions, he would certainly die of anger again in his grave.”
“Fall on you?” The little Emperor’s pupils constricted slightly as he turned over Great Uncle Ku He’s final words before his death. His expression gradually became solemn. He still didn’t understand why he would entrust hope for Northern Qi’s survival to Fan Xian. Was he not the Qing Emperor’s illegitimate child? Was Fan Xian actually a great saint?
No, the last saint in the world had died in the fifth year of the Qing calendar. Fan Xian was only a common man.
Fan Xian laughed coldly. “Of course, Ku He calculated well. He had a tight and proper grip on my heart. Until his death, he still could not guess whether or not I would go down the path he expected.”
The matter referred to in his words were overly hidden. The Northern Qi Emperor could not understand.
“I will think of my ways to control everything. If I can’t control it, I can easily turn around and leave.” Fan Xian walked out from the dusky light by the window and came closer and closer to the little Emperor. In a slightly heavy voice, he said, “However, you, Your Majesty… It would be best if you listened more to what I say.”
“Why should I listen to what you say?” For some reason, the little Emperor suddenly felt a chill.
Fan Xian looked at him and said, “Because, you have made too many mistakes. Although you’ve done well in tidying up the court politics these years in Northern Qi, and I thought another remarkable Wu Zetian had appeared in history, in the end, I realized that women are still too easily angered, too soft-hearted, and cannot hold up anything.”
Hearing these words, the little Emperor’s expression changed dramatically. He immediately returned to his usual appearance. Narrowing his eyes, he said, “Your words are becoming more and more abstruse.”
“When you tried to kill me earlier, if you had not considered Si Lili’s life and death and had the eunuch trick her into leaving the room and instead had Lang Tiao directly launch an attack, I might already be dead right.” Fan Xian stood in front of him and raised his chin calmly. “A woman’s soft-heartedness was plainly demonstrated at that moment. You have disappointed me greatly. How could I continue doing business with you?”
The little Emperor’s eyes narrowed more and more until they were like two crescent moons. It was as if he wanted to use the gap between his eyelids to make Fan Xian appear more flat to calm the endless fear and struggle in his heart.
This was a secret he had kept with the Northern Qi empress dowager 20 years. For the sake of this secret, no one knew how many people had died in the Northern Qi court and what price was paid. However, it had now been lightly spoken by a Qing person.
“My goal today was to enter the Sword Hut to see Sigu Jian. But, I had another goal, which was to have a private conversation with Your Majesty.” Fan Xian looked at him. “I want to tell you that if you want to continue being the Emperor of Northern Qi, from today onward, you have to stop trying to defeat me in secret. On the contrary, you have to cooperate with me. Do you understand?”
The corner of the little Emperor’s lips twitched. He laughed loudly. “How dare you, Fan Xian, threaten me? You can grab a knife and kill me now to see if I, the son of the Zhan family, will furrow my brows.”
“Your will is truly admirable.” Fan Xian looked at him with a smile in his eyes. “Naturally, I cannot kill you. I just want to know, if Shang Shanhu, Lang Tiao, and all the important Northern Qi officials suddenly found out that the Emperor they were loyal to was a woman, how would they react? Northern Qi’s Zhan family only has you, the one daughter. Is there still any need for it to exist?”
The little Emperor stared fixedly at Fan Xian. Only now did he finally understand why Si Lili had said earlier that Fan Xian was not afraid of him at all. On the contrary, he should be afraid of him. It turned out he had control of his vital point, that absolutely vital point.
The little Emperor laughed coldly in a raspy voice and said, “An immortal poet, no wonder there is some ignorance in your words.”
Fan Xian had no choice but to admire his coolness and strong will. He was silent for a moment. He then stretched out his finger and flicked it against the little Emperor’s hair coil. The black hair flowed like a waterfall over the Emperor’s shoulders. His entire person immediately appeared soft and weak. Suddenly, a tearing sound rang out in the quiet room.