Joy of Life - Chapter 634 - We Are All Seas Of Different Colors[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:50:23]
Chapter 634: We Are All Seas Of Different Colors
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Sigu Jian did not give the order for the Sword Hut disciples to kill Fan Xian. He had even let the Overwatch Council leading assassin, who had been so arrogant as to injure him, go without further consequence. This reality astonished and shocked the disciples. Emerging from the Sword Hut, Yun Zhilan’s emotions were even heavier.
He looked around. Brother disciples three and four had remained in the Hut. It seemed that their teacher had something to tell them. Yun Zhilan couldn’t help but look at the setting sun in the west and as he gently sighed. These brother disciples respected him the most. They had participated in keeping Thirteenth Wang under house-arrest and in the attack on Fan Xian. For the teacher to keep them back, was he asking about these matters?
Given his understanding of Sigu Jian, if his teacher truly wanted to punish him for his actions, he probably wouldn’t need to investigate anything or question anyone before having him commit suicide. He probably wouldn’t be able to summon the courage to resist either.
The faint light of dusk shone on the face of the first disciple of the Sword Hut. His expression was dim and helpless. The entire manor of the Master of the City had been massacred. This already sufficiently demonstrated Sigu Jian’s attitude. In a few more days, the dragon flag of the Li family would probably be flying from the battlements of this city instead.
He knew that perhaps this was inevitable. Otherwise, his teacher would not have come to an agreement with Fan Xian and lowered his head to the Qing Emperor. However, tugs of pain still flared in his heart.
There was no longer any way of stopping this thing from happening. A great power within Dongyi, the manor of the Master of the City, had become dead bodies in pools of blood. Sigu Jian used the simplest and most violent method to unify the thinking in the high echelons of Dongyi society and intimidated all of the Sword Hut disciples. Presumably, the countless merchants and workers in the city would be willing to accept this reality. After all, war had never been an entertainment that merchants liked.
Yun Zhilan narrowed his eyes slightly and looked at the mountain residence in above. The Emperor of Northern Qi had silently returned to the mountain residence escorted by Lang Tiao and Friar He. He didn’t know what the Northern Qi people were thinking. Should he sever the agreement he had secretly made with them or continue with it?
Afterward, the mountain residence closed their doors and rejected guests, which made Yun Zhilan even more confused. The Northern Qi Emperor had risked traveling thousands of li to be here, so he must have been prepared to pay a great price. Why was it that after he was taken by Fan Xian into the Sword Hut, he seemed to have already admitted defeat and was no longer trying to destroy the relationship between Dongyi and the Qing Kingdom?
Yun Zhilan stood outside the residence and quietly spoke a little with Lang Tiao. He then walked down gloomily. As he walked, he wondered what miraculous powers Fan Xian had to put enough pressure on Northern Qi to stop them taking action.
He still did not believe Fan Xian had this ability. He thought that it must be because his teacher had clearly demonstrated his attitude to the Northern Qi Emperor, which was what made the Northern Qi people feel hopeless. Turning his head to glance at the Sword Hut in the dusk, Yun Zhilan’s mood was heavy. After pausing for a moment, he headed into Dongyi. He would never turn his back on the Sword Hut’s determination or Dongyi’s interests. However, the people of Dongyi City were filled with fear. They lacked the control of the officials from the manor of the Master of the City. As the first disciple, he had no choice but to take a hand in managing state affairs.
Contrary to what Yun Zhilan imagined, the people of Northern Qi had not lost hope. More accurately speaking, the Northern Qi Emperor had not lost hope. She sat coldly by the window and looked at the flowers that bloomed like a blaze by the window. Thinking about what happened these two days, she couldn’t help her state of mind swaying. When she was a child, she had been held by the empress dowager as she sat down on the throne. From that day on, she did not know what fear or hopelessness was.
One’s position dictated the power of judgment one had. The little Emperor knew that in the matter of Dongyi, she had lost to Fan Xian. She had lost thoroughly with not the slightest chance of turning the situation around. On the other hand, she also knew the reason Sigu Jian would choose the Qing Kingdom was not because this Great Grandmaster had any positive feelings for it. Rather, it was purely because the existence of Fan Xian could bring a sliver of protection for the ongoing existence of Dongyi.
The most important question was still hidden in Sigu Jian’s heart. After the clever Northern Qi Emperor thought for a long time, she faintly grasped this important matter. Although she still did not know the details, she guessed that Sigu Jian would certainly cause a major problem for Fan Xian in the future.
Trouble for Fan Xian was trouble for the Qing Emperor and a blessing for Northern Qi. Although she knew if Fan Xian really was ruthless enough, she could only be a puppet in his hands. The problem was that Fan Xian was never ruthless enough, particularly toward his own woman.
The events of that night made the little Emperor feel slightly humiliated, stimulated, excited, and curious. Afterward, there seemed to be great benefits.
Through this, Fan Xian controlled the little Emperor. But, the little Emperor also used the connection between them to put Fan Xian in a difficult situation. The little Emperor slowly turned her head and looked coldly at Si Lili sitting on the side of the bed. “My dear concubine, come brush my hair.”
Including Fan Ruoruo, Northern Qi had three and a half women on its side. As the little Emperor calmly enjoyed Si Lili’s gentle brushing, she silently wondered, Three and a half women against a father with potential rifts. What would Fan Xian do?
Fan Xian was deep in the Sword Hut. Standing at a door, he calmly watched Sigu Jian, who was lying on a low couch. After the Shadow woke, he found a place for himself to tend to his injuries. As a first-rate assassin, he had to have a final nest to lick his wounds. Fan Xian was not worried about this.
In the dusk, he once against met the sharp gazes of everyone in the Sword Hut. He walked into the depths for the purpose of dealing with the matter the Northern Qi Emperor had thought of earlier—the big trouble Sigu Jian may bring him in the future.
Thirteenth Wang coughed and glanced at him. Carrying a basin of hot water, he walked by him and didn’t say anything. Fan Xian turned his head and looked at the bloodstains on his back. He couldn’t resist smiling. The scene earlier, when he had turned his back on his teacher, confirmed for Fan Xian Sigu Jian’s favoritism toward his youngest disciple.
Including the basin full of water in the room earlier and the cloths wiping down his body, even a Great Grandmaster was sometimes nothing more than a pitiful old man being served filially by his disciples.
The more favoritism Sigu Jian showed Thirteenth Wang, the more at ease Fan Xian’s heart was. He coughed and cleared the thoughts from his head. Stepping over the threshold, he said down on a chair by the bed and watched Sigu Jian, who had his eyes tightly closed. “The Shadow will not take over the Sword Hut.”
It was absolutely silent in this room deep within the Sword Hut. Other than Thirteenth Wang in the courtyard, no one was able to stay there. Even the sword children who served Sigu Jian had been herded to the front of the Hut.
These sudden words rang out in the silent room, echoing around and not coming to rest for a long time. It came without reason and spoken mysteriously.
The Shadow was someone whose heart and soul wanted to kill Sigu Jian. He was an official of the Qing Kingdom’s Overwatch Council. Yet, Fan Xian said, very seriously, to Sigu Jian that the Shadow would not take over the Sword Hut. Would Sigu Jian allow the Shadow to inherit his most precious legacy?
What was shocking was that Sigu Jian did not mock Fan Xian’s deduction. Slowly, he opened his eyes, shining with a coldness that shook one’s heart. He replied in a raspy voice, “Why can’t he?”
Fan Xian’s heart jumped slightly. He had not thought that with his next words, this Great Grandmaster would directly reveal his intentions. Involuntarily, he smiled bitterly and quietly said, “Because he is my person.”
“You are half a Dongyi person, but he is a full Dongyi person,” Sigu Jian said as he slowly closed his eyes again. “He is my true younger brother and the true first disciple of the Sword Hut. After I die, if he doesn’t take over the Sword Hut, should I hand it to you?”
“Me?” Fan Xian shrugged. “I have my own teacher. Furthermore, I have no interest in opening my own sect.”
With his eyes closed, Sigu Jian asked, “How did you guess my thoughts?”
“Yun Zhilan was originally a good choice. Unfortunately, he disobeyed your wishes. Furthermore, he is used to political work. It will be difficult for him to improve in the ways of the sword. You would not want the Sword Hut to fall into ruin after your death.”
“Thirteenth Wang is a good choice. Unfortunately, you love him too much and have too high hopes for him. You would not want this Sword Hut to hold him back.”
“There is only the Shadow.” Fan Xian was silent for a moment. He then said, “You did kill not because you didn’t have the heart to do it. A saint is heartless, which is something you admitted earlier. You left the Shadow his life. Naturally, you are going to use that life. If you leave the position of Master of the Sword Hut to him, you and I are both aware of the troubles it will cause.”
“So, it was Chen Pingping who carried out the incident at Hanging Temple.” Sigu Jian suddenly cackled and laughed with great pleasure. “Looks like even I misread that old dog. It turns out he has no loyalty to speak of toward your Emperor.”
Fan Xian did not get angry. Smiling warmly, he said, “No one can question the Director’s loyalty to the Qing Kingdom. If you want to bring the Shadow onto the stage and incite conflict between the Emperor and the Director, I urge you to quickly give up such thoughts.”
Sigu Jian fell silent and didn’t speak for a long time. The Sword Hut was enveloped in an oppressive atmosphere. Sigu Jian finally understood that Fan Xian, this son of his enemy, did indeed have a coldness and indifference rarely found in common people. He was able to guess his true intention, which he had long hidden in his heart, from just his minute actions.
“How long can you hide the fact that the Shadow is my younger brother? A year, two years?” Sigu Jian suddenly asked coldly. “What happened in Dongyi will eventually get back to Jingdou. Do you think your Emperor really won’t be able to guess?”
“I don’t care what he guesses. I’ll drag it out as long as I can. But, I don’t wish for you to make this matter clear, to make set it in stone,” Fan Xian said as he looked at Sigu Jian’s thin face without shrinking back. “Within Dongyi, there are only six people who can guess the Shadow’s identity. Your third and fourth disciples already met with you in the Sword Hut earlier. They told you about what happened the other night. Presumably, you have told them to keep their mouths sealed. Given your status in their hearts, they’ll probably take this information with them to their graves. As for Thirteenth Wang, I trust in his nature and virtues. Then, there are only me, you, and the little Emperor left. If you don’t speak and I don’t speak, what is there to be afraid of?”
Sigu Jian coldly said, “The question is if you still have a way to convince me as to why I can’t speak out about it? Once the world knows about this, your Emperor will certainly kill Chen Pingping. If Chen Pingping dies, what will you do?”
Fan Xian was silent for a long time. “You pretended to agree to your deal with me. In reality, your eyes were on what happens after. If the Director dies, the Qing Kingdom will fall into internal conflict. What attention will it have to spare for the east…”
“I just don’t trust your Emperor,” Sigu Jian suddenly opened his eyes and said as he looked at him. “I trust you slightly more. The problem is, as long as you are not the Emperor, it doesn’t matter how much I trust your sincerity because you cannot decide for the Qing Kingdom.”
Fan Xian’s expression was solemn as he said, “I indeed don’t have the power to decide and have the Emperor relinquish his determination to do open battle. If you anger me, at least I can have the Qing Kingdom destroy your Dongyi.”
He rose and said, “Don’t try to incite internal conflict in the Qing Kingdom, and don’t try to sink the elder I respect the most into danger. Otherwise, there won’t be any deal in my heart.”
Sigu Jian didn’t say anything for a long time. He then suddenly said, “If such a day truly comes, will you still have the mind to think of Dongyi?”
“These are all things that haven’t happened ,but these threats are warnings that could be made ahead of time.”
Sigu Jian watched him and said, “You also used violent methods to force the Northern Qi’s female Emperor to keep her mouth shut.”
Fan Xian was not worried Sigu Jian would reveal the sex of the little Emperor. The collapse of Northern Qi was definitely not something this Great Grandmaster wanted to see. Straightforwardly, he replied, “I realize now that only violent methods can resolve such problems. This is something I learned from you.”
“Don’t try to use me or control me.” As Fan Xian said these words, his state of mind was slightly confused. It was as if he had returned to the old Fan manor in Jingdou many years ago and was speaking to his father.
Ever since he had come to this world, each of his actions and thoughts appeared free. But, they had long been enveloped under countless shadows. His father, the Emperor, Chen Pingping, and all the elders were all arranging his future in a way they saw fit.
Later, a few more strange creatures joined the elders, such as Ku He and Sigu Jian. They all wanted to use the past to secretly control him.
If Fan Xian wasn’t Fan Xian, his entire life would probably be much easier. As long as he took the proper path, he could exist happily. He didn’t want to do that. Even if the name Ye Qingmei hovered above his head forever, he still did not want to.
After two days, the Qing Kingdom and Northern Qi’s diplomatic groups approached with great formality and slowness on the official road. After the two large diplomatic groups had left the Song Kingdom, they began a lively slow-speed race. It was as if neither wanted to be the first to enter Dongyi territory and begin the first round of political attacks.
The head of the Northern Qi diplomatic group, Wei Hua, felt that it was strange but could not change anything. He guessed helplessly in his heart that Fan Xian had probably long since arrived in Dongyi. The officials of the Board of Rites from the Qing diplomatic ground would not have guessed that the Northern Qi negotiator that had arrived early was actually their Emperor.
The welcoming ceremony in Dongyi was carried with great liveliness. It was inevitable that there would be many problems since all the officials from the manor of the Master of the City had died. Yun Zhilan transferred officials from other regions and pulled together everything hurriedly, so it couldn’t help but be a bit awkward.
These details were all noticed by the officials of the two diplomatic groups. Immediately after, they learned about the homicide at the manor. They couldn’t help but look at each other, unsure of what had happened.
The real negotiations had ended before the diplomatic groups entered the city. The truly important figures from both sides had exchanged a number of blows in secret and set down a proper foundation for the future of Dongyi.
The spring light was charming. The winds were soft. The day was beautiful. In the courtyard the Qing diplomatic group was living in, the Qing officials were all staring dumbstruck at Sir Fan junior, who was sitting in the head position, unable to speak from astonishment for a long time. They knew Sir Fan junior had entered Dongyi ahead of time, but they had not thought that Sir Fan junior only used three days to beat back the Northern Qi’s imposing attacks, convince the prideful sword saint Grandmaster, intimidate the opposing force within Dongyi, and help the Qing Kingdom settle the matter.
After listening to Sir Fan junior speak, the Qing officials became excited. If there weren’t Dongyi’s Rites officials outside, their cheers would probably have broken through the roof and shot into the blue sky.
The Qing Kingdom was born amidst blood and fire. Developing from a small border kingdom to the most powerful kingdom in the world, it depended on endlessly expanding borders and endless warfare. The words “expanding borders” had long become a part of the blood of the Qing people. Regardless of whether they were corrupt officials or honest officials, regardless of whether they were common people or weak scholars, they all fervently desired for the Qing Kingdom to unify the world.
However, 20 years ago, the three powers under heaven balanced out. The Qing Kingdom was silent for a long time. The enthusiasm for expanding borders was suppressed for too long. After the Dong Mountain incident, when they learned that the Great Grandmasters of the two enemy powers were no longer an obstacle, this enthusiasm exploded outward in its entirety.
This was not like conquering Nanzhao or the grasslands to the West. It also wasn’t like the back and forth battles with Northern Qi and the exchange of a little land. It was properly conquering a large power.
Other than the Emperor’s three personal expeditions to the North and crushing the Wei Kingdom to establish the Qing Kingdom, conquering Dongyi was, without question, the most glorious moment in the history of the Qing Kingdom in expanding its borders.
All of the officials looked at Fan Xian as if he were an immortal. Their eyes were full of blazing emotion. Without using a single soldier and relying solely on negotiation, he was able to obtain such an advantage for the Qing Kingdom. They could no longer find any words to describe what they were feeling. They even thought that the Emperor truly had the gift of foresight to think of granting Sir Fan junior the title of Prince two years ago.
As Sir Fan junior had achieved such a deed of matchless merit, even if he didn’t split the earth, at least he couldn’t escape the fate of being granted the title of Prince.
The slightly elderly vice minister of the Board of Rites found it difficult to digest this shocking and joyful news at once. His face flushed bright red with excitement. With a gulp, phlegm caught in his mouth. He collapsed as he looked at Fan Xian.
Fan Xian walked out of the unusually lively accommodations for the diplomatic group without a trace of joy on his face. Logically speaking, to be able to convince Sigu Jian, subdue the Northern Qi Emperor, and incorporate Dongyi into the Qing Kingdom’s territory in such a peaceful was certainly the greatest achievement he would ever have in his life. He still couldn’t be happy. He understood what dangers lurked behind Sigu Jian’s agreement.
He had already given instructions to the officials in the diplomatic ground. The Dongyi representative discussing the details was the first disciple of the Sword Hut, Yun Zhilan. Yun Zhilan’s stance in this matter was known to everyone. Without question, Sigu Jian had chosen him to come out to negotiate because he wanted to use his unyielding attitude to obtain the greatest benefits for Dongyi.
Fan Xian did not care about this. Whether it was ruling in actuality or just subordination in name, it wasn’t a problem that needed to be considered within the year. After Sigu Jian died, Dongyi would not have much power to oppose. As for whether it was 50 years with no change or five years, it would be decided by the Emperor.
Thinking of this, his mood grew dim again. The secret report to Chen Garden had long been sent. He had sent people to take the Shadow, who had been sunken in silence, to the palace treasury in Jiangnan to recover. As to whether or not he would be able to peacefully digest the matter, Fan Xian was not sure.
Walking out of the living quarters for the diplomatic group and climbing into the carriage, Fan Xian leaned his pounding head against the window and looked at the bustle in Dongyi. This bustling did not appear affected because of the arrival of the two diplomatic groups. It also did not appear somber because of the collective deaths of the officials in the manor. Merchants were, by nature, a daring group of people when pursuing their interests, which made them appear fearless and free.
The black carriage drove to the end of the long street. There were three directions to go. The official of the Qinian Unit driving the carriage asked, “Commissioner, where are we going now?”
“To the seaside,” Fan Xian replied quietly.
The carriage took a long time to get through Dongyi. Avoiding the busy transport troops and heading toward the rear of the busiest port, they finally arrived at the quietest stretch of silver sanded beach outside Dongyi. The official driving the carriage jumped down and led the carriage to a spot beside the sand. Suddenly, he realized there were already people on the beach. He acutely sensed their identities. His pupils constricted quickly. He said in a low voice, “Northern Qi people.”
Fan Xian had already climbed down from the carriage. Looking at the Qinian Unit official at his side, he smiled and said, “I’m here to see these Northern Qi people.”
This official of the Qinian Unit was the one Fan Xian had met in Qingzhou last autumn. Fan Xian did not have any doubts about this trusted aide’s loyalty. Under Wang Qinian and Deng Zi Yue’s dual teachings, these trusted aides only knew Fan Xian. They might not even care about that one in the Palace.
He had to meet with someone, so Fan Xian did not bring the swordsmen of the Sixth Bureau. He only brought this trusted aide. This official of the Qinian Unit paused and cleverly did not ask anything. Leading the carriage to an isolated area, he stood guard beneath the branches of a tree and closed his eyes, feigning sleep.
Fan Xian walked step by step on the soft sand toward the seaside. There were a few people by the sea watching the water. The waves on the East Sea were calm and gentle, quietly lapping at the silver sand and leaving behind different shades of wetness. Paired with the reef not far into the ocean and the layers of trees behind the beach, it looked beautiful.
Fan Xian raised both his hands and saluted seriously, “Greetings, Sir Lang Tiao.”
Lang Tiao looked at him calmly. His hands hung naturally at his side. His two curved knives hung at his side by chains and swung lightly in the breeze. He looked at the young man in front of him and felt complicated emotions. Still, his expression was unusually calm. A moment later, he made way for a path to the seaside and walked away on the beach.
Fan Xian approached the young man wearing a plain robe and filled with a refined air. He placed his hands behind his back to watch the sea with him.
Si Lili, wearing a beautiful light yellow robe, was just like an immortal as she stood by the two of them with a slight smile.
The young man was the Northern Qi Emperor. Northern Qi had lost completely in the Dongyi matter. He could not be away from the Shangjing court or his throne for too long. He had to leave today.
In the Qing diplomatic group, the officials were excited and had been worried that Northern Qi might sabotage things from the inside. At the time, Fan Xian had not made a reply because he was about to go meet the Northern Qi Emperor.
The Northern Qi Emperor’s brows were still as straight and sharp as swords. His eyes were clear and firm. No one would be able to tell that it was a woman under those clothes.
He had not even glanced at Fan Xian when he suddenly raised his right arm and pointed at the boundless sea. Using a particularly firm tone, he said, “If I was a man, I would certainly be able to unite this world and conquer this sea!”
The waves suddenly grew and slammed against the reefs far away in the sea, making a thunderous sound and swallowing the Northern Qi Emperor’s confident but unsatisfied words.