Joy of Life - Chapter 636 & 637 - Returning To The Capital To Beg For A Position[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:50:23]
Chapter 637: Returning To The Capital To Beg For A Position
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“I just don’t understand how you can still hang on.” There was no one else in the quiet room. Fan Xian sat on a chair by the bed and spoke quietly to the shriveled old man on the bed. “Hanging on is so tough, why bother?”
Fan Xian still felt some fear toward this Great Grandmaster. Otherwise, given the scathing nature under his gentle appearance, his words would be far uglier. Although Sigu Jian was already at the end of his life, Fan Xian was still afraid that the shriveled old man on the bed would suddenly become a large sword and split him open ruthlessly.
Sigu Jian laid on the bed, staring spiritlessly upward. Although his breathing was not rushed, it was unusually distant. It sounded like a broken bellow, constantly giving one the sense that the fire in the stove was about to be extinguished.
This was precisely what Fan Xian did not understand. Sigu Jian had been struck by Ye Liuyun’s scattered hands and the Emperor’s Way of the Emperor’s punch. His life had long been extinguished, yet, somehow, he had managed to hang on for three years.
A month ago, he had been struck twice by the Shadow’s thunderous attack. This Great Grandmaster finally couldn’t hold on anymore. The zhenqi in his meridians had dispersed. He had become a piece of dead wood lying on the bed. Fan Xian could clearly sense what pain and price Sigu Jian had paid to forcefully extend his life. Since living was so difficult and the agreement had been made, he didn’t understand why he was still using the pure life-saving zhenqi in his body to forcefully delay the end.
Sigu Jian’s body had always been wiry. His monthlong battle with the underworld had drained too much from him. He had lost nearly 20 pounds. All of his flesh had dried. His skin seemed to be plastered on his bones. He appeared extremely terrifying.
A hacking sound rose from the bed. It was as if he was laughing. In a raspy voice, Sigu Jian said, “There is no logic to life and death. I don’t want to die yet, so I am alive.”
Fan Xian looked at him calmly and confirmed that he was already in a paraplegic state. He then sighed involuntarily. Standing up, he said, “Your disciples have injured me many times. Among the 100 Tiger Guards you killed on Dong Mountain, there were trusted aides I wanted to protect. For some reason, looking at your imminent death, I cannot feel much of the joy of having achieved vengeance.”
“Because… You know your Emperor borrowed the sword in my hand to kill those Tiger Guards.” Sigu Jian’s breathing gradually calmed and became steady. Only the two pupils in his deeply sunken eyes were hard pressed to summon the sword light that had once flourished under heaven. They were indifferent and slack.
Fan Xian paused for a moment. He then respectfully said, “I really want to know how you managed to survive these years.”
Sigu Jian was silent. Fan Xian walked forward. Standing by the bed, he gently lifted the blanket and carefully pulled away the soft and light clothing on the Great Grandmaster’s body. Looking at the large wound on his chest, Fan Xian didn’t say anything for a long time.
This was a very rude and disrespectful action. Although there was no one else in the room to see, Fan Xian still felt that his action was rude and inappropriate. Thus, he only looked quickly and then carefully tidied the clothes on Sigu Jian’s body.
A Great Grandmaster close to death could only let Fan Xian look as if checking a corpse. Presumably, Sigu Jian felt a great rage. Strangely, the expression in his eyes did not change. He only looked at the beams above his head, thinking about something.
Fan Xian sat back down in the chair and carefully recalled the wound he saw earlier. The reason he was so interested in Sigu Jian’s wound was because he truly did not understand how this Great Grandmaster had been able to extend his life three years. He knew the truly fatal wound was still the punch the Emperor had landed on his body.
Even if he was a Great Grandmaster, all of the meridians in his chest were shattered and his organs were rotten. How could he survive?
In the manor when the Shadow had attacked Sigu Jian, Fan Xian had taken an astonished glance at the strange wound on the Great Grandmaster’s chest.
A terrifying green color floated on top of the wound. This green light was a color with which Fan Xian was familiar. It was the color of powerful poison. Fan Xian sat in the chair and was silent for a long time. Suddenly, he said, “How long did Sir Fei stay in Dongyi?”
With great difficulty, Sigu Jian smiled and replied quietly a moment later, “Actually, you are smarter than you think you are.”
Fan Xian sat woodenly in the chair. “To use a powerful poison to sever the meridians and freeze the rotten flesh, such clever use of poison cannot be done by just anyone.”
He sighed and gently rubbed his temples. “When I was little, I heard him speak of such a realm once. I had never seen it. I can’t believe it can actually be done. Of three great poison masters in the world, Xiao En is dead. I know the one from Dongyi was one you exaggerated, although, he has some skills. No besides Sir Fei could use poison to help you live a few years longer.”
“He always told me that he was heading out to sea but not from Quanzhou. He would only leave from Dongyi,” Fan Xian said quietly as if speaking to himself. “He has treated you before. To come treat you again is not surprising.”
“Yes,” Sigu Jian said coldly. His body was frozen to the bed and completely unable to move. “Fei Jie stayed in the Sword Hut for half a year and then went out to sea.”
A sudden wave of frustration rose in Fan Xian’s heart. When he had seen Sigu Jian’s wound in the manor, he had already begun to suspect. He had thought Sir Fei was still quietly hiding in the Sword Hut. He had not thought he had left long ago.
After he was reborn into this world, other than his grandmother and Uncle Wu Zhu, his two relatives, Sir Fei Jie was the first adult he met. He was the first one to care and protect him wholeheartedly. Fan Xian and Fei Jie did not spend much time together, but the teacher and disciple were unusually close. It was an intimacy refined through corpses and poison.
Sir Fei Jie had truly gone out to sea. He would probably never return to land again. Fan Xian’s heart suddenly felt cold. A faint sorrow surged up. He thought eventually his father, Chen Pingping, and even that Emperor would all leave him one by one, leaving him alone in this world. This was truly a sorrow difficult to endure.
“Fei Jie went out to sea with Ye Liuyun.” Sigu Jian spat out another secret.
Fan Xian was silent for a long time. After Dong Mountain, Ye Liuyun had only recovered for two months before he returned to how he had been the past dozen years. No one knew any more about him. Even Ye Zhong and Ye Ling’er did not know. The people of the Qing Kingdom were all used to this Great Grandmaster’s free-roaming life, so no one minded too much.
Out to sea? To a new land? Fan Xian couldn’t resist laughing bitterly. “Everyone leaves quite straightforwardly.”
“Ye Liuyun was injured by me on the mountain. He will never return to his initial level,” Sigu Jian said calmly without any pride or ruthlessness. “Fei Jie went out to sea with him so he could look after his injuries. Ye Liuyun’s hands can protect Fei Jie. These two old things are living quite at ease.”
Fan Xian rose and was silent for a moment. He then looked at him and said, “The negotiation between the Qing Kingdom and City are still ongoing. As you know, these things will not be decided in a short amount of time. The nobility of the vassal states are certain to rebut. You are about to die, so you can’t control these matters. At that time, I may need to use some tricks.”
“This has nothing to do with me.” Sigu Jian’s small figure was buried under the blankets. He appeared very pitiful. “Are you telling me this because… cough… cough… you are about to leave?”
“I need to return to the capital for a bit, and then come back and deal with the rest.” Fan Xian nodded and began to walk out of the room. When his feet landed on the threshold, he suddenly said, “What message did Chen Pingping ask Fei Jie to bring to you?”
Sigu Jian did not answer. It was like he had fallen asleep.
Fan Xian turned around at the threshold. His eyes were filled with worry. “Ku He wanted to extend Chen Pingping’s life, and Chen Pingping wants to extend your life. Why must you old people suffer so bitterly? Sometimes, I cannot believe that the old Director would choose this path. It doesn’t align with his sense of beauty at all.
“I was also very surprised.” Sigu Jian’s laugh sounded ugly. “That old dog has always clearly been absolutely loyal to the Qing Emperor. Why would be want to save my life? Is he not afraid that I will expose the Hanging Temple incident?”
Fan Xian didn’t say anything. He thought that what the old cripple was thinking was only to make use of people’s natures. It was a miserable and painful plan.
“Three years, before the Jingdou rebellion, the Director was poisoned,” Fan Xian said suddenly with his head down. “That was done by someone from Dongyi.”
After saying this, he left the room. He walked out of the room heavy filled with death and murderous intent. He stood in the center of the Sword Hut, next to the massive pit. Raising his head to look at the sky, he was silent for a long time. White clouds floated across the sky. The round and shining sun was right at the end of a long stretch of cloud. It looked like a blazing brush illustrating an eye-piercing picture on the blue sky.
Burning oneself to illuminate another… This universe was originally dark, but it could not tolerate even a spot of darkness. It furiously burned the materials at the beginning of time, trying to shine away all of the darkness hidden behind the stars.
Fan Xian stood by the side of the sword pit and took a deep breath. The two large circulations in his body flowed slowly. Tianyi Dao’s zhenqi protected his heart meridian and elevated his Tyrannical zhenqi to the ultimate realm. The plentiful zhenqi in his body made his clothing flutter in the windless environment.
A seemingly endlessly stream of zhenqi flowed through his arms toward his steady palms and slowly released out.
This way of circulating zhenqi could not be done by everyone. It was a useless trick Fan Xian had thought of when climbing cliffs. He had practiced it for 20 years and was very familiar with it. He released the zhenqi and let it move at will. Once an amusing idea, who would have thought it would have such uses many years later?
Fan Xian stood by the sword pit and extended his arms to either side. The countless swords in the pit began to ring out. They trembled endlessly as if they felt the summons of this wave of zhenqi.
A simply made sword was the first to crack under this kind of power. The tip of the sword wailed mournfully and then broke free of the yellow dirt at the bottom of the pit. It flew into Fan Xian’s hand, along with the scrap paper and rubbish Sigu Jian had thrown in.
Fan Xian looked calmly at the sword in his hand. Compared to the Wei Emperor’s sword he usually used, he found this one was indeed unremarkable. Involuntarily, he laughed bitterly and said, “This is also fate.”
On the bed, in the shadow of a room, the Great Grandmaster Sigu Jian, who was near death, smiled and muttered to himself, “Still not good enough.”
Fan Xian looked at the sword in his hand and sighed. “Still a long way to go.”
In the darkness, three carriages headed west at their fastest speed. These carriages carried a noble guest from the Qing Kingdom. Under the present circumstances, no one in all of the territories controlled by Dongyi dared to stop these carriages to inspect them. Thus, the group moved quickly. Plus, these carriages were black.
Mu Feng’er carefully poured out a basin of hot water and placed it in front of the Commissioner. He was terrified that while the carriage was moving, he would spill the water.
Fan Xian’s daily life could truly be considered luxurious. No one knew where these Overwatch Council officials managed to get hot water. He scooped up the boiling hot towel from inside the basin and vigorously wiped down his tired face. He then asked, “No new information from Jingdou?”
“Everything is as usual,” Mu Feng’er replied as he glanced at him. He didn’t understand why the Commissioner was in such a hurry to get back to the capital. Although the negotiations with Dongyi were troublesome and he needed to return to the capital to deliver the details of the negotiation to the Emperor for him to decide, why did he have to make the time so tight? They were even taking a risk and making headway at night. Fortunately, there weren’t any mountain roads around Dongyi. Otherwise, if a carriage flipped, who could shoulder such a responsibility? The Emperor would probably behead all of the Overwatch Council officials who came along.
Hearing Mu Feng’er’s reply, Fan Xian relaxed. It was now the 10th year of the Qing calendar. He had officially been in the Overwatch Council five years. More accurately speaking, from the day he was born, he had been raised by Chen Pingping in preparation to take over the Overwatch Council. When he was 5, other than learning poisons with Sir Fei Jie, most of his time was used in learning the rules for the affairs of the Overwatch Council and plans for the organization. Now, Fan Xian had a firm grasp over this terrifying organization. He also had his own judgments as to the loyalty and capabilities of his subordinates.
The black carriage moved silently through the dark night. Although the oil lamp in the carriage was windproof and tremor-proof, the light still flickered. Fan Xian rubbed his tired eyes and raised his head. Suddenly, he calmly said, “Xiao Feng’er, you’re a distant nephew to Mu Tie, right?”
Mu Feng’er thought, This is something you knew long ago. He still respectfully replied, “He is my paternal uncle, but no more than three generations.”
“If someone wants to kill Mu Tie, what would you do?”
Mu Feng’er jumped in fright and stared dazedly at Fan Xian, unable to speak for a moment.
Fan Xian smiled and said, “It is only an example. How about this, if Mu Tie has a grudge against me and wanted to use his death to incite your hatred against me, would you kill me because of this?”
Mu Feng’er repeatedly shook his head, not daring to say anything.
Fan Xian shook his head without amusement and sighed. He then lowered his head again. He wondered how there could be such a stubborn person in the world?
While Fan Xian was traveling through the night to return to the capital, the Northern Qi Emperor had already returned to the quiet Shangjing. The black and green palace eaves were still just as beautiful as always. Although she had left the Royal Palace for a while, under the empress dowager’s powerful pressure and the cooperation of trusted officials in court, no one had discovered anything unusual.
Comparatively speaking, the mother and son duo in the Northern Qi royal family, which was once thought of as inharmonious by the Qing court, was actually as unanimous as a sheet of steel, much more than what the Qing Kingdom knew.
The Northern Qi Emperor stared in a daze at the dark night outside the palace. She turned her head to glance at the beautiful woman behind her who was reading. Suddenly, she asked, “You and Fan Xian were only in the room for an hour. Was he in such a rush or were your thoughts of love in full swing and could not control yourself?”
After returning to the palace, although the little Emperor’s favor toward noble consort Li did not decrease, she couldn’t stop her tone being much sharper.
Si Lili had grown up with her, so she knew what kind of person she was. She resisted for half a month and didn’t explain. Now, she smiled and said, “Your Majesty, I know you’re jealous. There is no need to express it so obviously.”
That day when Fan Xian had said it, the little Emperor’s expression had been quite ugly. After hearing what Si Lili said, she couldn’t help but huff coldly.
Si Lili rose and walked behind her. Placing her face against her skinny shoulder, she wrapped her arms around and gently put her hands on her lower abdomen. Breathing sweetly, she said, “Fan Xian’s meaning is simple. If you are with child, then it is me who is with child. Regardless of which of us is with child, we have to tell him as the father.”
The little Emperor fell silent. She suddenly said, “I wonder if that pretty face is living happily in Dongyi.”
Si Lili didn’t answer. She only thought Sir Fan junior was the most carefree man in the world. But, he had caused so many problems. He would probably become the most distressed man by being caught up in the middle of it all.
The most distressed man in the world finally returned to Jingdou after much hardship. The black carriage quickly passed through the two layers of checks with the Jingdou Garrison and the 13 city gate guards and arrived in front of the gates to the Royal Palace.
Fan Xian took a deep breath and jumped down from the carriage. He didn’t look at the happy officials who came toward him. He only thought that when he went to ask the Emperor for a position, he had to succeed.