Joy of Life - Chapter 687 - Sending Off Chen Pingping In The Rain[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:50:42]
Chapter 687: Sending Off Chen Pingping In The Rain
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The autumn rain fell harder and harder. Landing on the ground, it sent out ripples. Landing on the body, it wet one’s clothing. Landing on the heart, it felt incomparably cold. The square in front of the Royal Palace had been completely enveloped by a misty rain. All that could be seen was a wet landscape.
Everyone’s gaze was focused on the small wooden stage in the rain and the two people on the stage. Controlled and infected by some kind of emotion, no one spoke or moved. They just looked, focusing their gaze through the heavy rain and fog on the stage.
Hundreds and thousands of imperial soldiers, internal court aces, and those Ascetic Monks of the Qing Temple, just stood tensely and sternly in the rain, like frozen wooden people.
In just a moment, a number of people had died in Sir Fan junior’s hands. With such bitingly cold rain, they did not know what emotions were flashing through the eyes of the Emperor high up on the city wall.
Yan Bingyun had already come to from his initial shock of seeing Fan Xian’s figure. Lowering his head, he began to make preparations for dealing with what could happen next. In a low voice, he gave orders to the most loyal subordinate at his side. The noise was covered by the rain, so no one heard him. A few Overwatch Council secret agents wearing normal clothing were already squeezing through the crowd toward the direction of the execution field.
Above and below the city walls, all the officials and commoners were shocked by the sight of Fan Xian riding through the rain, drawing his sword with anger, and opening his clothing to cover up the old man’s body. The first person to react had the highest position below the Royal Palace and was responsible for supervising the execution, He Zongwei.
When Fan Xian rode into the sea of people, he had already reacted. Moving as fast as possible and with the least noticeable movements, he quietly left the area of the small wooden stage and hid behind the officials and guards. Separated by many aces, he peered through the wet shoulders and straw hats to see Fan Xian on the small wooden stage holding Chen Pingping’s weak body, alone and wretched. A complicated emotion flashed through He Zongwei’s eyes. He didn’t want to die, but he had to make sure that both the elder and the youth on the wooden stage died.
There were many people who did not want to die. At this time, a terrifying coldness emanated from Fan Xian’s body that could not be suppressed even by the biting cold autumn rain. Everyone had unconsciously shifted away from the wooden stage. Eunuch Yao had long retreated into the crowd. He did not want to become the next person used to worship Chen Pingping.
A few bodies lay scattered around the wooden stage. The blood quickly lost its color as it was washed by the autumn rain. Ironically, the trembling executioner holding the sharp little knife was now the closest person to the wooden stage. He looked at Sir Fan junior on the stage and saw that he had his head bowed deeply and was holding old Director Chen tightly in his arms. It was as if he couldn’t hear any other sound in the world. Filled with astonishment, he quietly retreated down the stage.
He had only taken two steps back when the executioner’s neck broke with a crack. His head landed heavily in the rainwater. His headless body also fell beneath the stage and landed with a loud thud.
Everyone looked at the stage. Only those with high cultivations were able to notice that, a moment earlier, Fan Xian’s hand had moved very slightly and a black dagger had flown out and landed in the rain.
Fan Xian sat cross-legged on the wooden stage under the eyes of tens of thousands of people. It was as if he couldn’t feel any of the gazes. He only held Chen Pingping’s body and buried his head down very low, allowing the rainwater to roll off his head and body. His back was slightly bent. He looked very desolate.
The weight of the old man in his arms was very light. It was like holding a bundle of wind that could be blown away at any moment. Below his slightly messy hair, Fan Xian’s pale face twitched slightly. He unconsciously extended his hand to hold onto Chen Pingping’s old and icy hand. He held it tightly, unwilling to let go ever again.
The old man had experienced countless bitterness in his life. He had been crippled for half his life. The life force in his body had long been exhausted. When he was being cut, each stroke of the knife had, other than pain, produced very little blood. After the torment of so many cuts, the blood still pooled endlessly. It soaked through the black Overwatch Council robe Fan Xian had thrown over his body. It was slightly sticky, hot, and burning to the touch.
In the autumn rain, Fan Xian gently held his thin body, terrified of hurting him more. He held tightly to his icy hands, terrified he would just go like this.
“If you didn’t want to come back, who could have made you? Why did you delay me in Dongyi for so long?” Fan Xian said in a low and raspy voice. His dry lips had turned white in the rain. The skin was peeling slightly. He looked very pitiful. “For whom have I been so busy these years for? Worked hard for? Was it not so that you old folks could leave Jingdou and live good lives? I’ve always done my best…”
“You know that I know everything.” Fan Xian’s head dropped even lower, resting gently against the old man’s wrinkled face. His body swayed gently in the rain like he was coaxing the old man in his arms to sleep.
The old man’s hand suddenly tightened forcefully around Fan Xian’s. Even with all the strength in his body, he couldn’t tighten his hand. Perhaps he was reluctant to let go of something or was afraid of something. In this rain and wind-filled day and on the water and blood-soaked ground, he wanted to hold something.
Like a knife slowly tearing through his heart, Fan Xian, cold and terrified, watched the old man in his arms. He knew he couldn’t hold on anymore. He unconsciously tightened his hand to the point that his fingers began to turn white and he felt a faint pain.
Chen Pingping’s murky and unfocused eyes moved slowly in the rain. He saw the palace Royal Palace, cloud-packed sky, and blurry figure of the Emperor on the palace walls but could not see his face clearly. He then saw Fan Xian’s face beside him. A smile flashed through the old man’s murky yet clear eyes.
The old man knew that he was going to leave the world. His eyes gradually dimmed. He couldn’t hear any sound clearly anymore. The light in front of his eyes also gradually became some odd and strange shapes.
In this instant, perhaps his legendary life flashed before his eyes like a slideshow. Young eunuch, East Sea, that woman, the Overwatch Council, Black Knights, another woman, dead people, conspiracy, revenge… All kinds of pictures flashed before his eyes and formed a white line that one did not dare look at directly. No one knew what he saw before he died, what he most wanted to see.
Was it the mud that kicked up when he fought in King Cheng’s manor? Was it a plum flower that bloomed in winter in Taiping Courtyard? Was it the little fish that swam in the shallow pond in the square and sinister building of the Overwatch Council? Was it a Palace in the group of mountains in the north? Was it the little boy in Danzhou to whom he had entrusted all the affection and hope for the second half of his life?
In the wind and rain, Chen Pingping suddenly heard a sound. It was the sound of singing, a marvelous and familiar singing. It was a sound that he had heard countless times in Chen Garden. The concubines were all beautiful, and the songs were all beautiful. The old man’s entire life had been submerged in darkness, yet he had the gentlest desire to collect and love beauty. If tragedy was to destroy the beautiful things of the world for others to see, then Chen Pingping’s life was for the destruction of everything he thought was ugly and filthy. He immersed himself in the ugly and filthy, and then watched everything that was beautiful from a distance.
“If one heard the sound of rain, who would be happy? Surmounting one mountain to see another peak, the rain carried in it the song of happiness. Hearing the son, I feel happier…”
This was a song that the women in Chen Garden liked. In the wind and rain, it rang out again by Chen Pingping’s ear. He opened his eyes with difficulty and looked at the sky, earth, and people. Hearing this wonderful song, his bloodless lips parted slightly. It was as if he wanted to sing along but no sound came out.
Chen Pingping suddenly looked at Fan Xian and asked, “Chest?”
Fan Xian smiled wretchedly and said by the old man’s ear, “It’s a gun, a firearm that can kill people across great distances.”
This was probably the last question in Chen Pingping’s life, so he had asked in the last moment. Hearing Fan Xian’s reply, the old man’s eyes shone slightly like he had not thought that the answer would be this. He was surprised and relieved. A rattling noise came from his throat. He panted for breath. A cold and proud expression rose to his face as he said, “I… also have… such a thing.”
Fan Xian didn’t say anything. He just sat in the rain, holding him gently and gently shaking his head. He felt as the old body in his arms grew softer, the old hand he held tightly grew colder until the very end when it had no warmth at all.
Chen Pingping died in the autumn rain held by the little boy he loved the most. Before he died, he learned the truth of the chest. His face still wore a cold, proud, and arrogant expression.
Fan Xian held the gradually cooling body woodenly and lowered his head to say something quietly by the old man’s icy face. Suddenly, the sky full of rain felt like knives that were slicing in his body causing him a pain that was difficult to endure. This pain started in his heart and extended toward every inch of his skin. It was like being sliced open a thousand times until, at the end, it finally exploded out.
On the little wooden stage in the autumn rain, a loud cry suddenly exploded forth. The cry was heart-rending and gut-wrenching. The cry was so mournful that the rain did not dare to fall and people could not bear to listen.
In the 20 years he had been reborn, Fan Xian never cried for anyone. Even though there had been a few times when his eyes had grown wet, he had forced it back. No one in this world had seen him cry. No one had ever seen him cry so absolutely, so sorrowfully. Tens of thousands of emotions were all released in this cry.
The tears could not blur his face. It only washed away the remaining dust that the autumn rains had been unable to wash away. Just as the autumn rains could not be stopped, his tears could not be stopped. Just like this, they seeped out of his eyes accompanied by boundless and endless sorrow.
The mournful sound on the little wooden stage in the execution field pierced through the wind and rain and traveled to every corner of the Royal Palace. It drilled into every person’s ears, making countless people immediately feel a sense of grief and a chill in their hearts.
However, this sound brought a powerful wave of fear when it entered certain people’s ears. Other than that, it was a clear signal. Director Chen had finally died.
Who knew if there were some people who secretly cheered and exalted in this reality or perhaps let out a big breath? No expressions of any kind appeared on the faces of the officials in the wind and rain. Sorrow perhaps flashed through a few eyes, but more maintained a severity and slight nervousness, as well as a touch of confusion at the bottom of their hearts.
One of the foundational columns of the Qing court had been forcibly broken. Those who had been suppressed for decades by the dark Overwatch Council could not catch their breaths. The officials who fought like fire and water in court suddenly felt a chill in their hearts. The ancestor of the Overwatch Council just died like this? It seemed difficult for them to accept this reality. In their eyes, it seemed that this terrifying figure covered in black fog could never die.
Countless people thought of countless images because of Chen Pingping’s death. When it came to the picture of the Qing Kingdom during these turbulent decades, no one could deny the contributions Chen Pingping had made toward the establishment of the Qing Kingdom’s territories. In this long painting of history, the black ink spots used to emphasize were this man and the Overwatch Council he created. Without these spots of black, how could the picture be so spirited?
When Fan Xian’s cry pierced through the wind and rain and reached the top of the palace walls, no one noticed that the Emperor, in dragon robes and with an intimidating royal aura, made a slight movement. He leaned forward very slightly. It was probably no more than two finger-widths of space. After a moment, the Emperor valiantly straightened his body again, returning the distance of his emotionless face to the bloody execution field to what it was initially.
No one noticed that the Emperor’s hands, hidden in the sleeve of the dragon robe, slowly clenched together.
In this instant, what thoughts did the Emperor have as he watched his old friend and servant who had followed him for decades die? The old man who had watched him rise from an unremarkable heir to become the most dazzling figure in the world had just died so abruptly and decisively. Was it an emptiness from the deepest parts of his being or an anger that even he couldn’t explain and explicate?
Beneath the walls of the Royal Palace, Yan Bingyun bowed his head deeply, far lower than any of the officials beside him. His body faced the direction of the execution field. Through the curtain of rain, he could still see the wooden appearance of Sir Fan Junior holding the Director’s body. His body trembled slightly. He remembered the words the Director had once told him in the square Overwatch Council building some time ago.
“One day, I will die, and Fan Xian will go crazy…”
Yan Bingyun abruptly raised his head and took a deep breath. Wiping away the rain from his face, he continued to secretly send orders to various people. The secret agents hiding among the crowd watching the execution could move at any time to contain the potential craziness to the smallest possible area. Of course, Yan Bingyun hoped that none of that would happen.
The person had died. Although the punishment of death by a thousand cuts had not been wholly completed, the executioner had been sliced in half by Fan Xian in anger. There was no need to continue. The autumn rain continued to all drearily, but no one left the square in front of the Royal Palace. It was as if everyone knew what would happen after.
The Ascetic Monks around the execution field slowly moved closer to the little wooden stage. The straw hats on their heads blocked the rain falling from the sky and covered any expression they had on their faces. It seemed Fan Xian could not sense the danger below the stage. He just sat senselessly and woodenly on the stage, still holding Chen Pingping’s body and not letting go.
His tears had already mixed with the rainwater and gradually stopped. Fan Xian suddenly stood, but his figure swayed slightly. It looked like his days and nights of wild riding had already exhausted him to the extreme. His heart-wrenching anger and sorrow made his state of mind show signs of exhaustion.
However, the swaying of the figure in the rain on the wooden stage made the hearts of everyone standing around it jump a little. They unconsciously retreated half space back.
Indifferently, Fan Xian carried Chen Pingping’s body down the wooden stage. He didn’t even glance at the people. It was as if they didn’t even exist. However, the people surrounding the wooden stage were waiting for the order of the Emperor on the walls of the Royal Palace.
The Emperor watched the scene below the palace walls with a pale face. A complicated emotion flashed through his sunken eyes. Since the Hanging Temple incident, his affection toward Fan Xian had been built on the foundation of the importance his son attached to friendships and righteousness. Although he had not thought Fan Xian would be able to make it back today, looking at this scene, he did not find it strange.
The Emperor was not worried. In his heart, he thought An Zhi was a poor child who had been fooled by Chen Pingping. An Zhi probably still did not know how much Chen Pingping wanted to kill him, to kill all of the Emperor’s sons, so that the Emperor’s line would end. As he watched Fan Xian’s desolate figure, the Emperor could not suppress feelings of hurt and anger. He was hurt by what Fan Xian demonstrated and angry that even though Chen Pingping had died, he could still easily take away the heart of his favorite son, just like the woman who had been dead for many years.
The Emperor was silent for a long time. Because of the instability of his state of mind, the injuries he had been forcefully suppressing gradually cracked open. Blood from his chest seeped into the dragon robe. It was particularly disturbing. He shook out his sleeves and left the top of the palace walls with a cold expression.
Beneath the Royal Palace, Fan Xian held Chen Pingping’s body and left the little wooden stage soaked through with rain and blood. He headed toward the west of the square, walking particularly slowly and heavily. Until now, he had not even glanced up at the palace walls.
The Emperor had already left. There was no one else in the world who dared to stand in front of Fan Xian. Everyone unconsciously made a path. The crowd of people parted like a sea split open by a sword. Waves rose and opened up a path on which reefs could be seen. In the rain, Fan Xian held Chen Pingping and left.