“The Queen lives next door, right? What if, what if we run into Lord Yin Shi when we leave? What should we do then?” – Fan Tong
“You don’t have to do anything. Just sell the first piece of news to me at lightning speed, and I promise you’ll profit!” – Mi Zhong.“Isn’t there a mortality rate of over 90% for selling the Queen’s gossip….” – Yue Tui.
The first day of the new year was naturally part of the holidays. However, Fan Tong and Yue Tui still got up early because they had an appointment with Luo Shi today.
These days, one might have the misconception that they’d been leaving Zhu Sha out of many events. Yue Tui felt a little guilty, believing that roommates should do things together, but it was Zhu Sha himself who hadn’t gone to work with them and Zhu Sha himself who hadn’t participated in the New Year’s party. It would be inconvenient to bring an extra person this time to their engagement with Luo Shi, so after freshening up a bit, they left by themselves without disturbing the still sleeping Zhu Sha.
The purpose of today’s meeting with Luo Shi was to go together to Xuan Dian by Shen Wang Dian to worship and pray for blessings.
It’s probably something similar to the first shrine visit of the year? I hear there are also that you can write on and hang up as well as . The culture here is really similar to my world’s, huh.
“Good morning, Luo Shi.”
Fan Tong and Yue Tui found Luo Shi standing by a stove for warmth. In this season, the Eastern City’s early mornings were always a little chilly. Luo Shi wasn’t wearing extra clothes, so that was probably why he felt cold.
The warmth of the fire caused his originally delicate and fair skin to gain a pink tint at his cheeks, giving him the adorable aura of a small child. This sort of look was guaranteed to make all aunties who saw him yell “This child is so cute –” and then put all their energy into rushing up to pinch, rub, knead, and squish him. Although a fourteen-year-old could be considered already half-grown and no longer small, Luo Shi’s petite stature and tender face still seemed to give people a protective urge.
“This is the place. Let’s go in.”
Xuan Dian was not very large. It was said that the number of visitors would multiply at noon; they had specifically come at such an early hour so that there would not be as much of a crowd. They wanted to avoid people watching Luo Shi curiously or blocking the road to request a duel with Yue Tui.
As for how people would react upon seeing Fan Tong, generally speaking there wasn’t much of a reaction. Normally, everyone would ignore him. Even Fan Tong himself didn’t know whether to be happy or sad about this.
“Luo Shi, who or what are we here to worship?”
Things like prayers required an object of worship, so Fan Tong was curious about what kind of faith existed here.
“Chen Yue of course, did you not see the carved mirror up there?”
Hearing Luo Shi’s answer, Fan Tong looked in the direction Luo Shi’s finger was pointing, and sure enough, there was an enormous wooden carving above which looked like a circular mirror of a rather archaic style.
It seems reasonable for the people of Huan Shi to worship Chen Yue. Do Luo Yue’s residents also worship it?
“The carving of Chen Yue is so small….”
Luo Shi wanted to retort but realized that Fan Tong had made another contradictory remark.
“It’s not that big, but since it’s made for everyone to worship, it should have more impact. That’s why it was made a little bigger.”
Oh. How boring.
“Come over here to draw a fortune and gain some luck.”
Are you certain you meant luck? Or are there no “Xiong” fortunes in the container?
Despite his unenthustiastic thoughts, Fan Tong came over anyway. Yue Tui also wordlessly followed.
Fan Tong continued lamenting even after putting his hand into the container of fortunes.
Sigh, if my memories and abilities returned, I would only need one glance to figure out something like this year’s fortune. Then, who would need to draw any fortunes? Can Chen Yue tell fortunes? Who knows if Chen Yue’s fortunes are accurate….
However, the fortunes that they drew weren’t the ones saying “Xiong” or “Ji ” that Fan Tong had imagined. When Fan Tong drew out his fortune and opened it, he saw that it contained only two large characters that made his facial muscles twitch.
…What is this? Who wrote nonsense on this slip of paper and threw it in?
“This year it’s also ‘Dead End.’ What do yours say?”
Luo Shi seemed dejected by the fortune he drew and so became interested in their fortunes.
Fan Tong wordlessly revealed “Fool.” Yue Tui seemed baffled, as if he were still deciphering the characters written on the fortune. After all, he had yet to master the script of the Eastern City.
“Pft! You actually drew ‘Fool’! How fitting!”
Luo Shi completely disregarded Fan Tong’s feelings and laughed out loud. Fan Tong was really unsure how to react to the words “how fitting.”
“What does it mean….”
“Mm, a fortune is something you must figure out yourself. If you feel at a loss, then it might be that you don’t understand yourself enough.”
I seriously hope that’s the case! Temples usually have interpretation services, right?
It was only the first day of the new year and he had already been mocked as a fool. To Fan Tong, it was like drawing “Da Xiong,” but it seemed like nobody could understand his feelings. For example, Luo Shi had even ridiculed him mercilessly.
“Don’t feel too bad. When Yin Shi comes to draw fortunes every year, he almost always gets ‘Big Idiot.’”
… So you’re saying, compared to that, “Fool” isn’t too bad?
It’s really too tragic for me to be compared to Lord Yin Shi. However, if Lord Yin Shi received “Big Idiot,” then I can believe that these fortunes have a certain accuracy rate.
“You said ‘almost always,’ but what did his other fortunes say….”
“Occasionally, there are years where he draws ‘Brain-dead,’ ‘Retarded,’ ‘Romantic Luck,’ and so on, according to Ling Shi.”
…Aren’t they all rather similar? The only good one is “Romantic Luck,” but up until now he’s only snagged a Bi Rou, so it looks like it wasn’t very useful….
Who knows what Lord Ling Shi got? I’m so curious. And what about Lord Wei Shi and Her Majesty the Queen….
“Yue Tui, what did you get?”
Yue Tui handed the fortune to them a little vacantly.
“I can only read one character. Bloody bloody bloody… Bloody what?”
In contrast to the few large characters on the others’ fortunes, Yue Tui’s slip of paper could be considered densely packed.
The characters for “Bloody Calamity Bloody Calamity Bloody Calamity Bloody Calamity Bloody Calamity” were densely packed on the fortune.
Yue Tui, you…. What exactly is going on with you?
“Yue Tui, what’s written here is ‘Bloody Delight.’”
After Fan Tong finished speaking, Luo Shi glared at him.
“Don’t mind Fan Tong; what’s written here is ‘Bloody Calamity.’”
We’re all friends here. It’s just one misspoken word; was that really necessary?
But speaking of which, the term “bloody delight” is really inscrutable. How should I interpret it; is it saying you’ll give birth or something?
“Bloody calamity… Next year?”
Yue Tui’s complexion was a little unsightly, but Fan Tong could understand his feelings quite well.
If he had to choose “Bloody Calamity” or “Fool” for the coming year, he really would not know which one to pick.
“It…. It might not be accurate. There’s a possibility that, if you are careful, you might avoid it. Otherwise, what’s the point of drawing fortunes….”
Luo Shi, you really spare nothing to comfort Yue Tui. That’s favoritism, you know, favoritism….
Yue Tui looked very worried. Fan Tong even thought he heard Yue Tui mutter, “Is it happening to me or am I the cause,” but he didn’t understand what Yue Tui meant by that.
“Hey! Xiao Luo Shi! You guys are also here to worship?”
At this time, a voice came from far away. Fan Tong thought to himself, “Ah, it’s the ‘Big Idiot.’”
We saw each other just last night; now we meet again this morning. I don’t know if I should call it being brought together by fate.
On the first day of the new year, we run into Lord Yin Shi. It doesn’t really put me in a cheerful mood…. Eh, Lord Ling Shi came with you too? Then what about your Bi Rou? How come you didn’t come together with her?
“Ah, you went to worship without bothering to invite us; Xiao Luo Shi is so heartless.”
Although it was early in the morning, Yin Shi’s energy levels were at one hundred percent, as demonstrated by both his complexion and his voice.
“Yin, don’t make a fuss within Xuan Dian.”
Ling Shi entered soon after and gave an indifferent warning. Unfortunately, Yin Shi turned a deaf ear.
“Are you guys drawing fortunes? Then I will too….”
“Please do things in the proper order and worship first.”
“What, it’s no big deal to draw fortunes first….”
“You sure are troublesome, old man! You’ll definitely draw ‘Old Maid ’ later!”
“It’s still better than ‘Big Idiot.’ What is there to be proud of about ‘Big Idiot’?”
There was indeed nothing to be proud of about “Big Idiot.” About “Old Maid,” however… For Lord Ling Shi, who was feminine-looking but full of masculine spirit, wasn’t it really an insult?
“Come. Worship. First – ”
Ling Shi hooked an elbow around Yin Shi’s neck and squeezed tight, using brute force to drag Yin Shi towards the worship location.
“Violent old geezer! My neck— cough! Cough cough— ”
Lord Ling Shi’s arms, though slender, were actually extremely strong. They looked really reliable.
Fan Tong had been mentally narrating his thoughts. If Bi Rou had been there, she might have also informed him that that slender arm was not only strong but also invulnerable. When struck by the Western City’s Magic Sword Guard, it had taken no damage.
“It seems like we encounter Lord Yin Shi wherever we go.”
Yue Tui voiced his thoughts as he forced a bitter smile.
“Just ignore him. He always brings disaster.”
Of the three of them, it was Luo Shi who had associated with Yin Shi the longest. But because both Fan Tong and Yue Tui had been affected by the disasters Yin Shi had brought, they both silently agreed with those words.
Furthermore, the disasters had been quite severe – a deadly one almost every time.
“Luo Shi, what do we do now?”
“Mm… We could go to the front to receive plaques to write our wishes on, then go hang them up in the public space. But since we’ve already greeted them, I think we should wait for them.”
The people Luo Shi wanted to wait for were Yin Shi and Ling Shi. Even though Yin Shi was a bringer of disaster, he and Luo Shi were still friendly with each other. It would be unreasonable to just abandon Yin Shi and Ling Shi, so the three of them could only wait in order to go together.
Thus, choosing your friends carefully made a lot of sense. If one wasn’t friends with someone, then there would be no problem. After becoming friends, it was always more troublesome to break off the relationship, and one would have to find many excuses to do so. Why not just be more selective from the start? That way one would be safer and have fewer worries.
Sadly, one couldn’t control something like fate. Moreover, Fan Tong was still uncertain whether or not he was actually friends with those two illustrious attendants.
In truth, those who became friends with him seemed to also be affected by his misfortune. Just take Yue Tui as an example. Then, should Fan Tong be grateful that others didn’t avoid him and stop being picky about choosing friends?
If you are all destined to be rich and famous, then you can’t be dragged down by my bad luck! –In the end, Fan Tong still decided to blame other people. Anyway, it didn’t matter how many mistakes he made if he blamed them on someone else.
Nearby, Yue Tui was still repeating those words, seeming extremely bothered.
Ling Shi appeared extremely pious and beautiful as he closed his eyes in prayer, giving him a peaceful aura. When gazing at him like this, Fan Tong felt that he looked just like a rare beautiful woman. Unfortunately, the undeniable fact that he was a man had crushed many men’s dreams— but there were also men who refused to give up even if they were beaten to death.
In comparison, Yin Shi appeared to be praying much more half-heartedly. One could tell from that bored expression and offhand manner that what he was thinking probably had nothing to do with worship. Most likely thinking things like, “What nice weather,” “Want to nap,” and so on, he was obviously just waiting for Ling Shi to finish praying. It really made people speechless.
After all that trouble of waiting for them to finish their prayers, Ling Shi and Yin Shi finally came over to draw fortunes. This was something Yin Shi had a little more interest in, and his expression showed that he was extremely eager.
“Ah! This year it isn’t ‘Big Idiot’!”
After opening the fortune he drew, he immediately reported this to Ling Shi with excitement.
“Oh. What is it?”
Ling Shi was not the least bit affected by Yin Shi’s excitement; the tone of his reply was full of indifference.
“It’s ‘Bloody Calamity’!”
Yin Shi proudly revealed the piece of paper. He successfully earned silence from those watching and a contemptuous look from Ling Shi.
What’s there to be so happy about when you draw “Bloody Calamity”…. Moreover, that’s nothing compared to what our Yue Tui got. You only have those four characters that spell out “Bloody Calamity,” but Yue Tui’s slip of paper was completely packed with the characters for “Bloody Calamity.”
But you are already this strong; what sort of bloody calamity could happen to you? That fortune really can’t be that accurate. At least “Big Idiot” would be somewhat more accurate.
“Bloody calamity isn’t a good thing….”
The corner of Luo Shi’s mouth twitched; he really did not know what to say to Yin Shi.
When a big idiot encounters a bloody calamity, what will happen?
“No matter how I look at it, I can’t help but think it means you’ll accidentally cut yourself, you big idiot.”
Ling Shi made a deduction based on Yin Shi’s situation, but Yin Shi didn’t accept that at all.
“Ah! How can that be! I’m not as dumb as that damned Wei Shi!”
Does that mean that Lord Wei Shi has accidentally cut himself before? Does this count as gossip? Although there’s no proof, can I still sell this information to Mi Zhong?
“Then, Ling Shi, what did you get?”
When Yin Shi asked, Ling Shi clenched the slip of paper in his hand as if he wanted to destroy all traces of it, but Yin Shi immediately grabbed his wrist and forced his fingers open with agile movements, rescuing the fortune from his hand. After one look, Yin Shi laughed out loud.
“Puhahaha! I knew you wouldn’t be able to get anything good! It’s actually….”
“No one will ignore you if you don’t speak.”
Ling Shi simply used a strong blow to shut Yin Shi’s mouth, causing Yin Shi’s next words to turn into a cry of pain. However, because Yin Shi was in pain, his grip on the slip of paper loosened, so Fan Tong saw what was written on the fallen slip.
“Good Wife and Loving Mother.”
Woah, how nice.
That’s the only compliment here; how can it not be a good thing? Is it embarrassing because Ling Shi is a man?
‘Snore──huu … Wuwu, is someone calling my name?’
Puhahaha, who had been hanging at Fan Tong’s waist, suddenly awakened and asked him such a question.
…. You heard wrong, that was just somebody laughing out loud.
‘There’s nothing? Then I’ll continue sleeping. Zzzzz….’
If Puhahaha had hands, Fan Tong would have wanted this fellow to draw a fortune so he could see if it said something like “Lazybones” or “Sleeping Pig.”
If Puhahaha got something like “Calligrapher” or “Janitor,” then Fan Tong would be justified in using it to draw characters or clean.
Someone like Yin Shi, who was both curious and loved to cause trouble, would naturally want them to share what was written on their fortunes. There wasn’t much to discuss about Luo Shi’s “Dead End,” but Fan Tong’s “Fool” was laughed at a bit. Wasn’t it just like the pot calling the kettle black for a “Big Idiot” to mock a “Fool”? However, this year Yin Shi wasn’t a big idiot, so his mockery was still justifiable. Fan Tong could only swallow his protests as he was ridiculed.
When Yue Tui took out his fortune with “Bloody Calamity Bloody Calamity Bloody Calamity….” on it, Yin Shi was unexpectedly full of praise.
“Ling Shi! Xiao Yue’s is amazing! He has so many!”
Exactly what is up with that expression, as if you’re envious of someone who got more toys than you?
“Do you really like bloody calamities that much….”
Ling Shi asked with a superficial smile. Fan Tong felt that Ling Shi was currently pondering whether to create some bloody calamities for Yin Shi.
“If they’re so great, then you can swap with him.”
Luo Shi said with a creased brow. However, exchanging slips of paper was not equivalent to exchanging destinies.
“Ah! That makes a lot of sense! Xiao Yue! Do you want to swap with me? I want to take your fortune back as a souvenir!”
Lord Yin Shi, what exactly is your brain made of?
Yue Tui hesitantly looked at the slip of paper in his hands. The characters for “Bloody Calamity” were not only densely packed but also tiny and red. In addition, Fan Tong had no idea what had been used to write those characters…. No matter how one looked at it, it was a very unlucky item which might even attract trouble to someone if they kept it, so why, why would someone would want this kind of thing as a souvenir?
“If you like it, I don’t mind just giving it to you. There’s no need to swap….”
Yue Tui clearly had an attitude that said, “I don’t want it; if you want it you can have it, and you can also keep your own.” This was the attitude ordinary people should have. Who would want to carry around the sort of item that would attract bad luck?
“Eh? There’s no need to be polite, just trade with me. Ah, it seems like I frequently exchange things with you, Xiao Yue.”
Yin Shi said while disregarding what the other party wanted. He took away Yue Tui’s fortune while simultaneously stuffing his own into Yue Tui’s hands so that Yue Tui was neither accepting nor declining it, causing Yue Tui’s smile to be a little forced.
And as for what Yin Shi had said about frequently exchanging things with Yue Tui, he’d only exchanged his broken knife for Yue Tui’s broken sword last time. One time shouldn’t count as frequent.
However, with Yin Shi’s terrible memory, it was already commendable that he could remember that incident, so there was no need to quibble with him.
“Lord Yin Shi, why isn’t Bi Rou here?”
At this moment, Yue Tui suddenly asked this question. The fact that he had actively asked about Bi Rou made Fan Tong rather surprised. Yue Tui was normally very cold to her, and just seeing her would make him look unhappy.
“Ah, Xiao Rou said it was too early. She wanted her beauty sleep and wouldn’t come with me.”
When speaking about Bi Rou, Yin Shi became dejected. Even so, he hadn’t rescheduled their visit to Xuan Dian to accommodate Bi Rou because, the later they went, the more people there would be, making it less convenient for travel.
Yin Shi was also one of those people who would encounter many reckless people requesting duels when walking down a road. If he were obstructed by an impenetrable crowd on the first day of the new year on his way to worship and draw fortunes, then it would be very hard for him to recover his spirits.
“Let’s go write on wishing plaques together.”
Since Luo Shi suggested this, everybody proceeded there together.
Wishing plaques, which weren’t very big, were distributed free of charge. As long as something was free, Fan Tong wouldn’t dislike it. Furthermore, he was much more comfortable with writing than with speaking. Even now, whenever Fan Tong recalled what he had yelled last night at the meteor shower, he would still feel like crying but was unable to shed any tears.
If I write, at least it won’t be wrong!
Fan Tong very earnestly wrote down his wish for the new year. In the end, he still decided to write down paying back his debt. Yue Tui put great effort into using the brush he was still unfamiliar with and the characters he knew to write down his wish. No one wrote for very long, as if they had already decided what their wishes were ages ago.
The next step was to hang the wishing plaques in the designated area. Some people had already hung their plaques before New Year’s, so there were already some wishing plaques hanging there. Once they’d added their five plaques, the whole thing looked a bit livelier.
Luo Shi’s writing was very graceful. Because Yue Tui wasn’t used to the Eastern City’s writing yet, his writing was a little rough. Fan Tong’s writing was very beautiful, so beautiful that it could be sold as calligraphy. Ling Shi’s writing was firm and neat, full of his personality. In contrast, Ying Shi’s writing was sloppy to the point of being illegible.
“When are you going to write something that people can read….”
Ling Shi looked at Yin Shi. His tone carried a bit of a sigh.
“Ah! It’s that damned Wei Shi’s plaque! So he’s actually been here already!”
Yin Shi completely ignored Ling Shi.
Hearing that Wei Shi’s wishing plaque was there, everybody curiously came over, wanting to see what kind of wish he had made.
“I hope that the Eastern City’s children can grow up peacefully.”
Fan Tong felt extremely weird. Is this really what Lord Wei Shi wrote? That Lord Wei Shi? Doesn’t seem like it, right? He wrote this sort of ordinary, harmless wish?
“How did you know that this was Wei Shi’s plaque? There’s no signature. Did you recognize his handwriting?”
Luo Shi asked suspiciously. Yin Shi pointed at the plaque angrily.
“Who needs to recognize his handwriting! This has a detestable smell on it!”
Who can comprehend these things that only you can sense?
“Ah! There’s more! Look! Evidence!”
Yin Shi flipped over the plaque. Shockingly, four large characters spelling “Drop dead, Yin Shi” were written on the back.
These four characters made it easier to believe that this was Wei Shi’s plaque, but openly cursing someone like this really wasn’t very good. Should it be called having no filter? It wasn’t like no one would see something if it was written on the back. For Wei Shi to openly display the conflicts between the two attendants… exactly how horrible had their relationship become?
“Mm, if it has those four characters, then I can believe that he wrote it. It’s very authentic.”
Ling Shi nodded his head. Fan Tong didn’t know whether he was agreeing with Yin Shi’s reasoning or with the four characters for “Drop dead, Yin Shi.”
“That damned Wei Shi actually cursed me to die; he’s just too traitorous… Ah! He actually wrote on two plaques!”
Hearing that Yin Shi had discovered another one, everyone went over to look. It really made people speechless for one person to actually write on two plaques. The previous plaque’s wish had been very ordinary; what about this one?
These words had been written on the plaque: “The Eastern City won’t be defeated! Long live Her Majesty, the Queen!”
Oh…. Fan Tong could understand why Wei Shi hadn’t left a signature.
It would actually be kind of embarrassing for someone to openly display this sort of passionate opinion. However, perhaps Wei Shi didn’t feel embarrassed, it had just never occurred to him to leave his signature.
“Quickly flip it over and look.”
Luo Shi seemed very eager. After all, the previous plaque had had something written on the back, so this one might also have writing there. It really made people curious about what exactly was written there.
Yin Shi flipped the plaque over with a frown. Sure enough, the back lived up to their expectations, containing a few big characters.
“Drop dead, Yin Shi.”
“Why is it also telling me to die—!”
According to this pattern, if Wei Shi had also written on a third or fourth plaque, the back of those would also have “Drop dead, Yin Shi” written there. It looked like he truly held a deep resentment towards Yin Shi. His persistence really made people speechless; did he really detest Yin Shi that much?
Lord Yin Shi, exactly what did you do to him? Exactly how many detestable things did you do?
“Could it be that your very existence is a huge eyesore to him? Without you, the Eastern City would be much better.”
Ling Shi made cynical remarks nearby, seeming extremely unconcerned.
Without Yin Shi, the Eastern City would be much better. Fan Tong didn’t know why he wanted to second that. Because that wasn’t very nice, however, he could only applaud silently.
“How evil! I’ll definitely make him pay when I return!”
Yin Shi said indignantly. In contrast, Ling Shi didn’t support him at all.
“Forget it, would he ever admit it? Even if he does, what can you do to him?”
“I’m going to flay him and hang him from the city walls!”
Are you serious? That wouldn’t be good, would it?
Compared to being executed, being flayed and hung from the city walls seems like a much lighter punishment, but it’s not like one would die from something like this. I’m afraid that, if this sort of thing happens, Lord Wei Shi would turn the Eastern City into a bloodbath afterwards in order to exterminate everybody who saw….
“Oh—? Keep your word then.”
A fleeting thoughtful smile appeared on Ling Shi’s lips, making people shudder in fear.
Lord Lin Shi, please stop prodding him….
“Mother the Queen wouldn’t ignore this.”
Luo Shi hadn’t been trying to defend Wei Shi. It was just that less was better when it came to this sort of mischief.
“Ah, that’s right, Ying will get mad.”
Yin Shi recoiled a bit, as provoking Xi Ying’s rage wasn’t a good idea.
“What a pity. I thought that you would do something on the first day of the new year to give everybody a pleasant surprise.”
Lord Ling Shi, that shouldn’t be called a pleasant surprise, okay? That should be called horrifying or shocking, regardless of whether you’re talking about the spectators or those involved.
“I’ll definitely find an untraceable way to get revenge!”
Yin Shi was still panting in rage, as if he couldn’t accept not getting revenge.
An untraceable way of getting revenge? Unlikely. If you had the ability to find one, you wouldn’t have drawn “Big Idiot” for so many years.
“Take your time; I’ll be waiting expectantly. But I think you’ll forget by tomorrow.”
Yin Shi’s burning fighting spirit seemed to matter not one whit to Ling Shi.
Looking at the wishing plaques hanging here was a very interesting task as well. Fan Tong had snuck a peek earlier: Luo Shi hoped that Hui Shi would return soon, Yue Tui hoped everyone would stay safe – basically everyone had written wishes that were uninteresting to look at. Therefore, he went to check out strangers’ plaques.
As expected, other people’s plaques were much more interesting, with much more to mock. For instance, those who wrote extreme wishes such as “Get a black tassel overnight” or “Dominate the Eastern City” greatly overestimated themselves. There was also someone who wished, “Don’t die again this year.” Fan Tong felt that this person was a fellow comrade in suffering.
When he discovered Mi Zhong’s plaque, he really felt like leaving without looking at it. He believed he would definitely see something written on it that would make him uncomfortable. After discovering it, however, he had already read the words there; the wish really was in Mi Zhong’s usual style.
Written on it were these words: “Lord Ling Shi! Give me a single glance! I beg of you to give me a single glance!”….
Fan Tong pondered whether to call Ling Shi over to look at this plaque and consider that as fulfilling Mi Zhong’s wish.
If Ling Shi asked whether he knew this person, however, he definitely would not want to admit it. He didn’t want to be looked at strangely because of someone else’s perversion, so why should he bother.
“Since we’re pretty much finished with the events at Xuan Dian….”
Luo Shi looked over at them and smiled shyly.
“Happy New Year.”
“Happy New Year.”
Yue Tui also smiled faintly, returning the benediction.
“Unhappy New Year.”
Fan Tong’s mouth was still the same as usual. At this moment, it truly was an .
“You could at least say ‘Unhappy old year’; it’s much better than saying ‘Unhappy New Year’!”
Luo Shi glared at him and scolded him again, but this wasn’t something Fan Tong could control, so he could only feel extremely wronged.
In any case, a new year was beginning, and Fan Tong continued sincerely hoping that the coming year would be even better.
…Even if it would involve a wild goose chase, a fool, and a whole lot of bloody calamities.
“Then we’ll go back first. The martial arts tournament and the matchmaking event are about to begin. Remember to participate, okay.”
Hey, hey? What martial arts tournament and matchmaking event? What are those?
“Who’s going to fight or marry you? Do you understand anything at all? Stop disgracing yourself; just hurry up and go.”
Ling Shi didn’t bother to explain Yin Shi’s disorderly remarks and dragged him away, leaving Luo Shi, Yue Tui, and Fan Tong there.
“Do you guys have time now?”
Luo Shi asked them this, as if he wanted to do something with them.
They had never refused Luo Shi’s invitations – it wasn’t as if they would run into anything bad with Luo Shi. In fact, there were often good food and drinks.
“Mm, we don’t have anything planned today.”
Hearing Yue Tui say this, Luo Shi looked happy.
“Then… I’m going to clean Hui Shi’s place now. Do you guys want to come along?”
What? We’re going to Hui Shi’s pavilion?
Fan Tong and Yue Tui were stunned for a moment. They hadn’t expected Luo Shi to want to do this kind of thing together.
“I thought you already cleaned it last year….”
Yue Tui replied confusedly. When they had swept Shen Wang Dian for a job last year, they had heard that Luo Shi would personally clean Hui Shi’s pavilion.
Things like cleaning…. Normally people would do it before New Year’s.
Luo Shi seemed a little embarrassed to speak and hesitated for a moment.
“I was preparing…. Last night’s…. I didn’t have enough time….”
Oh, so you spent your time preparing last night’s food and gifts? How thoughtful.
You even claimed that you had been dragged there in the spur of the moment; it turns out you were just trying to salvage the embarrassing situation…
“Do you, do you guys want to go or not!”
You were shamed into anger so quickly. Luo Shi, you are still an amateur….
Fan Tong nodded his head. After cleaning, Luo Shi would definitely ask them to dinner, right? Furthermore, Fan Tong just happened to bring a mop, so going to clean would be a perfect arrangment.
‘W-what are you thinking of doing with me again!’
Puhahaha spoke up again. It probably hadn’t heard his thoughts – rather, it had probably felt his ill intent?
Hmph hmph hmph, you can’t escape this time! Even if you’re a horsetail whisk, you’re still a cleaning tool. You don’t have any excuses!
‘Your aura is extremely sinister! Your thoughts are definitely impure! What are you going to do! I’m warning you, don’t defile my sacred body!’
Never heard of a weapon admonishing its master. Go ahead and lament;. I’m not going to talk. I’ll just let you worry a bit, hehe.
‘If you dare mess around! I’ll use my soul-purging glow!’
That’s great, when I sweep in the dark corners, I’ll even have illumination. Oh yeah.
Fan Tong was unmoved by Puhahaha’s threats. Sadly, in order to prevent Luo Shi and Yue Tui from finding out, he couldn’t verbally trade a few lines with Puhahaha. Otherwise, it would have been even more refreshing.
“Yue Tui, are you going too?”
Luo Shi stared at Yue Tui and asked again. Although Fan Tong had nodded, that didn’t mean that Yue Tui would agree as well.
Yue Tui replied very straightforwardly. This time, he agreed directly and frankly instead of saying something like, “If Fan Tong wants to go, then I will as well.”
“I do really want to go see.”
Oh, Yue Tui, are you afraid he’s not fully convinced you’re Hui Shi? Or are you actually Hui Shi?
Since both parties had already agreed to go, there was no need to waste any more time. They then set off towards Shen Wang Dian.
The last time they had come to Shen Wang Dian, they hadn’t gone farther than the third palace, which was also where Yin Shi’s pavilion was. However, this time they were heading to Hui Shi’s pavilion in the fifth palace, so Fan Tong couldn’t help but be a bit nervous.
After they’d gone farther inside, it became even more apparent that Shen Wang Dian was huge. Since they weren’t sightseeing, they only passed through the area on their way to Hui Shi’s pavilion, yet that already took a very long time. The vast interior made Fan Tong feel that it was a waste to house only a few people inside, but a palace had to be big in order to have grandeur, so there was nothing wrong with its size. At most, it caused Fan Tong to think about their triple bunk bed situation and feel a burst of grief.
They entered Hui Shi’s pavilion without any trouble, as they didn’t meet Yin Shi midway and waste time, nor did they meet Wei Shi and suffer. They arrived at the fifth palace without running into Xi Ying once again; their entrance had been so dull and smooth that it felt a little surreal.
“It’ll just be us three cleaning?”
No way, this place is so big, how many days are you planning on cleaning for?
“Mm, we’re only cleaning a few rooms, the study and a bedroom. Don’t worry.”
After hearing Luo Shi’s words, Fan Tong finally felt at ease. So they didn’t need to sweep the whole place. He could probably endure it then.
“Then, let’s start with the study!”
They didn’t need anything too complex to clean the study. All they had to do was use a cleaning rag and mop to tidy the bookshelves and floor.
Because he didn’t really want Puhahaha to hate him forever, Fan Tong didn’t use him as a mop. Instead, he obediently grabbed a mop that Luo Shi had prepared and commenced mopping.
‘Look, that is a real mop, while I am a horsetail whisk. Can you tell what a real mop is or not?’
Puhahaha obviously held a grudge against Fan Tong for always calling him a mop. As soon as he had a chance, he had to reprimand Fan Tong.
“Of course I don’t know that this is a mop….”
Fan Tong replied impatiently; the curse attacked again.
‘You grew up without knowing this is mop? What did your family use to mop the floor!’
I was saying that I do know this is a mop. Why are you fussing so much? Watch out or I’ll call you .
“Fan Tong, what are you talking to yourself about?”
Luo Shi looked over suspiciously.
“I’m talking with Puhahaha.”
“Oh… You are getting closer to your mop.”
No way are we getting closer to each other. It’s more like we are growing further apart.
“Fan Tong, conversing more with your weapon is a good thing. Your strength will increase as your connection and relationship deepen.”
Yue Tui, who was polishing the bookcase, turned his head towards Fan Tong and said this, leaving Fan Tong somewhat puzzled.
Don’t you only have a broken weapon that can’t talk? How did you know? Did you diligently study the Eastern City’s books while I wasn’t paying attention? But can you even read those words?
“How did you know, Yue Tui?”
Sure enough, Luo Shi also found this strange. After all, the three of them had bought weapons together.
“The teacher at school said it….”
Yue Tui replied with a half-baked explanation. However, there was no evidence against him since Luo Shi did not take classes with them and Fan Tong didn’t pay attention much in his Wushu classes.
Since they’d finished cleaning the study quickly, they then went to the bedroom. The bedroom was slightly bigger than the study. Besides the necessary bed, there were also a few shelves, tables, and chairs. The cleaning process was quite similar to how they’d cleaned the study; Fan Tong continued to mop while Luo Shi and Yue Tui continued wiping things.
After entering, Fan Tong looked around.
He had some sort of wondrous feeling he couldn’t describe…. At any rate, it was just a very wondrous feeling.
The decorations in Hui Shi’s pavilion were very plain and simple. Although the tables, chairs, and rugs were still made of high quality materials, they didn’t have a gorgeous feel. The furnishings usually had plain white designs or stripes; this aspect made the place somewhat similar to Yin Shi’s pavilion.
However, Yin Shi’s pavilion was brighter than this place. Upon entering Hui Shi’s pavilion, Fan Tong felt a sort of gloomy aura. He couldn’t figure out why he had such a heavy feeling, and after he entered the bedroom, this feeling became even more obvious.
Why exactly did he have that feeling? Was it because the atmosphere was bad?
Although they were all in the same room, the room was quite large, and one could say they had been scattered to three corners. There wasn’t much conversation, so after Fan Tong mopped a little, he started spacing out.
He felt himself subconsciously inspect the room, scanning from left to right, then from right to left. His eyes seemed to move with a will of their own, until they stopped at a small cupboard.
At this time, Fan Tong wasn’t sure what he was thinking and just felt a little confused. He felt that he was looking not at that small cupboard but at something else…. And just as he could wrack his brains no more, Yue Tui’s silhouette suddenly entered his line of sight.
Yue Tui wiped the small cupboard a few times with his cleaning rag, then stopped and suddenly used a slim, pale hand to quickly maneuver something on the side of the cupboard. He then proceeded to press a spot on the wall above.
A square depression silently appeared, from which he retrieved a manual as if by magic. Fan Tong stared dumbly until Yue Tui returned the wall to normal just as quietly before coming back to himself and yelling out loud.
“Yue Tui, what is that?”
Probably because he hadn’t expected Fan Tong to see what he’d done, Yue Tui jolted slightly, and Luo Shi also came over at Fan Tong’s shout.
“What is it….”
“Uh…. I accidentally discovered this; it probably contains Hui Shi’s notes.”
After turning around to face Luo Shi, Yue Tui flipped through the book in his hand and replied as such.
What do you mean you accidentally discovered it; was I just imagining what you just did? Wasn’t that trick to open the secret compartment done too competently for it to be an accident?
Fan Tong was somewhat dumbfounded at Yue Tui’s lie, but after thinking about it, he decided not to expose Yue Tui, although he had no idea what Yue Tui was planning.
“Hui Shi wrote this?”
Luo Shi’s voice was somewhat shaky from the surprise. He was in such a hurry he couldn’t be bothered with manners and rushed over to snatch the book from Yue Tui’s hands.
After he’d briefly flipped through a few pages, his expression became a little ugly.
“Luo Shi, what’s written inside? Does it have anything to do with Hui Shi’s whereabouts?”
There must be something strange inside for his face to change like that. Fan Tong couldn’t help but ask about it, causing Luo Shi to purse his lips.
“I…. will go back and study it carefully, then I’ll tell you.”
Oh. Actually, it’s fine even if you don’t tell us. If this book can give you a lead on Hui Shi’s whereabouts, then just find a way to bring him back.
“Yue Tui, where did you find this? How come I’ve never seen it before?”
After Hui Shi disappeared, of course Luo Shi had also come to Hui Shi’s pavilion to look for clues. He’d resigned himself to searching the whole place yet had never discovered this booklet, so of course he had to ask.
“There was a mechanism in the wall. I think I accidentally triggered it, and then….”
Yue Tui lied again, making Fan Tong feel even more suspicious.
He could have sworn that Yue Tui had known how to open the secret compartment, but why would Yue Tui know?
Luo Shi’s expression while gazing at Yue Tui was filled to the max with suspicion, but what was more important right now was the booklet. Luo Shi had no choice but to temporarily set aside his doubts and focus on the booklet.
In order for him to sit down and study the book properly, it was of course impossible to continue cleaning. Therefore, Luo Shi decided that today’s cleaning session was finished.
Since it was still early and not mealtime yet, Fan Tong’s dreams of gourmet cuisine naturally flew away. This was a huge blow to him, and his disappointment was completely visible on his face.
“Why is your expression like that?”
Fan Tong’s dispiritedness was so conspicuous that it couldn’t be ignored, so Luo Shi couldn’t help but ask him about it grumpily.
Hearing his response, Yue Tui was somewhat speechless. In contrast, Luo Shi couldn’t help but smack his head.
“You think about nothing but food all day! You should have drawn ‘Rice Bucket’! That would suit you the most!”
That’s just over the top! Using others’ names to make a fuss ! Then picking at their sore spots as well!
As Luo Shi said this, Yue Tui also sighed nearby. It looked like he didn’t object.
People should care about their stomachs first! If the stomach isn’t full, then there’s no point mentioning anything else!
But no matter how justified he was, his cursed mouth made it was impossible for him to argue. Fan Tong could only be silently depressed.
Fan Tong’s Afterword
The first day of the new year, the first day of the new year….
Today felt very long, with lots of things happening, so how come only one day has passed?
All right, it might be because we got up early. Under those circumstances, the day has become extra long, since several hours have been added that would have normally been slept away—but when we were preparing to depart from Hui Shi’s pavilion, it wasn’t even noon yet. This really is…. Time passed a little too slowly, right?
It feels like most of the morning was spent on drawing weird fortunes. Maybe the leftover fatigue from dealing with the “Big Idiot” contributed to that feeling. I feel that the Eastern City’s fortunes are really unique, since they’re truly able to make people angry. Does anybody ever draw a satisfying fortune?
Lord Yin Shi doesn’t count. He drew “Bloody Calamity” but was still satisfied to such a degree – I’ve never seen such a thing before.
Returning to the main topic, if there’s no need to report the fortunes drawn or return them, then how do Xuan Dian’s managers know which ones are missing so they can replenish them?
Luo Shi actually said that I should have drawn “Rice Bucket.” That really hurt me. If that’s the case, doesn’t that mean Mi Zhong should have drawn “Rice Weevil” and Luo Shi should have drawn “Pretty Girl”? I didn’t even use his most upsetting point to attack him; how could he attack me like this—
Then we went to Hui Shi’s pavilion and didn’t even get to touch anything good before having to leave. That was really quite unsatisfying.
No matter what, I should still properly ask Yue Tui exactly what happened. It would have been awkward to ask that in front of Luo Shi, but when it’s just the two of us, I should be able to ask, right?
But what if he plays dumb and evades the question….
Mm, looks like I can’t do anything about that.
Ah—a new year, a new year—I’ve written on a wishing plaque, so my wish must come true!
Actually, after looking at everybody’s wishes, I figure the probability of their wishes coming true is very low.
However, for Lord Wei Shi, it’s not that the probability is low. You wrote on two plaques, cursing Lord Yin Shi to drop dead, so that the chance it’ll happen will double?
Sigh, that Hui Shi person had better hurry back already. We have his notes, so there must be a lead, right….
Proofreaders: NyxEclipse, Sherry
“Before I’ve confirmed anything, you should just stay put.”
Reacting to what Lan Kuang said, Ran Feng Ge stumbled backwards purposefully as though he was frightened.
The four bodyguards immediately surged forward to surround Ran Feng Ge, before looking towards Lan Kuang for further instructions.
Ran Feng Ge felt a shudder run down his spine; was it his fight or flight response?
If it came down to fighting, taking all four men at once would cost him a significant amount of energy. In addition, Lan Kuang was still in the equation; if he were to join the fray, what they had in the past might be revealed.
Even though he was stuck between a rock and a hard place, he did not forget to consider all his options and how the real Jing Qiu Han would react in this situation.
“Master, you promised me…” Ran Feng Ge said softly, giving in without a fight. Wind and Fire each held onto Ran Feng Ge’s arms as he gave his most troubled expression to Lan Kuang, “Master…”
Unperturbed, Lan Kuang replied “You agreed to come back to my side too, did you not?”
“But, I have not seen my sister…”
“We will discuss the matter of your sister after I have verified the information you have provided me. If it is as valuable as it seems to be, your sister will be granted her freedom.” Lan Kuang rose up from the chair and took two steps towards Ran Feng Ge, fingers lifting up his chin, “As for you, just sit quietly in confinement. Take this as punishment for taking so long to acquire the data.”
Ran Feng Ge pretended to put up a fight, and amid his struggle his phone, weapons and the like were all taken away.
In the end, Ran Feng Ge was escorted by all four men into the car that was waiting downstairs.
He was placed on his side across the back seat, blindfolded with his hands tied together; Ran Feng Ge decided to close his eyes and pretend to sleep.
In his heart, Ran Feng Ge felt regret. Looks like there is no way I’ll be able to attend the thank you dinner! Boss Su, I swear it is not my intention to stand you up. With Lan Kuang being the suspicious man he is, there is nothing I can do! Looks like I’m going to have to stay with him for a few days.
Nightfall, 7 PM
Ran Feng Ge’s appointment with Su Yi Mo was supposed to be at 6 PM.
Su Yi Mo has already waited for an hour.
Glancing at his watch again, the minute hand was now over the number 6. Su Yi Mo could not stop himself from calling Ran Feng Ge’s number, but no one was picking it up.
He called again, but still no one picked up the call.
He repeated the calls a few more times, only to have someone end the call prematurely.
Su Yi Mo had already guessed that something bad must have happened.
His fingers flew across the phone screen swiftly, typing out the message “Where is he?”
At the other end, Lan Kuang who had been playing with the phone that had been ringing nonstop, clicked open the message that had just arrived, the edges of his lips rising into a grin, and replied with “No comment”, before switching the phone off.
As expected, the little traitor’s value in Su Yi Mo’s eyes was not small.
Su Yi Mo could not help but redial the number again, but this time, a female voice sounded “Sorry, the number you have dialled is currently not in service”. As soon as he heard this, Su Yi Mo dropped his hand, his expression darkening.
Since he could not get into contact with Ran Feng Ge, then it meant that Lan Kuang must have him.
Jing Qiu Han wanting to discuss terms with Lan Kuang was more than enough to expose his betrayal, Lan Kuang keeping Ran Feng Ge who was playing Jing Qiu Han, meant that he had no intentions of letting him go.
Thinking that providing a sizable compromise would allow Lan Kuang to drop his defences, who would have thought that this fellow was smarter than he seems, to actually use Jing Qiu Han to threaten him.
Should I abandon Ran Feng Ge?
With his skills, weapons knowledge and ability to transform into anyone, in addition to his quick-wittedness, he should be able to get out of this by himself unscathed right?
Should I make all of the information Lan Kuang just received obsolete?
If Ran Feng Ge cannot be rescued, it would be stupid to allow himself to be made so disadvantaged wouldn’t it?
Fingers tightened across the phone in his hand, Su Yi Mo furrowed his brows as he thought about the situation. Finally, with a flick of his wrist, Su Yi Mo replaced his phone onto the coffee table, silently telling himself you have to remain strong.
Since Lan Kuang was keeping “Jing Qiu Han”, naturally, there would be a motive behind it, something to do with what Su Yi Mo has on hand.
“Jing Qiu Han” was Lan Kuang’s blue chip, at the moment, he is still safe. At the most, he will only be under house arrest.
For now, Su Yi Mo could only remain calm and composed and wait patiently for Lan Kuang to contact him.
As for the information that was given, you can’t expect great returns without significant risks, right?
Lan Kuang’s next step would most likely be to verify the validity of the information, if he were to find out that everything he was given was fake Ran Feng Ge would definitely be in danger.
Right from the start, Ran Feng Ge knew that he was but a pawn in this game. He will just have to grit his teeth and go with the flow for now.
Just hope for the best that Ran Feng Ge will be safe and sound when they get to him.
If he was not wrong, Su Yi Mo guessed that Ran Feng Ge was most likely locked up in a secret off-site location.
The room Ran Feng Ge was to be locked in was big, but it was very tightly sealed. There was very little light within and all four walls were made of metal and except for the door there were no other routes of ventilation. Once the door closes, there wouldn’t be any light at all; it would be as though he was sucked into an abyss.
Ran Feng Ge felt a strike of fear through his heart, this place… brought back some very unpleasant memories.
“Get in!” Without giving Ran Feng Ge a chance to argue back, the person who had brought him in pushed him into the room and sealed the door, leaving Ran Feng Ge locked inside!
The impenetrable darkness, the silence and the fear would slowly eat away at a person’s sanity.
This was even worse for Ran Feng Ge who had a traumatic past.
He normally did not think about things that had already gone by but in this situation, Ran Feng Ge could not help but relive those memories.
Taking a deep breath, Ran Feng Ge made his way to the back wall, and closed his eyes as he sat down.
He had to force himself to think of things that helped him relax.
What kind of present should he get for Xi Ran and Xiao Mi’s wedding? The two of them are very hard to placate, if he gifted them something that was not what they wanted, he was sure they would give him a beating to remember. And it must be given in a pair, it cannot be too expensive but at the same time it cannot be too cheap. Thinking about their wedding, Ran Feng Ge could not stop the feeling of envy from bubbling up within him; to be able to meet the right someone, and to want to stay together for the rest of your life may sound easy, but in fact it was easier said than done!
When will I be able to meet my destined partner?
Ah, ah… I’m thinking too much…
Ran Feng Ge pulled his knees up against his chest and rested his chin on the top of his knee, silently calculating his assets, the amount he calculated out in the end left him stunned as he did not realise that he had that much to his name!
Where should I migrate to in the future? Should I stay here? But there is both Su Yi Mo and Lan Kuang here, it might not be wise to remain here. But Xi Ran and Xiao Mi’s bar is here, and I’ve already agreed to be their waiter when the time comes.
Thinking about his friends, Ran Feng Ge could not stop the small smile from pulling at his lips. Forget it, those two aren’t calculating fellows. If Ran Feng Ge tells them that he wishes to migrate overseas to settle down, those two will not say anything, but will instead drop everything, sell the bar and be ready to travel with him as a set of three.
If Su Yi Mo gets impatient, he should be able to at least guess what had happened, right? He is a smart man, he’s definitely the kind who knows exactly when a relationship is unsalvageable and to pull out at the optimum time. If not, his little lover and his sister’s rescue mission would require more than what he has done so far.
That is how businessmen are. They must always be able to ensure that their losses are kept to a bare minimum.
Time seemed to be passing slowly and yet at times, it was as though time was just zooming by.
Ran Feng Ge was unsure of how long he had been locked up for. He could only constantly go over all kinds of past memories. Every time he opened his eyes he found that he was still stuck in the same place, surrounded by a deep darkness, making him question if he were even breathing.
As his legs were numb, Ran Feng Ge stretched them out to try and get some blood flow back into them. Once the numbness had subsided, Ran Feng Ge attempted to stand up but was overcome by a wave of dizziness; his ears rang loudly with the sound of nothingness. Ran Feng Ge rushed to settle back down onto the floor again, after sitting for some time, Ran Feng Ge felt that he could no longer hold himself upright and proceeded to lay on the ground.
Ran Feng Ge understood that most times when people are locked up, it was a test of mental strength. To be locked up in a room such as this where there was nothing and no one, it’s not hard for thoughts to stray. Once they have been locked up long enough, even the strongest will break.
He had been locked up here for quite a long period, even though he was unsure of the passage of time, signs of air deprivation were starting to show.
For now he could only minimize body movements by allowing himself to lie there silently.
Ran Feng Ge slowed his breathing and slowly drifted off to sleep.
It was pain that forced him from his slumber. His stomach was cramping painfully and it felt as though his intestines were knotting up. It made him nauseous and sick, the breaths he now took were shallow, his heart was beating very quickly, and the tremble in his hands was getting stronger. All in all, Ran Feng Ge was feeling very uncomfortable.
He knew he was suffering from moderate air deprivation and hunger.
Painstakingly, Ran Feng Ge reached for the small cube of chocolate he had in his pants pocket, and bringing it up to his lips used his teeth to rip the wrapping away, Ran Feng Ge then popped the chocolate into his mouth.
The energy content in this little bit of chocolate was very high, it can even be used as a meal replacement sometimes. This can even be classed as a life-saving food stuff.
Ran Feng Ge was sure that he shouldn’t be eating chocolate when he was suffering from such extreme gastric pain, but if he had to choose, he chose a chance to live. Eating this chocolate would worsen his gastric problems, but at least he will be able to hang on a little longer. If he did not eat the chocolate he wouldn’t have had the energy to carry on and would have most likely died here. And so, all he could do now was grit his teeth and ride out the cramping pain.
Ran Feng Ge managed to stay awake for some time after eating the chocolate, but his consciousness now appeared to be drifting away slowly. It was painful and difficult to breathe now, so much so that the pain from his gastric disease seemed to disappear.
Ran Feng Ge realised that if no one were to rescue him now, he would most definitely suffocate to death soon.
At the moment his consciousness was about to fade into nothing, the door to the room was suddenly pulled open. Hurried steps rushed towards his direction, pulling along a draft of cool fresh air from the outside. The person pulled the nearly unconscious Ran Feng Ge up, and with one swift motion, carried him in their arms! With large strides, said person quickly exited the room.
Ran Feng Ge had no strength left, and all he could do was struggle to keep his eyelids open. His sight was blurred from the lack of oxygen so that he could not make out who the person carrying him was. But this kind of cool, icy atmosphere, could only belong to one person… Could this person be Su Yi Mo?
Next: Chapter 15: Who is Better at Chess?
Previous: Chapter 13: I Will Return to Master’s Side, Without Fail
Return: Main Page
Hello everybody, it’s me, Fan Tong. Nn, yes, it’s still me. Don’t blame me for such a short greeting; I just feel that if people talk too much, it’s easy for the tongue to slip, which would incur bad luck. Not to mention, no matter how little I speak, I will still slip up. Therefore, this year my New Year’s resolution is to be taciturn and also improve myself by acting cool and looking handsome.
However, I felt hopeless on the first day of the new year. It’s hard to change a person’s nature. Even if I shut my mouth and stay silent, my thoughts will be too messy, and my face will still betray me. Nobody will think that I am dignified. What is the point of living such a difficult and halfhearted life? I should just change my New Year’s resolution.
The time that I’ve spent since arriving at the Eastern City can’t be called long or short, yet a few months have already passed, and the year is over.
I’ve already undergone brainwashing after encountering the Luo Yue Magic Sword Guard and completed my first memory release. Everyone’s tassels have already been upgraded, but I’m still stuck at grass green, just because I didn’t have the guts to go challenge the Wushu Tractor Teacher… Wu.
In a more or less peaceful atmosphere, we all happily sat on a grassy slope outside of the Eastern City, watching a meteor shower during New Year’s. The starry sky was very beautiful, the mood was great, the food was delicious, and Yue Tui also looked very happy, so it was an excellent night.
But… people say that, no matter whether you’re rich or poor, you should get a wife to celebrate a good year. The year has already ended, but where is the wife?
I’m not saying that I have no qualifications, okay! Looking at the reflection of my respectable face, I feel that, although it isn’t so incomparably handsome that people would drool over it, at least it’s a notch above tasteful and good-looking, right?
Staring at the mirror to judge my looks first thing in the morning, I really feel that there is something wrong with me. But every time I look back at Yue Tui’s face, I once again feel inferior and ashamed to show my face. Sigh, staring at the mirror is better; if there’s nothing better to do, I shouldn’t abuse my own self-confidence.
But who decreed that you have to be like that to get a wife! If that was the case, then there must not be many men in the world who have married!
My New Year’s resolution is to date a girlfriend with the expectation of marriage! It’s decided!
But actually, repaying my debt might be a more realistic wish…
Proofreaders: Sherry, Dinoj
Lan Kuang laid sprawled across the sofa, drunkenly clutching onto both the picture and the wine glass for the entire night only to be awoken by the ringing of his phone.
With his eyes still closed, Lan Kuang blindly reached for his phone to end the call so that he could continue sleeping.
His phone rang relentlessly once more.
Groaning, Lan Kuang grabbed his phone, squinting at the screen. Who the hell was it calling him so early in the morning! He must be seeking death!
He stared at the name on the screen dumbly for a few moments, momentarily stunned before he accepted the call. His voice was still tinged with sleep but no less commanding, “Ah Qiu? Have you gotten the data?”
On the other end, as soon as he heard Lan Kuang’s voice, Ran Feng Ge felt his breath hitch in his throat, although his expression remained unchanged: “Yes. I do have the data to give you, but there is a condition.”
Stunned, Lan Kuang’s voice turned cold as he chuckled, “Condition? You still dare try to negotiate terms with me?”
“I know I don’t have the right, but I know that master, you are a benevolent man, I know you will grant me this request.” Ran Feng Ge controlled the tremble in his voice and forcing himself to calm down, “If master refuses to agree, Ah Qiu would rather let the jade shatter than give it to you!”
“Fine! You’ve got guts!” Lan Kuang gritted out, “… What’s your condition?”
“Please release my sister.” Ran Feng Ge took the chance to negotiate the terms, “This entire thing has nothing to do with her, it was all due to my negligence which dragged this on too long, if master wants to punish someone, please punish me instead!”
Propping both his feet on the coffee table, Lan Kuang decided to go about it a new way, “Releasing her is possible, it all depends on how valuable your information is.”
“I swear it is worth it! Please believe me master! If it isn’t worth it, Ah Qiu is willing to accept any punishment you wish on me!” Ran Feng Ge said confidently.
Lan Kuang closed both eyes “But if I released Qiu Lan, isn’t it the same, there will be no one who will look after her? She grew up within the group, she might get bullied outside. There may not be much freedom within the group, but at least it is safe, is it not?”
Ran Feng Ge rolled his eyes: “Thank you for your worries, but Ah Qiu will handle it myself.”
Lan Kuang gave a low chuckle, “I know, you intend on letting Su Yi Mo take care of her, don’t you?”
Ran Feng Ge quickly retorted “No!”
With this, Lan Kuang was even more certain, “Looks like you are being well taken care of by Su Yi Mo”
With furrowed brows, Ran Feng Ge could not help but think that there was a hidden meaning in Lan Kuang’s words.
The next moment, Lan Kuang’s sinister voice said “I agree to your terms, you give me the information and I will return Qiu Lan back to you.”
Holding his breathe, Ran Feng Ge was sure that Lan Kuang had something else to say.
“But, once you have settled Qiu Lan down, you have to return back to my side.” Lan Kuang replied with his own condition, “Is that a problem?”
Su Yi Mo was always so protective of Jing Qiu Han, having him back by Lan Kuang’s side would definitely be a huge advantage. Who is to say if Su Yi Mo might be willing to give up a whole lot more for Jing Qiu Han!
Although there is a saying that goes soldiers do not cheat, but he, Lan Kuang has never had a problem using underhanded moves to get what he wants.
All of this… was taught to him by An Mu, and so he will use what he was taught!
“This… …” Ran Feng Ge hesitated, why did Lan Kuang want Jing Qiu Han back by his side? Did he want to torture him? This bastard really did not learn from his past behavior!
“What? You are not willing? Then don’t come to me with terms and conditions! Qiu Lan can forget about leaving Chasing Hawk!” with that said, Lan Kuang was about to end the call.
Ran Feng Ge hurriedly replied, “No! I’m willing! I am willing! Master, please don’t be angry.” With a deep sigh, Ran Feng Ge slowly repeated, “I will return to master’s side, without fail.”
“Now that’s more like it!” Lan Kuang replied with a satisfied laugh, “Then I will wait for your good news! You better deliver me information that is worth all this, if not you can forget about getting out of this alive!”
“Noon, 12pm, bring the data to Lang Ting hotel, room 3206. Got it?”
“Yes, I got it.”
Once he ended the call, Lan Kuang rubbed at his aching temples, the expression on his face darkened. It was time to show the Su family who was the better one!
Why did the branch family have to listen and follow the main family? Shouldn’t it be based on skills?
Just wait, I, Lan Kuang will prove that Chasing Hawk is better than Falcon!
On the other hand, Ran Feng Ge’s ended the call with a dark expression. Su Yi Mo, who had been listening the entire time, asked “Did he agree to release her?”
Nodding his head, Ran Feng Ge replied “Yea, but he had a condition.” Ran Feng Ge explained the terms negotiated to Su Yi Mo.
Su Yi Mo replied “I understand, ‘the information has to be worth it, right? Don’t you worry, I will give him one part of my subsidies to ensure Qiu Lan’s safety.”
“… Have you ever considered my safety?” Ran Feng Ge offhandedly asked.
Su Yi Mo was silent, he glanced over at Ran Feng Ge, catching his gaze, he was just about to answer when Ran Feng Ge gave a mischievous smirk, reaching forward to pat Su Yi Mo on the shoulders, “I was just kidding! I am in charge of my own safety. I’ve already checked, the money has been transferred into my account, you are honest and sincere. Then… I will go and do my meet-up!”
With that said, it seemed as though he were just going on a date with a lover, he grabbed the USB and was about to leave.
Su Yi Mo reached out and grabbed onto his arm, he seemed like he had a lot to say but could not put it into words, it was only when Ran Feng Ge raised an eyebrow at him that he was able to say “You need to watch out for yourself as well, I will book a restaurant tonight as my thanks to you.”
“A treat?” Ran Feng Ge asked, “Okay!”
Who knows, this might be his last dinner. Once he passed Qiu Lan to Su Yi Mo, he still had to return to Lan Kuang’s side… and then he had to find an opportunity to slip away.
And if that didn’t work, he could always fake his own death.
The money was already in his account anyways. As long as Jing Qiu Han never showed his face again and Ran Feng Ge stopped accepting requests in the near future, then everything will work out!
Lang Ting Hotel – Room 3206
After he was done with his morning washup, the Lan Kuang from that morning and the man who was now cleaned up and dressed in a white suit seemed to be two different people.
Other people who wore white suits may exude a more gentle and innocent charm, however on him, only power seemed to pour from him.
Time was slowly moving towards the arranged meeting time of 12 pm.
The door bell rang.
With just the flick of his eye, Lan Kuang prompted the men by his side to open the room door.
Just beyond the door, stood Ran Feng Ge with Jing Qiu Han’s face wearing a black suit with a checkered shirt.
Scanning the room quickly, Ran Feng Ge realised that the room had a total of five people, other than Lan Kuang, the other four were his personal bodyguards. These four men were his bodyguards all those years ago too, with a moniker along the lines of Wind, Fire, Thunder, Lightning, as though it were some WuXia film.
Seem like, Lan Kuang was very determined to fight with Su Yi Mo this time.
Unfortunately, his motive was a little despicable.
Of course, Ran Feng Ge also knew that a soldier never cheats, and that in an industry that was like a battlefield, if you did not steel your heart, you will be the one to suffer in the end! In this case the two big players were members of triads who were trying to do the same above ground business. If they were to start fighting it would be even more chaotic.
“Come on in!” Lan Kuang said sharply, slowly observing the ‘Jing Qiu Han’ before him.
The last time he had Hei Bao bring Jing Qiu Han in hastily and he was gone after a few words, he did not even have the time to look at him properly.
And now, after seeing him properly, it seems as though he had grown taller than before, even the atmosphere around him was different.
“It seems like you have grown taller.” Lan Kuang smiled.
Ran Feng Ge lowered his head, “Yes… It has been seven years since we last met, growing taller is not something that can be helped.”
Lan Kuang raised an eyebrow, and did not return a comment, only asking “Where is it?”
Ran Feng Ge did not give it to him, he only observed the room, looking left and right before saying “I don’t see my sister.”
“First, I want to see the data.” Lan Kuang commanded. It was just a drop in tone, but the two men by his side stepped forward, ready to search Ran Feng Ge.
Ran Feng Ge knew that even if he were to come at Lan Kuang head on and refuse to hand Jing Qiu Lan over, there would be nothing he could do, it was better to obediently play along first, and if all else fails use some of his special skills to get the girl out.
With a glare at the two approaching men, Ran Feng Ge retrieved the USB that was in the pocket of his pants, handing it over to Lan Kuang, “The data is all in here, please check it.”
Of the four bodyguards, Lightning took the USB and inserted it into the Lan Kuang’s laptop, with a few clicks, he opened up the folders and turned the laptop around to Lan Kuang to allow him to inspect.
Lan Kuang moved the mouse around, scanning through the information within the USB, the grin he had on his face slowly morphed into something more serious.
All this information… was indeed really valuable! If they were to use the information against the Su family, then Su Yi Mo will definitely feel his wrath!
Closing his eyes slowly, Lan Kuang’s brain was going into overdrive. In just one day, Jing Qiu Han shouldn’t have been able to access information that was this important, if this had been the work of seven years, then it would have been more believable. But, was it even possible to get it all in just one day?
If the day came where Jing Qiu Han chose to betray him, using his sister as a bargaining chip was just one of the methods Lan Kuang had to deal with him. Who would have thought that it would actually work!
Without missing a beat, his line of sight went back onto ‘Jing Qiu Han’, watching him for any flaws that could give him an advantage.
Lan Kuang was no idiot; he had enough knowledge and experience to think of the other side of things. What if this was a trap that was set by Su Yi Mo?
Under Lan Kuang’s scrutiny, Ran Feng Ge was wary, for now all he could do was lower his head even more to try and distract Lan Kuang.
But Lan Kuang’s motto was that he’d “rather kill the innocent, than let go of the guilty!” and because of this, Lan Kuang knew he had to take precautions.
Closing the lid of the laptop, Lan Kuang leaned back in the chair he was sitting in, “I am very satisfied with the information you have brought me.”
It was as though a boulder had been removed from his shoulders, Ran Feng Ge excitedly replied “Then, my sister…”
“Don’t be hasty!” Lan Kuang raised his finger and moved it side to side,” I am happy with this information, but I still need time to check if it’s real.”
Ran Feng Ge felt his heart tighten.
“And before that happens, you will not be allowed to leave.”
The weather was clear, the winds were gentle, and the sun was bright.
Sunlight spilled onto the dark green grass, dappling it in a soft light. The air was filled with the faint scent of fresh grass and flowers. Everything appeared peaceful and lovely.
Today was Fiennes’ 38th birthday. Faithful movie fans from all over the world gathered, one after another, at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles. They carried posters, DVDs, or movie cards from Fiennes career. Candles were lit around Fiennes’ grave and fresh flowers were laid upon the grave. Uniformly, they all gave their blessings to the deceased movie star.
No one was noisy or made a racket. The movie fans that had arrived frequently gazed at the photograph of the man that was placed on the gravestone in a daze from anywhere between one to five minutes. When they awoke from their daze, they smiled even more bitterly.
As some fans left more would arrive to pay their respects.
The man in the photograph had a smile at the corner of his mouth. His eyes hid his mirth, as if everything that he saw in his eyes could be described by four words: Gentle breeze, light clouds.
Fiennes’ life had been like a giant mountain, constantly weighing him down under it. He could only treat everything lightly to live well, why should one make things difficult for themselves?
While he was alive, Fiennes couldn’t be considered greatly handsome or charming. Due to his natural illness, his skin was slightly pale, and his body was not great either. Luckily, he slowly recuperated and practised Tai Chi, allowing him to travel around the world to shoot movies and attend events. He unfortunately lacked care when he was younger and lived through a tough time when he grew up. He couldn’t make up for these things when he later became wealthy.
The man’s lips were very pale, pale enough to be sickly, yet you wouldn’t consider Fiennes to be someone sick. In front of you he would always speak with assurance and composure, his dark pupils bright enough to make hearts tremble.
Tang Feng stood in front of his gravestone and thought that he had really lucked out. After his rebirth, not only was he no longer ill, he also became younger and more handsome. Although he didn’t think he was ugly before, he occasionally did think about whether he would look better if his nose was a little higher and so on.
The person asleep in the grave was actually the same person as him, but with some differences.
Since he was to sweep his own grave (to pay respects to a dead person at their grave), Tang Feng bought his favourite flowers. Rather than lilies or daisies, it was a bouquet of red roses. When he had brought the roses to the cemetery there were many people who, one after the other, raised their brows at him. After all, how many people would bring roses to a cemetery?
But Tang Feng liked them, he really liked red roses.
He had seen a movie when he was younger, due to age he could no longer remember the plot or title. The only thing he remembered was that the male protagonist had gifted a bouquet of fiery red roses to the female protagonist. The female protagonist, upon receiving the flowers, had been moved to no end, in excitement and happiness.
From then on, the red roses were stored in the youth’s memory. Even though the youth who was lacking in familial love and affection had been able to make it successfully, he still frequently longed for someone to present him a bouquet of passionately blooming red roses.
He wanted to have everyone leave his funeral smiling, and also wished that he would receive red roses by his gravestone every year.
Tang Feng went forward to put down the red roses and then returned to Gino’s side. Someone nearby recognized Gino, however, they did not disturb the celebrity on this occasion.
“Gino.” Tang Feng quietly called out. Ever since Gino arrived at the cemetery he had been in a state of absent mindedness. His stared at the man’s grave without moving at all.
At Tang Feng’s call, Gino finally went forward to place a bunch of daisies on the grave. Tang Feng appropriately drew back to stand beside Charles and Lu Tian Chen. He knew that Gino had something in his heart to speak to Fiennes about.
A few days ago Tang Feng had personally heard these words from Gino.
Hoping that this opportunity to pay respects could unravel the knot in Gino’s heart, Tang Feng lightly inhaled. The other two men had moved to stand beside a nearby tree.
“You two aren’t going over?” Tang Feng continued to stare at his grave, and asked the two people at his side who were like the two generals Heng and Ha (the names of a pair of door gods for Buddhist temples).
“Eh… alright.” Charles twitched out a smile and somewhat reluctantly went over with the red roses. Lu Tian Chen also followed after. Only because Tang Feng had purchased the red roses, the other two also requested red roses. As it is only natural for them, they didn’t think there was anything improper about purchasing red roses.
They walked over and placed the fresh flowers on the side of the grave. Charles casually looked over at the picture of the man on the gravestone. A sliver of recognition flashed across his eyes, and he subconsciously sent a glance at Lu TianChen. The latter was also looking at the photograph, deep in thought.
“You have the same feeling, right?” Charles quietly spoke with the person next to him.
Looking away from the gravestone, Lu Tian Chen looked towards Charles and asked “What feeling?”
“Don’t play dumb, I’ve known you so many years, I already know what you’re thinking from your expression.” Charles softly clicked his tongue, he knew that it was a little beyond belief, but he truly did feel something. Fiennes Tang’s eyes in the photograph had an astonishing similarity to Tang Feng’s glance.
Now Charles understood why he was originally attracted to Tang Feng. A young man, yet with the gaze of a mature and experienced man, anyone would have been attracted.
Lu Tian Chen lightly chuckled, and said in a questioning manner, “I remember that you are an atheist.”
“Hah, I’m only saying that Fiennes and Tang Feng have a similar expression in their eyes, not that they are the same person. Maybe Tang Feng is Fiennes’ long lost younger brother.” Charles paused, thought that it didn’t really sound right, and added more, “Or his father.”
“Father?” Lu TianChen looked at the man in the photo. At a handsome and mature age, he was worthy of being an international superstar. From a photograph, you could sense Fiennes’ charisma.
Only, Lu Tian Chen had a hard time connecting Fiennes’ and Tang Feng’s relationship as father and son, it was too strange, this feeling was very odd.
“Look, if Tang Feng and Fiennes have some sort of blood relation, then everything can be explained. Gino likes Fiennes, it could also be said that Gino likes Tang Feng’s brother or father. That’s why Tang Feng was affected after he heard that, and then he even came here to take care of Fiennes’ grave.” Charles thought that he had captured the clues, and eloquently gave his analysis.
“A famous celebrity, aged close to 40, with no girlfriend or children, that doesn’t make sense. Lu Tian Chen, do you agree with me?”
“You can really gossip.”
“Don’t tell me you don’t want to know why Tang Feng pays special attention to Fiennes. That’s enough, don’t tell me whether you want to know or not, recently you’ve been especially attentive towards Tang Feng. Standing ten meters away from you, I can still smell the scent of you in heat.”
After placing the roses on the grave, Lu Tian Chen turned and left, remarking to Charles “That’s because you are in heat yourself.”
Turning around to gaze at the already departed Lu Tian Chen, Charles softly laughed. That’s right, he was also in heat right now, moreover, the partner of his heat was the same person.
Charles didn’t immediately return to Tang Feng’s side. Instead he walked to stand beside Michael Gino. With both hands in his pant pockets, he spoke to him in a low voice.
“Don’t go and bother Tang Feng, I know you like him, and that he is similar to Fiennes in many ways, but let me tell you buddy, don’t just start liking Tang Feng because of this, he’s already claimed.”
“Tang Feng is Tang Feng, Fiennes is Fiennes, this is a simple fact, I can keep them separate in my mind. As for who I like, it has nothing to do with you.” Towards the man he had once been in a fight with, Gino didn’t speak in a nice tone. From the first moment he saw Charles, he didn’t think that this person was any good.
Taking a smoke from his pocket and lighting it up, Charles slowly let out a mouthful of smoke. “Heh heh, what a childish way of thinking. Who you like has nothing to do with me, but your family won’t allow you to like a man. If they find out that you like a man and make things difficult for Tang Feng as a result, then I will have something to do with it.”
The corner of the man’s mouth hinted at a cruel smile, “You two will have no results and no future, if you want to make trouble then find someone else. Listen up Mr. Superstar, I’m not threatening or warning you, and I’m not scared of you or your family. Even if you continue to like your Fiennes, and Tang Feng, he’s still not yours.”
“Don’t tell me he is yours?” Gino was a little angered.
Charles immediately laughed, raising up his jaw: “That’s right, he’s my person.”
“What can you give him? I’ve seen a lot of people like you, once you have a new love interest, you won’t want the old lover. I won’t allow you to harm him.”
“That’s hilarious, you won’t allow it? Do you think you are his ruler? Listen up, saying those words shows that you don’t understand Tang Feng at all. He is the strongest and smartest person I know. He’s not someone you or I can easily harm. Patting Gino’s shoulder, Charles turned to leave while spitting out one last thing by Gino’s ear, “Remember what I said.”
All of this was seen by Tang Feng. Looking at the man walking towards him, he asked “What did you and Gino talk about?”
“Just some talk between men.” Charles winked at Tang Feng and laughed roguishly.
“I’m not a man?” Tang Feng raised a brow.
“You’re my man.”
Another line that made others speechless, Tang Feng breathed in deeply. Forget about it, he couldn’t out speak a gangster.
They stood nearby to wait for Gino. Tang Feng saw Gino turn around and prepare to walk towards them, but at that moment the young man seemed to have seen a familiar person. He walked two or three steps then stopped again.
The newcomer was a mature man who looked to be around forty, give or take a few years. He had brown hair and dark green eyes, with a refined temperament. Gino walked over and started to chat with him, clearly he knew him.
When Tang Feng saw this man he was slightly shocked, he saw a person that he didn’t really want to see.