UPDATE: Taffygirl13 has translated all of volume 4 and has it on her site. https://taffygirl13.wordpress.com/
[TN] Warning! This is an incomplete translation. There are 4 more pages in this chapter but unfortunately we do not have any volunteer translators that are interested in this work :(. It’s sad I know, If I could translate I would but I’m a humble proofreader. This and chapter 5 have been sitting around for a couple of years now and I hate that’s it’s just being wasted so decided to upload them. If you’re interested in joining us as a volunteer translator then drop us an email. Note: The pages are pictures from a hard copy book so machine translating most likely won’t work.
“I want to quickly learn how to write the Eastern City’s language so that I can actually take notes in class.” – Yue Tui
“I hope that you can quickly learn how to write the Eastern City’s language as well, so that I can pass notes during class.” – Fan Tong
On their way back to the dorm, Zhu Sha decided to go and get some of the public food rations and told both Fan Tong and Yue Tui to head back first. Because the two of them realized they didn’t particularly want to eat any of the public rations while walking, they opened their Fu Zhou communication devices to tell Zhu Sha not to bring back their portions. However, they also ended up being attacked upon opening the group conversation and overhearing Yin Shi and Bi Rou talking.
“Yin Shi! Does it hurt? I’m so worried about you!”
“Ah, Xiao Rou, I really miss you. Whenever I think about how it’s already been three hours since we last saw each other, my wound starts to hurt a bit…”
“His injury is already completely recovered without a visible trace.” Fortunately, Ling Shi’s blunt words broke the lovey-dovey air in the middle of the conversation.
“Huh? It’s already healed?”
“Yes. Ying brought him back to her room to heal it.”
Bi Rou fell silent for a while after hearing this.
“Ah! Xiao Rou! Why aren’t you speaking anymore? Don’t listen to that damn old man’s words. It was just a healing!”
“Oh? Just a healing~…” Ling Shi repeated with a very strange intonation.
[End of chapter 4, part 1]
Proofreaders: Charlotte Grey
Chapter 5: Martial Arts Competition; this time it’s an actual martial arts competition, not one competing over a marriage partner
“….Has he really done a martial arts competition to win over someone’s hand before?” – Luo Shi
“Ah, yeah, of course. Didn’t we just do one?” – Yin Shi
“So, since you beat Wei Shi, you can bring him home as your marriage partner now. Congrats.” – Ling Shi
Watching a demonstration match was fine, Fan Tong would obviously feel relaxed doing that. But the reality before him now was that he’d most definitely been registered for the upcoming grand martial arts competition, which was impossible to run away from.
Because many people had signed up for it, there were still a few days before it would be their turn. After competing, they’d have to wait another few days for the next round, which could be seen as some time to struggle while on death’s door. But as the competition progressed, the rounds would increase in number as the number of participants decreased.
This was what Fan Tong had inwardly struggled and hesitated about after he had learned that it was knock-out competition.
If I concede defeat the moment I jump on stage, would the be acceptable? That should be a proper way to drop out of the competition, right?
If this looks too unseemly, then technically losing the fight would be fine; with Yue Tui there, we should at least be able to withdraw the competition with our lives intact.
But if I think about it more closely, if killing a person results in ten strings, isn’t this a rare opportunity to get money?
If we just kill ten people, the debt can be fully repaid, with extra profit leftover! And if we keep winning after, we’d have other benefits!
As Fan Tong thought of human lives as money, he inwardly imagined of the great riches that could be earned and started to drool.
However, it was impossible for him to kill someone. Such a task was more suited for Yue Tui, or even Zhu Sha, if he was willing.
“Yue Tui, since each life is worth ten strings, please help me kill a bunch so that I can settle my debt…” These kinds of words are honestly to shameful to say. Even someone as thick-skinned as Fan Tong couldn’t bring himself to voice such a thing after much hesitation.
However, just because he wasn’t able to do it didn’t mean others couldn’t.
“Killing someone gives ten strings of earnings! Should we think about how we should spend this money?” As soon as Zhu Sha finished reading the competition’s rules, he brought this topic up without the slightest hint of hesitation.
Fan Tong didn’t think that Zhu Sha would actually be thinking the same thing as him. He wasn’t sure if he should be feeling happy or depressed about this.
“…Using this kind of method to earn money isn’t very good, right…?”
Yue Tui was still the obedient child, and clearly hesitated at this proposal.
“This method seems pretty effective. I think everyone would feel the same, so if we don’t kill them, they will definitely try to kill us.” Simply put, Zhu Sha was advocating the method of striking first to gain the advantage. He probably didn’t have any issues with personal morals. From what Fan Tong could tell, Zhu Sha was actually pretty self-centered.
“That’s…” Yue Tui stood by the principle of not harming others if others did not harm him. Asking him to suddenly change this principle seemed to be a bit difficult.
Fan Tong began to do some mental calculations. If they agreed to divide evenly, then he would only be able to win ten strings after killing three people. This was a lot lower than his original thoughts. That would mean earning enough to settle his debt would result in a literal river of blood on stage…I wonder how many people drew the fortune of “bleeding a river” this year?
But…Yue Tui’s portion can probably be counted as mine as well, right? Anyways, Yue Tui doesn’t really need any money, so I can at least borrow it from him. Plus, the number of lives taken under my name would decrease a bit, and the burden on my heart would’t be as heavy.
“Yue Tui, are you against killing others?” Zhua Sha simply decided to confirm this point. When Yue Tui heard this question, he froze momentarily before shaking his head.
“Then isn’t it fine? Just kill them off like chickens; either way, they’ll be resurrected.”
Zhu Sha’s words were simple, but Yue Tui still bitterly smiled.
“That will just incur hatred, Zhu Sha.”
“That only matters if they have the ability to get revenge.”
Fan Tong really didn’t know where Zhu Sha’s confidence came from. Was it that Zhu Sha was truly super strong? Or was it that Zhu Sha also felt that Yue Tui alone was enough?
Lord Yin Shi, Lord Ling Shi, and Luo Shi won’t possibly be able to support us from behind, so we definitely need to consider the issue of suffering any retaliations.
“I won’t take the initiative to kill anyone on stage. If you guys want to do it, I just won’t try to stop you.”
Yue Tui conceded slightly, basically planning to not meddle with Zhu Sha’s actions. As for Fan Tong, he would just go on stage to enjoy the cool air, a fact that all of them knew.
Although Zhu Sha didn’t seem very satisfied with this answer, he didn’t press any further. Tomorrow would be their first fight. In order to ensure they were in their best conditions, they decided to go to bed early.
The grand martial arts competition had both group and solo battles being held. They weren’t separated in any way, there were just special rules for soloists going up against groups.
Eastern City had three arts: Shu Fa, Fu Zhou, and Wu Shu. In 1 vs 1 battles and 3 vs 3 battles, they were allowed to use any art they wanted. Even additional personal skills could be brought into the fight. But in 1 vs 3 battles, they would have to draw lots beforehand to determine which art would be allowed in battle.
The teams could choose a representative to go up and engage in battle. Thus, there was a disadvantage for the soloist side: if they drew an art that was not the soloist’s strong point, there was a high chance that one of three people in the team would have one person excelling in the art. There was very little chance the soloist could win.
It was precisely because of this rule that most of the teams would have people with different strengths selected as members, while soloists were normally not fighting on luck, and typically had extreme confidence in their ability with all the arts. Or…it was because they didn’t have any good relationships and couldn’t find any others to register together with them.
The opponent for Fan Tong’s team today was a soloist.
According to the competition rules, they had to draw lots to choose on the competition subject. The opponent extremely generously allowed them to draw the lot. Since neither Yue Tui nor Zhu Sha had any interest in drawing the lot, Fan Tong was the representative chosen to do it.
The selected bamboo stick was to be directly given to the staff to openly announce. Fan Tong randomly chose one of the three sticks and handed it over, and they soon heard through the broadcast announcement: “The subject of this competition is—Fu Zhou!”
When the words “Fu Zhou” were loudly broadcast, Fan Tong didn’t think much of it at first. But when he turned around, he saw Zhu Sha looking at him with an expression of reproach. Yue Tui also seemed like he was struggling to say something but couldn’t. Fan Tong was momentarily confused.
“Fan Tong, you really have such bad luck. How can even your ability to draw lots be so horrible?” Zhu Sha rebuked with furrowed brows. Yue Tui also helplessly patted his shoulders.
“I’m powerless. It seems like you’ll have to go up yourself…”
Fan Tong finally understood the situation. No matter what, it seemed like he was in an extremely unfavorable situation. He hadn’t imagined that drawing Fu Zhou would lead to him having to personally go up.
Yue Tui! Aaaaaaaaah, Yue Tui! We always went to Fu Zhou Pavilion together for class, yet I completely forgot that he can’t learn Fu Zhou—there’s no way he can read out any charm. The Heavens are surely punishing me—
But what about Zhu Sha? Zhu Sha is pretty hardworking, don’t tell me he can’t use Fu Zhou either?
“Zhu Sha, can you use Fu Zhou?”
Please say you can, I beg of you!
“I dropped out of Fu Zhou Pavilion’s class after going once. I’ve been using the spare time to increase my Wu Shu and Shu Fa class time.”
How could this be? How could such a thing happen? Why would you stop going after a single class? Is Fu Zhou that unattractive to you? With how the Fu Zhou Pavilion’s teacher is, he would probably say you have no future with the Fu Zhou art upon first glance—
“You’re the only one able to use Fu Zhou, so you should go up.” Zhu Sha pointed towards the stage in a bored manner, his tone also expressing his disinterest.
“Fan Tong, it’s fine even if you lose. Just try your best, we’ll wait for you to return.” Yue Tui could only say this because he still didn’t understand Fan Tong’s speech issues. In reality, there was no way Fan Tong could succeed even if he tried his best.
Anyways, the group had already decided for him to be the representative. Even if he wasn’t willing, it was 2 vs 1; his opinion didn’t make a difference.
Before the competition began, they were given fifteen minutes to prepare, and could grab Fu Zhou paper to draw the charms as they pleased. The fifteen minutes were spent as a struggle to survive. It was neither too long or too short of a time. In order to not distract him, Yue Tui and Zhu Sha left Fan Tong in the resting room alone so that he could clear his mind. His opponent was in another newly built resting area. Just thinking about what his opponent was doing to prepare made Fan Tong extremely restless.
“Phew…Good morning. I slept really well today.”
While Fan Tong was distraught with anxiety, Puhahaha’s voice suddenly floated out to greet him. This made it impossible for him to reply cordially.
“What ‘good morning’! Its clearly evening! I’m about to die, and you’re still in the mood to say ‘good morning’!”
“Ah? Liar, it’s still bright outside, how could it be evening?”
I meant to say afternoon but my curse reversed it! And why did you only take notice of the word ‘evening’? There were much more important words following that—
Fan Tong truly felt that it was too difficult for him to form a spiritual connection with this lazy and ruthless mop. It was probably impossible in this lifetime.
How despicable! Once this matter is over with, I’m definitely going to properly train Yue Tui and force him to learn the Eastern City language! Yue Tui, just you wait; within a month, I will make sure you are able to take a brush and smoothly write any words! You must learn Fu Zhou—
“Didn’t you say you were about to die? But my horsetail whisk senses don’t seem to detect any danger.”
So you did hear it after all, that’s great…
“I’m about to go up stage to fight a battle in Fu Zhou. The chances of the audience dying is very high!”
“The chances of the audience dying is very high? What, you think your Fu Zhou skills are so powerful that if you tossed one out, you would wipe out the entire audience….”
Your comprehension is going in the direction of the mistake, Puhahaha. I’m not laughing because I’ve given up in despair, I’m just saying your name, you mop. I definitely have to clear this up, even though my attempts are always so exhausting.
“I’ll be killed!”
“This horsetail whisk cannot help you.”
Don’t push me to curse you. I was able to properly say something for once, yet you chose to ignore it!
“I really need your help!”
Whoa, wait a minute. I wasn’t saying that I need your help. You’ve already turned me down so many times, and I have my own pride. Why were my words reversed to sound like begging again?!
“Mm…if you’re saying it like that, then you must really need me. I’ll have to seriously consider it then. So you understand the mightiness of this horsetail whisk now?”
…No way, didn’t your attitude change too quickly? Look at how you’ve changed, you clearly just like being on the receiving end of others’ requests!
“I always felt that you were an affectionate and kind-hearted horsetail whisk, so I’m very happy.”
“Mm, if it weren’t for your foresight, I wouldn’t have intentionally let you buy me either.”
Don’t act smug so quickly. I originally wanted to say that “I’ve always felt you were an inhuman, ruthless mop, so I have nothing to say.” Heaven knows how that turned into a sentence of overflowing praise.
“Just hold me in your hand. That will boost the effects of Fu Zhou, which I think is good enough in your case.”
The method that Puhahaha was suggesting sounded simple but was actually hard to do.
Or rather, while it was a fairly simple action, it was still something that Fan Tong mentally couldn’t accept.
I…do I have to really hold onto this mop to appear in a public competition…
Do I not have any other choice? No alternatives at all? I was originally planning to hide it; I really don’t want everyone to see it!
If I end up actually winning, wouldn’t that be the first step to becoming the Mop Warrior? Can I just not? Can I opt out?
As he continued his internal battle, the competition’s start time drew closer. Compared to bringing Puhahaha out in public, figuring out how to use Fu Zhou was a bigger problem.
With gritted teeth, Fan Tong finally thought of a compromise.
Thus, he picked up both his brush and charm paper, and spent the remaining time furiously drawing Fu Zhou.
Even up until the break time ended and he had to go up on stage to formally start the competition, Fan Tong was unable to truly accept this was reality.
With the written charms in hand, he got up on the stage, his mind still off in another world. The only point worth rejoicing was that since this was the very beginning of the knock-out tournament, their tassel colors weren’t worth looking at. Therefore, there weren’t many spectators watching, which slightly lightened the pressure he was under.
Intellectuals don’t fight at close quarters, businessmen don’t have the courage to participate in fierce battles. I’m clearly just an honest person that did fortune-telling as a business, so why am I standing here now—bloody acts like murder have nothing to do with me! I like peace…
Even though Fan Tong was inwardly crying this with all his heart, the competition still had to start.
Competing with Fu Zhou and Shu Fa skills was different from doing so with Wu Shu. One could choose to compete by either choosing turn-based attacks or directly engaging in combat. Alternating turns to attack meant that each person had a set time limit they could attack. During this period, the other party would only be able to defend or evade. Once time was up, it would be the other party’s turn to attack. This continued until a victor was decided. On the other hand, direct combat didn’t have any rules; one could fight as they pleased. Since Fan Tong had chosen the competition subject, the opponent would be able to decide the battle method.
Fan Tong didn’t actually know whether he preferred turn-based, or free combat. Even with Puhahaha’s boost, he didn’t know how many attacks would really have any effect…
However, the turn-based attack method needed to have lots drawn again to determine which side would start…Fan Tong felt that with his luck, he would surely choose himself as the one that started second. In that case, there was no way he’d be able to last past the first round of attacks, right?
Fortunately, his male opponent chose the free combat option without any hesitation. He most likely didn’t like the roundabout turn-based method. Before the battle officially began, the two sides shook hands. The male opponent had an expression of self-confidence, and clearly didn’t see Fan Tong as an opponent. After all, Fan Tong was just a panic-stricken grass green tassel leveled commoner. No matter what angle one looked at the situation, Fan Tong was clearly an easy opponent to deal with.
Moreover, the male opponent’s gaze at Fan Tong during the handshake was enough for him to feel his stomach tighten.
That’s clearly the look one would have when looking at ten strings!
You probably just see me as some fatty meat already at the tip of your mouth—
There’s no way I’d let you eat me up so easily! Even if I’m a fatty piece of meat, I’m a piece of meat that will struggle to keep my life even after you eat me—no wait, why must I be a fatty piece of meat? I should have some more ambition…
Amid Fan Tong’s nonsensical thoughts, the opening announcement for the competition was made. Fan Tong’s expression twisted as if he had just been sentenced to a death penalty.
Although the Driven Fire spell was the most foundational of the beginner’s level Fu Zhou, it was also easy to use and a basic attack spell. When his opponent used this spell, Fan Tong couldn’t help but recall the painful memory of when he’d been killed by Luo Shi’s Driven Fire spell just after arriving in this world, which had wiped his hopes in having a fresh start. Since he hadn’t written any defensive-type charms earlier, Fan Tong could only turn and run.
With his lack of physical ability, wanting to run away and safely dodge the Fu Zhou attack could be said to be impossible. He did flee, but his clothes were burning slightly from the flames, and the scorching feeling on his back nearly made him curse out loud.
How despicable! It’s so hot!
I can’t say anything out loud, or else I might end up starting with some along the lines of ‘oh what a pleasurable and comfortable feeling’…the important point is, how do I extinguish the flames?
Fan Tong clumsily reached back in attempt to pat down his clothes, but the opponent’s next attack soon followed.
The Solidified Ice spell was also a simple Fu Zhou. It was mostly used to hinder an opponent’s movements and prevent them from escaping by blocking their path. Fan Tong had originally been running around while trying to take the flames out and was immediately tripped by the ice that had suddenly formed in front of him. He then crashed extremely inelegantly onto the ground.
If one had to comment on Fan Tong’s current status, it would probably be summed up to two words: tragic sight.
Watching his prey that was currently wide open, the male opponent immediately used a slightly higher tiered Fu Zhou. As he activated the spell, a blaze even larger than those from the Driven Fire spell earlier immediately exploded in Fan Tong’s direction. This was clearly an attempt at taking his life, which made him turn pale with fright.
Fan Tong had originally wanted to activate a water spell to fight the flames, but he recited the incorrect words as he threw the charm out. It was truly impossible to rely on that mouth of his during such a critical moment. As the flames began to strike his face, he no longer cared about trying to save his reputation, and he immediately rolled to the side to dodge. Fortunately, the opponent didn’t have very good control over their Fu Zhou, and just dodging a bit was enough for Fan Tong to preserve his life.
He’d already been beaten up so miserably. Although Fan Tong had known from the beginning that his innate condition was bad and made it impossible for him to win, Fan Tong still felt extremely mad and unwilling to give up. Thus, he finally pulled out his Fu Zhou, with Puhahaha tightly grasped in his hand.
However, although a typical person only pulled out one Fu Zhou at a time, he had pulled out a huge wad.
In order to ensure he would be able to attack at least once, he quickly started tossing the charm papers in his hands before his opponent could activate another of their Fu Zhou.
“Driven Water, Driven Water, Driven Water, Driven Water, Driven Water, Driven Water…Driven Fire!”
He didn’t bother keeping track of how many charms he threw. Either way, he continuously tossed the same charm and recited the same thing over and over. There was bound to eventually be a point where he’d be able to properly activate the spell before using up all his charms. This kind of extremely wasteful method of using Fu Zhou was probably something that only he would do. Moreover, it was only because the competition supplied the charm paper that he could bear to act this way.
The spectator crowd and his opponent had no idea why he kept reciting the wrong Fu Zhou, resulting in a string of failed attack attempts. However, although stunned by the consecutive calls of “Driven Water”, the successful activation of Driven Fire made them pale in terror.
As the burning paper flew out, it flew across the entire stage, leaving behind an imposing and incomparably fierce wall of flames. Once the Fu Zhou was complete, the raging flames of the burning wall pounced towards his pitiful opponent. The flames passed, seeming like a mirage at first glance. But once the flaming wall disappeared, all that remained in the spot where the male opponent had stood was a scorched corpse.
The turn of events was so dramatic that nobody could even react. Even Fan Tong himself couldn’t register the fact. The person he’d wanted to kill had actually been killed. Theoretically, he should be excited that he had suddenly experienced this good luck and be cheering now that he’d survived past the calamity just now. But even as the staff was announcing him as the victor of this battle, he continued to stare at Puhahaha with a cramped expression, and soundlessly shouted in his mind at the weapon in his hands:
“…Puhahaha, what the hell are youuuuuuuuuu—”
How come every time you come in and take control, it ends with murder? Both last time and this time were the same! Ah, in any case, I didn’t use you to directly attack this time, so they should still be able to return to the rebirth pond right? If you used some kind of soul-purging technique this time, I’ll end up dead for sure!
I guess I should say that there’s some profit from this disaster, since I earned ten strings? But I ended up killing another person…but it’s ten strings…but…
“Hehe, look, did you see that? You won, didn’t you? With me here, it’s a very simple matter.”
Puhahaha was emitting a “praise me praise me praise me” aura. Whenever it showed its innocent and naive side, Fan Tong would feel that its profound and mysterious aura and words from before were just an illusion.
“You did well…”
Ah, how great; every time I want to scold it, the words turn to praise. This is a well-tried fact that has never been proven wrong.
“Keep going, continue on.”
Do you really want to be scolded by me that much?
“You’re really a hard-to-come-by good companion, a gift dropped from the Heavens. To have encountered you is truly a great blessing. If you were not in my life, I really wouldn’t know what to do.”
I can no longer be bothered to explain what I intended to say, it’s just too tiring.
“Really? Is that true? You like me that much?”
What is up with that pleasantly surprised yet bashful hint in your tone?
“Fan Tong, how much longer are you going to affectionately gaze at your mop on stage?” Zhu Sha shouted from off stage. This woke him from his reverie. Feeling that staying onstage and continuing to lose face like this wouldn’t be very smart, he hurriedly got off and began to walk towards Yue Tui and Zhu Sha to meet up with them.
“Fan Tong, you used your Fu Zhou really well.”
On one hand, Yue Tui was telling him these words with a very happy expression. However, Fan Tong’s signature Driven Fire move just now was clearly a result of cheating with Puhahaha, so he found it very difficult to hear Yue Tui’s praise.
“I’ve always thought you were a good-for-nothing; I hadn’t expected you would actually have that kind of real skill.”
It seemed that because Fan Tong had displayed a strength uncharacteristic of him, Zhu Sha’s opinion of him had changed a bit. Fan Tong probably counted as an expert worthy of respect now.
But I’ve never seen him express any form of respect towards Yin Shi before. Perhaps there are just some people that are naturally impossible to respect.
“Then you shouldn’t have any issues if Fu Zhou is drawn from now on, Fan Tong,” Yue Tui said with a relieved expression. This immediately made Fan Tong’s eyes widen.
Wait, wait a minute, it’s not just this time…ah, right, I won, so I’ll advance into the following rounds…
Whoa, wait! Does that mean every time we go up against a soloist and Fu Zhou is drawn, I’ll be going up? That’s not right! I got you guys to come because I don’t want to fight!
That also means that if we go against a soloist and Shu Fa is pulled, Yue Tui would be up, and everyone else might as well just beat it and enjoy the breeze. Getting Wu Shu would probably end up with Yue Tui going up too…Zhu Sha, what exactly did you come here to do? In the end, you really are just a placeholder to make up for the shortage in number!
“Fan Tong, is that ok?”
The curse might as well make me say “just leave it all to me”.
“That’s great, you can temper your battle skills more. You were still very out of practice with combat in the fight just now, so evading was a bit difficult. I believe that if you keep fighting more, you’ll get more and more experienced.”
It’s not a question of being just “out of practice”, that was my normal condition…
Fan Tong was really starting to feel like neither the heavens nor earth would help him. Maybe asking Puhahaha to help would be a bit more useful? But if he always did that, not only would he become the ultimate Mop Warrior, he’d also end up striding forward to become a Bloodthirsty Mop Warrior…
With regards to their victory in the preliminary round, Luo Shi didn’t specially run over to celebrate with them. All he did was deliver a letter to Fan Tong and congratulate him. Most likely, he still hadn’t figured out any outline for the topic of Hui Shi’s notes that they’d discussed last time, so he couldn’t really face them. However, the contents of the letter were enough to stun Fan Tong speechless.
In the beginning, there were a bunch of proper greetings and such, but the contents’ true subject followed. After polite words of commendation, the true nature of the letter showed itself:
“I watched your competition. You really are abnormally unlucky. Your 1/10 chance didn’t appear at all in the first few times, resulting in a correct recitation only after throwing away nine Fu Zhou. Did you actually do something horrible in this lifetime or get karma from something you said…”
Why can’t you hold back even when writing a letter? Do you think I wanted to waste nine charms? Why can’t you just frankly congratulate me even through writing…
“However, where did you learn that Driven Fire spell? That power doesn’t seem very normal. I didn’t even know that the power of a Fu Zhou could transform a Driven Fire spell like that. You didn’t purchase some kind of amplification device or anything, right…”
I did, I am holding an amplification device, a mop that you bought for me. But a typical person would just look at this mop and think a person bringing a mop into battle must’ve rushed to leave while cleaning something, not that it’s an amplification device.
“I’ll watch the next round too, you guys should keep up the effort.”
Actually, Fan Tong hadn’t noticed Luo Shi at the competition site at all. Where exactly had he been secretly watching from?
“What did Luo Shi write?” Yue Tui asked in concern, since he probably couldn’t recognise more than a third of the characters in the letter.
“…I’ll teach you word by word. Starting from tomorrow, I’ll properly teach you how to read, so you can read it yourself!”
I meant starting from today! Starting from today!
Although with my speaking issues, learning the characters from me might be a bit of an issue. But I will definitely overcome this extreme difficulty to teach you, you’d better prepare yourself!
Yue Tui seemed a bit unaccustomed to the sudden imposing air towards him and was stunned for a few seconds.
“Fan Tong…you seem a bit fierce today, it feels different from usual.”
Then how am I usually, very gentle?
“Hurry up and put your brush in, let’s practice.”
I said take your brush out! Take it out…
“Put it in? Put it in where?”
Fan Tong could only groan in response to Yue Tui’s serious question, and he collapsed on the bed, giving up on trying to communicate.
As for the extremely horrible misunderstanding, Fan Tong felt that he really had no energy to face it. Education was really a heavy burden, and a long path to take. Perhaps it would be better to rest first and start tomorrow.
The next round of the martial arts competition would be held in three days. Logically speaking, the start of the second round meant the opponent should be stronger, as it was after one elimination round. However, they heard that their opponent this time was also a team, so Fan Tong didn’t worry at all. If the three of them went up together, all he had to do was stand on one side and shout some support. In addition, he believed that with Yue Tui present, there was no way his life would ever be in danger.
“Yue Tui! Kill them in a flash!”
Fan Tong cheered, glad that these words hadn’t been reversed. If it had become something like “Get killed in a flash”, it would be too disastrous.
“I think this should be a chance to practice combat, Fan Tong. Don’t slack off,” Yue Tui bitterly laughed instead of agreeing to the request to instantly wipe out the opponent.
Are you joking? I’m sticking to my plan on hiding in the back and enjoying the cool air. No matter what, don’t ask me to go out and fight.
“I expended too much to release the Fu Zhou before, and will need dozens of days to recover.”
Eh…. one dozen days turned to dozens of days, does that sound overexaggerated? But I feel that Driven Fire spell was truly over-the-top, so even saying dozens of days could be acceptable. That way, I can properly slack off for longer.
“Eh? That long?”
“So it turns out that it was just a useless, once-in-a-while burst. And here I thought you could be of some use, but it turns out I was mistaken.”
Thus, he was looked down on again.
However, Fan Tong preferred to be looked down on if he didn’t have to temper his combat skills or whatever. As a result, he remained silent, as if silently admitting it was true.
“Zhu Sha, do you want to try fighting then?”
“They don’t look like opponents worth fighting, I’m not interested.”
Zhu Sha’s extremely egotistic and over-confident words made Fan Tong look at him suspiciously. Speaking of which, Fan Tong had never seen Zhu Sha fight before. But Yue Tui doesn’t seem to object, does that mean he agrees that Zhu Sha is indeed stronger than them?
“Alright, I’ll just deal with them then.”
Yay, I’ve been waiting for you to say those words!
Their opponents were three male blue tassels. But before Yue Tui, this level of strength would still collapse at a single blow.
The course of events had nothing worthy to speak of. Yue Tui had no intention of spending much time tangling with those that were not of equal strength. Barely a few seconds passed after the start of the round before it ended. He used a single hand movement to knock them out. With the opponents unconscious, the victors were naturally clear.
“If I killed each person, that would be thirty strings…”
Fan Tong heard Zhu Sha say in a low voice behind him. This also made him feel that this companion was too distant from the definition of a “benevolent person”.
All the subsequent team battles were pretty much the same style. They had also encountered two soloists as opponents. Fan Tong was temporarily free from his misfortunes, as Fu Zhou was not drawn either time. Instead, one of the rounds was Shu Fa, and one was Wu Shu. These obviously had nothing to do with him, who had previously been proclaimed by the Shu Fa Pavilion as an absolutely talentless rotten piece of wood with only third rank physical capabilities.
The one that went up for the Shu Fa round was Yue Tui, who indeed displayed the skills of “a rare genius that only appeared in Shu Fa Pavilion once every century”. His Regression Technique was flawless. All the Shu Fa used by his opponent would be forcibly dissipated and restored to its original state. Moreover, he managed to defeat his opponent by only using simple Shu Fa, since their imaginations were many times weaker than pure imagination, making Yue Tui’s Shu Fa impossible to break. They could only surrender.
After the round, they heard that the Shu Fa Pavilion teacher had specially waited at the school park entrance to welcome Yue Tui, praising the battle from the day before by saying that he had been so moved to the point where his eyes had been brimming with tears of excitement, and had been unable to fall sleep the following night. Then he had tossed a bunch of extravagant embellishments like “Eastern City’s future Shu Fa will depend on you to bring up to new heights”, and it felt like he wouldn’t give up until he had given Yue Tui all the praise in the world. The scene had drawn a lot of students’ attentions, and Yue Tui himself had felt very awkward. However, the teacher had been extremely passionate, and there had been no way to dampen his enthusiasm, so Yue Tui could only accept it with a smile on his face.
When Fan Tong heard of this matter, he truly felt it was a bit unfair. Even after he had used such a beautiful Driven Fire spell, the Fu Zhou Pavilion teacher hadn’t said anything to him, let alone praise him in public…or was it that Fu Zhou Pavilion was more restrained, and wouldn’t have such clamor, such publicity?
But when Fan Tong thought about it more, it wasn’t really his strength. If he actually were to be praised without restraint, he would probably just end up with a guilty conscience. Thus, he just let the different treatment pass.
The one that had gone up for the Wu Shu round wasn’t Yue Tui, but Zhu Sha.
He had volunteered to go up, in order to “earn some pocket money to spend”.
As a result, Fan Tong was finally able to witness Zhu Sha’s abnormally unfathomable skills. Compared to Yue Tui’s bright and open style, Zhu Sha was more of the “full of darkness” style. Including that round and all the team battles he participated in, him taking action would always result in someone’s death. Fan Tong wasn’t sure if this could be described as working hard to earn money or what, but in general, Fan Tong felt that he wouldn’t want to be Zhu Sha’s enemy. It would be best to not provoke him in the future, so as not to end up being strangled in the middle of the night without knowing.
As long as we don’t end up pulling another Fu Zhou soloist, getting to the top few places could be pretty promising?
Even though Fan Tong knew that he would have absolutely no contribution to such a victory, he still embraced this delusion.
Fan Tong’s Afterword:
God, I don’t want to keep living my days fighting and killing, with my throat always at the tip of a knife’s point. Oh God…even though I’ve never firmly believed in you, I still hope that you can save this lamb that has lost its way, and guide me to safely and tranquilly walk down a broad and open road…
In the end, I’m the only one that really wants to withdraw from the martial arts competition. I constantly worry about whether we’ll encounter another soloist, whether we’ll draw Fu Zhou. Always being on edge in fear is truly too exhausting.
Thanks to the luck entrusted by the competition, I’ve been talking a bit more with Puhahaha. After the incident of the Fu Zhou explosion, I’ve been seriously asking it if it’s a weapon, a Fu Zhou amplification device, or a cleaning tool. In the end, it just replied that it’s a multi-functional horsetail whisk that is fully equipped to do anything aside from cleaning. It can even boost the effects of magic and curses.
Honestly speaking, I find it very hard to believe its words, which are too packed for me to not be suspicious about. Moreover, no matter how I look at it, its mission in life is definitely to clean. The fact that it has deviated from its duty to walk down another path has to be a diversion from an evil spirit, although I use it fine.
Eh…that’s a mistake, a slip of the tongue. There’s no way I’d use it fine. I still need compensation for the huge scare it gave me. I’m really dissatisfied with a lot of things about it, especially its wishful thinking of me really liking it—
As if. I’m not the type of person that would abandon appreciation towards another person’s favor, but it’s not even a person! Moreover, I spent two hundred strings on it! That’s an investment I need to reclaim, alright?
And because of Yue Tui’s threat last time, Mi Zhong really did obediently register for the martial arts competition.
But a person as insincere as him who probably only had a gang of rogues and disreputable comrades wouldn’t have anyone willing to follow him to their deaths. Therefore, he obviously had to participate alone.
At Mi Zhong’s level, he naturally was eliminated in the preliminaries. Of course, I don’t feel apologetic towards him at all. But the fact that he had managed to slip past death is so despicable. It feels like he hasn’t really been punished at all.
Up until this point, our competition advancement could be said to be pretty smooth. I think the blood calamity mater…is something we shouldn’t need to pay much mind to, right?
It’s definitely not accurate! Yue Tui is so strong, there’s no way such a thing would happen.
He ran and ran until his little legs finally gave out; the car he had been chasing had disappeared completely from his sights by this time.
Ran Feng Ge collapsed onto the street, his breaths harsh and heavy as new tears took over the old ones on his face, his voice strained and tired from calling “Mummy” “Gege” – and yet he received nothing in return.
Snow had started to fall, Ran Feng Ge huddled where he was with the bag still in his arms as loud sobs finally escaped from his mouth.
He was still missing a large portion of his memories, and this was still a foreign place to him, he may have spent the last few months in Los Angeles, but this was New York. He was only an eight year old little boy who had just been abandoned by his own mummy and brother. The pain of being abandoned on top of the fear of being left alone was too much for him at this moment.
After crying for a while, Ran Feng Ge could not help but feel cold before he realized that he was now covered in a layer of snow, he quickly stood up and brushed the snow off, beating his legs slightly to try and get the blood flow back into them before making his way slowly back to the hotel.
He still had that little hope in his heart that perhaps there had been an emergency; that was why mummy and gege had to leave him behind for the moment. He must not move from that spot because he knew that if they came back to find him, that would be the first place they would look for him. The only thing he could do now was to return to the hotel and wait patiently for mummy and gege to return for him.
All of this did not escape the sights of a hidden figure.
Right from the moment Mistress An schemed to make Ran Feng Ge get out of the car, until the moment Ran Feng Ge was running with all his might after the family car, all the way until Ran Feng Ge had stopped sobbing as he gathered the luggage in his arms to return to the last spot he had been together with his gege and Mistress An – the entrance of the hotel. A simple spark of hope still shone brightly from his swollen eyes as he watched the direction in which his family’s car had disappeared off into.
Ah… It was obvious to the one hidden that this little boy’s family had abandoned him.
However, throughout the whole dilemma, this little boy had shown himself to be a very intelligent and witty little man even under stress, his adorable looks and bright eyes did not show any signs of arrogance or misbehavior – so how was it that someone could harden their hearts to abandon such a child and to use such an underhanded and cruel method to destroy his innocence when it would have been so much easier to have lost him in a sea of people instead.
If no one wanted this child, then taking him for himself wouldn’t be a problem. This little child was an unpolished gem; he would get along very well with the other two rascals back home.
His family’s two little rascals, one was interested in weaponry research and martial arts training and hated anything to do with studies; while the other would shut herself up in the library to read through all the different worlds’ histories, gossip magazines and absolutely hated anything related to physical exercise.
What a headache-inducing duo he had there!
The figure that was hiding climbed up the Big Ben clock that was directly opposite Ran Feng Ge and placed himself conspicuously on the number “6” and continued to observe little Ran Feng Ge from afar.
One adult and one child, silently waiting for different things in the blizzard. One was waiting for his beloved family to turnaround and comeback for him; the other was just waiting to collect a new precious jewel.
Time ticked by slowly, one hour, two hours… Very soon the entire ground was covered by a thick layer of snow.
The slight glimmer of hope slowly diminished with each tick from the clock, he had been seated in the cold and the snow for so long now, he had lost his ability to feel but his mind was resonantly clear on one thing: he had been abandoned and they were never going to come back for him!
Although he was not too sure why he had been abandoned, Ran Feng Ge was still able to make a few guesses; he deduced that he was in fact not that woman’s biological child because he could never feel any motherly emotions from her at all.
As for his daddy and his gege, they did treat him very well and very honestly, but what good was that? They could not even protect him when he was abandoned, so Ran Feng Ge decided that he didn’t need them as family anymore!
With his thoughts made up, Ran Feng Ge made up his mind to stop waiting for them; he flipped open the luggage and found clothes, food and money. It seems that that woman had long planned for this. However, it was a good thing that he at least still had these in his possession, if that woman had been even crueler and left him empty handed, he would have been forced to become a beggar – but in an unfamiliar country, even being a beggar would be difficult.
Wiping the tears off his face, Ran Feng Ge rubbed at his frozen cheeks to try and get more blood back into his face, slowly but surely, he repacked the luggage before him and started to drag it behind him as he walked away.
The man who had never left his spot during those hours Ran Feng Ge had stayed in the snow, finally made his move as well. Seeing the change of attitude in the young child – the hopefulness changing into hopelessness, hopelessness turning into understanding, and understanding morphing into determination – who finally stood back up to walk away.
The man quickly jumped off the Big Ben clock, his legs making use of the nearby power cables to lighten the fall, landing firmly on the snow-covered ground. It was only then that he raised his arm to retract the wire he had attached from his wrist to the Big Ben clock.
The man quickly turned in the direction the little boy had disappeared to and started his chase.
Although he kept telling himself he had to be brave, at the end of the day, Ran Feng Ge was all but a child of eight years, he was still feeling very miserable inside, and although he forced himself to keep walking, he was unable to stop his mind from thinking.
As he kept trudging on in the snow, he soon realized that his path was being blocked by a figure. If he tried to walk left, the figure before him would go right and block him. If he tried to go right, the figure before him would go left and block him as well. Ran Feng Ge finally raised his head up to look at the figure before him.
A very handsome looking face was staring right back at Ran Feng Ge, unfiltered emotions of not giving a damn about the world and a pair of indomitable eyes stared back at him.
Ran Feng Ge looked at him defensively, this man had appeared suddenly out of nowhere, and was determined to block his path, could this person be part of the human trafficking world?
Once this thought entered his brain, Ran Feng Ge could not help himself but to stumble backwards a few steps, his brain going into overdrive as he quickly tried to come up with an escape plan should this man turn out to be a bad person.
A teasing smile formed on the lips of the man before Ran Feng Ge as he watched the little boy struggle before him: “Little rascal, do you want to come with me?
Ran Feng Ge quickly shook his head as though his life depended on it, rejecting the man as soon as he opened his mouth: “No! I don’t know you!”
As soon as he was finished, Ran Feng Ge quickly turned around and started to drag his luggage in the direction he had come from.
Lo and behold, the moment Ran Feng Ge turned around, the weird man was once again standing before him with a smile on his face. The speed at which he moved was very off-putting.
Ran Feng Ge could not stop himself from retreating again; throwing out a warning in what he presumed was a dangerous voice as he quickly got into a defensive stance: “Don’t come near me!”
The man took in Ran Feng Ge’s defensive stance and could not stop the surprise and elation from showing on his face – Ah! Interesting. Looks like I did find a very precious jewel!
The man started to walk towards Ran Feng Ge, a bemused smile on his face as he tried his best to hide it. Ran Feng Ge could not help but feel like this man was a very unfathomable being.
With each step the man took, and the closer he got, Ran Feng Ge could not help the fear from bubbling up within him, he had already long since tossed his luggage to the side in order to have more space in case he had to defend himself.
”Do not come near me! Keep coming closer and you’ll be sorry for it!”
He was small in stature, and so all he could do best was attack from a low position, this was very precarious and success rate was not high, but he knew he had to give it a try if not he would be captured by this weird man.
He was pitiful enough, he could not risk having his freedom taken away from him as well!
The man before him dodged Ran Feng Ge’s attacks easily; this infuriated Ran Feng Ge and made him aim his next attack towards the man’s legs.
The man was very quick on his feet, even before Ran Feng Ge was close enough to even touch the hem of his clothes; the man had already dodged clear of the attack. Ran Feng Ge was in no hurry to chase the man and decided to retreat quickly before he could be caught up in the man’s next attack.
The man could not help but feel surprised at the actions of the little child before him, this kid must belong to one of the elites, if not why would he have such good judgement.
In actuality, the only reason why Ran Feng Ge had such a keen sense was all due to Su Yi Mo. When Ran Feng Ge had been living in the Su estate, Su Yi Mo would pester him every day to exchange moves or train together. Even if Ran Feng Ge had been really bad at fighting, training every day would naturally make him better. And to be fair, Ran Feng Ge’s base in martial arts had been better than Su Yi Mo’s to begin with thanks to the rigorous training he had received as a child from his uncles and grandfather.
However, the Ran Feng Ge in this moment did not even know why he was so familiar with all these fighting stances or theories; he could only assume that he just had an innate talent for it. It did not escape his eyes that the man before him was not even trying and all he was doing was teasing him; the man did not appear to want to injure him at all.
After exchanging a few moves, Ran Feng Ge was so tired he couldn’t stop himself from huffing and puffing. The man before him raised both his arms in surrender to indicate that he wasn’t going to play with Ran Feng Ge any longer. Ran Feng Ge slowly lowered his arms that had been in front of him and rolled his shoulders tiredly, he didn’t understand what this man wanted, but he really did force Ran Feng Ge to go all out – god was he tired!
The man got down to a squat and looked straight at Ran Feng Ge: “Little rascal, do you or do you not want to come with me? I’m not a bad guy, but naturally, I’m not a good guy either. But I do know a lot of things; do you want to learn from me?
“”What do you know?” Ran Feng Ge replied lazily, although he had zero interest in learning from this man.
“Hmm… What do I know?” The man laughed, the tone of his voice teasing, making Ran Feng Ge annoyed.
Ran Feng Ge turned around and walked towards the luggage he had tossed aside earlier in order to finally leave.
The man quickly blocked him once again and laughed: “I’m a master of disguise!”
“Disguise?” Ran Feng Ge’s little eyebrows shot up to indicate he didn’t understand.
The man before him took out a medicinal bottle and applied some of it on the edges of his face, before long, the man ripped off the layer of skin from his face. This frightened Ran Feng Ge so much that he stumbled backwards only to trip over his own legs and him ending up in a fall with his butt sinking into the snow. The man with a whole new face before him laughed out loud: “You are way too adorable! Haha! I’ve really found a gem!”
Hearing the laughter, Ran Feng Ge quickly used this time to observe the man’s original face: he had slightly better looking features; a five o’clock shadow covered his chin making the man look a little more masculine, a little more rugged.
The rugged masculine man however was currently laughing himself into stitches; he had no regard for his looks and was currently rolling around the snow laughing out loudly as he pointed at the currently getting wet in the snow Ran Feng Ge.
People who were walking by couldn’t help but glance at the man laughing like a maniac and the little boy staring at said maniac. All they could do were shake their heads while muttering crazy fellow under their breaths.
Ran Feng Ge was no longer as afraid as he was at first, he stood up gingerly and made his way to the man. He reached out and grabbed onto the mask the man had in his hand and looked at it carefully – he was now very, very intrigued with the man and his amazing ability!
Ran Feng Ge didn’t say anything out loud but he was guessing in his heart who this older boy was.
An Mu was taller than Ran Feng Ge by almost two heads. He leaned over slightly and said with a smile: “I’m your Gege!”
[TN: gege = older brother]
Ran Feng Ge bit down on his lower lip as he glanced at An Mu. An Mu’s smile was very gentle and welcoming, he had a slightly feminine aspect to his handsome features, very unlike papa’s rugged handsome good looks – An Mu likely resembled mama more?
Oh that’s right! Where’s mama?
Ran Feng Ge slowly looked behind An Mu towards the porch behind him, there was a lady with curled hair in a long dress walking towards them. As soon as the lady laid her eyes on Ran Feng Ge, she felt herself stumble a little, this child is actually very cute and adorable looking…
As she made her way to Ran Feng Ge, she reached out a hand to gently ruffle his head: “Yangyang, don’t you recognize mummy?”
Ran Feng Ge dodged her hand, his gut telling him to be wary of this woman before him.
He did not know why but the emotions he sensed from this woman did not make him feel at ease, in fact, it made him feel like this woman held fury towards his appearance.
Even though he managed to dodge the offending hand, Ran Feng Ge’s little hands were still attached to the back of An Mu’s jacket. It was already evident that Ran Feng Ge felt safe when An Mu was around.
Master An finally stepped forward: “Alright, alright. Yangyang has only just been discharged from the hospital and had to fly back home immediately after. He must be exhausted by now. Let him rest and recover, who knows, he might regain his memories tomorrow? Come, let’s get inside!”
An Mu pulled Ran Feng Ge’s hand into his: “Yangyang, would you like gege to show you to your room?”
Ran Feng Ge nodded silently before finally speaking: “En.”
The two young children walked before the adults and quickly disappeared into the mansion.
Master An finally turned to his wife and said: “Remember. You are to care for him diligently. I do not want anything untoward to happen to him. Understand?”
“Don’t you worry, I will treat him as though he were one of my own.”
“En.” Master An hummed before saying: “Let Xiao Mu take care of him too.”
“I understand.” After deliberating for a moment, Mistress An asked: “Should we bring Xiao Chen and Xiao Ya home as well then?”
“No! Not at the moment.” Master An iterated, “They are both still too young. What if once they see Yangyang, they say something they are not supposed to? They are both still not even of age to start kindergarten yet, might as well leave them with your parents for now.”
“… Alright then.”
With that, all negotiations regarding this matter were finished. With Ran Feng Ge’s little hand still in his, An Mu pulled his new little brother into the house and quickly up the stairs to the room his mummy had only just redecorated two days prior. With a push, An Mu opened the door leading into the room: “Yangyang, this here was your room!” and then pointed to the next door down the corridor, “And this here is mine! I am right next to you, there were times when you would come crawling into my bed in the middle of the night.”
Ran Feng Ge entered his room, he could hear An Mu talking to him, but he did not want to answer. He scanned the room, looking from the bed sheets to the study table – suspicions once again clouding his eyes.
This room did not appear to be lived in, everything looked as though they were new and fresh. The bed posts were new and the study table was too clean and tidy – why were there no photos or family portraits?
Family portraits… Wait… Photo shoots… Photos…
Ran Feng Ge leaned against the study table, his brows furrowed together as his brain ached suddenly. He could recall something from his missing memories, something that had to do with photos and a photo shoot.
Was he supposed to have gone for a photo shoot with someone? Who was it? And what ever happened after that? Was it with his gege?
Turning around to look at An Mu behind him, Ran Feng Ge disagreed with that notion in his heart. It wasn’t him.
No. That other person… He was not as tall as An Mu, and his age was closer to that of Ran Feng Ge.
An Mu made his way to stand before Ran Feng Ge. Seeing that his face was scrunched up in confusion, An Mu couldn’t help but ask “Yangyang, what’s wrong?”
Ran Feng Ge shook his head: “Nothing.”
“If there is something wrong, you have to tell gege okay!” An Mu said patiently as he looked kindly at his little brother.
He had realized in the short time together, Ran Feng Ge was not someone who liked to talk, he was not too sure if it was because Ran Feng Ge was suspicious about the whole situation or he was just a very quiet boy.
Likely… Likely it was because Ran Feng Ge was too vigilant?
And this was how Ran Feng Ge’s life began with the An Family.
The initial vigilance Ran Feng Ge had about the whole situation slowly dissipated the more he spent time with An Mu; the closer he got to An Mu. At this point in time, An Mu was already old enough to attend junior high, he was also allowed to board in the school dormitories, however, An Mu decided to commute to school just so he could spend more time with Ran Feng Ge. Ran Feng Ge also learned to enjoy spending time in the backseat of An Mu’s car playing with his gege during the daily commute.
The children here all knew how to speak English, and so Ran Feng Ge also started to learn English alongside An Mu; he was very smart and a quick learner, it didn’t take him long to be on par with all the other kids his age.
Perhaps it was all to do with the innocence of children, anything that once worried them, they could easily overcome. Even though he was an amnesiac, it didn’t affect Ran Feng Ge one bit.
Ran Feng Ge was cute, adorable, obedient, and smart, without any ulterior motives. He easily gained the affection of everyone he met.
Master An and An Mu couldn’t help but love Ran Feng Ge more and more each time they met him.
It was especially evident in the case of Master An, he even hired tutors after tutors to aid in Ran Feng Ge’s education.
In the beginning, Master An didn’t want to register Ran Feng Ge to attend the local school because he was afraid the secret would be exposed. In a school, there was bound to be a large number of students, even if Master An prepared for everything he could think of, he could not control the mouths of the other students and their parents. Ran Feng Ge was a very intelligent child, if there was even a hint of incongruity, the secret would be exposed immediately. This child of his was obtained after many trials and tribulations; he was not going to let him go that easily.
Therefore, in the beginning he used the excuse of Ran Feng Ge having only just been discharged to stop him from going to school.
However, it was not long before Ran Feng Ge’s innate intelligence reared its head.
One day, during An Mu’s piano lesson, Ran Feng Ge who had been lounging on the couch near him with his head resting on his arms enjoying himself couldn’t help himself from commenting after An Mu played a wrong note: “Gege, the note you played just now was wrong! It is supposed to be Re not Mi.”
An Mu looked at the piano score and with a chuckle: “Yangyang is so amazing! Gege did play the wrong note!”
“Punishment! Punishment! Punishment!” Ran Feng Ge yelled as he leapt off the couch and ran up to An Mu, placing his arms around An Mu’s shoulders, “The punishment for gege is to take me out to play!”
An Mu could never say no to Ran Feng Ge, and so he would ride his bicycle with little Ran Feng Ge riding tandem behind him to go enjoy the sun and sights.
Where they lived, very beautiful scenery could be seen all around them. Just a short ride away by bicycle was a little hill; in spring, the little hill would be covered in all colors of the rainbow due to the growth of wildflowers. It was always so beautiful then.
The two brothers would lie amongst the flowers on the little hill and cloud watch, their little conversations going on and on without interruptions.
Because of this incident, An Mu found out about Ran Feng Ge’s talent in piano and could not help but boast about this fact to Master An when he next saw him: “Yangyang is so talented daddy!”
And with that, Master An started hiring tutors for music, literature, English, economics, finance… whatever could be taught and learned, they were all hired. Because of this, Master An then found out that this little son of his was so much more than he had expected – Ran Feng Ge was already well versed in quite a few subjects such as finance and business economics. Furthermore, he absorbed new knowledge very readily, and it was due to this that Master An’s adoration for his new son grew even deeper, perhaps even more so than that for An Mu.
An Mu was by far not a stupid child, he was very intelligent as well. However, he was quite a few years older than Ran Feng Ge and all his knowledge was a given due to the education he had access to. Whereas, Ran Feng Ge was so much younger but he was already so talented!
These few months that Ran Feng Ge had been in the An Family, Master’s An attitude and expectations towards him had changed drastically for the better, and because of this, Mistress An couldn’t help but grow anxious at the new glow of adoration her husband had towards his illegitimate son. What worried her even more was that with things going how they were, she had no doubt that Master An might even consider changing his heir and cast An Mu aside! The one who might inherit the entire business empire might become Ran Feng Ge and her own son, An Mu might be pushed into second place.
This would not do. No. She had to come up with a plan to ensure An Mu’s status…
Mistress An’s plan would finally come into fruition two months later.
At that time, it was already in the middle of winter, it was right at the time where Master An had left for a business conference in Washington and Mistress An had taken both An Mu and Ran Feng Ge to New York for some fun at a winter theme park.
An Mu and Ran Feng Ge had been having the time of their lives playing together at the theme park, both had such happy smiles on their faces. However, Mistress An could not help but feel irritated at the happy smile on Ran Feng Ge’s little face.
Just a little more… Ran Feng Ge, you won’t be so happy in just a while…
After taking them to a few locations to play, when it was finally time for them to depart back for home, Mistress An first gave An Mu a couple of sleeping tablets; An Mu could not help himself from yawning even though he was desperately trying to stay awake. Mistress An had also planned ahead and left behind a bag back in the hotel room, once the car was ready to set off, Mistress An turned to Ran Feng Ge: “Yangyang, Mummy forgot my bag back there, can you please help mummy to go get them? I think I left it on the couch in the room we stayed in.”
An Mu struggled to open his eyes: “I.. I will go.”
Ran Feng Ge quickly removed his safety belt and hopped out of the car: “I will go, gege you must have played too much yesterday night and that’s why you are so tired now. You go and sleep, I’ll be right back with the bag!”
With that, An Mu allowed his heavy eyelids to finally droop closed and soon dropped off to slumber.
As Ran Feng Ge’s little shadow disappeared through the hotel doors, Mistress An quickly stepped down hard on the accelerator and drove off as quickly as she could.
Fighting the sleep, An Mu could tell something was amiss but no matter how hard he tried, he was unable to force his eyelids open.
Ran Feng Ge, with his little arms around the bag that had been forgotten, skipped merrily down the stairs and out the front door but came to an abrupt stop once he realized the car was gone.
Stunned and confused Ran Feng Ge could not understand what had just happened. Unless something had happened while he was gone – could something have happened to mummy and gege? But even if something had happened, shouldn’t they have waited for him?
He scanned the roads and quickly spotted a familiar car slowly getting smaller in the distance.
The confusion quickly turned into horror and anxiety as he hugged the bag to his chest and began to chase after the car: “Mummy! Wait for me!”
The fear in his heart started to grow exponentially until Ran Feng Ge started crying: “Mummy! Gege! I’m here! I’m still here! Mummy! Gege! Wait for me… Please wait for me…”
Once Master An exacted his revenge against the Ran family, he was conflicted, should or shouldn’t he bring Ran Feng Ge back to be nurtured under his wings? Ran Feng Ge is after all, his own flesh and blood – a tiger, though cruel, will not devour its own cubs! What Master An had wanted to do was to get back at Ran Chen; not only did he get his wish, he managed to implicate Ran Chen’s two sons in it as well. Therefore, Master An decided to bring Ran Feng Ge to America, get him as far away from the Ran family as possible, who knows, perhaps with time, he would be able to accept things as is and assimilate into the An family.
However, after returning to China, Master An had been unable to locate Ran Feng Ge. He received information that Ran Chen had been admitted into the hospital, which prompted Master An to make a trip down to the hospital in an attempt to locate his son. Alas, not only was he unable to find Ran Feng Ge, he found out that his “wife” Ran Wen Lu had gone crazy.
Even after going back into the Ran family compound and waiting for a whole day and night, Ran Feng Ge was still nowhere to be found. It was only then that Master An started panicking – using all the An resources to search for his son.
Because Ran Feng Ge was under the Su family’s protection at that time and the Su family’s security was airtight the An family was unable to locate Ran Feng Ge at that time.
At least, that was the case until the day Su Yi Mo decided to take the both of them out for a drive. That was the day the An family finally got a lead on the whereabouts of Ran Feng Ge.
The only problem was that it was too late, by the time the An family could make a move, Ran Feng Ge had already been hurt in the accident.
The men who had hurried to retrieve the unconscious and injured Ran Feng Ge from the carnage met up with Master An as soon as they could to admit Ran Feng Ge into a hospital.
Once the preliminary treatments had been performed and Ran Feng Ge was pulled back from hell’s gates, the words the attending doctor said next were that Ran Feng Ge is suffering from a severe traumatic brain injury and that complications could arise.
Master An was beside himself waiting anxiously for Ran Feng Ge to regain consciousness. With regards to this son of his, he was full of contradictions – at one end, he felt immense guilt towards the suffering this young son of his had been through, but on the other end, this was what everyone from the Ran family deserved.
It was only after 5 days that Ran Feng Ge finally regained consciousness.
His head was aching tremendously, his vision unfocused and blurry. He was unsure of where he was or why he was there; the only thing Ran Feng Ge was sure of was that something was not right at all. Ran Feng Ge was unsure why everything around him was so foreign and unfamiliar.
“You’re finally awake. Do you feel any discomforts anywhere?” Master An asked gently as he rushed forwards towards his son.
Ran Feng Ge could not help the suspicion from flooding his eyes as he eyed the stranger before him: “Who are you?”
“…” Master An was taken aback for a moment before quickly replying, “I am your papa.”
“Papa?” Ran Feng Ge repeated the strange word on his tongue, his little face full of suspicion. The word papa was very foreign to him, and from the little memories he still retained, it was a very unfamiliar word.
Master An misunderstood Ran Feng Ge’s tone and assumed that his son had been calling out to him – his heart wrenching a little, wondering to himself Ran Feng Ge must hate me, doesn’t he?
“My son, are you hurting anywhere?” Master An asked tentatively.
When Ran Feng Ge tried to recall any memories his head would throb and ache horrendously. Therefore, Ran Feng Ge decided to accept this whole papa business and see where it takes him.
After all, why would a stranger who had nothing to do with him send him to the hospital and take care of him?
“My head hurts… There are a lot of things I can’t remember…” Ran Feng Ge said as his small hand rose up to massage his temples. Raising his head, Ran Feng Ge looked towards Master An, “Papa, what is my name?”
With just one papa, Master An could not help but feel elated and comforted, his lips pulled into a gentle smile, his eyes turning into crescents – Ran Feng Ge losing his memory was a good thing – before replying: “Son, your name is An Yang!”
Even though Ran Feng Ge had no memories at the moment, he instinctively knew that this name was not right, thereby prompting him to ask: “Really?”
Master An knew how to play the game and allowed his expression to crumble almost immediately: “Yangyang, are you suspicious of papa? Why would papa lie to you?”
Feeling guilty, Ran Feng Ge stammered: “I’m sorry…”
An Yang? An Yang… … Whatever, so be it. I can be you’re An Yang for now – at least until I get my memories back.
Even though that was what Ran Feng Ge had decided, the awkwardness between father and son was very pronounced. Ran Feng Ge didn’t talk much with his father. It wasn’t long before he was thinking about his mother. Being only 8 years old, Ran Feng Ge could not help but ask outright: “Where’s mama? Why doesn’t she come to see me?” Ran Feng Ge hesitated for a moment before asking again: “Why am I in the hospital? Why can’t I remember anything?”
Master An had been expecting this, therefore he was unfazed by the questioning. Instead, he leaned forward over Ran Feng Ge and gently smoothed out his hair, ensuring his voice was as genteel as he could manage before saying: “Mama didn’t come back to China. Only you and I came into the country for a holiday. You were accidentally hurt at the playground. This is why you are unable to remember a lot of things. Once you feel better, papa will get the good doctors here to give you a thorough check-up to make sure you are all healthy. So you have to be good and listen to papa okay?”
Ran Feng Ge felt that the man before him was just a stranger and everything he said was just words, however, Ran Feng Ge also knew that he was not at the stage where he could refute anything therefore, all he could do for now was nod his head obediently without saying anything in reply.
Master An released the breath he had been holding before he stood up and turned to call for the doctor.
The doctor gave Ran Feng Ge a full check-up and agreed that the temporary amnesia was most likely caused by the head trauma. With adequate rest, the missing memories might come back in time.
Once all of his external wounds were mostly healed, Master An had Ran Feng Ge discharged immediately, quickly making their way to the airport.
Even though Ran Feng Ge accepted Master An’s aid on the surface, he allowed himself to be called “Yangyang”; Ran Feng Ge always knew something was amiss.
Master An was a powerful man, he was a man’s man and didn’t pay much attention to details. Seeing that Ran Feng Ge was quiet with his head down, he had assumed that his son was just tired and thus scooped him up into his arms and asked: “Yangyang, are you tired out? You’ll be able to rest very well once we get home. Seeing a familiar environment might bring your memories back.”
“En…” Ran Feng Ge muttered a reply before struggling, “Please put me down, I’m not tired, I want to walk.” It was too awkward, it felt as though he was missing something.
“Call me papa and I’ll let you down.” Master An recognized the conflict in his son’s features and knew that he was still suspicious. Looks like getting Ran Feng Ge to call him papa wouldn’t be as easy as he thought it would be – therefore Master An decided to tease him a little.
Ran Feng Ge couldn’t help but pout as he unwillingly muttered: “Papa…”
“Aw how good!” Master An cried out as he smooshed Ran Feng Ge’s cheeks gently before carrying him onto the plane.
Once they found their seats, Master An personally helped Ran Feng Ge with his seat belt and called one of the air stewardess to bring a blanket over. Gently tucking his son in, Master An said: “Let’s get some sleep, when we wake up we’ll be home!”
Ran Feng Ge couldn’t help but feel excitement building up within him. He couldn’t remember ever flying on a plane, even if he had memories of it he couldn’t remember them now so for him it was his very first time in an airplane. All the exhaustion that he had been feeling before the flight, magically disappeared as he stretched his neck as far as he could to take in all the sights within the airplane compartment. His eyes the size of saucers as he looked around him with untainted innocence.
Looking at Ran Feng Ge’s naivety, all Master An wanted to do at that point in time was to pull his cute adorable little son into his embrace; had he known that this son of his was so utterly adorable, he would have flown back into the country a lot sooner to take him back to where he belonged! However, with things the way they are now, it was also not too bad to take advantage of the situation to keep his son by his side now. Master An was now very sure that his decision to take this son of his in was ultimately the right decision.
Ran Feng Ge could not help but stare at all the other passengers in awe, after that, he turned his sights to the window next to him. Just then, the in-flight announcement sounded to inform all passenger that the plane was about to take off – Ran Feng Ge could not help but feel a little apprehensive as he grabbed onto the seat handles.
A loud hollow noise sounded from the engines outside the window and rang loudly through the entire cabin, it was so loud that Ran Feng Ge felt his ears were ringing, but this was all part of the excitement! Looking outside, Ran Feng Ge was elated to see the ground and all its buildings slowly becoming smaller, slowly disappearing under the clouds as they flew higher and higher up towards the clear blue sky. It was a very funny feeling, but it was not bad.
The little rascal could not stop his mouth from falling open in awe, as his eyes shone with unbridled excitement.
Once the plane reached flying altitudes and the seat belt signs went off, people started standing up and moving around – some of them headed into the dining cabin, others to the toilets. Ran Feng Ge could not contain himself and wanted to quickly explore the entirety of the plane. Focusing all his attention to Master An, Ran Feng Ge tugged on the little corner of Master’s An sleeve: “Papa! Can I leave the seat to go explore?”
Master An could not take the large innocent eyes that were focused on him, and the way Ran Feng Ge called him papa pushed him over the edge. Squeezing the little boy’s nose lightly, Master An reached over to help Ran Feng Ge unbuckle his seat belt as he said: “Go on and have fun!”
Ran Feng Ge hopped off his eat and cautiously made his way down the aisle, airplanes were a new and foreign concept for him to explore; even though they were so high up in the sky, walking up and down the aisle still felt as though he were walking on the ground thousands of miles beneath him. It was all so new and fascinating to him that even in an enclosed space up in the sky, there were still things to eat and toilets to be used!
After roaming about for a while, Ran Feng Ge made his way back to his seats just as the food trolley started to make its way down towards them. Ran Feng Ge spotted the many different snacks stacked onto the trolley and wondered what they would taste like and so he pulled at his father’s sleeve again, asking hesitantly: “Papa, I want to eat that.”
Ran Feng Ge was unsure if Master An would be willing to purchase it for him. From what he could remember, it seemed that whenever he asked for something to eat, the people around him would fight to buy it for him, but who were those people? Ran Feng Ge could no longer remember them.
Master An was more than happy to accommodate Ran Feng Ge’s request, he reached over and pulled a large variety of the different snacks and piled it onto Ran Feng Ge’s table, at the same time Master An reached for a packet of milk and placed it in front of his son as he ruffled his little head of hair: “Go on and enjoy!”
Ran Feng Ge felt that this unfamiliar papa was not a bad person, he was willing to accommodate his request and spoil him whenever he could. It wasn’t too bad a feeling. Picking up one of the kid snacks that had just been gifted to him, Ran Feng Ge held it in front of Master An and said: “You can eat it too!”
Master An could not help but let out the loud happy laughter erupting from within as he took the little packet from tiny hands: “Let’s eat this together!”
The plane journey was fun and relaxed, both father and son were happy.
It was two in the afternoon when the plane finally landed in Los Angeles. There was already a car waiting when Master An exited the airport hand in hand with Ran Feng Ge, while a team of bodyguards followed up behind them. Ran Feng Ge turned his head to look at the suited men behind him from time to time, unable to shake off the feeling that this was a very familiar sight.
Actually, when he had been living with Su Yi Mo, this was a very common occurrence. Wherever they went, a team of highly trained bodyguards would always be following up behind them – the only problem was that Ran Feng Ge didn’t remember this at all.
The car drove along unfamiliar streets and strange foreign sights were visible outside the window, this made Ran Feng Ge apprehensive for unknown reasons. His little hands balled up into tiny fists as he desperately asked himself what mama was like, and would she be angry that he was unable to remember her at all? Or… would she be worried?
Master An had long prepared in advance a team to return first and update the entire family that he would be bringing home his illegitimate son and of the circumstance surrounding his new found son. They were alerted as to what they could and couldn’t say in front of him and the consequences that would follow should they fail him.
His wife was naturally upset at the notion that her husband was bringing a brat that he had with another woman into their home, but she knew better than to let her real emotions surface. She played the model wife and had the servants clean out the extra guest room for the child to stay in.
The wife had already made calculations of her own with regards to the whole situation, her own son An Mu was already 13 years old, he was the rightful heir to the An family and its inheritance. Her husband’s kid with the other woman was only ever going to enjoy the notion of having a complete family, but he will never have the chance or the opportunity to fight with An Mu for the inheritance.
Seeing as how the child was still young, letting him into the family was only going to make her seem magnanimous and might even make her husband think more highly of her, this way it would make An Mu’s future path even smoother than it already was.
The car came to stop in front of a European style mansion; Ran Feng Ge could not help but feel extremely nervous in the car as he looked outside the window.
It’s so big and huge! This.. This is my home? Why is it that I don’t remember it at all? I know I’ve forgotten a lot of my memories but… shouldn’t there be a sense of familiarity?
While Ran Feng Ge was stuck in his own thoughts, a tiny head popped out from behind the European doors, once he recognized the car that was parked at the front of the gates, the little boy ran out quickly and raced towards Master An crying out: “Daddy!”
This little boy was An Mu. He knew that his daddy was going to return home today and with him was going to be a new little brother. His bodyguards had told him beforehand that his new little brother was a very cute and adorable little thing, therefore An Mu could not help himself all afternoon from pacing around and hyping himself up for their eventual meeting. He would prop himself up against the windows to watch the cars go by, hoping that every car that slowed down outside was going to be his daddy’s car! When the sound of familiar wheels rolling to a stop on the ground beyond the gate sounded, An Mu had stuck his face against the window pane to see that it was in fact his daddy’s car that was now outside!
It was also at this time where Ran Feng Ge popped his head out the back-car door to peek at what was going on. A cute little face revealed itself to An Mu. An Mu felt his eyes light up as soon as he laid his sights on his new little brother. He rushed up and pulled the door fully open, reached in wanting to help the younger boy climb out of the car.
Ran Feng Ge looked at the older boy with apprehension, who was this? However, Ran Feng Ge was faced with a smile that was so welcoming and bright that Ran Feng Ge realized he had reached for the helping hand before he even registered it.
An Mu looked at Ran Feng Ge with nothing but gentleness as he smiled and said: “Yangyang, you are finally back!”