Autumn has arrived once more. The mountain was filled with fluttering chrysanthemums.
The original plan was for Fei Jie to end his teaching term in Danzhou by summer. But since he really enjoyed the air, the sea breeze, the food in the Count’s Manor and, of course, his beloved student, he delayed his stay for another few months.
A few months back, a reply in the form of a letter was received. Mister Fei, a man who was both an expert in ending and prolonging lives, rubbed his burgeoning belly and regrettably sought the Count’s mother’s permission in his resignation. (It means he’s kind of afraid that he’s becoming fat and useless ~MCM)
The Old Madam, who naturally knew that the Teacher in front of her was a man sent from the Capital, merely expressed a few words of regret and did not ask further. A thick red packet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_envelope ~MCM) was then prepared in thanks to send him off.
On the west-facing main road of Danzhou’s port, the teacher and his student were exchanging their goodbyes.
“Why do you continue to practise that inner energy that may cause you to explode even after I keep forbidding you to?”
“Teacher, I still haven’t encountered any major problems practising it.”
“If there’re really no problems, what happened last night when you sneaked into the kitchen to drink some wine? How did you smash an entire jug of wine just by hugging it?”
“Come on, that was just an accident,” Fan Xian replied grudgingly. His inner energy has been getting more and more violent these months; these incidents were getting increasingly frequent. It was so serious that Fan Xian had stopped telling ghost stories in bed with the servant Onee-chans (姐姐 was used here, so it was easier to use a Japanese equivalent ~MCM) for fear that he would slip up and hurt someone when everyone was gathered together. He was afraid of committing an unforgivable mistake.
“If you master the art of using poisons, you would have learnt the most efficient and powerful method of killing. Why would you even need to learn something like that then?”
“That’s because poisons may hurt the innocent.”
Fei Jie suddenly stared the boy dead in the eyes. “Are you sure you’re not of age already?”
“It’s not my fault I’m an early bloomer.” Fan Xian innocently returned the look.
Fei Jie breathed out deeply. He congratulated himself silently for not going bonkers even after spending all these time with this little freak. It was truly an arduous feat.
Before departing, Fei Jie patted the little brat’s head. Gazing back at Danzhou village, he allowed himself one last glimpse of the beauty of the village by the sea.
“If you ever do come to the Capital and…… become a doctor, remember to visit me.”
“Definitely.” Fan Xian bowed deeply in respect. He was really thankful towards this queer old fart. As blind Five-Bamboo was always very aloof, all these years, the mature person trapped in this child’s body was glad that he finally found a person who he could converse with, even if he was his own teacher. Also, despite the complicated situation he was in, he remains really grateful for it. Moreover, he could also feel that the latter was beginning to warm up to him after having been together for at least a year now.
“Seriously, don’t practise that inner energy……”
“Teacher, you’re really very naggy, you know.”
“Perhaps it’s because I’m already getting old?” Fei Jie caressed the smooth black hair on Fan Xian’s head with one hand; the other went to rub his own frizzled and grizzled white hair. (The author wrote 黑手 which meant “black hand”. I think it was a typo; changed it to “black hair”. ~MCM)
“But really, that inner energy isn’t all that useful. Besides, it’s power is too much and it is quite uncontrollable.” Fei Jie was not about to give up that easily. “That monster in Eastern Yi city owes me a favour. If you so wish, I could recommend you to be his student.”
Fan Xian sucked in a breath of cold air. “You mean the Sword Saint from Eastern Yi city?”
“Yea,” Fei Jie said seductively. (Heh heh, seductive ~MCM) “One of the Four Grandmasters. The things he practice probably far exceeds yours in comparison.”
Fan Xian was more curious about another issue. “How did you get to know him, teacher?”
“Oh. His father brought him to me to treat his illness. That was back when he was eight…… It was quite obvious that that monster was a nincompoop. He would hug a tree branch and stare into space every day. So I just casually treated him. After a few years, I heard he actually mastered the Four Gu Sword Techniques (Not sure about this name, but let’s just use this for the time being ~MCM), and became a Grandmaster.”
Fan Xian gave him the evil eye. “Casually treated? Ignoring the fact that you swindle medical fees, don’t you think it’s rather incorrigible if you accidentally killed a potential powerful fighter?”
Fei Jie feigned anger and marched towards the carriage in the distance. “I have already taught you the basics of Toxicology and its related fields. I have not, however, told you the most important thing.”
Fan Xian ran to keep up behind his teacher. “And what’s that?”
“Curing poisons isn’t difficult; neither is concocting them…… the most difficult thing to do is the act of poisoning.”
Fei Jie kept walking without looking back.
Fan Xian stopped and ruminated on his words. Having been schooled in Fei Jie’s expertise for almost a year, he already knew that it was nigh impossible to find a poison that was colourless, tasteless and odourless.
That’s why the key to a successful poisoning was the act itself.
He suddenly laughed embarrassedly. It was not as if he had any intentions of being an assassin, nor was he going to poison the Emperor himself in the Palace. Why bother about such things? His main concern was to ensure that he does not get poisoned to death by his stepmothers from the Count’s main Manor. After following Teacher Fei for at least a year now, he was confident that was the least he could do.
The carriage faded into the distance, drawing eddies of dust across the road. Fan Xian bowed towards the retreating carriage. He knew that the pervy old fart was reluctant to come to Danzhou from the beginning. However, having dug up a corpse and dissected a frog’s leg together, it was inevitable that a little of the latter’s personality rubbed off on him. He had felt really close to him for the past year.
Fan Xian was feeling rather down that such a great man had left. (Sounds as if he died, heh heh ~MCM) “Teacher Fei’s actually not that bad a person. It’s just that he is rather…… tragic.”
For a long time after, Fan Xian could not adjust to life. Young nobles of his age would often join their friends in merry-making and pranks. Even though he was the only noble in the entire Danzhou village, he could still find many playmates around his age nearby. Ever since he ended his storytelling time, however, he knew that he could no longer identify with these “peers” of his.
Because he was more matured than the others psychologically, he felt as though he was taking care of them. Not everyone wishes to be in charge to fulfil one’s pathetic thirst for domination – even in the previous world, there were not many grown men who would volunteer to be a kindergarten teacher. Both situations were uncannily alike.
When Teacher Fei left Danzhou Village, he had lost the only person he could talk to. He felt as though his life had become extremely boring and pallid. He stood at the door of the Count’s Manor and watched the passers-by, feeling really lonely. He contemplated what would happen if he were to remain as a child forever.
He recalled the fantasy he had when he woke up and chuckled silently. In his previous life, a large portion of his time was spent lying on his bed. His reincarnation was thus made even more pathetic because of his current abilities. Initially, he thought himself better than the people of this world because he had the knowledge about a few things, such as soap and even glass. He was almost certain that these simple things could at least bring him some recognition……
Turns out this world had long since came up with soap. Even glass was pretty commonplace. The carriage Fei Jie left Danzhou village in was also a four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage and there was even a saddle for the coachman to sit on and a spur. Seeing this, a wave of despair hit him as he sighed melancholically.