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Chapter 27: Copying books at night while wearing red sleeves and breathing incense


(Okay, shiiiiiit, this title is hard to translate. So I kind of did it literally. ~MCM)


After experiencing the whole furor, Danzhou port finally returned to its usual tranquility. It seems no one paid any heed to the relationship between the body of the vegetable-sending Old Ha, who was burnt to death, and the other corpse just upstairs anymore. As for the cause of the fire, the governors did not give any explanation for it, and the people were also not particularly interested in the reason for this.


The public order of Danzhou village has always been good and, under the strict control of the Private Neighborhood Watch, those convicts and dangerous people who loiter around the northern part of the Qin nation were not able to gain anything from there. Moreover, because of the shift of the trade centre southwards, the Emperor has decided to exempt the taxes of the seven of Danzhou’s neighboring prefectures. Although this will not allow the residents to become wealthy immediately, it could at least guarantee that every household has some leftover rations and would prevent another recurrence of a revolt because of famine, like what happened thirty years ago.


Also, while Danzhou city was close to the ocean, it did not experience too much of the volatile conditions typical of the ocean. The citizens were kind and mild, which was why they were always respectful and careful when they were interacting with those related to the distinguished Noble and Most Ancient House of the Number **th Count. Even though the people were clear that Fan Xian was merely an illegitimate child, they would still address him as “Young Master Fan Xian”. They would actively suppress the slight contempt that was still there in their hearts.


And this was the source of Fan Xian’s troubles.


In this world, apart from the incident with the unfortunate Housekeeper Zhou which allowed him to display his talents of being a dandy, he had no other opportunity to act out such a role. Walking along the wide streets of Danzhou Port, the people were either very amicable or respectful. No one had ever offended him.


The inner energy within his body simmered, refining and toughening his main meridian into a surprisingly resilient level. As for the large amounts of inner energy lost in the Snow Mountain point behind his waist, it was rather quiet. It was unclear what its purpose was in gathering there.


In this life, Fan Xian had always played the part of a prudent and respectful young man. The only problem was that, as the days go by, he felt stifled. Moreover, after knowing that he was already on the level capable of killing an assassin, he began to look forward to great things like being a hero, upholding justice and saving damsels in distress.


However, Danzhou Port was peaceful. Too peaceful.




A soothing incense was lit within the study, the faint smell filling one’s body. It was very agreeable. A delicately built brush was held in Fan Xian’s hand. He wrote seriously on the piece of calligraphy paper which was only about four finger lengths wide. Because there was a difference between the modern and ancient prose, there were two different brushes, the quill and the brush. From a perspective of convenience, the quill was superior in this aspect, which was why the departments in the Capital would usually use it. This was also true for when Fei Jie taught in Danzhou.


However, due to the sharp tip of the quill, it required the true artistry of a master. After using it for a long time, the tip of the quill would lose its sharpness (The original text was more of “The tip would change its shape easily”, but that’s kind of awkward ~MCM). That was perhaps the reason why it was still not widely used.


Fan Xian actually preferred the brush. For one, he has always believed that, since this world still used Chinese box characters for writing, it would turn out more elegant and beautiful when written with a brush. He decided to properly train his own calligraphy skills to not embarrass himself in the future.


Moreover, he was under the impression that the story he was “writing” should be done with a brush in order to add elegance to the words and thereby showing a certain level of respect towards the work.


His personal servant girl, Si Si was holding the ink stick with her slender fingers, slowly and gently grinding the ink slab along the grain. Her gaze fell unto the paper in front of the young master, which read:


“…… Zhi Neng was alone in the room, washing the bowls. All of a sudden, Qin Zhong ran over and kissed Zhi Neng. Zhi Neng was flustered, and stomped fitfully. ‘What’s this?! If you do that again, I will scream for help.’


‘Please, I’m already short of time (Original phrasing was我已急死了, which means he/she was so rushed that they may die… So yea, it really doesn’t fit ~MCM). If you do not agree today, I’ll die on the spot right here,’ Qin Zhong pleaded.


‘What do you want me to do? You have to wait for me to leave this prison and this people before I can agree to follow you,’ Zhi Neng said.


‘It’s simple. The only problem is that a faraway river cannot quench a close thirst (This is a play on the Chinese adage 远水救不得近火, which is literally “a faraway river cannot put out a nearby fire”. The dude replaced 火 with 渴, meaning thirst. It sort of turns it into an innuendo. ~MCM) ……’ Qin Zhong said.”


(By the way, these entire four paragraphs actually belonged to one unified one. I separated it because it would be difficult to follow the dialogues if it was a single long paragraph. Also, it’s too goddamn long as one paragraph. By the way, these is from “Dream of the red chamber” ~MCM)


Si Si browsed through the inappropriate content and blushed uncontrollably. “How could this Zhi Neng be so shameless?” she spat.


Fan Xian heard the servant girl’s resentful remark and lifted his head curiously. “Onee-chan, why do you say that Zhi Neng was shameless?” He asked, smiling.  Whether it was in the house or in some secluded place, he would always call for some of the older servant girls. This practice has started since the time when Dong-er was still around, and continued until today. As the servant girls did not dare to defy him and the Old Madam did not care, they could only follow him wherever he go. After all these years, they were already used to hearing such things from him, which was why this was nothing surprising.


Si Si’s face was entirely flushed as crimson as the clouds at dusk, which was really cute and pretty. Stuttering, she explained, “That nun…… the things she say and do are too rash and lewd…… anyway, young master, what exactly is a nun? And where is this “Bun Convent” place?”


Fan Xian grinned and chuckled. You’ll get to see true lewdness when we get to the part when Qin Zhong and Zhi Neng have illicit relations, he thought to himself. However, he was reminded after Si Si asked what a nun was that, because Buddhism does not exist on this world, there were naturally no monks in this world; which meant there were no nuns as well.


He scratched his head with his free hand and was at a loss as to how to explain it. After a long while, he finally forced out something, “Nuns are like ascetics and the Bun Convent is a place like the Temple.”


Si Si was startled after hearing his explanation. “Young Master, you shouldn’t write as you please about this. The Temple lies in a place beyond in the Heavens, pitying the common folk from above while not interfering in worldly affairs. How could it be such an immoral place?”


Fan Xian did not bother to continue explaining to her, only smiled and said, “Okay, okay, I’ll be careful about what I write.”


After writing a few lines, he thought about something and sent Si Si away to keep her from viewing the NSFW (Heh heh heh heh ~MCM) content and reporting it to the Old Madam. When he was young, he would often tell stories in order scare Dong-er. After that, Dong-er actually believed that it was the literature teacher who was telling him the stories and went to complain about this to the Old Madam. In the end, Fan Xian was suspended from his studies for a few days.


After a few more exhortations, Si Si placed the inkwell in her hand and pushed open the door. Her graceful sway (Really tempted to put twerking ~MCM) of her hips as she left the door immediately left Fan Xian’s heart fluttering.


Fan Xian pondered deeply. The actual work of copying down “Dream of the Red Chamber” was more complicated than plagiarizing good poems. Ever since he started writing a year ago, he has probably copied it down from memory about fifteen times. Fortunately, his current memory was oddly clear and the memory of his previous life was perfect and clear. Which was a big reason why he could remember those beautiful prose and difficult idioms by Cao Xueqin (Author of “Dream of the Red Chamber” ~MCM)


The only problem was that the characters and the background were completely alien in this world. He did not know if the people in the future who read it could understand what was being written, which was why there were probably some parts which should be removed or at least required careful editing. However, Fan Xian’s confidence in writing down “Dream of the Red Chamber” remains strong. A cow which is led to Beijing is still considered a cow – and for the “Dream of the Red Chamber”? The “Dream of the Red Chamber” that was released into this world would still remain a big cow. (That’s kind of a literal translation. No idea how to phrase it into English, but it’s kind of supposed to be a joke of sorts in mandarin… ~MCM)(I think it is not a joke. It is more of a, no matter where it is, it is what it originally is, like mushoku tensei, where rudi’s soul is still a japanese guy even though he got reincarnated)

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