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Chapter 28: Book Thief


He really missed the times he spent reading in his previous life. Often, he would fantasize about the scene in the Dream of a Red Chamber (Okay so… they used the entire title from the previous chapter “红袖添香夜读书” which means reading under a lit oil lamp with red sleeves. Which makes utterly no sense. I kind of changed it to the context since I take it it’s from the Dream of a Red Chamber ~MCM) and he would then insist on the company of Si Si while he worked on the book. Breathing the incense within the room that was mixed with the bodily aroma of a woman while the tip of his brush slid gently across the face of the paper was truly an unusually soothing experience.


However, he was afraid that he would invite unwanted attention if the news that he was writing a book were to be spread. From then on, he decided it would be best if he wrote them alone.


Fan Xian has always felt that he needed to prepare early for life in the Capital, be it physically or mentally. This was like the epic “Dream of the Red Chamber”, which was different from copying poems which could simply be recited aloud in a banquet. It needed to be prepared beforehand.


Although he did not understand why, he has always felt that his future would be closely tied to the fate of the Qin nation and that faraway Capital. Perhaps it was due to his father, who was a high ranking official in the Imperial Court; perhaps it was because of the yellow haired brat (They’re referring to Ruo Ruo ~MCM). Or perhaps it was because his mysterious mother whom he has never met, but have always been curious about.


After some thought, he picked up his brush and finished the part where Bao Yu and Qin Zhong did unspeakable things. When the ink had dried, he slid the paper into an envelope. It was now ready to be sent to Fan Ruo Ruo in the Capital.


Fan Xian did not leave any pieces of his work within the mansion in Danzhou. The papers that were written were all sent to the Capital. It was difficult to restrain his ** (I’d place the word “desire” here, but the author *-ed it because he wanted to make it an innuendo ~MCM) to share the experiences he had from his previous life with the people of this world. It was like a person who hides the most beautiful jade piece in the world which no one has ever seen before under his bed for years. He must be dying to show it off to the entire world – no, perhaps he just wants to show it to one person – to let them know the jade’s enrapturing beauty.


A collector who owns a famous piece of painting all his life but never display it must either be a pervert or the person who stole this work.


And Fan Xian knew he was not a pervert (Heh heh heh what lies ~MCM). Although he did steal the work, interestingly, no one in this world knew this.


That was why Fan Xian utterly overlooked the brat Fan Ruo Ruo’s age and would send her a chapter every month. He would tell her that this story was called “The Story of the Stone” (alternative title of Dream of the Red Chamber ~MCM) which was written by a person called Cao Xueqin whom he got to know by chance. Every month, he would draft out a few lines to share with his sister and so on……


Although in the first fifteen chapters or so of “Dream of the Red Chamber”, there were parts where Qin Ke Qin would hook up with Bao Yu and Bao Yu trying ** for the first time, Fan Xian

was assured that after all these years nurturing the brat with his letters, she would not demonize this work nor see her Big Brother as an immoral person.


And unsurprisingly, after Fan Ruo Ruo received and first read the work, it was like she had just tasted peony (Not sure if this is good or bad, hmmmm ~MCM). Yet, after a while, she began to develop an appetite for it, especially the part after Dai Yu entered the Manor where it began to get exciting. Every month, she would send a letter over to urge him to squeeze more of it out of Mister Cao.


Fan Xian would be troubled when he received the letter. All the leftover draft were already depleted and the new drafts could not possibly be that fast. Even if he could copy seventy to eighty drafts in the days to come, he would still end up like a Eunuch… (I’m not entirely sure what the sentence is trying to say. May edit this later ~MCM)





After finishing his daily plagiarizing, Fan Xian began reading his book like he always does. The books of all subjects and topics that filled his study were all sent from the main Manor. Every time he thought about this, his impression of the father he has never met would improve. At least the man understands that, these were some of the most important for a child who was growing up.


In a country with not a single trace of pornography, apart from playing around with the potent inner energy within his body (This may be phrased too lightly. The actual text mentioned that the potent energy and him were playing a cat-and-mouse game, suggesting that it may be dangerous ~MCM) and disturbing the servant girls, the only way to ease the boredom was to read the scattered books in the study on miscellaneous topics.


The topics covered by the books were extremely broad. From agricultural knowledge to the laws of the Qin nation, there was almost nothing that was not covered. There were even some classical works of this world that lined the shelves like bricks.


These shelves were designed by Fan Xian. Its style was simple and every layer was decked with the sweet-smelling Yun grass grown in Yaozhou. This type of grass wards off silverfish and prevents them from damaging the books. This was not known to many in this world, which was why they were only used as spices outside the manor. (Not sure if Yun grass is referring to cinnamon; they have been known to deter silverfish ~MCM)


After reading the books all these years, Fan Xian discovered many traces of what he had learnt in his world from these classics. The only difference was in the style of writing and its elaboration. This ended his dream of copying the works of Confucianism and becoming a great philosopher of that era.


Regardless of the field of study, be it recognizing poisons, inner energy training or reading books; Fan Xian was always serious in learning. Using a determination and dedication uncanny of his current age, he would tirelessly press on with it. This was because he understood that he was not exceptionally different from any random person in this world. After all, he did not arrive in a perfect world where the average IQ was only 50. The advantage he did possess over others was merely a trickle of the knowledge passed over from Earth and having gained self-awareness only slightly earlier than the toddlers in this world.


A tiny pop issued from the oil lamp and a small ball of light leapt out, brightening the room a little. As Fan Xian read his book on his desk, he began to slowly drift off to sleep…


After waking the next morning and having taken a good bath, Fan Xian headed straight to the Old Madam’s bedchamber to greet her before heading to the hall for his breakfast. Ever since the incident with the assassin, Fan Xian’s impression of *** has drastically changed (The author is referring to the Old Madam methinks… ~MCM). Apart from the routine morning greetings he had continued for years, he would now engage in small talk with and humoring his kind-looking grandmother.


“One day, the Emperor convened his Prime Minister, the Chancellor, the Director of the EBI, the Head Eunuch and a few other high ranking Officials in the Imperial court to discuss state affairs. That day, shooting stars descended from the sky and a single meteorite crashed through the ceiling of the court, smashing the few officials who were kneeling down.

The Emperor immediately called for the Head Physician to save them while he waited outside the ward. After a while, the Head Physician came out and the Emperor hurriedly ask, ‘Head Physician, can the Prime Minister be saved?’

The Head Physician shook his head in despair. ‘The Prime Minister could not be saved.’ ”


At the beginning, the Old Madam’s face was full of suspicion as she did not understand why a child would suddenly talk about the affairs of the Capital. She has personally experienced countless of these dark power struggles and was thus wary of this.


“The Emperor then asked, ‘What about the Chancellor?’

The Head Physician shook his head in despair once more. ‘Sigh… He also could not be saved.’

The Emperor asked again, ‘And eunuch Hong?’ The Head Physician shook his head again.

The Emperor was enraged. ‘Then who else could be saved?’ He demanded.

The Head Physician perked up and replied, ‘As long as the Emperor is well, then the Qin nation could be saved!’ ”


(Personally, I don’t get what’s so funny about it… ~MCM)


After hearing the last line, the Old madam immediately snapped out of her stupor and cackled and quivered in laughter. With tears of laughter in her eyes, she pointed at Fan Xian’s innocent face and chastised him. “You little mischievous brat. If this was the Capital, you would have been dragged away just by telling this joke.”

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