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Chapter 32: The idle year

 

Liu Yun came and left without a trace; just like the flowing clouds in the skies (His name 流云 is directly translated as “flowing cloud” ~MCM). The citizens of Danzhou city were completely unaware that one of the Four Grandmasters whom they often gossip about would frequent Danzhou to drink, fight and be merry.

Fan Xian, however, felt that Liu Yun was a very simple person who just wanted to travel. He  patted Five-Bamboo’s shoulders to calm him down. “Who says that an elite fighter can’t travel  around?”

Five-Bamboo was slightly worried about this.There were not many in the world who knew about him and the Mistress; and unfortunately, Liu Yun just had to be one of them. Contrary to his Grandmaster status, he was known to be quite the gossip.

 



Liu Yun’s arrival in Danzhou was too coincidental. Five-Bamboo refused to believe that he would simply leave after having a glance at him.


 

This was purely a hunch of his.

His intuition has always been accurate. He has always felt that his father who lives in the Capital was slightly suspicious. To be involved with the EBI, assassins and even the Second Mistress who   was more vicious than a tigress…… this was exactly why he believed that his father, the Count of Southernland was not as simple as he portrays himself to be on the surface. At the very least, he was more powerful than the slave Cao Yin (Refer to Chapter 29 ~MCM).

 

However, his deduction has gone completely off tangent.

--- He guessed that his cheapskate father could have been the previous Emperor Cheng’s

illegitimate son. Back then, when the Old Madam was working in Emperor Cheng’s manor as a nanny, the old Emperor had allowed her to raise him outside of the Palace. Now, because the Southernland Count was disgruntled about his status and envied his step-brother’s position on the throne while he could only be a small Count, he acted like a fool while waiting for his turn to strike (There was an idiom here which literally translates to “act like a pig to devour a tiger”. Because putting it here seems out of place and slightly awkward in English, I have decided to replace it with the meaning itself. Cheers ~MCM). He secretly plotted with those from the EBI as well as those he could use to revolt , forming a team underground, hoping to stage a coup d'état to take everything from the Emperor.

 

As what part does he play in all this? Because his mum was undoubtedly an important figure, he might have been a product of an alliance with a powerful clan. His existence hence plays a very important role in his father’s plans of revolting.

 

When he casually told Five-Bamboo the deduction that he made because he was bored, the usually unfazed Five-Bamboo viciously sunk the vegetable knife deep into the chopping board unwittingly. It was certainly impressive for the mad imaginations of a teenager to reach such a level. And it was precisely due to this that Five-bamboo decided against bringing him away from Danzhou for the moment.


 

Since this mad teenager was not worried about the future and was still able to maintain his shy but curious smile while being prepared to sacrifice himself for the Southernland Count’s revolt, completely fearless about the possible dangers it would mean, what does the blind Five-Bamboo have to worry about in this situation? (This entire paragraph was a single sentence, which made my life very, very, very difficult. I apologize if this sentence came off as too long ~MCM)

Five-Bamboo had never worried about his own safety; he was only concerned for Fan Xian.

Frankly, this master-servant, teacher-disciple duo was simply lazy. Moreover, it was not that the protecting Fan Xian’s safety and did not concern himself with how he lived. Fearless characters in when Fan Xian started drinking when he was five – Five-Bamboo would only be responsible for et, whatever strange things Fan Xian did, Five-Bamboo would play along with him – like the time the world were unable to plot. Sometimes, they just felt that the strength behind a fist holds a power greater than any plot. This was why they would simply brush off the plots of people around them as insignificant.

As the saying goes, go with the flow. (There is an idiom here that can’t exactly be translated since it’s a bastardized form of an adage from the wuxia 倚天屠龙记. It basically means just go with the flow. ~MCM)

......

……

Actually Fan Xian was still afraid of dying as he did not have great fighting prowess like Five-Bamboo. However, he knew that with the backing of Fei Jie in the EBI and this blind servant, even if he wanted to, it would not be that easy for him to die.

 

After witnessing the spar at the cliff’s edge between Uncle Five-Bamboo and one of the Four Grandmasters Liu Yun firsthand, he experienced an inexplicable feeling in his chest. He finally understood the beauty behind the martial arts, was not unlike tea appreciation and calligraphy. This caused him to stop his copying of “Dream of the Red Chamber” and devoting his entire being into practicing martial arts.

 

Five-Bamboo himself did not have any high-level sword or fist techniques. Yet, he was extremely adept at killing, emphasizing on speed, accuracy, precision and ruthlessness. He would often say to Fan Xian, “Do not follow the notion of circling your opponent, attacking when moving forward and defending when retreating. If you want to attack, move straight at your fastest and walk the shortest distance possible and give your opponent the gravest injury possible.”

Fan Xian suddenly recalled that day when Uncle Five-Bamboo jumped straight from the cliff and understood that this man truly always used the shortest route to accomplish something. He smiled bitterly and shook his head, wondering just how long he would have to take to reach such a level of mastery.

 

One day, after the training with the radish shreds, Fan Xian swung his slightly numb right shoulder and looked at Five-Bamboo’s back. “Based on what you said before, at what level of mastery am I now?” he asked curiously.

“Your inner energy levels are at level seven, while your mastery is at level three.”

Fan Xian was elatedly announced, “On average that should be a level five, which is higher than level four. That means I can graduate.” The youth was slightly pleased, his beautiful eyes filled with a tinge of arrogance.

 

Five-Bamboo shook his head. “If you are lucky, you could kill a level seven person. However, if you are unlucky, even a level three thief could end your existence.”

Fan Xian chuckled and sighed; this Uncle of his was really direct with his words. However, his luck must have been really good, otherwise he would not have been able to reincarnate into this world after he died.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

After Liu Yun’s appearance, Fan Xian’s life in Danzhou became truly peaceful. There were no more assassins that cause the second Mistress was rumored to have caught a great sickness and was thus less of a problem. Fan Ruo-Ruo trouble. The Second in the Capital still sent a letter over every month, while Fan Xian only stayed in this city by the sea every day, eating tofu and copying down a book. Occasionally, he would wear some beautiful clothes to visit the Old Madam, drink wine in the grocery store and cut some radish shreds. The days passed were really idle.

One day, a mirage appeared along the beach; the citizens of Danzhou all flocked to check it out. Although all of them had lived along the beach for so long, it was rare for them to be able to see those illusory and ethereal islands. They were all rather excited.

 

Five-Bamboo became rather weird and immediately closed his grocery shop and walked to the far edge of the beach. He climbed up the cliff alone and silently “gazed” at the scene from afar, as though recalling something unpleasant.

The mirage did not last long and would dissipate in a while. Yet, he continued to silently stare at that place.

 

From behind the veil of the black cloth, it was almost as though he was not blind.

Fan Xian scaled the cliff; his upper body was well-proportioned and toned, having already outgrown his skinnier self (No idea how to phrase this, I’ll just leave it as it is translated directly for now ~MCM). He looked at Five-Bamboo who was silently sitting at the edge and did not dare to disturb him. Instead, he accompanied him and sat beside, looking towards the horizon where the setting sun was refracting a crimson light unto the sky.

 

A long while after, Five-Bamboo asked coldly, “How old are you this year?”

Fan Xian scraped his long jet black hair to the back and tied a ponytail, a beautiful smile appearing on his flawless and handsome face. “I’m 16.”

(What the fuck, kid. When I was 10, I was small and chubby. I don’t know, sometimes I think the author has kind of forgotten about the size of a kid in real life. I seriously doubt a 10 year old kid would be muscular and have long ponytails. Or maybe I just haven’t seen that much of the world yet? ~MCM)

 

(Reminds me of this other WN we found with a 3 year old lifting an adult. Bam-chan got slightly mad over the situation :P ~~Freya )(While it may break the rules, go search fo. That story can tell us all we need ~~Freya)

(Actually, I’ve seen a pretty ripped 12 year old doing Muay Thai on a Vine. Still, I think the author constantly confuses himself over the age of the brat. ~MCM)

 

(Just googled it. That’s one creepy kid. Well, was anyway since he’s older than me ~MCM)


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