Chapter 142: Secrets of the Box (2)
"Where are the bullets?" Fan Xian was like a young girl who had just awoken from a wonderful dream to find herself still sleeping on a heap of firewood in the kitchen. He asked Wu Zhu, slightly angry.
Wu Zhu answered honestly, although his answer was odd to hear in this world: "What’s a ‘bullet’?"
Fan Xian couldn't do anything about that, so he described to Wu Zhu the size and shape of a bullet, and how it was used. He then asked hopefully, "Uncle, you’ve seen my mother use them, right?"
Wu Zhu shook his head. "Like I said, I've forgotten certain things." Just as Fan Xian was about to despair, Wu Zhu suddenly said, "But I do recall the thing you described. Back then I thought they were useless, so when I took you away, I left them in the cellar of Taiping Courtyard."
Fan Xian had been trained to have an extremely steady disposition, but after hearing that, he almost wanted to embrace that lovable blind man and give him a kiss.
There was a letter in the second compartment of the box. The box had an extremely tight seal. Fan Xian tapped the letter gently. There wasn’t a single speck of dust on it.
"For Wu Zhu."
Fan Xian didn’t know how to feel about the fact this box wasn’t for himself, but for the person beside him. He forced a smile and handed the letter to Wu Zhu, seemingly forgetting that he was blind.
Wu Zhu refused and said coldly, "The Lady wrote it for me, so that you may listen. You can read it directly."
Fan Xian grinned and ripped open the envelop and started to read it aloud. After a few rows, he began to lose his seriousness. He had thought the box contained some godly legacy; how lacking in creativity. Just when he was starting to dislike his mother’s methods, he came upon this letter, which made him realize that this woman named Ye Qingmei really was the type of person who looked down at the world.
Her writing wasn’t the most graceful. It was far inferior to Ruoruo’s, even somewhat crude. The tone was strange too, not to mention that the contents were disconnected and seemed to be written at different times.
"Cute little Zhuzhu . Warmest greetings… Sister really likes you, and wanted to introduce you to a wife many times, but you’re always cold as ice. I… Well, to put it nicely, I’m very angry. You went to that temple for a fight. I think you still won't win, and you are going to run back again like a beaten dog. So, here I am writing something to make fun of you."
Reading up to here, Fan Xian glanced at Wu Zhu. A grandmaster-level martial artist, there wasn’t a dog’s shadow on him. The letter continued:
"As for me? While you were gone, I slipped him an aphrodisiac and now I'm pregnant with his child. It’s just that I don’t know if I’ll give birth to a dear daughter or a bastard son. This chest counts as my only legacy in this world. Old Mao once said that his life actually only influenced the outer border of Beijing. Remember. I said it too. I came to this world only to leave behind this chest."
Reading about the aphrodisiac and "bastard son" almost made Fan Xian fall out of his stool. It turned out that not only was his background extraordinary, but it was fateful as well. It was unfortunate that the letter didn’t specify who his mother used the aphrodisiac on. This remained the greatest question on Fan Xian’s mind.
The following were the words left behind by Fan Xian’s mother, a woman named Ye Qingmei who shook the world:
"It's sad, isn’t it? I’m sure that in this world – besides you – no one else can open this box. Why was I so kind to teach you the five-stroke method of typing? It’s not like you'd be able to use it to do anything else. Cute little Zhuzhu, I really want to hug you to sleep. Come back quickly.
"I'm putting the box back where it was. You should know where. Ha, if you’ve opened the chest and read this letter, of course you know where it is. Looks like I've said something unnecessary again.
"I’m only curious: will I have a daughter or son? I hope a daughter. If it’s a son, it will be his father’s turn to have a headache. A man's ambition is too great. There's no telling what he might do.
"Fine, fine. My ambition is great too. I just want this world to become a more beautiful place. Can a girl’s beautiful dream be called ‘ambition’?
"Why do I feel like writing a will? To hell with this. This is way too ominous.
"Heh, who knows? Let’s just pretend it’s my will. Remember to not use that gun anymore. There's no point in cleaving an ant with a great sword. After reading this letter, destroy the chest. Don’t let any irrelevant outsiders know about my glorious life. They don’t deserve to know.
"I came, I saw, I played, I became rich, I killed royalty, I pulled the old emperor’s beard, I lived gloriously under this world’s sun. The only thing I’ve yet to do in this world is rule over it. How’s that? My dear daughter, bastard son, I doubt you will be able to live as I did. It would be good if you can live a peaceful life.
"Hm… After I die, will I return to that world?
"Dad, Mom, I miss you very much.
"Little Zhuzhu, you don’t understand what I’m saying. You don’t know where I came from. I’m very lonely. Despite my interactions in this world, I’m still so lonely.
"I’m very lonely.
"I’m so very lonely.
Having finished reading the letter, Fan Xian was silent for a long time. Then he asked with a smile, "Mother did not belong to this world, do you still remember?"
Wu Zhu was slow to respond, "I think I remember a little."
"Mother said you went to fight someone at the temple. Was it that battle? Was it how you lost some of your memories?" Fan Xian slowly traced his hand on the edge of the box.
"If you hadn’t lost that part of your memory, you'd be the one opening this chest now. After you'd opened it, would you have told me everything?"
"Right." Fan Xian nodded. "I didn’t think so either. Perhaps you would have found a small, unknown mountain village and raise me there." He smiled. "Maybe that life wouldn’t be so bad."
He then sighed, shaking his head. "It’s too bad that things cannot start over."
"Why aren't you curious about why I was able to open this chest?" Fan Xian teased Wu Zhu, wanting to see his surprised face when he realized that his Young Master also came from another world.
"Why should I be?" Wu Zhu was still as calm as ever. Suddenly, he realized Young Master was just as chatty as the Lady.
Fan Xian felt very stupid. He changed the topic. "Does her death involve the temple?"
"I do not know."
Fan Xian was silent for a while. He then checked the rest of the box. The last compartment was covered by a strip of paper. This last compartment wasn’t too deep. He removed the strip and was shocked to see what was on it:
"Hey, if this is Wu Zhu, he’d have destroyed this chest as soon as he read the letter. You’re still reading this. Fess up. Who are you? How did you open this chest?"
His mother was a sharp one. Fan Xian blanked for a moment and actually answered "I’m your son". Naturally, she wasn’t going to hear him.
The strip was rather short, without much writing on it. There was one last warning:
"I suppose it’s either my daughter or my son. Looking at what's below requires the cost of one life. Remember this!"
The exclamation mark was much exaggerated with a big circle for the bottom dot. As per his mother’s final wishes, Fan Xian dared not ignore her warning. He obediently put the strip of paper back.
"I’m heading out for a walk." With that, Fan Xian left the room. Lowering his head, he departed into the rainy night. The chest would be safe with Wu Zhu, so he wasn’t worried.
Only after Fan Xian’s figure disappeared into the rainy scene did Wu Zhu walk out of his corner. He sat next to the table, a bit robotically. He touched the chest and the gun before resting his hand on the letter. His finger moved back and forth on the envelope, thinking about something.
With the sound of his finger brushing the paper, the light pitter patter of the rain could be heard outside.
The room was dark. Wu Zhu sat alone by the box. The blindfold on his face seemed to have softened somewhat as he made a gentle expression.
Fan Xian walked alone on the street, letting the rain wash over his face and drench his body. A smile appeared before quickly turning into a sorrowful expression, and finally into one of calmness. Right now, complex emotions were brewing inside him, conflicting with each other.
Ye Qingmei. This glorious name only entered his life today, entered his mind. He was currently realizing many things—where his mother came from, and the things that she did.
In Danzhou, his grandmother had told him that there used to be two likely successors to the Qing throne. But both individuals died under extremely absurd circumstances.
Having read the letter, Fan Xian understood that both successors died before mother’s sniper rifle.
In other words, today’s royal court was only able to come about and obtain so much power thanks to his mother. She built Qingyu Hall and the Overwatch Council to strengthen this nation and provided it with all of the basic necessities.
It could even be said that there would be no Qing without Ye Qingmei.
 Zhuzhu: Ye Qingmei's endearing nickname for Wu Zhu