Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
"Why do you wish to see this world?" Wu Zhu seemed to be pondering something, "the place you are standing right now, isn’t it part of this world?"
Fan Xian didn’t know how to answer that question, for he came from another world, and therefore would naturally be curious about many things in this world. Furthermore, he needed to find the answer to a question which had been bothering him for the longest time: How did he end up in this world?
Fei Jie once mentioned the temple six years ago, when he still taught at Danzhou. At the time, Fan Xian thought, "Other than though divine intervention, what else could turn a person dying from illness into the youth he was today?" He had been intrigued by this temple ever since and wanted to see what was inside.
The capital, too, was a place he really wanted to visit. Fan Ruoruo didn’t know if she could live a happy life under her stepmother’s protection, and left Fei Jie for a few years. Just for a bit, Fan Xian wanted to visit that perverted but cute old man.
Most importantly, because he had been bedridden for so long in his previous life, his current life so far in Danzhou as a child had presented Fan Xian with a jarring contrast. The contrast manifested in Fan Xian’s heart like a ball of fire, burning his psyche, stimulating his hopes, making him want to do something, gain something.
Peace and ambition, privilege and happiness, romance and beautiful women… these nouns didn’t exactly match each other, they were incompatible. And yet they flashed across Fan Xian’s mind. After thinking for a while, he answered carefully: "Since you only live once, the only way to make the most out of this unrepeatable game is to go around seeing different sights and meeting different people."
That was what Fan Xian really thought. During his previous life, he gave a lot of thought on his deathbed on how he would live in his next life, should there ever be one.
Wu Zhu said: "What do you plan to do?"
"First, I must make sure I survive." Fan Xian kneeled to pick up another rock. When he threw it this time, there was no **, and the rock shattered on the reefs below, "which is why I must obtain the means to protect myself."
"I’ve set three goals for myself."
Wu Zhu quietly listened.
"First, I am going to father many, many children. Second, I am going to write many, many books. And third, I am going to live a very, very nice life."
Fan Xian was extremely calm as he said such absurd things’ there wasn’t the slightest sign of embarrassment. Deep down, he reasoned that, since this world was not Earth, then as the sole example of a human from Earth, it was his biological duty to pass down the humans’ legacy by fathering many children in this world.
At the same time, he believed he also represented the civilizations of Earth. Humanity’s accomplishments in art through the millennia could not be found in this world. If he couldn’t write (or should it be copy?) many, many books and let literary legacies such as Cao Xueqin’s works and "Kill Bill" shine in this ignorant world, he would feel sorry for the sages of this parallel universe living in solitude…and of course, he would feel most sorry for himself.
Naturally, he also saw himself as the only Earthling who could observe this world, and therefore he had to make sure he could live a comfortable life. Only by doing so could he live to a ripe old age and observe for as many years as possible.
be until many years later that Fan Xian finally admitted those were all excuses to rationalize and glorify his hidden desires, his perversion, shamelessness, and greed.
On the cliffs by the sea, Wu Zhu seemed to require some time to fully understand what Fan Xian’s three goals really. Calmly, he analyzed: "then you need to marry many wives, find many ‘saoke’, and hire many servants."
"Saoke?" Fan Xian knew the term but was still unsure what it meant here.
"Scholars in poverty who write manuscripts for other people. They have no rights to authorship."
Fan Xian grinned, he had original planned on making big-names like Old Cao and Old Sha be his ghostwriters and had no need for saoke. As he thought that, Wu Zhu continued his overly simplistic analysis.
"If you are to marry many wives, hire many servants and saoke, then you need to earn a lot of money. If you want to earn a lot of money, then you need a lot of authority. The more authority you need, the closer you must be to this nation’s center of power."
Wu Zhu neatly turned around to leave: "As soon as you turn sixteen, we’re going back to the capital."
Behind Wu Zhu, Fan Xian stayed where he stood, staring blankly. He had merely expressed some of his not-so-unreasonable ideas, but somehow this slightly mentally-challenged strong one deducted them to be related to a matter of national power, not to mention he just cleanly made decision to go back to the capital—Fan Xian still remembered, on the day he was born, Wu Zhu carried him on his back and escaped from the capital.
Fan Xian didn’t know if he should laugh or cry at his current situation, so he slapped himself hard to get out of his trance. He caught up to Wu Zhu, and said: "uncle, I told you what’s on my heart, shouldn’t you reward me with something?"
"What do you want to know?"
"My mother, why were people after us in the capital?"
"Regarding the Lady, I will tell you everything once you turn sixteen, as that’s the Lady’s final wish. As for the people after us, you don’t need to know, since they all died ten years ago."
When they got back to Danzhou Harbor, it was already noon. Fan Xian parted from Wu Zhu a distance away, and Fan Xian made his way into the city by himself. The people of the city had already gotten used to seeing this young master wander outside on his own. Although there were no wild beasts or dangerous places around, people still felt the Count’s estate was too careless regarding the safety of this illegitimate son.
After all, in their eyes, Fan Xian was merely a twelve-year-old boy.
For the Danzhou inhabitants, who lived carefree without needing to pay taxes to the imperial court, they had plenty of spare time to come up with some odd theories. For example, they wondered if the people of the branch house wanted the illegitimate son to get eaten by wild beasts or fall down a cliff.
With that idea in mind, seeing this cute boy live in this supposedly dangerous mansion made their hearts race.
Fan Xian didn’t know what they were thinking and kept smiling slightly. Lowering his head just a little, he returned to the Count’s estate.
The servants were waiting for him, knowing that he would return to eat. The Countess sat on the old, wooden armchair, her eyes half-closed as if she were sleepy.