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Chapter 60: A Brother-sister Chat
"What’s a proposal?" Fan Sizhe looked at his sister for help.
Fan Ruoruo blinked a couple times before she explained. "Simple. It’s how you plan to achieve a goal."
Fan Sizhe nodded. Ever since he was a young child, he had made a grand goal for himself. That was why he was able to stay unusually focused and hardworking towards this line of work.
Fan Sizhe childhood dream was to build the second Ye Family; the richest family in the world! He was completely unaware of the relationship between the Ye family and his brother, who encouraged his dreams.

After Fan Sizhe’s nanny took him away to wash up, the only people left in the parlor were the brother and sister pair. Fan Xian strolled into the corridor in silence and Ruoruo followed his lead. Just as they were about to reach Ruoruo’s bedroom, their footsteps stopped in unison by the shallow pool.
Ruoruo was the first to speak, "I know that I shouldn't focus so much on people’s station. I just think that Zhe’er [1] would have a hard time if he chose to go down that path."
Fan Xian smiled and shook his head, "In a society of people, class divide is inevitable. I’ve told you before; there’s no need to force changes. We can admit that it exists, but there is no need to change your true intentions because of its existence."
Fan Ruoruo’s eyes widened with curiosity and she asked her brother, "What are true intentions?"
"True intentions are not what those God swindlers say it is." Fan Xian patted his chest. "Just look at its literal meaning. True intentions are… what you really want."
He continued, "Man's dearest possession is life. It is given to him but once, and he must live it so as to feel no torturing regrets for wasted years, never know the burning shame of a mean and petty past; to live that, dying, he might say: ‘I did everything I wished to, and even if I was unsuccessful, at least I tried’."
Fan Ruoruo’s eyes wandered to Fan Xian’s face with a look of admiration.
"I didn’t come up with that," Fan Xian explained awkwardly. "This quote is from someone named Ostrovsky."
"That’s a weird name… It sounds like it belongs to somebody who lives by the sea."
"That’s right, but I changed the ending of the quote as, after all, I’m not a heroic person. I can only focus on the near future."
"So… if it’s something Zhe’er enjoys doing, then he should work hard at it so he has no regrets in the future. This is staying true to your intentions." If Fan Ruoruo arrived at this conclusion, then it meant she understood.
Fan Xian continued, "Humans have to survive. It is ideal that their method of survival matches their interests."
"Understood." Fan Ruoruo’s smile bloomed like a flower.
Fan Xian chuckled. "Perhaps you haven’t seen Fan Sizhe’s face when he is calculating. His expression makes me think of the quote ‘A hardworking person is the most beautiful’."
Fan Ruoruo snorted at the thought of her young brother’s appearance described as beautiful.
Fan Xian disciplined her seriously. "Don’t laugh. Compared to him, you are still lacking in this area. At least he knows what he wants to do; and you? Even though the people of the capital call you a talented girl, what do you actually plan to do? The path of poetry is a serious one, so you will have to work hard if you choose it. You can’t treat it as a pastime."
Fan Ruoruo’s head was bent as she was being disciplined, but deep down, a warmth spread through her. In the past, the teacher-student exchange had happened only through letters, but now it was in person. She felt blessed. Moonlight flooded the night and reflected on the shallow lake. It shone dimly on the walls and on Fan Xian’s face. His already pure and beautiful face seemed even daintier under the moonlight.
"You are the beautiful one." Fan Ruoruo spoke in a low vo

ice as she gazed at him.
Fan Xian did not hear her, as he was replaying the events which occurred in the parlor that day in his head. He mumbled to himself, "I hope that this mansion will become more peaceful and that Lady Liu is clever enough to not disappoint me."

Just as the pair was about to separate, Fan Xian suddenly remembered the girl dressed in white whom he saw in the temple at dusk. He described her appearance to his sister, expecting his sister to have some knowledge of her, as the girl looked to have come from a rich, noble family in the capital; Ruoruo often visited the homes of the noble lords of the capital.
After hearing her brother’s descriptions, she didn’t have a clue. She giggled and asked him, "And just where did you see this fairy girl? It seems like she has captivated your soul."
In her heart, her brother was an extremely mature teacher, so in seeing the look of disappointment on his face, she could not help but be curious about the girl. Fan Xian smiled wryly and said, "If even you don’t know her, then it looks like there really is no chance of finding her." Despite having said this, Fan Xian was certain that one day he would come across the girl… munching on the chicken drumstick again.
His heart quiver at a sudden thought.
He realized that it was a stick of candied haw which lead him to the temple and in turn to the girl. Such a coincidental occurrence made him believe in the word "fate". His heart fluttered and he spoke excitedly, "Say… Could it be that she’s… the girl from the Lin family?"
Fan Ruoruo frowned, "Well, I haven’t seen Miss Lin before. After all, her identity is a little, a little…" She glanced at her brother, and continued carefully. "...inconvenient. Not many people know what she looks like. There are just the occasional pieces of information from the Ye Family. I heard that they are best of friends and that they’re very close."
"Miss Ye?" Fan Xian panicked upon hearing the name "Ye".
"The daughter of the capital’s garrison; her name is Ye Ling’er. What about it?" Ruoruo questioned Fan Xian curiously.
Fan Xian laughed as he remembered back to the first day he arrived in the capital, and of the young girl on horseback whom he had seen. He didn’t have to worry about losing a lead if he could just find the girl. After some thought, Fan Ruoruo said, "However, I think that the girl you met today could not possibly be Miss Lin, so it would be no use in asking Ye Ling’er."
"How can you be so sure?" Fan Xian was anticipating the experience of a scene out of a romance novel, so he could not help but be surprised when he heard those words.
[1] Zhe’er- An affectionate nickname for Fan Sizhe.

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