Bai Yunfei’s curiosity had been piqued as well when heard the word ‘capital’. “Tianming,” He started. “Are these ‘Four Lords of the Capital’ also the sons of some four major households? Can you tell us more about it?”
“No way! You’ve never heard of the Four Lords? They’re the idols of our generation!” Tianming had spoken in adoration. It would appear that he held these ‘Four Lords of the Capital’ on a high pedestal.
“The Four Lords of the Capital, Wine, Sex, Avarice, and Temper!”
It had been with great grandeur that Tianming spoke these eleven words. If they didn’t know any better, then anyone would have thought that Tianming himself was one of these four princes.
“Their titles refer to them being the four young heroes of the capital’s four great houses: The Zheng, the Chen, the Jin, and the Huang. Of the four, the house of Zheng is the most prominent due to them also being known as one of the ‘Five Great Houses’. The other three might not be a part of the ‘Five Great Houses’, but they are still considered superpowers with enough influence to themselves.”
Bai Yunfei’s eyebrows had risen when he heard mention of the Zheng. But instead of interrupting Tianming, Bai Yunfei had allowed for him to continue speaking.
“There’s Chen Qiantan, the ‘Wine Lord’ of the house of Chen. Legends has it that when he was born, he was basked in a pool of wine poured from a thousand jars. He loves wine as much as his own life, and that wine practically never stops coming into his mouth. He drinks so much that he’s practically always in a drunken state. The secret family art of his, the ‘Drunken Fist’ is known as a soul technique that is ‘unbeatable’ in close combat.
“In the house of Zheng, there’s the ‘Sex Prince’, Zheng Kai. In his family, he’s the second eldest and is sometimes known as the ‘Second Prince of Zheng’. He says that he is like the ‘jade tree that can withstand wind and prevail over Pan Yue in beauty’ while also being as capable as the ‘pear blossom that pushes down the crabapple.’ Or in other words, he calls himself the ‘Godhand of spreading the flower’. Although his nickname is the ‘Sex Lord’, it isn’t an insult. He is known to be a lustful person, but he never steals away any woman, they all follow him willingly. It’s even said that his personal goal in life is to ‘pick up every beauty in the world and leave no girl behind for anyone to pick up’. Because of his absolute valor, he’s seen as the enemy of man while also being the object of envy and admiration of them all.
TL Note: The poet Su Shi had once ridiculed his fellow poet Zhang Xian after marrying a wife with over seventy years apart in age difference in a poem, saying that even a pear blossom could ‘push’ down the crabapple.
“From the house of Jin, there’s there’s the ‘Wealth Lord’, Jin Manlou. At the tender age of twenty, he was already in charge of the finances of the entire household–and better than the previous generation to boot. Their wealth has grown so large that it could rival a country and spend money as if it were water. As long as the problem can be solved with money, then it isn’t a problem as far as he’s concerned. Not only that, Jin Manlou is also the most magnanimous philanthropist in the entire empire. Wherever he does business, there will never be any beggars.
“And then there’s the ‘Temper Lord’, Huang Bin of the house of Huang. As a moral and upright person, his heroism could stand aloft over the clouds. He has always been a straightforward and upright person that outs the rich and supports the poor. Of the four lords, he is the most respected one with countless friends and thousands of visitors–many of them being strong in their own right. Even more amazing is his talent; it’s something you can only see once every hundred years! At the age of twenty-four, he has already become a Soul Ancestor!
“These four are the most outstanding ones of their generation in the capital. Practically every other young lord in the capital follow these four, though, the young ones of the royal family are an exception of course. They are after all princes that cannot be ‘discussed’ about so easily.”
Tianming had spoken confidently as he gave a general introduction of the ‘Four Lords of the Capital’ to Bai Yunfei and Jing Mingfeng. It was as if his ‘lecturing’ to his older brothers was something to be extremely pleased about.
“Zheng Kai….” Bai Yunfei turned his head down just slightly in befuddlement. He hadn’t expected to hear his name here, but….”Sex Lord? Is he really some sort of wanton and lecherous young master of a man?” Bai Yunfei was simply unable to make the connection between the mysterious youth that had helped him in the coliseum of Luoshi City way back then and the ‘Sex Lord’ that Tianming was talking about. “Maybe it’s coincidence that they have the same name?”
“Pft! What ‘Four Lords of the Capital’, why do I feel annoyed about that? That ‘Sex Lord’ most especially! For some reason, I have the desire to beat him up….” In the midst of Bai Yunfei’s pondering, Jing Mingfeng had spoke out already with a rather discontent tone. “Screw it, they’re nothing more than the next generation that rely on their families and parents! Brother, if I want to be famous, then I’d be known throughout the entire world instead! With a greater title than theirs no less!”
Bai Yunfei had been unable to stop himself from poking fun at him, “Yea, that’s right. No one can beat you as the most handsome person ever. Aren’t you the Chivalrous Thief? I think your nickname should be ‘Bandit Chief’ instead.”
TL Note: This nickname is 盗帅 in Chinese, with the second character meaning Handsome or Chief. It is also the nickname of Chu Liuxiang from Gu Long’s novel of the same name.
In truth, Bai Yunfei was actually making fun of the fact that Jing Mingfeng made it a habit to change his appearance every so often. It had been done so much that Bai Yunfei was actually unsure or not if this current appearance of Jing Mingfeng was his true appearance. But the insinuation had not been heard, or perhaps the latter had only been paying attention to the very last part of the sentence.
“‘Bandit Chief’? Shit, Ol’Bai, you’re a damn genius if you could come out with such an imperious nickname like that!” Jing Mingfeng had thought ‘seriously’ for a few moments before unexpectedly speaking out with a deadpan declaration, “I’ve decided! When the great me travels the world later on, I’ll be using that nickname!’
And thus, the nickname of ‘Bandit Chief’ that would later rock the world was born from a joke that Bai Yunfei had randomly tossed out….Of course, if Jing Mingfeng were to describe it, he’d say– “This is actually a hobby of mine….”
Bai Yunfei didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when he saw the earnest-looking Jing Mingfeng. Instead, he shook his head helplessly for a moment before turning back to Tianming, “Ah, Tianming, you said the ‘Four Lords of the Capital’ refer to ‘Wine, Sex, Avarice and Temper’. Then as the ‘Four Dukes of Gaoyi’, what nicknames do you have?”
“Eating, Drinking, Playing, and Pleasure.”
Bai Yunfei stared blankly at him. He had been at a loss of how to respond to him. Meanwhile, Jing Mingfeng had nearly stumbled into the bosom of a middle-aged woman as he was lost in his delusions of becoming the world-famous ‘Bandit Chief’.
Jing Mingfeng looked at Tianming with widened eyes, “What did you say? Say it one more time….Eating, Drinking, Playing and Pleasure?”
“Yeah….” Tianming had been slightly embarrassed when he replied, “It….really doesn’t sounds as cool as ‘Wine, Sex, Avarice, and Temper’, but we were only just playing around when we made it up….”
Jing Mingfeng had looked at Tianming with a hint of admiration, “Hehe, I think that your group is pretty interesting actually. Say, didn’t you say you were the ‘Duke of Play’ as one of the four dukes?”
“Yeah. In the past, I spent the entire day playing around and was pretty much interested in any sort of fun activities. So I earned that nickname as a result.” Tianming explained bashfully.
“The ‘Duke of Eat’ refers to the fatty from the Zhao, Zhao Liang. That guy’s always eating some sort of exotic delicacy or lavish meal at any given time. One time, he ate an entire roasted suckling pig that weighed around fifty kilograms…..the biggest restaurant in Gaoyi City, the “Aroma Delicacy”, is owned by him.
“The ‘Duke of Drink’ is the third son of the house of Liu, Liu Shun. He’s similar to the ‘Wine Lord’ from the capital. He’s always drinking and loves to get drunk. Good or bad, he’s done it all. Onetime, he streaked through the streets naked, but then he was stopped by one of his retainers afterwards…
“The ‘Duke of Pleasure’ is the second son of the ruler of the city, Zhou Hui. He’s crass and lecherous. As a regular of the ‘House of Spring Pleasures’, he spends the entirety of his day trying to have sex with women. By now, he has already seven concubines at the age of twenty-six.”
Bai Yunfei had been speechless once more when heard Tianming introduce them all–just what of people are they?
He had been secretly glad that Tianming represented the ‘Play’ of the four. If the four of them were ‘Dining, Wining, Whoring and Gambling’, then that would be just tragic….
For a while, Jing Mingfeng had been silent before he gave a thumbs up to Tianming, “You’re still screwed!”
As for the Four Dukes of Gaoyi City, their nicknames are based off the idiom “Eat, drink, and be merry.” In other words, to forget about everything else and focus on the pleasures of life.
Bai Yunfei talks about it’s good that they weren’t nicknamed “Dining, Wining, Whoring and Gambling”. This is an idiom meaning to live a life of dissipation.