FRS: Chapter 10 – Unknown Truth (1)
Translator: Momoe Pom
Quality Check: Kai
First Published on Ainushi.
The sun gradually shifted from the middle of the sky to the west.
Fan JiJing felt the sunshine from the setting sun crawling up his back, though instead of a sense of warmth, it somehow created a burning sensation.
Hua HuaiXiu started to lose patience after watching him do nothing but staring blankly at the ground in silence for a while. “Say something at least.”
Hua HuaiXiu’s heart lurched a bit. His bright eyes locked onto him with sparks.
As Fan JiJing was talking, only his lips moved while the rest of his face was as solid as rock. “Are you hungry?”
Without a word, Hua HuaiXiu kicked Fan JiJing’s calf.
Fan JiJing took the hit without moving.
Hua HuaiXiu frowned. “Why didn’t you dodge?”
Fan JiJing slowly turned his head, and a moment later, replied in a wronged voice: “My legs fell asleep.”
The vigorous confession had now come to a temporary stop as Fan JiJing lamely walked out the hall.
At first, Hua HuaiXiu wanted to strike while the iron was still hot and question him closely, but Fan JiJing gave the excuse that he was too hungry and locked the door from inside right as he limped into the kitchen. He would not come out no matter how hard Hua HuaiXiu knocked.
Realizing that it was almost evening as the sun sunk further to the west, Hua HuaiXiu finally lost his temper. He lifted his feet and kicked it violently onto the door plank, shouting: “I want to eat too!”
A moment later, instead of the door, the window opened with a creak.
A hand was jerking up and down, holding a bowl of noodles.
Hua HuaiXiu walked over bitterly and grabbed his hand.
Fan JiJing looked at him in panic.
“I won’t force you.” Although it was accompanied by the astonishing scenery of a sunset with a skyful of rosy clouds, his fine face was still extremely bright to the point of stunning grace: especially his smile, which was even more charming than the clouds at sunset. “Let’s discuss the case for now.”
Fan JiJing frowned. A moment later, he raised his head and looked at Hua HuaiXiu. “Cousin.”
“En?” Hua HuaiXiu tried his best to look amiable.
“There’s no need to try anymore.” Fan JiJing sighed, “I won’t go out.”
Right as the last word left his lips, he saw Hua HuaiXiu pushing the windows to the edges then bending over to jump in.
Fan JiJing: “…”
Hua HuaiXiu, grinning all over, said, “A discussion inside would be fine too.”
Fan JiJing asked, “You just said something about investigating the case?”
Hua HuaiXiu looked at him silently with narrowed eyes.
The sun shined on half of his face, meticulously portraying every inch of his skin. The pitch-black pupils, glimmering with bits of golden shimmers, was filled with fervent anticipation.
Fan JiJing lowered his head and looked at his toes. “Cousin, this is not right.”
Fan JiJing was not disappointed. He had never expected that a piece of wood could suddenly bloom a flower. “In this world, what is right? What is wrong? The standard of right and wrong was originally defined by people, then why can’t it be overturned by another person?”
Fan JiJing lifted his head dumbfoundedly. The way he looked at Hua HuaiXiu was so fresh, as if this was the first time he had met him.
“What’s wrong?” Hua HuaiXiu frowned.
Fan JiJing said, “I didn’t know that besides solving cases, Cousin is also good at talking sense into others.”
“What you’ve seen is only the tip of an iceberg.” Hua HuaiXiu thought over Fan JiJing’s words carefully once again and suddenly found them slightly awkward. “Wait a minute, what do you mean by ‘I didn’t know?’”
Fan JiJing said, “It means that what I’ve seen was only the tip of an iceberg.”
Hua HuaiXiu felt choked.
“Is it true that Cousin has found clues for the investigation?” Fan JiJing pivoted the conversation abruptly.
But when was Hua HuaiXiu someone who would so easily be fooled by his playing dumb to gloss it over like this?
He stared at Fan JiJing with a look so profound, as if he was going to peel off that stiff and awkward expression from his face to see what the real emotion hidden beneath it was.
“Cousin?” asked Fan JiJing, feeling uneasy.
Hua HuaiXiu gradually took back his probing stare and said plainly, “We can discuss this later. Let’s finish the last duties to your master first.” For him, Fan JiJing’s reaction was more than enough to overflow him with joy. Originally, he thought that someone as stiff and pedantic as Fan JiJing, after realizing his feelings, would turn him down completely while shooting archaic sayings about manners and morals at him. However, it was true that Fan JiJing rejected him, but in such a way that was rather ambiguous and hesitant. As long as he wasn’t killed in one shot, he was confident that he could still push away the dark clouds and eventually reach the clear sky!
Fan JiJing secretly let out a sigh of relief, then asked, “Does Cousin really know who is the murderer?”
“I don’t know who is the murderer, but a certain someone might know.”
“Your third shishu,” replied Hua HuaiXiu. “He refused to show himself even for something as big as zhangmen’s death. There must be a reason behind it.”
Fan JiJing’s eyebrows furrowed as he said, “Third shishu has been in seclusion for many years. He probably doesn’t want to deal with worldly matters anymore.”
“Whether it’s ‘doesn’t want to’ or ‘cannot’, we won’t know until we meet him.” Hua HuaiXiu paused for a second before continuing, “We can’t let any clue slip by.”
While Fan JiJing was still hesitating, Hua HuaiXiu already made the final decision: “I’ll go see him after I finish my noodles.”
“By the way, where are my noodles?” It seemed that Hua HuaiXiu had just remembered that bowl of shining white noodles.
Fan JiJing stared at the noodles on the ground, which was knocked over by him at some point, his face full of awkwardness.
Hua HuaiXiu said, “Nevermind. I’ll just find something else to eat.”
“There’s nothing to eat,” said Fan JiJing as he gently touched his slightly bulging belly. “There was nothing to do in the kitchen just now, so I kept eating…”
Hua HuaiXiu: “…”
Between starving and dining with Song BoLin, Hua HuaiXiu chose the former one, therefore he ended up walking towards Feilong Cave, where Bian Feng entered seclusion, with his belly touching his back.
Seeing how bad he looked, Fan JiJing did not dare to pick up a conversation. So he only followed after Hua HuaiXiu in silence.
After they arrived in front of Feilong Cave, Fan JiJing said, “I’ll inform shishu of our visit first.”
Hua HuaiXiu was too hungry that he did not even feel like replying. He waved his hand casually, signaling Fan JiJing to go ahead.
Fan JiJing walked to the entrance of the cave carefully, then called with an extremely low voice, “Third shishu.”
About a meter away from him, Hua HuaiXiu saw his lips moving up and down but did not hear any sound. He couldn’t help but ask, “What are you doing?”
“I’m informing.” Fan JiJing lowered his voice to the limit.
“Who would be able to hear you?” Hua HuaiXiu said irritatedly.
His voice had hardly faded away when he heard a low and hoarse sound from inside: “Who is it?”
Fan JiJing quickly tidied up himself, then said respectfully, “The disciple of zhangmen, Fan JiJing, is requesting to see Bian shishu.”
The inside was suddenly quiet again.
Hua HuaiXiu was too weak to continue standing, so he randomly picked a stone and sat down.
Right as his butt touched the stone, he heard Bian Feng’s low voice: “Come in.”
Fan JiJing then pushed the door lightly.
Hua HuaiXiu followed him and stood up. Just as he was going to take a step, he heard Bian Feng’s voice again: “Other people can wait outside for now.”
Seeing Hua HuaiXiu frowning, Fan JiJing immediately gave him a glance, signaling him to stay calm and just wait.
Hua HuaiXiu harrumphed before unwillingly sitting down again.
Right as he stepped into the cave, Fan JiJing smelled the elegant fragrance of sandalwood. The anxiety that followed him was gradually pacified.
Bian Feng was sitting on a stone bed inside the cave with his legs crossed. Due to the lack of sunshine, his complexion was abnormally pale, and his pupils showed a faint amber color.
“Third shishu.” The door closed slowly behind him. The only thing left in the room to defend against the invasion of darkness was a lonely oil lamp giving off a dim light.
Bian Feng slowly looked up. “So you came.”
Fan JiJing lowered his gaze: “Master passed away.”
Bian Feng nodded: “Your second shishu already told me.”
“It is not my intention to disturb shishu’s peace and quiet. The only reason of my visit today was to request shishu to come back to take charge of Master’s final duties.”
Bian Feng replied, “Since your second shishu is still there, why do I need to concern myself?”
Fan JiJing fell quiet.
“Regarding the rumors around your master’s mishap, your fifth shidi has already told me.” Bian Feng paused for a moment, as if the long sentence had drained too much of his energy that he started to talk at an even slower pace: “You are in charge of the case now.”
Fan JiJing, showing extreme deference, replied, “Yes.”
Bian Feng glanced at the oil lamp and sighed, “A man dies the same way a lamp goes out. Don’t over-absorb yourself with certain things.”
Fan JiJing trembled slightly. He opened his mouth as if he wanted to retort but ended up swallowing the words at the sight of the pair of amber eyes, which seemed like they could see through all worldly affairs. In the end, he only replied softly, “Thank you shishu for your teachings.”
“Be lenient whenever it’s possible,” said Bian Feng. It sounded like there was some deeper meaning than what the sentence was referring to. He gently waved his hands and said, “You may leave.”
Fan JiJing saluted respectfully to Bian Feng again, then exited by walking out backward.
Hua HuaiXiu watched him close the door. After walking sixteen or seventeen meters away together, he lowered his voice and asked, “How was it?”
Fan JiJing shook his head, “Shishu has no idea who is the murderer either.”
Hua HuaiXiu asked disappointedly, “No clues at all?”
“Shishu has been in seclusion for many years already. We shouldn’t bother him with things like these.”
Hua HuaiXiu was starved to an extent where he couldn’t feel the pain in his stomach anymore; his thoughts became active again. “Since there are no clues for the case right now, why don’t you take some time to think about us?”
Surprised by his words, Fan JiJing’s face was like the crimson clouds at sunset, with the red glow creeping all the way up from his neck.
In case that any of you didn’t know and would be interested, I started another project on Ainushi two weeks ago. It’s also a wuxia genre story, an adventure of two people with distinctively different worldviews, with a relationship developing between them through the constant conflicts of their opinions! You can check out the page here:
> Thousand Autumns <
Hope everyone enjoys your read! \o/