FRS: Chapter 23 – Unknown Love (5)

Translator: Momoe Pom

Editor:  Isalee

Quality Check: Shirani

First Published on Ainushi. 

 

 

 

Hua HuaiXiu kicked him hard under the table.

Fan JiJing’s face didn’t change at all.

“A married couple?” The bukuais stared at Hua HuaiXiu in shock. It was true that he was very pretty, but if he were to dress like a woman…

It might look pretty good too.

Hua HuaiXiu turned away his head while maintaining his composure.

The bukuais thought he was shy. After all, it was inappropriate for a woman to show her face in public, so they didn’t think much. “If you are a married couple, why do you dress like this?” He skeptically glanced at the two people’s backs. Could it be that they were not ‘married’ but rather ‘eloped’?

Fan JiJing made a soft sigh. “There are lots of inconveniences when you travel outside.”

The bukuais thought of Hua HuaiXiu’s appearance, and they all sighed in their hearts.  She already looked like this even in men’s clothes, if she were to change into women’s clothing, they could not imagine how breathtaking it would be! Thinking to this point, all of them failed to hold back the envious look on their faces.

The bukuai said, “If this is the case, then wouldn’t it be better to let her handle housework at home? Why do you bring her out in public?”

Fan JiJing replied with a bitter smile, “How can I feel relieved if I’m not home?”

The bukuai thought about it and agreed. If they had a wife like her, they too would be too worried to leave her at home by herself. With such a thought, they were not as envious as before. In fact, they even somewhat sympathized with Fan JiJing. Such a fortune with women would be enjoyable if it happened occasionally, but a lifelong one would be rather troublesome.

It was not a man’s fault, but the treasure he carried. This had always been the case.

“Did you hear any sounds last night?” The bukuai finally started to focus on the murder case.

Fan JiJing pretended to think, and answered after quite a while, “There weren’t any sounds.”

The bukuai continued to question him. “Did you two leave the room that night?”

Fan JiJing’s smile showcased a little shyness. “We remained inside ever since my wife finished taking her bath.”

After hearing what he said, the waiter glanced at him in surprise, but the bukuais had their backs toward the waiter, so they didn’t see it.

Seeing that they could not get any useful information out of him, the bukuai simply suggested, “It’s not very safe in the town nowadays. All of the ones that died were travelers. You should hurry on with your journey after finishing your meal.”

Fan JiJing saluted and expressed his thanks at once.

The bukuai shouted at the innkeeper, asking him to bring them to the yard to take a look.

After they left, Hua HuaiXiu asked, “Who is whose wife?”

All smiles, Fan JiJing sat down and said, “It’s a matter of expediency. Cousin, please disregard it.”

Hua HuaiXiu’s face became a little stiff, but it was unclear whether it was due to the “matter of expediency” or the “disregard it” part.

Fan JiJing slowly continued, “I’ll definitely marry Cousin officially, and give you a formal status. But before that, I’m sorry for letting cousin feel wronged first.”

“Marry officially?” Hua HuaiXiu’s big eyes widened, the brightness in them was almost frightening.

Fan JiJing turned his head and stared at the waiter who was quickly walking towards them. “Ah, I want to order.”

Compared to his face which was filled with glittering sunshine, the waiter’s face seemed to have been covered by dark clouds for days. He bent down and moved to Fan JiJing’s side, whispering, “Guest, our innkeeper said that we are going to close the inn. You may have to leave early.”

Fan JiJing muttered, “But we haven’t eaten yet.”

The waiter said, “We have steamed buns and veggie buns, all ready-made. Why don’t you buy some to eat on the road?”

“You’re driving customers out.” Fan JiJing sighed.

The waiter didn’t say anything.

When he woke up last night to use the toilet, he clearly saw Fan JiJing strolling in casually from outside while lifting that big water jar which was several arm spans in circumference with only one hand. He mentioned it to the innkeeper a moment ago, but the innkeeper did not believe him. He thought the waiter was sleep-addled and couldn’t tell dream from reality. Now that the bukuais had come to the door, and told them that someone was murdered and there was blood in their courtyard, the innkeeper finally became afraid. No matter if the scene that the waiter saw was real or not, at a time like this, it would be better to politely see these two plague gods [1] out.

“Therefore,” Fan JiJing paused for a moment, and smiled, “give us a discount.”

“…”

Seeing the waiter running over gloomily to discuss this with the innkeeper, Hua HuaiXiu frowned, “It doesn’t save us a lot anyway.”

Fan JiJing said, “Since we are traveling outside, we should scrimp and save a little.”

Speaking of scrimp and save, Hua HuaiXiu had a bellyful of complaints to vent out. “You’re truly Jiuhua Sect’s zhangmen. Even the food in Jiuhua Sect has retained zhangmen’s mannerisms.”

Fan JiJing smiled, feeling slightly wronged, “When you were staying at Mount Jiuhua, I hadn’t become zhangmen yet.”

When he brought up those days, Hua HuaiXiu couldn’t help but think about everything that had happened in the past, and the corner of his mouth which had been raised slowly dropped again.

The waiter walked over reluctantly, carrying a small bundle of vegetable steamed buns in his hand.

The price was indeed a lot cheaper.

With a big smile on his face, Fan JiJing reached for his money and took over the bundle.

Hua HuaiXiu suddenly took out a big silver ingot and threw it at the waiter, “Tips for you.”

The waiter caught it in a flurry. As if he could not believe what had just happened, he stared at Hua HuaiXiu, then at Fan JiJing.

Fan JiJing smiled bitterly, “Since he tipped you, you can just take it.”

The waiter bowed down to Hua HuaiXiu, then ran away and disappeared in an instant.

Fan JiJing looked at Hua HuaiXiu who appeared to be heaving with joy and sighed helplessly.

 

They came out of the inn together and bought two horses to ride. Hua HuaiXiu only wanted to buy one at first, but after seeing Fan JiJing shamelessly clinging to him to ride together, he had no choice but to buy one more.

Until they started off, he was still mad about it. When he had gained the upper hand, they were spending his money, but when he was at a disadvantage, why were they still spending his money? He was the genuine descendant of the Hua Family, but now he was like a parvenu who spent money like water. If his father knew of it, he would surely be so pissed that he would even ask Hua HuaiXiu to copy the business codex which he had learned for so many years in the Hua Family at least three times.

Hua HuaiXiu suddenly sighed.

Unfortunately, from the day he escaped the marriage arrangement onward, his father would probably never care about him again.

The Hua family might be short of everything except for money and talent.

He turned his head and looked at Fan JiJing who was riding on the other horse. Anyhow, they should be counted as being together now, right? Despite the twists and turns that happened in the middle, and despite the uncertain future, at least Fan JiJing was not totally heartless toward him. This result was already much better than what he had expected when he had left home.

Fan JiJing smiled and looked over at him, “Cousin?”

Hua HuaiXiu felt a bit uncomfortable and averted his eyes, “Where are you heading?”

“Luoyang.”

Hua HuaiXiu was startled. He thought what Fan JiJing told the bukuais were just excuses to get by and didn’t expect it to be the truth. “What are you going to Luoyang for?”

Fan JiJing said, “To visit a friend.”

Hua HuaiXiu asked suspiciously, “You have friends in Luoyang?” According to what he knew, beside the fellow disciples in the Jiuhua Sect, Fan JiJing’s friends could be counted with his fingers. Cheng ChengCheng was in Qingcheng. DuanMu HuiChun was in the Demonic Sect. Even Ji WuDi who could barely be counted as a friend was in the Huihuang Sect. Luoyang… Who was in Luoyang?

Fan JiJing smiled faintly. “The sect leader of the Assassin Sect.”

Hua HuaiXiu looked at him in surprise. “Are you going to fight all the way to the Assassin Sect?”

Instead of answering, Fan JiJing asked back, “Does Cousin want to be chased every day?”

Hua HuaiXiu was still immersed in the shock. For a short while, he made no reply.

Fan JiJing continued, “Even if you wanted it, I will not allow it.”

Hua HuaiXiu was deeply moved inside. He lowered his head and said softly, “But it would be difficult to do it by yourself.”

“Who said I was by myself?” Fan JiJing retorted as if Hua HuaiXiu’s words were funny.

Hua HuaiXiu’s heart slightly jolted as he just realized it also. That was right. He was the zhangmen of Jiuhua Sect. With the help of a simple command, how would he need to come to their door single-handedly? But Fan JiJing’s next sentence immediately destroyed the confidence Hua HuaiXiu had just built.

“Isn’t Cousin together with me?” Fan JiJing held up two fingers and made a gesture. “So it’s two people.”

Hua HuaiXiu stared at him blankly, as if he had changed with a single shake back to that piece of stupid wood before. “Do you know how many people there are in the Assassin Sect?”

“I don’t.”

“Do you know who the Assassin Sect leader is?”

“I don’t.”

“Then what do you actually know?” Hua HuaiXiu stared at him.

Fan JiJing put away his smile and slowly said, “I only know that they have touched my bottom line, which must not be crossed.”

 

It was already the time to light up lamps, but Luoyang City was still noisy as if it was still daytime.

Lanterns scattered like stars along the streets which ran from the north all the way to the south, shining upon the crowd of beauties in brocades. However, among the stream of beautiful women, the most noticeable one was actually a young man in a light-colored robe with a head cloth of the same color. His handsomeness was unrivaled, and yet it was not effeminate at all. Every movement of his naturally possessed a sophisticated look that was pleasing to the eyes.

Fan JiJing watched the group of people around them as it became more and more crowded. He frowned. Those people’s fervent gazes which occasionally reached them plainly stated that they had other motives in their minds.

“Cousin.” He stepped forward unnoticeably and gently put his hand around Hua HuaiXiu’s waist.

Hua HuaiXiu unconsciously squirmed a bit. Even though he liked Fan JiJing, it was not to the extent of flirting with him in public.

“What are you doing?”

“It’s so crowded here,” Fan JiJing said plainly.

Hua HuaiXiu glanced around, but he didn’t find anything inappropriate. Compared to how impressive it was back in Jiangnan, this was not even worth mentioning.

Fan JiJing’s look became serious as he said, “I’m afraid that people from the Assassin Sect have sneaked in.”

On their way to Luoyang, they had encountered quite a few assassination attempts from the Assassin Sect. The closer they were to Luoyang, the crazier the assassination attempts were. Up until they entered Luoyang City, the Assassin Sect had finally disappeared, though it was obviously for the sake of brewing an even bigger attack.

Upon hearing what he said, Hua HuaiXiu immediately became nervous. “Fighting here will hurt the innocent.”

“Exactly.” As he was saying it, Fan JiJing’s arm, which was around Hua HuaiXiu’s waist, pulled him in even tighter. “Let’s draw them away first.”

Hua HuaiXiu was able to guess what Fan JiJing had in mind, so he gently pushed away his arm and said, “You don’t have to worry about me. I’ll catch up with you myself.”

Fan JiJing blinked, then he caught Hua HuaiXiu off guard and drew him into his arms again. Under hundreds of staring eyes from the people around, he leaped onto the eaves of the house by the street while carrying Hua HuaiXiu with him.

 

Translator’s Notes:

[1] Plague gods: Originally means people/gods who bring pandemics. Also means people who bring troubles. [back]

 

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