Chapter 1.17 – Fourty Thousand
[WARNING: Contains scenes of brutality and torture of children (towards the end). I’ll give another warning before the scene.]
“You Shu, walk slower, be careful of bumping into a carriage.” Ji Changye pulled the boy back to his side, Ah Da and Ah Er swiftly surrounded the two.
The transport carriage rumbled past and soon disappeared, that red-clothed youth’s brash shouts could still be heard from afar. You Shu’s wrist was gripped tighter by the youth’s hands, and asked, “Master, what’s wrong? You have enmity with that family?”
Ji Changye’s expression slightly relaxed and swept the sweaty hair on his cheek, and lowly said, “That is Wang jia’s people.”
“Wang’s family people, Wang Xianggan?” You Shu very quickly associated it with his past and then suddenly saw the light. So, that haughty youth just now was his brother? Perhaps those people in the carriages could perhaps be his grandmother, elder sister-in-law, aunt and mother’s elder sister? Thinking through this, You Shu’s heart was completely unmoved. He and them were strangers who only happened to be related by blood.
Ji Changye nodded and softly asked, “Still want to go? If you don’t want to, then we’ll return home.”
“I want to eat vegetarian food.” You Shu staunchly shook his head. Even if knives rained down from the sky, it wouldn’t stop his journey to delicacies.
Ji Changye was amused by that little glutonnous appearance of his and pinched his nose. Then he continued walking. In the end, the child that he raised was calm and open-minded as expected. Not to mention his unique and unparalleled skin, even his disposition was enough to leave Wang Tian You dozens of miles away. The so-called “Third Young Master of the Capital” seriously failed to live up to his name and was over exaggerated. 1
The two people threw this episode to the back of their minds and enjoyed the scenery while leisurely climbing up to the summit. When they reached the temple door, they saw some guards standing erect while holding blades, their eyes glimmering with ominous light.
Ji Changye was long used to a hard life and was not fascinated with wealth and splendor. So when he returned to the Capital he continued to wear an average blue gown as usual. For the convenience of movement, Ah Da and Ah Er wore short clothes that only those laborours in the streets would wear. There were two patches on the tip of their shoes, looking simply unsightly. Only You Shu was properly dressed up by Ji Changye, a gown with pink flowers lining its fringe which contrasted with his jade-like face. Loking at his eyes and eyebrows and the color of his white tender skin that looked as if he was raised indoors all throught the year -appearing translucent under the bright sun. He looked like a pampered and spoiled Master.
Therefore, a few guards immediately looked at You Shu and waved, “Go go go, today the Bodhi Temple has been sealed by my Master, come again another day.” Even if he looked pampered and spoiled, he still had to climb the mountain by himself and couldn’t even hire a soft palanquin. This showed that he wasn’t some personage that they could not dare to offend.
You Shu, who’s back and legs ached just because he wanted to eat a vegetarian meal, was truly annoyed when he heard this, and asked: “Bodhi Temple is not your family’s private property. What authority do you have to stop others from entering?”
Scorn surfaced on the guard’s face and he wanted to reply but a few carriages appeared behind and a servant girl her skirt and stepped foward while urging, “Quickly let us through, my family’s Furen wants to enter!” 2
Seeing the huge name “Liu” on the door of the carrage, the guards hastily retreated to two sides and bowed low to the ground while letting the carriage enter. You Shu wanted to take the opportunity to enter but was cut off by a broadsword. Ji CHangye originally looked on from the side with a smile, one that looked like a smile yet not a smile. His expression only changed when the guards drew their swords to attack You Shu and quickly pulled him back into his arms. He looked him up and down, fearing that he lost even a single hair. He had never liked arguing with others, let alone these servants that were petty and low like mole crickets and ants. He fished out a jade pendant from the pouch in his sleeve and coldly spoke, “Here, can we enter?”
This jade pendant was only owned by members of the Imperial family, nine soaring dragons clung to the word “Ji” which fell into a bright yellow silk braid. Once the guards saw the jade pendant, their expressions immediately changed and kneeled in salute one after the other. Thy couldn’t recognised this person, but they know that his relationship with the Imeprial family was not shallow and unavoidably complained in their hearts: After all, which Wang fu’s little Young Master doesn’t sit on a carriage, doesn’t wear brocade clothing when they go out? Caused us to feel such bitterness!
Ji Changye just returned to the Capital and did not wish to arouse the attention of certain people, so he pulled You Shu directly in and no longer tangled with these people. Anyway, they were a group of lowly house slaves, if Wang jia ordered them to be executed in the future, it would still be hard to escape.
The two prepared to stay on the mountain for a few days, carrying valuables and things, and added sesame oil deity inside the temple to come to the west courtyard to settle down. Separated by a wall was Wang jia’s family residence. You Shu stood under the wall and listened for a while and only heard the sound of a boy’s clear laughter which was mixed with a girl’s delicate and lovely whisper, completely merry.
Ji Changye covered the young boy’s ears from the back and whispered, “Envious?”
You Shu turned around and hugged the youth’s slender waist and forcefully shook his head, “I have the best Master in the world, there’s no need to envy anyone!” He only felt that the young girl’s voice was somewhat strange, cloudy and sorrowful.
Ji Changye was amused and pinched the soft flesh on the young boy’s cheeks and sighed, “My family’s You Shu’s little mouth is sweeter than honey, soon, I will not be able to withstand it”
You Shu seriously refuted, “Master, I’m not speaking sweet words, everything is from the heart.” He still hadn’t maxed out the skill to shoot his mouth off.
How could Ji Changye not see the boy’s sincerity? He suddenly laughed at the boy in his arms. The youth’s deep and honest laugh crossed the courtyard wall and passed on to next door. The throat of the girl seemed to have been closed because no sound came out. The silence caused You Shu to repeatedly turn around, his heart quite concerned.
The two people changed their clothes and drank herb tea. Seeing that it was still early for mealtime, they went to the back of the mountain to play. A few pavillions were built in the mountains, and there was a green bamboo forest swayign int he wind. The sounds of birdcalls came from the bamboo branches. The scenery was very picturesque and there was even a stream flowing around the ragged mountain rock, winding into the distance.
Such a beautiful scenery naturally attracted many admirers. When Ji Changye and You Shu arrived, quite a few pavillions were already filled with people. Based on their dressing, they were all children of the influential and privileged social class of scholar-officials. When Ji Changye was still the respected di Prince of the dynasty all those years ago, he was rather firendly with thes people. Some of them accidentally looked at them and first blankly stared at them in a daze before getting up to greet them.
“Subject has seen Third Prince. One has not met in a long time, were you well?” Among those who saluted, some where sincere, while some displayed pity in their eyes, and some also were completely scornful and disdainful. And Wang Tian You, who was Wang Xianggan’s eldest shu son, his attitude was the most disrespectful. He didn’t even bend his waist and merely slightly raised his hand, as if he was with someone of the same generation, no, perhaps it should be said that it was like he was greeted by someone with a status lower than his. In his eyes, the Third Prince who went to Jingzhou was no different than being sent away to the frontier. Although he had the reputation of a Qinwang, he would sooner or later die in the hands of war. There was no need for him to gain favour and fawn over a dead person?
Ji Changye insipidly smiled and waved his hand, his gaze sweeping across the faces of the crowd, and did not seem to pay special attention to Wang jia’s shu son. 3
Duke Weiguo fu’s di eldest son and Ji Changye had the deepest friendship so he reached out his hand to tug Ji Changye’s sleeve, wanting to invite him to talk about the past in the pavillion. Ji Changye himself suffered being plotted against when he was 14, and was particularly disgusted with the touch of others because he didn’t know what kind of evil intent were hidden under the genial faces of these people. He personally beheaded all the palace maids that his Queen Mother set aside for him and schemed to eliminate the eunuch that Imperial Consort Xiao sent to him. In the past 11 years, the only person who he could fully accept was only You Shu, and even then could only endure intimacy.
He seamlessly avoided Wei Shizi and pulled You Shu. The two people mutually led each other into the pavillion and sat at the seat of the host. 4
Wang Tian You saw this scene and could not help but laugh loudly, his heart thinking that a Prince who was banished and sent away also dared to grandiosely sit in the seat of the host. If it was him, he should behave in a low profile.
His sneering did not attract the attention of others. Everyone was outwardly respectful to the Third Prince, but inwardly, they thought very little of him. Now, the inside and outside of the Imperial court had long been controled by Imperial Consort Xiao and the Fourth Prince was definitely the one to be appointed the next Emperor. Wang jia was his confidant and were powerful in the Capital. Wang Tian You’s younger sister will marry into the Crown Prince fu in a few days time as a Ce Fei 5. To tell the truth, the status of Wang jia’s shu son was more honourable than the Third Prince.
Ji Changye did not know what these people were thinking about, but he didn’t care one bit. Still the same phrase — the world slanders me, insults me, bullies me, laughs at me, deceives me, despises me, how to deal with it? For the time being, you endure them, let them, ignore them, torelate them, leave them, do not bother with them. After a few years, you look at them.
After a few years, what kind of situation would these people be in? Thinking till here, the corner of Ji Changye’s lips tilted, but he saw You Shu glaring with his big round eyes, using a very angry gaze to cut Wang Tian You. The cold, desolate heat was filled with this little thing that did not know how to cover up his emotions in an instant and slowly warmed up. He patted You Shu’s tightened little fists to silently pacify him. This world, I guess only You Shu woul be happy for him, sad for him, wholly feeling as if it happened to himself.
[Warning: (Some)Descriptions of abuse and torture towards children.]
You Shu pursedd his lips and unwillingly took back his gaze. Just now when he was angrily glaring, he forced spirit power into his eyes and saw a seven to eight year old little girl standing 20 metres behind Wang Tian You, no, to be precise, it was a ghost. Her skin was deathly pale, her features dainty and cute, her inner and outer clothing were all torn apart, revealing the underveloped, young and tender torso and body.All over her body were strips of lash marks and specks of purple. The skin and flesh of her little pair of feet were fluterring and drenched with blood, clearly showing that she had suffered inhuman torture before she died.
She bared her fangs at Wang Tian You, deeply snarling, as if wanting the bite the other party’s flesh mouthful by mouthful. But Ji Changye sat in the pavillion, making her not dare to come close.
It is said that people who do not do shameful deeds during the day will not fear ghosts knocking on their doors at night. It seems that the girl’s death and scars was 80 to 90% Wang Tian You’s handiwork. How old was he? He was a month younger than him so he was 10 years old. He actually had the heart to lay a hand on a 7 to 8 year old child. You Shu inwardly shook his head, having a definite understanding of this shu brother’s moral conduct.
But he still thought too simply. He saw the little girl raise her head and waved at a tree and a little boy floated to the ground, his skin similarly deathly pale, his face similarly cute, but there was not one thing on his skin. His young tender body was covered with various sorts of scars.
Catching sight of those marks, You Shu didn’t even need to think to know what he had gone through. It turns out that Wang Tian You not only had a hobby of being attached to children, but also abusive and violent, actually torturing this pair of male and female child while they barely were alive and closer to the point of death. How dirty is his surroundings to foster such a malicious person? Wang jia really wasn’t a good place to go as expected.