# 101. House Raid Even if he was slapped in the ass, the small servant wasn't angry at all. He still maintained a smile on his face, his attitude respectful, almost flattering. "Wait for a while. I'll immediately go and inform. After she knows about Young Master Yang coming here, Miss will probably be very excited." Now and then, Xu Qi'an would patronize Miss Fuxiang. So, the members of the courtyard had long since recognized him as the famous oiran's paramour. Even if he dared to act arrogantly toward other guests, he didn't dare to neglect Xu Qi'an. He’d rather brown-nose as hard as possible. Xu Qi'an led the Nightwatchers to the courtyard. Fragrant pear trees were planted at the corners, and it had elegant-looking white walls and black tiles. Upon hearing Xu Qi'an had reserved the venue for the day, The famous oiran immediately asked her maid to delicately groom her face, after which she wore a delicate pale pink floor-length dress, which revealed her exquisite collarbone and fair neck. Her chest wrap[^1] was vaguely discernible through her dress. Fuxiang personally accompanied him, pouring tea and wine for Xu Qi'an, occasionally whispering to his ear, while maintaining her flower-like smile. All the bronze gongs present were envious. Fuxiang herself was quite a famous oiran. After the poem *Given to Fuxiang in Reflecting Plum Pavilion* was released, her value also rose massively. It had been rumoured that she no longer accompanied guests. At the very least, she couldn't accompany ordinary guests anymore. Even so, many guests still went to the Plum Reflection Pavilion to drink, listen to music, and play drinking games daily, as Fuxiang would occasionally make an appearance as the Game Master and organize everyone to play Drinking games together. After three rounds of drinking, Xu Qi'an gave Song Tingfeng a wink, after which he got up and said, “Gentlemen, this Xu is far too drunk, I will go rest first, you guys keep on playing.” The bronze gongs didn't have any objection, taking a look at each other before laughing with a knowing smile. Fuxiang's eyes flickered, and she gave Xu Qi'an a look before he left with his arms around Fuxiang's shoulders. ... After taking a bath, Xu Qi'an changed into a thin white shirt, sitting lazily on the bed, twirling a wine glass in his hand. "My dear seldom brings his colleagues over for drinks." Fuxiang, who had also finished bathing, sat a little further on the bed as she tilted his head to wipe his hair. Her skin was tender, her face flawless. Even, she looked a little enchanting and mysterious in the swaying candlelight. "It's a long story." Xu Qi'an sighed after taking a sip of wine, "A few days ago, two Gold Gongs took a fancy to me and both wanted to recruit me to their side. So, they fought in the Nightwatchers Office." Fuxiang got off the bed, her skirt falling concurrently to cover her long snow-white legs. Hugging Xu Qi'an from behind, holding a light smile, she said, "Did someone's eyes go red over you?" "Red-eyed disease[^2] has existed since ancient times." Xu Qi'an didn't deny it. "If my dear had said so earlier, I would have entertained your colleagues for you." Fuxiang sounded regretful. She hadn't paid much attention to the other bronze gongs during the meal. "There was no need for that." Xu Qi'an cracked a smile. As a person who didn't lack interpersonal skills, he held Fuxiang in his arms in a step, and tilted the wine glass, causing the wine to flow down Fuxiang's fair neck. "This style of drinking is fun." Xu Qi'an laughingly bowed his head. After having a taste of wine filled with Fuxiang's body fragrances, Xu Qi'an made an excuse to go out for a breath, and left the master bedroom, going to the wine room to have a look. His colleagues were cheerfully playing games amidst the music as if they had opened the door to a new world. If enough money was given, the maids in Jiaofang Si pavilions wouldn't refuse anything, which had been the case since ancient times. Xu Qi'an jumped on the courtyard wall, after which he took out a piece of paper, igniting it. He raised his head, as two streams of pure qi pierced through the night sky, quick as a flash. Various types of qi appeared in his sight, making the world colourful. Xu Qi'an had learned from Chu Caiwei that the emerald green colour represented the qi of yaoguai. He remembered the green light he saw flashing over Jiaofang Si the night he was on patrol. That meant that a monster was lurking in the Jiaofang Si. This guess was quite unfounded, since Jiaofang Si was the place where the dignitaries drank and had fun. Such a place hiding monsters should be very unexpected. But the situation was like this. This time, Xu Qi'an took on the principle of “no zuo no die”[^3] and didn't try to spy on the Sitianjian, so he wouldn't get blinded by the Jianzheng's aura again. He swept over the sky over the Jiaofangsi. But, In the regions where he could see, all kinds of colours flickered, without any hint of green. "Did the yao leave... Or, did they hide their qi using a special method?" Xu Qi'an jumped off the wall and returned to Famous Oiran Fuxiang's boudoir. ... The white-robed young general Second Young Master Xu fought bravely against the siege of Famous Oiran Fuxiang. After seven attacks and defences, he was finally exhausted and defeated, spitting out blood. The battlefield had turned messy, and the two armies suffered heavy losses, both needing to recuperate. With messy hair and flushed cheeks, curled up in Xu Qi'an's arms, her bright eyes flashed, "My dear, Could you redeem me?" *Talking of money hurts feelings...* Xu Qi'an, in sage mode, was unmoved. The famous oiran twisted her body, saying coquettishly, "I just want to be your concubine, and serve my dear." Xu Qi'an patted her head, and stroked his fingers between her black hair, "Don't make trouble. Our sincere feelings shouldn't be mixed with the stink of money." Her eyes turning red, Fuxiang said with tears, "You just want to play with me for free, and leave me when you get tired of me." *How did you discover this?!* Xu Qi'an thought in surprise. He reluctantly said, "You are the chief oiran of the Jiaofang Si. It would be impossible to redeem you without 4,000-5,000 taels. Even so, the Ministry of Rites may not agree to it." "Your servant has saved some money over the years. Also, I've sent some people to inquire. It only takes three years for a Bronze Gong to buy a yard in the inner city." Fuxiang put her arms around him, and begged softly, "My dear, please redeem me." The charming woman knew to act coquettishly, and also knew to make full use of her assets, her exquisite bulging figure clinging to Xu Qi'an. Tears appeared in her eyes, making her seem even more pitiful. Xu Qi'an knit his brows, feeling awkward. If he had met such a girl who could act coquettishly in his past life, and she wanted him to buy something (luxury items), he could handle it. He was just feeling a little strange. A well-known oiran like her, with a flourishing career and youth being on her side. It was still too early for her to find a good man to redeem herself. Besides, Although the Nightwatchers were feared by the officials due to organizational reasons, Fuxiang was more than capable enough to be the concubine of a fourth rank official. "It isn't so urgent. I'll redeem you after saving up enough money.", Xu Qi'an casually put his arms around the oiran's slender figure, putting himself to sleep in three seconds. In the darkness, Fuxiang quietly stared at Xu Qi'an's face, her eyes clear like glass. ... The next day, in the morning, the group left the Jiaofang Si. When his colleagues saw Xu Qi'an, they greeted him with a smile, and their relationship seemed to have become a lot closer. If they had regarded Xu Qi'an as a colleague before, Now, they regarded him as a confidant. The treat seemed to have had a good effect. Actually, As long as they weren't too red-eyed, or had a higher position, Bronze Gongs in the same level wouldn't hate him without reason. With his flexibility, adaptation to their fancy, and goodwill, most of them were willing to make friends with Xu Qi'an. It was also because, In this way, The identity of “the lucky guy who was favoured by two Gold Gongs could be transformed into “The guy favoured by two Gold Gongs, also my friend.” While chatting along the way, a bronze gong suddenly laughed and said, "Ningyan is truly a talent. He let me know how ignorant I was before." The other colleagues let out some cheerful ambiguous laughter. Xu Qi'an shrugged, "I'll teach you some more exciting ways to play later." *Even more exciting...* Everyone's eyes lit up. After arriving at the Nightwatcher Office at around 7 am. They checked in. Xu Qi'an and Song Tingfeng's group went to the side hall of Spring Breeze Hall, where they drank a few sips of tea before going out to patrol the streets when an official hurried over. "Three officials, Master Li has called for you." *It's time for work...* Xu Qi'an and the two hung their sabres and went together to the Spring Breeze Hall. Meticulously dressed Li Yuchun blended perfectly with the equally meticulously arranged Spring Breeze Hall, without any sense of disharmony. *Brother Chun, Aren't you tired of living like this...* Xu Qi'an sympathized with his immediate boss's OCD. He thought, *Is it possible that when he sleeps with a woman in the future, if he does a position one hundred times, he'll have to do the other a hundred times as well, to not feel uncomfortable?* Li Yuchun pointed to three warrants on the side of the desk, "We will be raiding a house today, and the three of you will be going on my behalf. I still have to repeat the same rule, Don't take unneeded things." "After a quarter of an hour, gather in the front yard and go there with your other colleagues." *It turned out to be a house raid!* Xu Qi'an was alarmed, as house raids were one of the main duties of the Nightwatchers, and the targets were criminal officials. "This is the document." Li Yuchun showed the three the document sent to him. The target of the house raid was the head of the Finance Department in the Ministry of Revenue, a sixth rank official. He had been exiled and his assets were ordered to be confiscated on the charges of corruption and dereliction of duty. This house raid meant confiscating property, where all the property in the home would be confiscated. In Xu Qi'an's previous life, It meant depriving the criminal of his/her personal property. Li Yuchun glanced at Xu Qi'an, before he said, "This person is a subordinate of Deputy Minister Zhou from the Ministry of Revenue." He meant to tell Xu Qi'an that this was a follow-up to the Silver Tax case. The downfall of a court tycoon would be accompanied by the dismissal and punishment of officials attached to him. This could be likened to mud accompanied when pulling out a radish from the ground. Xu Qi'an and the others took orders to leave. On the way to the front yard, Song Tingfeng said, "This is your first time in a house raid, so you won't understand some rules. I'll explain them to you." "After all the family property is confiscated, the petty official will count all the valuables in the front yard, record them in the register, then bring them back to the constabulary. But, they will not participate in the search." After speaking, Song Tingfeng gave him a look of "You should understand what I mean". An old member of officialdom like Xu Qi'an immediately understood his meaning. "But the rules that boss said..." Xu Qi'an probed. "Don't worry about him." Song Tingfeng curled his lips, "The boss is just stubborn and doesn't know how to adapt. We have to seek reasonable interests for ourselves." They were indeed seeking their interests reasonably, Xu Qi'an nodded. Song Tingfeng was indeed the same kind of person as him, and was unwilling to blackmail merchants and the common people. But now, he was going to raid the house, which belonged to a corrupt official. The silver was already corrupt, and they were cutting the wool of Great Feng, not of the people. He had seen this kind of thing too many times, in this life and the other. Xu Qi'an adopted an attitude of neither objection nor approval. The raid was led by a silver gong, four groups of bronze gongs, and twenty-four white bailiffs. Every three bronze gongs belonged to the command of a different silver gong. This multi-team system was for mutual supervision and cross-examination. This system was good. But, after a long time, everyone tacitly took a little, which was equivalent to no one taking anything. After listening to Song Tingfeng's words, the three arrived at the front yard and saw that bronze gongs were already gathering there. The leader was a young Silver Gong, in his early thirties. He had thin lips and thin eyebrows. He wasn't easy to get along with, just by looking at his face. Song Tingfeng led his two colleagues closer to the Silver Gong and took out the warrant in his arms. After he saw the three of them approach him, the Silver Gong's eyes suddenly became sharp, as he said in a deep voice, "You three are late." Xu Qi'an said, stunned, "We aren't late." They had come over as soon as they had received the news. Although they had talked on the road and walked slowly, they should have not taken more than a quarter-hour. After hearing it, the Silver Gong's eyebrows stood upright, and his eyes sharp. He took off the sabre in the back of his waist as he swung the flat towards Xu Qi'an's face. As the sabre broke through the air, Xu Qi'an leaned back a bit, avoiding the hit instantly. As if he didn't expect Xu Qi'an to dodge, the Silver Gong was stunned, and evilly grinned, "How dare you dodge." "Sir, Sir..." Song Tingfeng hurriedly intervened between the two, and shyly apologized before saying smilingly, "Yes, We were late, Sir. Don't be angry and delay business. Important work is still waiting." He brought up the matter of the House Raid. Unexpectedly, the Silver Gong didn't give him any face at all, and kicked Song Tingfeng's lower abdomen with his foot, sending him flying. He struggled a bit, but couldn't stand up. *He was targeting me... But I hadn't offended him...* Xu Qi'an felt angry, and subconsciously pressed the handle of his sabre. The Silver Gong squinted, and instead of being angry, he smiled and swiped at him with a scabbard again, sneering, "What? Do you want to draw a sabre? Are you worthy of it?" *If I draw the sabre, I'll be toast...* Xu Qi'an raised his hand to block a few blows, his arm becoming fiery with pain. As so many people were watching, it was quite embarrassing for him. Seeing Xu Qi'an's look of timidness, the Silver Gong hit him a few more times before saying with a sneer, "Fuck off in there." Xu Qi'an's group joined the team. After them, other bronze gongs came one after another, but the Silver Gong didn't care much about them and let them join the team. After seeing this scene, Xu Qi'an became sure that the Silver Gong had been targeting him. But he wondered why as he hadn't offended the Silver Gong. "It's good that you didn't draw your sabre, or you'd be done for." someone behind him said. Xu Qi'an turned his head to take a look. He was a bronze gong who had drank flower wine with him last night.[^4] "I'm not that stupid. It's a serious crime to draw a sword against a silver gong." He said. The bronze gong nodded, and whispered, "His surname is Zhu, and he's the youngest Silver Gong in the office." Xu Qi'an said, gloomily, "I don't know him." The bronze Gong said, "Hey, His father is also surnamed Zhu." Xu Qi'an wanted to say *You speaking nonsense, bro.*, but he heard Zhu Guangxiao beside him whisper, "Gold Gong Zhu?" The bronze gong, who had drunk flower wine together, nodded before he continued, "He is the youngest silver gong, and also the most talented man in our capital office. Well, before Xu Qi'an appeared." "The day before yesterday, I had drunk with a bronze gong under his hand. I heard from him that Silver Gong Zhu didn't like you. He had said multiple times that you were a trivial bronze gong..." At that time, Silver Gong Zhu scanned the crowd sharply, causing the bronze gong to fall silent. --- Turns out there's another long chapter. Should be. Xiaolangjun's writing long chapters for the release day. -Infernal The surnames Zhu are 朱, and happen to be the same as Zhu Guangxiao’s 朱. [^1]: Or Bra. But obviously it was less like a bra and more just a wrap. [^2]: ~Jealousy. [^3]: Chinese internet meme: If you don’t ask for trouble, you won’t get in it. [See here](https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=no%20zuo%20no%20die) [^4]: Wine at a brothel