# 113. Reminisce Emperor Yuanjing’s personal eunuch, with a fuchen in hand, came over to take the booklet, handing it over to the emperor respectfully. Emperor Yuanjing put the book he was reading aside, and took the record, which he began reading carefully. As he looked through the record, his eyebrows started raising, as anger began to brew within his eyes. "The entire report is filled with idle talk. Looks like the people in the Ministry of Law are becoming more and more useless." Emperor Yuanjing complained. He swept a glance toward Eunuch Liu, making him tremble in fright. Throwing the booklet aside, Emperor Yuanjing spoke with his emotionless yet ever more incisive voice, "Where's the report about the Nightwatchers?" Eunuch Liu lowered his head, and said softly, "Your Majesty, It's just behind the page you're at." Emperor Yuanjing raised his brows, then picked up the booklet and continued reading. As he continued looking, his raised brows started to stretch unconsciously, and the impatience that was beginning to appear on his face slowly turned invisible, as he began reading with greater concentration. Emperor Yuanjing's posture changed from a side-lying one to an upright sitting posture. His complexion became even more concentrated, and his eyes became sharper and sharper. The two eunuchs present unconsciously slowed down their breathing, as they were afraid of disturbing His Majesty, and encountering sudden misfortune. In the end, after Emperor Yuanjing put down the booklet, the immortal-like aura due to his 20 years of Daoist cultivation disappeared, to be replaced by the majesty and fierceness unique to an emperor of man. Cold Sweat had already started to appear on Eunuch Liu's forehead. He had thought that His Majesty would be satisfied, but the current situation seemed to be the exact opposite case. "Spread the Order!" Emperor Yuanjing's face looked like an ice storm, and his tone was just as serious, "The county magistrate of Taikang neglected his duties, causing hundreds of huihu around Great Yellow Mountain to be killed or injured. He is to be dismissed and put in prison, for execution after autumn next year." "Lyu Qing, the constable of the Provincial Constabulary is to be promoted to the Chief Constable of the Six Doors."[^1] He didn't mention Xu Qi'an, because Xu Qi'an was a criminal himself, and his performance evaluation would be done at the end, with the reward being his life. "Your servant receives your order!" Eunuch Liu retreated, relieved. After leaving the Tranquil Heart Hall, he took the little eunuch back with him to the residence without saying a word, after which he let out a long breath. *Although I don't know why His Majesty's complexion became even more serious after reading the following text, but it must have satisfied His Majesty, according to the orders he has given. That means that His Majesty's gloomy mood is due to some other factor.* In Tranquil Heart Hall, Emperor Yuanjing stood by silently next to the window for quite some time. "Send a notice to lift the ban for entry and exit from the outer and inner cities." ... By the time Xu Qi'an dragged his exhausted body back home, dinner was already done. The front hall of the Xu Mansion was brightly lit. Xu Pingzhi and Xu Xinnian were staying there, waiting for him to come back. "Nian'er, have the kitchen heat up the food and serve it." Xu Pingzhi said. The handsome Xu Xinnian left the front hall, leaving the uncle-nephew pair there. The candlelight flickered slightly, showing Uncle Xu's grave and earnest rough 国 shaped face. Not long after, Xu Xinnian came back, followed by the cooks with the food, which was still hot in the pot, waiting for Xu Qi'an to come back. Looking at his rugged second uncle and handsome little brother, Xu Qi'an fell into a daze. *I am alone in this world, without a mobile phone, a computer, keyboard warriors, or Japanese educational films.*[^2] *I have to live life by lighting candles or oil lamps day by day. When I go to the bathroom, I have to curse and lift the hem of my clothes.* *Sometimes, I dreamed, I dreamed that I went back to my previous life, only to wake up with a smile and look at the roof with interlaced beams in a daze.* "I suddenly feel the urge to drink." Xu Qi'an softly cursed and took a jug from the cook. After the cooks finished taking the dishes, Xu Pingzhi waved his hand to signal them to leave. Xu Qi'an drank wine, one sip joining another. It wasn't because he missed his past life, but because he suddenly remembered a sentence: Home is where the heart can lay bare and rest. *In this world, you can always find people waiting for you to come home at night, leaving warm meals for you in the kitchen.* *No matter how tired, helpless, or lonely you are outside, You'll understand that you are never alone when you come back here.* After drinking half a jug of wine, Xu Qi'an let out a long breath, "An explosion occurred in Sangpo. His majesty ordered me to thoroughly investigate the case, and make meritorious deeds to make up for my sins." Xu Xinnian nodded slowly, "I already knew this. But his matter isn't something you can meddle in." "I know. I'm only responsible for the investigation, not pursuing it." Xu Qi'an said helplessly, "But, I have to give it a try. If I don't try, I only have the option of running away remaining." He never thought of giving his life up to imperial whims. If he couldn't find the truth of the case, escape was inevitable. "This shouldn't implicate you. After all, I haven't committed any major crime." Xu Qi'an said. The reason why he cursed before is that he had finally found a home that gave him a sense of belonging, but he could have to say goodbye to it in the near future. The crime Xu Qi'an had committed was fighting with his superior. Although it was a capital crime, It wasn't enough to implicate his family. In Great Feng, implicating one's family required a very serious crime, and most people weren't even qualified to have their family implicated. To achieve a crime on the level of "implicating X generations", one of the following needs to be met: 1. Rebellion, 2. Causing heavy losses to the country, 3. Causing heavy losses to the royal family, 4. Standing on the wrong side! Xu Pingzhi met the second criterion, by losing tax money and causing heavy losses to the treasury. But, this wasn't the norm. Those who could achieve one of the above four are usually the lords in the court. These lords are the ones whose family is confiscated or executed at every turn. Therefore, "Implicating" is also jokingly called the privilege of a boss. Xu Qi'an was at most a death row prisoner. Even if he escaped, he would be a fugitive, and it wouldn't implicate his uncle and aunt. Uncle Xu nodded, satisfied, "It's good that you can figure it out. You have been stubborn since childhood." *That was the past me. The present me is now very...* Xu Qi'an shook his head, "I'm not stupid." Breathing a sigh of relief, Second Brother Xu said, "If you can't do it, You can go to Yunzhou." *Yunzhou?* Xu Qi'an was taken aback. He had heard of Yunzhou, the “Cloud Province” before. As it was seriously plagued by banditry, it was also called the Bandit Province. Number Two was also in Yunzhou. Second Brother Xu said, “Yunzhou is seriously troubled by banditry, and the imperial court has the worst influence there. Even if you are wanted, you will be safe if you escape there. "If you act more ruthlessly, You can directly fall and become a bandit, which can not only improve your martial arts but also allow you to control power. Many important criminals wanted by the court and desperadoes in the Jianghu like to gather in Yunzhou." *It makes sense. It is safer to hide in Yunzhou compared to other areas. The more chaotic a place, the safer it... Wait!* A lightbulb exploded in Xu Qi'an's head. *If I were Baihu Zhou, where would I escape?* *Collaborating with the Yao people, Blowing up Sangpo, perfectly filling up the criteria for "Executing the Entire family" and "Implicating three clans".* *It's not safe to hide anywhere, because the court wouldn't let him off.* *Where would he hide?* *He has two choices, leave Great Feng, or hide in Yunzhou!* *Right, Yunzhou.* Xu Qi'an suddenly became excited, and was about to slap his younger brother on the shoulder when he heard his second uncle angrily slap the table, "Don't go to Yunzhou." The brothers were taken aback. "Why?" Xu Qi'an was surprised by second uncle's reaction. "Why would you want to go to Yunzhou? Do you want to become a bandit?" Second Uncle Xu said angrily, "The imperial court suppresses bandits every year. What if Cijiu is sent to Yunzhou to suppress bandits in the future? Have you forgotten the agreement you two made that day?" *What agreement... Oh, Fights among siblings...* Xu Qi'an and Xu Xinnian bowed their heads in shame. *I had really forgotten that agreement.* *Unexpectedly, Second Uncle still remembered it, and it seemed that he actually took it to heart.* "I know, I know, I'll not go to Yunzhou. I'll go to the Western Regions." Xu Qi'an said. The foreign girls from the Western Region were beautiful and enthusiastic! After eating, Xu Qi'an saw Xu Lingyue walking in while holding a bowl of hot mild, pursing her red lips. Her eyebrows and eyes looked gentle. "Big Brother, drink a bowl of milk to improve your body." "Lingyue personally went to the street to buy fresh milk for lunch today." Seeing that the relationship between his nephew and daughter had become more and more harmonious, Second Uncle Xu smiled sincerely and added. "Lingyin drank two big bowls and fought with her sister." Xu Qi'an took the milk, smelled it, and almost threw up... The milk was fishy and smelly. The fresh milk of this era was like this, without any messy additives, giving the original taste. At most, it would be heat sterilized. But it really didn't taste good. However, even if it was unpalatable, It was indeed something only nobles drank daily, even if the taste wasn't that good. But, it could really improve the body. So, milk was a must-drink food for noble children every day. *I can try to improve milk... And make a lot of money relying on the secret recipe... Well, I don't know how to get rid of this smell at all. The teacher hadn't taught me this in school...* Xu Qi'an sighed, Under the earnest gaze of his sister, he stilled. *She really cared.* Touching the hot bowl, Xu Qi'an suddenly remembered some past events. When he was in middle school, his parents had ordered milk for him, the kind that was packed in a glass bottle, and it would still be hot when it was delivered to his door every morning. Xu Qi'an didn't drink it himself, however, but gave it to the goddess in his heart at that time. He thought it was love, but growing up, he found that the girl had someone else's milk sweets in her mouth. He discovered that he was just a simp. ... Suddenly, it started raining miserably outside, soaking the dead branches and the stone slabs in the yard. Xu Qi'an, filled with wine and food, returned to his small courtyard with an oiled paper umbrella. He lit an oil lamp and opened the window. It was completely dark outside although a little candlelight was stubbornly coming through, and the rain was pattering. The world felt quiet, quiet enough to make a person think about many things. *Enjoying peaches and plums, in spring breezes, we drank a cup of wine together. Parted by rivers and lakes, on rainy nights, I faced the lamp alone for ten years.* When writing this poem, poet Huang Tingjian was probably in the same mood as him, thinking of some people in his heart. Perhaps, it was also on a silent, miserable, and rainy night like this. After some time, Xu Qi'an refilled the lamp twice before he could break free from the feeling of loss. *People can't always immerse themselves in their world. Many things still had to be done.* Xu Qi'an sat at the table, took out the small jade mirror, and entered the information, "Hah, Something has happened in the capital again." --- [^1]: Six Doors is usually used to represent a secret government task force, usually obligated to monitor the Jianghu on behalf of the court in wuxia. She became a fed, basically. [^2]: Specifically, romance education.