# 89. More Poignant in Silence than Any Sound Jiang Lyuzhong still wasn't convinced, but he didn't dare to say anything more. Wei Yuan leisurely continued, "The reason why he's under Yang Yan's command isn't due to Yang Yan, It's due to Li Yuchun." Li Yuchun? The three gold gongs couldn't figure this out. Li Yuchun was only a small silver gong. He could be considered to have some talent, but he had an inflexible nature, not knowing how to accommodate, and was very stubborn. *Could it be that Li Yuchun had some sort of relationship with Xu Qi'an?* Jiang Lyuzhong guessed. Wei Yuan continued explaining, "Li Yuchun can examine Xu Qi'an's character well, and Xu Qi'an also needs to be under the command of a leader with a rigid personality. If he was swapped with any other Silver Gong, they would have some sort of conflict with him." Li Yuchun couldn't handle specks of sand in his eyes, and his personality could be used to give proper guidance to Xu Qi'an. According to Xu Qi'an's deposition and ideals demonstrated in the Conscience Test, he couldn't thrive better in any other Silver Gong's command. It could even lead to problems. Upon seeing the thoughtful expressions of the three, Wei Yuan said gently, "What about you? What made you pick this talent?" Jiang Lyuzhong didn't hide anything, "Earl Pingyuan's case is quite tricky. According to the present clues, It's very likely that some person from the Jianghu was seeking revenge on him. But the culprit has already fled, and it is extremely difficult to track him down. It just happened that Xu Qi'an is talented at solving cases. I wanted to transfer him to my command for him to solve this case." This reason was quite reasonable. So, Wei Yuan and his sons nodded. Jiang Lyuzhong continued, "But he caught my eye for another reason, mainly." Yang Yan looked over immediately. “On the night Earl Pingyuan was killed, I took several Qi Watchers from the Sitianjian to track down the murderer. After seeing Xu Qi'an, the white cloaks were very excited and insisted on talking with him. "As soon as they met him, they respectfully bowed and saluted him. Whenever had Sitianjian White Cloaks been polite to martial artists?" Jiang Lyuzhong shook his head, and continued, "When I asked the silver gongs under my command, I found that this person had a close relationship with the arcanists from Sitianjian." "Close friendship with Sitianjian Arcanists?" Nangong Qianrou, who had a soft temperament, seemed to have thought of something, and chuckled, "Hey, I remember. He was the one who used alchemy to make fake silver and solve the mystery in the tax silver case. It was certainly smart for him to use alchemy to please the white cloaks from the Sitianjian. Although the Sitianjian Arcanists look down on martial artists, the boy managed to act flexibly and form bonds with them." A frown appeared on Yang Yan's face. He was one of those arrogant and conceited martial artists that treated practitioners from the other systems as ants, and he believed that this quality was something a high-ranking martial artist should possess. To be fearless, One must despise everything. If Xu Qi'an had flattered and pleased the arcanists from Sitianjian, Yang Yan would lower his impression of the bronze gong. "No, that's not the case, either." Jiang Lyuzhong sighed and rejected the previous answer. "Those Qi Watchers respected him quite a lot, and couldn't wait to flatter him more. It's even said that Song Qing from the Sitianjian addressed Xu Qi'an as *Teacher*." "You're speaking nonsense!" Nangong Qianrou couldn't believe it. Song Qing is the direct disciple of the Jianzheng, how could he say such words, which undermine the Jianzheng so? Yang Yan didn't speak either, but he also didn't believe it. Wei Yuan started to think. ... Xu Qi'an finished patrolling the streets and returned to the Nightwatchers office, where he wrote reports as usual, before leaving. Today was his rest day, so he went to the Jiaofangsi. A man of his age, filled with vigour, was at the age with the strongest desires, and he couldn't contain the turmoil within his body every day. Using a more vivid metaphor: Thinking about Shen Gong Bao every day.[^1] There weren't any drinking games in the Reflecting Plum Pavilion that day. The drinkers in the pavilion listened to the music and observed the dances. Fuxiang came out once during the banquet, which already satisfied the drinkers. *The official evaluation is good, real bosses don't come to the Jiaofang Si anymore...* Xu Qi'an was invited to have tea as usual. In the bedroom heated by a charcoal fire, Fuxiang was wearing a gorgeous long dress. She bowed her head and played the qin, with a gentle feminine aura in her eyes. *She's acting quite reserved today. She didn't help me take a bath while exposing her breasts today...* Xu Qi'an sat in the tub while enjoying the maid's service. Xu Qi'an looked at the beauty through the screen. She also raised her head at that time, and smiled sweetly, filled with amorous feelings. Her invisible and intangible charm made elder brother Xu feel hot and flushed. Only for that moment, before that inexplicable feeling disappeared. Xu Qi’an thought that he had seen it wrong through the screen. The next morning, After waking up, Xu Qi'an glanced at the water clock beside the bed, only to discover that the time had already reached 8 AM, and he had overslept, a rare occurrence. Fuxiang was sleeping lazily in the bed, with black hair covering her beautiful and delicate face. She was like a plum peony flower but one that was devastated by a storm last night. She appeared quite sluggish this morning. She looked like she needed to catch up on some sleep to restore some energy. After washing up and eating the breakfast served by the maids, The head maid by Fuxiang shyly said, "Young Master is quite strong, but the miss is a delicate girl after all. I hope that young master will pity our miss a bit." Without waiting for an answer from Xu Qi'an, she blushed and shyly continued, "Ping'er is willing to share the burden for miss." *Is this a matter of you wanting to do so? It’s whether* I *want to do so.* Xu Qi'an took a closer look at the maid. She looked quite delicate but different from Fuxiang. ... He took the horse from the "Service Personnel" of the Jiaofang Si. However, when stepping in its back, he suddenly heard some people laughing and chatting heartily. Following the sound, several men in the uniform of the Imperial Guard walked to the stable together. One of them had a square 国 face and a tall figure, He was Uncle Xu. Having spent a night in the Jiaofang Si, Xu Pingzhi and his colleagues were happily chatting. When they came to the stable, they saw a handsome young man on horseback, wearing a Nightwatcher uniform with a gong tied to his chest and a sabre hanging from his waist. "..." The second uncle's laughter suddenly stuck in his throat. Uncle and Nephew looked at each silently. More poignant in silence than any sound; than a silver bottle is smashed, out gushes water.[^2] After pausing for a few seconds, the uncle and nephew both turned their heads at the same time, pretending that they didn't know each other. The group leaders in the Imperial Guard didn't notice it and still chatted while revelling in the aftertaste. "I don't know how many family members of large officials will enter the Jiaofang Si after this year's Official Evaluation." "We are indeed blessed, Hahaha." "Speaking of that, it's hard to meet Miss Fuxiang even once." "Fuxiang is now well known throughout the capital. Her fame will only grow in the future and her status will also rise accordingly." "However, Miss Fuxiang served a guest last night. I just passed by Reflecting Plum Pavilion, where I saw the gatekeeper change the sign of the courtyard." "What great fortune." Second Uncle subconsciously looked at Xu Qi'an and thought *The object of all your envy is my nephew.* Uncle and nephew, who pretended not to know each other, left the Jiaofang Si. Xu Pingzhi bade farewell to his colleagues outside the alley, and then pat his horse to catch up with Xu Qi'an quickly, before saying in a deep voice, "Ningyan..." "Uncle, You're too contemptible!" Xu Qi'an spoke righteously and with indignation, "Auntie is such a beautiful person yet she married you, and you still don’t cherish her, going to the Jiaofang Si to fool around. Aren't you contemptible?" Auntie was so beautiful that uncle would always remark that he had to have been blessed by the heavens to have married such a beautiful wife. It was mainly because marriage in this era dictated life based on parents' and matchmakers' words. In Xu Qi'an's previous life, the best quality seafood could only be enjoyed by the upper class. Xu Pingzhi opened his mouth to refute, saying helplessly, "In three days, His Majesty will hold a ceremony to worship his ancestors. There will be no opportunity for entertainment during that time. Don't tell your aunt of this matter." "So, Second Uncle was deceiving us all when he said he didn't go to Jiaofang Si." Xu Qi'an struck another knife, before finally saying, "What did Second Uncle want to tell me?" "No, I don't have anything to say." Uncle Xu dismissed his idea of giving a lesson to his nephew. Xu Qi'an, who struck the first blow, nodded slightly. While approaching the Xu Mansion, Second Uncle Xu was probably feeling quite reproachful of himself. Upon seeing a seller of green oranges[^3] not too far, he turned his head to say, "I'm going to buy some oranges. You wait for me here." ...Suddenly taken advantage of, yet unable to refute, Xu Qi'an nodded helplessly. On the way home, Xu Pingzhi peeled an orange and deliberately applied the juice of the orange peel to his body. *An experienced Brothel-goer...* Xu Qi'an secretly admired his skills, and said, "Second Uncle, Don't throw the peel away. Give it to me as well." Uncle Xu curiously asked while he handed the orange over to Xu Qi'an, "Why do you need them?" *You're hiding from your wife. I'm hiding from your daughter.* After smearing the orange peel, the two entered the mansion. Auntie was disgusted by the smell emanating from the two, and her delicate eyebrows frowned. "These oranges I've brought are both fresh and sweet." Uncle Xu handed over the uneaten orange. Auntie nodded and peeled off a petal with her slim jade finger before putting it in her mouth. She then handed it back over to Uncle Xu with a wooden expression. Upon seeing his wife share it, Uncle Xu also peeled a petal off and ate it, then handed it over to Xu Qi'an with a wooden expression. *It's very warm for everyone to share an orange...* Xu Qi'an took it with a smile, ate a piece, and handed it to Xu Lingyue. Xu Lingyue also ate a piece, before beckoning Xu Lingyin who was running around the hall looking for a fun thing to do. Xu Lingyin took the orange, and broke off two petals with her short fingers, before stuffing them in her mouth to eat them. In an instant, her small face wrinkled into a ball, and she shivered aggrievedly. Little Pea ate the oranges with an ugly face. The whole family was relieved and handed over the whole bag of oranges to Xu Lingyin for disposal. --- [^1]: 申公豹 A character in Fengshen Yanyi, but also homophonic for a phrase that means “To deeply attack abalone fish”, which I’m sure you can figure out by now. [^2]: Line from the *Pipa Xing* [^3]: Or limes, could mean either, but there’s cultivars of tangerine that are green on the outside.