“Father, I’m back.” Zhang Junshi greeted his father respectfully.
Father Zhang stared at the account book in his hand, a solemn expression on his face. After a long while he harrumphed lowly: “After going away so long, you’re finally willing to come back?”
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“This son dreamed that Father missed me very much, so I rushed back to visit you without even stopping to rest.” Zhang Junshi replied solemnly.
“Who would miss an unfilial son like you!” Father Zhang threw down the account book and pointed at him angrily, “Leaving when you like and coming back when you feel like it, do you take your home for an inn?”
Zhang Junshi calmly said: “If this son remembers correctly, every time it is Father who ‘sends’ this son away in a fit of anger.”
“You still dare to talk back!” Father Zhang blew his beard and glared, “If you determined to do better and bring glory to your ancestors, would I have to “send” you away, would I?”
“What Father said is right.” Zhang Junshi honestly pleaded guilty.
Father Zhang harrumphed a few times, his face full of indignation and resentment. He breathed in a few times and said, “Since you are back, then don’t run around anymore. Take care of the family business and let your father enjoy a comfortable and happy life.”
Zhang Junshi was a little surprised: “Father, you are still full of vigor and strength, and at a man’s best age, why…..”
“What do you know?” Father Zhang interrupted with discontent, “You are also no longer a boy, how can you be idle all day long, remaining an unmarried bachelor?”
Zhang Junshi felt wronged, how was he idle all day long? But when he heard his father mention “getting married”, he instantly became vigilant.
“It just so happens I’m going to have a few friends over for a banquet in two days. You can get to know their daughters then.”
“You want to arrange a marriage partner for me?” Zhang Junshi sighed exasperatedly.
“What do you think?” Father Zhang gritted his teeth, “You didn’t see that some people just like to show off their grandchildren like one would show off treasures, as if only their family can give birth to children. So, you have to get married and give birth to my grandson as soon as possible. Pop out eight or nine little brats and let those people know what the phrase ‘to have children and grandchildren pervading the hall’ means.”
Zhang Junshi pondered for a while, seeming to be thinking about how to construct his will…..As a man on the fringe who had already been bent, he felt under great pressure.
He tried to use a calm and sincere tone to say: “Father, this son already has someone I love.”
“What? You do?!” Father Zhang was overjoyed and asked hurriedly, “Which family’s lady? Oh, no, no, it doesn’t matter even if the family is poor, as long as the moral character is good, I will not object!”
“Uh, their moral character can not be called very good.”
Father Zhang asked cautiously: “What kind of not very good? Poor moral character, ignorance of etiquette, or fickleness?”
Zhang Junshi replied in a cold sweat: “It seems that they possess a little bit of all.”
“What? Why would you fall in love with such a person, have your eyes been blinded?” Father Zhang was about to get angry, but thinking that this matter was about the future generations of their family, he suppressed his anger, and said as calmly as possible, “Tell me, how did you come to fall for her? As my son, it’s impossible to have such a bad taste?”
Zhang Junshi’s thoughts flew. His days in Chicken Nest Village were the happiest in his life, and he couldn’t help smiling whenever he thought of it.
Father Zhang saw his son’s foolish and infatuated expression, and felt sorrow in his heart. This son was crippled, completely crippled! Which vixen was it that charmed his son, who was both good and academic, into a fool?
“If you really like her, then bring her back to see me.” Father Zhang decided to lower his requirements for his daughter-in-law to the lowest. So long as the person was still passable, he would comply with his son. Anyway, it was normal for a man to have three wives and four concubines. He didn’t believe that this kid would really fancy an ugly and repulsive person!
Zhang Junshi was also very surprised by the rare display of tolerance that his father suddenly showed, but the more he was like this, the more worried he was about the future.
“Speak.” Father Zhang sat straight and poised in the chair, looking like he had prepared himself to take a blow, “Who is she?”
Zhang Junshi carefully examined his father a few times and secretly measured his father’s ability to bear any shock, hesitating whether to be honest at this time.
“What are you dawdling around for?” Father Zhang scolded impatiently, “Quickly explain to me!”
Zhang Junshi finally made up his mind and said slowly: “When I was in Xishan City, I met a person who lived alone in a run-down mountain village, raising a group of unique chickens. Although not wealthy, everyday was full of happiness and joy for them. They love to act shamelessly and love to make fun of people. Doesn’t care about money but enjoys the fun of making small money. Being with them is as if one can forget all the troubles in the world.”
The barren land was rich because of him. Zhang Junshi added this last sentence in his heart.
Father Zhang was stunned, he could clearly feel the affection in his son’s tone. The person spoken of from his mouth had a unique personality, and could even be said to be rebellious against established norms.
Was there really such a woman in this world? Actually being able to live so carefree and unrestrainedly.
“Alright, I understand.” Father Zhang waved his hand. “Our Zhang family is not any aristocratic family, and there are not so many rules. As long as she abides by the woman’s way and gets along with you in harmony, I can try to accept her.”
“No, father, you still don’t understand.” Zhang Junshi lowered his eyes, “he will never abide by the ‘woman’s way’, because he is a man.”
Father Zhang could hardly believed his ears. After a daze, he asked with uncertainty: “Say that again?”
“He is a man.” Zhang Junshi said word by word, “Heir of Duobao Sage, holder of the fifth key of the treasure trove, Nie Bufan, the village head of Chicken Nest Village.”
On the second day, Zhang Junshi sat calmly listening to the performance reports of several stewards with a face that had traces of being beaten.
Yesterday’s conversation finally ended in violence. He had expected such consequences for a long time, but he did not regret confessing to his father. His father was not a stickler of outmoded conventions, and the situation in the Zhang family was quite particular. The family headed by his father had always been lacking in descendants, and the family often practiced adopting stepchildren within the family, so the relationship between the main branch and other branches in the family was inseparable. In fact, even his father was not his grandfather’s biological son. Since the family became rich, there had never been a case where brothers of the family fought each other for power and profit. This was also the reason why the Zhang family could be as wealthy as a country, the family’s internal unity and harmony was legendary.
If Zhang Junshi had no heirs in the future, then he could choose to give up the right of inheritance, leave the main branch family, and start a side branch family line; he could also choose to adopt a child from a certain clan brother to continue the main family line. He personally preferred the former, with his ability, even without family support, he could build up his wealth from nothing. He might not be extremely wealthy or noble but it was not difficult to earn substantial family wealth.
He needed to borrow the family merchant caravan, and Bufan’s identity could not be kept secret for long. Rather than letting outsiders reveal it at that time, he might as well take the initiative to confess everything.
Zhang Junshi sighed secretly, he was trying his best here, and only hoped that fellow would remain obedient and don’t make trouble for him.
In the yard, two figures crisscrossed, exchanging fists and kicks. Among the two, the elder one’s attack was sharp and incisive, his martial arts clearly superior to that of the younger man, but still he was unable to defeat the other.
After hundreds of fierce exchanges, the younger man suddenly pushed with his palm, borrowing strength to fight strength. Not only did he resolve the blow from the other, he also cleverly knocked the elder one back.
“Good!” The elder laughed, “In these days away from home, Gong Yu has made much progress in martial arts. What kind of method was that just now, strength within softness, needles concealed in silk floss. It is very strange indeed.”
The younger man’s hair whipped as he turned around and stood still. It was Li Yi——”Gong Yu” was his courtesy name.
“Shifu let this disciple win.” Li Yi clasped his fist and said, “The method just now is called Taiji. It is something this disciple learned by chance when talking with the village head of Chicken Nest Village.”
“The village head of Chicken Nest Village?” Shifu smiled, “Duobao Sage’s heir, Nie Bufan, who holds the fifth key?”
Li Yi nodded.
“Just a talk with the other can make you realize such an exquisite method, it seems that this person’s martial arts cultivation is not low.”
The corners of Li Yi’s mouth twitched a few times, and was a bit embarrassed to tell his shifu that that fellow was just a dunce in regards to martial arts cultivation.
His shifu was quite interested, rubbing his chin as he said, “I have to go to meet him when I have time. Maybe after talking with him, I can also realize a high martial arts method.”
Upon hearing this, Li Yi’s cool face twisted a few times and said, “Shifu, he doesn’t know any martial arts.”
“Don’t know martial arts?” Shifu asked strangely, “Then how can he let you realize a new martial arts method?”
“He…..just taught me how to knead the dough.” Li Yi replied depressedly.
“Kneading dough?” Shifu looked doubtful. When did kneading dough have this miraculous effect?
“It’s hard to explain in a few words. Another day, this disciple will personally demonstrate the kneading dough method to Shifu. Just take it as my thanks for your sudden sneak attack that day I won the martial arts competition against my clan brothers, beating this disciple half-dead and leaving this disciple to survive or perish out in the wild where this disciple eventually fell into the clutches of Chicken Nest Village.”
A certain shifu was shocked. Such a deeply bitter gratitude? What terrible and tragic thing happened to him in Chicken Nest Village?
What terrible and tragic thing? Oh, nothing, just stepping on the path of brotherhood forever, women becoming fleeting clouds ever since.
Li Yi’s heart ached! Not only did he become a member of the bent sentient beings, he also just had to bend so cleanly, so without hesitation.
What was more sorrowful was that the person who caused him to become bent was completely unaware of his sin, joyfully expanding his career of bending all sentient beings, as if afraid that he would be lonely on this bent road.
“Shifu, I would like to ask you for a favor during these few days.” Li Yi calmed his mind and said to his shifu.
“Oh? What’s the matter?”
“Help me protect a person.” Li Yi said slowly, “also, it must be kept secret from the rest of the family, even my father cannot know.”
The Li family was different from the Zhang family. The children of the Li family were definitely not allowed to bring shame to the family by finding a man for a lover. And Li Yi’s father was especially strict. Once he discovered Nie Bufan’s relationship with him, Chicken Nest Village would most definitely no longer be peaceful. It should be said that all the people and things related to Nie Bufan would not be able to remain at peace.
Hopefully, he could be extradited back to the village smoothly. A certain someone’s ability to cause trouble was really a cause for melancholy.
“Look, look! This is your service?” In the Yunlai Inn, Nie Bufan was arguing with the owner of the inn, “What is this place covered with chicken feathers and chicken feces? Just now I thought I had entered the chicken coop. Did you throw all the chickens in the kitchen into my room? Could it be that you are dissatisfied with my staying in your inn?”
The innkeeper wiped the sweat from his forehead and said: “I’m extremely sorry, I will ask someone to clean it up for you right away.”
“Do you think it is just enough to clean it up?” Nie Bufan was furious, “Take a sniff, how unpleasant the smell in this room is, can people still live in here?”
“It is our negligence, our negligence.”
“Speak, how are you going to take care of this issue?” Nie Bufan said, “If you don’t give me an explanation, I will go to the government office to sue your Yunlai Inn for deceiving customers.”
“Don’t, don’t, if you have any problem let us discuss it, let us discuss it.” The innkeeper smiled stiffly, “How about this, your accommodations will be free of charge for the next half month, take it as our inn compensating you for the poor hospitality.”
“Half a month?” Nie Bufan coldly snorted, “I already paid the deposit for several days, besides how can I stay here for half a month?”
“Then, what do you intend?” The innkeeper continued to smile ingratiatingly.
“How about this, we don’t need you to pay back our deposit, but you have to cover our three meals a day during our stay.” Nie Bufan pretended to be generous. “There is no need for any luxurious fish and meat dishes, just simple three dishes and one soup. What do you think?”
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What could the innkeeper do, he could only accept his misfortune. He really couldn’t figure out how this room became covered with so many chicken feathers and chicken feces so inexplicably? He didn’t suspect that it was these two making the trouble themselves. After all, no normal person would go to such efforts, just to save a few days of accommodation and food expenses.
As soon as the innkeeper left, Nie Bufan slammed the door shut. Turning around, his originally angry expression was replaced by a bright smile, and he triumphantly made a victory sign at Tai Bai.
Tai Bai prostrated himself in admiration.
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