Chapter 9 – Two people who start on the same road, gradually becoming distant
The sunset was a red hue setting over the east.
The sky was still bright, but everything seemed to be covered by a shade of gray. Overlooking the window, the mountains in the distance were gradually drawing towards a heavy black color.
The light in the living room was dim. Aunt and Uncle sat high in their chairs, their faces enveloped in shadow, their expressions hard to discern.
As he saw Fang Yuan carrying the two jars of wine, his Uncle Gu Yue Dong Tu’s eyebrows twisted into a knot. He opened his mouth and spoke, “In the blink of an eye, you are both 15 years old now. Since you both have the talents of a Gu Master, especially Fang Zheng, your aunt and I are proud of the both of you. I will give you both 6 pieces of primeval stones, take it. Refining your Gu consumes a lot of primeval essence, so you’ll need these primeval stones.”
As he said this, some servants came over and passed Fang Yuan and Fang Zheng each a small bag.
Fang Yuan took his bag silently.
Fang Zheng immediately opened his bag and looked inside to see 6 pieces of oval shaped, greyish white primeval stones. His face lit up with gratitude at once and he stood up from his seat, facing his aunt and uncle. “Thank you Aunt and Uncle, your nephew does need primeval stones to replenish my primeval essence! You have both raised me until today, this gratitude is engraved into my heart, I shall not forget it forever!”
Uncle smiled and nodded. Aunt hurriedly waved her hands and said warmly, “Sit down, sit down! Although you both are not our children directly, we have always raised you as our own. You both are able to gain a future, and we are proud of that. Alas we do not have children of our own, and sometimes we thought that if you both could really become our children it would be the best.”
Her words brought deep meaning. Fang Zheng did not understand it, but Fang Yuan frowned a little.
Uncle cut in and said, “I have discussed this with your aunt. We thought of adopting you both and become a genuine, real family. Fang Zheng, I wonder if you are willing?”
Fang Zheng was stunned for a second, but the look on his face quickly emerged a joyful smile and he said, “To be honest, every since both my parents died I have longed very much for a family of my own. To be able to become a family with Aunt and Uncle, this is too good to be true!”
Aunt’s expression loosened and she laughed, “Then you are our good son, shouldn’t you stop calling us Aunt and Uncle?”
“Father, mother.” Fang Zheng in a state of realization changed his statement.
Aunt and Uncle laughed heartily. “What a good son, not a waste of us husband and wife to raise you since you were five years old. And we have raised you for ten whole years,” Aunt wiped her tears.
Uncle looked at the silent Fang Yuan and said gently, “Fang Yuan, how about you?”
Fang Yuan shook his head without saying a word.
“Big brother.” Gu Yue Fang Zheng was about to advise him, but Uncle, whose tone was unchanged, stopped him. “If that’s the case, Fang Yuan my nephew, we won’t force you. Since you are already 15 years old, you need to start being independent, this way you will also easily carry on your Fang bloodline. Uncle here has prepared 200 primeval stones for you as financial support.”
“200 primeval stones!” Fang Zheng’s eyes opened wide; he had never seen so many primeval stones in his life. He couldn’t help but reveal a jealous expression.
But Fang Yuan still shook his head.
Fang Zheng was puzzled, while Uncle’s expression changed slightly. Aunt’s face had also turned cloudy.
“Aunt and Uncle. If there is nothing else, then your nephew will take his leave,” Fang Yuan did not give them any chance to speak again. After he finished his sentence he took his wine jars and left the hall immediately.
Fang Zheng rose from his seat and said, “Father, Mother. Big brother is not thinking straight, how about you let me advise him?”
Uncle waved his hand and deliberately sighed, “Alas this matter cannot be forced. Since you have the heart, as your father I am already very content. Servants, take care of young master Fang Zheng treat him well. “
“Then your son will take his leave,” Fang Zheng retreated, and the living room fell into silence.
The sun set below the mountain, and the living room became darker. In a while from the darkness Uncle’s cold voice emerged. “Looks like this brat Fang Yuan has seen through our plot.”
Among the regulations of the Gu Yue clan it was clearly stipulated that the eldest son at 16 years of age would have the qualifications to inherit the family property. Fang Yuan’s parents had passed away, leaving behind a fortune. It was being ‘taken care’ of by Aunt and Uncle. This inheritance was not something a measly sum of 200 essence stones could compare to. If Fang Yuan had also agreed to be adopted by Aunt and Uncle, then he would lose the right to inherit this fortune. If Fang Yuan at this year’s age of 15 decided to be independent, he would also not conform to the clan’s regulations.
“Luckily we managed to win over Fang Zheng, and Fang Yuan only has C grade talent,” Uncle heaved a sigh, feeling joyful.
“Then husband, if Fang Yuan decides to go independent at 16 years of age, what do we do?” Aunt’s tone was hysterical as she thought about the inheritance.
“Hmph, since he is acting undisciplined, then he can’t blame us. As long as we catch him committing a huge mistake before he leaves us and expel him from our family, it will be counted as snatching away his right to inherit the legacy,” Uncle explained coldly.
“But the brat is very clever, how would he make a mistake?” Aunt asked, puzzled.
Uncle rolled his eyes immediately and whispered angrily, “You are really stupid! If he won’t make a mistake, can’t we frame him instead? Just let Shen Cui seduce Fang Yuan and scream assault, we catch him on the spot, fabricate a story about him acting wild while he was drunk. Surely we can expel Fang Yuan?”
“Husband you really have a way, what an ingenious plan!” Aunt was overjoyed at that moment.
The thick colors of the night covered the sky, and the stars that blanketed the sky were mostly covered away by floating dark clouds. Each of the households in the village gradually lit up with lights.
Gu Yue Fang Zheng was ushered into a room.
“Young master Fang Zheng, the old master personally had me tidy up this room specially for you,” Mother Shen said with a hospitable tone. She bowed her waist, her face having a flattering smile.
Fang Zheng looked around with a glance, his eyes shining. This room was at least bigger by two times compared to his previous room. The middle of the room was a spacious bed; beside the window was a rosewood desk with a delicate set of ink and paper. The walls were decorated with exquisite ornaments, and beneath his feet was not an ordinary floor, but covered in a layer of soft handmade carpet.
From his childhood until now, Fang Zheng had never stayed in such a room. He immediately nodded his head continuously and said, “This is very good, it really isn’t bad, thank you Mother Shen.”
Mother Shen was Aunt and Uncle’s most highly valued person; she was in charge of all the slaves in the house and was a housekeeper who lived up to her reputation. The girl Shen Cui who served Fang Yuan was her daughter.
Mother Shen laughed, “I am not deserving of young master’s gratitude, it is my duty, my duty! Young master, do not hesitate to eat well and sleep well. Whatever you want, just shake the bell beside your bed, somebody will attend to you immediately. Old master has already instructed us, so in these few days please do put all your attention on cultivating, young master. Just leave all the other chores to us.”
Fang Zheng felt a gush of gratitude in his heart. He did not say anything, but deep down inside he decided, this time I must get number one and not let Aunt and Uncle down!
The dark clouds in the sky were getting heavier, and the night was getting darker. In the night sky most of the stars were covered away by the clouds, leaving a few shining with faint light, blinking away in the sky.
“Aunt and Uncle must be plotting on how to expel me from the house right now. In my previous life they secretly instigated the servants to provoke me, and then framed me. Then they expelled me from the family; I wonder if there will be any changes in this life.” Fang Yuan sneered in his heart as he walked along the streets.
He had long seen clearly the true colors of his Aunt and Uncle. But he could also understand it.
Men would throw away their lives in pursuit for wealth. No matter whether on Earth or in this world, there would always be many people who would be willing to trample over kinship, friendly and love for their own self-interests and benefits.
In fact kinship did not exist. In the beginning when Aunt and Uncle took in Fang Yuan and Fang Zheng, their only purpose was to seek the heritage. It was just so that the two brothers were repeatedly unexpected.
“All things are difficult before they are easy. To me this is more so of the case. Firstly I do not have outstanding talent; secondly I do not have the care of a teacher. It is equivalent to raising a family from nothing, but with my parent’s legacy it can be said to be a huge advantage for me. In my previous life Aunt and Uncle stole away the heritage, and because of that I had to waste two full years to be able to cultivate to Rank One peak stage. In this life I cannot afford to make the same mistake.”
Fang Yuan pondered in his mind as he walked.
Instead of staying home, he held the two jars of wine and walked towards the outskirts of the village.
The night deepened and the dark clouds obscured the star light, the mountain breeze blew, growing stronger gradually.
The mountain rain was coming. But he still had to search; to get ahold of his parent’s inheritance, he would need to wait until he was sixteen. And the Flower Wine Monk’s treasure was the only thing that he could get his hands on in the short run.
There were not many people on the streets. The houses along the road showed a dim light. Some small rubbish and leaves were blown away by the wind, drifting about.
Fang Yuan’s thin clothing could not stop the mountain wind, and he could not help but feel a cold chill. He simply opened the wine jar, drinking a small mouthful of wine. Although it was turbid wine, but after swallowing it he felt a warm feeling rising up.
This was the first time that he actually drank wine in these few days.
The further he walked out of the village, the lesser the houses beside the road, and the dimmer the lights became. In front of him it was even darker. The wind blew heavily against the mountain forest, the branches swaying in the night, making a whistling noise that sounded like a herd of beasts roaring.
Fang Yuan’s pace did not slow down. He walked out of the huge entrance of the village and out into the darkness, going further as he walked. And behind him were the bright and brilliant lights of tens of thousands of houses. In these lights there was a warm corner.
The younger brother Fang Zheng was seated at his desk, reviewing the notes that he had taken down during class. The lights in the house were shining brightly, the and solid wall blocked away the cold winds. Beside his hand was a cup of warm ginseng tea, the steam rising up from the cup.
“Young master Fang Zheng, the hot bathing water has been prepared for you.”
Outside the door, Shen Cui’s voice softly floated through.
Fang Zheng’s heart jolted. “Then bring it in please.”
Shen Cui walked into the room with her waist bowed, her expression pleased.
“Your servant greets young master.” Her eyes sent amorous glances at Fang Zheng. Fang Yuan was only a C grade talent, but Fang Zheng was an A grade talent! To be able to get ahold of him, is truly the biggest fortune!