"If it wasn't because he had provided for my Shifu and I in the past, why would I acknowledge this shixiong..."
Editor(s): juurensha, namio
"It has nothing to do with you!" Chen Xing said. "Don't cause trouble!"
Xie An had just wanted to invite Feng Qianjun out for tea, yet Feng Qianjun insisted on getting his 700,000 liang of silver back no matter what.
And the reason for that was this: Xifeng and Dongzhe were the two largest banks in the world. In the year prior, because Feng Qianyi had been possessed and caused Chang'an so much trouble, Xifeng's warehouse had been confiscated by Fu Jian. Millions of liang of silver lined the state treasury of Great Qin, and both the civil and martial officials started counting their riches merrily. After Fu Jian obtained this huge sum of money, he then had sufficient military funds and thus started to stir.
On the other hand, the Feng family was seriously hurt by this. They returned to Yangtze River, ready to take stock of whatever they had left and start up their business again.
As a result, Feng Qianjun came to know that Xie An had borrowed 700,000 liang of silver from Xifeng a year ago to support his Beifu Forces. The Beifu Forces was established for the purpose of resisting Fu Jian's Qin army, and they were governed by Xie An. However, the state treasury of Great Jin hads been in deficit for many years, and they dared not raise taxes for fear of an uprising by the intelligentsia. Thus, Sima Yao told Xie An honestly that he couldn't afford to support the forces and asked for a disarmament.
But how could the disarmament happen? After mulling over it, Xie An resorted to borrowing 700,000 with interest from Xifeng Bank's Feng Qianyi, who the Xie family was on good terms with. They established an ICU with terms stating that the money would be returned in a year with an additional 100,000 taels as interest.
In any case, most of the Feng family's operations in Chang'an relied on the support of Yangtze River. At the end of the day, he wouldn't be the one who would have to return it anyway. If their debtors really came to confront him, he could just pressure them by attributing it to the national cause. They were all respectable people, so it wasn't like the Feng Family could send people over to cause a fuss and roll about outside Wuyi Lane everyday.
However, Xie An didn't expect Feng Qianyi to embark on the wrong path and die just like that. As soon as the Feng Qianyi's business in Chang'an collapsed, they had wanted to return to Yangtze River to establish a solid footing again. Eyeing them covetously from the side was Dongzhe Bank, who was on good terms with the Wang family. It was truly a matter of life or death for them then. To make things worse, in the past half a year, Feng Qianyi had lent out a ton of money with no interest accrued to provide relief aid for the common people.
Now, the total savings of Xifeng Bank across the country didn't even amount to 100,000 taels. In order to sustain the family business, Feng Qianjun must get this sum of money back. With such an enormous information network, thousands of clansmen, merchants, and armed escorts scattered everywhere all waiting for subsistence, what else could he do?
"Let's drink some tea first, tea's good, you must be thirsty..."
"I'm not thirsty, Lord Xie, I want money," Feng Qianjun explained patiently.
"Little Shidi, help me pacify Young Master Feng first please."
Feng Qianjun, "Lord Xie, let's just decide on a date for me to get my people to come over and move stuff ba..."
Chen Xing, "Feng Dage, words will do, calm down."
Xie An, "Shidi, do you have any magical artifact with you? Can you offer it to Young Master Feng as collateral for now, please?"
"I don't have any!" Chen Xing said, "Xie Shixiong, I'm pleading on your behalf here, yet you have ideas about using my magical artifacts?"
"What would I need magical artifacts for?" Feng Qianjun said, "Can't I just borrow it from Chen Xing myself? The two of us are even more familiar with each other than you! Cut the crap, Lord Xie, you must return the money this time."
"Ah! Little Shidi, do you know how to perform the legendary 'turning stones into gold'?"
"I don't!" Chen Xing turned frantic. "There's no such magic!"
"I'll go get it right now," Xie An said at once. "Please give me a moment, take a seat. I, Anshi, am true to my words."
Feng Qianjun had already drunk a bellyful of tea at the Xie residence today. Upon hearing this, he stood outside the hall and said, "Okay, I'll wait for you."
Xie An's mansion, in addition to the collection of calligraphy and paintings it held, should be worth quite a sum, but 700,000 taels of silver did still seem a little too much for it. Xie An didn't live with the other members of the Xie family either, so he didn't know if this as collateral would be enough.
Feng Qianjun turned around. "Where's Xiang Shu?"
While listening to the two of them argue, Xiang Shu felt irascible and had thus left.
Chen Xing scrutinised Feng Qianjun and suddenly laughed. "Feng-dage, after so much time has passed, you seem to have changed a little."
Feng Qianjun was a little surprised. He inspected himself and said, "What changed?"
After watching Feng Qianjun for so long, Chen Xing has always had a nagging sensation that he had changed somehow, yet he couldn't put it into words. It was as if he possessed a faint sense of wickedness, and that he had turned a little devious. Was it because he used the Senluo Sabre that had been refined with resentment?
"Have you used the Senluo Sabre ever since then?" Chen Xing asked.
"Twice," Feng Qianjun said. "When I was trying to leave Murong Chong's scouts in the dust, near the cemetery. But rest assured, I didn't kill anyone."
After pondering for a moment, Chen Xing said, "This is a little presumptuous, but may I examine you for a bit?"
Feng Qianjun opened up both his arms, motioning for Chen Xing to do as he pleased. Chen Xing lit up the Heart Lamp and approached Feng Qianjun.
"You don't need to take your clothes off… fasten your belt..." Chen Xing pressed against Feng Qianjun's chest with one hand. Feng Qianjun was in the middle of undressing, and upon hearing that, stopped.
Chen Xing inserted the Heart Lamp's power into his meridians. He realised that there was still a light of the same source shining in his heart, which had helped safeguard his Heart, so there shouldn't be much of an issue. However, the flow of the Heart Lamp's magic was more sluggish now, as if there was another force in Feng Qianjun's body resisting the Heart Lamp.
"There's no major issue," Chen Xing said. "But try not to use it too often. Resentment isn't like spiritual Qi, your body will be harmed if you use it too frequently. It would gradually turn people more and more evil..."
Right at that moment, Xiang Shu returned again, as if he had gone back to his room to take something just now. He stood outside, looking at Chen Xing and Feng Qianjun.
Chen Xing, "..."
Feng Qianjun immediately fastened his belt and put on his robe. Xiang Shu scrutinised the two of them, and Chen Xing said, "I was just checking the resentment in his body!"
Xiang Shu said, "I didn't say anything. Xie An ran off, are you two sure you still want to wait here for him?"
"What?" Feng Qianjun's blood ran cold.
Xiang Shu casually pointed in the direction of the palace. Feng Qianjun immediately walked out, only to see that Xie An had gone to the palace to hide from his debtor, and now Feng Qianjun was at his wit's end.
Chen Xing comforted him, "Perhaps he's gone there to ask His Majesty for money?"
Feng Qianjun held his forehead with one hand, saying helplessly, "That damn emperor can't even feed himself anymore. He's so anxious that all his hair has fallen out, and now you're saying he'll pay me back? Maybe when the sun rises from the West."
"Uh...Feng-dage," Chen Xing sent Feng Qianjun out of the Xie residence. "I'd advise you to not be so aggressive in trying to get your money, otherwise if that ruler-minister duo gets driven into a corner..."
"I myself am about to be driven into a corner," Feng Qianjun cut in. "Getting the money we had loaned out is one thing, if this goes on, it will only take three months before Xifeng shuts down. No, this won't do, Chen Xing, think of something for me."
"Ai!" Chen Xing said immediately, "Why is it all on me now? I was just seeing you off on Xie Shixiong's behalf."
Just a moment before, the three had been immersed merrily in old times, but now Feng Qianjun fell out with them over money. Deadpan, he said, "If Xifeng Bank folds, no one would watch the imperial mausoleum for you guys anymore, and you won't be able to obtain information on the North either. You and Brother Xiang would then have to stake out the site every day outside the imperial mausoleum. Wouldn't that be too much trouble?"
Chen Xing replied, "But I don't have money either! The two of us are lodging under another's roof right now. If I had 700,000 taels of silver, would I need to seek shelter at Xie An's place? Also, I still owe Xie An 3,000 taels. If it wasn't because he had provided for my Shifu and I in the past, why would I acknowledge this shixiong…"
"Brother Xiang." After seeing his previous plan fall through, Feng Qianjun turned to Xiang Shu and said seriously, "This little brother here remembers you, weren't you once the Great Chanyu, ruler of ten thousand miles of fertile soil?"
An expressionless Chen Xing said, "Feng-dage, just look at Xiang Shu. Does he look rich to you? I've visited his home before. Even if you were to take all his belongings out from that tent to sell, it still wouldn't be enough to return the 3,000 taels of silver I owe Xie An!"
Upon hearing that, Xiang Shu cooperated by patting his body, then spread out both empty palms to show how powerless he was to help even if he wanted to.
"Go stand by the road for a while?" Xiang Shu said, "Maybe Tuoba Yan would come again."
Chen Xing thought, are you still on that.
Feng Qianjun didn't know what that meant so he stared at Chen Xing with a face full of doubt. Chen Xing made up his mind before saying, "Okay, I'll try something. Iuppiter, Iuppiter, can you give me some money?"
So the three of them stood by the road. Xiang Shu angled his head down a little to look at Chen Xing, but didn't speak.
A few swallows flew by Wuyi Lane. It was serene.
"There aren't many people here," Xiang Shu said. "Let's walk out?"
Cheng Xing: "...."
Chen Xing walked a few steps to the main road outside Wuyi Lane. Jiankang's East Street was bustling with people. With a market full of people, it was exceptionally lively.
"Will money just fall from the sky?" Feng Qianjun felt puzzled. "Do we have to find a place with fewer people? Otherwise it'll be robbed from us ba."
"Keep walking?" Xiang Shu motioned for Chen Xing to continue moving forward a little.
Chen Xing, "What are you doing this time?"
Chen Xing took a few more steps, only to see a three-story, resplendent store to the east of the market. White jade hung on the door, with the words "Dongzhe United". They had actually walked over to where Feng Qianjun's arch enemy was.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Caro and opal.