Chapter 15: Farewell for Now, Fei Jie
Translator: Nyoi_Bo_Studio Editor: Nyoi_Bo_Studio
With the years passing, fall arrived once again and chrysanthemum flowers blanketed the mountains.
Fei Jie’s teaching career in Danzhou Harbor was originally set to end in the summer, but he loved the air, the ocean wind, and the cuisine at Count Sinan’s estate. In particular, he so much enjoyed teaching Fan Xian that he extended his stay for a few more months.
After those few months, Fei Jie, an expert in taking life by poison and also in prolonging it in the elderly, rubbed his fattening tummy. He had regrettably received a letter from the capital and reluctantly informed Count Sinan’s mother of his leave.
Knowing that Fie Jie was sent by the capital, the Countess made no effort to persuade him to stay. She comforted him instead before gifting him a red envelope as an act of thanks.
Down by the road heading west of Danzhou Harbor, teacher and student said their goodbyes.
“Why don’t you listen to my advice and discontinue your zhenqi training? It won’t end well.”
“I haven’t encountered any major problems with it; at least, not yet.”
“If there are no problems, then why did you go through barrels of alcohol in the kitchen?”
“It was an accident,” Fan Xian answered distressfully. In recent months, the zhenqi in his body became increasingly aggressive and these incidents occurred often. Due to these incidents, Fan Xian had no choice but to sacrifice his bedtime ghost stories with the maids as he was afraid that in the heat of the moment his hand might run astray on one of the maid’s bodies and he would make a deeply regrettable mistake.
“Learning the art of poison is learning the world’s greatest killing method. What’s the need to learn anything else?”
“Because poison can easily harm the innocent.”
Fie Jie stared into the eyes of the little boy and asked, “Are you sure you’re not turning six this year?”
Fan Xian looked at his teacher innocently. “It’s not my fault I’m an early bloomer.”
Fei Jie sighed and tutted. It really wasn’t easy keeping his mind sane around the little rascal for so long.
It was time to leave. Fei Jie rubbed the back of the boy’s head and looked back towards the city of Danzhou.
“In the future, if you ever come to the capital… to be a doctor, remember to look me up.”
“Very well.” Fan Xian bowed in respect. He truly appreciated the eccentric old man. Over the years, his old soul longed for someone to converse with. Blind man Wu Zhu was too cold for consideration, so the role was filled by his teacher, who had an impressive background. Throughout the time they knew each other, he could sense how they had grown close.
“Stop practicing zhenqi…”
“You can be quite garrulous sometimes, sir.”
“Maybe it’s because I’m too old.” Fei Jie rubbed Fan Xian’s soft black hair with one hand while messing his own white hair with the other.”
“Anyway, that zhenqi is worthless. It’s too powerful and uncontrollable.” Fei Jie hadn’t given up on changing Fei Xian’s mind. “There’s a formidable swordsman in the city of Dongyi who owes me a favor. I could introduce you to be his student
Fan Xian inhaled a cold breath. “Are you talking about the master swordsman of Dongyi city?”
“That’s right,” Fei Jie said enticingly. “One of the Four Great Grandmasters. His practice is much more powerful than yours.”
Fan Xian was interested in something else. “How do you know him?”
“Well, when he was eight, his father called me in to treat the boy’s sickness. Judging by the fact that he hugged trees all day, the little monster was obviously just dumb. I treated him halfheartedly and left with my money. I never would have known that a few years later I’d hear that he learned the Sigu sword style and became a Great Grandmaster.
Fan Xian looked at him with disdain. “You treated him halfheartedly? Let’s not even mention the fact that you practically stole your pay; you nearly killed a world-class warrior. That is quite worthy of contempt.”
Fei Jie feigned anger and walked towards the carriage in the distance. “I have taught you everything about biological poisons and all knowledge related to it. However, there is one key piece of information that I have yet to tell you.”
Fan Xian ran after him, his tiny legs working as fast as the wind. “What is it?”
“Finding the right antidote is easy. Finding the right poison is easy. The hardest part is the administration of the poison.”
Without turning his head, Fei Jie continued walking.
Fan Xian, however, stopped in his tracks and carefully turned those words over in his mind. In the past year that he had been with Fei Jie, he had learned that in the field of poisons, the hardest thing to do was to find a poison that was colorless, odorless and tasteless.
So the secret was in how the poison was administered.
He began to giggle shyly all of a sudden. It’s not like he was preparing to be an assassin or planning on killing the emperor. Why was he stressing out over this matter? All he needed to do was be confident that he wouldn’t fall victim to poisoning under the hands of the aunt in Count Sinan’s estate.
He watched as the carriage disappeared into the distance with dust following in its trails. Left at the side of the road, Fan Xian performed a deep bow. He realized that the eccentric old man had not wanted to come to Danzhou at first, but after a year of running around together cutting up dead bodies and frog legs, they had grown used to each other. Neither of them would ever forget this relationship.
With the lonely departure, Fan Xian could not help but feel sad. “Fei Jie really is a great man. It’s just a shame he looks…a bit miserable.”
There was a long period of time afterwards in which Fan Xian was unable to adapt to the departure of his teacher. A normal noble boy his age would probably have been playing with his friends. Although he was the only noble child in Danzhou, there were plenty of possible playmates close to his age. Fan Xian knew that at the end of his story, he would not be able to associate with his peers.
Since his mental age was older than other children, he often felt like he was babysitting. Not everyone wants to be the king of other children to satisfy what little ability they have. This was similar to how, back in Fan Xian’s former reality, no stereotypical macho man would ever want to be a kindergarten teacher.
After Fei Jie left Danzhou, Fan Xian lost the only person he could converse with. He felt like his life was starting to get boring. He stood on the front steps of Count Sinan’s villa and watched as crowds of people passed by and began to feel lonely. He had no idea what he could do trapped in the body of a child.
He remembered back to when he first arrived in this world, of how he had thought of wonderful things that he could do and he couldn’t help but laugh. In his previous life, when he lay on his sick bed, his lack of ability was obvious from his appearance. He had thought that, at least compared to the people of this world, he would have some extra skills like making soap or molding ugly glass cups. That was only the beginning of the list of simple yet beneficial things he could do…
When Fan Xian realized that soap and glass already existed and were nothing special in this world, he didn’t feel too beat up about it. However, when he realized that Fie Jie’s carriage horses had saddles and steps to help get on the horse, he felt so overcome with failure that he began to sob lightly.