|Author: Cherish the World||Original Source: SFACG|
|Translator: raltzero||English Source: Re:Library|
When the Li De Corporation returned to West-Resisting City, they brought many people, rations, fodder, and supplies back with them.
The first to be mentioned is the army. After learning that Fang Lita would be reinstated as the City Lord and that Fang Thirteen would be following Li De to West-Resisting City, about a third of the army chose to depart with Fang Thirteen. After so many years, Fang Thirteen’s influence in the military had maintained an especially high position the entire time. The rewards and punishment dished out were clear, her management of people was exemplary, she made very few errors, and never made pointless sacrifices. For many soldiers, Fang Thirteen was the embodiment of a perfect commander and they were also already accustomed to following Fang Thirteen.
This was especially so after Fang Lita threw away five cities in one breath after one lost battle. The humiliation of such an event was still vivid in the minds of these soldiers, so it could be said that they didn’t have any confidence in Fang Lita at all. If it weren’t for the fact that West-Resisting City wasn’t a part of Zhao Chen, most of the soldiers most likely would have left along with Fang Thirteen.
As for the remaining two-thirds, the greater half of the people chose to leave Sky Star City. Even though they weren’t leaving with Fang Thirteen, they also weren’t willing to remain in Sky Star City, so they chose to pack up their bags and silently leave. It could be said that the army set aside for Fang Lita was very very small and furthermore, it would be extremely difficult for the soldiers to heed his commands.
Moreover, the populace.
It’s not a secret that Fang Lita beat commoners back then to vent his frustrations. Whenever Fang Lita’s name is mentioned, everyone in Sky Star City snorts disdainfully. Fang Lita’s notoriety not only spread in the military, but also in the public and at a slightly faster pace at that. Big ambitions but untalented, keeps the flatterers near while shooing away the worthy, and even wholeheartedly impairs his own older sister by any means possible; is following such a City Lord really going to result in a good outcome?
Even the Li De Corporation-affiliated West-Resisting City’s populace spontaneously left in much better conditions than the current Sky Star City. Right now, Fang Lita is facing a situation similar to how when a tree topples, the monkeys scatter; when the city walls fall, the people leave. The people requesting to leave were naturally too many to count. Also, Fang Lita still hadn’t officially reinstated his status as City Lord at this time, so Sky Star City, Star-Commanding City, and Starless City were still under the control of Li De. And so, he could only watch helplessly as his people were “deceived” over by Li De and drag the mature soldiers and their families over to West-Resisting City.
The shortcomings of West-Resisting City being vast, but sparsely populated was somewhat made up for.
Apart from that, money and grain. It should be mentioned that Fang Lita is indeed unlucky. If he hadn’t chosen to break off relations at the time he did and instead rely on Fang Thirteen to protect the walls, he would have been able to delay the onslaught for another half month. But the result? After Fang Lita drove Fang Thirteen out of the doors, Li De immediately went into the City Lord’s mansion solo, directly grasped the unsuspecting Fang Lita, and used him as a hostage to deceive the opening of the city gates. This led to the accumulated stocks of food to not be put to much use.
That Li De is like a bandit. Even though the three cities exist, their foodstuffs were all transported away and those that weren’t able to be taken away were distributed to the commoners. This led to the commoners feeling very grateful to him and becoming even more willing to return with him to West-Resisting City.
What the hell is this!!
Is there anyone worse than someone who steals another person’s foodstuffs and people?
At least Fang Lita hadn’t met such a person.
This made Fang Lita understand a little more about how sinister the world was. Before he, the City Lord of three cities, had warmed his butt on the seat of City Lord, Fang Yuan had already come knocking with soldiers outside the walls. The sunshine that day was just right and that pleasantly plump Fang Yuan happened to be wearing an armor glittering like frost and snow. It made for a comical scene, but Fang Lita really wasn’t able to smile at it. He could only stare on blankly as Fang Yuan gave him a pleased smile:
“Little brother, no time no see.”
In the next second, his face turned into a hostile one as he coldly commanded:
“Attack the city.”
Without the reliable Fang Thirteen, without the originally unrivalled army, without rations and fodder, and without the support of the populace, it could be imagined how sullen Fang Lita was in fighting this battle. Within a week, Sky Star City was broken into and Fang Lita was reduced to being a prisoner once more.
Inside the prison, the trussed up Fang Lita watched the smiling Fang Yuan walk over with a candle and whip in hand. He watched as the fat on his oppressor’s body jiggled, how harmless that smile of his looked, and felt a chill in his bones for the first time in his life. He suddenly recalled the words Li De had told him and hastily said:
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“Li De! Li De said that you can’t kill me!”
Contrary to what Fang Lita expected, Fang Yuan was actually shocked for a moment before he laughed heartily:
“You still think you can fool me? While I’m still not clear on what kind of person he is to hand the three cities back over to you, you’re telling me that he’s guaranteeing your life? Do you really think he’s like your dim-witted older sister, the type to secretly pamper you and spoil you?”
Fang Lita nearly burst out in tears. He kneeled on the ground and incessantly guaranteed that it was the truth. The smile on Fang Yuan’s face gradually faded and he asked:
“He really said this?”
Fang Lita happened to be in the middle of thinking of how to convince Fang Yuan, so how could he leave out even a half word? He basically let Fang Yuan know of everything Li De told him:
“It’s true! But he told me to only mention him when the suffering I was receiving started becoming unbearable……he told me that once I was reduced to being a prisoner again and was beat until I couldn’t bear it anymore, I could mention his name to save my life, it’s the truth! I beg you to believe me this time……!!””
The harmless smiling expression reappeared on Fang Yuan’s face as he raised the whip in his hand and lashed out at Fang Lita to lacerate his flesh.
Fang Lita kept on howling and yelling:
“You can’t kill me, you can’t kill me……”
Fang Yuan smiled as he responded:
“He said that only when you’ve suffered to the point you can’t handle it anymore will reporting his name be useful. It looks like you’re still healthy and active to me though? Do you still remember, Fang Lita? When you were younger, you were the child that father doted on the most. Therefore, when you drew pig heads all over in my bedroom and threw the schoolbag my mother gave me as a present into a pigsty, then threw the stinking backpack onto my head, I couldn’t do anything to resist. Even father would just stroke your head and praise you for being able to draw at such a young age……I don’t remember it wrong, right?”
Fang Lita’s entire body shivered.
Fang Yuan put away his smile, but his beady eyes were filled with coldness. One whip of his smashed out Fang Lita’s teeth as he said with a merciless voice:
“Now, you should also experience the feeling of being a pig.”
Fang Yuan’s physical strength seemed to be very lacking. All he did was lash out twice, yet he was already panting for breath. He tossed the whip aside and said to the sweet, fair, and graceful young lady behind him:
“Xique, you’ve seen my younger sister Thirteen before, right. What younger sister Thirteen looks like, make Fang Lita look the same.”
Fang Yuan started walking out, but after giving it a bit more thought, he turned his head and remarked:
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“Forget it, just beat him ruthlessly otherwise I won’t be able to explain it to Li De. It’s enough to just cripple one of his legs and eyes. This time, just count it as me being merciful. Make him still able to see things and still able to limp around.”
After he finished his words, Fang Yuan walked out of the prison and didn’t pay attention at all towards the cries similar to that of a pig being slaughtered behind him.
A short period of time later, the young lady called Xique flicked her wrists as she walked out of the prison and converged with Fang Yuan, who was waiting outside for her. As the two walked on the road, Xique reached out his hand to lock arms with the overly plump Fang Yuan. Her looks was a solid 8 or 9 and could be considered a beautiful woman. There was a type of gracefulness and elegance temperament in her. If you looked a bit closer, you would also be able to feel the edge of a blade that had been meticulously sheathed. Her head of black hair was tied into a ponytail and was even slightly taller than Fang Yuan.
Xique gently asked:
“Is it okay? Fang Lita is, after all, Fang Thirteen’s little brother and Fang Thirteen is currently Li De’s subordinate. Will animosity in Li De’s heart grow because of your actions?”
Fang Yuan grinned. In front of Xique, he felt a sense of calmness and self-confidence, so he spoke with complete confidence:
“Don’t worry. It’s exactly because he can’t personally teach Fang Lita that he made me do so. No wonder he agreed to return the three cities back to Fang Lita, it was his way of allowing me to take them. This is just his way of indirectly giving me these three cities while I’m standing in as the villain for him, none of us have suffered any losses.”
“The matters between you men are really troublesome. Can’t he just do it himself? From what you said about him, he seems to be a very strong person.”
Fang Yuan lifted up his head, looking at the overcast sky, and replied:
“Even an honest and upright official will have difficulty resolving a family dispute. To be honest, little sis Thirteen and Li De are both the same type of person. When I was on the road to Yun Hai, I had once probed Li De and hoped he would join up with me to divide up Yunyang, but he refused. As the saying goes, internal disunity dissolves at the threat of an invasion coming from the outside. Even if the Overlord of Yunyang isn’t good to him, Li De won’t be happy if I go slap the Overlord of Yunyang’s face. Little sis Thirteen is the same; no matter how bad Fang Lita is to her, he is still her little brother. If Li De really did beat Fang Lita for little sis Thirteen, little sis Thirteen most likely wouldn’t have been grateful and instead may have gotten angry due to it. Using my hand to retaliate against Fang Lita is the best method.”
Xique then inquired:
“Then why did he want to preserve Fang Lita’s life? Would letting us kill Fang Lita be an even better result?”
Fang Yuan shook his head and explained:
“An accurate measurement of tension and relaxation, this is Li De’s ability. If we really killed Fang Lita, little sis Thirteen would have very likely lived the remaining half of her life in pain. By beating Fang Lita half-dead then sending him over, I can just tell them that I had some long-standing grievances with him, that I originally wanted to end his life with a chop, but left him with his life due to Li De’s name. When Li De saves Fang Lita, little sis Thirteen will owe Li De another favor.”
Xique pondered for a moment before inquiring:
“Then why don’t we keep Fang Lita and keep him hostage? If nothing unexpected happens, we will sooner or later have conflicts with Li De and when that happens, Fang Lita will become a very important bargaining chip.”
The smile on Fang Yuan’s face faded away, or perhaps, this unsmiling face of his was his original appearance.
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Fang Yuan answered:
“Correct. But it’s not necessary. Now that we’re raising our arms and rebelling, the spearhead is pointed at my dad, the Overlord of Zhao Chen, so our main battlefield should be in the north. Likewise, Li De wants to take Yunyang, so each of us are wishing each other the best and giving each other the best. Our interests are not at all in conflict, so it’s possible for us to form an alliance at any time. If I do this, both our sides will not be happy and instead, the gains will not make up for the losses. Xique, what you don’t understand is that he’s already considered this point and that’s the reason why he dares leave Fang Lita with us so that we can handle him.”
Xique bowed her head in silence.
Fang Yuan asked out of nowhere:
“Do you feel that I’m very cold-blooded? Li De and little sis Thirteen both belong to the category of people who defend against outsiders insulting their own while I am the only one who will rope in an outsider, Li De, to handle my own little brother and younger sister. Strictly speaking, I am Zhao Chen’s sinner.”
Xique held Fang Yuan’s fleshy arm and consoled him:
“No matter what you do, I will be by your side. Isn’t it fine?”
Fang Yuan let out a sigh:
“I, Fang Yuan, don’t have Li De’s skill, but I also don’t want to end up like little sis Thirteen. Being despicable and shameless is also fine, being unscrupulous is also fine, being sinister and cunning is also fine; whatever other people call me, it’s fine. I, Fang Yuan, merely wish to crawl upwards, to climb the greatest heights, to reach so high that nobody dares to bully me anymore.”
He narrowed his small eyes, then mockingly remarked:
“Honestly, I’m not as good as little sis Thirteen. Because she was blind and crippled during our childhood, she was shunned by everyone. But she was still able to rise due to her reputation in being a military affairs genius, thus she began receiving everyone’s love and respect, the pursuit of many men, and countless people now want to bring her into their own armies. She’s long since proved her own worth. But me? I, Fang Yuan, was smarter than all my other brothers and sisters since childhood, yet because of how fat and piglike my face is, I am regarded with disdain by everyone who meets me. And so, I have no other choice but to end up running errands and doing business. Now that I’ve earned a bit of money through great hardships, those that meet me by chance, those “blood-related kin”, are all now wishing they could cut off all the flesh on my body and sell it. I’m not the type to be ruthless, you know. All I want in this world is to live peacefully, all I want……is to protect you.”
With his words reaching this point, Fang Yuan showed a somewhat lonely expression.
Xique leaned her head on his shoulder, keeping him company as they stood on this desolate street.
The combination of this chubby young man and graceful young lady didn’t match at all, but at this moment, there wasn’t an out-of-sorts feeling at all when looking at them.