Chapter 137: So Fragrant (Part One)
On the way back to Chang’an from the training field, Fang Jie, Zhang Kuang, Mo Xidao, and Xie Fuyao rode on their horses side-by-side.
Since the tests today were exhausting, Principal Zhou was kind and allowed the participants to ride horses back to Chang’an. Of course, they had to return the horses to the Martial Arts Academy.
Fang Jie was the only exception; many people were jealous of his red horse.
Xie Fuyao was curious about how Fang Jie, Zhang Kuang, and Mo Xidao talked with each other; they talked, laughed, and cursed, and he listened carefully.
When the three laughed at something funny, Xie Fuyao would smile.
Fang Jie turned his head and looked at Xie Fuyao before asking with a smile, “Aren’t you afraid of being laughed at by others now that you are close to us?”
Xie Fuyao thought for a bit and replied earnestly, “You said that you will treat me to liquor.”
Fang Jie laughed; it seemed like he appreciated this answer. “I always thought that you wouldn’t be willing to travel with us. You know that border soldiers like us don’t have much knowledge, and we talk about women most of the time. Of course, we probably met fewer women compared to the number of women you have slept with.”
Xie Fuyao shook his head awkwardly; he was clearly not used to this way of talking.
“You guys can keep on talking about the things that happened in your border cities. I like those tales.” Xie Fuyao didn’t want to stay on the topic of women with Fang Jie.
“Those aren’t tales!” Mo Xidao snorted. He was straightforward and disliked members of big families like Xie Fuyao. Even though they were traveling together, Mo Xidao didn’t think that Xie Fuyao was with them.
This conflict was hard to resolve. Even though there was no real animosity between them, there was a huge chasm between soldiers and members of big families.
Xie Fuyao was stunned for a second, and he cupped his hands and said to Mo Xidao after a moment of silence, “Sorry, my apologies.”
It was sincere, and even Mo Xidao could tell that it wasn’t fake politeness.
Most members of big families were hypocrites; they befriended many people from poor backgrounds, but they rarely stopped looking down at them in secret.
Therefore, the sincerity in Xie Fuyao’s tone was precious, yet Mo Xidao still didn’t like Xie Fuyao.
“Everything that we talked about is real. Perhaps you can only hear our laughter but can’t understand the powerlessness and hardship we feel. People like you would never understand the lives of border soldiers and the bond between border soldiers,” Mo Xidao said.
Xie Fuyao nodded and said, “Perhaps. I will try to experience your lives when I go to the border in the future.”
“Gongzi Xie, why do you want to go to the border? Even after you graduate from the Martial Arts Academy in three years, you can enter the 16 Guards if your grades are good,” Zhang Kuang asked.
Xie Fuyao sped up his horse to catch up with Fang Jie and others. While looking at the majestic city wall of Chang’an in the moonlight, he said, “Since I decided to join the military after coming here, it would be best if I can go to the border. Perhaps you may think that I’m naïve; I don’t want to enter the 16 Guards. Soldiers should all be on the border.”
His words changed Mo Xidao’s impression of him, and Mo Xidao’s tone calmed down as he said, “The border isn’t what you imagine it to be. You shouldn’t go there if you can’t handle the pressure of you and your peers leaving the world at any time. Perhaps entering the Martial Arts Academy is a shortcut for people like you to increase influence and become high-level officials; you don’t need to treat yourself as a soldier.”
Xie Fuyao shook his head and said, “I’m different from others. In your eyes, I may seem no different from other members of big families. However, I’m different from them. In fact, I feel like I’m closer to you guys.”
“Why?” Zhang Kuang asked.
Xie Fuyao opened his mouth but didn’t end up explaining it. “Nothing.”
Mo Xidao didn’t like others being all hesitant, so he stopped looking at Xie Fuyao and said to Fang Jie with a smile, “I watched you guys compete all day! Fang Jie, you truly brought honor to us border soldiers! Before today, I already talked with our brothers, and we will gather money and treat you to liquor in a great restaurant! The brothers who left earlier are already planning it. Let’s not go back tonight without being drunk!”