Chapter 27: Fangu City Is Full of Good People (Part One)
The atmosphere in the room was tight perhaps because the brazier was removed.
Li Xiaozong half knelt with a pale expression; it was hard to tell whether he was too cold or was too fearful.
Li Yuanshan looked at him and frowned. “Although you aren’t a close member of Li Family, I knew that you are capable of great things. Perhaps you don’t even remember… When you were seven, your father and my second brother Li Yuanmo set up a small fenced area on the 5th after the New Year and encircled about 40 hungry wolves and two hungry tigers. They said that it was an entertainment, and even your grandpa was invited.”
[TL Note: Those who were given birth by wives were considered close members of a family, and those who were given birth by concubines were considered distance members of a family.]
“It was interesting, but your grandpa was tired after a while. Your father ordered to shoot the beasts, killing the wolves and tigers. Your grandpa wanted to go see the beasts up-close, and your father and I walked in with him. You also walked in with a dagger behind us. When we walked to a tiger, it was still not dead.”
“Your father and Third Uncle both pulled out our sabers, but you jumped forward and shouted that your grandpa’s safety was the top priority and we should protect him. Then, you leaped and killed that tiger.”
“You father scolded you for being reckless, I didn’t say anything, and your grandpa turned around and left. What you didn’t know was that your grandpa sighed and said that you are brave and smart. If you aren’t a distant member, the family should invest a lot in you.”
Li Yuanshan paused for a second and said, “You had the courage to kill a tiger when you were seven years old, so I paid attention to you since then. You were able to enter the Martial Arts Academy because I talked to your father. Your father planned to select one of his close children to be the participant in that year’s entrance exam; I persuaded him for half a day, and he finally agreed to send you.”
Li Xiaozong’s expression changed, and he changed his half kneel, which was a sign of respect in the military, to a full kneel, which was a sign of respect toward seniors and elders.[Support the real translators and read on Noodletown Translations for free.]
“Thank you, Great General.”
Li Yuanshan sat down and shook his head. “You should call me Third Uncle.”
Li Xiaozong looked down and replied, “When I’m in the military uniform, I don’t dare to call you Third Uncle.”
Appreciation flashed in Li Yuanshan’s eyes, and he nodded and said, “It is good that you still remember military discipline in this situation. Your courage was admirable when you were little; how come you are so timid now? I gifted Wu Peisheng a big house in Yangtze-Metro, and he finally agreed to help you hide corruption. Killing a few soldiers and residents are nothing compared to your future. How come you couldn’t do it?”
Before Li Xiaozong could explain, Li Yuanshan continued, “Even if you have reasons not to kill these people, the death of Wu Peisheng is enraging! Wu Peisheng was the eunuch who held the ink brush for His Majesty and was well-liked. His death will shock the political circle and His Majesty. But… now that he is dead, you don’t have to over worry. As long as it is clean, will His Majesty kill a talented general for a dead person? But you did this poorly! Your actions lacked courage!”
Li Xiaozong looked down and stopped trying to explain himself.
“I watched you grew up, and I know that you have a bright future. Because I see your talent, I interfered with your matters more than I should.” Li Yuanshan stood up and patted Li Xiaozong’s shoulder. “It is not wrong to consider a lot, but you also shouldn’t be too narrow-minded. You plan to fool the investigators from the Capital by saying that cavalrymen of Mongo-Yuan sneaked in? You can’t fool them. Even if you gift them a ton of money, you can’t be sure that they wouldn’t use it against you in the future. The people in Chang’an… are all cunning and vicious.”