Chapter 44: Eyes (Part One)
Fang Jie had seen many things. Not only did he travel to many places in the last 15 years, but he also had been to Chang’an in his previous life. Of course, Chang’an was renamed Xi’an on Earth.
The Chang’an in his mind was only an ancient city built with cyan bricks and red tiles, and there were a few wooden buildings.
Therefore, when Xiang Qingniu mentioned how majestic the Capital was, Fang Jie wasn’t interested.
However, Cui Lueshang’s interest was piqued by Xiang Qingniu’s description, and he looked forward to it.
“Do you know how tall the city walls of the Capital are?” Xiang Qingniu asked as he sat next to Da Quan on the horse-drawn carriage.
Then, he stood up, raised his chain, and gestured proudly, “It is this tall!”
Fang Jie who was riding a horse laughed, “Respectful Daoist, can you not use your height to describe the majestic Chang’an? If the city walls of Chang’an could be illustrated with your height and the length of your arms, I would suspect that its title as the no.1 city in the world is fake.”
Fang Jie gestured above Xiang Qingniu’s head and said, “The city walls of Fangu is at least this tall.”
Xiang Qingniu was a little afraid of this young man whose background was a mystery. It was hard to tell if it was because of that red mole where four lines crossed on Fang Jie’s palm or because Fang Jie was a bit more shameless and dirtier than him.
Therefore, Xiang Qingniu snorted. After a while, he felt like he had to redeem himself, so he said proudly, “You are lucky that you aren’t a participant in the entrance exam of the Martial Arts Academy. Otherwise, I will promise you that you won’t pass.”
After freezing for a moment, Cui Lueshang pointed at Fang Jie and said, “He is a participant; he is a participant from the military. It is a bit easier for them to get a spot in the exam compared to us. I only obtained this spot because my aunt recently became an imperial noble consort, and my family gave out many gifts. He only needed to accumulate enough military merit before getting recommended.”
“Oh?” Xiang Qingniu’s interest was piqued, and he said with his eyes widened, “So, you are a participant? Wow, what a tragedy.”
Fang Jie ignored Xiang Qingniu and said to Cui Lueshang seriously, “It seems like from the perspective of members of big families like you, the soldiers aren’t qualified to participate in the entrance exam of the Martial Arts Academy? It seems like you think that it is easier for ordinary soldiers to get this opportunity?”
Cui Lueshang froze for a second before asking in surprise, “Is it not?”
Fang Jie couldn’t help but chuckle chillingly, “I don’t know how much silver you spent, and I’m not interested in finding out what connections your family pulled for you. However, I bet that you don’t know what I used to trade for this opportunity. Even if I tell you that I used 21 counts of military merit, you won’t feel anything.”
Fang Jie continued with a serious tone, “Do you know what 21 counts of military merit mean?”
Cui Lueshang asked, “What does it mean?”
Fang Jie replied, “It means that I’m lucky. I should have died 21 times but didn’t. People like you don’t understand how important the chance to participate in the entrance exam of the Martial Arts Academy is to ordinary soldiers. You don’t know how luxurious of a dream it is! Soldiers might not be able to get this chance after risking their lives many times. You use family connections and wealth to trade for that opportunity, and we… use our lives to trade for it.”
After exhaling slowly, Fang Jie chuckled self-mockingly, “Of course, for people like you, perhaps the lives of border soldiers like myself don’t worth as much as the money that you spent.”
“I…” Cui Lueshang blushed before shaking his head and explaining, “I really don’t think like that.”
Fang Jie sneered and asked, “Then, I will ask you one thing. If you or your rich friends killed an ordinary soldier, either intentionally or unintentionally, what would happen?”