Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 132: Sudden Onset of Illness
A little bit of a cliffhanger : )
Besides the entertainment district, the theatre was where the nobles and officials loved to hang out.
The moment the gongs sounded, all the stories began.
And the moment the light green sleeve waved open, a scene that must be seen in Yan Cheng opens up.
Not to speak of the seductive yet gentle and artistic voice, a sound that could wrap around the pillars of Sheng De Lou, leaving an echo to be heard for three days and more.
As per usual, Xiao Feng Wu flipped over the wall to come in, and as like before, leaned against the second floor railing, taking in the entire theatre under his eyes.
Qin Ming Yue was singing << Ten Ways to Pine >>, crying out with a plaintive longing in his voice.
With a flip, his fan slowly opened up, covering up half of that face that was more beautiful than anyone could be, and his light steps and longing eyes that should be pointed towards the main love interest, Liang Lang Jun, beside him, was all but tossed away upwards instead.
Xiao Feng Wu looked down, meeting Qin Ming Yue’s eyes, when he suddenly felt the railing below his hand vibrate and he looked over.
Not far away was a Gong-zi dressed in expensive robes, and beside him was a couple who could be no other than the pair of Tang She Jiang and Xu Cheng Bi.
The Gong-zi used his fan to knock on the railing and his expression was mocking, saying in an ungenerous voice,
“Is this not Xiao Feng Wu hmm? What a rare sight, what a rarity that I could see you here.
I’ve heard that you went to a shabby old physician’s store to become their main physician.
Is that the truth or just sprouted lies?”
Those with good eyes could recognize him as the Min family’s main son, Min Si Xing, now the head of the medicinal businesses in Yan Cheng.
He had never been on good terms with Xiao Feng Wu and now that he had a chance, he will use it to kick Xiao Feng Wu into a well, stomping on him at his lowest point.
Xiao Feng Wu patted away the melon husks in his hands and didn’t say anything, as when he had met Min Si Xing before, he would have just directly beat him with his fists, never wasting a breath.
Seeing him not speak a single word, Min Si Xing walked closer and swayed his fan back and forth as he said,
“These seats in Sheng De Lou are quite expensive, hmm, something that you in a poor little physician store wouldn’t be able to earn in half a year.
What? Had the officials not sealed up your home all clean and taken away everything? Do you have quite a lot of dirty money left?”
The one who spoke was Xu Cheng Bi, as she took a step forward, not looking at Xiao Feng Wu.
The pearl hairpin by the side of her head shifted slightly, and the side of her face was highlighted to look as clean as jade as she said,
“The respectable you and my Fu-jun still need to talk business, why bother caring about those who don’t matter.”
Min Si Xing lit up as if a lightbulb flashed in his head, and he clapped his hands.
Seeing how Tang She Jiang’s face had slightly changed, he only said,
“Love’s still here.”
Hearing this, Tang She Jiang exploded and shot out like an arrow to grab his collar and said,
“What did you say?!”
Min Si Xing’s fan shook and rang out with a noise, yet the person being grabbed was indifferent,
“Tang She Jiang, your business still depends on mine.
Be a little more respectable.
Besides, what did I say that was incorrect? Lady Xu had quite the fated road to walk down with Xiao Feng Wu these past years, and everyone from the top to the bottom of this city knows.”
Xu Cheng Bi was frozen in place, her face unable to keep up her previous expression, in disbelief that her chiming in could attract such trouble.
She pulled on Tang She Jiang’s hands and lightly said,
“Fu-jun, it’s fine, it’s fine.
Don’t lose anything because of this.”
Tang She Jiang’s veins were about to pop out, tugging on Min Si Xing and unwilling to let go.
Seeing this, Xiao Feng Wu grabbed a peanut and with a “shu”, flung it right over to Min Si Xing, hitting him right in the eye.
With a painful cry, Min Si Xing covered his eye and stumbled backwards, knocking against the chairs and tables.
“Xiao Feng Wu! You were raised by a fucking dog!”
The peanut was thrown with quite a bit of force, but Min Si Xing’s eye was not damaged as it only hit his eyelid.
There was blood however, and with his servant’s help, he rose back up and pointed at Xiao Feng Wu in a rage,
“You you you…..what courage you have! I will tear your skin apart and whip all your organs! When you’re crumpled and shriveled up, I will throw you into the sea to feed the fishes!”
Xu Cheng Bi quickly pulled Tang She Jiang backwards, her eyebrows furrowed and looking quite worried.
Xiao Feng Wu flipped over and sat right on the railing.
He stared at Min Si Xing’s finger pointing at him, as if he had discovered quite the joke and nibbled on some melon seeds as he shook his head,
“Not bad, not bad.
I’m only afraid that before you can skin me and whip my organs, you yourself will be infected with blisters all over your skin and bounce right into becoming the living dead.”
He had great martial arts, this Min Si Xing knew so he did not dare to step forward.
He only pushed the servant behind him,
“You dare to scare me! Go, you go! Teach that fucking piece of rabbit meat a lesson!”
The servants he had around him were quite big bodied and they looked to be quite good fighters as they stepped forward without hesitation.
Yet before they moved, they were stopped by a hollering voice,
“How presumptuous! This is Li Yuan Theatre.
What did you think this place is, daring to fight in the broad daylight?!”
The crowd all thought, who could be so bold as to stop Min Si Xing and they all looked over before realizing that it was Chen Shao-ye, the District Magistrate’s son, and behind him was a Qin Ming Yue who had not taken off his stage clothes.
Min Si Xing did not fear such a tiny little district magistrate family, but he would not step on their toes so blatantly.
He reached up with his hand to stop his servants and words came out through his gritted teeth,
“Chen Gong-zi, what are you going to do with this piece of work Xiao Feng Wu hitting me?”
“Ah ah ah, don’t say words that aren’t true, Who here saw me touch him?”
Xiao Feng Wu flipped down from the railing and showed off his empty hands,
“I had sat right here the entire time, keeping quite a distance from you at all times.”
Min Si Xing shouted in rage,
“You just used a peanut shell to hit me!”
Hearing his reply, Xiao Feng Wu slightly raised his eyebrows and he walked over with his hands behind his back.
Min Si Xing quickly scampered backwards in fear,
“You you you……what do you think you are doing?!”
Xiao Feng Wu grabbed some peanuts from a nearby bowl and threw them in his mouth,
How about I let you hit me back with a peanut shell?”
“What a waste of words!”
Min Si Xing was about to get a stroke from his anger.
Those who have practiced martial arts and those who haven’t, could their power be the same?
Chen Shao-ye turned his head around, looking to ask for Qin Ming Yue’s opinion.
He pulled on Qin Ming Yue’s costume and asked in earnest,
“Ming Yue, what do you think we should do?”
Qin Ming Yue pulled back his sleeves.
With his eyelashes so small and clustered together, each movement he made could make them tremble slightly, almost as if butterflies were spreading their wings.
Even if his expression did not look good, his voice was very soothing to hear,
“Nothing, but to ask, for such a good play in the theatre, why would Min Gong-zi come to ruin this for the crowd.
Look at all these chairs and tables that have been flipped and scattered all over the place.
Have I offended you somehow?”
Min Si Xing’s face grew red like a rotten tomato.
He didn’t make a sound for a while and seeing this, Chen Shao-ye quickly said,
“Alright, it wasn’t a big deal, so there is no need to keep fighting or otherwise all of you will be thrown in jail for a couple of days and beaten quite a few times!”
Xiao Feng Wu didn’t care and he looked quite indifferent, but he did give a meaningful look at Min Si Xing.
Then he looked at Qin Ming Yue, and then at Chen Shao-ye before flipping right over the railing to jump down onto the first floor in the midst of everyone’s cries of shock, leaving without a trace.
Chen Shao-ye didn’t pay him much mind, only gently saying,
“Ming Yue, look, now that there is no one ruining the show, would you go back and sing again?”
With his face full of makeup, the moment Qin Ming Yue turned, the butterfly hairpin in his hair trembled slightly and he used his sleeve to cover up his face as he lazily sighed.
He causally swept a glance over Chen Shao-ye and weakly turned to walk down the stairs,
“No, I have no more interest in doing so.”
Chen Shao-ye’s mind had flown away with his soul by Qin Ming Yue’s little side glance and he stood frozen on the spot, unmoving, and his senses did not come back for quite a while.
Quite a few people had come for Qin Ming Yue, and with the drama that just happened, they had not been listening to him.
Seeing him unwilling to sing again, they all sighed with despair and said, what a crowd ruiner and cursed out Xiao Feng Wu and Min Si Xing in their hearts.
Qin Ming Yue took off his makeup and quickly rushed back to where he saw Xiao Feng Wu sitting in the hallway, talking with Zhong Bo.
Who knows what he was on about but when Xiao Feng Wu saw him come in, he could no longer hear a sound.
Qin Ming Yue snorted and spoke with a weird undertone,
“And what were you running away so fast for just now, was there a wolf chasing you?”
Xiao Feng Wu waved his hands in the air and shook his head,
“No, no, I only saw that Chen Shao-ye looking at you with so much love, I did not dare to bother the both of you.”
Qin Ming Yue’s face slightly changed, and for whatever reason, he started laughing again.
He walked over to sit beside Xiao Feng Wu and said,
“What, you jealous?”
“Can you smell it? What a strong scent of vinegar.”
Although he didn’t know if he was speaking the truth or not, Qin Ming Yue’s heart was happy and he lightly knocked at Xiao Feng Wu with his shoulder,
“I could see very clearly from below, that Lady Xu had even helped you.
Technically speaking, should I not be jealous!”
Xiao Feng Wu looked towards him,
“Let me see you being jealous?”
Qin Ming Yue looked at him, smiling yet it was as if he was not.
When the old servant was not paying attention, he shuffled over to quickly kiss Qin Ming Yue,
“Hmm, not sour, smells very good1.”
Qin Ming Yue did not shy away or become embarrassed, only saying,
“Truly so shameless.”
And then urged Xiao Feng Wu again,
“Min Si Xing is a vicious man.
Today you pulled his face down, tearing away his pride, who knows when he’ll return to take it back.
Don’t leave the house for the next couple of days.”
Xiao Feng Wu thought about it for a bit,
“Should I go and poison him to death tonight?”
Qin Ming Yue: “……”
Poison was impossible, as after all, it was only a joke.
Zhong Bo was going to make dumplings today, the dough he made just about rested at noon.
In the afternoon, he went to the market to buy some meat to chop up with some vegetables for the filling.
The water in the pot just started boiling when he heard a kick at the door.
For him, someone who was almost deaf, to hear the sound, the action must have been quite loud.
Zhong Bo just walked out of the kitchen when he saw the front door fall down.
And then a gang of servants rushed in, carrying waterfire sticks2, and shocked as he was, he stumbled and ran back, hiding underneath the stove.
Xiao Feng Wu heard the sounds as well and his eyebrows furrowed slightly, thinking about something before they smoothed back out.
He held Qin Ming Yue down, signaling for him to not worry.
The room was pushed open and a group of servants along with an old man crowded around the entrance way, not leaving a single inch of space between them and blocking any chance of escape.
Qin Ming Yue was surprised, recognizing that this was the Min family head, Min Shang Shan, and he looked back at Xiao Feng Wu.
Xiao Feng Wu was very calm himself and even took the time to pour himself a cup of tea,
Min Shang Shan’s face was glowering with a shadowed face, and he walked over, sitting right across Xiao Feng Wu:
“Since you call me uncle, I will shamelessly acknowledge the hierarchy of our relationship.
Si Xing could be considered as your half brother, and whatever past conflicts you both had, I do not care and will consider it as fights between youngsters, looking past them.
But the Min family only has this son, and no matter in a million years, through heaven or hell, you should not have cursed him as such.”
Xiao Feng Wu sipped his cup of tea,
“Uncle, what do you mean? Your nephew does not understand.”
Min Shang Shan narrowed out his eyes, and then slammed his fist down on the table, causing the candle on top to flicker,
“He fought with you today at Sheng De Lou, and when he came back, he fell ill, his entire body covered in red bumps and blisters, burning with a high fever, like a person on their deathbed.
I have invited all of the top physicians from Yan Cheng’s 32 apothecaries and all of them said they are powerless!”
Xiao Feng Wu hummed in acknowledgement, not looking at him, and instead had quite the interest to stare at Qin Ming Yue’s changing face,
“And what’s it to do with me?”
Min Shang Shan’s chest was heaving irregularly, and his teeth were tightly gritted as he glared at Xiao Feng Wu as if he had lasers in his eyes,
“Today, have you not cursed my son in the bright and open public eye to be filled with blisters and bumps all over his body, turning him into a living dead person?”
Xiao Feng Wu nodded his head, and then counted his fingers, saying,
“Yes, but that’s not the only time.
I’ve cursed quite a lot of other people too.”
“Don’t try to play games with this old man here!”
Min Shang Shan flung his sleeves in anger as he rose and said to his servants,
“Take him with me! I, Min Shang Shan, only have this one son, and if he’s dead, I have nothing to live for, and I will bring the culprit who instigated this with me!”
Hi all, Plum here.
Here’s the last chapter of the year! We’ll see you with Chapter 133 on Jan 8, until then Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
*1 As you might have remembered from previous volumes, vinegar = jealousy, so their whole conversation is using vinegar/the sourness of the smell as to mean being jealous
*2 waterfire sticks: I’m not sure why it’s called water fire, but it’s basically a specific type of plank/bat thing that is used to “punish” criminals or use them to force confessions for their crimes.
They’re usually black at the bottom and red at top and usually associated with guards/”soldiers” who work for officials who could also be a judge at a court (basically an official who manages an area also has their own “court” for judgment).
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