Chapter 27 Part 2
That afternoon, Xi Jia burned a reading machine and over ten spirit stones filled with yin energy for Ziying. The yin energy in each spirit stone was enough to rival a 500-year malicious ghost. However, when Ye Jingzhi extracted the yin energy from Xi Jia, the yin energy on him hardly decreased.
His yin energy seemed like a bottomless pit. No matter how much was taken away, there was a unending stream of yin energy climbing onto his body from the floor, seeping in little by little.
After Ye Jingzhi used his magic techniques, Xi Jia burned the things to send over in S City, and Ziying received them in Chang’an. Xi Jia carefully explained a bit to Ziying on how to use the reading machine as well as how to use the yin energy to recharge the reading machine.
The two of them chatted for a good while. Right when Xi Jia was ready to end the call, Ziying lightly laughed, “Father Emperor woke up yesterday.”
Xi Jia was greatly astonished, “That quickly? Didn’t you say it would be at least a year?”
Ziying’s gentle voice sounded in Xi Jia’s mind, “I underestimated Father Emperor’s strength and also the Palace of Eternal Life that State Preceptor Xu had skillfully constructed for Father Emperor. Yesterday, Father Emperor woke up. I had never thought that he would come see me. When I saw Father Emperor, I was a bit lacking in manners.”
Xi Jia curiously asked, “What did you do?”
In Xi Jia’s impression, he and Ziying didn’t interact often, but the other person was a steady and mature person who knew and followed etiquette. Ziying, who was upright and honest, unexpectedly would be rude in the First Emperor’s presence?
Ziying was a bit ashamed. Xi Jia had to ask again before he answered, “At that time, I was reading the seventh book of the mathematics textbooks. There were many things in that textbook that I had never thought of before, such as the problem of chickens and rabbits in the same cage. The problem is written in classical Chinese, and I understood it quickly, using a quarter of an hour to produce an answer. But the solution method in this book is quite fascinating, simple, and convenient. I could not help but be fascinated. I didn’t even know that Father Emperor had come, and I forgot to salute to Father Emperor. Fortunately, Father Emperor was not angry and did not punish me.”
After spending a few days, Ziying had learned the simplified Chinese characters and even finished reading the elementary language textbooks. However, he had been reading the mathematics textbooks for a long time. Even now, he had only read up to the fourth grade.
Xi Jia ruefully said, “Ziying, if you’re placed in our period, you’ll be a true liberal arts student. Your talent in language is extremely great, and you have learned the simplified characters in just a few days. Maybe you will learn English very quickly too.”
“Lord has praised too much, Ziying feels undeserving of the praise.”
Talking about studying, Xi Jia and Ziying continued to chat for a while. In the end, he asked without thinking it through, “Oh, that’s right. Since the First Emperor woke up, what is he doing right now? He isn’t thinking about leaving the Mausoleum, right?”
After he asked this question, a full ten minutes had past, and Ziying didn’t reply.
Xi Jia asked again in surprise, “Ziying?”
Coughing twice, Ziying lowered his voice and said quietly, “Yesterday, Father Emperor saw me reading the seventh book of mathematics. He asked me what I was doing, and I told the truth. Father Emperor thought it was not worth doing. He said that I’m too slow-witted, not as good as Fusu, and also can’t compare with Huhai. He completely looked down on these simple practical problems.”
Speaking to here, Ziying paused. There was actually no inferiority or sorrow in his voice, only carrying a trace of helpless smile, “Father Emperor said that the reason why I am unable to accomplish anything but likely to spoil everything is because my thoughts are placed on these novelties. Extra thoughts should not be placed on these things, only a single glance is required to solve it. When a man places his gaze on the lands underneath the heavens, he must not cling to minor problems.”
Xi Jia, “So, what is the First Emperor doing right now?”
Ziying stifled his laughter and said mockingly, “Father Emperor left with the sixth grade math book. Now, I also do not even know what he is doing.”
The outcome was completely different from his imagination, and Xi Jia asked in astonishment, “The sixth grade math book?”
“En, then Father Emperor very contemptuously asked me to go over to his Palace of Eternal Life and report to him what a linear equation with two variables is.”
Xi Jia, “……”
Ziying added another big blow, “I saw that Father Emperor seemed to be pondering over a problem called cows eating grass. He ordered the ghosts of soldiers in the Mausoleum to act as cows and grass to help him solve this problem. Father Emperor said that he will solve this completely meaningless novelty and tell me the answer. Now, I’m waiting for Father Emperor’s answer. However, I think Father Emperor may not be able to solve this problem.”
Xi Jia, “……”
Ziying, you’ve changed! What happened to bragging about the First Emperor?
What happened to boasting about the First Emperor in this life, without turning back a whole lifetime?
Right now, you are actually ridiculing your own family’s Papa First Emperor that his math is poor!
After parting with Ziying for merely ten-some days, Xi Jia felt that Ziying seemed to be much more cheerful.
Unsure if he was changed by the textbooks of Huaxia’s nine years of compulsory primary education or if he finally untied the knot in his heart and was accepted by the First Emperor, personally bringing him back home. Xi Jia deeply thought for a long time, determining: En, it’s definitely the elementary school textbooks bringing such a large impact on Ziying that his dad saw a broader sky.
After this incident, Xi Jia prepared to buy some literature masterpieces to burn for Ziying, such as The Principles of Marxism, The Important Thoughts of Three Represents, and The Scientific Outlook on Development……Perhaps after reading these books, Ziying would completely adjust and turn his head, throwing himself into the new society of civilization construction of harmony, prosperity, and democracy.1
After solving Ziying’s problem, Xi Jia told Ye Jingzhi that the First Emperor had woken up. Ye Jingzhi informed everyone in the Xuanxue world about the situation. As expected, these seniors got quite a scare and lost their heads out of fear. A huge group of people ran to Chang’an again, preparing to add another 100 barriers outside of the Mausoleum.
The days passed by quickly, and two-thirds of April had past. By the last third of the month, Xi Jia was in the middle of playing on his phone at home when he suddenly received a call.
“Brother Jia! Not good, aren’t you in S City right now?”
Xi Jia hadn’t contacted Chen Tao for a long time. He was under the impression that Chen Tao had called to find him to shoot a movie. He didn’t expect the other’s tone to be so impatient as if he had encountered something difficult.
Xi Jia became serious and said, “I’m in S City. What’s the matter, did something happen?”
Chen Tao was stunned, asking, “You don’t know what happened?”
Xi Jia perplexedly asked back, “Aren’t you the one who called me? How am I supposed to know what happened?”
Chen Tao hastily spoke, “The matter has become so big, and you actually don’t know? It’s Wang Ru and Li Xiao, do you still remember them? They’re our college classmates, the neighboring Class Two. We often get together to eat. Li Xiao’s dorm room’s next to ours. Didn’t our two dorms regularly met for communal meals?”
Listening to Chen Tao saying this, Xi Jia carefully thought back and recalled the two people from the corners of his memories with great difficulty.
When Xi Jia was little, he followed his father to S City. He went to high school and college in S City, and could be considered as half a local. When he went to school in S City, Xi Jia had entered a “temple of monks” that was well-known in the school, the computer science department. At that time, the entire computer science department had three classes, and there were only six female students altogether. Among them was the department flower, Wang Ru of Class Two.2
During college, because the Mt. Tai stone couldn’t hide the yin energy that was getting stronger with each passing day, Xi Jia rarely interacted with his classmates. He only had fun with Chen Tao more often. However, Chen Tao was a fairly lively person. He was very amiable within the department and was full of friends. In order to not let his good brother become too reclusive, he often took him to participate in various gatherings.
Precisely due to Chen Tao’s existence, Xi Jia didn’t get completely ignored by his classmates.
Wang Ru was the department flower of the computer science department. Compared to her, Li Xiao was very ordinary and completely didn’t stand out. However in their third year, this average-looking boy with glasses unexpectedly started dating the department flower, causing an uproar in the school all of a sudden. Only now did Xi Jia have some impression of him.
Xi Jia’s voice was calm, “I remember them. What happened, did something happen to them?”
Chen Tao said, “Wang Ru and Li Xiao married once they graduated college. I said this to you before, right? Last year, I even went to their wedding. Brother Jia, at that time, you wouldn’t go no matter what. You’re clearly in S City. You didn’t come and our classmates even talked about you.”
Those few days were in the middle of the seventh lunar month when the demon gate opened. The yin energy on Xi Jia was too strong. He didn’t dare go out to meet anyone, fearing the yin energy would get onto other people.
Chen Tao spoke again, “Among our college classmates, half of them lives in S City. Last last week, a major case happened in S City. All of S City were commenting, it was even a hot topic on the Internet for several days. You actually didn’t pay any attention to it? The one who died is Li Xiao! The one who killed him is Wang Ru!”
Xi Jia was startled all of a sudden.
On the phone, Chen Tao was still talking, “Today, I received the class monitor’s WeChat that tomorrow is Li Xiao’s funeral. I’m shooting in T Province right now and can’t go. Brother Jia, do you want to go? Besides, you’re also in S City. When we had just graduated for a year, Li Xiao still got along pretty well with our dorm. And now he……now he had died so miserably. Can you go?”
Just as Chen Tao finished talking, Xi Jia received a WeChat. The class monitor had sent him a message, inviting him to attend Li Xiao’s funeral. The class monitor said that because Liao Xiao was murdered, his body had to undergo autopsy by a forensic doctor and investigated by the criminal police. It wasn’t until yesterday that he was returned to his family and was allowed to be buried. Everyone was once classmates. He hoped that Xi Jia would be present when sending Li Xiao on his journey. By all means, they shouldn’t made irresponsible remarks all over the place about the situation, and only peacefully coming to send their classmate off would be good.
Xi Jia looked at this message, his gaze slightly concentrating. He didn’t respond for a long time.
Through the speaker, Chen Tao’s voice came through, “Sigh, I remember last year during graduation, Li Xiao was especially happy and proposed to Wang Ru at the commencement ceremony in front of everybody. At that time, everyone was really happy. How did it become like this after only a year. Brother Jia, I know you don’t like to hang out with people. It’s just that Li Xiao……really died a bit too miserably. I used to have fun with him. If it’s convenient, can you help me send him off?”
Xi Jia put his phone back in his ear, saying in a low voice, “Don’t worry, I’ll bring your regards and attend his funeral.”
Chen Tao immediately said, “Great! Brother Jia, I’ll send you some money right now. Li Xiao’s family seems to be quite wealthy, but this is a bit of kind intentions from us classmates. Help me give them to aunt and uncle, okay?”
Xi Jia didn’t refuse Chen Tao’s good intention. He intentionally searched for an envelope in his drawer and put in Chen Tao’s 500 yuan. He also squeezed in 500 of his own. On the envelope, he wrote their names. Tomorrow at the funeral, he would deliver it to Li Xiao’s parents.
After doing everything, Xi Jia opened his phone to search up the case from half a month ago.
The moment Chen Tao mentioned this case, the news and interview that Xi Jia had seen on TV half a month ago appeared in his mind. At that time, he didn’t take note of the name of the deceased. He also didn’t expect that the person who died was actually his old classmate.
The Author has something to say:
The First Emperor: Our……Our math is not poor! Somebody come, arrange in a large formation of cows eating grass for Us!!!
1 改头换面 to adjust and turn his head – idiom that means to change superficially, cosmetic changes. (Also this paragraph, in case anyone mentions it…let’s not get too political about the book titles and ideologies. This a Chinese novel after all and meant to be funny. Imagine a 2000+ year old from the ancient era learning modern/new principles.) ↵
2 系花 Department flower – the prettiest of a school’s department, as opposed to the school flower, the prettiest in the whole school. ↵