Chapter 284: The First Open-Contest!
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Novel Saga
The Emperor sighed. He knew he wasn't going to get any answers from Fatty today... [Isn't he too fluent? It seems as if he's singing a song?] His majesty was bored and exhausted by now. He went back to the Imperial Throne, sat down and frowned.
He had previously risen from his seat, clasped his hands behind his back and stood in front of Tang Yuan. He had aimed to show his overwhelming majesty to Fatty with help of his huge hall and put some psychological pressure on him. This ploy had started on a successful note when he had gotten up. However, it stopped working after he got up and asked the question since he had gone exactly according to Jun Mo Xie's predicted sequence of moves.
Fatty Tang's heart was awash with admiration for the Young Master Jun. That feeling counteracted the Emperor's efforts. Therefore, pressurizing the Fatty turned out to be useless.
"I got it; you can leave now," The emperor was tired. He used one hand to massage his head, and the other to lightly wave outwards.
It was a dream-like pardon to Fatty Tang. His body relaxed considerably; [Heaven and earth! This fire has passed at last!] He was on the verge of standing up to express his gratitude. Suddenly, the Emperor raised his eyes. His arrow-like sharp gaze shot straight at Tang Yuan as he got straight to the point, and put forth a conjecture, "Was this Jun Wu Yi's idea?"
Tang Yuan had barely gotten up on his legs; his mind was relaxed, and he had lost his strength. Therefore, he started to panic after he heard the word 'Jun' when the Emperor asked him that question. He hadn't properly heard everything else the Emperor had spoken. He had lost his mind out of fear, and stood there dumbfounded. His big mouth turned into a large circle as he subconsciously exclaimed, "What?!"
His Majesty, the Emperor looked at Tang Yuan and smiled slightly, "Could that be the case?"
At the same time; on the other side... Jun Mo Xie took two steps and called-out as he waved, "Hello face-covering-shameful-youngster!" he had called-out to Li You Ran.
Li You Ran halted. He remained in his place as he waited for Jun Mo Xie to arrive. There were many other youngsters who wanted to accompany him and waited, but he lightly waved at them. He didn't speak a single word, but his gesture had clearly indicated his desire.
He had conveyed his intentions; like a cloud in the weak wind. However, his companions didn't mind and continued to walk. This was an incorporeal majesty. He saw the same look in Jun Mo Xie's eyes as well. The fact was that he had always been adorned in this manner. In fact, he thought that such adornment was the norm.
Every movement of Li You Ran's was skillful and full of grace. It seemed as if they were made by the heavens themselves. He moved in a manner which belied his freedom from vulgarity.
His eyes flashed with an unusual color as he looked at Jun Mo Xie unenthusiastically. It had dullness... it had aggression and it had fear... but it passed in a flash.
"I don't know that the Third Young Master Jun would have some rare advice for me?" Li You Ran sounded neither too intimate, nor too estrange. His voice neither sounded too loud, nor too faint. But he had spoken this in discomfort.
"Your mannerism is good; it requires a little family education. And since this Young Master has arrived... he'll give you some advice," Jun Mo Xie talked drivel.
"Kindly tell." Li You Ran's eyes had a joyful expression, and his tone was sonorous. "I shall listen to the Young Master's words attentively. You Ran, is honored to listen to you."
"I wanted to ask you something; you wear that veil the entire day... don't you feel tired? Doesn't it get too hot? Isn't it very shameful? Or do you plan to harass innocent women?" Jun Mo Xie slanted his eyes and opened his mouth provocatively, "Or has your face been disfigured?"
Li You Ran never appeared in public. He was a bit older than Jun Mo Xie, and his reputation was more profound as well. He intimidated several people, but this Young Master was a very curious case. In some respects, the Young Master Li even feared of the consequences when it came to the Young Master Jun.
[This Li You Ran guy is too phony. His thoughts are too profound and shrewd; they are enough to scare people. It's like he's always planning inside his head. However, he always maintains the same calm, modest and a decent image on the surface.] The Hit-man Jun was always wary of a man who carried a big smile and dubious intentions.
Heavens knew when he would start to plan against him...?
The Hit-man Jun had never feared an evildoer, a madman, a gentleman, a strong hero or even a down-right villain. But what he feared the most, and was most disgusted by was - a hypocrite.
Li You Ran was a hypocrite; a high-level one at that. His hypocrisy was such that he seemed genuine and honest. His level of hypocrisy was so high that he had developed proficiency in it.
Jun Mo Xie had just chided Meng Fei, and had abused everyone else who was considered Li You Ran's younger brother. However, Li You Ran hadn't responded in any manner. He had intentionally or otherwise observed himself. He had examined himself closely! He had felt a faint sense of fear.
[Is Li You Ran is on-guard against me? Or has he discovered something else?]
Therefore, Jun Mo Xie made a prompt decision to show initiative, and decided to probe him a bit. He would observe Li You Ran's behavior from then-on, and see how he conducted himself while responding to questions that were asked with a good intention.
"The Third Young Master has guessed it right! My face has been disfigured!" Li You Ran's eyes flashed with sadness. He didn't think that Jun Mo Xie was causing trouble for him. His voice was dull as he answered. It seemed that he was on-guard, but didn't think that Jun Mo Xie was worth getting mad at.
"Take that rag-off and let me have a look!" Jun Mo Xie carefully scrutinized the veil before he gave a frivolous command, "I haven't seen how elder brother looks after his face's disfiguration. I had heard you were quite handsome before. What a pity!"
Jun Mo Xie had another reason behind these actions. He recalled that Li You Ran had spared no efforts to pursue Princess Ling Meng. He had observed the way Li You Ran had looked at Princess Ling Meng at the Aristocratic Hall, and it was obvious that Li You Ran was deeply devoted to her.
This at least... wasn't false.
[However, when it came to his own interest... he didn't hesitate to put the woman he loved so dearly to death, and then he moved on! So much so that he hasn't even gone in seclusion post it!]
The Young Master Jun could never forget that Lei Jian Hong and the others were Li You Ran's senior disciples. They were involved in that matter with Princess Ling Meng, but it was surely on his instigation.
This was one of his aims behind going to that hideout while being disguised as the 'Sky Xuan Peak Throwing Knife Expert'. He had a vague feeling that Li You Ran would sacrifice the woman he loved so dearly for the sake of procuring some information about the mysterious man he considered a threat to his plans.
[It was merely to gather some intelligence!]
[His feelings aren't fake. However, he discarded them like an old shoe!]
Jun Mo Xie believed that such a person wasn't fit to be called a 'man'. He could only be called a 'scum'; an anomaly. Yet, his bearing was honorable and graceful on the surface. It was perfect and aloof. This fact made Jun Mo Xie even angrier.
[Can't you act like a vile creature openly like I do? You like to play tricks to deceive people like that?]
[Therefore, I will tear down your mask!]
[I will expose your true colors!]
The two young men were immensely talented and smart. They were about to confront each other. One was a pure hoodlum, while the other had unsurpassed grace. And both of them were hidden behind masks of pretenses. However, neither knew who'd unmask whom first.
This had become a contest.
"My disfigured face is an eyesore." Li You Ran looked at him in a tranquil manner and smiled, "The Young Master Jun would know if he'd slash his flower-petals-like cheeks with two blades and then go home to look in the mirror."
"Really?" Jun Mo Xie drew that out on his face as he gave Li You Ran a sidelong look. "Young Master Li; your thoughts and knowledge are indeed very profound. However, even though this young master wanted to see it... he wanted to know one thing first - you used to be very handsome, but you can't appear in public now. How does it feel? Exciting?"
Li You Ran's self-restraint was repeatedly being tested by the Third Young Master Jun. This was slowly inciting anger within his heart. His smile and expression became cold as he replied, "Yes; very exciting. It's a very pleasurable feeling. In fact, I can lend a hand and make you feel like you're in seventh heaven if the Young Master loathes missing out on the opportunity..."
"Ha Ha Ha...!" Jun Mo Xie laughed loudly as he patted Li You Ran's shoulder. He then exclaimed, "Young Master Li is a kindred spirit! I wasn't aware of it. I've indeed missed so many deeds; Elder Brother You Ran is exceptional! You've just reminded this little brother of the time he spent at the Night Willow in the Spirit Fog Lake. Ha Ha! We both are intimate with the red light district; this little brother doesn't know when the Elder Brother You Ran will show him his many unique skills?"
People who had walked away turned their heads to look at them. Some people had recognized the Tian Xiang City's 'number one publicly recognized gifted scholar' - the Li Household's Young Master Li You Ran. The shocking fact that he was discussing a prostitute openly was big news to everyone. Moreover, he seemed to be experienced in such matters. What was more... the Capital's 'number one debauchee' was bowing to him. This was genuinely unexpected.
A look of anger flashed in Li You Ran's eyes. He looked at Jun Mo Xie and said, "I'm quite young in this regard despite being the elder brother. How could I even compare to the Third Young Master Jun? I must gracefully admit defeat in this regard. The Young Master Jun is exceptional in this matter. In fact, he is quite... outstanding!"
"Oh? Am I really that awesome? You're truthfully saying that? I like it when others praise me," Jun Mo Xie shrugged his shoulders with excitement and laughed with genuine happiness.
"For example, the Third Young Master helped Tang Yuan win his fiancée back with his unparalleled gambling streak. That was truly amazing!" Li You Ran lowered his head and looked at his own shoes; it seemed as if he was pondering about something. But it seemed that he had understood something very clearly by the time he had finished that sentence.
"Oh? Yes, that's true! The God of fortune was with me; there was nothing that could've been done to stop me!" Jun Mo Xie looked at him in an interested manner.
"Again for example... the Young Master Jun and Tang Yuan had beaten Qin Xiao Bao one afternoon. The Northern City Gang was annihilated the next night," There was a faint smile on Li You Ran's Face as he wandered forward. It seemed like he wasn't looking at Jun Mo Xie. But the Hitman's sixth sense told him that Li You Ran was looking at his own reflection in Jun Mo Xie's eyes; as if in a mirror.
"The Northern City Gang had done a lot of evil things. So, the heavens would act. That and the other trivial things... I didn't hold them very important. However, I observe that they seem to be worthy of repeated mentions by Young Master Li," Jun Mo Xie puckered his eyebrows. "It seems that the Young Master's and the Northern City Gang's relations weren't that shallow."
Li You Ran gave a long smile before he spoke, "For example... the Third Young Master Jun had passed his judgment in the Magnificent Jewel Hall, and had made Li Zhen spend a huge amount of money to buy that extremely precious jade coral..."
Li You Ran smiled and looked at Jun Mo Xie gently. Then, he spoke in a deep voice, "However, I didn't expect that it would accidentally explode post its purchase..."