Who Cares – Chapter 19
Chapter 19 Battle of Words
Because Xu Guangzhi wanted to make a name for himself, he secretly sent people to spread the news of the debate. He also invited many literary giants and big name to come to watch the battle and build momentum for himself.
The next day, when Guan Suyi hurriedly came to Wencui Building, it was already full of people. Fortunately, she was already prepared. Last night she spent a lot of money to secure a private room on the second floor by the railings, otherwise even shoved in with others there wouldn’t be other place.
Caught a glimpse of Old Master Guan and Father Guan sitting in the big hall, she quickly held the veil hat more securely and gathered the black gauze again, so as not to be recognized by them.
“Oh, honorable guest, you are finally here.” The shop assistant nodded and bowed to greet her, apologizing, “Honorable guest you see, our shop is overcrowded today, and the shopkeeper said that we can’t drive customers out, so we have to take it all in. At this moment not to mention place to sit, even there is no place to stand. The private rooms on the second floor has also been demolished and replaced with round tables. If you don’t mind, you can go upstairs and make do with others. If you mind, we will return the deposit to you.” He pointed out to the second floor, and his tone became more attentive, “In fact, it doesn’t matter. You look at it, everyone make do juts like this. Besides, we will return your deposit in full, and we will give you 20% off for tea and snacks, as well as a side dish for free. What do you think?”
Guan Suyi looked up, secretly surprised. The people of Yanjing were too idle, the huge Wencui Building was almost full. Not only the big hall on the first floor was crowded, but the second floor was also very lively. The private rooms on the second floor were all separated by screens. The shopkeeper thought it would take up too much space. At this moment, it had all been removed. When she looked around, she saw that the railing was full of people, and it was very dense.
At this time Xu’s Neo-Confucianism has not yet prevailed, so the separation of male and female were not very important. There were well-dressed noble ladies who shared a table with others, and there were even a few girls from Jiuli tribe who wore men’s clothes, mingling in the crowd and talking freely.
Guan Suyi was not a hypocritical person, she quickly agreed, and walked up with her head down.
At the corner of the second floor, a tall, handsome man was leaning against the railing, holding a small and exquisite hip flask in his hand, swaying from side to side with a leisurely look. Perceiving the shop assistant leading a woman wearing a veil hat into the shop, and frequently looking in this direction, he couldn’t help but raised his eyebrows and smiled, “Old Master Guan’s precious granddaughter is also here. Remember her? That’s your Zhaoyi niangniang who have no chance to enter the palace.” After he finished talking he took out a sandalwood Buddhist bead from his purse and threw it into the tray with a clang.
Hearing these words, the tall man who came with him also walked to the side of the railing and looked down, “She is wearing a veil hat, how do you know that’s the old man’s granddaughter?”
The handsome man did not answer, but only tapped the purse on his waist. The tall man seemed to snorted coldly, and seemed to have no response. He sat back to his original position with a golden sword, and continued to close his eyes and rest his mind. In the end, the handsome man couldn’t hold back anymore, and asked curiously, “I heard that Guan Suyi has a beautiful appearance, outstanding talent, and an exceptionally gentle and virtuous temperament. Such a good woman, how can you be willing to give it to that coward Zhao Luli?” After the words fell, he took another Buddhist bead from his purse and threw it into the tray.
The tall man raised his eyelids and said in a casual tone, “I saw her once, but I didn’t see her face clearly, but her eloquence was quite good. Compared with most women, she is quite knowledgeable. But she is Guan Qiguang’s granddaughter after all, I’m afraid I have no blessing to enjoy. It’s annoying to listen to Guan Qiguang talking about humanity and morality all day long, and his granddaughter’s tongue is even sharper. If I have to listen again when I go back to the harem, my teeth will be sour. No wonder you call Confucian scholars sour scholars, turns out it’s because of this, I finally understand.”
The tall man rubbed his eyebrows and seemed to have a headache. The handsome man laughed loudly, his expression very gloating.
While talking, the imperial guard guarding the periphery reported, “My lord, the shopkeeper brought someone to share the table, saying that this position was already reserved by that person, you see…”
The handsome man didn’t answer, just tapped the railing with his knuckles. The guard understood, waved his hand to let the shop assistant approach.
Guan Suyi carefully observed the guest who came before her. Although her face didn’t show it, she was slightly surprised inside. Never expected that the person who shared the table with her would be Qin Lingyun.
Qin Lingyun was now only a Marquis Zhenxi who had faded out of the court, and seemed to be in a similar situation with Zhao Luli, but in the future, he would become the sharpest knife in Emperor Sheng Yuan’s hands, and he would also become the first ruthless official of Wei who was notorious for shaking the whole Central Plains. He was a representative of the Legalism school. Not only was he eloquent and intelligent, but he also had sophisticated methods and deep scheming. In order to eliminated dissidents and consolidated imperial power for Emperor Sheng Yuan, he did many unsightly things.
When Guan Suyi died, this man was fighting with Xu Guangzhi in the dark, and she didn’t know who was winning in the end. In the last life, the people who died in his hands if it was not ten thousand then at least eight thousand. Because of this, he got the title ‘Living King of Hell’, which was said to be feared by everyone, but in Guan Suyi’s view, he was just a pitiful man with an unattainable love.
Speaking of which, Qin Lingyun’s tragedy was still somewhat similar to her experience. He lost his parent since he was young, and his elder brother was weak and sick with constant need of medicine. He was able to grow up safely, thanks to his sister-in-law. His sister-in-law, Li shi, was five years older than him. After marrying into the impoverished Qin family, she not only had to take care of her husband, raised her brother-in-law, but also plough the fields and planted crops, life was not easy. But she never complained, nor was she discouraged. Although she became a widow within a few years, she raised her brother-in-law safely and paid for his literacy study.
Qin Lingyun was someone who knew how to return kindness, and treated Li shi very affectionately, but because of his youthful spirit, he angered a local gentry and was forced to leave his hometown. And like Zhao Luli, he had quite a bit of luck, he unexpectedly formed a bond with Emperor Sheng Yuan. Since then, he abandoned his pen to join the army and rose up, vowing to fight back to his hometown for revenge. When he escaped he didn’t forget to take Li shi with him. The two people relied on each other for their lives, life and death together. Overtime they developed feelings for each other, at first, Li shi did not dare to agree because of ethics, but she was finally moved by his sincerity and prepared to remarry.
As a result, just when the two of them were about to get what they wanted, Xu’s Neo-Confucianism suddenly blew like a demonic wind, disturbed their happy occasion. Not to mention, the patriarch of the Li clan was an old Confucian student, and he was deeply influenced by Xu’s Neo-Confucianism, he actually deceived Li shi to return home, then secretly sunk her in the pond. When Qin Lingyun received the news and ran to save her, he only found a cold and stiff corpse. The heart-wrenching feeling was unimaginable.
After that, Qin Lingyun confronted Li clan, the world’s Confucian scholars, and even Xu Guangzhi, and his temperament became more and more violent. Guan Suyi died earlier than him, but she could foresee his ending, there were only these sentences – when every hope turns to dust, then just destroy everything.
Because fellow sufferers empathize with each other, and at this time Qin Lingyun had not yet lost his love, and his temperament had not changed drastically, so Guan Suyi did not evade, and walked slowly over to greet. “Guan Suyi rashly come to disturb, and hope for forgiveness, dare to ask who is your distinguished self?
Qin Lingyun did not answer, but instead looked at the tall man standing next to him who was pretending to be a guard. The man replied, “Qin Lingyun.”
“It’s actually Marquis Zhenxi, have long admired the name.” Guan Suyi once again cupsed her hand, and saw that shop assistant was about to move a screen between them, so she waved her hand and said. “No need, just put it there, block the view of the side table. We know each other.”
The shop assistant hurriedly placed the screen at the location she designated, and after getting the silver, he happily left. This was the corner closest to the wall, and the screen was used to block the sight of everyone on the other side of the railing, forming a space of its own.
Feeling that the surrounding area were much peaceful, Guan Suyi slowly took her seat, and then glanced at the tall man, thinking slightly. Qin Lingyun was eight feet tall and had a strong physique, but his personal bodyguard was half a head taller than him, and had a thick beard. The muscles on his chest and upper arms were bulging, with undulating vein lines, wearing the black uniforms to the point of bursting, and the pair of starry eyes were deep and unfathomable, implying evil spirits. He must be an expert who used to come and go in the blood and rain, and looking at his deep and sharp facial features, he must be a member of the Jiuli tribe.
In the last life, she heard that Qin Lingyun was protected by a guard from Jiuli tribe with outstanding martial arts. Guan Suyi made the connection between the person with the one in her impression, apart from secretly thought that this person was too powerful, she didn’t think much about it. The two sat leaning on a railing and looked down.
Guan Suyi pointed to Xu Guangzhi who was standing on the high platform, and said confidently, “If you haven’t place a bet, the Legalism school will undoubtedly lose.”
Oh, she started to challenge as soon as she came, really worthy of being the granddaughter of Old Master Guan. Qin Lingyun raised an eyebrow, seemingly dissatisfied. The tall man standing behind him opened his lips slightly, but did not speak.
Guan Suyi said a few words and saw that Qin Lingyun was always perfunctory, or nodded and shook his head, without uttering a word, she had already thought about it in her heart, and then took a glance at a few Buddhist beads in the tray, finally said, “Are you practicing a?”
Qin Lingyun looked surprised, as if asking her how she knew. Guan Suyi was also setting up suspense at this time, waved her hand and smiled without saying a word. This matter, she had listened to others discussing it in her previous life, if she hadn’t seen the Buddhist beads, she almost forgotten it. Come to think of it, Qin Lingyun had already confessed to his sister-in-law at this period of time, but he was sternly rejected by the other person, and kept telling not to mention it again in the future. Qin Lingyun felt pain and despair in his heart, but refused to embarrass his sister-in-law, so he began to meditate.
It was not so easy for common people to practice the closed-mouth mediation, if he was not attentive he would break the vows, so he prepared a purse, put a hundred Buddhist beads in it, every time he said a sentence he took out bead, and when the purse was emptied, even if it was killing him, he wouldn’t utter half a word anymore. At first, it was 100 sentences a day. After half a year, it was reduced to 10 sentences a day. After a year, he became completely mute.
Li shi was not ruthless towards him, how could she see him torturing himself so much, and after persuading him to no avail, she had to fulfill his extravagant request. Of course, extravagance was ultimately extravagant, and it was destined to be hopeless. Recalling the past, Guan Suyi couldn’t help but feel sad. Fortunately, the black veil covered her face, so Qin Lingyun didn’t see a clue.
Between their silence, the debate began. Standing on the high platform, Xu Guangzhi picked up the brush and wrote four characters on a huge wooden board —.
Confucianism advocated that the ancients follow rituals, while the legalism advocated that the ancients are lawless and does not inline with the present. Based on this, the two ideas were completely opposite. It could be seen that this was the subject of today’s debate. Qin Lingyun, who was sitting and drinking, showed a pensive expression. His personal bodyguard said in a hoarse and thick voice, “This topic is a bit interesting.”
Guan Suyi held her forehead with her hands, thought to herself, she only hated that she was Guan Qiguang’s granddaughter. Otherwise, she would represent the Legalism school and go down to fight with Xu Guangzhi, and she would definitely destroy his dream of being an extremely noble official.