“He just only went to sleep?” They had arrived a little too late. If they had not been stopped by Deng Tian earlier, they could have arrived on time. Liu Mang frowned. He did not have much time. There was a chance that his subordinate that was pretending to be him could be discovered. The longer this drags out, the more disadvantageous it would be for Liu Mang.
Kuai Ran smiled bitterly when he saw Liu Mang’s frown. He then spoke respectfully. “Uncle1 Chen. Can I trouble you to tell my uncle that his old friend is here to visit him?” Despite that, the man shook his head. “Young Master Kuai. You yourself know that nobody can disturb him after he has slept!” Kuai Liang was an inflexible person. He was stubborn and wouldn’t give way to others.
“Uncle Chen. Please help me inform him.”
“Young Master Kuai. The Lord simply detests being disturbed from his sleep.”
“Uncle Chen. Please help me inform him. You watched me grew up. Brother Wang here is my best friend. He came here to visit uncle and now he is being stopped here! Just once. Just inform him once alright?” Kuai Ran persuaded. It was true that this Uncle Chen once watched Kuai Ran grow up. In the past, the two Kuai brothers still lived together. Meanwhile, Kuai Ran was also the sole heir. Naturally, everyone would place Kuai Ran in their hearts. This Uncle Chen was one of those people.
Hearing this, Uncle Chen sighed “Alright. I will inform him once for you! Whether or not he comes out to see you, I will not do anything more!” Uncle Chen had no children so he pampered Kuai Ran as his own child. He was happy that Kuai Ran came to visit Kuai Liang’s residence.
“Thank you, Uncle Chen!”
“Wait here for a while. I will return after a moment.” Uncle Chen said. He cannot help but look at Liu Mang before leaving. There were not many people that had higher status compared to Kuai Ran while those of lower status could not climb high enough to socialize with him. While Kuai Ran’s relationship with Cai He was not bad, they were not type of people. On the other hand, the Huang Family were enemies and the chances of them becoming friends were even lower.
Kuai Ran used to be able to talk to Deng Tian but it was no longer possible after the destruction of the Deng Family. Uncle Chen was curious about Kuai Ran’s new friend.
Liu Mang nodded respectfully in reply to Uncle Chen’s gaze. This had nothing to do with status. It was simply a show of respect for the elderly.
Uncle Chen entered the room where Kuai Liang was lying down in bed. He had not quite fallen asleep yet. Kuai Liang’s wife had already passed away and Kuai Liang had not remarry. While age was one problem, Kuai Liang himself did not want to take a second wife. He did not want to take a young wife nor did he need to build connections through marriage. All of these can be done by his brother.
Kuai Liang had two daughters that he had already married off to others. Although they were not rich, they were talented. The Kuai residence also remained peaceful.
“Master Kuai!” Uncle Chen spoke carefully from outside Kuai Liang’s room.
“Hm?” Kuai Liang frowned. “What’s the matter?”
“Young Master Kuai Ran is here. He said he wants to see you!”
“Kuai Ran? Why is this boy here to see me so late at night?” Kuai Liang questioned
“I do not know.”
“It is already late. Prepare a place for him to sleep. I will see him tomorrow.” Kuai Liang ordered. He was happy that Kuai Ran came to see him. No matter what happens, Kuai Ran was his nephew and it was a good thing for his nephew to pay him a visit.
“Understood.” Uncle Chen nodded and left. He already reported to Kuai Liang as asked. Whether or not Kuai Liang came out was not something he could do anything about.
“Uncle Chen. How is it? Is my uncle willing to see us?” Kuai Ran quickly stepped forward to ask when he saw Uncle Chen appear. “Young Master Kuai. The Master has already slept. He asked for you to stay overnight and he will see you tomorrow morning.” Kuai Liang believed that work can only be done properly when one has proper sleep. So when it was time to sleep, he would postpone all matters to the following day. That way, he would not lose sleep worrying about those issues.
“In that case…” Kuai Ran felt disappointed. He initially thought that his uncle would delay sleep a little to see him but it seems that his uncle did not give face to him.
“Milord. What should we do?” Jia Xu asked Liu Mang. It would be better for them to see Kuai Yue as fast as possible but at the same time, they could not simply barge into people’s bedroom to wake them up.
“Brother Wang. I think we should just stay here first and then see him tomorrow!” Kuai Ran advised while shaking his head. He then asked Uncle Chen to prepare a place for him and Liu Mang to stay. After all, their group was quite big especially after counting all the guards, women, and the barbarian man.
Uncle Chen nodded and was about to prepare the rooms when Liu Mang stopped him.
“Wait!” Liu Mang said with a frown. Time was too precious to waste. They had wasted an entire day trying to avoid the spies. There was no telling when he would be able to settle his business if he kept delaying this. That was why it was better to meet Kuai Liang as quickly as possible.
“Is something wrong?” Uncle Chen asked. As Kuai Ran said that Liu Mang was his friend, Uncle Chen had a favorable impression of Liu Mang.
“Elder. Kuai Ran and I are good friends so allow me to call you Uncle Chen as well.”
“That cannot do!” Uncle Chen quickly waved his hand. Kuai Ran had reasons to do so as Uncle Chen had watched him grow up. Uncle Chen was like Kuai Ran’s elder. On the other hand, Liu Mang was a noble while Uncle Chen was just an old servant.
“Uncle Chen! Can you please go and inform him again?”
“Sir. I have already said that the Master has slept. If there is anything to discuss, please do it tomorrow!” The servant replied politely. He would not do so if Liu Mang had not been a refined person and was not Kuai Ran’s friend.
“That’s right. Brother Wang. My uncle has already gone to sleep. It would be difficult to wake him up.”
“No.” Liu Mang shook his head. “Please go and inform him. At least once!”
“The Master did not even get up because of his own nephew!” Uncle Chen replied. If Kuai Liang would not budge even for his own nephew, why would he do so for the nephew’s friend? Uncle Chen immediately rejected Liu Mang’s plea without a second thought. Besides that, both Kuai Liang and Uncle Chen had already seen all of Kuai Ran’s previous friends. Liu Mang was a new face.
“Uncle Chen! Please help me once. This is a very important matter. It concerns the survival of millions!” Liu Mang spoke the truth. Liu Mang came to Jingzhou because of the lack of provisions. Without it, the millions staying in Yangzhou would starve to death.
“This is…” Uncle Chen did not know how to reply. How was he supposed to say that millions of people are involved? Uncle Chen may not be well studied but even then, it was wrong to simply scare him like this. Uncle Chen studied Liu Mang’s impatient expression and believed that Liu Mang was telling the truth.
“Uncle Chen. Help Brother Wang once!” Kuai Ran also requested. He did not know how millions of people were involved but he owed Liu Mang too much.
“I…” Uncle Chen hesitated. Should he go in and inform Kuai Liang again? If he is going to do it, what should he say?
“Uncle Chen. Take this.” Liu Mang had Jia Xu give Uncle Chen a wooden box.
“What is this?” Uncle Chen looked at the box puzzlingly.
“Be careful. It is quite heavy.” Jia Xu warned.
When Uncle Chen took the object, he immediately felt its weight. It was heavy enough for him to feel strained even though he was carrying it with two hands.
“What is this?”
“This is just a token. If Mister Kuai Liang refuses to meet us, give this to him and he would understand.” Liu Mang replied.
“Alright. I understand.” Uncle Chen nodded. “Wait here while I get others to clean up your rooms! I will be back soon!” Uncle Chen ordered the other servants to clean up the rooms. He then went to Kuai Liang while carrying the box.
When Uncle Chen finally reached Kuai Liang he called out to his master respectfully from outside the room. Kuai Liang was already dozing off by then. Naturally, Kuai Liang became extremely annoyed from this act.
“Master. One of Kuai Ran’s friend wants to see you. He said it is an emergency!” Uncle Chen explained cautiously.
“Haha!” Kuai Liang suddenly laughed.
Uncle Chen started to feel more restrained after hearing that laugh. He knew that Kuai Liang had become angry.
“Chen Kang.2 How long have you been following me?” Kuai Liang suddenly asked a weird question.
“Master. I have been serving you for at least thirty years by now!” Chen Kang carefully replied.
“It has been thirty years! It has been such a long time!” Kuai Liang sighed. When Chen Kang joined the Kuai Family, the Kuai Family was still small. In the past thirty years, the Kuai Family grew from a small second grade family to one of the most influential family in Jingzhou. All of them had already grown old during this period.
“Yes, Master.” Chen Kang also became gloomy after hearing Kuai Liang’s words. The Madam had already left while Kuai Liang had also married off his two daughters. Right now, only he and Kuai Liang were left.
“If that is the case, then why did you wake me up? Do you not know me after thirty years?” Kuai Liang raised his voice in anger.
“Yes. Yes.” Chen Kang replied in fear. Kuai Liang was usually very good natured. However, when Kuai Liang’s principles is violated, he became very frightening.
When Chen Kang was about to leave, he remembered about the thing he was carrying. He gritted his teeth and added. “Master. Kuai Ran’s friend brought a wooden box. He asked you to look at it.”
“Chen Kang! Don’t make me repeat myself!”
“Master! I am going now! I will leave immediately!” Chen Kang became flustered. As a result, he dropped the heavy box.
The loud sound from the box hitting the ground made Kuai Liang even more displeased. Even worse, much to Chen Kang’s dismay, the contents of the wooden box rolled out and pushed open the door to Kuai Liang’s room.
Kuai Liang became angry as the door to his room was open. “Chen Kang! That is enough!”
“Master! This is my mistake!” Chen Kang quickly knelt down. Chen Kang knew that his usually good natured master was also a very decisive one. He had seen many die by Kuai Liang’s hand when he was younger. He regretted trying to be helpful to others and could now only await his punishment.
“Hm?” Kuai Liang frowned when he saw the token. “This is…”
“I will quickly take it away!” Chen Kang quickly moved to remove the token but then he was suddenly stopped.
“Where is the owner of this token?”
“He is at the hall.”
“Alright. Go and greet him. I will follow as soon as I change my clothes.”
“Eh?” Chen Kang became dumbfounded after witnessing his Master’s sudden change in attitude.
1. One of the various ways to address someone respectfully. NOT his actual uncle.
2. NOW they tell me his name. I am not going back to fix “Uncle Chen” in the narration despite how weird it may sound as part of narration.