Chapter 2: Supportive father, loyal friends --- Part 2

“Brother Chen, you died so needlessly!” The footsteps were far away, but this wailing cry had quite a strong piercing quality to it.

The rolling sound of footsteps accompanied this mournful howl.

Yes, rolling.

The person who was arriving – well, it would be more apt to call the person a meatball. The fleshy figure was almost the same width in all directions, and his body presented perfect curves, forming a meaty meatball.

The meatball had never been ashamed of his body, but was rather proud of it instead. He had once proclaimed that out of all 108 nobles, he was neither the most bravehearted and loyal nor the most intellectual and strategic, but that no one could rob his number one ranking for weight.

It was quite a feat for someone to have such a unique body, but his father had taken it one step further and given him an exceedingly feminine name – Xuan Xuan.

Two young men, roughly the same age, followed closely behind the meatball. Both of them wore tragic expressions of grief; it was apparent that they had come to pay their respects to Jiang Chen.

The meatball was out in front and strode quickly to the side of the coffin. With his bulk planted so firmly, no one else could even come close and could only hover in the background.

The meatball wiped away tears with one hand and continuously fished out things with his other, tossing them into the brazier already burning paper money as he did so.

“Brother Chen, this was your favorite, illustrated version of the Carnal Prayer Mat. I was self-centered before and refused to lend it to you. Now that you are gone and I have lost a fellow hobbyist, what use is this to me? I’m burning this to you so that you can read it down below if you’re bored. Remember, don’t be selfish like me. Sharing is caring.”

“And, this is a note for ten thousand silver. You were the one who resolved things with ten thousand silver the last time I gave in to my urges and accidentally got that girl pregnant. My dad would have immediately beaten me to death if he found out, but I never even got the chance to return this money to you…”

The meatball cried buckets of tears and snot as he grew even more broken hearted as he cried. He lay there on the floor, pounding the floor in great sorrow after burning the items.

Jiang Chen laid at ease in the coffin and made no sound. He also wanted to use this opportunity to observe these best friends.

Fatty Xuan Xuan was undoubtedly the most loyal, staunchest supporter of them all.

“Ah brother Chen, I am fine. However, that old Eastern Lu caned you to death. I do hereby swear that if I, fatty, ever inherit my old man’s Jinshan dukedom, I will never send a single soldier or horse to fight for that Eastern family’s cause for the rest of my life!”

At this moment the fatty turned around to glare at those behind him, heckling at them, “You there, are you best friends with brother Chen? Do you view brother Chen as a brother? Come swear before his memorial tablet if you do!”

The stalwart, dependable looking young man retorted back, “Fatty, do you think you’re the only one with loyalty? That I, the heir to Hubing dukedom, is lesser than you?”

With that, the young man also rushed to the altar and swore, “Brother Chen, I, Hubing Yue, do so swear that if I inherit the Hubing dukedom in the future, I will never send a single soldier or horse to fight for the Eastern family’s cause for the rest of my life!”

Seeing that the two had already sworn a solemn oath, that left the remaining splendidly dressed youth at a bit of loose ends.

“Yang Zong, is brother Chen your brother or not?” The meatball started to grow angry as he saw the richly dressed youth hesitate.

“Have you forgotten that it was brother Chen who stood up for you when you were bullied by Yan Yiming, the heir to the Yanmen dukedom, after arriving at the capital?”

“And that time when you failed to complete your mission to cultivate spirit level medicine ingredients, it was brother Chen who used his extra portion to fill in the gap for you. Did you know that because he gave part of his portion to you, his grade of excellent was changed to average?” The fatty’s anger grew as he spoke, until he was about ready to spring up, grab the richly dress youth’s collar and punch him.

Memories started fleshing out for Jiang Chen as fatty Xuan spoke. He was able to gradually reconcile the people before him with those in his memories.

Just as fatty Xuan started haranguing the other, quick footsteps sounded as the Jiang family butler came to the door. “Master Jiang, His Majesty the King has arrived with other nobles in order to pay his respects to the young master.”

“Pay his respects?” Fatty Xuan was livid.

“Is he shedding crocodile tears? Does he think burning a few sticks of incense will cover up the fact that he beat someone to death?”

Fatty Xuan could afford to be so brash. After all, Jiang Feng was a duke of the kingdom and could not engage in the same theatrics. Given that his son was not dead, he too was deliberating how to handle the aftermath.

His son’s life and position must be protected at all costs. This was Jiang Feng’s bottom line.

Jiang Feng was quite aware that as king, Eastern Lu would not feel apologetic about killing a noble’s son. One had to be coldhearted in order to reign as a monarch.

What he meant by paying his respects was undoubtedly a complete sham. An act that, on a deeper level, was to sound out Jiang Feng and warn him not to act rashly.

Obviously, Eastern Lu had no fear of Jiang Feng hating him, or even rebelling. However, as the ruler of a kingdom, he did not wish for such a thing to happen.

After all, who knew what other situations may develop if civil unrest began. And in fact, Jiang Feng had a few connections in the Eastern Kingdom.