Blank Sheet

True to your reputation, just not to your name.

Hello, my name is Jia Pangzi, and one day, I hope my name will be Congming Shuaiqi. My parents might whip me for being unfilial, and my grandmother might die of pneumonia, but too long have I suffered under the Jia family with the accursed name… Pangzi.

If only my parents loved me enough to bless me with the beautiful name, Jia Shuaiqi De Mingzi.

”accursed brother! How dare you steal the beautiful name that was meant to be mine! ”

”accursed parents! Were you disabled when you were picking out my name?! How dare you open your eyes only when you had my brother! ”

”young master? If you are done cursing out your family, can we go back to the old hou—

Who do you think you are, interrupting me. If anything, you should be crawling under my feet as you thank me for taking you in. I need a new rat…

”NO! I still need to complain about my grandparents! ” shouted the young master.

”please forgive this servant for interrupting you. ”

”well if you
e so sorry, why don you kneel? Show some sincerity? ”

The servant kneeled so flawlessly, it was as if he had rehearsed the scene over and over again.

”aren you forgetting something? ” asked the domineering Jia Pangzi.

The servant looked into the young masters eyes, his own eyes welling with either tears or water.

”please forgive this poor servant! He didn mean to commit such a grave sin! He will take responsibility and kill himself! ”

Hes been getting cocky, hasn he — this rat. Maybe it is about time I picked another one, preferably a woman. I heard they were better behaved and smarter than most men. Of course my rat budget isn very high this time, so… *sighs*

”it was fun at first, but now it is getting pretty repetitive and boring. I abuse you, you beg, I forgive. What was I thinking when I accepted such a play? I guess your time has come, my little rat. The head servant will give you some poison at dawn. Drink it. ”

”y-yes, y-young f— MASTER! ”

The last strand of tolerance the young master had for the
at he raised had finally broken.

”there is only so much I can tolerate, Shuai Pu Yi Hao! Insulting my name and spitting in my face?! You are supposed to respect your parents and teachers! Both of which, I am to you. Even so, you have no respect for me. If not for me, you would still be a rat in the slums eating your siblings and their children! ”

”please forgive this slave who forgot his place. ”

Unfortunately, he begged for mercy too late, for when the Pangzi decides to do something, he will get it done. So long as the rewards outweigh the cost, and if it was fun.

”whats the point in forgiving you? No matter how much pain I cause you, your death already been decided: dawn. ”

”y-you w-weren joking, young master? ”

Damned rat. How lowly do you think of me?! Despite my behavior and demeanor towards you, I am still the proud eldest son of the Jia family. How could a lowly rat dare to insult me?! I cannot believe how low our familys name has fallen! And all because of those damn bastards! Oh father, why did you have to fool around with those whores? If only you were heartless enough to discard the whores and their offspring that stain your past.

”whether I were joking or not, you will only find out at dawn. Come to my courtyard at dawn and I will give you the antidote for the poison. So long as you don die first, ” he said as he gave a snake-like smile to the trembling rat. ”lest your foster family suffer for your mistake. ”

The servant wasn the brightest person on the block, but he wasn stupid either. He seemed to have understood what the young Pangzi said, seeing as he soiled his pants.

”yes, thats right my dear Hao Hao. I know where all of them are. The whore in the red light district, the second bastards personal servant, the sick woman near the outskirts of town — if I remember right, she was the only person outside the orphans to care about you. ”

”if you dare defy my orders, I will have the guards drag the old woman around town, whipping her. Father obviously won approve, but he will only find out by the time that bitch dead. ” he said as he mocked the sobbing rat whose face had turned into a hideous mess as the master trailed off into a laugh.

”please young master! Anything but my family! Ill do anything you want! Anything at all! ” he screamed desperately.

”do not worry, Hao. I am not without a heart, you know? I am willing to forgive you and your family, as long as you come to me at dawn for the antidote. And don you dare tell father of this. ”

”thank you, master! Thank you so much! I promise to devote the remaining years of my life to you! ” said the blinded rat who forgot the one he devoted himself to was the very same man who had decided to kill him.

”now go back to the old house. Tell my father I am coming soon. ”

”yes, young master! ” shouted the blinded rat as he ran off into the town.

What a bore. Nothing has been good since they, the Cikes, have been frequenting the domains in this land. If father is behind it, he wants my hands pure. If not, someone wants the Shensheng family dead when they come tomorrow. Luckily, Cike Hao — the purifier of my hands — is among the group of Cike in this region.

Even if the thousand year war has ended in our victory, there is no reason for the Shensheng family to visit us. Instead, they could ask us to visit them instead — they have every right to do so.

Not that it matters. As long as my hands remain pure and my heart remains hidden, my face will show a great trash unworthy of notice.

The Pangzi made his way from the vineyard to the old house, where his family was. It was on the opposite side of town parallel to the vineyard he was in.

On the way to the old house, he made a detour as he got distracted by a girl on the outskirts of town between the makeshift sewage system separating the slums and town. She wasn beautiful in any way, but there was something about her that made him go an alternate path.

Her body, which was barely covered, was ridden with wounds and disease. As he got closer, he saw that she was drinking the piss water from the towns makeshift sewage system, in which the slum dwellers occasionally facate in. It was obvious to him she was being abused, but there is no need for the aristocrats to meddle in the commoners business. Well, most of the time, there isn .

By now, he was inside the slums which stretched on for thousands of Yin and littered with trash that the people called houses. He walked over to the girl who seemed a year or two younger than him and said, ”hey, little rat? Are you so desperate for drink that you can mix up the Gou Shi He for the Chunjing De Heliu? ”

(Gou Shi He = shit river, Chunjing De Heliu = pure river)

As if reminded of where it was that she was really drinking, she gagged and gagged as she tried to keep herself from vomiting. In the end, her muscles started twitching uncontrollably before she let it all out: a piece of half digested rotten meat — crawling with maggots — and what seemed to be shit she unknowingly drank in her desperation. Had her bile not been similar to piss in colour, it undoubtedly would have been visible inside the remnants of her deed.

”poor little rat, how do you feel about becoming my slave? You can eat, drink and sleep like all the other townspeople. I promise as long as you remain loyal to only me, I will take care of you well. ”

She let out a little moan as if she were unable to voice her thoughts.

”if that is you agreeing, follow me, little rat. If you lag behind me, I will have the guards beat you to death, saying you are a beggar who wouldn leave me alone. ” he said as he gave the same snake-like smile he did to the servant.

He crossed the bridge nearby, passing by the spot that would have made many people release their own guts. Despite his indifference, adolescent girl who was underdeveloped due to malnutrition followed him keenly.

”the slums… I should have come here sooner? The people are much more desperate and less needy. ” he thought aloud as he saw the girl struggling to walk at his pace.

He occasionally looked behind himself to look at her who was lagging behind him, but he was moving with an unchanging speed, as if he wanted her to be beaten to death.

Should I slow down, or should I pace up? Can I just order the guards not to beat her? Let her in? No, I can . If she gets cocky like that previous rat, it will be disastrous. I can let her die, but I can go easy on her either.

It was unknown why he had taken a liking to the poor abused girl, but it mattered not. Even if her parents or abusers saw her following him, there was nothing they could do, for that was the gap between commoners and the descendant of a generals family.

As he started walking more his normal pace, the girl who was lagging behind had broke into a run. Both she and the townspeople looking at the scene had only one thought: he wants me/her dead.

As they approached the mansion, he finally slowed down and looked behind at the poor girl who yet again vomited her guts out. This time, she had no maggots and shit in there, but simply acid that singed her throat as it came up. He felt no pity for her situation and walked into the mansion.

(singe in ed form is singed. Not singed as in what people who don know sang say)

”young master! ” called out the dunce guarding the gate, ”is this person a guest of yours? ”

”no, ” he replied sarcastically. ”she is my new personal servant. Get her cleaned and fed — especially the cleaning part. And try to dress her up nicely as well. ”

”yes? Young master? ” said the guard in confusion.

”when you
e done, send her over to the mistress. Make sure she gets properly taught. Reading and writing. Ill have a more hands-on teaching experience in three months. Tell the mistress she must be as good as the crown princess by the time I check up on her. ”

He passed by the dumbfounded servants and slaves. He himself knew how hard it was to be as smart as the crown princess — who is considered the best among the younger generation. He himself had no intention of actually asking for such a demand, but he thought that if he made the rat think she failed a task of his, as she would become more obedient. Atleast in the short-term.

He went to greet his grandmother, who was as usual, not accepting guests, so he went to greet his father.

”father, I am home. ”

”the trash of our family is here at last. When the (handsome) servant said you would come, I thought he was lying. ” responded father.

”the trash that you and your wife have created. And yes, I am here. ”

”so what do you want? ” asked the huge man who towered at an astounding ten Chi (one Zhang).

”do you want me to kill a person? ” he asked coldly.

”its nice how you catch onto these things that quickly. If only Jia Shuaqi De Mingzi was half as smart as you. ”

”well you still love him more. Now answer my question. ”

”I will, but I heard you brought a beggar into the old house? What will you do when mother-in-law finds out? ”

”shes my new rat. My old one was getting boring, so Im cutting that trash off. ”

”good, good. Did you greet mother-in-law? ”

There is no reason to run in circles, is there? If so, why does he do this?

”answer my question. You know how the old coot is, so answer it. ”

”I want you to marry the princess of our Shensheng Diguo… ”

So this is why he was running around so much. Unfortunately for him, I won do as told.

”has our engagement decided? ” asked the sly Pangzi as he formulated a dozen plots in his mind.

”no, but that is precisely what the royal family is visiting for. ” replied the ten Chi giant.

If the princess doesn want the marriage, we can both make a scene and cancel it. If she wants the marriage, Ill have someone defile her and say she is not worthy of me.

”I know what you are thinking, fatty. Don even think about breaking off your engagement. ” he said as if he would snap Pangzis neck ”the emperor wants to strengthen the relationship between our Jia family and the imperial family since the army has had a burst in growth after the thousand year war ended. ”

”so if he uses marriage to bind our families together, our Jia family can use any military power against the imperial family? ”

”it goes further than that. Since we control more than half of the empires forces — two hundred million armed soldiers and half the elite forces in the empire — the emperor is scared we will overthrow them. Because of our military power, the Diguos power will skyrocket if they bind themselves to us. ”

”then why don we overthrow the royal family? Won that be more profitable? ”

”because of the aftermath. Its too dangerous for us at the moment, and the emperor is tired of having to constantly monitor our movements, so hes binding us with marriage. ”

”can the princess not marry Jia Shuaqi De Mingzi instead? ”

”no, she must marry you. ” he replied instantly.

”is it because I am the oldest legitimate child? Or is it because he is your most pure hearted and much loved son? ”

”since you are done, get out and let me do my work. ” he sighed as he covered his face with his hands.

If he won answer, it seems that neither me nor the princess are in a position to decline this marriage. It also seems that I am a black hearted and much hated son to him.

I walked out of the building which was my fathers office and went to my own courtyard.

As I neared my room, a small figure blocked my path: the sixth bastard.

Its hard to believe my father is pumping out kids as if he is twenty, but my unimportant and soon-to-be-dead 25 siblings seem to disagree. Well, minus Shuaiqi, so 24 soon-to-be-dead siblings.

Luckily only me and Shuaiqi are legitimate children, otherwise, succession would get really messy.

”Pang Pang! ” screamed the lovely little girl who blocked my path.

”dumpling! ” I screamed back before running to embrace her.

”my name is not dumpwing! ” said the little 6 year old as she tried pushing me away.

”why? You are pretty round, fat and soft. ” I say as I stretch her dumpwing-like cheeks.

”hmph! I hate you, fatty! Ill never talk to you again! ” shouted the little dumpling.

”okay okay, big bro is sorry, can you forgive him, little Jiaozi? ”

”Jia Jia is NOT a dumpling! ” she screamed as she ran off.

”haha. If only everyone else is as fun as Jia Jia. ” I chuckled.

Such a short conversation, yet so much fun… why do I have to… *sighs*

I opened the door to my room and started to change.

My hair usually gets in the way of I do everything, but I like to keep it down since it looks nice. My grandmother on the other hand seems to think I am filial. Well I am the oldest, so it isn unnatural for her to be biased.

Damned coot. Why can she just die already. She coughs up so much blood every day and has such low blood pressure, yet she keeps living for so long!

I guess she wasn lying when she said she would only die after seeing me married.

Leave it. It does no good wishing for her death. I should just lie down, skip evening class, eat dinner, sleep and torture that rat.

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