Chapter 40 Breaking Into the Xiao Residence (Part 1)


As Lin Wanrong approached, he saw a fellow coming from the opposite direction, dressed like him in a brand-new blue cloth shirt.
On the left chest, there was an embroidered character “Xiao.” Could this person be a fellow resident of the Xiao family's grand courtyard?


“Brother!” The two men stepped forward and greeted each other simultaneously, their voices loud and clear.


A look of delight crossed the newcomer's face as he clasped his hands together, “Brother, are you also one of the new servants who joined the Xiao family this year?”


“Indeed, indeed,” Lin Wanrong answered, his face breaking into a warm smile as he feigned enthusiasm.




“So am I! It seems that we can consider ourselves as having passed the same exam, how disrespectful, how disrespectful.” The newcomer appeared to be a genuine scholar, dropping literary phrases into his speech.
He was most likely one of the extremely honest people mentioned by the three old men yesterday, the kind suitable for guarding the warehouse.


The term “passed the same exam” wasn't inaccurate at all.
Lin Wanrong had always harbored a strong desire to form alliances and establish private connections.
Encountering a fellow member on the road naturally brought him some happiness.
He quickly clasped his hands together and said, “Well said, well said.
But may I ask for your esteemed surname and name?”


The honest fellow humbly replied, “I dare not, I dare not.
Before entering the manor, my surname was Qiao, and my given name was Feng.
After being accepted, I was graciously granted the surname Xiao by the lady of the house.
So now, my name is Xiao Feng.”


Hearing this, Lin Wanrong nearly toppled over.
Qiao Feng? Xiao Feng? How dare someone with such a sleazy air bear the name of such a legendary hero? If the great Xiao Feng of the southern courtyard knew about this, he would probably want to bang his head against the ground.
(Qiao Feng/Xiao Feng here refers to one of the three main characters in the novel/film Demi God Semi Devil)


“So, it's Brother Xiao Feng! I've long admired your name, long admired it indeed.” After entering the Xiao family's manor, everyone took the surname Xiao, so calling him “Brother Xiao” wouldn't distinguish him.
Thus, he was referred to as “Brother Xiao Feng.”


“And what is your esteemed surname and name?” Xiao Feng asked, his excitement evident.


“My name is Lin San,” Lin Wanrong answered with a smile, and from that point on, Lin San would be his alias.


“Oh, Brother Lin, don't you know? After joining the Xiao family, we've all been granted the surname Xiao.
You should be called Xiao San.” The scholarly Xiao Feng said solemnly.


Seeing that this scholar indeed had some endearing qualities, Lin Wanrong revealed his status as a contract employee.
Upon hearing this, the scholarly Xiao Feng slapped his thigh and exclaimed, “Oh dear, Brother Lin, you're being confused!”


“Where am I confused?” Lin Wanrong asked, puzzled.


“Do you know how many people vie for a position as a servant in the Xiao family but fail to get one? Once you enter the Xiao family, it's like holding a golden rice bowl for life, without any worries.
How could you give up such a great opportunity? No, no, I'll go plead with the housekeeper on your behalf, asking him to speak to the lady and the young ladies to change your status to a permanent position.”


Although Xiao Feng was a bookworm, he had a sense of loyalty.
Not bad – Lin Wanrong decided to watch out for him in the Xiao family's grand courtyard.
Laughing, Lin Wanrong patted Xiao Feng's shoulder and said, “Brother Xiao Feng, no need to worry, no need.
I'm doing this for a carefree, trouble-free, and independent life.
That's all I want.
It's much more flexible than what you have.
From now on, if you need anything within the Xiao family's courtyard, just come find me.”


Seeing Lin Wanrong's carefree attitude, Xiao Feng sighed in regret and stopped trying to persuade him.


The two chatted and laughed as they made their way toward the Xiao family residence.
Along the way, Lin Wanrong learned that Xiao Feng was a poor youth from the eastern part of Jinling City.
His father, a failed scholar who never passed the examinations, had raised his son to be equally pedantic and inept.


However, Xiao Feng was good-hearted and honest, and he wouldn't tattle on others, which Lin Wanrong found quite agreeable.


Upon arriving at the entrance of the Xiao residence, they saw two ferocious-looking servants with faces full of scowls.
Lin Wanrong, with his wealth of experience, understood the situation at a glance.


These old servants were trying to intimidate the new servants, much like senior students asserting their authority over freshmen.
Lin Wanrong wasn't an easy target either; no senior had ever taken advantage of him when he was a freshman.
He pulled Xiao Feng towards the main entrance.


Xiao Feng hastily grabbed Lin Wanrong's hand and asked, “Brother Lin, where are you going?”


“Where else? Of course, we're going in,” Lin Wanrong replied.


“No, Brother Lin, we are newcomers.
On the first day, we should enter through that door.” Xiao Feng pointed to an extremely low door beside them.


Lin Wanrong glanced at the small door, which was only half a person's height and not much better than a dog hole.
The servants who arrived earlier had to bend down, their hands even touching the ground, to crawl through it.


“A dog hole? You mean we're supposed to crawl through a dog hole to enter?” Lin Wanrong widened his eyes, fury raging in his heart.


Xiao Feng looked at Lin Wanrong curiously and said, “Brother Lin, what are you talking about? This door is so big that two dogs can walk through side by side.
It's much better than a dog hole.”


A dog hole that can accommodate two dogs side by side? Xiao Feng spoke without concern, but Lin Wanrong took it to heart.
As his anger was about to erupt, he heard Xiao Feng continue, “Besides, Brother Lin, you know the rules for being a servant.
On the first day of entering any household, all new servants follow this practice.”


“Rules? What rules?” Lin Wanrong said irritably, “Are you saying crawling through a dog hole is a rule?”


Xiao Feng gave a sheepish smile and said, “Whenever new servants come to report, they must crawl through this small door.
It symbolizes that once they enter this threshold, they are forever beneath others.
Don't be fooled by the imposing stance of those two older brothers at the door; they also entered through here when they first joined.
Not only in the Xiao family but in all prestigious households, this is the practice for servants.
However, this is only for the first time.
Afterwards, you can enter and exit through the side door.”


So, this dog hole was specifically designed to teach new servants to remember their place.
Although it was only for one time, this single occasion could brand a person with a lifetime of shame.


Anger welled up in Lin Wanrong's heart.
He came to work, not to crawl through dog holes.
He raised his eyebrow, took Xiao Feng's hand, and said, “Brother, don't go there.
Follow me through the main entrance.”


“No, no, Brother Lin, I'm not like you.
You can come and go freely without any constraints.
I can't be as carefree as you.
This job is important to me; my family relies on me to earn money to support them.
Besides, this is the fate of all servants in prestigious households.
Brother Lin, I…
I'm going in now.”


With that, Xiao Feng let go of Lin Wanrong's hand, ran to the low entrance, and slowly crawled in.
He then turned his head to look at Lin Wanrong, his eyes filled with tears.


Lin Wanrong didn't look down on Xiao Feng.
He could empathize with Xiao Feng's feelings.
They were unlike him, as they had grown up in this world and were familiar with its rules, accepting them as natural.
This acceptance resulted in many constraints, and they could only act according to the rules.
For Xiao Feng, such a life might be exhausting, but it was his destiny, and no one could change it.


Understanding Xiao Feng's actions, Lin Wanrong gave him a friendly smile.


Seeing that Lin Wanrong didn't look down on him, Xiao Feng hurriedly wiped his tears and called from inside the door, “Brother Lin, come in quickly.”


Lin Wanrong shook his head, thinking, crawl through a dog hole? You must be joking! A real man bows only to heaven, earth, and his parents.
His backbone was meant to stand upright.
How could he bend his waist for a mere pittance?


He gave Xiao Feng a reassuring look, then strode towards the main entrance.

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