Can’t You Just Pretend You Didn’t See Anything?
“Brother Yan Hua…”
“My name’s Yan Ling.”
Tang Ye looked at me in silence and then pointed out the crux of his problem: “Your martial prowess is incredible. Why are you hiding your skills from everyone?”
Fuck… I can’t deal with this sort of pressure.
Back then shifu once said he’d teach me the Heart and Soul Destroying Palm Strike, a palm strike where you hit so hard that your opponent would leave the world for three days. Back then, I decided not to learn such an evil style and let it disappear along with history to protect all the kind women he tarnished, the reputation of the beauties in the martial world, and the rights of women in the world.
I didn’t think it’d come back to bite me in the ass now. Man if I knew it I wouldn’t have to deal with this mess now. I could erase Tang Ye’s memories with a single palm strike.
I wore a bitter look on my face, grit my teeth and said: “I’ll wake up on time every day from now on. Help me keep this a secret, deal?”
Tang Ye had a cold look on his face like the stone lions, at the door of Liu Shan Men, no, make that the face of a pixiu.* and exclaimed: “Who do you take me for?”
I grit my teeth and asked: “What do you want then?”
“I went to wake you up this morning and got struck by your palm strike which completely obliterated my defence. I was out cold for several hours before I awoke.”
Uhh… So why didn’t you take the opportunity to axe me on the head just now?
“I’ve been practicing martial arts since I was young and don’t think I’m bad.” Tang Ye lifted up his sleeve to flash his unicorn tattoo.
“Do you know what this is?”
I respectfully replied: “Horseshoe triceps!”**
Tang Ye thought I misunderstood something he said and for an instant, was lost for words. After that he said: “I lost my father in the homicide in Meixiang five years ago. My mother passed away not long after due to illness after becoming depressive over his death. After that, I made a vow to avenge their deaths. This unicorn head was the only clue left behind in Meixiang, so I got it tattooed onto my arm to remind myself to never forget the death of my parents.”
I listened to him in awe, and then gave him a thumbs up and said: “Your horseshoe triceps really are amazing!”
“…In any case, I decided five years ago that I’d definitely get revenge, so I started learning from reputable masters all over the world. I dedicated myself to my martial arts training every day to get to where I am today. I’d say my skills are among the top in the pugilistic world. But you defeated me.”
Hey, hey hey! Damn, are you still holding a grudge? Man, I don’t even remember that happening!!
“You’re extremely skilled. At the very least, you’re not as useless as you pretend to be. You did everything you could to get into Liu Shan Men. What are you after?”
For the retirement concession, the medical concession, the compensation for losing a job, and the work injury insurance.*** And to put food on the table until I get those provident funds… He wouldn’t believe me if I said this, would he?
“I don’t care what you’re after but you defeated me and that’s an unarguable fact. Therefore, I need to get even.”
After he was done speaking, he extended both arms and the veins on his arm were suddenly visible. The unicorn on his right arm looked ferocious. His whole body exuded a very imposing aura.
Tang Ye extended one hand towards me and said: “Let’s fight!” He must be using some special method of energy utilisation, which would explain that phenomenon.
I’m having trouble believing he wants to fight me for real. What shall I do?
I can’t bloody fight! I’m still carrying sleeping beauty Su here.
I scratched my head, and asked with a laugh: “Don’t you think I’m stronger than you? You still want to fight?”
“Who says you’re stronger than me?!” The usually stone-faced Tang Ye suddenly got furious. “You caught me when I was off-guard this morning. I admit that your strength is quite incredible, but you probably can’t beat me if we fight fair-and-square, one-on-one right now.”
I said with a bitter look: “But I don’t have any reason to fight you, right?”
Tang Ye’s posture didn’t change and he didn’t show any signs of backing down: “There is! If you don’t fight me, I’ll go to our vice-captain and spill the beans.”
If you want to get your ass kicked so badly, I’ll happily kick it for you. I specialise in subduing those who refuse to submit!
I’ve had enough! This punk is trying to ruin my beautiful life-plan. I can’t take this shit no more! I took one step forward towards Tang Ye who looked like he was getting more and more imposing. I took another step forward, and then another.
This was my plan.
Walk over to him, smack his head in, the end.
I bet I could drop him dead before Su Xiao regains conscious.
Tang Ye looked very alert. Look at his stance. He’s courting death. I took my time walking forward planning to enact my “smack his head in” plan, but then got stopped in my tracks when someone came running over from far away in the distance screaming.
“Master! We’ve got a problem!”
I looked and saw who it was. It was the slag.
That guy knows what panic is?
I loudly shouted: “What’s the matter?”
Tang Ye couldn’t hear the slag’s voice which was three miles away and only turned around after hearing me shout. He couldn’t help but chuckle because he knew the slag couldn’t hear my shout.
But the slag replied from afar: “There are people digging the mountain graves!”
Tang Ye looked like he heard the two important words “mountain graves” and looked at me suspiciously.
What are you looking at? It’s called the Thousand Mile Sound Travel technique. It’s an internal style technique. Spend another twenty years learning it and you’ll be able to do it too.
But digging the mountain graves? That’ll incur a death penalty.
“Brother Tang, we’re both members of Liu Shan Men, so we can’t prioritise our own matters over work, right? Digging graves will incur the death penalty, are you going to deal with it or not? If you’re not going to deal with it, I will.”
Tang Ye’s a reasonable person and seemed to understand that dealing with the issue couldn’t be delayed, so he relaxed his stance. The overbearing aura dissipated as well. It was evident it was because he left fight-mode. I didn’t know this young guy had such powerful internal energy.
“Alright, I’ll go with you. We’ll put our duel off for now.”
*Pixiu = A Chinese mythical hybrid creature, commonly, but incorrectly referred to in the West by the Greek word “chimera”.
**Tang Ye was trying to show him the tattoo while Feizhen was focused on the triceps. To express “horseshoe triceps” as we do in the bodybuilding circle, you say “unicorn arm” in Chinese. So when Tang Ye showed him the unicorn tattoo and Feizhen talked about his triceps instead, Tang Ye basically had a “wtf” moment.
***He actually uses the phrase “The Five Concessions (Lit. translation),” which includes: the retirement concession, the medical concession, compensation for losing a job, the work injury insurance, and maternity leave pay. But since he’s a guy… I left out maternity leave pay.