Su Xiao stared at me, eyes-wide with his almond eyes and menacingly said: “Ming Feizhen, why did you open somebody’s tomb? If I didn’t catch you, you would’ve stolen the box of gold. Hmph, how dare you steal somebody’s burial gold?”
“For heaven’s sake, can’t you see I’m trying to conduct a thorough investigation here? If I don’t find out what exactly is hidden in this tomb, how are we supposed to solve the case?” With Su Xiao as the opposition, I was able to quickly sift through my thinking and figure out how to bullshit my way out. “Kid, what are you second-guessing an adult for? It’s far too dangerous for you to be here. Be a good boy, go home and sleep. I’ll come wake you up next year.”
“Get lost! You just keep trying to act like an adult. Are there any hot-shots or adults out there that are as messy as you? And aren’t they members of the Demon Sect? What else could there be to it?” The little bastard looked at me with a suspicious expression and continued: “If you don’t explain yourself properly, I’m going to report you to the vice-captain.”
Vice-captain. Vice-captain. Vice-captain. You two are only good at using Boss Shen to push me around, huh?!
But to be honest, I’m most afraid of her out of all those in Liu Shan Men…
I looked far into the distance. Tang Ye was still engaged in a heated battle with the two poor Mount Hua disciples. Those two were worse than the three I beat up. Tang Ye should be able to beat them even though it’s two-on-one. He doesn’t need my help.
I pursed my lips and then condescendingly said: “What Demon Sect Disciples? Those guys aren’t from the Demon Sect.”
“They’re not from the Demon Sect? Then why?” Su Xiao looked at me with his eyes wide, his red lips look charming and tender… Is he really a guy?! I really worry that one day I’ll go examine his body…
Keke, I need to be elegant, I can’t let myself get tainted.
“Have you seen any Demon Sect disciple come within one hundred miles of the perimeter of Nanjing, and have the guts to announce they’re from Orchid Monarch Hollow Bamboo? The three over there in blue and the two there are Mount Hua disciples. I don’t know who sent them, but they’re definitely not disciples from the Demon Sect.” I didn’t need to go into detail, an inexperienced newbie like Su Xiao should be able to understand with that much. After all, the two powerhouses in the martial world who hate the Demon Sect most, namely Liu Shan Men and the Qilin Guards are both based in Nanjing.
Liu Shan Men’s powerhouses may not be around, but the Qilin Guards best of the best are in the capital. The disciples of the Demon Sect would never have the guts to walk around in Nanjing baring their face in public. As if they’d go around with a big sign on them like that. Look, the Qilin Guards were on their tails as soon as they appeared.
“If you think about it, since they needed to disguise themselves as Demon Sect disciples to be able to lie that they’re old friends of Zha Pi’s late father, the answer is obvious as can be. It means that Zha Pi’s late father was acquainted with those in the Demon Sect and shared a secret. They therefore had to disguise themselves as Demon Sect disciples to get information.” I made it sound logical and sound so Su Xiao just nodded non-stop.
“It’s a pity that Old Cha probably knew what sort of person his son was, and didn’t tell him the secrets. I don’t think the Mount Hua disciples managed to get anything out of him and were forced to occupy his place for several days, turning it upside-down, and inside-out. And now they’re digging his ancestors’ graves.”
Sorry, heroes of Mount Hua. If Zha Pi didn’t waste several days of their time, they wouldn’t be stumbling around in a place like the Peach Village. If news of this gets out into the pugilistic world, the world will be less a few big names.
A sudden serious roar came from behind. The roar was filled with disbelief.
I turned around to see the punk Zha Pi. He had finally arrived.
Zha Pi’s face was red as he vehemently argued: “Master Ming, you’re going too far. My father was a government official. How could he possibly have been involved with the Demon Sect?!” He was making a big fuss as though he’d lunge at me and try to kill me if I didn’t agree with him.
Su Xiao looked at me lost for words and quietly said: “Brother Ming, the things you said are your own arbitrary thoughts. Saying this in front of his son is… And you pried open his father’s tomb too.”
Zha Pi with his eyes red said: “See, miss?! Master Ming, you’re making claims without any evidence, right? My father always led an upright life. He wasn’t greedy and never gambled, so how could he have done something like that?! If you say that again, sorry, but even if I can’t beat you, I’ll fight you to the death!!”
“Piss off, I’m a guy!!”
Zha Pi was shut up by Su Xiao’s retort.
Su Xiao then continued: “Brother Ming, This… Brother Cha may be a bad guy most of the time, but at the end of the day, he’s a filial son. Be careful, if he truly gets mad, he may actually fight you to the death.”
Fight me to the death?
Him? He’s filial?
I scanned Zha Pi carefully. Based on his unwillingness to give up and imposing gaze, I deduced the following: “If my old man gets deemed a criminal, I won’t receive a government pension anymore. This isn’t a joking matter.”
Oh, I see!
I was suddenly enlightened. I certainly am not disappointed. This punk is definitely the number one scumbag.
“Enough. This is a waste of time.”
Let’s not bother with this guy and find some clues to resolve this case instead.
As aforementioned, inside the tomb were three objects, a box of gold, a box of gold, and a box of gold…
“Hey! Didn’t I tell you not to touch it?!”
Tch… It’s not even your gold.
So as I said, there are three items, an ash container, a box of gold and a book.
Do you even need to ask which item is the most suspicious?
“Brother Ming, that ash container is definitely suspicious!”
Are you seriously retarded?
Su Xiao wasn’t asking for my opinion. He rushed to open the ash container.
It was certainly worth of being surprised. There was a huge pile of ash inside.
The stench inside was vomit-inducing. Please close the box after you two are done puking. By the way, he opened your old man’s container of ashes like that and you’re fine with it, filial son?!
I ignored those two idiots, grabbed the book and took a few steps backwards.
By then, Tang Ye had finished off the two Mount Hua disciples, arrived at my side and asked: “This is…?”
“I got it from inside the tomb. It must be what they were after.”
Tang Ye knows about my martial prowess now so there’s no point in hiding anything. I might as well flip through the book in front of him.
We looked at a number of pages and immediately knew what the book was.
We were speechless.
“Brother Ming, Brother Yan Ling, what are you guys looking at?”
“I’ve read it.”
Su Xiao anxiously asked: “What’s inside? Are there any clues?”
I quietly said: “Yes. And it’s a big discovery.”
“What is it?”
Tang Ye picked up and continued where I left off: “The book contains detailed records of someone in the royal court who received bribes six years ago until last year, totalling, five years.”
Now Zha Pi was excited: “Wow! That’s a huge discovery! I can’t believe my father left me a huge secret to leverage to make a killing! Master Ming, who is it? Who’s the person who took the bribes?”
I held my silence.
Tang Ye softly said: “The Orange Prince.”
Zha Pi and Su Xiao now went quiet too. The hot atmosphere suddenly turned ice-cold.
Yes, you readers read that correctly.
Not Prince Cheng, not Prince Chen, Prince Cheng, Prince Cheng, Prince Cheng, or Prince Cheng, but Prince Cheng!!*
This Orange Prince I’m referring to isn’t some Bai Yue Fruit Selling King. He’s the prince. The current emperor’s biological son.
This thing I’m holding in my hand right now is a record of the bribes received by the prince.
There was a flash of lightning in the sky. It was difficult to tell whether my face colour was dark or light due to the flash of light. My face was like Bao Gong and Cao Cao – A very grey area.
I looked up at the clear sky. It looks like it’s going to rain.
*First, the character for Cheng here is “orange” (the colour in this context). Second, he gave a whole bunch of homophones for “cheng”; the original in Chinese is不是成王、尘王、城王、程王或者乘王甚至诚王，是橙王！！
**Bao Gong = a government officer during the reign of Emperor Renzong in China’s Song Dynasty; Cao Cao = a Chinese warlord and the penultimate Chancellor of the Eastern Han dynasty who rose to great power in the final years of the dynasty.
We finally have some official art for this series!! Here’s Ming Suwen
And her chibi form…