Romance Always Starts When You’re Off-Guard
“The victor has been decided. Winner, Su Xiao from Liu Shan Men!”
Su Xiao suavely twirled his steel sabre and sheathed it into its scabbard. Weapons used in the imperial martial arts tournament were provided by the imperial court, so Su Xiao used a steel sabre.
Su Xiao’s martial arts had improved by leaps and bounds the past month because he was innately intelligent to begin with, but also because he was diligent. However, he also had a top-level experienced and skilled but terrible friend who taught him.
Just sheathing his blade was enough to attract the eyes of all the females below the ring while the women from noble families screamed non-stop. His tall and lean physique, ethereal face, handsome facial features, and bright and approachable attitude as well as his yet to mature demeanour like that in dreams struck the hearts of all the females present on the day, just as Shen Yiren predicted.
Su Xiao had three matches on the ring and he had already no less than a hundred girls become his die-hard fans. The cheers for him below the ring were deafening. Su Xiao needed to win three matches to pass the preliminaries. He won two bouts, but then lost the third bout due to not being used to the sabre. Thus, he needed to fight a fourth bout to determine if he could pass the preliminaries.
The extra bout only served to win him more fans.
And thus, he acquired an exaggerated nickname: A young girl that causes women to scream non-stop.
Su Xiao pouted his lips as he unhappily replied to the rumours Tang Ye heard: “Get lost! Who are you calling a young girl? I’m a guy, alright?”
Tang Ye shrugged: “That means everybody from Liu Shan Men won except big bro. We at least have something to show the vice-captain then.”
“That’s really unlike you.” Su Xiao tilted his head and looked at Tang Ye, puzzled, “I always thought you didn’t like interacting with people. It was like nobody dared to say much to you, yet you’re concerned about what the vice-captain thinks.”
“The vice-captain is different. She’s like big bro. She’s one of the people I care about most at Liu Shan Men.”
“Hmm… People you care about, huh?” Su Xiao looked at the blue sky. Sharing the same feeling, he chuckled and said: “I think the same way too. The both of them treat me very well.”
Tang Ye easily won three bouts today and passed the preliminaries, so he was waiting for Su Xiao’s results to come out before going back to guarding the gates.
“Oh right, what about big bro? It’s soon his turn, isn’t it?”
“I don’t know. I’ll go and see if he’s arrived yet.”
Just as Su Xiao was about to stand up, the scabbard of his sabre hit the table. Su Xiao angrily exclaimed: “This crappy sabre caused me to lose before.” Su Xiao removed it and tossed it aside, allowing him to feel much lighter after. Just as he was about to head off to search for Ming Feizhen, Tang Ye called out to stop him.
“Su Xiao, you better take your weapon with you since it hasn’t been too peaceful recently.”
“Are you talking about the Black Winds Thirteen Wings?” Su Xiao stopped in his tracks, turned around and with a chuckle said: “I’ll be fine, it’s daytime right now.” Su Xiao then ran off like the wind.
Tang Ye watched him run like he was in the wilderness and felt like he was somewhat beautiful like a female fox demon. He subconsciously rubbed his eyes, shook his head, sighed and said: “…I feel like my eyesight has gotten worst after the past month at Liu Shan Men.”
Once Su Xiao left, a few shadows immediately appeared behind him. The violent, blood-stench-covered shadows were called the Black Winds.
The bouts commenced long ago. I however, was still sleeping on the stair steps of the small South Gate. I didn’t even want to open my eyes.
I never planned to go and participate in the shady imperial martial arts tournament. There are plenty of warriors under the banner of the imperial court. I never approved of it. If somebody I fought in the past were to recognise me, it’d be troublesome.
Even if they don’t recognise me, if I win, I’ll capture the attention of many. That will bring me nothing but trouble. And therefore, I intend to continue sleeping here until it’s over.
We were entering autumn so the sunlight wasn’t as intense as during summer, and the cool breeze made it perfect for sleeping.
This was the first time I was truly alone ever since I came to Liu Shan Men. There was nobody else here, and I won’t be disturbed by anyone else, thus making it the perfect place for me to think about a particular person.
Ever since we bid goodbye, I didn’t dare to think of her for a long time because I was afraid that it would influence my behaviour and actions. In a place with many restraints like the capital, I had to be careful with each step I took.
Shiyi’s exquisite and beautiful face appeared in my mind. Her frown and her smile, her countless flirtatious movements, her voice when she gently called me “Feizhen”, all affected my mood.
I’m afraid of seeing her, but even more afraid of thinking about her, because I always experience a bitter-sweet feeling of happiness whenever I see her. Whenever I think of her, I experience a sweet form of torture. But whenever I relax, I can’t help but think of her.
I would then subconsciously recall lines I couldn’t recall where I’d heard them from, and then write her a poem.
I think of you when I’m troubled just like how I miss the sun in winter.
I think of you when I’m happy just like how I think of the shade of the tree underneath the bright sun.
I think of you when the sky is clear just like how I think of music when I am lonely.
I think of you when it rains just like how I wish for silence when it’s noisy.
Shiyi’s expression when she left appeared in front of me again. I basically pushed her away myself.
There were lots of things between us that we didn’t openly mention because I always ran away at crucial moments.
I know that shiyi will nod to everything I say if I spoke my mind, but I just can’t say it. There are too many people that I can’t ignore and too many things I haven’t resolved. Our seniority problem alone is troublesome. And I can’t even get past my shifu and the grandmaster.
I feel like I’m suffocating whenever I recall the last gaze she gave me. I must be destined to be alone forever in this lifetime I imagine.
“What are you doing here? Wake up.”
I felt like somebody was nudging me.
I had my back against the wall and my head down. I vaguely asked: “Who is it?” and then opened my eyes a little.
Before me stood a girl dressed in white.
She had a small white face, with two big eyes like pearls. She had curved eyebrows and thin lips. When she spoke, it was like her exquisite gentleness escaped out of her. Her eyes in particular looked like they could speak as though a single glance from her could attract the deep hidden desires of any man.
A female fox demon! Those were the only four words I could think of.
A woman like her who you couldn’t help but want to ravage on sight had to be a female fox demon.
I suddenly felt a little lost. I don’t know where the impulse to grab her small delicate hands came from.
“Hmm? What’s wrong?”
They clearly were different people, yet I saw shiyi’s silhouette in her alluring eyes.
She blinked and I thought I could see shiyi in front of me, and so I gently pulled her into my embrace.
“What shiyi? I… I’m not a female…”
I wasn’t really sure why I did that after the fact. Was it because I hadn’t touched a female in a long time or was it because the pain in my chest encouraged me to seek out a bit of gentleness? Or maybe it was because shifu’s “PUSH HER DOWN!!” quote echoed in my heart which gave me the impulse.
I didn’t know what the matter with me was. It was like I was possessed by a ghost causing me to lose control of my body and mind. It was like I lost the ability to control myself when I first saw this girl. I pulled her into my embrace and kissed her beautiful lips that were like flower petals.
The girl in my arms was utterly horrified. I wasn’t sure if it was embarrassment or if she was drunk but her face was bright red. She desperately pushed me away but I pulled her tightly into my arms. She desperately struggled, but she was getting weaker and weaker. Her fresh flower like lips became softer, warmer and wetter as if every breath she breathed out could inflict a burn wound on someone. Her painful frowns struck my berserk nerves.
I clearly saw her cry but I felt that even her tears were beautiful. Her tears were like water drops dripping off of flowers which gave me a natural cooling feeling.
We continued like that for a long time until the girl in front of me looked at me with her tender and confused gaze. I too looked back at her with befuddled emotions.
A particular atmosphere between us was brewing. I could clearly smell the stench of romance.
After a while, I felt like the stench became more and more intense, so intense that it was suffocating…..
I raised my head up to find that the small South gate appeared to be open. Beyond it I could seemingly see the door of the toilets used by eunuchs and maids open.
No wonder why I could smell a stench like soybeans mixed with melons.
My dysfunctional brain that was in a nightmare restored its normal functioning. I loudly cussed: “Who the fuck didn’t close the toilet door after using it?!!!!”