Editor: Areth Kyntaul
Reward According to Merits
The emperor and empress were elated after having successfully saved the Orange Prince.
After exchanging words with Su Xiao, the two laughed with great joy.
When they brought up what Shen Yiren mentioned a month ago, the empress became highly fascinated.
“I heard Shen Yiren mention that you led a team to the Qilin Guards office and beat up their leader. What happened there?”
Feeling wrong, Su Xiao pouted. He straightened up his neck, “Your Majesty, I will not tell you.”
“Su Han!” Princess Hongzhuang called out to Su Xiao twice, but he didn’t respond. Hopeless, she placed her hands together and held them out to speak, “Father, Your Majesty, you two are most likely aware the child did not intentionally offend you. He is just a little, a little…”
Not even the princess knew how to brush off his offence.
“It’s fine. It’s fine. The child is cutely straightforward. What would a martial arts practitioner be so mindful, like a scholar, for?”
The emperor laughed.
He met Su Xiao a month ago at Liu Shan Men’s office. The impression Su Xiao left on him still made him laugh today.
“Freely tell us the reason. I won’t punish you. It was in the past. Freely share the story with us.”
Su Xiao went red in the face. He softened his voice so much that it nearly couldn’t be heard, “You will definitely laugh at me once I tell you, though.”
The emperor replied with amusement, “We promise not to laugh, then.”
Su Xiao nodded, “I-I thought Old Grandpa Huang, who sweeps our yard, got beat to death. That guy, Yi Yixian, beat him and then walked away proudly. He also mocked us behind our backs. Grandpa Huang is an elder over seventy. He nearly lost his life after being beaten viciously by several of the Qilin Guards.”
“And so you took justice into your own hands and took a team to apprehend him?”
“I-I honestly did not think that much. I just could not stand it. After that, we were obstructed by them several times. Hehe…” Su Xiao scratched his head and poked his pink tongue out. He then cutely continued, “I then lost self-restraint and fought them. They got violent with me, so I got even more violent with them. Then I managed to subdue them.”
“So you couldn’t stand them, huh? Hahahaha. All right. All right. All right. It’s not a big deal that your martial arts are inferior. You have an ideal character. Yiren has a good eye for people.”
The empress smiled with her lips pursed, “Your Majesty, this child’s temperament is quite like you when you were young. By that, I am referring to how he puts a heavy importance on justice.”
“I had a tendency to cause trouble when I was young as well, but I wouldn’t have stormed the Qilin Guards’ office for a grandpa.”
Su Xiao responded earnestly, “I was always causing trouble when I was young as well. When I was young, my mother always told me I was not good looking. She said I was a bit like a kidney and also like tweezers. She told me it was best for me not to play with boys as I would be hated.”
The empress checked out Su Xiao. She noticed that he had clear eyes, nice teeth and a beautiful face. If Su Xiao wasn’t a male, she would’ve mistaken him for a pretty female at first glance.
The empress suddenly understood what he meant, ‘kidney and tweezers meant succubus. With such beauty, the child should indeed avoid playing with boys. If he didn’t get bullied, he would steal their hearts.’
“That’s why I played with girls ever since I was young. My mother said that boys should spend more time with girls so that it would be easier for them to get girls when they grow up. But the girls around me always fought. They refused to get along. My mother told me it was all my fault. Your Majesty, why is that?”
The empress shook her head with a helpless smile.
One of the members of the Emperor’s Entourage got jealous when he saw how Su Xiao was liked, “All right, wise guy, you’ve said a lot, so how many women have you got?”
It’s fine to speak about the topic in private, but asking him straight to his face was inappropriate.
Princess Hongzhuang, the emperor and empress all looked at him with displeasure.
The man then immediately lowered his head.
Who would’ve known that Su Xiao would reply without batting an eye, “Plenty!”
Su Xiao cheerfully opened his snow-white palm and counted, “I have my mom, my elder sister, the maids Cui Lan, Ruo Zhi, You Zhu… In short, lots and lots.”
The emperor continued to suppress his laughter, but the empress couldn’t hold her laughter in and burst out in laughter.
“Child, come, come, come, let me take a look at you.”
Su Xiao scratched his head as he walked over. The empress liked him even more because he was shy like a maiden, so she pulled him in and hugged him.
Su Xiao pulled his neck back, “Your Majesty, that is a little ticklish.”
The empress smiled and asked, “You’re much younger than my son, child. Are you scared or being shy?”
The emperor cleared his throat and said, “I called you here for business.”
“Wang Tushui, continue.”
Eunuch Wang turned into a rock by the side ever since the discussion began. He now finally resumed functioning to fulfil his duty.
In a high-pitched voice, that sounded tough to speak with, he declared, “Reward~~ Liu Shan Men’s Su Xiao performed excellently at the Imperial Martial Arts Tournament, remaining undefeated. As of today, Su Xiao will be rank seventy on Liu Shan’s Elites Rankings, a Bing rank warrior, and receive a one rank official post promotion!”
Normally speaking, the reward can be considered appropriate. It was just that a Bing rank warrior usually didn’t hold an official Imperial Court post. A one rank official post promotion would make them a Ninth Rank Military Official at most. Su Xiao, however, went from a Seventh-Ranked Baihu to a Sixth Rank! To be a Sixth-Ranked Official at his young age proved that he possessed unparalleled luck.
With a smile, the emperor said, “Additionally, I need to bestow you with a nickname. You are now officially a warrior of the Imperial Court, so you need a nickname to flaunt when you travel in the pugilistic world henceforth, right?”
The civil court officials suddenly revealed mysterious smiles when they heard that.
The military court officials, in particular, the skilled ones revealed looks of sympathy at the same time. Their hearts ached for the future of the young man.
Princess Hongzhuang noticed Su Xiao looking dumbfounded. She poked him and said, “Hurry up and thank His Majesty.”
“Ah, ah! Thank you for your generosity, Your Majesty!”
“Uhm, Good. Now, what shall I call you?” The emperor ground the ink and thought to himself. He then wrote four words in large font on a sheet of paper: Violent Beautiful Young Girl
Su Xiao squealed, “Eee!! I am a man!”
The emperor laughed, “Hahahaha, this name is unique because it’s unexpected. Pass the order down. Su Xiao’s nickname is Violent Beautiful Young Girl! Record that on Liu Shan’s Elites Rankings.”
Su Xiao’s nickname was determined the fastest!
The emperor laughed. He then faced Eunuch Wang and said, “Wang Tushui, continue on.”
Eunuch Wang nodded. He opened the thin sheet, “Send for Liu Shan Men’s Tang Ye!”
The phrase “send for” is not used with civil and military officials standing in the conference hall. However, as Tang Ye is not an official, he couldn’t join them. As such, he was waiting outside the hall the entire time. He was clueless as to everything that happened inside.
The low-rank eunuchs outside Jinluan Hall immediately led Tang Ye over once they heard Eunuch Wang call for him.
Tang Ye followed the eunuch into the eye-catching resplendent hall with carved pillars and drawings palace that exuded a majestic aura.
He couldn’t help but feel a little proud of himself to know that he had managed to enter the hall where the most powerful figures in the nation gathered with his own hands.
Tang Ye noticed a plaque on the side of Jinluan Hall that had ‘An Emperor Must Act Lawfully and Morally’ written on it.
He felt excited and said to himself, ‘Father, Mother, I have arrived here in less than a year. I will definitely find out who got you killed, Father. I will apprehend the culprit!’
Despite feeling excited, Tang Ye’s expression didn’t change. He slowly followed behind the low-rank eunuch to see the emperor.
He bowed and blandly greeted the emperor, “Liu Shan Men’s constable Tang Ye, humbly greets you, Your Majesty.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty.”
As soon as he raised his head up, one could see his sharp eyebrows, bright eyes, handsome face, and tall and erect physique, which completely matched the highly skilled martial artist everybody envisioned.
He was incredibly skilled, to begin with, and defeated many of the assassins at the Flying Fish Pavilion all alone. He killed members of the Black Winds Thirteen Wings, and even apprehended the Orange Prince and the formidable Fu Xiang, shocking everybody present.
“Constable Tang, I called you here to thank you for your herculean effort to turn the tide at the Flying Fish Pavilion.”
“Thank you for your compliments, Your Majesty, your humble peasant…”
The emperor waved his hand, “You’re no longer a peasant. Wang Tushui.”
“Reward~ Liu Shan Men’s Tang Ye is hereby conferred the title of Baihu. Tang Ye will also be rewarded five hundred gold ingots and two thousand silver ingots.”
Right when Tang Ye went to give his thanks, the emperor cut him off, “Bring it here.”
A warrior in the hall immediately brought a box over from behind. He slowly opened it in front of Tang Ye.
Inside was an ancient sword with a sheath made from gold.
Upon closer inspection, Tang Ye noticed the two words on the sheath, “Heaven Shocker.” He finally remembered using the sword at the Flying Fish Pavilion. It was the famous sword the Orange Prince had collected.
The emperor collected it after the incident and now rewarded Tang Ye with it.
“A great sword belongs in the hands of a hero! I shall award it to you.”
“Tang Ye, I hereby declare that you will join the Seventeen Hidden Dragons as the seventeenth ranked member. I pronounce you…”
The emperor picked up a writing brush made of brownish rabbit fur and wrote four words down vigorously.
“Heaven Shocker Holy Hands!”
Tang Ye was moved. He knelt down with a thud. His tone contained his utmost excitement, “Thank you, Your Majesty!”
That day, Heaven Shocker Holy Hands, Tang Ye and the Violent Beautiful Young Girl, Su Xiao both had their names recorded in the martial world’s history.
This is the start of a legend.
The emperor looked at what he wrote with satisfaction. The two sheets with their titles he wrote will be placed on Liu Shan’s Elites Rankings.
Tang Ye and Su Xiao, who were warriors conferred with titles, will forever get to live that honour.
Actually, there weren’t just two sheets, as the emperor had written “Liu Shan’s Plague” on another sheet and had it placed on the table already. He just didn’t get to use it yet, seemingly.
The emperor made some idle chatter and then suddenly asked, “Oh, right, since you’re both here, that Ming Feizhen should be here as well, right?”
Su Xiao and Tang Ye exchanged glances. The first exchange read, ‘Where’s Big Brother Ming?’
The second exchange read, ‘Don’t know. Never saw him.’
Su Xiao thought to himself that the situation was bad. What were they going to do if Ming Feizhen didn’t arrive?
The emperor was actually just asking for the sake of asking. It wasn’t as though Ming Feizhen would seriously dare to be late. He assumed Ming Feizhen was waiting outside.
He mouthed his orders to Eunuch Wang. Just as Eunuch Wang went to call Ming Feizhen in, a low-rank eunuch ran up to his side and whispered something. Eunuch Wang’s expression changed a little. He then went up to the emperor to reiterate for him quietly.
The emperor frowned, “Hmm? Was he here that early? Whatever. Everybody is present today, so call him in for some fun.”
In a high-pitched voice, Eunuch Wang announced, “Send for the Young Master of Gold and White Sect, Jin Wangsun, come forth and greet His Majesty!”
The officials and ministers weren’t surprised. It turned out the new leader of the Seven Champion White Princes was here to see the emperor.
A young man entered through the door. He looked around thirty. He was dressed in white clothing with gold seams. He had a handsome face and a dignified appearance.
After a glance, Prince Hongzhuang suddenly asked, “You’re the Gold and Silver Sect’s Jin Wangsun?”
You guessed it. It was the bully young master in white that she ran into earlier today. He was the new master of the Gold and Silver sect. The pugilistic world called him the Sabre King Jin Wangsun.
Although the Seven White Champion Princes were schools of the martial world, all of them were bestowed with their own territories, so they qualified as the emperor’s vassals.
Jin Wangsun swept his robe aside and greeted the emperor.
The emperor responded, “It has been a rough journey for you, Minister Jin. I heard that you came for something in addition to being conferred a title by me.”
“That is correct.”
Jin Wangsun raised his head. The first complete sentence he spoke ended up shocking everybody, “I came to ask you to fulfil your promise back then. Please betroth Princess Hongzhuang to me!”
*Kidney and tweezers here are regional dialect terms, and hence why the empress was confused. Basically, it’s regional slang. It’s like saying dead ass in New York to mean “for real”. In this case, the regional dialect uses kidney and tweezers to mean a succubus (because of their similar pronunciation). Note that succubus is not a literal translation, but the translation with context taken into consideration. Impress me and MTL regional terminology.