Editor: Areth Kyntaul
The Situation Couldn’t Be Worse Than This
I stood at the agreed spot the morning the day after I had been declared Fuma.
I looked upwards, speechless. I looked at the tree, more bent than my neck was, and spaced out…
Yesterday, His Machesty said I had won the Imperial Martial Arts Tournament and threw me into the fire. Then he added, “As for how you two fuma candidates will compete, wait for my good news.”
Just as I went to speak out, His Machesty immediately called for the conference to end. The old prime minister, who was snoring, then suddenly opened his eyes and sent His Machesty off with “Long Live, Your Majesty”, as though he had it all planned out.
The vassals and company in the hall had scattered like a flock of birds, with the emperor leading.
I still remember it as if it was yesterday.
Before I knew it, all of the vassals of the Imperial Court, including Su Xiao and Tang Ye had left, leaving behind just the princess, Jin Wangsun and I.
I looked at my princess blankly and then at Jin Wangsun, who was looking at me. The three of us wore awkward looks.
The atmosphere was akin to dog poop that had been left for three days, dry and hard…
We then awkwardly left the hall and went our ways to wait for His Machesty’s ‘good news.’
‘I don’t care about Jin Wangsun… But I have to take the princess out today… And to fucking find myself, no less!!’
When I grabbed my head to try and figure out how to deal with the mess, I heard the princess’ clear and cold voice transmit to my ear from behind.
My eyes couldn’t help but light up when I turned around.
I saw a tall long-legged, lively beauty, with snow-white skin, in red. Inside her light-as-a-cloud red clothes was a snow-white fitted robe. She had a red belt around her shapely hips and her clothing was tight around her voluptuous breasts and underarms.
There was no way one wouldn’t have their breath taken away at the sight of her beauty. Nobody could help but be passionately captivated by her beauty. Any man walking on the street would forget what he was doing and stop to marvel at her.
‘I didn’t notice it at first, but I’ve now discovered she’s unexpectedly precious.’
She had six flower petals faintly drawn on her forehead. The pretty red flower petals and her snow-white skin complemented each other.
I spaced out as I looked at her for a while before returning to reality.
“Good morning, Princess.”
The princess looked at my reaction and seemed to feel somewhat awkward herself, “Uhm, Mm… Good morning.”
I didn’t know what to say after yesterday’s mess in Jinluan Hall.
I scratched my head, “Th-The weather is quite nice.”
The princess nodded, “Uhm, It’s… quite dark.”
It’s a cloudy day today. The sky was dark like the abyss of this mess…
The princess: “…”
The atmosphere was like dog p-… Cough. Cough. In any case, it was very weird.
The gaze the princess looked at me with was an odd gaze that was emitted from her soul.
I don’t blame her. I’m her future fuma candidate and yet I’m supposed to take her out to locate the man she likes…
‘Where in the world would you find a man taking the initiative to cuckold himself like this? How should I explain this situation?’
‘Would I be disrespecting her if I told her I had accidentally won and don’t actually have any feelings for her? It’s true that I won by accident!! I didn’t know that the opponents in my later matches were the Black Winds Thirteen Wing’s members.’
‘Those guys took up one-third of the contestant numbers. And they had to all get defeated, for fuck sakes. I’m in despair, too! Those unlucky punks screwed me over for a month and I’m still suffering because of them!’
I was mustering up every cell in my brain to try and figure out a solution. Then the princess said, “Brother Ming, since we will be working together today, I have a few things I’d like to make clear with you, first.”
I sighed a breath of relief, “Your H-… Miss Li, please go ahead.”
Li Hongzhuang thought to herself for a moment and then, in a firm tone, said, “Hongzhuang assumes that father has already mentioned to you that Hongzhuang wishes to meet him. He is Hongzhuang’s saviour. It’s also the first time I’ve wanted to see a man. I’ve had lots of questions to ask, recently. I won’t be able to resign myself if I don’t see him again. However, I am not after anything. As you are from a famous sect, I presume you are aware that the Imperial Court and orthodox sects are at odds with him.”
“Uhm.” I muttered, indistinctly.
‘What else could I have said? That man, who is at odds with the orthodox sects, is me!’
“So needless to say, Hongzhuang’s teacher from Emei —which is where Hongzhuang learnt martial arts— detests him with a vengeance. If she found out about this, she is most likely to be enraged.”
“She won’t go that far. Old Grandma Bailou is quite reasonable and easy to speak to.”
“Hmm?” Li Hongzhuang frowned gently, “Brother Ming, what did you call my teacher?”
I screwed on a serious look and responded, “I said that Master Bailou is a revered individual in the martial world, so it is unlikely that she would make things difficult for her disciple.”
Li Hongzhuang shook her head, “You do not know that my teacher is a Buddhist. She is a vegetarian and rarely uses weapons. However, she becomes enraged as soon as the Demon Sect is mentioned. This must not be mentioned in her presence.”
‘I remember she almost lost Emei’s golden Buddhist statue, after losing ten times via thirteen wonders in mahjong, when she played with Ximen Chuideng back then. She flew off the handle and swore to oppose the Demon Sect. Back then, I was playing around at the scene, and I still remember it clearly.’
‘Don’t go blaming grandma, though. After the event, I asked Ximen, and he told me he cheated. Yep… He cheated seven games in a row. That evil bugger. Needless to say, grandma saw through it in the end. Ximen ended up enraging all of Emei for nothing since she saw through it before he could collect his money. At the time, I thought he was bankrupt. Afterwards, he really did go broke, as I thought.’
“As a girl and a disciple, I cannot commit such a grievous mistake. As such, please do not worry, Brother Ming. All I ask is to see him one more time to ask him a few questions.”
Li Hongzhuang spoke in a very solemn tone, “No matter what you may think. Hongzhuang is not a shameless maiden. I understand your dilemma. If you feel that this is inappropriate, let’s forget this business today. Hongzhuang will not complain. I will explain the situation to my father myself. I won’t make things hard for you.”
I looked at her eyes carefully. Her eyes were clear and firm.
‘She’s a princess, while I’m a constable.’
‘If I became a fuma, I wouldn’t have any say, even if she decided to raise a bunch of boy toys; let alone going to see somebody. Nevertheless, the thought of bossing me around with her father’s identity never crossed her mind. Instead, she was forthright with me. She’s a good, upright girl. I can tell her I don’t have any feelings for her without concern. That’ll make it easier for me to move about in the future, too.’
I made a fist and palm salute to say, “Miss, do not worry. Since you have said that, I shall be upfront with you about my feelings. I…”
‘I sense murderous intent!’
I felt a cold murderous intent shoot over before I could finish.
I thought it was somebody with profound internal strength preparing a sneak attack. The aura suddenly made me recall the person in black who had launched a sneak attack on me at Liu Shan Men yesterday morning.
The person from yesterday was by no means weak. We’re on a primary street, right now. If we fight, I won’t be able to show my skills in the princess’s presence. If I have to take a beating, forget fighting passively; the bigger concern would be that the princess would be in danger.
‘I didn’t have time to think through all the details. The best plan of all is to take the initiative!’
I wrapped an arm around the princess’s slender waist. Her waist felt basically the same as it did a month ago in the palace, but she seemed to have lost some weight.
I leapt up lightly and moved to the rear of the tree with a crooked top half in order to obstruct the assailant’s vision.
Their murderous intent died down in an instant and vanished without a trace. It was clear that they got my warning and retreated without any success.
I revealed a cool cold smile.
‘Hmph! Nobody acting like he’s hot!’
However, after escaping the crisis, the girl in my arms suddenly said, “Brother Ming…”
I lowered my head to see the princess in my arms. She looked at my hand on her waist and then my smile, showing I was pleased with myself. Her usual cold expression was now a furious expression, instead.
“This is the feeling you wanted to express?”
‘Hmm? Hmm? Hmm?’
‘Hey! Wait! It’s not what you’re thinking!! Don’t connect the two!!’
‘Fuck! Just who did I ever aggravate, damn it?!!’