Editor: Areth Kyntaul
Night Net Book is Lost. Where is the Master to Stay?
“Senior Brother! You’ve finally come to see us!”
Fourth Brother resembled a lively puppy. He ran around me and checked me out, examining me with curiosity.
Third Brother slowly came over. He narrowed his eyes behind his glasses and gave me a mysterious smile. This kid often has trouble controlling his expressions, so his smile looks sinister. That’s why people call him the hardest person among all of Night Fortress personnel to read.
“Senior Brother, are you serious about retiring?”
“Yes.” I touched his head, “I won’t inherit the Patriarch seat. Fourth, you better work hard not to let Shifu and Shiniang down.”
“Understood! I will work hard!”
“Senior Brother…” In a muffled voice, Third Brother said, “Are you really not going to succeed the Patriarch seat? Shifu would be very disappointed.”
“No. I pass. Shifu still has you guys. You’ve all grown up. You just need to find another Patriarch.”
“Senior Brother…” Third Brother wanted to speak but paused. Finally, he slowly said, “I don’t think that there’s anybody more…”
A loud voice cut Third Brother off before he could finish.
“Senior Brother!” Second Brother got up and looked at me with his teary and passionate eyes. He opened his arms, “I want to give you a hug!” He charged over.
I quickly grabbed the back of his collar and restrained him. He kicked his feet and struck up a ruckus, “Let me down. Let me give you a passionate hug!”
“Hug a turd!” I threw him away again and angrily asked, “What happened to Night Fortress? How did somebody take it?”
“Erm…” Second Brother, who I just threw away, hesitated for a moment and then thumped his chest with passion, “Let’s put that aside for now! Come! Let me have a hug!”
I threw him away with abhorrence. I then took a step back and helped up the Princess lying on the ground.
The beautiful Princess with pure white skin had her eyes shut. Her tall physique fit my embrace perfectly. Her valleys of pride rose and fall in accordance with her breathing. She looked so beautiful it was captivating.
I could see a small lump on the back of her head.
Third Brother sure had hit her hard. His skills with a rod are improving…
“Cut the drivel.”
Only after I glared at my Second Brother did he wipe his grin away. He had known my temperament since we were kids, so he stopped his stupid acts when I got serious.
Second Brother had his head down, similarly to a child that made a mistake. He initially stuttered, but then told me the entire story. After finding out what happened, I was so stunned I couldn’t shut my mouth.
“Jin Wangsun? He, alone, challenged Night Fortress?”
‘The Big Golden Vat did?!’
“Yeah. We didn’t want to lose to him like that, either, but you weren’t there at the time… As a result, he challenged Night Fortress, and then the Gold and Silver Sect occupied our place.”
“What were you doing then?! What were you all doing during my absence? What? You can bully girls, but sit on your laurels when a strong foe rocks up?”
Second Brother rubbed his hands and chuckled awkwardly. He scratched his head, “Not entirely. The main reason was that we didn’t have what it took to match them, at the time… Over two-hundred of their members came. We didn’t have enough manpower.”
“We don’t even have two-hundred men? We had over a thousand men when I left. What happened to all of them?”
Third Brother stepped out and pushed his glasses up, “They were dismissed.”
He nodded, “Yes.”
“Who dismissed them?”
Third Brother smiled mysteriously, “Me.”
I finally understood how my Shifu felt when he had wanted to strangle him to death.
I angrily asked, “What did you dismiss them for?”
“Senior Brother, it was all your fault?”
‘Huh?! He’s shifting the blame again!’
Third Brother pushed his glasses up, leading to the golden string emitting a ray of intelligence.
“Bear in mind that the one thousand or so members of Night Fortress were weird people that you knocked the living daylights out of and then accepted into Night Fortress. There were mountain bandits, bandits and members of the Demon Sect. Nobody could control them. You were able to control them, as you were strong enough to.”
“They essentially did nothing for the half a year after your departure. Everyone followed you when you were still around, regardless of what we were doing. I was able to arrange for an opportunity to make money, whenever there was something to do. However, you didn’t return. They just lazed around all day, after you left. It’s all right for them to laze around for a day or two, but for a year or two…”
I was panicstricken by what he said.
“What happened to the money I earned back then?!”
“Rest assured,” Third Brother kept cool as a cucumber, “We didn’t touch a single penny. The treasures you collected are all still there. I had dismissed the members before they ate through us entirely.”
‘At least they left the money. That puts me at ease a little.’
“Don’t feel completely reassured.” Second Brother poked his head in and weakly added, “Did you forget that Night Fortress was challenged, and that the Gold and Silver Sect now occupies the place?”
‘Ah? Does he mean…?’
“God fucking damn it! Hong Jiu!!”
Second Brother shuddered, as a result of my roar. I grabbed him over with one hand and spat in his face as I exclaimed, “You’re saying that all the treasures I hid at Night Fortress are all gone?! What about my Night Net Book?”
He didn’t dare to look at me. Instead, he turned his head away.
Since he was silent, Fourth Brother jumped out to inform me, “Senior Brother, Night Net Book has been taken.”
I looked at my Second Brother with utter disbelief. He lowered his head.
“Hong Jiu!” I thundered at him, grabbing his collar, “Say that one more fucking time! Where’s Night Net Book?!”
Hong Jiu lowered his head with shame, seemingly not able look me in the eye.
I looked at him with rage. My eyes were on the verge of spitting flames. Not even I remember the last time I was so outraged, but he seriously went too far this time.
All of Mount Daluo’s styles are uniquely created. Ever since the grand-master, the senior martial uncles, and previously left behind manuals all have their own unique names.
The grand-master’s self-created style was named Daluo, literally, Big Net.
Shifu’s self-created style was named Tianluo, which means Heaven’s Net.
While I created Yeluo, meaning Night Net.
As we martial siblings are still young, we haven’t mastered martial arts, and therefore lack the prerequisites to create our own style. Consequently, I’m basically the only person who created some martial art mental cultivation techniques.
I recorded all of that stuff inside Night Net Book and placed it in the treasure storage at Night Fortress. I considered it a contribution to my sect.
In other words, all the styles and techniques I created are recorded in there. The other techniques such as Dragon Groping Claws, Divine Food Catching Fingers, The Shoulder Belongs to Me Art were just my way of having fun, so they’re nothing rare.
Besides them, though, Night Fortress’s invincible mental cultivation technique, Night Steps and all of its intricacies are recorded in there.
Night Steps isn’t just a mere Qinggong art, but also a style for cultivating internal energy. It had breathing techniques and energy moulding transformation techniques, equipping its practitioner to see immense daily internal energy increases. That was the essence of what I spent over ten years learning.
If the book has fallen into the hands of others, the consequences are unfathomable.
“You useless sack of shit! You came to see me after losing it? All the intricacies of Night Steps are recorded inside. You let the Gold and Silver Sect just waltz off with it?!”
I raised my hands up high. Second Brother went totally pale in the face. He raised his head up to say, “Senior Brother, just beat me to death. I can’t face you after that. I am willing to serve you when I reach the other side and…”
“Shut up! You think I don’t dare hit you?!”
Just as I was about to slap the top half of the bastard’s body off, Third Brother suddenly spoke up, “Senior Brother, it’s not all Second Brother’s fault alone.”
I glared at him, “You telling me it’s my fault then?”
“Yes.” Third Brother continued at a slow pace, “Second Brother merely held Night Fortress together, as per your instructions when you left. You’re the one who suddenly said he wanted to retire. That’s how this whole incident came about. Second Brother was oblivious to the matter. Even if he didn’t notify you, he just happened to do bad when he had good intentions. He can’t be blamed.”
I raised my hand and stared at my Third Brother, before glancing back at my Second Brother, who had his eyes shut while I grabbed him.
The two of them looked at me nervously, similarly to children who committed mistakes, worried that I’d punish them.
I heard their heart beats very clearly.
I snorted heavily.
“What bullshit! If it’s something the previous master left behind, you could easily allow them to get lost! I don’t care who you want to blame. You guys lost it, so you have to find it.”
I pushed Hong Jiu away and then pointed at his face, “Hong Jiu, I don’t care whether you die or live, but if you don’t bring the Night Net Book back, don’t ever come to see me again.”
He staggered and nearly tripped over. He steadied himself and loudly proclaimed, “Rest assured, Senior Brother. I’ll throw my life away if I have to, in order to get back the Night Net Book from that punk Jin Wangsun, to apologise!”
Hong Jiu responded in a serious tone, “I’ll put a hole in the son of a bitch’s ass!”
“Whatever, that’s nothing. What’s crucial is Night Net Book. It contains our styles. Nothing in it is to be spread.” I continued in a heavy tone, “If one man read it, kill him. If a hundred people read it, kill all one hundred of them. If a single outsider learns the intricacies of Night Steps, don’t ever come back to see me.”
Second Brother nodded solemnly.
I finally managed to relax my long face slightly.
“This wasn’t your mistake alone, and I won’t make you resolve it on your own. The three of you are to take advantage of Jin Wangsun being in the Capital City to complete this task, got it?”
Second and Fourth Brother responded in unison, “Yes!”
However, Third Brother slowly shook his head.
I frowned, “Third, what are you shaking your head for?”
He made an open hand gesture and responded slowly, “No matter how you slice it, nobody is better a better fit for the Patriarch seat than you.”
I cleared my throat to end the awkwardness. I did lose my temper, but we’re martial brothers that haven’t met in ages, so we started chatting away cheerfully afterwards. I told them a fair lot about what happened recently, which reminded me of something.
“That reminds me, why are you dressed as Indians?”
Second Brother was in high spirits again, after we started getting friendly, “Heh! There’s no secret. I’ll tell you. We entered the Capital with plans to find you at Liu Shan Men, but then we heard that somebody was recently spreading Ximen Chuideng’s painting. The three of us then came here to search around and, indeed, we found that it was true that his painting was being circulated. However, there were only the odd few hawkers selling them, while we also noticed people secretively stalking them. Hence, it caught our attention, and we began conducting investigations over and over. We found out that it was a ploy to lure Lord San Shen out. From that, we concluded that they were planning to bring harm to you.”
“Subsequently, the three of us came up with the idea to dress up as Indians and randomly sell paintings of Lord San Shen, passing you off as an old Indian man. Since we gave the paintings to the hawkers for free, they only sold them for a penny. In turn, that saturated the market, whilst getting rid of the Ximen Chuideng paintings.”
‘I see now. No wonder why I didn’t hear about Ximen Chuideng’s being circulated. So it was your prank. Did nobody take it seriously?!’
I cackled and then praised them for an amazing job. We returned to idle catch-up chatter for a while. When we got to my recent situation, I brought up me becoming a Fuma candidate.
Third Brother laughed with disbelief.
“If you were a Fuma, wouldn’t you be keeping the Princess company?”
“Buddy, that’s outlandish, don’t you think?”
“I don’t believe you. You’re lying.”
“Who said I wasn’t keeping the Princess company? I am right now.”
I raised the hand of the beauty in my arms, “Aren’t I?”
The three of them were immediately stunned. They then chuckled insipidly. They looked at me, who didn’t laugh, but was seemingly on the verge of tears, “What are you saying, Senior Brother?”
I shrugged and responded nonchalantly, “This girl here, who you knocked out, is a Princess.”
The three of them reacted with looks of despair in an instant.
*Shiniang = title for Shifu’s wife
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