Newly Appointed Official. First Torch to Bear.
Liu Yuan displayed his delight for my misery of the swarm of people in my face with his face. He hid his sly smile with a teacup, but he didn’t fully cover it! I could see that smirk on his face perfectly clear from my angle.
Liu Yuan is responsible for handling miscellaneous things in the office; he’s responsible for delivering the office’s documents. He knows better than anyone when documents should be submitted, yet I was swarmed with these petty matters that clearly didn’t need any thinking.
‘I’m sure that it’s this punk that told them to come to me!’
I looked at Liu Yuan’s smug, stupid face. Using ventriloquism, I muttered, “It was your idea, wasn’t it?”
As Liu Yuan drank his tea, he’d occasionally lick the edge of the cup.
“What are you talking about? How come I can’t understand what you’re saying?”
‘You think you’re convincing?!’
‘It must be because I gave you a beating when I first joined Liu Shan Men that you’re now trying to exact revenge on me, since Boss is out!’
I can’t believe this guy is so petty that he’d remember something from so long ago. When I thought about it more carefully, though, I realised that this wasn’t just about the beating that I gave him.
‘It’s about Su Xiao, isn’t it?! You’re jealous that Su Xiao gets along with me, aren’t you! You finally found a chance to get revenge, is it?!’
“Keep up your stupid act, and I’ll call Su Xiao here for a talk…”
And as I thought, the mention of Su Xiao caused him to lose his cool expression.
“Tch, who cares if you know it was me?” Liu Yuan muffled his chuckle, “You’re a newly appointed individual, so it’s only normal for you to take on jobs. Henceforward, you’ll have your fair share, don’t worry.”
‘I knew it was you!’
‘How bored are these people?
They’ve all squeezed into my room, since they have nothing to do. If we hold the meeting at Vermillion Hall, the meeting will need to be recorded for Boss Shen to examine afterwards.
‘I’ll be surprised if Boss doesn’t rip you to shreds with all this nonsensical babbling of yours.’
Seeing the sulky looks on their faces reminded me of the day Boss promoted me to Head Constable. After my promotion was announced, these people all wore this sulky look.
I’m not exactly welcomed at the office; plus, I spent over twenty days recuperating (read: lazing around) and ditched my shifts daily, which led to them being even more displeased with me. As a consequence, their discontent for me exploded when Boss left me with some authority when she left.
‘You lame, boring people!!’
‘You’re all teaming up to boss me around, because Boss promoted me to head constable and left me with authority around here? When you have to fight with outsiders, you’re all pushovers, but when it comes to fighting your own, you’re all bloody masters! For the dark side of working for the Imperial Court to be exhibited through these insignificant matters of yours, I’m sad for you!’
‘Also, Zha Pi, whatever the hell are you here for?!! Piss off back to Sir Sui and water the plants!!’
Liu Yuan licked the cup again; then, he shot me a ridiculing gaze, “That’s how politics work. Everyone knows how it works. When you can’t bear it anymore, I’ll come help you.”
‘Piss off with your good guy act! It was your idea in the first place, bastard!! To add to that, you’re a Ninth Rank official. Who in the world would be jealous of you when you’re at the bottom of the rung?!’
As I was speaking to Liu Yuan, a constable leapt over to where my foot was, as I wasn’t paying attention to him, “I beg you, Head Constable Ming, please show your benevolence and tear down the walls to the female constables’ courtyard on my behalf!”
‘Fuck you! You’re trying to get me killed!’
‘If I tear that wall down, Boss will smash me to mush with an inkstone when she comes back! Moreover, who brings such a grand request to a meeting?! Have you no shame?!!’
This guy was just here to cause trouble, but he created a domino effect. The others asked for money, authority, vacation, passes, wanted me investigate cases as they pushed me around and rambled.
Annoyed, I pressed my fingers to my temples. I sent Tang Ye an eye signal to do something about the situation, but he was still on the ground wrestling with the mantou that was choking him… Just when I was considering borrowing the Princess’ sabre to hack a few of them to get them to calm down so that I, too, could calm down, I suddenly heard a distinct voice from the door, “Big Brother, are you in?”
“Second Martial Brother?”
“Oh, you’re in. Great!”
Second kicked my door open and came in, bouncing with a mischievous smile on his face.
“It was too late last night, so we did not get to chat enough. Regarding Jin Wangsun, how should we…”
Seeing so many people in the room caused Second Brother to freeze, “Eh? What are so many people doing squashed together in a room so early in the morning? Big Brother, what are you doing?’
However, being a man that’s used to behaving as though nobody is around him, he didn’t care who all these people were, “What are you all doing standing around my Big Brother for? Move, move, all of you move.”
Second wasn’t formal with the group of people. He pulled one away with his left hand and kicked another way with his right leg, thereby immediately clearing out the crowd around me, and then sat down opposite me.
Needless to say, the people he moved away weren’t pleased. Nevertheless, when they compared themselves with my Second Brother’s muscles, most of their anger dissipated.
The other people in my room included the elders, who had been employed at Liu Shan Men for twenty years, while others were officials recognised by the Imperial Court. In fact, there was Official Tongzhi, who specifically focused on apprehending bandits and robbers. He’s a Fifth Rank official under the current Imperial Court system. Many documents were handled by him, but he was also on the ground – courtesy of Second Brother’s kick.
Consequently, he began to furiously scream and shout. If the document in his hand could be used to chop someone up, he’d have chopped my Second Brother into a meat pie by now, “Ming Feizhen! What is the deal with your junior brother? He dares to hit even me?!!”
Second Brother didn’t comment. All he did was wipe the sweat on his forehead. He seemingly came here after morning practice. A trail of sweat coursed along the trail of the sunlight shining on his bronze muscles. Second didn’t make a fuss with the others. He just wiped his forehead of sweat then whipped his hand.
He whipped his sweat onto the table. It was merely sweat, yet it landed on the table loudly as if he threw stones down. Upon closer inspection, there wasn’t a drip of water in sight. What landed on the table were several condensed drops of sweat. That’s not an advanced martial arts or anything. It’s merely the palm style that Second Brother specifically trained. Due to his swift hand speed, the drops of sweat flew fast, thereby condensing. Given how strong his arms are, it comes to no surprise that his drops of condensed sweat landed on the table with a loud sound.
While I wasn’t surprised, ordinary people would perceive him as a Jia Rank warrior judging from that level of skill. Thus, several of the civil officials had their wits scared out of them. If even Tang Ye widened his eyes with admiration at Second Brother’s skill, the reactions of the others is self-explanatory.
“What? What are you all surrounding my Big Brother for?” Like a thug, Second Brother put one leg on a chair and in an overbearing tone, threatened, “I won’t concern myself with other matters, but if anyone dares to touch a hair on my Big Brother, I, Hong Jiu, will palm strike him as if I’m crushing a watermelon. If two people touch him, I’ll palm strike two people.”
Unfortunately, Second Brother’s valiant act didn’t appease their anger. To the contrary, it added fuel to the fire.
One constable yelled, “Who’d you say you’d palm strike? Palm someone; I dare you!”
Another constable snickered then spoke to me, “You’re a real piece of work. I’m amazed that you brought an outsider in to shit on our Liu Shan Men.”
There was no way of wording how much ridicule was found in his tone.