Nothing More Tragic in Life (Part 1)
I accidentally fell asleep and slept as if I was dead.
I have a rather bad habit; once I fall asleep, it’s hard for me to wake up. In a way, it’s not a weak point, as my senses for killing intent and so forth increases in magnitude while asleep, thereby allowing me to evade twice as fast as usual.
My worst habit is that once I’m asleep, I won’t pull any punches when I strike. I was even worse when I was young. When I fell asleep one time, I brought the entire tavern down and spent a night sleeping in the rubble. That’s why I usually mind where I sleep, always choosing to sleep in safe places. Else, others will be at risk.
Because of my poor sleeping habits, Tang Ye copped a beating, which led to him discovering that there was something peculiar about my martial arts.
I heard someone shouting and carrying on in my slumber.
“Hey! Hey! Wake up! What are you doing?! How can you sleep after such a ruckus?! Hey, this is dangerous!”
“Are you actually asleep or not?! How are you still so formidable? Wait! I’m not your enemy! Hey!”
“Stop touching me! What are you doing?! Pervert! Y-Y-You!”
The rambling next to my ear annoyed me, so I raised a hand and effortlessly covered the source of the sound, thereby giving me my desired silence. And so, I fell deep asleep again.
Having not slept for days, my brain gradually melted as if all of the accumulated fatigue was released.
After sleeping for an unknown length of time, I gradually woke from my deep slumber.
When I opened my eyes, I saw a sky-blue ceiling of a bed. The style was elegant, but also had an ancient vibe to it.
‘Mm… this doesn’t seem to be my bedroom.’
“What’s going on? Where is this place…?’”
It took me a moment to recall that I was at Heavenly Fragrance Garden. I went to rub my head, only to discover someone sitting next to me.
I recalled what happened before I fell asleep.
‘I think I put Miss Sisi next to me, and then fell asleep. Damn, don’t tell me… wait. I sealed Miss Sisi’s meridians. She shouldn’t be able to sit up.’
‘Don’t tell me it was Shiyi!’
‘Let me explain! I didn’t deliberately sleep with the girl. I sealed her meridians, ptoo, I didn’t seal her meridians to commit a crime! In any case, just let me explain!’
I mustered up my strength to open my eyes and look over. What I saw was extremely smooth and soft clothing. Therefore, I concluded that it should’ve been made from the best silk. The individual didn’t look tall and actually thin and small. As my line of sight ascended, I finally met with their eyes.
The eyes I met with the eyes of someone with seventy to eighty years of accumulated intellect, the hallmark of a veteran. When he relaxed his eyelids, I saw wrinkles and an elderly smile!
‘Why is it not Miss Sisi or Shiyi, but an old man?!!’
The elder, Prime Minister Li Si, stroked his beard upon seeing me back off, “Master Ming, why are you overreacting upon seeing this old one?”
‘Is that a trick question?! If I climbed into your bed and scared you the same way, you’d have kicked me out the door by now! Also, don’t sit there smiling that way to someone on the bed. That’s super spooky! If I wasn’t able to resist, I’d have shattered your brains with my fist by now!!!!!’
Still in shock, I asked, “Prime Minister… what are you here for?”
‘Now that’s what I call a good question. What the heck is the Prime Minister blindly barging into rooms for?’
As I spoke, I checked my surroundings, only to frighten myself again. I just had to open my eyes and saw people. Not only were their men in black, but also muscles from the brothel dressed in dressed in a variety of styles and colours. I was basically faced with a hill of people.
“Wh-What is this…?”
Prime Minister Li Si smiled, “It would be your masterpiece.”
“I did it?”
“Why, of course. Actually, to be precise, you did it while asleep. The people in here includes the assistant ministers’ servants, some are generals’ subordinates, and needless to say, those in black are not good news.”
“Assistant minister? Generals?”
“Relax, relax, they were just displeased with your audacious behaviour and came to find trouble with you. This old one has helped you fend them off.”
Prime Minister Li Si looked as though he was smiling, yet not. He gave me the thumbs up, “Mount Daluo’s fame is truly extraordinary. Their disciples are able to fight back even in their sleep. This old one merely passed by here, yet personally saw you send men flying with your eyes shut, and then hug a young girl and sleep. You truly are a hero. This old one had nothing to do and wanted to exchange a few words with you, and therefore sat down to wait for you.”
“Then, the young girl…”
“There is no need to fret. This old one had someone carry her aside to avoid her interrupting our conversation. You two will get the opportunity to meet in a moment.”
I found myself speechless. I wouldn’t believe him even if he told me I wasn’t responsible for the mess in the room. The Prime Minister must’ve told the truth: I must’ve been excessively audacious and flashy before, and then beat everyone who came to pick a fight.
I felt relieved somewhat upon seeing the wise foresight in Prime Minister Li Si’s eyes. If he wanted to report me, he would’ve done so long ago, not sit here and wait for me to wake up.
“Prime Minister Li, you waited for this one to wake up? You should not have been so tolerant.”
Prime Minister Li chuckled, “There is no need for such formalities. Master Ming, the Fuma selection is coming right up, yet you have the free time to be visiting brothels. You must be in quite the excellent mood, huh?”
His statement could be casual, but could also be very serious. Nevertheless, I couldn’t detect any threat or warning in his tone. As such, I touched my head and replied, “Erm, this humble one will not be able to visit them in the future, which is why this humble one came to relish these last trips. Prime Minister, you are the head of officials in the Imperial Court, yet you are here to enjoy the youth, erm, replenish your energy?”
Prime Minister Li Si replied with composure, “This old one observes the public’s state of affairs; hence, it is only natural for this old one to be out and about. This old one heard that someone was here to cause trouble, claiming that they were Zhenjiang’s Jin Wangsun, and therefore came to see what it was about. Who would have known that Jin Wangsun’s subordinates were so sly and would have the audacity to bash the family members of the assistant ministers and generals? *Sigh*, this old one cannot help but feel frustrated.”
I saw the Prime Minister’s cunning gaze. If I didn’t know who managed Heavenly Fragrance Garden on behalf of His Majesty, I’d be the stupidest of the stupidest!
“I see. If His Majesty was to know how diligent you worked, he really should make you the exemplar for all officials to aspire to. Please look after yourself, Prime Minister. The nation cannot be without you.”
The two of us exchanged glances, and then simultaneously laughed.
“When this old one met you at the Imperial Court that day, this old one knew that you were quick witted, and indeed, you have proven that to be true today. Master Ming, you are young, yet accomplished. If you were to become an official, your future would know no bounds.”
“Prime Minister, you are wise, which this humble one has gratefully benefited much from. May this humble one ask how this humble one can be of use to you?”
Prime Minister Li Si responded, “Haha, you are an astute and straightforward individual. I first heard of you when Vice-Captain Shen mentioned that she had three individuals join to assist. Master Tang is a formidable martial artist, Master Su possesses a splendid appearance, and Master Ming is a fish that escaped the net. Indeed, escaped you have; however, it was these eyes that missed you. If this old one had one with your astuteness as a subordinate, this old one would have a big weight lifted. Master Ming, have you ever considered helping this old one?”
*The part where Ming Feizhen asks Prime Minister Li if he is at the brothel to replenish his energy is actually worded as, “… savouring scallions, erm, adding garlic to years.”
The scallions reference has to do with the fact that brothel is has the character for ‘green’, 青楼 (lit. green building), which makes the rest self-explanatory. Garlic, as you should already know, is known for its potent ability to provide immune system support. So garlic here is actually replacing the words ‘strengthening’, ‘restoring’, and so forth. Note that garlic only holds this implied meaning within certain contexts and you can’t substitute it for those aforementioned words interchangeably; otherwise, it can be used as an offensive way of suggesting someone is behind the times.
Now you have a Morse code for when discussing your impure trips with your mates down at the bar. Shame on you.