Big Vat’s Day. Refining the Vat.
Jin Wangsun paced back and forth in his room, looking as if he was anxious. Jiangnan’s usually graceful young master currently looked distressed and uneasy. One could go as far as to say that there was a tinge of… fear and anxiety that would be difficult to illustrate with words.
For the last few days, Jin Wangsun had been extremely unsettled. Men from Yingtian Prefecture had their eyes on his estate, and thus, he couldn’t go anywhere, subsequently staying at home. Little did he realise, Hongjiu, the megaphone, went around promoting his nicknames ‘Big Golden Vat’ and ‘Big Pants’ amongst the people.
His legacy spread throughout via the rhymes that the children sang. There is something that is faster than cheetahs; that would be the mouths of women who love to gossip. Hongjiu cleverly passed the song onto the ladies at the market and shared it with children. Jin Wangsun had always been infamous in the capital. News of him exploiting the people to flaunt himself that day spread far and wide. Consequently, it only took a few days for his signature song to be as hot as Eight Deities Tavern’s business. The song spread so wildly that even Jin Wangsun, who was stuck at home, heard of it.
Jin Wangsun was infuriated, so infuriated that he almost coughed blood. Everyone who knew what was going on knew that the credit belonged to Mount Daluo’s people. So accordingly, he hired assassins to deal with Ming Feizhen. Nevertheless, that wasn’t the main reason that he was unsettled. His source of unease was the master of Night Fortress.
He tried to locate the whereabouts of the master of Night Fortress who barged into his abode and went on a rampage, and also the one who palmed him into a vat. His subordinates reported in on the matter not long ago. After that day, he was certain that he knew who Master Night Fortress was. Jin Wangsun had no means of taking any actions when Master Night Fortress was so skilled and plotting against him. Alas, the results of his investigation were disappointing.
There was no direct or clear evidence that described how Master Night Fortress operated in the pugilistic world, his face or his character, let alone his current whereabouts. There was only one thing that he considered suspicious, which was the record of who came and went from the Imperial Palace.
Jin Wangsun was rich enough to have almost everyone at his beck and call. He spent a large sum of money to bribe high-ranking eunuch Wang Tushui to get his hands on the records of entry and exits from the Imperial Palace on the day Master Night Fortress showed up. Jin Wangsun had his men look into every single person who was on the list, even going as far as investigating Prime Minister Li Si, who was well into old age. He didn’t overlook any individual who was famous. Unfortunately, he didn’t learn anything. Everyone on the list was innocent.
Only then did Jin Wangsun admonish himself for being foolish. Given Master Night Fortress’ phenomenal qinggong prowess and ability to move as fast as the wind, not even the entire Imperial Palace’s guards could stop him. Why would he go to the trouble of signing in and out?
Initially, it was no big deal until he met the young Sisi from the League of Assassins. He heard from her that Master Night Fortress was in the capital and had a fixed identity. She didn’t expose his identity, but she was willing to help him kill Ming Feizhen.
At the time, her enthusiasm perplexed him, and he didn’t suspect Ming Feizhen. Today, however, Jin Wangsun happened to reorganise the Imperial Palace’s entrance and exit records. That was when he suddenly heard a song being sung, “Big Vat is stupid, Big Vat is scum, Big Vat isn’t worth three coins. Big Vat is blue; Big Vat is green. The Green Vat is truly so pretty.” He was so furious about the lyrics that he almost gave into his urge and leapt over the wall to kick the kid’s ass, and teach him why Gold and Silver Sect was not to be trifled with.
It was then that Jin Wangsun suddenly had a revelation. The lyrics caused him to get angry with Mount Daluo and Ming Feizhen.
Jin Wangsun suddenly realised that it was true that Master Night Fortress didn’t sign in, but neither did Ming Feizhen. That day was the first time he spoke with Ming Feizhen, which was why it left a deep impression on him. Ming Feizhen entered the palace and met the Emperor, so his name should’ve been on the records.
The question, therefore, was why was Ming Feizhen’s name missing? However, he then recalled that Sisi enthusiastically offered to assassinate Ming Feizhen. All the pieces of the puzzle finally came together. The only possible reason that Ming Feizhen didn’t sign in on the records was because he entered the Imperial Palace using qinggong. He finally had an epiphany; Jin Wangsun figured out the big secret. Master Night Fortress was Ming Feizhen!
Jin Wangsun frowned when he had the realisation. He still vividly remembered that day, when Master Night Fortress used a single staff to turn his entire abode on its head. While Jin Wangsun didn’t go all out, he was aware that he wouldn’t be able to defeat Master Night Fortress even if he did go all out. So accordingly, he knew that he was significantly inferior to Master Night Fortress. Nevertheless, he still sent assassins after him and competed with him for the Princess. Heaven knows what consequences of all of those actions would be.
But it didn’t end there. On the rainy night, one of his men came in to give a report. His subordinate reported that Huo Qing’er, his fiancée, who he missed day and night, had recently disappeared from her home in Zhenjiang and had yet to return. But then, he suddenly caught wind that she was spotted in the capital.
Gold and Silver Sect’s information network in the capital alone wouldn’t be so well-informed. What bolstered his network was the eldest Princess backing him from the shadows. Princess Jinagan grew up in the capital; while she was physically frail, she wasn’t an ignorant woman. The Orange Prince raised his own faction, so it was only natural for a Princess to have her own people. Her people caught sight of Jin Wangsun’s fiancée, Huo Qing’er, suddenly going to and fro the largest and most famous brothel in the capital, Heavenly Fragrance Garden. He further heard that she welcomed guests and saw guests off, being very devoted to providing the highest standard of customer service as if she was the proprietor of Heavenly Fragrance Garden.
Jin Wangsun understood his fiancée’s temperament; he, therefore, knew that she was angry and deliberately doing that to provoke him. Thus, he now had an even higher pile of concerns when it was already high enough to make him anxious.
“How could Qing’er be so silly?! Of course I would return to marry her once my career goal has been achieved. Wouldn’t I be disappointing her and making her suffer if I’m a nobody, and Gold and Silver Sect doesn’t flourish as it did in the past? Why does she not understand my painstaking efforts?”
Jin Wangsun and Huo Qing’er’s romance developed from when they were young. They met when they were children. Huo Qing’er was younger than him by more than a few years. Huo Clan was one of the big clans within Gold and Silver Sect. As such, she was very close to Jin Wangsun. The two childhood friends also had a wedding arrangement with each other, and naturally became a couple that earned the envy of those around.
Jin Wangsun devotedly loved Huo Qing’er. In spite of having fallen for Princess Hongzhuang, he didn’t consider it an issue for, according to his knowledge, there was rarely ever anyone with concubines. Hence, he even struggled to comprehend why Huo Qing’er didn’t like him becoming a Fuma.
Jin Wangsun paced back and forth in the room, but sadly, no feasible ideas came to mind.
Suddenly, Jin Wangsun’s eyes latched onto a big golden vat. Jin Wangsun earnestly gazed at the vat that was placed in his room. He was the one who bought it. He told his servants and slaves that it was there to remind him to never let anyone defeat him again and provide him with encouragement. In truth, though, it had another intended purpose.
Jin Wangsun frowned and squinted. He stared at the opening of the vat with an incredibly imposing gaze for a long, long time… maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration.
He then slowly squeezed his buttocks into the opening and skilfully slid down into it. The deep and steady feeling was comfortable to him. Jin Wangsun sternly shoved himself into the vat.
At the same time that he slid down into it, he let out a soothing moan as if he took a dip in a hot spring, “Aaahh, that feels amazing.”
He then relaxed his limbs on the edge of the opening, and did his best to relax his body and mind.
At some point in time, Jin Wangsun began to feel that he could only seriously and smoothly deliberate matters when he was in a vat. Of course, he couldn’t allow others to see him in a vat, and so he had to hide his little fetish to himself. He only ever lied in a vat when he was all alone.
Allowing his mind to relax also altered his mood. Jin Wangsun gradually shut his eyes. He seemingly found the answer to his problems in life deep within his soul…
Suddenly, someone booted the door open and came in, freaking out while exclaiming, “Master! Master, we have trouble!! Where are you?!! Eh…? What are you doing?”
When the individual came in, Jin Wangsun was amid a relaxing sensation with his eyes shut as he lay still in a vat and enjoyed it. Nonetheless, as soon as he heard the voice, he vigorously opened his eyes with a stern expression on his face. He quickly placed his hands that he had nearly posed his hands in the orchid flower pose, touching his thumb to his middle finger while spreading the others, before on his chest and thought carefully before replying, “I… fell in.”
“Oh… Do you need help?”
“Uhm. Pull hard, as it’s quite tight.”
The individual immediately helped Jin Wangsun out; it didn’t take much effort. Jin Wangsun then found his footing and smiled, “All right. Now, how would you like to die?”
The other slaves soon heard a tragic cry from inside the room; thus they immediately rushed in to find Jin Wangsun wiping blood off his hand. Jin Wangsun wore an indifferent expression, “He committed a mistake.”
That was all that Jin Wangsun said.
The scouts Jin Wangsun used weren’t his own men he brought to the capital, but scouts from the pugilistic world who he hired. The loosely managed intelligence organisations had pros and cons. The pro to using them was that no traces would be left; the con was that information accuracy was relatively unreliable, and the scouts would never risk their lives.
The information collected was oftentimes trivial. Usually, one of Jin Wangsun’s slaves was responsible for collecting the information, and then reporting back. However, the dead slave “committed a mistake,” so Jin Wangsun had no choice but to personally listen to the numerous reports himself. Unfortunately, after listening to multiple reports, all he heard was how Ming Feizhen ate, drank, took dumps, slept and other trivial matters. Just when he was fed up and about to tell them to shut their traps, he heard a shocking piece of news.
The man who reported the shocking news went by the name of Master Eighteen. He dressed similarly to a beggar. He slowly reported to Jin Wangsun, while Jin Wangsun’s face gradually turned paler and paler.
“D-Did you just say that Qing’er spent a night with a member from Liu Shan Men?”
Master Eighteen frowned, “One night? As of today, it is their third night sleeping together. Big Bro, the fellow she got with is seriously a donkey, and doesn’t get tired.”
Jin Wangsun’s face eventually turned white as a sheet. He couldn’t stop his head; he began to shake his head in denial, “Impossible, impossible. She loves me… She was my wife since we were kids. She would never treat me that way? You have to be lying! Are you serious?”
Master Eighteen didn’t panic despite Jin Wangsun’s loss of composure. He smiled, “What do you think, Young Master? I would not lie about such things. Two people drank wine until they were drunk and when their feelings reached their peaks. Do not forget that one is a young man, and one is a young woman. Would it not be normal for them to make a mistake? Moreover, I watched Heavenly Fragrance Garden every night and personally heard good news.”
“Why…? Who… who’s that man?!”
“I, myself, am not sure. I think his surname was Ming or something or rather.”
“Ming Feizhen! Ming Feizhen again! Fuck!” The veins on Jin Wangsun became visible. He thundered, “I’ll kill him!!”
Jin Wangsun took off toward one of the guests rooms and yelled, “A-Hu! A-Hu!! Come out!”
A large titan of a man suddenly appeared as if he appeared from thin air. He saluted Jin Wangsun in a half-crouched and half-kneeling position.
Jin Wangsun commanded, “Hand me Tiger Fang!”
The silent titan remained silent. His eyes were calm as still water. However, his calm gaze rubbed Jin Wangsun the wrong way. Jin Wangsun was so irate that he just wanted to go on a rampage!
“Give me the blade!!”
Jin Wangsun picked up the teapot on the table and shattered it over A-Hu’s head! Nonetheless, the large man remained in place with a straight posture. He allowed his blood to course down his head and onto his face as if it was heavy rain, but he didn’t give in.
“Master, you are grounded.”
“I haven’t got one fuck to give about that! Qing’er has eloped with another man!” Jin Wangsun’s eyes were bloodshot red, “She’s my wife! How dare Ming Feizhen lay his hands on her?!”
“Master Hu, Young Master…”
Jin Wangsun shot the slave a glare, scaring him enough to make him shiver. Ever since Jin Wangsun succeeded the patriarch post, he hated nothing more than people calling him ‘Young Master’. The servants had to call him ‘Master’, if not ‘Patriarch’. ‘Young Master’ was a title only fit for when he was not in power.
The slave gulped his saliva before barely answering, “Shuntian Prefecture has increased the number of men outside the abode… by three times.”
The world spun before Jin Wangsun’s eyes. With stars in his eyes, he raged, “Three times?! What for? Are they suppressing an uprising?”
“It is not that serious… Liu Shan Men and the Qilin Guards sent thirty men each. Liu Shan Men is tasked with patrolling the exterior of the abode, while the Qilin Guards… came straight into our abode to watch us.”
Jin Wangsun had enough pent up anger as is due to being grounded in his abode, only for him to now be put under surveillance, as well. The Seven Champion White Princes had always been the overlords of the pugilistic world and held in the highest esteem.
‘Is this predicament one that a Seven Champion White Prince should be in? Should the patriarch of Gold and Silver Sect be in this predicament?!’
“What are they doing that for?! Are they going to bully in our very own place now, too?”
The slave explained, “They said… that they are doing this, because you left without permission and ran amok, also citing your two subordinates, in particular. They stated that one called for over eighty girls, while another destroyed over a dozen rooms and… and beat up four assistant ministers.”
“That’s bullshit!” Jin Wangsun thundered, “That’s fucking utter fucking bullshit!”
Jin Wangsun started to hurl profanity. Owing to A-Hu not giving him Tiger Fang, he used his hand as a blade and horizontally slashed a table, splitting it into eighteen or seventeen fragments at the moment of contact! That wasn’t enough to appease Jin Wangsun, nevertheless. He began to kick and punch a large tree in the courtyard as if he lost his mind.
He only relaxed somewhat after hitting the tree until his hands were covered in blood. Amazingly, he calmed down due to his brain burning up. Once he finished beating the tree, he leaned his head on the trunk in silence. After a long silence, he gradually began to laugh maniacally.
“Fine! Fine! Fine! Fine! Fine!! Ming Feizhen, you want to play, do you?” Jiangnan’s nice young master, who was always gentle and graceful, finally unleashed the arrogant air he had upon first arriving at the capital, again, “I’ll play with you, then! Constable from Liu Shan Men, Master Night Fortress, let’s see how you hide your identity on the Fuma selection day!!”
*Orchid Flower Hand Pose looks like so: https://static.appledaily.hk/images/apple-photos/apple/20090716/large/16ec5p31.jpg