Night View on New Year’s Eve – Shiny Edges (Part 2)
“Big Cat, come and greet His Majesty!”
As soon as he gave the order, a family slave, who carried a box containing a weapon, stepped forth with big strides. He stayed behind Jin Wangsun with a hunched back the entire time, and also kept quiet in order to stay alert. As a result, few ever noticed him. Nonetheless, when they saw him step out with big strides, his head up and chest out, they sensed his incredible aura.
The man was extremely tall. In fact, he was quite a bit taller than Ming Feizhen. To add, he was muscular, which gave the impression that he possessed immense might. His messy hair was tied up behind him, helping him look suave as opposed to boorish. Even the Emperor’s eyes lit up upon setting his eyes on the man with the impressive appearance.
“He’s a titan, indeed!” the Emperor remarked to himself.
Big Cat was Jin Wangsun’s strongest subordinate. For those who have forgotten, he was one who carried Tiger Fang on his back, Jiangnan’s titan, A Hu. His skills were superior to even Jin Wangsun. With his Tiger Fang blade on his back, as well, he could be considered on par with Jia Yunfeng.
The Emperor, who loved talent, asked, “Wangsun, who is this impressive gentleman?”
With a smile, Jin Wangsun answered, “It is shameful to say this: he is merely Wangsun’s family slave who is tasked with carrying sabres. His name is A Hu. He has no skills. It is just that Wangsun is used to having him serve Wangsun, and he knows Wangsun. As such, he is convenient to have around for errands and the sort.”
It took Ming Feizhen only an instant to figure out Jin Wangsun’s strategy. The previous threat was the first strike. Bringing A Hu into the picture was his second strike. He deliberately suggested a two-man team contest. A Hu was more skilled than Jin Wangsun was. With them being master and servant on top of both practicing Gold and Silver Sect’s martial arts, their chemistry was exceptional. It was a given that their combination would be far superior to himself and Tang Ye combined thanks to the aforementioned reason. To top it off, there was also the difference in weapon quality. As a subsequence, Ming Feizhen was very likely to lose the round.
The nail in the coffin, though, was Jin Wangsun made deliberately emphasising A Hu’s status as a slave. The reason he had A Hu join wasn’t to assist, but to demonstrate his “weapon”. Tang Ye was one of the Seventeen Hidden Dragons nowadays. So accordingly, both of them had rather unique statuses. See, A Hu could be overwhelmingly strong and wouldn’t make Jin Wangsun look bad. On the other hand, Tang Ye’s supposedly superior skills would render Ming Feizhen the laughing stock. Unsurprisingly, Tang Ye wore on a long face.
Jin Wangsun carried on, “Wangsun’s assistant will be A Hu. As for Wangsun’s weapon, it will be… Please forgive Wangsun’s arrogance.”
The Emperor waved a hand, “Never mind it. Show me.”
Jin Wangsun smiled subtly, “A Hu!”
A Hu remained silent and maintained his lifeless gaze the entire time until Jin Wangsun called for him, when his eyes lit up and he set the box on his back down. Evidently, the box was abnormally large. The audience felt the hall quake when he set the box down. Before the quaking stopped, they suddenly felt a gust of wind blast their face that had an oppressive aura to it.
A Hu drew a wide and black blade out from the box. The blade was approximately the height of a human being and incredibly thick. Having said that, the blade’s edge was so sharp that it didn’t have a blemish.
No ordinary man could wield a blade with such weight and length. Only a man of A Hu’s size would be able to.
The martial artist piqued the Emperor’s interest. He thought to himself, “What an overwhelming blade. Should its wielder be proficient, he would be able to stand toe-to-toe with the top-tier martial artists.”
Out of the blue, Ming Feizhen exclaimed, “Your subject thinks this is inappropriate.”
The crowd wasn’t surprised to hear Ming Feizhen complain about unfairness. It couldn’t have been any more obvious that A Hu was skilled. The box he carried on his back was equally intimidating. Anyone who had reached a certain level of martial arts competence would be able to recognise what made Tiger Fang extraordinary. Bear in mind that was just one weapon. Jin Wangsun still hadn’t revealed his own weapon. Once he did, what hopes would Ming Feizhen have?
As a result, Ming Feizhen had to lower his head as a little man would and implored the Emperor to take back his previous command. It was bad news for him no matter how one looked at it. His morale was zero, and the Emperor’s view of him was negative. Most importantly, if he admitted to being inferior to Jin Wangsun, he’d be too embarrassed to continue competing. Ming Feizhen, however, was fearless and calm.
“Your Subject believes this is inappropriate. Back there, your subject wanted to borrow Her Highness’ lower bod-“
Looking eager to get to his feet, the Emperor cut him off, “Shut up! Mention that one more time, and I’ll, personally, come down there to slap you! If you know it’s inappropriate, why are you mentioning it?!”
“Please calm down, Your Majesty. Your subject was trying to say that Shining Edges was created by your subject’s school’s founder. If we think about it, your subject has an enormous advantage. The unfairness is what your subject perceives to be inappropriate.”
“Say what? You think you have an enormous advantage?” asked the Emperor, seemingly questioning if his ears were playing tricks on him. “You mean…”
“Your subject’s shifu always taught your subject to be fairness. If someone gives you an inch, you must give him a foot. Your subject does not dare to take such a big advantage. As such, your subject suggests allowing Patriarch Jin and his assistant to be armed and work alongside each other.”
Ming Feizhen’s suggestions stunned everyone present.
“His arrogance knows no bounds. Is he throwing away his life?”
“The highest level of strategy is to win with pure wits. Jin Wangsun has only revealed one blade. We don’t know what his other incredible weapon is, yet Ming Feizhen has made such a request. Battle monger. Utter idiocy at its finest.”
“Weapons aside, he is not Jin Wangsun’s equal in terms of skills, either.”
Elder Statesman, also known as Princess Hongzhuang’s grandpa, Old Master Xie, who was once beaten by Jin Wangsun’s muscle, stroked his beard, “The young boy is wet behind the ears. No matter how skilled you may be, you couldn’t compare to my Black Robe Brotherhood’s elder’s skills. Even my grandson couldn’t do much against Jin Wangsun. What, you prefer a short life?”
Ming Feizhen approached the elder statesman, “Elder Statesman, this humble one’s biggest fear is death. Please rest assured, Elder Statesman. This humble one is definitely not underestimating this contest. This humble one swears to avenge you for that day.”
Voice quiet, Ming Feizhen then added, “I am under Her Highness’ orders. She cannot forgive Jin Wangsun for crossing you and, therefore, ordered this humble one to win.”
Elder statesman revealed an expression of surprise. He glanced over to Hongzhuang. Then, the old hero slowly nodded, “All right. Good kid. If you’re in any danger later, I’ll be sure to assist you.”
In spite of saying that, elder statesman wasn’t convinced Ming Feizhen would win.
Hearing Ming Feizhen’s conceited speech, Jin Wangsun’s pride as a martial artist boiled. He said to himself, “Even if you were skilled beyond what I fathom, you think you can overcome my Jin Clan’s supreme weapons with your bare hands when you don’t dare to reveal your true skills?!”
Jin Wangsun hastily said, “Your Majesty, your subject would like to take the opportunity to bring his own weapon out, as well.”
“Sure. You need not be concerned with formalities, Wangsun.”
Jin Wangsun raised his head, “As you have agreed, please pass Wangsun Golden Crow Moon Eater.”
The audience could assign a single word to accurately describe both fuma candidates: crazy!
One candidate asked for the Princess’ lower body and surrendered a blade. The other dared to demand stuff from the Emperor?
The Emperor also frowned. Somewhat unhappy, he asked, “Golden Crow Moon Eater is your blade. I did not snatch it from you. Further, you gave it to the imperial court as a gift, correct?”
“As you have given it as a gift, why are you purposely asking for it back? Are you toying with me for entertainment?”
With a smile, Jin Wangsun replied, “Your subject dares not. However, would you happen to remember that I mentioned Golden Crow Moon Eater was my betrothal gift…?”
The moment the Emperor heard the two words “betrothal gift”, the Emperor had a moment of realisation, “Damn! This kid has a good memory. Why didn’t I think of that?”