Barking Up the Wrong Tree – Plum Blossoms In the Wind
“Younger Martial Sis,” said Senior Martial Sister Meng, full of vigour as she pointed at her new junior sister. To ensure her aura surpassed her big junior sister, she went up on her toes and, in her high-pitched loli voice, said, “We’re freezing! What are you shtanding there for?!”
Senior Sister Meng, who was seven this year, struggled with enunciation. The notorious Demoness of the pugilistic world tensed her face muscles to resist laughing. She definitely wanted to laugh; she was just afraid she’d embarrass Senior Sister Meng. She learnt to be considerate after many, many years. Ming Suwen could capriciously pursue whatever bizarre idea she came up with whenever she fancied. Nobody at Mount Daluo dared to question her owing to her seniority. When it was time to face the consequences, she pushed all of the blame to Ming Feizhen. If Ming Feizhen found out she had grown up, he’d be move to tears.
Ming Suwen was more skilled than Shen Yiren in terms of martial prowess, yet she was the latter’s subordinate. Plus, she was assigned to babysitting instead of serving as part of the normal team. Despite that, she didn’t seem bothered in any shape or form. She cheerfully played with the kids. It begged the question: was she approachable, or did she always like children?
The young female constables had practice during the afternoon. Specifically, they practiced Liu Shan Men’s beginner style. Knowing how skilled Ming Suwen was, Bai Yeshuang exempted Ming Suwen from the training. When Ming Suwen saw the kids training earnestly in the cold, however, she went and joined them. She didn’t display annoyance or fatigue; to the contrary, she was happy to join them.
Although Ming Suwen was happy to join the kids, the content was boring. Thus, she improvised and added some fun. She played ape, dog, swan, chicken, dead fish, flying swallow and so forth. The kids absolutely loved it. Technically, she went from learning to teaching.
After training was over, Ming Suwen took her Senior Sister Meng by the hand and taught her “Dead Fish’s Comeback”. When Senior Sister Meng looked up, she saw plum blossoms. Cheerful, she asked, “Junior Sis, you want some flow?”
Once Ming Suwen figured out “flow” meant flowers, Sister Meng was already at the plum blossom tree. Unfortunately, she was vertically challenged, subsequently revealing disappointment. Her junior sister, therefore, approached from behind with a gentle smile: “Senior Sister, would you like me to lift you up?”
“Can you?” asked Sister Meng, smiling brightly. She stretched her arms out and carried on cheerfully.
Ming Suwen laughed. She pinched Senior Sister Meng’s face and carried her senior sister up. Senior Sister Meng, to the contrary, earnestly tried to determine which plum blossom was prettiest. She couldn’t find any that pleased her more than the red and white one at the top. Unfortunately, she was still vertically challenged. She solemnly said, “Junior Sis, I can’t reach it. Lift me up when I’m older, and I’ll pluck it for you.”
Ming Suwen smiled: “You won’t need to wait until then. I shall pluck it for you now.”
Ming Suwen was renowned for her legs that remained shapely and soft unlike many other female martial artists who ended up more muscular. In a nutshell, they defined “perfect legs on a female”. However, they packed explosive power in them. She vaulted up from the ground. Senior Sister Meng giggled; she was incredibly excited the entire way.
“Junior Sis, Junior Sis, you’re so cool! You’re so cool!” excitedly exclaimed Senior Sister Meng, before finally remembering her status. She cleared her throat and, blushing, said, “N-Not too shabby. You can have the plum flow.”
“No, no, I cannot take it. Thank you, Senior Sister Meng,” responded Ming Suwen, smiling suavely as she took the flower and set her senior sister back on the ground. Senior Sister Meng smiled brightly when Ming Suwen then scrubbed her hair gently.
Ming Suwen recalled Bai Yeshuang told her, “Junior Sister Ming, I hope you can watch over the children. They may be your seniors in name, but they are children… and they are orphans. Young Meng doesn’t know her parents have passed away. I know it’s an unreasonable demand, but please take up the mantle.”
Bai Yeshuang reminded Ming Suwen of herself with her request. Ming Suwen pondered, “Feizhen, do you see me as a petite and lovable maiden, too?”
Ming Suwen couldn’t resist giving her Senior Sister Meng, who wore an adorable and innocent smile, a tight hug. She gave the young girl a peck, leading to Senior Sister Meng exclaiming and blushing. Not one to accept losing without putting up a fight, she gave Ming Suwen a peck on the cheek in revenge. The two of them enjoyed their little game.
Su Xiao poked his head out from the entrance. After ascertaining nobody detected him, he sneaked out of the Ministry of Justice He went from a slow walk to sprinting once he put some distance between the office and himself. He sought information and ventured guesses to stop the farmers out the front of Shuntian Prefecture. He cried, “Wait up!”
The group walked with a wobble due to the caning they copped. Sister Niu cried so much that everything she tried to articulate was inarticulate. One of the males remembered the cute maiden. With a glare, he shouted, “What are you here for?”
Su Xiao sincerely replied, “My name is Su Xiao. What exactly happened? Please explain the situation to me. You have visited Shuntian Prefecture before. Without a legitimate reason, they will not allow you in.”
Su Xiao couldn’t stop himself from meddling despite Secretary Leng explicating the case was not in the Ministry of Justice’s hands. The people merely let their emotions get the better of them at the office, leading to a physical altercation. Although they were wrong to hit others, Secretary Leng punished them for it already. Therefore, Su Xiao decided to get to the bottom of it.
“You can help?” asked the large man, doubtful. “How old are you? Are you a female official? What can you do to help?”
“I’m not a female official,” answered Su Xiao, taking out a golden imperial ordinance. The ordinance was only available at the imperial palace. Su Xiao, serious, explained, “I am Liu Shan Men’s Baihu. I have been ordered to investigate the underground fighting competition at Wuhua County. I heard you mention it and am now requesting more details from you.”
The group of villagers were startled upon seeing the token. They were elated to meet someone willing to help. Sister Niu hastily expressed her attitude: “Thank you, Sir, I mean, Ma’am. I mean, uh, Miss.”
Another villager remarked, “I didn’t know such beautiful girls would work as officials nowadays.”
One of the men was dumbstruck: “My daughter is about the same age – except she’s much heavier than this girl. Would she have a chance of becoming an official?”
Su Xiao fumed: “I’m a male!”