Husband and Wife to Battle – Give Me Back My Beauty
General Manager Bai was on the money. The wall was absurdly thick; it was comprised of seven layers of different bricks. She smashed four down, which was remarkable; unfortunately, each successive layer was thicker than its predecessor. The last three layers were thicker than the first four combined. Further proof was the fact the couple was still having the time of their life on the other side when General Manager Bai smashed four layers.
Disappointed, General Manager Bai said, “It’s a waste of time to start over, and they may stop us from entering the competition venue. I don’t see another option, sadly.”
‘You’re correct, but… search the residential homes? Is that some sort of bad joke?! I went to the trouble of listening to a porn conversation and watched you perform some dual flying green sparrow, only to resort to the stupidest option?! Fine… Thanks for the show back there, lady and gentleman, but apologies.’
“Let’s go. It’s getting late,” said General Manager Bai, walking off resolutely.
I stood still in place, because I had a special way of entering. I gazed up, pretending to admire the sky and then, boom! I kicked behind me. The impact smashed through all seven layers. Rubble and dust flew looked as if an explosion went off.
Startled, Bai Lian spun around to see the cav-, well, technically, some of the wall was still standing. Take a few bricks out, and the wall would be no more.
“How should I know? Weren’t you the one who bashed the wall with some twin flying green sparrow?”
“It’s Flying Snow Stunning Green! It’s a description of orchids. How did you mix the characters up completely…? I didn’t break through, though. Did I get stronger without knowing? Th-That makes no sense,” said General Manager Bai, checking out her hands and the wall without but unable to comprehend what happened.
I stepped into the storehouse and moved a few bricks. I found the uncensored couple buried underneath the rubble, indicating the bricks knocked them out when they were doing it up against the wall. Fortunately for them, they were close to the wall. If they stood farther away, the impact would’ve killed them on the spot.
I silently prayed, “Love is noble, and I admire your dedication, but I apologise.”
Bai Lian stepped in and questioned, “Who are they?”
“You don’t know Shaanxi Mandarin Duck Blades?”
“What? And you know?”
“See the nameplate? It’s written there,” I said as I grabbed said nameplate.
“Eh? Oh, right…” reacted General Manager Bai, feigning she didn’t know who they were. She timidly added, “I have plenty of mandarin ducks back home.”
‘Your excuse perfectly exposed your ignorance, Dear Lian! Plus, your home is the imperial palace. You asking to be executed?!’
“What were they doing here? Why isn’t the woman dressed?”
‘Uh… they have the freedom to do what they like, don’t they?’
Since the two of them went for a tryst after fighting, there had to be a passageway. After silently searching for it, I found the mechanism to open the door. The place was supposed to be an air duct of sorts; therefore, the entrance would always be open. They, however, shut it for their tryst. I tugged the iron mechanism. The noisy fighting, shouting and swearing quickly hit my eardrums. Feiyun Hall was underground just as General Manager Bai said it was!
“General Manager Bai, we found Feiyun Hall!”
Absentminded, General Manager Bai looked down at the two on the ground and, resembling a researching scholar, exclaimed, “Hey, Ming Feizhen, why is the man touching the woman’s breast? Ew! He’s not even dressed! That’s just gross!”
“How? Don’t make unfounded comments if you don’t know what’s going on. They wer-“
“What were they doing?” asked General Manager Bai, covering her red face using her sleeve, leaving just her eyes out to satisfy her curiosity. “What were they… they…?”
I found myself speechless. I didn’t know how to explain it to the eunuch who started working at an early age. I stopped myself when I had a realisation: “Wait. Eunuch Bai has to know when she takes care of the Empress and concubines. She can’t possibly be ignorant!”
I replied, “They were…”
“Oh…” General Manager Bai titled her head: “It must’ve been an intense match.”
General Manager Bai struggled to come to terms with it. After a second glance, she asked, “But why are they wearing masks?”
“That’s just a fetish the couple has, okay? Masks…”
‘Eh? A new mask fet-, what the hell am I on about? They’re wearing masks, because it’s an underground fight, surely. It’s not a new fetish!’
Underground fighters often wore masks, which suggested we were at the right place. Suddenly, someone below called, “Hu Wangxing and Madam Hu versus Uncle and Auntie Wang. Place your bets now. Contestants, place prepare!”
General Manager Bai finally asked a proper question: “What’s his name?”
I found the man’s nametag: “Hu Wangxing.”
Meanwhile, General Manager Bai picked up the woman’s name tag: “Her name is Die Yilan.”
“Contestants, ready up!”
Hasty, General Manager Bai said, “They’re placing bets. It’s time to collect the evidence. We’ll stick out if we go down there, like this. How are we going to search for evidence?”
When an idea came to mind, I patted General Manager Bai on the shoulder. She asked, “What?”
I revealed a cunning smile: “General Manager Bai, strip!”
“I’ll strip you of your head!” brayed Genera Manager Bai, slapping me straight away.
‘Oi! Why did you react so fast?! That’s what girls do!’
General Manager Bai gave me the, “Your skin is so thick my hand hurts” look.
‘Okay, shall I apologise to your noble hand?!’
“I blurted the wrong words. I meant get changed, not strip.”
I stripped Hu Wangxing down and wore his clothes on. I had to use my bone manipulation technique when General Manager Bai wasn’t paying attention to actually fit into his clothes. General Manager Bai had no idea why I stripped Hu Wangxing; hence, she didn’t cooperate. Instead, she gripped her clothes with a vice-like grip as though she was afraid I’d strip her.
“What are you doing?” asked General Manager Bai.
“General Manager Bai, you aren’t going to ask me to explain from the beginning, are you? Wasn’t the fact there wasn’t a way to find collect evidence crippling you?”
General Manager Bai stared at me with her eyebrows furrowed for a while before catching on. Delighted, she asked, “So, we’re disguising ourselves as them to sneak in to collect evidence?”
Once General Manager Bai saw me wear on Hu Wangxing’s clothes, she suddenly panicked: “W-Wait. You want me to wear on Die Yilan’s clothes?”
“Obviously! Does it look as if I’d fit into a woman’s clothes? You are a stunner, so nobody would suspect you if you wore a woman’s clothing. Just deal with it. I’ll treat you to a meal after this.”
“We’re both men. What’s the big deal?”
“Y-Yeah, we’re both… But I’m actually…”
‘Yes, I know you’re a eunuch, but I never told you to take your pants off. You just have to wear the dress over the top.’
General Manager Bai looked down to the half-naked maiden then me over and over. I pestered her in the end: “General Manager Bai, hurry and change.”
General Manager Bai stammered, “C-C-Can I not?”
“What do you think?! They’re rushing us down there!’
“Wouldn’t she be left nude, then?”
“We can just leave our clothes for them, then. Hurry up. Fine, I’ll give you a hand!”
General Manager Bai quickly wrapped her arms around herself to signal she would never obey: “W-Wait. Don’t touch me. Y-“
Cackling, I reached for Die Lanyi instead of the places General Manager Bai covered. I mumbled in my mind, “I can’t help it, Madam Hu. General Manager Bai refuses to cooperate, so I have to force her to change myself. If I want to help her change, I have to strip you. If I see anything I’m not supposed to, please just blame her. Hmm? Why is it dark?”
General Manager Bai threw a cloth bag over my head and beat me with a brick. Lying on the ground, I heard, “Idiot…”
Good grief… I nearly died. In saying that, when I removed the cloth bag in a hazy state, the first thing I saw would be imprinted in my memories forever. General Manager Bai had just finished changing into a dress. The dress fitted Die Yilan perfectly, but there seemed as if there was a space between General Manager Bai’s waist and the dress. Despite the fitted design, her taper was so perfect that her waist didn’t look blocky.
General Manager Bai was doing up the last button at the neck. Even the way she did up her buttons was elegant and majestic. Once done, she splayed out her hair. I finally realised it was her naturally graceful, yet casual, combination that made her unique. She could get physical at the drop of the hat, but she always stuck to what she was taught. Upon noticing my gaze on her, I saw a gentle countenance I’d never seen before on her.
“I’m sure I look weird, since this is my first time wearing female clothing. Don’t laugh at me.”
I just admired General Manager Bai without blinking. Smiling somewhat mischievously, she asked, “What are you looking at?”
“… You look good.”
Bai Lian giggled with hot flushes: “Who praises someone that way? You sound stupid.”
I reactively responded, “Stupid…? Isn’t it your looks that stupefied me?”
Bai Lian stopped giggling instantly, while I didn’t know what to say, resulting in the atmosphere heating up. Neither of us uttered a word despite looking at each other. However, I could hear our hearts thumping louder and louder.
“Hu Wangxing and Madam Hu!” called the announcer below.
Bai Lian and I jerked back to reality. We hastily wore our masks on and descended the rather long staircase. On our way down, I said, “Follow my orders when we’re down there.”
“Oh? And if I don’t want to?”
“You take the reins, then…”
“Hu Wangxing? Madam Hu? If you delay any longer, you will be disqualified…”
The two of us raced down and shouted in unison, “Present!”
*Shaanbei is the northern part of Shaanxi, so Ming Feizhen isn’t wrong when he refers to the Hu couple being from Shaanxi.
**Hu Wangxing – Pronounced “Hoo Wangshing”.
**Die Yilang – Pronounced “Dee-eh ee-lang”.