Ending – Where the Wind Blows is Where the Clouds Go
Su Xiao performed an inch-by-inch sweep of the residential area after he chased Rabbit Fiend into the underground space. By some stroke of luck, he ran into Kong Duan, who was on his way out. Su Xiao bent over and sniggered: “I was running around randomly to see if anyone slipped away. Lucky me, I scored the biggest catch!”
Kong Duan responded, “Y-You can tell who I am?”
“Yeah. Your face is just swollen,” replied Su Xiao, smiling. “Careful. I’m going to arrest you now.”
Su Xiao swung his scabbard, knocking Kong Duan onto the ground. Su Xiao was ruthless unlike his usual forgiving self. He ignored Kong Duan’s cry and gave him another kick, sending Kong Duan rolling across the ground. He said, “Kong Duan, you’ve harmed civilians, colluded with villains from the pugilistic world and plotted to assassinate government officials. I shall now arrest you for questioning. If you resist, I will not hesitate to cut you down, so please don’t force my hand.”
Su Xiao pulled out a rope from his shirt and restrained Kong Duan. Kong Duan’s chances of escaping were practically zero. At the end of the day, despite Su Xiao’s rather poor combat skills, he was superior to a scholar getting on with age.
“This old one controls the imperial court effortlessly, yet a kid wet behind the ears is going to end me?!” Kong Duan thought. Faced with an emergency, he shouted, “I-I know a huge secret. I’ll share it with you as an exchange, deal?”
“What exchange? No deal,” said Su Xiao, face straight. “I have enough money. I have enough to eat and wear. The imperial court is nice enough to me. I also have a legitimate job that allows me to help civilians and apprehend criminals. I don’t need a life of luxury. I only desire an honest and secure life. I don’t accept bribes.”
“This is not about money; this is hundreds and thousands of times more serious,” proclaimed Kong Duan, panting. “Do you know Lord San Shen’s true identity?”
“Who? What, you know?”
“Of course. Spare me, and I’ll tell you. You will be rewarded for it! Deal?”
“Spare you?” Su Xiao shook his head: “You’re a criminal His Majesty wants apprehended. By what logic would I spare you?”
“You don’t have to actually spare me. You just need to not stop me from escaping this place; give me five hundred metres. You have martial arts skills; I have nothing. I just can’t accept this result; I want to find an opportunity to make it right.”
Admittedly, Su Xiao wasn’t eager for credit; however, finding out Lord San Shen’s true identity would be beneficial to Liu Shan Men. Hence, he couldn’t resist contemplating the suggestion.
“Su Xiao, don’t listen to him!” exclaimed Bai Lian, coming across the place. “He’s a slippery one. If you give him five hundred metres, he’ll return to the underground space and escape another exit. The secret room is consists of countless twists and turns. You’ll never be able to catch him again.”
Bai Lian was the only one who thought something was bizarre about the person who left, so she tailed him. He didn’t regroup with Dark Wind Hall and escaped on his own. Thus, she was more confident she was right to suspect he was Kong Duan.
Bai Lian: “Kong Duan, you can forget about wiggling your way out.”
Kong Duan tried to come up with another plan, but he hardly had any bargaining chips. His only hope was to gamble: “General Manager Bai, you are a true adept. Do you think I have a chance of escaping with you here? If you don’t give me the chance, I’d rather take Lord San Shen’s identity to the grave than tell you for free.”
Bai Lian pulled her eyebrows together: “How am I supposed to know if you’re lying or not? If you genuinely know, we’ll pry it out of you at the Ministry of Justice.”
Bai Lian strictly adhered to the law, since she lacked any personal desire. If she did have a weakness, it would be difficult to find. Kong Duan couldn’t help fretting; he was aware his chances of escaping with her present were extremely slim.
Getting competitive with Bai Lian again for some incomprehensible reason, Su Xiao decided to defy her and said, “Old Kong, tell me, and I’ll let you go.”
Bai Lian: “Su Xiao, do you not understand priorities? If Kong Duan escapes, who is going to take the fall?”
“That’s rich coming from you. Would you have caught up to him if I didn’t stop him here? Moreover, it’s only five hundred metres. He’s going to need wings to escape me.”
Kong Duan was perceptive enough to discern the discord between the two, so he added oil to the fire. He said, “In that case, this old one doesn’t mind waiting for you to decide if you want to hear it. With that said, this old one will only share it with one person. If you grant this old one five hundred metres, he promises to go only five hundred metres.”
Bai Lian was privy of Kong Duan’s character. Su Xiao, however, lacked the same degree of perception and was more emotionally driven. He grumbled, “Liu Shan Men shall accept the deal. General Manager Bai, you came after me, so please step aside.”
“Why do you always insist on opposing me?” fumed Bai Lian. “I don’t have any grudge with you; you’re also a man. Can’t you be more generous?”
“You’re a man, too. You’re even older than me. Why don’t you be generous?”
One had to question if they had to argue even in that situation. Kong Duan’s chances of escaping grew as they argued. He was overjoyed as he watched the quarrel.
Afraid delaying Kong Duan’s capture would bring trouble, she exclaimed, “You’re just jealous Ming Feizhen is close to me, aren’t you? Grow up. Learn to be independent.”
“N-N-Nonsense!” argued Su Xiao, blushing. “I’m very independent, thank you!”
“Hmph, hugging him and crying after not seeing him for two days is your definition of independent? I couldn’t tell if you didn’t say so.”
Su Xiao stomped: “You’re not my sister-in-law! Who are you to be telling me about impendence?!”
“Wha? S-Sister in law?! Wh-What nonsense is that?!”
“Explain your blushing, then.”
Bai Lian lost to Su Xiao in verbal warfare again, resulting in her face turning as red as a ripe tomato. She usually used “nonsense” and “I did not” as her shields, but blushing was a fatal problem she couldn’t deny.
“Stop! Don’t argue!” said Ming Feizhen, coming from afar hastily as if his rear was set on fire.
Neither Bai Lian nor Su Xiao had ever seen Ming Feizhen run so fast before. They knew him as someone who was lazy, messy would sit unless forced to stand and would lie down to relax at every opportunity. Su Xiao smiled upon seeing Ming Feizhen, while Bai Lian shot him a, “It’s all your fault for not teaching him better” glare, rendering him useless.
Kong Duan was scared silly upon seeing Ming Feizhen. As neither Bai Lian nor Su Xiao had their attention on him, he quickly dashed. Bai Lian quickly took a step to load up a kick that sent Kong Duan into an alley. Kong Duan pulled off an impressive manoeuvre nimbly, rolling and then getting up to continue fleeing.
Su Xiao thundered, “What happened to promising not to run?! Did you lie to me?!”
Su Xiao drew Ancient Cold and swung it multiple times, nearly taking Kong Duan’s life. Ming Feizhen raced after Kong Duan.
Kong Duan knew he was likely finished if he was caught again. He used his knowledge of the terrain to his advantage and rain into a courtyard. Then, he ran to the home next door. He continued to do circles and zigzag until he shook Su Xiao off. That was precisely why he specifically specified five hundred metres in his offer. Su Xiao not being able to catch him didn’t mean others couldn’t, nonetheless.
Bai Lian took to the roofs. Skilled with qinggong and meticulous, she quickly located Kong Duan. When she jumped down, she and Ming Feizhen bumped into each other at the same time. Bai Lian silently grumbled, “Su Xiao and now Ming Feizhen? Does Liu Shan Men have some sort of issue with me?”
Bai Lian flipped out: “Ming Feizhen, are you going to fight me for him?”
Kong Duan tried to make a run for it a second time, but Bai Lian booted him into a house and shut the door to prevent him running again. She then looked over her shoulder and asked, “What do you want?”
Ming Feizhen hastily stated, “General Manager Bai, do not stop me. I have an important job. You are already the General Manager; you will be credited for sure, so how about letting me take him?”
“I’m not trying to take the credit from you! Lord Zi sneaked out of the palace and involved himself in the problem. I’m afraid he’ll be punished severely when he returns to the palace. I want credit to reduce his sentence.”
“They’re father and son; how far do you think he’d take it?! General Manager Bai, please let me through.”
“No. Beat me if you want to get through.”
Sternly, Ming Feizhen said, “I don’t want to have to fight you.”
Bai Lian scoffed, “You think you’re a master now? You think you can defeat me?”
“Since you insist, pardon me.”
Ming Feizhen did exactly as he said and barged past Bai Lian. Bai Lian made good on her word, as well. Ming Feizhen still advanced. He caught her hand and kicked between her legs to throw her off balance. Bai Lian could effortlessly stand straight on one leg. For some reason unbeknownst to her, however, she felt her body go limp similar to being hit with a heat wave.
Ming Feizhen bent his knee and virtually plastered himself to Bai Lian’s lower body after kicking in between her legs. With their faces barely separated, the two felt an odd rush that had their bodies reacting to each other.
Bai Lian could feel Ming Feizhen’s hands were hot; however, the heat didn’t seem to be from a palm strike but tension and eagerness. When she looked into his eyes, she saw a similar look in them to when they first met at the imperial palace’s Small North Gate and kissed.
Ming Feizhen suddenly hugged Bai Lian around the waist with a vice-like grip. Her eyes suddenly drew his soul and eyes toward them. She resisted, yet that resistance stirred him more than before.
“Umm, mm, you… I…”
“I came to catch Kong Duan. How did we end up in this position?” pondered Ming Feizhen.
Those rosy lips insults regularly spewed from were in contact with Ming Feizhen’s. Bai Lian weakly leaned onto him and felt her body temperature soar.
Kong Duan took the opportunity to flee through the window. After crossing through several houses, a cold blade on his neck stopped him in his tracks. Su Xiao, expression frigid, remarked, “Where are you off to?”
“W-Wait! Don’t you want to know who Lord San Shen really is?”
“This again?” Su Xiao booted Kong Duan in the face: “Not interested. What would I listen to you lie for? Hmph, all three of you are liars. You’ll say anything, because you think I’m stupid. I guess you weren’t beaten hard enough. Let me help you loosen up those stiff muscles!”
Su Xiao went to give Kong Duan a hard knock.
“W-Wait!” Kong Duan panicked when he couldn’t get through to the “special” Su Xiao, so he spilt the beans.
Su Xiao froze. He lowered his fist. He looked at Kong Duan in disbelief: “Impossible… He’s… with the Demon Sect?”
Su Xiao’s reaction was a cue for Kong Duan to begin working toward his escape: “Yes. This old one personally saw him: this isn’t hearsay.”
Su Xiao: “Impossible! Impossible! You’re lying again!”
“This old one swears it! This old one personally saw him. He is L-.”
Kong Duan abruptly juddered and collapsed similarly to when one was struck on the back for their head,
“Wh-What’s the matter?!”
Su Xiao hurriedly checked on Kong Duan. Kong Duan was still alive; something knocked him out, though. Su Xiao checked left and right, but nobody was in sight. Several houses away, Ming Feizhen held onto Bai Lian, who passed out and was reminiscing the kiss before owing to him squeezing her too tightly, in his arms. He used his left hand to coil the silk back to him. He mumbled to himself, “Made it… Thank heavens the old man didn’t say anything troublesome. I’ve wiped his memory of the last two hour. I should be safe now.”
Ming Feizhen let out a breath of relief, only to then breathe in Bai Lian’s scent. He looked down at the imperial household general manager he violated time and time again… He was too focused on her to notice Su Xiao holding his head to contemplate the world he began to question.
After the whole fiasco was settled, we returned to the capital in grandeur fashion. His Majesty and Lord Zi stayed to manage the situation. I guess they were going to personally see that Kong Duan was rightfully convicted. As for us, we didn’t have anywhere to go upon arriving in the capital, as we arrived late, and the doors to the imperial palace were shut. General Manager Bai was also stuck outside. In the end, we found ourselves an inn to stay at and whatnot.
Tang Ye, Su Xiao and I held a meeting later that night to discuss business before digressing into idle chatter.
“There’s a big event at the temple in the capital tonight. Who’s going?” asked Tang Ye, sporting his straight face. “I’ll be meeting someone. You two not going?”
‘Fuck you! I’m getting tired of your shit, bragging without batting an eye! Why in the world are you interested in going somewhere couples have to go to?! Oh, it’s the Qilin Guards’ Miss Si, isn’t it?! I knew I wasn’t wrong when I saw you two flirting! You got together while I wasn’t around, didn’t you?!’
I was completely off the mark. Tang Ye was meeting up with his teacher, Secretary Zhang Chunfeng, to give a report at a teahouse near the temple.”
Tang Ye asked me, “Why would I go with Miss Si to the temple fair? Does she want to go?”
The martial-arts nut would need three to five more years before he was enlightened enough to go to a temple fair…
‘Miss Si, you have a heavy burden to carry for a very long journey. Hmm, I haven’t been to a temple fair in a long time now that I think about it.’
I turned around to Su Xiao, who I figured would be most keen: “Xiao, you want to go?”
Su Xiao looked as if his mother was going to be coming to check on him. Startled, he replied, “I-I’ll pass.”
“You sick?” I touched Su Xiao’s forehead. It was quite hot: “Rest at the inn. We’re still in our new posts, in any case, so we can’t return to Liu Shan Men. Just rest up.”
Su Xiao looked uncomfortable and frustrated with me touching his head. He ran his eyes over my handsome and suave face. He shook his head and, in a muffled voice, sighed: “Impossible…”
‘What’s with that reaction?! Don’t you sigh after looking at my face! People will mistake I’m ugly!’
Complaining Tang Ye and I were noisy, Su Xiao kicked us out. I don’t know, maybe he was on his thinking period or something.
I sighed: “Daddy is sad.”
Tang Ye and I went into the corridor. He looked nonchalant. His biggest issue as of recent was not being able to fight. Once the case was closed, he was going to embark on his challenges and suicide attempts record in the capital again. As far as I could remember, he had enough enemies to break down five hundred doors after he finished with the twentieth academy on his hit list. I figured I should keep tabs on him; else, he was going to be in the news after several hundred people ambushed him on the street.
Tang Ye headed out to meet Secretary Zhang. I strolled around in the inn to kill boredom. I inadvertently ended up at General Manager Bai’s door, and my legs stopped on their own. I could smell a faint plum blossom scent. Smelling it was akin to seeing her skin. From the other side of the door, she questioned, “Who is it?”
I recalled our kiss earlier in the day; my throat felt dry. I replied, “Me.”
I racked my brains but couldn’t think of what to say. After the kiss, General Manager Bai never said another word to me. She’d occasionally steal glances. She was more disappointed than she was angry, amplifying my guilt. I don’t know why I kissed her; it wasn’t part of my plan. My body acted before my brain could do its job.
As I was standing there, thinking what to say, General Manager Bai asked, “… What is it?”
“Uh, I, uh… Right, I came to ask… Do you want to go to the temple fair?”