It was around noon by the time we returned to the abode – not to say that I was late since the others were only just waking up. In saying that… Thank heavens nobody jumped them while they were sleeping in their rooms, or it’d just be Tang Ye, Mountain Monster and I by now! As a matter of fact, I accidentally tripped over five or so faces, yet they didn’t even wake up. The most I got was some “Screw you” and “You want to fight?!” type of cursing. God forbid I knew what they were dreaming about. I guess I should appreciate not having to explain what Tang Ye and I were doing, though.
“Big Brother Ming!” Su Xiao jogged over and looped his arm around mine energetically: “Ha, we’re not dead.”
Not the best way to greet someone first thing in the day, but I suppose it was understandable after what Su Xiao went through last night.
If the department existed, Su Xiao would be a mental energy genius. If it was anyone else – all else being equal – they’d be suffering post-traumatic disorder after facing off against a Divine Realm adept as Su Xiao did. As far as public opinion went, Tang Ye was the superior pugilist, yet he needed to spend a night meditating before he could show up to spar with me.
Su Xiao had such sound sleep that he still had drool by the side of his mouth. Having said that, as genius and idiocy are only a thought away, I suppose his state of mind could be a product of the latter.
“Big Brother Ming, what’s the matter with you?”
“Mm…” Su Xiao angled his head and asked, “Did you fight with someone?”
Okay, maybe he is trending toward the genius side.
“Hahaha, your face looks is hilarious.”
I rubbed my face to find mud that must’ve smothered itself on me when I was sleeping. Tang Ye’s palms must’ve smeared them into funny shapes or something. I guess that means he grew stronger.
“Kekeke, wait, Tang Ye, why is your face bruised?” Su Xiao questioned.
Lathering ointment on his face, Tang Ye projectile fired blood from his mouth then answered, “I fell when I was tumbling last night.”
“You tumbled on your face when you were sleeping?”
“… I fell into a crevice.”
“Must’ve been a tiger’s cave,” ribbed Su Xiao, face reading, “Keep acting, Lord San Shen. You got into a fight with someone, didn’t you?”
Maybe Su Xiao was angry “Lord San Shen” didn’t intervene last night.
“Can we stop spewing drivel here? His M-, Master must be awake by now,” I interjected.
Boy, did His Majesty take much longer than we imagined to wake up. We waited for an hour before he assembled us. Dugu took east. Long Zaitian was assigned west. Tang Ye and Ye Luo were at the entrances to avoid any eavesdroppers. As he sat at the centre, Emperor Yuansheng heaved knackered and relieved breaths.
“This journey is a rocky one. Most of our plans have gone nowhere. Had Master Ming not been nearby, we might already be dead… Yan Ling, you don’t look too bad; have you completely recovered?”
Though he had bruises after our five rounds, Tang Ye was in decent spirits. He spent as much time as he could recollecting my exchanges with Abels, analysing and breaking down every minutia to advance his own knowledge. His internal energy didn’t improve, but the alterations he made to the way he controlled his output was quite clever.
Previously, Tang Ye was rather straight forward when he fought, which was why I didn’t classify him as a first-rate adept. Although he still didn’t qualify as one by my measures, he was starting to exercise their traits. How disappointed he was after the five rounds was beyond me, nevertheless, because it only took me a single technique to drop him.
For a young man to become strong, he must cut off the unnecessary… Look, I just wanted to sound poetic, okay? I did have pent-up bloodlust after my fight with Abels. Since Tang Ye offered to be my punching bag to stop my eyes changing colours constantly, I didn’t object.
After hearing Tang Ye spent the night training, Emperor Yuansheng praised, “If Li Clan’s descendants were as proactive at improving as you are, I wouldn’t be fretting.”
Since Emperor Yuansheng looked bitter, we decided to switch topics, inquiring about his plans. Looking at me much more cordially, he queried, “What do you two think?”
Assuming Emperor Yuansheng was giving me an opportunity to shine, I strode forward and held my hands in a hold-fist salute: “Your subject thinks we can send Qilin Guards to search for Vice-Captain overtly. As long as there are enough traces, we can find her no matter where she is.”
“You think we should overtly bring a group along?”
“Yes. As long as we have enough manpower, somebody will catch sight of her wherever she is.”
Emperor Yuansheng inhaled deeply then whacked his thigh: “Idiot!”
“We don’t have the foggiest idea what the situation at Luo Sword Manor, Canhu Town or Refining Divine Convention is. We can’t just strut in there unprepared. Our biggest mistake up until now has been carelessness, yet you would suggest something so careless? I shouldn’t have asked you. Step aside.”
The heck? I thought he stopped suspecting me?
I think Tang Ye’s nod for me was supposed to mean, “Don’t worry. That’s called normal treatment from His Majesty when it comes to you.”
“Traces, you say?” Emperor Yuansheng enlarged his eyes as he questioned, “Does this shoeprint on my face belong to you?!”
Oh, damn! I stepped on you?!