Epiphany. I see.
Long Zaitian mused to himself for a long while prior to querying, “What is this?”
Licking a candied haw, Mountain Monster answered, “What else? Wutong Jin Yuxuan’s reply.”
Long Zaitian scanned the five containers of various fruits with colourful silk fabrics laid on top and two chests of metal items. Based on what was visible through one of the small openings, there was a knife for butchering pigs. Scratching his head, he asked, “So, where’s the letter?”
“I put it in the container of apples. It should be there.” Confused, Mountain Monster fumbled through the container until she realised what she was holding in her hand: “I forgot I was using it to hold my candied haws. Here.”
Due to the sticky stuff on the letter getting on his hand, Long Zaitian grouched, “What is all this? Didn’t you go deliver a letter? What took all day? The sun went down a while ago.”
“I was waiting for the reply letter. You write a letter and then don’t wait for a reply? You’re f-”
“Concierge Long,” Su Xiao hollered, coming in with a sheet of paper. “Gui Laimeng requested a reimbursement of four hundred and seventy-seven taels. You need to hurry and pay the owners who’ve come to ask to be paid.”
Mountain Monster scolded, “I told you not to tell, you bigmouth!”
Su Xiao innocently blinked: “I didn’t. You have to get your reimbursement, though. How else would you have money?”
Long Zaitian: “… It costs four hundred and seventy-seven taels to wait for a reply to be written?”
After Mountain Monster delivered the letter to Huofeng, she started devising an escape plan, only to lose any feelings in her body upon harbouring the thought. As such, she had to convince herself that she wanted to return to Dragon Phoenix Inn to save herself. She didn’t want to head straight back, nevertheless, so she indulged in food and any entertainment she could find in town. Had Dragon Phoenix Inn not recruited all of the worthy entertainers at the brothels in town, she would’ve gone to a play or something of similar nature. She didn’t expect Wutong Jin Yuxuan to find her in the evening to pass on their reply. She only chose to head back then because she was getting bored.
“Put it all on my uncle’s tab. He’s loaded, so spend and be merry.” Mountain Monster had to avenge herself somehow.
Since Ming Feizhen paid for all of their experiences, Long Zaitian felt it was only fair that they covered Mountain Monster’s expenses and accepted the reimbursement, scratching his head with his clean hand whilst trying to unfold the sticky letter.
Nobody wanted to read the original text Huofeng personally penned, which was, “Personal letter to Mount Daluo’s Mr. Ming,” thanks to all the goo Mountain Monster got on it. Obviously, a major portion of it was illegible due to the creases. The more he tried to read, the more confused Long Zaitian felt, eventually resulting him putting it down and raising a white flag.
“What, they agree?” Mountain Monster asked.
Long Zaitian showed Mountain Monster a hand to indicate, “Please don’t speak.” With locked brows, Long Zaitian picked up the letter to try reading meticulously again. He set it back down once he was done and stroked his chin…
Yep, I don’t understand a thing. I have no idea what they’re trying to say. What the hell is, “When it’s time to for the wedding, please take into consideration both parties’ issues and seek harmony. Please forgive…” Is this some sort of new secret code orthodox sects use in the pugilistic world that I haven’t been updated on?
Su Xiao came back with currency notes to see Long Zaitian looking anxious: “Isn’t this Wutong Jin Yuxuan’s reply? Concierge Long, you don’t need to cry if you’re illiterate.”
“What garble are you spitting? I’m a dragon of many talents. Who said I’m illiter-” Long Zaitian stopped himself to continue reading the text that he could now read: “The wedding gown tailor needs time and cannot make it in time in this rush. Wait, I’ve seen this tailor before. Isn’t she the one who made Grand Princess’ wedding gown? Who’s she making it for this time?
“Light celestial silk, jade silk veil, amber crystals and the other valuables will take a year to complete, at least. First Sister’s wedding cannot be thoughtlessly put together. You two should have been married earlier, and we do not require a booking for the thirteenth this month. I am not questioning you, but you do have a habit of leaving whenever you please. Your whereabouts are an unknown variable as the years have proven.
“If you are sincere, invite your friends in the pugilistic world over and host your wedding here in Huzhou, forming a friendship between Mount Daluo and Wutong Jin Yuxuan. Else, we will not be meeting on the thirteenth as friends but enemies. Remember that.
“I know you are not a heartless man. Please forgive me for getting drunk and causing trouble on the street back then. Sister Huofeng.”
Three people read it meant three confounded readers.
Long Zaitian read it a few more times and then translated, “I think… I think they are saying that we have to marry their first sister if we want Interim Patriarch Yu to assist us on the thirteenth. Yeah, I’m sure that’s what they mean.”
“But to who?” Su Xiao inquired.
“Ming Feizhen, of course. Doesn’t it say so right here? Mount Daluo. He’s the only one with us who hails from Mount Daluo.”
“Pfft, what is there to like about him?” Su Xiao derided. “There must be a mistake somewhere.”
“Did I make a mistake?” mused Mountain Monster, continuing to think, “Well, I have everything to gain and nothing to lose now. Let’s see if I can sneak into the study to steal the other letter while I’m at it.”
Certain he was right, Long Zaitian thought, “Making Ming Feizhen get married… doesn’t seem to cost us anything.” He then voiced, “Approved. Let’s organise Ming Feizhen’s wedding on the thirteenth of this month.”
“You found Black Bear King?” River Monster ecstatically hugged Xiagou, and the latter let River Monster do what she wanted without budging. “Why don’t you have any energy? Are you hurt?” River Monster turned to me to remark, “No wonder why you were able to bring him back to me. He would’ve eaten you already, otherwise.”
“Indeed, this old one was lucky.”
Xiaogou shuddered and played dead on the ground right after I responded. River Monster, oblivious to the situation, inquired, “You are Mountain Monster’s subordinate?”
“Yes, this old one is with Ma’Am Mountain Monster’s ‘Old’ group. This is his token.”
Mountain Monster handed out seven tokens with the character “old” on her elder subordinates. More specifically, each token read, “My only job is to kill, not bury.” She might appear to be the kind to charge in with reckless abandon, but she was actually a prudent individual, evident from her usage of disguises to lower her target’s guard. The reason she had elders work as assassins was because few would suspect an elder to be a ruthless assassin.
“Mm, this is her token… Not bad. I shall reward you for retrieving my bear.”
“Hehe, thank you, Ma’am River Monster.”
“Wait,” called Poison King. “How did you find us?”
I replied, “Master sent this old one here to assist.”
“You’ve been to the secret chamber?”
“Yes. Ma’am Mountain Monster instructed us to split up and flee before her plan was thwarted. This old one played a lumberjack in the mountains to slip away and then came to Canhu Town to search for her. She told us that making puppets is not easy, so she told us to await orders. While this old one was playing lumberjack in the mountains, he saw your Black Bear King.”
“There’s nothing to suspect, then. He has a token, knows our location and even about the puppets, which very few members even know about. What are you suspecting? You think we can’t tell who is with us?” River Monster exhaled through her nose derisively since Poison King couldn’t debate: “Hey, what’s your name?”
“Your subordinate, Zhong Ning, is at your service.”