It’s Not Too late to Find a Way to Compensate
Rhetoric of social intervention model is equally paramount, if not more, to the pugilistic world than it is to the rest of the world. Why? Because the pugilistic world is rife with crime. In their circle, they must provide an embellished excuse as to why they attacked someone. Around friends, people flaunt their gift of the gab in an attempt to one-up each other.
Not everyone employs words masterfully. Like everything else in life, there are degrees of expertise when it comes to utilising words. Some are gifted at word games. Some people are straight forward, such as Hong Jiu. Some people do as they please, such as Young Shiyi. Some people can’t make use of words to save their life, such as my fourth brother. Lass Yu was an expert at the second type and painfully good at the third type, which was why all of her relatives and Matriarch Zi were worried for her.
Lass Yu’s relatives and shizun taught her how to socialise from the time she was a kid. Alas, it eluded her. Even though she learnt how to strike up a conversation and get through the trite lines, she was stuck once the conversation advanced beyond that. I remember one of Shaolin’s eminent monks found himself in a quagmire during his chat with Lass Yu, while she still took her time enjoying her tea. For that reason, besides teaching her about fighting, I also taught her about pleasantries.
“If someone offers to help with something you can do?”
Lass Yu: “Let me go!”
“What are you, a waiter at a restaurant? Again! What do you do if your subordinate speaks before you do?”
“Listen in for a while.”
“Wrong! Where’s your authority?!” I sat down on the ground, exhausted, and asked, “What if they ask you to do something you don’t want to do?”
Lass Yu rolled up her fingers.
“No, no, no, that solves your problem but costs them their life!”
I taught Lass Yu responses to remember off by heart and avoid debates since she’d eventually comprehend the intricacies once she used them long enough; it was the same principle as learning martial arts, after all.
“In the first scenario, you say, ‘I understand. Thank you for helping.’ In the second scenario, you say, ‘I didn’t say anything. Don’t make a fuss.’ In the third scenario, you tell them, ‘So and so, you are testing me.’”
Despite Lass Yu nodding, I didn’t know if she really grasped it or not.
Long Zaitian went on and on, while Lass Yu didn’t seem too interested.
“You haven’t told Master about this yet?” I asked with my eyes squinted.
Without sparing me a glance, Long Zaitian responded, “Of course not. You think everyone is as mindless as you are? What’s the repercussion for giving false reports? Who’d report unless he was dead certain his intelligence was correct?”
“Good. Listen up: your intelligence really is fake news. If you report it to Master, you can take those canes, and you can bear the consequences.”
“Huh? Abbess Huofeng’s letter clearly explicated in her letter. Don’t set me up.”
“While it’s true that Miss Yu and I are childhood friends who haven’t met in a long time, and our sects are on good terms… Just know that it’s not happening.”
If people found out about my engagement to Lass Yu, all of my old enemies would start eyeing me.
“Serious?” Long Zaitian smirked: “Sister-in-law is mad about your promiscuous lifestyle, I bet. Am I right, Sister-in-law?”
Lass Yu looked my way for help then looked to her feet: “… I’m not your sister-in-law.”
Long Zaitian had trouble believing the supposedly indifferent interim matriarch was acting shy. “Look at her! You’re the kind to boss your wife around, aren’t you?!” Then, he gave Lass Yu a smile and said, “Interim Patriarch Yu, Sister-in-law, he is mindless. You must keep him in line after you get married. Use whips, rods, cudgels and hammers. If you don’t have enough tools, come see me. I will supply you with tools.”
Lass Yu nodded: “This great one understands. Thank you for helping, Brother Long.”
“I don’t think that’s the right response! Why are you using it now after all these years!” my face read.
“This great one didn’t say anything. Don’t make a fuss.”
“You opposing me, are you?!”
“Hahaha.” Long Zaitian smacked his thigh and carried on, “Ming Feizhen, met your match, haven’t you? You’ve enjoyed your unrestrained days without Miss Shen for long enough. Interim Patriarch Yu, please do not hold back on him. He needs to be punished thrice daily. One less is one less too many.”
“Brother Long, you are testing this great one.” Lass Yu flashed a proud smile, while I wanted to just break down.
“Long Zaitian, just remember that Miss Yu and I aren’t seriously getting married, okay? I’ll clear up the air with Abbess Huofeng.”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m not as senseless as you. By the way, what happened to your mission?”
“You’re asking me now? Didn’t you go search for… Miss Shen?”
Oh, crap, I totally forgot about that!
“Hey!” Long Zaitian leaned closer to me to whisper, “Remember to tell her that we’ve been working hard to find her, with me having contributed the most.”
The only things you’ve contributed most to are spending my money like a maniac and starting parties! Strictly speaking, the tournament was also my work!
Long Zaitian gazed upward and placed his hands behind his back: “Tell her that, although lots of promiscuous women have been approaching me, I’ve refused to spare them time of the day because they’re merely rocks to me. Miss Shen will always be the most vibrant, fresh grass to me, the most gorgeous, noble swan, and the most beautiful rose in my eyes.”
“That makes you an ox, a toad and cow manure.”
“Oi! Besides sometimes saying something worth deliberating and sometimes showing some humility, you’re pretty much useless. Have you ever considered entrusting the mission to someone dashing, handsome and genius? … Say something.”
“Yes, what it is it Sister-in-law?”
Yu Feiyuan pointed in the direction Ming Feizhen ran off in: “He left a while ago.”
Long Zaitian ran after me, shouting, “Remember to tell her! Rose! Rose!”