Luo Clan’s Treasure
For a long time, most of Luo Clan’s descendants were boys; there wasn’t a single daughter born in the last three generations. When the first daughter was born to break the cycle, the smithing department took a break for the first time in years. Growing up, everyone in Luo Clan pampered Luo Mingzhu in every way possible. Although some didn’t believe Black and White Reflection’s report, there was no room for doubt based on the way Luo Ming reacted to seeing his daughter.
I had been reading Black and White Reflection for Luo Sword Manor’s information recently and gleaned the fact that their clan regulation was that they could only teach their most advanced martial arts styles to boys in the clan. For that reason, Luo Ming had his daughter study at abroad at another sect ever since she was ten.
With half of my body still in the water, I licked my lips, narrowed my eyes and bobbed my head as I studied Luo Ming’s daughter.
Luo Ming wasn’t going to spill his secrets. Most of his family was dead. Luo Yan was gone. Luo Siming and I weren’t too close. Assuming Luo Ming’s daughter wasn’t shrewd, I figured could I earn her trust. As I began to conjure my plan, I mumbled under my breath, “You may be mischievous, but you aren’t escaping me, Missy.”
Boss crouched down: “What are you going to do?”
I pointed to Luo Mingzhu’s chest, ripped it and then closed my hand with a preening smile: “This.”
Wait, who’s speaking to me?
“Ming Feizhen! You like eating shoes, don’t you?!”
I spun around too late, seeing only the bottom of Boss’ shoe before it rammed my face.
“What was that hand gesture supposed to mean, huh?”
“Unlocking her heart! What are you thinking?!”
“You fell out of line after a few days out on your own, is that it?! Lecher! Unlock her heart?! How old is she? How old are you? Always coming up with useless, idiotic crap!” Boss fumed as she stepped on my face over and over. Meanwhile, Su Xiao and Lass Yu held me down.
Screw you three women! I mean, screw you two women and man… Why did I… Just move! I’m not really that cold, but this is still a ridiculous position to be in!
Despite his subtle smile, Luo Ming didn’t give the impression he was too happy to see his daughter: “Why did you come back? I thought I told you to study at Tianshan. Their Departing Water Ice Lake Sword Purification Style is one of the best Edge Realm Styles at the moment. Your shifu’s skills rival my own. Why are you here instead of diligently studying?”
Luo Mingzhu effused, “Dad, how can I not come back when you have finally come out of seclusion? I rushed back as soon as I received Fourth Brother’s letter.”
Ah, pfft. How long has Luo Ming been out for? How far is Tianshan from Jiangnan. I bet you sneaked off Tianshan some time ago and came back for some more fun when you heard your old man emerged.
“You think I don’t know how far Tianshan is from here? I bet you sneaked back to the Central Plain. You think I won’t tie you up to send you back to you shifu?”
“Kekeke, okay, Dad, you two can meet each other and fight. The North and South’s powerhouse swordsmen, let’s find out who the best swordsmen in the world really is.”
“Oi! Give it back!” Beggars Sect wasn’t a group of idiots; they could tell what Luo Mingzhu’s relationship to Luo Ming with based on the duo’s interaction. They just decided to feign ignorance. Beggars Sect’s disciples approached Luo Ming to asked, “Patriarch Luo, we are guests from afar. Are you going to shelter this thief?”
“Please pardon my daughter’s mischief. May this one ask how she affronted you? Mingzhu, what did you pinch from them? Return their property.”
“I refuse. They deserve it for conspiring against you.” Dimpling, Luo Mingzhu stated, “One night, on my way back, I saw a group of people rob a wealthy elder who is supposedly a corrupt businessman, so I decided to continue on my way until I heard them mention your name.”
Catching the concern that flitted across their faces, Luo Mingzhu pulled a zany face at the group: “You don’t want me to expose you? I’ll gladly expose you. They said, ‘I heard Luo Ming has invited all of the biggest groups. Even though he invited us, he specified he wants our Dog Beating Stick. You all know Young Master gave it to his senior three years ago and has yet to retrieve it. We can’t turn down the invitation when we’re the biggest sect in the world. Even though seasteel has been added to this cudgel, it’s still a far cry from Dog Beating Stick. I hope we don’t get busted.’ Because I overheard their plan to fool you, I shadowed them until I found the opportunity to steal their fake stick the day before.”
While the Beggars Sect members on the shore cast their eyes to their feet in silence, the remaining members of Beggars Sect on their boat didn’t dare to disembark.
After I tricked Second Brother into giving me Dog Beating Stick, I remember I used it as a rack to dry clothing on at my small home where I secluded myself…
I should go fetch it to practice swinging around again.
“Children like to be mischievous. We cannot take what they claim at face value. Please do not worry,” Luo Ming expressed, throwing a sturdy cudgel back to Beggars Sect after snatching it from Luo Mingzhu’s back.
Beggars Sect returned to their boat without another word.
“Dad, are you going to let them off just like that? They tried to defraud you.”
“Quiet. You’re getting older, yet you’re less mature by the day. Take a page out of your fourth brother’s book.”
“Amitabha.” The monk with the six urna on his forehead, the one who used Dawn Bell Dusk Drum to assist Luo Mingzhu back on the boats, politely smiled: “This one is Cold Mountain Temple’s Mianhua, the leader for this trip. It is a pleasure to meet you, Patriarch Luo.”
As the only Buddhist faction to be a Champion White Prince, everyone recognised this generation’s Mianhua, a heavy drinker, also known as one of their four best drinkers, and the most skilled fighter among The Four Warm Southern Breezes.
“Hahaha, this one should have welcomed you sooner.”
“That would be wasted on this one, Patriarch Luo. He has been held up on the way here, while the convention commences tomorrow, and he saw Beggars Sect making life difficult for Miss Luo, so we came without prior notification. Please pardon our intrusion.”
“It is this one’s fault for failing to teach his daughter better. This one is grateful for what you have done. Else, his daughter would have been in trouble.” Luo Ming then shut his daughter down with a glare first then let a smile spread across his lips: “Mingzhu, this is an opportunity to introduce you to all the heroes of the world, so I will introduce you one by one. This is Venerable Mianhua, senior disciple of Cold Mountain Temple’s abbot, Venerable Monk.”
“So he’s Abbot Jiyi’s head disciple,” Boss Shen remarked with a blade of hay dangling from her mouth.
“So he’s Uncle Jiyi’s head disciple,” I commented.
Boss Shen turned my way: “Uncle?”
Man, that was close.
Mianhua placed his hands together: “You flatter this one, Patriarch Luo.”
Luo Mingzhu understood her father was trying to clean up her image, so she politely greeted everyone her father introduced to her. Frankly, we were nobodies compared to everyone else if it wasn’t for us being with Emperor Yuansheng, so Luo Ming could’ve overlooked us without copping any flak for it.
“That is Uncle Li’s niece, Miss Shen. That is…”
Identifying Luo Ming’s short pause as a golden opportunity to make an impression, I stood up from the water – with two clingy, soggy nuisances on both arms – and tried in vain to perform a palm and fist salute. Accordingly, I pressed two fingers together and gave the brightest smile I could in that situation: “Hello, Miss Luo, this old one is-, I am Beiping’s, I meant Hangzhou, I meant Nanjing’s Liu Shan, wait, wait…”
I’ve lost track of all my identities!
“Uh, mm.” Luo Mingzhu nodded with a ridiculing expression.
That’s our first greeting?! How the hell am I supposed to enter her heart now?!