Feizhen is Forever Grateful
Silence hit hard. I would never forget the scene of hundreds of heads spinning back around. It was the equivalent of being slapped across the face hundreds of times with their gazes that resembled a tiger spotting a chicken!
My appearance and attire weren’t the same as what I wore two years ago. Had Huofeng not exposed me, nobody would’ve spared me a second glance.
“You’re not going to disown your shifu and ancestors now, are you?” scathingly questioned Huofeng.
I crossed my arms: “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Drop the act! Where’s your shifu?!” someone brayed.
Shifu, you really been dining and dashing, huh? You’re breaking your own enemies record!
“You… You are Ming Huayu’s disciple?” Boss Shen glared at me for the longest several seconds in a while before casting her gaze gleaming with emotions from somewhere out of the blue upon me. I’d be willing to accept a beating from her. This reaction, on the other hand, was impossible to read. All I could make from it was that she was acting somewhat… childish? It was the first time I felt there was a considerable gap between us. As much as I wanted to explain why I hid the fact that my shifu was Ming Huayu, the occasion didn’t afford me the opportunity.
“Please hear me out,” Emperor Yuansheng requested loudly. “Young Ming is a disciple of Mount Daluo, indeed. He did not mean to hide his background; he only did so out of consideration for his own safety in the pugilistic world. He is here as this one’s representative today, not as a representative of Mount Daluo. Can you see why it would be an issue if he were to reveal his background?”
I’m thankful he spoke up for me, but is he implying he is suffering a lack of manpower? Is it just my imagination?
Huofeng stated, “He is not a mere disciple. He is also Mount Daluo’s senior disciple, the successor of Mount Daluo’s patriarch seat!”
Mother! Grandma! Abbess! I’ll call you what you want! Why are you coming at me?!
“I see,” Luo Ming remarked with the eyes of a tiger on me.
I could sense the skill Luo Ming cast on his eyes that allowed him to scan the yin and yang fluctuations in me, so I had to put on an inscrutable, unreadable air. There was no way I could fool him into believing I had no resistance against his technique as a disciple of Mount Daluo.
Failing to glean anything from me, Luo Ming commented, “Apparently, Mount Daluo chooses their disciples based on only one factor: fate. Mr. Ming is currently Hero Shenzhou’s only direct disciple.”
I placed my palm and fist together: “That is correct.”
“It is said that Mr. Ming’s six disciples of this generation are all accomplished heroes. Everyone knows Ten Thousand Miles Dragon Rider and Moon Chaser Swordsman. As his senior disciple, you must also be quite the man. May this one ask which style from Daluo Five Divine Styles you specialise in?” Luo Ming, who knew about Mount Daluo being the owner of Night Fortress but not which disciple ran it, inquired with his counterfeit smile.
Sixth and Second were pretty much household names as Luo Ming pointed out, while Fifth Sister, Third and Fourth were under the radar. The latter three went to and fro wherever they liked, yet Luo Ming sounded as though he knew about them.
“This one specialises in strategy but is disappointingly poor at martial arts.”
“That is strange. This one heard all disciples of Mount Daluo are extraordinary martial artists. Is that an ungrounded claim?”
“You seem to be awfully informed of the martial world’s activities for someone in seclusion for a decade.”
Luo Ming’s brain stuttered for a moment before he tried to keep probing, refusing to buy my story. Alas, someone interjected, “Patriarch Luo, if we look at relationships here, you should not receive the priority to question Brother Ming first.”
Hmm… Do I know him?
“Brother Ming, this old one has finally found you. Do you not recognise this old man from the border?”
I… think I do? I think I’ve tasted your killer wine and equally impressive broadsword skills when I was a kid?
“Should we know each other?”
“Heh, maybe not, but this old one and your shifu certainly would know each other.”
“Could this one bother you to explain?”
“Your shifu once offered to help us fight off horse-riding bandits in exchange for some of this old one’s wine when they vandalised our region one year. This old one accepted his offer for there was no apparent loss. We went to their den to act as witnesses as per his request to find them asleep. Because our arrival woke them up, we were thrust into a big fight that we exhausted ourselves to settle, yet your shifu never showed up.”
“Perhaps he was busy w-”
“Oh, he was busy, busy drinking this old one’s wine! By the time this old one got back, he had finished every jar, but it doesn’t end there. He then went and chucked up everywhere in this old one’s house!”
Beautifully executed luring strategy! I thought I was adept, yet you’ve been exterminating evil without even needing to do it yourself, Shifu. I do feel sorry for the old geezer, though. I was wondering why there was no news of you recently. Damn bugger is starting to go after those by the border.
“Prior to departing, he told this one to seek out his disciples for anything this old one needed. Brother Ming, are you going to be paying for his debt?”
“Well… I am only a substitute. The real senior disciple of Mount Dal-”
“Brother Ming, I didn’t know you were here.”
I shifted my gaze over to Xiao Huangquan.
Oh, crud. I can’t piss this guy off.
Xiao Huangquan gave me a smile; I looked down. He looked at me; I looked back out of my peripherals.
Hey, hey, don’t take another step here while sporting that sinister smile! Also, get your arm off my shoulder!
“Life comes full circle, huh, Brother Ming?”
I don’t know you! Take a hike!
“Could you have forgotten about us sharing three hundred fishes while drunk?!”
I wagged my hand: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Spring Wind Full Moon Brothel’s Miss Qiao can sing and dance, remember?”
“Flower picking is not a gentleman’s deed.”
“Haha, you aren’t going to tell me you forgot about us taking three leaks in Luo Lake, do you?”
“Don’t you dare bring that up again! I wouldn’t have needed to put on the drunken act if you didn’t drink all of their Luoyang Golden Frost to flaunt your wealth!”
Oh, crap, slip of the tongue there.
Hundreds of people behind Xiao Huangquan: “So it was you! When you going to pay back your shifu’s wine (broadsword, sword, secret manual, gambling, brothel…) debts?!”
Someone give me a reed. I’m out of here!
Huofeng flicked a smirk: “You are being too humble. Wutong Jin Yuxuan is familiar with many groups in Hangzhou for it is our home. Did you know that N-”
Stop! Stop! Stop! You’re not listening to yourself! Are you going to even bring out Demon Sect?! Have you lost your mind?!
“Wait, Abbess!” I cried. “I-I have something to say.”
“But I have nothing to say to you.”
“No, no, I have something to convey to all the heroes present. Please let me finish first. Everyone, my surname is Ming and am a direct disciple of Mr. Ming Huayu. I believe you have all been informed of the big news concerning Mount Daluo and Wutong Jin Yuxuan.”
“Yes, we received a letter stating that the news would be announced yesterday, but nobody was there.”
“We do owe all of you an apology and explanation for that. We were hoping to announce it in prosperous Huzhou; however, it dawned on us that Luo Sword Sanctuary and Refining Divine Convention would make an even more suitable occasion for the announcement. As such, we decided to delay it until now.”
“Wh-what are you going to announce?” Huofeng stuttered.
To avoid Huofeng exposing me, appease her, help Matriarch Zi recover from her depression and shield Wutong Jin Yuxuan from being panned, I had to speak up. Luckily for me, I had a backup plan up my sleeve.
I declared, “The good news is that Mount Daluo and Wutong Jin Yuxuan will be forging an eternal bond!”
Huofeng suddenly burst into tears and walked back to her fellow disciples with her teeth in her lips. All of a sudden, she passed out to my confusion.
Shifu, I have never forgotten what you taught me. Watch this.
I inhaled before I announced, “As this one’s shifu is not present, he shall announce it on behalf of his shifu. Shifu is determined to take Wutong Jin Yuxuan’s Matriarch Zi as his wife and take care of her even after death! Anyone who hears the announcement is invited to Mount Daluo for the ceremony to join the banquet!”
Ah… Shifu, no need to thank me. You asked for it!