I always thought Divine Inkstonesmanship didn’t sound too good even though I was the one who invented it. Boss, upon hearing the name, felt her skills with her inkstone weren’t sleek, fast and strong enough to be worthy of the “Divine” description. Thus, she began researching smacking techniques, even taking it with her on business trips so that she had more time to study. Nowadays, she had developed “Face-Smacking Combo”, managing seven successive strikes without dropping it.
“The plan for tomorrow is…”
Boss probably called me over at night to lay out her plans for the competition, but I wasn’t listening; one, I had my own plans that I intended to follow; two, I looked as if I had two meat buns stuffed in my cheeks because I repressed my true qi armour when she smacked me.
“You listening? … Where are you looking?”
I was looking through slits due to my cheeks swelling up to my eyes; I didn’t have the faintest clue what the white stuff I was looking at happened to be. When I stretched my eyes as wide as they could go, I saw Boss shielding her mountains with an arm, her despise on her face and her other arm reaching for the inkstone on the desk.
The white things I saw were her knockers?!
“Y-you misunderstand! I wasn’t peeking at your knockers. Besides, one arm of yours isn’t enough to cover them even if I was!”
Uh oh, I said too much!
I lifted the bench to head level so that I wouldn’t have my blood pouring down my face.
“Can’t you give it a rest for a while? Tomorrow is an important day for you. Shaolin, Wudang and Mount Daluo will be public enemy in tomorrow’s contest. You’ll be in for it if you fail to avoid all sorts of forthcoming sneak attacks.”
It had been a long time since I had heard that lecturing tone from Boss, let alone a proper conversation, after reuniting with her thanks to Evil Spirits, Luo Ming and my identity issues.
“Although I summoned you to warn you, it seems I’ve wasted my time. While you are weak and careless, you have the luck of the devil and an unscrupulous mind. You’ve been the only one able to jinx his opponents. I can’t remember anyone ever harming you.”
I offered a palm and fist salute: “You flatter me, Sister-in-law. I am honoured.”
“Tsk, here we go again. Since you don’t want to hear me out, I won’t waste my breath. Just follow my orders tomorrow. Now, business time. I was busy designing a strategy to deal with Evil Spirits, so I didn’t have time to give you the details. I remember telling you we had a formidable hero on our side when we encountered Abels. I was curious who came to our aid, but I suppose he was there thanks to you. The one who went missing with Captain Song is your junior, Hidden Hero, Ten Thousand Mile Dragon River, Hong Jiu, Hong Shiba. Tsk, people have one nickname and one name, so why does your second brother have two of each? What exactly is his name?”
“His… surname is Hong, name is Jiu and courtesy name is Shiba.”
As for the two aliases, those are the product of the hole in his brain. Whenever he introduces himself, he insists on declaring every name he has. As a result, his introduction extends endlessly.
I did have a feeling Second was calling for help from what I gleaned from Wugufengdeng. Fortunately, I didn’t need to investigate further thanks to Boss proceeding to tell me all about how they worked together to combat “Abels”.
“In addition to finding Captain Song, we must rescue Hero Hong to repay him for saving our lives. If he wanted to flee, I’m sure he could’ve that day.”
“Yeah, we need to rescue them. Do you have any clues, Boss?”
“Not at present. That said… I’m not convinced Luo Ming is innocent… You also suspect him, don’t you?”
I gestured consensus.
“The timing of his return suggests he arranged it if you ask me. Having crossed swords with Evil Spirits, I’d say their combat abilities and chain of command paled in comparison when he showed up. You couldn’t convince me they were the same group I clashed with.
“I’ve been deliberating who stands to be the final victor in all of this. It can’t be Evil Spirits now that they’re basically wiped out; they could be a stepping stone, though. No matter how I look at it, sequestering for ten years, yet keeping a pulse on everything going on and hosting Refining Divine Convention makes Luo Ming the fishiest. What do you think?”
“Mm… Indeed. I stand by your reasoning.”
As I was rubbing my chin, I saw white again before I realised it. Boss lifted an arm up to cover her breasts: “… Where are you looking?”
“Eh?” I covered my eyes and exclaimed, “Nothing! Nothing! I didn’t see anything! Besides, one arm of yours isn’t enough to cover them even if I was!”
I raised a bench to guard my head, prompting Boss to chuckle.
“Dork, come here. If you know you’ll get hit, why do you provoke me in the first place.”
“Hehe, I did it on purpose because you look good when you laugh. Ever since meeting you again, you’ve always been frowning or wearing a long face.”
Despite being taken aback, Boss said, “There is a time and place for smiling and laughing. Now is the time to be serious.”
“Boss, I have a question.”
“When was the last time you had any shuteye?”
“… Why do you ask? You planning to flaunt the medical skills you’ve been demonstrating on your journey here?”
“I haven’t seen you sleep once since we’ve met up.”
Boss didn’t answer.
As I mentioned, I had plans of my own for tomorrow, therefore didn’t plan to follow Boss’ orders. I only came here tonight to ask about her health.
“I thought it was weird for you to summon me here so late. Is day and night the same thing for you now? What’s… the problem?”