A Quick Glance that Leaves a Deep Impression
What the hell are you telling her?!
I shoved Song Ou to the ground and briskly sauntered over.
I reactively tugged back my foot extended forward when I spotted the violence permeating in Boss’ eyes.
“Huh? Y-you did not know?” Hong Jiu pursed his lips, slowly turned his head over to me and showed his resolve to accept capital punishment. “M-Miss Shen, Leader seduces women behind your back, and one of them is a Princ-”
Don’t smash the pot just because it’s cracked!
“Relax.” Shen Yiren raised an open hand to signal for Hong Jiu to stop. “If you are referring to Princess Jingan, he has already told me.”
Yes, you twat!
I confided in Shen Yiren all about the fuma stuff already. Frankly, I knew less about Jingan than what I knew about her. For instance, I knew she was venomous, but that was the extent of it. Nobody could predict when she’d harm someone when she maintained her virtuous public image at all times. If I didn’t inform Shen Yiren when she had an intimate relationship with the imperial family, she might end up with knives in her back without even knowing why.
The only reason I didn’t want Hong Jiu to bring up the fuma business was…
Hong Jiu scratched his head: “Why do you look so angry, then?”
“That should be obvious.” Shen Yiren’s lips took on a menacing image despite their upward curve as she turned to face me. “Because I’m still contemplating how to punish this cornhole who committed a grave mistake.”
… I told it’s all my shifu’s fault!
Let’s rewind to when I first told Shen Yiren about the whole ordeal.
After round one, Shen Yiren grabbed her chin and conveyed, “Yan Shisan did caution me about Princess Jingan long ago in private, telling me to keep my guard up around her because of how dubious she seemed. You may be right. To think His Majesty loves her so much, yet sh-”
“Then, why did you hit me so hard?!”
“Regardless of whether or not you’re bearing the burden of someone’s wrongdoing, do you realise how serious the crime of posing as a fuma is?! Also, you two went through the rites to legalise your marriage. You… You’re messing with His Majesty’s daughter. Pop your face out. Just one shot!”
Thus, round two concluded before I could clarify that I never fulfilled my duties as a husband and never got anything out of her besides dozens of meals, hundreds of jugs of alcohol and the occasional intimacy I couldn’t refuse.
“There’s still hope for you, then. Devote yourself to your work and make some big contributions, and then I’ll find an opportunity to elucidate what happened to His Majesty so that you’re not incriminated for deceiving him.”
As you can see, I cleared everything up with Shen Yiren. Man, I somewhat regret confessing now that I think about it. I mean, she’s still mad about it.
Anyway, we changed into the blacksmiths’ apparel despite it not being the best disguise so that we could infiltrate further in. Needless to say, Shen Yiren only gave her approval to continue owing to Hong Jiu’s high spirits.
There was nothing we could do about the rising temperature, so I had plenty of time to analyse the status quo.
“Besides us, there are, at least, three more unidentified groups lurking on Taihu Sword Island.”
Shen Yiren: “… The first group must be River Monster and Mountain Monster. Feizh-”
Hong Jiu: “Huh?! River Monster?! Mountain Monster?! Why are we working with them?! Hang on. Isn’t Mountain Monster a man?”
“I’ll explain later. The second faction should be Bodhi, also known as Abels. He must be furious over Evil Spirits’ eradication and hiding somewhere to avenge his brothers. He told me he’d come for Luo Ming after I parted with him at Canhu Town.”
“… So you’ve met the reals Abels. If his goal matches ours, he could be helpful. Have you…” Shen Yiren had spent the better part of the journey leaving her questions and statements incomplete.
“As for the third group, I believe there’s a group on Repository Island, and I don’t mean just Beggars Sect and so forth. I can’t put my finger on who it is.”
“No, I meant…” Shen Yiren stopped to speak to Hong Jiu. She pointed my way and asked, “… Is he always like this?”
“Huh? Like what?”
“You know…” Like she was trying to get to know me all over again, Shen Yiren pointed to the guards littered all over the ground. “Is this what he does whenever he’s not being an idiot?”
“Oh.” Wagging his hand, Hong Jiu responded, “This is nothing. Back then, he crushed innumerable elites in the north, south, east and west. If he was born before Pangu, he’d have been the one to create the world!”
Why do I feel like I’ve heard something similar before…?
I admit to being too unbridled ever since confessing to Boss, so I decided to rein myself in a bit. “I just don’t like people cutting me off when I’m speak-”
“Who goes th-”
Slam! I ran my fist into the face of the big man carrying the big broadsword, punishing his face until the wall stopped my momentum. “That’s why I don’t hold back when people cut me off. It’s not that I’m strong or anything.”
Shen Yiren stood there with an expression of disapproval for a while and then walked up to my side. I saw her puff up her cheeks a little and heard her mumble, “… He has the face of a coward, yet he’s a decent fighter…”
How the hell does the face of a coward look?!
“Behind this door is the blacksmiths’ workshop. Until His Majesty gives an edict, Luo Sword Manor is still one of the Seven Champion White Princes. Our mission is to investigate and pinch the blueprint.” Shen Yiren opened the door.
Only a few of the hundred-odd blacksmiths in the spacious workshop spared us a glance and then returned to focusing on their jobs once they saw our clothing. The sweat running comparably to condensation off winter panels didn’t distract them from their task for a second.
Shen Yiren squinted to see a blueprints room on the far left and made her way in, so five men with their faces concealed confronted her straight away. I swatted the five men to the ground while Boss soldiered inside to grab and leave without bothering to guard herself.
After we left, one of them commented, “Who the hell was that…? I didn’t even see how I got caught.”
“What do we say if Patriarch blames us for this? We should give chase,” urged a subordinate. “What do you say, Sir?”
The new head of Sun Character Worship, whilst rubbing his swollen head, smiled to himself: “If you don’t want to die yet, I suggest you don’t pursue them.”
Pangu – the first living being and the creator of all in some versions of Chinese mythology