“We have to rescue His Majesty.” Song Ou said to all of us, “Feel free to share your opinions and ideas. Reservation is the bane of advancement and is fruitless.”
Because Shen Yiren turned to me without a moment of hesitation, Song Ou voiced, “However, there are some things you should be reserved about. Men and women should keep a respectable distance from each other. Yiren, stay close to me.”
“Is this the right occasion for this nonsense?!”
Things didn’t work in my favour if I showed off in front of Song Ou, so I abstained from speaking. Though I did consider sleeping him for longer, we were short on manpower as it was, and he was stronger than Su Xiao.
Candidly, I didn’t have any strategy. “Mm… My opinion is we roll with the punches. Well, it’s the only way when there is no way. You know I’m not a fan of average plans. Second, what do you reckon?”
Hong Jiu crossed his arms and vigorously nodded: “Yes, average. There’s small, big, old, medium average.”
And everything else that came after was equally irrelevant.
Shen Yiren disputed, “Luo Ming must’ve set today up according to his designs and has confidence in it. Crossing bridges when we come to them is the equivalent of waiting for him to win.”
“Yeah, he’s thrust Luo Clan’s descendants into the fray. Maybe he’s hoping one of them will win since he said he’s not participating. At least, I think that should mean he won’t be so direct.”
Hong Jiu: “Yes, yes.”
Can you stop?!
Luo Ming headed to his preparation area without commenting on my appearance, but I could feel him stealing ganders our way, not that he would’ve seen anything since our pavilion was opposite his, meaning it was super-far away. How was he going to see me if I couldn’t see him?
I bet Luo Ming wanted to erase me from existence after he got injured in my mental plane. To be honest, I’d like to throw down with him candidly. It was impossible when there were so many people, though. I mean, if I did get serious with him here, they’d drop the arrest warrant for Luo Ming to arrest me instead.
“How can we escape and throw off Luo Ming’s plans?”
Nobody could answer because Luo Ming was probably also going to determine when we were called into the ring. Somebody needed to do something that Luo Ming couldn’t predict to ruin his program.
“Oi, someone is looking for you,” Mountain Monster suddenly hollered.
“Hmm? Who?” I asked.
“Ahem,” interrupted Song Ou, signalling he was the highest-ranked commander in our group. He gave Mountain Monster an affable smile: “Who is it?”
“How the hell should I know who it is, you stupid nuisance? Your mother not give you legs?! Piss off and see for yourself.”
Song Ou went to the entrance to with a face smothered in saliva and came back to me with his head down: “He’s looking for you.”
“That’s what I said from the start. You don’t understand what humans say, you twat?!” Mountain Monster raged.
“Ahem, ahem, please don’t arg-. I mean, Wawa, please stop blasting him. I’ll go see who it is.”
“Who you calling Wawa?!”
“Elder Shou?” I greeted.
“Forsooth,” replied Elder Shou.
“Please come on in.”
“No, we’re tight on time. This one will leave once he is done speaking. This old one came here to ask for your aid.”
What does Wudang want when Luo Ming is public enemy now?
“This old one’s request has to do with this.”
“Hmm? Let us hear it.”
“Young Ming, do you know who Wudang’s senior disciple for this generation is?”
“Wu Yunqi. He’s the most advanced disciple among the second generation of Wudang’s disciples and is literate. Oh, he also looks pretty good.”
“Correct. He is our top candidate to take over leadership, but there’s another person. Back then, he trained on Mount Wudang. H-”
“Pause, pause, pause. Get down to business. Stop bringing up the past. I may have been insensible back then, but you all banged me up already, did you not?”
“This old one just wants to say that, if he or Wu Yunqi were here, it would solve this one’s problem.”
“What is the matter, Elder Shou?”
“This old one is afraid Wudang will not survive this tournament.”
“What do you mean? Wudang has you, no?”
“Originally so.” Elder Shou gazed up solemnly: “When this old one was sleeping last night h-”
“Fell through the bed?”
“Worse. When he kicked, his back w-”
“An assassin came after you?” I asked with a stoic look.
“No. This old one… accidentally threw out his back.”
You threw out your back?! Say that again. You? You of all people threw out your back?! Who you fooling?!
“It still aches, and this old one cannot move properly, so he cannot fight. This old one needs a young hero like Wu Yunqi to help.”
“Wait, wait, wait, w-”
Elder Shou forced a mask into my hand: “Thank you, Young Huan. Wear this mask on and fight. When we chase up the five deaths on Mount Wudang, you will get a 99.9% discount without needing to say a word. Empyrean Wuliang! This one shall now take his leave.”
“I never consented! Hey! Get back here!”
How you running so fast if you threw your back out?!
“The first round, which shall commence in two hours, will be between Cold Mountain Temple, Moyan Sect and Wudang. Contestants, please prepare,” announced Jin Caitan.
“Wait, who’s first? Wudang?”
Oi, you old fart, get back here!
Young Huan – This is not a mistake. You will soon find out why.