Dragon Down (Part 2)
“Enough! I’m going to kill her first!”
Red Prince didn’t understand what was going on, but he knew I was stronger than him, so I was naturally stronger than Chu Yinghua. Hence, he writhed around to try and get over to protect her whilst exclaiming, “Didn’t you say you were going to interrogate us? Why are you trying to kill her without asking a single question?!”
Did I say that? Whatever. I just need to get them to escape. Toss what psychological trauma he’ll be left with.
I responded, “If you want to save her, hand over three hundred thousand taels.”
“D-didn’t you say you’re a hero? You’re blackmailing me.”
“You falsely claimed to be some gardener’s son.”
“It was a lie told with good intent. If you find out I’m a Prince, the situation for you will be bad! Ah…” An advocate of not crying over spilt tea, Red Prince flipped out. “Too late now. I’m Red Prince, the reigning Red Prince. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll release me now. Else, my men will destroy you when they get here!”
If I really am Zhong Ning, you’d already be red braised pork belly and end up in my gut regardless of what I chop off.
“… And why specifically three hundred thousand taels?”
Because your old man scammed three hundred thousand taels out of me! Several hundred thousand taels to open a restaurant and Long Zaitian wasted a bunch! All my hard-earned money has gone to the national treasury!
“You paying or not?”
“She called you brother-in-law! Oh, oh, I remember now! I remember now! Before I passed out, you and that Ming woman were in an embrace! You must be her lover and her brother-in-law, the blood-drinking, human-bone-eating,” tapering off until his voice was barely audible, Red Prince finished, “brother-in-law.”
“If you want to rescue her, money!”
“Wh-wh-why should I pay when I just got to know her?!”
I set my broadsword down, then berated, “You’re heartless, aren’t you?”
Red Prince was visibly bewildered as to where he went wrong.
“Why shouldn’t you spend money when you two have been talking for so long? Have you not heard the saying that saving a life is more meritorious than donating money to shrines? Three hundred thousand taels for the safety of two lives is a bargain and meritorious deed, isn’t it?”
“Is your brother-in-law derailed? Is he really going to kill you?”
Chu Yinghua being as inflexible as she is, answered, “He’s… possibly hungry.”
“I don’t have money, but I have a life. If I give you money to eat people, how can the people feel any sense of security?!”
“I don’t eat humans!”
“Steamed or roasted?”
“Amateur. If you’re going to ask that question, you should ask steamed in garlic butter or char roasted. You need to pay attention t-”
“And you claim you don’t eat humans?!”
When did I ever mention humans in my response, you sly minion?!
“Okay, tough guy, rescue her yourself, then.”
“… I… I won’t let you eat Miss Chu.”
Red Prince kipped up, having leveraged the time I granted to gain the flexibility to slip out of the celestial spider silk, thrust four fingers at me. He was so vulnerable, especially his face, that I effortlessly kicked him into the wall. Given our difference in skill, I’d smack him like a rag doll every time I wanted to, so I didn’t hit so hard that he’d get hurt but hard enough to demonstrate warn him.
Red Prince got up right away, ran over to the iron plate and posed in front of Chu Yinghua. He actually would’ve looked dashing if he didn’t have a bloody nose.
Chu Yinghua cried, “Your Highness, y-y-”
“Don’t worry. I can handle this.”
“Your nose is bleeding.”
Chu Yinghua, Chu Yinghua, at least let the man look cool. You’re killing him inside.
Red Prince wiped his blood, but… only two more trails coursed down.
“… Your Highness, y-”
“I know I have a blood nose! I’m trying to stop it, aren’t I?!” Red Prince raised his head and yelled, “I won’t let you harm her!” He then turned his face and, resembling a soldier about to leave his wife behind for the front lines, timidly expressed, “As long as you know how I feel, I have no regrets laying down my life here for you.” He subsequently turned back to me and belted, “I’m taking you down!”
“Uh, what are your feelings?” Chu Yinghua asked.
Protect yourself at all times.
Bam! I kicked Red Prince into the wall again, creating a second scarlet splat on the wall.
Didn’t your parents teach you not to draw on walls?
Red Prince crawled to his feet, ignoring me. “You don’t understand?”
Chu Yinghua flapped her eyelids: “Wh-what am I supposed to understand?”
Yeah, what’s she supposed to understand?
“We just spoke so much, and I sent so many gifts to Liu Shan Men…”
“Oh, I told you not to give us grief.”
Red Prince’s ears put the “red” in Red Prince. “Do you still not know I feel about you?”
“No, how should I know?”
Me: “Yeah, how should she know?”
“When… When… When I first sent gifts, that Ming woman said my feelings had been conveyed, didn’t she? Didn’t she tell you?”
“She did. She told me you’re deliberately making things hard for us.”
“I thought we cleared that up at my residence! I didn’t mean to make things hard for you. I… I… Don’t you know?”
“I do.” Just as Red Prince exhaled relief, Chu Yinghua elaborated, “You kept sending gifts because you like Sister Suwen. I already talked about that.”
Hey, bro, we need to talk. Char grilled or steamed in garlic butter?
“I don’t like her! Why in god’s name would I ever like her?!”
What’s that supposed to mean, huh?!
“Explain yourself, or you’re going to find out why they call me Vinegar King.”
“Fine! She’s the physical manifestation of insidious! From the first time I saw her, my hairs stood up! She… she has the appearance of a devil. Just looking at her gives me the creeps. I’ve feared those with her appearance since I was a kid. Jingan’s mother and Empress Dowager are both the same. My skin crawls whenever I see them. I’m scared of their kind when it comes to work. She came into my manor uninvited and set fire to it. Is there anything she wouldn’t dare to do? What makes you think I’d like her?! Also, who would dare to search a secretary’s manor for a petty thief? She’s been reported more times in a month than the number of rice grains I ate. By the way, Miss Chu, do you like wanton soup?”
Chu Yinghua beamed. “Yeah, I like it.”
“With green onions?”
“Lots of green onions, but not spicy.”
I questioned, “What are you now, a waiter?”
“S-so, sh-shall we, my treat next time…”
“Oi, you think this is the place for you to flirt?”
Red Prince blurted, “In short, those gifts were for you!”
“Are you trying to fool me now?” I asked.
“Go flipping investigate if you don’t believe me! The copper coins I sent were all manufactured on her birthday! All of them were forged on 3rd, July, 15th year of Yuansheng’s reign. Why would I send so many coins manufactured on the same day if I don’t like her?! I fell for her at first sight when I saw her at my manor.
“Ever since then, I’m constantly thinking of her at work, in bed and even in my dreams. I can’t get her smile out of my face. I know it’s inappropriate to send presents to Liu Shan Men, but I feel like it. I’m not trying to prove how great I am but to tell you that I will get back what I lost!”
Wow, we have a real man here, ladies and gentlemen.
Huffing and puffing due to breathlessness from yelling, Red Prince laboriously enunciated, “What I’m trying to say is, what I’m trying to say is, I…”
“What do you want? Either make yourself clear or I’ll be taking her.”
Red Prince inhaled as much oxygen as he could and declared, “I want everyone to know that I, Li Tingzhu, like Chu Yinghua!”
It felt as though the subsequent silence lasted ages whilst watching Chu Yinghua’s embarrassment paint her neck, face and ears as red as raw human flesh, I mean cooked octopus. Octopus. Her heart beat as loud as a drum on a battlefield, bashing away Red Prince’s courage.
Yuck, the smell of love. Yuck. Guess it’s the best proof that he’s not lying, though. Director Young Shiyi, cut! It was all a misunderstanding.
Red Prince never developed a crush on Young Shiyi; he’s a nice guy. He’s respectful, deserves to be respected and a good Prince. Even though his gifting ploy was painfully inane, he’s a genius if you compare it to the stuff Orange Prince and Green Prince did. Most importantly, he likes Chu Yinghua, not Young Shiyi. No more reason for me to feed him to piranhas. Besides, Chu Yinghua seemed to reciprocate his feelings.
Guess it’s time to let him defeat me so that they can escape.
“Freak, I won’t let you lay a hand on her!”
Come on now… Can’t you see my kind will here? As well, I suggest you stop creeping her way.
Red Prince rushed to Chu Yinghua’s side. Still addled, she freaked out. “G-g-get back!”
“Don’t worry. I’ll rescue you. I won’t let him hurt you.” The man had no idea Chu Yinghua’s restraints were loose… As he made his way over, he asserted, “While I never had the courage to convey my feelings, while I have said enough, this may be our last moments together, so I have to tell you!”
“St-stop! St-stay back, ah!”
I saw a charged-up kick uncork and Red Prince jump up on two feet.
“I… seldom… you…”
Your Highness! Your Highness! Dragon down! Dragon down, hahahahahaha!
Kipped up – Refer to the technique syllabus video if you forgot.