Learning Nanjiang’s Dialect From a Smokin’ Hot Teacher
“His Majesty already notified Matriarch Qiu about Heisina. How come you do not know about her?”
“I do know. Technically, I will know in a moment.”
Wu Ba’s brows parted as his eyes rolled into the back of his head. While I sealed his accupoints, Young Shiyi helped out the girl in the sack. The girl looked small because Wu Ba tucked her into his sack. In reality, she would be considered tall for a girl in the Central Plain given she was barely shorter than Shiyi if she were to stand.
“Her accupoints are sealed.” Young Shiyi searched for the seal and then smacked the girl, causing her to gasp. Since the girl frowned, Young Shiyi looked my way as I went to add the finishing touch.
“Your internal energy has improved quite a bit since we last met, Young Shyi.”
While Young Shiyi gets grumpy if anyone interferes in something she is working on, she lets me off the hook.
Cheeks inflated, Young Shiyi grumbled, “Making fun of my internal energy again. You know I don’t like practicing internal arts; they could kill me with the boredom. I wouldn’t even bother practicing them if I don’t have to compete against Vixen Yu.”
According to Grandmaster, he had never met a second person as gifted as Young Shiyi when it comes to martial arts. Can you argue that when she picked up everything she was taught in one go? Unfortunately, the deference she was given didn’t support her growth. Even Grandmaster argued, “A girl shouldn’t learn martial arts. You have your nephews to do the heavy lifting if you need, don’t you?” If you’re always the smartest in the room, who can you learn from in the room? Had her defeats at the hands of Lass Yu not triggered her, Young Shiyi wouldn’t have put in the effort to reach her current level.
Fighting wasn’t something to encourage or applaud. That being said, Young Shiyi and Lass Yu got to know each other when they were kids. While they weren’t friends, they did have their own means of fraternising, so I usually left them to their own devices.
“I’ll handle these jobs in the future. Extending your lifespan with better internal energy is a plus in every way. That being said, I’m not saying you have to practice internal styles. Nobody will dare lay a finger on you for as long as I’m around.”
“Hehe, Feizhen, you didn’t even move your hand to seal the midget fatso’s accupoints. All you did was condense your qi. Have you created a new technique? Teach me.”
This is the first time anyone has wanted to learn my Seven King Threads!
“It’s my new innovation in Seven King Threads – Shadow King Thread. Its principle is rather complex, but let me explain. F-”
“Where… am I?” As the tan girl slowly opened her eyes, she scuttled back. “Who are you?”
I tugged up a corner of my lips ever so slightly: “Welcome to Beautiful Spring Brothel.”
As tears welled up in the girl’s eyes, Young Shiyi whacked me over the head. “Feizhen, why are you scaring her?!” Young Shiyi hugged the girl to calm her down. “Don’t worry. He can’t control his idiocy. He didn’t mean to scare you.”
The girl aimed her finger at me and quavered, “H-he looks like a bad guy, especially like those bad men from brothels!”
Which brothel did you come from?! How do you know what a bad guy at a brothel looks like if you haven’t been to one?!
I rolled up my sleeves, only to eat another thump to the head. Young Shiyi reprimanded, “Told you to stay away from brothels. See? Even she can tell you’re debauched at first glance. I’m not defending you.”
… I can’t believe I don’t have a retort…
“I… I never went of my own volition, and you know that! Heavenly Fragrance Garden is our sect’s contact point! I only visit it monthly to see if Shifu has any letters for me!”
“What happened to watching the dances?”
“Dancing is a legitimate art!”
Despite my sound justification, the tan girl still wailed, only stopping when Young Shiyi assuaged her. The girl eyed the room as well as Wu Ba extremely quickly, then started crying again. “I, I came to the Central Plain from Xiacang with my family for a vacation. The evil man over there killed my family and abducted me… I don’t know anything else.”
“Spirits might buy your story, but it isn’t going to fool anyone here.” I pointed out, “It’s true that people from Nanjiang refer to themselves as Xiacang people. It’s ridiculous for someone from Nanjiang to go all the way to Jiangnan for a holiday, but let’s ignore that for now. He’s an official of Baimu, and he personally told us your name is something Duohua.”
“It’s Heisina Duohua!”
“And you just admitted to lying.”
“Tch! Mada, mada, mada!”
“Nani? You speak Japanese?”
“I don’t speak Japanese.”
“Okay, then you were spitting profanity. You think pronouncing ‘mother’ in a cute style will earn you mercy?” Truth be told, I never heard anyone use “mada” as a way of referring to a mother.
“Feizhen, stop. Don’t worry. We mean you no harm.”
Subsequent to Young Shiyi whispering something to her, the girl conversed merrily with Young Shiyi, admiration abound. I didn’t understand them since I couldn’t even identify the language, dialect… whatever it was that they spoke. Young Shiyi couldn’t enunciate as fluently and fast as the girl. Nonetheless, they did exchange words.
After fifteen minutes of not understanding anything – besides the laughing and crying – Young Shiyi switched back to Chinese in the Central Plain. “So, your last name is Heisina, and your first name is Duohua? That’s a nice name.”
The girl’s hot flushes were the indicator that Young Shiyi had conquered her route.
“Young Shiyi, you now Nanjiang’s language?”
“Technically speaking, it’s Anxi. Although they call themselves Xiacang people, their language is called Anxi. Your shifu held Anxi classes when we were younger. Regret not listening in class now? By the way, ‘mada’ means pig.”
Who you calling a pig?!
The reason I didn’t pay attention to Anxi classes was because I was on a roll with Yijin Jing back then. All I remembered from those classes was whatever slipped through subconsciously.
“Should’ve told me earlier. I wouldn’t need to bring an interpreter to Nanjiang if I could just bring my all-rounder Young Shiyi around.”
“I’m not qualified to be an interpreter. I only know basic Anxi.”
“It would only take you a few days to be fluent once you’re in Nanjiang. It really isn’t fair. Some people are blessed with good looks, a good brain, a kind heart and are likable.”
Young Shiyi wrinkled her nose. “Tongue sorcerer.”
Seeing my befuddled reaction, Duohua elucidated, “In Morcher’s version of Anxi, it means ‘idiot’. You’re amazing, Miss, even knowing Morcher’s dialect.”
Only I could appreciate what Young Shiyi truly meant. “Sounds nice.”
“It’s nice to be called an idiot?’
Young Shiyi giggled and reeled off another series of words I didn’t understand. Duohua then translated, “Idiotic and stupid, but… sort of cute…”
In the most masculine, yet gentle, voice I had, I verbalised my feelings for Young Shiyi in Nanjiang’s language. Since I wasn’t proficient in the language, I held my hand out to her as a means of getting my point across.
Furrowing her brows, Duohua asked, “Why did you say, ‘White rice with a kilo of beef’?”
This flipping Shifu of mine… I swear…
Young Shiyi slapped my hand aside, then returned to nursing Duohua’s injuries, refusing to spare me any attention.
Can I throw this girl out?! What did I do to her?! How should I have known what that meant?!
“Hey, why were you kidnapped?!” I yelled.
“I just told her right in front of you. You deaf?!”
I looked over to Young Shiyi.
“Feizhen, we can’t just ditch her. She comes from a tribe called Heisina. Their clan is behind an insurrection taking place in Baimu right now.”
“Remind me why it’s our business again. Baimu is a prosperous state. They could quell the revolt easily.”
“You know what the place they’ve decided to call home is? You remember where Baimu is located? Baimu is the state closest to Xiuyu.”
“Don’t tell me…”
Young Shiyi bobbed her head: “Heisina Tribe has chosen to make Nieyao their home.”
Internal energy and lifespan – In our current era, we call this the magic of breathing. I’m going to summarise this as much as I can because it’s a huge topic. Remember I mentioned the Bohr Effect a few chapters back? Well, this is connected to it. Your respiratory rate, resting heart rate, heart rate variation and BOLT score are pretty decent biomarkers to gauge your health – still only one facet, nonetheless. Breathing has a big role in all of those biomarkers.
Think about this: when you’re stressed (sympathetic state), you take shallower, quick breaths. When you’re in a parasympathetic state, you take less breaths per minute, and your breathing is soft (this is how it should be, if it’s not). If you’re chronically in a sympathetic state, you’re chronically stressed. In turn, digestion, appetite, sleep, mental health and so forth are negatively impacted. If those effects were chronic, your health is likely to decline faster than if they weren’t, agreed?
Mada – In Japanese, depending on context, you can understand it as “not yet”, “not enough” etc.