Yizhen Company (Part 2)
Prior to leaving, Ming Feizhen had the following conversation with Shen Yiren.
“Xia’er, how do I put it? She’s… a little special.”
“Special?” Shen Yiren stopped to think of a more specific adjective to no avail. “You mean she’s odd?”
Having met Hong Jiu and heard the stories of Ming Feizhen’s other fellow disciples, “unique” took on a whole different meaning when used to describe them.
“No, she’s quite cute. She’s like my shiniang, straightforward and generous. While she’s somewhat wilful, you’ll like her when you meet her. After all…”
Ming Feizhen stopped himself from saying, “You two are alike,” yet he still copped a hit.
“After all, what?” Shen Yiren stowed away her inkstone and eyed Ming Feizhen. “… Judging from your tone, she must resemble Miss Ming.”
“Isn’t she Miss Ming?”
“True. You guys use ‘Ming’ for your surname, so there’s nothing strange about there being lots of Miss Mings.”
“Xia’er and Young Shiyi are virtually sisters. Having said that, they’re still distinctly different. Young Shiyi appears to be wilful and unrestrained, but she’s considerate and analytical. That’s even truer after my shifu edified her. I’m never worried about her getting the short end of the stick. I don’t recall her ever losing. She’s also really proud… She bottles up her feelings while acting as though she’s fine. She won’t tell people around her even if she’s unhappy.”
“… But she’ll tell only you?” Shen Yiren freaked herself out with her own question. She was 100% invested in listening to Ming Feizhen, but she blurted her mind when an uncomfortable feeling pervaded inside her. To salvage the situation, she resisted the urge to get flustered and added, “What? Am I wrong? I thought that’s how it works between childhood friends.”
Ming Feizhen slowly pulled up the corners of his lips and gave an answer Shen Yiren never understood: “If only.”
Returning to business, Ming Feizhen resumed, “Shifu excessively spoiled Xia’er. When I say she’s wilful, I mean she just does what she wants without thinking. She’s really similar to you.”
“Me? Are you saying I’m spoiled rotten? Who spoiled me?”
Ming Feizhen wagged his hand: “Naturally, I am referring to your generosity, courage, strong sense of justice, adorableness and gorgeousness.”
“Spitting horse feathers again. I’m gorgeous?” Shen Yiren raised her inkstone. “Get to the point.”
Ming Feizhen smiled: “Imagine yourself amplified a hundred folds. If that’s not Xia’er, that’s 80% her.”
“… Why does that make her special?”
“Her character isn’t the special part. What makes her special… is her love for fighting.”
“She likes fighting?” Shen Yiren’s surprise stemmed from the fact that it was associated with a girl.
“Although she’s pretty, she inherited my shiniang’s temperament in its entirety. Besides having a fondness for upholding justice, she has a knack for drinking, fighting and gambling. My shifu letting her do whatever she wants certainly doesn’t help. She’s in a fight with someone every second or third day, and she won’t stop until she wins. I heard she’s been searching for me ever since she left the mountain because she couldn’t beat me.”
No wonder why Night Fortress was able to make a name for itself within only a few years. I really want to meet Mount Daluo’s patriarch to see how he teaches. Wait a second.
“Ming Feizhen, did you just take a roundabout way to insult me?! Bring me that face!”
Out came the inkstone, again.
“I’ve wanted to meet you for a long time now, Xia’er.”
Ming Xiaolou rolled her eyes: “I don’t think we’re close, are we? Why are you calling me by that name?”
“Hehe, you really are exactly as your first brother described.”
With steam coming from her face, Ming Xiaolou flipped out. “How dare you bring up my brother?! He walked away from the opportunity to be Mount Daluo’s patriarch and walked away from his seat as Night Fortress to join Liu Shan Men of all places. I thought you had gems and gold at Liu Shan Men, but it’s whatever. How did you lure my brother in? Did you bait him in with delicacies?”
As amused as she was, Shen Yiren did hear something unexpected. “You call Feizhen ‘brother’?”
“You call my brother ‘Feizhen’?!”
Among the six disciples, Ming Xiaolou was the only one who didn’t treat Ming Feizhen as her senior but her actual brother.
There’s something going on between them! What does he see in her? According to my observations, Shen Yiren is serious and forthright. My brother is only her subordinate, so why is she addressing him by only his first name?
Ming Xiaolou scoped out Shen Yiren, spotting a lack of gentleness… looks merely a tad above average, and a tad above that, and a little more above that. In terms of her body… Ming Xiaolou’s eyes stopped on the two culprits.
I didn’t even need to go undercover to unearth the reason for his fall from grace when those two huge lumps are impossible to miss! This woman is an enemy!
“Hmph, so you’re the culprit!”
“You can drop the act. You must’ve tricked my brother into teaching you some secret technique to conquer my third and fourth brothers, didn’t you?”
“I won’t deny that.”
“What… did he say about me?”
“He said you and I are alike, speaking your mind when you want and fighting when you please.”
Glad no secrets were divulged, Xia’er celebrated inwardly. “How do you plan to conquer me?”
“Your brother has already made it obvious, hasn’t he?” Shen Yiren drew her urumi. “There’s no need for drivel. Winner gets the final say. Simple and clear, right?” Wearing on a smirk, she provoked, “Try beating me.”
Omitted joke – I had to rewrite it because it can’t be replicated. “Culprit” and “breasts” share the same pronunciation in Mandarin, so whenever Ming Xiaolou refers to the “culprit”, she is referring to Shen Yiren’s rack.
Urumi – Thank to “missing in bed” for telling me about the proper reference for this. It is said to originate in modern-day Kerela in the Indian subcontinent. As it’s treated as a whip, the wielder must have knowledge of whips and swords. I can’t find anything on in the wushu syllabus (1989), and my friend who specialises in Shaolin discipline hasn’t heard of it, either, so I’ll have to plead ignorance on its function. This is what it’s supposed to sort of look like.