Queen and Trouble-Magnet Feizhen (Part 2)
Uncle Martial Paragon chugged back tea from a big copper teapot and then pulled me aside in the middle of my quarrel with the flower boy. “Please bear with Neath. Consider it doing me a favour. Neath was spoilt rotten as a kid.”
“I absolutely cannot forg-”
Uncle Martial Paragon massaged my shoulder with a warm smile: “You’re older, more experienced, stronger, more competent, more tolerant, smarter and…”
Forget holding a grudge. The corners of my lips kept creeping up to my ears. I’m telling you: never underestimate the elders in the martial world, or you’ll walk into mires without realising it.
“Okay. I will not deign on account of my respect for you.”
“I’m glad to hear that. I shall go tell Neath to be respectful to guests.”
My ears perked up to listen in to what Uncle Martial Paragon told the pretty boy.
“Your Majesty, consider it doing this old one a favour. His head got caught in the doorway one time when he was a kid.”
“If you ask me, his head must’ve been stomped on! … Are you serious?”
“Absolutely. Why do you think he looks so hideous?”
“True. You have a point.”
You should stay on to work as a diplomat! You literally invented two unique techniques for two opponents on the spot!
“Now that you are done arguing, this old one shall resume business. Feizhen wishes to request for a military unit to clear his path into Nieyao and to prevent anyone from sabotaging him whilst he is in there; he does not require the military to enter.”
“You want to go to Nieyao?” The flower boy looked serious for the first time – in the business sense. “What do you want? Is this about that ridiculous calamitous beast nonsense again?”
“Calamitous chicken or bird, it’s none of your business. I don’t need your people to sacrifice their lives. I just need them to intimidate anyone trying to get in our way. You should be able to handle that, right?”
Neath went gloomy for the first time. “Easy for you to say. I don’t have authority over the military. Even if I agree, my decree would only be words on a sheet of paper.”
“Uncle, we have the wrong person. Let’s go speak to someone who can mobilise the troops. See ya, son.”
“You have a death wish?!”
“Wait, Feizhen. Although my brother, Baimu, is in control of the military and is decently strong, his motives are not just. He is conspiring with others to usurp Neath’s rule. Due to certain reasons, I can’t act. If you can purge the corrupt vassals and take back authority over the military, you will be Baimu state’s benefactor. Not only will you have your wish granted, but I will also lend you a hand.”
No wonder why he said such a foul-tempered King would be willing to help me and is the only one who can mobilise him. Uncle must’ve owed this flower boy’s father something when he was still the general of Xiacang Anxi but can’t repay the favour due to some circumstances. Guess he’s asking for my help since I happened to drop by. If he’s asking for my help, it must be a tough task.
I queried, “Your Majesty, will you… cover the expenses for the operation?”
“Yeah,” the flower boy answered.
Great, that considerably reduces the difficulty.
I asked for some more details to learn how fiendish the situation was. Long-story short, the one with authority over the military and his Princecess Consort were both colluding against him. At this point in time, his Princess Consort was already making attempts on his life, while the bugger with the military under his thumb was locked in battle with Heisina Tribe near Nieyao. I could only pray Heisina Duohua didn’t get caught in something else on her way back.
Neath and I had a long discussion regarding the terms and conditions, such as whether to call me “Qin Babei” or “Freak” and so forth. The conclusion we came to was, I’d help him repossess his authority as a monarch in exchange for three hundred thousand taels. In exchange for lending troops to barricade Nieyao, I had to find someone strong enough to be their new sacred beast or whatever they called them.
“I will spend tonight thinking about where to start. Uncle, just focus on protecting the kid.”
“See you tomorrow.”
Displeased about me marginalising his existence, Neath ordered, “Feng Xue, since you like sleeping in the stable, keep sleeping there. In saying that, you must protect me, so you can’t be too far from me. Set up a sentry station or something near me.”
I shunted the impolite kid. “Oi, mind your manners. Don’t call an adult by their name. If you disrespect him, I’ll make s-” I placed my hand on Neath’s chest to shove him, but… I stopped after I touched something soft.
This spot. This suppleness is like a sack of milk. This warmth is like a meat bun just finished steaming…
There is nothing that can surpass the status of a sacred object, but those, those were not limited by that. They were a warm embrace. They were true motherhood. They were the unforgettable memories recorded in human history’s soul. Even if I were to have my eyes covered, my hands cuffed and body dismembered, I would still stand atop the tallest mountain and yell, “Boobies!”
“Pfft!” Uncle Martial Paragon let loose his tea, seemingly reading my mind.
I looked over to Uncle Martial Paragon to see him trying to wipe his joy off his face; he even had, “Consider yourself lucky” written all over his damn face.
(Why didn’t you tell me Neath is a girl when you knew?!)
(She’s Baimu’s Queen, Ah Neath. Owing to circumstances, she has to disguise herself as a man…)
(You deliberately withheld that from me, didn’t you?!)
Is there a tunnel or something I can escape from down here?
Startled because of Ah Neath’s scream, my five sinners squeezed the mountain they were on. The moment I was aware of what I did, I recoiled my hand as fast as I could.
Face as red as blood, Ah Neath shouted, “Wh-wh-wh-what are you doing?!”
“Sorry. Sorry.” I placed my hand back where it was a second ago.
“… I’ll have you executed. I’ll have you executed! To the prison for prisoners on death row!”