Ming Suwen’s Feelings
Shen Yiren said, “I’m sleeping next door. Call me if anything comes up” and left at the end of the conversation – a clear indication she was wanted to avoid Ming Suwen.
Ming Suwen was so lost in Shen Yiren’s response to her story that she didn’t notice Shen Yiren leave.
“… Your heart and body… belong to others, huh? Her most important people and things won’t come back. Her goal can only be achieved if she sacrifices herself.”
Feizhen really likes to give himself trouble. Why does he always go for tragic maidens? Well, guess I could say the same for her and me.
While the gravity of Six Evils couldn’t be underestimated in relation to Nieyao, Ming Suwen had no need to go as far as disclosing what Ming Feizhen didn’t intend to divulge.
People would find a way to weaponise Six Evils if they found out the source of Ming Feizhen’s internal energy potency was from a Fengpeng. In reality, nobody could transform into a second Ming Feizhen even if they tread his path down to every individual step.
Ming Suwen’s willingness to reveal all those secrets wasn’t only an expression of trust but also acknowledgement. Shen Yiren being Shen Yiren, she had a hunch of what Ming Suwen was alluding to after the subject. If Ming Suwen’s thoughts weren’t clear in the first story, then the second story was only a step away from her overtly expressing, “I won’t oppose you marrying Feizhen.”
Ming Suwen never doubted Ming Feizhen cared for her immensely, not after he risked his life to buy her time and not after he gnawed the Fengpeng’s innards to avenge her when he thought she died. Howbeit, she assumed it was out of friendship.
Ming Feizhen gave Ming Suwen far more than he gave anyone else. She only asked for very little from him – always. Alas, the one thing she wanted from him was something that he couldn’t give her – or so she thought. It only occurred to her that he reciprocated the feelings when he abandoned everything after the competition to pay her a visit, sacrificing an opportunity to search for “her”. His feelings weren’t friendship or family; it was a fervent desire to possess her irrespective of the consequences the moment they locked eyes. That was all Ming Suwen desired.
Ming Suwen never ceased musing over her future with Ming Feizhen in his absence. She was aware of the hole in his heart that she couldn’t heal. Unless he found the one he needed to find, the wound would continue to decay.
Ming Suwen wasn’t worried about the wound too much – reason being her experience in the pugilistic world told her that, as long as they still held the same weight in Ming Feizhen’s heart, the one in question would eventually resurface. She believed their reunion wasn’t too far away based off the climate of the pugilistic world.
Once Ming Feizhen healed and opened up, he’d need to start a family. His shifu had three wives and innumerable soul mates, so it wouldn’t be unacceptable for Ming Feizhen to proceed similarly. Most importantly, he’d need a main wife.
Should Ming Suwen want to be Ming Feizhen’s main wife, she’d only need to say the word. She, nonetheless, was aware that she wasn’t fit for the role. She wasn’t afraid of anything, but she couldn’t be insouciant when Ming Feizhen was part of the puzzle.
Ming Feizhen didn’t plan to seclude himself in the mountains to avoid conflict because trouble found him even if he didn’t seek it. Mount Daluo was isolated from the rest of the world, yet when did problems ever divorce them? If they could truly live reclusive lives, how would they have established themselves in the same group as Wudang and Shaolin?
When did trouble ever stop plaguing the pugilistic world? Ming Feizhen signed up to Liu Shan Men to create relations with the imperial court. While he would never isolate himself from the pugilistic world, the past would seek him. He had yet to do anything in the name of Mount Daluo’s senior disciple, and he was only a minor constable at Liu Shan Men. Once the dust settled, he could secure his life as a constable. That being said, he couldn’t just marry an unqualified wife despite his current status.
Ming Suwen did as she pleased, walking on the border of norms, resulting in her offending or killing scores of members from orthodox and unorthodox sects. In addition, there was the issue of seniority between her and Ming Feizhen. Even if Mount Daluo turned a blind eye to it, Ming Feizhen wouldn’t stop copping criticism for it, and she didn’t want that.
Just because Ming Suwen wasn’t suitable to be Ming Feizhen’s main wife, it didn’t mean she wanted to be second fiddle. She merely didn’t care for superficial titles. Regardless of who he married first, it made no difference to her since she didn’t feel anyone could boss her around.
Sure, Ming Feizhen stole the hearts of plenty of ladies; however, Ming Suwen’s standards were high. If she approved of a girl, there was no doubt that the girl was “high quality”.
Vixen Yu was not going to get ahead of Ming Suwen – not even if hell froze ever. Eunuch Bai may have been close with Ming Feizhen for a while, but his main wife couldn’t be a eunuch even if it was meant as a bad joke. Princess Hongzhuang and Princess Jingan weren’t wife candidates; they were problems who needed to be erased.
Not only did Shen Yiren tick off all the criteria in Ming Suwen’s books, but she was also loyal, cute and prudent in addition to brave. Shen Yiren had the qualities to be the backbone of a family; she would be the one who could keep the family operational and healthy. On top of that, over the last few days of close inspection, Ming Suwen could say that Shen Yiren had top-of-the-line appearances, even sporting two globes bigger than her own. If she nigh got a blood nose touching them, there was no doubt Ming Feizhen would love them.
The most important factor was that Ming Feizhen meshed well with Shen Yiren; sometimes, Ming Suwen would feel jealous of their chemistry. They didn’t sweat the details, were both stubborn, could talk forever, disliked unfairness and hated villainy with a vengeance. In all the years Ming Suwen knew Ming Feizhen, he had never seen him talk with anyone as much as Shen Yiren. According to Ming Suwen’s observations, Shen Yiren wasn’t a very ideal conversation partner. Had it not been for his experiences, had he peacefully inherited his shifu’s role, perhaps he and Shen Yiren would be able to pursue their shared ideals together.
Ming Suwen didn’t expect Shen Yiren to sever the discussion right out off the bat. Ming Suwen was not one to leave her jobs incomplete, nevertheless. Shen Yiren’s “selling’ alluded to her engagement. Ming Suwen was willing to bet that the engagement could be cancelled if Shen Yiren requested its termination. Emperor Yuansheng was happy to pair them up. If Emperor Yuansheng demanded it be called off, who’d object?
“Yangzhou’s Song Clan, huh…?” Ming Suwen subtly tugged up a corner of her lips.
Since Emperor Yuansheng saw the news as a breakthrough in the situation, he immediately marched upon receiving word from Ming Feizhen.
It didn’t even take two days for Emperor Yuansheng’s group to reach Baimu when Green Prince granted them a travel passport and Beussent was as familiar with the paths as the back of his hand. They had to leave behind a group to continue running the shop in Xiuyu, which Green Prince was tasked with overwatching.
It was just a shady shaman cult and a young girl. How hard could it be? Abels and his wife, Lai Jingzhen, Dugu, Sima Huai, Luo Ming, TangYe and eight hundred Qilin Guards were plenty for such a simple mission. In Emperor Yuansheng’s words: “I alone am enough to protect a girl.” What were the eight hundred Qilin Guards for, then? To protect him, of course.
Beussent regrouped with his clan once he escorted Yizhen Company to their destination.
Emperor Yuansheng told Ah Neath that all of his men were elites, requesting her cooperation. Ah Neath added eight hundred men to her forces under the guise of fortifying the palace’s guard unit. While Feng Xue hid himself in Ah Neath’s rear palace, he did tell her to receive Emperor Yuansheng with courtesy, not that she wasn’t already.
Xiao Huangquan brought several famous warriors of Nanjiang with him to Baimu two days later. Dan Weishan, who had now surpassed Xiao Huangquan, needed no introduction in Nanjiang.
At first, all the civil ministers were intimidated when Ah Neath assigned the new faces to guard duty in the conference hall. After a few days, though, her positive outlook of the elite military garrison nosedived.
Today, Xiao Huangquan had a drinking competition with Abels on the left-hand side of the hall, littering the floor with rolling jugs. Sima Huai and Dugu competed in a game, where one person tried to sneak their hand in and out of the opponent, who tried to catch their hand. On the opposite side of the hall, Shen Yiren almost admonished blood out of the Qilin Guards’ ears. Meanwhile, Ming Suwen chased A-Lan, who taught her to tame the bear she was riding, around in the garden.
Tang Ye to the prison guard: “You have mantous?”
“No, only meat.”
“You have salted vegetables?”
“No, only meat.”
Tang Ye sighed: “Bring me a mantou and dish of salted vegetables.”
“I said we only have meat!”
“Are you all here to leech?!” Ah Neath finally snapped.
Emperor Yuansheng, who was grooming his beard after performing a broadsword taolu and had a snack, answered, “Your Majesty, we are not slacking. We cannot do anything until your enemies show themselves, nonetheless.”
“Was I talking about that? I was asking where Jiang Zhouzi is!”
Everyone: “Who knows?”
He wants to let his family leech off me?!
Ming Feizhen had disappeared for eight days already.