Mourning Clothes. Fengqi Shenmu.
“Now for business.” Young Shiyi cleared her throat, then switched into business mode. Her appearance was sloppy while she was laughing hysterically, but she was mesmerising as soon as she was stern. “You’ve been gone for ages, yet the letter you sent back is mostly nonsensical. We want to know what you’re doing, why you are doing it, how you are doing it and how thin the are clothes of the dozens of girls you mentioned in letter.”
Second, you better start saying your last prayers! If I can walk out of this tent alive, you’re never taking another breath!
“I actually sent a letter to Baimu two days ago. I reckon His Majesty would have received it by now. I asked them to rendezvous with me in Wanyu. I didn’t expect you two to arrive early.”
Shen Yiren questioned, “Why did you tell them to come here?”
“For the same reason I’m here.”
I filled them in on everything I’d accomplished in Wanyu. Needless to say, I glossed over a lot of details. After all, since she never went to Mount Ling or saw Shaman Monarch’s throne, she couldn’t imagine them. If I were to tell her I flew from mountain to mountain, soared across seas, murdered Gegewu’s…. fellow gang banger, Zuodan Wanqu, and worked with Wanyu’s King to wipe out eighteen gangs, she’d probably be even more confused about me. Just hearing me reel off was enough for them to be taken aback.
While Boss Shen analysed the information to work out how to keep Emperor Yuansheng safe, Young Shiyi commented, “Doesn’t that make me Shaman Monarch’s grandaunt? Tsk, tsk, sounds pretty cool.”
“Tell us your reasons.”
The two stared my way.
Young Shiyi picked up her Twenty-Sixth Ming Feizhen painting to caress. “Poor Feizhen. Why are you in such a hurry to go to paradise? I’ll miss you.”
You really have to do me like this?! Is this the purpose of the painting?! You make it seem like it’s part of your voodoo toolbox!
Receiving an eye gesture from Young Shiyi, Boss Shen curled her lips and let her eyes rain. “I… I never thought you’d die. Why… Why didn’t you even make it in time to bid farewell?”
You also competing for an award?! You don’t need to flaunt your acting talent now! And why didn’t I make it in time to say my goodbyes?!
“You going to spill it or not? Yiren may have promised to not ask, but I’m not going to let you bully me. You shameless philanderer, you worried us so much that we couldn’t eat. If you don’t talk, I promise we’ll wear mourning clothes for you next year.”
Boss’ face read, “Don’t count me in!” before she glared daggers at me.
Shouldn’t you be showing pity for my death?! Stop preparing yourself mentally for my death. Cook your rice. Feed the kids! … But Boss isn’t my wife?
“I’ll talk. I’ll talk. Before I talk, though… I need you two to promise me: whatever happens to me, no matter what dangers arise, you are not to stop me, or the entire plan will be scrapped.”
“How many more women are you planning to seduce?”
What’s with that fast reaction, Young Shiyi?! Also, that isn’t even what I meant! Why is me seducing women the only crisis that comes to mind for you?! Yes, it’s dangerous, but it isn’t even the point!
“Hey,” Boss hollered quietly.
“What is it, Boss?”
“Let go of my hand.”
“Huh?” I totally forgot I was still holding onto Boss’ hand as if I was afraid she’d run off. As I let go, I deliberately shuffled back. “Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention. I didn’t mean to hold on!”
Young Shiyi had a subtle upward curve at the corner of her lips, while Boss Shen appeared unruffled. No matter how I looked, though, I swear the atmosphere was toxic.
“Anyway, there’s a degree of danger with this plan, but you are not to stop me, or we won’t even have the slightest chance of success…” It took a while for me to convince my two bosses to not inhibit me. “My sole purpose in leeching off the Shaman Faith is beast slaying. This beast is going to be a tough one to slay. The tactic we employ on Mount Daluo won’t work here, which is why I’ve been making all kinds of preparations in hopes that we can minimise the death toll.”
Boss Shen queried, “You know what sort of beast is in Nieyao already?”
“Based off Luo Ming’s story, I was 50% confident in my guess. After arriving in Nanjiang, I’m 90% certain I’m right. You don’t need proof for this.” I pointed to my head. “You can figure it out with your intuition.”
As vague as my answer was, Boss actually nodded.
“I need to act as Shaman Monarch to learn about Shaman Faith and Shaman Monarch Palace. Secondly, it’s the only identity that can shake up the rulers of Nanjiang in a short frame of time. Third, there’s something we need here.”
“And that is?”
I made eye contact with Young Shiyi. “Our opponent this time… is a dragon.”
Young Shiyi’s concern almost immediately turned to enlightenment. “You’re after fengqi shenmu?”
Fengqi shenmu – they are old terms for referring to males and females/men and women. The reason they aren’t translated as such is because they’re the name of a material in this context. You will learn about them in the next chapter.