Warm Green Hat
In case you forgot, allow me to give you a friendly reminder. Gu Xianxian may be a name you vaguely remember because his name came bundled with his wife’s. It took Liaodong’s Gu Clan and Ning Xinzhu more than twenty years of work to create “Divine Couple Guxian Deities”.
Gu Clan used to make a living from hunting in the mountains. Therefore, developing martial arts was a necessity. Later on, whether it was due to them being punished for animal abuse or realising they could never achieve greatness in the mountains, they left the mountain they called home to start a business. In time, Gu Clan became another member of Liaodong’s martial community.
Gu Xianxian always felt he was above others, and, thanks to his father’s fame, he became quite well known for his cudgel skills in his youth. While I had never seen his skills, I had seen his clan’s cudgel discipline. To be fair, they were pretty good. On one of my birthdays, my friends in Hangzhou lined up at Night Fortress to put on performances. His old man, who was 104th in line, gave me a bear paw as a birthday gift and performed for me as I enjoyed the premium bear paw. The bear paw was sharp. I mean, his discipline was tasty. What? Let’s move on.
Gu Xianxian was young, pretty competent and looked decent, I guess? In Liaodong, his family was loaded and had a degree of influence, but “classy” and “Gu Clan” didn’t associate. I’d say his father was lucky he didn’t look like him. Anyhow, considering Gu Xianxian’s resume, he was deemed a perfect match for Ning Xinzhu’s eldest daughter.
Gu Xianxian and Ning Zhuoru’s families tried to build them into heroes. Alas, they ended up becoming maggots of the pugilistic world. Instead of praising them as “Divine Couple Guxian Deities”, people did a play on the first “xian” in “Gu Xianxian” and remarked, “Envy mandarin ducks, not guxian deities”. Before they were married, they kept flaunting their relationship. After marriage, they flaunted their wealth. If people didn’t respect their parents, they’d likely be dead already. But you had to give them courage for still carrying themselves the same way; surely they had something going for them.
Gu Xianxian’s gait was steady, and his internal energy development had reached about 80% of his father’s level. From what I could tell, he didn’t acquire his skills from wrestling bears or his internal energy from his father.
Once he kicked everyone out, Gu Xianxian heaved a big breath. “I think… I should share this embarrassing matter with you. Luckily, there are no outsiders now.”
“As a true man, are you still bearing a grudge over what I previously said? Men value other men based on guts. Now that I’m pouring my heart out, we’re friends.”
“There’s an outsider if I say so.”
“You know what they call you? A tsundere.”
“He might be referring to me,” Tian Xiaoguo voiced.
“Whoa! How can a footrest speak?!”
“I’m not a footrest. I’m a human being.”
“Tell him to leave!”
I placed my chin onto my hand. “You still haven’t gotten to the main subject after all this time. I bet you won’t finish sharing your issue anytime soon, either. You expect me to go without a drink for so long? If you don’t mind, I’m fine with you brewing tea, serving refreshments, giving me a massage, cleaning the floor and…”
“Okay, okay, okay, fine. Let him listen in.”
I did mention Gu Xianxian looked nothing like his old man. However, they were both as shameless as each other. I didn’t invite his old man to my birthday, yet he still invited himself. His son pulled over a chair for himself and even leaned in to grab my shoulders, so I whacked his hand away and said, “You can talk, but don’t sit. Take his chair away, and don’t give him any tea. I’d rather you clean the floor with it.”
“He’s just joking. I’ll pass on tea. I’ll have some wine.” Only once he confirmed Tian Xiaogua had left to fetch wine did Gu Xianxian let out a sigh. “I can’t believe I’ve needed to resort to consulting you.”
“Don’t force yourself. Piss off. Don’t ask for my help.”
“Come on, you’re being petty again. I was just kidding.”
“I don’t have all day.”
Long after a hard think, Gu Xianxian slapped his tea and, speaking through his clenched teeth, told me, “Okay, listen carefully because I’ll only tell it once.”
To summarise, the husband was useless, and his wife w-, excuse my slip of the tongue. The husband was handsome, and his wife was pretty; they had rabid fans wherever they went. That was what they saw, not me or anyone else. As annoying as it was to witness them publicly flirt, there most certainly were people who envied them.
According to Gu Xianxian, his wife started having bigger and bigger fits in the past year, seemingly taking issue with everything. She would swear at him, hit him and even get in his old man’s face to curse at him. On account of Ning Clan, Gu Xianxian’s old man didn’t escalate the issue with his daughter-in-law, which only resulted in her taking yards for every inch she was given. Gu Xianxian had no idea what caused her change in temperament, but he had grown accustomed to putting up with it, so nothing changed.
A few months ago, Ning Zhuoru told Gu Xianxian that she received a commission that required their help in exchange for a handsome reward. Given he was already rich, Gu Xianxian didn’t care for the reward, not to mention how sketchy it all sounded to him. Before he could deny the request, however, he gave in once Ning Zhuoru gave him the first smile in a long time and beseeched him to help. That was how he ended up at Fiends’ Genesis’ new compound.
Their relationship improved upon arriving at the base, but things had begun deteriorating recently, and Ning Zhuoru grew increasingly distant once again. I knew about this part since I overheard them already.
“I just can’t figure it out. Brother Wu, you’ve been promoted to right-hand man and know how to diagnose illnesses. Help me work out what’s going on. Is there an ailment that makes people’s personality change drastically?”
“It’s pretty obvious.” Seeing Tian Xiaogua return with wine and refreshments, I signalled for him to stop. “Wait. That’s the wrong tea.”
Tian Xiaogua: “Huh?”
“Give him some biluochun, longjing, maojian, shoumei or xueya t-”
Gu Xianxian stood up. “Enough, enough, stop talking about green-coloured teas! What are you trying to tell me?”
Tian Xiaogua and I stared at Gu Xianxian. It took a while, but Gu Xianxian eventually burst out crying.