Shaken Song Chi
Song Chi let out a heavy sigh. Not even good judges could settle another’s family matters, not to mention… it didn’t make any sense.
“I have business to discuss with you, Sister-in-law… and Duke Ming.”
Song Chi looked at the others in the room as though he was defeated.
Bai Zhiqing and his wife were in their own world. The waiter was in conversation with Hong Jiu, Mountain Monster and Master Qi.
“Jade Phoenix have the best celebration cakes in Hangzhou. There’s no second shop that comes close…”
Comprehending Song Chi’s mannerisms, Shen Yiren bobbed her head. “All right, let’s take it to another room.”
Ming Feizhen and Shen Yiren took seats in the new room, but Song Chi remained on his feet and saluted them. “If I wronged any of you in the past, please pardon me.”
Shen Yiren knew Song Clan well enough to find Song Chi’s behaviour within the bounds of typical. Even if she didn’t like Song Ou, she genuinely respected his father for his dedication to developing their clan and helping others. Whenever there were gains to be made, Song Clan would do a one-eighty faster than anyone else in the martial world and without any hesitation.
“You don’t want my Vermillion Hall anymore?”
“No, no, I would never dare. The first thing I do once I return to the capital will be to convince my brother to not oppose you, Vice-Captain Shen.”
Addressing Shen Yiren as “Vice-Captain Shen” indicated that the conversation was between Song Clan and Liu Shan Men, rather than Song Clan family members.
“Forget it. You are one of the rare ones among the White Princes who genuinely cares for his brother. It’s understandable for you to stick up for your brother when I boss him around.”
Song Chi was actually ready to compensate Shen Yiren with a handsome sum as he never expected her to leniently let them off the hook for their actions.
Shen Yiren smiled. “I won’t fault you since you don’t know the details. You weren’t present when I made the promise with your father, and I doubt he’d mention it to anyone. I can tell you without any guilt that I pled His Majesty to give your brother his post, and I was the one who agreed to leave. It’s his business if he wants to monopolise power or steal credit. As long as he doesn’t commit any heinous crime, the most I’ll ever do is give him a thrashing. I will never strip him of his rank. I made it clear to your father: if he wants to take Liu Shan Men, break a leg, or I’ll be leading him by the nose. He can’t help your brother no matter how pitiful he thinks his son is, and he promised so.”
Very few members of Song Clan were privy to the details of Shen Yiren’s engagement details. Despite how long they had been engaged for, there was still no proof of their engagement. Every time she visited Song Clan, Lady Song would mock and lecture Shen Yiren in order to force the latter into marrying sooner. Her husband, however, would always just be smiling it off. Even at this point, Song Chi was sure there were more details he wasn’t informed of.
“Let’s put it behind us. They were all trivial issues anyway. Your brother was just venting; it won’t damage Liu Shan Men. I’ll turn a blind eye. I’m more interested in what your plans are now that you’ve brought all this up with me.”
“I plan to participate in the special exams to officially serve the imperial court.”
He still wants to participate in the special exams when he just had a hand in squashing Fiends’ Genesis?
Everyone, including Shen Yiren, assumed that the five sent to the capital for the special exams were sent there to buy time for the White Princes. Even if His Majesty didn’t turn hostile on the White Princes, it didn’t mean that he planned to support them. Who, under those circumstances, would be willing to carve open a path for the White Princes? Participating in the special exams meant that they were forced to prove their worth. If Song Chi was confident he could come out on top, then he deserved respect.
“You’re a splendid martial artist. Even if you can’t make it as the victor, you will definitely be acknowledged as one of the best. If you join the military, though, you will be stationed at the borders for three years. Is your family okay with that?”
Song Chi smiled. “No. I grew up in Jiangnan; the cold is my nemesis, and I will not be allowed to go. Therefore, I am taking part in the academic exams.”
“You want to be a civil servant?”
“To tell the truth, I have always enjoyed reading. I would like to think I am better with a brush and paper than I am at martial arts.”
People hailed Song Chi as the best palm techniques and broadsword user in Jiangnan, not to mention he was ranked in the same rank as Lian Zhuiyue on Hidden Wyrms rankings, yet he desired to be a civil servant. Meanwhile, there was a man in the same room as him who was borderline illiterate, yet he was Hanlin Academician.
Song Chi moved his gaze from Shen Yiren to Ming Feizhen. “If I ever offended you, please forgive me, Brother Ming.”
“Even I get an apology? Boot licking can be sold as buy one, get one free now?”
The cultured young man smiled it off. “Brother Ming, Mount Daluo will soon be entrusted with big undertakings. If we bicker as His Majesty’s vassals, we will only be making things hard for him. Why should we do that?”
“Mount Daluo will be entrusted with big undertakings? Why?”
“That… Why must you ask the obvious?”
Ming Feizhen didn’t have to think very hard to recall several of His Majesty’s attempts to befriend them. While they hadn’t fleshed out the details, his intent to ally with them was unquestionable. His shiniang had also mentioned he needed to pick a Prince to support. In other words, if Mount Daluo was getting involved, they were taking the side of a Prince.
“I have nothing to say. I’ve never had the final say in Mount Daluo’s affairs,” Ming Feizhen nonchalantly responded.
Song Chi: What? Isn’t he Mount Daluo’s next leader?
“But I should give you a reminder in case any mistakes are made in the future.” Ming Feizhen expanded, “In general, all disciples of Mount Daluo are nice and respectful, but they’re all prideful. Don’t clash with any of them. Otherwise, any one of them could become your nightmare.”
No matter how many times Song Chi repeated the information in his mind, it didn’t sound as if it was something an orthodox sect would say; that was even more threatening than what unorthodox sects would say. Nonetheless, Song Chi courteously thanked Ming Feizhen for the warning and then saw himself out.
Once Song Chi was out of earshot, Shen Yiren questioned, “Feizhen, what… do you think he’s planning?”
“What else? How to pussy his way out.”
“Hmm… I’m not surprised about Song Clan’s tone, but… don’t you think he pussied out too soon?”
Ming Feizhen had a think before shaking his head. “I think so, too. He must have some other hardship; it doesn’t make sense for him to submit so fast considering his abilities.”
The two poured themselves some tea, putting the awkwardness from earlier in the morning behind them.
“We’re heading back to the capital today. Get ready a bit later.”
“I came empty handed; I’m going back empty handed… but I do have something important to do.”
Shen Yiren nodded, yawned and rubbed her eyes.
“Still sleepy? Didn’t sleep well last night?”
“I slept very well.” Smiling, Shen Yiren explained, “It’s just that I haven’t slept so well in so long that I still feel sleepy now.”
“Pass me your hand.”
Ming Feizhen grabbed Shen Yiren by the wrist and set it on the table. “I’ll check your pulse. You really don’t care of yourself enough, Boss. Mm… Your injuries are fine. You’ve just overworked and stressed yourself out too much. Sleep more and spend more time taking care of yourself.”
“You’re so annoying.” Shen Yiren instinctively lowered her head to hide her red cheeks. “You could just tell me what to look out for.”
Doctor Ming shook his head.
This patient is too barbaric.
Song Chi opened the door and said, “I have brought some gifts f-”
There he saw Ming Feizhen gazing at Shen Yiren with a gentle gaze. He took a step back out, shut the door and quietly left. He hurried back to his room to pen a letter, telling his father to call off his brother’s engagement, but that was a story for another time.
Omitted section – When Song Chi comes back, he actually hears Ming Feizhen say, “Take care of your liver,” which is actually another way of referring to someone as “Dear”, “Honey”, “Darling”, you get the gist of it. How you can actually turn that into English… I can’t even think of a rewrite. You think I’m Casanova or something? I’m pure.