Be More Careful
The leader of the four maids was incredibly tall for a seventeen-year-old girl. She always glared at people strangers, but I wasn’t sure if that was just because she was the serious type or just not good at social interactions.
“There were two more girls the last time I visited, right?”
The most talented and pretty maid smiled. “You have a great memory, Fuma. There were only two of us at first. They only came here recently.”
“Thought so.” I scanned the surroundings, then lifted the chin of the leader. “What’s your name?”
She didn’t expect me to make such a bold move, and she couldn’t resist owing to my status. With her face red and eyes shut, she whispered in a nigh-inaudible voice,””… This one’s name is Ling Xiang.”
The other girl smiled. “Ling Xiang, Fuma is speaking to you. Why are y-”
I pulled her into my arms before she could finish, making all the students passing by or around the academy’s main doors pause and widen their eyes. Her smiling visage turned into a ripe tomato.
“And what’s your name.”
“Th-this one is Zhai Ye.”
“Ling Xiang, Zhai Ye, elegant names you have.” I pulled them both into an embrace. “Her Highness’ people are my people. Didn’t she tell you that?”
While the two were at a loss for what to do, the other two maids yelled together, “Please exercise self-respect, Fuma!”
“Good point. There are four of you; I should be equally fair to all of you.” I looked to the free two, spurring jolts from them. I gently pushed the two in my arms away, giving them the chance to regroup. “Hahaha, I need to get going.”
The four stupefied girls and students watched me leave. You think I cared about them? Absolutely not. I strolled brazenly through the streets, winking and greeting people without any qualms. Once I confirmed nobody was on my tail, I bolted until I was sure the four wouldn’t pop out from nowhere and behead me!
How was I supposed to know they’d be so dangerous once they were a team of four? Had I not brought along Wu Ping’s Melancholic Sword and successfully passed it off as Wordless Sword Deity’s “Normal”, they’d have kept slashing at me! You think I was safe since they courteously saw me to the door? Since when did you need four people for that? They were obviously going to go for a second round. Had I not been a pro at pleasing girls, fooled them, shared some advice, established myself as the boss in front of their mistress to earn some respect and played with their bod-, minds, I’d have perished by the door.
Don’t misunderstand. I wasn’t afraid of death. Death was just a moment of pain for me, but it’d be a lifetime of pain for my father-in-law and mother-in-law.
I only wanted to ask Jingan what she was up to; I forgot about her anti-husband propensity and constant attempts on my life every time.
You know what? Let me grab a plate of pork shoulders to destress.
I could barely withhold my drool as soon as I thought about pork shoulders. Although the food in the underground palace was decent, their chefs weren’t even qualified to cook rice for the head chef of Eight Deities.
As I made my way to Eight Deities, I mulled over what Jingan meant. Boss Shen sought out Jin Zhaoying’s assistance as she heard Jin Zhaoying and I were acquainted. Jingan had no reason to help Boss Shen, yet she went as far as taking Jiang Chen out. She had to have a reason for being so invested, but she refused to answer my queries. “… Family is the most important” seemed to be a hint for me, but I couldn’t understand what was implied. What did “family” represent? Where was her “family”? Hangzhou? The capital? How was that connected to her motivations for taking down Jiang Chen? Surely, she couldn’t have meant for me to be wary of her four maids. What was I supposed to cautious off when Gongsun Chu had been defeated?
Ah, toss it. She always says confusing stuff like this. If I keep thinking about it, I’ll be up all night. Nothing takes priority over pork shoulders.
“Mr. Shi, your frequent customer is back,” I proudly announced as I climbed the stairs, waking the owner who had dozed off at the counter. The two of us gazed at each other. I expected that strong gaze from my long-term debtor. I took a seat and, with a smile, said, “What are you staring at? Your customer is waiting to be served.”
“Wait.” Proprietor Shi walked off.
He’s… not going to fetch an axe, is he? I don’t have any money on me today, either, but we’ve been friends for years. Surely…
Proprietor Shi came back briskly.
“You’re being petty, aren’t you? Don’t run off. All the good food and drinks…”
Before I could finish what I wanted to say, the kitchen staff, maids, waiter, coach, basically everyone breathing, carried out a plate of food each, all of which were dishes I loved, and right in the middle was a golden-aromatic-juicy-piping-hot plate of braised pork shoulders in soy sauce.
Ol’ Shi did a quick check for anyone who shouldn’t have been around and then, despite seldom drinking, held up a drink to share with me. “… You better live a long life.”
Ol’ Shi! I’m so flipping touched! I’m gonna cry! I never knew such a nice debtor could exist! I… I…
As two waterfalls descended from my eyes, I started digging in. “I never knew you were the nicest to me, Ol’ Shi.”
God damn, you distracted me from the taste of my food.
Proprietor Shi sat down beside me.
“Your pork shoulders are smell so good. What’s the secret?”
“As long as you’re alive, come here and I’ll make it for you.”
I only realised how bizarre that sounded once I was nearly done eating. “You make it sound like I’m in danger.”
“Of course. Haven’t you lost all your martial arts?”
I fossilised. “Even you know? Since when did you start paying attention to the top secrets of the martial world?”
“What top secret? Are you telling me you’re unaware?” Once again, Proprietor Shi checked over his shoulders prior to whispering, “Word on the black market is that Ming Feizhen of Liu Shan Men has lost all his martial arts. Someone has placed a handsome bounty on your head. Don’t tell me you don’t know about this.”
I still looked stupid.
“Are you serious? You’re going to die without even knowing why, then.”
What?! Someone is saying that I’ve lost all my martial arts in the black market?!