Chapter 30: Harvey’s Enquiry

On February 20, 2019, Posted by , In True Star, tagged in ,, , With 10 Comments

“Tang Feng, do you know a Doctor Harvey? He says he wants to meet you.” Manager Xiaoyu opened the RV door and walked in. There was someone claiming to be a ‘Doctor Harvey’ who came to visit. Xiaoyu didn’t even know Tang Feng knew this man.

Seeing Tang Feng’s somewhat unwell face, she worriedly asked, “Did you call for a doctor because you’re overworked? Where does it hurt, quickly let me see.”

Xiaoyu immediately rushed over worriedly, grabbing Tang Feng’s shoulder and anxiously examining him left and right.

“I’m not sick; my body could not be healthier. It’s alright, Xiaoyu. Let Doctor Harvey in, he’s Gino’s friend.” Tang Feng replied puzzled as he didn’t know why Harvey would want to see him.

The last time Tang Feng met Harvey was just last week. Although Tang Feng’s distant attitude at then couldn’t be considered warm or impolite, it should have been cold enough for Harvey to understand he didn’t want to be friends.

Why had Harvey come to find him?

Tang Feng laid on the sofa gently furrowing his eyebrows, don’t tell me this has something to do with Gino? It seemed like Harvey had only got to know Gino recently.

The world is so big, but contrary to expectations, they ended up meeting again. Is this what they mean by ‘fated to meet’?

But now, he is no longer Fiennes, and Harvey has already settled down with a beautiful, virtuous wife and a clever and adorable child. They each have their own lives, vastly irrelevant to each other.

Not long later, Xiaoyu brought Harvey over. Tang Feng didn’t let Xiaoyu leave because he didn’t want to be left alone with Harvey; the guy who used to take care of him, give him promises and hope, had carelessly ate his words, and left.

A beautiful and fantasy-like love, in reality, is that weak; just a light touch and it’ll immediately shatter.

Tang Feng gave thanks to all those who hurt him before in his life journey, letting him know the many realities of this world. Normally, Tang Feng avoids being too pessimistic, it’s just that the real world is originally like that.

One moment, they’ll be telling you they want to spend their whole life with you, proclaiming how much they love you, how they want to buy a piece of farmland up north to create your own lovers’ world for two. And, the very next moment, they’ll come in front of you to apologize.

“I’m sorry, let’s break up.”

“Why?”

“We’re both men. We can’t have children or create a family. There is no future for us.” They’re all just excuses. This world has so many abandoned children; they could have adopted a few orphans. What future? What family? It’s only that they have given up too early.

The tediousness and disdain upon hearing about having a northern farmland lifestyle, only because they were unable to give up the comfortable lifestyle they have now, unable to leave the upper echelons of society and have only cattle and sheep as companions, unable to withstand the pressure from their surroundings, and even more, unable to leave that environment.

In the end, aren’t they just people who are not able to persevere in love? The more excuses you make, the more people will lower their impressions of you.

Those without courage are cowards. Who asked Fiennes to not only be a man, but also be a terminally ill man?

“Doctor Harvey, why are you here?” Tang Feng smiled at the guy who was always dressed like a gentleman. Even after all these years, Harvey’s habits haven’t changed; he liked the exquisite lifestyle. His clothes were all high quality and tailor-made, his food choices were even more high-class, all leaning towards gourmet-style.

He actually used to think that Harvey could give up the lavish lifestyle for him, and instead, raise cattle and sheep together in the north. Even now, he thinks the him of the past was really stupid to the max. At that point in time, he even wholeheartedly thought he could give up his own acting career just like that.

Not to mention, the Fiennes of that time had just received the three biggest International Film Awards of his life, and was at the brightest moment of his career.

Should he thank Harvey?

If not for Harvey fleeing to respect his family’s wishes and settling down with Ramona, then there wouldn’t have been the true star, Fiennes, who had the world at his feet.

Similarly, Harvey’s betrayal had let Fiennes understand a lot of principles.

Those who haven’t been cut by the knife will never know how sharp the knife is.

“Are you here to look for Gino? His parts will be filmed in the afternoon. He should be at his home rehearsing the script this morning.” Gino actually wanted to come over in the morning but was blocked by Tang Feng’s words “Don’t disrupt my shoot”. He didn’t believe Gino would behave himself and stay quietly in his trailer to practice his lines once he came to the filming location.

“Oh, I stay near here and since you guys were filming now, I decided to drop by. It was such a pity that you weren’t able to stay that afternoon; Gino and I talked a lot about you.” Harvey’s mouth tilted upwards, his eyes already showing the beginnings of crow‘s feet, but this still didn’t lower this man’s charm at all.

How dignified, how gentlemanly. Considerate men attracting other people is always a matter of fact.

“Really?” Tang Feng casually replied.

“Mr. Harvey is a doctor?” Xiaoyu, at the side, asked.

“Yes. I’m currently Gino’s father’s family doctor, but what’s worth mentioning is that I only met Gino half a year ago. He really admired Fiennes, and I just so happened to be Fiennes’ friend. That’s how we met.” After replying to Xiaoyu’s question, Harvey returned his attention to Tang Feng, where he smilingly asked, “Actually, this time round, when Gino accepted this movie, his family was very opposed to it.”

“Because of the material?” The one who continued the conversation was Xiaoyu. Xiaoyu was a lady who loves to talk, which was also why Tang Feng wanted her to stay behind.

If he can avoid talking to Harvey, then he didn’t want to talk all.

It’s just that, every time he hears Harvey mention his past life’s name, it made it hard for Tang Feng to resist laughing coldly. The man is already gone, what reason is there to keep mentioning him?

“Yeah. Gino’s family in Los Angeles can be considered famous. His father is a devout Christian, and it just so happens that this time around, your movie touched upon both religion and homosexuality, thereby, angering Gino’s parents.” Harvey laughed rather helplessly.

“Gino’s family has three kids; Gino is the youngest, he still has an older brother and sister. Because his brother took over the family business, Gino could pursue his own dreams and immerse himself into the entertainment industry, but his family still wishes he could have a wife and a normal family.” These words coming from Harvey’s mouth seemed to contain a weird taste.

People always hope that they are right, that’s why, they would always find various opportunities to prove that their own choices were right.

What’s the basis for right or wrong?

Whether their own choices were right or wrong, only the person themselves would know.

“Doctor Harvey, you didn’t come just for a visit today, but to diplomatically tell me not to develop any such relations with Gino. Because all this dictates that if Gino and I were to love each other, there would be no future; we would lose our friends and family, as well as our careers. That’s what you want to tell me, right?” Tang Feng directly said it.

He knew Harvey too well, he was even more familiar with this man’s hypocrisy.

Tang Feng’s straightforwardness stunned Harvey for a moment, then this fine man warmly chuckled, “Gino was right, you are really smart.”

“Isn’t it that you’re too stupid? Friends that would leave you because of your choice of partner can’t be considered genuine friends. It doesn’t matter even if those kind of friends don’t want you. True family would hope for you to live happily, and not ruin their own children’s future for the sake of some family values. Such a hypocritical future, hypocritical happiness….” Tang Feng stopped.

He asked Harvey a question he didn’t manage to ask him in his previous life: “Doctor Harvey, you tell me, is such a life happy?” Tell me, did your choice really allow you to be happy, to feel good and satisfied?

“Of course, I’m happy. I have a beautiful, virtuous wife and an adorable, lovely son, a job that people envy, and a perfect family.” When Harvey reached the end, he hesitated slightly, his jade green eyes flashing for a moment.

“This is the kind of life people should choose,” Harvey emphasized.

Very good. Now, Tang Feng knew Harvey’s answer.

The one who couldn’t let go wasn’t him, rather, it was the well-dressed doctor in front of him. “It’s very obvious this is only your opinion. Different people have different choices. No matter what they choose, so long as they themselves feel it’s good, then everything else doesn’t matter.” Tang Feng lightly said, he was looking forward to chasing Harvey away.

“Okay. Doctor Harvey, I still have work to do so, I don’t have much time to debate about life with you. Regarding Gino, you can rest assured, even if he is interested in me, I have no interest in him. You can say it however you want to Gino’s family, but please help me pass on a message to the person who sent you. If they are somewhat close, then please tell them not to meddle with Gino’s life.”

Xiaoyu having found out that Harvey was sent by someone was also rather unhappy, standing up and gesturing towards the trailer door, “Please, Doctor Harvey. I hope you never come around again, you’re such a brute.”

It’s so nice to have a fierce manager.

Harvey looked towards Tang Feng, but the latter just turned his body away. Right when Harvey had already walked to the door, he stopped again and asked, “That day, at Fiennes’ grave, why did you gift red roses?”

“Then, why did you bring white roses?”

He obviously knew Fiennes loved red roses, but he was scared it would be too obvious, so he gave white roses instead – such was the style of this cautious doctor.

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Translator: Kacy
Proofreaders: Charlotte Grey, Lyrick

 

Chapter 29: Encounter Harvey

On February 20, 2019, Posted by , In True Star, tagged in ,, , With 2 Comments

The movie’s 43rd scene successfully completed, indicating that the shooting for the movie ‘Satan Alley’ was already half complete. It had already been more than a month since filming first started, and the whole movie was estimated to finish shooting within 3 months’ time.

Director Li Wei had kept to the movie production schedule very well, allowing them to finish shooting the movie in time to participate in this year’s major film festivals. Regardless of whether they’re a movie production crew member or an actor, they would all have the chance to receive their corresponding nominations or even win the greatest award.

Tang Feng met Gino in the dressing room when he was removing his makeup. Today, Gino didn’t have any parts to film. He only came down to the filming site to greet a few of the crew members, after which, he immediately came to find Tang Feng. “I came to apologize now that I’m not under the influence of alcohol nor being willful. Tang Feng, please accept my sincerest apologies. I’m very ashamed of my loss of control the other night. I’m sorry.”

He was the image of a good child, admitting his wrongs from the start, that Tang Feng almost couldn’t resist reaching out to pat Gino’s head.

“There’s no sincerity at all, just using words to apologize.” Tang Feng glanced at his watch and said, “It’s nearly lunchtime, treat me to a meal. I know a good Japanese cuisine restaurant nearby.”

Thirty minutes later.

Tang Feng picked up a piece of sashimi after putting wasabi on it and shoved it into his mouth. Since the other was treating him to a free lunch, he didn’t hold back at all. Besides, such a meal of ordinary dishes was nothing to the Gino whose net worth was in the billions.

“If you like eating sashimi, I know an even better place. I’ll bring you there next time.” Gino sat opposite Tang Feng, spending the majority of the time staring at the other man as he ate, only occasionally moving his own chopsticks.

“There’s no need to go to so much trouble. Next time, I’ll treat you. But do you know how to eat hotpot? I like it. Whenever I eat hotpot, it always makes me feel somewhat fortunate.”

He ate it once after being reborn and had been unable to forget about it. Only after he was born in China, did Tang Feng realize how lacking the Chinese cuisine he ate before was, in comparison.

Of course, Gino nodded in agreement. He could ask for nothing better.

“Tang Feng, I have something I need to say to you.” Putting down his chopsticks, Gino placed both his hands on his knees, straightening up.

His serious appearance also made Tang Feng pause in his movements. He took a sip of green tea, asking, “Mm, what is it?”

“From now onwards, I want to court you. I must clarify that I’m not treating you as Fiennes’ replacement; I know that you’re Tang Feng. Right now, I’m very clear on what my heart wants.” Gino furrowed his brows, both eyes staring straight at Tang Feng, looking very serious.

Gino continued, “I think you’re right. If I really loved Fiennes, I wouldn’t have only realized my love for him after 7 years, but it’s different now. My heart has this strong desire. Every time I see you, I feel like life is full of vitality and meaning.”

“You’re the meaning of my life, Tang Feng.” Gino’s eyes ignited twin fires, burning strongly.

This time, it was Tang Feng who did not know how to reply. Gino’s persistence left him at a loss. He kept rejecting the man, but it looked like Gino was not resigned, instead, pursuing him even stronger than before. The reverse psychology of youths was astounding.

“Okay, but you need to be prepared for the long term,” Tang Feng readily answered. Regardless of him agreeing or not, Gino would still do what he wanted to, anyway.

Giving the other a chance, letting the test of time verify everything, Tang Feng knew what the final result would be.

Because he’d seen it all before too many times already.

After eating lunch, Gino immediately offered to send Tang Feng back to his apartment. He had, of course, suggested Tang Feng move out before. After all, that apartment also housed those two people, but Tang Feng had used the excuse of it being too troublesome and rejected it.

Right now, his situation only allowed him to stay with both Lu Tian Chen and Charles. Besides, those two men can be said to possess gentlemanly facades. There was no need to worry they would do anything untoward to him. They also had a considerable number of things in common; he still had pretty good feelings towards his living situation.

Gino didn’t force Tang Feng. Just as the two people paid and were preparing to leave, they bumped into a familiar person at the door.

“Doctor Harvey, you came here to eat too?” Upon recognizing the person, Gino immediately raised his hand to greet him. On the other hand, Tang Feng stood silently at the side, carelessly giving the woman and the child next to Harvey a glance.

Harvey’s parents were college professors while he was an exemplary doctor, and his wife, a similarly outstanding piano teacher. They’ve been married nearly 10 years and were blessed with a cute 6 year-old boy with big beautiful green eyes.

That pair of eyes were identical to Harvey’s, as green as clear emeralds, with an unparalleled shine, sparkling like the surface of a lake in the sun.

“Mm. I frequently bring my family here for vacation during my rest days. Who knew we would meet again? Recently, it really seems like fate.” Harvey laughed, then naturally moved his gaze towards the man by Gino’s side, still maintaining the gentlemanly smile on his face. “This must be the often-mentioned partner in Gino’s newest movie, Mr. Tang. Gino was full of praise for you the previous time we met.”

“Hi, I’m Harvey. It’s nice to meet you.”

Tang Feng smiled mildly, reaching out to gingerly shake his hand once, then letting go. “Me too.”

Harvey then introduced his wife, Ramona, and his son, Bain, to Tang Feng. Everyone familiarized themselves with each other for a while and the whole time, Tang Feng maintained his smile; mildly, politely, distantly.

“Your eyes look like black grapes, just like Uncle Fiennes.” Six year-old Bain tilted his head, looking somewhat silly as he gazed up at Tang Feng.

“Thank you for your praise, Bain.” Tang Feng automatically knelt to converse with Bain on an equal level. He extended his hand, revealing a naturally radiant smile, “I’m Tang Feng.”

“Bain. I’m very glad to meet you.” Smiling bashfully, little Bain reached out to gently hug him. Tang Feng closed his eyes and returned the hug. When was the last time he hugged Bain?

Seems like it was two years ago. He didn’t expect Bain to still remember him, to still remember Uncle Fiennes.

“He really likes you; that’s rare. Normally, when he meets strangers, he always ignores them. Today, he actually initiated hugging you.” Harvey was pleasantly surprised, his line of sight gradually falling onto Tang Feng. Really, like what Bain had said, Tang Feng had the same shiny black eyes as Fiennes.

It was like they were unfathomable depths, drawing people in, making it irresistible to want to study them, to explore them.

Gino laughed uproariously, proudly raising his chin as he said, “But, of course. I mentioned before, Tang Feng is very charming, right? Those who meet him will all like him.”

Tang Feng chose to ignore Gino’s exaggerated praise. He gently patted little Bain’s head, then stood up.

“You have a very adorable son.”

He had more to say, but no matter how he wanted to, he wouldn’t be able to say the words.

“Thanks.” Harvey nodded smilingly, still standing at the door but not entering. “Were you guys planning to leave?”

“Yeah, there’s no work scheduled in the afternoon so we’re going to head back and rest for a while,” Gino honestly replied.

Harvey proposed, “Then why don’t we spend the afternoon drinking tea together? Fiennes loved to drink tea the most……” After saying this, it was as though his mood darkened a little, as his wife stepped forward to comfort him.

“It wasn’t your fault, darling.” Ramona held her husband’s hand, appearing every bit that of a virtuous woman. Tang Feng wasn’t sure whether she knew at the time of her marriage, that he used to date her husband before. Maybe she knew, maybe she didn’t, but either way, she and Harvey were now a blessed couple.

“Ah, if only I always stayed by his side……”

Tang Feng interrupted him, “You have your family, your wife, and child. Even if you’re Fiennes’ family doctor, you also cannot spend every second of the day beside him.”

“Thank you for your consolation.” Harvey smiled at Tang Feng.

Tang Feng casually smiled. He didn’t really like drinking tea, just that previously, in order to maintain his health, he learned to drink it. He also didn’t wish for Harvey to stay at his side because he didn’t like him. In fact, he even hated this bastard who had betrayed him.

Even until now, it’s still the same.

“Mr. Tang, let’s drink tea together this afternoon.” Harvey extended the invitation towards Tang Feng as well.

Gino, standing at the side, revealed an expectant expression, but Tang Feng shook his head, rejecting it. “I’m sorry, I still have some matters to attend to in the afternoon.”

“It’s really such a shame.” Revealing a disappointed expression, Harvey very quickly regained his gentlemanly smile. “Then, next time there’s a chance, we must drink tea together.”

“Actually, I prefer coffee.”

“Coffee is not bad either.” Harvey replied.

Tang Feng turned towards Gino, “Why don’t I go back on my own? You can catch up with Mr. Harvey.”

“No, no, no. I’m sending you back, we already agreed on this.” Gino immediately bid farewell to Harvey and his family, “Harvey, I’m sending Tang Feng back first. I’ll contact you again later.”

“Goodbye.” Tang Feng turned and left immediately after saying so, with Gino hurrying to follow right after him.

Even though Tang Feng appeared courteous throughout, Gino, who had known Tang Feng for more than a month already, very clearly understood that Tang Feng wasn’t as warm and comforting as usual. “Do you not like Harvey?” Gino tentatively asked.

Tang Feng continued walking forwards with large strides, “I just don’t like doctors.”

… and hospitals, and continuously-prescribed medicine, and a never-ending flow of tea, and bland, monotonous food, and a doctor called ‘Harvey’.

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Translator: Kacy
Proofreaders: Charlotte Grey, Lyrick

Chapter 16: Your Concern is Chaotic

On February 8, 2019, Posted by , In Ti Shen, tagged in ,, , With 6 Comments

Su Yi Mo was driving towards the location indicated by the tracking device when he felt his eyelid twitch. A feeling of unease suddenly washed over him, causing him to slow the car down to allow himself some time to think through everything properly.

Lan Kuang was someone who was very witty. Even if he did get Jing Qiu Han’s phone from Ran Feng Ge, there was no way he was not going to notice the tracking device, and seeing how the tracking device has yet to be destroyed… did that mean Su Yi Mo was about to walk into a trap?

Slamming his fists against the steering wheel, Su Yi Mo turned his car around and continued in the direction he came from.

On the other side, Lan Kuang received news from his subordinates that Su Yi Mo had suddenly turned back around. This made Lan Kuang stop his car immediately, cursing Su Yi Mo for his overly cautious character.

Lan Kuang decided in the end not to head towards the location where ‘Jing Qiu Han’ was being held, and instead, drove towards the nightclub in ‘A’ city.

Su Yi Mo judged that it was time to pull out the hidden card. He dialed a series of numbers on his phone that he had memorized from before.

The call remained unanswered for a while, and when it was finally picked up, the voice on the other end hesitantly asked “Who may you be looking for?”

Hearing the familiar voice coming from the receiver, Su Yi Mo felt relief course through his system and replied without hesitation “Ah Xi, I am Su Yi Mo.”

“Su Yi Mo?! How did you know my number?!” Chen Xi Ran asked in surprise.

Mi Le was about to deliver a tray of alcohol to a customer’s table when she heard the surprised shout from her boyfriend. Without moving a step, Mi Le leaned over the counter top to get better access to the conversation.

“I saw your number on Ran Feng Ge’s phone the last time you called. Enough with the pleasantries, let me ask you something! Is there something on Ran Feng Ge that can be used to track him down? What I am trying to say is that, is there something on him that is able to transmit data?”

Chen Xi Ran glanced at Mi Le, both thinking along the same line: If Su Yi Mo is asking for something like this, does it mean something has happened to that idiot Ran Feng Ge?

They had yet to reply when Su Yi Mo asked again, “Since he is your friend, you should understand his situation, don’t you? Stop hesitating and tell it to me now! I need to go save him!”

Chen Xi Ran looked towards Mi Le, and she promptly placed the tray she had been holding on to the bar top, before flipping herself over into the inside to pull out the red-colored laptop from before, pushing the power button as soon as she opened it.

Chen Xi Ran, on the other hand, had already replied to Su Yi Mo’s question. “There is! There is a micro GPS tracker embedded in his tooth. Give me a sec, let me find out his location for you!”

The startup speed of the laptop was really quick. By the time Chen Xi Ran finished his sentence, Mi Le had already opened up an application and her ten fingers were soon flying across the keyboard, opening a map of ‘A’ City. There, on the map, at the corner of the lower left-hand side, a red dot was flashing.

Without missing a beat, Mi Le had expanded the image, saying: “Xiao Ge is being held at the downtown southwestern gymnasium! Third floor, billiards room!”

Upon hearing a woman’s voice through the phone, Su Yi Mo felt a little stunned. Within Ran Feng Ge’s circle of friends, there were also females?

Ran Feng Ge sure was lucky to be acquainted with so many different types of people – males, females, young, and old! Furthermore, all these people were so good to him. They were even privy to information such as the tracker in his tooth and were anxious to help out the moment they found out he was in danger.

An unknown feeling was disturbing Su Yi Mo. He couldn’t help but feel like he was way more frustrated now than before he enlisted their help to locate Ran Feng Ge.

“Oi, Su Yi Mo! What has happened to Ran Feng Ge? You better not involve him in your power struggle nonsense. A body double is only required to be a body double, to perfectly imitate the person he’s paid to do – anything else other than that is not part of the job! I am warning you right now, if something happens to Ran Feng Ge, we will never let you go. Hmph! Who cares if it is Falcon or Chasing Hawk, either way you will all become dead birds!” Mi Le spat angrily at the receiver.

Chen Xi Ran wanted to add on a few words of his own, as it was not everyday one got to chastise Su Yi Mo, the head of Falcon. However, before he could even open his mouth to say a word, Su Yi Mo had already ended the call on his end.

“Fucker!” Chen Xi Ran threw the phone onto the bar top. “What sort of person is he? He didn’t even let me finish!”

“Boss, are my drinks not ready yet?” a voice yelled out from the corner of the bar.

The drinks that were supposed to be delivered to that person were promptly downed by Mi Le. “My apologies everyone, but this shop is going to be closing early today! Everyone’s bills will be on the house, so if you will all leave, please!”

“What? How can you do this?”

“Ooh, but free drinks!”

“The boss of this place is a little too carefree, isn’t he?”

“Ah, forget it, forget it. It isn’t the first time they’ve closed the shop early on a whim.”

“Right… Let’s go then! We can just come back another day.”

Once all the customers had left, the two of them disregarded the mess in the bar, grabbed their necessary equipment, locked the doors tightly, and ran towards their garage.

They both knew innately that Ran Feng Ge needed their help.

Although they had zero information on the situation right now, they were highly worried.

A red convertible sped past the beautiful night lights, speeding down the road in the direction of ‘A’ City’s southwest gymnasium.

Chen Xi Ran was at the wheel while Mi Le was by his side in the passenger seat, organizing the things they usually needed on missions. First, they had to change into skin-tight body suits, followed by removing all the unnecessary weapons and equipment on their waists and pockets. Mi Le removed all her jewelry and tossed them out of the window while her eyes followed the red dot that was on the screen in front of her. “The location is still the same. Ah, turn left at the junction in front.”

Chen Xi Ran made the turn smoothly without slowing down his speed whilst Mi Le finished organizing all the information she had on hand. “Okay, we are all set!” Mi Le called out.

With that said, Chen Xi Ran quickly removed himself from the driver’s seat, switching positions with Mi Le as she took control of the car so that he could prepare himself.

Both their movements were very clean and precise. There was no indication from outside the car that anything unusual was going on inside.

Chen Xi Ran situated himself properly onto the passenger seat before taking out the weapons he had modified himself, his eyes glued to the red dot on the screen. “What did this idiot get himself into this time? How did he get himself captured so easily? He should have abandoned the objective right then and there, and extricated himself from the situation the moment it got bad, right?”

“Unless…” Mi Le muttered hesitantly. “Unless this was because he agreed to it and this was part of the orders from his employer.”

“So, he gave up his right to escape and allowed himself to walk right into a trap?” Chen Xi Ran continued, cursing under his breath. “He is seriously a crazy idiot!”

Next:
Previous: Chapter 15: Who is better at chess?
Return: Main Page

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Translator: Joeypoonie
Proofreaders: Charlotte Grey, Lyrick

 

Chapter 3: The Demonstration Competition

On January 27, 2019, Posted by , In Chen Yue Zhi Yao, tagged in ,, , With 3 Comments

“Lord Wei Shi, may I ask what New Year’s fortune you drew?” – Journalist

“No comment.” (Gnashes teeth) – Wei Shi

“Meow meow meow.” (Translation: He drew “Yin Shi”.) – Blackie, Folded Ear, White Feet

Vacation is great, but the start of the new school term is cruel.

They had a lot of fun over the holidays, but their leisurely days numbered only a few, and it felt that they hadn’t really had any time to enjoy themselves. In the blink of an eye, they had to return to school life, which was truly an unhappy occasion.

But fortunately, they only had morning classes on their first day back.

Fan Tong heaved a sigh.

The reason they only had morning classes was because the general tournament’s demonstration matches were in the afternoon, the very same competition that Lord Yin Shi nonsensically called the Eastern City’s Five Attendants’ Marriage Tournament.

Actually, about that, Hui Shi has already disappeared for two years, maybe nearly three years, and they are still called the Eastern City’s five attendants. It really sounds awkward.

Clearly, there are only four left – does the Eastern City have any particular taboo about the number four? We can all live in room 444 on the fourth floor, so I’m not sure it’s considered taboo here…

After class, even though it wasn’t mandatory, they still decided to go watch the demonstration competition.

After all, it’s going to be a lively activity. Just going to see Lord Yin Shi and the rest put forth their best effort should be quite interesting, right?

Moreover, this is a rare opportunity to see experts exchange blows. How could we pass it up?

I’m very happy about going to watch it together with Yue Tui, but Zhu Sha is also coming along… I’m not rejoicing about that. Even though we will be comrades-in-arms for a while, but, but… Ah, forget it, it’s just like that.

In addition to an elevated stage for the competitions to take place on, the general tournament had a resting area for the competitors.

Currently, there were a few people who had gathered there ahead of time to wait for the competition to begin and discuss a few private matters.

“Yin, I’m going to first carefully warn you, you’re not allowed to defeat me in one blow. This is a demonstration competition, no one came to see you get rid of people in one second.”

In addition to keeping with the demonstration competition’s nature, Ling Shi blank-facedly made his request to Yin Shi so that he could save a little face.

“Eh? Why? Since it’s an exhibition, wouldn’t it look better to go all out?”

It was clear that Yin Shi’s problem was not that he couldn’t follow instructions. It was just that you can’t carve rotten wood. After he asked this question, Ling Shi almost got angry.

“Do you really want to kill me…?”

“Ah, how could that be, you shouldn’t be able to die. Your master skill is not dying even after an explosion, wouldn’t people think that’s worth seeing?”

“…In short, you’re only allowed to use fifty percent of your strength, do you understand?” Ling Shi completely did not accept his terrible explosion idea and directly ignored his excitement, giving him instructions.

“Eh? But I don’t want winning to be difficult; that would be so tiring. Whenever I do that, my entire body aches, and my bones feel loose. Why does an easy win have to turn into this…?” Yin Shi was not particularly pleased with Ling Shi’s plan. He felt annoyed that a simple matter had become a complicated one.

“…Ten minutes! At least let me stay on stage for ten minutes! If worst comes to worst, I’ll give you a massage once we return. If that’s impossible, then what kind of comrade are you!” Ling Shi squeezed the words out through clenched teeth, and after hearing them, Yin Shi beamed with joy.

“Ah, alright, alright, well said, remember to come find me later this evening.”

“What are you so happy about?” Seeing the other person’s attitude, Ling Shi found it hard to avoid feeling like he had been cheated.

“Ah, because I’m feeling happy… Having such a good comrade as you is truly great! I feel reassured! On stage, after ten minutes have passed, I’ll immediately make you leave!”

The first part of that, he refused to comment on. The middle part, he refused to comment on. The last part… Ling Shi deeply felt that Yin Shi still basically didn’t understand.

After ten minutes, he would immediately dispose of him? This wasn’t saving face at all, right?

“Is getting you to defeat me slowly that difficult?”

“Eh? Is defeating you quickly a bad thing? It’s not very painful, and I don’t want you to get hurt. Otherwise, what would I do if you couldn’t come over this evening?”

Ling Shi didn’t know what to say to that. Those words were open to misinterpretation, although he was fully aware that Yin Shi’s words were brainless.

No, did he actually have that thing called a brain?

“Also, you’re not allowed to use magic and curses. This is the Eastern City.” He absolutely had to warn him about this point. In the Eastern City’s public activity, in front of the entire city’s however many citizens, if Yin Shi used techniques from the Western City to show off, that would be too outrageous.

“Ah, let me use magic! I can pretend that it’s Shufa! Apart from Ying, no one would be able to tell!”

“If I tell you you’re not allowed to use it, then you’re not allowed to use it! It’s not like I’m telling you not to use swordsmanship, so it’s not that bad! Shufa Xuan’s rector!”

“Alright, alright…” Yin Shi’s vigor diminished. The more confined he was, the more unhappy he felt. He always felt suspicious about why he had to listen to Ling Shi’s words.

“You’re already here?” Luo Shi entered the rest area. When he saw them, he seemed amazed that they had arrived early. After all, Yin Shi was always doing all sorts of crazy things, messing things up and fooling around as if there wasn’t enough time, and then shamelessly showing up late. This time, he’d unexpectedly arrived early; it looked like all the credit should go to Ling Shi.

“Nn. I didn’t want this guy to make a careless mistake, do I dragged him over here first to educate him.”

“Educate him? Yin Shi can be taught?” Luo Shi’s tone sounded like he had just discovered that Yin Shi had a brain and looked towards him. Yin Shi refused to accept this.

“Xiao Luo Shi, how come you don’t know better than this? You’re following a bad example! That damn Wei Shi always says annoying things, you can’t follow his example!” After saying that, he still didn’t wait for Luo Shi’s reply. Because he suddenly thought of Wei Shi, Yin Shi jumped onto this other topic. “Ah, that’s right, Ling Shi, how is the demonstration competition conducted? You and I fight, and then, won’t Xiao Luo Shi and that damn Wei Shi fight? That’s too pitiful, that damn Wei Shi will certainly bully this child!”

Wei Shi never hung around the rest of them. He would feel uneasy being in the same space as them, so, before the competition started, it wasn’t very likely that Wei Shi would show up in the rest area. They could discuss freely without fear of him overhearing.

“Regretfully, that’s how it is,” Ling Shi confirmed his guess. This made Yin Shi immediately start worrying.

“Ah! What can we do? Old man, quickly thing of something! Although that damn Wei Shi is weak, Xiao Luo Shi is a red tassel, this is simply unfair!”

Only he, a pure black tassel monster, had the qualifications to call Wei Shi weak. No matter where you went, Wei Shi’s deep purple tassel didn’t fall short; only in front of Yin Shi could his strength be considered lacking.

“Luo Shi didn’t say anything. What do you do with all of your free time? In the end, who is it that keeps looking more and more like an old maid?” Ling Shi replied, swallowing the observation that as long as Luo Shi was carrying a cat, Wei Shi definitely wouldn’t harm a single hair on his head.

“It doesn’t matter to me, I’m also one of the five attendants.” Luo Shi’s personality was strong. Even though he also knew that Wei Shi would certainly defeat him, he still wasn’t afraid to fight.

“Xiao Luo Shi – ”

“The people who win the first two demonstration battles will fight each other. If you beat me, you can fight Wei Shi, there’s no need to be in such a hurry.”

“Eh? So that’s how it is! Then I’ll definitely eliminate you! I’ve wanted to beat Wei Shi to death for a long time!”

“…”

For the time being, regardless of whether he said ‘fight damn Wei Shi’ or ‘beat Wei Shi to death’ [T/N: “打,死違侍” VS。“打死, 違侍”Maybe it would be better to change this into something understandable in English, such as “regardless of whether he really wanted to beat Wei Shi to death or if it was just an expression”, since I can’t think of a good way to translate this play on words.], he only heard that Yin Shi, in order to come to blows with Wei Shi, said he wanted to eliminate him. Ling Shi’s thoughts took a dark turn.

However, telling Yin Shi that he was upset was no use. His standard course of action was always to not say a word, then transfer his revenge to Wei Shi. Wei Shi truly got any misfortune that he may have deserved.

“Xiao Luo Shi, I’ll help you get revenge!” Yin Shi patted Luo Shi’s thin shoulder in a ‘leave everything to me’ manner.

“…Fight or no fight, please don’t so quickly say that you’ll help me get revenge.” Not only did he make it sound like he was sure he would lose, he also made it sound like he was sure that he would lose very miserably. Black lines appeared on Luo Shi’s face. He didn’t have the slightest intention of accepting Yin Shi’s good will.

“Then should I ask Wei Shi to get vengeance on my behalf?” Ling Shi shot a glance at Yin Shi, not cold, not fervent, as he asked this question.

“Ah! Old man, how could you say such a thing? We’re comrades! Among comrades, there’s no such hatred, regardless of whatever happens!” Yin Shi seemed completely unable to understand why he asked such a question, and his face showed an astonished expression. He even placed a hand on Ling Shi’s forehead to make sure he didn’t have a fever. After deciding that his temperature was normal, he continued using a baffled expression to look at him.

“Sometimes, I really want to dismember you into ten thousand pieces,” Ling Shi said in a low voice.

Due to the time it took to arrive after class was dismissed, when Fan Tong and the others arrived at to watch the competition, it had already begun.

Because they showed up late, cramming their way through the crowd to the front was not at all easy. There were no good places, except for tall people who could see over the human wall. Even though the stage was elevated, it would be very difficult to see anything. Therefore, at Zhu Sha’s recommendation, they simply climbed onto the roof of a neighboring building to get a good view. There wasn’t even a need to fight the crowd.

Of course, Yue Tui pulled Fan Tong up.

“How long has it been over? Did we miss anything?”

Hearing Fan Tong’s strange statement, Zhu Sha gave him a look, then answered coldly, “If it’s already over, then we’ve completely missed it, so why do you need to ask?”

It’s merely the curse again, nothing more. Of course I know that it just started and hasn’t ended yet, I really do!

On the stage stood two people, Luo Shi and Wei Shi. They had asked around, and this should be the first match. It seemed they hadn’t arrived too late.

Standing on the stage, Luo Shi looked serious and one hundred percent cautious. Wei Shi maintained a constant expressionless face. Apart from the occasional sound of Fuzhou or Shufa being launched, there were n o other sounds.

In this match, it wasn’t very likely that anyone supported Wei Shi or cheered him on. As for Luo Shi… Even though everyone wanted to support him and hoped he would win, everyone knew from looking at his tassel that it simply wasn’t possible.

Moreover, the fight was rather boring. Luo Shi would make a move, which Wei Shi would counter without any trouble. Then, Wei Shi would casually launch an attack, and Luo Shi would become flustered dealing with it… Luo Shi could not do anything, and Wei Shi did not want to seriously fight him, so the fight turned into more of a teaching session, and was thus boring to watch.

“Oh… So this is what’s going on…” Fan Tong was a little suspicious about the demonstration competition. As far as he knew, shouldn’t a demonstration be less boring? Shouldn’t it be more hot-blooded and dynamic?

Even if they couldn’t advertise ‘participate in the competition, and you can become an expert’, couldn’t they at least give people the impression that ‘fighting is very exciting, you get to engage in a life-or-death situation’?

How come Lord Wei Shi feels it’s beneath his dignity to hit Luo Shi?

“Yue Tui, does Luo Shi have no hope?” Although Fan Tong himself thought that he had no hope, he still asked Yue Tui. In general, he felt that Yue Tui’s opinion was more credible than his.

“Nn. For Luo Shi to deal with Lord Wei Shi, it would be too difficult.”

Since Yue Tui said so, then there really is no hope. Luo Shi, you need to quickly admit defeat.

At this time, Luo Shi finished reading a Fuzhou, tossed the paper in the air, and it scattered in all directions, each link connecting and multiplying the attack’s power.

This Fuzhou was a fairly high-level skill. After Luo Shi successfully used it, Ling Shi, who was watching the fight, cheered up a little. However, he still lightly shook his head. He thought that the spell wasn’t bad; what a pity it still wouldn’t have any affect.

Sure enough, when the Fuzhou network appeared in front of Wei Shi, he easily made out the center of the Fuzhou and quickly struck out at it, breaking the entire network.

“Hmph, a minor accomplishment,” Wei Shi said. After breaking Luo Shi’s attack, he didn’t scramble to retaliate. It looked like he really didn’t intend to be active in this fight.

“Wei Shi! Do you want to fight or not?” Continually being treated to this uncaring approach, Luo Shi got the feeling that he was completely being looked down on. He knew that he was unable to defeat Wei Shi, but he thought Wei Shi should at least take their fight seriously.

“I’ll wait for you to upgrade to a purple tassel. I have no desire to fight you until then.” Wei Shi’s answer was clear – he simply didn’t consider Luo Shi a worthy opponent.

The volume of the people speaking on stage wasn’t deliberately low, so some of the spectators also heard them talking. A lot of people were disgusted with Wei Shi’s attitude.

“This person really looks down on others.” Zhu Sha furrowed his brows. Although he had never seen Wei Shi before, his first impression of him certainly wasn’t great.

Exactly! He’s a snob! If you look down on a child, sooner or later, you’ll make that child cry!

After hearing Wei Shi’s answer, Luo Shi’s face became taut. This wasn’t the first time Wei Shi had taken a jab at his inferior strength. Every time, he could only silently exercise patience, since he couldn’t come up with a way to refute him.

After clenching his fists and then releasing them, he gave his reply. “I admit defeat. I won’t fight.” Finished speaking, he immediately turned around and left the stage, going straight to the rest area. It seemed he had not interest in watching the following competition.

Since Luo Shi admitted defeat, the match was over. After the announcer declared the winner, Wei Shi also left the stage. Next was Yin Shi and Ling Shi’s match.

“Ah, ah, Ling Shi! Can I quickly finish this! I can’t wait ten minutes; I want to beat him up now! I won’t kill him, but I’ll at least handicap him!” Preparing to go on stage, Yin Shi looked ready to blow his top. Ling Shi looked towards him coldly.

“You can’t beat him up too much. Ying is also here, do you want to make Ying angry?”

“Hateful – why can’t I beat him up once? With that kind of person, it’s necessary to use fists to communicate and violence to settle disputes! If he always has it easy, there will be no justice!”

“It’s only because you’re an uncivilized person that you want to use this method.”

“Ah! Damn old man, whenever I’m mad at Wei Shi, you won’t take my side! What kind of comrade are you?” Yin Shi was flustered and exasperated, with no way to vent his anger.

“I’m also not on Wei Shi’s side. Hurry on stage, and don’t forget that you promised me ten minutes, big idiot.”

Yin Shi still wanted to say more, but it really was time to go on stage. He was forced to go with Ling Shi, and each of them went to stand in their corner of the stage.

“My brain is full of thoughts about that damn Wei Shi, how can I fight with you…” Before the match was announced, Yin Shi muttered one last sentence to himself.

“I forgot to say, although you will be failing on purpose, I probably won’t go easy on you.”

“Eh? Slow down! I’m not like you, who can’t be beaten to death – ”

However, as soon as the beginning of the competition was announced, Ling Shi drew a golden Fuzhou that filled the entire stage. It was the same skill that Luo Shi had used, but on an entirely different level. As soon as the Fuzhou took affect, it was almost as if billowing clouds were rolling towards Yin Shi.

He didn’t need paper to bring out the Fuzhou’s innate power – many people had heard that rumor. Now, they could see it with their own eyes and confirm that this rumor wasn’t fabricated. All of the rolling clouds exploded in sequence, not giving the target a chance to attack. At the same time, no one could see the hand that stopped the clouds midway. At the last moment, Yin Shi gained control of the situation. Ashen-faced and struggling to survive, he opened his mouth to scold.

“Damn old man! You’re trying to kill me! As soon as you turn your head, I’ll certainly get my revenge on you!”

“Oh? So there’s no ‘coming to an agreement between comrades, and not holding a grudge, regardless of what happens’?”

“You, you…” Having Ling Shi throw his words back at him, Yin Shi wanted to bite his own tongue. He didn’t reply for a while. In that time, waves of Fuzhou fire formed again and assaulted him, nearly knocking him off stage.

Ah, a woman with a fiendish mind…

Sitting on the roof and watching the competition, Fan Tong sighed with sorrow.

Although Lord Ling Shi is a man, using those words to describe his appearance is really quite suitable. Lord Yin Shi, if it comes down to brains, you have no chance of success. I think everyone strongly believes this.

However, Lord Ling Shi, do you guys really share a secret, deep hatred? Do you basically consider Lord Yin Shi to be an enemy from Luo Yue to fight? Is this lethality due to old, accumulated resentment? How do I say this, using your own comrade of many years, as target practice isn’t a good thing? Or do you have so much confidence that your storm of Fuzhou will give him a new lease on life?

Nn, how come it doesn’t look like he’ll be alright? Rather, it looks like you seriously want to kill him.

Fan Tong switched his gaze to the lively crowd, then the other side of the stage, and then towards Queen Xi Ying, who looked just like an ice sculpture as she watched the battle with a detached air.

Even if someone on stage were to die, Xi Ying looks like she wouldn’t interfere.

“Ah! Lord Yin Shi! Be careful – ”

“No! Don’t harm Lord Yin Shi – ”

“Go, Lord Ling Shi! Long live Lord Ling Shi!”

“Lord Ling Shi, you’ll definitely win!”

Off stage, the masses were split into two groups to cheer. One side, supporting Yin Shi, didn’t have a single man, while the side supporting Ling Shi was made up almost entirely of men. This kind of division was understandable; however, their fervor was headache inducing.

This kind of noisy atmosphere makes the demonstration competition feel more public. However, the girls supporting Yin Shi will make him more enthusiastic, while Ling Shi’s supporters will make him fight more viciously; there is a subtle difference here.

I’d say the girls supporting Lord Yin Shi have the advantage in numbers, but I also think there are more people who want to get rid of Lord Yin Shi. Because Lord Ling Shi has a gentle and beautiful face, no woman would have reason to kill him.

Fan Tong reasoned that a man like Yin Shi, who had handsome good looks, money, and status, could often stir up another man’s desire for murder.

It was a pity that, even though Ling Shi’s Fuzhou was extreme, Yin Shi still avoided the danger on stage, making a lot of noise as he worked hard to preserve his life. It seemed like he was having a difficult time, but that didn’t mean he was no match for his opponent. Fan Tong could only once again asked Yue Tui.

“Yue Tui, who will lose?”

Yue Tui looked engrossed in watching the competition. It wasn’t until he hard Fan Tong’s question that he came back to himself. He didn’t have to think about the question for long, so he quickly answered Fan Tong.

“Lord Yin Shi will only lose if he wants to; otherwise, he won’t lose.”

Oh? Meaning that the outcome of the battle rests completely in Lord Yin Shi’s hands, even if he was just chased down so miserably by Lord Ling Shi’s Fuzhou?

“Yue Tui, how do you figure that in?”

I’m saying ‘how did you figure that out’, thank you very much.

“Lord Yin Shi still hasn’t attacked…”

The majority of Yue Tui’s focus was probably on the demonstration competition, so he didn’t pay attention to Fan Tong’s strange speech.

He still hasn’t attacked? But wasn’t he forced to counter that attack?

Fan Tong resigned himself to not being able to tell what was going on. That being said, every time Yin Shi had fought before, he has always held some boring weapon. This time, in the rare demonstration competition, would he bring out some godly weapon?

Thinking about weapons, Puhahaha came to mind. Fan Tong became depressed again. Mop, why are you definitely a mop?

“Achoo!”

As if it was responding to his thoughts, Puhahaha sneezed in a very timely manner.

…You’re still sleeping, right? I think it would be better for me to not remember your existence.

I still want a handsome weapon, ah –

From the point of view of the spectators, the two people on stage had not yet reached the climax of their battle, but for those two, the competition had already entered its final stage.

Ling Shi’s fighting method seemed to involve not considering his next step after each action. He basically thought of the demonstration competition as a duel, but all he wanted to do was to seize control of the time while he had the advantage.

Did he really want to win that much?

He searched his heart; perhaps he was interested in seeking victory. Because he knew Yin Shi’s power, even if he were to win in a situation where Yin Shi was limiting his strength, he would count it as a victory.

If Yin Shi knew that he thought so, he would probably point his finger at his nose and yell something like ‘wouldn’t it be refreshing if you beat me once!’

Yin Shi wouldn’t understand. Perhaps the sudden deep competitiveness in his heart was due to the person he was fighting.

In the middle of battle he almost forgot everything and abandoned all reason, all constraints, and his heart seemed to be restored to its most primitive state – from birth he was meant to fight, and it was in order to defend victory that he was born.

Even so, he couldn’t compare to Yin Shi. Because of his nature, he was unable to step across the wide gap between their strengths.

Condensing his Fuzhou power into one move, Ling Shi lifted both hands. His left and right hands wrote Fuzhou at the same time, and when he released them, they perfectly fused together into an enormously powerful force, expanding instantly.

He watched as Yin Shi’s hand moved towards the sword at his waist. This movement hinted that he was going to use it for something, and at that moment, he finished his terrifying Fuzhou, the spell resolving into orderly rings of light and shooting straight towards Yin Shi. At the same time, he retreated as far as he could in response to the inevitable shock from his attack.

Victory or defeat would be decided with this.

This time, Yin Shi made a move.

He drew a broken sword from the sheath at his waist. From its dull luster, it was easy to tell that the weapon didn’t have a soul. It was only the lowest-leveled, forged to be defeated weapon, but in his hand, it pierced through the rings of Fuzhou light, causing them to explode, and no weapon could compare to its golden radiance.

That sword made the inseparably close rings of Fuzhou split up and collapse, using the greater power of his attack to defeat his opponent’s. That sword was missing its front half, but the blade extended into a sharp golden point resembling a normal sword blade. After breaking through the rings of seemingly invulnerable Fuzhou, it still unyieldingly swept towards Ling Shi.

After Ling Shi had attacked, he had already moved himself into a strictly defensive position. However, seeing the power Yin Shi was using, he already knew that no matter how many defensive barriers he put up, the final outcome would be the same.

Just as if it were tearing through empty space, that gold-tipped sword encountered no resistance, making a clear sound as it broke through the layered barriers. Since it penetrated too quickly, people got the misconception that it had only broken through one barrier, but in reality, that piercing sound was the overlapping sounds of multiple barriers breaking. Perhaps only Ling Shi himself was able to perceive this.

Just as that sharp ‘sword blade’ was about to clear his head from his neck, it was gripped forcefully and brought to a stop, the extremely sharp aura surrounding it cutting a few strands of Ling Shi’s hair.

Yin Shi was already right in front of him, and he felt the golden aura of the sword’s point barely a hair’s breadth away.

“Ten minutes, Ling Shi.”

On that extremely handsome face, there was a look that only appeared occasionally; a serious expression that meant he was not to be toyed with. But despite the crushing strike, Yin Shi still remembered propriety and didn’t injure him.

The clearest point was that he wreathed the blade in a brilliant gold color, and not the ice-cold, battle-ending silver color.

“Indeed, you didn’t agree to a second more.” Ling Shi felt helpless. In fact, the fight could still continue – after all, his most resilient defense wasn’t Fuzhou. But exposing too much of his strength to everyone around him wouldn’t do any good. This was only a demonstration competition, so it didn’t matter if he lost.

Even if he didn’t care if his audience would scared after seeing him receive no injury despite being chopped by a sword, if he continued like this, his odds of success weren’t very good.

Yin Shi didn’t even need to use all his strength; only seven of his skills were enough to defeat him.

“Ah? Damn old man, in the end, do you know what it was that you threw at me just a moment ago? If I waited another second, I would have been turned into scattered ashes and smoke! Do you admit defeat?” After hearing Ling Shi’s grumbling, Yin Shi hollered at him again. His cold and fearsome good looks from just a moment ago were completely obliterated, making many people sigh in disappointment.

“I admit defeat.” Ling Shi tranquilly surrendered. Only then did Yin Shi remove the gold light from the sword and return the broken sword to its sheath.

At the side of the stage, Xi Ying nodded her head, appearing to verify Yin Shi’s victory. After the announcer declared the winner, the young ladies supporting Yin Shi began cheering, releasing their stirred-up emotions. They felt admiration for the battle’s participants and applauded them continuously. Thus, the demonstration competition’s second battle was over.

“So, he’s the real deal,” Zhu Sha commented after the fight was finished. Fan Tong already didn’t want to find out what his previous opinion of Yin Shi was.

“Yue Tui! Was that not originally your knife?”

Why did it become a godly weapon in Lord Yin Shi’s hand? Then, didn’t you suffer a great loss by trading with him?

“It’s a sword, not a knife. That is indeed a broken weapon, there’s no doubt about that.” Compared to Fan Tong’s suspicions, Yue Tui did not think much about that sword.

Actually, Fan Tong was also well aware that, if it really was a godly weapon, the weapon shop’s boss wouldn’t have sold it to Yue Tui unless he were a blind person who didn’t know up from down. What’s more, that boss could sell him a mop for two hundred strings; if Yue Tui’s sword had any quality, he absolutely wouldn’t have given it to him for free.

“Yue Tui, what was that light? Why did it glow?”

“That’s…” Even though Yue Tui was typically the kind of person who answered questions if he could, when Fan Tong asked this question, he still hesitated. “I don’t know. It’s really not that important.”

In the end, Yue Tui drudged up an ambiguous answer again. He didn’t know why, but Fan Tong felt that he knew the answer and just didn’t want to say it.

After the winner of the second match was declared, the third match began.

Compared to the other two matches, this one made the spectators especially fired up. Almost the entire crowd was shouting for Yin Shi, enthusiastically cheering for his victory, each person influencing another and getting the entire crowd worked up.

The appearance of this one-sided favor was, of course, because Yin Shi’s opponent – Wei Shi – was too horrible. For a long time now, the New Residents had suffered his bullying, so they absolutely did not like him. He also appeared to suffer the dislike of many of the Natural Residents he tried to take care of. There actually weren’t many people who had a good opinion of him; this could probably only be blamed on how he conducted himself in failure, and how he behaved with excessive harshness in society.

Lord Yin Shi, do your best! Beat up Wei Shi until not even his mother would recognize him!

Fan Tong also inevitably yelled out the common opinion in his heart. Everyone probably wanted to beat up Wei Shi; in their hearts, they hoped to make use of Yin Shi’s strength to sort him out.

However, they didn’t know what was going on in the rest area at the time.

“You may not beat him until he’s permanently disabled, do you understand?” Ling Shi once again made this clear to Yin Shi.

“Even if Ying gets angry, she won’t stay angry for long!”

“That’s not the problem. You must depend on Ying, so how can her anger not move you? Won’t you be violating her expectations?”

Yin Shi wasn’t happy about being criticized by Ling Shi like this.

“When all is said and done, what does she expect? Does she expect that we’ll get along well? Does she expect me to lose to him? Those things are impossible!”

“She has not said as much. But if you cripple her only government official, are you prepared to sit at Shen Wang Dian all day long and handle all political affairs large and small? Who do you think has the ability to do that work, making it so that you can have free time to go out and run around every day?”

Yin Shi all of a sudden found himself at a loss, but very quickly, he continued to argue.

“Of course I don’t want to sit at Shen Wang Dian and handle those matters, but Wei Shi doesn’t handle them well! He’s basically a psycho! Isn’t choosing another government official better?”

After Wei Shi’s fight with Luo Shi finished, he hadn’t gone to the rest area. Instead, he had walked over to stand by Xi Ying’s side. After Yin Shi and Ling Shi’s match ended, Luo Shi had returned home, so it was only the two of them. Thus, Ling Shi decided to discuss matters openly.

“I understand what you’re saying; I admit that Wei Shi is a questionable person, but if it weren’t for Ying’s favor, he couldn’t promote his policies. Do you believe that Ying cares about national politics? She only wants to be able to defeat Luo Yue’s army, nothing more. The New Residents are a continuous source of soldiers to face danger, and the Eastern City’s population will soon mostly consist of them. Severe politics and war are merely for the purpose of getting rid of the weeds and keeping the flowers. She wants to keep the people she can use, so some New Residents are sentenced to death, even if this punishment doesn’t fit their crime. She would prefer to take ‘flowers’ and invest resources in them so that she can turn them into useful military personnel.” Speaking to this point, Ling Shi arrived at his conclusion.

“So, Ying uses Wei Shi, just like you said, and maybe even because she can’t find anyone she’s more satisfied with as a government official?” When Yin Shi heard his words, his first reaction was lifeless, and he found them difficult to accept. “How could it be like this? Even if it’s on this premise, this is just bullying, not gathering people together. How could it make the Eastern City’s people useful?”

“Ying doesn’t need the hearts and minds of the people, she doesn’t want sincerely loyal soldiers; she only wants to use their fear, and maybe their longing. As long as the pros and cons are relevant, they will listen to her commands.”

“Ling Shi, you… How could you say all this as if it were of no concern to you? Don’t tell me you think this is ok?”

“It doesn’t matter whether I think it’s ok, that’s not something I need to judge. Ying is our master, so we ought to support her and not pay attention to side issues. Don’t tell me you seriously want to stop her?” Ling Shi’s tone clearly said ‘How could you have never realized this matter? But you still have no control over it’. Yin Shi couldn’t come up with a reply.

He had no problem going out to have fun with New Residents, and when those New Resident girls blushed, he felt that they were very cute. He never wanted to harm them; however, he had never thought about what to do for them.

According to Ling Shi’s words, this was normal. There were too many people in the world, and they could only know and care about a small portion of them.

Was it like this?

Was it truly like this?

Yin Shi again thought that perhaps his brain was broken. He wasn’t good at pondering over these complicated matters.

“If you don’t go on stage, the audience may come tear apart the resting area.” Hearing that the crowd outside was becoming louder and louder, Ling Shi indifferently reminded him of the current issue.

“Ah! What! I also need to rest! So impatient!”

After all that, where had his inability to wait ten minutes to beat up Wei Shi gone? Ling Shi already didn’t want to talk to him anymore.

“Do you remember? You must not beat him until he’s disabled, you must not kill him, and you also must not use soul-purging force on him…”

“Ah – so damn wordy, how come I have to treat him the same way he treated Xiao Luo Shi?”

This wording was a little vague. Ling Shi felt unclear on what exactly he was going to do.

“Don’t use excessive force.”

“Hmph!” Yin Shi didn’t answer; he just directly pulled open the curtain and left the resting area.

Everyone looked towards Yin Shi when he appeared, and the cheers were already approaching thunderous levels. Wei Shi had been standing on the stage for quite a while, and after one look at him, his face immediately twisted with hatred.

“Making people wait, causing problems for others, is this your constant style?” After one look at the other person, Wei Shi coldly ridiculed him. This was their first step of interaction with each other.

“Ah, how long were you waiting? Don’t tell me you were waiting for me to come on stage so that I can properly make you admit defeat?”

“Who is admitting defeat?! If you want me to admit defeat, you’ll have to beat me fair and square!” He was quickly becoming infuriated; this was their second step of interaction with each other.

“Oh? I still think you’re afraid of me, will you not admit defeat? Are you certain you won’t admit defeat? No matter what happens, you won’t admit defeat in order to escape? Are you really so courageous?” Yin Shi used an inciting tone, challenging Wei Shi without restraint.

“Don’t speak so much nonsense! Do you believe that you have a one hundred percent chance of victory? If you want to fight, just fight, who would be afraid of a big-talking, uncivilized idiot?!” The third step was being driven mad and losing all reason. Afterwards, speaking was no use.

“Damn Wei Shi, you didn’t bring your weapon out first? You’re so weak, maybe once the battle starts, you won’t even have a chance to draw it.” Yin Shi extended two fingers to strike him, completely looking down on him and showing off.

“I’m already holding it!” Wei Shi looked like he was itching to take over the announcer’s job and announce the beginning of the match so that he could teach the disgusting enemy before him a lesson.

Even though the entire city didn’t believe he could so much as touch Yin Shi, his heart could never admit that he was weak compared to his opponent.

“A fan? What sissy weapon is that?” After discovering the folded fan in Wei Shi’s hand, Yin Shi completely disregarded the material it was made of and looked towards Wei Shi with a provoking gaze.

“Don’t tell me your brain is only filled with knives and swords! Such a narrow way of thinking!”

Thoroughly infuriating his opponent before the battle began could do one of two things; it could either cause his opponent to lose, or it could increase his opponent’s strength. Were it not for Yin Shi’s incredible strength, everyone truly would have felt that Wei Shi killing him was a distinct possibility.

The announcer’s voice was expectant as he announced the start of the match. After hearing the announcer’s voice, Yin Shi still stood uncaringly in his original place, waiting for Wei Shi to make a move.

Straightforwardly using martial arts to vent his anger, Wei Shi immediately sliced his fan towards Yin Shi. Yin Shi looked as if he wouldn’t dodge or avoid it, but just as Wei Shi’s attack was about to hit him, he dodged so quickly that he seemed to disappear.

Once he reappeared, he was already at the opposite corner of the stage, his hand holding a handkerchief as if he had just performed a magic trick. He meticulously held it out in front of him and spoke in a bored voice.

“Ah, a handkerchief? You don’t have anything more interesting on you?”

After looking at that handkerchief, Wei Shi suddenly realized that it was his own, and that Yin Shi had sneakily snatched it off his person. His face turned ashen.

“You thief, give it back to me!”

“Give it back to you? Won’t you come and fight me for it?”

Stricken with indignation, Wei Shi didn’t want to make any excessive moves. He wanted all of his attacks to land on Yin Shi, but he had once again lost all trace of Yin Shi’s presence.

“Oh, this is a little bell? Why did you bring this?” Yin Shi had a finger hooked through the cord of a small bell, swinging it around in a circle… He caught it, and then continued swinging it again.

“Stand still!”

“Oh, a seal.”

“Bastard!”

“Ah, a cookie. You brought food with you?”

“Shameless! You have no sense of shame!”

“No sense of shame? … Ah, I grabbed the wrong thing. I’ll return your belt to you. You won’t get upset, right?” Yin Shi gave an innocent look as he tossed Wei Shi’s belt back towards him. Wei Shi was already angry enough that he didn’t want to catch it, because doing so was practically accepting the other person’s charity.

“I am going to kill you –!”

The audience was in the awkward situation of not knowing whether to cheer. Sitting on the roof, Fan Tong was silent, caught up in the stupidity of the situation.

Lord Yin Shi, we came to see you sort him out, not to see you take liberties with him!

Like this, in public and in front of a large crowd, openly manipulating him is not right – don’t tell me that you’re going to carry out what you said at Xuan Dian and strip him in front of everyone…

Can I not watch? Ah, Yue Tui isn’t even an adult! Yue Tui, you also must not watch!

Don’t watch this harassment – in the end, just who is this exhibition for –

Fan Tong’s heart was indescribably stirred up. Yue Tui also looked dumbstruck, and Zhu Sha’s expression was unchanging, as if he didn’t know what to think.

And the farce on stage was still continuing.

“Damn Wei Shi, you brought so many things, do your pockets have a hundred treasures?” Yin Shi was always amazed at the new things he stole, though it was unknown whether his words were sincere.

“You’re such a thief! A filthy thief! Scum!”

Saying that he had been driven mad with rage was probably right. Yin Shi considered Wei Shi’s abuse to be unfounded.

“I just want to take a look, that’s all, why are you taking it so seriously? Silver thief? I didn’t steal your wallet.”

[T/N: Wei Shi called him淫賊but the first character, 淫, and the character for silver, 銀, are both pronounced ‘yín’]

Because he hadn’t taken that many things, apart from Wei Shi’s belt, which he had given back, Yin Shi had put everything else in his own pockets. After all, he felt that throwing them on the stage was unsightly, so it would be better to take them for his own; no one would know.

“Give back by hand-made puppet! It’s one-of-a-kind!”

“Didn’t I say you have to fight for it?” Yin Shi brought out that puppet again and showed it off, waving it in front of Wei Shi’s face.

“Give it back!”

“No.”

“Give it back immediately! At once!”

“Ah, who told you to bring it on stage?”

At that, Wei Shi had enough. He threw himself in Yin Shi’s direction. Every time he reached out, he fell just a little short of reaching the thing in Yin Shi’s hand, but Yin Shi was deliberately allowing him to nearly grab it; he was toying with him.

“Puppet…”

The thing that Yin Shi had stolen from Wei Shi and was now showing off was truly an alarming thing.

Its form should not… Its form should not… Lord Wei Shi, why do you have these kinds of things? If you said it’s to plant evidence on Yin Shi to frame him for something, I could accept that as the truth, but looking at your attitude, it doesn’t seem like it…

“It’s really a pity that Luo Shi already left,” Yue Tui said suddenly.

Yue Tui… I say, if Luo Shi had remained here, he wouldn’t get any pleasure from this revenge. He would merely get to know more about Lord Wei Shi, that’s all…

Beside the stage, Xi Ying’s expression was just as indifferent as before. At her side, Ling Shi had also remained silent as he watched the competition up until this point.

“This stupid Yin Shi…” Ling Shi could not help lowering his head and covering his face. He didn’t know if he should continue watching, but he thought that if he went home, Yin Shi would run to find him after the match to share his ill-gotten things. He wasn’t sure if beating him up could save his brain.

Alright, he really hadn’t disabled Wei Shi, and he also hadn’t killed him. He hadn’t even bruised him, which meant that he had listened to Ling Shi’s explanation, but what should he say about this?

Ling Shi observed Xi Ying’s face from the corner of his eye, then looked at the humiliating scene on stage again. The Eastern City’s prestige, the Eastern City’s prestige, ah…

“Isn’t that enough?!” Wei Shi wasn’t attacking anymore; he was simply protecting his chest, afraid that something else would be stolen.

However, the fact that he still had anything left after being robbed so many times was quite amazing.

“Ah, I’m tired of being a small-time thief, I’d rather be a bandit.” After succeeding in snatching a spice bag, Yin Shi pointed towards Wei Shi’s head. “I’ll tell you in advance, I’m going to steal your hat.”

“What…”

Afterwards, there was a ‘whoosh’ sound, and just like that, Yin Shi robbed him. He appeared behind Wei Shi, and Wei Shi’s hat was already in his hand.

“You barbarian, what exactly are you trying to do!”

“What would be good to steal? Ah, that’s right, your glasses.” Yin Shi simply ignored his protests, using his far greater speed to get a hold of his glasses.

“…”

Losing his glasses, Wei Shi immediately sliced in a vague direction, his unstable movements making it difficult even to curse. If resentment could kill, perhaps Yin Shi would have already been hacked into a thousand pieces.

“Is there anything left to steal…? Ah, do you finally want to admit defeat? If you say that your skill is inferior, admit that you can’t go on…”

“Absolutely not!”

If the rest of Wei Shi’s things were too far away to steal, then maybe he could maintain some self-respect, although at this time, too much self-respect wouldn’t do him any good.

You’re just going around in a big circle, trying to get him to admit defeat with his own mouth… Out of the entire audience, more than half of them were speechless and thinking something along those lines.

“This is a demonstration match, and you’re only showing off these dirty tricks. You’re not fighting honestly; I’m going to sue you for violating the rules!”

“Ah, I stole and stole, robbed and robbed, aren’t you too slow in getting around to this point?” Yin Shi’s tone of voice succeeded in its goal of further infuriating Wei Shi, but since Wei Shi had put forth that suggestion, they decided to get another person to settle this dispute. Thus, they both looked towards Xi Ying.

However, since no one had actually asked her a question, Xi Ying didn’t give any instructions. Suddenly, since Yin Shi wasn’t standing very far away from him, Wei Shi hatefully grasped his fan and struck out ruthlessly.

Of course, he did it out of resentment for being toyed with. Since Yin Shi’s attention was on Xi Ying, he didn’t move until the fan cut into him, the sharpness making him cry out in surprise. Even though he retreated without delay, he was still a little slow, the sharp fan leaving a shallow, bloody cut on the left side of his upper chest and neck.

“Yin Shi!” When he saw Yin Shi injured, Ling Shi stood up in astonishment, but at his side, Xi Ying was even faster, and her voice had a rare hint of panic to it. All of a sudden, she vanished from her terrace and appeared in front of Yin Shi, urgently wanting to look at his wound.

“Ying, it’s nothing, don’t make a fuss about nothing…” Looking at Xi Ying’s outstretched hand that was too close to his body, Yin Shi felt a little uneasy, but he didn’t dare recoil. Wei Shi grit his teeth at the side; the Queen came on stage to intervene, so this fight naturally wouldn’t continue.

“This competition is over! Wei Shi, stay behind and sort things out.” Xi Ying used a severe voice to give her orders, and then looked at Yin Shi. “Come with me.”

“Oh…” Yin Shi didn’t say anything more. Xi Ying could always make him feel as if he was in the wrong.

He silently followed after Xi Ying and left. Ling Shi came down from the terrace and kept pace with them, and on the originally noisy stage, the only person left in charge of the situation was Wei Shi.

However… Before he left, Yin Shi hadn’t returned Wei Shi’s glasses, which was a little cruel.

Fan Tong’s Afterword

The surprising end to the demonstration competition was truly beyond anyone’s expectations.

Ah, seeing those few fights seem to have shortened my life by a few years, how did this happen?

Lord Yin Shi, you clearly wanted to go up there and sort out Lord Wei Shi, but instead, you got yourself injured, this is truly laughable. Was it to teach us a lesson, letting us know that it never pays to be careless?

After this, will you wear your armor? It’s still no use! Lord Wei Shi cut you in a place that you don’t have armor for, and he couldn’t even see clearly because you stole his glasses! Are you just really unlucky?

But the fortune from Xuan Dian came true. This should be considered a ‘bloody disaster’, right? Because the words on Yin Shi’s fortune aren’t nearly as numerous as those on Yue Tui’s, it was only a small injury?

If it’s that accurate, then I’m worried about Yue Tui. Regardless of the fortune he drew, there was still Zhu Sha’s fortune to consider…

Oh right, also, also, I think Queen Xi Ying showed emotion when she saw Lord Yin Shi injured, which is very unusual.

She ordinarily looks indifferent, but when Lord Yin Shi was injured, Her Majesty’s entire face changed. Compared to the burns from the driven fire spell, the injuries from being trampled by a moshou, etc., that obviously tiny injury was not worth paying attention to! When my injuries killed me, no one looked at me so nervously…

Adultery! You’re having an affair! I smell adultery!

Sure enough, Lord Yin Shi is unjustly handsome, has he already won over Her Majesty?

This world is indeed too unfair – one man can have so many women, this is such an uneven distribution! No wonder there are so many pathetic guys who can’t find a partner, like me…

Even Yue Tui’s circumstances are better; so far, he only has half a woman, so his chances of romance are difficult to determine…

If I had the chance, if it weren’t for my unshakeable mouth breaking my feng shui, I would certainly study even more to increase my knowledge about marriages predestined by fate. After all, wasn’t that my best moneymaking knowledge up until recently?

Most importantly, after studying, I would immediately put my knowledge into practice to help myself find a life companion…

Next:
Previous:Chapter 2: A martial arts competition to win over… a hand in marriage? Yeah right!
Return: Main Page

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Translator: Saviesa
Proofreaders: Dinoj, TaffyGirl13

Chapter 2: A martial arts competition to win over… a hand in marriage? Yeah right!

On January 27, 2019, Posted by , In Chen Yue Zhi Yao, tagged in ,, , With 1 Comment

[TN: A flower ball is a ball of silk in the shape of a hydrangea that is thrown in traditional Chinese weddings, similar to the throwing of a flower bouquet in Western weddings.]

“A martial arts competition to win one’s hand in marriage? Can’t you just throw a flower ball?  I think that would be a lot simpler!” -Fan Tong

“If Yin Shi smashed a flower ball down, whoever catches it would immediately die, right?” -Ling Shi

Fan Tong and Yue Tui understood why Luo Shi had so hurriedly gone to inspect the notes, so they didn’t wait to be escorted out. They had come in the same way, so leaving Shen Wang Dian by themselves wouldn’t be too hard. At least, it was way better than the labyrinth-like Fu Zhou Pavilion; no matter what, they’d be able to get out eventually.

After exiting Hui Shi’s Pavilion, they did not encounter the Empress, whose quarters were next door. Pass.

While walking through the fourth palace, they did not bump into Wei Shi in his quarters. Pass.

While walking through the third palace…Yin Shi was unfortunately playing around right near the entrance, and so they bumped directly into each other. Fail.

Although coming to Hui Shi’s Pavilion had gone very smoothly, leaving was a different story. It looked like they would not be able to actually leave for another while.

“Ah, Xiao Yue, why are you guys walking out from there? When did you get here?”

Since Yin Shi and Ling Shi had left Xuan Dian first, he didn’t know that Luo Shi had come to invite them to Hui Shi’s Pavilion for cleaning.

It really bothered Fan Tong that Yin Shi still did not remember his name, choosing instead to omit it completely just now. However, Fan Tong knew there wasn’t much he could do about it.

“Lord Yin Shi, you are…?”

Yue Tui looked at Yin Shi in evident confusion, then down at the delicate little creature warily standing next to his feet.

“Ah, this is the cat I picked up before. I brought it here to play.”

Yin Shi replied as he reached down to securely pick the kitten up, completely ignoring its mews and struggles of resistance.

I don’t think it likes you as much, Lord Yin Shi.

“There are stray cats around Shen Wang Dian…?”

Yue Tui had an odd expression, seemingly finding the entire situation very strange.

Anyways, this is at least an actual kitten, and not some random abnormality of a beast that he is just calling a kitten.

“Yep. Ling Shi said that to raise a cat, you need to let it out to play rather than keep it locked up all the time. So I brought it out specifically for that reason.”

As he replied, Yin Shi began to play a game of toss where he would throw the kitten high into the air before catching it again. Mews sounded out endlessly.

I feel bad for this cat. It’s probably better if you just lock it up inside, that would probably make it feel happier, actually.

“Ah, it looks super happy and full of energy!”

You’re completely mistaken!

“Are you not just able to ask someone else to do something like taking care of the cat…?” Yue Tui politely pointed out.

Fan Tong felt that the only part lacking there were the words “You’re not at all suited to raise a cat”.

“But…I’m the one that brought it home, so it should it be my responsibility. How could I give it to someone else?”

It’s great for men to have a sense of responsibility, but in my opinion, you’re better off just leaving it outside.

“If there’s nothing you need, we will be returning first.”

Since Fan Tong and Yue Tui felt like they really couldn’t help the cat even if they sympathized with it, it was better if they did not interrupt the time shared between the man and cat. As a result, Yue Tui and Fan Tong prepared to make their leave.

“Ah, wait! There are some really exciting events after the New Year, so remember to attend!”

Yin Shi did not let them leave so easily, and even shouted an unknown advertisement to stop them.

Exciting events…is that referring to the suspicious statement mentioned earlier at Xuan Dian, the martial arts competition to win over a hand in marriage or whatever?

“What kind of event?”

Since it was mentioned, it wouldn’t be good to express absolutely no interest, so Yue Tui chose to ask about it.

“It’s an annual event at Eastern City. When it starts, the Five Lords of Shi will all go up and participate in the competition to win someone over!”

……

What…exactly is that supposed to mean? You compete once a year to win someone over? Doesn’t that mean you have to get married every year? As in, the winner gets a spouse for only a year? Does the Empress take part? Otherwise, it would just be all guys…or are you asking females to compete over you?

And doesn’t that put Luo Shi in a dangerous position? Who knows what kind of random passerby he could get married to. And Lord Wei Shi probably isn’t capable of those emotions. Lord Yin Shi, if you don’t throw the match, you wouldn’t get married at all. And the amount of people wanting to marry Lord Ling Shi could form a line all the way outside the city…but going off of tassel color, only you, Lord Yin Shi, would be able to defeat him and marry him…?

If this martial arts competition really happened, Bi Rou would probably put her life on the line to defeat all the other contestants just to end up with Lord Yin Shi, right?

Or maybe not, she said she didn’t want to marry…

Just the mention of a martial arts competition to win over someone was enough to send a pile of random thoughts racing through Fan Tong’s mind. Did that mean his thoughts were just too quick?

“Lord Yin Shi, this martial arts competition is….?”

Yue Tui also found this description out of place. Or rather, it wasn’t something anyone could really understand.

“We will be in charge of the grand opening ceremony for the martial arts competition, demonstrating fights to win over the audience.”

Hey! That’s completely different from a martial arts competition to win over a hand in marriage, alright? Don’t just randomly throw these kinds of words around please! You got all of us mistaken!

“Xiao Yue! You’ll participate, right? You should sign up now, there isn’t a registration fee.”

Why are you only asking Yue Tui? Is it because I would just end up being cannon fodder if I went?

“I…probably won’t.”

Although Yin Shi seemed to really look forward to Yue Tui’s participation, Yue Tui did not have any interest.

“Ah? Why? The top five people can challenge the Five Lords of Shi. Many people put their full effort in trying to get there so that they can get the chance to openly and honorably beat the living daylights out of Wei Shi.”

Are you mistaken about something? It’s not like the top five can just choose Lord Wei Shi and beat him up as much as they’d like. If they were to challenge him, they’d be the ones beaten to a pulp by Lord Wei Shi’s dark purple tassel strength, right?

Besides, doesn’t this competition have any other attractive rewards to draw people in?

“If you think fighting 1v1 is too boring, you can also participate in group battles!”

Lord Yin Shi, your evaluation of Yue Tui is so high. Although I also feel like Yue Tui is very strong, I don’t think anyone would typically be willing to get themselves involved with trouble like this for no reason and participate with such a burden.

But when Yue Tui heard these words, he actually gave Fan Tong an earnest look.

“Fan Tong…are you interested?”

…What is going on? If I’m interested, do you plan on bringing me up to open my eyes to the world?

“What kind of punishments are there?”

No, I meant to ask what kind of rewards there are!

“Punishments? The competition doesn’t have any strict regulations. Even if someone was killed in the ring, there wouldn’t be any problems.”

Whoa! Wait a minute! Doesn’t that mean participating means there’s the danger of dying?!

“If you die during the competition, does it cost money?”

Perhaps because this was an extremely important matter, Fan Tong was unexpectedly able to speak without any reversed words for once.

“Huh? Of course it does. Ling Shi says that this annual martial arts competition is the Eastern City’s most profitable event, which is why more people participate.”

……

Lord Ling Shi, that kind of direct remark is too evil. And Lord Yin Shi, how could you thoughtlessly say that kind of thing to lower tier people? You’re really too open.

And doesn’t that mean you guys would actually prefer for murder to occur on stage?

Exactly what kind of country is this…

“Are you really not going to attend? The more people, the livelier it will be. Xiao Rou isn’t attending either, so dull…”

If Bi Rou participated and got the slightest bruise, wouldn’t you completely dismember the culprit?

After Yin Shi reluctantly gave up on trying to persuade them, Fan Tong and Yue Tui were finally able to leave Shen Wang Dian. By this point, the poor kitten had already been tossed so much to the point of being dizzy. Fan Tong could only pray that it would be able to find a moment where it could escape Yin Shi’s evil hands.

On the way back to the dorms, they encountered another blindsided person looking to challenge Yue Tui.

Having spent forever walking, being obstructed now did not leave a good mood. Even Fan Tong, who wasn’t directly involved, thought: Why is this happening again? Most importantly, defeating this kind of person wouldn’t really be beneficial at all. If anything, it was just a waste of time and energy, which made the whole situation even more annoying.

It was only the first day of the New Year, and there were already people fretting over trifles like this. What is the point?

“You’ve come to challenge me?” Yue Tui asked in confirmation as he looked at the stranger clearly seeking death.

“That’s right! If you’re scared, then start begging for mercy!”

Where did a treasure of a guy like this pop up from?

“Sigh.”

Yue Tui’s right hand swiftly reached towards the opponent’s tassel as his left hand flashed out, instantly knocking him out with a single chop. Job finished, time to stop for the day.

“Yue Tui, can you search him for any belongings?”

I’m starting to turn crazy being with you. At this point, there isn’t a difference if it’s you or me. A plump lamb just offered itself to us as the first profit of the new year.

“Wouldn’t…we be robbing him then?”

As expected, Yue Tui had a stronger conscience compared to Fan Tong. But Fan Tong firmly believed that it was because he hadn’t experienced the hardships of life that he could continue living as a man of honor.

“Who cares! If we don’t loot him, some random dog passing by would!”

This is the first time I’ve heard that “person” can be reversed to “dog”. While I feel like it being reversed to “beast” would make some sense, why “dog”? For that matter, even reversing it to “ghost” would be easier to accept.

If I really analyzed this closely, then the opposite of “dog” should be “god”. After all, “dog” is literally “god” spelled backwards. But that would require the curser to know English.

“But…”

Yue Tui still seemed as if he was about to persuade Fan Tong against doing something so unvirtuous. But just then, another person appeared.

“Oi! I challenge you to a fight! Your hairstyle pisses me off!”

The second person seeking death at the start of the new year has arrived.

Yue Tui furrowed his brows, and without bothering to speak, reached to pull the other’s tassel off. He then quickly knocked the opponent out, like a lightning strike before thunder could be heard.

“Fan Tong, I think I should still…”

Yue Tui’s words were cut off a second time when a third challenger popped up. This time, Yue Tui didn’t even shift his gaze, and without bothering to grab the tassel, directly knocked the challenger unconscious.

“Fan Tong, you can search these guys and take whatever you want.”

Although Yui Tui had a smile on his face, there wasn’t a single trace of warmth in his eyes. It seemed as if he’d finally snapped.

“Oh.”

Hooray! Reaping the benefits without expending any effort is what I love to do the most!

After going through all three peoples’ belongings, Fan Tong happily gathered three wallets. Although there wasn’t much money in each, it was still no small change to someone with as great as a debt as he did.

Yue Tui was now emitting an aura that would prevent anyone with the slightest danger sense from getting close to him. Fan Tong felt that this was actually a shame. If Yue Tui continued to maintain his usual harmless ambience and walked around some more, they would definitely be able to get a lot of money.

“Yue Tui, are you angry?”

This situation where they would be challenged countless times despite being outside for a short period of time was one that would cause even Yue Tui to be clearly upset. Fan Tong was already used to it.

“Yes. I don’t like the feeling of being forced into fights against weak people. Battles should be done more carefully, they aren’t something that people should play as jokes.”

I’m pretty sure that all of those guys was taking it seriously. Not a single one of them was treating it as a joke.

In short, you don’t think any of them are worth being your opponents, right?

“Fan Tong, the person in front of us seems to be someone you know…” Yue Tui suddenly said, causing Fan Tong to follow his line of sight.

“Yo! Fan Tong──”

Whoa, it’s Mi Zhong!

Why do I feel like it’s a horrible thing to be bumping into Mi Zhong on the first day of the new year? Don’t come over and ruin my good mood!

“Fan Tong! I finally found you! Where did you go, you didn’t even stay in the dorms over the holidays!”

Mi Zhong walked over with a professional, extremely bright smile. But since he rarely looked for Fan Tong for anything good, Fan Tong found it hard to look at him favorably.

Aren’t you supposed to go out and explore during the holidays? If you spend your holidays at home all day, that typically means there’s something wrong with you…

“We went to pay our worships at Xuan Dian,” Yue Tui helped Fan Tong reply. When Mi Zhong heard this, he answered, “Oh,” and immediately followed up with another question.

“How was it, did you draw your fortunes? The fortunes there typically hit the nail on the head. Sometimes they’re not the best for the heart.”

I’ve already learned that from experience, thank you very much for your reminder.

“What did you draw?”

Fan Tong couldn’t be bothered to mention that they’d met Ling Shi at Xuan Dian. He definitely didn’t want to have a guy end up clinging onto him and crying in anguish; just the thought of such an experience was horrifying.

But Lord Ling Shi pulling the “good wife and loving mother” fortune might actually be some good intelligence to sell to him?

“I didn’t bother drawing a fortune there since it always ruins my mood.”

…Such strangely good foresight.

“Fan Tong, I came looking for you to tell you something. Did you that after the break ends every year, Eastern City holds an annual martial arts competition?”

Having just heard this from Yin Shi, I wasn’t expecting to hear it from Mi Zhong again. I must be destined to have some kind of relation to the martial arts competition today.

Fan Tong nodded, and Mi Zhong continued, “Ah, if you know about it then it’s all good. I’ve already helped you sign up for it.”

Ah.

AH….wait a minute! What kind of bizarre thing did you just say?!

“Sign up for what now?! What are you talking about?!”

“Hahaha, calm down first. I’m just about to explain.”

Calm down, my ass! You’d better explain properly, or else I’m going to make Yue Tui slice you down!

“Newcomers to Eastern City need to participate in various events as a baptism, and it’s necessary for growth anyways. Besides, how could you not participate in such a grand ceremony?”

Mi Zhong’s words sounded extremely dignified, but Fan Tong didn’t show him any respect.

“Who needs you! Even if you hadn’t signed me up, I would’ve gone!”

I meant to say that even if you had signed me up, I wouldn’t have gone!

“Oh? You seem pretty motivated. What excellent courageousness. If I had known this earlier, I wouldn’t have bothered doing anything.”

Now that he was stuck in this misunderstanding, Fan Tong felt like there was no way he could relieve the depression he felt.

“In that case, you’d better properly attend the competition. Being absent without good reason will result in punishment.”

After hearing these words, Fan Tong immediately blew up again.

“What?!”

I’m already poor enough, I don’t want to be fined for something like this!

“It’s a rule set so that everyone properly competes. If you’re absent, you’ll be fined two hundred strings, it’s pretty expensive.”

Being absent would result in a fine of two hundred strings.

Dying once would result in a debt of one hundred strings.

Exactly which one is the better deal?

Participating doesn’t necessarily result in death, and dying would just add one hundred strings to my debt. But the issue is that if I am absent the next round, and I get fined two hundred strings, and if I die again, I lose another one hundred strings…

Wait, if I die, there shouldn’t be a next round, right? If I participate, would there only be one round?

“How do you stay in the tournament?”

“You just have to keep winning to stay in. Although it’s unlikely for you.”

I wanted to ask you how to get eliminated from the tournament! Ugh!

“The tournament is pretty considerate to participants. If you lose, there will be a resurrection round for the losers too. Don’t worry about it.”

Considerate? Yeah right, more like ruthless!

“Oh right, if you kill your opponent, you win ten strings.”

……!

So the price of dying is higher? Moreover, what kind of crazy one-sided profit is this business? If a person dies, Eastern City earns one hundred strings, and only gives the killer 10%!

“If you reach the top five, you get the privilege of challenging one of the Lords of Shi, and your tassels can directly jump up a level!”

Jumping up a level meant skipping the three sub-levels and going up a color. For example, if Fan Tong’s tassel was currently grass green, he’d be able to skip dark green and blue-green, and jump directly to a blue tassel. This was indeed a great jump, and would also result in a huge increase in salary. But getting to the top five is way too hard.

“Exactly why did you considerately help me sign up?”

This time, selfishly turned into considerately, but the general meaning of the sentence stayed the same.

“For your sake, to serve you…”

“You lying ghost!”

This time a person was reversed to a ghost, and not a dog. Exactly what kind of logic is this?

“I’m responsible for guiding you. If you win, I’ll benefit from it too.”

Since Mi Zhong could tell he couldn’t bluff anymore, he confessed the truth.

“You little…”

Fan Tong no longer knew what to say to him. If he cursed, it could possibly end up as being praise, which would just make him angrier.

“Did you register yourself?” Yue Tui, who had remained quiet this whole time, finally spoke up.

“Me? There’s no way I have that kind of skill. Moreover, I’m only a dark green tassel; if I participated, wouldn’t I just be seeking death?”

When Mi Zhong casually said these words, Fan Tong really wanted to punch him.

So you also admit that a dark green tassel participating means a surefire death. Would a grass green tassel not be the same then?!

Moreover, my grass green tassel isn’t even earned from strength!

Yue Tui’s dark green tassel could also be said to be unrelated to his strength. However, this was in a completely different meaning from Fan Tong’s tassel level.

“Since you also know how dangerous it is, making such arrangements for others isn’t very good, is it?” Yue Tui flatly replied. It looked like his previous sour mood had not yet dissipated.

“Eh…”

Mi Zhong was momentarily unable to reply, most likely because he wasn’t really good at responding to a question laid out in such a level and proper way.

“In order to show your sincere enthusiasm and support, you should also sign up for the tournament, should you not?”

Although Yue Tui was younger than Mi Zhong, and smaller in stature as well, his emotionless voice had an imposing air that made it difficult for Mi Zhong to retaliate.

“Why don’t you go register?” Yue Tui smiled, while also casually squeezing the wooden club that he had picked up from one of the three challengers into wood dust in his fist.

“…Of course, we all should be undertaking in this communal event! I’ll leave now, I’ll see you around as fate allows, Fan Tong──”

Mi Zhong could feel his forehead break out in a cold sweat as he immediately felt it was best to flee. He hurriedly left the area with rising tension──nothing was more important than protecting one’s own life.

Hmph! Serves you right! Let’s see how you do on stage! Your beloved Lord Ling Shi will be watching too. We’ll see how elegant you are then.

But, Yue Tui, your grip strength is getting more and more frightening. It’s no wonder the rice balls you made last time were as hard as rocks, which I still feel regret towards whenever I think back about it…

“Fan Tong, let’s start some special training tomorrow. I will teach you properly.” Yue Tui sighed, and suggested a way to deal with the impending crisis.

No way? The competition starts as soon as break ends, which only gives a few days. Is that enough time?

“Yue Tui, are you not participating?”

Fan Tong pitifully looked at Yue Tui, and his pleading gaze couldn’t help but cause Yue Tui to waver.

“Ah?”

“In a group competition! Fighting as a team!”

Although this was a pretty low move, Fan Tong’s strong desire to survive had thickened his skin enough to let him express as such.

“In the end, you still don’t plan on putting in the effort to go through rigorous training…”

“Yes! Yue Tui, you have to save me! I don’t want to live!”

I was trying to say I don’t want to die, I’m not trying to threaten you to not help me and let me die…

“Alright. Let’s go ask about it.”

Hooray! Yue Tui, you are indeed a wonderful person! I was already preparing to start weeping bitterly, but it looks like I succeeded in my objective before even doing anything!

Thus, rather than returning to the dorm as they had originally intended, the two of them instead went to go ask about how to sign up for a group tournament at the martial arts competition. It seemed like going back the dorm was impossible, as if they would be stopped from doing so in every possible way.

When Fan Tong heard that registering to be in a group required three people, his expression fell. He had barely managed to get Yue Tui to join, how was he going to find another good samaritan to do such an arduous and thankless task?

“Let’s go ask Bi Rou…”

Although Yin Shi said Bi Rou would not participate, that doesn’t mean it would be impossible to persuade her, right?

“No.” Yue Tui’s response was blunt and cold. Fan Tong had almost forgotten the unexplained enmity Yue Tui had towards Bi Rou.

“Then who else…?”

Three people, three people….hm? When you think about it, don’t we have another person in our dorm?

“No.”

By the time they had returned to the dorm, Zhu Sha had already gotten up. But as soon as he heard Fan Tong’s request, he immediately rejected.

Fan Tong was unable to tearfully run away nor twist his expression. Instead, he stared blankly for a few seconds before turning around to pat Yue Tui’s shoulder.

“Yue Tui, it’s your turn.”

Yue Tui didn’t quite understand where Fan Tong was going with this, but since he had said to go, Yue Tui asked once more.

“Zhu Sha, we need three people for a group competition. Between me and Fan Tong, we’re still missing one person. Are you really not willing to join us?”

When Yue Tui asked, Zhu Sha fell silent.

See? You see that? I knew that your face would come into use! If Luo Shi’s special status didn’t prevent him from joining us, I would’ve asked you to persuade him. It definitely would’ve worked!

Sigh, if it didn’t require three people, we wouldn’t be struggling so much either. You’re pretty much the equivalent of two people’s support. Stupid rules…

“You wanted to attend the martial arts competition, yet you chose to find Fan Tong first before me…”

Zhu Sha suddenly complained, momentarily stunning Yue Tui.

“Um…is there a difference?”

Yue Tui…in some ways, your as thick-brained as Lord Yin Shi.

“Of course there’s a difference! You only thought of me because it requires three people, doesn’t that mean I’m just a placeholder?”

You are indeed a placeholder, because Yue Tui alone would be able to hold up the fight.

“That’s…”

Yue Tui had probably never thought about this, thus feeling awkward upon hearing Zhu Sha’s words.

“To think that you’d want to attend with Fan Tong and not me…”

Zhu Sha’s tone seemed to be carrying a bitterness that made Fan Tong shudder.

Uh, if you’re going to speak in such a manner, could you please transform into a girl first? This really gives others an uncomfortable feeling…

“I didn’t plan on participating originally. It was only because Fan Tong was framed into registering that I…”

In his rush to attempt to explain, Yue Tui’s response was somewhat sloppy.

“I’ll go on one condition.”

Zhu Sha had no interest in watching Yue Tui struggle. In exchange, he probably wanted something more practical.

“What condition?”

“If I agree to attend this time, you will have to unconditionally agree to three of my requests in the future.”

What? What the heck is that? A single request in exchange for three, aren’t you asking for too much? How ruthless can you be?

“Why three…” Yue Tui seemed to have noticed there was something wrong with this number too.

Zhu Sha boldly replied, “Because a single request would be used up instantly!”

Exactly how many things do you want to make Yue Tui do?

At this point, Fan Tong wasn’t sure if Yue Tui would agree or not. If Yue Tui didn’t, they wouldn’t have enough people for a group. But if he did, he would be at too much of a disadvantage…

Moreover, when it came down to it, the whole thing was clearly Fan Tong’s own problem. Yet now it seemed like Yue Tui would be paying most of the price, which just didn’t feel right at all.

“Could you give an example of what kind of request you would make…?”

Since he was up against someone like Zhu Sha, who didn’t follow any moral code, Yue Tui didn’t dare to carelessly agree. Otherwise, he might end up selling himself to Zhu Sha.

Yeah, that’s right! Clarifying the request is necessary. If he uses this advantage to make Yue Tui date him, wouldn’t that spell doom for Yue Tui?

Ah, not that I don’t approve of you two dating, but since we’re still minors, there’s plenty of time to think about it first. Besides, who knows if Yue Tui is willing to accept your strange constitution. He’s gone through an extremely painful past already, isn’t it best to not torment him further?

“I won’t ask you to do anything impossible. Only simple things.”

What kind of joke are you trying to pull? That’s clearly subjective! If you asked him to go die, that would obviously be possible, but that’s not a simple matter at all.

And if you ask him to slaughter me, he would definitely be able to do it; moreover, it would be a simple task for him. But, but…you can’t just do that!

“Alright,” Yue Tui replied simply without questioning any further.

Huh??? Yue Tui, you’re just agreeing like that? Are you not afraid…afraid that he’ll have some crazy and ridiculous demands?

“I believe that you wouldn’t do anything crazy, Zhu Sha, so I don’t think its a problem. I agree to unconditionally fulfilling three of your requests.”

Yue Tui, to think you would so easily believe that someone would be kind enough to not get their revenge…

Zhu Sha froze for a moment, but then bounded over and kissed Yue Tui on the cheek.

“Mm, you are indeed the man I have fallen for.”

“…!!!”

The sudden attack instantly caused Yue Tui’s expression to change. Even Fan Tong, who was watching from the side, couldn’t help but blankly stare with wide eyes.

“You…you…”

Yue Tui seemed to have momentarily lost his ability to speak, and was unable to form a complete sentence.

Are all youngsters this bold now? Yue Tui, hurry up and finish your sentence, I really want to know what you’re trying to say…”

“You…could at least turn into a girl before kissing…”

Yue Tui’s expression stiffened after saying these words, his expression extremely overcast.

Fan Tong really didn’t know if he should try to point out the issue. But it seemed like…there were honestly too many of them.

“Oh? It’s fine as long as I turn into a girl?” Zhu Sha’s eyes lit up. The delicate, curvy version of Zhu Sha appeared. Her originally loose clothing had now become tight in the chest area, making it hard for people to know where to look.

“No! I didn’t mean it like that! It’s not fine!” Yue Tui’s sharp cries rang out as he immediately backpedaled from Zhu Sha’s grasp, and the two of them immediately initiated a game of tag in the dorm room.

Oh Yue Tui, you really have great luck with woman. Who knows, you might end up meeting your end through blood loss from nosebleeds, although you haven’t had any yet.

Although, is this really a good thing? It’s probably even worse than Bi Rou and Lord Yin Shi. They just throw out verbal attacks, but what about you guys? Is this a display of psychological warfare? Making fun of me for being partner-less? Isn’t that going overboard?

If this continues, Yue Tui will probably lose his virginity. It’s bad for a man to force himself onto a woman, but having the means to get a woman to force herself on a man is an envious trait…

But it still isn’t confirmed for sure whether or not Zhu Sha counts as a female…

“Zhu Sha! Stop fooling around!” Yue Tui sounded like he was about to lose his head out of fear. Fan Tong was starting to feel dizzy watching them run around in a chase.

“Please stop!”

Zhu Sha had absolutely no intention of stopping, and continued to chase Yue Tui without giving up.

You guys completely forgot there’s another person in the room, haven’t you?

“Cough! Cough, cough, cough!” Fan Tong couldn’t stand it any further and made some noise in attempt to make his presence known.

“If you’re going to cough, go and do it outside.” Zhu Sha rolled her eyes with evident dislike, but a glare from her with her current appearance only made Fan Tong’s heart race.

What, what is this? I can’t surrender to her charms! Hold yourself together! Zhu Sha is half male!

“Fan Tong, why are you suddenly coughing──ah!” Because Yue Tui had gotten distracted from worry over Fan Tong’s coughing, he didn’t dodge properly, and was captured by Zhu Sha.

“I got you!” Having finally caught Yue Tui after much struggle, Zhu Sha had a triumphant grin on her face. However, just as Fan Tong was wondering if Yue Tui would get pushed down that easily, a knocking sound was suddenly heard.

“Fan Tong, are you guys there?” It was Bi Rou’s voice. Fan Tong went to open the door. Zhu Sha lost interest and changed back into male form, and Yue Tui hurriedly untangled himself from Zhu Sha’s grasp to get some distance between them.

“Oh, cough, Bi Rou, happy new year.” Fan Tong let out a sigh of relief upon the rare occasion of being able to speak properly. Although he and Bi Rou weren’t particularly close, he still decided to say her name directly without adding a “miss” in front to avoid the risk of accidentally calling her “mister” instead.

“Happy new year! Is everyone here? I bought a bunch of seasonal food and have a ton of leftovers, so I brought some over to share with you guys,” Bi Rou greeted as she passed over a basket.

“Oh, you’re welcome, you’re welcome.”

Please, let me be able to at least say thank you properly.

“You really do talk strangely…”

If those two hadn’t been in a fervent battle, I wouldn’t have bothered to come answer the door.

“I went to Xuan Dian to pray today, did you guys go too?”

Praying at Xuan Dian should be the most popular thing to do in Eastern City during the new year, it’s no wonder this topic is constantly brought up today.

“What fortune did you draw?” Fan Tong asked Bi Rou while peeking to check the inside of the room.

Yue Tui, although your expression seems very cold, you still seem to listening closely.

“Oh, I pulled ‘life is full of surprises’, which I don’t think is anything special at all.”

Surprises? As in, suddenly discovering one day that Lord Yin Shi has two lovers?

“Alright, I won’t bother you any further and take my leave now then.” Bi Rou quickly walked away without bothering to ask what fortunes they had drawn. It seemed she had come solely to deliver the food.

She’s actually a good person. Although I won’t easily forget those three thousand strings, hmph.

“So you guys went to Xuan Dian too?” From the tone of his voice, it sounded like Zhu Sha had gone as well.

“Zhu Sha, you went as well?” Having distanced himself from Zhu Sha, Yue Tui was able to speak properly again, which was an achievement worth celebrating.

“Yep, a year’s worth of luck is pretty important. I’m pretty satisfied with my luck in pulling fortunes.”

Among the people they knew, he was the first one to express satisfaction in his fortune. Fan Tong and Yue Tui couldn’t help but grow curious.

“Then…what exactly did you get?”

Zhu Sha pulled out the small slip of paper and flashed the words written.

“It’s ‘ambition is essential’.”

“…”

Fan Tong saw Yue Tui tremble.

Ah, Yue Tui, I wish you luck.

◎ Fan Tong’s Afterword

It’s only the first day of the new year, but why do I feel like it will be a lively one?

But I can say for certain that I’ll have to brace myself. Even though I’ve managed to get Yue Tui to help me, the martial arts competition won’t be easy to pass through.

It’s a shame that it’s not actually a competition for the Five Lords of Shi to fight for a hand in marriage. I feel if that were truly the case, the event would be a lot more interesting, and have a lot bigger audience. Just betting on the winners would be huge fun. Why can’t the Lords just sacrifice themselves a bit to give everyone else a different form of entertainment?

Speaking of which, I wonder what the demonstration match that Lord Yin Shi mentioned will be like?

There are only four of the Five Lords of Shi, and the difference between Luo Shi’s strength and that of the other three is too great. Exactly how will that work?

And, now I’m also wondering…did I make a mistake?

Was it really a good idea to get someone that had drawn a fortune with “blood calamity” packed all over the paper to bring onto a stage where much blood would be shed? Is that really correct?

Sigh, honestly, rather than causing a blood calamity in the tournament, Yue Tui, you’re better off just letting Zhu Sha excite you a bit and get a nosebleed to relieve some stress…but after all this time, I feel like the one getting a nosebleed is always me. Although your entire face flushes red, you don’t show any signs of a nosebleed. Isn’t there something wrong there?

And I feel like Zhu Sha has accepted the situation and finally decided to separate his lovers as a male and as a female, so has been in full attack mode? Or is it that he finally decided to just lock onto only Yue Tui, regardless of being male or female? The more I think about it, the more frightening it gets.

Anyways, the group registration can be said to be done. Naturally, the next step is to try my best to not lose any money from the competition!

I don’t want to die anymore! I don’t want my debt to keep growing! At this rate, even if I get a girlfriend, I won’t have any betrothal money──!

Next: Chapter 3: The Demonstration Competition
Previous:Chapter 1: Hui Shi’s Pavilion
Return: Main Page

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Translator: TaffyGirl13
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