How About Me?
Fourth Brother is very pure minded, even more pure than Su Xiao. Su Xiao at least sometimes unleashes his woman-like intuition, but Fourth is as clueless as ever. He can’t be blamed for it entirely, though. Besides his inherent dense nature, the main reason has to do with his training environment.
The environment which we brothers practiced martial arts differed.
I travelled everywhere with my Shifu since a young age. We went from South to North. Afterwards, I got to know good ol’ Ximen, the Shaolin Abbot and other freaks that even ghosts are afraid of. It’s, therefore, hard, if I don’t notice things.
Second Brother majored in palm arts, so he didn’t need a unique environment. He could train in deep mountain forests, indoors at Mount Daluo and even the pugilistic world if he wanted. He was very talented with palm arts. He improved very rapidly and was allowed to descend the mountain at eighteen years of age. He spent a long time refining himself in the pugilistic world, so as a matter of course, he learnt to come up with lots of slippery tricks.
Third Junior Brother actually descended the mountain late. He was barely able to manage descending the mountain at twenty-four years of age. He was learned; so while he had the aura of a nerd, staying at book and art workshops, or accountant offices, meant that he met with those who were well versed with literacy or those competent with calculations. Thus, that was greatly beneficial for his mental development.
As for Fourth Brother, he trained hard styles, and thereby needs to soak in the water located in Mount Daluo’s old forest. There are herbs from the mountain which are added into the water. He never left the mountain before. As a hard style practitioner, he has to be dedicated to his training. Such styles require the practitioner to master it in one go; hence, he, too, descended the mountain after he achieved mastery. However, he has to continue training for several hours daily to keep up with it. I never assigned him much work during his stay at Night Fortress, as I was concerned that it would impact his training. Therefore, Fourth Brother has always viewed the world with a pure mind.
Fourth Brother is relatively idiotic compared to the Second and Third Brother. With that said, he’s the one I have to worry about least. After all, one of his senior brothers made a name for himself as the Number One Death Seeking Maniac of Beiping, while the other is a warrior that dared to smash the Emperor behind the head.
Before I could speak, Second Brother fumed, “You stupid? You think we’re Robin Hood robbing an escort? We don’t even know where the stuff is. Snatch and run, my foot. The Fuma selection is right around the corner. You beat Jin Wangsun’s face in and I’ll carry your shoes if we don’t have our wanted posters plastered all over the city. I’m a beggar, so I can get away, but you two would die here.”
“You’ll be the one who dies here!” I smacked the senselessness out of his brain, “The topic of discussion is how to win, not how to run away! Second, you finished the song from this morning?”
Second Junior Brother responded, “Hehe, all composed and released.”
“Good. Over the next twelve days, come up with an idea daily to torment Jin Wangsun, to get into his head, so he can’t concentrate. Whatever messes with him is what you do.”
Second Junior Brother’s eyes lit up, “This job is perfect for me!”
Then Second Junior Brother began mumbling to himself about setting a trap at the guy’s bedroom door, dunking manure on him and so forth.
I just pretended I didn’t hear him.
Since all of his senior brothers had jobs, Fourth Brother raised his hand to ask, “Senior Brother! How about me?!”
“Umm,” I stopped to think for a moment, “Remember to clean the entire office. I’ll be checking every day.”
Fourth Brother: “…”
I returned to my room. It should be everybody’s bedtime now, yet I can’t sleep.
I took out the carefully and neatly written accordion booklet with the three topics the Emperor gave us from my shirt.
The three topics the Emperor selected were all named. They were Shining Edges, Thousand Miles and Dancing Demon.
Shining Edges means a sword or sabre duel between the two of us.
The point of the weaponry duel is to pit our skills and weapon quality against each other.
‘Judging from this contest… I have to ask, His Majesty is planning to hand the win straight to Jin Wangsun, isn’t he?!’
Gold and Silver Sect is one of the three most influential sects in Jiangnan. They’re bound to have high quality weaponry. Jin Wangsun, himself, is known as the Sabre King of Jiangnan. Jin Wangsun was born into a prominent family that’s part of the Seven Champion White Princes. He’s been learning sabre arts since he was a kid. Not even a retard could be weak if he trained properly for twenty years. It’s going to be excessively hard to defeat him in the presence of so many people without revealing anything!
‘His Majesty couldn’t be any more bias…’
Second topic: Thousand Miles.
This is a contest where Jin Wangsun and I have to obtain something far away in the distance. If it was a martial arts contest, it could be acceptable, albeit grudgingly, but this is plain disdain. Looking at this ticked me off. I’m absolutely certain that His Majesty settled on Jin Wangsun long ago, and only gave me this opportunity to compete, because Jin Wangsun caused that big incident.
Gold and Silver Sect is a wealthy and powerful clan. They’re all over the world for trade. There’s no rare item that they can’t get their hands on. Jin Wangsun may appear to be stuck in his estate, but the truth is, he just has to flap his gums and he could literally get anything.
‘Your Majesty, you! I saved you for nothing! That’s twice now!’
As for the last topic, Dancing Demon, nothing was written below. His Majesty probably plans to announce it when we get to it.
I was so enraged I nearly tossed the booklet out. If I was a real constable, the Emperor would, basically, have declared Jin Wangsun Fuma by now.
I know, however, that His Majesty doesn’t plan to help either of us. He’s finding a husband for his daughter, so he wants to find her a husband that’s proficient in both martial arts and literacy, in addition to having a good background. This reminds me of the finals of the Imperial Martial Arts Tournament three years ago.
This was also how His Majesty selected, “Fuma Jingan” back then.
‘Mm… Given the current date, don’t tell me it’s time for that again.’
I then suddenly heard footsteps at the door. I moulded some energy to expand the range of my five senses. I, thereby, learned that it was Su Xiao.
Just as I thought, Su Xiao called out to me from outside without hesitation, “Big Brother Ming, are you asleep?”
The Princess’s matter held me up, so I don’t think I spoke much with Su Xiao today. Just as I was considering whether or not I should sacrifice some time to chat with him, the thick-skinned guy said, “Silence is admitting you’re not asleep. I’m coming in!”
‘Hey! If people don’t reply, doesn’t that mean that they’re asleep?! You barge in while I’m asleep on other occasions, too, don’t you?! No wonder why I see you splashing water from a basin on me whenever I wake up!’
Su Xiao pushed the door open and entered. Seeing me sit at the table, he sat on my bed. In a doubtful voice, he asked, “Big Brother Ming, what are you doing? Are you copying Vice-captain dealing with documents?”
I grouchily exclaimed, “I’m reading the Fuma selection topics!”
“…” Su Xiao suddenly went quiet for a second after hearing my response. He then gloomily replied, “Oh.”
As I was looking over the topics, I didn’t notice the slight change in Su Xiao’s voice.
“What are you coming to me so late at night for?”
“Mm… Nothing really. I just came to check up on you.” Su Xiao swung his slender legs by the edge of the bed. He looked as if he was deliberately avoiding looking in my direction, but nonetheless, couldn’t resist the urge to blink his eyes at the booklet in my hand, making him look as if he was a thief.
Putting all else aside, the room went silent. After some time, Su Xiao broke the silence first, “Big Brother Ming.”
“Y-You really want to be a Fuma?”
I raised my head to look at Su Xiao. His white cheeks were slightly flush.
‘What’s with this kid today?’
Interested, I asked, “What, you not happy if I do?”
“Why would I not be?” Su Xiao waved his hands in a flustered manner, “You’ve never had any goals. I wouldn’t be displeased to know that you’re finally going to commit do something significantly important.”
Su Xiao’s flustered mannerisms made it obvious he was lying, so I suddenly felt he was somewhat hilarious.
I deliberately sighed, “Yeah, Your Big Brother Ming is almost thirty. I can’t stay single forever, right? It’s a given that I have to seize such a good opportunity to get you a sister-in-law.”
Su Xiao frowned ever so slightly. He pursed his lips in a pretty manner and looked at me. He pondered to himself for a long while before finally asking, “What about your Gugu, then? You don’t want her anymore?”
I waved my hand, “There’s nothing between me and my Gugu, so me getting married has nothing to do with her.”
Somewhat anxious, Su Xiao blurted, “H-How about me?”
I widened my mouth and dropped the booklet to the ground.