Luoyang's Feng Clan was the wealthiest clan in the entire nation. They had businesses, which included trading, land and water transportation, spread all over the nation's lands. They partook in all money-making opportunities. Their power was on par with the top sects in the martial world, but nobody could hold a candle to their wealth. Feng Huang was the name of their eldest daughter.
"Shif-, Dad, how did you know That's right. My mother's name is Feng Huang. She's referred to as Brilliant Consort," said Lord Zi, after blinking several times out of puzzlement. He quickly covered his mouth. In a small voice, he added, "Don't tell anyone I told you."
It wasn't exactly taboo to reveal a female's maiden name; however, it did matter for specific individuals. For instance, the Emperor's ladies' maiden names were to be kept secret. It, therefore, stood to reason Lord Zi's biological mother's maiden name had to be kept secret.
'Hah, Feng Huang, huh Tsk, tsk, tsk, now that brings back memories.'
Fourteen years ago, I was still a hot-blooded youth who was in his infant ages of martial arts. That time, Shifu led me down the mountain for some fun. I still dont know who got lost first. Long-story short, we couldnt find the right place. Anyway, I ran into a violent group robbing a travelling businessman. They brutally killed everyone as if they were there to exterminate a clan as opposed to committing robbery.
In all honesty, I didnt plan to assist them. It was a commonplace scenario in Beiping. There were plenty of mountains around, too. I didnt complete my training yet at the time, so I didnt go around sticking up for people. Nevertheless, one of the guards - for lack of better word - saw me before he died. He offered me five silver taels to rescue his master. I couldnt refute a dying man. So accordingly, I accepted the silver taels and sparked the group of damn robbers. By the time I drove them off, there was only one survivor left.
The survivor was a gorgeous maiden with teary eyes. Once her despair and fear subsided, she sobbed and leapt into my arms… Thinking back on it, Lord Zi also hugged people over literally nothing. Needless to say, aforementioned maiden was Feng Clan's eldest daughter, Feng Huang. That was how I got acquainted with Brilliant Consort.
Afterwards, I escorted Feng Huang from Yanjing back to the imperial palace as her guard hired me for. We got along quite well on the way, poking fun at each other and whatnot. Having said that… we made lots of unforgettable memories. Results-wise, I successfully escorted her back to the imperial palace safe and sound as per the guard's request.
I didn't need to share the story with anyone. Hence, I dodged Lord Zi's question: "I have my own sources. Just believe me. What are you asking so much for, anyway"
Lord Zi gave a weird reaction then lowered his head silently. I thought he had something in mind, but I didn't pay too much attention. I dragged him along to Heavenly Sector's ring. When we arrived, it, coincidentally, was Bai Lian's turn. She looked jovial.
Both rings had four people on at a time, but only one could win. General Manager Bai went up against three alone. Her opponents were a monk, a daoist and an oaf armed with a broadsword. She was the only unarmed contestant among the three, although she didn't seem bothered in the slightest. The three, on the other hand, appeared afraid of her.
Bai Lian's Flying Snow Stunning Green technique used to break the wall was an internal style technique; its focus was on power, not technique. She approached the fight with an emphasis on power over technique as it was designed for. In saying that, her movement resembled smooth gliding and drifting motions. Each technique was visually impacting. Meaning it could confuse her opponent.
Bai Lian advanced and retreated swiftly, attacked lightning fast, preventing the three from being able to synchronise their attacks. She cut off their attacks each and every time. Thus, she surrounded the three instead of them surrounding her. In terms of skill, Bai Lian didn't pale in comparison to any of the Seventeen Hidden Dragons. I would argue Hupo and Tang Ye's Yang Blood True Qi would run into trouble if she utilised techniques of Flying Snow Stunning Green's calibre.
Arms folded and smiling, I commented, "I wonder what style that is."
Lord Zi copied me, folding his arms across his chest: "Sister Lian told me she learnt Hundred Flower Manual."
'What Hundred Flower Manual! Is that related to the legendary Sunflower Manual… So even the style eunuch's learn in the palace have to do with flowers'
Lord Zi added, "I wouldn't need to seek out a shifu if she could teach me…"
"Hey, hey, hey, are you listening to yourself Hundred Flower Manual. Learn it and you can forget about finding a shifu who'd accept you. You wouldn't even be able to marry a wife if you learn it."
I had no idea who to explain it. Before I could attempt to, Rabbit Fiend approached me and energetically called, "You're finally here, Hero Hu!"
I held my hands in a palm and fist salute: "Brother Tu."
"Madam Hu's skills sure are sensational. She has been winning round after round against three opponents at once each time. I've made five hundred silver taels in a single afternoon."
"Goodness gracious," I thought.
Five hundred taels was a fat sum. I doubted Rabbit Fiend was referring to his group; he was most probably referring to his own profits. Given the massive sum, it proved Feiyun Hall was a much bigger entity than I imagined. Unsurprisingly, Rabbit Fiend revealed the look of a man who said something wrong. I pretended I didn't notice his reaction. Tone serious, I said, "Dat is a given. Ya know, dee two of us are considered adepts at Shaanxi."
My shoddy Shaanxi dialect rendered Rabbit Fiend confused, but he didn't dare to offend me in case we didn't fight to fill his pockets. Hence, he laughed along with me. Exploiting his moment of distraction, I sent General Manager a hand signal, informing her I found out where the goods were.
After she noticed my signal, General Manager Bai launched a barrage of six palm strikes, aiming for places difficult to defend, subsequently knocking the three off the ring. Then, she rode the wind off the stage. She was sweating, but she was in high spirits, looking as if she hadn't had enough. If you ask me, she probably had a lot of pent up stress from work in the palace… There were over twenty contestants shooting her vengeful glares. I wondered if she beat all of them up…
Bai Lian went to address me by my name but stopped herself when she noticed the attention on her. Face red, she called, "D-Dear."
My felt my heart thump: "O-Oh, yeah."
Bai Lian smiled: "I won."
"I saw… And you beat them brutally."
Upon noticing Lord Zi hiding behind me, she shot me a glare: "Y-, Dear, why did you bring… our son along"
I couldn't tell if Bai Lian's hot flushes were due to embarrassment or anger. I lowered my voice to rhetorically ask, "We're outsiders here at Wuhua County. Do you think it's safe to leave him alone at the inn"
Since I offered a reasonable argument, Bai Lian calmed down somewhat. She questioned, "You still can't bring him here, though. Wait. Have you two… spent the day together"
"Yeah. Why are you asking the obvious"
Bai Lian suddenly panicked. She rushed over to Lord Zi and quietly asked, "Lord Zi, did you two… talk about anything weird today He did not say anything strange, did he H-He did not mention me, did he"
I had no idea why General Manager Bai was on edge. She acted as though Lord Zi would reveal her secrets or something.
"Weird" remarked Lord Zi, folding his arms the exact way I did. Furrowing his eyebrows as if he was some detective, he replied, "Well, there was one thing that was quite strange."
"What" asked Bai Lian, in an anxious manner.
"We talked about my background. Sister Lian… I think… he might be my biological father."
I only noticed one thing: Bai Lian's intense desire to spill blood.
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