As I read Shiniang's writing where Shifu left off, which was approximately half way down the sheet, I thought, "So this was a collaboration between you two!"
Below was Shiniang's continuation.
"This won't be enough. Your grandmaster is rigid and strict when it comes to rules. If you can achieve something commendable and sufficiently significant, perhaps he'll agree to let you be with Suwen. The "The Six Dragons Shall Seal the Nation" prophecy will bring about a calamity to the people. As you are in Nanjing, you will be able to address it first. You should think for the betterment of the people and accomplish something worthy of being called valiant.
Mount Daluo only ever accepts few disciples each generation; however, all our disciples are talented and valiant individuals in every era. Your grandmaster helped the Founding Emperor establish the nation. Your shifu assisted the erstwhile Emperor. You are your shifu's direct disciple. You are also the only one among your six martial brothers capable of keeping Mount Daluo away from devastation.
Feizhen, Shiniang doesn't blame you for not wanting to lead the sect. You are careless, and enjoy being out and about. I, therefore, understand you wouldn't be happy being the sect's patriarch. We were with Suwen as she grew up. She may be wilful at times, but she treats you better than she treats anyone. Your shiniangs, me included, don't mind accepting her as our daughter-in-law. We don't blame you for either of these matters. However, you need to choose one or the other. You can't turn down the patriarch role and steal your grandmaster's precious treasure, can you If you don't want to accept either option, we have an option for you. Ensure Mount Daluo's security.
Mount Daluo is one of the three biggest sects despite our small numbers. That is all thanks to your grandmaster's invaluable accomplishments. As long as he is alive, the imperial court will continue to treat us decently. After his time, unfortunately, our sect will deteriorate more and more with each passing generation.
Feizhen, if you can choose a virtuous and talented Prince and help him succeed the throne, it would be a virtuous merit that would benefit the people. Needless to say, Mount Daluo will be credited as a subsequence, thereby compensating for the impact you did unto Mount Daluo.
Six dragons may seal the nation, but there will only be one sovereign. Remember that well. This is the only condition you must fulfil in order to be with Suwen. The risk of failure exists alongside your chance of success."
Text right at the bottom of the small attached sheet: "Girl's room's thoroughfare. Check the small drawer in the second room at Heavenly Fragrance Garden. Thumbs up. - Shifu."
'Whoa! Look at this handwriting right here.'
I bet he wrote them by controlling a brush with his true qi, because he was scared Shiniangs would see the suggestion he sneaked in… He was definitely my shifu.
I finally realised why Young Shiyi blushed… My interpretation of what Shifu said was I could be with Shiyi but I needed to provide Mount Daluo with a bright and secure future as my betrothal gift. I placed the letter down and engaged my brain for a moment. I said, "Young Shiyi, I… will do my best."
Head down, Shiyi asked, "… at what"
Smiling, I replied, "I'll do my best to nurture a Crown Prince so that you can stay by my side forever."
Shiyi widened her eyes: "What do you want me… to stay by your side for"
I touched my head and joked, "Anything. If we're bored and free… we can research the Revitalisation Manual."
And… our faces were on fire.
Shiyi twirled her hair and furrowed her nose: "Idiot."
The inner workings of my mind: "What does that mean What does that mean Are we really going to be able to practice Revitalisation Manual!"
I instinctively took a step towards Shiyi and asked her what her profound remark implied. She stood still with her head down. I suddenly realised I stepped a bit too close. She was practically in my arms.
'Wait. Does this mean…'
"Big Brother Ming, are you there!" belted Su Xiao, barging in as he asked. "Wh-What are you two doing"
Su Xiao covered his red face and peeked at Shiyi and I between the gaps in his fingers. He exclaimed, "I didn't see anything!"
'You're clearly peeking, Honey!'
I fumed, "Xiao, what are you back here for now"
Su Xiao sulked, "Why are you asking the obvious I thought you went missing, since I didn't see you for two days. "Wh-What did you just try to do to Miss Juese"
Shiyi folded her arms to signal, "You're the man; you explain."
I genuinely tried to come up with a response: "Reading a book…"
"What book There are books here"
"Mm!" I resolutely replied, "Mount Daluo's treasured classic, Revitalisation Manual!"
Su Xiao believed my answer to be tripe. Shiyi also thought my answer was ridiculous. She rolled her eyes. Su Xiao looked to Shiyi, questioning us. He declared, "You two are being fishy!"
Su Xiao scared the living daylights of me. The kid had some sort of "intelligence" switch that switched on when I didn't need it. He pointed at the letter in my hand: "You're clearly reading a letter not a book!"
'… Now why did I have to say I was reading a book'
Su Xiao fumed, "Big Brother Ming, this is our room. You can't let a female in! Not even Miss Juese! Men and women need to maintain an appropriate distance!"
"Why not She's my… my…"
Shiyi looked as though she might be annoyed when she heard me about to refer to her as my senior. I fell into a silence when Su Xiao kept pressing me with questions.
Su Xiao: "Your…"
Shiyi: "Yeah, your what"
"My… my…" I tried, but nothing came to mind. I saw someone out the corner of my eyes. Discovering a life-saving straw, I called, "Don't run, runt!"
I sprinted out and grabbed Hongjiu, who didn't dare to look at me. I asked, "Where are you off to"
I foiled Hongjiu's plan to escape. Therefore, he was forced to turn around with a miserable smile: "B-B-B-Big Bro, I-I was off to the toilets."
"Bull**. You've been avoiding me for several days. It's time to get to the bottom of this. Follow me."
Su Xiao called out, "Eh Where are you going You haven't answered the question."
I waved my hand: "Women shouldn't get in the way when men are dealing with his sect's official business."
I quickly ran off, but I heard Su Xiao's, "I'm a guy!"
At Eight Deities Tavern
Second Brother and I occupied a table. He sat square, while I had my head down, inhaling my food. I made it in time for the pork shoulders special!
"Boss, give me another three plates of pork shoulders!"
"You got it."
Second Brother laughed: "Haha, eat more, Big Bro. Eat more. Man, you sure still are a quick thinker. You instantly slipped out of danger similarly to a cicada sloughing its skin. Well played. I must learn from you, refine my strategies, work harder and improve my skills."
"The great Rank One on the Seventeen Wyrms, Ten Thousand Mile Dragon Rider, Hongjiu, needs to improve now"
"No, no! I'm not famous at all. People are just being too kind!" responded Second Brother, waving his hands in desperation. "It's all superficial. I only mentioned it, because I was questioned when I fought Jin Wangsun."
I chomped into a chicken drumstick and took my time replying, "Really So, what are we going to do about you deliberately throwing your match against Jin Wangsun and losing Night Net Manual"
Second Brother broke out in a cold sweat. He caused a cascade of problems thanks to his decision to lose Night Net Manual. That was why he avoided me ever since Jin Wangsun's downfall.
"Big Bro, I-I… I'm terribly sorry. I deliberately lost it… I-I just wanted you to make a comeback and take up Mount Daluo's patriarch seat."
"Humph, you lost Night Net Book on purpose, and you lost Night Fortress. Nice plan you had there."
Second Brother dropped to his knees with a thud: "Big Bro, Mount Daluo needs you! We need you. That's why I… but I did my best to protect Grand Martial Aunt that day…"
Sternly, I exclaimed, "You think I'd spare you if your blunder caused her harm!"
Second Brother juddered and lowered his head. I couldn't help going easy on him when he was so flustered and overwhelmed with guilt. I said, "I can't deny that she and Liu Shan Men were safe in the end thanks to you. You've compensated with a merit, so I can forgive you. That said, the sect's rules must be upheld. We must retrieve the lost manual.
"Eh But Jin Wangsun is alr-"
"You need me to finish it" I asked, slowly.
"I will find the manual even if it is at the end of the world! I will retrieve it from Jin Wangsun's corpse if he is dead!' immediately replied Second Brother.
"All right, I'll keep that in mind," I replied with a wave. "By the way, you've been on the mountain for longer than me. Do you know about 'The Six Dragons Will Seal the Nation' prophecy"
"Oh, a little. I heard Shifu mention it; I do not know the details, though."
'So it was public knowledge on the mountain'
I filled Second Brother in on the letter and the job. He nodded furiously throughout only to then frown at the end: "So, what does all that mean"
… Let me tell you, I resisted my strong urge to butcher Second Brother and patiently explained it again for him. He finally understood it the second time: "Heh, a few second generation rich kids is all they are. Easy fix: serve them all a beating. Whoever calls for his mom is a filial boy. Whoever retaliates is brave. Whoever lets me hit him ten times without getting angry is the wise monarch we are looking for."
"He'd be retarded by then!" Damn, I almost kicked Second Brother off the second floor. I said, "You seriously think they're second generation rich kids you can just slap around when you're in the mood They're not second generation rich kids; they're second generation dragons. Beat them, and you'll have an army up your ass."
I posed my thoughts as a question: "I was away from the Central Plain for a long time. I didn't bother with the imperial family's news when I returned. You know about the Princes"
"A little," replied Second Brother, stroking his chin. He spun his unused and clunky mental cogs: "I only know about the two princes in the capital. One of them is the Orange Prince. The other one is the Red Prince. The people say that the Red Prince should be the next candidate for the throne, since he's the eldest and the one His Majesty kept in the capital to nurture. I heard he's proficient both in literacy and martial arts. They say he's the best adept in the imperial family."
"The best adept in the imperial family"
If that was true, the Red Prince was a decent fighter. Second Princess was a decent fighter in her own right. If he was stronger, he'd qualify as one of the Seventeen Hidden Dragons.
I suddenly heard an elder ask, "Boss, what dishes do you recommend"
"Sir, we have a pork shoulders special today."
"I'll skip that. It's an unrefined dish."
I jumped to my feet!
'You calling pork shoulders unrefined!'
"Eh Big Bro, we were talking about the Princes."
"Fuck the Princes; somebody is vandalising my honour!"
The elder added, "Just give me a bowl of Pearls, Emerald and Nephrite Soup."
'Pearls, Emerald and Nephrite Soup my foot. It's called spinach and tofu soup, you stooge!'
"Hey, oldie, y-"
The elder turned around feeling surprised as I was. I recognised him. He was the current reigning prime minister, Prime Minister Li Si.
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