What is the fatty going to do?
He himself was also racking his brains. His plan had been to act terrified and admit defeat, but the tragic howl of the crown prince startled him awake.
The crown prince didn’t suffer any serious injury. His arm was merely sliced by the person from Fusang he was sparring with. They were merely sparring and sought victory, not lives.
The daimyo had given them instructions previously to win beautifully. It was best if they could viciously slap the Grand Xi’s face. However, they cannot kill. Therefore, this Fusang samurai spent quite a lot of effort to obtain this sort of victory.
As for why the crown prince had howled tragically, it was because he had been frightened by the samurai.
The crown prince had never experienced such a scene when he sparred with others in the past. Those guards did all they could to let the crown prince win, and they had to do so inconspicuously. This couldn’t be done without some skill. Therefore, the crown prince had always assumed his skills were pretty good, merely a little worse than the second and third princes. Otherwise, he wouldn’t take the initiative to challenge the people from Fusang.
Only when he sparred for real did he feel the difference.
First there was a lot of pressure. He felt it was very difficult for him to receive the moves and his opponent’s momentum gradually started increasing. He was clearly a shorty, but somehow the crown prince felt like he was facing an eight foot tall tough guy. His opponent’s gaze became fiercer and more ferocious, as though he wanted to eat him up….
The crown prince’s will gradually collapsed under this pressure and fear. He had seen a silver light flash across his eyes and felt it shooting towards his neck. He had felt his death looming….
The crown prince fell to the floor. It was clearly winter but his body was covered in cold sweat, soaking his thick royal outfit. He panted loudly and remained out of it for a long time. Only when someone came to help him up did he understand what sort of embarrassing things he had just done….
The hall was completely silent before an uproar sounded out.
No one expected the crown prince to lose so tragically, and more importantly, so embarrassingly!
Emperor Xi’s expression was dark. He scolded: “Why aren’t you helping the crown prince off!?”
Several eunuchs crowded over and hurriedly helped the crown prince down.
Daimyo Kana looked aloof but he couldn’t conceal his smug smile. He cupped his hands towards Emperor Xi who was on his dragon throne: “Your noble nation’s crown prince is too modest. Our victory was just a fluke.”
“Your noble nation’s samurais are truly fierce. This son of mine says he knows martial arts, but merely dabbles in it.”
Hearing this, Daimyo Kana’s smile became even more satisfied.
The crown prince’s tragic cry naturally wasn’t kept from Empress Xiao. Many people in the hall had heard it.
Yan Yan saw the empress’s body turn rigid as though she were about to stand up before steadying herself. Soon, a eunuch hurried over and whispered a few things in the empress’s ear.
Empress Xiao’s expression was extremely ugly.
Something had undoubtedly happened to the crown prince.
Yan Yan also felt restless. She looked over at her grandmother. Second Madam Shen gave her a calming look before saying a few things to the palace maid next to her. That palace maid quietly took her leave.
Personal palace maids couldn’t be brought along to this sort of banquet. Yan Yan didn’t know why her aunt could command that palace maid. She could only force herself to sit still.
After a certain amount of time, a palace maid carrying a golden tray came to Yan Yan’s side. She used the excuse of serving alcohol to tell her what was happening in the main hall.
It turns out that after the crown prince’s tragic loss, the second prince had stepped up.
The second prince was a meticulous thinker and had long since expected he would have to step up. During the crown prince’s match, he had carefully examined the details. When it was his turn, he naturally had some plans.
As expected, he wasn’t the samurai’s match. He also finally understood why the crown prince had been so frightened.
The second prince’s forehead was covered in a thin layer of sweat but he maintained a dignified smile.
From the crowd’s perspective, the second prince seemed to be unhurried and should have a good chance of victory. However, those who were skilled in martial arts like the Zhenguo Duke could see that he was forcing himself the entire time.
A crisp sound rang out and the second prince’s sword broke apart.
He swiftly retreated and reversed his hilt, speaking with cupped hands: “I admit defeat. Your distinguished self has a sharp blade. This prince’s sword is merely ornamental. Since my weapon is insufficient, let’s not compete further.”
It had to be said the second prince was good at seizing opportunities and was extremely good with words, using the breaking of his sword to admit defeat cleanly. From his words, it sounded like it wasn’t due to his lack of skill, but rather because his weapon was merely for decoration. Actually, many people were aware that the second prince’s skills couldn’t overcome the samurai’s. But they had to admit he had played it out beautifully. Even in defeat, he was graceful.
Compared to the crown prince, the second prince’s demeanor naturally fell into everyone’s eyes. He planned well and could capitalize on opportunities.
Emperor Xi slightly nodded at the second prince. He was extremely satisfied with this son knowing when to advance and when to retreat.
The second prince’s opponent babbled something. After Daimyo Kana listened, his expression wasn’t too good. He put on an artificial smile as he cupped his hands at the emperor: “This prince of your noble nation is extremely intelligent.”
Emperor Xi smiled without speaking.
Having lost two matches in a row, the Grand Xi’s people put their hopes on the third prince.
The third prince had always been fierce, and when he turned fifteen none of the palace guards were his match. If this match couldn’t be won, the Grand Xi would lose a lot of face.
Actually, many people were prepared to lose face already. There were a total of five princes. The crown prince lost tragically, the second prince had lost as well. Only the third prince remained. As for the fourth and fifth princes, one was a dumb fatty who was as timid as a mouse and the other was a weak mute. How could they fight against others? Now the Grand Xi could only hope for the third prince to win a match so they wouldn’t lose too badly.
Therefore, self-respect was still the most important. Was there a difference between losing, and losing beautifully? If someone stepped up and asked this question at this moment, there would be many scholarly officials speaking up to explain the difference.
Senior Minister Lin who had been watching the entire time had privately told his subordinate scholarly officials what to say later. They had to scold those Fusang people into wondering how they were raised by their moms. This would make it easier to distract from the fact that the Grand Xi had lost tragically.
You don’t think it’s possible? Don’t underestimate the mouths of these scholarly officials. The Grand Xi’s might depended on its formidable martial power. Military officials had much higher status than scholarly ones. The reason these scholars could compete against those skilled in martial arts was entirely due to their mouths. There were many military officials in court who would roll up their sleeves and want to beat people when they couldn’t win with words.
As expected, the third prince didn’t disappoint. The moment he stepped up, he thoroughly suppressed the shorty with his attacks. The third prince’s skills focused on strength and broad movements. The people from Fusang were shorter to begin with and their limbs were also shorter. He was naturally suppressed by the third prince’s strength.
Finally, under the third prince’s blow, that samurai was smashed to his knees. The officials in the hall stood up and exclaimed in praise. Their cries resounded through the hall as though the Grand Xi had already won.
That samurai wasn’t resigned and babbled something. Daimyo Kana was both angry and anxious, and spoke to him in their language before he listlessly stepped back.
“This prince’s skills are truly extraordinary. This foster son of mine is truly inferior. There are still two more matches. Which of these two princes will be going up?” Daimyo Kana was referring to the fourth prince and the fifth prince.
Luo Huai Yuan stroked his nose. Even if he was unscrupulous, he couldn’t push old fifth out to take the blow for him first. He was going to be screwed either way. He didn’t know if Yan Yan would be disappointed at him for being afraid.
He had made up his mind. He couldn’t act frightened this time. Even if it was difficult to clear up afterwards, he would have to fight with these Japs. The grudges over three lifetimes couldn’t be described using words. For the sake of his own conscience, he couldn’t lose to these “Japanese devils”.
Luo Huai Yuan had already planned things out. He wasn’t sure if his skills were enough to win against his opponent. It was probably quite unlikely. However, he had a secret weapon. He rubbed the thing in his robes. This thing was manufactured by him a while back. Luo Huai Yuan thought of it as his trump card this entire time. Looks like he would have to use it today.
He stood up with a rather solemn manner. Before he could step forward, a girl’s voice sounded out.
Yan Yan wore a consort’s outfit and walked forward, stepping in front of Luo Huai Yuan and facing Daimyo Kana.
“If you wish to fight my husband, you must first go through me.”
She was dignified and beautiful, magnificent like a peony tree. Her long and shapely brows slanted into her hair, her almond eyes were slightly tilted. They were stirring and gleamed with a sharp light. Her nose-bridge was upright, her small mouth was radiantly vermillion. Her physique wasn’t sturdy and could only count as being slightly taller than other girls. She was slender and delicate, her traditional consort’s outfit making her look extraordinarily beautiful.
The crowd was in uproar.
Not only were the officials startled, Daimyo Kana was also extremely startled.
His lips trembled in anger as he cupped his hands and asked Emperor Xi: “Emperor, majesty, is this an evil scheme of your noble nation? What is the meaning of having a girl step up?”
Yan Yan interrupted: “So what if I’m a girl? Can’t girls spar against you? If you’re afraid to lose, just scram back to Fusang. Such a tiny speck of a country wants to make a ruckus in my Grand Xi! Do you think our Grand Xi has no one?!”
Yan Yan tilted her head, her chin slightly lifted, her arms crossed in front of her. It was clear her etiquette was extremely good, but her words were extremely fierce and unbridled.
The hall was silent enough to hear a pin drop. Everyone’s eyes focused on that girl.
This was an extremely dazzling woman who gave off a heroic spirit. She was splendid like the blossoming of spring and bright like the clear moon. All sorts of descriptions weren’t enough to capture her soul-shaking beauty. She was like a bundle of reckless and ostentatious flames that blazed passionately.
This was the fourth consort? The fourth consort with a rather poor reputation!?
“Arrogant woman!” Daimyo Kana stomped his foot and rebuked.
Yan Yan sneered disdainfully: “Whether I’m arrogant, you’ll know after we spar. I don’t wish to say these words a third time. If you’re afraid of losing, scram back to Fusang!”
The sound of praise rang out and the Zhenguo Duke stood up. He was tall and sturdy despite being in his sixties. His powerful aura was also unchanged. His thick finger pointed at Daimyo Kana and his words resounded: “If you’re afraid of losing, scram back to Fusang! Why should my Grand Xi tolerate your impudence!?”
When the Zhenguo Duke spoke up, the military officials who had been on the verge of exploding also joined in.
“Heh, what Fuang samurai? They’re as short as donkeys!”
“Scram if you don’t dare to fight!”
“To bring your noble nation’s most skilled fighters to compete with our Grand Xi’s princes. You Fusang people are truly sinister. You’re lucky our emperor can’t be bothered to bicker with you. Our princes are also maintaining their modesty and going easy on you. You were the ones who suggested competing and you were the ones to choose your opponents. Why won’t you let our people challenge yours? To be afraid of a woman, how extremely laughable.”
These words were naturally not said by those military officials. Only those who often screwed others over with words, the scholarly officials, were at such a level. They had been prepared to mock them after the Grand Xi lost, but now they got started early.
Daimyo Kana was already unable to bear it. He stomped his foot and said: “Fine, fine, fine. Don’t blame our samurai for bullying women later!”
This Daimyo Kana wasn’t afraid of Yan Yan. He just felt it was an insult to their reputation to fight a girl. Furthermore, the Grand Xi’s people were good at sophistry. If they won later, the Grand Xi might end up saying “what’s the big deal about winning against a woman?”
Daimyo Kana wasn’t just sent over due being able to speak Chinese. He also had a good understanding of the Grand Xi. This understanding came from his concubines as well as from pirates who ended up getting stranded on Fusang. These pirates included many people from the Grand Xi. Since the coasts were clearing out the pirates, they were no longer able to remain in their own country.
Luo Huai Yuan was incessantly dazzled and cried out in praise continuously. Seeing Daimyo Kana agree, he secretly pulled at Yan Yan’s sleeve and whispered: “Do you need to change?”
Yan Yan shook her head.
He smiled and said flatteringly: “Wife, you are my pride and joy!”
Yan Yan almost burst out laughing.
These words were naturally not heard by anyone else. They merely assumed the couple was being lovey-dovey. They had long since heard that the fourth prince had married a tigress in makeup. Only now did they realize what that meant. Looking at the fourth prince’s flattering appearance, it was clear he was thoroughly oppressed back home.
One of the samurais stepped forward and drew a katana, falling into a fighting stance.
Yan Yan took a few steps forward and drew a whip from her loose sleeves.
The dark brown soft whip twisted and coiled within Yan Yan’s hands. It was made with high-quality leather and beef tendons intertwined with gold threads. The whip faintly glimmered with golden light. The handle was made of black sandalwood carved into a snakehead. The mouth of the snake was opened wide and its eyes were made of two extremely dazzling rubies. It made her slender arm appear snow-white like jade.
The samurai held his blade with both hands as he rushed over. His speed was extremely fast and he seemed to move in the blink of an eye. However, Yan Yan didn’t remain close to him. Her feet moved quickly as she moved backwards, her arm sending out streaks of shadows with the whip. The shadows fanned out in front of her, protecting her entire front.
As the saying goes, an inch longer was an inch stronger. An inch shorter was an inch more at risk.
The samurai was adept at hacking and slashing techniques and the katana was a close-range weapon. However, Yan Yan’s whip had a wider attack range and she had no intentions of letting him get close. This samurai wasn’t able to approach her at all. Due to his approach, he ended up suffering two blows of the whip
Yan Yan naturally wouldn’t show mercy. These two blows made the samurai cry out in pain continuously. The two had moved extremely swiftly. The crowd only heard the cries of pain but couldn’t see who had suffered the injury. Only when the samurai stopped moving while panting did they see his shoulder and cheek had marks from the whip that almost revealed the bone.
What a heavy blow!
What agile movements!
Even those thick traditional robes didn’t restrict her movements. She came and went unhindered like flowing water. Her clothes billowed gracefully like a butterfly, dazzling the crowd.
The samurai took a blow to the face. Half of his face was covered in blood, making him look sinister. Compared to the steady and beautiful girl, he looked like a malevolent spirit while she looked like a fairy from the heavens.
“Violent girl, well struck!”
The third prince clapped his hands and yelled loudly in praise. His excitement made it seem as though he was the one on stage instead. The second prince sat on the side. He had been calm from start to finish, but at this time his eyes flashed with a peculiar light.
That samurai suddenly sped up, seeming to disappear from Yan Yan’s vision.
Some with acute vision in the crowd cried out in shock. Yan Yan’s figure moved and she struck another blow with her whip. This blow was extremely accurate, striking the pouncing samurai and sending him flying. This samurai was trying to use his speed to catch her off guard. Unexpectedly, Yan Yan was more formidable than he expected. He had leapt through the air and was unsteady to begin with. Being struck by the whip, he had no way of preventing himself from being flung out.
The samurai struck a golden pillar heavily and tumbled down. He spat a mouthful of blood. Yan Yan moved over, placing the tip of her whip against his neck.
The sound of praises continuously rang out and the hall shook with thunderous applause.
No one expected Yan Yan to win so beautifully. Her opponent wasn’t even able to fight back.
At this moment, Daimyo Kana leapt up: “Two victories and two losses. Grand Xi’s emperor, majesty, we seem to be evenly matched. There’s still a match to be fought.”
Looking at the excited scene, Emperor Xi’s expression froze once again.
There was still another match, but that child old fifth….
At this time, Yan Yan spoke up, “My brother-in-law has been frail since birth and hasn’t ever trained in martial arts. Don’t tell this consort that you wish to fight someone who lacks the strength to truss up a chicken. I’ll substitute him for this match.”
The third prince also jumped out, “If you’re not satisfied, this prince can also play with you guys.”
Daimyo Kana’s expression was ugly and he didn’t speak. Yan Yan looked at him. She pointed at the third prince and then at herself.
“You can choose one of us!”
Daimyo Kana was helpless. He could only turn and discuss with the last samurai behind him. In the end, they still chose Yan Yan as the opponent.
Compared to the third prince, Yan Yan seemed a little weaker. She was a girl after all. Even if she was skilled, fighting two matches in a row would wear her out. Furthermore, the third prince’s weapon was a meteor hammer, which was both a long and short ranged weapon. It truly wasn’t easy to deal with. In comparison, Yan Yan used a whip. If they got close to her, she would be suppressed.
This was the strategy Daimyo Kana and that samurai had come up with.
Unfortunately, they would be disappointed once again.
The last samurai also used a katana. However, his attacks were extremely unusual. Furthermore, he used some weird tricks. As he fought, he threw out something that gave off smoke, using it to hide his traces. If it weren’t for Yan Yan having decent inner force and her ears being extremely sensitive, she would have been ambushed by him several times.
Luckily, weird tricks remained tricks in the end and the whip also wasn’t Yan Yan’s only weapon. When that person refused to attack from the front once again, vanishing in smoke and appearing behind Yan Yan, she turned around and pointed. A sharp emei piercer’s tip was placed against his throat.
The people from Fusang had lost.
A flurry of words were thrown out by the scholarly officials again, ambiguously inquiring about the Fusang people’s fathers and mothers and eight generations of their ancestors.
Actually it wasn’t that these officials were vulgar. It was just that the final match had truly enraged the crowd. They had never seen a spar like that before, using all sorts of sinister tricks against a woman for the sake of victory. It was truly disgraceful.
Could the people from Fusang explain that this was the highest level of ninjutsu of their nation? That last samurai who had stepped up wasn’t one of Daimyo Kana’s foster sons. He was a secret weapon given to him by the bakufu’s general.
Unfortunately, the Grand Xi’s people wouldn’t listen to their explanations anyway.
Ninja your grandmother’s legs. Throwing a smoke bomb was ninjutsu? You like playing with whatever ninjutsu? This granddaddy will let you show off a few more moves. You want to try breathing fire too?
These words were yelled out by one of the warriors under the Zhenguo Duke. Luo Huai Yuan praised him in his heart.
Someone had yelled out the curses in his mind for him. This feeling was really great!
This was the first time the Grand Xi’s military and civil officials were standing on the same side. The people from Fusang were completely overwhelmed. The military officials cursed crudely while the civil officials shook their heads and tutted, scolding them without using any obscenities. Emperor Xi sat on his throne and acted as if he saw and heard nothing. The people from Fusang were shouted out of the Jiying Hall.
That wasn’t all. The group from Fusang were expelled from the palace and returned to their residences in depression. Unexpectedly, their luggage had already been thrown out of the inn. There was also a large group of soldiers waiting by the doors, planning to escort them out of the Grand Xi.
The people from Fusang thus gloomily left overnight.
At the same time, Yan Yan’s reputation resounded throughout the capital.
Due to the previous matters, Yan Yan’s reputation hadn’t been good. Prior to marriage she had been labelled as arrogant and domineering, using her status to suppress others. After marrying Luo Huai Yuan, the rumors in the palace had also spread to the outside. Everyone was saying how the fourth consort was a tigress in makeup, both vulgar and impulsive.
Now, no one said so anymore. Everyone gave her a thumbs up and said as expected of the Zhenguo Duke’s granddaughter. She has her grandfather’s style. That sparring match spread throughout the capital along with her domineering words and attitude in the hall.
The Grand Xi’s noblewomen had always been gentle and virtuous, well-learned and proper. The appearance of such an overwhelming woman made people inevitably ponder deeply which one was better.
Unfortunately, this couldn’t be replicated. They could only think about it and drop it.
After the matter, Emperor Xi especially called Empress Xiao over and told her that old fourth’s wife just had such a personality, and that she shouldn’t be restricted by convention and etiquette. She’s pretty good as she is!
Empress Xiao didn’t reveal anything at the time, but her face turned dark as the bottom of a pot afterwards.
She truly couldn’t be happy. Not only did Emperor Xi’s words seem to be hitting her face, the crown prince had also embarrassed himself thoroughly in front of the crowd. This was enough to make her have a headache. She was able to picture that bitch filled with smiles whenever she closed her eyes.
Bitch, she was really a bitch! A bitch who gave birth to two bastards!
This won’t do. She had to think of something to turn things around!
The empress has some evil plans. The female lead will be implicated. Everyone can guess what sort of plans.