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Volume 12 Chapter 32
Book 12: Chapter 32
“You knocked Captain Song’s lights out?!”
Su Xiao, Tang Ye and I pointed to each other in synchrony. “What the h.e.l.l?!”
At breakfast the day after Song Ou was slept, I nearly spat all my soya bean milk on Su Xiao’s face after I heard what Tang Ye and he told me. No insinuations here. Su Xiao just happened to be sitting opposite me.
“We’re the ones who should be asking that!” Su Xiao beat me to the punch. “He’s our captain and a rank one official. You’re but a head constable. Even though you’re now a duke and Hanlin Academician, the only people you can actually boss around is our small group at Liu Shan Men. Plus, Vice-Captain said you’d cause disaster for the people if you led a team, so you’re only allowed to coach. You don’t even have ten subordinates, yet you bludgeoned your superior. Your brain really is dead.”
Our little Su Xiao’s galls have been growing recently, I see. As soon as you gain momentum, you won’t let up, huh?
“Tutor Leng told me I’m progressing extremely fast – fast enough to be a lawyer!”
If that’s all he said, that means he was just entertaining you, genius. Why are you celebrating being able to be a lawyer when you’re an official? I, on the other hand, am different!
“I’m only allowed to coach? Says who? Open your eyes!” I waved around the token I usually kept on my sash. “See this? Boss personally gave this to me so that I can use when leading patrol teams.”
Zha Pi stumbled through in a timely manner, yelling, “Boss Ming! Vice-Captain asked for the token she gave you. She’s worried you’d abuse it to get free meals at eateries.”
… That’s all in the past! I’ve changed my ways!
Su Xiao was a joke away from taking his laughing to the ground, while Tang Ye coolly resumed eating his mantou, except his hand was shaking uncontrollably because he was resisting with everything he had!
This is not how I remember you!
I loudly cleared my throat. “Getting back to the point! You two acted as my companions to investigate a case! Now that the case has been cracked, what are you partic.i.p.ating in an idol contest for? What do you think you’re here for? Recruiting new members?”
“Exactly,” Su Xiao agreed. “Prior to beginning our investigation here, Vice-Captain told us that the academy also partakes in the imperial martial arts exams in hopes of finding those well-versed scholastically and in martial arts. It’s better to go home and, uh… uh… make a net than to stand by the pond and hope for fish. Staying should raise our office’s reputation, therefore double the results for half the effort.”
“Oh?” I didn’t miss Su Xiao’s pause. “What does it mean when you say ‘to stand by the pond and hope for fish?’” As I expected, Su Xiao couldn’t respond, so I quickly added, “How are you supposed to be the academy idol at this level? Tang Ye, enlighten him.”
Tang Ye sighed. “Big Bro, if you don’t know the answer, just say so. Why bluff?”
“Who said I can’t explain it?! It means ‘to hope for miracles’.”
Tang Ye’s eyelids flew apart as though he never expected me to actually understand the phrase.
How dare you slight me? I may have been a dropkick at studying, but tell me something I don’t know about cuisine.
“Stop going miles off topic. Even in the scenario Liu Shan Men needs new members, I can handle it. You aren’t even students; stop doing stupid things.”
Tang Ye shrugged. “That was what we were thinking, but circ.u.mstances have changed.”
“Yongheng Bank’s case was solved yesterday, wasn’t it?”
“Yeah, isn’t that a good thing?”
“And who was the culprit?”
The two silently stared at me.
I get it now… Haiz, how powerless we are about so many things in life.
Su Xiao coiled his arms around one of mine. “You can’t run now. Big Brother Ming, join us!”
I ruthlessly shook Su Xiao off! I tried… How tragic was life without being able to use my strength, you ask? So tragic that I couldn’t even beat Su Xiao! Nevertheless, being physically weak doesn’t mean you’re mentally weak.
“Why?! It’s not like it’s a test. It sounds like fun from what I’ve heard. You have nothing to lose.” Su Xiao inflated his cheeks. “You haven’t been spending any time with us.”
In my edgelord voice, I responded, “I have something to lose!”
You two, especially you Su Xiao, have the energy of youth and the appearance of… an average person. Standing in between you two would be humiliating myself! If I’m going to be in a group, I’ll team up with Second! At the very least, he can enhance my appearance.
“We have to partic.i.p.ate as a trio. You’re the only student. How are we supposed to partic.i.p.ate without you when we’re your companions?”
“You can group up with s.h.i.+ Weiliang, Zhou Teng or someone else! Wu Dayong works, too. Think about it: his name alone is a lucky charm. If you have him on the team, your victory is guaranteed. Good luck boys.”
“That’s clearly a name designed to set up failure! You’re trying to fool me again! You joining or not? You joining or not?!” Su Xiao pinned me to the ground but didn’t twist my arm – probably to avoid hurting me. Instead, he strangled me around the neck, but, as that was dangerous, he fell back on leaning on my back. “You joining or not? If you refuse, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll… I won’t let go!”
What new strategy is this?! Annoy-to-Death Art?! Get off!
“Tang Ye, don’t just sit back and enjoy yourself. Pull this pest off me!”
Tang Ye squatted down in front of me and took my hand.
I never told you to hold my hand! Is this the time and place to be training a dog?! Liu Shan Men’s dogs are also trained vigilantes! Stop slighting me!
Tang Ye emotionlessly stated, “Now you can’t run.”
Are you really going to be like this, too?! You need someone to hold your hand?! What are you? A kid who can’t sleep without his mother?! Even if you are, I’m your father! You two kids think I’m powerless to stop you just because I don’t have any internal energy? You underestimate the intellect of adults.
“Whoa!” I cast my gaze toward heaven. “A shooting star!”
The two of them bopped me on the head simultaneously. “Shooting stars in the morning?!”
d.a.m.n, they’ve wised up a little.
“Whoa! There’s a man holding a profound secret manual pa.s.sing by.”
The two looked outside in unison. “Where?”
The moment I had a spare arm, I tickled Su Xiao. He hopped off me whilst squealing, b.u.mping into Tang Ye, forcing Tang Ye to take a step back to regain his balance. If I was his enemy, Tang Ye would’ve dragged me along; however, he wasn’t going to drag his own buddy along the ground. Most importantly, he was certain he could recapture me. Anyhow, I rolled to my feet and bolted out the door as soon as I had my limbs back.
“You’re not getting aw-, eh?” Su Xiao nearly tripped when he tried to pursue me. “When did he tie up our feet with the ropes?”
Tang Ye mumbled, “Can someone still have such fast hands… when they’ve lost all their martial arts?”
“Hmm? What was that?”
“Don’t worry.” Tang Ye cut the ropes with a knife hand. “Need to catch him?”
“No.” Su Xiao paused to gaze out the door, then smiled. “He’s at the academy daily, so we’ll be seeing him daily. In the end, nothing has changed.”
“True.” Tang Ye smiled, as well.
A while later, the two realised something. “He just ran off, which means that, for today’s cla.s.ses…”
A name and word came to mind, the former being “Princ.i.p.al Huang” and the latter being “punishment”.
It’s better to go back and make a net than to stand by the pond and long for fish – If you didn’t catch it, it’s basically suggesting, “Take practical steps to achieve your goals instead of hoping miracles happen.” Adding to that, it’s written in an archaic-Chinese way, so Ming Feizhen actually rewords it into a more colloquial version (current paradigm of Chinese) rather than explaining the meaning of the phrase as I did. I just had to find a way to make it work.