Chapter 123 Groom or Doom! (2)
Zhou Weiqing revealed a look of panic on his face. Of course, he would not allow Shen Bu to know his innermost thoughts for real, and he said softly: “What is my second option then?”
Shen Bu was very satisfied with the look on Zhou Weiqing’s face. She believed that no one would be willing to go to a place like the Ruffian Battalion through their own choice. Even with her own six-Jeweled cultivation level, she did not think that she would be able to properly commandeer those ruffians within the Ruffian Battalion if she were the one in charge. “The second option is much simpler, and there is only gain for you without losses. Today, you have humiliated my sister, and the only way for me to keep her reputation is for you to marry her.”
“What?!” Zhou Weiqing had guessed that she was going to force him to do something, but he had definitely not expected that this would be her request. From a certain perspective, that request was of benefit to him, and no loss… however, for Zhou Weiqing, could he really accept it?
Seeing Zhou Weiqing’s shocked, slightly troubled look, Shen Bu got angry. “Zhou Little Fatty! Do you think my sister isn’t good enough for you?! I have already stooped so low to compromise with you; with your looks do you think you are worthy of my sister? If not for the fact that you humiliated her, and your ability is decent, would I bring up marriage just like that? Don’t think it is that easy to marry her, this is just an engagement, I still need to observe you and make sure that you have no problems before you can marry her.”
Seeing Shen Bu’s expression, a mix of anger and the superiority like she was giving out charity, Zhou Weiqing’s expression suddenly calmed down, his customary honest smile appearing on his face. “Regiment Commander, there is no need to go through so much trouble. I will not marry your sister, I already have my beloved. Since you have presented me with two options, I will chose the first one.”
“What did you say?!” Shen Bu exclaimed with a look of shock on her face. She could not understand how could Zhou Weiqing possibly chose such an option. She had already explained the Ruffian Battalion and its conditions to him, yet he would rather go to such a place than to marry her sister. Shen Bu’s expression turned ugly, overcast.
“Zhou Little Fatty, do you think that I was exaggerating about the conditions of the Ruffian Battalion? Let me tell you, I had actually already held back in my words. In that place, anything can happen, the most filthy acts imaginable. Yet, you are willing to go there instead of being with my sister?”
Zhou Weiqing sighed and said: “It’s not that I am not willing, but I am unable to marry her. I already have a beloved wife at home, how can I betray her.” These words were said very peacefully, expressionless, but Shen Bu could see the resolution in his eyes.
“You are only seventeen years old, and you are already married? Are you trying to brush me off with some excuse?” Shen Bu cried out angrily.
Zhou Weiqing shook his head and said: “When I was thirteen, I met her. It was her who taught me how to cultivate, who brought me into the world of Heavenly Jewel Masters. It was her, who used her body to Awaken the power within me. It was her who let me learn what is the meaning of emotions, of love. I treasure every minute, every hour, every day that I spend with her, and she used her gentle affection to let me learn what it is like to be a real man.”
Shen Bu furrowed her brow and said: “Then why aren’t you with her now?”
Zhou Weiqing said: “Yes, I am not with her now… because she is from much higher, noble birth, and I am just from a broken noble family. How can I have the qualification to marry her? That is the reason why I have come to the north; I want to forge a name for myself, to prove to everyone that I have the power and right to marry her.”
Shen Bu looked at him coldly before saying: “You can continue making things up, do you think I’ll believe you? You’re sometimes so humble and abasing, sometimes so righteous and forthright; you must think that your acting skills are so great? 1 Alas, that is useless in front of me. Fine, since you have chosen the Ruffian Battalion, I will do as you request. You can report there and try to survive there. Hmph, the humiliation that you have given to us sisters, if I do not retaliate, then I am not worthy of being the Regiment Commander of the Sixteenth Regiment. Even if you regret your decision, it is too late now… Guards!”
A few ferocious looking personal guards charged into the tent instantly. “Lord Commander?”
Shen Bu said solemnly: “Bring Zhou Little Fatty and his little follower to a tent to rest. Tomorrow morning, the transfer order will come to send them to the Ruffian Battalion.”
Zhou Weiqing did not attempt to argue, turning to follow the guards out. In truth, as soon as he heard Shen Bu introduce that Ruffian Battalion, he immediately thought that perhaps that was the place that was most suitable for himself. Ruffians? Scoundrels? Wasn’t he one himself? He was extremely confident in his own power and abilities.
As Zhou Weiqing was pondering what he could do when he was sent to the Ruffian Battalion, both he and Shangguan Fei’er were sent to their temporary tent. It was a solo tent; of course that ‘solo’ referred to both of them together.
The tent was quite small, and they could not even stand up straight inside. Especially with Zhou Weiqing’s height and size, even seated down was almost a problem, and they could barely lie down side by side next to each other.
When Shangguan Fei’er saw the tent, she flushed deeply. Of course, since she was wearing a mask, no one could see her red face.
“What? We have to stay here? Isn’t there any other place to stay?” Shangguan Fei’er asked the guards who had led them here urgently.
One of the personal guards pursed his lips and said: “After offending the Regiment Commander, it is already great to have a place to sleep. Anyway, you both will be heading to the Ruffian Battalion tomorrow, having a nice peaceful sleep tonight is likely your last chance for a while, so you better appreciate it. Oh right, I must inform you that the Regiment Commander has given instruction that you two will not have dinner.”
After saying that, the guards turned to leave. Shangguan Fei’er was rather angry, but she had nowhere to vent it. Turning to look at Zhou Weiqing, she realised that he was just standing there in deep thought, as if not caring about what was in front of them, or perhaps not even seeing it.
“Oei, Earth to Zhou Little Fatty! We only have this tliny little tent, how are we going to sleep?” Shangguan Fei’er lifted her leg and gave him a soft kick to rouse him.
Only then did Zhou Weiqing rouse from his reverie, and as he spotted the small, short tent in front of them, he was speechless. Muttering to himself, he said: “Isn’t this forcing me to commit a mistake?”
“What did you say?!” Shangguan Fei’er glared at him furiously.
Zhou Weiqing hastily changed his words, saying: “I mean… You sleep inside tonight, and I’ll stay outside for the night and stand guard.”
Shangguan Fei’er heaved a sigh of relief inwardly. If Zhou Weiqing had insisted on staying together with her that night, she did not know whether or not she would agree. Even if nothing happened, as a girl, sleeping together with a man in such a small tent… how could that be?
“That’s more like it. In that case, I’m heading in to rest.” Shangguan Fei’er pulled on the tent flap, preparing to hide inside. As she did so, she did not forget to threaten Zhou Weiqing: “My senses are extremely acute, if you dare attempt to come into the tent at night… Hmph hmph, be careful I’ll cut it off!”
After saying that, she turned to walk into the tent.
“Wait a while!” Zhou Weiqing grabbed onto her.
“What are you doing? Let go of me!” Because of her own wild thoughts, Shangguan Fei’er was not in a great state, thinking too much. Being grabbed by Zhou Weiqing suddenly, it was as if she was a startled little bird, and she quickly broke free, jumping a few yards away as she glared at Zhou Weiqing warily.
Zhou Weiqing shook his head helplessly before stretching into the tent. Loud rustling sounds came from within, and a bunch of stinking blankets had been grabbed by him and thrown out to the side. After that, he hitched up the tent flap, extending his hands within and circulated out a stream of Wind Attribute Heavenly Energy, forcing the air to rush around, bringing out the stench from within the tent. Before long, the stale, smelly air within had cleared.
Only then did Zhou Weiqing squat down and squirm inside the tent. From within his Spatial Ring, he took out a fresh set of blankets, lining a bedding within the tent. He only arranged one set, and after doing so, he came out once more, giving Shangguan Fei’er an inviting gesture to go in.
As Zhou Weiqing did all of that, Shangguan Fei’er stood at the side, watching him. As she saw all that he had done, a warmth entered her heart.
Since before the three sisters could remember anything, Tang Xian2 had brought Shangguan Bing’er and left. Shangguan Fei’er and Shangguan Xue’er had grown up without knowing a mother’s love. As for their father Shangguan Tianyue, even though he loved them, as the Second Palace Master of the Heaven’s Expanse Palace, not only did he have to focus on his cultivation level, he also had to deal with matters of the Heaven’s Expanse Palace. As such, the two sisters were pretty much brought up by servants.
How could the feeling of being brought up by servants be compared to being brought up by one’s parents?! That was definitely no comparison at all. Even though she had spent her life in such a grand setting, the top of the Great Saint Lands, the Heaven’s Expanse Palace, Shangguan Fei’er had never felt such warmth in her heart as today.
Shangguan Xue’er and Shangguan Fei’er were so dissimilar; one cold, one mischievous. However, their hearts were both filled with cold from a childhood without the love of their mother.
To any outsiders, what Zhou Weiqing had just done was something simple, even normal. However, that simple, honest show of concern was of a great impact to Shangguan Fei’er, causing her eyes to redden.
“Set up another bedroll.” Shangguan Fei’er said softly.
“Ahh?” Zhou Weiqing lifted his head to look at her, rather stunned.
Shangguan Fei’er turned her head around. Luckily, her face was covered by the mask, otherwise Zhou Weiqing could have seen the deep red of her face.
“The weather in the north is extremely cold, and there is a strong wind this night. I don’t want you to be frozen to death, otherwise how am I going to answer to Bing’er when I get back? Anyway, we are both Heavenly Jewel Masters, we can just cultivate through the night. Although the tent isn’t big, it is sufficient for both of us to sit there to cultivate.”
Alas for Zhou Weiqing, his mind was currently full of the Ruffian Battalion and his future plans when he entered it. At that moment, he did not notice Shangguan Fei’er’s expressions or her uncharacteristic feminine actions. Making a sound of agreement, he set up another bedroll in the tent, before taking off his shoes and heading in to sit in a stately fashion, without any hesitation at all.
Pretty proud of the title =p Literal translation would be ‘Either be the groom, or be sent away.’