Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Part Eight—translated by Doza
“Just as I arrived today, the auntie next door, the uncle in the west, and a whole crowd of villagers, told me to set out on my journey at once. Otherwise, I would not be in time for the castle ball. Although I have a sword, it never gave me any suggestions. Consequently, I was forced to pick my bag up from the table, read the map drawn on the invitation card, and set off.”
Meng monotonously narrated the reason why a person and a sword had appeared on a prairie. The sword was currently sticking out of Meng’s backpack. Even though his eyes and mouth were exposed, having just been sent spinning into the air by Meng, Lin Jian Yin did not dare to open his mouth.
“I took a look at the items inside the pack. There are only some rations, a skirt, and money.”
As she had been having this monologue for a while, Meng was feeling rather bored. Her tone softened a bit, and thinking of asking the sword for his opinion, she turned her head back to ask, “Sword, will it be fine if we directly attend the ball?”
When he heard that Meng did not sound as cold as before, a string of words immediately flowed out from Lin Jian Yin, “Of course not. At the very least, you have to dress yourself up. Look at you, your head is like some bird’s nest or an old woman’s. Don’t even mention the prince; you wouldn’t even be able to pick up the elderly king.
“It’s not that I want to say it, but there’s definitely a price to pay for beauty. The foremost requisite is to diligently maintain your figure. You have to train yourself in the technique of applying make-up. And the final training is the cultivation of good taste in clothes.”
“Being a lady is really hard,” Meng grumbled.
“Who says that only women suffer?” Lin Jian Yin objected loudly, “The six-pack on my abs and my muscular biceps are not naturally like that. In addition to going to the gym, I don’t dare to eat too much. Even for midnight snacks, I can only eat baked konjac. In order to preserve this clean and handsome face, I have to go to the beauty salon twice every month, and finding a male beauty salon is far more difficult than finding a female one. Also… also, for the sake of maintaining my throat, I have to drink Fritillaria Loquat Syrup1 at all three meals. I don’t even dare to eat my favorite spicy hotpot…”
Just as he was getting into full swing of his protest, Lin Jian Yin noticed Meng’s strange expression. He couldn’t help but stop and ask, “You don’t believe me?”
Meng frowned as she said, “No, I was just wondering where you could put the biceps and six-pack. Also, for something without a face, it’s really hard to imagine what you could do at a beauty salon…”
“…” Lin Jian Yin was speechless for a while. Then, feeling a little flustered, he answered, “I was talking about my previous appearance.”
“Previous? Were you previously human?” Meng asked curiously as she walked.
Lin Jian Yin replied crossly, “You don’t say! If I wasn’t a person, then what was I?”
“Oh I see, so that means you are a sword spirit that gave up your life to forge a sword by casting yourself into the furnace and making the sword with your own body. Then, after you died, you turned into this sword, right?” Meng nodded her head as if she was correct. She even sighed and had some private thoughts about how people truly did not treasure their lives.
“You have a pretty good imagination…”
“Then, from now on, I’ll call you Sword Spirit and you must call me Meng, not One Hundred Points.”
“Alright… Hold on a second, did you say Sword Spirit or Bastard Spirit?2”
“Is there a difference?”
The two “people” argued back and forth, and before they noticed, the great city gates came into view. There were even warriors, wearing full-body armor, standing on both sides of the gates. Upon seeing the heavy spears in their hands, a speck of timidness arose in Meng’s heart. She reached back, took the sword down from behind her, and hung it at her waist. Then, she said, “Sword Spirit, are we going in now?”
Sword Spirit answered matter-of-factly, “Of course, we’re going in. What are you afraid of? You’re so timid.”
Sword Spirit’s words galvanized her. Meng’s fury flared up, and relying on this wave of rage, she took large strides toward the city gates. As she passed by the tall warriors holding their spears, Meng was truly a little frightened. She inwardly prayed that those spears would not be thrust at her. Luckily, as Meng passed the warriors, they did not even move an inch; otherwise, Meng would have definitely turned tail and fled without looking back.
She furtively turned her head back to peek at the two full-body armored warriors. Both of them were still motionless. Meng finally heaved a sigh of relief.
Meng jumped in shock. She hurriedly turned back to see whether the warriors were calling her. Sword Spirit, who was in her hands, said grumpily, “I’m the one calling you.”
Meng’s eyes grew round and wide. She asked him, “Why did you scare me?”
“Who scared you?” Lin Jian Yin rolled his eyes at Meng. This was also the only action he could do. “I wanted to tell you, let’s head over to the palace first to see what the prince looks like. If he’s an ugly freak, then you might as well give up and find some other person.”
As Meng pondered over it, she couldn’t think of an idea better than Sword Spirit’s. She nodded and advanced straight toward the obvious target, the imperial palace. Along the way, Sword Spirit was constantly making a big fuss. When they passed an apparel store, his eyes shone upon seeing the clothes in the display window.
“Wow, look at that, the gown on display is really beautiful. Let’s go in and take a look, alright?”
Meng’s eyes did not deviate from her target. “We’ll go to the imperial palace first.”
Then, they passed by a jewelry store.
“Over there, over there! Look, that pearl necklace is very elegant. How about we go in and take a look?”
“Find the prince first.”
“That pair of pure-white heels is simply too gorgeous…”
After being rejected three times, Sword Spirit’s humiliation turned to rage and he swore, “Bitch, you’re really boring.”
“Crappy Sword, you’re really long-winded! It was you who said to head over to the imperial palace first. Now, one moment you want to look at clothes, the next you want to look at shoes. You’re even more like a woman than I am.” Meng made a direct jibe.
Sword Spirit naturally refused to be outdone. “You’re the one who isn’t lady-like!”
“You’re the one who isn’t manly!”