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Sunday, 28 May 2017

Stunning Beauty Chronicles, part 8 (WHoOG)

It's time to summarize a few more sessions. Link to the previous update.

Last time, we realized it's time to begin the long path to Bone Kingdom. But first, we had to gather some entourage.
We signaled the Two-Timing Cockerel that the Jade Maidens are here. He went to talk to "the beautiful one", Zhun Bo, and returned thoughtful. "She's in love with someone", he said, being an expert in love matters, "but her sister Zheng Di is also beautiful".
My wife went to talk to Zhun Bo, because she was curious. When she returned, she shared her observation that the Jade Maiden's tone changed when she was speaking of Brother Wolf.
And she had asked her if she'd like to come and help us on a mission that might help Brother Wolf. She said she could destroy any magic items she finds!
(Pay attention: any items we find are obviously not found by her).

The next morning, both Zhun Bo and Zheng Di were ready to depart. Another person we didn't expect was also with us.
The Well-Kept Lion!
My wife sneaked into Brother Wolf's fortress and told Mirror Boy to come with us. And she committed arson, destroying the room with the mirror, and breaking another mirror to leave charred remains behind.

She barely arrived, and Brother Wolf's student - the hald-deaf one with white-streaked hair - caught up with us. She also wanted to join.
Did she hope we'd find a way to heal her? Or was she just bored? We didn't inquire, and just offered her a place in our column.

Soon after, we had a double marriage (presided by the Righteous Scholar - also known as "my pen-pal" - with me assissting him). Two-Timing Cockerel married the witch's daughter that we'd found in the village (see the previous update) and Big Sister married the Well-Kept Lion.
We kinda had helped to arrange this... Like, we noticed he is talking a lot with her, and both are almost equally tall.
"Well-Kept Lion, what do you think of Biggest Sister? She's a servant of the clan now, and we look after our own!"
"She's nice! I can grapple with her without breaking her."
"Care to marry her? You'd make a good husband for her - you're tall enough. But if you don't, I should keep looking - she needs a good, tall one that she wouldn't look at from above...too much!"
"It's a bit sudden..."
"Sure, just let me know before we reach the next village."
He went to talk to Biggest Sister. Then the two asked me to add them to the ceremony, which is how we had a double marriage.

I know my wife discussed life, philosophy and the future plans with her niece, Two-Timing Cockerel's daughter. I guess it was a lively discussion, because at some point, they left and returned with their clothes in relative disarray. Nothing surprising for the Silken Robe Society...or for any other xia clan: for those of you with a mind in the gutter, the two had fought, not f...
Oh, and I'm proud to announce that my wife had won.
I also hear she had sparred with one of the Jade Maidens (surprisingly, Zheng Di - the calmer one that's not in love with anyone...yet). How or why this happened, I'm not sure at all. I guess it was another discussion (she mentioned something about discussing family and the uses of magic items, but I wasn't interested in the content).

I'm just proud to announce that so far, Stunning Beauty Team had scored a 2:0 in the spars.
Me? I almost sparred Zheng Di, too (and only learned about my wife's spar later), after we discussed their sect's policy on marriage and progeny - namely, they support celibacy and adopt homeless children, who grow as "adopted by the sect". While I agree with the latter part, it seems to me that this isn't properly Dehuan: without the children being adopted in a family, who would take care of their ancestors' spirits after they pass away?
We do have our own practices in Silk Robe Society, yes - but those practices in no way prevent us from doing the right thing. My brothers and sisters, for example, receive a monthly donation since I've been rich enough to afford it, and my venerable parents receive a greater one.
For some reason, however, Zheng Di took my philosophical objections as an attempt to persuade her to do something about it. I was trying to have a discussion, dammit! I mean, I know the Two-Timing Cockerel is likely going to pick her up, make her fall in love, and marry her - he's got practice.
What I really wanted to see was how her views would change after that! But to do that, I needed to know what her views are now.
Screw her (not literally). She was so unconcerned with politeness that I almost considered getting rude* without a formal challenge! Then I considered issuing a formal challenge - though I don't believe power proves anything (or else, Da Su Su would be in the right...which is impossible for someone as stupid as her).
And then my displeasure with her manners took over, and I simply left with a "ok, I guess we're on the same side, at least - we'll keep our side of the deal**, no need to . Been avoiding her since then, too - which means I've been hanging out with Mirror Boy and the Righteous Scholar (both of which would be on the Jade Maidens "to kill" list, if they knew those two are actually magic items and not humans).

One day, Mirror Boy found a path in the forest. Well, he didn't really find it...he could only sense it, and only with his eyes closed.
Luckily, it happened when me and my wife were nearby, so he told us so. We put hands over his eyes and he lead us in the a girl that looked great. The boy looked her with his mouth wide open, which reminded me I had to give him a bees-and-birds speech, and explain why women are necessary for procreation of humans and how that works, exactly (remember - technically Mirror Boy only has a father...though I have my own theories).
We followed the path, and found a fox demon. She offered to take some of our power, and an epic battle followed, in which... we captured her. (With the help of TTC - Mirror Boy ran to call his daddy...literally).
Then we made her an offer, because my wife wanted a fox pet. Regular nourishment for service (it doesn't kill people with our level of kung-fu)...or a honour place in my wife's rack, in her new guise as "fox skin".
No, fox demons don't get fair treatment as prisoners. And that's my wife's good side, anyway...
Foxy almost ran away, but being curious, she returned. And in the end, she agreed to our conditions, giving us a vow. We, in turn, vowed to chase her to the end of the Middle Kingdom and beyond, should she renege on her vows.
More importantly, in the cave - a former temple of some "phoenix" sect - we found some wall paintings showing a secret Phoenix technique.
We had Righteous Scholar copying it, and then we did our best to destroy the entry to the temple.

Later, my wife had a discussion about life, the universe, and fate - with Zheng Di. Sister Fox was mentioned, and Zheng Di mentioned the possibility that it might be that her fate is to die from this poison. She also pointed out that Brother Wolf is killing people in order to prolong his sister's life.
My wife returned in a hurry, got a horoscope reading, and found out that yes, indeed, Sister Fox was fated to die by the poison. Only the Life-Preserving Stone had prevented it for so long.
So my wife sent Foxy to steal the stone from Brother Wolf.
The fox returned with the stone.
Multiple lives had been saved. But Sister Fox was going to die at the end of the month. Such is life.
Me? I was glad I didn't have to make that decision myself - she only announced it in retrospect, as my PC is her PC's husband.

*In the wuxia sense of "getting rude", also known as "applying boot to the butt".
**As mentioned in the previous episode, my wife actually concluded it in such a way that we don't need to help them find magic objects.