The End of a Romance is Strangely Sorrowful
“Xiao… Are you okay?”
Su Xiao looked at me blankly with a bowl of peanuts in his hands as he blinked his large eyes: “I’m fine. Why were you so rushed, Big Brother Ming? I’ve got peanuts, do you want some?” He then looked left and right to scan his surroundings, “Where did you come from? We’re in a large open area, how did you appear from thin air?”
I angrily exclaimed: “You idiot! You scared me!” I hadn’t calmed down yet, so my voice was louder than I thought.
“D-Don’t scream so loudly. That was so embarrassing!!”
You know what would be embarrassing? If Su Xiao were do die under my watch. That would be an embarrassment, okay?!
The assassins from the League of Assassins have many methods of assassination. The Qilin Guards and the emperor’s security detail ran into trouble one after another, and today it was Liu Shan Men’s turn. I honestly can’t feel at peace.
I raised my head to see Su Xiao’s smooth chin. I then placed a finger on his neck to check his pulse. Okay, good, he’s not poisoned. I sent some of my qi into his body for a lap and didn’t find anything strange either. I was finally able to let out a sigh of relief. If he were poisoned by strong venom, it’d be too late to save him.
Su Xiao looked like a kid whose parents were checking to see if he had a fever as I checked his pulse with my finger on his neck. He couldn’t stop himself from going red in the face: “Big Brother Ming?”
I think he should be fine. No, I’m still worried.
“Come here, do a 360 for uncle.”
“Screw you! What’s wrong with you?” Su Xiao continued in a puzzled tone: “Why are you acting strange? Has your fever returned? Hmm… Why is your mouth red?”
Oh, nothing, I just failed to score a romance with a cup of tea. I forced a kiss on a girl who passed by, no biggie.
Well… To be honest, I’m still confused by what happened. Why did I suddenly lose my calm? Why did I do something like that? I still don’t know why. But I was clearly not myself at the time.
“Well, uhh…” I blinked my eyes and it took quite a bit out of me to say: “I crashed when I was walking in a rush before. But what on Earth happened? Our people died?”
“Our people? Nobody died.”
Huh? Didn’t he say that the Black Wings Thirteen Wings launched a sneak attack on the city gates and three members from Liu Shan Men died?
“You got it all wrong.” Su Xiao shook his head: “The eunuch who reported to you was a complete wreck. I think he was scared silly. The attack wasn’t at the city gates, but the on the ring outside the imperial city. Somebody suddenly launched an attack and killed three Qilin Guards.”
I looked at the ring far in the distance with traces of blood on it. The three corpses were still on the ring, while a group of palace guards surrounded them, evidently to protect the scene. Most of the onlookers around were royal family members or children from noble families as well as servants of the palace. They seemed to be shocked by the scene of the murder taking place, as they all wore frightened looks on their faces.
I looked at them and went silent. I then said to Su Xiao: “Xiao, go to where Liu Yuan and co are, and ask the audience what they saw. Don’t overlook any clues.”
“Now? Why?” Su Xiao blinked his eyes, “We’re short-handed as is. Is it alright to not guard the gates?”
I firmly said: “More than half of the audience present are relatives of the royal family, if we wait for this matter to pass, then we’ll be forced to run around and knock on all of their doors individually. Nobody will be willing to recall the incident. It will become very hard to investigate. The majority of them will close their doors on us. Resolve it now and we’ll have time for the future.”
“Oh, oh, alright, I’ll go now.” Su Xiao ate a peanut and then exclaimed with admiration: “Big Brother Ming, you truly resemble a human when you’re acting proper!”
Fuck! Does this kid know how to pick his words?!
Somebody called out to me from behind as soon as Su Xiao left.
“Big bro.” Tang Ye wore a look of suspicion and walked over. He then quickly shoved something into my hand and quietly said: “I found this around the corpses.”
It evidently was something that needed to be submitted as evidence, and therefore Tang Ye was cautious when he handed it to me.
It was a blood-like sheet of red cloth, but on it, eight characters were written on in actual blood. It had been written on a long time ago since the blood had turned black, and stood out on the cloth.
The eight characters were: “As per your instructions, the favour is hereby repaid.”
A note left behind after a murder?
It looks like the culprits were members of the League of Assassins.
They originally killed one person per day. I heard that the emperor’s security detail managed to stop an attempt. So it looks like they compensated for yesterday’s miss and killed an extra person as interest. Treating people’s lives with complete insignificance, typical of an assassin’s character.
“What exactly took place? Did you see it?”
Tang Ye nodded: “When it was almost time for your turn, Su Xiao went to get you. As soon as he left, a group of imperial guards came in and said they needed to tighten their guard.”
It wasn’t strange because the imperial guards were in charge of safety for the ring here.
“But as soon as the group of imperial guards entered the perimeter of the ring, I immediately noticed that something was wrong. The sizes of their uniform didn’t fit well, and when I did a head-count, there were exactly thirteen of them.”
“The Black Winds Thirteen Wings?” I continued with suspicion: “They dressed up as imperial guards? The difficulty of that is… Not bad. Smart. They didn’t need to disguise themselves well; they just needed to trick us for a split moment.”
“That’s right!” Tang Ye regretfully and angrily said: “I didn’t notice them right away and let them reach the ring’s perimeter. As soon as they set one foot in, they immediately went after the warriors on the ring. The three of them couldn’t react in time. They were killed before they could even get a clear look of the assailants. The thirteen of them came and left like the wind. They turned around and left as soon as they finished with their hit. Eunuch Wang sent imperial guards after in pursuit, but……”
“Imperial guards?” That was a poor decision. Liu Shan Men and so many other warriors of the imperial court were here and yet he sent the imperial guards? What was 123 thinking?
But then I soon understood the reason.
The imperial court was shamed by the fact that their warriors were killed inside the imperial city. Eunuch Wang was afraid that more people would die if he sent Liu Shan Men and he would lose his head. He certainly is a veteran of the palace. He knows how very well how to look after himself.
Tang Ye said: “There aren’t many imperial guards who know martial arts, so there was no way for them to catch them. Now they’ve disappeared without a trace. I was worried there would be more trouble at the outer imperial city, so I stayed here.”
The case started to sound stranger now. There was something strange about the entire case.
The assassins’ association’s carry out assassinations for money, and for scary amounts of money for that matter. Who would be so bored out of their skin that they’d spend money to have warriors of the imperial court killed? Seven died previously and now another three today. None of them were any big-wigs.
Forgetting the first seven for now, three were killed here in the imperial city… Who has so much free time to slap the emperor in the face like this? Who’s sick of living? Who hired the assassins? What good does he gain from going against the imperial court like this?
I still couldn’t decipher their thinking, and yet another person had arrived.
“Young Ming, why are you here? Weren’t you supposed to be at the small South gate?”
Eunuch Wang’s “seductive” voice floated into my ears and I couldn’t help but shiver all over.
“You’re here, Eunuch Wang……”
When I turned my head around, another person showed up along with Eunuch Wang. I couldn’t forget her even if I wanted to. Isn’t that the short tea cup, the girl in white I mentioned?
What the hell is going on?
Did you tell on me to Eunuch Wang?!
It didn’t look like it. Eunuch Wang wore a joyful look on his face as he said: “Young Ming, this is General Manager Bai, Eunuch Bai. She is now replacing me as the person in charge of matters related to the imperial martial arts tournament. Come over here and greet her.”*
“The girl in white” didn’t wear a friendly look on her face. She smiled coldly and said: “Not even greeting me, how disrespectful.”
Tang Ye greeted her very naturally: “Greetings, Eunuch Bai.”
I was confused.
What? General manager? Eunuch?
This beautiful looking girl is…
A thought suddenly came to mind which felt like having cold water splashed in my face.
She’s a eunuch. So another Zhao Gao, Cai Lun, Sima Qian, Gao Lishi…….**
I still couldn’t accept it. Like an idiot, I asked: “Ah, Umm, uhh, Tang Ye, you just called this girl, ah, no, I mean, never mind, what did you call her?”
Tang Ye looked at me puzzled and replied: “Eunuch.”
Bai Lian glared at me: “What’s wrong with eunuch?”
She seemed to be angry. Her melon shaped face moved my heart… My foot! What sort of description was that?!
WHY DID I INITIATE A KISS WITH A EUNUCH?!!
*He and she are pronounced the same in Chinese
**Notable eunuchs in Chinese history