A Mountain Monster in the Far North
Hello, let me reintroduce myself. My name is Mountain Monster, and I hail from Beijiang. Oi, you, don’t group me with bums from the impoverished countryside. We have a splendid city. You can call me Mount Monster-Chan. I think that’s Japanese. Well, it sounds similar to soy sauce in Chinese, but whatever, Sweeties.
Crush: Also a secret.
Real age: Uh, uh, that’s a secret, too.
Current occupation: A master thief and part-time assassin.
Don’t look at me with those looks. We’re not petty thieves; we have taste, hehe. It’s not a bad job. It’s easy, and the work environment is relaxing. I mean, people give us weird looks, but we have stable income and get to travel. Don’t they say the best thing in life is working a job you love? Enjoyment is the number one factor for maintaining work motivation. That’s why I chose this job.
What’s my hobby? Come on, that’s public knowledge. I’m an avid killer. Oooh, you’re making me blush. Killing with broadswords, spears, swords, halberds, poison, fire, lava, schemes, contraptions, traps, when they’re standing, sitting, lying, awake, sleeping and anything else you can think of is pure greatness. I absolutely love that stuff. I’m shaking just thinking about it.
The first time I killed someone, I was eight. I’ll never forget that day. After being told to kill, I stabbed the child trafficker who attempted to sell me off. I plunged the knife for cutting lamb into his abdomen. I felt all the blood in my body rush to my head, throbbing as if it was drowning in blood. I couldn’t stop twisting and turning the knife around inside him, pulling it out and jamming it back in. I think I recall crying and drooling. What? Oh, come on, I was a kid. Give me a break. I think my snot flushed out, too (blushes). It was as if my entire body was leaking water. I remember barfing, and I recall resuming my slashing and gashing until everything in sight was scarlet.
I felt as if I died and came back to life over and over. I lost count of how many times I kept attacking him until I heard him mumble, “My mother is waiting for me back at home… She…” I lost it and slashed his throat open. Watching him take his final breath brought me back to life. Until then, I was a zombie aimlessly wandering through life. After I killed him, my world was decorated with roses and rainbows. I began to love life for the first time. You can’t kill if there’s no life in the first place, right?
My current job pays handsomely, is fun and I have talented people around me. Although I love it, I do have some gripes. Though my occupation is a thief, I’ve never stolen anything. I’m not interested in gems, money or treasures, so why would I steal? Only Master steals. You shouldn’t accuse me of something I never did. That’s why it’s insulting whenever someone calls me a thief! Where is the justice?! How can people just frame me for something I never did? If only the bounty on my head wasn’t so close to Master’s, I’d report them all for defamation.
One time, Master wanted to steal a broadsword that was called something something blade. We stole it together – successfully, of course. After we stole it, the government put it all on me. To hell with the toerags. I had never been so ticked off in my life. Another time, I didn’t even take anything – actually, I didn’t even touch it. During the entire operation to steal the broadsword, I didn’t even break a law. If you can name a more law-abiding citizen than me, you’re lying. I wield a broadsword. I love broadswords, but I honestly didn’t even touch the scabbard. All I did was slash and gash the people who tried to stop us! Yet, they still call me a thief.
I don’t understand the people who call me Mountain Monster the Great Thief. Name one thing I ever stole from you. You can’t! Government, my nice foot. On second thought, maybe that’s why they’re so damn unreasonable. We poor commoners can’t do anything but accept the hand fate deals us. It’s tragic, but the people are bullied no matter where they go.
The imperial court in Beijiang also calls me Mountain Monster the Great Thief on my wanted posters. Sometimes, they write, “Mountain Monster, the Evil Killer.” The latter makes me feel better. I did kill, after all. I don’t mind being called a killer, but the “evil” part is uncalled for. It makes me sound as if I’m a bad guy. I’d prefer they called me, “Sweet Mountain Monster, the Killer”.
If you ask me, I’m doing them a favour. They couldn’t beat me, yet they want to kill my master? They’ll end up dead, anyway. Why not let me enjoy myself and not bother Master, right?
Sweet Mountain Monster, the Killer, go! And… chop! There goes a head.
Oh, by the way, my favourite killing method is decapitation. I’m not a fan of long and tedious torture sessions. Moreover, my favourite moment is when their life ends. It’s the same as the moment a flame is extinguished. In my opinion, the best magic trick that leaves me breathless without exception is watching a moving person turn into a corpse, a bright life turning into a cold corpse.
I heard monks in Beijiang say, “Death is akin to a light that goes out. The only way to join the sixth paths of reincarnation is to continue believing in Buddha. The dead can return to life.” I didn’t understand that concept. A dead man is a dead man. Return to life? Bewildered, I queried them one by one. Sadly, they all gave me the same boring answer. Killing them was equally boring. Why? Because there’s nothing worse than killing someone indifferent to death. Killing them was as uneventful as their ascetic temple life. I didn’t get a thrill out of it. They were annoying as the big bell that perpetually rang.
Fortunately, the last one waiting to die caved in. In his raspy voice, he cried the six paths of reincarnation was all a lie and told me not to believe it. “Thank heavens there’s finally someone honest,” I elated shouted before I sent him on his way. When I saw his flame go out, I finally realised I only got a thrill out of it if they wanted to live. I love nothing more than hearing my victim’s final wish to decide on my next target. The last wish that comes out of the mouth of a man about to die is always what’s most important to them.
I developed a habit after hearing my first victim mention he missed his mother. I wanted to hear my victim’s last wish. Up until now, I’ve heard all sorts of wishes. Some ramble about themselves. Some curse. Some mention their family. Some voice wishes they couldn’t fulfil. I’ll take listening to them over anything. Those my victims missed must’ve missed others, was my reasoning. Someone yearning for another was bound to fear death.
What do you think? Murder is one heck of an interesting pursuit, isn’t it?
I’ve considered quitting as part of Evil Spirits to join League of Assassins. Surely they’d want me. I wouldn’t ask for money. Just give me someone to kill. If I could join them and train a group of expert killers, I’d be too excited to sleep at night! Yes, killing people is cannot-sleep-level exhilarating!
I don’t like our master much if I’m being honest. No, I don’t think poorly of him. Our temperaments click. We often dislike the same people, so I don’t have to hold back when I kill. We also share a lot of common traits, such as our love for weapons and alcohol. As you can see, we get along well. The thing I dislike most about him is it’s too hard to kill him. Don’t misunderstand I’m burning to kill him. After all, we’re colleagues, and he’s my superior. I wouldn’t do that, hehehe.
One time, our master was so deep asleep I couldn’t wake him. I, therefore, went and purchased five hundred kilograms of black power. I stored it all in his room and planned to light it up to wake him. I only remembered people saying it was lethal to do that after I lit it. My bad.
Anyhow, I blew up the cave Master lived in. Meanwhile, I watched from the best seat in the distance and laughed for a few minutes. Before I knew it, he was in front of me without any damage. I still don’t know if he was feigning to sleep or if he detected the threat and made a break long before I lit it up. Since Master was safe, I went to check on him, but he gave me severe wounds that kept me bed ridden for three months. Petty one, he is.
By the time I returned to the street where the riot took place, I could hear the deafening chaos. As I monitored my targets, my mouth went dry and heart throbbed. Before I knew it, I was salivating.