The Feelings That Her Madness Gouge Out
Thought it was comparable to a bonfire, it was no celebration. With each flare, another souvenir of her life, another memory was alight. The cries of its residents echoed into the night. Tendrils of smoke reaching desperately into the sky as if trying to escape the blazing inferno below, yet hundreds of people tried to beat the scorching violence. Even the military was dispatched when it wasn’t the imperial palace that was ablaze.
Regardless of whether it was the heaven’s punishment or someone’s diabolic wrath, it eventually reached a point where even the dispatched military had to reluctantly abandon extinguishing the flames and resort to preventing the firestorm spreading any further, prioritising the evacuation of citizens caught in the fire as collateral damage. Sadly, the estate that the cultureless red, yellow and orange originated at was beyond saving; it was impossible for anyone to have survived the disaster.
All that remained of the once busy, colourful and upscale estate was inorganic wreckage. A nine year old girl roared at the fallen estate from the arms of her father, tearfully ruminating biting her tongue to be reunited with her parents, but a bald monk had her banish the thought. He siphoned energy into her via the hand he caressed her head with to put her to sleep and, in a soft voice of a young man, urged, “Live. You must live… to know what your life is like.”
The only survivors of the awfully dubious fire among the seventy-seven residents were the young siblings. Firstly, Shen Wuzheng wasn’t so helpless that someone could just set him alight so easily. Second, Captain Yan Shisan happened to coincidentally be out of the capital, leaving him guilt-ridden for the rest of his life for failing to rescue his sworn brother. Ostensibly, no investigators could get to the bottom of the case, leaving it as one of the mystery cases in the imperial court’s archives.
The incident was later proven to be connected to Demon Sect, compelling Emperor Yuansheng to exterminate them – though it wasn’t his only motivation.
By the time the girl came to, only one possession from her family remained beside her, a plaque that read “Loyal Clan”. Drawing energy and motivation from the words, she got up onto her two legs that would carry on the legacy of Vice-Captain Shen Wuzheng, a man who served the imperial court with the utmost loyalty from day one. That fire forced Shen Yiren to grow up, to learn what restraint and discipline were.
Shen Yiren’s high demands of herself drove her to exercise discipline regardless of straight balls or curve balls, busying herself with work and training until now…
“Wh-what’s with her? Where did she suddenly get all her energy from?!”
“Let’s just get out of here!”
His comrade behind him had a new hole in his chest before he was done talking. Shen Yiren slashed her victim through the torso before the blood could spill out from the first wound, snapping her sword due to her wielding a sword as a broadsword or axe.
“Dianzi, Zhashou, come out!” the leader cried as he showed a clean pair of heels.
The three who jumped out were from an orthodox sect, while the trio that initiated the ambush were from an unorthodox sect. Affiliations didn’t matter to them once they were on the island.
Splatter! Shen Yiren cleaved a head in two as soon as one was within reach.
“She’s a monster! Run for it!”
“You’re all dead.” If “heartless” had a sound, then Shen Yiren’s voice was it. It was as though the blood coursing down her blade counterattacked her throbbing headache as she marched forward.
“Vice-Captain!” Su Xiao’s cry drove off the darkness shrouding Shen Yiren’s mind. “Big Brother Ming is bleeding incessantly. Come back and help him, or he’ll die!”
Shen Yiren blinked for the first time since beginning her rampage: “H-how is he doing?!”
“Seal his accupoints to staunch it!” Shen Yiren sped back to seal nine of Ming Feizhen’s accupoints, yet the powder she threw onto his wounds barely worked owing to his blood gushing out. “You’re deliberately trying to trigger me! I refuse to believe you couldn’t have dodged that when you’re packing eccentric ideas! Are you trying to do this out of spite?!”
Voice hoarse, Shen Yiren exclaimed, “I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you everything. I’ll take medication and eat as you advised. I won’t push myself again, but I’ll only honour the promise if you live! As my subordinate, you must follow my orders, and I hereby order you to live!”
Colour Su Xiao dumbfounded. Nonetheless, he kept throwing on the expensive powder while his tears uncontrollably rained down as if they were bricks.
Streaks of heat spilt from Shen Yiren’s eyes for the first time in years: “Don’t die! You’re not allowed to die yet! Come back! Come back!”
To the bewilderment of both of them, Ming Feizhen stopped bleeding as if the accupoint seals were deferred until then. Regardless of the cause, Shen Yiren cried, “Medicine! Patches! Something!”