Yizhen Company (Part 3)
Xiacang people focused mainly on the exchange of goods for business, so their service industry, such as restaurants, bathhouses, entertainment centres, bands and so forth were significantly underdeveloped and scarce compared to the Central Plain. That said, those industries still had the highest revenue among the various industries.
Baimu’s Fifteen Wraiths were human at the end of the day. Therefore, they sought out those places on their days off to kick back. Their favourite places to visit were the bars because there was alcohol and women who would call them “Sir”.
Xiuyu wasn’t foreign to Baimu’s Fifteen Wraiths, so infiltrating a store in the most bustling area of the city was as simple as snapping their fingers – even in broad daylight.
Five trained wraiths, who’d be first to mount an offence in a fight, dispersed at the door, sneaking in via different routes, albeit in bold fashion. There was no reason for them to be reserved when Baimu had given them the order to kill anyone who put up a resistance.
One wraith silently leapt over the wall to land in the backyard. Upon landing, he dimensional travelled into a world of darkness before dropping into a pool of blood.
“Third Brother, do you know where our longjing tea leaves are pl-, why’s there somebody lying on the ground.”
Sima Huai blithely stowed his spiked mace behind him and innocently answered, “I don’t know. I just saw something coming down from the sky, so I batted it. You don’t know him? Oh, damn, we can’t identify him now.”
One down, four wraiths remaining.
They wouldn’t hide Adjutant somewhere easily found. I need to find somewhere to monitor them.
From the beam of a room, one wraith saw hundreds of thousands in cheques inside a drawer and goods that’d fetch steep prices. Most shocking to him, though, was that there were so many girls, ranging from bright, cultured and Su Xiao – Su Xiao being an adjective of her own because she was in a league of her own.
“The hell you looking at? She nice?”
“Very. That’s as nice as a girl can look, I reckon.”
By the time he realised he shouldn’t have had anyone around to converse with, the wraith had no time to dodge a fist to the back of his neck. Luckily, he was tough enough to not be immobilised. He bound away, landing in the neighbouring courtyard before his opponent could catch him in a stranglehold. Upon looking back, his pursuer was a man attired in a fluorescent pink robe and sported a try-hard smile.
I got caught by some punk doofus in pink?
Long Zaitian narrowed his eyes: “Where do you think you’re going? This dragon will crush you even if you can sprout wings and power up. You’ll be this dragon’s dinner tonight.”
“… Who are you?”
“The times have changed, have they? The robber asks who the owner of the house he breaks into is now? This dragon does the heavy lifting here. Who do you think I am?”
By the sounds of it, he must be the head of security here, so he should be the strongest. No wonder why he could tag me. That being the case, eliminating him will allow my brothers to move unencumbered.
The wraith accelerated in close, but he withheld from swing his blade at Long Zaitian as the latter correctly predicted his trajectory and uncorked a punch there already. The wraith decelerated abruptly to slide sideways, generating a trail of steam behind the track his feet slid. At the same time, he made an attempt to nail Long Zaitian’s oblique.
Long Zaitian bridged backwards whilst maintaining tension throughout his body for his prepared right counter. Immediately after missing Long Zaitian, the wraith rotated three hundred and sixty degrees to unleash a second slash that would be faster than his first to finally cut Long Zaitian.
Long Zaitian finally saw how distinctly different Nanjiang’s combat style contrasted the Central Plain’s. The wraith’s style, by the standard of the Central Plain’s pugilists, wasn’t rooted in martial arts or combat tactics. He purely made what he deemed the most apt decision based on his experience and what he was physically capable of. One could say he was an intelligent beast that knew how to beat its human predators.
The wraith licked the blood on his dagger, then tugged up the corner of his lips. “You’re not as formidable as you claim. How about… surrendering?”
Knowing how to fight alone isn’t enough to succeed as a warrior. Knowing how to talk opponents into surrender is equally important.
“Heh.” Long Zaitian tore his flamboyant shirt off, unveiling his muscular torso. “Fascinating. I’ve been itching for a good fight. Round two, let’s go!”
The wraith held his gaze against Long Zaitian’s savage gaze for a while and then bowed out before leaping over the wall to abscond.
This is no ordinary company.
Unlike the other wraiths, this one was highly experienced at intelligence gathering. The lack of hiding spots in the store and patrol arrangement led to him suspecting that they organised it to lure people in and capture them. Patrols in Baimu’s palace weren’t nearly as tight, yet a mere business company could pull it off?
There was only one place he deemed safe to carry out surveillance from – the room at the end of the company grounds. There was only one tall, lanky man sleeping and a middle-aged man, who draped a black mink over his silver armour, giving himself a manicure with a broadsword.
All right, thank you for the sacrifice, you poser!
The wraith folded at the torso, hand on his dagger at his waist. Once he was at ground level, he suddenly lost all his energy and couldn’t get up.
Wh-what’s going on?
“Hmm? Who are you? When did you get here?” The man working on his fingernails finally noticed the wraith’s presence.
The man opposite Emperor Yuansheng cracked a grin: “He probably got lost.”
The wraith still had no clue there was someone behind his sweaty back. He never believed anyone besides Baimu could squash him so convincingly. Gradually but surely, his consciousness began to fade as he contemplated.
A wraith reached for his dagger and raised his vigilance level when he heard two chattering girls enter the kitchen.
“Xiao, what are you brewing?! Why is it purple? And why is there a skull floating on the surface?!”
“I don’t know. I just prepared it as per the usual recipe.”
“There’s no way we can serve it to our customers! From now on, you are prohibited from entering the kitchen! Why did you even come here? Ah, whatever. Go call Ma’am Ming back; people are looking for her.”
Hah, lucky they didn’t notice me.
Just when the wraith thought he was safe, he had the purple tea poured onto his head. As vindictive as he was, he had to bear with it for the sake of his mission. Alas, when a drop of tea made it to corner of his lips, he instinctively licked it and… never woke up again…
The last wraith dressed up as a customer to enter via the front door; however, he changed his plans to tail Ma’am Ming when she headed out.
Hehehe, look at that behind. I should give her to him as a gift to cop myself a reward.
Ming Xiaolou’s finger spear missed Shen Yiren, who evaded it, but snapped the stubby tree behind where Shen Yiren previously was, the precise spot she hit spitting sparks and turned charcoal black.
Xia’er flashed her pearly whites: “You still have time to surrender. I’m still only using 50% of my full power.”
Shen Yiren gestured to her sword: “I haven’t even struck once yet. Your brother knows that no average man can stop me when I start swinging.”
With that, Shen Yiren thrust her sword toward the ether, erecting her sword that could go around her waist as a belt. Xia’er made the call to back off since Shen Yiren’s qi field expanded.
Boom! Shen Yiren created a crater in the ground in one strike, astonishing Xia’er.
“I did say no average man can stop me, didn’t I?”
The wraith watching: Mama, can I come home?
Removed line – After Shen Yiren says, “… when I start swinging,” Xia’er replies, “That’s shameless from every single perspective.” Xia’er is making the same insult as Ming Suwen did against Li Tingzhu – wielding a sword and being despicable homophone.