Chop Me if You Dare
“Wu Ping, you’re such a hot shot that I can’t even have an audience with you now, huh?”
Despite needing to make, at least, three turns and go around six columns to reach the hall, Zero arrived so fast that I almost missed his footsteps. Nonetheless, I kept my deadpan expression. As a result of my reaction being unpredicted, his heart rate rose. Meanwhile, I was inwardly cursing him with every profane word in my dictionary because I was being threatened, and I didn’t even know what secret had slipped!
“Please pardon this one. He was busy with something very important when you called.”
Zero let out a sarcastic chuckle, remarked, “Let’s go,” then turned and walked off.
Instead of exposing me to Zero, Kuanggu Sheng sent me eye signals from a corner, then strolled off with his head down. People who didn’t know better would’ve thought that Kuanggu Sheng left because he was afraid of Zero, but I could tell he was saying, “Call me later,” with his eyes.
It then occurred to me that Zero was the most out-of-place person in the new Fiends’ Genesis base. On the surface, Jiang Chen granted Zero the highest authority. In reality, they were taking orders from Jiang Chen, not him. The likes of Kuanggu Sheng, or Tian Gou, who didn’t even show up, and the other mercenaries weren’t going to put up with Zero. By extension, they weren’t likely to cooperate with him.
From what I could discern Kuanggu Sheng didn’t harbour any hostility toward me. For all I knew, he could’ve gotten this “secret” wrong. No amount of thinking on my end led me to any useful answers.
“… What are you doing?”
“You think this is good?”
I turned my head and replied, “Everyone has the right to think regardless of gender or social status. Even if he has a blade at his neck, a man is allowed to think. Am I wrong?”
“You’re right. But don’t sit in my chair to think.”
“Wha?” I automatically found myself a chair and took a seat when I entered the room. “Sorry, old habit, old habit.” I got out of the chair to go sit in the one opposite to it.
Zero just stared at me without saying anything.
“Have a seat,” I said.
“… Uhm.” At long last, he brushed his sleeve and sat down, but not without behaving as though he was worried about something sullying his clothes.
You think I have cooties on my bum or something?!
“When was the last time you washed?”
I don’t have cooties on my bum!
I swore on Wu Ping’s name that I was squeaky clean, natural, edible and, before the thunder clap, was told to stop.
“Strange.” Rubbing his ear behind his mask, Zero mumbled, “It’s like you’re a new man after encountering the assassin.”
I kept a straight face so that I wouldn’t be read.
Bobbing his head, Zero stated, “You nearly died.”
“Between you and Kuanggu Sheng, he is the better fighter.”
Zero picked up a chopstick to perform some movements that looked epic… Yeah, I didn’t see squat. Just know that I could see his wrist’s afterimages, so it was epic… probably.
“Every technique he performed could be changed into a lethal attack; he could’ve killed you whenever he chose. Had it not been for him trying to protect his integrity and you cleverly aiming at his openings, you’d already be dead.”
That’s scary! I thought he was trying to steal my chicken. It was a friendly game, yet he tried to kill me? Okay, so what secret did he try to tell me again?
Although Zero was somewhat taken aback, he let me off the hook after a short visual audit, but it reminded me of what was most important in the moment.
I held my hands up in salute and conveyed, “Thank you for saving my life.”
“What are you thanking me for?”
“Had you not called for a ceasefire in time, this one would be at the yellow spring right now.”
“I wasn’t saving you. I simply need you to answer some queries of mine. You weren’t about to die yet when I stepped in.”
The harsh answer from Zero was just intended to act as an interrogation tool, so it didn’t bother me.
“This one shall not withhold any information if he knows the answer.”
Judging from the way Zero looked at me, he was praising me. Never did I imagine someone in Demon Sect would be praising me one day.
“This indtruder you speak of, can you describe them?”
“This one did not get a clear picture. They were merely a flitting dark silhouette.”
“Are you sure they had the scent of roses on them?”
“Uh, this one did catch their scent. Howbeit, he cannot be sure if it was the smell of roses or not unless he gets another chance to smell it.”
“I heard you defeated even Elder Lianhua.”
“That was nothing. If you were in the audience, this one would have defeated her even faster.”
Zero slammed the table, but he kept his smile. “So you have completely washed your hands off any involvement? If you’re innocent in this spate of events, I’ll write my name backwards from now on.”
Zero produced a loud bang with the slam, yet not one object on the table wobbled.
“Why are you spacing out? Say something.”
“Hmm… pronounced backwards would sound pretty nice, as well.” Seeing Zero roll his fingers into fists, I immediately wagged my hands as I added, “This one was attacked by an intruder, suspected by Elder Lianhua and almost killed by Kuanggu Sheng. You summoned this one here solely to question him because you, too, suspect him. His life is not worth anything, but he is not about to let people squash him whenever they please. If you wish to kill him, you can. Ten Wu Pings would be no match for you, even. Does he even have a say? If you are going to frame him, though, you have to give him the chance to counter, do you not?”
I had Zero stupefied.
I smiled, brushed my hair aside and showed my neck. “If you fancy it, how about you chop this spot right here?”
Zero just sat there in silence.
I rose to my feet and said, “It appears you are not going to kill this one. That being the case, he shall excuse himself.”
Stuck in a dilemma, Zero mindlessly blurted, “You would dare?!”
“Hahaha.” Once I exited, I stated, “Summon this one again if you need him for anything,” then covered three steps in two steps until I was far away.
As if I cared if I ran North, East, South or West! I almost pissed myself! My legs were about to send me zooming out the door when he slammed the table. If it wasn’t for my award-worthy acting, I’d be a watermelon in pieces by now.
Like hell I’m answering any summon again. I’m not answering even if you offer to have eight people carry me!