My Clean Up (Part 1)
Elder Lianhua certainly was hurt bad. Had I delayed any further, there wouldn’t be any need for me to visit. She might as well have contacted Mount Wudang since it was me who was responsible for her state, after all (ehe!).
I honestly never wanted to kill Elder Lianhua. The circumstances simply forced me to make the moment count, or I would’ve been the one to go down. As a result, my aim was compromised a little… Okay, it was compromised a lot. Additionally, owing to her unique internal cultivation style, she wasn’t able to accurately form her true qi armour, which made me deviate even more from my intended target. I only intended to knock her out for a few days so that she wouldn’t sabotage my plans.
It took me a while to close the wound that opened again and get Elder Lianhua out of critical condition. By a stroke of luck, her condition gave me the opportunity to demand thirty-odd irrelevant herbs in addition to other items. While there was no doctor at the compound, Jiang Chen was a medical expert, so there were useful herbs stocked up. They had everything else I asked for, too. If I didn’t know the place was Fiends’ Genesis’ base, I would’ve thought it was a miscellaneous store’s warehouse.
The candle flame in the dark room acted as a clock.
Elder Lianhua’s shallow breaths steadied and then became soft. The creases between her eyes had smoothed out. Perhaps she hardly ever had many peaceful sleeps comparable to this one given she had been on the run for ages.
Tang Clan had been spending recent years expanding their forces and growing their influence. One could say they were the South’s version of Mount Daluo. Sects and more sects treated it as an example to model themselves after, but Tang Clan remained an independent entity. I couldn’t speak for the imperial court, but the pugilistic world had always talked about Tang Clan’s ruthless behaviours that sent chills up spines. Elder Lianhua’s cautiousness in such a secluded place proved just how much of a threat Tang Clan posed.
More than likely, Elder Lianhua was a mother to someone in Tang Clan. When I mentioned Tang Clan, I sensed her fear and concern. When I mentioned that particular individual, her response showed more than loyalty to one’s master; there was determination to protect and tender love.
When I was a kid, my shifu told me Elder Lianhua’s story as a form of entertainment. Pugilistic world stories that came out of my shifu’s mouth needed to be cross checked for legitimacy, so I wasn’t sure how much of what I heard regarding her was true.
Ouyang Xiucai left after taking me to Elder Lianhua’s resting place as it was his turn to be on guard duty. Therefore, only Elder Lianhua, a sleeping Yan Jiangnan and I were left in her room.
Thanks to the beating Zero gave Yan Jiangnan, Yan Jiangnan was still trying to recover. Unfortunately for him, I needed him for numerous jobs, so I dragged him along to treat, as well.
After I was done treating the two, I monitored the situation outside through my hearing, then promptly began preparing what I needed once I confirmed it was safe to do so. I pulled over two tables to combine into one big one, chucked a big white cloth over the top and spread all the herbs I had on top so that I could sort them into categories. Next, I set up thirteen small cauldrons to prepare different medicines. I didn’t even need half of them. The remaining medicines were supplementary health soups to improve immunity, urine issues, avoid pregnancy and what have you.
I didn’t boil herbs up for the medicines; my intention was to create a smoke screen. There was nothing strange about there being a smell of medicine coming from the room of injured people. Those who were educated in medicine, however, would also fulfil a purpose for me even if they didn’t work out what half of them were. Of course, I kept my ears tuned in to what was going on the other side of the doors. If someone came, I’d have to come up with an escape plan.
While it was safe, it was only safe until tomorrow. My puppet tactic and Wu Ping’s faceless corpse would be unearthed once “Zero” checked the dungeon tomorrow morning. Even if Zero was a few brain cells short, me posing as Wu Ping would be fairly reasonable conclusion. All I could do was make the most of what time I had. At the moment, there were other things surrounding me that were at greater risk of being seen through, ones that I couldn’t easily talk my way out of.
Though I told the minions to leave me in peace for a few hours, that didn’t exactly leave me with spare time. I hurriedly pulled my face off to wash off the stains with a bit of water, dried it as fast as I could and cut a few more slits in it. These sorts of masks were designed for long-term usage, so they needed to be maintained using herb formulations and subjected to a special drying method. I didn’t have the luxury for all that, so I had to make do with what I had.
I wore the dried mask back on and took out the formulations I just concocted. Some of them were made to increase how well the mask stuck to my skin, while some of them were used to create fake cuts and scars.
When I slapped Wu Ping’s face onto myself, I didn’t have enough time to glue it on in a way that appeared natural. Thankfully, people didn’t look carefully at my face and notice the various splits since it was mangled bad enough to disgust people. Wu Ping was a tidy person. I could use “shock that led to forgetfulness” as justification for looking messy after the assassination and fight with Elder Lianhua. However, I needed to clean up after Wu Ping had a day to himself. I could change my clothes later, but I had to fix my face as soon as possible.
I modified the face to go from a man on the verge of death to a man in good health – although it was still comparatively pale due to lack of materials. Nevertheless, I could put that down to my injuries. To explain the splits, I made more splits and made them resemble scars.
Apart from differences in individual attributes, disciplines and styles rendered every wound inflicted different. In other words, one could discern someone’s discipline and style based on the nature of the wound, in addition to the weapon utilised to create said wound. The elites would try to make the wounds as ordinary as possible to hide their tracks, which demonstrated how skilled they were. Consequently, I made the wounds resemble wounds from hard stabs, with some of them being new wounds that had yet to close.
In no time at all, I had transformed myself from an unkempt, bloodied man into a scar-faced, high-spirited young hero. For the sake of congruency, I made similar wounds on Yan Jiangnan, as well. Regrettably, due to time constraints, the wounds on my face were carefully crafted, while Yan Jiangnan’s were rather sloppy. Having said that, his wounds were real wounds that I put effort into creating.
Next, and this was the most important part as well as my disguise’s most vulnerable component, was my hair!