Karma Awaits Every Evil Deed
“Mr. Teng, you are from Dongying, right? How long have you been in the Central plains?”
“Mr. Teng, where are you living in the Central Plain? How old are you this year? How many people do you have in your family? Any wife or kids?”
“I’ve heard your martial prowess is as splendid as your unrivalled musical skills. May I ask where you learnt from? How many strings do you play with? Which fingers have thicker callouses?”
It might’ve sounded as though I was bullying him or trying to introduce a lady to him, but neither were my intentions! I didn’t know squat about him and never interacted with him, so I needed information if I was going to come up with an anti-Teng plan. It wasn’t my fault I came off as a nosy gossiper; even I didn’t feel comfortable.
Teng halted in his tracks, causing me to accidentally bump into him. He just looked over his shoulders, looked at me through his peripherals and smirked.
Teng shook his head and then continued forward.
I didn’t even dare to ask any more questions after that, so we walked to Zero’s place without a word exchanged. Speaking of the fake Zero, I couldn’t understand why she had Teng of all people summon me. Whatever the reason, he took it upon himself to step aside for me to enter once we arrived.
“Why did you fight with Lang Qing?” Zero asked as soon as I set foot inside.
“… Is he all right?”
“He’s not hurt too bad, but he won’t tell me the reason you fought no matter how I asked.”
That was just Lang Qing being Lang Qing. No broadsword wielder ever debated their loss. It was a personality thing.
“It’s not his fault he won’t talk. His fault for entering someone’s wife’s room without permission and not explaining himself.”
You expected me to have some justifiable reason after they ruined my plan to cripple Lang Qing?
Ever since I found out her true identity, I felt closer to “Zero”, in the sense that she felt comparable to a long-distance nephew? I wasn’t vexed despite the fact that she sabotaged my plan.
“What exactly happened?”
“It’s exactly as you know it.”
“I know it?”
“Think for yourself.”
“You’re beside yourself. Why are you absentminded and sounding as if you’re just humouring me?”
I remember the last holy maiden was Bright Moon Faction’s granddaughter, so she is, too?
“You’re acting weirder and weirder. Why are you looking at me like that?”
While I was still in the Western Regions’, she was only thirteen, fourteen, or even younger? I don’t remember her. Oh, I think I remember now.
“Wh-what are you leaning in so close for?”
Looking straight at her as if I was trying to see behind her mask, I queried, “Did you like drawing on your face when you were young?”
“Just asking. You don’t have to answer.”
“What… What is your deal…?” She reactively touched her mask as though to check if it was broken.
I remember the last holy maiden liked to paint on her face, not that I understood what the symbols or whatever meant. Nonetheless, they looked quite nice, so I asked. I still had no recollection of the fake Zero, though.
Why does she remember so much about me?
“Don’t worry. I just remembered some trivial stuff. As you know, we fought Lang Qing purely because of Gu Xianxian’s issue. I just had a chat with the couple and found out there were some misunderstandings.”
I went on to tell Zero about Ning Zhuoru’s pregnancy and how she asked Lang Qing to fetch her herbal soup for her. Needless to say, I left out all the other causes and effects. It was only fair for an outsider, like me, to not know the details.
“All because of Gu Xianxian’s jealousy, I had to fight a needless fight for him.”
“The only person who should be complaining is the one who was hurt. Didn’t you stop to think how capable Lang Qing is?”
“This is all you sent someone to fetch me for?”
Zero fiddled with her mask whilst muttering something, then replied, “Of course not. Do you know how I knew you were fighting?”
Because of the rat, obviously.
“I certainly would like to know.”
“It was Ouyang.”
“Ouyang Xiucai informed you?”
S-someone as upright-looking as him is part of the organisation of perverts?
“No. He was worried, so he went back to monitor the exit, and that’s how he discovered someone had sneaked over there. Ouyang knew he couldn’t keep up with the individual’s qinggong and stealth skills, so he tried to stop them straight away but still couldn’t make it in time. The shadow he saw wasn’t enough to discern even the body shape of the individual.”
Wait, wait, wait, he’s watching the exit, too? I want to be stationed there! Wait, wait, wait. I thought I’m the only person who’s interested in the exit. Is he addicted to posing as me and wants to be me?
“But what does catching that person have to do with you finding out about our scrap?”
“I happened to be chasing him nearby and heard Ouyang Xiucai’s whistle, so I rushed over and stumbled upon him giving chase.”
Damn, missed out on a good show.
“So, did you get a good look of who it was?”
“I saw him; however, the man in black, despite sharing a similar height to Lord San Shen, didn’t seem to be him.”
Yeah, because he’s not me…
Zero most likely believed it was Xue Yanjun if not me, so whatever.
“And you lost him?”
“Ouyang and I pursued him for a while; I even came close to catching him once I utilised Skywind Nine Forms, but he suddenly reversed directions in a way I’d never seen before and escaped our encirclement. He just said, ‘If you don’t hurry over, Lang Qing will kill Wu Ping,’ and continued on his way. Although I didn’t believe him at first, I was partially convinced when I recalled you mention the rift between Gu Xianxian and Lang Qing. Therefore, I left Ouyang on watch duty while I rushed over. I didn’t expect him to be right.”
“How was he right? He was completely wrong. Wu Ping was about to kill Lang Qing. If you didn’t come and make a scene, right now, Lang Qing would be, hmm, hmm.”
No, not dead, bed ridden.
“That’s big talk for someone who’s still recovering and had to fight dirty. Lang Qing could defeat the three of you singlehandedly. Speaking of which, how did you defuse Lang Qing’s attack? It’s a fact that you can’t utilise internal energy at the moment, but you defused the attack as if you were the creator of the attack. Are you two from the same sect or something?”
Damn, you smart. I, too, want to know how Lang Qing learnt my technique. It seemed like he had been practicing it for a long time, yet I’ve never met him before. Well, this topic isn’t to my benefit, so let’s switch it up, shall we?
“Since you heard them speak, you know if they’re a man or woman, right?”
“Hmph, acting dumb is your specialty, isn’t it?” Zero knew I deliberately tried to change the topic. “They used an internal discipline to alter their voice, so I couldn’t determine their gender. I’m guessing he’s more like Xue Yanjun, who uses masks, rather than His Lordship, Lord San Shen.”
“Is that so…?”
That’s what I thought. You guys still don’t have a single clue after all that?
Hang on… His Lordship?
“It’s your imagination!”
“I didn’t say anything.”
“It’s your imagination even after you say something!”
Even though she had her mask on, I could imagine her red cheeks.
She’s always called me “His Lordship”? You’re my fan?
“In any case, I called you here as I have a task for you.”
You sure you should be talking to me in that tone, fan girl?
“What is it?”
I could vividly image the upward curve at the corners of her lips when she responded, “A dangerous job.”
“Denied. Do you remember the path I showed you? The one we took before going to the exit.”
“I do. And?”
“Okay, go again.”
“I… need a hint. I can’t remember everything when it’s such a long route. Also, it takes a bit of effort, but I can’t see how it’s dangerous.”
“If that’s what you think, then it makes it easier for me.” She lifted the corners of her lips higher. “You have to pass that route to reach the exit. Lord San Shen and company must be racking their brains to figure it out. Now that you’re being targeted, what do you think will happen if you walk that path alone?”
… My money is on “nothing”.
“Don’t worry, though. I’m not trying to harm you.” She patted me on the shoulder. “I sent Teng to fetch you precisely because I was worried they’d harm you. I’ll have him continue watching from the shadows this time to be safe.”
Can’t you send someone else?! Heck, I’ll go alone! I’m in the most danger if you send him!
“Teng is a capable fighter, so you can rest easy.”
That’s anything but assuring! The more capable he is, the greater my risk. I can only run if he attacks me!
“He is a master at wielding strings from musical instruments as weapons. While he may not be as strong as Lang Qing, he is better at bodyguard duty. He can plant a nut on you so that he can protect you from afar.”
Doesn’t that mean I can’t outrun him?! You already know I’m an imposter, don’t you?!