When she returned to her quarters the first person she sought for was Xiao San. Perhaps to induce some awe in him, she lifted her new sword up and sliced apart a strolled with it.
Xiao San’s expression changed slightly before returning to his usual cold demeanour, “What do you mean by this?”
Wan Mei rested her cheek against her hand, “It means I succeeded and not only did I kill that person, I even gained a precious sword.”
“That is a precious sword?” Xiao San scoffed, “you should look around you. This is the gate of ghosts, each inch of land is covered with the spoils of prosperity. The stool you just cut in half was made from agarwood , I do not know how much more expensive it is compared to that firewood cutting sword you have there.”
But Wan Mei would not be deterred. Discarding it in one corner she told him, ” Then I will use it to cut firewood. Today make me some red bean congee. I want it thick.”
Xiao San replied yes before lowering his hand, “As you are back then we shall continue our music lesson.”
Wan Mei thought back to the demonic parasol. “But I think you should tell me more about this parasol, why does it….”
Xiao San’s hands remained by his side.”We will discuss that later. You should be learning the Guqin right now. You have a long road ahead of you.”
After spending a month with him, Wan Mei could tell the seriousness in his voice and did not argue further and followed him into the music room.
Last time they learned a song about carnal pleasures, so she was long prepared for the songs they were to learn but in the end Xiao San only taught her “The Glory of the Kingdom.” And after that she was allowed to sleep. After sleeping they would continue and this would occur for the next three days.
But towards the end, Xiao San asked her, “Do you understand the meaning of this song?”
Wan Mei lowered her head. “Is it not about the thirst of power which will bring nothingness in the end? In this world, is that not the case for everything?”
Xiao San stared at her in shock but before he could say anything, outside Wan Xiang had already arrived and was asking Wan Mei to come with her.
Wan Mei turned to look back at Xiao San who stood up and whispered in her ear, ” Remember, men do not just enjoy being pleased by women but also to find someone who understands them. But that person must not be above them. That song was about thirst for power but you should swallow back the words it will come to nothing. Your intelligence should only remain at that level.”
Wan Mei was still confused but there was no time to explain. Wan Xiang had already entered the doorway and had wrapped her arm friendly with hers.
“Congratulations Sister for completing the mission”, she was all smiles on the way there but she did not bring up the topic of their destination at all.
When they reached their destination, she found that there were already 3 girls waiting by the doorway there each of them had crimson red lips and white alabaster skin.
It was a small courtyard. The doorway was circular, and written on the sign above it were the words, “Listen to the bamboo.”
And taking in the view of the courtyard from the doorway it was indeed filled with bambusa multiplex. Despite it being winter, their leaves still remained green and when the wind picked up, they would sway like waves lapping on the shore one after another.
However Wan Mei did not have the time to appreciate it’s beauty. She was immediately ushered into the room along with the other three girls to wash up and get changed.
It did not take long to finish washing up but when she put on the clothes that were prepared for them she could not help but think that there was no point in dressing. After all, the thin material that was supposed to cover her was simply a sheer thin organza.
The other 3 girls seem to also agree and all expressed the same desire but was stopped. With no choice, they could only silently follow the guide into a dark room.
Surrounding the room was a thick curtain, which as soon as they entered was pulled down, plunging them into darkness.
There was no fire inside and Wan Mei could feel the bite of the cold. The four girls stood barefoot on the celestine floor and before long they all started to shiver.
It was during this time that someone came in. Their footsteps were light as they came to a stop beside them before starting to touch them from head to toe, including inserting a finger into their private area to test the tightness.
But Wan Mei could detect that this person did not experience any desire and their actions were just to check their bodies, check their bodies for their master. This person should just be an attendant.
Afterwards, he touched the hand of one of the girl and whispered, “Come with me.”
There was only 3 girls left in the room now. Wan Mei stood in the middle so she could hear the other girls’ heavy breathing and trembling.
Around them someone placed three Guqin and led them to sit down and helped them place their hands on the strings of the instrument.
One of the girls was overconfident. She reached out and plucked a few notes. As expected, the notes drifted out easily, her skill apparent, it was not something Wan Mei could compare with.
Wan Mei felt a little despair when she heard another sound. It was sharp and cold, reminding her of the sword she brought back.
“Did I say you could play it?” That voice carried not only coldness but also sternness. It resonated above their heads as it continued, “It seems Cha Luo’s taste is worsening. How could she deliver stock that do not abide to the rules at all?”
It was a man’s voice, a man who was used to be in command, Wan Mei was sure of it.
The girl stopped, bending her body low, sweating profusely.
After a while, another sound could be heard from the room. It was the sound of a wooden Xiao (type of vertical flute), it’s sound majestic and broad.
“Now you may play,” the voice spoke up again, “accompany me. You may play anything, it simply has to match it well.”
Wan Mei was the least experienced out of the three of them so she had no choice but play “The Glory of the Kingdom”.
The song and the sound of the Xiao did match and after playing for a while, she started to gain confidence as if success was just within reach.
At this moment, she thought back to Xiao San’s instructions, that whether in terms of meaning or the song itself they must not overwhelm the sound of the Xiao.
But before long, her control slipped out of her hands and as if being led by the Xiao, all the things in her mind poured out.
She had been hurt so badly by those four men. If it was possible, she must become someone powerful so that she can return the favor hundred times more to the people who hurt her.
Naturally that was not enough, she must stand at a high position, having hundreds of people at her feet so that she only had to bend a finger to decide who to kill.
She did not want love, she did not want warmth, in the end it will all come to nothing. She wanted to be in a position of power so that she can look down below her.
The desire burned strongly, so strongly that when she finally woke up from that dream, she realized that was what she was looking to reach.
The sound of the Xiao seemed to be enchanting, being able to lure out the thoughts of the mind and when she detected that, she hurriedly continued to play what she was taught.
At this time, one of the girls suddenly screamed, the sound cut through the music.
“You may all leave.” The voice spoke up again. “Someone reported that there was a spy who managed to enter the Gate of Ghosts and it seems I coincidentally ran into her.”
The three girls retreated and glanced at each other. When the curtains were pulled up, letting in some light, they took the chance to study each other.
It took one look for Wan Mei’s eyes to become riveted on one of them because one of them was bleeding.
To be accurate, blood was pouring out from every orfice. Blood dripped out from her eyes, lips, nose and ears; it was a ghastly sight.
And that girl tried to remain calm, her smile remained bright as she asked why they looked as if they had seen a ghost.
At this time someone came into the courtyard and bending down in front of the girl told her evenly, “Master orders you to head to the Punishment hall.”
The face of said girl ashened in an instant, she lifted her hand to press against the death acupoint to commit suicide.
That person humphed coldly, raising their hand. A flash of silver shot out from their sleeve and in less than a second, the girls right hand flung to the ground and it inserted itself in an acupoint on her chest.
Wan Mei stared in shock as the amputated hand jumped by her feet. Blood slowly seeped onto her feet and she realized she was not actually that afraid.
The black curtain lifted again and a person peeked out. “The master orders the girl who just played “The Glory of the Kingdom” to return.”
Wan Mei could only return, tiptoeing her way forward and listening to the footsteps of the guide, afraid she would lose her way in the darkness.
Suddenly the footsteps disappeared and Wan Mei stood alone in the darkness. A hand wrapped around her waist, picked her up and threw her underneath him.
The bed was cold and hard, and Wan Mei being the one underneath was not comfortable. Before she could decide what to do, that person had already penetrated her.
Her private area was dry and tight and that person’s length was a consideravle size. She felt pain but bit her lip to stop herself from making a sound.
“Does it hurt?” The man said in a low voice,”do not worry, you will forget this pain soon.”
She did not dare to reply and the man started to move, slowly and steadily.
Afraid that he was unable to insert his full length from his position behind her, she moved back towards him, welcoming his rhythm.
The man’s pace increased and he reached around her to pluck at her little flower bud .
Pleasure came as quick as lightening as each of his strokes penetrated her deeply, burning her entire body and she completely forgot the pain she initially felt.
She panted, and when they reached the quickest pace she soared into climax her nether lips clenching his manhood tightly.
He raised his arms and as if she was a rag doll flipped her over and continued to move in and out of her this time from the front.
This time, Wan Mei forgot every technique she was ever taught; her legs simply clung to his shoulders letting him do whatever he liked to her.
This was an unyielding man. The strength in his body pouring with his will. And Wan Mei experienced the delight of being overcome by someone.
Her private areas were soaked. The man caught some of it onto his fingers and rubbed it onto her nipples. She trembled before her body sent her into another climax.
Perhaps it was because she did not have the stamina. When the man bit into her shoulder, Wan Mei felt as if she saw rainbows before everything went black.
It was an act with no finesse, no equipment for stimulation, just plain sex but it was enough to make her enjoy it so much.
When she woke up, she could still not quite believe it. She felt herself surrounded in a man’s embrace, her head leaning against his chest, his breaths even as if he was asleep.
Unable to control her curiosity she reached out in the darkness and gently touched the man’s face.
First she felt his nose, it was a straight nose bridge, suggesting it’s owner strong will. His other features were close in hand, she only needed to touch them one by one before she would know his appearance. But in the end she hesitated and pulled her hand back.
Perhaps this was not the time to know, after all a place like the Gate of Ghosts was not a place to satisfy every curiosity.
The man woke up, his cold breath tickling on her ear.
“Do you know why I did not pick you immediately?” he asked, “it is because you are too intelligent, you control yourself too well, enough to even pull out from the sound of my Xiao. I do not like women who stick to me like glutinous rice, I do not like women with no brain of her own but a woman at your age with such intelligence may not be a good thing.”
Wan Mei remained silent, confident that any reply was pointless.
“You may go.” The man finally let her out of his embrace. “I only need a woman to help me sleep. You have finished your purpose.”
Wan Mei did not say anymore and lightly left the bed to leave.
“It is already 1pm? I have slept for 2 hours?”he exclaimed in surprise.
“This has been the longest I have slept in two years.” His voice softened slightly and was a little gruff. “Tell me your name.”
There was a trace of weariness in the gruffness, a crack in his shell of stern and toughness. Wan Mei halted for a short while, feeling herself drawn to that voice.
“Wan Mei,”she replied finally stepping onto the cold floor naked.
1) Expensive wood often used for furniture, jewelry and in Tao Buddhist prayer beads due to its sweet scent.
2) Guqin: type of chinese stringed instrument
3) Organza: A sheer, see through material that is used for an outer garment (usually).