Xiao San was using that sword she brought back to cut firewood when she returned.
“It seems you know everything,”she commented after staring at him for a while, “that person in the dark room, what his preferences are, what our purpose is when we enter. You know all that and because you know, just tell me everything.”
Xiao San turned around, his face serious, “I do not know. I do not know anything. Remember, finding out the identity of that person is prohibited in the gate of ghosts. Do not attempt to find out.”
Wan Mei was stunned. She suddenly got the feeling that she had underestimated her shadow before.
His face relaxed slightly and he lowered his hand, “So you were chosen?”
She nodded. Before she could say anymore she heard hear a commotion by the entrance of the courtyard.
Turning to the entrance, she noticed four or five people, all of them carrying their luggage as they lowered their heads at her. It did not take long before they all disappeared into the rooms for the attendants.
Wan Xiang who also came with them wrapped her arm around hers and pulled Wan Mei to the entrance of the courtyard. She pointed to something above their heads.”Congratulations sister for completing the mission. Look, your courtyard now has a name.”
Wan Mei glanced up and just as Wan Xiang said someone had hung a sign where the words Slayer Mei was written in traditional calligraphy.
“You will be known as Slayer Mei in the future,” Wan Xiang said giving her a friendly tap on her hand, “in the future we will be on the same level as each other and can help each other out.”
Wan Mei understood then. It turned out that that dark room this afternoon was like a beauty contest. She was chosen so she gained the position of an earth slayer whereas the other 3 girls were all simply replacements.
So she smiled with all her teeth showing, a smile that was shameless, “What are you talking about sister? I arrived later so I still require your guidance.”
Nothing really changed after she became an Earth Slayer. The biggest difference was that she gained five more attendants, freeing up more of Xiao San’s time.
But the lessons still continued. He would take out some brushes and paper and get Wan Mei to learn how to write.
Outside vegetation flourished in her courtyard and Wan Mei felt the weariness of spring overcome her and impatiently stretched on her chair. “I do not need to learn to write . My father was a failed Xiucai  so he forced me to learn and write all the major poems and sayings since I was little.”
Coincidentally, Wan Xiang entered just at that moment, and upon hearing Wan Mei’s conversation, she hurriedly explained, “you do not understand sister. The writing we learn here is different from a normal circumstance. It is very different.”
After she finished, she clapped her hands and Chu Ba appeared from behind her, his head hung low and his back hunched up.
Wan Xiang ordered him to crawl under the table and as she did so she smiled, “My Chu Ba performs the best fellatio. He can even use his tongue to prise open a lotus flower.”
Beside her, Xiao San told her,”Then mistress please write a five line poem in traditional chinese and I will tell you about the red demon parasol.”
Feeling that it was all a little too excessive, Wan Mei picked up the brush, dipped it in black ink and started to obediently wrote the first character of the poem.
Underneath the table, Chu Ba glanced over at his mistress and shuffled forward, towards the hem of Wan Mei’s skirt.
The rules of the Gate of Ghosts prohibited the wearing of undergarments so Chu Ba quickly found his target.
Wan Mei was just writing the character “Qian (in front)” when suddenly she felt a moist, skillful tongue lick her thigh. She trembled and the the character slanted to the side.
Wan Xiang chuckled and helped her to replace the paper indicating her to start again.
At this moment, Xiao San opened the parasol up and started to explain. “You already know about the flower on the parasol. It is called “The ground touching lotus flower” and is a corpse flower. It is used on a dead body.”
There was something slightly off in his words and Wan Mei could not help but feel a shiver go down her spine but her lower body had already started to burn.
Chu Ba by this time had managed to prise apart her legs, his tongue tracing her pubic hair and licking each inch carefully.
Wan Mei’s hands and feet started to tremble but finally managed to write the first character “chuang (bed)” again.
Chu Ba’s tongue had already moved to her nether regions and after teasing her little hole started to slurp and suck. Each suck exciting her.
Weakness mingled with pleasure quickly spread around her body, her lower body was wet and Chu Ba did not help by his swallowing of her fluids.
Wan Mei’s heart missed a beat and she quickly finished off the first line.
“This flower is a parasite on this parasol it’s roots have been trapped by the Gu worm inside the centre of the flower which means the roots are spread across the entire parasol. As it’s a corpse flower so it will not make any movement normally. Only when it can detect the smell of a dead person will it start to spread out and start drinking blood.”
A worm inside a flower, hearing this explanation Wan Mei could not help but laugh, her mind thinking that it really fit with what was occurring to her now.
Chu Ba’s tongue had started to insert itself, penetrating her private area and curling inside her like a worm inside the body.
After a period of teasing, Wan Mei finally felt aroused, her nipples hardened, her breath became heavier. Grabbing the edge of the table with her left hand, she managed to write another two lines before she reached climax.
“You must have seen the golden lotus drink blood, right?” Xiao San continued, “the red lines you see are not the stigma but actually the antennas of the blood Gu worm so that it could drink human blood.”
Immediately, her mind went back to that night when she saw the red lines insert themselves into the hole on Pang De’s chest and then sucking him dry.
Fear increased the pleasure. Moisture dripped from her private area and Chu Ba’s tongue twisted and turned amongst the moisture. In the end be pulled back and started chewing her outer lips and Wan Mei could no longer hold it in anymore as she felt her climax hot in pursuit.
Even then, she still managed to still have some consciousness left. Before she lost her mind she hurriedly wrote the final 5 characters.
When the final “Xiang” (hometown) was written, her climax came as she predicted but Chu Ba’s tongue still continued to move and so that climax soared amongst the movement, finally breaking through the clouds at an unstoppable speed.
The words on the rice paper were tidy overall. Leaning against the table, Wan Mei turned towards Xiao San and panted, “I finally finished it.”
Xiao San lifted his eyes up, “Then Mistress, do you think you can use the Gu Worms I mentioned earlier that have matured after they drunk the blood of a few people?”
She blinked, and heard him repeat, “I just told you that the worms will mature when they drink the blood of ten people. You can harvest them and they will be of great help to you. You did not hear me, which means that at the crucial moment, you are still not clear headed enough. Hence we must repeat this. This time I will recite it and you record it.”
Wan Mei let out a groan and Chu Ba started to move again, this time with a different technique. First, he stuck a finger inside her and touched her point of excitement before using his tongue to tease and suck the outer lips.
The pleasure was incomparable and with the complexity of Xiao San’s verses, Wan Mei struggled to keep it. Only after she climaxed thrice, did she barely succeed.
Afterwards, her entire lower body was soaked as she lay on the table panting. On her other side, Wang Xiang studied the verse she wrote.
“Wind Xiao poem?” she recited the title with a laugh. “This verse is quite reflective of your situation. Your concentration is quite good. Back then I practiced this again and again. No wonder the chief liked you so much. She gifted you a fan even though she only met you twice.”
Xiao San fell silent, the only sound that could be heard was Wan Mei’s huffing and puffing. “But Xiao San you should not have been so careless.” After a while Wan Xiang turned around and gave Xiao San a knowingly look, “You should not have hung around the Absolute slayer’s doorway when you picked up the fan, leading her to see you. After she asked, she flew in a fit of jealousy and sent my sister on such a dangerous mission.”
She clearly left something unsaid which Wan Mei detected immediately. She lifted her head to look at Xiao San, her eyes hardened with suspicion.
Xiao San remained silent and did not explain, instead lowered his head.
In the upcoming 2 months Xiao San did not explain anything at all. To Wan Mei, this equaled to his silent confirmation to Wan Xiang’s accusation. Confirmed that he tried to harm her, causing her to be sent on such a dangerous mission.
That thought became a seed of resentment which grew and grew like poison in her heart and reached it’s peak when Xiao San suffered another relapse.
It was the same old routine, the chief would call for her to give her the antidote. This time with no distractions.
When she returned, she found Xiao San in a corner of the room and saw him curled into a ball like last time.
“I will give you another chance to explain.” She bent down and dangled the antidote in front of him. “You’d better not lie to me.”
Xiao San’s eyes fluttered open and he lifted his head to first look at her, then the antidote. But in the end, still chose to keep his silence before lowering his head and curling up into a ball again.
Wan Mei frowned and did not say anymore. After she opened the lid of the wooden box she poured the antidote onto the floor before leaving the room.
When she did this her mind was at peace, she would never dream that she would regret it. And she even felt the thrill of avengement when she looked at him through his window that night and saw him in pain.
Despite that half a day had passed, Xiao San was still curled in a corner, his back facing the wall, his head buried between his legs.
She could see blood seeping through his sleeves so she strolled in. Just as she expected, he was biting his arm and in his mouth was a piece of his flesh.
Reaching out, she pulled at his arm, and only with much effort, did she manage to pull it out from him. That piece of flesh detached from his arm. Blood dripped from his mouth in strings as it mingled with his saliva.
She turned around, ripped up a part of his bedsheet and stuffed it into his mouth. Seeing his frozen body twitch slightly, she couldn’t help but flee.
The effects of the poison still did not recede even after the 2nd and 3rd day and Wan Mei suddenly got the urge to visit Wan Xiang even if it was just to escape from the sight for a day.
That evening, she felt a little hungry but just before she entered the kitchen, she ran into the new cook who was carrying Xiao San in her arms, anxiously looking around, unsure of what to do.
When she saw Wan Mei, the cook hurriedly put him down. “Mistress, look. I just came into the kitchen to see if supper was ready and saw him put his arm into the oven. If I was just one step late, his arm would have been burnt off.”
Bending down, she saw that his sleeve was completely burnt and his arm and hand was too ghastly to look at. The skin was all charred and the burnt red flesh underneath was visible to the eye.
She pulled herself together, stole a glance at Xiao San who was attempting to move towards the brazier to warm himself and suddenly tears fell. She grabbed hold of him and wrapped her arms around him.
It was the first time she had cried since she arrived at the Gate of Ghosts. Although her tears felt cold when they rolled down her cheek, but they seem to burn in her eyes. In her embrace, Xiao San lay there calmly and slowly ceased his struggling.
It finally ended. A full three days and nights of the relapse, a full 3 days and nights of torturing each other.
Afterwards, Xiao San rested for two days, his injuries were bandaged carelessly but as he said, in the Gate of Ghosts, there were the best medicine for injuries so his wounds were not that severe.
Wan Mei did feel a little regret but refused to say so. Instead she stared out of the prison she was in at the spring blossoms growing outside.
When she saw Xiao San standing behind her she sighed, “Today is my birthday, I just reached 17 but why do I feel as if I have already lived several lifetimes?”
She had always been so strong and would rarely express such melancholy about her predicament. Hearing this, Xiao San could not help but feel a little pain for and turned back towards the kitchen. When he returned, he was holding a bowl of noodles. The soup was clear and on top of the white flour noodles, were a few sprinkled spring onions.
Picking up a noodle, she could taste that it was made for her by Xiao San rather than the cook. And seeing Xiao San’s bandaged hands her heart softened by his touching gesture. “Thank you for your longevity noodles. Whether what you feel for me is real or not, I still want to thank you for this.”
Xiao San lowered his hands and said, “Then after you finish this, we will discuss your next mission.”
Her eyes darkened at the thought,” Yes we do have to plan for it. He is called Han Xiu right? I heard that he is not only a skilled martial artist but does not have a particular liking to women. He is someone who loves his wife dearly and is known to be afraid of her.”
1) Xiucai, a scholar who passed the initial round of Imperial civil exams