The fire Gu flies could penetrate any object. When Wan Mei reached out to capture one in her hand, it would simply fly through her hand and so the only thing she managed was soak herself in sweat.
Slowly she calmed her mind down and thought back to every detail that had occurred that night.
The Gu was summoned by Gongzi, and in the end they were transformed into a white chinese peony as he wished. In that entire period, he had not summoned up a single strand of his inner strength. Then how did he control the Gu?
Wan Mei closed her eyes and recreated his movements, separating her hands and imagined how the Gu had flown into the space between his hands.
The room was completely silent, she felt her heart beat steadily again. When she opened her eyes she saw a dim glow coming from a foot in front of her. Those dozen or so fire Gu flies had made her way to her.
“Mind control! The key to controlling them is through thought!” She realized but as soon as her mind drifted, the fire Gu flies immediately dispersed again.
Hence she could only hold her breath separate her hands so that the palms faced each other and focused on the image of the Gu gathering into a ball of light between her hands.
Perhaps it was because success was only a step away so she could barely retain her excitement so her mind was easily distracted. Time trickled past like sand and soon Gongzi turned around on his pallet and Wan Mei knew that he was about to wake up.
But at this crucial moment, her mind flew back to that evening on the swing, the moment when the fireflies witnessed Xiao San’s feelings towards her.
“If he truly cares for me, then do not fly away,” she repeated that phrase in her heart. Her mind took her back to that night and the warm summer’s breeze which blew away any worries etched in her mind.
The fire Gu flies finally congregated, forming a little ball of light between her palms just like the fireflies who attached themselves on her chest that night.
With bated breath, she leaned towards Gongzi and finally saw his appearance before he opened his eyes. It was a face far younger than the one she imagined. He had a strong nose, his eyebrows straight and dark, a face that was full of spirit and willfulness,a face of a hero.
But somehow, from his features she could detect a touch of loneliness. A loneliness that seemed to accompany him since birth.
Was it because his lips were too pale, the space between his brows too narrow? Wan Mei was unsure how he carried this air of loneliness only it was enough to distract her and the fire Gu flies scattered again.
It was at that moment when his eyes flew open. He opened his hand and captured the fire Gu again.
She could see the darkness of his eyes, A pair of eyes darker than midnight, the darkness more vast than the night sky.
“Congratulations, you protected your shadow,” he told her in a low voice. His eyes were unfocused yet they seemed to penetrate every inch of her body as if they silently inspected your soul.
She felt as if she was trapped in an illusion, completely enchanted by his eyes. If he did not say so, she would never have believed that he was blind.
“You may go back now. When you become the Heavenly Slayer, I will teach you the Martial Arts of the Gods.,” he added.
Wan Mei was still in a daze so she onky realized what he had just said when she reached the door.
Teach her martial arts. He meant that he would personally pass on his skill in martial arts to her. She gasped but when when she turned around, that spot of light had been extinguished and that person and everything related to him was immersed in darkness again.
The coming days became harder and harder to endure. Maybe it was because Wan Mei had started to yearn for something and that was what made the days so cumbersome as the thing she desired depended on her becoming a Heavenly Slayer. And the chance of her becoming one was very slim.
But finally the chance came in Autumn in the second year. Wan Mei sighed as she received the news and studied the information intently.
“Yan Zi Feng,” she repeated, circling the name with her finger. “My mission this time is to kill this person?”
Xiao San shook his head, “Killing Yan Zi Feng is Heavenly Slayer Cha Wu’s mission. What you must do is ensure she fails this mission so that she fails for the third time.”
Wan Mei glanced over at Xiao San and she felt a breeze of chilling air pass between them and they both quickly looked away.
All the female assassins in the Gate of Ghosts could only fail twice, if they failed for the third time, that would mean death.
And Cha Wu and Cha Luo both entered the Gate of Ghosts at the same time, for a full twenty years.
A flower would only blossom for a hundred days and when beauty was lost, it meant death.
Wan Mei sighed and resting a hand on Xiao San’s shoulder she announced, “Let’s prepare to leave. Do not worry, I will not become a second Cha Wu.”
In the basement of the Yan Residence, the light streaming from an overhanging crystal chandelier warmed the frigid air inside.
Wan Mei doused a white cloth in warm water, pulled off the clothes of the young woman in front of her and started cleaning her with it.
The girl’s skin was soft, her neck and limbs long and graceful. Wan Mei cleaned every crook of her body, not even missing the area behind her ear.
But Yan Zi Feng who was beside her was still unsatisfied with her work. He tore the cloth from her and complained, “You will hurt her with your clumsiness. And remember she is afraid of the cold, the water is clearly not warm enough!”
Hurriedly, Wan Mei went to add some more hot water and only when it reached a temperature she could barely tolerate was Yan Zi Feng finally satisfied. He dampened the cloth with it and started to clean the girl’s body with it personally.
First it was her breasts. They were small and perky. Despite brushing her breast from top to bottom but the dark nipple did not react at all, remaining soft and flat.
Next were her arms. They were long and delicate, Yan Zi Feng kept the cloth circling her arms for a while, his breath becoming heavier and heavier as he rubbed the cloth.
After the arms, were her private area, the pale pink puckered hole covered by a thin mat of dark hair which although seemed tame, was seductive. Yan Zi Feng rested his head against a hand, threw the the cloth at Wan Mei and ordered her to clean her properly.
Wan Mei bent down to pick up the discarded cloth, cleaned the hair around the area before carefully cleaning her private area, her movements were gentle yet alluring.
Yan Zi Feng clenched his fists behind her, “As this Shou Gong Sha is a fake, then I presume you are not longer intact. I really am such a fool.”
Wan Mei lowered her head in reply and inserted the cloth slightly inside the girl’s body twisting it a little as she did so.
Yan Zi Feng’s arousal immediately awakened. He tore off her undergarment and inserted two fingers inside her womanhood.
Wan Mei gasped and turned around to facw him, “Young Master, may I ask what you are doing? I thought I was here only to attend to the needs of your sister.”
He threw his head back and laughed, “But I remember you are from the brothel. And not one who only sells her art.”
Wan Mei lowered her eyes, “But you only paid me to attend to her. If you require additional services, give me 100 taels more,” she protested.
Yan Zi Feng lowered his eyes. “Continue washing her then,” he muttered.
So Wan Mei leaned down and continued. Suddenly her skirt was lifted from behind by Yan Zi Feng and two of his fingers promptly penetrated her. Pleasure soon built up and she started to pant and barely managed to lift the cloth to clean the girl’s thigh.
He pulled out his two fingers and transfered his hand to her nipple, squeezing it without any care of her feelings.
“Continue,” he huffed in her ear in between her pants, “continue to clean her. Do not hurt my younger sister.”
Wan Mei did her best. But when she reached the girl’s knees, she felt Yan Zi Feng’s manhood slide into her body and felt him pumping in and out at a feverish pace like a hungry beast.
He spent himself inside of her soon after. His seed mixing with the evidence of her excitement which gently dripped down her leg.
Wan Mei supported herself on the surface by the girl’s feet. The girl continued to serenely lay there, her eyelids fluttering slightly but her expression remained unchanged.
Of course she would not react, Wan Mei thought with a smile. Because she had died long ago, specifically a month prior.
Her name was Yan Ran and was the younger sister of Yan Zi Feng.
“Do you not feel that she is looking at us?” Wan Mei enquired, glancing back at him. “Doing such a thing in front of the dead, is a little disrespectful, no?”
He lowered his head and laughed, his laughter filled with malice, “She said you are looking at us, Xiao Ran. Are you looking? Then you wouldn’t mind if we repeated it right?”
Wan Mei did not know how to respond, but before she could react, he had entered her a second time, pushing in and out of her body and sending her to the pinnacle of pleasure again.
“Have you ever tried to love a person?” she heard Yan Zi Feng ask, satiated after the pleasure of lovemaking. “Have you ever felt betrayal, ever heard of the greatest lie? Heard of a promise that swore that their love for you was as pure as the chandelier and that although they loved you but their body was innocent? Even in death their bodies were innocent!”
Wan Mei felt startled at his outburst but before she could speak, Fang Zi Feng had already rested his head against her chest, shivering in her arms.
“Of course I have,” she told him, wrapping her arms around his body. “I am trying to earn as much as I can for my male cousin. I hope he will be able to succeed.”
As soon as he heard her words, he started to laugh. He sounded as if he had been possessed by something and when he stepped back, his hand went to the fire moon sword hanging off his belt.
Wan Mei knew he was planning to vent his anger out with his sword and quickly moved backwards.
The fire moon sword came from the pugilist world and it was rumoured that it’s owner was half crazed and vicious. He guarded his younger sister and swore that he would never marry or let her marry. Everyone in the pugilist world knew that and there were countless people who said he was immoral and was even worse than an animal.
But no-one knew that hanging above Yan Ran’s room was a crystal chandelier. A crystal chandelier that was pale yellow which reflected the purity of their souls.
Although both of them carried a twisted love that was sneered upon by society but it witnessed their platonic interactions, their innocence even in death.
Naturally Wan Mei knew all of this. She also knew the power of the fire moon sword which when it’s owner drew out the blade, could cause him to lose his sanity and become a monster.
The Yan Zi Feng who, sword in hand had begun to lose control and slip towards the border between madness and sanity.
Wan Mei smiled coldly and knew that all of this was arranged by Cha Wu but instead of panicking, she glanced up at the crystal chandelier.
The chandelier was still clear but the person reflecting on it’s surface was no longer innocent. She suddenly felt a twinge of sadness.
Outside the basement, she could hear a commotion. A voice of a woman could be heard before it’s owner stepped through the premises a flask of win in her hand, “I’m here to drink myself to a stupor, is anyone willing to accompany me?”
Of course Wan Mei would lower her head, although she had changed her appearance but she recognized the person in front of her. It was Cha Wu.
A few days ago Xiao San had left a message for Yan Zi Feng warning her that a woman would come and kill him in the next few days.
But Cha Wu had still boldly strolled in, and under the pretense of being drunk, had rubbed off the fake Shou Gong Sha on Wan Mei’s arm.
That was a direct blow to Wan Mei’s weakness. And she knew that she had met a worthy opponent.
But when Cha Wu saw her, she was still surprised, and for a moment she hesitated before her mask slipped back on and she continue to open the flask of wine. The refreshing scent of bamboo wine filled the room.
“Shall we drink until we fall today?”she inquired, slanting a glance at Yan Zi Feng. “A sad person with a sad person. Besides I am a pitiful person who was betrayed by a lover and you are pitiful as your lover and you are separated by death.”
Yan Zi Fang smiled sadly, picked up the flask and emptied it’s contents into his mouth. Not even stopping to think if it was poisoned or not.
“Wrong.” He narrowed his eyes and shook his hand, “we are now two pitiful people who have been betrayed by our lovers.”
Cha Wu nodded and started to feel regret. It was a shame, a shame that she did not think he would fall for her ruse so easily. And a shame she had not poisoned it.
NB: 1) Shou Gong Sha: a mark on an unmarried woman’s body to prove she was still a virgin.