Whilst the two of them drank themselves to a stupor, Wan Mei lowered her head and continued her work. After cleaning Yan Ran’s body, she dressed her, and the knife in her hand flew past the crystal chandelier beside her.
When she finished, she remained behind the two of them and wondered if she should directly expose Cha Wu’s identity. Only before she could open her mouth, Cha Wu had already made her move. A silver thread shot out from under her sleeve and entwined onto her neck like a cold blooded snake.
Wan Mei tried to open her mouth but the more she struggled so the tighter the thread wound itself around her neck. And on the other side of the thread, Cha Wu narrowed her eyes and asked her darkly, “Who are you? If you wish to live, hurry and speak.”
Ya Zi Feng let out a bark of laughter. “She is only a replacement for Xiao He, she’s a prostitute who looked after my little sister. Mama Li introduced me to her. She just came yesterday.”
Cha Wu’s voice went even colder, “If a real prostitute saw a dead body, a dead one who had died several months yet still look alive, would she be able to remain so calm?”
As she spoke, she tightened her hold with the thread. The thread had started to draw blood around her neck, it only took a little more before it would take her life. But right at the moment, the burning moon blade flew out from it’s scabbard, the blade cut through the thread like a shard of ice as it cut through the thread and on the top of the blade was a thin scarlet line, it really resembled a dim light on a frosty light.
Just hearing the sound of the sword, and Cha Wu already knew she was no match for him. In a blink of an eye, she cut the thread. After all, it was no match for a weapon forged from metal.
Tasting blood, the red on the sword flared brighter. Hurriedly, Yan Zi Feng pulled it back into it’s scabbard and clasping his hand in apology, he said, “I am sorry for damaging your weapon. This woman’s father worked at the catacombs. She had always kept the dead company so that is why she is not afraid. I fear there is a misunderstanding.”
“Can such a coincidence happen?” Cha Wu scoffed, as she reeled back her thread and picked up the wine flask again.
By this time, the two of them had already drunk quite a bit of wine and Yan Zi Feng’s eyes had begun to cloud over. “Who said that such a coincidence couldn’t happen? I managed to meet you at an inn is that not a coincidence either?”
“Coincidence?” Cha Wu laughed coldly as she looked at him, “Do you really think it is a coincidence? Why did you not ask who the lover of my man was? Her surname was Yan and her name was Ran.”
The china flask cracked into pieces under Yan Zi Feng’s hands. Cha Wu got up, and flask in hand strolled over to Yan Ran before smirking at Yan Zi Feng, “Do you know what I saw that night? Would you like to know?”
Yan Zi Feng fell silent but his breaths coming heavier and heavier. Cha Wu reached over, grabbed his hand and guided it towards Yan Ran’s chest.
“It was raining heavily that night, ” she whispered into his ear, “Your younger sister was soaking wet when she saw my man.”
Yan Zi Feng’s hand shook beneath hers, and Cha Wu, seizing her chance, flung the bowl of water straight at Yan Ran, soaking her completely.
Her clothes became translucent when water seeped onto them. The beauty that was half revealed tempted Yan Zi Feng’s willpower further, and he cupped one of her breasts.
“Yes,” Cha Wu agreed, nodding, “That night my man was just like you, huffing above her, and your sister moaned below him, her body turning to water after he touched her a few times.”
And Yan Zi Feng’s breathing got heavier and heavier, both his hands were now on her breasts, rubbing them, gently at first and then more frantically as he finally allowed himself to vent out all his desires onto that cold body.
“Are you a dead person, elder sister? How can you watch your man engage in carnal pleasures with another woman?” Wan Mei finally spoke up in one corner. her voice clear and sharp.
Cha Wu’s smile immediately froze. “Of course I am not dead. I only happen to overhear what those two were doing behind my back!”
Wan Mei did not say anymore and on the other side, Yan Zi Feng seemed to be a little more awake. He let go of Yan Ran and started to shake.
“It was the 8th day of the 7th month. I was meant to escort something, only we lost it so I had to turn back home early. “Cha Wu continue, “and then saw this great show.”
Yan Zi feng raised his head, “Yes it was that day when Xiao Ran came home dripping wet, and then caught a cold and never recovered.”
“Indeed.” Cha Wu chorused, “She went to see my man in soaked clothes. That day she even wore a thin dress so her dress was wrapped around her thigh….”
Yan Zi Feng swallowed, his eyes flew to Yan Ran’s thighs, his hands shook as they hung by his sides as his eyes slowly worked their way to her knees, and then further up.
“Yes, it was there.” Cha Wu’s eyes lit up, “It was there…when your sister was pleasured by my man, she kept moaning and crying…”
He sucked a breath in, desire shot through his body and his hands landed on Yan Ran’s private area. It was so cold there that he couldn’t help but shiver, which perhaps cleared his mind and he fell back a few steps. And walked right in Wan Mei.
Cha Wu slanted a glance at him, “Are you afraid about such a little thing?” And as soon as the words left her mouth, she leaned over and started undressing Yan Ran with her teeth.
Resting his head between his hands, he was unable to control his desire anymore, and in a fit of rage, he flung Wan Mei into the wall.
“Leave.” Using the last shred of control, he croaked at Cha Wu, “Leave. Stay away from Xiao Ran.”
Cha Wu laughed coldly at him, reached over and stopped him, “The person you truly desire is not this prostitute. Why do you not dare? What are you afraid of? Look at.. look at what Xiao Ran did to you.”
And then she leaned down, enclosed her mouth around her breast, her tongue teased Wan Mei’s nipple and one of her hands slid down and easily found her pleasure point.
Wan Mei could not help but let out a moan and Cha Wu’s movements increased. She turned around to glance at him, “I remember your Xiao Ran’s cries were even louder than this prostitute’s. They even discussed about eloping as they were making love.”
Yan Zi Feng let out a growl, and he leaned forward, separated Yan Ran’s legs and brought his manhood closer to her body.
Finally desire overcame rationality and his inner mana drifted out of him, trying to find an orfice to be released.
The owner of the Burning Moon sword had to have control, otherwise they could easily be overcome by madness and lose all their inner mana.
His body shook, and his length edged further forward.
Cha Wu lowered her head, gathered all her inner power into her right hand, a thin silver thread shot out from her sleeve.
And then, the shattering of glass filled the room. The crystal light next to Yan Ran’s face shattered and it’s shards fell into the ground a dim glow glinting off each of them.
Yan Zi Feng startled for a moment and the past seemed to rush into his mind as if the shards brought each memory back to life.
A fifteen year old Yan Ran with a pointy chin and almond shaped eyes, her dark eyes bright and free of any dirt in life had placed that crystal lamp by the desk.
Her voice was always gentle and soft but she had a strong spirit and told him firmly, “Let us always be like this, as long as the lamp is not extinguished, we will never commit incest.”
And so the crystal lamp remained lit for ten years, passion turned into love. But now that the lamp was shattered, it meant that promise was broken and he had given up that last step.
Yan Zi Feng was still breathing heavily, he moved back but his desire still refused to give up, still fighting with his determination.
Cha Wu grew anxious, she pushed Wan Mei away and told him, “The lamp is destroyed, why are you still hesitating for? You no longer have a promise with her.”
Right at that moment, the jade pendant around Wan Mei’s neck fell to the ground too and shattered into two pieces. Wan Mei leaned down, cradled the pieces in her hand but the two pieces would no longer fit together and Wan Mei burst into tears, her shoulders shaking as she cried.
Cha Wu grew impatient, she reached over and threw the pendant in a corner of the room, “It’s a cheap jade, what are you crying for? Is it a gift from your lover? How could he give you such a forged piece of jewellery? It’s not even worth 5 bronze coins!”
Wan Mei lifted her head. “Do you not understand that it is the hope behind it? My love for my cousin has nothing to do with whether this is a real piece of jade or not. Just like Master Yan and his sister. They kept their relationship platonic, it has nothing to do with that lamp.”
There was a hidden meaning behind her words, unfortunately Cha Wu did not understand it but Yan Zi Feng however immediately understood.
“What did you say?” he asked, turning his head towards her, “repeat what you said.”
“I said Master Yan you did not touch your sister for 10 years, was it truly because of this lamp?”
When she spoke, Cha Wu had once again wrapped the silver thread around her neck. This time it was not to test her, but to kill her.
Wan Mei felt her breath stuck in her throat as the thread tightened Yan Zi Feng hurried forward but when he grabbed hold of the thread with his right hand, it cut through his hand and came away bleeding.
“I remember you said that you are doing this for your elder male cousin.” He lowered his head and glanced at her, “But do you know that if he succeeds then he will never come back to you?”
She raised her head, her eyes expressionless, and just like the fifteen year old Yan Ran said, “I said it is just a hope. I am good to him, that is not because of whether he will come back or not. It is only a clean place in my heart. My body and my money is dirty, but I can only carry on living if there is a clean place in my heart.”
Yan Zi Feng’s head lowered further, the blood from his cut palm dripped heavily.
“You say I do not touch Yan Ran because of the lamp. Then tell me, why do I not touch her?”
Wan Mei sighed, “You know very well why. Why do you ask me?”
He felt his heart tremble, but it only took that for him to see hope again and it felt as if the skies had finally cleared. The madness left and his inner mana returned to his body.
Of course it was not because of the lamp. It was because he loved her, respected her.
But if he loved her, cared for her, why must he be so intent on avenging himself on her. Why should he humialte and torture her to pay her back for her betrayal?
It is better to leave this love in his heart and everything would still remain clean.
Just as Wan Mei said, his love was that clean place in his heart, it was like that burning crystal light that kept him company.
With that, that discomfort in his heart was resolved. Yan Zi Feng raised his palm, cut off the silver thread and thanked Wan Mei.but she hurriedly glanced back at Cha Wu who had pulled out a weapon, making a final attempt.
It was a metre long sword. She raised it and tried to stab Yan Zi Feng from the back with it.
Yan Zi Feng did not have the glance back. His sword flew out of it’s scabbard, and blade met with blade with a loud clang.
It only took one move to determine who the victor was. The red mark on the burning moon sword was like blood, it halted the short sword before gliding it away and embedding it onto Cha Wu’s shoulder.
Cha Wu let out a cry and clutching her shoulder rushed out of the door. And Yan Zi Feng put away his sword but did not give chase. Instead he turned around to look at Yan Ran. His face gentle with love as he tenderly cupped her cheek.
After peace returned, Yan Zi Feng knew that Wan Mei was no prostitute, but someone who had come prepared.
“Why did you not tell me directly that she was an assassin?” he inquired looking at her,”tell me when you sAw her?”
“But my master told me to not only protect you, but also to get rid of the matter plaguing you,” she replied in a low voice.
He glanced at her with surprise, “Then who is your master? Why did he ask you to save me?”
Wan Mei did not reply. Instead she lowered her body and picked up one of the shards on the floor and placed it on her palm and showed him it. “My master only wishes for you to owe him a debt. Whenever you see this shard of crystal, you must treat it’s holder as my Master. You only need to pay back this debt you owe him.”
Of course there was a reason. In this world, no-one would save another without a reason.
“Of course, I always know my debts,” he replied. Wan Mei smiled, closed her hand and waved her hand at him, “Then farewell.”
But as she turned around, Yan Zi Feng called her, “Which means…Your cousin, that story is a fake?”
“It is real.” She told him, “Only it was a story I bought with 1 tael from the brothel. It is a shame it was a story bought with money.”
Yan Zi Feng then asked with apprehension, “Then Xiao Ran did not that day… Everything she said was a lie.”
“You may inspect her. But from what I know, you can rid the Shou Gong Sa with a type of concoction.” She pressed her lips together, “Of course, that is if you feel there is a need for it.”
He sighed. Glancing up at her he told her, “No need. I think there is no need for that. I will arrange for Xiao Ran to be buried now.”
Wan Mei nodded, this time she did not say farewell to him and hurried away. There was still half a day before she returned to the Gate of Ghosts and so as she stretched she decided to climb the hill close to the Yan Residence and perhaps be able to breathe in a breath of freedom.
There had never been a mission which had been so easy. And as she strolled up the hill, she felt she could breathe easily and her steps light as they touched the ground.
It was then when Xiao San finally appeared. “Cha Wu is injured. No-one can find her.”
Wan Mei immediately felt her spirits dampen, “It is not something we should care about. It is a big world, the people at the Gate of Ghosts will find her and bring her back.”
But as she spoke, a twig broke above her and Cha Wu flew towards her, belt in hand before ensnaring Wan Mei’s neck with it.
Xiao San hurriedly pulled out his sword and stabbed Cha Wu in the chest with it. Except Cha Wu refused to let go, determined to bring Wan Mei with her. Wan Mei stopped struggling. She felt as if she saw herself in a few decades time and it was hard not to feel dispirited.
“It is not I who wish to hurt you. The Gate of Ghosts believe you are too old. Your beauty has withered and you are no longer of any use,”she told her in a cold voice.
Cha Wu’s laughter was just as cold, “Indeed, you do not wish to hurt me. Why should I kill you, the future Cha Wu?”
She put away the belt. Slowly put it away as if she was saying her last goodbye to the world.
“I have a favor.” Slowly she lifted her eyes. “Kill me here. I do not want to return there. Even in death, I want to be a free ghost.”
Xiao San turned around, wordlessly conversing with Wan Mei. And Wan Mei stared back at him calmly, in her eyes there was only one thing she wished to say and that was she did not want Cha Wu to die.
Xiao San immediately understood. He stabbed her in the blank acupoint, hit her in the chest, pushing her off the edge off the cliff.
No-one knew how deep the abyss underneath the hill was. But there was a rare likelihood that she would remain alive. But it was still a chance. Wan Mei and Xiao San glanced at each other, that thought passed through both of their minds and they fell silent.
The two of them returned to the Gate of Ghosts together. Wan Mei was in high spirits, not only did she save Yan Zi Feng’s life, but she also understood his pain and he would listen to her orders without question in the future.
As she expected, Xing Feng was waiting for her in Slayer Mei’s courtyard. He was rolling up his sleeves, his smile kind and friendly. “You completed the mission perfectly Slayer Mei.”
She hurriedly bowed and placed the shard of crystal by Xing Feng’s feet. “Gongzi and the chief are indeed wise. Yan Zi Feng will be loyal to us in the future.”
Xing Feng smiled as he picked it up. He glanced over at Xiao San, “And who ordered you to send that Cha Wu over the cliff? Do you not know that all the assassins at the Gate of Ghosts must return here and return the blood Gu in their blood? Was it your idea, or your Mistress’?”
“Mine.” Xiao San replied, lowering his head. His voice steady and firm.
“Then from now on you do not need to be Miss Wan Mei’s shadow.” Xing Feng announced, “The Gate of Ghosts do not require a willful shadow like you. Come with me.”
Xiao San did not dare to say anything and followed Xing Feng holding his breath as he did so.
Wan Mei remained on the spot, startled. Only after a moment had passed before she rushed out to follow them. “If he is not my shadow, where will he go?”
“To become a male attendant. To serve the chief.” Xing Feng did not even glance back. “Miss Mei do not worry. I will send a better shadow to you.”