25 years ago, the Nan Jiang of then was under the reign of the Ding Shan sect. Although the Blood lotus religious sect had existed for over a century, however its influence has started to wane. On the day of the near extinction of the sect, Su Qing Ya assumed the position as chief and the next day, the blood lotus flower sunk onto the bottom of the blood pool and across the entire Nan Jiang, that ballad was sung.
“The lotus has fallen, the color too dark, the sins too burdensome, no one can atone them…”
The prophesy hinted on misfortune and it was quickly proven to be true. Su Qing Ya ordered her disciples to feed the rust Gu into the river around Lan Zhao city and suddenly a “plague” broke out within the entire city, leading to the loss of a thousand lives.
And so the sacrificial ceremony was initiated. After that bloody sickening obscene show, the blood lotus blossomed once more and Su Qing Ya became the reincarnated deity in human form, carrying the so called holy blood and went door to door to treat every patient who had been infected by the rust Gu.
The plague ended, the people of Nan Jiang had been taught their lesson and had attained salvation. They finally admitted that the blood lotus flower was the core of their worship without question.
Although Su Qing Ya had done this through forceful and cruel methods however just with that one act she had overturned the fate of her sect. Her contribution to the sect was unquestionable and hence she became someone to be remembered through time.
And now 25 years have passed, the truth was almost forgotten by even those who were present at the time, yet there was someone who had engraved it within their heart, forming the countless cuts on their heart.
You Chan was only 3 at the time of the plague, both her parents were elders of the Ding Shan sect. She had 3 elder brothers and 2 elder sisters. Out of her family of 8, 6 had passed away from that disease, leaving only she and her mother.
It was already painful to be the only ones to survive a disease that killed off most of your loved ones, but what brought more agony was the fact that she learned about the truth through coincidence.
It turned out that so called plague was fake, the lives of those 1000 people were simply pawns which Su Qing Ya used to turn the tables around.
At first You Chan only felt hatred, she joined the Blood Lotus sect with hatred, and step by step she rose up the ranks from an unknown believer to a Protectorate.
But afterwards that hatred diminished, after 25 years, it turned from hatred to her belief.
After the truth of the blood Lotus sect was exposed, and Su Qing Ya paid this blood debt with her life, that belief would become clean and pure.
However Su Qing Ya had not managed the affairs of the sect for over a decade and under the careful management of Lan Ruo, the blood lotus sect became deeply embedded in the hearts of it’s people. It was now impossible to eradicate it.
So Lan Ruo became the biggest obstacle in her path to create the religion in her dreams.
“I am one of the victims of that plague. A victim who knows about the truth of the sect.” You Chan felt a burden lift as she reminisced about the past. It was like finally being granted the freedom to speak what was on her mind.
“So I must kill you. If you do not die I cannot see the Chief, cannot expose the truth of the Blood Lotus sect. I have no choice.”
Lan Ruo narrowed his eyes at her, yet he seemed to be as calm as an ocean. “So you do have your reasons and I deserve death. We cannot blame you for being merciless.”
Blood no longer poured out from every orifice, and a clear light shone from his eyes. Reflecting from them was a gentleness that never dimmed, causing You Chan to feel inescapable guilt.
“You set this up beautifully.” In the end Lan Ruo let out a smile and turned around to glance at the Go board by the blood pool. “This time all my attention was on you so I lost.”
As soon as the words left his mouth, his body started to shake, Shen Ying which was still in his hands fell to the ground, and a strange silver grey color graced his face.
It was at this point when Wan Mei finally adjusted herself and launched herself towards them. Her foot hooked itself onto the whip, grabbed the other end of Shen Ying and attacked Lan Ruo straight at the throat.
Lan Ruo had already reached the end of his limit, although he managed to avoid her direct blow, however it resulted in him bending over and spitting out a mouthful of black blood.
But the second attack had already reached him, which was Absolute darkness. Lan Ruo let out a bitter laugh and knew that this time it was unavoidable so he just raised his head and met the blow face on.
The whip did not manage to strike his face, instead it wounded around You Chan’s hand, slicing through the palm of her palm and locking Wan Mei in a stalemate.
“I believe that my shadow had told you long ago clearly. “As you and I are already allies, then we are on the same boat,” she told her, her eyes almost spitting with fury.
You Chan lowered her head in silence. On the other hand, Yue Ying slowly made her way towards them and when she came into proximity of Lan Ruo said, “Actually you do not need to waste your effort. The poison has worked it’s way through all his organs, which will all deteriorate and decay. In the end, his entire body will be covered with a greyish glow. He will die a painful death but will be a beautiful sight.”
“You are quite confident of your poison right?” You Chan scoffed coldy before raising her eyes to look at her. “Then do you know he is the one of the first creators of Gu poison? If he did not have to project an illusion in front of thousands of people he would have pushed the poison out of his body long ago.”
“That what do you intend?” Wan Mei retorted immediately, “So because he risked his life in order to save you, are you going back on your word?”
You Chan raised her eyes and stared at the calm blood within the pool that was not afraid and finally shook her head.
“I did not say I am going back on my word.” She unclasped her hand before stepping forward to face Lan Ruo.
The silver hairpin on her head still remained; she brought it with Lan Ruo when they visited the market together. She removed it before aiming for the blood vessel on Lan Ruo’s wrist and with one firm blow she cut open that vessel.
Lan Ruo did not fight back. I did not know whether it was because it was out of weakness or because she was unwilling. He staggered his way towards the edge of the blood pool and watched as blood spurted out from his wrist, spilling into the pool like a blood stream.
You Chan followed him, to the Go board by the poolside before sitting down and picked a white piece up to study. “Actually you could tell us the truth behind the blood lotus religion or watch me die. Your religion or your love. As long as you chose one, you would not necessary die. Why were you so foolish, wishing to fulfill both sides?”
Lan Ruo did not reply to him, instead he lowered his head towards the poolside.
“Go now. I have reported this to the chief long ago. As soon as I die, you will be casted out from the blood religious sect, you do not have a chance to kill her.”
You Chan let out a bitter laugh and placed the white piece on the board. “You have not replied to my question. As you know I had ulterior motives, then why did you tell me letting me win? Have you never wanted to win?”
“Because I am greedy. I keep thinking you have your reasons and hope that you can feel some sincerity to me.”
Lan Ruo finally turned around to look at her, his lips finally lost it’s final color. “It looks like I am wrong. The sins of the blood lotus sect are grave. What I hoped was simply vain hope.”
“It is all vain hope.” He sighed and laid down flat. “My blood lotus sect’s crimes are grave and cannot be redeemed. How can you love me? Within the blood pool, how could a blood lotus flower blossom?”
After he finished speaking, he closed his eyes. Whether it was love, hate, everything in his life passed away with his life.
A navy robe covered his body, when he passed away, he was still calm and neutral. He was still eternally that gentle Lan Ruo.
Lan Ruo was afraid of being tickled, it was rumored that those afraid of tickles were always soft hearted.
Lan Ruo was a poor speaker, he was terrible at arguments, whether he stood on the side of reason or not, he would end up apologizing in the end.
Lan Ruo did not have any principles. He would say alright. The thing he would often say was “As long as you wish it.”
You Chan sat in silence for a moment. Her memories of Lan Ruo flashed past her mind one by one. In the end, only the memory of his gentle face remained.
He loved her. Just now she did not have to ask that question and did not require and answer.
It was not that he did not wish to win, only his opponent was her that was why he was willing to let her win.
“Go and leave.” You Chan waved her hand and placed the white go piece on the board. “Remember our agreement. I helped you kill Lan Ruo, and you will help me remove the blood lotus religious sect from the roots.”
“Naturally my Master will keep his word.” Wan Mei clasped her hands at her, did not say anymore and turned away with Yue Ying.
The poolside returned to silence once more. You Chan rearranged the Go pieces and played against herself. That lonely match continued until after dark.
Half a month later, Wan Mei returned to the Gate of Ghosts. When she thought back to Lan Ruo’s phrase, she felt cold spread across her body. So she wrapped her arms around herself and turned to Xiao San, “Say, will love never grow in a place that is full of sin? And that within the blood pool, no lotus flower will ever blossom?”
Xiao San came over to wrap an arm around her shoulders and pulled her into his embrace. Although it felt as if a thousand arrows were piercing his heart, but he accepted it willingly.
“Do not think about this problem,” he said through gritted teeth. “Right now the other Heavenly Slayer team have failed their mission. You must think of a way to beat Yue Ying from your team, after you win you will become an Absolute Slayer.”
Wan Mei leaned her head on her chest. “Tomorrow you will face Yue Ying right? Do not right, I have observed it already. She is no match for me.”
“But this time you will be competing in seduction. The person you are going to seduce is Feng Zhu.” Xiao San hesitated, “He….”
He left the rest of the sentence unsaid and Wan Mei did not ask him. She only buried her head within his embrace.
It was growing dark outside the window. Their shadows entangled with each other on the wall behind them. At least they could happily entwine themselves together for one more day and not think of tomorrow.
The next day came very soon. In the morning Wan Mei bathed and got dressed and tuned and waxed her catalpas wooden Guqin to prepare for the afternoon’s test.
The test was located in the Absolute Slayer’s courtyard. Before the characters “Liu Guang” was engraved on the sign hanging over the gate.
And now, all the characters were wiped clean and the pear blossoms in the courtyard have all withered. Underneath the pear blossoms, Feng Zhu was cleaning the pallet that Liu Guang would often sit.
Everything had changed, this scene was no doubt a little pitiful. He lay down on the pallet, his hair slightly raised and his eyes that seemed to still see Liu Guang and a pear blossom petal landed on one of his eyelashes.
Liu Guang really was dead. Just as he expected. She died because Xiao San came over and put the idea of testing the heart of the Chief.
That day when he saw off Xiao San, when they reached the door Xiao San warned him, “Your Mistress has already fallen out of favor. You should know clearly who will most likely become the Absolute Slayer. If you understand the situation, I will definitely give you a good position.”
He understood what Xiao San meant. Wan Mei was the most likely female assassin who will replace Liu Guang. But once she became the Absolute Slayer and took Xiao San back in then Xiao San will become promoted to become the head of all the shadows and his title would change to become “Ghost shadow”.
After he heard that, he let out a cold bark of laughter and retorted, “If my mistress dies, I will definitely inform the Chief that you were driving a wedge between us so that you will die with her!”
And now everything had come true, Liu Guang had died, Xiao San had returned to Wan Mei’s side and now Wan Mei was simply one step away from the position of Absolute Slayer.
But he did not expose him. His mind resonated with the phrase, “In the future when I climb to a higher position I will definitely give you a good position.”
He was now a shadow without a mistress. Then will Xiao San become his support.
But no-one knew the truth. He was still undecided should he hate Xiao San who killed his Mistress and hate Wan Mei as well and seek avenge for Liu Guang, or should he assist her so that he will always have Xiao San’s weakness and he will never have any worries about his future again. Even when people started to fill into the courtyard, he was unable to decide between his loyalty to his mistress or his future.
Everyone had come. The judge of the contest this time was Cha Luo. The male attendants who followed her in grabbed hold of Feng Zhu as soon as they saw him and tied him onto a seduction chair in one of the practise rooms.
Wan Mei and Yue Ying entered the practise room one by one. Cha Luo picked herself up one by one and smiled at the line half a meter from the seduction chair.
“You are forbidden to cross this line. We will compete one by one. When the bell rings, the contest ends, the person who uses the less time wins.”
Both Wan Mei and Yue Ying did not understand. Cha Luo’s male attendants smiled and produced an exquisite bell, placed it on a frame and roasted it over an open fire.
Before long the bell was roasted to a red color, the male attendants raised the frame, picked up the rope and threaded it through the bell. The red bell ended up half an inch away from Feng Zhu’s male member.
“If he gets aroused then the bell will naturally ring.” The male attendant made a hand signal and blinked at Feng Zhu, “Remember to endure it. The longer you endure it, the colder the bell will be and your member will not become a roasted sausage.”
It was a cruel and torturous idea. Feng Zhu gritted his teeth. The heat from the bell had already started to burn his member and he could only take a deep breath and do everything he could to distance himself from the bell.
“Yue Ying joined the sect earlier. You go first.” Cha Luo announced beside them and lighted a musk incense stick.
Yue Ying did not have time to speak. Hurriedly she removed her clothes and her body started to emit a faint fragrant scent.
After she was completely naked, she lifted her scarlet parasol, opened the hollow bamboo handle and a small snake emerged and with a “whoosh” sound flew to her neck.
It was a green jade snake, with a beautiful black pattern, with a scarlet red tongue that flickered in and out. Just one look and everyone knew it was poisonous.
Yue Ying waved her finger and a faint fragrant scent flowed down from her finger which the green snake slowly wormed it’s way down. It’s bright and seductive body slipped down her collarbone before coming to a rest on her soft breasts.
The tips of her alabaster peaks were a pale pink although the green ring attached on the tip was a little strange, but when the red tongue of the snake emerged and then traced a circle around her right nipple, Yue Ying felt a tingle of pleasure run through her and let out an exaggerated cry.
The combination of a seductive icy beauty with a strange snake, those two stimuli forced Feng Zhu involuntarily swallow.
The green snake continued to wriggle, and curled itself onto Yue Ying’s breast, stimulating it to the limit before it started to make it’s way down.
It was not only Feng Zhu, this time everyone’s eyes were fixed onto the jade snake and watched as it made it’s way to her waist. The snake’s tongue wormed around her belly hole and then to her private area. It’s beautiful body started to wriggle and finally tested the waters by touching it’s head into the dark triangle between her legs.
Yue Ying was already soaked; the green snake hesitated, and did not move for a long while. Meanwhile Feng Zhu could not help but hold his breath.
The fragrant scent increased in intensity. Yue Ying’s right hand slipped down, and after rubbing the pearl she opened her flowerbud and revealed a pink deep hole.
The green snake flickered it’s tongue to taste the pearl, Yue Ying’s body begun to tremble and her hole opened up even more.
Everyone held their breath. The snake did not hesitate any longer and pushed it’s head into the hole. At that moment Yue Ying raised her head and let out a raspy cry from deep in her throat.
The strangeness of the sight only accented the pleasure, and the room was suddenly filled with a burning flesh scent as Feng Zhu painfully straightened his body. Cha Luo acknowledged this and snuffed out the incense.
“The fragrance was a kind of aphrodisiac, causing all of you to feel do hotheaded. It also controlled the movement of the snake. Our Yue Ying’s use of poison is extraordinary,” Cha Luo commented gently and then happily swept her gaze across the entire room.
“Honestly all of you. Do you think that she will engage in a sexual act with a snake?”
Yue Ying picked herself up and took a bow. The green snake returned to the parasol handle and her incense only burned to less than a third of the way through.
Another bronze bell was placed on top of the red hot frame and Wan Mei entered with her Guqin, flashing everyone with a bright smile.
Liu Guang’s face floated in front of his eyes and Feng Zhu felt his heart starting to ache.
The musk incense stick was lit; the time belonging to Wan Mei had begun. She sat down, with the Guqin in her arms, but before her fingers touched the string of the Guqin, she discovered that Feng Zhu had turned his head around and had tightly closed his eyes.