Ostentatious Zhao Yao by Jiu Lu Fei Xiang
《招摇》 作者: 九鹭非香
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As we continuously watched the sunset glow fade away, the hue of the twilight sky gradually lowered to a black darkness and many stars came out to fill up the sky, Mo Qing sat beside me and had no intention to stand up and leave.
As if seated here with me watching the stars in the sky, he could see into eternity.
He was not anxious but I was stifled by this somewhat unbearable silence.
Last night, I did not burn any paper money. Today, during the daytime, I did not burn anything again. If today, during the nighttime, I did not go find someone to burn money, then this day’s time was most certainly wasted!
Just as I interweaved my hands in front of me and planned to find a topic that would urge Mo Qing to leave, he suddenly said: “In a moment, I will set out on a journey to go overseas to Immortal Island.”
He took the initiative to mention my goal, which left me in that moment with nothing to say. I could only “oh” once.
“When I reach Immortal Island to fetch the sword, my Instant Shadow Technique will be hindered. Maybe two to three days later, I can then return.”
“When I am not here…” I thought for certain that he wanted to warn me not to run around all over the place to cause mischief and so on, but in the end, he said, “If you want anything, you can tell the Dark Shift Guards.”
‘Yi, you are this at ease with me?’
‘When you are away in this short period of time, I want to tell the Dark Shift Guards that I want to snatch your sect leader position, will they agree to help me?’
Of course, I would not say these words out loud.
When Mo Qing finished speaking, he was quiet again but he still did not leave. After a while, he turned his head to look at me, his black pupils reflected my face and the starry night sky. He asked me: “There’s nothing you want to tell me?”
I was silent for a moment.
‘Okay, okay, okay, I get it. Is it not precisely that you want concern and affection? Is it not precisely that you want some warm-hearted sweet speech and honeyed words? Wait until you bring the sword back later, you still want praise and admiration, is that not so? I understand you! I will satisfy you! All will be to your satisfaction, okay?’
Therefore, I covered the back of his hand, gently held his palm, and allowed the temperature of our two palms to warm each other.
I said: “Master, you must be very careful, don’t get hurt, come back soon, I will miss you.”
To one side, Zhi Yan pretended to retch at me with dislike: “Demoness, you can really fake it to death!”
‘Hmph, little child, what do you know, all people in love crave this pattern of behavior. You see Mo Qing…’
I carefully glanced at the expression on Mo Qing’s face… Even if right now I was able to seduce Mo Qing, I had no choice but to be somewhat entranced by his expression in this moment.
He was smiling. The smile was unlike a little child’s that just ate candy, but like a person who waited for many years, gradually became old, almost reached despair at death’s door, and finally obtained the only thing he longingly yearned for.
I saw his eyes dropped to peer at my hand holding his and the fragments of light in his pupils warmed. As if he was secretly delighted, distressed, embarrassed, and a bit cautious and solemn mingled with the horizon of starlight, all crushed together within his eyes.
I uttered words that were used to play along according to the moment and employed a heart that displayed false affections but in return, I received such a rare and serious answer. For a moment, because of the emotions in Mo Qing’s eyes, I suddenly felt there was a little…
I unexpectedly felt… That I was a little apologetic towards him.
“Also, if there is something that the Dark Shift Guards can’t solve, then delay it until I come back.”
He left behind this short message, then nimbly stood up and departed because he had just asked for the concern he wanted. While I sat on the steps and gazed for a long time at the distant mountains and rivers under the canopy of stars, I was reluctant to part with it.
Zhi Yan also sat on the step beside me, drawing circles: “I feel that Li Demon treats you very well, that emotion in his eyes earlier… Maybe he really likes you. He was lonely for a long time… And it appears that he finally found a person he likes…”
I said: “The person he likes is you.”
“During the daytime, he doesn’t even look at me straight in the face.” Zhi Yan said, “Just in the evening, only then will he meet you face-to-face. Also, during the nighttime, he will only then treat you like this.” Zhi Yan thought for a moment, “How about you don’t deceive him anymore. Tell him the truth, What if… After he knows that you are Lu Zhao Yao, he still treats you with a deep sense of love and also helps resurrect you?”
“Shut up.” I reprimanded her once.
The reprimand made the guards on either side keep quiet out of fear.
I did not pursue nor trust these things like affection. I was born to be a demon seeking influence, wealth, and absolute power. If I wanted to ask for a little more of something else, it was taxing and laborious, and the outcome still did not end well. I had already experienced this type of lesson.
I raised Zhi Yan’s hands and stared at these pair of white softness. Men in this world preferred people who could not threaten them, such as Zhi Yan. In contrast, they loathed women who could snatch the position belonging only to them, like me, Lu Zhao Yao.
Even though, I honestly invested my whole heart and was willing to do everything for it…
I stood up, patted my clothes, and just now, thought about the time. With Mo Qing’s Instant Shadow Technique, I estimated that he had already reached somewhere on the coast by now. Then the next step, he needed to fly out to sea to get to Immortal Island and could only manage it slowly.
I twisted and stretched my waist, moved my muscles and bones about and said: “I’m going to burn paper money now.” Then I used the Instant Shadow Technique, gestured with one hand and within a blink of an eye, I arrived at Jiang City.
Just like the last time I was at Jiang City, I purchased incense, paper, and candles, and arrived above the bridge on Hua Street. I unfurled and propped the cloth sign up. Then I sat down on the bridge and waited for people to come to burn paper offerings.
When I came here this time, I remembered some lousy things of the past and my mood was a little gloomy. So I fixed my attention on two people with relatively ugly appearances and dragged them over to burn paper money. After I bullied them, I became somewhat relaxed and a little invigorated.
However, in the end, I was neither Jiang Wu nor the former Lu Zhao Yao. Even though I was burning paper offerings for Lu Zhao Yao but in their eyes, I was not that scary at all. So when I was just planning to sit down on the side of the bridge to relaxingly solicit business…
Someone that I just bullied was dissatisfied with the outcome.
That person brought over a group of men.
My street stall was blocked on the small bridge; every person held a big sword and was overbearingly aggressive. A pair of men wanted to properly cause a problem and intimidated the people who wanted to walk on this side to all go around.
The thin-as-a-bamboo-pole man that was just bullied by me stood out from the crowd of people. He did not in the least look like he was just bullied or was so scared that his hair rose up. He sucked in his waist, stuck out his chest, lifted his chin, and wished he could use his nostrils to look at me: “Hmph, don’t think because you are a woman that I won’t teach you a lesson today. I live in Jiang City and it is not your turn to throw shit on my head! “
With a glance, I swept over this group of brawny men and felt a little happy. It was not enough to just bully Little Bamboo Pole by himself. Now he also brought over such a large crowd of people for me to bully. Once again, my bank account in the Netherworld could receive a substantial amount of money.
“Now you have to kneel down and admit your fault to me. Kowtow three times, call me grandfather once, and then accompany me back for a one night stand, maybe I can still spare you, your life.”
Oh, very good, Little Bamboo Pole, you said all the words ranked number one in Jiang Hu that courted death. If I did not kill you, then it truly would be unforgivable of me to not follow through with your request!
During this moment, my eyes became cold and I was about to roll up my sleeves to fight, I suddenly heard a blood-curdling screech behind that group of brawny men with swords. It was a mournful scream that almost tore the eardrums. All the men heard that sound and turned their heads back to look. Everyone immediately became fearful and their complexion changed.
As if there was an invisible force squeezing through the middle, they went from being overbearingly aggressive and began to tremble fretfully, and then spontaneously stepped aside.
I took a look and saw Jiang Wu and one of his two subordinates from last time.
At this moment, in Jiang Wu’s hand, he was holding a bloody arm which he had just ripped off from one of those brawny men’s body.
The brawny man used his other hand to cover his wound and painfully rolled around on the ground but Jiang Wu appeared not to notice. Including the sounds of his tragic screams were also ignored. He only threw that still convulsing arm somewhere near the bridge and it fell into the river. His gaze then fell on me and he grinned: “I heard that there was someone on the bridge setting up a shop to burn ghost money. I guessed that it was you. Sure enough, I was not wrong at all.”
Hearing Jiang Wu talking to me like this, Little Bamboo Pole’s complexion immediately became deathly white.
Jiang Wu stepped forward and looked at the pile of paper offerings next to me, he sighed and said: “Whoa, still as much as before. You go through a lot of trouble and expend a great deal of effort to burn ghost money for Lu Zhao Yao, can she pay for your wages or not?”
I pondered for a moment: “Can be regarded as a share.”
Jiang Wu laughed heartily. While he was still laughing, Little Bamboo Pole suddenly trembled and knelt down beside him: “Jiang… Jiang Noble Warrior, this inferior has eyes that did not see Mount Tai. I did not know this was your friend. This inferior… This inferior…”
*Mount Tai – being unaware of somebody’s great importance
Before he could finish his words, Jiang Wu’s face suddenly darkened and he turned his head: “Oh, right, those words just now was said by you.”
Little Bamboo Pole desperately kowtowed for his life on the ground: “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Miss, I deserve to die. My mouth is of low birth, I…” Did not want to continue listening to him making a ruckus, the nearby pressure immediately increased, and Little Bamboo Pole’s entire body quickly became motionless. It was under this tremendous pressure, he lost his ability to move.
“I almost forgot to punish you.” Jiang Wu finished his words, waved his arm, and only saw a stream of blood splattering out from Little Bamboo Pole’s neck. His head already resembled the rice straws that get cut in autumn, with one “swoosh,” and it dropped.
The head made an arc in the air, “boom” once, and fell into the river.
Only the body remained kneeling on the bridge. After a brief moment of blood gushing out, the body slumped to the ground. The blood on the ground followed down the curves of the limestone bridge and stained the shoes of Little Bamboo Pole’s hired thugs.
In regards to this type of scene, I already had no emotions that were too big. Yet each and every one of these big men who appeared to be extremely robust, they all began to shiver and tremble. They were dripping cold sweat and pushing each other backwards. They did not dare to make their movements too big nor make a sound to cry out in alarm. Among them, the atmosphere was oppressive and heavy, each person’s breathing became urgent and cautious.
A group of scared prey…
“Hey.” I called out to them once: “What’s with the retreat, after you burn money, then you can go.”
They did not move until Jiang Wu shouted: “Didn’t you hear anything? After you burn money, then you can go. If you don’t burn…” He laughed, his smile was insolent and scary, “Do you want to be immediately buried with the dead?”
As soon as the statement came out, all the strong men immediately fought each other and rushed forward to go burn paper money.
I simply got out of the way, stood aside, crossed my arms, and watched them work.
Jiang Wu stood beside me, he watched that blazing bonfire and kept on laughing: “I admire you, really admire you. You said your name was?”
“Oh. Did Little Beauty come to Jiang City this time to intentionally invite me for a drink?”
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Enjoy your reading pleasure!
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