BBW – Chapter Fifteen and Chapter Sixteen
BBW – Chapter Fifteen
On a foggy night, it was the right opportunity to escape.
Murong Yun Su looked down the window. She wanted to jump down, but she didn’t know kungfu, and she didn’t want to break her bones.
Suddenly Murong Yun Su remembered how Chu Zhang Ca teased her at Hua Da Courtyard, he said, ‘Everyone who doesn’t know kungfu should become birds.’
Murong Yun Su wished she had said, ‘Everyone who doesn’t know kungu should become cats. Cats have nine lives, and they can jump out of windows, land safely and not break their bones.’
Murong Yun Su laughed, closed the window, turned around, and almost peed in her pants when she saw a masked assassin holding a sword by her bed.
The assassin looked at Murong Yun Su like he was indecisive whether to chop off her legs or arms first.
‘Did you enter the wrong room?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
Murong Yun Su used her mouth to speak before the assassin used his sword to silence her.
‘Are you Murong Yun Su?’ the assassin asked coldly in a familiar voice.
‘No,’ Murong Yun Su said hesitantly because she wasn’t ready to turn into a corpse.
‘I’ve seen your portrait,’ the assassin said, ‘you’re Murong Yun Su.’
Murong Yun Su wanted to say the assassin shouldn’t ask the obvious. ‘The portrait is a fake.’
‘Then who are you?’ the assassin said, and raised the sword.
‘If you want to kill people for amusement, why do you need to know who I am?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
‘I only want to kill Murong Yun Su,’ the assassin said.
‘Then you can leave,’ Murong Yun Su said.
The assassin thrust the sword an inch from Murong Yu Su’s throat.
Murong Yun Su forced herself to breathe, and not show how shaken up she was.
‘Before I die, can you tell me why?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
The assassin held the sword still at her throat.
‘Who sent you to kill me?’ Murong Yun Su asked. ‘I don’t have enemies who’d have a reason to kill me.’
‘Prince Liang,’ the assassin said.
Murong Yun Su never met Prince Liang before or stepped foot in Shi Zhou. How could she be his enemy?
Suddenly a second assassin appeared. Murong Yun Su wished the two assassins were a mirage. How did they enter the room when she closed the window, and the door?
If Murong Yun Su was going to be killed by people with powerful kungfu, she wanted to become an immortal to repay their murderous deed.
The first assassin didn’t notice the second assassin’s presence, and Murong Yun Su took advantage to create a diversion.
‘What are you waiting for?’ Murong Yun Su asked. ‘Kill him.’
The two assassins clashed swords after they heard Murong Yun Su ousting them. She had gambled if they weren’t in the same boat, they’d fight to their death.
Lu Ji heard Murong Yun Su’s raised voice, and she opened the door.
‘Mistress, I heard the sound of sword fighting,’ Lu Ji said, and rubbed sleepy eyes.
The two assassins stopped fighting. They noticed the window was opened, and they immediately jumped down the window to chase after Murong Yun Su.
Lu Ji widened her eyes, and she couldn’t see Murong Yun Su anywhere in the room.
Murong Yun Su didn’t die or break her bones, because an unlucky person walking by below the window had cushioned her fall.
‘Thank you,’ Murong Yun Su said, and ran wildly.
Murong Yun Su wasn’t familiar with the streets in the capital. She ran until she saw an abandoned shrine.
Inside the shrine, Murong Yun Su finally felt her sore leg muscles. When Chu Zhang Ca carried her down a mountain, she had the luxury to feel the pain of a twisted ankle. But while running for her life, her legs were numb to the pain. It was amazing when there was no one to rely on, she had to train her body to be strong and resilient.
Murong Yun Su wiped sweat off her face with her dress sleeve, and she massaged her sore legs back to life.
In the shrine was a small dusty Buddha statue, two joss sticks jabbed into a rusty incense burner bowl.
The sounds of footsteps put Murong Yun Su on alert, and she hid behind the Buddha statue.
‘Wei Cheng, don’t nag me,’ Feng Ling said. ‘It’s not my fault we need to stop here for the night. There aren’t inns opened at this time. Besides, the palace doors are closed at night too.’
Murong Yun Su finally caught a lucky break, it was Feng Ling instead of the assassins.
‘I’ll be allowed into the palace to report urgent news to the emperor,’ Wei Cheng said.
‘There’s no rush to exhaust ourselves to get to the palace,’ Feng Ling said.
‘If we’re caught by Prince Liang’s men,’ Wei Cheng said, ‘you’ll die instead of being exhausted.’
‘Who would want to kill me?’ Feng Ling asked.
‘Didn’t you say Chu Zhang Ca’s kungfu is stronger than you?’ Wei Cheng asked. ‘You caused his betrothed’s death. Of course he wants to kill you.’
Murong Yun Su was alive. How could Feng Ling cause her death?
‘Wei Cheng don’t lie,’ Feng Ling said. ‘Why would I want to kill Sister Murong? If Brother Chu mistake me for the killer, he’ll kill me.’
‘You’re delaying my return to the palace,’ Wei Cheng said. ‘If the emperor beheads Murong Yun Su, it’ll be your fault, and Chu Zhang Ca would kill you.’
Murong Yun Su suspected Wei Cheng knew Prince Liang would send assassins to kill her.
‘If Brother Chu wants to kill me, will you save me?’ Feng Ling asked.
‘No,’ Wei Cheng said.
‘Wei Cheng…’ Feng Ling said.
‘If Murong Yun Su dies because of you,’ Wei Cheng said, ‘I’ll want you dead too.’
‘You love Sister Murong?’ Feng Ling asked.
‘Nonsense,’ Wei Cheng said.
‘Why else would you want to avenge Sister Murong’s death?’ Feng Ling asked.
Murong Yun Su shivered. She was alive, no one needed to avenge her death.
‘I would kill you on behalf of the poor citizens,’ Wei Cheng said. ‘If Murong Yun Su is killed, Hai Feng Qian would fall into Prince Liang’s hands.’
‘Prince Liang is the emperor’s younger brother,’ Feng Ling said. ‘If Hai Feng Qian becomes his, it’s no different than the emperor owning Hai Feng Qian.’
‘Forget it,’ Wei Cheng said. ‘You wouldn’t understand.’
Murong Yun Su understood Wei Cheng implied Prince Liang wanted to rebel. But why would Hai Feng Qian fall into Prince Liang’s hands if she dies? Even if she dies, and had no child to inherit Hai Feng Qian, she still had a betrothed who would help her manage Hai Feng Qian. Only she knew where half of Qian Sect money was hidden, and that her father hid the other half at Ming Jian Sect.
Murong Yun Su finally pieced the puzzle together. Ming Jian Sect colluded with Prince Liang to frame Murong Sect. If Prince Liang killed her, no one would expose their secret pact. Too bad Prince Liang didn’t know how hard it would be to kill her, and her father had taken measures to protect her before her father died. Her father must have been in the process of using money to aid the emperor against a rebellion. She laughed at the irony of the situation, her father hid the money at a traitor’s lair.
‘Who’s there?’ Wei Cheng asked.
Murong Yun Su came out from behind the Buddha statue. ‘Minister Wei, what a coincidence.’
‘Murong Yun Su?’ Feng Ling asked.
‘You’re alive?’ Wei Cheng asked.
‘I heard everything,’ Murong Yun Su said.
‘Come to my home first and I’ll escort you to the palace at dawn,’ Wei Cheng said.
‘I want to go to a brothel,’ Murong Yun Su said.
‘I’ll come with you,’ Feng Ling said excitedly.
Wei Cheng felt like a bad omen of black crows flew over his head. ‘Lady Murong, why do you want to go to a brothel?’
‘Sleep,’ Murong Yun Su said.
‘Wait after you die,’ Wei Cheng said, ‘you can sleep in hell.’
‘Is there a brothel in hell?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
‘Why do you want to go to a brothel?’ Wei Cheng repeated.
Murong Yun Su sighed. Of course the sooner Wei Cheng and Feng Ling agreed to come to the brothel with her, the sooner they’d know why.
‘Escort me to Bai Hua Brothel,’ Murong Yun Su said.
Wei Cheng didn’t say he wanted to go to the brothel. Was he the strange one? Murong Yun Su looked at him like he was the strangest person in the world.
End of Chapter Fifteen
BBW – Chapter Sixteen
Bright red lanterns, and beautiful women were displayed outside Bai Hua Brothel to entice guests.
‘The three of you,’ Madam Quan whispered, ‘follow me inside.’
Murong Yun Su and Feng Ling walked comfortably into the brothel. But Wei Cheng pushed Madam Quan’s hand away from his arm, and he acted like he was entering hell.
‘How did you come back from the… I mean how did you get here?’ Madam Quan asked.
‘Madam Quan, you know kungfu,’ Murong Yun Su said. ‘You must have heard of Jianshao Di (shukuchi), leaping a far distance each step.’
Madam Quan took a step back from Murong Yun Su in case the rumor about Murong Yun Su not knowing kungfu was false.
They entered Murong Yun Su’s trashed room, and it showed the two assassins were enemies.
‘Who do you work for?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
‘Prince Xiao Liang,’ Madam Quan said.
Madam Quan didn’t know why Murong Yun Su would return to a dangerous place.
‘What’s your misson?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
‘Take you to Shi Zhou,’ Madam Quan said.
‘Prince Liang wants me dead and Prince Xiao Liang wants me alive,’ Murong Yun Su said. ‘Looks like Prince Xiao Liang can see the bigger picture, and he wants me to support him to become emperor.’
Wei Cheng’s face darkened.
‘If I knew you’d be this cooperative,’ Madam Quan said, ‘I wouldn’t have wasted Hanyuan Tiwen poison on you.’
‘You used Hanyuan Tiwen to poison Sister Murong?’ Feng Ling asked out of horror.
Murong Yun Su heard Feng Ling’s fearful tone, and she wished she wasn’t pulled into the martial arts world.
‘Is there a cure?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
Feng Ling shook her head. ‘That year, big brother couldn’t cure Sister Qiji. It’s why Brother Chu trapped big brother at Hua Da Courtyard for three years, and forbids big brother from healing sick people.’
Chu Zhang Ca was angry at Feng Cheng because of a woman? Murong Yun Su felt a strange pressure force on her heart, but she suppressed the strange pain.
‘What do you want in return for the cure?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
‘You need to get the cure from Prince Xiao Liang’s hands,’ Madam Quan said.
‘How much longer can I live without the cure?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
‘Who knows,’ Madam Quan said. ‘Maybe one second, one day or one year. You can die anytime without warning or symptoms.’
‘Then it’s no different than living,’ Murong Yun Su said calmly despite her fear. ‘People live without knowing when they’ll die.’
Madam Quan understood why Prince Xiao Liang wanted Murong Yun Su alive. Murong Yun Su had a peaceful aura that could calm anyone.
‘Madam Quan, if you value your life then convince Prince Xiao Liang to give the cure to Sister Liang,’ Feng Ling said. ‘Madam Quan, you must have heard how three years ago, Brother Chu killed everyone from the Tang Household to avenge Sister Qiji’s death. If Sister Murong dies, Brother Chu will kill everyone from the Liang Household.’
Murong Yun Su’s eyes were opened after hearing Feng Ling talk about Chu Zhang Ca’s tragic past. Now she could see why people feared Chu Zhang Ca who appeared to be a young man in his prime rather than a cold blooded killer. Chu Zhang Ca had lost his woman, and it was normal for him to act out of anger, and helplessness to revive his woman. But why did his outpouring anger and grief made her feel deeply sad?
‘The Tang Household was part of the martial arts world, Madam Quan said. ‘It’ll be hard for Chu Zhang Ca to kill the royal household. How can he defeat the Liang army? He wouldn’t even have the guts to kill one royal member.’
‘Madam Quan…’ Feng Ling said out of frustration toward Madam Quan’s ignorance.
‘Madam Quan, have you heard your tongue could land you in hot water?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
Madam Quan laughed. ‘Lady Murong, do you think Chu Zhang Ca would kill the Liang Household for someone like you?’
Murong Yun Su sensed that Madam Quan’s purpose was for Chu Zhang Ca to fight with Prince Liang to benefit Prince Xiao Liang.
‘Chu Zhang Ca wouldn’t kill to avenge me,’ Murong Yun Su said. ‘But he could easily kill Prince Liang, Prince Xiao Liang or the emperor faster than a cat licking its fur if he wanted to.’
‘I want to see Chu Zhang Ca attempt and fail to kill the Liang Household,’ Madam Quan said with a bright gleeful glint in her eyes.
‘Madam Quan, are you sure you can take me hostage?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
‘Of course I can take a poisoned defenceless woman hostage,’ Madam Quan said.
‘Madam Quan, I won’t let you take Sister Murong… ah…’ Feng Ling said, and rubbed her chest. ‘What poison did you use one me?’
‘Aren’t you Feng Cheng’s blood sister?’ Madam Quan asked. ‘Are you scared of a little poison?’
‘Who said a physician’s blood sister can cure poison?’ Feng Ling asked. ‘Madam Quan, you opened a brothel, does it mean you sleep with your guests too?’
Wei Cheng deflected Madam Quan’s raised arm before she could slap Feng Ling’s face. Madam Quan lost her balance, and fell on the floor.
‘Minister Wei, now you show a sign of being a man,’ Murong Yun Su teased.
Wei Cheng scoffed. Of course he’s a man.
‘Cure,’ Wei Cheng said, looking down at Madam Quan like he wanted to kill her.
‘No cure,’ Madam Quan said. She jumped up off the ground, and pressed Wei Cheng’s acupuncture points to render his movements. ‘Falling accidently before was a lapse. Why don’t you beg me for the cure?’
Wei Cheng only looked spitefully at Madam Quan.
‘Madam Quan, do you think he’s good enough to beg you?’ Murong Yun Su distracted, and pointed at the bed.
Madam Quan turned around to look at the bed then someone hit the back of her head, and knocked her unconscious.
‘Elder, your body is in good shape,’ Murong Yun Su praised, and clapped her hands.
‘Thanks to good food,’ Fa Qi Zhengyi said, and jumped down from the ceiling.
‘Elder, are you Fa Qi Zhengyi?’ Feng Ling asked out of admiration and fear.
Murong Yun Su smiled. Only someone backward would name their child ‘lacks righteousness.’
End of Chapter Sixteen