"This is what Sheng Jin palace's master wants. Child, you can go now. You do not need to know the reason. As long as you know that whatever you are doing is for the Wei family, for Wei family's three hundred years of honor, that's enough."
The child slowly retreated and disappeared. The sunlight shone into his room through the door, giving the room a red hue.
Wei Jing came out from behind the back hall and walked to Wei Guang's side. Wei Jing wore a dark green robe and had a cold, icy stare and saluted indifferently, "Uncle."
"Have you prepared everything?"
"You don't have to worry, uncle. Everything is prepared to perfection."
"Okay." Wei Guang turned around and faced the ancestral tablet to burn incense. With his expensive robe dragging on the floor, it rolled up the incense ashes.
Seeing that Wei Guang was about to get up, Wei Jing quickly approached him and held his arm to support him. With a light voice, as if he was gossiping, he said, "Uncle, in your opinion, what are the chances of success for King Yan Shicheng?"
"Ah…" The elderly man chuckled and replied, "No chance at all."
Wei Jing frowned and said doubtfully, "The fief of Yan Bei is very wide and vast. Even though it is cold, their trading connections with western regions is still prosperous. Since the election, there have been more talented people on their side. Even though the King of Yan Bei does not seem to have any great talent, he is very kind to his people. Since he managed to win the love of the people, he should be able to have some chance of success."
Wei Guang's face was filled with wrinkles as he let out a sigh and said, "He himself was not at fault, but what he possessed is bringing him his dooming fate. What do you think made Sheng Jin palace's master so determined to get rid of the King of Yan Bei? If someone does not make a single mistake, that itself is a mistake. The method to gain power is to balance their successes and failures to maintain a cycle.The only reason they have the intention to kill him is because Yan Shicheng was so blessed with the great location and natural resources. Moreover," Wei Guang let out a smile and continued, "how can one tree produce two different types of fruits? Yan Bei rose in Da Tong but will also perish due to Da Tong."
Wei Guang turned his head around and looked at the child who pleased him the most and said, "Jing, people say the Presbyterian will gain power. The seven families are called subordinates and are in fact royals. However, uncle told you that only the owner of the Sheng Jin palace is the real ruler of the Great Xia Dynasty. You must always remember this."
Wei Jing rarely saw Wei Guang talk about something so seriously, so he quickly bowed his head and agreed.
Wei Guang breathed in deeply and said, "The reason why King Yan will not have a chance of surviving is that he never even thought of rebelling. Hence, even if they have not done a single thing wrong, as long as the master of Sheng Jin palace wants them killed...they will be."
The sunset was as red as blood and brightened the streets of Zhen Huang city. Some people suddenly exclaimed at the night sky and alerted other passers-by. Everyone looked up and saw a bloody red star strangely flashing in the darkening sky. It kept flashing, giving people chills.
Outside the Zhuge Residence's main door, Zhu Shun, who realized that he was in trouble, was carried out. Seeing Zhuge Yue ride the horse with a murderous glint in his eye, Zhu Shun immediately forgot about his pain. He desperately ran towards him and cried, "Fourth young master, listen to my explanation. This is all a misunderstanding!"
"Swoosh!" A string of blood shot into the sky. All that could be heard was a man's pitiful cry as a plump ear, covered in blood, fell to the ground.
"Just wait here. I'll come back for your life." The young master had a gloomy expression. Even though his tone was calm, he sounded glum to others. Zhuge Yue's stare was icy as he turned around. The guards looked at Zhu Shun sympathetically as they obediently followed behind Zhuge Yue.
Zhu Shun had just lost one of his hands a few days ago. He laid on the ground and sobbed while rolling around. However, none of his past so-called confidants dared to go forward and help him.
During dinner, it started snowing, covering the Chi Shui in snow. Yan Xun was wearing a full body white marten fur coat with the hood on, standing by the lake while holding a horse. The young teenager was wearing luxurious clothes and had a very handsome face. His eyes had a lot of energy, and his reflection in the frozen lake was chic yet graceful.
As the sun gradually set down the hill, there was a whale oil lamp that had not been put out for thousands of years, flashing brightly in Sheng Jin palace's direction. Yan Xun turned his head and slowly gazed in the direction of the palace gate.
"Prince!" Feng Mian ran towards Yan Xun and said breathlessly, "Something big has happened!"
Yan Xun raised his eyebrows and asked, "What happened?"
"There is a rumour that Xing'er was caught by Zhuge family's second grand master and was brought to the Ba Xing alley's homes."
"What?" Yan Xun's eyebrows shot up in surprise and he said seriously, "When did this happen and where did you hear it from? Are you sure it is true?"
"Yes, I heard it from Zhuge Residence's cleaner. Whether or not it's true, I am also not sure. All I know is that it is about Qing Shan court's Xing'er."
Yan Xun furrowed his brow, and after contemplating for a long time, he suddenly stood up and jumped on the back of his horse while saying, "Feng Mian, I'm going to Ba Xing alley."
"What? Are you really going? What if the rumor is false? How about you wait for a while," Feng Mian worriedly shouted out.
Yan Xun shook his head and said, "If it's false, I can just come back. There is nothing wrong with that."
"What reason are we going to use to get in? We can't just barge in so boldly to find someone, right?"
Yan Xun shift his eyes and said, "We can just say that we are going to say goodbye before we leave the city. Let's go."
The wind howled loudly as a large snow fog formed. Not far from the west of the city, there was a three hundred man army waiting quietly as the horse hurriedly galloped back. He said to the young commander, "Major general, I saw with my own eyes that Prince Yan was heading towards Ba Xing alley's Zhuge courtyard."
Wei Shuye frowned and said seriously, "What did Yan Xun go to Zhuge house for? Is Zhuge family trying to intervene? Zhuge Muqing did not attend the the Grand Elder's Council this time. Maybe he is trying to deliberately avoid this matter?"
Jiang He rode a horse towards him and said, "Major general, I thought he would not. Zhuge Muqing and old Batu have always had a good relationship. This time, he was busy with the flood on his land, Zhuge Muqing had no time. I thought that it was only a coincidence."
Wei Shuye nodded his head and said, "If this is the case, things would be much smoother."
A bright moon shone in the sky. Wei Shuye raised his head up towards the sky and said, "It's time."
Once the army heard that it was time, they immediately started charging towards Zhuge family's second old master Zhuge Xi's residence.
Just as Zhuge Yue, Yan Xun and Wei Shuye were going to strike Zhuge Xi's residence, they noticed that the young girl's room was unusually quiet. Fresh blood trickled down the sharp edge of the dagger, penetrating the white camel carpet, creating a red circle pattern. The cooling wind blew into the room from the corner of the window, dissipating an extravagant aroma. The room was brightly lit as Zhuge Xi's old face was shocked. He grabbed his neck as he stared at the children who were not even up to his shoulders. The sand in the hourglass slowly flowed down and finally, Pong! Zhuge Xi knelt down and slammed on the ground.
"Are you begging me to forgive you?" Chu Qiao asked softly. She gently bowed her head and sideyed Zhuge Xi. The hatred boiling in her stomach was about to burst out through her mouth. Chu Qiao remembered the image of Zhixiang and others' dead bodies together on the ground. This memory caused her much pain in her heart. She said with a low voice, "There used to be so many people who came to you for mercy. Why did you not spare them?"
Zhuge Xi lay on the floor as the blood rushed out of the wound on his neck. Afraid of death, he trembled as he extended his bloody hands in front of him to continue crawling forward. He wanted to stay as far away from Chu Qiao as possible. His blood left a trail on the ground. The bright red color was so striking and so terrifying.
"You have lived too long. It's time for you to pay for your sins. If God does not want to collect your sins, I will do it." The knife slid across his throat and neatly cut off his head. Blood spurted out immediately and became purple with a fishy smell.
Chu Qiao held Zhuge Xi's head and threw it onto the ground with no expression on her face, then walked towards the ten slave girls hiding in the corner of the room. They looked at her in horror as they squeezed closer to each other. In their eyes, Chu Qiao looked insane for having the sudden courage to kill the old master. She was as scary as one of hell's devils. But little did they know that if not for her, who knows how many of them would still be alive?
Chu Qiao dragged along a demure, ten year old girl. Her face was as pale as white sheets and her lips were trembling. Chu Qiao bowed her head and said with a very clear voice, "Are you scared?"
The child stared straight ahead and nodded continuously as she feared that she would be the second one to be beheaded. Tears and snot dripped down her face as she dared not make a single sound.
"Since you are scared, you should just scream."
Even though the child was from a poor family and young, she was sensible and quickly shook her head, saying while crying, " I won't make a sound. I did not see anything. Please spare me."
Chu Qiao impatiently frowned and said, "Was I not being clear enough? Scream out loud."
"Please," the child cried, "please spare me. I will do anything you want. AH!"
Chu Qiao suddenly raised her dagger towards one of the slave's neck and tried to stab her. The child was originally crying softly, but due to the shock, she exclaimed loudly as the dagger slid next to her neck by a hair. Chu Qiao mercilessly inserted the dagger into the bedpost behind the child who was screaming, but not hurt.
"What happened? Master, what happened… Ah! There is a murderer!" The attendant at the door heard the cry for help, carefully stuck his head in the door, and saw Zhuge Xi covered in blood and lying on the floor. He screamed and sat down in shock. He then awkwardly climbed out of the room and stumbled out.
Chu Qiao tried to relieve her anger. Judging by the time, it was very likely that the whole prefecture heard. She threw a dagger towards the servant, impaling his head. It went through his head and stuck out on the other side!
Flustered footsteps started approaching. The child quickly sat with the rest of the slaves as more than twenty guards rushed into the room. Right when they saw Zhuge Xi's body, the color drained from their faces.
"What happened?" the leader of the guards urgently asked the group of slaves.
"Assassin!" Chu Qiao shouted at the top of her lungs, with tears running down her cheeks, before anyone else could respond. She exclaimed, "Master Zhuge…Master Zhuge was killed… It was so scary…" Her nose started running as her tears continuously ran down her face. Her face was so pale and she could not speak properly as if her tongue was tied.
The leader of the guards asked angrily, "Where did the assassin run off to?"
"There!" Chu Qiao pointed towards the south window that was slightly open and replied, "He went that way!"