Chapter 94: A Chance Encounter
Translator: Translation Nation Editor: - -
"It's really her?" Pei Zi Yun trembled. He had a deep impression of her, "This girl was one of the Three Ye's and Two Guo's. How did she end up in the hands of Holy Jail Sect?"
"The entire history has been changed!"
Pei Zi Yun returned to his room and sat down. His facial muscles twitched as he sighed. He realized his actions had altered several outcomes. All he did was to kill the gangster by the reeds, although it was them who started the conflict. Now, he had created an enemy for himself. She would inevitably seek him out in future to avenge her father's death. No wonder Ji Ai Guo looked at Pei Zi Yun with such disdain, 'When she grows up... Ai'
Pei Zi Yun then thought to himself, 'Holy Jail Sect have got Ji Ai Guo. This Daoist is good too. After realizing that I found out about the amulet, he intentionally came to seek me out. Seeing that he would not be able to kill me, he straight up confessed everything.'
'Song Zhi is the only one who has a direct conflict with me. And only he has an influence outside of our sect.'
'Song Zhi, you have the audacity to collaborate with Holy Jail Sect to kill me. Do you really wish to force me to a corner?'
'But this is indeed your true character.'
Pei Zi Yun was still deep in thought, "The original owner had known that these Three Ye's and Two Guo's had a big destiny in front of them, although the original owner didn't know what happened to them after."
He walked to window and gazed outside, thinking to himself, "This Daoist is indeed scheming. When we were drinking he spoke such deep, profound thoughts. And now, he is part of the plot to kill me."
"This Daoist didn't exist in the original owner's memories. Did he spring out as a result of me killing Zhang Jie Yu?"
"He's so shrewd and fortuitous. How much problems will he cause for me?"
"With this man assisting Ji Bei Hou, it was certain that the structure and history of Ying Prefecture would change." Pei Zi Yun was deep in thought, his heart was a whirl of sorrow and regret, and he didn't speak for a long time.
He then snapped back, "Regardless of what happens, the most important thing now is for me to ensure the title gets conferred. Then I will be able to claim credit for being the disciple to win the title for the sect. Besides, it's not as if I was completely reliant on the original owner's memories. I shall deal with the changes and adapt along the way."
He had been thinking for quite sometime. He then noticed a particular light reflecting from outside. It was the snowflakes reflecting the sunlight into his window. This meant that the sun had risen. He then opened the door and stepped out. Everything was white. The snow had stopped and the ground was thick with snow.
Pei Zi Yun left the inn and paid for his stay. Not far away from the inn was the pier. He looked in that direction and saw several boats. Some of them were selling goods and merchandise on the boats.
"Most of them have gone back in preparation for the new year. Once this group of merchants have sold their wares, there will be nobody here." Someone replied when he asked. However, there was a boat accepting passengers further up. There was even a lantern hanging up on the boat indicating that it was still accepting more guests.
Pei Zi Yun observed the people around the boat and noticed that they were ordinary people. He then stopped worrying and enquired about getting passage from the boat. This boat was heading in the same direction he was. Although it wasn't the biggest vessel, it wasn't small by any means. He asked and the price wasn't too expensive. He thus boarded the boat.
After sometime, snow started falling ice more. Pei Zi Yun laid in his cabin, reading. He fell asleep soon after. It was an uneventful voyage. In the blink of an eye, seven days had passed and the boat docked. A boat crew then shouted, "We've arrived at Ping An Prefecture. Everyone can disembark and have some fun. Please be back by midnight and do not come back late."
Hearing these words, Pei Zi Yun was thinking how he had been cooped up on the boat the past couple of days. It would be nice to take a walk. He retrieved his sword and followed everyone off the boat.
The wind continued blowing and caused several people around to shiver. Pei Zi Yun kept walking. He saw many streets paved with limestones, numerous tea shops, wine shops, merchants and inns. On their doors were auspicious chinese characters, ready to jostle in the new year. It was a lively scene before him, where many children were running in and out of the streets.
Pei Zi Yun was casually walking and without realizing, had walked three entire streets, "Is this the night market?"
The dynasty encouraged merchants to do their own businesses. Thus, the entire city was bustling with merchants selling wares and goods. Since this was a big city, doing business here had few problems for merchants. Wares ranged from food and pastries to drawings, old books, jewelleries and antiques. Pei Zi Yun seldom had such an opportunity to stroll around a busy city and feel completely at ease.
He followed the streets down and unknowingly walked into the eastern corner, where many lanterns hung from the side of the streets. An ox-cart rode past and a lady got off just in front of Pei Zi Yun. Pei Zi Yun could not help but glance in her direction. Although the current dynasty was moderately liberal, it was still rare for a woman to be travelling on her own. Pei Zi Yun followed her and saw that she entered a building, with the words "Southern Plum Drama" hung atop the entrance.
At the entrance, a young man stood, "Back row seats costs 10 copper coins, front row seats costs 50 copper coins and the second level seats costs 20 copper coins. Which do you want, Young Master?"
"I shall have one front row ticket." Pei Zi Yun smiled. He wouldn't have thought that he would stumble upon a theater screening a play from the olden days. He thus bought a ticket and entered the hall. He noticed that it was a large hall, with two levels. The first floor was the main hall, and the second floor had private rooms to watch the play from.
When he sat down, someone walked and handed him a pot of tea and a plate of nuts. Before long, the play began.
Pei Zi Yun looked forward as the curtains opened and a group of ladies came out, dancing under the stage lights and singing.
"Thankfully it's not a performance in which the main cast are men." However once they started singing, Pei Zi Yun realized that he didn't understand a single word since they were speaking in old chinese. It would be troublesome for him to leave at this point as well, hence he remained seated, smiling.
On the second floor, in a private room, the lights were dim. A lady was watching the play from atop, yet her gaze seemed distant, as if she was deep in thought. The lights below flickered as she cast her gaze down to the main hall where the audience were seated. She looked and saw a young man.
"He looks refined and handsome, I wonder which big house he's from. It's a pity I've lost the authority to do something like this." The lady smiled. She wasn't really captivated by him, just slightly regretful at not being able to pursue him.
The play was done before long.
Pei Zi Yun stood up, eager to leave. He felt a tinge of regret deep down. The original owner didn't have time to appreciate plays like these, which he enjoyed. And now he had the time, but couldn't appreciate it. He took in a breath of cold air and looked up. The night sky was dark, and people started dispersing.
At this point, a delicious scent wafted into his nostrils.
"Selling delicious wonton!"
(TN: Wontons are pork dumplings)
"We have crabmeat dumplings too!"
Pei Zi Yun heard the vendors shouting aloud for business. Most of the shops around had closed, and there was a single shop waiting for this group of people to patronize his stall once the play had ended. Pei Zi Yun walked up to him and ordered a bowl of wonton noodles.
When he had finished, it was late at night and there were very few people on the streets. Pei Zi Yun thus made his way back to the boat reluctantly, since he was due to set off in a couple of hours.
After walking just a few steps, he bumped into a night watchman by the corner of the road. He wore a bamboo hat and carried a stick. Pei Zi Yun was about to walk right past him without sparing a second thought. Just as they were going to pass each other, Pei Zi Yun jumped up in fright. With a flash of a blade, this night watchman stuck out a knife and jabbed it towards Pei Zi Yun.
"Could it be that Ji Bei Hou and Holy Jail Sect have caught up with him all the way here?"
"But I'm more than a thousand miles away."
Pei Zi Yun dodged to the side and narrowly avoid the outstretched blade. Pei Zi Yun was so used to being under attack that his reflexes were naturally quick. Before this watchman could back away, Pei Zi Yun drew his own sword with unimaginable speed and stabbed it into the throat of the perpetrator. Blood gushed out of his throat, as he fell to the ground.
"This is too easy?" After killing him, Pei Zi Yun had an overwhelming feeling of dread envelop him. All of a sudden, he heard the shouts coming from the next lane. He turned around and took a quick glance. He saw an ox-cart, with several people protecting it, and other mask wearing men surrounding and attacking the ox-cart.
"Pui, this must've been something else altogether!"
"The man I just killed was probably trying to flee the scene. No wonder killing him was this easy." Pei Zi Yun looked up and saw several corpses on the road, and wished to avoid trouble and leave the scene.
At this point, a masked man then said in a low voice, "Kill off the eye-witness!"
Before the sentence was even completed, several people rushed toward Pei Zi Yun and surrounded him. Their eyes radiated killing auras. As a pair of swords rushed towards Pei Zi Yun, hoping to stab him to death.
"Idiots!" Pei Zi Yun wanted to mind his business and walk away. Hearing their orders, he knew that he could not just walk away and forget it. After all these fights he had been in, he had developed a tendency for killing. All it took was for him to draw his sword before there was no return.
"Zhng!" The sound of swords hitting each other could be heard. The minute their shadows pulled away from each other, the sound of two men screaming in agony could be heard. Their wounds were bleeding profusely as they both fell to the ground.
In that moment, that assailant who had ordered his men to deal with Pei Zi Yun knew that something was not right. He then knew that Pei Zi Yun was a highly trained fighter. However, his next move was not to abort mission and run away. Instead, he raised his sword and charged towards Pei Zi Yun.
"Kill!" Almost instantaneously, another two swords appeared on his left and right, trying to take him down.
"Once again, it was this same blatant and fearless demeanor about killing someone, the same orderly formation."
All it took was Pei Zi Yun to observe their movements to get that same feeling that these were soldiers who had no qualms about killing openly. And it was only a group of specially trained soldiers that carry this demeanor on them. Even normal bailiffs, when fighting with bandits or criminals did not carry such a self-righteous, entitled aura.
Pei Zi Yun understood people like these only too well. Unless you are their superior officer, anyone else is deemed to be worthless in their eyes. In order for the country to prosper, what is the big deal with taking some lives?
The soldier then started cursing, as his sword rushed towards Pei Zi Yun, and everything was a blur.
"Zhng" Their swords connected, as sparks burst forth. They then retreated several steps each.
"No, Dao Arts!"
"I belong to the Black King Gang....." Pei Zi Yun's opponent understood that he was inferior compared to Pei Zi Yun, and shouted out in fear. And yet all these words meant nothing to Pei Zi Yun. He knew them too well, understood them too well. Since they were already entwined in battle, he would not show any mercy. With a flash of his sword, he sent both men sprawling to the ground, both suffered mortal wounds and were bleeding profusely.
"Ah....." One of the men who had been stabbed by Pei Zi Yun looked down and saw that his chest had been split open. Blood was trickling down his chest, and yet he was still standing. He pointed at Pei Zi Yun, perplexed, as though asking him how could he dare to kill him. How could he dare to not show mercy. He then fell to the ground and died.
"For people like you, I'm doing a service by killing you." Pei Zi Yun said. He then looked around and saw that the guards were still locked in combat with the assailants.
Pei Zi Yun looked down and saw that he had killed six assailants effortlessly. And yet the assailants looked like they were having an easy time with the guards as well. With a flash of the sword, two guards were being stabbed to death, as they shouted in pain. Blood splashed onto the curtains of the ox-cart.
"Ah" A scream of fear rang out from within the ox-cart as a serving maid squeezed out of the carriage. She was trembling in fear as she spoke, "If you wish to kill that badly, please kill me. Do not harm my master. No, do not harm my missy."
The assailant gave a shout as he rushed towards her mercilessly. Seeing that this serving maid was about to be killed, there was a "kuang" as his sword met with resistance.
Pei Zi Yun had placed himself between the assailant and the serving maid. Seeing that Pei Zi Yun had deflected their blows, he didn't even bother asking. Without batting an eyelid, he raised his sword once more and brought it down on Pei Zi Yun.
Pei Zi Yun moved with such agility. He darted out of the way and back in again, stabbing his victim with such strength that the point of his sword exited through his bac.
"Damn you." The two remaining black robed assailants screamed in horror as they fled without hesitation. Their mission had failed and they needed to report this. They would need to organize a bigger and more capable force to succeed next time.
Pei Zi Yun laughed. His body started glowing in white light. The shadows of the fleeing men were fast disappearing, "Pu pu!" The man on the left had been fell to the ground and spat out a huge mouthful of blood.
The other men grabbed his throat desperately as blood gushed out from a wound in his throat, before falling backwards.
Nine bodies lay scattered across, having just been killed effortlessly by Pei Zi Yun.