The huge commotion from the brothel opposite caused the bowls in the old man’s hands to drop to the floor and shatter to pieces.
“Quick, run! Someone’s dead!”
All sorts of shrill shrieks and screams came from the Yichun brothel.
“Noise like this, all day long…” The old man glanced once more at the second-floor window through which the body had fallen, before glancing down glumly at his broken bowls as he stooped down to clean up the mess.
He’d likely seen such situations happen so many times that he was more or less inured to them by now. Yun Ruoyan stood up, a cold smile on her face, as she left some copper coins on the table. Veiling herself once more, Yun Ruoyan walked toward the Yichun brothel.
“Ah, lad!” the old man called out to Yun Ruoyan from behind, not wanting her to be embroiled in the mess.
As if she hadn’t heard him, however, Yun Ruoyan walked away. She stood by the entrance of the Yichun brothel, right by the side of the woman that had fallen onto the ground.
Yun Ruoyan couldn’t help but think back to her past life. There had been a period during which Pei Ziao had been away from home for quite a few days in a row. She thought that he had been busy with business affairs and didn’t pay his absence much mind, but one of her servants told her that he was out consorting with the women of the Yichun brothel.
Under her instigation, Yun Ruoyan somehow mustered up the courage to head to the Yichun brothel to find him. However, instead of meeting up with him, she ended up being publicly humiliated by Madam Lin.
Madam Lin had called Huahua over. As she pointed at Huahua, she lectured Yun Ruoyan, “Don’t you feel embarrassed trying to call your man home when you’re as ugly as she is? If you don’t give him a chance to breathe, he might even divorce you!”
And from then on, the already self-effacing Yun Ruoyan became even more so. No longer did she dare to ask Pei Ziao about where he was going when he didn’t return home at night, deathly afraid that he would divorce her.
Only near her end did Yun Ruoyan find out that that servant was one of Yi Qianying’s spies, and that humiliation had been entirely orchestrated by her.
Yun Ruoyan sighed as she stooped down by Huahua’s side. She glanced at the blood spilling out of the woman’s maw, her breathing erratic and her breathing erratic and labored, and felt a sense of pity for the poor woman.
As stout and sturdy as she was, Huahua didn't die outright from her sudden fall. However, her vision had gone blurry, and it seemed that she didn't have much longer to live. With another sigh, Yun Ruoyan pointed a finger at Huahua's forehead and transmitted some spiritual energy to her.
Huahua coughed twice, her vision clearing up once more. When Yun Ruoyan saw that she could still be saved, she fed Huahua a spiritual pill. Huahua sucked in a deep breath as she came back to life.
"Are you alright?"
"Young... Young Master Pei..." The first words Huahua uttered, full of affection, were for Pei Ziao.
Yun Ruoyan knew that she had hurt Huahua with her command to Pei Ziao, and she felt a little guilty. After all, Huahua had never hurt her; she was only an incidental pawn in her revenge on Pei Ziao.
Yun Ruoyan placed a bag of silver by Huahua's side. "What you experienced last night was no more than a dream that should be forgotten. If you want to keep your life, take this money and leave this place."
"No, I won't go! I have to find Young Master Pei!"
Huahua couldn't understand why, after being gentle to her all night long, Young Master Pei would suddenly kick her out the window. Just then, the tightly shut doors of the Yichun brothel opened up. Dozens of men and women ran out from within, their clothes all a mess.
"What happened inside?" Yun Ruoyan asked, pulling one of the startled women aside.
"M-Murder!" the woman stammered.
"Who murdered whom?"
"Yo-Young Master Pei killed, killed the madam! And so many other people besides!"
In the morning, as Pei Ziao blearily shook himself awake, he obeyed Yun Ruoyan's command and consumed the antidote to the poison. The effects of the soul-stealing pill slowly vanished, and he regained his independence once more. Then he turned to his side in shock and horror: there, Pei Ziao found the nude body of a grotesque woman, the very sight of which almost made him vomit.
“Ah!” In his shock, Pei Ziao reared aside and fell off the bed.
The commotion woke Huahua up. As she blinked her beady eyes, she glanced coquettishly at Pei Ziao.
“Young Master Pei, you’re awake?” As she thought back to last night’s incredible affair, Huahua felt as though she were floating amidst the clouds.
“You… you… what are you doing here?!” Pei Ziao gathered his clothes as he pointed at Huahua, horror staining his expressions. The room’s decor was familiar; it was in the style of the Yichun brothel that he often frequented.
However, he didn’t know how he had ended up there. More importantly, why was he in bed with such a disgusting woman? What exactly had happened?!
“I, I’ve always been here…?” Huahua pursed her somewhat swollen lips as she continued bashfully, “You were particularly gentle with me during my first night, Young Master Pei.”
Pei Ziao’s head lolled back as a few fragments of his memories came back to him. His eyes turned red as he stared at Huahua, still lying blissfully in bed.
“Young Master Pei? What’s wrong?” She propped herself up with an arm upon seeing something amiss in his gaze.
The blanket slid off her body, revealing her mottled red-black skin in the nude.
“Argh!” Almost blinded by the sight, Pei Ziao clutched his face as tears streamed down his eyes.
“Young Master Pei, what’s the matter?” Huahua covered herself up with a robe as she walked to his side and tenderly caressed him.
“Scram!” With a shout, Pei Ziao kicked Huahua’s chest with all his remaining spiritual energy. Huahua only had time to let out a piercing scream as her humongous body broke through the window on the second-floor guest room as she flew out the building.
As his memories came back in force, Pei Ziao remembered how he had walked into the Yichun brothel, how he had paid for Huahua’s first night, and how that first night had actually gone.
Pei Ziao curled up on the floor moaning, his stomach roiling at the memories filtering through his mind. When Madam Lin heard the commotion upstairs, she climbed up to the second floor and knocked on Pei Ziao’s door.
“Young Master Pei, Young Master Pei, are you alright?” Madam Lin asked cheerily. There had been an… incredible commotion last night due to Huahua’s large body and amazingly loud voice, and Madam Lin got goosebumps when she recalled what she’d heard.
Honestly, she didn’t understand Young Master Pei’s abrupt change in taste, but she would readily accept anything given enough money as persuasion.
“Young Master Pei, I’ve prepared some morning refreshments for you. Did you and Huahua—”
Before Madam Lin could finish, the door suddenly opened up. Pei Ziao stood by the door, his face ashen.
Madam Lin’s smile froze on her face.
“Young Master Pei, are you alright?”
“Madam Lin, Madam Lin…” Pei Ziao grit his teeth as he forced out her name. “Who instigated you to have that ugly wench sleep with me?!”
“Ah?” Madam Lin was flummoxed. “You bought her virginity yourself!”
“Me?” Pei Ziao was clenching his teeth so hard it felt like he could draw blood at any moment. According to his memories, he truly was the one who had bought a night with her, but it felt like he hadn’t had a shred of autonomy while doing so.
“You sold her to me just because I wanted it?” Pei Ziao’s eyes were bloodshot. To him, there was nothing more distressing than spending a night with such a disgusting woman.
“Of course!” Madam Lin replied naturally. “Everyone knows that the Yichun brothel is a place to spend your hard-earned money. If you offered me enough, I’d be willing to sell my own body, let alone Huahua’s!”
“Is that so?” Pei Ziao sneered maliciously. “Then I’ll buy your life!”
Pei Ziao caught Madam Lin by the neck and squeezed.
“Ah, hel—” Madam Lin was only able to get out a word and a half before she could no longer speak.
When one of the women in the neighboring guest rooms heard the commotion, she opened the door to see Pei Ziao choking Madam Lin to death. Madam Lin’s eyes were wide open, and her tongue lolled out of her mouth.
When Pei Ziao released his grip, Madam Lin fell to the floor in a heap, dead as could be.
“Ah! Murder!” the woman was so scared that she released an ear-splitting shriek surpassing even Huahua’s.
The entire Yichun brothel was awakened by her shriek: the other women, guests, and bouncers all peered outside their doors to investigate the commotion, causing an endless chain of shouts of “Murder! Murder!” to rebound within the building.
When the bouncers saw that their employer was dead and that her killer was standing right there, they rushed toward him at once.
Pei Ziao had killed Madam Lin in a fit of anger. When he stared at her lifeless corpse, the whites of her eyes showing and her tongue still lolling out, he was a little dazed. During this moment of shock, Pei Ziao was thrown to the floor by the bouncers, then punched and kicked.
Although none of these bouncers had an impressive cultivation, they were quite adept at beating people up. Pei Ziao’s eyes, nose, and lower abdomen screamed in pain, but it was only when a bouncer was right about to hit his groin that Pei Ziao suddenly exploded in rage.
With his heirloom spear in hand, he killed the bouncers unflinchingly. In a matter of moments, the Yichun brothel was dyed red with blood. Guests and women hurriedly ran out the front doors as they screamed in fright, calling out for people to summon the magistrate.
Yi Qianying was made very curious by the commotion. A place like the Yichun brothel was off-limits to any woman of good upbringing, but the more it was frowned upon, the more her curiosity was stoked. Given such a big commotion, she surely wouldn’t be noticed if she were to sneak over now.
Yun Ruoyan chose not to enter the brothel; she was only here to see the drama unfold. It had gone beyond what she had anticipated, and looked as if matters would only get more and more violent. As a result, it would be prudent to watch on from afar.
Yun Ruoyan turned, about to head back to the restaurant where she had had breakfast, and noticed that Huahua was already gone. Luckily, it seemed as though she wasn’t an idiot to the core.
A crowd of curious onlookers surrounded the Yichun brothel. Seized by the crowd, Yi Qianying quickly lost sight of Yun Ruoyan.
“What happened?” someone asked curiously.
“Someone killed Madam Lin!” one of the guests who had been in the brothel exclaimed.
“Oh, that old hag? Who did it?”
“The forgemaster’s son, Pei Ziao.”
Yi QIanying’s ears pricked up as soon as she heard that name.
“I’m telling you, there’s something suspicious about the entire affair.” That guest began to recount the series of events that had led to Pei Ziao sleeping with Huahua.
“He really slept with that ugly wench?!”
Everyone present had heard about her famed ugliness.
“Really!” Excited by the attention, the guest began to embellish his account. “And they made such a big ruckus during the night, too! Can you imagine hearing Huahua’s yowls all night long? But for some reason, he went crazy this morning, strangling Madam Lin to death and killing all her bouncers besides.”
“He has to be crazy, if he’s willing to sleep with Huahua!”
Even saying Huahua’s name had caused some members of the crowd to close their eyes and quake in fear.
Yi Qianying clenched her handkerchief tightly, countless complicated emotions flickering through her face.Previous Chapter Next Chapter