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Chapter 4: Fallen Gentleman – Part 3
Translated by: Ritpoppy
Edited by: Ren
Hope you guys had a Happy Holidays! Now to the new chapter~
The Moondrop Needle was one of the weapons Ming ChangYan was renowned for. Due to its sinister nature, its almost invisible killing technique was like that of a ghost's, therefore it is known as, "The Ghost Gate's Thirteen Needles".
As Ming ChangYan was setting down his lantern, disheveled footsteps could be heard from outside the Bamboo House. The entrance was kicked open and the 13 Southern Guardian's leader, Baili Deng, rushed in shouting, "The 13 Southern Guardians have been ordered to inspect this area. n.o.body move!"
He hastily removes a few needles from Aunt Chun's neck, hides them inside his sleeves and steps off to the side.
Everyone who was residing in the Bamboo House was taken to the courtyard by the 13 Guardians. Baili Deng ordered, "Immediately call upon the Imperial Doctor!"
w.a.n.g Shaos.h.i.+'s servant promptly saluted to express her grat.i.tude, saying, "Many thanks, Mister Baili."
Baili Deng replied, "w.a.n.g Shaos.h.i.+ has been through a lot of shock, quickly bring her back to her room to rest."
He led two guards whom where blood-relatives to examine Aunt Chun's condition. Baili Deng lifted one of his hands, which accidentally b.u.mped into the lantern that Ming ChangYan left behind. Peony explained, "It was left by my Mistress when she came over to check up on the situation."
Baili Deng gave the two guards standing beside him a meaningful glance. Immediately, the two guards ignited a lighter*, bringing back the fire that was close from extinguis.h.i.+ng, illuminating a corner of the pond. Half of Aunt Chun's corpse was soaked in the sludge that was within the pond. Baili lifted his lantern, the dim light that reflected off of Aunt Chun's dead face made her look even more hideous. Her throat was rotten from the ten thousand needles that were lodged in there. There were numerous scarlet lines that were tangled together along with the needles, and when the 13 Guardians looked upon the dead body, they couldn't help but feel nauseous. Baili Deng continued to observe the body. After a short period of time, a look of understanding appeared on his face, and he brought the lantern in closer for inspection.
(TN: "火折子"; one of the earliest versions of the modern lighter. It's sulfur coated wooden sticks were used as a catalyst to create fire. http://5b0988e595225.cdn.sohucs.com/images/20171015/007d36940168457dad5ec459fb0e95e0.png )
Looking closely at the thin black needles, there appeared to be many cotton threads that were hanging on other needles, the original needles that were supposed to be tied to those lines were nowhere to be found. Baili vigorously examined Aunt Chun's neck, and there indeed seemed to be several pinholes on her neck, but no evidence of any black needle. Someone pulled them out? Baili's heart became erratic, promptly moving the lantern to lighten up the ground below him. The soil that surrounding the lotus pond was moist from the b.l.o.o.d.y water from the pond. The wisps of blood were gradually vanis.h.i.+ng, along the way pointing out who was the culprit that pulled out the needles from Aunt Chun's neck.
At this moment, without any warnings, from the western side of the Bamboo House came w.a.n.g Shaos.h.i.+'s ear piercing howl. Baili abruptly gets up together with everyone, rus.h.i.+ng towards the Bamboo House's west side.
Ming ChangYan followed closely behind everyone. After arriving at w.a.n.g Shaos.h.i.+'s sleeping quarters, he and Baili both ceased their footsteps, Ming ChangYan ordered, "Peony, go in to check up on her situation."
Peony agreed at once, wiping off her sweat, she lifted her skirt and entered the door. Just after stepping across the threshold of the door, w.a.n.g Shaos.h.i.+'s yelling could be heard once again, "Ghost…Ghost!! There's a ghost! I saw a ghost! I saw a ghost…"
Baili Deng stood by the door and asked, "How is the Mistress?"
Peony worriedly scrambled out, "Yan Shaos.h.i.+, Mister Baili, w.a.n.g Shaos.h.i.+ is delirious at the moment. It looks like she's been startled, she's very scared."
Baili, "There's something fishy going on here. I'll decide what to do after I report this to the emperor. Eleven, Thirteen, you two are to accompany me to DaMing palace hall. The remaining people will stay here and protect the Mistress. If anything happens to the Mistress, I'll ask you all to compensate."
Ming ChangYan stood in silence for a while, Fu Ling said, "Yan Shaos.h.i.+, let us go back inside to rest."
Ming ChangYan snapped out of his daze and absent-mindedly replied, "Oh, there's no rush. w.a.n.g JieJie's body's condition isn't very well, I'm very worried. If you two are tired, you guys can go back and rest, I'll stay here and stand guard by the door."
Peony distantly looked at Fu Ling, Fu Ling questioned, "Why doesn't Yan Shaos.h.i.+ go in to check up on w.a.n.g Shaos.h.i.+?"
Ming ChangYan replied without thinking, "How is that okay? Consciously entering a woman's sleeping quar, quarters…"
Peony looked at him uncertainly.
Ming ChangYan swallowed the words he was about to say next, waved his hands, "Bring me that little eunuch that brought me into the palace, say that I have some inquiries for him. If he doesn't want to come, then tie him up and bring him back to the Bamboo House. To put it simply, I have to see him in fifteen minutes.
After fifteen minutes, Xiao WanZi, who was frantically trying to escape, was dragged into the Bamboo House. In front of Ming ChangYan, Peony's usually lovely and cute personality made a complete spin around, in front of Xiao WanZi, she had a bold and shrewish expression on her face. She c.o.c.ked her eyebrow, pinched Xiao WanZi's earlobe and said, "You, go in."
Xiao WanZi's yelps of pain were loud enough for the heavens to hear, "Peony JieJie! Gentler! Gentler!"
Fu Ling covered Ming ChangYan with a thin cloth, "Even though it's summer, Shaos.h.i.+ must be careful of the nighttime breeze, you might catch a cold."
Ming ChangYan sat on the stone stools within the courtyard, avoiding the 13 Southern Guardians. He opened his mouth to ask a question but something seemed to block him from forming the words. Upon seeing this, Fu Ling promptly reminded, "Xiao WanZi."
Ming ChangYan, "Xiao WanZi, I'm going to ask you about some things and you must directly give me a response. If I hear even the slightest deception coming from you, then I'll throw you into the pond to become chow for the tortoises."
Peony, "Shaos.h.i.+, ask as you please. This sly boot just loves to listen to palace gossip, who knows how much gossips he keeps in his stomach. If it's related to the imperial palace, Xiao WanZi can immediately say one or two words on the matter. If he doesn't say the truth, then I'll beat him up on Shaos.h.i.+'s behalf."
Ming ChangYan stopped to listen and praise her. He questioned, "Let me ask you, do you know the "The Ghost Gate's Thirteen Needles'?"
Peony and Fu Ling both simultaneously looked at each other, saw that he didn't ask about palace drama, but instead asked about Jianghu, and both thought: Why is Shaos.h.i.+ asking about such a weird topic?
Xiao WanZi was both terrified and astonished, not daring to lift his head, "How does Yan Shaos.h.i.+ know about the 'The Ghost Gate's Thirteen Needles'?"
Ming ChangYan, "You don't need to know how I know about the 'The Ghost Gate's Thirteen Needles,' I'm the one asking you questions. During those two years that Ming ChangYan was dead, have you heard of anything regarding the affairs that occurred outside the palace?"
Peony gave Xiao WanZi a death glare, making him feel extremely wronged. In order to make Peony happy, immediately he knocked his head to the floor and not daring to tell a lie, began to little by little reply.
Two years ago, Ming ChangYan, while battling by the Yanbo River, drowned. It is said that the head of Guifeng Sect ordered for his corpse to be fished up from the Yanbo River, but the corpse was already swollen and rotten. Who'd dare be able to recognize that that was the face of a n.o.ble gentleman? From then on, after that incident in Jianghu, two rumors arose.
One states about how Ming ChangYan, whose martial arts was spectacular, how could he, after taking a few gulps of water, just drown in the Yanbo River? It declared that he wasn't dead, and at any moment, was ready to make a comeback.
The second one stated that Ming ChangYan was ganged up on by the six major sects, if he wasn't dead then he'd be disabled. Moreover, his dead body was salvaged in the presence of all of the sects, how could there be a mistake? He's definitely completely dead.
In the few months that he was dead, there were constant disputes. Jianghu had many opposing opinions, leading to never-ending conclusions. As a result, after half a year, a ma.s.sacre occurred seeking to exterminate a whole sect. In QiYun Sect, one hundred twenty-one disciples were killed using ten thousand needles. Xiaohan Temple's chief, Daoist Ming Chen, witnessed it with his own eyes. These one hundred twenty-one disciples were pierced alive.
Martial artists that used needles as their weapon only used it to follow the recent trends, but the only person who has perfected this art is Ming ChangYan himself.
Although BoLuo Sect also used needles, it was used in the medical field to save people. This sect was honest and kind-hearted, just like the way they used the needle. Yet this n.o.ble gentleman, rather than using the needle to save people, he used them to do the complete opposite. Consequently, this caused BoLuo to hate his guts, not wanting to get involved with him at all.
This is translated by , any other work of this is stolen and to those who steal translations, may you get head-b.u.t.ted by a unicorn.
Another example could be Ru DongQi temple, which used them as an a.s.sa.s.sination method. Although they were experts in using the needles as a concealed weapon, several years ago, a certain n.o.ble gentleman flew down from the sky and stole all their glory. They came up and tried to provoke him, but failed in their attempts, and contrary to their expectations, they were instead wiped out by Ming ChangYan.
To this day, in the entirety of Jianghu, only Ming ChangYan's "Ghost Gate's Thirteen Needles" were able to have people trembling in fear, wanting to avoid it at all cost.
The weapon able to kill off an entire family is the needle. There were 500 silver needles attached to those threads, all of which were pushed through the mouth until it reached the abdomen where the intestines were. The somewhat long needles would then pierce out from the throat and the chest. While the people were fast asleep, they would swallow the 500 needles and instinctively wake up from the pain. Then they would grip on the strings coming from their mouths, pulling the needles up from their stomach. This one move is able to destroy a person's five visceras and six bowels*, allowing the person unable to possess the will to live, nor demand death. Within the time span of two hours, they will inevitably begin bleeding through the seven aperture of the human head**. The chest and belly are torn open, draining the person's energy at the same time as their vitality, dying a painful death while still alive to witness it all happen.
(*TN: "五脏六腑"the internal organs in the main cavities of the body, especially those in the abdomen, in this case the intestines)
(**TN: "七窍" 2 eyes, 2 ears, the 2 nostrils, and the mouth)
Using the needle in such a clever and demonic way to kill while at the same time harboring malevolent thoughts, other than that demon head Ming ChangYan, who else could it be? If he dared to annihilate the entire ZhuiFeng Sect; then wiping out the QiYun Sect, how would that have been a ha.s.sle? Ming ChangYan didn't completely die, not only did he not die, he has come back for retaliation, taking revenge. Don't believe it? In the group of sects that went to purge Ming ChangYan by the Yanbo River, QiYun Sect was part of them, how could they explain that? Besides, the only person who'd be able to do such a trivial matter heartlessly, it's no one else but him!
Peony suddenly covered her mouth, moved sideways and began to retch.
Fu Ling's complexion was the color of snowy starch, her mouth opened and closed, mumbling to herself, "This…"
Ming ChangYan raised his hand, indicating for Fu Ling to be quiet, he said, "Proceed."
Xiao WanZi dipped his head even lower, and continued, "The extermination of QiYun Sect wasn't the end of it, rather, it was the beginning."
On the 202th year reign of the Renhe emperor, JinYun's chamber of commerce suffered the same ma.s.sacre. On the same year in November, the entire TianLu Sect was killed by brutality. The next year in August, YaoQuan temple turned up with no survivors. In just two years, seven sects have just disappeared, all because of one person. Among them, three partic.i.p.ated in the incident regarding the Yanbo River.
"Completely annihilated? Not a single person remaining?"
"This servant has only heard rumors. Regarding the extermination of an entire sect, it isn't all made up. Possibly, maybe no one survived."
Ming ChangYan finished listening and asked, "To have such a major occurrence happen, why aren't any martial artist taking action? XiaoHan Temple, BeiHe Peak, FuRong Mountain, Chun City, these are all of Jianghu's most outstanding and well-known sects. Back then, they were there when they went to purge Ming ChangYan. Now that that n.o.ble gentleman is revolting, they wouldn't just idly sit by and do nothing."
Xiao WanZi muttered, "What 'outstanding and well-known sect'? They're all repulsive fish and rotten shrimp, a bunch of filthy and disgusting goods! After the death of that n.o.ble gentleman, the sects lost an important figure, and with no one to quell them down, several of them began arguing, fighting never endlessly. In order to take the spot of number one, they all began smas.h.i.+ng skulls. Before, the common people were temporarily safeguarded by TianQing Sect. Afterward, since numerous sects couldn't come to a conclusion, they (meaning the common people) were sent off to XiaoMan Mountain. They are to stay there until the sects have a contest to see which sect will be qualified to govern over the common people."
After Ming ChangYan finished listening, he was between laughter and tears, "The common people have always governed themselves, why are they having a contest over this?"
"Recognizing a master? I pei!" Xiao WanZi spits, "Why don't XiaoHan Temple go urinate and look at their own mortality and conduct?! Just with that kind of martial art skill, do you think that the common people are worthy to even recognize you?!"
Ming ChangYan, "Furthermore, the common people may not want a master. Who could possibly have the ability to forcefully take a sword out of its sheath? Since they can't govern the common people, then they won't be able to obtain all the laid-back wonders that come with it. Then, the position for governing the common people would just be a piece of sc.r.a.p metal, a complete junk. What would you do if you brought home a piece of sc.r.a.p metal? Use it as a spiritual offering to burn incense and wors.h.i.+p Buddha every day? And just like that, become number one in the entire country?"
Xiao WanZi's complexion abruptly turned scarlet, forgetting all of the palace’s conducts, he pointed at Ming ChangYan, and said several many rows of 'you's'*, shouting, "You dare say that the common people are just a piece of sc.r.a.p metal? You, you, you, you, you…you really, really are an unreasonable little girl! Not knowing the immensity of heaven and earth!"
(TN: "你"; means you but in a more informal sort of way compared to "您" which is the formal sort of way to say 'you'. It's just implying that what Xiao WanZi is doing right now is very rude)
Peony turned around, suddenly pinching his ears, and cursed in rage, "You brazen piece of dog sh*t! How dare you take to Yan Shaos.h.i.+ in such a manner!"
The 'unreasonable little girl' Ming ChangYan decided then and there to always acknowledge his faults in front of women, waved his hand and said, "Ming ChangYan has committed evil multiple times, if the sects don't care then there must be at least a chivalrous being that want to punish wickedness and eliminate evil, right?"
Xiao WanZi's ears were extremely red, his eyes gleaming with tears, and while breathing through gritted teeth replied, "There are, but there are too many Ming ChangYan's , they aren't able to catch him."
Ming ChangYan listened to this, with a distracted look, amusingly said, "What you said now seems interesting, how are they unable to catch Ming ChangYan? Don't tell me that he has the ability to split himself?"
Xiao WanZi, "The gentleman walked on Jianghu for ten years, always wearing black robes and had a black veil that covered his face. Sometimes it's a mask, sometimes a bamboo hat, never showing his true appearance to anyone. In short, there are very few who have seen his true appearance. After he died, LingLong pavilion's heartless wife Xiu LingLong took his bamboo hat, clothes, masks, even all the weapons he'd ever used, and the jade pendants he wore and made exact copies of it to sell it as merchandise. With just 500 copper coins, you could buy a pair to take home and wear. The number of people in Jianghu pretending to be Ming ChangYan is if not 1000 then at least 800. As long as they're wearing a black veil, then everyone would deem themselves as the n.o.ble gentleman."
Ming ChangYan burst into loud laughter, "After Ming ChangYan died, you'd think that the situation would become better! Xiu LingLong that unscrupulous businesswoman, ten years and she's still as devious as ever. Her best friend died and she still doesn't forget to earn some money off him. Really…"
He thought for a while, couldn't think of a suitable description, so he dropped it.
At this moment, as the sky began to brighten up, Baili Deng along with Eleven and Thirteen returned to the Bamboo House. Ming ChangYan stood up. Before Peony could open her mouth to welcome them back, she saw the solemn expression on Baili Deng's face, furrowing his eyebrows together, he said, "No one is allowed step outside the Bamboo House. Yan Shaos.h.i.+, sorry to be an inconvenience, but could you follow me to Zhaohe court?"
Ming ChangYan replied, "No worries, no worries. I was just about to go to Zhaohe court to have a chat with Imperial Concubine Yuan."
Peony reminded, "Shaos.h.i.+, remember to be careful with your words."
Ming ChangYan pretended to be deaf, disregarded her words and asked Baili, "Just by looking at your hurried appearance, I can guess that an accident occurred in ZhaoHe court."
Baili Deng answered, "Correct, this Mistress is exceptionally intelligent and exquisitely clever. This servant looks forward to accompanying this Mistress."
Fu Ling asked, "What happened in ZhaoHe court? Why is Shaos.h.i.+ the only one going? Have they called anyone else?"
Baili replied, "ZhaoHe court's Li GongGong died a quarter hour ago. Cause of death being…"
He lifted his head and looked at Ming ChangYan, then immediately lowered his head and continued, "Ten thousand needles piercing his throat."
This is translated by , any other work of this is stolen and to those who steal translations, may you get head-b.u.t.ted by a unicorn.
If you see any grammar mistakes or translation errors, please comment and we’ll change it! Comments are always welcome here.
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