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Translated by Vivian of Exiled Rebels Scanlations


Marquis manor’s dungeon.

Duan Jiu descended the steps, walking out of the corridor. The person in the dungeon looked up, and through his straw-like messy hair, he saw that man wearing a black cloak. He was very tall, a burly man; his face was gaunt, and it had been sunburnt to a waxy yellow and coarse, like air-dried potato chips. He actually didn’t look like an assassin at all, as his eyes didn’t have a sharpness or killing intent. On the contrary, he was like a farmer who tilled the land, and when he smiled, he even had a bit of a simple and honest aura. 

An assassin moved a stool and short table in front of the dungeon, and Duan Jiu lifted his robes before sitting down. He took out a pipe from underneath his cloak, and the assassin filled his pipe bowl with tobacco leaves, using a flame stick to light it. Duan Jiu inhaled from the pipe mouthpiece and puffed out a few mouthfuls of smoke. The smoke rose, enveloping his face.

“Shiqi, are you used to living here?” he asked.

“It’s not bad,” Tang Shiqi leaned against the stone wall and laughed, “though the dungeon is too damp, and there’s a little too many rats. They squeak every night, and I can’t fall asleep.”

“Is that so?” Duan Jiu smiled. “Shiqi, as long as you tell us what we want to know, not to mention rats, even if they were ants, we’d exterminate them completely.”

Tang Shiqi crawled next to the iron bars and smiled placatingly. “Uncle, spare me. I really don’t know where Xiahou Lian is. If I did know, I’d have said so long ago, why would I wait until now?” He rolled up his sleeves and showed them to Duan Jiu; his arms were covered in scars. “See how your subordinates beat me, I don’t have a single piece of good flesh on my entire body!”

Duan Jiu shook his head and laughed lightly. “What a smooth mouth, I know you won’t speak. Shiqi, do you know why I caught and took you into Garan?”

“Don’t you want to smelt Leading Mechanism Silk?” Tang Shiqi rubbed his hands. “See, you wanted me to give the blueprints to the craftsman, and I didn’t leave any behind, I turned over all of them. You wanted the technique guide for Mech Silk, and I also wrote it out and gave it to you. I really do my utmost for our Garan, Uncle, why do you still doubt me?”

“Half right.” Duan Jiu used his pipe bowl to knock the table. “Shiqi, I saw that child Xiao Lian grow up, I understand him. This child values the ties of friendship. He only stayed a few months at the Xie clan in his childhood, yet he had the gall to defect from Garan and do his best to send that little young master to escape from Garan’s siege. Later, he relied on his mother to get his little life back and finally became a Garan assassin. I painstakingly chose Jingtie from the saber furnace and gave it to him, but I didn’t expect him to turn around and give it to that little young master.”

“Little young master?” Tang Shiqi was confused.

“It’s Shen Jue, you’ve seen him before, right? At the time, I regarded it as him being inexperienced and unskilled, so he accidentally lost Jingtie. If I hadn’t seen Shen Jue’s saber the day before yesterday, I wouldn’t have even known that this child had actually given Jingtie to him.” Duan Jiu’s face slowly became somber. “What nonsense. A saber and its master are one, a saber is an assassin’s life, not to mention that it’s Jingtie. How could he give it away just like that?”

Tang Shiqi clenched his fists and put on an indignant expression. “Yes, how could he give it away just like that! This Xiahou Lian really is forgetful of his roots, he did this at a young age, no wonder he defected later. No, Uncle, when you catch him, you must punish him properly!”

Duan Jiu looked at him and smiled. “Even the little young master is like this, not to mention you, Shiqi. How many years did you mix with him for?”

Tang Shiqi’s heart tightened, and an ominous apprehension emerged. Duan Jiu was still looking at him; below his hood, his eyes were deep, his expression unreadable.

He forced out a fawning smile and said, “Me? What am I worth, I was just an assistant. I was slacking when I mixed with him, since I was gluttonous and lazy and spent money recklessly. He’s long since wanted to dismiss me. Besides, he did so much for that little young master probably because he took a liking to his beauty.” Tang Shiqi winked ambiguously at Duan Jiu. “At the time when I was mixing with Xiahou Lian, I thought that this person had some problem. He’s an adult, yet he doesn’t have any women beside him. No, now that you’ve told me about this matter with the little young master of the Xie clan, I understand. Xiahou Lian is definitely a cut-sleeve! I want a face but don’t have one, and I want a figure but don’t have one, so he didn’t take a liking to me.”

Upon hearing this, Duan Jiu was taken aback and lowered his head, pondering for a while. Tang Shiqi swallowed and calmed down a little. He hadn’t expected that the random nonsense he had made up would really deceive him.

A torch was obliquely inserted into the wall, and the firelight leapt on Duan Jiu’s face, half of it bright and half dark. Duan Jiu pondered for a very long time before smiling. “I know that Xiao Lian values friendships. At the time when I caught you, I figured that if he knew one day that you had fallen into my hands, he definitely wouldn’t sit idly by. I kept waiting for a day for you to take us to find him. Now that I think about it, I really was muddled. I originally could have moved a step faster.”

Tang Shiqi felt perturbed again, and he spoke stutteringly, “Huh?”

Duan Jiu stood up, his gaze looking down at Tang Shiqi containing an indescribable coldness. “Shiqi, your whereabouts have always been in my palm. Starting from when you two first met, I had already discovered clues, and today has proved my guess each further. The Qiu sect’s face-disguising technique really can’t be underestimated. Although Xiahou Lian isn’t a proper disciple of Qiu Ye, it was handed down even more directly to him than to Shu Qing.”

“You… You…” Tang Shiqi was dumbfounded but soon calmed down, smiling lopsidedly. “Master Duan, you can’t catch him. He’s being protected by Chief Officer Shen, and Chief Officer Shen has great abilities. At the time, he could make your entire Garan flee in embarrassment, and he can definitely protect Boss completely.”

“You’re right,” Duan Jiu said indifferently. “However, Shiqi, he has Shen Jue’s protection, but who do you have? You should still worry about yourself. Draw the blueprints for puppet Zhaoye and give them to me, and I’ll spare your life. Otherwise…” Duan Jiu laughed very lightly. “I’m sure you absolutely don’t want to taste the suffering of Bliss withdrawal.”

After saying this, he turned around, disappearing step by step into the darkness of the corridor. Tang Shiqi collapsed on the ground, facing the pitch-black ceiling. All around him were thick stone walls, and the darkness as heavy as iron pressed down on him suffocatingly. He completely didn’t know what to do now. He didn’t know where this hellish place was, as his eyes had been covered when the assassins brought him here. Since then, he hadn’t seen the sun, and he had even forgotten how long he had been here for.

He rolled over and faced the wall, sighing. If he could escape this time, he would definitely turn over a new leaf and be a good person, not hiring prostitutes or gambling ever again. He would learn from his boss and be a good man. 

“Tang Shiqi.” Someone called for him from behind. Tang Shiqi was startled and propped himself up to look back.

It was the Kinnara.

He was squatting next to the bars and looking at him. He was wearing the archer clothes of an assassin, and he had a hairnet on his head, though he wasn’t wearing a hair crown. There was a ferocious scar on the side of his face, and his eyes were shadowy. The gentle and weak scholarly aura from before was completely gone, and a heavy killing intent constrained in his body had replaced it. He was already a fully qualified assassin now, as capable as iron, the same as the others in Garan.

Tang Shiqi swallowed and didn’t dare to speak. The Kinnara’s temper was extremely different from before; last time, Tang Shiqi had personally seen him kill a woman who hadn’t wanted to serve him. Before, he had been a guy who blushed just when talking to women, yet now he could impassively stab a saber into their chests.

“If you want to live, you should listen to Mr. Duan and hand over Zhaoye’s blueprints as soon as possible.” The Kinnara said in a low voice, “Garan is very short on people right now. The Gandharva died, and the saber techniques of the assassins underneath aren’t good enough to succeed his position. If you swear your allegiance to Garan, Mr. Duan won’t waste a talented person.”

“Allegiance? Then I’d have to offer something as a token of my loyalty for him to believe me, who can I offer?”

The Kinnara gripped the iron bars tightly. “Xiahou Lian, of course. Help us trick him out, and then…” the Kinnara gritted his teeth as he said, “kill him.”

Tang Shiqi stared at him for a while and laid back down, crossing his legs. “The rats were so noisy last night I couldn’t fall asleep, I’m so tired. I’m going to sleep first, good night.”

“Tang Shiqi! Why are you so loyal to him?” The Kinnara sneered, “See what’s become of you now? But as for him, he’s carefree and happy outside! What’s good about a person like him? He sent all of Garan to hell for his personal grudge, yet he obtained the antidote himself and escaped. What brother, he doesn’t care about that at all. He was only using you, Tang Shiqi!”

Tang Shiqi turned his back to him and ignored him. 

The Kinnara said coldly, “Okay, you asked for this, don’t blame me for not saving you.”

He stood up and walked outside, but Tang Shiqi suddenly stopped him. “Scholar, my last letter is buried underneath the archway at the gate of Chu Building. If there’s a day when I really… then give my last letter to Boss. Use whatever method you want, as long as it gets to his hands.”

The Kinnara’s footsteps paused, though he didn’t say anything, and he turned around and stepped into the darkness of the corridor.


Duan Jiu entered Baili Yuan’s courtyard. It was sunny today, and the orange sunlight shone on the door’s decorative cylinder, a lotus pattern clearly visible. The marquis manor’s house was very old, and the paint had peeled off the tall threshold. The originally vermillion door panel had faded into a dark reddish brown, appearing even more worn-down in the strong lights and shadows. 

Baili Yuan was sitting on the threshold and flying a kite; it was still that tiger kite with fierce eyes and a white forehead. This kite had actually been given to Chi Yan by Shi Xin, and it originally hung in Chi Yan’s small room. Baili Yuan saw it and liked it, so she firmly asked for it, and it hadn’t left her hands since.

Looking up and seeing Duan Jiu, Baili Yuan asked indifferently, “Did you get anything from the questioning?”

Duan Jiu shook his head lightly. Baili Yuan frowned and was about to speak, but Duan Jiu said, “However, I already know Xiahou Lian’s whereabouts.”

Baili Yuan’s eyes lit up, and a vicious smile appeared at the corner of her mouth. “Then go and kill him! Summon the Mahoraga, Yaksha, and Asura into the capital, and also add the Kinnara. I don’t believe that they won’t be able to kill him!”

“The Eight Legions are the elite of our Garan, how can one be so reckless? He has Shen Jue’s protection, so killing him is easier said than done.” Duan Jiu sighed. “Yama, you should be thinking about how to strengthen Garan, not your own joy and anger. Don’t worry, we won’t let Chi Yan know where he is. As long as Chi Yan doesn’t know, he’s not worth being afraid of.”

Baili Yuan frowned fiercely. “Shen Jue, Shen Jue, that damned eunuch, he dares to stand in my way, what a nuisance! Forget it, it’s getting warm, I’m going to go back to the North, and I’ll bring my big brother back to the Xue Mountain 1. They’ll be thousands of miles apart, so they’ll never meet.” Baili Yuan gave the kite to Duan Jiu to hold and lifted her skirt as she went to find Chi Yan.

He was in the room changing clothes, and when the sunlight shone on his back, Baili Yuan saw the ferocious ink tattoos on his back. He pulled up his clothes, and the tattoo was covered. It wasn’t strange for Garan’s men to have tattoos, but she hadn’t expected that such an obedient child as Chi Yan would get a tattoo, and one that covered his entire back at that.

It must have been because of that brat Xiahou Lian. Baili Yuan curled her lip and pretended not to see. She sat on the drum stool and watched him put on his undergarments and then wear his robes. He looked down as he fastened his belt and frog closure 2; his eyes were lowered, and his long and dense eyelashes covered his dark eyes, a very tranquil appearance. However, his face was a little pale, which was caused by him taking medicine a few days ago.

Chi Yan put on his glazed earring last and tidied up the bed in the room before following Baili Yuan outside. Yanzhi Alley was desolate during the day, so there were only a few bawds with their doors open and eating melon seeds as they chatted across the alley. They entered Yunxian Building from the back door. The lanterns hadn’t been hung up, so it was bare in the corridors and under the eaves. The flowers in the garden had bloomed a little, so it didn’t look so lonely anymore.

When they were almost outside A-Chu’s small courtyard, voices suddenly sounded, and the accompanying assassin walked ahead to take a look, then came back to report, “They’re Embroidered Uniform guards who came to check for our Garan assassins. Yama, do you want to head back to the manor?”

“Back to what manor? Am I scared of them?” Baili Yuan laughed coldly, pushed the assassin aside, and clasped her hands behind her back as she walked in.

Seven or eight Embroidered Uniform guards were standing inside the small courtyard, and all of them had embroidered spring sabers at their waists. They were wearing flying fish clothes, the brightly colored embroidery sparkling underneath the sunlight, containing a ferocious beauty. A-Chu’s door was tightly shut, and there were two Embroidered Uniform guards standing in front of the door, holding melon seeds in their hands as they ate, the ground covered with shells.

When Baili Yuan came in, all of the Embroidered Uniform guards’ eyes turned to her.

“Oh, where did this little girl come from?” A guard smiled obscenely and glanced at the old bawd cowering next to the column. “You even have this kind of goods, why didn’t you bring her out earlier to show us?”

The bawd smiled placatingly, but she looked at Baili Yuan in fear and cowered even tighter.

“No! I don’t want to!” A-Chu’s cries sounded through the door. Men’s cursing sounded immediately afterward, twice in total, one after another, the tones different.

Baili Yuan’s pupils shrank, and she paused in her footsteps. She looked at the old bawd. “What’s happening inside?”

“What else can be happening?” An Embroidered Uniform guard smiled ambiguously. “We came to the brothel to investigate, and we’re resting while we’re here. How can we not show our treasured sabers? Platoon Commander Yan and Squad Commander Zhang are playing with the big one, and as for me…” He walked toward Baili Yuan and reached out, wanting to lift her chin, “I’ll play with the small one.”

A hand grabbed the guard’s wrist, and the guard’s wrist began hurting, as if it was being clamped by iron, unable to move. He looked up and was met with a pair of jet-black pupils. “What are you doing? Are you seeking your death!”

“Baili, go inside,” said Chi Yan.

“What are you all standing still for!” The guard roared in anger, “Arrest this person who wants to die!”

The Embroidered Uniform guards all drew their sabers and pounced over, and the two guarding the door also came. Chi Yan leaned to the side, and an embroidered spring saber brushed down past the tip of his nose. He hit the person’s wrist with his hand and the person let go, their embroidered spring saber falling into Chi Yan’s hand.

The embroidered spring saber was horizontal across Chi Yan’s chest, and an arc of light flashed past, as desolate as the cold moon. Chi Yan lowered his eyes and stood there quietly. In an instant, his momentum immediately changed. The Embroidered Uniform guards stopped their offensive and didn’t dare to rush forward, as they suddenly realized that the man in front of them wasn’t as weak and easily bullied as he appeared. The saber in his hand could kill.

But so what, they were the mighty Embroidered Uniform guard; could they be afraid of this servant who did chores in a brothel?

A guard led the way, and the other guards followed behind him, roaring as they charged forward. Chi Yan’s eyelids lifted abruptly, and he was about to make a move. However, the same instant, he suddenly remembered that he wasn’t an assassin now, so he couldn’t kill. Thus, he flipped his wrist, and the blade reflected the sunlight, flitting past the embroidery on the guard’s chest. Chi Yan swung the saber down and used the spine of the saber to meet the opponent.

At the same time, Baili Yuan ran around them and toward the room. A-Chu was inside, crying shrilly, with such hoarseness and such helplessness. The closer Baili Yuan got to the room, the colder her body became, as if she was amid a swirl of heavy snow, deeply buried in the snow. She faintly knew what would happen inside, and for the first time, she was afraid to face it. She had seen the ground covered by bodies before, and she had also seen blood flow into rivers. However, she had never seen a woman’s delicate body bullied by men before, like a beautiful flower plucked from its branch.

She kicked open the door and sunlight shone in. The two barely-clothed men on the ground were startled by the dazzling sunlight, and they got up from the woman’s body. Baili Yuan saw A-Chu; she was cowering at the corner of the daybed, doing her best to reach for the blanket on the daybed to cover her show-white body. However, Baili Yuan still saw the cyans and purples on her body. They appeared exceptionally dazzling on her white body, light withered pear flowers, trampled into a mass of bruises.

A-Chu was crying, her cries choked in her mouth, faltering and unclear. Baili Yuan didn’t look at the two men; she only looked at A-Chu on the ground. Her cries drew out the rage in Baili Yuan’s chest, and it wandered around in her body, engulfing her like flames.

Die. Baili Yuan slowly clenched her fists. They should all die.

One of the men’s clothes were piled on a yellow square pear wood table for eight that was next to Baili Yuan. With one hand covering underneath, he reached over with a hand to grab them. Under the sunlight, a dazzling light flashed, and the shrill howls of the man followed immediately afterward. The Embroidered Uniform guards scuffling with Chi Yan turned their heads over and were shocked to see that Baili Yuan had nailed Platoon Commander Yan’s hand to the table.

Baili Yuan had stabbed too fiercely, so a few drops of blood had splashed onto her porcelain-white face. Her gaze was filled with a ferocious viciousness, like an evil spirit child that had climbed out of hell. For a time, even Squad Commander Zhang was so scared he forgot to stop her.

“Who is your master?” Baili Yuan slowly twisted the dagger, and the blade grinded through flesh, emitting a teeth-achingly sticky sound. “The commander of the Embroidered Uniform Guard, Sir Yang, or the seal-holder of the Directorate of Rites, Shen Jue? It’s okay, you can tell them that I took this person’s hand. But remember to report my name,” Baili Yuan stared at the wailing man clenching her teeth, “North, Baili Yuan.”

“Bai… Baili… You’re the North’s marquis.” The Embroidered Uniform guards looked at one another.

“That’s right, it’s me.” Baili Yuan turned her head and smiled. “Remember to run a little faster, even faster. Otherwise, an evil spirit will catch up to you all, and… eat all of you!”


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Translator Notes:

  1. Lit. Snow Mountain.
  2. A decorative fastener for clothing consisting of a button and a loop.


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October 8, 2022 12:40 am

Thank You for the chapter ʚ♡⃛ɞ(ू•ᴗ•ू❁)

October 8, 2022 3:16 am

TS, what have you said & what will you do now?
Seems BY is trying to ID herself to SJ. It’s the 2nd time she’s brutally harmed someone, though deserved this time; but the location…
I doubt SJ will be told the whole story by that guard, so how will he respond to what’s happened?
CY defending her in these circumstances is understandable, but makes me wonder how he feels & what if opponent were SJ or XL? CY knows she intends to kill XL.
Ta for translating, T/Ns & editing.

October 8, 2022 5:26 pm

Interesting… I feel bad for TQ, I hope XHL can at least save a friend…. BY obsessed with CY is just too much…. But even Mr Duan sees her focus is not on strengthening Garan, she clearly has her own agenda and I don’t really think she has matured yet, even if she has gone through difficult situations…. The guards did that on their own, but clearly now BY will think SJ has no scruples. Thank you for the translation and editing! ❤️

October 9, 2022 4:59 pm

Baili Yuan has just exposed herself! SJ will probably connect the dots at this point, hopefully. Really hope those guards get punished – they’re so awful to A-Chu! 😡😡

Thank you for the chapter!

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