Gu Fang Bu Zi Shang Vol03 Ch67
Qierou, Yun Chang. The city was still on the peaceful side. The peasants didn’t know their little town had become the prey of the Duke of Zhen-Bei as they continued their daily lives.
The Governor’s accumulation of anger was still growing.
None of his subordinates found it difficult to find that those two were creating trouble everywhere, deliberately trying to find fault with the Governor by mixing their foul stench into Qierou. Even mud had a temper and the Governor’s ability to bear until now was still considered an amazing feat itself.
“They came back again?”
“Yes.” His subordinates were rather uncomfortable, “After respectfully sending them away, they would return the next day.”
The corners of Fanlu’s twitched, his gaze flickering backwards.
Dujing hurriedly stepped forward, bending down to report, “The silver has been sent according to Sir’s instructions.”
Sigh, those two had far too much of an appetite.
Though it was to be expected, who told him to follow the wrong person, becoming one of Senior Official Gui’s people? The Gui family had fallen now, and he always got a beating by the others. Otherwise, there was no way he’d be held down so miserably by these two officials.
Even his clerk’s eyebrows drooped considerably. Quite a lot of the strands in his goatee had snapped too.
“Sir,” his subordinate suggested, “those two only refuse to go because they see that our Qierou has a bit of wealth. I heard last time they went to Xian Na City, the Xian Na Governor gave them two chicken-heart sized red rubies, and they left in glee. I reckon…”
Fanlu coldly harrumphed. “Chicken-heart sized red rubies? Where are we to find chicken-heart sized rubies for them? We’ve already given them quite a lot of money.”
Dujing stood beside Fanlu, hesitating.
Fanlu pulled a face, while the good natured subordinate backed away.
“Sir, it’s actually quite simple.” Dujing stepped forward, his eyes narrowed as he said, “Sir may not have precious gemstones, but Qierou has people. Although Qierou is a small city, there are still a few wealthy families, so there must be some ancestral treasures that can satisfy Sir Pu Guang and Sir Pu Sheng.”
Fanlu’s expression changed, “You want me to extort peasants out of their family heirlooms?” He had been trained in the army as an expert spy so he could readily kill or set fires, but he had never once thought about extorting peasants.
Dujing wryly smiled, as he rubbed his hands. “It’s because Sir doesn’t agree, that’s why I never said it. But Sir, this Sir Pu Guang and Pu Sheng staying here isn’t a good plan either. What if you really do annoy them and they go back to the capital to rattle off to the Prince Consort. Sir will be in a lot of danger. They’re also on very good terms with the Prince Consort’s favourite, General Fei Zhaoxing.
Fanlu felt a sensation like he had just taken a whole mouthful of lard. He frowned, “Who would freely hand over their priceless ancestral heirlooms? I’m afraid we won’t be able to buy it either.”
Dujing frowned, his expression looking very upset. “We don’t mean to do evil; it’s really only to protect ourselves. You are a governor, holding all of the lives of the peasants in your hand. Isn’t it quite simple task to ask to borrow an item? I’m trying to think for Sir.”
Fanlu felt incredibly uncomfortable.
Being the governor of this rubbish city wasn’t cool at all. Ever since He Xia gained all the power, each day got harder than the day before. He even went as far to think that it would’ve been better if he stayed in the army, happily being a lowly spy.
But as the various forces of Yun Chang clashed, every single Gui party’s lives had been at stake, just the slightest mistake would attract a massive disaster. Who wouldn’t know better than asking for trouble?
He wasn’t exactly a sincere man. After thinking about it, he clenched his teeth and nodded. “Let’s do that then. I just don’t know which family treasure will satisfy them.”
Seeing him nod, Dujing sighed in relief. He quickly answered, “No need for Sir to feel distressed over. I have already prepared a list.” He took out a scrap of paper from his sleeves, opened it and started to read.
A cabinet officer hurried through the door, reporting, “Sir, those two generals have returned.”
“Welcome them into the main room and serve them.” Fanlu’s eyebrows were tightly furrowed as he turned to Dujing, “Don’t bother, just choose someone suitable and make sure they’re gone as soon as possible. The food supply team should be arriving today, so I will go outside the city to deal with them. That’s good though, I won’t be able to see them as I really don’t want to see or bow or pamper their disgusting faces.” He took the light crossbow that never left his side off the table and slipped through the back hall. He left behind a smiling Dujing who actually had a headache. He then went to attend to those insatiable Sirs at the main entrance.
Zuiju was in the rear of the residence. Now that she could freely walk around the Governor Residence, her freedom increased considerably. But it had been a while since going out, so her boredom was quite justified. She paced around, plucking all sorts of herbs from the corners of the courtyard.
Seeds had been scattered not long ago, so only two or three tiny shoots popped out.
She had a natural innate love of plants. She carefully applied fertiliser to each one of them before stretching and standing up again.
The familiar cabinet officer came to report, “Miss Zuiju, Sir said that he is going outside the city and is afraid that he might not be able to make it back in time, so that you can eat yourself.”
Zuiju replied, “Ok”, rather unenthusiastically.
That Fanlu, when he was in front of her, she was dying for him to disappear as soon as possible, but when he wasn’t, she felt a little gloomy.
“Just take the dinner to my room.”
Dinner was served; Zuiju sat alone facing the shadows casted by the candle. She jabbed a few dishes with her chopsticks, losing her appetite.
It seemed the food supply team had arrived again. It was really quite disquieting the way they come every so often.
Thinking of food supply for the army, she couldn’t help think of her Teacher whose whereabouts were unknown, and Pingting whose soul was lonely. Zuiju felt even more upset, seeing her own lonely shadow being imprinted on the wall.
She put down her chopsticks, the corners of her eyes reddening.
With that hateful Fanlu around, although he always angered her until her teeth itched, she would never feel so sad like now.
Zuiju raised her sleeve to wipe away her tears when she suddenly heard laughter floating through the windows. There were both men and women and not long later, another girl giggled before singing a melody. Zuiju stood up, coming to the door and happened to see one of the passing maids. She waved at her, frowning, “Who’s here again? They’re so noisy.”
The maid answered, “Of course it’s those two something Sirs. They’re here again. Advisor Du has sent for a prostitute called Chun something who is currently accompanying him while he drinks.”
Zuiju knew those two sucked up to He Xia to gain his favour and created all sorts of trouble for Fanlu. She was quite disgusted by them as she eyed the bright lit room guest room. She thought that even if she returned into the room, the noise would be irritable so she simply stayed outside, heading towards the pavilion at the rear of the residence.
She arrived at the pavilion and the evening breeze greeted her, much more comfortable than expected. Zuiju’s mood was a bit better. She sat in the pavilion, still puzzling over when Fanlu returned when she suddenly heard footsteps from behind. Her heart lifted and she blurted, “You evil man, finally back?” When she turned, her expression changed considerably.
The potbellied Pu Guang had drank quite a lot in the guest room. Seeing how his younger brother Pu Sheng had pulled the prostitute Yingchun down, ready to go out it, he thought that he might as well pull the one called Guihua down the stairs and look for another room, pleasuring through the night.
But he had unexpectantly drank too much. After a few stops he dizzily stumbled down the stairs and Miss Guihua was already gone when he turned back. The sky had already darkened as he stumbled throughout the residence until finally stumbling by this little pavilion.
Then he suddenly heard a woman’s clear and crisp voice. “You evil man, finally back?”
Pu Guang raised his head. The woman quietly sat there under the moon and her looks were really quite good. He instantly thought he’d strucked lucky and began to pervertedly smile. “Baby, I’m coming. I’ll pleasure you so much that you can die happy…” With all his drunkenness, he rushed forwards, touching those tender little hands, pressing forward with his ugly face.
Zuiju hadn’t had her guard up. Only until he’d touched her did she scream, “Kyaa.” She leapt up to her feet from the stone chair, reached out and shoved the fat Pu Guang onto the ground.
The places her hand touched felt disgusting. Zuiju had been with her Teacher since childhood and had always been treated with respect. Apart from the damn Fanlu, there hadn’t been any other man who dared take liberties with her. Thinking that much didn’t make her anger cool, she went closer and slapped him twice, making a “paah-paah” sound.
She was a woman and didn’t slap people very often, so her slaps weren’t that strong.
Pu Guang had suffered the two light slaps, but he didn’t leave. He drunkenly stepped forward again. He smiled in glee, “Such fragrant hands, little beauty, give it to me again. It’s to both of our advantage, you give me your fragrant hands and I’ll give you a meatstick to eat.”
Zuiju had never heard such things so she was stunned, not knowing what he was talking about. She had yet to open her mouth when a sharp arrow broke the wind. The whoosh directly hit Pu Guang’s chest.
The arrow came without warning, both rapid and accurate. Pu Guang’s eyes bulged out for a moment like frogs, not making a single sound as his body fell towards the floor, below Zuiju’s feet.
Zuiju was taken aback. She abruptly took a step back, her back crashing into what seemed like a person’s arms. She looked back in dismay. When she saw his face properly, she immediately sighed in relief. “It’s you…”
It was strange, but she felt relieved.
Fanlu’s expression was extremely twisted. He stood there, staring, for a long time. One hand held his light crossbow, the other holding Zuiju’s arms as he pulled her forward.
Zuiju was stumbled with his pulls. “What are you doing?”
Fanlu pulled her to Pu Guang’s corpse. Although Zuiju was a doctor, she was still a girl and was afraid of the dead. She wanted to step back, not expecting that Fanlu would viciously tug her forwards, not letting her to move an inch back.
He loaded another arrow on his crossbow with one hand. He gave it to Zuiju, “Hold it.”
Zuiju saw how scary his expression was and obediently took it.
Fanlu beckoned at Pu Guang’s corpse with his chin. “Shoot him.”
“He’s already dead.”
“Are you going to shoot or not?” Fanlu stared at her viciously, his eyes rather red.
In the moment Zuiju hesitated, Fanlu obstinately leaned over, grabbed her hand, and pulled the trigger.
Zuiju closed her eyes. The arrow had already flown with a whoosh until it deeply lodged itself in Pu Guang’s throat.
He had only just died so his blood was still warm. His throat’s blood splattered all over the ground.
Fanlu took the light crossbow from Zuiju’s hands. He patted her cheek, wanting her to open her eyes. He said in a grave voice, “If someone dares say those words to you, shoot him with an arrow before he continues, understood?”
He was quite fierce and barbaric right now, not having his usually slovenly expression. Even Zuiju didn’t dare argue, so she nodded. Her expression rather puzzled, “What did those words mean?”
Fanlu narrowed his eyes at her. She had no idea what he was thinking about. He revealed a strange expression, then enigmatically laughed, “It’s not something particularly bad, but only I can say them to you, not others.”
Although Zuiju didn’t quite understand, she guessed that it definitely wasn’t something good. She glared at him, “As a dog, you can only bark.” Her blush was faint, but she lowered her head anyway.
Fanlu chuckled, turning around to go. Zuiju hurriedly stopped him, “Where are you going?” There was a terrifying looking corpse beside her, so there was no way she’d let herself be left alone there.
Fanlu shrugged, “He has another brother. One’s gone, so the other has to accompany him to death too. Unless I let him off, so he can have revenge? You guard this corpse; it better not be gone.”
He strode away, a few shadows flickering in the courtyard until he disappeared.
Zuiju froze on the spot. She turned to look back at Pu Guang’s body in the moonlight. The little puddle beside him rippled with a strangle cold light. She couldn’t help but feel chills run up her spine. Her hands hugged her body.
Fanlu had actually left for half an hour.
Zuiju looked at Pu Guang’s body. She felt like she was being roasted on the fire. Whenever she heard movement, she would nervously retrieve her head until it was hidden inside the pavilion, in fear of attracting people that would then notice Pu Guang’s corpse.
Pu Guang was a missionary amongst the Yun Chang officials. It would be no trivial matter if his body were found in Qierou.
She craned her neck, fully wishing Fanlu would quickly return but that figure didn’t appear. Anger towards Fanlu flipped over and over again in her stomach. She swore to herself that she would never forgive him when she saw him.
When a shadow flickered in her sight, her eyes lit up immediately.
Fanlu had the limp Pu Sheng over his shoulder as he breezily returned.
“You’re finally back; that totally scared me to death.” Zuiju’s heart felt like it was flying. She didn’t feel afraid any more, now that she’d seen Fanlu’s face.
Fanlu looked at her, “Why are you still here?”
Zuiju stiffened, asking, “When you told me to guard the corpse and that it better not be gone?”
“What’s cool to look about a corpse? He won’t run away.” Fanlu linked, laughing, “I was joking, but you took it seriously anyway?”
Zuiju almost fainted with anger. She grinded her teeth, “I wanted to help you, but you played me instead.”
Fanlu assessed her from top to bottom. “Look at you. At most your help will backfire.”
The earlier fierceness had gone, replaced by that unserious grin again. He kicked the Pu Guang on the ground while weighing the Pu Sheng on his shoulders. He frowned, “How heavy, that stomach of flesh, blood and fat. I guess I totally shouldn’t’ve feed them all sorts of delicacies, if I had known that one arrow was enough to get rid of them.” He turned to Zuiju, “I am going to hide them one by one, so obediently wait for me here.”
Zuiju nodded, and watched Fanlu disappear with Pu Sheng in the distance before abruptly coming back to her senses. She was furious, “Dammit, who is going to obediently wait for you?” She stomped several times and stormed back to her room, not caring about the body on the ground any more.
Her heart only fumed, no longer as jumpy and afraid as before.
She sat inside her room for a long time, not feeling sleepy as she stared outside the door. By midnight, Fanlu came in as expected. He swaggered inside, swaggered to a seat, picked up a tea jug on the table, and poured it in his mouth. He mumbled to himself, “The corpse had to be hid and the blood on the ground had to be wiped off, busying me all night. Sigh, those two guys are heavier than pigs. It really wasn’t easy taking their corpses to the hiding place. Did so much walking, my shoulders are so painful they can barely lift my hands.” The more he said, the more pitiful he seemed.
Although Zuiju was pretty angry, she knew this was all for her. She felt a little sorry. She could only stand up and walk to his side. In a rather awkward tone, she asked, “Where does it hurt?”
Zuiju softly massaged for him. Massaging was one of the things she learned from her teacher. Her technique was well-grounded, but her strength was a little weak.
Fanlu didn’t care whether her strength was strong or weak, being massaged like this was a rare blessing itself. He narrowed his eyes as he merrily teased, “Feels very nice. This shoulder must have gotten good karma in its previous lives to have such beautiful hands massage them.”
Zuiju glared at him, “I know, your next few words won’t be any good. If you dare say another, I won’t massage for you anymore.”
Fanlu sighed, but he really did obediently close his mouth.
After a while, Zuiju asked, “Now that they’re dead, how will you explain to the people above?”
Fanlu didn’t answer.
Zuiju said, “You can speak. I’ll massage for you as long as you don’t say anything mean.”
Fanlu finally answered, “They didn’t die, but they received enough jewels and gold so they left satisfied.”
“Organising false illusions are my forte. Who else can clear up two fatty pigs in just half a night?”
He was indeed an expert in organising false illusions, as he was the one who tricked the world of Bai Pingting’s death.
Zuiju remembered how he had gone to kill Pu Sheng, actually using up half an hour, probably because he had formed a scenario by then. She didn’t ask for any more.
The two people chatted in the room, gossiped a bit until both felt a little sleepy.
Zuiju studied him, “Don’t you have paperwork tomorrow? Why don’t you go sleep?”
Fanlu yawned, “Why sleep? The sky will brighten in an hour. You saw a dead man, so undoubtedly spending the night alone would be scary. I’ll accompany you until the sky brightens and you can sleep when morning comes. There’ll be light everywhere, so you won’t be afraid.”
Zuiju listened to his words, her heart immediately softening. Her voice had lightened too, “I’m not afraid. You’ve been busy all night, so boiling through the rest of your energy isn’t good. Go to sleep soon.”
Fanlu sighed again, “To be honest, when I kill a man, I’ll have nightmares for the next few days. I won’t be able to sleep at all anyway.”
Zuiju frowned as she said, “I’ll give you a prescription for sleep, okay?”
“I have such prescriptions too that will definitely work. It’s just that the component was hard to find.”
Zuiju was curious. “What rare herbs? I’ll help you think of where to find them.”
“If genius Doctor Zuiju would let me hug her to sleep then…” His words had yet to fall when his shoulder had been thumped by Zuiju’s fist. Fanlu helplessly said, “I said that the component was hard to find.”