Chapter 46 – Retaliation

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Shan Ying Lang

(Photo Courtesy of Sina Weibo)

Ning City, Yue Kingdom 

When Zhu Zhan Ye returned to the inn that morning, his eyes were dull and he walked as if he didn’t care who was in his way. Bao Lu tried to bring food to his master, but the young man shook his head. He spoke to no one, but sat there, staring at his hands.  At sun set, he suddenly stood up and strode out, Bao Lu made to follow but Zhu Zhan Ye shook his head.

He seemed to wander aimlessly in the rushing crowd of people. He sat down at a small stall and barked at the server to get him a jug of their finest wine. One cup after another, fiery liquid splashed down his tongue until he  tasted nothing.

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Chapter 45 – The Bitterness of Brothers

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(Zhuo Hao)

Photo courtesy of Sina Weibo

The cloudy night was perfect as the dark grey clothed men and Yu Zhu’s black clothes blended into every shadow.  The Midnight Thief and her companions ran silently through the dark city as they headed to the Merchant’s giant compound. The fire lanterns of the city slowly burned down to flicker and die as the night watchmen called the hour.

The thieves were as silent as falling leaves, landing in the Merchant’s garden with no more sound than a drop of water falling into a pond. Yu Zhu motioned for them to hide as the first round of guards patrolling the area came though.

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Chapter 44 – The Princess of Dian

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Yu Zhu

(Photo courtesy of QQ and Hidari94)

“Hello.” Zhu Zhan Ye poked his head in front of Yu Zhu’s store. His eyes seemed to twinkle as he

Yu Zhu raised her head, “You’re not allowed here.”

Zhu Zhan Ye smiled crookedly, “Didn’t you get my gifts? I sent some really expensive fruits you can only get in the southern part of the empire.

“She sold them.” Lu Xi smiled shyly, “Hello, Zhan Ye Ge Ge.”

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Chapter 43 – Bait

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Yu ZHu

Photo Courtesy of Sina Wei Bo

Yu Zhu sat up shaking. No, she was vibrating so hard the frames of the bed shook. She gritted her teeth as she felt needles of pain shoot down her arms and legs. Waves of agony rolled over her body. Anger, bitterness, hatred rushed over her, overwhelming all of her senses. Then relief, joy, ecstasy flooded her mind, her eyes rolled back in her head. She felt so much one moment and the was nothing the next, the pain pounded her like roaring waves, then ebbing away as if being sucked back into the sea, each time taking a tiny bit of her with it. She grabbed her pillow and bit down. Her muffle screamed woke Lin Yu who came running in.

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Chapter 42 – River of Souls

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(Huang Wu)

(Photo courtesy of Sina Weibo)

“She’s more beautiful than a painting.” A wealthy young son  said as he lazily waved his silk fan in the crispy morning air, the picture of a wealthy young student, “If only she wasn’t a lowly embroidery girl, I would marry her”. He sat on the second floor of the Red Tea House, sipping on tea brought by girl servants, “She’s probably even more beautiful than the Princess of Dian.”

“And how would you know that?” asked another boy, “The Princess of Dian lives in the capital, deep in the heart of the palace. Like a shining Jewel.”  One of his schoolmates smacked his head, “You have a long way to go before you become a poet. Don’t try so hard”

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Chapter 41- Schemes and Plots

 

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Zhu Zhan Ye                                 Huang Wu

 

(Photos  Courtesy of Sina Weibo)

Ning City 

“You’re leaving food for her again?” Lin Yu asked as Yu Zhu placed a tray in front of Lu Xi’s door. Lin Yu sighed, “It’s been ten days and still she hasn’t come out. I don’t get why she’s so scared of us”

Yu Zhu shook her head as she added tea to a cup and placed it on the tiled floor “She’s not afraid. She’s hurting.”

Lin Yu’s only experience with human emotions was mainly with Yu Zhu, she was confused, “I don’t understand.”

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Chapter 40 – Of Monsters and Men

 

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(Zhuo Hao)                                                               (Wei Yun)

(Pictures courtesy of Sina Weibo and SecretChina)

“Please. Be a good son. Just kill me. Please? Please?” The quivering figure in ruined silk lying on the cold granite looked up at him, one eye visible from the mass of sticky, bloody hair. Stray strands with scalp still attached lay all over the floor, she had pulled them out on her own.

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