Chapter 8 Blood Splattered Door
The fierce pitiful scream continued to resound throughout the courtyard. Amidst the screams, you could hear the panic-stricken crying of a female. On the west side room, the gates were wide open. Someone was receiving corporal punishment.You could hear the sound the whip made as it meets flesh. Blood spilled over the entire Zhuge Residence. All of the servants raised their heads to see who was enjoying this honor.
While the crowd gradually gathered, Chu Qiao was still at the front of the Residence. Only one step remained to get out of this man-eating garden. But those screams continued to assault her ears making her brow wrinkle. Finally, retrieving her foot, she quickly turned back around and ran towards the west side room.
Fate. It gives people the most opportunities to make a choice to make a difference. Often, those choices will change a lot of things.
Zhuge Yue stood wearing a pale green silk dress, embroidered with a piece of dark green lotus. His hair hung loose over his shoulders, his face was as fair as jade. His eyes were as black as ink and his lips were dark red. Although he was only 13 or 14 years old, he appeared to have a nefarious charm. He was lying on his side on a chair made of rosewood. His elbow supporting his head as a two fine-looking maids held incense sat on both his sides. Occasionally he would move a chess piece. Meanwhile a fast horse have traveled a thousand li with fresh lychee from Bian Tang arrived.
Twenty steps in front of him, a child dressed in black servant clothes had been beaten until bruised and her cries gradually quieted down. A 6 or 7 year old little slave girl was kowtowing at his side begging for mercy. The skin on her forehead was broken as blood flowed and her crystal clear eyes overflowed with tears.
The sun gradually rose really brightly on the Hongshuan Plateau located in the city. Even in the deep of winter, the sun was still strong. Zhuge Yue raised his head, narrowing his eyes at the brightness. This caused both of the maidservants at his side to become anxious. One immediately held out an umbrella to block out the sun from touching Zhuge Yue’s head. Looking bored, he pushed away the umbrella, and sat up straight. Both of the maids waited while he waved his hands as he leaned against the cushions of the chair.
Two burly men suddenly appeared and respectfully came forward. They carefully lifted the his chair, and carried him out of the side room.
The girl who was kowtowing was suddenly very frightened and let out a panicked cry. Crawling towards Zhuge Yue, pulling his clothes, “Please Fourth Young Master, Lin Xi will die!”
Zhuge Yue’s eye twitched at that. Out of the corner of his eyes, he glanced at the little girl stained with blood on her tiny hands and head.
The child only felt an uncontrollable chill suddenly raised her head. Only to see Zhuge Yue’s snow white boots with five bloody fingerprints on them. The contrast was visibly striking.
Frightened, the child became tongue-tied for a long time before rubbing his shoes with both of her sleeves in a panic. Crying, “I’m so sorry Fourth young master, Xiao Qi will immediately get them cleaned.”
Bang Bang, Zhuge Yue kicked the child to the ground. Afterwards both of his maids immediately knelt down to take the dirty boots off. Zhuge looked at the child with disgust and commanded with a low voice “Chop off her hands.”
Xiao Qi forgot how to sob and sat there dumbfounded on the ground. A cruel bodyguard quickly came up at that moment with a long sword sheath from his waist. And just as quick, a spray of blood-shot up to the sky. Her pale emaciated little hands were cut on the ground.
Xiao Qi found her voice and let out a grating pitiful shriek breaking through the clouds, surprising all of the hideous vultures nearby.
Chu Qiao just arrived at the doorway, standing still as a stone. Suddenly she was bolted back into action as her footsteps took on a whole new life. Her eyes wide open, she covered her mouth and stood still without moving an inch.
“Fourth Young Master, this child is no longer breathing.”
Zhuge Yue looked at Lin Xi with pity, rubbing his temples. “Throw it into the lake in the pavilion to feed the fish.”
As the other burly men lifted Zhuge Yue’s chair again to resume, all the other servants kneeled, even the wounded.
“Hold on,” when he passed the door, Zhuge Yue suddenly whispered. Slightly turning, he stared into the eyes of Chu Qiao still standing in front of the door. Frowning, “You, which courtyard slave are you? Why do you not kneel?”
Chu Qiao took a deep breath, biting her lips to swallow her anger. Kneeling on the ground, both of her eyes staring at the brick floor. With her eyes opened wide, she started to speak with a childlike panic-stricken voice, “Yue is a backyard slave. Please, Fourth Young Master, forgive Yue, I’m inexperienced. It’s the first time Yue’s met Master. I thought I had seen God.”
Zhuge Yue lightly smiled at this. This cute, white as snow little child, at such a young age knew how to speak cleverly. He laughingly says, “Clever girl, how old are you? What’s your name?”
“Fourth Master, Yue is 7 years old, surname Jing.”
“Like this,” Zhuge Yue said, “ Then you change your name to follow me, okay. Now you are called Xing’er.”
Chu Qiao quickly kowtowed in place, shouting loudly, “Xing thanks Fourth Young Master for selecting me.”
Zhuge Yue smiled. His chair was once again lifted, turning around at the corridors until it could no longer be seen.
With the settled down, a slave with lowly status was dead. In the Zhuge Residence, the servants had already gotten used to these scenes. It didn’t take long for the news to spread out. One servant came in to clean up. Lifting the child’s small body, he wrapped Lin Xi in a sack and dragged him on the ground towards the direction of the Pavilion Lake.
The child was very little. His whole body’s flesh had been bloodied and beaten. The blood was seeping out of the sack, and was dripping on the brick ground. A long blood trail followed the servant. Chu Qiao was still kneeling on the ground. Her mind reeling back and forth about the ups and downs of what have happened. Her teeth were gnawing at her bottom lips while she clenched her two little fist tightly. Staring at the trail of blood from the sack, tears welled up from her eyes. Dropping on the back of her hand.
“Yue should not be afraid, 5th brother is here.”
“Tonight we ate really well. Fourth young master gave us vegetables, braised beef, sweet and sour pork ribs, sweet and sour sauce fillet, wild duck and many other food. I ate so much I want to throw up. I can’t eat anything anymore.”
“Yue, you can be assured that in the future, 5th brother will make sure you eat until you are full and warm. All the good things in this world were made to be eaten by you. Not just pork, but ginseng, abalone, bird’s nest, sharks fin and even an elephant will be served. You can have anything you want. By that time, no one will bully us again. Yue, do you believe 5th brother?”
“Yue, 5th brother will protect you. I will accompany you, you shouldn’t be afraid.”
She was filled with grief and hatred, just like boiling water or a tidal wave, but she knew that she could not cry. She could not reveal at this time the slightest resentment. She wiped her face with the back of her hand and quickly stood up. Next to the door, Xiao Qi was still there with her severed hand. Blood still gushing out her wrist without paying attention to anything else.
Chu Qiao quickly tore her clothes, pressed and held Xiao Qi’s acupoints, while wrapping her wrist to stop the bleeding. After all of that, she took Xiao Qi on her back, clenched her teeth and walked back towards the backyard.
Just she left the front door, a cold voice stopped her suddenly, “Halt! Who told you to carry her off?”
Chu Qiao looked up to see the man pulling out a whip. The man she hadn’t seen in three days, Zhu Shun. She kept her brows light and calmly spoke, “Fourth Young Master did not say to kill her.”
“The Lord had not say you must help her either!” Zhu Shun said, looking at Chu Qiao indifferently. He did not know why, but ever since that day on Jiu Wei Street, that scene always appeared in his dreams. After he hit this child, she inquired about his name making him flinch. He also thought it was very laughable that he dreaded this kind of immature low status slave. But the voice in his heart constantly reminded him that while under the General’s Residence, there were countless of eyes. Otherwise, he would have had this child removed. Otherwise, sooner or later this child would bring him disaster.
“That’s the wrong assumption of the Master’s intention. Too naive. Someone come, take these two arrogant slaves away for not knowing the immensity of heaven and earth!”
Two male servants came forward to draw on Chu Qiao’s arms. Hastily Chu Qiao hides away from them. The sudden movement had caused Xiao Qi wound to start bleeding again.
“Who dares to come!! I am one of Fourth Young Master’s people. You all don’t understand clearly?”
Zhu Shun sneered at that, “You have not yet attained the chicken’s feather but are already shooting an arrow… Early tomorrow morning, Fourth Young Master won’t even remember you two. Yet you dare try to threaten me with this! Go take these two away and give them a bitter lesson!”
Chu Qiao turned serious, with Xiao Qi on her back, she receded back like a leopard. Her eyes sharp and her brows furrowed.
Just then another voice sounded behind Zhu Shun. A handsome little boy, in a jasper boa robe, stood behind them. Followed by four other followers, the 11 year old stood there, making Zhu Shun look uncomfortable. “Housekeeper Zhu, why did you not know that Huai is bidding me leave? Is the crown prince family not important? Why are you still entangled here? I think you are really too lazy.”
Zhu Shun shocked, hurriedly moved closer to bow, bending quickly at the waist. “Yan Shi Zi, is that these servants do not listen to discipline, making Yan Shi Zi laugh.”
“Is teaching servants more important or is my family more important? Zhu Shun, I thought you were smarter than this. I didn’t know that you could be so daring in front of Yan Shi.”
Zhu Shun was alarmed hearing this and quickly knocked his head on the floor. “This one does not dare. This one does not dare, this one was wrong.”
“You know that you are wrong, so why are you still here?”
After he heard this, Zhu Shun suddenly stood up like his butt caught on fire. Quickly leaving to find Zhuge Huai. The other servants quickly retreated to one side, one of which carefully said, “Please Yan Shi Zi, enter the Flower Hall to wait.”
The elegantly robed youth nodded and slowly turned around. His black eyes swept the courtyard narrowing when he saw Chu Qiao. It seemed like he was remembering something, so he walked directly to her.
Chu Qiao was quiet, as she cautiously took two steps back. Yan Xun, saw her step back, halted his steps. Thinking for a moment, he pulled out a white jar from his sleeve bag. It was carved with a bluegrass pattern, it was very delicate. He motioned for her to take the bottle with a slight nod.
Chu Qiao looked at Yan Xun up and down. Remembering the scene around the hunting ground, she was not dumb. She didn’t move an inch forward.
Yan Xun just smiled at this. He bent down and gently placed the bottle on the ground. Then he turned to enter the Flower Hall with his followers.
“Uh….” A slight groan sounded from behind. Xiao Qi saw Chu Qiao’s face that was blurry. The sound of houses flies and mosquitoes could be heard. Having the fear of not being heard she cried out “Big Sister Yue…..Xiao Qi…..am I dying?”
Chu Qiao went to pick up the bottle and held it tightly in her hand. The tension she held in her body did not loosen. With somber eyes she looked towards the Main House. Slowly but firmly she looked at Xiao Qi and said, “Xiao Qi, Big Sister is with you. You are going to be okay. Not much longer, you will be just fine.”
The winter has given birth to pain and suffering under those sinister hands, should they be forgiven?
However, it was inevitable. Chu Qiao was firmly resolved to stay to exact her revenge. All was unperturbed!