Jianghu Demolition Squad

Jianghu By Jun 02, 2024 2 Comments
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Chapter 20: Tiger’s Whiskers

Visible Skin, Hidden Bones (Part Nine)

Trigger warning: Attempted Sexual Assault.

Qing Jiu and Tang Linzhi made their way around Hao Yun, and eventually converging at a spot where they caught a servant hiding beneath a rockery. Tang Linzhi, with a voice heavy with urgency, demanded, “Where are Yuan Wenliu and Meiren Gu?”

Initially, the servant refused to speak, keeping his lips tightly sealed. Tang Linzhi responded by gagging him with a stone and quickly snapping his wrist. The intense pain shot through the servant’s body, causing him to break out in a cold sweat. He squirmed in agony, unable to utter a scream, and eventually nodded, desperately signaling for mercy.

Once Tang Linzhi removed the stone, the servant confessed, “Old Master Yuan is in the courtyard next door, he should be in the room now, the Young Master left the residence four days ago.”

This “Young Master” referred unmistakably to Meiren Gu.

Qing Jiu looked at the servant, her gaze inscrutable, lost in thought for a long moment without uttering a word.

“Left the residence?” Tang Linzhi echoed, her curiosity piqued as she swiftly advanced, seizing the servant’s wrist again.

In a panic, the servant insisted, “It’s the truth, I wouldn’t dare to lie!”

Qing Jiu then decided, “Let’s go find Yuan Wenliu first.”

Tang Linzhi nodded in agreement, and with a swift strike to the back of the servant’s neck, he groaned softly before collapsing to the ground. Tang Linzhi dragged him into a cave within the rockery, and then she and Qing Jiu turned towards the neighboring courtyard.

Moving silently, they entered the courtyard and observed guards at both the front and back. After exchanging looks, they split up, leaping down silently. The rear guard didn’t notice them before being taken down.

They then flew onto the railing, sticking close to the wall, looking into the room through the wide-open window.

Inside, they saw Yuan Wenliu pushing a young girl onto the bed, ripping through her dress with a flick of his hand.

Tang Linzhi mouthed to Qing Jiu in disbelief, “Doesn’t this girl look exactly like Yu’er?”

Qing Jiu opened her mouth, then gestured, “It is Yu’er.”

Tang Linzhi was shocked, filled with doubts. Yu’er was supposed to be with Yan Li; how could she be here?!

Seeing Yu’er in danger, Tang Linzhi was about to rush in to save her.

But Qing Jiu grabbed her arm, shaking her head. Tang Linzhi, puzzled, suddenly saw Qing Jiu pointing inside the room.

Suddenly, the subdued Yu’er on the bed, with a fierce glint in her eyes, slashed at Yuan Wenliu’s approaching neck with her right hand, swift and ruthless.

Yuan Wenliu, with his internal energy, could have blocked it, but instead, he leaped back, his eyes shining with excitement.

Yu’er, feeling both ashamed and undeterred, kicked out instinctively, aiming directly at Yuan Wenliu’s crotch.

Caught off guard, Yuan Wenliu’s reaction lagged, and he could only jump back to avoid the attack.

Yu’er quickly pressed forward, her arm following the momentum, her arm shooting up like a dragon soaring into the sky, aimed straight for Yuan Wenliu’s chest.

Outside, Tang Linzhi’s spirit lifted, and she couldn’t help but exclaim in admiration, “Well done!”

The technique Yu’er had just employed, ‘Striking Thunder,’ was one of the assassination methods Tang Linzhi had taught her. Yu’er executed it as smoothly as flowing clouds and water. Although her internal energy was lacking, the essence of the technique—its swift ferocity—was fully grasped by Yu’er.

Yuan Wenliu had underestimated his opponent, and this move was bound to hit its mark!

Indeed, the golden hairpin pierced into Yuan Wenliu’s flesh. Unfortunately, due to the lack of internal energy, the strike was too shallow, allowing Yuan Wenliu to grab Yu’er’s wrist.

Yuan Wenliu laughed wildly, his excitement undiminished, “Good! Very good!”

He pulled Yu’er closer, grabbed her neck, and bit towards her neck as if intending to devour her flesh and blood entirely.

Yu’er had already exerted her full strength, desperately gripping Yuan Wenliu’s wrist, but his grip was like iron clamps, immovable. As Yuan Wenliu tore at Yu’er’s clothes with his other hand, tears shimmered in Yu’er’s eyes, a mix of defiance and fear within her.

Outside, Qing Jiu saw Yuan Wenliu grabbing Yu’er’s wrist and knew instantly that Yu’er was at her limit. She declared, “Yu’er can’t hold on any longer, let’s move.”

Tang Linzhi, still thinking which techniques to teach the young girl next after watching her fight with such unfulfilled eagerness, was jolted back to reality by Qing Jiu’s words. By then, Qing Jiu had already leaped into the room.

Tang Linzhi, blood boiling, cursed, “Son of a bitch!”

Qing Jiu entered the room with a sword strike, swift and hard to see. Yuan Wenliu, hearing the whistling of the sword, managed to dodge in time but still suffered a wound on his wrist. Yu’er was caught by Qing Jiu, who held her in her arms.

Tang Linzhi followed swiftly, her weapon dancing in her hands, dazzling and overwhelming. Yuan Wenliu, already at a disadvantage, found himself increasingly forced into a corner by Tang Linzhi’s relentless assault.

Realizing the formidable skills of his two assailants, Yuan Wenliu sought an opening to escape. His lightness skill was exceptional, but Tang Linzhi, determined not to let him escape, pursued him closely.

Yu’er felt as if she had just returned the brink of death, her body covered in a cold sweat. She felt an intense cold enveloping her, a sensation she hadn’t fully registered while in the dungeon or in Yuan Wenliu’s grasp due to numbness. It was as if she had been in a frozen cavern, where prolonged exposure numbed the senses. Now, having escaped the dungeon and exposed to the cold wind, every sensation returned, the coldness cutting into her bones, making her feel colder and her heart hollow.

All Yu’er wanted was to cling to something warm, anything at all. Holding onto Qing Jiu, she was like embracing the only fire in the cold snow, shivering uncontrollably, unwilling to let go.

Qing Jiu took a curtain from the bed, tore it down with a flick of her wrist, and covered Yu’er’s head with it. The long silk curtain trailed to the ground, covering Yu’er entirely.

Holding onto this piece of silk, Yu’er looked up from within this makeshift tent, her eyes red, staring intently at Qing Jiu, clutching her clothes tightly, afraid that if she let go or closed her eyes, the person before her would vanish like a mirage.

Qing Jiu had found the girl interesting from the start. No matter how red Yu’er’s eyes became, her tears would not fall, except when speaking of her parents.

Any ordinary girl would have been heartbreakingly crying after what Yuan Wenliu did, but not this girl. Not only did she wound Yuan Wenliu with a hairpin, but she also didn’t scream or cry, not shedding a single tear.

Qing Jiu gently patted Yu’er’s back, sensing her underlying fear. Placing a hand on Yu’er’s pulse to assess her injuries, she inquired, “You were supposed to be with Yan Li. You agreed to stay with her, so how did you end up here?”

Noticing the internal injuries Yu’er suffered during her brief encounter with Yuan Wenliu, who hadn’t even had the chance to use his internal energy, Qing Jiu realized these were pre-existing wounds. “How did you get such severe internal injuries, hmm?”

As Yu’er began to calm down, the warm and subtle fragrance emanating from Qing Jiu, coupled with the comforting pats on her back, helped ease her spirit. She was no longer trembling as much. Yu’er then shared everything—how Yan Li was invited to the Qin residence, how she herself was captured, and all that had transpired in Yuan Wenliu’s room.

After a moment of contemplation, Qing Jiu asked, “So, Yan Li is here as well?”

Yu’er nodded. Sitting on her knees, she had to look up to meet Qing Jiu’s gaze, her eyes sparkling in the room’s light, making her look particularly innocent and vulnerable.

Qing Jiu stared at her for a long while before suddenly pinching her cheek, “Who did your makeup?”

Caught off guard, Yu’er felt her face heat up, grateful that the thick layer of makeup hid her blush. “The old madam of the house,” she replied.

Yu’er’s naturally elegant and delicate beauty was overwhelmed by the heavy makeup, like willows burdened with gaudy gold or mountains cloaked in lavish tapestries. It wasn’t unattractive, just exceedingly inappropriate.

Qing Jiu took out a handkerchief and wiped Yu’er’s face, smiling, “Ridiculous makeup.”

Yu’er smiled back, the fear and apprehension she had felt earlier gradually fading away.

After Qing Jiu finished, the handkerchief was smeared with a mix of red and white. Just as she was about to tuck it back into her sleeve, Yu’er caught her wrist, “Let me… I’ll clean it for you and then return it.”

Qing Jiu paused, then handed her the handkerchief with a smile, “This handkerchief is very important. Don’t lose it.”

Yu’er took it, noticing a ‘Lin’ character embroidered with gold thread on one corner, and carefully folded it, “I won’t.”

They both got up and left the courtyard. Yu’er’s clothes were torn, so she was wrapped in the green silk. As they passed through a stone gate towards a small lake, a group approached them. Yan Li, recognizable with a ‘Divination’ banner in one hand and a whisk in the other, was immediately noticeable.

Qing Jiu smiled, “So, you really are here.”

Yan Li, upon seeing Qing Jiu and Yu’er, wasn’t surprised to encounter Qing Jiu. However, she found it odd that Yu’er was also present, especially wrapped oddly in a layer of green cloth. “How come Yu’er is here too?”

Qin Mu, startled to find two strangers within his residence, stepped back and inquired, “Divine Master, do you know them?”

Yan Li stated plainly, “Friends.”

Someone hurriedly approached Qin Mu, whispering into his ear. Qin Mu’s expression darkened to a stormy hue as he confronted, “Divine Master, your friends have trespassed into my residence and injured my servants. What is the meaning of this?”

Among the group, standing to the left were Ye Wushuang and her companions. With her sword pointed at Qing Jiu, she accused, “What is the meaning of this? They must be accomplices, moving in secret, likely notorious thieves, coordinating efforts both from within and without to target the Qin family’s wealth. And that girl, I know her, she’s the criminal slave! Their scheme isn’t just to steal wealth but also to abduct someone! Having been caught in the act, there’s no way they can deny it.”

The man dressed as a scholar shouted, “Wushuang!”

Ye Wushuang stopped speaking, visibly annoyed. The man, with a polite bow, introduced himself to the three, “I am Ye Sheng from the Wenwu Sect. May I know your affiliations and reasons for coming uninvited?” Behind Ye Sheng stood two men, one in green and the other in a white robe.

Qing Jiu glanced over, quickly deducing those two were responsible for Yu’er’s injuries. She ignored the others, not responding to Ye Sheng, but instead answered Yan Li’s question, “Yu’er was captured and brought here. After you arrived, she was alone in the courtyard when someone followed and drugged her, capturing her again.”

Yan Li asked, “What about Mo Wen?” Qing Jiu shook her head.

Suddenly, Ye Wushuang’s voice rose sharply, her face flushing with a mix of embarrassment and anger, “You are being extremely rude. My Eldest Brother is speaking to you, and you ignore us!”

Ignoring the others, Yan Li directly asked Yu’er, “Yu’er, what did the person who captured you look like?”

Yu’er looked around, her brow furrowed in thought. Upon Yan Li’s inquiry, she pointed her delicate hand towards one direction and declared, “It was him.”

Everyone’s gaze followed Yu’er’s pointing finger, landing on the servant who had just relayed a message to Qin Mu. The man identified was none other than the steward of the Qin residence.

Upon first seeing Yu’er, Ye Sheng felt a flicker of recognition but, after only a brief glance and before he could fully identify her, she was led away by the Qin steward. Thus, he had not managed to recall who she was. Now, seeing Yu’er with Yan Li and hearing the fragmented conversation, while everyone else was confused, Ye Sheng felt he was beginning to understand the situation. However, several key points remained unclear to him, prompting him to suggest, “Why don’t the three of you clarify the situation? Perhaps there’s been some misunderstanding.”

Yan Li’s voice deepened, her gaze turning icy as she looked towards the Qin steward, “Yes, it was him. He was very disrespectful out in the street.”

Aware of Yan Li’s powerful internal energy and knowing he was no match for her, the Qin steward forced a strained smile. Seeing Ye Sheng and the others nearby, he hoped these righteous individuals wouldn’t stand by and watch harm come to him, thus he vehemently denied the accusations, “What kidnapping? What are you two talking about? I truly have no idea. Perhaps you’ve mistaken me for someone else, or maybe you’re trying to divert blame for sneaking into the house and getting caught.”

Qing Jiu’s hand rested on the hilt of her sword at her waist, and the blade began to slide smoothly from its sheath, “Yu’er, which hand did he touch you with?”

Yu’er, momentarily puzzled and not fully grasping the implication of Qing Jiu’s question, saw Qing Jiu give a slight smile and say, “I suppose he touched you with both hands.”

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1 month ago

get his ass

21 days ago

Someone’s about to become handless ^-^
Thanks for the chapter!