“Wife, I want to eat meat” 《娘子，我要吃肉》Chapter 9
Third quarter of chou, black clouds already covered the moon tightly. On the quiet streets, not a single person could be seen.
The serene and hidden depth of darkness followed relentlessly spreading even further straight ahead, mysteriously pushing down heavily on a person’s pit of the stomach.
Wang Yun Feng felt his chest constrict unbearably, he weakly coughed twice. Juan Shu seized the wine cup from his hand: “Master, we should return.”
Bai Yan stood at the tavern threshold with one foot propped up, both arms crossed, he jeered: “Don’t go back, just get a room here, let him sleep holding a beauty in his dream.”
Wang Yun Feng absent-mindedly fantasied Xia Ling Mei in his arms, not sure whether his face was more red or white.
Juan Shu at the side was coy for a little white: “Master if you don’t like beautiful woman, you
can hold Juan Shu in your arms.”
Bai Yan with a squeeze shattered the wine cup in his hand, holding the back of Juan Shu’s neck, directly speaking to the bodyguard protecting in the dark: “Take the master back to the residence”
Wang Yun Feng belched twice, in a daze he opened his eyes, looking in the direction of the distant staircase, for quite some time before saying: “Randomly gather a few people to come back with me, the rest stay here and protect the mistress.”
Juan Shu eyes shone: “Then I will escort the master back to the residence, Bai Yan you stay here to protect the mistress, ow!”
Bai Yan punched Juan Shu in the head, gnashing his teeth: “Do you still wish to directly escort the master back to his bed?”
Juan Shu smiled: “That’s not a bad idea.” Then, he revealed his thoughts bashfully,
“Actually, I’ve been secretly in love with master for a long time.”
The secret guards subconsciously smoothed down their goose pimples.
Bai Yan immediately kicked his bottom, making the other directly roll through the doorway and under the carriage: “You fool with your illusions, master is mine.”
The secret guards couldn’t help but roll their eyes, automatically leaving behind half of them to protect Xia Ling Mei, the other half lifted the half intoxicated, half-awake Wang Yun Feng
into the carriage. As Juan Shu and Bai Yan were chattering away `striving for favour` they followed the dark road slowly heading into darkness.
“Lady, Lord Wang has left.” Xiu Yu retreated her head from the small crack in the window, speaking to Xia Ling Mei who was lying on the bed with her eyes closed like she was asleep.
Ying Shi moved the only candle flame to the small table by the bedside, looking at Xia Ling Mei’s flustered eyes as they moved under her eyelids, she sighed, tucking in the corners of her quilt: “It’s still early, we’ll leave again once Lord Wang gets a bit further away.”
Xia Ling Mei made a grunt sort of noise, as if to accept the other’s reasoning.
At noon, she had thrown a huge tantrum at Wang Yun Feng, she cursed him until her mouth dried, the web between the thumb and forefinger of her hand was also extremely painful from whipping him, by the time she had vented her feelings enough to calm down, after she only then discovered Wang Yun Feng was already covered in cuts and bruises on the verge of collapsing. For a moment, she wasn’t sure if she was happier or in more pain. The two faced each other drearily for an afternoon, without speaking again.
Wang Yun Feng did not ask for a reasonable explanation to his harassment, Xia Ling Mei also did not give an excuse for her rage.
“I don’t want to see you again.” When she put her long whip down, she calmly said: “No matter when, no matter where…this lifetime, we make a clean break from now.”
At first, she deliberately ignored his suffering, forcing marriage; that year, it was she who neglected his desperation, turning away alone; now, it was also she, who loathed his affection, determined to cut off all ties.
Her heart was already apathetic; it could not feel any pain.
She could only hide inside the very small tavern of this foreign land, holding herself tightly,
relying on her own to hands to warm her body, swallowing down all the tears.
In the first quarter mao, Xia Ling Mei got up, she wore her clothes and cleaned her face alone, waiting for the water clock to hit four am, she then gently said: “Let’s go.”
Xiu Yu said: “Do you need Hei Zi to lure Lord Wang’s secret guards away?”
“No need” Xia Ling Mei said, “This time, we will leave just and honourably.”
Xiu Yu and Ying Shi glanced at each other, carrying their precious luggage, following Xia Ling Mei out of the doors.
The secret guards of the Wang family expressed sufficient suspicion and worry towards this behaviour of their mistress as it was the first time she had run away without making a secret of it. The head of the secret guards was already familiar with Hei Zi these past years, noiselessly he jumped to Hei Zi’s side, pushing the other’s arm to ask: “Where does the mistress plan to run to this time?”
Xia Ling Mei lifted her head, saying to the head of the guards hanging upside down on the roof: “I’ve been to over half of Dayan’s lands, Xiao Bai Zi do you have any new suggestions?”
The head of the guards ---- Bai Zi, scratched his head: “There’s nothing worth suggesting, as long as you don’t run off to a place where there is money laundering. Otherwise my monthly paywould not arrive in my hands on time, the people beneath me will become lazy.”
Xia Ling Mei asked without intention: “It’s been so many years, has your monthly pay risen?”
Bai Zi immediately felt wronged: “No. The master has been busy, I guess he forgot.”
“Yes, but Hei Zi’s monthly pay has risen quite a lot, these few years it must have doubled right.”
Hei Zi comfortingly patted Bai Zi’s shoulder: “Brother, you are doing life sacrificing work, accepting the monthly pay of a farmer.”
“No!” Bai Zi cried out, “Then, do we need to first go and discuss about a rise in monthly pay, before coming back to protect the mistress?”
Hei Zi generously slapped the other person: “Go, anyway we’ll leave behind a note for you. When you get a rise in monthly pay remember to immediately follow after, treat your brother
to a drink.”
The kind-hearted, loyal, with the love of a sibling, the secret guard of Xia family waved his hand, watching as the secret guards of the Wang family ran into the darkness one by one, taking large strides on their way, heading towards their master to ask for a raise, their face smiling splendidly, so simple minded.
Xia Ling Mei massaged her forehead: “Bai Zi is still as foolish as before, our family’s Hei Zi is as sinister as before.” Hei Zi was embarrassed, Xia Ling Mei continued speaking: “I just now understood, I have never escaped from the secret guards of the Wang family all these years, it’s because there’s an insider.”
Hei Zi simpered: “Lady spare me. If Xiao Bai didn’t follow us, we would have been eaten by those treacherous Jianghu people that not even our bones would remain.”
Bantering for a while, Xia Ling Mei mood finally lightened, riding on an already prepared quick horse, she went the complete opposite direction of where Xiao Bai went.
The streets in the middle of the night, apart from the occasional two lamps hung outside of rich family’s doorways, wherever one went it was all dusky. Every now and then you could see round like mouse sliding across the streets, followed by the cries of cats, dogs whistling, accompanied by the clattering of horse hooves on the green flagstones, as if it was the nocturne music of the ghost world, making people feel melancholy and fearful.
The small Tibetan Mastiff in her arms occasionally stuck its head out looking left and right, its clammy nose sniffing here and there, now and then growling threateningly a few times at the busying mouse, before again nestling in its mistress’ arms acting like a spoiled child looking for praise.
This time there was no need to hide like they did before, therefore the group walked not rushed, not slowly, until Hei Zi who was leading the way in front suddenly stopped.
Xiu Yu and Ying Shi took two steps forward, splitting up so Xia Ling Mei was in between them, quietly asking: “What’s going on?”
“There’s a carriage ahead.”
Xia Ling Mei moved: “Whose?”
The secret guard urged his horse forward to take a look, he quickly turned back, his face was moon white in the darkness, it was a little scary. Hei Zi spoke briefly with the others, he only said to Xia Ling Mei: “We’ll go down another road.” Not saying whose family it belonged to, and not saying how many people they had, it was very strange.
Xia Ling Mei rose above everyone’s shoulders and looked into the distance, she only felt the shape of that carriage was somewhat strange, the carriage lamp was also not hung up, it was like a mound of smoke was emerging out of a deep fire, faintly flashing, sometimes bright sometimes dark. The night wind blew over, the people felt the hair on their scalp cool, smelling a faint trace of blood in the air.
Hei Zi knew Xia Ling Mei was oversensitive, he could only explain: “It must be a vendetta, it’s best for us to avoid.”
There were many types of vendettas. Xia Ling Mei had the most contact with the assassinations inside the royal court, and the power of official influential family’s influence to crush people, these years she had spent in the Jianghu, she had come across Jianghu vendettas the most. Most of the time they decided to avoid them, not bringing trouble to
Everyone turned their horse around, Hei Zi went forward to open up a path entering into another street in a fork road, Xia Ling Mei was surrounded by everyone in the centre, it was all strangely quiet, there was only the `woo, woo` sound of the small Tibetan Mastiff stirring uneasily.
Xia Ling Mei held it tightly, hearing the young dog hissing, not long after, there was a tender mew from afar coming closer. The secret guards started to split up to surround them, those in the outer circle dispersed to survey all the shadows, those in the inner circle concentrated on protecting Xia Ling Mei by her side motionless, Xiu Yu and Ying Shi even drew out long swords.
Again there was a cry of a cat, a very small ball of darkness fell down from a tree.
The horse whined, blades flashed coldly under the moonlight. As if the Tibetan Mastiff was responding to the cat, its sounded more and more urgent, occasionally trembling as it whined.
A hidden guard used his pike to pick up the kitten, delivering it to Hei Zi. The kitten was very small, around three months old only, white fur around its four legs, long tail swinging, its tip top furs were even more conspicuous, looking at it, it was somewhat familiar.
“It’s the kitten Lord Wang is raising.” Xiu Yu said.
“It’s important to protect the lady, let’s return to the tavern.”
They had just left, how could the return. Everyone was asking questions, but their all year round career as bodyguards made the secret guards understand what was most important.
At times like this, even Xia Ling Mei felt leaving the city was not safe. Outside the high walls was the wilderness, to martial artists it was the easiest place to hide for a sneak attack, it was better off to stay at the tavern, not changing was better than changing too much.
“Whose carriage is that?” Xia Ling Mei asked Hei Zi.
He couldn’t lie to her, at most he was taciturn.
“Wang Yun Feng, am I right?”
“Inside the carriage there’s only the corpse of the coachman and the lamp holder, there isn’t
Lord Wang’s.” Hei Zi paused a moment, “Lord Wang has people to protect him, he should have escaped long ago.”
This could be considered as having indirectly answered Xia Ling Mei’s question.
She hesitated for a little while, the dark horse’s hooves wandered around in a circle impatiently, puffing out a snort.
“This road doesn’t lead to the Wang residence.”
“It can lead to the government office. Lord Wang left very late, maybe he was afraid of missing the morning roll call, therefore he went directly to the office.”
Xia Ling Mei had been vexed out of the question by Wang Yun Feng these past days, she only knew opening and closing her eyes she would see the person she didn’t want to see the most swaying in front of her, she couldn’t chase him away, she had thought Wang Yun
Feng had nothing to do, it turns out he had long ago already reported to the office. That is, she was unaware when, during every day when did he take care of these government affairs.
Just as she turned her horse around, the ground began to shake, right there horses were galloping over, scaring the kitten who was curled up under the Tibetan Mastiff’s belly shivering with cold.
Hei Zi took the lead, changing his long sword to a lance and heng sword promptly he stood in the middle of the road.
The sound of hooves got closer and closer. As if a gale was rolling up ocean waves, the power scaring people.
The person taking the lead on the other side barged through, yelling through the air to Bei
Zi: “Hand our lord over.”
Hei Zi stared blankly: “Bai Zi?”
Bai Zi gasped for breath: “Have you seen our lord?”
“Didn’t you return to Wang residence?”
“I took the wrong road, half way I sudden received a letter with a cry for help that’s when I knew Lord Wang went to the office.”
Xiu Yu had already run over: “Take the letter out.”
Bai Zi hesitated for a moment, he took a slip of paper from his sleeves.
Xiu Yu handed it over to Xia Ling Mei, using the remote fire to look at it, there was only one
Xia Ling Mei touched that word, placing her fingertip under her nose and lightly sniffing: “It was written in blood.”
Several people’s complexion changed, Xiao Bai said: “This was the information about the third road, also so far there’s been no news of the men and horses from the other two
“It seems Wang Yun Feng is being protected by those in the third road.” Xia Ling Mei shook out the slip of paper, unable to tell the seriousness as the word from blood had coagulated into a lump: “He’s been gone for two hours, right now it cannot be sure…”
Xiao Bai cried out in pain: “I need to rescue the master.” Having spoken, he already madly urged his horse on forwards, the secret guards of the Wang family also without exception followed closely. Xia Ling Mei watched the street become tranquil again, without speaking.
“Lady, let us first leave.” Don’t worry about Lord Wang.