【Glaive Snow】Prologue - Chaos

星翅 | 2020-12-20 06:12:33 | 巴幣 1102 | 人氣 135

wrote in 2017
Warning: Some of the character names are different from the Before Story. It is because that I changed to better translations. They did not die. They are the same people.

       Clink! Clink! Clink! Clink! Clink!
       The clash of metals cut through the pale blue sky.
       This is Wulin, the world named “Slaughter.”
       On a slightly larger road in the mountain forest, about a dozen men are fighting together against a woman in white. The woman is about sixteen years old, and her swordsmanship is surprisingly fast. In the chaos, only the dancing black and white shadows can be seen, and tiny golden needles shoot out from her direction, and several men fall.
       She is a well-known master in the martial arts, and the descendant of the Ancient Tomb Faction — Jianxue Yang, the “White Double Sword.”
       The battle has come to the third hour. Many men are already sweating profusely and panting heavily, but Jianxue still has a stable breath, leaving no sweat, showing the strength gap between the two sides.
       She turns around to dodge the attack on the left, a sword shocks the man on the right away and then stabs the thigh of the man on the left. Several golden needles are issued, and several men fall down.
       Victory seems to be in her hands.
       However, she ignores the pair of eyes hiding in the dark.
       Suddenly, there is a cold behind her, and it turns to normal in just an instant. It seems like an illusion. The battle is still going on. Only she knows what had happened, and the situation reverses in an instant.
       Her strength is being taken away.
       This is the first word that comes to her mind.
       She hasn’t reacted yet, and her body has already moved. Even if her internal strength is being lost, her speed is still much faster than ordinary people. The white figure shuttles through the forest and quickly comes to the road. The crowd does not give up and chases her closely, and clouds of dust flow up.
       The trees gradually become scarce, and a high gray wall stands before her. Here, separating the government and Wulin, she sees the two guards at the gate of the city dozing off. They seem to be accustomed to this kind of struggle. Anyway, martial artists will not trouble the guards, so they will not take care of them.
       Jianxue bites her pink lips tightly. Since having so many enemies, she rarely came here, taking the people in the city into account, but the situation is critical now…
       She quickly jumps to the side of the tree, two golden needles are released, insert in the high wall, and the foot lightly touch the needles, just jumps over, and then apply light work to land on the ground.        The seemingly smooth movements have already given her strength. All lost.
       The footsteps approach and the guards are awakened.
       “ Damn…where is she? Huh…little bitch…” A big man complains breathlessly.
       “ Hey! Over there!” Another man shouts at the guard.
       “ Huh?” The guard seems that his brain is still not working: “ Do you want to enter the city?”
       “ No! I ask if you see a woman in white clothes?”
       “ Huh? No…”
       “ Oh! How can he know this kind of thing!” The big man looks around and says: “ There are traces of stepping on the tree! Didn’t she just jump over?”
       “ Are you sure? This wall is pretty high!”
       “ She is a demon! You can’t judge by common sense.”
       “ If this is the case, should we go into the city?”
       “ I advise you not to do this!” The sweet voice comes, with a woman wearing a red dress, her graceful figure looming under the tulle, and her eyes are flirtatious and seductive. Next to her is a man, dressed in a white robe, with green silk embroidered on the cuffs and hem, a face that looks handsome, but listless.
       “ If you mess with the people in the city, how can I buy beautiful clothes in the future?” The woman pouts, making people want to take pity on her: “ Let’s wait here. She can’t find help in the city. We will catch her when she comes out.”
       “ Master! Right Guard!” The group of people see the two and quickly stand upright.
       “ She was hit by my “ Heart Eroding Cold Palm.” Then we will come back to pick up the corpse. Many of us are injured. Let’s go back first!” The man says lightly.
       “ Yes, Master!” Everyone reply in unison.
       “…” The young woman is still smiling, but her smile is full of hatred.
       Behind the city wall, the white figure flinches.
       The sound of footsteps gets farther and farther, and finally, there is nothing but tranquility, which is desperate.
       The erosive cold makes the hands and feet unconscious.
       It is cold.
       “ Ha…” She exhales a trembling breath. They…are all gone…
       She tries to move a little bit but finds that all her energy is drained, and she can’t move for half a step.
       The little breeze is blowing, and her heartbeat is getting weaker and weaker, waiting for silent death.
       Is she dying?
       She reluctantly squeezes a bitter smile. She wants to spend her life in the ancient tomb, but she didn’t expect that she will not even be at home when she dies.
       But, this is what fate looks like, isn’t it?
       She clothes her eyes and the world plunges into darkness.
       Sorry, Mother…
       She fails to protect their home.
       “ The General arrives — ” Loud shouts spread throughout Edo Castle. In the corridor leading to Ooku, thousands of men stand neatly on the left and right sides, with their heads slightly lowered. The sliding door is opened, and a woman of about twenty-two years old comes out, a gorgeous black kimono with pink cherry blossoms, a folding fan hung on her waist, and her hair shining with gems on her head.
       The white face was beautifully born, the red lips formed a perfect arc, and a pair of deep eyes catches everyone’s attention, but at this time, she is staring sharply at everyone, quite having a juvenile’s heroic spirit.
       “ Eikou.” A neutral voice calls the man on the side. The man is dressed in a green kimono, and his gentle smile can make anyone put his guard down.
       “ Yes, Master Iemitsu.” Eikou turns to the crowd: “ Tomorrow Master Iemitsu will go out for one day, and the Daily Summon will be canceled.”
       After confirming that everyone has no objections, she quickly walks through the corridor.
       The next day, two horses are walking leisurely in the woods.
       “ Ha! The air outside is so comfortable!” Iemitsu stretches out: “ Stay in the castle every day, that makes me almost suffocated!”
       “ Master Iemitsu looks so different in private!” Hakage laughs: “ Clearly so dignified at work.”
       “ Shut up!”
       “ Haha! We will reach the border soon, shall we turn back?”
       “ Okay…huh?” Feeling there is something that the horse kicks, she dismounts and checks. There is a black blunt sword on the ground with the word “ Gentleman” engraved on it.
       “ Master Iemitsu, there is one here too.” Hakage says. This time “ Lady” is engraved on it.
       “ A pair of swords? Who left them here?”
       The swords drop down some blood, it seems that they have just slaughtered.
       “ Tatata,” the sound of footsteps comes from outside the wall moving further and further.
       “ Hem! The Wulin gang are doing things again…forget it, just do not spread to the city.” Iemitsu complains: “ Where is the owner of the swords? Should he be near here? Throw them out the wall and return them to those people.”
       “ Uh…Master Iemitsu…but we seem to know this person…” Hakage is a little worried.
       As if she is asleep, the girl in white is lying quietly on the grass, but her breathing is very weak.
       “ Master Iemitsu, shall we send her to the Imperial Doctor Ogata? She is too wretched…” Hakage frowns unbearably.
       “…No.” Iemitsu shacks her head, and only place two blunt swords beside Jianxue: “ We do not know how many enemies she has. If we rashly save her, then her enemies will come into the city and it will cause chaos.”
       “ But…”
       “ Go back.” The ruthless words fall, Iemitsu turns on her horse and stops looking at the person who falls on the ground. As usual, majestic and merciless.
       However, her eyes flash with an imperceptible sadness.
       “…” Hakage seems to see the trace of sadness, and smile at ease: “ Yes, then let’s go back.” After that, he picks up Jianxue and sits on the horse.
       He has been her guard for so many years. How can he not know her thoughts?
       Pretending to be ruthless, just to save herself.
       Because she is Iemitsu Tokugawa, the master of Edo City…
       Kindness will only cause trouble.
       “ What are you doing?” Iemitsu stares.
       “ Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it if something happens.” Hakage laughs.
       “…If something really happens, I will be the first to push you out to die.” Iemitsu snorts but secretly smiles.
       “ Yes, Master.” Hakage chuckles and does not care: “ I remember that there are some bedding in the attic of the Osaka Castle, there are usually few people there, so let’s put her there.” Then he put the black coat on Jianxue, just in case others are suspicious.
       At dusk, Hakage and Ogata sneak up to the Osaka Castle.
       “ Mr. Ogata, here she is.” Hakage points to the girl sleeping on the futon.
       “ Hum.” Ogata still smiles and nods, and begins to check the pulse, looking left and right, and finally put a black pill into Jianxue’s mouth, and pours some water.
       “ Mr. Ogata…how?” Hakage asks nervously when Ogata hasn’t spoken for a long time.
       “ Heart Eroding Cold Palm is one of the best poisons in Wulin. She has last so long. Her internal strength is really deep.”
       “ Poison? Should we bleed her first?” Hakage doubts.
       “ No, although this is poison, it does not invade the blood, so it can only be broken down with pills.” Ogata explains: “ This poison can not only kill people but also the internal strength will disappear. You can only regain your strength first, and when you can bear it, you can take a pill that is irritating and restore your internal strength,”
       “ Okay…”
       “ Don’t worry, she will wake up in a day or two. Give her something to eat at that time, and take another pill in seven days.”
       “ Got it.”
       As night falls, the moonlight streams into the attic. The girl on the bed slowly opens her eyes.
Moves slightly, the cold seems to dissipate. It is just that the internal strength has not recovered, and she can’t make any maneuver. Looking around, a trace of alert flashes in her eyes.
       It is an unfamiliar place.
       “ Click,” a small sound comes from the corner. A wooden board is moved away. A teenager with orange hair and a man in a black kimono walk in. The teenager is holding a candle, and the man is holding a bowl of hot porridge.
       “ Mr. Ogata, she is awake.” Hakage can’t hide his joy.
       “ Ok.”
       “ Miss Yang, don’t be nervous.” Hakage looks at the girl with an alert: “ This is the Osaka Castle of Edo City. Master Iemitsu and I found you lying by the wall, so we brought you back for treatment. I am Hakage, and this is Ogata. We met before, remember?”
       “…Remember.” Jianxue’s eyes are still cold, but she let her guard down a little bit: “ Thank you for your help.” She says while she tends to get up.
       “ Ahhh! Just sit down! You have just begun to recover.” Hakage hurriedly takes the hot porridge: “ You are hungry, right? Eat some.”
       “ Thank you, Mr. Hakage.” She swallows and feels a warmth passing through her body. Her mind recovers some.
       “ Miss Yang, you have been caught in the Heart Eroding Cold Palm and you need to rest for at least one month.” Ogata still smiles: “ But don’t worry, the attic here is hidden, and most people will not notice it. You can rest at ease.”
       “…However, if it is Kasuga and Eikou, it is not the case.” A female voice comes, and Iemitsu steps in with the only pajama: “ They will know in three days.”
       “ Master Iemitsu! Why are you here? You will catch a cold if you wear such a thin dress!” Hakage immediately takes off his coat and covers her.
       “ Shut the fuck up! I’m not cold!”
       “ Although Master Kasuga or Mr. Man will find out, they shouldn’t say anything.” Ogata thinks: “ After all, people from Wulin won’t be here for no reason. Someone must have secretly placed her here.”
       “ Yes, yes, yes!” Then they will find out that I got her! Fuck! I don’t want to hear their bullshit!”
       “ Oh! Anyway, as long as you don’t give an order, they won’t push her away! Listening to them scolding or a few hours will not lose anything.”
       “ Fuck!”
       “ Well, Miss Yang has not healed yet, so she should take a good rest. We better not bother.” Ogata cleans up the dishes.
       “ That’s right, it’s time to get the fuck out!”
       “ Master Iemitsu! Could you at least say “ to leave”?”
       “ We shall leave now.” Ogata looks at Jianxue.
       “ Yes, thank you again for saving my life.” With a slight greeting, she lies back in the bedding.
       After the three have left, a smile appears on her face.
       This is the first time she meets someone without killing.
       In the evening of the next day, Iemitsu comes to the Osaka Castle alone.
       “ Hey! Are you still there?” She yells softly.
       “ Yes, what’s wrong? Miss Tokugawa.” She is still indifferent.
       “ It’s nothing, I just don’t want that group of fuckers to bother me.” Iemitsu shrugs, and then take out a box of snowflake cakes from her clothes: “ Do you want to eat? I slipped out of the castle this morning and bought it. It is not poisonous.”
       “…Thank you.” Although her face is still calm, Jianxue is full of surprise in her heart. Iemitsu is shrewd, that she knows everything Jianxue is thinking.
       “ If you meet too many people, it will be easier to understand.” Iemitsu reads Jianxue’s thoughts again.
       “ Hey,” After a long silence, Iemitsu says again: “ No one is around here, you don’t have to be so cold all the time, aren’t you tired?”
       “ Same as you.”
       “ Hum?”
       “ Isn’t it tired to pry other people’s minds?” Jianxue isn’t too surprised after hearing this but asks lightly.
       “…” On the contrary, Iemitsu shows surprise, and then laughs boldly like a man: “ Ha—HAHAHAHA!”
       She grew up in Edo Castle. How many people wanted to put her to death? She has to read the minds of others so she can react preemptively. She can hide her own mind almost perfectly. As expected, others only think that she is smart, and acts like a man.
       But now, Jianxue looks through her disguise, that she is already tired.
       Is it because they are all of the same kind?
       Facing Jianxue’s eyes, the two smile at each other.
       The mask named “ Icy Cold” and the restraint named “ General” seems to disappear.
       Only naked and innocent hearts are left, and a pair of close friends.
       On the other side, in Kasuga’s room, Eikou steps forward, still with that gentle smile on his face.
       “ Master Kasuga, Master Iemitsu seems to visit the Osaka Castle these few days.”
       “ Yes.” Kasuga just responds. At the same time, a servant walks in and whispers a few words in his ear. Light flashes in his eyes: “ Okay, you can go now.”
       “ Could it be that you found a usable piece?” Eikou asks.
       “ And it comes at the right time,” Kasuga sneers: “ Master Iemitsu should be back. I’ll go find her now.”
       The night shows a trace of restlessness.
       “ I don’t understand.” The calm words can’t conceal the murderous look that per-meats the entire Room of Sunflower.
       “ In my opinion, you already understand it very well.” Kasuga stares at her tightly as if penetrating through her heart: “ Don’t forget, nothing is more important than the government.”
       “…Why her?” The murderous look seems to diminish. Iemitsu endures her trembling voice. It is the first time that she is so at a loss.
       “ First, no one knows her, there will be no missing persons problem. Second, she won’t want to be “ famous” in the city, so there is no need to worry about things being revealed.” Kasuga seems to not want to say more. He hands letter papers and a bag of things to her: “ Write something she needs to pay attention to. The more you write, the safer she will be. At the same time, I hope you can bring her tomorrow.”
       After Kasuga salutes, he leaves, leaving Iemitsu banging on the table.
       “…If something happens to her, I will definitely kill you.” Iemitsu’s eyes flash with fire, and she sighs secretly.
       She rarely loses control of her emotions for the sake of others, this time should be the second time…and it is for the girl she has only met for a few days.
       But she feels it. The eyes with the cold mask remove, without impurities, allows her except any precautions, ignoring the forth-putting and framing, just as simple as a little girl, bursting into a smile because of a small thing.
       But now, this innocence has to be destroyed by her own hands.
       “ What’s wrong, Sister Iemitsu? Didn’t you sleep well?” Jianxue’s worried words make Iemitsu regain her senses. Before she realizes it, she has stepped into the attic where Jianxue is. It is noon on the next day.
       “…No, I’m okay.” Iemitsu shakes her head, trying to calm down. She takes out a bag of things from her clothes with a mask inside. It is Iemitsu’s appearance. It is meticulous that makes no difference with the original person: “ Can you…wear it?”
       “…” Although Jianxue is full of doubts, she still puts on the mask. Sister Iemitsu looks like she doesn’t want to say anything about it, so it is not easy to ask…
       The figures for the two of them are similar. This time Jianxue puts on the mask, and they look so similar like they are carved out from the same mold.
       If someone wants to say what is different, it should be that the atmosphere that comes out is different. Iemitsu exudes coercion, while Jianxue is cold.
       “ Sure enough…” Iemitsu smiles bitterly: “ Let’s go, there is no one outside.”
       On the way to Edo Castle, they don’t even see a shadow. Iemitsu has already sent all the guards away. The silence at the moment crushes Iemitsu for breath.
       It is strange. She should have been used to “ betrayals”…Why is still so uneasy?
       “ The feeling of being noble than everyone? It’s nothing more than being prepared to abandon everything.” In the vague memory, Iemitsu still remembers what “ that person” said to her.
       Abandon…everything? Yes…she doesn’t deserve to have any friends since she was born.
       Looking at the snow-white figure on the side, a strong apology surges in her heart, making her almost cry.
       The two go through the corridor and come to the Room of Sunflower. Iemitsu hands the envelope to Jianxue.
       “ Sister Iemitsu?” Jianxue calls.
       “ Jianxue, I’m sorry, I have to leave for a while. You will take my place. If someone comes, you can deal with them the way you usually do.” Iemitsu exhales a little and calms down her emotions: “ Read that letter when you have time. I’ll be back soon.” Iemitsu jumps out the window and leaves.
       “ Wait…Sister Iemitsu!” Jianxue calls out anxiously, but Iemitsu has already disappeared. Sister Iemitsu is really unusual today. What happened?
       Whatever guessing does not help anything. It will be better if she helps her.
       After all, that is her first friend, the only person who can be trusted at the moment.
       Jianxue is not allowed to think anymore. rushing footsteps sound in the corridor. the moment the sliding door opens, Jianxue is startled by the familiar face in front of her.
       Mr. Takatsukasa?
       When Iemitsu leaves the woods next to Edo Castle, a group of ninjas surrounds her.
       “ Who the fuck are you!” Iemitsu roars. Her mood is extremely bad at this moment.
       “ Master Iemitsu, I have been ordered by Master Kasuga to pick you up.” The person in the lead takes off his mask and respectfully salutes: “ The car is parked outside the woods. Please come with us.”
       No one says a word along the way. It is terrible quiet. Iemitsu stares straight at the headed guard. His face turns pale and sweats, afraid that the master will kill them if she is upset.
       In about fifteen minutes, they walk out of the woods and come to the car. Although the exterior of the car is not gorgeous, it is full of comfortable cushions inside.
       “ Master, please get on.” The guy lowers his head.
       “…To Kyoto.” Iemitsu says suddenly.
       “ This…Master Iemitsu, Master Kasuga said…”
       “ Hey, listen,” Iemitsu interrupts: “ Who is the master of Edo Castle?”
       The heavy coercion makes the guards tremble.
       “…It’s Master Iemitsu.” Finally, the words still blurt out.
       Iemitsu seems to get the victory. Her lips slightly raise: “ Go to Kyoto.”
       The three words are extremely serious.
       “ Hey! What are you thinking?” In the Room of Sunflower of Edo Castle, Takatsukasa shouts with anger.
       “ Excuse me.” Another man in a dark kimono enters the room.
       “ This guy is my servant. Why did you sudden;y name him as your bath servant?”
       “…” Although Jianxue looks calm, she is actually a little panicked. Sister Iemitsu seems to provoke Mr. Takatsukasa…then what should she do as a substitute?
       “ You didn’t tell me beforehand. Did you deliberately trouble me?” Takatsukasa starts sharply at Jianxue.
       “…I…I want to rest now, can you please leave?” Jianxue says. Since she does not know what to say, then just avoid…
       “…I don’t know what you are thinking, but don’t get me involved!” Takatsukasa then leaves. His eyes flash a trace of suspicion.
       “ Master Takatsukasa has always been very childish when facing you…” The “ bath servant” whispers.
       “ You heard that Master Iemitsu wants to rest. Please leave.” Seeing the man did not move, the guard on the side steps forward.
       “ I am very appreciated of your assign.” The man calmly salutes and smiles: “ See you then.” He follows Takatsukasa and leaves.
       “ Huh…” Jianxue let out a sigh of relief after seeing the sliding door closed. Seems…not be found…
       It will be better to take a look at the letter first.
       At the beginning of the letter is written some words that the General usually uses, which are roughly the same as Jianxue’s “ normality,” just without honorifics.
       Others explain some things about the city and the imperial court.
       Fortunately, she was born in Wulin and needs to learn to protect herself quickly. She has memorized a lot of martial arts secrets from the Ancient Tomb Faction since she was a child. Her memory is not bad. Most of the time, she can memorize by reading it once.
       “ Master Iemitsu.” She only read half of the letter, haven’t enjoyed a moment of tranquility, the cold voice rings. A man in a light blue kimono and a servant stepped into the room.
       “ Are you kidding?” A gaze that seems to penetrate through the heart projects over: “ You are doing this commoner’s outfit again.”
       “…” Jianxue meets his eyes, that they are so sharp as if he has already known her identity.
       “ Up until now, I don’t intend to interfere with your interest in fancy clothing, but please tidy up your appearance as soon as possible, Master.” He turns to the servant: “ Inaba, help Master Iemitsu to change clothes.”
       “ Yes, Master Kasuga.” The servant named Inaba bows his head and says: “ Master Iemitsu, please.”
       “ Ok.” Jianxue answers. Even knowing that her identity may have been exposed, she doesn’t show panic, it should mean, because a sentence in Iemitsu’s letter, calms her somehow.
       “ Some people, no matter how you pretend, will still see you through. So it is more effortless to face them with a normal appearance from the beginning, isn’t it?” The latter wrote.
       The gorgeous black kimono sets off her extraordinary temperament, but her eyes are still cold. After that, she follows Kasuga to the study.
       “ Master Iemitsu, and…Master Kasuga.” The man in the green kimono smiles calmly as if he can make everyone put down their wary.
       “ Mr. Man, you are here.” Kasuga nods indifferently.
       “ Yes, it seems that Master Iemitsu can’t escape today.” The man laughs.
       Kasuga ignores him and takes out a few wooden boxes placed in the corner.
       “ These are letters to be sent to the imperial court. They have been accumulated for a long time. Today, you must take care of them.” Kasuga evokes a sneer: “ Even if you hate to organize letters, you can’t escape every time.”
       “ Ok.” Jianxue’s indifferent voice faces the coldness of Kasuga. The air seems to have run out of temperature, causing everyone to retreat, only Eikou still has that gentle smile.
       No one knows what Jianxue is thinking at this moment: lucky…just organizing the letters.
       At the same time, at the imperial court in Kyoto, Emperor Mizunoo is smoking, with a complicated look flashed in his eyes: “ Recently, I haven’t received a letter from that group of people that should be sent.”
       “ Didn’t you ask for it?” A man dresses in white floats into the room with a sarcastic smile.
       “ Well, yeah.” Mizunoo whispers, and then shows an invincible look: “ It’s time to get ready to go.”
       Suddenly, a ninja walks in and says a few words in Mizunoo’s ear. He seems surprised but quickly returns to calm.
       “ I see, you can go now.” He waves his hand.
       “ What? This face, I guess the “ dear Princess” is coming in person, hum?” Mizunoo’s reaction arouses the interest of the white-haired man.
       “ Wait for a little.” Mizunoo does not answer the man’s question, just smiles.
       The smile seems to be joyful, but also self-deprecating.
       After several hours, Jianxue finally finished the work in the study.
       “ Master Iemitsu, hot water is ready, you could take a bath and rest.” Eikou still smiles gently.
       “ Sure.” Maybe it is because of the poisoning and the decline in physical strength, Jianxue is really tired, but she also learns a little bit about the government.
       “ Then, the bath servant will be waiting for you.” When they arrived at the Bath Palace, Eikou leaves.
       Jianxue enters the dressing room without saying a word. The servant that she met in the morning stands inside.
       “ I have been waiting for you, Master.” The man says.
       “ You are…”
       “ I will serve as the General’s bath servant from today. My name is Natsu.” The man smiles: “ So, which one do you want?”
       “ What?” Jianxue is puzzled. Natsu suddenly encircling her waist.
       “ Do you want to take it off by yourself? Or…” The deep voice says: “ Should I take it off for you?”
       “ I’ll do it by myself.” Jianxue pats Natsu’s hand. Her eyes faintly reveal a murderous look, as if she is disgusted with the position of “ bath servant.”
       “…I’m very sorry. After all, today is the first day I take the position.” Feeling the murderous look, Natsu shows a look of surprise, but quickly returns to a shallow smile, and takes a step back: “ I won’t do anything that disgusts you. If you don’t allow me to look at your sacred body, I can serve you with my eyes closed. I will follow everything you say.”
       Natsu’s sudden change of attitude causes Jianxue to freeze a second and then regains after a while: “…Stand out of the door, you can come in after I leave.”
       “ Yes.” Upon hearing the order, Natsu responds quickly and walks outside the door.
       After fifteen minutes, Jianxue puts on her kimono and walks out of the shower room. Natsu is still standing outside the door.
       “…Thanks for your hard work.” Her eyes return to coldness. Although she is still wary of him, she is no longer murderous. After all, during the period of her bathing, he fulfills her order.
       “ Master Iemitsu.” Unfortunately, Natsu doesn’t let her go this time. He grabs her wrist and presses her against the wall.
       “ Natsu, what, are you doing.” The murderous look that finally faded is released again.
       The distance between the two is very close, and the lips seem to be too close to each other. because of the poisoning, Jianxue can only increase her murderous look.
       “…Now this distance is enough.” Natsu doesn’t have the previous surprise, but smiles lightly: “ I will let you fall in love with me.”
       He exudes self-confidence, slowly backs away and then salutes.
       Everything seems to happen too suddenly, Jianxue can’t think of any words for a while, so she just quickly leaves the Bath Palace.
       Back in the Room of Sunflower, she temporarily put aside her thoughts and focuses on the letter from Iemitsu. Her eyes stop at the word “people.”
       “ Takatsukasa, the candidate of Principle Husband, I hate him.”
       “ Natsu, Takatsukasa’s servant originally, seems interesting so I appointed him as my bath servant.”
       “ Hyuuga, my elder brother, very weak, came back from the nursing home a few days ago.”
       “ Eikou, everyone calls him Mr. Man, the manager of Ooku, the guy you have to be aware of.”
       “ Kasuga, annoying Education Officer.”
       “ Kujou, a candidate of Principle Husband, be sent here recently, a leisurely guy.”
       There are countless names of other people. Even Jianxue, who has a good memory, seems quite strenuous. When she remembers most of the contents, it is late at night. She hurriedly turns off the light and falls into the bedding.
       On the other side, Kasuga quietly returns to the study, flipping through the letters that Jianxue organized.
       “ Not bad.” He chuckles.
       In the morning of the next day, the servants set up an opulent breakfast in Room of Sunflower, but Jianxue is not used to the city’s meals so she only picks a few light ones.
       “ Master.” The sliding door wide opens, and Eikou steps inside the room.
       “ Um.”
       “ It’s time for Daily Summon.”
       “ Daily Summon?” Unfamiliar words make Jianxue confused, thinking if it is mentioned in the letter.
       “ Yes, all the people from Ooku are in position.” Seeing Jianxue doesn’t move, Eikou supplements: “ Do you forget about it?”
       “…No, let’s go.”
       “ The General arrives — ” Countless men neatly bow down at the two sides of the corridor. Jianxue walks quietly through the corridor with Eikou.
       “ You are the same, didn’t appoint anyone.” After leaving the corridor, Eikou smiles bitterly.
       “ Um.” Jianxue only responses with a word, but the doubt in her heart still not dissipates. Should she call someone’s name?
       “ But that day will come, the one that you want to spend a night with.”
       “…” Jianxue’s eyes are still covered with coldness, but her heart is shocked. This is what “ appoint” means! Fortunately, she didn’t do anything…
       “…If you want, before that day comes,” Eikou reaches out his hand, lifts up Jianxue’s chin: “ I may teach you some, okay?”
       Different from the gentle smile, Eikou’s eyes flash with a dangerous light, as a hunter stares tightly at his prey.
       “ Ahah…I’m just kidding.” Jianxue hasn’t patted his hand away yet, Eikou has already stepped back.
       “…You look tired. Although this is part of the daily routine, it is not comfortable to face so many people in this early morning.” Eikou recovers that moderate smile: “ I heard the imperial merchants brought some new stuff. Would you like to see them and relax somehow?”
       “ Thanks, then I’ll fo to see.” Hearing Eikou’s caring words, Jianxue slightly puts down her awareness.
       “ Then, please following…”
       “ Get away from her.” When Eikou is about to lead the way, the voice filled with hostility rings. A man in yellow kimono comes.
       “ Master Hyuuga.” Eikou salutes.
       Hyuuga pulls over Jianxue, keeping her away from Eikou: “ What are you doing?”
       “ I’m taking Master Iemitsu to the lobby. The imperial merchants have come, so I hope the Master can change her mood.” Eikou answers honestly: “ I wonder why Master Hyuuga is her. You just finished the convalescence recently. I thought you were resting.”
       “ I come to see this one. We haven’t met for two years.” He looks at Jianxue, seems to wait for her response.
       “ Yes…Brother.”
       “ You…seems to change somehow…” Hyuuga looks surprised, makes Jianxue appears in a cold sweat, but he quickly exposes a calm smile: “…Yes, you should have grown up somehow, not calling asshole anymore.”
       “ You are going to the lobby?” Hyuuga changes the topic.
       “ Yes.”
       “ I’ll go with you.” He says, quints, and looks at Eikou. Eikou seems to get it, so he salutes and leaves.
       “ Although Mr. Man looks kind, he is unfathomable.” When Eikou disappeared from their sights, Hyuuga immediately says: “ I feel something wrong. You too be careful, got it?”
       “ Yes, Brother. Thank you for reminding me.” Jianxue nods.
       “…” Hyuuga stares at Jianxue, silents for a while: “…Are you really Iemitsu?”
       “…” Hyuuga’s words pull Jianxue’s mind back. She almost forgets that he is Sister Iemitsu’s brother. Actually, he will find the mask if he takes a closer look.
       “ No, what am I saying?” Hyuuga mutters to himself, and not paying attention to Jianxue.
       “ Brother, I think I still have something to do. May I leave now?”
       “ Yes, no problem.” Hyuuga does not ask much more, so Jianxue leaves the corridor immediately.
       “ Uh!” Just as Jianxue runs past the corner, she accidentally hits someone.
       Takatsukasa frowns unhappily: “ Tut, it’s you.”
       “…Sorry, I’m on my way.”
       “ Hey!” Takatsukasa suddenly grabs Jianxue’s arm and pulls her into an empty room nearby: “ Come here.”
       “ What?”
       Takatsukasa does not respond, just stares at her closely, as if he is observing.
       “ You are not Iemitsu right?” Although it is a question, the tone is clear and affirmative, makes Jianxue holds her breath.
       “…What are you saying?”
       “…” Takatsukasa stares at her without a word, making him more certain. He knows that Iemitsu is usually ruthless and invincible, but the girl in front of him exudes coldness. That is not Iemitsu’s eyes: “ Sure enough, you…”
       “ Oh?” Before Takatsukasa finishes talking, the sliding door opens. Ogata walks in.
       The three of them silent for a few seconds.
       “…I never know that Master Iemitsu and Young Master Takatsukasa have such a relationship.” Ogata smiles without surprise: “ Did I disturb you two?”
       “ How is that possible?” Takatsukasa immediately refutes, then leaves with some impatience.
       “ Miss Yang.” After seeing Takatsukasa walking away, Ogata calls: “ Can you come to the clinic?”
       “ Yes.” Jianxue answers. She is surprised at the fact that Ogata recognizes her, but she doesn’t reach the point of worrying. Maybe it is because of the days when she was in Osaka Castle, making her believes in him.
       “ Would you like to tell me what happened?” Ogata asks as soon as he enters the clinic and sees that there is no one else at the moment.
       “ Yes.” Of course, Jianxue knows what he is referring to, s she explains how Iemitsu brought her to this castle.
       “ So…should I say it is as I expected?” Ogata nods thoughtfully and smiles slightly: “ Since I understand the situation. If you have any problems, I will try my best to help you. After all…It’s rare for Master Iemitsu to have such a friend.”
       “ Then I would like to thank Mr. Ogata.” His words make Jianxue feels at ease. At least in this unfamiliar environment, someone is helping her.
       This day passes a lot more peacefully. When Jianxue left the clinic, the night has already come.
       “ Ah, it’s Master Iemitsu — ” When Jianxue was on the way to Room of Sunflower, a tall man in a pale green kimono walks over: “ The corridors of Edo Castle are so cold — ”
       “ Come — to my room for a second — ” The man grabs Jianxue’s hand and drags her away.
       “ Wait, a, second.” Jianxue tries to break free, but she doesn’t have the strength at this time.
       “ Hurry — ” The man ignores her resistance and drags her into the bedding, but then he let go.            Jianxue takes the opportunity to get out and stars back at him.
       The man smiles like a child: “ Ah — the quilt is so warm — ”
       “ Huh?” Jianxue is confused about the current situation.
       “ Ah — thank you — Master — good night — ” After he finished speaking, he gets into the bedding and ignores her.
       “ Uh…good night…” Jianxue steps out of the room. He drags her here just to warm the quilt? This person should be Mr. Kuyou…really very leisurely.”
       After breakfast the next day, Eikou also comes to pick her up like yesterday.
       “ Master Iemitsu, before the Daily Summon, there is something that I would like to report.” Eikou slightly lowers his head: “ According to Master Kasuga’s instructions, Young Master Natsu has become a candidate for Side Husband.”
       “ Um?”
       “ Yes, because you two have been intimately together in Bath Palace.”
       “ No, we did not.”
       “ Really?” Jianxue’s denial is taken lightly by Eikou: “ Then, please follow me.”
       The door opens. This is her second time passing here.
       “ Master Iemitsu!” On half of the way, sudden;y comes a cry, then Jianxue feels a bump. Looking back, a man in a purple kimono clutches her arm tightly.
       “ Let go…” The man’s strength makes Jianxue a little bit painful.
       “ Why making that kind f man a candidate for Side Husband!” The man doesn’t mean to let go but instead shacks her arm vigorously like a rude child.
       Jianxue tries to break free but accidentally steps on the hem of the kimono. Just when she thought she is about to fall, she feels she falls firmly in the arms of another person. She raises her head and sees Takatsukasa’s unhappy face.
       “ Tut, stupid.” After Takatsukasa helps her up, he looks at the man: “ Shikyou, what are you doing!”
       “ That man was originally Takatsukasa’s servant!” Shikyou points at Natsu: “ Why make that petty and low guy a candidate for Side Husband!”
       “ Young Master Shikyou, please calm down.” Another man stands up and says.
       “ Mr. Kulanojou, you just judge this!”
       Facing such a farce, Jianxue doesn’t know where to start, so she stands silently, but Takatsukasa quickly speaks again.
       “ Shikyou, you are not qualified to interfere.” He frowns, seemingly uncomfortable: “ Natsu is an excellent servant. It’s no surprise that he is appointed as Side Husband candidate.”
       “ No, as Master Shikyou said, Master Takatsukasa, I am not a person of high status. However, thank you for standing out for me.” Natsu smiles, but there is no smile in his eyes.
       “ Okay, have you all talk enough?” Eikou finally speaks to stop the dispute. Although his face is smiling, he makes everyone’s heart trembling: “ Everyone is blocking the way of Master Iemitsu. What are you going to do?”
       “ Mr. Man…this…” Facing Eikou’s cold smile, Takatsukasa is speechless for a while.
       “ This, this is all Takatsukasa’s fault! It has nothing to do with me!” Shikyou hurriedly points to Takatsukasa.
       “ I see…” Eikou nods as if understanding: “ Young Master Shikyou, please come to my room later.”
       “ No — ” Shikyou’s face turns livid and freezes on the spot.
       “ Let’s go, Master.” Eikou returns to his gentle eyes and smiles towards Jianxue.
       Out of the corridor, Eikou quickly sighs, but his eyes reveal joy, seems to be satisfied by the farce: “ Young Master Shikyou is really a headache.”
       “ Ah…Your hair and kimono are messed up.” Eikou wants to fix Jianxue’s hair but is pushed away by her.
       “ I can do it by myself.” Jianxue lightly says. Perhaps Sister Iemitsu has already been used to this, but she can’t accept it, because this will be equivalent to sending her neck to the other’s knife.
       “ Yes.” Eikou doesn’t show any unhappy expression at all, smiling as usual.
       “ Iemitsu, why is it so noisy?” At this moment, Hyuuga walks from the corner and frowns when he sees Jianxue’s clothes: “ What happened? Why is it so mess…Mr. Man, you should always follow her, what’s going on?”
       “ I’m very sorry.” Receiving exception, Eikou quietly lowers his head, but his face appears carelessness: “ But, for Master Hyuuga, it seems that you provide too much protection.”
       “ Overprotected?” Hyuuga’s eyebrows twitch.
       “ If it was in the past, you wouldn’t come here because you worry about Master Iemitsu.”
       “ That’s right…” Hyuuga glances at Jianxue: “ But after returning here, I always feel that Iemitsu looks helpless as if she is not familiar with anything.”
       “…Really?” Jianxue calmly says.
       “ But,” Hyuuga doesn’t ask much, and alertly stares at Eikou:” Even if I protect her too much, you are not qualified to talk, right?”
       “ I’m very sorry. I made a mistake.” Eikou smile at him.
       “…” Being in this tight atmosphere, Jianxue decides to remain silent. The less she says, the less she will be exposed.
       At this moment, Hyuuga seems to think of something and looks at Jianxue: “ By the way, Kasuga is looking for you.”
       “ Ah, thank you, Brother, I’ll be there.” Seeing the opportunity comes, Jianxue immediately leaves the site, even if she knows that nothing good will happen even she leaves.
       “…” Eikou sees Hyuuga is about to leave, pursing his lips and snickers: “ It looks like you haven’t noticed yet.”
       “ What did you say?” Hearing this, Hyuuga stops and turns back.
       “ No, nothing.” Eikou still smiles, salutes and leaves, leaving Hyuuga frowns with alertness.
       When Jianxue arrived at the study, Kuyou’s lazy voice comes.
       “ So, I said I was asleep — ”
       “ I’m asking you now, how dare you say that you were still asleep during Daily Summon?” Kasuga sternly says, as if he has killed him several times.
       “ It doesn’t matter — there are so many men — it’s okay if I’m not there — ” Kujou says, causing Kasuga to sigh heavily.
       “ It’s because of the eldest son like you, the Kujou Family has fallen…” Kasuga helplessly says, and turns his gaze to Jianxue who is waiting at the door: “ You are finally here, Master.”
       “ What’s wrong?” Jianxue asks coldly.
       “ Kujou, go back to your room.” Kasuga orders, still staring at her.
       “ Yeah — ” Kujou claps his hands and jumps up like a child: “ Are you here to listen to his complaining? Fighting — ” Finishing speaking, he steps at a facile pace and leaves.
       “ Come in.” Kasuga squints: “ Don’t be so alert. I know you are not Master Iemitsu.”
       “…” Hearing the words, Jianxue’s murderous look increases sharply, equally matched with Kasuga’s piercing eyes. He certainly knows everything. That day’s Sister Iemitsu was really different than usual, as if she was depressing something, perhaps…
       “ The matter of letting me taking the place of Sister Iemitsu must be your order, right?” Now that her identity has been exposed, she doesn’t have to speak in a “ General” tone.
       “ Not bad, more clever than I thought.” Kasuga smiles with satisfaction.
       “ How is Sister Iemitsu?”
       “ She is good, or I should say, you are here to let her be well.” Kasuga looks at her as if he is interesting: “ Unexpectedly, you did not understand your situation first, but ask others instead, huh?”
       “ Then I will ask now, how is that?”
       “ Be the General’s substitution for one month. This is the qualification to let you go. Of course, I will assist you in public affairs.”
       “…What if I don’t agree?”
       “ You will. She saved your life, and you will definitely repay.” Kasuga says with great certainty.
       “…” Jianxue is slightly surprised. She didn’t expect that she had only been in Edo for a few days, and the person in front of her knows her principles so well, but he had not yet thought of another reason: “ I agree to help Sister Iemitsu with another reason.”
       “ She said she will come back, so…I will wait for her.”
       “ Sorry, I will leave for a while, will be back soon.” That day, Sister Iemitsu told her so. She believes that Sister Iemitsu will come back, so she will wait for her.
       Moreover, she saved her life. She wants to repay this.
       “ Heh…” Kasuga jeers then take out a hairpin and insert it into Jianxue’s hair.
       “ This…”
       “ Master Iemitsu’s hairpin, good luck for being the substitution.” He smiles meaningfully. The next words, without knowing why, echo in Jianxue’s heart.
       “ It’s not just killing here. You will know sooner or later, about what the real Edo Castle looks like. You will not leave peacefully. I am sure.”

[To Be Continued]


2020-12-20 07:41:26
2020-12-21 00:11:24