Chapter 45: The Despair of Censor Zhang Yiqi
Translator: TransN Editor: TransN
Zhang Yiqi was struggling to get up. Wearing only a pair of silk trousers, his fair and fat body wriggled like a disgusting worm on the bed, as faint crying for help was heard from his gagged mouth.
His hands were tied onto the bed with the towels in weird knots. These knots were commonly used on those strong wild boars in Min Mountain, whereby they would not even be able to escape after struggling for one whole night. Moreover, he was old and his health was not as good as before, not to mention the large amount of alcohol and pleasure he had indulged for the past few years. His struggles were futile and comical. As for his cries for help, they were, in fact, no louder than the noise of a mosquito.
Zhang Yiqi immediately realized it and felt hopeless. After all, he was an officer from Tang Empire who dared to ignore hundreds of lives that were lost. At this crucial moment, he forced himself to calm down and stopped his struggles. Instead, he started to pay attention to the surrounding sound.
Someone was in the room, and obviously, that person did not plan to hide. Zhang Yiqi could hear the heavy footsteps sound vividly from his back as he felt a person was approaching him nearer. Very soon, the person stopped in front of him. Just as he was curious to see who was bold enough to attack him, he suddenly remembered something that made him frozen with fear. Under such tremendous pressure, he used all the energy he had left… to shut his eyes tightly.
As for a criminal who was daring enough to kidnap a customer from House of Red-Sleeves, one could imagine how brave and violent this criminal was. Should the criminal discover that he had seen the criminal’s face, how could he walk out of here alive? Yes, he was indeed a censor, but in the historical records of Tang Empire, many officers were killed in the hands of these brainless men and commoners!
“This is not as fun as I thought. I initially thought that after I gagged your mouth, you would try to ‘express your displeasure,’ so that I can use this tool in my hand to make you ‘enjoy the pain’. Never thought that you’ll be tamed so quickly. Alright, open your eyes then.”
His voice was clear, with a slight taste of mocking. This did not sound like what a criminal would say, more like a lad chatting and joking with another person at a shop in Chang’an.
Zhang Yiqi felt that this was a trap, so he kept his eyes tightly shut to the extent that his brows started to ache. No matter what, he would not open his eyes, and yet in his heart, he guessed who this lad was and the reason for this lad to attack him.
“Open your eyes, or I would really burst your ass using this tool,” the youngster spoke calmly, and yet he did sound serious about it.
Zhang Yiqi dared not test the water, and he cautiously opened his eyes and looked at the youngster’s direction in fear.
There he saw a youngster half-squatting in front of the small bed not far apart and smiling faintly at him, as though he was his old friend. Yet in the youngster’s hand, was a two-feet long table leg. At this moment in such a scenario, his eyes, his focus and his way of sizing one’s up, would appear to be a little crazy.
Ning Que stared sternly at the censor’s red face, before he smiled warmly and said, “I’ll remove the towel from your mouth, but please lower your volume. If you were too loud, I would have to kill you instantly. I know a lot of our officers in Tang Empire aren’t afraid of death, but I’m sure you’re not one of them.”
However, in Zhang Yiqi’s eyes, that child-like face, that warm and friendly smile, could send a chill down his spine. Not only did the other party not cover his face, neither was he afraid of being seen. In fact, the other party wanted him to look at his face. If that was the case, then there were only two possibilities: This lad’s background was not a simple one. Thus he was not afraid that a censor would go mad and counterattacked; or… the youngster would kill himself instead.
“Do you hold any grudges against me?”
Zhang Yiqi forcefully suppressed his fear in his heart and asked. He then rapidly tried to recall if he had any enemies in the government offices or had punished any guilty officer’s sons in the palace. Suddenly, he sadly realized that for the past few years, he had been given cold shoulders by His Majesty and was always being neglected in the court. Hence, he had no rights to punish anyone, and also, how could any guilty officer’s sons be working in the palace?
“Normally in stories, people who come to revenge will say that they have no grudges against the officer and are doing this just for the sake of Haotian. They’re just doing these to get rid of evil officers, but unfortunately…”
Ning Que shook his head regretfully and said, “I do have grudges against you. I’m no hero, neither am I a handsome warrior. I’m just a person filled with grudges.”
“You’re still young, how is it possible that you have grudges against me?” Zhang Yiqi asked with his trembling voice.
Ning Que coughed two times, before he started using his most emotional and energetic voice to recite slowly. “I’m from mountain ranges, and I’m here to take your life; I’m from the riverside, and I’m here to take your life; I’m from the grassland, and I’m here to take your life; I’m from the empty small village at the Yan territory, and I’m here to take your life; I’m from the empty General’s Mansion in the Chang’an city, and I’m here to take your life.”
Upon hearing the empty village at the Yan territory and the empty General’s Mansion in the Chang’an city, Zhang Yiqi had almost fainted. He finally knew what kind of grudges this lad had against him, but it was all too late.
If continuous praising the other party could stop the whole revenge plan, he would certainly not mind putting all the most beautiful praising sentences in the Tianqi Year of Tang together to form a poem for him, but he knew this was impossible. Regardless of whether it was the massacre in the village, or the killing of Xuanwei General’s family, both were grudges that could never be forgiven.
Zhang Yiqi was staring at the lad hopelessly. He knew that he could no longer live after today, but yet he still wished to delay some time as he cried and said, “I was just following the orders. I was just…”
He was preparing to shout out loud for help. He believed that if he pretended to ask for forgiveness and ended up shouting for help, this lad would not be able to react fast in time. As long as he could shout for help, he trusted that his bodyguard or the hatchet man in the brothel would definitely react to him. By then, this lad would be dead with him as well, or perhaps… this lad might be too panicked to remember to kill him.
This seemed to be a perfect plan. However, the censor had been living in Chang’an for too long to know that at Min Mountain, before the hunter would cut to separate the prey’s meat and skin, he would certainly observe his prey to make sure it was really dead. Just when the censor started to take a deep breath, Ning Que’s palm was already placed through the hole of the small bed.
Like an iron palm, he slammed into Zhang Yiqi’s throat. Though no external injuries were seen, his interior soft bones were all broken.
Ning Que stood up, casually took out a metal nail and aimed it at the censor’s back of the head. After using the rusty yet sharp nail to aim for a spot, he used the table leg in his right hand to hammer it down.
A dull and soft “pop” sound was heard, it was the same sound that was heard when the grassland barbarians used their sharp curved knives to poke open the leather bag that was filled with wine. The rusty nail had pierced through Zhang Yiqi’s skull and was hammered deeply into his head.
Ning Que quickly placed a piece of the snow-white towel over the back of his head. He then aimed directly at the spot where the nail was hammered into and exerted pressure using both his hands. He tipped his toes and used all his strength to press it down, causing the small bed to produce a creaking sound, as though the bed would fall apart anytime soon.