Chapter 149: Undying City’s Past (1)
Speaking of which, Undying City hadn’t always gone by that name; it used to be called Shuyang City. But, after the arrival of a group of strange people, their leader decided to change its name and it became Undying City.
Undying City, Undying City. What an inauspicious name. Unable to withstand the current state of affairs any longer, a fair number of older men, coupled with several elders who held status within the city, decided to seek an audience with the City Lord.
When they entered the City Lord’s mansion, the elders worked together to draft a jointly signed letter on behalf of more than half the city’s population. Lianshui was also one of the signatories. She’d originally hoped that the elders would be able to revert the city’s name, but who would have thought that the corpses of the elders and the City Lord would be found hanging from the city gates on the second day.
The row of corpses hung from the city gates; their tattered clothes hanging from their blood-soaked bodies. One look was all it took to tell that they’d been subjected to utterly inhumane torture before their death.
Lianshui had gone to see it with the rest of the members from Pear Garden. When she returned home, she fell ill for seven full days. While waiting for her body to recover, she tried to get the full story from one of her good friends in Pear Garden. But, she found that everyone’s lips were sealed. The only person who was willing to talk about it said a mere two words, “Shinra Sect” before they too clammed up.
This was how Shuyang City completely turned into the Shinra Sect’s Undying City.
Lianshui looked at the man in front of her with astonishment. “Yang dearest… you belong to the Shinra Sect?”
Seeing the man calmly nod his head at her, Lianshui released her grip on his sleeve in surprise and retreated two steps backwards.
Her actions caused the last flicker of light to extinguish within the man’s eyes. He gave her a profound look before he asked, “So you’re afraid of me as well?”
Lianshui’s mind was filled with images of corpses who’d died gruesome deaths and she wasn’t able to make out what he’d said.
The man advanced a step, gripped her shoulders, and shouted, “You’re afraid of me as well, aren’t you?!”
The man’s sudden action scared her out of her wits, causing her to unconsciously nod her head.
This wasn’t her Yang dearest! Her darling was charming and suave, handsome and easygoing. He definitely wasn’t one of those fiends from the Shinra Sect!
Lianshui’s nod had clearly hurt the man. He loosened his grip on her shoulders and slowly retreated backwards, eventually stopping when he was ten paces away from her.
“I thought… that you’d be different,” said the man in a low voice as he cast his eyes downwards.
Lianshui suddenly felt as if she’d been struck by something, a dull pain rising up from within her.
The man’s name was Yang Wuyu, and he was recruited by the owner of Pear Garden in its early days. His facial features were extremely handsome; just one look was all it took for others to know that he’d grow up looking even more handsome in the future. Reality soon proved that this was true. Yang Wuyu’s first time on stage had landed him in the good books of many of Undying City’s maidens, Lianshui being one of them.
As one of Pear Garden’s popular Hua dans,1 Lianshui frequently acted on the same stage as Yang Wuyu. Privately, the two of them would often meet up and discuss matters relating to Chinese opera, allowing their feelings for one another to slowly blossom.
Lianshui’s personality was somewhat similar to that of a Jiangnan girl. She was deeply devoted, gentle, and kind, all traits that Yang Wuyu admired. Which was why if nothing unexpected happened, they’d planned to secretly get married.
They’d decided to save up enough money on the side and leave Pear Garden to set up a small shop together.
But alas, the heavens decreed that her “Mr Right” was actually the fiend from legend. All that nonsense about helping one another was all a lie! “Elder Yang, the Sect Leader is still waiting for you, you can’t tarry here any longer,” Wuyang had clearly noticed the emotional undercurrents between Yang Wuyu and Lianshui, so she’d raised her voice to catch the attention of the pair.
Yang Wuyu stared at Lianshui’s face for a good long while, but he was disappointed to find only fear and disbelief written all over it. Not a trace remained of her previously kind, gentle, and warm expression.
In the end, he gave up and resolutely turned around to leap off the stage. He then walked over to Wuyang and said, “Let’s go.”
He then made his way towards the City Lord’s mansion, with the men that Wuyang brought along breaking into two lines and following behind.
Looking at Yang Wuyu’s figure that was getting further and further away, an unexpected occurrence took place. “Yang dearest,” Lianshui cried out.
Her pitiful and innocent voice fell upon his ears, causing Yang Wuyu to pause in his tracks for a moment before he continued taking large strides forward.
Once Yang Wuyu disappeared from sight, Wuyang turned to look at Lianshui with a malicious smile on her face.
“The Sect Leader has decreed that Undying City’s new name shouldn’t just on paper. The only people who should exist here are those who’ve died once and now live forever… All of you have twelve hours to massacre everyone in the city, move out!”
After her last two words descended, countless black shadows immediately dispersed from Wuyang’s side; like arrows fired from a bow. At the same time, countless blood-curdling shrieks rang out in the ears of those present.
The musicians that accompanied them on stage had long since fled the scene, leaving behind Lianshui who stood dumbly at the center of the stage as she looked on at the scene of hell on earth.
- Refers to a role in Chinese opera played by young to middle-aged women. A Hua dan usually has an energetic or ill-natured and free-willed personality. ↩