The coachman alighted as the horse carriage carrying Su Xi-er and Tan Ge stopped outside a remote residence. “Ladies, we’re here.”
Su Xi-er looked around her as she stepped down, trying to find out where they actually were. It looked like they were on a tiny and remote street, and the residence in front of them looked like it had been abandoned. The brown doors at the entrance were not as large as those seen in the homes of noble families, and the formerly white stone lion statues on either side of the doors had already turned grey under the elements.
There was no signboard at the entrance, and Su Xi-er had no idea where in Dongling this was.
The coachman stopped Tan Ge when she was about to alight, saying, “Miss, you’re not staying here.” He then turned to Su Xi-er and said, “Miss, you can enter. Someone will be waiting for you inside.”
The coachman then turned the carriage around and sped off.
Tan Ge fell backwards when the carriage suddenly sped up, hitting her forehead against one of the walls and causing it to bruise. She was filled with suspicion. Separating us? What are they trying to do?
She felt for the hairpin hidden in her sleeve to ensure it was still with her. Through the billowing curtains, she did her best to commit the route they took to memory.
When Su Xi-er glanced at the entrance to the residence after watching the carriage leave, an old man with a head of white hair and a hunched back walked out. He spoke respectfully to Su Xi-er after spotting her. “Miss, your residence is ready. Our master has instructed me to take good care of you.”
Su Xi-er walked up to him and asked, “May I ask who your master is?”
Several wrinkles appeared as the old man smiled. “Miss, you will know who my master is. Come on in.”
Su Xi-er looked carefully around her, surmising that this house probably belonged to Shi Mo. She then entered the residence with the old man following closely behind her.
The residence wasn’t especially large, with many of the trees planted along the main pathway already being withered. The main hall was less than a hundred steps away, with the small hall itself only holding some tables and chairs with simple decorations.
The old man pointed to one of the few rooms behind the main hall, saying, “Miss, your room is the one in the middle. I’ll get some hot tea for you.” He then turned and left.
Su Xi-er scanned the rooms. They had low ceilings, similar to those used for housing servants in rich families back in Beimin. Walking into her room, she found some basic necessities like a table, chairs, bed, and a brazier. The quilt provided was thin, and there wasn’t any rack for hanging clothes, but she found a blue book on the table. Flipping through it, she realised it was a play script.
She started reading, but the gnawing feeling she had in her grew the further she read. The script described a half-faced man, about how he was born under a calamitous star, causing everyone around him to meet with misfortune. On the last page, it mentioned how the half-faced man lived in seclusion in order to carry out his revenge, killing all of his enemies.
Su Xi-er’s expression turned grim as her grip around the book tightened. Shi Mo is telling her that he would emerge the final winner, and that all who defy him would suffer. Pei Qianhao is among them.Previous Chapter Next Chapter