The little priest was locked in a dark, damp place. The frequent scurrying and squeaking of rats tormented his mind.
He was curled up in a corner and trembling slightly. ‘Why hasn’t Senior Brother rescued me yet?’
He had clearly fallen asleep in the temple, yet here he was in this awful place when he awoke. Blindfolded, he had no visual understanding of his current plight, but he could hear people speak.
“How is he?”
“He hasn’t eaten anything for a day. I’m going to deliver some food to him; can’t let him go hungry.”
Gu Su did his best to curl up into a ball as the sound of footsteps approached him.
He felt a strong grip around his wrist as the person tugged him to his feet.
“This little sir’s pretty tender.” A slightly rough hand pinched his face.
Gu Su shrank away, startled, and spoke tremblingly, “W-who are you people? W-why did you kidnap me?”
But he was soon pulled into someone’s arms and then gagged..
“Mhm, mhm…” ‘Senior Brother, save me!’
“Is…this a good idea? They told us he couldn’t have a single hair missing.” The person’s partner hesitated, trying to convince her to leave Gu Su be.
“What’re you afraid of? Just be careful to not leave behind any marks and who would know? Shut the door. I won’t believe that you don’t feel like it either…”
After a brief while, Gu Su could hear the sound of the door shutting. The creaking sound pulled at his already tense consciousness.
Gu Su felt someone roughly tug off his clothing. A rough hand started gliding over his body.
Gu Su desperately shook his head. The thing covering his mouth was removed—but before he could shout, his mouth was covered once again as a tongue forced its way in, bringing an awful stench with it.
“Your Excellency, the trail leads here.” Dai Yue pointed at the courtyard in front of them.
Shi Sheng flicked her sword. “Enter.”
Dai Yue tried to hint at her, “Your Excellency, shouldn’t we be a bit stealthier?”
“What’s there to hide?” ‘So what if I’m seen? As if I’m scared of them!’
Seeing that Shi Sheng had nearly made it to the door already, Dai Yue hurriedly got the others to follow.
There weren’t many people in the courtyard. They were soon dealt with by Dai Yue and the rest. They soon learnt that Gu Su had been locked in the basement under the courtyard by these people.
When Shi Sheng brought her people into the basement, the sounds of women laughing lustfully and a young man’s whimpers echoed in the dark space.
Shi Sheng kicked the door to the basement open, laying bare the scene inside for all to see.
Two burly women pressed a naked young man to the ground and was currently feeling him up. One of them had even taken off her pants.
The sudden sound of the door being kicked open caused the two to turn around. “Who is it?!”
“You beasts!” When Dai Yue caught sight of the scene inside, rage bubbled up in her heart. “He’s just a child!”
“Kill them.” Shi Sheng calmly looked at them.
Dai Yue rushed forward and dealt with the two women.
Gu Su curled up and did his best to shield himself from prying eyes. He felt clothes covering him, blocking his body from view.
Dai Yue looked at Shi Sheng, not knowing what to do. “Your Excellency?”
“What’re you looking at me for? Carry him! What? Do you want me to do it?”
Shi Sheng’s expression could currently be described as: ‘This Prime Minister’s hands are so noble, yet you want me to hold him? Are you retarded?’
“Oh, oh.” Dai Yue hurriedly covered Gu Su up and pulled off the black cloth covering his eyes, before taking him into her arms and gently comforting him, “It’s okay now. Our lady has come to rescue you.”
After being in darkness for a long time, the sudden influx of light caused Gu Su’s eyes to water.
His eyes adjusted after quite a while, but his body was still trembling.
The first thing he saw was the profile of the person holding him, her heroic features filled with distress as she gently patted his back.
Not too far from them stood another woman, clothed only in inner garments similar in colour to the cloak covering him.
He remembered her.
It was the woman who had taken his Senior Brother away.
“Let’s go.” Shi Sheng turned to leave.
Dai Yue hurriedly followed her.
Once they were out of the courtyard, Shi Sheng’s expression didn’t change as she ordered, “Burn the place.”
Shi Sheng left Gu Su in Dai Yue’s care as she headed for the imperial palace.
Dai Yue brought Gu Su back to the Prime Minister’s residence. She summoned two men to help him wash up and change into a clean set of clothing.
Once he was certain Dai Yue meant him no harm, Gu Su’s tense body gradually loosened up.
“Where’s my Senior Brother?” Gu Su grabbed onto Dai Yue’s sleeve. “I want to see my Senior Brother.”
“Your Senior Brother is in the palace.” Dai Yue tugged on her sleeve but couldn’t free it from his grasp.
“Don’t worry, Her Excellency won’t let anything happen to him.”
“I want to see my Senior Brother.” Gu Su stubbornly repeated himself.
Dai Yue felt a headache coming on as she pulled at her sleeve. ‘If I cut my clothes free…will this little fellow cry?
If Her Excellency knows I made him cry, would she settle scores with me after getting back?’
After much consideration, Dai Yue allowed him to pull at her sleeve.
Dai Yue managed to rescue her sleeve once he fell asleep from exhaustion.
She had barely escaped his grip when she saw Ying Yue peeking in from the outside.
“Why didn’t you follow Her Excellency?” Dai Yue shut the door as she went out.
Ying Yue gave a knowing smile. “Her Excellency told me not to follow her. I’m guessing she’s gone to see Sir Ling Yue in secret.”
“What ‘in secret’? Does Her Excellency have to hide her movements when she goes to see someone?” Dai Yue frowned and corrected her.
Ying Yue hurriedly nodded, her eyes shining with worship. “Yes yes yes. Our lady is really all-powerful! Though I think Her Excellency has really taken a liking to Sir Ling Yue.”
“Whoever can catch her fancy is a lucky person.” Dai Yue spoke matter-of-factly. “Have you contacted the others? Her Excellency has been less cautious as of late. We’ll have to make preparations. If the Empress… We’ll get Her Excellency to rebel.”
“No problem.” Ying Yue gave Dai Yue a reassuring look.
‘If Her Excellency really rebelled, it wouldn’t be too difficult to win. It’s just her reputation would take a bit of a hit…
But there are plenty of people like this in history. The winner is the king while the loser is the thief; why worry about a little loss of reputation?’
Shi Sheng used her status as the Prime Minister to make her way to where Ling Yue was staying without obstruction.
The Empress had arranged for him to stay in a relatively quiet palace. When Shi Sheng arrived, she happened to see the Crown Princess emerge from within.
‘Fuck! This woman still dares to come molest Ling Yue!’
The Crown Princess was alone—she’d probably snuck in. Shi Sheng tailed the princess to a deserted area, before ambushing and stuffing her into a sack.
She then proceeded to beat the shit out of her.
Don’t ask Shi Sheng where she got the sack…
‘They’re great for being sneaky about beating people up, so I put a bunch in my space!’
Once she’d pummelled the sack till the person inside lay still, she dragged it over to Ling Yue’s palace.
For the sake of preventing others from seeing her drag the Crown Princess in a sack to Ling Yue’s place, she deliberately climbed over a wall at the back.
The sound of a heavy object hitting the ground could be heard.
Hearing the disturbance, Ling Yue couldn’t help but come check it out.
What he found was Shi Sheng currently about to jump in through the window…and the bulky burlap sack on the ground.
This was the first time they’d met since that day. The strangeness of the situation caused Ling Yue to forget about his previous awkwardness.
Shi Sheng: *draws sword* Where are your votes?!