THE FAIRY UNDER THE MOON
It was completely dark. There was not a single soul in the alley, only a stray cat occasionally leaping about, its soft sound filling Jing Cheng’s spring night.
A young boy gripping a bulging package traipsed through the alley like a ghost.
One was innocent, but, a criminal if one held jade. She had won a lot of money in Le Tong Gambling House, which would inevitably attract trouble. If she used the main road, danger might knock on the He Family’s door, and that was the last thing she wanted to happen.
However… the more one feared, the more trouble approached. He Yan stopped.
The end of the alley led to a nearby street where most of the shops and taverns were closed, much unlike the lively Le Tong Gambling House. It was eerie and devoid of people. Only the moonlight and twinkling stars illuminated the road.
He Yan looked back and crouched down to pick a few small stones. She pondered for a moment, then suddenly turned her head and hurled the stones into the distance.
The stones were fast and sharp, like an arrow without its head. With a ‘puff’ sound, someone fell from the dark area.
“Stop following me.” He Yan warned: “You guys can’t catch up.”
“Then what if we join in?” A voice replied, followed by a few people stepping out of the opposite end of the alley. The leader was a shirtless bruiser, his hands looking like they could twist He Yan’s neck.
“Little brat, it looks like you have quite a lot of opponents.” That bruiser laughed loudly, “Did no one teach you not to be too striking when you first go to a casino?”
He Yan gathered the money towards her body and answered calmly: “Since it’s my first time going to a casino, obviously no one had ever taught me before.” But she thought in her heart that the people from the casino were really like what her brothers from the army had described—they were not kind people. They broke the rules they, themselves, had made.
“You’re obstinate even when you’re facing death!” The bruiser was livid, “Today I’ll teach you a lesson. I’ll unscrew your arm, let you kneel before me, and have you call me grandfather!”
As He Yan stood in the alley, the bruiser and his men assembled on her front, while a group of unknown stalkers lagged behind. She was surrounded and had nowhere to hide.
She wasn’t even armed.
“Then let’s just see if you can do it.” She clenched her fist slowly.
“Arrogant!” The bruiser waved his hand to urge his men forward. He also advanced, and although his skills were lacking, he arbitrarily slung a fist towards He Yan’s back.
Under the moonlight, the young boy maneuvered his body downward and skillfully evaded the attack. The bruiser’s eyes were dazzled, then he felt a sharp punch land on his rear. It was like adding oil to the fire. He snarled furiously as he surveyed the area for the young boy, who had already hopped on to the alley walls.
The stalker who followed He Yan understood the situation. Someone grabbed He Yan’s clothes to yank her down. With a ‘scrzz’ sound, her clothing had torn.
“Damn!” He Yan cursed as she deplored, “It’s spoiled.”
“You still have the mood to worry about your clothes?” The bruiser roared till his nose wrinkled, and was further stimulated, “I’ll beat you to death today!”
He pounced towards He Yan, his large physique akin to a small mountain, causing the ground to quake as he took action. He believed it to be a piece of cake to teach the kid a lesson since they beat him in numbers.
However, they kicked an iron plate for the first time that day. Although the young boy looked juvenile in age, he was as agile as a slippery loach that no one could capture. He shuttled through the squad of villains, landing a few but accurate hits on their vital spots as he did so. Not long later, the men lay flat on the ground after successive strikes.
He Yan scuffled away from the bruiser’s fist and kicked his abdomen with a whirl of her body. Unfortunately, her actions were a bit crooked.
The bruiser immediately howled in pain.
“Sorry, I didn’t do it on purpose.” She was a bit diffident.
After all, since this body and her skills didn’t tally well yet, her attacks couldn’t be accurate and precise. The bruiser lurched on the ground as he shielded his lower body, producing a distressing sound that frightened people.
He Yan bent her waist to retrieve the money that scattered on the ground. She was occupied the whole night and got involved in a brawl. She refused to let other snatch her hard-earned silver.
The moonlight shone on the ground dotted with pieces of silver and jewelry. As the young boy picked them up, he looked as though he belonged to a scene from one of the chapters of a monster fairy myth: A scholar accidentally walked into a mystical wonderland and spotted money and jewelry strewn along the area. He then gave in to temptation and kept them as his own.
Thinking about this scene, He Yan felt a bit funny and she started laughing.
After collecting everything, she examined the moaning men on the floor. As she motioned to escape, she suddenly heard a soft and gentle voice: “This little brother, you dropped your money.”
He Yan turned and looked.
A young man stood at the door of the closed tavern. He wore an indigo-coloured wide-sleeve robe, his clothes slightly shaking in the wind, outlining his lean body. His dark black hair was tied with a sapphire tuinga. He had long brows and fine eyes, very gentle and refined, slightly like a fairy. He smiled and took a step forward, a small piece of silver resting on his palm, which must have fallen and rolled towards his direction amidst the chaos.
She did feel someone’s presence at the tavern, but that someone had arrived earlier and seemed disinteresred to join the fight. She had assumed the stranger to be a passerby, so she chose to ignore but unexpectedly met the person.
He Yan had seen plenty of men in her life. In her past life, she had to socialize with men in her male disguise. She mostly came across brawny men like that bruiser, and they couldn’t be considered handsome, not to say beautiful. Xu Zhi Heng was elegant and graceful, and could be counted as good-looking. However, in comparison to the young man across her, he seemed far inferior.
As she was gathering the silver pieces just now, she had thought it similar to a scene from a folk tale. Now even more so, where the poor young boy encountered a real fairy and was enchanted by the fairy’s appearance. Would the fairy then teach the boy some sort of special skill?
As she ambled closer, she felt that the young man was really like a fairy from a painting. Seeing her in a trance, the fairy spoke again: “Little brother?”
He Yan pulled herself back.
She took the discarded silver piece from his hand and smiled: “Thank you.”
That young man replied with a smile, “You’re welcome.”
He Yan turned and left without looking back.
She treaded briskly, like a stray cat parading on the walls, gone after a few steps and could not be chased further.
In the dark night, someone appeared and walked towards the man wearing blue, whispering: “Si gongzi, that boy…”
“He’s most probably just an occasional passerby, don’t mind him.” The fairy smiled. As though recalling something amusing, his smile widened, “He’s quite clever.”