LATE NIGHT DRIZZLE
Translator: Casse Choco
The night was so dark that even the raindrops seemed to be black.
The place where the sea and the sky met, in the deep sky, the moon shined brightly, like a ghost from the other side. The sounds of waves slowly dissipated, and the night became exceptionally quiet.
It was at this moment, that a woman’s scream seemed to cut through this silence.
Gathered in a few small groups, away from the shore, the guards sat together as they waited for Fan Gong-zi’s signal. When they first heard those miserable sounds, they were startled.
“What’s going on? It’s been so long, why is she still making trouble?” the head guard asked.
“The young master didn’t send a signal, so let’s just wait.” someone said.
As Fan Gong-zi’s guards for so many years, the most important thing for them was to guess what was on their master’s mind. This kind of thing was natural. Fan Gong-zi had been the young master of the Fan family for many years. In addition to the woman admiring him on their own, there were a lot of women from good families who had been ruined. Today’s situation, it has happened more than once. After abducting those women on boats or some other outsider’s house, Fan Gong-zi would insult them. Those women were poor and had nowhere to complain, so they could only forget it.
Now, He Yan would also be one of them.
Originally, Miss He Yan had a deep affection for Fan Gong-zi, and there was no need to resort to such a method. But, who knew that after going off from the door of Fan’s house, she would be so angry, that she really wanted to make a clean break with Fan Gong-zi. And he was aroused because of her refusal and resorted to this. But, come to think of it, for people like He Yan only a tough approach works.
What these guards had to do was just to bring He Yan to Fan Gong-zi, and what happened afterwards was none of their business.
“I don’t think it is right.” The head guard stood up and looked in the direction of the boat. He saw that Fan Gong-zi‘s boat shook violently in the river and it looked like someone had initiated a fight inside.
“No, there is a problem!” he shouted, “Get up! Hurry up. In the past, things never went this far.”
When they heard the head guard, the rest of the people were startled and quickly boarded a small boat to head towards Fan Gong-zi‘s boat. As they came closer, they saw a woman who stumbled out and looked panicked. That woman was wearing He Yan’s clothes, seemingly hiding from someone. Then, she jumped down and fell into the river, all the while screaming.
The river currents quickly swallowed her without any noise, just like a rock fallen in the river – only the sound of water splashing on the surface was heard. There was no more movement.
“The young master!” the head guard could not help calling out.
No one cared if He Yan lived or died. As the boat came closer to Fan Gong-zi’s boat, the head guard climbed on their boat’s bow and landed in Fan Gong-zi’s boat. In just a few steps, he entered the inner part of the boat and saw someone who stood there. The person’s back faced him, and his face was covered with a scarf with only his eyes exposed and his features were blurred under the dim light of the moon. At his foot was Fan Gong-zi‘s corpse lying in a pool of blood.
That masked man was holding a dagger in his hand.
The guard was so shocked when he saw this scene as he never expected to see such a person in the boat. Looking at Fan Gong-zi again, he was afraid that there would be more trouble in the future. A moment later, he regained his senses, furious and angry, and rushed towards the masked man without further thought, “You dare!”
The masked man sneered and started to fight with the guard.
The sound of swords could be heard from the boat, and the boat shook more violently. Soon, the remaining guards also came onto the boat. After the masked man saw the guards that charged over, he no longer wanted to fight and jumped into the river.
“Catch him!” the head guard shouted, “He killed the young master!”
The guards wanted to follow, but they soon found out that the masked man was very cunning. As all the guards were on Fan Gong Zi’s boat, there was no one in the little boat. They thought that he had dived into the river, but they soon found out that he had got on the little boat that they came from.
This was the center of the river. Although some people could swim in the river, it was night and was difficult to avoid dangers. But the little boat was light and thin and it flowed quickly along the river currents. As their boat was slightly heavier, so, even if they paddled it together, they were still half a step behind the masked man.
One after another, in the drizzle, no one saw another person swimming in the river.
As the boat came near the shore, the masked man threw the wooden paddle in his hands away, stood up and jumped onto the river bank and then quickly disappeared on the shore. The head guard said, “Let two people go to look for the city guards, and the rest follow me to chase after him.”
Although it was the night time, it was not too late. There were hawkers doing business on both the sides of the road. Suddenly a masked man ran from the pier and he looked like he was in a rush. He was followed by a bunch of guards who looked murderous, which frightened the people on the road.
“What’s the matter? Why are they running after him?,” A hawker whose stalk was knocked over didn’t dare to say much, and just stooped down to pick up the scattered fruits on the ground.
“It seems like a murder took place. Look at the person that they are chasing, he doesn’t look like an ordinary person.”
“A pity, it’s not been peaceful these days.”
The water by the river shook. Suddenly a hand stretched out of the river. After the hand grabbed on a stone for support, a whole person came out of the water, bringing with him the scent of the water.
He Yu Sheng’s body trembled. He didn’t dare to move carelessly. After he swam for a while, he finally came out. At this moment his face was pale and his lips were purple. He didn’t know if he trembled because the river water was too cold or because he was scared.
He held on to the basket in his hand tightly, inside were his new clothes that He Yan had brought back from the tailor shop and some snacks he had found on the boat. He Yan covered the basket very well, so the clothes inside were clean and not wet. He Yun Sheng took off the woman’s clothes that he was wearing, bundled them up and threw them into the basket. Then, he tied a few stones to the basket and flung the basket to the river.
The river water engulfed the basket in an instant.
He then put on the new spring shirt, which was almost the same colour of his hair. It also happened to hide his wet hair. The clothes were well-fitted and the style was also very beautiful. After he wore his clothes, he realised that his throat was choked up.
However, there was no extra time for him to dilly-dally here. He Yan’s words still rung in his ears.
“You have to change into clean clothes and go home – you must be quick.”
Must be quick.
He staggered as he attempted to stand up, but still managed to hurry away in the direction of his home.
There seemed to be a city garrison in the city who searched for someone everywhere. As He Yun Sheng walked, he heard someone talking on the street.
“I heard that someone on a boat in the river has suffered a brutal death.”
“I don’t know, it must be some young master of a big family. Didn’t you see the city guards looking for the culprit everywhere?”
“With so many people, the murderer will definitely not be able to escape. Maybe he is already caught by them. Oops…this rain is heavy and my clothes are also all wet.”
The sound of the talk gradually faded away, until it was no longer heard.
Hurry up, hurry up.
A young man in a blue shirt walked along the street. His spring shirt was very thin, and on this rainy day, he probably felt very cold. He tightened the clothes around his body and quickly walked home.
The rain was getting heavier and heavier, and the pedestrians walking on the street without umbrellas, hurried to avoid the rain. The hawkers hid under the eaves and shouted loudly at the pedestrians who passed by and took a look. At a glance, there seemed to be no difference between this night and the last one.
“Sister…” Someone whispered to himself, like the wind of a spring night, which fell in the drizzle without a trace.
The teenager walked forward with his head lowered, without looking back, as his tears kept falling down.