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MJT Chapter 3

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Zhang Zhong started secretly taking a very special “tonic” three years ago. It was said to be capable of prolonging life and regenerate what was cut off. This tonic required a very special ingredient—the blood of a baby boy under two years of age. Procuring a few children was easy enough, but drinking the children’s blood every day without stopping was a bit troublesome, especially when this matter could not be leaked out. Only a few trusted cronies by Zhang Zhong’s side knew about this tonic, including Liu Yu and Yi Chongren. Liu Yu had been by Zhang Zhong’s side for longer than Yi Chongren, so Zhang Zhong trusted him very much. Yi Chongren had strong martial arts, an icy temperament, and the backing of Noble Consort Ru. Zhang Zhong still had some reservations towards him, so Zhang Zhong entrusted Liu Yu with the task of finding children.

Liu Yu had the heart but lacked the brains. As Yi Chongren rose in power, Zhang Zhong became more dissatisfied with Liu Yu. Like with the matter of Prince Yue’s youngest son—Yi Chongren was able to think of bringing the child to make the tonic, but Liu Yu only thought about cutting the weed at the root. As if he wouldn’t think of cutting the weed at the root! Zhang Zhong shook his head repeatedly. Originally, he had wanted to cultivate someone capable of restraining Yi Chongren, but that seemed to be too difficult. However, Yi Chongren was able to think of using Prince Yue’s child to make the tonic, signifying that his sincerity towards him was no less than Liu Yu’s, so Zhang Zhong began to care for him in his heart.

No matter how stupid Liu Yu was, he knew he had handled this matter too foolishly. No longer caring for jealousy, Liu Yu clearly asked where Yi Chongren was, and then anxiously headed over. After annoying Lord Dugong, he could only hope to earn some merits by dealing with the matter of Prince Yue, or else he would really be doomed. Liu Yu unceasingly wiped his cold sweat, thinking of Yi Chongren’s eyes at the Prince Yue manor, and shuddered.

In the Hu An guards’ prison, Yi Chongren sat on a soft throne with his head resting on his hand, looking ahead lazily. In contrast, three men were tied to three pillars before him. The man in the middle was Huo Feng, who had just been arrested, while the other two were Huang Han and Xu Baicai, who hadn’t gotten away in time. In the stove, the soldering iron was already red, and three large, topless men each held a whip. Both Huang Han and Xu Baicai had their mouths blocked by pieces of cloth, and Huo Feng, who was immobilized from his acupuncture point, glared at Yi Chongren with hatred.

Huang Han and Xu Baicai’s bodies were covered with whip marks, and Yi Chongren motioned for his men to take out the balls of cloth out of their mouths. As soon as their mouths were free, knowing they wouldn’t be able to live much longer, the two immediately began yelling curses.

“Castrated dog. I’ll fuck your eight generations……”

With a swish, Yi Chongren raised his hand and Huo Feng let out a muffled grunt.

Huang Han and Xu Baicai immediately stopped cursing and began to shout fearfully, “Your highness! Your highness, what’s wrong!”

Yi Chongren sat upright, eyes gleaming coldly. “Let me hear you curse another word and I’ll pierce him again with a needle.” Moving his right hand, Huo Feng’s left shoulder twitched. Only now did the two men realize there was a string in Yi Chongren’s hand—a string with a thin silver needle at the end. Just now, this needle had pierced right into Huo Feng’s shoulder.

Huang Han’s eyes turned blood red. “Come at me if you can! I’m not scared of you!”

Swish!

Yi Chongren raised his hand once more, and Huo Feng grunted.

“Keep cursing.” Yi Chongren moved his hand and the thin needle came out of Huo Feng’s left shoulder. Huang Han didn’t dare curse again. Tears began to flow from the seven-foot man’s eyes from the guilt of making his highness suffer from being hurt by the needle.

“Your highness! How are you, your highness!”

Huo Feng shook his head, hoping they would be appeased. It was just a needle, it didn’t hurt.

“Prince Yue,” Yi Chongren opened his mouth, “If you don’t want your subordinates to suffer, just confess. As long as you confess, I won’t have to make them suffer.” Yi Chongren looked at the needle in his hand. “Your highness should know of my methods.”

“Your highness, we do not fear death.” Xu Baicai glared at Yi Chongren with eyes full of hatred.

 Yi Chongen slightly raised his hand and the three officers cracked their whips.

“Proceed.”

The whips fell, and Huo Feng clenched his teeth. Huang Han and Xu Baicai did not want his highness to worry so they, too, clenched their teeth and endured. The pain of the whips hitting their bodies was lighter than expected. This was nothing! If they manage to survive, they must kill those castrated dogs! Whip their corpses!

“Lord Qianhu!”

Yi Chongren raised his hand and the whipping stopped. The three prison officers retreated. Liu Yu embarrassedly walked in with a head covered with sweat. Yi Chongren didn’t stand and said with obvious dissatisfaction, “Where did Lord Liu disappear off to? This case should be handled by both Lord Liu and I, but I’ve been working for half a day without even seeing Lord Liu’s shadow. If Lord Dugong were to ask, how would I reply?”

Liu Yu humbly spoke, “Lord Dugong had reason to summon this subordinate. I’ve made Lord Qianhu wait.”

“So it’s like this. I thought Lord Liu must have gone to Lord Dugong to accuse me of ‘acting without authorization’ over here.”

Liu Yu’s face turned pale from embarrassment. Yi Chongren turned his head. “Since Lord Liu has arrived, we can begin. Someone come, ‘invite’ Prince Yue and his two subordinates to the moon viewing platform.”

“What do you want to do! Yi Chongren! You have done this prince an injustice! You can’t have a simple death!”

“Gag his mouth!”

“You can’t wuwu……”

Hu An guards took down the three captured men. Only then did Yi Chongren stand and look down on Liu Yu to say, “Lord Liu should head with me. It’s best not to go ‘elsewhere.’”

Liu Yu was angered to the point that steam seemed to rise from his face. He replied with a stiff voice, “Naturally I will go with Lord Qianhu. Didn’t Lord Qianhu already say, Lord Dugong intends for the two of us to investigate this case together?”

Yi Chongren appeared to smile as he passed Liu Yue to walk out. “Then let’s go. We can’t have Lord Liu disappearing again.”

Liu Yu gritted his teeth and vowed to take revenge.

————————————————————————————————————–

Huo Feng, Xu Baicai, and Huang Han were brought to the moon viewing platform. Although called the moon viewing platform, it was the place where the Hu An guards disposed of criminals. The area was spacious with tall walls. If the Hu An guards’ prisoners were especially important or large in number, they would be brought to this place for execution. Additionally, it was sometimes used for intimidation or interrogation.

On the large field of the moon viewing platform, Huo Feng, Xu Baicai, and Huang Han were tied up under the scorching sun. The Hu An guards surrounded the three important suspects. Yi Chongren sat near the moon viewing platform, looking down condescendingly at the tiger trapped in the prison below with a cold smile on his lips. Liu Yu sat at a position lower than Yi Chongren, while Yi Chongren’s personal guard Yaba stood directly behind him. Yaba didn’t have a name, and was just called yaba[1]. He had an ugly face covered in burn scars from when Yi Chongren rescued him from a fire four years ago. Wanting to repay his savior, he chose to continue serving by his side. He was called a personal guard, but his job mostly involved serving tea and pouring water. Yi Chongren had strong martial arts, so he did not need protection. Yaba was the person who snatched Huo Feng’s youngest son.

Huo Feng lowered his head as if he had already accepted his fate. Huang Han and Xu Baicai feared their words would annoy Yi Chongren, bringing harm to his highness, so the two also lowered their heads in silence. Knowing their voices would only bring troubles, under the scorching weather, Huang Han and Xu Baicai thought being burned to death by the sun would be a nice end. However, the two were also a bit confused. Yi Chongren’s methods seemed too gentle, only whipping them a few times, too unlike his usual methods. This man tied them here, to show who? Xu Baicai suddenly shuddered and raised his head to look at Yi Chongren. Could it be!

Xu Baicai thought of it, so naturally Huo Feng did as well. He knew what Yi Chongren wanted to do. He had seven hundred thousand men under his command. If he died, those seven hundred thousand men would naturally fall into another’s hands. But these seven hundred thousand soldiers were not that easy to control. His left and right generals were not vegetarians. If he really did die, those two generals would definitely raise the troops to rebel. So he couldn’t die. At least before his two generals were captured, he could not die. Huo Feng laughed coldly in his heart. Yi Chongren, ah, Yi Chongren, this prince won’t give you the chance.

Yi Chongren stood up and Liu Yu immediately asked, “Lord Qianhu?”

“I have a private grievance with Prince Yue that needs to be settled.” Spitting out this sentence, Yi Chongren directly flew down from the tall moon viewing platform. Liu Yu sat back down. The “private grievances” between Yi Chongren and Prince Yue were well known. Thinking of that person’s temperament, Liu Yu did not find it strange.

Hearing the deliberate footsteps of the opposing party, Huo Feng raised his head with calm eyes. After a while, his meridians would be unblocked, and he already couldn’t wait to see Yi Chongren, Zhang Zhong, and Sun Jiyu, those foolish conspiring bastards. Once news of his death reached the border, Ruan Xingtian and He Jia would definitely rebel to avenge him. Because of his hesitation, he had harmed his own family and the brothers who followed him in life and death. This time, he would not hesitate. Such a country and such an emperor should have been destroyed long ago. Xingtian was resourceful and He Jia was calm and steady, so he could rest easy after passing those seven hundred thousand brothers into their hands. In this world, there was no one who could compete with them. They would definitely avenge him.

Walking in front of Huo Feng, Yi Chongren and Huo Feng’s glares met. Both men wanted to bore holes into the opposite party’s body. Suddenly, Yi Chongren acted. He punched Huo Feng in the abdomen and Huo Feng released an anguished breath, immediately clenching his jaw to endure the pain. Huang Han and Xu Baicai roared, “Yi Chongren, you bastard!”

Yi Chongren punched again and the two no longer dared to shout. Struggling desperately, they wanted to break free from their shackles to save his highness. Yaba flew down from the moon viewing platform, and while midair, kicked the two men. They stopped screaming, and their acupoints were tapped.

With a fist on Huo Feng’s abdomen, Yi Chongren’s face was almost touching Huo Feng’s face as he coldly spat in his ear, “You are a coward.”

Huo Feng clenched his teeth, his whole body taut.

“Do you regret it? Who knew the great Prince Yue who holds seven hundred thousand troops in his hand could be humiliated to such an extent by an accursed castrated dog. If you aren’t a coward, what are you?”

Huo Feng’s nails cut into his palms.

“I’ve always looked down on you. Now, even more so.”

Another punch. The blue veins on Huo Feng’s forehead bulged, and his eye sockets seemed ready to burst, but he was unable to release the roar building up in his throat. The fist left his stomach and instead reached to grab his hair. Yi Chongren lifted Huo Feng’s head, continuing to speak mockingly in his ear “You couldn’t even protect your own wives and children. You coward, fool. You ridicule me for being a eunuch, but you, you can’t even compare to a castrate!”

“I’m going to kill you!”

Huo Feng’s meridians were suddenly cleared. He opened his mouth to bite at Yi Chongren’s ear, but it was a pity he was a step too late. He panted heavily, bloodthirsty eyes glaring fiercely at Yi Chongren, the man who had humiliated him to such a point. Yi Chongren raised his right hand to block Huo Feng’s mouth. Huo Feng’s body shuddered and his eyes froze.

“If you want to kill me, first see whether you have the ability.”

The palm of his hand firmly pressed on Huo Feng’s mouth. Yi Chongren’s left hand released Huo Feng’s hair to slowly stroke down his forehead, seemingly gentle, yet dangerous. 

“Do you still remember what happened five years ago?” Yi Chongen coldly smiled. “That night the moon was very round, and your highness humiliated me in front of so many people. At that time I said a word to your highness, which I just reminded your highness of this morning.” 

Releasing the right hand covering Huo Feng’s mouth, Yi Chongren retreated slightly, left hand still slowly stroking down the side of Huo Feng’s body, “Your highness should know, I, Yi Chongren hold grudges, especially for being humiliated. What should I do, your highness?”

Yi Chongren’s left hand touched the rope on Huo Feng’s arm and continued downwards.

“Your highness should have heard of my methods before.” Yi Chongren’s right hand touched Huo Feng’s left shoulder. On the moon viewing platform, Liu Yu watched Yi Chongren randomly touching Huo Feng’s body with eyes holding contempt.That bitch.

Huo Feng didn’t speak, panting as he glared at Yi Chongren. Both of Yi Chongren’s hands touched all over his body before stopping at his hands which were tied behind him.

“Today also seems to be the fifteenth, who knows if the moon will be as round as that night.”

“Your highness, farewell[2].”

After patting Huo Feng’s shoulder three times, Yi Chongren’s left hand left Huo Feng’s hands and he turned to leave. Huo Feng stared at his back, eyes repressed.

“Has Lord Qianhu resolved the past grievances?”

After Yi Chongren returned, Liu Yu immediately asked this. Yi Chongren sat on his seat, staring at Huo Feng, who had bowed his head. He spat out two words: “For now.”

Liu Yu’s heart was filled with regret. He just saw Yi Chongren mercilessly punch Prince Yue three times. At first he thought if Yi Chongren accidentally beat Prince Yue to death, then Lord Dugong would punish him. But this Yi Chongren handled things too well, making it difficult to find a weakness. Lui Yu pursed his lips and told himself not to give up so easily.

After keeping watch for a while, Yi Chongren left Yaba to guard, and he went to rest. Liu Yu didn’t want to suffer in this hot weather. Although there was a shaded pavilion over his head, he still felt hot after sitting for a while. Yi Chongren left, so he naturally wouldn’t stay any longer either. Only the prison guards were left on the moon viewing platform. Yaba watched them from above for a while before jumping down from the platform, removing the wads of cloth from Huang Han and Xu Baicai’s mouths and signaling for people to give them some water. Before leaving, Yi Chongren had ordered that they must not die, so the prison guards did not hesitate to feed the three men bowls of water.

After they drank the water, Yaba returned to the observation platform to continue watching them. Huang Han urgently asked, “Your highness, your highness, are you alright?”

“I’m fine. Stop speaking and save your energy.” Huo Feng lowered his head. Who knew what he was thinking as his hands tightened into fists behind him. Huang Han thought his highness was suffering, so he didn’t make a sound. He already knew there was no hope for them this time. Thinking of his family, Huang Han couldn’t help but feel sad. He only hoped his family would be able to escape.

They knew their cries would only be accompanied by the scorching sun. Yaba ordered people to feed them water every once in a while. Having eaten nearly nothing for a day, at least there was water, or else they would really be sunburned to death. The whole while, Huo Feng appeared very calm, as if he had accepted his unchangeable fate. The sun gradually set to the west, and Huang Han and Xu Baicai, starved and dizzy from the heat, breathed out a few hot breaths, finally cooling off a bit. Gradually, the sun completely set, and night arrived. Yi Chongren and Liu Yu returned to the moon viewing platform.

Looking at the three “dejected” tied up men, Liu Yu asked, “Lord Qianhu, Lord Dugong needs them to lure out Ruan Xingtian and He Jia. They’ve already starved for a day. Shouldn’t we……”

“I’ve let Yaba feed them water. They are all military commanders. They can survive a day.”

“Yes. But……” Liu Yu looked at the three men. “Who knows when Ruan Xingtian and He Jia will arrive. In case they don’t come, and Prince Yue is starved to death by us, we haven’t gathered enough evidence.I’m afraid Lord Dugong would have a hard time explaining things to his majesty.”

“Is Lord Liu implying Lord Dugong arrested the wrong person?”

Liu Yu hurriedly waved his hand. “No no! It’s just that his majesty ordered it. As servants, we naturally have to share the worries of his majesty and share the worries of Lord Dugong.”

Liu Yu meant that before Ruan Xingtian and He Jia arrived, Prince Yue must stay alive, especially since they hadn’t tortured Prince Yue into confessing his rebellious intent yet. Although they often carried out the emperor’s decrees, arresting and killing people, those people were not the emperor’s little brother. His majesty would definitely intervene for his little brother. Of course, it would still be best to arrest the right people. Liu Yu wanted to make Lord Dugong look at him anew. Only out of these considerations would Liu Yu speak about giving Prince Yue some food to eat. As for the other two, it didn’t matter.

“Lord Liu’s words make sense.” Yi Chongren looked at the sky and said, “Starve them for a little while longer.”

“Yes.”

Thinking of how Yi Chongren had touched Prince Yue’s body for so long during the day, Liu Yu couldn’t resist asking, “What was Lord Qianhu trying to find on Prince Yue? Maybe I could help.”

Yi Chongren narrowed his eyes and Liu Yu immediately lowered his head. He coldly said, “Aren’t we all waiting here for the thing I want to find on Prince Yue? Lord Liu’s eyes are too lacking. Did you not see the needle in my hand?”

Liu Yu’s body shook. So Yi Chongren was using a needle to pierce Prince Yue at that time! Recalling Yi Chongren’s skill with the needle, Liu Yu quickly said, “Lacking, lacking. Lord Qianhu’s needle is as thin as a cow’s hair. Forgive my bad eyes.”

No longer looking at Liu Yu’s disgusting face, Yi Chongren spoke, “It’s dark. Let them be more alert.”

“This minister will personally guard here,” Liu Yu immediately volunteered. Yi Chongren nodded, not arguing with him.

[1]Yaba literally means mute or stupid person.

[2] Same phrase often used to send off dead people as mentioned in the last chapter. It’ll keep showing up periodically.

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