Phoenix’s Requiem - Chapter 451
Chapter 451: Human Jerky
Yun Lan didn’t know that the poison coursing through Lin Yuemei’s body was from Qin Jianmei until Yun Ruoyan herself discovered the truth. Afterwards, Yun Lan had been mired in regret: it was he who had caused Lin Yuemei to suffer in stasis for decades.
“Over the last ten years, I’ve been searching all over for a method to cure your mother of her poison, but the poison had infiltrated her body so deeply that it was even in her marrow. Only recently did I find a way to save Yuemei,” Yun Lan continued.
“What method?” Yun Ruoyan asked.
“To siphon away my yang energy and infuse it to Yuemei.”
Yun Ruoyan stilled. She had never heard of such a technique, but doing so would undoubtedly leave Yun Lan weakened for long periods of time, possibly even permanently. She didn’t know the magnitude of the feelings that Yun Lan harbored for her mother, and talk of this sacrifice had significantly reduced her resentment toward her erstwhile father.
“I found out that Ruoyu had two statues that would be vital as foci for the transferral of my yang energy to Yuemei.” Yun Lan took out the Buddha and Bodhisattva statues that had once been Qin Jianmei’s.
Yun Ruoyan was very shocked that the two statues hadn’t been burned to cinders, and that Yun Lan had actually repurposed them for saving her mother.
“This technique requires eighty-one days to cast in full, and I can already clearly sense the budding spark of life in Yuemei’s body.” Yun Lan smiled wanly. “The remaining few days will be of vital importance, and I can’t be disturbed at all. I hope you’ll be able to take care of the manor for the time being.”
Although Yun Lan had isolated himself in this chamber, he had ways of finding out what had happened within the Yun manor, and he naturally knew of what had happened to Yun Ruoyu. He wasn’t expecting Li Mo to spare her life, and her current situation was undoubtedly the best of many bad possibilities. He had no intention of pleading for Li Mo to be merciful on her.
“Don’t worry. My brother will soon inherit the Yun family, and I don’t want to see it fall, either,” Yun Ruoyan replied. “I’ll take over governing the household for the time being.”
“I have another request, Your Highness.” Yun Lan then turned to Li Mo. “I’ve claimed to be gravely ill at court, and I suspect many of the officials allied against me are becoming suspicious. There have been quite a number of spies sent to the Yun manor, and I hope you’ll be able to dismiss them, Your Highness.”
Li Mo glanced at Yun Ruoyan, then said, “Tomorrow, I’ll have my guards patrol the area surrounding this cottage. You won’t be disturbed, Official Yun.”
“Thank you for your grace, Your Highness.” Yun Lan smiled.
The next day, Yun Ruoyan brought little Moyan into the Yun manor, along with a number of her own servants, including Li Luo, from the Slaughtering King’s manor. Because it was convenient and familiar, Yun Ruoyan continued staying in her old cottage.
“Consort Yun, the housekeeper here is ridiculous,” her new servant girl, Qianxi, grumbled as she walked into Yun Ruoyan’s rooms. She had picked Qianxi out from among the maids in the Slaughtering King’s manor. She was direct and forthright, almost like a combination of Xi Lan and Peony.
“Shh,” Li Luo suddenly shushed her. “Be quiet, the young master’s just fallen asleep!”
Moyan had recently been waking up in the night, so napping during the day was particularly important for his growth and development.
Qianxi hurriedly clamped her hand over her mouth and was just about to back out of the room when Yun Ruoyan asked, “What’s the matter?”
Qianxi replied softly, “I found the housekeeper and asked him to send a few servants around to clean up the place, but he said that you showed up uninvited, so it would be best for you to provide for yourself!”
She had mimicked the housekeeper’s tone and mannerisms almost perfectly, so even though Yun Ruoyan should have been mad at the offense, she began to laugh instead.
“Consort Yun, how can you laugh? He’s so maddening!” Qianxi continued fuming. Decorum was enforced strictly in the Slaughtering King’s manor, but the servants were free to work as they pleased as long as they finished their tasks on time. The relationship between the servants had always been genial, and this was the first time she had been snubbed like this before.
“Call that housekeeper over,” Yun Ruoyan instructed, still smiling.
“He won’t listen to me! When I told him to seek you out if you were dissatisfied with the request, he said…” Qianxi again mimicked the housekeeper’s tone, “I’m the head housekeeper of the Yun manor, and I don’t have to listen to anyone from the Slaughtering King’s manor! Except for the third miss, I won’t listen to anyone else! But she’s no longer in the manor, so I don’t have to account to anyone.”
Yun Ruoyan clicked her tongue. Where had Yun Ruoyu obtained such useless servants? Is she trying to discredit the Yun family?
“Let me go.” After confirming that Moyan was sound asleep, Li Luo stood up. “I want to see what this housekeeper’s like for myself.”
Not fifteen minutes later, Qianxi rushed into Yun Ruoyan’s rooms again. “Consort Yun,” she whispered, “Sister Li Luo’s fighting with that housekeeper now!”
Yun Ruoyan frowned. She glanced at Moyan, who was still sleeping soundly. His lips pursed up from moment to moment, as though he were dreaming of being breastfed. “Qianxi, stay here and look after the young master. I’ll go have a look for myself,” Yun Ruoyan instructed.
“Who exactly are you? Why does a housekeeper have so advanced a cultivation?” Li Luo had already exchanged dozens of blows with the slightly chubby housekeeper, but they seemed to be at an impasse.
“I hadn’t expected a servant girl from the Slaughtering King’s manor to be so strong,” the chubby housekeeper murmured.
Li Luo had broken through to the peak of eighth rank two years ago, but she hadn’t improved beyond that because of a bottleneck. Nevertheless, she had few opponents she couldn’t defeat on the Chenyuan continent, and she hadn’t expected some random housekeeper to be able to fight her on equal footing.
Could he be a reclusive expert? Li Luo wondered—then quickly found herself surrounded by a few fireballs, burning so violently that they quickly lit her clothes aflame.
“Heh.” The chubby housekeeper smirked. “Everyone else likes watching beauties bathing, but I like watching them dance in fire.”
When Yun Ruoyan arrived to see Li Luo haphazardly trying to smother the flames on her clothes, she immediately became incensed. For someone to dare bully her people—especially Li Luo, soon to be the next female head of the Yun household…
She flung a gigantic fireball toward Li Luo, which instantly attracted all the flames surrounding her and on her clothes to it. With another swipe, that fireball returned to her palm, compressed to the size of a bullet.
“Ruoyan!” Li Luo patted her clothes and walked to her side. “There’s something fishy about this housekeeper.”
Yun Ruoyan nodded, then turned to the chubby housekeeper. “Who exactly are you? What’re you doing here in the Yun manor, and why did you expose your identity? Who’s your backer?” The fire bullet spun leisurely in her palm, but the anger in her expression was obvious.
The housekeeper, shocked by her cultivation, answered none of her three questions. He had never seen someone able to use the fireball technique so deftly, and a light sheen of sweat covered his forehead. I thought I finally got a lucky break, but it looks like I’ve just been sent here as cannon fodder. The Slaughtering King’s consort’s cultivation is far above my own!
“Consort Yun’s asking you a question. Answer her!” Li Luo shouted.
“Consort Yun, my name is Ge Dazhuang, and I’m just an ordinary housekeeper. Miss Ruoyu bade me join the Yun manor, and I don’t have a backer of any sort. If you don’t believe me, I’m sure Miss Ruoyu will back me up,” the chubby housekeeper replied.
“A pack of lies,” Yun Ruoyan replied coldly. She flung her flame bullet in his direction, which seemed to morph into shadow and appeared near-instantaneously by his side. It separated into a number of small flame bullets, trapping him within. It was a mirror of the technique that he had used against Li Luo, magnified at least tenfold.
Although the concentrated flames wouldn’t burn his clothes, their surface temperature was so blisteringly hot that he would slowly bake to death.
“Consort Yun, please spare me! I’m telling the truth, and the third miss will back me up!” In a matter of moments, Ge Dazhuang’s back was drenched in sweat, and his chubby body seemed to have suddenly shrunk.
“I have no intention of listening to your lies. You have fifteen minutes to talk, or you’ll be desiccated into a piece of human jerky,” Yun Ruoyan called out.
“I-I can’t say!” Ge Dazhuang called out, sweat soaking his body. His round face was quickly drying out from the heat. Gulping down large lungfuls of air, he said, “My whole family’s in my master’s hands, and if I betray him, my entire family will die!”