Book 2: The Infinite Heart
Chapter 17 – Something That Must Be Done (Part B)
As if in reply to her words, a huge uproar suddenly erupted behind her. A crowd of men exploded with jeers, along with a woman’s shrill and tragic cry.
“Don’t touch my child!”
With a bang, a door panel suddenly flew over, heavily smashing into the center of the street and filling the air with dust. It had almost hit Little Dagger, causing Fuyao to use a hand to move her to a safer area. Turning back, she saw half a door panel crookedly hanging from the building entrance, as if a dark mouth that was missing some of its teeth. From the hole came crawling out the old man’s daughter-in-law with her clothes stained with blood. She moved herself out with difficulty, trying again and again to get over the door sill, yet every time collapsing because of lack of strength. Behind her followed a crowd of Rong people who coldly crossed their arms while watching the spectacle.
An almost 13-foot-tall Rong man tightly narrowed his lips as he held his scimitar backwards. The blade was still dripping blood, and it snaked a trail of blood on the ground. Step by step he followed the woman still struggling on the ground, and with every step the scimitar in his hand lightly jumped up, cutting open the clothes on the woman’s body with tearing sounds.
Strips of clothing danced fluttering in the air like butterflies. As the woman crawled forward, more and more areas on her clothes were torn, and more and more skin was revealed. The flashing snow-white color outlined with the scattered cloth and fresh blood on the ground, creating a primal, vibrant contrast that lit the savage eyes of those beast-like men on fire.
The belly of the old Han’s daughter-in-law rose high up. Her child was almost carried to term. She desperately shielded her stomach as she painfully crawled on the floor, and afraid of hurting her baby, she only dared to move with her face facing up. She could only arduously drag her body inch by inch as she looked towards the sky.
The Rong man unhurriedly followed behind her, a slice with every step, and a fluttering torn scrap of clothing with every slice.
Soon, the wife’s dress was almost completely ripped apart. Even the blue veins on her swollen belly, caused by late-term pregnancy, were now revealed.
That Rong man suddenly laughed wildly. “Hu Bendao, you just watch! Your daughter-in-law and your little grandson are about to be stabbed by the bastard who just happened to collide with your daughter-in-law!”
The Rong man wore a contemptuous smile. Sword-light flashed, piercing towards the woman’s stomach.
The neighbors watching in the surroundings all showed unbearable expressions. They sighed and turned their heads away.
The old Han and his son, tightly pressed back by the remaining Rong, let out throat-tearing yells. “HUAN`ER!” Their voices broke through the clouds, stirring out furious yet despairing echoes in the silence.
Sword wind cut down. Merciless killing intent spread in all directions. The stretched-thin stomach skin was already at the breaking point, and seemed about to split apart under knife light, bringing about a tragic finale where one chi of distance was exchanged for two lives.
A thin vibrating noise could be heard extremely clearly in the breath-held silence. Then, a person’s distinct, piercing words: “A dignified man bullying a pregnant woman in the streets. Is this what the Rong consider pride and honor?”
The wife who had long resigned herself to certain death, terrified beyond measure, only felt the sword wind rushing towards her suddenly cease, then a tickling feeling on her face. Opening her eyes, she saw some of her hair strands, severed by the scimitar, were currently brushing down her face and gently landing on the ground.
Raising her eyes, she saw in front of her a pair of pure white yet powerful fingers. They pinched the scimitar tip to a halt only a centimeter away from her abdomen.
The whole street was silent. Everyone was staring at the pair of fingers that delicately grasped the knife tip of the Rong man. The long steel-cast knife was actually unable to lower at all. That Rong man used strength to jerk the scimitar down a couple times, yet it didn’t budge even a sliver. Astonished, his gaze moved upward following the fingers, and saw that opposite him was a skinny youth clad in dai-colored robes, coolly looking at him.
Naturally, it was Meng Fuyao.
Some things cannot be done, yet some things must be done. Some things must be endured, yet some things cannot be endured.
Some things, had to have a bottom-line in the end. If she was able to endure this savage person of Rong, underneath the gazes of all the people on this long street, stabbing through that stomach filled with palpitating life, then she wouldn’t be Meng Fuyao.
Meeting the Rong man’s shocked eyes that shone with a ferocious gleam, Fuyao suddenly took in a deep breath, then cursed. “Get the fuck out of here!”
With a cracking sound, she fiercely pinched off the Rong man’s scimitar tip, and in the same motion threw the shattered knife point with a flip of her hand. A miserable yell erupted out. A Rong man who was attempting to sneakily approach her immediately let out a cry and fell down, and a broken piece of blade glittered on the back of his hand.
“Sun God Ge has risen! Where did this death-seeking scoundrel come from!” The imposing Rong man who had his knife broken gave an angered bellow, then lunged forward barehanded. His fist wind was full of savagery, showing that he was actually an expert.
Unfortunately for him, even a pile of these types of experts would be of no use against Meng Fuyao.
Fuyao sneered, clasped her hands behind her back, then strode out.
Only one step.
The step landed precisely on the pommel of the half-broken sword on the ground, flipping the scimitar hilt upward. As the scimitar revolved and flew up, it directly met the Rong man’s bowl-sized fist, causing the man to panic and withdraw his hand. However, the surge of fist wind currents caused by his hurried retreat caught the flying scimitar and changed its direction, and with a tumble it collided directly on his nose with a “pa”!
Blood rushed out from the Rong’s nose and his forehead was black and bruised. The man stumbled back with his face covered with the colorful wound.
Zong Yue had stood silently to the side all this time. Seeing Fuyao not even need to move her hands to finish her opponent, a strand of praise flashed through his eyes. Not only were the arts she cultivated unordinary, her comprehension of them was extremely high. Even though presently she still couldn’t rise to the apex, there would undoubtedly be a day when the highest peak of martial arts in the Five Regions Continent, would belong to her.
After forcing back the Rong man, Fuyao turned back to help up the old Han’s daughter-in-law. Feeling her pulse, Fuyao realized the baby was not harmed, and nodded in relief, saying, “You can no longer live here. Every city in the Infinite Empire has citizen shelters for those who have nowhere to go, or have fallen on hard times. Your family can go seek protection from the district official.”
The woman looked up with a tear-streaked face, still yet to calm from her shock, and choked out, “Many thanks …”
The old Han and his son charged scrambling over, their faces covered in tears as they supported their daughter-in-law and wife while repeatedly bowing gratefully towards Fuyao. In their hearts, they rejoiced their decision to give shelter to the group, who had actually saved their lives in a time of crisis.
Fuyao waved her hand, turning back to face Zong Yue, saying, “You can leave first. I’ll send them to the shelter first.”
A strange expression appeared in Zong Yue’s eyes, yet he didn’t say anything, only standing there not moving. Fuyao glanced at him, about to leave, when suddenly she heard a rush of wind behind her. Without even turning her head she abruptly gave a back kick. Under the sunlight, the long rising leg drew out a beautiful arc that surpassed the body’s limits of flexibility, contacting the ambusher’s chest with a thudding sound.
That seemingly light kick caused the heavy body of the attacker to fly away at almost a straight line. He heavily landed on the ground, letting out a sky-piercing, wretched shriek, before his body spasmed on the ground a couple times, then stopped moving.
A moment later, scarlet blood flowed into view from underneath his body, gradually twisting and collecting into a pool. The rich smell of blood immediately assaulted the nostrils of all the people present.
The alarmed cry caused the Meng Fuyao who was already walking away to halt in her steps. Turning her head, she saw the tall Rong man was already lying in a puddle of blood. Quickly striding over to flip his body over, she discovered a half-broken blade buried in his back – precisely the front part of the scimitar that she had broken off then thrown into another person’s hand, after which that person had pulled out and thrown on the ground. From the looks of it, just then she had flung the fellow directly onto the broken blade, taking his life.
No that wasn’t it.
Fuyao inspected the knife, her heart jumping. She remembered that after she stabbed the blade into that Rong man’s back of hand, that person had randomly thrown the knife tip onto the ground after pulling it out. Now, however, the blade was facing upright. Who had moved the shattered blade’s position?
She instantly looked up, only to see a figure hurriedly squeezing into the crowd.
Wanting to fly forward to chase, she instead saw many more people suddenly surge towards her. Those Rong people who had come here looking for revenge suddenly all erupted with fury! Waving huge scimitars they desperately charged forward, screaming, “Murder! He killed Han Mutie!”
“Grab him! Grab him!”
Countless long scimitars shone with sunlight, as if streak after streak of snow-colored spring water was shooting over. The tumbling, roiling springs wildly surged over, as if they wanted to drown the skinny youth in the center of the crowd.
The shouts spread even further, traveling over the rooftops with extremely piercing volume and passing through the alleyways.
Han residents of the surrounding areas all began to panic, frantically shutting the building doors of their homes with peng peng peng sounds, while alerting each other, “You must not go outside, great trouble is coming!”
The people on the streets close to Fuyao all hastily ran away while loudly proclaiming, “I don’t know him! Don’t know!”
There were even some who, while retreating, flung up their sleeves to ingratiatingly yell to the outraged Rong, “Rong brothers, that scoundrel violated Sun God Ge’s honor and murdered a Rong brother! We also can’t stand this, we’ll go report to magistrate …”
The street fell into a cacophony of cries, immediately devolving into a pot of chaotically swirling oatmeal.
Fuyao threw the Rong man’s body onto the ground, letting out a cold laugh. “The lives of people! The lives of people!” 
Zong Yue was unmoved as he stood behind her, saying, “It’s not the time to sigh about the lives of people. Right now you have to worry about not worsening the situation.”
His words were simple, but when Fuyao heard them her eyes flashed.
Not worsening the situation, meaning not allowing the news that this Rong man was murdered to spread and the entire city’s Rong people to erupt in violence, causing the deaths of even more people. The only thing that could be done was to completely eliminate all the Rong people at the scene!
The tempest was on the horizon, while weapons would soon be lifted. Once the Rong people who occupied the majority of the city all exploded into violence, the only thing awaiting the people in Yao City would be a catastrophe!
Thinking of this kind of outcome, Fuyao’s expression transformed. A layer of web-like blood strands gradually covered her eyes. She abruptly looked up.
The Rong sprinted over while raising their scimitars with a howl, but soon saw that the eyes of the skinny youth opposite had suddenly turned extremely horrifying. If just then the youth was only a sheathed sharp knife, now the knife had tasted blood, killed, and truly become a deadly weapon capable of massacre!
In those eyes, they saw fearlessness … and death!
The man leading the charge, upon meeting this kind of chilling gaze, inadvertently felt his heart suddenly jolt. He subconsciously let out a cry and retreated backwards. However, he moved too suddenly while the people behind him were all crazily charging forwards, and they instantly collided with one another, bringing about a string of angered curses.
Before the curses could finish, Fuyao had already moved.
With a flourish of her robes, she suddenly shot forward like a bullet.
Her figure had passed through the air too quickly, causing a long dark streak to linger like a bullet’s trail. At the very instant when the image of the black figure arrived at the crowd’s eyes, Meng Fuyao had already reached the center of the Rong crowd, drawing her blade without another word.
Sword light flashed underneath the shallow sunlight like a rainbow, in the space of a blink arriving at the heads of the crowd. The knife’s glow outshone the sun as it cut down like spilling water!
Pierce, slay, stab, crush!
Leap up, elbow out, leg kick, overpowering stomp!
Body and body collided for only the briefest moment of star light, separating right after contact. Yet right after contact, great blooms of blood would blossom out. Just when a bloody bloom erupted out over here, there would be another blow and another occurrence, in that instant yet another vibrantly scarlet burst.
Fuyao shot into the crowd like a dai-colored typhoon passing through a fortress made of muscles and long scimitars. Around her blood rain splattered out left and right, and she stabbed and retracted her knife just as quick, scything through lives as simply as scything grass!
Hesitating in moments of decisiveness would conversely bring harm. When killing was required, Fuyao would not give herself time to think.
It was a scene of silent slaughter – with every slice she would also jab the acupoints of her enemies, preventing their wails from traveling outside the alley and bringing over even more people. The sound of the sword body unceasingly chopping into then pulling out of flesh was muffled, but still horrifying. Corpse after corpse fell down silently. This kind of hushed death could only cause one’s heart to chill with dread. Once the thirteenth person was mowed down like grass, everyone stopped in their steps. Those who had taken out their knives now dragged them along while retreating; those who had escaped stood shell-shocked in place; those who had rolled up their sleeves to help now had trembling legs, and suspicious dampness appeared on their pant. Those who had shut their doors and snuck glances outside, now moved away from the gaps as their weak backs hit the door boards – and it was only then that they realized their backs were soaked with ice cold sweat.
Meng Fuyao had never killed so many people before, and had never killed in this way before, yet her hand did not falter at all. As a transmigrator, she did not clearly distinguish between Rong or Han, but she knew that a woman’s kindheartedness had no place in this lawless world. Sometimes killing to stop killing was the only way to change the greater picture. Inside this gunpowder barrel that was Yao City, she didn’t fear using a small amount of fresh blood to stifle the incoming explosion instigated by persons of malicious intent, and to halt the rivers of blood that a general panic inside the city would entail.
Before her were still three Rong men who finally began to run. Fuyao’s foot rose up, and she flew over their heads like a dark cloud. Landing in front of them, she chopped down to wrest away the scimitar of the front-most person, then flung it backhandedly.
The knife pierced through and nailed the three Rong who were running in the same direction onto the ground, as if it were cutting through hemp. The last one, struck by the powerful impact, escaped the sword body. He unsteadily charged forward a couple steps, then collapsed by a street gutter, his fresh blood staining half the gutter red.
It wasn’t just the gutter. On the entire street surface, fresh blood had already flowed into the depressions. The blood slowly crawled on the dark stone road in haphazard squiggles, like countless huge snakes twisting and coiling.
The entire street of people was turned into clay sculptures. They froze there not knowing how to move. Fuyao stood by herself in the middle of a lake of blood, her head staring up at the sky. She sighed.
After which, she wiped her two hands on her clothes, then caringly re-sheathed her knife. Usually she used three types of weapons. Her small dagger, hidden on her elbows or in her sleeves, was convenient for surprise attacks or self-defense. Her long whip curled around her waist, and was used for escape or when fighting enemies she didn’t want to kill. Only this knife that she wore on her back – in these many years only her second time needing to use it – was used for mass slaughter.
The blade’s name was “Sky Slayer”. When the old Daoist had passed it to her, his expression was severe. He claimed inside the blade contained an utmost secret. Fuyao had never discovered what this secret was, but the knife was truly an extreme treasure, keen like the eyes of a master assassin staring at their enemy.
As she looked up at the sky, she realized that at some point in time the sunlight had faded away, replaced with layer upon layer of hazy clouds like fish scales.
Behind her, Yao Xun and Zong Yue’s subordinate, who had blocked the alley entrance to draw away the attentions of those passing by, finally released a held breath. They wiped away the cold sweat that arose because of the heart-shaking massacre just now, and when looking at Fuyao their gazes were completely different. The old Han’s family had long collapsed onto the ground completely speechless.
Only Zong Yue, who even though did not participate in the events, but had stood in the most important position right behind Fuyao, maintained his previous calm to perhaps purposefully encourage her. He even slightly grinned while saying, “It’s finally time for me to be of use.”
As he walked forward, he took out a small bottle and shook it over every corpse. The body wounds instantly widened gruesomely as the flesh let out the sizzling sounds of corrosion. Blood and muscle gradually dissolved, bones gradually melted, and in the end, the mass transformed into a pile of grainy bone ash that was blown away, scattered between heaven and earth.
The traces of a person’s entire existence, gone with only the flick of a finger.
The old Han stumbled over and hurriedly pulled Zong Yue and Fuyao. “Quickly go, quickly go! There’s a group of Rong wandering about outside, a crowd is about to come!”
Fuyao helped up the old Han’s daughter-in-law, saying, “With this group disappearing, there will certainly be compatriots finding their way to your house. You must quickly leave with me.”
She urgently left. Zong Yue had originally wanted to stay and see that the rest of the bodies were completely dissolved before leaving. Suddenly, though, his brows furrowed and his face paled. He reached his hand out to press against his chest. The subordinate waiting on him quickly came over to support him and leave.
Only once all the instigators of the massacre had completely left, did the people in the alleyway awaken as if disturbed from a dream. Pale-faced, they looked at each other, seeing in each other’s eyes a bone-deep horror. However their gazes only met for a brief moment before dropping away. Everyone wiped away the splatters of blood on their bodies, then silently walked away. Once home, door latches were firmly bolted tight, and heavy rocks barricaded into place.
Although they originally had the urge to seek shelter with the stronger side when under threat of death, now they all responsibly safeguarded the situation created by Fuyao, preparing to stay silent. They would bury the events of the afternoon deep in their hearts, until the danger was truly over.
Yet was the danger truly over?
The pale-yellow setting sun descended. Obscured moonlight rose up.
Tonight’s moon seemed to have been covered in a layer of haze, vague and hard to make out. Alleyways, small streets, tree trunks, and buildings – all were engulfed in a stretch of flowing gray mist.
In the small alleyway’s water gutter, the fresh blood that had floated on the surface earlier had now diluted away, with the water surface reflecting a sheen of light. Besides the gutter grew dark-brown wild grass. Their shape seemed quite odd.
In the gutter, the “corpse” that had been the last pierced through by Fuyao’s knife floated on the water. It suddenly twitched.
- 众生相 A Chinese Buddhist phrase that means the lives and actions of humanity, and sometimes carries bad connotation when used to describe chaotic debauchery of society.