Joy of Life - Chapter 741 - A Rainy Day In Front Of The Royal Palace[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:51:04]
Chapter 741: A Rainy Day In Front Of The Royal Palace
This bout of rain in the depths of autumn gradually grew heavier.
Through the rain and under the strange gazes of the people by the side of the streets, Wu Zhu walked out of the alley and came to a fork in the path beside Tianhe Avenue. Damp rainwater slowly dripped down his clothes and the black cloth on his face. He planted his feet here and raised his head slightly to look at the Royal Palace in the distance through the misty rain.
Yesterday afternoon, Wu Zhu had also stood there and looked at the Royal Palace for a long time. Although he was a traveler from the Temple who had unconsciously followed Fan Xian to tour the world, the Royal Palace was indeed the most worthwhile visiting spot in Jingdou. It was the most majestic building. For Wu Zhu to go there two days in a row, presumably, there was some other factor influencing his decision.
Under the eaves of the houses by the side of the street, a few children wearing little winter coats with square book bags had their hands tucked into their sleeves to ward off the chill. Their faces were pale with the cold. These children had to go to the school and run by the court every day. They all carried umbrellas by their sides. Unexpectedly, when they got to the mouth of the alley, the rain suddenly grew heavier.
“Look, it’s that idiot from yesterday!” A kid was just feeling that this rain made one feel so bored. Although it seemed that it could stall their class time, who wanted to keep their heads down under someone else’s eaves all the time? Right at that moment, he saw Wu Zhu standing woodenly in the rain like an idiot. The kid recognized him as the idiot who had allowed them to torment him as they wished. He was as happy. It was as if he had discovered a new land.
There weren’t any rocks under the eaves. The eyes of the children spun around. They found some pieces of coal by a coal stove that had not been completely consumed by the flames the previous night. They laughed shrilly, yelled, and began to throw it toward Wu Zhu.
For some reason, it seemed that humans, when they’re little, were very good at bullying those weaker than them to prove their strength and obtain some kind of mental satisfaction. It seemed to be some kind of instinct. Otherwise, why would the children feel a sense of joy at hearing the pieces of coal strike against Wu Zhu’s body? Why did they feel happy at seeing the dirt left behind by the coal?
There were not many people sheltering from the rain on the street. In the eyes of these few Jingdou people, the blind man standing in a daze in the rain was clearly an idiot but also a handicapped person. They could not help but feel sympathy. Other than sympathy, they also unconsciously felt disgusted by the dirt marks on the blind man’s body.
Other than an aunty-like woman who ruthlessly scolded the little scoundrels, no one else made any move. They just looked indifferently at the children who used their own methods to vent their desire for violence that all life had.
A piece of wet coal ruthlessly struck against Wu Zhu’s still and emotionless face with a crisp sound like someone had slapped him. This piece of coal shifted the piece of black cloth on Wu Zhu’s face slightly. Wu Zhu’s pale face also tilted slightly. It was as if he did not understand what was happening. He then straightened the black cloth on his face and slowly turned around to look at the dirty-handed children under the eaves.
The children were not afraid because they had hit him all afternoon the previous day and the blind idiot did not show any sign of resistance. On the contrary, the felt even more excited seeing Wu Zhu have a reaction. The pieces of coal flying through the rain in the street immediately grew denser.
Slap! Slap! Slap! Slap! Finally, someone found a rock. Mixed in with the shards of coal, they threw it toward Wu Zhu’s face, leaving behind streaks of dirt and some traces of blood. Washed by the rain, it flowed down Wu Zhu’s pale face like a flood after a drought, taking with it tens of thousands of years of rubbish and revealing marks that made one’s heart tremble on his face.
Wu Zhu still did not dodge, even though he could be injured. Through the layer of black cloth, he stared in a daze at the children who waved their hands and laughed shrilly and endlessly. He didn’t understand why they were attacking him, why these innocent children could laugh so malevolently, or why each of the rocks, regardless of whether they were sharp or round, made his heart feel strange when they struck his head and face.
What kind of emotion was it? Hurt? Disappointment? Anger? Dissatisfaction? Or could it just be feelings? Wu Zhu looked at the children, allowing them to hit him. In his muddled mind, it was as if there was suddenly something more.
The rain suddenly grew to a downpour. It was like a hole had been poked in the autumn sky above Jingdou. Countless rivers, lakes, and seas fell through the hole of unfathomable depth and became the sky fullof wild rain that fell on the homes in the alley.
It was as if a hole had also suddenly opened up in Wu Zhu’s mind where clear light shone through, enveloping his entire body in a strange emotion.
What did having emotions prove? Did it prove the same thing as the “curiosity” spoke of by that young man called Fan Xian? Wu Zhu began to think again, silently thinking deeply in the boundless and pouring rain.
That young man named Fan Xian had once said many things to him, but he couldn’t understand, comprehend, or fathom all of it. He could only remember it.
What had the person named Fan Xian gone to do? He had possibly gone to that Royal Palace, possibly for revenge. Revenge for what? Revenge for who? Possibly someone had died, so that person called Fan Xian was not satisfied, not happy. It was a woman named Ye Qingmei and an old cripple named Chen Pingping?
These two unfamiliar names seemed to gradually become clearer and more familiar in Wu Zhu’s mind with the sky full of rain and that hole letting in the clear light. However, what made his head hurt was that he still couldn’t remember who Fan Xian was exactly. Had he not spent his entire life in the Temple?
Wu Zhu still didn’t remember anything. But, he now possessed something that he shouldn’t, which was emotions. From yesterday afternoon, that kind of emotion had filled his heart and made him look quietly at that Royal Palace through the black cloth over his eyes.
This kind of emotion was called disgust. For some reason, even Wu Zhu himself could not explain it. He was disgusted by the tallest building in Jingdou. Perhaps it was just because he was innately disgusted with the person in the building?
When they had left the temple, the young many called Fan Xian had said to him as he coughed up blood that he should follow his heart, but what was heart? Was it the lively and unfamiliar emotion he felt right now?
Wu Zhu decided to go to the Royal Palace and have a look to search for the origin of his emotions and to see if there was someone he wanted to meet, someone he was destined to meet. Thus, he placed his hand steadily on the metal rod by his waist. At the same time, he lowered his head slightly and put on the straw hat he carried, covering the rain from the sky and the black cloth over his eyes.
The children were still happily throwing rocks and shards of coal. Wu Zhu was silent for a moment. He then let go of the metal rod in his hand and crouched down. He dragged his hand through the dirty water on the ground and picked up a handful of not very hard coal shards.
He was unable to harm humankind unless it was in the interest of humankind as a whole. However, the biggest difference between Wu Zhu and the old man in the temple was that he didn’t understand what bullsh*t thing “interest as a whole” was and what it had to do with him.
Perhaps those young humans were just playing a game. Wu Zhu thought this was the case and reacted as if it were. At least, he didn’t feel any disgust or anger toward these young humans who bullied him.
Since it was a game, I will play once with them. Perhaps they will no longer bother me. Wu Zhu threw the coal shards mixed with rainwater toward the children under the eaves.
There were shocked yells, the sound of panicked footsteps, countless sounds of crying, and the sound of someone fainting in the rain. All kinds of random noises rang out following Wu Zhu’s action.
A handful of wet coal split apart, according to the four people, and accurately struck the bodies on the children. One of the children who laughed the loudest was struck on the head and began to bleed. He then fainted without a sound in the rain.
After a death-like silence at the mouth of the street, an angry yell suddenly erupted. “The idiot killed someone!”
The earlier indifferent people of Jingdou suddenly became, in this moment, public-spirited and talented subjects. Some went to report to officials while some went to inform the parents. There were some middle-aged men who took out wooden sticks and mops in preparation on beating the crazed idiot into the ground.
They were all neighbors. They could not watch as the children suffered such hardships. The mother of the child who fainted threw herself over her child’s body, crying loudly as she viciously cursed at Wu Zhu.
Wu Zhu stared coldly at all of this, still not understanding. If it was a game, why was the woman crying? If it was not a game, why didn’t they stop the children earlier? He knew he couldn’t truly be injured. Did these humans also know what he wasn’t normal? Were they not worried about his safety when the children were throwing stones at him earlier?
In the rain, the silent Wu Zhu faintly learned something. He came to understand slightly that humans’ emotions and choices were not related to reason. They were divided by family and likes and dislikes.
In the world at present, Wu Zhu believed that the person closest to him should be that young man called Fan Xian while he was most disgusted by that Royal Palace. Thus, he would no longer acknowledge these people who seemed to have gone crazy. Very intently, he smoothed the black cloth on his face free of any wrinkles and placed his hand on the metal rod by his side. He then stepped toward the Royal Palace in the distance.
Someone tried to kill this idiot, this blind man, this crazy man, but fainted to the ground with his wooden stick broken in two. In the heavy rain, with an outfit of cloth and a straw hat, Wu Zhu very easily walked out of the circle of angry Jingdou commoners, leaving behind just a group of people on the ground crying out in pain.
Wu Zhu did not kill anyone. It’s not that he didn’t dare to. It was just a habit formed over hundreds of thousands of years that made him not think of killing. When he thought of it, he would kill.
When the bailiffs of the Jingdou government reached the intersection beside Tianhe Avenue, the crazy man who had brought down a bunch of people had long disappeared without a trace. Looking at the people crying out in pain in the rain, the head bailiff sucked in his breath after he looked around quickly and wondered which ace it was that acted so efficiently. Why would a powerful warrior condescend to have something against these commoners who didn’t even own a weapon? The head bailiff felt his body grow cold. Not because of the injuries these people suffered but because of the blind man who had disappeared without a trace. If it really was as these people said, then that person was an idiot, then, without question, this idiot was the most powerful and crazy martial arts practitioner in history.
Allowing such a person to run free in Jingdou made the head bailiff scared just thinking about it. He immediately had a subordinate inform the Jingdou yamen. He then nervously asked a person beside him, “Where did the crazy man run off to?”
“I think he went toward the square,” the person replied in a trembling voice. He gritted his teeth and said, “The person has stared at the Royal Palace for two days, he probably has a problem.”
The head bailiff did not need to ask anymore. He also understood that this person wanted to kill the crazy man. Any matter that involved the Royal Palace always ended in death. Hearing that the martial crazy had headed straight for the Royal Palace, the head bailiff actually felt himself relax slightly. After all, there were many aces in the Royal Palace, and it was strictly guarded by imperial soldiers. No matter how powerful the martial crazy was, he could only be beaten to the ground. Even if Sir Fan junior of legend returned, could he charge into the Royal Palace?
The rain fell without end. Wu Zhu did not know how urgently the commoner in the street far behind him wanted him dead. He also didn’t know that the head bailiff had already decided his death sentence. He just wore the straw hat, held the metal rod, and walked step by step with unusual steadiness and decisiveness toward the square of the Royal Palace.
The new cloth shoes Fan Xian had brought him in Northern Qi’s Langya County had long stepped into water and gotten wet. With each step he took, a drum seemed to ring out in his head, striking against his heart and soul. Ye Qingmei. Chen Pingping. Fan Xian. These seemingly distant and also very close names rang out endlessly.
With each step, he vaguely remembered something. Although it wasn’t clear, it was particularly intimate. For example, this Royal Palace in the icy rain, Jingdou that was filled with familiarity, and glass that he made were all so familiar.
Similarly, as he came step by step closer to the square of the Royal Palace, the disgust in Wu Zhu’s heart toward this Royal Palace grew with each step. This Royal Palace that towered majestically in the pouring rain was unshakeable, rigid, and disgusting.
Jingdou was a once familiar place. The Royal Palace was also a once familiar place, Wu Zhu thought to himself.
He walked along in the rain through places of old, with the road-blocking rain scattering all over the ground. The road was quiet, and the people were lonely. This perplexing rain made one too lazy to hide from it.
It was a person blocking Wu Zhu’s path not the rain. It was a squad of armored imperial soldiers filled with murderous intent. The rainwater struck against the armor of the Qing military elites with soft clinks. It struck against their severe expressions but could not trigger any change in emotion.
The expression on Wu Zhu’s face also didn’t change. His body still leaned forward slightly, allowing the straw hat on his head to block out the rain pouring down from the sky. His feet did not slow or accelerate. He just moved steadily at the speed he was used to toward the center of the square.
Wu Zhu wanted to enter the Palace to have a look, so he had to pass through the front gates of the Royal Palace. He had to go through this square in the pouring rain. For him, this was unusually simple logic. He cared nothing at all if there was someone there to stop him. His unusually simple logic appeared unusually indifferent and daring to the soldiers responsible for the safety of the Royal Palace.
The news of Fan Xian’s return to the capital had come out last night from the Ye manor. By now, all of the people in the upper echelon of the Qing Kingdom knew about this shocking piece of information. As of last night, the Royal Palace had begun a strict and severe search of everyone that went in. The level of defense had been raised to a level of tension that had never been reached before.
Even the day when the Commander of the Jingdou Garrison escorted old Director Chen of the Overwatch Council back to the capital the security around the Royal Palace hadn’t been as strict as it was now. This was because everyone knew why Fan Xian had returned. He would certainly try to enter the Palace to carry out another assassination. The Qing court would certainly not give the traitor a second chance.
The Imperial Army’s patrol work had been extended outward by an extra third. The heavy rain and cold and wet sensation made everyone raise their alertness. They also felt waves of fear because they didn’t know where Fan Xian was or when he would make his way into the Palace.
The little disturbance at the split in Tianhe Avenue was actually noticed by the Imperial Army. However, the soldiers responsible for the safety of the outer boundary did not think too much of a martial crazy’s abrupt incident.
When this completely blind martial crazy wearing a straw hat suddenly demonstrated a startling strength and began to move silently toward the Royal Palace, the imperial soldiers finally found it a bit strange.
When the right foot of the straw hat wearing blind man stepped into a puddle of water on the stones of the Royal Palace square, the Imperial Army gave their first warning and began to gather their forces in preparation of capturing him.
However, it was as if Wu Zhu had not heard the warning that would have been sufficient to make most people in the world feel a chill in their heart. He continued to walk steadily and silently under the warning gazes of the imperial generals and cold and murderous gazes of the imperial soldiers on the square. He walked forward steadily step by step.
He was thusly warned three times. Still, it seemed that the cloth-clothed blind man walking in the pouring rain did not hear or see anything. Step by step, he walked toward the center of the square, toward the front gate of the Royal Palace.
Even at this time, the imperial soldiers still thought this strange person was a crazy man and did not connect him to an assassin. In the eyes of the people, no matter how powerful an assassin was, even someone as powerful as Sigu Jian was in the past, they would not choose such a public way to carry out an assassination. Surrounded by tens of thousands of imperial soldiers and under the lofty walls of the Royal Palace, no one would be able to break through so many people, enter the Royal Palace, and point their sword at the Emperor.
That is, unless there really was a god in this world.
Thus, the imperial soldiers thought that this strange blind man was perhaps just a very unlucky crazy man. To suddenly charge into the forbidden land in front of the Royal Palace at such a tense time, all that greeted him could only be death.
Wu Zhu continued to walk as if he didn’t see the line of imperial soldiers standing in his way in front of him. The sky full of wind and rain continued to wreak havoc. The endless and boundless rainwater was like enormous waves on the East Sea, swallowing up his lonely figure but unable to truly swallow it because he walked out again from the rain.
“Kill.” An Imperial Army officer narrowed his eyes and felt a bone-piercing chill emanating from the body of the blind man not far in the distance. The blind man had already entered into forbidden territory. There was a sense of danger that removed all hesitation from the official as he gave the order.
With a scrape, the imperial soldiers in front of Wu Zhu uniformly unsheathed their knives. In an instant, the light from the knives illuminated the dark sky in front of the Royal Palace.
With any showy sword light, Wu Zhu just steadily pulled out the metal rod at his side and struck out. In the ruthless rain, his speed did not seem very fast. Furthermore, the strength of his rod did not see very extraordinary. However, each time the metal rod moved out, the tip accurately pierced through the throat of an imperial soldier.
It was accurate, clean, and steady. When Wu Zhu attacked, it was very simple. But, when simplicity was taken to the extreme, it became a whole different realm.
From the time when the word “kill” let the mouth of the officer to when Wu Zhu killed all of the imperial soldiers in front of him was just the time of a few breaths. Amidst the sky full of rain, a line of bodies fell behind Wu Zhu. Just as the blood surged out of the throats of the bodies, it was washed away by the rainwater.
In the process of killing the people, Wu Zhu’s speed did not change at all. His two feet continued to move through the rain at the same steady face as if he had not faced any obstruction at all. All along the way, he walked through the rain and killed people.
This was not the carefreeness of an extraordinary ace. It did not give the imperial soldiers around the Royal Palace the sense of an ace taking a leisurely stroll. They just felt very cold because the blind man had attacked so steadily, to the point that it was incomparably indifferent.
The imperial soldiers didn’t even know how their colleagues had died to that metal rod. There was not an aura around the blind man in the straw hat sufficient to break through heaven and earth. His attack was also not very crafty or sinister.
It was as if there was a layer of heavenly chill covering the metal rod. In the rain, it easily calculated all of the angles and all of the possibilities and then picked the most logical gap and went forward.
It looked simple. In reality, it was absolutely shocking. It made all who saw this sight completely lose any confidence as the enemy.
The officer watched as his subordinates died to the hand of the straw hat-wearing blind man without even a sound. His entire body felt a chill that was even colder than the endlessly falling autumn rain around him.
Wu Zhu approached him. The officer suddenly felt that the cloth clothing the other person was wearing, which had become darker in the water, was not a normal piece of clothing. The metal rod he was holding was not a normal weapon. The other person was not a human. Instead, he was a strange creature that coalesced all of the mystery in the world and breathed in the coldness between heaven and earth.
The officer’s entire body trembled. He bravely pulled out his knife. He then saw a metal rod entering under his chin and being withdrawn again like a flash of lightning.
It was too fast. Why had it seemed to slow earlier? Why couldn’t he have dodged it? The officer carried these questions with him as he fell heavily to the ground in the rain. His fear-filled eyes were gradually submerged by the water. He then saw a soaked pair of cloth shoes walk by his head.
Even at this time, the feet in the cloth shoes remained steady.
The rain continued to fall, and the imperial soldiers continued to die. The unknown fear brought by the straw hat-wearing killing god made the imperial soldiers responsible for the safety of the Royal Palace become very angry and brave as they advanced wave upon wave. However, these imperial soldiers could not even briefly halt Wu Zhu’s steady footsteps.
Wu Zhu lowered his head, turned his body, bent his knees, and calmly avoided all the weapons that could injure his body with a calmness and calculation that completely surpassed a mortal’s imagination. Then, he struck out with his metal rod, tearing through the curtain of autumn rain and the heavy encirclement in front of him.
He just wanted to enter the Royal Palace and have a look. Because of this reason, people endlessly fell at his side, fresh blood endlessly dyed the curtain of rain, people died endlessly and fell in the rain, and there were endless cries of surprise, tragic yells, and muffled grunts.
He was like a heavenly emissary who had fallen, for some reason, to the mortal world. Using the calmest method, and the most terrifying method, he began to reap the guards by the Emperor’s side, those mortal and humble lives.
There were fewer and fewer people in front of Wu Zhu while there became more and more dead bodies on the ground.
Abruptly, WU Zhu stopped in the center of the square in front of the Royal Palace. There was not a single person still standing by his side. All around him, hundreds of imperial soldiers were curled up in pools of blood. No matter how violent the autumn rain was, it could not clean off all this blood in an instant. He slowly raised his head and looked at the Royal Palace.
The imperial soldiers on the palace walls had drawn their bows and notched their arrows. A dense mass of feathered arrows were already aimed at Wu Zhu in front of the palace gates. At any moment, tens of thousands of arrows would fire in unison.
Wu Zhu just stood in the bloody water. He raised his head and looked at the familiar but strange Royal Palace through the black cloth. He looked at the terrifying arrows, but the face uncovered by the black cloth remained calm, without any hint of fear. He slowly raised his right arm and extended the metal rod in his hand into the pouring rain, allowing the rainwater to wash away the traces of blood on it. Rain splattered onto the metal rod.
The imperial soldiers who had lost their wits at the killing by the metal rod obeyed orders and retreated behind the palace gates. The cinnabar red palace gates were tightly closed. Other than the bodies lying on the ground in the expansive square, there was the perilous rain and the blind man wearing the straw hat standing alone.
Everyone up and down the palace walls who saw this scene all felt a chill from the depths of their hearts. Who exactly was this blind man who was so unimaginably powerful?
Gong Dian, the pale-faced Commander of the Imperial Army, stood on top of the palace walls and observed the blind man standing alone in the rain. His body trembled slightly as he remembered the woman and her young servant from many years ago. A fear that he had never felt before rose from the depths of his heart. He knew who the person was and had informed the Emperor in the Palace at the first opportunity. He had no idea if the 10,000 imperial soldiers he had could stop that person.
Wu Zhu had come. Wu Zhu had finally come. He was here to take revenge for the mistress! These words that made Gong Dian’s heart tremble echoed endlessly in his mind.
Wu Zhu, who stood alone in the wind and rain and was using a metal rod to challenge the entire powerful Qing Kingdom, did not have these thoughts. He just suddenly muttered to himself, “The person who lives in here is Xiao Lizi, I think.”
He stood alone in the wind and rain. A thousand enemies could not sway him from his goal.