Early summer nights were not too chilly but when Hua Zhu Yu stood atop the roof, she felt that the night breeze was indeed cold as the coldness steadily seeped into her bones.
The sound of the drum signaled that it was midnight. She gazed into the distance, only to see darkness and the shimmering stars above. Under the cover of nightfall, the majestic red roof tiles and lanterns of the palace, in addition to the bright stars, lit an extended path towards the sky that was cold but solemn.
Looking around, she made certain that there was no one else before jumping down and dashing over the eaves. The location of each palace courtyard, even the secret underground chambers, she had secretly investigated and has since memorized by heart. As a result, she left the palace completely undetected.
After she was outside the palace, Hua Zhu Yu circulated her internal force to soar across the various rooftops and dash through the narrow alleyways. Her figure flew pass elegantly, as fast as the flow of a waterfall.
She had rented a house near the palace. The house was very old and the stone walls were covered in green moss. She jump over a flight of stairs and entered the room. When she came back out, she had changed into a white outfit and a silver mask was covering her face.
She knew that the man who had sung during the banquet was a court official named Lui Mo. Therefore wanting to find his residence was not hard. From here to there was not far and based on her skills, she had arrive only after a few moments.
The Liu Residence was also located in Jinyu Fang, but his residence was not large. It was not a grand and opulent looking house, on the contrary, it looked quite ordinary.
Hua Zhu Yu headed straight towards the back courtyard while running along the walls.
With the moon overhead, the humid air only contained the fragrant scent of jasmine flowers. Hua Zhu Yu dashed through the corridors and towards the courtyard. Inside the courtyard she spotted a tall tree. She leapt onto the tree and looked pass the leaves and branches towards the slightly open window.
The sight she was greeted with shook her. She sprung down from the tree like a nightingale and entered through the slightly opened window.
The Lui Mo who had passionately sang at tonight’s banquet was now leaning against the table, his blood pooling on the floor with a short dagger plunged in his back. Besides Lui Mo were the corpses of his body guards. The looks on their faces when they met their death were quite pitiful. The perpetrator’s sword moves were too malicious, having killed them only after a few strokes.
Lui Mo had yet to take his last breath when he saw Hua Zhu Yu enter with a mask on her face. His eyes widened and he gasped for air as he whispered, “ General, is that you, general….”
Hua Zhu Yu squatted down in front of him and narrowed her eyes. “That’s right, I’m asking you, did you serve under marquise Pingxi as a general?”
Lui Mo spit out a glob of blood, lowered his head said,” Houye told me to find the opportunity while in the Hu army ..… to hand this personally to general!”
When he spoke he had taken out a balled up white silk cloth that was soaked in blood and handed it to Hua Zhu Yu.
Hua Zhu Yu retrieved the cloth and lowered her voice to ask, “Who did this to you? Do you know?”
But Lui Mo was unable to answer, his eyes began to droop and he was no longer breathing. From outside the courtyard, the sound of approaching footsteps could be heard. Hua Zhu Yu lowered her head, then left through the window and leapt onto the tree.
A servant announced in a lowered voice, “General, Left Chancellor Ji came for a visit!”