Nightfall - Chapter 423

Published at 9th of September 2018 12:05:06 AM

Chapter 423: Raining Street and Burning People

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The night had come, and the light rain came again.

A slim middle-aged officer holding an umbrella walked on the rainy street. Given the color of his uniform, his rank was not low, but he had no following subordinates, except for a solemn general who was following him silently.

The soldiers and lower officials at the Western Gate stood quietly under the roof. Their eyes moved with the footsteps of two officials on the street. No one stepped forward, and no one looked surprised.

That middle-aged official was Huang Xing. He was the commander defending the city gate. He was responsible for managing all the gates of both the entire Chang'an City and the imperial city. The name of the general who followed him was Yu Shuizhu, who was vice general of the city gate's defending troops.

Huang Xing was known for his diligence and sincerity. Since he took over as the city gate's commander, he would choose a gate to inspect every morning and dusk. He would not bring any subordinate officials with him other than Yu Shuizhu. He had been doing that for years in any weather.

The people at the gates of Chang'an had long been accustomed to this. Only when the two officers finished the inspection, could they leave. This had become an unwritten rule.

Based on the patterns of past years, Huang Xing would inspect the Western gate today.

After the inspection of the Western gate, Huang Xing confirmed that there were no problems and he nodded. Vice general Yu Shuizhu looked back at the officers who looked tense and waved his hand coldly. The officers knew that their day had finally ended, and they left in relief.

Standing on the rainy street outside the West Gate office, Huang Xing tilted his umbrella and looked up at the rainy sky. He felt that his legs were a little bit tired and said, "I've become old."

Yu Shuizhu said, "My lord, you can still serve the imperial court for 30 years."

Huang Xing said, "You have patrolled with me around the city gates every day over the years. Every day you have to return very late. I know your wife has been dissatisfied. It was really hard for you."

After being silent for a moment, he replied, "My life was saved by my lord. I should accompany you to patrol every day. Even sacrificing my life for you is my obligation too."

Today, the two well-known cleanhanded officers were once troop comrades. Their fates were changed by a tragic incident and they had been closely linked together since then.

If Huang Xing didn't make up his mind to go over to Prince Li Peiyan with Yu Shuizhu, he may have died with the general already. Even if he did not die, he would probably be exiled by the imperial court. If the Prince didn't protect him, how could he have the glory and burden of patrolling Chang'an's gates?

Unfortunately, they were remained influenced by the event that year. Although they were diligent and honest, they could not be promoted anymore. However, they were still rich.

Huang Xing looked at Chang'an City in the light rain. After a long silence, he suddenly said with emotion, "It seems that we went through Western Gate like when we returned to Chang'an with the general."

Yu Shuizhu's expression became slightly serious.

Whenever they patrolled the city gate, they only talked about family matters and anecdotes of the court. Sometimes they also reminisced their military career. However, they never mentioned the general.

They did not want to remember that tragic event and did not want to recall their role in that matter, perhaps because of guilt or fear.

Yu Shuizhu did not understand why his lord would mention this and said in a whisper, "According to the rules of the court, we should have entered the city from the Eastern Gate. Later, this matter was also taken out as evidence of guilt."

Huang Xing sighed and said no more.

The rain in the twilight was getting heavier and heavier. Locals had already returned to their homes. The subordinate officials of the City gate defender's office had also returned to their warm homes. The vigil watchmen were hiding in the Gate or in the office. The wet streets were empty and quiet. Only the two officers were standing in the rain and recalled past issues.

The two carriages waited silently on the rainy street. They were the carriages sent by their homes. The stewards had gotten used to their pattern, and did not come to remind them.

At this moment, they suddenly heard someone walking towards them on the rainy street. The footsteps were very gentle and stable. But if it still could be heard when the person stepped into a puddle.

It was a young man in black and carrying a black umbrella.

Strangely, the young man did not open the umbrella but allowed the rain to fall on his body. His clothes were already soaked and the rain fell along his hair.

Huang Xing looked at the young man in black who came towards them and slowly raised his eyebrows.

He just felt that this young man in black was a bit strange but he did not feel any danger from him. He did not think that anything bad would happen.

This was because they were in Chang'an City where it was safe. They were at the heavily guarded Western Gate. Whether those brave and despotic female soldiers or those powerful cultivators, they would become humble and calm when facing the dignified and powerful military force of the Tang Empire.

Indeed, nothing happened.

When the young man met them, he took a look at Huang Xing's uniform and the light armor worn by Yu Shuizhu. He saluted and then walked out of the long street.

Huang Xing noticed that when the young man in black was saluting, his look was not of awe, but a very complicated emotion. He said with a smile, "We think that this young man who doesn't use his umbrella is weird, and he would also find us odd, two officers quietly standing in the rain."

Yu Shuizhu said, "Indeed, let's go back."

Huang Xing suddenly felt something in his hand, and he found a note in it.

He did not read what was written on that slip of paper, but turned back and found that the young man had already disappeared from the street.

Yu Shuizhu also noticed this. His brows suddenly twisted, and said heavily, "Being able to put a note in your hand silently, that young man is remarkable."

Huang Xing was silent for a moment and he opened the note in his hand.

The note was yellowish and it seemed to be very common, but also very uncommon. The words were probably written in a mixture of cinnabar and another material. It was red like blood.

Some lines were painted on the upper end of the yellow paper note. The lines together looked like a single word, but neither Huang Xing nor Yu Shuizhu could recognize the word.

They knew the words under it, because those were normal texts.

"I come from the General's Mansion, and I will take your life."

Their expression changed drastically, looking so terrified that they were like the gloomy and rainy night. Huang Xing's fingertips which were holding the note trembled slightly.

The words 'General's Mansion' on the yellow paper reminded them of those memories that were deeply buried in the deepest parts of their hearts. Those bloody memories were already blurred. Today, Huang Xing watched the Chang'an City in the rain, and they remembered some. Now because of this note, all those memories came back.

They were both very clear that the general referred on the paper note was not referring to Xu Shi, the Defender-general of the State, nor the great general, Xiahou. It referred to the Xuanwei General, Lin Guangyuan.

Huang Xing sighed and said, "I sensed something and it's becoming true."

Yu Shuizhu said with a grave expression, "I will go to the Prince's Palace."

Huang Xing nodded.

They separated in the middle of the rainy street, holding umbrellas and heading to their carriages.

Official boots stepped on the water in the street and made a splashing sound.

At the beginning, the rhythm of the sound was very calm and stable.

They walked on the rainy street faster and faster.

This proved that their true feelings at this time were not as relaxed as how they looked.

Yu Shuizhu walked quickly, the expression on his face became more and more grim and severe. The fear in his heart was replaced by anger. He only wanted to quickly report to the Prince that someone survived in that event.

The sound of footsteps suddenly became chaotic.

His left foot stepped into water, and the sound he made became much deeper.

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Because his foot could no longer be lifted.

His feet fell into the puddle.

There was an invisible sharp thin line on the ground of the rainy street. It cut his trousers, his flesh and his bones. His feet fell off.

But it was not an invisible sharp thin line, but countless intangible sharp lines.

Yu Shuizhu's knees were cut into two pieces, and next his entire thigh.

Then his light armor was split into countless pieces.

He was cut into countless pieces of fresh meat.

Like ripe fruit, they all fell into the water making splattering sounds.



Huang Xing holding the paper umbrella walked as fast as he could towards his carriage.

The oilpaper umbrella in his hand was very old and his face was very pale.

He did not want to die.

Although his umbrella was very old, and the entire city of Chang'an thought he was honest, he had in fact stolen a lot of money these years. He wanted to survive to enjoy all the things money could buy.

Although daily inspections of the city gate were very tiring, in fact, he enjoyed the fear of his subordinates when he inspected and the admiration of local citizens. He wanted to be alive and enjoy these.

He thought he was a landscape of Chang'an City and he wanted to live for a long time.

At this moment, he heard a splashing sound behind him.

The sound of meat pieces falling into the water was different from the sound made by stepping into the water. It was very clear in the sound of falling rain.

Huang Xing did not look back. He dared not to turn back.

His hand holding a paper umbrella trembled and he looked at the carriage not far and the steward bowing to him. His pale face showed a desperate look.

The yellow strip of paper he held tightly in his hand was wet with rain and sweat.

Suddenly, a bright flame came out of his hands.

Another fire sprouted from his officer uniform.

Another fire sprouted out of his wrinkles on his old cheeks.

Numerous fires, spitting out from the deepest part of his body, instantly melted his hair, eyebrows, lashes, skin, fats, muscles, and bones. The fire burned everything.

The long street in this rainy night was dark and damp.

The person under the umbrella was burning.

After a moment, the paper umbrella fell down to the ground and landed on the rain-covered street.

Huang Xing who had been under the umbrella had become ash silently.

The umbrella slowly rolled in the water and the handle was slightly charred.

In a lane not far, Ning Que stood quietly in the rain.

Maybe because of the violent mood changes or the cold from the spring rain, his face looked pale and tired.


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