|Author: Zhou Nan Wood||Original Source: 8kana|
|Translator: CatatoPatch||English Source: Re:Library|
It was said, there existed a river in this world, one that you couldn’t see. Only in the darkest of nights, and with a sliver of moonlight aiding you, would you be able to catch a glimpse of it. By following this river to its end, you would find them there: with their blade wires as dark as night, the most vicious assassins to ever roam the land.
This river was known as the Hades.
And they were known as Hades too.
This day, the river was visited by a slight drizzle. A purple robed man, hand holding his paper umbrella aloft, softly proceeded along its muddy shores. Step by step, he continued onwards without end. Finally, after walking for heavens knows how long, the rain began to let up and a ray of light slowly broke through the clouds. It was then that he stopped.
A tall, lean man dressed in black robes stood at the end of the river, seemingly waiting for him.
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The purple robed man closed his umbrella, having just realised that the rain had stopped. He looked towards the black robed man and asked, “You are?”
The black robed man had a pale countenance to him. As he stood there in the shadows, his face seemed to blend into the background, and his voice came out sounding just as bland. “Su Muyu of the Su family.”
The River Hades was split into three main families: the Su family specialising in weapon arts, the Xie family specialising in internal and fist arts, and finally the Mu family specialising in medical and secret arts. Above the family members stood the Patriarch. Below him, there were the three family heads of the respective families. As for the current head of the Su family, he was a seemingly young fellow.
The purple robed man hesitated but asked in the end, “You’re this generation’s Su Family Head?”
Su Muyu nodded but said no more as he led the purple robed man onwards. He was a reticent person but that didn’t dampen the purple robed man’s curiosity. “Su Muyu, I’ve heard of your name before. You’re the most famous killer in this generation’s Su family, and also the second person in history to ever try and leave the organization. I also heard that you became the head of the personal kill squad of the Patriarch, the Puppets. And once the current Patriarch took up his position, you became the family head of Su?”
Su Muyu paid him no heed, but he suddenly stuck his out and gazed at the sky. “It’s raining again.” Having said that, he opened up the umbrella in his hands. It was a very large, very ornately decorated paper umbrella. The moment it opened up, it covered both of them in an instant.
Seeing no need to trouble himself with his own umbrella, the purple robed man merely followed under Su Muyu’s umbrella.
Finally, Su Muyu spoke up. “You seem to know a fair bit about us.”
The purple robed man laughed. “To do business with you all, I naturally have to understand your organization. I’ve heard that there are eighteen longswords under this umbrella. When your killing intent is exposed, these eighteen lethal weapons will fan out from underneath like a spray of rainwater. I wish I could see that sight too.”
“I’m sure you don’t.” Su Muyu revealed a rare smile. “Also, it’s dangerous to know too much about us.”
“I think… you know me.” The purple robed fingered the longsword at his waist.
Su Muyu shook his head. “Perhaps the Patriarch knows, everyone else in Hades is just a blade. To us, there are only two kinds of people in this world: the client, and the client’s prey.”
The purple robed man nodded. “I wonder if this offer of mine, will it be enough to hire assassins like you?”
Suddenly, Su Muyu stopped walking and looked up. “We’re here.”
Standing before them was an extravagant looking building: the Court of Fallen Stars.
The purple robed man chuckled silently, to which Su Muyu asked, “What are you laughing at?”
“How many people in this world have ever had the opportunity to step into River Hades’s Court of Fallen Stars?”
Standing outside the court were two people. One sat on the stairs smoking a pipe, slowly puffing out smoke rings as he eyed them. The other stood there, back straight as an arrow, hands wielding a blade with a sharpness that was only matched by his gaze.
Su Muyu led the purple robed man onwards. The seated man lightly nodded at Su Muyu while giving his companion a seemingly indifferent gaze. “Now, do you still wish to step inside the Court of Fallen Stars?”
The rain seemed to pour in that very instant.
Su Muyu closed his umbrella, and the purple robed man stuck his hand out, only to find out the downpour was actually just a drizzle. Yet when he closed his eyes, the booming sounds of a full blown storm seemed to rattle in his ears. His eyes went wide with shock. The smoking man tapped his pipe on the staircase lightly, then smiled. “If you can’t figure it out, then don’t.”
The purple robed man calmed himself down, then walked up the staircase step by step, yet every step felt like his legs were made out of lead. He could feel something envelope him. The outside was calm and serene, but within this dome enveloping him, it felt like the winds tore at his skin. He calmed his heart once more, resisting that heart pounding urge to draw his sword as he walked up to the entrance of the court.
The hawk-eyed man gently pulled open the door for him. Within was complete darkness, save for a few motes of candlelight in the background. The purple robed man and Su Muyu both stepped inside at the same time. As they did so, Su Muyu took the opportunity to close the door; the stormy sounds immediately vanished -this building was completely soundproof.
Sword in hand, Su Muyu proceeded onwards slowly. With each step he took, a candle would light up by the side, all the way till the very end where the entire room was now lit up. Su Muyu found a spot on the left side then sat down. On his left sat an old man in long robes. The old man had his head down the entire time while he gently ran a dagger across his fingers. Old though he may be, his fingers seemed strangely pale like a newborn’s. As for the right of Su Muyu, there was a charming lady of roughly thirty years of age. She, on the other hand, seemed more interested in the purple robed man than her companion. Her eyes seemed to ripple in the candlelight with delight.
“The Xie Family Head, Xie Qidao of Seven Blades. The Mu Family Head, Mu Yumo of the Black Rain.” The purple robed man slowly recited their names.
Finally, positioned above all three of them was a person veiled behind a thick curtain. Naturally, this was the current head of the River Hades, the Patriarch.
“You know us well.” The patriarch was the first to answer. His voice wasn’t old, in fact, it sounded full of energy.
The purple robed man nodded his head. “If I didn’t do my homework, would I dare step into the Court of Fallen Stars to do business?”
“Since you know us, then you should already know this: doing business with us is a highly dangerous affair.” Mu Yumo laughed as she said that, her voice almost demonic.
“There are some things in life that merely get more interesting the more danger that is involved.” The purple robed man slowly answered.
“You are right.” The Patriarch suddenly stood up, pulled open the blinds and slowly descended. His silhouette was slender and tall. He wore a black cloak which obscured his face from view. “So you’ve brought us an interesting matter then?”
“I want that river which once could only flow in the darkness to flow into Revelation!” The purple robed man eyed the slowly approaching Patriarch and said in a low voice.
The Patriarch paused. “Even though your letter already stated so, I still wish to hear it from your lips: who are you?”
“The Sixth Prince of Beili, Xiao Chuhe.”
Once the most favored prince of Emperor Mingde. The person everyone thought was going to be the crown prince. The prince who, during the Rebellion of Prince Langyu, was exiled and cast out, and despite being reinstated soon after, refused to return to Revelation. The Sixth Prince, Xiao Chuhe!
The Patriarch burst out laughing. “Good!”