Chapter 62 – To Forgive
Tsukichi Kaoru groaned quietly, as an acute pain came from her lower abdomen. Even though being able to endure pain was an important part of a ninja’s skill set, she had been taken by surprise. During the incident at the lumber factory, even though the boy had killed everyone and chopped off their heads, when they were at the hospital, Jiaming had kept up an extremely innocent and seemingly-weak young boy image in front of the two girls. She also… she also knew that he would be angry, but did not expect that it would be expressed in such an intense and decisive way.
Am I going to die?
The next moment, Jiaming grabbed her hair and flung her backwards. The blade exited her abdomen and the pain intensified as her bleeding increased. She fell to the ground, subconsciously pressed down on her wound to try stop the bleeding, and curled up defensively, quietly saying, “I’m… I'm… sorry…”
She continued bleeding out, laying on the ground curled up in a fetal position, gritting her teeth and making no noises at all. After a while, Jiaming crouched down beside her and caressed her pale, porcelain-like cheek with the back of the bloodied blade.
“Does it hurt?”
Kaoru faintly shuddered, “...It hurts.”
“What makes me hate people the most is when their plans happen to affect the people closest to me. Lingjing and Shasha are both passionate about helping other people. I know that Lingjing was the one that had offered to teach you martial arts today, which is why you're not dead.”
Kaoru struggled to get up from the ground, clutching her bleeding wound, and staggered back to her residence behind Jiaming. They entered her room on the second floor of the apartment. Jiaming directly opened Kaoru’s suitcase and retrieved a first-aid kit. She propped herself up against the wall by the side of her bed, looking to be on the verge of collapse, before Jiaming said, “Sit down,” and she slowly sunk down on her bed with her back against the headboard.
Jiaming used the strong beam of a flashlight to illuminate Kaoru's abdominal wound. As her night dress was torn open, and she was only wearing a white pair of underwear in between her slender legs, most of her milky bosom was showing. However, the two of them were not people that placed a heavy importance on those kinds of things. Jiaming gave Kaoru the scabbard of her kodachi to bite down on. He then proceeded to stop the bleeding, disinfect and sew the wound up while talking.
“I’ve never taught anyone before, and I don’t know how to teach. I’ll do what I can, as long as you come when there’s nothing going on. Of course, I also can’t guarantee that you’ll learn anything or whether you will return to Japan in one piece. If you don’t have any problems with that, then I naturally do not have any problems either.
“Since Lingjing and Shasha are that enthusiastic to teach you, you can try and learn something from them. I will also teach them some things through you. Also, since Lingjing wants to learn English from you, I will leave it to you.
“But, you are not allowed to report this situation to your family or anyone from Takamagahara. Remember this one wound today. If one day, for some reason, your family attempts to include me in their plans, I can guarantee Peroka will not even need to lift a hand for at least half the people in the Tsukichi clan to die. Also, watch this closely. Take a good look at your wound.”
The one blade wound inflicted by Jiaming was extremely accurate. It passed through the gap between the internal organs and did not wound them. However, it caused an unbearable pain when the combination of being stabbed, pulling the blade out, and then sewing it up occurred. Especially so due to the fact that Jiaming deliberately did not take extra care to be gentle. Kaoru tightly bit onto the scabbard and watched her wound. Her face was of a pale, horrific white color, and it seemed like she was about to faint, but forced herself to listen to Jiaming’s words.
As to Jiaming, he was completely focused on the young maiden’s lower abdomen. As a seasoned assassin who had encountered countless situations of life and death, he was extremely experienced in sewing up wounds, possibly even more experienced than surgeons. It was particularly interesting to suture wounds in the lower abdomen because once the needle and thread were applied, the muscles in the wounded area would tremble non-stop and something similar to ripples would appear.
However, if it was a strong and brawny man, their ability to withstand pain was higher and the trembling muscles would not usually be so apparent. However, a woman’s response was a lot more obvious, and Kaoru was someone that just became sixteen. It was the first time Jiaming had treated someone that did not have a trained female assassin’s muscles. Kaoru’s skin was soft and smooth, and when Jiaming pierced her skin with the needle, the muscles in her lower abdomen trembled interestingly.
This kind of trembling usually occurred when a woman was in the midst of her orgasm. This interest in these type of things was one of the bad taste that Jiaming had developed in his previous career as an assassin. Having Kaoru watch her wound as he stitched her up caused her to be even tenser.
“Ok, your wound isn’t too serious, you can remove the stitches and apply the medicine on your own later. The ointment from your family is quite good, as to whether it’ll leave a scar or not, it’ll depend on your karma… now go sleep…”
He applied the ointment after he finished suturing up her wound. When he finished talking, Kaoru finally closed her eyes. He wrapped gauze around her waist a few times, adjusted her sleepwear and then covered her with the blanket. He then left her apartment, cleaned up the blood stains left behind along the way and returned home.
The interesting thing was that based on his past personality, he would have chosen to kill Tsukichi Kaoru and cut off any loose ends. However, because she was backed by Amau Masanori, even if he had killed Kaoru and gotten rid of any and all the evidence, he believed that Masanori would have been able to discover that it was him who did it. At that time, the situation would become very troublesome, as he would not be at the peak of his form yet due to him still having the body of a growing child. After what he did though, he would at least be in control of the situation.
On the other hand, after having settled in his new life for the past six years and having experienced life with Lingjing and Shasha, he wanted to reduce the presence of anything that could affect his normal life. Given the fact that phoenixes existed in this world, there could be a heaven full of gods or buddhas as well, and they were watching people’s actions. The people that needed to be killed were already dead, and also… he wanted to continue down a path that was unlike his previous life. He did not want to accumulate ghosts that would haunt him.
The next few days passed by very peacefully.
After the extremely surprising result of the match, everyone saw Jiaming as a perverted, deceitful hoodlum. Every time he was at school, people would point at him and whisper behind his back. During classes, no one was willing to talk to him except for Kaoru. Dongfang Wan, who had originally supported him either due to the fact they were in the same class or to maintain the honor of her class monitor title, now looked at Jiaming with disdain, while Huang Haobing clearly drew the line with his “I don’t know you” attitude with Jiaming. This result was what Jiaming wanted.
On the other hand, Lingjing and Shasha also received bizarre looks and comments in their classes, but the effect was not as strong as it was with Jiaming. What was rather interesting was that within a week, a few female students contacted Lingjing and Shasha regarding purchasing some anti-wolf spray after Jiaming had used that time on the arena to advertise it. The purchase quantity was not large, but due to it being cheap to make, they made a profit of around five hundred kuai, which was about a month’s worth of groceries.
After a night of revelry, the two girls suggested that they open a stall to sell the anti-wolf spray, but Jiaming knew that there would not be a lot of business. After all, this spray already existed and he only improved it, so naturally, other people could replicate it as well. As the school was full of wealthy children that were not short on money, the only reason why they were buying these from Lingjing and Shasha was because it was a new and exciting item. After some time passed, they would lose their interest and there would no longer be any business. After some more discussion, the two girls, who were focused on finding ways to earn money to support their family, felt disappointed.
The truly troublesome matter amongst these was the news regarding Chen Guxia. Yahan told him that despite his despicable actions in the arena, Chen Guxia had not given up on the idea to teach him martial arts. It seemed that people who had experienced life and death situations were different from purely theoretical martial arts experts. However, Jiaming planned on rejecting him regardless of what Chen Guxia thought, and he believed that the latter would not force him to take him as his master.
On another matter, the day after Kaoru was wounded, she attended class like nothing had happened. For around a week, Kaoru, Jiaming, Lingjing, and Shasha were in a getting-to-know-each-other period. They would eat lunch together at noon as teaching martial arts had not yet started. Only after a period of time, Jiaming discovered that the girl had a particularly funny and embarrassing problem — she was never able to find any studying supplies.
Her pencil case, pens, rulers, a geometry compass, textbooks, notebooks… During that week she had misplaced them nearly every day. It was not that she did not bring them, she just could not find them. Jiaming could not help but be amazed how this type of girl could be an assassin. When he asked her about this, Kaoru confessed that during ninja training, she had never forgotten anything, and the only thing she would lose were her school supplies.
Although the girl said this with an indifferent tone, Jiaming could see a trace of embarrassment behind her blank expression. This kept happening ever since she was young, and it did not matter whether she was in China or Japan, she often was just unable to find them. When Jiaming thought about the fact that she would grow up to be a beauty and a top quality assassin, but with such an unexpected shortcoming, Jiaming could not help but want to burst out laughing.
Of course, this situation persisted over the next few days. Every time Kaoru looked through her desk to find something, Jiaming would pass over his school bag. Lingjing packed his bag for him, so he never had to worry about forgetting anything. When Kaoru found the item she needed and quietly thanked him, Jiaming would turn his head to the side and stifle his laughter. This helped break down the distance between the two of them and gradually pulled them closer together.
Around two weeks after school started, Lingjing actually managed to find a job at a nice western restaurant. Every night from eight to ten, she would play the piano for two hours there. She received a standard salary based on a work-study program criterion and earned around eight hundred every month. During this period of high unemployment rate when even adults had difficulty finding work, it was a miracle that Lingjing could actually find this job when she was not of age yet and had only learned piano for around a year.
1/2 chapters (next release is May 5).
I apologize in advance, but May's releases are definitely going to be erratic. I don't have any buffer at all and they're being edited once they're translated ahahah OTL