As poets would say, the more vibrant the flower is, the more potent its toxin.
High in the altitude of the overcast Mountain, lay Gui Hua City, the birthplace of the deadliest well-trained female assassins. Mysterious and deadly, their allure could not be denied. No one dared to venture there, even the bravest of the most courageous men.
Only lucky ones were chosen, but were they really the lucky ones? To be here, was to live. To be here, was to die. A place where one’s life perched on the precarious balance. A double edged sword which would never hesitate to cut the one who yielded it.
Within Di Sha Court, there could be only twelve assassins. Without the knowledge of Kung Fu, Di Sha depended on their good looks and wisdom in order to achieve a mission. Once a candidate was selected to become a Di Sha, she received a parasol.
Hidden within this untouched umbrella, was a blood bug. Every time a target was killed, the blood bug sucked the blood of the victim, yielding a Golden Lotus called Di Yong Jin Lian. Each Golden Lotus represented the owner’s completed mission. Once the tenth lotus appeared, so would the birth of a blood bug. The owner of the parasol’s Qi would enhanced greatly after using the element of the blood bug, and she will upgraded to Tian Sha status.
Unlike Di Sha Court, Tian Sha Court, which was located high on the mountainside, consisted of only four assassins with the high-level title of Tian Sha, a rule that was set eons ago. With the benefit of the blood bug enhancement, they could learn Kung Fu and have more freedom to roam as they pleased. Within limits of course, because there was no true freedom at Gui Hua City.
Since Wan Mei’s arrival as the Di Sha candidate, her identity was changed. Wan Mei was now her given name, that was bestowed by the Grandmaster of the Assassins, Chief Chalou, the second most powerful person of Gui Hua City. The other was Master Gong Zi, Li Si Yuan, Duke of Ning, the former’s Chief’s son. Without his recommendation, Wan Mei would have surely died, because Gui Hua City would never allow a person of no value waste their time and resources.
With her Shadow’s guidance, from dancing to self-defense, etiquette to swimming, Wan Mei was expected to master the various skills without fail. For the training was required to better prepare her for the missions to come. More diligent than she ever was , Wan Mei was determined to succeed in all subjects. After the last contest where she went par on par with Wan Xiang; Wan Mei still managed to succeed without fail, although her eyesight was compromised. Hardship was no stranger to Wan Mei because she was born from the slums. Destined to die at an early age, one might say. It was a miracle for someone like her to survive this long in this unforgiving world. But survive she must. No matter how short-lived her life would be, she couldn’t help but cherish each and every moment with Chang An by her side.
Chang An! Her Shadow! Her Person! The servant who was solely devoted to her, who promised to stand by her even if she failed; a death sentence for any assassin, and her Shadow. He would gladly fall into hell with a weak-willed Master such as her. Even in this world, Wan Mei could still give misfortune to others.
Her conviction was solid, especially when this solo mission might become their last. For their survival, Wan Mei had to succeed, until she came to regret her words. Hardship was a much easier task. Wan Mei had always followed Chang An’s instruction because, even when he was her Shadow, he was the real Master when it came to her ever growing lessons.
But this...this…What kind of training was this?
“Master, your hands should be here,” her Shadow instructed, guiding one arm around his neck, while the other lay on his chest. She sat across his folded thighs while Chang An’s other arm held her waist. His handsome face was too close as she held her breath. Her cheeks began to burn from his dark captivating eyes staring through her.
“Chang An?” Wan Mei gasped, finally able to take a breath.
“What is it?” her stoic faced Shadow asked. Was there anything to make him react?
“Can you explain to me again why we’re practicing this?” She almost squeaked when his hand began to glide over her thigh. Dressed only in her night clothes, the white thin silk was a poor barrier from the tingling sensation caused by the motion of his gentle touch. Wan Mei grasped his hand, despite her initial resolution. This was not at all what she had expected her lesson to be.
Who would have known that Chang An, with such a reserved demeanor, would become the Master of Seduction overnight? Undeterred by her response, her Shadow turned the hand that held his gracefully. His thumb began to massage the tension in her opened palm. Skillfully, the firm pressure loosened the tightly knotted muscles. When Wan Mei thought she could be at ease, Chang An surprised her again when he pressed her body against his.
“Chang An!” Wan Mei cried out, her body trembling. Ignoring her feeble resistance, he held her closer, as his lesson continued proficiently.
Lips to her ear, her Shadow lowered his voice huskily. “Listen carefully, Master,” Chang An rasped as his hypnotic voice began to enchant. “Seduction is one of the most sacred forms of a Killer’s technique. Without much effort, an assassin can get close to the most difficult sought after target. It is one of the many reasons why the Assassins within Gui Hua City are all female. A man’s killer aura can be detected easily, while female assassins could hide theirs beneath layers of false vulnerabilities.”
“We’re chosen because we look weak?” Angry at the statement, her senses returned. She pushed at him even harder. Her Shadow finally loosened his grip, but he did not let her go. Scowling at her Shadow, she tried to turn her head, but he caught her face.
Chang An then lifted her chin, and with a shake of his head, his tender voice weaved through the quietness of the night. “No, Master….Women are not weak. Only weak men believe they are. That’s why they are the most deserving prey among many.”
Wan Mei smiled, despite herself. Chang An always knew how to flatter her in the most unexpected ways, even when he didn’t seem to notice. But the lesson was far from finished. His hand traced along the side of her neck, and touched the edge of her silk robe with fingertips as light as a feather. Her indecisive hands gripped his body, unsure if she wanted to embrace him or push him away.
The growing blush had returned with several additional shades when Chang An leaned in, his head tilted. The lesson continued. “Yet, the technique is not something that could be easily mastered without the natural inborn talent that is instilled in one’s graces.” His hand began to trace over the edge of the white silk above her chest. The roughness of his fingers teased and wooed, luring her body to his will. Her heavy breath became rapid, as his eyes drew her closer to him. Like the stillness of calm water, his cool gaze remained. Yet desire lay in wait, under the serene surface, as his toneless voice grew heavy. “Unlike Miss Wan Qiang, who had to cultivate her charms with practice, Master Wan Mei was born with a natural charm, which made your target unaware of your hidden intention.”
“If I already have the natural skills…,” Wan Mei began in a quivering voice, resisting the urge to grasp the hand that continued to tease and provoke her senses. With a mixture of fear and excitement, her nerves resonated through her body, when he abruptly stopped.
“Naturally given skills would not save you when you falter during a mission,” her Shadow explained, with the slight hint of a chastising tone. A grim expression spread across his face as the verbal lesson continued. “Have you forgotten your first dual mission? You had failed to seduce Doctor Shen Mo. Your lack of knowledge of the flesh caused you to falter from the beginning. Your hesitation has allowed others to succeed while you remain on the sideline, thus giving Master Wan Qiang the upper hand.” After a short pause, he bluntly declared, “You are a virgin, are you not?”
Her widened doe eyes was answer enough.
“Without experience,” her Shadow began with a sigh,“the target would be like new silk slipping from your fingers. Carnal knowledge cannot be disguised. No matter how great of an actor one may think one is, an experience of the flesh cannot hide under pretenses.”
His tactic shifted. Chang An’s focus had turned to her ankle as his hand slipped under her silk robe. Like his soothing breath, his warmth over her bare cool skin ceased her struggle. As much as she tried, Wan Mei could not help but melt under his gentle caresses. Nuzzling her face shamelessly under the crook of his neck, Wan Mei had to stifle her moan when his hand reached the back of her knee. A light pinch made her she gasp against his chest.
Burning with embarrassment, her voice quivered, “Then...how far would our lesson go?”
“As far as we need,” he said calmly, “Until Master understands the difference between grasping and being grasped.” Without warning, he lifted her body in his arms, and laid her on the bed.
“Chang An!” Wan Mei instinctively struggled as his body loomed over hers. Her hands pressed against his chest. Would he really?
“Do not falter. Do not lose your senses,” her Shadow instructed. Though his body refused to move, he didn’t press further. “Your target should be the one who should be lost in ecstasy.”
Flushed by the overpowering masculine scent and her pounding heart, Wan Mei stammered, “But...but how do I make them lose their senses?”
“What do you remember of the Zither lesson?”
“My body is an assassin's greatest weapon. And a man's happiest moments are also his weakest,” Wan Me recounted his words like it was yesterday.
Her Shadow didn’t smile, but his eyes did. Her happiness grew from the rare sign of joy. Calming her nerves like no one could. Wan Mei’s grip loosened, the tension from her body vanished.
“Breathe like it was be your last. Smile like it was your first. Seduce him with those pure eyes of yours. Your target would succumb to your will, even when it’s his last.”
Like the first glow from the firefly of the night, her eyes sparked with understanding. Gazing at her selflessly devoted Shadow, her breath had heightened before she knew it. Her smile spread with youthful innocence. Her eyes smouldered with passion that only he could ignite. There was no need for pretense when this was her Chang An above her. Hands that no longer trembled, began to smooth over his solid chest, spread around his broad stiffened shoulders. His gaze darkened, his lips parted, Chang An took an unconscious swallow. So subtle, only a keen eye would have noticed in the shadows of the dimly lit room. Relishing her newfound powers, Wan Mei pulled her unresisting Shadow down towards her.
But when his head lowered, her eyes immediately squeezed shut. She soon felt the brush of his breath against her trembling lips, right before he whispered the titillating words, “With such an enticing invitation, who would be able to resist a Master such as thee?”
Her heart pounded…..prayed….pleaded. Would he dare? Please...do....Her mind screamed the wishful thinking, before the fantasy would scatter. Her luck must have run out that very moment, because his warmth evaporated. Slipping from her grasp so suddenly, that her eyes shot open.
“That will do for today.” Her Shadow stepped back from the bed with a formal bow. His posture returned to his former self. Composed, without the slightest hint of fervor. “We’ll continue your lesson tomorrow,” Chang An informed her emotionlessly, before departing the silent chamber.
Leaving his Master….speechless.
Author's Note: As promised to a few readers, I'd finally got around to finishing my Oneshot for Bloody Romance. Chang An and Wan Mei are the second OTP I come to love this year, and I hope to give them some sweet moments the drama lacks. Bloody Romance is currently air on Viki, so please check it out if you haven't yet. Thanks for reading!