The chapter contains scenes that some readers will find unpleasant.
It seems, Rouran’s mother, Shenmei, is a woman who is as good as her word.
As she had promised, two men showed up at the room not long after.
Maomao had hidden the contents of the paulownia box under the bed. She probed around in the dark, and only pulled out the papers that were slipped between the books.
Perhaps, she wouldn’t have been noticed if she didn’t make such a loud sound. However, it was also likely that they had suspected it to no small extent from that situation. But Maomao had needed to check the contents of the box immediately.
Why did Rouran bring Maomao all the way to such a dangerous place – even though she thought she was going to solve that mystery, it seems there is no time to allow her to think.
She figured she might be discovered sooner or later, but it had to be in the worst-case scenario.
The lighting in their hand brightly illuminated effeminate faces. Their clothes were threadbare, stained with black splotches here and there. The moment they entered, she was assailed by a characteristic stench, and reflexively covered her mouth.
With vulgar smiles, they approached Maomao who was sitting on the bed.
Maomao wasn’t that much of a child to not know why these guys were here. Being one raised in the pleasure district, these were faces she would go as far as to call loathsome.
It was honestly extremely unpleasant. She had thought of trying to escape, but that was a pipe dream too.
For just a bit, she had hoped that Rouran or Suirei would do something about it, but she resolved herself into thinking that it was better to not hold herself to such faint hope.
There were less than she had expected. She had thought there would be more.
“Let’s get this over with quickly. Since we’ll have to switch over in half an hour.”
So that’s how it is. It seems they will be coming in shifts. No, that is still troubling though. To speak of how troubling it would be, it would be to the point where a deep-thinking young lady would pale and drop to a dead faint, and a haughty girl would bite her tongue off before she falls under their hands.
As for Maomao, if possible, she would prefer to not be met with this kind of experience. Even if she’s like this, she’s still a virgin, and above all, the men before her eyes look filthy.
It didn’t matter whether they were filthy or injured, for Maomao, her life is the most important. That is, she considered the best way to survive this with minimal injuries.
(Don’t they have some disease?)
She had to be resigned to the fact that contagious diseases come with external wounds to begin with.
Even with her attempts to escape, one person may be fine, but there are two. Even after that, it is extremely unlikely for this to end with no issues if she is held back.
One of the men put the lighting on the lacquered table. The room was illuminated in a dim light.
One of the men blatantly grimaced.
“What the hell. Isn’t she covered in rashes?”
Maomao’s entire body is still covered in rashes. She must look like an ugly woman with her usual freckled face.
One of the men, as though he lost energy, went off to sit on the table, but the moment he touched it, he sprang off it like he was repelled and went far away.
The man went to sit down against the wall, rubbing his hand with the hem of his shirt.
“I’m good. Do whatever you want.”
“Why thank you.”
The man seemed to be a gross eater; it seems he was fine with even Maomao. You can have better standards, Maomao thought.
She turned away from the face of the approaching man, and he seized her head.
“Be obedient. Otherwise, I’ll hurt you more.”
Saying that, he tugged Maomao’s hair and forced her down onto the bed. Just as when she felt his grip on her hair slacken, he bounded both her wrists this time.
Sticky spit dribbled from his dirty fangs. Black grains tumbled from the man’s body.
Maomao, like she was turning away from the man’s face, inspected the grains that fell on the bed. She had a feeling she had seen them before.
During that, her outer garment was torn off, and a tepid slug crawled along the line of her neck. Her thigh was stroked.
It was extremely uncomfortable. But she focused more on the fallen black grains.
It looked like sand, but she got that conclusion from the stench that was currently emanating from the man. Burning this gunpowder will release a stench that is like rotten eggs. It was made from sulfur, saltpetre, and charcoal.
The men must have come from the basement. In other words, are they producing or manufacturing gunpowder underground?
(Are they going for a full-blown war?)
As she was thinking about that, teeth were pressed against her shoulders.
“What the hell? You have zero reaction?”
The man slapped Maomao’s cheeks uninterestedly.
(Pain is pain.)
Though, it wasn’t to the point of making a sound. She didn’t have the free time to make such a reaction right now. But, as if he can’t stand the fact that she was making no sound, he slapped her again.
“Oi, stop that. What are you going to do if you make her filthier?”
The other man said as he leaned against the wall.
While saying that, the man put his hands around Maomao’s neck.
There is occasionally this kind of guys among the guests of the brothel. They torment the courtesans and feel sexual arousal from seeing their faces screw up in anguish.
Seeing Maomao’s face screw up from suffocation, the man laughed. He tightened his hold on her neck.
Seeing the man’s arousal, the man at the back stood up.
“I’m off to take a leak. Don’t overdo it.”
The man left the room like it was bothersome. He must not find it enjoyable to see other people getting it on.
The man’s gaze flickered towards the table. He rubbed his hand against his hem again.
She heard a click – it seems he didn’t forget the lock. He probably won’t be back until it’s time, Maomao thought as she breathed heavily. The man licked his lips.
“You’re not crying at all huh.”
It seems he was dissatisfied with that.
The man took out a small knife from his breast pocket. He removed the sheath. The blade gleamed.
“How about this then?”
Smirking, he dropped the small knife right next to her face.
Her right ear suddenly burned. Not her earlobe, the top part of her ear. She noticed something hot flowing from there. The smell of rust rushed into her nose.
It seems, he ignored the guy’s previous warning and ran with his own desire. As if he was turned on by the voice she let out, he started to rock his body.
With both her hands bound, the weak Maomao couldn’t shake free. Taking advantage of that, the man took the weapon between his teeth, and leisurely traced a line along Maomao’s neck to her chest. With a thin layer of skin cut, blood welled upon her skin.
He then spat out the blade, seemingly satisfied with that, and slowly loosened his belt with his free hand.
It was the moment he rolled up the bottom of Maomao’s garment.
(I planned to stay quiet though.)
She had no plans of holding back. It was the exact moment her body was lifted, so it was easy to aim.
First, she kicked into his solar plexus. It seemed it went well – the man couldn’t make a sound as he vomited spit.
The restraints around her hands loosened.
Maomao pulled the sheet and charged at him as she thrust it into the man’s mouth. There was a large crash, but people can, by all means, get the impression that they were doing something impressive.
Maomao cannot stay pinned down. She will put an end to it before that.
She mercilessly swung her leg down into the livid man’s crotch.
The scream that should have rushed out from his stuffed mouth was killed by the sheet. Only bubbly drool leaked out.
The disastrous spectacle of the man, she didn’t want to speak in detail. No doubt it’s a situation that is painful to watch.
However, Maomao isn’t kind enough to feel sympathy for him.
The red line and blood clotting ran from her neck to her chest like a twisted earthworm. Was it because her ears were roused? The blood wouldn’t stop flowing.
I’m so done. She wiped it with the edge of the sheet.
She wanted to properly stop the blood flow, but she had no free time.
(I probably have no time.)
To have the men called through an alternation in the middle of the night, wouldn’t that mean that there are still other guys working? Also, it is evident that working with gunpowder at night is dangerous. And yet, if there is a reason for them to continue working—.
They are urgent to start a war.
It was a good luck that the man had stepped out from his seat. If there were more than two people, Maomao will be at a loss for what to do.
However, that man should be back soon.
Before that, what Maomao should do is….
Maomao looked at the pile of goods.
She decided to try for high-stakes.
Should be about time now.
The man, slowly lifted his back, and headed to the earlier storeroom. If they were late, he would be beaten up too – it was the man’s consideration that they should finish this quickly.
It’s fine unless they get ineptly make it dirty though.
When he thought that, maybe he should have guarded that room. But the man didn’t want to be in that room.
His whole body somehow felt itchy. He scratched his stomach.
He stopped at the door and turned the lock.
“Oi, hurry up and….”
The man widened his eyes. Sh*t, he thought.
He went inside and hurriedly shut the door.
What the hell did he do, this b*stard?
The room was a mess.
There was blood everywhere and the woman was collapsed on the bed. The top half of her body was covered in blood and she wasn’t moving.
The curtain was fluttering. Was there violence? The glass of the window was broken. The man shuddered in the cold wind.
That f*cker, where the hell did he go? The man looked around. No, before that, was the woman still alive or not?
Certainly, they were told to do however they liked, but it will be a different case if she dies. He thought of how many people will be held back after this. Even at the best of times, they weren’t allowed to take a break. He would be beaten up the other guys.
The man approached the woman and looked at her injuries.
There was a thin cut from her neck to her chest. It was when he was going to check whether she’s dead or not.
He touched something sticky on her cheeks. And just like that, he went to touch his mouth. An iron taste spread out on his tongue, and he inadvertently turned away.
The woman’s hand moved. Her bloody hand grabbed the man’s wrists this time.
The woman looked like she’s still around the age of a girl. The woman is overly-skinny, but her eyes are blazing like burning fire.
“Do-don’t threaten me.”
The man shook the girl’s hand away and let out a breath. She was still alive. She was in a terrible state, but for now, she was still breathing. He was relieved that things are still fine.
No, could he be relieved?
Though the girl was here, the other person wasn’t.
Where did he go?
As if the girl saw through him, she pointed with her bloody finger at the pile of goods.
The man was sitting like he was propped against it.
There were red rashes on his face and hands. And blood was flowing from his mouth—.
“It seems my skin doesn’t suit his taste.”
The girl’s voice, somewhat alluring, reminded him of the women of the brothel he happened to pass by once. Different to the streetwalkers, it wasn’t just flirtatious, it’s the voice of a woman who knew her own worth.
“Oi, what did you do!?”
At the man’s question, the girl replied indifferently.
“Nothing. He shouldn’t have injured me.”
The girl said, touching her ear. Was it cut by a blade? A small triangular notch was missing, and blood still oozed from it.
“I’m, a poison maiden.”
The man repeated back the unfamiliar words.
“Indeed. I was raised holding poison since I was young. The blood that flows in this body is concentrated with the poison I have taken in until now.”
“What kind of b******* story is that?”
“B******* story? Is that so?”
The girl tilted her head as she smiled. Her bloody fingers touched her own cheek.
“You’ll know soon. The rashes will appear as the poison spreads.”
The goosebumps on his skin were faintly mixed with red rashes.
The man edged back in shock. The girl neared as though she was chasing him.
She slowly drew closer, and before he knew it, he collided with the pile of goods. In his surprise, he found himself sitting on the box there.
He thought of running and escaping to the outside of the room, but before he noticed the girl had turned her back to the exit.
“Do-don’t come any closer.”
“How cruel. Is it because I’m this kind of ugly woman?”
The woman tilted her head, and smeared her face with her bloody fingers.
The flickering light illuminated the girl’s face.
His opponent is a little girl. He shouldn’t lose when it comes to strength. He could just push her down and go outside the room.
He wanted to quickly wash away this poison. The red rashes were rapidly spreading to the man’s arm, spreading to his face; he felt like scratching it all off.
“If you want to run away, go right ahead.”
The girl took out a small blade from her bosom, and thrust the handle towards the man’s forehead.
The small knife was in the sheath; it wasn’t the blade that was thrust at him.
However, the man couldn’t move his body before.
The girl hadn’t put energy into it. She had only held the small knife against his forehead.
“I have a request.”
The girl said as she stared at the man.
“What are you doing in this fortress?”
He could only say it is suspicious, to be asked what he was doing. However, he couldn’t speak of it. To him, the mistress is scarier than the girl before his eyes.
She had said poison, but his hands were merely covered in rashes. He thought that he wouldn’t die if he didn’t put it in his mouth like that guy.
“What are you doing?”
The girl, expressionless, asked once more.
Let’s wait a little more. Then, the guys who run out of patience will be here. Unfortunately for her, the lock was still open.
That was what he thought.
“Is that so?”
The girl raised a leg and rested it on the man’s abdomen. And then, she lightly pressed down.
“Even so, my gender is female. Everyone says that it’s unbelievably painful, but to what extent?”
Her toes stopped at his lower abdomen. She rested her whole weight on it.
The girl slowly closed her eyes. Slowly opened them.
A smile full of affection emerged in them.
“Right or left, which one do you want to leave?”
The girl said to the man, in a gentle voice like she was soothing a child.
T/N: The idea of poisonous maidens seems to have come from India. Also, the LN version had her stuffed in a basement with loads of snakes and creepy crawlies (Classic Maomao happily ate them all…).