Li Chengfeng turned to look at Zhao Xiaobao. “Why not?”
Zhao Xiaobao said, “You don’t know that everyone in Cheng’an City knows that Zhixi was involved in the case involving the chief’s mistress so her body is still at the investigative team’s morgue. No one dares to bury her in case they anger the old chief!”
Chengfeng eyed Xiaobao. “Then let me ask you this, what’ll happen if I go bury her body?”
Xiaobao paled. “That would just be inviting trouble!”
Chengfeng clapped. “Yep, and will there be any idiot stupid enough to do that in this world? Do I look like a person like that?”
Zhao Xiaobao stuttered, “You mean…”
He chuckled. “This means ‘*to enter the mountains knowing there are tigers inside’!”
[*TL Note: idiom: to do something despite knowing its risks]
Zhao Xiaobao’s eye brightened. “Right! Everyone suspects you and also knows that you’re one of Miss Zhixi’s admirers! If you hide and avoid everyone all the time, they’ll just grow more suspicious!”
Li Chengfeng clapped. “You’re not dumb after all! Come, let’s go bury Zhixi!”
Zhao Xiaobao stopped, “Eh!” He had a bad feeling but in the end, he still ran off with Li Chengfeng.
They travelled south to the room in the investigator’s building. After bribing the guard at the morgue, he finally saw Liu Zhixi. Although her body had been there for two days, it was early winter and her body hadn’t decayed due to the cold. Other than her pale face, the rest of her body was the same.
Due to her relations to the case with the chief’s mistress, even the most disgusting and perverted scum of the police force did not dare touch her body. That was why she remained in pristine condition.
Li Chengfeng sighed when he saw her pale face. Although he was saddened that she never liked him back, he still remembered how infatuated he was with her.
Miss Zhixi, a lady who had hordes of admirers, met a lonely end with no one willing to bury her! It was a cruel world, how fleeting love was!
Li Chengfeng did not know what role she played in this case but felt like it was the right thing to do, for him to be here at the end of her journey. It was closure for both of them.
He got Zhao Xiaobao to take her body, then picked out a top-grade coffin made out of golden zhennan wood. He then found a funeral band and got them ready. Finally, they all set off in a bustling concession from the south of the city to the west.
Bodies must be buried at noon in Daqi because Yang energy was at its peak across the day. That way, the deceased would not be inclined to dwell in Yin energy and turn into restless spirits, hence they would be able to reincarnate sooner.
Cheng’an City was also bustling at this hour so when Li Chengfeng and his hired band sang and played music down the streets, many people started pointing and talking amongst themselves.
News of the Cleansing Moon Sect’s Young Master Li volunteering to handle Liu Zhixi’s funeral affairs at such a sensitive time spread like wildfire across Cheng’an!
Even the sleeping Oirans were all woken up by the shock of such news!
The girls who were used to courting many men couldn’t help but recall a saying: True love is harder to come by than gold and treasures!
If they died, would there be a man like this who would send them off without regards to his own safety?
The funeral procession played music and sang. Li Chengfeng scattered paper money in the front while Zhao Xiaobao, clad in mourning clothes, held a banner. The loud commotion attracted more and more people who all talked and pointed.
When they arrived at Cailian Bridge, Li Chengfeng saw a pretty girl standing at the end of the bridge. The girl had an innocent beauty, with blood jade and beads adorning her hair, two ruby earrings hanging from her ears, an exquisitely embroidered down cape and a white, cherry blossom-patterned dress long enough to graze the ground. Her white dress made her look colder but the red gemstones seemed to emphasize her beauty.
Li Chengfeng knew her. She was an oiran as famous as Liu Zhixi, known for liking cherry blossom- she was Liu Sumei, also known as Fairy Sumei.
When Li Chengfeng and the rest approached, she ambled forward and bowed. First to Li Chengfeng, then to Liu Zhixi in the coffin, then to Zhao Xiaobao on the side.
She was tall for a lady, only half a head shorter than the towering Li Chengfeng. When she passed him, she looked at him with a complex gaze in her eyes, her hands trembling as they clutched a handkerchief.
With a gentle voice, she said, “I respect you for this act of kindness, Mr Li.”
Li Chengfeng replied, “Sumei, if you want to tag along with the procession, just follow us. We cannot fall behind schedule.”
She looked up and gazed deeply into his eyes, saying slowly, “I sincerely thank you, in place of this poor girl who was abandoned by the world!”
He looked up and generously accepted the thanks. Liu Sumei slowly entered the ranks and the procession carried on.
At this point, Cheng’an’s prettiest girls were standing along both sides of Cailian Bridge. Although they were not as talented as Liu Zhixi, they were still performers who enjoyed immense popularity in the city.
When they heard about Li Chengfeng’s heroic deed, they all came down to pay their respects, one to send Liu Zhixi off and two to show their gratitude towards this usually flirty and vulgar young master.
They all stood in two rows on the bridge- some fat, some thin; some tall and lanky, some petite and adorable; some of them privately hated each other but no matter what relationships they shared, at this moment, they all stood shoulder to shoulder and had their eyes fixed on Li Chengfeng’s face.
All the men in the crowds were jealous, wishing they were him!
Li Chengfeng, who was usually all flirts and giggles, merely stared ahead. He walked straight, through the rows of gorgeous women who saw the solemnity on the handsome young master’s face. He wasn’t even arrogant after Liu Sumei’s thanks, nor did he lose his composure amidst so many admirers. They all suddenly wondered: how was it that they’d never realised Mr Li to be such a calm, composed and heroic man?
Li Chengfeng led the crowd across Cailian bridge. The gorgeous ladies joined in on the procession too, all following right behind. They all bore solemn expressions, their usually flirtatious and seductive manners nowhere to be found.
As they travelled along, more and more people followed behind. The line grew increasingly longer so when they arrived at the western city gates, they resembled a long dragon.
The guards were startled by this procession, yelling, “HALT!”