Chapter 1: I Want to Beat Someone Up
Su Xin’s figure moved through the night, her footsteps silent as a mouse. She climbed up the wall as she reached her destination and languidly passed through the windows. Finally stepping inside the premises, she dusted off her trousers when suddenly, light enveloped the room. The light temporarily blinded her, making her eyes squint.
“Can’t you come inside my house the way normal people do? “
A woman dressed in pajamas, who was standing atop the staircase with a lollipop in hand, said to Su Xin with a glare that indicated her irritation.
“Just get used to it as this won’t be the last time.”
Noticing the sweets, Su Xin added, “Oh, eating sugar at night? That would definitely ruin your teeth. Also, Qingqing, I’m quite famished.” Su Xin rubbed her belly and winked at Qiu Qingqing.
“You’re such a bother.” Qiu Qingqing retorted as she walked down the staircase towards Su Xin. She inserted the lollipop inside Su Xin’s mouth and strutted to the kitchen to cook something for her unexpected guest. On the other hand, Su Xin made herself comfortable on a chair, crossing her legs while she enjoyed the lollipop.
Not long after, Qiu Qingqing brought out a plate of Yangzhou fried rice and placed it on the table.
“Eat.” She offered.
Su Xin threw the remains of the lollipop and proceeded to the kitchen to wash her hands in preparation for the little feast. Afterwards, she casually made her way to the dining area.
While Su Xin was eagerly chomping the dish, Qiu Qingqing asked in a low voice, “How many days can you rest this time?”
“I don’t know. I had just settled a few errands recently and I’m a little exhausted.” Su Xin responded a bit ambiguously.
Su Xin’s profession is what people can refer to as unusual. Objectively speaking, she was not a good person; Being a hitman expects one to be shrouded in mystery. She has been in the field for 6 years and started at the age of 16.
Lately, she was beginning to get sick of her job. It also didn’t help to know that her parents, who were both killers, were mercilessly annihilated during a mission. She was four when they died, and the loss affected her life drastically. Her parents were well-known members of the organization and thus as a result, she was obliged to follow in their footsteps, even if her late parents had wanted her to live a serene, normal life. Under the organization’s grip, she started a life that wasn’t clean. For Su Xin, there was no end to the internal training of pointing one’s blade at enemies—perhaps even at a comrade.
She didn’t impress anyone at the beginning because she stood by her principles, which was to spare the innocents. She then became the laughing stock of the organization because this was an absurdity in their line of work. It didn’t please the head one bit. Therefore, after a year’s work, she was assigned to be an agent that engages in black eats black[note]Using illegal methods such as coercion, physical violence or blackmail to deal with illegal dealings[/note] scenarios regardless of her personal convictions.
Qiu Qingqing watched her finish the meal and collected the dishes.
“Qiu Qingqing, when will your vacation end?”
Su Xin, being her sole confidant, was the only person she could be candid with her feelings.
“Go on Su Xin, take a shower then go to sleep.” She motioned to her bedchamber.
Su Xin nodded, took a shower and laid across the mattress. A few moments later:
[Dingdong! Host received an exchange request from an ancient times’ plane. Do you accept?]
The voice of System Fourteen reverberated through Su Xin’s mind.
She chose to accept it.
Actually, Su Xin was already dead. Her life had ended abruptly when she was crushed by a huge truck while saving a child. A life for a life indeed. Although she was ferocious as any cold-blooded killer, Su Xin was inevitably still as mortal as any human being. While she was contemplating the scenarios of meeting god, she heard a mechanical voice that would change her fate.
That mechanical voice called itself as the voice of the Fate Trading System.
It was a system that gave souls like her a second chance at living as a reward for accomplishing missions. Su Xin established an agreement with the system and the terms stated that if she will succeed in any tasks given, she can live longer by a year. This was great news to Su Xin since she hadn’t wanted to die, and thus, she promptly agreed.
System Fourteen persuaded her with the good prospects it had to offer. The methods of the system were all a puzzle to her but she needed to suffice no matter what. In the beginning, no task had been given to her because of the strict requirements needed to be met first, as one cannot switch destinies so casually. Su Xin also asked about the consequences if she happened to fail the task. She was then told that failure meant experiencing two more ways of dying. Having said that, Su Xin replied with absolute conviction that she would not.
[Transferring Planes.. The identity of the exchanger is being determined.. Real world is frozen; hibernation is a success. Commencing mission!]
Su Xin gazed at the mournful eyes of a beautiful woman dressed in ancient attire.
“This humble servant asks, is the young lady of nobility?“
The woman’s genteel voice had a hint of excitement.
“Eh, I am. What is your desire?”
Su Xin wore black leather pants, a stark contrast with the woman’s style.
“This humble servant wants to become the number one courtesan and have the most beautiful person in the Four Countries admit that I am truly the most beautiful!”
The woman was outrageously ambitious. Her eyes gleamed as she looked at Su Xin as though she was a newfound treasure.
“The body will be entrusted to the noble lady at once! This humble servant shall now depart.” The woman smiled and disappeared into thin air.
It was then that the transmission occurred. Su Xin felt her soul being pulled by a strange force. The next thing that happened was that she was no longer in her own body but the ancient woman’s. Su Xin opened her eyes to face a brass mirror where an indistinct image was reflected. The woman in the mirror had eyebrows that curved like a willow leaf, she was a beauty. However, her face was cold as a stone.
Master Fourteen, say, what was the exchanger’s wish again? Was it to become the most beautiful in the Four Countries?
[Indeed, great host.]
What a sly wish. What were the rules to pick such a person?
Su Xin was supposed to be an agent, bringing forth vengeance and blood. Fighting and killing was nothing out of the ordinary. However, this beauty contest was a first for her.
[Great host, please make ample effort. System Fourteen will always be your spiritual pillar.]
Who is the most beautiful person in the Four Countries?
[Let’s see.. I have it found out. The Empress of Qiu Liu country – Qu Fei Qing.]
How big is the difference between her and me?
[The difference between the land and sky.]
There was a knock at the door and someone muttered, “Young lady, it’s time to wash and dress, the mama asked for you.”
Su Xin remembered that the body was still sixteen years old but in several days, it would bloom, just the way the mama expects it. She would then be subjected to the practices of a courtesan.
This made her blood boil.
[Host is exhibiting hostility.]
I want to beat someone up!
Translator’s Note: For easier reading, Su Xin’s monologues with the system are italicized while system fourteen’s prompts are in bold.
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