Week 24.3 – UXM

Previously: Twain decided to speak to the servants to learn Yi Fan’s secrets, but ended up scaring one practically to death. And now…

The man threw a panicked glance at Yi Fan, then fled the building with the tray.

“Why would you scare him like that?” Yi Fan asked.

“Because I didn’t know it would scare him like that,” Twain said. “Why did it?”

Yi Fan shook her head, as if the question were not worth the time it would take to answer. “I’m going to be gone most of the day, but I’ll try to be back before dinner. We can work up an appetite together.”

“You mean, you want to…” Twain didn’t finish the sentence, not sure how to say “have sex” in a way that wouldn’t offend her. “After just one kiss with some other version of me?”

Yi Fan blushed and half-turned away. “No! I meant I want you to teach me the style you used to fight those men. You know…”

She did a passable version of one of his chi kung moves, much better than she should have been able to after seeing it only in passing in a single fight. “Okay,” Twain said. “And what do I get in return?”

“I’m giving you shelter,” she said. “That’s what you get in return.”

“No,” Twain said and saw her tense up. Spoiled rich girl, used to getting her own way. “I didn’t ask for shelter. You insisted I stay here, so I stayed. My presence here is your payment for shelter.”

“So what is it you want?” Yi Fan asked.

“Information,” Twain said. “About the City of…”

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”] As Yi Fan reached it, a man got out–white, bald, with a sly smile and cold eyes, like a snake…[/blockquote]A servant ran in–younger than the others, in his mid-20’s–and babbled something that sounded urgent. Yi Fan barked a reply, then turned to Twain. “I have to leave earlier than I thought. Stay hidden until I am gone.”

She strode out the door, leaving the panicked servant inside with Twain. He shut the door and stood guard in front of it, obviously terrified that Twain might try to push out past him. Twain went to the window instead. The man gave a frightened yelp and grabbed Twain to keep him from climbing out, but Twain merely looked through it.

Through the trees, he saw a black sedan idling in front of the mansion. As Yi Fan reached it, a man got out–white, bald, with a sly smile and cold eyes, like a snake. He snapped her a bow, which she returned, and then they both got in the sedan, which drove away.

The frightened servant held on to Twain for at least a full minute after the car was gone. Twain was finally able to shrug out of the man’s grip and muttered, “Who the hell is that guy?”

“Don’t ask,” said the servant in accented Mandarin.

“You speak Chinese,” Twain said.

“I can’t talk to you,” the man said, stepping toward the door. “Someone will bring food in a few hours.”

“What am I supposed to do while I’m waiting?” Twain asked.

“Sit still,” the man said. “And don’t cause trouble, if you value your life.”

What is Yi Fan’s secret? And why is she so interested in Twain’s fighting style? Did we change genres all of a sudden? Be here tomorrow for our next episode!

To read from the beginning, click here

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