- Martial arts level: 4/5 (can beat you up and will make sure you know it)
- Fighting style: Way of the Wild Tiger
- Weapon's name: 鹰爪 / Yingzhua
- big tiger tattoo because he is a g o o n
- has claw hand armor
- just an asshole
张 李 槜
Lizui is the leader of a "hidden village" in the Tianming Mountains in the north of Xi. He runs a "business" that helps people disappear from bad situations.
Hyperaggressive and overly confrontational, Lizui looks and acts like a typical jianghu goon. Like others on the "dark side" of the jianghu world, he operates on his own code of morals, which often puts him at odds with the "light side" of jianghu (and the government). He's not afraid to show off his tattoos and advertise his status as a former felon, not only because he's unapologetic for his actions, but because it helps bring in more clientele. Most people tend to give him a wide berth, perceiving him to be an evildoer.
Despite his overall abrasiveness, the people of his village hold a strange kind of reverence and respect for him. His leadership style borders on tyrannical, but the villagers are grateful for his no-bullshit policies. After all, their lives might depend on it...
- Taking care of his weapon(s)
- Making minatures
- Being told what to do
- Court politics
- Talking about feelings
Lizui was originally the son of two travellig jianghu martial artists. When he was still a toddler, his parents left him in the care of some rural mountain villagers while they pursued a dangerous job. They never returned, leaving Lizui an orphan at a young age. The villagers still took care of him, but resources in the mountains were scarce, so they placed a priority on their biological children instead. Lizui had to learn to take care of himself and became quite skilled at martial arts and hunting.
As a result of his strange origins and frequent forays into the wilderness, most of the villagers and their children treated him like an outcast. The only one who didn't treat him differently was Erzhu Xienan, who he considered to be his only friend. Lizui had some thoughts about eloping with him, but never voiced those thoughts out loud. When Xienan was to be betrothed to a low-ranking government official, Lizui "rescued" him by murdering the official's escorts. When the massacre was discovered the next day, Lizui made no attempt to hide his involvement and was branded as a criminal.
Despite being a felon, Lizui wasn't sentenced to confinement or death on account of his impressive martial arts skills. The viscount made him a deal – if Lizui would become his bodyguard, he would let Xielan go – a deal which Lizui accepted immediately. Unfortunately for the viscount, the emperor himself set his eyes on Lizui some time later and "poached" him for the imperial guard.
Lizui worked in the imperial city for many years, but he quickly became frustrated with city life and disillusioned by court politics. The years of servitude had been taking a toll on him and he was feeling increasingly trapped in his position; the only reason he didn't leave was because he was in a relationship with Emperor Xingzong and didn't want to abandon him. That all changed when the imperial menagerie got a new manager, one Erzhu Xienan from the western provinces. Lizui was quite happy to rekindle his friendship with Xienan, though he became keenly aware of the fact that Xienan and Senxing were getting a lot closer. Figuring that the two of them would be able to keep each other company instead, Lizui fled the capitol without a word.
Feeling "inspired" after seeing all the people trapped in unhappy (and sometimes dangerous) situations in the capitol, Lizui decided to start a "business" dedicated towards removing people from those situations. It was originally meant to be something small on the side, but it's somehow snowballed into an entire operation involving multiple teams of people. He's not complaining, though, it's "honest" work for a good cause.
Erzhu Xienan childhood friend
Lizui's childhood friend (and possibly his only friend).
Of all the people he's left behind, Lizui feels the most guilty about Xienan. He knows that Xienan has never been one to speak up for himself or make his presence known, so Lizui has always had to do it for him. He can only hope that Xienan's ability to disappear in plain sight has kept him out of the worst of the court politics.
Rong Senxing it's complicated
The emperor, and more importantly, Lizui's ex. A man with a good heart who happens to be trapped by circumstance.
Lizui couldn't give less of a shit about Senxing's social and political standing, but unfortunately, Lizui's preferred way of life is incompatible with Senxing's position as emperor. A damn shame – Lizui really did love him.
Wang Jiaolong "business associate"
An annoying but highly capable guy with a penchant for schemes and the confidence necessary to carry out said schemes. Lizui's business contact in the capitol.
Lizui would rather eat week-old chicken feet than trust Jiaolong, but considering his own notoriety in the capitol, they're the best choice for the job. He can only hope that Jiaolong doesn't double-cross him in the future.
Xue Yingyue second-in-command
An intermediate-level martial artist with unmatched stealth and infiltration abilities. One of Lizui's first "rescues" and the one most dedicated to his cause.
Yingyue is a very reserved and private person; even after all this time, Lizui still doesn't know much about them. Not that he really needs to, though – all that matters is their loyalty and willingness to continue with the operation.
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