Chapter 350 - I Want Your Lives
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Taunt after taunt of the words ‘fool’ and ‘idiot’ pierced mercilessly through Wei Yi’s mind. Combined with all the alcohol he had been force fed, Wei Yi’s head began to throb painfully. He fell to the ground in pain with his hands tightly around his head and cried out uncomfortably, “Stop, stop saying that…” If not for Zhao Huai’s foot planted on his chest, Wei Yi would have been rolling around on the floor. They were surrounded by mocking laughter.
Zhao Huai lifted his foot, gesturing towards his men who picked up Wei Yi to face Zhao Huai. Zhao Huai stared at Wei Yi, “Idiot, how did you even survive to this day.”
Of course, he ate to survive! “I’m not a fool…”
“You’re a fool. The biggest fool in this world.”
“I’m not, I’m not…” He bellowed as if he were a feral beast. Wei Yi’s flitting gaze suddenly focused intently and hatefully at Zhao Huai, his sunny disposition replaced with one full of rage and anger, with none of his usual naive expressions. He looked so much like an average person in that instant, his gaze resembling that of a sharpened knife, stabbing Zhao Huai in the chest but leaving no trace.
Zhao Huai spat forcefully, “Don’t use those filthy eyes to look at me. I’ll dig them out if you continue.” Wei Yi clenched his teeth and fists, his gaze not once moving from Zhao Huai’s face. His headache had, too, completely disappeared.
Da Chui came running in, “Boss, that scholar’s awake.”
Zhao Huai grunted, then ordered the two bandits holding Wei Yi up, “Bring this fool aside. Keep feeding him wine.”
Wei Yi was dragged unwillingly to a corner, his alcohol torment recommencing.
Zhao Huai then ordered Da Chui, “Go bring that scoundrel here.”
“Yes!” Da Chui obeyed and was followed by two others to retrieve Ji Yunshu. She walked into the room under the glares of the shouting bandits, her calm demeanor revealing not an ounce of panic.
She quickly scanned the room and spotted Wei Yi in the crowd. He was pressed down onto a table surrounded by several men, his mouth forced open with bowl after bowl of wine pouring down his throat. Her chest tightened as her tears began to pool, “Wei Yi!” She rushed forth but was restrained.
“Let me go!” She shook her shoulders in vain as she attempted to struggle free of their hold, “Stop it! You monsters!” Ji Yunshu was flustered.
Those men became even more excited at her anguish. “Do you want to save him?” Zhao Huai suddenly spoke. Ji Yunshu turned towards his voice.
Zhao Huai swept a few men aside, striding across the hall to stop before Ji Yunshu, sizing him up. This little scholar was really different from the uncouth men he commanded; fair and prim, with such a slender frame - he could pass off as a woman.
Ji Yunshu glared at him with her bloodshot eyes, recognising this man as the boss of the Gaoshan Gang, Zhao Huai. She eked out pleadingly, “Let him go.”
Zhao Huai sneered, “You can’t even save yourself, yet you want to save that fool?”
“He doesn’t know anything. What use is he to you even if you captured him?”
Zhao Huai scoffed, “Whether he’s useful or not is not up to you to decide, but me. Even if I keep this fool here in the Gaoshan Village, he can still serve as a form of entertainment, a form of leisure for my brothers!” His men laughed.
Ji Yunshu sucked in her cheeks as she took a deep breath in, “As long as you let him go, I can promise you anything.”
“Would you kneel and beg?”
“What if I want you to die?”
“As long as you release him, you can have my life.”
“Fine.” Zhao Huai snapped his fingers - those men gorging Wei Yi immediately stopped, loosening their grip.
Without their hold, Wei Yi was unable to support himself and crumpled into a heap onto the floor as he slid off the chair. He held up his head groggily, making out Ji Yunshu’s blurry figure in the distance. He opened his mouth and called out, “Shu’er…” His head dropped as he fell unconscious.
Zhao Huai gestured again for the men to release Ji Yunshu, who rushed to Wei Yi’s side as soon as she was free. She squatted down before him, placing his head on her lap. Wei Yi was shivering, his entire body flaming hot. It made sense given that he had been fed so much alcohol as if all his organs were burning up into ‘charcoal’.
“Wei Yi, don’t be scared. I’m here, it’s alright.” Ji Yunshu gently rubbed his chest. She scanned her surroundings, quickly jumping up to snatch a bowl filled with wine. She knocked off some ochre from a corner of the room, weeding up a tuft of fresh grass from another corner. She tore off its roots and chewed them thoroughly, before mixing the contents in her mouth and the ochre into that bowl of wine, swirling it around to mix them all up. She returned to Wei Yi’s side and helped him up, saying, “Wei Yi, be a good boy, drink this.”
Wei Yi could barely hear her. He opened his mouth and emptied the bowl of its contents. That burning flame in his chest was slowly burning out after drinking that mixture, becoming as cool as mint.
Zhao Huai took all of Ji Yunshu’s actions confoundedly. He approached them, dropping his gaze, “What did you feed him?”
Ji Yunshu put the bowl aside, dabbing at the corner of Wei Yi’s mouth. She looked up at Zhao Huai after a long while, “Adding some ochre and the roots of orchid grass into wine can help get rid of heat in the shortest possible time.”
“Are you a healer?”
“No, but your insides become uncomfortable after consuming too much strong wine, this is but a temporary countermeasure. The thing that can really cure a hangover, however, is bone.”
“Bone?” Zhao Huai was fascinated!
Ji Yunshu tensed up, “The one who killed your Gaoshan Gang men was not him. I’ve already agreed to give you my life, so release him.”
“Sure, but…” Zhao Huai smiled deviously, “Only if you kneel before me - I’ll let him go then.”
Kneeling? There was not a moment of hesitation. Ji Yunshu carefully laid Wei Yi beside her, dropping to her knees in front of Zhao Huai, with her back erect. It looked like she was yielding, but her cold gaze emitted an innate charisma. “Can you release him now?”
“When did I say that I would definitely release him if you knelt?”
Everyone surrounding them erupted into laughter.
Ji Yunshu was not aggravated, instead of rebutting, “What do you want?”
Zhao Huai’s expression darkened, his face full of killing intent. His hands balled up into fists as he harshly hit the table near him.
Bang! It echoed through the hall.
He grimaced, “You’ve killed so many of my gang brothers - did you think you would be able to leave Shanhuai County unscathed? What I want, is the life of that man who ordered their deaths, and a sum of… jewels and treasure!” His eyes gleamed with greed - it was the bandit cliche of ‘wanting both your money and your lives’!
But, Ji Yunshu could never let Jing Rong run this risk, precisely because she knew that Jing Rong was willing to do anything for her, even at the expense of his own life. Ji Yunshu laughed with ridicule at Zhao Huai’s words. Zhao Huai was confused. He asked angrily, “What are you laughing about?”
“I’m laughing at your foolishness.”
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