Chapter 373 - War Declaration
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Although Ji Yunshu thought that Zhao Huai’s reaction was unusual, she could not put her finger on exactly why.
Zhao Qing started interrogating Zhao Huai the moment Ji Yunshu and Wei Yi were brought away. “The skeleton was destroyed. It all happened in this village, meaning that the murderer is here. Why do you not want to continue investigating?”
“You don’t have to question my decision. No matter who threw the skeleton into the urn, I will let it slip,” Zhao Huai said.
“You really think that she was the one who used the ‘Bone Crushing Powder’?”
“It doesn’t matter, I said stop the investigation.”
“Since you are not interested in the investigation anymore, are you going to kill them?” Zhao Qing questioned angrily.
“Many of my brothers who had followed me for many years are dead. I have to exact revenge for them. What skeleton? What Bone Crushing Powder? All these are nonsense. And you, don’t push me further. Don’t forget that you are my slave now,” Zhao Huai said as both a reminder, and as a warning..
Zhao Qing was very clear that he was in the tiger’s den now. Despite being as helpless as an overturned tortoise, he could not afford to have anything happen to Ji Yunshu. He needed the latter to find out the truth about Jiu’er’s death.
The two brothers stared at each other. Their opinions differed. A fight was going to happen.
Fortunately, Zhao Huai was able to suppress his temper. He held back his anger and left.
Zhao Qing was not happy about it, glaring at the destroyed skeleton coldly.
He immediately moved to the woodshed, opening the door and allowing the dawning sunlight to stream in.
Ji Yunshu blinked, trying to adapt her eyes to the sudden beam of light as Wei Yi moved his head from her shoulder. He turned to lean on the pile of hay behind him instead. Feeling bored, he picked up the straw on the ground and started to weave something from the strands, all without bothering to lift his head.
Zhao Qing’s large shadow loomed over her as he approached. He spoke directly, in a low tone. “Does that skeleton belong to Jiu’er?”
Ji Yunshu opened her eyes and glanced at him. “It’s very likely.”
“Exhume the body then.”
“You are fine with that?”
“Yes.” He sounded firm.
“I-I did not force you.” Ji Yunshu stuttered out of panic before continuing. “Zhao Huai is your biological brother. He will never kill you no matter what happens. But I’m different. It’s not necessary to offend your brother to help me.”
“I simply want the to find out the truth about Jiu’er.” Zhao Qing said sincerely. Ji Yunshu smiled and remained silent.
At this moment…
They heard hard and fast-moving footsteps from the outside. These footsteps were heading towards the border of the village.
“Hurry up! Somebody is ambushing our village.”
Ambushing the village? Being her usual sensitive self, Ji Yunshu looked outside.
Zhao Qing quickly left the woodshed after he heard the commotion, closing the door behind him. Wei Yi threw away the straw in his hand and went Ji Yunshu’s side. Excited, he asked. “Shu’er, is it brother Jing Rong?”
She shook her head. ‘Logically speaking, it’s not possible! Mo Ruo must have brought my words to him. Anyone with even the least bit of sense will not choose to attack.’ In spite of that, she remained uneasy. She walked towards the broken window and craned her neck to peer outside, her nerves knotted tight.
Presently, in Shanhuai Province county yamen.
Mo Ruo opened the door leading to Jing Rong’s room with a bowl of medicine he had prepared. “Drink this.” He spoke as he put down the bowl. There was no reply.
No one was in the room. The curtains around the bed were drawn. Mo Ruo carefully moved towards the bed before pulling the curtain aside - it was empty.
Mo Ruo was not surprised. He shook his head and sighed. “As stubborn as an ox.”
Jing Rong, who discreetly left the county, was now outside Gaoshan Village! He was riding on the horseback with his back straightened, looking elegant in his robe. He held the reins in one hand, and sword in the other. Despite his injuries, his noble bearing and fiery aura were evident.
The front gates of Gaoshan Village were tightly shut.
On the fortress walls stood countless bandits. Some were holding machetes, while others were armed with bows and arrows. On command, they would immediately fire and kill Jing Rong Zhao Huai looked down at Jing Rong from the top of the fortress and laughed, stepping on the wall in front of him and resting his elbow in his knee. He looked exactly like the thug from the Ministry of Education!
“You came to present yourself even before I sent you any message? What? You are on your own? The prestigious Prince Rong actually came alone.” Everyone laughed at his joke. Evidently, Zhao Huai did not have a whiff of apprehension towards his status as a prince.
Jing Rong glared emotionlessly. He endured the pain from his injury and said softly, “I’m here to bring my people back.”
“Bring your people back?” Zhao Huai sounded conceited. “You killed thirty, or nearly forty of my brothers. I have yet to start talking about revenge, and you want your people back? Are you not aware of where you are now? You are at my Gaoshan Village, not the cosy bed of the prince.” Zhao Huai seemed to be preparing for a fight.
“Haha …” Once again, the laughter filled the atmosphere.
“However, a debt can always be paid. If you can pay ten thousand tael, I can let the two of them go. Otherwise, I will arrange for you to rendezvous in hell.”
“I can give you money and treasures. All I want is the two of them to be safe.”
“Who are you to bargain?”
“I will annihilate Gaoshan Village if they’re missing even a hair.” Jing Rong spoke lightly, but his grip around the sword’s handle tightened. He was not joking.
Zhao Huai yelled. “Do you have the ability to do that? With a single order from me, even you will not leave here alive, much less your people.”
“You can try.” Jing Rong was openly declaring war.
“Get me my bow and arrows.” Zhao Huai gestured.
Someone handed him bow and arrows immediately. The bow and arrows were not intricately made, but they were extremely powerful. The curve of the bow was made from elm and the bowstring, tough cowhide. The grip at the heart of the bow was made of leather, worn smooth from years of use.
Zhao Huai notched an arrow on the bowstring and pulled it taut, pointing it at Jing Rong.
“If you can dodge my arrow, then I will open my gate and welcome you into the village with a few drinks.” The muscles on Zhao Huai’s thick arms were bunched up; the arrow was as dangerous as a ferocious beast coiled to strike. The bow creaked as he savagely tightened his grip and pulled the bowstring to its furthest extent.
In a split second, the arrow left the bow with fiery speed towards Jing Rong.
Jing Rong did not show a bit of distress as he looked at the incoming arrow. It was as if he was determined to freeze the arrow with the coldness from his icy stare. Thinking that Jing Rong would soon be dead, Zhao Huai started to feel smug and gleeful.
Unexpectedly, the instant before the arrow would have hit Jing Rong, a mysterious energy obstructed the arrow. It suddenly changed direction and hit a tree to behind him instead. The arrow struck the tree with immense force, piercing through the thick trunk like butter. Everyone watching was dumbfounded.
Zhao Huai’s eyes bulged in disbelief. Half of his body hung over the edge of the fortress walls in a bid to see better. Did his eyes deceive him? Impossible!
ChouFleur Rants Corner
Disobedient Jing Rong!
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