Chapter 68 - Tasked to Take Both of Your Heads

Ji Yunshu did not slow down even a bit, meandering through the bustling streets until she reached a small and quiet path. She was now surrounded by smaller houses. 

On that small road, red lanterns were hung at the corners of every house. Although this small road was not as lively as the main streets, it had a certain charm of its own! She continued onward, turned at two more corners and reached her destination - the Ji Mansion.

Ji Yunshu sped up again, running away from the bitterly cold weather. In this silent night, the sound of a shattering roof tile could be heard from behind her. The sound clearly reverberated, shattering the silence surrounding her. Ji Yunshu gradually slowed down until she came to a halt. 

Her vigilant gaze swept the rooftops around her, but the darkness of the night was impenetrable. Her intuition warned her that there was someone on either side of the roof. In fact, this person was certainly not alone.

She was still contemplating the possibilities when an arrow came piercing through the darkness, interrupting her thoughts. The cold arrow tip and the white feathered fletching glinted dangerously as it flew toward Ji Yunshu like a meteor. It was too late for Ji Yunshu to evade it. She could only helplessly watch the piercing tip gradually approach her, becoming clearer and bigger as it got closer.

She was in the prime of her life and still had yet to enjoy life. Was she going to die here? She was extremely unwilling.

Right at this instant, she knew that short of a miracle, that arrow would pierce her chest and enter her heart!… And said miracle actually happened!

A large hand seized her waist from behind and pulled her out of the way. She lost sight of the arrow as Jing Rong obstructed her view, and in the nick of the time, grabbed the shooting arrow with his bare hands! With one hand, he held Ji Yunshu’s waist, and he caught the arrow with the other. 

His eyes fell on the arrow and a never seen before coldness glinted through them - the cold light of anger! A tense silence permeated their surroundings.

Ji Yunshu was still panting from the fright she received. Without waiting for her to recover, Jing Rong’s mouth stuck close to her ear and whispered, “See that alley over there?”

Ji Yunshu looked on and saw the entrance a bit more than five metres away from them. She nodded!

“I’ll count to three. At the count of three, run away as fast as you can. Understand?”

She nodded.

“One, two, three, run!” Simultaneously, Jing Rong released her and Ji Yunshu sprinted toward the alley with all her might. Suddenly, more than ten people dressed in black jumped down from the rooftop. Each of them held a sharp sword in their hands, shattering the quietude of the night.

Right away, they split into two groups; some fought Jing Rong while the others chased after Ji Yunshu.

Jing Rong leaped and sent out a few kicks straight onto the chest of a few of them. Then, he landed and blocked the alley’s entrance.

“Who are you?” Jing Rong asked in an overbearing tone,

The men in black sieged the entrance of the alley. Despite the black cloth masking their faces, the viciousness in their eyes could still be clearly seen, and their killing intent strongly felt. Their leader stepped out and spoke, “There’s a bounty for your heads. We’ve been ordered to take both of your heads.” 

As his words fell, the assassins raised their swords and attacked again. Each sword move they executed showed no mercy and were meant to claim a life.

Jing Rong was no passive herbivore as he made his move and successfully wrestled away a sword from one of his opponents. Then, he started clashing with them at close quarters.

Meanwhile, Ji Yunshu, who was gasping for air, felt her anxiety creeping up on her as she watched the ongoing battle at the alley’s entrance. Although Jing Rong had yet to be defeated, it did not reassure her one bit. As they said, two hands could hardly handle four fists! Over ten people were besieging him from all sides, the situation was dire enough that his safety could not be assured.

Apart from her increasing anxiety, Ji Yunshu was puzzled by the man’s words. What did he mean by ‘ordered to take both of your heads’? How on earth did she end up getting involved in all of this? If these people are from the same group of assassins that attacked them in the memorial hall previously, it could be said to be a logical development, but they should only be targeting Jing Rong!

Yet, she got dragged into this. Was this punishment for meddling in someone else’s business?

Ji Yunshu tightly gripped her garments as she bit her lip. She leaned on the wall and continued to observe the situation outside. Although it was a fierce battle, Jing Rong’s agility meant that he could deal with these black-clothed people. With a sword in his hand, he had already claimed a few lives, and the blood that dripped from the blade bore witness to his deeds.

Suddenly, one of the black-clothed men got past Jing Rong’s defenses and took that opportunity to target Ji Yunshu, “Die!”

Ji Yunshu did not tear her eyes away as she continuously retreated until her back hit a wall. In that fraction of time, her brain worked fast in order to find a way to dodge that attack. Her clothes had long been wrinkled into a mess by her grip. The sword continued to pierce through the air until it was about three centimeters away from her when Jing Rong got a free moment to kick a stone which homed straight at the assassin’s wrist. 

The pain caused the man to involuntarily release his sword, which dropped to the ground. In that split moment, Ji Yunshu stretched her hands and used all her strength to push her attacker away. The man shouted in pain as he fell to the ground, clutching his arm tightly.

“Come here!” Jing Rong shouted at her as he held out his hand at her.

Without hesitation, she ran back towards him, her outstretched hand inexorably nestled into his wide palm, allowing him to grasp it and hold onto her. Together, they escaped from that place.

However, the black-clothed men unrelentingly chased after them! 

The previously quiet night was now covered in a strange atmosphere!

Led by Jing Rong, Ji Yunshu had no choice but to run until she was at her wits’ end and her ears were filled with the constant howling of the winds, “Your Highness, please don’t mind me. Escape quickly. I don’t want to burden you.”

Jing Rong’s eagle-like expression was calm and collected. He continued to firmly hold onto Ji Yunshu’s hand, “I will not abandon you. We are in this together, be it in life or in death!”

Huh! Upon hearing those words, Ji Yunshu was stunned. Suddenly, it was as if her legs were light as feathers. It made her confused, but at the same time, it seemed like almost all the problems were blown away in the cold wind. Even Ji Pei had never uttered such words to her!

They were able to distance themselves from their pursuers for about twenty metres, but they were still surrounded in the end. Jing Rong shielded Ji Yunshu by standing in front of her. He gave her a side glance before asking her, “Teacher Ji, are you scared?”

“I am.” There was no lie in her words. Despite seeing countless corpses, she never had the intention to become one of them, which made her fear not unfounded. In the event the magistrate did not have a brain fart and summoned a coroner to do her autopsy, wouldn’t her body go through even more hardships?

Despite their surroundings being fraught with danger, her answer provoked Jing Rong’s laugh. He spoke, “Rest assured! Even if you are going to see the king of hell, I will go together with you. Whether you want to admire the flowers or drink wine, this prince will definitely accompany you.”

Hey, hey, hey! Your imagination is too wild. The dead who are descending to the underworld only wear white clothes and their destination is the bridge of reincarnation where they drink Meng Po’s broth of oblivion and reincarnated afterwards [1]. Where would they have the time to enjoy the flowers and drink wine? How delusional!

Ji Yunshu stood behind Jing Rong. One of her hands was still holding onto his hand, while the other was pulling at his sleeve.mShe breathed in a puff of cold air before speaking, “I don’t want to admire the flowers or drink wine either. If I die, I wish that Luan’er would burn me some clothes, or even better, shoes. What’s more, I want her to burn my sandalwood box because everything inside that box is precious to me. I don’t want her to burn paper money to me since I will worry that the underworld air is too damp and the paper money will rot. It’s better if she burned some gold and silver or valuables. Oh right! She has to…”

For the first time, Jing Rong realised Ji Yunshu could be a chatterbox. She was monologuing as her eyes were turning red. 

Jing Rong frowned and asked her, “Who is Luan’er?”

Grenn's Rants Corner

A bit of action to whet your appetite.


[1] Meng Po is the goddess of forgetfulness and amnesia who would brew a broth of oblivion that every dead soul had to drink before reincarnating.

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