As they went even higher up the mountain, they soon found that the sheer number of bodies prevented them from proceeding on horseback. Getting down from her horse, Su Xi-er spotted one of her subordinates who had died with his eyes open. When she walked up to close them, she found that a circle with a horizontal line had been drawn onto his hand. Bending down, Su Xi-er helped him close his eyes.


Even in death, he didn’t forget to warn his comrades.


Having spotted the mark, Feng Changqing tried to stop Su Xi-er from going any further. “These men were all highly-skilled. Your Highness, you mustn’t go any further!”


“Changqing, so many of my men are dead. I have to kill Situ Li.” She then turned to leave.


Feng Changqing followed behind her, but before he could say another word in protest, a sword pointed at his chest had the words die in his throat.


“Don’t try to stop me!” Su Xi-er then tossed the sword to him, leaving him no choice but to follow.


Nothing happened as they traversed the mountainous route, and there were no more bodies after a while. Before long, they had already arrived at the peak.


Situ Li lured everyone to the peak… Su Xi-er’s eyes flashed as she quickened her pace at the thought.


As Su Xi-er and Feng Changqing continued on their path, they began to see several aggressive looking snakes coming out of the bushes.


“Imperial Princess, these are Situ Li’s poisonous snakes. Stay behind me.” Feng Changqing pulled her behind him and unsheathed his sword.


The snakes raised their heads and tails, getting ready to strike as they flicked their tongues in the moonlight. Feng Changqing took the initiative and quickly bisected one that seemed to have inched too far forward.


However, there was no way for him to fend off so many snakes, no matter how hard he tried. Watching from behind him, Su Xi-er tried to pick out the leader of the pack. Snakes were normally hibernating during the winter, and for them to appear now meant that they had to have been domesticated.


“Changqing, move faster and lure the leader out. I’ll take care of it while you distract the minions.”


Feng Changqing responded by wordlessly advancing, slashing through as many snakes as he could. It wasn’t long before one that was larger than the rest made its way out of the grass.


Su Xi-er picked up a few large pieces of rock on the ground and threw them at the huge snake, aiming for its heart. The larger snake only shook slightly in response when struck, but recovered quickly.


Thinking quickly, Su Xi-er threw another rock to stun it, then closed in to secure it tightly within her grasp. No matter how much it struggled, it was no use, and Feng Changqing quickly dispatched it, prompting the other smaller snakes to immediately stop attacking.


“Put a piece of it onto your sword. The rest of the snakes won’t dare to approach us that way.” Su Xi-er instructed.


Feng Changqing did as he was told and it proved to be an extremely effective method as the two continued on their path. When they closed in on the top of the mountain, they saw a fire burning at its apex.


“Eldest Imperial Princess, Prince Hao might not be on the mountain.”


Su Xi-er watched the fire and said, “But Situ Li is definitely here.”


She then continued towards the peak.


Feng Changqing thus followed silently behind her and the both of them quickened their pace.


Suddenly, a white figure flashed past. Su Xi-er realised that it was none other than Situ Li!

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translator: Hilda

Editor: Lunarlark

Proofreader: Rakumon