Chapter 1052: Bloody puddles, where did the people go?

By now, Mu Linger had moved on to biting him.[1] Manager Jin almost couldn’t bear the pain, but allowed Mu Linger to keep biting without responding.

In the end, she released him first with a huff. “Manager Jin, I’m telling you now, I’d never have an end of it with you if I wasn’t holding a baby!”

“So you actually realize you’re holding a baby? And you still want to go back and seek death?” Manager Jin returned.

He couldn’t fathom what part of this idiotic woman he fancied. Instead of rejoicing over escaping danger with the infant in her arms, she was deadset on running back to save the others. Doesn’t she have any clue how to act according to one’s abilities? 

His question finally made Mu Linger realize that her safety was the baby’s safety too. But even so, she couldn’t bear to leave behind big sis Jing and the rest! Especially big sis Jing! Suppose something happened to her? What would the baby do? And Tang Li? What could she do then?

“Jin Zi, don’t you have any way to save them?” Mu Linger was choked with sobs.

“Are you begging me?” Manager Jin asked.

Mu Linger couldn’t bother with her spine now, especially when it wouldn’t save anyone. She nodded seriously and declared, “I am! I’m begging you!”

But Manager Jin only retorted. “Even if you beg, I can’t do it.”

“You!” Mu Linger grew stifled and wanted to kick him off the tiger. “Despicable!”

As soon as she finished speaking, roars broke out around them. Mu Linger instantly noticed that these tiger roars were different from the beasts at Tiger’s Prison. What’s going on? 

The little baby seemed to sense the danger around them and burst into tears. Mu Linger quickly clutched her and coaxed, “Good girl, don’t cry don’t cry! Godmother’s here, it’s all right! Godmother will protect you, so don’t cry, be a good girl…”

The disdainful Manager Jin only made a tittering noise before surveying their surroundings. Mu Linger wasn’t in the mood to chat with him because her sobs were making it hard to talk. Still, she held back her tears so she could smile and try to amuse the little baby. But the child only cried harder, leaving her at a loss for what to do. 

At that moment, Manager Jin offered the child his finger. She instantly stopped crying to suck on it carefully.

“It’s filthy!” Mu Linger panicked.

“Why are you being so fussy at a time like this? If you think it’s dirty, then get off!” Manager Jin was unhappy.

Mu Linger finally shut up. Meanwhile, a pack of large tigers emerged from the surrounding forests. They weren’t white, but striped. Mu Linger was floored by the sight. There had to be at least 10 of them, but they weren’t acting antagonistic at all. Instead, all of them ran behind them. Only then did she realize they were probably here to help.

She asked in astonishment, “Jin Zi, you know how to talk with animals just like Jun Yixie?”

When Manager Jin didn’t answer, Mu Linger went on, “Jin Zi, my big sis said in her letter that the Black Clan knows the speech of beasts. Could you be a member of the Black Clan?”

Manager Jin gave an obvious start, but soon recovered and sanpped, “Don’t speak nonsense!”

“But how else would these tigers listen to you? And also, why would Jun Yixie’s own tigers obey your commands?” Mu Linger asked. “Bai Yuqiao said Jun Yixie spent years to tame those six white tigers, but you subdued them in such a short time…” She trailed off before exclaiming in amazement, “Jin Zi, you’re much more powerful than Jun Yixie! Could you be a direct bloodline descendent of the Black Clan too?!”

Now Manager Jin was stunned. Before he could figure out how to answer, two white tigers carrying Bai Yuqiao and the rest dashed into sight. Both Bai Yuqiao and Su Xiaoyu’s faces and bodies were covered in scratches and scars. Ning JIng was still unconscious and held tightly in the former’s arm. Seeing them appear, Manager Jin simply shouted, “To the right, we’re entering the mountains!”

Heaven knows how many ambushes Jun Yixie had planted in the area. Their only way now was to go deeper into the hills! For one thing, the path would be complicated and make it hard for their pursuers to find them; for another, the forests were the hunting grounds of the tigers, who could ensure their safety. The group quickly vanished into the depths. 

A while later, the three straggler white tigers also caught up. But before they could chase after Manager Jin and the rest, they collapsed onto the ground. For some reason, the hairs on their heads suddenly began to fall off and rot away. In a flash, the rest of their fur followed. After that, their meat and bones began to decay as well until only three bloody puddles were left, formed in the shape of three tigers sprawled on the ground.

By the time the guards from Tiger’s Prison happened upon the scene, all they saw were the three big puddles.

“What is this? Why does it stink so bad?”

“Don’t touch, what if it’s poisoned?”

“This...this couldn’t be those three white tigers, right? Don’t you guys think it looks similar?”

“Hurry and search! None of us should dream of living until we find them!”

--

The remaining guards split up to search. Soon enough, one of them found two more strangely-shaped, bloody liquid puddles. Everyone rushed over to the scene and grew flabbergasted. Like the three puddles before it, it had an awful stench One of the shapes looked like a tiger lying on the ground, while the other resembled a tiger with a rider on top. The guards exchanged looks and wondered what was going on.

Did the white tigers turn into these puddles? If so, then where’s Mu Linger and the rest?

There had been six white tigers to begin with, so why were there five bloody puddles now? Not including the baby, Mu Linger’s group numbered five total, so why was there only the impression of one human left here?

Just what were they dealing with?

“Could they have succumbed to some sort of poison?” a guard asked nervously.

“Then who poisoned them?” someone else said quickly.

“As I see it, they were cursed!” one muttered timidly.

Everyone grew tense at his remark. The guards couldn’t come to a conclusion, but their fear grew as they stared at the puddles. In the end, they gave up searching the woods and rushed back to Tiger’s Prison to report everything to Jun Yixie. By the time he received the news, he had just locked Ning Cheng up and was preparing to interrogate him.

“What?!” he sprang to his feet in disbelief. He’d much rather believe that someone killed their way in through six battilions of guards rather than a black-robed figure controlling the six poison tigers and the entire wild tiger population in the forest for a rescue mission.

How was he supposed to believe that?

As a descendant of the Black Clan, he had used so much effort to tame those tigers. How could anyone convince them to turn traitor against him? Leaving aside the fact that the speech of beasts was a secret skill of the Black Clan, one could consider it an exclusive talent of the Black Clan. Every generation gave birth to descendants with different levels of innate talent. Naturally, the direct bloodline descendants of the clan were the most talented ones of all. 

Low-level talents could only understand insects or birdsong. High-level talents could even understand packs of large animals. The Black Clan’s secret skill was animal taming, but this was only possible through their understanding of the beast language based on their levels of skills. Jun Yixie was clear that his father had no siblings and was the only son in his generation. His talent was top in the Black Clan because other members could understand low-level beasts at best, which weren’t very helpful. Rare were the few that could communicate with horses like he could, which was why he’d laid low in Northern Li’s horse farms and ended up controlling most of them.[2]

Even he himself couldn’t completely subdue the king of beasts, the tiger. Just what were the origins of that black-robed man? What was his relation to the Black Clan?

“Master, that black-robed man could be…”

Before Hao San could finish, Jun Yixie denied it vehemently. “That’s impossible!”

Of course he knew what Hao San was implying: could the black-robed man be a direct bloodline descendant of the Black Clan?

Jun Yixie refused to believe such a possibility existed. Even if it was true, he’d never acknowledge it! He was the most pure-blooded noble of the Black Clan and the one with the highest talent![3]

Faced with his angry master, Hao San didn’t dare to speak.

“Make preparations. This lord is going to pay a personal visit to Tiger’s Prison!” Jun Yixie said icily.

“Yes!” Hao San quickly withdrew with head bowed, but his eyes were dancing with cold, scornful laughter. Once he left, Jun Yixie paced back and forth in his tent, feeling restless. In the end, he rushed into the prisons.

Ning Cheng had just been brought it and was currently hanging suspended from a torture rack, his hands bound with a rope looped around his neck. He never expected him and Bai Yuqiao to be exposed at a time like this. No matter what, he couldn’t figure out how Jun Yixie had discovered Bai Yuqiao’s betrayal. She knew Jun Yixie best of all and considered all her moves before taking action. Moreover, they’d work together for so long without any troubles; why were they exposed now?

Most of all, he was worried that Ning Jing’s pregnancy would elicit Jun Yixie’s suspicions. However, it seemed like Jun Yixie still thought it was Mu Linger who was expecting, not Ning Jing. After further thought, Ning Cheng settled his suspicions on Jin Zi and Uncle Cheng. Although he was closer to the latter, he still didn’t hesitate to mark him as a suspect.

But all of that was pointless now. He could only rejoice that Han Yunxi and Long Feiye had pushed back their original rescue mission date. For now, it seemed that Jun Yixie was clueless about the delayed northern expedition. 

Ning Cheng’s arms dangled above him while he hung with his head bowed and eyebrows furrowed. One of them was already blind, but the other was lost in darkness as it flickered in the candlelight. It hid his resolution and killer intent. Meanwhile, an angry Jun Yixie stormed inside, grabbed a whip, and lashed it against Ning Cheng’s body. With a crack, it split open his skin. 

Jun Yixie was already at his limits after being fooled so thoroughly. It was a wonder he hadn’t skinned Ning Cheng alive yet.

“Speak! Who’s the black-robed man that rescued Mu Linger and the others!” Jun Yixie roared.

Mu Linger and Ning Jing were rescued? Ning Cheng was surprised as his head snapped up…


1. Weirdly enough the author only uses “pinching” and suddenly switched to “biting” in this chapter, so I added this little transition.

2. It’s not clear where the description of his father ends and Jun Yixie begins. I’m assuming it’s when he talks about being “top talent” in the Black Clan.

3. How much you wanna bet someone’s either lied or misled to JYX about his past agaaaain~

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Ruyi's Thoughts

Interesting, but...I can't make heads or tails of those puddles, either.