by Qing Lu
Translated by Grenn
Chapter 16 – Barely escaping the tiger’s den
Huan Yang really deserved to be the capital city. There was still people going to and fro on the main street even as night was falling. On the side of the street, there was numerous stores lining up. Originally, it was possible for her to nicely appreciate what the ancient capital had to offer, on the condition that guy didn’t follow her around like a ghost that had yet to disperse in smoke. Everything would have been perfect if not for that!
Zhuo Qing was crouching at a corner, breathing heavily. She really couldn’t shake off that figure no matter what she did. Crossing the street, Mo Bai who was more than ten steps away wasn’t even red nor was he gasping for air. His sky blue eyes was watching Zhuo Qing indifferently. He had no intention of stepping forward to capture her or walking far away from her.
Zhuo Qing was aggrieved. He was chasing her for five streets! ‘Five streets! Why? Is he a dog? He’s not even sweating nor his hair is dishevelled!’
With great difficulty, her strength slowly came back. She didn’t run away again. Instead, she walked towards Mo Bai and asked while still searching for her breath, “Hey, Blue eyed, what do you want in the end?”
Mo Bai’s indifferent face didn’t even twitch. He also didn’t answer back.
Zhuo Qing cursed in a low voice. Who she disliked the most was those people who act all cool!
After fluidly glancing around, suddenly, Zhuo Qing stood closer to Mo Bai and said with a smile that seemed like she was in a pretty good mood, “You’re not thinking about following me, right? If you want to follow me then you better keep a close eye on me.”
Her sudden change made Mo Bai astonished in his mind, but he didn’t reveal anything on his face which made it very difficult to see his frame of mind.
In the middle of the street, there was a store, gorgeously decorated, that specialized in silk fabrics. A hint of craftiness flashed through Zhuo Qing’s eyes as she said with a smile, “These worn out clothes are really smelly. I want to go buy some new clothes.” Pulling on Mo Bai’s clothes, Zhuo Qing dragged him towards the silk fabrics store.
Mo Bai was cold and detached towards her pulling and dragging, yet he still followed her into the store.
As soon as a customer came in, immediately, the store’s owner went up and welcomed them. “These two gentlemen…” As soon as he clearly saw Mo Bai’s light blue eyes and snowy skin color, he panicked and hurriedly retreated back a step, not daring to look straight at Mo Bai. Mo Bai was used to this since long ago and the indifference on his face was the same as before.
Even though Zhuo Qing was wearing a chinese-style gown that safely covered all of her body which made her seemingly strange, the store’s owner was still willing to converse with her and followed behind her. He politely showed her his store products. “Our store’s silk clothes are well known in Qiong Yue. You can pick anything you wish. Look here, this is also a very well sewed scholar’s garment. If you don’t find anything in the style that you like, our small store can also make special order.”
Walking towards a small room on the side, Zhuo Qing clearly said, “I want to try them. Find two people to help me change into theses clothes.”
The store’s owner repeatedly answered, “Yes, yes. Please come with me.”
Crossing her arms around her chest, she stood shoulder to shoulder with Mo Bai, letting out a few provocations with a smile. “Blue eyed, do you want to go in together?”
Mo Bai immediately ignored her as he turned his back to her and coldly looked in front. Zhuo Qing inwardly let out a sigh of relief. If he really wanted to follow her into the changing room, it would be disastrous.
One burned stick of incense later.
All of a sudden, from inside the room, came the mournful voice of a woman, then followed by several loud sounds. Mo Bai’s expression slightly moved. ‘As expected, that youngster is playing another trick.’ His body was extremely quick and entered the room in a flash. The room wasn’t big with clothes scattered all over the place. There was a young boy on the floor with his front facing upward with an obvious bruise on his forehead. Lying next to the boy was a female dressed like a maidservant. With a surveying look, Mo Bai could see there was no place to hide.
Under the half open small window, there was wooden stool that could have been used as a foot holder. Pushing the shutter to look out, what he saw was the backyard of the small store. It didn’t took much time for him to nimbly jump out of the window and chased after his target.
The store’s owner quickly rushed into the room to take a look. He jumped in fright when he saw the messy room. He lifted his head just in time to catch the sight of Mo Bai’s figure jumping out of the window and running out of his backyard. He shouted, “What, what, what happen in here?! What did you do?!”
The store’s owner hurriedly yelled someone for help. The female servant that was lying on the ground suddenly sat up. When the store’s owner saw the elegance and attractiveness of her profile, untainted by the mundane world, his heart speed up and his soul was dazzled. He hesitated before asking, “Young lady, who are you?” Since when his store had such a pretty woman? He remembered that he had called a young boy to assist that youngster to change his clothes at that time…
The store’s owner still hadn’t finish understanding the situation, but the woman had already got up and directly stood in front of him. He was once again scared. ‘Oh god! Unexpectedly, this beautiful young lady has the other side of her face damaged like this. What a pity! Truly such a pity!’
While the store’s owner was busy beating his chest and stamping his feet in sorrow, Zhuo Qing took that opportunity to raised her skirt and rearranged it so it won’t drag on the floor before she flee out of the room with her fastest speed. The store’s owner only saw a green blur flashed through the door. He barely understood everything that had happened and was still dazzled. After a moment, he recovered his spirit and finally remembered that the clothes on Zhuo Qing was something from his store, but Zhuo Qing had long rushed out of the store.
In a moment, from the inside the silk store, a yell of dismay could be heard from the store’s owner, “Catch that thief… No, that robber!”
Zhuo Qing avoided the street and ran into an alley with fewer people. The pathway in the alleys was all crook and twist, tangled and complicated. If it were not for her outstanding memory, she was bounded to lose her way in this maze. Blue eyed must not had it easy in trying to find her. Zhuo Qing didn’t have much time rejoicing as she heard the sound of several footsteps coming from behind her. Just when she barely turned around and saw from the corner of her eyes a shadow flashed by her, a freezing cold large knife was already resting on her neck.
How could she be this unlucky… With great difficulty, she was able to get rid of that ghost Mo Bai, but, once again, she was dragged into a bloody fight?!
The man in front of her had a beard which made her unable to determine his age. His bloodshot eyes were full of fear and insanity as he kept chattering incessantly. “You, you, you, you… Don’t mess around!”
‘What does he means by don’t mess around?’ Zhuo Qing was confused and, at the same time, she was endlessly fearful. At this instant, from behind, the voice of a streetwise young man could be heard along with quite a few mocking remarks, “Anyway, you cannot escape from this young master’s palm. You better obediently follow me so I don’t have to beat you up!”
The bearded man became more alarmed and, with only one hand, he grabbed Zhuo Qing’s shoulder and used her body as a shield. The knife blade was closely sticking on her neck. The hand holding the knife was violently trembling.
Zhuo Qing didn’t dare to flail around. She could clearly feel the knife blade swaying up and down on her throat. Her body stiffened and, in a low and completely helpless voice, she said, “Can you stop shaking like that?!”
The bearded man’s breathing was erratic and absolutely didn’t pay attention to what Zhuo Qing said. His bloodshot eyes was watching ahead of him in great alarm. Contrariwise, a low mocking can be heard from ahead.
Zhuo Qing raised her eyes to look and, not far away, a man with both his arms crossed on his chest was lazily reclining at the alley’s entrance in a short blue garment. He leisurely beating a beat with the tip of his foot, completely like a hooligan. The man appeared to be very young, no more than in his twenties. Unlike his demeanor, he looked refined and elegant with sword-like eyebrows. He slightly narrowed his phoenix eyes and carelessly wandered around as he pleased.
The young man could hardly stand straight. Immediately, the bearded man was startled like a rabbit and howled, “Don’t come over here. If not, I… I will kill her!”
The man swept a glance at Zhuo Qing’s face. His phoenix eyes slightly sparked. A smear of smile appeared on his face. He indifferently asked, “Do as you want to. My goal is to catch you for the bounty. What does her life have to do with me? You already have five human life on your hand. It doesn’t make much difference to add another one. Perhaps, with another one, I can claimed more than 100 taels of silver!”
That’s right! Money was just what bounty hunters pursued! As if the bearded man saw hope, he eagerly tried to win the bounty hunter’s favor by saying, “If you let me go, no matter how much money you want, I will give you all of it. Compares to the Government’s bounty, it’s still a lot more. No, no, I can double the amount!”
The black clothed man washed clean his ears, with impatience all over his face, he mockingly asked, “Stop saying nonsense to me! If you want to kill, then just kill already. This young master is hungry right now! I want to quickly catch you and get the reward money!”
The bearded man saw that his tempting proposal failed. He pressed the knife deeper on Zhuo Qing’s neck and irritably roared, “You… Don’t come over, I… really will kill her!”
Zhuo Qing was able to sense that if the young man wanted to see her dead and not save her, it was highly possible that he would not even pay attention to her life and death and just go ahead with his capture. There was no need to bide his time without doing anything, but there was also no need to say such fierce words as a method of provocation!
“Sss!” Zhuo Qing felt the pain on her neck. Although the incision wasn’t deep, but blood still slowly oozed out, making the air faintly smell of blood. Zhuo Qing failed to breath in a mouthful of cold air. ‘Damn it! It’s very painful!’
‘Crap! Big Brother, can you negotiate better? If you can’t, then I demand the assistance of a group of negotiation specialists to take over!’