A while later, the satisfied daoist nun tossed the mummified Sang Qian aside. Her six blood-sucking mouthparts slowly retracted, turning back into tender and glistening red lips.
It could have been lipstick staining those lips red, but it could also have been blood.
The daoist nun licked her lips with an intoxicated expression. “The blood essence of a young man tastes oh so good! But something doesn’t seem quite right. Why does it feel as though he’s lacking some masculine energy? That shouldn’t be the case. He had such great libido, how could he be lacking…?”
She stood there in a daze for a while, confused about what happened. In the end, she still couldn’t puzzle it out. “Forget it. Finding Zu An is still the most important thing.”
She turned around and transformed into a flight of countless small mosquitoes. The black cloud vanished into the distance.
A short while later, Sang Qien’s voice drifted out from close by. “Huh? The sound came from here earlier. Where did he go?”
After the father and daughter of the Sang clan had stopped Pei Mianman and Zheng Dan, they consoled them, promising that they would continue to help them rescue Zu An. Only then did their anger subside somewhat.
Sang Hong then grew worried about his son’s safety. They were in the depths of the mountains, and it was very possible that he would run into someone from the Devil Sect. As such, they all hurried off in the direction Sang Qian had taken.
They had been searching around for a while when they suddenly heard a miserable scream, and immediately rushed in that direction.
Sang Hong’s eyelids twitched. He grew more and more worried. “Your brother’s cry was rather loud. He was clearly in great danger. If we don’t find him soon, it might be too late.”
Zheng Dan frowned. “Are you sure? He has a good level of cultivation. He should be able to hold his own even if he runs into someone formidable.”
“I hope that’s the case,” Sang Hong replied, but he couldn’t shake his sense of foreboding.
Sang Qien suddenly let out a scream.
“What’s wrong?” Everyone rushed to where she was.
Sang Qien’s face was pale. She pointed to the side. “There’s… a dried up corpse over there.”
“A dried up corpse?” Sang Hong's voice grew low. “There are quite a few scavengers roaming these mountain depths. It isn’t strange for there to be dried up corpses around the area. Let’s hurry up and find your big brother.”
“Okay.” Sang Qien nodded, and resumed her search.
Sang Hong walked over to where she had been standing. He had planned to give the corpse a passing look, but his entire body suddenly trembled, and his legs seemed to give way.
Zheng Dan quickly supported him. “Lord Sang, what’s wrong?”
Sang Hong pointed a trembling finger at the dried up corpse. “Those… those clothes. Don’t they seem rather familiar?”
Zheng Dan looked over, and her heart suddenly began to race. They seemed to be what Zu An had been wearing before! Her face turned pale.
There was nothing else on Sang Hong’s mind. He knelt down and lifted up the corpse. When he saw the corpse’s face, he screamed in agony. A burst of blood sprayed out from his mouth.
Even though Sang Qian had been sucked dry until only skin and bones remained, he could still vaguely make out his appearance.
Zheng Dan saw it as well. She was relieved that it wasn’t Zu An, but she couldn’t help but feel a touch of grief, knowing that it was Sang Qian.
They had been engaged for a while, after all, and they had many conversations before. Even though she resented the fact that he’d kept targeting Zu An, seeing him meet such a tragic end left her with a web of complicated emotions.
Sang Qien came back when she noticed that something was wrong. She too saw the corpse’s face clearly and let out an anguished cry. Her face turned completely pale.
She never would’ve imagined that her vigorous and lively brother would end up like this!
Pei Mianman walked over. She frowned when saw Sang Qian’s appearance. She had never seen such a death before.
“Who did this?!” Sang Hong said through clenched teeth. Hatred burned deep within his bones and seeped out through his eyes.
Sang Qian was his only son. There was no way he could produce another one, given his age. With Sang Qian’s death, he had no more successors.
In an instant, all his efforts in this lifetime seemed utterly meaningless. Even throughout his imprisonment, he had retained his wits about him. He was confident that he would be able to bounce back.
However, no matter how many schemes he could cook up, he was still powerless when it came to bringing his son back.
The only thing that kept him going now was his desire for revenge. He had to kill the one who had killed his son.
Pei Mianman replied, “We didn’t see anyone when we looked around earlier.”
She was secretly grateful that she and Zheng Dan had stuck around with them this whole time. Otherwise, given their earlier hostility, Sang Hong might have come after them.
“Dad…” Sang Qien immediately walked over to support him, her eyes filled with tears. She too was heartbroken to see her brother die so miserably.
With difficulty, Sang Hong put aside his grief. His body was shaking as he knelt down by his son’s corpse and began to examine the cause of death.
In this moment, he was no longer Brightmoon City’s cunning and unpredictable governor. Instead, he was just another pitiful, grieving elder.
Sang Qien helped her father out. Her hands were trembling as they reached out to touch her brother’s corpse, although it was unclear if it was because of sorrow or anger.
The two of them examined the corpse for a while, then Sang Qien said in confusion, “Dad, I don’t see any wounds on big brother’s body.”
The tiny wounds on Sang Qian’s neck were hard to detect, since there was only a layer of skin covering his bones.
“Why aren’t there any injuries…?” Sang Hong muttered to himself. He couldn’t understand how his son had died either.
From a distance, they heard the sound of galloping horse’s hooves, growing closer. Sang Hong raised his head. Had the attackers returned?
Even Pei Mianman and Zheng Dan grew curious. They were in the wilderness—why would there be mounted men?
They looked up and were blinded by an expanse of glistening yellow light. Only when they squinted did they see that it was indeed a group of cavalry troops, and most of them were dressed in golden armor. Their expressions were solemn.
Zheng Dan sighed in awe. The Chu clan’s Red Cloak Army had seemed to her to be the elite of the elites, but the pressure that these cavalrymen gave off was stronger even than that of the Red Cloak Army!
Sang Hong’s expression changed. “The Bright Tiger Army!”
“Bright Tiger?” Zheng Dan’s confusion was apparent.
Pei Mianman was shocked as well, but quickly explained, “You’re not from the capital, so you might not know about this. The Bright Tiger Army is the Son of Heaven’s personal army. They operate strictly under the emperor’s sole command.”
Zheng Dan was shocked. “Are you saying that the emperor has come personally?”
Sang Qien shook her head. “Not necessarily. Given how things are right now, how could his majesty leave the capital city? He probably sent a trusted aide.”
When these troops drew near, they could finally make out the appearances of those at the very front.
The dozen or so men at the very front had unicorns embroidered on their clothes, and wore austere metal masks. This was an image that they couldn’t be more familiar with.
The Embroidered Envoy!
The same thought crossed their minds at the same time. More shocking was that these Embroidered Envoy wore clothes that were of different color than the ones who were escorting them previously, and seemed to be made of even better quality material. These men were surely higher ranked.
Most surprising of all, the clothes of the man at the very front were different from the others. His clothes were stained a dark red, and the designs on his garments were woven out of golden silk.
There was no mask covering his face, leaving it completely exposed.
He was a middle-aged man. His skin was completely white, as if it never saw the sun. Together with his penetrating hawk-like eyes, they made his expression seem extremely grim. He exuded a frigid, chilling aura.
“Zhuxie Chixin!” A bitter expression spread across Sang Hong’s face. He never expected that this man would appear.
Fine drops of sweat covered Pei Mianman’s brow. She said quietly to Zheng Dan, “This person is the Chief Commander of the Embroidered Envoy, Zhuzie Chixin. He is nothing like that small leader Huang Huihong. Rather, he leads all of the Embroidered Envoy. His cultivation is deep and immeasurable. He’s taken down countless nobles and officials over the years. His very appearance can even make children stop crying at night.”
The clear and gentle voice of a woman spoke. “Manman?”
Pei Mianman looked towards the group with disbelief. She saw a familiar and beautiful figure, and her reply was tinged with a hint of disbelief. “Chuyan?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter