That cold arrow shot toward Li Luo as she shut her eyes in relief. But the arrow didn’t strike flesh, and death didn’t descend. Instead, the sound of breaking pottery could be heard from a distance. The dark-robed man had adroitly changed the trajectory of the arrow with the wine cup in his hand.
The arrogant young master sent his servants against him to get revenge, but the other man easily subdued the dozen thugs. And when the arrogant young master then tried to mount a sneak attack against him with a spring-loaded arrow in his sleeve, the man flicked an arm and sent the arrow straight back into the young master’s head.
Li Luo lay curled up in the steel cage as she watched the dark-robed man step toward her. He stretched a hand out, and the brilliant light emanating from his fingers easily broke the lock apart. He walked into the steel cage and continued extending his hand.
“Shall we leave?” The man’s voice was deep. His tone was cool, but it was a scene that would be forever imprinted in Li Luo’s memory.
Li Luo shook her head. She had been fed a paralyzing poison that had sapped the strength from her bones and muscles, unable to even open her mouth. The man shrugged off his dark robe and draped it over her body as he carried her away.
“He’s the Slaughtering King from the Li kingdom!” Finally, someone recognized the dark-robed man, and a hubbub emerged from within the auction hall.
“That legend who quelled the beastkin rebellion?”
“That’s right! Dressed all in black and with such extreme cultivation—it can’t be anyone else but him!”
“No wonder he could be so calm even after killing that prince… it looks like that tyrant’s death will be in vain, then.”
Only then did Li Luo realize that the man carrying her was the Slaughtering King, the same man who had killed tens of thousands of her kind!
“Ugh!” Just then, Duan Tianyun’s pained groan broke Li Luo out of her reverie.
“Senior brother!” Li Luo hurried over to Duan Tianyun and helped him sit upright.
“My arm…” Duan Tianyun looked at his missing left arm, his gaze pained and desperate.
“Senior brother, even without your right arm, you’re still the premier warrior of us beastkin,” Li Luo consoled, before handing the spiritual pill that Li Mo had granted her to Duan Tianyun.
When he saw the pill enveloped in a heady mist of spiritual energy, Duan Tianyun was a little shocked. He’d only ever heard of high-grade spiritual pills from the wizened old men of his tribe, but had never seen one with his own eyes.
“This is a high-grade spiritual pill?” Duan Tianyun had to confirm.
“Right,” Li Luo nodded. “Senior brother, you’ll have a complete recovery once you consume it.”
“Where did you get such a precious pill?” Duan Tianyun asked, still uneasy. After all, they were no more than slaves. He was worried that Li Luo had stolen the pill and would face drastic consequences if she were caught.
“Don’t worry. His Highness granted us this pill himself after he saw how grievous your injuries were.”
Only then could Duan Tianyun relax. “I’ll definitely have to pay my respects to him once I’m well again.”
While he was last awake, Li Luo had told him that he had been rescued by a nobleman, and was now going to be his slave. It was this nobleman who had helped her find out where he had been kept in captivity.
Li Luo deliberately hid the fact that this nobleman was none other than Li Mo, and Duan Tianyun was, as a result, very grateful to the man.
As Duan Tianyun consumed the spiritual pill, improving his complexion dramatically, Li Luo’s heart turned heavy. How was she to tell her senior brother that the nobleman who had saved him was the Slaughtering King himself?
Yun Ruoyan was enjoying a nap in her own rooms when she suddenly detected a presence right by her side, as well as the familiar taste of his aura.
She opened her eyes to meet Li Mo’s gaze.
Yun Ruoyan nodded expressionlessly.
Li Mo raised his brows. Yun Ruoyan’s cold, aloof attitude left him dissatisfied, and he suddenly leaned down toward her.
Yun Ruoyan stretched her palm out and held it against Li Mo’s chest, and the two of them stared at each other an arm’s-length apart.
“How ugly!” Li Mo suddenly exclaimed.
Knowing that Li Mo was going to stop by in the night, Yun Ruoyan hadn’t washed off the birthmark on her face. Because she didn’t wear a gauze patch when she was asleep, the birthmark on her right cheek was fully exposed.
In order to avoid any further suitors like Yun Moyuan, Yun Ruoyan was now very conscientious about making her birthmark as large and grotesque as possible. As Li Mo stared at that grotesque birthmark, he became even more unhappy, and unfiltered disgust morphed his face.
Yun Ruoyan hesitated, thinking that Li Mo’s disgust with the fake birthmark on her face was actually disgust with her, and she felt pinpricks of pain that had long lain in hiding since her rebirth. Was there a man in this world who didn’t like beauty? Li Mo was still a man, after all, so how could he avoid this fate?
Yun Ruoyan laughed coldly. “It’s not as if I’ve recently become ugly, Slaughtering King. If my looks bother you, please stay away.”
Distracted, Yun Ruoyan stopped pushing as hard on Li Mo’s chest, and he seized that opportunity to kiss her. Yun Ruoyan’s eyes widened as she pounded on his back. The more he struggled, however, the more fiercely Li Mo kissed her.
“Don’t you find me ugly?” Yun Ruoyan asked, panting. “What are you trying to do?!”
“I can’t help myself,” Li Mo responded. “Yan’er, no matter how ugly you are, I’ll still love you and your birthmark.”
Not understanding Li Mo’s particular emphasis on her birthmark, she frowned and muttered, “Crazy bastard!”
“Right, and a terminally crazy one too.” Li Mo chuckled. “Yan’er, if you don’t want to head to the night market, I don’t mind enjoying our intimacy some more.” Li Mo was just about to lean down again when Yun Ruoyan quickly said, “I’ll go, I’ll go! Who said I wasn’t going?”
She jumped out of bed. Because she was already dressed, she only needed to apply a gauze patch before heading outside. The two of them jumped out through the back window. Unlike before, Li Mo didn’t steer them around on his sword; instead, they waited for Li Mo’s carriage after leaving the manor.
The carriage driver handed Li Mo the reins and quickly scampered off, leaving Li Mo to steer the carriage toward the underground market.
“Why aren’t you using swordflight today?” Yun Ruoyan peered out the window.
“Swordflight requires a considerable amount of spiritual energy, a valuable resource even for me.” He glanced askance at Yun Ruoyan before continuing, “What’s more, isn’t it boring to just get on a sword every time you need to go somewhere? I find it considerably more interesting to be driving you around in a carriage in the middle of the night, Yan’er. The night’s long, and we aren’t in a rush.”
Yun Ruoyan didn’t know what to say.
“Why aren’t you responding? You’re so much cuter when you’re drunk, you know, smiling and joking as befitting a girl your age. Now, while you’re not speaking, you appear like a woman even older than I am.”
“You’re right,” Yun Ruoyan responded, her tone taking on the sagacity of age. “I’m an old woman to begin with, and everyone has been tricked by my appearance.”
After all, if she added her ages from her past and present lives, she would be past thirty!
“Oh, Yan’er, you truly have a unique personality. Who else but me would love such an old, ugly girl?”
Yun Ruoyan gave him a supercilious look.
After a moment’s silence, Yun Ruoyan suddenly began, “Did Li Qianhan tell you about the promise you granted me?”
Because she had saved him from drowning in the lake, Li Mo had promised to fulfill one of her requests. Yun Ruoyan had asked for him to protect her brother’s life for the next three years.
“He’s mentioned it,” Li Mo replied.
“The man you saw at the Yun manor this morning was my brother, Yun Moxiao.”
Yun Ruoyan glared. “And yet you still…”
“Do you remember the promise you made me?” Li Mo broke her off.
“But he’s my dear brother!”
“Isn’t he still a man?”
Yun Ruoyan was appalled by this man’s logic and shamelessness.
The two of them walked to the underground market in silence. At night, it appeared even more crowded than during the day. As soon as Yun Ruoyan saw all sorts of poisonous ingredients for sale, her mood lifted and she began looking all around her.
Qiuqiu had given Yun Ruoyan another long list of ingredients to search for. Even with her newfound wealth, however, it would only be sufficient for a small subset of those ingredients.
As a result, Yun Ruoyan decided to purchase only the most essential ones for the moment while tracking the price, appearance, and function of the other ingredients for future purchases. She strolled from stall to stall, interacting with the vendors, asking about prices, discussed the medicinal and poisonous properties of each ingredient…
Li Mo followed behind Yun Ruoyan as she nitpicked and haggled, looking to all involved like a regular to the underground market rather than a novice on her second trip there. He couldn’t help but admire her adaptability.
Yun Ruoyan spent almost four hours buying more than twenty ingredients, spending much of her money. However, she continued gallivanting from store to store, not seeming to want to leave at all. Even after touring the greater half of the underground market, Yun Ruoyan still looked as energetic as ever.
“Yan’er, didn’t you want to head to the Lin manor?” Li Mo reminded. “It’s almost dawn by now.”
Only then did Yun Ruoyan perk her head up. That’s right—she had almost forgotten. With the soul-stealing pill that she’d fed Pei Ziao, she had commanded him to bring the tiger-canine arrows and two high-grade spiritual pills to the Lin family within three days. Today was the second day since the command, and Pei Ziao should have obtained everything by now.
The two left the underground market and headed for the Lin manor. The carriage passed through alleys and streets, traversing half the capital and finally ending up in an alleyway by the Lin manor right before dawn.
Li Mo was so familiar with the capital that Yun Ruoyan was struck dumb. She was completely lost all the way until she saw the familiar walls and peach blossoms of the Lin estate.
Just then, Yun Ruoyan saw a familiar silhouette walking out from a back door. Zhuo Lin’er? Why’s she out here?
Yun Ruoyan was just about to call out to her when a mysterious man darted out from the side, threw a cloth sack over her body, and then hefted her up onto his shoulders.Previous Chapter Next Chapter