Chapter 369: The Mute Woman

Yun Ruoyan revolved and blocked the woman’s attack, then slashed at her veil with a dagger. Strangely enough, the woman suddenly vanished in a wisp of smoke.

“Mistress, behind you!” Qiuqiu hurriedly informed her. Yun Ruoyan reacted surprisingly quickly: she turned back around, almost subconsciously, and the dagger in her hands, glowing with spiritual energy, traced an arc in the air.

Yun Ruoyan’s dagger trembled slightly as it broke through the black-veiled woman’s guard, causing her to stumble back a few steps. When she finally stood steady, she held her dark blade in front of her in a defensive posture.

“Who dares barge into the rooms of the Pi family?” The woman’s voice was exceptionally low and hoarse. If not for Yun Ruoyan’s good hearing, she would easily have failed to understand her.

The woman’s gaze turned to the black dagger in Yun Ruoyan’s hand, a dagger Li Mo had retrieved from Pi Yan’s corpse.

“That’s Pi Yan’s black crystal dagger. If it’s in your hands, you must know Li Mo.” Her tone was somewhat angry. The mute woman and Pi Yan had been companions growing up, and they often went on missions together. She knew that Pi Yan had died to Li Mo, but was forbidden from killing him. Now that she saw Yun Ruoyan with Pi Yan’s dagger, her repressed fury was obvious.

“Your throat’s too hoarse for you to call for help?” Yun Ruoyan suddenly asked. She wasn’t aware of her anger, but it was apparent that there was something wrong with her voice. In that case, she was the only enemy that Yun Ruoyan had to deal with.

“I alone am sufficient to kill you!” The mute woman vanished into the shadows once more.

“I’m here for official business, not for playing around with you.” Yun Ruoyan twisted the ring that Feng Bo had given her, summoning the shade in a dark, hidden corner. After she had advanced to ninth rank, she had been itching for a fight. When she found out that a shadowy woman had appeared by Li Mo’s side, she had felt an urge to fight against her. That, coupled with her longing for Li Mo, had led to her being where she was now.

However, the woman was too sneaky and aware of her own capabilities to clash with Yun Ruoyan head-on, so she was now trying to get rid of her as quickly as possible to prevent any complications.

“Mistress, that woman has retracted her aura completely. I can’t identify where she is,” Qiuqiu chirped.

“If you’re going to be a coward, I won’t waste my time with you any longer,” Yun Ruoyan whispered. She made as if to jump off the building, at which point a familiar, dangerous aura pricked the back of her neck.

Already prepared, Yun Ruoyan thrust her dagger toward her back, but it seemed to hit nothing but air. Frowning, Yun Ruoyan dodged and darted to the corner where the shade was currently hidden.

“I’ll kill you now and exact revenge for Pi Yan!” the woman croaked. Like a shadow, she darted toward Yun Ruoyan.

Yun Ruoyan blocked her movements with her dagger, dodged her blows, and struck her multiple times, but the mute woman seemed to have taken on an incorporeal form, one that couldn’t be damaged by physical blows.

“You’re dead! I might not be able to kill the man inside, but killing you will at least satiate my thirst for revenge!” Her eyes brimmed with killing intent as she honed in on Yun Ruoyan.

Yun Ruoyan curled her lips. “I don’t want to play with you any longer.” She made a slashing gesture with her hand. Accompanying her gesture, the mute woman felt an ice-cold shiver travel from her head to her heels. Behind her, the shade’s ghostly blade had bisected her vertically. 

Her veil fell off to reveal a shrunken, dark face, as well as a pair of eyes filled with bitterness. Black fog poured out of her mouth, and her body vanished in a puff of smoke.

“So she wasn’t a human to begin with? No wonder she was so strange!” Yun Ruoyan twisted her ring again, sending the shade back inside.

“She was a human who cultivated a shade’s art,” Qiuqiu explained, “but compared to a real shade, she’s still quite a bit weaker.”

Just then, the door slowly opened, and Li Mo appeared. He had been standing behind the door all along, ready to jump in if Yun Ruoyan was in danger. Luckily, his Yan’er was an accomplished blademaster in her own right, and she was easily able to deal with the shadowy woman on her own.

“Yan’er, you’re becoming more and more disobedient. Tell me, what should I do with you?” Li Mo clicked his tongue, his expression still a little angry. Yun Ruoyan’s growing penchant for adventure and spur-of-the-moment decisions was getting more and more troubling, and he felt as though he needed to nip it in the bud.

Yun Ruoyan walked into Li Mo’s embrace.

“Li Mo, I missed you. Don’t you miss me?” With these sweet, gentle words whispered into his ear, Li Mo’s thoughts seemed to evaporate. It had been over a month since they had last seen each other. Over the last ten days or so, because of the shadowy woman’s presence, they hadn’t even been able to exchange any messages. Naturally, they were both pining for each other’s touch.

“Yan’er, what should I do with you?” Li Mo sighed, carried her up, and closed the door. They entered his rooms and immediately began to tussle with each other. Yun Ruoyan’s legs were tightly wrapped around Li Mo’s slender waist, and her hands were running through his long hair. Li Mo hugged Yun Ruoyan so fiercely it seemed as though he was trying to merge their bodies into one, their lips filled with each other’s breath.

Li Mo’s kiss passed from her lips to her chin and her neck.

“Li Mo, won’t you let me stay with you?” Yun Ruoyan asked, when she was finally able to draw breath. “Don’t chase me away.”

“Yan’er, Pi Batian and Pi Yan are both trying to capture you. Do you intend on sending yourself right to their doorstep?”

Yun Ruoyan smiled. “If I’m a sheep, then you must be a tiger.”

“Shh! Someone’s coming.” Li Mo plastered them against the wall, cutting off Yun Ruoyan’s tinkling laughter with his mouth.

“Sir Li Mo,” a servant’s voice came nervously from outside. “There was an unusual disturbance by your rooms, so Lord Pi sent me over to have a look.”

“There’s nothing to worry about. I’m taking my rest.”

The servant didn’t seem to have left. His shadow appeared by the windowsill, as though he was trying to look into the rooms. Yun Ruoyan twisted her ring, and the shade’s silhouette suddenly appeared by the servant’s side. 

He jumped up in fear, then bowed down respectfully to the shade. “Madam Shade,” he called out.

Yun Ruoyan mimicked the shadowy woman’s ruined voice. “It was a thief, one whom I’ve dispatched. Tell the lord that nothing will happen to Li Mo when I’m around.”

After sending the servant away, Yun Ruoyan suddenly had a brilliant idea. She stated to Li Mo, “Now that I’ve killed the mute woman, Pi Yan will certainly be suspicious of you. Why don’t I pretend to be the mute woman and see what information I can glean?”

Li Mo’s brows drew close. He had personally experienced Pi Yan’s temperamental and vicious behavior, and he didn’t want to leave Yun Ruoyan where any harm could come to her.

“Don’t they say that the most dangerous place is often the safest? I’m sure Pi Yan wouldn’t dream that I would be right under his very nose.” Yun Ruoyan leaned against Li Mo, her lips nuzzling his jaw, causing a tingling sensation to spread through Li Mo’s body. “In that case, I’ll be right by your side. Don’t you want that?”

Li Mo huffed. “Yan’er, I really can’t say no to you!” He sighed, tightly clutched Yun Ruoyan’s soft, supple body, and pushed her down into bed.

The next day, in place of the mute woman, Yun Ruoyan appeared by Li Mo’s side. Although he was one of Pi Batian’s subordinates, her black veil meant that no one ever saw her true appearance, not even Pi Yan or Pi Batian. They would only summon her when they had need for her talents, and she would frequently stay far away from the main Pi delegation.

As a result, when Yun Ruoyan showed up dressed entirely in black, her body smothered in the shade’s aura, even Li Mo couldn’t distinguish her from the shadowy woman, let alone Pi Yan or Pi Batian.

A few days later, when the Pi delegation entered Peak Darkness, Yun Ruoyan likewise followed suit. It was far more crowded and lively than the Pi city, and reminded her a little of the Yuelu Villa on the Chenyuan continent.

It was a place filled with restaurants, brothels, and gambling dens. On the streets were all manner of people, the most that she had seen in one place on the Mingyuan continent.

The Pi delegation was staying in a rather lavish inn, and Li Mo’s assigned room was considerably better than what the other swordsmen got. The moment Yun Ruoyan entered the room with Li Mo, she hurriedly shrugged off her black clothes and kept the shade once more.

“It’s far too stifling,” she complained, stretching her body. She had assured Li Mo that everything would be fine with her disguise, but she clearly still had to be cautious of the Pi family while she was right under their eyelids. Having kept up her guard for a few days on end was tiring in and of itself.

When Li Mo laid down on the futon, he pulled Yun Ruoyan with her, kneading her shoulders and her back. “Yan’er, just bear it for a few more days. Once the seven cities’ tournament is over, we’ll leave the Pi family immediately.”

Yun Ruoyan nodded, then pecked Li Mo on the lips. Being able to feel the other’s existence and presence right by their side made this daring act worthwhile.

“Someone’s coming.” Suddenly, both of them noticed an unfamiliar aura drawing close to Li Mo’s rooms, followed by a voice from outside.

“Sir Li Mo!” It was Pi Yan’s servant again.

“What’s the matter?”

“Lord Pi is sending for you.”

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