Chapter 60: An Ugly, Useless Girl

The legendary Slaughtering King!

When Yun Ruoyan realized this, she struggled all the harder. However, that pair of hands was so strong that she still couldn’t break free.

Yun Ruoyan tried using the same trick that she’d used on Yun Ruoyao and Yun Ruoyu’s servants: summoning up spiritual energy to her fingers and lightly touching them to his hands… but he didn’t let go like she’d expected, nor did he yelp in pain. In fact, his hands gripped her wrists even more tightly, and Yun Ruoyan’s heart tightened as well.

What depth of cultivation, what incredible spiritual density, enough to perfectly counter her spiritual attack!

“Don’t move or scream, or I’ll eat you up.” The man’s cool, magnetic voice whispered against her ear, and she really did freeze like a deer in headlights.

In the dark, Yun Ruoyan felt the man’s jaw against her shoulder, his somewhat deep breathing right against her ear.

“Qiu!” Just as Yun Ruoyan was becoming more and more uncomfortable, Qiuqiu’s voice rang out from her mind. “Mistress, this man’s really strong. Don’t anger him!”

“I know!” Yun Ruoyan replied in vexation. The name of the Slaughtering King had spread far and wide within the kingdom of Li, and there was no one above the age of three who didn’t know about him! His name was known widely even across the entire continent. 

Yun Ruoyan simply hadn’t expected to ever be in such close contact with a person like this!

“But what should I do now?”

“I don’t know either, but just don’t enrage him!”

Yun Ruoyan took a deep breath, a smell of blood once again wafting to her nose. She swiftly tried to calm down. “Are you hurt?”

The man frowned lightly and opened his lips, but before he could say anything, the guards made a hubbub from afar and seemed to be approaching them once more! Li Mo wrapped his arms around Yun Ruoyan before leaping up.

A few moments later, a few guards converged underneath the tree where they’d just been. “Have you found any traces of the assassin?” A guard asked.

“No, but we have people scouring and securing the perimeter. The assassin’s still within the hunting grounds—I’m sure he hasn’t had the opportunity to escape!”

“Good. Assign more guards to the search. Don’t let even a mosquito out before we’re through!”

“Yes!”

The guards scattered once more, and none of them realized that, right above their heads, an inky cloak shrouded a man and a girl.

“Now that they’re gone, can you let go of me, Slaughtering King?”

Li Mo raised his eyebrows, his lips curving. He raised both arms, and his dark cloak spread out like an eagle’s wings, releasing Yun Ruoyan from his grip.

Yun Ruoyan felt the darkness dissipate from her surroundings, replaced instead by a tall man standing amidst a backdrop of leaves and pink flowers. 

“You actually guessed my identity?” Li Mo sounded somewhat interested. “Qianhan’s getting worse and worse at handling things.”

Li Mo’s hood revealed only his distinct, sharp jaw. Although he was standing in a relaxed fashion, his two hands clasped behind his back, Yun Ruoyan could still feel a slight sense of pressure from him.

She was a bit curious why she hadn’t felt any of this pressure the first time the man fell into her cottage, and why she was feeling it now.

It seemed as though she had been intimidated by his identity. Public rumor had it that, although he was only in his twenties, he was over three meters tall, strong enough to cleave mountains with a single blow. A single shout of his could dispatch tens of thousands of beasts, and he even liked to eat human meat!

Children and teenagers of approximately Yun Ruoyan’s age grew up hearing all about such stories, bequeathing upon this man an aura of reverence and mystique.

So, when the actual person was standing in front of her eyes, her reverence was naturally transferred to the person in front of her.

But actually, this man wasn’t anything particularly special. He was only somewhat taller than average, somewhat more powerful than average, and, just like the average man, he too could get hurt!

As soon as Yun Ruoyan thought about this, the reverence that instinctively filled her began to dissipate.

“Thank you for your life quintessence pill.” Yun Ruoyan smiled faintly. “Although it’s not too useful for me, I’m still thankful for the thought.”

“Oh? You’re cured of your poison?” Li Mo stepped forward as he reached out for Yun Ruoyan’s lotus-leaf gauze, so quickly that Yun Ruoyan had no time to dodge. By the time she turned away from him, the gauze had already landed in Li Mo’s hands.

Yun Ruoyan clutched her right cheek as she stared at him, a helpless feeling suddenly welling up from deep inside her, a feeling that she hadn’t experienced after her rebirth.

How she hated this sense of helplessness!

“What’s the point of clutching your cheek? It’s not as if I haven’t seen your birthmark!” Li Mo’s cold voice was somewhat mocking.

Yun Ruoyan huffed as she removed her hand, revealing the fake birthmark on her face.

The first time they’d met, Li Mo easily pinpointed that Yun Ruoyan had been poisoned, and she was somewhat worried whether he could also identify that the current birthmark on her face was fake.

“It does look a lot better,” Li Mo commented before handing the gauze back to Yun Ruoyan.

She grabbed the gauze from his hand before responding with some anger, “In that case, you don’t have to worry about my business anymore, Slaughtering King! See you never again!” She was about to turn around and leap off the tree when Li Mo suddenly stopped her.

“What else do you want?!” She slammed a palm against his chest. Her blow, imbued with spiritual energy, was enough to cause Li Mo to grunt as he took a step back, fresh blood seeping from his lips.

This was beyond Yun Ruoyan’s expectations: after all, Li Mo’s cultivation was far higher than hers, and even if she used all her spiritual energy, it wouldn’t have been enough to hurt him, let alone the little trickle that she’d marshalled in the heat of the moment.

“You must be badly injured.”

Li Mo extended his wrist, wiping away the blood with his index finger. “I need your help,”  he murmured, his voice low, almost magnetic.

“With what?” Yun Ruoyan said without thinking, regretting it almost immediately.

“I need you to help lure away the guards on the northern side of the hunting grounds. For a seventh-rank blademaster like you, it’s nothing difficult.”

A seventh-rank blademaster was already above average in terms of cultivation, and the guards that were usually stationed around an out-of-the-way location like these hunting grounds were mostly only sixth-rank blademasters.

Combined with Yun Ruoyan’s natural agility, she was unlikely to have any trouble doing so.

But then she thought back to her sudden helplessness, her fury and exasperation at being made to feel this way once more. 

She looked toward Li Mo appraisingly. It wasn’t any of her concern why the Slaughtering King himself had been badly wounded, nor why he was being chased as an assassin. What did interest her was how wealthy the imperial family was, to give bottles of life quintessence pills out as easily as he did!

“Of course, but what will you give me in exchange?”

“Naturally. I don’t like owing people favors.” Li Mo removed a string of wooden beads from his wrist and handed it to Yun Ruoyan. “How about this?”

Yun Ruoyan expected it to be some wonderful treasure, but it really only seemed to be a string of wooden beads. She couldn’t help but frown.

Seeing her expression, Li Mo continued, “If you don’t like it, you can ask for something else. I’ll let Qianhan send it to you one of these days.”

Yun Ruoyan rubbed the wooden beads in her hand. Anything that the Slaughtering King would keep on his wrist surely isn’t ordinary; it’s likely that I simply don’t know enough to identify this treasure.

“That’s fine, it’ll do. I’ll go lure the guards away, and you can find your own chance to escape.” She jumped off the tree amidst a gust of wind, and the pink petals fluttered along with her gown.

As soon as Yun Ruoyan landed on the ground, her elegant footwork allowed her to move swiftly northward, and she was quickly nothing more than a shadow.

Li Mo looked at her vanishing back as he removed his hood. If Yun Ruoyan were still here, she would undoubtedly be shocked by what she saw, because Li Mo looked like an entirely different person!

His lips curved into a devilish smile. His eyes were as cold as ever, but his jet-black pupils were now an icy blue. 

“The ugly, useless daughter of the Yun family, was it?” At the same time, more blood seeped out of his mouth, making Li Mo frown. “That old fellow, I’ll cut his body to pieces for twice hurting me like this!”

By the northern boundary of the hunting grounds, a group of twenty or so guards were patrolling.

Yun Ruoyan was hiding up a tree, and she was just about to find a chance to escape when four palanquin porters strode forward with a huge palanquin on their shoulders.

Beside the palanquin were two armed guards, both beyond seventh rank. Her gaze turned toward the palanquin once more, seeing that a youth of seventeen or eighteen was seated on it. His robe was made of silk and gold brocade, and his face somewhat reminiscent of Li Qianhan, if his carefreeness had been replaced by killing intent.

“Crown Prince!” The head of the guards ran to the palanquin and bowed down.

“Haven’t you caught the assassin yet? What does my father even hire you for?” The youth thundered angrily.

“Please pardon my incompetence, Crown Prince!” The captain of the guards stared stonily at the ground. He didn’t dare to refute an accusation leveled by the crown prince himself.

The crown prince was about to speak once more when an eagle’s cry suddenly rang out from the clouds, and the entire group of people raised their heads as one. A black dot circled the air, coming closer and closer, revealing itself to be a beast that looked like a bald eagle.

One warrior stepped out of the crown prince’s retinue and whistled. The bird revolved about him twice before landing on the man’s gauntleted arm. 

“I’m counting on you to catch my assassin,” the crown prince, Li Qianxiao, whispered as he caressed the bird’s head. “Of all the birthday gifts from the second prince, you’re my favorite! As long as you catch the assassin, I’ll feed you your favorite treat: human meat.”

As if able to understand human speech, that bird let out an exuberant cry.

The bald eagle was a tamed magical beast. She frequently heard from her brother, Yun Moxiao, who was stationed in the army, that this sort of beast was particularly skilled at tracking and killing. If one fed it with human meat, it would be a menace on the battlefield.

Yun Ruoyan had originally intended on hiding in her tree and waiting for Li Qianxiao to leave before making her move, but just as Li Qianxiao was about to depart for another area of the hunting grounds, the bald eagle’s long neck suddenly swivelled toward Yun Ruoyan.

Its beady red eyes seemed to have detected her through even the dense shield of leaves between her and the eagle.

In the span of a heartbeat, that eagle had left the tamer’s grasp and rushed toward Yun Ruoyan.

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