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Published at 13th of June 2018 09:24:37 PM

Chapter 27

Yan Xun fixed his gaze on her intently, his eyes lighting up like fire . Chu Qiao rolled off the horse swiftly, her slight frame showed no trouble in doing so . Once she was off the horse, she lifted her chin to gaze back at him . "I'll be leaving now, Yan Xun . Though we may live in different worlds, in my heart I will remember all the times when you lent me your hand . If there ever comes a day when I can return the favor, I will . "

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Yan Xun did not respond, but a faint smile reached his lips .

From the look on his face, Chu Qiao suspected that something was up but did not overthink the issue . Time was running short, and it wouldn't do her any good to linger here . Although the entire affair got a little out of hand, not only did Zhuge Yue come out of nowhere, but the troops of the Wei family and the Dauntless Cavalry Camp were alerted as well . The extent of the commotion was ridiculous . However, in such a large city, she was confident she could hide safely .

The child knelt and tightened the coat she wore . She took one last glance at Yan Xun, then turned around and quickly ran off towards the empty street .

Horsesteps abruptly sounded behind her . Before she could turn back and see, Chu Qiao's tiny body was picked up by someone . Yan Xun's laughter sounded warmly from behind her . "Don't believe I can't protect a lass like you? Let's go! We return to Yan Bei tonight . I shall see what the generals of the Wei Army and the Dauntless Cavalry Camp can do about that!" That said, he brought his whip down hard, then rapidly galloped towards the city gates .

"Your Highness!" Surprised, Feng Mian and Yan Shiqi cried aloud at the same time .

"Shiqi, gather our men, and follow me out of the city . "

The north wind whistled and the snow covered the sky . More than a hundred riders galloped frantically on the streets and startled a large portion of Zhen Huang City residents from their sleep . But none of them were keen to know what happened that night . They cautiously sealed their windows, afraid that trouble would come to them if they got involved .

Yan Xun reined on his war horse, then put up a hand to stop the movements of the Yan Guards behind him . The young prince raised his chin slightly, staring at the rows of soldiers on the opposite side with a cold gaze . Yan Shiqi spurred forward . "We are soldiers of His Highness, the Prince of Yan Bei, Yan Xun . Who goes there and why do you block our path?" he hailed loudly .

"I am the Army Major General of the North Barricade of the Dauntless Cavalry Camp with orders to lock down this road . " A resonant voice sounded across from him .

Yan Xun's eyebrows tightened . "I hold imperial orders from Sheng Jin palace! Who dares stand in my way?" he proclaimed, showing his displeasure .

"That's rather unfortunate . " A slightly feminine voice spoke slowly . The voice wasn't loud, but in the silent night it sounded rather ear-piercing and dense with coldness .

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A young boy dressed in ink-green silk robes circled to the front of the crowd . His lips formed a slight smile, then slowly said, "Prince of Yan, unlucky for you, I happen to have imperial orders from Sheng Jin palace as well . Tonight, no one leaves the city . Those who violate that order will be…" The boy paused intentionally, his eyes going up and down Yan Xun's body . Then he faintly smiled, spitting out his next three words, "…killed without pardon . "

"Wei Jing?" Yan Xun arched his eyebrows . A full length of a horse behind him, Chu Qiao spurred forward as well . Using his hand, the one with the whip, Yan Xun silently put up his arm . He blocked her path and shielded her from sight . Dressed in the Yan guards' clothing, Chu Qiao felt warmth in her heart . She lifted her head and looked at Yan Xun's straight, poised spine . The warmth crept into her, and on a cold night like this, it felt especially precious .

"Besides, if I remember correctly, the imperial order given to Your Highness was to leave tomorrow morning . "

"I miss my mother, the Queen of Yan . I leave tonight . " Yan Xun scoffed, his eyebrows arched .

"Filial piety is a good thing, but I don't think there is a reason to rush to show it, Your Highness . "

"Sorry to have you see me like this, Childe Wei, but I'm young and headstrong . If I decide on something, I must see to it immediately . I won't be able to sleep otherwise . "

"Is that right?" Wei Jing smiled slightly, his voice soft but unsettling . "If that's the case, then Your Highness may be in for a sleepless night . "

"You are too bold, Childe Wei!" The boy page, Feng Mian, stepped forward as he yelled angrily, "Even during normal times, my prince has the right to leave the city and hunt whenever he likes, and no one would dare say a word about it, much less now . On whose authority do you stand here to challenge that right?"

"On the authority of the Sheng Jin palace!" a low voice abruptly sounded behind them . Yan Xun and his company of men turned around, only to find two more legions of soldiers marching towards them . Wei Shuye, dressed in a dark fur coat, accompanied by Zhuge Huai at his side . His face showed no sign of his usual kindness . Instead, it was cold as ice and completely expressionless .

"On the imperial orders, King of Yan Bei, Yan Shicheng, was found treasonous for plotting a rebellion and betraying the empire . Major General Wei Shuye had special orders to capture the heir of the Yan Bei King, Yan Xun, and turn him over to the Court of Judgement for custody . " As soon as he said it, flashes of silver light cut through the night, as countless blades were freed from their sheaths . With startled expressions still on their faces, the Yan guards simultaneously dashed forward, shielding Yan Xun by standing in front of him .

"Hey!" Chu Qiao removed the crossbow from her waist, then moved forward to stand against Yan Xun's right shoulder . "Looks like they are here for you . "

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The look of shock and anger slowly abided from Yan Xun's face . "Sorry to drag you in," he growled, eyes sternly fixed on the other side .

"It's alright . " Chu Qiao smiled . "A favor for a favor . Once this battle is over, we'll be even . "

The night was darker than ever . Savage winds attacked from the direction of the Nine Realm Platform, sweeping across the entire main street . It turned over the edges of the young men's robes, their clothing flapped in the wind like moths diving into the flames to die . Up in the cloud-covered sky, a large, black avian flew across the night, its wings beating as it maneuvered through heavy, cotton-like snow, uttering shrill cries . Upon Jiuwai Main Street, the breath of the war horses instantly turned to frost . Sabres emitted bright, chilling light that cut through the moon and stars . They glistened against the blood red colored gleams of torches, as if reflecting the eyes of primal beasts .

One by one, the iron-strong Yan guards began to fall under swarms of arrows . His shoulder soaked in blood, Yan Shiqi desperately cut down another flying arrow, then turned around to yell loudly, "Protect the prince! Get him out!"

A couple of Yan guards roared in reply . They waved their swords in a circular motion as if drawing a full moon . They surrounded and protected Yan Xun in the middle .

With a loud rumble, a miniature catapult was carried onto the battlefield and soon boulders began to fall . Before long, the protective circle formed by the bodies of the Yan guard was smashed open, the blood of the Yan warriors sprayed frantically, their bodies knocked up showers of snow as they struck the ground .

"Where are you going?" With one hand, Yan Xun grabbed Chu Qiao, who was about to charge into battle equipped with only a crossbow and a lean, frail body that showed no sign of threat . The young man anxiously shielded her . "Do you want to die?" he bellowed angrily .

"Let me go!" Chu Qiao struggled, her eyes scanned the opposing crowd . At the same time, she tried to break free of Yan Xun's grasp .

With a single stroke, Yan Xun knocked down another arrow . His eyebrows perked up like his sword . Hr roared angrily, "You are running to your death! I won't let you . "

"There may still be a chance to live if we go now," Chu Qiao turned around, her voice uncompromising . "Do you expect me to stay here with you and wait for our deaths?"

Stunned, Yan Xun's eyes seemed to dim under the light of the fire . He spoke deeply with a faint trace of child-like pique, "Take heart that even if I die here today, I will never let you down . "

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Chu Qiao knew he had misunderstood her words, but decided against explaining . Instead, she turned around to make a light harrumph sound .

"Shiqi," Yan Xun said, "later, when it gets chaotic, take some men and escort her to someplace safe, do you hear me?"

"Prince Yan!" Yan Shiqi's forehead furrowed as he protested, "My duty is to protect you!"

"Your duty is to do as I say!"

Chu Qiao stared at them with a frown . Seeing that Yan Xun was distracted, she jerked her hand and broke free from his grasp . Being lean and small, she was surprisingly nimble as she hopped onto a horse and left the circle in an instant .

"You!" Caught by surprise, Yan Xun howled loudly, and suddenly eyes of both sides were focused on the tiny child .

Chu Qiao rode with impeccable skills . Like a tiger out of its cage, she snatched a pair of sharp blades from two of the Yan guards . Her maneuvers were dazzling . Holding her small crossbow, she moved her body left and right, then fired from multiple positions at the side and under the horse . Without enough light in the night, the sharp, flying arrows could not reach her at all .

"Quick! Cover her!" Yan Xun began shooting with a bow as well, penetrating the skull of an enemy archer with a thud . Being highly skilled in archery and possessing a perfect martial form, he approached the enemy within seconds .

Though weak in strength, Chu Qiao attacked from extremely cunning angles . With quick eyes and hands, she won her battles with bravery and stealth . This allowed her to charge into enemy ranks in a matter of minutes, even though anyone with a good eye could tell she had yet to learn much about martial arts . She waved her blades and struck two men, then threw a flying blade before her opponent could attack . The weapon pierced the throat of a Wei soldier .

Seeing such aggressiveness from such a small child, the morale of the Yan guards were considerably raised . Seeing the opportunity, Yan Shiqi bellowed, "Charge with me!"

"You're just trapped, thrashing beasts, you don't know any better!" Wei Jing sneered coldly . Holding up his crossbow, he quickly pulled back the bowstring and loaded an arrow . Immediately, a streak of silver light was fired as the arrow took off like a shooting star .

The sound of air rushed towards Chu Qiao, but when she realized it, it was too late . She moved her head to the side and found the arrow shivering within her pupils, and in an instant, her face was struck as her body slanted to the side, then fell off the horse!

"Lass!" Yan Xun cried . He turned his face to look at Wei Jing, his eyes flaring with an anger that threatened to burn another man .

Wei Jing sneered again, then spoke in a loud voice, "The Prince of Yan has disobeyed imperial orders! All men heed my command, capture him, alive or dead!"

The Army of Wei roared, then advanced forward with soldiers from the Dauntless Cavalry Camp . The battle suddenly turned from a shooting battle to close range combat . Yan Xun sent a bulky man flying with a single kick, his three-footed bronze sword dancing as he cleaned up two more enemies who tried to pounce on him .

"Yan Xun, are you trying to raise a rebellion?" Zhuge Huai cried when he saw what Yan Xun was doing . He did not join the battle, but instead commanded the soldiers of Zhuge household to stand and watch from outside the range of combat .

"If you really wanted to condemn me, wouldn't you find something to charge me with? I never even thought about rebelling, but if the house of Wei uses the Grand Elder's Council to prosecute us, then we will show that the men of the Yan Bei Kingdom are no pigs waiting for slaughter!"

"Arrogant b*stard!" Wei Jing snorted . Spurring forward, he waved his hand as he said, "If that's the case, then don't blame me for overlooking our days as studymates together . "

Just as he was going to issue an all-out attack, a sharp, piercing sound rang next to his ear . Bewildered, Wei Jing turned around to see the corpse of the Army Major General from Dauntless Cavalry Camp fall off his horse with a crash . The man's eyes were wide open, his forehead punctured by a single arrow and his mouth gaped in disbelief . It was as if he was trying to say something, but could no longer utter a single word .

He and the general had stood outside of the shooting range, and the shot could not have come so far, so where did the arrow come from?

A severe sense of crisis washed over Wei Jing . He madly turned his horse around and was about to run away when his battle horse whined and knelt forward, its forelegs suffering critical wounds . Wei Jing fell off the horse . Before he could pick himself up, a cold, sharp dagger was tightly placed on his throat . Chu Qiao's cold voice spoke directly in his ear, with a faint trace of jest and mockery, "How do you feel now, Childe Wei?"