A Freak Combination of Accidents
Lin Mu Yu kept his eyes shut as Qin Yin leaned her bare body on his chest so he could help her put her clothes back on. His arms were wrapped around her as his hands pulled cloak up her back. Qin Yin’s cheeks flushed. They were so close that they were filled with each other’s scent. The situation was getting exceedingly delicate.
After she was clothed again, Qin Yin could feel soft warmth pulsating in her chest as if the antidote was melting away the effects of the venom. The Heart Defense Potion acted very fast. This young man was very skilled, even the venom of a Dragon Snake was no match for him!
She gradually regained feeling in her shoulders and quickly gathered her clothes about her, and said “Thank you…”
“You’re welcome. Now, about the payment...” Lin Mu Yu said as he busily Refined the remaining bottles of antidote.
“Why you… Why do you care so much about money?” Qin Yin sat upright, her demeanor returning to that of an Emperor’s daughter.
Lin Mu Yu couldn’t reveal that he wanted to study weaponsmithing and that he needed the money to buy materials, said “How can someone like you who came from a rich family understand the struggles of a peasant? To say I care so much about money… being poor is very difficult.”
With that, he stuffed the last of the antidote bottles into a fold of garment on his chest, picked up Prarie Fire, and stood up. “Now I have some urgent matters to attend to. Tell me where you live so I can go and collect when the time comes!”
Qin Yin couldn’t help smiling. “Alright, I live in the Capital. Tong Tian Street, Number 1…”
TL: Tong Tian = connect to heaven
“Tong Tian Street!”
Lin Mu Yu thought for second. “You live beside the Warring Saint Temple. That’s convenient!”
“You are from the Warring Saint Temple?” Qin Yin was stunned.
“Yup…” Lin Mu Yu scratched his head, smiled. “I have something I really have to do now. I’m going ahead!”
“Yes, very well.”
Lin Mu Yu disappeared before Qin Yin’s eyes in an instant. In a flash she was alone in the darkness.
Back in the depths of the forest Lin Mu Yu searched for his precious warhorse. There was no trace of it, he did, however, have many near encounters with torch-bearing horsemen.
“These must be the soldiers looking for Xiao Xi.” This was not a good time to look for his horse. He turned about and entered into the forest.
Lin Mu Yu felt a tingling sensation in his spine. Suddenly he had a nagging feeling that he was forgetting something. Right! He forgot to ask for the girl’s name! Stupid! He didn’t even know the address. One Thousand gold Yin down the drain!
“Your Highness! Your Highness!”
The soldiers called into the forest.
Nights in Dragon Seeker forest were very cold in late autumn. Qin Yin clutched her cloak about her tightly, shivering violently. Because her injury was very serious she could not muster up Qi. She couldn’t even call out for help.
Step by step she inched towards the forest path. Using up her remaining strength she called out as loud as she could, “I’m here!”
A soldier with sharp hearing heard the sound of her voice and quickly turned around. Under the starlight before him was her Royal Highness, the Imperial Princess! He was so ecstatic he felt like a newborn baby. He wildly called out “Feng Ji Xing! Her highness is over here!”
Feng Ji Xing rushed towards them and quickly dismounted from his horse. One of his arms was wrapped in bandages and his white cloak was red with blood. He kneeled on the ground and pounded his fist to his palm in salute, performing the Imperial Salute. “Rescue arrives at the last minute, are you alright, Your Highness?”
Qin Yin nodded her head and smiled. “Feng Ji Xing, you’re hurt!”
Feng Ji Xing shook his head and laughed, “Just a scratch. However, many Brothers were killed pushing back that Ten Thousand Year Dragon Snake. It’s a great loss. But if you are safe then everything is alright, this is the best thing…”
He noticed the bandage on Qin Yin’s chest, and couldn’t help but ask. “Your Highness, weren’t you bitten by the venomous snake? That venom… are you really alright?”
“I’m alright. Really, I am. The poison has been removed”
“How is that possible? That was the venom of a 10,000 year Dragon Snake!” Feng Ji Xing was very alarmed. “How could it have been removed?”
“I met a stranger, he helped me and removed the poison.”
“Who? What is his name?”
“It’s…” Lin Mu Yu felt a tingling sensation in his spine. Her beautiful face held a blank expression. She had completely forgotten to ask his name! How careless!
Feng Ji Xing seemed to have guess what happened and smiled. He saluted once again: “So it is like that. Your Highness, I am sending a party to escort you back to the Capital. Your mission to search for Princess Xi ends here.”
“No, I want to go with you!”
“Then… very well…”
Dawn broke through the horizon and sunlight poured into Dragon Seeker Forest.
It was late autumn and the maple leaves had rusted over into red and gold. A young girl clutching a tree branch leaned her weight against every step she took as she trudged along the mountain path. Her boots had long been cut up among the sharp rocks, exposing little white feet. She squinted at the sun and pouted in thought, “That way is east, then… then this way is west, no no. I think it’s the other way…”
At this, she stomped her feet in frustration. “Tang Xiao Xi, why didn’t you pay attention in geography class! I’m lost, and I’m hungry…”
She continued to limp into the distance. She must keep walking because the only other choice was to wait for death.
What Xiao Xi didn’t know was that a black panther was waiting for her on the bend of the mountain path ahead. To the cold, steely eyes of the panther she wasn’t a splendid beauty, just breakfast.
This was a 3000 Year Panther and it was mating season so it required a big meal to gain a lot of energy. It’s paws stepped soundlessly on the fallen leaves as it stealthily approached Tang Xiao Xi.
Finally, when they were less than twenty meters apart, the Panther initiated the attack with a loud roar and charged forward! Whipped chords of powerful muscle released into the air as the the 3000 Year Panther sprung out of hiding, teeth bared in a fearsome snarl.
Tang Xiao Xi released her Firefox spirit and channeled her energy into the makeshift staff. She raised her arms and made soft strokes in the air, creating a bright cross-shaped energy beam.
The Panther emitted an energy shield on the surface of its body and charged through the attack, breaking it in an instant. Tang Xiao Xi had no time to react as a massive claws swung down towards her and ripped flesh off her shoulders.
If Tang Xiao Xi weren’t already injured and weak from hunger she could have stood a chance. As it was, she was in no condition to fight. She hastily retrieved the Firefox Spirit and turned away to run.
The black panther snarled and continued the chase. It would not let its meal escape so easily.
Just as the Panther’s claws was about to reach her again a familiar sound called out from in front of her “It’s Princess Xi! Hurry, come with me!”
A white figure on horseback charged forward from the maple leaves. It was a young man in a white cloak wielding a sword. He jumped off the horse while it was still moving and cried in midair “Evil creature, go away!”
A gold chain suddenly appeared in the air and plunged directly into the belly of the Panther. Guts and blood poured out. It was the same attack as Qin Yin’s Gold Binding Chains!
Quick as lightning the sword fell down on the Panther’s neck, Ka-cha, and the black head rolled onto the grass. He performed the Imperial Salute with the bloody sword in his hands ”Xiao Xi, are you alright? I’ve brought the Imperial Army to come save you!”
Xiao Yi trembled, all her woes poured forth and tears fell down her face “Big Brother Qin Lei, you’ve finally come. I almost died!”
TL: “Lei” means “Thunder”
Qin Lei’s face was filled with compassion, “You little fool. Rest a while and we’ll head back to Lanyan City. Don’t worry, no beast can harm you while I’m around.”
“Alright.” Tang Xiao Xi nodded, “Is there anything to eat?”
Qin Lei quickly had some meat and water brought up to Xiao Xi. Tang Xiao Xi let go of all decorum and ravenously wolfed down the food. After she finished eating she regained her composure and her dignity as a Duke’s daughter, said “Big Brother Thunder, what’s happening in the capital?”
“Same old same old.” Qin Lei replied while cleaning his sword beside his horse. “When we heard about your misadventure in the Dragon Seeker Forest even the emperor was extremely worried. In fact, a whole army was sent out to search for you. Even I was dispatched. Everybody was worried to death. I heard that Qin Yin even snuck out of the palace to look for you!”
“Xiao Yin she…” Tang Xiao Xi pursed her little red lips. “She didn’t get into any trouble, did she?”
“Haha! Don’t worry. She’s with Feng Ji Xing and 5000 men of the army. Look at me, I only came out with 2000 men.”
Tang Xiao Xi looked on the army of soldiers behind Qin Lei and felt a little chagrinned. “I’m really very sorry to have caused all this trouble for everybody.”
Qin Lei laughed heartily, asked: “Xiao Xi, what sort of person is that Lin Mu Yu anyway? I heard that he was a criminal, an enemy of the empire. What is it about him that made you put yourself at such a huge risk?”
“No! Lin Mu Yu isn’t a criminal! He isn’t that sort of person!” Tang Xiao Xi firmly declared. “He saved my life, so I went into Dragon Seeker Forest to look for him. But we were ambushed, so many soldiers died…”
Qin Lei soothed her: “Those soldiers died in the line of duty. It was their duty to protect you and they performed that duty admirably. Xiao Xi, stop blaming yourself. I will send out Feather Mail to inform the Yin Palace and Feng Ji Xing that you have been found. Lest they remain here flitting about aimlessly like flies searching for nothing!”
A small white bird flew up into to the air, sweeping in a gush of air with its wings. It was carrying Xiao Xi’s little bit of news.
Lin Mu Yu trekked through the vast lands of the forest, sword in hand. He avoided all sorts of beasts so he could find Xiao Xi as fast as possible. Unfortunately, he was going the wrong way. No matter how far he travelled in that direction he would never find Xiao Xi. He raised his head to look up at the sky and spotted the white bird. But he didn’t know whose bird it was.
Through meandering veins of mountain paths the bird flew until it finally alighted on the shoulder of Feng Ji Xing. He opened the letter and announced jubilantly, “Your Highness, General Qin Lei has found Princess Xi!”
Qin Yin cheered happily, “Very good! Where is Xiao Xi now?”
“I don’t know, let’s all rendezvous back at the palace!”
“Okay, then let’s hurry back!”
Translated by: korezmi
Edited by: patrick_the_father_of_dragons