Ling Lan closely observed the situation, and found that there were only 17 men watching over the villagers. However, Ling Lan suspected that there were more men around than this group of killers, otherwise the hundred or so strong young men of the village would not have been rounded up so easily. There were probably more killers within the village proper.
Killing off these 17 men was actually not that difficult, but the true difficulty lay in how she could kill all of them before they could sound the alert and regroup. And like before, she needed to prevent a hostage situation from happening.
After considering it for a moment, Ling Lan snuck back to where the young man and the others were hiding, and relayed what was happening at the village entrance to them.
Just as everyone was panicking, with some even suggesting that they should just abandon the village and run, the young man once again offered a differing opinion. He felt that they should go back and save their relatives, otherwise their lives would be meaningless.
The young man's tenacity and passion moved the others, so everyone ultimately decided to go to the village entrance to try and rescue people. Of course, they were also well aware that everything was moot without Ling Lan's help — involuntarily, all of their gazes fell on Ling Lan, but only the young man's gaze was filled with apology. He had only invited the solitary Ling Lan to follow them out of good intentions, hoping that he could put down roots in their village and stop having to wander. Never had he expected that he would cause Ling Lan to be dragged into danger once again.
Ling Lan's original plan was to coordinate with these people anyway, to draw away some of the guards from the village entrance. So, she did not rebuff them, but instead presented them with a straightforward account of her plan.
Perhaps everyone had things they wanted to protect at all costs, for although Ling Lan's plan could very well cost them their lives, at that moment, not a single person backed down, or voiced any objection. With faces filled with determination, the villagers agreed to execute Ling Lan's plan.
Seeing these people whose mental states were completely different from how they were initially, Ling Lan realised that humans, despite having countless faults, when placed in a situation where they had to protect something they just couldn't live without, their decisions may very likely astound. Take the situation right now for example, these people no longer displayed any of the selfishness they had at the start.
Ling Lan led them to a hidden col 1 by the village entrance, and then she sneakily dashed closer to the village entrance to lie flat on the ground. Luckily, Ling Lan was now a child with a small body, so even though there wasn't much cover near the village entrance, a slightly larger rock still managed to conceal most of Ling Lan's body.
Once in position, Ling Lan turned to the col and gave the others the hand signal to begin.
Those people abruptly stood up, lifted the wooden staffs and rocks they had found lying about, and rushed out of the col.
"Bastards! I'm gonna kill you all!" All of them shouted in unison.
The commotion startled those men at the village entrance, but when they saw the ragtag group with their makeshift weapons, they burst into wild laughter. In fact, there even was some element of pleasant surprise in their reactions, gleeful that more prey had decided to serve themselves up for their amusement.
In contrast, some of the women and elders tied up there started yelling in shock and terror, "Run away! Don't come!" At this point, they considered their lives forfeit, so those who were still free should just stay away. Every saved life counted.
Among the 17 people, there was a small head. He signalled for ten men from the group to go capture those suicidal people.
Ling Lan calmly watched as the ten men passed by her side and rushed towards the col. Meanwhile, the group led by the young men faltered and started to pull back amidst the cries of their relatives, actually turning tail to run. These actions naturally made the ten men chasing after them laugh even harder.
As this was happening, the remaining seven men did not stop their killing games. The head let his subordinate pull out one of the women who had yelled for the others to run, but their chosen target was not the woman herself, but was the little girl child of three to four years of age clinging to her.
Another two subordinates came out and savagely ripped the little girl away from her mother. They paid no heed to the little girl's terrified wails, tying her hands together securely, preparing to hang her on one of the large trees of the village entrance. The tree that they chose was already filled with countless other murdered villagers.
Seeing this, the woman went berserk. Without any hesitation, she lunged at the man holding her daughter — although her hands were tied behind her back, she still sunk her teeth into his wrist, trying to make him let go of her daughter. In order for her own daughter to have a chance of survival, she didn't care if she had to give up her life. The woman portrayed the selflessness of maternal love to the max, causing Ling Lan's heart to clench, aching in sympathy.
This detestable learning space, why did it have to show her such a scene? Ling Lan almost lost her cool, almost wanting to just rush out and kill every single one of those scumbags right then and there.
But Number Five's crazy torments had not been in vain — Ling Lan's spirit wouldn't waver just because of this scene. Still, even so, both of Ling Lan's hands were clenched tightly over the weapons in her hands, almost as if she were going to crush them with her grip.
The woman actually knew that what she was doing was useless — her daughter still wouldn't be able to escape death in the end. Still, she refused to give up, desperately holding onto her bite on the killer's wrist.
Even though her head was being pummelled fiercely by the man, even though blood had already coated her entire face, even though she was likely to die in the very next second ... she did not let up from start till end. Because she knew that the moment she loosened her teeth, her daughter's life would really be lost. And she absolutely did not want to see her own daughter die right before her eyes.
Seeing her mother being hit till her whole head was drenched with blood, the small little girl could only wail in shock and terror, "Mama, mama ..."
That killer's awkward situation caused all the other men to laugh at him. There wasn't much comradery among them, so no one even thought of coming over to help him escape from the woman's savage bite. Even the head himself was guffawing. Seeing a companion make a fool of themselves was also part of their entertainment.
Meanwhile, Ling Lan took the chance to slip behind them, finally baring her eager fangs.
"I've gotten sick of killing women, perhaps this little brat can excite me a little more." The head indicated for another subordinate to tie up the little girl.
Just then, Ling Lan pounced, leaping towards the thug still beating on the little girl's mother. At the same time, she sent a pebble flying with a kick, aimed straight for the killer who was just about to hang the little girl up.
A muffled whump, and the head of the killer who was tying up the little girl burst open. A reddish white liquid sprayed out, some of it staining the little girl's body.
Meanwhile, on Ling Lan's end, there was just a cold flash, and the thug's throat had been slashed open. A stream of warm blood spurted out to splash on the mother's head, mingling with her own blood on her face.
The thug's expression was a stunned one; till the very end, he had no idea why liquid would be spouting from his throat ... he slowly fell over, slumping to the ground alongside the mother.
After dispatching the thug, Ling Lan did not stop. Before the other killers could understand what was going on, she unleashed her greatest speed and strength.
The remaining few killers didn't even see anything, or if they had sharp eyes, all they saw was a passing shadow — in the blink of an eye, Ling Lan had efficiently finished off the four small fry, and then she immediately leapt at the head.
The small head was undoubtedly the strongest of the bunch. Seeing what had happened, he instantly knew they had hit a steel plate 2 ; he knew he should shout, so the master killers inside the village could come quickly ...
The head instinctively defended his neck — his above average eyesight had allowed him to see that all his subordinates had died from a slash of the throat.
He thought that as long as he could hold out for a while, he would be able to yell and inform his boss inside the village that an enemy had come ... perhaps then he'd still have a chance of surviving.
Well, dreams were beautiful, but reality was cruel. How could Ling Lan give him such a chance? Otherwise she wouldn't have used bait to lure away a large portion of his subordinates; she had done that specifically to avoid giving them the chance to notify their compatriots in the village.
Just as the head was about to yell, he suddenly felt as if his palm had been pierced by something, and then the same sensation was at his throat. Due to the unimaginable speed, he actually didn't feel any pain. He had thought that it would hurt, but he felt nothing till the moment he died.
Ling Lan's tri-edge trench knife stabbed mercilessly into the opponent's throat, sealing his intended alert within his throat. She could even hear the faint clicking coming from deep within the opponent's throat as he tried to speak.
"You all have no more chances," said Ling Lan coldly as she pulled out the trench knife. The head's eyes were wide as he fell face first to the ground. In fact, even before Ling Lan had removed the trench knife, the other was already fully dead.
Ling Lan did not hesitate, but immediately rushed towards the col outside the village entrance. She still remembered that there were other people waiting for her rescue, and ten more killers for her to dispatch.
Ling Lan hadn't moved far from the village entrance when she caught sight of the group of killers chasing after the young man's company. The time Ling Lan had used to kill the seven men at the village entrance had really been very short, so these people hadn't had time to get very far.
At this time, Ling Lan had no more concerns, so these ten killers were summarily dispatched by her. Meanwhile, the villagers who had played bait were all fine, with only one person spraining their ankle while running, but it wasn't serious and wouldn't affect his mobility.
The young man and the others followed Ling Lan back to the village entrance, and helped to untie and release the bound villagers there. Upon questioning, they found out that the village had been set upon by bandits and that this group was just the first batch of captured villagers. There were more villagers within the village whose fates were uncertain, though the odds weren't in their favour.
Once again, Ling Lan became the focus of attention. Ling Lan simply instructed the young man to find a place to hide with all of the villagers, while she herself went deeper into the village to scout.
Under the grateful stares of all the villagers, Ling Lan slipped into the village. She wasn't doing this for the villagers, but rather to vent the righteous aggression she had bottled up inside. She just wanted to kill all those inhumane beasts, but of course saving some of the villagers along the way was a welcome plus.
Ling Lan did not have a so-called hero-complex; she just didn't want this sort of inhumane beasts to exist in this world. Perhaps the history of the invasion of China, so hated by the Chinese people, in her past world had left a deeply embedded wound within the hearts of all the impassioned descendants of China. Thus, when faced with such a similar scene, this banked rage was triggered.
"I am me. I only live to follow my heart." Ling Lan had temporarily forgotten the mission, only wanting to go wild without reservations for once, and let out that demon imprisoned within her heart.
Indeed, under Number Five's insane torments, Ling Lan, who had once lost control of herself, was just like a demon who would cut people down like grass. And right now, facing this group of beasts wearing human skins, was the best time for the demon within her heart to resurrect.
A trace of madness bloomed in Ling Lan's eyes, but this madness was very restrained, so honed and focused in its intensity that it presented as calm.the lowest point of a ridge or saddle between two peaks. (This is a legit word, though uncommon. I learned it from translating this. :p) Met an opponent that was beyond their capabilities. Kinda like hitting a wall or dead end, unable to move any further.