The group had over a hundred people and most of them were the elderly, women and children . Flurries of activity bustled within the group . The sounds of children crying, women scolding, and the men urging them on merged into a cacophony . . . the sounds startled all of the birds in the area, causing them to flee into the air .
The village chief, who was following the Yu Family closely, looked back and saw the mess . He couldn’t stand it anymore and raised his voice to scold all of the villagers, “Every man in the household, become the man! Control your wife and children! You guys are so noisy, is it because you’re afraid that the Wokou pirates don’t know where we are ah? If you guys lure these pirates to you, no one’s going to care whether you live or die!”
The words of the village chief were very quickly disseminated throughout the people . Within moments, the noise settled down . Occasionally the sound of a child crying could be heard before the parents shushed their child . A voice sounded from the group, “Aren’t there about a dozen bodyguards who are skilled from Imperial Prince Jing’s mountain villa ah? Would they really just watch as we die in front of them?”
The village chief glanced at the bodyguards, whose expressions hadn’t changed, and coldly laughed . He replied back in the direction of the sound, “Just what type of status do you have that you want the Imperial Prince’s bodyguards to save you? They are here to protect the princess consort . How thick faced are you to bring yourself up to the level of the princess consort? Cut the crap and use your energy to flee, alright? If the Wokou pirates catch you, then you can find out if the bodyguards will help you or not, okay?”
The nearby villagers looked at the cold and indifferent expressions on the bodyguards and anxiety swirled within them . Who was so stupid to provoke these bodyguards at this time? If these soldiers decided to leave them to fend for themselves, the West Mountains were very large and it was likely they would get lost within moments . If they ended up rushing into the territory of ferocious beasts, they didn’t even need to wait for the pirates to catch up before they would be torn into the pieces tonight by animals!
Yu Xiaocao, who was at the very front, thought that the person asking sounded like Madam Zhang . She sneered inside, ‘Do you think you’re the sun ah? And that the earth has to rotate around you? You want the Imperial Prince’s bodyguards to protect you? Gosh, what type of crazy ideas do you have in your mind? Stop dreaming ah!’
She was currently traversing through a bunch of vegetation that was about as tall as a person . The bodyguards next to her were using their swords constantly to cut any plants that were in the way so that the princess consort’s sedan could pass through without any issues . As this continued, the speed of the fleeing group had slowed down .
There were still a few people lagging behind in the back because they were not willing to lighten their packs and leave any items behind . Thus, they struggled through the thick vegetation . Suddenly, in the very back, Yu Dashan could faintly hear the voices of people that were speaking in a foreign language . The sounds did not seem very far from him .
Yu Dashan was so scared that his legs trembled . He threw down the giant pack on his back and raced for his life as he ran forward . He ran and screamed at the same time, “The Wokou pirates have caught up . Quickly run ah! The pirates are here…”
The two women with him, who had been unceremoniously left behind, were stunned for a moment . Neither Madam Zhang or Madam Li had ever thought that Yu Dashan, who usually acted very filial and loving to his mother and wife, would actually leave the two of them, one an elder and one a weak woman, behind and only be concerned for his own safety .
Madam Li very quickly regained her wits and she turned her head around to look at the thick forest behind her . Although she couldn’t see any pirates in the back, she could hear the sounds of them approaching . Because Yu Dashan had run away screaming his head off, the pirates were able to pinpoint the direction that the villagers were fleeing in . Thus, a hundred or so pirates were now running in their direction .
Madam Li imitated Yu Dashan’s actions and also threw away all of the possessions she was holding . With her load lightened, she glanced briefly at Madam Zhang, who still had a giant wicker basket on her back, and huffed and puffed as she took off for her life . Her only thought was this: ‘As long as I can pass more people, I'll be safe . ’
Madam Zhang was so distraught by the events that tears almost dripped down her face . She was now very regretful and angry . She hated her eldest son, who she had taken care of for more than a dozen years . Despite her affections for him, he was willing to throw her away, his old mother, at the face of danger to save his own skin . She was regretful about her previous actions . By being so cruel, she had severed all relations she had with Yu Hai and his family . If she had treated them better in the past, with Yu Hai’s kind hearted temperament, he absolutely wouldn’t act like Yu Dashan and leave her behind cold-heartedly . Instead, the one who would be protected by the bodyguards in front would be her .
The people around Madam Zhang were all throwing away their belongings without a single thought and scattering around in a panic as they absconded for their lives . She couldn’t care about her possessions anymore either . At any rate, all of the family’s money was on her body, so the rest of the items didn’t amount to much! She threw off the giant bamboo basket onto the ground and quickened her steps forward as she crookedly stumbled up the mountain trail . She did her best to catch up with the other villagers . She didn’t want to be left behind and become the first sacrifice to the Wokou pirates .
“What should we do? The pirates are about to catch up! We can’t just watch as they harm and kill all of the other people in Dongshan Village ah!” Yu Hai heard the panicked noises behind them and couldn’t help from clenching his hands into fists .
Yu Xiaocao frowned seriously and chewed on her lips before she spoke to the commander of the bodyguards, “Commander Zheng, with our current speed, I’m pretty sure that the pirates will very quickly catch up to us . ”
The commander of the bodyguards unsheathed his long sword and nodded, “Miss Yu, you don’t need to worry about that . Continue to lead the way ahead and I will take a few brothers along to the back to intercept the Wokou pirates . This will give everyone some more time to run away…”
Yu Hai suddenly volunteered, “I’m very familiar with these mountain forests and I also know how to hunt and stalk prey in this area . I’ll go with you guys!”
When Madam Liu heard him say this, she stumbled a step and a feeling of panic bubbled in her heart . She couldn’t stop herself from crying, “My husband…”
Yu Hai smiled reassuringly at her and said, “Wife, don't worry! In these woods, I can’t brag about anything else but I know how to hide and conceal myself very well . If things are looking bad, I will make sure to retreat very quickly . Don’t worry, I won’t do things out of pride and greed and try to be a hero when I’m not!”
The commander of the bodyguards also comforted her, “Madam, don’t worry! As long as I am here, I will make sure to keep Brother Yu safe and sound! Although there are a lot of pirates chasing after us, they are mostly familiar with battles on the open sea and don't know how to fight in thick forests . We won’t directly confront these pirates!”
Madam Liu’s face had turned as white as a sheet out of fear . She knew her husband had already made his decision and that he wouldn’t listen to her . She could only nod her head weakly and implore him to be very careful . He needed to remember that his family still had many weak and elderly members waiting for him to come back!
Madam Liu was currently beside herself with worry . Her eldest son had gone to the docks to report on the situation during such a dangerous time . Her younger daughter had said that there were quite a few pirate ships headed towards the direction of the docks as well . It was pretty obvious that that area would also be full of danger . Now, her husband had volunteered himself to head straight into danger himself . How could she not be concerned about them?
When Yu Hai left with Commander Zheng and the other bodyguards to the back, Yingtao and the wife of the steward who was in charge of the piggery, Steward Zhao’s wife, came up to support Madam Liu on each side . They followed closely behind Princess Consort Jing’s sedan . Princess Consort Jing also turned her head back to say a few comforting words . Inwardly, the princess consort was not as serene as she seemed . However, whenever she saw Yu Xiaocao, a tiny little girl, confronting the crisis in front of them with a cool head and leading the way, she also felt her heart settle down too .
Yu Xiaocao was also worried about her father going back to confront the Wokou pirates . However, the pirates were catching up to them and there was already not enough time for everyone to flee to the hiding place in that hidden ravine . They needed someone to create an opportunity for them to get more time . Although those bodyguards were highly skilled, they still weren’t as familiar with the terrain of the forests of the West Mountain as a native . With her father leading the way, they would be able to complete their mission much more easily .
In order to ensure her father’s safety, she sent Little Black and Little White to go protect her father . Both of the two wolves now had the bulk and strength of an alpha wolf . Although Little Black usually liked to act cute and play with humans, he could actually fight a bear on his own without any difficulties!
As the group steadily trudged forward deeper into the forest, the people in the back couldn’t help but squeeze closer to the front . The originally loose group of villagers was now all bunched up tightly . Yu Dashan had been fleeing like a madman earlier and finally caught up with Imperial Prince Jing’s group of bodyguards in the front . He forcefully squeezed through people to get closer to the Yu Family’s group .
“Don’t hold me back and let me through . I’m also surnamed Yu and I am the older brother of Yu Hai!” Yu Dashan was ordinarily a dull and wooden man but now he had completely changed . His eyes were completely red as he fought against the bodyguards preventing him from breaking through the circle . He desperately wanted to go into the inner protected area .
Old Yu was also currently worried about his son and eldest grandson . When he heard the commotion, he slowed down and headed back to where Yu Dashan was currently struggling against the bodyguards . Old Yu looked behind Yu Dashan and disappointment crawled onto his face . He sighed and shook his head, “Dashan . . . you actually left your mother and wife behind while you ran ahead . You . . . are you still human ah?”
“How am I not human? Those two are both deadweights and would only pull me back . One’s old while the other’s fat . If the pirates caught up, all three of us would die! Why can’t I run for my life? Preserving one life is still a life!” Both of Yu Dashan’s eyes were bright red and it looked like he had lost all reason within his head .
Yu Caifeng shot a look of disgust at him and said, “Are you worthy of the name Yu? You’re such an unfilial and selfish man, stay farther away from us . Don’t dirty our eyes here!”
“I was your father’s son for more than thirty years and took the surname Yu for over thirty years . As a daughter who married out, what qualifications do you have to determine whether I’m worthy of the name Yu??” At this point, Yu Dashan was snapping at anyone who was available as if he no longer cared about offending others .
Old Yu let out another sigh and said, “In times of crisis, one can truly see a person’s true nature . If you had brought your wife and your mother along with you, I would shamefully speak up for you and ask the princess consort to show mercy and let you guys stay with us . However . . . you’re someone who’s even willing to throw away your own mother . What qualifications do you have to have me to plead for you? I’m not that thick-skinned!”
Old Yu then looked at Yu Dashan deeply in the eye while a complicated feeling arose in his heart . He had originally thought that Yu Dashan wasn’t the same as his mother and that he was a straight bamboo sprout that had grown out of a crooked one . However, now he knew that they were truly mother and son . They were cold and selfish to their very bones! He shook his head and turned around to leave . No matter how much Yu Dashan begged or what he said, Old Yu didn’t turn back .
As this was happening, Yu Hai led the head of the bodyguards and another ten men who were very skilled through the forest . They very quickly reached the back of the fleeing group . Madam Zhang saw him and opened her mouth but in the end didn’t say anything . She instead stamped her feet along and did her best to follow the rest of the people .
Yu Hai only indifferently glanced at her, as if she was a stranger that he didn’t even know . He looked at the terrain around them and then addressed the commander of the bodyguards, “The situation is urgent . Judging from the sounds of the Wokou pirates, they should be able to get here in about fifteen minutes . We should set a few traps nearby that are large enough to catch large animals and wait for these pirates to fall into them!”