The rocks would occasionally slip loose and make thudding sounds, before echoing in the mountain stream.
Half of Miss Jun’s body was hanging in mid-air. Both hands were clenching a loosened rock, about to fall off the cliff any moment.
In this situation, the cowardly would scream, and the brave would immediately rush forward to save the person.
But this man both screamed and jumped forward. And both his questions and actions were strange.
He didn’t immediately pull her up. Instead, he was pushing down on the hand that held Immortal Ziyi’s Plant.
He squatted in front of her. The sun shone behind him, and cast his shadow over Miss Jun.
Miss Jun could also clearly see his face.
He was about twenty-one years old. While his skin could not be said to be fair, it still glowed exquisitely. The bridge of his nose was tall and his eyes were bright. He was of outstanding looks.
Right now he was squatting down, but he was still large.
A grass rope was slung around his waist. A rabbit was hanging from it, as well as a hatchet.
The hatchet was still dripping with blood.
Who could say if this was from cutting the rabbit or something else.
Miss Jun turned her gaze back to his face.
"I’m about to fall. Noble Son, can you help me up?" she asked.
Without anxiousness or anger, and even more so without fear. Just like she was talking about the weather.
The man smiled. His smile was warm, but also untamed. This wildness was not a negative feeling, but instead added to his distinctive style.
"Okay," he agreed. He extended his arm.
Miss Jun was easily lifted aloft. He also stood up and pulled her back.
Just as she left the spot, the rocks fell down with a crash.
The man called out out.
"That was a close call," he commented, then patted his chest, like he had received a great fright. "You almost fell down."
Yes, it was a close call.
Miss Jun looked at the right hand that was holding her.
The man’s hands were coarse. His palm was broad and powerful, and his fingers were covered in thin callouses.
"Yes, I must thank Noble Son immensely." She dropped her gaze.
"What are you doing? Why did you run down here?" he asked curiously.
"I am herb gatherer," Miss Jun said softly, meeting his gaze. "And Noble Son, what are you?"
Why was he here so coincidentally?
"I am a woodcutter," he declared loudly, patting the hatchet on his waist.
Miss Jun paid her respects to him again.
"I am indebted to this benefactor for saving my life," she said.
The man raised a hand in a halting gesture.
"There’s no need for that," he said. "It was a slight favor."
Miss Jun did not say anything else. Her gaze fell once again on the arm held by the man.
There is a saying that the favor of saving a life is repaid by devoting your life to them.
On a stage, delicate and pretty girls would be saved by justice-seeking noble sons and would say this kind of thing, telling the noble sons that they would offer them their affection.
In the cities there were ruffians who would snatch young girls and say this kind of thing. The fiends and devils parading themselves around town, and no one would dare say a thing.
This was a matter of Heaven’s law and earth’s principle; it was something that couldn’t be helped.
She did not respond, and silence settled between them.
In this wild, mountainous area, there was a beautiful young girl, and a hatchet-bearing, staunch woodcutter. The silence made the atmosphere become strange.
Just as Miss Jun was going to speak again, her right hand was violently flipped over. Her arm immediately felt numb, and her tightly curled fingers uncurled.
Before she could even cry out, the hand gripping her arm shifted and caught the falling Immortal Ziying Plant.
"It’s fine. These small things are not worth getting hung up over," the man declared loudly. He waved a hand at Miss Jun and confidently turned around.
Miss Jun stared at the Immortal Ziying Plant in his hand.
"Good sir," she began.
He paused, then turned around with a frown.
"Do you want this medicinal herb to cure someone or to sell?" she asked, looking at him.
The man smiled.
"You’re talking about this flower?" he started. He shook the Immortal Ziying Plant. "I didn’t think too much about it. Anyways, it’s mine now. We can talk about it again when we go back."
Miss Jun looked at him, his strong figure, as well as the bloody hatchet on his belt.
"But I picked it," she protested.
She should not have said it, but she wanted to. Although it was senseless, but perhaps because she had died once, she did not particularly think if the future is long.
If the future is long, some things weren’t urgent.
If the future is long, some things can wait till later.
But who knows if she’ll have a future in the next moment.
She was in Master’s care for six years, without reciprocation. In the future, she would be devoted to getting revenge for her father. Having time to climb mountains searching for the Immortal Ziying Plant would be impossible.
When he heard her say this, the man’s smile dissipated, immediately vanquishing his warm aura. Just like the hatchet on his belt, he began to emit a bloodthirsty air.
"Don’t you know some things shouldn’t be said?" he asked, looking at the girl standing on the cliff who looked like she could be blown away by a gust of wind, the meaning heavy in his voice.
In this wild, mountainous area, a lone girl, let alone stealing a flower, what about stealing her as a person?
He pulled her up, and he could throw her down.
Now this girl did not know how to repay a favor, and was taking a mile when given an inch.
Could this even be called stealing?
"But I indeed did pick this Immortal Ziying Plant," she said again.
His face darkened further.
"Young lady, you are wrong," he said. "I picked it."
"I picked it," she said.
This senseless, childlike argument. It’s mine, no mine, it’s mine.
The man took a menacing step forward, with all the pressure of a mountain. This enormous pressure, like a whistling wind almost blew Miss Jun down.
And Miss Jun really did fall.
She fell not because she was scared or because the wind blew her. Rather, her foot was injured while she was traversing the cliff. Now that she was sitting on the ground, traces of blood could be seen on the corner of her skirt.
Even if the hatchet hadn’t come down yet, even if he hadn’t thrown her off the cliff, he was definitely not going to feel pity at her falling down.
"Think about it," he said viciously. "If it weren’t for me, wouldn’t you have died? If you died, would the flower still be yours?"
He pointed at the ground.
"If you died, and this flower fell here, it would belong to whoever picked it up."
Then he squatted by Miss Jun, his heavy brows crinkled.
"Do you understand this logic?"
She looked at him, seemingly not knowing what to say.
"But,"—she reached out to point behind her—"I was actually over there. I would have died there, and then this flower would have fallen with me. So according to this logic…" She looked at the man seriously. "You would not have picked it up."
The man stared, ire on his face. He raised a sandbag-sized fist.
Miss Jun did not close her eyes. She stared in the direction of the sandbag-sized fist.
"But I had grabbed onto the Ziying Plant," he said. "If you had fallen, it would not have, so it would have been picked up by me."
Miss Jun immediately shook her head.
"I definitely would not have let go of it if I fell,’ she said. "Or it would have fallen with me, or I would have ripped it as I fell. This Immortal Ziying Plant still isn’t yours."
The sandbag-sized fist stopped right in front of her nose.
"Young lady, I definitely have a way of making you fall while you let go, do you believe it?" he said viciously, then flung his other hand. The hatchet on his waist suddenly came whistling by Miss Jun. It grazed her dress, causing a cloud of dirt and stone to rise up.
Miss Jun did not speak.
"You are young, but how could you have not learned common sense?" commented the man, sounding indignant. "It really is much too outrageous."