Yan Xun shook his head and said, "Let me send you up first instead, you can find people to come rescue me."
Chu Qiao was shocked and scanned Yan Xun up and then. She then accepted his suggestion and said, "Okay."
With great effort, when Chu Qiao finally was able to see the bright round moon, she felt like it seemed to be a life and death situation. She laid down on the snow and looked down at Yan Xun who was still trapped in the hole and shouted, "You wait for me and I will go get help."
Yan Xun smiled and waved. "Hurry up!"
Her ankle was hurting and it was likely she sprained it when she fell into the hole. She limped for a few steps before an idea struck her. She stopped moving and squinted her eyes and felt chills go down her spine. If she turned and left, in this cold and deserted wilderness, Yan Xun would freeze to death. In this case, would she then get her revenge? She thought of the first day she was here—the non-stop flow of fresh blood on the hunting field, the sharp arrows—and Chu Qiao's heart raced.
Even though the arrows that were meant to kill her were fired by the two brothers of the Zhao family. Even though the Royal Highness' arrow struck the wild wolf. Even though after what happened, he was mocked by the Zhuge brothers for being a weakling. Even though he trusted her so much and smiled as he asked her to go and to come back quick…
Chu Qiao stood in the vast white field, her eyes pitch black, twinkling.
With a thud, a branch that was longer than one the height of a human was thrown into the hole, narrowly missing Yan Xun's head. Chu Qiao hadn't even revealed her head when she heard Yan Xun's roar, "Are you trying to kill me?!"
Chu Qiao rolled her eyes in irritation. "If I was trying to kill you, I wouldn't need such effort. Hurry and come up."
Yan Xun was agile and climbed up. He scanned her face and then smiled wryly. "I thought you would have just left me here and wouldn't return."
Chu Qiao looked at him coldly. "I can only blame myself for not being cruel enough."
Yan Xun let out a laugh as he went in front of her. He bent down slightly and said, "Since you didn't just leave me here, I want to thank you. Let me give you a piggyback ride back."
Chu Qiao looked at him in disbelief. "You would do something like that? Isn't that below your status?"
"I'm feeling good today."
Chu Qiao stopped speaking, and just as Yan Xun thought she was unwilling, he felt a small and soft body sink onto his back.
The snow on the vast plains glistened. Yan Xun was carrying someone for the first time and his actions were slightly awkward as he tried to maneuver through the snow. Chu Qiao extended her soft white hand and tapped his neck. "Don't wiggle! I am about to fall off."
Yan Xun paused slightly but steadied himself and gradually started moving again.
"Hey, do you know how long we have to walk?"
The child calmly replied, "Shorter than the burning of an incense, so walking back will take about two hours."
Yan Xun nodded his head. "You're named Xing Er?"
"How do you know that?"
"The last time at the precipice, that's what the servant that set you up called you." Royal Highness Yan seemed to be in an exceptionally good mood today. Seeing that Chu Qiao wasn't replying, he continued asking, "What's your actual name and surname?"
Chu Qiao quietly said, "Why must I tell you?"
"Don't tell me if you don't want to." Yan Xun replied, "But one day, you will be begging for me to listen."
"If you have the patience, slowly wait for that day to come."
Yan Xun frowned. "You are a child, why do you speak like an old person?"
The child on his back condescendingly replied with a twitch of her lip, "You people are not that old either. Why are your actions so devious?"
Yan Xun was astounded but smiled. "My gosh, you really do hold grudges."
The child sounded more dreary as her tone turned cold. She replied apathetically, "You don't hold grudges because you weren't pointed at with an arrow before."
The strong gusts of wind continued blowing and Yan Xun suddenly felt cold. He tried to open his mouth to refute but no words could come out. The concept of difference in status which he believed in for many years became inappropriate after what the child mentioned. For many things, as long as the majority of the people say something is right, you will naturally believe in it even though you don't think that way inside.
The chilly moonlight shone on the snowy ground as the shadows of the two children became tiny. At this moment, the hurried steps of a horse could be heard from the distance. Yan Xun focused and said, "My men are here."
The child on his back slightly frowned as she tried to focus on listening. All she could hear was a clutter of noise from the horses, and it seemed like an army was coming, followed by the rapid footsteps of people. It was foggy and a group of people could vaguely be seen trudging in. The child squinted and slowly spoke, "Seems like they are not your men."
The northern winds resulted in a snowstorm as the snow drifted feverishly and densely, blocking the bright moon resulting in them being unable to open their eyes fully.
The sky was pitch black with the occasional shrill of the night owls. The birds circled the sky and the Zhen Huan city seemed like a small pearl in an ocean of white from the view of a bird. It was dazzling. Now, on the outskirts of the pearl, there was a group of shabbily dressed, sallow people who were the opposite of what the flourishing city was, and were of a different race. They were trudging along.
The piercing wind penetrated the ragged clothes of the people, resembling a knife cutting their skin which was already turning blue. The strong winds howled and the people arduously huddled together to brace themselves against the storm. Without the walls of the city to protect them from the wind, the plateau's winter was all the more unbearable. Suddenly, a baby's cry could be heard and the lone voice gradually spread throughout the entire group.
With a crack, there was the sound of a whip. The leader who was riding on the horse came forward with a gloomy face and snapped, "All, shut up!" However, those infants did not understand his command and the crying persisted. The leader frowned and brought his horse into the crowd. He bent down and grabbed the baby from a young woman. He raised the baby and viciously slammed it on the ground.
"Ah!" A shrilling scream followed, and the mother of the child was shocked. She immediately knelt down and hugged the baby which had already lost any form of life, crying uncontrollably.
The leader glared, and as he passed by all the refugees of a different race, they all fell silent. In the wilderness, only the crying of the young woman could be heard. The leader drew his knife and slashed the woman's vertebrae. Blood spurted everywhere, tainting the white ground.
Chu Qiao suddenly stopped breathing for a moment and bit her lips hard. With a surge of force in her hands, she wanted to run out and help.
"Do you not care about your life?" Yan Xun hugged her tightly and whispered into her ear, "They are Wei Fa's army, don't act rashly."
"It's here," the leader with black nails and a black fur coat told his subordinates in a deep voice. The soldiers wearing iron helmets immediately came down from their horses and drew the knives from their waists. With a tug of the rope, those refugees whose legs were tied together fell to the ground simultaneously. The eyes of the leader were gloomy and his thin lips straightened into a line before mouthing the word, "Kill!"
The slicing motion of the knives was decisive and the young soldiers had maintained their composure. They didn't blink before tens of heads rolled on the floor and blood flowed out to form a red stream, which froze in an instant.
The child bit her lip tightly as she hid behind the slope, watching the massacre in close proximity, her heart clenched tightly. Her eyes shone brightly like a star but they felt heavy. Yan Xun's hands were cold but still held on tight to her, but he could feel emotions running through his blood and he wasn't able to turn his head to look her in the eyes. The small body in his embrace emanated some sort of warmth which seemed to scorch his hands.
He witnessed these repeated acts of decapitating the refugees. He felt that they weren't just cutting off the civilian's heads, but also his own principles. The stubbornness that had existed within him for a long time was sliced off until there was nothing left and there was nowhere to hide.
The knives slashed and the blood splattered everywhere. The refugee's expressions were seemingly calm and there wasn't any fear of death. Chu Qiao clearly saw that it wasn't numbness from extreme fear, it wasn't despair from losing all hope, and all the more it wasn't the feeling of giving up on oneself—It was a stubborn determination and hatred to the bone. Everyone was quiet and there wasn't any crying or cursing, even the babies were quiet. They opened their eyes and watched their people die in the arms of these other people. Their gaze was bright, but surges of hatred were tumbling inside them. This hatred would even be felt by the heavens, and even the Asura from the inferno had to give way to this hatred.
The rage and hatred that was hidden deep in her heart slowly overflowed and she clenched her fist tight like a bloodthirsty wolf. At this moment, the hurried gallops of a horse could be heard, accompanied by a man's angry shout, "Stop! All of you stop!"
The white horse sprinted to the scene, the young master leapt off the horse and he crazily whipped the soldiers' wrists. He stood in front of the refugees and shouted angrily at the leader, "Jiang He, what are you doing?"
"Major General Shuye, I'm just following orders and executing the rebels," he said as he wrinkled his eyebrows, but still hopped off his horse and bowed in respect.
"Rebels?" Wei Shuye furrowed his brow and, with an intense gaze, he pointed at the elderly, the women and the children, and sternly said, "Who are the rebels? Them? Who gave you the authority to do this?"
Jiang He's face remained the same, as stubborn as a rock. "Major General, it was ordered by Sheng Jin palace. They were direct orders by your uncle and were agreed on by the elders. Your own brother gave the orders and elders from the Wei Family discussed to come up with this order. I'm just conducting the execution."
Wei Shuye was stunned. He turned around and and scanned the refugees. The refugees that only had solemn faces revealed much anger when they saw him. One old lady suddenly stood up without any care and scolded, "You are a liar! A shameless betrayer! The gods will punish you!"
A knife sliced the old lady's waist and blood dripped from the knife. Her waist seemed to split in half and she collapsed to the ground. However, she still used her remaining strength to viciously spit bloody phlegm onto Shuye's clothes. She cursed, "Even if I become a ghost…I will forever haunt... haunt... "