Edited by TnyhyChapter 72: Getting Even (Part 1)
"Can you not see it? I am using my own life to bet on a future."
In the fire's blaze, Shen Miao's eyes looked more flourishing than the flames but her firmness was like an immovable rock.
"What is the use of a future for the dead?" Xie Jing Xing snapped, "It is too risky."
But Shen Miao laughed and sarcastically said, "I am different from Little Marquis. Little Marquis has extensive eyes and hands and could get what one wants without much effort. I am however different, if I do not bet my life, my end would be worse than death. I am not even scared of death, how would I be afraid of fire?" She paused, "You should leave."
Xie Jing Xing looked at her with a frown and a look of pensiveness flashed in that pair of beautiful peach blossoms eyes. He was not a good person and did not want to put up a program of saving others. That was just an accidental convenience and now that he recovered his senses, he ridiculed himself for losing his cool. Thinking about this, Xie Jing Xin leaned against an unburnt beam with his arms crossed and looked on with interest, "I have forgotten that you are the smart person in the Shen family and definitely would have the ability to retreat unscathed, but this Marquis want to see just what are your abilities?"
His purple clothes had some gold lines flowing through but they was not as dazzling as compared to the smile on his face. The youth's expression was awe-inspiring and his brows were picturesque but at the same time, as if he was resembling an emotional gentleman, there was a look of coldness and cruelty in that pair of eyes. Coupled with his cynical appearance, it made him look even colder.
In the banquet at the Eastern courtyard, when Ren Wan Yun heard that the Shen Xin couple had returned, she panicked. She still had a trace of hope in her heart, wishing that this was a prank that the servants played. But before she could think of a good idea, the servants outside brought a group of people in. The person leading said with a laugh, "Mother, this son returned back to the capital for your birthday! Mother do forgive the slight lateness!"
Everyone's eyes were on the group of people walking in, and the ones in front were a bearded strong man and a bold and vigorous woman, which were Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan. And the smiling youth behind them was Shen Qiu.
If it was the past, this would be a moment of joy and laughter as Ren Wan Yun was smooth and slick and was always able to coax the Shen Xin couple happy. But for this to happen so sudden today and the fire was not caught earlier or later but exactly when Shen Miao was trapped in the ancestral hall. Ren Wan Yun did not know what to do in that exact moment and stood rooted on the spot looking silly.
Old Shen Furen was also the same. She was one who had no stand or ideas and only threw some airs in the inner courtyard, that even towards Shen Miao, she would only use means that cannot be seen in broad daylight. So in front of such a large crowd, she was unable to even put up a panicked expression.
Chen Rou Qui was somewhat anxious in her heart. Even though she also wanted the First and Second household to fight till both sustained injuries, but now she was also in the banquet. If Shen Xin had not come back today and if Shen Miao died in the fire it would be alright since the dead could not testify, and they can say whatever they wanted to have happened. But now with Shen Xin's return, he had eyes to see and even discerning people could see the matter, what could she do?
Shen Qing and Shen Yue were somewhat fearful of this Eldest Bo, because Shen Xin was after all a General and always carried a decisive and resolute killing air. They were young delicate females and would often feel fear, thus when Shen Yue saw her mother's fearful appearance, she was beside herself with panic.
Shen Gui and Shen Wan looked at one another seriously. For so many years, they had concealed everything so well and never once a mistake was made, so they have never seen this brother of theirs angry before. But if Shen Miao meet any unexpected misfortune, they could not help but shudder at the things Shen Xin would do.
As they were thinking, Shen Xin and his wife had walked to Old Shen Furen with Shen Qiu into the banquet. Seeing that all the guest were silent and staring weirdly at them, Luo Xue Yan frowned. She felt that something was wrong but she was unable to tell what had gone wrong.
It was Shen Qiu that glanced at the table and carefully and seriously looked at the surroundings before doubtfully asking, "Grandmother, why is Younger Sister not seen on this table?"
With that, Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan also noticed. Shen Yue was present and even Shen Dong Ling, the Shu daughter of the Second household was also present but there was no sight of Shen Qing and Shen Miao in the group of Young Ladies. Shen Xin's smile paused as he asked, "Mother, where have Jiao Jiao go?"
Old Shen Furen was lost for words, what should she say? Ren Wan Yun herself said to call for guards but her actions were slow and obviously did not take the matter to heart. They were all still sitting down and did not leave the banquet.
"Grand General Shen!" It was Feng An Ning that suddenly stood up and loudly spoke, "You came back just in time. Just now the ancestral hall caught fire and Fifth Shen Young Lady is currently trapped in there!"
She deliberately made her words outrageous but this was also done to stand up for Shen Miao. Feng An Ning was very much doted in the Feng family and had never encounter such a situation like today. Even if she fell, everyone would come out to pour their concern. To see Shen Miao encounter such a danger and then the Shen residence people all had a calm expression, she felt sympathy for Shen Miao. Since Shen Xin came back in such a coincidence, she quickly complained.
When the words were spoken, Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan were stunned a moment. The ancestral hall caught fire and Shen Miao was trapped in there. Without any rhyme or reason, why would Shen Miao go to the ancestral hall? And the most important thing was why was Shen Miao in danger and all these Shen family members could still make merry in the banquet?
Ren Wan Yun recovered her senses and quickly explained, "Eldest Brother, Eldest Sao, I was about to go to look for guards when you all return…"
Before she could even finish her words, Shen Xin passed by her side without a second word and the look that he gave Ren Wan Yun felt like an icehouse. It was indeed too scary and too fierce.
Luo Xue Yan and Shen Qiu also suddenly recovered and rushed towards the ancestral hall without a second word.
In the ancestral hall, the fire got fiercer till it almost became a huge fireball and in the middle of it, stood Shen Miao who held a wet handkerchief that was prepared beforehand to cover her mouth and nose. Xie Jing Xing however was looking at her with a frown. Even though there was choking smoke all around, he was very relaxed and there were no traces of panic as he said to Shen Miao, "If you still do not go out, you will really die in here."
"If you still do not go out, you can only be buried with me." Shen Miao retorted.
"Clever and eloquent." Xie Jing Xing smiled without a care, "What are you waiting for?"
He had not finished speaking when he heard a roar from outside, "Jiao Jiao!"
Xie Jing Xing swept his eyes over to the window and saw that he was able to see an area that was not affected by the flames, the people there were not someone else but the Shen Xin couple and Shen Qiu.
When Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan thought about the fire, they did not expect that the blaze was so ferocious that it burned one's eyes. The ancestral hall was surrounded with a line of guards but no one went in to save anyone and just were using some bucket to put out the fire with water. It was like using a cup of water on a burning cart of firewood. If one were to wait for them to put it out, how would Shen Miao still be alive.
Shen Qiu gritted his teeth, "I will go and save Younger Sister!" After finishing speaking he headed in but before he took two steps, a beam fell in front with a 'Pa' and the crackling sound of the fire could be heard from the walls, blocking all routes forward.
In the room, Xie Jing Xing raised his eyebrows and said, "So your little name is Jiao Jiao but it does not match the person." (Jiao = delicate, lovable, frail, pampered)
"The people I am waiting for have arrived. Little Marquis should think your own way out." Shen Miao brows revealed a killing intent. The play she arranged today was to let Shen Xin see very clearly, what is the exact situation of this harmonious Shen family and what kind of evil heart those relatives, that kept on saying that they loved and doted her, had hidden. Generals placed importance on relations, loyalty and righteousness, they were not fools but only unwilling to use a vicious mind to surmise other's heart. She did not have much time to let Shen Xin understand, thus she could only use this direct and violent means to let them see and understand it clearly.
She picked up a piece of wood that was burning a little and savagely put it on her arm. Xie Jing Xing was startled for a moment as Shen Miao clenched her teeth as big drops of sweat flowed down her forehead. She flung away the wood and on her fair arms, there were burn traces.
Xie Jing Xing concealed the shock in his heart, in his life it was not that he did not meet females who were vicious and merciless to themselves. But those women who were suicide soldiers would treat themselves like that without any hesitation. Shen Miao was not a suicide soldier, she was just a noble and delicate young lady. Her life should be just like those noble young ladies in the Ding capital, just like her little name, delicate and soft, and not putting fire on her body without even a wrinkle on her brows.
He saw that Shen Miao dabbed some flames onto her body and started running outside. She stumbled as she ran but even though she seem to fall, her actions seems to be very precise and those areas that she ran into did not have any flames at all. Xie Jing Xing narrowed his eyes and looked carefully. That route was narrow and an exit way was set aside in the burning ancestral hall. So someone had already long prepared and poured some stuff that would not catch fire so that one could smoothly escape.
Everything was arranged properly by Shen Miao. She really used her life to bet on a future and she won it. So the one that would suffer bad luck would be others.
Xie Jing Xing's lips pulled back to a smile as he glanced meaningfully at the figure disappearing into the fire but he headed towards another exit, which was the back door of the ancestral hall. With a light posture, a punch and a kick, this extremely dangerous fire was unable to contain him as he left in a blink of an eye.
At the other side, the person that provided support had long arrived. Seeing him exiting, he was relieved, "Master."
"The thing is not in the ancestral hall. Shen Xin has returned. Leave." He said very quickly and with a turn, disappeared into the forest behind the ancestral hall.
Outside, Shen Miao ran out stumbling.
Seeing Shen Miao's figure, Shen Qiu suddenly jumped up, "Younger Sister!"
Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan almost cried out in joy. They were also trying to enter the blaze but who knew that there was simply no way in. Now seeing Shen Miao running out by herself, they were simply overjoyed.
When Shen Miao ran out, her legs went soft and she suddenly fainted. Shen Qiu quickly caught her and saw that there was a long trace of a ghastly burn on her left arm. Shen Qiu's eyes reddened at once as Shen Miao shrank herself in his arms and murmured with her eyes closed, "Let me out. I do not want to marry…"
When Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan heard those words when they rushed over, they immediately froze on the spot.