"Go quickly, and search for her!" Mo Xing Chen roared loudly, and set the entire Mo Clan in motion.
[Let’s make a general hypothesis… where could an eleven-year-old girl go? She wouldn’t have covered more than a few dozen kilometers even if she had run away… In fact, running a distance of several hundred kilometers would be considered incredible for an 11-year-old junior of an influential clan…]
Therefore, the people of the Mo Clan were quite relaxed from the start, didn’t take this seriously.
Everyone’s face turned dark after they had searched for three days. They had searched every nook and corner of the entire Mo Clan’s domain, but Mo Qing Wu was nowhere to be found!
Mo Xing Chen thundered furiously!
Great Elder Mo Wu Xin seemed unconcerned. He had a blank look on his face as he watched Mo Xing Chen rebuke his subordinates. Mo Xing Chen waved his hand after some time, and ordered everyone to get the hell out of there! Then, he sat down in a sulk.
"Little Wu was probably determined to leave the clan," Mo Wu Xin solemnly said, "So, I think she has already gone out of the Mo Clan’s domain."
"How can you be so sure?" Mo Xing Chen opened his eyes wide in bafflement, "She’s a little girl. Shouldn’t she be staying in the clan for her own good? How can he she just ‘up-and-go’ so heartlessly?! She’s a very disobedient and unfilial daughter! Has our Mo Clan treated her unjustly? This is very frustrating for me!"
Mo Wu Xin’s eyes flashed as he spoke, "A woman is born to leave her family. This has been the norm since ancient times. And, this point hasn’t changed since ancient times! Little Wu, she... ha-ha! Xing Chen, keep this matter confidential. Don’t let anyone find out about it! Send your men to look for her in secrecy… Our alliance with the Meng Clan can’t be interrupted. We must keep the engagement intact. That... is more important."
"Yes." Mo Xing Chen was extremely mad. But, he was also worried, "But, Little Wu is bound to come across many dangers if she has really run out of the Clan’s domain. The Jianghu people are very sinister and dangerous."
"Danger… in what way…? Mo Qing Wu is already crippled. So, what are you getting anxious for? She has lost the means to bring benefits to the clan..." Mo Wu Xin coldly spoke, "The key point is that you must see the interests of the clan! Little Wu may never come back. But, has Meng Luo seen what Little Wu looks like…? We can easily find someone to replace her; that’s all. There should be many girls her age in our Mo Clan…"
"I understand your meaning, Great Elder," Mo Xing Chen went silent at once.
"Good. You must begin preparations now itself if you wish to find a replacement for a probable contingency." Mo Wu Xin’s skinny face revealed the trace of a smiling expression, "Doing that at the last moment won’t be good."
"Xing Chen, I must say that there’s a serious problem in the way you’ve brought-up your children," Mo Wu Xin heaved a deep sigh, and spoke in a resentful manner. In fact, it seemed as if Mo Xing Chen had failed to meet his expectations, "Look at your sons, and look at your daughter... Your two sons are engaged in a deadly struggle for power and prestige. And, your daughter didn’t even care about the gracious upbringing that she had; nor did she care to return the favor to the clan. She simply left the clan as soon as it became a little unfavorable for her…"
He heaved a deep sigh after he had spoken this. Then, he turned and left abruptly.
Mo Xing Chen remained seated for a while with a blank mind. Then, his face suddenly twisted. He raised his palm, and pounded it on the table! The red sandalwood table turned into a pile of dust with a thunderous noise. Then, he muttered to himself, "So what if my two sons are engaged in a deadly struggle for power? This shows that both my sons are outstanding! Other people also struggle for something they desire! Don’t they? And, how can you talk like that about my daughter? My daughter suffered injuries at a young age. So, she fell from heaven to hell in your eyes! But, you still wish to pull her out of hell, and exploit her at the cost of her entire lifetime... who would wish go through that… who would like to be subjected to such cruelty?"
"She is my daughter, you motherfu*ker! I’m her father… who do you think you are to be talking trash about her!" Mo Xing Chen’s face twisted, "Its fine if I scold her. But, it’s unacceptable if others talk trash about her! Humph…"
He was obviously afraid to speak out these words.
"Humph! I know your hardship, but daddy will have to teach you a proper lesson once you come back!" Mo Xing Chen muttered. Then, he also stormed away.
Mo Qing Wu had been going at full-speed ever since she had started to ride the swift horse. She was scared that her clan members might catch her, and take her back. Hence, she had been going as fast as possible. She would only take the necessary rest; nothing else.
She hastened-on with her journey at the maximum speed.
Six days passed soon enough, and the surroundings got more and more desolate. The pedestrians on the road also got fewer and fewer...
However, how could Mo Qing Wu’s delicate body withstand riding on horseback for so long? She was trying her best to endure, but the flesh on the inner side of her thighs had been badly wounded by friction. She could no longer ride the horse like that as a result. And, she had to rest for a while. She bandaged her wounds, and switched to walking thereafter. However, she took a step, and frowned...
"They always said that ‘leave home to wander the world like a person of Jianghu’… but they never said it would be this tiring." Mo Qing Wu wiped the sweat off her forehead, and muttered with her small mouth, "They told us stories about the people of Jianghu as if they are iron-blooded people, but also have tender feelings. But, who could’ve imagined that such wasn’t the case... Humph, I won’t believe their words again..."
She wrinkled her nose, "They haven’t seen anything. There are so many mosquitoes out here… and, I feel so lonely..."
She made haste with her journey, but continued to complain along the way…
Dust and smoke started to billow behind her sometime later. A group of cavalry soldiers were rushing over like a hurricane. These riders were clad in black helmet, black armor, and black clothes. And, they were approaching wildly like a massive black cloud!
Mo Qing Wu quickly pulled-over her lean horse to hide at the roadside.
The caravan of horses went past her with a loud rumbling sound. The riders didn’t even glance at her from the corner of the eye, and passed-by like a strong gale. A gorgeous carriage appeared immiadeitely-after. It was being pulled by eight amazing black steeds. The hair of these horses was fluttering-about as they dashed past.
The carriage passed from Mo Qing Wu’s side… However, someone suddenly exclaimed ‘stop’ from inside the carriage at that precise moment...
The speeding soldiers stopped as soon as the command resounded. After that, their horses turned around, and rushed back. They had soon returned to the spot where Mo Qing Wu stood with her horse, and had formed a tight encirclement around them!
"You... what are you going to do?" Mo Qng Wu looked at them. She was frightened.
Creak Creak! The carriage sped back as well, and stopped in front of her.
Mo Qing Wu clearly felt a powerful aura pouring out from the carriage. She could also feel that a pair of sharp eyes was watching her from inside the carriage.
The riders and the horses were absolutely silent at this time!
A good while passed. Then, an ice-cold voice slowly sounded from the carriage compartment, "An 11-year-old Martial Master? Quite amusing… I must say."
Mo Qing Wu’s body tensed up. She somehow overcame the fear in her heart, and meekly asked, "Who are you?"
"Who I am..." the person in the carriage laughed coldly. Then, they suddenly replied in a harsh tone, "I’m the one asking questions at this time. Who are you? What’s your name? Where have you come from? Where are you going…?!"
Her voice was callous, and contained absolute authority. This clearly showed — [give one wrong answer, and the heads will roll!]
Mo Qing Wu had been intimidated by that powerful aura of deterrence, and couldn’t even lift a finger as a result. It was as if she her mind itself had been imprisoned. She felt as if she had no choice but to tell the truth.
However, a deep feeling of resentment suddenly surged in her chest at this moment. [I was bullied in my clan. No one gave me respect there. I have come out now, and I’ve randomly bumped into someone. But, will I allow this stranger to bully me on a whim? Was I – Mo Qing Wu – born to be bullied by people all the time?]
Suddenly, an intense sense of rebellion rushed up in her mind. This awakened her from her frightened state. She replied, "My surname is Chu... My name is... Chu ... Xiao Yang..."
"Chu Xiao Yang?" the voice in the carriage didn’t change. However, it seemed to carry an inexplicable sense of ridicule as it further asked, "Where are you from?"
"Willow River Town..."
"Where are you headed?"
"I am going to... Cang Lan Battlefront..."
"Why are you going there?"
"To find someone," Mo Qing Wu suddenly felt that she was replying more and more fluently.
"Who are you looking for?"
"I am looking for my elder brother..."
"Who is your elder brother?"
"My elder brother is called Chu Da Yang ..."
Suddenly, the person in the carriage sneered and calmly replied, "Good, very good. A little pre-teen kid has managed to lie in front of me… and that too so fluently..."
"I didn’t..." Mo Qing Wu panicked, "I didn’t lie..."
"You didn’t lie?" the person in the carriage laughed indifferently. They then asked, "Oh, so you haven’t lied…? Then, let me ask you something... tell me… are you a male or female?"
"Male..." Mo Qing Wu replied as her small face turned pale.
"Male?" The person in the carriage snorted. Then, they suddenly commanded in a stern voice, "Someone! Come here and strip his clothes to confirm whether he’s a man or a woman!"
"No no... I’m a woman… woman… woman..." Mo Qing Wu grabbed her lapel tightly, and suddenly crouched to the ground as she cried out loud.
The person in the carriage suddenly burst into laughter. They then spoke coldly, "So, you were lying. Weren’t you?"
Mo Qing Wu’s lips quivered as she lowered her head.
"You aren’t named Chu Xiao Yang... You aren’t from Willow River Town. And, you aren’t looking for Chu Da Yang..." the person in the carriage solemnly continued, "However, you are going to the Cang Lan Battlefront to find someone – this part is correct."
Mo Qing Wu had gotten goose bumps all over her body by now.
"And, the person you're looking for..." the person in the carriage calmly guessed, "Must be known as Mo Tian Ji, isn’t it? Am I right, Young Miss Mo Qing Wu?"
Mo Qing Wu was absolutely terrified. [This person even knows my identity?] She screamed… as if the person in the carriage was a ghost or something, "Who are you?"
"Humph..." The person in the carriage didn’t answer her question, "I had heard that the Mo Clan’s daughter has run away a few days ago. But, I didn’t expect to see her here today... I really hadn’t thought that an 11-year-old little girl would manage to cover a distance of 2225 Km on her own! This isn’t an easy thing..."
Then, the person went silent. It seemed as if they were thinking about something. After that, they commanded in a blunt manner, "Bring her up! She will be coming with us. We will deliver her and make some easy money. How can we pass on such an easy opportunity? Let this search operation die down. Then, we will send people to find Mo Tian Ji and Mo Xing Chen, and we’ll take ransom from each of them. The base price shall be 20 million!"
Another voice sounded from inside the carriage, "This is improper... After all, this is just a child. And, that too such a pitiful one... We should send her back home since we’ve found her..."
The person with the cold and stern voice decisively replied, "That’s out of the question! Mo Xing Chen is a nobody! So, why must I send back his child for free? I don’t need to lose a penny to join hands with someone like him. He doesn’t deserve that! Mo Tian Ji doesn’t have such qualifications either!"
That person snorted and added, "Anyway… giving something for free isn’t our style!"
Mo Qing Wu was carried over into the carriage by some people. She saw that the carriage compartment was rather broad, and snow-white bear fur had been spread everywhere. There was one side table placed on either side. A zither was placed on one of the side tables. A gentle-looking maiden was seated in the nearby seat. She had star-like intoxicating eyes.
A woman in black clothing was seated opposite to her. She was about 30-40 years of age. She had long eyebrows, starry eyes, and black hair. She would’ve been called a ‘stunning beauty’ if she were still young. However, there was an ice-cold expression on her face, and her gaze was sharp like a knife. She wouldn’t need to move to choke a person. Her incredibly heavy aura could easily leave a person to gasp for breath.
Her ice-cold eyes were sizing up Mo Qing Wu at this moment. She then spoke-up in a dense voice, "Young Miss Mo may have heard my name. My name is Jun Xi Zhu!"