Chapter 71: Assassin
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Outside of the palace, a red-haired man stood in a daze, looking at the hazy dust. Red clothes, red hair, and horrifying red eyes, not the kind of clear red in rubies, but the kind of red that gave a dark aura, the kind that was both mysterious and aggressive. The man was like a crimson rose flourishing under the melancholic cloudy sky.
The man was humming an exceptionally creepy tune when a gust of cold wind ruffled the strands of hair by his ear… The man sensed something, turning around, another man who was pitch black from top to bottom stood.
The red-haired man smiled lightly, “Ye Yin Ju… You’re going to frighten people to death.”
The person called Ye Yin Ju had sharp brow ridges, a stiff face as if frozen by decades of blizzards, a muscular physique, and strong limbs, but he was still light on his feet. A perfect combination of speed and strength; the scariest thing was that he could kill people in complete silence. Very few were still alive after seeing his face.
“I’m merely here to inform you not to interfere with my job.” Ye Yin Ju’s tone didn’t have any room for negotiations. He wasn’t just informing, he was giving a warning.
The red-haired man gave a short cold laugh, but he wasn’t mad, “What? Are you that afraid of me getting the glory of killing the human before you? But if I remember correctly, the Evil Source wants us to cooperate in killing the human.”
“There’s no need,” Ye Yin Ju said.
The red-haired man shrugged his shoulders, he didn’t affirm Ye Yin Ju’s actions nor did he especially oppose them.
“Hey… Ye Yin Ju.” The red-haired man looked up at the swirling black fog that was becoming more and more human-shaped, he said gravely, “Don’t you think… the sky is starting to change?”
“Xiao Yu… Xiao Yu… Wake up!”
Someone was calling to him…
Gu Ting Yu felt someone shaking him, he woke up but everything was still hazy, the first thing he saw was Nian Xing’s worried face.
His head hurt. He looked at his surroundings and found that there was a big rainforest in front of him, and a huge mountain of rocks and rubble behind him—one which didn’t fit in with the soft soil underneath…
Gu Ting Yu found himself in Zhuo Yin’s embrace. Nian Xing squatted beside Zhuo Yin and stared at Gu Ting Yu, while Qing Que was starting a fire.
“Where are we?” Gu Ting Yu asked.
“That mountain of rocks and rubble were formerly the island we were on; we didn’t sink into the ocean back then, instead we were dropped here along with the rubble.” Qing Que saw that Gu Ting Yu was finally awake and was about to get closer, but Nian Xing was one step quicker, nestling up to Gu Ting Yu’s chest happily. Qing Que lowered his head and immersed himself in maintaining the fire again.
Gu Ting Yu sat up and asked awkwardly, “… None of you got hurt, right?”
“Nope~~I’m super strong!” Nian Xing grinned proudly.
“Shh—” Zhuo Yin suddenly sharpened his eyes, he listened carefully for a few seconds, but except for the occasional chirping of birds in the rainforest, there seemed to be no threat. However, Zhuo Yin had a very unsettling feeling. Ever since they arrived here, he felt like someone was lurking and watching them from the shadows.
“What’s wrong?” Gu Ting Yu looked at Zhuo Yin and asked.
Zhuo Yin shook his head. Never mind, he thought, because… even if there was a threat, he would give his life to protect Gu Ting Yu.
“It’s going to be night soon, let’s go find something to eat before that.” Qing Que stood up alone and stopped to think, then he turned back around to face Gu Ting Yu. “Enemies might be waiting to ambush us… So it would be better if we are together.”
“Yeah,” Gu Ting Yu agreed.
Beams of light from the setting sun seeped through the dense leaves, projecting spots of light on the soft soil.
Nian Xing and Zhuo Yin stood beside Gu Ting Yu, one on each side, but Gu Ting Yu couldn’t help constantly turning around to look at Qing Que who was behind them.
At the same time, a needle dipped in poison was aimed at Qing Que.
Ye Yin Ju was hiding on top of a tree among its branches; he had been observing Gu Ting Yu and the others for quite a while. According to what he sensed, the strongest aura among the four came from Qing Que—this was obviously different from the information he got—but the weirder thing was that he couldn’t sense the source of the human’s powers.
Ye Yin Ju determined that under such circumstances, a frontal attack was not suitable.
Ye Yin Ju usually chose to attack at night, as the veil of night was his best cover. As they were in high alert right now, the best option would be to weaken the strongest one among them, throwing them into a state of confusion and prying open their defenses… When that time came, Ye Yin Ju could simply break the human’s neck…
Gu Ting Yu stopped, he suddenly had a bad feeling that he might lose Qing Que…
Qing Que looked at Gu Ting Yu, he didn’t want to add to Gu Ting Yu’s troubles, especially now when threats and dangers were everywhere. This wasn’t the time for him to be selfish.
But the incident on the stairs of the lighthouse kept flashing back in his mind.
“Qing Que, something seems to be up ahead…!!!” Alarms rang inside of Gu Ting Yu’s heart, the wind stopped and everyone’s actions were slowed down—Gu Ting Yu saw a silver needle pierced through the air swiftly in slow motion, closing in towards Qing Que.
—“Qing Que! Be careful!!”
The brief moment dragged out, at least in Gu Ting Yu’s mind, it seemed very long.
Gu Ting Yu rushed towards Qing Que and pushed him over; almost at the same time, a black swirl formed in Zhuo Yin’s right palm, the sharp blades from the swirl cut down an old tree in an instant… Leaves fell and scattered, but the assailant was already gone and nowhere to be seen.
Thud… Gu Ting Yu hugged Qing Que tightly and fell onto the ground.
Qing Que held Gu Ting Yu who was lying on his chest, he was frowning deeply, suppressing the pain that came from his body.
“I’m… fi…” Gu Ting Yu wanted to say that he was fine, but only dark blood spurted out of his mouth when he spoke.
“Xiao Yu!!!!!!” Nian Xing screamed, wanting to examine Gu Ting Yu’s condition, but was stopped by Zhuo Yin—
“Don’t touch him.” Zhuo Yin carefully unbuttoned the collar of Gu Ting Yu’s shirt and just as he thought, a small puncture wound was found on the skin under Gu Ting Yu’s right ear, it was only noticeable because of the darkened skin around the wound.
“It’s the Night Tribe.” Zhuo Yin tried his best to steady his voice, “It will be fine, this kind of poison won’t be life threatening for a few more hours. The one who took the shot must have the antidote… So it will definitely be fine,” Zhuo Yin repeated. “For now… Don’t let him move too much, also don’t let the wind get to him!”
Qing Que sensed Gu Ting Yu’s temperature dropping at an alarming rate, even the slightest of wind made him shiver.
Gu Ting Yu closed his eyes and murmured, “… Cold.”
Nian Xing said anxiously, “Quickly! Go find a shelter!”
“…” Qing Que still didn’t say a word, he just held onto Gu Ting Yu tightly, and sensing the warmth of the person he loved disappear pained him so much that he could no longer think.
“Qing Que, please calm down, the assassin will be back, being like this will not do Xiao Yu any good.” Nian Xing’s usual childishness was gone, instead he comforted Qing Que with a serious face.
Qing Que meekly nodded his head, carrying Gu Ting Yu on his back. With Zhuo Yin walking in the front and Nian Xing behind, they entered the forest anxiously.
The sun sank down behind the hills, and at long last they found shelter in a small cave beside the forest before the freezing night came.
“How’s Gu Ting Yu?” Zhuo Yin gathered the wood he got along the way, but his trembling fingers made it impossible for him to start a fire.
Qing Que felt like he was carrying ice, Gu Ting Yu’s body temperature was extremely low, his face was so pale that there didn’t seem to be a trace of blood in him, and his lips were turning purple.
“Nian Xing, come help me start the damn fire!” Zhuo Yin was soaked in sweat and irritated, Nian Xing didn’t say a thing and took the flintstones that Zhuo Yin handed over—Neither him nor Zhuo Yin were familiar with fire magic, and as for the only one who could light a fire with magic, Qing Que, it was clear from his complexion that even his brain was frozen.
At long last they finally started the fire.
Zhuo Yin and Nian Xing sat at the mouth of the cave side-by-side, blocking the wind that might creep into the cave. The fire shined brightly, casting long shadows on the cave wall. Qing Que was embracing Gu Ting Yu tightly, burying his head in Gu Ting Yu’s neck; he was completely silent like a rock statue.
Suddenly Qing Que felt tiny movements beside his ear. Gu Ting Yu opened his mouth and mumbled a few words, the voice was so weak that only Qing Que could hear them…
Gu Ting Yu said, “Qing Que… I’m sorry.”
Sorry that I can’t give you a complete me.
Sorry that I am also a greedy person.
He remembered that Qing Que once blushed and said that Gu Ting Yu didn’t have to force himself to do anything, that he would always be waiting for Gu Ting Yu.
So… sorry… sorry that the person you were waiting for was someone like me.
“Ting Yu? Ting Yu…?” Qing Que wailed and repeatedly called for Gu Ting Yu. When Gu Ting Yu gave him a second chance in life, he had already vowed to live only for Gu Ting Yu, then why was he confused? Why was he unsatisfied? Why was he jealous??
How could he forget? The one in front of him right now was the person he loved, this had nothing to do with the others…
“!!” Zhuo Yin suddenly stood up, looking at the somber scenery outside the cave.
A pair of eyes slowly emerged from the darkness. Murderous intent permeated the air.