Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
“Okay,” Zhou Xuanji muttered.
The roar was too terrifying. For the two kids, it was better not to court disaster and stay as far from it as they could.
They did not consider at all whether Qiu Baili would come back to look for them or not.
Qiu Baili was a cultivator at Inner Pellet after all.
The two of them started to pack food and clothing.
After packing, Zhou Xuanji stored their wooden hut in his Supreme Storage straightaway, but Qiu Baili’s wooden hut was too ugly, and so it was of no value to bring it along.
They were already cultivators, and naturally, they could travel much faster than they used to be. Not only that, but their stamina had also become better, even better than ordinary adults.
They kept moving forward.
They traveled for nine consecutive days and they did not stop, because they were afraid that the demon will follow them. It was better to stay as far from it as they can.
At present, they were weaving through the forest.
The surrounding trees were not dense, but they were all very tall. Between the trees were many shrubs. The two kids walked through them and could hide themselves at any moment.
A sound that pierced through the air came from the distant sky in front of them. Zhou Xuanji and Little Jiang Xue squatted down immediately out of fear and hid behind the shrubbery.
If you encountered cultivators in the wilderness, it was best to hide well and hide fast.
This was what Qiu Baili told them.
The areas on the edge of Southern Snow Kingdom were extremely chaotic, and even government soldiers could not interfere. If you meet someone, that person would most likely not be seeking a pleasant interaction.
Zhou Xuanji raised his head a little to take a look, and he saw a cultivator riding a demon flying across the sky above the forest.
The demon had a body that looked like a deer, its head was like a lion, and it had two wings. It looked very imposing, frightening them.
Only after they were far away could he sigh in relief.
He stood up and was preparing to leave with Little Jiang Xue, but he realized that she was no longer behind him, and had disappeared.
He reflexively turned around and saw that a few meters away from him, a woman dressed in black was carrying Little Jiang Xue, and covering her mouth with her left hand.
The woman had a cool and elegant looking face. Her eyes were long and narrow, and her hair was bundled up into a double top knot. Her quality of Qi was extremely Yin. One could tell just from her appearance that she was not a good person.
Zhou Xuanji was about to open his mouth, but he suddenly felt a heavy blow to the back of his neck and fainted immediately.
The cold wind blew against Zhou Xuanji, and he gradually regained his consciousness.
He felt that a hand was touching his face, pinching him occasionally.
“This little guy is adorable, I can’t bear to kill him.” A coquettish voice spoke, hiding within it a terrifying intent to murder.
Zhou Xuanji suddenly opened his eyes and woke up. He was shocked to realize that he could not move his body. A hand was pressing against his small chest.
“Oh? This little guy is awake,” said the woman in black with cold laughter. She was the one who took hold of Little Jiang Xue previously and was now carrying him.
He looked for traces of Little Jiang Xue and realized that she was sitting right beside him. She looked aggrieved.
They were at the top of a mountain. Beneath the night sky, the moon shined, and the bone-chilling wind blew.
There were seventeen cultivators in total, all surrounding a bonfire. Behind them stood their respective demon mounts, which were all taking a nap.
“Madam Night Seven, why not just take him as your son, instead of killing him,” said a strong man with a grin. He was sitting opposite Zhou Xuanji. He wore a robe made of beast skin, his face large and rough. He looked like a ferocious beast in human form.
The other cultivators teased Madam Seven Night too.
“Every boy and girl that Madam Seven Night is fond of are raised as slaves. Her favor comes and goes quickly, and the slaves are killed whenever they do not listen.”
“But this little boy has such a pretty look. He might be the descendant of some big clan.”
“Tsk tsk, the little girl is not bad either. Give her to me.”
“Get lost. You will die for nothing soon or later.”
“Hahaha. We, the Yellow Gust Seventeen Fiends, must not fight amongst ourselves.”
As he heard Madam Seven Night and the others squabble, he shuddered.
This woman is so ruthless!
Zhou Xuanji could not help but feel terrified as he was carried in her arms.
He cursed in his heart, “Sword Spirit, why did you not warn me that there was someone behind me?”
“If you resist, you would have died on the spot. It is better for you to become unconscious then fight back,” the Sword Spirit answered, still without any trace of emotion in its voice.
Zhou Xuanji remained silent.
Little Jiang Xue moved toward him and comforted him, saying, “Don’t be afraid Xuanji, I, your older sister, is with you…” Her eyes were red with tears, shakingly speaking as she sobbed. She was terrified.
Madam Night Seven smiled as she covered her mouth with her hand, saying, “Little girl, you are a good sister.”
Zhou Xuanji struggled and cried out, “Release me now, you are pressing down on me so hard that I’m dying.”
Madam Seven Night heard him and immediately released him. He got up quickly and pulled Little Jiang Xue aside.
They did not flee, because all paths were blocked, except if they wished to jump off the cliff.
Even if they did not fall to their death, they had no chance to escape.
Zhou Xuanji had heard about the infamous Yellow Gust Seventeen Fiends.
Qiu Baili had often told Little Jiang Xue horrifying legends to scare her and keep her from wandering around.
One of them was about the Yellow Gust Seventeen Fiends.
They were fierce evildoers who committed all sorts of evil in the area on the edge of the Southern Snow Kingdom.
Qiu Baili said that even he could not stand up to the Yellow Gust Seventeen Fiends.
Meaning that the Yellow Gust Seventeen Fiends consists of at least seventeen powerful Inner Pellet cultivators.
Madam Seven Night squinted her eyes as she looked at him and licked her lips, as though she was already imagining cooking him in a soup.
Zhou Xuanji saw her expression and felt goosebumps all over his body.
“Right, have you heard of the marriage that Emperor Yan of Zhou arranged?” A thin man said, his comrades turning to look at him.
He cleared his throat and continued, “Two years ago, Lady Zhao Xuan left the Imperial Palace with her son. It is said that the Empress sent a powerhouse to chase them and that both of them perished. Supposedly, Emperor Yan of Zhou just came back and learned about it, and he was so angry that he directly ordered the five-year-old Princess Ling Ling to marry the little prince once he comes of age.”
“He is dead though, this is not a marriage. What is going on?”
Zhou Xuanji could hear them.
He remembered Princess Ling Ling, who was a year older than him. They had met a few times when she was brought by her concubine mother. Whenever the little girl saw him, she would cry ceaselessly, which made Zhou Xuanji feel very frustrated with her.
He was not moved.
He felt suspicious instead.
Princess Ling Ling was given the title of Princess and became a goddaughter of Lady Chen, who was a good friend of Lady Zhao Xuan.
Lady Chen was very fond of Princess Ling Ling, why would she want to marry her to him?
Could it be that Emperor Yan of Zhou despised Lady Zhao Xuan, so he framed Lady Chen and her daughter, who were innocent?
Zhou Xuanji had many thoughts, but he felt that the most likely scenario was that the Empress was behind all of this.
Madam Night Seven shook her head and said, “Lady Zhao Xuan used to enjoy such favor, but it could not compare to the Empress who grew up with Emperor Yan of Zhou.”
Rumors spread across the entire Great Zhou Empire, and all the kingdoms under its banner knew that the Empress was involved in the death of Lady Zhao Xuan and her son.
However, Emperor Yan of Zhou did not blame the Empress.
The rough man grinned, saying, “Their relationship is much more than just growing up together. The second son of the Empress of Great Zhou has achieved the Spirit Refinement stage. Such talent, how could Emperor Yan of Zhou bear to harm the Empress?”