Chapter 37 Falling into a Trap
Yan Xun and Chu Qiao rode together, galloping through the open snowfield.
“Girl, go back with me to Yanbei!”
“I will not go.”
“Won’t go,” the youth smiled brightly, “Look at you this time, where exactly will you run?”
The horse’s hooves slowed on the peaceful plains as the winds swept over the earth. The thundering hooves, followed behind them over and over as they buckled on the horizon. Chu Qiao nervously grabbed Yan Xun’s arm, “Crazy, someone is chasing you?”
Yan Xun did not care about that and gave a silly smile, “Anyway, Yanbei’s land has abundant resources, with a powerful family. If you want to come along, it is not a big deal.”
Chu Qiao frowned, and frequently looked back, seeing a group of soldiers forming a line in the snow. She only knew a few people. The child bit her lower lip as she looked around the terrain. With an angry voice she spoke, “Are you crazy, do you think no one would dare come back to kill you?”
Yan Xun raised an eyebrow, still talking, “I will not go back, what about you?”
Chu Qiao’s eyes suddenly turned a little sour, she looked up at Yan Xun’s smooth jaw. He really was just a child who hasn’t even grown a beard yet. A hedonistic son of rich parents, all day with a life of nonsense. Some children would be dumbfounded as Yan Xun met her look with a laugh, and joked, “How about I marry you? No, you are too young, who knows what you would look like when you grow in the future. Ah, that’s it. How about you just stick with this prince, and we will slowly decide later.”
“Yan Bei devil! Quickly dismount and tie your hands and wait to be captured!”
He suddenly burst into laughter. The laughing Yan Xun raised his brow, “Hey, it seems we have trouble.” Said Yan Xun while whipping his horse. Not only did he not stop, but made the horse move more rapidly.
Dark armors looked especially grim in the night along the mountain. The sound of rapid hooves rolling gave a sign of horses approaching. Thousands of snow rose like a tide, like the avalanche of Jishan, powerful and amazing. The earth trembled like crazy, as if a fierce ancient beast was awoken and was about to break the surface with a single jump.
“Hold tight!” The young boy’s face suddenly became tough as iron, eyebrows sharp like scimitars. He clenched the reins as he shouted severely. The horse leapt while making a hissing sound. Cold wind cut their ears like a sharp knife passing instantly. Their speed was approaching the peak, leaving their pursuers behind.
“Haha!” Yan Xun gave a hearty laugh, the Yanbei soldiers all broke into laughter as well. They looked back towards the Wei soldiers, who had astonished looks on their faces. Little child, Fengmian also have a hearty laugh, “Prince is also a son of an influential family. They have increased their knowledge. What are these but genuine Yanbei warhorses?
Yan Xun laughed: “Well, we just opened their eyes.”
As their voices fell, the Yanbei cavalry all together rein in to stop their horses. Using his finger he gave a loud whistle. A crisp, loud and a clear chant suddenly sounded, and it was unknown when Yan Xun, stood beside his horse. The horse’s mane was flowing in the wind as the horse was hissing like a lion. It was giving a sound of agitation, piercing the sky, with unparalleled power. Like a domineering king, standing like it was broken and blood surged, making one’s chest tighten.
Those true soldiers of the Yanbei warhorses were also whining. There four legs became soft, as they started to lie on the ground. Ignoring those whips, refusing to stand up.
Chu Qiao was very much surprised. That tiny scholar child, Fengmian gave a smile and triumphantly explained, “Our Yanbei horses’ origin are the best. They copulate with feral wolves. So not only are they fast on the battlefield, they can also summon wolves to help in fighting. Those sons of the powerful families from the imperial capital raised these horses. Even though these horses have not gone into the battlefields, those horses would be too scared to pursue. Who wants to pursue things that are too frightening? They just like to simply indulge in fantasy.” (TN: I think he is trying to explain why the horses are rebellious? I am truly confused how this blends in with the next couple of sentences. Maybe I’m thinking too hard)
Yan Bei soldiers started laughing in unison as the winds stirred. Yan Xun’s big fur coat fluttered in the north wind. Laughing, the youth shouted, “Let’s go back to Yanbei!
The soldiers laughed loudly: “Back to Yanbei!”
The horses’ hooves rolled in the snow, as the snow fog billowed through the dark sky. The Yanbei soldiers spurred on their horses with their whips, quickly disappearing.
However, at this time, a sense of crisis suddenly hit Chu Qiao’s heart. For many years she engaged in dangerous work, so it naturally gave birth to a certain alertness. Like blasting an alarm issued by some device, the child had no time to think. She didn’t know where the sense of danger came from, but the sharp wind suddenly piercing the night, carrying the momentum of thunder, that was roaring from a distance. She didn’t even have time to issue a warning, in almost one go, Chu Qiao punched the middle of Yan Xun’s lower abdomen. Yan Xun had not choice but to eat that pain, groaning tightly as he bent down. Just as he wanted to rain down curses at this dog testing him like Lu Dongbin, that Chu Qiao, a violent arrow suddenly enters his left shoulder. It passed through his body from the back, as blood spurted out. The power was amazing. The youth’s body collapsed, like a kite blown off course. He fell from the horse’s back, falling on the ice cold snow with a loud “thwop”.
Chu Qiao dumbfoundedly screamed as she pulled on the reins, but the horse continued to run, ignoring the reins. It was still following the previous whistle to run. The child was really worried, and abruptly leapt, with her small body, from the horse’s back. Giving a forward roll, before firmly sitting on the snow.
“Yan Xun!” She quickly approached, as if she was a speedy leopard. The youth at that time was staggering to stand up, Chu Qiao stepped forward to hold his shoulders, “Are you alright?
The youth’s eyes were cold as he frowned, “I won’t die.”
“Sou”, another arrow shot towards them. Chu Qiao listened to the slightest noise, as she brandished her blade to block the arrow. The arrow was extremely fast, when it hit her blade it actually gave off a spark as it illuminated the night.
“Lay down your weapon!”
In uniformity, countless if troops appeared out of thin air from the snowfield. There were thousands of troops, all dressed in white long fur, blending in with the snow. No wonder, while the horses were coming through, they actually did not have the slightest clue of their presence. From the cold forest, blades were pointed at them. At the same time fierce fighting sounds sounded. Obviously, it was too late to dismount in time. The Yanbei soldiers have been caught in a heavy ambush and were surrounded.
Through the crowd, a black horse came forward with a youth in black fur. His robes were embroidered with a golden dragon, whose sharp claws entrenched in the collar. Fluttering under a torch, Zhao Che half-squinting from the harsh light before coldly grunting, “I knew the Wei Family could not succeed in this matter.” (Zhao Che is one of the Xia Dynasty’s princes, Don’t forget to utilize the Glossary!)
Sharp blades rested on the two people’s neck. From the corner of her eyes, Chu Qiao glances about, seeing the edge of the prince’s robes. Designed with artificial flowers made with golden foil. She understood at a glance that these were the Imperial palace guards. The Emperor’s 7th son, who was conferred the title of prince, looking at Yan Xun indifferently. He eyes then traveled to the childish Chu Qiao, before speaking to his aides, “Bring them back.”
“7th Prince,” an aide came up, his eyes slightly drifting toward the distant battle of the Yanbei soldiers, whispered asked: “What about the rest of the people?”
Zhao Che brow knitted slightly, before speaking coldly, “They did not respect the order of the Emperor. This is treason, kill without mercy!”
The aide too the hint, the shouted to the distance, “By the 7th Prince’s order! For the act of treason, kill without mercy!”
Crashing sound suddenly became louder. The intense barrage of arrows flowed like flying locusts. With loud screams the Yanbei soldiers instantly became dead bodies, as they heavily fell on the snow. Chu Qiao was furious, as she heard Xiao Feng Mian’s voice angrily raining down curses. A pair of fists tightly gripped, her cold eyes looking up to Zhao Che. At the same time, an imperial guard from the Palace walked up, the child’s struggling, attracted the interest of the prince eye, who was usually aloof and remote.
Zhao Che looked her up and down once, with a slight frown. She felt somewhat familiar, but he could not remember where he seen her.
“Cut down the unrelated people.”
“Who dares!” Yan Xun angrily shouted loudly while stepping forward, holding the child tightly in his arms. His eyes were cold, undaunted by the eyes of one of the sons of heaven.
Zhao Che was surprised for a moment before laughing angrily, “You really do not understand life and death all this time. When could Yanbei stop me from doing as I please?”
Yan Xun said coldly: “Zhao Che, if you dare, I promise to make you regret it!”
Zhao Che frowned them sneered: “I’d like to see how you, only a beast, can make me regret it, do it!”
Soldiers reacted from both sides, all of them came forward with a swish. Yan Xun drew his dagger, aiming it at his chest, eyes like blades of ice. Brimming with refusal, advancing courageously to sever all relations.
“Stop!” Shocked Zhao Che shouted, incredibly annoyed and looking at the child’s body carefully, before finally speaking again, “Yan Xun, I’ll give you face this time, everyone let’s return!”
Weapons were suddenly handed over, the two were pushed to the front as prisoners. The girl was tightly in his arms, a pale little face close to his chest/ Yan Xun left shoulder continued to glow bright red with blood, flowing down his neck to the child’s clothes.
“Yan Xun,” Chu Qiao whispered: “how are you?”
His weak voice spoke with an unspeakable apology: “Girl, I hurt you.”
“Do not say that, we will …”
“You can rest assure!” Yan Xun suddenly interrupted Chu Qiao, making his voice sound tough as he firmly said, “I will protect you.”
The child’s body froze, stunned. How long ago, in a crumbling woodshed, did someone said the same thing to her seriously.
“Yue, do not be afraid, I will protect you.”
High winds roared as Yan Xun’s blood loss was too excessive. His body was ice cold as he shivered uncontrollably. The child used her slender arms to wrap around the youth’s body. Angling her head to the left she saw it. Not far away, on a small hill, where the dark clouds diverged and the dreary moonlight sprinkled, there was a lone warhorse. On the horse sat a young youth. The youth pulled his bow, the arrow aiming at the wounds on Yan Xun’s shoulder. Precisely where his wound was granted.
Although separated by a long distance, Chu Qiao was able to see the appearance of that person’s facial features. She tightly clung to Yan Xun increasingly cold body, bite her lower lip. The fist behind the youth slowly tightened into a fist.
Night chill was sorrowful, heavy clouds, and moonlight was cold as water. Zhuge Yue slowly put down the crossbow, watching the Imperial Prince’s procession for a long time. He did not leave.
This long night, was finally over.
Tomorrow, they will be able to bring back good news. Though they were still wary of their victory, Yan Shi Zi was captured, and will soon be taken back.
The Empire will be in Jubilation on the second day. It was sunny day.