Big Boss – Chapter 48

A light kiss

Those guards were in panic, afraid of not finding the Noble Consort and getting implicated. They believed anything now and sent two people to bring back the assassin and report to the Emperor, while the rest followed behind Ye Youqing, heading towards the cliff.

Everyone knew how favored the Emperor was towards this Noble Consort. They knew that if anything happened to her, they wouldn’t escape the Emperor’s wrath.

Since the guards were searching up the mountain, they didn’t ride horses, so their speed was slow. Ci Ke worried about Zhou Ziqiu, who was almost “riding ahead alone,” leaving only the two of them running on the mountain road after a while.

Although the mountain peak was high, there was a path built, so even though they had to abandon the horses halfway up the mountain, it wasn’t too difficult to walk.

Ye Youqing still had energy, but Ci Ke was already gasping for breath halfway through. But she kept silent, continuing to climb forward. Ye Youqing didn’t know how to persuade her, so she could only accompany her, never stopping for a moment.

Not knowing how long they had been walking, Ci Ke finally felt her knees go weak, almost falling to the ground.

“Let’s rest.” Ye Youqing couldn’t bear to see it anymore, panting as she spoke.

Ci Ke’s face turned pale, her legs trembling, on the verge of collapse. She stared at the roadside, suddenly pulling out a hairpin from an inconspicuous clump of grass.

She stared at the hairpin, her throat moving slightly.

“Great, it proves we’re on the right track.” Ye Youqing breathed a sigh of relief and reached out to help Ci Ke up.

“Ye Youqing, do you think Aunt will…?” Ci Ke asked blanky.

“She won’t,” Ye Youqing replied confidently. “Trust me, Shi Li is here.”

“Sister Shi Li is here?” Ci Ke grabbed Ye Youqing’s hand, a glimmer of light shining in her previously dull eyes.

“Yes,” Ye Youqing reassured with a smile. “If you hadn’t been avoiding me all this time, you wouldn’t have failed to recognize her.”

Ci Ke released Ye Youqing’s hand, biting her lip.

Seeing her looking a bit lonely, Ye Youqing changed the topic and glanced around. She spotted some messy footprints on the dusty ground: “Look at these footprints that haven’t been blown away by the wind yet. The Noble Conosrt should have passed by not long ago. The mountain road ahead is not far now, be careful.”

Upon hearing this, Ci Ke’s gaze steadied. She leaned against the mountain wall and continued forward. For a moment, her pace became extremely fast, even causing Ye Youqing to run along with her.

After an unknown period of time, resting a few times, the moonlight above seemed to be veiled by a thin layer of gauze. Only a faint circular halo peeked through the clouds, casting all the surrounding scenery in a hazy light.

The two finally reached the mountaintop. After passing by a patch of unidentified white flowers, the scenery suddenly opened up before them. The mountaintop appeared as if it had been cut by a blade or sword, with a flat surface, sharp edges, and soft green grass extending forward like a plush carpet.

The glints of blades and swords also entered their view, the white reflections of steel cutting through the night sky, weaving into a dense web, ultimately descending with a sharp sound.

Accompanied by the sharp sound, the last masked person’s figure slowly fell, lying lifeless on the ground. Beside her, Ci Ke suddenly covered her mouth.

In the distance at the edge of the cliff, only three figures remained standing. One person held a sword, the tip seemingly dripping something. Another was a man, his hand encircling a woman’s neck and chin, the other hand pressing the woman’s shoulder, seemingly about to push her off.

“Aunt…” Ci Ke murmured, her body rushing forward, but was suddenly held back by someone.

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Ye Youqing instinctively blocked Ci Ke’s backward movement with her arm, swiftly drawing out a willow leaf hairpin. As she saw the person in front of her clearly, her hand paused midair.

Slim and short in stature, with distinct black and white eyes, hair tied up in a man’s bun, this person was indeed a young boy.

“Sixth Prince?” Ye Youqing lowered her voice, very surprised.

Ci Ke also stood frozen in place.

“Sister,” the young boy softly said, releasing Ci Ke’s hand and instead pulling Ye Youqing back a bit. “Don’t go ahead.”

 “How did you end up here?” Ye Youqing asked in a hushed tone, turning to glance at the three tense individuals locked in a standoff, none of them moving.

“I overheard the guards reporting to the Emperor that the Noble Consort might be here. Since you arrived ahead of them, I snuck out of the palace before the guards, hoping to see if I could be of any help,” the boy explained, his eyes fixed on the edge of the cliff, gradually leading Ye Youqing back step by step.

“As a way to repay the favor twice,” the young boy said, pointing to another fork in the road that led downwards.

“What do you mean?” Ye Youqing reached out and pulled Ci Ke close.

“This cliff is called Dog Head Cliff because there is a dog head-shaped protrusion below, barely half a zhang from the cliff’s edge,” the boy explained quickly. “At the mouth of the ‘dog,’ there is a hollow space connected to a cave. If the Noble Consort fell off the cliff, she would roll down from the ‘dog’s mouth. If someone is waiting at the cave entrance at this moment, it is highly likely that they would be able to save her.”

Upon hearing this, Ye Youqing and Ci Ke exchanged a glance.

At the edge of the cliff, Shi Li slowly knelt down, placing the long sword in her hand on the ground. It was evident that she was being threatened by the masked person with Zhou Ziqiu’s life, hence dropping her weapon.

From the looks of it, the remaining masked person seemed to value their own life more than Zhou Ziqiu’s life. That would make things much easier.

Ye Youqing knew that among the three present, only she had martial arts training. Although the Sixth Prince also had some skills, he was young and small in stature. If he couldn’t catch the person, they might both end up falling.

Making a quick decision, she said, “Can we…”

“Don’t worry. The entrance to the cave is covered with firewood.” The Sixth Prince’s voice intentionally lowered, gender indistinguishable. With that, he stealthily climbed up the cliff.

With Shi Li and the Sixth Prince above, Ye Youqing felt reassured. She then pulled Ci Ke along, and the two ran towards the fork in the road. Before long, they indeed spotted a pile of scattered firewood.

Pushing it aside revealed a deep, dark cave.

“Ye Youqing.” Ci Ke suddenly grabbed Ye Youqing’s sleeve and whispered, “Can we trust what he said?”

“I think the Sixth Prince has no reason to deceive us. Besides, if the Noble Conosrt is in that person’s hands, it’s best if Shi Li can save her. If she can’t, this is the only way to remedy the situation,” Ye Youqing said, wrapping Ci Ke’s delicate hand in hers and gently saying, “Come.”

The touch of Ye Youqing’s hand caused a wave of warmth in Ci Ke, but with the situation urgent, neither of them said anything further. They both leaped into the cave together.

At the same time, on the cliff, a strong wind rose, dispersing the clouds in the sky, revealing a disk-like shape shining ominously over the cliff, appearing larger than when viewed from the ground.

The woman’s pale red clothing was whipped into butterfly wings by the fierce wind, fluttering in all directions. She lifted her delicate neck, her red lips trembling slightly, her eyes dried up, only able to see the figure in front of her from the corner of her eye.

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Vaguely.

“Back off again, or I will throw this woman down now!” The masked man’s eyes were tinged with red bloodshot veins, a look of madness in his words and demeanor.

No matter what, he never expected that simply taking on a job for money, to assassinate a mere woman, would result in the loss of almost all his brothers.

The tall woman’s figure slowly retreated upon hearing the words.

Her hair had just been cut off by someone, and now it floated down in a flurry, partially obscuring her plain and unremarkable face.

But the killing intent in her light-colored eyes was chilling to the bone.

“Let her go. I spare your life,” the woman’s voice was hoarse, resembling a venomous snake hissing, devoid of its original tone.

Zhou Ziqiu’s eyes had begun to fill with despair. All she could see was the deeply washed blue sky, half of the moon, the vast and quiet surroundings, only filled with the woman’s hoarse voice and the howling wind from across.

The man’s rough hand tightly gripping her jaw was exerting force, half of his foot already stepping into emptiness. Beneath them lay a cliff of unknown height, with a jumble of jagged rocks at the bottom.

Let’s just die together at the bottom of the mountain, like her.

However, let’s at least try to fly like birds.

Zhou Ziqiu didn’t shed a tear. Perhaps her tears had run dry every night, now leaving only dryness. For some reason, the blurry figure in front of her looked more and more familiar.

A familiar figure, just not as carefree and charming as Xiaoshi, with that bright smile.

She slowly reached out her hand.

“Let her go,” Shi Li’s voice trembled increasingly, she stopped retreating and slowly raised her hands.

Zhou Ziqiu’s body was being pressed by the man, slowly tilting backward, half of her body already exposed outside the cliff. The wind was getting stronger, blowing so fiercely that it almost made people sway and almost fall.

“Please, don’t,” Shi Li’s eyes stared tightly at the graceful figure wrapped in red clothing, almost choking with emotion.

“Go to hell.” The man suddenly said harshly, then he pulled back the arm holding the woman’s chin, dragging her with him. She was silent as she spun around, her clothes billowing, and she fell straight down.

In the blink of an eye, just as the man made a move, Shi Li’s body had already turned into a shadow. No one saw how she did it, but the blade that came out of her sleeve accurately slashed across the man’s throat.

After a moment, blood gushed out, staining the white stone ground.

At the same time, she flew out, at an incredible angle, and in mid-air, she caught Zhou Ziqiu by the waist, forcefully pushing her back onto the cliff.

In this brief moment that felt like a lightning flash, time seemed to slow down, enveloping the two in a familiar atmosphere, causing tears to instantly pour from Zhou Ziqiu’s eyes.

She stared into the woman’s eyes, different from those of the Central Plains people, bright and faint.

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Then, the distance between the two immediately widened, and a young man appeared from nowhere to catch Zhou Ziqiu, while the woman’s piercing scream echoed through the cliffs.

……

“Aunt!” In the darkness, Ci Ke’s voice trembled as she suddenly ran forward.

The pitch-black cave finally let out a glimmer of light. Ye Youqing held onto her bruised leg after knocking it against the wall. She also heard the piercing scream, despairing at the situation, swiftly darted out of the cave, just in time to see a figure dangling below the cliff.

However, not long after, the rock supporting her hanging figure suddenly detached from the cliff, and the woman’s body plummeted. Ye Youqing hurriedly reached out to catch her, grabbing hold of her hand.

At the same time, a strong dragging sensation hit her, causing Ye Youqing to involuntarily kneel down. In desperation, she unexpectedly used the internal strength of Shi Li’s martial arts, stabilizing herself.

Ci Ke came to help at this moment. Together, they pulled the person up to the entrance of the cave. In the dim and chaotic environment, Ye Youqing sat down heavily, feeling her heart, which had almost flown out of her throat, slowly landing back in its place.

She breathed heavily for a few moments before asking, “Noble Consort, are you seriously injured?”

The figure that had been pulled up didn’t respond, appearing to still be shaken: “The Noble Consort is not seriously injured, it’s me.”

“Sister Shi Li?” Ci Ke recognized her voice and couldn’t help but be amazed.

“Master?” Ye Youqing, beside them, was equally surprised. “Are you hurt?”

Shi Li’s voice was heavy, as if she had just emerged from a major emotional event. She supported Ye Youqing’s shoulder, stood up, and took a sharp breath, “It’s nothing.”

Pausing for a moment, she continued, “Just a dislocated hand.”

Ye Youqing let out a sigh of relief, her cheeks slightly flushed. She moved behind Ci Ke to hide, and Ci Ke also stepped forward to shield her.

Seeing their subtle movements, Shi Li let out a laugh, “What’s the rush, I haven’t even thanked you yet.”

“Let’s go, she’s still up there.” Shi Li said, taking a step into the cave. The sound of bones cracking was heard, indicating that she had set her wrist back in place herself.

The moonlight was still bright, and peace reigned on the cliff. The woman in red had fainted, lying in the arms of the young man, tears streaking down her face.

Ye Youqing, the three of them, ran up to them, and Shi Li reached out to check Zhou Ziqiu’s pulse. She breathed out a sigh of relief, “It’s alright, she’s just been frightened.”

At this moment, the noisy footsteps in the distance approached, and the imperial guards finally arrived. Ye Youqing scoffed lightly and quickly bent down, calmly saying, “Let’s quickly take the Noble Consort and leave.”

“The path in the cave just now leads to a small mountain village populated by hunters. We can find shelter there first,” the Sixth Prince raised his eyes and said, then stood up, handing over the Noble Consort to Shi Li and watching as she carried the woman horizontally.

Shi Li understood Ye Youqing’s meaning. She looked at the person in her arms, her eyes suddenly reddening, and then without saying a word, she walked briskly in the direction pointed out by the Sixth Prince.

Ye Youqing hurried to catch up, just as the guards were about to climb up the cliff, she disappeared into another fork in the road.

Half an hour later.

On the mountainside, a village with a few grass huts was shrouded in tree shadows. The air was filled with the smell of cured meat and dung, sparse stars dotted the sky, and the moon sank low.

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Ye Youqing watched as Ci Ke skillfully wiped away the blood from Zhou Ziqiu’s face, loosened her hair, and covered her slightly cold body with a farmer’s rough blanket.

The Sixth Prince had already returned to the palace, and Shi Li’s whereabouts were unknown. After setting the woman down, she did not appear again.

Seeing the woman no longer murmuring, falling into a deep sleep, Ye Youqing couldn’t help but say, “Ci Ke, you’ve worked hard all night, take a break.”

She was only taken to the mountains during the day, and now she was busy taking care of Zhou Ziqiu, even though she had almost lost her life.

How strong this woman must be.

Upon hearing this, Ci Ke finally put down the handkerchief in her hand, turned back towards Ye Youqing with a smile, wanting to walk towards her, but stumbled.

Ye Youqing quickly reached out her hand and blocked her, preventing her from hitting the table corner that was already eaten away by bugs.

“Look, you can’t hold on anymore.” Ye Youqing felt a faint sourness in her heart.

“I’m just a little tired.” The woman in her arms lifted her head, her eyes flowing with tranquil ripples.

The grass hut was small, so Ye Youqing had to lead the woman outside and sat on the doorstep to examine the wounds on her legs. The bruises had turned into a dark color, and her slender legs were swollen like a black and white baozi.

As she placed her palm on the leg, it trembled suddenly.

“Ye Youqing, are you trying to use this to help Aunt escape?” Ci Ke’s eyes sparkled with intelligence as she blinked and said gently.

Ye Youqing nodded. If she wanted to leave the palace, this was an excellent opportunity.

However, Ci Ke shook her head and sighed, “Aunt won’t leave. Even if she knows that Shi Li is alive, she won’t leave the palace.”

“Why?” Ye Youqing asked, furrowing her brows without thinking.

“I don’t know, but I know how much she hates the imperial family. I was young at that time and didn’t witness the scene of my father being executed, but Aunt saw it all.”

“Aunt is my father’s youngest sister by direct blood relation. Our grandparents passed away early, and it was almost my father who raised her, their bond was extremely deep,” Ci Ke’s voice was smooth, like simmered syrup.

“Sister Shi Li should also be aware, that’s why she refuses to appear, besides, she…”

Ci Ke suddenly paused.

“Moreover, she has always kept the events of that year in mind, which is why she refuses to appear in front of Aunt.” she said, lifting her eyelashes to look at Ye Youqing.

“Ye Youqing, if in the future you have someone you love, but like Sister Shi Li and Aunt, they are not accepted by society, what will you do?” she suddenly asked in a low voice.

Ye Youqing’s mind jumped for a moment, her gaze shifting to the distant mountains and the stars that no longer sparkled beyond the mountains due to the dawn.

“I don’t know,” Ye Youqing said, her phoenix eyes gradually deepening, “perhaps, if possible, create a new world myself.”

Ci Ke clenched her hand tightly, then suddenly turned her head. A warm breath brushed against Ye Youqing’s face, and her moist lips lightly pressed against the side of Ye Youqing’s face.

“Someone who captures your heart must be very fortunate.”



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red flower

kiss? ∑(๑ºº๑)!!

Last edited 19 days ago by red flower
venustCephei

Very fortunate indeed, having been saved multiple times, isn’t that right, Ci Ke?

Thank you for the translation!

Little Panda
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