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 Chapter 6: To Protect

Translator: Translation Nation/chuchutrain Editor: - -

In the previous life, although she knew there was nothing the original owner could do, Ye Su'er still slipped into his house, crying pitifully, "Brother Pei!"

Not knowing what to do, the original owner stared blankly as she cried all the way till daybreak When the chatter of the morning crowd got louder, she abruptly gritted her teeth and stripped naked in front of him, calling out once again, "Brother Pei!"

On hindsight, she must have known she was doomed, so the look on her face was that of a deer about to be slaughtered.

Frustratingly, the original owner was afraid of trouble and thus did not dare to take her. And yet, the original owner could never forget the look on her face after being rejected. That look transcended even the fear of death, completely empty.

She was then handed over to the bandits, with the knowledge that the person she loved dearly did not have the courage to take her

Her heart was turned into ashes.

In the previous incarnation's life, she was a prominent figure of their generation. The three Ye's and two Guo's were influential people1, their destinies were intertwined. The original owner had difficulty understanding what actually happened in the mountain behind the sect that rainy night...The affection she had for him, was it the old flame of tender affection or was it because of an oath?

When the original owner discovered his Plum Blossom, it took him five years before he finally understood its use. By then, young master Xie had already won her over, and her life in the cultivation world had been smooth sailing.

Even though he had opened the doors to heaven and became a lone cultivator, it was no secret that he had lost his Plum Blossom. Had she not pleaded for his life to young master Xie, he would not have survived till the celebration.

As these memories flashed through his mind, stillness came over him, realizing that all the events were starting to change. He held her tight and said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here. It's okay. Everything is going to be okay."

"The bandits, I've killed them all."

"Oh!"

Upon saying so, everything calmed in his chest. Before long, he heard a sound and sensed a glow being emitted from his forehead. A tiny white plum blossom began to materialize before him. It expanded rapidly, until it became a transparent information interface.

Name : Pei Zi Yun

Power : None (Parasitic)

Race : Human

Occupation : Scholar

Abilities : The Four Books and Five Classics : Initiate (Rookie)

Free Cloud Sword Technique : Initiate (Rookie)

Following that, a line of red words appeared on the screen:

Mission : Save Ye Su'er (80% completed) , Ability Points + 1

The words glided across his vision until it disappeared inside his head.

"Points can be added?" Pei Zi Yun said in surprise.

Coming to this foreign world, even as Pei Zi Yun, he felt insecure and pressured. He could not shake of this intense feeling of urgency especially after committing murder.

Now, he could finally rest and relax. He started pondering over the significance of the "Free Cloud Sword Technique Initiate (Rookie)".

"Whoosh" Pei Zi Yun immediately felt a warm glow spread over his entire body, but it disappeared immediately after. The Free Cloud Sword Technique : Initiate (Rookie), turned into Free Cloud Sword Technique : Initiate.

This change took place in a fraction of a second. In that instant, as if Ye Su'er had a sudden thought which confused her, she raised her head and looked at Pei Zi Yun blankly.

Ignoring her confusion, Pei Zi Yun said, "I was fast friends with the hunter's son, who was a good fighter, and I picked up some skills from him."

Pei Zi Yun gently touched Ye Su'er's face.

Ye Su'er shivered as she smelt the overpowering stench of blood on Pei Zi Yun's clothing. She pressed her face to his chest, feeling his heartbeat and sharing his warmth. Pei Zi Yun felt relaxed, as this woman showed the fierce and brave love she had for him, not uttering a word.

Silver rays of moonlight shone down, illuminating the village.

From afar, it seemed like a different Snail Village tonight, with all the lanterns and bright lights, people walking about freely and merrily.

"Brother Pei, why do you think the village women, who have always been so nice, suddenly acted that way?" Ye Su'er asked softly.

All the women in the village tore off their usual facade of kindness, forcing her to surrender herself to the Black Wind bandits and making her seem like the criminal for refusing.

"Brother Pei, I was especially afraid just now, so afraid that I would never get to see you again." Ye Su'er lay her head close to his chest, her eyes full of fear as she spoke, trembling.

"Do not be afraid, the worst is over now that I'm back in the village. Seeing how fearful Ye Su'er was, he said, "They did all that merely to ensure their survival.

"We can be understanding, but we should not be forgiving just to gain their acceptance.

"However, we still have to return to the village and pretend none of these ever happened for now. Don't worry. Since I've already killed those bandits, no one will try to hand you over to the Black Wind Brigands anymore. Besides, my teacher has some influence over the village, so you can seek his protection.

"About everything else, I will make sure everything works out." saying this, he gently swept her hair behind her ear to reveal her pretty face and sharp little nose. Her squiggly eyebrows curled into a frown. Her childish features had him mesmerized.

"Oh!" Ye Su'er yelped as they reached the village, shadows following them to the doorsteps of their homes.

**********

- Snail Village

The sun always rose slightly earlier in the mountains, with its crimson rays shining across the entire village, illuminating all that lay beneath. As day broke, the roosters in the village announced the arrival of a brand new day.

The village chief, who was a man of about forty years old, looked at the bags of rice on the ground. Last night, he had several people arrange the goods neatly near the exit to hand over to the bandits.

At this moment, an old woman walked in and whispered something into the chief's ear. He listened earnestly, nodding his head occasionally. "It's good that she's still around, keep a close watch on her. Without her, the bandits will not leave us alone, and we'll be in serious trouble."

After hearing the chief's orders, the old woman got flustered and hurried off.

The day gradually grew brighter, and the bandits, who were due to receive their goods that morning, were still nowhere to be found at three hours since the sun rose. Everyone could not help but feel that something was amiss. The suspense was palpable, and nobody knew what had happened.

As it was day time, many people started to feel gutsy. Zhang Dashan opened his mouth and asked "Chief, should I go out and check the situation? The bandits come to extort from us every year, never once backing down. I would like to go out and meet with them, see if anything happened."

"Those people always rests in the temple outside the village. Since nobody ever goes there, you can go and check it out, but be courteous when you see them!"

Zhang Dashan received his order and left for the dilapidated temple.

Noticing that the temple door was open, and there was no movement within, he craned his neck and stuck his head out to get a better look on the inside of the temple. What he saw shocked him: Two bandits lay dead on the floor, stabbed to death. One had bamboo spear pierced through his heart with his throat slit. The other was decapitated--his head severed from his body.

Zhang Dashan was stunned, stiff like a wood. When the wind blew, some sawdust landed on his shoulders, jolting him to his senses and letting him conclude that the scene before him was not a dream. He was so afraid that he had to run out of the temple.

Once he got outside, he sighed deeply, heart frantically jumping in his chest, ears ringing and feeling his vision spin. Zhang Dashan collected himself before speeding back to the village. The moment he saw the chief he shouted "Not good,not good!"

Seeing his expression, the village chief felt his legs go soft. "What happened? You're scaring us to death!"

Zhang Dashan pulled the village chief to a corner "Chief, those bandits won't be coming. They're all dead, murdered in the temple!"

The village chief was momentarily stunned, his eyes gaping wide open. The cold wind blew and the village chief shivered before speaking, "Is that true? Could you have been dreaming?"

Zhang Dashan noticed the people listening and lowered his voice. "Chief, take a look for yourself and you shall see."

The village chief gazed at the sky and headed wordlessly to the temple. The minute he cast his eyes on the the blood-soaked carcasses, he knew that the village was in deep trouble.

"Grim tidings are on the way, Snail Village is doomed..."

**********

In a matter of hours, the entire village was alive with fear and apprehension. People came and went. At this point, nobody bothered with Ye Su'er anymore. Listening to their exchanges and cries from outside, Ye Su'er's expression turned anxious.

"Su'er, don't worry. They only saw the dead bodies of bandits."

"I am a scholar, so the village would never expect the killer to be me. It will not be traced back to me. As for you, there could be some problems, but my benefactor Mr. Zhao is at the village's school, teaching. He is a morally righteous and benevolent man who will protect us." Pei Zi Yun was taking a shower and he came out wearing his clothes.

Ye Su'er felt immensely relieved after hearing that, but no sooner despaired again. " What if he feels that I'm just a lowly woman, and refused to protect me, what shall we do then?

"If he refuses to protect you, I'll accompany you to the ends of the earth". Pei Zi Yun's eyes brightened up as he confidently said, "I will never let you fall to the hands of those bandits."

Ye Su'er sighed gently as a reply.

Mr. Zhao lived near the bamboo forest, which was some distance away from the village. Making an occasional trip there was very normal, so they did not have to hide. He took Ye Su'er's hand and walked towards Mr. Zhao's house.

The bamboo forest was huge and rows of bamboos lined the entire forest. Since Mr Zhao loved being around nature, he built his house right in the middle of the forest.

**********

Mr Zhao was in the yard having a drink.

On the table before him was a plate of meat with barely any oil, yet had an appetizing smell. There was also a plate of beancurd on the table, with some onion and garnish over it. Mr Zhao was having a glass of rice wine, using his sleeve to cover his mouth as he drank, a sign of politeness.

After finishing the wine and as he was about to start on the meat, a boy and a girl entered his house. Looking at them, he recognized his student and his student's female friend.

"So, as it turns out, it is Zi Yun. Why are you just standing? Take a seat!"

Ye Su'er had seen Mr. Zhao a couple of times before, but this time he seemed to have a different demeanour. He was a middle-aged man dressed in a green robe, of average frame and size, with a longish square face. He had thick and bushy eyebrows and eyes that almost gave off its own light, making it hard to look at them. Her heart skipped a beat.

Pei Zi Yun, however, refused to sit down. He felt very conflicted. After gaining the original owner's memory, he naturally knew that this man was Free Cloud Sect's elder. He had many opportunities to cultivate his Dao Arts, but due to his cynicism, he had always felt that Daoists were just deceived men with strange powers and weird beliefs. As a result, fate did not side with him.

Mr. Zhao also taught him a little Confucianism. The original owner had used his Plum Blossom to steal the Dao of others; thus, gaining entry into the sect. However, he merely became a note-taking disciple, a lowly position which filled him with sorrow all the way till the current day, and it was already too late to turn back. He bowed deeply and said, "My benefactor, this time, I've come for your help."

[1] The Ye and Guo are the surname of influential families in the story.

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