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 "Weiyuan, I can't believe I found you." A smug voice chuckled malevolently, the edge of his sword tucked underneath Weiyuan's chin, turning Weiyuan's face to look at the royal guard. The guard's face visibly brightened up at the sight of his face "It really is you! What a day, you've really made things easy for us, Weiyuan!" The guard cackled devilishly as he examined Weiyuan.

Weiyuan's jaw clenched tightly as he turned around fully to face the guard, raising both his hands over his head as if surrendering.

"I can't believe it was this easy! My senior warned me so much about you and I thought it was going to be an actual challenge, but here you are!" The guard smirked as he poked Weiyuan's chest jokingly with the tip of his sword. He turned around, laughing as he motioned to another guard to go fetch his senior from the barracks.

"When I get promoted for turning this guy in I'll surely treat you all to a fine meal!" The guard carelessly gloated as he sheathed his sword. Lixue was confused and astonished by the behaviour of this royal guard, she hadn't expected one to act so rashly. They were usually revered for their amazing display of humility and honour.

She wasn't surprised when Weiyuan attempted to escape when the guard turned his back to him, what she didn't expect was being scooped up into his arms and jumping ten feet into the air. Landing on the roof of a tall wall just behind the great plum tree, the sound of Weiyuan's feet hitting the roof tiles immediately alerted the oblivious guard.

"Are we really going to get away this easily?" Lixue asked in surprise as she peeked over Weiyuan's broad shoulders. Weiyuan remained silent as he jumped down to the other side of the wall, how convenient it was that simply jumping over a ten-foot wall would lead them out of the city. More importantly, did Weiyuan know that this particular wall was at the very edge of the city? Lixue grumbled once more in frustration as Weiyuan gently put her down. The moment her worn out slippers touched the snow, Lixue was alerted by the sound of sniffles coming from underneath her cloak. She acted quickly and handed Xiu Mei the rattle, effectively distracting the tiny child in her arms.

Suddenly, as if the sun had been momentarily eclipsed, a shadow loomed over them from above. Both Weiyuan's and Lixue's heads snapped upwards as they caught sight of a figure that ascended up into the sky, jumping over the wall as if it were a mere footstool.

With his landing, the snow that rested on the ground kicked up in plumes of white, momentarily hiding the figure behind a screen of pure white. The silhouette stood straight and held a long staff in hand. With one fell swoop of his staff, the shroud of snow disappeared. A strong gust of wind seemed to erupt from the figure as the snow that surrounded them was immediately cleared. The fierce man had an intense gaze and looked intimidating in his military uniform.

"Woman," Weiyuan spoke after a moment's silence, his eyes never leaving the new figure. His hand reached out towards her, placing a jade green rabbit in her palm, he breathed heavily before muttering an incantation she couldn't quite catch. White energy showered down onto the jade rabbit from Weiyuan's palm, the crystalline creature shivered and pulsed to life, twitching its tiny nose before hopping out of Lixue's palm. "Follow the jade rabbit," Weiyuan unsheathed his sword and unclipped his cloak, allowing it to blow away in the wind as he readied his stance "No matter what you do, don't stop running."

Lixue swallowed, her eyes wavered and her cheeks burned as adrenaline coursed through her veins. "I can't just leave you here-" "If you wish to protect Xiu Mei, you'll do as I say!" Weiyuan had interrupted Lixue's speech, her heart pounded as worry filled her. He was right, if she wanted to protect the baby in her hands she'll run to safety, but what about Weiyuan?

Nevertheless, she turned and ran after the jade rabbit as quick as she could.

Behind her, the mysterious new figure pointed his staff at Weiyuan, his face set into a serious scowl. "Weiyuan, you've become sloppy, if it were any other mission you would have made it across the country by now." The figure spoke, he was tall and well-built, he gave off an aura that screamed authority.

"Perhaps so," Weiyuan huffed, energy flowed from his fingers as he ran it along the length of his sword, said sword seemed to 'activate' as it shone brightly with a bright white light "However, you already know that this mission of mine is no easy task."

"No, I think it's because you're going against orders." The man's eyes narrowed as he swung his staff, a gust of wind slashed forth faster than Weiyuan could jump out of the way though Weiyuan successfully countered the attack by deflecting it using his sword. "Have you gone rogue?" The question that he asked made Weiyuan's eyes twitch slightly, had he really?

"You're one to talk, Jian," Weiyuan spat as he struck forward, the man now known as Jian blocked the attack successfully using his staff "Considering the number of times you've let us get away with things," Weiyuan grunted as he pushed Jian back "If you ask me, if it weren't for you-"

"Enough!" Jian growled as he spun his staff, a horizontal wind shear burst from his staff. Weiyuan stomped his foot down onto the ground, thanks to Jian's entrance the snow had been cleared and Weiyuan had access to the soil beneath it, Weiyuan's Qi pulsed through his foot and spread into the soil, the ground rumbled as an earthen wall erupted before him as it obstructed the wind shear.

Jian thrusts his staff fiercely towards the wall, smashing it into bits of rubble. "Weiyuan! I'd like to see you escape from me today!" he shouted with determination in his eyes as he kicked the large wreckage towards Weiyuan.

As the large chunks of earth came hurtling towards Weiyuan, he knew that he wouldn't get out of this unscathed but as determination flashed in his eyes, he was going to make sure of it that he escaped even if it meant losing a limb.

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