Chapter 180: He’s Here
“Separate!” the black-robed man hastily yelled at this time.
Forthwith, he carried Chen Rong and jumped down the hill.
The Hu began to holler and charge forth with abandon. But as they did, they faced a rain of arrows from the riders.
They were forced to cover their heads and dodge. As they were about to charge again, another rain of arrows flew at them. By the time they raised their own bows and arrows, the riders were already scattered at the sound of a whistle. They rode fast through the woods, yet they seemed to be extremely familiar with the terrain around here. The Hu’s arrows all fell into empty air.
The Hu ignored the fleeing riders and instead hurried to the hillside. By the time they got there, they saw the black-robed man leaping away – now 50 to 60 paces from them.
They watched the billowing smoke in front of them. After a moment of hesitation, one yelled, “Let’s also jump down. He can’t run far.”
After less than ten steps, they quickly discovered that although the Jin were inferior riders, in this flat terrain, they were losing to a Jin man who was running with a woman in his arms.
They shouted and hollered, but the man got farther and farther away.
“Shoot that woman, kill her!” the Hu cried after the chase went on for some time.
At the same time, a stern shout also thundered from the hillside: “Ready, fire.”
He was one of the captains who had come with Murong Ke. At his words, one of them drew his bow like a full moon.
The arrow was directly aimed at the red figure being held by the black-robed man.
The Yan captain stared at his target. When the bowstring was pulled back as far as it could go, “woosh –” the arrow shot out like a flash of light.
In the blink of an eye, it had gotten to the man in black. He shuddered, then threw Chen Rong forward and leaned to the left.
A “plop” sounded as the arrowhead pierced his flesh. It drove into his left flank and through his chest.
Chen Rong turned her head to see that the man in black was bleeding profusely, his body trembling.
When he saw her running to him, he opened his mouth and shouted after a cough of blood: “Run!” He pointed to the front then forthwith sagged to the ground.
Chen Rong glanced at him, gritted her teeth, turned her head and broke into a run.
She had barely taken three steps by the time another burst of wind followed her. However, it was weaker than the one before.
Chen Rong could not care about what was going on behind her, she could only grit her teeth and run as fast as she could.
A “rip” sounded. An arrow shot through her sleeve and fell to the ground.
The third arrow landed five paces from her.
Sweat beaded on Chen Rong’s forehead and rolled down her eyes.
But all she could do was hike her skirt and run like mad.
More and more Hu men joined the chase behind her. Chen Rong had a good physique and she was running on level ground, thus she wasn’t slower than the Hu. With dozens of Hu men chasing her for a while, the distance between them was still 80 to 90 steps.
From the hillside, Murong Ke watched her figure going farther and farther. He raised his thin lips to say: “She’s indeed important to Wang Hong.”
That black-robed man was so capable that he must have been a very important person around Wang Hong. Yet he was willing to give up his life for a woman who wasn’t even his mistress.
“Your Highness, let’s retreat,” a Hu asked after stepping closer to Murong Ke. “She’s just a woman, we gain nothing even if we kill her. Your Highness, we still have time to retreat.”
He stared at the billowing smoke in front of him — one that could only be formed by thousands of troops. Apprehension filled his eyes.
Not only him, but the other captains also seemed uneasy.
Murong Ke was still staring ahead.
After a while, he coldly said, “The people in front of us aren’t Shi Xuan’s, but Wang Hong’s.”
While his captains were still perplexed, Murong Ke slowly said, “Wang Hong’s men won’t exceed 2000.”
“However, there must be ten thousand Jins by the looks of things.”
“So I want to have a clear understanding of the situation.” Murong Ke stared at the smoke and grimly said, “We can’t retreat without even seeing Wang Hong’s face. This is something I, Murong Ke, cannot accept.”
The captains looked at each other and had nothing more to say.
This translation belongs to hamster428.
Chen Rong kept on running.
Her legs felt soft, and her body was heavy.
Not far, not far to go.
She knew she had to get there, she must. Otherwise, the black-robed man would’ve died in vain. Otherwise, Wang Hong would’ve wasted all this capital and manpower.
Fortunately, the topography was flat. Even though her long skirt was unconducive to fleeing, the Hu behind her were good riders, not runners. And as Chen Rong ran as fast as she could, she was able to maintain the 80-step distance between them.
At this range, a skilled archer could absolutely shoot her down with an arrow. Fortunately for her, no such person existed among the group of Hu chasers.
The sun was burning brilliantly.
A group of riders emerged from the surging smoke and gradually separated from the cavalcade, dashing straight for Chen Rong.
The one leading the way was dressed in a white attire.
The scenery was suddenly so clear and visible. As she ran, Chen Rong raised her head to take a good look.
Her murmur was filled with joy, emotions, and tears.
Suddenly she was filled with strength.
She opened her arms and flew like an arrow.
The distance between her and the Hu extended to 90 steps.
Looking at the red-robed woman who seemed to be propelled by the gods, her speed suddenly increasing, the Hu glanced at each other and unknowingly slowed down.
When Chen Rong sprinted away, the rider also kicked his horse’s belly and galloped to her.
Closer and closer.
In the bright sunlight, she could see that his white clothes had been stained black and sooty. His face, one that was always spotless, was also sweaty and grimy.
He looked like a spotted cat.
Chen Rong’s eyes lit up at the sight of him. She wasn’t aware that the Hu had stopped chasing behind her. All she knew was that she needed to run to him.
His mount was evidently an excellent horse. It carried him to her in no time. When the dust from its hooves strewed over a bewildered Chen Rong, he hurriedly brought it to a stop.
He did not dismount, but lowered his head to study her, then frowned and softly sighed, “So ugly.” His voice was very gentle, like a murmur — faint and smiling.
Chen Rong was grinning stupidly. Upon hearing his words, she glared at him before her eyes turned red.
The man offered his hand.
Onto which Chen Rong placed hers.
He pulled her onto horseback.
As soon as his warm and familiar scent entered her nose, Chen Rong’s throat constricted with emotions. She grabbed his front lapels to wipe her sweaty face and whispered, “You shouldn’t have come.”
“You shouldn’t have come,” she choked.
His hands passed her wound like the touch of spring’s breeze and at last wrapped around her waist.
He did not answer her but looked up ahead and muttered, “You want to see me? Then let’s meet.”
“Keep moving,” he ordered.
“Aye,” his knights replied, having arrived behind them from a time unknown to Chen Rong.
She looked up and widened her eyes. More than a thousand riders appeared in her view, each dragging a tree branch behind his horse.
So it turned out they were dragging branches.
No wonder the smoke in the distance surged straight to the sky.
A rider rode up to Wang Hong and stared in Murong Ke’s direction. “Aye that’s right,” he grinned, “it’s time to let that face-hiding punk meet real Jin warriors.”
Having said this, he turned to look at Wang Hong. “My lord, would you like to see him after a clean face and change of clothes?”
Wang Hong was patting Chen Rong who was still in tears when he agreed, “Alright.”
As soon as he said yes, several riders had turned and dismounted. They took out a water bag, a towel, and an outer robe and soon surrounded Wang Hong.
Chen Rong watched in wonder as Wang Hong brightened from a spotted cat back to a ladies’ man. She quietly used her sleeve to scrub her face.
At this time, a water bag and towel were brought to her.
She promptly took the water bag to wash her face.
Next, a slender hand handed her a white robe.
Chen Rong looked up and came face to face with Wang Hong’s clear and gentle eyes. She reached for the robe but, for whatever reason unknown to her, did so with shaky hands.
She bit down her teeth and threw the robe on.
“Come up,” Wang Hong offered.
She raised her head, took his hand and leapt onto his horse.
The riders dashed forward and, in the blink of an eye, those standing on the hillside came into Chen Rong’s sight.
She lowered her head to see Murong Ke standing on the hillside with his bronze mask. She did not want to see him like this.
Staring at Wang Hong, Murong Ke slowly moved his thin lips to say: “Wang Qilang, you really spare no means for the woman sitting in front of you.”
Having said this, he threw his head back in laughter, his eyes glancing to the black-robed corpse on his left.
Seeing that Wang Hong’s men did not make a move, Murong Ke raised his clasped hands at Wang Hong and said in admiration: “You disclosed the itinerary of the mayor of Mo’yang and sacrificed the life of your clan’s best guard for the sake of the woman you love… Aren’t you a romantic, Wang Qilang.”
Early Lunar New Year gift 😉
Thanks to everyone who is still reading this novel translation. I’m overwhelmed by the nice comments you guys leave. May we all have a great rat year!