MCAB - Chapter 47
According to Jun Zishu's plan, after getting Shen Zheyan to "purchase" her from the brothel, she would go along with the flow and remain by Shen Zheyan's side. However, what Jun Zishu did not expect was for Shen Zheyan to refuse her.
"You really don't need to follow us, Miss Yan. Now that you've regained your freedom, you are free to go anywhere you want. So, why must you choose to follow us?" Shen Zheyan said. Although she looked beautiful and gentle in her white robe, the words of refusal that came out of her mouth were resolute.
"You two saved me, so I wish to follow you."
"The world of martial artists is filled with danger; it isn't as simple as you think. Also, Brother Zinan and I are traveling south without a destination. We would sometimes travel on horseback, sometimes on foot, and sometimes using qinggong. It will be highly inconvenient to bring you with us, Miss Yan," Shen Zheyan said in a helpless tone. She couldn't help but get a headache when she looked at the pretty and clingy girl before her.
"That's right. We sometimes even have trouble protecting ourselves, so how can we afford to protect you as well?" Wei Zinan agreed. He did not wish for a third person to join their travels.
"Please take me with you, Miss Warrior. I'll do my best not to create trouble for you," Jun Zishu fawningly said as she blinked her eyes pitifully at Shen Zheyan.
Just when Shen Zheyan was thinking about how she should reject Jun Zishu's request, she suddenly found Jun Zishu falling towards her, so she hurriedly extended her arms to catch the falling girl.
Meanwhile, Wei Zinan, who stood behind Jun Zishu, retracted his hand after accomplishing his goal.
"Brother Zinan, you…"
Shen Zheyan didn't know whether to laugh or cry when she realized what Wei Zinan had done. Then, she carried Jun Zishu to the nearby bed and placed her down on it.
"I didn't have a choice. She is still a child and treats everything too simply. She still has some money on her, anyway. Just leave her a letter telling her that we left," Wei Zinan said.
After thinking it through, Shen Zheyan agreed with Wei Zinan's words. Then, she tidied up Jun Zishu's hair and covered her body with a blanket.
Jun Zishu woke up shortly after Shen Zhen and Wei Zinan left.
"That bastard actually hit me."
Jun Zishu frowned as she massaged the back of her neck.
[They haven't gone far, Host. You can still catch up to them.]
Jun Zishu removed her shoes and socks and left the inn barefooted.
[Host, your shoes!]
Not only did Jun Zishu choose not to wear her shoes, but she even chose to walk over places with lots of stones, causing her to gain many scratches on her feet. Then, after feeling satisfied with her work, she executed her qinggong and ran toward the city's outskirts.
Currently, Shen Zheyan and Wei Zinan were traveling slowly on horseback. Of them, Shen Zheyan wore an absent-minded look on their faces.
"Are you still thinking of that young lady, Zheyan?"
"I can't help but worry for her safety."
"It'll be fine. That young lady seems smart. Also, she was originally a resident of Jinling City. She also has some money on her. If she does some small business in the city, she should make a good living," Wei Zinan said.
Shen Zheyan nodded. However, just when she was about to say something in response, she heard singing coming from some distance ahead.
After briefly exchanging glances with each other, the two continued urging their horses forward.
The singing voice sounded pleasant and beautiful. Looking through the bushes where the voice came from, she saw a pair of slender legs waving and kicking about in the air. The movement of these legs showed that their owner was in a good mood.
The red skirt that partially covered those legs also looked gorgeous.
Upon taking a closer look, Shen Zheyan also noticed an ankle chain on one of those legs. The ankle chain was woven using red rope, and its presence made those legs look even whiter and thinner.
"What took you two so long? I've been waiting for a while now."
The two legs stopped waving about. The singing voice halted as well, replaced by a sweet and clear voice.
Shen Zheyan was shocked when she looked up and saw a familiar girl sitting on a tree branch. She failed to understand why the girl who should've been unconscious at an inn in the city would suddenly appear before them.
"You know martial arts? Who are you?"
Wei Zinan, on the other hand, grew alert as he looked at Jun Zishu.
Jun Zishu jumped down from the tree and stood before Shen Zheyan. Then, she asked, "I'm Yan Xi. I know martial arts, and I can protect myself. So, can I follow you two now?"
"I hope you can be more honest with me, Miss Yan," Shen Zheyan asked. At this time, she realized that she had been tricked before. Since Jun Zishu managed to reach this place before them, it proved that the girl was a skilled martial artist. Meanwhile, it should be impossible for such a girl to be forced to stay in a brothel against her own will.
"I'm very honest."
Jun Zishu shrugged and smiled as she looked up at Shen Zheyan, who remained on her horse.
"Why are you following us?" Shen Zheyan asked with a frown.
"I'm following you, not the both of you," Jun Zishu emphasized.
"Why are you following me?" Shen Zheyan asked, feeling a little confused.
"Heavenly Spirit's One Sword, Shen Zheyan. I know you," Jun Zishu said. After a slight pause, she patted her chest and continued, "I came here specifically to find you. However, I came across a little accident in the process. Thankfully, I didn't miss you."
"Why are you trying to find me?" Shen Zheyan asked, her confusion growing even greater.
"Do you really not remember me?" Jun Zishu suddenly asked.
Shen Zheyan was momentarily stunned. Then, a faint hint of familiarity appeared in her head. However, no matter how much she racked her mind, she failed to recall Jun Zishu's face.
"My name is Yan Xi," Jun Zishu stated.
Shen Zheyan looked at the girl's expectant gaze. Although she couldn't bear to disappoint the girl, she eventually chose to shake her head.
Immediately, Shen Zheyan saw the girl's expression turn gloomy, the undisguised disappointment and sadness causing Shen Zheyan's heart to tremble.
"I guess that's normal… It's been eight years already, after all… But how could you forget? You promised that you would never forget…
"Let me refresh your memory then, Big Sister Zheyan. Eight years ago, our village got slaughtered, and you escaped with a girl called Yan Xi. Do you remember now?"
Upon hearing Jun Zishu's words, memories of the past immediately flooded Shen Zheyan's mind. Although the girl's appearance in those memories had already turned vague, there was no doubt that such a person existed before.
"You said that the two of us will depend on each other to survive and that we will be together forever, never to separate. Yet, you broke our promise and left," Jun Zishu said, trying to smile but failing to do so.
"On the day we parted ways, you said to me that you would come back to find me.
"At the time, I asked if you would forget me. In your own words, you said, My Little Yan Xi is so cute, so how can I possibly forget about you? However, you forgot.
"You are a liar, Shen Zheyan. Had I known this would happen, I would've never come to find you. I've been waiting for you all these years. I even came rushing to find you the instant I heard news about you. Yet, you couldn't recognize me. You couldn't even recognize me when I appeared in front of you and told you my name. You're a terrible person."
Jun Zishu snorted, her face when she complained, looking aggrieved and pitiful.
"I won't follow you even if you beg me now! I'll just think that Shen Zheyan, who treated me kindly in the past, has died! Liar!"
After saying so, Jun Zishu turned around and walked away. She also raised her hand to wipe the tears that had flown down her cheeks.
Shen Zheyan was stunned. When she looked at Jun Zishu walking away while wiping her tears and saw that the girl wasn't wearing any shoes, her heart swayed with worry. Hurriedly, she got off her horse and caught up with Jun Zishu. Then, she grabbed Jun Zishu's arm and stopped the girl from walking any further.
"I remembered, Xi'er."
"Don't touch me!"
Jun Zishu swung her arm and shook off Shen Zheyan's hand.
You big jerk!
Jun Zishu knew that it was normal for Shen Zheyan to forget her. However, she was so absorbed into her roleplaying that she couldn't help but feel a little infuriated. Acting was seven parts fake and three parts real, after all.
"I was wrong. I remember you now. I'll apologize to you," Shen Zheyan sincerely said as she looked at Jun Zishu. She also couldn't help but feel guilty in her heart.
"That's more like it. Carry me back; I want to ride with you. My feet hurt so much. I was in a hurry to catch up with you just now, so I forgot to wear my shoes. My socks also got torn on the way."
Jun Zishu's mood changed in the blink of an eye, a smile reappearing on her face. She even asked Shen Zheyan to carry her.
Shen Zheyan remembered that on the day she left eight years ago, Jun Zishu had also asked her to bring her with her. Even after she left, the girl continued staring at her departing back. Thus, Shen Zheyan knew that the girl had always been clingy. Looking at it now, it would seem that the girl remained as clingy as she was eight years ago.
Shen Zheyan carried Jun Zishu back to her horse. After helping Jun Zishu up the horse, she jumped up and settled in as well.
Wei Zinan was rendered speechless by this unexpected development. When he saw how Shen Zheyan carried Jun Zishu, complicated feelings filled his heart.
"How do you know martial arts? Also, how did you end up in a brothel?"
"It'll be a long story if I tell you everything, but I can make it short. Back then, after you entrusted me to Aunt Liu, I would often follow Uncle Liu to the nearby town's marketplace. One day, I got the urge to buy some snacks, so I got some coins from Uncle Liu and left by myself. While wandering around, a human trafficker tried to kidnap me. That was when I met my master. He saved me and accepted me as his apprentice. That's how I came to know martial arts," Jun Zishu said, mixing truths with lies.
"Who's your master?"
"A handsome old fart. He never told me his name, though," Jun Zishu lied.
"What kind of martial arts did he teach you?"
"Mainly qinggong. Actually, he's a thief, a flower thief at that. However, that's not important. What's important is that he saved me. Anyways, after hearing about you through rumors, I tried to follow you and kept traveling down south. However, I kept missing you every time, so I decided to move ahead of you and came to Jinling City. It just so happens that I haven't completed my graduation task yet, so I decided to do it while waiting for you."
"What graduation task?" Shen Zheyan asked. She got a bad premonition when she heard Jun Zishu's words.
"What other tasks can a flower thief give? Although I'm a girl and I'm even more beautiful than the flowers I'm trying to pick, it doesn't affect the task I need to do. I heard that Jinling City's number one beauty is in the Light Incense Pavilion, so I decided to set out in the dead of night. However, I didn't expect the security there to be so tight, and I accidentally got hit by sleeping gas," Jun Zishu said, looking away in embarrassment.
"That disgusting procuress saw that I looked beautiful, so she force-fed me muscle relaxants and made me sign a slave contract against my will. Afterward, the brothel kept feeding me that muscle relaxant and ensured I never had any strength to escape. However, it seems my luck is pretty good since the person I called out happened to be the person I was looking for, Big Sister Zheyan," Jun Zishu said. Inwardly, she muttered an "Amen" for the Demon Cult's undercover procuress, who had to take the blame for her schemes.
"Let me calm down for a moment."
Shen Zheyan held onto Jun Zishu's waist and calmly analyzed Jun Zishu's words.
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Other novels I translate on Hosted Novel:
Pantsu Hero Alice (PHA)
Reincarnation of the Strongest Sword God (Side Stories)
After Being Bent By Reader (ABBR)(GL)