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TIS Chapter: 7

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Qiao Zhao knew that she had made a mistake. Facing the surprised eyes of everyone, she looked up at Chi Can and asked; “When will we return to the capital?”

 

The room went silent for a while.

 

‘After all, she was only a little girl, and now that she had encountered such a tragic incident, she wants to go home as quickly as possible.’ Zhu Wu thought.

 

Yang Er was also thinking; ‘This little girl had interjected indiscriminately. This would make Xi Xi even angrier.’

 

And as he had thought, Chi Can was really angered by this.

 

This girl kept saying that she respected Mr. Qiao, but now, she was indifferent in the face of the destruction of the Qiao family. She only wanted to go home as soon as possible.

 

Qiao Zhao retracted herself from his gaze.

 

She hoped that her gaffe had been managed, and as for the disgust of the others, she was completely in no mood to deal with it.

 

“It turns out that several distinguished guests came from the capital. Sorry for my rudeness.” The village chief personally added tea to the cups of the four, breaking the awkward atmosphere.

 

Qiao Zhao was immersed in her own thoughts.

 

‘By the looks of things, the news of her death had not yet reached here. Her husband’s family was in the capital, and their grandfather’s family was also in the capital. The place Big Brother would most likely head to would be there.’

 

‘But the family was in such a disaster, why didn’t the eldest brother stay in Xingzilin? And why did he leave in such a hurry?’

 

Qiao Zhao felt strange and the huge grief weighed on her heart so much that she couldn’t think deeply, so there was only one thing left to do; ‘Go back to the capital, and be sure to find Big Brother!’ She said to herself.

 

Qiao Zhao wasn’t listening to what others were talking about, until Chi Can stood up and said lightly; “We have to rush back to Jiafeng City, so we don’t need to eat.”

 

She then hurriedly followed the three of them out.

 

While leading the horse, Chi Can’s eyes swept over to Qiao Zhao; “What are you dawdling at? If you don’t hurry up, we will leave you here.”

 

Qiao Zhao’s eyelashes trembled slightly.

 

If possible, she wanted to stay more than anyone else, this is her home.

 

“Really, you want to stay?” Chi Can raised his eyebrows, getting more and more impatient with her dawdling.

 

Qiao Zhao shook her head, took a step forward, and stretched out her hand to him.

 

Chi Can unceremoniously grabbed her wrist and pulled her onto the horse.

 

The sound of the wind was strong, like a knife cutting Qiao Zhao’s face and at the same time piercing deep into her heart.

 

The wind of spring was so cold.

 

Qiao Zhao thought about this, turned her head for the last time, and took a deep look at the village that she was leaving behind.

 

At that time, the sun was already setting and the apricot forest of Xingzilin had cut off all ugliness, leaving only the beauty and tranquility of the village and everything looked like it did in the past. Only the girl who rode away knew how much she had lost.

 

Qiao Zhao and her party rushed into the city before the city gates were closed, and chose a good inn in the city for them to stay in.

 

As the city gates closed, someone immediately rushed to it and began screaming at the guard to open it.

 

“The city gate has been closed, you can enter the city early tomorrow!” the guard said to the man impatiently.

 

The man took out a token from his sleeve and waved it at the guard.

 

The guard, seeing the token, immediately began to stammer; “It turns out that… yes…”

 

“What are you talking about? Why don’t you just open the gate?” The man said to the guard.

 

“Yes, right away.” The guard hurriedly opened the city gate and seeing the man approaching him casually, he did not dare to raise his hand to wipe the cold sweat off his forehead.

 

“Boss, who was that?” One of his subordinates asked as the man had left.

 

The guard looked left and right before replying in a hushed tone; “A Jinlin Guard!”

 

The Jinlin Guard walked around the city very familiarly and then entered into a courtyard.

 

There was a man, dressed in black, sitting alone in the courtyard, eating and drinking. Several men stood silently not far away.

 

As soon as the Jinlin Guard came in, several of the men immediately looked over with alert expressions, and when they saw that it was him, they relaxed.

 

The man quickly walked over to the man in black and saluted him; “Sir.”

 

The man in black put down his wine glass, glanced at him, and then asked; “What’s happening in Xingzilin?”

 

“Reporting to my lord, three men and a little girl came into Xingzilin today. The girl was dressed up as a boy and then, after they saw what happened at Xingzilin, the four of them went to see the head of Baiyun Village.”

 

The man in black nodded and turned to glance at all the men in the courtyard.

 

They immediately stood on alert as his eyes passed over them.

 

“You all go check it out and find out where those people came from.”

 

“Yes sir!” They replied in unison.

 

The next day, before the break of dawn, Qiao Zhao and the others quietly left the city, abandoned their horses for boats, and headed all the way north.

 

Their situation was immediately reported back to the man in black.

 

“Chi Can, the son of Princess Changrong, Zhu Wu, the prince of Taining, Yang Houcheng, the prince of Liuxing…” The man in black read the names of the three but then he suddenly paused and his calm face showed a bit of confusion; “Li San, daughter of Li Xiuzhuan?”

 

He pondered for a moment and murmured; “How did that little girl and those three get together?”

 

Several of his subordinates stood with solemn hands, obviously not daring to interrupt Shangfeng’s thoughts.

 

The man in black said; “From the capital to Jiafeng, you must pass through Baoling. Contact the Jinlin Guards stationed in Baoling City to see if they have any information.”

 

“Sir, what happened in Xingzilin?” A subordinate suddenly asked.

 

“The Qiao family’s house fire was a bit unusual…”

 

Just as he was talking, another subordinate came in; “Sir, a letter from the capital.”

 

The man in black reached out and took it, opened the letter, glanced at it and was visibly stunned.

 

“Sir?” The subordinates couldn’t help but call out to him.

 

The black-clothed man squeezed the letter tightly and said in a light tone; “Pack my luggage for me. The governor has ordered me to return to Beijing as soon as possible.”

 

All his subordinates were shocked, but the man in black did not explain further.

 

After being in Jiafeng for so long, he was shocked to be ordered back. He didn’t know what mistakes he had made, or whether the governor wanted to replace him.

 

The man in black quickly put all his questions away, thinking that now, he would go on the same journey with the interesting four, and he couldn’t help laughing at that.

 

****

 

 

On the boat that Qiao Zhao and the others had boarded, the atmosphere was not very good.

 

Zhu Wu held the chess pieces. He was always gentle, but now, he was on the verge of collapse. He said helplessly; “Xi Xi, just vent when you are in a bad mood. Isn’t it torture to play chess like this?”

 

Chi Can lifted his eyelids and said coolly; “I’m not venting!”

 

Zhu Wu was suffocated.

 

He couldn’t help but cast his eyes on Yang Er for help.

 

Yang Er spread his hands, indicating that he could not help, and pointed in Qiao Zhao’s direction.

 

Zhu Wu’s eyes lit up and then he shook his head.

 

Chi Can looked between the two and saw that Zhu Wu had rejected Yang Er’s proposal. His eyes swept over to Qiao Zhao, who was sitting quietly, and said lightly; “Li San, come and play chess with me.”

 

Qiao Zhao raised her eyebrows when she heard his words, stood up silently and went across to meet Chi Can.

 

Zhu Wu looked at her apologetically and got up to move out of the way.

 

Qiao Zhao sat down and then the game between the two began.

 

Leaning against the railing, Zhu Wu complained to Yang Er in a low voice; “Xi Xi is holding back his anger, why should he implicate others?”

 

Yang Er glanced at Qiao Zhao who was sitting with her back to him.

 

The girl sat gracefully, like a serenely blooming plum.

 

He laughed in a low voice and joked; “Zizhe, are you jealous?”

 

“Stop talking nonsense, that’s still a little girl who doesn’t even know…”

 

“So, it’s alright to wait for someone else to get married to her?”

 

“Yang Houcheng!” Zhu Wu exclaimed his name as he sank his face.

 

Seeing that his friend was really annoyed, Yang Houcheng stopped with the joke and said in a low voice; “Don’t you know about Xi Xi’s unpredictable temperament? If you don’t let your anger out, we won’t have a good time along the way.”

 

“Didn’t I play chess with him all the time?” Zhu Wu sighed.

 

“What’s the use of that? Don’t you see that Xi Xi is looking at the little girl unhappily? Who told the little girl to talk too much? She said that taking her to visit Mr. Qiao’s house would get us what we wanted and the result…”

 

The two were talking when they heard a crisp crashing sound and immediately looked at the two playing chess together.

 

Chi Can threw the chess pieces into the chess jar and said coldly; “No more.”

 

Qiao Zhao held her chess piece and glanced at him in a hurry.

 

‘This man has poor concentration. No wonder her grandfather didn’t teach him back then…’

 

Thinking of her grandfather and the fire, Qiao Zhao felt a jolt of pain in her heart and her expression became sour.

 

Chi Can looked even more annoyed and sneered at her; “Li San, didn’t you say that it would be difficult for me to go without you? What about the result of taking you with us?”

 

These words were like a sharp blade that stabbed deep into Qiao Zhao’s heart.

 

She endured the pain and asked Chi Can softly; “I didn’t know what Brother Chi wanted in Mr. Qiao’s house.”

 

 

 

 

Translator’s note:

Kofi


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