In a remote alley within the capital, a carriage quietly stopped. There was no evidence of where the driver had disappeared to. Not knowing when, a group of people surrounded the carriage. The man taking the lead wore an unremarkable grey robe. His long hair covered half his face. The other half of his face was stiff and ferocious. The only eye shown shot out a chilly and venomous aura. Though a sunset bloomed in the west, casting a faint warmth over the area, once it reached this man, it made people feel chilled to their bones.
“Come out!” The deep voice of the man sounded. After a long moment, there was still no movement from the carriage. No longer patient, the man chuckled. He sneered and said: “If you do not come out, I will shoot you. No one is dead inside. Hurry and roll out here.”
After a moment, a little maiden trembled as she lifted the curtain and slid down from the carriage. Then, helping another beautiful maiden, the two helped a pale faced beauty alight from the carriage. There was an arrow stuck in her right shoulder. The place that was covered by her left hand was already soaked in red. “You… who are you?”
The one-eyed man sneered and his eyes flashed a vicious light. “This is the future Princess Consort Ding? That crippled Mo Xiu Yao sure is lucky. Only half a life left; yet, there is such a beautiful woman willing to marry him!”
Qing Luan stepped forward, protecting the two people behind her. “You already know our ident.i.ties. Yet, you can be this insolent?”
The one-eyed man flashed his teeth in a smile and said: “Others are afraid of Mo Xiu Yao. I'm not. Moreover… is there anyone in the capital still scared of him?”
Ye Li looked straight at him and said: “Does this person have an enmity with Prince Ding or with the Ye and Xu families?”
The one-eyed man was startled, but then quickly laughed madly. “Mo Xiu Yao's woman? Interesting! I don't have an enmity with Mo Xiu Yao. Nor do I have an enmity with the Ye and Xu families. What do you think?”
Ye Li said: “Then just taking a hold of other's weaknesses. Coming to cause trouble? However much benefits you have received, I will double it.”
“You?” The one-eyed man intently stared at Ye Li, evaluating the credibility of her words. “I lost twenty thousand taels worth of notes. That person wants your life. Can you afford it?”
Ye Li nodded, “You let us go. I'll give you forty thousand teals.”
“Based on what should I believe you?” The man's one eye dilated as he stared at Ye Li. Regardless of who it was, forty thousand taels was a tempting number. The eyes of the surrounding men also began to change… it was just that the one-eyed man didn't say anything; so, they didn't dare to make a move.
Ye Li calmly said: “If you don't believe, you can let my maid go and get the money. One person hands over the money; the other releases the people. Both sides will not owe the other. And… I feel that you do not intend to kill me. I just request that you do not harm us.”
The one-eyed man squinted and stared at Ye Li: “Do you think that I do not dare to kill you?”
“If you wanted to kill me, the arrow earlier would've killed us. No need for the extra words.”
“Good. Good. Mo Xiu Yao's woman is really different from others! You! Go back and get the money. If you let others know, or if you do not have the money at the meeting spot, you can prepare for your Young Miss's corpse.”
Qing Yu, being pointed at, violently shook her head. She said: “I can't go! Let the Young Miss go and we will stay.”
The one-eyed man chuckled coldly, “You want me to believe that the lives of two servants are worth anything?”
Qing Yu grounded her teeth and said: “Our Young Miss is injured. I know a bit about medicine. Let Qing Luan go.”
“The injury is not heavy. If you do not hurry, your Young Miss's injury will be worst. Go!”
“Qing Yu, you go first.” Ye Li whispered.
Qing Yu bit her lip, nodded, and heavily said: “Qing Luan, take good care of the Young Miss.”
Qing Luan nodded and turned to replace Qing Yu in supporting Ye Li. Looking at Qing Yu staggering away, the one-eyed man pointed to two others around him and said: “Follow that little girl and bring the bank notes back. As for you… do you want to walk on your own or do you want me to invite you?”
“We can walk on our own.”
They were kidnapped; Ye Li could only helplessly watch the situation. Of course, a group of bandits that could kidnap a future Princess Consort within the capital, underneath the boot of the Emperor, is a truly miraculous thing. A group of people left the capital at an extremely fast pace. They arrived at a mountain about a hundred li (1 li = .31 miles) from the capital. Obviously, the two was kidnapped by bandits because this was clearly a bandit hideout.
Perhaps it was because Ye Li was valued at forty thousand taels, but they were not tossed into a dark dungeon. Instead, they were in a small room that was a bit shabby. Waiting until the door was closed, Qing Luan quickly went to the closed door and observed the situation outside. She returned to Ye Li and whispered: “Young Miss, we are so far from the capital, will Qing Yu be able to find us?”
Ye Li let go of her right shoulder, conveniently removing the arrow. The arrow entered diagonally from her chest area and did not injure Ye Li. The red blood stains were just a bottle of red rouge Qing Yu had on hand. “He does not intend to bring Qing Yu back. He just couldn't bear to part with those forty thousand teals.”
Qing Luan was startled, “Young Miss is saying… Those people intend to take the money and then kill the witnesses?”
Ye Li nodded and smiled. She comforted Qing Luan: “Don't be anxious. Those two are not Qing Yu's opponent. She will be fine.”
The sorrow on Qing Luan's face did not change. She helplessly looked at her Young Miss. Where did it seem like she was worried for Qing Yu? She was worried about their own escape. Old Master and Eldest Young Master had handed the well-being of the Young Miss to them. Now, the Young Miss had been kidnapped by bandits and the two of them could only stand by and watch. Really useless!
“They have a lot of people. It's not your fault.” Ye Li smiled and continued, “Help me bandage the wound.”
Qing Luan nodded. She lowered her head, removed a clean cloth from her sleeve, and wrapped the “wound” for Ye Li. She asked: “Does the Young Miss know who wants to harm us? Is it Madam?”
Ye Li shook her head and said: “Recently, she's been in a tight situation. It is unlikely that she will be able to fork out twenty thousand taels. Moreover, this will be easily investigated.” The most important thing is that the other side did not have intentions of killing her. So, it was either the person is not afraid she will seek revenge or the person was someone she would definitely be unable to imagine. Basically, there was no way to seek revenge. Therefore, it was probably not w.a.n.g-shi.
Qing Luan frowned and said: “But the Young Miss has not offended anyone.”
Ye Li stood in thought. Tied her up, but did not want her life. Then… once news of bandits kidnapping her was spread, her reputation would be completely ruined. “Wedding.”
“There is someone who wishes that my wedding with Prince Ding will not proceed smoothly.” Ye Li lightly said.
“Prince Li!” Qing Luan hatefully said.
Ye Li shook her head, “It could be, but not for certain.” Though Mo Jing Li was stupid, he was not so stupid as to not understand that if something happened to her, the first person Mo Xiu Yao would find would be him.
“That… What should we do now? Qing Luan will open the door and the Young Miss should take the opportunity to run.”
Ye Li shook her head. There were at least a hundred li between here and the capital. If her guess was correct, it had to do with her wedding with Prince Ding. She was afraid that by the time she returned, the news would've already spread. If it was only her, leaving this stronghold would probably be not very difficult. But even if she went back, it would not help. Then, it would be better to stay. Maybe something unexpected would happen. “First, let's take a rest. We will talk about it later.”
“Yes, Young Miss.”
« Previous My Bookmarks Chapters Next»