Desert Arc ー Chapter 21 (Part 1): Walking towards a New World
We fell…then…we touched the ground!
I widened my eyes in surprise and rubbed my bottom as I climbed up. It was a soft patch of grass beneath my feet. More than ten feet above my head, that Mister Ling was staring at us under the light of the torch with a darkened face.
I greeted him, “Hi——”
A few torches were thrown down and immediately illuminated the both of us. Soon after that, arrows rained down on us.
Xiao Xuan pulled me and started running.
I asked while we ran, “Why isn’t it a precipice?”
Xiao Xuan looked down on me. “How can there be that many precipices!”
“You didn’t tell me earlier and made me waste so much expression!”
Xiao Xuan chided, “If you have the energy to complain, you might as well run faster!”
Next, the pursuing troops from above also jumped down. Xiao Xuan ran even faster. As he exerted strength in his hand, my body felt a little lighter and I could follow his pace. We ran all the way past a lawn, then made our way into the woods. The other party closely followed us and sharp arrows brushed past my ears as they were shot into the tree trunk.
Xiao Xuan suddenly pulled me to turn to another direction and ran towards the west of the woods.
After running for some distance, the shrubs increased which made it inconvenient to move, so we also slowed down.
I was stumbling so I anxiously called out, “Second Elder Brother!”
“Don’t worry!” Xiao Xuan reached out his hand and embraced me. He was practically hugging me as we proceeded forward.
He seemed to know that there was something on the ground and didn’t walk in a straight line but walked in a zigzag path. In the first place, I had increased the burden for him so at this moment, I shut my mouth tightly, embraced him tightly and was well-behaved as I let him hug me.
We probably walked for about fifty meters when a blood-curdling scream could be heard from behind. It seemed like someone had stepped into a trap.
“Lord Ling, they have prepared an ambush!”
Then, I heard Mister Ling berate, “Morons! They’re traps laid by hunters to capture beasts! All of you, be careful!”
On the contrary, Xiao Xuan lightened his footsteps and his speed became faster.
Xiao Xuan hugged me tightly as he leaped a few times and crossed two ravines. The sounds from behind became increasingly smaller and we gradually couldn’t hear them anymore.
But Xiao Xuan still hadn’t put me down and ran all the way down the mountain. I heard his breathing getting rapid and was worried, “You can put me down already. I am able to run!”
“Knock it off!” He lightly yelled and his hands tightened.
As I was hugging his neck, when my face rubbed against his, I could feel that his cheeks were drenched in sweat.
“Second Elder Brother.” I advised him, “Put me down. You have poison in your body so you can’t tire yourself out.”
Xiao Xuan pretended not to hear me and brought me through the woods. The moon turned into a half-moon and I saw that the woods gradually became sparser. Xiao Xuan’s footsteps were light so as he rushed all the way here, he didn’t alarm the birds at all.
His face was very cold which made my face hotter in contrast. I was getting more and more uneasy. “Second Elder Brother, put me down. Your body…”
Suddenly, two figures came down from above the trees. I had been extremely tensed so I was frightened until I screamed loudly.
Xiao Xuan hastily comforted me, “No worries, they’re our own people!”
Those two people cupped their fists and bowed. “Your Highness.”
Xiao Xuan informed them, “Behind.”
“Roger!” The two people went to face the enemies.
Xiao Xuan told me, “They’re my personal bodyguards.”
I came down from his arms and asked, “They have so many people while we only have two people. Will it work?”
As soon as I finished talking, three figures scuttled over. “Your Highness!”
Xiao Xuan asked, “All has arrived?”
“Bai Hong has stayed behind to provide support. The others have all come.”
Xiao Xuan asked me, “Where’s the sword?”
“It was hit and landed somewhere near the cave.”
Xiao Xuan instructed his subordinates, “Try your best to find the sword. They have many people. Be careful.”
The three people simultaneously muttered in assent. Two of them left and one remained to escort us.
Xiao Xuan pulled me to continue walking. However, once my tensed nerves slightly relaxed, my strength drained away, my vision blurred and my legs became limp. As I continued walking, I collapsed forward. Xiao Xuan noticed that and deftly supported me. He sympathetically and helplessly sighed again. “I’ll piggyback you.”
His subordinate instantly volunteered, “Your Highness, you’re also exhausted. It’s better for this subordinate to do it.”
Xiao Xuan turned a deaf ear to it and squatted down to piggyback me.
I feebly asked, “It should be safe already right?”
Xiao Xuan replied gently, “It’s safe already. Rest assured.”
I shut my eyes and murmured, “I…only…lost a little blood. I’ll sleep a little while…” Then, I leaned forward on Xiao Xuan’s back and fell into a slumber.
This sleep had no dreams. I only vaguely felt that I was in something which was like a boat and bobbing up and down gently. It was extremely comfortable. Then, I groggily heard a little sound.
“…How is it…”
“…Exhaustion…loss of blood…there’s no major concern…will be fine after waking up from a sleep…”
After that, as I continued sleeping, I felt that it was very hot. The scorching heat caused me to be half awake for a moment. I only felt someone use a handkerchief soaked in cold water and gently and solicitously covered it on my forehead.”
I groaned, “Mum…”
Then, I fell asleep again.
When I was completely awake, two full days had already passed. I was woken up by hunger.
I opened my eyes and looked at the ceiling and felt that the room was gently swaying. My ears heard the sound of horse hooves as well as my stomach and intestines squirming while my nose smelt the scent of medicine. I was still slightly in a daze. It seemed like I was in a horse carriage.
My injuries have all been treated and were attentively bandaged. Moreover, my whole body had been wiped, my hair had been washed and I didn’t feel the clamminess after breaking out in sweat.
I sat up carefully and lifted the carriage curtain open. A path of green jumped into my eyes.
The horizon undulated and extended endlessly where the sky and mountain met. In the azure sky, the clouds were like piles of snow. The air currents coming from the tall mountains blew and pulled them to form a long line like forming a mark on glass.
“Elder Sister has woken up!” Little Jue Ming’s soft childish voice sounded.
I turned my head around and saw that he was wearing ordinary clothes. He was carried by an adult who was mounted on the horse and he was waving at me.
I smiled. “Has Little Jue Ming been obedient?”
Little Jue Ming hastily said. “I have been very obedient. Even Elder Sister made sounds when you were asleep.” Then, he put his forefinger to his lips to make a ‘hush’ gesture.
I smiled as I turned to the person who was carrying him. “Teacher Song, it’s really great to see you.”
Song Zijing was wearing plain, light blue casual clothes and riding on a tall white horse with his back was straight. His gaze was gentle as he smiled at me.
“Young Lady has woken up?” Mister Sun who I hadn’t seen for a long time also steered his horse over here.
Teacher Song informed me, “It was Mister Sun who treated your injuries.”
I quickly thanked him.
Mister Sun said genially, “Please rest assured, Young Lady. Later, I’ll prescribe medicine to improve blood circulation and boost skin growth to apply. You don’t have to worry that you’ll leave a scar!”
I didn’t think that this uncle was this tactful. I presumed it had to be because his teacher’s wife taught him well.
I looked left and right but didn’t see Xiao Xuan’s figure.
Mister Sun could tell who I was looking for and notified me, “His Highness said that he has pressing matters and left first. He instructed us to look after you properly. Young Lady doesn’t have to be anxious. We can leave the pass in the afternoon. Once we exit the pass, it’ll be Prince Yan’s world.”
Not long after, I saw Yun Xiang. It was obvious that she was frightened very badly. She pulled my sleeves as she shed a lot of tears. With her revealing her true sentiments like this, it also made my eyes become wet. Ever since I came to this world, the time I have spent with her had been the longest. Without her, I also wouldn’t have been able to adapt to life here so quickly. Even though we were said to be master and servant, I have actually long treated her as a sister. Now that we have experienced life and death and tribulations together, our feelings have deepened even further than in the past.
I asked her, “After I fell into the water, what happened to you two?”
Sorry to those who read this chapter early. >< I pasted the wrong chapter.