Chapter 28: No Need To Act
Ye Jiayao slowly regained consciousness to a dark surrounding and the sounds of gunfire and shouting.?What happened? Is the army already attacking?
F*ck!??This time, she was too careless. She actually fell into the trap of those two baboons and almost lost her life. Thankfully, Chunyu did not heed her warnings, otherwise, she would live the rest of her life wracked with guilt. He was still in danger, though. First-in-charge was such a villain that he was making use of Chunyu even till the end to save their own hide.
Ye Jiayao struggled mightily against her bonds. Fortunately, second-in-charge did not tie the rope too tightly and she managed to just scrape a layer off her skin before she broke free. She ignored the pain and looked out the crack in the locked door. There was not a single soul outside.
She has to get out of here. Ye Jiayao groped around in the darkness, feeling the window. She pushed with all her strength and blessedly, it opened. Ye Jiayao was exhilarated as she climbed out through the window.
Ye Jiayao looked back and saw her skirt caught on a nail. Impatient, she just tore the ripped hem off. Escaping was of the utmost importance and she could not be bothered with her image at that moment.
There were flames blazing everywhere and people were running in all directions. Ye Jiayao was at a loss, not knowing where to go.
“Brother, what is going on now? Where is first-in-charge, second-in-charge, and third-in-charge?” Ye Jiayao asked the man she grabbed.
“How would I know? It is all a complete mess right now.” The person shook off Ye Jiayao’s grip and ran off.
Ye Jiayao approached anyone she could talk to, and after several attempts, she finally got news of Chunyu.
“We are not sure of the specific details, but we heard that first-in-charge is going to abandon the brothers and escape on his own. Third-in-charge would not see to it and they fought,” a bandit answered, scratching his head in distress.
“F*ck! Now, I don’t even know who is fighting who! We should just try to escape,” another bandit added.
“Escape? Escape to where?” Ye Jiayao asked. Did they know where the secret passageway was?
“Up the mountains. Hei Feng Gang is huge, we should be able to hide for a while,” the bandit replied.
Ye Jiayao hesitated for a while before saying, “You guys get to the meeting room. There’s a secret passageway in there that leads to outside.”
“How do you know?” One bandit was suspicious.
Ye Jiayao replied, “I overheard first-in-charge and second-in-charge’s conversation. They intend to escape from the secret passageway by themselves and abandon the brothers.”
Everyone felt indignant at the betrayal.
“So, the rumor is true! F*ck that! First-in-charge is too disloyal.”
“Everyone risked their lives for him and he’s just going to run?”
“Let’s curse him another time! Come on, let’s go!” Ye Jiayao urged.
“Third madam, I saw third-in-charge near the kitchen earlier,” one of the bandits informed her.
Ye Jiayao brightened up. She bid everyone farewell before heading for the kitchen.
Chunyu must be looking for her back at the courtyard.
“Everyone search carefully. Don’t let a single bandit off.” The voice of a soldier came from ahead.
Ye Jiayao quickly hid at a dark corner.?What do I do??If she rushed out right now to plead with the soldier, he might not kill her.?But what about Chunyu??He would be in danger if he was discovered by the army.
Ye Jiayao hesitated before deciding to look for Chunyu first.
Suddenly, she saw a familiar muscular figure a few steps away from her.??It’sChunyu!?Ye Jiayao’s heart almost jumped out of her mouth. She was just about to rush out to warn Chunyu that there were soldiers, when she heard him say, “As long as they surrender, don’t kill them, just lock them up.”
That soldier in charge replied, “Yes.”
Wait. What???Did the soldier actually listen to the orders of Chunyu? Could it be that Chunyu was really the spy sent by the imperial court? Ye Jiayao brain worked into overdrive as she tried to figure out what was going on.
Did everything he previously told her was all a lie?
She supposed she could understand his difficult position. As a spy, it was only normal for him to lie to her.?In that case, she didn’t need to run! Chunyu was there to protect her. She was safe.
Ye Jiayao was overjoyed, knowing that Chunyu was not really a bandit but a spy. She suddenly saw Chunyu in a different light, he became mightier in her eyes.?Wow! This is the ancient reality version of Infernal Affairs!
Just when Ye Jiayao was moving out of her hiding spot to show herself, she saw Song Qi ran towards Chunyu.
“Master Crown Prince, there is no sign of sister-in-law.”
There was low light and Chunyu was facing the other side so she could not make out the expression on his face. She could only hear him say coldly, “What sister-in-law? There is no need to act anymore. I warn you, don’t let me hear that term again.”
Ye Jiayao felt as if she was just thrown a bucket of cold water. She could actually feel her heart breaking inside.
He was a crown prince. That wasn’t just an ordinary respectable status.
No need to act. Huh.?All that he did for her was just an act. Now that everything’s over, he was not intending to acknowledge her.
Ye Jiayao stepped back, gazing at that tall silhouette. All the excitement, worries, and self-reproach she was feeling was now gone. Her heart that was about to burst from the seams just a second ago was now empty and cold.
She told herself not to be upset. She did not expect to have anything to do with him or to have any further development with him. It doesn’t matter if he was a bandit or a crown prince, he had nothing to do with her anymore. Although she almost caused him danger due to her carelessness, he did not fall into the trap. She doesn’t owe him anything, just like he doesn’t owe her anything.
However, the feeling of being ditched and ditching someone was indeed very different!
“We found Shengwu. He was at the training grounds,” a soldier reported.
Xia Chunyu rushed over with some men immediately.
When everyone left, Ye Jiayao emerged slowly from the darkness, walking back to the courtyard.
The door of the courtyard was wide open, and a few corpses laid around, all of them are brothers from the stockade. Ye Jiayao had always been afraid of corpses. However, at this moment, she was not in the mood to be scared.
Da Bao, Er Bao… where are you? Mummy is here for you.??She prayed that the rabbits got away from the fighting and were okay.
Chunyu did not care about her anymore. His words were ultimately empty promises, but she would not go back on hers. She would not abandon Da Bao and Er Bao.
However, after combing the place, she still could not find Da Bao and Er Bao.
Ye Jiayao was devastated, have they abandoned her as well? That might be for the best. She might not be able to defend herself right now, let alone take care of them.
After being dispirited for a while, Ye Jiayao wiped her tears and went to the bedroom to retrieve her secret stash of money under the bed. She wanted to be independent. She would find a way to leave this place.
She made her way out carefully. She hid when she met soldiers or laid down to play dead. Thankfully, she was able to get through without harm.
“To hell with you, old hag!” a voice screamed from ahead.
Ye Jiayao shrank.?That was second-in-charge’s voice!??Didn’t they say he was on the training grounds??What is he doing here?
A blood-curling screech echoed around.
“Quick! Someone! Second-in-charge is here!”
Ye Jiayao was shocked when she heard the voice and she quickly ran towards it.
She found Auntie Zhao on the ground, wounded. Meanwhile, second-in-charge was standing over Auntie Jiang, waving his machete. Ye Jiayao rushed over to stop him.
Seeing Ye Jiayao, the murderous look in second-in-charge’s eyes calmed. “You are just in time.”
“Let them go! I will go with you, or you can take me as your hostage,” Ye Jiayao said, using the courage she didn’t know she had. She looked directly at second-in-charge as she gave Auntie Jiang signals to run.
Auntie Jiang helped Auntie Zhao up, wanting to leave, but worried about the safety of Ye Jiayao.
Ye Jiayao walked over and stood between Auntie Jang and second-in-charge. “Why are you still meddling around here? Do you want to get stabbed? Scram!” she demanded fiercely at Auntie Jiang.
Auntie Jiang knew that Ye Jiayao wanted to save her and staying would not help. She had better find third-in-charge quickly and get him to save her.
Second-in-charge did not want to let Auntie Jiang go. If she told the soldiers about his location, he would be in deep trouble.
Ye Jiayao held on to second-in-charge to distract him. “Second brother, where is the secret passageway you talked about? Quick, bring me with you.”
Second-in-charge replied gloomily, “There are soldiers outside the meeting room. How do we even get to the passageway? F*ck! Big brother was right, third brother was a spy.”
“I just came back from that side and almost ran into him. He was with other soldiers and they’re coming here. We better go before it’s too late.” Ye Jiayao pointed to the courtyard, giving Auntie Jiang a clear direction.
Second-in-charge looked at Ye Jiayao suspiciously. “You met third brother? What are you still doing here?”
Ye Jiayao pretended to be full of sorrow. “I saw him but he did not see me. I just found out that he is a crown prince. I heard him tell his henchmen to get rid of me. Perhaps, he did not wish for me to appear before him again, and let others know that he was once married in the stockade.”
That was the half-truth. It was a bonus that she didn’t have to pretend to be sad because she was indeed upset with how things have turned out.
Second-in-charge clenched his teeth in anger. “They say bandits are ruthless, but I think the officials are the real heartless ones. Lady Ye, don’t be upset. When we escape, I will care for you and treat you like a treasure.”
Ye Jiayao secretly heaved a sigh of relief as she saw Auntie Jiang got away.
“Now that the secret passageway has been watched by soldiers, how do we escape?” Ye Jiayao had another motive for staying. She wanted to find out more about her kidnapping. He mentioned before that she was betrayed by her family. She could guess who it was but she still wanted to verify it.
“The passageway might be blocked, but there are other routes. Follow me. I would be sure to bring you out,” second-in-charge said, pulling her ahead.
Ye Jiayao was brought to the cliff by the haze lake.
“There is a small boat beneath. We will take the boat,” second-in-charge said.
“Second brother, who in the Ye family contacted you?” Ye Jiayao inquired. She did not want to leave with him. He was a wanted criminal by the army and if she escaped with him, she would only hasten her death.
“We’ll talk about it when we get onto the boat. Now, come-” Second-in-charge stopped suddenly, his eyes wide and filled with fear.
He slowly looked down at his body. There was an arrow piercing through his chest.
Ye Jiayao turned around and saw dots of flame from afar. A troop of soldiers had already encircled them.
“Shoot! Don’t let anyone off,” one soldier ordered.
Swift arrows whizzed past them, slicing through the sky.
Second-in-charge, who was at death’s door, pulled Ye Jiayao over, shielding her with his body as he was shot into a porcupine.
“Quick… run!” Second-in-charge used the last ounce of strength in him to push Ye Jiayao away.
Behind Ye Jiayao was the cliff, and with his push, she stumbled back and fell straight down.
She heard the wind rushing by her ear as she plummeted down the cliff. Her mind was blank but her body moved instinctively, her hands automatically stretching to form a cross to protect both sides of her head.