Chapter 10: Duanmu Wan (2)
Translator: Deep_Blue Editor: Kurisu
The dagger flew straight toward Lu Sheng’s chest, its blade shredding his clothes in a single stroke.
Lu Sheng’s masked face did not move an inch as he stared back at him, as if frozen in shock.
An evil grin appeared in the corners of Zhang Jundong’s mouth.
“Don’t blame me. You’ve got only yourself to blame for provoking someone you shouldn’t have!”
The tip of the blade cut through Lu Sheng’s clothes, slashing onto his skin.
At exactly that moment, Lu Sheng’s body fell backwards. From behind his waist, he withdrew a long-hilted saber that looked like a black python.
The saber swept out violently from behind his back, the blade brutally slashing into the dagger in Zhang Jundong’s hands. Zhang Jundong’s blade move was at the end of its trajectory and thus exhausted most of its strength, and could not compare in the least to the immense speed of his counterstrike.
The dagger flew up high into the air from that single hit.
Lu Sheng’s blade flipped, aiming immediately for Zhang Jundong’s head with Tiger Kill.
Zhang Jundong’s pupils contracted as the faint sound of a tiger’s roar rapidly approached him through the air.
All his hair stood on end; he could not possibly imagine that this young master of a wealthy family, protected by three guards, would actually erupt with such fearsome strength in but an instant!
‘What reaction, such speed! Not good!’
He had no time to think about anything else. Retreating in a backward flip, both his feet skidded about seven or eight steps before he turned around in an attempt to flee.
The tip of a long-hilted saber pierced through his chest.
Blood gradually oozed out from the wound.
Lu Sheng walked over and reached out to pull the saber out from his body, wiping it clean on the corpse’s clothing.
“Come, send me back.”
Calmly, he boarded the horse carriage and let down the carriage curtains, leaving behind the three guards at the scene and the two who were guarding the door.
Neither the five of them nor the coachman said a word as they looked at the corpse on the ground.
The three guards were especially silent. Their faces were ashen as they quietly boarded the horse carriage.
The coachman flicked the horsewhip and the carriage slowly began to move. Only the sounds of the carriage wheels turning could be heard within the carriage.
The three guards sat facing Lu Sheng for a moment. However, they were unable to bear with the silence. One by one, they helped each other out of the carriage to walk alongside it.
Soon, Lu Sheng was left alone inside the carriage.
He sat up straight on a round cloth cushion, his face expressionless. He closed his eyes slightly, as if to take a nap.
However, only he knew in that moment how tumultuous were the waves of turmoil within his heart.
‘I killed someone…’
He killed a person…!
Be it in his past life or the present one, he had not even injured anybody before, much less take away their life.
However, in that earlier moment, he had reacted purely based on his basic instincts. Seeing that the other party was about to escape, he had decisively raised his saber and thrust forward.
The incredible muscle memory gained after modification very smoothly extended the saber and executed the second move of Tiger Might, piercing through the opponent’s heart from the back with great precision.
After that, his opponent died.
The scene from earlier constantly replayed itself in Lu Sheng’s mind. That man hadn’t been kidding about it, he’d seriously wanted him dead.
As he felt threatened, Lu Sheng’s primal instincts made him counter the threat with force and eliminate it.
And, in the end, it had indeed been completely eliminated.
However, he had also exposed his martial arts skills.
And even killed someone.
‘The good thing is, the Black Tiger Saber Technique moves are unique and distinctive. With a bit of investigation, they’ll be able to clearly trace them back to Uncle Zhao. That’s not such a big deal, but I’ve got to be careful in the future…’
The horse carriage moved along slowly. It was about half an hour since they had left the village.
It wasn’t clear when it began, but clear and crisp sounds of a tolling bell gradually drifted over with the wind, coming from somewhere in the pitch darkness outside.
The coachman gazed backwards and saw a white horse carriage speedily closing in from behind. From the looks of it, they were also hurrying along towards Nine Links City.
The three guards also saw the white horse carriage approaching from the back.
Two large pristine-white horses pulled an intricately designed white carriage, carved with many exquisite silver flower motifs. A faint fragrance emanated from the carriage and drifted with the wind.
The three of them looked at each other, instinctively grasping their broadswords. Earlier, they had failed to protect a distinguished guest and almost let him meet with a mishap. If they failed again, the Zheng Family would definitely not let them off.
Their wrists were also not too badly hurt from earlier. After applying medication to it and resting a bit, they were now able to exert roughly seventy or eighty percent of their strength.
All three were veterans who had previously joined the army. With the three of them forming a mini-formation, defeating seven, eight ordinary men would pose no problem at all.
There was nothing extraordinary about the white carriage other than the fact that it was more luxurious, which wasn’t a big deal.
However, what unsettled some of them was that the lanterns guiding that carriage actually weren’t lit!
In the wilderness beyond the city, and especially so on a gloomy, moonless night, it was nigh impossible to continue forward in pitch darkness if one did not light the lanterns, even on a road.
Yet this horse carriage was traveling at an extremely high speed, even faster than their own lantern-lit carriage!
“Something’s wrong,” one of the three said in a low voice.
Lu Sheng pulled back his curtains and glanced to the back, and also saw the white carriage rushing along in the dead of the night. A man with a gentle and handsome countenance was driving the horse carriage. Clearly, it was the guy from earlier in the Black Meeting – the gentle-looking man who guarded the woman by his side.
The white horse carriage sped along with nary a pause; soon, it gradually passed by the side of Lu Sheng’s horse carriage.
“Ah Jiu, let’s stop for a bit.”
A beautiful, melodious voice of a woman sounded out from within the white carriage and it immediately slowed down to travel head to head with Lu Sheng’s carriage.
The curtains slowly lifted to reveal a charmingly coquettish face with a slight frown, lit by the lantern.
It was that woman from before – Duanmu Wan!
Lu Sheng put on a poker face as he looked at the other party.
“Young Master, the roads are extremely dark tonight, can I borrow one of your lanterns to light the way? Take it as us watching out for each other?”
Duanmu Wan had also noticed Lu Sheng and flashed him a smile.
“…Sure, Miss Duanmu.”
Lu Sheng replied placidly, and then proceeded to lower his curtains.
“Young Master, if little miss may be so bold as to ask another favor,” that Duanmu Wan spoke again without waiting for him to retreat back to his carriage, “I knocked over a teapot in this carriage of mine, wetting the round seat cushion and everything here. Could I please…”
Lu Sheng’s eyes narrowed as a sense of caution rose within him.
This Duanmu Wan appeared rather suspicious. ‘She says it’s wet inside her carriage, but who really knows?’
The manner in which the other party caught up with them in the dark of the night was very suspicious; it seemed to be deliberate in order to strike up a conversation. Even if he refused, there was no guarantee that Duanmu Wan would let him off.
“If Miss doesn’t mind my shabby horse carriage, then please come up here to rest for a bit.” Currently, he had achieved full mastery of the Back Tiger Saber Technique, achieving extraordinary battle scores in the past two consecutive battles. Gradually, he gained some confidence in himself by now.
He was confident of holding his own in a duel against any average martial expert, or even someone like Uncle Zhao, who was the foremost expert in Nine Links City. Even though he was sorely lacking in battle experience, the fourth level of the Black Tiger Saber Technique seemed to have given him a strength that surpassed even that of Uncle Zhao’s.
Given a short time and a small space, it would be difficult to say whether he or Uncle Zhao would win.
So, even though Duanmu Wan had remarkable skills, he believed he had the means to protect himself.
“Thank you very much, Young Master.”
Under the swaying lights of the lanterns, Lu Sheng instructed the coachman to stop. The white horse carriage also gradually came to a stop.
The carriage doors slid open. Duanmu Wan, still dressed in her black miniskirt from earlier, slowly walked over.
She lifted her head and flashed a smile towards Lu Sheng, who was opening the carriage door for her. Her exquisite, fair skin, cherry dark-red lips, and her delicate pink tongue that slowly darted across her lips caused the surrounding guards’ and the coachman’s hearts to unwittingly skip a beat.
She slowly stepped up the carriage by Lu Sheng’s side.
In the moment she did so, the black dress that barely covered her rode up slightly to reveal a pair of long slender legs and a round, tender rear.
The view beneath her skirt flashed for a moment, just enough for Lu Sheng to see a little, yet not very much.
Duanmu Wan’s body suddenly twisted as she sprained the back of her feet, her whole body flinging itself onto Lu Sheng.
“Careful,” Lu Sheng hastily reached out to support her.
Inwardly, however, he grew even more cautious. He chuckled coldly in his mind as he recognized the same “coincidence” so often portrayed in the romance dramas on Earth.
Still, he did not let it show. Instead, he just intended to respond according to common sense.
Duanmu Wan fell softly and feebly into the nook of his arm. The surging waves of her chest accidentally rubbed against Lu Sheng’s forearm.
Instantly, Duanmu Wan’s face flushed red as she lowered her head, righting herself as if she just experienced a slight electric shock.
Lu Sheng’s mind also shook, and he held onto her even more firmly.
“Many thanks, Young Master…” Duanmu Wan said in a meek voice.
“You’re welcome. Do take a seat,” Lu Sheng supported her to the seat at the side of the carriage.
Within the large interior, there were two rows of four seats opposite of each other. Lu Sheng sat across from Duanmu Wan.
The horse carriage again began to move slowly.
Duanmu Wan sat there with her face flushed, both her legs slanted to the side, tightly closed together without even a slight crack between them. Just that, from Lu Sheng’s point of view opposite of her, he could see the hint of a shadow in the space between her skirt and her thighs. If only Lu Sheng wanted to, he could follow the shadow with his gaze and fully peek at the view beneath her skirt.
In any case, there were only the two of them within the carriage. Moreover, Duanmu Wan’s head was lowered in embarrassment at this moment, and could not see him.
Suddenly, the horse carriage seemed to grind over something and jumped a little.
Duanmu Wan’s legs shook slightly from the impact, revealing a sliver of a crack.
By now, a small section of the view beneath her skirt was revealed to Lu Sheng. His gaze swept over from the corner of his eye, catching a faint glimpse of a patch of white.
“Is Young Master headed towards Nine Links City?”
Duanmu Wan seemed not to notice that she had exposed herself as she asked gently.
“That’s right, you’re heading there too, Miss?” Lu Sheng casually asked a pointless question.
“Yep. To be honest, Wan’er is currently staying at the Thousand Blessings Inn in the city. I heard that there was a Black Meeting… so, along with my guard, we came here to check it out. Who knew everyone was going to be masked! How boring,” Duanmu Wan seemed rather dissatisfied.
“For Wan’er and a personal bodyguard to travel such a long distance by yourselves, it sure takes great skill and boldness!” Lu Sheng said calmly.
“What skill? It’s only because we were saved by a merchant group on the way that we were able to successfully arrive at Nine Links City. Otherwise, Wan’er and the guard would have perished from hunger or cold in some remote corner along the journey,” Wan’er explained.
“Speaking of which, the Young Master who saved Wan’er is as strong as you in terms of martial arts prowess,” Duanmu Wan smiled lightly.
“Is that so?”
Hearing that, Lu Sheng knew that she had witnessed that earlier scene of him fighting.
“At the Black Meeting, Wan’er saw that Young Master seemed to really need inner force secret manuals?” Duanmu Wan asked again.