Liu Qiang’s mother rushed over to shield the body and sternly said to everyone, “No! My son’s seventh-day mourning…”

“What a seventh-day mourning?” Lian Youyou interrupted, addressing Liu Qiang’s mother in a compassionate tone. 

“I just checked. Liu Qiang’s body is already decomposing, emitting a foul odor, and his organs are exposed, making it easy for rodents to be attracted. If they bite him and then bite someone else, like your family or yours, or yours, and you consume the grain contaminated with Liu Qiang’s corpse.”

“Ugh!” Someone in the crowd couldn’t hold back and started retching.

Wei Chi Feng stood behind Lian Youyou, silently amused. This girl certainly had a way with words and knew how to spin a tale. Sometimes, the difference between civilians and soldiers boiled down to having a silver tongue. In Wei Chi Feng’s eyes, she played the role of an adviser.

Lin Tingjun glanced at Lian Youyou, then at Liu Qiang’s lifeless body. Suddenly, his appetite disappeared completely.

“Hmm…” Everyone in the vicinity contorted their faces in disgust.

Lian Youyou spread her hands nonchalantly. “This way, the disease would start spreading, and the fastest to contract it would be your own family members. What about your son Liu Dong?”

At the mention of their other beloved son, Liu Qiang’s mother hesitated.

“Perhaps we should proceed with the burial, Uncle Liu. This young lady is right; we can commemorate him on the seventh day,” one of the villagers chimed in.

“Yes, indeed. On a scorching day like this, your son was disemboweled. That’s bound to attract rodents. I’ve heard that rats will devour a person’s organs entirely! By then, won’t your son be left without a complete body?”

“Oh, dear! Please stop talking! You’re scaring the children! Aunt Qiang, you should let him rest in peace quickly.”

“Yes, let him rest.”

“Today is an auspicious day. Let’s all help you dig a grave for Qiang.”

Liu Qiang’s mother, with tears streaming down her face, sobbed, “Oh, my dear Qiang… Why did you have to die so tragically?”

Lian Youyou turned to look at Wei Chi Feng and nodded.

Wei Chi Feng understood her intentions, and mounted his horse as the villagers persuaded Liu Qiang’s family to bury him quickly.

“General, take me with you! I can be of assistance. Besides, I’m familiar with that mountain,” Lian Youyou said, clasping her hands together and blinking her eyes playfully at Wei Chi Feng.

After everything that had transpired, Wei Chi Feng recognized Lian Youyou’s talents. He had a daughter of his own, so he didn’t hold the same gender biases as some others.

He glanced over at Lin Tingjun, who had just emerged from the courtyard and simply said, “Take her with you.”

Lin Tingjun froze for a moment, and then Wei Chi Feng spurred his horse and led his troops forward, leaving the area at a gallop. 

“Clip-clop,” they passed by Lin Tingjun, raising his hair in their wake.

Lian Youyou after casually mounting her horse, she faced Lin Tingjun, arched an eyebrow, and gazed at him as if she possessed the air of a gallant heroine. “Hey, Slowpoke, are your legs fast enough?”

Without a second thought, Lin Tingjun replied, “Yes.”

“Good.” Lian Youyou said with a nod. Then, unexpectedly, she effortlessly swung herself onto her horse. Her movements were so nimble and agile that it defied the image of a delicate lady requiring assistance to mount a horse.

Once on horseback, she turned to the courtyard where her loyal fox spirit servant, He Shiqi, was playing cat’s cradle. “Ah Qi!”

He Shiqi perked up upon hearing Lian Youyou’s voice and reacted swiftly. His ears twitched, and he immediately looked in her direction.

Lian Youyou gestured to him. “Let’s go!”

“Coming, Master!” He Shiqi responded cheerfully and rushed towards Lian Youyou.

Lin Tingjun glanced at Lian Youyou, who was right beside him, and reached out to grab the stirrup to mount the horse. 

But at that moment, Lian Youyou’s legs squeezed the horse’s sides, and she exclaimed, “Giddy-up!” The black steed bolted forward from right in front of Lin Tingjun.

Lin Tingjun’s hand was left hanging in the air, and his foot was halfway up. This woman had no intention of letting him ride. No wonder she had asked him if he was fast on his feet.

Lin Tingjun turned stiffly to look at Lian Youyou’s departing figure and then back at his own horse, which had just been commandeered by a village girl. It was unbelievable that his horse was taken by a local girl.


Suddenly, a white figure streaked past him while lifting his hair once again. He was taken aback and quickly withdrew his outstretched hand and foot. He turned to look at the lightning-fast white figure, which turned out to be the village fool.

He was astonished. Lian Youyou had already surprised him with her agility, but now this village fool was displaying incredible speed too? How many skilled individuals were hidden in this village?

The saying goes, “Heroes appreciate heroes,” and “masters acknowledge masters.”

Seeing the astonishing speed of He Shiqi, Lin Tingjun felt a competitive spirit rising within him. Without hesitation, he lifted his robe and swiftly chased after He Shiqi. One white, one black, one leading, and one following, they pursued Lian Youyou’s galloping horse.

As they ran, He Shiqi’s incredible speed left even Lin Tingjun in awe. Today, he discovered that the village had more secrets than he had imagined.

When He Shiqi started running, Mr. He Xiucai and Lin Yuniang also tried to catch up but with their legs, they couldn’t possibly catch him. By the time they came out, not only had He Shiqi disappeared, but even Lin Tingjun who was a step behind He Shiqi, was also gone.

“Oh, my dear Ah Qi My precious child!” Liu Qiang’s mother didn’t cry, but Lin Yuniang was in a hurry to cry.

Mr. He Xiucai sighed repeatedly and comforted Lin Yuniang: 

“Don’t cry. That girl might not really be a demon. Look at how talented she is…”

“Talented is exactly what makes her a demon!” Lin Yuniang wiped her tears. 

“Have you ever seen a girl who can climb a tree? Huh? Such a tall tree, and she just went up there in an instant. She…” Lin Yuniang stopped halfway as she saw Li Xiangu, who was busy getting on a cow carriage to run away.

Lin Yuniang immediately ran over and grabbed Li Xiangu’s clothes. “Li Xiangu, you can’t just run away like this!”

Li Xiangu seeing Lin Yuniang grabbing her, thought she had come to settle accounts for deceiving people and quickly pulled her clothes away. “The general has pardoned me. Why are you grabbing me? Let go!”

“Although you’re a swindler, you must know some people with real abilities, right?” Lin Yuniang continued to hold on tightly. “Let them come and deal with the demon! You saw it too; that Lian Youyou is definitely a demon!”

“Which Lian Youyou? I don’t even know her!”, Li Xiangu quickly called her hired men to pull Lin Yuniang away.”

“That girl who climbed the tree!” Lin Yuniang pointed towards Pingshan mountain. “She’s gone with the general to catch the demon.”

Li Xiangu suddenly realized and with a fearful expression on her face, said, “Oh dear lady! Are you blind? I may be a swindler, but I’m not blind! That’s not a demon; that’s a real immortal! If demons cause trouble, there are immortals to handle them. But if immortals cause trouble, who can deal with them? You can’t provoke them, you really can’t!” Li Xiangu explained anxiously, her face showing genuine fear.

With her words, Li Xiangu adjusted her clothes vigorously, and everyone hurriedly pushed the bullock cart and left. Only Lin Yuniang remained standing there in a daze.

Once again, it was noon and the sunlight was harsh. Unlike the previous days, there was a rain of fire from the sky, turning the day into darkness. Today, all night long, rain fell on Ping Mountain, leaving it muddy.

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