PROOFREAD BY AFREANA
An Ruochen gave her orders decisively, but actually, her heart was beating hard. She was extremely nervous. From the moment she bumped into Mr. Xie, every single one of her nerves became tensed.
Yesterday, Lu Daniang made inquiries and said no places over Mount Xiu could be used as excuses. The road at the foot of Mount Xiu was well-maintained and lead everywhere. There was no outstanding scenery on this mountain. That was why it was secluded, and the reason why the Jing Xin Temple was so unknown. Hence, An Ruochen thought of a way, with the excuse of helping to find a child in the mountains, to enter the temple and investigate. If anything was wrong with the temple, and based on suspicion of child abduction and trafficking, she could arrest people.
As long as you catch them in your hand, you will have the opportunity to interrogate. Don’t regret it like the past, no negotiations, don’t bait the enemy, just arrest them!
Especially after Mr. Huo’s sacrifice, catching any suspects was the key to solving the mystery. The situation was different now. War is imminent, and no more bending the rules can be allowed.
An Ruochen had envisioned many possibilities and imagined various scenarios she would encounter but never would have thought she would be so lucky to be directly confronted by this man.
The first time they met, he sat opposite her in the private room. He even left the door open. Did he try to peep into the room? At that moment, An Ruochen was on alert and naturally felt that he was suspicious. He claimed to be an acquaintance of the Zhaofu Restaurant and was familiar with the restaurant. But no one in the restaurant remembered him, and no one in the surrounding stores remembered him either. She tried to stalk him but lost him after a short walk. After that, no one in the city saw him again. This made An Ruochen feel that he was highly suspicious.
Now, he appeared in a suspicious location twice. An Ruochen considered herself a half-professional scout, and all her judgments told her – he was the spy!
“Seize him!” An Ruochen yelled again.
Lu Zheng drew his sword but rushed towards An Ruochen.
With a clang, Lu Zheng’s sword blocked a knife slashing toward An Ruochen. The assassin jumped down from a tree.
Mr. Xie turned around and ran.
An Ruochen didn’t even look behind her, pulling her legs and chasing after him.
“Miss, be careful.” Lu Zheng shouted but was entangled by the assassin.
Mr. Xie ran into the forest. An Ruochen chased after him!
“Stop!” An Ruochen shouted. Mr. Xie was not afraid of her. He ran out for a while and still had the strength to look back at her. That glance was full of viciousness and sarcasm. It seemed to be warning her not to chase after him, and it also seemed to be mocking her for her lack of self-importance.
Catch him? Based on her strength only? Mr. Xie felt funny. She had helpers, but how many could there be? He would soon hide in the woods, and it was impossible for her to touch the corner of his coat.
An Ruochen threw out the dart rope. Mr. Xie saw her movements out of the corner of his eye and laughed out loud. Being reckless and clumsy with unnecessary courage. She was so far away. Look at her accuracy! Is she planning to shoot a tree?
Mr. Xie ignored her and accelerated his pace towards the direction of the mountain.
An Ruochen’s dart rope indeed shot towards the tree. She wrapped around a branch and took out the strength and speed to dodge. A hundred thousand fire, rush up the tree!
In a flash, she stood on a thick bough. An Ruochen hugged the tree and screamed with all her might. Standing high and loud, that scream pierced the clouds and resounded through the valley.
Mr. Xie almost fell to the ground.
Which trick is this? Has anyone touched a finger on her? Who are you trying to scare? He had already run some distance away, and when he looked back, he couldn’t see An Ruochen’s figure. He didn’t understand An Ruochen’s intention. Is it to frame him for beating her up? What did she do? But after running two more steps, he understood.
He heard the sound of a gong and shouting, like a response to An Ruochen’s scream.
Chen Kui led the villagers, and Erniu’s mother also led a group of women. The whole village came out and surrounded Mount Xiu. When An Ruochen’s scream came, Chen Kui struck the gong vigorously and shouted, “Something’s wrong, something’s wrong, there’s a wolf, folks, there’s a wolf, take good care of yourselves, pay attention to safety.”
One gong sounded, and all kinds of gongs rang out in all directions.
One continuous sound, advancing up the hill. Strike once, go east. Two strikes, go west. Three strikes to the south and four to the north. Wherever you find a situation, you report it with a gong. Everyone took hoes, sticks, woodcutting knives, and torches, forming a group to head up the mountain.
Meng Jiayue heard the commotion, got off the carriage, and looked at the villagers encircling the mountain orderly. She was simply dumbfounded. Using gongs instead of drums and carrying flags, they became an army.
Lu Daniang ran towards Meng Jiayue, saluted, and said anxiously: “Madam, the villagers said there might be wolves on the mountain. Everyone went to drive the wolves away. Madam, quickly return to the carriage. Beware of your safety.”
Meng Jiayue seemed to have seen someone carrying a torch in broad daylight. The torch does seem to be used to drive away the wolves. “Has anyone gone to report to the officials?”
“Yes. A villager has already entered the city on a fast horse.” Lu Daniang returned. Chen Kui’s group was the first to ascend the mountain, closer to An Ruochen. He must have heard the signal and hit the gong. The sound of the gong signaled that something had happened, so Lu Daniang followed the plan and hurriedly told the officer to enter the city quickly. First, report to the military at the city gates, let them send reinforcements, and then rush to the government offices to report to the government, saying that something has happened in Mount Xiu and the Governor’s wife was still at the bottom of the mountain.
This was An Ruochen’s plan. If something happens and the officers that were brought to the mountain turn out not to be enough, let the villagers encircle Mount Xiu to prevent the spies from escaping. Then, report it to the officials so they can come out to take the person in. And Lu Daniang’s task was to stabilize Madam Governor. Let her become the witness of the whole thing. And with her there, the Governor would send someone to arrive rapidly regardless of the circumstances.
Mr. Xie heard a sound in the distance. He changed directions and ran, still hearing the sound. He was surprised. How many people had come? This is so loud. Are they surrounding the whole mountain? Listening carefully again, the gongs were orderly and echoed each other. It did not look like they were banging randomly.
He vaguely understood. An Ruochen, you are good, really good! Is this a military siege on him? He had not heard anything before and did not receive any intelligence.