ACA Chapter 21

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Chapter 21 – Murong Ranyue

 

“Let me scout it first, “ Jia Qizhe stopped outside the gates of a garden, “This is his garden, where he stores all of his medicinal herbs. We should reach Murong Ranyue’s private chambers if we pass through this.”

“Ok.” Gu Qingyu affirmed.

She watched as Jia Qizhe entered the garden. Nothing happened.

Suddenly, some of the plants twitched and started to move!

“Jia Qizhe!!” Gu Qingyu shouted in a subdued voice.

“I’m fine, worry about yourself.” Jia Qizhe reassured.

Although she couldn’t see his shadow anymore, his voice was still as soothing, “Quick, move over! Go past me! Head towards Murong Ranyue’s room! I can handle this! Believe in me!”

“I trust you.” Gu Qingyu gave him a faint smile. She lightly kicked on the ground, leaping up high into the air.

This “cat form” was really useful at times!

Gu Qingyu skipped around through the night sky, and because she already knew the directions in advance, she quickly reached Murong Ranyue’s chambers.

Without the slightest hesitation, she rushed straight through the windows.

Inside, stood an awe-struck pretty boy gaping at her. He had dark green hair and was dressed in an azure robe.

 

He asked, “Who… are you?”

“I-I…” She began feeling slightly remorseful about her impulsive actions, but regrets were just regrets. The deed had been done, so she could only bite the bullet to make the best of it, “If I may ask, are you Murong Ranyue?” A heavy scent of medicine lingered in the air, so this must be him.

“Indeed.” The man suddenly turned completely calm and collected, totally void of any “A Thief Suddenly Barged Into My Room”-panicky state that he was in previously.

“Hi, I’m Zhu Fan,” She did her best to be all smiles, trying to get more intimate with him, “I’ve come to borrow the herb with concealment abilities from you.”

“Concealment abilities?” Murong Ranyue appeared rather strange, his face was very pale, “You…” He sniffed at the air, “Possess the Bloodlife Jade.”

This was a confirming statement, not a question.

“Yes,” Gu Qingyu nodded, at the same time, she was amazed by Murong Ranyue’s abilities as he was able to distinguish the Bloodlife Jade through so many different scents, “Since you know my purpose of coming, please hand over the herb!”

“Forgive me, I cannot give you that.” said Murong Ranyue cooly and turned around.

“Why?” asked Gu Qingyu, puzzled. “Help me out~~!”

Her pettish tone caused Murong Ranyue to become slightly confounded, “What’s wrong with this young man??”

“Sorry, I’m not in a position to hand it over to you.” He casually walked towards the table and grabbed a fistful of herbs.

“Why are you so unreasonable!” Gu Qingyu stamped her feet. She remembered Jia Qizhe telling her that Murong Ranyue didn’t know a single bit of martial art, so… it should be fine if she turned a little heavy-handed? “Then, sorry~!” She kicked on the ground and surged towards Murong Ranyue.

 

If she could turn back time, she definitely wouldn’t attack the next time!!

 

Whoosh——”

 

Just when Gu Qingyu was about to grab him, Murong Ranyue suddenly turned around and scattered the fistful of herbs into the air.

Gu Qingyu began to feel drowsy, feeling her stomach churn in an instant before heavily falling onto the ground.

 

Damn it, I actually… fell for his trap…

 

“Gu Qingyu!” In her fuzzy state, she saw a blue figure, desperately running towards her.

“Jia… Qizhe…”

“You… are… here…”

“Sorry… I wasn’t… able to… get the herb…”

“I…”

Her voice lowered until it couldn’t be heard anymore.

“Sorry…” In a haze, Gu Qingyu could hear Jia Qizhe’s guilt-stricken voice, “I’m so sorry…”

Why are you sorry? It was clearly my fault… I’m sorry, Jia Qizhe. I couldn’t live up to your expectations, and I still couldn’t get that herb at the end…

Darkness enshrouded everything the next moment.

Afternoon.

Gu Qingyu slowly opened her eyes. The first person she saw was actually Jia Qizhe.

“You…” Gu Qingyu extended her arm, “How…”

“Fool,” Jia Qizhe grabbed her hands, “What about me?”

“Eheeh??” She lent his strength to get up, “Where am I?”

Around her, stood Xiao Qi, Mo Bai, Qi Yichen and even Murong Ranyue himself!!

“Seems like you’re pretty fine now.” Mo Bai smiled, “We are currently at the inn, Miss G-… Uhm, Zhu Fan. How do you feel?”

“I should be fine.” Gu Qingyu scratched her head, suddenly recalled something, “What about the herb?”

Murong Ranyue took a step forward, “I’m not going to hand over the herb.”

“Tsk, why are you so stubborn!” Gu Qingyu jumped up from the bed, “Oh right! Then… why are you here?”

“I came to apologize.” said Murong Ranyue with a naive face.

“…” Gu Qingyu was speechless, momentarily, “You’re here to apologize?? Do you even know how to fight? What if we snatch the herb from you now?”

“I have something that can back me up.” said Murong Ranyue confidently.

“And even arrogant.” Gu Qingyu looked at Jia Qizhe, “Jia Qizhe? What’s wrong?”

Jia Qizhe’s expression looked ugly, “Nothing, he just doesn’t have the herb anymore.”

“How come?” Gu Qingyu suddenly realized, “Now it all makes sense when Murong Ranyue said so confidently that he could get out of this! He doesn’t even possess the herb anymore! Since Jia Qizhe said so personally, it should be the truth, right? Aish, why do I still fully trust in Jia Qizhe same as before??”

“The herb got taken away from him by his brother.” Jia Qizhe let out a faint sigh, “That one is a Titled Prince. He was bestowed his title because of being favored since childhood. It’s very likely that he’s the next in line as the successor of the throne. His name is Murong Zuoyu, Third Prince.”

“Eh? Which prince is Murong Ranyue, then?” asked Gu Qingyu curiously.

“Fourth Prince.” Murong Ranyue replied faintly. For some reason, his face seemed even paler than before.

“But… why would you give the herb to your brother?” Gu Qingyu continued asking.

Murong Ranyue thought for a moment and said, “Because he knew that you would come.”

“What?” Gu Qingyu’s eyes sparkled, “So amazing? Then, does that mean that he can read minds? Divination? Precognition?”

Murong Ranyue shook his head softly.

“Ah? Then what?” Gu Qingyu questioned closely.

“Magic.” Murong Ranyue gave a faint response.

Gu Qingyu, “…” If you didn’t want to tell me, then just say so from the start! Why would you drag it out and make me anticipate!! As if I enjoy questioning you!!!

“What’s the point of living.” Gu Qingyu stood up, “Let’s go!”

Qi Yichen started in surprise, “Where to?”

“He-he-he!” Gu Qingyu’s laughter was very terrifying, “To find that Murong Zuoyu~~~”

“So scary!” Xiao Qi’s soul seemed to break away from her body. No! Our cute and adorable Xiao Qi, don’t leave us!!

“In that case, I can’t accompany you anymore.” Murong Ranyue bowed, “I shall take my leave.”

“Take care! I won’t be sending you off~~” said Gu Qingyu, and imitated those “martial artists” on television and cupped her fists, “Let us meet again if we are fated!”

“No, I don’t wish for us to meet in the future.” Having said that, Murong Ranyue left the building.

 

…!!

What’s that supposed to mean!! Just like that and you don’t want to see me again!! Am I that horrifying!!

 

“Che~, who cares.” Gu Qingyu curled her mouth, “Shall we wait until night time before we move?”

“Sure.” Mo Bai nodded.

“Oh, right! How did you get out yesterday, Jia Qizhe?” Gu Qingyu had wanted to ask this question for a while.

Jia Qizhe slightly tilted his head to the side, “You tell me? I burst into the room once I got rid of the formation spell, only to find you lying on the ground. Without a choice, I could only strike Murong Ranyue unconscious and then carry the both of you back.”

He said it with such a light and calm tone, as if it had nothing to do with him.

Although, this really didn’t have anything to do with him.

However!! This matter was immensely related to Gu Qingyu!!!

“So, you’re saying that, you struck Murong Ranyue unconscious, then you carried us back?” She put emphasis on the two words “struck” and “carried”.

“Yeah,” Jia Qizhe crossed his arms, and appeared as if he was looking at a young child, “How did you even lose? He’s so weak! I really expected too much from you.”

Gu Qingyu’s face turned red, “You…”

“All right, stop fighting,” Mo Bai stood between them, “Let us discuss about our plan for tonight.”

 

The plan was basically drawn up:

Gu Qingyu was still in the same team as Jia Qizhe, to find Murong Zuoyu while Mo Bai and Qi Yichen were responsible of clearing out obstacles, and Xiao Qi was to provide support on the sidelines——Nothing really changed. Except, their success rate had slightly increased…

Nighttime approached.

Besides Qi Yichen and Mo Bai, the rest had already changed into their respective outfits. Because Qi Yichen and Mo Bai had to draw the attention of the enemies, they deliberately wore white.

“Puah—!!” Gu Qingyu spit out the mouthful of tea that she just drank when she saw Mo Bai.

“…” Mo Bai followed her gaze and looked at himself, “What is it, Miss Gu?”

“N-nothing…” Gu Qingyu shook her head, but her eyes gleamed brightly, “All right! Let’s move out! We must catch that Murong Zuoyu today~! Muahahaha!!!”

“Xiao Yu is acting weird!” Xiao Qi hid in the corner, shivering. In Xiao Qi’s mind, Gu Qingyu had already turned into a black fiend with a pair of huge wings, holding onto a trident and with a dark red background…

“Set off.” Following Jia Qizhe’s order, everybody put on their respective masks and disappeared into the shadows…

 

“Huaaa——”

 

The sound of wind was the only thing that could be heard, and if it wasn’t for Gu Qingyu’s feline senses, she wouldn’t have even been aware of the people around her…

 

This time, we mustn’t fail!!

 

Jia Qizhe took the lead and entered when they finally reached the Imperial Palace, with Gu Qingyu following close behind.

She couldn’t help but admit that Jia Qizhe’s speed was incredible. She had to push herself to the limits just to keep up with him… Actually, even with this speed, it should be considered slow for him, right?

 

Soon, they arrived in front of a door. However, for some unknown reason, soldiers were nowhere to be found. Had Mo Bai’s team already lured them away? Or could this be another trap??

“Be careful, steady.” Jia Qizhe took out a dagger and held it firmly in his hand. Gu Qingyu took out her dagger as well, “Mm, you too.”

 

Jia Qizhe abruptly kicked open the door, Gu Qingyu immediately brandished her hand into the air, “[Ancient Frost Seal]!!”

The next moment, a halo of blue light burst out from her body.

The ring expanded and spread throughout the entire room. Everything the light passed turned into ice.

 

[TL: Ancient Frost Seal – 绝迹冰封]

 


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