The Martial Artists were responsible for the Ladies’ protection, so it was impossible for them to treat their job this lightly.
That means that they must have been drugged by someone.
The behaviour of the middle-aged man popped into Yang Kai’s mind. It was then he understood everything.
In his eyes, Yang Kai was only a mere beggar, and he didn’t want his plans to be spoiled by a beggar since the resistance of an average person couldn’t be compared to that of a martial artist.
Once he passed out it would invite the suspicion of everyone.
Although this wouldn’t truly affect Yang Kai, it was a definite cause for worry for the middle-aged man. So, he threatened him and refused to give him his usual portion of dinner. It would also explain the man’s sigh of relief when Yang Kai turned.
It is always hard to guard against a thief within one’s home. What is the sly veteran guard trying to do? Was he doing this for wealth, for the beauties in the carriage, or for something else?
Yang Kai hoped that his own speculation was wrong, for the young lady and her loyal servant Cui Er had good hearts and intentions. He thought that people with good hearts ought to have good endings.
When he quietly moved over to the martial artist nearest to him and checked pulse, he was cold.
Near the roaring bonfire, several forms started crawling stealthily. Then, they slowly pulled out swords from their waists and kissed their companions’ necks with them.
The sound of slicing began and fresh blood started splashing everywhere. Soon, everyone who wasn’t involved had their souls sent to hell.
Yang Kai didn’t dare to move. Although he has advanced to the Qi Transformation stage, he was terribly outnumbered. The veteran guard was also in the True Element Boundary. Any rash acts would only cost him his life.
He couldn’t even tell if the ones he could see were all of them.
[Is Old Man Wu with them? If so, then escape would be no problem…]
Yang Kai quietly moved towards the carriage on which Old Man Wu sat. He saw the middle-aged man look coldly at Old Man Wu. He then heard the noise of metal sliding from a sheath in the dark night.
Yang Kai then raced his thoughts as he picked a pebble from a ground, sat it between his fingers and flicked it with all his strength.
He launched it at Old Man Wu to try and awaken him, but Yang Kai chose not to use too much Yuan Qi in case he exposes himself. Unfortunately, the pebble hit the long sword in the middle-aged man’s hands.
*Clang*. In the silent night, it appeared to be incomparably loud.
This alerted the middle-aged man. As soon as he heard the pebble impact on his sword, his eyes opened wide and he lunged the sword at Old Man Wu hesitantly.
In that critical moment, Old Man Wu opened his eyes and seemingly because of instinct, he dodged the blow.
Old Man Wu only just barely evaded the strike as the sword drew blood from his now pierced shoulder. The ache sobered him up instantaneously as he cracked his horsewhip. He then created distance from the now disappointed guard as he shouted angrily, “Zhang Ding, so it was your doing!”
Zhang Ding did not reply as he withdrew his long sword and positioned himself to prepare for a battle with Old Man Wu.
Yang Kai quietly looked around and discovered that most martial artists who were fast asleep were now also waking up. He sighed with relief; it seems that Zhang Ding drugged them very carefully, but not with poison in case it traced back to him. However, he did not use strong anaesthetics for the same reason.
After all, the stronger the drug the more distinctive its flavour.
But his carefully planned scheme was ruined by a pebble.
If not for the metallic clang, everyone would have been killed by Zhang Ding and his accomplices.
The Martial Artists were still drowsy as they looked around in confusion.
Screams then emitted as someone shouted, “Sun Jian Ming is dead! Who killed him?!”
He did not even finish his words when he felt a cold sensation touch his chest. He looked down to find a long sword piercing him.
“Diao Hong, what are you doing?” He howled weakly in pain, in an effort to interrogate.
This was a case of a trusted companion stabbing him in the back. The crowd of martial artists hadn’t even found the time to get their bearings before more of them were murdered. Soon afterwards, they were finally able to respond to the sudden attack, hitting back in anger.
The battlefield was divided into two groups, one of which was the group which stayed loyal and protected the carriage and the other consisted of Zhang Ding and his accomplices. Zhang Ding and Old Man Wu were in a heated battle between themselves and angry voices could be discerned from the noise.
Yang Kai decided to quietly make his way towards the carriage under the dim moonlight.
He wanted to run to safety, but he could not ignore Cui Er and her diligent care in the past few days. He would never feel at ease abandoning her.
The three women in the carriage also awakened from all the noise. As Yang Kai approached the carriage, he could hear Cui Er’s discontented voice complaining, “It’s the dead of the night, what could they possibly be quarrelling about?”
As they whined, they also rustled trying to put on their clothes.
Yang Kai quickly raised the curtains of the carriage and barged inside.
“Who…?!” Cui Er was shocked, sparking her to send two pinkish white fists directly at Yang Kai’s face.
“It’s me, don’t hit me!” Yang Kai said bashfully and made an effort to grip the Cui Er’s hands.
“Little Beggar?” Cui Er heard Yang Kai’s voice and exclaimed from between her clenched teeth, “You big pervert, get out of here!”
She then tried to kick Yang Kai. In the compartment, the Madam and the Young Lady were also frightened by Yang Kai imposing.
“Keep quiet!” Yang Kai covered her mouth with his hand to silence her.
She wanted to retort, but instead, she swallowed her saliva in anger.
When everything was calmer, Yang Kai noticed that Cui Er was only in her underwear, her clothes rattled and crumpled from the tussle. This was like a spring scenery for Yang Kai with infinite potential.
“Zhang Ding has betrayed you. Listen to the conversation outside.” Yang Kai hurriedly explained. He then made himself at home in the carriage. It was rude since it was in the middle of the night, and somewhat erotic since the three beautiful women were not properly clothed. He took a glance at the Madam and the Young Lady’s bodies, but immediately shifted his vision to avoid trouble.
Now that Yang Kai has come to think of it, he realised how bold the three women were to sleep only in their underwear in the somewhat barebones carriage whilst being surrounded by male protective detail. The Young Lady still had pretty much all of her chastity and dignity intact, but the Madam was unfortunately far worse off for clothing. The lighting in the carriage may be very dim, but the darkness would not hinder Yang Kai if he wanted to look.
The three women in the carriage listened carefully and heard Old Man Wu cursing Zhang Ding angrily, followed by a few bouts of cold laughter in between.
“How could he betray us like this?” Cui Er said in shock.
The Madam and the Young Lady only had bedding to cover themselves. Their complexions were unusually pale.
“Please put on your clothes, then I will try to lead you three away from here,” Yang Kai proposed anxiously. He didn’t know how long Old Man Wu and the remaining loyal martial artists could resist the attack. He didn’t know who would have the last laugh, but one thing was clear: they couldn’t stay any longer.
Yang Kai’s calm words were nerve-wracking for the three women. They then realised what kind of situation they were in.
The Madam flushed red, and in a trembling voice she said, “Little Beggar, is there any chance you could leave us first so we can put on our clothes?”
Yang Kai turned around to look her in the eyes and reminded her of the dire situation, “Madam, if you want to keep your life, then I would suggest that you ignore such small details. Me leaving the carriage would only expose the escape plan.”
(Skoll: Clearly, he is going to take advantage of them…)
The Madam accepted his suggestion with a slight nod.
The three women hurriedly dressed in Yang Kai’s presence much to their dismay. They were still embarrassed, though Yang Kai had his back facing them. Mother and daughter, both dressing in front of a stranger, a beggar no less… They would never have imagined such a possibility in their lives. Right now, they could only keep their displeasure in their hearts.
Cui Er was able to accept the situation more easily than the other two since she was more familiar with Yang Kai. She dressed quickly and then helped the Madam and Young Lady change their clothes.
Once the three women were done, Cui Er then initiated in a shivering voice, “We need to hurry and escape.”
Yang Kai was peeking out the carriage curtains. His face then drooped as he said coldly, “Looks like our time is up…”
Just as he said that, Old Man Wu’s pitiful voice could be heard. In a few moments afterwards, the sound of fighting outside came to a standstill.
Old Man Wu and the loyal martial artists had obviously been defeated. The anaesthetic did not wear off, so they could not fight with full strength. Zhang Ding and his subordinates had the element of surprise. Even if they had lesser numbers, they would still have the battle under control.
“Old codger!” a weak voice coughed. This voice belonged to Zhang Ding, who sounded hurt from the battle against Old Man Wu.
This sign gave Yang Kai a ray of hope in preserving their lives.
“What are we going to do?” Cui Er grabbed Yang Kai’s hand and wept in fear. The Madam and her daughter also looked at him for direction.
The little beggar was the only hope for the three women at that moment.
“No need to panic. Madam, you need to distract him by talking to him. In the meantime, I will find an opportunity to get rid of him,” Yang Kai said softly, then he took a deep breath and calmed his nerves and suppressed his heart beat.
The Madam, after all, is a Madam, and although the situation is bad and her complexion is pale, she nodded at Yang Kai’s instructions. She wasn’t thrown into confusion like Cui Er and Young Lady.
Footsteps seemed to get closer to the carriage. Yang Kai listened to the steps and deduced that there were five of them.
Cui Er scooted nearer to Yang Kai. He could feel the tremble of her gentle and charming body. In this jet black night, the sound of the footsteps felt like those of evil spirits coming to take their lives, striking fear in everyone’s hearts.
The footsteps ceased right in front of the carriage.
Zhang Ding coughed and groaned in a low voice, “Madam, Young Lady, please come out.”
The Madam then asked in a trembling voice from inside the carriage, “Zhang Ding, my husband treated you like a blood brother, why would you do such a thing?”
Everyone could hear hate and bitterness in her words. Her expectations and trust were betrayed by Zhang Ding.
Zhang Ding pondered for a bit silently, then he replied, “Madam, excuse me for saying this, but birds die for food and humans die for wealth. The Master died, leaving behind a large amount of property, and since the Madam and the Young Lady lack the strength to even kill a chicken, there is no way you would be able to defend the property.”
“So it was for wealth?” Madam gave a spiritless smile and asked further, “Does everyone also think the same?”
“Yes,” Zhang Ding responded confidently.
Madam gave a bitter smile and shook her head constantly, “If this was so, you must have decided to do this from the very start. Zhang Ding, in the name of our former friendship, please spare us, both mother and daughter. Both of us only hope to leave with our lives. We do not have any other intention.”
The Madam asked this because she could not pin all of their hopes on Yang Kai. Although he showed a calm attitude, he was still but a little beggar. How could such a character resist the strength of Zhang Ding?