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Jianghu Demolition Squad

Jianghu By Jun 07, 2024 1 Comment
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Chapter 27: Gu Poison Relapses

A Thread of love Wrapped around Black Silk (Part Six)

Yu’er caught sight of the white silhouette diving swiftly, like an arrow released from its bow. In a blur, she was caught in an embrace.

The roar of the wind filled her ears as she was suspended in mid-air, but their hearts had already landed on solid ground.

With no foothold in the air and seemingly destined to fall into the waters below, a worn bamboo raft rushed towards them from upstream. The swift current quickly positioned it right beneath the two.

Qing Jiu, utilizing her lightness skill, held Yu’er as they landed on the raft. She meant to lightly tap her foot against the raft to leap towards the shore, but the raft was unstable. As soon as Qing Jiu landed, her face turned pale, and she stumbled and fell onto the raft.

Yu’er supported her, preventing her fall into the river, and exclaimed in surprise, “Does even the raft make you dizzy?”

As the current ferried them swiftly downstream, the brief pause allowed Yu’er to hear the thunderous water sounds ahead. With the flow growing more violent and the mountain rocks parting way, her heart skipped a beat, anticipating a cliff with a waterfall ahead.

Not knowing the height of the waterfall, Yu’er worried less if it were lower but dreaded their fate if higher, especially given Qing Jiu’s condition. They urgently needed to make it to shore.

Yu’er called out, “Qing Jiu, there’s a cliff ahead, we need to get to the shore!”

After shouting several times, Qing Jiu mumbled weakly, covering her mouth, appearing in great pain.

With determination, Yu’er wrapped her arms around Qing Jiu and, with a tilt, plunged into the river.

Yu’er initially intended to swim to shore with Qing Jiu, but the rapid current impeded them. After a few attempts, she felt herself lifted then falling again. This time, she could only hear the thunderous roar, seeing nothing but a white cascade before her, sensing by instinct the cliff’s considerable height.

Her heart raced with fear. She had been separated from Qing Jiu during the fall and did not know her condition. The drop from such a height into the water was bound to result in internal injuries. Feeling dizzy from the raft and with her thoughts in disarray, she feared the inevitable injuries the fall would cause.

Caught in her frantic thoughts, Yu’er suddenly felt the water surface nearing. A sudden pressure descended from above, and within moments, she felt the comforting wrap of someone’s arms around her, holding her tight. Almost instantly after that, they both plunged into the water together.

After a moment of dizziness, she regained her senses and hurriedly spread her arms to break through the water. Clearing the droplets from her eyes, she turned to look at the waterfall, witnessing its cascade from a height of seventy or eighty meters, with white foam splashing and the noise resonating like thunder.

Hearing the splashing of water nearby, Yu’er saw Qing Jiu emerge and make her way to the shore, promptly following her. Qing Jiu, on the shore, wrung her drenched clothes and upon seeing Yu’er approach, inquired, “Did you get hurt anywhere?”

Yu’er shook her head, relieved to see that Qing Jiu had recovered to her normal self without sustaining any injuries.

“How could you be so careless?” Qing Jiu asked.

“I, there was a snake on the rock wall…” Yu’er explained.

Qing Jiu laughed heartily, “So, even Yu’er, who dares to face wolves and fight bandits, has such a fatal weakness.”

Yu’er pressed her lips together, apologizing, “I’m sorry.”

Shaking her head, Qing Jiu responded, “I’m not blaming you. Sometimes you’re just too serious and stubborn. Actually, it was my negligence that led to your fright and fall. We can’t go back today. Let’s find a cave to rest in. It looks like it’s going to rain soon, so we should hurry and gather some dry wood for a fire.”

The cliff on this side of the waterfall was steep, leaving no way out. The surroundings of the river were lush and covered, deep and uniquely beautiful, tranquil like an unparalleled paradise.

Qing Jiu and Yu’er found a spacious and well-situated cave. After securing the cave, they gathered some dry wood nearby.

When Yu’er was returning to the cave with an armful of dry wood, she heard a groaning sound at the entrance. Her steps halted, recognizing it as Qing Jiu’s voice. Rushing inside, she found Qing Jiu collapsed on the ground, clutching her chest tightly, one hand on the ground with veins bulging, her fingers gripping a rock so hard that blood seeped through.

Qing Jiu’s body trembled violently, seemingly in extreme pain, her face flushed with endurance, her eyes bloodshot red, and her lips turned pale from agony. Despite biting down hard, she couldn’t stop moaning in pain.

“Qing Jiu!” Yu’er exclaimed, dropping the wood to the ground as she frantically went to support Qing Jiu. “What’s wrong with you?”

Though Qing Jiu was conscious, the immense pain made it difficult for her to speak or move.

Yu’er felt Qing Jiu’s pain as if it were her own, each breath was both difficult and painful, her body uncontrollably trembling.

Suddenly, Yu’er remembered Qing Jiu’s last bout of illness and recalled what Mo Wen had said.

The poison in Qing Jiu’s body was acting up!

A numbness overtook Yu’er’s mind as she hastily asked, “Where’s the medicine Mo Wen gave you?”

It took Qing Jiu a long time to respond, the taste of blood spreading in her mouth, struggling to catch her breath to speak.

Seeing her in such unbearable pain, Yu’er became increasingly panicked and distressed. Instinctively, she reached inside Qing Jiu’s clothing, searching until she found a porcelain bottle – the one Mo Wen had given them the day before. Quickly, she poured out a pill and brought it to Qing Jiu’s lips.

Qing Jiu struggled to open her mouth. Taking a deep breath, Yu’er supported her chin to pry her lips open, the soft touch making her heart race and sweat break out on her back. But disregarding her discomfort, she hurriedly pushed the pill inside. Qing Jiu closed her mouth and swallowed.

After some time had passed, Qing Jiu showed signs of slight improvement, yet her expression remained tense.

Yu’er gently called out, “Qing Jiu.”

Qing Jiu pushed her away, only to fall to the ground once more: “Yu’er, you… you go outside first.”

“But your body…” Yu’er began.

“Go out!”

“Qing Jiu.”

Pain surged through Qing Jiu’s heart again, causing her body to shiver and cold sweat to form on her forehead as she gasped unevenly: “Go… out…”

Although Yu’er was worried, she didn’t want to go against her wishes: “Okay, I’ll go outside. If you need anything, just shout or make some noise, and I’ll come right back in.”

Yu’er started to walk away, but couldn’t resist glancing back at her before finally stepping outside the cave.

Leaning against the cave entrance, Yu’er unconsciously listened for any sound from inside, her mind constantly replaying Qing Jiu’s pained expression, causing her heart to inexplicably tighten.

Yu’er let out a long sigh, looking up at the dark sky, pressing a hand to her chest, wondering if she herself was ill, questioning why there was pain there. Despite applying the medical knowledge she had learned from Mo Wen, she couldn’t find the root cause. The thought, “A healer cannot heal themselves,” crossed her mind, wondering if perhaps she hadn’t learned enough, not even a tenth of Mo Wen’s skills.

As her thoughts gradually calmed, Yu’er found some soft dry grass nearby. Hearing Qing Jiu calling her as she returned, she hurried back inside with the grass. By then, a fire had been started in the cave, Qing Jiu sitting against a rock, the firelight casting upon her pale face.

“How are you feeling now?” Yu’er asked.

Qing Jiu lifted her eyelashes, a deep weariness in her gaze, which then fell upon the dry grass in Yu’er’s hands.

“I went to get some dry grass for you to rest on,” Yu’er said.

“Come dry your clothes first, be careful not to catch a cold,” Qing Jiu’s voice was hoarse and weary, as if she had just woken from a deep sleep.

Yu’er spread the dry grass next to Qing Jiu and then removed her outer garment to dry it by the fire: “Do you want some water?” Qing Jiu shook her head silently.

“Are you hungry? Should I find something for you to eat?” Yu’er asked again, but Qing Jiu still shook her head.

The fire flickered as rain suddenly began to fall outside, heavy and relentless. The cave leaked, and droplets of water tapped against the stone walls, ticking away.

After a while, Yu’er said, “You rest for a bit; I’ll keep watch.”

This time, Qing Jiu didn’t respond. When Yu’er looked at her, she saw that Qing Jiu had leaned against the rock and closed her eyes, seemingly asleep.

The cave was enveloped in silence, broken only by the sound of raindrops and the crackling of flames consuming dry wood. After a while, Yu’er had dried her outer garment and checked on Qing Jiu, who was still asleep in the same position as before.

Worried that Qing Jiu might be uncomfortable, Yu’er thought about helping her to lie down on the spread-out dry grass. But she hesitated, fearing that she might wake her up. She was also concerned that Qing Jiu hadn’t moved for a while and might catch a cold from her damp clothes, so she decided to cover her with her own outer garment.

Yu’er approached Qing Jiu with her outer garment, treading lightly, and squatted down in front of her. Before she could reach out, Qing Jiu’s eyes suddenly snapped open. Yu’er had seen that look before – during a stormy rescue at the Thirteen Fortresses, when Qing Jiu had lain on the bed and opened her eyes in the same way, cold and sharp, like a sword that kills without drawing blood.

Startled by Qing Jiu’s sudden awakening, Yu’er was caught off guard. Just as she was about to speak, a chill swept towards her.

With a shock, Yu’er rolled to the side to dodge. Before she could react, Qing Jiu’s sword was already swinging towards her in a relentless attack, its cold light unyielding, filled with a ruthless intent to kill.

Yu’er dodged instinctively, confused as to why Qing Jiu would suddenly draw her sword against her with such decisiveness, as if Yu’er had become her most hated enemy.

Finding herself cornered against the cave’s rock wall with nowhere to retreat, Yu’er saw Qing Jiu’s sword thrust towards her and cried out in alarm, “Qing Jiu!”

The sword’s cold light flashed by, grazing past her ear and embedding itself in the wall, with half the sword’s length buried in the stone. Yu’er’s back was drenched in cold sweat, her breath trembling. The force behind the sword was so intense that it would have pierced through her had it made contact.

A lock of her hair, severed by the sword, fell onto the blade. Yu’er tried to call out again, “Qing Jiu.”

The person holding the sword seemed to awaken from a dream, her eyes clearing considerably. She frowned, her voice hoarse, “Is that you, Yu’er?”

Wanting to avoid startling her further, Yu’er softened her voice, “Yes, it’s me.”

Qing Jiu attempted to pull out the sword but found herself unable to move it. The person who had struck with such ferocity, embedding the sword deep into the rock, seemed to be someone else, not her. She appeared utterly weak and frail.

Yu’er, leaning against the wall, was very close to her, able to hear her low, labored breathing.

Qing Jiu tried again to pull out the sword but ultimately couldn’t. Her strength failed her, and she collapsed, with Yu’er catching her, both of them sliding to the ground on their knees.

“Yu’er, when I’m asleep, don’t… don’t come too close to me…” Qing Jiu’s voice was weary, fading softer and softer.

Yu’er realized then why they had all warned her not to get too close to Qing Jiu while she was sleeping; it was for this very reason.

“I’ll help you over to lie down,” Yu’er said.

Supporting Qing Jiu, Yu’er walked her to the dry grass laid out beside the fire, helping her to lie down, then sat a little distance away.

It wasn’t long before Qing Jiu’s breathing became even, and she fell into a deep sleep once more.

Yu’er sat to the side, her gaze unconsciously drifting towards Qing Jiu. Leaning on her knees, Yu’er gazed at Qing Jiu’s sleeping face, noting her skin white as jade and her lashes thick and long. Watching her in such tranquility brought an indescribable sense of fulfillment, wishing momentarily that this peaceful moment could last forever.

As midnight approached, Qing Jiu suddenly began to feverishly ramble incoherently. Remembering Qing Jiu’s instruction not to come too close while she was asleep, and recalling the merciless way Qing Jiu had attacked her in a nightmarish trance, Yu’er struggled with the decision but eventually moved closer to sit by her side.

Yu’er took her hand, whispering, “Qing Jiu, I’m here.”

This time, possibly because Qing Jiu was deeply asleep, she didn’t react violently. However, Yu’er’s heart was still burdened with worry. Despite calling Qing Jiu’s name several times without any response, all she could do was sit beside her, holding her hand.

Though unconscious, Qing Jiu gripped Yu’er’s hand tightly, like a drowning person clinging to the only piece of driftwood.

A profound sadness welled up in Yu’er’s heart once more: “What kind of person would cast such a cruel curse to torment you like this…”

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Khriss
Khriss
21 days ago

Mysterious backstory, wahh!!! Boi is she strong though, and with the bhuddist beads and dull blade, one can only wonder what happened;;
Thanks for the chapter