Tinalynge, one of the two authors of this novel, here.
As you might have noticed, we have had a month’s hiatus and before then we had an unstable release schedule as well.
This has been due to some personal things that had to be solved by both Blue Jay and myself.
We had not told you guys anything as we were unsure of when we could return, but now we are back. We will try to catch up on the chapters we are behind on.
For new people, please give Rest in a Demon’s Embrace a try, it is worth a read.
Written by Tinalynge & Blue Jay
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From twenty-five down to twenty-two in just a matter of seconds was something that made all of the enemy’s men feel as if they were nothing in front of the two shadow guards.
Luo Xiao himself trembled lightly at the bloody scene and could feel some bile in his mouth just by looking at it, and yet he forced himself to keep looking and swallowed it down. If all he did in such scenes was his knees getting weak and him being unable to do anything, he wouldn’t be able to repay Jiang Yao.
And so despite clearly wanting to look away, he stood strong and kept looking, his hand clenched tightly.
“It’s all going to be fine, Jin Chuan,” just as he spoke to the girl near him, the two shadow guards instantly disappeared from his sight.
But they weren’t actually gone as flashes of daggers and shadows flew around, coupled with silent screams as none of those targeted could let them out before their heads fell off their bodies.
“Stay together! They can’t kill us all!” the man tasked with kidnapping Luo Xiao yelled out however it was all futile. By the time any of his men could react, most were dead, and the rest had turned to flee, to try and survive.
“Cowards!” he cursed, but he wasn’t different. His eyes were wide with fear – in a way he couldn’t believe how quickly his men were massacred, and yet he knew that their opponents had strength which couldn’t be measured.
Even those who turned around and tried to flee suffered the same fate. The two shadow guards effortlessly caught up with each and every one of them, ending their lives with as much as a flick of a sleeve and a quick flash of the shiny metal of the daggers.
It frankly wasn’t even a fight as the kidnappers couldn’t even use their abilities before the shadow guards had ended their lives and their bodies fell lifelessly on the ground.
Just as the leader finally made to turn around and run for his life, a hand and a dagger appeared around his chest and neck respectively as Mo San appeared as if out of nowhere from behind.
“I’m curious whether leaving you alive will bring Master even more troubles,” he whispered softly. “Unfortunately for you, I’m not willing to find out.”
The leader didn’t even have time to say a word when Mo San stabbed his throat with his dagger, effectively ending the man’s life within seconds. There was simply no resistance between the kidnappers and the shadow guards, as the Fourth Prince’s men laid on the ground, their bodies lifeless and already getting cold.
Mo San and Mo Si looked at each other, their only communication being a short nod before Mo Si’s silhouette disappeared in order to check whether anyone had seen what had happened and if so, to dispose of them silently. Mo San, on the other hand, walked over to Luo Xiao before bowing to him.
“Please go back without minding us. Mo Si will clean up and I will make sure nobody follows you two. We…” seeing Luo Xiao’s tightly pursed lips and lightly pale face, coupled with Jin Chuan’s wide eyed expression, Mo San felt the need to say something else. “We are sorry you had to see this mess we made.”
While Jin Chuan’s eyes darted between the bodies and Mo San in shock, Luo Xiao swallowed lightly before nodding. He knew that the guards perhaps wouldn’t have normally killed all these men with him watching, but clearly they had no choice in this situation.
Instead of saying anything else, he simply took Jin Chuan’s hand and turned around, leaving the place. He knew the guards would do their job just as they were meant to, so he decided not to bother with paying them attention.
The two of them returned to the Cloudsoar Academy quickly, of course, using a different route than the one they had arrived through. As soon as they were on the grounds of the Academy, Jin Chuan finally spoke, her wide eyes looking at Luo Xiao with some fear.
“Is the Fourth Demon Prince after you, Luo Xiao?” she whispered, of course after looking around quickly to make sure that nobody was close enough to hear them.
Luo Xiao looked at Jin Chuan, silently recalling how Jiang Yao had behaved just days before (?) when he had mentioned Jin Chuan being his friend and hesitating for a moment… But friends and lovers were different, right? And besides, he trusted Jin Chuan enough that in the end he softly sighed.
“Apparently he is. But don’t worry about it. As you saw, I am not as defenceless as it seems,” in the end, Luo Xiao softly smiled at Jin Chuan before his expression became serious. “I know they probably won’t target you, but as my friend I don’t want to disregard that possibility. Please be careful.”
The girl’s eyes didn’t leave Luo Xiao for a long moment before she nodded lightly. “I will try.”
Luo Xiao’s serious gaze relaxed after a moment of silence and he sighed. “I should probably head back to my room now. After all, the tournament is soon and I want to be as prepared as I can,” he chuckled softly, even though he really wasn’t looking forward too much to the tournament.
He didn’t want to fight, but it was clear that Jiang Yao was expecting a lot from him. And since he had decided that he didn’t want to be a burden for him, Luo Xiao knew that he had to at the very least get in the top three. Perhaps even win. But in order to do that, he had to train hard, perhaps even reach the Star Rank just before the competition.
Noticing his silence and thoughtful expression, Jin Chuan simply smiled.
“I wish you the best of luck! I personally won’t be participating, I will be aiming for the Star Rank instead. I can feel myself being very close to breaking through and I don’t want to miss this chance. Best of luck, Luo Xiao!” she spoke softly, patting him on the shoulder encouragingly before wishing him a good night and walking off to wherever she was staying at.
Luo Xiao looked after her for a moment after similarly wishing her a good night. A moment later, he turned around, heading towards his own place to rest and continue training later on.
While the two of them were bidding goodbyes to each other, Mo Si and Mo San quickly finished clearing out the place from all the bodies, with not even a speck of blood visible where previously was a complete massacre. Of course, Mo San only appeared there once he had made sure that Luo Xiao arrived at his house safely. As a shadow guard, he knew that if he left Luo Xiao to return alone, Jiang Yao would have absolutely skinned him alive, if not something even worse than that.
“We have to report to Master,” Mo Si softly spoke once they were done with cleaning up. A second later Mo San nodded and the two of them disappeared from the street, as if they had never been there to begin with.
A short time later, the two shadows had already arrived in Jiang Yao’s palace, quickly making their way through the garden before appearing in front of Jiang Yao himself.
The Seventh Demon Prince was sitting in the pavilion of his garden, drinking from an elegant glass a drink probably just as refined as everything the demon surrounded himself with. His perfect being was truly something to marvel at, especially as he leisurely was enjoying his drink and most likely thinking about how to undermine the Fourth Demon Prince even more.
Of course, he immediately noticed that the two shadow guards had returned, even before Mo Si and Mo San appeared in front of him, kneeling.
“You’ve returned early,” Jiang Yao raised an eyebrow, looking at Mo Si and Mo San with a cold, judging gaze. He was immediately able to discern that something must have happened in order for the two of them to appear outside of the previously agreed times for reports. “What happened?”
As Jiang Yao was about to set his drink down on the crystal table in front of him, Mo San’s head got even lower as he finally spoke.
“The Fourth Demon Prince tried to kidnap Luo Xiao, Master.”
Crack! The crystal glass in Jiang Yao’s hand cracked softly, a sound that seemed much louder than it actually was in the abrupt cold silence that took over the pavilion.
“What did you just say?” The words were cold, frosty, just as frosty as the ice that formed in the exquisite drink Jiang Yao had been drinking until now. Neither Mo Si nor Mo San dared to look up to their master, knowing all too well that a single mistake they make could result in their death.
“The Fourth Demon Prince had sent men to kidnap Luo Xiao as he left the Academy to go shopping today, Master.”
“This… bastard!” Jiang Yao hissed with such venom, the now completely frozen drink shattering into dust in his hand as he stood up, the previous leisurely expression completely gone as fury had taken its place on his perfect face. His eyes were beyond dark and angry as he stared at Mo Si and Mo San.
“Was Luo Xiao hurt in any way?” he spoke slowly, frost beginning to cover the pavilion as the energy around him got more and more chaotic.
The two shadow guards couldn’t help but shiver at these words, but also feel glad they had intervened before any wounds could be inflicted on Luo Xiao. “No, Master. He is unharmed and safe in his home in the Academy.”
“Good,” Jiang Yao uttered quietly, slowly, as he turned around, no longer looking at Mo Si and Mo San.
“Go back to guarding Luo Xiao. Do not let a single person from Fourth Brother’s men get close to him,” was the last thing he said before disappearing from the pavillion, his frosty energy lingering around even after he was gone.
The two shadow guards didn’t dare delay any longer as they also vanished, clearly rushing back to the Academy in order to not let Luo Xiao be in any danger any longer.
While they rushed over to the Academy, Jiang Yao appeared in the middle of his study, eyes almost glowing with anger and frostiness.
“Mo Liu! Mo Wu!”
“Master!” two black cloaked figures immediately appeared in front of the prince, kneeling down with reverence.
“Fourth Brother has dared to recklessly provoke me… Mo Liu, I want you to destroy his information branch in the Qushu province. I want everyone dead by tomorrow morning,” then his murderous eyes looked at the other shadow guard.
“Mo Wu, destroy the Xuanhou branch. I want nobody alive. No witnesses are to be left alive either.”
“Yes, Master!” the two guards bowed even deeper before making to turn around in order to fulfill their orders. But before the shadow guards could disappear, Jiang Yao hissed softly another order.
“Don’t clean the bodies up. He should clean the mess up himself,” and then he flicked his sleeve, his expression becoming even darker.
Yeah, he was supposed to be neutral. But the moment the Fourth Prince had dared to lay his hands on his Luo Xiao, Jiang Yao had to make his stance better known.
And he wasn’t going to stop with the destruction of only these two information networks.