Phoenix's Requiem - Chapter 150: An Enemy’s Visage
Early in the morning, just as Zhuo Yifeng and Zhuo Lin’er were getting ready to head to Lin Qingchen’s bamboo garden to take care of her magical beasts, Lin Qingxue appeared by their cottage.
During this period of time, Lin Qingxue had been eagerly practicing her archery, and was now even able to occasionally hit the target. Because of how seriously she was treating her studies, Zhuo Yifeng had also begun taking his teaching responsibilities more seriously.
Lin Qingxue was supposed to be finishing her grandfather’s cultivation assignment for the day, but she had actually stayed up the entire night last night and finished it then! The next morning, she appeared at the Zhuo siblings’ backyard as usual for her daily archery training.
Touched by Lin Qingxue’s passion, Zhuo Lin’er motioned for Zhuo Yifeng to stay behind to help Lin Qingxue practice, while she headed to the little bamboo garden on her own.
When she arrived, Lin Qingchen told her that one of her pigs had just given birth to a piglet last night, which needed particular care. Then, Lin Qingchen headed to the apothecary, leaving Zhuo Lin’er alone in the little bamboo garden.
Just as usual, Zhuo Lin’er prepared food for and fed the magical beasts. After spending quite some time together, the magical beasts had all gotten used to Zhuo Lin’er’s presence. After finishing her duties, Zhuo Lin’er cut up a little carrot to feed the piglet that had just been birthed.
Zhuo Lin’er waved the carrot slices in front of the pig’s cage. The sow was asleep and snoring, but the piglet was awake. It opened its beady eyes and stared at Zhuo Lin’er. She opened the cage to put the carrot slices into a little bowl in the cage, at which point the piglet began to nuzzle at her fingers.
This pig-type magical beast grew so rapidly that one could track its growth by the hour. In about a week, it would grow up to three feet long and remain at that size. Cute, tiny, and lively, they were one of the most favored pets for humans.
And because their flesh was fresh, tender, and fragrant, they were also frequent guests at nobles’ dining tables. They could sell for up to a hundred gold a head, and were common targets for opportunistic hunters.
The piglet that had just been born yesterday was currently only about the size of a kitten, round, fluffy, and snowy white all over, just like a little furball. Like a mischievous child, it was sniffing at Zhuo Lin’er’s hands with its soft, pink snout, trying to get her to play.
Zhuo Lin’er removed the piglet from the cage and began to stroke it. It struggled to get free, so she lowered it to the ground. The little piglet ran around in circles chasing its own tail, a sight so humorous that dhe couldn’t help but laugh. After it had had its fun, she was just about to put the piglet back into the cage when the piglet suddenly ran off.
Zhuo Lin’er rushed behind the little piglet. Although it wasn’t running very quickly, its petite stature allowed it to evade her grasp quite well. Even after running two rounds about the little bamboo garden, Zhuo Lin’er hadn’t managed to catch it.
The little piglet found the door leading outside the garden and ran through it. In anxiety, Zhuo Lin’er followed suit. She followed the piglet all the way to the backyard, at which point the little piglet snuck out of a hole in the corner of the wall. Seeing that there was an open door by the back of the estate, she followed the piglet out without a second thought.
But just as she did so, she found a male stranger blocking her way. It was then that she remembered everyone’s warnings from before. She was just about to turn tail and run when her body was suddenly lifted up into the air and flung into a bag.
In her fright, Zhuo Lin’er opened her mouth and let out a big scream. As soon as she did so, she heard a familiar girl’s voice.
“Sister Ruoyan, please help me!”
After practicing an hour’s worth of archery with Lin Qingxue, Zhuo Yifeng headed to Lin Qingchen’s bamboo garden. Unusually, Lin Qingxue asked to follow him there. When they got to the bamboo garden, however, Zhuo Lin’er was nowhere in sight, and she didn’t respond to their repeated calls. An uneasy premonition sprang up in Zhuo Yifeng’s mind.
The Farsighted King’s men wouldn’t have been daring enough to sneak into the Lin estate to kidnap his sister, would they?
The two of them hurriedly rushed out of the bamboo garden and continued their search. They met a farmer responsible for delivering produce to the Lin manor along the way, who told them that a petite girl had rushed past him in the direction of the back exit of the Lin manor.
When Lin Qingxue and Zhuo Yifeng arrived at the back of the estate to find the back door ajar, they hurriedly rushed out. In the alley, a martial artist was currently pinching Zhuo Lin’er’s neck as he faced two people opposite him: Yun Ruoyan and a man in black.
“Lin’er!” Zhuo Yifeng cried out, about to rush to his sister’s aid.
“Don’t come over or I’ll strangle her to death!” the martial artist threatened.
Zhuo Yifeng recognized the man as one of the Farsighted King’s guests, Ji Er, with whom he’d even shared a flask of wine.
“Ji Er, let my sister go!”
“Zhuo Yifeng, your sudden departure left His Highness distraught. Why don’t you follow me back to the Farsighted King’s manor?”
“We siblings are too lowly in status to be worth His Highness’ time,” Zhuo Yifeng replied. “Ji Er, aren’t we friends? Let my sister go, and I’ll owe you a big favor.”
Ji Er sneered. “If you’re unwilling to leave with me, then I’ll just take your sister away first.”
Everyone in the Farsighted King’s estate knew how dearly Zhuo Yifeng loved his sister and how he would do anything for her.
Ji Er whistled shrilly.
“He’s calling his accomplices!” Lin Qingxue shouted.
“You’re really unwilling to let her go? I’ll give you one last chance,” Yun Ruoyan warned Ji Er. She could see that he was only a fifth-rank blademaster, and she could kill him near-instantaneously with the Feilai Blade.
Ji Er chuckled once again. “I’ll surely take Zhuo Lin’er away today—”
A sudden beam of white light flashed from Li Mo’s fingers and shot into Ji Er’s forehead.
Ji Er’s eyes widened as he stared disbelievingly at Li Mo, then slowly slumped to the ground.
“Lin’er!” Zhuo Yifeng ran to her sister’s side, removing the coarse sack from her head. “Are you alright? Have you been injured?”
Zhuo Yifeng inspected his sister all over.
“I’m fine, Brother.” Except for a slightly reddened neck, Zhuo Lin’er hadn’t been hurt otherwise.
Everyone released a long breath, especially Lin Qingxue. If Zhuo Lin’er had truly been captured or otherwise injured, she would certainly have blamed herself.
“Lin’er, why did you run out?” Lin Qingxue clasped Zhuo Lin’er’s hand.
Zhuo Yifeng’s concerned expression had been replaced by a serious mien. He was trembling with anger, but he simply couldn’t bring himself to scold his sister. Instead, he stared at her with his unusually bright, lustrous eyes.
“I… I was chasing one of Lin Qingchen’s piglets, which had escaped the estate…” Zhuo Lin’er lowered her head. “Oh! Where could that piglet have gone? I need to find it!”
“Lin’er, stop! Aren’t you more important than a piglet? Don’t do something so dangerous again!”
“Alright, alright, since everyone’s safe, let’s all head back in,” Yun Ruoyan suggested.
As Lin Qingxue pulled Zhuo Lin’er back to the Lin estate, she passed by Li Mo’s side. Suddenly, she stopped and turned toward the mysterious man, then exclaimed in disbelief, “You can’t be the Slaughtering King himself, can you?”
Dressed in a black robe and able to emit spiritual power as a beam to kill someone from a distance… Lin Qingxue couldn’t think of anyone else in the capital who would be able to accomplish such a feat.
But Li Mo didn’t answer her question. Instead, he looked toward Yun Ruoyan. “I’m going to go back to my manor now.”
Yun Ruoyan nodded.
“You’re the Slaughtering King, aren’t you? You must be!” Lin Qingxue was almost jumping in excitement. “My goodness, I’ve seen my hero today!”
Li Mo ignored Lin Qingxue’s outburst. When Zhuo Yifeng heard the commotion, however, he also turned to look at the man. “You’re the Slaughtering King Li Mo, the man who slaughtered tens of thousands of beastkin warriors!”
Li Mo continued walking without missing a step, not even acknowledging Zhuo Yifeng’s words. However, his silence was a tacit agreement to Zhuo Yifeng’s claims. Zhuo Yifeng clenched his fists tightly. The enemy of his tribe, of the entire beastkin race, had just appeared in front of him out of nowhere!
His heart was in turmoil. Memories flashed by his mind: his kinsmen dead in bloody pools, their mournful howls moments before their defeat, and his mother crying tears of blood on her deathbed
Zhuo Yifeng’s father, Zhuo Bufan, one of the generals of the beastkin army, had died in that indiscriminate slaughter. Upon receiving the news, his frail, sickly mother became so distraught that she died of sorrow, her grievances still lingering. His mother’s last command was for him to take care of his sister and to take revenge for his father.
“Li Mo, I’ll have your life!” Zhuo Yifeng shouted grimly as he punched at Li Mo’s back.
“Li Mo, be careful!” Even though Yun Ruoyan knew that Zhuo Yifeng was far too weak to hurt Li Mo, she couldn’t help call out.
And even though Li Mo still didn’t turn around, a layer of spiritual energy rippled around his body like a barrier. The punch that Zhuo Yifeng threw out with all his spiritual energy struck that barrier, and the resulting backlash flung Zhuo Yifeng back until he crashed against the far wall of the Lin estate with a resounding thump.
Zhuo Lin’er and Lin Qingxue shouted and ran over.
Zhuo Yifeng leaned against the wall, a trail of blood dripping from his lips, his beast-like eyes glaring at Li Mo. “Li Mo, I’ll kill you in revenge for my race and my father!”