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Maiden Of The Splitting Moon
Author :ARGAS
© Webnovel

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Several days after they fought Tong Ku, the two of them finally left Mist Valley.

"Hnngg, finally out of that place, I can see the sun for once", Xuan Yin stretched out her arms and basked in the sunlight, enjoying its warmth.

Mist Valley was called such because of the thick fog. There were times where it would thicken to the extent of which day and night could not be determined. The temperature was always several degrees colder. Although if it wan't for such conditions, it would not be a popular spot for criminals to lay low.

Ming Yue also welcomed the change, the valley may be a great training ground for her but even she had grown tired of the atmosphere. Their journey back to the capital city was quiet. Every now and then they would encounter a wild beast but it was usually a quick fight, often becoming their meal for the night.

Following the road, the sounds of battle reached their ears as they quietly sneaked and watched the battle. Down the road, they saw a carriage being defended by five guards while eight hooded people attacked them.

"You'll never lay your hands on the young miss!" one of them shouted, an older man whose hair was beginning to gray. He used a broadsword and summoned three balls of fire that chased after his opponent.

The unknown attacker retaliated with a sword strike of his own, cutting the balls in half.

"Do you think that would stop me? Take it as your fate that the Zhao Family will submit to us!" he laughed haughtily.

"You! Everyone, Rumbling Fire Formation!"

The five guards quickly arranged themselves in a circle before placing down a talisman on the ground. The moment they touched, the talismans glowed as flames spewed out of them, covering the ground in fire. The eight attackers charged into the formation, barraging the formation with a number of attacks.

"Hmph, do you think this will stop us? You are only prolonging the inevitable."

Inside it, the older guard faced the carriage and bowed, "Young Miss, please leave while we five guards delay those bastards."

The carriage door opened as a beautiful girl got out, she had scarlet colored hair and a mature expression, ruby earrings and a long pink dress. Her hair was tied up in a bun with a lotus shaped hair pin. Despite her mature bearing, she was no older than Ming Yue, possibly 15 or 16.

"No, I cannot have all of you sacrifice your lives for me. What he said is true, we are only delaying the inevitable. We will surrender", she spoke resolutely.

"But-"

"I've made up my mind, You Qian. Dispel the formation."

"Young miss" You Qian hesitated before ordering the other guards, "Release the formation. This is our loss."

All of them were hesitant, they were unwilling to give up like this. He looked at them before barking out, "Are you going to defy me!? Release it!"

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They all went to their positions and took off the talismans. The flames were sucked back in, leaving them unprotected. Ready to throw down their weapons, they waited for the hooded figures to capture them.

"Hm? What is this? What happened?" You Qian looked forward, finding all of their enemies lying on the ground, dead.

Off to the side, he saw two young women standing there watching them. A tan woman armed with a black bow and another in a light blue dress that held a incredibly long staff, next to her was a small fox and an owl. This was a rather strange sight for him to see.

"Took you long enough!" the tan woman spoke, waiting for them to deactivate the formation. The other quietly stood.

She quickly summed up what had happened. It was Xuan Yin and Ming Yue who had saved them. Overhearing their conversation from earlier, Xuan Yin jumped straight into action, shooting arrows as she moved towards them. Unlike her direct approach, Ming Yue had moved away from her and flanked the eight figures from behind. Before they even understood what had happened, four of them were killed. Their leader, the one that fought You Qian had put up a decent fight but died by their hands. After killing everyone, they looked at the fiery formation and waited for the six to come out. Although, she did omit the fact that they searched everyone's clothes and took most of it.

The young miss from before stood in front of her guards and bowed to the two.

"I am Zhao Liqiu, the daughter of the Zhao Family, how can I ever thank you, my benefactors?" she said.

Xuan Yin chuckled, "Don't worry about it. These villains were more than enough to reward us. But tell us, why were you attacked in the first place?"

All of them had a gloomy expression on their faces when she asked Liqiu.

"An arranged marriage", she answered.

"Let me explain", You Qian interrupted, "As the young miss said, an arranged marriage. She is the only child of the Zhao Family, a noble family from Maple Root City. The Zhao Family is one of the stronger powers within the city along with two other ones, the Shi and the Yong. As of late, the two families have joined together in an alliance in order to push us down. In order to fight back, the patriarch of the Zhao Family had proposed an alliance with another family from the capital city. As proof of our alliance, the young miss was sent to marry the son of their patriarch. However, it seems that the two families had caught wind of this and sent assassins against us."

"The capital city.." Ming Yue muttered.

Xuan Yin looked at them and said, "Well, it looks like none of you want this marriage to happen as well."

"This...is because the one she is marrying is the young son of the Shao Family, Shao Huang", You Qian said.

Xuan Yin did not know much outside of the Stone Forest and had never heard of Shao Huang, she asked them why they had such a indignant expression when hearing his name. Even their young miss showed slight disgust. But Ming Yue had a firsthand experience of what he was like.

"Arrogant, lecherous, he has all the qualities of an incompetent person. Everything he has was built on money, nothing was earned by him" the young miss described with a bit of hatefulness.

"When he heard of our predicament, he came with a proposal. Our young miss was well known for her beauty in Maple Root City and if she were to wed him, we would have the financial power of the Shao Family on our side. But knowing him, she would be tossed away once he had his fun", You Qian's hands became fists as did the other guards, "The thought of this makes me angry but what can we do, the two families are preparing an all-out war with us. If we do not do something, the Zhao Family will not thrive again."

"Well you don't have to go through with the marriage", Xuan Yin said, "Why don't you go through with the war? We could help you guys."

They looked at her with surprise, almost happiness but then it returned to gloomy expressions, "Even if you both help, will you be enough to change the tides? And the marriage as well, how can we renege on that agreement?"

This time, Ming Yue spoke, "Don't worry."

Her two words had somehow lifted a weight off of their shoulders. Was it her bluntness? or confident tone that did so? What made her so sure that they would be fine? A glimmer of hope began to grow in their hearts but none of them dared to trust it. Their fate depended on the marriage but if-if these two could change it, this debt be too much to repay.

Xuan Yin looked at them and smiled, "Trust her, she is quite reliable. We'll escort you all to the capital."

The group of eight continued on their way to Five Element City. It would not be long until they reached the gates.
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