At this time, the sky was already dark. The mountain was far away and the path there was rugged. And it was likely that they might meet danger. In a blink of an eye, there was already a great distance between him and Wei Luo. Zhao Jie could only gesture to Zhu Geng to catch up to her.
In a few jumps, Zhu Geng caught up to Wei Luo and was firmly blocking her path.
Wei Luo was currently extremely anxious and had no time to explain. She pushed him and said, “Let me pass.”
For every moment that she was delayed, the more likely that Ah Dai would be in danger. Who knew how long they ago they had left their house? Have they already started the ceremony? If she was too late, Ah Dai might already be buried alive!
But, Zhu Geng was an unmovable as a mountain. She couldn’t push past him no matter how hard she tried. If she moved in a different direction, he would follow her direction to intentionally stop her. Ah Luo raised her head to fiercely glare at him. Just as she had grabbed his hand and was about to bite down, Zhao Jie caught up to them.
His slender fingers blocked her small mouth and his beautiful voice calmly asked, “Ah Luo, where do you want to go?”
Wei Luo had brought them here for a reason that only she knew, so she knew that she had to provide them with a reasonable explanation. Otherwise, this wouldn’t be justifiable no matter what. However, it was still too early. It was more important to save Ah Dai first. She hesitatingly looked at Zhao Jie like a small beast that wanted to escape its shackles. After a long time, she said, “Up the mountain.”
Zhao Jie looked her in the eyes and slowly nodded, and then he held her hand, “Okay, this prince will bring you there.”
A sense of uncertainty existed in his heart. He had asked what she was planning, but she didn’t reveal anything. It was only now that he knew why she asked him to come with her. It was because she wouldn’t have been able to get here by herself. Then the question was, how did she know this place and why was she so familiar with it?
She was Duke Ying’s fourth miss. Normally, she lived a secluded life. Other than her home and the palace, she rarely went anywhere else. She shouldn’t have previously come to such a place.
Zhao Jie looked at the little girl in front of him. Her dark eyes were gloomy and cold. While holding his hand, she was trembling slightly as if she was trying to conceal her emotions. She was always hiding things in her heart instead of telling other people. She was clearly only seven or eight years old, but her thoughts were deeper than anyone else’s. When she had been standing outside that house’s doorway, her little shoulders had dropped. She looked so pitiful and frail. He almost couldn’t resist stepping forward to hug her.
What was she hiding?
Zhao Jie recovered his senses and went back to looking forward.
It was nightfall and the mountain forest was quiet. Zhu Geng was holding up an oil lamp while he walked behind them. The faint light illuminated the path beneath their feet and stretched into the deepest part of the mountain forest. There was a thick layer of snow beneath their feet and their feet would sink into the snow as they took each step. It was a very difficult walk, but Wei Luo didn’t express any complaint. She tightly held his hand and didn’t say a word as they progressed further into the woods. The trees blocked the moonlight and he couldn’t see the expression on her face.
Wei Luo had been walking forward using her memories as a guide, but she overestimated herself. That day had been too chaotic and she had been too fully occupied to remember the path. When she was going up the mountain, her red wedding veil had covered her head. When she was descending the mountain, she had been fleeing wildly. So, at this moment, after walking this far, she didn’t know which direction to go and was spinning around in place.
She looked left and right, but the scenery was the same blackness in each direction and she couldn’t tell where she was.
Zhao Jie asked here, “Are you lost?”
With a somewhat hopeless look in her eyes, she replied in discouragement, “En.”
Zhao Jie smiled and unknowingly calmed down. It was good that she didn’t recognize which path to take. This was normal. If she even knew which mountain path to take, then he really had to be suspicious of her.
Zhao Jie leaned over her to brush off the sparkling and translucent snow on her head. Then, he gathered together her cloak and put on her hood. The white rabbit fur crowded around her little face. Underneath the lamplight, her face had become deathly pale. He asked, “Where do you want to go?”
She deeply pondered before replying, “There’s a grave.”
Zhao Jie’s eyes didn’t change and he didn’t ask further before ordering Zhu Geng.
Zhu Geng immediately jumped onto a tree to look at the surrounding area. There was an easy way to find cemeteries. Blue will-o’-the-wisps would rise from graveyards at night. In the darkness of nighttime, this was especially distinct. Zhu Geng was highly skilled in martial arts and his eyes were the same. In a short time, he jumped down from the tree. He pointed in the southwest direction and said, “Prince, there’s something strange there.”
Zhao Jie nodded and held Wei Luo’s hand again, “Let’s go.”
Wei Luo followed his footsteps. After walking such a long mountain path, she had become tired a long time ago, but she took a deep breath and continued walking forward without complaining. Now that she knew which way to go, she walked even faster. Without noticing, she let go Zhao Jie’s hand and had left him behind. But, she was still too young. After only walking a few more steps, her body was unable to endure. Her speed became slower and slower.
She had just taken another step when her foot struck a stone that had been hidden by the deep snow. Her body couldn’t help falling forward and she could only watch, as she was about to fall onto the ground!
From behind her, Zhao Jie grabbed her waist. When she was stably standing again, he didn’t let go. Instead, he held her in his arms and picked her up from the ground. He couldn’t help but laugh as he said, “You’re finally tired?”
Wei Luo didn’t struggle. Instead she took the opportunity to cling to his neck and buried her ice-cold face in that shelter. She slowly said, “En.”
Her small face was icy cold, but her breath was warm. Zhao Jie didn’t continue to tease her. He carried her as he continued walked.
Zhu Geng followed behind them. He was unable to bear seeing his respectable prince carrying a young girl while walking a mountain path. He spoke up to suggest, “Prince, how about letting this subordinating carry fourth miss on his back?”
Zhao Jie didn’t pause. His voice was serene, “Walk in front of us and carry the lamp to show the way.”
Zhu Geng was inviting a rebuff and making himself unwelcome. He rubbed his nose and could only follow Zhao Jie’s order. Carrying the lamp, he walked in front of them.
Wei Luo thought Zhao Jie’s neck was very warm and kept burrowing herself in her search for warmth. The breath from her small mouth was warm. At some point, her nose had reached his ear. She was like a proud kitten that liked to wrap herself around other people. Zhao Jie freed one of his hands to touch her forehead, “Cold?”
She shook her head. She didn’t forget why she was here, “Not cold. Walk faster big brother.”
Zhao Jie didn’t say anything else. He continued walking forward on the mountain forest path.
There was indeed a cemetery in the southwest. Because it was currently deep winter, there weren’t many burning will-o-the-wisps. There were only a few, bright flames that were gently burning. This was the same scene that Zhu Geng had seen at the top of the tree. The light from the fire had a celebratory redness that had an eerie effect.
Zhao Jie had finally walked here while carrying Wei Luo. He looked at the scene in front of him.
Wei Luo’s face was suddenly unable to move. Her eyes had frozen on a couple that wasn’t far away from them. That couple was Lin Huilian and Bai Yang. At this time, they were holding shovels and shoveling dirt into a grave. The coffin had already been deeply buried. In front of the grave, there was a bright red candle. On the side, there was a pair of embroidered red shoes!
They had come too late. Ah Dai had already been buried alive!