ISOL Chapter 60



The atmosphere seemed good. Although the two did not speak, they remain motionless. Su Xiao Pei gradually calmed down and felt comfortable.

Suddenly, a ‘gu-gu-gu’ sound came, and Su Xiao Pei looked up and sat upright. Ran Fei Ze looked at her and then the corners of his mouth slowly bent upwards and finally he laughed out loud.

Su Xiao Pei frowned, “It will growl when you are hungry, what’s so funny?”

Ran Fei Ze nodded and straightened his face, but the smile in Shis eyes was too obvious. He rubbed Su Xiao Pei’s head and said, “I have some dried food in my bag, you can have some of that first. I’ll go out and hunt some game, and let you eat some warm food at night.”

“Okay.” Su Xiao Pei nodded. She was really hungry and she is not picky with her food.

Ran Fei Ze opened his bag, Su Xiao Pei peeked inside his bag and found that his bag was neatly packed and he had packed all kinds of things. He took out a small cloth bag and opened it again. There was a cake wrapped in oil paper, a small water pouch and some vials. Ran Fei Ze took a piece of cake and handed it to Su Xiao Pei, seeing her curiosity, he said, “The vials contain some salt and pepper powder.”

Su Xiao Pei nodded and took a bite of the cake and came to the conclusion that her decision to follow Soldier was the correct choice as whenever she followed him, she will never be hungry.

Ran Fei Ze looked at her and laughed, he knocked her forehead and said, “What a stupid expression.”

Su Xiao Pei’s mouth was stuffed with cake, thus, she wasn’t able to protest, so she just stared at him and rubbed her forehead, ‘How was her expression stupid?’

Ran Fei Ze ignored her stare, took the small water pouch to wash by the stream and filled it with water and returned it to her. Su Xiao Pei swallowed a small piece of cake and drank the water down. She felt more comfortable with some substance in her.

Ran Fei Ze looked at the barefooted girl, “I’ll go grab some food first, it’s going to be dark in a while, you can’t go down, later after we had our dinner, I will sew some sock for you.”

Su Xiao Pei nodded, remembering the first time they met, she was also barefooted, and he cut his clothes and sewed some socks for her. At that time, she was too embarrassed to make this request but now, it’s different. Su Xiao Pei had thicker skin, she said cheekily, “I also need to borrow a set of clothes from Soldier.”

Ran Fei Ze looked at her for a moment, then at her clothes and nodded. He carefully turned around and confirm the surrounding is safe, then he walked back and told Su Xiao Pei that he would return soon.

Ran Fei Ze took a few steps outside and suddenly heard Su Xiao Pei’s voice. He stopped and looked back, Su Xiao Pei patted the weapon that he had left behind, “Soldier, you are not going to bring your weapon?”

Ran Fei Ze felt warm and happy that she was concern for him. He shook his head, “Miss, rest assured, I won’t go far. I will come back soon.”

“En. Okay.” Su Xiao Pei responded.

Ran Fei Ze walked for a while then he suddenly turned back and asked, “Miss has been sitting for the whole day, do you need any privacy?”

Su Xiao Pei thought and felt for a moment before shaking her head, “No need.” She replied. She was thirsty for a day and was very nervous, she didn’t feel like going to the toilet. Ran Fei Ze smiled and said, “I will be back soon. If Miss is in trouble, shout. I will be able to hear you.”

“Okay.” Su Xiao Pei answered again. Before Ran Fei Ze left, he turned around and looked back at her once more. Su Xiao Pei waved at him and motioned for him to go. Waiting for Ran Fei Ze to leave before she thought about their conversation. She was too thick-skinned, she actually told a man that she didn’t need to use the toilet and she did not feel any embarrassment.

Su Xiao pei sighed and sat on her knees. Although she was alone now, she was not scared. Her meeting Ran Fei Ze meant that she had a backing and she definitely would not be hungry or dead. But why did the Red String of Fate place her someplace so strange? Is Cheng Jiang Yi also in this mountain? What if the Red String of Fate just want her to find Soldier because it knew that Soldier was able to help her find Cheng Jiang Yi? But why did it throw her into such a dangerous tree? It’s so easy to get an accident that she would die again. Does that place have a meaning or did they just randomly throw her to a place with their eyes close…

‘Aiya, sorry, I threw you to the wrong place.’ Su Xiao Pei imagined Yue Lao’s expression when he said that. She was really unlucky, shouldn’t Yue Lao and the other Gods know of her wishes before they throw her someplace? She didn’t have much expectations of what Red String of Fate, what marriage or even Cheng Jiang yi. She didn’t even think it would be a big deal if she doesn’t get married. She just… Su Xiao Pei suddenly found that her mind was a bit empty. She should be full of vengeance for her father. She should focus on catching the murderer in the serial case, but just now she had a fleeting moment of thought – Soldier.

Su Xiao Pei blinked and hugged herself tightly. She didn’t think she owed anyone. Even if she didn’t find Cheng Jiang Yi, the only thing that could happen to him was to stay in this world. She does not owed it to him to bring him back. She had worked hard and she lived seriously. But she owes a lot to Soldier. She felt that no matter what or who she ended up with, she owed Ran Fei Ze an explanation.

Su Xiao Pei was stunned, and when she heard the footsteps she was startled. She turned around and saw that Ran Fei Ze was back. He was carrying a bird and a small beast, she didn’t know what animal was it.

“You’re back so soon?” Isn’t that too amazing?

Ran Fei Ze crooked his head and frowned, and looked at her with dissatisfaction, “Miss, its getting dark. Shouldn’t you be asking why I had left for so long?”

Su Xiao Pei looked up and realizes that the sky was dark. She close her mouth, has she been in a daze for so long?

“Stupid expression.” He just dropped this sentence before carrying the prey to the river.

Stupid? She’s not stupid, she just daze.

At night, Ran Fei Ze allowed Su Xiao Pei to see what is authentic roasted wild game in the forest. The hot and fresh barbecue is sprinkled with salt, pepper and chili powder. Su Xiao Pei had a full meal and her depressed mood was swept away. It wasn’t the first time it came and it is not safe to think too much about it.

Ran Fei Ze also found a cave on the other side of the river, but he did not take Su Xiao Pei to the cave overnight. He said that if they wanted to retreat, it would be better to do it in an open space and it is safer. If it doesn’t rain, there is no need to trap yourself in the cave.

“It is also easier for people to find us.”

In the middle of the night, Ran Fei Ze released a signal. The smoke bomb made a sharp noise and then it blasted into the sky and exploded. Ran Fei Ze explained that this was to report to others that they were okay, and this also tells the other party their direction. After a while, there were three other smoke signals in different directions.

Ran Fei Ze looked at it and frowned, “They failed to meet up., and it seems that the array was destroyed today, but it has also changed the mountain.” Everyone is trapped in four different places, the situation is not good.

He turned to Su Xiao Pei, her worries was shown on her face, he smiled and patted her head, “Don’t worry, we will be able to go back to town safely.”

“Okay.” Su Xiao Pei nodded, she was really worried. She didn’t understand anything about the battlefield, and she wasn’t good at hiking a mountain. She would followed whatever Ran Fei Ze said.

Ran Fei Ze smiled and touched her head again. Su Xiao Pei pouted, why did she suddenly felt like a child? Had he forgotten that men and woman shouldn’t have any contact?

Ran Fei Ze ignored Su Xiao Pei’s complexion, and he began to work. This time, the baggage he carried was much smaller, but the necessary items were inside. There were scissors and needles. He cut a piece of dirty clothing and made it into a thick socks for Su Xiao Pei, the thickness was comparable to that of a sole. He didn’t bring much clothes and he gave Su Xiao Pei the newest one. Taking advantage of the river, he washed the clothes that he had changed, supported the wet clothes with branches and hanging them to dry near the fire. He even brought a toothbrush to brush his teeth. Su Xiao Pei was so envious of people that could use lousy toothbrushes.

If Ran Fei Ze had not told her where the array was and why these people came, Su Xiao Pei would’ve thought that Ran Fei Ze just wanted to camp out in the wild. He was too comfortable with the wilderness.

Ran Fei Ze saw Su Xiao Pei’s eyes and looked at this toothbrush with a smile, “Unfortunately, there is no willow branch for Miss to use. When we go back, I will make some for you.” Obviously, in the wilderness, their surrounding was dangerous. But yet Su Xiao Pei is more concerned about clean teeth. Should he praise her for being so brave or lament her about being weird.

“I’ve brought floral scented toothpaste in Ning’an City.” As expected, Su Xiao Pei had told him about this. Ran Fei Ze couldn’t help but laugh. Su Xiao Pei smiled and looked at him.

Miss Su what’s exactly is going on inside you head?

Soldier, what exactly is so funny?

This night, Ran Fei Ze and Su Xiao Pei had talked about many things, he told her what happened after parting, he said the case of Qi Sha Sect and Jiu Ling Master Case, about the case of her missing, he told her about the blood in the house, told her they looked for her murderer and clues. He also told her about the symbol and said that the Jiu Ling Master insisted on him coming to Ling Long Mountain.

“Now thinking about it, I really owed it all to him.” Ran Fei Ze and Su Xiao Pei sat side by side, thinking about it, they felt scared. If he didn’t come and Su Xiao Pei was trapped in the tree, could anyone find her? Even if they found her, would they desperately save her?

Su Xiao Pei didn’t speak. She was wondering why she had appear to this place. What was the purpose of this? What is the goal of the Red String of Fate?

“What’s so special about that tree? About that array?”

“I guessed that it is the source of the Array. Those tall trees are able to move and with every move the earth shakes, proving at this array is very deep in the ground. This array was built nearly a hundred years ago. After decades, it has not been destroyed. Apart from the maintenance from the descendants, it may still be a setting from the previous Sect. You know, the hidden weapon are always limited, and it will eventually be used up. But the attacks are burst after burst, and we have limited people. Seeing the Si Yin Sword destroying the tree, I feared that the formation in the mountains would also be affected.”

“Then, what should we do?”

“We should wait here, it is safer here. There is also water here. Instead of going out to find them, it is better for them to come here and meet us.”

Sigh… Lazy. Su Xiao Pei knew in her heart that Ran Fei Ze didn’t want to them to move is because of her being a burden. She would drag him down.

“Do you think that Jiu Ling Master’s prediction is accurate?” She had to think about her ‘Fate’. She couldn’t explain her disappearance or appearance, should she change the topic to Ran Fei Ze and the other case?

“Well.” Ran Fei Ze nodded. “It’s quite interesting.” If it was the past, he wouldn’t think this way. But ‘The romance is here’ and ‘Danger is lurking’, although it is still strange, but the Jiu Ling Master is still correct. Ran Fei Ze felt that according to the skill of Jiu Ling Master, he could not move such a big living person like Su Xiao Pei to this tree without any trace. Moreover, Lou Li Dong had been secretly guarding God’s Gate and he had not seen any movement.

‘Danger is lurking’, was he talking about God’s will?

“This case is tough. Jiu Ling Master said that this person is very proud and arrogant. My Master once said that when he came to ask Jiu Ling Sect about his weapon. Jiu Ling Master said that he weapon must have a good sound, it must be extremely sharp, yet not painful, and the weight of the sword must not be too heavy and it must not harm people.”

Su Xiao Pei nodded. The Jiu Ling Master wanted his own personal sword. One to call his own.

Ran Fei Ze also said, “If he wanted to kill someone, and he had taken this weapon, his whereabouts won’t be hidden, and it is not a murderous weapon. However, many of the Jianghu members had a strange temper. It is also common for them to order exclusive weapon but it the general kind.”

“So he was wronged?”

“I don’t know.” Ran Fei Ze shook his head. “Although there are many doubts, but Qi Sha Master, Fang Ping and the witness heard the ringing sound with their own ears, and they also sword the robe with their eyes.  Fang Ping is a decent person. He is the brother-in-law of Fang Tong. He was adopted by Qi Sha Master when he was a boy. The Master had sympathized with Fang Ping and had a deep sense of sympathy. Fang Ping was supposed to be promoted by he was modest and only wanted to stay in his position. Fang Ping only wanted to assist Fang Ping in managing Qi Sha Sect. Fang Ping’s is gay, thus, he easily offend people. Fang Ping’s has a soft temperament and Qi Sha Master resolves a lot of grievances for Fang Ping. Therefore, his confession should be credible. It’s just that the sound are hard to argue, and the cuts are easily forged. Although these are not absolute evidences, Jiu Ling Master’s whereabouts cannot be verified. We are unable to do anything. There is only one entrance to Ling Long Mountain. Jiu Ling Sect enter the array first, and there was not time for them to leave. And they definitely did not find a way to sneak out as there is no way to walk along the cliff.”

“So that’s why everyone is so stressed?” Su Xiao Pei eyes cannot open anymore. Her head was bobbing up and down.

Ran Fei leaned over and placed her head on his shoulders. She leaned against him and her head finally had some support.

“En, that’s why we’re stressed” His voice softened a lot and he watched Su Xiao Pei close her eyes. “Sleep.” He touched her head.

“Tomorrow, I will help Soldier out. I will be interested no matter the case.” She muttered, she was too sleepy now, her head couldn’t move and she couldn’t think of any good ideas.

“Sleep.” Initially, he found this matter troublesome, but the trouble made him find her and he felt connected with it. If Su Xiao Pei is interested in it, he will also be interested in finding the truth.

Su Xiao Pei fell asleep next to Ran Fei Ze. He heard her breathing evening out and knew that she was asleep. Her head was on his shoulders, he looked down and felt that her face was small, her eyelashes were long, her hair was short but it looks soft and silky, he wanted to touch it but was afraid of waking her up.

After hesitating for a long time, Ran Fei Ze felt that Su Xiao Pei had fallen into deep sleep, he moved his shoulder slightly and her head slipped off his shoulders onto his arms, her back was against his chest, he supported her with his arms and she still continued to sleep.

He looked at her and couldn’t help but laugh quietly, he moved again, adjusting his posture, he slowly lowered his arms so that she is laying on his knees. He caressed her hair and watched her whisper in her sleep, watched her twitched. She even snuggled into his stomach.

He couldn’t help but laugh again and gently touched her face with his fingertips.

In fact, he didn’t think she was stupid. She was asleep now, quiet and beautiful. He should say ‘beautiful’. Ran Fei Ze wrapped his arms around her and closed his eyes. He was not going to let the person who had hurt her off so easily.

Xiao Qi and the others also had a fire lighted at the other end of the forest. They were on high alert and they could vaguely see the smoke from Ran Fei Ze’s fire, it didn’t look too far but they hadn’t seen Ran Fei Ze in half a day. At this time in the night, everyone had decided to take a break to recuperate.

Today, Tian Si Yin Sword was destroyed and the array was destroyed thus all the traps were activated. Everyone finally hid from the danger and escape from the forest but this result in everyone being dead tired. After taking a pill to recuperate, Cao He Dong complained repeated about Ran Fei Ze. If it weren’t for his recklessness, he would’ve deactivated the array and destroyed it without causing so much danger. He felt that he should use trees and stones to draw out the weak points and avoiding the arrows then save the person. Now, with this situation everyone is frustrated.

Xiao Qqi listened and didn’t speak. In his view, Ran Fei Ze method was interesting but it was also too weird. The appearance of the Miss was weird as well. If she wasn’t rescued in time, would she have lost her life? They have just experienced it but knowing the endless number of arrows and darts, where will it lead them to? Furthermore, they had agreed to Ran Fei Ze’s plan to save people. They agreed with him. Only then did everyone worked together. Now that this had happen, isn’t it expected that everyone should bear the consequence? What’s the point of point the blame to Ran Fei Ze? Although Cao he Dong was a predecessor of Wu Ling and a friend to Xiao Qi’s Master, Xiao Qi only kept silent with furrowed brows.

The others did not say anything, and finally Luo Hua asked, “Now that everyone is in different places, should we look for Ran Fei Ze or carry on with those people that had went ahead first?”

Without waiting for Xiao Qi to speak, Cao He Dong preemptively said, “Naturally, we should find Ran Fei Ze first. He claims that he is the most familiar with this exquisite array. Now that he has made the situation worse, shouldn’t he be the one to get us out? When the Master was killed, everything start to become strange, What’s the point for Jiu Ling Master requesting Ran Fei Ze to come enter the mountain? We have to be on our guard.”

Xiao Qi was very upset. Luo Hua glanced at him, seemly wanting to get his opinion. He pursed his lips. Although he did not want to respond he felt that he needed to make things clear. “My Sect disciple is keeping guard at the edge of the cliff. The formation has changed drastically and I don’t know if he will be in trouble or not. Although Ran Fei Ze is often careless, he is decent, no matter the situation, I believe he will not do anything harmful. Now the most important thing to do is to find our disciples. Master Cao please do not forget, your disciples are also there. Master Chen and the others went down the cliff to explore first and they do not have much experiences. If they make any mistakes it could cost them their lives, we should find them first.”

Cao He Dong’s face turned ugly. Xiao Qi’s remarks made sense but this would make it seem like he did not care about his disciple. He was so anxious and furious about Ran Fei Ze that he forgot about Guo En and that guy from Xuan Qing Sect. They had stayed at the edge of the cliff. Now that Xiao Qi had said it, he remember them.

The others looked at Cao He Dong’s complexion and knew what he was thinking. Luo Hua coughed and said, “Sir Fang is badly injured, so it is not safe for us to continue on, we should find a safe place to settle down and discuss. There are a lot of small groups in this mountain. Master Chen and the others went down the cliff to explore, they should also be coming up, Disciple Guo and Disciple Ji will not be left unattended.

Xiao Qi didn’t speak up but stood with his sword on his back. Cao He Dong felt annoyed but he couldn’t get angry again. Xiao Qi is Jiang Wei Ying’s more beloved disciple, and is one of the youngest who has a peerless sword. He is arrogant but Xiao Qi is actually so brave that he shows no face to any Jianghu members. He looked at Xiao Qi again and Xiao Qi looked back, standing straight, not hiding anything. Cao He Dong hummed, stood up and took the lead.

Xiao Qi and Luo Hua followed behind, Luo Hua gave Xiao Qi a wink, letting him relaxed. Xiao Qi exhaled and said thank you softly. Fang Ping’s face was suspicious. So far, after entering the array, everything has not gone well. He had a hunch that they would not be able to find Jiu Ling Master’s objective. He did not know if it was due to his injury or the poison but he felt his heart beat accelerate. His feet were weak and there was cold sweat on his body. He even heard the sound of Jiu Ling Master’s sword. The erratic bell when he was murdered.

Xiao Qi and the other walked behind Cao He Dong for a long time. The road in the forest was a bit strange. After a while, they seemed to be walking in circles. Now, the sky was already dark, Xiao Qi was waiting for Cao He Dong to say it would be better to rest on the spot when suddenly, they saw a flash of light in the sky and then it exploded while white smoke. The direction that of the smoke was not far from them.

“It’s Sir Ran.” Luo Hua shouted. “He is reporting his location to us. He has settled down and is safe.”

“Let’s take a break too.” Xiao Qi took the opportunity. He and Luo Hua found a clean place for Fang Ping to sit down, and looked up to see Cao He Dong staring at the direction of the smoke bomb, as if he was planning to go there immediately. Xiao Qi was uncomfortable. He always walking in the direction of Ran Fei Ze. He knew it but in front of everyone, he couldn’t say anything. But at this time, Ran Fei Ze sent his location. But Cao He Dong uneasiness, sneaking around, reluctance to rest is making Xiao Qi uncomfortable.

Xiao Qi opened his bag and took out a smoke bomb. But before he could fire it up,  there were also two smoke bombs that was released in the same direction, all of which was white smoke. This was a safety bomb. Xiao Qi was overjoyed, “Master Cheng and our disciples have met, they must be safe for the time being.”

Luo Hua also said, “It seems that Miss Liu and the others are well.”

Cao He Dong didn’t speak, but stood up on a high place, jumped on a tree and looked around. Xiao Qi ignored him and released the smoke bomb in his hands.

Cao He Dong looked at it for a while, jumped down the tree and greeted everyone before walking around. Fang Ping was very grateful for eveyone’s help .he didn’t want to offend Master Cao, so he stood up and walked away. Luo Hua glanced at Xiao Qi and Xiao Qi kept silent, leaving a mark on the tree beside him. Keeping a mark on this path so that others can find it and follow the same path that they are walking on.

After he finished, Luo Hua waved at him, and the two followed Cao He Dong. They followed him for a long time, the forest was dense and the moonlight couldn’t penetrate through. Xiao Qi and Luo Hua held onto their torches and walked. Finally, Cao He Dong could not find Ran Fei Ze, turned back and announced that he had found a safe a secure location before resting.

Everyone settled down, Xiao Qi paid more attention to his surroundings. He faintly saw a few faint fire smokes, which means that someone has lighted a fire. That direction was the direction where Ran Fei Ze was. Xiao Qi suddenly felt funny. Master Cao was rushing to find Ran Fei Ze but when Ran Fei Ze announced his location, he couldn’t find him. And in the end, he wasn’t happy, this caused Xiao Qi gloat.

Fang Ping lay on the ground, but he wasn’t able to fall asleep, his brain kept buzzing and he was very irritable. He seemed to be able to hear a ringing sound. He closed his eyes and tried to remember the details, he was the only witness, he has to think of something and tell it to Jiu Ling Master.

Ran Fei Ze was also thinking, he went through all the things in his mind. He was thinking about who might want to harm Su Xiao Pei. But he didn’t understand any of the clues and was about to fall asleep. Su Xiao Pei suddenly woke up. She sat up and Ran Fei Ze was startled and asked what happened but he saw Su Xiao Pei’s eyes was closed and she was mumbling the word ‘uncomfortable’. She kicked off her socks and fell back into the same position she was in previously, into the arms of Ran Fei Ze.

Ran Fei Ze was stunned, can’t be?

But Su Xiao Pei did not seemed to have moved and continue to sleep.

Ran Fei Ze couldn’t help but squeezer her tightly, touching her hair.

“Stupid.”

 



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