Chapter 89: I’m Here
Qiu Zhu didn’t have much experience, but she wasn’t unintelligent. The reason why she had been able to detect Mu Yi three days ago was because the lamp had been lit. She had gone to Qiu Yuetong who was by the tomb and she had seen Mu Yi, and then…
Therefore, even though she had prepared everything on the mountain and the mountain road she had given other orders. She had also dispatched some people to the tomb. She had given them the order to make the bronze gong ring in case the lamp was lit.
They had alerted the fortified village as soon as it was. There was a flat area, usually, the members of the fortified village used it for special occasions. When one arrived there it also meant arriving in the fortified village. It could be considered the entrance. It was also the last line of defense.
Some people were hiding, but the rest, the old and the weak, women and children, all had weapons and were waiting there. There was a high stage with chairs on it at the front of the public square. There was no one sitting in Qiu Yuetong’s chair. The chair next to hers was Li Hu’s. It was also empty.
There were four other chairs with people sitting in them. There were the two old men who had tried to force their way into Qiu Yuetong’s courtyard. In the other two chairs, there were two other men of the same age. The four old men held prestige and influence in the fortified village.
Qiu Zhu was standing on the edge of the stage holding her sword. She knew she couldn’t win against Mu Yi, but she couldn’t possibly wait for death. There were many people at the foot of the stage. They all had a weapon. They looked fierce and overbearing.
“Little Zhu, why hasn’t the brigand chief come?” asked someone.
They couldn’t help it anymore. They hadn’t heard anything from her. Waiting without knowing what was going on was the worst feeling.
“Don’t worry, Master Zhang. The leader will come when the right time comes.” said Qiu Zhu.
She didn’t have much confidence, but she didn’t show it. She was the representative of the fortified village’s brigand chief. She had to remain calm.
“And what about the second brigand chief? Why isn’t he here?” asked some people unhappily.
Li Hu had been quiet for the past few days. People felt uncomfortable since it was the crucial moment and he wasn’t there.
“The second brigand chief, he…” Qiu Zhu said.
She started speaking and then stopped. She didn’t know what to say. She had noticed that Li Hu had disappeared. He was smart, he had only taken three people with him in the beginning.
He wouldn’t draw too many people’s attention that way. He couldn’t disappear without anyone realizing it though because behind the mountain, there was a sheer precipice. If someone wanted to leave from there, an extremely long rope was necessary.
After going down, one would need to take down the rope without anybody knowing. There was another way to leave the fortified village but Li Hu didn’t want to take that option. Qiu Zhu didn’t know what to say, but the gong from behind the mountain rang so she didn’t have to speak. Qiu Zhu’s heartbeat accelerated.
It had thrown the people into chaos. The old men on the stage stood up. Two of them unconsciously put their hands on their weapons.
“Little Zhu, what’s going on?” asked someone.
“He’s here,” said Qiu Zhu gravely. The gong was the last line of defense. When the bronze gong was used, it meant that the enemy was close already. It also meant that all the traps and mines had been useless.
Qiu Zhu remembered what Sun Yi had said at that moment. She could set up as many traps as she wanted, but it would be useless. It had really been useless? Qiu Zhu took a deep breath.
“Silence, everybody!” she shouted.
People obeyed. They couldn’t see the enemy so they soon calmed down.
“Brothers, the fortified village has existed for a dozen years. Have we never experienced anything? We’ve never been scared, even when the government sent troops to us. Everywhere in Lin’An County, everybody knows about us. We’re famous.”
“Since when were we afraid of people? Brothers, are you afraid?” said Qiu Zhu glancing at the crowd.
“We’re not afraid!” they all shouted.
The ones who were a bit older were especially loud. They had gone through a lot. They had been around when the government sent troops. They had gone through lots of hardships together.
“Now, behind us is our home, our family members, and our friends. If anyone harms them, what will you do?” She said.
“We won’t accept!” Shouted everybody even louder.
Qiu Zhu looked at the crowd. She felt determined after seeing them. Everybody was listening to her seriously.
“I know that this time the enemy is extremely strong but Little Frost’s fortified village has never been afraid to fight,” said Qiu Zhu loudly.
“Fight, fight, fight!” The people yelled.
The people on the public field were all motivated and determined now. They were ready to fight with all their strength thanks to Qiu Zhu’s words. Qiu Zhu even felt more confident. She wasn’t afraid anymore.
A sound spread through the air. Everyone could clearly hear it. Most of the lamps turned off.
“How brave!” A voice said.
It spread across the area and a person appeared in front of them. The person was wearing a Taoist robe. He had a simple wooden hair clip holding up his hair. His arms swung as he walked. He looked relaxed. He was wearing a pitch-black cape which didn’t move in the wind.
His eyes brows looked as sharp as swords. When the crowd saw him, they were shocked. He was a handsome and charming Taoist priest. They looked at him with caution as well.
Who was he? How did he get to the top of the mountain? Many people had doubts. Most of the people who had seen Mu Yi before were almost all dead. Qiu Zhu was the only one who had seen him before.
Qiu Zhu looked at Mu Yi coldly. She already knew her traps and mines hadn’t worked when the gong had sounded. She didn’t think that he would arrive so quickly. He came to them without even bothering to hind. Wasn’t he afraid of them?