Tome of Troubled Times - C.67: Blood Stains Qinghe While the Night Is Still Young

Tome of Troubled Times

C.67: Blood Stains Qinghe While the Night Is Still Young

Someone by the side said, “News of the battle on the river must have reached the ears of the Cui Clan. If the Cui Clan has not met with any accident, Cui Wenjing will probably... Actually, wait, it hasn’t been that long since the battle. It’s been about two hours?”

“The time between crossing the river and someone from the Cui Clan coming to their rescue after receiving the news is the most dangerous part of their escape. Once they get through it, they’ll be fine. It feels like it’s been ages because they’ve been through a lot of dangers, but it really hasn’t been that long.”

“From the looks of it, Cui Wenjing must be on his way. If we don’t act now, he might actually reach them.... Tsk. This Zhao Changhe is indeed impre—Eh.”

Halfway through his sentence, his expression turned strange. He suddenly recalled that Zhao Changhe had an ambiguous relationship with the saintess. It was rumored that when Venerable Vermillion Bird brought the saintess back, her lips were bleeding—she looked like she’d had a pretty passionate time.

Once he looked into it, he found out that the saintess had slept with Zhao Changhe in the same room from the very start. And this had gone on for two whole months. They’ve most likely played in all sorts of ways already.

The martial arts of the Four Idols Cult did not require one to remain chaste to practice them. There were beautiful women in the cult who liked to fool around with men and even marriages between disciples. Even so, it was not appropriate for a woman with a history of passion to become a saintess. On paper, those that the cult appointed as saints and saintesses had to dedicate all of their body and mind to worshiping their gods; they could not have any ulterior thoughts. One only needed at the painful lesson the previous White Tiger Saintess learnt to see what would happen if one took a single wrong step.

This was why Xia Chichi’s test to become a saintess was more rigorous than normal. The cult brought out the Twenty-Eight Star Constellation Array against her.

In the end, her test showed that she was really a natural-born saintess. In any case, she was now the saintess for two idols and she knew her place.

Moreover, there was no indication that she was thinking about men in her day to day life. They all felt that she knew what not to do and exactly who was important to her. Anyway, she was only seventeen this year; she was still young and her juvenile passion from before had quickly faded away. There was no problem.

As the few disciples of the Four Idols Cult watched Zhao Changhe go through this series of trials, they really wanted to give him a few words of praise and thought in their hearts that it was not at all strange for the saintess to be willing to sleep with him. If it was me... Eh. Anyway, he’s pleasing to the eye.

However, they could not praise him even if they wanted to. What if their words set off some sparks in the saintess’ heart and ignite old passions? Zhao Changhe was also a traitor to one of their subsidiary cults. They were supposed to kill him rather than give words of praise.

Everyone present knew what this disciple was thinking and laughed one after another. One person continued the conversation and said, “That’s why if we wish to take care of this traitor, we must take the chance and act now. Time is of the essence. Shall we move out now?”

Xia Chichi had a blank expression. “What? When did we become the Blood God Cult’s hunting dogs? Did we travel here from distant lands just to help them get rid of a traitor?”


“Let me ask you. Why have we come here?”

“To go to Ancient Sword Lake and perform the sacrificial sword ceremony. But since we just happened to bump into them....”

Xia Chichi said indifferently, “Since we just happened to bump into them, we’re going to enjoy a good show. Why should we involve ourselves in the internal affairs of the Cui Clan and the Blood God Cult? Does it have anything to do with us?”

No one answered. They only felt like she did not look as if she was enjoying the show. At some points, she looked like she almost could not hold back herself from jumping in to save them.

But Zhao Changhe’s performance is just too good, so the saintess doesn’t need to reveal her own intentions? Or is that her mood has been soured looking at how well he’s getting along with that little rabbit? Whatever. I shouldn’t guess blindly.

An elder standing by the side finally said, “What’s so heroic about bullying someone that’s injured? The saintess is correct. Why should we help the Blood God Cult wipe their asses? Wouldn’t they be ashamed to need us to kill a traitor at the measly third layer of the profound gate? How absolutely useless.”

Everyone nodded. Needless to say, it would be shameful for the protectors of the Four Idols Cult under the Azure Dragon and White Tiger, and that elder who was a master on the Ranking of Man, to take the chance to kill an exhausted enemy at the third layer of the Profound Gate. Furthermore, they could not, as members of a higher-ranking cult, run off to snatch a reward given out by their subordinates. They would end up as laughingstocks.

As they thought this, everyone sighed. “Then let’s go. If not, once Cui Wenjing arrives, there’ll be trouble for us.”

At this moment, Xia Chichi suddenly said, “It’s not like we can’t kill a traitor. When the time comes, I’ll let him pick how he wants to die. We’ll leave it at that. Let’s go.”

Everyone was relieved upon feeling the rage in her words. The saintess knows what’s right!

Xia Chichi turned around to look once more. The sound of clopping hooves had long since faded into the distance. Dust and sand kicked up in the horse’s wake still spiraled in the air.

No one knew that the saintess had but one thought on her mind right now. Little wench. What’s with that cute and pure act? You can’t just hug a man like that!

Aren’t you awesome, Big Brother Zhao? Traveling a thousand li to bring Yuanyang home—so goddamn heroic! Pfft! Just you wait for me!


While the disciples of the Four Idols Cult chatted away, Cui Yuanyang urged on the horse with Zhao Changhe at the back. The assassin from the Snow-Listening Pavilion was getting nearer and nearer to them.

Zhao Changhe looked behind with his Back Eye and silently made some assessments.

This assassin’s speed is greater than a horse... He must be a master at the fifth or sixth layer of the Profound Gate. At this level, his strength in battle must be on par with the Five Absolutes; or at least, his movement arts should be at about the same level. Zhao Changhe remembered that Duan Zhixing was complimented by the generals and soldiers at Xiangyang City for being able to catch up to a running horse[1]. Even though their horse was carrying two people, the assassin’s ability to keep up with them was about as impressive.

Does this mean that Xia Chichi is actually on par with the Five Absolutes, while I’m at the same level as the Seven Immortals of Quanzhen and Mei Chaofeng[2]? Damn, to think that I pushed someone like her against the wall and kissed her! Zhao Changhe made a rather strange expression at the thought—there were so many things wrong with the analogy that he did not know which to point out first.

He took two deep breaths and quietly circulated Xia Longyuan’s internal force to nourish his exhausted body. Then, he slowly unslung the bow around him that he had not touched since shooting down the sails of that ship.

What matters if you’re on the level of the Five Absolutes? It’s not like you’re immune to weapons!

From behind, the assassin was watching him ready his bow.

There were only five to six arrows in Zhao Changhe’s quiver. He took out one, nocked it, then turned around and shot.

With a metallic whistle, the arrow pierced through the air.

The assassin was stunned. Of course, he had expected an arrow, but he had never thought that Zhao Changhe could turn around and fire such an accurate shot without even pausing to take a look!

His speed dropped as he swung his sword to deflect the arrow. With this small hindrance, the horse once more fled far ahead.

The assassin could not help but admire Zhao Changhe in his heart. Not everyone could do so much while covered in wounds and out of supplies. Meh, is there any use to struggle like that? Just how many arrows do you have?

He caught up to them again, but the moment he entered Zhao Changhe’s firing range, an arrow came flying toward him. The assassin had prepared for this and continued his pursuit after deflecting the arrow.

After four to five rounds of this, they got closer and closer to Wei County.

There was some hesitation in the assassin’s heart.

He knew that they were extremely close to the Cui Clan’s sphere of territory. News of Zhao Changhe and Cui Yuanyang crossing the river had definitely spread everywhere nearby. It was simply impossible for news not to have reached Wei County. This meant that someone could show up to rescue them at any moment. To continue pursuing was exceedingly dangerous.

However, they were within his grasp. Am I supposed to fail because of a few weak arrows? How laughable. Will I be able to sleep knowing this when I return?

He looked at Zhao Changhe drawing his bow; his hands were trembling and he could barely pull the bowstring all the way back.

Am I supposed to head back like this?

The assassin grit his teeth and continued chasing them.

As Zhao Changhe nocked his final arrow, he grit his teeth tightly. His hands trembled as he slowly took aim.

Cui Yuanyang, who had been wildly driving the horse forward without a word, suddenly shouted, “You’re still looking! Still looking! If you keep doing that, then I’ll ignore you from now on!”


The final arrow flew out.

At the same time the bowstring roared, a sword descended from the nine heavens. Zhao Changhe had no idea how far away it came from. Before his arrow hit his mark, that blade had already pierced the assassin’s heart.

That sword was faster than even the speed of sound.

Rank nine on the Ranking of Heaven, head of the Cui Clan, Cui Yuanyang’s father—the Purple Cloud of Qinghe, Cui Wenjing.

The horse neighed as Cui Yuanyang reigned it in. She was panting, trying to pull herself together as she fixed her gaze on her father under the moonlight.

She really wanted to cry but realized that her face, at this moment, was stiff and could not put on any expression. She wanted to hop off her horse and hug her father, but she felt as if all her strength had faded away; she did not even have enough energy to dismount.

This journey filled with thorns and brambles was finally over.

Cui Wenjing silently watched his daughter. She was so filthy as to be almost unrecognizable, yet she remained quiet and did not complain or cry. Then, he sized up the man, half a head taller, sitting behind her. No matter how well he concealed himself, he would not be able to escape Cui Wenjing’s gaze. The color of the dudou wrapped around his chest was simply too eye-catching.

Zhao Changhe had no idea what sort of emotions were behind this man’s gaze. Is that appreciation or something else...

It was only now that Cui Yuanyang realized that her father’s attitude toward Zhao Changhe would not necessarily be friendly. Her heart skipped a beat and as she was about to say something, a golden radiance suddenly lit up the night sky.

The Tome of Troubled Times was once again descending with a new page.

All three of them could not help but look to the sky.

Third month. Zhao Changhe traveled a thousand li to bring Yuanyang home, traversing mountains, crossing rivers, and killing his way out of a heavy encirclement. Countless people were slain; his clothes were steeped in blood; his flesh was cut; his quiver was empty; his bow snapped.

Cui Wenjing’s gaze wavered as he silently watched Cui Yuanyang. Suddenly, tears started dripping from his eyes.

While heavily injured, he cut down Qi Bubi with Cui Yuanyang and escaped from the pursuit of a silver-rank assassin from the Snow-Listening Pavilion.

The Ranking of Hidden Dragons has changed.

Rank 88: Zhao Changhe.

Rank 213: Cui Yuanyang.

Blood stains Qinghe while the night is still young.

The appearance of the tome now was not like the previous two times... This time, the world under heaven was shaken.

1. The Five Absolutes, i.e. five high-level masters, and Duan Zhixing are characters from Jin Yong’s Condor Heroes trilogy. Xiangyang is a city in northwestern Hubei. ☜

2. All these are also characters from Jin Yong’s Condor Heroes trilogy. ☜

The source of this c𝓸ntent is fr(e)𝒆novelkiss