Rebirth of an Idle Noblewoman - Chapter 99 - Rescue
Chapter 99: Rescue
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Tang Qinghong hung back at the tail end of the group as they walked deeper into the mountains, the impassive jade-like expression on his face slowly melting into a more stiff and imposing one.
There were a considerate amount of towering trees in the mountain which obscured the view of the sky, and the temperature here was at least ten degrees lower than the inside. There were goosebumps on some of the girls’ arms, but it didn’t deter their adventurous spirit in the least. The person in the lead serving as the guide was obviously experienced, taking them down paths that were specific, and even playing a few games that they were unfamiliar with on the way.
They would occasionally take a break and rest when they came across a spring, taking the time to eat the snacks that they had brought along. The guide even caught a few fishes from the water, putting together a soup with fish and fresh mushrooms. The big pot of soup was only enough to feed a few mouthfuls for everyone, and it served to be appropriate as a light refreshment.
While everyone was having fun, Tang Qinghong was leaning against a tree alone, his eyes fixed on the deeper part of the forest, and he let his mind drift off in his thoughts.
At the same time, there was a girl holding a bowl of soup, heading in his direction. Bao Xinyi stood in the stream after taking off her shoes, and when her gaze landed on the scene, her lips curled up into a sneer. Such wistful thinking. If Tang Qinghong was so easy to be won over, she wouldn’t even be standing here doing nothing in the first place. Just wait, you would turn around and run once you hit a dead end.
“Young Master Tang, this is the fish soup made by the guide, would you like a taste?” The girl was giving him a sweet smile, making her seem cute and approachable. If it was anyone else, they wouldn’t reject such a cute girl.
However, this was Tang Qinghong. “Thank you, but no.”
The girl was obviously not going to give up, and just as she reached out to move forward another centimeter, she seemed to hit an invisible barrier. No matter what she did, she couldn’t move a single step forward.
“I have mysophobia,” Tang Qinghong said in a firm tone, a frosty gleam in his eyes. There was a smile on his face, but the words were said with anything but warmth in them.
The girl’s hand which she had raised stiffened and she retracted it quickly, hanging her head down before she turned to return to the others. As soon as she reached the side of the stream, she heard Bao Xinyi’s unrestrained laughter ring out, and her head snapped up. “Bao Xinyi, what are you laughing at?!”
Bao Xinyi snorted coldly. “At you, obviously. How nice it must be, to have such a thick face!”
It was impossible for the girl to not notice the underlying mocking tone that Bao Xinyi had said those words with. She could clearly feel the eyes of everyone else on them, and her lips quivered, her fist clenched tightly in rage. She raised a hand and pointed her finger at Bao Xinyi, unable to bring herself to speak for a long time, then suddenly turned around and ran towards the depth of the woods.
After another ten minutes had passed, the guide cleared up all the pots and bowls. Gathering everyone together, he started the headcount, but his expression changed when he realized something. “Why is there one less person!”
Bao Xinyi glanced over at the group, and realized that the girl she had laughed at had yet to return. She frowned. “So what if there’s one missing, we can just go on ahead…”
“Xinyi!” Su Wen interrupted her before she finished her sentence, he was ever still the sensible one. “Everyone stay here and continue resting, I’ll go with the guide to find her. This is a big mountain, so don’t go wandering off by yourself. It’ll be dangerous if any of you gets lost.”
On that side, they were busy looking for people. Meanwhile, Gu Xiqiao was having a leisurely time on her side.
The village chief had already woken up, and had come around to see her. Gu Xiqiao was currently drying fresh herbs under the sun. These were all fresh herbs that had been found by the villagers in the mountain, and had been delivered to her.
“Uncle, bring this medicine back and let aunt boil it for you. Drink it for two days, and that should be enough.” She said as she grabbed the medicine. “You might feel somewhat sore and maybe some stiffness because you’ve just woken up, but that isn’t a big problem. After a couple days of rest, you’ll be fine.”
“I feel great right now, as strong as an ox even. It feels like nothing is wrong at all!” The village chief laughed loudly as he took in what she had said, gesturing a bit to show Gu Xiqiao that he meant it.
“That’s good.” Gu Xiqiao said, breathing a sigh of relief. She didn’t know how her chi would react with ordinary people, or whether there would be any detrimental side effects, but it seemed like nothing very obvious.
After receiving the medicine, the village chief continued to chat with her a few more minutes before heading off.
After working in silent for a while, Gu Xiqiao smiled suddenly and said, “It’s fine, come on in.”
Hearing her voice, Shi Tou didn’t bother hiding anymore. He came in and proceeded to help Gu Xiqiao sort out the medical materials. “I thought you wouldn’t be home. I saw a bunch of people going into the mountains this afternoon, and my mom also said you would go.”
“Into the mountains? Who?” Gu Xiqiao asked distractedly.
There weren’t many materials left, it would probably be used up in the next few days. Shi Tou squatted down on the ground, counting the ants as he replied, “Those three who live here, and some others that I don’t know. They even brought a guide, and since they left a while ago, they would probably need to stay in the mountains overnight.”
Gu Xiqiao brought in some of the dried herbs from outside, and took a box of milk out from her inventory at the same time. On the north side of Baixing Village, there was a huge mountain. Since ancient times, it has been called Baixing Mountain after the village. There were many people who came to visit the mountain, but since the mountain was never commercialized or developed, the people from the Baixing Village never benefited from it.
Shi Tou took the milk, poking the straw into the box and taking a sip. “I haven’t been to the mountains in a long time. My father told me that the villagers have been encountering problems in the mountains recently, and forbade me to go.”
“If he has told you not to go, then you better not go. You won’t go wrong by listening to the village chief.” Gu Xiqiao was spinning ideas in her mind. Ever since she had been reborn, she had the plan to develop the village. The mountain to the north was the best place to start a breakthrough, but the most important thing right now was to complete the chain mission. Otherwise, it would be useless no matter how much she developed the place. The chain mission this time was difficult, not having any hints on where the start or end was. She didn’t have any idea where to begin her search.
“Yeah alright, I actually came here to ask you over for dinner. My mom is cooking up a storm today, so she asked for you to stop by tonight,” Shi Tou said finally, having been staring at Gu Xiqiao for a long time as he finished his milk.
Gu Xiqiao was unsure why, but she felt that Shi Tou was very chatty today. She went upstairs for a bit, and when she came down, she was holding a laptop in her hands. Placing it on the stone table, “Entertain yourself with this.”
Having a new toy to play with, Shi Tou didn’t bother Gu Xiqiao any further. He stared at the computer for a while, before reaching out to touch it. He had seen this once at the mayor’s house, but only from afar before the mayor had kept it away.
That afternoon, Gu Xiqiao tidied up her house while Shi Tou learnt how to play with the laptop. When night fell, the village chief came and asked the both of them to come to dinner.
The village had a lot of local produce, and it had been raining a few days ago. The village chief had picked up some mushrooms that morning to cook with the chicken soup, and there were sausages steamed with the rice. There were also peppers picked from their own garden, paired together with fried eggs. Other than that, there was fried cabbage, salad with a bunch of tomatoes, and some braised meat that they had bought earlier in the afternoon from one of the shops at the village entrance.
Apart from Gu Xiqiao, there were another two people that had assisted the village chief in the afternoon that were invited over for dinner. All of them sat around the big table, and they had a lively meal, chatting happily as they ate.
[Beauty Qiao, I feel that something is wrong.]
After eating, Gu Xiqiao was walking around the village with Shi Tou. Just as they reached the northern side, a chill ran down the system spirit’s spine, and its expression became serious.
Gu Xiqiao halted in her steps, turning to see that the mountain top had suddenly been surrounded by a strong, malicious aura. ‘You’re right, something is wrong.’
Just as the both of them had said that, the cold electronic sound rang again, [Ding! Random Mission activated! Rescue the people from the mountain successfully.]
[Mission completion reward: 300 points!]
At the same time, a transparent panel had appeared in front of her, with a red arrow displayed on it. Night was falling over the village, and the red arrow stood out glaringly on the map. Gu Xiqiao thought back to the words that Shi Tou had said previously about the people going into the mountain, it should be referring to them.
She told Shi Tou to head back first, while she entered the mountain alone.
The reward for this random mission was 300 points, and the mission rewards were usually directly proportional to the risk it was attached with.
The transparent panel in front of her was displaying a map and the arrow, and the entire Baixing Mountain could be seen from it in a glance. There were also a few red dots on it, marking the targets of her objective.
The red dots were divided into four places, one had a cluster of them together waiting in a location without moving, another two red dots were together in a small area, moving repeatedly in circles which indicated that they were likely caught in an ‘endless loop’. The other two red dots were in separate places, one was curiously moving fast at a constant fast speed, while the last other was on top of the mountain, not moving at all.
Gu Xiqiao took a deep breath, planning a route in her mind as she picked up her pace.
If there were other people on the mountain now, they would see a strange shadow walking on the mountain path, its speed fast enough to only leave behind a shade.
The trees on the mountain top were ones that were high enough to touch the sky, and it was pitch black to the point that you wouldn’t be able to see your fingers in front of you. Gu Xiqiao’s sight was unlike ordinary people, and even with that, her sight was still slightly hindered by the darkness. You could imagine how big an impact it would be on an ordinary person.
As she went higher into the mountain, she could also feel the malicious aura getting heavier. She felt like maybe she had found a breakthrough in her mission, but the situation naturally didn’t allow for her to think about it too much. Rescuing the people was her priority, and following the prompts of the system, she came to a ditch underneath a spring, and the person that she needed to rescue was lying in it.
It was a girl with her eyes closed tightly, and had bruises all over her face. Looking at her, it seemed like there wasn’t much life energy left in her body, and she probably wouldn’t be able to make it past the night. However, she didn’t look to be someone who was short-lived. Looking at her somehow made the hairs on your arms stand on end.
Gu Xiqiao stood above, she didn’t know how the girl had come to be here, but she didn’t dwell too much on it. She waved her hand gently, and the girl’s body floated up, toward the slab of stone that was beside her.
[Beauty Qiao, you’re getting very good at directing your chi now,] The system spirit exclaimed in delight, but the other party paid it no heed.
“It looks quite bad.” Gu Xiqiao pulled out her golden needles, piercing a few of the acupuncture points while inserting her own chi to help preserve the girl’s life a bit longer. “I can’t treat her at the moment, it would consume all the chi I have left in my body. The mountain is in an unusual state right now, if I were to use up all my chi right now, I probably won’t be able to make it out alive.”
The system spirit frowned thoughtfully. [Just take her out like this for now, you already gave her enough chi to survive for a while, you can treat her after you get out of the mountain.]
It seemed like that was the best thing they could do at this point in time. Gu Xiqiao glanced at the girl, and proceeded to lift her up in a princess carry. A person who weighed at least 100 pounds was like nothing in her arms, and it didn’t even affect her speed in the slightest.
The single red dot at the top of the mountain on the transparent panel had disappeared, and there were three left. Gu Xiqiao took a quick glance at her map. If she followed this path downward, she would reach the two red dots that were stuck going around in circles.
Night had completely fallen by now, and the entire mountain forest was still. There was no sound of the winds nor the rustling of leaves or grass, everything was eerily silent.
Su Wen felt like they had been walking around in circles, getting confused on the hillside. “Uncle, we’ve been here before, haven’t we?”
After wandering around the same place countless times, Su Wen couldn’t stand it. Even if he was an atheist, he couldn’t help the chills that were creeping up his spine, the goosebumps on his hands were getting harder to ignore.
“We’ll walk in that direction.” The guide had experienced a lot of problems before, and although he was terrified inside, he couldn’t make any rash decisions. He pointed in another direction. “We’ll head south this time, I don’t believe that we can’t make it out!”
Su Wen pushed aside the fear in his heart, once again following the guide from behind. He never imagined this would happen, he had only come out with the guide to search for someone, he didn’t expect that they would be trapped in such a terrifying place. The surroundings were silent, and the more you think about it, the more horrifying it felt.
He followed the guide closely, and suddenly he felt his breath catch in his throat, making it hard to breathe. A sea of fire was laid out in front of them, the flames licking everything in its path, and you could feel the scorching heat on your face, as though it was going to swallow you whole! There was only an iron chain linked to the other side, and it was heated up to the point that it was a glowing red in color.
“We’re leaving!” The guide shouted suddenly, snapping Su Wen out of his shocked state.
The two of them turned around, and Su Wen’s eyes widened. There were a bunch of sharp daggers flying towards them, travelling at a fast speed! Daggers in their front, a sea of fire behind them, the guide made a choice instantly. “We’ll cross the iron chain!”
Being able to remain composed in this situation, the guide was really a capable person. However, Su Wen was shaking in fear. When normal people see a sea of fire, they wouldn’t even have time to feel fear, neither would they dare to walk along an iron chain either!
In this moment of distraction, the daggers had reached them, and from the reflection of the blades that were bright from the burning flames, they could clearly see their horrified faces!
Su Wen screwed his eyes closed tightly, but the pain that he was expecting to feel didn’t come after a long while. His eyelashes were trembling as he slowly pried open his eyes, and suddenly found that the daggers had stopped two centimeters in front of them, suspended in the air. The scene was just too bizarre, and it clearly violated the scientific law of gravity, he clearly couldn’t use the normal logical mindset to analyse this.
The daggers suspended in the air split in half, and as the blades were destroyed, they saw a girl standing behind.
Her milky white skin that glowed softly reminded him of jade, and her long silky hair fluttered behind her, even though there was no wind. The flames lit a soft red glow on her face, which gave a clear view of her delicate and elegant features. She was holding another person in her arms, and when Su Wen recovered from his shock, he could clearly see the girl’s face and was even more at a loss for words.
Gu Xiqiao passed the person to Su Wen, and Su Wen took her without any comment. Once the burden was passed, Su Wen staggered under the weight. He was shocked, seeing Gu Xiqiao carrying the girl in her arms with no problems, he had thought that the girl wasn’t heavy. He had not expected the weight when he held her.
With her hands now free, Gu Xiqiao turned her sights on the sea of fire. She only raised her hand slightly, there were no other movements, but before Su Wen could react, the entire sea of fire vanished, leaving behind only the pitch-black forest.
Their helplessness in the face of the fire and daggers seemed like a joke in her hands.
“Follow me, and remember the way,” Gu Xiqiao said, sparing a glance at them before taking three steps north, seven steps south, five steps east… And so, Gu Xiqiao led them out of the ‘endless loop’ after just a short five minutes. The two of them had followed her closely, not daring to fall behind even by a step. The fear that grasped their heart so tightly had also disappeared, calmed by the confident, slim figure in front of them.
After a while, the two finally caught sight of the group that they had left behind. Fortunately, these people were very obedient. They had started a fire and gathered together, not wandering off too far.
Gu Xiqiao squinted slightly, then turned to Su Wen. “Stay here and wait, don’t wander off.”
Su Wen and the guide nodded their heads in a hurry, after what had happened just now, the two of them were placing all their trust in Gu Xiqiao, not having any objections to her words at all.
Seeing that they had returned, the rest of the group came towards them, gathering around Su Wen to check on the girl in his arms.
Gu Xiqiao pursed her lips, her hand going through a series of gestures, and a small isolation formation was arranged around them. Having done that, she then walked into the darkness, intending to find the spirit that was walking in the mountains.
On the transparent panel in front of her, the last red dot was still moving at a fast speed. His speed was comparable to Gu Xiqiao’s, and it would take some effort to reach him.
Furrowing her brows, Gu Xiqiao observed the map for a while. Before she could think of anything, the fast moving red dot had slowed down, finally stopping at the top of the mountain.
At the same time, the air around her fluctuated a beat. Perhaps ordinary people couldn’t feel it, thinking it was just a gust of wind, but she could clearly feel it, it was a blast of profound chi!
The red dot on the map was getting flickering and getting dimmer, looking as though it would disappear.