“…” Shen Changyuan, who saw Lu Yaoyao’s thoughts, stayed silent, unable to explain the truth to the innocent cub. In fact, there were very few cross-racial couples who stayed together because of love. Such a relationship was taboo and unacceptable by all races; thus, there was another, much darker reason behind the existence of many mixed-blood people.
Since time immemorial, light and darkness were always the two sides of the same coin. Some merchants in the human realm traded not only normal resources such as spiritual beasts and spiritual plants but also female demons and female devils in secret. And those ‘secret wares’ sold well, as there was always enough supply of rich clients with bizarre hobbies who liked to buy female demons and female devils in underground auctions for their own amusements. And demons were more popular than devils, especially the weaker ones with harmless original forms.
Because of the high demand, the merchants often came to the Demon Realm to find good-looking, harmless beast-shaped demons. After being captured, the demons would be fed with transformation leaf, forcefully turning them into human form while still retaining some demon race characteristics, such as beast ears and tails. These demons were immensely popular as pets and slaves. And these pets may, for one reason or another, eventually give birth to half-demon babies mixed with human blood.
Some of those half-demons were killed at birth, while some were thrown into the wilderness and left to die. Those with better luck would be raised and given food, but their status was extremely low.
Shen Changyuan used to be in a high position, but he at the time couldn’t tolerate even the slightest misconduct; so much filth naturally had never entered his eyes. However, it didn’t mean that he was left ignorant. “Let’s follow them.” Shen Changyuan picked Lu Yaoyao up. He didn’t want to pollute the girl’s ears with a filthy truth.
Follow the group, and they will be sure to find someone they can ask for directions. However, Lu Yaoyao and Shen Changyuan soon found out that the young master’s group was taking a different direction from the boy. Lu Yaoyao pondered for a while, then pointed in the direction of the boy, “Follow him.”
The path the boy took was very remote. He kept walking into the depth of the misty forest. After passing through a cave connected to a makeshift path, he pushed aside a thick layer of vines and bushes, revealing a hidden mountain col.
The col seemed to house a simple settlement. Across the tall and sturdy tree branches stood several simple but beautiful wooden houses, along with others made from hollowed-out tree trunks. Clearly, the owners of the houses took good care of their residences. The settlement was very remote and hidden. Without a careful search or prior information, it would be impossible to find it hidden in such a place. When Lu Yaoyao saw tree houses similar to the ones she used to see in Duanping Mountain, she was overwhelmed with nostalgia and missed home even more.
After the boy passed through the vines and entered the col, a much younger boy wearing just animal skin stuck his head out of a nearby trunk house. Seeing the boy returning, he quickly ran out and helped put vines that covered the entrance back to their position. He turned around and said concernedly, “Brother A’mu, are you alright?” Seeing Li Mu return with injuries all over his body, the boy’s eyes started to turn wet.
This younger boy was just half the height of Li Mu and was very thin. Like the latter, he also had a pair of beast ears on the top of his head. The black tail on his behind was only half-length, as if cut off.
Li Mu’s tense nerves relaxed when he saw the boy, “I’m fine, Xiaohu. Don’t worry.”
“Let’s go to Sister Qianqian. I brought the medicine back.” Li Mu passed Xiaohu and quickly went up to the tree house.
Xiaohu wiped away his tears and hurriedly followed behind.
Li Mu climbed the tree using the hanging vines and landed on a sturdy branch. Before he entered the door, a suppressed cough rang inside.
Li Mu’s footsteps paused.
“Is it you, A’mu?” A weak voice called.
Li Mu quickly wiped off the dried blood and mud on his face before walking in. On the bed inside the sparse wooden house lay a woman who looked in her early twenties. She was also a half-demon, with a pair of rabbit ears on her head, and seemed to have been ill for some time. She was very thin, her face was wan, and her lips were pale.
When Qianqian saw the bruises and cuts on Li Mu’s body, she became emotional, “Did you… cough, cough… did you go… cough, to the Li manor…”
Qianqian’s pale face turned sickly red due to a bout of violent cough. Li Mu hurriedly stepped forward and patted her back.
Qianqian’s pale and thin hands grasped Li Mu. There was desperation in her voice, “Didn’t you promise us not to return to the Li family?”
“Sister Qianqian, stop talking. Take your medicine first.” Li Mu took out a porcelain bottle from his clothes.
“Have you forgotten what I told you before? Even if I die of this illness, you are not allowed to go to the Li family and make yourself humiliated!” Seeing Li Mu’s injuries, Qianqian was even more distressed. Who didn’t know what kind of wolves’ den the Li family was? A’mu finally left, but he took the initiative to go back just to beg for her medicine.
Li Mu pursed his lips, “Sister Qianqian, drink your medicine. Do you want me to be beaten for nothing?”
Qianqian was angry, but she didn’t have the heart to refuse the medicine that Li Mu fed her. With tears in her eyes, she begged, “Don’t do this again, okay?”
Li Mu responded: “Okay…”
However, Li Mu knew that if there were another time, he would still make the same choice. There was nothing he couldn’t do as long as Sister Qianqian could be saved, including returning to the Li family to see the only person who showed him kindness. Knowing that she was his only chance to get the medicine to save Sister Qianqian, Li Mu sneaked into the Li family mansion, but he was unexpectedly seen by Li Chengze and beaten as a result.
Li Mu lowered his eyes. At that moment, he had murderous intentions toward Li Chengze, and if not for the two who suddenly saved him…
After Qianqian took medicine, her complexion slowly improved. She still wanted to talk to Li Mu, but the effect of the medicine made her drowsy. Li Mu helped Qianqian to lie down and waited until she fell asleep before getting up and walking out quietly.
Outside the wooden house, Xiaohu quickly came rushing, “Brother A’mu, you should treat your wounds too.”
In Xiaohu’s hand was an ointment made from the wild herbs granny foraged in the forest, which had the effect of healing outer wounds and cuts. Li Mu didn’t say anything and let Xiaohu apply the ointment to his wounds.
“How is Sister Qianqian?”
“She is okay now.”
Xiaohu was overjoyed, “That’s great!”
However, it didn’t take long for the situation to backfire. Not long after, the sleeping Qianqian suddenly broke into a fever, and her condition was even worse than before.
Li Mu’s face sank, and Xiaohu started crying in panic, “What should we do, Brother A’mu? Is Sister Qianqian going to die?!”
“No.” Li Mu clenched his fists. Just as Li Mu was about to return to the town to look for medicine again, a cute and tender voice suddenly rang—
“We can save her!”
On the top of the wooden house, the little red dumpling Li Mu had seen earlier and the young man he instinctively felt very dangerous suddenly appeared.
Li Mu turned pale, “You followed me?!”
Lu Yaoyao blinked, “I’m sorry, we got lost in the forest. We originally wanted to ask you for directions, but you ignored us, so we simply followed behind.”
Lu Yaoyao’s original intention was actually to get to a place where the crowd gathered and find someone they could ask for directions, but they didn’t expect that the boy they followed would bring them to the hidden settlement. From its appearance, this should be a place where mixed bloods lived in seclusion.
“Don’t worry; we will never reveal this place to others.” Lu Yaoyao made an oath.
But Li Mu was still vigilant, “How can we trust you?”
“Are you sure you want to deal with us right now?” Lu Yaoyao jumped down and landed in front of Li Mu, then pointed inside. She could feel these boys were very wary of Brother Yuanyuan and her. Therefore, instead of trying to persuade them with words, she felt it was better to save the big sister inside.
With a life-saving grace at hand, the rest would be easier to handle.
Li Mu’s face turned pale again. “Can you really save her?”
“Of course!” Lu Yaoyao vowed.
Li Mu stared at the wooden house and gritted his teeth, “Okay! As long as you can save her, my life will be yours.” But if they turned out to be malicious, he swore he would make them pay the price, even at the cost of his life!
Lu Yaoyao waved her chubby hand, “Show us the way.”
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