Meanwhile, at a place three hundred miles away from the outskirts of Huajiang Manor.
Under the green mountain, Lu Qingran helped the black-robed man sit down beside a big rock. They were leaning against a big tree. Its shade blocked almost all the sunlight. Only fine beams occasionally spilled through the thick foliage and fell on Lu Qingran’s small face, making the fear in her eyes even more apparent.
“You…” Her eyes flickered slightly. “Are you okay?”
“Heh——” The man chuckled in a low voice. He still wore the black gauzed hat, which completely covered his face. But compared to when they were still in Xuanyun Villa’s courtyard, his laughter contained less mockery and was a bit more pleasant.
The man raised his hand. His slender and pale fingers quickly grasped Lu Qingran’s small jaw. “Worry about me…huh?” His tone was slightly sarcastic. “Don’t you wish for my wounds to get worse so you can take the opportunity to escape?”
“No! I am really worried about you! Didn’t you say before…that you cannot easily make a move? Then why did you have to…” Lu Qingran’s couldn’t finish her words. She fell silent, and quietly lowered her head, refused to let the man see her reddening eyes. Only her slender and white neck was revealed to his line of sight.
“If I didn’t threaten them, we won’t be able to leave that place safely.” The black-robed man snorted coldly. “Those people, except for your junior sister, are in the Golden Core stage, and there is even a Nascent Soul guy. If they really tried to fight us, right now, I——who?!”
The man suddenly turned his head. His eyes were covered by a layer of black gauze, but his sharp gaze shot into a distance like a real sword.
Lu Qingran was startled and hurriedly turned to look in the same direction. They were originally alone in this place, surrounded by green mountains and tall trees towering the sky. But finally, she saw it: four people stood silently on the nearby trees.
All four wore dark blue cultivator robes, without a particular insignia. They didn’t seem to be old, around thirty years old. It’s just that in Three Thousand Worlds, with its endless supply of beautiful and handsome cultivators, the four men’s appearances were ordinary at best. The kind that was easily overlooked among the crowd.
But at this moment, the four men stood silently on the towering trees. Their slender figure slowly waved with the tree as the wind passed through, bringing over an indescribable chilliness.
Lu Qingran’s eyes quickly swept over them, and she couldn’t help but shiver secretly. She didn’t even notice when these people appeared. Did these men follow them behind since they left Huajiang Manor?
The black-robed man didn’t move. He kept sitting firmly next to the big rock. Leaning his back against the tree trunk, it was as if he didn’t care about the four cultivators who suddenly appeared. He slowly lowered his right hand to hold Lu Qingran’s hand.
A small, icy jade pendant was stuffed into her palm.
Lu Qingran turned her head in surprise, but the man didn’t even look at her. The four people who suddenly appeared were all in the Nascent Soul stage. If he was in full power, he naturally wouldn’t have to be afraid of them. But in his current condition, he couldn’t even guarantee that he could get away intact, let alone bringing Lu Qingran over.
None of the sides spoke first. For a while, only the sound of the wind was heard on this place, accompanied by rustling leaves and branches over the treetops.
Lu Qingran lowered her gaze, staring at the pendant in her hand. It was made from green jade, with a speck of deep red color in the middle. The pendant looked old and simple, without unnecessary decorations. But the speck of red felt so mysterious in Lu Qingran’s eyes, as if it wasn’t the jade’s natural color, but someone’s blood being dripped on it.
The black-robed man once said to Lu Qingran. If he was killed by others, he would give her a token before he died, and she should find a way to take it away and throw it into the Starfallen Sea.
——Does he think that his life in danger now?
Lu Qingran raised her gaze to look at the black-robed man. Obstructed by the black gauze, she couldn’t even see his face, let alone perceiving his expression. She turned her head towards the four blue-robed cultivators, who were still standing quietly on the trees. She couldn’t see their cultivation levels, which meant that they were stronger than herself and even this man. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be so wary.
Lu Qingran clenched her fist. She held the jade pendant tightly in her palm, and suddenly stood up. She walked in front of the black-robed man, covering him behind her back, then looked up at the four blue-robed cultivators: “You…” She swallowed her fear and turned her eyes slightly at the man behind her. With flushed cheeks, she mustered her courage and yelled loudly: “You can’t hurt him!”
“Ha——” A laughter came from behind. This time, the joy in the voice was more apparent. It seemed that he was laughing at Lu Qingran’s recklessness and also…appreciating her bravery.
Lu Qingran’s face flushed even more. She straightened her back and looked up at the four strangers: “He…he is not a bad guy! You can’t hurt him!”
“Haha…” Another low laughter came from the black-robed man. Under the black gaze, his eyes, which were always cold and merciless, warmed unconsciously. Like the snow at the top of a high mountain, finally blown by the spring breeze and began to melt a little.
Lu Qingran stomped her feet and whispered embarrassedly, “Don’t laugh!”
“Silly child.” The black-robed man seemed to sigh slightly. Initially, he didn’t intend to move. But now, he used the big rock as support to slowly stand up.
The man was very tall. When he stood next to Lu Qingran, it made her looked small and helpless. “Stay behind me.” He said coldly. Then he turned to the four cultivators, throwing a sharp glance at them.
“It won’t be so easy to harm me.” The black-robed man said casually. Even if he was badly injured, the arrogance in his tone wasn’t diminished in the slightest. The man raised his hand and pointed his pale fingertips at one of the cultivators. “Come on.”
I want to ask for my readers’ opinion. The word 品 (pin) is used a lot in THDP. I usually translate it as ‘grade,’ i.e. ninth-grade spirit stones, first-grade spell, fourth-grade devil beast, third-grade demon cultivator. I used ‘grade’ for all of them for consistency.
However, for cultivation ranking (like in devil beast or demon cultivator), should I use the term ‘rank’ instead? Somehow writing ‘third-grade demon cultivator’ seems odd to me, like they are talking about school rather than cultivation power. Should I use rank? Grade? Or, do you have other opinion? Please leave comments here. Thanks!
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