Despite the coal covering most of her face, she was beautiful. But he suspected she had been told that a thousand times. She was crouched in the bushes, glancing back every few seconds. It was clear she wanted to flee from him.
"Did you not hear me?" He didn't know why he was still talking to her. She was just a random person on the side of the road.
Bai Ling felt a suffocating pressure around her suddenly. She could tell it came from the man in the back of the carriage. What was this? The vibrations rolled off Bai Ling, and she felt as if her bones would collapse.
"I am fine here." She gritted through her teeth a response. The man was surprised she could even get the words out. He retracted his aura, and Bai Ling's heavy breathing filled the silence. She became alert of this man before her. He could end her as easily as snapping his fingers.
Bai Ling's antsy behaviour amused him for some reason. Seeing her so cautious made him pity her.
"Very well. Fu Wen, go." The carriage left the spot with great speed. Bai Ling let out a sigh and slumped to the floor. She had to be careful in the future. She had never felt like that before.
It was as if he could see into her soul and crush it at the same time. He felt like an anaconda wrapping around her body.
Now that he left, Bai Ling continued her journey to the capital city. She walked in the woods but parallel to the road leading to the city.
It was nighttime when Bai Ling arrived. The walls of the entrance came into view, and the bright lanterns illuminated the bustling crowd. On the road into the city, countless carriages and merchant carts lined up to enter. By the gate, the guards maintained order in the lines.
Bai Ling joined the line of people walking in on foot, and eventually, she entered the city. Various stalls and shops were opened on both sides of the street. Many beautiful women were walking around, and dashing men courting them.
Some people were fighting each other. Others flew on magical beasts while some seemed to be floating as they moved through the crowd.
Vendors bargained and yelled to possible customers while drunkards in the bars laughed up a storm. Bai Ling's eyes could not capture everything fast enough.
She walked around with a dazed, excited look in her eye. Even in China, she did not see such a beautiful scene before her eyes. She never saw so much people in one place at once.
AS the night went on, Bai Ling calmed down quite a bit. She started to think about how to make money.
She studied the stalls and shops but came up with no way she could make money. She asked some friendly-looking stall owner for work but no one hired and the lecherous gazes she got from some owners deterred her from asking them.
The exhaustion from her trip and the lack of success in finding a job took its toll on Bai Ling. She trudged through the street until she found a sloppy sign saying 'Cheap inn' although it was cheap, Bai Ling was broke. She tried her luck anyways and diverted to the right alleyway.
If anything, Bai Ling could wash dishes, or clean as payment for the night. When walking, no light or sign was in the alleyway. Bai Ling felt disturbed by the darkness and turned back.
Two men came into view, and her stomach lurched. One was tall and slim with a wicked smile while the other was short and plump. He had beady eyes that would make anyone uneasy.
A trap. This was a trap. Bai Ling felt sick all over again. Hoping she was wrong, Bai Ling moved to go around them.
"I think you already know we led you here." The plump man grabbed her by her upper arm and turned her to him. He gripped her chin with his other hand.
"This one is a beauty. Why don't we sample her before we bring her back to Madam Fu." The taller bandit commented.
"No. Madam Fu said we shouldn't. Let's take her back to the Pavillion." Bai Ling struggled against their grip until a knife came to her throat.
"Move, and you die." Tears built up in Bai Ling's eyes but refused to fall. Who did they think they were? Men were scum. This thought kept being reinforced in Bai Ling's head.
"This one is feisty. Maybe we should break her in before we bring her to the MAdam." This was the third time Madam Fu was mentioned. Bai Ling wanted to know which woman would be so cruel to other women.
"Are we going to do it?" The taller man groped Bai Ling's waist as he spoke. "I mean, Madam Fu is not expecting a pure girl anyways."
The two brought Bai Ling deeper into the alleyway. The trio stopped when only the moonlight shone on them. The fatter man used his knife to shred open Bai Ling's robe.
"You take your turn; I'll make sure the imperial guards don't come here." With that, the tall man left.
Bai Ling was numb at this point. Again?
The look in her eye changed as disgust filled her. Too absorbed in groping Bai Ling's body, the knife in the man's hand started to slip. Bai Ling put her hand underneath his to catch the slipping knife. With a firm grip on it, Bai Ling knew what she had to do.
Since her rebirth, her vision improved through leaps and bounds. So with a little focus, the man's visage became clear to Bai Ling.
Looking down on the man gyrating on her body, Bai Ling rose her hand up and slit his throat as quick and deep as she could.
The man floundered back, unable to speak. Looking at how easily she cut him down, strange satisfaction flooded Bai Ling. She plunged the knife in another part of his neck and watched as the man pleaded for his life with his eyes. He weakly tried to grab onto Bai Ling but lacked the strength.
"Scum." Bai Ling smiled at the waning life in his eyes. Bai Ling looked at the back of the other man at the end of the alley. If she listened closely, she could hear his heart beating. She wanted to crush his heart in her hands.
Such thoughts wouldn't come to her head normally, but if she weren't ruthless to her enemies, they would hurt her instead. Bai Ling slowly understood that it was survival of the fittest in the real world.
"I am ready for you." The man turned to see the outline of Bai Ling.
"Where is Bo Feng?"
"He is putting his clothes on; he said to come to find you. He said it's your turn." The man was clearly jittering with excitement. He did not even notice the slumped figure in the distance.
He came before Bai Ling, and before he could touch her, Bai Ling grabbed his hand and pulled him into the knife she held. His eyes widen in shock, and his body froze.
That is when he turned to where his friend was. He saw a plump body in the middle of the alleyway.
"Who knew, it would feel so good to kill the things you hate?" Bai Ling took the knife out of his stomach and stuck it in his neck.
When he stopped struggling, Bai Ling took the knife from his neck. Looking at herself, she needed to change her clothing. The man before her had a fairly clean outer robe. It was dark in colour so it could hide stains well.
Bai Ling searched him and found money and other things in a pouch. She took it and went to search for his friend. After looting their clothing, weapon, money and resources, Bai Ling, left the alleyway.
They mentioned a Madam Fu.
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