The Forbidden City
“Your Ladyship!” Li Qiu cries as she throws away the umbrella. When she realizes she won’t be able to reach Xi Yan, she stretches her body towards her.
“Li Qiu,” Xi Yan endures the pain in her left ankle as she stop Li Qiu, “Go down the mountain and try to find a rope and a couple of people.”
The pit isn’t too deep, but because of snowfall, the slope becomes slippery and loose. Had Li Qiu continue to lean into her, she definitely would have fallen as well. She might not suffer from heavy injuries, but it will definitely waste a lot of times. Times that she could not bear to lose because this will be the last time she gets to send her father’s coffin off.
“Yes,” Li Qiu hesitates for a moment, frowning before quickly runs down the mountain.
Snow slowly floats around. Her ankle gradually gets painful.
She gently massages her ankle. She is wearing a pair of white embroidered shoes, there are wooden planks underneath it so it wouldn’t get wet in snowy days. Her hand stop at the shoe on her left foot, somehow sensing something off. Even though it’s a brand new shoe, the wood underneath it is slightly slanted. The edges are slightly grinded. If you don’t take a close look, you wouldn’t have noticed it at all.
These kind of shoes is not suitable to be worn in snowy days, you can slip easily.
Who did that? What is the purpose of doing that?
But now is obviously not the right time to be thinking that kind of thoughts. The pit she fell into has little shrubberies. Even though it is winter, the bushes is not affected by the cold weather outside. Something seems to be creeping in the shrubs.
She unconsciously moves backwards a couple of steps.
A green snake protrudes out of the shrub and ferociously meander it’s way to Xi Yan’s direction.
Snakes usually goes to hiding in winter, how can there be snakes there?
There is nothing she can use against the snake at the moment. She unties her cloak in panic and twists it to a long strip and use it to hit the snake. The snake shrinks away from the strike before angrily creeping back towards Xi Yan.
She hits it again with force but the snake managed to avoid it. Running out of choice, she hits it’s head with the wooden base of her shoe. She crushed it right on the head. The snake tries to pull away but in the end goes limp and no longer moves.
Snow quickly fell on top of the green snake’s body.
But, faster than the snow is another creeping sound from the shrubbery.
Xi Yan holds back the sinking feeling in her heart, her hand tightly clutching her cloak. No matter what, the only person she can count on right now is herself.
Fear and anxiety will not get her out of this predicament.
As long as she holds on until Li Qiu comes back, she will be fine.
She bites her lower lips, forcing herself to stay calm. Something suddenly feels off. A red snake suddenly sprang from the shrub by the side of her foot. Before she even gets the chance to react, it bite her calf.
A tingling rush of bitterness suddenly oozes into her leg. Everything appears dark and hazy.
She must not faint!
She must see her father’s coffin off, this is the last filial act she can do as a daughter.
She must not.
She bite on her wrist and use whatever energy remains to fling her cloak at the snake.
From her dazed vision, she can somewhat see a purple silhouette jumping from up above.