Chengfeng eyed Zhou Ling cautiously. “What are you doing here?”
She huffed. “I’m here to save you but looking at you… I don’t think I need to. You owe a great debt to the beautiful lady!”
Chengfeng warned in a low voice, “Do not trouble her!”
Zhou Ling snickered, “Do you know who I am? I am the daughter of the Zhou clan, do you think I will trouble a servant who can’t even sit at the dinner table, or go home to her husband? Tsk! I’m going to be a cultivator like you too!”
Li Chengfeng’s heart only ached more. “So why are you saving me?”
Zhou Ling huffed coldly. “I heard the conversation between my father and uncle. They have informed Profound Life Sect, they’re preparing to attack you.”
Chengfeng had already mentally prepared for this but after his suspicion was confirmed, he raged, “Is he mad? Does he really want to die?”
Zhou Ling said, “Well I have already passed the message so you should leave quickly.”
Li Chengfeng looked at her. “Why are you helping me?”
After a moment of thought, she said, “I want to join Hidden Beauty Court! You must help me!”
He was speechless. “And you’re so sure I can help you with that?”
She cocked her head. “I don’t know but I can try. If you can’t, I’ll go to the south for the Phoenix Hibiscus Court. No matter what, someone will take me in!”
Chengfeng was left puzzled. “What about your family?”
Zhou Ling looked at him in surprise. “Aren’t I leaving my family another escape route by helping you?”
As she spoke, her face changed and her gaze turned sharp. “Unless, you’re the untrustworthy type?!”
She suddenly thought of something and warned him sternly, “Hey Li, let me tell you this, do not blackmail my father and uncle, it will be useless! The Zhou clan will not be able to produce the sum you ask for even if we sell everything now! And soon, the messenger will likely arrive at Profound Life Sect. They will then come here in the blink of an eye and you won’t be able to escape even if you want to!”
Li Chengfeng was startled. “I know, thank you for your help.” Then, he turned to walk to the yard but suddenly turned. “As for the matter with Hidden Beauty Court, I will do my best but… no promises.”
Zhou Ling watched him leave, then flipped expertly over the wall. After flipping over a few walls, she arrived in her own yard. She had just entered the house when she flew around packing her bags, stuffing her belongings haphazardly into her luggage. “We don’t have much time left, let’s go. We won’t be able to leave once the Profound Life Sect arrives! I hope that short, ugly man goes to hell, I’m not marrying him! My dream is to become a warrior and travel the world!”
Zhou Ling gestured as she spoke excitedly, “I have already spoken to the Li guy, he said he will help me enter Hidden Beauty Court. When that happens, I will become a Spiritual Mountain cultivator! Eh, pack your stuff, sis…”
She turned suddenly, her excitement frozen in her face. In her room were Zhou Guangcai, her younger sister and a few strong guards.
Guangcai’s expression was solemn, fury in his eyes. Zhou Bo looked down, averting her gaze as she hid behind.
Zhou Ling roared with unbridled rage, “Zhou Bo, you betrayed me! And to think I told you everything, to think I was thinking of you even when I needed to escape!”
Zhou Bo trembled and looked up, yelling emotionally, “You’re always thinking about yourself!”
Zhou Bo’s rage shocked Zhou Ling as she stared incredulously at her younger sister. Since young, Zhou Bo only followed her around and never talked back.
Zhou Ling’s voice shook. “What are you talking about? I wanted to bring you along, was that for myself? You mean, you want to live here, when death is waiting? You mean… you want to be sold like goods?”
Zhou Bo’s eyes reddened as she explained emotionally, “Since young, have you thought about me whenever you did anything? Have you ever asked for my opinion when you made any decision? No, never! You’re like that, Dad is like that, Uncle is like that! Everyone's the same! In this family, you all make decisions without caring about how I feel, you never ask me anything!”
Zhou Bo trembled, her long-suppressed emotions exploding instantly. “When you conducted your matchmaking, you made decisions for me without consulting me first. You didn’t ask for my opinion when you wanted to run away from home either!”
Zhou Ling sobbed in disappointment, “So, you want to marry that short man with acne?”
Zhou Bo raged, “I would, if I could!”
Zhou Bo’s rage stunned Zhou Ling and Zhou Guangcai as they stared at this stocky younger sister.
With tears in her eyes, she continued, “Why does everyone in this family think of her first? Why? It’s all because of her looks, that she’s pretty! Look at me! I don’t even have the right to be treated like goods!”
Zhou Ling looked at her in shock. This was the first time she realised she never truly understood her younger sister. She did not only look different… her inner mind, her soul, were completely different too!
Zhou Guangcai was usually busy thinking about business, he never truly looked at his daughter properly. To him, this daughter did not look like one of his at all. If they were not twins, he would have suspected his wife of adultery!
Neglect from many years finally led to the explosion today, her rage shocking the usually cold Zhou Guangcai. He looked at her with a complicated expression, saying in a low voice, “That’s enough…”
“No, I’m still talking!” Zhou Bo roared. “You all never listen to me, so I will speak today! I must tell you everything!”
Zhou Bo pointed at Zhou Ling, who was sobbing and covering her mouth, “You only think about yourself, you only want to become a cultivator, a hero! But have you ever thought about us? About our family? If Spiritual Mountain Sect’s people leave, we will be left with Profound Life Sect, will the Profound Life Sect suspect us of conspiring with Spiritual Mountain? And will Spiritual Mountain be grateful and help us? Have you ever considered this? You’re only thinking about how you want to join Hidden Beauty Court! What price will you pay for your entry? The Zhou clansmen’s heads? Like that Li guy, will you be holding our heads asking for a reward?”
The usually stubborn older sister was completely defeated by her usually soft younger sister. Tears flowed uncontrollably as she shook her head vigorously.
Zhou Bo glared at her with hatred and anger, “Because you’re pretty, you ignore everyone else; because you’re pretty, you attract all the attention; because you’re pretty, you do only what you want, recklessly! Why! I fight better than you, I’m stronger than you, I sew better, I’m gentler, I’m better at music, chess and drawing, I’m better at everything! Why does everyone only see you? Why can you do whatever you want? Tell me, why!!”
The older sister covered her face, tears flowing, “I… I never thought about this… I… I never wanted to hurt you either… You… You’re my sister, my younger sister!”
Zhou Bo’s eyes reddened as she sobbed, “So you still remember that I’m your sister?”
Zhou Guangcai roared, “That’s enough! Stop it!!”
When he finished, a servant walked in and whispered in his ear. Startled, he asked, “They’re here? So soon?”
The servant nodded. Zhou Guangcai turned to the strong guards. “Watch her, don’t let her leave! If she disappears, you’re responsible!”
Intimidated, the guards nodded vigorously.
Zhou Guangcai pushed the door open. He looked up instinctively but was frozen with shock.
In the darkness of the night, a fire-red cloud flew over the estate, boiling as if it contained fiery lava, as if it would erupt at any moment!