“Wait. Tell me, how did we lose my men too? I’m sure it’s more complicated than just because of the trees.” Zhao Yarou looked at Ye Lang, hoping to get an answer from his eyes.
She now speculated that all of this was arranged by Ye Lang so she would be alone. Then he could hurt her!
“It might be because…. We ran too fast!” said Ye Lang.
Zhao Yarou felt like Ye Lang was hiding something from her. He knew something but was not telling her the whole truth. “Speak up! Are you plotting to kill me? If you are, I dare you!” Zhao Yarou glared at him coldly. She’d mistaken him for an assassin.
“What?! Mr Fox, you want to kill Her Majesty?” Li Yue looked at him frantically.
If Ye Lang was here to kill Zhao Yarou, that meant everything he’d previously said was fake. He was never here for her, he was here for Zhao Yarou.
“No! I’m not here to kill her this time!” he shook his head, denying their speculations but implying that he could come back to kill her the next time.
“Then why are you here? If you’re not here for me, you mean you’re here for her?” Zhao Yarou looked at him.
“Yep! I’m here for Li Yue, I’m trying to date her!”
“You’re pursuing her?” Zhao Yarou furrowed her brows.
“If that’s the case, why did you drag me into this? You two can go on your date on your own!” Zhao Yarou was starting to rage but stopped immediately after Ye Lang’s next line.
“No one dragged you into this, you just HAD to follow us so shamelessly!” rebutted Ye Lang very honestly.
“Uh…” Zhao Yarou was speechless for a moment. “Well, even if you’re pursuing her, you still didn’t have to do it like this, trapping yourself in a place like this.”
“I didn’t, I didn’t do this. This is a natural…” Ye Lang paused. “I think it is fate!”
Just as what Ye Lang said, it might just be fate. Ye Lang was currently within a natural Qimen formation’s region of influence. And this region was unfathomably huge.
The miracle of natural Qimen formations were an interesting occurence. They weren’t very rare either, many places had them. Not just in this universe, on planet Earth too. The formations often created secret spaces that only became myths and legends as time passed.
Ye Lang finally understood why so many people disappeared in the legends. This was very normal because it was very much possible to get lost once you stepped into this region.
Usually, the magical nature of the region would escort humans out, back to where they came from. However, if these people forced themselves to go deeper, or coincidentally trekked deeper, then they might get trapped inside.
In reality, it was not a complicated trap. Ye Lang would be able to crack it in 2 seconds but he hadn’t noticed its presence until they were deep in it.
He couldn’t tell anyone either, especially not when he was Fox Ford.
That was why Ye Lang had to hide the truth, and how Zhao Yarou misunderstood his intentions. She thought he was the one who made this happen, even suspecting that he was here to kill her.
It’s not her fault either. As a person in her position, such matters were a constant worry every day. She often wondered if it was a kind of punishment.
“Fate… Then what now?” she said slowly.
“Let’s wait for the rain to stop. Then we’ll go look for them!” said Ye Lang.
“That’s the only thing we can do now, I hope they’re not too worried!” said Li Yue.
“It would be concerning if they’re not!” said Zhao Yarou mildly.
The empress had disappeared right under their noses. To the guards, this was a grave, unforgivable mistake. Right now, they were as frantic as ants on a hot pan!
However, they wouldn’t be able to do anything no matter how much they panicked. They couldn’t enter the alchemy formation for they kept getting tossed out of it.
Other than the guards, Coldblood Five was panicking too. She had never lost a person she was following, ever. She had kept a distance between herself and Ye Lang, that was why she was left outside after he entered the formation.
In the beginning, she was not concerned because she could still sense his presence. However, soon after, she started to worry when there was no longer a connection.
Coldblood Five was getting increasingly anxious now that the connection was completely cut off and she had no way to enter this region of the forest!
While she knew Ye Lang would be alright-- with his abilities, how could anything happen to him? - But she was still worried about the fact that he was in there with Zhao Yarou.
She frantically called for him through their connection but it felt like throwing stones into an ocean. There was no reply!
“Little Five, I’m alright. We found a place to wait out the rain. I’ll be out once the rain stops!”
Finally, a message from Ye Lang temporarily calmed Coldblood Five. However, she still wasn’t sure how he was doing so she immediately asked.
At the same time, she knew he wasn’t far. He must be within 5 kilometres from where she was, for the alchemy communication tool they were using had the maximum range of 5 kilometres.
Under normal circumstances, this tool was meant to be used for close-range communication or it would run out of energy very quickly.
“We have a small problem. Don’t come into this part of the forest, you’ll get lost.”
“But you’re inside… If anything happens…”
“Don’t worry, nothing will happen. It’s just me, Li Yue and Zhao Yarou here. What can they do to me?”
“Just the three of you?”
“Yep! Alright, let’s not talk too much. Any more and this thing will run out of magical power very quickly. I’ll talk only if there’s an emergency!”
“Alright! Be careful!”
“How long will this storm last?” asked Zhao Yarou in a small voice as she sat next to a fire.
“I don’t know,” said Ye Lang.
“You don’t?” Zhao Yarou peered at him once again, as if she did not believe him.
“How would I know? I only know when it’s about to rain, I don’t know how long the rain will last! I’m not a god…” Ye Lang thew something that looked like a match into the fire.
“Fine. I’m not in a hurry anyway. The heavens can rain for as long as it wants to.” Zhao Yarou had both knees to her chest. Staring straight into the fire, she fell deep in thought. She looked so beautiful in the glow of the fire.