Hidden Assassin

Chapter 34

Chapter 34 – To Feign Madness
TL: Milaryn
Edit: IlkonEbi

“Scram! Move away— Everyone move—”

Using Cao Dongfeng as a hostage, the bleeding Jiaming staggered around as though he had gone berserk. He cut Shasha’s ropes with the dagger, and then they retreated back towards the logging area. The porcelain-like japanese girl also took this opportunity to desperately stagger towards Jiaming’s side. Even though every step she took caused her to feel a huge amount of pain, and it felt like every part of her body was being pricked by needles, the expression on her doll-like face remained unchanged. She knew that this was her last chance to escape, so she would do anything to follow him.  

On the other side, Shasha also followed behind him, worried about the state that Jiaming was in. The shinai had not hit his face, but blood was still dripping out of his mouth and his eyes were completely bloodshot. Normally, he was a timid boy with an honest smile, but right now he was shouting hysterically. He must have been frightened and in a great deal of pain, otherwise how would he be able to come up with this kind of courage?

When they were at the Lingjing’s place, father Ye used to force Jiaming to learn martial arts. However, Jiaming would laze about and would rather be a gopher that brought drinks and towels. If he had no other options, he would do a few stances, and his posture was always accurate and precise. When he was forced to fight, no one could beat him because he would leap around the arena like a loach. According to father Ye, he was quite talented at learning fight techniques as he could execute a complete and beautiful set, but he just did not know how to apply them to a fight.

As to what happened just now, from the few movements he made, it was quite obvious that they were the various techniques taught by father Ye –moving into position, grabbing the person and evading– all executed in one go, at a speed that even that perverted old Japanese man could not follow. However, as Shasha was next to him, she could clearly see the faint trembling that was going through his arms and body.

“All of you, go further away— Cough, cough…”

The boy’s voice sounded slightly frenzied, and after finishing the sentence he coughed up another mouthful of blood. Because of his coughing, the dagger just so happened to stab a bit deeper into Cao Dongfeng. He hysterically cried out, “Retreat! Move it! He's going to stab me! He's stabbing me!”The multiple knife-wielding, angry looking subordinates paused at Cao Dongfeng’s words, then slowly parted into a semi-circle. Cao Jinghao loudly shouted, “Brat, don't do anything crazy. If you dare hurt him, I will kill your whole family!”

“No, I'll kill your whole family!” 

Cao Jinghao had barely finished talking before Jiaming angrily shouted back, “You have the balls to threaten me, I will end your family right now!”

“Fine, fine. It’s my fault, I won't say it again. You're a good boy, please relax, don't act too hastily…” Cao Jinghao hurriedly changed his tone. He was used to ordering people around, but then realized that this time his opponent had a hostage. If they were an adult, then he could have reasoned with them, but because this child seemed half-crazy, if he pushed too hard, anything could happen. 

Holding onto the hostage, the three of them retreated from between the two short buildings to the back area of the logging yard — there was a small gate in the fence separating the yard from the woods. Shasha thought that it would be better to leave from the front, but she figured that Jiaming was unable to think about that point. Now they were half-surrounded by knife-wielding hooligans and it was not possible to push through them. She looked at the erratic-acting Jiaming again and felt her heart clench. It had always been her and Lingjing protecting him, but now that they were in this situation because of her, he had gotten tortured. However, seeing him act like this and trying so hard to protect her, deep down in her heart, she felt it was kind of sweet. 

A few people ran ahead through the gate and waited by the trees. When Jiaming saw this, he suddenly bellowed, “You’re not allowed to move! Don’t follow after us!”

“That’s not possible, please think about our side of things.” Cao Jinghao tried to sound as gentle as he could, “If you run out of sight, what if you kill my son? I have to keep an eye on you…”

“Your son deserves to die!” Jiaming continued shouting, “However I won’t leave, I will let you watch him. But Shasha has to escape, she has to! I have to make sure that Shasha escapes before I let him go!”

“Ok, Shasha can leave, but I have to see that my son is safe. Also that other girl…”

“She’s none of my concern, but if anyone dares come near us, I will kill him!”

“Ok, ok. We’re not coming over, I will also speak with Mr. Tsukichi…” He asked the translator to tell the Japanese old man not to make any sudden moves. The old man only quietly sighed, but did not take any action.

Under the watch of the hooligans, the four of them slowly retreated into the woods and eventually stopped near a short bush. The pursuers could see Jiaming and Cao Dongfeng, as well as the Shasha girl wailing about something.

“I don’t want to run. If I run, we run together, I’m not leaving you behind…”

“I told you to hurry up and run! I’m staying behind to delay them! You’re being a nuisance, just get lost!”

“No… I don’t wanna…” Shasha shook her head, her face full of tears, “I won’t leave. You have never yelled at me before, and I know you want me to be able to escape on my own, but I don’t wanna… It was because of me that you got beaten, if only my father was not part of the criminal underworld…”

“Why are you talking so much, just run away already!” Jiaming said as he kicked Shasha in the stomach. He did not use a lot of strength, but Shasha never thought that he would kick her. She staggered back a few steps before falling onto the leaf-covered ground. Clutching her stomach, she sadly cried out, “Jiaming, you kicked me…”

“I…” Jiaming paused, then he finally relaxed his tense muscles and briefly returned back to his cowardly self. His hands were shaking intensely, “I-I’m sorry… It’s just, Shasha, I’m very scared, and only one of us can run away… Since I’ve taken Cao Dongfeng, they will definitely follow after me, so we have to split up…”

The reasonable tone he was using, gradually changed as he started to choke up, “Shasha… I’m scared of getting hurt, and I’m scared of dying. I like being together with you and Lingjing, if I die, I can’t see you both again… Previously, when I was being beaten, I nearly couldn’t hold back my groans, but then it hurt so much that I cried. I’m a man, so sometimes I can’t give in and I can’t cry… Also because I am a man, I am staying behind. If you manage to escape, you have to call for the police to come save me. It’s going to be night soon, so Shasha, you have to escape from here…” 

Seeing the state that Jiaming was in made her cry even harder, but she eventually said, “Fine… I will definitely call the police, but Jiaming, you have to promise me that you will escape and won’t get caught.”

“Mmm, I will definitely escape.”

“Also… could you… give me a kiss….”

“Um?” Jiaming was quite surprised at her request and nearly dropped his mask of pretense. Thankfully it was evening, so there was not much light, and Shasha could not see his face clearly. 

While he was astonished at her request, he felt Shasha’s soft lips kiss the side of his mouth. Her tongue flicked out and licked Jiaming’s blood, then she fiercely wiped away her tears and ran off into the woods while sobbing quietly.

Eh… there is a big difference between the feeling of saliva and blood…

Shasha left behind her saliva when she licked the blood off his cheek. Feeling conflicted inside, he raised his eyebrow and looked at Tsukichi Kaoru who was standing behind him.

She looked at him at the same time and their eyes met. Because she did not understand Chinese, she continued following Jiaming. However at this time, she suddenly bowed and said in a sweet-sounding voice, “Arigatou (thank you),” then turned and slowly ran off in a different direction.

Er… what was that about…

Jiaming was somewhat stunned as it seemed that she had misunderstood Jiaming’s look. When she had been captured, the old man had focused on beating her legs the most, so even though she had gritted her teeth and forced herself to follow after him, her mobility was already severely limited. Jiaming had only looked at her to think about how to help her escape, but in Kaoru’s eyes, she thought that she was being a burden to this boy. Even though Jiaming was only pretending, in her eyes, he was someone who had not received the same training as she did. Despite the fact that he had been severely beaten and managed to persevere, she saw that his body was shaking from fear. She admired him for the fact that he was able to bring the two girls to this location even when they had been surrounded by so many enemies.

Since their enemies were quite powerful, trying to escape in this state was basically impossible. That boy’s ability was quite limited, and she did not want to drag him down. Even though there was only a one in a million chance of escaping, she still wanted to try…

Outside of the woods, Jiaming was glared at by the many subordinates watching him, while Cao Jinghao stared at his watch intently. Around ten minutes after Shasha had escaped, Cao Jinghao loudly shouted, “They’ve been gone for 10 minutes! Release him now!”

Behind the bush, Cao Dongfeng felt the dagger behind his back shift and he hurriedly said, “Jiaming, it’s fine now. You should hurry and escape, I guarantee that no one will chase after you. If you leave now, you’ll definitely be able to escape.”

He had listened in on what Jiaming said to Shasha and thought that Jiaming was in a state of panic. However, when he turned and saw at Jiaming’s expression, he realized he had made a huge mistake… 

The trembling he had shown in front of the two girls had disappeared and Jiaming approached the youth in front of him with a relaxed look and a hint of a wicked smirk on his face.

“Previously… Did you have fun beating me?”

“I… I…”

“Relax, I won’t beat you and I won’t kill you. I will only… teach you what it means to truly suffer and give up all hope — the true feeling of despair.”

Cao Dongfeng did not get a chance to fully comprehend that sentence before Jiaming hit him on the back of his head with the handle of the dagger, knocking him out. He then lifted the fainted boy up and disappeared into the darkness of the forest.

Outside of the woods, Cao Jinghao and his people blankly stared at Cao Dongfeng’s body suddenly falling limp to the ground, then Jiaming carrying him and disappearing with him.

“Follow him!”

Holding machetes and iron rods, the crowd of people swarmed into the woods, while the old Japanese man sped towards where Tsukichi Kaoru had disappeared to.

With the sun setting behind the mountains in the west, the last ray of sunlight gradually disappeared from the horizon. At dusk, the woods was like a savage monster, swallowing everyone that entered it… 


2 / 4  chapters of the week (next release is Wednesday, March 7).

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