"Zhu'er run! RUN!!!"
Those were the last words she heard before she sprinted away and into the surrounding forest, her heart heavy with guilt as she escaped with tears falling from her eyes.
Cong Zhu Xia felt as though her heart was breaking into a million pieces. The moment she ran away from the ambush, she not only left all the faithful and loyal guards her father assigned to her, but she also left someone who is so dear and important to her heart.
Ning Jun Qiao.
The man who practically grew up with her and looked after her ever since she was still a child. He was both her father, Cong Zhi Qiang and uncle, Cong Tai Li's student. He was someone who always treated her well and doted on her and she could do nothing but leave him and follow his instruction when he shouted at her to run.
She knew that once she left, she would never be able to see any of them again. There were two most likely scenarios that she can already predict. Either they die and sacrifice their lives for her to escape or for their attackers to focus their attentions on her instead and manage to catch up to her and she dies thus giving Ning Jun Qiao and the others a chance at survival. From what she can sense with the level of cultivation she currently has, the most likely outcome and the one she actually hopes for is the latter.
Her usually elegant and vibrant appearance now looked disheveled and frantic as she weaved through the trees, trying to escape the ones who broke off from the fight she left to go ahead and pursue her.
Thump... Thump... Thump...
The pounding sound of her heartbeat sounded loudly in her ears. She could barely hear the sound of the pursuers' footfalls and only the sound of her blood pumping through her veins and her breathless pants echoed as she ran.
Seeing the trees thinning out, she wanted to change courses but then she realized that all her attempts were being countered by the ones hunting her.
Panic slowly threatened to consume Cong Zhu Xia as the knowledge sank in that for the very first time and possibly also the last, she has become a cornered prey.
Coming to a stop just beyond the tree line, her heart sank as she saw the edge of a cliff and heard the sound of a raging river below it, effectively eliminating any possibility of escape and sealing her fate.
Closing her eyes, she slowly wiped her tears before turning around with her back to the cliff and facing her would-be killers.
As dignified and composed that one could be in her circumstances, she slightly tilted her chin up defiantly as she stared coldly at the men who surrounded her.
A man in deep green robes with gold embroidery mockingly gazed at her and drawled out, "Ahh, so even in the face of death, the princess of the Cong Family still stands unwaveringly tall. Truly a shame that a flower like you has to wilt at the end."
Ignoring his words, she just stared at him with eyes full of disgust and contempt, keeping quiet, unnerving the man who spoke as she continued to gaze at them with cold and hatred-filled eyes.
"Keeping silent little girl? Are you not going to beg this lord for your life?" he asked with a voice filled with disdain.
Acting as if no one spoke, she remained still, her white robes with scarlet red embroidery of numerous flowers billowed in the wind, making it seem as though the flowers were blooming and her long raven black hair was blown gently around her, framing her beautiful face prettily.
The sight was hauntingly beautiful, with her small, delicate body framed against the dark night sky contrasting with it, making her look like a deity illuminating the night. Her beautiful countenance, hidden behind a delicate silk veil that matched her robes, leaving only her enchantingly uniquely colored ice blue eyes to be seen as it pierced through them as she gazed contemptously at them.
There was something about her gaze that made him feel a sliver of nervousness about what they were about to do.
That little inkling of fear made him immediately erupt in anger!
Who was this girl in front of him? Just a young sixteen year old girl who has barely seen the world and weaker than him by leaps and bounds that his pride couldn't help but be insulted at the feeling of being intimidated.
"How dare you act so high and mighty in front of this lord, Dong En Lai?! Even you're clan had to beg for mercy before this lord ended their lives and yet you act so arrogant in front of this lord? You must have swallowed leopard guts to give act so foolish!"
Hearing his words, Cong Zhu Xia froze and her cold unfeeling eyes seemed to have another layer of frost in them as a flash of killing intent flitted past as she spoke in a chilling voice, "What did you just say?"
With a smirk, Dong En Lai replied impetously, "This lord said that it would be wise for you to beg and maybe this lord would be lenient and actually grant you mercy! After all, it would be a shame to kill the last surviving member of the Cong Family Clan."
Laughing arrogantly, Dong En Lai gave Cong Zhu Xia an appraising look and was surprised to see her ice blue eyes slowly curve upwards indicating that she was smiling behind her veil.
"Hmm, is that so? Then I'll have to remember this grace and your words in the afterlife! Please, I sincerely do hope that you will also appreciate this gift that I shall share with you!" Cong Zhu Xia announced softly, her voice filled with a mocking aloofness that made all of them shudder before she quickly reached into her sleeve and suddenly threw something to the ground in front which immediately exploded and a red smoke-like mist erupted from it like a deadly blooming bloody peonies as it travelled towards them and seeped into their bodies through the air they breath and contact with their skin.
"W-What the... What did you do?!" Dong En Lai growled out loudly as he coughed. Everything happened so fast that it didn't give them a chance to evade and no matter what they did, they weren't able to wave off and disperse the blood-red mist.
With a slight, tinkling laugh, Cong Zhu Xia happily smiled looking like an innocent, fragile sixteen year old girl yet her eyes gleamed with hatred and a cold satisfaction before she replied gently, "This was just the last gift on behalf of the Cong Family, The Immortal's Decline!"
Upon hearing her say 'The Immortal's Decline' all of them felt as if a cold bucket of water was thrown over them and fear gripped their hearts while Dang En Lai flew into a rage!
With another laugh, Zhu Xia mockingly spoe as if she was telling a hilarious joke, "This young miss sincerely wishes you luck on finding a cure!"
And before anyone could react further, Cong Zhu Xia took a step back and spread her arms from side to side as she stepped into thin air and fell down the cliff, her dainty figure disappearing into the dangerous rapids below.