"Xing come." Mingxia pulled Xing as they traveled into the woods.
"Mingxia. Wait. I can't-run..That fast." Xing panted as she ran.
"You need to get to safety first." Mingxia whispered back.
Behind them Mingxia's sharp ears are able to hear the soft but quick footsteps after them.
'Tsk.' She thought.
She grasped Xing's hand again and pulled her close as increased her speed. With Mingxia's help Xing was able to run faster than she was supposed to and the distance betwen them and the assassin grew larger. When they arrived at a small cave Mingxia had Xing stay in the cave.
"Xing stay here. I'll be back." Mingxia patted Xing's hand and Xing nodded.
Xing understands that in a time like this she has to be strong and must not drag Mingxia down. She watched as Mingxia's back slowly disappear and took out her dagger. She huddled in the corner and pressed her lips against the cold jewel on the dagger as fear began to creep in. Xing began to shake as she thought of the numerous possibilities of what may be in these forests.
Beasts? Theives? Bandits? She shuddered at the thought.
She does not know how long has it been but she stayed in that silently in the corner. Each snap of a twig, each brush of the leaves caused for numerous waves of fear to ripple through her.
'I mustn't make a sound.' She bit her lips and only grasped the dagger in her hands tighter.
'Mingxia where are you? Mother. Father. Uncle, Aunt.' An alarming sound of footstpes cut her thoughts off.
She set her bags down and got into a ready position to move. The footstep sound grew louder and she knew that someone is coming. She had her dagger ready when suddenly the footstep sounds stopped and the metal clanking of swords clashing caught her attention.
She took a daring move of stepping out of the cave and went up a little closer towards that sound.
"Hu-" And she heard the sound of something dropping. She looked over and saw a tall man holding a silver blade with someone lying on the forest floor.
'He must be dead and that man he must be the killer.' She bent down and hid behind a tree.
She lifted the hilt of the dagger to reveal half of the blade. 'He's coming.' The footsteps began again and Xing heard it come closer. Her fear elevated her hearing ability and each step caused for her heartbeat to become louder. A sweat dripped down her cheek and her breathing deepened.
As the man came closer she could only hope that the man does not see her. However unluckily the man only came closer to her and Xing held in her breath but her heartbeats only quickened. She pulled up the dagger up a little more as she prepared for the worst outcome, which she hoped would not happen.
The man jerked his head over towards his right. He slowly walked towards a tree with his hand rested on top of the hilt of his sword. When he was less than a foot away he is sure that there is someone behind this tree and he grasped his sword ready to attack.
Suddenly Xing jumped out from behind the tree and charged at him with her dagger. With one swift swoop the man unsheathed his sword and the dagger is sent flying across and landed behind him on the forest floor.
It was like time slowed down.
The moonlight crawled up both of them and revealed the faced of the two individuals. Xing's fear changed to shock as the blue light rose up the man's face to reveal a very handsome young man. His black hair fluttered as a soft breeze blew across and on his face he seemed to also be in shock. Upon recognizing that it was Yanjing Xing's fears fell apart and her body suddenly became very light as she toppled over and fell into Yanjing's chest. Yanjing caught Xing and his hand hesitated before he wrapped his arm around her. Xing felt as though a heavy load has been lifted off of her as she stood in his arms.
It took her some time before she realized what happened and pushed Yanjing away.
"What-what, why are you here?" Xing's face flushed red.
"Why do you think I'm here?" He retorted.
"I-I-I don't know." She stammered.
"To save you of course!" Yanjing raised his voice a little as he ran his hand through his hair.
Yanjing's words brought back a wave of memories in Xing's mind. She was touched by his words but it also brought her back to a certain place and time in her memories. A time where she was not a maid, when she was still at her uncle and aunt's house.
He turned around with his back facing Xing as he surveyed their surroundings for anyone else. When he made sure there was no one he said. "Xing we need to get back now."
"Yes Mister Deng." Xing replied coldly.
"Huh?" The sudden coldness and formality befuddled Yanjing.
"What did you just call me?" He asked and when he turned around he saw that Xing was looking at him very coldly and sad.
"Mister Deng. I called you by your real name and title." Xing answered in the same tone.
"What happened?" Yanjing asked with care in his tone. "Why are you being like this?"
Xing only answered simply. "It doesn't matter why, as a servant, I am supposed to call you by that title." She placed emphasis on the word servant.
Yanjing looked at the girl again. "I just don't understand. We used to get along just fine when we were kids but why are you suddenly acting like this? Why are you here as a servant instead of being a village chief's niece?"
Xing grew quiet and did not respond immediately.
She began slowly. "There is no why. This is what is supposed to happen, we were never supposed to even interact. A servant and you are the son of a general. You are meant to inherit your father's seat and be victorious in battles while I am meant to work as a maid."
Xing looked up at Yanjing and looked at him with a sad smile. Although it has only been a short time apart he had grown up to become a handsome man. Very soon he would be asked to pick a bride and with all the beautiful ladies with the power to support him, he would soon forget about her.
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