It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 29 Interdependence
When the boulder fell to the ground, it made a loud thump sound, and Tang Shishi’s heart sank with it.
No matter how slow-witted Tang Shishi was, this was time to respond. The bloodstains were fake. It was true that the assassin wanted to lead Zhao Chengjun into the cave. Even Shizi’s falling off the cliff was probably a fake one. Now Zhao Zixun was just a little Shizi who has nothing at all without Jing Wang. He would not join hands with the assassins to conspire against Zhao Chengjun. Most likely, it was the assassins who used tricks to fake the traces of Zhao Zixun’s falling off the cliff and led Zhao Chengjun into the trap they have prepared for a long time.
However, Zhao Chengjun’s concern led to this chaos, and fell into their trap. Zhao Chengjun could have avoided it just now, but he did not understand why these people were attacking Tang Shishi. The outcome of Zhao Chengjun helping Tang Shishi has caused them to be imprisoned in the cave together.
Tang Shishi was very confused. Why Zhao Chengjun did not leave in the first place? She was not related to Zhao Chengjun. What did her life and death get to do with Zhao Chengjun? It was even better if Tang Shishi was dead. She was the spy sent by Empress Dowager Yao. Taking this opportunity to let her die in the assassination would be justifiable. Was this not killing two birds with one stone?
Tang Shishi could not comprehend. At the same time, the assassins who were hiding in the cave also appeared one after another right after the boulder fell and attacked Zhao Chengjun altogether. There was no light in the cave, and everything was barely visible. Tang Shishi only knew that enemies were coming from all directions, and the only person she could rely on was the person who was holding her wrist to block all attacks for her.
Tang Shishi’s ears were full of the sound of weapons clashing. She could not tell the direction for a moment. Gradually, the sound of weapons clashing became less and less, and the gasping in the cave became heavier and heavier. Suddenly, a sword came close to attack her and was blocked by Zhao Chengjun’s backhand. Zhao Chengjun held his sword with one hand, and pushed Tang Shishi away with the other hand, “If you want to live, go quickly.”
Tang Shishi staggered two steps, holding the boulder beside her so that she would not fall to the ground. She felt the place on her wrist where Zhao Chengjun had just held was sticky and there was a faint smell of rust. Tang Shishi did not dare to touch it again after only one touch. Her heart was squeezed, and she leaned stiffly against the boulder. She did not know what to do.
Now Zhao Chengjun was fighting with the assassins, no one was chasing her, and this was the best chance to escape. But… if she leaves, what could Zhao Chengjun do?
He was already injured.
Tang Shishi standstill by the boulder for a long time, until the battle sound ceased down, and came a muffled sound of heavy objects falling to the ground. Tang Shishi asked in a trembled voice, “Wangye?”
There was no sound in the darkness for a long time, and Tang Shishi’s heart sank suddenly. Just when she thought it was the assassins who had won, a familiar voice called out, “Why are you still here?”
His voice was a little hoarse, he was no longer calm and composed like usual as if enduring something. Tang Shishi undoubtedly heaved a long sigh of relief when she heard Zhao Chengjun’s voice. It was the voice of Jing Wang, that was to say, it was the assassins who died.
They were safe for the time being.
Tang Shishi with difficulty found his position based on his voice and stumbled to Zhao Chengjun’s side. She was shocked as soon as she touched Zhao Chengjun’s arm, “Wangye, how can there be so much blood?”
Zhao Chengjun supported the ground with his sword and slowly stood up, “Someone else’s.”
Someone else’s? Tang Shishi did not believe it. However, now was not the time to talk about this, she swiftly helped Zhao Chengjun to stand up and asked anxiously, “Wangye, what shall we do next?”
The guards of the Jing Wang mansion were outside, but the entrance was blocked by the boulder. Zhao Chengjun touched the boulder with his sword, and shook his head, “Unless we could find a ladder, we won’t be able to pry it open for a while. Let’s change the way. We can’t stay here. There may be other assassins inside.”
Tang Shishi responded with a nod promptly. She looked at the bloodstains on Zhao Chengjun’s body and hesitated a little, “But Wangye, the wound on your body…”
“Doesn’t matter.” Zhao Chengjun cut a strip of cloth from his clothes and used pressure to wrap his wound to stop the blood flow, “It’s better to take a chance than waiting to die in this place. I hear the sound of the water. Follow the sound of the water. There must be a way out. “
Tang Shishi looked at Zhao Chengjun’s injury and knew that she could not persuade him. She could only reply in a low voice, “Yes.”
Tang Shishi helped Zhao Chengjun go deeper into the cave. Zhao Chengjun was right. After a while, the sound of water became more and more obvious, and the fishy smell in the cave became more distinct. Tang Shishi tried to outline the terrain in her mind. When she was about to speak, Zhao Chengjun suddenly stopped.
Tang Shishi was taken aback by the sudden stop and forgot what she wanted to ask initially. Zhao Chengjun raised her finger and signal her to be quiet.
Tang Shishi held her breath and did not dare to make a sound at all. In the silence, there was no disguise for the sound in the cave. Gradually, Tang Shishi also heard a series of footsteps.
There seemed to be two people just listening to their voices. The two people seemed to be looking for something and then they went away. Tang Shishi looked at Zhao Chengjun nervously, “Who is it?”
Zhao Chengjun kept his face calm, he also wanted to know who these two people were.
It may be the rescuer from the Jing Wang mansion, or it may be the assassins.
Zhao Chengjun gradually put his hand on the handle of his sword. Tang Shishi knew it was bad when she could feel something sticky and warm in her palm. Zhao Chengjun’s wound broke again.
Tang Shishi was deeply worried about him but hard for her to express it out. He could not go on like this. Zhao Chengjun’s wound has not been treated and it would be even more dangerous if he did not treat it soon. If he confronts the assassins again, he will inevitably endanger his life. In the plot of the original book, Tang Shishi did not follow him to hunt, and Zhao Chengjun was not trapped in the cave. Therefore, today’s conundrum was entirely due to Tang Shishi.
Tang Shishi did not dare to gamble. If Zhao Chengjun had an unforeseen accident in this mishap, Zhao Zixun would have been just an ordinary prince’s son. Without Zhao Chengjun in front of him, Zhao Zixun would have been dismissed in a few years. At that time, it would be a problem whether Tang Shishi could save her life or not, let alone become Empress Dowager. Hence, Zhao Chengjun could not die and at the same time, Tang Shishi was not willing to die.
Tang Shishi boldly pressed Zhao Chengjun’s hand and stopped him from drawing his sword. Zhao Chengjun did not seem to expect Tang Shishi to be so bold. His eyes narrowed slightly and starring at Tang Shishi doubtfully.
Tang Shishi came closer to Zhao Chengjun’s side and said in an angry voice, “Wangye, win by wisdom and lose by force attack. Now that the enemy is unknown, we should not expose ourselves prematurely.”
Zhao Chengjun’s eyes were dark, and he asked, “What do you want to do?”
Tang Shishi looked straight into Zhao Chengjun’s eyes boldly, “I have a plan.”
The two men in black were carefully inspecting the cave when they suddenly heard footsteps coming from the front of them. They immediately became vigilant and quietly walked towards the sound.
They hid behind the boulder and saw a woman stumbling around. She described her difficult situation and kept asking around, “Is anyone there? Come and save people. “
The two men in black looked at each other calmly. One of them pulled on his mask and stood up from behind the boulder, “Miss Tang, I am a secret guard of the Jing Wang mansion, and was ordered to protect Wangye. Why are you here?”
When Tang Shishi saw them, her eyes burst out with evident joy, “Are you from the prince’s mansion? That’s great. Come with me. Wangye is seriously injured and in a coma. “
Tang Shishi ran towards the back as she was talking and exposed her back to the two men in black, completely did not guard against them. Tang Shishi took two steps, did not hear the footsteps behind, and turned her head dissatisfiedly and reprimanded, “Why are you in a daze, not coming quickly.”
When she said these words, her tone was proud as she should be. At first glance, she looked like pampered inner womenfolk who was accustomed to giving orders to others. The man in black and his companion looked at each other, and followed along, “We’re coming.”
Tang Shishi led the way in front of them. She was stumbling around and ran into a fork road. The man in black frowned and asked, “Isn’t Jing Wang hurt? Where is he?”
Tang Shishi said, “Wangye is injured. Of course, he has to choose a safe place to rest. Oh…”
Tang Shishi suddenly fell while she was talking to them as if she sprained her feet. Her voice was sharp and abrupt started the echo in the cave and masking other sounds. Two arrows were concealed in the echo and shot swiftly towards the back of the men in black.
The arrow was smeared with poison, and one of them was killed on the spot, while the other escaped in time and missed the shot. This person noticed the ambush and immediately advanced to catch Tang Shishi. Tang Shishi’s fingers were holding a hidden arrow in her sleeves and suddenly use the hidden arrow to stab at that man. It was inevitable to avoid at such a close distance. The man in black was stabbed by an arrow in his arm, and his eyes widened in surprise. He did not expect that a weak woman like a sheep in his mind would actually scheme against him.
The man in black was dumbfounded, and a sword flashed behind his back. Zhao Chengjun solved the man in black and asked, “How are you?”
Tang Shishi fell to the ground, and gradually recovered, “I’m good.”
Zhao Chengjun made a cut on the throat of the two people to determine that they could not die anymore and then squatted down to search for the things on them. After calming down, Tang Shishi did not dare to be alone or close to the dead. She asked nervously, “Wangye, do they have anything on them?”
“No.” Zhao Chengjun stood up, “They are here to assassinate. They won’t have any obvious marks on their bodies. But it doesn’t matter, let’s go.”
Zhao Chengjun knew who these people were, and he checked their clothes, only to confirm it again.
The two of them continued to walk forward. The cave was just like catching turtles in an urn and they must not stay there any longer. Tang Shishi was alert all the way, for fear that there would be another assassination. Fortunately, the rest of the way was smooth. The air began to flow in, and they finally got out.
Tang Shishi was originally worried that there would be guards at the entrance, but fortunately, there were none. Tang Shishi was surprised for a moment and soon understood.
Just now, those two people were guarding the cave entrance. Fortunately, they were killed by Zhao Chengjun ahead of time. Otherwise, if there was no cover at the moment, Zhao Chengjun would be in danger.
It was already raining outside, and the raindrops fell through the leaves and onto the ground, leaving unique moisture in the air. When Tang Shishi stepped on the fallen leaves and looked up, she saw the trees were full of shadows and three inches of fallen leaves under her feet. She simply could not see where she came from.
Rainwater flowed down from Tang Shishi’s hair, Tang Shishi hurriedly wiped off the water from her chin, and asked blankly, “Where is this?”
Zhao Chengjun did not know either. He pressed the wound with one hand, his face was pale, his lips were bloodless, and he said, “Go into the woods.”
“Yes.” Tang Shishi took two steps and found that Zhao Chengjun did not follow him. She ran back to help him. As soon as her hand touched Zhao Chengjun, she was shocked.
Zhao Chengjun’s fingers were cold, and there were bloodstains all over his body. Tang Shishi was frightened, and hurriedly asked, “Wangye, how are you? Why is the wound still bleeding?”
Zhao Chengjun calmly pushed away Tang Shishi’s hand, his voice was calm, “I’m fine, you go first, and find someone from the prince’s mansion.”
After a while, Tang Shishi’s hands were covered with thick blood. Tang Shishi had never seen so much blood before. Her fingers were shaking. She asked in a hurry, “Is the wound broken? I remember the imperial physician said that there is a kind of grass on the grassland that can stop bleeding. Wangye, you continue to hold on to it, I’ll go to find the medicine.”
“Not yet leaving?” Zhao Chengjun said in a cold voice, “Didn’t you hear what I said? You can’t do anything, staying here can only drag me down.”
Zhao Chengjun’s voice was cold and fierce, but Tang Shishi was not afraid of him this time. She pressed the blood hard, “If want leave, we will leave together. You can’t die here, neither you nor I can.”
Night rain was dripping from among the leaves and wetting the clothes of two of them. Tang Shishi’s face was stained with dust and blood, and her hair was messy on her body, which was absolutely not good-looking. However, this was the first time that Zhao Chengjun looked at Tang Shishi so earnestly.
He originally thought that, with Tang Shishi’s character of being greedy for life and fearing death, she would run away as soon as she found the opportunity. He did not expect that Tang Shishi would stay by his side persistently and even use herself as bait to assassinate the two men in black.
Why bother? Her goal was only Zhao Zixun. If he died, Zhao Zixun could inherit the throne. Was not it better for Tang Shishi?
The grounds were uneven and made their walk were uneven with dead leaves at their feet and cold rain beside them. Everything looked so forlorn as if that they would not find a way out at all.
In the silence, Zhao Chengjun suddenly asked, “Why?”
Zhao Chengjun’s question was so sudden, almost overshadowed by the sound of rain. Tang Shishi was quiet for a while, and said softly, “Because you are Jing Wang.”