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Hello all our lovelies... It’s been so long but we’re back now. And now we finally know who was murdered in that last chapter. Enjoy the chapter guys!

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Chapter 17: A Scheme to Seize Someone’s Life (Part I) i𝑛𝗻rℯ𝒂𝒅. 𝓬o𝘮

Outside the pear blossom garden, Lian Qiao was holding a large paper bag in her hands and speaking to Jiang Ruan rather happily, "Today, Xiao Yuan gave me some flaky lily pastries[1] that were bought outside. She said that the taste is extremely delicious. After we return to the house, you should taste a few pieces."

[1] Baihe su ( 百合酥 ) – lily pastries

Lily and Lotus flaky pastries

Jiang Ruan nodded, before gazing at the sky. Dark clouds shrouded almost half of the moon. The light outside was slightly hazy. There were only a few dismal, faintly-lit red lanterns on the road. The appearance of these festive colors in the midst of such a cold and cheerless atmosphere instead painted a contrasting image and thus, added a touch of strangeness to the night.

Lian Qiao’s gaze followed Jiang Ruan’s line of sight. She thought for a moment and then spoke, "The night sky is darkening rather quickly, and it’s starting to get cold out here. Miss, you should be careful so that you don’t catch a cold."

"A murder taking place during a moonless night as the wind howls," Jiang Ruan suddenly chuckled, "It is indeed a beautiful scene."

These words were spoken in such an odd manner that Lian Qiao could not make head or tail of them. Suddenly out of the darkness, a person hurried towards them. She was able to clearly recognize the person only when they came near. It was Chen Zhao.

Chen Zhao also noticed the duo. He halted his steps immediately. Jiang Ruan dipped her head slightly to acknowledge his presence.

Chen Zhao greeted, "Miss[2]."

[2] Xiao Jie ( 小姐 ) – young lady; miss

Feeling slightly nervous, Lian Qiao stood in front of Jiang Ruan. For them to meet such a person in the pitch-dark night, could only lead to some sort of mishap.

Jiang Ruan’s gaze trailed across Chen Zhao’s tense expression and slid to his exposed neck. The streaks of bright red scars on his neck were particularly eye-catching. Chen Zhao seemed completely oblivious to them himself. Jiang Ruan’s lips curved. She did not speak and just looked at him with a meaningful stare.

Under the dusky moonlight, the fire from the lanterns casted shadows over Jiang Ruan’s features, making her appear ethereal, as if she were an enchanting supernatural being amidst the flowers that bloomed under the moon. She had a noticeably innocent face, and yet, she seemed like a demon that had lived for a very, very long time, observing the struggles of the living in the world of mortals. Her charming eyes, which seemed to be smiling when she was not, were locked on Chen Zhao. With that pair of eyes pinned on him, she whisked his soul away. However, looking into her eyes again made him shake in fearful dread, as if he was gazing into a deep abyss. These conflicting emotions between infatuation and terror wavered in his eyes. Finally, her conflicting expressions resulted in a light smile at the corner of Jiang Ruan’s red lips.

Chen Zhao gritted his teeth. His gaze was suddenly lit with a small flame, as he recalled how he had attracted a person as troublesome as Chun Ying because of Jiang Ruan. If it were not for her, he would not have needed to kill someone. But now, he had killed but yet, Jiang Ruan was still perfectly innocent. Mulling over the situation filled him with resentment. How could he suffer from a double loss, after trying to deceive her?

After examining Chen Zhao’s eyes, which seemed like a hungry wolf, Jiang Ruan eyed Lian Qiao and spoke flippantly, "With such a heavy atmosphere, let us leave and not draw any filth to us."

Chen Zhao froze, as though a bucket of icy water had been poured over his head. Immediately, the fervent passion in his heart was driven away completely. He only felt gusts of chilly wind as the image of Chun Ying’s widened eyes, just before her death, flashed before him. Chen Zhao shivered uncontrollably. By the time his thoughts veered back to the present, Jiang Ruan and Lian Qiao had already walked away. He balled his hands into fists and continued on his way angrily.

Translated by : togekiss

Edited by : Anks & Ely

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