Rebirth of a Star General Chapter 139

Chapter 139: Liu Buwang

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The boat floated on the water, and fireflies gradually disappeared into the deep forest.

The young girl leaned on the young man’s shoulder and fell asleep without realizing it. The boatman stood up at the front of the boat and was about to speak, but Xiao Jue shook his head imperceptibly, and the boatman, understanding, did not wake her up or paddle. They let the boat drift.

Xiao Jue just sat there, gazing at the water. The water was calm, occasionally rippled by the wind, creating layers of ripples. He turned his head to look at the girl who was sleeping soundly on his shoulder. She didn’t seem to care about her appearance like most girls. There appeared to be a glistening wet trace at the corner of her lips, and she even drooled a little.

He turned his head away with some disgust, then looked at the water in the distance. After a while, he lowered his head and gave a helpless smile.

In the end, he didn’t push her away.

He Yan had a rare good night’s sleep and had even had a pleasant dream, but she had forgotten the details upon waking.

When she opened her eyes, she found herself lying on a soft mat on the boat, covered with a thin blanket. She sat up, saw Xiao Jue sitting at the front of the boat, and called out, “Young Master!”

He turned around to look at He Yan and said, “Freshen up, it’s time to go back.”

He Yan was momentarily surprised, only then realizing they had spent the entire night at the Firefly Spring. The other firefly boats had already dispersed, leaving only theirs. He Yan yawned, used the boat’s clear water to freshen up, and tied her hair into a man’s style since Cui Jiao and Hong Qiao weren’t around.

She stepped off the boat, just as the boatman was talking to Xiao Jue. “Young Master, go straight to the edge of the spring, walk a few dozen steps forward, and you’ll find an inn. Next to the inn, you can hire a carriage to return. They don’t allow firefly boats on the canal during the daytime.”

Xiao Jue paid the boatman and walked ashore, telling He Yan, “Let’s go.”

He Yan thanked the boatman and hurriedly got off the boat.

It was early in the morning, and dewdrops glistened on the wide leaves of the grass and trees, giving off a cool morning air. He Yan yawned again and asked Xiao Jue, “Commander, did I fall asleep last night? Why didn’t you wake me up? We’ve been here all night.”

Xiao Jue sneered, “I don’t know who snored so loudly last night; it was impossible to wake up.”

“No way?” He Yan was quite skeptical. “You’re not trying to fool me, are you?”

“I’m not you.”

As they continued to talk, they didn’t go far before they saw the inn the boatman mentioned. Next to the inn, there was a noodle shop where the owner was cooking noodles in a large iron pot, and the aroma wafted through the air.

He Yan hadn’t eaten in the morning, and she was feeling hungry. She said, “Let’s eat something before taking the carriage.” Without waiting for Xiao Jue’s response, she waved to the owner and ordered, “Two bowls of noodles and a steamer of buns.”

She had a good appetite, and she and Xiao Jue sat down at a table outside the straw shed. The freshly baked buns were steaming hot and a bit too hot to handle. He Yan held one in her hand and blew on it to cool it down.

Xiao Jue wasn’t as impatient as her, and when the noodles arrived, he ate slowly, watching He Yan enjoying her meal, with oil stains all over her face. He found it rather amusing.

“Don’t look at me and laugh,” He Yan said, “as if I’m embarrassing myself.”

He replied calmly, “You were embarrassing from the start. Look around. Among those eating here, how many are as ugly as you?”

He Yan looked around discreetly. At this early hour, the people eating here were mostly travelers on the road or those taking a break during their journey.

Sitting beside her was an elderly woman with gray hair, her face radiating kindness. The young girl beside her was about eleven or twelve years old, dressed in a dirty cloak, with half of her face buried inside. She silently ate her food.

Both of them were dressed very modestly, probably travelers who hadn’t had a chance to freshen up yet. When they noticed He Yan’s gaze, the elderly woman hesitated for a moment, then smiled and asked, “Young lady?”

“It’s nothing,” He Yan smiled.

Xiao Jue raised an eyebrow and remarked, “Even a little girl eats more gracefully than you.”

This was actually true; the young girl, despite her dirty appearance, ate with a surprisingly elegant and poised manner. He Yan reflected on her own past experiences, even when she acted as He Rufei or as Madam Xu, she couldn’t have done better than this girl. No wonder Xiao Jue mocked her. However, the people in Jiyang seemed to be full of surprises. Seeing the elderly woman, He Yan no longer felt that something was amiss.

She turned to the elderly woman and smiled, “Granny, is this your granddaughter? She’s really beautiful.”

“Yes,” the elderly woman was initially surprised, then smiled.

He Yan looked at the young girl, who showed no reaction to her. She just kept her head down, eating. The elderly woman explained, “Nini is shy, please don’t mind, young lady.”

He Yan smiled and said, “Of course, I don’t mind. She’s just too cute. Are you heading into the city?”

“No,” the elderly woman said, “there is a funeral at home, and I’m taking Nini back to attend the funeral.”

He Yan nodded and offered her condolences before turning back to her meal. As she ate, she had an unsettling feeling that something was off, even though she couldn’t quite place it. But she felt like she had overlooked something.

Looking at Xiao Jue, he had also put down his chopsticks and was looking at the elderly woman and her granddaughter with a pensive expression.

He Yan leaned closer to him and whispered, “Commander, I have a strange feeling about this.”

Xiao Jue glanced at her, then suddenly got up and walked over to the elderly woman and her granddaughter.

He Yan’s previous questions had made the elderly woman uneasy. After hurriedly finishing their meal, she tried to leave with her granddaughter. However, as soon as they stood up, someone blocked their way.

A handsome young man stood in front of them, his posture elegant and his expression calm. He looked at the young girl beneath her cloak and said indifferently, “Speak, little one.”

The elderly woman held the young girl close to her and asked, “What do you want, sir?”

“I really don’t know when the kidnappers in Jiyang became so bold,” Xiao Jue raised an eyebrow. “Abducting someone in broad daylight.”

“Kidnappers?” He Yan was taken aback.

“Yes, she always felt that something was wrong, probably because there seemed to be a complete barrier between this young girl and the old woman. There was no resemblance between the two, as you’d expect between a grandmother and her granddaughter. From the beginning to the end, when the girl was eating, the old woman didn’t ask a single question. If they were a normal grandmother and granddaughter, the grandmother would typically ask about things like whether the food was too hot or if it was to the granddaughter’s liking. Even if a girl were cold and aloof, a family elder would show some patience and understanding, rather than an attitude of indifference as if she were on her own.

She appeared loving, but her actions were anything but loving. She didn’t seem like a grandmother but rather like someone trying to hide something from others. 

“What…what are you talking about?” The old woman stared at Xiao Jue and said, “This is my granddaughter! Don’t make baseless accusations!” 

“Whether she’s your granddaughter or not, we’ll find out with a simple question,” Xiao Jue said. “Speak, young one.” 

The young girl remained motionless. 


The old woman was about to take the young girl away, but in the next moment, He Yan’s whip moved swiftly and coiled around the opponent’s cloak. In an instant, the cloak was pulled down to the ground, revealing half of the girl’s face that had been hidden. 

He Yan tested the weight of the purple jade whip in her hand. It was the one Xiao Jue had “won” for her earlier. Fortunately, she had kept it with her. It proved to be quite useful. 

The girl beneath the cloak had a clean and delicate appearance with tears in her eyes. Her mouth moved silently, as if she had been silenced through her acupoints. 

“You don’t seem to treat your granddaughter very well,” Xiao Jue said with a faint cold smile. 

Seeing the situation deteriorating, the old woman shouted, “Mind your own business!” She emitted a sharp, shrill whistle from her mouth, and suddenly, several figures emerged from the people at the inn: those feeding horses, having breakfast, washing their faces, and resting. They drew their swords and attacked He Yan and Xiao Jue! 

“We’ve got assassins!” He Yan exclaimed. She was amazed, for with so many people involved, they couldn’t just be common kidnappers. Kidnappers, if discovered, would act discreetly. If caught, their first reaction would be to escape. This old woman not only didn’t run away but also had so many accomplices. Perhaps… she looked at the girl who had been silenced or possibly drugged….Who was this girl, and why did they need such a show of force? 

When Xiao Jue arrived, he didn’t have his sword with him. Seeing that the group was closing in, he used a teacup from the table as an improvised weapon, knocking away the swords aimed at his face. 

He Yan threw her whip to him, saying, “Use this!” She picked up an iron rod from the ground. 

The innkeeper madam had already cowered under the table, terrified. For a moment, there was a cacophony of noises. He Yan realized that this group of people was definitely not your average kidnappers. Otherwise, how could they have such good skills and such a merciless approach? They were clearly aiming to kill. The young girl remained in her spot, while the old woman, seeing that He Yan and Xiao Jue were being engaged by others, had a sudden idea. She grabbed the girl, vaulted onto a horse at the inn’s entrance, and swiftly wielded the reins. Her agility was unexpected for someone of her age. She cracked the whip, and the horse bolted forward. 

“This is bad!” He Yan exclaimed. “She’s trying to escape!” 

She turned to look at Xiao Jue, who was surrounded in the center. He was a skilled young man, and for the moment, everyone seemed to have overlooked He Yan. She said, “Young Master, hold them off, and I’ll go after her!”

The inn had no shortage of horses. He Yan, with her excellent horsemanship, mounted one of the horses and galloped after the elderly woman.

The road leading out of the city was a major road, but the old woman didn’t take the main road. Instead, she chose a rough and narrow path. As He Yan pursued her, she contemplated the situation. The fight just now had been intense, yet the young girl remained completely still. It seemed that she had either been drugged or acupressure points had been manipulated. Even if they intended to delay Xiao Jue with them, it was clear that this young girl was essential to them. 

He Yan was already skilled in horsemanship, and although the old woman knew the way, she couldn’t shake He Yan, who followed closely. Getting impatient, the old woman cursed, “You little brat, don’t seek death!” 

“If you release the girl, I might spare your life,” He Yan said boldly. “But you, don’t offer drinks if you can’t handle the consequences!” 

The old woman let out a grunt, gave a strong pull of the reins, and the horse sped forward. He Yan, upon seeing this, stomped a foot on the horse’s back and also vigorously smacked the horse’s buttocks with her hand. The horse leaped forward, almost matching the old woman’s mount. He Yan, quick to react, used her riding crop to loop around the old woman’s horse’s neck. The two horses were already very close, and the startled horses started kicking their hooves. He Yan took the opportunity to jump off her horse, snatched the girl from the old woman’s hands, and both of them tumbled to the ground together. 

As soon as they settled on the ground, He Yan realized that the girl had indeed been drugged, rendering her unable to make even the slightest movement. That’s why she didn’t respond when He Yan tried to talk to her in the noodle shop earlier. 

He Yan immediately set about unblocking the girl’s acupoints but hadn’t had the chance to ask the girl her name and where she came from when the woman coldly smiled, drawing a soft sword from her waist and saying, “Mind your own business!” She lunged at He Yan. 

He Yan pushed the young girl away and confronted the woman herself. She was unarmed; her iron rod had been lost in the chaos. She had to rely on her agility to dodge the woman’s sword. 

“Who are you people?” He Yan asked as she dodged, secretly astonished by the woman’s skill. “And why did you abduct this girl?” 

The woman smirked and swung her sword at He Yan. “No more questions. You can ask the King of H*ll when you get there!” 

He Yan raised an eyebrow and said, “You think you can send me to Hell with just this? That’s quite an exaggeration.” She suddenly rolled from the ground, skillfully evaded the sword aimed at her head, swiftly repositioned herself, and ended up behind the woman. Then, she delivered a powerful punch to the woman’s back, disarming her and taking the sword from her hand.

“D*mn it!” the woman cursed. 

With the sword now in her hand, although it was no match for Qing Lang, it was still serviceable. There were no others present at this moment. He Yan’s expertise, aside from strategy and tactics, was in swordsmanship. In no time, she forced the woman to retreat step by step, and it was clear that the woman couldn’t continue. 

He Yan said, “If you surrender now, there’s still a chance for you.” 

The woman shouted, “Annoying!” and suddenly pulled a silver hairpin from her bun. This hairpin concealed some mechanism; it elongated three inches immediately, transforming into a dagger. Instead of using the dagger against He Yan, she thrust it accurately towards the young girl on the ground. 

The drugged girl, who couldn’t move, watched in horror as the dagger was about to pierce her chest. He Yan couldn’t retrieve her sword in time to save her. 

A loud thud.

It was just a hair’s breadth away, and the dagger was about to pierce the young girl’s heart when something struck the dagger’s hilt, diverting it off course. The dagger slowly rolled to the ground, losing its deadly force. 

At the same time, He Yan’s longsword pierced through the old woman’s chest. The old woman’s eyes widened in disbelief that someone had managed to deflect her dagger. She coughed up a mouthful of blood and then passed away. 

From deep within the dense forest, a man walked out. He was a slender man in his forties, dressed in all white. His long hair was tied with white silk, giving him the appearance of a swordsman or a musician. His features were striking, and his long beard did not appear untidy; rather, it added a touch of rugged charm. 

He Yan was left speechless upon seeing this man. The man approached, helped the trembling young girl to her feet, and then turned his gaze toward He Yan. 

He Yan muttered, “….Master.” 

There was no look of surprise on his face, but he seemed somewhat surprised as he said, “Ah He?”

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