She stopped in her tracks to look in front of her to find a figure dressed in gray robes, dawning a veil bamboo hat. The cold wind rustled, causing the veil to slightly flutter. The figure was standing at the convergence point that led to a split path that would lead to different places.
If she had kept running, she would have had to choose a path to take anyway.
"If you want to live, go left." The voice said again. This tone was unchanged from the first one, it seemed the person under the veiled bamboo hat, was one of patience.
"Who… who are you?" The woman asked cautiously, making the decision if she should stay, or flee.
"It doesn't matter who I am, I've said what I have to say, whether you believe me or not, it is up to you." The voice rang out again.
She looked towards the center of the path again, perhaps wanting to ask another question, but found that the figure had vanished without a single trace. She hesitantly looked at the two paths that could be taken.
One went straight, while the other led left. She looked at the young boy in her arms with the loving eyes of a mother, holding him close to her. Thinking of the words the mysterious person said, she bit her lips, running towards the left path.
Maybe this was because the person had a very trustworthy voice, maybe it was because the mysterious person didn't attack them, that she decided to follow that advice and take the left path.
Xue'er, who had not yet left, was watching over the woman, holding the child as she ran towards the left path, which was also the path to the largest border city. Her eyes brightened as she saw the woman hug the child and bring him closer to her.
The straight path would have led directly to the miasma on the outskirts of the poisonous forest. If they had continued to run straight, she would have entered the poisonous forest, knowing her desperate situation and died under the miasma.
She couldn't say that she had helped them out of the goodness in her heart, she just didn't want too many people coming in when she was doing her experiments. If she had continued running, there would have been two corpses trapped in the miasma poisonous forest, she would have led the six assassins chasing them into the forest, a total of eight people would have been disturbing her experiments.
But going to the border city was not bad, if she hid well, no one would be able to find her among the tens of thousands of people living there.
Xue'er looked at the sun that was high in the sky, she could barely see any shadows on the ground, which meant that it was midday.
[Great, I've been here an entire day.]
It seems that Xue'er had lost track of time within that forest, where night and day were not distinguished.
She already knew that Gan Tian Chi would not be even slightly worried about her not returning to the cottage for one night, just as she was also not worried if he were to go somewhere without notice.
They both had a pretty good understanding of each other.
He had told her that they will go to the border city tonight and there are still a few hours before night falls, so there should be enough time.
Since the small-scale battle going on had not yet come to an end, she would set out to practice her cooking skills.
Finding a small place in an open space, Xue'er settles down building a fire, she catches a few small birds to practice on.
The first time, the bird entirely burnt to a crisp, there was not even a hint of meat on the bird, the entire thing, along with the stick it was on was entirely burnt to a crisp.
The fire was too intense.
Xue'er couldn't help but lament that she did not have such a hard time perfecting the art of medicine making, but this was really more difficult than making a hen fly.
The second time, it was burnt to a crisp on the outside but was still raw on the inside.
No one can figure out how that had happened, maybe the fire was not intense enough to cook it thoroughly.
The third time, it was edible, although she had seasoned it a little bit bland, it was still able to enter the mouth without falling apart, it could be considered a working progress. The flesh was tender and smooth upon entering the mouth, having a thin layer of oil seep outside the crispy skin.
This could be said to be one of the proudest moments of her life. She made something edible for the first time in her life.
Once she finished eating it, she quickly moved to make the next batch, hoping that there would be more improvements to her wilderness cooking skills.
Starting with a small defeathered bird, that has been prepared according to the way Gan Tian Chi did it last time after it has been roasted by the fire until a thin layer of oil is covering the meat, would be when there is a fragrant scent that would infuse into the air.
This was the point where the flavor wound become pleasing to the mouth.
The smoke from the fire was drifting in the air, so much so that the smoke could easily be seen miles and miles away from the site of the fire.
Xue'er didn't think that there would be a problem, as there were plenty of travelers who cooked over open fires and no one would bother them, animals would not come for the fear of fire. Little did she know, that people would actually come and bother her.
When six figures dressed in black with their faces masked appeared, Xue'er almost facepalmed herself, of course, how could she forget that the mother and son were being chased by a group of assassins. Added on to her starting a fire and cooking, this was as good as a giant arrow saying "I'M HERE!" pointing at her.
But this was no time to regret her actions. Xue'er stayed where she was sitting and continued roasting her food, turning the stick from time to time to roast the meat more evenly, she ignored those people as if they were not standing there.
Those people stood there, they were not intending to go any time soon.
[Are you trying to steal my food?] She internally wondered.