There was only one gun.
But there were two people.
For Zhen Congyun, this was a test of how to choose.
Ling Shu was covered in wounds and could barely move. Even Zhen Congyun felt that he was close to death, especially after telling such a long story that had drained his energy.
On the other hand, Yue Dingtang had been shot in the arm, but at least the bleeding had stopped and his injuries were much lighter than Ling Shu's.
Zhen Congyun couldn't trust either of them.
Compared to Yue Dingtang, who had come and gone, Ling Shu, who had been sitting by her side all along, was more controllable.
She instinctively aimed the gun at Yue Dingtang.
Yue Dingtang seemed to intentionally draw her attention to the stone in his other hand by raising the lantern high.
Zhen Congyun naturally looked at it. At this critical moment, Ling Shu suddenly made a move!
But Zhen Congyun reacted quickly and turned the gun back in half a second.
As the bullet was fired, she was also tackled by Yue Dingtang.
The gun was knocked out of her hand.
In a desperate hurry, Zhen Congyun didn't even have time to check on Ling Shu and quickly rolled over to find the gun.
The gun was one meter away, and she reached out her hand to grab it.
Yue Dingtang saw that he couldn't bend down in time, so he kicked the gun away with his foot, but was fiercely kicked in the waist by Zhen Congyun.
This woman actually had some skills, and her moves were ruthless, aiming to kill with every strike, making up for the inherent weakness of female strength.
Yue Dingtang was injured and his arm was not agile. He was caught off guard by Zhen Congyun, who pulled out a dagger from somewhere and viciously slashed at him.
He narrowly avoided being cut in the abdomen and had to defend himself by retreating several steps.
He was backed up against the wall with nowhere else to go!
In a flash, Zhen Congyun's dagger, carried by a strong wind, stabbed directly at his chest.
Yue Dingtang didn't have time to dodge.
Blood spurted out of the bullet hole.
Zhen Congyun paused, her almond eyes widening.
She clearly remembered that she had already hit him with her first shot...
In a daze, she fell down crookedly, seeming to see Yue Dingtang rushing over to find Ling Shu.
In addition to the severe pain in her back, her body gradually became cold.
Zhen Congyun tried to tighten her grip on the dagger, but she couldn't muster any strength.
She didn't want to die here.
This place, with its icy coldness and lack of warmth even in spring, was something she detested.
Memories of the Zhen family, whom she had once despised and fled from at all costs, now began to surface in her mind.
The exquisite and polished tableware, the sweet and warm afternoon tea, and the endless supply of beautiful clothes.
Every week, when new Western-style dresses or fabrics arrived, the manager of the Xinxin Department Store would personally bring the first batch of goods to the Zhen family for her to choose from.
Only after she had made her selections would the remaining items be put on the shelves for sale.
Every time she saw those middle-class women wearing the clothes she had rejected and strutting around with pride, she couldn't help but sneer at them.
She sneered at their narrow-mindedness, their lack of exposure to the world, and their ignorance of how vast and high the world above them truly was.
Now... she just wanted to go back in time and make a different choice.
In the prime of her youth, she met Ivanov and urged him not to follow the Duke.
She persuaded him to come to the Zhen family, where with her and the Zhen family's abilities, they could help him achieve his dreams.
Zhen Congyun seemed to see another version of herself.
In another world, Ivanov joined forces with the Duke, strengthened his own power, drove away the thieves who stole his family's throne, restored the glory of the Romanov dynasty, and was crowned with loyal followers. And she, as the one who helped Ivanov ascend to the throne, naturally walked alongside him on the red carpet.
A crown encrusted with jewels was placed on her carefully styled hair, and she wore a long palace dress adorned with pearls and gold sequins.
Standing beside Ivanov, she was his worthy companion. Her mind drifted away and her body didn't feel as cold anymore.
Lost in thought, she gazed ahead into the unknown, unsure if she was thinking of people or home.
Finally, her half-opened eyes froze in place.
"How are you?" Yue Dingtang helped Ling Shu up.
The latter had narrowly avoided being shot, managing to dodge at the last moment and falling heavily to the ground. He had to fight for his life to grab the gun.
With two gunshot wounds and a rib injury, he almost lost consciousness on the spot.
Luckily, his military training kept him going, or else he would have been on the brink of death.
"Now, no one else will come, right? Let me rest for a while..." Ling Shu gasped heavily, his voice as light as a breeze.
Yue Dingtang settled him down and brought a water bottle from Zhen Congyun's body.
"Have some water," said Yue Dingtang.
Ling Shu was unable to move, he didn't even have the strength to lift a finger.
Yue Dingtang opened the lid of the water bottle and leaned in towards Ling Shu's mouth, slowly and carefully feeding him.
Ling Shu half-closed his eyes as the water trickled down his mouth, his throat moving up and down as he managed to swallow some of it.
"There's some dry food behind the door, besides the box. You can go in and get it," said Yue Dingtang.
"I'm not hungry, I just need to rest," replied Ling Shu.
Yue Dingtang sat down next to him, their shoulders touching, both drenched in sweat, grateful to have survived.
Outside, it seemed to be raining, the sound of raindrops hitting the grass and trees near the cave entrance, distant yet close.
It was spring rain.
Spring had finally arrived in the north.
Ling Shu closed his eyes, a smile on his lips, as if he was listening to the most precious sound in the world.
"Old Yue," he said.
"Yes?" replied Yue Dingtang. "We're considered close friends now, right?"
"Can I ask you something? Don't lie to me."
"Just now, did you think I wanted to kiss you?"
The only response was an endless silence.
It lasted so long that Ling Shu thought his companion had fallen asleep.
"Hey, are you thinking about how to answer me? Are you laughing at me for being presumptuous, or denying it outright? I saw your face turn red earlier, haha..."
"With it being so dark around us, how did you see my face turn red? Did you pluck your eyes from a bat?" Yue Dingtang replied coldly.
Ling Shu let out a sigh.
"Since you won't admit it, let's forget it. I actually had some sincere words to say..."
Before he could finish his sentence, his voice was swallowed up.
Ling Shu opened his eyes slightly.
No matter how imaginative he was, he couldn't have predicted what his companion would do next.
The secret passage was quiet.
So quiet that the sound of rain outside could be faintly heard.
So quiet that even the slightest movement nearby, sticky and subtle, could be heard clearly.
Ling Shu subconsciously wanted to leave.
This place was not suitable for him to show off his charming and handsome side, using his peach blossom eyes to drown the other person in tenderness.
He was in a mess all over, originally wanting to make a joke with Yue Dingtang and watch him panic and fluster, but he didn't expect to dig a hole for himself.
Their breaths intertwined even more deeply, and Ling Shu could even feel the faint smoke scent wrapped around him from the other person's body.
Dense and pervasive, Yue Dingtang's scent was like a net that shrank into a cocoon, hiding him inside.
Ling Shu was getting a little frustrated. He had wanted to take the initiative, but instead he was countered and now he was in a dilemma, completely at the mercy of others, like a toy being played with at will, with no control over anything, thoroughly studied inside and out.
Then the hunter was satisfied and collected the trap along with the prey inside.
He even asked him, "Who's blushing now?"
He was so angry he couldn't breathe!
For about three seconds, Ling Shu couldn't say anything.
He was so angry.
"What about the second half of your story? I'm quite interested. After you went to the northeast, what did you encounter? Tell me about it," Yue Dingtang said.
He was a person who took advantage of others, with a heart of a beast under the guise of a human, sweet-talking but with a hidden agenda.
Ling Shu had already thought of a thousand and eight hundred derogatory words to throw at the other person in his mind, and in response to his words, he said irritably - "Your grandmother's leg!"