Home Post 1728-chapter-1


Ten minutes ago, a report came in from Changyan Street on the east side of the municipal hall. Upon receiving the news, Song Qingxiao hurriedly arrived. 

That place was at the center of the entire Imperial City, very close to the technological university where the Shi family was located. If the disturbance affected the school, it could lead to dissatisfaction from the royal Shi family. 

To this day, the birth of a constitutional monarchy had greatly reduced the influence of the royal family, but they still held high prestige, status, and wealth. Noble lineage brought powerful support, keeping the Shi family firmly at the top of the social hierarchy. 

Those studying at the technological university were the Empire’s top talents. Everyone who came and went here had an extraordinary air about them. Even the guards at the school gate carried a sense of superiority when speaking to Song Qingxiao. 

“We received an alert. There’s a disturbance about thirty meters around the corner. You know, this is the technological university,” the guard’s tone held some pride. “We can’t allow a riot to affect this place, or the municipal government will receive complaints from the school.” 

He doubted if this woman could handle this trouble. Song Qingxiao was wearing a patrol guard uniform that didn’t quite fit her slender figure. She appeared very frail, with pale skin, and her long, heavy bangs covered half of her eyes, giving her a fragile look. From her appearance, she seemed unrelated to this guard job. 

While there were female personnel in the Imperial Guard system, most of them held civilian positions and were not involved in patrolling or resolving disputes. 

Few women with noble bloodlines and exceptional skills were selected during their school years, trained, and then placed into special departments. 

Even among the patrol guards, the women were strong and formidable, not easily distinguishable from the men. The school’s guards couldn’t understand why the Guard Department had recruited such a seemingly fragile woman. 

“I understand.” 

Song Qingxiao could sense the displeasure in the middle-aged guard’s eyes. Her lips moved slightly as she whispered, “I won’t let the disturbance affect this place.” 

She was determined; this job was hard-won and took a lot of effort to obtain. 

Patrol guarding had nothing to do with her field of study. She had just graduated this year, and despite her diligent studies and excellent grades during her school years, they didn’t help her much in finding a job. 

Even though the era had developed rapidly, her humble background and ordinary lineage worked against her. Her father had a criminal record from his early years, leaving a stain on her record, which made it difficult for her to secure a comfortable job in the municipal department. 

Under her relentless efforts, she had managed to secure a two-month probationary period, but the people in the guard unit weren’t happy about it. The captain had warned her that if she couldn’t fulfill her duties and received complaints, the unit might ask her to leave. 

“I’ll resolve the trouble as soon as possible.” 

She raised her head, her tone extremely gentle but carrying an undeniable determination. 

She had no other options. No matter what, she had to resolve this trouble! 

The sun was obscured by layers of dark clouds, giving a sense that a storm was approaching. The buildings at the entrance of the technological university owned by the Shi family reached into the sky, making Song Qingxiao feel small and ordinary. 

As she rushed to the disturbance location, she passed by many proud and accomplished individuals entering the campus. She felt like an ant, not standing out. 

In her younger years, she had also dreamed of entering this top Imperial university and becoming a sought-after talent in various industries after graduation. 

Unfortunately, some things couldn’t be achieved through effort alone, and the university’s gates would not open for her. 

Song Qingxiao ran fast, and the words of the campus guard were like a warning bell in her heart. She reached the disturbance location in just a few minutes. 

Changyan Street was located at the junction of the east and west sides of the Imperial City’s center. The westernmost part of the city belonged to a turbulent area known as the “slums,” notorious for being dirty, disorderly, and impoverished. Various factions were entangled there, and crimes occurred frequently. Sometimes, even if a report was made, the guards might not be willing to come. 

In general, the various gang factions had a tacit understanding with the authorities. They wouldn’t cause trouble outside their own territory, let alone approach Changyan Street. After all, this was the technological university, and the people of the Empire considered it to be Shi family territory. 

No one wanted to stir up trouble here and attract unwanted attention. 

Today, a group of troublemakers had gathered here, and from their appearance, they seemed young and inexperienced, ignorant of the world. 

Song Qingxiao’s heart sank. If these troublemakers were adults and she used the Shi family’s name to intimidate them, they might fear the family and leave quickly. 

But if these troublemakers were unruly teenagers, there might be some trouble. 

“Scatter, scatter!” There were about a dozen people gathered here, and Song Qingxiao raised her voice and shouted, “No disturbances are allowed here. Please leave immediately!” 

The youths were drawn to her words and subconsciously turned their heads. 

Everyone here appeared more robust than her. Wearing the guard uniform, she seemed ridiculous to this unruly group. They hesitated for a moment and couldn’t help but sneer: 

“Get lost!” one fierce-looking youth warned, “Mind your own business!” 

“This is Changyan Street, and right next to it is the Shi family’s technological university…” 

The youths closed in, and she tried to stand tall but felt like a rabbit lost in the jungle. 

Because of the commotion, a few cars in the distance were stopped. 

In the middle of a black car, a young man casually glanced out the window and saw the girl surrounded by a group of fierce youths as if she was about to be torn apart. 

He should have withdrawn his gaze with indifference, given the girl’s uniform and the situation in front of him, he had a rough idea of what was happening. 

If there were no surprises, a violent conflict was about to occur. 

He wasn’t particularly curious and wasn’t the type to meddle in others’ affairs. He could see that Song Qingxiao was clearly frightened, but her actions were the opposite of her fear. 

The woman sitting across from him in the car noticed his gaze and followed his line of sight to see the scene unfolding. She lazily stretched her arms. 

This girl was done for! 

She was certain of it, but in the next moment, she heard the young man say, “Youqin, go handle the trouble.” 

There was a respectful response from the front seat of the car, and the door was opened. The woman sitting across from the young man raised an eyebrow slightly. 

Her earlier judgment had been wrong. She saw the group of youths dispersing under Youqin’s assertive intervention, and Song Qingxiao, wearing the loose-fitting guard uniform, had a pale face. She felt a sense of relief after narrowly avoiding a disaster. She withdrew her gaze, glanced at the young man beside her, and her eyes turned cold. 

Song Qingxiao had almost encountered a mishap on her first day at work, but thankfully, the situation had been resolved smoothly. She had been on edge the whole day and hadn’t received any complaints. 

She spent the day in nervous anticipation, only letting out a sigh of relief when it was time to clock out. 

As she headed home, the sky had darkened considerably, and the weather was unusually hot and humid. The weather forecast had predicted thunderstorms for the day, and she wanted to get home before the rain started. She had no money, and falling sick after getting drenched in the rain would be a significant burden for her. 

She still had two small alleys to pass before reaching home, and it was quite dangerous in this part of the city after dark. She quickened her pace. In the sky, the rumbling of thunder grew louder, and just as she thought, a downpour was imminent. 

With a thunderous roar, a lightning bolt lit up the sky, illuminating the pitch-black alley. Raindrops the size of beans began to fall, and before she could raise her hand to shield her head, she saw a figure in a raincoat walking toward her, braving the thunderstorm. 

At this time and in this place, seeing someone dressed like this was never a good sign. She instinctively lowered her head, and as the wind and rain battered her, Song Qingxiao shivered. 

The person approaching her had an eerie chill about them, accompanied by a hint of a sweet, metallic smell, like blood. 

Song Qingxiao’s whole body tensed, and as the person came closer, their tall figure made the narrow alley feel suffocating, leaving Song Qingxiao with no room to escape. 

Characters who can walk alone on this road at night are not to be trifled with. She tried to shrink her shoulders, lowering her presence as much as possible. The person was getting closer, almost brushing past her. She hadn’t even had a chance to release her tightly clenched fist when she felt the person raise their arm. It was as if Song Qingxiao was being ensnared by a python. She reached out to grab that hand, and the person was holding a knife, thrusting it toward her throat. 

She felt like a helpless grasshopper, her fingertips barely touching the person’s long fingers. Their hand was wet from the rain, as cold as if it had no warmth at all. 

The thumb pressing on the knife seemed to have an extra bulge. Before she could comprehend it, the person turned the knife, clearly intending to cut off her lifeline. 

Confident in their actions, the person struck once and then quickly withdrew, leaving her body convulsing on the ground. The thunder rumbled menacingly, accompanied by lightning. She saw the person’s silhouette, the corner of their raincoat lifted. They hummed a tune as they departed, sounding like a young man of about thirty. 

Who was this person, and why did they want to kill her? Many questions raced through her mind, causing her eyes to widen. 

The loss of a large amount of blood had already caused her pupils to dilate. Was she going to die? 

This thought flashed through her mind, and then another thought exploded in her brain: “Are you willing to enter God’s Trial?”