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    Chapter 88 [VIP] Shadow Guard (2)

    Nanyan entered this world just as the story began, with Shadow Seventeen not yet being the heir of Pingnan Wangfu but simply a guard in the Shadow Guard, a mere servant assigned to protect her.

    While reflecting on this, Nanyan suddenly felt her lips moisten slightly, as if someone was gently parting her lips to give her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, cautiously, repeatedly.

    The person saving her was none other than Shadow Seventeen.

    Nanyan had spent too long receiving the storyline, leading Seventeen to believe she had been suffocated in the river, unable to breathe on her own, prompting him to immediately start resuscitation, gently pressing on her chest to help revive her heart and lungs.

    As the stranger leaned in to share his breath, Nan Yan instinctively parted her lips, gently licked his, and even playfully flicked out her tongue to trace the outline of his lips with its soft, velvety tip, attempting to delve deeper...

    This left Shadow Seventeen utterly stunned.

    A novice like him had never encountered such a scene. His heart raced uncontrollably, and by the time he realized what was happening, he retreated almost subconsciously.

    He then watched as the girl, who had been lying on the ground, slowly opened her eyes. Her dark, round orbs rolled slightly before widening as she stared at him and declared,

    "Seventeen, you actually kissed me sneakily?"

    Though those in the martial world often disregarded trivial matters, Ye Nanyan had been raised in Qixia Manor, where class distinctions were deeply ingrained. Hence, she placed great value on a woman's reputation.

    Shadow Seventeen's expression showed a momentary flicker of surprise, but he quickly regained his composure. He pressed his lips together, aware of their moisture, yet his face remained unchanged. Inside, however, a strange and unfamiliar emotion swirled tumultuously.

    "I didn't, Miss. I was just passing my breath to you just now."

    After a brief pause, he sensed that his explanation might sound unconvincing, so he added, "When someone falls into water, their throat is often obstructed by mud and sand, preventing them from breathing on their own. I was merely assisting you in maintaining your breath and clearing your airway, not intentionally offending you."

    The Shadow Guards trained in Shadow Tower were generally inflexible, and the male lead was the most rigid among them. Always straightforward and principled, he wouldn't admit guilt when questioned by Nanyan. Instead, he persisted in denying any wrongdoing.

    Nan Yan let out a soft huff, clearly displeased. Her eyes blinked, and a hint of mischievousness suddenly shimmered in their depths as if she was deliberately teasing him. "Nonsense! You were clearly stealing a kiss from me just now! Does a normal person need to stick out their tongue when passing air?"

    Upon her words, Shadow Seventeen's face instantly took on a subtly peculiar expression, tinged with a hint of strangeness. His cheeks flushed slightly, and almost involuntarily, he countered.

    "I didn't, and neither was it me who stuck out their tongue just now."

    In his haste, he even forgot to use the term 'subordinate,' and instead lifted his gaze to meet Nanya's, a faint trace of annoyance surfacing in his heart, as he felt she was being rather unreasonable.

    South Yan, on the other hand, sat up from the ground. Her index finger gently touched her crimson lips, sensing a slight sting. A hint of annoyance flickered across her face as she cast him a sidelong glance.

    "You claim it wasn't you, then who bit my lip? Could it be I did it to myself?"

    Shadow Seventeen couldn't have missed the injury on her lip. A hint of uncertainty flickered in his eyes. He was unsure if he had accidentally bitten her while assisting with her breathing just now. After a moment of hesitation, he dared not refute and instead admitted his fault honestly,

    "It's this subordinate's fault. Please punish me, Miss."

    "Punishment, huh..."

    Nan Yan echoed the word, a glint of amusement flashing in her eyes. She thought there was no need for punishment, but seeing how sincerely he admitted his mistake, her tone softened considerably.

    She tilted her head in thought, then suddenly leaned closer to him, placing her hands on his arms before sealing their lips together.

    This action immediately froze Shadow Number Seventeen in place.

    The softness of the girl's body and her alluring fragrance almost wiped his mind clean. His eyes widened, pupils constricting slightly, and it took him a while to refocus. He stared intently at Nanyan before him, so nervous that he didn't know where to place his hands or feet.

    Being emotionally inexperienced as a young shadow guard, he had no idea what was happening to him. He only felt his heart racing, as if all the blood in his body was rushing to one spot in his head, leaving him feeling uncontrollable.

    In ordinary circumstances, such a situation would spell disaster for him.

    He had undergone the strictest training within the Shadow Guards' compound, particularly when on assignments. No matter how daunting the task or how formidable the foe, the first priority was to maintain a calm mind and relaxed body, ready to deliver a decisive strike when necessary.

    Yet, for some reason, he couldn't figure out what was going on right now.

    His limbs were rigid, unable to budge, while his heart pounded relentlessly. Despite his utmost effort to compose himself, his mind was a jumbled mess, utterly devoid of calm. Even his breathing had become labored and slow.

    If this were in the face of an enemy...

    He might have been killed a hundred times over!

    Nan Yan continued to kiss him fervently, or rather, she nipped at him playfully. She licked his lips like a cat savoring its catch, gently biting and licking until she reached the corner of his mouth, where she left a tiny, rice-grain-sized bite mark before retreating contentedly.

    "No need for punishment. If you bit me, I naturally have to reciprocate. However, Seventeen, now that you've made advances on me, from this day forward, you belong to me. Only I can treat you this way; no one else is allowed to touch you like this, do you understand?!"

    After saying this, she playfully pinched his face, turning his handsome features flushed red. Unable to contain her laughter, she smiled, her slightly moist and rosy lips parting slightly. Her eyes shimmered with mirth, like stars twinkling in the night sky.

    In that moment, Shadow Seventeen felt an itch in his throat, and his heart raced. He opened his mouth, yet found himself unable to utter a single word of protest.

    He wondered inwardly, who was actually being indecent here?

    It was clear... she was the one who had lunged forward...

    Could it be that he was to blame for such matters as well?

    Shadow Seventeen pressed his lips together and, seemingly involuntarily, tightened his grip on his fingers, unsure of how to react. As he couldn't resist glancing down at Nanyan, he didn't miss the playful twinkle in her eyes.

    In an instant, Shadow Seventeen grasped what was happening. A faint sense of shame and annoyance stirred within him, causing his lips to purse even tighter. With his head lowered, he obstinately stated, "Miss, please mind your status. Don't make such jokes again in the future! I am but a lowly servant, unworthy of Miss's affections."

    Upon hearing the tone of the speaker, Nanyan could tell that they were displeased. Huh, what a feisty little one, to dare lecture her like this.

    She first lifted her gaze to look at him, observing the earnest, old-fashioned expression on his face. Then, she scrutinized him from head to toe. When her relentless gaze made him uneasy and he avoided her eyes, she couldn't help but giggle. "Why are you more stiff and conventional than my schoolmaster?"

    "Disregard titles and positions. Since I am your master, you must obey my every word! I don't care about anything else. I claim you as mine, so you shall be, do you understand?"

    After Nan Yan finished speaking, she even gave his shoulder a firm pat.

    Seeing that the person still refused to respond, Nanyan promptly extended her demonic claw. Her delicate and soft fingers continuously poked at the cheeks of her little shadow guard, leaving a rosy mark with each tap. The little shadow guard wrinkled his nose, dissatisfied yet too afraid to resist. His expression was delightfully pleasing to behold.

    Amused by his expression, Nanyan's face lit up with a triumphant smile. Her gaze softened as she spoke affectionately,

    "Alright, we can discuss these matters later. Quickly help me up, I'm freezing from being in the water for so long. Hurry and find a path to lead us out of here."

    Relieved by her words, Shadow Seventeen glanced around, assessing their surroundings. The downstream side of the moat was a dense forest, uninhabited and with little trace of paths. Escaping would not be an easy task.

    Moreover, from his vantage point in the tree earlier, he had noticed that the group of assassins had yet to give up their pursuit. They were still relentlessly searching for them, meaning they were not entirely safe. Thus, it was crucial to take advantage of the daylight and leave as soon as possible.

    With this in mind, he immediately lifted Nanyan from the ground and began walking downstream along the river. They walked all afternoon, but despite circling through the forest for hours, they found themselves unable to escape before nightfall.

    Nanyan had every reason to suspect that this person was deliberately retaliating, leading her in circles and boasting that he was the Shadow Guards' Tower's most deserving first assassin. He wasn't afraid of his bragging being blown back at him by the wind. Clearly, this man was hopelessly lost.

    When they passed by the familiar small river for the third time, Nanyan couldn't hold it in anymore. She shot him an aggrieved glance and said, "Seventeen, don't you think this path looks familiar? It seems like we've been going back and forth three times already."

    Seventeen pressed his lips together, his gaze wandering as he avoided her eyes, slightly guilty. But he stubbornly replied, "I'll find the way soon."

    "You said the same thing two hours ago! Seventeen, doesn't your conscience ache when you say that?"

    He frowned, turned to face her seriously, and replied with extra sincerity, "I'm not injured, so why would my conscience hurt?"

    Nanyan: "..."

    How could she refute such a logically sound argument? She found herself at a loss for words.

    Well, having a bodyguard who spoke the truth with heartfelt sincerity did require a strong heart to handle.

    So, she simply stopped in her tracks.

    Now, it was QiShi's turn to be helpless. He turned his head to look at her, a hint of confusion in his eyes. "Why have you stopped? It's already getting late. If we don't hasten our pace, wolves might come out to hunt in the forest at night."

    If they were indeed ambushed by a pack of wolves, he couldn't guarantee her safety with absolute certainty.

    "Nan Yan," her eyes wandered, fixing him with a look of reproachful longing.

    They had fled from Tianxiang City all the way here since dawn without any sustenance. As an adult martial artist, he naturally had more endurance than she, a frail woman with no strength to lift a chicken. Yet, it was remarkable that she had held on this long.

    "I can't walk anymore," Nan Yan whispered, promptly seeking help with her gaze.

    Upon hearing this, Shadow Seventeen didn't hesitate. He turned around, crouched down in front of Nan Yan. A Shadow Guard's duty was to spare no effort in safeguarding their master's life and obey every command without question. For Seventeen, carrying someone was not a burdensome task.

    However, he had underestimated his master's playful nature. Why did she always whisper into his ear while speaking? And she enjoyed stroking his face, her hands constantly roaming across it. Unwittingly, a few strands of his hair fell out, causing him endless frustration.

    At that moment, Nan Yan was lying on his back, energetically pinching his earlobe. As she continued, her eyes lit up as if she had discovered something fascinating, almost tearing his ear off in the process.

    "Ah, Seventeen, I've noticed a tiny red mole the size of a rice grain behind your ear. Is it a birthmark you've had since childhood?"

    Seventeen had no answer to this.

    As far back as his memory went, he had been a member of the Shadow Guards. The only item he wore that identified his identity was the half jade pendant around his neck. As for the birthmark she mentioned, he was completely unaware of its existence.

    He sincerely replied, "I don't remember."

    Nan Yan, however, wasn't annoyed by his answer. She chuckled and gently rubbed his earlobe with tenderness, almost like a soothing gesture. Her cheek brushed against his ear, and she softly whispered,

    "It's alright if you don't remember. I'll remember for both of us. With this mark, no matter what you look like in the future, I'll recognize you instantly."

    As she spoke, she playfully nuzzled the back of his neck, smiling.

    Seventeen instinctively pursed his lips. The frustration that had been building up inside him dissipated swiftly at her words.

    Nan Yan had merely mentioned it casually, not expecting the other party to genuinely take those words to heart.

    Perhaps it was the first time someone had spoken to him in such a manner, and she was unlike the others from the Shadow Guard Manor. This novelty stirred him, even touching him deeply, filling his chest with a warm sensation.

    Everyone tends to hold a peculiarly profound impression of the first person who truly cares for them, and Shadow Seventeen is no exception at this moment.

    Yet, within this sentiment lurked something else, an indistinct and elusive nuance that was peculiarly stirring, causing an inexplicable tingling sensation in his chest.

    Seventeen's response to this unfamiliar emotion was somewhat sluggish. He didn't quite grasp what was happening to him. Whenever he felt a strange sensation in his chest, he would simply press his lips together and remain silent.

    Yet, his silence couldn't deter the person on his back from incessant chatter. She had now started interrogating him with peculiar questions, all under the pretense of caring about his daily life:

    "Seventeen, how old are you this year?"

    "Well then, have you found someone you fancy?"

    "No? So, do you have any wives or concubines at home?"

    "None either. Hmm, what kind of woman do you prefer? Tall, short, plump, or slender?"

    Seventeen initially listened with earnest attention, but as he continued to hear the questions, he frowned. The more he listened, the stranger he found it, and his expression turned awkward. Were these truly the concerns of a caring superior for their subordinate?

    What kind of superior would be so interested in their subordinate's marital affairs, asking with such meticulous detail?

    After some thought, he decided to answer honestly, "This subordinate prefers someone who speaks less. It's fine if they don't speak much at all."

    Nan Yan: "..."

    Haha, don't think I don't know you're subtly mocking me!

    Nan Yan huffed softly, her gaze suddenly turning cold. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she exerted a gentle force and spoke with a hint of reproach in her tone, "Is being talkative really that bad? You're already like a block of wood, always keeping silent. If you add another one who hardly speaks, do you two plan on communicating solely through eye contact in the future?"

    The male lead, perhaps worn out by her antics, also put up a strong front. He stubbornly turned his face away and declared firmly, "This subordinate simply prefers those who speak less."

    Nan Yan couldn't help but chuckle softly. She withdrew her hands and instead gently stroked his ear, coaxing him softly with her voice close to his ear,

    "Good Qiqi, is being talkative truly unacceptable?"

    The straightforward Qiqi was about to insist that it was indeed unacceptable.

    The elders of the Shadow Guards had long warned him that women were trouble, and talkative ones even more so.

    This woman before him was a living testament to that notion. Besides, how could women compare to the thrill of martial arts and swordsmanship?

    Seventeen considered himself a man of principles.

    Yet, under her soft, coaxing tone, for some inexplicable reason, the firm "no" that was lodged in his throat suddenly transformed into, "Not... entirely impossible."

    As he finished speaking, he felt a flush rise to his ears. Perhaps it was because she was too close, her lip warmth seeping into his skin, leaving him feeling incredibly uncomfortable.


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