Chapter 473: Truth and Lies

Although some time had passed since Zhao Min and her group departed, Song Qingshu’s Qinggong enabled him to swiftly track their whereabouts.

Just moments ago, Ah Jiu’s sudden appearance had rendered all of Zhao Min’s efforts futile. The dramatic turn of events had made her a target in the eyes of numerous martial artists. Despite having a group of formidable warriors under her command, Zhao Min dared not confront the furious pursuers directly.

Under Zhao Min’s command, her skilled subordinates were dispatched in teams, each pretending to protect a different person. Along the way, they successfully diverted one group of pursuers after another. In the end, despite objections from her followers, Zhao Min even sent away her last remaining expert.

Her strategy left the pursuers puzzled, instinctively chasing after the groups with the most guards. Unbeknownst to them, the real Zhao Min leisurely trailed behind, walking in a carefree manner.

“What a bunch of fools.” Zhao Min said, kicking her small boots, a hint of amusement playing on her lips.

“Is that so?” Song Qingshu sneered coldly, leaping down from a nearby tree to block her path directly.

Zhao Min’s expression changed momentarily but quickly regained composure. “Naturally, the fools I mentioned do not include the wise and heroic Young Master Song.”

“Now you’re trying to flatter me, too late for that!” Song Qingshu glared at her irritably and carefully scanned the surroundings with his qi sense, finding no one else nearby. “Now that your skilled warriors are not by your side, let’s see who will come to your rescue.”

“Ah, you dimwit. I intentionally sent them away and stayed behind just for you…” Zhao Min pouted, wearing a look of apparent distress.

“Don’t bother fabricating more stories,” Song Qingshu thought to himself, marveling at Zhao Min’s deception. 

‘I know she’s lying, yet why do I still want to believe her?’

“You think I’m lying? Then let it be,” Zhao Min responded calmly, smiling at him. “Do you have a lot to say to me now?”

“It’s not just about talking. I almost want to strip you naked and hang you up for three days and nights,” Song Qingshu gritted his teeth.

“Want to strip me? Like you did to Huang Rong? Seeing her clothes half undone in the cave made me, as a woman, feel tempted.” Zhao Min teased.

“Don’t talk nonsense; I have nothing with Huang Rong,” Song Qingshu hastily replied.

“There’s no one else here to hide from.” Zhao Min chuckled softly. “Honestly, I admire you. To dare do such things to her.”

“I said there’s nothing.” Song Qingshu said gloomily, then quickly remembered his purpose for being there. “I just want to ask you something.”

“I know what you want to ask,” Zhao Min replied nonchalantly.

Recalling their experiences together—the inn incident, the journey for medicine, the danger in Kaifeng, and the confrontation with the fake Zhang Wuji—Song Qingshu had come to regard Zhao Min as a friend. He even sensed that she might have feelings for him. However, just now he realized he had been foolishly mistaken all along.

“I actually wanted to cover up for you at first, but seeing Huang Rong changed my mind.” Zhao Min said plainly, as if recounting an ordinary event.

“What made you change your mind?” Song Qingshu frowned.

“I was jealous.” Zhao Min said calmly.

“What?” Song Qingshu seemed confused.

“I said I was… jealous.” Zhao Min repeated each word loudly.

“What were you jealous of?” Song Qingshu felt a pang of unease.

“Before, although I knew you weren’t a good man and had women around you all the time, I didn’t mind. But today, seeing Huang Rong in that cave, looking so… intimate, made me picture you and her together. It drove me crazy.” Zhao Min’s expression shifted, recalling the scene vividly. “A jealous woman isn’t rational.”

“Do you think I’d believe such nonsense?” Song Qingshu furrowed his brow and interrupted Zhao Min. “Tell me the real reason!”

“Oh, you figured it out so easily?” Zhao Min’s face lit up with a bright smile. “I was acting my heart out, yet you couldn’t play along.”

“If you keep beating around the bush, don’t blame me for being rude.” Song Qingshu threatened, relieved that he hadn’t fallen for her tricks. His painful lessons had taught him never to be presumptuous, avoiding passive situations in their relationship.

“Oh?” Zhao Min raised an eyebrow. “How does our young master plan to handle a defenseless weak woman like me?”

“Weak woman?” Song Qingshu laughed sarcastically, then deliberately put on a lecherous look. “Middle of the night, wilderness…how do you think I’ll handle you, my lady?”

“You’re shameless,” Zhao Min blushed slightly.

“If you don’t want to see my shameless side, just tell me the truth,” Song Qingshu said firmly, feeling disappointed. He realized that in Zhao Min’s eyes, he was no different from Xuanming Elders or other martial artists—just a pawn, albeit a skilled one.

“Leave now before I change my mind,” Song Qingshu stood silently, his voice icy.

“If you let me go, don’t regret it,” Zhao Min smiled but sighed inwardly: ‘I just praised you for not being a fool, yet you take truth for lies and lies for truth.’

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