Ch11 – Sneak into the bandits’ hideout

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The bandits must have been backed by the higher-ups for them to behave like kings of the mountain and act so unruly.
They even built their hideout so conspicuously, like they had no intention of being discreet or hiding it.

After walking up the mountain for some time, at every three steps, there was a guard.
At every five steps, a sentry post.
And a relay station at a couple steps. 

Qi Nanke and Du Ci hid inside the forest and looked at the bright torches lining up along the curved mountain path.
A bandit’s hideout? It would be more believable if someone had told them this was a military camp instead.

Qi Nanke’s face turned solemn.
Something is very wrong here, he realized.



Such a place actually exists so close to Royal City? If someone were to disguise their private soldiers as mountain bandits and train them here, it would most likely go unnoticed.

“What the hell is going on?” Qi Nanke said out loud, “Who gave them the guts?” 

Qi Nanke had stayed at the border for years and rarely returned to the Royal City.
To him, this sight was just simply inconceivable.


“Hmm.” Du Ci rubbed his chin, “It seems I can find many clues this time.”

Qi Nanke narrowed his eyes, “What do you know?”

Du Ci tsk-tsked and shook his finger, “Classified, cannot be disclosed.”


Qi Nanke: “…”

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Qi Nanke’s flying skill was once again utilized.
He took Du Ci to the other side of the mountain and flew up with the person in his arms.
Du Ci finally got used to the dizziness from motion sickness and no longer vomited when he landed.

When the two approached the bandit’s headquarters, they could see how magnificent the hideout’s gate was.
A lot of effort was put into constructing this place.
A high wall covered the perimeter.
A gate on each side of the wall: north, south, east, and west.
And next to each gate was a watchtower.


Du Ci smiled, “Mute, er..
brother Qingjun, it’s only a bandit hideout.
Do you think there was a need to build it like this?” 

Qi Nanke’s face was cold, “Setting aside the fact it takes a lot of money to build this place.
Even with money, how were they able to recruit so many people to become mountain bandits? The areas around here are not like the poor and desolate Southwest.
A place close to Royal City should prosper.
So why would well-off people volunteer to become mountain bandits? Besides, harboring so many people in this easy-to-discover hideout, there are only disadvantages no matter how you cut it.”

Du Ci hit Qi Nanke hard with his elbow and threw over a glare: “What was that about the Southwest? What do you mean it’s poor? (1)”

Knowing he had spoken wrongly, Qi Nanke held the place just got hit and clarified, “Southwest referred to an area near Shu Shi’s border.
It’s a grey zone where many sinners were exiled.
Not the same as Shu Shi.”

We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.

Du Ci huffed: “Looks like you can get your facts right.
Don’t underestimate my people.
Even though we live in the mountains, we live in a paradise.
The wonderful world behind the mountains, you can’t even imagine it.” 

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Lf jrxfv meglberis, “Ujgjvlrf?”

“Xgffc wbecajlcr, yief kjafgr, cb agbeyifr, cb gfragjlcar!” Ge Jl rjlv, “Ktf obbv lr vfilmlber.
Ktf klcf lr wfiibk jcv glmt.
Tbe qfbqif kbc’a ufa la.”

Lf riegqfv tlr rjilnj, “Zs ilaaif tba qba, lcrajca-yblifv weaabc, rqlms gjyyla tfjv, rkffa cbbvif rbeq…”

Du Ci’s eyes glowed as he went on and on.
Qi Nanke suddenly had a strong urge to try out these dishes, even his stomach made a very untimely protest. 

Du Ci licked his lips.
The little pink tongue appeared then disappeared in a flash.
Qi Nanke saw it and subconsciously leaned closer to Du Ci.

Du Ci: “?”

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Jolting back to his senses, Qi Nanke turned away unnaturally: “I heard there are pandas in Shu Shi.
They’re very rare.”

“That’s right,” Du Ci said proudly, “Besides delicious food and fun things, we also have a lot of rare treasures.
Do you think we don’t have anything just because we live in the mountains? How shallow.” 

Qi Nanke rubbed his nose – he didn’t say that.

Du Ci smiled brightly, “After my man and I married, I’ll take him to Shu Shi to play! At that time, you can come too.
I guarantee you will not want to go back!”

Qi Nanke raised an eyebrow and thought inside his heart, “Not going back is not possible.”

The two watched from the outside for a while and noticed the hideout was quite difficult to sneak in.
All four gates were strictly guarded. 

If only Qi Nanke went in alone, would be easier, so he said, “I’ll go take a look first.
Stay here and don’t go anywhere.”

Du Ci also knew he would only be a hindrance.
He nodded and whispered, “Be safe, go and come back quickly.”

Shortly after Qi Nanke left, a white horse galloped up the mountain.
A man stood under the gate with a letter in hand and shouted, “Open the door! Master Kong sent news! The people Third boss brought out have been killed!”


“Who has the gall?!”

“Quickly report to Big boss!”

A commotion ensued at the gate.
The heavy entrance slowly opened.
Du Ci observed from afar and saw rows of heavy crossbows, assault wagons, and hook carts.
All kinds of heavy weapons used to siege were arranged into lines.

Discovering siege weapons in a place not too far from the Royal City, it was hard not to make connections. 

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Assuming this was really a group of bandits hiding under the wings of the higher-ups, for what reason would they need to go to  war? Unless, the people holed up in this hideout were not bandits but actually soldiers!

Du Ci’s eyes fell on the white horse walking through the gate and noticed the rider was dressed in a different style than others.
The pouch tied around his waist had a small plum blossom embroidery on it.
Previously, it was inconspicuous, but when the bright torches hit the golden threads and reflected a distinctive sparkle, Du Ci’s eyes were drawn to it.

His pupils shrank abruptly.
Before his head could think, he walked around the tree, stepped into the open, then fell forward with an “Oops,” and dropped the white jade flute in his sleeve.

The man on horseback immediately turned around and drew his sword: “Who’s there!” 

An archer on the watchtower also drew an arrow and aimed it at Du Ci.
Du Ci’s back was soaked in cold sweats.
This was a risky move, but he had to gamble on such a rare opportunity.

Du Ci raised his pale face and shouted arrogantly, “Insolent!”


The archer was ready to shoot, but the man on the horse suddenly spotted the white flute rolling on the ground and widened his eyes: “Stop!”

He roared loudly. 

Rushing over on horseback, he picked up the flute and carefully scanned the surroundings before pointing his sword at Du Ci on the ground: “Where did you get this flute from?!”

Du Ci grabbed the flute and glared, “This is mine!”

The man lowered his head, appearing to be in deep thoughts.
Suddenly thinking of something, he exclaimed in astonishment, “Little Prince?”

Du Ci stared at him warily, “Who are you?” 

The man rolled his eyes, got off his horse, then kneeled and saluted Du Ci, “This lowly servant didn’t know the little prince was coming.
I deserved death.
Begging the little prince for forgiveness!”

The people in the hideout heard it, and all came out to see, “What? What? This is the little prince in Royal City?”

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“Sure worthy of being raised in luxury.
He looks pretty good!”

“Is that really the little prince?” 

Du Ci glanced at the crowd and frowned, “Who are you? How do you know this prince’s identity? Where is this?”

The man tried to sound him out first, “Your Highness, you don’t know where this place is?”

“Don’t know!” Du Ci stood up, patted the hem of his clothes, and raised his chin haughtily, “Why should this prince know where this is?”

The man smiled and replied, “This is Mountain Zhang, and this place is…the local patrol camp in Mt.
May I ask what made the little prince come here so late at night…?” 

Du Ci said: “This prince is looking for someone.
I just looked and searched, and then I was here.”

The man obviously didn’t believe it.
They had stationed people along the mountain road, but no one saw Du Ci.
How could that be possible?

Knowing the man wouldn’t believe it, Du Ci already thought of a way to back it up, “This prince came from the Northside.
There is a teashop at the foot of the mountain.
It has some fake wine jars hanging at the door and a black dog tied in front.”

Du Ci was dragged through the most arduous path by Qi Nanke.
On the way, he secretly memorized everything along the route, now they finally had some uses. 

The man heard this and thought in his heart: It turns out the little prince just got lucky.
That path has extremely rough terrains so they didn’t arrange any guards there.
That was why he wasn’t spotted.

The man scrutinized Du Ci from head to toes.
When Du Ci stepped out from behind the tree, he deliberately fell and rolled in the dust.
Right now he looked just a little shabby, but it was enough to fool the other’s eyes.


The man said: “Who is your highness looking for? This lowly servant can send people to help find the person.”

Du Ci smiled until his eyes became two crescent moons: “This prince is looking for my husband!” 

Mountain bandits: “??”

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