Knowing that the Madam Cheng would not give up the chase any time soon, Shi Yan decided to go into hiding.
In the suburbs, houses clustered with mini alley ways in between. Houses often have holes, some of which are big enough for children to hide in. Thieves like Shi Yan often depended on these alley ways to hide from pursuers.
~ After dusk.
The blood from the fox continues to drip. Her vitality was almost depleted. Shi Yan looked at the fox with sorrowful eyes. It’s not going to make it if the bleeding doesn’t stop. I ran past a medical hut two blocks away. If I can just get some herbs and leaves…
Shi Yan gently placed the fox on the ground, taking one last glance at her before leaving.
The night was dark. The households here could hardly afford meals let alone candles. The moon was the only source of light. Shi Yan took the opportunity to move in the darkness. Concealed, he was confident in his skills to steal some herbs.
The medical hut was in sight. The hut was still in good condition compared to its neighbours. One of the rooms was lit with a dim light.
It’s best if I find the storage room and enter directly so as to avoid making anymore unnecessary noises. Since there is someone still awake, I should try to find an entrance as far away from that room as possible.
Shi Yan peeped through the cracks and windows of the hut. He found the store but it was just next to the lit room. Damn it! Just for once! I wished that I could steal things without any difficulty.
Shi Yan readies himself. Steels his heart and enters the room through the window. Creaking could be heard but thankfully it was not really audible.
Step by step, Shi Yan quietly moved around the store room. Cabinets and drawers were opened. The search was fruitful. Not only did he find the herbs – Greenvein Grass- he needed, there were bandages and Ironheart Roots. Ironheart Roots allows the heart to continuously beat regardless of blood loss. Veins will constrict, closing up any openings in the veins. This miraculous herb has an effect which last a fortnight.
Shi Yan only knew about this herb when Madam Cheng sent him out to purchase it. The shop keeper was a herb fanatic. He would often times hold Shi Yan back to explain herbs and their effects. It is no mystery why his shop was mostly customer-free. Although most will find it annoying to visit, Shi Yan would often look forward to learning about new herbs.
The shocking find was exciting for Shi Yan. There is no doubt that these herb will be able to save her.
It’s a shame that I cannot take everything else back with me.
While Shi Yan was grinning, footsteps could be heard and it was getting louder.
Shit! Someone’s coming!
Although alarmed, Shi Yan kept his cool. He has stolen more than once. He knew that there was not enough time to escape. The hut owner will enter this room in about four breaths time.
Quickly, Shi Yan hid behind the door. A dim light could be seen getting stronger. As the person approaches the door, Shi Yan’s heart sank. He prepares himself to attack.
The door opens. A man carrying a candle enters. With droopy eyes and messy hair, the man looks like he was about to collapse from exhaustion. He was most likely studying for the imperial medicine exam. Every year, students all over the Nan dynasty would take part in this exam. Even Magreh, the kingdom on the other side of the continent, has students taking the examination.
Shi Yan wished that he could learn the art of medicine but fate was not in his favour. Without funds, he cannot afford the basic books.
If he had more time, Shi Yan would definitely steal a few of the physician’s books. However, Shi Yin is still waiting for him.
In the darkness, Shi Yan took the chance and blew off the candle flame. The whole room immediately became dark. The Physician became flustered. He could no longer see anything. Before he could react, his left arm felt a gust of wind.
“what?” the physician exclaimed. Meanwhile, the sound of light footsteps quickly became softer. With a final loud “tump”, the room became silent.
After Shi Yan jumped out of the window, he did not look back. At full speed, he ran towards Shi Yin.
Noticing that no one was chasing after him, he knew that this trip was successful. However, he couldn’t smile. His worries were not over.