|Author: Cherish the World||Original Source: SFACG|
|Translator: raltzero||English Source: Re:Library|
In the following week, similar scenes continued to play out inside and outside of the city.
On the first three days, I could clearly sense Shiloh slowly becoming irascible. The frequency of her assassinations was evidently much higher than usual. It must be known that once an assassin fails, the target’s vigilance will soar in the short-term and it’ll become much harder to find a good opportunity. But Shiloh apparently didn’t give a bird’s crap about this common sense knowledge. So long as I relaxed even the tiniest bit, she would immediately appear and naturally be defeated again almost every time.
The only troublesome thing was when I went to sleep.
On the second day, Shiloh used the same old method, hanging a rope down from the beams in my room and launching a surprise attack. This time, I was sleeping more soundly so she nearly succeeded. Her dagger cut open my upper-body clothes and left a long wound on my chest. Blood flowed everywhere and although I was able to easily press Shiloh onto the floor with her head, it was quite the thrilling night.
On the night of the third day, I took off my clothes to take a bath as I usually did, but just as half my foot entered the bathtub, Shiloh rushed out of the wate. Caught off guard, I dodged backwards and slipped, thus just barely dodging the silvery light stabbing towards me. Shiloh was dripping wet from head to toe; her flax-colored hair that was level with her ears stuck to her face and several strands of hair hung around her ruddy lips. Because she had been soaking in the water for too long, a layer of mist covered her eyes and made her seem a bit more heartmoving than usual.
Taking advantage of my slip and fall, Shiloh attempted to act again, but I tripped her and she re-entered the bathtub.
Her petite body struggled to resurface within the bathtub. When she stabilized herself with great difficulty, I had already smoothly crawled up from the floor and cut off her last chance.
Shiloh spat out all the water she had drunken in her panic and held the dagger in front of her as she sat in the bathtub looking at me warily.
I angrily scolded:
“What, you still want to wash up with me? Your age might not be much, but your thoughts definitely are too much. I’m telling you now, impossible! I am a man you cannot obtain.”
Shiloh seemed a little like she was ashamed into anger.
Even if I wasn’t able to see it from her expression, she clearly knew that she wouldn’t be able to defeat me in a head-on battle, so she didn’t run. Instead, she struggled to stand up inside the bathtub and slashed at me with her dagger.
I grabbed her head, pushed her back into the bathtub, and said:
“Alright, you’ve finally gotten yourself a chance to take a hot bathe. Wash yourself up, then go where you’re supposed to go.”
After half an hour, I re-entered to bathe and discovered that the window was open and one of the bathrobes was gone, most likely taken away by Shiloh.
Due to the missing one being Bai Huang’s, it led to quite a bit of disturbance later on. Bai Huang claimed that no one except for me had a reason to steal her bathrobe and immediately called me a pervert. Left with no other choice, I hinted that apart from me, Heji was also a man and also might have a motive to commit the crime. Once I pulled out that card, Bai Huang dropped the subject.
Starting from the fourth day, I could sense that Shiloh’s feeling towards me had slightly changed.
It was unlike some melodramatic love story or even some favorable impression; it was merely something like a “habit”.
Like a stray cat on the streets, they’ll fear humans a lot in the beginning. When you bring something over to feed it, it will hide away in the distance. Once you lay it down and walk away, it will slink over, sniff it, and then eat it up with great care. If you repeat this many times, you might be able to come closer and closer to it since it’s now used to you feeding it.
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In my opinion, Shiloh’s exactly like such a stray cat.
Every time she fails to assassinate me, I would release her. Doing so has gradually fostered an “I won’t hurt her” judgement within her. In my opinion, this is a simple reflex formed by repeated training. To put it bluntly, it’s a type of habit.
So what’s the benefit of fostering such a habit?
I believe that doing so is the first step towards trust.
On the fourth day, I went to the cultivation farm for Horned Rabbits and caught two plump rabbits that were hibernating. Then, I boiled a pot of rabbit meat and mushroom soup in the vicinity. A bowl of soup in the winter definitely had an extraordinary allure; just several mouthfuls and my entire body was feeling warm and indescribably comfortable. Just as I was dozing off with the soup in hand, a Horned Rabbit suddenly ran past my side.
I looked behind me and found Shiloh standing there with her signature dagger in hand.
Seeing me look at her, she hesitated for a moment then turned to leave.
It appears as if she was originally thinking of assassinating me while I was drinking soup but didn’t expect for the rabbit nests to be so dense. She must’ve accidentally stepped on a nest and startled the rabbits inside the nest, thus allowing me to notice in advance.
I called for Shiloh to stop and handed her a bowl of soup.
Shiloh held the bowl and went silent for a while, then drank it in small sips.
I have to say, she has very good teeth. When she drank the rabbit meat and bones, she just crunched on them and swallowed them down.
During the time she went to return the bowl to me, she suddenly struck out and pierced towards my throat.
I lifted my hand to block it.
A cold awn flashed. The bowl fell onto the floor and her dagger’s edge sliced into my flesh, causing blood to splatter onto her face.
Shiloh took in several rapid gasps for breath as her pitch-black pupils slightly shook. Then, she suddenly ran away as if to escape from something.
I fished out some gauze that I had prepared in advance and wrapped up my wrist. Compared to the pain coming from the wound, Shiloh’s final expression drew more attention from me. She looked a bit weird, even……a little guilty.
Gazing at her departing figure, I couldn’t help but to expose a smile.
I had a hunch that she would take action just a moment ago, so I definitely could have dodged it.
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But I chose not to do so.
One of the leading roles of the folk tale about the farmer and the snake is the snake, but humans aren’t able to be as cold-blooded as a snake. For a person who would consider how many people would starve to death before burning a city’s grain and fodder, in which way do they resemble a true cold-blooded person? It’s like what she said herself; she doesn’t know what’s right or what’s wrong. Since it’s so simple, I’ll make her understand.
Some things are very delicious to the point where she’ll want to eat it again after eating it once; this is called desire.
Someone gave her food so that she could eat until she’s full and so that she won’t be so beset by hunger and cold in the winter; this is called satisfaction.
And now, she’s about to assassinate that someone. The dagger in her hand has already pierced into his skin and blood splattered everywhere.
This is called paying kindness with hatred. Such a thing formed panic and pain within her, which in turn changed into guilt.
Isn’t she an emotionless killer?
Indeed, but that’s why I, Li De, am teaching her what emotions are.
Her expression is one of indifference and her heart is filled with bitter coldness, so I want to let her know what warmth is. Using tasty food, using warm hot water……
As well as using my blood.
In these past seven days, I don’t know how many times I’ve let her go and how many moves she’s made against me.
After she makes a move, I just let her go afterwards. Shiloh has tried stabbing my head, throat, heart, abdomen, and changed the path of her attack at the end, yet all she was able to do was add several wounds onto my body. The expression on her face has become increasingly at a loss and increasingly heartbroken. To put it in some unpleasant words, she won’t be able to succeed no matter how many times she continues to attempt to assassinate me. In fact, she might not even know what she’s doing at this point.
Then, on a morning with biting cold wind, I went shopping for breakfast on the streets and happened to run across Shiloh, who was hiding in an alleyway.
She was gripping her dagger with a distracted look; she didn’t even notice me when I was walking very close to her.
I thought to myself……it appears to be time to move onto the next step.