Chapter 62: The Outside World
A big bonfire was roaring into the sky, illuminating the campsite in the dawn of night. The water was slowly floating down the river, allowing for a calming sounds to set a tranquil atmosphere.
It was the final night that the youngsters and the snake-woman would be camping in the Magical Forest before all of them returned to the bustling city. Liquor and snacks had been found, and they spent their time comparing who had gotten the most beast cores, as well as who had gained the most progress in their cultivation.
Deng Wu still had some trouble breaking into the realm of the Master rank, but even so, he was not dispirited at all. Instead he was playing around with Sha Yun, getting her drunk, before convincing her to dance around the bonfire together with him. Laughter rang out from everyone present as they enjoyed the sight of the attractive Sha Yun slithering around as she was dancing along with the less graceful Deng Wu, who had been drinking far too much.
Two less thrilled individuals were standing at the edge of the campsite, one white the other blue. These two were Sha Yun’s sisters, and neither of them were happy with their elder sister’s decision to follow these unknown cultivators into the outside world. Especially aggravating was the fact that she had voluntarily started the beast pledge.
Although these two female beasts had been hesitating at first, Hui Yue managed to coerce them into coming closer, by handing them medicinal pills. Although Hui Yue knew that these pills were important, he still felt as though it was more important to end their visit with a good relationship between himself and the stronger beasts from the Magical Forest. This could cause them to leave his family’s village alone, rather than venting their anger on his defenceless parents and friends.
The night sky slowly dimmed and after hours of drinking, dancing, and chatting they finally broke up; they packed down their items and made ready to start making their way back to the village where they had left their mounts.
Arriving in the village caused chaos as Sha Yun arrived with them, no one believed that she was truly friendly. As none of them were cultivators, none of them knew of a beast pledge.
Seeing the fear and doubt in the villagers’ eyes, Hui Yue could not help but sigh. No matter what he said, he knew that the villagers would never accept the beast woman, even though she had turned into a very gentle, although slightly naïve, woman.
“Let us change the plans then.” Hui Yue said with a sigh. “We have to start travelling towards Riluo City, but even if we make it there by today, the city gates will obviously be closed. Let us find one of the smaller cities on the way which has an inn.”
Hearing this, the others nodded in unison. Although they had planned on staying in the village for a short while longer, it was obvious that Sha Yun caused too much fear, and it was unnecessary to cause any problems for the villagers, as they preferred that Sha Yun leave already.
Sha Yun looked around her big silvery eyes filled with disdain, as she understood the situation perfectly well. Finally she started to understand that this outside world would be even more hostile than the Magical Forest from where she was born.
“Don’t worry.” Hui Yue said with a low voice as he grabbed her hand, and dragged her towards an old shack which was located at the edge of the village itself. Having arrived at this house, Sha Yun’s eyes were filled with doubt and confusion as she could not understand the purpose for her to visit yet another home with prejudiced villagers.
However, Hui Yue brought her there anyways. Even if it hurt her to be shunned, she was still a proud magical beast from within the Magical Forest. She stood straight, her face looking forward and in no way did she cower while thinking about the possibilities of insults that could be coming her way.
Next to Sha Yun, Hui Yue smiled gently as he saw the strong look on her face and he nodded in approval before knocking on the door.
“Come in.” A tired voice sounded out from within, and Hui Yue pushed the worn down wooden door open. He walked through first to announce who it was, after which he made sure to drag Sha Yun with him.
“Hello mother.” He said politely as he looked at the beautiful woman who was currently seated in the kitchen, her stomach so big that Hui Yue would have thought that it might just explode, rather than give birth to a child.
Hui Lifen narrowed her brows when she noticed that Hui Yue had brought a woman with a snake-body, yet no fear was shown on her face, only curiosity. After all, the one who had brought this strange woman was after all, her son, and Hui Lifen blindly trusted her son. He would never intentionally put her in danger.
“Mother I would like to introduce you to Sha Yun.” Hui Yue stated, as he sat down in the chair next to his mother and gestured for the snake-woman to follow suit, which she did quickly. Although she appeared as though she was not the slightest bit nervous, as if the other’s opinion did not matter, Hui Yue noticed how the tip of her tail had started to slowly tap the floor, as to calm her down.
“Sha Yun is a magical beast who has human blood in her veins. She is as intelligent as you and me, although she is not able to speak our language yet. She has made a pledge to follow me wherever I go and she will protect me.” Hearing this, Hui Lifen’s estimation of Sha Yun soared multiple times as she grabbed the hands of the snake-person and looked into those silvery eyes with her own brown ones.
“Thank you.” Hui Lifen said, her voice trembling slightly. “I know that Little Yue has a lot of friends, but to know he has someone strong like you next to him makes me feel much more relaxed. Please, you have to look after him for me.”
A smile appeared on Hui Yue’s face as he saw the relief which washed over his mother. He noticed how she had always been worried about her son leaving the village and fending for himself in the big world. Knowing that he had found friends was something which she had relished in, but after seeing the fight against the three beast sisters earlier, she had once again feared the world in which Hui Yue traversed.
Now one of these beasts, the strongest of them even, had pledged that she would forever travel with Hui Yue and protect him. How could she not be happy?
Hui Lifen had lived within this village all her life, and although Rong Liang and Bu Huang were
both incredibly strong, she had never seen them fight and due to this the strongest person whom she could think of was Sha Yun. How could Hui Yue not be safe when he had such a fierce companion?
Seeing the happy expression on Hui Lifen’s face, both Hui Yue and Sha Yun felt a great sense of relief. Hui Yue felt relief as he did not wish to cause his mother anymore worry when she was about to give birth to his sibling, and she needed all her energy on that rather than Hui Yue.
Sha Yun was incredibly relieved to know that not all humans hated her. The feeling of a human whom she did not know who would grab her hands and even thank her was so abnormal that Sha Yun did not know what to do with herself. Still it left behind a lingering feeling within her heart. A small warmth, which caused her to feel great happiness.
“We will have to leave now.” Hui Yue said regretfully as he stood up, and a hint of sadness appeared in the smile which Hui Lifen showed her son as she too stood up, walking her guests to the door.
“Promise me to be careful.” She pleaded. “The life of a cultivator is long and dangerous. Death waits at every corner. I would rather have a weak son who lives, than a strong one who died young.”
Hearing this, Hui Yue could not help but smile sadly before he gave his mother a big hug and looked over the so familiar shack one last time. It was likely to be another year before he would be able to return to this poor village within the Magical Forest.
Catching up with the others was no problem, as they all had waited at the pen they created. Everything was packed down and now the only thing they needed was Hui Yue and Sha Yun.
While Hui Yue was riding on a magical horse, Sha Yun did not wish to ride on anything. Being unable to understand her, Hui Yue could only accept her declining, and instead he saw how she quickly followed them, while still elegantly moving as a snake on the ground. In situations like these, Hui Yue perfectly understood that Sha Yun was indeed a magical beast and not an average cultivator.
The first villages Hui Yue and company travelled through, it was obvious that the villagers were deeply shocked to see the snake-like woman, who could run as quickly as magical horses and do it in such an elegant way. Any young boy or man who saw her curves twist as she moved would instantly stand still, mesmerized by the sight, and then stay there gaping until they had vanished into the distance.
The entourage travelled through village after village, and eventually decided to go all the way to the City in one trip. If they were to be too late, then they could go straight for the academy instead and settle in.
Although it was currently summer vacation, the academy never closed its doors for its students, and Hui Yue was almost missing his courtyard with his favourite tree in the middle and his soft bed with bedsheets and pillows. Those were definitely much better than sleeping on the cold hard soil, as he had done the last many nights, not even mentioning the old bed at his parents’ place. No, Hui Yue missed his bed, but while thinking about it exhaustion washed over him as he realised that he needed to buy a lot of things for Sha Yun. Although she was considered a beast she was indeed more like a woman.
A woman needed a lot of things, but most importantly, she needed her own bed! Hui Yue had no wish to tempt Lan Feng, by sharing a bed with this enchantress and her long snake tail.
Unfortunately, it was not only Lan Feng who was being tempted by the attractive woman who was following beside them.
During the majority of the trip Sha Yun had been travelling together with Rong Xing, and although they could not have a proper conversation, it was possible for Rong Xing to explain the world of human females to the snake-woman, trying to prepare her for the world she had now entered into.
Having the two beauties travelling together had often caused Deng Wu to tilt his head, looking behind him at the two women, his eyes clearly getting moist as he seemed to try to comprehend what he was watching.
Suddenly a large crash was heard, followed by someone wailing in shock. Hui Yue looked towards the sounds, and he could no longer hold back his laughter, as he saw his good friend Deng Wu laying on the ground entangled in his beast’s harness after falling.
Although Deng Wu wished to blame it on the beast, it was obvious that he had lost his balance as he had been leaning back, looking at the two women behind him.
“Don’t laugh.” He said with a hurt expression on his face and with an indignant voice, as all present were giggling at him. “Look there.” He continued and his hand pointed towards the top of a pagoda which could be seen in the distance.
“Miss Sha Yun, I hope you are ready for the outside world because there is no turning back now.”