Chapter 87: Asking for Assistance
Rushing through the dense forest Sha Yun’s beastly nature once more resurfaced as she heard the familiar sounds of beasts bustling about in the forest. In the distance the sounds of battle could be heard, and the smell of blood was wafting through the air.
The three clearings were placed quite far away from each other. The first one that mercenaries would encounter was the one belonging to Shui Wu causing her to be the sister whom had killed the most humans.
After Shui Wu’s domain the next one that the travellers would probably encounter belonged to Bing Niao. Bing Niao was the youngest of the three sisters, and Sha Yun was quite certain that she would be the hardest to convince.
Bing Niao had never truly forgiven Sha Yun for leaving the forest together with a human boy, and every year whenever they met, although she was incredibly happy to see her sister again, a slight grudge had been growing within her young heart.
Worrying about how her sister would react, Sha Yun unconsciously slowed down when heading towards Bing Niao’s domain through the forest. Her heartbeat was slowly increasing and by the time the clearing was within view, her heart was beating frantically.
Sha Yun paused, causing Shui Wu to do the same behind her, before she took a deep breath, with closed eyes, to steady herself.
Unlike Shui Wu, Bing Niao was not currently fighting against any mercenaries, nor was there the scent of blood being emitted from the clearing. A disappointed expression was seen on Sha Yue’s face as she noticed the lack of blood. Because Bing Niao was usually easier to deal with after she had killed someone and allowed for herself to break the ice shell which encased her personality.
Slowly slithering into the clearing, a shiver ran through the snake-woman’s body, as the drop in temperature was simply too extreme. Snowflakes fell from the clear sky, and the ground which should have been filled with beautiful healthy grass and moss was covered in a blanket of white snow.
Within this white world a beautiful woman was standing in the middle. Her legs were that of an eagle, long and thin, with three sharp claws on each foot. Her body and face were that of a beautiful woman, yet the skin was layered with small white feathers covering her entire body, closely resembling the feathers of Lan Feng, only in a different colour.
This woman had no arms, only two long and beautiful white wings which spread out to a metre and a half each. Her white hair was long and curly, framing her beautiful human face with the ice-blue eyes that seemed to allow for mercy no to be given out.
This was Bing Niao, the youngest of the three sisters, but also the one who was the hardest to deal with. As soon as this white woman saw Sha Yun her face was filled with complicated expressions, yet it seemed as though anger won out as her wings suddenly flapped open and one spear of ice after another was tossed at the snake-woman.
Although Sha Yun loved her sister dearly she usually did everything in her power to not enter her icy domain. Sha Yun was a snake-woman and that meant that half of her body was that of a snake. As a snake, cold weather was her nemesis and therefore she was unable to move at a decent speed, causing her to get grazed by a few of the ice spears which were thrown her way.
A few drops of blood landed within the snowy world, tainting the purest white ground with these deep red drops, and a few hisses could be heard from Sha Yun’s lips. Even though those ice spears had only grazed her, Sha Yun had still felt the profound energy which was hidden beneath. Small threads of Qi had entered her body, slowly corroding and freezing her up from the inside.
With a sigh and a flap of her wings, Bing Niao dispelled the cold Qi as she started walking towards her two sisters, furrowing her brows as she looked around to find the one human boy whom she detested more than anything.
“Big sis, are you alone today?” Bing Niao asked curiously. “Why did you not visit us last year?” A pained expression was now evident on the usually cold woman’s face, showing just how disappointed she had been when her older sister did not return home to visit for once.
“I am really sorry,” Sha Yun apologized, looking downcast as she too wished to have visited. Yet no matter what she wished, she was aware that Hui Yue needed the time for cultivating, as he had been through troublesome situations and currently each day of training was needed for him to reach the highest possible level before the war brewing in Riluo City broke out.
“Hui Yue is not with me,” Sha Yun chuckled when she saw how Bing Niao kept looking around as if she was expecting Hui Yue to show up at any moment. “Things have happened within the city,” Sha Yun said with a serious face. “Do you remember that stone forest I told you about before?” The snake-woman asked, constantly contemplating about the best way to convince her sisters. Seeing that the two other human beasts nodded their heads excitedly, a smile appeared on Sha Yun’s face.
Ever since the first time Sha Yun returned to the forest, she would spent the majority of her time explaining the outside world. Each sentence she spoke would cause her two younger sister’s eyes to gleam with excitement and a hint of longing would be visible.
Yet these two had no intention of handing over their freedom to a cultivator, so instead they kept living the same kind of life that they had been living up until now.
“The stone forest is about to have a major fight,” Sha Yun explained, deciding to try and make it understandable for the sisters. “Imagine that this forest had two Saint ranked beasts, not only Old Snake.” She paused to give the two sisters time to imagine what it would be like. “The entire horde of beasts within this forest would have to choose which of the two Saint ranked beasts they should follow. That is the current situation within the stone forest.”
“Very soon, the two Saint ranked beasts and their followers will clash in an all-out battle to see who gets to call the stone forest their territory.” Sha Yun continued to explain it the best she knew, and she was smiling as she saw the shock evident on her sister’s faces.
“Hui Yue has not planned to participate in this battle, but some things happened and now he is planning on making a stand. He told me to offer to see if the two of you want to join us.”
“Has living amongst humans made you as dumb as them?!” Bing Niao exclaimed, as soon as Sha Yun finished her sentence. “If we join in a battle like that we could very likely be forced into submission by anyone we face!”
Sha Yun smiled subtly, as she pulled out two cloaks which she threw to her sisters respectively. These cloaks were made for Hui Yue by a skilled inscriber. It was impossible for any aura to leak out from within the cloak and while wearing it no one would be able to tell that the two of them were magical beasts.
“Before the fight you will be staying at my new home,” Sha Yun said excitedly, “During the fight no one will be able to tell that you are beasts, and even if you were to reveal yourself no one will be capable of doing anything to you. They will be far too busy trying to survive.”
The words which left Sha Yun’s mouth held so much temptation that the snake-woman could see both of her sisters hesitating slightly. Ever since Sha Yun had started to describe the outside world, both sisters wished to see what it was like, yet their pride would always stop them from going.
Hunting humans within the Magical Forest, in their own territory, was one thing but to exit the forest would make them lose all the advantage they had built up for themselves, not to mention the perfect hunting environment with magical beasts everywhere.
Looking at the two sisters who were close to being convinced, Sha Yun cheered inside as her face fell into an embarrassing expression. “I really want to show you two where I am living now,” She said hesitantly, as though she was too embarrassed to say it out loud.
Seeing the shy look on their older sister, both Bing Niao and Shui Wu could not help but feeling giddy inside, and after looking into each other’s eyes for a few moments, both of them nodded their heads as they donned the cloaks they had been gifted by Hui Yue.
Now that they had made the decision, excitement shone within their eyes, and even the usually stern and expressionless Bing Niao was sprouting a small smile onher face.
The day was ending and Sha Yun was seated together with her friends at a big lake which had once been a volcano. This volcano was the tallest mountain amongst the few mountains within the Magical Forest.
This was also a place where humans very seldom were seen as it belonged to the Forest King, Old Snake.
“So what is the plan we are supposed to follow?” Bing Niao finally asked, as she looked into the starry sky with her ice-blue eyes her face showing impatience. Now that she had finally decided to join Sha Yun and travel to her home, she had trouble waiting for them to actually leave.
Sha Yun on the other hand knew that they would gain nothing from leaving in the evening, as they could never make it back to Riluo City before the gate closed. Bringing two unsubdued magical beasts to stay outside the city gates all night seemed far too risky for her to attempt it.
Sha Yun smiled slowly as she answered the question, “He called it the Trojan Horse,” she said, before she leaned forward and used her nail to start making small figures in the sand which she used to explain what would happen.
Back in Riluo City, Hui Yue had been spending the majority of the day trying to get into contact with the Fire element, yet it was not going as smoothly as he had hoped. It was as though the connection between Hui Yue and the element was completely sealed off, but oddly at the same time he was able to cast Fire Spark without the need for incantations.
Lan Feng kept telling him that this was a normal situation, and that the only reason that he had managed to merge with the earth was because of him forcing it. Everything else required patience.
Patience was, however, one of Hui Yue’s strongest sides, and he slowly kept practicing the Fire Spark until his spiritual energy sea was all dried up. After which he would be seated and meditate for a couple of hours, to replenish and refine more spiritual energy.
Hui Yue opened his eyes and felt slightly startled, as he saw that the sky was no longer as bright as it had been when he had started refining Qi into spiritual energy, instead it was now dark everywhere, clearly long since dinner time.
Hui Yue could not help but sigh as he looked around. The garden felt much bigger than it had previously as Sha Yun was no longer around. Hui Yue and Sha Yun had been separated for a few days before. These separations mainly happened when they were visiting the Magical Forest once a year, or if Hui Yue had been invited to a gathering where magical beasts were not allowed.
Yet year after year these separations had grown fewer in number and during the last two years, Hui Yu and Sha Yun had not spent more than a few hours away from each other at most. The two were as used to the other as they were to themselves, and Hui Yue was rather shocked when he found that he missed Sha Yun now that she was gone.
Laughing at himself, Hui Yue stood up and made his way to the kitchen where the chef had left a hearty meal on the table for the master of the mansion, which Hui Yue ate with great satisfaction. Still the entire house was quiet and suddenly it felt much larger than it ever before because now no snake-woman was rushing through the doors, constantly blabbering.