The forest that served as the destination of the transference array located at the edge of the floating city Jiang’an was tenderheartedly named the Wu Ji Forest by its passersby.
The forest was an experience every single person either entering or leaving the capital of Great Yong partook in, and though the circumstances differed for each person, the general sentiment was the same.
Boundless and seemingly infinite, hence its affectionate title, the Wu Ji Forest.
It was a given that a significant helping of sarcasm was introduced whilst bestowing the forest a title on the maps of the empire, for not many people enjoyed the experience of wading through a sea of trees that soared dozens of meters into the air.
Furthermore, in its primal stages of exploration and experimentation, many had perished under the multitudes of creatures roaming around the impact areas.
The transference array of Jiang’an forcibly hurled the participants into a random region of the outskirts of the forest with great speed, traversing the several kilometer height within a manner of seconds.
A subsequent array had been installed at the central regions of the forest to decelerate the traveler’s speed, thus making the means of travel horribly quick and efficient.
Be it an individual person, convoy, or even a division or regiment of the Imperial Army, the transference array hurled them towards the Wu Ji Forest without a single waste of resources.
With its supreme advantage of speed and efficiency, it was only natural that the Emperors of Great Yong declare the transference arrays as the primary means of transportation to enter and exit Jiang’an.
…for a great empire of cultivation to fondly cherish a catapult that hurled humans to their destination, the world of the Shattered Star Continent was truly odd indeed!
It was truly unfortunate that due to lacking a map of the forest, the poor young girl abandoned by her convoy was traveling towards the central region of the forest, instead of behaving as a proper traveler and departing from its outskirts.
In her defense, she was attempting her best, but simply didn’t know where she was!
An Fei recited to herself, counting the number of oak trees on either side of her as she walked forward in the forest. The young girl’s eyes narrowed, a bright gleam radiating from the cracked scarlet irises.
“I haven’t lost my touch after such a long time, hm…”
An Fei was within an enormous sea of trees, the sun nearly blotted out by the dense canopy of leaves.
To the front, left, right, back, and even above her head, the young girl could only spot branch after branch of a tree, if not their main root.
The trees of the Wu Ji Forest appeared to be abnormally massive, for the shortest specimen she had discovered was a meagre forty meters in height.
Furthermore, that type of tree had only been seen once, whilst she was still reclining within the luxurious blackwood carriage.
Trees, trees, and more trees; the scenery that trapped and immersed An Fei was a mottled mix of colors.
Most of which, she couldn’t even spot a single branch without having to crane her head skywards until her spine complained of misery.
The young girl took a deep breath, clearing her mind with a shake of her head.
Opening her eyes, An Fei began to scan her surroundings with increased vigilance, her experienced vision quickly beginning to differentiate each tree by their gender.
After oak trees, came holly.
The young girl continued to walk through the wall-less maze of the Wu Ji Forest, her mind and body preoccupied by their respective tasks.
The dense mass of trees soon formed a blur of mottled color as she breached the depths of the forest, and the cries and songs of vitality of animals filtered into her ears.
…identifying and counting a specific type of object amongst many was an excellent method of training a person’s eyesight.
As An Fei transitioned from counting holly trees to cypress, linden, then myrtle trees, the young girl could feel her visual acuity improving by the second.
A larger amount of details were captured with each blink of her eyes, and the young girl could discern between the type of trees by their bark, though her eyesight had not improved in its visual range, only in its processed resolution.
Even then, it was more than sufficient for An Fei to explore the forest with greater confidence.
She had neither survival tools nor sleeping bag to last a long time in a dense forest as this one.
Cosmetics were nice to appreciate, ointments were certainly useful for treating a wound, and yuebing were amazing desserts, but none of them were necessarily apt for surviving in a location that was not a city.
An Fei sighed, rubbing her stomach with a rueful grimace as she examined her surroundings. She could hear the rustling and chirping of animals, but couldn’t spot a single one.
Birds, rabbits, squirrels… but all she could see were grass, more grass, weeds, and sparsely strewn flowers and herbs.
The young girl suddenly blinked her eyes, lightening her footsteps to approach the roots of a holly tree towards her right.
Her steps became significantly lighter as she crouched amongst the leaves, her eyes narrowed in concentration.
There, skittering around the gnarled roots, was a snow-white rabbit. The pitiful creature clutched at the strands of grass littering the soft earth, flashing its gaze towards its surroundings as if to detect prey.
Crouch, scavenge numerous strands of grass and a flexible weed-like herb, and shake its head around in search of a predator in panic.
The rabbit maintained the strange rhythm as it collected a large assortment of grass.
A few meters behind, the young girl stifled her breath to the best of her abilities, reducing her presence to blend into the background of the rustling forest.
The rabbit blinked its eyes, before reaching forward with a fluffy paw.
A black shadow leaped from above, darting from the branches as it soared towards the white rabbit.
Without giving either the rabbit or the young girl enough time to blink, the black shadow snatched up the pitiful creature before soaring towards the trees with another fierce cry.
The rabbit had vanished in an instant, the plump white ball no longer rustling against the roots of the trees. An Fei could only blink in surprise, a paused sensation gripping at her heart.
Where had the black shadow come from? Given its cry, it was… more like a crow?
The young girl patted her cheeks in a baffled mood, before pausing in surprise.
Continuing to walk towards the forest in an absentminded manner, An Fei couldn’t help but attempt to reorganize her visual input.
This time, blurring the trees as one, and searching for objects that were of a lighter color than her immediate surroundings.
Gradually, as the young girl began surveying her surroundings with a different perspective, the forest transformed before her in an imperceptible manner.
The trees remained in their respective positions as they towered over An Fei, and the soft strands of grass underneath her foot.
…it was only that on undersides of the branches that snaked over hear head, the young girl could spot brightly colored blurs of light.
Below her feet, within the long strands of grass, she could similarly discern lighter blurs of color amongst the vibrant green sea.
She could hear the animals since the beginning, but couldn’t spot any of them due to her focus on the trees.
Just two meters away from her left foot, An Fei could spot an indistinct blur of white swathed by the long and tender strands of grass.
If it were the same species of rabbit as the one she had witnessed before, then this rabbit was of a rather massive size.
Compared to the pitiful creature that had been kidnapped by the black shadow, this indistinct blur of color was approximately double in size.
The patch of white flustered around the grasses, and the young girl could clearly spot the nearby grasses distort and bend under its weight.
The question was, how was she supposed to capture it?
An Fei possessed no weapon, spear, nor bow to hunt down the creature besides her leg. In the case that she struck and the large patch of white was remarkably swift or tenaciously powerful, wouldn’t she become the one injured?
“…I forgot,” the young girl raised her hand to tap herself on the forehead in exasperation.
She didn’t have a means to physically hunt the creature, but she indeed possessed a rather fearsome lotus petal.
With a soft grunt, a snow-white lotus petal smaller than her fingernail hovered above her right palm, a pitiful grain compared to its might appearance in the sanctum.
The lotus petal hummed quietly in harmony with the gentle spring breeze, swaying from side to side in a peaceful manner.
Unfortunately, the large figure of white color fiercely trembled at the spiritual fluctuations of the lotus petal, harshly contracting towards within itself.
The figure sprung from within the cover of the grass, surging towards the shelter of the trees.
The young girl gave a start at the sudden motion, before pointing towards the figure with her right index finger.
Heeding An Fei’s call, the miniscule lotus petal soared into the air towards the swift figure of white, rapidly expanding into the form of a blade missing its handle.
The deadly sword, brimming with its malicious intent, rushed towards its foe to claim its life, establishing its first usage to slaughter a pitiful, defenseless creature.