Satisfied with her selection, the young girl rolled her neck to loosen her muscles, before proceeding to reach for the complementary sheath of the qama.
Just as An Fei had grabbed onto the leather strap of the dagger’s fabric sheath, she abruptly paused, tilting her head to her right in confusion.
A faint keen of protest, a barely audible croon seemed to rang within her vicinity.
The young girl vigilantly swept her gaze around the armory, the qama’s deadly edge extended before her chest in a reverse grip.
The cool sensation of the dagger’s pommel against her bosom calmed An Fei, allowing her mind to survey her surroundings with a rational gaze.
A stern reprimand escaped the young girl’s throat, her entire body brimming with a murderous intent.
To her disapproval and perplexing her even further, all that responded to her cry of vigil were the soft twinkling of auras emanated from the weapons socketed into the sky-blue crystal wall.
An Fei gradually allowed the qama’s blade to droop, her arm relaxed against her side. The young girl grasped the leather bindings of the sheath once more, sliding the violet steel blade into the fabric covers with a swift motion.
For some inexplicable reason, the incredibly sharp edge of the qama did not appear to be capable of slicing through the fabric sheath.
Just as An Fei was wondering where to place the weapon on her body, the quiet keen of protest filtered into her ear for the second time.
The pair of scarlet irises flashed in anger as the young girl whirled around, the sheathed dagger held before her in a cautionary posture.
Surprisingly, the young girl decided to drop the dagger on top of the leather bag, marching towards a corner of the armory.
When the odd croon had rang out, she seemed to have noticed a faint streak of grey light soar throughout the armory from the corner…
Answering to her expectation, An Fei did notice an anomaly when she neared the socketed weapons.
The twin butterfly swords, whether disgruntled by her teasing action just moments ago or for a different, unknown reason, continued to emit a grey radiance at a pitched frequency.
The blades of plain steel and design roared its frustration behind barely audible croons, causing the young girl’s mouth to twitch.
“You hurt me first, don’t expect me to act so kindly to you, ah,” An Fei murmured in exasperated laughter, her fingers reaching out to stroke the twin blades’ surface.
Midway, her hand froze in the air, as an unbelievable expression swept across her stunning countenance.
She was speaking to a sword as if it were a bullied child?
Why would she do… that?
The young girl proceeded to step back with the intention of returning to where she had placed the leather bag and her newly acquired qama.
The moment she had stepped more than a meter away, the butterfly swords crooned for a third time, the grey radiance exploding forth to dwarf the nearby weapons.
An Fei’s countenance stiffened, a wry smile threatening to overtake the grim expression.
“Alright, then I’ll take you as well, ah?”
The young girl reached out to pluck the twin blades from their sockets, marveling how the process required minimal effort compared to her task of extricating the qama.
The dual blades slid from the crystalline placements, sliding nicely into her palm as if they were destined to be wielded by her hands.
The butterfly swords released a soothing aura that surged into her palms, generating a stream of cool sensations that wrapped gently around her limbs.
An Fei pursed her lips for a brief moment, before reaching over to grasp the sheathes for the butterfly swords.
Just as the covering for the qama, the sheath for the twin short-swords were merely fabric covers bound by leather straps.
Returning to the location where she had deposited the leather bag, An Fei stared at the three weapons, her mouth silently moving in thought.
Eventually, the leather bag was slung over her shoulder, and the girl strode out of the second corridor’s armory with a contented grin.
The leather straps of the sheathes for the butterfly swords were wrapped and tied around the linen coat’s sash, and the qama was positioned directly above her heart, hidden in a readily accessible location whenever she required its use.
“[Reveal falsehood from the truth].”
A young girl descended from the Sanctum of Eternal Peace, to throw herself into the miserable Shattered Star Continent for the half-baked reason of desiring to survive.
The Wu Ji Forest welcomed another spring morning, usual and boring to the extreme that mundanity could permit.
The early-risen animals eagerly proceeded their hunt underneath the blooming daylight, preying on the drowsier animals to capitalize on their earnings.
Big or small, light-footed or heavy, the inhabitants began their process of attaining survival, even with the awareness that their efforts would one day prove futile.
Hidden underneath the tall grasses and obscured beyond the overgrowth, tinges of murder and massacre echoed their gasps throughout the seemingly tranquil forest.
From west to east, north to south, the flow of vitality surged through the Wu Ji Forest, reaping the necessary lives with a merciless grin and a mocking shadow that streaked underneath the blazing rays of the groggy sun.
Birds were slaughtered, hares and light-footed creatures were dismembered by fiercer beings, and deer were cruelly massacred by a ravenous lion.
Underneath a patched ceiling of rustling leaves, a figure swept through the floor of the forest.
The figure made its way from tree to tree, resting against the bark with their ears examining their surroundings.
A heavy tinge of vigilance faintly emanated from the figure, and its presence was masked within the dense sea of life.
The indistinct figure roamed unbidden from one patch of land to the next, the shadow impossible to discern.
Nearby animals, the grass and herbs loitering on the ground, none noticed its presence, each continuing their merry lives of foolish survival.
However, if one were to carefully approach the figure, they would realize that the indistinct figure was preoccupied with uttering muted complaints against the earth below their feet.
“Why is my speed so slow, my agility crippled, and my stamina reduced to a dying wick, ah!?”
An Fei bemoaned as she traversed through the Wu Ji Forest towards the stream of water she had discovered a few days prior, her heart suffused with grievances.
The young girl deeply wished to discover the core of the earth, and consign it to a death of a thousand cuts to vent her rage.
She had expected her abilities becoming suppressed by a certain extent the moment she departed from the Sanctum, but this was too much, ah!
Her eight extraordinary meridians that had been reforged by the Sanctum and were once swelling with divine essence now resembled shriveled husks compared to their previous domineering appearance!
Furthermore, the conversion ratio between the Sanctum’s pure, unadulterated divine essence compared to its measly derivative spiritual essence that she could utilize, had become… increasingly unpleasant.
To obtain a thin strand of spiritual essence to swirl around her heart, the young girl had to sacrifice at least three strands of divine essence stored within the eight extraordinary meridians.
When she thought of the amount of divine essence she had squandered in her initial moment of panic, An Fei felt that her heart convulsed and bled with each passing moment.
The instant she had departed from the Sanctum with her newly acquired weapons and organized leather bag… the worldly suppression had slammed into her chest with the force of a megaton brick.
She couldn’t even move a muscle for an entire minute, or even breathe.
Only when she forced a strand of spiritual essence to cleanse her body, was she freed from the ungodly restrictions…
The young girl swore towards the sky, her countenance revealing a deep scowl of discontentedness. An Fei struck the bark of a nearby tree, before leaping forwards in the direction of the stream of water.
Thankfully, the herbs stored within the bag had only lost a significant portion of their medicinal efficacy, and were not corroded by the restrictions imposed by the world.
Otherwise, she would have vomited blood in anger, for that would be too much!
Fortunately, her speed was still considerably faster compared to her previous abilities whilst confined to the Body Tempering Realm.
As she darted from tree to tree whilst utilizing the <Steps of Underlying Shadows> to minimize her energy expenditure, the dense net of trees parted and thinned to reveal an open clearing the size of three football fields.
There, the land was divided into two equal portions by a large line of azure. As the young girl approached closer with faltering steps, she discovered that the water current of the stream flowed at a rapid pace, and was cool to the touch.
An Fei finally revealed a smile, her countenance displaying a weary look.
“With this water stream… at least things aren’t that bad?”