Wherever she stood, as long as it wasn’t in the center of the Wu Ji Forest and swamped in an infinite pool of deadly water, An Fei was perfectly content.
Having been emancipated from the uncomfortable and exhausting trip of jumping from the exposed tree roots had sufficiently drained the young girl’s mental capabilities, causing her to slide towards the ground with her back against a sturdy tree and gaze forwards with a blank stare.
Maintaining her balance on thin tendrils of fiber, or tree roots partially submerged in the water, causing her to stand still despite the unbearable pain, An Fei did not wish to return to those regions of the virile forest.
If she were to undress herself, the young girl was certain of her entire body riddled with bruises glaring with their purple splendor and glory.
Perhaps she just emerged from a torture cell with the blood washed away, for the accumulated sensations were no different.
The little raven perched on her shoulder released a short cry of wariness and worry, thoroughly arousing the young girl from her mental haze.
An Fei struggled to stand from her seated position, but sank onto the ground partway through.
“No… no good,” the young girl groaned, her fingers rubbing the little creature’s feathery head with constant trembles.
“Xiao Hei… this better not be bad news…”
The small creature hopped in anger, its beak sprouting a slew of cries into the depths of the forest that dared to eclipse the sun.
The pair of crimson eyes flashed with an unfathomable light, and the little raven’s claws unconsciously tightened onto the leather strap.
A white flash of light swept the dense grass away from An Fei’s vision, the gust of wind blowing her hair to the sides with a piercing gale.
As the dust and disturbed soil gradually trickled to their original positions, the young girl furrowed her brows in apprehension, her lips curving into a soft ‘oh’ of helplessness and laughter.
Prowling on its four legs as it should, brimming with a majestic air of pride and arrogant serendipity, with a pair of scarlet eyes, was a white fox.
Nine tails of snow white with a crimson streak lashing across their center caressed the atmosphere of the forest, swaying with a luxurious and tantalizing rhythm.
Similar strips of crimson streaked across the fox’s body, most particularly its abdomen and back.
The little raven struggled underneath the young girl’s gently stroking finger as it howled in disbelief and helplessness.
The small creature desperately fought to nuzzle against the source of pleasant warmth and retaliate against the onboard threat facing them at a meagre distance of five meters…
They just entered the Wu Ji Forest, and the first creature they encounter is a King!?
“Xiao Hei… am I seeing things right…?”
The oblivious young girl in question rubbed her eyes with her free hand, her adorable mouth gawking open in disbelief.
An Fei even reached forward towards the nine-tailed fox in surprise, her scarlet irises failing to mask their curiosity and interest.
“A true nine-tailed fox… don’t they appear only in fairy tales?”
What answered An Fei’s partly drowsy and drunken question was a sliver of white light flashing across her vision and a gentle warmth passing through her body.
The little raven shrieked in panic and anger as the world it saw flipped upside down and tumbled onto its behind, daring not to close its eyes despite being fully cognizant of the painful disorientation it was about to receive.
…ravens were meant to be masochistic, after all.
The young girl abruptly spun in a counterclockwise motion, her fatigued limbs deftly distributing the powerful force transmitted into her body towards the ground in a gradual process.
After two complete revolutions that allowed An Fei to maneuver behind the tree that once supported her body, she extended her arms to their full length to allow the remaining force to dissipate and leave her alarmed and awake.
The white fox before her bared its teeth in frustration and bewilderment, its nine tails sashaying from side to side as though to express its disbelief.
The white creature lay onto its hind legs as a pair of scarlet animalistic eyes tracked An Fei’s movements through the tree, the silky fur bristling with charged spiritual essence.
“Xiao Hei, look! It’s a fabled creature, a celestial fox with –“
Little stupid lass, how is that possibly a fabled celestial creature!? That’s merely a silver fox with nine tails brimming at the peak stage of Core Formation – oh, you little – !
The sentient spirit gaped at the dazed young girl as she continued to earnestly converse with the raven, her body flitting from one position from the next as the celestial fox released a pounding slurry of physical strikes with an enraged pair of forelimbs.
From time to time, the sentient spirit attempted to communicate an effective strategy to An Fei, but found nothing but the nonsensical calls of an imbecile of a mortal crow escaping its throat.
Look, little lass, instead of being swatted everywhere as though an invincible fly and evading all portions of the impact with your interesting and mildly startling technique, how about unsheathing those lethal blades and removing that threat…
“Xiao Hei, Xiao Hei, just look at the fur! Such pristine quality, wouldn’t it feel perfect to give it a good rub!?”
An Fei eagerly chittered as her vision distorted and blurred from the constant full moon sweeps her unarmed body continued to enact of its unconscious initiative as per the <Steps of Underlying Shadows> technique obtained from the Sanctum.
As the white fox huffed in rage towards its unsuccessful attempts of swatting the young girl in pieces, the person in question continued to laugh and laugh in delight.
Even if nine tails swatted her body through the sea of trees and grass with an unending frenzy and wrath propelling its movements, the young girl didn’t even unsheathe the twin butterfly swords.
All An Fei could think about, in her drunken mental haze induced by severe mental exhaustion, was how comfortable the glossy and pristine white fur on the nine-tailed fox would feel to the touch.
If she were to become able to use it in a scarf, or perhaps a coat, then…
It would be heavenly even compared to the fox fur coat she had once received from Wei Xuan!
The nine tails converged onto a single point and slammed against the young girl’s chest, throwing her towards the trunk of a tree.
As the intense warmth surged through An Fei’s body and delirious mind, the handle-less sword quietly moved to remove the tree in her path, allowing the young girl to safely avoid incurring any damage to her delicate skin.
The nine-tailed fox yelped in utter frustration and agony, its tails slumped and no longer containing any of the virtuous and enraged fury.
The creature bared its teeth at the insensible and giggling young girl with a thin stream of drool dripping from her mouth, the pair of crimson eyes deeply wishing her death.
Forget hitting a ball of cotton with its entire strength, hitting this stinky human girl was as though slapping air!
The little raven grumbled in its heart as it clung onto the leather strap of the bag for dear life, its small body drained of vitality and stamina.
The majority of its feathers hung askew, creating a rather miserable sight.
The handle-less steel sword leapt in the air to unleash a powerful downward slash towards the white nine-tailed fox, the scarlet inscriptions along its blade condensing to manifest a tangible streak of deathly light.
The nine-tailed fox swung its exhausted body into motion, the nine tails emitting a colored radiance as they shot towards the incoming deformed sword that sought bloody judgement from the depths of hell.
The fusion of nine colored light slammed against the scarlet streak of pain and death, causing a massive sonic shockwave to rip through the entire forest and remove the loose branches of the sufficiently reinforced trees within the vicinity.
An Fei clutched her heart, wrinkling her brows in pain. Her countenance distorted as a mixed sensation of pain and unease assaulted her body, cold and hot intermingling to produce a discordant harmony within her body.
It was as though her body had been hurled into a hell of ice and fire without any warning, causing a bead of sweat to trickle from her forehead.
As she glanced in the air, the young girl’s pupils constricted in shock and fear, fixated onto the lotus petal that had sought victory for her dozens of times, faithful without failure.
In the single exchange with the seemingly harmless white nine-tailed fox, the handle-less sword formed from the white lotus petal had lost the battle.
Deep cracks rang across the steel blade, assaulting the sword to the primary core that allowed the blade to stabilize.
The scarlet inscriptions forcefully suppressed to sustain the handle-less sword’s manifestation, the sword hung in the air in silence as the young girl nursed her heart, a bitter sensation rushing through her mind.
A significant portion of her spiritual essence had been depleted from the single exchange, removing two tenths of her meagre, already suppressed reserves. An Fei’s mind finally sobered itself from the exhaustion induced delirium, her back reverberating with an unsettling chill.
This wasn’t a joke; the white nine-tailed fox could actually deem itself as a threat!