Chapter 7: Becoming blood pact partners (Part One)
On the next day, Xia Qiu got up at daybreak. After pulling on her workout clothes, she looked at the Plum Blade she had put beside her pillow the night before; as if she had heard its summoning, she put it into her pocket without thinking and walked out of the room.
When she was out of her home, she began to jog toward Yongchuan Park; Yongchuan Forest stood silently on one side of the road she took. She planned to jog to the park and then back. It was her first morning jog and her body warmed up after a while even though the air was cool this September morning. She concentrated on steadying her breathing and speed; as she breathed in the fresh scent of dew and green grass in the air, she found she wasn’t panting as heavily as before and her body felt unusually peaceful and light as if she had merged with the air, trees, and even breezes.
Suddenly, a sense of uneasiness intruded her peacefulness, like the sound of a needle falling to the ground on a quiet night, small but very disturbing. As the sense of uneasiness grew stronger, she felt something was approaching her. She looked at the forest on one side of the road and seemed to see a black shadow flashing by. She stopped and gazed in the direction that the black shadow disappeared; then she saw an ink-like object was approaching her, condensing and dispersing as it moved. When it condensed, it looked like a black cloud; when it dispersed, it looked like ink dissolving in water. It got closer and closer to her.
She looked around and saw no one. The sense of terror engulfing her felt very familiar, reminding her of the attack on her and Liu Lingmei by the gangsters under Mother Rakshasa’s control. Her instincts told her that the black shadow was evil. At this moment, the black cloud hid behind the trees and seemed to be waiting. Holding her breath, she braced herself for an attack and reached silently into her pocket, gripping the Plum Blade tightly. She couldn’t fully control it yet, but it was her only hope when she was attacked.
The air around her seemed to stop moving and Xia Qiu felt as if she was isolated in a strange space. Suddenly, the black shadow lunged at her, turning into a black wolf when it got close. It bared its fangs and lunged at her. At the last moment, she drew out the Plum Blade which instantly transformed into a sharp saber and blocked the wolf’s attack.
She felt the Plum Blade was merging with her and directing her moves, making her slash, swing, block, and stab… They were saber moves she had never learnt before. The black wolf launched the first attack to test the waters; in the next attack, it unleashed its full force. Even with the Plum Blade’s help and guidance, Xia Qiu couldn’t get away from such a powerful opponent with her current abilities unless a miracle happened.
But a miracle indeed happened. A bird’s shriek came from the sky; she looked up and saw a huge red bird emitting flames dived from above. Instantly she recognized that it was Thorn.
Grabbing the black wolf’s back with its sharp claws, Thorn flapped its wings and burned the wolf with its flames. Caught by surprise, the black wolf struggled out of the bird’s grip and retreated. However, Thorn continued lunging at it. Wounded by Thorn’s first attack, the black wolf hesitated for a second and transformed into black clouds, vanishing in the air instantly.
“Lord Yong had an ominous hunch in the morning and sent me over immediately. He was right. This creature set up a realm shield with spirit power and it took me great efforts to locate you. I was almost too late…” When the black wolf vanished, Thorn landed and withdrew the flames around his body before transforming into a tall red-haired young man.
He was frustrated by his mistake. He was well-known for his loyalty. When he worked for Ouyang Xiaoleng’s father, Ouyang Xueye, he did all the tasks whole-heartedly; after he became Ouyang Yong’s subordinate and main messenger, he had never made a mistake. But today, if he had been one minute slower, Xia Qiu might have been killed.
Thorn had to admire Lord Yong’s miraculous hunch. They had tried their best to keep Xia Qiu’s visit to the North Star Palace a secret, but that person still noticed it. Thorn didn’t know for a fact that Green Cloud had sent the attacker, but every clue showed that he was behind it.
“It’s… okay. Thank you for coming to my rescue.”
Xia Qiu panted heavily, grateful to Thorn with all her heart. This wasn’t the first attack she got, but obviously this attacker was much more powerful than the previous ones. She began to understand why Ouyang Xiaoleng had been so stubbornly against the idea of making a blood pact with her. Every time when she was in danger, no matter how calm she was, she’d have been killed many times over if no one rescued her. Compared with her strong will, her body was so fragile and weak; she didn’t know when she’d stopped being a burden to the others, not to mention fighting alongside with Ouyang Xiaoleng.
Looking at Xia Qiu who stood there firmly despite the shock she had got, Thorn was amazed at the Plum Blade that had taken its weapon form in her hand. Different from other weapons, the Plum Blade had a soul and could only be used by the person whom it recognized as its master. Other people, no matter how powerful they were, couldn’t use it. However, this human girl had summoned its weapon form and used it to block several fierce attacks, which showed how extraordinary she was.
“Do you know who attacked me?” Xia Qiu regained her breathing while the Plum Blade returned to its previous form of the plum-flower-shaped hairpin.
“I’m not sure. I’ll return to the capital city and report it to Lord Yong. He might know the answer.”
Thorn didn’t dare to tell her his guess. The black wolf didn’t show its human form and concealed its spirit power to disguise its identity, still a name flashed across Thorn’s mind and it was Black Death, one of Green Cloud’s main subordinates.(read on noodletowntranslated dot com to support the actual translators)
When Xia Qiu’s tension eased, she felt surges of pain from her joints and bones. She had blocked the black wolf’s attacks without thinking, and now she began to feel how strong those attacks were.(read on noodletowntranslated dot com to support the actual translators)
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