Jia Rou and Lu Cheng-Syuan looked around cautiously. They searched hard through their memory of why they were here to no avail. They were originally going to the Snow Tiger Clan in hopes of discussing resource distribution problems with them. Just a moment ago, they were still on their way; now, however, they were encircled by these humanoid wolves. The man-like wolves in front of the two exuded evil intentions.
Jia Rou: What on earth are they?
Werewolf Commander: Why are you trespassing on our turf?
A taller and more well-built werewolf said while forcing its way through the pack.
Lu Cheng-Syuan: We have no idea either. Could you please make way so we could leave?
Werewolf Commander: It could be done, of course, but shouldn’t you do something for us, too? Say, she looks pretty. Leave her behind and you can get out!
Lu Cheng-Syuan: Nonsense! Take this!
With just a small push off, Jia Rou leapt over the werewolves, landing on an opening. She raised her scepter and unhurriedly whispered a spell; light bolts shot toward the werewolves and suddenly, a crowd of werewolves collapsed onto the ground.
At the same time, Lu Cheng-Syuan shook the blood off his sword; the pack leader was already down.
Lu Cheng-Syuan: Miss Jia, staying here is unwise. Let’s leave!
Jia Rou: Certainly. But I do not know why my power seems to be draining faster than usual.
Lu Cheng-Syuan: Then should we get some rest first?
Jia Rou: This does not seem a safe place. We should leave.
Just then, Lu Cheng-Syuan walked over to Jia Rou and crouched, his back facing her.
Lu Cheng-Syuan: Come on. I will carry you.
Jia Rou did not refuse, but a blush surfaced on her face. She lightly leant against his back while Lu Cheng-Syuan carried her out of the turf the werewolf bandits’ turf.
The two had no knowledge of this world, so they could only proceed forward. They had passed the desert and entered an oasis.
Jia Rou: This place is strange. These are not the sights that we should see when traveling to the Snow Tiger Clan.
Lu Cheng-Syuan: Come to think of it. Wasn’t there a strange gust of wind when we were almost at the Clan?
Jia Rou: Right! And the sights changed after that! Could something have happened?
At the moment, Jia Rou realized that Lu Cheng-Syuan had sweat streaming down his back and he had started panting.
Jia Rou: Are you okay?
Lu Cheng-Syuan nodded, but when he took another step again, his legs felt powerless; he then collapsed onto his knees. Jia Rou anxiously checked on him.
Jia Rou: Do not overexert yourself! Let’s take a rest under the tree.
Lu Cheng-Syuan: Perhaps you are right. Our strength is draining away much quicker than usual.
A sudden roar had Jia Rou and Lu Cheng-Syuan grip their weapons. A strange creature floated before them. That creature appeared like a cloud of mist and seemed to be without sentience, but it was as if its instinct was to gulp down everything around it. The cloud expanded, as if opening its crimson mouth, and bit down on Jia Rou.
More and more such mist-shaped monsters surrounded the two. But they were exhausted and the only way they could remain standing was with the support of their weapons. A number of monsters flew at the two but were stopped by a purple light. Those who failed to evade the light were reduced to stardust.
When the light dissipated, a small purple dragon appeared floating above a book. Upon seeing the small dragon, the mist monsters seemed wary before a great enemy, and started to flee. The dragon casted a spell on the two and restored their power.
Arcane Luster: Visitors from the strange world, I restored your power with my spiritual power.
Arcane Luster: But it could only last you long enough to reach the Heavenly Kingdom.
Arcane Luster: Keep proceeding to the east and you will understand everything when you arrive.
Lu Cheng-Syuan: Thank You very much! Farewell!
Lu Cheng-Syuan took Jia Rou by her hand and dashed to the east.
Jia Rou and Lu Cheng-Syuan arrived at the valley the small dragon had mentioned. They proceeded toward the peak without rest. However, unidentified creatures were observing them in the dark. The two soon realized that they had been going around in circles all along.
Jia Rou: We have walked for almost an hour and we are still wandering around this pile of rocks. We might have been spelled.
Lu Cheng-Syuan: Considering our power, we should not suffer from usual maze-spells. Could there be a sophisticated artisan working against us?
Jia Rou: Do not panic. Our power is draining faster than usual. Even slightly more powerful elves could have done this.
Suddenly, a wooden spike pierced through the air, flying directly at Jia Rou. Fortunately, Lu Cheng-Syuan reacted in time and parried it away with his sword.
Lu Cheng-Syuan: Who is it?
Bat Elf: You can still parry my attack despite being spelled; not bad. You are worthy of being our food!
Wood Elf: Let’s eat!
Jia Rou was exhausted and hence collapsed onto the ground; Lu Cheng-Syuan stood in front of her, guarding her while he himself struggling to stand. The bat elf flapped its wings, causing a forceful air current. It slammed Lu Cheng-Syuan into the tree not far behind him, rendering him unconscious.
The wood elf walked towards Jia Rou and was about to stretch out its hand. Suddenly, it petrified as if frozen. Upon seeing this, the bat elf had its heart skipped a beat. When it wanted to turn and run, it was petrified like the wood elf. It was until that a man on a peculiar mount approached from far away.
Wood Elf: Jiang...Jiang Ziya? Please forgive us!
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: If you do not harm lives, I might give you a chance. But you showed no mercy to them, so I should do the same to you.
His words finished with a scream from the two elves: they were reduced to dots of light and vanished. Seeing Jia Rou and Lu Cheng-Syuan unconscious on the ground, Jiang Ziya instructed Sibuxiang to take the two and head up the mountain.
Looking at the unconscious Lu Cheng-Syuan and Jia Rou, Daji’s heart was filled with discontent. If not for Jiang Ziya’s request to take care of the two, she would not be sitting here.
Lu Cheng-Syuan and Jia Rou finally regained consciousness, but they also felt the immense elvish power exuding from Daji.
Lu Cheng-Syuan: Who are you, demonic elf?
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: ‘He can feel my elvish pneuma even when I have suppressed it? So, it seems he is not some simple loser. Let me play a game with him.’
Daji was bored and hence told a casual lie.
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: I came to eat Jiang Ziya and he’s now in my stomach!
Lu Cheng-Syuan and Jia Rou were assaulted by elves not long ago and were alert to danger. They misunderstood her humor as a threat and thus began to attack in self-defense, weapons in hand.
Aesthetic Vixen Su Daji: Hey! Don’t be so serious. I was just joking.
Daji was also worried if she might hurt the two: they had just recovered after all. Knowing that they could not rival her power, Daji had to run around, avoiding direct contact. When Daji failed to notice his presence, Lu Cheng-Syuan was about to successfully stab Daji. However, Jiang Ziya stepped in his way.
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: Pardon me. Daji means no harm. She was merely demonstrating her brand of humor. Please forgive her.
Jiang Ziya apologized with a polite smile on his face. He then handed two pieces of jade to Jia Rou and Lu Cheng-Syuan.
Jia Rou: What does this jade do? And could you please explain what has happened at all?
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: As to what we have known now, you have come to this realm in result of a time vortex.
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: However, the realm is attempting to assimilate you. If it succeeds, the realm would collapse from an excess of power...
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: So we have set up a magic circle to protect you.
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: The jade in your hand can prevent you from being assimilated when you are out of the protective circle.
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: I still have other matters to care for. Daji will provide help on my behalf.
Jia Rou and Lu Cheng-Syuan thanked Jiang Ziya and sat in meditation to restore their power.