Still stuck in a dreamlike state, Huangfu Rui was traveling through the southern outskirts of Formagua City. She had no expression to her face and looked like she was just a marionette being controlled by someone.
It was just a dark forest all around Huangfu Rui. With only the near silent jeerings of the insects and the occasional barking of a feral dog or soulbeast, there was no other sound as Huangfu Rui walked. With everything considered, it was an extremely strange sight.
It took only a while before Formagua City was but a shadow to the world around her before Huangfu Rui found her right in front of a valley. It was a silent area where Huangfu Rui had to navigate around several trees and tall grass before she was able to come to the center of the valley and to a complete stop!
She stood there for a moment before the glossy sheen in her eyes faded away. Two seconds later, her eyes were back to their regular shiny look.
It took a little while longer for Huangfu Rui to get her bearings back after the glossy light was gone from her eyes. It took an additional second before she was aware of her surroundings. "Eh? How'd I get here? Didn't I fall into the ground?"
The very last thing she remembered was falling into that large hole and following her bond with Xiao Rourou back to him. Much to her surprise, she couldn't remember anything else, like how she got all the way here.
Then she realized there wasn't anyone else with her as well!!
This startled the little girl to a large degree. "Xiao Rourou....sis Yun....sis Ting....bro Strawhat....giant....where are you all? I....where am I? Where is everyone??"
As if responding to her, the baying of a distant soulbeast echoed through the little mountainside, scaring the little girl even more. Practically forgetting that she was a Soul Exalt, Huangfu Rui ran over to a large boulder and hid herself behind it to wait for the soulbeast's cry to fully fade away. It was then that she poked her head out and then sat against the boulder with two of her hands clutching at her robe seams. "Why am I here...." She whimpered, "Don't leave me alone here....Xiao Rourou, where are you....please come soon...."
Now that she was aware of it, Huangfu Rui could sense Xiao Rourou's aura from a great distance behind her. Xiao Rourou seemed to have noticed her as well, as the aura was now running quickly in her direction with increasing speed.
She clenched her fist in an attempt to cheer herself up. "Don't be afraid, little Rui is a strong girl who isn't afraid of the night. I'll find Xiao Rourou and then find bro Strawhat and the others...."
She nodded to herself. Leaping out from behind the boulder, she started to make her way back towards Formagua City.
But just after a hundred meters in her journey back, several figures came whistling out from the bushes!
These people looked as though they came out from the ground themselves. They weren't exactly running towards Huangfu Rui and looked more like they were trying to run for their lives off to the side.
Even as panicked as they were, the group of people were still scanning the area with their soulsense as they fled, meaning they picked up on Huangfu Rui's aura. The first person to realize her existence cried out a warning to the others, causing them to in turn look at her.
There were six people in total, all of them middle-aged men and Soul Exalts in strength. But right now, they were all very haphazard in dress and were injured as if they had just fought in an intense battle.
Like a startled chicken, Huangfu Rui leapt into the air. She looked nothing more but a young girl, so the six men sighed in relief when they saw her. Barely sparing her a second glance, the six made the near immediate decision to start running away from the place afterwards.
But then the last one of the six came to a grinding halt to look back at Huangfu Rui.
His pause caused the other five to follow suit. Stopping, the one in the front spoke, "We have to go, sixth brother, what are you looking at? Don't tell me you're thinking about women now of all times!"
"It's not that, second brother, but....this brat here...it's the one from the other day!"
The 'sixth brother' had a more thunderous look on his face now. "It's that person we met back in 'Vacancy Inn'!"
Everyone else looked to Huangfu Rui in surprise. "It really is her!" Someone cried out.
Somehow, Huangfu Rui had come across the 'Hornets of Plum Valley'!!
The people Bai Yunfei and the others were worrying about were right now in contact with the one person they didn't want them to meet!
Just thinking about that day back in Vacancy Inn was enough to make everyone remember the losses they incurred. The second brother, the 'Horned Hornet' was especially chilled at the memories. His eyes swept across the features of Huangfu Rui to have a better look at her. His eyes flashed once with recognition. He knew just what his sixth brother, the 'Rapist Hornet', was wanting. The punishment they got at the hands of Bai Yunfei had been disastrous and weighed heavily on each of their minds after that day. Though they didn't have the strength to get revenge, coming across someone from their most hated group of people by themselves was naturally a golden opportunity none of them wanted to give up on.
Still, that didn't mean they forgot about what they were escaping from. Hardly sparing a moment to weigh the two choices, the Horned Hornet spoke, "Capture her! We take her and then we go! Now!"
"Yes!" The Rapist Hornet lit up with ecstasy. Snapping his head to look at Huangfu Rui, he gave her a sinister smile and made his way quickly over to her!
The others were already starting to run as he made his way towards Huangfu Rui. Because of her, he was a step behind the others, but only a few seconds would be needed for him to catch up afterwards.
It had been with great curiosity that Huangfu Rui watched the six pop out from the ground. When one of them came over to her in the blink of an eye, she realized just who it was with a startled cry. "Oh! A bad guy!!"
She clearly recognized who the Rapist Hornet was as the one who 'startled' her a few days ago. Taking an instinctive step backwards, she raised her left hand up her eye as if unwilling to even look at him. Her right hand came forward to slap at him.
Much to the shock of the Hornets, the five watched as the little girl who should've been only a Soul Sprite in strength suddenly show more power than she should have. There was a quick flash of red as fire sprung out from her palm and slammed into the Rapist Hornet a brief second later!
There was a miserable cry one slap later as the Rapist Hornet was struck by the fiery palm and sent back down to the ground ablaze.
The Horned Hornet was the first to cry out for his downed brother. Shocked, he and everyone else took out their soul armaments to send wave after wave of elemental energy after Huangfu Rui!
"Ahhhh!!" Huangfu Rui was terrified now. Like a rabbit, she leapt up into the air and took out the little pink bag she had tied around her waist. Rummaging through it for something, she took something into her hand and threw it outwards.
There was a flash of golden light as a golden ring of light appeared into the world. It spun around for a moment before colliding with the first beam of elemental energy coming at Huangfu Rui. There was an explosion as the ring of light cut straight through the energy and left it in two. Without weakening in speed, the beam of light shot through the second and third attacks of elemental energy before slamming into the earth-type soul cultivator who couldn't dodge in time!
There was another cry of pain before a second person crumpled to the ground.
Huangfu Rui still looked panicked at her predicament however. Not even noticing that she was winning the exchanges so far, she rummaged through her bag again. This time, a palm-sized bamboo chicken was taken out. Not even sparing a glance at that, Huangfu Rui tossed it outwards as well.
Huangfu Rui's eyes shined bright green with light as soon as the bamboo chicken left her hand. There was a small explosion of light before a two meter tall green chicken appeared out from it!
Like a rocket, the bamboo chicken flew towards Huangfu Rui's enemies with great speed. Its wings were sending out blades of sharp wind to cut down the remaining attacks coming at her. It sliced through the attacks and then just barely missed the Hornets before sailing into the small mountain behind them and left behind a great hole after a small explosion.
Everyone was stunned. It was almost the most ridiculous thing they'd seen in their entire life, but no one could even do anything but stare as Huangfu Rui tried to rummage through her bag even more.
"Hah! Little Rui is super powerful! I won't be bullied by you all!!" Huangfu Rui crooned. A little calmer than before, she was finally starting to think the enemies weren't 'all that strong' compared to her. Now that she had a few small victories so far, Huangfu Rui took out something like a butterfly net with confidence to use in the battle.
Already trembling from the previous attacks, the Hornets were already preparing themselves to dodge this next attack.
But then Huangfu Rui came to a sudden stop. When she tossed out the butterfly net, it did nothing but fall slowly to the ground without at all doing anything else.