It was with great fear that Huangfu Rui watched the shadow 'descend' from the skies. Shrinking away from the person, the little girl moved to try to open up her spatial bag but to no avail. The bag simply wouldn't open without any soulforce being fed into it. Panicked now, she started to run. Without knowing what to do in this case, Huangfu Rui looked very close to tears.
"Haha....don't be afraid, I won't hurt you...."
As Huangfu Rui was turning to run at full sprint, a kind and warm voice spoke out to her.
It was the person who had just descended from the skies. From the voice, the person could at least be identified to be a middle-aged man. The smile on his face was now noticeable due to the moonlight, and rather than looking scary like Huangfu Rui thought, the man looked more like a doting figure.
He was standing in front of Huangfu Rui now. His fire-red robes could be seen clearly now due to the bright moon shining overhead. He looked to be in his forties around. Built with broad shoulders and a high nature, the man had a rugged, but distinct face and eyes with light as sharp as swords. His hair was sprawled out behind his neck, but overall, the person looked like quite the honest and gentle person.
For reasons unknown to her, Huangfu Rui suddenly felt at ease with him around. There was a 'friendly' feeling she was getting from him. A feeling that made him seem very familiar, so it was easy for her to believe in his words. She came to a stop to look at him.
She was rewarded with a warm smile as if to comfort her. "Be at ease....those people have been dealt with. They won't hurt you anymore."
Huangfu Rui turned her head back towards where the others used to be, confused on where they had gone. Her eyes then widened when she realized just what exactly was said by the man. "Did...did uncle beat up and force those bad guys away?"
"Force them away?" The person blinked. "Ah yes, I've already sent them off."
He smiled at the piece of the ground where the Hornets used to be. Eyes flicking back, he gave another grin towards Huangfu Rui.
Farther to the right where the Hornets first came out from, a figure was laid face-down on the ground, hiding in the shadows and trying to slink away from the area without making a sound.
This person was....the head of the Hornets, Boss Hornet!
He didn't attack Huangfu Rui with the others or even came out from underneath the same time as the others did. As the strongest, he was responsible for protecting the vanguard. By the time he came out from underground, the others were already attacking Huangfu Rui and then subsequently killed by the mysterious people up above!
He didn't even know what was going on here. The first thing he saw and felt was the blood and gore from his brethren flying everywhere when he finally made his way up.
The next thing he did was suppress his soulforce to the max and dive down to the ground, afraid to move even a finger.
Soon afterwards, he watched as the one person in the skies walk towards Huangfu Rui before daring to make even a single step off into the opposite direction!
The 'Hornets of Plum Valley' had experienced nothing but misfortune as of late. The prelude to their tale of woe was Bai Yunfei and the others teaching them a harsh lesson back at Vacancy Inn. Then the next thing to occur was them fleeing to the strange ghost city that was Formagua. It was there that they were attacked by a mysterious soulbeast they couldn't even see and dragged underground. Even with the combined might of them nine, it took them several hours before their final escape.
Two of their numbers didn't make it out with them, and the rest of the brothers had nearly thought they'd die there as well. But for some reason when all hope seemed lost, the tentacles that were attacking them stopped, allowing them to continue on and make their escape. They didn't know why that was happening, but no one really cared either. By finding a tunnel up, they were able to make it above ground.
What the group didn't expect was to jump out from the frying pan and into the fire. No sooner did they make their long-awaited escape did all but one of their numbers perish.
Boss Hornet didn't even care to know if Bai Yunfei and his friends died or not now.
The only thing he could care about was running away as fast as he possibly could!
He did his best to make his way forward for a good while. But then when he felt the pointed gaze of someone land onto his back, the man immediately dropped to the ground. Back and forehead slick with sweat, he had only one thought now. He was definitely dead now....
But the feeling lasted for only a moment before it disappeared without him being worse for wear. The Boss Hornet was stupefied, but ecstatic that he was still alive. Renewed with hope, he made his way forward to leave.
The middle-aged man had very clearly seen the man. But the Boss Hornet was just an ant in his opinion, someone not worth chasing after. A mighty soul cultivator wouldn't bother to go out of his way to step on the insignificant ants on the ground. The Boss Hornet was such an ant, and there was no point in stepping on him.
"Are you....Huangfu Rui?"
The middle-aged man suddenly asked her.
"Eh??" Huangfu Rui blinked. "Uncle, how do you know my name?"
He placed a hand on top of her head to pat it affectionately, "Of course I know your name, haha. I....am quite familiar with you after all, very familiar even...."
Huangfu Rui wrinkled her nose and swung the head off her head. "You liar. I don't know you. How do you know who I am?"
"Haha...." The man smiled when he saw the look on her face. He pulled back his hand to say, "Of course you don't recognize me. You weren't even...."
He trailed away with his words to sigh. "Twenty years.....has twenty years really gone by....? Little girl, your mother....how is she now?"
"Mom? Mom's fine...." Huangfu Rui nodded her head. "Eh? Do you know mom?"
The man smiled and nodded.
She cocked her head. "Who are you, uncle? Do you really know mom and I? Why haven't I seen you before?"
The man smiled again. He placed his hand back onto her head for a while before then dropping it. "I'm Dongfang—"
"East?" Huangfu Rui interjected before he could finish, "Why aren't you called West?"
TL Note: Dongfang is a surname, but has also the same characters for east.
"Ah...." The middle-aged man looked truly stunned by the question, "It's my surname...."
"Oh..." Huangfu Rui nodded her head sagely. "Uncle Dongfang, do you know my mom? Why haven't I heard her talk about you before?"
This time, the expression on the man's face stiffened in sorrow. He sighed. "It's true. I....I know your mother, but....she definitely wouldn't talk about me....."
"Then, do you know my dad?" Huangfu Rui tried to change the subject.
The air immediately chilled as soon as she asked the question. The pupils to the man's eyes dilated with hatred at the very mention of Huangfu Rui's father. His aura pervading through the air had made a substantial change on Huangfu Rui, causing her to shiver and back away from him in fear.
"Uncle Dongfang, you....you...."
Realizing his loss of emotional control, the man snapped back to awareness. The cold aura dropped at once as he gave a self-deprecating smile towards her. "Let's not talk about that. Come, little girl. Let me see just how much you've 'grown'...."
"Eh?" Huangfu Rui asked, "What do you mea—"
The man pressed his palm against her head before she could finish, and then....she went still as a board!
Her words had died in her mouth as she went still, her eyes growing listless and without emotion!