The ‘Xiao Xiong’ Nangong Yuexia was referring to was anything but ‘small’. This giant brown bear is the Yue Feng’s contracted soulbeast partner.
TL Note: Xiao means small/little. A common prefix to pets/nicknames.
It was a late-stage class six brown bear with an affinity for both lightning and earth. It wasn’t capable of human speech, but its intelligence was top notch and comparable to that of humans. It had been shrunk to a miniature-sized version of itself prior to them entering the pocket. Since they were all split up, the bear saw fit to it changing into the size it was now to guide Nangong Yuexia towards the direction of Yue Feng.
The bear took a few steps deeper into the forest before it stopped. Vigilantly, it looked around with bared fangs and a guttural growl.
“Eh? Xiao Xiong, what’s wrong?” Nangong Yuexia stopped as well. Her eyes lit up, “Did you find out where brother Yue Feng and senior Yu Li are?!” She speculated.
Something was wrong with that hope though. Her eyes narrowed right afterwards, “But….I don’t sense their auras….eh? Are….are people fighting over there?!”
As fragile as she seemed, this young woman was still a Mid-stage Soul Exalt in strength. Spreading her soulsense outwards, she started to look at the battle taking place several hundred meters away.
The sounds of the trees and bushes rustling could be heard as someone ran through the forest. It was a panicked type of run from what Nangong Yuexia could sense, and whoever it was, they were running in her direction.
“Someone’s coming! Who is it?”
Nangong Yuexia looked worried. Inching closely to the brown bear for protection, she held the white ferret to her tightly for comfort. The ferret’s ears perked upwards as it stared at the same direction Nangong Yuexia was, its eyes as vigilant as the brown bear’s.
It squirmed out from Nangong Yuexia’s embrace to stand on top of her left shoulder. Fur bristling, the ferret started to growl.
The brown bear growled several octaves lower then, brown light leaking from its giant frame. Like the ferret, its hair was standing up on its ends and the bear’s claws were looking sharp and ready for combat.
A golden beam of light shot forth from twenty meters away. Within this light, a thirty-something year old man could be seen running away as if his life depended on it. His face was deathly-white and his hair a frazzled mess. The golden energy around his person was fluctuating wildly as if out of control, but the most important thing was his left arm.
It was…..gone beneath the left elbow!
His entrance into the vicinity of Nangong Yuexia took him slightly to the left of her. His eyes widened with joy when he saw her, relief flooding his systems at the thought of being saved. He deviated from his original flight path to head for her, “Save me!” He pleaded with all the hope he could muster.
“Please save me!! There’s someone that’s going to ki—”
Something blew open his chest before he could finish. His head bent down to look at it. Horrified, the man’s eyes slowly started to fade in light before he fell to the ground just ten meters away from Nangong Yuexia. He was dead.
A high-pitched scream came forth from Nangong Yuexia. Her pace, already slightly pale with anxiety, drained of blood almost immediately. Her hands, shaking now with fear, flew to her mouth to hide her scream. And her eyes, wide open in shock, stared at the corpse in front of her.
A pool of blood was already forming around the corpse, especially where the hole was in his chest. Based on the size and shape of the hole, Nangong Yuexia could determine that it was about the shape of a fist!
Right before this person was killed, Nangong Yuexia saw a black ball of some kind fly straight through his chest and produce the hole and killing the man!
The black ball flew away from Nangong Yuexia after it killed the first person. Affected by gravity, the ball fell to the ground and left behind an insanely deep hole….
“How….how….how did he die?!”
The events that had led up to the death of this man in front of her had nearly been far too fast for Nangong Yuexia to see, and she still couldn’t really determine what it was exactly.
Several more rustling sounds. Someone was walking towards her. Far more calmly than the first person though. It was a casual jaunt with naught any fear.
A single person dressed in black and violet robes emerged from behind the bushes in the same direction the first male came from. He was a young skinny man with a tall nose and thin lips. His eyes were fiercely-lit with a light that screamed out the intentions of an unkind person. This man spelt trouble.
This person was one of the people Jing Mingfeng told Bai Yunfei about before. In the Westward River Province lived one of the Five Families, the house of Li. This person is Li Yuchun!
The first thing he did was look at the corpse of the man in front of him before shifting directions to Nangong Yuexia.
His eyebrows lifted up in surprise. “A Mid-stage Soul Exalt?”
Then he looked towards the hostile brown bear next to her. “And this soulbeast isn’t very weak….”
“Who….who are you?”
Nangong Yuexia asked, her voice practically a whisper.
“That’s not for you to know.” Li Yuchun replied. “Because….you’ll be a corpse in just a moment!”
His words were chilling to the bone to hear. Bringing his right hand up, he pointed his index finger at Nangong Yuexia and fired a beam of black light out from it. It formed a fist-sized sphere of black light as soon as it left his fingers and flew towards Nangong Yuexia with blinding speed!
The brown bear had sensed Li Yuchun’s hostile aura at once. Roaring furiously in response, it slammed its right foot down onto the ground. A giant boulder flew up in between the sphere and Nangong Yuexia to protect her. Not ending things there, the bear swept the girl into its arms and took off towards the right.
Only a second had passed since the two sides sprung into action. The black ball of light soon came into contact with the giant boulder, but rather than collide with it, the black sphere had simply….gone straight through the boulder. Although it emerged from the other size a little smaller, the ball of light continued onwards to hit a tree from behind where Nangong Yuexia used to be standing in.
Nangong Yuexia’s eyes flickered from the boulder to the tree as she was being carried away by the bear. From both where the ball had hit the boulder and the tree, a hole the size of the ball was in its place!
“This…..” Nangong Yuexia’s face paled drastically, “You’re a space-type soul cultivator!”
She announced this to Li Yuchun, but her eyes widened even more when she realized another important fact….he wasn’t standing there any longer!
The shadow of a person flew up behind her then. Li Yuchun had appeared out of nowhere with a jet-black blade in his right hand to slash unmercilessly at the head of Nangong Yuexia!
The sound of something sharp tearing through flesh was heard as blood sprinkled everywhere. Shocked, Li Yuchun drew his sword back and looked down at the purple claws that had scraped past his chest.
He looked down at the wounds on his chest first before back to the brown bear, whose body was now glowing purple. “So a soulbeast with an affinity for both lightning and thunder, no wonder you’re a fast one…..” He remarked begrudgingly.
“Xiao Xiong, are you okay?!” Nangong Yuexia saw the blood sprinkling down from the bear’s left arm. She was alarmed. Though the brown bear had managed to repel Li Yuchun, its arm was equally hurt.
She turned back to Li Yuchun with a face as red as a tomato, furious at the situation she and the bear was in. “You—! What kind of person are you?! Why are you attacking us for no reason! I’m telling you, my master….my master is Mu Yanling!!”
There had been a sneer on Li Yuchun’s face when he first regarded her and the bear. But when he heard the name ‘Mu Yanling’, his face drew blank with shock.
Nangong Yuexia’s teeth gritted together at his reaction. Determined to act, she flew through several complicated hand seals. Light as blue as the ocean burst out from her body to spread into the surrounding area. And soon, the entire area was reflecting that same color before it contracted in on itself with Li Yuchun as the target!
The pigmentation of the blue light intensified as it condensed. Reaching half the diameter in less than a second, the light was already a very sapphire blue in color. It started to swirl around to form a two-meter tall and one-meter wide ball of water with Li Yuchun inside!
In no time at all, Nangong Yuexia had trapped Li Yuchun inside her attack!
“Let’s run, Xiao Xiong!!”
She didn’t bother to continue attacking after she finished the ‘Water Prison Technique’ and immediately made plans to run away!
She knew this person wasn’t someone she could fight and win against. Even with the brown bear and ferret, Nangong Yuexia had a very slim chance of success! This person was a space-type soul cultivator! Battles against such people were intensely difficult to win against since no elemental energy was enough to overcome the difference between them. The space element….didn’t fall under the ‘five elements’ system!
A wind-type soul cultivator could win against another wind-type soul cultivator if their wind blade was a lot stronger than the other. But….if a space-type soul cultivator attacked, the collision of any elemental energy would by default be swallowed up by space, making such attacks ‘unblockable’!
She knew in her heart how terrifying battles with a space-type soul cultivator was, hence why Nangong Yuexia was so quick to use her master’s name. By taking advantage in the shock of the other person, she used a soul skill to stall for time and make her escape in hopes she could borrow the brown bear’s speed to get away from this person.
The brown bear wasn’t slow to pick up on her plan. Lifting her to its shoulder, the brown bear took off in a bright beam of violet light towards the direction of Yue Feng….
Droplets of water flew everywhere as the Water Prison Technique burst apart from the inside. A drenched Li Yuchun swung his wet hair to behind his shoulders to look at the escaping three beings with a small look of astonishment.
“Haha…..what a plan that girl had….the disciple of Mu Yanling eh? That’s a bit of trouble…..
“But it doesn’t matter,” He chuckled, “you’re going to die anyways!!”
His right foot kicked off against the ground to disappear from his original standing position. He reappeared another hundred meters away before repeating his previous action to speed towards Nangong Yuexia!