”Ayo! Bring the bodies out, place them on the sheet! ” An aged voice shouted out. The rustling of bodies moving and steps echoing reverberated throughout Yi Yun ’s mind. It echoed out endlessly, but an unwilling will was soon born.
”No… ” With a few coughs, Yi Yun lifted his body to observe the men who were carrying two bodies that had crispy flesh and burnt skin. He could only make out from his angle the dark and red colors of the two bodies, their other features almost unrecognizable.
Tears fell from his cheeks, but he still used every last ounce of his strength to lift himself up, attempting to stand. But the smoke that had filled his lungs and his patches of burnt skin was painful, and he winced multiple times throughout.
”Argh! ” Yi Yun had experienced sixteen years of life, and they included doing all sorts of jobs, humiliating and painful, yet today was the most painful moment of his life.
”Oy! Boy! Don ’t move, ” a voice moved towards Yi Yun and he felt a hand hold him by his torso and underarm. Yi Yun turned his wet eyes towards an old man with a worried gaze. He wasn ’t that tall, but he wasn ’t short. His grey hair was orderly and short, clearly well taken care of.
”Ol-old Hu? ” Yi Yun recognized this old man. He was the medicinal sage that took care of his mother ’s condition the most over the two years since. He has helped graciously in giving her prescriptions to ease her symptoms. It was only because of his efforts and discounted services that his mother could survive for so long, and do so without being in heartrending pain.
Old Hu had a faint frown, ”I ’m Sage Hu, Sage Hu! ” He had to remind Yi Yun once again not to refer to him without his official title. He spent decades earning the right to be called Sage, so to be referred as old rubbed him the wrong way.
”S-sorry! ” Yi Yun coughed out an apology, staggering a little into Old Hu ’s embrace. If it wasn ’t for Old Hu, Yi Yun would ’ve fallen to the floor by now.
”Do you not understand what happened? You need to rest, ” Old Hu gently informed.
How could he rest?
Yi Yun shook his head, looking at the two burnt bodies through the gaps of people that were examining it curiously. They were clearly trying to determine who they were.
Old Hu thought Yi Yun was unaware of what happened when he shook his head, so he carried him a little bit towards the burnt bodies. ”You rushed into a burning house. You ’ve breathed in a lot of smoke and your skin has experienced some first and second-degree burns. You ’re lucky there were expert cultivators all-around. If not, you ’d have ended up like those two. ”
Yi Yun felt his heart tremble. His eyes never left those two burn corpses. ”Mother…Yi Meimei… ” His voice was filled with a despondence that could shatter minds and hearts.
”Hm? ” Old Hu was surprised, and he looked towards the corpses from afar. Then, he seemed to understand. With a strong grab of Yi Yun who was pushing closer to the two bodies, he said: ”They ’re both men. ”
”…! ” Yi Yun ’s eyes widened, snapping his head towards Old Hu ’s face and fiercely analyzing his expression. If this was a foolish joke, he wanted to spot the falseness behind it. They weren ’t women? They were men?
Old Hu sighed, ”You thought it was them; I understand. ” Old Hu carefully carried Yi Yun towards the bodies. Yi Yun finally saw the complete appearances of the two burnt corpses. They were both men, and fully-grown ones at that. There was not a child nor a woman there, and that was evidenced by their breasts and sexual organs.
His heart experienced a tsunami of rampant relief that caused his body to become weak. A series of heavy coughs resounded.
”You ’ve inhaled too much smoke, and your body has suffered quite a bit. ” Old Hu reminded Yi Yun.
”Where are they? ” But Yi Yun didn ’t care about himself at this moment. His mother and little sister were not here, and even after searching for them, he was unable to even see their shadow amongst the crowd. If they weren ’t in the house, then where were they? Also, why were there two men in his home?
”I don ’t know, but we should leave first. ” Old Hu said, then glanced at the crowd cautiously. ”Let ’s hurry, ” he urged. The two started to leave the scene, but a few cultivators blocked their way.
”Halt! ” They belonged to the Oakfall Village military. They had menacing appearances and inspected Yi Yun with a heavy gaze. This caused Yi Yun ’s heart to clench. Did they know that he stole the Meadowlife Herb? He had to consciously prevent himself from checking on the small herbal box in his robe.
Old Hu seemed to have guessed something, and his expression momentarily changed for a brief moment before becoming natural and neutral. ”Is there a problem? ” He asked, his tone carrying the prestige of a Medicinal Sage.
The lead soldier narrowed his eyes, a wisp of spiritual light within. ”Sage Hu, will he be okay? ” After a moment, his concern leaked and those following him noticed, their expressions easing.
This soldier had rushed into the fire to save Yi Yun. It seemed he was only checking on if Yi Yun, a young boy, would be fine.
Yi Yun was shocked. The concern was genuine, and he had rarely seen individuals look at him with that emotion. After all, he was a half-breed and often suffered abuse and ill-gossip from others. Yet this soldier was concerned for his well-being, he was unable to react.
Sage Hu faintly smiled. ”Captain Zhi, I ’ll be taking him back to ensure he ’s given appropriate rest. Will you be investigating what happened here? ”
Captain Zhi was a tall, muscular elf with brown hair tied into a ponytail. He gave off a heroic feeling of a general leading a great battle at all times, and clearly from his subordinates ’ mirroring act, he was well-respected and regarded.
Captain Zhi nodded, ”We already have. ” It ’s been hours since the fire had been doused, and the bodies had long since been discovered yet remained unmoved until investigations had completed on the cause of the fire. They weren ’t amateurs.
”We have witness reports stating that three cloaked figures arrived and proceeded to raid the small house. There were some screams heard, notably from a little girl, and the sounds of a struggle. Two local residents entered the house and there was a pair of wailing screams. We believe they were incapacitated or killed interfering with a kidnapping attempt, and the act of arson started to remove any evidence, ” Captain Zhi explained. This shocked his subordinates.
Why was he explaining these details to two strangers?
Old Hu frowned, looking at Yi Yun.
Captain Zhi, too, looked at Yi Yun. But the target of their gazes were absentminded and violently pale. Raided? Kidnapped? Why?!
Captain Zhi retrieved a parchment from his robe after inspecting Yi Yun ’s response to his words. Clearly, he was shocked and confused, so it was unlikely he knew of the exact reason, but that didn ’t mean he couldn ’t piece together the information.
The parchment contained a recently drawn symbol. ”Do you recognize this symbol? ” Captain Zhi asked.
Yi Yun looked at the symbol. It was unfamiliar. There were three circular spirals with one at the top, one at the bottom left, and one at the bottom right. At the center where the three spirals loosely connected, there was a strange star-like object. The vertical rays were longer, sharper than the horizontal rays, roughly double.
”Why? ” Yi Yun looked upwards and found a wisp of disappointment in Captain Zhi ’s eyes. It seemed his ignorance had been deduced.
Captain Zhi pocketed the parchment, ”According to eyewitness statements, these individuals had this mark on their robes. There ’s a possibility that the kidnapping wasn ’t the intention, but an eventuality based on circumstance. Otherwise, it would be extremely strange that they were so easily identifiable and sloppy. ”
Yi Yun was unable to make heads or tails of what happened, but he wanted to find his mother and little sister. ”Do you know where they are? Who took them? ”
Captain Zhi shook his head, ”They took off on a Skyship. We tracked their escape route, and a few saw them with two unconscious bodies. There was a squad of cultivators who were looking for…an object…that encountered them along the way, but they were subdued easily. This indicates that their cultivation was not low, but they didn ’t fly, so their cultivation bases were quite limited.
”Alright, go get treated. We ’ll find you if we have more questions regarding the incident. To kidnap a member of our Oakfall Village, these figures must be underestimating us. Fortunately, if they were taken, then chances are they ’re alive. You can rest, we ’ll handle this. ” Captain Zhi said, patting Yi Yun on his shoulder lightly to comfort him. He was aware of the identities of the two who were taken and their relationship with Yi Yun.
He knew this wasn ’t much, but this was all he could do.
Yi Yun was numb, mindlessly nodding as Old Hu gave thanks to the captain and left with him in tow. When they returned to Old Hu ’s residence, Old Hu laid Yi Yun down on a bed and solemnly looked at him.
Yi Yun had been lost in his thoughts since learning that his mother and sister were taken by cloaked figures. The symbol of the three spirals and the central star imprinted forever in his mind.
He had to find them.
Old Hu said, ”You stole the Meadowlife Herb. Didn ’t you? ”
Yi Yun ’s heart trembled and his eyelids jumped.
Old Hu heavily sighed, ”I guess its a blessing in disguise. If you hadn ’t done that, perhaps there would be no one who could ’ve saved you from your own recklessness. ” He felt that Yi Yun ’s luck was a little too good. If it wasn ’t for the commotion brought about by the Meadowlife Herb, he would ’ve certainly not been saved.
Taking a few steps back, if he hadn ’t gone to steal the Meadowlife Herb, it was possible he could ’ve been captured or killed by those cloaked figures. It was quite amusing to think about; being a thief saved his life.
”…What are you going to do? ” Yi Yun asked. He was too weak to resist Old Hu if he wanted to act against him for the herb, and he couldn ’t stop it if Old Hu turned him in. After all, he was a thief.
Old Hu shook his head. He didn ’t reply immediately, merely took up to a desk and pulled open a drawer to retrieve a bottle of ointment. ”You ’re my patient, so I ’m going to treat you. ”
Yi Yun relaxed. He didn ’t think Old Hu would turn him in, and he didn ’t seem interested in the herb. Of course, Yi Yun didn ’t understand the true darkness that others could hold in their hearts. Even as Old Hu applied the ointment, he couldn ’t help but consider giving Yi Yun poison and taking the herb for himself. After all, who wouldn ’t want a few dozen years of additional life?
In the end, he didn ’t. ”I recognize the symbol, ” he decided to tell the truth.
Startled, Yi Yun ’s eyes brightened as he lifted his torso up. ”You did? ”
Old Hu nodded. He didn ’t know it at the time, but this was the first action that could spiral Yi Yun into an epic adventure of heartfelt struggle, personal discovery, life-defining relationships, and fierce battles. The youth that had never harmed a fly might become era-defining, remembered throughout the ages.
”It belongs to a certain organization called the Tri-Spiraling Star. They are… ” As Old Hu began to weave the explanation of their origins, what little he knew, there was a figure who was aware of this event, this beginnings of an epic character.
Within the Voidspace of the Elven Sanctuary, there was a small-sized Voidship floating outside the Woodland Moon ’s atmospheric layers. On its hull, there were two radiant characters that highlighted its origins. These two characters said: ”Everlore ” & ”San ”.
San Yongli, the Temporal Reincarnator, was at the helm of this Voidship, her crimson eyes staring at the beautiful lunar satellite before her. There was a trace of nostalgia in her eyes, betraying her deep memories of this celestial body in her past life. At her glabella, a glimmer of gold flickered.
”We ’ve received permission to enter, ” A tall, shapely human female with long brown hair stepped forward and said.
San Yongli nodded. With a thought, the Voidship made its steady descent. ’It ’s been decades since I ’ve been here. I still can ’t believe the True Martial World Emperor originates from here.. Let ’s see if it ’s actually here. ’
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