52 Forest Showdown
The air around You Ji started to condense to shards, and the light from Jiao S' sword was shattered before it reached its target.
You Ji covered her mouth and laughed. "You mean to say that this move was taught to you and Gaoqin Jiuye by Si Luo, and that no one but you three should know it, right?"
At the mention of Si Luo, Jiao S' expression completely changed. A storm raged in her eyes.
And then the air around her started to tremble! Just like when Gaoqin Jiuye used this ability that day in the stone room, I lost my footing. I grabbed onto Nie Zun with one hand, and with the other, I blocked my red dress flying up in front of me, lest I miss this scene!
You Ji's green hair danced around her head as the air shook. Her face was covered with smeared blood. She smiled evilly, looking like Medusa of Greek lore. "Don't get anxious. I don't plan on fighting with you, and I don't plan on answering any of our questions. So, just step aside, and let me find that Laurel girl."
My eyes widened now. I released my hold on Nie Zun and quickly grabbed my bow and arrow, aiming straight for You Ji. "You'd better not touch a single finger on Laurel."
And then You Ji just laughed. "Me, touch her? That girl's no ordinary girl. If she continues running wild out there, I'm afraid that I won't even be able to touch her anymore. You guys should stop letting your feelings lead you. Do you really think she's the same Laurel that you once knew?
"I really don't have time to play with you anymore." You Ji's smile slowly disappeared. The air around her started to shake again, and then it condensed into a thick gaseous wall, with us on one side and her on the other. She turned to go.
The storm continued to rage in Jiao S' eyes; her hair started to fly wildly. She raised her longsword, her rough voice rippling through the wind, "Twisting death, thousand blades!" The blinding sphere of light around the sword suddenly glowed much brighter. She jumped up and struck with her sword.
The blade sounded, and the sky filled with dust.
You Ji must not have expected her perfect barrier to get hacked up so easily. She turned and glared angrily at Jiao S. Her green her hair was lifted into the air, curling, and her serpent's tale slithered on the ground. It grew longer and thicker, winding up on the ground like a python.
I quickly rose into the air and immediately shot ten arrows. Whoosh! All ten arrows landed in You Ji's tail. Her face stiffened, and she was clearly in pain. But still, her serpent's tail slowly slithered over to Jiao S.
"Jiao S, be careful of her tail! Don't let her wrap it around you!" I shouted loudly.
Upon hearing that, Jiao S lept into the air. And then, You Ji's tail chased after her, into the air like a pillar rising from the ground. Her tail grew longer, but it didn't slow down. In fact, it sped up, and Jiao S was quickly captured.
"Nie Zun!" I shouted as my dress flew.
Nie Zun immediately flew over to Jiao S' side. He moved so swiftly, he just looked like a flash of black. He stomped down on You Ji's chasing serpent's tail.
There was a flame at his foot as he stepped down.
I'd always known that Nie Zun was very strong. Though he always looked idle and carefree, he was very demanding of his body. He may not engage in much combat, but he trained enough to be able to utilize his mental force in attacks.
When he stomped down on You Ji's tail with his fiery foot, the flames spread to her. You Ji clenched her teeth and glared at Nie Zun. "You're just as vexing as before!"
I pulled out Piercer to attack her. With the twisting winds formed by You Ji and Jiao S on either side, I ran forward like a speeding bullet.
Piercer was very long, so before I got too close to You Ji, I raised my arm and flicked the whip at her. It glowed in a violet light, and with my added mental force, it straightened like a sword. I swung at You Ji's face.
You Ji looked back, a vortex of air forming. She wanted to block me! As if Jiao S would give her that chance. Her eyes also widened as she conjured a flurry of air to knock out You Ji's vortex.
I took this opportunity to strike You Ji with my violet sword.
Though it looked like we were ahead, I didn't let my guard down yet. I grabbed ten arrows from my back and aimed.
Armed with years of combat experience, Jiao S didn't give You Ji the chance to resist either. Even as she was forming her vortex, Jiao S held up her sword. On the tail of my violet sword, she charged.
You Ji's lips suddenly curled up in an eerie smile. I looked at her strange smile and aimed for her face.
Suddenly, a howling sound echoed. Three large wolves descended from above.
You Ji was caught between two blades when the wolves appeared before her. The wolves roared, furious, as a dark aura escaped from their mouths onto the swords. When the dark stream touched the light of the swords, explosive popping sounded and the blades shattered to smoke.
With my vision now clouded, I couldn't easily aim my arrows. The alarmed Jiao S and Nie Zun quickly returned to my side. When Jiao S landed on the ground, she started raising a storm, immediately dispersing the darkness.
As the smoke disappeared, the three large wolves stood proudly beside You Ji's tail. Their eyes were fierce, and together with You Ji, they stared at us.
You Ji looked around and laughed. "Goodness, looks like my reinforcement's here. Even these wolves are here; won't you show yourself, Rong Jin?"
My brows furrowed at her words. A wave of worry rushed over me as I recalled what Huan Qing had said. If the soul snatcher Rong Jin was here now, did that mean the one-armed woman who defeated Huan Qing was also here?!
But even after You Ji spoke, no one appeared. Then a voice suddenly floated over from behind her, "I didn't help you so that you'd sit around here wasting time. Or are you wanting to see what it's like to be dog food?"
I shivered. The voice sounded like a ghost. It felt like a male evilness, calling from the depths of hell. It made one feel entirely uneasy.
You Ji's expression remained unchanged as she heard this voice though. She didn't even turn. But her voice carried some restraint as she said, "I was on my way. Just help me take care of them."
Again, like an evil breeze, the demonic voice came again from behind her, "Go."
As if she'd just been given amnesty, You Ji sighed in relief and glanced at us with a smile. She collected her tail, which returned to its original size, and then she turned and fled into the forest behind her.
Jiao S and I wanted to chase after her, but the three large wolves, creatures I'd never before seen in the Split Zone, watched us like hunters waiting to catch their prey. As the dark aura escaped their mouths, we both stopped in fear.
Nie Zun also motioned to us to act cautiously.
By then, You Ji's serpent tail had already disappeared into the forest, and I could no longer pursue. I clenched my teeth. Laurel, wait for me. I'll definitely save you.
You Ji may have disappeared, but the wolves still stood in front of us, darkness at their mouths, like they'd been poisoned.
"Whatever demon hides there, show yourself if you can! Why simply leave these animals here to act savagely?" I brushed away my skirt as I angrily shouted towards the forest behind the wolves.
It's enough that you caused my dearest friend to betray me, but you even kidnapped a girl from our district and did some strange things to Yu Liang and Song Lu! There were just too many things going on here!
I glared at the darkness ahead as I fumed with anger inside. The smoke dispersed and a clear wind blew, carrying the evil, ghostly voice. "Who's this foolish girl who's so unaware of the rules?"
Goosebumps covered my body as that strange voice uttered the words "foolish girl."
Suddenly, a shadow appeared beneath the paws of the three wolves. I nearly jumped back in fright. A large and tall, ordinary-shaped man's shadow extended on the ground. It appeared here, in the forest, under the gloomy, ashen sky.
I exchanged glances with Jiao S and Nie Zun. We all looked a the mysterious shadow on the ground.
I stared at the shadow and said, "This foolish girl is the Western Commander, Li Shen! Soul snatcher Rong Jin, are you betraying the Southern District by engaging in these dubious affairs with my district's You Ji?"
The shadow on the ground shook, as if he were laughing. The ghostly voice came again, "I don't know of any Western Commander. And I'm entirely uninterested in the 'dubious affairs' you speak of. Whatever I do, it is for my own enjoyment. Hahaha!"
The goosebumps on my body returned as his frightful laugh echoed.
Just as we were about to make a move, another chilly voice came from behind us. "Is Si Luo aware of all the fun you're having too?"
The three of us turned to see Gaoqin Jiuye, arms crossed over his chest. He walked over to us, his bright yellow sneakers stepping on the ground, a wicked smile on his lips.
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