Selene took a while before letting Shi Yan go. A smile now stretches across her face, eyes no longer red but her hair remained unkempt.
When she gazed over at Shi Yin, she backed off a little. Shi Yin gave a menacing look at Selene. Selene did not understand what made Shi Yin despise her so much. She could only guess that Shi Yin was still hung up about the branch swinging incident. Like a reprimanded child, Selene decided to avoid interaction with Shi Yin.
In a few seconds, Selene regained her composure. Excited to find her parents, she kept asking Shi Yan about his plans to find them and defeat the ape. “Big brother, what are we going to do? When are we going to find mommy? Today?”
Shi Yan shakes his head and pats hers. “Don’t worry, we will find them. But we need to defeat the ape first. I need to tend to something beforehand, do you have a place that Shi Yin and I could rest?”
Selene felt a little dejected by Shi Yan’s response. In a sad voice, “Big brother, this whole space is the world I live in. Any place could be used to rest.” Shi Yan nodded in acceptance, “I see. Could you then instead, lead us to a place near the river with a soft patch of land?”
Selene nodded without uttering a word. She led the two to a sprawling open field covered with short grass. “This is where I sleep. Since it’s spacious, I don’t mind big brother staying here with me.”
Shi Yan did not reject her offer. Instead, he felt a little joyful but guilty. This space was her room. A room in which she welcomed only people she trusts. This meant that she trusted Shi Yan.
When Shi Yan stepped into the field, Selene did not oppose. However, the case was entirely different for Shi Yin. “No! You cannot come in!” Shi Yin ignored her, catching up to Shi Yan’s side.
Selene was furious and threw a tantrum, she would pick up nearby twigs to throw at Shi Yin. Luckily for Shi Yan, Shi Yin could easily dodge anything Selene threw. He did not want to partake in this dispute because he could not bring himself to side with either.
Ignoring both of them, Shi Yan started to collect the longer strands of grass and other materials nearby, preparing to create a mat and blanket. Selene and Shi Yin stopped fighting while he was crafting, instead falling asleep from exhaustion
Shi Yan carried them both onto the grass mat. It was large enough to fit two adults, which is more than enough space for the three. He slowly placed the two down on either side of the bed, leaving a space in between for himself. He then joined them and pulled up the blanket. Shi Yan wanted to separate the two, they were to each other like water and fire. They might fight the moment they wake.
He hugged Shi Yin in his arms and gave her a peck on her head. Looking up at the dark orange sky, he starts to plan for tomorrow.
[We should get more information about this place from Selene. Having more allies would be nice. Although I probably can’t trick them like I did Selene, I could negotiate terms with them… There’s still the treasures. We haven’t found their abilities yet.] *uuuuuurrrrrgh* Shi Yan gave out a loud yawn. [Well… I will continue think about it tomorrow…]
As usual, Shi Yan woke up from Shi Yin’s licking. Shi Yin hadn’t left the warmth of his arms, her head popped out of the blanket, she was so cute that Shi Yan couldn’t help but rub his face against her.
Looking behind him, Selene was still sleeping like a log.
Shi Yan got out of bed slowly, caring to make sure he doesn’t wake Selene. He fished out the two treasures on him. The black cloak and the golden pendant, neither of which has displayed any abilities yet. He never had the safety nor time to inspect the two, but now was the perfect opportunity.
Flipping them around, feeling every inch of the items, Shi Yan could not tell their functions. All he could gather was that they were very finely made. Things that only nobles like Madam Cheng (Orphanage mistress) or immortals like Master Hu could afford.
Shi Yan thought of the runic book and took it out. He guessed that it must have some kind of aid since Lumi and his brother allowed Shi Yan to bring it along. However, after taking the time and effort to looked through the book twice, everything turned in vain.
*sigh* [well, at least now I know the basic of runes.] Shi Yan gave a cold chuckle “ha… ha ha…”. [How long has it been since I started reading? I’m feeling quite hungry now…]
Just when Shi Yan thought of food, Shi Yin popped out of a small patch of tall grass in a corner, carrying a fruit in her mouth. She placed the fruit on Shi Yan’s lap and brought her head closer to his hand, asking to be caressed. Shi Yan naturally caressed her for a good long time until the little fox was satisfied. Moving away from his hand, Shi Yin sat on his lap to cuddle.
After eating, Shi Yan wanted to look for Selene to question her. However, Shi Yin did not want to budge from his lap. She would refuse to be carried by Shi Yan, struggling till she broke free from his grasp and jumping back into his lap.
[This cheeky fox is definitely doing this on purpose. *sigh* does she really not want me to see Selene anymore? She must know we have to work together to kill that ape… Jealousy? Must be… Ahh women… ]
Shi Yan wasn’t dense. He understood that Shi Yin’s display of affection was a means to mark him as hers. He understood how she felt. They only had each other. She didn’t want to lose the most important thing she had. Although Shi Yan had no desire to waste any more time, he couldn’t bring himself to disappoint Shi Yin. He just sat there, petting her.
Only after a while did Selene come looking for them. “Big brother, are you done? Can we go find my parents now ?” She said in a concerned voice.
Trying to not make Selene worry any further, Shi Yan voiced out confidently “Sorry Selene, not yet. I need to make more preparations before we can head out to fight the ape. If we lose, don’t you think it’d make your parents sad?” Selene understood and unwillingly nodded “Okay… I’ll listen to big brother and wait…” Her hands were fidgeting. She wanted to ask Shi Yan something but was interrupted before she could open her mouth. “Selene, I need to ask you, why is the forest in such a mess? Why were you separated from your parents?”
Selene shook her head, in a soft voice “Big brother, I’m not sure what happened in the forest. I was asleep most of the time. Mommy and Daddy were discussing something before we had to run away. Mommy said that he attacked the mountain god. It was defeated but he started killing everyone else. Xiao Li, Xiao Er, and many others were killed.” Selene was tearing up. “I don’t understand. I don’t know. Uncle Zi was supposed to protect the mountain god. He was always nice to me. Daddy… He called Uncle Zhi, brother. We were like family… Why did he attack mommy and daddy? Why did he attack the mountain god? Big brother, do you know?” Selene moved closer to Shi Yan, took his hand and squeezed it tightly. “Big brother, why did Uncle Zi become like that? It was terrifying. Daddy was crying.” Her eyes burst into tears. “Mommy, mommy, she *sniff* threw herself at Uncle Zi. *sniff* Uncle Zi grabbed me, *sniff sniff* … branch tore off…” The rest of her words were inaudible due to her crying.
Shi Yan could not bear to see her like this. “Selene, stop. Don’t cry, okay? We will find your parents.” Although Shi Yan tried to pacify Selene, her tears continued to flow for some time. Shi Yin just coldly glared at Selene, still sitting on Shi Yan’s lap.
[This is much more troubling than expected… There seems to be a deeper plot… I’m not sure if this has anything to do with the test but that ape, Uncle Zhi is certainly not the root of the problem. His motives remain unclear. But I now know what we should do next. Our next ally should be the mountain god. Since Selene is close to the ape, she probably knows where the mountain god is. However, how can I be certain that it’d be willing to ally us? If it learns that we tricked Selene, wouldn’t we be walking into a tiger’s den?]
[Our safest option is to first figure out the abilities of the treasures. I just hope that at least one of will have a defensive ability for us to at least run away from the mountain god.]
Selene did not move from her spot, falling back to sleep yet again. Shi Yan wanted to move away from Selene, but she clung to him rather tightly. Shi Yin on the other hand, got off of Shi Yan’s lap. Shi Yan was perplexed. He did not understand why Shi Yin would leave him. It was normal for a jealous woman to stick to her person, especially in front of her rival.
However, Shi Yan underestimated the ferociousness of the little fox. Shi Yin did not simply walk away from Shi Yan; she was looking for the right angle to push Selene away from Shi Yan.
Shi Yan didn’t realise Shi Yin’s intentions until she started charging at Selene. He tried to stop her, but it was too late. Shi Yin head-butted Selene, letting go of Shi Yan’s arm, and Selene fell onto Shi Yan’s lap.
Shi Yin was not pleased. She failed to move Selene away from Shi Yan, but made it worse. Selene was on her private spot. In a fit of anger, Shi Yin tried to bite Selene awake. Shi Yin knew that she didn’t have enough strength to toss Selene away from Shi Yan so, she could only scare Selene away from Shi Yan.
Her small mouth approached Selene’s arm. With her K-nine exposed, she ran forward and pounced.
Shi Yan saw Shi Yin’s aggressive expression and moved to cover Selene. His arms wrapped around the little girl, forming a protective layer of defence.
Shi Yin wanted to stop. However, she was already in mid-air. She managed to close her jaws but was unable to retract her claws. “*Cheech*” the claws dug into Shi Yan’s arm, spilling blood. Shi Yin became scared. She was afraid that Shi Yan would start hating her and started crying out. She apologised with a teary face, “eyyahh… Eyyahh”.
Shi Yan moved forward and reached his arm out to caress her. Guilty, Shi Yin did not dare look at Shi Yan in the eyes. She moved around to the injured arm and started to lick it, hoping it would alleviate the pain.
Shi Yan couldn’t help but bend down and kiss Shi Yin on her head. “It’s fine, it doesn’t hurt. Don’t worry about me okay?” He smiled. Sadly, Shi Yin did not look nor hear Shi Yan’s words, as she continued to lick the wound.
As Shi Yin licked the wound, the golden bell on her neck began to glow. “*Ding, Ding, Ding*” the bell rang three times and a bright light enveloped all three of them. A short while later, the light dissipated. The golden bell was now silver in colour.
Opening his eyes from the bright flash, Shi Yan discovered that his wounds were completely healed.
[What? This bell… did it activate? How did we activate it? Wait… why did it change colour? ]
Shi Yan held the bell, investigating it. It seems that only the colour has changed. Everything else remained the same. Strange…
Shi Yan looked at Shi Yin to discover that her mouth was covered in his blood. The silver fur, smudged with blood from her mouth to neck.
[Could it be? Blood? ]
Shi Yan bit his finger. A small trace of blood was oozing out. Shi Yin stared, perplex by Shi Yan’s actions. She did not interfere, trusting that Shi Yan had it all planned.
Shi Yan rubbed his blood on the bell but nothing happened. Could it be that this thing can only be used once? Changing his experiment to the cloak, once the cloak got in contact with the blood, the cloak disappeared.
[What? Where did it go? Shi Yan placed his hand on where the cloak was. Strange? It just became invisible… hold on, do things inside become invisible as well? ]
Shi Yan took the cloak and gently covered Shi Yin. Shi Yin did not resist, she willing took up the role as a test subject. She was even happy to be of use to Shi Yan. The invisible cloak encased Shi Yin, and she disappeared along with the cloak.
Shi Yan did not seem surprised, rather he got excited. This cloak was a dream object for all thieves and it was in his hands. Smiling, Shi Yan thought of how he could easily rob the rich and arrogant nobles of Nan Dynasty, all for a drop of blood.
Shi Yin saw Shi Yan stop moving, and she dug her way out of the cloak. She proceeded to lick Shi Yan’s finger. Her small soft tongue woke Shi Yan up from his day dream. He recalled that he still had one last treasure that he hasn’t tested it out.
He pulled his hand back from Shi Yin’s tongue and gave her a kiss on her forehead as thanks. Applying the blood onto the pendant did not give the same reaction as the now silver bell or the black cloak. Instead, the pendant opened up to reveal a mirror on one side and a large white gemstone on the other. The rim of the pendant was decorated with white glowing runes. Shi Yan could only faintly read one small sentence on either side. The other runes were unrecognisable to Shi Yan. On the side of the mirror it reads: ‘Disguise Spectrum’. On the side of the white gem, it reads: ‘Heart of worlds’.
Shi Yan did not understand what those names meant for the pendant. However, he had a vague sense that these names were related to the abilities of the pendant. He thought of Lumi, pondering his words, strength, courage and endurance. However, the boy did not understand how those words currently relate to the situation right now.
When he came back from his thoughts, he did not see his own face. Instead, it was Lumi’s face!