Bolting straight up from his bed, Jian Chen landed gracefully on the ground with his eyes carefully studying the room. He spread his presence so that it covered the entirety of the inn, and began to test to see who was there. What disappointed him was the fact that not a single being was detected.
He had clearly heard the distinguishable voice of a person near him earlier. It was not the same as a Saint Ruler pitching his or her voice since a Saint Ruler could speak directly into an ear. This voice was different. It was a clear voice that anyone within earshot could detect, but even though it came from his side, the strange and bone-chilling thing was the fact that not a single living thing or spirit could be seen.
“Who is speaking? Come out now!” Jian Chen commanded with a solemn face. This was a first. He had never experienced this before.
As if responding to Jian Chen’s question, a previously dark spot near the corner of his room suddenly began to glow with light. Wisps of light began to gather in this one spot. They slowly condensed to reveal the silhouette of a person.
As the light dissipated from the room, a young woman, who looked to be around twenty-three years old, came into view. She was quite cute, and was slightly pink to the eyes. The only defect from this otherwise beautiful figure was the fact that her body was eerily fake. It was not an actual human body, and it looked to be made from only light. Following her appearance, light filled the room and dispersed any remaining darkness.
The pupils of Jian Chen’s eyes dilated as he stared at the young woman as if he had seen a ghost.
“Who are you?” Jian Chen growled. Jian Chen was extremely vigilant against this foreign threat of untold power. This girl could be an evil being after all.
Curiously, the young woman stared at Jian Chen before circling him several times. Even while she walked around him, her eyes never left his body as she muttered, “It’s faint. Master’s scent is very faint, but you are clearly not my master. Hey, who are you then?”
Her words left Jian Chen at a loss. Scratching his head in befuddlement, Jian Chen still remained calm while he replied, “This one is Jian Chen. Just who might you be? Why have you come to my room?”
“Jian Chen?” Her eyebrows rose as if she was thinking carefully. “Who’s Jian Chen?”
“Jian Chen would be me!” The muscles in Jian Chen’s face twitched.
Looking at Jian Chen, the young woman asked, “You’re Jian Chen? No no, you’re not my master. My master’s name isn’t Jian Chen. He isn’t as weak as you are either. Weird, why do I smell master’s scent then? Did I smell wrong? No way! There’s no way I would mistake master’s scent for someone else’s! No matter how faint, I will be able to find it.”
Her eyes then spun around the room several times along with her face as she laughed and giggled at Jian Chen, “Big brother, why don’t you tell Little Spirit if you’ve seen my master before. Where is my master? Why has he not come back in forever? Does he not want Little Spirit anymore, or, even worse, did master forget about me??” At the last few words, the young woman’s eyes began to grow red as if she was ready to cry at any moment full of sorrow.
Seeing just how pathetic the young woman was becoming, Jian Chen felt an emotion tug at him from within. It was almost as if he was looking at a small child sadly despairing over the separation from her parents. She was alone and helpless, a pitiful creature to the eyes.
“Little sister, why don’t you tell me who you are? Who is your master? Perhaps I may have seen him before.” Jian Chen inquired. Right now, in his mind, he was trying his best to think of any possible person that could fit the bill as fast as he could.
“I’m Little Spirit! But people call me the spirit of the barrier. As for my master, you should know him, he’s the lord of this city!” She answered.
“The lord of this city?” Jian Chen uttered a low grunt of stupefaction. The lord of this city was a divine figure, and when the thought came to mind, Jian Chen’s face immediately slackened, “What did you say? Your master is the lord of Mercenary City?”
“Hee hee, that’s right. Mercenary City is ruled by my master. Big brother, you do know my master! Tell me where my master is, okay? Big brother, I’m begging you.” Her face lit up when Jian Chen answered her, but it quickly turned into a look of pleading and pity as she began to beg him.
A breath of surprise escaped Jian Chen’s lips as he stared dumbfounded at this twenty something year old woman in front of him.
The lord of mercenary city — that title had only one person in its history — and that person would be the strongest of the Tian Yuan Continent, Mo Tianyun!”
This girl right in front of him, her master was actually the one hailed as the strongest on the continent — Mo Tianyun! That realization was like a clap of thunder to his ears.
A considerable amount of time past before Jian Chen finally regained his wits. Still staring rather shocked at the girl, he just had to ask once more, “Little sister, did I hear you correctly? The lord of Mercenary City, Mo Tianyun, is your master?” Even now, Jian Chen was doubting what he had heard.
“Yes, of course! He is Little Spirit’s master! Even for her entire life, Little Spirit has not forgotten about master! It was master that give Little Spirit her name, you know, but master left a long time ago and never saw me again. Little Spirit really misses master.” As she got to the end of her words, the little girl’s face became crestfallen. At this moment, she truly looked alone.
As if a bomb had gone off, Jian Chen did not known what to think. He could only stare at this girl tongue-tied while trying to find his mind to respond.
This eccentric young woman — was she really a person of the same lifetime of Mo Tianyun?
However, with that thought, an extremely terrifying question came to mind that Jian Chen couldn’t help but tremble and shake about. If this young woman was truly a person from the lifetime of Mo Tianyun, then just how long had this person lived?
“Big brother, please tell Little Spirit, okay? Where is my master now? Why hasn’t he come back for Little Spirit? Little Spirit misses master.” While Jian Chen had remained quiet, the young woman’s eyes had begun to grow teary and pitiful.
Even Jian Chen felt a twinge of sympathy when he saw her pathetic expression. The words she was asking, however, would render anyone speechless. Jian Chen had no idea how to respond.
Mo Tianyun was a figure of antiquity. Even if he was the strongest on the continent, he could not withstand the corrosion of time. Many generations had already past since his pinnacle, and only the illustrious fame his name brought was left behind. Jian Chen had never once seen Mo Tianyun before.
“Big brother, please tell Little Spirit, okay? Where is my master?” The silence from Jian Chen had prompted the young woman to plead again.
Sighing to himself, Jian Chen turned to look at the woman with a slight amount of fear, “Little sister, I’m afraid to disappoint you, but I have never seen your master before.”
“Impossible! You’re lying to Little Spirit! Little Spirit’s nose is strong! Big brother, you can’t lie to Little Spirit! Big brother, you have master’s scent. You have to have seen master before!” She howled in disbelief.
Giving a small shake of his head, Jian Chen forced out a smile, “Little sister, you must be mistaken. I’ve never seen your master before. Your master may have been the strongest this continent has ever seen, but too much time has gone by. Your master has to have reached the end of his age span by now.”
“You lie! Master was a magical figure who had already broken free of most of the binds he faced, even age itself! How could he reach the end of his life span then? Big brother, you can’t lie to Little Spirit!” The very notion of her master dying from age made her angry beyond belief.
Rubbing his temples with some pain, Jian Chen was at a loss on how to deal with this noisy woman in front of him.
“Big brother, please! You have to tell Little Spirit where master is, okay? Little Spirit will definitely pay you back.” This time she added a second phrase to sweeten the deal.
“Little sister, it’s not that I don’t wish to tell you. It’s that I’ve never seen your master before in truth.” Jian Chen helplessly responded.
As if worried now, the young woman began to howl and cry, “But, but, but! You’ve clearly master’s scent! Even if it’s faint, Little Spirit can smell it. Brother, you have to have seen master before.”
“Is there?” Jian Chen carefully looked at his own clothes in strange suspicion. This woman in front of him was adamant that he had the scent of Mo Tianyun, but he was absolutely convinced that he had never seen him before.
Then, a sudden thought came to Jian Chen. “Little sister, perhaps I have something that your master left behind. That may be why you sense your master’s scent.”
“Is that really it? Big brother, have you really not seen my master before?” The young woman’s face grew incredulous.
“I vow that I, Jian Chen, have never seen your master before!” Jian Chen could no longer bear her questioning, so in order to absolve him from any future questions, he made a pledge in such a manner.
Dazed, the young woman stood transfixed at the spot. She stared earnestly at Jian Chen ,trying to confirm what he had said herself. After a standoff for what felt like an eternity, she finally let out a cry of sorrow, “Master, where in the world have you gone? Do you no longer want Little Spirit anymore? Little Spirit has missed you so much! Master, where are you!?” She cried out bitterly. As she cried, her body continued to convulse with shudders, and Jian Chen slowly watched her body start to fade before finally disappearing. With her body gone, the room plunged back into darkness.
“Waaaaah… Master, where did you go? You have to come back to find Little Spirit. Little Spirit wants to see you so much!” The darkness of the night continued to convey the grieved crying sounds of the young woman before finally waning off into silence.
Jian Chen felt influenced by her tears, and grew uneasy as he tried to figure out the reason why she had appeared before him in the first place.
Rekindling the light once more, Jian Chen opened the window to look at the sky. As of right now, it was roughly an hour past midnight, meaning that it was now one of the quietest moments in the city, so the crying of the young woman would not be heard by many, if any.
Shutting the window once more, Jian Chen sat back on his bed. He took out the Space Ring containing the three fist-sized patches of white animal skin to give them a good look.
Jian Chen did not know the history of these three objects nor did he know where they originated from. He had once thought that these three patches of animal skin would somehow lead to a hint of the Saint Ruler who oversaw the destruction of the Bi family.
“Perhaps Mo Tianyun left these three patches before in the past.” Jian Chen thought.