Xue Wei had been fleeing northwards this entire time. However, after losing his pursuer, he started changing his direction.
He ran west for a long time, after which he finally started moving south again.
He knew that he had to find information on Tie Haolong, but visiting human settlements included exposure and potentially drawing even bigger figures to himself
"My only option is to return the way I came," Xue Wei said as he sighed. "I can get information when I reach the capital... if I manage to reach it in time."
Xue Wei could not help but grumble, "I want a flying beast, too. If I had a flying beast, the trip to the capital would be simple. Now that I don't, I have to walk through the same hardships as I encountered on the way here."
Just as Xue Wei said this, a bird cry resounded in the sky. When Xue Wei looked up, his face paled.
A Lightning Sparrow was closing in on him again. This sparrow flew faster than it did previously, and thunder rumbled in the sky due to the speed with which it moved. It was clear that it had broken through from having a strength equivalent to the Sky warrior into one of the Heavenly Warrior.
"Damn it all!" Xue Wei swore as he sped up his retreat. He had intentionally ensured that he had not been moving anywhere near other people, yet this beast had found him anyway and was now catching up to him with a speed much faster than their last encounter.
In front of him was a forest. This forest would be able to help him escape, but he was unsure of whether or not he could make it in time, as the Lightning Sparrow was simply too swift.
"Why did it have to break through now of all times?!" Xue Wei could not help but grumble. "Is the goddess of fortune really that much against me?!" he cried out, but he did not lower his speed, frantically running for his life.
Just as he could see the beginning of the forest and a slight trace of hope began to spread in his body, a claw suddenly and gently wrapped around his shoulder and lifted him into the air.
"Let me go!" he cried out and tried wriggling out of the hold, but the bird held on to him with its claws and slowed down drastically. Another bird cry was issued, but it was not before now that Xue Wei realized that the person who had been riding the bird previously had not said a single word.
He felt puzzled. Said rider had mentioned and relished in Xue Wei's misfortune, yet now he was quiet.
This did not add up. However, when Xue Wei looked upwards, all he could see was the lower body of the bird, which gently rode the wind towards some unknown land.
"Where are you taking me?" Xue Wei muttered, but the bird just happily chirped as if it was replying to his question.
They flew for two whole days, and during these days, the bird held him gently in its claws, ensuring that he was not wounded. Xue Wei had stopped struggling too.
He had a strange feeling that there was no rider on top of this bird, as he had not heard any sounds other than the flapping of the bird's wings alongside the cheerful chirps that it released from time to time.
At the start, Xue Wei had been worried about where they were going, but the sight of the incredibly familiar landscape beneath him made him realize that he was now flying back the way he had walked previously.
They were nearing the area where the Ice Harpy had dropped him, the speed with which they were traveling much faster than it had been when he had been on foot.
Xue Wei could not comprehend what the bird was thinking, nor was he able to communicate with it, but he still got the impression that the beast wanted to help him. Was this because he had the scent of the Ice Harpy, or was it because it genuinely wanted to help him?
The bird was happy, there was no doubt about this. It chirped happily, and the claws that held onto him were steady and strong, but they did not stab into his flesh like Chu Huiyin’s talons had done.
The bird had been quiet at the start as if it was nervous and worried, but it made progressively more noise as they traveled, and eventually it started chirping non-stop.
Xue Wei could feel the happiness in the bird, and suddenly he had a thought. "Do you understand me?" he yelled, and the bird tweeted in return.
"If you understand me, chirp twice!"
The bird chirped twice. Xue Wei was stunned. This beast was a Fierce Beast. They were known to be of lower intellect than Primordial Beasts and humans. However, this specific Lightning Sparrow was quite intelligent.
"Are you helping me? Chirp twice if you are, once if you are not."
Again, the bird responded to him with two chirps, sounding quite happy as it flapped its wings with renewed strength.
"Can you take me to a forest close to the capital?" Xue Wei asked again, and the bird nodded its head, an almost human reaction that shocked Xue Wei.
"Did you break the bond between you and your master? Chirp twice for yes, once for no,"
The bird chirped twice again. "Is it to show me gratitude that you are helping me now?" he asked again, and the bird chirped twice to show that it was.
"Thank you," Xue Wei said from the bottom of his heart. He had always thought that beasts were too controlled by their instincts; that they were evil and would kill on a whim.
"Humans are no different," he said with a sigh. He had seen the ugly face of the Primordial Beast Hunters that he had looked up to before. These honorable hunters were in fact not honorable at all. They were willing to do anything for the sake of money.
They would even turn on their own kind. As a result, they had lost all of the respect Xue Wei held for them.
On the other hand, this Lightning Sparrow was showing him respect and gratitude. The one who was supposed to be his enemy for life was helping him to repay a debt of gratitude instead of trying to kill him. In fact, although this Fierce Beast was not created for the sake of fighting, it was able to kill him within a moment. It possessed the strength of a Heavenly Warrior after all.
"Those who show me kindness, I will return to them the kindness a hundredfold," Xue Wei muttered to himself. Ever since he had been captured by Chu Huiyin, he had felt the world around him change, and he changed with it.
At the start, he had been filled with grief, remorse, and guilt. He had blamed himself for giving in to the killing intent and using his beast arms, allowing for the Primordial beast the Ice Harpy to frame him, but the more he thought about it, the more he realized that she would have done the same thing no matter what he had done, putting him in the exact same situation no matter what.
Then he had understood. That in this world, there were no good or evil, there wasere only you and your companions against the rest of the world.
"I will no longer judge anyone based on their appearances or races," Xue Wei muttered. "I might be able to find a friend in the most unexpected situation," he mused, looking at the sparrow above him.
He knew that this sparrow was only helping him to repay him for having broken the chains that tied him to the Primordial Beast Hunter. They had no long-lasting relationship, but they could still help one another this time.
Xue Wei arrived at the capital within four days, a speed so fast that no one could have imagined his advance being so fast.
They arrived in a forest at the outskirts of the northern parts of the city walls, and Xue Wei was placed on the ground for the first time in four days. The Lightning Sparrow had been able to fly for four days straight. It was exhausted, but it felt happy having broken the chain of karma that tied the two of them together.
Xue Wei bowed to the bird. "Thank you for your assistance," he said sincerely. He felt as if his mind had been muddled before, constantly brainwashed about how evil the beasts were, how they were the enemies that needed to be killed and that they were without any emotions,controlled only by their urges.
While Xue Wei truly did hate Chu Huiyin, he did not hate this Lightning Sparrow. The Lightning Sparrow had allowed him to see that just as every human was different, so were the beasts.
While there were vile beasts that truly had no intelligence comparable to the humans and were completely controlled by their instincts, there were also those who were gentle and friendly.
"I am not in a position where I can see the best in others though," Xue Wei mocked himself. "I am the enemy of both humans and beasts alike, and it seems that I will not be able to make any new friends for a long time."
"Still, I need some information about Tie Haolong. I am not sure what I can do, but I cannot do nothing. He is a friend, and I would rather die by my friend's side than run with my tail between my legs and let him down."
Xue Wei had reached a decision, and he would bet his life on it.
"Be careful not to be taken captive again," Xue Wei said to the Lightning Sparrow. It once more nodded its head before it chirped one last time and swung its wings around as it turned before it vanished from the area.
Xue Wei stood still for a long time to watch the sparrow turn into a speck of dust in the distance. He then sighed.
He found his Fierce Beast robes and dressed into them before he placed the bamboo hat on his head. Although it was quite rare to be alone and wearing a bamboo hat in the rest of the kingdom, it was really not that rare in the capital.
Here, you could find every kind of person in one place, and many of them wished to remain unknown.
Previously, there had been a barricade at the entrance of the capital checking every single one for their facial features, but they had stopped doing that after hearing news of Xue Wei’s location.
It was slowing down everyone’s entrance into the city, and there was no way for Xue Wei to return to the capital that fast unless he could teleport. No one ever expected that he would fly with a Fierce Beast that specialized in speed.
Since this was the case, Xue Wei could casually walk into the Outer City, and he found a small inn where he found a corner to sit down. He paid a few silvers for some food and drinks and stayed there to listen to the gossip currently spreading in the capital.
Many topics were being spoken about but nothing of interest to Xue Wei. It was not before an hour after taking his seat that the table next to him suddenly caught his attention.
"Do you really believe that he is a Primordial Beast?" someone asked with a snort, and Xue Wei listened with interest while feigning uninterest.
The ones speaking were two burly men. Both of them were wearing nice clothes, but neither’s outfit were made of Fierce Beast silk or hide.
"I don't think so," the other man replied. Both of them spoke lowly, clearly worried about someone overhearing their conversation.
"From all the rumors that go around, it is as if they are forcefully portraying him as a Primordial Beast or someone in collusion with Primordial Beasts. But remember, he is said to have lived with the Hunter Xiao Lei for so long. If he was truly one, would he not have noticed?"Previous Chapter Next Chapter