Her recounts of the past slowly floated, like a feather, through the air, but they were gradually imbued with melancholy.
As she spoke, Ning Maner could no longer stop the tears from rolling down her cheeks, lightly landing on the tree’s vines.
As she cried, she got tired and curled up her small body in the small groove in the tree roots, falling asleep with her slightly puffy eyes…...
On the barren land, the shriveled large tree and a curled up sleeping girl painted a mournful scene.
This scene seemed still, yet also seemed to convey the passing of time. In the past, every day, regardless of season, she would curl up under the tree. Now, falling asleep, she seemed to never want to wake up again, following the old tree in its slumber.
The Quiet Forest went silent. The skies were still empty, occasionally hosting an errant wind, but even that had no noise.
Wind and sand slowly eroded the last of the old tree’s husk.
The withered tree’s branches sluggishly waved under the pressure, letting out creaks as it gave up more of its dried leaves…...
The wind grew larger and larger. Lifeless leaves finally detached from the old branches and fell down- quiet and lonely.
The old tree was extremely tall, so the leaves took a long time to fall. Finally, the leaf that fell from the skies reached the roots.
Some of these old leaves happened to cover up Ning Maner’s soft body as she curled up on her little wooden bed.
Yet, the young girl, sound asleep, didn’t notice at all. She subconsciously grasped the old leaves as her pink lips curled up into a smile, seeming finally content and calm.
“Chu Mu, what’s the matter?” Pang Yue stopped moving and glanced back at Chu Mu.
Chu Mu didn’t respond. At that moment, he was holding a tear crystal, staring entranced at the scenes in the tear crystal.
The scene in the tear was fuzzy, but Chu Mu could tell from this drop that Ning Maner was in the depths of Quiet Forest, curled up alone under the withered tree, muttering to herself until she fell asleep from fatigue…...
She was like a hurt little girl lying in her favorite grandpa’s lap.
Because of the soul pact, Chu Mu not only saw Ning Maner’s scene, but also her past memories.
Every piece of this memory was simple, including Ning Maner’s current recounts and nestling, but for some reason, seeing the tear crystal showing this scene, his heart ached. He wanted to fly into the depths of Quiet Forest to hug her and comfort her.
“Chu Mu?” Pang Yue called for Chu Mu again.
Chu Mu came back to his senses and glanced at Pang Yue.
“What?” Pang Yue continued asking.
“Nothing, I thought of some things. How far away are we from the Quiet Forest?” Chu Mu asked.
“Not far. In a few days, we could arrive. The path we took before had some pathing issues or else we would’ve been able to get there even earlier.” Pang Yue said.
“Oh, then let’s hurry up. Ning Maner is already in the Quiet Forest. I’m afraid Kang Ruodong and the others have already noticed.” Chu Mu said.
Chu Mu really was worried about Ning Maner now.
“Alright.” Pang Yue nodded.
Everyone could tell that Chu Mu was worried, and they all quickened their steps towards Quiet Forest’s direction.
After around two days, the Quiet Forest Fort finally appeared in Chu Mu’s eyes.
After finally entering the Fort City, the five of them immediately started looking for Kang Ruodong’s location.
“This Kang Ruodong you speak of, I don’t know if he’s in the city, but a group of people started entering the Quiet Forest a day ago and all of them seem powerful.” A guard of the city said.
“A day ago?” Chu Mu immediately furrowed his brows.
This news is indubitably a nightmare. Kang Ruodong and the others were definitely going for Ning Maner. If he were a day later than them, they may have taken Ning Maner away already.
Chu Mu immediately was anxious, not wanting to waste any more time in this fort.
“Chu Mu, let’s go deep into Quiet Forest now then. The Quiet Forest is rather complicated. They can’t reach the depths of Quiet Forest in just a day.
The same time the five of them were gaining information from the guards, around five hundred meters away from them was a Divine Sect member staring directly at them.
After a while, as if having confirmed something, he quickly ran towards another location.
Chu Mu didn’t discover that someone was watching them. After getting accurate news, the five of them immediately went out of the city.
Yet, not long after they left, suddenly a large group of people chased up behind them, their goal clearly being Chu Mu and the other four.
“Chu Mu, there are twenty or so people behind us!” Ye Wansheng said.
Chu Mu turned around and immediately saw familiar faces.
“It’s the people with High Official He that we met in Lin City!” Prince Chao immediately recognized three of them.
“Why are they here?” Pang Yue said confused.
Within the group, High Official He, Cai Yun, and Wan Jun were indeed there. However, Chu Mu didn’t expect them to also be here for Quiet Forest.
That means the three of them at Lin City likely wasn’t a coincidence and we're going there to ask the old sect master about the heaven boundary monument and Kang Ruodong stopping Ning Maner.
“How can it be him??” Suddenly Xiao Xiao glanced at the back of the group and stared at one person.
Pang Yue glanced over and noticed Xiao Xiao staring at a young man in a straw hat.
This man was probably one of the leaders of that group, having seven or eight followers behind him.
“Who is he?” Pang Yue asked.
“It’s my big brother Huo Lei, one of Demon Beast Palace’s best young generation members!” Xiao Xiao said.
That group of people was part of two factions. The man in a luxurious robe was the lead of the Divine Sect members, while the other side were Demon Beast Palace members led by Huo Lei.
Strangely, these people all didn’t have any clear indications of identity. One had to know that Divine Sect members usually have a symbol of their superiority easily seen.
“Master Official Xu, it’s them!!” Suddenly, the angry voice of High Official He came from behind!
The robed Master Official Xu’s soul pet was very quick. He quickly caught up to Chu Mu while the Demon Beast Palace Huo Lei also came.
“Xiao Xiao, why are you here?” Huo Lei immediately saw Xiao Xiao and his brows furrowed as if he were very unhappy.
“Didn’t you tell me to investigate that case? It brought me here.” Xiao Xiao said.
“Nonsense!” Huo Lei scolded sternly and continued, “Are you going into Quiet Forest? Is this something you think you can handle? Go back into the Fort City and stay there.”
Huo Lei started lecturing Xiao Xiao as if he were an elder.
“You’re not my dad, why would I listen to you!” Xiao Xiao said despicably. She hated when an apprentice older than her like Huo Lei commanded her like that.
Huo Lei’s expression immediately fell sullen.
“Brother Huo, this girl is….. Her friends truly are arrogant, killing two of my subordinates’ soul pets….’ The Master Official xu said.
“It’s a sister apprentice of mine, and my master is her father. She has always had a strange temperament and it is hard to keep her in line. If she violated you in any way, please forgive her.” Huo Lei said politely.
“Oh, so it’s Mister Xiao’s daughter….. We naturally won’t trouble Lady Xiao Xiao. We can handle this peacefully. In reality, it isn't much anyway, right?” Master Official Xu smiled, his gaze quickly falling on his three disciples.
High Official He wanted to add on but after hearing that Xiao Xiao was Mister Xiao’s daughter, his expression immediately changed.
High Official He wasn’t a stupid man. Boss Xu definitely wouldn’t anger Demon Beast Palace Mister Xiao for them. So, he could only put up a forced smile and say, “Of course, we were wrong at first here anyways.”
“You and you, follow Lady Xiao Xiao and escort them back into the Fort City.” Huo Lei glanced at his subordinates and said.
Boss Xu turned around to look at his subordinates and said, “You stay as well.”
After Boss Xu glanced at the rest of them, he said, “You should stay in the Fort City for now, and wait for us to return to Quiet Forest. Then we can find a solution to our issues.”
Chu Mu’s heart immediately sank. They clearly wanted to place house arrest on Chu Mu and his companions.
However, Kang Ruodong had already left a day ago. If they wasted any more time in the Fort City, Chu Mu was worried that Ning Maner will fall into Kang Ruodong’s hands.
“Chu Mu, what do we do now?” Pang Yue immediately asked.
These people are especially powerful, especially master Official Xu and Demon Beast Palace Huo Lei who definitely are in immortal rank. They couldn’t fight them head-on.
“Let’s return to the Fort City first.” Chu Mu said.
Chu Mu knew that fighting them head-on wasn’t smart. Master Official Xu and Huo Lei were definitely in a hurry to find Kang Ruodong and had no time to waste here. Instead of fighting them head-on, they might as well obey them first and let them leave so they had a better chance of escaping and going alone.
Chu Mu was the first to retract his soul pet so everyone else could only start incantations to retract them too.
Huo Lei and Master Official Xu’s subordinates came up to seal off their soul remembrances.
“Watch them carefully and wait for us to come back from Quiet Forest, alright?” Master Official He glanced at High Official he, Yun Cai, and Wan Jun and said.
Huo Lei also left three subordinates, telling them to watch Xiao Xiao well so she didn’t run around.
Seeing his subordinates bring the five of them back into the Fort City, Master Official Xu glanced at Huo Lei and said, “We have to be fast, Kang Ruodong has left for a day already.”
“No worries, they still have to loop around the middle and outer portion for a bit. We won’t be too much slower.” Huo Lei said.
After they spoke, they brought their subordinates swiftly into the forest!
Having their soul remembrances sealed, they were brought back into the city and put into a house.
Because of Xiao Xiao- High Official He, Yun Cai, and Wan Jun had a hatred for Chu Mu but didn’t dare to do anything obvious. After all, the Demon Beast Palace subordinates were all incredibly polite to her.
“Chu Mu, sorry, I messed up, and made it so you couldn’t get to Quiet Forest in time.” Ye Wansheng said to Chu Mu full of regret and shame.
Chu Mu shook his head and said, “No worries, I told White Three to head to Quiet Forest two days ago already. He should be able to find Ning Maner and protect her. And…. you really think these useless people can keep us here?”