FEotRS Chapter 5 – Growing Up

After returning to the camp where her father was preparing the night’s supper, Luo Zhirou was feeling listless. 

Seeing her come back alone, Luo Bailong frowned, but he could quickly guess that Jin Feihong had been picked up by his Dao Protector. 

Sighing, Luo Bailong did not know what to say when he saw the listless expression of his daughter, but upon hearing her say that he would return half a year later, he felt gratified. 

Unfortunately, things didn’t go as they had expected. Half a year went by while Luo Zhirou spent every day thinking about her big brother, but he did not show up, even after the deadline had passed.

Initially, they had been staying at the same location, but as the years went by, both Luo Zhirou and her father gave up all hope. 

She was worried. Had the killers attacked Jin Feihong again? Had he just decided that he did not want to deal with her anyway? Had the tribulation gone wrong? 

After thinking of the different situations, Luo Zhirou hoped that he had just gotten tired of her and changed his mind. The thought of him being wounded was enough to make her feel heartache. 

Years went by. Luo Zhirou grew into a fine young lady. While Jin Feihong was in the upper realms, Luo Zhirou quickly realized they were from different worlds.

He was a cultivator in the world above; she was an abandoned princess of a defeated tribe in a mortal world. 

But the loss of her Big Brother Jin had left a severe emotional scar on Luo Zhirou. She never gotten close to anyone again, and neither did she involve herself if someone was in trouble.

She had previously been energetic about entering the villages and seeing the other people, staying in the inns and things like that, but now she held no excitement for anything. 

Luo Zhirou became introverted. She spoke with her father and tried to pacify him, but whenever she was not speaking with him, she would revert to a calm, cold, and apathetic expression.

As she grew older, she began training in hunting, scouting, and fighting with her father. She was fighting against beasts, and she quickly found that her body was different from others. She felt that there was five different colors of energy that were shooting through her body, but she could not cultivate them. In this world, the heaven and earth essence was simply too low; all mortal worlds were incapable of creating cultivators. However, although she could not cultivate her inner energies, she was training her body constantly and nurtured it with herbs that she and her father had found throughout the years, and soon she had a body like jade, while it looked delicate and frail, it was in fact, indestructible.

When Luo Zhirou was ten years old, she came across her first group of bandits while traveling with her father. This was the first time she had fought a real battle where her life was on the line, but she soon found that the feeling of fighting was the only one that made her feel slightly alive. Her senses, which usually were numbed, were heightened, and she enjoyed the feeling of having her life on the line. 

After this, she was more and more eager to fight these bandits, and it was a way for them to get their hands on some resources, necessities, and items that they usually would have to buy in the villages.

The forests, meadows, valleys, and mountain paths were filled with bandits. Especially after the Riluo Empire had taken over the entire realm, many were living a livelihood on the wrong side of the law. 

Luo Zhirou would hunt these bandits as she grew older and older. Much like how she would hunt the prey she wanted to kill, she also hunted bandits to feel alive, and her fighting skills turned more and more refined. 

From time to time, she would leave her father for weeks alone, heading out to hunt for bandits. Luo Bailong did not stop her. Although he was worried that one day she would start to kill innocent people, he had faith in her morals and personality. He also understood that she had lost all faith in humanity after being left alone by Jin Feihong. He knew she needed to vent her feelings somehow, and this was the best way for her to let out some steam.

A few days before Luo Zhirou turned fifteen, she had found tracks of a group of bandits that only contained three people. These bandits were famed throughout the entire realm, and they were skilled at fighting. 

Luo Zhiou’s body was not fully developed, but even so, she was already a country-toppling beauty. Her expression was cold like ice, her lips were straight, but her expression seemed stoic and ethereal. Her black phoenix eyes were deep like an endless well and shone like thousand stars. Her face, so breathtakingly beautiful that anyone would look a few times, stunned at what they would see.

Her figure was still developing, but one could see that she would get some beautiful curves when she grew up. 

As she snuck through the thicket, she listened to everything that was happening around her, and finally, she arrived at the lair of the bandits. 

These bandits were grouped around a campfire, and they were not even attempting to try and hide their whereabouts, their voices were loud and rough, the smoke from the campfire possible to see from far away.

Luo Zhirou patiently waited for them to split up. Although she could take on all three of them at once, she preferred fighting them one on one. 

In her hand was a fan made from metal. Luo Zhirou’s weapon of choice was indeed a fan, it was easy to use and could cut as well as a knife and a dagger. 

Seeing that they were not leaving, but sticking together, Luo Zhirou frowned, but she was impatient and jumped out from her hiding place and into the middle of their camp. 

“A beauty has come to offer herself to us!” one of them laughed heartily, but moments after his throat had been cut, blood flowed incessantly, and his eyes displayed shock before dimming, his last breath causing the blood to bubble in his throat. 

Seeing their friend die like this, the other two were blinded by fury as they jumped at Luo Zhirou, wanting to chop her to pieces. 

Luo Zhirou was dodging expertly. One of the bandits was using a broadsword, another was using a double bladed axe, both of them were sturdy men, their muscles were bulging underneath their robes, and every slash and strike was lethal.  

Luo Zhirou used her fan to deflect some attacks, and her footwork was skilled at dodging the attacks, it looked like a dance as she fluttered around the campsite, leading the two strong men along. It turned into a battle of attrition, both the men were trying to wear her down, while her aim was the same, as she was using a simple weapon which was easier to wield, and her dodges required the minimum energy.

Sweat began to bead on their foreheads, but neither of them let up, they were fighting with all their attention on the opponents, and wounds began appearing on their bodies. Since it was a fight of attrition, it was clear that it would be a close match for whomever was going to win. Even if Luo Zhirou won, it would be a difficult win, an exhausting victory.

The sounds of battle rang out in the quiet forest, frightening away the animals, but attracting the other humans who heard it. 

The only group of people who were in the surrounding area of the fight was a group of mercenaries who had been hired by the Crown Prince to help them deal with a specific dangerous animal, where he needed the carcass for increasing his bodily strength. 

While it was impossible to strengthen one’s inner energies within the lower realms due to the low density of the heaven and earth essence, it was possible to nurture, enhance, and strengthen one’s body. Various things could be used to strengthen one’s body, and certain beast blood was a useful remedy.

Hearing the sounds of humans fighting one another, the Crown Prince was quite curious about who would be fighting in the middle of the forest, and he could not help but lead the mercenary group towards the sounds.

What he saw stunned not only him but all the others as well. 

A beautiful woman like an ethereal fairy was fluttering in the air as she was using her fan to fight against two burly men. 

She looked like a spirit as she fought, captivating the minds and hearts of all present. 

“It’s them!” someone finally exclaimed. “The Three Tiger Brothers! How can she fight them like this?!” 

The Crown Prince felt as if the world had turned brighter; he had finally seen the most beautiful woman he had ever encountered, but just as he was about to call out to her, she vanished from their eyes.

Looking at the battlefield, only three corpses remained. 

Luo Zhirou had noticed them the moment they had arrived, and thus she had used the two men’s diverted attention to kill them and flee in an instant. 

“Find her!” The Crown Prince instantly ignored his original purpose and instead ordered the mercenaries to find her. He was bewitched by her appearance and her fairy-like demeanor. He had found an urge to conquer such a strong woman. 

At the same time, in the realm above, within the Tiangang Sect, Jin Feihong was seated in contemplation. 

Ever since his tribulation, he felt as if something important was missing from his heart as if he had forgotten something important, yet when he asked the others, they would not give him the answer he wanted.

He had asked many Elders, especially Elder Li, who was previously his Dao Protector, and he knew that this Elder was keeping something from him, but no matter how he asked, he refused to answer.

Over the years, the feeling of loss was getting greater and greater, he was hurting, and sometimes his chest would tighten. 

He experienced this once more. This time it was worse than normal, a tear dropped from his right eye, and he was shocked. He knew he had to do something about this, otherwise, it would likely become a heart demon, destroying his future prospects.  

After contemplating for some time, he went to Elder Li’s chambers, waiting for him to return to once more ask him a few questions.

While he was there, he saw a memory orb was placed on the table. He knew it was wrong to look at other’s memories, however, the images flashing within the orb made him shocked, and his expression changed instantly. 

Reaching out his hand, he touched the orb, and suddenly a picture of him playing with the most beautiful little girl appeared in his mind.

He saw himself laughing and allowing her to do whatever she pleased; he even went as far as to kiss her forehead! But who was this young girl? He did not seem to have any memories of her at all. 

Suddenly a sharp pain spread in his chest, and he could not help but wonder just who this girl was that she could make him, a reborn immortal, act like this.

While he waited for Elder Li to return so that he could explain this in detail to him, Luo Zhirou was fleeing for her life. She had never expected that the mercenaries who had observed her battle would begin chasing her, and she was not willing to get caught.

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