Ming Yue felt something warm and fluffy under her blankets. It was a very comfortable feeling and she started to cuddle it. Suddenly she heard multiple chirps and opened her eyes, only to see a pair of silver eyes looking at her. She rushed out of bed and moved away for the creature, preparing to attack if it was hostile. However, it was nothing of the sort. Instead of a fearsome animal like she thought, there was a small little owl on the bed looking at her. It had bright silver eyes, and grayish feathers.
Ming Yue noticed the broken eggshells by her bed and realized who the owl was. It came from the egg she picked up from before!
After realizing this, she lowered her guard and slowly approached the owl. As she walked towards it, the little owl flew and landed on her shoulder nuzzling against her cheek. Ming Yue was surprised from the owl's actions and reached for its neck, stroking it. It purred in delight as she continued stroking. She smiled at its cuteness and started thinking about a name in the mean time.
"Hmm, since you are a girl, how about Xiao Niu?" she asked.
The owl shook her head, she didn't seem to like the name and wanted something different. Minutes later, they finally decided on a name.
"How about Xiao Yin? Since your eyes are bright silver", she said.
Xiao Yin tweeted happily as she accepted the name. Xiao Yin seemed to have a degree of intelligence despite being born just yesterday. Ming Yue thought about this as she changed into her clothes and left her room. As she walked around brothel, everyone noticed Xiao Yin and commented on how cute she was. Her silver eyes were quite adorable.
Ming Yue went to Owner Su's shop with Xiao Yin, she wanted to know if he could recognize the race that Xiao Yin was from. When she entered, he immediately noticed the owl perched on her shoulder.
"Oh, is that the creature from the egg? I didn't think it would hatch so soon!" he said.
"I was wondering if you know what kind of owl Xiao Yin is?" Ming Yue replied.
"So you've already named her, interesting. Let me get a better look at Xiao Yin then."
Owner Su approached Ming Yue, inspecting Xiao Yin. After several minutes, he went to the back of his shop and came out with a large book. He opened it, flipping pages frequently until stopping near the end.
"Aha! I found it!" he said, "It is a rank 2 Star Owl, While it does not have much offensive capabilities, it has incredible senses and can detect danger from miles away. Furthermore, it is a great tracker and can spot things that were easy to miss. Star Owls are also known for their intelligence."
Ming Yue was somewhat surprised at Xiao Yin. She didn't think that she would have such a pet. She wouldn't have to worry about any assassins and be able to avoid any dangerous situations. Both man and beast were be hard pressed to try to ambush her.
She thanked Owner Su and left the store.
"Don't forget to sell me anything interesting that you find!" he said as she left.
Ming Yue nodded and went out to do some other errands. There was only 2 weeks before the expedition and she wanted to prepare accordingly. She went to Tie Di's forge and asked him to check on her blade and make sure that it is in good shape. After leaving it to him, she went to complete some small herb collection missions for the pavilion. Considering that she had Xiao Yin with her, who had good tracking skills, they were quite quick and easy to do.
Time passed by quickly and the day of the expedition came. Ming Yue prepared to leave and told everyone at the brothel that she would not be back for quite some time. After saying her goodbyes, she left and headed for the pavilion. She arrived to the pavilion and saw a group of around 100 people. After everyone had arrived, they were separated into around 20 groups. According to one of the mission organizers, each group was to be responsible for exploring a specific section of the ruins.
As for Ming Yue, her group consisted of 3 men and 2 women including her. Everyone had excited looks and began conversing with each other, introducing themselves as they traveled to their destination.
There was a muscular bald man named Ming Gang, he had a giant axe and wore dark green clothes. The other two men were blood brothers named Shen Hou and Ling Rong, who both had matching clothes and held a sword and spear respectively. They had a heroic demeanor and were very humble about their background. They were known as the Long Feng Brothers due to their fighting style where one followed the moves of a dragon and the other a phoenix. Then there was the fourth member, Lan Jia, she was extremely pretty and could be considered a beauty. She was quite shapely and her lips were cherry red. Her hair was deep blue and long enough to reach her waist. However the most interesting part was her weapon, while most female cultivators preferred the sword, she had a pair of gauntlets and fought using her fists. Ming Gang and Lan Jia were of the Bronze Bull rank, Shen Hou and Ling Rong were at Black Turtle and Ming Yue at Jade Fox.
Out of the entire group, Ming Gang was the most excited. Unlike the others, he had never really left Luan City and had only gone as far as Death Wind Mountains.
"I wonder what the ruins could have? Money, weapons, skills, maybe inheritances?" he said.
"From what I hear, this set of ruins is a palace that once housed a lord at the Sky realm. It is believed that he was a demonic genius who surpassed many others with his fire techniques and ultimately made a name for himself as the Blue Fire Scion", said Lan Jia.
"Such a terrifying name! He must've been quite the character", said Shen Hou.
Ming Yue was somewhat interested in this Blue Fire Scion but because he was better known for cultivating with fire, there was most likely nothing related to wind in the ruins.
Everyone continued talking about themselves, the things they did, where they came from. Of them all, Ming Yue spoke the least. She was more focused playing with Xiao Yin.
Suddenly, Ming Gang decided to ask her why she was a member of the pavilion at such a young age. He himself was around 25 years old while the others were at their late thirties.
"I have no family left, they were killed by bandits along with my village. The only thing I have left to remember them by is this sword", she said, showing them the sheathed blade.
She smiled afterwards, "You do not have to console me, I am fine. The best thing I can do right now is live."
Everyone went quiet, surprised by her words. As they thought about this, constant howls were resounded in the air. They immediately raised their guard. Several hundred meters away from them was a forest where the howls seemed to originate from. As they looked onward, shadows started started to pass through the trees as they moved towards the group.
As they continued appearing, someone yelled.
"It's a pack of Black Root Wolves!"
They were rank 2 monsters and weren't too dangerous by themselves. However as a group, they were a force to be reckoned with. Black Root was part of their names because their bodies were fused with nature. Dark plant roots covered their legs like armor and even covered their claws, making them much more resilient and able to do more damage.
Everyone prepared for the incoming attack circulating their force and brandishing their weapons. The wolf horde was only 200 meters away and everyone readied themselves.
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