The smell of blood was thick, it was metallic and had a slight tinge of sourness. It wafted through the air, attracting many beasts to watch the fight and to wait.
Ming Yue and the others hid themselves well, covered by the shadows of the boulders they crouched behind. They saw a variety of creatures arrive at the smell of blood. Hundreds of beasts watching as the tiger and the Thunder Roc fought each other with recklessness.
Entangled in their battle, neither creature noticed the watchful eyes.
"We should leave..." Lao Gan whispered with urgency, "It's become too dangerous."
Despite his pleas, Ming Yue did not move and watched carefully. Like those around her, she too waited for an opportunity.
"What are you doing?! Don't tell me you're going to compete with the rest of these beasts? That's insane!"
Lao Gan let out an exasperated breath and saw her serious expression. In that moment of thought, he stayed put. Whether he left her or not, death was most certain. If anything, the chance of survival lied in her.
As for Ming Yue, a plan formed in her mind, one that could very well reward her greatly or leave her dead. The parts of either the Thunder Roc or the tiger would be extremely helpful to cultivating the Lightning Dao. Bathing in its blood, absorbing the bones, eating the flesh, any of these things could attune her body to the element of lightning and improve her control. So long as she took something, it was akin to finding treasure.
She gestured for Hei Yue, whispering in his ear. Afterwards, she looked at Lao Gan and Xiao Yin.
"Stay here, when you find the chance, run and look for a place to hide. Xiao Yin will come with you and through her, I will find you", she said.
Lao Gan nodded, at this point, all he could do was trust her. He looked at Xiao Yin, who stared back.
"I guess, I'm in your care" he whispered.
The silver-eyed owl blinked, understanding his thoughts. With everyone ready, they waited and watched for the Thunder Roc and the tiger was about to have their last exchange. This one would decide it all.
The two beasts stood against each other, gathering their energy. Their postures were upright and steadfast.
The tiger's body glowed purple as the Thunder Roc shrieked to the sky. Black clouds gathered and rumbled, purple and yellow lightning arced between the clouds, vying for control. Suddenly, bolts of lightning struck the ground around them, causing explosions and rifts. The pressure exerted from this battle was great, every person and beast there struggled to stand and endure the weight.
With one final roar, they charged at each other, empowered by the electric energy in the air.
Talons and paws raised up as both beasts struck each other.
However, the tiger's reach was just shy of killing the Thunder Roc, only leaving shallow cuts into the body. The Thunder Roc's talons came swiftly. Of its three toes, one stabbed into one of the tiger's eyes while the other two punctured its skull.
The tiger cried out in pain as it tried to struggled to rid itself of the piercing talons. Its body weakened before going limp.
The tiger was dead and the Thunder Roc screeched out victoriously. With its beak, the beast tore through the corpse, steam rose from its warm flesh as the smell of blood thickened intensely.
It was then that the watchful eyes became watery mouths. Each and every creature there rose from its hiding spot, revealing themselves to the Thunder Roc. Even those Huang Horn Rabbits and Lightning Fang Wolves reappeared.
Having noticed them, the Thunder Roc gazed around, blood continued to leak from many injuries it had sustained. With its broken wing, it could not fly away.
To the eyes of many, both of these beasts were as good as dead.
But the Thunder Roc did not surrender to its fate. It shrieked at the onlookers, daring any of them to step forward. With its remaining wing, it beat the air, almost creating a drumming noise. Perhaps, this will be the day it dies but it will not go so quietly.
With all of them focused on each other, none noticed a small blur running towards the Thunder Roc. Black fog emerged from its body, spreading everywhere and blocking everyone's sight. Fearful and confused, heads looked around, trying to find the source of this mysterious fog. They could not see anything, not even those next to them. That was how thick the fog was.
Wary eyes shifted around as none of them had expected this.
Every beast growled and snarled at the fog, furious at who would blind them like this.
As the mastermind, Ming Yue had followed after Hei Yue, hiding in the fog. She took note of everyone's location especially that of the Thunder Roc.
With the fog expanding, the Thunder Roc tried to disperse it to little success. However, it was able to find the source of this mysterious mist, staring at Hei Yue's little body. It felt humiliated, that a small and insignificant beast approached it. At the same time, the Thunder Roc looked at Hei Yue with disdain, all it took was a smack to knock the fox away.
What it didn't see was Ming Yue hiding in the fog.
With Drifting Sky unsheathed, she ran under the cover of the fog, reaching the tiger's corpse. With all of her strength, she forced the blade through the corpse, separating one of its legs. Blood sprayed onto her as well as all around her as she grabbed the cut-off leg. Upon touching her skin, the blood gave off a tingling sensation that entered deep into her body. Coupled with the heat and scent of the tiger's blood, it was a bit of dizzying experience.
If she had taken the whole body, it was sure to alert everyone, just one limb was more than enough.
Grabbing the leg, she placed it into her spatial ring. Just that limb was larger than her and weighed several hundred pounds. Carrying it would not be easy for her but she didn't need to do that when she had her spatial ring. It sucked in the tiger's leg with ease and with that she had gained an incredible treasure.
However, she was not out of the woods yet.
Where she stood, the Thunder Roc was several yards away. With Hei Yue as a distraction, the giant beast had its body turned, with its broken wing facing towards Ming Yue.
If she acted quickly, she could also obtain that broken wing.
She had already gained a lot from this, making an attempt on the Thunder Roc might be pushing her luck. She was already incredibly lucky that she was able to go unnoticed.
"Take it or not?" she thought to herself.
Without a second to spare she made her mind to take the wing. Even if she failed, Hei Yue's fog ability was enough to hide her tracks.
She looked at the broken wing and hopped on top of the tiger corpse. Empowering her blade, the energy expanded and enlarged the blade. WIth the increased size, it would be much easier for her to cut off the wing in one swing though she would need all of her strength to do so.
Ming Yue jumped up, accelerating herself with a burst of wind. Her body crept towards the edge of the fog, revealing her silhouette to any who noticed.
With both hand gripping the sword, she swung, cutting through the joint that connected the wing. She could feel the resistance as she cut it apart. It was difficult compared to cutting the tiger's leg off. Sinew and bone did not cut easy.
Still, she managed to hack off the wing, causing immense pain to the Thunder Roc.
It felt the sword cut through and its head whipped around.
Two murderous eyes searched around, spotting her shadow.
It screeched at Ming Yue with rage and that was enough of a warning for her.
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