Chapter 91

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written by Panda
edited by kakashi

Cold and miserable, Yue shivered slightly as he adjusted his position behind the small clearing he had fashioned for himself. And not for the first time he wondered if he was truly as insane as his brothers accused him of being.

The relief that had passed through him when the Ancestor had accepted him back into her camp had been immense, but his brothers - most especially Lei and Shi - had not given him time to savor it. They had ripped into him as he stood dripping wet from a long shower, had minced no words and had been very aggressive as they had told him that he had been utterly ridiculous with the risks he had taken following the Ancestor around.

It wasn't that he had fallen for her, he had told them angrily. Are you being truthful?, his inner voice had questioned, but he ignored it. He had said that only close to her was where he would get the chance to prove his worth as a Demon, but his words were largely ignored.

His brothers knew him better than anyone. They all had similar backgrounds. Born with superior fighting skills in the Purple Queen's realm and once of age, they had all travelled down to her palace and competed to be trained and placed in her elite force. They had grown up together, eaten their meals together, on many occasions fought each other and that had made them a tight unit known for their ruthlessness and strength.

Their words had rolled off him then as he had been more preoccupied with getting dressed and having a proper meal but now, those words came back to haunt him. He wondered once again why he kept going overboard when it came to her. The truth was he couldn't explain it himself. He had such mixed feelings about her - he felt predominantly admiration and awe that he was chanced to work for such a legend and yet, mixed in with that was totally inappropriate lust that had erupted like wildfire when he had been her constant bed companion. He knew the latter feelings were completely futile and that she could defend herself more than competently without his help - and yet he couldn't stop trailing her.

When she had left the camp earlier in the evening, he had instinctively crept after and had not been overly surprised to discover her destination was the Celestial camp. What did surprise him a lot though was the fact that she had not yet emerged back from there.

The forest was damp and extremely uncomfortable but he had camped out in worse and more unforgiving environments, especially those surrounding the Demon camp. Being so close to such a huge amount of Celestial power unfortunately dimmed his own powers and gave him a dull throbbing headache. However, he was determined to wait it out.

Shifting unto his right leg, he futilely tried to find a more comfortable position as he thought about the wisdom of gathering some wood to make a campfire just outside the enemy's positions, when his ears pricked at a faint distant sound. His initial feeling was relief that finally the Ancestor was heading back to camp, but he decided to err on the side of caution and wait a bit before he followed.

After he deemed sufficient time had passed, he stepped out and moved stealthily toward the path back to their camp. He had only taken four steps when he heard a sudden sharp sound behind him and a bright blue light was the last thing he saw before he lost consciousness.

***

Tian Gu carefully and painstakingly worked out the mistake in her tactical plans as advised by her Shifu and then laid down on her mat with a longfelt sigh. Suddenly, she was hit by a wave of homesickness so strong it almost brought tears to her eyes. She missed home so much. The trip to the enemy camp and the subsequent use of her elemental power had drained her more than she had realized. She stretched out her hands and turned them side to side. Her fingernails still held that faint black color that was a giveaway to the use of the power. Sighing, she dropped them and sat up.

She pulled her hair from its bindings and fluffed it with her hands. After massaging her scalp for a minute she re-tied it, albeit much loosely. She was so tired - yet she knew she wouldn't be able to sleep without doing what needed to be done. She went to the corner of the room and got out her writing materials from the beaten up box.

Long held custom made her take out her scroll and brush and after preparing some ink, she noted approximately how long the color had remained in her fingers. The simple act of writing and recording the log coupled with the memory of her Shifu's slight admonishment earlier let another wave of homesickness wash over her. This time it was so strong she dropped her writing materials and laid down, her face implanted in her pillow as memories of her brothers ad her father washed over her.

Her Father.

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