Written by Tinalynge & Blue Jay
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Chapter 72 – Destiny Bluebirds
For the most part, Luo Xiao was sure that at the very least he wouldn’t be a very easy target as he had gained decent enlightenment of the Black Pagoda Art.
And it was actually a good idea that he decided to explore that spell first – he had no other ways to defend himself, and on top of that, he didn’t want to just depend on the shadow guards.
So, satisfied with his results after the five hours were up, he got up from the stone bed and left the training room. It was already late in the night, but the Academy was still bustling with activity.
After all, the time of day or night did not matter to cultivators. Luo Xiao lightly sighed to himself after glancing around. Despite the darkness of the night, he didn’t feel tired – thanks to the training facility, he actually was very energetic and most likely, if he went to sleep, he wouldn’t have been able to fall asleep for a long time.
What should he do? Luo Xiao frowned lightly, trying to think of what to do. If Jiang Yao were there, he would just go back, most likely snuggle in the other’s embrace… Thinking about it, a faint blush crept up on his face.
“Luo Xiao! Luo Xiao!”
“Huh? Who?” startled, Luo Xiao looked around, only to see a familiar face rush towards him.
It was Jin Chuan, whose beautiful figure wasn’t dimmed by the nighttime at all. She seemed to glow with that warm light she always had, and regardless of who they belonged to, most of the other young men’s eyes around followed her figure.
“I haven’t seen you in over a week, where were you?” she quickly got in front of him, taking his hands in hers as her big blue eyes looked into his. Clearly, she had no idea that Luo Xiao had gone through some bullying and even become Overseer Zhu’s assistant.
“I was… busy,” Luo Xiao looked at her with a slightly awkward smile.
He wasn’t lying, but there was no way he could mention that Jiang Yao had visited him for almost two days. That was their thing and Luo Xiao was sensible enough not to needlessly spread it around.
“Busy, huh… I can see you gained a rank! Congratulations!”
The girl’s smile was able to bring anyone’s mood up – and it didn’t fail with bringing Luo Xiao’s mood up either. He quickly forgot about his awkwardness and nodded, accepting her thanks.
“Well, since you went up a rank, do you want to go somewhere and have some fun? There’s some places you might like to visit at the Academy! Though, which one looks good at night…?” she frowned slightly, thinking.
“Jin Chuan, you don’t have to,” Luo Xiao shook his head, clearly sensing the glares which those around them were sending the two.
Jin Chuan was too beautiful and outstanding in the Academy. She was simply too much like a magnet for the boys, many of which adored and worshipped her. She did have her own group of friends and that was widely accepted by the people at the Cloudsoar Academy, but the fact that Luo Xiao was a complete stranger and yet she was close to him without a clear reason.
Instead of being dejected by Luo Xiao’s soft denial, Jin Chuan smiled even wider after a moment. “I insist! And I think there’s a place you do have to see, especially at night! Come with me, Luo Xiao!”
And with those words, she grabbed Luo Xiao’s wrist and quickly walked off into a specific direction, somewhat forcing the boy to rush by her side if he didn’t want to get dragged. She was surprisingly strong for a girl, which somewhat reminded Luo Xiao of the time he was even more physically weak.
Then again, Luo Xiao was indeed quite delicate even for a male, so that wasn’t a surprise.
The path Jin Chuan led Luo Xiao through was unfamiliar to the youth, making him look around curiously. Just what was this place she wanted to show him?
In the darkness of the night, even if he could see, he wasn’t able to make out where they were heading to. Which was why when she finally slowed down he was completely confused as to where he was.
It seemed like in the middle of a small forest. The trees were covering almost the entire night sky, barely allowing for some starlight to pass through. It was still no difficult for Luo Xiao to look around and see the place. Cultivators automatically gained a strengthened vision so the night stopped being an obstacle to them very quickly.
The place looked pretty normal and that was why Luo Xiao began feeling confused. Why would Jin Chuan lead him there if there was nothing interesting?
For a moment he just looked around with that confused expression before a thought struck him. What if Jin Chuan had led him there in order to do something to him which nobody else would know of?
No! Almost instantly Luo Xiao slapped his cheeks, shooting the thought away from his mind. That was ridiculous. Why would she do that? Luo Xiao believed that Jin Chuan would never even think of something like that, especially since they considered each other friends and hadn’t been forced to befriend each other thanks to some circumstances.
“Luo Xiao, come over here,” Jin Chuan’s whisper interrupted Luo Xiao’s racing thoughts, making him turn around to look at the girl.
He was surprised to find her actually standing on one of the thicker branches of a tree nearby, making him feel confusion once more. What was it?
“Come, can you climb to the branch over there?” Jin Chuan pointed to another similarly thick tree branch which came from a different tree but was very close to hers.
Climb? Luo Xiao looked at the tree, wondering how to do that. In the past, he had never been able to walk for a long time, let alone climb a tree. That was like an impossible feat to him, so even as he was a cultivator now that feeling of impossibility loomed over him.
“Luo Xiao, have you ever climbed a tree?”
Jin Chuan was quick to see through what Luo Xiao was thinking. He was truly so easy to read, and it wasn’t just Jiang Yao who could read him like an open book.
“Well… I used to be very weak before and I was never allowed to climb trees,” he sighed lightly, turning back to look at Jin Chuan. “So I don’t know how to do that.”
For a moment, the girl was quiet before a burst of soft laughter left her, though she quickly covered her mouth with her hand and muffled the sound. Luo Xiao could only watch the girl with a wry smile on his part, accepting her laughter without objecting at all. At least that weak body was far behind his back at this point in time as a new chapter had been opened in his life thanks to Jiang Yao.
“Alright, alright, Luo Xiao, just follow my instructions and quickly get up here. I can’t have you miss this.”
“Mhm,” the youth nodded.
Luckily, climbing a tree was a rather easy thing and with the simple, quiet explanations which Jin Chuan gave him, Luo Xiao quickly found himself standing on the branch just as she had instructed.
“I hope they don’t get scared… These little guys are easily frightened by loud sounds, so I hope we weren’t too loud,” Jin Chuan whispered as soon as Luo Xiao was standing on the branch.
“Little guys? What is it?”
“A few days ago I decided to walk through here instead of using my usual path home. That’s when I managed to find these little guys’ hiding place… Lean over there and look between the branches over there.”
The girl’s explanation only confused Luo Xiao but he did as she had told him, grabbing onto another nearby branch as he shifted his weight forward and looked through the gap between two twin branches.
In a small opening, barely nudged between the thick crowns of the trees was a family of small birds, all of which were luckily asleep at this moment. Jin Chuan’s face spoke of her relief that they hadn’t been woken up and escaped – else she would have had nothing to show Luo Xiao.
Looking at the birds for a moment, Luo Xiao began noticing some things – their feathers were actually blue and white, and small intricate patterns adorned their heads. The birds looked almost decorative and the little chicks whose heads were barely showing from underneath their parents’ wings were even more petite. If Luo Xiao could hold one of the birds in his hand, he would be surprised to find that it would fit in just over half of his palm.
“What are these birds?” he moved his head back, whispering quietly to Jin Chuan with amazement. He had never seen such unique-looking birds this close – the closest he had observed birds were the ones which flew by and occasionally landed on his open window back in his Jinwei village. It was for that reason he was astonished from being able to see them in such incredible closeness without them flying away or become scared.
Jin Chuan though shook her head with a little smile, instead just looking back at the little birds. She could always just tell him later – for the moment the girl just wanted to continue watching them and feeling childish happiness within her.
She was a unique girl alright.
Realizing he wouldn’t get an answer until later, Luo Xiao peeked once more in the nest, trying to memorize how the birds looked.
For a long moment, it was just the two of them and sleeping beasts, with the dark night surrounding both of their figures.
Eventually, Jin Chuan looked away with a satisfied smile on her face.
“Let’s go back, we should leave them…” she patted Luo Xiao’s shoulder before jumping off the branch with grace, landing softly on the ground with barely making a sound.
Luo Xiao looked at her, surprised at how she had done that before following her movements, also jumping off the branch and stepping on the ground, only much less gracefully. He almost lost his balance and would have fallen face first on the forest floor had it not been for Jin Chuan’s quick hand.
As they gradually made their way out of the little forest, Luo Xiao finally could ask the girl the question which had been on his mind. “So, what were these birds?”
Jin Chuan looked at him with that happy, pure smile of hers before finally answering. “Those were Destiny Bluebirds! People say that those who find a Destiny Bluebird can make a wish, any wish, and eventually, the bird will fly by you in the middle of the night and make your wish come true. But they are also very easily scared and extremely rare to find and it always depends on luck whether you can come across one and get your wish to come true.”
A wish? Luo Xiao frowned lightly. Was that even possible? He had never heard of a bird like that before, though he had already seen – and eaten – a herb that could miraculously work on any cultivator at any cultivation rank. A bird which could grant a wish didn’t sound that far fetched. Though, even in that train of thought, Luo Xiao was relatively sure that it was a story made up by normal people to tell their children.
“Promise me you won’t tell anyone about them, alright?” Jin Chuan’s voice made his frown disappear as he smiled lightly in return.
Even if he didn’t really believe in what she had told him about these birds, he could tell that she seemed to be deeply amazed and intrigued by them, so keeping them a secret from others would be no problem.