"They must have used advanced teleportation spell. They are beyond my sensing range and it could mean only one thing- they are not in this realm." Fluffy stated, as shocking as his words may sound, they failed to evoke a similar reaction from Xu Zian. The latter remained rather calm, resembling the calmness before a storm.

Not noticing anything wrong, Fluffy continued "To break the spell, a person should be of Wizard level in the least. You are at magician level and you can't do anything yet."

"You stay here, I will bring her out even at the cost of my life." Breathing out a deep sigh, Fluffy declared. Just as he was about to leave, he felt a hand on his shoulder. Turning around, he shot Xu Zian a puzzled glance.

"With your current strength, you can't enter the higher realms." Xu Zian sighed.

"I have my own ways, and..." Fluffy stopped speaking as he sensed a change in his body. Soon he realized the problem- he couldn't sense his spiritual qi! Shooting an accusatory glance at the nonchalant Xu Zian, Fluffy bellowed "What do you think you are doing? She is out there alone and here you are stopping me!"

"She might be getting hurt..."

"They might torture her, and even worse kill her!"

"Are you done?" Faced with the fox's incessant question and loathing gaze, Xu Zian did not get flustered. In contrast, he appeared unconcerned as he calmly retorted Fluffy.

Not getting the expected reaction from the person in question, Fluffy felt as if someone ruffled with his tails. In a fit of irritation, he threw a question at Xu Zian "Do you even care for her?"

Xu Zian had been flustered earlier when he heard about Jun Lan's disappearance. But, he had calmed down by now, enabling his tranquil brain to think rationally and he had deduced the reason behind her disappearance by now. His immediate concern was about how to break the spell and enter the realm created by her captors. His magic was nowhere sufficient to break the barrier and he knew only one person who could deal with spells more efficient than him- his master, Tian Wu.

He had no idea which method Fluffy wanted to employ, but, he was sure that the method will bring more harm than benefits. If the master is harmed the beast feels the pain and vice-versa. In a fit of panic, Fluffy might have forgotten the simple logic, but, Xu Zian did not.

This was the sole reason why he blocked the stupid fox's meridians. The fox might act in the spur of the moment, but he would never do something recklessly, lest it should hurt her.

He could take the fox's rage and insults, but, how dare the tailed beast question his feelings?

How dare it question him if he cared or not?

Well, if acting out of mindless impulse and hurting her in return meant caring , then he really did not care about her.

With these thoughts, the air around Xu Zian turned menacing. His sombre onyx eyes now carried a murderous glint adding a dangerous charm to the rather easy going man.


And, for the first time Fluffy felt completely oppressed by the man.

He might not be as powerful as he was in the past, but he was sure that no human could make him feel uncomfortable. Then why was he feeling suffocated by this man?

This feeling, seemed both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time...

"Whether I care about her or not, is not for you to worry about."

What?

How does my master's whereabouts not concern me?

And, what's with your overbearing attitude?!

Fluffy wanted to ask many questions, but he was too stunned to speak.

This level of super narcissism truly reminded him of someone...

But, as soon as the notion materialized in his brain, Fluffy dismissed it.

Nah! That man was not married and for sure he did not have a son.

Xu Zian observed the myriad of expressions on a certain fox's face and sighed in defeat. Like master, like servant, he thought.

Raising his hand, he swiftly unblocked an acupuncture point, following which he spoke "You can wait at your residence. I disabled your spiritual qi, so don't even think of following me."

"You stay there and be a good fox. I I will go look out for my master and bring her back safely." Dropping the words coolly, Xu Zian brushed his sleeves before disappearing from the crowded market, leaving a totally dumbfounded fox behind.

"Wait for me..." Fluffy spoke while trying to move. Much to his displeasure, he found that he could really not use his internal energy . No matter how hard he tried, his body refused to co-operate with him.

Cautiously, Fluffy observed his surroundings only to find that people are observing his back with weird and frightening gazes. Feeling curious, he looked back to find everyone's eyes fixed on his fluffy tails!

There was a mixture of curiosity, awe and terror in everyone's gaze as they scrutinized him, which made Fluffy extremely uncomfortable. It seemed as he was a rare specimen under the crowd's discerning eyes.

"Mother, is he a spirit fox?" a young kid questioned with sheer curiosity.

"What spirit fox? He's just a beggar in a fancy dress. In future, stay away from such people." the mother chided.

The surrounding crowd who heard the woman's words clearly started discussing among themselves.

"Nowadays, people are getting more creative la!"

"Hmm... The tails look almost real to me, fluffy and long."

"What are you saying? No matter how real they look, a stone can never become a jade!"

Are they speaking about me?

I am a stone that can never become a jade?!

Startled, Fluffy mouthed a series of curses.

His divine image was totally destroyed!

That infuriating man! All of this was because of Xu Zian. He would settle debts with that man later!

Humph!

Like that, under the baffled eyes of many, a fuming fox stomped out of the crowded street.

***

Jun Lan felt her head spinning, her body remained immobile as if there was a heavy weight pressing on her. She could feel her body floating and no matter how hard she tried to open her eyes, she could not.

"Why is she not waking up?"

"Did we use excessive magic?"

Though she could not move, she could hear someone speaking and she was able to understand them clearly.

The continuous debate of the voices rang in Jun Lan's ears, making her eyebrows scrunch up in discomfort.

"Why should we go to such efforts to kidnap a waste without any cultivation?"

Jun Lan believed that she had not provoked anyone in a way that they would come hunting for her, except that hateful prince. As far as she remembered, he was the only one that she had shamed beyond redemption. Wang Xiu had no powerful supporters, or so she thought. But, the current reality proved otherwise. There was someone in the shadows protecting him, while she was strolling in the light baring herself for all to see.

"What do you expect from a waste? She has no cultivation and can't stand against a single spell of mine. I wonder how she managed to render the prince useless, that's the reason why master asked us to kidnap her. We should know the secret in her..."

So, it was due to Wang Xiu again!

The darkness clouding her senses began to fade slowly and feeling the initial discomfort disappear, Jun Lan fluttered her eyes open.

Blinking her eyes continuously to clear the haze around her eyes, she focused on her surroundings. As she tilted her head to the side, she found two curious specimens observing her as if she was an experimental subject.

Terrified, Jun Lan looked down and only breathed in relief on finding her clothes intact. But, her joy was only short lived when she felt warm air caress her face.

Touching her face with her hand, Jun Lan's expression stilled 'Where is my mask?!'

It must be due to my scar... No wonder, they have such weird expressions!

Hahaha! They must be scared by my ugly face!

When her hand came into contact with the soft skin on her cheeks and her loosened hair, she almost cried in despair. Where did her scar disappear?

'My dear scar, where did you hide ah?!' she lamented in her heart.

There was no scar mark at the time of need, and even if she wanted to pass of as a pretty boy, she couldn't, thanks to her waist length hair which was now flowing freely with the wind. Even a child could tell that she was a girl.

Can someone be so unlucky as her?

Yes, she had the privilege of being granted the chance of a second life, but, that did not mean that she was omnipotent. She was far from being such, her current condition being the best proof.

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