The Chase

Wang Li Jie barely reaches XiXi as Quan Zhen takes his palm and smashes through the Thousand Ice Thread Array, carrying Xiaolian into the sky. The Array was set up to keep people from entering but would allow someone to leave. He regrets not setting up a better array but he wanted Xiaolian to be able to leave when she finished cultivating.

     He chases after them, Quan Zhen having lived here for thousands of years knows every inch of the mountains, darts in and out of the clouds between the snowy ice covered mountains, with Wang Li Jie closely behind. He can’t use his palm to strike out at Quan Zhen for fear of hitting Xiaolian or Quan Zhen killing her. He wants him to land so he has a clearer shot at him but the old man is leading him on a wild chase.

     Jiang Bai is flying through the air by Jagged Ice Mountain curently in his Astral Void Beast form. He finally was able to enjoy being free from being trapped in the Red Lotus Pond. His wings had become very stiff from not being used for five hundred years so he was feeling some soreness as he returned. He is returning from flying over the Red Lotus Kingdom, he wants to see how much it changed in the years he was gone. He is pondering the sights he has just seen when in front of him he sees a figure in gray with long flowing white hair carrying someone and he recognizes Wang Li Jie as the person chasing him.

      He swiftly flies the direction of the chase and as he gets closer his red eyes narrow as he recognizes XiXi as the person in the old man’s arms. What is going on there? WANG LI JIE! Jiang Bai heads into the front of the two, his mighty wings guiding him smoothly ready to intercept the man in grey, planning to snatch Xiaolian from him with his talons.

     “Beast you know this girl? Stay out of my business if you don’t want to lose a wing.” Quan Zhen shouts towards him flashing his palm. Jiang Bai easily avoids the sharp wind strike slashing towards his right wing.

     In a deep threatening voice he replies “I didn’t even lose a feather, give her to me if you don’t want to die here today,” He senses a demonic aura surrounding the old man. How did a demon enter this mountain ?

     Quan Zhen is getting close to the cave he wants to enter with Xiaolian, once inside he can negotiate with Wang Li Jie. He prepared this cave a couple hundred years ago when he first considered escaping, he had planned on taking the one decent looking woman here hostage. He heard Wang Li Jie call her Huang Howan. He thought he could use her as a bargaining chip but after carefully checking out their relationship he realized Wang Li Jie didn’t place her in his heart.

     The array surrounding the cave is made of demonic strands of smoke similar to the sword. If a person tries to break through it, demonic ice needles are released that slowly absorb the person’s soul when they are struck by them.

     Only a short distance he thinks to himself, but now I have this troublesome beast to deal with too. Wang Li Jie is using the distraction of the beast to swing around a small mountain to confront Quan Zhen from the left.

     The  winged beast sees Wang Li Jie and realizes his plan so he continues to badger Quan Zhen.

     “Old man I only want the girl you are holding, you and Wang Li Jie’s matter means nothing to me. I will even kill that pesky brat for you.”

      Quan Zhen retorts,“This girl must be special for a Mythological Beast as yourself to have interest in her. Maybe I will take my time to savor her and find out what her tender body has to offer. Is her blood tasty?”

      Jiang Bai responds,“Yes, I have wanted to devour her since she arrived. I haven’t had a delicious meal in a very long time, but she must be eaten alive. I also want revenge on the Immortal Emperor, maybe I could kill him for you.”

     Jiang Bai doesn’t want Quan Zhen to slip through the ice crevice in front of him, there must be a reason he is heading straight towards it. It must be his destination. He quickly flies in front of the crevice blocking Quan Zhens’ path with his monstrous black body.

     Where are you Wang Li Jie? You need to get here quickly and use the element of surprise to distract him so I can grab Xiaolian.

     “Do you want this tender young girl in my arms to die right now? If not move aside beast. You can have her when I’m finished with her sweet body, she will still be breathing, but I need her right now”

     “First tell me why my enemy the Immortal Emperor is chasing you”

     “No time..move aside..” Quan Zhen doesn’t want to waste any more energy attempting to harm this beast, it is too large and he needs to conserve his demonic energy .He raises a palm towards Xiaolian’s head, “MOVE”

     At that moment Wang Li Jie appears in his peripheral vison, “Dammit! Both of you allow me to enter or she dies!”

     Wang Li Jie from his vantage point can see the entrance to a cave beyond the icy crevice…once she enters the cave…

     He decides to take a chance thinking with the beast’s speed his talons can grab Xiaolian out of Quan Zhen’s arms. He thinks Quan Zhen is overconfident they won’t strike for fear of hitting the girl. He looks at Jiang Bai giving him a signal with his eyes. He takes his palm aims it at Xiaolian’s acupoint he used to render her unconscious.

     He thinks if she suddenly stirs in Quan Zhen’s arms he will glance down, at that moment Jiang Bai and him can rescue XiXi. It is a gamble he needs to take otherwise Quan Zhen will enter the cave with Xiaolian, Wang Li Jie assumes he has some sort of array to prevent them from entering or he wouldn’t have headed straight to this mountain.

     Xiaolian’ssuddenly open and she stares up at the wizened old man holding her. He wasn’t expecting her to wake up and was momentarily mesmerized by her stunning blue eyes. He quickly regained his composure but it was too late to avoid a palm strike from Wang Li Jie to his arm , dislodging XiXi from his grip. Jiang Bai grips onto her dress with his talons and yanks her from Quan Zhen’s loosened grip.

     As he sees his opportunity to escape being carried off Quan Zhen decides to use his final cards. First, he pulls out his black smoke and ice spike sword swinging it at Wang Li Jie who is coming at him, he is able to slash Wang Li Jie in the leg, an ice spike embeds inself in his thigh. before he can move out of its way.

     But in the next half a moment Wang Li Jie retaliates with his Blue Ice Dagger sending it towards Quan Zhen’s neck, the sharp blade slices into his neck spurting blood out like a geyser. He waves his had using demonic energy to seal the wound to stop the bleeding.

     He adeptly grabs the dagger before it can return to Wang Li Jie . Quan Zhen’s strength is waning but with a burst of energy throws the dagger at Wang Li Jie’s heart. Wang Li Jie grabs the dagger’s blood soaked blade right before it pierces into his heart but his hand is nearly cut through. Wang Li Jie realizes the demonic ice spike is beginning to poison his leg and if he doesn’t remove it he could lose the use of his leg for months.

     The leg is beginning to become numb and black blood is oozing out of the wound on his thigh. He has no choice but to take care of his leg. His hand can be easily taken care of with healing powder but his leg requires him to cut with the dagger then use his internal energy to suck the poison out.

     He attempts to restrain Quan Zhen by wrapping him in a web of ice threads but Quan Zhen deflects the ice threads as they come near his body. Before Wang Li Jie could send another palm strike Quan Zhen disappears. It sickens him but Wang Li Jie can only put his trust in Jiang Bai to protect her until he takes care of his leg, if he doesn’t he won’t be able to walk.

     Quan Zhen quickly harnesses all his demonic energy into the palm of his hand and flies in pursuit of the Astral Void Beast. If he misses the beast’s heart when he throws the demonic flame ball ,the demonic flames will return to him striking his own heart, sucking the last of his humanity out of him. He will then become an undead soldier for the Demon King.

     He shivers at the thought but he no longer can live isolated on this mountain.

     The Astral Void Beast is headed back to the palace at breakneck speed. Xiaolian is afraid but she knows Jiang Bai won’t let anything happen to her, he is her trusted friend and protector. Her memories are limited to what Wang Li Jie implanted from the Ice Mirror. Wang Li Jie included him in the selected memories because he realized she will need his strength on her journey, even though he despises Jiang Bai.

     Quan Zhen flies closer to them and in his hands begins forming red, gold, and black demonic flames.

     This is his last chance and his forehead is beginning to sweat, his white hair is tangled from the wind. He is beginning to feel how ancient his body has become, he hasn’t exerted this much energy since he was banished ten thousand years ago..

     The desire to go beyond this icy mountain that has been his cage for so long is driving him forward in this pursuit. He longs to see real flowers, green forests, beautiful women again. This stark whiteness that has surrounded him has finally taken its toll on his mind. The cold bleak existence he brought upon himself in a moment of madness with that slut. The gods unrelenting because he couldn’t ask for forgiveness and repent. He will always feel she deserved her fate for breaking his heart.

     The loneliness of his existence can’t be ignored any longer. 

      I want to see the world again…I will risk my humanity..

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