Beneath The Embroidered Brocade Chapter 110
Chapter 110: Following the Path of Floating Driftwood
The north wind plows through the air. Making all living creatures tremble. All leaves that had not yet fallen were coated in a translucent layer of frost, whose icicles shone in what little light there was. The woods had sounds of eerie blows, as every blade of grass flowed in the direction of the blowing wind.
Dots of green eyes lining the mountains, as though waiting for the right moment to pounce. Their presence and breathing seemed halted, whereas their glowing eyes scanned the surrounding area, silently waiting.
The wind blew through a worn-down cottage, giving the little girl inside a chill. Xue'er was laying on a bed of crude straw, wrapped up in the fresh bolts of cloth she recently bought in the city. Her grip tightened around the furball that was accompanying her. She very much seemed to desire to squeeze every drop of warmth possible from the furball. Yet the small ball did not seem too opposed to it either, purring in delight.
The cottage could barely be considered inhabitable, as there was a hole in the roof. It had gone unrepaired from the time the little bird had crashed through. What a weak roof it indeed was that it could not bear the weight of a single baby chick.
Xue'er somewhat liked the hole in the roof, as from within the comfort of the cottage she could see the stars in the night sky. It was a strange feeling that sleeping under the open night sky gave her, but she did not oppose it.
After a while, silent steps echoed, muffled by the sounds of wind. As the steps got closer, the dotting of green glowing eyes scattered in all directions. As though there a more ferocious predator ready to hunt them down.
Within the worn down cottage, there were sounds of muffled struggles. Some small animal had been tightly wrapped in strong bolts of cloth and whining incessantly trying to break free but to no avail.
The owner of the cottage had already left at a moment's notice. Now wandering the woods in the middle of the night.
The nights in the forest were moonless, with trees that stood tall, reaching as far as the high hills and covering the soil beneath. There was not a single path that could be followed. Rather, many unthreaded paths concealed by brush and dead foliage accumulated from past years.
The small figure must have walked for what seemed miles, before arriving at a small winding river. The sounds of water were humble as the clear water flowed downwards. The stream did not seem to lead anywhere particular, but there was this nudging feeling to follow it.
And so she did. The stream was a clear path reflecting moonlight, leading towards a large mountain. A large mountain that seemed to be the most ordinary landmark one would expect to see in a barren land.
A barren mountain, a long winding river, under the desolate moonlight.
The figure let out a breath, but no frost cloud came out. There was driftwood that flowed with the current. Without much of a thought, the figure lept onto a piece of floating driftwood. The weight that should have been too much for a piece of driftwood to bear did not sink, on the contrary, it floated without change. The added figure balanced perfectly above the floating driftwood and drifted along with the slow current of the river.
The path of flowing driftwood led to a dark dark overpass. Xue'er craned her neck to see the gray rocks overhead, which upon grew long strands of winding leaves that hung down loosely, creating a veil. The cascading leaves brought with it a light scent of withered flowers.
The path in front was a dead end, with nowhere to go. Only the mountainous rocks that had made the small cave long ago.
The water that flowed under the driftwood did not have the slightest bits of life. There was not even the slightest bit of algae growing in large clumps, as they always did in places where there was water. This made the water exceeding clear. Clear enough to see that everything below the waves were dead.
Now, this scene should have sparked fear within the hearts of all who had unknowingly treaded upon such a dangerous place. Yet in the girl's heart, there was only unending curiosity.
Deep in the water, there were some crevices that could not be seen. Reflected within the crimson speckled pupils was the water shifting from deep, then to shallow. One thing that was certain was that going underwater was the only way to get anywhere beyond the dead-end that was ahead.
The figure dove into the clear water. Caring not, for the effects of the lifeless water. There were no bubbles that surfaced for a while, even the slight ripples that should have appeared were nonexistent. The surface of the water was calm, and no turbulent waves appeared, but it was clear that there was a shadow that lurked beneath the water.
Hair seemed to be thick as seaweed, floating under the water, becoming part of the water, having a mind of its own. The shadow was searching for something. Loose fabric floating as clouds would flutter lightly, following the figure into a small tunnel that resided beneath the water.
A cave that had been barren for a long time once again had a living creature swimming amongst its watery maze. The swimmer silent, without the slightest worry as to where the next breath of air would come from.
Wet and murky mud displaced at the slightest movement. The sediment that had not been disturbed for a long time was displaced.
Slowly but surely, there was no longer a rock ceiling above, as she cautiously emerged from the water. The emergence was rather slow, like that of a flower slowly blooming in the midst of darkness. Yet as soon as her head was out, she immediately wrinkled her nose.
Within the water, there had not been the slight scent of rotting flesh, yet why is it that after surfacing that this unforgettable scent came clear into her senses.
It wasn't long before her feet could touch the bottom of this cave. Allowing the hard rock ground to guide her, she slowly made her way to dry land. If it could be called so that is, as there was a wetness in the dark-colored soil that was beneath her feet. The soil seemed to be a mixture of dry sand, dead plants, and some small fragments of shells or bones.
Though her clothes were now soaked with water, it did not seem too heavy at all, it did not weigh her down either, so she did not bother to dry them off before walking into the strange place to explore. The water from her clothes silently drips, making a trail that could be easily followed.
It was unknown where this path would lead to. But even if there was danger ahead, she would still walk towards it.
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