Chapter 20: Adorable
Zu An was delighted by her words. For all his worrying, it seemed this young woman was fairly agreeable. This simplified the situation tremendously.
“I understand,” Zu An replied.
He heard the splashes of someone making their way out of the water, and his thoughts went wild. He felt incredibly conflicted—should he take a peek, or not His sense of honor struggled feebly against his baser desires.
Just imagining the young womans body rising from the waters surface, her skin smooth as the finest jade, was enough to make even his nose feel warm. He reached up to touch it, and his fingers came away red.
Holy **, Im bleeding!
It seemed the Marrow Cleansing Pills had considerably boosted the yang energy in his feeble body.
The young womans sudden scream alarmed Zu An. He wondered if this was the part of the story where the fair maiden suffered a bite from a venomous snake. If that were the case, he wouldnt have minded sacrificing his own life to suck the venom out of her.
A tremor shook the ground under him, as if a train were heading in his direction, and his face warped in horror.
A cold but wonderfully soft hand grabbed Zu Ans arm and pulled him toward the center of the river. The massive boulder Zu An had been hiding behind shattered into innumerable pieces, revealing a humongous beast. It bellowed in fury at the pair huddled in the water.
“Is that a rhinoceros” Zu An was astounded. The creature was almost as large as an elephant! Were all the animals in this world on steroids And why were its eyes so red It was almost as if it was afflicted with mad cow disease or some such!
“Thats a Crazy Red-Eyed Rhino, a fourth rank beast. It has a poor sense of smell and a horrible temper. It has the habit of attacking any living being in sight,” he heard a tender voice beside him explain.
Zu An turned to take in the young womans appearance. She had straight bangs that covered her forehead, and loose locks of hair hung down by her ears, accentuating her small face. Her clear peach-blossom eyes perfectly complemented her fair complexion, and she exuded a youthful air.
Of course, the most striking thing about her was her perfect nakedness.
“Aah!” Noticing Zu Ans gaze, the young woman cried out and lowered her gaze. Her distress seemed to further infuriate the Crazy Red-Eyed Rhino standing by the river bank.
“Turn around, turn around!” the young woman bawled.
“Dont cry, Ill turn around right now!” Zu An spun about hastily. The young womans soft and gentle demeanor seemed to drive any lecherous thoughts from his mind... Although, considering the current state his body was in, there was no way he could act upon any such thoughts
The young woman wrapped her arms around her breasts and muttered softly, “Thank you.”
“Where are your clothes” Zu An inquired.
“T-they are still by the shore.”
The young woman spoke shyly as she raised a slender arm to point in the direction of the shattered boulder.
“What if the Crazy Rhino doesnt leave the area Could we overcome it somehow” Zu An asked, discreetly trying to assess the young womans cultivation.
Given how scared she was of a fourth rank rhinoceros, he did not think she was very strong.
“Crazy Red-Eyed Rhinos have extremely thick skin. Even cultivators of the fourth rank struggle to harm it,” the young woman shook her head as she replied.
“We can still give it a shot,” Zu An said. The Poisonous Prick should be particularly effective against enemies with a high defense rating but low attack power and speed. This would be the perfect opportunity to further his charade as an expert cultivator, and forestall any questions from the young woman regarding his status.
“T-theres no need for it. This should be over very soon,” the young woman replied.
While Zu An was trying to figure out what the young woman meant, the Crazy Red-Eyed Rhino started swaying from side to side as if intoxicated. It took a few uncertain steps and collapsed in a heap.
“Did you defeat it” Zu An swallowed, his throat suddenly dry. Was this young woman just feigning weakness
She nodded in reply. “I sprinkled some medicine on the boulder earlier. The rhino rammed into the boulder and breathed it in.”
“What medicine could be potent enough to knock out such a huge rhino” Zu An was flabbergasted. Something else in her statement that disturbed him. “Why did you put that medicine on the boulder”
“I... I was worried...” the young woman stammered, her voice dwindling. “I was worried that... you would peek at me. However, theres no need to worry. Its just a sedative! It isnt dangerous!”
Zu An inhaled sharply. If that medicine was potent enough to knock out that huge rhino so quickly, he would have been sleeping for a month straight if he had tried to peek earlier!
“Can you close your eyes now Im going to get dressed...” the young woman said timidly, as if afraid of offending him with her question.
“Of course,” Zu An replied. Unlike in TV dramas, there were neither infuriated insults ofYou lecher! nor attempts on his life, merely a lingering sense of embarrassment. Were all young women in this world so adorable
The image of Snow and her sharp tongue dispelled these nascent thoughts.
Seeing Zu An with his eyes closed, the young woman started her swim to shore.
Hearing the splashing of water, a tiny crack appeared between Zu Ans tightly shut eyelids. His eyes had been deprived for so many years, and it was finally time to reward them a little.
He admired her graceful strokes as she glided through the water like a mermaid, her figure vaguely visible through the water.
When she finally got to the shore, Zu Ans heart pounded in anticipation. She was going to put on her clothes now!
The young woman raised her hand unexpectedly. A wall of water rose into the sky, concealing her body.
Zu An immediately flew into a state of rage. “Who are you guarding against Do you think Im that kind of person!”
A brief moment passed, and the wall of water crashed back down. The young woman had finally finished dressing. She turned back to the river and waved. “I have finished dressing. You may open your eyes now.”
“Alright,” Zu An replied. This womans lack of awareness is staggering.
He swam toward the shore, and his eyes lit up when he finally managed a good look at the young woman. She was dressed in a blue dress, and the strip of white lace fastened around her waist accentuated her slender figure.
She looked at Zu An and blinked her large eyes. She looked like a perfect porcelain doll. Zu An was dazed. It was as if he were looking at Asuka Saito!
Another problem presented itself, snapping him out of his reverie. His clothes werent with him!
“Why arent you getting out” The young woman stared at the man in the water, but quickly averted her gaze, her cheeks flushing red.
“Didnt I tell you earlier that I was knocked out and carried here by the current I have no idea where my clothes are,” Zu An said.
The young woman considered this. “Since you were washed downstream by the river, its likely that your clothes are further up.”
“Can you accompany me there Im a little afraid to make the journey on my own.” Seeing her shy personality on display, his fear of getting killed by her hand morphed into an urge to take advantage of her. Now that she had let her guard slip, it was time to seize the upper hand.
The young woman pondered for a moment, then nodded in agreement. “Okay. The area isnt very dangerous. Few wild beasts stay near the river, although more will come down for a drink later in the evenings. You should be safe as long as you dont provoke the Fiery Wolves from the Wolf Valley.”
“Then whats with this rhino” Now that he could examine the Crazy Red-Eyed Rhino close-up, he was deeply awed by just how huge it was.
The young womans face reddened. “It followed me down from the Hidden Dragon Mountain.”
Zu An was astonished. “You entered the Hidden Dragon Mountain” Even a simpleton knew that there were many powerful beasts hiding there. All sorts of people had warned him never to enter the mountain. Yet, this young woman had entered the mountain all alone Could it be that she was actually very powerful
Zu An was starting to regret his decision. Was he actually courting his own death here
“Indeed. There are some herbs that can only be found in the depths of the Hidden Dragon Mountain.” The young woman put her hands through the straps of her basket of herbs and lifted it up. She smiled innocently and said, “Lets go. Ill accompany you to retrieve your clothes.”
“Thank you, miss.” Zu An swam alongside. “Right! My name is Zu An. May I know what your name is” Now that he knew the young woman was actually a powerful expert, he wanted to get closer to her.
“Zu An What a peculiar name,” the young woman mumbled to herself before answering his question. “My name is Ji Xiaoxi.”
Zu An chuckled. “Your name sounds much nicer than mine.”
The young womans face reddened in embarrassment.
She seemed to have a soft side to her, and this emboldened Zu An. “Xiaoxi, if youre harvesting medicine in the Hidden Dragon Mountain, doesnt that mean that youre quite a powerful expert”
Ji Xiaoxi shook her head, replying unconcernedly, “Im only at the third rank. The only reason why I can enter the mountain is due to this item my father gave me.”
As she spoke, she took out a transparent bottle containing bits of green powder.
Zu An was perplexed. “Whats that”
Ji Xiaoxi replied, “It is a medicine made out of dried dragon feces. It carries the natural commanding aura that dragons possess, and it keeps the wild beasts in the mountain at bay.”
Zu An was astonished. To think that dragons really existed in this world!
Ji Xiaoxi tucked the bottle away securely before muttering with a pout, “Its just that this thing is too smelly, so I would usually bathe and change my clothes after leaving the mountain. I didnt expect to... bump into you.”
“This is just how fate works.” Zu An chuckled. Seeing frustration forming on the young womans forehead, he quickly changed the topic. “Wait a moment. If thats the case, why did the Crazy Red-Eyed Rhino attack you earlier”
“Thats because of its feeble senses,” Ji Xiaoxi explained. “The Crazy Red-Eyed Rhino cannot smell the dragon feces, so it isnt scared away. It is also a highly aggressive species. I accidentally provoked it as I passed by its territory, so it chased me all the way down here.”
“I see.” Zu An nodded in understanding. As he thought about the physique of the Crazy Red-Eyed Rhino, an idea sprung to mind.
The two of them continued chatting on the way upstream, and before long, they reached the spot where Zu An had been. His clothes were still folded neatly on the ground.
“Xiaoxi, can you turn around” Truthfully, Zu An didnt mind being watched, but he didnt want to be viewed as a pervert.
“Mmhmm,” Ji Xiaoxi replied and ran all the way behind a tree. Zu An clambered onto the riverbank and put on his clothes. He confirmed that his goubao and the silver taels hed taken from Plum Blossom Twelve were still there, and heaved a sigh of relief.
“Alright, Im done changing,” Zu An called out.
Ji Xiaoxi finally walked out from behind the tree. Upon taking a closer look at Zu An, her eyes glazed over.
Surprised by her reaction, Zu An touched his own face and asked, “Whats wrong Is there something weird about me”