Yu Fengtian paused before answering,"The Darksun Marauders are quite infamous for committing many treacherous actions such as robbery and kidnapping especially with merchants and nobles. Many of their crimes go unnoticed as they prefer to act undercover using the fake identities and other various means. Furthermore, they do almost all of their work in the night. As far as I know, their base should be in this forest but no one knows the exact location. "
"Is that why you and your sister were attacked by them?" Ming Yue asked.
"Yes," he replied.
Yu Fengtian paused before telling his story. As it turns out, he and his sister came from a small branch of a noble family. His sister was a genius cultivator while he was unable to cultivate at all leading many to shun him as a cripple. However, his sister never thought of him that way and loved her older brother dearly. Several weeks ago, the family had prepared to send her to Five Element City to the main family branch where they would hold a competition among the younger generation and send the winner to the Youth Dragon Tournament. If she was to win this competition and enter, then it would give the branch family a higher status.
During the preparations she wanted to bring him with her to cheer her on. Their family didn't really care and told her that she could bring him along. The main family had arranged some guards for them and sent them off. Who would have known that these protectors were actually criminals.
"Her name is Yao Xian, Yu Yao Xian."
Yu Fengtian's face was filled with grief after recalling her name.
Ming Yue thought to herself, slowly digesting the information. She then took out the belongings of the men from yesterday and rummaged through them. There was a fair bit of money, some trinkets and weapons, and finally a rolled up paper.
She unfurled it, recognizing it as a map and started looking over it. There were several red marks on it, scattered throughout the map, some seemed to designate outposts or meeting points. Within the Purple Vine Forest, she noticed a red and a black mark near each other. If she was not wrong, the black mark is most likely the main base. It was located in one of the more dangerous areas of the forest where rank 2 and rank 3 beats were frequently found. Furthermore, the vegetation is much more thicker making concealment much easier.
"We go here," she pointed at the black mark, telling Yu Fengtian.
He had already stopped grieving over his sister and looked over at Ming Yue curiously, watching her actions. When she showed him the map, he realized that it was from the marauders yesterday.
"Let's set off immediately, the faster we get there, the higher chance that Yao Xian is still alive," he spoke urgently ready to move out.
And so, the pair went deeper into the forest and traveled towards the base of the Darksun Marauders. It took a day and a night to reach their destination and once it was within their sight, Yu Fengtian had lost hope. It wasn't because they were too late but because he felt it was impossible to save her. The base was more like a stronghold with watchtowers everywhere and the walls were fortified with stone.
Dejected, he faced Ming Yue and apologized, "I'm sorry for implicating you like this, it seems that saving my sister is not possible anymore."
He looked at her, surprised that there was no difference in expression, she just continued to watch the stronghold. Suddenly, she spoke to Xiao Yin and sent her off into the sky.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
"We should attack when the sun is at its highest, I sent Xiao Yin to see where the security is the most lax. Once we determine its location, I will distract them while you go off and find your sister."
Fengtian almost called her crazy out loud, to attack in broad daylight was insane and a stupid move to make. Seeing his disbelief, she didn't bother explaining her actions.
Soon, Xiao Yin flew back and led them to a section that had the least security. the vegetation was especially thick and it seems that only one or two watchtowers had a clear view of that section. This was the best spot to get into the encampment but it was still day. It didn't matter where they would enter from, they would be spotted immediately.
However, none of that happened. In fact, it seemed like no one was even here.
"Strange, why is it like this?" he said.
"You said before that they operate at night. This must mean that they should spend the day asleep," she said.
She was not wrong, even though it was midday, the stronghold was somewhat quiet with the exceptions of the sounds of animals. Of course there were guards but most of them spend the day napping. It was a concealed base after all, no one has yet to discover it so there was no reason to worry. The numerous watchtowers were really just for show, they were occupied by sleeping men.
The both of them enter quietly, climbing up a tree and jumping over the wall. Fengtian had trouble getting over but Ming Yue simply lifted him onto her shoulder and brought him over.
"Let's go find your sister then," she said.
They set off exploring the area and entering buildings, searching for her. Every now and then they would hide, waiting for the passing patrol to leave. Yu Fengtian stopped in one the buildings, a storeroom, grabbing something. It was a Guandao*, it had a crimson red body with a lion's head. It's mouth was gaping wide and a blade came out from it. The blade was large and shaped aggressively as if meant for war.
"It's my sister's weapon," he said, carefully wrapping it in cloth and carrying it on his back. Ming Yue didn't question him and left the storeroom.
They stopped by a shabby building and entered it. The interior was dark and messy. It was filled with all sorts of people from old men to young girls and even small children. Their clothes were stained in dirt and blood, ripped up in all manner of sorts. These were prisoners possibly from kidnappings to robberies and village attacks.
Fengtian hurriedly looked through them all. Some were curious about the two that had entered while others cowered in fear. Ming Yue looked at them all, feeling angered and disgusted by these Marauders. Such people did not need to exist in this world, she needed to take this opportunity to end them.
"I found her! Yao Xian! Get up, we're leaving!" Fengtian helped up a young girl. She was injured on one arm and stood weakly.
She spoke in a weak voice, "Brother? Why are you here? It's dangerous to be here, you should leave now."
"I came here to take you away, you are my sister, I can't abandon you like this. Look, I even have your Lion's Pride. Quickly now, we must go."
"But... I can't leave them here, these people live like dogs here. We should do something," she said.
Fengtian looked at her unable to say no to her request, he looked back to Ming Yue as if asking for her opinion. She thought about it before nodding slowly.
Suddenly, they heard a voice,"Hey, who left the door open?"
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