Xia Fan shot forward like a bolt of lightning, sprinting through the darkness, clutching the strange sack in his hand.
The further he ran, the more abnormal Xia Fan felt.
First, none of his enemies gave chase. Second, the way ahead had actually turned into a single tunnel, a huge black tunnel that went on forever.
Xia Fan sucked in a cold breath and felt that something was off.
He came to a halt and examined his surroundings with a furrowed brow. Turning back would lead him back to those accursed enemies, the masked duo that Xia Fan would have a very hard time dealing with. But Xia Fan also had an inexplicable feeling of danger if he continued ahead.
"Forget it. Let me first let Icy Wind out and then we'll talk,' Xia Fan thought to himself.
Thus, he tried to loosen the strings of that peculiar sack, and encountered no trouble doing so. There was a mechanism at its opening, and pressing the metal button caused the sack to open and close.
Icy Wind's head appeared, his eyes holding so much anger they were practically spitting fire. He started to grab for Xia Fan's throat, but Xia Fan could move at such speed that all it took was a slight shift of his nimble physique and he managed to dodge Icy Wind's hand.
"It's you?!" Icy Wind was stunned to see him.
Xia Fan shrugged casually, "What, are you unhappy to see a friendly face?"
Icy Wind quickly shook his head, and tears began falling.
He was a kindly Water Elemental at the end of the day, and it was just that he had an introverted personality and was not good at expressing it openly.
Actually, Icy Wind was very sentimental deep down, and anyone could see that by how much effort he put into taking care of his younger brother, Icy Rain.
"Okay, it's all in the past. You're safe now," Xia Fan lightly patted Icy Wind on his head.
Icy Wind was startled, and quickly asked about his younger brother. Only after he got Xia Fan's confirmation of his brother's safety did Icy Wind heave a sigh of relief and smile.
"Are you still able to fight?" Xia Fan said with a frown. "I see you're even skinnier than before. Is it because of the energy you expended?"
Icy Wind nodded. "Yes, We Water Elementals may look like water, but we're actually made up of pure energy. Right now, I've overexerted my energy expenditure, but it's no problem. I can still fight!"
Xia Fan brushed his finger lightly over his spatial ring and took out two Grade Nine energy crystals and handed them over to Icy Wind.
"Use them, they ought to help you recover some of your energy." Xia Fan looked around. "I don't like this place, so we better not continue onward. We'll head back the way we came from after you recover a bit of your energy."
It was a bumpy journey, but Xia Fan finally made it back to Holy Spring City.
He began to feel that something was amiss when he was still at the periphery. It was because things were simply far too quiet, and did not give off the feeling of a place where a great battle had just ended. The eerie peace felt surreal.
In the next moment, he saw a group of strangers standing on the ruined walls of Holy Spring City. They were standing there proudly, their backs straight like javelins, a sharp glimmer in their eyes.
Xia Fan was stunned.
Though he did not recognize these people, he could feel his heartbeat quicken for some inexplicable reason. He felt a sense of closeness, and a rush of emotion that nearly brought him to the verge of tears.
Looking at the two figures speed over like a flash of lightning, Xia Geng smiled, extending his right hand and giving him a little wave. "Xia Fan, we finally meet!"
Xia Fan heard the words, and he was just rooted to the ground, dumbfounded.
"And you are?"
"We are your family."
"That's right, the Skywing Clan," Xia Geng said.
In that moment, Xia Fan felt as if the air had been sucked out of him. His vision darkened as his body nearly collapsed on the spot.
With whooshes of motion, more and more figures appeared by his side, reaching out to support him.
This speed… There was no mistake!
Like wings on their back, capable of traversing the nine heavens and the stars.
They were really his clansmen!
"Are we leaving?"
They were staring at Holy Spring City from a high vantage point, this place where they had found themselves on the verge of losing their lives.
Xia Di nodded, tilting his head slightly. "This should be a good thing, right? Sending all the people from Holy Spring City to the surface, leaving this damned place!"
"Don't worry, we're the Skywings! We have the capability."
"Then what about Icy Wind and Icy Rain?" Xia Fan asked.
Xia Di answered, "Father hoped that they could join us. After all, Elementals are rare, and if they are still alive, the Demon Kings will not let them off. They will be much safer sticking with us, which is why we're hoping you could go talk to them and see what they think about the idea. Then there's also Traveling Buddha."
Traveling Buddha's voice promptly rose from behind them, "No need to ask! Wherever you go, I follow!
"I originally thought that being from the Holy Buddha Clan was a big deal, until I saw who you called family today!
"It just can't be compared, and comparison will just anger me irrationally. To think you're actually the prince of your clan! The Skywings are more than impressive, and absolutely domineering!"
Xia Fan did not say a word and just smiled at Xia Di and Traveling Buddha.
"I got it. I'll go find Icy Wind and Icy Rain."
In a secluded corner, the two Water Elementals that relied on each other were huddled close to each other. Icy Wind was rubbing his younger brother Icy Rain's head, like an old monkey picking the ticks off a bigger monkey.
ƥαṇdαηθνε|Xia Fan sat beside them and told them the reason he had come over, and offered them their choices.
"I don't wish to lose my younger brother again." Icy Wind gazed at the foolish Icy Rain and said to Xia Fan, "We'll tag along with your clan, and all I ask is that none of you abandon us in the future."
To put it in such a way…
Xia Fan suddenly felt a tightness in his chest. He really sympathized with these two Water Elementals.
"We're not the type of clan that would abandon anyone of our own, nor would we do that to anyone we call friend!" Xia Geng's decisive voice came from afar.
He strolled over with a grin, and said to Xia Fan and the two Water Elementals, "It's time for us to head out."
"Are the Shimmers all prepared?" Xia Fan asked.
Xia Geng nodded, "Actually, there's not much to prepare. Compared to freedom, there's nothing else really worth mentioning."
Xia Fan tried to understand Xia Geng's words. It seemed the Skywings had a different perception of this world than anyone else…
Making their way to the center of the ruined city, Xia Fan looked over at the Principal of the Shimmers, then to the surviving citizens.
The injured were treated, and whatever assets they had to their name were already packed. When the Skywings went about their business, this was the speed that they always did things.
Xia Fan even saw Nikai and Lejiajia. After learning Xia Fan's true identity, the two seemed to view Xia Fan in a clearly different light. There was even a tinge of admiration mixed in their gazes.
"Everyone, let's set off!" Xia Geng exhorted, raising his right arm and pointing toward the surface.
The outskirts of the Subduing Demon City…
Xia Fan entrusted the Shimmers to Nikai.
"You should be able to take care of these people, right?" Xia Fan said. "It wasn't easy getting out of the underground alive."
Nikai stared at Xia Fan intently as she nodded, "I promise you I will, swearing it upon the name of my clan."
From afar, the entire city must have sensed that Nikai had returned, as their army was approaching rapidly.
"We should leave, otherwise we might end up getting involved in unnecessary trouble. It's said that the temper of the people from Subduing Demon City isn't great," Xia Geng remarked, after sparing a glance for the distance.
"Then let us say our farewells here!" Xia Fan flashed an innocent smile.
Nikai seemed to have something she wanted to say, but she could not get the words out.
Lejiajia's chest was heaving, and she also looked like she was about to cry.
But in the next second, the Xia Fan who had been shaking their hands disappeared like a ghost. He shot off into the distance like a bolt of lightning, leaving the two ladies who looked as if they were on the verge of baring their hearts all unsatisfied.
"Where are we off to now?" Xia Fan asked.
"Of course it is to find your father, and the rest of our clan!" Xia Geng declared.
"Do you know where they are?"
"Do you know where to find them?"
"Well, if we keep looking for them, we'll eventually be able to locate them!"
"What if we run into demons? Like the Great Demon King Monsoon? I heard he's very powerful."
"Powerful? Then that means he hasn't encountered us Skywings yet. Don't forget that our slogan is to slay gods and demons alike!"
"Slaying dogs and demons?"
"Be serious a bit! It's gods and demons!"
Carefree laughter rang from the crowd, and echoed across the entire world.
=============~End of Novel~=============