All of the soldiers at the entrance of the imperial palace were ready to confront the enemy. They had their long spears prepared for the huge fox’s arrival. Well, technically, the fox had already arrived. However, she halted in her tracks when she spotted the burning red tips of the spears in a formation.
Liu Yue bent down. She poised herself to attack as a wild beast would and then gnashed her teeth in the faces of the soldiers in silver armour. The soldiers were chosen elites and veterans who didn’t shy away from any battlefield, but they hadn’t ever fought a huge wild beast. Suddenly, somebody desperately squeezed their way through the crowd.
Vera came out from the group of soldiers and shouted, “Liu Yue! Liu Yue! Calm down! Liu Yue!”
Liu Yue narrowed her blood-red eyes. She faced the sky and howled prior looking back at Vera. The soldiers were scared. Owing to their training, they raised their spears and thrust them at the huge fox. The heat emitted from the spears raised Liu Yue’s fur. The smell of burnt flesh was mixed in with it, but she marginalised them. Instead, she charged toward her sister.
Vera shouted at the huge fox charging toward her with saliva being flung from her mouth. Her legs shook. She wanted to run; her human instincts took over. The instinct couldn’t be overcome no matter what. Even the bravest of soldiers would lose their courage in the face of a dragon. The bloody-thirsty fox before her wasn’t different in any capacity. She was her sister, though, her beloved sister. She couldn’t run from her. Still, Vera revealed a terrified expression when her sister’s claws were in front of her. Alas, a huge net fired from a cannon suddenly trapped Liu Yue inside from the rear.
A dragon could break apart a solid metal cage, but they couldn’t escape a net. Ropes weren’t firm. To the contrary, they were soft. Powerful as a beast may be, they’d never able to get rid of a fly buzzing around them. Ropes were tantamount to said flies. The four corners latched onto the stone buildings. Liu Yue folded to the ground as a result. She wanted to stand. Sadly, the net completely immobilised her.
The soldiers locked the net down on her and restrained her legs. Vera looked dumbstruck as she watched Liu Yue struggle to try and attack the soldiers. She was so scared that she didn’t dare to approach her sister.
Ikana gently touched Vera’s head. She softly laughed and whispered in Vera’s ear, “Don’t be scared, Vera. She is your sister. She’s here to rescue you. Sometimes, it’s not others fearing you that hurts most but your family fearing you.”
Vera could tell from Ikana’s voice that Ikana was serious. She turned her head to look at Ikana. Ikana wasn’t a huge fox or wolf. She was only an ordinary human. To Vera’s surprise, though, that was what Ikana thought.
Vera cautiously walked over. Liu Yue’s gaze stopped on Vera. Vera paused for a moment, but then Ikana gave her a push. Vera blankly stood there for a moment. Then, she squatted down and looked into Liu Yue’s eyes. She gently wiped the blood stains on Liu Yue’s face.
Liu Yue suddenly went quiet. She licked Vera’s hand through the net and softly remarked, “I’m so glad that you’re all right, Vera.”
Vera felt relieved after hearing Liu Yue’s familiar voice. She reached out to clasp Liu Yue’s face. In a loud voice, she asked, “I’m all right, I’m all right. Are you all right, Liu Yue? Are you all right?”
“I’m all right. Dad… Dad is on his way…”
Before Vera could express her surprise, an imposing roar came from overhead. Everyone froze. They intuitively looked up. The soldiers trembled and dropped to their knees. There were three dragons. Two were white, and one was black. They circled in the sky over the top of the imperial palace. Dragons were the divine creatures of the North and beasts that only existed in legends. Dragons were a myth. Nobody could look a dragon in the eye, except for one human being, and that was the woman who had seen more terrifying things than hell, Elizabeth.
“Th-That’s…” Ikana tightly grabbed the shoulder of Abner, who was next to her, to stop herself from falling down.
A white silhouette came descended from above. The owner of the cloak didn’t reduce his fall speed. He came crashing down similarly to a meteor. Nobody could survive a fall from that high, right? Well, he did.
He heavy landing created cracks in the exquisite stone path. Once the smoke passed by, the man in white stood up and took imposing strides toward Ikana. The shocked soldiers were at a loss for what to do. A few picked up their spears, but the man with the piercing gaze grabbed them by their armour and hurled them aside as if he was throwing figurines.
Ikana watched Troy walk over with a dumbstruck look on her face. She trembled as she softly uttered, “King… Troy?”
“Dad!!” Vera rushed over to the man who’d just arrived.
Troy gave his daughter a light hug and touched her head with a smile. He gave her a kiss on her forehead then pulled her behind him. Next, he confronted Ikana. He stood firm and loudly exclaimed, “Ikana, I have nothing to do with your grudge with Galaluocia. I’ve always respected your rule, but you kidnapped my daughter without a word and hurt another one of my daughters. Do I look like a joke to you?!”
“I am very sorry, King Troy. This was a misunderstanding. Due to Vera sharing the same name as the other Vera, my subordinates mistook her for the other Vera. As for Liu Yue, it was due to my guards not recognising her. They thought she was a magical creature that was attacking our city. I used the rope net after learning of her arrival.”
Ikana went down on one knee and received Troy as a low-ranking vassal would. However, Troy ignored her. He strode over to Liu Yue and cut the ropes with his sword. He hugged Liu Yue’s head and gently caressed her. In a loving tone, he expressed, “It’s okay now, it’s okay now, my daughter. Don’t be scared. Dad is here. Dad will protect you.”
The huge red fox softly moaned and then slowly reverted to her human form with teary eyes. Troy removed his cloak to cover his daughter. He then touched all the wounds she had on her. All of her wounds immediately healed.
Liu Yue leaned onto her father’s embrace and placed her face firmly up against his cheek. She wept with a blissful smile on her face. Troy didn’t say a word to anyone. He just hugged his daughter in the gentlest manner possible.
Everybody, including the youngster, watched them…