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Re'Kha sat in her spot, feeling the burning sensation begin to die down. The chillness of the rain immediately seeped into her muscles, numbing them, weakening her. Re'Kha stood up, feeling strength from the fact that her bag was in her possession.

 

She dared not wait until the burning feeling completely disappeared. For, that would make her unable to endure the cold any longer.

 

'The Sha can only become active during the night. They cannot exist in the presence of sunlight. It was clearly morning when I bade farewell to master. And, I hadn't travelled for too long, so it might have been somewhere around noon or so when I stumbled upon this settlement.'

 

Re'Kha heard the shouts around her, shuddering as she analysed further, 'Judging by the cold, it is fairly likely the sun was completely covered by the clouds, barring light from passing through. This allowed the Sha to wander free during the day. But, if I had encountered a Sha, I would have lost my life or at least a body part or two. This whole incident is strange.'

 

When she thought of the Sha, she recalled the being that reaped her eyes, seething with anger. She then controlled her emotions, alerting herself of the reality of the situation, unwilling to lose her cool to anger.

 

'The maid called this place the Withered Courtyard. Is this a new being among the Sha? If yes, how can I escape from here?' Re'Kha thought, craning her head upwards as she felt the raindrops fall on her face.

 

'This rain is my only salvation. Maybe the reason I haven't been physically harmed is that it wanted to assimilate me into it, judging by what it fed me.' She frowned, 'The question is, how will I escape or forge a path ahead? I can no longer conjure a hand projection and am only left with three palm projections. That is clearly insufficient to make an escape.'

 

She was currently naked without even a shred of fabric on her. She had no defence against the chillness of the rain and lacked any weapons to fend for her life. In her bag was the wooden knife, but it was unsuitable as a weapon. It was light weighed and had a dull edge, unsuitable to cause any damage to her opponents.

 

It was a despairing situation. Re'Kha suddenly heard the voice of the maid again, "Lady Re'Kha, let me treat your wounds. I have also prepared a new set of clothes for you. They will warm you up."

 

Re'Kha faintly sensed flowing wind on her back, as if they were generated by a pair of flailing hands. The odd splashes of the rainwater on her back proved her conjecture.

 

'So, the damage by Water Qi is not permanent to this type of Sha. It also seems capable of recovering from the damage over time.' Re'Kha felt the wooden ceiling under her rattle once. She felt a minute sense of vertigo, as if the ceiling was moving up, trying to return to its original position.

 

Re'Kha rolled on it, moving in accordance with the layout she had perceived before. She was currently in the collapsed ceiling of the room to the north, so she rolled further north, landing on flat ground, exiting the boundaries of the house. The mud splashed on her face from the impact, soon washed away by the rain.

 

As the fall was less than the height of her legs, she wasn't damaged by it. Re'Kha rolled a couple more times before stopping, feeling that she might be in the middle of the road. She didn't wish to proceed anywhere near the other houses.

 

Thud!

 

Re'Kha jumped forward in reflex, hearing a thud from behind her as something heavy seemed to have crashed on the ground. The water mixed with mud splashed on her from the impact as Re'Kha took a couple more steps in alarm.

 

She then heard a couple of splashes behind her as something seemed to approach her. Re'Kha sprinted, noticing a rough hand grab onto her ankle, topping her balance. The cause seemed to have been melted after the hold as Re'Kha got up once again, moving forward by a couple more steps as she heard another thud, followed by a splash of water mixed with mud. But this time, it was from before her and positioned within arm's reach.

 

The force behind the splash caused her to reflexively shield herself as she felt a heavy weight slam into her. She exerted strength in her lips, swiftly moving a leg backward to balance herself better from the impact.

 

Re'Kha slid on the ground by a fair distance as she noticed the attacker fall to the ground. When she kicked in return, all her feet came into contact was loose jelly that swiftly dissipated into gas.

 

'How will I exit this place? I don't even know the direction. Will I even last until morning? Moreover, if the situation like yesterday evening persists through the day, then I have no hope.' Re'Kha tried to think of all possibilities, training her ears to the sounds around her, wishing to dodge any attacks that came her way.

 

This time, three beings jumped around her, splashing the mud water in all directions, with a significant portion falling onto her. Re'Kha crouched low, moving forward in reflex to dodge their subsequent attack.

 

She concentrated on their upcoming movements, having leaped low in the forward direction. She rolled once on the ground and used the motion to arrive at a half-sit position, her legs craned, ready to make another leap.

 

It was then, a pair of hands grabbed her from forward. Re'Kha noticed the absence of rain before her and swiftly activated her Wind Qi perception, watching four bulky men stand before her. They grabbed hold of her hands and shoulders while she heard the sounds of the three beings approach her from behind.

 

Re'Kha deactivated her Wind Qi perception as her palms radiated blue, condensing her Water Qi into it. As she was constricted, she could only move it forward a little, sensing her palm projection slam into a man that destroyed his hands, removing his hold on her.

 

Using the freed-up hand, she condensed another palm projection and slammed it in the direction the other men stood—based on what she had perceived before. She moved in the direction without rain, activating her Wind Qi perception, slamming a kick at the three beings that jumped from her behind, splashing their contents like water.

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