Everywhere the water flowed was depicted in blue through her perception; Re'Kha inhaled a sharp breath in shock. Although the place wasn't large, the style of the buildings was bizarre.
Broken planks, extending poles, shattered pillars, houses shaped like trees, the windows and doors creating a ghastly persona, a road that was nothing but a disorderly maze, with houses littered everywhere, following no rhyme or reason. The appearance alone seemed a manifestation of death and decay.
She could perceive an outline of all the buildings thanks to the flow of the rainwater that touched the ground, without getting cut off mid-flow. After all, everything had to flow down, a principle that water followed thanks to gravity.
Re'Kha inspected all the routes, realising they all ended around a section that created a circle around her. Judging based on the thin lines of water flowing across them, they seemed to be the walls of the settlement.
On a rough estimate, she judged them to be thrice her height, something she couldn't scale up without any preparations. Re'Kha looked around for a water flow, noticing two areas situated on opposite ends. Through that place, water flowed out into the open, extending far beyond what she could perceive for now.
'They must be the gates to this…settlement. I had probably entered through one of them.' Re'Kha thought, trying to figure out which among them she should take to escape when she felt the heat emanating from within the house decrease in intensity.
She immediately deactivated her Water Qi perception, took a couple of breaths to adjust herself, and entered the excited state in her cultivation technique as she activated her Wind Qi perception. She perceived the blank space within the house had become smaller than before, with the pillars of the house now looking alright. In the short time frame, they had already recovered.
Seeing that time was running short, Re'Kha took a couple of breaths before activating her Water Qi perception, looking at all the clues she could make use of. She grabbed the cloth banner and scaled its length using her hands, swiftly folding it four times to end up with a shawl the length of her body.
She then held its two ends and began twisting it, making many loops before it was fairly twisted. She felt its weight in her hands before swiping towards her right, hitting an approaching individual, shattering it completely.
'In this rain, with an abundance of Water Qi soaked by it, the attacks I generate using it would be fairly lethal.' Re'Kha held the shawl with her right hand while grabbing hold of the lantern with her left. She held her bag with her mouth, feeling the heat from the house decrease continuously.
Without any hesitation, she sprinted towards the nearest gate, keeping watch on the path and her surroundings through her Water Qi perception. The moment any figure landed on the path, she noticed the part of their feet submerged in the water, knowing their positions.
Numerous figures landed on the ground one after another, blocking her way. Re'Kha didn't slow down, using the running momentum to add a spin to her motion, lashing out with the shawl like a whip, making thunderous clapping sounds each time she waved them.
The clapping sounds were a lot muffled when her attack struck the target. Re'Kha fought, struggling a lot to weave through the obstacles as the figures hindered her at all possible turns, rushing out from their houses when she passed by.
"Guh!" She coughed, splashing forth water from her collapse as her knees slammed into the ground. She slid for a fair distance, having negated most of the impact using her shawl to absorb the damage. But, before she could even come to a stop, a figure punched her from behind.
Thankfully, the figure's fist exploded from the punch, having been severely damaged from the rain. If not for that, Re'Kha would have been unable to get up from the damage she would have received.
"Haah…haah," She kept attacking, taking many detours using the innumerous paths available to her, inching closer and closer to her destination. She threw off her pursuers, trying to keep them longer in the rain until their bodies collapsed. As for the ones that still managed to close in on her, she used the range of her shawl to her advantage and swatted them away.
"Take This!" Re'Kha shouted, slamming the lantern on the ground upon reaching her destination. The lantern was cylindrical in shape, with its top and sides fully covered, made from a single material to prevent any leaks in the rain. Tiny holes were poked into the sides near the top for the burnt-out air to escape while the flame was situated near the open bottom, allowing for the arrival of fresh air to burn unhindered.
When she slammed it down, the contents within toppled. The oil spilled out; the fire in the wick spread through it as the oil formed a layer over the water on the ground. The fire soon covered the path behind Re'Kha, blocking out her pursuers.
When they tried to run through, their bodies collapsed almost instantly.
'This fire will last for three to four breaths before it would be doused by the rain.' Re'Kha calculated based on experience, turning around to gaze at the gate. There existed a lever to the side that allowed one to lift the gate. Re'Kha grabbed the lever and began to rotate it.
It seemed to use the principle of rack and pulley to the maximum, allowing even a single person to lift the massive gate. But, the price was the insane effort involved. Re'Kha had spun it more than ten times under a single breath while noticing that the gate had only moved up by a finger's width.
She grunted, hanging the shawl over her shoulder, turning the lever faster by using both her arms. She noticed the blank space caused by the fire begin to reduce as the blue underneath started to become more visible.
She had only lifted the gate enough for her leg to barely pass through when the fire died. New figures emerged from the nearby houses, the sounds of their footsteps varying, depicting that the stature of the pursuers ranged from a child to an adult.
She was close to the exit, but the number of legs she sensed through her perception numbered beyond one hundred. And they were all sprinting towards her to boot. Her mental state was close to a collapse.