1 Stealing The Second Most Valuable Thing
Moyin opened her eyes, a sharp stab of pain causing her to curl up and whimper quietly before rolling onto her side.
She hadn't hurt this bad in years. She'd trained her body to take pain that would usually be debilitating in stride, and to automatically start healing. Whether it was cuts, bruises, or poison, whatever injury it was, it generally didn't stay on her body long enough to cause any pain. There weren't many things short of a lost limb that would make her feel this way.
The mysterious pain seemed to be from something down in the recesses of her mind, trying to escape. It was as if a beast was clawing at the space in between her eyebrows, roaring to get out.
Moyin shuddered, waves of pain making her tremble as her hands went numb and she gritted her teeth, concentrating on staying conscious. To pass out right now was a one way ticket to the Nether World, and she wasn't ready to die quite yet. After about ten second of it getting louder and louder, to the point of blood nearly dripping from her ears as her eardrums got close to bursting, the roaring suddenly went silent, as if someone had hit the mute button. It went from literally deafening, to completely nonexistent, like it was never there.
Moyin stayed tense for a long while, prepared to take another mental attack from whatever was causing that mysterious roaring. After a moment, she relaxed slightly, assuring herself that it was gone. She turned her attention to other things, still staying curled up on her side.
Though the sound was gone, her consciousness seemed to be stifled, slowed down by a blanket of pain and tiredness. Despite this, she could still spread it out far enough to cover her body, and she discovered some very interesting things.
This wasn't her body.
Moyin was six foot two with dark skin and enough muscle mass to put an Amazon to shame. The body she was sensing right now, was tiny, only about seventy pounds and a little over four and a half feet tall. It was pale, and skinny, obviously underfed and overworked. Dark bruises covered most of her chest and arms, throbbing painfully.
As she studied her body, a sharp spike of pain entered her brain, causing her to grimace and shut her eyes tightly.
A flurry of words, phrases, events, languages, and people forced its way into her mind, shoving her thoughts and memories to the side as it mixed and sorted out itself in her brain.
It felt as if her brain was tearing itself apart, melting back together, then being put through a blender and poured back into her skull, all in the fraction of a second.
The pain left as quickly as it came, leaving Moyin pale and trembling, with a boatload of new information. Her heart beat erratically as she took deep breaths, trying to cope with the aftereffects of taking the brunt of two very painful experiences in succession without rest.
She took a moment to catch her breath and sort out her thoughts before looking into the new additions to her repertoire of weird experiences.
It seemed to be a stack of events, thirteen years high, blending into her own twenty eight years of life. The memories that mixed in her brain told her that she was now inhabiting the body of Xia Moyin, the first legitimate daughter of the prime minister of the left for the Moon Empire, Xia Jun.
To make a long story short, Xia Moyin was born with a weak physique because of something that happened before she was born. She was kicked out of the clan when she was six years old to live in the north to die, at least in the eyes of her 'father'. She had an engagement to the third prince, and was summoned back after seven years to the manor so they could keep her under their thumbs until she was to be wed when she turned fifteen.
Moyin had some common sense and resisted, knocking out two of the guards turned kidnappers and trying to run. Unfortunately, she was caught and auctioned off, as per the orders of the prime minister. She would rather die than be a slave, and promptly committed suicide the minute she realized she was going to be sold, hence her current situation.
To kill a kid because they couldn't cultivate was a bit cold-blooded, even for Moyin, and according to her new memories, it wasn't uncommon for the sons and daughters of nobles to not cultivate and become a scholar instead. 'There's more going on here...'
Mentally pushing those thoughts to the side, she turned her eyes inward, and started studying her new body in detail.
She was extremely surprised, and not in a good way.
All of her meridians were blocked, the space where all the spirit power she cultivated, her dantian, was tiny and full of cracks and holes. The lining of her lungs that would allow her to intake spirit power and the small organ that processed it was completely nonexistent, and she seemed to have no affinity whatsoever to any element or any sensitivity to spirit power.
Moyin sighed in disappointment, withdrawing her gaze and finally opening her eyes to the physical world.
She could deal with a cracked dantian and sealed meridians if she had time, but if she left it alone for much longer, there would be major problems. Fatal kinds of problems.
She seemed to be in a cage of some sort, similar to animal cages back on Earth, but also different. There wasn't any lock, or latch, or door that would let her in or out. It was just a square box with bars.
Beyond the bars, there was a large circular room, about sixty meters tall and eighty meters at the largest point. It was set up kind of like a Roman colosseum, with a bunch of seats around a raised platform in the middle and private rooms above that, but it was a half circle, a curtain cutting the room in half. Even with that, it was still a huge room.
It could easily hold ten thousand people, and seemed to be filled to the max, with people everywhere. The curtain obscured her cage from most of them, but she could tell that there were at least twenty thousand people, if not more.
The walls seemed to be inlaid with metal close to gold, but not quite the real thing. The large chandeliers hanging from the ceiling had a sort of glowing amber stone that lit up the gargantuan space. The private rooms were about about fifty meters above the ground, a full ten meters above the last of the general seats.
Not far from her, there was a heavy metal door, supposedly leading to the goods. A small staircase leading up to the platform where the goods were to be sold to her direct left.
High above her cage, where the curtain met the roof, there were large beams holding up the ceiling, rafters. They were filled with shadows and were the perfect place to hide. Most people assumed that an escapee would book it as far as they could, or would at least leave the general area, not that they would be sitting back, relaxing, above them. Xia Moyin's eyes flashed and she crawled into a crouching position, considering her next move.
The first thing she had to do was get out of that cage and run for the hills so she could treat her physique. Her cracked dantian was the main reason she was in such bad shape, and if she left it alone for much longer, it could turn lethal.
The first part was easy. Due to years of malnourishment and living where there was barely enough food to survive, her body was tiny, small enough to easily slip through the bars that were meant to keep in adults.
The second one was not so easy. Finding the way out was child's play, but actually leaving was not. She could choose to slaughter her way through, but that would take too long and in this body that could tip over if the wind blew too hard, possibly dangerous against high level cultivators.
Xia Moyin could also choose to instead sneak around and leave without them knowing, but there were problems with that too. She stuck out way too much in a crowd of pompous rich people and she had no idea where everything was. With her luck, she would walk into the wrong room at the wrong time and be found out. Plus she would be leaving an enemy behind her, and that was not how she rolled.
She stood up, stretching leisurely and making sure everything worked properly. The bruises throbbed painfully, but not enough to hinder her movements.
Xia Moyin stood up, looking around. She frowned slightly, her eyes frosted over. There was no protection at all, as if they thought she would just sit there and do nothing, gathering dust. No guards, no traps, no locks, no nothing.
'Do they really think I'm just going to sit here and become a slave!?'
She didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Even though this body was young and couldn't do much damage, they didn't have to completely disregard her! They didn't even put her in a cage that had a lock on it! It was as if they didn't consider her existence at all!
The people who owned the auction house were certain that no thieves would try to steal anything, but they didn't even take in the fact that there was still her, who could steal everything they had!
But thinking about it, why would they need to? The high level cultivators that were in the building were enough to scare any thieves with a brain away and the only thing that posed any threat was a preteen on the edge of death. It wasn't worth wasting money to guard something that wouldn't be taken and couldn't leave on it's own.
Xia Moyin raised an eyebrow and twisted, stepping through the bars and onto the ground. She turned, not to the curtains, but to the goods instead. Thankfully the door was unlocked and she slipped in, unnoticed.
Since they wanted to sell her, she might as well take the second most valuable thing they have there.
The most valuable thing was herself.