3 A Dust Storm In the Rafters
In a private room in the top floor of the auction house, not far from where Moyin was sitting, there was man and his subordinate.
The room was large and expensive, large thick furs of spirit beasts being used as carpet and various rare gems and metals inlaid in regular items, like chairs. Amber stones, similar to the ones on the chandelier out in the general area, were everywhere, brightening the room and making it seem to glow with the light of gold. They were of much higher quality than those, however, and made the room sparkle. Despite this, there was an abundance of shadows, hiding in corners, and seeming to pop up out of nowhere.
The subordinate was sweating profusely and trembling near the exit under the man's pressure, and trying to think of suitable excuses. The man was calm and silent, not paying him any mind, and scanning the people in the general room
After a tense pause, the man spoke quietly, his pressure increasing.
"You mean to tell me, that a thief somehow got into the most secure parts of my facility," The man didn't even glance at the servant,"without my people knowing?"
His voice was calm, even lazy. However, the temperature dropped drastically around him, giving away his true feelings.
The servant immediately dropped to his knees and kowtowed like his life depended on it, which technically it did. He was shaking like a leaf and cursing the guards in his heart, trying to think of a good way to escape without dying.
The man increased the pressure even more, ignoring the servant trembling on the ground.
Complete silence and anger permeated the room as the air tensed.
"You are dismissed."
The servant paled even further and stood up, bowing as low as he could, not daring to speak. The last person who was that stupid now resided in several unmarked graves.
A short while after the servant left, the man spoke into what seemed like the open air.
"Deal with him and appoint someone competent to take his place. The next time a fool is spotted within our ranks that you promoted, both of your heads will roll."
A shadow in the corner wavered for a moment and man dressed in black appeared, bowed his acknowledgement, then disappeared again.
The various other shadows in the room sensed their master's anger and prudently left to search for the thief, leaving three to guard him. There was no use staying there and getting yelled, at or worse, when they didn't need to and there was no reason for them to stay.
The man looked out over the general area, his eyebrows furrowing slightly and a flash of confusion in his eyes.
He'd already searched the entire building with his spirit power, and unless the thief could fly or was using the mask he shouldn't have been able to escape. And even if he did use the mask, he would have stood out if suddenly a new aura that wasn't there before popped up out of nowhere or if one that was there disappeared.
There were limited exits and all were supervised by guards that did their job, unlike the ones guarding the actual products. All the guests were required to show their invitations when they entered and exited and they were to have a guard with them whenever they left the general area.
It was damn near impossible to sneak anywhere and all the guests were where they were supposed to be, either in the general area, in a private room, or on their way to or from the bathroom. Everyone was accounted for and there were no extra people or any missing.
The auction house didn't deal with slaves, so there were no people to escape and take it. All of the guards were loyal and weren't dumb enough to try to steal from him. Although the auctioneer was stupid, he wasn't stupid enough to report a crime that he himself committed and try to get away with it.
'Where could they have gone?'
The 'they' he was referring to was Xia Moyin of course, and she was currently lounging like a cat on the beams high above him, about to take a nap.
He tilted his head back and frowned, feeling a headache coming on. He wasn't worried about the auction, it wasn't important to him. What was making him frown was the fact that someone was able to steal something from right under his nose without him knowing.
Either they were an extremely high level cultivator who specialized in stealth, or he needed to train some more...
He rubbed his nose and sniffed. The room seemed a little bit dustier than usual. it wasn't enough for most to notice, but he did. He rubbed his itchy nose again, holding back a sneeze.
He distinctly remembered telling the maids to clean the room thoroughly, and when he walked in, there wasn't a speck of dust in the room…
His gaze turned strange and he stepped out onto the balcony that overlooked the general area, indicating to his shadow guards to stay put.
Squinting upwards, he could see what looked like a tiny dust storm in the rafters. A small form was reclining near the middle, looking down on the general area.
As if feeling his gaze, she turned around, revealing a familiar fox mask and black robe.
They both stopped, his eyes widening and hers sparkling a bit. Then his sharpened and narrowed dangerously. Hers hardened and all warmth seeped out of them.
For a second they glared at each other, sizing each other up.
The man was tall and broad shouldered, wearing a black robe not much different from the one Xia Moyin herself was wearing. It was nearly identical except it had a high collar sewn into it along with the hood. Xia Moyin had to admit, it did look a bit cooler than her own, though a bit too stuffy for her tastes. The deep hood was up along with the collar, making it hard for her to make out most of his features, except for his eyes. They were a striking gold, flecks of silver around the edges and pupils vertical like a lizard, making her stop and look for a moment.
Despite his outfit similar to what she would imagine a cultist would wear, he didn't look like it at all.
He had the aura more arrogant than an emperor, and he seemed to look down on her from on high, even though it was the other way around. It was cold and mysterious, as if he was an expert that she could only dream of becoming, and had a sort of imposing factor that made you want to bow down and serve. Instead, however, it made her want to hit him then open his head to figure out what he was thinking.
The moment of stunned silence passed, and they both realized that the other was there.
He disappeared, not even a shift in pressure indicating his departure. He reappeared right behind her, reaching for her collar. As soon as he moved, she drew both of the short swords at her belt, slicing behind her and kicking back as hard as she could.
In her previous life, Xia Moyin could easily be considered one of the strongest in the world and although the body that she now inhabited was small and weak, with the help of the Moon Silk robe, she was able to access about twenty percent of the strength that she had had. It was less that what she expected, but was more than enough for what she wanted to do.
A bad premonition seized his heart and he jumped back, barely avoiding a knife in the neck. They separated as a small wind was kicked up by their exchange.
He glanced down at himself. If he had been any slower....
He would not only be near fatally wounded by the knives, he would have been in danger of losing his manhood as well. If her kick had hit true, he would probably have become a eunuch.....