One of the receptionists at the front desk noticed a tall man near the entrance, looking around like a little boy on his birthday. She chuckled, slightly amused, 'It must be his first time here.'
She acted just like him the first time she saw the inside of the Imperial Library, and had no problem admitting it. Most people acted the exact same way.
He was standing not far from the entrance, looking up into the library.
She walked over, smiling, "Do you need any help, sir?"
He seemed to snap out of a trance, glancing down sheepishly, revealing a face that made her blush deep red and her brain frizzle out. The receptionist froze, her face lighting up like a tomato. 'Too handsome...'
His features seemed to be carved from stone, framed by long black hair. He had high cheekbones, a strong jaw and large grey eyes, framed by long, dark lashes, seeming to look into your soul. His nose was straight and noble, a pair of luscious lips underneath them.
The man was much taller than her five foot frame, practically looming over her and creating an aura of dark brooding. Despite this, however, when he looked at her, he smiled faintly and seemed to light up the world, brightening the air around him and causing her to blush even harder.
She spluttered for a moment, her tongue not working properly as her brain tried to sort out how to do basic movements.
Xia Moyin chuckled internally, slightly smug, before going serious, the smile never leaving her face, "I do, actually. Do you know where I might find books on rare items and bloodlines?"
She changed her voice down to man's baritone, almost rumbling through the air. The receptionist shivered slightly, her face feeling like it was on fire, and nodding, looking down at the floor. She couldn't trust that if she looked at his face again she wouldn't have a nosebleed.
She shuffled off, leading a disguised Xia Moyin down a long hallway and into a large side room. It was ringed with books, covering all the walls, a small sitting area in the middle. There were already two people there, an old man and his servant.
The receptionist turned stiffly to Xia Moyin, bowing quickly and practically running back to the front area. Her face was still bright red. Xia Moyin gloated for a moment to herself, smiling.
The old man glanced up at her, his eyes full of disdain. He huffed once to himself, muttering about "immature little boys" and ignoring her.
Xia Moyin shrugged, unfazed. If he wanted to act like that, then so be it. She walked up to the bookcase, picking up the thickest book she saw and opening it up.
It was heavy, and unlike the rest of the books in the room, full of dust. It was old and had the smell unique to aged paper and ink. The cover was faded and worn, completely indistinguishable and plain.
When Xia Moyin opened it, she discovered it was an encyclopedia of the different races, bloodlines, and spirit beasts, well over a ten thousand pages thick. Each page was dedicated to a different thing, including a diagram, brief history, and thorough description of their abilities and other useful things.
She smiled, going over to one of the couches near the old man and sitting down, getting comfortable. It was exactly what she needed!
Xia Moyin opened the book and started reading, fully set on memorizing everything in it.
Six hours, eleven thousand nine hundred and fifty six pages, and an infinite amount of weird looks from the old man later, she sat back, a content but tired look on her face.
Despite the physical strain and work her lifestyle took out of her while she was in her old body, she loved reading. It was her way of decompressing and staying sane. In her previous life, she'd spent the first seventeen years of her life practically living in her library in between training sessions. She'd read more books than she could count and had memorized them all.
Scratch that, she'd counted every last one of them, and could probably recite them word for word, even though it had been nearly eleven years since she had read any of them
In between the time she learned to read, when she was three, and when she moved out, when she was seventeen, she had read forty thousand, six hundred, and thirty two books. Thirty thousand seven hundred and three of those being novels over five hundred pages.
She had an impeccable memory and a reading speed well over a thousand words per minute. Her brain was a glorified encyclopedia of facts and events, with no limit to the amount of information she could absorb. It made it very easy to do things other people wouldn't be able to do. Like, for instance, reading more than two million words in six hours. It drained her energy a bit, but it was a great way to study and helped with tests.
Xia Moyin did learn many things, in the six hours she sat there, especially about the different races. The world that she now inhabited had intelligent races other than that of humans. 99.87% of the population wasn't human, and most people had never even seen one up close. They were humanoid, however, and some did look pretty close to what humans did, usually with only the skin color being different. She wasn't talking about black or white. She meant that the receptionist was blue and blushed magenta.
There were thousands of different races and subraces, each with their own varying bloodlines and abilities, hence the thickness of the book. But there were two main races that took up most of the population, the Beast-kin and the Vampires
The Beast-kin were just like how their names described them to be, looking half beast and half human, oftentimes in the form of tails, claws, wings, ect. They looked just like how humans imagined them to be, though some were a little bit more.....realistic than what a regular furry would think of back on earth. Some had fur all over their bodies, some didn't, some had snouts instead of regular noses, some didn't. Some walked on all fours, some walked on two feet. It just depended on their genes and how they trained. They did live in regular society, and they were the race with the highest amount of people, taking up nearly forty percent of the general populace.
In terms of what humans thought of them, the exact opposite went for vampires. Most of it was wrong. They could eat garlic, most of them were very religious, and they could go out into the sun. They weren't immortal, though their lifespan was well over five hundred years, and they didn't drink blood. Instead, they did something called spirit exchange, and no it wasn't switching bodies.
To make a long story short, they traded a small piece of their power for another person's through physical contact, may it be an ability, a memory, or a thought/message. It doesn't hurt either party unless they trade something bad, like a disease or a trauma. If a vampire abstained from it for too long they 'burn up', or, in more technical terms, they spontaneously combust because there is too much energy in their body. Vampires do have the fangs, and a dreadfully pale complexion, though that was the only thing correct. They took up a good thirty percent of the population, but there weren't many in the Moon Empire.
There was only one other race that really caught her attention. The book had a chapter on the Demons.
She looked at the chapter on the Demons for the obvious reasons. Her parents were Demons, and in turn, she was one of them.
The page on them was practically empty, with a vague description of their characteristics and the difference between High, Middle, and Lower class Demon, with a whole lot of info on their attitude. It was however, completely clear on how strong they were.
The Demons had an extremely high population, about ten to twenty million people on the continent, with 80% being Lower Demons, 20% being Middle Demons, and only 0.0005% being Higher demons. The distance between the different ranks of demons was very pronounced, and Xia Moyin could be considered a Lower Demon due to the fact that she hadn't been able to cultivate yet.
Lower Demon had an intelligence similar to that of animals, and Middle Demons had a bit more, about how much it would take to past a difficult test in the third grade, though they couldn't compare to a Higher Demon in the least. A Higher Demon had a mind even more complex than that of a human, with their own motives and thoughts.
The only reason why she could even conceive a thought is because of her upbringing and her natural advantages due to her parents. Otherwise, she would had been just like the other Lower Demons, a beast with no thought, only instinct, at least until she had cultivated long enough.
A Higher demon could squash a Middle demon like an ant, just from the pressure given off by their cultivation, much less if they actually exchanged blows. The same thing goes for a Middle Demon and a Lower Demon. The latter would get crushed before they would even realize it.
The book said that one Middle Demon could be the backing, or the undoing, of an empire, and they were considered weak against higher demons, just to give you a scope of their strength. It was every king/emperors dream to have one on their side, and they would hunt down one to recruit him/her at any cost, even stepping over the line and making the demon angry before giving up.
As a whole, Middle and Higher demons didn't like to deal with governments trying to push them around. It even had story of one Middle Demon who decimated an entire country because they wouldn't stop pestering him to come and help them. They were generally described as being bloodthirsty and cold blooded, but also loyal and highly intelligent once they cultivated and matured enough.
The book said that the bigger and darker the appendages were, the higher rank the demon was. Lower Demons had horns about the size of erasers, while the highest class, the Imperial class of the Higher Demons, had horns that stretched nearly three feet above their head, and were curved just like hers. From the description of the Higher Demons, Xia Moyin could see that, she, in fact, was a Higher Demon, one of the highest there was, a King class Demon, right under the Imperial class. Otherwise, her horns wouldn't be that big, nor would her teeth have multiple rows.
However, her eyebrows wrinkled a bit and she frowned. The explanation in the book didn't make much sense. She should be considered a Lower Demon since she hadn't been cultivating at all, but she had all the appendages of a Higher Demon.
There was no history about them, just a bunch of descriptions and a vague diagram with a whole lot of warnings about how the general populace should avoid them or leave them alone. Other than confirming her suspicions, it didn't really have much to give her in terms of her background, just more questions.
She bit her lip and leaned back, thinking to herself. 'Just who are my parents?'
For her to be considered a King class demon before she had ever trained or cultivated, what sort of monsters must her parents have been? They definitely wouldn't go down without a fight, and that brought up another question. How strong were the people that were chasing them?
After a long moment of contemplation, she pushed that out of her brain, choosing not to brood over it. Just thinking about it wouldn't help anybody, and she had things she needed to do.
Xia Moyin stood up, stretching. her joints popped and her spine sounded like rice krispies from her sitting down for too long. The old man was still there, reading a new book he had picked while she was on the last two hundred pages.
She put the encyclopedia back in its proper place and browsing through the rest of the books there. Even though it was a huge help, it didn't hold what she really came there for, information on Buzzing Fire and Heavenly Spirit water.
After nearly an hour of climbing shelves and collecting paper cuts from flipping through far too much paper, she finally came to a book that mentioned what she was looking for. It was in the far corner, high up on the shelves, near the ceiling.
The cover was black, with gold edging and no title on the front. It wasn't nearly as heavy or thick as the other one, but it wasn't small either. It was set up in the same format as the encyclopedia, with each page holding a description, history, and diagram of an item, filled with information on rare and precious materials, weapons, and locations. All in all it was about three thousand pages, a good thirty pounds of paper.
Xia Moyin smiled, her face glowing. Her luck was abnormally good, not only letting her get exactly what she needed, but also in just one day, and without having to fight for it.
She sat down again, back in the exact same seat she was in last time. The old man gave her a weird look, the umpteenth one that hour. She ignored him, again, immersing herself in the book in front of her.
About an hour and a half later, she put the book down, sorting the new information she had just absorbed in her mind and taking a short rest. The book had had information on Heavenly Spirit water and Buzzing Fire. Not only that, it had an entire chapter dedicated to precious foodstuffs, which those apparently were, though Xia Moyin personally thought it would do better in the liquid nutrients chapter, but that was irrelevant.
What was important was that she not only had an idea what Heavenly Spirit water was, she also knew where to find it, and the same thing went with Buzzing Fire.
According to the book, Heavenly Spirit water, wasn't really made up of that much water. It was the blood of Archangels that had been distilled with the tears of a dragon, then purified with a minimum amount of water. It held extremely potent spirit power, so much that most races would spontaneously combust if they tried to drink it, hence the warning label in the technique about how only those from the Demon race could drink it.
Buzzing Fire, in contrast to its name, was actually a sort of alcohol that had also been indued with spirit power. It was made up of a variety of rare fruits from around the world that had been mixed together in precise quantities and then fermented for at least seventy years, if not more. The fruits were generally ones that only grew in places with either very harsh climates, a very potent source of spirit power, or both, and were hard to get to, hence the reason it was in the book that only had rare stuff catalogued in it.
Both were very rare, and would boost a cultivators strength exponentially, and for just one teaspoon of either of them, they could be sold for the thousands of gold coins. Especially Heavenly Spirit water. The Demon race was few and far between, and to find a high class Demon who would give blood willingly was practically impossible without getting on their bad side, and those who got on the bad side of the demons generally didn't live very long.
However, the book didn't leave her out in the cold. It provided a place where both could be found and that wouldn't cost anything to get.
The Imperial Treasury of the Moon Empire.
She'd have to steal it.