The night was bustling, houses still lit up and people still out and about.
Carriages rattled down cobblestone streets as people diverged around them like a rock in the middle of a stream. The moon hung brightly overhead, illuminating the city as stars twinkled over a dark purple backdrop.
Despite Black City's infamous reputation of harboring every crook and ruffian on the continent, it was surprisingly peaceful. Very few fights actually broke out, and the amount of murders committed per year was less than a fifty. This statistic couldn't even be found in the Imperial Capital of most established countries.
The town square was especially lively with the highest concentration of people and noise. It was just as loud as it was in the day. The various stores were still open and doing business, their customers leaving satisfied with whatever they had bought.
Xia Moyin was stumbling down a side street, barely keeping on her feet. If it weren't for the pervasive hunger pangs haunting her, she would have already sat down and took a nap. She wasn't even particularly tired, it was just that what she was seeing was so much different than what she was used to.
The originally grey stone streets had turned a bright neon green, with the buildings turning a light purple. The moon was cotton candy pink and the stars around it had turned violet. The backdrop had turned a baby blue with streaks of scarlet running through. When she looked down at herself, her skin had turned lavender and the Moon Silk Robe turned orange. It was a real assault on the senses.
And yet, somehow hilarious.
The entire time since she had drank from that gourd, she couldn't seem to stop laughing. No matter how she tried, she just couldn't shut her mouth and stop giggling like a five year old.
Her pupils were still dilated to a ridiculous degree, and her face was still just as flushed. If anyone had looked at her for even a moment, they would realize that she had consumed way way way too much alcohol.
Xia Moyin finally made it to the town square, almost drowning in the sea of people. The scent of food wafted out from behind a stand across the street and she accelerated towards it, her nose leading the way.The vendor was selling grilled shish kebabs, three silver coins apiece.
She walked up, still swaying. A stack of gold coins appeared out of thin air, clattering on the table. The vendor's turned around from the grill, about to greet her when he saw the stack of coins. His eyes bulged out of his head as his hands started trembling, the kebab in his hand almost falling.
"I'll take evr-heehe-erything-hic...you haff" Her words were slurred and slow, she was having a problem speaking clearly.
The vendor swallowed loudly, looking at the stack and back to her a couple of times, as if he didn't believe her. When she didn't move he just nodded and took the pay, giving every single kebab he had cooked earlier without any questions.
Xia Moyin walked away, carrying no less than twenty kebabs in each hand. 'I should've gotten a bag....' She put most of them into her Cosmos Sack, leaving out a few so she could eat and walk.
A bright pink carriage was parked across the street, a huge orange stallion hitched to it. Purple flames dripped from it's fangs and horns, silver eyes glaring balefully at everything within a ten meter radius.
She was beginning to chow down on her food when she felt a pair of eyes drill into her back, a slightly oppressive feeling bearing down on her. She stiffened and turned around, her eyes dilating even wider and the pupils turning red. A skewer fell to the floor, completely unnoticed.
The crowds kept going about their business, going around the both of them as if they were air. Subconsciously they made way, opening up a path for the two.
Xia Moyin straightened her spine and stared right back at the horse, no intention of backing down. The stallion snorted and glared, a puff of blue fire blowing out of it's nose.
She walked towards it, her chin held high and her hand stretched out to touch it's snout. A sort of pull was pushing her forward, and her hunger was soon forgotten. The horse swayed, shying away from her and looking down at her suspiciously.
She slid forward until she was close enough to feel the heat radiating off the animal, and if she was tall enough, look it straight in the eye. Currently, she was barely tall enough to see it's shoulder, much less look it in the face.
The fog clouding her mind thickened as she reached up on her tiptoes and grabbed its bridle. She yanked hard on it, tugging it down until its head was lower than hers, and she was looking down at it.
Surprisingly the horse didn't resist at all. It just followed along with her actions, it's silver eyes looking directly into hers. The blue flames on it's horns died down and no longer spewed from it's mouth.
There was a quiet pause as girl and horse looked at each other, both not paying attention to their surroundings. There was a gut feeling for Xia Moyin that told her to pay attention to this horse, and that if she didn't she would regret it.
Her pupils reverted back to their regular silver and shrunk down to how they were earlier as she relaxed. The oppressive feeling was gone and she dispersed her own.
The Killer Lizard mask disguised her looks as how they were before she broke the seal, and currently she looked like a regular human. As she studied the horse she subconsciously changed back to her original looks, revealing her demonic appearance. The hood was up and concealed the change from the rest of the crowds so only the horse could see it.
Immediately the animal backed up, ears going back and head drooping. Any sort of arrogance or anger it might have held before disappeared as it dropped to one knee, kneeling in front of her. The whites of its eyes showed and its tail became tucked underneath itself.
It was in a posture of submission, and no matter how hard Xia Moyin tugged for it to get back up, it didn't budge.
After a few minutes of yanking on the stubborn animal she finally gave up and paused for a moment, absently rubbing it's snout. Her mind wandered off and she smiled softly at the rainbows. The horse perked up for a moment, it's ears going forward and it's head raising a bit so she could get a spot behind it's ears. It rubbed into her hand, similar to how the pets from her old life would pine for food and cuddles while she was working.
A few strange looks were thrown at the duo, but nobody said anything. For a long moment the two just stood there, not doing anything. It was very surreal.
That was, until someone came to ruin it.
An ugly voice resounded out from the shop the carriage was in front of, breaking the moment of silence.
"What are you doing?!"
A short fat blue man rolled out of the shop, a furious look on his face and a purple servant scrambling to follow. The moment he spotted Xia Moyin next to the horse, cold sweat appeared on his forehead and he practically ran to the carriage, his face flushing in fury and his eyebrows knitting in worry. She ignored him, continuing to pat the horse and paying him no mind.
"That is the City Lord's personal Spirit Beast! What business do you have touching it?!?"
Xia Moyin continued to ignore him. Even when the short man was within arms reach of her she didn't move.
"LET GO OF THE HORSE!"
When the man was about to try and grab her arm to tug her from her spot the horse got up and moved in front of her, blocking his way. The flames from before lit again as it bared it's fangs at him, assuming a protective posture in her defense. The carriage swayed slightly behind it.
The man stumbled back, barely avoiding getting a bite and a burn in the face. A pair of arrogant red eyes glared at him, furious at being interrupted.
It wasn't until the horse got up did she snap out of her reverie, finally looking at the man and frowning. A displeased light flashed through her eyes and she looked at him. He was probably just doing his job but he didn't have to be so rude.
She ignored her itch to cause trouble and patted the horse one more time. The animal looked back at her, its face softening and the flames disappearing. Almost instantaneously the puppy eyes were activated and the animal was looking down at her with it's cutest look. It was an extremely cute look for a fanged fire-breathing horse, but it didn't work this time.
Much to the horse's disappointment Xia Moyin turned and left, taking out one of the kebabs she had bought earlier and disappearing into the crowd.
The stallion turned back to the short grey man, the full weight of it's fury bearing down. It's red eyes brightened as scarlet flames set the air around it broiling.
It was not happy.