Hana was having the time of her life!
It was her first time playing with a large variety of exotic birds. The last time she patted birds was in KL Bird Park (1). It was a large enclosed aviary where she felt like she had been transported into a different world filled with birds flying low over her heads. Until today, visiting the aviary was one of the fondest memories of her spending time with Arash and the two girls. At that time, she remembered she patted lots of yellow-colored lovebirds. They looked like parrots, but smaller in size, with a range of yellow to orange colored fluffy feathers. It was delightful.
However, this time, she patted so many different kinds of unknown wild birds; from the extremely fast hummingbirds to the strikingly colored kingfishers to the gentle brown fluffy sparrows and the melodic hoppity hop shamas; it was a dream come true for her. Those were the only ones that she knew. The majority of the birds' species were unknown to her.
That was why it took so long for the 'prize-giving ceremony'. The aunty had underlying intentions!
After a while, soft rustlings could be heard from far away. It sounded as if there were thousands of leaves flapping together or thousands of books being flipped at the same time. The rustling sounds got louder and louder until they couldn't be ignored anymore.
Hana looked up to see an incoming darkened tide encroaching over the horizon. Since it was nearly dusk, she couldn't see too well.
Was it an unknown weather phenomenon?
Or migrating flying spirit beasts?!
Shi-chan! What are those?!
Relax, Mom. We're within the reflecting mirage mirror. They couldn't see us. Just let them pass.
The flying spirit beasts were getting nearer. Hana finally could make out the shape of birds. At the moment, they looked like tiny ants. But, Hana was very sure those were pretty big birds. And it looked like they were coming towards them!
Shi-chan... Are you sure? The cowardly aunty was a little nervous when the ant-sized birds were the size of pingpongs now. It seemed that all of them were carrying something, though she couldn't see clearly what it was.
The birds were as large as chickens now. In fact, they looked more towards turkey-sized. The worst thing was they were still far away. They were just a few kilometers away from Shiro's mirage technique. All of them were carrying something in their mouth. Something greenish-brown.
"Bird, did you tell others of our location? Is that your friends?" Shiro asked Markisah urgently.
"Nope, those are not my friends. I never tell others the actual location of your lair. This is the first time I brought in these nestmates of mine to contribute to the group. Stop accusing me, Fox." It seemed that even Markisah looked a little nervous this time. She too realized that the incoming large birds were coming their way.
"Alright. Don't say that I didn't ask."
Shiro immediately jumped upwards into mid-air. Before he land, an ice platform appeared under his front legs before it disintegrated again once the back legs used it as a pivot. Just like that, he moved rapidly as if he was running on air. It was a sight to behold. The freshwater fishes and Elemental Fiends were similarly looking towards him from below; trying to figure out what he was going to do.
Temperature lowered down significantly, as ice crystals started forming mid-air. They quickly turned into large one-meter ice stakes with twisted bodies. It started with tens of them. By the time the large birds finally breached the mirage he conjured up, he launched around six hundred ice stakes towards the intruders!
Shiro didn't use much power. He had gauge these fellows before he launched his attack. They were just Nobles. He could handle this much without breaking a sweat. He hoped they will turn away, or at least divert their flight route after noticing that they had breached someone else's territory. Truthfully, he had been deeply influenced by Hana. It was a waste to kill wantonly. One should only kill to eat or to neutralize attacking enemies.
A sudden familiar-looking hurricane-like gust of wind blew by, removing the ice stakes away!
Shiro narrowed his gaze as he sneered.
"Is that you, stupid big bird?! Want another round of trashing again?! I still remember what you said before! Imbecile!"
Shiro looked around, but couldn't see the whereabouts of the pompous four-winged hornbill.
Suddenly, he was blown away by a sharp gust of wind from the bottom! The ice platform Shiro conjured crumbled into smithereens as he was smashed towards a cluster of large trees at the edge of the territory, destroying them! He had been sucker-punched big time by that stupid bird!
Hana started screaming in panic!
Hana's panic-looking expression shifted to pure anger!
Her eyes turned glowing red, as she held both her hands up slightly. Then, she squeezed them until she could hear her own bones creaking.
A tyrannical pressure pressed all the large birds down as they fell simultaneously like meteors hitting the ground in large numbers! Even Suria, the culprit, was finally revealed. She was sneakily hiding within the crowd of birds.
"Crap!" Realizing that the flock of large birds were part of the Tricolor World Tree Sanctuary, Markisah immediately flew towards Hana and started to plead, "Hana, I'm so sorry! Those were part of my group! Can you stop hurting them?!" She flapped her wings in anxiety! What if Lord Suria blamed her again for not explaining properly to Hana.
Unfortunately, the fox wasn't beside the aunty, hence no one took the initiative to translate what Markisah said to Hana. The freshwater creatures were cowardly hiding inside the cave. Even Ara, Markisah's best buddy, wasn't willing to come out. The baby bird was sleeping soundly beside the only Elemental Fiend permitted within the posh cave dwelling. It didn't even budge at all; a tiny stream of saliva was flowing from the corner of its beak.
"Right, we should teach these hooligans a lesson. I hear you, Markisah. How dare they hurt my cute baby." Hana used two fingers to pat Markisah's lovely head with a smile, though the smile didn't reach her glowing eerie red eyes. At the moment, protruding veins started to appear on Hana’s temple, making her smiling face looked vicious. The mild optimistic aunty was all but gone at the moment; someone really touch her reverse scale this time.
Hana walked languidly towards the edge of the 'porch' in front of her sojourn. The area wasn't big; just about three to four feet wide before it was cut off sharply like a vertical slope.
And she jumped.
Every creature around made a wide 'O' mouth.
Suddenly, a sleek, menacing-looking insect with four sets of dragonfly-like wings rushed towards her midair. Hana landed beautifully atop its metallic midnight black back, as it carried Hana at top speed towards Shiro's location.
Damn... I think I should migrate after this. Feeling helpless, Markisah chase after the aunty in a hurry. She hoped she'll be there in time to stop Hana from turning her group into meals.
What am I doing, making the Lord angry again?!
At the moment, Suria was proning on the forest floor with her butt sticking up. She couldn't move; lest lifting her head up. Her large beak was embedded within the soft loam smelt of rotting compost. She was withstanding the tyrannical pressure pressed upon her back, making her prostate in such an embarrassing position. She felt her bones creaking, but not to the point of breaking. She couldn't look around but she knew all of her vanguards were in the same position as her. They might have it worse than her since their cultivations were lower.
It was true; Markisah didn't know about her intentions. She hadn't told Markisah anything. She remembered that Markisah once told her, she was going to run some errand for the Lord but didn't know what it was. She waited and waited, but Markisah didn't come up anymore after that. It seemed that she was very busy.
The wait was very agonizing.
Coupled with the knowledge that the white fox was coming to teach her a lesson one day, each day was filled with dread. It reached a point where she couldn't cultivate properly! What if the Lord decided not to help her due to her rudeness?! Worse, what if the misunderstanding turned into a mental demon for her?
Hence, she thought that she would take the initiative to appease both sides.
In fact, Suria was here bearing gifts.
After getting the information from the little fluffy ones at the bottom of the sacred tree, she dispatched high-level subordinates to quickly scour the surroundings. But since all of them were so large, it was hard to get the so-called 'seeds'. They were too tiny! So, it turned to a desperate search for something she thought of value to the Lord. Her right-wing reported back to her of a large seed with two colors; brown and green, and how tasty it was. It sparked an idea! She remembered Markisah once told her of how the Lord loved to mix and match random things into something delicious! Maybe, this time, the Lord will value these 'seeds'! Without wasting time, she ordered the majority of her subordinates to gather the dual-colored seeds as much as possible.
However, once she saw the white fox made his move on her flock, she lost her cool and immediately retaliate!
Who knows, the attack managed to blow the fox away!
She thought it would only stop the fox from attacking her flock!
After that... Well, there's no after that.
A horrifying pressure laced with a wicked aura with a tinge of murderous intent fell upon all of them simultaneously!
She couldn't believe that the Lord directly attacked them! Just because the fox fell! He wasn't even harmed!
"Everyone, this Lord will protect you! Do not falter and make sure not to be insolent!" With difficulty, Suria reminded the rest.
"Shi-chan, Shi-chan, are you okay?" Hana was sick with worry as she dismounted from King's back. Although her eyes were glowing red, they were moist; an indication that Hana must be crying. Hana really thought that Shiro was badly hurt.
Who wouldn't get hurt from such a fall?
Again, our aunty forgot that her pet was a spiritual beast with super strength.
Shiro stood up from within the rubbles and shook off all the dirt from his body. Specks of ice crystals fluttered around, and his fur became clean and beautiful again.
"I'm alright, no worries, Mom." He nuzzled Hana's head to appease her. He could hear her sobbing telepathically as his heart softened. His heart had been tangled up since the last time he failed to Soul-link to Mom. Perhaps, to Mom, he wasn't as important as the rest, was what he thought. But now, he knew the problem must have been from his side. It might be so bad, even Mom wasn't able to unravel it at her current level of strength.
"Let's cook all of them birds. Do you want to taste bird curry? I heard it tasted just like chicken curry." She remembered she still had a packet of unopened curry powder. At least with the size of these birds, for one packet, she could cook at least a bird. For the rest, she'll just have to source and make her own curry powder.
"Err, I would love to. But better don't. These are Markisah's clan."
"Oh? Then, why did they attack you?"
"No one else attacked me except the foolish pompous hornbill. She's there. I know she is."
"Alright. I'll squash her a few times more for you. Such a naughty, naughty bird. So petty." Hana teary face turned hard as she scrunched her brow unhappily. She thought that the bird must be attacking Shiro for revenge from coming out at the losing end during their last confrontation. She needed to teach it a lesson; one that it will remember. Being nice didn’t work for a birdbrain.
Shiro was speechless for a few seconds before he recovered. "Ah. Oh. Okay, Mom."
Oh no... Oh no.. I'm dead meat.
Markisah reached them just in time to hear about turning her group into 'bird curry'.
She truly needed to consider to migrate after this.
1) KL Bird Park = a large free-flight walk-in aviary in the heart of KL. Extremely recommended to visit.