Legends of Varlaurea: The Dragon Emperor - 14 THE MISTY FOX OF THE BAMBOO FOREST 2

Then a week later, another incident happened. A teenage girl and her brother were on their way back to their home after they brought lunch for her farther at the rice field not far from the bamboo forest. The girl said a strange veil of mist rolling from the north toward them, and when the mist complete enveloped her and her brother, she felt a strange euphoric feeling and saw a figure in the mist calling her toward it that she cannot resist, while her brother screaming in fear calling for their father. The father saw the strange mist and felt unease, when the boy start screaming he quickly rush to his children aid. Luckily he found his children in the thick of the mist but he cannot stop his daughter from walking toward whatever is in the mist. Hopeless, he have no choice but knocked his daughter down. But unfortunately, after knocked his daughter down, he starting to be effected by the mist just like his daughter and abandoned his panicking son to follow the call from the thing in the mist and disappear. The kids were found by other farmers, and been brought back home. A few days late, they were brought to Lord Lin office, the town mayor, for testimony about what had happened while the guards search for their father. The 2 kids have completely opposite testimony, the girl said "I suddenly feel euphoric and then a figure of a young handsome man dress in white calling for me, saying he will shower me with love and affection. His voice a so alluring I cannot thing straight anymore and feel the compelling to follow him". On the other hand the little boy said he saw a wolf or dog like monster big as a full grow Velelis, with long ear and big long fuzzy tails in the mist. Confused by the kids testimony, Lord Lin, mayor of the town worry that these missing case may involve magic or the occult, so he ask for the assistance of White Cloud academy. Grand Taosih Wu Lee, Headmaster of the academy agreed and send Taosih Yung and Taosih Hai to provide assistance. After read the witness's testimonies and the autopsy report of the tailor body, Taosih Yung concluded the reason the body is in such state and the cause of death maybe because of magic, more likely is blood magic. This mean a mage had use blood magic to drain all the life energy or "qigun" from the tailor body, causing hemorrhage from the eyes, mouth, nose, ears and the body to dry out into a mummified like state. With this finding it is mean a mage from White Cloud academy or a visitor mage is the perpetrator and if this finding go public, it will cause tension between the mage community and the normal folks in Bai Ni. Because the mages in this world are not like those mages you can find in fairy tales. Not all mage use their power for benevolent purpose, some has use their birth gift for malevolent and selfish deeds. And many incidents had occurred throughout history of Varlaurea continent with woeful consequences. After being informed, Grand Taosih Wu Lee urged Lord Lin to keep the investigation as low profile as possible and keep the tailor's cause of death from the public, to prevent any unnecessity public unrest. Lord Lin reluctantly agreed, meanwhile Grand Taosih Wu Lee will organize an internal investigation while Taosih Yung and Taosih Hai keep provide assistant to the town guards in the investigation and the missing victims search effort. Sadly the investigation in White Cloud academy wen into a dead end, the faculty, researchers and students are all have solid alibi in the time frame of those missing cases. Then Taosih Hai had realized something, although all the victims do not have anything in common or connection but all of these missing all related with the bamboo forest. In the tailor case, his favour fishing spot does located near the bamboo forest, the teenage girl, the tea merchant and his servants case is obvious, and in the nearest case, the farmer's daughter said the mist come from the north where the forest are. Thus Taosih Hai and Taosih Yung asked Lord Lin for some men to investigate the bamboo forest. Lord Lin agreed and sent the town guard captain with 5 of his men and 2 hunters to accompany the taosihs.

The investigate team heading to the scene of the latest case ere break of day, after several hours of searching for clue the 2 taosihs cannot find anything significant. But when they search the surrounding area, Hunter Tao, the older of the 2 hunters spot some fox footprints come from the north. He said there are something strange about these footprints, these fox footprints may seem normal to the untrained eyes but to his eyes, they are a little big for a fox. The old hunter also said, he was one of the hunter who found the tailor's body, he does noticed some fain fox's tracks around the body. And in the case of the teen girl, he had seen a lot of fox footprints among the teen girl footprints all heading to a same direction. At that time he did not find is strange because there are a lot of fox in the bamboo forest. Taosih Yung think this may have connection, so the team heading to the spot where the tailor's body been found. When they arrived at the place the 2 taosihs can sense a faint lingering trace of magic in the area and the bamboo tree, they keep searching the surround area in hope of finding more clue. Then suddenly mist came out of nowhere engulfed the area, the mist is so thick they barely see anything beyond one's arm length. A guard starting to feel anxious, and calling for everyone. Hearing that, Captain Vu, the Town Guard Captain try to calm him down and tell everybody follow his voice to regroup. And that is when Taosih Hai sense something moving in the mist toward them, thought Taosih Hai see what exactly it is but he can sense that something's qigun aura and a strong one.

"Captain Vu, I can sense something, do you sense it Yung?" Taosih Hai said

"yes, is come from the north" taosih Yung answered as he sense that strong aura of qigun moving toward them then stop and stand still at about 10 lias from them.

"what is it, can anyone see it?" Pu An the younger hunter asked.

"come out, identified yourself." Taosih Yung said to the entity in the mist who the qigun aura belong to, but only silent answered him. Then the aura starting to move around the team, and kept circling them, as if it observing them, studying them. And out of sudden, a scream broke the veil of silence, the anxious guard started screaming in panic, saying there are spiders, giant spiders coming out of the mist trying to attack him. Everyone rush to the direction of the screaming, Taosih Yung is the first to saw the panicking guard, but he dare not approach him as the guard was flailing his sword maniacally at the air around him. Captain Vu arrived a second late and try to calm the guard down, but the panicking guard shrieking in fear as he saw Captain Vu came close to him, he thrush his sword in the captain chest and run into the mist. Taosih Yung rush to the captain side as he collapse on the ground, try to help Captain Vu but it was too late, the captain had die, the blade had pierced through his heart. A minute late, hunter Tao and hunter Pu An and the other 4 guards came, Taosih Yung explain what happened to Captain Vu to them as the mist starting to disperse, and that is when they realized Taosih Hai is nowhere to be found.