A hissing noise attacked his ears from the moment they slowed their flight. Xuefeng looked around and saw endless waterfalls all around him. From up high, he could see tens of Forest Cities lying on the sea of fog from the falling water. It looked like they were trapped in the canyon and the rivers from all around the world were ending here.
Earlier, when Xuefeng was walking around in the city with Yiren, he didn't hear any sounds of the waterfalls, probably because the trees were blocking it or a soundproof barrier was placed, so elves could live in peace.
"Isn't our holy land amazing? It's so magical that it connects to all the waters in the outside world." She stopped when they were high enough to see through the edge of the canyon and hovered in the air.
Not waiting for his answer she created a solid cloud that they could stand on and look around. Although Xuefeng regained the footing he still didn't let go of her, just in case anything happened.
"Yeah, amazing..." Xuefeng was still in shock as he watches the views.
He looked at the horizon all around him but behind the edge of the canyon, there was nothing but waters and rivers.
'Is this the end of the world?' He recalled the scene from a western movie he watched on earth where a pirate reached the end of the ocean, and water was falling in a similar way into nothingness.
"Wait, does these place really connects to each natural water source in the outside world?" Xuefeng suddenly recalled what she just said. If that was true, doesn't it mean that you can technically travel into every place in the world with it? Xuefeng imagined that possibility but shook his head afterwards. He was a human and it seemed like he couldn't stay in this place for long.
"Yeah, you are right. But no one actually uses cause they don't need to. Everything they need and want is here. Some have the curiosity to visit and travel in the outside world but their enthusiasm is soon extinguished." Yiren looked down in sadness saying that. Xuefeng would be dumb if he didn't realise she was talking about herself.
"You know, I would show you the world outside if we could get out of here together." Xuefeng lifted her by the chin and caressed her on the cheek, tempting.
Yiren eyes brightened for a second and hesitated for a moment but she still shook her head. It looked like she was tempted, but something was holding her back.
"What is holding you back?" Xuefeng decided to delve deeper. He would not let go when he finally found his first opportunity.
"I can't be selfish and ignore my mother's feelings. Every twenty-five years when the daughter takes over the crown, the mother usually visits the world outside and search for their old lover. Auntie was also there, but when she found out that her lover already has a wife and a few kids, she came back to Eligma. I guess my mother will do the same." Yiren explained with a gentle smile after she took a deep breath.
Xuefeng hesitated with the answer as he didn't know how to tell her that the Queen probably didn't have any romantic feelings for her father and was only filled by lust. In the end, he just booped her in the nose and said, "You were supposed to show me around, let's not think about it for now. I still didn't see everything here."
He decided to postpone the questioning to another time. It was still only the first day.
"Hihi, yeah, let's go. I will show you how we gather fate stones." Yiren cheered instantly and hugged into his chest. Her white wings spread once again and the cloud dissolved making them fall down. This time he didn't close his eyes and looked around.
Yiren gathered the velocity from falling and glided towards one of the canyon walls. As they came closer, they could see thousands of natural stone platforms that stand out from the wall and many Elves were standing on them with wicker baskets on their backs.
They landed on a free platform and Xuefeng gasped seeing the powerful waterfall right in front of him. After a closer look, he saw various small bright dots falling together with the water.
"Fate stones!" Xuefeng realised even without Yiren telling him. Elves were standing on the platforms, catching those stones before putting them in their baskets.
"Yes, they naturally appear and we catch them here. This is also the less dangerous job as some veterans work under the cities to gather the stones that everyone else missed." Yiren explained.
"What is under the cities? Is there something like a whirlpool that sucks the water out?" Xuefeng asked curiously.
"How did you know? Indeed there is a whirlpool down there." Yiren was surprised hearing his guess.
"Well, the water has to escape somewhere, else with such a water supply it would simple overflow and flood your cities," Xuefeng explained his logic.
"True, I would show you down there but mother forbid me to come close. If you fall inside by the accident, you are practically a goner if no one saves you." Yiren said as she cast a quick worried glance at Xuefeng. She wasn't scared of herself, but of Xuefeng dropping. She didn't want to risk anything.
"Bam!" Suddenly they heard a thud sound of something hitting the rock. They looked at the waterfall and saw a fist-sized Golden crystal lying on the platform.
"High-tiered Fate Stone. Get it quickly." Yiren cried seeing the crystal.
Xuefeng didn't hesitate and threw himself towards the crystal, but unfortunately, he was too late. An Elf that was flying nearby, saw the crystal and didn't hesitate to steal it from them. Within rules of the Elima, you can't steal from others, but until no one touches the Fate Stone, its ownerless and anyone can take it.
The elf grabbed it and flew away without looking back. If he stopped and showed his face to them, they could easily track him down later. The Forest Elves population is not that big anyway.
"You are not getting away! It's Xuefeng's!" Yiren didn't hesitate and followed the man. She was much quicker than him and caught up in a blink of an eye. Yiren formed a whip with the air and whipped at him catching him by the leg in midair.
"Give it back!" Yiren shouted causing the man to turn back. His face paled the moment he saw the angry face of the princess.
"Princess, I'm sorry. You can take the stone." Princess Yiren was kind and gentle, but the moment she get's mad, nothing could stop her. The man flew towards Yiren and passed her the crystal.
"Before you take someone's possession, first look who are you taking it from. I will spare you today. Leave." Yiren took the crystal and scolded the man. Knowing that Xuefeng was watching, she mercifully let him go, before flying back to the platform.
"Yiren that was amazing." Xuefeng praised when she landed near him.
"Hehe, of course. You finally know who are you talking to, the greatest princess of all princesses. Here it is, a gift for you." Yiren felt proud hearing his praise and passed him the Fate Stone.
'The Fate Qi inside it is so ample that it's enough to upgrade my stage by one. Let me take it, I want to study it. I still don't know how they are formed.' Ling said in amazement and sucked the crystal into her space for further study.
"Thank you. Does this Fate Stone has any other uses than the currency?" Xuefeng asked as he suddenly thought, 'Wouldn't their currency destabilize if so many stones were coming to the market every day?'
"Yeah, you can actually use it for cultivation. Every household has small versions of a Wisdom Tree, that can convert Fate Stones into a pure Elemental Qi you can absorb. You can buy the specific type you want in a shop and produce the specific Qi you want. There are four basic elements: Water Qi, Air Qi, Earth Qi and Fire Qi, but also derivative from them such as Lightning Qi you have or the Metal Qi. There is also a Blood Qi, Ether Qi and Spirit Qi, but you can't find Wisdom Tree for them in the stores." Yiren explained seeing that Xuefeng was interested.
"If you can convert Fate Stone into Elemental Qi, doesn't that mean if you can gather all necessary Qi's you can revert that process and create Fate Stones?" Xuefeng realised something as he listened to her.
"Hmm, true. Why did no one think about it? Or maybe someone did, but it was too hard to achieve." Yiren thought and looked at the sun that was soon about to fall behind the edge of the canyon.
"Come, let's not talk about this complicated stuff, I have something to show you, something even more amazing." Yiren realised that it was already the right time and hugged into Xuefeng before launching into the sky.
Meanwhile, Minori and his friends were searching in the city but couldn't find Xuefeng. He decided to gather his friends and repay for what he did to him by breaking all of his bones. He didn't think about the consequences, as he first wanted to see Xuefeng lying on the ground in pain.
"I know the place she could take him. Follow me." Minori suddenly remembered the cave Yiren found by accident, but she didn't know that he was stalking her at that time and knew about it.
They turned around and ran towards the flying platform they could use to fly into the sky.