Book 1 Chapter 78: Soul Beast
The next day. Bai Yunfei didn't go out and walk about. He spent the entire day inside the room, slowly healing the injuries in his body. Only at night did he then start to upgrade some of the remaining equipment, blowing up a large number of weapons and jewelry. Finally, his soulforce exhausted, he lay down on the bed.
The night passed quickly. Dawn. Bai Yunfei slowly sat up, stretching rather lazily. Cracking sounds could be heard coming from every part of his body. He shook his arm, stretched his body, took two deep breaths, then nodded with satisfaction.
"Using the upgrade technique is still the fast way to improve! It's simple and efficacious...but unfortunately, the price I have to pay is I pass out at the end each time. Although I know that there's no difference between passing out and sleeping, it's still seven or eight hours of downtime. Although I can force myself awake after three or four hours, I'll feel rather lethargic. The side-effects are huge. It's much safer to wake up normally."
"It's about time. Today, I'll bid them farewell. It's best to leave this Cuiliu City early." Bai Yunfei thought these things to himself as he pulled out a jade green fish-shaped necklace, cupping it in the palm of his hand and evaluating it carefully.
"Equipment quality - superior"
"Upgrade level - +10"
"Secondary effect - +35 agility"
"+10 secondary effect: increases movement speed by 3%"
"Upgrade requirements - 22 soulpoints"
After verifying the properties of this pendant, Bai Yunfei nodded slightly. "The type of movement techniques and fighting techniques the Green Willow school trains in are focused on agility. I'll give this necklace to Yuhe; she should like it, I imagine..."
As he walked out of the room, the fresh morning air flooded towards him, stirring up his spirits. A short while later, that lass Yuhe would come to deliver breakfast.
He knocked on the door to Hong Yin's nearby room, but there was no response. He thought that the reason was because Hong Yin had gotten up before he did, and so he left.
Bai Yunfei decided to go out for a walk and stroll about the nearby Willow Leaf House. Perhaps he might just so happened to run into Chu Yuhe.
As he walked out of his courtyard, he took a left turn, then walked forward across the slightly damp bluestones on the path. Bai Yunfei slowly strolled forward. There were gem-like drops of dew flowers and grass nearby, and they fluttered gently from the clear wind, then rolled downwards. Bai Yunfei could even hear the tiny dripping sounds. Everything around him seemed so peaceful, yet so filled with morning freshness.
After walking past a small courtyard, he saw a small pond in front of him. In front of the small pond was the Willow Leaf House, where Chu Yuhe and the others resided.
"Eh?" After walking close to the pond, Bai Yunfei suddenly let out a small sound of surprise as he came to a halt. This was because he had discovered that on the rightmost shores of the pond, Hong Yin was seated atop a stone bench, gently petting a gray wolf that lay in front of him. He even seemed to be speaking softly to the wolf.
The creature before him was the soul beast he had 'stolen' from Li Long of the Beast Taming School that day!
And by his side, there was a maiden who sat there quietly, her gaze flickering between Hongyin and the Thunderwolf with an extremely curious look in her eyes.
"Big brother Hong Yin, Luliu, what are the two of you doing?" Bai Yunfei waved his hands towards the two of them, who had noticed him as well, as he hurriedly moved to walk towards them.
Hong Yin nodded slightly towards him, then once more turned his head to stare at the Thunderwolf in front of him. His right hand continued to gently stroke the wolf at its neck, and he continued to murmur unintelligible words. At the head of the Thunderwolf stood that little white beast named Xiao Tang. It actually stretched out its two paws in a very human-like gesture as it continuously rubbed the Thunderwolf on its ears as it squeaked.
"This..." Bai Yunfei was rather baffled by what this man and his mouse were doing. He was about to say something, but the nearby Qiu Luliu gestured towards him not to interrupt.
Bai Yunfei carefully walked to her side, then asked softly, "What's going on?"
"Big brother Hong Yin said that he is trying to communicate with this Thunderwolf..." Qiu Luliu's eyes were staring unblinkingly at Hong Yin as she answered in a very quiet voice.
"Uh...communicate?" Bai Yunfei was stunned. He looked towards the Thunderwolf, not understanding. He saw how this enormous gray wolf, the size of a small bull, was now just standing in front of Hong Yin like a block of wood. Although the eyes of the wolf were crimson, there was no life in them. If it weren't for the fact that miniscule trembles could be seen on its body, and if it wasn't for the fact that it was breathing, Bai Yunfei would've questioned whether or not it was still alive.
"Eh? Big brother Yunfei, why are you here?" Right at this moment, Yuhe's voice rang out from behind. Bai Yunfei turned to look, only to see the little lass carrying a big bowl of porridge and several meat buns as she stared towards him.
Bai Yunfei made a shushing motion towards her, then beckoned her over.
Yuhe walked over. After Bai Yunfei 'explained' to her, she gave Hong Yin a very puzzled glance, then said to Bai Yunfei, "Big brother Yunfei, I was just about to deliver you breakfast. Since you are here, you can eat first, then talk."
Bai Yunfei glanced at Hong Yin, who was still working hard to 'communicate' with the Thunderwolf, then at Qiu Luliu, who was watching very intently. He nodded, then walked to a nearby stone table, where he sat down and began to slowly eat his breakfast. Yuhe walked to Qiu Luliu's side, beginning to talk with her in a very soft voice.
Just as Bai Yunfei was more or less finished eating, Hong Yin finally concluded his 'communication'. He took his hand back, then let out a soft sigh as he stored the Thunderwolf back into his interspatial ring.
"Big brother Hong Yin, how did it go?" The nearby Qiu Luliu hurriedly asked.
Hong Yin's eyes had a hint of disappointment in them as he gently shook his head. "No good. There's no way to sense its 'will' at all. Aside from its instinctive abilities of eating and drinking, nothing can rouse a reaction in it at all. The Beast Taming School...they actually treat soul beasts in such a manner. I truly cannot set aside my rage...there will definitely come the day when I will find a method to rescue these soul beasts under their control. Then, I will annihilate the Beast Taming School! What my godfather and the others were unable to accomplish, I will definitely accomplish!!"
However, he quickly seemed to realize that he had lost his composure. Hong Yin let out a soft sigh, calming his enraged heart, then smiled apologetically towards everyone. "Hehe, forgive me. I was rather agitated just now. I didn't scare you, did I?"
This was the first time Bai Yunfei had seen Hong Yin so angry. In that instant, he had felt an incomparably savage, brutal aura prepared to explode from Hong Yin. However, the next instant, the aura had been severed, so quickly that Bai Yunfei wasn't sure if he was perhaps mistaken.
"Big brother Hong Yin, this is early-stage third level Thunderwolf; is it a soul beast puppet which the Beast Taming School has created? How did you acquire it? You and the Beast Taming School..." Qiu Luliu glanced at the ring on Hong Yin's finger as she asked the question which puzzled her.
"There is no connection between me and the Beast Taming School! Schools like them, which treat soul beasts so contemptuously...there will come a day when I will make them all vanish!" Hong Yin immediately grew a bit excited once more upon discussing the Beast Taming School, but he then gently shook his head. "I took this Thunderwolf away from a disciple of the Beast Taming School within this city a few days ago. At that time, Yunfei was present as well."
"Oh? This type of beast is called a Thunderwolf? Right; what's a third level soul beast?" Bai Yunfei asked with curiosity.
His sudden question caused both Hong Yin and Qiu Luliu to be rather stunned. Hong Yin looked at him in a strange way. "Yunfei, you don't know about soul beasts?"
"No." Bai Yunfei honestly shook his head.
Hong Yin stared at him intently for ten seconds, then suddenly shook his head helplessly. He sighed, "Yunfei, for you to go out adventuring like this is really..."
"Uh...well, no one ever told me in the past." Bai Yunfei spread his hands in an innocent manner. "That's why I'm asking you to educate me now, big brother Hong Yin."
Hong yin chuckled, then nodded. "Fine. I'll explain to you in detail, then."
"Soul beasts are, as the name implies, beasts that can engage in soul cultivation. They can be described as the soul cultivators of beasts. Just like soul cultivators, they have tremendous power, and from a certain perspective, they even have some unique, special advantages...such as their lifespan. For soul cultivators, upon reaching the Soul Sprite level, living to be 150 is no problem at all. At the Soul Emperor level, one can live up to 300 years. But for a soul beast, upon reaching the fourth level, they can live at least three hundred years. At the sixth level, they can live at least five hundred years. The more powerful they are, they longer they live."
"In terms of power, soul beasts are divided into nine ranks, with each rank divided into early, middle, and late stages. These are equivalent in power to a soul cultivator of the same rank. For example, this early-stage third level Thunderbeast I just accepted is actually comparable to an early-stage Soul Warrior." At this point, Hong Yin then pointed to the little white beast on his shoulder. "But Xiao Tang, for example, is a middle-stage fifth level soul beast, comparable to a middle-stage Soul Ancestor."
"What?!" Not just Bai Yunfei; even the two women next to him let out soft cries of surprise. Astonishment on their faces, they stared at Xiao Tang, on Hong Yin's shoulder.
"It...it's actually comparable to a middle-stage Soul Ancestor? Then doesn't that mean it is as powerful as Master? How can that be..." Chu Yuhe said in disbelief as she stared wide-eyed at Xiao Tang, who was lazily stroking his whiskers.
Hong Yin smiled slightly. "Don't underestimate him. If he were on water...he would be even more formidable than your average middle-stage Soul Ancestor."
Hong Yin looked at Bai Yunfei, who seemed to have thought of something, then continued: "Soul beasts train in a way that is completely different from soul cultivators. They don't have complicated arts or soul techniques, just their own souls. They attune to the elemental power of heaven and earth. Soul cultivators have to reach the Soul Sprite level in order to control elemental power, but soul beasts are innately born with this ability. Even early-stage first level soul beasts are capable of it! The power of their abilities will increase along with their level."
"The vast majority of soul beasts are located within the endless forests of the northern parts of the Empire. That place is also known as Soulbeast Forest. Most soul cultivators who want to find a soul beast partner will go venture there, after they are strong enough."
"Every single soul cultivator can be spiritually connected to a single soul beast. No one knows why, but it seems as though ever since soul cultivators and soul beasts have existed, this 'law' has existed as well. A soul cultivator and soul beast that have joined into a 'pact' will result in each leaving behind a soul imprint in the other's soul. This soul imprint can never be erased; even if one dies, the other can never again form a soul pact."
"Once a soul pact is made, then a companion for life has been made. The two are able to communicate to a certain extent, to cooperate without the need for speech, and even be able to share their soulforce! This is one of the primary reasons why soul cultivators wish to have a soul beast companion; with a powerful soul beast companion, one's own level of power can be increased by several times!"
"Soul cultivators and soul beasts should be two types of creatures that support and aid each other. But, starting at an unknown time, humans slowly began to change their way of thinking. They began to view themselves as the 'master', and the number of soul cultivators that treated their soul beasts as equals began to lessen. Now, schools like the Beast Taming School have emerged! They have broken the 'rules'; using some unknown method, they have turned soul beasts into puppets that have no intelligence at all. They've avoided the requirements of forming a soul pact and have forcibly put soul enslaving brands on the souls of soul beasts. One person can now control multiple soul beasts. They...they only treat soul beasts as tools. They should all die!"
One could tell that Hong Yin truly hated the Beast Taming School to the core. It was hard to imagine that a powerful soul cultivator like him would become so agitated when discussing the Beast Taming School.
Bai Yunfei frowned slightly, then said in a rather worried way, "Big brother Hong Yin..."
Right at this moment, an enormous, earth-shaking roar interrupted Bai Yunfei's words.
Hong Yin suddenly raised his head, turning to stare towards the main gate of the Green Willow School, his eyes flashing with light.
"A soul beast of the fifth level! And this feeling...it is the Beast Taming School!"