Xiao Qi generally enjoyed being the size of a sparrow, but he was currently the size of an eagle and his claws were holding onto something...
It wasn't until he got closer that Bai Yunfei was able to see what exactly it was. He frowned when he did. The object Xiao Qi was holding onto was moving-it was alive!
"What is that Xiao Qi playing at..."
Bai Yunfei shook his head, "Xinyun, let's move to a more secluded area. Xiao Qi will scare the commoners here if he touches down now..."
Luckily for them, there was a nice small alleyway not too far away from where they were. Waiting there, Bai Yunfei and Tang Xinyun watched as Xiao Qi and Xiao Bai touched down. Xiao Bai chirped happily on Tang Xinyun's shoulder and rubbed at her cheek. Xiao Qi, on the other hand, was quiet as he waited there, still holding onto whatever it was in his claws.
Looking at the object, Bai Yunfei saw that it was a...dog?!
A dog with a golden fur coat and a layer of dirt all over it. It looked rather skinny, and its legs slightly short. Its tail was bald and stumpy, and its face was wrinkled. This was a Shar-pei!
It looked rather silly with how Xiao Qi was carrying it. Both its forelegs were held up by Xiao Qi's claws so that it was in a cross shape position and its two hind legs shaking non-stop as if trying to struggle. With how its discolored belly was being shown, the dog looked exceedingly pitiful.
Xiao Qi dropped the dog as soon as he got close enough. The dog's legs trembled almost drunken like on the solid ground. Swaying as it made its way over to the wall, the dog slid down with a whine to cower in the corner. Its wrinkled body was exceedingly tiny now that it was curled up and its ears perked high up in fear. The folds of its face were so thick that even the eyes seemed like they were completely obscured by them, though everyone in the alley could see just how distinctly terrified the dog was. With it being stuck in this corner of the alley, there was no way to run. The only thing it could do was huddle there pitifully and look at Bai Yunfei.
"This..." Bai Yunfei didn't know what to think. "What is this, Xiao Qi? Where did this dog come from?"
"I picked it up." Xiao Qi replied with a pleased chirp.
"At the base of a mountain outside the city."
"Did you really go flying all the way there? And why pick up this dog? Don't tell me you want to raise this dog..."
But Xiao Qi shot him a glare. "Yunfei, this isn't an ordinary dog! It's special!!"
"What?" Bai Yunfei glanced back to the dog, "What do you mean special?"
"Hehe, you'll definitely be surprised." Xiao Qi chirped again. "Take out a primal stone and give it to me."
"What?" Though he didn't understand what was going on, Bai Yunfei acquiesced to the request and took out an earth-type primal stone.
There was a flash of light as Xiao Qi wrapped the primal stone in a bubble of energy and flew over to the dog.
Then he spoke two words that nearly made Bai Yunfei faceplant onto the ground.
"Eat it?!" Bai Yunfei grew incredulous at the command. The curled up dog was still shivering and its eyes were looking at the primal stone, but it did nothing else other than to look.
"Come on and eat it!" Xiao Qi chirped unhappily. "Didn't I tell you you'll have a lot of good things to eat if you come with me? This beats the trash primal stones you've been eating in that mound of dirt."
Bai Yunfei watched as the shar-pei looked at the primal stone, and then to Xiao Qi. Then back to the primal stone.
It sniffed the primal stone tentatively before casting one final careful glance over to Xiao Qi.
As if no longer able to resist the allure, the shar-pei extended a tongue out to take the primal stone into its mouth!!
"No way, he really ate it?!"
Bai Yunfei's eyes were wide open. This dog really was eating the primal stone!
A dog that could eat primal stones!!
The world had many 'beings' that could eat primal stones, all things considered. Many soulbeasts devoured primal stones to use it in the same way a soul cultivator might use a primal stone for training. This was nothing new in the history and knowledge of the world, but this was applicable only to soulbeasts. Bai Yunfei was absolutely sure this dog wasn't a soulbeast though!
It hadn't even an iota of soulforce undulating from its body! It was just an ordinary 'dog', so how could it possibly be eating a primal stone?!
People always talked about the impossibles happening when pigs could fly. Bai Yunfei never gave the phrase credence before, but this sight in front of him was starting to make him doubt if that phrase might've had some truth to it.
Like a kid who just discovered an absolutely delicious piece of candy, the eyes of the shar-pei lit up after it ate the primal stone. The fear melted away from it as it started to wag violently. In one fluid motion, it bounded straight for Bai Yunfei to leap and whine at him as if to ask for more.
"Haha!! See, Yunfei? See how special it is? It's not a soulbeast, but it can eat primal stones. That's something else!"
Xiao Qi was back to his sparrow-sized self. Chirping happily, Xiao Qi flapped his wings as if he was a child laughing at an interesting sight.
"This really is strange, how is this even possible?"
He was curious. Curious, but excited to know more. He squatted down to scrutinize the shar-pei. A fire-type mid-grade primal stone was taking out to be fed to the dog, much to its delight. It swallowed the primal stone whole, barking happily and leaping about Bai Yunfei with a great deal more affection than before.
"It can eat different elements of primal stones too?" Bai Yunfei muttered. "And two mid-grade primal stones too. It doesn't look like they did anything to the dog, though?
"Curious, how curious..." He was giving the dog a very deep look now. "Xiao Qi, how in the world did you 'pick' this dog up?"
"Xiao Bai and I were flying around the north parts outside the city since that was the direction with the most elemental energy. We flew around several times and landed on a mountain without a lot of people. There were a few Soul Kings, but we didn't go too deep in the mountain. Then we saw the dog at the base of the mountain trying to dig a hole.
"We were curious. Then we saw it eat a primal stone in a single bite, haha. With how interesting that was, we decided to bring it back to let you see it. Yunfei, what do you say? How can this dog eat primal stones?"
"How should I know? This is the first time I've seen an 'ordinary' dog this 'special'.
"Can't you talk with it?" Bai Yunfei asked, "Ask if it had anything special happen to it before, or if something in it changed. Let's see if we can find out about anything."
"I've already asked, but this guy is pretty dumb. It doesn't even know how it's able to eat primal stones."
Bai Yunfei scrunched his eyebrows together. Thinking about this shar-pei for a moment, he finally lifted his left hand to touch the top of its head.
The Charm Bracelet on his left hand pulsated once with light as he established a mental link with it...