A Soul-eating Battle Beast
“Who… Who’s talking?”
Anyone who accidentally heard such a booming voice that came out of the blue, would be scared half to death, especially in this soundless and gruesome cave. Qinghan was no exception. He jumped off the ground, looking around with hyper alert eyes, as though he had just seen a ghost.
“Keep your shirt on, Boss. It’s me, Little Black!”
When Qinghan was about to go out of the cave to find the origin of the voice, that weird sound appeared again.
“Little… Little Black?”
Immediately, Qinghan turned around with a suspicious expression, “Little Black, are you talking to me?”
“Yes, Boss! I am Little Black. I can finally convey my voice through my soul.”
Looking at the big dog-like head that nodded at him, Qinghan put one of his fingers into his own mouth and bit down on it, as he was trying to reassure himself this was reality and not one of his many absurd dreams.
Subsequently, a miserable howl echoed in the spacious cave…
Ten minutes later, Qinghan grasped the general picture of what had happened.
He really wasn’t dreaming and his beast was not a ghost either. Actually, Little Black inherited some secret method from its ancestors, which allowed it to convey its voice to Qinghan. Plus, Qinghan and his beast had formed the Soul Agreement, which had laid a basis for comprehending each other’s mind.
“Little Black, since you have inherited some secret method, then do you have any clue what grade of battle beast you are? I really want to know…” Qinghan looked into the eyes of Little Black, as he was extremely nervous to hear the result. He reckoned, that since his beast could “talk” like a human being, its ranking should be really high.
“Wow, is it possible that you are actually a holy-grade battle beast?” Qinghan quickly added.
“As far as I remember, I’m a soul-eating battle beast. But I really have no clue about what grade I belong to. Well, one thing that I can assure you of, is that I’m no worse than that big snake.” Little Black blinked its eyes, conveying its voice without opening its mouth.
“Soul-eating battle beast? Hmm, I like this name. It sounds so cool… Wait, the big snake? Oh, do you mean the green dragon?” Qinghan was wild with joy. If it really was the green dragon, then he predicted that Little Black could really be a holy-grade beast. If that was true, then Qinghan would be the second member in the Ye Family to own a holy-grade battle beast. Thinking of this, the excitement in his heart surged up.
“Let’s suppose you really are a holy-grade battle beast, then what kind of unique techniques do you get? Like… Flying, spitting fire, or instantly killing an enemy?” Qinghan dragged Little Black into a little Q&A session.
“No. At present, I can only do some transfiguration, just like the one you’ve witnessed a few minutes ago. Oh, also, my speed has greatly increased.” Little Black waved its head.
“Greatly increased? I mean, how much faster than before?”
“More than doubled!”
“Oh, Gosh… That’s just crazy…”
Previously, judging from Little Black’s speed, it could be equivalent to that of a cultivator in the first level of the Realm of the General. Now, if its speed had doubled, then Little Black would basically be as powerful as a cultivator in the Realm of the Marshal.
“You improved a great deal. So… Are you already in the maturing period?” After some pondering, Qinghan asked with eager, inquisitive eyes. If Little Black had stepped out of its weak period, then Qinghan planned to go back home immediately. He missed his sister so much, who was most likely waiting in the courtyard for his return.
“No! Not yet. I think… I have to eat five more pieces of the green magic crystals that I ate just now.”
“Damn it! These are not sweet potatoes, which are available just anywhere. These are fifth-grade magic crystals! The previous ones in your stomach were our spoils from the huntsman. Oh, God, it’s impossible for me to kill fifth-grade demonic beasts!” Discouraged by the fact that Little Black was still in its weak period, Qinghan was slightly annoyed.
“Once I successfully shift my shape, my speed will be similar to those sixth-grade demonic beasts. So, for me, it’s a piece of cake to kill fifth-grade demonic beasts.” Little Black wrenched his neck confidently.
“Oh?” Qinghan frowned one of his eyebrows. He suddenly stood up and waved to Little Black, before he rushed to the entrance of the cave.
“What are you waiting for? Let’s go and find some fifth-grade demonic beasts then!”
Deep in the forest, trees and weeds were thickly arrayed.
Right now, in a small valley, a soul-stirring fight was happening.
The two parties of the fight were a calf-sized “lion-nosed dog” and an elephant-sized unicorn rhinoceros.
The unicorn rhinoceros, a fifth-grade demonic beast, was four meters in width and two meters in height. It was a gentle beast with a rough skin and a thick layer of fat, as well as a sharp, steel-like horn. Usually, it was uncommon for this beast to fly into a fury, as long as its own territory wasn’t intruded. However, the “lion-nosed dog” had strode into his territory without any warning, and greeted it with a disdainful look. Now, the unicorn rhinoceros was utterly outraged, as it had decided to teach this intruder a good lesson. Rubbing his strong rear feet on the ground several times, and protruding his giant head, it swooped towards the “lion-nosed dog”.
At this moment, the “dog” stood still like a sculpture. So, the unicorn rhinoceros decided to instantly flatten this little puppy with its own body.
By squatting a little bit, Little Black stored up his power, and suddenly flashed to the flank of the unicorn rhinoceros. Within seconds, Little Black had torn off a layer of meat from the back of the unicorn rhinoceros.
– Hiss… –
The sound was like the tearing of a piece of clothing. To Little Black, the stiff skin was like a piece of paper. Soon, blood oozed out from the wound on the unicorn rhinoceros’ back.
Now, the unicorn rhinoceros was fully irritated, it quickened its pace, directly dashing towards Little Black. In the process, it lowered its head, giving emphasis to its sharp horn.
However, the fearless Little Black used the same tactic again and again, biting whenever the unicorn rhinoceros approached it. More and more flesh and skin were torn off from the unicorn rhinoceros.
“Wow, how fast is this little guy? It should be a holy-grade beast. Hmm, this unicorn rhinoceros is about to die… But, all I have right now are three fifth-grade magic crystals, oh, plus this one, it should be four. Well, still not enough. Little Black only has one chance to transfigure each day, since it’s still in its weak period. I’ll have to struggle here for another two days, before… Before I can go home!”
Hiding behind a big tree, Qinghan observed the fight between his battle beast and the unicorn rhinoceros.
According to Little Black, the duration of the transfigured body would be only two hours. In other words, when the time expired, it would change back to its original appearance. To save time, they had directly entered into the inside region of the mountain range, where fifth-grade demonic beasts were much easier to find. However, they only chose those that were left alone, as they wouldn’t take the risk to fight against a group of fifth-grade demonic beasts. After each harvest, they would return to the cave to rest.
Today marked their fourth day of fighting with fifth-grade demonic beasts. For the previous three days, they had successfully killed a shadow wolf, a carnivorous four-horned goat, and a wild lion. Adding today’s unicorn rhinoceros, they had obtained four pieces of fifth-grade magic crystals. Little Black would soon enter its maturing period if he killed another fifth-grade demonic beast.
The unicorn rhinoceros had finally collapsed, as it was still trembling and bleeding on the ground.
– Whoosh –
Sizing up the situation, Qinghan considered that it was finally save to reveal himself. He spurted towards the unicorn rhinoceros, before he took his dagger out. Soon, he threw a green magic crystal to Little Black. Then, he turned back and tore off the horn from the unicorn rhinoceros’ head. Though, he knew well that all parts of the unicorn rhinoceros were valuable materials, it was too heavy for him to carry everything. So, he only took the horn, which he believed, once he returned to the Grey City, could fetch him a good price. Perhaps, let’s say, dozens of crystal coins.
“Good stuff! It’s as delicate as precious ivory.” Qinghan held the horn in his hands for a while, before he put it into his bag. When he was about to peel off some of the skin from the unicorn rhinoceros, he found that Little Black’s eyes were filled with horror, while its hair had erected like a lion’s head.
“Er… What’s going on?”
“Boss, please climb on my back quickly. I’m sensing a high-ranked demonic beast that is approaching us. It could be a sixth-grade one!” Little Black urged Qinghan.
“A sixth-grade one?” All his fine hair stood up in horror, as he quickly jumped onto Little Black’s back and grabbed its neck. In the blink of an eye, they fled away.
Suddenly, an ear-piercing roar broke the silence of the forest, which echoed throughout the air.
From Little Black’s back, Qinghan looked over his shoulder, and found an angry beast that was running in their direction. The appearance of this beast was enough to scare away any coward. It had green scales and shiny white teeth. Its giant tail randomly swept against the ground. Even a huge ancient tree fell down by the force of its sweeping. More horribly, from its head to tail, there were rows of large black thorns…
“Sixth-grade demonic beast – Giant Thorn Dragon! Come on, Little Black, we need to run faster, or we’ll both be doomed!”