Inside of Byakko’s cave,
“Hati, are you pleased now?” Byakko said in a cold voice.
“Thank you old friend”. Hati took a cup with wine and proposed a toast to Byakko. Telling Shi Yan about the test details was certainly beneficial for Byakko. However, it would result in Shi Yan passing through the test, relying on others. Anyone who wishes to pass down their inheritance to a successor, will desire to look at their utmost potential.
“Since I did you this favor, could you allow my daughter to follow him and that little fox?”
Hati drank the toast, giving a satisfied ”ahhh. Old friend, as long as your daughter does not interfere with the tests, we have no qualms with her being by his side. Even that Dark Dimensional Tree can stay with him. However, it’s most likely that they will have to wait for him to pass through all the other tests before they could reunite again”.
Byakko understood Hati’s rational but he doesn’t wish his daughter to be lonely. She has already separated from her father. Wouldn’t separating her from her new found friends be cruel? In a pleading voice, “Hati can’t you at least let my daughter play with them from time to time?”.
Hati raised his hand to make a stop sign. “Byakko, I don’t want you to plead. This is really unlike you. You should already know what’s been decided is final. Don’t lose your dignity over someone like me”.
Byakko sighed and looked around the cave. In a soft and lonely voice “It seems that I have grown old. The pride of my youth has vanished once my daughter was born. She’s all I have left. My pride means nothing compared to her”.
Byakko lifted his arms and stared at an imaginary Reina under his paw. “I have not been the best of fathers. I could not provide her a good home, I could not provide her a mother, I could not even provide her simple freedom”. Byakko looked towards Hati “I learnt more important things in life than pride”.
Hati sighed as he put down his cup. “Old friend, it’s certain that we have both grown old. I will talk to my brother to see how things can be arranged. But I would remind you not to get your hopes up. He’s as stubborn as always…”.
Byakko’s chuckled while still having a lonely expression “Ha… at least something remain eternal”.
Suddenly, both of them frowned. “It seems that we will have to end our chat here. Byakko, what poison did they use on that White Lightning Ape?”
“It’s probably the Purple Grek Moss. You should already know it’s effects. There is no counter to that poison nearby”. Byakko said while shaking his head.
Hati’s voice became solemn. “It really seems that this will be a final stance for that body of yours. Can I give your body to that boy once he passes through our trials?”
The entire cave was shook as the ape approaches. Noticing that the ape was only 43 kilometers away, Byakko stood up. Even with only three usable limbs, standing up and keeping his balance was an easy task for him. Byakko snorted “Why are you so quick to kill me off! I already gave the boy my inheritance and he is now the host of my main soul. Even my daughter is with him. Would I mind my body getting taken by him at this point?”
Hate laughed and grinned “True. Then I guess you wouldn’t mind if he took your daughter’s heart as well”. Byakko snorted and gave no reply to Hati’s provocations. “Do you need me to help you this once?”
Byakko sneered “Even without limbs, I can still take on that White Lightning Ape. Don’t worry about me. We can chat later”.
Hate smiled “Then I guess I will see you soon”. He soon disappeared into thin air.
~Back inside Shi Yan’s dream realm,
Shi Yan felt someone calling out to him. Inside of the white space, a sweet and soft sounding voice was playing. A dark void soon appeared in front of Shi Yan as he walked through it.
Shi Yan felt something was shaking his arm. As he slowly opened his eyes, he saw Selene’s red blushing face just next to his face. Apparently, she had been whispering to Shi Yan so as to not disturb Shi Yin’s sleep.
Seeing his eyes open, Selene immediately let go of his arms and jumped back. She could not bear to look at Shi Yan in the eyes and looked down. In a soft voice, “Big brother… The mountain is being struck by lightning. It seems that the battle has already started”.
Shi Yan nodded his head “Em! Thanks Selene”.
This was the first time Shi Yan saw someone’s face turn so red. He wondered if Selene was okay. However, Shi Yin was still sleeping on his arm. Her tail curled around the arm, not allowing him to move away.
Naturally, Shi Yin had already woken up the moment Selene entered the bed field. She wanted to savor sleeping in Shi Yan’s embrace, not willing to wake up. She covertly curled her tail around Shi Yan’s arm the moment Selene started to shake Shi Yan, trying to make him stay in the bed for a while more.
Obviously, Shi Yan could tell that Shi Yin was already awake. He was used to the little fox’s antics. She would often use this trick back in the orphanage to stop him from getting out of bed. The first few times, it worked, and he was late for his duty. He got server punishment each time, mostly beatings. One day, he tried to tickle the fox awake while she clung onto his arms. Her eyes were tightly shut but would shiver from time to time. Not willing to make a sound, the little fox continued her state of slumber. That was when he knew that the cunning little fox had been pretending the whole time.
Shi Yan did what he had always done. He caressed Shi Yin and gave her multiple pecks on the forehead till she was satisfied. Shi Yin knew that Shi Yan could tell that she was pretending. Thus, she continued on the act, enjoying every bit of his affection on until his arm was moving away from her body did she start to open her eyes. She licked the fingers of the hands caressing her, trying to say ‘ I’m wake’. She let go of her grip on his arm, stood up and stretched.
Shi Yan was finally free from her grip, he set upright “Selene are you alright? Your face is a little red”. He did not try to reach out to Selene afraid that she would jump back even further.
Selene touched her face to feel that it was a little warmer than usual. She got a little worried and asked “Big brother, what is happening to me? Am I going to die?”.
Naturally, Shi Yan is not all that adapt to illnesses. However, he could not let Selene be worried about her condition. “Don’t worry Selene, I’ve seen many people with such cases before, all they need a little bit of rest!”. Shi Yan took off the blanket and prepared a spot for Selene to sleep. Shi Yin glared disgruntledly, she obviously knew why Selene’s face was red but did not want to tell either one of them.
Selene moved to the bed with her head held low. She played down and Shi Yan placed the blanket on her. With him so close, her heart sped up and face turn more red. Shi Yan was naturally shocked by this scene.
[Did her illness suddenly got worse? Damn it! What to do…]
“Big brother, I feel my heart beating faster… What’s going to happen to me?” Selene said in a concern voice as she gripped the blanket to cover her face.
Trying to comfort her, Shi Yan pretended to be confident “Don’t worry Selene! It’s entirely normal. All you need to do is sleep!”.
Shi Yin could no longer bear the sight of these two being so close together. She pulled on Shi Yan’s cloak, indicating him to pull back. Shi Yan naturally compiled, he hoped that Shi Yin could solve Selene’s predicament.
Shi Yin gave a sigh and started speaking in an irritated tone to Selene “eyahhh. Yah…e”. Selene nodded and summoned a portal behind Shi Yan. She did not want Shi Yan and Shi Yin to catch her illness, thus allowing them to leave.
Shi Yin moved to Shi Yan’s side and pulled his cloak towards the portal. Shi Yan was baffled. Why would Shi Yin leave Selene in this state? Why are we leaving Selene alone? Shi Yan thought for awhile but gave up. He could only put his faith in Shi Yin and leave the enclosed world. He gave one final glance to Selene and entered the portal.
Shi Yan and Shi Yin appeared through the tree’s gaping mouth. The moment they exited, bright flashes of light could be seen at the mountain valley. It was as though the heavens were mowing down the mountain.
As the countless number of lighting struck the mountain, Shi Yan felt the immense pressure from the mountain valley. The destructiveness was not at all within his expectations.
One of those bolts of lightning would definitely incinerate anything within 500 meter radius. The battle back then was nothing compared to the battle now.
Two fierce roars could be heard all the way from the mountain valley. The shock wave from the roars cause the mountains to tremble. Some trees were uprooted and some rocks cracked. The force even blew Shi Yan and Shi Yin back. “*Bang*” Shi Yan crashed onto Selene’s body. “Argh!” Shi Yan cried out in pain. His whole body was sore from the impact. The shock went through his spine and paralyzed him for a few seconds. Shi Yin, who held onto his cloak, landed on Shi Yan’s soft abdomen. It was lucky that Shi Yin was soft and light, otherwise, Shi Yan would have major internal injuries.
Shi Yan slid down of Selene’s trunk and landed on the floor. He was still incapable of moving. As each bolt of lightning struck the mountain, his heart palpated.
“*Cough…cough*” Shi Yin saw Shi Yan’s painful expression and quickly jumped out of his stomach. She cried “Eyahh!” While licking Shi Yan to check up on him. Shi Yan was unable to respond, making her even more worried. Selene who saw the scene also made her move. To protect Shi Yan and Shi Yin from any future shock waves, she used her roots to form a defensive barrier around them.
Shi Yan let out a weak voice “… Shi Y..in, Don’t cry…”. He wanted to at least caress her but still couldn’t move his arms. He struggled but remained in the same spot.
[Damn! My body hurts so much! I can’t even feel Shi Yin licking me. Isn’t this too much for a test? How is it possible to have enough strength to beat that ape! It can pulverize an entire mountain! Even if one survives, it would be bad news for us. This amount of lightning is sure to attract attention. That group or person Byakko is so afraid of is probably going to come here. Even if Byakko wins this battle, he will not survive the following one. If the destructiveness of the injured Byakko is so strong, I cannot imagine the opposing party’s strength. It is entirely possible that they could wipe out the whole mountain range! Damn it! We don’t have a choice! We got to quickly pass the test and return to the inheritance cave. This place is way too dangerous.]
Shi Yan thought of Lumi’s words Strength, endurance and courage. [If I risk my life to go and help Byakko now, it would be stupidity. However, how else am I going to prove courage? Overcoming this pain can be counted as endurance right? To prove my strength, can I do it? Kill that ape? If it was under normal circumstances, I most likely could not even touch him. This is the best chance to prove my strength as well…]
Damn it! Damn it!! This is utter stupidity! How am I going to survive going close to them? Am I going to take the risk now or wait till the risk looks for me? No! I won’t let fate determine my life. At the very least, if we were to die, we have to die trying to survive!
Shi Yan’s eyes became brighter as he finally found his conviction.
At the mountain valley,
Byakko and the ape were both bleeding. Byakko still has not recovered from his previous battles but manages to land a 2 blows to the ape. Currently, he was unable to use his cultivation due to the loss of his core. However, his physical body was strong enough to take on the ape.
The lightning bolts produced from the ape slowly wore him down. It was exhausting to keep battling while enduring the pain from having his nerves electrocuted. Likewise, some of his previously wounded internal organs started to bleed again. The wounds reopened, causing blood to flow out of Byakko’s mouth.
In spite of initially having no injuries, the ape was still not as experienced as Byakko. He did not manage to land a physical hit on Byakko throughout their exchange but got hit instead. Byakko was simply too sly. Byakko knew the right time to counter attack and nullify the attacks of the opponent. Currently, the ape could only rely on the white lightning it produces to attack Byakko.
The ape thumps his chest “Roaaar!”, and raises his arms. The lightning stops attacking Byakko for a moment and gathers on top of the ape. A huge ball of lightning was created, slowly condensing.
Byakko moved back, knowing the destructiveness of the attack. He could not come close to the ape, least the ape slams the ball of lightning at him. He could only retreat. Instantly, he was already 5 kilometers away from the ape. However, he knew that this was not enough. The ball of lightning could cause a huge eruption of discharge, capable of destroying anything within a 10 kilometer radius impact zone.
“Roar!” The ape threw the ball of lightning towards Byakko. The ball of lightning turned into a streak of light and slammed into the mountain behind Byakko. A bright flash of white discharges melted the entire mountain behind Byakko. It was lucky that Byakko could dodge it in time, moving forward by 2 kilometer. Although he was out of the destruction zone, the heat from the explosion was immense. Some of his fur burnt to crisp, turning the white and black striped body entirely black.
The ape stood still to catch it’s breath, there were no longer any obstructions between him and Byakko. Everything has already been burnt down. He could clearly see Byakko still standing and backed off. He knew that in close combat, Byakko had superiority, keeping its distance was its best bet of winning.
“*Cough, Cough* It seems that I have underestimated you. Although you now cannot understand my words, I would still like to praise you. This is the power you have chased for nearly 10 millennia. But! How many have you killed for such power! Your friends and neighbors of this mountain!”. Suddenly, Byakko’s fur turned pure white, and the wind pressure around him started to change. “If you are still conscience, I believe that you would already chosen death over living. Let me present you a chance to make amendments to them in the Yellow River!”.
The air pressure around the ape was crashing down on him, making him unable to move. He tried to roar but could not open his mouth. Unable to bear the pressure, the ape was forced to kneel down.
Byakko no longer hesitated, he ran forward and pounced on the ape, forcing him onto the floor. Byakko opened his gaping jaws and attacked the ape’s jugulars. Blood spurt out like a fountain, yet, the ape was not dead. He quickly discharged lightning from its body, directly entering Byakko. However, Byakko’s grip on his neck did not loosen one bit. Did lightning no longer had any effect on Byakko?
Byakko’s expression was that of pain but, the ape was unable to see. Although this was a mental trick Byakko used to make the ape give up, it did not work. The ape continued to discharge lightning endlessly. Byakko could only bear with it, he was now unable to move away. Most of his internal organs and muscles have already been fried. Even with blood essence sacrifice, without his cultivation, he was still unable to protect himself from the lightning discharges.
Finally, the ape could no longer produce anymore lightning. He dantian was empty. Unable to move due to Byakko, and loss of blood, the ape fainted. When the lightning subsided, Byakko let go of his grip. He knew that this was already the end for the ape. He tried to move away from the ape but could no longer move an inch. Gradually, his eyes dimmed and he fainted as well.