Yu Xiaocao took the little golden kitten off of her shoulders and held it by the scruff of its neck. She used some force to shake it around and pretended to be very fierce. She frowned and glared at it, “Who’s the master out of the two of us? Asking you to do something is like praying to the gods!! I’ve already endured you for a long time! You’re going against the wishes of your master, are you not afraid of being punished for this?”
Yu Xiaocao had truly guessed correctly. The Goddess of Spirits was very familiar with the little divine stone’s personality, so when she created this space, she added something to prevent the little divine stone from devouring its master: If it went against the master’s wishes, 1% of its spiritual energy will drain away. If it helped its master, then 0.1% of its spiritual energy will recover. It was an extremely unequal rule.
Consequently, even though the little divine stone really disliked Yu Xiaocao as its master, it could only fulfill all of her requests unconditionally. It could only wish that it could recover its powers sooner rather than later, break through its prison, and leave this energy-less world that was unsuitable for cultivation.
The tiny golden kitten momentarily deflated like a balloon and its ears drooped down dispiritedly. Even its two usually bright and dazzling golden eyes also didn’t have as much sparkle as before. This fellow had unexpectedly learned how to pretend to be pitiful to gain sympathy.
Yu Xiaocao lightly ran her hands through its soft and pointed little ears and sighed, “Since our contract was a success, then it means we are fated to be with one another. You shouldn’t be in too much of a hurry. Heaven never bars one’s way. Inevitably, there will be a method to restore yourself. When the moment comes, our destiny together will be considered at its end! Perhaps it’s only a short few years or decades. Why not treasure the time we have together now?”
[Stop saying these plaintive, useless words, hmph! Isn’t it just attracting a fierce beast over? For this divine stone, it’s as easy as just thinking!] The little divine stone seemed to not be used to these emotional words that were coming out of her mouth, so it jumped out of her hands and shook itself all over, allowing its shiny golden fur to settle. It transformed into a golden light and shot into the forest.
Zhu Junyang had gone deeper into the forest for a short period of time and found that there was nothing interesting. He felt a bit disappointed. Yu Hai, who was next to him, would, from time to time, look back in the direction they came from because he was worried about his daughter. Zhu Junyang felt like his mood had also been influenced by the other man’s and also started to worry about that foolish little lass.
“Let’s go forward a bit more. If there’s nothing to be found, then we’ll head back home!” Zhu Junyang felt an unfamiliar jittery feeling rise up within him and he lost his desire to continue hunting. He aimlessly stepped forward.
Suddenly, Head Steward Liu, who was constantly on the lookout, felt his ears twitch and he stopped moving, “Master, there’s something that’s rushing over to us...be careful!”
Zhu Junyang saw something that was moving extremely rapidly. He didn’t even think when the bow in his hands moved and an arrow was shot towards that figure.
The little divine stone barely managed to avoid that arrow that was headed its way. It used its paw to pat itself on its chest in a very human-like manner, [How dangerous, I almost got hit by the arrow! This fellow’s archery skills are pretty good. He’s already gotten to the point where he can shoot accurately just based on his feelings!]
Although this kitten form was only something crafted by itself using spiritual energy, getting injured would still require the little divine stone to use up some of its hard-won spiritual energy to recover! The little divine stone let out a shrill meow as it was afraid that Zhu Junyang would shoot another arrow.
At this time, Zhu Junyang was also very surprised. He knew how fast his arrows were, yet there was an animal that was able to dodge his heavenly arrows? Just as he was about to put another arrow to the string, he heard a coy mew from the underbrush. They were deep in the mountain forests, how could there be a cat in the area?
Yu Hai recognized that delicate and dazzling little animal in the underbrush. He hurriedly interceded, “That seems to be Cao’er’s pet, a yellow kitten called ‘Little Glutinous Dumpling’.”
Yu Hai carefully pushed aside the long grass and a tiny golden kitten, barely the size of his fist, appeared in front of the three men. The golden kitten seemed to know who almost injured it earlier and let out a resentful ‘yeowl’ at Zhu Junyang’s direction!
Zhu Junyang bent over to pick up the tiny kitten by its scruff and lifted it to the height of his eye. He sized up the indignant, snarling little cat and finally chuckled, “A pet takes after its master. This kitten is very similar to its owner. They both are the type who have more guts than the size of their own bodies.”
As he talked, he threw the kitten over to Yu Hai. The little cat executed a difficult rolling movement in mid-air and landed accurately on Yu Hai’s shoulders. It resentfully raised all of the fur on its body and bared its teeth at Zhu Junyang.
Yu Hai hurriedly caught the cat in his hands and lightly stroked it. He knew his daughter’s pet was very aware and asked it, “Little Glutinous Dumpling, how did you get here? Did you follow your master here?”
[This divine stone was forced by your scoundrel of a daughter to come here. In a moment, when a giant black bear comes over, you better stay far away. If you get hurt, I will need to pay with my spiritual energy!] The little golden kitten mewed at its master’s father and didn’t care if the man couldn’t understand it.
Zhu Junyang laughed, “Look at this fellow, it must be tattling on me. Exactly the same as its master!!” Head Steward Liu lightly sniffed at the air and frowned, “Master, this old servant can smell the distinct odor of an animal. A giant one must be coming over. Be careful!”
As the sun slowly set in the west, the grove slowly darkened. Other than the sound of the wind blowing around, the rest of the glade became dead silent. Something was wrong. Although the forest was quiet earlier, there were still sounds of birds chirping occasionally. Now it was too quiet, so quiet that it made people feel pressured.
After hearing the startled calls of birds nearby, Zhu Junyang ordered Yu Hai somewhat hastily, “It’s here! Go hide behind the tree!”
Yu Hai was just about to reply when Steward Liu persuaded him, “Go hide first. If we have any trouble, you can go out then.”
Just as they finished talking, a large black bear that was as tall as a grown man and had a thick coat of fur appeared in front of them. Its large mouth was wide open and it seemed to be full of rage. It charged towards them and used its paws to break away all of the foliage in front of it. It easily snapped a young tree, that had a trunk about the size of small bowl, in half and the bear looked incredibly ferocious.
Zhu Junyang calmly took aim and pulled the bowstring back. The arrow flew towards the bear’s head. However, that bear seemed to have supernatural reflexes and slapped away the arrow accurately with one of its paws. The bear continued to rush over, its speed as swift as before.
“Quickly dodge!” Zhu Junyang shot another arrow that didn’t cause any damage and he scrambled up a nearby boulder. He took aim at the bear from the height as Head Steward Liu followed him blindly from behind.
Zhu Junyang’s third arrow had left behind a wound on the bear’s forelegs. The pain enraged the animal and it charged even more crazily forward.
Oddly enough, the furious animal didn’t go after the main culprit who injured it and instead charged towards Yu Hai, who was hiding behind a large tree. The expression on Zhu Junyang’s face immediately darkened. Yu Hai’s pitiful hunting abilities were nothing compared to an enraged, full-grown black bear.
The prince pulled back his bow again and shot the arrow towards the animal’s back. The arrow punched through the black bear’s thick hide and deeply embedded itself into the animal’s flesh. However, it didn’t hit a vital organ.
Yu Hai naturally wouldn’t stay there like a sitting duck when he saw the bear run over. He sensibly didn’t try to fight head-on with the animal and, instead, darted around some nearby large trees. Although the bear had a large, bulky body, it wasn’t the tiniest bit clumsy. It seemed to have latched onto Yu Hai as its prey and energetically chased after the older man.
Yu Hai cried indignantly within his heart, ‘That wound wasn’t caused by me. If you want to take revenge, then you shouldn’t go after me, the easier target, right?’
“Lure the bear over here, climb up that tree!!” Zhu Junyang pointed at a tree with a trunk the size of two men that wasn’t far from him and hollered at Yu Hai.
Yu Hai, who heard the prince’s instructions, circled around a tree and started to run for his life in the direction that was pointed out. From time to time, Zhu Junyang would shoot an arrow to distract the black bear and slow down the animal. Yu Hai stuffed the kitten in his hands into his chest pocket and stretched out his hands. He quickly scrambled up the giant tree.
Zhu Junyang silently let out a sigh of relief. Luckily Yu Hai was stronger than his stupid little daughter. At least, his ability at tree climbing was a lot better!
The giant bear gained a few more wounds and cuts as it chased after its prey. It only made the bear even more angry and furious. It used its large body and struck the tree trunk that Yu Hai had climbed onto. Its two paws scratched cruelly at the tree, leaving large gouges in the bark.
Yu Hai clung onto the tree trunk for dear life. He was deathly afraid that the bear’s violent thumps against the tree would knock him down.
Zhu Junyang noticed that, without much effort, the bear had already savaged a third of the tree. If this continued, Yu Hai would soon be caught and ripped apart by the animal. Zhu Junyang took a deep breath and took out a special bowstring from his knapsack. He swiftly changed the strings on his beloved bow.
With the bow in his steady left hand, he slowly pulled open the bow with his right. The muscles on his arms were so stretched that they were at the rupture point. Blue veins popped out from Zhu Junyang’s neck and a faint sprinkling of sweat shone on his forehead.
This bow string was crafted from a special type of steel and had been made by a secretive mastersmith. Because it was crafted out of metal, it required ninety pounds of force to be pulled open. Normally, during practice, Zhu Junyang was only able to pull around seventy pounds of force. Today, he needed to bet it all on this one arrow and hit his target!
The bowstring slowly stretched as Zhu Junyang’s face turned a dark purple color. He breathed in deeply and concentrated all of his strength into his arms. By the time the bear had savaged over half of the tree trunk, the prince let go of the fully stretched bowstring and shot the quivering arrow towards the berserk animal.
The arrow gave off an ear-piercing whistle as it shot towards the black bear. The savage animal was busy clawing at the tree trunk, doing its best to get its prey. It could apparently sense that danger was approaching and wanted to dodge. However, it was too late!
The arrow smacked through the back of its head and punched through its right eye before it deeply embedded into the tree trunk that Yu Hai was hiding on. The only thing that could be seen from behind was the feathers.
Steward Liu had a good understanding of his master’s current strength and knew that it was hard for the prince to pull open something that required ninety pounds of force. The prince did it in order to save a person’s life, but it was likely he had injured his tendons and muscles. He hurried over to inspect his master’s arms and discovered that his master couldn’t even hold onto his beloved bow anymore. Both of his arms continuously trembled at his sides.
“Master, you...why did you have to do this?” Steward Liu hurriedly took out some bone-healing ointment and started to slather it on.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Sanguine’s Thoughts: The little divine stone went a little too far this time. No wonder the Goddess of Spirits wanted to punish it.