Chapter Twenty Seven - Informant
Although Yan gave Kiso a warning shout, her familial ties prevented her from doing so immediately. In fact, Rio and Ela had used Beq's sacrifice to immediately flee, moving at their fastest speed.
Within the twenty breaths since the two arrows had collided, Rio and Ela had managed to cover nearly a quarter mile's distance towards the northern gate.
Unfortunately for them, a quarter mile meant nothing to Kiso. Locking onto them in his spiritual pressure zone, Kiso's body flickered and disappeared.
As Rio and Ela frantically ran at their top speed, they were constantly communicating within their minds.
"Sister, that Kiso is too much! Why did grandfather have to anger such a little devil?" Rio's voice was still shaky from the shock of losing her closest family.
"How could he have known? The sect told grandfather he should be the foremost power in this region. What reason would he have to mistrust his own sect?" Ela's voice was equally shaken.
Fear, worry, regret.
Their faces were fluctuating between several negative emotions. After covering a solid distance, Ela spoke in Rio's mind once again, sighing, "If only Kiso hadn't emerged for another month. Grandfather's elder brother should surely have arrived by.." Her thoughts were immediately interrupted.
Kiso's body materializing twenty meters ahead caused both of them to stumbled in an attempt to halt.
Kiso's face was solemn, he really didn't want to kill these two beauties. He purposely avoided them initially, hoping perhaps they were in the same boat as Yan.
There actions proved otherwise, causing Kiso's resolve to thicken. Yet the thought of actually killing them still left a bitter taste in his mouth.
Raising a hand sparking with black lightning, Kiso threatened, "You two! I'll give you two options!" Kiso's voice raised just enough for them to hear as he walked towards them.
"Either you die here today without a corpse, or you give me a reason to spare you."
Kiso truly didn't expect them to be able to sway his resolve, yet their beauty warranted them a chance.
Taking a long look at each other, Ela looked back towards Kiso.
Secretly swallowing hard, Ela faced Kiso who was now a short five meters away. "Kiso.." Her voice tried to hide her anger, yet still revealed a trace, "My sister and I will do anything you ask."
Shortly following her pledge, she moved her hands towards her cloak slowly, making the motions to remove it.
Ela and Rio were both raised in a different kind of world. They were taught to use anything as a weapon to kill their enemy, even their own bodies. Women could cultivate the same as men, yet when faced with a power greater then their own, a weapon still remained.
As layers of clothes were beginning to shed, a black flash suddenly buzzed by the two girls, disintegrating a post behind them on the road.
Wide eyed, Rio and Ela's faces flushed with embarrassment, they glanced backwards at where Kiso had struck.
Kiso's face was equally red as their actions had greatly startled him.
Using their own bodies as compensation?
But, these were two of the closest family members to Hanzi, the man responsible for his parent's death. Shaking his head in attempt to clear his mind, Kiso regained his composure and sent a warning surge of lightning past their nearly stark naked bodies.
"Cut it out. I don't have any desire for the bodies of such vile women." Sighing, Kiso raised two fingers, pointing at them. "To think the Hanzi family is actually so wicked to even use their own bodies to tempt their enemies. If that's the best you could come up with, I'll make it quick."
Kiso stared forward, studying their expressions closely. As he finished speaking, their faces revealed their true feelings.
They were prepared to seduce Kiso in order to secretly slay him during the action. How could they have expected this young man in the prime of his youth to actually refuse them. His words only threw oil on the fire, igniting the suppressed anger in their hearts.
Tears streaking down their faces, Ela and Rio's expressions contradicted the tiny droplets of water.
With faces full of malice, they held hands and shot a final look full of contempt at Kiso before their bodies began to undergo the same process as Beq.
With their skin now visible, Kiso could clearly see the process this time. Starting at their feet, their skin rapidly started turning black. Hundreds of inky blotches rapidly devoured their flesh, turning it into pure life force.
Kiso wouldn't wait around to be on the receiving end of another of these attacks. His spiritual pressure was already on its last leg. The only spiritual pressure he had at this point was what he had gathered naturally since attempting to block the first death arrow.
Kiso had two options, shadowstep away or end their lives before the technique completed itself.
Ela and Rio had strangely soft expressions on their faces by now. They figured the sacrifice of their lives would surely be able to drag Kiso down with them.
How could they have known that Kiso's choice to block Beq's arrow with all his spiritual pressure banking on his divine wind, was simply the wrong one.
Kiso wouldn't make the same mistake again.
Their soft content expressions suddenly changed. By now their bodies had deteriorated beyond their legs, the inky black now eating away at their torsos. The death arrow technique is a final resort technique of the death nature, trading away life force to produce a single attack capable of transcending even two stages of power.
Only, it couldn't be reversed.
Kiso gave an awkward smile at the two beauties as his body flickered and disappeared.
Ela and Rio's eyes bulged, threatening to jump out of their sockets. "SISTER!" Rio's panicked voice full of resentment was the last thing either of them heard.
- - -
After Kiso had shadowstepped away, Yuni was faced with the blank faces of all the surrounding students and teachers. They seemed to be frozen in place incapable of moving, but it was just a result of the shock they felt in their hearts.
Leaning against the Osian Tower, Yuni casually swept her gaze of the crowd.
A sudden thought visibly occurred in her head as her eyes widened and started to scan the crowd frantically.
"Where is he?!" Yuni's angry voice shouted in her mind.
She suddenly remembered the reason they were discovered in the first place.
"Not here?" Yuni's expression changed from anger to a mixture of disappointment and apprehension. If Kiso was still here, she would have immediately reminded him and he could have searched for Bo using his spiritual pressure zone. However, with Kiso's lack of presence, she could only resign herself to lean back against the tower and wait.
After the time it would take to eat half a bowl of rice, Kiso's body reappeared, a cold sweat visible on his forehead.
Yuni shot him an inquiring look to which he responded in her mind, "They killed themselves."
Yuni's tense face eased slightly before her voice rang out in Kiso's mind, "I see..... Ah! Kiso! Quick! Use your spiritual pressure zone to find that traitor Bo!"
Kiso was slightly startled by her reminder, but quickly looked around before frowning.
"He's gone." Kiso sighed as he spoke aloud.
Yuni's face showed obvious disappointment, but there was nothing they could do.
At this time, Yan approached them cautiously. She didn't know where she stood in their hearts, yet she was prepared to devote her life to helping these two who had freed her.
"Um... Kiso, Yuni... I don't mean to be rude, but your actions today will surely have stirred up the hornets nest." Yan quietly announced as she approached.
Kiso was clearly agitated, he was cursing himself for forgetting about Bo. Yan's soft voice dispelled his thought process and he turned to face her.
Nodding, he agreed, "You mean regarding the Apostles of Death?"
"Indeed, they will sooner or later discover one of their elders was killed." Kiso's voice was resolute without a hint of worry and he continued, "Regardless, it doesn't really matter. Since Hanzi caused my parent's death and opened my eyes to the evil of your sect, I've already decided..."
Yan's face changed when she heard Kiso call the Apostles of Death 'her sect'. She angrily interrupted, "Kiso, if you're going to have me follow you, let's get one thing straight. Since I was a child I have been forced to do everything I've done. Although I admit it was my own cowardice that prevented me from ending my own life and saving thus saving countless others, I sincerely plan to atone for those sins."
Hearing Yan's words, Kiso smiled and continued the same sentence, "To eradicate them!"
Yan's face slightly brightened.
She seemed to think of something and tilted her head asking, "Kiso, your father was Han, right?"
Kiso nodded, his brows clenched as he looked at Yan inquisitively.
She couldn't help her lips from curving upwards and she continued, "Then, that would make your mother Celes right? Well, although Han indeed perished due to my grandfather's contract, Celes might still be alive!"
Her upward curving lips fell as she hurriedly added before letting Kiso react, "But that's only if she was sent where I believe she was! And if she was sent there, she'll only be kept alive for a short period of time!"
Kiso's eyes were wide and he forgot to breath as he listened to Yan.
When she finished speaking, hundreds of thoughts raced through his mind.
Not much time?
Kiso reached out and held Yan's shoulders as he looked her in the eyes and asked with a shaky voice, "If she was sent where you believe she did, how long does she have? Can we make it?"
Yan couldn't help but avert her gaze, she indeed knew where Celes had been sent, but that place was one which she had only heard about.
"Kiso... I believe your mother was selected by my grandfather to be sent to the main sect's prison for sacrifices." Yan mumbled as she spoke, she was only used to being struck after giving bad news.
When the pain never came, Yan glanced back at Kiso. His face was twitching as his eyes were growing red.
She took a deep breath and gathered her courage before saying, "While it's true I don't know much about the prison, there are some things I know.
First of all, the sacrifices selected to go there will be kept alive for another three years. This is because they can only perform the sacrificial ceremony every ten years.
Besides that, I know that the prison resides in the northern human realm.
That's all I know."
Kiso looked down at the ground for several minutes before lifting his head to look at Yuni. Her face was full of worry as well and it warmed his heart to see her truly worry for his sake.
Slapping his cheeks, Kiso looked back to Yan.
Nodding, he smiled and said, "I knew it was a good idea to keep you alive. From this point on, you'll be my source of information on the Apostles of Death!"
Yan gave an awkward smile. Her life had just been turned completely upside down. Although she believed it was for the best, she still didn't know how to react.
"Then... I'll be in your care..." She lowered her head and spoke under her breath.
Concluding his conversation with Yan, Kiso raised his head to look out at the still dumbfounded crowd.
Yuni hugged Kiso's arm and she giggled saying, "Kiso these people have been frozen since Hanzi died, I think they don't believe their eyes. Why don't you wake them up... hehehe."
Kiso looked helplessly at Yuni before sighing.
Thinking for a moment about what to say, Kiso opened his mouth to loudly shout, "Students and teachers of this academy!"
His voice carried a hint of spiritual pressure, causing it to be extremely loud and startle the crowd.
"Your dean is dead and your contracts released! From today on, this is no longer Hanzi Academy! If you wish to stay, stay. If you wish to leave, leave! Choose your own paths!"
Kiso, as the one who had shaken their lives, felt slightly responsible and gave voice to reason.
Slowly, voices started to emerge from the crowd as it seemed to come alive. Students felt color return to their lives, the freedom of choice given back to them. They couldn't help but fall to their knees and kowtow towards Kiso, standing in front of the Osian Tower.
One after another fell to their knees, deeply bowing.
Their actions spoke louder then any words of thanks could have.
Soon, the entire crowd of young men and women, even the teachers, all were on their knees bowing to Kiso in thanks.
"This..." Kiso was truly moved.
Although he could never really understand the pain they had gone through, their act of bowing to him in this manner completely relayed their feelings.
For several minutes, Kiso didn't dare to speak or move, allowing everyone here to thank him with all their hearts. Staring out at the crowd, the first to rise was a familiar face.
Ruddy lifted his head, smiling at Kiso with streaks of water running down his cheeks. He rose to his feet and made his way towards Kiso.
Before he could even leave the front line of the students though, a shrill cry rang out from a young girl who had similarly concluded her bowing.
"There's still one left!!!!" The girl pointed with a trembling finger towards Yan's figure standing a few feet behind Kiso and Yuni.
To Be Continued!
Gentlemanly Gentleman said:....^ Was that a spoiler?
....^ Was that a spoiler?
Chapter Twenty Eight - Settling Down, Reminiscing
Kiso and Yuni glanced back at Yan whose face had become pale.
Sighing, Kiso prepared to give a show of power in an effort to dissuade future actions against Yan. Just as he was about to step forward and take action, several blurs came forward from the crowd. With their backs to Kiso, the former teachers of Hanzi academy moved to block their students from taking action.
A large man among the teachers raised his voice, "Foolish children! Do you not see that girl has earned the favor of our savior?! Would you dare to offend him at this point?!"
The students glanced at each other. Indeed, they did not wish to offend Kiso or Yuni.
The large teacher scanned the students, looking for discontent faces among them. If he saw someone with a scowl on their face, he would secretly remember that student.
After he was satisfied the students had calmed themselves, he turned to face Kiso, taking a knee. "Young master Kiso.." The large man looked up at him with admiration in his eyes, "This servant's name is Ned Soran. I'm the senior teacher among those of us left here at Han... This academy."
Kiso looked down at Ned, nodding with a slight smile on his face.
Seeing Kiso's friendly demeanor, Ned smiled back and asked, "Young master... With Hanzi's death, your servant can guarantee his sect will send people to investigate. What should we do?"
Ned's voice was loud and most of the students could clearly hear his voice. After he finished speaking, fear spread throughout the students and some even began to make their way towards the gates.
Kiso's slight smile didn't fluctuate in the slightest. He had already been warned by Yan and had even figured this would be the case before she said anything.
Walking down the Osian Tower's curved stone stairs, Kiso stopped halfway. He looked around at the various remaining students and teachers. He took a deep breath, then shouted, "Those of you remaining here are free to do whatever you wish! If you wish to escape back to your families, do so! If you wish to remain here and continue to cultivate, do so! I will not take over this academy, but I will be staying here for an unknown duration. As long as I remain here, I will do my best to protect those worth protecting!"
His words clearly disappointed many of the students that had wished for him to take Hanzi's place, but they couldn't fault him for that.
Ned thought to himself for a moment, then turned back to the crowding students and announced, "Since young master Kiso has spoken, let it be so! I will personally remain here and continue to instruct those that wish to stay. If trouble passes, perhaps we can even found a new academy here! Everybody, go back and rest for now, we'll meet in the assembly square tomorrow at sunrise!"
After addressing the students, Ned bowed once more to Kiso then made his way over to his fellow instructors.
Kiso smiled, then turned back to Yan and Yuni.
Yuni's brows were furrowed slightly, not angrily, but rather curious.
"What exactly are we going to remain here for Kiso?" She couldn't help but ask.
Kiso squinted his eyes slightly, thinking about teasing her. Instead, he exhaled and causally said, "Training. We have about two years before we need to make our way to the Northern Human Province. In that time, we need to improve ourselves in several aspects. You included." Kiso shifted his gaze to Yan.
Yan was slightly startled when Kiso suddenly addressed her. She frowned slightly asking, "What exactly do we need to do?"
Kiso tilted his head upwards, gazing diagonally into the sky. He seemed to be thinking deeply for several tens of seconds, then answered, "Yuni and I need fighting experience. We need to learn new applications for our innate lightning, in other words, we need to develop some new techniques. You on the other hand need to seriously cultivate, I'd say. That's right, what sort of techniques and spiritual nature do you possess anyway? Death nature like your grandfather?"
Yan looked distracted for a few moments, then sighed and said, "About that.. Indeed I possess death nature spiritual pressure and have been instructed in various vile techniques by my grandfather. However, there are some I think you two would find useful as well."
Noticing the unpleasant looks on Kiso and Yuni's face, Yan hurriedly assured them, "The techniques I speak of are universal techniques, they have nothing to do with death nature. Also.. Although I know my death techniques may not be well received by you two.. They may prove useful in the future, so I will continue to cultivate as you suggested."
When Yan spoke the words 'universal techniques', Kiso and Yuni's faces changed, their lips curving upwards.
Their change in expressions satisfied Yan and she exhaled a sigh of relief.
Yuni couldn't help but ask, "Yan, what sort of universal techniques?" She was always striving to improve herself, to increase her power in order to be useful to Kiso. Her thirst for new techniques could easily rival Kiso's.
Yan smiled mischievously and raised two fingers, "Although there are many, only two of them would interest a couple of monsters like yourselves. Both of these techniques were taught to me by my grandfather. He said they were written in the ancient grimoire bestowed upon him by his sect.
The first is rather simple, even someone at the first stage of spiritual pressure can utilize this technique."
Yan moved her open palms in front of her, condensing spiritual pressure into them. From her hands, a misty white glow emanated from them.
"This technique is known as Misty Hands. It can forcefully block and spiritual pressure attack as long as the spiritual pressure in the user's hands meets or exceeds the attack of their opponent."
Yuni's eyes lit up, secretly thinking to herself, "This should be useful!"
Kiso on the other hand simply nodded. He figured it would be helpful, but for the most part he could just dodge an opponent's abilities using his Skyshadow technique.
Yan noticed her failure to impress Kiso but wasn't discouraged. This was because she knew the next technique was one every spiritual pressure cultivator yearned for.
Retrieving her spiritual pressure, she turned her palm to the sky and produced a rolled parchment. Yan's face revealed a slightly proud, slightly disappointed expression as she explained, "The second technique is Levitation."
If the first technique could be regarded as average, the second would certainly be a treasure. Levitation was an extremely rare technique among spiritual pressure cultivators. It essentially allowed the user to fly.
Kiso's eyes were wide as he stared at the rolled parchment.
He licked his lips as he asked, "Yan, is that truly Levitation? Are you able to use it?"
Yan's lips slanted as she was clearly disappointed. She replied, "It is indeed Levitation, although I am currently unable to use it." She slightly pursed her lips and added, "Levitation requires the fourth stage of spiritual pressure."
Kiso and Yuni exchanged an excited glance, communicating their inner thoughts without words.
"We'll be able to fly!"
- - - - -
A week later.
The cold autumn air, containing thousands of colorful tree leaves, is currently sharing its sky with a couple of new faces.
"K..Kiso! This is... So hard!" Yuni's slightly panicked voice is barely audible through the teeth of the wind. Her face is red as she squints her eyes, sending massive amounts of spiritual pressure downwards through her body.
Kiso is a bit more intelligent, sending a mental message, "Right.. We've only been airborne for a few minutes but I've used almost half of my spiritual pressure! Let's go back down."
They quickly descended through the air, touching back down in a quiet corner of the academy.
After the events of that day one week ago, Kiso had quickly made preparations.
He had Yan go and find Ned, sending him to acquire a vast amount of food to send Prince Julian. Quickly after that, Kiso and Yuni toured around the academy, greeting the students and asked them where a good place to stay would be.
They decided to stay in a villa in the north eastern section of the academy. It suited them very well because it was far away from the former residences of Hanzi's family. Aside from the location, the villa itself was rather extravagant. The students that suggested it, had told them that Hanzi usually let his most honored guests previously stay in their new villa.
When Kiso heard that, he chuckled whispering to Yuni, "Hear that? As Hanzi's honored guests, we must stay there!"
Settling down in the villa, Yan decided to take up residence there as well after a slight protest from Yuni.
Just like that, Kiso, Yuni, and Yan spent the first week cultivating and attempting to learn some new techniques.
The levitation technique turned out to be extremely simple. It essentially continuously send spiritual pressure through the legs and out the feet, countering the air below. Since it continuously requires spiritual pressure, the time of flight is directly reflected by the users spiritual pressure amount.
Kiso can maintain flight for eleven minutes while Yuni can only handle eight.
When Yan heard Kiso could fly for eleven minutes, her mouth refused to close for almost twenty minutes. She heard her grandfather once say he could barely fly for three minutes, no wonder Kiso was able to easily deal with him.
Back in the courtyard of their villa, Kiso and Yuni returned from the sky. Their shirts were wet with sweat and they were visibly out of breath.
Through heavy breaths, Kiso said, "It really is hard to breathe way up there..."
Yuni, hunched over resting her hands on her knees, looked up and nodded slowly.
After they caught their breath, Kiso sat cross-legged, absorbing nature energy to quickly replenish his spiritual pressure. This has been his routine for several days now.
A few minutes later, Kiso opened his eyes, looking over at Yuni still meditating. Taking several deep breaths, he spent a few minutes reflecting to himself.
The past few months have been nothing but troublesome. Even now he has to continue to struggle and cultivate, hopefully improving himself enough to take on an ancient sect full of powerful people, just for a slight chance at rescuing his mother.
He thought about his father and the servants who had always been kind to him.
He thought about Elder Julian who had been there when he revealed his outstanding talent in front of his entire family.
He sat there reminiscing about his youth for a long time, finally recalling his grandfather Mord before a thought suddenly struck him.
"How could I forget?!" Kiso abruptly sent his spiritual pressure into his DS ring, frantically searching for a small piece of parchment. "There it is!" The parchment materialized in his hand.
This was precisely the last thing his grandfather had given him. He had stuffed it in his shirt as he originally set out from Thunderblack Castle.
Unfolding the parchment, his grandfather's handwriting came into view.
Tears swelled up in Kiso's eyes as he read:
Little Kiso.. Your grandfather could not be more proud of who I know you will become. I feel like I waited my entire life just for you. Now that you're here, I can finally die with a content smile on my face. A few days from now, I believe my son's plot to kill me will finally spring into action. However, fear not, your grandfather still has some purpose in this life. Do not believe the reports when they say that I've perished. I plan to secretly switch places with a double and escape the valley. If you read this right away, DON'T come back for me. After you turn fifteen and become an adult, you can ask your father where to find me.
The last sentence struck Kiso's heart, causing the tears to fall from his eyes. There was sorrow in those tears for his father, but there was also a hint of joy as well.
"He's actually still alive!!!" Kiso tilted his head back, shouting into the sky.
Chapter Twenty Nine - Inheriting Enemies or Gaining Allies?
The sudden realization that his grandfather was still alive caused Kiso's mood to soar.
He spent the entire week cultivating like a madman, fueled by the desire to rescue his mother and reunite with Mord. As his spiritual pressure grew more and more, Kiso couldn't help but feel at a loss. During previous cultivation, the bottleneck to the next stage was always somewhat in sight, yet now it was seemingly beyond the horizon.
Towards the end of the week, Kiso determined that spending the entire day cultivating was simply wasting precious time. Per the advice of Ned, he decided to venture off into the eastern mountains to hunt spiritual beasts.
Hunting spiritual beasts would serve as valuable fighting experience that Kiso desperately needed.
Much to Yuni's displeasure, Kiso casually informed her of his intentions the night before he set off. Without a word, he quietly slipped away, leaving her behind at the academy. Even though she would benefit from fighting the spiritual beasts as well, Kiso admittedly needed a break from her clingy nature.
Just like that, two weeks passed since Kiso defeated Hanzi.
Deep within the mountains east of the academy.
Kiso has been hunting spiritual beasts for several days now. Each and every core he acquired would be rapidly absorbed into his body even without his intention.
"Truly strange.. I don't even have to enter the meditative position to absorb these cores.. From what Elder Sage told me, everyone must make a mental effort to absorb them, so why don't I?" Kiso pondered heavily on this subject.
By now, he had a few ideas as to what might be causing it, but that spiritual beast Koho had passed him kept coming back into his mind. Especially recently, the more cores he absorbed, the more he can seemingly sense a strange spiritual pressure within his core.
Whenever Kiso looks for that spiritual pressure with his inner eye though, it's nowhere to be found.
"Whatever, it doesn't matter. These spiritual beasts are far too weak, I need to find some more powerful ones..." Kiso felt helpless regarding the cores but fighting experience was his true purpose in the mountains.
Crouching next to a small bush, Kiso spread out his spiritual pressure zone, searching casually around his area for strong spiritual beasts. His eyes suddenly lit up as a massive source of spiritual pressure entered the range of his detection.
"This is a big one..." Kiso took a deep breath and made his mental preparations.
As if he had never been there, his body flickered and disappeared, causing a few ignorant beasts that had been tailing him to blink twice.
Appearing on a large tree, Kiso stared down into the dimly light mountain forest, scanning the surroundings for the spiritual beast he had detected. He wanted to make sure it wasn't some insanely powerful beast before he did battle with it.
Although Kiso is powerful among the spiritual pressure cultivators of the world, when it comes to spiritual beasts, his power is average at best. Spiritual beasts have collectively cultivated for hundreds of thousands of years before the first human was able to sense the nature energy of the world.
The longer a spiritual beast cultivates, the stronger it becomes. There is no talent required of a spiritual beast in order to gain power, only time. Therefore, spiritual beasts are identified and categorized based on their lifespans.
A spiritual beast's lifespan can be identified by their size and species. A certain degree of knowledge regarding spiritual beasts is therefore necessary for anyone desiring to hunt them.
Looking down into the forest, Kiso quickly spotted the source of spiritual pressure he had detected. "Oh? So it's actually a Rank Four Mammoth Spider.." The massive spider came into Kiso's view as it dragged the carcass of another spiritual beast into a tree a few hundred meters away.
Spiritual beasts are generally ranked one through ten, with ten being the highest. A rank five spiritual beast can easily compare to a sixth stage spiritual pressure cultivator. Although the ranks do not directly translate to spiritual pressure stages, it's fairly close.
An Mammoth Spider also happens to be a darkness nature spiritual beast, exactly what Kiso has been hunting.
A fiery light in his eyes, Kiso shadow-stepped directly above the spider, pouring spiritual pressure into his hand. With a swift motion, he directly speared through the spider's skull, taking its life instantly.
"Still so weak.." Kiso could only sigh. Even a rank four spiritual beast doesn't possess the reaction speed or pure spiritual pressure to resist his attacks.
Carefully collecting the spider's core, Kiso once again helplessly stared as it crumbled through his fingers. By now, this scene could barely bother him.
Twisting his neck, Kiso stood up after leaning down to collect the spider's core. His eyes flashed with excitement as he felt the spiritual pressure of his next prey.
For almost two weeks straight, Kiso constantly shadow-stepped around the various mountains hunting spiritual beasts. There were a few rank five spiritual beasts Kiso came across, but he didn't dare to provoke them. Instead, he collected massive amounts of rank three and four beast cores.
After almost two weeks, each time a core crumbled and was absorbed into his body, his core rumbled as a strange sound could be heard echoing from within Kiso's body. If he was still hesitating before, that was no longer the case. Kiso was now certain that the cores he collected were directly being absorbed by the spiritual beast within him.
"Definitely getting close.." Kiso was feeling excited regarding the spiritual beast within him. He felt that gaining another ally in his battle against the Apostles of Death could only be considered a good thing.
Looking up from his now emptied hand, Kiso saw a familiar sight.
"Ah.. I've actually made it all the way back.." Kiso's heart started beating slightly faster.
He had completely immersed himself in detecting spiritual beasts and ruthlessly slaying them so much so that at some point he had become lost.
Now, standing atop a tall cliff above the carcass of a gigantic goat-like spiritual beast, Kiso could clearly see the academy in the clearing below.
"Ah? Who are they?" The momentary excitement of finding his way "home" quickly faded.
Thousands of little black dots could be seen clustered together in a marching formation, heading towards the southern gate of the academy.
The strange part was, the entire cluster of black dots was covered in a dome of transparent light.
Kiso's mind worked quickly and he instantly recalled the scars of battle that surrounded the academy walls.
"It seems Hanzi's old enemies are paying a visit..." Kiso's eyes narrowed. If he could avoid it, he really didn't want to add to his list of enemies at this point.
Regardless, he couldn't sit back and watch the innocent people he liberated become someone else's slaves. With that in mind, Kiso fixed his clothes and shadow-stepped a few times to bring his spiritual pressure zone into range of the approaching army.
After shadow-stepping three times, Kiso stood on a cliff overlooking the academy. The various figures of the approaching army were now completely visible.
"Hmm.. There are a few of them who have fairly strong spiritual pressures.. Although I can't say for sure how powerful they are... I still have to get better at sensing the various stages..." Kiso thought to himself. He could sense the general strength of spiritual pressure, but the exact stages were still too hard to grasp.
The reason behind this was actually rather simple. When Kiso's spiritual pressure envelopes another person or beast, he can detect its presence, but their respective spiritual pressures repel his own.
As Kiso scanned the academy, looking to see the reactions of the teachers and students, Kiso's eyes locked onto the southern wall.
Atop the wall, five black cloaked figures could be seen standing close together, looking out at the approaching army. What made Kiso's body shudder, was that these five seemingly had the same sort of aura as Hanzi.
"It can't be..." Kiso's brain attempted to reject the feeling in his heart, but the rejection was short lived.
Black smoke lashed out from those five figures, sending black serpent-like attacks against the dome of light. Each time those black serpents made contact with the light, the dome would shudder and flicker, threatening to dissipate, before recovering.
Suddenly, a soft girly voice rang out in Kiso's mind, "Kiso! Where have you been?!"
Yuni's figure descended from the sky above the mountains behind him, landing by his side. Her face was full of dissatisfaction, as it could be seen she felt wronged by Kiso's sudden departure.
Kiso's face revealed a bashful look, he couldn't help but feel his heart warm up. The two weeks he spent in the eastern mountains marked the first time they had been apart in years. Her constant presence had been something he had grown accustomed to.
"I was.." As Kiso started to answer, Yuni's face changed into a smile and she laughed.
She cut him off by shaking her head and saying, "I know.. To be honest, this time apart has been good for me too!"
A light flashed through her eyes, and prismatic lightning danced along her fingers as she twirled them in front of Kiso.
Raising an eyebrow, Kiso made a mental note to ask her about her gains later. For now, he was much more interested in the situation down at the academy.
"Yuni, it's good to see you too.. But, what's going on down there?" Kiso pointed towards the southern wall.
"Ah... That... Right... Umm, A couple days ago Yan suddenly came running into my room telling me to escape the academy and go find you.
Those five black cloaked guys are from Hanzi's sect. The one in the middle is even one of the thirteen elders, apparently.
When Yan came running, I originally just wanted to play with them a bit myself.. But she insisted that I couldn't handle him.. That he was at the sixth stage of spiritual pressure. A true immortal."
Kiso closely followed Yuni's words. When she spoke the final two sentences, his eyes widened and he couldn't help but take a closer look down at those black cloaked men.
"If it's like that... Then we should probably forget going back down there..." Kiso spoke softly under his breath. He knew his limits and right now someone at the sixth stage was most likely beyond him. Even if he shadow-stepped constantly and attacked from various angles, the difference in spiritual pressure might not be something he could overcome.
While Kiso was wrapped up in his thoughts, the army of light came within attacking distance of the southern wall. A booming drum rang out as the army halted its advance. Shouts could be heard along the front line as horses trotted up and down their ranks.
Several tens of seconds later, thunderous sounds of a deep pitched horn roared out as light began to swell in the air above the army. Thousands of white robed men and women lifted their hands above their heads, sending their light colored spiritual pressure into the air. As the light came together, it grew larger and larger until Kiso could visibly make out a gigantic spear.
The spear was formed from pure light energy and vibrated intensely causing the sky to distort around it.
Looking down at the gigantic spear, Kiso felt a warm energy flowing through his skin as the energy from it seemed to fill his body with power. Although it felt this way, there was in fact no change to Kiso's spiritual pressure.
While the army of light summoned the gigantic spear, those five black cloaked men did not sit idly by. Their own black spiritual pressure poured into the sky above them as well, forming a gigantic snake head. The snake head was formed entirely from smokey black spiritual pressure and gave those that saw it an extremely cold feeling. Just looking at it, even a ignorant child would be able to tell that it was pure evil.
A second, slightly higher pitched horn rang out and the spear started to rotate extremely fast before buzzing through the air towards that gigantic snake head.
As the spear drew close, the snake head's eyes flashed red and a deafening hiss could be heard filling the skies. The snake opened its giant maw and lashed out towards the spear.
The two gigantic spiritual pressure forms made contact in the open air between the two forces, causing massive shockwaves to emanate from it. Like a lightning strike, a vicious thunderclap sounded out as thousands of soldiers from the army of light fell on their asses. Even the five powerful figures from the Apostles of Death took several steps backwards.
After an instant of contact, to Kiso's surprise, the spear of light forcefully pierced through the snake's head and continued towards those five men. Although the spear was visibly weaker, Kiso thought for sure it still had enough power to claim victory.
However, right as the spear neared the air above the southern gate, space trembled and a large black field of light came into view momentarily before disappearing.
The spear had met some sort of protective barrier and completely dissipated.
The army must have known it was coming though, because as the first spear made contact with the protective barrier, a second was already being formed in the air above the army of light.
Chapter Thirty - The Beast Within
Gigantic light spears endlessly began to soar through the air in a barrage against the black barrier.
Kiso and Yuni were at a loss for words.
The scale of fighting happening in the plane below was completely beyond anything they had ever seen before. Thousands of soldiers of light took turns constantly forming those transparent spear attacks one after another.
The men from the Apostles of Death however, seemed to be plotting something. After their first clash against the light spear, they ceased attacking entirely and allowed the defensive formation to do all the work. While they were allowing the defensive formation to protect them, they formed a small circle and joined hands.
If Kiso was close enough to hear them, he would be able to hear them chanting an elaborate incantation.
Spiritual pressure flowed to the center of those five men condensing continuously into one point. Several tens of minutes passed like this. The barrage of light spears finally seemed to slow down as the soldiers of light began to tire. After so many attacks though, how could the barrier remain unscathed?
The leaders of the soldiers of light seemed to notice the dimming barrier and another low pitched horn bellowed through the plane. The moment that horn sounded, the formation of energy in the air above the soldiers of light abruptly changed.
From a gigantic spear, the nature energy instead now formed into a gigantic transparent eagle. The eagle could truly be considered to have a frightening appearance. With golden eyes and feathers as large as trees, each time the eagle flapped its huge wings a massive gale would shower the land below.
The eagle suddenly rapidly flapped its wings, rising quickly into the air.
The eagle let out a deafening cry as it went into a nose dive towards the circle of men. The strange part was, despite the obvious power of the eagle those men didn't even flinch. They continued to condense their spiritual pressure until the last moment.
The eagle's speed rapidly rose until finally it made contact with the weakened barrier. Rather, the eagle's power was simply too great. It passed through the barrier as if it had never even been there, instantly shattering it.
With the final attack of the army of light homing in on them, the five Apostles of Death simultaneously looked upwards. With cold grins on their faces, the dark ball of death energy condensed between them also took on a beastly shape. A small, pitch black vulture-like shadow let out a screech before becoming a blur as it shot towards the eagle.
Kiso could clearly sense the massive amount of energy condensed into that pitch black vulture.
"So powerful..." He could only helplessly sigh to himself.
The moment the two beast natured spiritual attacks made contact, the resulted were obvious. The black vulture bore directly through the body of the eagle, causing it to let out a shriek before shattering into tens of thousands of tiny dots of light.
The black vulture admittedly had to use a large portion of its power to counter the eagle's attack, but it was still in a position to devastate the army of light.
Staring down at the scattering soldiers, who appeared to begin running for their lives, Kiso felt somewhat at a loss. He really had high hopes for this army of light. He hoped they could weaken the Apostles of Death a bit more before he took action.
Turning to Yuni, Kiso put on an extremely serious face, "Yuni, the defensive formation is destroyed and I imagine the Apostles of Death have used a large portion of their spiritual pressure creating that black vulture. Tell me, do you think we stand a chance? Even if one of those men is at the sixth stage?" Kiso's current goals called for him to take action, but he was unsure of himself. There had been too many close calls recently for his liking.
As Yuni's mouth opened to respond, a voice suddenly rang out in Kiso's mind, "Little human, go. If you cannot even handle those pathetic excuses for cultivators I will not recognize you as my master."
The voice was deep and profound and caused Kiso to nearly fall on his ass in shock.
Kiso frantically looked inwardly towards his core using his inner eye, only to see a pair of golden eyes staring right back at him. The scary part was, those eyes came directly from the center of his core, right in the middle of his spiritual pressure vortex.
"This... You are..." Kiso's mind instantly connected the voice to the spiritual beast passed to him from Koho.
"Correct. My name is Yuansing Eelwing, the spiritual beast residing in your core. I've been awake for several days now observing you, little human. Although you barely meet the mark, I will recognize you as my master if you manage to defeat those men down there.
That vile back vulture is an insult to all flying spiritual beasts. It is an existence born from evil and such a creation mustn't go unpunished.
Enough. Go quickly, deal with them now. You mustn't hesitate in these moments."
Yuni's hand waved back and forth in front of Kiso's eyes. He was so wrapped up in Yuansing's sudden appearance, he had completely lost himself.
"Umm... Kiso... What's the deal? Are we going or not? If we just sit here, there won't be any soldiers left to save.." Yuni had readily agreed they should go to help, only to be ignored by Kiso. By now, she was losing her patience as the screams of terror were continuously heard echoing from the plane below.
The black vulture made sweep after sweep through the ranks of the soldiers, killing or injuring several tens of them each time.
Snapping back into reality, Kiso's eyes flashed and his face grew determined. He took a deep breath, formulating a strategy in his mind as quickly as possible.
With a nod to himself, he gathered massive amounts of spiritual pressure into his fingers, preparing for several attacks.
"Yuni, I'm going ahead, I'll leave the vulture to you!" Kiso's body flickered, leaving Yuni's confused face behind.
Shaking her head, her lips curved upwards and she shot into the air, descending towards the air above the army of light.
The five Apostles of Death had broken the circle formation and were standing in a line, observing their black vulture wreaking havoc on the army of light. Satisfied smiles painted on their faces, the men towards the middle were even having a merry conversation.
"Elder brother, look! Another six died! It's my win this time, pay up!"
A crooked looking man grinned from ear to ear. He loved to take money from his elder brother. This was because his elder brother was one of the thirteen elders of the clan! Nobody else dared to offend him, yet he had his familial ties which allowed him to do what others dared not.
The elder brother frowned, opening his outstretched palm to drop a few silver coins into his younger brother's cupped hands.
"If that seventh one had died immediately and not dodged so luckily, it would have been my win..." The elder brother couldn't help but grumble under his breath.
Just as the coins fell into the younger brother's cupped hands, the elder brother quickly jerked his head upwards.
Standing in the sky above was a young man with flowing dark hair, staring down at them.
From the sparking black lightning, coiling around the young man's body, the elder of the Apostles of Death's face became vicious. He had received the report from Hanzi, who had managed to soul transfer into a students body and escape to meet up with him. The young man who controlled black lightning had killed Hanzi's original body.
"Kiso!!!" The elder bellowed as a grimoire appeared in his hand and he ascended into the sky.
After ascending to Kiso's level, the elder of the Apostles of Death glared at Kiso, studying him intently. He had originally thought he would simply kill Kiso on sight after hearing Hanzi's report, but now faced with the young man he hesitated from curiosity.
"Kiso, my name is Zeil Zither, seventh elder of the Apostles of Death. Although you are destined to die here today, I'll tell you my name in exchange for one simple piece of information.
You shouldn't have any reason not to answer me.
Tell me, is that rotten prince Julian still alive?"
Kiso's arms were tensed as he prepared to deploy his strategy for dealing with Zeil. When he heard him actually ask about Julian, he couldn't help but chuckle replying, "Zeil Zither, since you are destined to die here today, I'll allow you an answer. Yes!"
The moment the final word left his mouth, Kiso's body flickered, disappearing.
Zeil was momentarily surprised by Kiso's "speed" but didn't panic. He quickly surrounded his body in a thick coat of his sixth stage spiritual pressure. From Hanzi's report, Kiso should only be at the fifth stage of spiritual pressure. Hanzi could only guess this based on the fact that Kiso had originally turned tail and ran away in their first encounter, then wiped the floor with him in the next. Although it was a guess, it was an accurate one.
Seeing the layer of death natured spiritual pressure surrounding Zeil, Kiso frowned.
He had shadow-stepped behind Zeil, hoping to end the fight with his trademark lightning strike. Yet, how could his fifth stage lightning break through a defensive layer of sixth stage spiritual pressure?
Gritting his teeth, Kiso threw hesitation into the wind.
"I can only try it!" Kiso was rather curious anyway.
Could his fifth stage spiritual pressure have any affect on Zeil's?
A streak of buzzing lightning flashed across the sky. It struck directly against the defensive spiritual pressure surrounding Zeil's head.
When the lightning diminished, Zeil's head remained. Clearly Kiso had failed to damage him.
"Not even a scratch..." Kiso's face slightly changed, becoming slightly apprehensive.
Zeil turned to face Kiso, his brows slightly furrowed. He rubbed the back of his head, then said, "Little brat.. That actually kind of hurt!"
Zeil's evil eyes flashed and the pages of his grimoire rapidly fluttered for a second before snapping to a certain one. His dark black hair flowing in sky's wind, he made a strange seal with his hands as he chanted a short incantation over and over.
From the seal on his hand, a deathly black aura began to emanate out of it. The moment the aura came out, Zeil opened his fingers wide and shouted, "DIE!!!"
A fierce veil of shadowy death energy rapidly spread out from Zeil's open palm, enveloping the entire space in front of Kiso.
Kiso had hesitated in such a situation before, it wouldn't happen again. Rather then attempting to forcefully counter the attack, he shadow-stepped back a few hundred meters. Having grown, Kiso knew his advantage was in his ability to teleport at any time.
From far away now, Kiso could see the dark black aura create a giant deathly looking skull. The air inside it rapidly aged any life trapped within. If Kiso had stood within that dark aura, he would have aged twenty years every second.
"Little human, use the same attack you used a moment ago, I'll lend you a hand." Yuansing's ancient grumbling voice rang in his head.
Kiso's lips curved upwards as he secretly thought to himself, "It seems this spiritual beast in me has good intentions after all.."
After the giant skull faded away, Zeil's figure could be seen flying towards Kiso. Although he was surprised at Kiso's quick decision to flee, he recovered quickly, preparing to attack again.
This time, he intended to use the same technique, but only after Kiso disappears. He had to gamble that Kiso would teleport and attack from behind again.
Staring at Zeil's approaching figure, Kiso could only smile, he was bringing himself to his own death.
Contrary to Zeil's guess, the moment he came within Kiso's range, a black flash of light replaced his vision.
Kiso didn't hesitate, immediately urging a bolt of lightning at Zeil's face. As the lightning left his fingertips, Kiso's face changed. This was because he could clearly sense a strand of spiritual pressure coming directly from the center of his core, flowing into his attack.
Looking closely, one would be able to see a thin blue line through the center of Kiso's black lightning.
Zeil was confident in his defensive spiritual pressure, so he figured he could simply fly over towards Kiso and provoke him to attack. Provoke he did, but Kiso's attack didn't stop at his defensive layer this time. A tiny point in the middle of Kiso's lightning directly shattered his defense, leaving his body vulnerable to Kiso's lightning.
Without the protection of his spiritual pressure, how could Zeil withstand the intense heat of Kiso's lightning?
Without even a scream of terror or pain, Zeil's body was completely charred black. He died just like that.
Kiso was slightly disappointed though, he expected Zeil to turn to ash and scatter in the wind like the rest of his victims had. The body of a sixth stage spiritual pressure cultivator was on an entirely different level though. The fact that Kiso was able to end his life in one attack would cause the rest of the cultivating world to be endlessly shocked.
"Not bad." Even Yuansing gave his nod of approval.
Kiso relished in his victory for a moment, then turned his gaze downwards, scanning the ground below.
Seeing their elder become a stiff black charred corpse and fall from the sky greatly startled the remaining four Apostles of Death. The exchanged knowing glances, then immediately made the decision to flee!
However, right as they willed their bodies to move, they found an invisible force holding them in place.
Fear painted all over their faces, they moved their eyes to look up at Kiso's slowly descending body.
Chapter Thirty One - Yuansing Eelwing
They knew what was coming.
Kiso clearly had no good intentions towards them or their sect. He had dealt with Hanzi and now he had dealt with Zeil.
The four of them were individually powerful among ordinary cultivators, being at the fourth stage of spiritual pressure, but compared to Kiso they were too weak.
The older brother of the two, who had been making light of the war earlier, took the initiative to speak up, begging, "...Yo...You...Young Lord Kiso... Please, we were just followi...."
Before he had the chance to finish begging Kiso sneered, thinking, "These idiots even dare to be so shameless..." With that thought fresh on his mind, he flicked his hand downwards releasing a single thin bolt of lightning.
Due to the extended period of flying and the significant amount of spiritual pressure he had put into the attacks on Zeil, Kiso was left feeling rather taxed. To deal with the remaining enemies, he could only be reserved in the amount of spiritual pressure he put into dealing with them.
The younger brother's eyes became red as he watched his older brother get bathed in a searing black light, disintegrating into ash.
"....You!!!" He gnashed his teeth and began to accumulate his spiritual pressure, intending to perform his sects suicidal last resort technique.
But how could Kiso not understand the techniques of the Apostles of Death by now?
As the younger brother gathered spiritual pressure, he only felt his body go numb for a moment before his consciousness faded away never to return.
Kiss carefully studied the faces of the remaining two, watching for any subtle changes. He wanted to get a little bit of information from them if it was possible. After all, he was rather curious how Zeil knew who he was and why he was so eager to do battle with him.
Landing on the ground a few meters ahead of the remaining two Apostles of Death, Kiso looked them deeply in the eyes.
"You two, answer my question and I'll allow you to die without pain." Kiso's voice was cold and the two men before him could sense the hostility in it.
They glanced at each other while sending a few mental messages back and forth. After five long breaths, they turned their eyes back to Kiso.
A bald headed forty-something man cleared his throat and responded, "Speak your question Lord Kiso."
Hearing his name pass the lips of these vile men, Kiso frowned, but still asked the question on his mind, "How do you five know who I am?"
The two men exhaled, they were worried what sort of question Kiso would ask. After hearing it, they instead were somewhat happy to respond, "Lord Kiso, that matter is actually quite simple. Our elder brother Hanzi so graciously informed our elder brother and begged him for his assistance."
Kiso's eyes widened, "Hanzi? He's alive?"
The two men smiled and nodded. In truth, they were considerably upset that Hanzi had only managed to live thanks to Kiso's ignorance of the technique soul transfer. He even had the face to come beg their elder brother for assistance. It would have been one thing if had Kiso been killed as requested, however, Kiso even managed to kill the elder brother! His death can be considered to be directly caused by Hanzi!
This was something they agreed on silently prior to Kiso's question. If they had the chance, they would rat Hanzi out in a heartbeat. If they were going to die, they were going to take that bastard Hanzi down with them!
"Right! Hanzi used our sect's soul transfer ability, dominating the soul of one of his academy's students! All you need to know to find him is the name of the student he dominated. You should be quite familiar with him... His name was Bo Black!" The bald man's voice was hoarse, he spoke quickly for fear of Kiso ending him before he could finish.
Kiso thought about the man's words for a moment. From the look in his eyes and the tone of his voice, Kiso determined... That what the man said was likely true!
Hanzi had actually transferred his soul in Bo's body! Two of his enemies had combined into one.
"Interesting..." Kiso thought. He had planned to hunt down Bo at some point anyway, if it meant dealing with Hanzi as well it would only add to the reasons for doing so.
With a disdainful sneer, Kiso raised his hand and said, "Alright then, I'll accept your answer. Now, as promised..."
The two men had complicated smiles on their faces as their world turned black.
As their ashes spread into the gentle autumn breeze, Kiso raised his hand to his chin, contemplating the various repercussions of Hanzi's continued existence.
"It seems that things may be interesting in the days to come." Yuansing's ancient voice rang in Kiso's mind.
Kiso's lips rose into a bitter smile, responding out loud, "Maybe for you... But for me.. I'm extremely worried. That Hanzi sent my mother to a prison to be sacrificed in less then three years. If he's still alive, I fear she may not make it that long."
Indeed, Hanzi would likely immediately contemplate various forms of revenge on Kiso. Taking his mother's life would find itself atop his list in a hurry.
"....Oh?" Yuansing's voice carried a hint of concern this time. "Very well, I'll assist you with recovering your mother. For now though, I believe your other little friend needs a hand."
"Hm?" Kiso couldn't help but look over towards the remnants of the army of light.
In the air above, Yuni could be seen hovering. She was pale from spiritual pressure usage and grasping her bloodied shoulder. The black vulture, although weakened, was still an attack formed from five powerful Apostles of Death. It even used up a large amount of their spiritual pressure. The fact that Yuni had managed to survive to this point was simply a testament to her current strength.
Although she had survived until now, that fact was threatening to change in a hurry. The vulture seemed to sense it's own spiritual pressure fading and prepared a final attack against this girl who had impeded its slaughter.
With a sharp cry, the vulture folded its wings inwards and dove at Yuni. If this was a few minutes ago, Yuni would still be able to dodge. However, it was taking all she had just to keep herself from plummeting to the ground.
She couldn't dodge.
Seeing this, Kiso's eyes widened. He himself barely had any spiritual pressure remaining. Would he be able to counter the vulture's final assault?
It wasn't time to doubt himself though, he could only grit his teeth and summon the last remaining spiritual pressure he had.
"No need little human. This girl warrants my humble self taking action." Yuansing's deep voice sounded out. This time, rather then from inside, Kiso could hear it all around him.
Looking up, Kiso could see a gigantic eel swimming through the sky. The body of the eel was pitch black and covered in draconic scales. If it wasn't for the long thin fin on its' back, Kiso would have thought it to be a snake. The most awe-inspiring part was, the entire eel emitted a golden colored lightning along its' body.
Kiso's eyes widened and his jaw dropped, "An Electric Sky Eel?!?!"
An Electric Sky Eel was one of ten legendary spiritual beasts in the world. They are known to only exist in a handful of numbers at a time.
While Kiso stood in a blank stupor, Yuansing opened his giant maw in the sky above. The lightning flowing along his body raced towards the gap between his upper and lower jaw. After only a half a breath, the golden lightning rumbled and shot across the sky, covering the nearly quarter mile distance between Kiso and Yuni.
The black vulture had drawn within ten meters of Yuni's head when the golden lightning enveloped it. The golden lightning was simply too powerful, besides vaporizing the black vulture, the lightning still continued for another half a mile before flickering out of existence.
"...." Kiso's eyes couldn't get any bigger. He was even at a loss for words. Was this truly the "infant" spiritual beast Elder Sage had passed onto him? Would this legendary spiritual beast really be willing to assist him?
After the golden lightning flickered away, Yuansing coiled his body vertically in the air while turning to look down at Kiso. His draconic looking face seemed to smile as he squinted his eyes and laughed loudly.
"Look at your face little human! You look like you've seen a Phoenix or something! Hahahaha..." Yuansing could only laugh.
After a few moments, Yuansing's laughter ceased and his body rapidly shrunk. Now the size of an average human, he descended towards Kiso.
Still an obvious smile stuck on his face, Yuansing spoke, "Alright... Kiso right? Speak, ask your questions."
Kiso blinked a few times, he really didn't know where to start.
"Um.. Lord Yuansing..." Kiso started to speak but was cut off.
"I'm no lord yet little Kiso. Just call me by my name and speak freely." Yuansing was very respectful and his deep voice greatly contradicted his gentle words.
Kiso could only awkwardly nod, then take a deep breath, "Okay.. First off all, Elder Sage told me he transferred an infant spiritual beast into me and that what it became would depend on myself. How is that a mighty legendary Electric Sky Eel came out?"
Yuansing laughed, "Your Elder Sage was rather incorrect on some of that information. For one, only among my own race would I be considered an infant. My ten thousand years of life is comparable to a few weeks of normal human life, so you get the idea. Also, the second part of what he said was half true. It would indeed depend on yourself to summon me, but that was only in the sense that you would need to be able to collect a certain amount of spiritual beast cores. Each time a raw core is exposed within a certain distance of my host, I am able to absorb the energy directly.
In other words, anyone could have summoned me. In fact, much of the energy needed to summon me was already collected by that Magnum himself! I never would have thought he'd give up so late in the game.. Hahaha...
Oh well, he passed me into a good seed, I can't complain."
Kiso absorbed Yuansing's words and digested them one by one.
"So that's how it is.." Kiso's lips curved into a huge smile.
Yuansing nodded, he liked Kiso's attitude from the moment he began observing him.
"Anything else little Kiso?" Yuansing wanted to get the mysteries between them out of the way right away. His "short" ten thousand years of life taught him that relationships always work better with trust at the foundation.
Kiso's smile toned itself down slightly and he nodded, "Yeah.. A few things..
For one, what did you mean by "this girl warrants me taking action" or whatever?
And, why are you so willing to help me? Why was your energy sealed in the first place?"
Yuansing thought for a moment, then replied, "I'll only tell you one thing regarding your little friend. Just know, only one of her parents was human.
As for why I'm willing to help.. Simple. You helped me break out and I like you!
I was trapped in a sealing formation and placed in a human hundreds of years ago by my parents. Electric Sky Eels are the type of spiritual beast to attach themselves to human partners and share in their experiences to grow. After I reached the seventh stage of spiritual pressure, my parents sent me off to find a partner.
Unfortunately, they chose a weak human who was unable to hunt beast cores from the start. It took nearly three hundred years and eight different humans to collect enough energy to break the seal..."
Yuansing's explanation was easy to understand, despite itself.
Kiso listened to the entire thing, yet was completely hung up on the first part.
"Half human?" He couldn't help but wonder about Yuni.
Indeed, it was rather strange that she was able to keep up with him in cultivation despite the world around them falling behind. When thinking on that point, Kiso found it easier to accept.
Still, he couldn't let it go. He had to ask, "Yuansing, I can accept everything you said as the truth and I promise to repay you if you help me. It's just, couldn't you tell me a little more about Yuni? If you just say something like that... Can you really just leave it there?"
Before Yuansing had the chance to reply, an exhausted pale faced Yuni slowly jogged up from behind.
She rested her hands on her knees and attempted to catch her breath for several tens of seconds. When she finally looked up, her eyes landed on Yuansing, who was looking right back at her.
Slightly startled, Yuni shifted herself behind Kiso, asking in a mental message, "Kiso... What's going on? Is this...?"
Kiso nodded, "Right, this is Yuansing Eelwing, the spiritual beast Elder Sage passed to me."
Confirming her suspicions, Yuni relaxed. She came out from behind Kiso and bowed to Yuansing introducing herself, "Yuni Black greets Lord Yuansing!"
Yuansing's eyes widened and he quickly lowered his head and raised his voice, "Nonsense! Your servant could never be referred to as Lord by the princess!"
Chapter Thirty Two - Profound Noble Roots
Yuansing hadn't originally been sure. He had felt Yuni's aura from within Kiso and therefore had his suspicions. Now that he had chosen to fully emerge, he could clearly sense the noble spiritual pressure within her.
Yuni stared blankly at Yuansing while slowly lowering her jaw, intending to rebuke him. Yet, somehow she felt sincerity in his voice.
Regardless, being called a princess all of sudden didn't sit well with her. She had to clear the misunderstanding quickly.
"..Yuansing then, why do you call me princess? My parents were ordinary members of the Thunderblack Clan.." The suspicion in her voice was evident.
Yuansing's pair of round oily yellow eyes rose to meet her own and he answered respectfully, "It is true.. I do sense the same spiritual pressure within you as your friend Kiso here.. Yet, there is no mistaking it, I clearly sense the Prismatic Moon Moth aura within you."
Kiso and Yuni looked at each other, astonishment in their eyes.
Under the guidance of the Elder Sage and Koho, they had both learned of the ten legendary spiritual beasts.
Electric Sky Eels are ranked fourth and can be considered to have the second highest raw attack power among them. With second ranked speed as well, they are extremely powerful and well balanced. Yet, compared to the second ranked Prismatic Moon Moth, the difference is too great. Prismatic Moon Moth's are the mothers of the night. They are revered in legends for creating miracles of life and death.
Hundreds of Thousands of years ago, the last Prismatic Moon Moth was thought to have perished after doing battle with a Hell-Blazed Phoenix. In that battle, the ancient legendary moth supposedly used its remaining life force to seal the rogue phoenix in the far eastern reaches of the continent.
Yet, history failed to understand the entire truth.
Yuansing knew this and cleared his throat, "Kiso, Yuni, I'm somewhat familiar with what humans today understand about Prismatic Moon Moths. Allow me to explain a bit further...
Humans believe Prismatic Moon Moths to have been wiped out hundreds of thousands of years ago, right?
In actual fact, the "last" Prismatic Moon Moth had a single daughter, named Sielu. Her daughter had only just entered her cocoon stage a few years before her final battle. For a Prismatic Moon Moth, the cocoon stage may last tens of thousands of years. However, when they finally emerge, they already possess ninth stage spiritual pressure.
Indeed, Prismatic Moon Moths are the rarest among rare. Their overwhelmingly overpowered innate spiritual pressure completely sets them apart from almost every other spiritual beast.
Phoenixes are the same in that they also have innate ninth stage spiritual pressure. Despite similar strength, they are by far the most powerful spiritual beast.
Why? Elemental dominance.
The Phoenix directly counters the frail physical bodies of their closest competition, the Prismatic Moon Moth. The divine fire within the Phoenix contains simply too much raw power.
Fortunately, the Phoenixes are regarded as honorable and solitary. Even more importantly, there are only two of them. Despite their nature, one of the two Phoenixes managed to nearly breakthrough into the tenth stage of spiritual pressure, forcing The Heavens to act.
The existence of a tenth stage spiritual beast would completely shatter the balance in the world. A tenth stage existence would be able to dominate all other life. Therefore, The Heavens naturally opposed the Phoenix, forcing it to Purgatory.
The Phoenix felt deeply wronged and vowed to rise again. Had another existence made this promise, it may have gone unfulfilled.
But what was a Phoenix?
After one short year, a black flamed Phoenix rose anew, bathed in the flames of Purgatory. Set on a path of destruction fueled by a deep hatred, the Hell-Blazed Phoenix set its eyes on the mortal world, causing massive casualties among all life.
In the face of this disaster, the remaining Phoenix swallowed its pride and requested the help of its closest rivals, the Prismatic Moon Moths.
Together, they gathered, seven in total. With the Phoenix's assistance, the Hell-Blazed Phoenix would have been no match. Unfortunately, when faced against its only relative, the Phoenix could not bare to attack, leaving the six Prismatic Moon Moths alone in the face of their greatest adversary.
The battle that followed shook the world for five long days. At the end, the last Prismatic Moon Moth used its remaining life force to seal the weakened Hell-Blazed Phoenix at the cost of her life."
Yuansing's long explanation left Kiso and Yuni completely stunned. Yet, there was a certain piece of the story still missing.
Yuansing smiled and added, "I can only guess regarding what you two are thinking...
So I'll state it clearly: That daughter of hers, Sielu, likely emerged a couple decades ago and met your father, Yuni."
Yuni blinked several times, completely forgetting the pain in her shoulder.
"My mother's name wasn't Sielu... It was..." Her eyes widened.
Kiso's brain clicked, "Seihu! Could your mom really have been such a..."
Yuansing cut Kiso off, "Kiso, Yuni, there's a problem with your manner of speech. This "Seihu" should be one and the same as the "Sielu" from my story. However, there is no "have been" or "wasn't"... I can clearly sense the majestic energy of a Prismatic Moon Moth present in our CURRENT world."
They couldn't even speak.
So much had just happened, their minds were completely numb.
Between the recent battle, Yuansing's emergence, and his explanation of Yuni's heritage, the two of them truly didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
Yuansing smiled and waited patiently for several tens of minutes while Kiso and Yuni stared off into space.
"Alive..." Yuni's eyes reddened and hot tears flowed down her flushed cheeks. Although she wondered why her mother never came to find her, that didn't matter at this point. The only thing that mattered was that she was alive. The happiness in her heart caused her emotions to overflow. Her years of acting happy and detached had been a painful cover for the grief she felt when Ruddy had told her of her parent's death.
Ruddy did indeed personally witness her father's death, he naturally assumed her mother would have been killed as well. How could he have known Yuni's mother was a legendary Prismatic Moon Moth spiritual beast in human form?
In actual fact, Seihu hadn't told anyone of her true form, even her own human husband. Without another Prismatic Moon Moth present in the world, she adopted a human form and sought to continue her lineage through humans.
Kiso wrapped an arm around Yuni, careful not to press against her wound. As she felt his warm embrace, she buried her head into his chest, hot tears soaking his shirt.
Yuansing smiled at them for a several tens of seconds before his attention was grabbed by something else. His body flickered and disappeared as he returned to Kiso's core.
Kiso was still holding Yuni and didn't notice until Yuansing's voice rang in his mind, "Kiso, we have some visitors."
Kiso was startled and softly removed Yuni from his embrace, turning to face several approaching men in white robes.
The men noticed him notice them and slowed their pace. They lifted their hands in the air and shouted across the remaining thirty meters, "Little masters, we mean you no harm, will you allow us an audience?"
Yuni's face was still flushed and she was struggling to choke back her emotions. Kiso frowned, these men had come at a bad time. Still, he wanted to learn some things from them and possibly acquire their cooperation.
With that in mind, he replied with action and moved forward himself to meet them. Yuni rubbed her face and started to heal her shoulder as she followed a few meters behind.
After covering the remaining distance, Kiso could clearly see the faces of these four men. They were extremely similar in features and all had jolly middle-aged faces with bald heads. Their white robes appeared to be religious from far, yet up close they were clearly school robes.
One of the four stepped forward and bowed, saying, "Greetings little master, my name is Ting, I really have to thank you for saving our necks back there." He directly thanked Kiso, then raised his head to search for Yuni.
Seeing that the man wanted to thank Yuni as well, Kiso smiled and raised his hand, "Don't worry about thanking her as well, I'll convey the message.
It was thanks to your assistance that we were able to tip the scales of the battle, defeating those Apostles of Death. So we can consider the favors equal."
Ting smiled, nodding his head. Still, he seemed somewhat hesitant as he clearly wanted to say something else, yet held back.
Kiso noticed and his eyebrows furrowed slightly, "Ting, speak your mind. If you have something to ask, perhaps we can exchange some information."
Kiso's words seemed to dispel his hesitation. He quickly bowed again and asked, "Kiso, earlier.. That giant creature in the sky, was that what I thought it was?"
Kiso's eyes narrowed, he wasn't sure how to respond.
Yuansing spoke up, "Just tell them it was your technique. That should be your cover for now. I don't wish to go spreading my name around just yet."
Kiso obliged and gave Ting a generic explanation with a few fluffy words.
Even with Kiso's casual words, Ting and the other three men were completely awestruck.
In fact, from their point of view, Kiso and Yuni could fly through the sky, use lightning to attack, and even command the ghost spirit of a legendary Electric Sky Eel. To them, the two youngsters in front of them were basically gods.
Rather, they had to be!
Ting's loose jaw regained its strength and he nodded then asked, "I wonder if young master has a name?"
Kiso considered adopting a cover name, but shrugged and answered honestly, "I'm Kiso Black and my friend is Yuni Black."
He quickly remember his original goal and continued, "...Ting right? I wonder if you could tell me your relationship with the Apostles of Death? If you have some information of value perhaps we could both benefit from sharing."
Ting glanced back at his companions, who nodded, then turned back with a smile on his face and replied, "Since Young Master Kiso did us such a large favor of saving our lives, we will not hide anything.
To be honest, we only recently learned of the Apostles of Death.
Our being here was simply in retaliation to an attack by this Hanzi Academy a few months ago. Although that was what originally fueled our campaign, along the way we captured a young boy who was extremely powerful. He used all sorts of death natured techniques and really gave us a hard time. However, in the end he was captured and traded some information in exchange for his release.
He told us of some men who would be waiting at Hanzi Academy.
That they were very powerful.
That they belonged to an ancient sect called the Apostles of Death.
His voice carried honesty and his information was deemed somewhat valuable, therefore we allowed him to go on his way in accordance to the laws of our Academy."
Kiso frowned. They had actually ran into Hanzi after he met with the men from his sect!
And let him go!
"Useless righteousness..." Kiso wasn't fond of overly benevolent people.
Still, at least he could learn of the direction Hanzi headed.
"I see.. Then I wonder if you could tell me what direction that boy headed after you let him go?" Kiso asked plainly, he intended to leave promptly after collecting Yan.
Ting gave a crafty smile, replying, "Indeed I can. Although our academy's rules prevented us from harming him, we still sent a few students to tail him for a time after releasing him.
I can tell you with certainty, that boy headed North! He seemed to be heading for the Plains of Amarabi, based on his general direction."
Kiso thought back to a map of the Northern Human Province, clearly recalling there being such plains in the south-east.
Kiso nodded and bowed slightly, thanking them, "Thank you. If in the future we get the chance to meet again, I'll let you know a few good things about what you did for me here today."
The men bowed again then departed.
Kiso turned, thinking aloud, "Now, to find Yan."
Hearing this, Yuni stopped healing her shoulder and spoke up, "Kiso.. Yan should be in the prison in the southern part of the academy..
Yuni bit her lip as she hesitated, but Kiso knew what she wanted to say and assured her, "Yuni, although we learned your mother is a live, we have no idea where she is. I know you want to find her as soon as possible. If you can wait until we rescue my mother.."
Yuni smiled, shaking her head, "You misunderstand me this time Kiso.. I'm not too worried about my mother, although I would like to see her. Rather, Yan.. She.. Might not want to come with us."
Kiso raised an eyebrow, asking for an explanation with his expression.
Yuni shrugged helplessly, "You'll have to go see to find out."
Kiso's curiosity forced its hand. He spread out his slightly recovered spiritual pressure, locating Yan, then flickered and disappeared.
Seeing this, Yuni gave a bitter smile, thinking, "Twice she subconsciously sided with her old sect, her guilt is pretty heavy this time. She even went and locked herself up..
Luckily things turned out well this time, or else I might not have forgiven her.
In a barren dark room, where only a few tiny strands of sunlight slipped through. Yan's small body was sitting, holding her knees to her chest, against the stone walls of a prison cell. Her face was pale and from the lack of volume in her cheeks it was evident she hadn't been eating much, if anything, lately.
Dried tears were still barely visible on her face.
She had repeatedly cursed herself to sleep since locking herself up. When Zeil and his men came to Hanzi Academy, she originally planned to escape right after Yuni, but Zeil ran into her on his way in.
Confronted with the monsters of her past, Yan panicked and pretended to be the victim of a terrible tragedy. Naturally, Zeil knew the truth of it all, yet he played along, allowing her to "give up" her new friend's information.
She actually carelessly spilled several bits of important information about Kiso's attack against Hanzi. The information lined up with what Hanzi had told him, so he laughed it off and decided to let her live.
But not before he told her he already knew all that.
He even casually blew her off and disregarded her existence.
Having been abandoned by her original family and betraying her new friends, she hit rock bottom. She hated herself. She locked herself in the academy prison and promised to never leave.
Even when Yuni came back for her, she refused to move an inch, only offering the reason why.
Her eyes barely had any light left in them. She really was going to let herself die from starvation. At most, another two days and her life would end itself.
She cast her lazy eyes across the cell and was about to close them when a human silhouette suddenly appeared.
The young man in front of her caused her nearly lifeless heart to beat ever so slightly faster. She slowly lifted her head to look at his face, a terribly sad expression painted on her own.
This was the person she least wanted to see, yet the person she most wanted to see.
"K...K...Kiso....." Her soft, coarse voice barely made a whisper as she stuttered.
Kiso looked at Yan's sorry state and frowned.
His mind drew several different causes for Yan's imprisonment prior to shadow-stepping, yet now faced with her actual self, he somewhat guessed the real reason.
"Yan. I'm here to pick you up." Kiso's voice was warm, filled with understanding. He truly didn't blame her this time. Maybe it was his weakness for pretty girls, or maybe it was the favors she had already done for him, but whatever she did he would forgive it.
Yan's eyes tried to summon tears and she forced her head to shake back and forth as much as she could.
"I..Don't deserve to live.. I, told him all about you... Without even hesitating..." Yan's voice carried a deep sorrow filled with regret.
Kiso smiled, a sincere warmth laced within it, "I already told you. You have to live on in order to repay the wrongs you've committed, your my informant! Don't think I'll let you die so easily!"
KuroiIkazuchi said:Question.Does the font size in Chapter 32 seem good for you guys? Or was the old font size better?
Yan continued to shake her head."No.. I don't deserve to live.." She repeated herself.Kiso's warm smile fell slightly, his brows clenching together. "This girl..." He thought to himself, growing slightly frustrated.Yuansing's long slender body suddenly materialized, coiling around Kiso."If I may, I have a suggestion?" His deep ancient voice startled Yan, whose pathetic sobs ceased immediately.Kiso raised an eyebrow in wonder but still introduced Yuansing to Yan."..An Electric Sky Eel???" Yan's soft voice still contained a good amount of grief, yet her reverence was evident.Yuansing nodded his oily black head, "Indeed. Human girl, although I don't have much say regarding your feelings, I can somewhat understand your current state of mind. You obviously despise yourself and what you've done, yet there is no changing what has already happened. You probably feel there is no punishment great enough to suit your misdeeds.However, Kiso is correct, death is simply the easy way out.I suggest you enter a slave contract with Kiso. There are only benefits for the both of you. With myself as the medium, I can create a master-slave contract between the two of you which will completely change the nature of your core into that of Kiso's. Afterwards, Yan, you will be required to heed the orders of Kiso without fail. Even if you wanted to betray him, you would be physically unable to.What do you say? You gets to rid yourself of your hated death nature and Kiso gets a cute little slave. Pretty good right?"Kiso blinked a few times, frowning, he didn't want Yan to become his slave.But before he could open his mouth to protest, Yan forced her weak legs up and lowered her body into a deep bow."Master Kiso... Please... I can only beg this of you, there really is no other way for me to go on." Yan's voice was completely resolute. From her voice alone, Kiso could understand how much this meant to her.Sighing, Kiso waved his hand saying, "Alright, make it so. But Yan, I want you to understand that although you may be my "slave", I cannot promise to treat you like one.."Yan's pretty face rose up, trying her best to smile warmly.Yuansing nodded, then muttered something under his breath as a strong wave of spiritual pressure rushed through Kiso and Yan's bodies simultaneously. A thin golden string of lightning started to form between them, which caused Yan's face to visibly turn white. She had already been pale from her lack of nutrition, adding the forced transformation of her core, she looked as white as a lily petal.A thick black smoke continuously seeped from her body, floating up towards the ceiling before disappearing.After several minutes, the black smoke gradually thinned before completely disappearing, then Yan lost consciousness.Staggering forward, Kiso barely caught Yan before she fell face first. Catching her falling body, Kiso realized that the little ceremony just now took a large toll on himself and he plummeted to the ground with Yan, also loosing consciousness.Slowly opening his eyes, Kiso first noticed Yuansing's oily yellow eyes staring back at him.Blinking a few times, Kiso felt a heavy blanket against his chest. "Ah!" Kiso cried out, realizing Yan's body was pressed neatly against his own.He promptly lifted her off himself and glared at Yuansing, asking, "Just what was the ceremony all about? Why did it exhaust so much of my spiritual pressure?"Yuansing chuckled, "The master-slave contract transports the master's spiritual pressure into the slave's, completely replacing the slave's previous spiritual pressure nature.Strange though, although you have fused your heat and darkness natures and they were both transported, she could only hold onto the heat energy. With her previous third stage spiritual pressure, it shouldn't have exhausted you so much, I really don't know what happened there."Kiso shook his head, glancing down at Yan's peaceful looking face, thinking to himself, "Whatever, I think Yan will be happier like this..."A strange thought followed up, "I wonder why I feel so attached to Yan... I've barely interacted with her, yet I'm going to such lengths to make her happy... Ahh, I guess it's probably just her face, she really is too cute."As Kiso was thinking to himself, Yan's body moved and she slowly sat up, rubbing her eyes. Looking at the cell around her and Kiso's strange expression, the previous events rushed back into her brain.Delighted, she cleared her throat to grab Kiso's attention then kowtowed, "Master Kiso, Yan thanks you for accepting such a miserable person as myself. I promise to serve you the rest of my life! My body and soul are yours to command!"Kiso rolled his eyes, lowering himself to lift her up. "This girl.."Yuansing's voice interrupted Yan's happy moment, "Kiso, have this girl go fetch Princess Yuni, there's something else we must do before it's too late."Kiso took a deep breath, "There's still more?" He didn't know whether to laugh or cry, this Yuansing is just full of surprises. "Alright, Yan, go get Yuni..."Yan nodded quickly, stretching her worn out body before opening the cell door and walking out."I thought she locked it?" Kiso was puzzled by Yan's actions. He wondered if her entire scene was just to rope herself in with him further. "Nah..Can't be."Yuansing listened as Yan's footsteps gradually faded into the distance, then turned to Kiso and cleared his throat."Kiso." He made sure Kiso was listening, the tone of his voice carried the importance of what he was about to say.Sensing his intentions, Kiso focused his mind, "What is it?"Yuansing thought to himself for a few seconds, seemingly arranging what he needed to say, then spoke, "Pay attention. Although my being is attached to your core, now that I've truly awakened, this is only temporary. If you wish to keep me around and continue a relationship with me, we must also form a contract.Not just some petty contract like the one you just formed with Yan either.A contract between a spiritual beast and human requires several difficult components. The most difficult is still the mutual consent between the two parties though. Not only must the human and spiritual beast be on good terms, they must both understand that once the contract is formed, it is for life.Our lives will be tied together.My lifespan becomes yours and vice versa. If you die, I die. If I die, you die.Also, there are two different types of contracts. One fuses myself into your core and bestows a physical portion of my power to you for your use. Let me say now that this is the contract I desire. Although I will be unable to materialize, I will experience the world through your eyes. I will still retain my consciousness and will be able to communicate accordingly. This also prevents that pesky third ranked eagle from hunting me... Anyway, the other is rather simple. I materialize permanently and we're forced to stay within one mile of each other or else we both die.What do you think?"Kiso thinks for a moment, then asks, "If we don't form a contract, what happens?"Yuansing responds with a slight grunt, "Hmph. Then all these years will have been for nothing and I'll be forced to return home. I'll be sent out again and start the whole process all over again.""Then we'll go with the first contract, it will be like returning to how we were before anyway." Kiso makes up his mind quickly and smiles at Yuansing.His words clearly excited Yuansing. In the next moment, Yuansing's body blurred as it fused into Kiso's.Kiso only felt a searing hot pain before he passed out once again.-----"Kiso...Kiso!...KISO!!!" A deep voice rings in Kiso's mind, forcing him to regain consciousness.Glaring up at the ceiling of the dimly lit stone cell, Kiso recalled Yuansing's actions."Good. You're awake. How does it feel?" Yuansing's voice buzzed in Kiso's mind.Kiso sat up and looked down at his hand. A pitch black scaly looking hilt is in his hand."Feels like a snake..." Kiso's voice carries a hint of sarcasm."Not the hilt, your core. How is it?" Yuansing probes Kiso for a response. Clearly Yuansing is no longer able to sense Kiso's core.Noticing Yuansing's strange question, Kiso folded his legs and used his inner eye to observe his core. The next moment, Kiso's eyes shot open, unable to remain closed."What the?" Kiso took several moments, then closed his eyes again to confirm what he just saw.Unexpectedly, Kiso's former core which contained a vortex of darkness energy containing countless small lightning bolts, had completely changed. In the place of that wild vortex, a single black egg floated motionlessly."There's just an egg.. What the fuck? What happened to my.." As Kiso started to wonder what happened to his spiritual pressure, he attempted to use his spiritual pressure to cast forth a bolt of lightning. As he gathered the spiritual pressure, that black egg hummed slightly, releasing massive amounts of energy.A massive golden bolt of lightning appeared for a moment, before it transformed back into the pitch black color Kiso was used to.Followed Kiso's display, Yuansing's excited voice echoed again, "Perfect! You actually jumped to the sixth stage! You even inherited my pure golden lightning! Remarkable, there is actually such a lucky human in this world... Oh right! Send some spiritual pressure into that hilt, that's the physical manifestation of my power. I reckon it will become a powerful weapon for you."As Kiso was still looking around inside his body at all the new changes involved with becoming an immortal, he heard Yuansing's words and looked down at the scaly black hilt."Alright then.. Here goes.." Kiso urged spiritual pressure into the hand holding the hilt. Strangely, the hilt seemed to be part of his body. When the spiritual pressure traveled into his hand, it easily continued on into the hilt without being released into the air.From the tip of the hilt, a pure golden light began to spread out.One meter. Two meters. Five meters.When the light stretched out five meters, a violent fluctuation occurred. The hilt trembled in Kiso's hands and the golden light once again turned black, flickering intensely."A whip?" Kiso looked at the snaking black lightning coming from the hilt. Whenever Kiso moved his hand, the black lightning followed, precisely a whip."Ahh, it's actually a whip!" Kiso's eyes widened and he could truly be said to be extremely excited. Kiso longed for a flashy weapon that suited his techniques. He never even considered a whip, but now that it was in his hand it felt extremely proper.Yuansing's voice mirrored his excitement, "Good. Good. This weapon suits you very well!"Kiso flicked the whip around, striking the walls of the cell. Whenever the whip made contact with the solid stone, it caused the stone to burst into dust.After several tens of minutes of Kiso playing with his new weapon, the sounds of footsteps could be heard approaching.Kiso stopped lashing the whip around and turned to face the corridor, which led away from what was left of the prison cell.When the silhouettes of two tender young women came into view, Kiso only heard a loud gasp. Yuni came running forward as she exclaimed, "Kiso! That whip! It's.... So awesome! Where did you get it?!"Yuni heard from Yan about the master-slave contract and she originally planned to scold Kiso for agreeing to such a thing. However, the moment she caught site of the black lightning whip and the sorry state of the stone cell around him, those thoughts faded away. Replacing them was immense curiosity and even a little jealousy."Yuansing and I formed a contract Yuni. This whip is a physical manifestation of his power." Kiso puffed up his chest a little and dangled the whip in front of her.The recent development regarding Yuni's crazy lucky background left Kiso a little jealous himself. This was his revenge.Yuni pursed her lips and folded her arms. Although she seemed like a stubborn little child, her actions were on the contrary extremely cute. Kiso couldn't help but laugh.Yuansing cleared his throat in Kiso's mind, reminding him, "Kiso, remember? There's one more thing I need you to tell Yuni for me. She's probably rather curious about the spiritual beast blood inside of her. After all, Prismatic Moon Moths generally directly enter the ninth stage after maturing." Yuansing gave Kiso the rundown on Yuni's situation.Kiso's silence caught Yuni's attention as she opened a single eye, glancing at him sideways.Yuni realized how she must look to the others and looked around sheepishly while feeling rather embarrassed about her childish pouting. "Oh well, I'll just have to get one too..." As she thought to this point, she noticed Kiso nod to himself, then he looked into her eyes and said, "Yuni, Yuansing wanted me to tell you one more thing. Although you've inherited the blood of your mother, a Prismatic Moon Moth, you are still mostly human. You will likely have to cultivate on your own until the ninth stage of spiritual pressure before you gain access to any of the knowledge regarding your innate abilities. Your prismatic lightning is really the only physical evidence that you contain your mother's blood. At least to us humans, or so he says..."A question was clearly answered by this explanation and Yuni's eyes shone an excited luster.Just as Yuni was about to thank Yuansing through Kiso, the sound of several hurried footsteps could be heard getting closer.When the owners of these footsteps came into view, Kiso, Yuni, and Yan started wide-eyed.Three academy teachers, with pale faces and bloodied robes, hurriedly approached Kiso. They kowtowed immediately and one of them cried out with his face still plastered to the stone floor, "Young master Kiso! You must stop them!"To Be Continued!