Chapter 363 – Teasing
Yuanen Yehui turned to Tang Wulin, confusion in her eyes as she watched him direct his bluesilver grass.
“We’ll just restrain it for now to buy some time to rest and recover,” he explained as the grass slithered over to tie up the surviving ice bear. He then turned to Xu Xiaoyan. “Are you sure you want this one, Xiaoyan?”
The four ice bears had actually been quite powerful and could be considered top tier thousand-year soul beasts. Furthermore, these bears were of the three-thousand-year level, which was perfect for Xu Xiaoyan. She would be in danger if she absorbed a spirit soul that was too strong for her, so Tang Wulin wanted her to be certain.
And Xu Xiaoyan nodded immediately.
Even if there was a chance of encountering stronger ice-attribute soul beasts later on, she wasn’t tempted to try her luck. If they encountered such beasts, they would still have to defeat them. In addition to that, she would have to be strong enough to fuse with the resulting spirit soul. Desire was all well and good, but greed definitely wasn’t. Besides, she liked how fearsome the ice bears were. She had no doubt that fusing with one of their spirit souls would greatly increase her strength. She especially hoped to obtain their blizzard ability. With it, she would be able to exhibit a wider range of control and even work with Gu Yue.
“Quick!” Tang Wulin said to Xu Lizhi as he sat down. “Give me ten pork buns!”
Xu Lizhi rolled his eyes. “I don’t give buns away, I sell them! But… fine. I have a pork bun!”
Tang Wulin chuckled as he took the pork bun that appeared and devoured it. His stomach instantly converted the bun into a flood of blood essence that rapidly restored his reserves. After eating a few, Tang Wulin realized that each bun provided very little soul power. Considering the fact that they came from Xu Lizhi’s first soul skill, it made sense. The important thing was how they restored stamina. Soul masters usually disregarded physical stamina since soul power was far more potent, but Tang Wulin definitely didn’t. He could convert his stamina into blood essence, so these buns were perfect for him. Xu Lizhi’s first soul skill didn’t eat up too much of his soul power, so he was an excellent match for Tang Wulin.
The rest of the team quickly gathered by the tied up ice bear and began resting as well. Compared to the previous trials, the ninth exhibited a sharp increase in difficulty. The rest of the team understood that, if not for Tang Wulin’s quick decision-making, they would have been in trouble. The blizzard had drastically restricted their vision and only those with Purple Demon Eyes could see through the veil of swirling snow.
They had been quite lucky. Their team composition countered this trial.
Xu Xiaoyan walked over to the tied up ice bear, which now resembled a giant rice dumpling, and gently rubbed its head. “I’m sorry. I’m not sure if you’re real or if you’re an illusion, but I’m really sorry about this. We couldn’t just sit back and let you attack us. You are quite cute though. Nice and chubby. You look reliable.”
The ice bear seemed to be taken aback by her words, but it quickly regained its composure and continued to regard her coldly.
“I’ve decided!” Xu Xiaoyan muttered to herself, her eyes shining with resolve. “I want an ice bear for my second spirit soul. I know you probably don’t want to join me since we killed your friends, but the spirit soul tower will reward me with an ice bear spirit soul once we kill you. There’s nothing I can do about that, and I’m sorry. You’ll be able to rest easy though. I’ll treat my ice bear spirit soul really well.”
Fear flashed in the ice bear’s eyes, and it let out a low roar.
“So… how do you want to die? I think Wulin pummelled his bear to death. It was a cruel way to go. I couldn’t even bring myself to look at the corpse. Don’t worry, I won’t be so harsh with you. I’ll make sure you die in one piece. How does that sound?” Blue light flashed and a spear of ice condensed in her hand. She brandished it right in front of the bear, the tip nearly touching its eye. “I’ll make it quick so you don’t feel too much pain. I sincerely hope you’re just a virtual projection and not a real ice bear. If you’re real… I pray that, in your next life, you’ll be able to hide far away from humans. That your next life will be a good one.”
The bear roared frantically, it’s eyes filled with terror.
“Huh? What did you say?” Xu Xiaoyan stared at it in bewilderment, but the bear only continued to roar in panic. “You’re not making any sense. I don’t speak bear! Well, I guess I’ll get it over with. Bye!”
Xu Xiaoyan hefted her spear, poised to strike, but the ice bear roared once more. Instead of fear or frustration, a hint of sad resignation could be heard. Without warning, the bear’s body collapsed in on itself and turned into specks of light. These tiny lights then formed a miniature ice bear that floated toward Xu Xiaoyan. Using one of its claws, it pointed at her, then pointed at itself.
Xu Xiaoyan beamed. “You want to be my spirit soul? Really?”
The bear grunted and nodded vigorously.
“But… I’m not forcing you to. Are you sure you want to?” Xu Xiaoyan gave it a sweet smile.
The miniature ice bear nodded.
“Alright then! I accept.” In reality, Xu Xiaoyan had planned to tease the ice bear for a while as soon as she saw how cute it was. But she never expected the bear to be so afraid of dying that it would willingly become her spirit soul. She had a vague feeling that fusing with a spirit soul in this way had more merits than fusing with the spirit soul that the spirit soul tower provided. Because of this, she accepted immediately. The ice spear disappeared from her hand and she sat down. The little bear then flew into her body, exploding upon contact and enveloping her with a frosty mist. “Captain!” she exclaimed in embarrassment. “We might need to cut our break short…”
The moment she began fusing with the ice bear spirit soul, the electronic voice resounded throughout the room. “Ninth trial cleared. You may choose to absorb a three-thousand-year ice bear spirit soul or continue ascending.”
Tang Wulin turned to Gu Yue. “What do you think we should do?”
“We need to continue,” Gu Yue responded. “We’re still obligated to help Yuanen Yehui. If we stop here, her only option will be to absorb the ice bear spirit soul. Xiaoyan will be fine if we leave her here. She’ll be sent out once she finishes fusing with her new spirit soul.”
Xu Xiaoyan had found a suitable spirit soul, so now it was Yuanen Yehui’s turn.
“Okay then. We’re continuing,” Tang Wulin declared. He was in high spirits since he had eaten over a dozen pork buns. In contrast, Xu Lizhi was a little haggard from continuously using his first soul skill. “Let’s go!”
With Tang Wulin in the lead, six people entered the door of light, leaving Xu Xiaoyan behind to focus on fusing with the ice bear spirit soul. Icy mist hung around her as her body pulsed with soul power. The mist slowly gathered behind her, taking on the faint shape of a miniature ice bear. Then it began entering her body, and her aura started to transform. A golden star appeared on her forehead, the surrounding mist awash with a noble light.
When Tang Wulin stepped through the door of light into the hall of the tenth trial, he was shocked to discover that this hall was completely different from previous ones. Instead of having an octogonal shape, the hall his team of six now stood in was round. Instead of eight metal doors, there was only a single one that stood thirty meters tall and twenty meters wide.
Just as Gu Yue had said, the first nine trials were one level, and now they were on the second level.
Yuanen Yehui’s eyes lit up. Now that Xu Xiaoyan had found a spirit soul, it was her turn. Her Titan Giant Ape was a power-type martial soul, so she had to find a martial soul that matched it. However, she sought a spirit soul for her fourth soul ring, which was a drastically different situation than Xu Xiaoyan getting one for her third. Yuanen Yehui could support a spirit soul around the four-thousand-year level, and having a pair of peak-level martial souls meant that she could push that limit to the six-thousand-year level.
“We’ll probably be facing only one beast at a time from now on,” Tang Wulin said. “Be on your guards.”
The moment these words left his mouth, the gigantic door gradually began to open. They couldn’t even see the beast, yet an oppressive wave of strength washed over them. A loud rumbling resounded from beyond the doorway, then another. One violent shake after another traveled through the hall, growing stronger and stronger until a gargantuan being stepped into view. It stood at over ten meters in height, its body covered in dark violent scales and had to weigh at least five thousand kilograms. It stood on four legs, and it touted gigantic tail that whipped the air behind it. The ground quaked with every step it took.
At first glance, it simply looked like a giant lizard. However, its head was far larger than that of a normal lizard, and two horns sprouted out from it.
“I-it’s a Demon Lizard Dragon!” Xie Xie exclaimed.
In the distant past, the Demon Lizard Dragon was known as a mighty, savage land dragon. Despite its enormous body, it was strangely agile, and it controlled the darkness element. It would slaughter other soul beasts not for food, but pleasure. It possessed an extremely aggressive nature, and just like the Man-faced Demon Spider, it was considered an outcast in the world of soul beasts.
The Demon Lizard Dragon was a soul beast only mentioned in ancient texts. It was their first time seeing such a beast in person. It raised its head to the sky, its powerful aura exploding forth as it unleashed an ear-piercing roar.
A shockwave of sound struck Tang Wulin and his six companions, leaving them rattled. It was almost as if they had just experienced a spiritual attack. Xie Xie and Xu Lizhi, the two people of their group that were weak in spiritual power, instantly went pale.
Tang Wulin, however, charged forward without hesitation.
“Let me handle this.”