Slammed into the mountain rock, the cat girl felt dizzy, and within her mind, a long time ago memory vaguely came to the fore.
At that time, she has yet to successfully transform, and was a spirit cat who had just stepped into the world of mortals. Although she had been cultivating on the mountain for more than two hundred years, her cultivation base wasn’t weak, and her inner core has been condensed; however, as a spirit beast, she was just getting started.
Under the recommendation from several spirit beast predecessors, with a lucky coincidence, Ling Yan managed to join the Beast Master School. At first, the girl was filled with joy and excitement because her predecessors told her that for an inhuman creature like her, it was better to cultivate in the Beast Master School that was set up by human cultivators. Many spirit beasts longed for the magical method for days and nights, but within the sect, it was not uncommon. Furthermore, as long as she put the effort to cultivate diligently, there would be a person to guide her, so that her cultivation base, just like the human cultivator, would advance by leaps and bounds.
She was the cleverest hunter on the mountain, blessed with intelligence and aptitude. Yet, she still needed more than two hundred years to have the same cultivation level as the human’s Xudan Stage. For the same stage, human cultivators usually just needed around one hundred years… How could she not be envious?
Then, just as Ling Yan expected, she did get the help from the sect. A smiling, gentle looking human cultivator became her mentor.
Of course, his official title was a beast trainer. Though the name seemed a bit wrong, the simple cat girl didn’t think too much about it.
She was a spirit beast, and the other side was a mentor, so there was nothing wrong with the title beast trainer. Before she met A Xia, just when she joined the sect, there were also several human cultivators that explained all sorts of common sense in the human world for her, as well as the sect rules. Their attitudes were amiable, which caused her to sigh with emotion; it turned out that unlike what people said, there were not that many sinister people in the human world.
Until Ling Yan was put under A Xia’s care and really began the course of animal training.
Hell descended upon her.
On the first day, it was unclear where did A Xia find a few wild, almost extinct, monsters. Any one of them has power comparable to Ling Yan. On her mountain, they belonged to the type of opponent that she would not touch unless she was truly hungry. And under A Xia’s command, she had to defeat these few monsters at all costs.
One on one, it was already not easy for her to defeat them, not to mention fighting them all at once? Ling Yan immediately questioned that command, but A Xia remained indifferent.
"This is the rule of the Beast Master School. If you do not obey, you can leave."
Ling Yan has spent a considerable effort to be able to enter the sect, how could she just leave like that? Although A Xia’s request was quite unreasonable, she had to bite the bullet.
In the end, she crawled back black and blue, thoroughly defeated.
She heard from her predecessor that there were also some cultivators who were unfriendly to spirit beasts. And the reason for that was probably because they wanted to highlight their prestige, or demonstrate their authority to maintain proper line of management. If she met them, she had to first endure it.
However, thinking that in the fight just now, when she was wounded, and her blood spilled all over the floor… as a beast trainer, A Xia seemed excited by it. This made Ling Yan feel instinctively uneasy.
Later, when the wound was close to healing, A Xia came again. This time, he really taught her a lot of useful things. Ling Yan absorbed all of this knowledge and when she fought those monsters again, she managed to draw a tie.
After that, Ling Yan slightly relaxed her vigilance towards A Xia and thought that he was just an eccentric beast trainer. In any case, he has a genuine talent.
Later on, things seemed to have gradually confirmed her impression. Though A Xia’s training was harsh, the results were unmistakable. She advanced by leaps and bounds. When she was just getting started, her strength was equivalent to middle-level Xudan. However, under A Xia’s training, in a few years, she had advanced by a lot, reaching the high-level Xudan. Condensation into Jindan and form transformation were just around the corner.
At this time, for the naturally trusting Ling Yan, she would readily accept any command from A Xia almost without suspicion. Even if he told her to jump into a volcano, she would do it since she would think that it was just a special training.
Therefore, when A Xia fed her a particular pill, she immediately swallowed it without even checking it.
A Xia told her that it was a panacea that would help her in the divine tribulation on the form transformation.
Ling Yan nodded, readily accepting that explanation. In her view, in any case, it would not be a problem; A Xia was just an eccentric but not a bad guy. Moreover, he wouldn’t dare to do anything shady in a big sect like Beast Master School since many people were surely watching him.
After taking the pill, Ling Yan slept for three days, and when she woke up, everything changed.
A mark that could never be wiped out was engraved at her primordial spirit. It turned out it was not a panacea to withstand the divine tribulation, but rather a slave contract in the form of a pill. Once swallowed, her freedom would be lost for her entire life.
It was the most despicable contract in legend. Human cultivators used it a long time ago to cheat a spirit beast into a slave, until it stirred up more and more resentment and anger from the spirit beasts and caused many riots. At the same time, the Beast Master School and other sects have gradually developed a new mode of coexistence between human and spirit beast. Finally, this grievances pill gradually disappeared.
Unexpectedly, after some time, she fell for this trick...
After that, things became unbearable. In A Xia’s side, Ling Yan had a first-hand experience of the taste of hell; in the past few years, almost everyday she would have a suicidal impulse. Until one time, A Xia said to her.
"You want to be free? Then work hard. Though the pill that I fed you has extraordinary efficacy, it’s not impossible to untie its bind. As long as you reach the Deity Stage, by which your primordial spirit is reborn, you can easily untie this kind of imprisonment. Even when you’re in the Yuanying Stage, you’ll have many methods to suppress the effect of the pill. Therefore, cultivate diligently. When you succeed in your Immortal Cultivation, you can regain your freedom. By then, even if you take revenge on me and tear me up, I wouldn’t have the strength to resist."
This strange point of view thoroughly confused Ling Yan. Was this vicious and sinister beast trainer actually trying to satisfy his selfish desire, or was he just trying to use bizarre means to inspire her Immortal Cultivation?
Ling Yan could only choose to believe the latter as she didn’t want to be paralyzed by this. After that, her progress was indeed very fast. In just short of ten years, she managed to transform her form and progressed by leaps and bounds on the Jindan Stage. Later on, because of the need from the sect, she was removed from A Xia’s side and given a formal identity, which gave her nearly as much as rights as human cultivators. It was like a calm after the storm. This happy atmosphere lasted for quite some time.
A Xia’s slap on the face put Ling Yan back to several dozens of years ago, a time when she was devastated. With numb feeling all over her, she crawled out from the hole in the valley wall, and as always, knelt respectfully in front of A Xia.
This was the most conducive posture that she developed decades ago after much pain and blood, a posture of a beaten puppet, which would likely to reduce harm on her the most.
"You incompetent waste foiled my big plan!"
However, at this time, in his anger, A Xia thought that, considering his present predicament, a slap on the face simply could not eliminate his anger. A Xia lifted his foot and kicked the cat girl in the chest. Ling Yan screamed in pain as she continued to spurt out blood.
"Previously, I wanted you to tie down that Zen Master Dog Meat, but what did you do instead? When their flying boat just appeared, why didn’t you block them? After I go all out to contend with the flying boat, why didn’t you cooperate together with the red wolf instead of just hiding motionless in the valley!?"
A Xia’s accusation left Ling Yan speechless. In the battle just now, she indeed didn’t go all out. However, that was just because she didn’t want to die.
Previously, her two successive attempts to help has inflicted a real traumatic loss to her. Her cultivation base of peak Jindan Stage sharply fell, and her body also trembled. When she exchanged several moves with the Zen Master Dog Meat, signs of collapse has already appeared on her Jade Mansion. If she went all out, no doubt she would die in the valley.
And she did not want to die. Therefore, she turned a deaf ear to A Xia no matter what he said to her.
How could A Xia not know about this? On the battle just now, a few times when he was fighting, he issued several instructions to Ling Yan. However, all of them were barely resisted by her using the spirit beast’s instinct of survival. However, such reasons simply could not persuade him at all.
"You have to know your place! You are a slave. Your life and death are not in your hands! Your master is me. Your body, primordial spirit, magical power, and life, everything belongs to me! I want you to live, you live. I want you to die, you have to die!"
Ling Yan’s face twitched. For this hysterical master, she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
"What’s with that face, are you laughing at me?" A Xia’s eyes became blood red. "Looks like the lessons for you are not enough. We’ve just separated for a few decades, yet unexpectedly you’ve already become so presumptuous."
He raised his hand and Jindan level spell was emitted from his fingertips; he was ready to give her a profound lesson. However, A Xia’s action then stopped halfway.
If he hit her again, the cat girl would probably be killed. But if he killed her like that, it would not be advantageous to him at all. Moreover, looking at her resigned and somewhat relaxed face, he felt that killing her would be too cheap for her.
"By the way, prior to this, you’ve been around those people for a period of time. Why don’t you tell me in detail about their situation."
The cat girl was moved; she suddenly thought of that woman named Yue Xian. She thought about her innocent, kind and pure smile. She didn’t spend too much time with Wang Lu’s group, but her impression on this girl was particularly profound.
As a captive, Wang Lu and Zen Master Dog Meat did not abuse her, but they also were not kind to her either. Only Liu Li who laughed and played with her along the way, joking with her non-stop, feeding her with small dried fishes and then let her taste some good wine. Even though the girl’s behavior was rather disrespectful, the girl’s sincere kindness warmth her heart.
After cultivating for so many years, people who were good to her were many. However, without exception, all of those were because some lusted for her beauty, some fancied after her cultivation, and some were simply cat lovers...
Those who liked Ling Yan, good to Ling Yan, were nearly nonexistent.
If possible, she really didn’t want to be an enemy with Liu Li. In the valley just now, when the flying boat appeared, she immediately retreated. One of the reasons was that, at that time, Liu Li had turned to look at her. If she didn’t leave, the two would unavoidably cross swords.
Ling Yan didn’t mind becoming enemy with anyone, but she didn’t want to injure that just-a-short-time-acquaintance-yet-let-her-feel-warmth girl.
A Xia gloomily smiled. "Hehe, it seems like your time with them was good. That’s even better. Now, I want you to go back."
"Correct. Tell them you suffered an unbearable humiliation and thus defected. Then try to win their trust and let them eat this thing."
A Xia took out a small porcelain vase and handed it over to Ling Yan.
"I believe you. You definitely can do it."
Ling Yan tremblingly held that porcelain bottle while bowing her head, not daring to let A Xia see her expression in the slightest.
This was the first time, in A Xia’s side, she let out a genuine smile.