The two girls were a bit reluctant. Their Master had gifted them so many things just now, so they didn’t have the nerve to go inside again, and disturb their Master.
On top of that, these two weren’t Yao Ruoxian—they weren’t as thick-skinned as he was.
However, because both of them knew Yao Ruoxian for quite a while now, they had a few tricks up their sleeves in dealing with him.
Xue’Er quickly grabbed onto his arm, and started swinging it innocently; then tried to switch the topic by saying, "Teacher. What are the materials used for refining transcendent artifacts?"
On this topic, Yao Ruoxian was an expert, and naturally answered reflexively, "First, you naturally need the essence powder refined from Crystal Coins. Once you have enough essence powder, you will be able to smelt it into the initial form of the artifact. After that, you will require the appropriate Yao Core to match it. Obviously, the Blaze Resins are of necessary as well. That brat has a whole bunch of these. Go ask them from him quickly. Don’t hesitate. I know that kid, if both of you ask for those items, he will definitely give them to you."
Qian’Er immediately grabbed onto his other arm, and fluttered her eyelashes. "Teacher. What are Blaze Resins?"
Yao Ruoxian flipped his hand over to show three pieces of crystals. He picked each of them up and explained, "This red one is the Red Blaze Resin; the blue one is the Blue Blaze Resin; and the gold one is the Gold Blaze Resin. The gold one is the best….."
After he finished explaining the three types of Blaze Resins, Xue’Er swung his arm again, and asked, "Teacher. What does the Yao Core look like?"
The girls secretly stole a look at each other. They were prepared to ask Yao Ruoxian to teach them the process of refining artifact using the Yao Core, after he was done explaining the fundamentals of the Yao Core. Essentially, they would continue to ask questions until Yao Ruoxian had a headache. Naturally after that, he would avoid their questions, and run away.
Yao Ruoxian flipped his hand over once more—holding a pure white Yao Core between his fingers, he proceeded to explain to the girls, "This is a First Grade Yao Core; a blue color would mark one as a Second Grade; the red color, a Third Grade; the purple color as a Fourth Grade; and the gold color, a Fifth Grade. However, at the present, I have only seen the Fourth Grade Yao Core, not the Fifth Grade Yao Core. My guess is that the Fifth Grade Yao Core is a bit impossible to encounter in the cultivation world, because after killing a Yao Cultivator, the Yao Core retrieved from them would decrease by a grade. For example, the Second Grade Yao Cultivator will only yield a First Grade Yao Core. Think of the concept of retrieving a gold color Fifth Grade Yao Core….."
He continued giving a detailed explanation to the girls. Charcoal let out a sneeze from under the roof, and turned to look at them.
When Charcoal saw the Yao Core on Yao Ruoxian’s hand, its eyes widened and shone. In one swift movement, Charcoal rose and began moving its hoofs. The dragon steed marched into the pavilion, and circled the three of them; nudging its head at Yao Ruoxian every now and then.
Because of Qian’Er and Xue’Er, Yao Ruoxian would often come by to visit. Recently, he would occasionally stay for the night—which was why Charcoal had become familiar with him. Quite unlike the first time, when Charcoal would show fear around Yao Ruoxian.
Once he noticed Charcoal nudging at him, and disturbing his teaching session with his disciples, Yao Ruoxian swiftly gave Charcoal’s head a lump with a swing of his fist, and said, "Fat thief! Go off to the other side."
Charcoal withdrew his head, and circled them once more, before going back towards Yao Ruoxian again. It nudged its head against him, with its nose sniffing at the Yao Core on Yao Ruoxian’s hand.
Yao Ruoxian was amused, "Fat thief, what do you think you’re doing? You think this is something edible!"
Charcoal sneezed as if in reply to him. Then extended its slimy tongue, and licked the Yao Core that Yao Ruoxian was still holding, as if it were a child licking candied haw on a stick. After Charcoal finished licking, it smacked its lips as if it had tasted something extremely appetizing.
Yao Ruoxin was so disgusted with Charcoal’s actions that he quickly wiped the slippery saliva off his hands onto his clothes. He kept holding onto the Yao Core feeling annoyed, but he was a little amused at the same time. "You really want to eat it?"
"Harummppp!" Charcoal nodded in reply, as if stating that it badly wanted to eat the Yao Core.
Yao Ruoxian was instantly amused by Charcoal. With an evil expression, he said, "Fat thief. You really do want to eat it! Alright, I will give this to you. Don’t blame me if you die after eating it."
He casually tossed the Yao Core over; Charcoal’s response was fast—extending his neck, Charcoal swung its head and opened its mouth, catching the Yao Core at the right moment; and gulped it down in an instant. Then he flicked his snake-like tail in a satisfied manner, and turned to leave.
"Heh heh!" Yao Ruoxian revealed a smirk as he watched Charcoal leaving.
The girls glanced at each other; Qian’Er decided to ask, "Teacher. You just said it might die from eating it…. Will Charcoal be fine after eating the Yao Core?"
Yao Ruoxian chuckled, "It would be weirder if Charcoal was fine. What do you take the Yao Core to be, food? Of course it will die after consuming it. That fat thief is full of fat. One look is all it takes to realize that this is the result of eating without consideration. Today I will give it a long hard lesson and help it lose weight."
Qian’Er and Xue’Er was stunned by his words and began to panic a little, "Teacher, this won’t do. Charcoal is Master’s mount; he has treats Charcoal like his little brother. If anything bad were to happen to Charcoal, Master would be furious."
"Furious?" Yao Ruoxian said in a disdainful tone, "He can throw a fit in front of you girls, but if he tries to make a scene in front of me, I will crush his skull into pieces."
"You can’t! Make him spit it out quickly." Qian’Er and Xue’Er went into full panic mode, and ran towards Charcoal to make it spit out the Yao Core.
They didn’t expect Yao Ruoxian to suddenly block them from going forward, laughing, "Don’t panic. He was willing to eat it, but I’m wasn’t willing to give it to him. Don’t worry, he will not die. Charcoal will feel pain inside stomach, and when the pain is unbearable, he will spit it out. I only want to give this fat thief a lesson, that’s all."
After they listened to Yao Ruoxian’s words, the girls let out a sigh of relief. They felt that Yao Ruoxian would never think of troubling them, and make their lives worse than before.
However, Qian’Er was still uncertain about it, so she asked, "What if he doesn’t spit it out?"
"Doesn’t spit it out? Then the energy of the Yao Core will eat through his stomach and damage his inner organs. If that happens, the only path for Charcoal will be death."
"Ah!" The girls were once again shocked.
"No need to panic. This fat thief isn’t a fool; he’s cunning. When he feels pain, he will naturally spit it out." Yao Ruoxian took out another Yao Core, and said, "Come. We will continue with the lecture."
They decided to continue the lecture of the Yao Core, but the girls were preoccupied another matter. They occasionally checked on Charcoal laying under the roof, flicking his tail every once in awhile.
When they realized that Charcoal was fine, both of them eased down a little, and continued to listen to Yao Ruoxian’s explanation of the Yao Core.
However, things never always went well. After Charcoal nodding off a while ago, he suddenly widened his eyes, and stood up abruptly; then began galloping around the courtyard.
The trio inside the pavilion turned their heads to watch Charcoal’s movements.
Not long after that, they could all see that Charcoal was moving erratically, like a drunkard. He then started flailing its head, as if in a drunken fit, making the hair at the nap of his neck into a complete mess.
His movement became increasingly erratic. Charcoal swayed, and swayed.
Yao Ruoxian sat inside the pavilion and snickered, "Fat thief. Do you learn your lesson now?"
"Teacher. Is he okay?" Qian’Er and Xue’Er had a nervous expressions on their faces.
Yao Ruoxian confidently brushed their concerns aside, and said, "Don’t worry. He will be fine once he spits out the Yao Core. He should spit it out soon."
However, there were moments where even an expert senior in the cultivation world would miscalculate.
They could all see Charcoal was breathing heavily as he swayed; he seemed to be losing his balance. The ‘huffing’ breath began to sound more like a wind belt—horrifying those who heard it.
Charcoal struggled to open its heavy eyelids, but they kept closing on their own as if he was sleepy. When he saw his ‘old nest’, the dragon steed tried to step towards his place while wobbling about.
After making an effort to climb onto the platform, Charcoal continued to sway towards his permanent resting area until his limbs gave out.
‘Dong!’ Charcoal flopped onto the ground without hesitation.
Charcoal curled his limbs into a fetal position, and tried its best to curl its body so that its head would meet the tail.
Once Charcoal curled into a ball, his eyelids that were fluttering to open, gave out as he lost control. In the end, Charcoal tightly shut its eyes and didn’t open them again. The only thing left was that horrifying ‘huffing’ as Charcoal continued to breath steadily.
Qian’Er and Xue’Er’s eyes stared with wide eyes, as they waited for Charcoal to spit out the Yao Core it had consumed.
They didn’t even notice that right beside them, Yao Ruoxian’s face was twitching as he ground his teeth in anger. "Is this fat thief crazy? He won’t spit it out despite being in pain. He really is seeking his own death!"
When they heard those words, Qian’Er and Xue’Er began to panic. It wouldn’t be a funny joke if they managed to cause the death of their Master’s mount.
"Teacher. What is happening? There won’t be a problem right…"
"Don’t rush. I will make him spit it out."
Yao Ruoxian lifted his arm, and calmed himself. Then in a flash, he landed beside Charcoal and violently kicked his body twice. "Fat thief. Give back grandpa’s Yao Core! Are you still asleep? If you keep on sleeping, you will die. Wake up! Quickly spit out that Yao Core!"
However, Charcoal remained motionless as if he were dead, no matter how much Yao Ruoxian kicked him. If it wasn’t for the ‘huffhuff’ laboured breathing like a wind belt, the others would have thought that Charcoal had really died.
Qian’Er and Xue’Er came running towards them, before pleading in panicked voices. "Teacher. Please quickly save him!"
"Don’t rush me! I will invoke my art, and force it to spit it out."
Yao Ruoxian immediately knelt beside Charcoal, and pressed his palm against Charcoal’s abdominal area by invoking his art to check inside.
He would never have known if he didn’t check first, but once he did, he noticed something abnormal was happening inside Charcoal’s body—it made him exclaim in shock involuntarily.
After invoking his art into Charcoal’s body, he discovered that the intestines and stomach had been automatically sealed. The orifices inside its body had been sealed as well, and the intestines seemed to have curled into a tight knot, like a ball. He had no idea how the jumbling happened, especially the tight knot around the intestines. It would be quite difficult for him to untie the intestines, even if he tried to invoke his art to do it.
It wasn’t entirely impossible for him to force the knot loose. However, doing so would definitely damage Charcoal’s internal organs.
Moreover, Charcoal’s dragon steed heart was contracting at quite an alarming speed. The rate of blood flow inside his body was up as well—the blood was circulating at an abnormally high speed.
Most importantly, Charcoal’s body temperature felt hot to the touch, when his hand rested on its body.
Yao Ruoxian was still shocked, even with years of experiences and knowledge—he had never seen such strange phenomena before.
"Teacher. What happened?"
‘Cough cough!’ Yao Ruoxian let out a dry cough before he continuing to say, "This.. uh, is a bit strange. I fear it won’t be easy to retrieve the Yao Core like this. The best way to retrieve it now is to dissect this fat thief, and take it out."
"What!" Xian’Er and Xue’Er cried out at the same time.
"Don’t worry, I have celestial fruits. After cutting him open, and retrieving the Yao Core; I will start healing him immediately. There won’t be a problem."
"Teacher. Are you certain?" The girls began to show signs of distrusting his words.
"How could Teacher lie to you." Yao Ruoxian forced a quick laugh.
He turned his attention back to Charcoal, and pressed his palm against its abdominal area once more. He invoked his art to look for the Yao Core located somewhere in that position.
In the end…, time continued to pass. There was barely any result from his investigation, yet his face had been twitching continuously from the start.
In the time it took for an incense to burn, droplets of sweat began forming on Yao Ruoxian’s forehead. His hands were still stroking Charcoal’s body.
Even with his cultivation base, he wasn’t able to find the location of the Yao Core inside Charcoal’s body. The high circulation of the blood inside Charcoal seemed to have triggered some sort of mysterious energy, which actually stopped Yao Ruoxian from prying into Charcoal’s body further. Even with Yao Ruoxian’s transcendence energy, he wasn’t able to penetrate through this mysterious energy…..