Between the three of them, only Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong had thousand year soul rings. It was a huge increase in power when a two-ringed soul grandmaster became a three-ringed soul elder. Besides the obvious increase in soul power, their soul skills would improve qualitatively. The might of thousand year soul skills were far superior to their hundred year counterparts, and their versatility was likewise greater. This would especially be the case for Xiao Xiao, since her soul ring was far more powerful than their initial projections.
Huo Yuhao said, "I think that it will take quite some time for her to fuse with the soul bone. Let's cultivate while we wait."
Wang Dong and Huo Yuhao had both experienced the soul bone fusing process. They knew it was very tedious to absorb a soul bone. Especially Huo Yuhao, who still shivered when he recalled his unbearable experiences fusing soul bones.
"Okay," replied Wang Dong.
They sat down on the spot, palms clasped together, and a gentle white and gold halo emerged and intersected from them as they started to circulate their Haodong power. Since Elder Xuan was here they didn't need to worry about anything and immediately started cultivating.
Wang Dong's Golden Light Left Arm Bone once more displayed its full capabilities, causing the aura of light around Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong became more intense as rings of golden light silently engulfed them. The circulation speed of their soul power and their absorption rate of the energy of heavens and earth both increased.
Elder Xuan sat below a tree off to the side and watched over them with a benevolent gaze. He thought to himself, No wonder Elder Mu always watches over the freshmen dormitory. Youth is nice!
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong had entered a meditative trance. The positive effect of Haodong Power towards their cultivation only ever increased as their cultivation rose further. Their influence on one another greatly enhanced their soul powers.
Huo Yuhao had reached a bottleneck in soul power, thus he could only start accumulating his soul power now, whereas Wang Dong felt that his own soul power was increasing. Their current cultivation speed was similar to when they individually underwent deep meditation.
Wang Dong believed that reaching Rank 40 would be possible in half a year's time with a speed like this. Don't forget that he was the youngest of the Shrek's Seven Monsters!
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong's situation was going well on one side, but Xiao Xiao had met with troubles on her end.
The fluid converted from the Darkgolden Terrorclaw Bear's Right Palm Bone was flowing into her palm. At first she felt comfortable, as if a warm liquid had coated her hand. But the warmth soon became scorching. Even though her soul power was being rapidly stimulated, she couldn't interfere with the fusing process in her arm. That scorching feeling was still increasing, and became blazing hot.
Xiao Xiao's entire right hand had visibly turned dark golden colored. It seemed as if something were crawling out of her palm, and the searing heat caused her to sweat profusely. The experience was torturing her, as she felt like her palm was being grilled. At that moment, only Xiao Xiao's right palm felt like this, but slowly the same sensation spread up her entire right arm!
She laughed bitterly in her heart. Was this her retribution for eating grilled bear meat earlier? It was her turn to be grilled this time, and it was even from the inside out.
The intense, burning pain caused Xiao Xiao to shiver slightly. Her slight shivering soon became convulsions, and the dark golden radiance on her right hand became brighter.
Elder Xuan opened his eyes wide and rushed to Xiao Xiao's side. He observed her carefully.
Xiao Xiao was trembling more and more. Elder Xuan could feel a struggling life-force releasing waves of hysteria from her right hand, . It wasn't struggling to resist being assimilated, but was struggling to break free! It was like some kind of embryonic creature trying to escape from its shell. Xiao Xiao looked like she couldn't bear it anymore.
Not good! Elder Xuan exclaimed in his heart. He'd been careless. Indeed the Darkgolden Terrorclaw Bear's Right Palm Bone was powerful, but this had blinded him to an important difference between soul bones and soul rings; while the strength of soul rings was determined by age, the soul bone was reliant on quality!
While they both came from the Darkgolden Terrorclaw Bear, and Xiao Xiao had had no problems fusing with the soul ring, it was a different story for the soul bone! The Darkgolden Terrorclaw Bear was too overbearing, and its soul bone manifesting as a right palm bone meant it was the of the highest quality. The dominating power of a Darkgolden Terrorclaw Bear came from its fierce lineage, and Xiao Xiao was currently suffering precisely from the strength of this overbearing lineage! Afterall, she was only a young soul elder.
Elder Xuan had thought that, once Xiao Xiao's cultivation had increased greatly by obtaining her third ring, it and the fierce aura of her Darkgolden Terrorclaw Bear's soul ring—combined with the enhancements to her body from her previous two soul bones—would allow Xiao Xiao to absorb this two thousand year soul bone without any complications. But reality was cruel; the difficulty of absorbing this soul bone was far beyond his calculations.
"Xiao Xiao, hold on!" Elder Xuan shouted softly. No one could help her at this point; success or failure was in her own hands. Should an outside power intervene, it would simply be sucked in. At that point, unless Elder Xuan could be by her side at all times supplying a steady stream of soul power, the soul bone could explode at any time.
"Teacher, my hand is about to melt. I can't hold on anymore!" Xiao Xiao screamed in pain and couldn't maintain her sitting posture anymore, then twisted her body and fell on the ground. Her right hand stabbing into the mud, although this did nothing to alleviate her pain.
The golden radiance had extended from her right hand to her whole arm at this point, which caused Xiao Xiao's entire body to start spasming tremendously.
"This isn't good. The soul bone is creating a backlash!" Elder Xuan didn't care about the ramifications anymore, and rushed to Xiao Xiao's side before slapping his palm on her right shoulder. This sealed the dark golden radiance in Xiao Xiao's right arm. However, Xiao Xiao's right arm started to balloon in size, and the power within was about to break free from its restraint.
A soul bone backlash was the most dire outcome of soul bone absorptions. It could even become a fatal situation should things go wrong. It usually happened because the soul master can't handle the immense power within the soul bone, which then counterattacks the soul master in retaliation.
Xiao Xiao's painful screams also jolted Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong awake. Both of them were shocked when they saw Xiao Xiao's condition.
"Elder Xuan, what's wrong with Xiao Xiao?!"