By this point, virtually everyone on the north bank was paying close attention to the events playing out in the Beast Conservatory. Numerous eyes from Mount Daoseed were also watching.
Even as expressions of surprise rang out, suddenly, the vortex up above turned crimson, causing the entire sky to turn red.
A bloodcurdling shriek then emanated from within the withered Beastbirth Flower. Simultaneously, the powerful aura suddenly began to decline. If that process was completed, it would indicate that whatever was inside the flower had died.
It would expire prematurely, never even having a chance to be born. Bai Xiaochun began to tremble, and the four peak lords were all astonished.
“It has a heterogeneous bloodline! Its mind is having trouble keeping its body in one piece!”
“Dammit! I knew this was going to happen!”
“That beast will never see the light of day….”
Even as the four peak lords expressed their shock, Bai Xiaochun trembled and stared at the Beastbirth Flower. He could sense that the life inside wished to emerge, but that it wasn’t able to. It was now hovering on the brink of dying, and even exuded a powerful aura of death.
Suddenly, a blurry figure appeared in the air above the Beastbirth Flower. It was impossible to see him clearly, but he seemed to be an old man in a white robe. He hovered there calmly, completely devoid of any aura whatsoever.
His cultivation base was… completely unreadable!
Everyone was shaken mentally. The numerous disciples present had never seen this old man before, but the peak lords had, and they were left completely astonished. Their eyes went wide, and they dropped to their knees to kowtow.
“Third Generation Patriarch….”
When the disciples heard that, their minds spun, and they also dropped down and kowtowed.
Bai Xiaochun was somewhat in a daze, and didn’t even notice the newcomer. His attention was completely focused on the life inside the withered Beastbirth Flower, his heart trembling, tears welling up in his eyes.
The white-robed old man looked over at the flower, and then his right hand flashed with an incantation gesture as he sent life force pouring inside. However, a moment later, the aura of death became even stronger than before.
Muttering something inaudible, the white-robed old man turned to look in the direction of the Ancient Beast Chasm.
There, the Heavenhorn ink dragon opened its mouth, and a golden drop of blood flew out, causing the dragon to age visibly. At the same time, Heavenhorn looked at the Beastbirth Flower with anxious anticipation.
The golden drop of blood streaked through the air like a golden beam of light, all the way to the Beastbirth Flower. The white-robed old man sighed. Eyes shining brightly, he performed a double-handed incantation gesture, causing the clouds in the sky to churn and form together into a magical symbol, which merged with the golden drop of blood as it entered the Beastbirth Flower.
“With a heterogenous bloodline, its chances of survival are minimal,” the old man said. “This will sustain it for nine days at the most. Whether or not it lives and manages to fight its way out of the Beastbirth Flower is up to the willpower of the beast itself. What a pity…. After all, it would appear that it’s a spirit creature with a fifth order bloodline.” Even this old man couldn’t completely defy the heavens and alter fate. The beast’s fate rested completely on its own fortune.
He glanced over at Bai Xiaochun, a look of pity in his eyes, then swished his sleeve and faded away into motes of glittering light.
After he left, the four peak lords slowly rose to their feet. After staring reverently at the spot where the old man had disappeared, they turned to look at Bai Xiaochun, who was still standing there blankly next to the Beastbirth Flower.
All of them seemed somewhat disturbed. Anyone who had worked as hard as Bai Xiaochun had, only to find that the battle beast might not be born, would be upset. That was especially true considering how rare Beastbirth Seeds were in the cultivation world.
The four peak lords sighed. Their anger toward Bai Xiaochun had vanished, and they slowly began to make their way off into the distance. Neither could the north bank disciples cause problems for Bai Xiaochun considering the sudden turn of events. Although many of them were still angry, they simply turned and quietly left.
Soon, evening had fallen, and Bai Xiaochun was the only person left in the Beast Conservatory. He stood there staring blankly at the withered Beastbirth Flower, and the tiny figure struggling inside. The creature seemed to be fighting an epic battle for its life.
Tears began to roll down Bai Xiaochun’s cheeks as he slowly took a step forward and sat down next to the Beastbirth Flower, then reached out to place his hand on its surface.
The grief he was feeling was plainly visible on his face; he just couldn’t quite make himself accept that this was happening. At the moment, he felt no desire to see the ultimate battle beast. He just wanted the little life form inside of the flower to live, even if it wasn’t powerful at all.
He had given life to this creature, and the idea of watching it die was as painful as having a sword stab into his heart. Even worse was that there was nothing he could do. He was in the tenth level of Qi Condensation, and yet was powerless. That feeling left him feeling suffocated and helpless.
Night fell. The helplessness of watching the life of the creature fading away left Bai Xiaochun trembling in fear. He couldn’t help but think back to life in the village, when his parents were sick and ailing. They had clasped him by the hand and told him… to keep on living.
Those three words would exist eternally within Bai Xiaochun’s mind.
“Keep on living….” he said softly, tears glistening on his cheeks. “You have to keep on living….
“Don’t die, Bruiser….” He gently rubbed the spot on the flower where the little creature’s body bulged out slightly. When he called it by name, the tiny thing seemed to recognize his aura, and moved slightly.
“Hang in there. You haven’t even seen the world yet! I’ve never even had a chance to see you. I want to take you to see everything in the cultivation world….
“Keep hanging in here!” Bai Xiaochun’s softly spoken words were filled with determination. He kept talking throughout the night, continuing to rub the bulge that was the little creature. He was doing the only thing he could; staying by the creature’s side, encouraging it, praying.
Dawn broke. Then it was noon, and evening. Eventually, the moon was shining up above….
The first day passed, and the struggling of the little creature in the Beastbirth Flower was getting weaker. However, it hadn’t given up. Its heterogeneous bloodline made it difficult to keep its body from falling to pieces, but it was trying hard.
Bai Xiaochun forgot about everything else. The only thing he cared about was the little creature in the Beastbirth Flower. He whispered to it, caressed it softly, and poured his heart and soul into encouraging it. He never stopped talking, and even began to send his own spiritual power into the flower. He wasn’t sure if it would do any good, but he tried anyway.
Gradually, the second day came and went. Then the third day, and the fourth….
Bai Xiaochun never rested. His eyes were soon completely bloodshot, and his spiritual power had long since begun to run dry. Every time the least bit of spiritual power built up within him, he would send it into the Beastbirth Flower.
That spiritual power was filled with his blessings, his sorrows, and with comfort. He never stopped talking, never stopped offering encouragement. Whenever the little creature started struggling, and began to wail in pain, Bai Xiaochun’s soothing voice would cause it to calm down. However, despite all that, Bai Xiaochun was devastated to find that the tiny creature’s aura was growing weaker and weaker, while the aura of death grew stronger and stronger.
“Bruiser,” he murmured, “you know, back when I was young, when my dad and mom were still around, I wasn’t very scared of dying…. In fact, I didn’t even really know what death was….
“Once you’re feeling better, I’ll take you to see Uncle Li. He treats me really well, just like a father….” He began to tell stories about himself, about his past, about life in the village, and things about the sect.
Late into the night of the fourth day, the spirit beast guardians of the four mountains, and even Heavenhorn deep in the chasm, all sighed and looked away from Bai Xiaochun and the Beastbirth Flower. However, in the darkness of that night, there was a big black dog that appeared outside the honor guard station. It walked into the rear courtyard and sat down next to Bai Xiaochun. Expression one of grief, it looked at the little life inside the Beastbirth Flower, then reached out and licked the flower.
Another day passed. On evening of the fifth day, Bai Xiaochun was exhausted. To him, the past five days had left him feeling as tired as if he had ceaselessly concocted medicine for five months. And yet, he had no intention of giving up. He continued to offer comfort and encouragement. He never stopped talking. Unfortunately, the little creature only continued to weaken. Deep in the night of the fifth day, it suddenly struggled fiercely for a few moments, then started twitching. After a moment, it stopped moving, and the aura of death spread out to completely cover Bai Xiaochun and the black dog.
Bai Xiaochun placed his hand onto the spot where the tiny creature bulged out of the flower. Tears streaming down his face, he shouted, “Live! You have to live!
“When the Luochen Clan was trying to chase me down, ten people tried to kill me, but I kept on living. They tried to kill me, so I killed them! I even broke my own arm for a chance to stay alive! You have to do the same thing. Live! Keep on living!!!”
Even as he shouted, he poured spiritual power into the flower. A moment later, the motionless little creature trembled, and began to struggle again. As the moments passed, the struggling grew more intense, as if its desire to live were growing even stronger because of Bai Xiaochun’s encouragement.
Bai Xiaochun wiped the tears off of his face and shouted, “If you want to live, you have to fight for it! Take control of your body. Break out of that flower!”
The little creature began to struggle even harder, letting out little whimpering sounds as it did. Every time it struggled, it felt pain, and was left trembling. And yet, it didn’t give up. It was as if an intense willpower was supporting it, a willpower that continued to grow stronger, something that exceeded its desire merely to live. That power was the most important thing in its life.
“You’re the ultimate battle beast! We’re gonna be partners for life. I made you, I raised you, and I’m not gonna let you die!!” By this point, Bai Xiaochun’s voice was hoarse from the yelling, and he almost seemed to have gone mad.
For the past five days, he had been offering encouragement to this little creature, and finally, it stopped whimpering. Instead, it let out a little roar. Although the sound of it was weak, it was still a roar. Simultaneously, its fading life force suddenly burned as hot as fire. It exploded majestically, and up above, clouds began to churn and seethe. It was as if the little creature’s willpower was allowing it to finally fight for its life again.
The fluctuations emanating out attracted the attention of others on the north bank. Numerous disciples were shocked, and the four astonished peak lords began to rush in the direction of the Beast Conservatory. It was the same with the ordinary disciples. Faces flickering, they raced over toward the Beast Conservatory as the life force in the Beastbirth Flower began to surge with power. As for the cloud cover up above, it was growing thicker by the moment.
The spirit beast guardians, Heavenhorn, and even many eyes from Mount Daoseed were watching. Even the shadowy, white-robed old man looked on, although no one could see him.
The fifth day passed, and the sixth day arrived. By this point, the roars of the creature in the Beastbirth Flower had reached a heaven-shaking, earth-shattering level. The energy surging out from the flower caused the exhausted Bai Xiaochun to stagger backward until he was leaning up against the wall of the courtyard. Even the big black dog was pushed back.
Rumbling sounds could be heard as the side of the Beastbirth Flower was ripped open by razor-sharp claws that seemed capable of shredding even the air itself. Flames flickered around the claws, and anyone who was able to see them was completely shocked.
Then, the claws ripped the flower open even more, and finally… a little beast appeared!
He looked like a horse, a dog, a lizard, a crocodile, and a dragon!
His head had a long horn, and his back had a crest of white hair running down it. His body was covered with black scales, and he had sharp teeth. Currently, his eyes were tightly closed.
“That’s….” the white-robed old man up in midair looked on with a strange gleam in his eyes, his heart trembling. He had never imagined that the scrappy little creature would actually manage to stay alive. From the look of it, the creature had unlimited potential, and even the chance to increase its bloodline order!
Deep in the Ancient Beast Chasm, the Heavenhorn ink dragon suddenly opened its eyes, and the four spirit beast guardians trembled. All of the battle beasts on the north bank were shaking.
Everyone looking on was left gasping. Anyone with eyes could tell at a glance that this little beast… was far beyond ordinary!!
The four peak lords all gasped, and their eyes shone with strange light.
“It can unleash a magical technique from birth, and its claws emanate flames. That means… it has a sixth order bloodline! Heavens! A spirit creature with a sixth order bloodline has actually appeared in the Spirit Stream Sect!!”
“It’s a future holy beast guardian of the north bank!!”
“Hahaha! The north bank has finally produced a spirit creature that surpasses the Heavenhorn ink dragon. A sixth order bloodline!”
People involuntarily rushed forward to get a closer look, blocking Bai Xiaochun’s view, as he was still leaning up against the wall. He didn’t care. He was just happy that Bruiser had made it through his ordeal. He chuckled.
“As long as you’re alive….”
The little beast’s eyes suddenly opened, and he glared around. They were charming eyes, filled with intelligence, as well as flickering black flames. Clearly, the creature was looking for something.
The first action he took after opening his eyes very significant, and although none of the disciples understood, the white-robed old man was mentally shaken.
“It’s looking for….”
Because of the crowd, the little beast was apparently unable to find what he was looking for, and started to get anxious. Seemingly angry, he began to let out little roars.
It was at that moment….
Bai Xiaochun pushed himself off the wall. Exhausted, but excited and happy, he threaded through the crowd toward the little beast.
“Bruiser….” he called softly.
Instantly, the little beast shivered, and then turned his glittering eyes toward the place where Bai Xiaochun was pushing through the crowd. The little beast’s gaze softened, and a gleam of joy could be seen therein, as if he were looking at his closest relative.
He had found what he was looking for!
Apparently… the willpower which had sustained his final struggle to break out of the Beastbirth Flower, had been born from the desire to open his eyes and gaze upon the person who had warmly comforted him, who had soothed him during his difficult struggle! That was enough!
Such emotions, such willpower, exceeded the desire to simply live!
As of this moment, it was clear that to Bruiser, the only thing that mattered in this strange new world was Bai Xiaochun. No matter how many people were in between them, all Bai Xiaochun had to do was speak, and all those other people would disappear. To Bruiser, Bai Xiaochun was everything.