Nine Astra Skies

Mad Snail

200 The Illusory Pearl

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Ye Chen leaped onto Little Wingsy's back. Little Wingsy soared into the air. His Winged Serpent figure was like a ma.s.sive dark cloud sweeping by and they soon vanished into the night's horizon.The old witch, the old hag, Little Tanuki's grandaunt, and the rest saw that Ye Chen and Little Wingsy had left, and finally heaved a sigh of relief. Their backs were drenched in a cold sweat.

"I wonder where those two Daemon Kings came from," the old witch mumbled in a faltering voice as she stared off into the distance. She was afraid that she would say something she should not have said and be heard by Ye Chen and Little Wingsy, thus bringing catastrophic disaster upon the clan. As she grew older, she had become increasingly timid.

"Even if they are Daemon Kings, they probably wouldn't dare to kill us. We're already subjects of the Wolven Kingdom, whose influence is expanding at an astonishing rate. There's no Daemon King in the Great Eastern Continent who dares to offend the Wolven Kingdom. How could two independent cultivators like them dare to offend the Wolven Kingdom?" The old hag appeared rather arrogant due to her current status. She was secretly speculating that if she reported the appearance of these two Daemon Kings in Emerald Cloud Mountain to all three of Their Highnesses of the Wolven Kingdom, she would have performed a great service.

Little Tanuki's grandaunt was mournful. She knew what price the tanuki clan of Emerald Cloud Mountain had paid in becoming the subjects of the Wolven Kingdom. Every year, the tanuki clan had to offer fifty tanuki beauties of the clan as tributes to be violated by the Daemon Kings of the Wolven Kingdom. It was said that an overwhelming majority of these beauties from the tanuki clan were devoured after they were violated. This matter was only known to her, the Chief, and Aunt Red.

Little Tanuki's grandaunt was filled with helplessness and misery. As she looked into the direction where Ye Chen, Little Tanuki, and Little Wingsy had left, she thought that it must be a good thing that Little Ning was following Ye Chen and Little Wingsy. At least, Ye Chen seemed to treat Little Ning well.

Dozens of miles away, Little Wingsy gradually landed and turned into his human form. The three of them had exited the forest and arrived at the main road. Currently, it was late in the night. There was no one on the main road and they were surrounded by wilderness. 

"Little Tanuki, what is this Wolven Kingdom?" At last, Ye Chen could not hold back from asking. He vaguely guessed that there was immense enmity between Little Tanuki and the Wolven Kingdom.

Little Tanuki's limpid eyes gave Ye Chen a complicated look. After a long while, she said a few lines sadly.

"Big Sister Little Tanuki said that the Wolven Kingdom is one of the most tyrannical factions among Celestial Beasts. In the past, the Xiwu Empire was under the domain of the Leo King's Palace and everything was in peaceful order. However, about a thousand years ago, the Wolven Kingdom rose and there was a millennium-long war between the Wolven Kingdom and the Leo King's Palace. Countless mystical beasts and Celestial Beasts had joined the war and a century ago, the Leo King's Palace had lost tens of millions of Celestial Beasts and mystical beasts, and was forced to retreat. Thus, the Xiwu Empire had become the territory of the Wolven Kingdom and everything changed. Countless mystical beasts and Celestial Beasts became food for the Demon Wolves.

"Previously, under the Leo King's rule, they only had to offer one beauty as tribute each year. Moreover, the Leo King would treat the tanuki clan well. However, after the Wolven Kingdom arrived, the tanuki clan of Lianyun Mountains had to offer thirty beauties - all of whom would ultimately die tragically. This enraged the clan and they rebelled furiously but they were too weak and were ultimately wiped out by the Demon Wolf Clan of the Lianyun Mountains branch." As Little Wingsy relayed Little Tanuki's story, he puffed up in rage and clenched his fists, saying indignantly, "Those from the Demon Wolf Clan are too wicked!" Little Wingsy had made up his mind that if he ever encountered the Demon Wolves, he would give them a vicious trashing!

Ye Chen nodded. At last, he had some understanding of Little Tanuki's hatred. It turned out that mystical beasts and Celestial Beasts had their factions and territories too, just like the various countries in the human world, which were to large-scale war.

"Little Tanuki, just wait until we have enough power – we'll help you get your revenge!" Ye Chen said solemnly. Only by advancing his Astral Body to the Daemon King Rank or advancing his cultivation base to the G.o.dly Venerable Attainment Level, would he be able to contend against a Daemon King. He did not know how mighty the Wolven Kingdom was!

"Mmm," Little Tanuki replied.

Ye Chen did not respond for a moment, then suddenly realized something. He stared at Little Tanuki in gleeful surprise, asking, "Little Tanuki, you can speak now?" Earlier, he had undoubtedly heard Little Tanuki respond and it was not in beast language.

Little Tanuki blushed and shook her head.

"Big Sister Little Tanuki says that she only knows a few words," Little Wingsy chipped in at one side.

Even knowing a few words was already incredible progress. 'She would only improve as she goes on.' Ye Chen thought with a smile.

"Big Brother Ye Chen, when I was wrecking the ancestral hall earlier, I picked up a pearl. I wonder what it is?" Little Wingsy rummaged around in his Heaven-Earth Pouch and took out something. When he opened his fair, white hand, there was a white crystal ball in his palm. It was as big as an egg, just like a luminous pearl, glowing with a milky white l.u.s.ter and occasionally flashing in various hues.

An intense energy slowly emanated from this crystal ball. It also seemed to give off a peculiar fragrance that rejuvenated one's spirits.

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When Ye Chen and Little Tanuki noticed the crystal ball, they found it difficult to look away. This crystal ball appeared to have mystical, mesmerizing power.

"Little Wingsy, why don't you give this Illusory Pearl to your Big Sister Little Tanuki?" Ye Chen knelt and spoke to Little Wingsy. After all, this item was found by Little Wingsy. Ye Chen still had to ask for Little Wingsy's permission.

"Uh-huh, Big Brother Ye Chen and Big Sister Little Tanuki treat me the best. Plus, I have no idea how to use this thing. I'll give it to Big Sister Little Tanuki then." Little Wingsy breezily handed the Illusory Pearl to Ye Chen.

Ye Chen held the Illusory Pearl in his hand. When he looked down, he saw that Little Tanuki had already closed her eyes and released her Astral Body, extending it into the Illusory Pearl. Ye Chen did not move a muscle as he stared at the Illusory Pearl in his hand. The Illusory Pearl shone with even more, shifting colors as milky white halos expanded outward one after another. Ye Chen seemed to dimly make out the figures of countless old women. 'Could these be the ancestors of the tanuki clan?' This tanuki clan was truly matriarchal. The generations of Chiefs were all female.

Little Tanuki suddenly opened her eyes. Her clear pupils kept on shifting with various hues like two peculiar gemstones. Ye Chen could tell that Little Tanuki's Astral Body was communicating with the consciousness within the Illusory Pearl. She was sorrowful and furious in one moment, polite and cautious the next. After a long time, Little Tanuki spat out a ma.s.s of white fog that shrouded the Illusory Pearl. The Illusory Pearl abruptly blazed with a blinding, l.u.s.trous, white light, and slowly rose into the air, fluctuating in size. At last, it took on the size of a pigeon's egg and was swallowed by Little Tanuki in one gulp.

Soon, Little Tanuki's body was encased in a warm, white glow, causing Ye Chen and Little Wingsy beside her to feel comforted as well. The energy of the Illusory Pearl slowly fused with Little Tanuki, and her Astral Body rapidly expanded, becoming more than a few times stronger than it had been. A small, furry lump grew out near her tails.

Little Tanuki's seventh tail had begun to grow!

The number of tails would determine Little Tanuki's future achievements. To an ordinary tanuki, if one managed to grow five tails, that was outstanding talent already. With a pure bloodline, one might get a sixth tail, which would make one a rare genius only found once every century. As for seven tails, that would be seen only once every millennium.

Little Tanuki's seventh tail was swiftly growing at a visible pace. Soon, it had grown as long as the other six tails. After a moment, an eighth tail showed signs of sprouting amid the seven tails. Nonetheless, it only grew by a bit - a centimeter or so - before it stopped.

It was far too difficult to grow the eighth tail unless one had another lucky encounter!

The cultivation base of Little Tanuki's Astral Body was constantly augmented, rising all the way to top Earthly Adept before it stopped. It was only a hair's breadth away from Heavenly Adept Rank.

After the Illusory Pearl's energy had merged with Little Tanuki, her body carried a faint scent that was similar to the sweet fragrance of an orchid in a secluded valley. It was intoxicating.

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