Ye Chen's heart may have been wrapped in a swarm of emotions, but his mind was still clear enough to remember the bigger picture which was the fact that the fate of his beloved House of Ye was hanging by a thread. He needed to train more instead of engaging in immature idleness!
In tandem with his training efforts, Ye Chen's Explosion Seeds had made an impressive advancement as well. Since he had finalized the design of the Seed's metallic capsule, he only needed to bring his blueprint to the in-house blacksmith. After the capsules were completed, Ye Chen had to retrieve and place gunpowder in the capsule before the Explosion Seed would be ready for action.
Frankly, Ye Chen was not sure if the blacksmith was capable of building these capsules since forging one of them was pretty sophisticated, but if the end product was exactly as he had planned, the force of a detonated Explosion Seed would be roughly equal to the force of a Ninth Stage master's attack!
Something like this was bound to be useful in a myriad of situations in the future.
He trained a bit more until it was after midnight. Slowly succ.u.mbing to lethargy, he climbed into bed, blew the lights out and almost fell asleep.
Suddenly, a white figure slid into his room through the side of his door.
Under a shower of silver moonlight, its snowy-white fur shimmered brightly.
'It's Little Tanuki!'
Ye Chen was pleasantly surprised. He rekindled all of his candles and brightened his room for the creature's return, but as soon as Little Tanuki was illuminated, the young man inhaled sharply.
There were fresh bloodied cuts on Little Tanuki's chest and underbelly that were so deep, Ye Chen could see strips of flesh and exposed bones from them. Streams of blood erupted from these gashes until the creature was soaked in a red pool of its own blood.
Little Tanuki was at the brink of death. Horrified, the young man immediately scooped the little creature up and placed it on his bed. Then he bolted to his cabinet and took out bandages and every kind of medicine he could get his hands on.
"You little critter! I can't believe you ran all the way into the Lianyun Mountains!" A pang struck Ye Chen's chest as he noticed Little Tanuki's breathing becoming slower by the second. Little Tanuki may just be a wild little thing he had just met but Ye Chen had already grown so fond of it that he refused to let it die.
He wiped Little Tanuki's wounds with medicine. After much trouble, Ye Chen managed to stop the bleeding with a few bandages.
Throughout the process of dressing its wounds, the young man could not stop noticing how weak and infrequent the little creature's breaths had become. It was even whimpered softly to him as if trying to tell him something.
Ye Chen's hands stopped all of a sudden. Guilt and mournfulness filled his heart as a thought arose in his mind. 'I shouldn't have left it alone in my room; It was my fault that it ran deep into the woods…'
Remembering how Little Tanuki looked at him with its bright, sentient eyes, Ye Chen let out a troubled sigh of sorrow.
Little Tanuki's eyes started to become unfocused and the young man knew that it proclaimed the creature's impending doom, together with the sight of its skin turning more ashen as life was escaping its body.
'It's not going to make it.' Feeling miserable, Ye Chen pounded on his bed.
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At that moment, an idea crossed his mind. 'The damaged meridian channels were repaired by the strange Celestial Chi provided by the Flying Dagger, weren't they? What if that same Celestial Chi could heal Little Tanuki's injuries?'
Moved by its plausibility, he quickly sat cross-legged on the bed. 'I'll have to make haste right now. Every lost second is a lost chance for Little Tanuki!'
Ye Chen revolved his Celestial Chi and triggered the Flying Dagger inside his head. In response, the Dagger gushed torrents of its unique Celestial Chi, which the young man immediately directed into his right hand. Then he placed his hand on Little Tanuki's body and gently transferred the torrents into it.
The creature's body shuddered. Ye Chen could feel that its body was slowly absorbing his Celestial Chi. Delicately yet steadily, signs of life started returning to the creature.
An hour pa.s.sed and Little Tanuki was not conscious yet.
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In spite of it, the little critter did not exactly move on to the far end either. As time pa.s.sed, Little Tanuki's wounds were continuously nurtured by Ye Chen's strange Celestial Chi. Its wounds st.i.tched themselves back as a healthy glow slowly returned to its snowy-white fur.
Ye Chen was once again taken aback by how human-like Little Tanuki was. His attention fell on the creature's bottom.
"Whoa, what is that?" He cried out in surprise. It was a brand-new furry, spherical object attached to Little Tanuki's bottom! He quickly grabbed all of Little Tanuki's three tails and lifted them aside, exposing the critter's bare b.u.m. With his free hand, Ye Chen rubbed on the newfound ball-like object.
In response, Little Tanuki thrashed violently, squeaking at the top of its lungs as every part of its body rapidly turned into scarlet.
"Don't move! Come on, get real. I'm not going to do anything to you. It's just that you suddenly have this extra tumor over here...wait. Little Tanuki, it's your tail, isn't it?! You're sprouting a new tail!" Ye Chen mumbled in excitement. "It's just kind of short right now."
Little Tanuki originally had three tails and now it was about to grow a fourth one. 'Will it grow a fifth one and so on? Is Little Tanuki really a nine-tailed demon fox after all?'
Hearing Ye Chen's words, Little Tanuki jumped up and immediately turned its head to examine the subject of his fascination. Indeed, a new tail sprouted and the little creature became noticeably elated.
"Excited to have that fourth tail, huh?" Ye Chen laughed. His mind wandered to the books he had read in the past. 'A mystical fox may be able to turn into a human. If that was true and Little Tanuki turned into a human girl, she would be an exemplary, bewitching beauty!'
Of course, it was just a thought that went out in a blink of an eye. Ye Chen had to admit that he was starting to become a little too over-imaginative.
"Come on, Little Tanuki. Let's have breakfast together. You must be starving after not eating for a day," Ye Chen announced as he got up from his bed. After changing into his attire, Little Tanuki leaped and perched on his shoulder.
It seemed that the little critter had dropped quite a significant amount of resentment towards him after all.
Ye Chen rubbed the creature's graceful, soft fur and was stunned at how similar the feeling was to rubbing the smooth, supple skin of a fair maiden.
Yet, unlike his previous attempts, Little Tanuki did not seem to mind. It just slumped comfortably on his shoulder, its three bushy tails swinging back and forth.
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