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The door opened again no less than an hour later. With a sliding noise, Mao Ba’er immediately slipped in and gazed at Xu Yangyi rather fiercely. “Xu… I’ve had it up to here with you!”
“Then don’t take it.” Xu Yangyi sipped his sugar water, unhurriedly.
“You wanna cut ties?!” Mao Ba’er’s fur stood on edge.
Xu Yangyi nodded resolutely.
“In your dreams!” Mao Ba’er rolled on the ground. “If it weren’t for me at your side, taking care of you with my heart and soul in these past dozen days, how could you have possibly woken up so quickly? Don’t you know how serious your injuries are? Your qi sea has suffered damage and many of your bones are busted up! Your spiritual sense has withered to almost nothing! There’s no difference between you and a zombie…”
Xu Yangyi waved his hand, cutting off the husky. “Help me and bring that laptop over here.”
“Why?!” Mao Ba’er reflexively turned his eyes upwards and looked at Xu Yangyi. “I’m huddled under your bed. Do it yourself!”
After several seconds of silence, Xu Yangyi laughed and petted the dog’s head. “You put your heart and soul into taking care of me? Right?”
Mao Ba’er was at a sudden loss of words, whimpering for a while and then extending his front paw to dig at the floor. “I was just sayin’, but you believed me… You’re really naive…” The room was tranquil once more. After a good few minutes, Mao Ba’er asked, “There’s… no problems with your body, right?”
“That’s good…” Mao Ba’er seemed to sigh in relief and put his head on the bed. “There are still four more days until graduation grades have to be reported. You bought that old swindler Cloudcrane’s courses? Didn’t I tell you… a single one of his videos is 30,000, but not even Ran Asakawa’s are as expensive! How about I stay here and help you handle the transaction with the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion, that way, you can head back to the branch first?”
“No need.” Xu Yangyi lit a cigarette. “When I was eight, I was taken into Heavens Law. Today can be considered my first outing into the world. I want to take a look at the place known as ‘the cultivation supermarket’ and see what the dealings of the ‘cultivator domain’s Bountiful Treasures Pavilion’ is like. There’s also minor business I want to settle.”
“Minor business? What minor business? Can’t you go and make the report first? Don’t forget, the time to submit grades for the graduation exam is two months. Half a month has already passed. Do you really want to leave your future task force with a snobbish impression?”
Xu Yangyi held his cigarette in hand and paused, turning his head to look at Mao Ba’er. The other had swiftly turned his body around, only leaving his wagging tail behind.
“Do you remember when I was fifteen and doing countryside training? The wound then seemed even more serious than the one this time? After you asked if there was nothing wrong with me, didn’t you take advantage of the situation and rob me of a low-grade spirit stone?”
An dreamy expression appeared on the dog’s face. “That was the best use of a spirit stone in my entire life… To steal an item from your hand once is enough for me to brag for a lifetime…” When he finished his trip down memory lane three seconds later, the dog swept his eyes disdainfully over Xu Yangyi. “...You narrow-minded man, it’s been so many years but you still remember it so clearly. It’s a matter between friends; how can you call it stealing?”
Xu Yangyi took a drag and smiled afterwards. “When I was eighteen, doing live ammunition training, my classmate who studied gun arts shot my shoulder during a match, and fractured it into pieces. After you helped me by licking my wounds twice, weren’t you busy on a date with another dog?”
“Uh huh?” A tail impatiently swatted Xu Yangyi twice. The husky was pretty angry. What was Xu Yangyi still doing holding on to these old drudged-up matters? Even if Xu Yangyi wanted to be shameless, he still wanted to save face!
“The year before, I was…”
“Are you done?!” The husky turned over angrily, glowering at Xu Yangyi. “What? Is this a pity party? Does it bother you?!”
Xu Yangyi leisurely puffed out a smoke ring, gently stroked the other’s sleek fur with his hand, and laughed grimly. “What I want to say is that as long as I don’t run into a major crisis, my cultivation foundation won’t be affected. You shouldn’t be of mind to come and ask me… Don’t look at me like that. We’ve worked and studied together for ten years now. I know just what you’re like.”
“What you care about is money, money, and also money. If there’s anything else, there’s also every other vice under the sun. How many years has it been… The first time you took advantage of my leave, you didn’t even ask about my 30,000 RMB worth of learning materials to…”
Swish! The husky suddenly shot off the bed, looking at Xu Yangyi in shock. He felt an indescribable murderous aura.
“So…” Xu Yangyi’s hand stroked Mao Ba’er’s ear. With a sudden application of force, a mournful howl soon followed as the lowly dog was pulled over and fixed with Xu Yangyi’s eyes. “Come, tell me, what’re you hiding from me?” His eyes narrowed dangerously. “What… happened?”
“Woof, woof, woof!” Mao Ba’er yelped hoarsely but was only met with an even greater degree of strength. He braced himself and laughed wryly, “Nothing’s wrong, can’t I be worried about you? You’re the number one human I approve of… I can’t be concerned?”
Xu Yangyi didn’t respond and seemed to indifferently loosen his hand. His gaze carried a sharpness and compulsion as he said clearly and calmly, “It’s me? What happened to my body? Do I have to return immediately to Heavens Law to take care of it?
“It’s really nothing!” Mao Ba’er, who ordinarily liked going with the flow, suddenly hopped up and jitterily coiled up at the side. “Pretty boy, where are you getting this crap from? Everything I do is for your good! For your good!”
“Mao Ba’er.” Xu Yangyi extinguished the cigarette butt with his fingers and said lowly, “I can put up with your lowly transgressions and tolerate your naughty behavior, but the one thing that I can’t abide is your deceit.”
The mood between the two was silent once more. After a while, Mao Ba’er sighed resentfully. “You… Don’t you know what I dislike about you the most is your beastly keenness! You’ll catch up to me soon!”
Xu Yangyi only laughed.
“You have to mentally prepare yourself…” Mao Ba’er licked his lips. “No matter what the result is… I’ll always stand by your side…”
Mao Ba’er didn’t continue to speak. After three seconds, he opened his mouth again, yet stopped once more. After another ten-odd seconds passed, he suddenly flung the bell on his neck. “Take a look yourself, alright!”
A stack of resources flew into the room. Xu Yangyi glanced at them and was stunned in his entirety.
In the cultivation world, there was a technique known as Innersight. This was an art that any cultivator would know, so that it couldn’t even be called an art and only a skill. If said spiritual sense were feelers, then these feelers could go within one’s body, and a cultivator would be able to clearly “see” every one of their pores and organs through them.
As for Mao Ba’er, he simply wasn’t just a talking husky. Every partnership needed a qualified logistician. A partner that knew medical techniques, economics, and how to develop and market you. A partner that would strive to find more opportunities for you and so on… It wasn’t much different than a show biz agent.
Innersight was a technique Mao Ba’er had to know. He and Xu Yangyi had signed a life-death pact. From the outside, he could use Innersight to examine Xu Yangyi’s body. These stack of resources were Innersight diagrams from his point of view.
Swoosh… Xu Yangyi didn’t say a word as he gently set down the stack and forcefully squeezed his fist. There weren’t any differences… but from his chest to his dantian… there was a single discrepancy! Within his qi sea inside his dantian, there was a lotus shadow gently swaying!
“Scared?” Mao Ba’er’s voice was heard. “The qi sea… is any cultivator’s root, and the place where qi is stored. It’s the same as a cultivator’s second heart… There shouldn’t be anything there except for qi!
“However, when you blacked out that day, I found this thing in your qi sea. It was only a bud then, so I didn’t see anything. I only know that something weird had appeared in your qi sea! My god! Only at Core Formation would there be a core inside! Even at the long-lost Nascent Soul, the only thing there would be a nascent soul! As for you, you don’t have a core or a nascent soul but surprisingly a lotus!”
“When all your bodily functions recovered yesterday night, I found out that the flower had actually blossomed! What kind of fucking joke is this?!”
Xu Yangyi coolly locked the door. For a cultivator, or any cultivator—no—even a normal person, none would be able to calm their heart when an unknown object suddenly appeared within their body. “Give it to me straight.”
“Remember that berserker?” Mao Ba’er’s head leaned against the sick bed, and he gritted his teeth. “The fluctuations of its peak and bottom power values were too severe… Also, its realm was strange, especially… the place from where the demon core began to fluctuate. In these past dozen days, I personally operated and scanned it…”
“Take a guess, what did I find?” He used his paw to rummage through the images, finding one among them. “Give it a look!”
Xu Yangyi carefully glanced it over, and a layer of cold sweat graced his palm. At the position of where the serpent’s demon core was, there was an identical lotus imprint! It was like the heavens had grown above it!
“Everyone knows that any cultivator’s qi sea and meridians are formed in direct proportion.” Mao Ba’er dug at the image of the X-ray. “However, the serpent wasn’t the same… It’s qi sea was extremely huge, but it’s meridians were extremely slim. It’s not science that the qi sea is like a water pump and the meridians are like pipes that are linked to the water pump. If the water pump’s power output is too high, and the pipes are too small, take a guess, what kind of situation do you think will happen?”
“The rushing strength will be too great, which will lead to the water pipe bursting?” Xu Yangyi muttered to himself for several seconds and then said.
“Well, to be frank about one thing… your body will explode, and you’ll die!” Mao Ba’er nodded. “You think the swelling pain in your body from inside to out… battering every single one of your muscles, veins, and meridians… every day and night… every minute and second… will cause a lot of blood to burst out because of the rushing force of your collapsed veins, every now and then…? Isn’t this called internal bleeding in medical science? Mhm, it seems to be—afterwards, traces of reddish-purple blood will form under your skin and might even spray out from your pores…”
“Not to even mention humans, even greater demons wouldn’t be able to bear such pain. It was because this demon was in such pain that it was went crazy in its life. This was why it risked attacking you and was also mistakenly treated as a berserker.”
The room was suddenly silent. Xu Yangyi clasped his teacup and didn’t say a word. A minute later, he looked at Mao Ba’er and said lowly, “And myself?”
“Since you’ve been knocked out, your qi sea has already expanded by 0.05%!” Mao Ba’er stared at him unwaveringly. “It’s very slow… extremely slow… however, it’ll definitely cause your death before Foundation Establishment! A hundred years for Foundation Establishment, think about it. Not even mentioning a century, don’t think about using your qi without a hitch, in case your qi sea expands by a third!”
He impatiently turned turned around twice in a circle. “I bet that this and that streak of red light are related to each other a hundred percent! It’s like a hermit crab! It was cozied up at home within that serpent’s body before. When that demon wasn’t able to take it any longer and was destroyed, it immediately chose the closest living body! It’s pretty unfortunate it was you… What the hell is this evil thing!”
“These past days, I’ve gone through all the data, but there aren’t any records that it's related with! To the extent that its likeness has never been reported!”
1. 武藤兰 is another stage name of Ran Asakawa, Wu Tenglan, in China I believe. If you know who Ran Asakawa is LOL, but if you don’t I do not recommend searching for her around other people or in public. You will have an… interesting surprise. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
2. 忆苦思甜 - pity party. Well not quite, these four characters symbolize an idea of “thinking your past sucks, but your current standings as happy.” It’s a mouthful to say this, so I changed it.
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