Before I descended into the mortal realm, I had collected my soul beast from the Jade Palace. He was in the palace for training. There was a beast master who ensured both me and my mother’s soul beasts were the best in their cultivation, so they may be able to protect us without any worries. Thus, because of him, both our beasts were now able to take up human forms and wield weapons if they wished.
When I was a child, I had thought my beast was a female, and inadvertently named him Coco. When I found out he was male, I quickly changed his name to Seiran, with my excuse being that it took me a long time to find a name better suited for him. He seemed to accept this with a little bit of resentment.
Seiran was a white fox I had found in the Golden Forest. I was 5,000 years old at that time, and I loved exploring Heaven and flying on my golden leaf.
He was a baby when I found him, and he had been lying beside his dead mother, sorrowfully pawing at her corpse. It was snowing, and both mother and child blended into the background. If not for my keen eyes, and the splash of red by the mother’s chest, I would not have been able to find them.
It seemed like someone shot the mother, but why would anyone want to kill a divine beast? I hopped down my leaf, and walked closer. Seiran was surprised, and then he growled viciously at me.
“Calm down. I’m not going to hurt you.” I looked at the corpse and sniffed. “I think it’s best to bury your mother. Don’t you want her to have a proper grave?”
Divine beasts were not able to talk unless they cultivated up to the 8th stage of the Nascent realm. If they reached the 12th stage, and broke into the Xian profound realm, they were then able to take the physical form of humans, which would be their turning point of cultivation. If they wanted to obtain more power, the last stage was the Empyrean realm which had another 12 stages of cultivation.
The little fox retracted its teeth, and whimpered.
“Alright, then.” I smiled gently at him. Although I was only 5,000 years old, I was quite efficient in magic. The only thing I needed to raise was my stamina, otherwise, simple things were easy for me to accomplish.
I melted the snow until the green grass beneath showed. I dug into the ground until I made a rectangular hole which was five feet in height.
“Will this suffice?” I looked at the fox that had been trailing behind me. He looked into the hole and slowly nodded his head.
I lifted the carcass in the air, and slowly moved her down the hole until she reached the bottom.
A thought suddenly occurred to me. I looked at the fox and said, “There needs to be some sort of marker here. We’ll need to pay respects in the future, so the bigger marker, the better it would be for us.”
The fox only looked at me with his jewel-like eyes.
“I actually have a branch here of my favorite plum blossom tree. Do you mind if I use it on your mother’s grave? Once it grows, it will become extremely beautiful. I’m sure she would like to be remembered that way.”
For the first time, I saw a hint of happiness in his blue eyes.
After covering the hole with the upturned soil, I placed the branch on top of the finished mound. I took the ribbon I had used to tie my hair with, and casted a simple fertility spell on it as I wrapped it delicately around the vertical branch.
“There.” I smiled at my work of art. “All done.”
I stroked the fox’s head, and he nudged lovingly against my hand in gratitude. Suddenly, without warning, he bared his fangs and bit my arm.
Because a deity’s sense of pain was diminished, the pain was tolerable. However, I was too stunned to move. “What the—!!”
Before I could retaliate, he started to lick the blood that had slowly trickled down to my hand. The fox, in turn, nipped his own paw. Blood oozed from the wound, and he pressed it against the flesh where he had bitten me.
When I felt something warm flow inside of me, I knew what he had done. He actually made a soul contract with me! I was dumbfounded. At that moment, as our souls merged together, both of our wounds closed up almost instantaneously, and I felt a rush of energy that strengthened my meridians.
Divine soul beasts were not easy to obtain. They had to acknowledge you as someone they served first. Also, they were quite rare in Heaven, as most of the beasts come from the mortal realm, ascending only into Heaven once they had reached the pinnacle of mortal cultivation. But even if I was glad I had made a contract, it was still out of the blue. I felt like I had been raped!
“You didn’t even ask my permission!” I squeaked.
Now that we were bound by the soul, he was easily able to enter my soul space. Although he was not able to speak, he communicated to me through the emotions that he delivered telepathically.
He looked at me pitifully, as he scratched his ears and whined. He looked adorable. I hated how it made me want to cuddle him instead.
“Now that I’m your master, I’m going to work you to the bone!” I laughed evilly.
He knew my true thoughts (which was far from that), and ignored my comment. He made a cackling noise through his mouth, probably trying to imitate me. It was cute if it didn’t sound so eerie.
I grimaced, and he stopped his noise. He curled around my legs and nudged the side of his furry head against my thigh.
“I hate how you’re adorable,” I muttered. I scooped him up in my arms and we rode my golden leaf back to the netherworld.
It was during the journey that the little fox in my arms started to change shape. It’s fur retracted, and it was replaced by glistening white scales. Little wings sprouted from his back, and his snout became longer, his head a bit narrower. He looked like a serpent covered in pearls, but I knew what kind of beast he was.
I almost threw him into the air if not for the blue eyes that were looking at me pleadingly.
“You lied to me. I thought you were a cute fox, but you’re actually a baby dragon!” I gritted my teeth.
It was one thing to become my soul beast without my permission, and it was entirely another thing to have him keep his identity before the contract. He turned back into fox form after he saw my anger, and quickly licked the side of my face, asking for forgiveness. It wasn’t easy for him to convey his reasons, as all I could feel were his turbulent emotions, but in the end I accepted him back into my arms. I couldn’t win against the cuteness after all.
When I informed my uncle of the mother’s death (it turned out to be Seiran’s friend, not mother), he quickly sent a team to investigate the case. It turned out that a new deity who ascended into Heaven from the mortal world but a month ago, had killed her. The fox had refused becoming his soul beast, and he was so infuriated that he couldn’t contain the lightening bolt that escaped his fingertip. Divine spritual beasts were difficult opponents, but it seemed that the fox had already prepared to die.
I wondered why, but I thought of the baby dragon in my arms. Perhaps she tried to protect him, thus using herself as bait? I surmised that was the reason for Seiran hiding his identity. Although the norm of obtaining Soul beasts were to have them accept you first, there was also a forceful way to do it without their consent. Somehow like what Seiran had done with me, with the roles reversed.
When The Jade Emperor heard of this, he immediately gave out the order to return that deity to where he came from, stripping him of his immortality. He had to claw his way up from the 1st stage of the Nascent realm, which was the beginner stage in terms of cultivation.
This ex-deity cultivated long and hard, taking him 20,000 years to climb up the ladder of Heaven again. He was repentant, and the Jade Emperor assigned him to become a guardian deity of the fox clan in recompense for killing one of their members.
so in case anyone is curious about the cultivation levels/realms, here it is :
- Heavenly Beasts : Nascent realm, Xian profound, Empyrean.
- Spiritual Beasts in the mortal realm : first stage (nascent realm and xian profound). Once they turn human, they go through the process again with a realm taken out (nascent realm, Xian profound, empyrean, then ascension to Heaven). Once in Heaven, they have to cultivate again. They’re so hardworking lol.
- Mortals : (nascent realm, Xian profound, infernal realm, empyrean, ascension).
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