”Kree! ” That familiar cry brought a smile to Wei Wuyin ’s face, infused with warmth, excitement, relief, and a little amusement. It ’s been six years since the starfield ’s destruction, three years since his last breakthrough, and a few days after that, Bai Lin ’s glorious return.
She had completed her full nine years. What was normally extremely short for even Astral Core Realm cultivators, even to some upper-stage Qi Condensation Realm cultivators, felt incredibly long to Wei Wuyin. He was only fifty-four years old, so he still felt everyday with remarkable clarity.
Thinking about his last two and a half decades of life, he would often feel it was surreal. Then, he was just a Core Disciple at the Scarlet Solaris Sect, staving off schemes, assassinations, and fighting for every last bit of resources possible.
Now? He had touched levels of power and means that his past self couldn ’t even imagine. He received the Bloodline of Sin, becoming an Inheritor of Sin, and survived the Rite of a Sinner and two Calamities of Hell as a mere mortal. There was still a cascade of never-ending stress, the weight of crushing pressure on his shoulders, and a constant tick in his thoughts reminding him that every moment must be cherished.
Yet, he felt that his current life, his current circumstances, felt much better than his life before. Whether it was his feats or his abilities, his Astral Souls or his women, his subordinates or his reputation, he was grateful to have lived to this point.
When he watched Bai Lin vanish into the sky, becoming ash, there was an emptiness within his heart. A piece of himself had burnt along with her. With her return, so did that portion of his original heart. The heart that held his belief that simple joy of living and loving your best life, the life you wished to live by choice, was always the right way to do so.
”Kree! ” As the fiery figure approached closer, the golden-scarlet flames that surrounded it slowly started to diminish in intensity. This cry of hers contained a trace of disappointment and dissatisfaction, causing Wei Wuyin to laugh again.
A rushing wave of flames landed before him, sending bits of gorgeous flames spewing out in all directions. Wei Wuyin was brushed by the flames, but remained unharmed. Bai Lin always had the unique ability to only bring harm to those she wished. It was as if her flames were one with her heart, capable of distinguishing friend from foe. He didn ’t even feel its heat on his scale, but the temperature of the Dark Void was certainly at an outrageously high level at the moment.
Wei Wuyin took a step forward and he felt a spiritual message.
”It ’s not fair! How come she ’s so big?! ” Bai Lin complained gloomily, speaking through mental transmissions. The ’she ’ was certainly the Tiangou that was resting, not even awakened after Wei Wuyin had become the living embodiment of a Black Hole. She was an astonishing creature.
Since her nirvanic transformation, entering the new limits of her phoenix Bloodline, Bai Lin has been continuously taking action against the Tiangou. After learning that she destroyed her home, how could she not be pissed? She would unfailingly fly to Tiangou whenever she made a noticeable improvement in her strength, gaining control of her abilities or elevating her powers through Wei Wuyin ’s alchemical products, and begin to release a torrent of relentless strikes.
Her strikes could burn a hole through a planet, yet it didn ’t even singe a single hair on the Tiangou ’s gargantuan body. Besides a soft snort from the Star-Devourer, Bai Lin ’s actions did very little, if not outright nothing.
Yet Bai Lin was unwilling to give up. Even though she was unwilling, she was unable to even move the Tiangou or awaken it, her will to assert her dominance, to get some vengeance for her destroyed home, was left unable to be enacted. Wei Wuyin found this quite funny.
Bai Lin ’s golden-scarlet flames fully dissipated, revealing her newly evolved self. She was entirely different from her original self, a white-feathered crane with golden eyes, beak, and tail that stood at several dozen meters. Her current size had shrunk, reaching just eleven meters, far smaller than other beasts.
She had truly evolved, becoming more complex, more exquisite, closer to the myths regarding phoenixes. While her distinct features of a crane remained, such as her elegant beak with a slight curve, sharp eyes, long legs, and her feathers were a mix of pristine white and radiant gold, a perfect balance of the two.
Her head resembled that of a male golden pheasant, yet it was more flourishing, more rich in color. If it could be described, then it was a mixture of a female crane and a golden pheasant ’s head. Her wings were filled with feathers, but their overall structure changed, resembling swallows. Her breast area was more robust, proud and noble. The tail of hers was a mass of feathers that flowed elegantly like a river as she moved. The feathers of her tail were notably different from the others on her body, containing a strange golden gleam that trailed the world as she moved. Utterly mesmerizing.
Wei Wuyin now believed the legend that phoenixes were the progenitor of winged creatures, especially the avian species. Bai Lin, while retaining some of her original appearance as a crane, seemed to have become a mash of perfectly synergistic features of other birds.
However, this only highlighted her beauty rather than give one a sense of disunity, as if it was the correct form of all gorgeous birds. This was especially so to Kratos, who was incredibly restless after observing Bai Lin ’s new form.
According to it, Bai Lin ’s form was otherworldly and attractive to his dragon bloodline. Wei Wuyin felt the earnest admiration and heated desire as well, but his mind was reinforced by Eden, such primal instincts were within his total control.
It wasn ’t just a one-way feeling either. Bai Lin ’s eyes towards him whenever he was in his True Draconic Form was just as intense, heated, and wild as Kratos ’ reaction. This slowly dissipated as she grew used to it, suppressed by her powerful will, but he could tell it was present.
”She ’s a Star-Devourer. Of course she ’s big, ” Wei Wuyin smilingly said.
Bai Lin snorted, unfurling her wings and batting them in denial, ”One day, I ’ll be just as big. Then we ’ll see if that heap of meat can stay asleep before my slaps! ”
Wei Wuyin didn ’t find this a laughing matter. Giving her words some serious thought, because she might one day be able to do it. Since her nirvanic transformation, Bai Lin ’s physical form had been unchanging, staying at eleven meters no matter how increased her physical energies became, far from the standard means of a beast. However, if one thought she was small and weak from it, they ’ll certainly be surprised, likely played to death filled with regret.
Her transformation brought about a lot of changes, such as her ability to actively communicate. Just like Anu, she gained a higher degree of intelligence and control of her mental energies. It took her a few months before she got used to her ability, capable of perfectly sending syllables and structured sentences to others.
However, he was still a little confused. Why was she and Anu capable of doing this? He always thought it was a unique ability of Anu, because no beast at the Star-level had such means, and there was no record of it in the Myriad Monarch Sect, yet Bai Lin could do it directly after her transformation.
Was there something wrong with the beast species? Or was it just their starfield? As he was lost in thought, a bird ’s head lowered itself to his gaze, a pair of eyes looking at him curiously.
”You ’re doing it again, ” Bai Lin remarked. Wei Wuyin became more contemplative since her return, considering far too many matters with each passing day and spacing out randomly.
Wei Wuyin broke out of his thoughts. Warily smiling, ”Sorry. I ’m just curious about beasts, that ’s all. Why are you different from others? How come other beasts at the Star-level can ’t communicate via mental energies? ” Wei Wuyin spoke his mind, not concealing or dismissing his questions. He would never hide his thoughts from Bai Lin. There was utterly no need.
Bai Lin lifted her neck up, contemplating with a focused gaze. She was an avian creature, lacking the required facial muscles to frown, but Wei Wuyin could tell she was focusing heavily on his questions with seemingly furrowed brows.
After a short while, she eventually asked: ”Am I a Star Beast? ”
This question caused Wei Wuyin to freeze.
Bai Lin twirled around Wei Wuyin, bobbing her head up and down in thought, sending mental messages. ”According to you, I was a Star Beast before, right? If I ’m different now, then am I still a Star Beast? ”
Wei Wuyin couldn ’t help but ask, ”You don ’t know? ”
Bai Lin lowered her head, shaking it slightly. ”Star Beast, isn ’t that what others came up with? How could I know? ”
Wei Wuyin didn ’t know whether to laugh or cry. Then, he realized that there were no distinctions of beasts in the True Dragon Transmutation Method. In a way, mortal-level beasts were beasts too weak of a physical existence to survive in the Dark Void, and star-level beasts were referred to as beasts that can survive the Dark Void.
”It does kind of feel too general and made-up, ” Wei Wuyin remarked with a little bit of shock in his heart. Was the mortal-level and star-level classifications just distinctions, not cultivation levels?
”Bai Lin, do you feel like you have a cultivation level? ” Wei Wuyin asked.
Bai Lin lifted her head, batting her wings, ”I don ’t know. Nirvanic Rebirth Realm? I think. Maybe? ” She understood what cultivation was, being with Wei Wuyin for decades and being around cultivators since her birth, she picked up many things. She tried to place her thoughts into a similar fashion as cultivators.
Wei Wuyin added, ”First Stage? ”
Bai Lin ’s golden-colored eyes brightened with excitement, she moved her neck and head in a vibrant nod. ”I have to overcome eight more. So I guess so. First Stage…Nirvanic Rebirth Realm? Nine Rebirths! Haha, I ’m a cultivator! ” She cried out a series of joyful noises. She soared into the sky, circling Wei Wuyin with astonishing speed and grace.
Wei Wuyin warmly smiled, but his mind was circulating madly. Were beasts functioning on a different cultivation system? If they reached a certain point…
They weren ’t humanoids. But then, what about the Mark of Myths? The Heart of Blood that he formed alongside Kratos. Was it just a byproduct of circumstance, a unique path of two different systems merging? But that didn ’t seem quite right.
”Bai Lin, do you have any unique abilities? Something that feels outright different from before? Something powerful? ” Wei Wuyin asked the gleeful Bai Lin.
Bai Lin spun mid-air, twisting upwards, and then spread out her wings before gracefully landing. Her movements were incomparably elegant, smooth, and well-practiced. She had years to adjust to her new body.
”Hmm. Yes. I feel like I can communicate with something inside my heart. It resembles me, but I also can ’t see it clearly. Its strange. ” When she truly thought of it, she now realized certain things were quite odd.
Wei Wuyin ’s eyes brightened. He felt Kratos rumble in his heart, both coming to a clear conclusion.
”You figured something out? ” Bai Lin was filled to the brim with curiosity. She didn ’t understand herself well enough or what it meant to be a phoenix. This was the first time the two had ever talked about it despite their almost three years together. While important, it was difficult to grasp.
Wei Wuyin nodded, his eyebrows soothed out and he felt a little relief. ”It ’s hard to put into exact words, but I think I understand what ’s happened to you. Including the certain reasons for events. ”
The Golden Phoenix Fruit—the Heavenly Daos ’ karmic gift, and why it was given. The instinctual reminder to help Bai Lin overcome her Nirvanic Journey. All of it was connected to Bai Lin ’s cultivation path. He had thought that Bai Lin was like his Mark of Myth, divided into Mortal, Mystic, and Immortal, growing stronger as the bloodline purity was enhanced.
But he realized it wasn ’t. The Mark of Myth was still a product of a Spirit of Cultivation, a metaphysical bloodline. It wasn ’t actually natural like Anu ’s and Bai Lin ’s. Their paths were fundamentally different.
If the Mark of Myth was bout elevating bloodline purity and qualities, infusing Mystic Intent and then later Immortal properties, then it followed the characteristics of his cultivation. Even if his bloodline originated from the lowest species, with the trashiest bloodline, then he could still elevate it to Immortal-Rank, manifesting abilities unique to it even if something of that level never existed in reality by following his path.
However, Bai Lin ’s cultivation geared towards becoming one ’s ancestors, awakening their bloodline, eventually transforming into the progenitor of their entire species. The image that Bai Lin sees in her heart was likely the true form of a fire phoenix, a true divinity.
She was pursuing her origins.
He was establishing his own path.
The Heavenly Daos had interfered, deliberately awakening her bloodline to have her support him in his cultivation efforts. They were karmic bonded.
The reason why others weren ’t like Anu and Bai Lin, to Wei Wuyin ’s assumption, is because they haven ’t awakened their Ancestral Bloodlines, allowing them to step towards their official cultivation path and reach the peak of their existence. Or at least, a peak.
When he explained all this to Bai Lin, she thought for a long moment before nodding in agreement. She felt that Wei Wuyin was right. That image felt like it was her goal. She was to undergo Nirvanic Transformation nine times, becoming a true phoenix.
After another hour of back and forth, trying to deduce certain characteristics of her bloodline and path, Wei Wuyin finally came up with a name for her current type of beast, those that have awakened their ancestral bloodline qualities, gaining heightened intelligence and capable of pursuing divinity:
They were at the beginning of their paths to pursue their origin, their Ancestral Paths. If Bai Lin experienced further changes, he would add to this classification. Anu and Bai Lin were both Genesis Beasts who ’ve awakened their Ancestral Paths in his mind. Unfortunately, this was just his own means to differentiate and analyze for future reference, not an official designation.
The paths of cultivators and beasts were different. One pushed towards their own paths, the other followed their progenitor.
”I wonder if there ’s actually a True Void Dragon that actually exists in reality… ” The thought caused Kratos to throb fiercely. To be the first of its kind, how legendary would that make it?!
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