Having fought side by side for many times already, Li Tianming could synergise very well with the little chick. Their opponent was a wildbeast from the Abyssal Battlefield, which meant that this battle was a race against time, especially since it had royal manna. To make things worse, its spiritsource ability, the Jadefire Armor, was already activated.
“We need to get rid of its ability first, or we can’t even harm it!”
“Try your Infernal Blaze.”
The Infernal Blaze was born from within the little chick’s infernalsource, and it was a terrifying flame that was surely superior to the Jade-Scaled Flaming Eagle’s green flames.
Before Li Tianming could even finish his sentence, the little chick had already released a blazing phoenix from its mouth. The phoenix projection took flight and dashed towards the eagle, the two of them meeting in mid-air a moment later. The Jade-Scaled Flaming Eagle was a fire-type beast to begin with, and against an attack of the same element it did not even see a need to block it.
With an explosion, the blazing phoenix shattered in mid-air! But to the eagle’s surprise, a layer of Infernal Blaze had caught onto its body, adding another crimson layer on top of its Jadefire Armor. The greenish hue surrounding the eagle turned red, and the encroaching flames began to block out some of its vision. While the Infernal Blaze couldn't harm the eagle yet, it had covered the layer of Jadefire Armor, nullifying any possibility of being burnt by the ability.
“Now’s our chance! Get it!”
Since the Infernal Blaze would burn on forever, the Jadefire Armor would only get thinner with time, meaning that the eagle would also become weaker and weaker!
Li Tianming and Ying Huo picked this opportunity to strike. The eagle had yet to realise that its spiritsource ability was not functioning, its focus entirely on Li Tianming. With a piercing shriek, it flapped its wings and swooped onto Li Tianming with its swift claws and razor-sharp beaks. The force of its strike was strong enough to tear the cave down, let alone Li Tianming.
And yet, Li Tianming was just so much faster. Air parted as his chainblade struck out, wrapping and binding the eagle several times over. The Blazing Dragon Fang, however, failed to stab into the eagle, blocked by the Jadefire Armor.
“What a thick-skinned bird!”
The Jade-Scaled Flaming Eagle specialized in close-ranged combat, capitalising on its brute strength, and this strategy was further augmented through its tough armor. Throughout the battle, Li Tianming’s Three-Spring Heavy Strikes and Ying Huo’s Three-Spring Heavy Claws had landed onto the eagle multiple times, but nothing had happened. The Jadefire Armor had absorbed all of their attacks, and if it wasn’t for the layer of Infernal Blaze coating the eagle, the duo would have been scalded a few times.
Nothing seemed able to get past the eagle’s defences. It would be a daunting task for any beastmaster at eighth level Spiritsource to take down this wildbeast, and even Li Tianming’s Blazing Dragon Chainblade couldn’t shred its armor!
Perhaps the only good news was that the eagle was heavily reliant on its armor, meaning that it couldn’t catch up with the duo’s agility. Besides, most of its attacks were fire-typed as well, meaning that they were meaningless against the two fire-immune monsters.
It was no kick for the duo to fend off the eagle’s attack, but what they were afraid of was attracting other combatants over from the commotion.
“About time!” Even though time was working against them, Li Tianming and Ying Huo didn’t look like they were panicking at all. At that moment, the little chick let out a cold snicker, and only then did the Jade-Scaled Flaming Eagle realise that the layer of flame from the little chick had chewed a hole through its spiritsource ability!
The eagle screamed; an action born from a primal fear. At the same time, the little chick drilled through the hole in the Jadefire Armor, leaving the eagle’s body exposed.
“Die!” Now nothing could stop it from killing the eagle! The eagle was forced to withdraw its ability, or it would actually hinder itself from trying to lose the little chick.
But that had also given Li Tianming more opportunities to attack.
“End it fast!” He appeared in front of the eagle, who was exchanging claw strikes with Ying Huo. Clang! Metallic shrieks rang through the cave as two sets of claws, one big and one small, clashed over and over.
“Look here.” Li Tianming brought his left hand up directly in front of the eagle. The eagle that was still battling a split second ago was instantly distracted by the Bewildering Eye.
The Bewildering Eye had the power to daze even Lin Xiaoting, let alone a wildbeast. It was especially effective, since wildbeasts had an extreme weakness to illusory attacks due to their lack of intelligence.
Even though the Jade-Scaled Flaming Eagle was only stunned briefly, that brief moment was enough for Li Tianming and Ying Huo to achieve a lot of things. First, the little chick struck forward, its Netherfire Ghostclaw tearing through the eagle’s flesh and reaching straight for the royal manna. At the same time, Li Tianming’s Blazing Dragon Chainblade pierced through the eagle’s mouth, punching through the back of its head!
With one last dying shriek, the Jade-Scaled Flaming Eagle took its final breath. For a creature with minimal intelligence, it was an admirable effort.
If the duo decided to just run off with the manna, the eagle won’t let them go easily. This would compromise their locations; killing the eagle was the safest bet.
On top of that, Li Tianming was interested in the Jadefire Armor, considering how hard it was. He wanted to do an experiment, and test out if the little chick was a wildbeast or a lifebound beast, or in fact a mixture of both.
“Ying Huo, hide the manna. Give me a minute to refine its beast soul.” Li Tianming didn’t waste any time as he started on purgatory refinement.
“I will keep watch.” Ying Huo was curious to whether it could refine the beast souls of wildbeasts into its own spiritsources. The Infernal Blaze was a product of its own bloodline, not obtained from wildbeasts like regular spiritsource abilities.
As the little chick guarded the entrance to the cave, Li Tianming focused on his purgatory refinement. It was a special technique that he had learned three years ago, and also an important technique that all beastmasters at Spiritsource would need to learn. With purgatory refinement, beastmasters could obtain the beast soul of wildbeasts and channel it into their own lifebound beast’s spiritsource.
The Jade-Scaled Flaming Eagle was killed by Li Tianming, and wildbeasts would always fear whoever killed them. Even death wouldn’t change this deeply-etched fear, and more importantly, the stronger their fear, the higher the refinement’s success rate was.
Another factor that determined the result of purgatory refinement would be the power of the beastmaster and the lifebound beast’s bloodline, and there was no doubt that Li Tianming and Ying Huo had the strongest bloodline!
Slowly, a mysterious, glowing blob of ectoplasm had peeled off the beast’s body, converging into a gaseous orb atop Li Tianming’s hands. The orb’s shape was constantly shifting, but one thing remained constant — it was a miniature figure of a Jade-Scaled Flaming Eagle.
That ball was the beast soul. It was said to be a merge between a wildbeast’s soul and its spiritsource ability. The few drops of blood, in the middle of the sphere, represented the bloodline of the wildbeast, while the ectoplasm was its soul. The beast soul could only sustain its form for less than a minute, before it would dissipate completely.
Once Li Tianming was done, he dashed straight towards the little chick.
The little chick eagerly opened its little beak and slurped the beast soul in, letting out a satisfying burp a moment later.
“Let’s go, you can try to refine it on the go. Ling’er, you control the Celestial Wings, and let’s get out of here first,” Li Tianming instructed.
Jiang Feiling controlled the Celestial Wings and led Li Tianming and the little chick away from this chasm. The little chick rested in Li Tianming’s palms as it performed the second half of purgatory refinement. This part would require the little chick to channel the beast soul into its infernalsource and convert it into its own spiritsource ability.
“Usually, the number of spiritsource abilities a beast can have depends on its stars and the number of spiritsources. But it’s different for you, since you only have one infernalsource and already had an ability. Normally speaking, you should only be able to have a single spiritsource ability, so I’m not sure how this will go,” Li Tianming muttered.
“Just let me eat it.” The little chick rolled its eyes. The method Li Tianming taught it was much more complicated and time consuming, and Ying Huo being the lazy thing it was, decided to take matters into its own claws. Without any hesitation, Ying Huo swallowed the beast soul and channeled it into its infernalsource, where the soul vapourised almost instantly. However, a mysterious power remained in its infernalsource.
Almost immediately, the little chick began to tremble, a newfound might leaking out of its body. Its origin was the infernalsource, which had taken in the beast soul. The sight of a flaming phoenix — the representation of the Infernal Blaze spiritsource ability — floating above the infernalsource was a usual one, lonely and mighty as it absorbed beast ki day in and day out.
But this solitude was about to end.
A small explosion rang out, and a crimson orb, around the size of the flaming phoenix, rose from the infernalsource to join it.
The beast soul was like a catalyst, a trigger that enabled this absurd process. Although the beast soul’s power was nothing compared to the little chick’s, without it, this reaction would not have happened.
And yet, whatever the reason, whatever the cause, only one fact now mattered: a new spiritsource ability had been born.