On the way back to the inn…
“You know, that Star Magical Roc’s Radiant Stargazer was actually pretty powerful. Fortunately, I protected you in the nick of time, or your body would have a hole or two.” Li Tianming was in a good mood.
The little chick rolled its eyes. “Yeah right, I totally didn’t dodge that myself.”
“Oh right, will you be able to gain a spiritsource ability through soul refinement? You aren’t a normal lifebound beast, after all.”
“How would I know? Heck, I don’t even know what a spiritsource ability is!”
To understand what a spiritsource ability was, one had to first understand the secrets of the second stage of cultivation, the Spiritsource stage. Having reached the peak of the Beast Vein stage, the beast master and his partner would have a total of eighteen beast veins in their body. Once that was done, they could make use of each other’s beast ki to form the spiritsource in their own body.
The position of the spiritsource was dependent on the lifebound beast. For example, in Midas’ spiritsources were mainly located on its claws, feathers and beaks.
Compared to beast veins, spiritsources stored far more beast ki, making it one of the key reasons why Spiritsource beastmasters were so much stronger. The number of stars a lifebound beast had also played an important role here, since the number of stars would decide the number of spiritsources that were formed. For example, when a three-star lifebound beast entered Spiritsource, both master and beast would form three spiritsources each. But for the case of six-star beasts, the pair would form a whopping six spiritsources each! They could all be at first level of the Spiritsource stage, but the difference between them would already be magnified.
Why use three-star beasts as an example? What about one-star and two-star beasts? Well, beasts from both ranks wouldn’t even be able to enter Spiritsource in the first place.
As an example, Chen Yao had six spiritsources in total, each of them at level three. Therefore, if he was matched against an opponent of the same level but with a five-star beast, the advantage of having one more spiritsource will allow him to crush his opponent.
In line with the above, the little chick should be getting six spiritsources as well, making it way more powerful. On top of that, spiritsources had even more advanced uses, which was to channel spiritsource abilities!
Spiritsource abilities were more complicated to explain, since there were various ways to get those. To begin with, lifebound beasts were not born with these abilities, and these abilities came instead from wildbeasts.
Any wildbeast that were three-star and above would have awakened powerful innate abilities at birth. The Razor-Backed Colossal Crocodile, for example, had the water tornado as its innate ability. When killing these wildbeasts, beastmasters could obtain their beast souls using a special method known as soul refinement. They could then channel these beast souls into the spiritsources of their lifebound beasts, granting them these abilities.
In short, spiritsource abilities were obtainable from wildbeasts. That being said, soul refinement didn’t have a hundred percent success rate, as it depended on whether the wildbeast's souls had capitulated. If a junior got his parents to kill and refine a wildbeast for him, the success rate would usually be very low, since the beast’s soul would not recognize the junior as its rightful owner. The refinement could also fail if the type of the wildbeast didn’t synergise with that of the lifebound beast.
The quality of the beast soul depended on the grade of the wildbeast, and it could only be channeled into the lifebound beast’s spiritsources, not the beastmaster’s. Generally, the number of spiritsources a lifebound beast had was equivalent to the number of spiritsource abilities it had. Beasts like the Hex-Starred Clinquant Lion would be able to channel six different wildbeasts’ innate abilities, making it much stronger than other beasts.
When a lifebound beast gained the innate ability of a wildbeast, said ability would change due to the lifebound beast’s bloodline. The beast soul of the wildbeast and the bloodline of the lifebound beast would converge together to give birth to an even stronger spiritsource ability.
These abilities were supposed to be unique to lifebound beasts, and were inaccessible to their masters. However, upon reaching the third major stage of cultivation, the Unity stage, beast masters could use the mystical ‘unity field’ to cast their beast’s spiritsource abilities.
“I will have to reach Spiritsource first to know whether I have those innate abilities or not,” Ying Huo had explained. His true identity was a Primordial Chaos Beast, which was more of a wildbeast than a lifebound beast. Even Ying Huo had no idea what its own future was like...
Right now, the only thing they knew was that manna could be used to unlock the hidden potentials in Ying Huo’s blood, which was somewhat equivalent to an evolution for the little chick. As for the Aeternal Infernal Phoenix’s Spiritsource stage, they were clueless to what it may bring the little chick. Li Tianming was rather hopeful about it, and he even hoped that the little chick’s bloodline carried its own innate abilities.
Speaking of spiritsource abilities, Li Tianming thought about the Saintbeast War-Soul he had obtained in the Abyssal Battlefield years ago. In fact, the Saintbeast War-Soul in itself was a beast soul of the highest quality!
Only the mightiest of wildbeasts could be crowned as saint beasts, and such creatures only appeared in Vermilion Bird’s legends. One could only imagine how terrifying their beast soul would be! Any Saintbeast War-Soul would be a little different from general beast souls. They were not refined from killed saint beasts, but were produced centuries after a saint beast died, through a transformation of its beast soul. Like normal beast souls, a Saintbeast War-Soul could also be channeled into spiritsources, and usually there wouldn’t be much resentment since the beast has been dead for too long.
Once the soul refinement of the Saintbeast War-Soul was completed , the spiritsource ability that it granted would be simply phenomenal. However, it would also be quite unstable. It was precisely this instability that gave Lin Xiaoting the chance to snatch the Saintbeast War-Soul that Li Tianming had given his Midas!
Normally speaking, a spiritsource ability couldn’t be seized from a lifebound beast that had already refined it. But in Li Tianming’s case, he had only just found the Saintbeast War-Soul. Midas had barely refined the beast soul when they were betrayed by Mu Qingqing. It also explained why Lin Xiaoting plucked out every single one of its feathers, since the Saintbeast War-Soul was refined into the spiritsources on Midas’s feathers.
“Because of the Saintbeast War-Soul’s instability, it’s unlikely that Lin Xiaoting could completely refine and master it even after three years. He took the beast soul and Midas from me, and one day, I will make sure to return him every bit of pain that he had caused me!” Li Tianming thought to himself. “Midas, just give me a bit more time… ”
Li Tianming was back in the institute, the place where he had lost his hopes and dreams, and he was back to take his revenge. The next step would be to participate in the ranking test, and it wouldn’t be long before he would slay Lin Xiaoting with this very pair of hands!
For his honour, but more importantly, for his brother, Midas!
For a period of time, Li Tianming discussed the various aspects of the Spiritsource stage with Ying Huo, and it wasn’t long before the pair had returned to the inn.
“What good news do you have for me?” Wei Jing smiled at her son’s return.
Li Tianming pretended to sigh. “Nah, I got expelled by the school and performed horribly.”
“For someone nearly twenty years old, your acting is really bad.” Wei Jing shook her head lightly.
“Ha, probably inherited that from you too.” Li Tianming brushed it off with a grin. Knowing that it was about time, Li Tianming said, “Mother, let’s go, it’s about time we get you a bigger house.”
The money came from that man from the Chen Chateau, and Li Tianming couldn’t reveal his presence to Wei Jing.
“Where did you get that money from?” asked Wei Jing.
“Oh an idiot wanted to make a bet with me during the test today, so I made quite a bit of money from him just now,” Li Tianming lied, knowing that it was necessary for his mother’s peace of mind.
They shouldn't continue staying in an inn like a wanderer, especially not when Ignispolis was her hometown. He would do whatever he could for his mother to live comfortably, even if he had to beg on the streets.
“Doesn’t have to be too big, just two rooms would suffice.” Wei Jing wanted him to save some gems for cultivation. But Li Tianming ignored her advice and found a nice serene courtyard close to the Flameyellow Scions Institute. It had five rooms, and a garden where she could plant anything she wanted. Her lifebound beast could also take a stroll in that garden.
The house cost Li Tianming a good hundred yellow patterned spirit gems, double the price of his Confounding Mirage Walk, but it was money well spent. He then took an entire day to purchase all kinds of daily essentials for his mother, and even recruited a friendly auntie to take care of mother’s daily needs.
By the time they had settled down, night had fallen. While it was a busy day, Li Tianming was content to see Wei Jing enjoying her rest in her lawn chair. Sometimes, it was the simple things in life.
“Ming’er, remember no matter how tough life is, always take some time to enjoy the simple things in life.” Wei Jing’s eyes were closed as she enjoyed the pleasant evening breeze.
“I know. People may say that life is filled with pain and suffering, but for me, as long as I can be with the people I treasure, that is more than enough,” Li Tianming replied.
“Ha, you sure know how to talk sweet and make your mother happy.” Wei Jing smiled.
“Don’t overthink it, what if the person I was referring to isn’t you?” Li Tianming grinned.
“Who could it be then?”
“Probably some pretty girl that I love so much that made me forget about my mother.” Li Tianming joked.
“Haha…” Wei Jing laughed heartily.
She was no doubt the most important person in Li Tianming’s heart, as he would lose his purpose in life if she died. But as he made the joke, he suddenly remembered that fairy-like girl he had met at Red Twill Mountain. She was here in Ignispolis too, and just thinking of her made Li Tianming miss her smile. When would they meet again...
“Ming’er, I want to go watch your ranking test.” It was already late into the night when Wei Jing suddenly said those words. She hadn’t gone to events like these tests for a very long time, and she had never even seen Li Tianming fight before. The ranking test would be the first major challenge for him, where he would meet opponents much stronger than those he had faced before.
Wei Jing wanted to be there for her son. She knew that many parents and seniors from reputable families would spectate the test and be there to cheer their children on. She knew she hadn’t done much for Li Tianming in the past years, but the least she could do was to be his moral support, to tell Li Tianming that he wasn’t facing that fight alone.
“Definitely.” Li Tianming nodded. He knew what his mother was thinking, and he too would show Wei Jing, that her son would be a true champion!
There was only so much time he could enjoy with his mother. From tomorrow onward, Li Tianming would return to the Flameyellow Scions Institute and prepare for the ranking test!