Chapter 6 - The Spirit Gem Gobbling Chick

Fortunately for Li Tianming, he still owned other properties in Flamehaven, which meant that they still had a place to live in despite their eviction. While it was just a small dilapidated courtyard, Li Tianming knew that the situation was only temporary. Once he had obtained the Flameyellow Order, which would grant him entry into the Flameyellow Scions Institute, he would leave Flamehaven for good.

……

Night fell.

Piled high in front of Li Tianming and his little chick was a stack of spirit gems. When the little chick first mentioned that it could eat such gems, he didn’t believe it.

“What are these?” The little chick remarked as it curiously pointed at the patterns on the spirit gems.

“These are heavenly patterns,” Li Tianming replied. Each spirit gem had thin red veins running across its surface. These veins were known as heavenly patterns because they could never be removed

Spirit ores were ores nurtured with the spiritual energy of heaven and earth, their formation a result of infusing these miraculous energies over millennia. Only with heavenly patterns could they then be called ’spirit ores’. They had a myriad of amazing uses such as crafting weapons. 

Spirit gems were considered a subset of spirit ore, as it too had been infused with spiritual energies which had great benefits to both beastmasters and lifebound beasts. Therefore, spirit gems were often used as a kind of currency among beastmasters, with the value of each spirit gem easily surpassing that of an ordinary jewel. There were many different kinds of spirit gems being circulated in the market. Among them, crimson gems infused with fire-type spiritual energy were the most common in Vermilion Bird. However, there were also golden gems, thunder gems and many others that were being exchanged in the market. These gems could be used to purchase all sorts of cultivation-related resources.

Legend had it that these heavenly patterns were natural expressions of divine powers, and that hidden within these patterns were the secrets to unlocking the origins of these divine powers. Therefore, most higher level beastmasters would choose to study these patterns when attempting to make a breakthrough, hoping to grasp these divine powers. For these reasons, the heavenly patterns were also known as ‘the patterns of Heaven’s will’.

“There are nine different colors to the heavenly patterns, the nine being red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, black, and white. Out of the nine, red patterns are lowest in quality, while the white ones are the highest,” Li Tianming explained. “Spirit ores with white patterns are definitely unprecedented treasures, and rumor has it that their heavenly patterns are some of the most complicated things ever seen.”

In his lifetime, Li Tianming had only ever seen spirit ores with red, orange or yellow patterns. The ores that lay in front of him were red, widely regarded as the most ordinary sort. That said, they were still pretty helpful for his current level of cultivation. The spiritual energy released from these spirit gems would undoubtedly allow him to form beast ki at a much faster pace.

“Heavenly patterns? Who cares, they are merely snacks to me,” the little chick mumbled as it jumped onto the table, ready to begin his feast. There were about three hundred crimson gems!

“Are you sure these are edible?” While it was true that spirit gems aided cultivation, one had to first release the spiritual energy from the gems before refining and absorbing it. Eating them, however...

“Watch and learn!'' To Li Tianming’s shock, the little chick started to gobble down the gems one after another, like they were grapes.

“Not bad, hmm. Chewy too.” Having swallowed more than ten of the fire-type spiritual energy infused gems in a row, small flames began to manifest around the little chick, its face glowing like a drunkard. It even let rip a long satisfying burp.

“Damn, you’re really going to eat those stones? Aren't you afraid of constipation?” Li Tianming stared in awe.

“What a bumpkin. I can digest this within minutes.” The excess of spiritual energy in the little chick made it let out a burp, sending visible waves of heat through the air. At the same time, the flames already around it grew rapidly. 

It had completed its evolution... into a burning chicken.

Although it took Li Tianming some time to react, he soon remembered that the little chick was still a Primordial Chaos Beast. All things considered, eating some spirit gems raw shouldn't have come as a surprise.

“You should try one too, they do taste pretty good. Real men like us should appreciate delicacies like these.” Hiding its hunger under a show of generosity, the little chick picked up a gem with its beak, waddling over to Li Tianming to drop on his palm.

Li Tianming sank into deep contemplation at that sight. The symbiotic cultivation had granted him the Aeternal Infernal Body. Logically speaking, if the little chick was able to swallow it whole to absorb the spiritual energy, then as the beastmaster, he should be capable of it as well.

The burning sensation that followed as the crimson gem slid down his throat reminded him of strong alcohol. The pain he’d associated with them, however, was a non-factor, and the gem slid into his stomach smoothly. The crimson gem began to dissolve and release an incredible amount of spiritual energy that began to burn his innards.

WHOOSH! Li Tianming tried to exhale, sending a gout of flame into the air, along with lots of fire-type spiritual energy.

“Don’t puke here, you’re wasting it!” The chick looked at him with disdain.

Li Tianming lowered his head and took a good look at his torso that had since erupted into flames. Could this have been a dream? It clearly wasn’t, so just what kind of monster did he turn into? But one thing was for certain. Just like the Aeternal Infernal Phoenix, he too was now capable of consuming spirit ores!

“Direct refinement of an identical crimson gem would only provide around a third of the spiritual energy as compared to eating it raw.” The little chick explained. “In addition, the absorption process is way easier as well. You only need to gather the spiritual energy at your abdomen area and refine it using the Aeternal Infernal Codex. That will directly convert the energy into beast ki that’s stored in your beast vein. As for me, if I get enough spirit gems, I can probably cultivate way faster. ”

Li Tianming realized that this was the reason why the little chick could keep eating without ever being full. It was actually using the Aeternal Infernal Codex to convert the energy into beast ki. This way, both of them were storing a substantial amount of beast ki.

For anyone who happened to walk past the dilapidated courtyard, this would be quite the bizarre sight. A man and a little chick, sitting together and casually chatting while snacking on gems. Oh, and they were also on fire.

“Hey, how much do you know about the Primordial Chaos Beasts and your origin?” Li Tianming even managed to find some alcohol to share with the little chick.

“I’m not trying to hide anything, but I don’t know more than you do. The moment I opened my eyes, I knew that I am the ‘Aeternal Infernal Phoenix’, one of the Primordial Chaos Beasts and nothing else.” The little chick flopped over onto the stone table, clearly drunk.

“I remember seeing a huge black hand,” Li Tianming tried his best to recall.

“You had that dream too?!” The little chick jumped up in shock, gazing at Li Tianming.

“You too?”

“Naturally. I’ve been seeing that before I was even born. My guess is that I used to be a creature powerful enough to devour suns, till I was hunted and killed by that hand,” said the little chick. “For some reason, right before I died, I got a second chance by becoming your lifebound beast, thereby surviving in an unexpected way.”

“Well, do you know of any methods that can quickly recover your strength and also elevate me to your level as well?” Li Tianming asked.

“I don’t know. All that I know is that limitless potential is hidden in my blood, but I’ll need a lot of opportunities to figure them out. ”

The little chick could hardly be considered strong. After all, it was just in the third level Beast Vein stage like himself. But if it could release its full potential, it would definitely shock the world.

“Hmmm, symbiotic cultivation allows us to become stronger together. That’s surely one of the opportunities,” Li Tianming analyzed.

“True, but I require a lot more resources as well. For example, I can tell from a single look that by eating these spirit ores, I can get stronger. Their effects, however, are limited. There’s definitely something better out there, I know it.”

When hunted by the hand, the little chick had chosen to change its way of living and this had locked out much of the potential hidden within its blood. The real question here was how do they overcome these and bring it back to its former glory?

By then, the duo had finished all three hundred crimson gems!

“We did it!”

“Fourth level Beast Vein!”

The spiritual energy from the three hundred crimson orbs had helped the pair make a breakthrough to a new level.

“Even at the fourth level, the quality of this beast ki is no doubt akin to normal sixth level beast ki,” Li Tianming exclaimed at the unreasonable strength of the Primordial Chaos Beast’s bloodline.

Of course, this was just the beginning. For the few days leading up to the selection, Li Tianming would focus on cultivation. Whether he could return to the institute for his revenge and to find a way to prolong his mother’s life or not would all depend on that fateful day.

And most importantly...

He would prove to the people of Flamehaven.

That he, Li Tianming, had risen from the ashes, reborn as a phoenix.

……

Day nine.

Having established the symbiotic cultivation system with the little chick, Li Tianming had made multiple breakthroughs. Therefore, Li Tianming spent the past few days focused on his foundations and also practiced some of the battle arts that he had learnt three years ago.

Night had fallen. The little chick was in a deep slumber on his chest and Li Tianming himself was also beginning to doze off on his bed.

Amidst his sleep, Li Tianming felt a sudden surge of pain through his left arm!

Li Tianming broke out into cold sweat. “Is someone trying to chop off my arm?”

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Wei's Thoughts

If the nine colours feels infodumpish to you, it's actually just the seven rainbow colours followed by black and white!

As an aside, a trick I read that I haven't forgotten for years to help me remember the seven colours of the rainbow is 'Richard of York gave battle in vain'. I read it from Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Cube.