Chapter 771 - Heroic Cat

Since all he was doing was hiding away now, Tianming wanted to hand the ultimate tribulation manna to his beasts. The question was how would he do it, now that they had fused with the Dragonhide? Right as he had that thought, the manna appeared from his body, each corresponding to an element of the five phases: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. The five bright stars seemed to contain an arcane power that was so complex it was hard to even comprehend.

"What kind of manna are these?" Tianming wondered. Right after he said that, the first fiery star burned brightly, causing some words to appear: Imperial Mars. Following that, words appeared on the other ultimate tribulation manna. The blinding white one was called Fiendish Venus, the brown one was called Thousand-ringed Saturnus, the icy-blue one was Frosty Mercurius and the inky-black one was Evernight Jupiter.

"I wonder if they'll be able to evolve again after assimilating this manna. To what extent will they grow?" He was filled with anticipation. First, he handed Imperial Mars to Ying Huo. The manna's name actually sounded rather like its name, as if it were tailor made for it. [1] It was filled with so much flame and heat that it seemed even hotter than the star Tianming was currently on. He felt an explosive power coming from it.

"This time, I'm definitely evolving into a large bird!" Ying Huo said to muster its spirits before biting down on Imperial Mars and swallowing it. It returned to the lifebound space and began assimilating the manna. Every inch of improvement they could squeeze out while they were in the Kilostar Domain would be critically important for them, so Tianming risked letting them evolve here, of all places.

He took out Frosty Mercurius and Thousand-ringed Saturnus; the former was a water manna while the latter was earth. Both of them were suitable for Lan Huang, but it really only needed one of them.

"I'll keep Frosty Mercurius for Muxue, then. I did promise her, after all. Here, this is for you," Tianming said as he tossed it to Lan Huang. The Thousand-ringed Saturnus did indeed have many starry rings around it, making it heavier and larger than the other manna. Lan Huang had been crying out from the pain since coming out of the lifebound space, so it quickly took the manna and retreated back in.

Then it was Xian Xian's turn. Tianming decided to give it Evernight Jupiter. While it looked black in color, it was actually a wood-type manna, which just so happened to suit the Radix World Tree.

"Thank you, Half-daddy! I'm digging in!" Xian Xian happily took the manna and went back inside. Now, only Meow Meow was left. It was looking at Tianming with dissatisfaction. 

"Meow."

"Meow?" Tianming awkwardly parroted.

"Can't you speak like normal?"

"Come on, I didn't have a choice. There wasn't a lightning-type one." The only one left in Tianming's hand was Fiendish Venus. It was a platinum star of metal that was so hard and dense it could probably be used as material for a weapon. No doubt, it was a metal-type tribulation manna with a hint of fiendish power. However, it wasn’t too suitable for Meow Meow.

"I was planning to use this metal manna to exchange for another grade-nine tribulation manna from the sect. I didn't think we'd end up trapped here. If you aren't impatient, I'll definitely trade it for a better manna to give you."

"I'm going to be left out! They're going to have around nine hundred stars, but I'm only at three hundred. I'm weak! I'll be forced to sit back and rest while you fight! How can someone as hardworking as me accept that?" it angrily snapped.

"Huh? Aren't you secretly happy?"

"Nonsense. I’ll just have a little bit of trouble resting while my siblings are out fighting!"

"Just a teeny bit?"

"I think so."

"Just go back to sleep, you!" Tianming lost his patience in dealing with that critter. As expected, it really went to take a nap, but it quickly opened its eyes and looked at its evolving siblings.

"Wow, to think that you're having trouble napping. The next thing you'll tell me is that the sun is rising in the west," Tianming said.

"Don't mock me! I have ambitions, too, you know! I... I don't want to sleep anymore! Chicken Bro was right. How can I sleep when we're about to die and enter eternal slumber?!"

"So? What do you want to do?"

"I want to eat that hunk of metal!" Meow Meow said, staring at Fiendish Venus.

"Are you sure? You might get constipated, you know, and end up with three balls on your body instead of two."

"To hell with it. For the sake of my pride, I'll do it just this once!" Though, it didn't really seem confident about it. Assimilating manna of a different type could cause conflicts. It was a really risky move, not to mention ultimate tribulation manna like Fiendish Venus was probably far too potent for a beast with around three hundred stars like Meow Meow.

"Hey, you aren't serious, are you?" Tianming asked solemnly. He knew that while that cat was rather lazy, it couldn't bear shame at all. During their battles, it would always fight like there was no tomorrow to ensure it would be able to get a good night's sleep. Such dire straits are the complete opposite of ideal sleeping conditions.

"Of course I'm serious!" It raised its tail up as its body shriveled up tightly.

"Is there a chance it’ll work?"

"Of course. We Primordial Chaos Beasts have the highest of bloodlines. It was only after becoming lifebound beasts that the bloodline chains began binding us. In essence, what other beasts are doing is evolving through the use of manna, fundamentally changing themselves, while all we're doing is using manna to unlock our bloodline chains, bringing us to what we originally were. Both Chicken Bro's Skypiercing Diablos Feathers and my Myriad Electrode were originally part of our bodies. We're just using an external item to stimulate their manifestation, so after assimilating manna, we're basically only recovering our own abilities. That's why it works so well.

"Our abilities also operate on the same principle. Since Fiendish Venus isn't a good fit for my type, it might not be able to unlock the bloodline chains in my body. Even if it works, the best it can do is let me recover a fraction of the stars I used to have. However, it might hurt to do so, and there's a higher chance of failure. Either way, I won't die from it, so I'd like to give it a try," it explained in a serious tone.

"Then don't cry out too loudly in pain," Tianming said with a warm smile.

"Nonsense. I won't even chirp."

"Huh, to think that Meow Meow's grown into a true man."

"Eww, gross." It gulped at the sight of Fiendish Venus.

"You aren’t a chicken, but you're chickening out."

"No I'm not!" Meow Meow glared back before swallowing the manna whole and going back into Tianming’s lifebound space.

Tianming was laughing quite hard. He recalled the time its egg had hatched back in the Abyssal Battlefield; it was only a puny cat, then, but now it was almost heroic. While it was still a stubborn slacker, it had never shied away from danger. There was no way it wouldn't grow after Tianming's own rapid growth.

"Us five siblings must survive this! Do they think I'm prey? Nothing's decided yet." He didn't know where his burst of bravery came from. Perhaps his four beasts' optimism was rubbing off on him and filling him with confidence. "They forced me to run into the Kilostar Domain, but that just gave me opportunities I never would've gotten had I not come here at all."

Tianming took a deep breath and recalled the disgust he had felt when Xue Yi stuffed that worm into his mouth. "You think you can pretend to be the wise old senior just because you're over two centuries old?"

He calmed himself down. Standing amidst the flowing lava, he started practicing the Ninesky Beastsoul Formation with his finger as the sword. His current tranquil state allowed him to tap into endless imagination. "Ferocity... savagery... ruthlessness...."

His own beasts were also improving rapidly.

On the third day after arriving on the star of flames, Ying Huo finished evolving and loudly chirped in the lifebound space. When it flew out, it looked like a bright sun that stood out even on the flaming star, letting out flaming starlight. The volcanos around them erupted in response, clouding the skies with thick smoke. More lava began flowing like huge ocean waves.

Tianming couldn't see Ying Huo at all, only the flaming outline of a phoenix. It reminded him of the dream he’d had where he saw it swallowing up suns. Had Imperial Mars really made it so much stronger? He had a feeling that some crazy ability had been unlocked this time around.

"Showed off enough yet?" Tianming asked.

"I have no choice. I want to lay low, but my abilities are too powerful! I'm cursed to be the center of attention!" Ying Huo gleefully said.

"How many stars do you have now?" Tianming asked. It should be quite a lot, considering it was an ultimate tribulation manna. He recalled that Fang Taiqing's phoenix had had around nine hundred and thirty stars, but definitely not more than nine hundred and fifty.

"Young man, open your eyes wide and count." Even though Ying Huo toned down the brightness of the light it emanated, it still seemed much brighter than it did before. While its size hadn’t changed much, its feathers were now adorned with raging, flaming stars, making it look like it was wearing armor made of stars. As for how tough it was, they would only be able to find out through combat.

The main focus was still its eyes—they both now looked a little like Imperial Mars. Tianming couldn't tell how many stars there were in such a short time, as there were far too many!


1. The traditional Chinese name used for Mars has the same pinyin as Ying Huo.

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