Xue Wei vanished like a shadow, merging with the wind. The black dog could no longer see him. It could not help but question itself whether this was because of its injuries making its mind muddled or if Xue Wei's movement technique was that much superior.
"Look, it's still here!" one of the people who walked through the thicket located the black dog, and his eyes were filled with excitement.
He was the strongest in the group, a fifth layer Earth Warrior, and he felt incredibly fortunate at the moment.
"I knew we would benefit from following that massive group of cultivators," the expert continued. "The dog used the last of its energy to get rid of them, and now we can just step in and take the loot with that group from earlier being none the wiser!"
Just as he spoke and took a step forward, a light flashed, and a swishing sound could be heard.
The expert who had been speaking never even noticed what had happened, his face filled with confusion, when his head started toppling over and fell to the floor.
The cut had been so fast and so sudden that his headless body took an extra step before it too slumped to the ground.
The remaining four experts stopped in their tracks, their faces filled with fear and disbelief.
The attack had been so smooth and perfect, launched right when their senior brother was busy chatting and showing off, and it had ended his life easily.
Xue Wei smirked while merged with the shadows, but he did not waste time.
While they were all filled with shock and dread, before they had time to channel the Qi in their meridians and block any potential attacks, Xue Wei appeared on the left of one of the others. With a swish of his hand, this person too lost his head.
The remaining three experts were so frightened that tears appeared in their eyes. With the overwhelming killing intent that was bearing down on them, their legs trembled, and although they had summoned a Qi guard around their bodies, they knew fairly well that this expert was beyond their strength.
Xue Wei knew that if he were not fast, then one or two of them would run away. He did not wish to create future trouble for himself, so he was moving swiftly, cutting one head after another until only one remained.
"Monster!" the final person called out. "You are going against your own kind to assist a beast! You will be hunted down and slaughtered like the beast you are trying so eagerly to protect!"
"Well then, come and try me," Xue Wei's voice drifted out from the wind right next to the speaking expert, who felt his heart jump in fear. Moments after, his head had been severed from the head.
Xue Wei released his breath after the last person died, and rushed back to the black dog that lay there while looking at him with disbelief and a little bit of hope in its eyes.
"You just killed humans," the dog stated. Xue Wei shrugged his shoulders. "If they knew who I am, they would have done all in their power to kill me first," he said in a matter-of-fact way.
"Have you betrayed your own kind for the sake of becoming the slave of us beasts?" there was a bit of contempt in the voice of the black dog, and Xue Wei just glared at him.
"Beasts or humans, it does not matter to me," he replied straightforwardly. "Beasts want to kill me; humans want to kill me. I don't even know what I am, where I am from or what to do in the future. If someone shows me respect, I will respect them a hundredfold; if someone wants to harm me or my dear ones, then I will gain my vengeance times thousand."
The black dog looked at him with astonishment, and suddenly its body shrunk. It transformed from a massive magical beast to become a wounded and battered human.
This human seemed stoic; the face was serious, and the eyes were solemn. It looked at Xue Wei with a pair of eyes that showed a mix of emotions. They contained hatred, disbelief, shock, interest, but also gratitude.
"You are weird," The human-form Celestial Dog said with a strange deep voice. Its human form, although battered, was incredibly handsome. His raven black hair was messy and seemed to be stiff from dried blood, but even so it could not mask the handsome features of this beast in its human form.
"I am Hei Gou," the dog introduced himself. "I am a Celestial Dog."
Xue Wei pondered for some time as he looked at this dog turned human, before he shook his head. "Great to meet you," he said after a bit of hesitation, "but we need to get going now. If we stay here, we are likely to become the target of others who will return to capture you."
"You can go ahead and leave me, I don't think I am in any position to move right now," Hei Gou sighed, his voice containing bitterness and hopelessness, but Xue Wei just shrugged his shoulders and went over to the tall human-form dog.
He then grabbed the arm of the black haired man and dragged him to his feet, slung his arm over his shoulders and neck, and supported him as he slowly began to move away from the location.
"Your abilities are quite astonishing," Xue Wei said after a bit of time, and Hei Gou snorted in response as if to say that it was obvious.
His heart was in turmoil. Although he was feeling grateful for the fact that someone was trying to save him, he could not help but also feel that something was wrong. This was a human! Why would a human ever try to save a Primordial Beast? Why would a human ever say the things this one had said? Not to mention, why did he not feel any animosity towards the person in front of him?
Xue Wei was walking slowly to ensure that Hei Gou could follow him. "You know we won’t make it away in time! The others will return soon, so why are you not running away yet?!" Hei Gou sneered, but Xue Wei just smiled.
At that point, a group of experts appeared in front of Hei Gou and Xue Wei, blocking their way. Xue Wei had sensed them from before, but their movement speed had been truly superior to his and he had almost no time to prepare.
"Halt!" one of the people in this group called out, and Xue Wei stopped in his tracks. He felt how Hei Gou’s body tensed up. He was grinding his teeth and his eyes were showing unwillingness.
"Where are you going?" the person who had asked them to stop started questioning Xue Wei and Hei Gou.
"We are brothers in arms," Xue Wei said with a sigh, his face looking devastated as he shook his head. "We have been given a short break from the army to visit our families, so we decided to pass through this area in the hopes of capturing some Fierce Beasts on the way home to help our families economically."
Xue Wei continued his explanation, and Hei Gou, who was by his side, had a completely expressionless face, yet he was at heart more and more confused about what was going on.
"We haven’t encountered any Fierce Beasts so far, but when we reached a clearing not too far from here, there was this big black dog," Xue Wei continued. His eyes suddenly lit with excitement, but it went away as fast as it came, replaced by sadness.
"We thought we could take it down. It was severely wounded, you see. It seemed as if it had fought desperately against a group of experts and narrowly won the fight, only to be so injured, so we thought that we could easily pick up the spoils of war."
Xue Wei spoke with a bit of a rushed voice as if he was excited, but a slight hint of fear had also crept into it, which the person in charge of the group instantly picked up.
None of the people in the group interrupted Xue Wei as he spoke. Instead, they continued to listen intently. Any and all information would be beneficial to them.
"Anyway, we tried to attack this dog, but it was simply too strong. I was standing further away and used my ranged Qi martial art while my brother here took care of the upfront melee."
"Unfortunately, we underestimated the beast’s capability while injured. It was so strong! I wish we could have killed it, but in fact we only just narrowly managed to escape with our little lives intact."
Xue Wei's face was filled with horror as if he had relived something horrifying, and moments after he shook his head once more.
"When we fled, the beast did nothing to follow us, so I think we are safe. I don't know whether or not the beast is still in the clearing or if it managed to sneak away. my brother and I are simply too weak to confront such a monster!"
Xue Wei's body was shaking slightly as if he had been scared to death, and the person in charge of the group nodded his head time and time again.
"Okay, kids, I understand that it must have been terrifying for you to encounter such a beast. We have no time to chat with you, as we need to capture it as soon as possible, so please excuse us!"
Having said this, the leader of the group rushed away and the others followed close by.
Had this been any other time, they would not have hesitated to instantly kill Xue Wei and Hei Gou to take their things, but Xue Wei had already said that he wanted to hunt beasts for the sake of helping his family, revealing that he did not come from a rich family. He had also said that they had not encountered any beasts on their way, which meant that they had yet to find anything worthwhile.
And last but not least, the group knew the value of the black dog - although they did not know that it was a Celestial Dog, a Primordial Beast, they knew that it was a powerful, unique Fierce Beast with incredible value. As such, they had no time to waste on Xue Wei or Hei Gou.
As the group vanished, Xue Wei started moving forward again at a slow speed, completely ignoring the strange gaze that Hei Gou was giving him.
"Why?" He could finally no longer remain quiet and asked Xue Wei. "Why are you helping me? We don't know one another; we aren’t even the same species. You should hate me by nature, but you are saving me instead! This makes no sense!"
Hei Gou was agitated. His voice was low so that no one could hear it other than Xue Wei, and Xue Wei just shrugged his shoulders as he continued to drag Hei Gou further and further away from the location where they had been fighting earlier.
He kept watch of their surroundings by spreading his spiritual energy to the limit, spreading it like a blanket around them to avoid crossing paths with someone.
"It is really very simple," Xue Wei said, sighing. "I am neither the friend of beasts nor the friend of humans, I am just all alone against the entire world. Seeing you struggle for your life reminded me of myself. I wish that, one day, when I am struggling like this, someone will come and save me. Not only that, most of the beasts I have encountered so far have treated me with kindness, so I guess I would lose nothing by returning the favor."
Hei Gou frowned but said no more. His body, however, was less tense and he tried his best to move as fast as he could together with Xue Wei.Previous Chapter Next Chapter