Xue Wei did not seem to give the dangers any thought. He was fully engulfed in the brief and few memories that sprouted in his mind from being within this place.
His nostrils were assaulted by a familiar scent, a scent that was not actually present in the house. And it was one that brought with it a lot of emotions and familiar feelings.
Xue Wei closed his eyes, and a silhouette appeared in front of him. This silhouette was unlike the others, with features impossible to make out, and his entire body was covered in shadows. The more Xue Wei tried to remember the features of this figure, the more pain he was in.
His head felt as if it was splitting; sweat beaded on his forehead, and he bit his lip to try and relocate the pain.
The more he thought, the more pain he experienced. However, even though the pain was making him dizzy and making it impossible for him to stand straight, he continued to do everything in his power to turn the silhouette into a full figure that he could recognize.
The more he pushed his mind, the more he felt that something was breaking his mind. It was as if he had a dam partitioning a certain part of his memories away from him, and the more he kept pushing and nudging it, the more fragile it became.
The memories on the other side of the dam were trying their best to return to their original place, eroding the dam in the process, but at the same time, they were not strong enough to do so on their own.
Xue Wei, who was pushing it with all his might, quickly realized that it was not happening as easily as he would have wanted.
He was deep in thought, frowning and in pain. It was impossible for him to focus on anything other than how to be able to get his hands on his memories, while Hei Gou was busy keeping vigil of their surroundings.
Hei Gou was not willing to let anyone get in the way of their objective, but he started to feel nervous. They had been in the building for as long as it took for three incense sticks to burn, which was longer than expected.
The longer they stayed in one place, the more likely it was for the humans to attack them. The longer they stayed in one place, the more time they gave the humans to plan their attack. Not only this, the humans would also have time to consider the pros and cons of attacking together, even go as far as to start debating how to split the reward. As a result, Hei Gou ordered all the beasts to gather around Xue Wei.
The Fierce Beasts with strength equivalent to the Heavenly Warrior rank were already standing in the middle of the shop. They were all on high alert and ready to attack anyone that came towards them.
"This is strange," Hei Gou said to himself, puzzled when he saw how the Fierce Beasts were even more alert than he had expected.
"They are protecting a human, but they are not complaining about it or even fighting against my command."
"Instead, all of them are giving it their all, and when they look at Brother Wei, they are truly admiring him. Could it be that he really isn't human? But if he is not human, how come I cannot feel anything special from him? He feels like anyone else."
"I should experiment with it later," Hei Gou sighed. "I managed to undergo a complete rebirth after sharing my blood with Brother Wei. I don't know what exactly happened, but this mutation has made me many times stronger than I was before, and I feel like my potential is also unlimited now."
"Brother Wei has given me so much. He saved me knowing full well that he was putting himself in danger. He never wavered or backed down. He did everything in his power to save me. Now I want to repay him. In fact, I will never be able to repay him for what he has done."
"For the first time in my life, I feel as if I belong somewhere. I will cross mountains of swords for him, and stride through rivers of flames if need be. I will never forget the kindness he showed me, and how my world has changed because of this kindness!"
Hei Gou was talking mainly to himself, but a few beasts seemed to hear him. All of them were eager to listen in on the relationship between Xue Wei and Hei Gou. When they heard the black dog say 'brother,' their eyes filled with reverence.
The small apothecary shop was almost an impregnable fortress with beasts standing everywhere around it, and with the strongest beasts inside the building closest to the center where Xue Wei and Hei Gou were located.
But just as Xue Wei was starting to pant heavily and fell to his knees, Hei Gou heard a shout from outside. His eyes widened in shock, and his heartbeat rose drastically. At the same time, he was thinking as fast as he could
Xue Wei was clearly not in a state where he could fight. In fact, Hei Gou could not help but wonder whether or not it would be possible for this friend of his to flee, or even move an inch, which filled him with dread.
The constant sound of battling was occurring outside the shop, and they were getting closer and closer. It was clear that the Primordial Beast Hunters had gathered together with the aim of killing Xue Wei and were now slaughtering all the beasts that were in their way.
These beasts did not even attempt to flee for their lives; many of them grouped together and threw themselves at their much stronger opponents, ready to sacrifice their lives in a heartbeat with no regrets whatsoever.
Because of the beasts being so sacrificial, and not caring about their lives at all, they managed to take down a few of the humans. They threw themselves at the hunters and allowed the stronger beasts behind them to cut them down together with the human enemies they were holding down.
"This is not going to work!" Hei Gou was nervous. He knew that although a few humans had been killed, it was far from enough to deal with all of the human forces. Their only option was to flee.
Hei Gou looked around and saw that humans were closing in from every direction, trying to make a pincer attack on them.
"So, my body mutated through the blood brother ceremony. I know for a fact that I have gotten wings now. I am not sure how they work, but I think it is our only chance!"
Hei Gou looked at Xue Wei, and then his eyes turned solemn. Suddenly, black fur started sprouting all over his body, and his arms turned into sturdy, massive front paws with claws. His face turned into that of a dog. His eyes, however, stayed the same post-transformation.
Hei Gou looked very similar to how he had been before, but there was one massive difference. Not only was his fur much more glistening and healthy-looking than before, but he now had a pair of wings attached to his back.
These wings were so large that they seemed to fill up the entire shop, and the large Primordial Beast instantly grabbed the collapsed Xue Wei, placed him on his back, and then gave the sign to the Fierce Beasts with strength equivalent to Heavenly Warriors to shatter the roof of the shop. In a rain of splinters, Hei Gou took to the sky.
The Primordial Beast Hunters were all Heavenly Warriors, and all of them were capable of flight. However, although they were able to fly despite their human nature, their speed was many times worse than a flying Primordial Beast – even worse than a flying Fierce Beast, which was why the Fierce Beasts which could fly were seen as treasures in the Heping Kingdom.
Hei Gou was not used to flying. In fact, he had never tried so before, but when he started swinging his wings, he found that it was much simpler than he had expected.
He soared into the sky, followed by all the flying beasts that were in the beast horde, and then he cut the connection to the Fierce Beasts, allowing them to flee whenever they felt like it.
He then started flying at his highest speed far away from Lingyun town. With him came all the flying beasts. The humans were not willing to give up just like this, so they all followed suit.
Although their flying speed was much slower than Hei Gou's, Hei Gou was still new to flying, and thus the humans managed to barely keep up.
In Lingyun Town, the beasts, which had now been freed, did not scatter erratically. Instead, they did everything in their power to stall for time against the humans. Even though many of them threw themselves at death's door, none of them seemed to care about it as they continued to slow down and kill one hunter after another.
Hei Gou could feel that Xue Wei was trembling. He could feel that there was something seriously wrong with his friend. Urged by his worries, he managed to bruteforce mastery of flight.
The longer the chase became, the more the humans fell behind, incapable of keeping up. When their chase had gone on for half an hour, the humans were finally completely out of sight.
With Xue Wei and Hei Gou now out of harm’s way, the beasts that had followed them all started flying their own ways too. After a final glance at Xue Wei and Hei Gou, they chirped, roared, and screeched their farewells in unison before they returned to the Northern Taiga from where they had originated from.
Hei Gou flew past many forests. He flew past mountains and rivers, prairies and meadows.
It was not before he found a naturally made cave on one of the mountains that they passed that he stopped his frantic flight, flying into it. It was an empty cave that seemed to have housed an expert in the past; the cave was equipped with a stone bed, stone chairs, and stone tables.
Everything was covered in dust, and Hei Gou instantly entered, placed Xue Wei on the bed, returned to his human shape, and began cleaning.
He would constantly glance at Xue Wei, worried about his friend. He was aware that what his brother was currently going through was something he could not help him with. It was something Xue Wei had to fight and conquer on his own.
Hei Gou gave a final glance at Xue Wei before he descended from the mountain and started searching for food in the wilderness.
He hunted a mortal beast, found some herbs, roots and other plants, and found a stream of fresh, clear water.
He quickly packed everything up and returned to the cave as soon as he could, only to see that Xue Wei was still drenched in sweat, and his face was pale.
"You have to pull through this!" Hei Gou said anxiously. "I will cook you some good food, so don't care about anything else, just get past this and return. I do not wish to be alone again!"
The travels with Xue Wei had truly changed Hei Gou, and by now he valued Xue Wei as a genuine brother of his. Seeing him in pain truly was painful for Hei Gou as well.
While Hei Gou was worried, Xue Wei was deep within his own world of dreams. This was a place where he did not know what exactly was reality, what was memory, and what was illusion.Previous Chapter Next Chapter