Chapter 99: Black Dog

Xue Wei had finally entered the Northern Territory. From all the books he had read, he knew that the Northern Taiga took up a great amount of space within the Northern Territory, so he would encounter it sooner or later.

When he found the Northern Taiga, it was simple to just follow around the edge of it until he reached Lingyun town, but he also understood that this was the moment where he had to be careful and on high alert. 

This was a place where humans hunted for treasures. Although they mainly targeted Fierce Beasts, some of them would not shy away from killing a single young man in their pursuit of fortune. 

Xue Wei was already a hunted man, so if someone saw his youthful appearance, then their first assumption would be that he had escaped from the army and would not hesitate to attack him as a result. Deserters were hated all over the kingdom. 

Xue Wei reached the edges of the taiga without any issues, but many were curious about him. He was dressed in all black clothes, and his head was hidden beneath a big bamboo hat, hiding all his features. 

Everyone knew that someone with an appearance like this meant they were eager to stay out of people's sights, but this just made them even more curious about him.

Fortunately, Xue Wei was traveling the edge of the taiga. Although he met mercenaries and groups of apothecaries surrounded by guards that were going to find herbs, none of them truly had the time to deal with him. 

They were all either traveling to the taiga to start their hunt as soon as possible, or returning with all their bountiful harvest. 

As he traveled, Xue Wei found that it was safer for him to travel inside of the taiga. He did not have to fear the beasts, as none of them wanted to be close to him, nor he did have to fear the humans either, as they were too busy fighting against said beasts. 

Xue Wei came across many fights while traveling. Some were bloody and desperate, others beautiful and elegant. But no matter what he saw, Xue Wei did not intervene. He would not save any of the beasts, and he did not save any of the humans either. 

It was not before he sensed a great commotion in front of him that he changed his tactics. There was a beast, a massive black dog, that was being targeted by around fifty cultivators. 

These cultivators were all at the higher end of the Earth Warrior rank, with some at the ninth layer and others at the eight layer. 

The beast that they were chasing seemed to have a strength equivalent to the ninth layer of the Earth Warrior rank, but it held its own against this massive group of people; it scratched and bit, kicked and clawed at them, leaving one person after another with a wound more serious than the last. 

"Dammit! This is not a simple black dog!" one of the people swore. Another added in, "it has such fine fur – we need to capture it already. If we can capture it alive and get our hands on a Diviner to tame it, it will be the best we've ever done!"

"As if we have the money for a Diviner! Let us just kill this monster. It has already killed half of our men and wounded the rest of us."

"I agree. Although it might be fighting desperately, it won't be able to survive for much longer. We might have sacrificed half of our men, but we have severely wounded and tired out this beast!"

Xue Wei had avoided all sort of battles up until now. However, when he saw the beast that was cornered from every direction and riddled with wounds, he felt his heart ache slightly as it reminded him of himself.

This dog had eyes filled with despair and unwillingness to give up. It was fighting against the world; no one came to assist it, and it was not strong enough to defeat the enemies in front of it.

It opened its mouth, and briefly it seemed as if it had swallowed the sun and the moon. The area turned as dark as the darkest of nights. Although it was in the middle of the day, there was no light that penetrated the tree branches, and everything seemed to be completely enveloped in darkness. 

Xue Wei frowned. He knew that special beasts had different abilities, this could be seen on the beast hides and silks woven by the humans that also carried some of these abilities, but it was the first time that Xue Wei had seen them display something more magnificent than just hurling fireballs, water balls, or other inherent abilities. 

Xue Wei felt his blood run cold. This ability was dreadful.  Shortly after the darkness descended everywhere, he started hearing screams. He felt a breeze spread through the area, and then someone yelled out, "Be careful! He is a celestial dog! He is capable of devouring the sun and the moon – devouring us is a simple matter!"

After this was said, rustling sounds could be heard, and Xue Wei assumed that this was the result of people fleeing as far and as fast as they could. 

Xue Wei remained in his hiding place behind a large tree, ensuring that no one managed to find him, and then he just patiently waited for the light to return in the area.

It happened slowly, and when it did Xue Wei saw that the black dog was laying on the ground. Blood poured out of its wounds, painting the grass on the ground red. 

Around him were the remains of humans. Some of them had half their torsos removed, clearly showing that they had been ripped in half and devoured by the black dog. Others had their limbs torn off, and some had lost their heads. 

All of them were either dead or unconscious, or close to dying. The only one still standing was the black dog, but it too was on the verge of collapsing.

Xue Wei sighed. He was reminded of the Lightning Sparrow when he saw this black dog, and he knew that not all beasts were hostile towards all humans. 

He was unsure if he should try and help this beast. It was obvious that it could become the worst decision of his life, but after thinking about how much the Lightning Sparrow had done for him, he felt that he should give something back to the beasts.

Sighing, Xue Wei stepped out from his hiding place and casually walked closer to the beast. He was not scared of the black dog, as it was quite obviously on the verge of collapsing at any moment. That final attack had to have used up the very last bit of energy left in it. .

Xue Wei came closer to it and then squatted down in front of the beast. He then reached out his hand and gently touched the different wounds to assess their severity, after which he found various herbs in his bags. 

Although all of his items had been confiscated from him in the capital, he had traveled through the wilderness for a long time and come across various herbs he had picked up by chance.

At the same time, he had gained the bags of a few experts he had slain on the way, and they also possessed some herbs of more common origin. 

When Xue Wei reached out his hand and touched the wounds, the beast flinched. Unwillingness and despair were evident in its eyes alongside hatred. 

It growled out loud and tried to stand up, but its legs collapsed beneath it, and its wounds started to bleed more than before. 

"Sit still," Xue Wei scolded the beast, but it just looked at him as if he was an idiot. It growled with a low voice, and Xue Wei pondered what to do. 

The aggressors from earlier had fled, but they would find reinforcements and come back soon enough, this was something Xue Wei did not want to stick around for.

Placing the herbs in his mouth, Xue Wei chewed it slightly before he placed the paste on the wounds, allowing the medicine to work its magic on them.

"What are you doing?!" a deep and growling voice sounded. Xue Wei, who was confused, looked around but could find no one. He spread his spiritual energy, but there was no one apart from himself and the beast.

He then looked at the black dog with questionable eyes. "Did you just speak?" Xue Wei asked hesitatingly, and the black dog looked at him with anger in its eyes.

"Are you poisoning me?" the voice continued. Xue Wei sighed before he whacked the black dog on the back of its head.

"Can't you feel that the pain is lessening?" he asked in disbelief. "Can't you see the bleeding is stopping?" 

"I am obviously saving your life!" 

"Stop it right this moment!" the black dog growled. "Who gave you the right to try and save me?! You are a filthy human, and you think you can just try to kill me as you please and save me when you want? I don't want to be kept alive to become someone's pet!"

"Pipe down, will you!" Xue Wei was getting a headache; all he wanted to do was save the beast, not get into some discussion. "Do I look like a Diviner to you?" he asked, and the beast gave him a long glare before it slowly shook its head.

"No. I am not a Diviner, so I cannot tame you," Xue Wei continued. "A Fierce Beast saved my life, and now I am trying to return the favor to your kind. I saw you being hunted and almost killed, and I saw your struggle for life. It reminded me of myself," Xue Wei explained as he placed more and more herbs on the wounds and saw the blood coagulating at a rapid speed.

He then nodded his head approvingly and was satisfied. "Well then, you can talk, that's a shocker," Xue Wei said after a bit of time, but the beast just snorted.

"I am a Primordial Beast. Of course I can talk," the black dog said proudly, and Xue Wei raised an eyebrow in surprise. "Oh, you are a Primordial Beast?" he asked casually, as if it did not matter.

Xue Wei had wanted to be a Primordial Beast Hunter. He had wanted to execute beasts like this one, but after his life had been turned upside down, he no longer felt too much enmity against the Primordial Beasts. He did, however, hate the Ice Harpy with a vengeance. 

"Fear me!" the beast growled. Xue Wei broke into laughter, the first laughter he had had since his life turned upside down. "You are half dead. Why would I have to fear you?" he asked while chuckling, but then his face turned serious. "Someone's here," he muttered, and his spiritual energy felt the approach of five experts.

The eyes of the black dog turned vigilant but also depressed and sour. He was clearly expecting that Xue Wei would escape at any moment and that he would be left to fend for himself, but Xue Wei did not vanish as he had expected.

Instead, he stood protectively in front of the black dog, and a Qi sword appeared in his hands. 

"Focus on consuming the energy of the medicinal plants," Xue Wei muttered, and then a smile spread across his face. "If they want me to be a colluder with Primordial Beasts, then why don’t I become one?" he laughed and then activated the Forbidden Rush movement technique. If he was to fight, then he wanted to have the advantage. He was going to attack first and ask questions later—to their corpses. 

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