Chapter 2 - Soul Contract

Hui Yue felt the emotions that Lan Feng was feeling, and although the Phoenix did not say anything, it was obvious that it was pleased with the determination that Hui Yue had been showing.

‘I did say we need a soul contract, but we can’t make one right now,’ Lan Feng said with a bit of complain within his voice. ‘To make a soul contract we need to have gathered at least the minimum requirement of qi, and considering we are currently stuck within an infant body, that will take some time to achieve.’

Hui Yue was slightly disappointed, however something like a qi requirement was not anything they could bypass.

‘At which age does children usually start cultivating?’ he asked, as he wondered how long he would have to wait. Hui Yue was as impatient as Lan Feng, but even though they were impatient neither of them were stupid enough to instantly chase an extreme expert, therefore Hui Yue could not wait to be able to take the first step towards a new life as a cultivator.

‘If they start early, then it would be around four years old, but in general it'll be around six or seven I’d say,’ Lan Feng stated calmly, causing Hui Yue to sigh in despair.

‘I have to wait four years before I am able to cultivate? What do you expect me to do these years?’ he helplessly asked the ignorant Phoenix.

‘It’s not too bad,’ Lan Fang answered, a smile evident in it's voice, ‘I mean look at this. We are currently sleeping on a pair of giant tits. I wouldn’t mind spending a couple of years like this.’

The words made Hui Yue drop his jaw as he was uncertain whether Lan Feng was being sarcastic or not, however the bubbly happiness he sensed did point towards the phoenix being a pervert.

‘This is our mother!’ Hui Yue exclaimed, trying to make Lan Feng give up the inappropriate thoughts, but it did not seem to have much effect.

‘Aw, come on, sleeping on big tits is every man’s dream!’ Lan Feng laughed, clearly entertained by the distress he was causing his new host.

‘You’re deranged!’ Hui Yue said, giving up on the subject, as he realized how impossible it was to argue with the self-righteous bird.

‘It’s okay, I’m a beast. It is only natural for me to be driven by my beastly instincts.’ Lan Feng said proudly. He clearly got the better of sharing his senses with Hui Yue.

You said that the descendants of the four divine beasts were human,’ Hui Yue pointed out, remembering the information he had been given previously, and he felt slightly confused. Was this blue fire phoenix a beast or was he a human?

‘I used to be human, that’s true,’ Lan Feng sounded smug, ‘but when we received the legacy from our fathers we turned into beasts.’ The straightforward tone made Hui Yue slightly stunned. Although everything he had seen in the world so far was far away from his expectations, he had still not expected a human to turn into a beast by receiving a legacy. However now was not the time to go into details about Lan Feng’s past, but since he could not cultivate, he would try and gain information about the world he was supposed to be a part of in the future.

‘Are there many magical beasts in this world?’ Hui Yue asked, at first he had thought that only the divine beasts were here, but from what he heard there was a chance that there were even more.

Lan Feng snorted at the silly question before answering, ‘Of course. They live everywhere. Some of them are tamed and domesticated but the majority of them lives in the forests and the mountains. The ones who are caught are usually the weaker ones and they are breed for faster mounts or guard dogs or things like that. There are definitely more magical beasts than humans.’

Hui Yue was shocked. Although he had asked the question, he had still not expected it to be such a natural occurrence. ‘Then are all beasts in this world magical beasts?’ he continued to ask, trying to grasp more information, but once again he heard a snort, and suddenly a feeling of pity washed over him. Lan Feng was pitying him for being so dumb!

‘No, only the beasts that are capable of cultivating are considered magical beasts. But every beast has a chance of turning into a magical beast if it learns cultivation. it just rarely happens since they are too dumb to try it out.’ Hui Yue nodded, it made sense in a way.

‘Wild magical beasts are usually hunted by cultivators,’ Lan Feng continued without Hui Yue asking more questions, ‘Human gathers their cultivation base in the dantians, but magical beasts gather it in a core which is located within the beast's head. It looks like a gemstone. The cores can be used in different medicinal recipes that can help increase cultivation or the strength can get extracted and used to enchant armour and weapons. They have a lot of ways to be used, but never eat it. 

That does not help you in any way and instead it will absorb all the qi you have patiently cultivated.’

Hui Yue nodded again. All that information was very valuable. ‘Don’t expect that you will be able to hunt down any magic beasts anytime soon though,’ Lan Feng laughed when he noticed Hui Yue’s piqued interest, ‘magical beasts are split into the same levels of cultivation as humans are, however a human needs to have a much finer refined qi to be able to take on a beast of the same level. Well, to be honest you could win if you have good martial art skills. I can help you with some of those I guess.’ Lan Feng sounded so self-satisfied once again, but this time it only caused Hui Yue to chuckle slightly. Lan Feng did have the right to be self-satisfied with himself as he most likely did have an extensive amount of treasures hidden within that flaming head of his.

‘Death really does sound like it is a very common occurrence in this world,’ Hui Yue sighed when he thought about the information he had been given by Lan Feng, and for some reason it made him feel slightly confused. He had grown up in a world where murder was frowned upon, but to survive in this world he would without a doubt have to kill at some point.

‘You need to forget your old world,’ Lan Feng said with a gentle voice, ‘we have a goal and to achieve that goal you can’t be soft.’ Hui Yue knew that Lan Feng was right. He steeled himself and said with determination, ‘if anyone wishes to kill me, I will kill them. If they stand in our way I will remove them. If you are ready to kill you have to be ready for death. But I refuse to massacre people, and I will not touch those who does not cause me trouble directly.’

‘What will you do if family members or friends will go against you for revenge?’ Lan Feng asked. It would be the norm to remove the families of your enemies.

‘Let them come. I will fight whomever finds me, but I will not touch those who has not gone against me directly.’ This was the rule that Hui Yue sat himself to be able to retain his humanity. Lan Feng nodded, pleased with the answer. Although he needed Hui Yue to become the strongest human alive, he had no wish for him to turn into a cold blooded killer.

‘I liked your answer, so I’ll give you a present,’ Lan Feng said, the laughter back in his voice, ‘there are some things we can do, although we are in the body of an infant.’ Hui Yue sighed in despair, fearing that the tit-discussion from earlier was resurfacing, but all he heard was a chuckle.

‘The reason that children does not start cultivating before they reach four years old is because it is really hard to grasp the method needed to cultivate.’ Lan Feng said slowly, enjoying the hope he felt growing within Hui Yue’s mind. ‘The most important part of cultivating is to make sure that the qi you absorb is refined into pure energy. The purer it is the stronger you will be, do you remember me telling you that before?’ Lan Feng asked, suddenly his usual haughtiness and arrogance was gone, replaced by a new-found seriousness. Hui Yue nodded, he did indeed remember that he had been told about this earlier.

‘What we need to do is make sure that you are building a very strong and refined energy foundation. Usually to gather essence that you turn into qi you need to meditate, the meditation needs a specific position at the start to help the refining process. The more used to the refinement you get, the easier it is to absorb essence constantly, even on the move.’ Hui Yue nodded, these information made sense, however he was still not certain why it would help him, as he had years to go before he would be able to start meditating.

‘I know another way of gathering essence,’ Lan Feng said slowly, ‘however this way is very taxing and it is going to take a lot longer than if you were able to allow your body to meditate.’

Hui Yue had stopped breathing when he heard Lan Feng mention another way, but he quickly let his breath go, and asked breathlessly ‘so I can start cultivating now?’ the hope was evident in his voice, and Lan Feng was very pleased with the eagerness he was showing. His revenge and revival was depending on Hui Yue’s strength after all.

‘It is possible,’ Lan Fang continued, ‘but I need to tell you that it really will take a lot longer than anyone else when they start cultivating. When a four-year-old or five-year-old starts meditating they will reach the rank of a first-star student within the first day of proper cultivating. With this method it will take you between half a year and a year to reach the same level. And we need to reach that level to be able to perform the soul contract.’

Hui Yue was a little shocked about the big difference in essence gathering, but he was still determined to go through with it. Even if it did take him a year, it would still be better than waiting until he was four. He patiently waited for Lan Feng to explain the procedure he was supposed to go through.

‘Our current body is really small so the amount of essence it can absorb at a time is minuscule. But this is actually not a bad thing,’ Lan Feng started explaining, ‘the smaller the amount of essence you absorb the more attention you can pay when you are going to refine it. Remember, you need it to be refined to the highest quality or we will never be able to reach the Emperor rank.’ Lan Feng said strictly, but Hui Yue just nodded, he understood how important the foundation was.

‘This method allows you to gain Qi of a better quality than your peers, but you need to spend a lot more effort and time which is why most children doesn’t use it. They would never have the patience to do it.’ Lan Feng said with a laugh. Being reborn was definitely beneficial for them.

‘For now I need to explain everything to you, but when we have completed the soul contract I will be able to transfer parts of my knowledge directly.’ Lan Feng said with a sigh, clearly feeling that explaining this was a waste of time, however even if he was impatient, he made sure to explain everything throughout.

‘Close your eyes and steady your breath,’ was the first order Lan Feng gave, and Hui Yue quickly did as he was told.

Anyone who saw the newborn baby would be unable to understand the conversation that was going on between Lan Feng and Hui Yue, as their two souls were communicating within their shared infant body. Lan Feng knew that Hui Yue would be unable to cultivate with his body, and instead he decided to teach Hui Yue a way to refine essence into qi using his consciousness alone.

‘I need you to enter your body and search for the lower dantian. Flow through your veins until you reach the area below your navel.’ Hui Yue did as he was told, and he was consumed by the sound of his blood flowing through his veins, as he quickly allowed his soul to descent further and further down until he reached the dantian.

Within him was an empty cave, that gave him a strange feeling. His consciousness settled down inside, and quickly noticed the blue orb of fire that was Lan Feng waiting for him there. He looked around, astonished as he had never expected to find a cave like this within himself. Even more surprising was the fact that his consciousness looked exactly like his adult self had looked before his death.

‘It is a great size,’ Lan Feng said approvingly while looking around, ‘it will be able to gather quite a lot of qi.’ Hui Yue had a feeling that it was caused by having both himself and Lan Feng cohabiting within his body.

‘Sit down, cross your legs and place your hands in the bird hand seal.’ Hui Yue was a bit surprised at first, but quickly followed the given order and he sat down with crossed legs and made the hand sign as told.

‘steady your breath and follow the blood out towards your skin. When you reach the outer layer of your body, open up a suction force and keep moving at a steady pace until you have gone a whole circle through your body and returned here to your dantian.’ Lan Feng explained the best he could, and Hui Yue gave a slight nod, before his consciousness turned into a streak of light that made its way through the veins, sucking up essence from outside.

It took him half an hour to go a full circle around his body, and when he returned to the dantian he had a small mist of essence that was hanging around his consciousness, much like how a low valley would gather mist early in the mornings.

Lan Feng nodded content at the sight.

‘Sit down like before, make sure you use the bird hand seal. Do not open your eyes no matter what happens.’ He ordered, and was satisfied when he saw how Hui Yue followed his directions with no questions.

‘Keep breathing steadily. With each breath inhale some of the essence around you, let it spin in a cyclone inside of you until it has turned as white as the new fallen snow. The whiter it is, the purer the quality.’ Lan Feng gave the final order before he stopped talking. The orb of blue fire was quiet as he just spent his time observing Hui Yue refining the essence he had gathered.

Hui Yue ended up spending five hours refining the essence he had gathered, and when he finally finished, all the essence around him had vanished, instead it had been replaced by a fine thread of qi. It was the purest white, so white that it was shining, and it kept swirling around itself in the middle of the dantian cave.

Hui Yue was exhausted, the amount of effort he had put in had only amounted to a thread that looked so alone inside of the empty cave.

‘That is a very good quality,’ Lan Feng said happily. He had never seen any qi that pure before, however Hui Yue had spent more time refining it than Lan Feng had expected. ‘Rest for today, we will redo it tomorrow. This is going to take a lot of time.’ Hui Yue nodded, it would be too much to hope that things went quicker than expected.

The days went by one after another, Hui Yue spent around six hours every day absorbing essence and refining it into qi. He wanted to absorb twice a day, but Lan Feng would not allow him to, as the refinement took a lot of energy, and if they were to try twice a day the quality was likely to drop.

Upon hearing those reasons Hui Yue could only agree, and instead made sure that the qi he was refining was at the highest quality possible.

Apart from refining qi he understood that he was born into a poor family. He had no siblings but his parents were both young, his mother, who was named Hui Lifen, was younger than Hui Yue had been in his previous life, and it did leave Hui Yue feeling rather odd about the whole situation.

His father, named Hui Guang, was earning money by going into the forest and collecting medicinal herbs, however he could only gather low grade medicine as they had the least amount of danger. Both of his parents were ranked in the student levels, his mother was a four star while his father was a seven-star student.

Lan Feng said it was the result of not cultivating, but passively absorbing qi during their everyday life. It was likely that everyone from the village was ranked somewhere in the student level, as they did not have the resources to seriously cultivate, and even if they did reach the nine-star student, the quality of the qi would be too low to allow for any breakthrough.

Everyone who worked in this village were living by gathering medicinal herbs and once a month they would travel towards town to sell them.

As none of them were cultivators they would be given the absolutely lowest price possible for the herbs, but it was enough for everyone in the village to survive. Even if they were poor, everyone would help each other and they were incredibly friendly.

Hui Yue’s new mother was looking after their shack and also growing vegetables and looking after the few stock animals that the village had together, while usually bringing Hui Yue around.

Hui Yue spend the night to cultivate and would sleep during the day, or pretend to be a child while looking at the other children he was supposed to play with. Lan Feng would usually just sleep his days away, or give Hui Yue some small information about the world they were now living in.

Hui Yue was a beautiful baby. Everyone adored his big eyes and fair skin. His skin never got tanned, even when his parents was bringing him around outside under the sun all day and the village elders would say that he was as fine as a noble lady. His hair and eyes were black, much like before. His appearance and temperament had made him a very loved child throughout the whole village.

As one day took another eight months passed quietly while Hui Yue diligently gathered essence and refined it into qi. The quality had not dropped from when he started, but the fine thread had turned into many threads that were swirling around all over the dantian cave, however something happened after Hui Yue had finished refining the qi thread this day, and all the threads grouped together, tangled into each other and merged into a long robe of qi, swirling around itself in a cone-like spiral in the middle of his cave. The robe was so white that it was shining with light.

The light that was emitted from the spiral shot out throughout the whole of Hui Yue’s infant body and imbued it with a power he had never felt before. Shock was evident on his face as he understood that he had finally reached the first star of the student level.

‘Well done!’ Lan Feng said from the side where the blue orb of fire moved towards the qi spiral, ‘are you still willing to make the soul contract with me?’ he asked, while hovering right before the spiral. Hui Yue nodded, clearly excited to see what would happen now, and as soon as Lan Feng saw his reply a flame shot out from the orb, and absorbed the entire qi spiral.

Hui Yue stared in bewilderment, shocked to see his eight months of hard work disappearing like that. As the qi entered the blue orb it grew in size, sizzling with power before it finally burned down and left behind something in a human shape.

Hui Yue stared, as the person slowly straightened out. It was a boy who seemed to be around ten years old, both his eyes and hair was azure blue and his whole body was covered with small white feathers that were so white that they gave of a celestial aura.

Hui Yue was astonished as he saw the boy, but he quickly adjusted and smiled, who would have guessed that Lan Feng was actually a ten-year-old boy.

‘Idiot,’ Lan Feng said displeased, ‘you are in the body of an infant, and I need to scale down my consciousness too, or the body would be strangled by my mental energy.’

Lan Feng went towards Hui Yue without giving him any time to answer. He took out his hand and with a nail made a long cut on his palm. No blood appeared, instead a silver coloured liquid slowly oozed out. Hui Yue clearly understanding what was expected of him and copied the gesture. He held out his hand towards Lan Feng, who grasped both hands together and allowed the liquid to merge.

A voice that sounded much older than the body resonated within the dantian cave, ‘You hold my soul, and I hold yours. In accordance with the ancient soul contract we are now one, and one shall we be till death do us part or are goals are achieved.’

As soon as the words were said a huge power forced its way through the cut on Hui Yue’s hand and circled his entire consciousness a few times, before retracting itself into Lan Feng’s palm. At the time it left him, Hui Yue felt some of his own consciousness return to him, to give him a feeling of being complete once again.

As soon as the power had vanished Hui Yue felt as if he had been doing some excessive exercise, his whole body ached and he was exhausted. Lan Feng too seemed rather tired as he sat down and leaned against the cave wall. Hui Yue walked beside him and sat down, while closing his eyes.

‘So those eight months of hard work needs to be redone?’ he said with a sigh as he looked at his empty cave. Lan Feng heard the exhaustion in Hui Yue’s voice and laughed gently, ‘no, it will get back when you rest. But you do need to continue refining every day, we need you to get stronger after all.’ Hui Yue nodded, as relief flooded his senses. It would have been depressing if the eight months of hard work had vanished just like that.

Lan Feng looked at Hui Yue and smirked, the soul contract had caused some changes to Hui Yue’s appearance, but Lan Feng felt no reason to tell him just yet, as he noticed how the consciousness turned blurry and the saw Hui Yue slipping into deep sleep.

The morning broke as usual and Hui Yue’s father was on his way to the forest when his eyes fell upon Hui Yue who was sound asleep in his crib. His eyes widened and he froze up for a moment before he finally woke up his wife.

“What’s wrong?” Hui Lifen asked with a grainy voice and rubbed her eyes.

“Yue Er got white hair.” Hui Guang said with a disbelieving voice, as his eyes never once left the crib where their child was asleep. The words caused Hui Lifen to furrow her brows but she quickly looked at their baby, and instantly shrieked. The shriek woke up Hui Yue who opened his eyes and looked at his parents with a curious look, wondering why they would shriek upon seeing him, but his question was quickly answered.

“His eyes are blue!” Hui Lifen exclaimed in disbelief.