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Revolt against the Heavens – Chapter 3: 1-Core Demonic Beast

Chapter 3: 1-Core Demonic Beast

Demonic beasts were very similar to animals. The biggest difference was in what was called a core. Demonic beasts did not possess the intelligence of humans and therefore could not really cultivate. But they could gain strength and power by living near special sources of power or devouring certain plants, other demonic beasts or even cultivators. The Qi they absorbed this way was digested and condensed into cores. They looked like metal ores and could be used by cultivators to absorb the Qi little by little and supplement their cultivation. They could then also serve as a kind of currency. Different cores had different levels.

rThe strength of demonic beast was, most of the time, dependent upon the number of cores, 9 being the limit. After the formation of the ninth core, it was said there was a magical phenomenon, but no human ever witnessed that, or at least none survived it.

rCao Yun had decided on his prey. He would hunt a Crimson lion-stag. It was a beast as big as a horse. Its body was very similar to a lion with a white fur. Its paws looked like the hands of a human with long claws. And, as its name suggested, in addition to a crimson mane, it had antlers similar to those of a stag. What was particularly unsettling with this beast was its face that looked a little like a human face with sharp fangs.

rIt was said that some lion-stags were even able to mimic the voice of a human, screaming for help to attract cultivators too nice for their own good.

rCao Yun had not encountered such a beast these last few days but he had already seen their unmistakable tracks.

rFrom what Cao Yun knew, Crimson lion-stags should not have more than one core, and probably a little one. The more core they developed, the more their antlers would develop and their form would change as well.

rHe was hunting near the tracks he had already discovered. He only went hunting with his father twice but he had a pretty good idea of what he should do. First of all, a Crimson lion-stag could kill a 3rd-grade Mortal if it was fighting without consideration for its life. Thus, a frontal attack would be suicide.

rCao Yun had laid several traps. He spent two days to reckon the terrain. He had found their tracks of course, but also leftovers of their prey, and he was pretty confident about their number and where their den was. At most there should be one male, three females and five cubs. Contrary to the lions, usually, only the male Crimson lion-stags were hunters. And the tracks were confirming this.

rHe would be able to fight the beast alone. He used blood from deers to attract the hunter where he wanted it, and now he was laying, hidden in the leaves, waiting for the prey.

rAfter several hours, the shape of a lion got out of the bushes. The place was devoid of trees and the lion-stag felt that something was off. Still, it smelled the nice odor of blood and dared to proceed forward. It made almost no sound as it was walking carefully. Suddenly, the ground was robbed under its paws and it fell into a pit Cao Yun had dug. The beast roared and its claws pierced the wall of the pit, trying to stop its fall. The bottom of the pit was full of wooden spikes. Cao Yun knew the lion-stag could easily leap from the pit in no time. He dashed toward the trap and used two wooden spears to pierce the eyes of the beast down below. He got one but missed the other. The lion-stag let out a roar of pain and hate, prepared its body and leapt toward the human.

rCao Yun dodged at the last moment and used a chipped stone to cut the belly of the beast jumping over him. Another roar as the beast was now blind in one eye and bleeding on the ground. Even with this advantage, Cao Yun knew he was in a tight spot. The beast was now enraged and even though it was partially disabled, one hit of its claws could mean his death. But weakening the beast was not the only reason for this line of actions. Now, even if he were to retreat, he could still harness some of its blood. And Cao Yun had masked his own odor with several animals he had hunted prior to this fight, so it would be hard for the lion-stag to track him.

rCao Yun had tried to put everything in place to ensure his success. It was a pity that the beast had an eye left but still it was weakened enough that Cao Yun thought he could win. He did not wait for the beast to attack first. He used the first move of the 'Dance of Slaughter', 'Shaking the Earth'. A powerful kick hit the demonic beast right in its flank and sent it a few feet away. It clawed the ground and arched itself ready to pounce on the human. Only rage fueled the beast at this point.

rA huge claw sliced the air in direction of the human's head. 'Dance of Slaughter', second movement, 'Pushing the Sky'. Cao Yun pushed the paw and changed the direction of the blow, avoiding the lethal attack by a hair's breadth. The beast, even more enraged by this frustration, leapt again, trying to ram into the human.

r'Dance of Slaughter', third movement, 'Forging the Fort'. Not fast enough to avoid a beast as huge as a horse dashing toward him, Cao Yun made his stance firm into the ground and protected his torso and head by joining his forearms before him. Gathering the properties of the Drop of Wrath into them, they were able to absorb the charge of the beast without breaking. Yet, Cao Yun could feel a radiating pain in both his forearms.

r'Dance of Slaughter', fourth movement, 'Annihilating the Horses'. Suddenly, Cao Yun's body dropped low and he swept one of the legs of the beast off the ground.

r'Dance of Slaughter', fifth movement, 'Dyeing the Ground'. Two open hands struck the beast in the neck using the edge of the hand, thanks to its unbalance. For the very first time, the blood of the lion-stag was shed by the human himself and not an improvised weapon. Cao Yun found himself almost under the mouth of the creature. It tried to grab him to devour his head.

r'Dance of Slaughter', sixth movement, 'Breaking the Formation'. Using his firm stance, Cao Yun launched himself, shoulder first into the beast. He was even able to push it several feet away. Then, he attacked with several elbow strikes in a very close combat, weakening its attempt to grab him.

r'Dance of Slaughter', seventh movement, 'Cutting the Retreat'. Focusing his blood in his legs, Cao Yun performed a strange movement and he became extremely fast. He quickly got out of the range of the beast's limbs. The lion-stag tried to follow him with its eye. He was too fast though, and soon he was standing in one of its blind spot, on the side of its disabled eye.

r'Dance of Slaughter', final movement, 'Slaughtering the Enemy'. When this final movement was activated, Cao Yun could feel the Drop of Wrath in his heart have a reaction. This movement consisted in vibrating one's blood at the moment of impact to send a lethal force deep within the enemy, trying to directly attack their organs. And indeed, when Cao Yun struck the lion-stag, the beast screamed and coughed up blood.

rIt was fully enraged and began to sway its claws everywhere around itself. It even got up on its two back legs, trying to reduce its blind spots. The fight continued for several minutes. Cao Yun used the 'Dance of Slaughter' again and again. As he was using it, he became more and more proficient in it, understanding in more depth what he had read earlier. Performing the punching routine in the air was already useful but applying it in an actual life-and-death battle was an eye-opener. Things that did not make much sense to him became obvious.

rFinally, the beast drew its last breath and loudly fell on the ground. Cao Yun too was extremely exhausted. Yet, he decided to sit down right here and right now.

rHe started replaying the battle in his head to consolidate his understanding of the 'Dance of Slaughter', and by extension of his cultivation. As he was reminiscing, he imagined his blood flowing according to the routine, trying to match how he felt in reality when his heart was racing. His muscles were throbbing and becoming redder and redder, they were gorged with blood and were absorbing the properties within. The breath of Cao Yun became grayish as he was literally expunging some of his impurities.

rHe sat there for almost an hour. When he woke up, he felt revived and immediately went toward the corpse of the lion-stag. Its blood was still flowing thanks to its important vitality. Cao Yun gathered some of its blood. He took off his clothes and applied the blood directly to his skin. He followed certain pathways following his muscles, bones and nerves. He was very careful to respect the correct order and even the correct amount of blood.

rWhen he was finally done, he started performing the same punching routine. Though it was identical in theory, its appearance was absolutely different. One could almost see a demon fighting an army alone and slaughtering everyone, defending against all assaults and killing thousands with each strike. Nothing really appeared and Cao Yun was very far from being able to perform such feats, and yet, there was a mystical aura of rage and war around him. He was beginning to really understand the routine having performed it during several days in the air and just once in an actual battle.

rAs he was moving, the blood was slowly absorbed by his body. He could feel his muscles and tendons being fed by the beast's rage as it was being killed by a mere human boy. Once again, Cao Yun was in a trance and time flew by. When this fantastical feeling went away, he opened his eyes and saw that there was no more blood on him. His muscles were much more toned and defined. He was not yet at the end of the 1st-grade of Mortal, but he knew it would be sooner than he thought.

rTo end his hunt, he plunged his hands in the beast and took out its core. A core could be used to absorb the Qi trapped inside. During the first grades of the Mortal realm, Qi was not used, but it would be useful very soon. And Cao Yun did not like the idea of wasting anything after having taken the life of the beast. Even though it was a demonic beast and it would have killed him without any hesitation, Cao Yun still wanted to respect his opponent who had been so useful to temper him.

rCao Yun kept on surviving in the forest and went on killing two other Crimson lion-stags. They were among the pack led by his first prey. The females were more agile but less powerful. He still laid some traps and was able to dispose of them fairly easily.

rOnce again, his understanding of the 'Dance of Slaughter' gained new insights. And when he performed it, covered in the blood of the two beasts, he was not just imagining the scenes of destruction, he was vividly feeling them. He finally heard a sound in his muscles.

rThey began to shake and emitted the sound of thunder. It was the sign that he had broken through to the 2nd grade of the Mortal realm. What had taken him almost 5 years was done now in a matter of around 10 days. Of course, he was helped by his previous work and understanding, but still being able to recover so quickly surprised him. He thought that at least six months would have been necessary. He was overwhelmed with joy, but quickly calmed himself and kept on focusing on his movements, on the flow of his blood and on the sensation in his muscles. He wanted this breakthrough to be as perfect as possible.

rAfter the breakthrough finally ended, Cao Yun could not stop a sigh of regret from leaving his mouth.

rFather, mother, I swore to live and not throw my life away. But if there is the slightest chance that little Huiying or anyone else is still alive, I must protect them. And if not, I swear to avenge them. I will do everything to gain more power to fulfill this pledge. And little Huiying, if you're alive, do not lose hope, your big brother will find you and save you. I will have no mercy against anyone who tries to harm my family.

rPlease, just wait for me. I would like to come soon, but I really need strength. Please endure!

rCao Yun did not know if his little sister was alive, but the assassin who killed everyone on sight had taken her from him before striking. And when he came out of the ravine, her corpse was not here. So there was a chance that he had kept her. Maybe he abused her and threw her body elsewhere. When this thought came to his mind, Cao Yun rejected it as firmly as he could. He would cling to this hope. And if it was false, he would unleash hell on the culprits.

rBut first, he had to survive, gain strength. And even after that, he still had to find clues against the culprits. He had not even seen one of their faces or heard a single sound coming out of their mouths. They could have been anyone: bandits, demonic cultivators, a rival family, hired assassins, ...

rWhen all these thoughts surged within him, Cao Yun realized he was fully in the 2nd-grade of the Mortal realm.

rAfter strengthening and tempering his muscles and tendons, now he needed to strengthen and temper his bones and marrow. The process was way more delicate because the marrow was weaker. Failing to temper the muscles and tendons was risky but you would just injure yourself. On the other hand if you failed to properly nourish your bones and marrow, you could even end up paralyzed. You had to work on every bone and all your marrow. If you overlooked one place, it would become a weakness that would stay with you forever. Trying to correct it later during your cultivation, would become increasingly more difficult.

rAnd when this breakthrough was achieved, Cao Yun could finally go back to where he was before, the 3rd-grade of the Mortal realm. The first grade during which you could finally absorb Qi and put these demonic cores to good use.

rThe night was falling and Cao Yun went to sleep.

r

Chapter end

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Catalogue
Chapter 1: The fateful night
Chapter 2: Meeting a dying god
Chapter 3: 1-Core Demonic Beast
Chapter 4: Full recovery
Chapter 5: Feng Yingyue
Chapter 6: Sorrowful Dew Pearl
Chapter 7: 2-Core Demonic Beasts
Chapter 8: The bird and the snake
Chapter 9: Parents protecting their kid
Chapter 10: Yinmen City
Chapter 11: Huang Cixi
Chapter 12: The first night in town
Chapter 13: The City Lord Dun Mofan
Chapter 14: Sealing the Seven Demons
Chapter 15: The auction
Chapter 16: Assassination
Chapter 17: Great Alchemy Master Hua
Chapter 18: Alchemy Competition
Chapter 19: True success
Chapter 20: Farewell
Chapter 21: Ambush
Chapter 22: Entering the Lunar marsh
Chapter 23: The Evil Way
Chapter 24: The Demon kills Evil
Chapter 25: Elder Gu's revenge
Chapter 26: Entrance examination
Chapter 27: Assessment stone
Chapter 28: Eight Directions Engulfing array formation
Chapter 29: Killing in the eight directions
Chapter 30: Eighteen Weapons Mechanical Puppet
Chapter 31: Choosing a weapon
Chapter 32: Azure Dragon's Seven Piercing Stars
Chapter 33: Yin-Yang Torture Illusion array
Chapter 34: Tempering within torment
Chapter 35: Final test
Chapter 36: A friendly competition
Chapter 37: The first horn of the dragon
Chapter 38: Settling two bets
Chapter 39: The Wubei Sect's rules
Chapter 40: Nine Chi Black Dragon Spear
Chapter 41: The martial art pavilion
Chapter 42: A troubled night
Chapter 43: Alchemy principles
Chapter 44: The first pill
Chapter 45: Training grounds
Chapter 46: The turtle whips
Chapter 47: Mei Ying
Chapter 48: Eight Factions
Chapter 49: Heavenly Swallow
Chapter 50: The sleepy alchemist
Chapter 51: Deciding on a faction
Chapter 52: Warrior Dream array formation
Chapter 53: The trial
Chapter 54: 1-star Earth rank alchemist
Chapter 55: The Wubei Merit Market
Chapter 56: First sell
Chapter 57: Exceptional sell
Chapter 58: Howling Crane Gorges
Chapter 59: True Essence pills
Chapter 60: A forced bet
Chapter 61: Another duel of two Hearts
Chapter 62: A disheartened duel
Chapter 63: Truce between Fire and Swallow
Chapter 64: First month in the Wubei Sect
Chapter 65: A blacksmith in need
Chapter 66: Lu Meihan
Chapter 67: Preparation for the duel
Chapter 68: Coiling Silk's invitation
Chapter 69: A fragrant room
Chapter 70: Controlling the fire in one's mind
Chapter 71: The Metal Corporeal Soul
Chapter 72: The Wubei Sect's library
Chapter 73: Guarding the Ten Thousand Directions
Chapter 74: 1-star Earth array formation master
Chapter 75: A visitor to the Devil's Jail
Chapter 76: Preparation for the challenge
Chapter 78: Settling a grudge with the bimonthly duels
Chapter 79: Blood horse vs Wind dragon
Chapter 80: Hate and despair
Chapter 81: New determinations after the fight
Chapter 82: Chief Elder Suxian's personal lecture
Chapter 83: Seamless Qi Vortex Array formation
Chapter 84: Thousand Snakes Invade the Shell
Chapter 85: Locking the Seven and Stopping the Waves
Chapter 86: Nefarious intent toward a blacksmith
Chapter 87: 6th-grade Mortal
Chapter 88: Unifying all the meridians
Chapter 89: Contrived Shell Balm
Chapter 90: Hunting in the Lunar Marsh
Chapter 91: Blood drinking runes
Chapter 92: The Silver Lion leader
Chapter 93: Eight Blood Runes
Chapter 94: Luduo Bu's Inner demon
Chapter 95: The Dragon's Chest
Chapter 96: The blood devours eight demons
Chapter 97: End of the obsession
Chapter 98: Healing after the battle
Chapter 99: The Drop of Wrath
Chapter 100: Ren Chao's disappearance
Chapter 101: Plan for a rescue
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