Chapter 21 – Stimulate

“Could these fruit shells have been left by other beast slaves?” Yuan Ming looked around but didn’t see anything special.

Suddenly, his gaze froze as he looked at a large tree not far away.

On a slender branch sat a silver cat about half a foot tall, about the size of a house cat.

The cat’s fur was all silver-white, without a trace of impurities, and it looked very beautiful. Its eyes were one golden and one amber, like two sparkling jewels, looking straight at Yuan Ming.

Their eyes met, and the silver cat immediately turned and leaped away, jumping agilely from tree to tree, disappearing in an instant.

“Why run away? I won’t eat you! This silver cat is really timid.” Yuan Ming didn’t pay much attention and continued searching around.

After a while, he stopped and stared at some shallow footprints on the ground in a nearby patch of grass.

The footprints were fresh, and their owner didn’t try to hide their tracks, so it wasn’t difficult for Yuan Ming to follow them.

After about fifteen minutes of walking, he came to a rocky area where the footprints abruptly disappeared.

Yuan Ming frowned and thought for a moment before continuing forward.

As he emerged from the rocky area, he saw a vast lake ahead of him.

The lake wasn’t very big, about a dozen acres, and it looked calm. The surrounding grass was as tall as a person, and even though it was summer, the temperature near the lake was noticeably cooler than in the jungle.

Yuan Ming crouched down by the lake and touched the water with his hand, feeling a chilling sensation.

Just then, there was a rustling sound from the nearby grass, and a silver figure darted out.

Yuan Ming was about to attack, but when he saw it clearly, he was slightly surprised.

The silver figure was none other than the silver cat he had encountered earlier, holding a black object in its mouth with its tail held high.

When it saw Yuan Ming, the silver cat seemed frightened and quickly turned and disappeared into the grass, dropping the black object.

“It’s that silver cat again.” Yuan Ming took a few steps forward, but the grass was too tall, and the silver cat disappeared immediately.

He sighed with regret. He actually quite liked the handsome silver cat and thought it would be nice to catch and tame it to relieve boredom during his cultivation.

Yuan Ming continued forward and suddenly remembered something. He turned around and walked a few steps back, picking up something from the ground. It was the black object that the cat had just dropped, and it looked like a piece of leather with exquisite patterns, definitely something that was artificially made.

“This deep mountain forest couldn’t possibly have something like this. Could it have been left by someone?” Yuan Ming thought and hurried to search the nearby grass where the silver cat had disappeared, but found nothing.

He carefully examined the black leather in his hand and sniffed it.

A fishy smell wafted over, not the smell of an animal’s mouth but something similar to the rotting of water plants.

Yuan Ming’s gaze turned to the green lake, and he began searching along the shore. Soon, he found several shallow cat paw prints on wet soil.

Following the prints, he pushed aside some nearby lush grass and his pupils slightly contracted.In front of him was a tall corpse, the upper body almost completely skeletal, and the lower body embedded in the muddy lake shore, obviously dead for a long time. The clothing on the body was soaked and rotten, wearing a black leather jacket, which was the piece of leather that the silver cat was holding in its mouth.

Yuan Ming’s gaze fell on the black beast skin wrapped around the corpse’s waist, which looked like a fur beast skin. He squatted down beside the corpse and manipulated it a few times, removing the black beast skin.

This thing was completely different from his white ape beast skin. It had no hair and was covered in dim white lines. There were also jelly-like scales on the back, which seemed to be the skin of a certain aquatic fierce beast.

The rest of the beast skin was basically intact, except for a palm-sized crack on the back, which seemed to have been pierced by some sharp weapon.

Yuan Ming carefully pulled the corpse out of the mud, and several ribs were broken at the heart position on the back, which should have been a fatal blow from behind by something.

He searched around the body for a while and did not find any other clues. The person’s blood storage bag was not found either.

“It seems that this person was probably not killed by a fierce beast, but by another fur beast slave.” Yuan Ming felt a chill in his heart.

Fur beast slaves were both beasts and slaves. Trapped in the mountains, it was survival of the fittest. When you were staring at prey, you were also prey in the eyes of others.

“By the way, Elder Hu Huo mentioned in passing that these fur beast skins were something that Bi Luo Cave spent a lot of effort to refine and were quite precious. Each skin had a magic mark inside. Once the fur beast slave died, the sect would send someone to collect the skin along the mark. Why didn’t they take this one?” Yuan Ming suddenly remembered something and was puzzled.

He looked at the crack in the black beast skin, thought for a moment, released the white ape transformation, activated the fur technique, and injected magic into the black beast skin, but the skin remained motionless.

“It seems to be broken, that’s why no one came to collect it. What a waste of time.” Yuan Ming muttered to himself, threw away the black beast skin, and left.

But after a few steps, he seemed to think of something, picked up the black beast skin again, and walked to a hidden place by the lake and trees.

Yuan Ming sat down and spread the beast skin in front of him, then summoned the mysterious incense burner. His white ape skin had undergone some changes just by touching the incense burner, and perhaps it could also have some effect on this black beast skin.

Of course, he didn’t expect the incense burner to repair the black beast skin, but just wanted to learn more about the green incense burner.

Yuan Ming placed the incense burner on the beast skin. As soon as the two touched, the mysterious incense burner suddenly lit up, and a stream of green light with a warm airflow penetrated into the black beast skin.

After the green light merged with the black beast skin, the dim white lines on the surface spread out like water, and where it passed, the originally dim lines became bright. The entire black beast skin trembled slightly.

The green light quickly flowed through the entire beast skin, converging towards the crack on the back, where the white lines were abnormally dense, as if it were an important node.

No wonder the beast skin was completely useless if this area was destroyed.

The green light surged around the crack, and the white lines there flickered. Then, a somewhat blurry figure emerged from the crack, with a big head and a round body, and the hands and feet were spread out like a frog. It was a toad.”What is this? Could it be the soul of a toad fierce beast? My white ape skin also showed a white ape illusion under the influence of the incense burner before. It seems that all the beast skins contain beast souls.” Yuan Ming thought to himself.

The toad illusion gradually solidified in the blue light, and after emitting a “croak” sound, it disappeared in a flash and entered the cracked area, leaving no trace.

With a soft “hiss” sound, the white lines around the cracked area suddenly stretched out like living creatures, bypassing the crack and reconnecting with each other.

“Is this even possible?” Yuan Ming was both shocked and delighted.

Once those white lines connected, the entire black beast skin revealed strands of fluctuating aura, obviously completely repaired.

Not only that, but the black beast skin also appeared brand new, with its natural patterns much clearer, as if it had just been peeled off, exactly like the white ape skin after being affected by the incense burner.

Yuan Ming activated his mana and poured it into the black beast skin, urging the transformation technique.

The black beast skin wrapped around his body like a living creature, covering every part of his body, and quickly completed the transformation.

His whole body was covered in black beast skin, with bulging black bumps on his back, looking very sturdy. Webbed membranes grew between his fingers and toes, and his eyes drooped a lot.

Yuan Ming put away the incense burner and came to the edge of the lake to look at his reflection in the water. At this moment, he looked like a humanoid toad.

“No wonder I heard a strange noise just now. It turns out it’s a toad skin. When I first got the white ape skin, which had no attack power, I was already frustrated. I didn’t expect someone to be even worse off than me. What can a toad do?” Yuan Ming looked at his ugly reflection in the lake water and said somewhat speechlessly.

Yuan Ming moved his body, sensing the abilities he gained after transforming into a toad.

He felt a faint flow of air surging in his chest, and his entire abdominal cavity seemed to have expanded a lot. Each breath was much deeper than before, and the time between breaths grew longer and longer.

Yuan Ming took a deep breath, and the air rolled into his body, causing his abdominal cavity and stomach to swell continuously, quickly resembling a pregnant woman in her tenth month.

However, he didn’t feel uncomfortable and stood still, holding his breath.

After a full quarter of an hour passed, Yuan Ming still didn’t feel any suffocation and could move freely.

He leaped into the lake water and dived towards the bottom.

The lake’s surface rippled and soon calmed down, everything returning to tranquility.

Another quarter of an hour passed, and Yuan Ming’s figure emerged from the water’s edge on the opposite side of the lake, leaping ashore.

Excitement flashed in his eyes, as the toad beast skin allowed him to go without breathing for two full quarters of an hour.

Wu Lu had once mentioned that some areas deep in the Hundred Thousand Mountains were filled with highly toxic miasma. With this toad beast skin, if he were to encounter such a situation, he would at least have enough time to escape.

In addition, after transforming into a toad, his swimming speed in the water was quite fast, which could also be considered a good means of escape.

Compared to the toad’s smooth swimming in the water, its ability to move on land was much worse. It could only walk by hopping clumsily, and its attack power was almost nonexistent, at least not yet discovered by Yuan Ming.

Thinking of this, he couldn’t help but feel sympathy for the fellow who had transformed into a toad.

Yuan Ming released the toad transformation and carefully stored the black beast skin.

The combat power of the black toad was far inferior to that of the white ape transformation, but it might be useful in specific environments.

However, the biggest gain today was his further understanding of the green incense burner.

This mysterious incense burner seemed to be able to repair damaged beast skins through some means and perhaps even stimulate some of the latent abilities of the beast skins. This could be utilized in the future.

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