Chapter 3 – Beastification

After testing their spiritual roots, the self-proclaimed “genius” with dual spiritual roots named “Yi Guo” was personally taken by Elder Sa Ren to the grandest hall behind the square. The other two wild men with triple spiritual roots were also taken away, leaving only seven people with quadruple spiritual roots, including Yuan Ming, who were still being led by the naked man Hu Zha and leaving the Candle Spirit Hall.

After leaving the area, Hu Zha suddenly spoke to them, “I know you all resent me now, but one day in the future, you will be grateful for what happened these past few days.” The wild men were frightened and looked at him, understanding his words but no one dared to speak.

“Is it because of the test just now?” Yuan Ming spoke for the first time in days, speaking in the Southern Wilderness language, but it was not unfamiliar to him.

“I see you know our Southern Wilderness language, that’s rare,” Hu Zha was surprised and looked at Yuan Ming again, but continued talking to himself, “Many mortals dream of embarking on the path of cultivating immortality, but they suffer from not having any way. Although you were forced to come here, joining our Bi Luo Cave is also a great blessing for you. If one day you can move mountains and seas, and command the winds and rain, don’t forget me, your guide.”

Hu Zha grinned and pointed to himself with his thumb. Hearing this, the wild men looked at each other, but some of them thanked Hu Zha. The Southern Wilderness has always respected strength and absolute power, so the opportunity to become a strong cultivator is indeed very rare.

“What does ‘ape hair beast slave’ mean?” Yuan Ming asked at this moment. Hu Zha was stunned, apparently not expecting that the central plains man in front of him had been paying attention to his conversation with Elder Sa Ren.

“I’ve heard that people from the Central Plains are cunning, and now it seems that you have more tricks than we Southern Wilderness people. But let me remind you, being too smart here may not be a good thing,” Hu Zha’s face turned cold and he rebuked.

After speaking, he seemed to lose interest in continuing to talk to Yuan Ming and the others, and led them westward. Along the way, Yuan Ming ignored the unfriendly or suspicious looks from the others and silently pondered the information that Hu Zha had revealed earlier. Becoming an “ape hair beast slave” did not sound like a good thing, otherwise Hu Zha would not have been so unwilling to say more. However, it seems that there should be no danger in the short term.As for the so-called path of cultivating immortality, it’s uncertain if it was just Hu Zha’s bluff. Although he couldn’t remember many things, he still understood what becoming an immortal meant. For now, he could only take it one step at a time, first focusing on preserving his life before thinking about anything else.

After about half an hour, Yuan Ming and the other six people, led by Hu Zha, arrived at a remote area. From afar, they could see a towering stone wall that stretched for dozens of miles. The gate of the wall was made of bronze and looked incredibly thick. Several fortresses were built on the empty ground inside the gate.

As they passed through the fortress, a man wearing clothes similar to Hu Zha’s suddenly appeared and spoke with him before letting them through. For some reason, Yuan Ming felt that the man’s gaze towards them carried a complex mix of pity and sarcasm.

Outside the bronze gate was a dense primitive forest with towering trees that were big enough for two or three people to hug. The giant tree canopies interlaced, occasionally leaving gaps where sunlight could shine through. The ground below was covered in low shrubs.

As they entered the forest, the temperature around them slightly dropped, and the sound of birds and insects filled the air. The unique smell of damp soil and plants filled their nostrils. The wild men beside him seemed to relax as they entered the forest, as if they had returned home. However, Hu Zha looked more nervous.

After walking for half an hour, they arrived at an open space with a tall black stone in the center. A tall man in a gray robe stood with his back facing them. When he heard them approaching, he turned around. He was a middle-aged man with a serious expression and regular features, and his thick eyebrows slightly furrowed with a cold gaze.

“Hu Huo Elder, these are the new batch of beast fur slaves that I’ve brought to you,” Hu Zha said nervously as he saw the man.”Okay.” The middle-aged man known as Elder Hu Huo nodded.

“Then I’ll go back and report first.” Hu Zha replied and turned to leave.

After they left, Elder Hu Huo casually glanced at Yuan Ming and the others with an indifferent expression, his gaze like looking at trees or stones, without any emotion.

Afterwards, he slapped a palm-sized purple cloth bag hanging from his waist, and a faint light emanated from it.

Then, strange and varied animal skins appeared out of thin air in Elder Hu Huo’s hand.

Yuan Ming rubbed his eyes, unable to see how these things appeared.

The wild men were even more amazed, thinking it was a miracle.

Yuan Ming focused and looked carefully, and found that these animal skins included a black leopard, a blue wolf, a mixed-haired wild boar, a gray-white old ape, a brown and mixed bear, a spotted tiger, and even a hairless green rhinoceros skin.

He could recognize these animal skins at a glance because they were all peeled off with the head and face skin attached. The tusks and horns of the wild boar and rhinoceros were also kept intact.

Elder Hu Huo walked behind them and put these animal skins on their heads one by one. Half of the skins hung down from behind them, like a short cloak with a hood.

Yuan Ming had the gray-white old ape skin on his head, and his skin was attached to the white ape’s flesh, slightly itchy with a faint fishy smell in his nose, not too unpleasant but not good either.

Then, Elder Hu Huo slapped the cloth bag at his waist again, and seven brown leather bags with a strange blood-red pattern appeared out of thin air.

“For the next three days, you must cross this boundary stone and spend time in the forest behind it. During this time, you must hunt and kill a wild beast such as a jackal, wolf, tiger or leopard alone, and bring back the animal blood in this leather bag.” Elder Hu Huo spoke.

He threw the leather bag in front of them and said, “This is the test to become a fur beast slave?”

Yuan Ming silently thought to himself.

At this point, he noticed that the faces of the other wild men had changed, seeming reluctant, hesitant, and even fearful.

“After three days, if you can successfully complete the task, you will receive a basic cultivation method, Blood Qi Technique.” Elder Hu Huo continued.At this moment, a villager cautiously spoke, “Elder, can you give us some tools, even a stone axe or a stone knife would do.”

With their mortal bodies, it was too difficult for them to survive in this vast forest without the help of external objects, let alone hunting wild beasts and collecting their blood. If they were not careful, they might end up being devoured by the beasts.

“Tools? Humph… You don’t need them.” Elder Hu Huo chuckled lightly and said.

Before the crowd could understand what he meant, his figure suddenly flashed and appeared in front of them. He raised his hand and pressed it on one of the villagers.

As a green light lit up from his palm, the villager let out a miserable scream, scaring the others to retreat.

The black panther skin that the villager was wearing lit up with a dark light, and the hairs on it suddenly stood up. The originally half-body-long skin seemed to come alive, extending and wrapping around the man’s body.

Yuan Ming looked over and saw that the man’s eyes were bloodshot, with dense blood vessels visible. His mouth was wide open, saliva uncontrollably flowing from the corners of his mouth, and the sound from his throat gradually changed, becoming less and less like a human voice and more like a wild beast’s roar.

This process lasted for a dozen breaths. When the man’s roar stopped, the black panther skin had tightly wrapped around him, as if it had grown on his body.

The man’s face also turned into the appearance of a black panther, but his body still maintained a human skeleton. He looked like a half-human, half-beast creature with a panther head and a human body.

After the transformation was completed, he immediately crouched down on the ground, seemingly becoming more beast-like in temperament. However, his eyes did not change, the blood-red color receded slightly, and a trace of humanity returned.

“Don’t worry, this is the Skin-wearing Technique, which will be your reliance for survival and hunting wild beasts in the next three days.” Elder Hu Huo finished speaking and walked towards the second person.

As his palm fell on the man, a shrill scream echoed through the forest again.

A dozen breaths later, a wolf-headed, human-bodied creature with blue fur appeared in front of everyone.

Although he had seen it once before, Yuan Ming still felt a great shock in his heart. It was unbelievable that just wearing a beast skin could turn someone into such a terrifying monster.

Although he was extremely unwilling in his heart, he had no choice but to submit. If he dared to resist, he believed that Elder Hu Huo would not be merciful and would likely kill him with a single slap.

As he was pondering, Elder Hu Huo stepped in front of him and placed his palm on Yuan Ming’s shoulder.

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