Chapter 37 – Nurturing

While Yuan Ming was focused on practicing his footwork, the Frog Valley remained bustling with people.


In a clearing about ten miles away from the Frog Valley, the leader of the Green Wolf Gang, Wu Bao, sat cross-legged with his eyes closed, breathing in and out.


Suddenly, the sound of hurried footsteps could be heard, and a figure ran in quickly.


"Greetings, how did the investigation go?" Wu Bao asked without opening his eyes.


"Leader, as you expected, Yuan Ming did indeed go to the Frog Valley not long ago. Unfortunately, we were a step behind and he managed to escape," the figure said respectfully.


"HMPH! even Ba Yin fell victim to him. Do you really think that a few of you could have caught him if you had gone earlier?" Wu Bao opened his eyes abruptly and said coldly.


"Leader, please calm down. I didn't come back empty-handed. Yuan Ming entered the valley and made a deal with two people. One of them is the named disciple Zhao Tong, who is greedy for money. After giving him some benefits, he only sold Yuan Ming a footwork technique. The other person is Tule, a member of the secretive Tu Xiong Club who specializes in selling information. I suspect that Yuan Ming might have learned about our pursuit from him," the figure said with a forced smile.


"I see. Find out where Yuan Ming is hiding by any means necessary. I want to meet him personally. Also, I want to emphasize once again to those forces, especially the Leopard Gang, that we must capture Yuan Ming alive. I want him alive," Wu Bao said before closing his eyes again.


"Understood. I'll take my leave now," the figure responded and left.


"Yuan Ming… You were able to kill Ba Yin with just your own strength. I'm afraid you're already at least at the second level of Qi Refining. You must have some secrets! I want to see what kind of opportunity has allowed you to progress so quickly!" Wu Bao opened his eyes again, his gaze sharp.



In the mountains near Yuan Ming's cave dwelling.


A strange figure flickered among the trees, sometimes on the left and then instantly on the right. The bushes and grass in the forest had no effect on the figure, and it seemed as if it were not made of flesh and blood.


The figure suddenly stopped and landed on a large rock, revealing Yuan Ming's figure. He was panting heavily but had a look of joy in his eyes.


He had been back here for three days.


During these three days, Yuan Ming did not practice the Nine Elements Technique. Instead, he focused all his time and energy on practicing the Shadowless Steps.


Although this place was hidden, there were no impenetrable walls in the world. It was hard to say if the Green Wolf Gang's people would come looking for him, so he had to improve his strength as much as possible.


He found that he had a talent for footwork. In just a few days, he had already grasped the basics of the Shadowless Steps.


The more he practiced, the more he understood the profoundness of the Shadowless Steps. Once executed, his figure would be as fast as the wind, truly living up to its name of "Shadowless."


Moreover, this footwork technique was good at maneuvering in narrow and complex environments, making it a perfect match with the White Ape Transformation.


However, using the Shadowless Steps put a great burden on the body and consumed a lot of spiritual energy. With his current cultivation level of the third level of Qi Refining, even if he didn't activate any other spells, he could only sustain it for a maximum of fifteen minutes. To better utilize this footwork technique, he needed to continue improving his cultivation and refining his physical body.


"To think that a Beast Tamer Slave could obtain such a marvelous footwork technique. I wonder how powerful the disciples of the Bi Luo Cave are in terms of spells and abilities!" Yuan Ming looked towards the direction of the Bi Luo Cave's mountain gate with a hint of longing.


Snapping back to reality, Yuan Ming sat down cross-legged and began circulating the Nine Elements Technique.


During these days of cultivation, he found that the Nine Elements Technique not only allowed him to quickly absorb the spiritual energy of heaven and earth and enhance his spiritual power, but also rapidly restored his physical strength.


His physical and spiritual strength quickly recovered, and he returned to the cave.


In a corner of the cave, Ha Gong was sitting cross-legged.


After a few days of recuperation, the wound on Ha Gong's chest had already scarred over, and his daily movements were no longer hindered. However, it would still take some time for him to fully recover.


He held his green wolf fur in his hands, muttering something under his breath. It seemed like he was performing a spell, but it wasn't the Beast Fur Technique. There was a faint glow where his palms touched the wolf fur.


"What are you doing?" Yuan Ming curiously asked.


Ha Gong didn't answer Yuan Ming and continued chanting the spell. It was only after the duration of a meal that he opened his eyes, and the glow on his palms disappeared.


"Sorry, I was nurturing the beast fur just now. This process cannot be interrupted." Ha Gong said apologetically.


"It's alright. But what is nurturing the beast fur? I've never heard of it before."Yuan Ming asked with his eyes open, still in a sitting position.


"This is a bit complicated. I have to start by explaining the process of refining the beast fur." Ha Gong seemed to be choosing his words carefully and remained silent for a while before speaking again.


"Do you know the process of refining the beast fur? I'm curious to hear the details." Yuan Ming said with a brightened expression.


"I've only heard about it from a disciple of the Bi Luo Cave who set up a stall in the Frog Valley. The Bi Luo Cave throws live beasts into a secret formation. As the formation operates, the flesh, bones, and soul of the beasts will all be transformed into spiritual energy and integrated into the fur. If the process goes smoothly, a piece of beast fur will be created. The beast fur in our hands may seem like just a piece of fur, but it contains all the essence of a fierce beast's life," Ha Gong explained.


"Beast soul…" Yuan Ming recalled the scene when he strengthened the fur with the mysterious incense burner.


He had suspected before that the beast fur contained beast souls, and now it seemed to be true.


"The transformation of the beast's flesh and bones into spiritual energy is not that important. The most important thing inside the beast fur is the beast soul! After using the Beast Fur Technique for so long, you should have sensed the presence of the beast soul to some extent, right?" Ha Gong continued.


"I have some perception," Yuan Ming replied with a nod.


"These beast furs are already lifeless, and the beast soul within them is gradually weakening. The so-called nurturing of the beast fur is actually using spiritual energy to stabilize the beast soul within it," Ha Gong finally got to the point.


"The weakening of the beast soul cannot be reversed. So what is the purpose of stabilizing the beast soul?" Yuan Ming nodded first and then asked.


"Nurturing the beast fur not only slows down the weakening of the beast soul but also allows oneself to better control the Beast Fur Technique transformation. If you're lucky, it can even awaken one or two abilities hidden within the beast soul. Of course, this is something that cannot be sought after and requires a very long time to achieve," Ha Gong said, his eyes filled with anticipation.


"Awakening hidden abilities within the beast soul!" Yuan Ming silently repeated and glanced at his right arm.


Based on the performance of strengthening the fur and awakening abilities with the mysterious incense burner, it was also a form of nurturing the beast soul to some extent, and the effect was far superior to what Ha Gong called nurturing secret techniques.


"Are you interested in the secret technique of nurturing the beast fur? I also obtained it by accident, so I'll give you a copy," Ha Gong said, thinking that Yuan Ming was interested in the secret technique. He took out a piece of fur covered in small characters and handed it over.


"Thank you, Ha Gong. I am indeed interested in the secret technique of nurturing," Yuan Ming said sincerely and didn't refuse.


"Yuan Ming, you saved my life. This is just a small secret technique. It's not worth mentioning," Ha Gong laughed and then gave Yuan Ming a few pointers on the secret technique of nurturing before closing his eyes and continuing his cultivation.


Yuan Ming found that the secret technique of nurturing was not too complicated. The basic principle was to convert one's own spiritual energy into a kind of energy that could nurture the soul and then inject it into the fur through special means to nurture the beast soul. The strength of the beast fur was closely related to the strength of the beast soul contained within it.


After roughly comprehending it, Yuan Ming immediately began circulating the Nine Elements Technique, slowly injecting his spiritual energy into the white ape fur, following the method of the secret technique of nurturing. A faint white light appeared where his palm touched the fur, just like when Ha Gong performed the technique.


Yuan Ming nodded in approval and continued circulating his spiritual energy.


As time passed, half a day had gone by in the blink of an eye. Yuan Ming found that the connection between himself and the fur had indeed strengthened.


However, the degree of strengthening was limited. To enhance the power of the Beast Fur Technique using this method would require years of arduous cultivation, which not only consumed a considerable amount of spiritual energy but also affected daily cultivation.


"Previously, when I used the incense burner to strengthen the fur, it depended on whether the fur itself would absorb it. Now that I have this secret technique of nurturing, I wonder if it will be more effective if I use this technique to activate the heat flow in the incense burner and merge it with the white ape fur," a thought suddenly came to Yuan Ming.


Without hesitation, Yuan Ming quietly went to a secluded place outside the cave and took out the incense burner, holding it in his hand.


A heat flow flowed out from the incense burner, and Yuan Ming quickly activated the secret technique of nurturing, trying to guide this heat flow and carefully gather it in his right hand.


"I hope this technique works," he silently prayed, and with a flick of his finger, he infused the heat flow from the incense burner into the white ape fur.


The fur seemed to absorb the heat flow like a sponge, and the entire fur automatically adhered to Yuan Ming's body, transforming into the form of a white ape.


White lines appeared on the body of the white ape, shimmering with a bright white light, and the phantom of the ape soul reappeared, denser than before.


In addition, Yuan Ming found that the connection between himself and the fur had deepened slightly. Conservatively estimating, it was equivalent to the result of two months of practicing the secret technique of nurturing.


He let out a sigh of relief and continued to infuse the heat flow from the incense burner into the fur. The white lines on the fur became brighter.


After infusing the heat flow more than ten times, even with the support of the secret technique of nurturing, the fur no longer absorbed the heat flow from the incense burner.


At this moment, the white lines on the fur became thicker, shining brightly. The phantom of the white ape became half-real and half-illusory, emitting excited roars.


The connection between Yuan Ming and the fur greatly deepened, and he could clearly sense the flow of demonic energy within the fur. He could even perceive that while maintaining the Beast Fur Technique, the demonic energy continuously invaded his meridians, organs, dantian, and even his mind like flowing mercury.


"So, this is how the Beast Fur Technique erodes oneself." Yuan Ming put away the incense burner and squinted his eyes.


Knowing the way demonic energy backlashes against oneself, he would naturally have more confidence in resisting it.

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