(TL by Bagelson)
When Tang San saw the shrunken Dark Devilgod Tiger, he still thought it was hilarious. But as he looked down at himself, it didn’t feel as funny anymore. Because right now his entire body had shrunken down to less than one meter twenty. His body had shrunk, and even his clothes grew smaller along with it. He looked like when he was six or seven years old.
What shocked Tang San the most was that not only had his body changed, the golden trident lay on the ground next to him, and his current spirit power was also reduced to when he was six and still hadn’t broken through the first tier. Even the two great Clear Sky Hammer and Blue Silver Grass spirits hadn’t awakened. All he had was a superficial Mysterious Heaven Skill.
Returned to childhood? Tang San swallowed. What kind of spirit ability did the Dark Devilgod Tiger use? How come he and it had both become so small? Could he even change back?
His body couldn’t move, as if a strange force targeted him. No spirit abilities could be used, including spirit bone abilities. Right now he was the not yet awakened six year old Tang San.
A strange voice echoed all around.
“Welcome to the life and death arena. Only the death of one side can end this battle of life and death, and leave this space. Counting down, five, four, three, two, one, begin.”
As this sudden voice counted down, Tang San’s thoughts moved like lightning. All he could do in his present state was think. Even though he didn’t know how the Dark Devilgod Tiger did it, he had been returned to six years of age. This was fact. But the Dark Devilgod Tiger had also shrunken, this proved that it also equally suffered from whatever restraints he was under. Then this battle wasn’t completely hopeless.
That strange voice’s simple explanation told Tang San that this was a battle of life and death, a battle of life and death between him and the Dark Devilgod Tiger returned to childhood. They should still return to the real world afterwards. His body would then recover. And dying in the battle here naturally also meant dying in reality.
That the Dark Devilgod Tiger brought him to such a place was probably because infant spirit beasts were much stronger than infant spirit masters. This spirit ability was just too strange. No wonder Da Ming and Er Ming could never finish this guy in their battles. With such a spirit ability, it really was difficult to deal with. It was lucky Da Ming and Er Ming were also spirit beasts, they shouldn’t come out the worse when returned to childhood like this.
Before Tang San could think further, his body suddenly came loose, the restrictions already gone. That stagnant feeling had just disappeared when the Dark Devilgod Tiger turned into a dark shadow, instantly lunging towards Tang San. Its red eyes showed a cold light, as if it already regarded Tang San as a corpse.
The one and a half meter shrunken Dark Devilgod Tiger of course wasn’t any threat to the adult Tang San, but when he was just six years old, any one of the Dark Devilgod Tiger’s attacks might seriously hurt him. When he was six years old he was after all still too weak. But if the Dark Devilgod Tiger thought he would be annihilated so easily, it would be sorely disappointed.
Any other spirit master might not even have dodged the Dark Devilgod Tiger’s first strike. Before their spirits had awakened at age six, they were just ordinary children. The Dark Devilgod Tiger was just unlucky enough to run into Tang San. Born of two worlds, even though Tang San couldn’t be described as powerful when he was six, he had still already cultivated the Tang Sect’s secret arts for a while.
Using Ghost Shadow Perplexing Step, Tang San nimbly dodged aside, immediately letting the Dark Devilgod Tiger lunge past him as he took another strange step, pressing close to its lower back. With a light shoulder tackle, the Dark Devilgod Tiger was struck sideways, its balance destroyed, rolling on the ground several times before catching its balance.
Tang San smiled, he smiled extremely happily. Because he knew that there was no longer any sense in prolonging this battle.
The Dark Devilgod Tiger’s first attack missed. It quickly shot back, lunging towards Tang San once again. Its strength really had fallen to its juvenile stage, not even the level of a ten year spirit beast. But it was gifted with talent, and even with cultivation less than ten years, its true strength might be above that of a ten year spirit beast. Dealing with a child in such condition, to the Dark Devilgod Tiger’s mind, was easy as can be. But with its first attack, Tang San used action to tell it that, even when returned to childhood, killing him wasn’t so easy.
As the Dark Devilgod Tiger turned around and attacked Tang San once again, it saw the tiny Tang San holding a one chi long black box in his arms.
The black box was a bit heavy, but to Tang San who had already cultivated Mysterious Heaven Skill to the first tier it was nothing. His tender little hands swiftly wound up the black box, one sonorous metal clack after another reverberating.
Seeing the Dark Devilgod Tiger’s second strike about to land, Tang San turned, using Ghost Shadow Perplexing Step to shift three feet sideways, then rolling on the ground to once again dodge the Dark Devilgod Tiger’s charge.
The Dark Devilgod Tiger was a bit panicked. It couldn’t understand how such a small human had such agility, actually able to easily dodge its attacks. With a deep roar, grey streams of anger began to spread from the Dark Devilgod Tiger. The grey streams slowly condensed into a spiral shape in front of it.
The Dark Devilgod Tiger cub’s evil energy was equally very small, this spiral forming in front of it was just a kernel of Dark Devil Thunder, extremely different from what it used in the previous battle against Tang San. Back then it practically instantly sent out a wide expanse of Dark Devil Thunder, but now condensing this kernel was still so difficult.
But the Dark Devilgod Tiger formly believed that even if this thunder kernel condensed from the power of evil didn’t directly hit Tang San and just exploded next to him, it was still powerful enough for it to catch him and end this battle.
At the same time as the Dark Devil Thunder formed in front of the Dark Devilgod Tiger, Tang San’s hands also came to a stop on the mechanism. The black box slowly rose, aiming at the Dark Devilgod Tiger.
Whoosh—— The Dark Devil Thunderbolt shot out, but at the very same time, resounding cracks and intense buzzing sounds erupted. Sixteen lines of black light shot from the small box in Tang San’s hand like a mirage.
Boom—— The first explosion was that Dark Devil Thunderbolt. Its explosive power really was astonishing, at least six of the black shadow lines swirled away in all directions. But, the remaining twelve black lines also shot towards the Dark Devilgod Tiger in the same instant.
Pupupupupupu—— Amidst a series of dull sounds, the Dark Devilgod Tiger froze. Large clouds of grey exploded from its body, each misty flash causing it to tremble. Its scarlet eyes were filled with disbelief.
Tang San began to wind up the black box for a second time, carefully watching the Dark Devilgod Tiger with a completely calm expression,
“I’m sorry, I have to admit that you are the most cunning and treacherous of all the spirit beasts I have seen. Perhaps the most intelligent one. You have not only formidable strength, but also extremely accurate battle planning. It’s no wonder you could survive until now as a Dark Devilgod Tiger. I believe you should even be a king among the entire Dark Devilgod tribe. I admit I lost in planning and control. I underestimated your strength even more, and my confidence let me overlook the possibility of danger. Unfortunately, luck isn’t on your side. I might not have lost to you when I was six years old, because I am a Tang Sect disciple. Even more so when, even though this ability’s restraint is exceedingly powerful, it wasn’t able to restrain my spirit tool. The Godly Zhuge Crossbow has once again become my talisman of victory. When you and I were returned to childhood and arrived in this strange space, your loss was already set. But I will admit that you are an enemy worthy of respect. A powerful opponent.”
Saying so, Tang San gave the Dark Devilgod Tiger a slight bow, expressing his respect. And the Dark Devilgod Tiger also seemed to understand what Tang San said, glaring at him and roaring unwillingly. Its scarlet eyes seemed to spit flame.
Suddenly, Tang San felt a chill all over, understanding something from the Dark Devilgod Tiger’s gaze, and his face immediately paled,
“It seems my luck really is excellent. Goodbye.”
Sixteen clouds of grey bloodmist once again erupted from the Dark Devilgod Tiger. No matter how powerful its body was, this time, all its life aura was crushed before the refined iron crossbow bolts. This difficult battle finally came to an end.
Everything around grew distorted, the space instantly shattering. Infinite darkness swept down once again. Tang San relaxed, quietly putting the Godly Zhuge Crossbow back in his Wishful Hundred Treasures Purse. His heart was still thumping violently.
Light flashed, his whole body lightened. When he once again had his feet firmly planted on the ground, Tang San was already back in the Star Dou Great Forest, his lost power returned, all his strength back. The Seagod Trident also lay quietly by his feet. And not far in front of him, on the Dark Devilgod Tiger’s giant corpse, floated a strange pearl. That pearl seemed entirely dark, but it emanated cyan and blue colored luster.
What was this? Before Tang San could react, the black hole that released him inhaled, and that strange pearl instantly flew inside. Tang San promptly used Controlling Crane Catching Dragon, but just at the moment he got control of the pearl, the black hole closed with a bang, the torn space returning to normal. The strange pearl from the Dark Devilgod Tiger’s corpse thus disappeared.
Tang San looked distracted, frowning. He couldn’t help forcefully hitting his face. He knew that ordinarily he would have reacted fast enough to catch that pearl, but because his mood was influenced, he didn’t succeed. This really wasn’t a good sign.
Looking towards the Dark Devilgod Tiger’s corpse, Tang San couldn’t help sighing to himself. This powerful spirit beast astonished him too much. It unexpectedly made what he originally thought was an extremely simple battle into a fight for his survival, and even had to rely on luck to win in the end. This spirit beast really was too powerful. Luckily nobody could have a Dark Devilgod Tiger spirit. He hoped its spirit ring would give him even more benefits.
Thinking about it, Tang San couldn’t help feeling a quiet lingering fear. The gaze the Dark Devilgod Tiger’s gaze before its death told him that its final ability wasn’t that simple. The true effect of the ability should be to have Tang San alone return to childhood, while the Dark Devilgod Tiger wasn’t affected at all after being suched inside. Just because his last Purple God Light broke its defense, it also wasn’t exempt from the effect of the ability. Just like him, it had returned to childhood, and then died to the Godly Zhuge Crossbow. Imagine, if he hadn’t used the Purple God Light or if the Purple God Light didn’t have any effect, then the conclusion to the six year old him facing a sixty thousand year Dark Devilgod Tiger was obvious. That basically wasn’t a proportional battle. This fight really was a close call. Strong confidence wasn’t a bad thing, but if it grew too strong it would become arrogance.
Ever since leaving the Seagod Island, he had come off easy in practically all of his few battles. Then he had obtained Da Ming and Er Ming’s spirit rings and spirit bones, raising his strength another level. His confidence had inflated to the level of arrogance. The battle today was enough to sound alarm bells in his mind! Luckily he still survived.
While reflecting, Tang San slowly sat down crosslegged, focusing. The Blue Silver Domain spread out, the Seagod Trident stuck into the ground next to him, using the overlapping domain to arrange a defensive and bewildering area. At the same time the Blue Silver Domain’s ultimate ability All Rivers Run Into The Sea launched. He would no longer let himself face danger due to carelessness. Before he absorbed the Dark Devilgod Tiger’s spirit ring, he had to first completely restore his lost spirit power.
Motes of blue light appeared within Tang San’s Blue Silver Domain. The Star Dou Great Forest was so vast, even though Tang San relied on his domain to absorb the energy of the blue silver grass, absorbing just a small bit from each of countless blades of grass gave him enough energy without harming them, helping him quickly recover his spirit power.
Once his spirit power was restored to its peak, Tang San’s gaze returned to the Dark Devilgod Tiger corpse on the ground. The Blue Silver Emperor slowly withdrew, and the Clear Sky Hammer appeared in his palm out of nowhere. The Blue Silver Domain also instantly switched over to the Deathgod Domain, powerful killing intent radiating. Tang San’s mental strength also spread as far as possible. After confirming there were no threats within several dozen li, he then began to absorb the Clear Sky Hammer’s fourth spirit ring.
With the black Clear Sky Hammer horizontally in front of him, the one red and two black rings of light were so distinct. Attentively watching the giant corpse in front of him, Tang San swung the hammer once. Instantly, a grey stream floated up from the Dark Devilgod Tiger corpse, immediately condensing into the shape of a ring in the air. And at the same time a not very formidable but extremely ice cold energy stabbed into Tang San’s body, frantically attacking the heavy defenses laid down by his Mysterious Heaven Skill internal strength.
That ice cold stream of energy was brimming with evil hatred and intense unwillingness. The instant it stabbed into Tang San’s body, Tang San spit out a mouthful of blood.
Tang San’s preparations weren’t wasted, the present circumstances amply proved that first restoring his spirit power to the peak was beyond correct. A moment after that ice cold evil energy attacked, Tang San’s Mysterious Heaven Skill internal energy had already completely adjusted. Gentle streams of energy condensed together with the Seagod’s Light, forming a great web that enveloped that ice cold energy. The spirit ring absorption began.
And along with the spirit ring leaving it, the Dark Devilgod Tiger’s giant corpse also began to turn into streams of grey energy, slowly dissipating.
The Mysterious Heaven Skill plus the Seagod’s Light was like a giant millstone, grinding away the evil energy of the Dark Devilgod Tiger’s spirit ring drop by drop. The Dark Devilgod Tiger really was special. That condensed pearl before was shot into the black hole by taking advantage of a momentary lapse of attention from Tang San, directly traveling to another space. As for where it went, the Dark Devilgod Tiger also couldn’t control, but it didn’t want it to fall into Tang San’s hands.
The absorption process continues for a full four hours. When Tang San let out a long breath and awakened from cultivation, he felt his mind and energy clear. What shocked him was that just with absorbing this spirit ring, his spirit power had already risen from the peak of ninety three, halfway past rank ninety four. This proved how astonishing the nature of the Dark Devilgod Tiger was.
A dark spirit ring was quietly arrayed on the fourth position of the Clear Sky Hammer. When a trace of spirit power was infused within it, he immediately sensed a surging wicked energy shoot towards the skies. That feeling of power made the Clear Sky Hammer turn a faint grey. Strangely, as this grey spread to the Deathgod Domain, the two clashed with each other before actually showing signs of mixing together. The Deathgod Domain’s aura also instantly grew stronger. In fact, the Deathgod Domain was already a peak domain. Having it upgraded once again by this fourth spirit ring’s influence, how could Tang San not be happy?
Not just his spirit power rose. Tang San also discovered that the Dark Devilgod Tiger spirit ring’s effects had also substantially improved several of his attributes. This showed most clearly in strength and mental power. There was no need to mention his strength, on the surface the Dark Devilgod Tiger was originally a strength type spirit beast. But that mental strength increase seemed to have once again had an evolving effect on the head spirit bone that had fused with the Seagod’s Light, making Tang San’s already formidable mental strength rise by roughly five percent.
Absolutely don’t underestimate those five percent. Tang San’s mental strength level was already frightening. Increasing it further was extremely difficult. Increasing it five percent in one go, Tang San might be able to completely suppress a power like Bibi Dong with the Purple Demon Eye!
His hard work wasn’t wasted. The dangerous battle with the Dark Devilgod Tiger was traded for another step in strength. The effect of this one Dark Devilgod Tiger spirit ring was comparable to the effect of two fifty thousand year spirit beast spirit rings. Besides lacking one spirit ability compared to hundred thousand year spirit rings, it wasn’t inferior in any way in other respects.
Only, what made Tang San unhappy was that after he absorbed the Dark Devilgod Tiger spirit ring, he also just saw the last grey dust of the Dark Devilgod Tiger’s corpse dissipate.
There was no spirit bone. This was the reason Tang San was unhappy. With the Dark Devilgod Tiger’s characteristics, plus its more than sixty thousand year cultivation, Tang San was almost certain that it should have produced a spirit bone. But it still didn’t. Remembering that pearl from before, Tang San understood that that might be the crystallisation of the Dark Devilgod Tiger’s abilities, also including the three attributes. Truly unfortunate. This extremely intelligent spirit beast was ultimately unwilling to let him gain all the advantages.
Nevermind, a man who is never content is like a snake trying to swallow an elephant. That he could obtain a Clear Sky Hammer fourth spirit ring of such quality was already exceptional luck. There was no need to be greedy for more. Since that pearl had already entered the black hole, nobody knew whether it was swallowed or pulled into another dimension.
Thinking of this, Tang San also gradually calmed down, simply analysing his gains and losses. Sensing his strength comprehensively increase, his mood turned serene again. After a brief rest, he spread out the Blue Silver Domain anew, searching for his second target.
Experiencing this battle had let Tang San understand that he was still lacking in many ways, and most important among them was the he still hadn’t completely fused his many abilities.
Two spirits, the Seagod Trident, six spirit bones. Right now Tang San’s spirit abilities were in the dozens. Moreover, each one had its own noteworthy features, each able to dominate the battle. But because the origins of the spirit abilities were so different, and using them had different requirements, Tang San couldn’t help being delayed when switching between them, and unable to combine them, or suffer needless exhaustion when using them in succession, as well as suffering repercussions after using them.
Ultimately, it was all because he hadn’t found a method to combine his abilities. But combining dozens of spirit abilities was easier said than done. Tang San was most familiar with his Blue Silver Emperor’s first five spirit abilities plus the Tang Sect secret skills plus his first spirit bone Eight Spider Lances. Among the later abilities, Tang San was most familiar with the four that Xiao Wu assigned him, but they had already completely returned to Xiao Wu. In the last five years he had obtained numerous abilities, and his strength had also risen substantially. In terms of ability control and exchange, he was far from as familiar as with his first five spirit abilities. But as he grew stronger, the enemies he faced would be stronger as well. Even if the first five spirit abilities had already been upgraded to the fifty thousand year level, they still weren’t enough to meet Tang San’s needs. Therefore, he had to use his later spirit abilities.
When his enemies weren’t strong enough, or maybe because they were suppressed by Tang San, his insufficient combinations still didn’t show clearly. Including Bibi Dong. Bibi Dong was suppressed by the Seagod Trident because of her own abilities, and additionally didn’t know anything about Tang San’s abilities. That’s how she lost in their recent few battles. If Bibi Dong now recovered to her peak condition and fought Tang San again, the circumstances would be different.
Even though Tang San was intelligent, combining so many abilities in such a short time was clearly impossible. He himself also knew about this issue, but his repeated victories had made his confidence soar, and so he neglected it. After this battle with the Dark Devilgod Tiger, the alarm bells in his mind were all ringing. He also clarified his later cultivation path. Even if he became Seagod, this ability combination was still indispensable. Godhood didn’t represent everything. There was no absolute strength in this world.
Unleashing the Blue Silver Domain, Tang San kept moving deeper into the Star Dou Great Forest as he searched. This time his luck wasn’t that good, with no results after searching for an hour. The Blue Silver Domain spread over a very large range, but his previous battle with the Dark Devilgod Tiger had already alarmed the Star Dou Great Forest. Sensing those enormous energy fluctuations, the spirit beasts with more than fifty thousand years of cultivation either escaped or did their best to hide their presence. As Tang San probed with the Blue Silver Domain, the search went deeper the closer it was. After it went passed a certain range, if the spirit beasts had enough cultivation and effective enough hiding abilities, it would be very difficult for him to find them as well.
Having been in the Star Dou Great Forest for nearly a day, plus the difficult battle from before, Tang San decided to rest a while when he saw the sky darken.
Finding an especially tall tree to lean against, Tang San stabbed the Seagod Trident in the ground next to him. A gentle energy let him enter a cultivation state. His mental strength was reserved within a fifty meter range. With his current cultivation there was basically no need to worry about sneak attacks, unless there was some wicked beast tired of living.
After reaching the Title Douluo level, spirit masters would radiate a kind of quality, just like hundred thousand year spirit beasts would also exude a powerful aura. Such a quality was extremely intimidating to clever spirit beasts, let alone when Tang San also had that even more shocking Seagod Trident next to him. Perhaps only fully confident super spirit beasts like the Dark Devilgod Tiger dared fight him head on.
Closing his eyes, circulating his breath according to the Mysterious Heaven Skill, a faint white light emerged from his body, turning into a protective astral energy revolving around him. With Tang San’s current cultivation, even though this protective energy couldn’t compare to the Dark Devilgod Tiger’s Devilgod Protection, it wasn’t much different. It was enough to protect him while cultivating.
Having discovered his insufficiencies, even if Tang San knew time was precious, he couldn’t help reflecting during this rest period. Reflecting on what he should do. His first thought was of the similarities between him and Bibi Dong.
In this world, only Bibi Dong was similar to him among all the spirit masters he knew. Both possessed twin spirits. He had also fought Bibi Dong on more than one occasion. She shouldn’t have more spirit abilities than him, or even fewer. She also fell short in the number of hundred thousand year spirit rings. Carefully recalling the spirit abilities used when Bibi Dong fought him, at the same time pondering his own insufficiencies, Tang San gradually entered a trance.
His cultivation continued for four hours. Even though Tang San longed to improve his strength, and dealing with the current issue, he knew that he still had to become Seagod as soon as possible. Time was precious! Especially with that strange aura he sensed from Spirit City just when he entered the Star Dou Great Forest.
Only, these four hours didn’t pass in vain. Through careful consideration, he discovered that Bibi Dong also faced a problem similar to his, only she’d dealt with it a bit better. Her ability to easily switch spirits while in spirit avatar form especially made up for her number of spirit abilities and coordination. If not for his Seagod Trident very strongly suppressing her, and the Purple Demon Eye exploiting her carelessness to establish victory, he couldn’t possibly have defeated her. And in terms of using other abilities, Bibi Dong didn’t seem to have used her full strength when facing him, thus leading to her defeat.
But in these four hours, Tang San only truly understood one word, combination. He didn’t know whether he could also use Bibi Dong’s quick spirit switching after his Clear Sky Hammer had seven spirit rings, but one thing was certain, the way to truly deal with his present problem was spirit ability combination.
With his present cultivation, even though his spirit abilities consumed a considerable amount of spirit power, he still had enough to persevere through using spirit abilities in series. The direction he needed to cultivate towards now was to perfectly combine all sorts of spirit abilities without showing any flaws, and also to strike the enemy hard enough or to control them. This of course couldn’t be settled with one combination method, but when he could flawlessly combine all his spirit abilities, he would be truly powerful.
Continuing to move into the Star Dou Great Forest, he released the Blue Silver Domain to keep scanning while he pondered the issue of combining his spirit abilities. In the time since he fought the Dark Devilgod Tiger, the forest had also grown calm again. Those powerful spirit beasts were very clever, they naturally also knew that human spirit masters had to push their spirit power to a bottleneck before they needed spirit rings, and only needed one at a time. There had only been a short time since he got the Dark Devilgod Tiger’s spirit ring, and it may be assumed they shouldn’t have to be so fearful.
The Blue Silver Domain joined together with the blue silver grass in the forest as far as possible, scanning cautiously without revealing the slightest spirit power fluctuations, searching for his fifth Clear Sky Hammer spirit ring.
The results were as Tang San expected, and within an hour of searching he finally found another spirit beast that suited him. And this time he once again received a pleasant surprise. Because that was actually the one spirit beast he was most familiar with, the Man Faced Demon Spider. Just through the Blue Silver Domain’s scanning, that cold and vicious presence told him what kind of spirit beast it was.
To Tang San, the Man Faced Demon Spider was linked with both joy and misfortune. The first Man Faced Demon Spider he met had given him the most precious external spirit bone, Eight Spider Lances. As Tang San experienced all kinds of battles. The Eight Spider Lances had frequently been able to catch the enemy off guard and bring victory. But, the Man Faced Demon Spider had also given him extreme anger and pain. That time in the heart of the Star Dou Great Forest, if not for the Man Faced Demon Spider’s sudden appearance, blocking his and Xiao Wu’s escape, how would those Spirit Hall experts have caught up, leading to Xiao Wu sacrificing herself to save his life?
It couldn’t be denied that the Man Faced Demon Spider was a kind of extremely powerful spirit beast. Whether in strength, poison, or all its various abilities, it was a nightmare to the majority of spirit beasts. Its quality might not be as good as the Dark Devilgod Tiger, but to other spirit beasts, it was no less dangerous. Once again discovering this spirit beast, how could Tang San let it off? Let alone anything else, just the nourishment of a high level Man Faced Demon Spider to his Eight Spider Lances was something he couldn’t give up.