Su Gu was worried that Shao Xuan would face the same fate as Lei and Tuo after he was nowhere to be found after the chaos. When he saw Shao Xuan safe and sound, he felt beyond relieved.
“Are you okay?” asked Su Gu. He pointed at Shao Xuan’s shoulder, “What is that?”
Shao Xuan turned to look, a white needle-like thread was stuck on his shirt. This wasn’t a thread from his shirt. He plucked it out to observe it closer, then it hit him, “Ah, this was the gerbil’s whisker.”
How did the whisker get there? Su Gu thought to himself. During the chaos just now, the gerbils weren’t slow, how did the whisker break off? What an unlucky gerbil that was.
Seeing that Shao Xuan was fine, Su Gu shifted his attention to the scorpion that was brought out by the slaves. As he couldn’t get his reward for winning the battle because of the chaos, he would need to chase after it the next time he saw that person from White Stone City.
It was getting late, Su Gu hadn’t planned to stay in Beast Battle City any longer so he headed back home.
When they reached Fallen Leaves City, Shao Xuan grabbed something to eat and rested for a while, then he rode off on his eagle. He needed to find a place for his breakthrough.
Shao Xuan let Chacha fly towards the border of Beast Battle Desert. When they reached the border, he took a good look at his surroundings. The large sand dunes layered with each other as if they were waves.
There was no human activity at the border, even the desert beasts rarely come here.
“This is it.” Shao Xuan signalled Chacha to fly down.
Shao Xuan picked a spot between two sand dunes. Except for people flying above them, nobody would be able to see them from here.
Chacha rested on top one of the sand dunes, it was in charge of keeping a lookout.
Night had fallen.
The two nearly full moons hung above the vast desert. As the night of the full moon approaches, the two moons got closer to each other.
In Beast Battle Desert, the white snow reflected the moonlight making it look like an ice field. Some would forget that they were in an actual desert looking at this scenery.
Everything could be seen clearly under the moonlight, especially if someone stood atop the sand dunes. One could even see the small nocturnal animals crawling about.
Shao Xuan sat on the sand and closed his eyes as he tried to feel the totem flame in his mind.
His inner totemic energy was activated. It flowed through every artery and vein in his body, rushing together with the flow of his blood.
Compared to a mid-rank totemic warrior, an advanced totemic warrior was physically superior in every way. Bones, muscles, even their nerves and blood vessels were shaped differently to accommodate the stronger power they have.
Under normal circumstances, those changes would happen in small steps that accumulated to their superior form. Even with the help of the fire crystal, the changes were not that intense. The fire crystal would bring a mild change to a totemic warrior with minimal side effects, this is why tribesmen value it so much. Unfortunately, the fire crystal would not work on Shao Xuan for him to get his breakthrough. When other tribesmen used it to improve themselves, he could only use it to get rid of his exhaustion and was unable to improve himself.
However, there was an opportunity now.
In his mind, the totemic flame sparked to life. The flame grew bigger and bigger with the reds and blues in the flame being exceptionally eye-catching. It enveloped the totem and continued to expand.
As the totem flame evolved, every ounce of totem energy rushed through him like a current. Rush, rush, rush! Every vessel in him expanded and every muscle in his body was undergoing changes.
The pain brought by this aggressive spur of energy was hard to ignore. It was as if a cruel battle was happening in his body, Shao Xuan felt as if ten thousand needles had pricked him. His muscles spazzed around, beads of sweat flowed down his face, it started getting hard to breathe too.
The forearm that was covered by his sleeve had enlarged. If he were to lift his sleeve up, he would see vessels bulging like dragons. The totem tattoos on his body turned into the colour of flames from it originally dark colours. Shao Xuan was in the state like the time he first got his totem powers at the fire pond, in other words, he looked as if he was made of magma.
The flame-coloured totem tattoos extended down his arm, it rushed through his elbow, then his forearm. It stopped right at his wrist as if a wall was blocking it, not allowing the magma to flow through.
The tattoos on his body were getting brighter by the moment as if it was accumulating, waiting to rush out.
On a sand dune, Chacha was carefully looking about for any movements. At this time and place, if anyone were to sneak up and attack them, Shao Xuan would be in danger. Not only would he be unable to breakthrough, but he may also get seriously injured.
Suddenly, Chacha heard some noise, using its sharp vision, he saw the source. It was not too far away from where Shao Xuan was sitting.
Chacha silently extended its wings and flew towards that area. If it was something that would bring harm to Shao Xuan, Chacha would rush over but if it was any harmless animal, Chacha wouldn’t move about as it feared it would disrupt Shao Xuan’s breakthrough.
On the ground, sand was pushed away. A few thin claws emerged from the ground, then a small head. A bug as large as a small watermelon had emerged.
Chacha had seen this bug before, it was the kind that rolled balls.
Shao Xuan told Chacha to not to worry about this kind of bug, so after looking at it, Chacha kept his wings back in place.
The beetle circled Shao Xuan but it didn’t get close. It was as if it was scared of Shao Xuan’s aura or maybe it knew it was time to disturb him. After circling him once, it obediently found a place to rest near him. It couldn’t find Shao Xuan in Fallen Leaves City earlier today so when it left the city, it felt Shao Xuan’s energy and came crawling here.
Shao Xuan’s forced breakthrough lasted for a long time. It started when the sky was getting dark and ended during dawn.
Chacha moved its neck to loosen up his stiff body and flew around to check for any predators. When it was sure they weren’t any, he descended and continued to wait.
Looking around, Chacha noticed the beetle had moved to the other side of the dune. It could tell as it was near the border, one side was the golden sand and the other part was covered in snow.
At this moment, the beetle was rolling a snowball while crawling backwards, using its hind legs to move the ball.
When sunlight shone on the desert, Shao Xuan opened his eyes and took a deep, long breath. He was covered in sweat and felt cold when the wind blew towards him.
He looked up the sand dune and saw Chacha was still standing guard. Other than that, the beetle was there too.
This bug actually found me!
Shao Xuan checked in on the flame in his mind. He noticed that near the flame there was a thread and the thread was connected to a smaller flame.
And the flame was this beetle.
This was the first time Shao Xuan could clearly feel the connection between a slave and a master. Before his breakthrough, he could feel some traces of it but it was nowhere this clear. He was now curious about the greater slave masters, they enslaved so many creatures, would their flames have tens of thousands of threads? What happens if the threads were disconnected?
After all, Shao Xuan wasn’t a proper slave master, he wasn’t sure whether other masters felt the same. He isn’t willing to cut his connection with the beetle either.
When Shao Xuan looked over, he saw the beetle push the snowball down the dune. When it rolled towards Shao Xuan, he stopped it with his hand.
Shao Xuan hadn’t fully gained control over his strength after his breakthrough and accidentally broke the snowball.
The snowball was covered in sand but after it split open, Shao Xuan noticed a lizard as long as finger hidden within it.
He looked at the long-dead lizard and stared suspiciously at the blue beetle running down the dune. When did it start killing lizards? Did its diet change?
He shook his head and stopped investigating. He took notice of the sky’s colour and stretched. Even though he was still aching, he could clearly feel the energy. He moved around a little, feeling a strong urge to let out a shout but he controlled himself. This wasn’t the right place.
“Come on, let’s go back.”
Shao Xuan started to move as he said that, running across the dunes towards the snow.
He didn’t ride his eagle and solely used his legs. He felt the energy in his body had increased. He could feel the difference in his strength and the majestic force within. While running, these changes became much clearer to him.