AIP - Chapter 112: Parting
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Sorrowful tiger eyes moved back and forth between the two tiger cubs. Finally, with a trembling claw, the fiend tiger pointed at one of the little cubs.
"Take the little one with you."
It turned its head, unable to watch this parting.
Tang Jie walked over and grabbed the little cub that was playing with its older brother.
The little fellow was still ignorant, so when someone grabbed it, it instinctively tried to bite.
But it was too weak and failed to penetrate the skin on Tang Jie's arm.
Tang Jie raised his hand, bringing the little cub into the air, but it didn't let go, continuing to bite down on Tang Jie's arm while its four paws flailed in the air, doing everything it could to fight back against Tang Jie's arm.
Its older brother lunged over and began to gnaw at Tang Jie's feet, letting out soft growls.
Tang Jie chuckled at how adorable and cute it was. He asked, "Does it have a name?"
The fiend tiger shook its head. "I have yet to name them. But as the tigers are the kings of beasts, our tribe has the surname of Wang (King). I am called Wang Poguan. You can name them."
"Wang Poguan (Break Barrier)… I understand. Then I will name them after the concept of being free and unfettered (Xiaoyao). Their formal names will be Wang Xiao and Wang Yao. As for your baby name, let's just go with how your head looks and call you Bao'er (宝)."
He grabbed the cub and held it affectionately in his embrace.
While tigers were fierce, they were very cute as cubs, and Tang Jie naturally took a great liking to it. In the eyes of Wang Poguan, this was naturally a relief, but it also added to the sorrow of parting, and it started to sorrowfully growl in helplessness.
The deal was done, so Tang Jie went to gather his materials and leave. While these materials had been used to lay down the formation and some of them had been used up, others could be gathered back up and used again. For example, it was impossible for the Azure Light Sword to be depleted after being used in a formation just one time.
As he was packing things up, Tang Jie suddenly thought of something and asked the fiend tiger, "Right, since the Basking Moon Sect only comes once every half a year, how do you normally survive? When I woke up, I saw a pile of bones in the cave. That should be your food, but where does it come from?"
The fiend tiger replied, "There is a red dogwood flower that grows on the summit. When the fruit of this flower is crushed, it will release a scent that can attract all beasts."
"So it was the helping dogwood. I wondered why the Basking Moon Sect could be so at ease as to only come once every half a year," Tang Jie said with a chuckle.
Compared to the other spirit plants of Tiger Roar Valley, the helping dogwood could be considered a truly rare plant. The fruits it produced could restore blood and spirit and were of huge help in cultivation, commanding extraordinary value. When the dogwood fruit was crushed, it would create a scent that would travel far, so it was an excellent way of attracting fiend beasts, if not somewhat of a waste.
The Basking Moon Sect had probably planted helping dogwood on Tiger Roar Peak for its own convenience. Since the fiend beasts would throw themselves into the net, they wouldn't need to waste time and energy serving the fiend tiger on the mountain.
After several hundred years of care, anyone would start to think of ways to avoid work.
As if it could tell what Tang Jie was thinking, the fiend tiger said, "I still have some red dogwood fruit left over, and you can take it if you want it. There are also some other spirit plants that I have no use for, and you may take as much as you want."
"Then thank you, Big Brother Wang!" Tang Jie immediately took the rope that was offered to him, and he called the tiger "Big Brother" very naturally.
The fiend tiger shuddered. It had hated humanity for a lifetime but was now being called "Big Brother" by a human, and it found it hard to get used to. In the end, it managed to restrain itself and tell Tang Jie where the spirit plants were located.
The helping dogwood fruits were located at the back of the summit.
As it had been planted a long time ago, this helping dogwood had numerous fruits. Alas, over the years, many of them had turned to pulp, but even so, Tang Jie managed to get ten-some fruits.
Each helping dogwood fruit was worth several hundred coins. Although some of the fruits had been damaged because the tiger didn't want to take care of them, all together, they were still worth around two thousand coins. This was enough to make back his costs, and this wasn't even considering that not all of the formation materials had been used up.
He took a look at the time and decided to walk around Tiger Roar Peak some more to gather flowers and fruits.
He had invested an enormous amount into this trip and had already prepared himself for a loss. But now that he saw some hope of making back his costs or even getting a profit, he couldn't just let it go. He took everything of value, not even leaving behind the most ordinary blade of spirit grass. He thoroughly scoured the area, even calling Yiyi to help him.
The little lady had a 100% accuracy rate when it came to searching for spirit grass.
Once his bags were full, Tang Jie ran the calculations and found that he had made back everything he spent, so he was in a much better mood.
Going back to the cave, Tang Jie bowed to the fiend tiger. "Big Brother Wang, thank you for your generosity!"
The fiend tiger grunted, "I don't need your thanks, only that you take good care of my child."
"Big Brother Wang, be at ease. Tang Jie will take good care of him. Right, Tang Jie would like to request something else."
"Big Brother Wang, you only seek the blood and flesh of those fiend beasts, but I have use of their hides. If possible, in the future, I was wondering if Big Brother Wang could leave the hides intact for me, or even some bones that you don't need," Tang Jie said with a smile.
It appeared that now that he had scoured the area for spirit plants, he had moved his attention to fiend beasts.
This was like having the fiend beast hunt for him!
His thought process was like this: if you eat the meat, why not give everything else to me? It's not like you have any use for it.
As for what was already in the cave, those were no good. They had been there for so long that any essence energy inside of them had long ago dispersed, making them worthless.
The fiend tiger glared at him. "Human, you're too greedy. I won't quarrel with you if you want the skin and bones of other fiend beasts, but if you're trying to get my children…"
"Big Brother Wang, Yiyi is just as valuable as your little tiger cubs, but do I look like I plan to sell her off?" Tang Jie asked back.
The fiend tiger relaxed upon hearing this, snorting, "Even so, why should I trust you?"
Before releasing the tiger, Tang Jie had had Yiyi leave. It was clear from how much Tang Jie cherished this precious sprite that he was not a person of shallow affections.
This was precisely why it had entrusted him with the tiger cub.
Seeing that the fiend tiger didn't mind, Tang Jie said, "Right, one other thing…"
"You have too many requests!" The fiend tiger got angry.
Tang Jie chuckled. "This isn't a demand, but a gift."
Tang Jie took out the Martial Mirror. "Many people want this, and though I managed to fool the people that Godhead Palace sent last time, that was simply because they had restrained themselves and were unwilling to alarm me before they had confirmed who I was. But if they come again, whether it's the Basking Moon Sect or Godhead Palace, they probably won't rest until they've flipped the entire place upside down. It's not right for me to leave it at my place anymore."
"You want to hide it here?"
Tang Jie nodded.
Was there any safer and more ideal place than this?
Not even in their dreams would the Basking Moon Sect and Godhead Palace have imagined that Tang Jie would hide the Martial Mirror here.
And probably only the fiend tiger had the strength to protect the Martial Mirror and no desire for it.
This fiend beast that hated humans the most had become the guardian Tang Jie could trust the most.
From a certain perspective, Tang Jie was also making a security deposit.
With this item in the fiend tiger's possession, it could guarantee that Tang Jie wouldn't go back on his word, allowing the tiger to relax.
Thus, the fiend tiger replied without hesitation, "Very well, I agree to your request."
Tang Jie found a corner and buried the Martial Mirror there.
He then muttered, "The Tiger Roar Peak that was once searched a thousand years ago finally has a real secret treasure…"
Hearing this, the fiend tiger let out a sorrowful growl.
He had taken everything he wanted and passed on everything he wanted to pass. With nothing else he needed to do, Tang Jie released the wolf.
Though the fiend tiger had heavily injured the wolf, it would have recuperated with some time. But to free up the beast token, Tang Jie swiftly killed off this refined beast.
The wolf and Immortal-Binding Rope were items that couldn't see the light of day, so he didn't mind too much even if he didn't have them.
After killing the wolf, Tang Jie immediately dissected it for parts, and only after that did he grab the little tiger cub to put into the beast token.
Just when he was about to take it away, the mother tiger growled and staggered to its feet. It walked over to the tiger cub and licked it a few times, tears in its eyes.
Although it hadn't attained rationality, it was no ordinary beast. It knew its child was about to leave, and it looked at its mate with imploring eyes. It was clear it did not understand why its child had to be taken away.
The fiend tiger looked at its wife and helplessly sighed. Stroking the fur on its wife's neck with a paw, it softly said, "There's nothing to be done. For the child and for my tribe, there are things I must do. Zhen'er… I'm sorry."
The mother tiger looked in a daze at its husband, seeming to understand yet not understand, but there was a hint of gentle affection in its eyes.
And then she saw her husband open his mouth and bite down on her neck.
With one bite, the mother tiger's neckbone was bitten through.
The mother tiger grunted and dropped to the ground, still staring at her husband. Even in death, she had not understood what happened.
"What are you doing?" Tang Jie jumped in fright. "Why did you kill her?"
The tiger's roar resounded through the cave.
The fiend tiger turned its head, and Tang Jie could see it glaring at him with eyes as red as blood.
It said, "Her body was too weak, and the Basking Moon Sect's people are no fools. They would need just one look at her to know that there was a problem. Her mind hadn't opened yet, and she didn't have the blood refining ability, so the slightest probe would reveal everything… The Basking Moon Sect cannot be allowed to know the truth!"
"So you killed your own wife?" Tang Jie angrily said.
The fiend tiger pounced at Tang Jie and growled at him, "For the revival of my tribe, all of us are constantly dying! Remember your promise! The day you can return freedom to my child, you can take my head with you!"
It drew back, bit down on its wife, and threw her over to Tang Jie. "For you. Didn't you want the bones, hide, and blood of fiend beasts? Didn't you want to use our lives as the source of your strength? She is yours!"
His words burned with endless hatred and anger!
The large tiger corpse hit Tang Jie in the chest and caused him to stagger backward several steps.
The two tiger cubs had just lost their mother, and they failed to realize what had happened for a moment. They circled around the tiger corpse, occasionally pushing against her with their heads.
The fiend tiger grabbed little Bao'er and thrust it into Tang Jie's refined beast token. "Hurry and go already!"
Carrying the tiger corpse and a large bag of materials, Tang Jie staggered out of the cave.
His mind was in complete disarray.
Xu Muyang's words resounded in his mind.
The Immortal path was dangerous!
The cultivation world was callous!
Yes, Xu Muyang had been right.
The cultivation world was callous!
Though he had already known this.
Though he had already understood this.
Though he had already prepared for this.
When the cruel and callous actually played out in front of him, Tang Jie was still shaken.
In the end, Basking Moon Academy wasn't the real cultivation world. This warm and gentle environment made students yearn for the outside world, but only when they experienced the coldblooded nature of the outside would they understand the cruelty of the real world!
What had happened on Tiger Roar Peak was a microcosm of the truth of the world!
He felt sorrow, but there was nothing he could do but walk out of the formation.
He took one last glance at Tiger Roar Peak.
The fiend tiger was watching from the summit.
Tang Jie lightly shook his head and slapped his jade token.
In a flash, Tang Jie appeared outside of the valley entrance, in front of the villagers of Tiger Roar Village. Everyone could see that he was carrying a large tiger corpse.
Everyone was scared out of their wits. "You killed Tiger Roar Peak's fiend tiger?"
How could that be?
Not even large groups of students managed to achieve that feat!
"No… I just… When it was unprepared, I snuck into its cave… stole its spirit plants… killed its wife…" Tang Jie muttered in reply.
As if in response to his words, the roar of a tiger came from the distant Tiger Roar Peak.
Imbued with infinite sorrow and bone-penetrating hatred, it resounded through the valley!