Chapter 211: Animal Whisperer

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Dragon’s Soul: An End’s Beginning 

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Standing atop of Silky, beside Little White on all fours, was a second fur ball, one that Zhang and the beauties had never laid eyes upon before.
 
With a short coat of fur reminiscent of the color of white sand, a fluffy tail that looked as soft as a cloud, large pointy ears, pointy whiskers and large round eyes, a peculiar animal eyed Zhang and the beauties.
 
Surprisingly enough, Silky did not seem to mind having this extra passenger hanging out atop its head.
 
“Brother! Can we keep it? Can we?? Can we keep this little fox? Can we name it Swifty?!” Ai asked as her eyes brightened like a child who had just spotted a new toy.
 
“I wonder where I came from.” Ling and Lingqi said at the same time although, at the backs of their heads, a certain thought had popped up.  
 
“You guys think this is the…” Zhang and Yuying asked at the same time.
 
Ignoring what the beauties were saying, and Zhang’s intrigued gaze, the furry little fox began to lick its furry paws.
 
“Little White, it seems you have a new friend.” Ling said to Little White who replied with a purr before copying its new furry friend and licking its paws.
 
Before long Little White playful led tackled its new friend. The two little fur balls soon found themselves rolling about on the ground, wrestling each other.
 
“Hey there little fella, where did you come from?” Zhang asked as he crouched down in front of the two little fur balls, prompting to cease their activities and stare back at him with their large round eyes.
 
With a wave of his hand, Zhang made a slab of meat appear on the ground.
 
“Would you like some steak?” Zhang asked with a laugh as he pointed to the slave of meat while gazing into the fox’s intelligent eyes.
 
After a slight pause and some sniffling, the fox quickly bit its teeth into the juicy looking steak that was laid out in front of it.
 
“Adorable…” The beauties all murmured in a low tone as they watched the fox nibble of the steak that was arguably as big as itself.
 
Moments later, the fox clamped onto the steak and made its way to where Little White was and offered its new friend a nibble, in but a flash the two fur balls made the large steak disappear into their bellies.
 
After finishing a hearty meal, Little White’s new friend called out to Zhang in what could be called a bark before running up to him and tugging on the sleeve of his robes.
 
“What? You want us to follow you?”  Zhang asked as he tried to guess at what the little fox was trying to communicate to him.
 
With a slight nod and a bark, the little fox began to lead Zhang and the rest of the group through the makeshift fortress erected by the Blood Scale Army. Walking through rows of tents and across the gazes of tens of saluting soldiers, Zhang and the beauties soon found themselves led into one of the many tunnels that led out of the massive cavern they were in.
 
Curious to see where they were being led to, Zhang and the beauties followed without uttering a single word after simply glancing at each other once and nodding in agreement.
 
Chasing after its friend, Little White could be seen scampering about excitedly while Silky and her swarm of Wraith Spiders followed behind Zhang and the beauties silently.
 
Walking through twisting tunnels and a few splintering passageways, the furry fox acting as Zhang’s tour guide led the group into a small out of the way chamber that no one would normally go into and within this chamber was a small hole in the wall.
 
Asking Zhang and the beauties to stand and wait with a bark, the white sand colored fox made its way the small hole in the wall. Surprisingly enough as the fox squeezed into the small hole, a few glittering essence stones rolled out onto the ground, clearly indicating that it was brimming with essence stones.
 
Before having to wait very long, the fox popped its head out of the hole with a shiny essence stone clamped in between its jaws. In a flash, it arrived in front of Zhang and gently placed the essence stone at his feet before scurrying back into its hole and returning with another essence stones clamped in its jaws.
 
One by one after Zhang, the beauties were gifted an essence stone each.
 
“For us?” Zhang asked as he crouched down toward the furry fox standing on all fours in front of him while licking its paw.
 
With a nod and a bark, the white sand colored fox responded to Zhang’s question.
 
“Hey little buddy, would you like some more steak? I’ll give you a lot of steaks if you share with me some more of these.” Zhang said to the fox as he held up the essence stone it gave him.
 
With glittering eyes filled with excitement and agile footsteps, the fox quickly sped into its den and brought out another essence stone to trade with Zhang.
 
“For this stone, I’ll only be able to give you this much meat.” Zhang said as he waved his hand and made a humongous piece of Mirage Viper meat appear on the ground.
 
Seeing the piece of meat that was easily ten times larger than itself, the fox yelped in absolute joy. However, it’s joy was short lived as Zhang utilized the pepper of the Underworld Heart and made a short sword materialize in his hand.
 
With a quick slash, Zhang skimmed off a minuscule piece of the Mirage Viper meat and placed it in front of the excited fox.
 
“Before the steak was a greeting gift, but now since we are doing business we have to be fair with each other. You can’t expect me to simply give away my precious meat for free.” Zhang said as he proceeded to bargain with the fox, much to the amusement of the beauties.
 
Quickly understanding what Zhang was trying to say, the fox sped back into its den and after a few trips, it had accumulated a small pile of essence stones in front of Zhang.
 
“Hmmm, let me inspect some of these.” Zhang said as he began to sift through the small pile of glittering stones.
 
“This piece is cracked, this one here is too small, but this one is good.” He said as he eyed the fox who eyed him with curiosity.
 
“Alright, considering your Little White’s friend which makes you my friend, I’ll exchange these stones for some meat for you.” Zhang said as he sliced off a mid-sized slab of meat the size of a person’s palm and placed it in front of the fox who consumed all of it in a heartbeat.
 
“If you want more meat, I’m willing to trade it for more essence stones. If not, I’ll just let Little White have it all.” Zhang in a manner that made it appear as if he did not care whether the fox brought out more essence stones or not.
 
Upon hearing what it’s master was saying, Little White’s eyes glinted as he began to eye the giant slab of juicy looking Mirage Viper meat laying on the ground right in front of it. Contrary to Little White’s reaction, the fox sped into its den and brought out more essence stones.
 
Little by little, Zhang began to squeeze the fox out of its stash of essence stones. After giving the fox roughly half of the slab of Mirage Viper meat, Zhang had actually managed to obtain all of the essence stones within the fox’s den, much to its dismay since it was still wanting to eat more meat. Like most demonic beasts, regardless of their size, they all possess massive appetites.
 
“Since you ran out of things to trade, if you show me a few of your talents then I’ll give some more meat as a reward. How about it?” Zhang said to the fox with a smile.
 
From beginning to start, Zhang had hoped to confirm his speculations regarding the fox and had been baiting it into becoming familiar with him through food. Instantly noticing it’s intelligent demeanor, Zhang figured if he did anything out of the ordinary then the fox would more than likely make an escape.
 
With a bark, the fox scampered off out of the chamber he had led Zhang and the beauties to and disappeared out of sight before returning with an essence stone tightly clamped in its jaws.
 
“I said to show me something neat, I don’t really have a need for any more essence stones. Also if you think finding essence stones is a talent only you possess then you’re sadly mistaken my friend. I have countless thousands of people under my command who can find and retrieve essence stones.” Zhang said with a smile.
 
With a bark, the fox proceeded to do the unthinkable, utterly shocking Zhang and the beauties.
 
Opening its jaws and revealing rows of sharp fangs, the fox did the unthinkable. As if it was eating the softest piece of tofu ever created, the fox bit into the incredibly hard essence stone that it had just brought back.
 
Of course, this was not the unthinkable part, it was the fact that the fox began consuming the bits that it had bit off from the essence stone that was so unthinkable.
 
If it had simply broken apart the essence stone then a number of other demonic beasts could do so, such as Little White and even the Wraith Spiders.
 
However, the thought of consuming an essence stone was utterly unthinkable, since essence stones are made through the concentration of high amounts of essence. In simpler terms, when consuming a single essence stone, one would be consuming a large amount of raw essence directly into one’s body which of course is not something anyone should do because anyone eating an essence stone would soon find themselves instantly overflowing with essence, to the point where their bodies cannot handle it and explode to tiny bits. Much like what occurs when someone tries to absorb too many souls or other high essence concentration things into their body.
 
After consuming the entire essence stone and being completely fine, the fox looked at Zhang while posing in a prideful manner.
 
“Hmph, so what? You can eat some rocks, big deal. Little White can do that too.” Zhang said with a bored tone as he proceeded to pick up a regular rock from the ground and toss it in front of Little White.
 
“Eat that and I’ll give you your own slab of meat twice the size of this one.” Zhang said to Little White who instantly picked up the rock with its mouth and ground it to dust in between its teeth.
 
“See? You got any other talents?” Zhang said, since eating essence stones, as impressive and out of this world it was, did not confirm his speculations of the fox.
 
Playing along with Zhang’s provocation, the fox’s fur began to stand on end as its body began to undergo a great change. It’s body that was about the same size as that of a small puppy, began to grow until it was massive in size compared to regular foxes.
 
“Hmph, is that all you can do? Little White show it what you can do.” Zhang said as he glanced at Little White who morphed back to its originally massive size. Standing in close proximity, the two demonic beasts were very similar in size.
 
“Last chance to impress me or else I’ll just give the rest of this meat to Little White and those guys over there.” Zhang said as he pointed at Little White and then Silky and her swarm of Wraith Spiders.
 
Thus with a slightly angry growl, the fox confirmed Zhang’s initial suspicions as the ground around the fox began to rumble and shake until a pair of stony claws rose up from the earth and into the air.
 
“Okay that’s impressive, you can have all of that meat.” Zhang said with a smile which caught the fox by surprise.
 
With gleeful eyes and which was similar to a broad grin, the fox leaped onto the large slab of meat after shrinking back to its tiny form. As it gorged itself on the Mirage Viper meat the fox released its control on the earthen limbs it has conjured, causing them to break into tiny pieces and crumble into the ground.
 
“Yuying, do it.” Zhang said to Yuying through his divine sense, signaling her to move in and do what she was best at.
 
With a quick nod, Yuying pressed her hand onto the ground causing hundreds upon hundreds of glowing runes to flow from her body onto the ground the earthen cavern floor. Linking snaking chains, the runes sped across the ground and homed in on the fox who was busily consuming the massive slab of Mirage Viper meat.
 
In a flash, the runes surrounded the oblivious fox and before it knew it, the runes had shot out from the ground and latched onto its body. Caught by surprise the fox soon found itself conscripted and bound by Yuying’s runes.
 
“Struggling is meaningless.” Yuying said in a calm tone as she proceeded to walk up toward the fox who had tried to morph into its larger form to break free.
 
Surprisingly enough, the fox once again managed to cause an earth rattling blow to Zhang and the beauties, opening its jaws, the fox bit into a chain formed by Yuying’s runes, shattering it and causing the runes to fade away into nothingness.
 
“No way!” Yuying yelled as her face that was previously void of emotion was filled with a mixture of disbelief, shock, and amazement.
 
After the first chain was destroyed, the fox proceeded to try to break another, however, before it could Yuying quickly moved in and appeared in front of it and extended her hand. With her finger pressed onto its forehead, Yuying began to work her magic and imprint the fox’s mind like she had done to Little White, Silky and all of the Wraith Spiders.
 
The fox soon ceased to struggle and attempt to break free was Yuying began to work her magic on it. Before long, Yuying pulled her hand away from the fox and wiped out a layer of sweat that had formed on her brow before turning toward Zhang and the other beauties and telling them that she had succeeded.

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