A lone figure slowly trekked within an empty valley, as the sun’s scorching rays viciously attacked him.
Surrounded entirely by black rocks and dry ground, not a hint of vegetation or life appeared within sight.
Completely naked and wearing nothing on his body, the figure continued walking while the smoldering heat waves from the ground burned through the soles of his feet. However, the figure seemed to be unbothered by the heat.
“Teacher, are you sure that this is the right way?”
Calron panted, as he placed his hand over his eyes to shield his sight from the sun’s glare.
“Uh… yes. I’m confident that we are on the correct route. Look, I think I see the start of another forest there.”
Ezkael said with a nervous quiver in his voice.
The truth was that neither Calron nor Ezkael knew whether they were on the correct path to the beast city or not. Initially, the plan was to use Calron’s Divine Perception technique to search for a large group of beasts gathered in a single location. This was the surest method to find the beast city. However, each time that Calron tried to activate the technique, it simply failed.
Exhausted, and with his entire reserves of strength depleted, Calron was unable to use the Divine Perception. Instead, Calron decided to search for the city by scouting the nearby areas and looking for traces of an already established route used by others.
Annoyed with his student for taking so much time to decide which direction to go in, Ezkael interjected by stating that he could sense where the location of the closest beast city was.
Relieved that at least someone knew the right direction, Calron happily followed his Teacher’s suggestion without contemplating exactly how Ezkael could sense the location of the city.
It was only after treading continuously for days through empty plains where even the common beasts did not dwell, that Calron realized that his Teacher did not have a single clue to the location of the city.
He did not mind the heat, as his current body was much tougher after breaking into the Vajra stage, but it was the lack of meat and food that bothered him. Calron had not yet reached the stage in his cultivation where he could survive off his essence alone, so he still needed solid food for survival.
Calron did not know how he ended up in a part of the mountains where there was no vegetation or life, and only an endless amount of black rocks. Thankfully, he could drill into the rocky ground to obtain a few mouthfuls of water to satiate his thirst, but even then, he was soon reaching the last verges of his strength.
“What is it, Calron?”
Ezkael gently asked within the boy’s mind.
“Next time, we wait until we have a complete plan before setting out. Also, you don’t get to make decisions on the routes we take in future.”
Calron angrily murmured, as he gazed at hazy images of the distant trees within his sight.
After their last encounter in the white room, Calron had tried to persuade Ezkael to reveal more information about his ancestry and Raizel, but his stubborn Teacher kept changing the topic by discussing something else. Calron had already expected this outcome, so he did not expend any more energy in extracting the information.
“This better not be a mirage.”
Just then, golden scales shot across Calron’s skin, as his body writhed and twisted until he took on the form of a large golden bird standing at six feet tall.
Flapping his metallic wings, Calron rose up into the sky and flew towards the distant group of trees miles away.
Calron had been regularly shape-shifting into his beast form to prepare for entering the beast city, as he definitely could not go there as a human.
He had become fairly adept at controlling his speed and maintaining altitude whilst in air, but he still could not maintain his beast form for more than an hour.
Once he entered the beast city, he would have to remain in his bird form for hours, if not days, so Calron constantly morphed into the golden beast whenever he had the strength to do so.
“Hey, that’s not fair! We just found a forest, didn’t we? See, I told you I knew where to go.”
Ezkael added within Calron’s mind.
Calron ignored his Teacher, and sped towards the nearing forest.
“Haha, finally! We are somewhere where there are other living beings!”
Calron shouted with elation in his voice.
He could hear the sounds of birds and could also sense several beasts nearby from his current location.
“Time to hunt for some meat.”
Calron whispered, as bolts of golden lightning gathered around his legs.
He wished he could trigger the ability of the Divine Perception technique, but his body was still too drained of strength to use it effectively at this moment. Activating it right now would only further damage his body.
Prowling deeper into the forest, Calron took cover behind the trees and scanned the area for any prey.
A small white hare gently hopped next to a bush, and cheerfully chittered away.
“Sorry little guy… ”
In a flash, Calron darted behind the hare and swiftly snapped its neck before the beast even had an inkling of what was happening. He would have preferred to hunt a larger prey, but with his dangerously famished stomach, Calron would consume any source of nutrition he could find at this moment.
With no time to waste, Calron quickly shot multiple bolts of lightning into the small carcass and burnt away the fur on its skin. He did not have the patience to skin the beast, so he simply cooked the hare with its outer skin on.
Several parts of the meat were burnt due to Calron’s lack of control over his essence, and the lightning charring the meat black.
Soon, the aroma of freshly cooked meat wafted into the air, and made Calron drool with anticipation. Although the meat might have smelled better with some spices and without the faint burnt smell, Calron could not care less as he simply wanted to devour this piece of meat after days of starvation.
With the hot carcass scalding his fingers, Calron chomped down on the unseasoned meat and hastily gobbled it down without chewing properly
“Oh… it’s good to finally eat after so long…”
Calron sighed in relief, as he continued to munch on the hare meat.
“To be honest, it wasn’t really that long. It w- “
Ezkael abruptly stopped talking when he sensed the rising anger from its student.
I guess it will take some time for his anger to cool off… that meat does look delicious though…Huh? What is that?
Ezkael mused as he instantly materialized next to Calron.
Detecting the change in his Teacher’s mood, Calron stopped eating, and turned to gaze at his surroundings.
“Is it a beast?”
Calron softly whispered to his Teacher.
“Yes. Two of them… no, three. Two of them are in the Vajra stage, while the third one is still an infant. Let’s observe them before we move out from here.”
Ezkael quietly replied with a frown etched on his smoky face.
“Teacher, one of them is … ”
“I know, I can smell the blood as well. Quick, change into your beast form! Remaining in your human state from this point onwards will be too big of a risk.”
Ezkael hurriedly stated.
“Dammit! I can’t even enjoy a small meal in peace.”
Calron cursed as he put down the half-eaten carcass after rapidly shoveling as much meat as he could into his mouth, and began shape-shifting again.
“Now fly up onto that tree and let’s see who these rude visitors are.”
Ezkael suggested, as he pointed at one of the tallest trees in the vicinity.
However, before Calron could move, suddenly, the sound of a beast howling with rage echoed within the entire area.