This is the Holy Beasts Sect’s treasury? It’s freaking huge! I could store a few mountains in here. It’s underground, and it somehow feels like home, almost like a burrow that I’d store some acorns in…. There’s the entrance we came in from, and there’s a bunch of tunnels leading into different areas. I can even see light coming from some of them. It totally feels like home. Nice and safe. Mhm. That’s odd. Why do I get that feeling?
“Have you noticed?” the man called Old Bai asked. “If you have, it really proves that you are a squirrel.”
“Noticed?” Noticed what? That this place is a little familiar and safe?
“The Holy Beasts Sect used to be four different sects, one for each of the different beasts,” the old man said. Was he old? He seemed young, but since he wants to be called Old Bai, then I guess he’s old. He’s my servant now, so I should respect how he wants to be called. Mhm. So, what was the old man saying? “After the holy beasts united to defeat the squirrels, we took over their lands. This treasury used to be theirs, but a lot of it was filled with acorns and different types of nuts or so the recordings say.”
“But those things were useless, so they were thrown away.”
The old man took a step away from me for some reason. “T-this occurred over hundreds of years ago. Even if those things were kept around, they would’ve rotted by now. Moving on, this used to be the main food storage place for the squirrels. They didn’t have an official treasury that they filled because none of the squirrels trusted each other. They kept their valuables on their persons at all times. The only thing they shared was food.”
That makes a lot of sense. This place reminded me of a burrow because it was a burrow! And I do remember Mrs. Feathers mentioning something about squirrels and holy beasts and their wars or something along those lines. Does Mrs. Feathers still think I’m a foxkin? Mm, at this point, haven’t I already defeated the people who want to hunt down squirrels the most? I feel a little bad for tricking Mrs. Feathers when she’s doing her best to help me. “Hey, Mrs. Feathers?”
“What’s up, Boss?”
“I’m actually not a foxkin. I’m part squirrel.”
Mrs. Feathers coughed. “What was that, Boss? There’s some strange force blocking my hearing. Maybe you should tell me later.”
“I said, ‘I’m not a foxkin. I’m part squirrel.’”
Mrs. Feathers coughed again! Is she sick? Can phoenixes even get sick? “What!? I can’t hear you, Boss! There’s some interference blocking out my words!”
“I said! I’m not a foxkin! I’m part squirrel!”
“What!? I still can’t hear you!”
Ah, never mind. There must be some kind of force blocking my words. I’ll tell her later. Mm, that’s right. There’s more important things to do—like raiding this treasury! “You said there was a core of a world tree here, right?”
The old man bobbed his head up and down. “Of course, come with me.”
Yep, that’s right! This man has the ingredients to make the virility pill to bring Softie back to life! If he didn’t have them, no matter how much Ilya begged me, this man wouldn’t have any arms or legs right now. Speaking of Ilya, she’s here too. She told me she was planning on conquering this place, but she failed until I came along. Isn’t that an odd coincidence? I was chased down and hunted by someone Ilya was plotting against, and we grouped up because of that guy. It must be because of all the good deeds I did. The heavens wanted to reunite me with Ilya.
Anyways, what’s in this treasury? There’s so much stuff floating in the air. Underneath the floating stuff, there’s platforms with lines. Some kind of formation? It should be. I don’t know why they don’t just stick everything into an interspacial ring though. Maybe it’d be too easy to steal? Mm. I’ll ask. “Hey, old man, why don’t you just store everything into an interspacial ring?”
The old man scratched his head. “Simply put, it’s not as impressive.” He nodded. “We could store everything in the treasury within a thousand interspacial rings, but look at this.” He pointed at a golden pillar. “You could easily place a few thousand interspacial rings around the base of this pillar alone. Imagine how empty this treasury would be if there were only a thousand interspacial rings lying around on the ground.”
Mm, it has nothing to do with theft, and everything to do with looking good. What he says makes plenty of sense. I’m a little confused though. “Then why do you guys live in holes instead of in houses?”
“Our ancestors lived in holes. Their ancestors lived in holes. And even their ancestors lived in holes too.” The old man nodded. “It’s a tradition. Cultivators with fancy abodes don’t respect the old ways; they tend to be weaker than those who do.”
“Boss! Boss, Boss, Boss!” Mrs. Feathers smacked my legs with her wings! What’s going on? “Look over there, Boss.” She pointed towards a wall where a bunch of floating orbs were. “There’s a vermillion bird core over there, and below it, I’m pretty sure that’s a bucket of vermillion bird blood!”
“Oh, let’s go take those first.” This place is pretty big. What if we walk a mile to the world tree core? Then we’d have to walk a whole mile back. There’s teleportation, but I’d probably get lost. Hmm? Why would I get lost in a burrow? That’s obvious! If even the creators’ relatives can get lost in a burrow, then the predators chasing them inside the burrows will definitely get even more lost! Wait a second? Can Mrs. Feathers hear me all of a sudden? I guess the interference is gone, but now’s not the time to tell her I’m not a foxkin. Now’s the time to…. “Um. Was I supposed to drink this blood?”
“What?” Mrs. Feathers tilted her head. “Boss, you don’t actually become what you eat even if there’s a saying about it. To get the bloodline of a beast, you have to mix the blood into your veins.”
“Do I stuff the core into my body too…?”
“No, you eat that.”
Eh? “But didn’t you just say you don’t become what you eat?”
“Exception to the rules,” Mrs. Feathers said. She reached forward and plucked a floating core out of the air with her beak. “I’m not sure how long it’ll take me to digest this, but once I do, I’ll be sure to teach you that enslaving technique.” Then she swallowed the core before looking at me. “Well, go on.”
Err…. So, I eat a core. Okay. And then I mix the blood into my veins? It’s supposed to go into my veins, but … why does it smell so delicious? I…, I’m going to drink it. Mm, just as I thought. It’s tasty!