Twenty days had passed since Ye Xiu had managed to net his first two kills for the test that he was in the progress of completing. He was currently skinning a Grade 3 Qi Beast that he had recently killed and was busy extracting the Beast Core from the beast. The Beast Core from the Qi Beasts was in a different place on the body depending on the species of the beast.
After several days of hunting Qi Beasts, Ye Xiu had quickly noticed that there never was the same Qi Beast species in the forest which was surprising to him because he had never seen so many different types of Qi Beasts until then. His skill in handling the carcasses had improved to the point that he could skillfully strip it down in minutes.
The process was a tiring one but he felt that it was a rewarding task every time he completed his skinning. He was moving towards the final portion of the valley that he hadn't dared to venture in before. Every single Qi Beast that he could possibly kill in the first two portions had been sought after and killed.
Ye Xiu was glad that he had an eidetic memory to remember how many kills he had achieved because there was no indicator for how many Qi Beasts he would've had killed. He would've wasted days of time trying to scour the two portions by himself to make sure that everything was dead.
He had learnt a lot in the twenty days that he was stuck in the second stage of the test. He not only learnt how to track the Qi Beasts but he had also refined his skills on avoiding detection. He was glad that he had the opportunity to refine his skills in a somewhat controlled environment. Now that he was moving towards the final portion, he was becoming extremely wary.
The final portion of the valley was actually the smallest area out of every other place. This meant that there was very little that he could do to avoid the four Qi Beasts that inhabited the area. He had to be careful when he was drawing their attention to him because he had absolutely no reason to fight against multiple higher grade Qi Beasts at the same time. He already had a hard time fighting two Grade 3 Qi Beasts at the same time and he had a gut feeling that the three Grade 3 Qi Beasts were much stronger.
When he entered the final area he could immediately sense the difference in the atmosphere. There were no birds chirping or insects making a cacophony but it was just dead silence. It was strange since it was a forested area but it made him even more cautious of the final area.
He climbed the trees so that he would have a better vantage point, he immediately spotted two Qi Beasts relatively far apart from each other and the last two sleeping together. Ye Xiu could see that their Qi pools were definitely larger than his. He narrowed his eyes when he saw the Grade 4 Qi Beast's Qi pool because he had a feeling that the fight with the particular beast would not go down very smoothly.
Ye Xiu went back to the entrance of the final area and into the second portion so he could set up camp. He didn't want to set up camp anywhere near the Beasts so he placed it right outside of the area, knowing that the beasts would not be able to leave the area. He had tested that particular tidbit when he was chased by a group of five Grade 3 Qi Beasts when he first entered the second area.
He wandered back into the third area once he finished setting it up. He was going to look around the area discreetly to see if there were any appropriate places for him to fight the beasts in. He knew that he was at a disadvantage when it came to these particular beasts. He had seen their Qi Beast profiles in one of the compendiums that he had read up during his time in the Dimension's library.
They outclassed him in physical strength and cultivation which meant that he couldn't have a direct confrontation because he would be overpowered too easily. They had years of growth ahead of him so he wasn't surprised by the physical strength being higher than his even if he could supplement his training with elixirs and pills. The only advantage he could see was that two of the Qi Beasts that he had seen were bigger than him which meant he could use his speed to fight.
The disparity of strength was daunting and he was starting to curse his Master silently. 'Who expects somebody at the third realm of cultivation to be able to fight a Grade 4 Qi Beast?' The Qi Beast probably is one that recently broke through so it should mean that he had a slight chance to win. He didn't want to think about what would happen if he was fighting against a Grade 4 Qi Beast that was accustomed to their strength.
He had managed to find a few areas that would be appropriate for him to fight against the two bigger Qi Beasts but he was looking for other areas that would allow him a bigger range of motion because fighting in a forested area would be disadvantageous to him since one of the other two was the same size as him and the other was the size of a weasel. He knew that the weasel would give him the most trouble because it was the Grade 4 Qi Beast.
Ye Xiu was surprised that the weasel-sized Qi Beast was the strongest one but he knew that he shouldn't count on appearances because even the cutest thing could be the cause of his death in the future. He had improved his ability to use the second move in the 'Lonely Peak of Thirteen Dragons,' and he was confident enough that he could use it reliably in a combat situation. It didn't cost too much of his Qi pool since by all means he should've finished mastering the move a year ago but hadn't put his focus on it.
He knew that the weasel-sized beast had fangs that could bite through solid objects like they were nothing and was preparing himself for that particular battle. He had over a week until the second stage ended and he was coming up with appropriate plans to deal with each of the beasts separately.
He was hoping that his 'Tyrant's Physique' would be able to protect him after he had advanced to the third stage of the technique. Luckily the technique corresponded with the strength of his body so it was fairly easy for him to move up the different stages of the technique.
After a day of scouting out the area, he decided to go back to his camp so that he could rest so that he would be ready for the day tomorrow where he would kill at least one of the beasts. He was hoping that he would be able to get all three of the Grade 3 Qi Beasts in a single day but he was being vigilant of his own strength and it would be foolhardy for him to take on a such a hopeless task.
He had managed to eat many different types of rare Qi Beast meat after hunting them and was glad that he got the opportunity to eat the carcasses. He still had over a thousand carcasses in his dimensional rings that he was planning to sell later on. He knew that they would fetch a handsome price due to the number of bodies there were. They were relatively intact as well and his skinning was flawless after several botched attempts on the ones that he had eaten.
He was thinking of what other possible tests would await him after he finished the stage and at the same time he was thinking about his friends. Though time had barely passed for those outside of the Dimension, he still thought about them because he hadn't seen them for a long period of time. He didn't know that time passed at a much faster pace inside the testing area so he was alone in his thoughts whilst his friends were all busy sleeping.
It was the middle of the night when he heard growls outside of his camp and he left his camping area to check the entrance to the final area. He saw a single Qi Beast looking at him and it was the human-sized beast. It had probably smelled the food that was cooking but was unable to leave his own area which was why it was busy stalking the entrance.
Ye Xiu knew that this was a chance that he shouldn't squander so he quickly took out his katana and engaged the beast. Ye Xiu knew that he could've taken advantage of the fact that he could kill the beast by simply staying in the second area but he wanted to test his own strength for now, not by using tricks to win the battle.
He had his own thoughts about how he would go about fighting. He had told himself that he wouldn't abuse the area constriction on the Qi Beasts on any of the beasts besides the Grade 4 Qi Beast and that was only if he had no chance of killing it in the first place. He believed that it would be better for him to test out his strength first before using such means to win because he wouldn't get stronger in his fighting ability that way.
The beast jumped away as it noticed Ye Xiu approaching it and Ye Xiu could see that the beast was definitely cute. It was a monkey, a relatively big monkey but a monkey nonetheless. It looked extremely innocent and was unlike those ferocious species that he had seen before.
After ascertaining what was happening, the monkey started to use the trees to its advantages and attacked him. Though the monkey was relatively fast by using the branches to swing, Ye Xiu was able to predict its movements due to it being in mid-air. He attacked every time the monkey was in mid-air and retreated once it tried to attack him.
Ye Xiu was surprised by the stupidity of the Qi Beast because it continued to do the same thing over and over again until it was bleeding from all the injuries that it accumulated. Ye Xiu wanted to finish it quickly because the blood was likely to attract the other Qi Beasts, he tried to cut off the head of the monkey but it was able to dodge his attack. The monkey started to become bigger until it looked like a gorilla.
Ye Xiu nearly crapped himself when he looked into the bloodshot eyes of the monkey. He had known that this particular species had a different racial ability so he was surprised that it hadn't used it in the entire fight. He narrowed his eyes. 'Could this monkey be a different species or has it mutated in its own way so that it has a different racial ability?' He had no time to continue thinking when a massive fist flew at him. The fist left a huge hole on the ground and Ye Xiu was slightly threatened.
'That was the strength of the monkey even without using any Qi?' Ye Xiu started to utilise his 'Swallow Mirage Steps' to its full capability and started to dodge the attacks of the monkey. Though the monkey had now grown to a bigger size, it looked like it didn't affect its speed, in fact, it was even faster than it had been when it was moving around the trees.
Ye Xiu realised what Qi Beast it was after it displayed its capabilities and was trying to come up with an appropriate plan. He took out some of the remaining seeds that he had and threw them around the area as he dodged. 'I hope this works.' He thought.