Tian Bai was hunting for food for both him and Ye Xiu and was taking his time to get back to where Ye Xiu was lying unconscious. It had been undergoing the same routine for the past three days and the weasel was already getting bored of taking care of the kid. 'How long is the kid going to stay unconscious. It's actually time-consuming trying to collect ingredients to cook soup for the brat.'
Tian Bai made his way back to the area, it placed down the basket that had carried everything before getting firewood so that it could start a fire. It was in the process of lighting up the fire when he heard Ye Xiu start to get up. 'Looks like the kid is going to wake up. At least I won't have to get everything by myself now.' The weasel was grumbling inside of its mind since it was tired from searching for ingredients. The weasel wouldn't eat inferior food which is why it took so long to find ingredients.
"Oi brat, stop feigning unconsciousness. I know you're already awake when you started to turn all over." The weasel scampered up onto Ye Xiu's body and started to slap his face in amusement. "I don't know your name or age so I'll just continue to call you brat until you wake up." The weasel's tiny hands were slapping his face with speed that Ye Xiu looked like he was shaking his head.
Ye Xiu groaned due to being hit repeatedly, he was going to take his time to fully wake himself but with the slapping, he had no choice but to actually sit up. He rubbed his eyes and let them adjust to the bright light. He looked around for what was slapping him when his eyes landed on a weasel. His eyebrows furrowed in annoyance, "Did you seriously have to slap me? I was going to wake up by myself anyway. I just wanted to take my time."
The weasel had moved to the top of Ye Xiu's head and was making a nest out of it. "I'm not going to wait for you. I want you to cook the food this time. I've been feeding you and watering you for the past few days. It's your turn to return the favour." The weasel yawned as if it was bored of the conversation already. "I'm going to go take a nap. Wake me up when the food is ready."
Ye Xiu snorted at Tian Bai's behaviour but didn't disturb the nap that the weasel was now taking. He fixed his mind on the task at hand and lit up the firewood with his Qi. He assessed the ingredients that the weasel brought and was pleasantly surprised that the weasel was able to recognise and find such high-grade ingredients.
He saw the assortment of ingredients and quickly came up with what he was going to cook. The meal would mainly consist of soup, vegetable dishes and a single meat dish. He was obviously going to savour the meat that he had as long as it didn't rot and with his seasonings and vegetables, he was sure that he could make the meat dish nutritious as well. He was going to infuse Qi into all the dishes because he wanted to surprise the weasel.
He cleaned his hands with water and drying them off with his fire Qi before starting to cook. It was a little less than an hour when Ye Xiu had finished cooking. The meat dish took the longest to prepare due to the meat needing to be tenderised, he had used a prepared marinade that was a secret recipe that he and Shi Die had experimented for days before declaring it as finished. They had a special way to store the marinade for long periods of time which certainly came in useful for them.
Once everything was finished, Ye Xiu picked the weasel off from his head and set him down on a log gently. The weasel was definitely cute when it was sleeping. The cute innocent face would melt hearts at the sight of it. He was thinking whether he should wake up the weasel nicely or be extra annoying to get back at him. He decided to be the civilised one and called for Tian Bai to awaken.
The weasel didn't stir from its slumber. Ye Xiu called once again for the weasel to awaken but it seemed as if the weasel was in too deep of a sleep to hear him. He mumbled under his breath, "Surprised the weasel is taking a deep sleep instead of a normal nap." He poked the weasel in the stomach a few times and he was rewarded with the weasel staring at him with its beady little eyes.
Ye Xiu shrugged. "You didn't wake up when I called for you normally. I simply resorted to other means." The weasel snorted before getting up.
"I assume you finished preparing the meal?" The weasel acted as if it was royalty. "I hope this meal will impress me otherwise there'll be consequences for you. Brat." The weasel walked over to the bowls that had been placed on a blanket. "What are these things that you have placed the food in? They hold liquid without even leaking." The weasel scrutinised the bowls that the food had been placed in.
"Just imagine them as a container that can't be closed. We eat from the bowls and we wash them for future usage." Ye Xiu had taken out a pair of chopsticks and a spoon for himself from his dimensional storage and begun eating. Tian Bai watched Ye Xiu use his apparatus to eat before throwing himself onto the bowl that contained the meat. Before Tian Bai could begin to eat, Ye Xiu had picked him up. "Wash your body before you eat." Ye Xiu took out another bowl and poured water into it so the weasel could wash.
The weasel impatiently did as Ye Xiu asked before jumping back to the meat and devouring it. The meal was finished quickly since Ye Xiu had to keep up with the speed that the weasel ate the meat and vegetables. "I'm surprised you even eat the vegetables, I thought your species was one that only consumed meat."
The weasel sniffed in derision. "Try living here for a long period of time, you can't always find meat so I have to substitute it for fruits and plants." Ye Xiu didn't question the weasel on the topic any longer. They washed their hands and mouths to get rid of the oil that had come from the meat. The weasel stood up on its hind legs and looked up at Ye Xiu.
"Have you thought about my offer." It immediately asked the question that had been on its mind for the past few days. It was extremely worried that Ye Xiu would deny him the opportunity to leave. Ye Xiu sat on the ground silently once the weasel had asked his question. The silence continued for a few breaths worth of time before Ye Xiu spoke up.
"I have thought about it." He said nothing else as he had gone back to thinking. 'Though I haven't interacted with him as much as I had planned, he definitely seems like he wouldn't betray or use me easily. Not that the familiar bond would allow him to betray me anyway but it's better to be safe. He helped nurse me when I was recovering and I know he nursed me since I was still aware of things that happened around me even though I was supposed to be unconscious.'
The weasel was now panicking since Ye Xiu wasn't speaking. 'Please, please, please, please accept my offer.' Tian Bai was screaming inside of his mind for Ye Xiu to accept his offer.
"I accept your offer. I will have you bound to me as my first familiar. I only know of the most binding familiar contract since it is the most secure method of bonding. If you have any disagreements with me using the most binding contract that you are free to offer whatever method you have." The weasel shook its head since it had no knowledge of familiar contracts. "We'll begin immediately then."
Ye Xiu took out a piece of parchment that he had found in the storage vaults of the Dimension. The parchment was a contract and Ye Xiu was currently using a calligraphy brush to write down the rules of their bond. He checked it over with Tian Bai who agreed with the rules and he placed it on the ground as he started the next step.
Ye Xiu had bottles of his own blood that he was going to use for the ritual. The ritual required the person who initiated the contract to use their blood to draw the necessary ritual circles on the ground where they would be holding the ritual. He drew the circles with a steady hand and was quickly finished. "Seven drops of both our blood essence mixed together." He took out another bottle and cut his palm with the sacrificial dagger and forced his stored blood essence out of his body.
Once seven drops were added in, he handed over the bottle to the weasel who bit his tiny hand and did the same. Ye Xiu shook the bottle to mix the blood essences together. With the blood essence inside of the bottle, he poured it into his mouth and swallowed the blood. He gagged at the taste and the burning sensation that followed after.
He pushed his Qi into the ritual circles that he had drawn to activate them for the ritual before repeating the words necessary for the contract to be created and put into effect. "As my familiar, Tian Bai will be free to do whatever he wants as long as it causes no harm to his Master. He will serve for as long as his Master lives and the Master will treat the familiar with respect and kindness. Our contract shall be overseen by the heavens and if the rules of the contract that are written are broken, judgement shall take place."
Tian Bai started to push his Qi into the ritual circle as well so that his soul would be bound together with Ye Xiu. The majority of the work was actually done by the contract which would automatically form the bond when the correct steps for the ritual were followed. Tian Bai was tired due to the changes in his soul. His soul would now inhabit Ye Xiu's soul space if he wasn't summoned.
To be summoned, Ye Xiu wouldn't have to supply Qi to the familiar but would have to feed and water it. If it wasn't summoned, the familiar could simply live off the soul energy.
Tian Bai bowed his head to his new master. "I'm so thankful that you accepted my offer. I can finally get out of this boring place! I've always wanted to see what the world was like." Ye Xiu crossed his arms in amusement since he could see the similarities between Tian Bai and Xiao Tu.
"Now about that thing with the test. Are you sure it'll work?"
"I'm sure it'll work. The information told me so." Tian Bai assured Ye Xiu.
Ye Xiu wasn't too confident but had faith in Tian Bai either way. They continued to talk to each other so that they could learn about each other's personalities more when Tian Bai was pulled into Ye Xiu's soul space.
Ye Xiu was promptly moved back to a place that he was definitely familiar with. He had been moved back to the giant room that he had been stuck inside for the first stage. He was wondering why he got pulled back here but assumed that it was to let him know that the second stage had been completed. He tried to mentally communicate with Tian Bai to see if he was alright and he was relieved to hear that Tian Bai was safe and was going to sleep inside of his soul space for now.