Once again, Ye Xiu was stuck considering whether he should listen to his inner beast's or not. The way the dragon spoke of his offer made it feel like Ye Xiu wouldn't risk his life unnecessarily but at the same time, he felt like the dragon had dishonest intentions instead of simply offering a peaceful solution. It was certainly suspicious that an inner beast would offer such a deal but then again he didn't know that much about inner beasts besides what he had heard of Shi Die's own inner beast.
The offer of having another familiar did sound rather interesting but at the same time, Ye Xiu had to be cautious of accepting the offer. He had no idea what the familiar actually was though he had some sneaking suspicions on what the familiar could possibly be. There were very few animal species that Ye Xiu particularly liked but he knew them well enough.
He looked at the dragon's eyes which seemed to hold mirth. Ye Xiu could tell, just from the eyes, that the dragon was taking pleasure at his internal struggle over what he wanted. He cleared his throat when he decided what he was going to do. "I'll accept your offer if I know what the familiar is going to be. If it isn't to my liking, then I'd believe you would have to suggest another method of me 'winning' against you."
The dragon still had that gleam in his eye that showed amusement. "You certainly drive a hard bargain, don't you? Smart of you to do such a thing as well otherwise I might've forced a completely useless Qi Beast onto you. Not to worry, the familiar I'm going to have bonded together with you is going to make you a very happy child." The dragon waved its hand and the entire scenery changed.
They no longer stood in a cavern but a forest clearing that surrounded a lake. The dragon transformed in front of Ye Xiu's eyes into a human form. "Follow me, close your mouth. You'll get used to Qi Beasts taking human form eventually." The dragon led Ye Xiu to another clearing where there was a baby Qi Beast sleeping on a rock.
Ye Xiu inhaled a sharp breath when he realised what he was seeing. He was screaming internally and he was acting like those people that got lovestruck when it came to animals. His face showed absolute calmness, though the dragon was definitely fooled by his facade. After all, it could feel his emotions. How would you expect to hide from empaths?
He literally ran towards the Qi Beast before the dragon had any time to react and picked it up. He nuzzled the Qi Beasts and Ye Xiu's contentment could clearly be seen. The dragon cleared its throat to get Ye Xiu's attention. The dragon could clearly see the shocked expression on Ye Xiu's face when he realised he was being extremely shameless by molesting a sleeping animal.
He put down the Qi Beast carefully and stroked the fur as he looked back towards the dragon. "I'll accept your offer. I can't believe that you would offer me something such as this but I'll accept it. I would like specifics on how exactly I would 'win' this battle of control over the body if I take care of the familiar."
The dragon looked at Ye Xiu with a serious expression on its face. "I simply want you to take care of the Qi Beast. The young one needs to be raised by someone other than me and you're the only other candidate which would be able to raise since nobody else would be able to get here. After all, this is your mind. How else would anybody get in here besides thoroughly violating your space?"
The dragon continued to speak. "The young one needs a family and I believe that you can provide for him. I personally like the young one quite a lot so I'm placing a lot of trust in you so when you finish the bonding ritual, I expect you to live up to my expectations. Since you've already accepted my offer, you won't be able to back out. The moment you accepted, a binding contract was placed to ensure that you will bond with the young one."
Ye Xiu was startled by the revelation but let it go since he was the one to accept the offer in the first place. If he accepted something, he wouldn't go back on his word and he would continue to do his best until the very end. "Very well then." Ye Xiu's tone of voice was slightly stiff due to the tone of voice the dragon had been speaking to him with.
The dragon simply shook his head at the boy's sudden change but continued on explaining what was going to happen. "I'll be the one to do the bonding ritual between the two of you to make sure no loopholes can be left. I sincerely want the young one to be protected so I won't leave anything to chance."
Ye Xiu nodded at the dragon's protective streak since he would do that for anybody he loved as well. He understood the sentiment and would oblige with what the dragon wanted. "The moment you finish the bonding with the young one, I will begin giving you your responsibilities over the young one. I will teach you how to take care of it and will also give you any extra information during that period of time. You'd best abuse this privilege as best as you can since I have many answers."
"If I do not wish to answer some of your questions then answers will be withheld." The dragon said his piece and walked over to the young Qi Beast and picked it up. "We should start the bonding ritual soon. Though I'm not influencing your body consciously, just my presence in your mind is enough to have your body in a mindless rage. A miniscule portion of my strength is being used to fuel your body right now and sooner or later it's going to run out and you'll be trapped in here."
With the dragon reminding him of what had to be done, he quickly took off the clothes that he had and allowed the dragon to do what he needed. Though Ye Xiu seemed to have given control over to the dragon to do what he needed for the ritual, he was still extremely wary and cautious. He didn't know the dragon well enough to trust him and the dragon was his inner beast. The dragon did nothing out of the ordinary and followed similar steps to what he had done with Tian Bai.
He still had some concerns over the deal that he had accepted. It was mainly because he'd just accepted two familiars in the span of a month and a few weeks. It felt like he was making hasty decisions but at the same time, he felt like he had done the correct thing. He felt like that him bonding with familiars was a way for him to escape trouble. He had first bonded with Tian Bai because he knew he couldn't beat him and now he accepted his inner beast's offer to escape without being harmed.
As the dragon busied itself with the ritual, collecting all the necessary things such as Ye Xiu's blood essence and the Qi Beast's blood essence. The bonding ritual was finished much faster compared to what happened with Tian Bai's bonding. He chalked up taking so long with the ritual was because it was his first time even attempting such a thing.
The dragon made sure to leave no loopholes for Ye Xiu to exploit and made sure that the young Qi Beast would be properly protected until it was strong enough for it to fight alongside Ye Xiu as an equal. "I know you have many suspicions about me but go ahead and ask me questions."
Ye Xiu took the chance that the dragon gave him and started to barrage the dragon with questions. "When you say there are other inner beasts inside of my mind, do you mean that they are sealed inside of me as well?"
"There are a few other inner beasts inside of you. One that came with your conception, one that came through an inheritance, another that came through being sealed and finally me, I've also been sealed in here. I won't tell you how exactly I got sealed in here but the only warning I can give to you about the one that sealed me here is to be careful. Be very careful. If you meet him, just run away. You won't have the strength to fight him."
Ye Xui frowned at the grave tone that the dragon took whilst he told him a warning but accepted the answer. He had to also be careful with going into a mindless rage. He still had several inner beasts that might take advantage of his little outbursts and take control of his body. With that thought, came another question that was related to the inner beasts.
"If I go into a mindless rage, wouldn't it be possible for my other inner beasts to be the one to take control instead of you?" The huma-dragon snorted.
"They wouldn't even be able to attempt it in the first place considering how much stronger I am compared to them. No, they won't be able to take advantage of you unless I allow it. I made a deal with you. You raise the familiar, I'll make sure you have your control over your body. If you ever want to face your other inner beasts, all you need to do is tell me and I'll allow you to enter a trial against them but I won't do it without your permission. It is how a partnership works."
Ye Xiu was satisfied with the dragon's answer. "I should be able to transform to my Dragonoid form without going mad now right?"
The dragon grunted its affirmation. The dragon started to change back from its human form and into its original form. They were moved from the forest clearing and back into the cavern. "I'll be able to communicate to you inside of your mind so don't get frightened off by my voice when I do talk to you. I'll talk to you when its something pertaining to the young one or if it's important."
"If you want to extract a favour from me, then another deal will be made. My mood changes depending on what happened during the day. Try not to talk to me when I'm in a foul mood."
Ye Xiu shook his head in amusement. He was glad that he was able to get past this little trial with ease but at the same time, he certainly felt like he was cheating his way through these tests. Eventually, he comforted himself by saying that he would do anything short of killing his loved ones to live. He looked at the cavern's murals once again and noted that they told a story. He was about to question the dragon when he was interrupted before he could even begin
"Time is running out. If you have any more questions ask them quickly."
Ye Xiu thought of one last question that he wanted to ask. "What is your name? The entire time that we've held a conversation, you've never mentioned your name. It should be polite to introduce yourself at least." He knew that he was coming off as impolite but he really wanted to know the name of the dragon.
"My name? That isn't something that you should know yet. In the future, I might find enough generosity to grace you with my name but right now you aren't worthy. It's time. Goodbye, and do take care of the young one. Remember to give the young one a name and please don't give it a stupid one."
Ye Xiu started to fall into unconsciousness when he heard the dragon speak one last sentence.
"Remember, the last enemy to be defeated is death."