Chapter 277 – Decisions
Tang Wulin’s dragon claw descended upon the Three-eyed Golden Lion’s head.
Tang Wulin flew into the air high above the Three-eyed Golden Lion’s head. Since Xu Xiaoyan’s starwheel immobilized it, the lion couldn’t do anything but watch as Tang Wulin swung his claw down at it.
He struck the lion’s head, using his claw to spike it head-first into the ground. However, instead its crushing effect activating, the dragon claw rebounded off of the lion’s head.
The Three-eyed Golden Lion crashed into the floor of the cave with a resounding boom, unconscious, but alive. For the moment.
“Captain!” Xie Xie hurriedly spoke up. “Don’t destroy its head, it could leave us a soul skull.”
Tang Wulin withdrew his claw, deciding not to follow up with another attack. Having struck the lion, he an odd hunch that the crushing effect wouldn’t activate no matter what he did. It was undoubtedly the influence of the Auspicious Emperor’s luck. It truly was a strange soul beast!
“I think it’s only a ten-year Three-eyed Golden Beast. If it were at the hundred-year level, we wouldn’t have been able to beat it so easily.”
The unconscious lion that lay before them was practically a lamb ready for the slaughter! Its tough scales were nothing in the face of Tang Wulin’s golden dragon claw.
His claw may have bounced off of the lion’s head, but the scales on it had been smashed to bits. Golden blood trickled from the wound..
“Now we need to decide who gets the spoils,” Tang Wulin said, turning to his companions. “Xiaoyan, if you can make a breakthrough, then the soul ring goes to you. I’ll pass on the soul bone… so Xie Xie and Gu Yue, you two talk it over.
His three companions went silent.
This was an Auspicious Emperor, a Three-eyed Golden Lion! They could no longer be found in the real world, yet they encountered one here and even had the chance to obtain its soul ring and soul bone. Anyone who fused with either would receive a massive boost in strength.
Despite the fact that it was only a ten-year soul beast, its soul bone wasn’t ranked number one for no reason. Its effect on one’s spiritual power was unfathomable.
“Why are you giving up on the soul bone, Captain?” Xu Xiaoyan exclaimed suddenly. “It’s the soul bone of a Three-eyed Golden Lion!”
“I already got the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear’s right hand bone, so it wouldn’t be right for me to take this one too,” Tang Wulin answered. “We’re a team after all. I can’t hog all the good stuff, so go on. You guys decide how you want to distribute it.”
Xie Xie looked at Gu Yue, then at Xu Xiaoyan.
It would have been absolutely spectacular if Xu Xiaoyan were already at rank 30 and could absorb the soul ring of a legendary Three-eyed Golden Lion. However, she was currently one step shy of it at rank 29. The gap seemed small, but it was actually enormous, so all they could do was decide on who gets the soul bone.
The three of them were supposed to split a single soul bone—a priceless one at that!
Xie Xie gazed at the lion on the ground, then reluctantly took a step back to stand beside Tang Wulin.
“I’ll pass on it as well.” After retreating from the lion, he seemed to relax. “I’m a man, so I understand that ladies go first. Besides, the Three-eyed Golden Lion’s skull bone mainly affects spiritual power, which doesn’t matter as much to me anyway. It would be better for either of you girls to get it. You two can decide. Or you can play rock-paper-scissors if you can’t.”
Gu Yue and Xu Xiaoyan stared at him in astonishment.
While Xie Xie seemed aloof on the outside, in reality, he was a guy who really cared about his friends. He was the first one to bring up the value of the Three-eyed Golden Lion’s soul bone, yet he still chose to give it up so quickly. Such a decision wasn’t easy to make!
Gu Yue and Xu Xiaoyan looked each other in the eye.
They both excelled at ranged elemental attacks, and there was no doubt that the lion’s soul bone would suit either of them. Whoever fused with it would experience a fundamental change to their cultivation base. It was hard to come by such and opportunity and even rarer to encounter one like this again.
Fusing with this soul bone could even have a permanent effect on their fates! Just how would they decide? Who would get it in the end?
Tang Wulin stood there silently, lips pressed together tightly. He had no suggestions to give them in this situation. As their captain, whatever he proposed would be unfair to the person who ended up with nothing.
This situation would have been far easier to resolve if it were an ordinary soul bone. All of them would have plenty of chances to obtain one in the future. However, this was the soul bone of a Three-eyed Golden Lion! It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
Gu Yue turned around and walked over to Tang Wulin. Meeting his gaze, she said, “Let’s give it to Xiaoyan. I’m passing on it too.”
“Big Sis Gu Yue!” Xu Xiaoyan yelped.
Gu Yue turned around, a gentle smile playing at her lips. “The Three-eyed Golden Lion’s soul bone will grant you luck. I don’t want luck. I want strength. Besides, you’re the youngest, and weakest, of the four of us. If you want to catch up, you’ll have to take every chance you get. Go on. Absorb it.”
Tears welled in Xu Xiaoyan’s eyes.
First Tang Wulin backed off, then Xie Xie, and now Gu Yue.
All of her companions had renounced the soul bone.
If it were a matter of compatibility, then Gu Yue was definitely the most suited to the soul bone. The power of her Elementalist martial soul would increase proportionally to her spiritual power. Absorbing the soul bone of this Three-eyed Golden Lion would definitely allow her to break into the Spirit Sea realm and experience an explosive increase strength.
Yet, she still chose to give it up without complaint.
Tang Wulin’s only response was a thumbs up. He was proud to have teammates like them!
One by one, they turned their backs on a precious treasure capable of tempting every soul master in the world. To them, their companions were far more important than material items. This refusal was proof of their camaraderie.
Xu Xiaoyan crouched down and examined the Three-eyed Golden Lion.
She shook her head and stood up once more, quickly walking back to Tang Wulin.
“Captain, I’m giving up on it too.”
“What?” He stared at her in shock. “Why?”
“If it were a different soul bone, I wouldn’t hesitate at all, but this…” Xue Xiaoyan shook her head. “This is the soul bone of a Three-eyed Golden Lion. My heart would never be at ease if I took it for myself. And besides, it’s still a child. It can’t have been born too long ago. Just think about how sad its mother would be if she came back to see her child dead! We might have already killed a lot of soul beasts, but all of them attacked us first. We acted in self defense. This time, however, we were the ones to break into its home. It wouldn’t be right to kill it for our own benefit, and I definitely wouldn’t be able to bear doing such a thing. So… I don’t want the soul bone. Let’s leave.”
Her words surprised Tang Wulin, but a moment later, a smile formed on his lips and he gave her a big thumbs up.
It would be best for us if we didn’t get this soul bone. Besides, my gut tells me that this trial definitely isn’t as simple as we think it is.
It didn’t matter which of the four them took the soul bone. All of them would forever be haunted by it.
Furthermore, Xu Xiaoyan had a point. This Three-eyed Golden Lion was just a cub. They weren’t monsters who would indiscriminately slaughter beasts. No, all the beasts they had killed until then had attacked them first. This cub had merely been hiding in its home. It didn’t actively target them in any way.
Xie Xie and Gu Yue were both moved. In their adolescent mindsets, slaughtering soul beasts in the spirit ascension platform had always been a game.
Yet, Xu Xiaoyan’s choice had sparked a flame their hearts.
Is it right for us to kill soul beasts? Or is it wrong? Are soul beasts evil? Do they harm people? Or is it just our greed that has driven them to the brink of extinction…?
Some soul beasts still exist in the world today, but what about in a hundred years? Or a thousand? If soul beasts really become just a part of history, what will happen to humanity?
“Since you’ve all decided to give it up, let’s get out of here. I’m afraid the big one will return any minute now.” Tang Wulin swiftly made a decision. As their captain, he had to put his team’s safety first.
He started running for the cave’s entrance.
We can talk more after we leave.
The cave’s exit soon came into view. Stars filled the sky, casting a mystical light onto the valley.
Off in the distance, three eyes appeared, two golden and one a demonic red.
Tang Wulin, Xie Xie, Gu Yue, and Xu Xiaoyan immediately froze as the space around them hardened, locking them in place.