Chapter 62: It’s over (1)
For the sake of restoring his little sister’s identification, Guan Li brought Guan Tong back to their tribe.
The sudden appearance of Guan Tong raised a huge commotion within the cat tribe because Guan Tong had undergone her degeneration little by little under everyone’s scrutiny. Half a year ago, she had been placed on the list of degenerates and there was an intense squabble over the ownership of her demon source. Because even though Guan Tong had degenerated, her body was considered one of the oldest within the cat tribe, which meant her demonic source was of a better quality than the average cat demon. If they were able to get their hands on her demonic source, they would have a chance of achieving the next level in their cultivation.
According to the rules of the cat tribe, demonic sources from the degenerated group belonged within the tribe and their next of kin would have priority over them, but this priority must first meet 1 of 3 conditions. These 3 conditions were: 1, serious injury that would require a demonic source to recover, 2, aid in pregnancy by using a demonic source to nourish the fetus so it would improve immunity and prevent degeneration, or 3, self-cultivation to the next level.
Out of those 3 possible conditions, only Guan Tong’s older brother met a requirement, because it just so happened that he was reaching the pinnacle of his third stage of cultivation, but everyone knew how much Guan Li loved Guan Tong. A person who swallows a demonic source from someone within the same tribe would also feel their kin’s last emotional moments, so everyone thought Guan Li would never partake in Guan Tong’s demonic source. Unexpectedly, while they were heatedly vying for Guan Tong’s demonic source, Guan Li suddenly appeared and laid claim over it.
When Guan Li suddenly advanced his cultivation a few days ago, everyone thought he finally bit the bullet and dug out his younger sister’s demonic source. Yet not only did he not ingest Guan Tong’s demonic source, but he also somehow found a mysterious method to cure her.
“Chieftain, there are also testimonies within the sparrow tribe. I wish to renew Tongtong’s identity at the Demon Hunter Association and inform them of this news.” Upon entering the residence, Guan Li respectfully waited for the leader of Chao-ethnic* descent for instructions. (TL Note: 朝族 or Chao-ethnic, is a Korean ethnic group of the Jinlin province in Northeast China.)
“I will send someone to inform them of the news of her recovery, but…” the round eyes of the cat tribe’s chieftain, Yuan Wang, never left Guan Tong, causing the kitten demon to squirm nervously as she nestled up closely against her older brother’s side, “Regarding Guan Tong’s situation, you must give me a clear explanation.”
“It was a female senior of mine. She’s a demon hunter who found a way to cure Tongtong.” Guan Li knew that the Chieftain would ask about it when he brought his younger sister back home. He never intended to hide the facts but even he was not clear about the details.
“A demon hunter?” Yuan Wang frowned in disbelief. A demon hunter helped a demon recover its demonic source? How is that possible?
“Yes. I offered the Soul of the Cat Eye as payment, and she helped me cure Tongtong, but I don’t know how she managed to do it.” Guan Li added.
“What about you?” Yuan Wang turned towards Guan Tong once more, his gaze was complicated. After all, he nearly dug out this young girl’s demonic source, “How did that demon hunter cure you? Do you remember?”
“I…I…” Guan Tong was a little scared.
“Don’t be afraid, just say what you know.” Guan Li knelt to the ground to soothe his younger sister.
“Mm.” With the coaxing of her older brother, Guan Tong calmed down a little, “The older sister made me drink a type of medicine. After I drank it, my whole body felt warm and tingly, as if my demonic source were taking a warm bath. It felt numb and itchy, but so comfortable. After that, I fell asleep and by the time I woke up, I was all better.”
“What kind of medicine is it?” Yang Wang asked persistently.
“I don’t know, but I think it was a medicine that the older sister concocted herself.” Guan Tong replied.
“Did you see her make it?”
“No.” Guan Tong shook her head, “I only smelled the medicine on her body, but I did not watch her make it.”
“That’s all you’ve got?” Yang Wang was clearly not satisfied with what little information Guan Tong could provide.
“That’s all…Tongtong knows.” Guan Tong was scared speechless by the chieftain’s temper.
Guan Li consciously pushed his younger sister behind his back. Faced with a chieftain who nearly dug out his younger sister’s demonic source, Guan Li still retained certain complicated feelings, but it was not to the point of hatred. After all, as chieftain, the point of gouging out the demonic sources of degenerated demons for those that need them was a means to preserve the cat tribe. For this reason, the chieftain even personally dug out his own son’s demonic source. Guan Li was only 8 years old when it happened, and so was the chieftain’s son.
These two kittens were close playmates, so after his friend’s demonic source was dug out, Guan Li secretly snuck into the altar to bid his final farewells, only to accidentally discover the chieftain alone in the room, silently crying as he hugged his son’s body. He never wished for such an end.
“What’s her name?” The chieftain asked.
“Is she a part of the Demon Hunter Association?”
“No.” Guan Li recalled Xiang Chen’s complaints about her: He said Mi Wan was greedy, enjoyed blackmailing demons for money, and it was because she was corrupt that she refused to join the Demon Hunter Association.
“That’s good to know.” Yuan Wang paused for a moment before suddenly turning back to Guan Li, “Guan Li, go ask this demon hunter Mi Wan how she was able to cure Tongtong and if this could prevent demonic degeneration. Ask thoroughly. If Tongtong’s condition was not a fluke, and there was a medicine that could stop degeneration, do you know the significance it can have on us demons?”
“I understand.” Of course, Guan Li knew. He, of all people, understood how frequently demons had to resort to gouging out the demonic sources of their own tribes every year, “I will investigate it thoroughly.”
“Good.” Yuan Wang gave a firm pat on Guan Li’s shoulder to silently convey the solemness of the situation.
After leaving the main residence, Guan Li brought his younger sister back to their home. The news of Guan Tong’s reappearance had made several rounds within the tribe. Naturally, Guan Li’s parents were aware of the news and they called Guan Li immediately to ask him to bring Guan Tong home.
But the moment Guan Tong reached the entrance of their yard, she wavered in fear. She could never forget the day when she had fully degenerated into her cat form, her parents did not hesitate before sending her straight to the altar.
“Don’t be afraid.” Sensing his younger sister’s trepidation and understanding her internal struggles, Guan Li could only do his best to ease her anxiety, “We’ll just go in and greet them and leave quickly.”
“Okay.” Guan Tong gave a small nod, but her hand remained tightly clutched onto Guan Li’s sleeve, revealing her obvious distress.
Demons have long lifespans, and with their demonic powers preserving it, demons do not usually look old. Take for example, Guan Li’s parents. They were in their 60s but still looked like they were in their 30s. The pair watched the girl that Guan Li led in and went over to welcome them with complicated expressions.
“Tongtong, come here.” Madam Guan paused a little before beckoning her daughter.
“Mama.” Guan Tong quietly acknowledged the older woman but did not move from her spot.
Madam Guan’s expression froze, but she did not force her daughter to approach. It was obvious to her where the problem was. Sending her daughter to the sacrificial altar was equivalent to killing her child with her own hands.
“Dad, Mom. I am here to grab a few things. Tongtong…will be staying with me in the future.” To prevent further awkwardness between both sides, Guan Li went straight to the point.
Madam Guan consciously turned to look at her husband only to find him making a quiet sound of agreement, obviously in support of his son’s decision. Seeing her husband’s agreement, Madam Guan had no intention of objecting to it, and replied, “I’ll help Tongtong gather her belongings.”
After everything was in order, the siblings left their home. On the way, Guan Li noticed that his little sister was acting dispirited and knew that it was her own way of grieving.
“You know what, Tongtong? I stole the Soul of the Cat Eye.”
“Hah? What if they find out?” Guan Tong asked anxiously.
“They already found out.” Guan Li smiled, “As I was stealing it last night, Dad found out, but when I said I was going to use it to heal you, Dad let me off without a word.”
“Really?” Guan Tong’s large blue eyes shone in amazement.
“It’s true.” Guan Li chuckled as he picked his younger sister up, “Let’s go. I’ll take you to get some good food.”