For the cultivators on the planet of Makui, one of the best ways to hastily improve one's own cultivation was by absorbing the energy of wisps. As beings of pure energy, they were very suitable for cultivation and were easy to assimilate. However, it's highly recommended not to do so.
It didn't matter how pure its energy might be. As an intelligent form of life, wisps were also bound to have a different kind of energy from heaven and earth, which still had its defects if used for cultivation. Of course, for the other life forms on this planet, may it be people or demon beasts, it's still common for them to use wisps.
Sure, the constant use of wisps might leave behind a shaky foundation. But for a planet where the strongest cultivators had barely passed the Divine Soul Realm, such defects weren't considered as significant. As long as one reached the Core Formation Realm, one could already be seen as a godlike existence by its people.
Since that's the case, why bother with the detrimental side effects of using wisps?
As for how the wisps felt about that, who cares? With such a convenient way to improve one's cultivation faster, almost no one on this planet even saw them as a life form anymore.
The discriminated hunt of wisps made their numbers plummet to less than a thousandth of their original amount a few millennia ago. Because of that, the market price for them has skyrocketed, which brought even more wisp hunters to their living places. And the forest of Katiu just so happened to be one of those.
Katiu Forest, northern corner of the Yule continent. At this moment, there was a wisp running for its life! Well, that's if one considered floating at high speeds a form of running to start with. This wasn't the first nor the second time that Krune had passed through this situation. The higher the price of wisps on the market, the more hunters Katiu Forest had around. By luck or by experience, Krune had extricated himself from them quite a few times already.
But today seemed like Krune's luck had finally come to an end. He tried using his sure-fire strategy of hiding within the river that had worked multiple times. But Krune didn't notice that he was already being tracked. In fact, it couldn't even be called bad luck anymore. Due to the small number of wisps remaining, the hunters have developed several new ways and tools for wisp hunting. With so few of them available, the hunters couldn't afford to let wisps escape anymore. They were just worth way too much now. It had already become a market where the demand was too high, and even if one had the money, one could still end up with nothing.
Krune didn't know how the hunters kept finding him time and time again. After a full day of pursuit, he was already starting to feel tired. Even if wisps were beings of energy, they still needed to absorb spiritual energy from heaven and earth, which could be considered their food. Though, due to his current plight, he had no time to do that at all.
Eventually, the hunters had led him to a dead-end, with him already hearing their approach. During the hunt, he heard them cursing at him several times every time he escaped, but what really made him hate them was how they addressed him.
"Damn it! this bag of money is way too slippery..."
"The floating gold bar is here! After him!"
"Ahhh! My promotion ticket escaped again!"
Just because I was born as a wisp?
Why does everyone always see me as nothing more than that?
What did I do to deserve this fate? Why?!
I have always fled. I always thought that as long as I kept escaping, I would survive. But in the end, all that matters is power!
A bulky hunter around his thirties walked out from behind a tree, a wide smile on his face.
"Hehe! Little guy, you gave us a lot of trouble, you know?"
After saying that, several more figures appeared around him. At this moment, Krune indeed had nowhere to go anymore.
Although that was the case, he was still unwilling to be captured by them.
'Seems like this is truly the end. In that case, I might as well dissipate my Core. It'll be better than becoming someone's spirit stone. If reincarnation truly exists, I'll make sure that I won't escape anymore. I will become strong and definitely show to everyone that you can't just disregard me just because I'm a wisp!'
The hunter noticed that the wisp's energy was starting to fade away, prompting him to malevolently chuckle as he said.
"Trying to commit suicide in front of us? How could we let you go just like that? You're worth too much for us to allow you to do so."
"Cast the spiritual net!"
This spiritual net was made solely for the purpose of wisp hunting. It definitely wasn't the first time that a wisp had decided to dissipate their Core instead of being captured. With that, the hunter clans have long since developed this spiritual tool capable of completely sealing the wisp's ability to control energy. It could stop them from being able to dissipate themselves.
Krune's mind went blank for a second. Then, he tried to avoid the net. He definitely wouldn't allow himself to become someone else's cultivation resource!
Unfortunately for him, the hunters were prepared. They had already expected that he was going to dodge, prompting them to throw even more nets, completely sealing off all his escape routes.
Just as he was about to be caught, Krune heard a childish voice coming from behind.
"You baddies! How could you do that against such a cute little guy?!"
In an instant, Krune felt a wave of energy pass through him as it hit the spiritual nets. The nets immediately turned into dust and were soon blown away by the wind.
The hunters' faces paled. It's not like they couldn't destroy the spiritual net, but let alone being able to do it without being close to it. Even if they were, there's absolutely no way they could grind it to powder. To do something like that, they would need to be at the very least at the Core Formation Realm, and even that might still not be sufficient!
Soon, they saw a little girl, no more than 9 or 10 years old, appearing behind the wisp. Her face was truly showing how angry she was. But in Krune's eyes, he couldn't help but think how beautiful she looked. Of course, Krune was a wisp, not even a human to begin with. The reason why he felt she was beautiful was mostly because of how she tried to save him even though he was a wisp. Where had he ever seen anyone caring about wisps?
She had long, fiery hair, marble-like skin, and a small bit of baby fat that didn't diminish her beauty at all.
The leader among the hunters soon came back to himself and immediately bowed, asking.
"This little lady. Is there something this Shu can help you with?"
The little lady was fuming as she responded.
"Why are you bullying him? Can't you see that he's afraid?"
The hunters and the leader were taken aback!
'We're wisp hunters! We didn't come here to invite it for a cup of tea, right?'
Obviously, the leader only kept these thoughts for himself. That girl in front of him could totally crush them to a pulp with just one finger!
"We didn't know that this little guy was this lady's friend. We deeply apologize!"
"All of you! Quickly apologize to this lady and her little friend."
The other hunters immediately understood the situation. Their leader was a 7th Stage Qi Condensation Realm cultivator. For his attitude to change 180 degrees like that, one could already imagine how much stronger that little lady was compared to him. Not to mention, for a girl as young as her to be this strong, they didn't need to think that deep to know that she definitely had a very fearsome background.
All the hunters quickly apologized after that. They wouldn't dare not doing so! After that, the leader among the hunters looked back at the girl with a smile.
"Little lady, we won't bully him anymore. I hope you can let us go."
"Since it looks like all of you have regretted your actions, I will let you go. Don't do that anymore!"
The hunter leader didn't dare rebuke the little girl's words.
"Of course, of course! Everyone, we're heading back!"
The hunters immediately left, but one of the leader's subordinates couldn't help but whisper as they were moving away.
"Senior Shu, who is that girl?"
"I don't know, but she isn't someone we can afford to provoke. Not her, not her background. Listen up! We didn't see anything today. Do all of you understand?"
Back at the place where the wisp and the girl were, the little girl looked back at Krune with a smile.
"Alright! They won't do bad things with you anymore. My name's Wang Feifei. How about you? What's your name?"
Krune's mind was still blank after everything that happened. Just a second ago, he was about to become a cultivation resource. But out of nowhere, he was saved by a child. What were the odds of such a thing happening?
Krune wanted to answer the little girl's question, but just as he was about to do so, he heard an old man's voice from his side.
"Feifei, the spaceship repairs are over. It's time to go."
Krune's Core almost dissipated when he heard that. Where the hell did this guy come from?
On the other side, Feifei's expressions turned sad as she said.
"Already? We just landed a few hours ago, and I didn't even have enough time to move around at all!"
The old man quickly scolded her.
"Feifei, that's not how a lady of the Wang clan should behave. When we get back, you can play as much as you want. But for now, we should keep going since we're still far away from home."
He then put on a serious face as he continued.
"Don't make me call your father."
As soon as she heard him mention her father, she stopped and just nodded. She was very afraid of her father and didn't dare make him angry. She was just about to leave when she remembered the wisp beside them.
"Uncle Feng, if I go back just like that, those baddies will bully him again. He can't defend himself, so can we bring him with us?"
Krune's mind felt like he was struck by lightning!
'Me? For real?'