24 Unexpected Gain

Smiling, Aloph slowly got to his feet although he winced because of the injury on his left shoulder, Aloph paid it no mind though. Looking around, Aloph noticed the fog had cleared up considerably and he was now able to see nine meters in front of him. Taking in his surroundings, he noticed that to his left, the fog seems thicker which could only mean the Spirit Python was in that direction.

"It better not die before I get to it, otherwise I'll have lost a potential 1000 Exp. Tsk, wait for me, Spirit Python.", Aloph said, mildly annoyed by the clearing of fog which indicated the Spirit Python was losing energy and fast.

Walking in the direction of the thicker fog and as he entered the dense fog, he could hear a hissing sound, smirking, Aloph followed the sound and after a couple of minutes of walking into the denser fog, he finally saw his target. On the ground lay the Spirit Python, almost entirely transparent with small parts of its body gone.

"I don't know why you're bothering with this fog when you're about to die. You should've crawled into some hole and healed up before coming up for food, but since you're going to make this poor mistake, I'll happily take your Exp.", Aloph said, unsympathetic to the Spirit Python that had tried him a while ago. Lifting his sword, Aloph took one last look at the Python before slashing down at it.

However, just at the last moment before the Spirit Python's death, Aloph was greeted with a System notification.


Spirit Python/Corpse Devourer wishes to establish a master/slave contract with you.

Do you accept it? Y/N?]

Thankfully, due to Aloph's strong body and faster than normal reflexes, he was able to stop his slash at the final moment and with a look of surprise, looked down at the Spirit Python with confusion.

"You know what this means, right? Your future depends on me and so does your cultivation. I can kill you whenever I want. You won't even able to leave my soul until I reach tier 1.", Aloph explained to the Spirit Python to which it simply hissed. Aloph facepalmed, realizing he couldn't understand it. Sighing, Aloph took one long look at the Python before pressing [Yes] to the contract.

[Ding! You have accepted to be the master of the;

[Corpse Devourer/Spirit Python

Rank: Tier 1]

"Serve me well, Spirit Python, or rather...Evernight." Aloph named the Spirit Python after the one thing he loved most after his mother, the Everlasting Sect and since the Python emitted fog and blocked light, he decided to name it Evernight.

Once he accepted the contract, Evernight began to glow before turning into a small bright ball that flew into his chest. As this happened, Aloph felt a weight on his shoulders, but he paid it no mind as this was just the soul of Evernight anchoring to his soul, establishing a connection.

After the connection was established, the fog which had been slowly dispersing changed its pace and within minutes, the starry night sky was revealed. Looking up into the night sky that was filled with stars aplenty, Aloph remembered a time when his mother brought up a certain physique on of their hiking trips.

"Aloph, do you know the Star Radiance physique?", his mother asked, to which he shook his head. Looking up at the night sky, his mother smiled and began by saying, "In the Luminous Sect, the Patriarch or Matriarch and their chosen disciple will inherit the Star Radiance physique from their master and this physique will grant their body tremendous power. During the day, they absorb the sun's light, giving them a boost in strength and immunity to heat-related attacks, but it's during the night they really SHINE!", she said, looking down at Aloph with a grin, hoping for approval of her pun.

Aloph only chuckled which made his mother a little disappointed, but despite that, she continued on after turning his eyes back to the night sky. "During the night, users of this physique will light up the night as if the sun had never left the sky. When that happens, most attacks are weakened by half and those with corrupted souls begin to let off smoke, revealing their presence to others. It is one of the best physiques out there in the world, envied by many and hated by some. Do you understand, Aloph?", she finished off by asking if Aloph understood what she had told him and returning her head towards him.

"Yeah, I understood, but why bring it up?", Aloph said. This made her chuckle, "There doesn't always have to be a WHY to everything, I just wanted to tell you about it, nothing more.", she said before beginning to walk further up the mountain trail with Aloph following closely behind her.

Closing his eyes after going through the memory, Aloph sorted out his emotions quickly before opening them again. When he did, he had a look of determination and with it, he began his journey out of the forest with clenched fists.

"Mother, I will never forget you and all you've done for me. We will have our vengeance.", he said, walking away with a fierce gaze of determination.

A few minutes after Aloph left, the spot where he stood above Evernight would have a small ball of light appear, floating in the air without a sound. It was only after a few minutes of the orb silently floating in the air did it finally disappear.

After 15 minutes, Aloph left the unofficially named Forest of Doom and was now at where he resurrected, sitting against the tree that stood against it with his sword within his storage ring. Also, along the way, he collected the bodies of four [Brown Forest Rabbits] and placed them within his subspace. He would need to make some food later on in order to be at peak performance.

While he sat under the tree, Aloph was thinking about what he could do to earn the remaining Exp he needed to unlock the Cultivation Manual. After some thought, Aloph decided he would go, hunt bandits, as they would be relatively easy to kill and he might even earn some money out of it. However, there was a problem with this plan since he didn't know where their camps were and where they were active most of the time. To deal with his, Aloph got up and began walking down a commonly used trail. Eventually, he would be able to find a village that would allow him to gain information on where bandits were active and potentially the location of their camp. Also, along the way, bandits might try to rob him, especially at night like it was now.