The sight in front of Lin Mu was something that would shock most people if not all. What he was seeing right now was a beast cooking something, or rather attempting to cook something as the fish being cooked seemed to be charred in some places.
The fish skewer fell into the fire as the beast finally noticed Lin Mu, who had approached it. The beast seemed shocked and dropped the skewer into the fire. But this led to small embers from the fire being kicked up, which then landed on the foot of the Brown Shrubby forest cat.
The Brown Shrubby forest cat growled in pain as it flinched. It then took a step back and looked at Lin Mu as it froze in surprise.
“Umm, hi?” Lin Mu spoke.
The Brown Shrubby Forest cat seemed to be startled by this and ran away in the next instant. Lin Mu thought of running after it, but then decided to let it go. He instead came to stand in front of the bonfire, which had now stopped burning.
“Am I wrong or was that beast really trying to cook this?” Lin Mu said as he picked up the skewered fish.
The stick was crudely skewered into the fish from the middle of its body, and the fish was not gutted either.
“This is strange… very strange,” Xukong replied.
“Isn’t it? This is the first time I’m hearing… or rather seeing a beast cook.” Lin Mu said with a perplexed tone.
“Indeed, beasts don’t cook their food. At least not beasts of this level. They have no need for cooking food.” Xukong affirmed.
Lin Mu picked up Senior Xukong’s words and a new question formed in his mind.
“Oh, you mean some beasts cook, senior?” Lin Mu questioned.
“Of course. Some beasts can transform into a human form when they reach a high enough cultivation. While there are some that simply like food cooked by humans more so they steal from the humans. But it’s rare to see a qi refining realm beast trying to cook.” Xukong answered.
Lin Mu nodded in response and thought about why the beast would cook. But soon the pieces started clicking together.
“Hmm, it took the burning stick before, and now it was cooking here. There’s no doubt that its aim was to make fire from the start. And now that I think of it, every time that I encountered it before, it was always around the time when I cooked something.” Lin Mu thought out loud.
Xukong too was now intrigued by this beast and was thinking of all the possibilities.
“I have to say, this Brown Shrubby Forest cat has intelligence which does not match its species. Sure, Brown Shrubby Forest cats are slightly more smarter than other beasts, but this kind of intelligence is beyond that.” Xukong spoke.
Lin Mu listened to Senior Xukong’s words and started hypothesizing himself.
“Senior, could it be a mutant beast, perhaps? We know that its cultivation base is quite low, so the only thing that can be possible is that. Maybe something made it mutate in such a way that its intelligence was increased instead of its strength or cultivation?” Lin Mu spoke.
Once Xukong heard Lin Mu’s words, he couldn’t help but think that they seemed to be likely.
“Yes… that does seem to have the highest possibility. It would also explain why this Brown Shrubby Forest cat is alone and does not move around with its companions as it should.” Xukong said and took a pause. “There is a possibility… but I don’t know if it would be possible for this world,” Xukong added.
Lin Mu was now even more curious and wanted to know more.
“Oh? Please tell Senior.” Lin Mu requested.
“There are some special kinds of spirit fruits that have the effect of increasing the aptitude of cultivators. But these very fruits can have different effects when eaten by beasts. One of these effects being raising the intelligence of a beast.” Xukong answered.
“So you mean this Brown Shrubby Forest cat must have eaten one of those fruits?” Lin Mu further questioned.
“Yes, and not only that, but I have a guess about what fruit it could be… it is called as the Dual Circle Ascension fruit.” Xukong answered.
Lin Mu was lost in thought after hearing Senior Xukong’s answerer and stayed silent for a few minutes before speaking.
“This fruit Senior, do you think there could be more of them?” Lin Mu asked.
“Hmm, that is a possibility. This kind of fruit grows on a vine that attaches itself to other trees and sucks the nutrients out of them. As long as the main tree is alive, the vine will keep on producing fruits every few months.” Xukong replied.
“Hmm, if we consider that the Brown Shrubby Forest cat ate one of them four months ago, then perhaps a new one could be grown by now. If I gain it, won’t I be able to increase my cultivation speed?” Lin Mu spoke.
“That is indeed a possibility. Though you shouldn’t get your hopes up. There are chances that it is not even a Dual Circle Ascension fruit, but rather a different kind of fruit. Not all fruits regrow that fast and there is a chance that the spirit plant it grows on may not even be there now.” Xukong explained.
Lin Mu contemplated on what Senior Xukong said for a while before replying.
“Still, I think I want to search for it, Senior. On the off chance that I find one, it will be a great fortune for me.” Lin Mu said in a firm tone.
“Alright, you can search for it, of course. But for that, you will need to find the tracks of that Brown Shrubby Forest cat. A beast will always remember the places where spirit fruits grow and will often return to that location to see if more have grown.
You will first need to find that Brown Shrubby Forest cat and then follow it around for long enough that it returns to the fruit.” Xukong explained.
Lin Mu nodded with determination in his eyes as he then started thinking of a plan.