Lin Mu was sitting below a tree as a fire blazed on his side. A beast was currently being roasted over the fire but Lin Mu’s focus was on something else.
His eyes were closed and he was contemplating over the words that Senior Xukong had spoken. He couldn’t help but feel entranced by them and those few words were stuck in his mind, repeating over and over again.
“Fear or respect, whatever it may be all stems from power… and that is all I need right now.” Lin Mu muttered.
Xukong was currently engrossed in his own cultivation and had not paid attention to what Lin Mu had just said. He was suddenly woken up from his trance as he felt something terrifying. His body shuddered and he recoiled in terror.
“What was that…?” Xukong uttered as he looked at the ethereal altar in the distance.
The terrifying feeling that he felt faded away rather quickly and he could not find its source, but considering previous incidences he had a good guess that the altar was most likely the source.
Xukong flew towards the ethereal altar and gazed at it deeply, not finding any change in it.
‘Did I imagine it? Or was that a premonition?’ Xukong thought to himself as he closed his eyes and focused on himself for a minute before opening his eyes again.
“The connection is still the same… So, a premonition. Hmm, I need to keep a closer eye now.”
“That feeling… I haven’t felt it before. The Demonic path?… no this was… much worse.” Xukong muttered to himself as he got more and more anxious.
Lin Mu was completely oblivious to this and had now opened his eyes. His spirit sense was spread around and he was on the lookout for beasts. He had been in the forest for about two hours now and had lured a couple of beasts to his current location.
But it was not the beast he was looking for. Though, Lin Mu had expected that this would not be easy even though he had taken precautions beforehand and ensured that no blood was spilled when he killed the beasts that approached him.
‘Do I need to try a different location, perhaps?’ Lin Mu thought to himself.
Just as Lin Mu was about to give up, a bush in the distance rustled and he became alert. His spirit sense moved there, and he waited for the beast to reveal itself. He had to be sure that the beast that appeared was the right one as he did not want to accidentally kill the Brown Shrubby Forest cat.
Soon the beast raveled itself and a smile appeared on Lin Mu’s face.
‘Here it is.’ Lin Mu thought as he stayed still.
He did not want to startle the beast as he had seen how timid it was. Every time he had encountered it before, it had run away and the only time it had approached him closer was when he had cooked and had not moved.
“Senior, it is here.” Lin Mu spoke in his mind.
Xukong who was thinking about all the possibilities for that premonition finally snapped out of his mind. He first calmed himself down forcibly and only then did he speak. He knew that it would do no good if he revealed his anxiety and did not want to affect Lin Mu with it.
“Oh, the Brown Shrubby Forest Cat is here? Good, now focus and let it approach you. Once it is sufficiently close, I’ll tell you and that’s when you will use your spirit sense, understand?” Xukong replied.
“Yes, senior.” Lin Mu replied.
The Brown Shrubby Forest Cat peeked its head out from the bush and looked at Lin Mu for a moment before retreating. It repeated the same thing it had done yesterday and spied from all different angles before being comfortable enough to approach.
It slowly approached, still alert about any movement, and seemed to be tense. It eventually reached the campfire and came to stand in front of it. The Brown Shrubby Forest Cat had stopped and was curiously gazing at Lin Mu, who had his eyes closed so as to not startle the little beast.
Still, he was observing everything through his spirit sense and watched every reaction of the beast while waiting for Senior Xukong to give him the signal.
“Now!” Xukong uttered.
Immediately Lin Mu’s spirit sense shot forward and entered the head of the Brown Shrubby Forest Cat.
The little beast flinched and took a step back, but was unable to move much because of its mind being pressured.
It yelped in pain as it slumped onto the grass, not being able to bear it.
“Reduce the pressure, it’s too much for the beast,” Xukong ordered.
Lin Mu immediately reduced the force that he was using and became much more gentler. He had been used to probing humans till now and used the full extent of his spirit sense, being unaware of the amount of pressure that it actually exerted on them.
Still, humans were much more stronger mentally compared to beasts, thus they were able to recover rather easily. At least that was the case for the weaker beasts, such as those in the qi refining realm and below. Lin Mu’s spirit sense was already much stronger than most qi refining realm cultivators and was comparable to a Core Condensation realm cultivator.
The Brown Shrubby Forest Cat finally stopped trembling in pain and became a bit calmer.
“Now you need to feel. Sense its mind, its emotions. Feel its desires and fears.” Xukong instructed.
Lin Mu focused his mind and tried to see if he could do so as he was instructed. But even after a minute, there was no difference. All Lin Mu felt was emptiness.
“There is nothing, senior. I can’t feel anything.” Lin Mu spoke.
“Hmm, the beast is too scared and its mind is scattered. Perhaps your first approach was too much for it. You may need to try later again.” Xukong replied.
Lin Mu was a little disappointed after hearing Senior Xukong’s words and did not want to give up so soon.
“It’s no use, taming a beast in this condition will be nearly impossible for a novice like you. It would be better to try later when it has calmed down.” Xukong advised.
After hearing Xukong’s words an idea suddenly appeared in Lin Mu’s head.
He gritted his teeth as he thought, ‘May as well give this a try.”
Lin Mu took a deep breath and let his body relax a bit. He then opened his lips and started chanting something in a low voice. These chants were esoteric and mysterious. One could feel the intent behind them, yet could not understand the meaning behind the words themselves.
This was none other than the calming heart sutra. It was the very first sutra that Lin Mu had obtained, and yet it was the one which he did not fully understand. Lin Mu had heard the mnemonic behind the severing heart sutra and burning heart sutra right when he obtained them, yet he had not comprehended the same for the calming heart sutra.
All Lin Mu knew about it was its effects, and it was those were effects that he was betting on right now.