Hello, my name is Bingpup and I am a little black pup.
"Bingpup, does that taste good?"
Bingpup wagged his tail with excitement as Shen Yuan rubbed his head. He continued chowing down the meat jerky. Shen Yuan smiled and went back to his own table to eat. Bingpup whimpered a little from the loss of more head pats but he understood his little master needed to eat as well. As much as he would love to have Shen Yuan's attention all the time, he wished for only the best for his little master.
When Bingpup was only three months old, his mama was killed while protecting him from a demon fanged gorilla. Bingpup nearly lost his life as well, if not because of his mama and little master's father, who jumped in to kill the gorilla. Little master's father brought him home to receive treatment and as a gift to Shen Yuan. Back then Shen Yuan was only five years old.
Seven years had passed since then and Shen Yuan was now twelve years old. He had already learned the basics of martial arts and cultivation techniques but it was time for him to be formally accepted as a disciple of Cang Qiong Mountain. It seemed like his little master was having a small argument with his parents, which was rare because his little master was always good and nice to everyone.
"I want to take the entrance test," said Shen Yuan.
"Why would you do something so pointless? The entrance test is to look for those with the potential and you have already started cultivating," Shen Qingqiu pointed out.
"I want to enter the same way as everyone. I also wish to be assessed by the Peak Lords according to my strength," Shen Yuan explained.
Shen Qingqiu looked disappointed. "Do you want to leave Qing Jing Peak, A Yuan?"
Bingpup knew his little master wanted to be a disciple of Mo Shou Peak. Mo Shou Peak was where other black moon dogs resided and the peak itself was built to raise spiritual animals or beasts better. Bingpup himself was technically a domesticated spiritual dog, Mo Shou Peak would suit him better. Also, Mo Shou Peak would not have Luo Binghe, his arch nemesis (next to the evil bathtub).
Bingpup hated Luo Binghe with all his passion.
He was always stealing his little master's attention away from him. Granted, Luo Binghe was usually out on missions as with other senior disciples but whenever he came back Shen Yuan never failed to come running to him with large, bright eyes. Bingpup was willing to share his little master with his parents and sister, but he refused to share his little master with Luo Binghe.
It was why even after seven years, he refused to grow up and remained the cuddly little pup. He wanted Shen Yuan to forever hold him in his arms like a baby and coo at him. He wanted to continue nestling in his lap and sleeping by his feet. Resisting his own growth was painful but Bingpup would do anything to stay with his little master.
Shen Qingqiu sighed. "Fine. I will let you take the entrance test, but on one condition. Whoever picks you, you must not complain, okay?"
The morning of the entrance test came and Shang Qinghua burst out laughing when he saw Shen Yuan at the field, digging holes. "What is he doing there? Isn't he already a disciple?"
Liu Qingge shrugged. "He wants to be assessed like everyone, he said."
Shang Qinghua snorted. He would have been happy to just enter without having to do the test, tssk tsk. Either way Cucumber Bro was already starting his cultivation, there was no point taking the test. Everyone could see how his body had instinctively chosen the best place to dig and how he was able to channel his spiritual energy to make the labour easier. What was he doing, waiting for free updates after receiving the VIP access? "Aiyah, your son is truly a wonder, or is he starting his rebellious streak-"
Two tiny children were scampering around the test site as well and Shang Qinghua's jaw dropped. "You - you two! Stop right there!"
A Hui and A Huan glanced at their mother briefly before they resumed digging holes too. "We also want to play with Yuan Gege!"
"Your Yuan Gege is not playing, come back here!" Shang Qinghua exclaimed and began chasing his twin terrors of children around the field.
A girl who saw the ruckus stopped digging and deftly picked up the two children by their arms, smiling as she brought them back to Shang Qinghua. "Here, Immortal Master."
Shang Qinghua blinked. "How do you do that?"
The girl chuckled. "I have two rambunctious little brothers at home. I'm generally good with children."
Shang Qinghua's eyes lit up. "What's your name?"
"Great, from now on you can call me Shizun. Alright, follow me!"
Watching the scene from afar, Shen Qingqiu shook his head. "Is he looking for a disciple or a babysitter?"
Yue Qingyuan, who arrived a little later but did witness the scene in time, chuckled. "Her potential doesn't seem too big but she appears to have a good attitude. Qingqiu Shidi, why is Yuan Shizhi joining the entrance test?"
Shen Qingqiu sighed. "He wants to be assessed by everyone."
Qi Qingqi hummed. "Does he have a different peak he wants to enter?"
The Peak Lords all turned their eyes to Yu Qingxuan, who flinched a little from the intense glares coming from Shen Qingqiu and Liu Qingge. "I didn't say anything to YuanYuan!"
"I can't think of another reason. If he wants to enter Bai Zhan Peak, he would have just told us. He shows no interest in blacksmithing, ascetic cultivation, or healing cultivation," Shen Qingqiu said. He then glanced at Yue Qingyuan and smiled teasingly. "Unless he plans to be the next sect leader, of course."
Yue Qingyuan laughed. "As interesting as that sounds, Yuan Shizhi does seem to show more interest in beast taming, I believe. Yu Shidi, what do you think?"
Yu Qingxuan frowned. "I can't make my own conclusion until I check his spiritual vein properly and test his ability. However, looking at his current state roughly… I don't think so."
While most Peak Lords would usually pick their disciples through the selection test, certain peaks with certain specialties had their own tests. Zui Xian Peak for example would only take those with good taste buds, olfactory sense, and the ability to withstand alcohol. Qian Cao Peak would only take betas or disciples who had yet to present, as well as having the right spiritual veins for healing cultivation. Mo Shou Peak meanwhile would only take disciples with the right affinity for beast taming. Unless they were able to communicate with the beasts, they would either have to leave or join another peak.
"Does he not have the right vein, Yu Shidi?" Yue Qingyuan asked.
"I'm going to have to test him," said Yu Qingxuan. Though... looking at his martial nephew and his pup, he knew he would have to disappoint Shen Yuan.
Shen Yuan had already read from the novel that when Luo Binghe was taking his entrance test, all of the participants were asked to dig holes while the Peak Lords watched. He did not quite understand why such a test was done, until he actually went through it himself.
He rolled his eyes slightly when Shang Qinghua cheerfully picked the soft-spoken, young teenage girl who had shown to have easily caught the two twins who were terrorizing the entrance test earlier, digging holes here and there for fun. They were half demon children, they were already born with the instincts and strength to overpower the young participants who had not even cultivated yet. Shen Yuan could already see some of the participants losing their determination, perhaps thinking they were useless since a couple of five-year-olds could do better.
He wondered how long he would have to do this. Qi Qingqi and Wei Qingwei had also found their picks. Shen Yuan then noticed that Yu Qingxuan was finally entering the test site and his heart bloomed. However to his disappointment the Mo Shou Peak Lord stopped in front of another boy.
"Hm. Looks good," Yu Qingxuan hummed. His spiritual sword, Feng Huang morphed into a small bird, earning some awed gasps from the youths who were unaware of the Peak Lord's and his sword's shapeshifting ability.
The bird chirped and the boy's eyes widened. Yu Qingxuan looked satisfied. "Mm, good fit. What's your name?"
"Jin Qian," the boy replied.
"Jin Qian. Do you want to be my disciple?"
Shen Yuan's jaw dropped.
The boy blinked. "But… my father sent me here to study the four arts from Peak Lord Shen."
Yu Qingxuan frowned and scratched the back of his neck. "Aiyah… and it's so hard to get people for our peak…"
Shen Yuan raised his hand. "Yu Shishu, can you get me assessed too?"
Yu Qingxuan moved over to Shen Yuan. Jin Qian and the other participants who heard Shen Yuan referring to Yu Qingxuan as Shishu meanwhile were stunned. Looking at his face and the similarity he bore with Peak Lord Shen, they initially wondered if he might be the rumoured son of Peak Lord Shen and Peak Lord Liu but thought there was no way that the son of two Peak Lords would take the entrance test. He was born within the sect and was likely already taught by his parents, what was he doing here?
Yu Qingxuan crouched in front of Shen Yuan. "YuanYuan, don't you want to be a scholar like your mama?"
Shen Yuan paused. "I…"
Hearing Yu Qingxuan's question, Shen Qingqiu decided to step in. "Yu Shidi, you can assess his potential honestly, don't mind me. A Yuan is his own person, he doesn't have to follow my steps if he doesn't want to."
Inside he was a little upset that Shen Yuan did not want to stay, since Shen Qingqiu thought Shen Yuan was still too young to leave home (never mind it was just another peak and not another sect, moreover his own husband and many disciples had joined around the same age). Shen Yuan would make the perfect Qing Jing Peak disciple, he had read through almost the entire library of Qing Jing Peak, he had a very good memory, and his artwork was just as excellent.
Shen Yuan paused. After a momentary silence, he spoke, "I admire my parents very much. I long to be as graceful and elegant as my mama. However, I do wish to go out and explore the world. I love seeing all the unique creatures, I love learning and reading about them." The world-building was one of the reasons why he fell in love with Proud Immortal Demon Way. The plot might be horrible but Shen Yuan could tell from the earlier chapters that Airplane truly had many things planned out.
Most of the aphrodisiacs appeared after the harem route began. Before that, there were plenty of unique herbs and spiritual animals that piqued Shen Yuan's interests. Prefaced with the intriguing descriptions and appearances of the many flora and fauna of the world, it pushed Shen Yuan to keep reading, even when Luo Binghe's initially mind-engaging journey turned into endless tales of papapa with multiple wives.
Yu Qingxuan looked a little conflicted. He sighed and showed Feng Huang to Shen Yuan. "Tell me YuanYuan, did you hear the bird chip earlier?"
Shen Yuan nodded.
"Can you tell me what he was relaying?"
Shen Yuan stilled. He had heard nothing but normal bird chirps.
"You don't have an affinity with spiritual animals. If you have the potential, you would have understood Feng Huang speaking," said Yu Qingxuan. "I've trained Feng Huang so that when he speaks, anyone with the slightest talent would be able to understand him."
Shen Yuan's shoulders sank.
"I didn't want to bring this up but even after seven years, Bingpup still hasn't grown at all. You've never understood Bingpup either, have you?" Yu Qingxuan asked.
If by understanding Bingpup meant literally understanding what every little barks and whimpers meant, then Shen Yuan had to admit he couldn't do that. While he could sense when Bingpup was hungry, excited, or upset - through years of raising the pup, it was really no different than someone raising an ordinary dog. He clenched his fists.
"I know you love the animals. However, unlike other peaks, our contracted animals or beasts are also our weapons. If you can't communicate with him, no matter how well you train Bingpup, it won't be up to par with our standard," Yu Qingxuan explained. "I'm sorry but… if this is an assessment, then you've failed my test."
Jin Qian joined Mo Shou Peak.
Shen Yuan silently accepted the assessment and was formally accepted as a Qing Jing Peak disciple.
Little master is upset. I want to help him but I don't know why he is sad. Did someone hurt him? This Bingpup will chomp whoever dares to hurt little master!
Liu Song crept closer to her brother and buried her face against his torso. "Yuan Gege, don't be sad. A Song will talk to Yu Shishu, will ask him to let you in."
Shen Yuan shook his head. "No, A Song. That's not how it works. Besides, I thought you wanted me to stay?"
Liu Song pouted. "But A Song hates seeing Gege sad more."
Shen Yuan rubbed his sister's head. "Good girl, but you don't need to do that. Gege will be fine. I'm just... a little frustrated, but if A Song promises to study hard, Gege will feel better."
Liu Song made a face. "I don't like studying. I prefer to go fishing and hunting with papa."
Shen Yuan laughed. "You're too young to go hunting, A Song. You still need to learn anyway. Now go, Gege is tired and wants to rest."
Eventually Liu Song left, letting Shen Yuan to stay alone in his room. Bingpup barked and trotted towards Shen Yuan, pushing his paws against Shen Yuan's legs. The very faint sobs stopped and a soft smile finally appeared on Shen Yuan's face. He picked up Bingpup, rubbing his fluffy pair of ears and kissing the red mark on his forehead.
"I'm sorry, Bingpup. I thought by going to Mo Shou Peak and learning beast taming, I would be able to help you grow… yet I don't even meet the prerequisite to enter," said Shen Yuan. "It's going to be more years until I can actually form a contract with you."
Bingpup whimpered and rubbed his head against Shen Yuan's cheeks.
Have I caused you grief, little master? Forgive this Bingpup, little master… this pup was selfish and just wanted to stay with you a little longer…. I never meant to make you upset, little master.
Bingpup barked and licked Shen Yuan's face. Shen Yuan blinked. "Are you saying that you forgive me, Bingpup?"
No, I am the one apologizing, little master. However, can you promise that you will stay with me no matter what form I take, little master?
Shen Yuan hugged Bingpup. "You're the best, Bingpup. I love you so much."
All of a sudden, there was a burst of spiritual energy released. Shen Yuan gasped as the small fluffy figure in his arms was engulfed in a bright golden beam and began expanding. His eyes automatically shut from the blinding light but he could feel the weight on his lap increasing and the fur growing thicker, so thick that his palms were now buried in the coat of fur.
Once he sensed the light was fading, Shen Yuan slowly opened his eyes. To his shock, the one sitting on his lap was no longer a small black puppy the size of a Pomeranian. Standing there was a large fluffy black dog with the red mark on his forehead, this time resembling more of a Tibetan mastiff pup. With the thicker coat and a slighty rounder face, he looked almost like a large teddy bear.
Shen Yuan dropped his jaw. Bingpup… his Bingpup just grew! What was this sorcery? Right after he had failed the assessment for Mo Shou too!
Bingpup barked. This time instead of a cute high pitched bark, a deeper, rougher voice came out. Shen Yuan was stunned. How did this happen? He did not even do anything. He did not channel his spiritual energy, nor did he form any contract.
Soon the door opened as his parents rushed in upon sensing the sudden burst of spiritual energy in the room. They were both just as shocked to see the grown up Bingpup. He was not yet as big as an adult black moon dog but he was certainly four, perhaps five times as big as he originally was.
"What happened?" Shen Qingqiu asked, his eyes wide. The last time Bingpup suddenly grew up, it was because Mobei Jun had injected a large amount of his demonic energy into Bingpup.
Since neither of them had the explanation as to why Bingpup suddenly grew, they called in the expert - Yu Qingxuan.
The answer ended up to be something they did not expect at all.
"He didn't want to grow?!" Shen Yuan gawked. Here he thought it was his lack of ability that made Bingpup remain a tiny pup.
Yu Qingxuan shook his head. "Seems like Bingpup thinks you won't love him as much anymore if he grows up."
"Why would he think like that?" Liu Qingge frowned. "Don't most black moon dogs pride themselves on their strength and loyalty? Aren't they normally more eager to grow up?"
Yu Qingxuan hummed thoughtfully. "Normally yes, but... Bingpup thinks if he grows bigger, he won't be as cute and likeable. In short, he just wants to be treated like a baby for much longer."
"Bingpup!" Shen Yuan chuckled and hugged his pup, that was now too big and heavy to be lifted up by his small body. "I will always love you even if you were as big as the mountain!"
Bingpup barked happily. He jumped and glomped on Shen Yuan, rubbing his face against his little master affectionately.
Little master will love Bingpup forever ayeee!!!
"So, does this mean…" Liu Qingge paused.
Yu Qingxuan shook his head. "Unfortunately he's still not qualified to be a disciple of Mo Shou Peak. But the good news is, it won't be long until he can finally form an official contract with Bingpup and train him to join YuanYuan for battles."
Shen Yuan shook his head. "It's okay, Yu Shishu. I was just worried… that I might not be good enough for Bingpup and that's why he wasn't growing up."
Bingpup wagged his tail and placed his two front paws on Shen Yuan's lap. Don't worry little master, this Bingpup is healthy. This pup's love for little master is as big as a mountain, deeper than the ocean!
Yu Qingxuan sniffled. "Ah, so beautiful…"
"Anything wrong, Yu Shidi?" Shen Qingqiu asked.
"Bingpup is happy, don't worry," he assured them.
That's right. The only thing I'm not happy about is that eyesore, Luo Binghe. There should be only one BingBing here.
Hurry up and tell them, Master Yu. I know you can hear me.
"What else is he saying, Yu Shishu?" Shen Yuan asked.
Yu Qingxuan was sweating. "Um… well…"
Just right on time, Luo Binghe returned from his mission and came to report to Shen Qingqiu. "Shizun, I'm back!"
Shen Yuan's eyes immediately lit up. "Bing Gege!" He beamed and got up to rush towards Luo Binghe.
Well, there was one advantage of turning bigger and stronger.
That night loud noises could be heard from the bamboo house as Shen Yuan and Yu Qingxuan both tried to stop Bingpup from chomping on Luo Binghe.