Krune started with questions like how the demon beasts with the human forms are treated in the country? Turns out that as long as you don't cause trouble in the cities, you are pretty much free to walk, live and do business however you like. When a demon beast reaches the city, they are obligated to sign a term of non-aggression, apply for an ID, provide the necessary information and etc.
The reason why the country accepts demon beasts is basically to do with spirit stone. Most of the incoming stones come from danger zones where beasts are the majority. Still, it would be too hard to place the danger zones under watch. So those places are regarded as 'whatever happens in there is your problem, the government has nothing to do with it' type.
The spirit stone brought by demon beast who has achieved the human form help to make the economy flows. The weird thing is, Krune has never seen a spirit stone before, so he couldn't help but ask how it looked like.
Both Casfer and Gony felt like they were being played with, they basically made the same question after hearing that.
"Doesn't this mountain range have a spiritual vein? With the amount of spiritual energy here, it has to have one."
Krune agreed and waited for them to continue.
"If it does, then it's easy for you to identify them. If you look beside the spiritual vein, it is bound to have several stones rich in spiritual energy. They are definitely different in color, too, most likely the same color as the spiritual vein itself."
Krune only thought for a second to remember that indeed, there are quite a few of those stones there. But because of the spiritual energy in the cave, he never paid attention to those stones before.
"How do you know how much they are worth?"
Casfer and Gony replied back.
"It depends on the concentration of energy in them, and it mostly has to do with the spiritual vein itself. If I'm not wrong, the spiritual vein in this mountain range is probably a low-quality spiritual vein. So the spirit stones produced by it are bound to be low quality spiritual stones too."
Krune understood this principle, he knows about the different qualities of spiritual veins, thanks to what he heard from the other wisps. But because no wisp would ever dare to approach the spiritual veins due to the demon beasts that protected them, he had never known that they produced spirit stones.
Suddenly, Krune got curious. He knows that wisp hunters capture his race to sell them on the cities, but exactly how much are they worth?
"It depends on the cultivation level of the wisps. As you probably know, wisps are used as cultivation resources mainly because of their easy to absorb and clean energy. Although the energy provided by the wisps isn't as pure as the energy of spirit stones, the energy of wisps can be absorbed several times faster. Also, the higher the cultivation of the wisp, the higher and cleaner the spiritual energy is."
"I will make a comparative with spirit stones."
"A wisp with the cultivation of 1st stage of Qi Condensation has enough spiritual energy equivalent to 500 Rank One low-quality spirit stones. Please remember that wisps energy can be absorbed much faster than spirit stones."
"2nd stage, 750 Rank One middle-quality spirit stones, the same rule applied, the time necessary to absorb their energy is less than one-tenth."
"3rd stage is 1000 Rank One high-quality spirit stones."
"From the 4th stage to 6th stage Qi Condensation wisps, the amount of spiritual energy and its cleanness also improves. All of them are considered the same as Rank Two spirit stones, which are a grade higher than the lowest quality."
"So, in this case, 4th stage wisps have the same spiritual energy as 500 Rank Two low-quality spirit stones."
"5th stage have the same as 750 Rank Two middle-quality spirit stones."
"And finally, the 6th stage has the same as 1000 Rank Two high-quality spirit stones."
"Of course, wisps of this level are rarely seen. Wisps live way too little, any average cultivator would take at least 15 to 20 years to reach the 6th stage of the Qi Condensation. So wisps who can live only 10 years, in general, are most likely to be dead already before that happens."
"Now, for the 7th stage or higher wisps. Those are basically legends! Unless someone is willing to pay the price to help a wisp to break through the 7th stage barrier, it is almost impossible for you to find such a rare wisp in the wild. And no one is willing to pay the price since the amount necessary for that is way higher than the return."
Krune looked back at them.
"So, what quality of spirit stones am I worth, would it be Rank Three high quality?"
They looked back at Krune with weird faces.
"We don't know. As I said, 7th stage wisps are as rare as phoenix feathers. I would say that a 7th stage wisp is definitely no less than 500 Rank Three low-quality spirit stones. But we all know that once the 7th stage is achieved, Divine Sense follows. Hence, chances are that they might already have surpassed the middle quality or maybe even high quality of Rank Three spirit stones."
Krune pondered a little. His Myriad Energies technique allowed him to cultivate at breakneck speed. He also knows that the quality of the converted spiritual energy provided by his energy meridians is definitely at the top. Chances are that his energy might be equivalent to Rank Four spirit stone or maybe even Rank Five, but he's not certain about that, nor did he wish to find out.
"No wonder there is so many wisp hunters. If I'm not wrong, even a 1st stage Qi Condensation wisp price is already enticing enough."
It was then that Krune thought about another thing.
"You guys said that a wisp has a certain amount of energy depending on their cultivation. For example, that a 1st Stage Qi Condensation wisp has more or less the same amount of spiritual energy as 500 Rank One low-quality spirit stones. But their spiritual energy can be even 10 times easier to absorb. If I'm not wrong, this 1st stage wisp is bound to be worth much more than just 500 spirit stone of the same level, right? After all, that rate of absorption would definitely help a lot more during a bottleneck breakthrough."
Casfer and Gony couldn't help but admire this wisp's intelligence.
"Exactly, wisps nowadays are becoming rare to find, so they are usually worth three to four times more their amount of spiritual energy in spirit stones."
Krune was happy enough with their answer, he then went into the next topic.
He also asked how does the country check on the demon beasts. After all, who can guarantee that the demon beasts will follow the laws of the country? Turns out that other than the things mentioned before, there are special blood contracts which are bind to the soul. Once a demon beast signs the contract, it will burn and place a restriction on its soul. If a demon beast goes overboard, the contract activates and restricts the beast until the authorities come to check what is happening.
Of course, the country doesn't want people to use the contracts to hunt down the demon beasts, so it is set that a demon beast can't break the law. But if someone tries to harm it, it has the authority to defend itself as long as the opponent doesn't die. That is to guarantee the demon beasts' safety and the continuous flow of spirit stone in the market.
Of course, it's not every demon beast who can enter. It doesn't matter what, a demon beast will only be treated as a citizen if it has at the very least achieved the human form. Any demon beast that hasn't got a human form will not be able to sign the agreement or the blood contract or do any of the other procedures. This is not only applied for the country but for the entire world. The reason for that is because any beast without a human form hasn't developed its mind to the point that it can control its instincts entirely. Because of that, any beast, wisps included, that haven't achieved the human form is not protected in any way.
That's also why you can find things like Demon Beasts meat in restaurants, demon cores for sale, and of course, wisps for absorption or for use in alchemy. Simply put, if you don't look like a human, you are not treated as a human to start with.
Also, if you leave the city and are not careful enough so that you are killed outside. So long as there is no evidence left behind, the country won't do anything for you.
Krune looked at them and asked.
"Will they ask what type of demon beast you are or ask for you to turn back into your real form before forming the contract?"
That was something very important for Krune. If people were to know that a Foundation Establishment wisp appeared, he might even get Divine Soul Realm cultivators after him. Krune thinks that such a wisp would be so tempting that the entire world will ignore the laws out of greediness.
Casfer and Gony gave the same answer.
"They won't, and that's for the same reason that you are probably thinking. If, for example, a demon beast has an amazing bloodline, alchemists might disregard anything to put their hands on such high-quality material. Because of that, their race or real forms are kept out of the registers."
"Of course, if they reveal their real forms or race by mistake, then they can only blame themselves for that."
Krune sighed in relief.
'It seems like I will be able to go to the city after all.'
After that, Krune brought both of them to the spiritual vein separately to check the quality of the spirit stones at the lake.
"As I thought, this is just a low-level spiritual vein. The spiritual stones close to the center of the lake are Rank One middle quality. Those more at the borders are Rank One low-quality ones."
Both Casfer and Gony didn't feel anything at the sight of the spirit stones. The reason is simple, there are very few of them. The total amount of spirit stones putting all the low and middle quality together wasn't even 200. For a One Star alchemist and a Foundation Establishment cultivator, it wasn't anything much.
Krune finally put them back together, there was no need to do separated questions anymore.
"Alright, I might as well tell you this. I don't like killing, never liked before, and will probably never like in the future. But if I let you guys go and you spread outside that a 9th stage Qi Condensation wisp had appeared, calamity would befall me. So how should we deal with this issue?"
Casfer and Gony understood that this was the moment that would decide whether they lived or died. Fortunately, the wisp was willing to let them go as long as they could guarantee Krune's secret. So Gony went forward first since he already had an idea in mind.
Gony touched his ring, and three red papers appeared on his hand. Krune wasn't surprised by this. He knows about spatial rings, in fact, spatial rings are widespread goods between cultivators. It is just that he doesn't have one. Also, he already had an idea of what those red papers were.
Gony looked at Krune and spoke.
"As I had commented before, these papers are blood contracts. As you can already imagine, we don't use them only to prevent the demon beast from creating problems in the cities. We also use them as a way to guarantee the safety of deals between cultivators. The principle is the same after the terms are written down, everyone just needs to sign it after. It will put a bind on the soul preventing the people involved to break the agreement."
Krune was very satisfied with this arrangement. He wasn't afraid that those contracts are fake. First of all, there would be no need for the Foundation Establishment cultivator to walk around with meaningless papers. Also, Casfer took out the same type of papers. Second, it was way too easy for Krune to test them out. He just needed to capture a low-level beast and force it to sign the contract, then he would make the beast break the contract against its will to see the results.
It was then that Krune had an idea. He will have to go to the city after he achieves the Foundation Establishment, so he might as well use Casfer and Gony as helpers.
Under the eyes of Casfer and Gony, Krune stated in the contract that they are forbidden ever to talk or use any other type of communication to tell what happened here. Nor are they to ever try anything against him in the future, be it through their own hands or through the hands of another. Otherwise, the punishment stated in the contract was death. He then gave it for the two of them to sign. The blood contracts immediately burnt, and a seal appeared on their foreheads for a few seconds, quickly disappearing after.
He then took another two blood contracts and stated that Gony and Casfer should give him all the help possible in case they met again in the future. As long as it didn't go against their own well being, of course. Casfer and Gony looked at each other and then nodded, this isn't a slave statement, so it should be fine.
"Very well, in the future, I will pay a visit to the city after I breakthrough the Foundation Establishment and get my human form. So I will see you there when the time comes."
Casfer and Gony were taken aback. Foundation Establishment wisp? Casfer looked at Krune and asked.
"If I may ask how old are you?"
Krune looked back at them and didn't think much about it. With the blood contract, they will never be able to betray him anyway.
"I'm three years old."
The souls of the two almost went out of their bodies.
Three years old 9th stage Qi Condensation realm wisp!
How is that even possible?!
Gony and Casfer were about to leave when Krune remembered one thing.
"Oh, right! From which city are you guys from?"
"There is only one city around that has an alchemist guild, and that is the city of Kaley."
Krune noted that mentally.
"Also, leave me one of your spatial rings, I don't have any."
This time, it was Casfer who went forward. As an alchemist, he had to carry a lot of materials around, so he had quite a few spare spatial rings with him.
After sending the two of them out, Krune went back to the spiritual vein lake.
"Well, Kaley city it is then."
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