79 Nine Lights, Arnold’s “Training”
Jam awkwardly stumbled around the mansion in search of the master bedroom. Eventually, through the use of his near non-existent divine sense, he found his target. There, Jam couldn't take anytime to appreciate the beauty of the room the Junkies had made for him. He ignored all the lavish furniture around the room and directly jumped onto the large bed in the center of the room.
Within seconds, Jam fell asleep; all he did was turn off his Divinity, the lack of True Soul supporting him was enough to throw him into a deep sleep near instantaneously.
As Jam fell asleep, his whole body shut down entirely. For a while, even Tzatziki was worried as it looked like Jam had actually died. All his vital signs were gone; no heartbeat, brainwaves, or even signs of breathing. But, his soul was still there, although behaving erratically, it was without question still there.
Unbeknownst to Tzatziki, Jam was currently undergoing a sort of evolution. He had been exposed to many battles and tribulations, since he left Cecily's ship, and all the efforts he put into creating Tier 5 pills and artifacts, tempering his soul, had culminated into this moment. Within Jam's soul, nine infinitesimally small lights appeared. Each of the lights were different in their very nature, and they seemed to appear for the slightest bit of time before melting back into the core of Jam's soul.
For a second, Tzatziki though he felt something, but given that the time was so short, he wasn't too sure. However, feeling anything, especially something so fleeting and distant, that he could put it off as nothing, meant that there most definitely existed something. This was a sort of precognition cultivators would get as they improved their cultivation; an omen, if you will. Putting off any sign of an omen was taboo; as a god, Tzatziki would know…
He didn't like that feeling as it usually meant something very bad would happen shortly. But, there was always the odd omen that turned out to be good, and since he couldn't really do anything physically, he hoped it would be the good omen that struck around.
Eventually, Jam's body began to work again, and he woke up shortly afterwards. He had "slept" for less than five hours and all the fatigue he had accumulated was gone with the wind. Not at all aware of the odd circumstances revolving around his soul, Jam got up and went to the kitchen to eat something. Since he was taking a break, he might as well indulge on some other pleasures…
Several million kilometers away from the Junkie Village, Dai Mingzi could be seen squinting at a tanned speck far below him. He sounded a bit disappointed when he said "Arnold… That's not how you… ugh, nevermind, just get back up here and lets try this one more time."
The tanned speck down below was panting heavily as it lay on the feathered surface of its cozy owl partner. "Fuck! Lets get him! Master don't give up! This time we'll surely make him acknowledge that we're better than them." Though the owl was vulgar in its speech, it still give due diligence to Arnold; its master.
"No! Owly, we're not better than them. I mean seriously, like, we've been getting our as asses handed to us for the last four hours..." Arnold used his sole arm to get up and pat his new Owl companion's gigantic head. An apologetic tone took precedent as he said "Maybe, Beast Taming just isn't the right call for me..."
"WHAT?! Master don't be foolish! You most definitely are a talented Beast Tamer! Just look back at all the progress we've made after just one day training with a fellow Tamer!" The Owl panicked as Arnold was sounding like he wanted to give up. "Master, we can be just as strong as them if we just keep training a bit longer!"
Arnold looked at the Owl, who had turned its head 180 degrees to face him as it spoke, he ruffled some of its feathers and said "Yeah, you're right. I can't expect to beat them when they bonded for longer than you and I have… And the fact that he's a Saint Lord while I'm only a Saint Grandmaster doesn't help, now does it?"
"That's the spirit, Master! Now let's get back to them and show them we're number one!" The Owl, though several centuries older than Arnold, acted immaturely.
Arnold reactivated his Berserking superpower and with the help of his Owl Companion returned to continue fighting with Dai Mingzi.
Four hours earlier, Dai Mingzi had come to the Junkie Village searching to spar with Jam, but given that he was asleep, no one answered his calls. A bit depressed that he had come at a bad time, Dai Mingzi sulked and thought about training with his serpent while waiting for Jam. At that time, Arnold approached him and asked if they could train together.
Dai Mingzi hadn't really taken note of Arnold as he wasn't ridiculous to Jam's extent. But, when he noticed the familiar Soul Severing Owl silently perched on Arnold's shoulder, Dai Mingzi reconsidered. When Arnold noticed the look he gave the Owl, he explained himself "Uh… this is awkward… I took this guy in after the war and was actually hoping to become a Beast Tamer. So… could you… help me figure the whole Beast Tamer thing out?" This Arnold was very unlike his usual self; it seemed like he wasn't too good at asking for favors.
"Took him in? This Soul Severing Owl is a Saint God! I refuse to believe you "took him in" while not at all knowing the principles of Beast Taming! If you want my help you should be honest. At least come up with a better lie..." Dai Mingzi hated above everything else, being lied to. He didn't exactly need Arnold's help so, he didn't think twice about burning this bridge.
"The fuck did you just say to my master?! Fuck you mean "be honest?" He is being honest! He never said he wasn't a Beast Tamer, only asking for you to help him improve his Beast Taming skills! Master is most definitely a great beast tamer! He took me in and even treated me when everyone else wanted me dead! You best believe I'd fight you and that pipsqueak noodle you carry around right the fuck now, if it wasn't for him holding me back!" The Owl was vulgar to the extreme — he probably took after Wang Bo, since that was its previous master — but its general message was good in intent…
Dai Mingzi looked at the Owl with a bit of surprise. He might've misjudged Arnold, so even though the words thrown at him were unpleasant, he didn't fight back. Instead, a small spark of competition ignited in his eyes and he said "Mhmm? Fight me right now? Fine! But not here, let's go outside the village. I was meaning to do some training anyways. I might as well help you and that owl get better; maybe then, you guys'll be a challenge~"
When the two parties decided on a plot of land to rui… train at, a grand battle erupted. Just like the Soul Severing Owl said, Arnold really was a great Beast Tamer; at least he had the potential. He knew of all the techniques and principles, even possessing the ability to heal the owl two stages ahead of himself before they even established a contract. However, this was Arnold's first Tamed Beast, though his foundation and knowledge were there, it was his first time putting them to practice.
He could have improved these techniques by his lonesome, but asking to fight Dai Mingzi and his serpent really would be like asking him direct guidance. Arnold would be able to progress hundreds of times faster while dueling a trained and true Beast Tamer like Dai Mingzi. He would be able to see all of an experienced Beast Tamer's tricks up close and personal. But, the consequences were harsh too…
Arnold was a complete newbie at this, so he wasn't even close to being able to use his regular peak strenght. He looked clumsy while flying on his Owl's head, some of his attacks which drew strenght from stability were dampened from the sudden movements of the Owl… Even thought the Soul Severing Owl had previously been under Wang Bo and used Darkness Dao attacks, when Arnold used his own Darkness Dao abilities, they would enter a conflict as Arnold also used the Dao of Light…
All these problems could only be solved through time fighting and bonding together. It was to be expected as even Jam spent several weeks travelling with Danger Noodle before they were synchronized up for seamless cooperative battles. This meant that for the time Arnold training with Dai Mingzi, he was repeatedly blasted away with no mercy. Well, perhaps Dai Mingzi was showing mercy as he wasn't at all the tyrannical monster that faced Jam during the war, while fighting against an inexperienced Arnold.
So, for hours on end, Arnold and Owly were faced with defeat after defeat. And the pattern only continued after Arnold improved. Hours turned to days, with nothing but defeat thrown against Arnold's face. He wasn't discouraged after his previous comment about quitting Beast Taming, as the progress was starting to become evident.
Where before, Arnold would get destroyed by even Saint God level attacks, after days of constant defeat and improvement, he began approaching Dai Mingzi's true level of battle. He would still lose whenever Dai Mingzi turned serious, but usually only moves that could threaten Sages needed to be used to stop Arnold.