Sounds of a violent fight were coming from the forest; all the elves were fleeing, leaving behind a tiny, black creature who howled at the sky. The purpose of its life is to battle in pursuit of victory. Though it remained far from adulthood and therefore might look small and weak, it should not be underestimated.
It was so bold and fierce that even if it was covered in injuries, it would resent being defeated and would not stop fighting until its foe surrendered. It admitted no fear in the face of challenges; it would not cower before its opponents no matter how much stronger they were. Instead, it would fight to the death with its tiny body form.
It was given the name “Valiant Dog” for its fierce character. Yet, it had caused great suffering to all the creatures living nearby in the bamboo forest.
Flower Elf: Hel... help! It’s that ferocious dog again!
Lady of the Flowery Lands: Run for your lives, everyone!
Clairvoyant: You go first! Leave it to us!
Clairaudient: Can anyone save us...?
The Valiant Dog: ‘What’s up? Did you guys run out of steam already?’
Just as Valiant Dog was about to fatally bite the elves, a dazzling ray suddenly radiated beside them. It was so bright that Valiant Dog had to shut its eyes while the elves clairvoyant and clairaudient grabbed the chance and escaped. Valiant Dog growled at the radiance...
???: ‘I created you and granted you with a valiant character in the hope that you will fight the evil and protect the weak.’
???: ‘I have never thought that it would make you a cruel and savage butcher...’
???: ‘If I do not intervene, you will just become another monster.’
With that, Valiant Dog faintly felt a heavy weight on his back, while its vicious mind was gradually cleansed.
???: ‘I only wish this spiritual monk idol can cultivate your mind and nourish your nature.’
The brilliance disappeared; Valiant Dog with a monk idol on its back fainted and fell to the ground. It was quite sometime before it slowly reopened its eyes in which the ferocity was gone and was replaced with unexpected tenderness.
Since the monk idol had been tied to Valiant Dog, it became weak and timid. Even Human children could bully it at their will, not to mention what the elves would do to it. Bearing all the pain in silence, it could not alter its destiny until it encountered Nello and Gracious Dog.
Nello, Gracious Dog and Valiant Dog were looking for “Xian Master of Peach Mountain”. As they were walking through the forest, the fog grew dense and shrouded the land. Gradually, Nello could no longer see the figures of Gracious and Valiant... He called their name loud, and finally he saw two silhouettes running towards him from the vast fog. Unexpectedly, it was Merry Puppy and Grumpy Puppy which he had long missed.
Merry and Grumpy suddenly wrestled him onto the ground and tied him up. He finally realized that they had all fallen into the elves’ hallucinating trap. Gracious Dog had already been caught for some time, leaving behind Valiant Dog.
At first, the elves were scared of the enormous Valiant Dog, and did not dare attack without careful thought. Being put under pressure, their leader was compelled to attack, while all the elves thought that she would be devoured by the dog. To their surprise, the dog did not resist her attack at all, and even let itself be trampled upon. Seeing that, the other elves dashed towards Valiant, swiftly subdued it and tightly trussed it up.
The leader saw the idol on the dog’s back and became increasingly tempted as she gazed upon it. Therefore, she snatched it from the dog. Just as she was showing off her newly collected trophy, Valiant Dog’s expression turned fierce and vicious...
The Valiant Dog: ‘How dare you tie me up? Do you wish to die? You jerks!’
The rope which had resisted all attempts to break it was now handily snapped by Valiant Dog. It darted towards the elves, growled.
Nello: ‘What’s up with Vali? It looks so weird...’
The Valiant Dog: ‘Watch me kick your butts!’
Yamauba the Mother of Hills: ‘It seems to be another dog altogether!’
Yamauba the Mother of Hills: Mon... monster! Run everyone!
Having lost the monk idol, Valiant Dog became unusually aggressive and violent. The elves started running away in fear while those that could not were left begging Valiant Dog for mercy. Yet, craving only absolute victory, it showed no mercy and destroyed every elf before it.
Nello called Valiant Dog’s name with uncertainty. However, the brief instant in which it turned to him, he could only see murderous desire in its eyes. Gracious Dog immediately rushed in the front of Nello, shielding him. Though Valiant had turned fierce and cruel, the remnants of his rationality told it that it should never hurt Nello and Gracious Dog. Hence, Without looking back, it ran away.
At the same time, Nello gazed fixedly on the ground the monk idol which had always been attached to Valiant Dog. Nello believed that the idol might have something to do with the sudden change of Valiant Dog...
Valiant Dog had left Nello for some time already, as it was afraid it would hurt them; at the same time, it also believed that Nello feared it and would not want it to return. Since the villagers had witnessed how Valiant Dog mercilessly killed the elves, they would rather circle around it. Other elves living in the forest also left their habitat as they were terrified by it. All at once, the entire forest had become silent as if Valiant Dog was its sole inhabitant.
As Valiant Dog was wandering among the woods, a few strangely dressed Humans blocked its way...
Novice Exorcist: Watch me as I finish you off! Die at my feet, you evil dog!
Novice Alchemist: Right, you’ll the test subject for my newly invented poison!
Valiant Dog: ‘Huh! Never bite off more than you can chew, you dirty rats!’
Nello and Gracious had been searching for Valiant in the forest nearby.
Suddenly, they heard sounds of fighting from a short distance away and hurried over to take a look...
Gracious Dog: ‘Stop, Vali! This is not what you really are!’
Valiant Dog: ‘Come on! You should be quite a match for me!’
Gracious Dog: ‘Wake up, Vali!’
Gracious Dog: ‘Nello and I are waiting for your return...’
Gracious Dog was no match for Valiant Dog and was finally wrestled onto the ground. It could resist no more. Just as Valiant Dog’s murderous desire grew, Nello dashed towards it and put the monk idol back onto its back. Abruptly, Valiant Dog lost its power and fell to the ground.
Nello advanced beside Valiant Dog, calling its name while gently stroking its body. Suddenly, it reopened its innocent eyes, which appeared clear and pure. Nello and Gracious Dog were not relieved until they saw Valiant become normal again.
Having survived much hardship, Nello and the dogs finally arrived at Peach Mountain where the mythical Xian Master lived. He had a weird feeling of being excited and nervous at the same time. If they were going to see the Xian Master, they had to climb the rugged, craggy slope to reach the top.
Though the way uphill was exhausting, they still enjoyed the scenery throughout their journey amid the season of peach blossom. Refreshed by cool breeze along their way, they felt even more delighted and relaxed.
But as they almost reached the top, they encountered some obstacles...
???: ‘My friend, please proceed no more!’
???: ‘There are nobody or nothing you are looking for on the mountain top!’
Valiant Dog: ‘We’re so close to the answer of the riddle. How can we give up so easily!’
???: ‘Go! Mortals are forbidden to enter this place!’
After a fierce fight, there was only a tiny, adorable puppy standing in front of them. The Xian general blocking them just now was probably just an illusion created by the puppy with its technique.
Nello immediately flipped his notebook over; he read that the myth had mentioned Xian Master of Peach Mountain keeping a mystical dog called “Skyhowling Hound”. That puppy might look vulnerable, but its bark echoed through the skies. It contacted with them using Telepathic Technique...
???: ‘I give you this Xian-power imbued peach to compensate you for your relentless pursuit.’
???: ‘Humans and Xian are not supposed to inter-mingle. It is better not to get to the bottom of something you do not understand.’
Valiant Dog deeply admired Skyhowling Hound for its tremendous courage immersed in a tiny body. At the same time, the hound was also curious towards Valiant Dog. It could not understand why the enormous creature would be such gentle and kind.
Nello: I understand now! Thank you for the special gift.
Nello and Gracious Dog turned to leave, while Valiant Dog walked towards Skyhowling Hound. After they had walked away for a while, they realized that Valiant Dog was greeting with Skyhowling Hound with a nose touch.
Nello chuckled. How would he not understand what was going on with the duo? Gracious Dog wanted to ask Valiant Dog to quickly come beside them but was halted by Nello. Stealthily left with Gracious Dog, he deeply believed that someday he would see Valiant again.
Skyhowling Hound: ‘From now on you’ll stay by my side. You have to obey me, understand?’
Valiant Dog: ‘Yes!’
Skyhowling Hound was self-applauding because not a single Xian or elf had ever been afraid of it, though it was a favored pet of Xian Master of Peach Mountain. Now finally it had a sidekick to order about at its will, it felt pleased with itself. The hound noticed the monk idol on the back of Valiant Dog. She was so interested in it that without the permission of Valiant Dog she untied it, put it on the ground and observed it carefully.
Skyhowling Hound: ‘This carved stone is quite interesting. Who gave it to you?’
Without any response, the hound was going to scold Valiant Dog...
Valiant Dog: ‘What did you say? So you’re commanding me now, huh?’
Skyhowling Hound: ‘No, no, no! I am not dare...’
The hound was completely overthrown by Valiant Dog’s sheer pneuma, and could only obey the dog. In the beginning, it thought it finally found someone to bully, on the contrary, it was the one to be manipulated now. At that moment, Skyhowling Hound could only subdue its grievance and yell in its mind, ‘Yang Jian! Quickly come back and save me!’ ...