1 Zhu Xiaoye

Zhu Xiaoye woke with a start! With a look around, he could see he was in a jungle or forest like area. It was a clearing filled with bamboo trees and green grass as far as one could see. The lighting from the sun showed that it was not past midday yet.

Sitting next to him was a black sphere that seemed to devour all light around it. With no birds or clouds to block the sunlight, the next strange thing was, it didn't have a shadow to show for itself. This made him wonder why the black sphere was so familiar.

Glancing at the small sphere deeper, Zhu Xiaoye could feel his consciousness be pulled toward it. Feeling a connection to it, he grabbed the fist-size black sphere as he stood up to get a better idea where he was. The grass seemed pretty high given how it covered most of his lower body.

Only now did he realize the strangest thing in the clearing since he woke up. Everything was bigger than what he was used to. The hair on him was ridiculous excessive to the point it was like, fur covered him. Taking a detailed look, he saw black arms and black legs.

Yep, it was black fur.

"What demonic art is this? Where is that traitor? To believe all these years I would have dog eyes. I was truly naive!" Is what Zhu Xiaoye wanted to say, but what really came out was only the sound of a bear's roar to the sky. "What?! My voice, why can't I speak?" he panicked.

After a few minutes passed, he was able to get a small sense of a calm and clear mind. He now understood why it felt like he was on his hands and knees or that the grass was high and the world looking bigger.

He had become a young panda bear. Another thing to note given how there weren't two moons or half a sun in the sky, this place wasn't the earth he lived on. He didn't know how to feel about the sudden change his life was experiencing.

His sworn brother betrayed him, his body was now an animal's, a great hunger was filling his belly, and now the place he woke, instead of a different planet, it could be a whole different world altogether.

If one was to say, think of this as a setback, he wouldn't be able to relate or know this feeling. Though he was one of the strongest beings before this turn of fate, he never endured or experienced hardship.

Bottlenecks most people would experience during the struggle to reach the greatest strength, he never once had one. The fearing of death from a stronger foe, he would always have a treasure of some kind to easily solve the situation for him if the mentioning of his family name wasn't enough.

Needing resources to help improve the strength or buying a place or things to live, he always had money to spare when buying and more if wanted. Even when learning things, it only took a look or guess on how it worked, and he would have learned it to near mastery.

But despite all this, when thought clearer, it was probably this which led to him having no ability to discern people he should trust. Being as gifted as he was, it was natural his sworn brother didn't meet any life-threatening experiences either.

When they finally got their true first taste of absolute death before a power too strong to oppose, he was able to see the real nature of such kind, said sworn brother. Just seeing his situation, he could feel the limitations being placed on him.

He had nothing. Even the prized talent and mind he was so proud of, he could feel the animal mind limiting him. Before he could slip into a deeper depression, he felt a presence. He didn't know if it was his animal instincts or the thing coming near was just strong, but he could feel fear well up.

Willing his body to move from fear of death, he hid near a cover of bamboo trees. Of course, if he had thought more straight, he would realize that he wasn't hiding but shielding himself out of fear since his body was still visible.

There rushing in the clearing was a beast the size of an average adult horse. The features it had was like a fox with blue and gold fur covering the body. The pace of its speed did not slow as it gave a whining sound.

Chasing behind it was a young man with long hair and a smile on his face as he licked his lips. With his past life experience of experiencing faster moving objects, Zhu Xiaoye saw a large wound on the beast running away.

Yes, it was a beast!

His instincts told him this beast was like the beast from his world. While he was a normal animal of the same kind from his world, the thing running was a beast that could evolve, which meant growing stronger and smarter. It was like seeing vague glimpses of an end road to being what he desired most. The end result would be a human is what he felt.

As excitement rose from the thought of being human again, his body also gradually overcame the fear from his animal instincts. The two beings rushing pass didn't spare a single glance at the uniqueness of a panda standing on 2 feet and holding onto a black sphere in one hand and a bamboo pole in the other.

Feeling the hunger in him grow stronger as he was holding onto one of the bamboo poles, he finally cut loose and began eating the bamboo around him as he started to analyze his situation. It seemed beasts weren't at the top of the food chain.

This was based only on one encounter but even him, a normal animal was frightened by the 'presence' of the young man running after the beast. Although both of their presence caused a heavy like weight feeling, and the young man's presence didn't give the impression it was greater, yet he was clearly stronger.

The same level yet a beast lost the exchange? Were humans in this world the more terrifying beings compare to his own world where beasts claimed the top spot? Or was the young man a top talent for young humans?

Grabbing a bamboo stick about 106 centimeters which were as tall as he was when standing on his back legs, Zhu Xiaoye stopped eating as he felt full. In his past life, he was a staff user. Holding on the bamboo stick made it feel just like, it was a right fit for the current him.

His instincts told him that to reach his goal of being a human once more, he would need to become a beast. He knew that the difference between a normal animal and a beast was that the beast would have a beast core inside their body.

If he wanted to evolve into a beast than consuming beast cores was the only chance. The problem that was causing him a depression was, beasts were on a totally different level compared to animals. To evolve, he would have to kill beings stronger than him.

This was no different than being told to court death. Not once had he cross ranks or levels to fight others. One priceless treasure used, problem solved. This was his way of fighting cross levels. Even then, he could tell that just one beast core wasn't going to be enough.

He had to find some way to train his body to be fit to fight against beasts. This was impossible. The body structure might not look too different but the two had a limit to how strong the two different bodies could get.

In the end, he decided becoming human was more important. In his past life, he had everything but this life he had nothing. It didn't matter if he had to struggle and endure or face absolute despair, he would achieve all his goals in this life or die trying.

Zhu Xiaoye was a name his parents gave him meaning a bamboo spouting its first small leaf. He was doing just that now. He was starting a fresh new start and he would do so by living with no regrets. Just as he was caught in the moment, the black sphere had a reaction.

The bamboo stick he was holding onto sudden absorbed the black sphere, leaving no trace the black sphere ever existed. Seeing this and feeling that the black sphere might have been a treasure that would help him achieve his goals, he grew agitated.

"What is the meaning of this?" his bear roar sounded out.

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