Book 1 Chapter 13: First time fighting a soul cultivator; the might of the upgraded items!
Over twenty fast horses rushed out of the grove, with hallmaster Zhong at the forefront, galloping towards the village.
After coming round a bend, they saw a common village up ahead in the distance. Only, it should be breakfast time now, but there was no smoke rising from the kitchen chimneys in the village. Moreover, a small 'pile of men' could be vaguely seen at the entrance, making the calmness of the village somewhat strange.
Hallmaster Zhong lifted a hand and said to the bandits behind him: "Slow down now. Be careful when advancing. There may be an amb..."
However, before he could finish what he was saying, a thick rope suddenly rose from inside the earth and was stretched tight instantly. The galloping horses simply had no time to react. The several horses charging in the forefront immediately fell to the ground. The riders also fell from the horseback in succession. The men at the back promptly pulled the reins, but there was still a poor bandit who was trampled on the chest by the horses that could not stop in time. He gave a snort then did not move anymore.
The moment the several horses in the front fell down, two silhouettes rushed out swiftly from the left and right sides of the road respectively then killed their way into the chaotic crowd.
Hallmaster Zhong jumped out with a smack on the back of his horse right when it fell down. He rolled on the ground several times, canceling out all the forward momentum. As soon as he turned around, he heard miserable cries ring out behind him.
He saw two people rushing and killing among the disorderly bandits, just like tigers among sheep - These two people who had just rushed out were naturally Bai Yunfei and Li Chengfeng.
Holding a dagger in each of his hands, Li Chengfeng was slashing, hacking and stabbing. Before the men around him could react, almost all of them were injured. Two even dropped dead to the ground after getting stabbed in the chest directly.
Bai Yunfei was using bare hands, but sounds of broken bones were heard every time he threw a punch or a kick. Almost anyone who was knocked down by him could not struggle up again.
Hallmaster Zhong was in a dazed state for just a short while, but five or six of his men had been downed by them!
His whole body trembling, the corners of his eyes about to crack, he raised his large saber and rushed up with a roar.
Seeing that hallmaster Zhong rushing over, Bai Yunfei's eyes flashed with a tinge of shrewdness. He leaned to one side to avoid an incoming saber then grabbed a bandit and threw him fiercely forwards, smashing him into the crowd, creating a gap. Afterwards, he got out with a leap and rushed towards that hallmaster Zhong!
When having taken just several steps, hallmaster Zhong saw a person come rushing at him. Grinning hideously, he raised his saber and wanted to hack at the attacker. But that man suddenly jumped over ten feet up into the air. While in midair, he gave his right hand a shake and a one-meter long large saber unexpectedly appeared in the blink of an eye. He then took advantage of his fall's momentum to swing it down fiercely!
"An interspatial ring? Soul cultivator!" Hallmaster Zhong's expression changed. He lifted the large saber in his hand up to meet the enemy's attack.
A crisp sound of metal crashing into metal rang out. The momentum of his fall gave Bai Yunfei an advantage so he was able to knock the opponent back several steps. However, after landing firmly on the ground, he did not try to be the first to attack again. After all, he did not have enough combat experience, so attacking hastily would very likely result in his weak points being exploited by the opponent.
"Late Soul Apprentice! Damn it! How can we run into a soul cultivator at this kind of place?! Plus, it's even a soul cultivator with an interspatial ring!" Hallmaster Zhong retreated several steps continuously. He could only feel a somewhat tingling feeling in his arm and was extremely shocked inside. He had guessed earlier that the opponent was a soul cultivator about as powerful as he was, which did not really matter. However, the opponent unexpectedly had an interspatial ring! It should be known that in the entire Blackwood Stronghold, only the chieftain had an interspatial ring, and not even the vice-chieftain had one!
He looked at the large saber in his hand again, and to his surprise, he saw that the hack had left a chip in it!
"Damn it! Damn it! Just who is he really?! This large saber of mine is made of top-grade materials. That saber of his is a soul item? Impossible. If it was a soul item, there wouldn't be just a simple chip like this. But it's definitely better than mine!"
Several continuous miserable cries woke hallmaster Zhong up from his shock. He lifted his eyes to take a look. More than half of the group of bandits behind Bai Yunfei had unexpectedly already fallen down. Even though one of Li Chengfeng's arms had suffered injuries, they were not serious at all. As he moved nimbly about, dodging and weaving, he did not use any techniques worthy of mentioning either. He would just dodge the incoming attacks then thrust with his daggers, downing the bandits one after another.
"That man is a soul cultivator too! This is bad!" Hallmaster Zhong suddenly reacted. He rushed straight towards Bai Yunfei without any more hesitation.
Bai Yunfei's fighting plan was actually very simple, namely, when the enemy was still unprepared, he himself would hinder hallmaster Zhong first while Li Chengfeng would dispose of those common bandits, then they would join forces and kill hallmaster Zhong!
Those common bandits had had twenty two men in total. In the very beginning, six of them had been knocked down by Bai Yunfei and Li Chengfeng and another had been unlucky enough to be trampled on by the horses. When Bai Yunfei had rushed out to obstruct hallmaster Zhong, there had already been only fifteen men left. So, relying on his all-out effort and resentment, Li Chengfeng had been able to handle them fairly smoothly.
Moreover, because those bandits had been attacked suddenly, and so many of their comrades had been downed in an instant, they were flustered inside. One man's loss is another man's gain. Under this circumstance, Li Chengfeng would probably be able to knock down all the bandits in ten more minutes.
That hallmaster Zhong obviously had also noticed this. Not daring to delay again, he attacked with all his might, but Bai Yunfei only defended. Relying on the sharpness of the large saber in his hand, he clashed with him head-on strike after strike. Before long, hallmaster Zhong's saber was covered in chips, looking like a saw with teeth.
Bai Yunfei raised his saber again and warded off another hack by hallmaster Zhong. Suddenly, he felt a great force come from his stomach, but this was hallmaster Zhong throwing a kick at him. He was, after all, still too inexperienced so he had only paid attention to stopping the opponent's weapon and had neglected defending his lower body. As a result, he was knocked back several steps continuously by the kick.
Before he could stabilize his body, he felt something come at him from behind. He turned around in a flash and saw that a bandit had unexpectedly left the group fight against Li Chengfeng to go up to his back at some point then swung his saber at himself.
Learning from hallmaster Zhong, he raised his saber to block the attack and also raised his foot, sending him flying with a kick. That man was immediately sent flying in the direction of Li Chengfeng then was stabbed in the chest mercilessly with a dagger.
When lifting his foot, Bai Yunfei secretly braced himself for another attack. Before he could turn around, the corners of his eyes caught a glimpse of the gleam of a saber that was coming at the right side of his waist.
Because it was impossible for him to block the strike with his saber, he could only lean to the left, avoiding the attack by a hair's breadth, and jump at the same time. However, when he had yet to escape completely, he felt a burning pain in his waist. Bai Yunfei moved two meters away, turned around to face hallmaster Zhong, and touched his own waist with his hand. It came into contact with a cold area and not a wound.
Hallmaster Zhong was looking at the totally delighted expression on Bai Yunfei's face in some stupefaction. That saber strike by the waist just then should have been able to cut him in half directly, but... except for feeling some pain, he had not even lost a single drop of blood!
A large hole had been cut into the clothes at Bai Yunfei's waist, revealing a gray armor underneath. There was a white mark on the armor, which had been caused by that saber strike just then.
Bai Yunfei touched this soft armor on his body in pleasant surprise: "I didn't expect the defense of this +10 soft armor to be so high. That was so dangerous. I even thought I'd be cut in two..."
(The soft armor's properties)
Item grade: Normal.
Upgrade level: +10.
Additional defense: 43.
+10 Additional effect: When attacked, user has a 2% chance of reflecting part of the damage.
"How is this possible?... How is this possible?! Could it be that soft armor of his is a soul item? Just who is he really?!" Roaring in his heart, hallmaster Zhong rushed up again.
Having known the defense level of the soft armor, Bai Yunfei was much less restrained too. As long as an attack was aimed at his torso, he would rather endure the pain inflicted by it so that he could similarly hit the opponent with a strike of the saber.
Even though hallmaster Zhong also wore a decent soft armor on his body which could withstand the attacks of ordinary weapons, it was just like a piece of paper in front of Bai Yunfei's weapon. His waist was hit by a sweep too, but he was not so lucky as Bai Yunfei. A long wound was created by the strike and blood spurted out from it.
Facing an incoming horizontal saber sweep, Bai Yunfei turned around and resisted the strike head-on with his back. However, when he was hit this time, he did not feel that kind of burning pain from before. Instead, he needed to take just a step forwards to absorb the impact of the blow completely and only felt a small part of the soulforce in his body suddenly drained away like it was absorbed by the soft armor.
The moment that large saber hacked at Bai Yunfei's back, hallmaster Zhong immediately felt a powerful reaction force come at him. The part of his palm between the thumb and forefinger was burst, making it almost impossible for him to keep hold of the handle of the saber. Very shocked, he retreated continuously. As he looked at his palm which was bleeding profusely, he was dumbstruck for a while.
The soft armor's additional effect: Damage reflection!
In the blink of an eye, Bai Yunfei knew what had happened. Naturally, he was unwilling to let this good opportunity pass. He turned around and swung the large saber in his hand at the opponent's waist. Very frightened, hallmaster Zhong raised his saber to make a block. Even though he was able to ward off this strike from Bai Yunfei, the large saber in his hand was sent flying because he could not clench it with enough force.
Greatly shocked, hallmaster Zhong retreated continuously. Only when he had moved over ten meters away did he look at Bai Yunfei with a terrified expression.
Bai Yunfei did not pursue and attack him because he had seen that the battle behind him had already finished. None of the twenty two bandits was still standing and most of them had been killed. The remaining ones were lying on the ground wailing, powerless to fight again.
There were some injuries on Li Chengfeng's arms and legs, but luckily his torso was still intact. Underneath the tattered clothes, there was a gray soft armor too. Although it was merely a +9 defensive item and did not have an additional effect, it was already enough to defend against those bandits' common attacks.
Li Chengfeng was in no hurry to finish off those bandits who were still alive. Instead, raising the two blood-dripping daggers, he walked up to Bai Yunfei's side step by step. His whole body was drenched in blood - most of which belonged to those bandits. Those blood-red eyes, filled with endless hatred, were staring firmly at hallmaster Zhong. Even though hallmaster Zhong had killed countless people, now he also felt a tremble in his heart and did not dare to look him in the eyes.
Hallmaster Zhong took a deep breath and calmed his chaotic mind down. He did not dare to take his eyes off Bai Yunfei and Li Chengfeng even for a moment for fear that the two of them would attack suddenly. His right hand reached into his bosom and took out a long wooden case from which he then took out a blue weapon that looked like an ice pricker.
"Though I'm not good at using this kind of weapon, it's a soul item in any case, so it should be able to pierce through that soft armor. At this stage, I've got no choice but to go all out!"
Bai Yunfei had not attacked immediately because he wanted to give Li Chengfeng a little time to recover. Now the situation was advantageous to them so as long as they were somewhat careful, they should be able to emerge victorious.
At this moment, the opponent took out a weapon that seemed like an ice pricker and was about the same size as a dagger. Judging from his expression, Bai Yunfei felt that this was definitely no ordinary object. Seeing him rush up, he told Li Chengfeng, who was beside him: "Watch out for his weapon. I'm going to have a dogfight with him and you're going to look for opportunities to attack!"
Facing hallmaster Zhong who was rushing at him, Bai Yunfei still brought the saber down in a hack efficiently. The enemy unexpectedly raised the short pricker horizontally, using the short and small body of the pricker to block this strike. Moreover, when it came into contact with the saber's blade, a nick unexpectedly appeared at the contact area of the blade!
After blocking Bai Yunfei's attack, hallmaster Zhong repeated the same trick he had used before by raising his foot, throwing a kick. How could Bai Yunfei possibly fall for the same trick again? He also threw a kick. After the two feet collided with each other, both of them took half a step backwards.
However, hallmaster Zhong reacted faster than Bai Yunfei. After stabilizing his body, he took a step forwards then raised the Glacial Pricker in his hand and thrust it straight at Bai Yunfei's heart!
Bai Yunfei was very frightened. He did not dare use the soft armor on his body to take this strike head-on, so he hurriedly put the large saber in his hand in front of his chest horizontally. Then a soft sound of collision was heard and Bai Yunfei retreated several steps continuously.
Just when the opponent was about to pursue and attack him, his expression changed suddenly. He turned around, raised the Glacial Pricker and blocked a sneaky incoming dagger. But he felt a pain in his arm. Although he had blocked a dagger, there was another one he could not block!
Li Chengfeng had grabbed the opportunity to leave a wound on the opponent's arm before getting knocked away with a kick.
Bai Yunfei stabilized his body and lowered his head to take look. He immediately broke into a cold sweat as he saw a round, small hole through both sides of the blade and in the center of the large saber's body. Even the chest part of his soft armor had been pierced halfway through! Moreover, there was a cold area around the small hole that was covered in a layer of water droplets like it had frosted over.
"What weapon is that?!" Bai Yunfei trembled with fear as he looked at the weapon in hallmaster Zhong's hand. He only felt a chill in his heart.
Seeing hallmaster Zhong unexpectedly begin to chase after Li Chengfeng, he was very frightened. So he hurriedly calmed his mind down then rushed up while raising his weapon.
Because the short pricker in hallmaster Zhong's hand was too powerful, Bai Yunfei and Li Chengfeng had some misgivings both when attacking and defending, but that hallmaster always had misgivings about the weapons in his opponents' hands too, so the three of them got caught up in an arduous struggle.
Before long, many wounds had been inflicted upon their bodies.
Bai Yunfei only felt cold in the various places on his body that had been pierced by the opponent. It seemed there was a mass of cold air going on a rampage in his body. Both his strength and speed were now much worse than before, and Li Chengfeng was also in a similar situation.
However, that hallmaster Zhong's situation was not good either. There were many wounds on his body and most of them had been caused by slashes of Li Chengfeng's daggers. Moreover, those wounds had been bleeding nonstop and recovering very slowly - this was none other than the additional effect of one of the daggers: "Slow down the recovery of the wounds caused by this item."
Hallmaster Zhong was extremely anxious inside. If this continued, he would eventually bleed to death!!
As he was in a hurry, he made mistakes. After forcing Bai Yunfei to retreat again, because he did not have enough time to dodge, another wound was pierced into his shoulder by Li Chengfeng's dagger, and just when he was pierced by the dagger, suddenly a shiver ran through his entire body. A strange kind of feeling then appeared on his body, but he could not tell exactly what it was.
When he made a backward stab at Li Chengfeng, who was beside him, and the attack was barely avoided by the opponent, he finally discovered a problem: The opponent should not have been able to avoid this strike from him completely at all, but he had unexpectedly avoided it, because - he himself had slowed down!
In a normal situation, to his knowledge, this strike should have already hit the target. However, his body had become a bit slower!
This was an exceptionally uncoordinated feeling that he had never experienced before so he was even somewhat at a loss.
However, Bai Yunfei's eyes glittered with shrewdness. A few seconds later, he finally confirmed that this was the additional effect of the other dagger:
"Attacks have a 2% chance of slowing the target's speed for 10 seconds."
Of course Bai Yunfei could not let this rare chance pass. He reminded Li Chengfeng to pay attention to attacking with a roar then brandished his large saber, attacking the opponent fiercely.
One strike after another, Bai Yunfei hacked down unceasingly at a speed of almost one strike per second. Hallmaster Zhong was extremely flustered inside, not knowing what had actually happened to his body. His reduced speed made it impossible for him to counterattack so he could only block Bai Yunfei's attacks one after another in a pitiful manner.
Suddenly, when he used the short pricker to block yet another strike of the saber, he felt a powerful force come from the saber. It was simply irresistible, causing him to take three heavy steps backwards continuously. His body even leaned backwards, losing balance.
When Bai Yunfei felt a strand of soulforce rush into the large saber, he immediately knew that the effect had been triggered!
(The large saber's properties)
Item grade: Normal.
Upgrade level: +10.
Additional damage: 39.
Upgrade requirement: 17 soul points.
+10 Additional effect: Attacks have a 3% chance of knocking the target back.
"Now it's the time!!!"
The moment Bai Yunfei shouted loudly, Li Chengfeng had already rushed up to hallmaster Zhong's face. After raising both of his daggers simultaneously, he stabbed them down at the opponent's chest.
Through the heart!