Book 1 Chapter 14: Soul Personage stage, soul skills, soul items!
His whole body trembling, his eyes filled with a mixture of hatred and grief, his tears even streaming down nonstop, Li Chengfeng walked towards those few bandits who were still alive. Seeing this, Bai Yunfei could say nothing to stop him. He picked up that blue short pricker from beside the corpse of hallmaster Zhong and went towards the village.
Miserable cries rang up behind him one after another. He gave a soft sigh but did not turn around.
During the whole day, the men in the village were all busy disposing of these bandits' corpses. The weapons and money were kept, but everything else and the bodies were buried together. After all, because so many bandits had died this time, they absolutely could not let someone else know about this, otherwise they would bring a disaster to the hamlet.
There were thirty-six corpses in total. The bandit who had been captured and brought back by Bai Yunfei was still killed after telling them a lot of information. If any man of this kind was let go, he would become a great disaster.
There were also those horses. Selling them all together was definitely out of the question because this would be too easy to notice. So, they could only keep them at the back of the mountain first then slowly deal with them later.
Having experienced this event, the villagers all felt that they were lucky survivors of a disaster. Bai Yunfei and Li Chengfeng had even become heroes in the village. This was especially the case with Li Chengfeng. Except for looking a bit crazy when facing those bandits, he was very kind and sincere to other people. Ling'er was by his side all the time, carefully helping him treat the wounds on his body.
... ... ... ...
The next day, before dawn, Bai Yunfei slowly opened his eyes after making a strange hand seal with his hands. He had been sitting with legs crossed on the bed doing cultivation for a whole night. As he stretched his sluggish waist, his entire body gave off a series of cracking sounds. Bai Yunfei even let out a comfortable sigh softly.
He raised his right hand and put it in front of his face then made a fist. A delighted smile appeared on his face.
"Early Soul Personage... I've benefited a lot from yesterday's battle... Using the Upgrade Technique to increase the soulforce is certainly a shortcut, but real combat is also necessary. If I want to become powerful, there's still a very long way to go!"
Having reached the Soul Personage stage, the first thing he did naturally was to take that technique scroll out and experienced the blood and bones control method of the Soul Personage stage. Only after a long time did he put the scroll away then lower his head, saying contemplatively: "The blood and bones control method is much more complex and difficult than the skin and flesh control method... I can only learn it bit by bit through meditation. Next is..."
With a thought, the various items inside the interspatial ring showed up in his mind. His soulforce touched the other two scrolls that he had been unable to take out previously. This time Bai Yunfei's feeling was much clearer than before. He felt clearly that his soulforce was gently bounced off by a force on one of those scrolls when trying to come into contact with it and thus was unable to get close to it. As for the other scroll, the moment his soulforce touched it, it disappeared like a flash then reappeared in Bai Yunfei's hand.
Looking at this white scroll in his hand, Bai Yunfei was rather excited inside. He poured his soulforce into it impatiently.
"'Overlapping Waves Art', middle human-tier soul technique, using a special method to control the explosiveness and stretch of the muscles and bones of the arm, allowing the force of a punch to behave like overlapping waves, unleashing a power several times greater than that of a normal punch..." After knowing the contents of the scroll, Bai Yunfei arranged his understanding carefully for a while, "A soul technique... I'll have to control both the muscles and the bones at the same time. No wonder I can only practice it after reaching the Soul Personage stage. Then this means I'll have to at least reach the Soul Warrior stage to use the other scroll. There's a soul technique in it too?"
"Besides, after the Overlapping Waves Art, there's also a spear technique. This means..." At this point, there was a happy expression on Bai Yunfei's face again. His soulforce made a sweep in the interspatial ring and a crimson spear suddenly appeared in his hand.
Bai Yunfei felt that it was almost heavy enough to twist his wrist: "This fella... So heavy, at least 50 kg. Ordinary people would have great difficulty brandishing it, let alone using it to fight. No wonder only after becoming a Soul Personage am I allowed to use it."
The spear was about 2.7 meter long, rather thick and crimson from top to bottom. It even gave off a little heat. At the place where the blade and the handle were joined, there were three embedded crimson, slightly transparent, round crystals.
Bai Yunfei stroked the spear rather admiringly, feeling the waves of warmth emitted from it. He even somewhat impatiently wanted to go out and swing it around a couple of times to check it out.
Suddenly, seeming to remember something, Bai Yunfei stared at the spear in his hand and gave it a thought.
"Item grade: Low inheritance.
"Upgrade requirement: 85 soul points."
Bai Yunfei's eyes popped out of his head and his jaws dropped for a long time, then he shook his head forcefully. Only after checking the information once again did he murmured with a slight stammer: "Holy... Holy shit, a damage of 586? This... What the heck is this?"
Only after a long time did he finally calm down: "Low inheritance? I've never come across this item grade before. Plus, the initial upgrade takes as much as 85 soul points. This is about what it takes to upgrade a dagger from level 1 to level 10 already."
"Right..." Bai Yunfei put the spear on his legs and turned his wrist over. That weapon he had obtained from hallmaster Zhong appeared in his hand. As completely opposed to the spear, it was ice-cold and gave off tiny currents of cold air. There were a few small words on the handle, 'Glacial Pricker', which should be the name of this weapon.
"Item grade: Low rare.
"Upgrade requirement: 63 soul points."
Bai Yunfei was stupefied: "Low rare? Another item grade I've never seen before. Looks like my understanding of this Upgrade Technique is still far from correct...
"These two weapons are obviously on a different level to the ones I bought in the main street. Could it be, they are soul cultivators' weapons? Impossible, such powerful weapons shouldn't be so widespread. In the beginning, that hallmaster Zhong only used an ordinary large saber too...
"I wonder how it will be after getting upgraded..."
He immediately did what he thought. First, he put the spear away. After all, if he wanted to upgrade something, this Glacial Pricker would be a comparatively better choice because he could use a little less soulforce.
Several minutes later, Bai Yunfei looked at the Glacial Pricker in his hand with a hint of a forced smile on the corners of his mouth: "The amount of soul points needed for an upgrade hasn't increased and has always been 63 points, but... this is still not enough!"
"Item grade: Low rare.
"Upgrade level: +8.
"Additional damage: 89.
"Upgrade requirement: 63 soul points."
Even though he was exceptionally lucky not to have failed even once, after the eighth upgrade, Bai Yunfei felt that his soulforce was already running out. Now he was an early Soul Personage, but perhaps the value of his soulforce was only about 500.
It was already dawn at the moment. Bai Yunfei was not anxious to research anymore. He began to sit in meditation to recover his soulforce. Only when someone outside knocked on the door and invited him to go to eat breakfast did he stand up and walk out of the room...
... ... ... ...
When Bai Yunfei told everybody that he wanted to leave for Mt. Blackwood, Li Chengfeng fell silent for a long time, but then he suddenly said that he wanted to go together with Bai Yunfei.
Bai Yunfei knew that his hatred for bandits had not been diminished by his extermination of hallmaster Zhong's bandit group at all. On the contrary, because he had gained power, he no longer suppressed the hatred in his heart. Becoming powerful and annihilating all those who had caused him endless pain, this was precisely what he was thinking at the moment.
In fact, Bai Yunfei could understand Li Chengfeng's feelings. When had he himself not been in a similar situation...?
Originally Li Chengfeng had been a resident of the Mt. Blackwood region so he was rather familiar with the surroundings of that place. Moreover, he was now a soul cultivator too and not a weakling anymore. This journey to Mt. Blackwood would be much more dangerous than Bai Yunfei had thought before. After all, previously he had not expected a gang of bandits to have so many soul cultivators in it.
Therefore, after thinking for just a while, Bai Yunfei agreed to let Li Chengfeng go with him as he had requested.
... ... ... ...
Standing at the entrance of the village, looking at the mountains and forests in the distance, Bai Yunfei had a somewhat vacant expression in his eyes. It was impossible to know what he was thinking about. A clatter of footsteps woke him up with a start. He turned around to take a look and saw Li Chengfeng running up to his face with a bundle over his shoulder in a somewhat apologetically manner, saying: "Young hero Bai, I'm sorry for making you wait..."
Bai Yunfei waved his hand in an unconcerned manner and said smilingly: "No problem. We fought side by side after all, so later you can just call me Yunfei. Have you calmed Ling'er down yet? Don't make her sad..."
"Ha ha... Alright, then you can just call me Chengfeng too. Don't appear too aloof. I've already promised Ling'er that when I return from Mt. Blackwood this time, I'm going to marry her and take care of her all my life..." There was a happy smile on Li Chengfeng's face. He turned around to take a look at the village again and waved to the young girl who was standing in front of the door of her house gazing at him. Then he turned around and went with Bai Yunfei, gradually disappearing towards the end of the path in the forest.
This time, because Li Chengfeng acted as a guide and both of them had good footwork, they went rather fast. After three days, they had already reached the vicinity of Mt. Blackwood. According to Li Chengfeng, the sphere of influence of the Blackwood Stronghold could be said to start from here. The bandits in this area would normally go around in groups, pillaging the villages nearby or robbing the trade caravans that went past this place.
There was a main road leading from Luoshi City to Ganling City in the northeast not far from Mt. Blackwood. Because trade caravans between the two cities often took this road, they also became the main target for the bandits. The bandits did not kill everyone either. As long as a caravan handed in a satisfying 'passage fee', they would let it go through safely. Otherwise, they would kill the caravan and take the goods without mercy. Of course, a caravan could also go through without paying, but it had to be protected by powerful people, such as soul cultivators.
In the evening in a rather spacious forest, intense fighting sounds were heard as two silhouettes got entangled with each other and collided. The sounds of their fists hitting each other were really spine-chilling.
But the two fighting people were obviously enjoying themselves. Beads of sweat from their foreheads ran across the smiles on the corners of their mouths. They threw a punch with their right fists at each other's left shoulder simultaneously. Then they both retreated several steps successively and stood face-to-face.
This was none other than Bai Yunfei and Li Chengfeng.
"Let's stop training for today, Chengfeng. You've become more and more skillful at muscle control. The opportunities you seized to be explosive were just perfect. I'm really ashamed of my inferiority." After massaging his left shoulder a bit, Bai Yunfei turned his right hand over and two bags of water appeared in his hand. He tossed one to Li Chengfeng then leaned on a large tree behind him and took several gulps.
Li Chengfeng sat down on the ground, took several gulps of water and said while shaking his head: "I'm no match for you. It happened like this only because you suppressed your power down to my level. If you use the Overlapping Waves Art, I'm afraid I won't be able to take even a single punch from you."
"Your soulforce fully awakened just a few days ago, yet you're already about to become a middle Soul Apprentice. I don't know about the other soul cultivators' practice speeds, but you're quite a lot faster than I was in the beginning. It's a pity I even thought that my improvement speed was very fast.
"Let's train alone next. I need to get more used to spear techniques so that I can handle the battles that we'll probably face soon. Right, you really don't want that Glacial Pricker? It's much more powerful than those two daggers."
"Nope, these two daggers are very good, and I feel that they're not weak at all. I already felt embarrassed to accept them when you gave them to me, how could I still want that Glacial Pricker? Plus, I'm not familiar with using that stab-only weapon." Li Chengfeng shook his head, took out the two daggers from his waist and flipped them in hands skillfully.
Bai Yunfei said no more. He walked to one side and reached out his hand. A flaming red, 2.7 meter long spear appeared in his hand and a heat wave spread out, which could be felt even by Li Chengfeng, who was over 30 meters away. Looking at the crimson spear in Bai Yunfei's hand, Li Chengfeng's eyes showed a hint of admiration.
After simply spinning the spear for a bit, he started to practice spear techniques.
Horizontal sweeps, straight thrusts, upward yanks, downward smashes... Even though he had been learning them for just three days, his execution already looked decent, and it got faster and faster. Now Bai Yunfei's body was shrouded in countless blurs of the spear. From the distance, he looked like a flickering fire.
All of a sudden, his body stopped moving and the various spear images disappeared. With a soft shout, he thrust the spear straight at a large tree that could only be hugged by two people holding hands in front of him.
The moment the spear was thrust out, its entire body suddenly radiated a dazzling red glow. The three crystals at the top of the spear were even ablaze with a red light, looking like they were wrapped in a crimson flame.
"Pu!"A soft sound was heard as the tip of the spear went into the tree with complete ease. The moment it penetrated the tree, Bai Yunfei's flashed. He shouted in a deep voice: "Burst!!"
Wood chips were sent flying around and the dazzling red glow shone out through the cracks in the tree. Afterwards, that whole section of the tree exploded suddenly and a heat wave several times more violent than before spread out in all directions. This large tree then fell backwards. An entire section at its base had gone missing, leaving behind a burned black cut surface...