Chapter 248: House of Xiao
Xiao Rang was completely stunned after his discovery of how 'high' of a status Bai Yunfei had. He once had the privilege of meeting the ex-headmaster when he was a late-stage Soul Ancestor thanks to Jiang Nan. In his heart, the Zi Jin was an undeniably powerful entity, but this twenty-something year old youth in front of him was somehow a disciple to such a man!
"Jiang Nan was sixteen when he to become a Soul Ancestor, but this one only managed it when he became twenty. Calling him a genius wouldn't be out of the question, but he's on par with Song Lin at most. Him becoming a disciple to Zi Jin must mean there's some other amazing crafting-related factor to him..." Xiao Binzi thought.
Masking his shock as quickly as he could, Xiao Rang began to speak courteously to Bai Yunfei, "So you're a disciple to the previous headmaster Zi Jin, lord Bai. To have reached the Soul Ancestor at such a young speaks loudly of your outstanding talents."
He then turned to Xiao Binzi and respectfully bowed, "I presume you're here for Jiang Nan, elder Xiao?"
One of Xiao Binzi's eyebrow rose up on his face, "So Jiang Nan was here!? Speak, what happened to him?"
Due to the slip in his emotions, Xiao Binzi's words had been heavily ladened with the aura of a Soul King, pressuring Xiao Rang into a state of unease. He was still able to keep his calm enough to reply, "Jiang Nan was a guest in this household for a while before, elder Xiao."
He paused here to take a deep breath. "Several months ago, a conflict happened between the Xiao and another house in Curopia City, the Sun. Without warning, they launched a large-scale attack on our house and demanded our subservience. For dozens of years, our two houses have been in a stalemate, but their latest attempts revealed several unknown strong individuals in their employ.
"With our Xiao in danger, we had no other choice but to ask Jiang Nan. He promised to help, but ultimately it was his help that led to him being in such a state.
"It wasn't long after that we realized even more and more people were coming to fight our house, and to our surprise, they were men from the Beast Taming School! Somehow, the Sun aligned themselves with the Beast Taming School!"
Upon hearing that the Beast Taming School was involved, Xiao Binzi's eyes narrowed together. Bai Yunfei was surprised as well. He hadn't expected to find the Beast Taming School involved here either. Despite Xiao Binzi's silence and Bai Yunfei's surprise, neither of the two interrupted Xiao Rang and instead sat there in doubt.
"The one leading the group from the Beast Taming School was a late-stage Soul Exalt. He and Jiang Nan fought for a very long time. Jiang Nan used his soul armament to bring the fight to a standstill. In the end, the two of them were worried that they'd bring collateral damage to Curopia City and agreed to pull back. While the deadlock continued, Jiang Nan decided to watch over the Xiao for the meantime.
"Several days ago, Jiang Nan said that he felt something was amiss and that he'd go investigating, but he never returned!!" Xiao Rang exclaimed, prompting his three listeners to feel surprised.
Knowing that he was nearing the climax of the story, Xiao Rang continued, "We dispatched our men everywhere to see if anything could be found, but nothing came up. Even the one new tidbit we learned has yet to be confirmed... that night, several figures from the Beast Taming School were said to have left the city and have yet to come back.
"Just yesterday, someone calling themselves the third elder from the Crafting School arrived here, saying that they came into contact with a secret signal from Jiang Nan. They asked about several things about our Xiao before leaving the city. We haven't heard a thing from them as well..."
With the explanation finished, Bai Yunfei and the other two males were stuck in a silent sphere of thought. After thinking about all the details, Bai Yunfei then asked Xiao Rang, "Lord Xiao, if I may ask something; when the third elder came by, was there anyone else with her?"
"Oh, do you mean miss Tang, lord Bai?" Xiao Binzi nodded. "The third elder left her here when she left. I've had my men escort her around."
But Xiao Binzi continued to look on with concern, "Are you saying that since Cang Yu left a day ago and there has been no other information?"
Xiao Rang nodded. "Yes. In our fear of implicating the third elder, I've had none of our men go with her. All I know is that she left following some sort of trail out of the city. After that, there were no more communications between us two. Miss Tang asked this afternoon to go after the third elder, but I was afraid of the potential danger and persuaded her not to go."
Still grim, Xiao Binzi stared at the jade slip in his hand. The light was already slightly dimmer than before. "So Cang Yu herself has been gone an entire day. This means Jiang Nan is in an even worse of a case than we thought. Either she hasn't found Jiang Nan yet, or she has found him already, but...
"This complicates matters even more then. We must be on our at way at once."
As he spoke, the faint sounds of footsteps could be heard echoing through the halls along with the sight of a figure in white entering the room. When the figure saw Bai Yunfei seated at the outermost spot, a joyous greeting came out from the person, "Yunfei, it really is you!"
Looking up, Bai Yunfei noticed that the newcomer was Tang Xinyun. She was dressed in a snowy-white robe as usual. From both sides of her head, a section of her hair was weaved around to the other side so that it formed a ring around her head. A silky-white cloth was the only thing that held her hair in place. There was a sliver of steel and maturity hidden in her gentle appearance; perhaps this development was borne from the experiences she had gathered during her one month journey.
"Senior." Tang Xinyun greeted Song Lin after Bai Yunfei, but when she saw Xiao Binzi, her eyes reflected her surprise. Hurriedly moving to his front, she bowed, "Xinyun pays her respects to the first elder. It's wonderful to see you! Master went out yesterday, but she hasn't returned yet. If the first elder could..."
Before she could even finish, Xiao Binzi's eyes were already widening as the jade slip in his hand changed once more.
It was now at 40%!!
Holding a hand up to stop whatever Tang Xinyun had to say, Xiao Binzi said, "Say no more. I was already planning on moving out. We can talk about the details later, but I must go right now!"
Leaping to his feet, Xiao Binzi stalked to the exit.
Xiao Rang, on the other hand, hesitated before asking, "Elder, is there perhaps anything the Xiao can do for you..."
"No need!" Xiao Binzi waved a hand rather than turning his head back.
The group quickly made their way to the outside courtyard where Xiao Binzi was already setting down his Zephyr Sword. Eying Bai Yunfei, he said, "There's a change in plans. Yunfei, you and that Tang girl will stay here. Song Lin, you come with me!"
He flew onto the Zephyr Sword with Song Lin chasing after him.
Tang Xinyun hurried to reply, "First elder, please let me come with, I'm worried about my master..."
"How troublesome! What could you do?" Xiao Binzi rebuked with narrowed eyes.
Bai Yunfei started to plead with her, "First elder, please take us with you. If there really is danger, the two of us will hide far away. We may just be able to provide some assistance..."
For a while, Xiao Binzi said nothing.
Then at last, he relented. "Very well!" He sighed, "You may come with us, but if there is a fight, you will hide yourselves. Without my permission, you will not move a finger!"
"Yes, we understand!" The two replied.
Enlarging the Zephyr Sword with a bit more of his soulforce, Xiao Binzi waited for Bai Yunfei and Tang Xinyun to climb up.
Eying the jade slip still, Xiao Binzi waved his left hand slightly so that the elemental fire could protect them all. Then, in a flash of green light, the sword flew into the sky.
Xiao Rang and his son, Xiao Xin, stood side by side as they watched the sword fly farther and farther away.
"Father," Xiao Xin asked hesitantly, "What... what should we do now?"
"What can we even do? We can't escape the fact that we're responsible for this mess with the Sun. Inform the others to keep their guard up and keep watch on what the Sun is up to!" Xiao Rang commanded. "Things are getting even worse than we imagined..." He sighed, "We've managed to bring Jiang Nan and even the Crafting School into this affair unfortunately..."
On the sword, Xiao Binzi carried Bai Yunfei and the other two students through the air while Tang Xinyun recounted what details she knew about Cang Yu and the situation. From what they could tell, Cang Yu found Jiang Nan's signal for help and had come to Curopia City. After learning what little information the Xiao had, Cang Yu then left and disappeared without a trace.
Xiao Binzi was no longer as calm as before. As they traveled, Bai Yunfei and the others could see that Xiao Binzi was extremely grim and silent as he clenched the jade slip.
They continued for roughly an hour before Xiao Binzi's eyes narrowed ever-so-slightly. Tilting the sword down, they descended to a hillside in front of them.
Looking in the northeastern direction grimly, Xiao Binzi said, "Jiang Nan is over there. Song Lin, you come with me. Yunfei, you stay here with her!"
Bai Yunfei was just about to suggest that they go together when Xiao Binzi gave him an intimidating stare. Saying nothing else, he pulled Tang Xinyun off the sword and had her go with Bai Yunfei.
"Song Lin, we'll move at on..."
The sudden sound of an explosion cut straight into Xiao Binzi's speech, causing everyone to turn to the source. All they could see was a fiery light that soared into the sky overhead before a nearby mountain came crashing down in a pile of rubble!!
Judging from the distance, they were roughly a hundred meters away from where they were, so the sight of a mountain exploding like that was extremely scary.
"This aura..." Xiao Binzi gasped, "It's Cang Yu!!"