Chapter 273: A Conclusive but Silent Decision
When Bai Yunfei returned to his room, he didn't continue upgrading. He instead sat down on his bed and rested against the wall. This was the first time in a while that he began to think about the chaotic events as of late.
First was the determination he had when he came out of Tang Xinyun's room...
"Xinyun needs to be able to practice the elemental fire in order to regain her essence fireseed. It's almost impossible, but... if there's the fireseed spirit mushroom, it might just be doable!" Bai Yunfei recalled the memories of when he had used the mushroom. It wasn't a stretch to say that the fireseed spirit mushroom was a materialized form of essence fireseed.
Thinking about how Hong Yin had given him the fireseed spirit mushroom, Bai Yunfei thought, "But the fireseed spirit mushroom isn't something that's easy to find. Master said before that the last sighting of one was a few dozen years ago...
"He also said that they can only be found in the Soulbeast Forest..."
Fireseed spirit mushrooms were incomparably rare. While they could be found elsewhere, those who understood anything about them knew that the very first place to find them would be in the Soulbeast Forest. That place was a verdant gathering ground for treasures like that.
It also went without saying that it was also the burial grounds for people who came treasure-seeking...
The very thought of the situation caused Bai Yunfei to narrow his eyes and shake his head. "Going to the Soulbeast Forest would be as good as killing myself with my strength! Ugh... if I could talk to brother Hong Yin and have him help me find one, that'd make things easier..."
Then he remembered the bone fragment Hong Yin had given him a long time ago, "Brother Hong Yin said that this fragment would be enough for the stronger soulbeasts to not attack me. In that case..."
Thinking a little harder, Bai Yunfei sighed, "That still doesn't work... he said that only the soulbeasts who are sentient and can speak the human tongue would be able to recognize the fragment. Those are soulbeasts of the seventh-tier and higher. With my strength, I'd have trouble with fifth-tier soulbeasts. If I went to the Soulbeast Forest now, I'd be unable to take a step in!"
The Bai Yunfei of today wasn't an ignoramus like before. Zi Jin had already told him a few things about the Soulbeast Forest and the soulbeasts inside. There were similarities between soulbeasts and humans, like how there were good people and bad people and how there were all sorts of powerful beings there. This rang true for the soulbeasts who were sentient. In the world of soul cultivators, Hong Yin was regarded as the 'Wolf Child' because he was the adopted son of the Bloodhowl Wolf King. The Bloodhowl Wolf King was one of the nine kings of soulbeasts and was an eighth-tier Soulbeast.
This was equivalent to a late-stage Soul King.
The bone fragment Hong Yin gave him were most likely an item of equivalent value that explained his relationship with the Wolf King. While it had extraordinary uses, it wasn't absolute. There were all sorts of beings in the world of soulbeasts, and not every soulbeast would care about the bone fragment. There was no saying what would happen if Bai Yunfei came across an enemy of the Bloodhowl Wolf King.
After careful consideration, Bai Yunfei finally let out a sigh. "I have the determination, but not the strength!! Even if I was more determined, it's still nothing but words in the end... without my previous strength, I shouldn't even think about going to the Soulbeast Forest. Xinyun hasn't fully recovered either, I guess I should forget about this for now..."
"Then..." Bai Yunfei's mind shifted to another topic with increasing coldness, even his eyes reflected the chilling anger he was feeling. "The Soul Refining School!! I won't forgive you! Wait until I grow strong enough. If we meet again, you won't face an easy death!!"
His essence fireseed had been injured beyond belief with no guarantee of recovery, and Tang Xinyun had barely avoided death. Her essence fireseed was completely used up and the corrosive energy was still lingering in her. With these two major factors, Bai Yunfei's hatred for the Soul Refining School was etched in his bones.
"The Beast Taming School aren't innocent either. They were with the Soul Refining School..." Bai Yunfei thought to himself. "The Beast Taming School... what secrets do they hide!? I came across them in Jade Willow City, then Gaoyi City, and here. They even destroyed a major family here..."
Just faintly, Bai Yunfei could smell the hint of a sinister plot brewing somewhere.
Bai Yunfei broke into laughter a moment later, "I'm just a small Soul Ancestor," he mocked himself, "What a waste of time thinking about this..."
"More importantly, there's still that matter with the upgrade stone..." Bai Yunfei thought about the moment he had used the upgrade stone on the +12 Yun's Soul Ring. "What a strange situation. It felt similar to that 'Anima Realm' master talked about, but it wasn't the actual Anima Realm... was it because I used the upgrade stone? I don't know what exactly that feeling was or what it meant... but it was extremely important...
"Too bad that the stone could only be used once. I'd have liked to experiment with it." Bai Yunfei sighed in disappointment, "If I could get another one, I'd be able to experiment some more.
"There's still brother Jiang Nan to worry about. Ugh... looks like I won't be able to bluff my way out of this! Because of the situation, he hasn't mentioned anything yet, but I can't keep hiding this forever. What should I say when the time comes?" Bai Yunfei tried his best to think of a solution, but nothing came to mind.
"If I can't think of anything, I can only tell the 'truth.' ...I'll have to say that an accident happened when I became a Soul Sprite and caused the Fire-tipped Spear to become a soulbound armament. It's a little far-fetched, but since I have the 'precedent' of being able to enter the Anima Realm, I'm sure the master will accept this excuse, right?"
Afterward, Bai Yunfei thought about several other things that happened over the past few days. "Let's start upgrading then! I have to help Xinyun drive out that corrosive energy and find a way to recover my own strength. I'll think of a way to find a fireseed spirit mushroom later. Maybe there'll be another way to help Xinyun!"
Determined to upgrade, Bai Yunfei finished up his train of thought and grabbed ahold of an accessory. "Upgrade!"
For the next three days, Bai Yunfei continued to upgrade when he could. It wasn't as fast-paced as before, and he took breaks whenever he ran out of soulforce. Whenever he woke up, he'd wait for his soulforce to return to normal so that he'd be ready for any sort of danger in the future.
Tang Xinyun herself spent the few days she was up trying hard to recuperate and didn't come out of her room. Bai Yunfei didn't go see her either. Ever since the day Tang Xinyun had cried herself to sleep, Bai Yunfei felt as if a demon of temptation had cast a spell of regret over him. Even now, he didn't know how he should treat Tang Xinyun.
Both Cang Yu and Jiang Nan had completely healed more than a week ago. Hence, Jiang Nan and Song Lin went with the men from the Xiao to find anything they could about the destruction of the Sun, hoping to find clues that might point them in the direction of either the Beast Taming School or the Soul Refining School.
Their attempts proved fruitless. Not a single definite clue or even proof of their involvement was to be found...
Only Xiao Binzi and the others knew about the Soul Refining School, but since that was of an extreme importance to them and that there was no proof they were colluding with the Beast Taming School, Xiao Binzi warned them not to tell anyone else. The implications of the truth would be major if they really did try to investigate the trails of the two.
Having been instructed by Xiao Rang, Xiao Er began to zealously buy up all the accessories he could. Now that they were the strongest soul cultivator family in Curopia City, they weren't lacking money at all. They were even able to return or sell all the accessories Bai Yunfei had given them, giving Xiao Er even more spending power. While they would lose money, it wasn't a big loss for them. Though he still couldn't figure out the mystery, Xiao Er didn't feel like trying to divine what 'goal' Bai Yunfei had set. Xiao Er only cared about purchasing 'new' accessories.
By the third night, Bai Yunfei had accumulated even more +10 accessories that granted spirit. He began to slowly upgrade them...
He was worried-or perhaps it'd be better to say he was 'waiting'-for the side effects from over upgrading to appear... even though there might not be any signs, it was going to come nonetheless!