Chapter 363: Accepting a Request
"Haha, Xiao Yi... is it? This request of yours... I'll take it."
Xiao Yi's heart practically leaped out of his throat when he saw his personal wealth get 'taken' so suddenly.
Upon realizing what exactly had been said to him, he turned his head with a hopeful smile, "What... what did you say?
"Are... are you going to help me get some stargrass?"
After a closer look, Xiao Yi noticed that the one who was speaking to him was a strange strawhat-wearing older male who had been sitting off in a corner earlier. The man hadn't done anything since Xiao Yi came in, so it was a surprise to everyone when the male to suddenly accepted this 'request' out of the blue.
Xiao Yi didn't doubt that this older male could help him get stargrass. After all, he had heard that this place was where all of the mighty soul cultivators gathered.
People back in his village were often afraid to even mention the term 'soul cultivators.'
He could only feel excitement that someone was finally willing to help him. Someone was willing to save his mother...
"It's only a few stalks of grass. I was about to head into the forest anyways, so I might as well find you some." The person replied with a pat on the head.
His voice was kind to the ears.
"Where do you live? I promise you that in two months, I'll bring back some stargrass for you."
Xiao Yi was so flushed with emotions that his face started to grow red and his eyes started to tear up. With a finger pointing towards his right, he spoke, "I... I live ten kilometers over there in a small village. The house on the right is mine. It's easy to find... I... I'll be waiting for you at the village gates. You'll find me straight away."
"There's still a village east of here?" Surprised to learn that there was still another village besides this town, the figure nodded, "Alright. I'll remember it. Hurry back home to your mother, I'll send the stargrass over when I find some."
"Okay!" Turning about, the boy ran to the exit.
Just two steps into his departure, he turned around. It seemed as if he remembered something.
"Oh! Big brother, I still don't know what your name is."
"Haha, I'm... Bai Yunfei."
"Bai Yunfei... okay! I'll remember it! I'll be waiting for you by the gates. You... you have to come, okay!"
"Ah, don't worry. I'll do as I promised."
Now that Xiao Yi was fully out of sight, Bai Yunfei turned to head back to his original seat to continue pouring over a map of the Soulbeast Forest.
His calm concentration was so thorough that he didn't even realize everyone was looking strangely at him.
At last, someone spoke.
"Sire..." The old man behind the counter hesitantly spoke first.
"Eh? Is there something you need, uncle He?" Bai Yunfei nodded in acknowledgement.
He knew that this man had the surname of He and was a worker of the guild. As such, the man was considerably strong, a late-stage Soul Sprite, but at his age, that meant his aptitude for being a soul cultivator was mediocre at best.
Still, the uncle named He was hesitant to reply, "Sire, that child just now... is from an unnamed village just ten kilometers east of here, but that village... it's filled with people of unfortunate happenstances. They're known to many as the 'pariahs.' They've nowhere to go in Praestia Pass and can only live in areas where soulbeasts can attack at any time. Sire, I hope that you'll..."
At first, Bai Yunfei was somewhat surprised at the exposition being explained to him, but with time, Bai Yunfei realized what the old man was getting at.
"Uncle He, are you thinking that I'd... promise to help Xiao Yi as some kind of joke? That I'd give a naive child a glimmer of hope and then trample all over it?"
"That... that wasn't my intention..." Uncle He looked embarrassed.
Bai Yunfei shook his head and looked around.
It appeared everyone else was thinking the same thing.
"I only thought it Xiao Yi's filial piety was impressive, so I wanted to lend a hand. If I said I'd accept his request, then I'll be sure to accomplish it. I wouldn't play along with a pitiful but determined child." Bai Yunfei explained.
Bai Yunfei turned back to look at his map. If people didn't believe him, then so be it. He didn't care.
"Hah, just listen to him. Is he really going to go into the Soulbeast Forest for some stargrass?"
"Only the class five area has stargrass, he's only a late-stage Soul Sprite, yet he's still wanting to look for stargrass? Methinks he's overestimating himself..."
"Don't say it like that. He looks like he's in his early twenties at most, but if he's already a late-stage Soul Sprite, he has to be very talented. Maybe he's the heir to some sort of big clan?"
"Young and brash. Give them some strength and they think they're invincible. If he's going to be this kind, I predict he's going to lose his life one day if he's not careful."
"What makes you think he's alone? Can't say he's not here with family or people older than him?"
"Didn't you see him walk up to the counter two hours ago? He's been doing nothing but look at that map the entire day. Doesn't seem like he's waiting for anybody. I'd say he's here by himself."
Chatter broke out in the guild again, and it was only natural that Bai Yunfei could hear it. He didn't mind though. All he cared for was the map in front of him.
It wasn't as though he wanted to pretend like he was deep in concentration.
He simply couldn't understand the map, even after two hours of looking at it!
The terrain was beyond complex with markings, directions, and special symbols that garbled his mind.
This was the most basic map!
"Uncle He, if I could just ask, where exactly can I... find some stargrass on this map?" Unable to make heads or tails of the map any longer, Bai Yunfei deferred to the older man for assistance.
A pleasantly surprised smile made its way onto the man's face upon seeing that Bai Yunfei didn't seem to be leading Xiao Yi on, "If it's stargrass, I've heard some people say before that they find it most often by Spoon Lake in the class five zone. The lake's shaped like a tablespoon like its name implies, and the area around the handle had stargrass in abundance."
"I see..." Bai Yunfei nodded his head in understanding, "Then what does this small red dot mean?"
Another wave of shock crashed over uncle He's face. "What in the world were you looking at for two hours if not the map?" He seemed flabbergasted.
With only a mental drop of sweat weighing down on his mind, uncle He spoke up, "Those indicate spots where soulbeasts are known to appear. That map you're holding is the simplest one, so it doesn't reveal any information about the strength or the type of soulbeast. However, I can tell you that the soulbeasts around Lake Spoon are mostly class five goldhorned rhinos. As it turns out, stargrass is what they love to eat the most."
"Ah, goldhorned rhinos, thank you for that information, uncle He." Bai Yunfei nodded in affirmation before thinking of the best way to reach Lake Spoon.
Bai Yunfei's reaction to this information was equally shocking to uncle He. At first, the man thought he hadn't heard Bai Yunfei correctly, but that didn't make sense. What kind of ignorant late-stage Soul Sprite would remain so calm after hearing that he'd have to fight class five soulbeasts to achieve his goals? If uncle He had to put his finger on it, he'd say that Bai Yunfei was treating soulbeasts as if they were regular beasts and weren't a threat to be taken seriously at all.
While Bai Yunfei was lost in his own thoughts, a voice suddenly asked from behind him, "Friend, are you really planning to go the class five area?"