Chapter 416: Thunderberry
Already an extraordinary amount of time was spent by Bai Yunfei in this forest-the class six area alone took up a tremendous part of it. In that time, Bai Yunfei was fortunate enough to come across plenty of botanical treasures of considerable worth for even Soul Exalts.
This area was already well known by all soul cultivators for being a veritable treasure trove of medicines and herbs, so many soul cultivators traded what botanical treasures they found for primal stones.
But what treasures those soul cultivators might've found before, they would've paled in comparison to what Bai Yunfei was staring at, like a head of cabbage compared to a very old patch of ginseng.
"A thunderberry!!" Bai Yunfei's eyes were glued to the small patch of purple light on the cliff wall, his mouth only being capable of saying those two words.
Thunderberries were a rare sort of herb of the lightning variety. In a way, they were similar to the 'fireberry' Bai Yunfei had once ingested before.
The berry was a kilometer away from him, but he could feel the elemental lightning swimming through the air very distinctly, meaning that this particular thunderberry was ripened to a marvelously old age of a thousand years at the very least!
If Bai Yunfei had to appraise the tier of the thunderberry, then he could say with some confidence that it'd merit a grade of being a low-heaven tier ingredient!
Thunderberries were quite special on how they matured. For hundreds of years, they'd be practically indistinguishable compared to any other ordinary berry until one got within a meter close to it. Without that distance, it'd be almost impossible to tell what it was.
And not only were they rare, they were also small in size, making it even harder to find them. Only after a thunderberry reached an age of a thousand would it start to emit its true worth as an ingredient.
Bai Yunfei was by no means an expert on telling how old a thunderberry was. But there were a few things to consider. Since the aura a thunderberry emitted wasn't hard to find, it'd be rather hard to avoid. Furthermore, since this was the Soulbeast Forest, there were plenty of soulbeast's that'd wander around this particular area.
With those two factors combined, there was only a few reasons why this thunderberry hadn't been eaten yet.
Either it had only just matured a while ago, or a powerful 'master' was protecting the thunderberry from anyone that'd dare try to eat it.
The chances of the latter was quite high, but since Bai Yunfei had stumbled across it, he wouldn't let the chance go without a proper reason!
The thunderberry wasn't very useful for him personally, but Xiao Qi would see plenty of benefit! If Xiao Qi were to eat the thunderberry, Bai Yunfei was sure that he'd be able to find out if Xiao Qi was at its limits or not!
Xiao Qi was very clearly thinking of the same thing as Bai Yunfei. As soon as it saw the thunderberry and chirped to let Bai Yunfei know, it was already flitting around the air impatiently.
While impatient, Xiao Qi wasn't so impatient that it'd charge in. The area in front of them was uncharted territory where danger might lurk if they weren't careful.
Visibility couldn't be relied upon with how far away the mountain was, but Bai Yunfei could at least count on his soulsense to map out the place. Only a few dozen class five soulbeasts seemed to exist within several kilometers radius of the cliff wall, but aside from that, there didn't seem to be any powerful soulbeasts near the thunderberry.
Doubt entered Bai Yunfei's mind. It was suspicious that there'd be no danger here.
Most of the more valuable materials and ingredients he found in the Soulbeast Forest so far had been guarded by an especially powerful soulbeast in the area, so he found it strange that the thunderberry wouldn't have a soulbeast protecting it as well.
"Let's get closer and see." Bai Yunfei decided. Urging his Tempest Sword forward, he and Xiao Qi flew closer to where the thunderberry was.
From a kilometer, they gradually shortened the distance until they came to a stop a hundred meters away.
Even now, Bai Yunfei couldn't find anything strange in his surroundings.
"Is my luck really just that good?" He began to think. His soulsense was coming up with nothing strange even after multiple scans, prompting Bai Yunfei to walk fifty meters closer to the thunderberry.
"There's a cave?" Upon spotting the cave, Bai Yunfei began to grow wary once more. The cave had been hidden a bunch of tall grass growing this way and that, but with his soulsense, he was able to detect a ten meter tall cave hidden behind them.
With how tall the grass had grown in front of the cave, Bai Yunfei first thought that it had been abandoned a long time ago.
But for the sake of making sure, Bai Yunfei probed inside the cave with his soulsense.
If there was nothing in the cave, then he'd turn back, take the berry, and leave.
No sooner did Bai Yunfei's soulsense enter the cave did an ear-piercing shriek come echoing out the cave!!
A brilliant gleam of purple light flooded the entirety of the cave following the screech. Traveling through the corridors of the cave, it disintegrated the entirety of the tallgrass in front of the cave with a burst of elemental energy before zipping out of the cave like a lightning bolt to attack Bai Yunfei!
"Tsk!! I knew it wasn't going to be that easy!" Bai Yunfei howled to himself. He had been hopeful that such an event wouldn't happen, but he was prepared nonetheless. The Cataclysmic Seal materialized shortly afterwards and erected a barrier to protect him and Xiao Qi.
Another burst of elemental lightning collided against the barrier, but unlike what he expected, Bai Yunfei was thrown off to the sides from the blast!
Combined with the second fireseed, the barrier erected by the Cataclysmic Seal was stronger than normal, but faced against the strike just now, it had been nearly destroyed instantaneously!!
If he had just used the barrier without the second fireseed, then the barrier wouldn't have even slowed down the attack before being destroyed!
Recognizing that fact, Bai Yunfei was quick to make several leaps away. He was no stranger to ambushes like these and was usually quick to react. The miniaturized blue-eyes wyrm was thrown to the ground with a flash of light. Crashing to the ground, it returned to its full size and roared aloud in preparation to fight.
Meanwhile, the second fireseed within the Cataclysmic Seal was already floating out from the Cataclysmic Seal. Flashing through a dozen hand seals from a safe distance away, Bai Yunfei allowed for the fireseed to enter his body, granting him more power!
Dual Flame Art: 'Coil' Form!
"Chirp!!!!" Alongside Bai Yunfei, Xiao Qi prepred itself for battle as well. Elemental fire, wood, wind, and lightning spun around its body like individual rings, showing off power that wasn't any weaker than an early-stage class six soulbeast.
Only three or four seconds had passed since the purple figure came jettisoning out from the caves. With how many battles Bai Yunfei had taken part in, getting ready to battle in such a short amount of time was to be expected, especially when being ambushed.
On the other side, the figure retreated a few meters away after it attacked, hovering in the air long enough for Bai Yunfei to see.
"A thunderwing bat!!" His eyes widened upon identifying the soulbeast, "It's....it's at the peak late-stage class six level too!!"
Bai Yunfei expected to fight a powerful enemy when he first found the thunderberry, but he didn't think it'd be this strong of a foe. If anything, a soulbeast this strong should be the strongest in the entire class six area and should've been farther in the forest, not here!
Standing at six meters tall and two meters wide, the bat's wingspan was more than ten meters in length when fully extended. Talons as sharp as eagle claws were at the tip of its wings, teeth just as sharp adorned the jaw of the bat, and ears that were equally pointy stood at the top of its head. Its eyes shined a purple hue slightly different to the purple coloration of its body.
All in all, while it didn't look all too different from any other bat, it was still extremely terrifying to look at.
And every so often, streams of lightning would stream out from the bat's wings to arc around the bat slowly.
"Damnit, I didn't think there'd be a soulbeast like this here! No wonder there weren't any other soulbeasts here, this thunderberry was being protected by it....
"Should I....fight it? Or should I run?"
He had mistaken this encounter with the thunderberry was a blessing, but perhaps it'd be more accurate to say it was a curse. Fighting with the thunderfire wolf from Xing Yuan was more than enough for Bai Yunfei to understand just how strong these type of soulbeasts were. He had no confidence in beating one of them, so it'd be better for him to leave now.
But there'd be no way that the thunderwing bat would let Bai Yunfei enough time to even think. With a screech, it transformed into a bolt of lightning and flew straight for him!