Chapter 473: A Trap!
This particular bewitching fox had the same idea as the bone-eating treefly. By 'squatting' near the entrance of the Crack in the Sky, it spent most of its time waiting for prey. This one was close to becoming a late-stage class six soulbeast and had spent a good twenty years or so preying on unsuspecting soul cultivators to kill and empower itself.
Unlike the two bone-eating treeflies who only wished to devour soul cultivators for power, this bewitching fox knew soul cultivators had another valuable good on their bodies.
Their space rings, to be exact. Countless primal stones and soulgems were hidden inside those rings, and the fox knew it'd help its training out by a substantial degree.
There was two reasons why the bewitching fox never drew close to the bone-eating tree flies. Firstly, they were stronger than it was, and their intelligence was far too low for its Mesmerization to be of any use.
So it decided to kill any soul cultivator that might not have made contact with them or any soul cultivators fortunate enough to escape at its convenience. Due to its high intelligence, it would always stay far away from the area whenever a strong opponent such as a peak late-stage Soul Exalt came by.
For twenty years the fox continued to grow and prosper until it was oh-so-close to becoming a late-stage class six. Its strength was substantially stronger than what it was when it first arrived, and it could fight a late-stage Soul Exalt sometimes. If it used its Mesmerization arts, then even they would find themselves virtually defenseless and die cursing it.
At one point, the fox was able to use its Mesmerization to allure two late-stage Soul Exalts who already hated each other. It only took a little more prodding before the two of them were at each other's necks. From there, the fox watched as the two fought before coming in when both sides were near-death to suck up their origin essences and their lives.
It was actually through that one encounter that the fox was able to become a mid-stage class six.
Tonight, it just so happened that Bai Yunfei became the fox's next target. It was only just coming back from the class five area through the Crack in the Sky when it noticed Bai Yunfei fighting the bone-eating treeflies. Hiding a good distance away, it waited for Xiao Qi and the thunderfire wolf to chase after the one that left before planning its attack on Bai Yunfei.
The fox didn't see Bai Yunfei use his Berserk Mode to kill the treefly, so it assumed Bai Yunfei was only a mid-stage Soul Exalt and was thus an easy enough target for it to kill.
As it decided on a means of attack on Bai Yunfei, the fox was suddenly met with yet another intrusion on the other side of the Crack in the Sky. Peering in, it saw two mid-stage Soul Exalts massacring a group of students from the Aroma School.
This particular bewitching fox had never once stepped beyond the confines of the Soulbeast Forest, but living for so long in this place gave it a good degree of knowledge on the neighboring provinces. It only took a quick few glances at the murdered students to morph itself into a similar appearance. By pretending to be a student, the fox then used its Mesmerization to catch the eye of the two brothers.
Those who embraced their desires were a much easier target for the fox to influence. All it took was a single usage of its Mesmerization to heighten the brother's desire to kill and suppress their rationality. Through this, the brothers would take the fox to be a student of the Aroma School and would thus chase after it to kill.
The next step in the plan was to have them run into Bai Yunfei and duke it out. The two would kill Bai Yunfei, and the fox would in turn kill the two Soul Exalts with ease.
Every plan has its problems, and the fox had never guessed that Bai Yunfei would instead kill the two Soul Exalts!
His quick work of the two filled the fox with fear, actually. Its first instinct was to run, but then it noticed that something was amiss with Bai Yunfei.
From there, the fox deduced that he must've used some sort of technique that took a lot of energy.
And that meant Bai Yunfei would be an easier target to kill!
A new step was added to the plan then. The fox would use its Mesmerization to inhibit Bai Yunfei's sense of reason and increase his libido. With an ample amount of time and acting, Bai Yunfei would be in the perfect situation to kill.
But then the second problem in its plan came in the form of Bai Yunfei countering its ambush with one of his own!!
His ridiculing sneer and ominous eyes brought a chill to the fox's skin then. And once again, it started to fear for its life....
The revealment of the fox's 'identity' startled him more than the fox itself! Not once did Bai Yunfei think he'd meet one of the 'legendary' bewitching foxes!
"Her Mesmerization is pretty amazing. I didn't even know about it until it was almost too late and lost myself...." Bai Yunfei sighed. He spoke earlier that he had been in charge the entire case, but that wasn't true. For a brief moment, he was treading on very thin ice.
He hadn't detected the Mesmerization, that was true. His strength as a mid-stage Soul Exalt wasn't stronger than the fox, so it'd be impossible for him to personally detect it.
But that's why he had his upgraded equipment!
The +12 ring he had on his right hand decreased the effects of mind-based attacks, and it would tell him when such an attack was happening!
It warned him as soon as the fox used its Mesmerization on him. Knowing that, Bai Yunfei knew this 'woman' wasn't as innocent as she seemed. Something was off with the two Soul Exalts as well, their bloodlust was a little 'too' much, even for the standards of this world. It seemed as though they thought about nothing but slaughter.
After confirming that the two Soul Exalts were bewitched by the fox's Mesmerization, Bai Yunfei grew uninterested in 'saving' the two. Their deaths had been quick, but costly, due to the effects of the +13 additional effect of the Fire-tipped Spear.
There was a reason why he used that effect; it was to confuse the 'true enemy'. He wanted to trick the fox into thinking that he had taken out the two Soul Exalts without problem, but he misjudged the effects of losing half his soulforce and 'accidentally' showed her.
Bai Yunfei finding out she was a bewitching fox had been the real surprise though. So real, that Bai Yunfei forgot about attacking her after that.
"So you're a bewitching fox. You had the same idea as the bone-eating treeflies then. Killing all those people, I mean? Even me being here didn't escape your notice...."
"Hmph! How brazen you are! One of us will live, and the other will die! I'll show you the true power of the bewitching foxes!!" The fox howled. Red light started to shine from the woman's as elemental fire started to manifest around her. In the next second, the woman's body blurred away and turned into a yellow-colored fox the same size of an ox!
She had returned to her soulbeast form!
The fox was afraid. For the first time in a while, it would have to reveal its full strength to make battle.
"Brat!! This place will be your burial grounds!!" The fox boomed. A giant tail swung out behind the fox, crashing through a tree.
Bai Yunfei froze up. His eyes widened with yet another wave of shock. "You're....you're kidding! You're a guy! That's not fair!!"
He was right! The reason why Bai Yunfei was surprised because of the voice he heard....
The fox's voice was not high-pitched like what a female would have. Instead, it was deep, just like a male!
The fox was....a male bewitching fox! That beautiful woman who had only just been standing in front of him a while ago 'genderbent' itself into a male!
A wave of dread washed over Bai Yunfei. He thought about what he had done before then, and what the fox did. It's declaration of 'devotion', the 'half-hug' they shared....
Goosebumps came to life all over Bai Yunfei's skin....
The bewitching fox clearly took no hesitation in attacking Bai Yunfei as he was lost in thought. Opening its jaws wide open, it fired off a burst of elemental fire to aim at Bai Yunfei!
Forming elemental bursts of fire like this wasn't uncommon for soulbeasts to do. Their attacks were far more concentrated with elemental energy, but the one the fox fired off was far stronger than what a late-stage class six soulbeast would be capable of. The fireball traveled closely to the ground, scorching the earth where it traveled.
Bai Yunfei was engulfed in a fiery explosion, kicking up dirt and stone where the crater formed.
"Bang!" Before the fireball could fully dissipate from sight, an even stronger stream of fire appeared from the dust cloud. Protected by the Cataclysmic Seal, Bai Yunfei stepped out from it, his entire body also protected by a layer of fire. His anger was extremely noticeable to see in his eyes, and the Fire-tipped Spear was gripped tightly in his hands.
"You being a soulbeast wasn't bad enough. You're a male that loves to pretend to be a female and tried to 'seduce' me....enough is enough!"