Chapter 81: Frantically Rising in Power
The Green Willow Sect. Within the western wing courtyard.
Bai Yunfei had returned to his room, then quietly remained inside for an hour. Only then did he once more re-emerge as he walked to Hong Yin's nearby room.
"Big brother Hong Yin, there's something I would like to ask you to help me with..."
Hong Yin brought him into the room, then sat down and smiled. "Yunfei, I was planning to go find you. I want to give you something."
Bai Yunfei was startled. "Something for me? What?"
Hong Yin nodded slightly. Waving his arm, he made a crimson bracer appear, then offered it to Bai Yunfei. "This. I'm giving it to you as a gift."
Bai Yunfei, slightly puzzled, accepted the bracer, then in a practiced manner sent his thoughts into it.
"Equipment quality: high-class rare"
"Defensive power: 465"
"Upgrade requirements: 78 soulpoints"
The information that appeared in his mind caused Bai Yunfei to feel startled. He cried out involuntarily, "A high-grade human-ranked soul item!"
"Eh?" This time, it was Hong Yin's turn to be slightly startled. He looked at Bai Yunfein in surprise. "Yunfei, you just gave it a single glance, but you were able to tell its rank?"
Bai Yunfei came back to his senses. Without answering the question, he asked in surprise, "Big brother Hong Yin, you are going to give it to me?"
Hong Yin nodded. "Right. I have no soul technique scrolls on me, and I imagine that in the next few days, you won't have any time to train in soul techniques. I acquired this bracer by accident, and I'm now giving it to you. I imagine that it should be of help to you in your duel seven days from now."
"Well..." Bai Yunfei was rather hesitant.
"Don't decline. You've addressed me as 'big brother'; there's nothing untoward about me giving you an item. What you need to do is work hard to improve your combat power, so as to better deal with your battle seven days from now. Worry about other matters later..." Hong Yin forestalled Bai Yunfei's words with a laugh and this explanation.
Bai Yunfei looked at the smiling Hong Yin. He was silent for a long moment, but in the end he accepted and put away the bracer, then said with sincerity, "Then...many thanks, big brother Hong Yin!"
Hong Yin nodded lightly, then asked, "Right...you said you needed my help? Whatever you need from me, just tell me."
Bai Yunfei didn't beat around the bush. He said seriously, "Right. I want to ask you to go help me buy a few things."
"Buy a few things? Buy what?" Hong Yin said, puzzled.
Bai Yunfei nodded. "Weapons and jewelry. Sabers, swords, daggers, knives, bracelets, rings...I want to ask you to help me buy them. The more the better. I need at least a few hundred!"
Hong Yin was momentarily startled. He stared at Bai Yunfei in a very strange way. "Yunfei, are you joking with me? Why do you want to buy these things at a time like this?"
Bai Yunfei wasn't joking around at all. A very serious look on his face, he said, "Big brother Hong Yin, this is extremely important to me. It involves my duel seven days from now! This is a secret of mine. I trust you, and so I am asking you to help me, big brother Hong Yin. For now, I can't explain it clearly, but in short...after this matter is concluded, I'll explain to you in detail. Alright?"
Hong Yin frowned slightly. As he looked at the serious Bai Yunfei, he pondered for a moment, then relaxed and nodded. "Fine! Yunfei, I'll do as you ask! Although I don't know what you are planning, I have a feeling that you are going to bring me a surprise, right?"
Bai Yunfei laughed lightly. "I think...I won't disappoint you, big brother Hong Yin."
Late night. Within the quiet courtyard in the west wing. Bai Yunfei quietly sat on his bed, staring at the black ring within his hand.
This was something which Hong Yin had brought back for him after having gone out in the afternoon; it was part of his 'equipment'. This interspatial ring had an extremely large storage space; it contained hundreds of weapons and jewelry within it. The first time he had mentally swept the insides of the interspatial ring, even Bai Yunfei himself couldn't help but take a deep breath. The amount within...he wondered if Hong Yin had perhaps completely wiped out the inventories of all the weapon shops and jewelry shops within the city.
After pondering for a time, Bai Yunfei put the ring on his finger, then took out from within the ring the bracer which Hong Yin had gifted to him.
The bracet was completely crimson; it was rather similar to the Firetipped Spear in that regard. It was plainly designed, without any decorations. It was very smooth, and even in the darkness of the night, it radiated a hint of light. After carefully observing it for a period of time, Bai Yunfei put the bracer on his right arm, pushing it past his wrist and up to his right elbow. It protected nearly the entirety of his lower arm, and it felt rather soft and elastic. He filled with just a hint of his soulforce, and could sense the his lower arm clench slightly. The bracer was now completely pressed against his lower arm, and a surge of heat came from it, giving Bai Yunfei a sense of greater power.
He experimentally waved his right arm a few times. It didn't feel the least bit uncomfortable. He pulled out a dagger, then hacked down towards the bracer strongly...and the dagger snapped. The bracer wasn't even marked.
He nodded slightly, a look of delight appearing on his face. "With this...my strength has improved yet again. Then...I'll upgrade it first."
Roughly ten minutes later.
"Equipment quality: high-class rare"
"Upgrade level: +10"
"Defensive power: 465"
"Bonus defensive power: 253"
"+10 secondary effect: When blocking attacks, there is a 5% chance of absorbing part of the attack power and converting it into personal attack power, releasing it with your next attack. It can be held for 3 seconds. The amount of converted attack power cannot exceed the defensive strength of this item."
"Upgrade requirements: 78 soulpoints."
"It can absorb and convert attacks? Does that mean...that not only can it block attacks, it can make an enemy's power my own for a time? Good, good! At a critical moment, it can produce a wondrous effect!" Bai Yunfei's eyes were shining. After carefully scrutinizing the item, he put away the bracer, then rubbed his forehead, a slightly tired look on his face. "I used up more than half of my soulforce. Then...I'll continue. Next I'll upgrade ordinary items en masse. No matter what...I need to increase my power as much as I can within the next seven days!"
He picked up a shortsword, glancing at it, then murmured mentally, "Upgrade."
Several minutes later.
"Upgrade failed. Equipment destroyed."
Bai Yunfei's eyes focused. Before the shortsword transformed into scrap metal and dissipated, he put it back within his interspatial ring, then pulled out a three-foot long saber.
Continuous upgrading. After having destroyed eight items, Bai Yunfei's soulforce was finally used up, and he fell down onto the bed.
Roughly five hours later, the comfortably sleeping Bai Yunfei's fingers twitched slightly. He then slowly opened his eyes, once more standing up. He lifted up his arms, massaging his temples, a slight frown on his face, as though he were in pain.
"Forcibly waking myself up really feels quite miserable..." Bai Yunfei mumbled these words, then shook his head and withdrew a shortsword from his interspatial ring. "But...this isn't the time to complain. Since I've decided, I need to go all out!"
After another ten minutes or so, Bai Yunfei had once more exhausted his soulforce. He collapsed onto the bed.
By the time he once more woke up, it was already day. Not resting at all, he immediately grabbed another weapon and continued to upgrade.
Upgrade. Faint. Wake. Upgrade.
This was a continuous cycle. Like a man possessed, Bai Yunfei ignored all consequences as he frantically worked to increase his power.
After he had killed Zhang Yang, Bai Yunfei's only thoughts had been of avoiding conflict and fleeing. He wanted to carefully flee out of Qingyun Province and escape the attacks of his pursuers. But now...since he could no longer flee, his only choice was to fight with all his power!
Thus, Bai Yunfei had used this method of frantically increasing his power, a method he had never before dared to use. Even though the repercussions were unknown, he needed to grow stronger, stronger, stronger! Strong enough to defeat the foes who were chasing him, and then openly leave Qingyun Province!
Time passed, one day at a time. The door to Bai Yunfei's room had remained shut this entire time. He had prepared much sustenance prior to this, and so he didn't even need people to send food. Chu Yuhe, Qiu Luliu, Mu Wanqing, and You Qingfeng would often come stand outside of the courtyard in the west wing, but they didn't disturb him. They would just stand there for a while, softly ask Hong Yin, who had been standing out guard this entire time, if there had been any noticeable changes, then leave.
Hong Yin had remained on guard outside the courtyard this entire time. He watched as time slipped onwards, and he felt extremely worried in his heart. For the sake of not disturbing Bai Yunfei, he had never tried to find out what was going on inside. All he could do was sense in a vague way that Bai Yunfei's aura seemed to be constantly growing in strength at a very strange rate...but nothing dangerous seemed to be happening, and so he just waited quietly, prepared to deal with any sudden emergencies as necessary.
"Equipment quality: Superior"
"Upgrade level: +10"
"Secondary attribute: Strength +33"
"+10 secondary effect: The arm which is wearing this item will have strength increased by +150 points"
"Upgrade requirements: 22 soulpoints."
Yet another upgrade success. The information which entered Bai Yunfei's mind caused his eyes to light up. In fact, for a moment he forgot how tired he was. Staring at the amber bracelet in his hand, he revealed a look of delight on his face. "Strength increase! Excellent! This is an effect I've needed this entire time!"
He put away the bracelet. As he temporarily lost control of his emotions, a sense of absolute exhaustion flooded his mind. Bai Yunfei hurriedly gritted his teeth, once more picking up another ring, one which flashed with red light.
"I'm about to hit my limit again soon. How many points did I use up? I'm somewhat unsure...nearly 2000 soulpoints, right? I can feel as though I'm about to break into the late Soul Warrior stage..."
"I have four more days left...I wonder how many soulpoints are needed for the Soul Sprit stage. In short...I need to continue!"
"Upgrade failed. Equipment destroyed."
Bai Yunfei subconsciously put away the destroyed equipment, then picked out another item.
"Eh? What was the earlier upgrade at? Was it +9 or it was it +10? I don't even remember...I'm at my limit again. It doesn't matter...I need to seize every instant!"
At the beginning, Bai Yunfei had intentionally put away some of the items he had been lucky enough to upgrade to +10. Towards the end, however, the constant upgrade process had become almost an automatic, robotic decision. Upgrade. Upgrade again. Destruction. Switch item. Upgrade again. In fact, he wasn't even sure how many upgrades he had performed, or what upgrade level he had reached. All of the items he had upgraded were beginning to slowly blur together.
All he knew was a single thing - that he was to continue upgrading. He would feel as the soulforce in his power slowly was used up until depletion, at which point he would pass out. After waking up, he would verify the time, then continue upgrading...
Day after day, night after night...seven days passed in the blink of an eye like this!