Everyone stood up from their seats to bow towards the elder. Rising from their bowing posture, they all then shifted their eyes to look at the little girl in slight surprise.
"Hn." The elder nodded without emotion. He turned to look at the little girl behind them and then pointed to Bai Yunfei. "This is the one who saved you, girl."
He seemed a little impatient at that. Perhaps he was tired of being around this girl for as long as he had already.
Bai Yunfei raised an eyebrow at the elder's actions, his mind already coming to a quick conclusion at what was going on when the little girl shifted her feet to shuffle towards him. Peering up at him with her delicate little face and wide-open eyes of child-like innocence, the girl looked hesitant for a moment.
Her feet shuffled slightly beneath her as if trying to muster up some courage.
"Big...brother...th-thank you for saving me..."
Already had Bai Yunfei realized that this was the little girl he saved back in Formagua City. Her childish actions sparked a hint of affection from Bai Yunfei. He lifted a hand to pat the girl on the head, "Haha, are you fully healed now? That's good."
The girl looked as if she wanted to shy from his hand at first, but in the end, she stood there and allowed Bai Yunfei's hand to pat her head. She felt something warm pass through her starting from her head; it was Bai Yunfei's soulforce. He was checking to see if she was completely back to full health or not.
"What's your name?" Bai Yunfei smiled patiently at her.
But the girl didn't have a positive response to that. Looking pained, she weakly replied, "I...I don't know...I don't remember anything..."
"Ah?" Bai Yunfei's head snapped up to look at elder Qi.
"The blood octopus' venom reached deep into her body and left a large mark on her. Her memories are gone. All she remembers is being dragged away by something and someone running after her from behind. That is most likely her memories of you chasing her underneath Formagua City."
"Lost her memories?" Bai Yunfei looked worried, "Can she recover that?"
"Recover?" Elder Qi snorted derisively. "It's improbable. And for what reason has she? Do you really believe it'd be a good idea for her to remember?"
It took a moment of silence before Bai Yunfei nodded in silent agreement.
This girl was most likely the sole survivor of the Formagua City incident. Her family was most likely dead, and it was unsure what other tragic horrors she witnessed back then in the city. Remembering traumatic events like that would be nothing good. And with her age, starting a new life wouldn't be too difficult.
"So this is the girl we saved? She's a cute little kid."
Zheng Kai spoke out. Like the others, he was smiling at the girl as soon as he saw her.
The little girl turned timidly towards Zheng Kai at his words. "He-hello uncle..." She bowed.
"Hey now..." Zheng Kai's face nearly slid off the palm he had been resting on when he heard the appellation he was being called by. "Little one, are your eyes alright?" He cried in mock-hurt. "Do I look that old to you? Call me brother. Big brother!"
Lian Lingmin laughed jovially at the interaction between the two. "What a cute little girl. She doesn't even know her name, so we should give her one. Yunfei, since you saved her, you should give her a new name."
"A new name?" Bai Yunfei blinked. He looked first at his friends and their looks of approval before then to the little girl who also had an expectant look on her own face. Scratching his nose, Bai Yunfei sighed. "Fine then..."
He looked over at the girl. The area around her neck had a single golden bell about the size of a peanut tied onto a small strip of cloth around it. Thinking back to it, Bai Yunfei remembered seeing the bell when he first saved her. It must've been a gift to her from her parents.
"Then what about 'Xiao Ling?" He smiled at last.
TL Note: Ling means bell.
Afterward, Xiao Ling was surrounded by everyone else. Both Lian Lingmin and Han Yue were at her left and right side to tease her while Zheng Kai-most likely still hurt from her earlier remark-was trying his best to have her call him big brother. Song Lin and the others watched the four interact with each other with smiles on their faces.
While they were doing that, Bai Yunfei sneaked a glance over to elder Qi. Even the unfriendly-looking old man had a sliver of a smile on his lips.
"Elder Qi," Bai Yunfei clasped his hands together, "I thank you for trying your best to heal her."
"No need for your thanks, this was no chivalrous act of charity but a 'deal'." Elder Qi replied neutrally.
"Haha, rest assured elder Qi. This one hasn't forgotten about our promise. I will prepare myself to craft a heaven-tier soul armament for your esteemed school at once.
"But I would like to ask, is Xiao Ling really okay? If that 'poison' really did rob her of her memories, wouldn't that mean there's any lingering danger in her?"
"Worry not. The poison has already been removed. She should be fine, she won't ever have to be afraid of any poison or venom."
"Oh? Why is that?"
"Her situation was very special. She should've been dead by all rights with her commoner's physique. But fate smiled upon her and she lived. Her body adapted to the misfortune that happened to her...
"Before, the poison had essentially melted into her body, changing it to a form most beneficial to the poison. A 'poison pearl' of the same quality of an earth-tier soul armament had already formed inside of her by the time we forced the poison out. Mutation. That's what happened to her. What used to be the body of a commoner is now the body of one that's 'immune' to poison."
"Immune? To poison? Do you mean to say that her body gained resistance against 'poison', and that she's impervious to poison?!"
"That is indeed what I meant. Even the poison of an early-stage class seven soulbeast wouldn't be able to affect her. If she were to complete her training and become stronger, then very few poisons in this world would be able to hurt her..."
"It's that amazing?!" Bai Yunfei gasped, Xiao Ling had a body so powerfully immune at the tender young age of seven or eight! If she had such a level of immunity as a commoner, what would she be like if she were to become a soul cultivator and fight against any poison user?
"Aside from that," Continued elder Qi. "The treatment of our school played another part on her body. She's gained talent as a soul cultivator of elemental darkness. Should she start her training in our Underworld School, she'll become a very powerful student."
"Oh?" Bai Yunfei raised an eyebrow, "Does that mean your esteemed school is planning on taking her in?"
"Correct." Elder Qi nodded. "We've already asked her, to which she agreed."
"I see..." Bai Yunfei went silent. He had been considering taking Xiao Ling back to the Crafting School with him before, but if she had a talent for elemental darkness, it'd best that she remain here in the Underworld School rather than the Crafting School.
"Elder Qi, I recall you said something about Xiao Ling's body forming a 'poison pearl' of the same quality of an earth-tier soul armament? Would it be possible for me to take a look?"
Though slightly confused by his request, the elder acquiesced and took out a small dark-purple pearl. "I was only surprised at the fact that it formed within her body. Despite its rarity, it's only as strong as a low-earth tier soul armament and not at all very strong."
Still curious, Bai Yunfei nodded his head and took the dark-purple pearl into his hand.
Equipment Grade: Low Earth
Elemental Affinity: Poison, Water, Darkness
Equipment Effect 1: 25% Increase in poison resistance.
Equipment Effect 2: Inflict poison upon contact. Reduce target's attributes proportional to their strength.
Upgrade Requirement: 90 Soulpoints
The stats of the poison pearl immediately popped into Bai Yunfei's mind as soon as he touched it, and upon seeing the stats, Bai Yunfei's eyes flickered with shock and excitement.