Chapter 90: Departure
Bai Yunfei thought for a moment before temporarily putting those thoughts aside for later. Raising his head, he said, "Ah, brother Hong Yin, there is still something concerning the Bloodhowl Fang that I need to tell you."
"Eh? Concerning the Bloodhowl Fang?" Hong Yin was surprised. Then as if thinking of something, he grew worried and asked, "Is it because it was upgraded, there's some sort of side effect to using it? Don't tell me that it'll impair the soul item in some way?"
Bai Yunfei shook his head with a smile, "Brother Hong Yin, don't worry. It's not that. As it is now, this soul item won't have any side effects. I just wanted to tell you aside from it being increased in strength by a half, there is... there is still an even more special 'function'."
Hong Yin sighed in relief before asking in confusion, "A special 'function'? What does that mean?"
"Oh, that is...." Bai Yunfei thought for a moment. He was unsure of how to explain this additional effect to him and had to ponder to himself before finally explaining, "When you are using the Bloodhowl Fang against an opponent, there is a thirty-percent chance that your opponent will have his or her body's capabilities reduced by twenty-percent. For example, speed and strength. When you feel some of your soulforce leak into your Bloodhowl Fang without your control, that means that you have activated this special 'function'."
"Eeee..." When Hong Yin heard what Bai Yunfei said, he still had the same look of confusion as before. "What... what do you mean by that?"
It was not as if he did not comprehend what Bai Yunfei was saying. It was only that, to his knowledge, there had never been a soul item that had such a 'function' like this before, so he was quite distracted.
Bai Yunfei nodded his head in earnest, "You didn't hear wrong, and I'm not joking with you. It's as I say. In a battle, there is a chance to weaken your opponent's fighting capabilities."
"Is what you're saying true?" Hong Yin's eyebrows creased together unconvinced, "But..."
"How about this. We will test it out and let big brother Hong Yin experience the feeling. I believe that you will understand what I mean then." Bai Yunfei laughed gently before taking the Bloodhowl Fang into his own hands. "I'll attack you right now. Naturally, I'll make the simplest chopping motion. Brother Hong Yin just needs to block it. I doubt there'll be any problems now will there?"
Hong Yin looked at the earnest look on Bai Yunfei's face with some excitement. He could see that Bai Yunfei held the Bloodhowl Fang and gave a rather expecting nod, "En, that's fine. I'll see for myself just how special that 'function' of yours is!"
Bai Yunfei said nothing more. He hoisted the dagger to gently slash it down toward Hong Yin. Hong Yin formed a sword with his fingers. A nearly invisible azure-colored light appeared on the tips of his fingers and blocked the Bloodhowl Fang. Naturally, there was no actual effort of fighting seriously from Bai Yunfei. Otherwise, a middle-grade heaven-ranked soul item would never be able to be so easily blocked like this.
After the fourth strike, Bai Yunfei's eyes began to sparkle as he felt a part of his soulforce trickle into the soul item without his control - effect activated! With this realization, he stopped attacking and displayed a faint smile at Hong Yin.
The split-second after blocking the fourth 'attack', Hong Yin's curious expression was replaced by a thunderstruck one. His entire body began to slightly tremble, and he took several unconscious steps back. Then, with a terrified look at his right hand, he evidently realized the changes that had occurred in his body.
"This... this..." Hong Yin's head turned to look at Bai Yunfei in complete disbelief.
Bai Yunfei smiled, "How is it? Brother Hong Yin, did you feel that your strength had suddenly dropped by twenty-percent or so? There's no need to worry. It'll last another ten seconds, but you'll recover even faster if you use your soulforce to resist it."
Two seconds after Bai Yunfei had finished speaking, Hong Yin's expression loosened before he resumed his usual one. Still in shock, Hong Yin stared at the soul item in Bai Yunfei's hand before slowly speaking, "It's really... Yunfei, you're saying that as long as I use this to fight, there is a thirty-percent chance for the opponent to enter the same state I was in?"
Bai Yunfei nodded before handing the Bloodhowl Fang back.
Hong Yin accepted it with a stunned glance at the soul item in his hands. Finally recollecting it, he sighed to calm down his nerves and looked back at Bai Yunfei with a strange expression. "Yunfei, you're really... you must know that if word of you being able to make such a 'change' to this Bloodhowl Fang were to get out, how much of a clamor that would make?"
Bai Yunfei laughed, "I know about that naturally, but I think that brother Hong Yin won't easily tell my secret, would you?"
Hong Yin looked at him for a half moment longer before suddenly breaking out with a laugh. Excitement flashed through his eyes, "Yunfei. I'm really glad to have rescued you. I didn't expect such a huge return so quickly. The way I see it, using the fireseed spirit mushroom to receive a transformed Bloodhowl Fang was completely worth it."
"Brother Hong Yin's fireseed spirit mushroom was an act of kindness that saved my life. To upgrade the strength of the Bloodhowl Fang was something that was only a slight effort in repaying my debts. Please do not worry about it."
"A slight effort..." Hong Yin's eyebrows slightly flew up. Deciding not to continue asking about this, he asked, "Ah, Yunfei, are you prepared to leave from here? Where do you plan to go next?"
Bai Yunfei nodded, "En, I've given it some thought. After a few more days, I will leave here. If not for the Glacial School, I would have already been in the Beiyan Province. I'll go straight through Beiyan toward the Pingchuan Province to pay a visit to the Crafting School."
"Oh? Do you really plan on going to the Crafting School?"
"Yes. I would say that brother Hong Yin has a bit of understanding with my secret. It is best shown on soul items, but after a certain point of upgrading, there is a big risk of completely destroying the soul item. For example, the Bloodhowl Fang is at the best I can upgrade it without risk of destroying it. If I tried to continue and upgrade it, there is a chance it would have been destroyed, leaving us with nothing. Therefore, I wish to visit the Crafting School; if I can learn to craft soul items myself, then combined with my abilities, I should be able to accomplish much more. Plus, brother Hong Yin said that those from the Crafting School are capable of recrafting and strengthening a soul item to make it even stronger. I wish to know this as well and see if there is any relation with the method I have."
"It's... possible to make it stronger...?" Hong Yin's lips twitched as he failed to keep his shock from showing. He never would have thought that the increase of strength already done to the Bloodhowl Fang was considered to be in that 'risk-free range'. Although Bai Yunfei said that there was an ever-increasing risk of the soul item being destroyed, he did not say it would always end in failure. If he succeeded, then the power then... let alone his mind, Hong Yin's heart was quickly leaping in place.
"Ah, brother Hong Yin. What do you plan to do from here on out?" Just as Hong Yin was stuck deep in his thoughts, Bai Yunfei's voice snapped him back to reality.
"I'll stay here in Qingyun for a while. I originally came here to look for senior Ge Yiyun, but since I've stayed in Cuiliu City for several days, I don't even know if senior Ge is still in the Qingyun Province..."
"Is that so? Then it seems that we'll be destined to meet again in the future. If brother Hong Yin ever needs my help in the future, please come to the Crafting School and find me."
"Haha, the Crafting School is very stringent on accepting apprentices. Are you that positive that you'll be accepted in, Yunfei?" Hong Yin chuckled before explaining himself, "But if it's you, I doubt there'll be any problems. You are a soul cultivator with the property of fire and have the strength of a Soul Sprite. As long as there is no suspicions to your character, the Crafting School will not decline you. Furthermore, you haven't entered the Crafting School yet but you already own a personalized soul item. A feat like this is pretty awe-inspiring to the Crafting School. Being inducted straight into the Crafting School as a leading disciple wouldn't be too unimaginable."
"Personalized soul item..." Hearing this, Bai Yunfei couldn't help but look at the Flameblade Bracer wrapped tightly around his right wrist. Fingering the space ring on his hand, Bai Yunfei could feel the presence of the Firetipped Spear inside. There was a wonderful feeling between he and the two soul items, and even the response from the Firetipped Spear could be felt.
"Oh. Brother Hong Yin, I'll give this space ring back to you." Bai Yunfei suddenly remembered that Hong Yin had brought him all the equipment he used to train in a space ring with considerable size inside. Taking it out, Bai Yunfei wished to return it to Hong Yin.
Hong Yin carelessly waved his hand, "You take it, Yunfei. I don't need this space ring."
"Oh, then I'll have to thank brother Hong Yin again." Bai Yunfei didn't decline the ring and placed it back within his robes.
Hong Yin tilted his head down in thought before seemingly coming to some resolution. With a shake of his right hand, he took out a white skull fragment belonging to some sort of beast. It was about the size of his palm and he offered it to Bai Yunfei.
"Yunfei, take this with you. I believe that one day, you'll enter the Soulbeast Forest to find your own soul beast to partner with. Many soul beasts now treat soul cultivators with hostility because many soul cultivators have had an extreme change in attitude toward soul beasts. In the future, if you come across a strong beast, take this out. As long as there isn't some sort of conflict between you and the soul beast, they will not make things difficult for you."
"Soulbeast Forest? Why would I go there?"
"You've forgotten what I said. Every soul cultivator wishes to have a strong soul beast as a partner. You won't understand this now, but you will understand when you enter the Crafting School and become stronger. When the time comes for you to gain a soul beast to call a partner, you must treat them as you would a friend. Don't be like some soul cultivators and treat soul beasts like a slave or a sacrificial pawn..."
"Don't worry, brother Hong Yin. I've long since learned from you how to treat a soul beast." Bai Yunfei looked to Xiao Tang on Hong Yin's shoulder. Taking the bone fragment, he asked, "But this, how do I use it? Do I just need to take it out? Why is it that I feel that this is just a regular-looking bone fragment?"
"Pour a bit of your soulforce into it." Hong Yin instructed.
Bai Yunfei did as Hong Yin instructed, and pushed his soulforce into it. The bone fragment immediately flashed with a red light before a blood-colored wolf suddenly appeared over the bone. There was a tyrannical aura that exuded from it, and Bai Yunfei nearly dropped the bone fragment in fright as if this red light was the precursor to an explosion. However, he was able to quickly calm himself.
Hong Yin chuckled, "It's as you see it. Though you have to remember, use it for a soulbeast with extraordinary strength and is advanced enough to be able to speak with the human tongue. Soul beasts of an inferior level won't be able to recognize such a thing."
Bai Yunfei thought for a moment with hesitation. "Brother Hong Yin, something like this... shouldn't it be extremely precious? Yet you're giving it to me..."
"You don't need to pay attention to that, just take it." Hong Yin waved his hand. "You call me brother, and I, Hong Yin see you as a friend, so there is no need for these formalities. The continent is boundless, but the world of soul cultivators can be small at times. We will definitely meet again."
"Then... I won't say anything more about it. If brother Hong Yin wishes to increase the power of his soul items, then please find me. This is the only way I can think of ever repaying you with my skillset..." Bai Yunfei spoke in embarrassment.
"What are you saying? You speak as if your brother Hong Yin is just treating you as a way to help strengthen my soul items." Hong Yin laughed. "But still. When you enter the Crafting School, there'll be a day when you become a crafting artisan and there will be plenty of people looking to have you make a soul item for them. When the day comes for me to find you, you have to make me your first priority in making an exceptional soul item."
"No problem! As long as I can do it, I will definitely make brother Hong Yin a one-of-a-kind soul item!!"
Bai Yunfei took the bone fragment and thought for a moment before asking, "Brother Hong Yin, I'm still not that experienced in combat. With this sudden explosion of strength, I still need to be able to coordinate myself in an actual fight. For the next few days, could I trouble brother Hong Yin in exchanging blows with me and giving me pointers on fighting?"
"Of course! Why not here and now? Let me see just how familiar you've become with your power as a middle Soul Sprite."
In the following days, Bai Yunfei became at ease with himself, and focused completely on familiarizing himself with his strength with Hong Yin. He profited greatly from their sessions, and sometimes even You Qingfeng would come to be the one to fight him. As a result, Bai Yunfei's skill in combat improved by leaps and bounds with a tremendous amount of experience.
In his spare time, Bai Yunfei would sometimes travel with Chu Yuhe. The girl knew that he would be leaving in a few days and was reluctant to see him go. He had to guarantee her many times that he would be back one day to find her in order to make her feel better.
In these few days, Bai Yunfei had felt that he was getting by quite richly. It had been a fight for survival since he had stopped in Luoshi City, and now he could feel the warmth of having everyone as friends.
Six days later outside the gates to Cuiliu City in the morning.
Bai Yunfei was sent off by everyone. After leaving the extremely eventful Cuiliu City, he began to trek toward the Beiyan Province.
Before he had left, You Qingfeng had given him a sealed letter and had told him he would be able to reach Gaoyi City after making his way through the Beiyan Province to the Pingchuan Province. In the city would be the Liu family which was an affiliated power of the Wood School. If Bai Yunfei needed any help at that time, he would be able to hand over the letter to the Li family.
After walking several hundred meters, Bai Yunfei turned his head back to slowly look at everyone. Hong Yin, Chu Yuhe, Qiu Luliu, You Qingfeng, and Mu Wanqing... in comparison to when he had stumbled and scrambled to escape from Luoshi City to his hurried exit from Baifeng City, leaving Cuiliu City with so many people sending him off unexpectedly brought forth a feeling, never-before felt, of reluctance to leave.
Seeing everyone wave their hands, Bai Yunfei sucked in a deep breath and turned away resolutely. He gradually disappeared down the road.
After several twists and turns, Bai Yunfei had finally stepped out of this 'trap' that had been his 18 years of life, and had finally stepped onto this unknown-filled 'path of freedom'...
With the Crafting School as his goal and the need to transverse through the Beiyan Province, what other wonderful stories will be told here?
Whatever may happen on this unknown road, one would only know after walking it....
The first book has ended, but my heart still feels a little sorrow. I had originally planned on making the departure a little more detailed, but because I'm not experienced with describing emotional moments, I couldn't accurately depict it. And so my brush has made its course. After an entire day, only 4000 characters had been written for this chapter. Even I'm a little speechless, I had originally planned to release this yesterday, but it ended up being pushed to tomorrow. I will need to carefully plan the events in the second book, so I will need some time to think and tidy up my thoughts. I hope everyone can forgive me for this.
And finally, thank you to everyone one of my readers that have supported me up to now. I hope in the future everyone will be satisfied with my story!