The noise level within the hall spiked as everyone chattered to one another. They all felt unsure how to react. Whatever else could there be as important as the matter with elder Cheng? Especially if it had to do with a single trainee.
“One moment, father…are you saying it was the trainee that killed the intruders? All of them!?”
A single trainee guard killing the Soul Exalts and Soul King? It was a preposterous idea! No one would even entertain such a thought if not for Yao Tianji saying it himself…
Yao Tianji nodded. “A few other trainees were watching. There’s no doubt about it.”
“But…how?” Yao Wuchen asked. “That trainee…is the one Wang Tong and Feiyun brought back the other time, isn’t he? The ‘amnesiac’...didn’t he ingest a dreamcalling pill?”
“That is the very same one.”
“What are you talking about? What outsider was brought back?” No longer able to contain his curiosity, Dan Teng prodded Yao Tianji for an answer.
“About a month ago, when we didn’t know who these intruders were or what reason they came here for, Feiyun, Wang Tong, and Kai Wen went to the outer ranges of the Qimang Mountains and came across a scouting group. We found out they were from the Soul Refining School and learned about their intentions after interrogating them. The three also brought back with them a single ‘villager’ who was only just awakening to his soulforce. Due to an injury of some kind, he was said to have lost his memories. A dreamcalling pill was given, but it had little effect. He failed to become a Soul Sprite even after Wang Tong gave him a fireseed pill. It was decided for him to be stationed as a guard at the western repository after that…the same place those intruders went to. They fought there, and according to eye-witnesses, two of those intruders were bitten to death by a dog and the other two were killed by a spear…”
The story grew harder and harder to believe the longer he explained. Everyone looked at one another in disbelief. Did any part of this story make sense? They didn’t think so…
Knowing what the others were possibly thinking, Yao Tianji stared at everyone there. “I, too, thought it was ridiculous. But after I saw this ‘Tang Long’, I was startled to see that…he is by no means a ‘villager who just awakened to his soulforce’ as Feiyun says he is!”
“What do you mean by that, father?”
“On his body…were seven heaven-tier soul armaments!”
“Crack crack crack…”
Several teacups fell and shattered onto the ground. Their owners had seemingly lost grip of the cups once they heard this news. It was hard to blame them. How could anyone remain calm after hearing that?
“Se—seven heaven-tier soul armaments?! Are you saying Tang Long has seven of them?! How!?”
A voice quivered from the right side of the group. It was the overseer of the western repository, elder Yu. Hearing Bai Yunfei being said to kill those intruders was hard to believe. Hearing him have seven heaven-tier soul armaments was even harder.
“Have you been paying close attention to him, elder Yu?”
“I…I have not…”
Bai Yunfei should’ve been a lowly trainee, what attention was needed?
“Then have you ever wondered about the two bracers on his arms? Or the gloves he wore? Or the many space rings on his fingers? Or the armor he wore? Or even…the cloth he wore on his forehead?”
“I….” Elder Yu stammered. What could he say? He never once thought about it. He didn’t even know Bai Yunfei had any space rings. As an elder, the man had more important things than take a look at the accessories any trainee wore. If anything, elder Yu figured Bai Yunfei had no space ring to begin with.
“Then allow me to tell you this. All those items I explained, barring the space rings, are all heaven-tier soul armaments! As is that spear he used to kill the two enemies! And half of them are mid-heaven tiers!”
Elder Yu could hardly believe his ears. Maybe he was still on the battlefield and this was the work of an enemy illusion?
“Hey hey…why does this sound somewhat odd?”
Wu Dijian muttered to himself. He leaned closer to Dan Teng to whisper, “Two bracers, two gloves, a cloth wrapped around his head, and a mid-heaven tier spear…that’s what he said, yes?”
“What are you getting at, brother Wu?”
“It’s nothing…I’m probably overthinking it…”
He continued to mutter to himself. For a while, he just sat there and thought to himself before he noticed several people were giving him a strange look. “That person…” He finally said at last, “the one you’re talking about, does he have the Core…a small stone on him?! A stone shaped like a square seal?!”
Several members blinked. What did he mean by that?
“You…you know about it?! There was indeed a small bracelet he wore with a small stone on it. I didn’t sense anything strange about it, however…”
The chair beneath Wu Dijian went flying along with his teacup when he immediately stood up. “Was the glove on his right hand of the fire-type? And the one on his left metal-type? Was his spear a fire-type? Did he have with him a soul armament that’s shaped like a brick?!” Wu Dijian looked almost beside himself with excitement.
“That’s…” Yao Tianji was so surprised with these questions that he started to answer them before he thought about it. “How did you know about his gloves?! But the spear was an earth-type, and I didn’t see any brick-shaped soul armament with him…”
“Earth-type?” Wu Dijian repeated. That didn’t make sense. “It doesn’t matter, please take me to him! I have to see him!”
Dan Teng had been confused about what Wu Dijian was getting at until the part about the ‘fire-type spear’ was mentioned. His eyebrows flew to the top of his forehead as he snapped his head towards Wu Dijian. “Brother Wu,” he gasped, “you can’t possibly be talking about…there’s no way!”
This caught everyone’s immediate attention. “You two…know this person?” Yao Wuchen asked at once.
Wu Dijian was already hopping on both feet repeatedly, “Bring me to him at once, please!” He pleaded a little impatiently.
There stood a spacious courtyard within the clan compound. Two figures sat at the stone table in the courtyard’s garden. One figure was Yao Feiyun and the other was a middle-aged woman dressed in white robes.
“Mom, why did grandfather and everyone else come rushing over? They even told us to look after big brother Tang, why? And when will he finally wake up? Should I…give him another soulmending pill?”
Yao Feiyun spoke rather lazily. He was fiddling with his fingers as he stared off at one of the rooms near the courtyard. The confusion and concern he was feeling could easily be detected by the way he spoke to the person with him.
The woman smiled. Fondly petting the head of Feiyun, she replied, “There’s no need to worry. Your grandfather and father are taking care of everything…”
“Oh…I kn—eh?” His head snapped up to stare towards the entrance of the courtyard. Ripples of energy were starting to form from space before opening up to show a group of people hurrying out from behind.
“Dad! Grandfather!! What are yo—is that uncle Dan Teng?! You’re back!”
He was smiling at first upon seeing the faces of his grandfather and father. He moved to greet the two when he took notice of Dan Teng next to him and cried out with surprised joy.
Hardly anyone in the crowd seemed to notice him, however. Led by Yao Tianji, everyone walked straight towards a particular room.
The doors slammed open as Wu Dijian rushed through them to be the first to enter the room.
Like the wind, he rushed to the first bed he saw with a person resting inside. The moment when he saw the person sleeping on there was the moment he froze up…
Yao Tianji’s eyes narrowed suspiciously upon seeing Wu Dijian freeze up. With his son, the two walked briskly into the room after him.
“Brother Wu, is it rea—” Dan Teng was the second to enter the room. His eyes were looking for the bed as he entered and froze just like Wu Dijian did when he found what he was looking for.
“Haha…it’s him! It’s really him! Somehow, it’s really him! He’s alive! Hahaha! Hahahaha!!”
A roar of laughter erupted from Wu Dijian.
Yao Tianji and Yao Wuchen paused where they stood. “Seventh brother,” Yao Tianji asked Dan Teng, “do you really know him?! Who…who is he?!”
The look of absolute wonderment on Dan Teng’s face was hard to miss when he turned to look at Yao Tianji. Regulating himself by breathing in and out, he spoke:
“He is…Bai Yunfei!”