The abruptness of the Golden-eyed Ape King caught everyone’s attention at once.
“What issue might there be, Ape King?”
“My issue relates…to the Core Stone. Wouldn’t it be in your control throughout the entire plan?”
“What does the Ape King mean by that?”
Contempt flashed across the Golden-eyed Ape King’s eyes. “The plan you propose is a sound one. Hiding all us soulbeasts and springing us where the Beast Taming School is. That’s a fine plan. Not even the Beast Taming School would be able to win against this many of us. However…it’ll be hard to say what happens when we begin fighting. It’s to be expected that there will be casualties. Now if the one in possession of the Core Stone, namely you, dies, or something else happens to the Core Stone, how will we soulbeasts return to the forest? We would have to make our way through the Empire. How many attacks from soul cultivators would we experience during that trip? That is my issue!”
Bai Yunfei narrowed his eyes. The Golden-eyed Ape King was basically saying he didn’t have the power to ‘protect’ the Core Stone! In other words, he wanted for the Core Stone to be given to someone else!
Several of the other soulbeasts like the Bloodhowl Wolf King and Violet Dragon King narrowed their eyes as well, but there was also a small group of soulbeasts that nodded. They couldn’t fault the Golden-eyed Ape King’s words!
It was true that the entirety of this plan was dependent on the Core Stone. Many of the soulbeasts harbored thoughts of ‘safeguarding’ the Core Stone themselves. There was a possibility that one of these soulbeasts would’ve contested Bai Yunfei for it. He was the only soul cultivator here, after all. The only reason it wasn’t done already was due to Bai Yunfei being under the Bloodhowl Wolf King’s ‘protection’.
As shocking as Bai Yunfei’s strength was when he helped the Bloodhowl Wolf King, those were merely rumors to the rest of the soulbeasts here. None of them had personally witnessed Bai Yunfei’s strength and were doubtful of how strong he really was.
Power was something soulbeasts valued more than soul cultivators did. Power demanded respect over all else. A person could be nice and hailed as the ‘savior’ to many, but it was inherently useless if they didn’t have the power. Without that power, that person would never be able to command true respect and inspire loyalty.
And so what the Golden-eyed Ape King said struck a chord in many of the soulbeast’s minds, such as the Stegosaurus King. He was saying what several of them felt…
Bai Yunfei could tell that several of the soulbeasts were beginning to agree with the Golden-eyed Ape King. “Then, does the Golden-eyed Ape King mean to say that I should hand over the Core Stone?”
His words carried a hint of steel to them—who would possibly let ‘someone else’ hold onto something like a Regalia?
“I am only pointing out a potential problem for the benefit of us all. The safety of the Core Stone is paramount in this plan. If…you don’t wish to hand it over, that’s fine. As long as you can prove that you are capable of protecting the Core Stone in the future battle.” The Golden-eyed Ape King replied.
“And how does the Ape King suggest I ‘prove’ that?”
“It’s simple,” A dangerous gleam of light flashed across the Golden-eyed Ape King’s eyes. “Fight me! Prove to me your strength!”
The entire hall went silent. Many soulbeasts looked incredulous at the Golden-eyed Ape King’s words—a fight? A class eight soulbeast was challenging a Soul King to a battle? Wasn’t that just unfair? How the Golden-eyed Ape King was able to issue a challenge like that without a problem proved puzzling to everyone here…
But Bai Yunfei’s answer only served to amaze everyone even further.
“Oh? And how shall we fight?”
Not even the Golden-eyed Ape King was expecting that.
“A spar will suffice! You only need to show your strength! How about this—I will use three moves! If you can endure those three moves, then that’ll be the proof of your strength!!”
The soulbeasts were thunderstruck. Had the Golden-eyed Ape King no shame?
How could a Peak Late-stage Soul King survive a challenge like that? Not even a Half-emperor would be capable of withstanding three moves from a Soul Emperor! The Golden-eyed Ape King was clearly taking things personally with Bai Yunfei!
The death of the Wind Ape King by Bai Yunfei’s hand was definitely weighing on the Golden-eyed Ape King’s mind. If this wasn’t some type of grudge, then this challenge was definitely meant to be a way for the Golden-eyed Ape King to ‘discipline’ Bai Yunfei and vent his anger.
That line of reasoning would make sense if the Golden-eyed Ape King and Wind Ape King were friends, but they weren’t. Bai Yunfei taking care of the Wind Ape King should’ve been of great help to the Golden-eyed Ape King. But the truth of the matter was: Bai Yunfei killed a member of the ape clan. As a fellow member of the same clan then, the Golden-eyed Ape King had a problem with Bai Yunfei.
It also couldn’t be denied that his ‘excuse’ was an arbitrary one either. He meant to say that on behalf of the other soulbeasts.
The irritation on the Bloodhowl Wolf King was noticeable to be seen by all. Just as he was about to speak on Bai Yunfei’s behalf, however…
“If that’s what the Ape King wants, then I accept your challenge!”
Many of the soulbeasts began to doubt their own hearing. Had they heard wrong? Was Bai Yunfei actually going to accept the Golden-eyed Ape King’s ‘challenge’?!
‘Reckless’, ‘arrogant’, ‘a frog in the well’.
Words such as those were thrown about in several of the soulbeasts minds.
Even the Ancient Crocodile King was looking surprised. Where had Bai Yunfei’s confidence come from?
The Bloodhowl Wolf King had to refrain from a sigh upon hearing Bai Yunfei’s words. “Nitpicking the Golden-eyed Ape King might be, but it’s true that several soulbeasts doubt Bai Yunfei’s strength. This should convince them otherwise…”
He wasn’t worried about Bai Yunfei at all. Of the two fighters, it was the Golden-eyed Ape King he was more worried about, in truth. But who was he to argue if the Golden-eyed Ape King was willing to stick his neck out for a bigger share of the pot?
The Bloodhowl Wolf King was the one with the greatest understanding of Bai Yunfei. Three moves wouldn’t nearly be enough to stop Bai Yunfei, even if they fought with the intent to kill. The Golden-eyed Ape King would certainly not have an easy time with Bai Yunfei as an opponent.
It was with surprise that the Golden-eyed Ape King began to laugh. “Haha! You’ve guts! Then let’s take this outside! Show me what you’ve got!”
Then as if afraid that Bai Yunfei would back out on his words, the Golden-eyed Ape King teleported out from the hall…
Bai Yunfei rose from his seat to follow. Bowing to the soulbeasts gathered there, he spoke, “It’s only natural that one would want to see the strength of who they fight along with. Witness me, and see if my strength is up to your standards.”
Then he too disappeared from the hall.
On the outside, a single person waited high up in the skies for Bai Yunfei to appear in front of him.
“Please instruct me well, Ape King.” Bai Yunfei spoke.
“Be careful then, there’s no shame in admitting defeat if you’re scared!” Cackled the Golden-eyed Ape King.
A wave of soulforce emerged from the Golden-eyed Ape King as he prepared for battle. It ran across the world like a tidal wave of power and caused multiple rays of golden light to appear everywhere. Gathering above the Golden-eyed Ape King’s head, the golden rays of light soon consolidated to form the image of a giant golden ape!
An ear-splitting roar emerged from the Golden-eyed Ape King’s mouth, followed by a golden flash of light. His right arm rose into the air before crashing straight down onto Bai Yunfei!
Above him, the giant golden ape mimicked the Golden-eyed Ape King’s motions. A miniature sun came to life in the ape’s hand to fall upon Bai Yunfei!
With how bright and massive this ball of light was, it felt like a golden meteor was descending from the outer heavens!
Fear crept into the eyes of all the witnesses; this was a move filled with a power beyond most of them! A move that wasn’t just fueled by elemental power, but by…the Law of Metal!
Using the Law of Metal to attack…the Golden-eyed Ape King wasn’t pulling any punches with Bai Yunfei!