The group chattered with one another as they walked out from the academy. Watching the students thin from here on out, Bai Yunfei looked back to Mo Chen and the others, "Now that the academy is in recess, do you plan on going back home, Mo Chen?"
"Yeah, most of us are going to go back home. My home's a little far in the Prosperous Hill Province. Big brother Ye Ming and Zhang Zhifeng both live even farther. Even with an airship, it'll take them ten days at least."
Airships, as it was known on the continent, were 'advanced' forms of transportation. Like a Way Stone, airships were a relatively modern invention introduced to the continent. Simply put, they are flying-type soul armaments on a very large scale. While not relatively fast compared to their tiny counterparts, they were long-lasting and quite practical.
Even Soul Kings aren't capable of flying several consecutive days non-stop. Their bodies would get worn down sooner or later, and their soulforce would have to be replenished. Airships on the other hand were powered by plenty of wind-type primal stones and the soulforce of multiple 'aviators' who'd switch off day and night to power it.
Of course, crafting such a massive vehicle like an airship required a staggering cost and were thus not available to the public for use. Even with the tremendous manpower the empire had, their continent had only a few major cities in which the airship would fly to. And even then, only the 'honorable' could ride upon the airship. 'Admission' onto the airship was so expensive that the majority of soul cultivators could only give up on their dreams to ride on one.
Aside from Fang Tianmeng who was an orphan, the rest of the students in the crafting class were all from important backgrounds, the fourth prince Wu Yang and Mo Wanxia most especially. Their families were all powerful and thus why they sent their children to Tianhun Academy. It was in their hopes that their children would be able to distinguish themselves here in the academy and be invited into the Tianhun School, which would serve to boost their family's prestige even more.
So now that Tianhun Academy was done for the year, these students would naturally go back home and be 'interrogated' by their families. Since they were the ones to join the only class that taught the art of crafting, just how happy would their families be with them when they get back?
The gears in Zheng Kai's mind turned as he listened to Bai Yunfei talk about their vacation plans. Glancing over to Kou Tingting first, he spoke to Bai Yunfei, "Speaking of vacations, what do you plan to do, Yunfei? Stay in the Capital? Or go somewhere else?"
"Me?" Bai Yunfei asked. Now that he thought about it, he never really thought about it himself. There were plans to go back to the Crafting School, but right now….since the person he wanted to see was here in the Capital, Bai Yunfei didn't really feel the urge to hurry on back just yet.
He turned the question over to Tang Xinyun and Kou Tingting, "Xinyun, Tingting, what plans do you two have? Will you both be returning to the school?"
"Well…." Tang Xinyun's words trailed off. The three of them had only just came from the Crafting School, and none of them were really in any rush to go back. Not knowing what to say, Tang Xinyun looked to Kou Tingting for help.
"Let's not worry about returning back to the school for now. It took us a while to get here after all, let's stay a bit before anything…." Kou Tingting responded, "Why don't we take a look in the provinces around the Capital? The beautiful world we live in…..there's so many places we've yet to see! As soul cultivators blessed with longer lives than commoners, we can't just waste it away in our training. We should travel and take in the sights. We've only one life in this world after all, what do you think?"
"Traveling, is it?" Bai Yunfei smiled. "I can agree with that. Now that I think about it, all of the places I went to were mainly for the sake of training. I never really took in the sights of the places I went to….we should go traveling like commoners do, then, and see just how beautiful the world can be."
He looked to Tang Xinyun, "What do you think, Xinyun?"
She nodded. "I would like that, we've….seen most of the Capital already. Traveling would be a nice change of pace."
Tang Xinyun didn't have too high of a favorable opinion of the Capital. She knew just how many times Bai Yunfei was in danger here, so she felt the Capital to be an unsafe place. To leave such a place like this sooner rather than later would only soothe her worries.
The three of them talked a little longer about their plans to travel. By the side, Zheng Kai was squirming a little bit. He was hoping that Kou Tingting would want to stay in the Capital so he could take her to a few more places. But with how things were developing, his chances of that were getting smaller and smaller, weren't they?
"Well then, which places are you all planning to visit?" He clapped his hands in interjection.
"I haven't really thought about it…." Bai Yunfei tapped his chin, "I think I heard the Southward River Province is a beautiful place. I've never been there either, why don't we go there?"
Having no objections to that, Tang Xinyun and Kou Tingting both nodded their heads in approval.
Zheng Kai's eyes lit up, "Southward River Province? That's a very good place to visit, and they say there's plenty of beautiful gi—er, beautiful landscapes. Legends actually say that's the place where the Founder Wu Tianhun was born. I've been there several times and I heartily recommend going there to tour."
Bai Yunfei gave him a small cryptic smile, "What, do you want to come with us?"
"Hehe…." Zheng Kai smiled almost apologetically, "You have to have someone that knows the area in order to have a tour, don't you?"
What he was going for was obvious for everyone to see. Both Fang Tianmeng and Fang Yong smiled behind their hands while Mo Chen looked on at him in admiration at his tactic.
"Well…." Bai Yunfei glanced over to Kou Tingting who had a strange look on her face. "I won't be the one to make that decision….."
"Don't be—" A little panicked, Zheng Kai took Bai Yunfei aside. "Brother, don't be so disloyal to me like that! The eternal happiness of your brother is fully dependent on your help, brother!"
Right as Bai Yunfei was thinking about whether or not he should help Zheng Kai, Tang Xinyun spoke up first, "Oh? Little Rui is back!"
Everyone glanced over to where she was pointing. Coming from the gates of the academy, a shade of pink light was flying quickly over to them with feet blazing red in light and face flushed with a red hue. Her skirt floated with the wind as did her pigtails, and a white pig could be seen in the young woman's arms. With how she was traveling, plenty of people on the road turned to look at her.
Who else could this be but Huangfu Rui?
Bai Yunfei was excited to see Huangfu Rui at first, but then his smile faded away into surprise when he saw just how out of breath she was. "Doraemon? What's wrong? Why are yo—"
Huangfu Rui thrusted the little white boar up for him to look at before he could even finish his sentence, "Brother Strawhat—look!! Look!! Xiao Rourou can talk now!!"
Bai Yunfei didn't even know what to make of the situation when the little white pig tried to squirm out from Huangfu Rui's arms. A little peeved, it spoke, "Dai Dai, speaking isn't something to be surprised about. I'm a peak late-stage class six, aren't I? Being able to speak is normal, why are you trying to 'show me off'....?"
Everyone's eyes flew wide open as soon as the pig started to speak, Fang Tianmeng most of all. She pointed a finger at the pig, "Ah!! The little pig can speak!!"
Xiao Rourou glanced over in her direction, "So what if I can?? Are peak late-stage class six soulbeasts that can talk so strange? What a big fuss over nothing….."
No one said a thing to that.
A few seconds later, it was Bai Yunfei who spoke up next. Still slightly surprised, Bai Yunfei gave the pig a suspicious look, "But….what's….hold on, you say you're a peak late-stage class six soulbeast? But how?!"
He could very clearly remember yesterday morning, Xiao Rourou had clearly only been a mid-stage class six! How did it become a peak late-stage in the span of a single day?!
"Hehe, isn't he amazing??"
Huangfu Rui hugged Xiao Rourou to her chest and rubbed its head affectionately, "It's all because of 'Da Huang' helping him. It only took a moment for Xiao Rourou to get so strong, and now Xiao Rourou can even talk!"
"Da Huang?!" Bai Yunfei asked, "What's Da Huang?"
"Da Huang from Ping Ping's house." Huangfu Rui's eyes shined with admiration, "What a big….big tortoise!! It's even bigger than old uncle turtle!"
She spun her hands around her head to emphasize just how large it was. With Xiao Rourou sticking to her right arm in order to stay on, the little pig rolled its eyes.
The 'old uncle turtle' Huangfu Rui was talking about was the soulbeast partner of her father (the second elder Huangfu Nan), a winged turtle from a long time ago….
Bai Yunfei blinked several times before he finally made sense of what she was trying to say.
This 'Ping Ping' surely had to be referring to the fifth princess Wu Ping, and 'Ping Ping's house' must've meant the Imperial Palace. So this 'Da Huang' was surely….
Now that he thought about there, he had heard of a 'Da Huang' in the palace somewhere. Wu Ping mentioned it before seemingly one of the times she brought Xiao Qi with her. They went to the stone area where Da Huang was said to live in the palace, but even with Wu Ping calling at the entrance for a very long time, Da Huang didn't come out.
Claiming that Da Huang was 'probably sleeping', Wu Ping said it was best to not wake him up. Xiao Qi had his concerns about this amazing 'Da Huang', however, and felt that it was potentially a lie….
But now that Huangfu Rui had mentioned this 'Da Huang' again, it would seem to be that it was a 'giant tortoise'? And….somehow it was able to elevate Xiao Rourou's strength to a peak late-stage class six?!
With Huangfu Rui not going to be telling him anything important, Bai Yunfei stared at the little white in her arms still, "Brother pig, can you tell us what happened??"
Because the nickname of 'Xiao Rourou' was given to it by Huangfu Rui, Kou Tingting, and Tang Xinyun, Bai Yunfei would sometimes call it 'brother pig'.
The pig was probably a lot older than he was, so calling him older brother wasn't too wrong.
Xiao Rourou rolled its eyes, "Kid, before I tell you, there's one thing I need to make clear. I just found out myself actually…."
He paused here to preen in the attention of the others, "Actually, I'm a dragon…."