Xu Ran looked a little hesitant to answer Bai Yunfei on where he was from, but managed to say it in the end. The Underworld Sect didn't have much of a 'name' in the world of soul cultivators, but it was all a misunderstanding of sorts. Xu Ran wasn't afraid of the trouble this misunderstanding of his school might give him, and neither did he care to hide his affiliation half the time. To him, being a part of the Underworld School was something to be proud about and not something he should hide from others.
This did differ from person to person though. Xu Ran wouldn't even bother to say anything if he was talking to just any regular person.
"The Underworld School?"
Bai Yunfei repeated the name, tasting the words on his tongue.
"The school that focuses on elemental darkness, that Underworld School?!"
"It is as you say." Xu Ran nodded.
His confirmation was even more surprising to Bai Yunfei. Never did he imagine that a student from the Underworld School would appear here.
Bai Yunfei heard of the Underworld School before from one of his seniors back in the Crafting School. They were a mysterious group that specialized in elemental darkness. Not only was the school special in that it was mysterious, it was also quite strong. Though not strong enough to be considered one of the Ten Great Schools, that was primarily because of their relatively low numbers. Those soul cultivators with an aptitude for elemental darkness was much rarer than the other elements.
The Underworld School had been a 'secluded' one ever since its founding a thousand years ago, meaning they rarely ventured out into the world, so very few commoners and soul cultivators even knew of their existence. Due to the 'darker' side to elemental darkness, the people in the Underworld varied in personalities in strange ways. And combined with their tendency to avoid contact with the outside world, the entire world hadn't a very good opinion of them.
One reason why the Underworld School didn't venture out into the world often was due to them being mistaken for the Soul Refining School by others. Since people weren't familiar with the Underworld School and were instead familiar with the Soul Refining School. With both schools focusing in training in elemental darkness, it was impossible for most soul cultivators not to mistake those from the Underworld School from the Soul Refining School.
Elemental darkness wasn't a type of elemental energy that was easy to train in. As far as all the elemental energies go, elemental darkness was the easiest one to go wrong and have practitioners 'go down the wrong path'. It was those who trained in elemental darkness that took up the majority when considering those who caused all sorts of tragedies on the continent to date. In this world, soul cultivators that trained in elemental darkness was often led down the path where their very nature was warped, and the Soul Refining School was all too happy to take in those said people.
There were those that were never led astray from their moral paths. Those who trained in elemental darkness without deviation would join the 'Underworld School', but their numbers were very, very few.
Most people didn't even know where the Underworld School was located. But Bai Yunfei's master was one of the few that did. From Zi Jin, Bai Yunfei learned that they were located somewhere in the Southward River Province, and it just so happened they were here in Formagua City.
So here stood two people from the Underworld School now. With their elemental darkness flying off from their bodies, it looked as though it was actually a dark fire that was burning from them.
Thanks to the assistance of the moonlight, Bai Yunfei was able to see what the two looked like.
Xu Ran wore a gray robe simplistic in material and design. He was tall but scrawny with skin relatively white. His eyes were dark and deep, shining with a light that made him look a little unapproachable just like how his demeanor would otherwise indicate.
The dark smoke radiating from his companion Han Yue was comparatively less than Xu Ran, allowing Bai Yunfei to see even more detail of her. She wore a dark-purple robe that hugged her body rather tightly. She had a pointy chin and eyebrows with eyes that had a sharp gaze to them, making her look more like a strong and independent woman rather than a fragile one.
"Friends from the Underworld School, I see. Then please forgive me for my past transgressions. This one has a few important matters to take care of, so if you would please excuse us, my group has to leave now."
Bai Yunfei smiled and cupped his hands, though he glanced towards Zheng Kai with some concern at the young girl in his hands. Leaving behind one final word of conversation to the two, Bai Yunfei turned away.
His actions were surprising to Xu Ran. In his time in the Underworld School, Xu Ran came across all sorts of reactions from people when told about where he came from. There were people who were afraid, those who were hostile, and those who tried to curry favor with them. But Bai Yunfei's 'indifference' was a first for him.
So when Bai Yunfei turned around rather hurriedly, Xu Ran hesitated for a moment before following after him.
His companion Han Yue followed after him, but with a suspicious glance at Bai Yunfei. "Do you really believe in what he's saying, senior?" She whispered, "Do you really think he's that Bai Yunfei from the Crafting School? Hmph. He looks like a haughty person, we can't trust someone like him so easily. We should leave though, he's not our enemy. You said we can't beat him too, so let's just head back and meet with teacher Mu…."
Xu Ran shook his head, "There's no need for him to lie to us. He would've done something by now if he wanted to. I believe him in any case. Bai Yunfei from the Crafting School….it'd be a good thing to get to know him if we meet him. He probably knows more about what happened to Formagua City than we do. We were told to find out about what happened here, so let's ask them a few questions. I sent a message to teacher Mu already, so he should be on his way over soon. Let's just wait."
Their conversation was a very quiet one, but not quite enough for Bai Yunfei to not hear it. Han Yue's suspicions of him was a little humorous to Bai Yunfei, and he found himself smiling at that.
"Haughty? Me? Aren't you more 'haughty' than I am with that cold attitude of yours?"
Like her though, Bai Yunfei wasn't fully convinced of their words either, so he had Xiao Qi on the lookout just in case they tried to do anything.
"How's it looking?"
Bai Yunfei asked Zheng Kai when the two reconvened.
"Long Lan can't get it stabilized even though he's putting in a continuous stream of soulforce. If he stops, then the girl's soul will be completely devoured by the corrosive energy…." Tang Xinyun spoke up for Zheng Kai with concern.
She noticed Han Yue and Xu Ran behind Bai Yunfei, "Yunfei, these two are….?"
Bai Yunfei fighting the two mysterious strangers was startling to the group at first, but they help Bai Yunfei fight them since they were warned about it beforehand. Luckily, the battle was only for a short few rounds before it was 'solved' amicably. Confused by the going-ons between them and Bai Yunfei, the group decided to wait for Bai Yunfei to explain it to them.
"Just a misunderstanding," Bai Yunfei replied. "These two people came to investigate Formagua City, they're from the Underworld School."
"The Underworld School?" Zheng Kai perked an eyebrow in surprise, "They're from that school?!"
Bai Yunfei nodded, but declined to introduce the two to the rest of the group. Instead, he stared at the little girl in concern and thought hard on what to do.
A thought occurred to him then.
Turning his head to Xu Ran, Bai Yunfei asked, "Brother Xu Ran, as a student of the Underworld School, you must be an expert on elemental darkness, correct?"
Not expecting to be asked such a question, it took Xu Ran a second to respond. "Why ask a question like that, brother Bai? Though yes, when it comes to elemental darkness, I have a decent knowledge of it…."
Bai Yunfei's eyes lit up. "In that case, this one would like to ask for your help, brother Xu Ran. We saved this little girl from Formagua City, but she was affected by whatever it was the Soul Refining School was doing and had elemental darkness enter her body. She's at the edge of death right now, but we can't do much to help her. As an expert, brother Xu Ran, please help us save this little girl. This one will be more than happy to heavily compensate you for your help!"
"Oh?? That's the issue?" Xu Ran's eyebrows rose up on his face. He had been a little puzzled on what was going on, and now that he had an idea behind the situation, Xu Ran broke out into a smile. "Then if brother Bai was so kind to ask, I will be more than happy to give it my all."
He took two steps past Zheng Kai and gave a polite nod to Long Lan before taking a good look at what was going on with the little girl.
Surprised at Xu Ran's actions, Han Yue blinked a few times in confusion. The normally quiet and antisocial senior of her looked like a completely different stranger today with how active he was being.
As that was going on, Bai Yunfei suddenly turned to the skies. He was followed by Xiao Qi, Long Lan, Zheng Kai, and even Xu Ran and Han Yue to all look at something there.
Something in the distance was coming towards them with the speed of two green shooting stars!