Bai Yunfei's reason for asking Xu Ran for help had two main factors in it. One was to fully confirm that Xu Ran was proficient in elemental darkness. The other was to see if Xu Ran was willing to help. If he was, then Bai Yunfei could spare him the benefit of the doubt.
And it worked. Xu Ran's immediate acceptance to help them was refreshing to Bai Yunfei, and he felt himself expectant of the results.
But even before Xu Ran could even finish, two new figures were already making their way over!
"Again…." Bai Yunfei narrowed his eyes. "Every single time when I thought it's over, something else pops up….who are these people this time?"
But then when the two figures drew close, Bai Yunfei's eyes widened in surprise. Xiao Qi was telling him these people were Soul Kings!
Two Soul Kings!!
Just one would've been more than enough to shock him, but there was two.
And if they were enemies, then there would definitely be trouble afoot….
But then Han Yue called out to one of them with joy, "Teacher Mu!!"
Were they elders from the Underworld School then?
Bai Yunfei's head snapped to Han Yue when she called out to them. She was a lot closer to where the two figures were coming from, so she could see them a lot earlier than Bai Yunfei could. But then when the two got close, Bai Yunfei found himself staring in confusion at the two incoming figures again.
A happy cry erupted from Huangfu Rui a moment afterward…..
The two bolts of lightning descended from the skies right in front of Bai Yunfei and the others, storing away their flying soul armaments back into their space rings.
One of the two figures was a man in his fifties with a graying beard under his chin. The wrinkles on his face weren't very noticeable despite his physical age, and his eyes were as sharp as any other person in their prime. His aura was calm, but intimidating to the degree that it demanded respect from anyone that could see it.
This person surely had to be the 'teacher Mu' Xu Ran and Han Yue were talking about.
But the person to the side wasn't from the Underworld School like this teacher Mu was. This person was none other than Huangfu Rui's father, the second elder of the Crafting School, Huangfu Nan!!
He wasn't looking at all like Bai Yunfei last remembered, though. His normally clean and orderly brown robes were matted and dirty, his face was looking fatigued, his breathing disorderly, and his eyes looking very shocked.
In one instant, he was down to the ground where Huangfu Rui was.
Sweeping her into his arms, Huangfu Nan immediately started to bombard her with questions.
"Ah'Rui?! What are you doing here in this place?!"
His voice was filled with confusion, panic, and even alarm.
"It really is you, dad!!" Huangfu Rui cried out in happiness in his arms. "It's you!" She repeated, "Heehee, why are you here, dad?"
By now, Bai Yunfei, Tang Xinyun, and Kou Tingting were moving in to greet the man. "Second elder." They bowed.
"What….what brings you here, second elder?" Bai Yunfei asked.
Now over his shock at seeing his daughter here, Huangfu Nan gave Bai Yunfei a long look. "What are you youngsters doing here?" He replied.
"We came to the Southward River Province to go sightseeing…."
"Sightseeing?!" Huangfu Nan exploded with anger, for some reason. "And here of all places?! What in the world possessed you to do that?!"
"........" Bai Yunfei didn't know how to respond. Huangfu Nan being angry wasn't something he expected to see, and so he didn't really know the best answer to give.
It was only supposed to be a normal sightseeing tour….how it ended up becoming a trip straight into danger was a complete mystery to Bai Yunfei.
As confused as he was, Bai Yunfei couldn't stop himself from asking, "Second elder….why are you here in this place as well?"
It was an even bigger mystery on why Huangfu Nan was here in this place. There was no possible way that Huangfu Nan would be here to 'sightsee', after all. Bai Yunfei remembered that Huangfu Nan came with Tang Xinyun and Kou Tingting to the Capital and then left abruptly for some odd reason. To have him show up here of all places was an extremely odd coincidence.
"Yeah dad, why are you here? Are you looking for me, dad?" Huangfu Rui tilted her head to look up at her dad. Then she wrinkled her nose in disgust, "You smell weird, dad. Did you not shower for days or something?"
"Hnmm…." Huangfu Nan looked almost embarrassed by the question asked of him by his daughter.
Because of his day and night chase after that person, he had indeed skipped out on showering.
"Elder Huangfu, are these people….from your Crafting School?"
A slightly surprised voice asked Huangfu Nan from behind him. It was the other elder that came with him.
Huangfu Nan released his daughter from his grasp to give the man a nod. "Indeed, these are students from my school."
His eyes paused briefly on Zheng Kai and Long Lan, prompting Bai Yunfei to hurriedly try and introduce them. "Second elder, these are my friends, Zheng Kai and Long Lan."
With how hurried this situation was, Bai Yunfei opted to just say their name rather than properly introduce them.
Huangfu Nan gave Long Lan a strange look at how he was treating the little girl there. But when he ascertained his strength as a fellow Soul King, Huangfu Nan bowed politely to him.
Since the little girl was still in his arms, Zheng Kai opted to bow his head rather than his whole body. "This junior pays his respects to senior Huangfu Nan."
Huangfu Nan nodded. Turning back to the elder with him, he introduced him to the group. "This is elder Mu Chen, an elder from the Underworld School, pay your respects to him."
"This junior pays our respects to senior Mu." Bai Yunfei, Tang Xinyun, and the others all bowed to the man.
"Haha, be at ease." Mu Chen waved his hand in a manner that betrayed his stiff expression. His eyes traveled over to Xu Ran and Han Yue, "This is elder Huangfu Nan from the Crafting School, hurry up and pay your respects."
"This junior pays our respects to senior Huangfu." The two bowed obediently.
Huangfu Nan waved his hand just like how Mu Chen had done. "Elder Mu, there are a few things I'd like to ask my students, let us talk about that matter latter then?"
Mu Chen nodded. "Yes, I'd like to ask my students a thing or two myself."
He beckoned Xu Ran and Han Yue to come with him.
Huangfu Nan eyed his daughter briefly before turning his eye towards Bai Yunfei, Zheng Kai, and Long Lan. Massaging his temple with one hand to calm himself, Huangfu Nan looked back to Bai Yunfei. "Speak then, what in the world happened here? In Formagua City? And what happened to that girl there?"
He pointed at the girl in Zheng Kai's arms.
Since the arrival of the two elders caused Xu Ran to step away, Long Lan had to step back in to stabilize the matter. Bai Yunfei thought about how to explain the situation to Huangfu Nan. In his mind, Bai Yunfei thought that since an elder from the Underworld School was here, their chances of saving the girl would be a lot higher if he helped.
Now with a proper explanation in mind, Bai Yunfei started to explain the situation to Huangfu Nan without leaving out even the smallest of details starting when they first arrived in Formagua City.
A while later….
"You're saying a mysterious person 'saved' little Rui? Do you know who this person is, or what this person is called?"
That was the first question Huangfu Nan asked Bai Yunfei after he listened to the story.
Bai Yunfei hadn't thought that'd be the first question he'd be asked, but he didn't have a question regardless. "He was gone by the time we came. According to what little Rui said, his name was….Dongfang something…."
Huangfu Nan exploded in shock at the name. Both hands flew forward to grab Bai Yunfei on the shoulders as Huangfu Nan gave him a wide-eyed stare of panic and confusion. "Did you say his surname was Dongfang?! A man named Dongfang?! Was he Dongfang Ming?! Was it Dongfang Ming?!"