Feeling that the other elder was being a little too straightforward, Mu Chen came up to soften his words. "Please don't misunderstand, nephew Bai. It's not as though we don't wish to save her life, but that the girl's body is simply far too weak to endure any regular treatment. The best way to treat her is the most difficult way and requires a great deal of ingredients. Our reserves are incomplete and are lacking a few resources, so we'd have the enter the Black Cloud Forest to find the rest, but our chances of finding any are slim. In other words, we are powerless to help…."
The other elder gave Mu Chen a disapproving glare as if his explanation was unnecessary. Or maybe the elder truly didn't think it was necessary to even bother extolling such a price to save a commoner.
Pained, Bai Yunfei took a moment to think of what to say. He clasped his hands, "Senior Mo, if there is a chance, I beg of your school to save this young girl's life. This junior cannot thank you enough for it!"
The pointy-chinned elder snorted again. "Don't presume yourself to be an expert on matters you're not, whelpling. Do you know just how many rare ingredients will be needed to save her? Why should we go through such trouble to save the life of an unwor—"
"This junior knows how difficult it will be for your esteemed school. That is why even if her treatment succeeds or fails, this junior will be willing to craft a heaven-tier soul armament as thanks!!" Bai Yunfei interrupted.
His words ushered the entire hall into silence. Everyone's eyes were drawn to Bai Yunfei, their facial expressions filled with doubt at what they had just heard.
"Pah! A braggart as well as a whelpling!" The pointy-chinned elder boomed out again. "Crafting a heaven-tier soul armament?! Even a Soul King hasn't the chance to perfectly craft one. Do you wish to make yourself a fool with words that big?"
Bai Yunfei was without emotion now. "This one is a man of my word. If your esteemed school is willing to go through the effort in treating her, then this junior will naturally pay back the efforts with mine own. As long as your esteemed school agrees, then this junior will set to crafting a soul armament. However….since your esteemed school requires soul armaments with an affinity for elemental darkness, the materials will need to come from your esteemed school."
"Words without proof are as good as no words at all. How do we know that you're even capable of the feat?" The elder spoke. He clearly didn't believe in Bai Yunfei. "The materials for that will only go to waste and become ashes."
Bai Yunfei narrowed his eyes at the accusation.
"If by chance this junior fails in crafting one…there are still plenty of heaven-tier soul armaments in my possession that your esteemed school can pick. None of them will be unworthy of the price."
This time, a calculative light entered the elder's eyes.
"Xu Ran mentioned that you have a soul armament similar to the Devouring Chains from the Soul Refining School. If that much is true, you will hand over that soul armament to us, are you willing?"
Blinking once, Bai Yunfei smiled before retrieving the dark-red chains from his space ring onto his hand.
"Is this the soul armament senior is talking about?"
The eyes of the elder lit up as soon as the Devouring Chains appeared, Mo Yanbai's eyes included. "The Devouring Chains!" The elder remarked.
"This junior won't lie. This soul armament came from the Soul Refining School after I killed one of their Soul Kings. It's a soul armament with an affinity for both fire and darkness. There is also a very special functionality that I'm sure seniors are aware of….."
He turned to the elder he was 'negotiating' with. "If senior requests this item, then so be it. If by chance this junior fails in crafting a heaven-tier soul armament, then this soul armament is yours!"
"By your word?" The elder's eyes were ecstatic now.
"By my word."
"Very well then!! You have a deal!"
The agreement came rather quickly now. The elder was smiling ear to ear with a great big smile.
Likewise, Bai Yunfei had troubled hiding the grin on his face. Storing away the Devouring Chains into his space ring, he turned to Mu Chen. "Elder Mu, you said before that your esteemed school is lacking in a few of the ingredients. If there is none here, then will venturing into the Black Cloud Forest be enough to find them? Or where else may these ingredients be found?"
It took a second for Mu Chen to properly respond to Bai Yunfei. "Indeed, we are missing ingredients such as the snake gall of a black-scaled serpent. It's a rare type of ferocious soulbeast that lives in the depths of the forest and a mountain. It took an elder and I one month to capture in the past…."
"Then do you know where a black-scaled serpent might live?" Bai Yunfei asked.
"We do. There is one living just a hundred kilometers north of the Black Cloud Forest. An early-stage class seven black-scaled serpent lives in the mountain peak there."
Mu Chen replied, unsure of why he was being asked such a question.
"Don't tell me you're…."
Bai Yunfei nodded. "I cannot let your esteemed school do all the work in saving the life of another. If we are lacking in the ingredients, then this junior will take on the task of scavenging for it."
Again, the entire hall was surprised by what Bai Yunfei was proposing. Even Mo Yanbai couldn't help but narrow his eyes at the thought. "Nephew Bai, do you really wish to go after that black-scaled serpent? It's a ferocious class seven soulbeast stronger than most others. The forest is dangerous enough for even Soul Kings to have trouble traveling through. As a guest of my Underworld School, how could we let you experience such a danger like this…."
"Many thanks for your warning, senior Mo, but please don't worry. This junior won't be going just yet." Bai Yunfei smiled. He pointed at Long Lan and Zheng Kai behind him. "My friends and I will be going together. If it's just an early-stage class seven beast, then it won't be a problem."
Mo Yanbai gave Long Lan a calculative look. He didn't say anything for or against what Bai Yunfei wanted to do and changed the topic instead. "I admit that I am quite curious, nephew Bai. Why are you so intent on saving the life of this young girl. As I am told, she is only a commoner you picked up from in Formagua City?"
"That is correct." Bai Yunfei nodded. "I don't even know her name."
"Then why go through all this trouble to save her?"
"If there is a chance to save her, why shouldn't I?"
Another blanket of silence descended down onto the hall.
The pointy-chinned elder turned his nose up at Bai Yunfei's words. What Bai Yunfei said was truly naive to the world. Saving the life of a commoner and completely stranger for such a heavy price like what was being offered onto the table was laughable and completely not worth it.
It wasn't as though Bai Yunfei didn't know what they were thinking about, but he didn't care to quibble over it. He didn't care if people thought he was silly or naive for being the way he was. His soulsense had touched upon the young girl's soul when he was trying to save her back in Formagua City, and the immense feeling of terror and suffering she had touched Bai Yunfei. She was the very last survivor of an entire city of people, and Bai Yunfei had no desire to see such a life be thrown away when there was still a chance to be saved.
Though the 'price' other people thought to be very heavy, Bai Yunfei saw it as something not even needing to be thought about.
The goals of the pointy-chinned man was also very obvious to Bai Yunfei. Still, he figured that if the Underworld School was willing to help, it was only natural that they be rewarded for their troubles, hence why Bai Yunfei was willing to use a heaven-tier soul armament as their compensation.
He had to laugh at the elder's ploy to get his Devouring Chains though. The elder really did think Bai Yunfei was unable to craft a heaven-tier soul armament, but Bai Yunfei was confident in his abilities. But not so confident that he could craft a heaven-tier soul armament consistently. Even if he failed, he could still craft a high-earth tier soul armament and upgrade it a few times to have it cross the threshold into the heaven tier. So that wasn't a problem. The elder wanting to grab a hold of his Devouring Chains was a lost cause.
There was also the issue of finding the black-scaled serpent. Bai Yunfei didn't want to owe the Underworld School too many favors so he opted to find this one himself. He had the strength to do so anyways, so this'd be a nice time to gain some experience.