A single person had been watching Bai Yunfei from afar down in the forest below. Though Bai Yunfei noticed him now, he didn't know just how long the person had actually been following him for.
Bai Yunfei could still see that this person in hiding was quite strong. People like this one were normally perfect in their attempts to hide themselves so that hardly anyone could tell that they were even there, but Bai Yunfei was different. With his especially sharp perception, he was able to sense not only the presence of a person, but their approximate strength as well.
A second quick glance told Bai Yunfei that he was already far away enough from the other soul cultivators all gathered in that one area from before. With him being in a relatively 'empty' area and a far ways away from the entrance to Black Cloud Valley, Bai Yunfei decided to change directions. Deviating from his path very slightly, he flew for the small lake near the forest.
He soon came to the side of the lake where he dismounted from his blade and stepped down onto the lakeside to pretend to rest and freshen up.
Bai Yunfei was in the middle of washing his face and drying himself up when he wrung his hands to dry. In mid-motion, his hands flew out to throw three separate daggers into a nearby bush and out from sight.
The Flickering Dagger!
For being a part of a skill that Bai Yunfei used to be sorely dependent on in the past, the throwing knives were no longer something Bai Yunfei preferred to use now. All of his enemies were far too strong to employ such a tactic now, and so the throwing knives were no longer usable to a helpful enough level for that. But in cases like these, they were still helpful as a preliminary warning attack.
The Flickering Dagger was the one most suited for suprise attacks due to its special nature and construct. Practically disappearing from sight when it was thrown, the Flickering Dagger was special in that it could strike down the enemy without them even knowing when or where it struck from.
This particular Flickering Dagger was of an earlier make. It's grade wasn't very high and the upgrades put to it only made it on the level of mid-earth tier soul armament. Even its additional effects weren't anything considerably good. 'Increase in throwing speed' and 'increased penetrative force' were both normally obsolete effects but were still great in times like now. Using three Flickering Daggers for an ambush like this made it so that even late-stage Soul Exalts would have to exert a decent amount of energy to evade them.
When the three Flickering Daggers drew close, a black shadow leapt out from the left side of a tree thirty meters away from Bai Yunfei. There was three separate 'thwocks' as the daggers embedded themselves into the tree and then flew out from behind it. They flew through a second and third tree before finally coming to a stop on the fourth one.
A second shadow came out from the first one with a roar. It detached itself from the first shadow to ten meters to the left and immediately turned into the size of a lion. Body shining bright with green light, the canine-like beast snapped its jaws menacingly at Bai Yunfei.
Bai Yunfei blinked. While he did expect an attack from a soul cultivator, a secondary attack from a soulbeast was a bit out of his expectations. But this soulbeast was just an early-stage class six and overall not even a threat to him.
The one that was an actual blip on his radar was the first shadow. Just the fact that he dodged the three Flickering Daggers alone revealed how strong he was.
A late-stage Soul Exalt.
Bai Yunfei couldn't relax knowing that he was up against two enemies. Whether they were friend or foe or if there was actually any danger, the two shadows had still been following him, so Bai Yunfei had to make sure of everything first.
"Don't be so rude, Xiao Feng, he's one of us."
The first shadow spoke before Bai Yunfei could, slapping the side of the soulbeast with a small rebuke.
Then the shadow looked up to Bai Yunfei and spoke a sentence that surprised him.
"Haha, so it really was you….but to think you get scarier and scarier with your introductions each time….Ol'Bai."
Bai Yunfei was also able to see his face when the person raised his head. The first feature Bai Yunfei saw was the eyes that grew narrow when the person smiled, and from that alone Bai Yunfei could determine this person wasn't an enemy. There simply wasn't enough hostility in those eyes for that.
The face didn't look familiar, and Bai Yunfei was absolutely sure he had never seen this person before.
But the name he was being called by….
Of everyone he knew, only one person would call him by such a name….
Bai Yunfei's eyes flew wide open. He stared down the young man in front of him, "Mingfeng?!"
The young man smiled again. "Haha, as expected from my brother, you can tell who I am in just a second. It's me!"
A wave of soulforce flowed out from his body, changing the tune of his aura and allowing Bai Yunfei to see who this person was. There was no doubts about it.
This person was Jing Mingfeng!
Not only shocked, but happy to see him, Bai Yunfei roared with laughter. "Haha!! Mingfeng, it really is you!"
He was already striding forward to greet Jing Mingfeng with a great big hug.
The two men hugged one another, their hands slapping the other on their back as a sign of just how joyful they were to see one another after so long.
The hug lasted only for a moment. Breaking away from each other, Bai Yunfei slapped Jing Mingfeng on the shoulder with mock anger, "Some good friend you are, stalking me like that until I exposed you. I was surprised to see someone who was so good at hiding themselves, but it definitely had to be you."
Jing Mingfeng laughed back. "I wasn't sure it was you at first, so I didn't want to pop out just yet. You're a mean one, Ol'Bai, attacking me before you knew I was a friend or not. If I didn't dodge those daggers, I'd have three holes in me by now."
"Oh come off it. Anyone that's shadowing me like that would definitely warrant me thinking they're an enemy. If you can't even dodge a few throwing knives, you're not a wind-type soul cultivator."
He gave Jing Mingfeng a look over. "You've done well. It's been a few years since I last saw you, but you're already a late-stage Soul Exalt, what a ridiculous growth."
Six years had nearly passed since he and Jing Mingfeng split ways in the Forest Pass Province. At that time, Jing Mingfeng had only just become a Soul Ancestor, but now he was a late-stage Soul Exalt. A growth rate like that was even more absurd than the one Lin Dongxiao had.
The only who could beat him in speed was Bai Yunfei….
Jing Mingfeng quirked his lips with anger. "I've never heard you say that before, but why don't I feel happy about it? I was so prepared to be stronger than you when we meet again. And yet here you are, still stronger than me. How in the blazes do you manage to do this?"
Bai Yunfei chuckled. Looking at the small soulbeast next to Jing Mingfeng, he spoke, "Hey, isn't this your wind howler? It's grown this much already? How'd you raise it to become a class six?"
Beckoning to the wind howler, Jing Mingfeng recalled it to his side for him to pet. "Xiao Feng has seen his fair share of days with me. The both of us nearly died multiple times, I tell you. Life-or-death experiences like that are the best way to improve."
The two men quickly sat down to talk. "Hey, Mingfeng," Bai Yunfei spoke, "what are you doing here anyways?"
Jing Mingfeng blinked. "Why else? I'm here for the 'Extreme King Pill'."
Bai Yunfei blinked back. "The Extreme King Pill? What's that?"