In the vicinity of the Black Cloud Mountain Ranges. One rather ordinary-looking mountaintop.
A young man dressed entirely in black was seated up against the trunk of a tree. His eyes were shut closed and his hands pressed together in a hand seal. A black light shone from his body like a flickering candle. He was clearly in meditation.
Right beside him was a middle-aged man in blood-red robes and another elder dressed in black.
Needless to say, the young man resting up against the tree trunk was the mysterious assailant that had killed so many people back in the pocket and the one who had fought Bai Yunfei to a stand-still.
The sun was already setting beyond the mountains by the time the young man's internal soulforce was stabilized to a certain level. Coughing once to clear his throat, he opened his eyes.
"Are you alright, young master?"
Xue Wei immediately asked.
"I used too much soulforce, but there should be no other problems."
The young man waved his hands. He looked calm, but his eyes were shining with an intimidating glare. His soulforce was still flickering somewhat and the muscles in his face twitched whenever the black energy around him did.
It took several moments longer before he took in his soulforce back into his body. The black energy receded away from his face, which in turn started to turn into a completely different one!
This young man had been hiding his true physical appearance!
It wasn't just the muscles in his face that was changing, even the bones themselves seemed to be reshaping with time. The altering of the face was something most soul cultivators could do, but very few could pull it off on a level like this. Most techniques required the usage of soulforce in order to change the appearance, but the flaw to it was that the technique would usually unravel as soon as they fought since it required concentration in order to maintain.
But even after fighting so many battles, especially one as intense as the battle with Bai Yunfei, the young man's true appearance hadn't been revealed for even a second.
This meant that the technique he was using was beyond what an ordinary one was capable of.
The technique he was using was most definitely a rare one too; one that was of the same level of Jing Mingfeng's Face Change Technique. It was even possible that the technique he was using was the Face Change Technique…
If Bai Yunfei saw who this person was, his mouth would've dropped wide open.
That was because this person was…Mo Ni!
The person he met several times before, once even as a young master from the Western Frontier Province. The exact same person who had tried to have Bai Yunfei killed so many times before!
"Tell me what happened while the battle for the Extreme King Pills was happening."
Mo Ni commanded Xue Wei as he looked to the faraway horizon.
"Yes, young master." Xue Wei replied before launching into a retelling of what he witnessed. He spoke until the very end of when the pocket collapsed and everyone spilled back out onto Crushed Stone River.
"So there was still so many people left…" Mo Ni murmured to himself, "Seems like I only killed a 'small' sum of people…not a single person that I should've killed was killed."
He had killed at least fifty people inside the pocket, if not eighty, and yet this was still considered a 'small' sum in his eyes. To add onto that, he said that he had failed to killed a few select people…
"An entire furnace of Extreme King Pills was turned into fragrance and subsequently absorbed. This type of ending is a bit special…" Mo Ni wondered aloud, "Those people who absorbed it," he turned to Xue Wei, "will it take long for them to digest and absorb it?"
It wasn't Xue Wei who responded, but the other elder with them. "Of course. The Extreme King Pills are a rare treasure with potency like none other. It'd take no more than ten days for someone to fully take in one whole Extreme King Pill. Most of the people hardly took in even that much, so it'll most likely take even shorter than ten days.
"I told you before to take at least one Extreme King Pill before we got here. It's main purpose might've been to help a Soul Exalt become a Soul King, but it still would've helped you become a Mid-stage Soul King. Why did you decide to fight Bai Yunfei instead? He was but a mere Soul Exalt and you didn't even kill him! Pah, what a useless endeavor!"
This elder was the one Mo Ni called the 'Black Dragon'. The one entity that so many experts from Soulbeast Forest once fought an intense battle over before being forced to becoming Mo Ni's soulbeast partner. One of the Eight Soulbeast Rulers, the Black Dragon King!
Mo Ni's eyes flashed several times. Not at all trying to cover up his 'mistake', he replied, "I underestimated him. The soul armaments he used were beyond what I expected and failed to adopt the appropriate counter-measures. I messed up and let him put me on the spot with his eccentric methods.
"But the reason I didn't go after the Extreme King Pills was…because I realized there was something even more important than the Extreme King Pills. I wanted it. And that's why I came across Bai Yunfei and fought him."
"Oh?" The Black Dragon King raised his eyebrows, "Something even more valuable than the Extreme King Pills? What is it?"
A burning fervor crossed over into Mo Ni's eyes, "Core."
"Core?" The Black Dragon King repeated in confusion.
Then he realized. "Core as in one of the Ten Great Regalia, the Core Stone?!"
Mo Ni nodded. "Exactly. This pocket was the work of the Core Stone."
"It really was Core!!" The Black Dragon King was growing even more excited by the moment. "You found the Core Stone?! Have you manage to grab it then?!"
That was where the expression on Mo Ni's face crumbled. "The place where I came out from was where the Core Stone was, but…I didn't manage to get it. It's most likely that Bai Yunfei is the one that has it now…"
"What?!" The Black Dragon King roared in anger, "It was taken by someone else?! Why didn't you take it from him?! Not only did you fail to kill him, you failed to even take the Core Stone! How can you be this useless?!"
"Black Dragon King! Don't forget your manners to the young master!" Xue Wei immediately exploded in retaliation.
Mo Ni raised a hand to stop Xue Wei from saying anything more. He stared icily at the Black Dragon King. "It was a very peculiar circumstance. Bai Yunfei is a very special student of the Crafting School. His sense for soul armaments is without a doubt better than mine, so the fact that he found it isn't strange. But it's fine. We'll let him have it for safekeeping for now. We'll be there to take it back from him soon enough."
"Pah, then you better do it sooner than later. If it accepts him as his master and imparts its inheritance onto him, then your chances of stealing it will be nigh impossible."
Clearly, the Black Dragon King was discontent with Mo Ni. He snorted once and said no more about it.
"Young master, what should we do next then?"
Xue Wei couldn't help but ask after seeing the thunderous expression on his face.
"We'll take care of the matters with the Extreme King Pill for now."
"The Extreme King Pills?" Xue Wei repeated, confused, "What do you mean by that, young master?"
"The Extreme King Pill fragrance is still in the bodies of those who took it in, are they not? And before the fragrance is absorbed, it lays dormant in their bodies, am I wrong?" Mo Ni spoke. "Find Gui Wei. Tell him to bring Gui Nu, isn't he still unused to being a Soul King? We'll have him eat his fill…"
"Is the young master wanting to have Gui Nu use the Bloodsoul Dark Artes and take in the soulforce and fragrance of the others?!" Xue Wei asked for clarification in surprise.
Mo Ni nodded. "Exactly. As long as they haven't fully absorbed the fragrance, Gui Nu will be able to use their lifeforce and take it in for himself."
"Yes!" Xue Wei replied before disappearing to do as he was told.
Looking away to the faraway setting sun, Mo Ni's eyes flickered with light. Taking out a black needle from his space ring, he had it float around his finger and hand as if to play around with it.
"Bai Yunfei…we'll meet again soon enough, and I will kill you next time!!"