"What?" Gasped Xiao Fang, "Are you negotiating with me?"
"I am." Came Bai Yunfei's response. "My Upgrade Technique is very powerful for you, is it not? If I increase the capabilities of the Core Stone without becoming the master for it, wouldn't I basically be doing free work for another? If the Core Stone is mine, then it's only natural that I'll do all I can to upgrade it."
"That's…" Xiao Fang had never met such a negotiating person before, but what Bai Yunfei said did have some merit to it. His Upgrade Technique was a wonder to behold, and the sensation of being upgraded was equally unforgettable. Being upgraded had an allure Xiao Fang wanted more of and was impatient for.
Bai Yunfei's words would require some consideration over before a response could be given.
As a rather patient person, Bai Yunfei naturally decided to wait for Xiao Fang's response.
"This 'Upgrade Technique' of his is magical, there's no doubting that. Even Tianhun didn't have an ability like that. It's 'power' that goes beyond common sense. It doesn't even matter how he got this power to begin with, it's real, and that's the miracle in itself! I have to let him keep 'upgrading' me…
"I'm not just getting stronger from being 'upgraded', it's somehow increasing the compatibility between him and I. If he keeps upgrading me, I'll end up having no choice but to accept him as my master anyhow. I might as well allow him to upgrade me. He's the one that found me and passed my test anyway…
"Fine." Xiao Fang relented. "I'll agree if you can 'upgrade' me until I'm satisfied."
"Really?!" Bai Yunfei's eyes sparkled with joy. This was a bountiful answer he hadn't expected—so easily at least. He acquiesced nonetheless, "To what extent would you be satisfied with my upgrading?"
"If you can expand the space within the Core Stone by a tenth, then I'll accept you as my master."
"A tenth? How much have I expanded it so far?"
"Half a tenth."
"Only that little?" Bai Yunfei murmured. If upgrading the Core Stone to +6 equated to a 5% increase in volume, then +10 would most likely be enough to get him over that threshold imposed on him.
"Alright! I'll do it!"
He took the Core Stone into his hand without delay. "Upgrade!"
There was a shiver of light when Xiao Fang heard that one word. He was eagerly anticipating the feel now.
"Ow! That hurt!! You! You…what have you done? Did you lie to me?!"
Rather than the pleasant sensation of being upgraded, the stone felt a sharp stab of pain instead and its hologram flickered in accordance to its pain.
"Eh? It hurt?!" Bai Yunfei looked surprised by Xiao Fang's reply. Confused, he thought for a moment.
A sheepish grin appeared on Bai Yunfei's face.
"Sorry about that…the upgrade failed and you dropped a level…"
"Failed? Upgrading can fail?!"
"Success is only called success if there's such a thing called failure. But don't worry, it'll take just a few more times and I'm sure you'll be back on tip-top shape."
"Don't you lie to me! Is it easier to fail or succeed? Your failure actually hurt me, I feel the space shrinking even. But more importantly, that actually hurt!" Xiao Fang groused with enough anger and indignation.
Bai Yunfei was naturally surprised to hear of this. He never thought about the 'pain' a soul armament might feel after failing to be upgraded, besides when it disintegrated. "Haha, don't worry. It won't do any damage if it fails. I can easily bring back whatever was missing after a success."
He coughed once to recompose himself. Touching at the Luck Pendant behind his robes, Bai Yunfei whispered, "Upgrade."Upgrade Successful
"Ah…this is bliss…"
A comfortable groan escaped from the stone before Bai Yunfei could even register that the upgrade had succeeded.
"Upgrade!" Bai Yunfei took this as a sign to continue.Upgrade Successful
Once again, the upgrade succeeded, meaning the stone was now +7.
"I'm even stronger now! This feels so good…again, I want more…"
Another blissful moan escaped from the stone. Bai Yunfei felt himself blanch at the responses from the stone.
Admittedly, Bai Yunfei felt like if this continued, he'd forget about the chance of the stone blowing up if he got carried away. He furrowed his eyebrows, not very sure of what to do.
"Ah, how could I forget about that?" He slapped his forehead.
Waving his left hand, he took out a small chicken-sized egg from his space ring.
It was a +8 Guaranteed Upgrade Stone.
Pressing it against the Core Stone, Bai Yunfei tried again.
When that succeeded, he took a +9 Guaranteed Upgrade Stone and swiftly upgraded the Core Stone again.
With how the moans and groans of the stone were starting to permeate more than just Bai Yunfei's room, it would be especially worrying if someone outside misconstrued the noise to be something else…
Bai Yunfei waved his left hand again to bring out another white stone—this one the size of a goose egg—it was the +10 Guaranteed Upgrade Stone.
The expression on Bai Yunfei's face was far grimmer this time. It wasn't as though he wasn't confident about his chances, but that he was prepared for the changes of the upgrade.
It was possible that he might not reach the goal Xiao Fang set for him with this upgrade. And if that was the case, he wouldn't be able to randomly upgrade the stone afterward. This was a last chance of sorts.
Taking in a deep breath, Bai Yunfei put the two stones together.
"Upgrade!"Upgrade SuccessfulUnique Equipment
There was still not even a single line to be found on the Core Stone's stats even after upgrading it to +10. But that wasn't of much importance to Bai Yunfei. He was completely focused on the Core Stone in his hand.
He was unable to see how big of a change happened to the Core Stone since he was unable to see its stats. That wasn't what he was looking for though either. As the Guaranteed Upgrade Stone dissolved into white mist to enter the Core Stone, Bai Yunfei made sure to feel for the 'energy' that was flowing with the mist.
He didn't know if he was just 'familiar' with the energy or because of the unique nature of the equipment he was upgrading, but he could clearly feel the difference in the different energies this time.
An indescribable feeling flowed into his mind, to which he quickly ignored in favor for trying to feel for something that was already starting to fade from him…
In a matter of moments, the atmosphere around the Core Stone was already returning back to normal.
While Bai Yunfei was busy chasing after that feeling, the groans from Xiao Fang came to an immediate stop and replaced with a cry of surprise…
"That's…the Planar Laws!! What in the world!!?"