Did Qin Shoufeng had something in mind, like challenging him again? Was he really that overconfident about his strength?
Having not the answer to his own question, Bai Yunfei shrugged and moved to slam open the door.
With how abrupt the door opened in front of him, Qin Shoufeng leaped back a step in fright. Adopting a cautious stance, he glared at Bai Yunfei, "Yo—you, what are you doing?!"
A little pleased by his reaction, Bai Yunfei stared at him, "Shouldn't I be asking that? What are you doing here, looking for me?"
Now realizing the loss of composure that must've come over himself when he neared the door, Qin Shoufeng straightened up. Coughing once to recompose himself, he asked, "Are…are you really Bai Yunfei? The same Bai Yunfei from the Crafting School?"
"Forgive me for not wanting to offer you any more company if you're going to ask a pointless question like that."
He turned to close the door, but Qin Shoufeng's next question stopped him before his hand could do so.
"I've heard things aren't that bad between you and Tang Xinyun, correct?"
Bai Yunfei turned his head.
"What do you mean by that?"
"Nothing at all, just a curious question." Qin Shoufeng had a small grin on his face at the surprised expression of Bai Yunfei. "While we're on the topic, the Qin and the Tang have always been good friends. Lifelong friends, in fact."
"Oh?" Again, Bai Yunfei wasn't quite sure where this was going. He hadn't expected this line of conversation to pop up.
But that got the gears in his mind to start to turn.
Was this person trying to use Tang Xinyun as a means to become friends with him? With how the question and conversation were posed, it didn't really feel as such to him, though.
"What are you getting at?" Bai Yunfei asked again.
"Do you like Tang Xinyun?"
Once again, yet another abrupt question.
"That's not relevant to you. What are you trying to get at?"
"Hehe…it actually is quite relevant to me…" Qin Shoufeng cackled to himself.
"Are you going to the Tang? Are you perhaps…going to propose?" Qin Shoufeng changed the topic.
"I can't believe this…" Bai Yunfei looked impatient, "I don't see the need to answer this question. If you don't have anything else to say, then go away and stop bothering me."
Qin Shoufeng looked almost amused by Bai Yunfei's response, rather than being angry. "Did I hit it in on the nail? Hehe…hate to break it to you, but you should give up on that idea. You…won't ever be with Tang Xinyun."
Again in the middle of closing the door on Qin Shoufeng, Bai Yunfei paused to gave him a deathly glare. "Are you trying to provoke me? If our last meeting wasn't enough for you, I'll be more than happy to cripple your right arm for you."
There was a reaction this time from Qin Shoufeng. He was planning on saying a few more provoking words to Bai Yunfei, but then he realized that it was a plan that'd most likely see to Bai Yunfei doing as he said he would.
Seeing Qin Shoufeng cowered, Bai Yunfei saw no reason to prolong the conversation. Stepping back, he closed the door shut onto Qin Shoufeng's face.
Qin Shoufeng stood still on the other side of the door. Now that Bai Yunfei wasn't there, he couldn't see the dark expression on Qin Shoufeng's face. There was a faint smile on his face as he laughed to himself and walked away.
"Hehe, he doesn't look like he knows what's going on at all. Didn't Tang Xinyun tell him? Tragic…I wonder what kind of expression he'll have on his face, haha! It'll be great I bet…"
The surprise visit of Qin Shoufeng was puzzling to Bai Yunfei, but he soon paid it further attention after not being able to make much sense of it in favor of continuing upgrading his equipment.
Bai Yunfei rarely ventured out from his rooms the following few days. Aside from upgrading his equipment, Bai Yunfei was completely focused on his training. With Realm Accretion, Bai Yunfei was seeing very little returns whenever he trained. Still, he could see that the technique was doing its job. The energy he was 'fermenting' like wine was going at a faster pace than Xiao Fang expected.
All in all, things were progressing in ways Bai Yunfei liked.
It took Bai Yunfei nearly twenty-something days the last time he accompanied Tang Xinyun from the Crafting School to her home. This time, it took just barely a week for the airship to reach the Forest Pass Province.
The airship was slowing down now that it had reached the designated province. Now cruising at a height of just a kilometer above ground, the airship was starting to 'drop' certain soul cultivators at their desired stops. From what Bai Yunfei could tell, the people from the Qin had already left the airship a while back. A height of just a kilometer was insignificant for Soul Exalts and higher.
"We should be near Mo City by this point…"
Bai Yunfei glanced out the window to stare at the familiar landscape all around him. Nostalgia came flooding back into his mind.
This was the place he and Tang Xinyun first met, along with the Flying Dagger brothers.
He thought next about the Flying Dagger Compendium. With his current strength, the usage of flying daggers was nothing more but a hobby now, but the compendium said that there were still quite a few amazingly-strong flying daggers. He hadn't crafted any of those before due to his strength, but now was a different story. All he needed was the time and materials to craft them…
Waves of happy nostalgia rose up within Bai Yunfei when he thought about his first meeting of Tang Xinyun. Then he remembered what Qin Shoufeng said to him a while back—
Marriage. Should he actually consider bringing up such a topic? It hadn't crossed his mind before. Due to their life expectancies, it wasn't strange for a soul cultivator to be married when they were in their thirties or forties.
He and Xinyun weren't glued at the hips either. Their feelings might've been mutual, but there was still one final paper-thin threshold that had yet to be crossed.
Perhaps he should think about bringing up the topic when he got there?
Trying his best to shake his minds of these thoughts, Bai Yunfei focused on the landscape. It wouldn't be long now; he could already see off in a distance something violet.
An ocean of violet flowers.
Mt. Orchid. A beautiful place where butterfly orchids grew naturally and where Bai Yunfei and Tang Xinyun traveled to once. Aunt Xue loved the flowers here, and subsequently, Tang Xinyun loved to travel here once in a while for them.
A reminiscent smile appeared onto Bai Yunfei's face at the memory. "I don't need to go all the way to Mo City if I'm here. I can get aunty Xue some butterfly orchids as a present…"
Bai Yunfei suddenly felt a faint hum coming from where the Core Stone was as he soliloquized to himself. A semi-transparent wave of energy pulsated outwards before the figure of Bai Yunfei disappeared from his room.
In the space beneath the airship, a tremendous landscape of butterfly orchids was growing all over the mountain. And standing most prominently in the area was the figure of Bai Yunfei.
But something about his surroundings was suspicious to Bai Yunfei. The more he looked around the area, the grimmer his expression became.
The place where he was standing on should've been at the top of Mt. Orchid where the most beautiful butterfly orchids grew. The last he remembered of the place, it was an untouched garden of beauty.
But today, there was very clearly a single line that traveled across the mountaintop as if to split it in two!
This was…the signs of a battle!
Upon scanning the large crack, Bai Yunfei could see several other smaller cracks splitting away from it. These cracks were indeed the marks made from battle, but not one that was of tremendously powerful scale. This was from a fight that was over in about one or two moves.
His follow-up of the scenery around him saw to him seeing something strange. With a wave of his hand, something white flew out from the right side of the mountain to fly to his hand.
It was a feather. It was about a meter long from tip to tail, meaning the bird itself was of significant size.
"Is this…Xiao Bai's feather?!"
Bai Yunfei had no way of telling what type of bird the feather belonged to just from the sight, of course. But his senses were able to pick up on the faint aura that was lingering on the feather, allowing him to pinpoint that the owner of the feather was Xiao Bai! This was a feather that had fallen as a result of battle!
He was feeling uneasy now. A secondary scan of the area wasn't telling Bai Yunfei anything he wanted to know.
Leaping up a few hundred meters into the air to determine the direction of Mo City, Bai Yunfei immediately disappeared into a flash of light…