Within the Core World.
The figure of Bai Yunfei materialized on top of a mountain relatively shorter than the others around.
He sighed as his feet touched down onto it. Making several hand seals, Bai Yunfei slammed a palm against his chest.
Blood spurted out from his mouth at the same time as his energy. Like a deflating balloon, Bai Yunfei crumpled down to the ground and sat there breathlessly.
The muscles on his face twitched non-stop in pain as he tried to hold himself back from grunting. His teeth were biting hard against his lips as the rest of his face promptly lost any semblance of color from the pain.
He had been prepared for the Soul Ignition’s backlash, but the pain had still been beyond what he expected.
It felt like something was trying to pull apart his soul bit by bit. Every single part of his body was aching as if thousands of little blades were slicing apart at it.
Bai Yunfei lasted for only five seconds before he couldn’t handle it anymore and cried out in pain!
His fist slammed against the stone ground beside him. But rather than splitting apart the earth, his right hand had several splits from where it smashed against the ground. Blood spilled from the cracks and dripped onto the ground.
The many soul armaments Bai Yunfei wore emitted a warm glow as if trying to comfort Bai Yunfei’s soul. Among these soul armaments were the bracelet he wore on his right hand and the Soul Sentinel Scarf on his forehead. Not only were they shining the brightest, but they were also doing the most work in healing his wounds and soul.
Bai Yunfei’s voice was practically shot by now with all the screaming he did. His entire body was slick with sweat and even his hair looked as if it had been dunked in water. Tired, he collapsed onto the ground and gasped for breath.
He didn’t even know if ten minutes had passed or just a few seconds. The amount of pain he had been in made sure he wasn’t sure how long the passage of time was. Not even the usage of soulforce was enough to soften the pain enough to an endurable level of it.
Bai Yunfei wasn’t even sure if he’d have been able to remain sane if not for the Soul Sentinel Scarf and bracelet he wore providing assistance and relief to him…
That was when Bai Yunfei noticed there was something licking at his right hand. Startled, he whipped his head as fast as he could in his weakened state only to see Lao Sha laying right by his side. The dog was carefully staring at him with yellowed eyes that seemed to only glow with concern in them.
Bai Yunfei forced himself to give a wheezing laugh, “Lao Sha, I don’t have the strength to give you any primal stones to eat. Sit by the side for now and let me heal up first.”
The shar-pei gave Bai Yunfei a long stare. In that time, it did nothing but stare as if evaluating Bai Yunfei. Then it lapped at his right hand again and stood up. Walking a dozen meters away, the dog plopped back onto the ground and stared at Bai Yunfei.
The dog was growing smarter and smarter by the day.
Bai Yunfei hadn’t the time nor energy to really think about that though. Under a groaning body, he forced himself to sit upright and brought the Cataclysmic Seal out to bring the fireseed inside it into his own body.
And now that the Dual Flame Artes had been activated, Bai Yunfei began to recuperate…
In the real world while Bai Yunfei was recuperating.
Up on top of a lofty mountain stood an unbelievably large palace constructed entirely from a mysteriously black material. From within the palace—which seemed almost abandoned with how empty it was—a single person could be seen walking through it.
Not even a single piece of light stone was placed within the palace like with most buildings in the world. In its place, the entire palace was illuminated with the usage of candles so it was hardly lit and had an eerie glow to it.
But as dark as it was within the halls, a person could still be seen walking through them. It was Mo Ni.
He seemed like an entirely different person than from before. He looked almost nervous with each step he took, and every step was made with great care as to not make a sound.
A distance as long as this hall would’ve been normally traversed in a matter of moments, but Mo Ni seemed to be intentionally dragging out the moments from one end to another to where a seated man could be seen.
It seemed like it was only the two of them in the large expansive hall. There weren’t even any objects to be seen.
This was probably a place for training, so it might not be strange for such a sight like this to exist.
The nervous look on Mo Ni’s face intensified. Exhaling slowly, he bowed. “I have returned, father.”
Only silence greeted Mo Ni. It was as if this figure hadn’t even heard Mo Ni speak.
Mo Ni bowed his head even deeper. His eyes glistened nervously and his two fists clenched up tightly.
Several moments passed by, but it felt like an eternity to Mo Ni.
Then, at last, a completely calm and neutral voice spoke…
“I ordered you to return a month ago. Why did you not listen?”
Neither joy nor anger could be heard from the voice, but Mo Ni shivered nonetheless. “Please let me explain, father!” He hurried to justify himself, “Your son was doing something of the utmost importance and didn’t hear the order to return, father. I was in Swallow City coordinating something when our ally, the Qin, came under attack. The one who was transported back with me is Bai Yunfei, he’s th—”
“Do you or do you not know that the person you brought back destroyed Coiling Serpent Mountain, killed over a hundred of our students, and kidnapped elder Lu, the one in charge of the northern three mountains?”
The voice spoke again, interrupting Mo Ni before he could finish his sentence. Again, it was lacking any emotion, but Mo Ni was still utterly fearful at the voice.
“Your son never imagined Bai Yunfei would do such a thing. He was as weak as a twig when he arrived, I…”
He wanted to justify himself, but he couldn’t. An overwhelming pressure pressed against his body and immediately caused him to freeze up.
He knew his father was very much displeased. Displeased that he had not only ignored orders but also indirectly caused the destruction upon their school.
Mo Ni was starting to look fretful now. He was running out of options. Biting his lips, he finally decided to try and explain things once more!
“Father, your son was able to obtain the Soul Sealing Mandate this time! And…that Bai Yunfei has the Core Stone!!”
“What did you say?!”
All the candles within the hall flickered as a powerful burst of aura flowed through the hall. Two beams of light stared at Mo Ni as the only other person in the hall finally opened his eyes. At last, there was some semblance of emotion in his voice! The emotion of shock!
“Whew…” Mo Ni let out a mental sigh of relief. “Your son was able to obtain the Soul Sealing Mandate, father. And that Bai Yunfei has the Core Stoen!”
He waved his right hand to bring out a crystalline object about the size of his palm. The moment it appeared, a small whirlwind of energy wrapped around it and flung the object towards the other person’s hand.
A white glow of light erupted from the Soul Sealing Mandate the moment it touched the person’s hand. The Soul Sealing Mandate was starting to shine!
And then completely out of the blue, a strange voice began to speak in the hall.
“Oh? At last there’s someone worth looking at…And here I thought the current world of soul cultivators was so decayed that no Soul Emperor even exists!”