An elderly figure could be seen seated within the King Caging Bell. The moment when the bell flew up to reveal him, the elder’s eyes flew open at once. As if waiting for this moment, the elder pounced forward like a tiger with a ghastly claw to stab at Bai Yunfei’s face!
Even after being trapped in the King Caging Bell for several hours, the elder had still enough soulforce to fight!
His claws were filled with the last of his soulforce. It was an ambush that should’ve caught any person off guard, but Bai Yunfei didn’t even look flustered! When it looked like his claws were just inches away from Bai Yunfei’s face, the elder felt the entire world suddenly grow blurry. Blinking, the elder realized that Bai Yunfei was now a few dozen steps away from him!
It wasn’t as though Bai Yunfei stepped backward to evade the attack. The elder was the one who had been moved!
“A portal!!” Song Qing realized.
A black beam of light flew out from his claws to attack Bai Yunfei from afar, but it only disappeared into thin air after traveling a few meters.
He narrowed his eyes. Repurposing the last of his soulforce from his claws to his body, the elder began to begin the motions to teleport.
But it wasn’t working!
“Hmph! Teleportation? In here? As if!”
The elder was alerted to the sneer of a third party and snapped his head up at the source. Floating up there in the air was an illusion of a small stone.
“You’re…” Song Qing wasn’t quite sure what to make of this thing at first, but a thought hit him soon enough. “You’re a spirit! An armament’s spirit! But how!”
Him realizing what Xiao Fang was set off a chain reaction in his mind. “This shape…this place…you’re the Core Stone! One of the Regalia! How are you in possession of a Regalia!?”
“Oh? Did you figure it out? Seems like you’re not too stupid!” Xiao Fang remarked. It hadn’t thought this man would know who it was so quick.
Bai Yunfei wasn’t as shocked as Xiao Fang was. “Since you know this is the Core World, you should know it’s pointless fighting back. There’s no use fighting, and there’s no use trying to escape. If you don’t want to die a painful death, then answer my questions.”
He didn’t want to say ‘answer my questions and I’ll let you live’. That was a statement no one would believe.
But his words seemed to spark anger in Song Qing’s eyes. “Do you really believe threats will work on me, boy? When it comes to the torturing of the soul, who else but the Soul Refining School can claim to be the best at it! For one who has dabbled in the many dark paths of the soul like I, what paltry tricks could you do to terrify me?!”
Bai Yunfei said nothing. Indeed, the words of what this Half-emperor was saying had truth to it. Torturing and Soul Scanning wouldn’t do much to a Half-emperor like Song Qing. Not even bringing the man to near-death would be enough to break the man.
“However…answer me one thing and I will perhaps tell you something else in return, including how to leave the Lost Swamp. You must be lost by now, are you not? It’ll be impossible for you to leave by yourself, but I can tell you the secret path out of the swamp.”
Almost contrary to his earlier words, Song Qing began to negotiate with Bai Yunfei.
Bai Yunfei froze up at his words. “The Lost Swamp?! Are you saying…one of the three danger zones, that swamp?!”
“What?!” Song Qing was equally confused as Bai Yunfei. “You didn’t know that?! Then how in the world did you manage to get into our school?!”
Bai Yunfei didn’t respond, he was trying to remember what little information he knew of the Lost Swamp. So the Soul Refining School had their school located within the Lost Swamp? That was an even harder location to find than the Underworld School in the Black Cloud Valley! It was no wonder the Soul Refining School was never found, who would’ve thought they’d be in one of the three danger zones?
The Lost Swamp was located at the fringe of the western borders of the empire. It was inexplicably large and covered a great deal of land. It was almost similar to the Black Cloud Valley, but rather than having black clouds cover the place, the swamp was covered by a very thick white fog.
The black clouds of Black Cloud Valley could dampen the ability of a soul cultivator to scan their surroundings, but the white fog of the Lost Swamp could ‘fool’ the senses of a soul cultivator. In other words, a soul cultivator would have no sense of direction and would be in even worse straits.
Having one’s soulsense be dampened was already terrifying enough, but a soul cultivator would still be able to note that something within a certain range of him was real. In this white fog, however, a soul cultivator wouldn’t even be able to see if the objects in front of them were real or not!
Simply put, a Soul King would be able to teleport through the place, but they might end up teleporting to the south rather than to the north as they wanted.
The usage of soulsense was therefore useless in such a place. One was better off relying on their own sense of sight to guide their path.
It was said that many soul cultivators have long since tried to discern the mystery behind the Lost Swamp, but the majority of them failed to return…
A sour expression appeared on Bai Yunfei’s face. It was no wonder he was lost then if he was in such a place. Bai Yunfei felt like no wonder where he was going nowhere despite teleporting several times over. He just didn’t think there’d be a reason like this behind it!
If everything Song Qing said was true, then Bai Yunfei’s chances of truly escaping from the Soul Refining School and the Lost Swamp would be practically nil.
“What is it you want then?” Bai Yunfei asked after a long period of silence.
“Don’t worry, I’m not so naive that I’d ask you to spare my life. My only desire is to fight you again!
“I won’t ask for it to be a fair fight.” The elder spoke, “I only ask that you don’t use the Core World to nullify my attacks. Let us fight now and here!
“And if you can beat me,” Song Qing gave Bai Yunfei a hard stare, “I’ll tell you how to leave the Lost Swamp!”
Bai Yunfei wasn’t quite sure what to say. This ‘condition’’ was rather strange. Song Qing wanted to fight him? Did he even stand a chance with the state he was in right now?
And Song Qing said that he’d tell Bai Yunfei how to get out from the Lost Swamp if he won. He didn’t say anything about if Bai Yunfei lost! Did he realize he hadn’t a chance here? What was the point in negotiating like this then? Was he just trying to vent his anger and fight with the last he had so he could die in peace?
But Bai Yunfei couldn’t find anything wrong about this deal…
“Alright! I’ll agree with that! Let us fight then!”
Bai Yunfei replied in affirmation. It didn’t matter what Song Qing’s aim was, Bai Yunfei had no doubts that he’d win this bout. And in the chance he didn’t get any valuable information Bai Yunfei was still quite willing to take his chances finding his way out by himself.
The world around Song Qing changed as he and Bai Yunfei were transported immediately to a new place. They were standing on top of an expansive flatland with a small stream nearby. They were up in the air and separated by a thousand steps.
“So this is the Core World…the supreme soul armament of space. How unfathomable…” Song Qing couldn’t help but sigh his praises as he looked around himself.
His eyes narrowed at Bai Yunfei straight away. With a loud grunt, he began to gather a massive amount of elemental darkness from the skies to him!
Spending almost forty hours in the King Caging Bell had nearly drained the Half-emperor of all his soulforce. Knowing that resistance was futile while he was in there, the Half-emperor decided to go into a state of meditation to hasten his regeneration process. That would at the very least mitigate the amount of soulforce drained from his body.
The regeneration of a Half-emperor was definitely leaps and bounds beyond that of a Soul King. Like that, Song Qing was able to withstand hours of constant draining before Bai Yunfei took the bell off him. When the bell came off, the Half-emperor had probably forty percent of his soulforce left.
But despite not even having half his soulforce, the man was still seemingly full of energy with how he was gathering elemental darkness to him. It made Bai Yunfei feel almost uneasy to even look at him.
Bai Yunfei knew he couldn’t just stand there and let the Half-emperor charge up an attack. Summoning the Cataclysmic Seal to him, Bai Yunfei had its fireseed enter his body so he could enter ‘Coil’ Form.
A wave of elemental fire exploded into the world before turning from a raging inferno into a sea of flame. It burned with so much heat that it felt like the entire Core World was on fire.
Gathering behind Bai Yunfei, the flames soon began to take on the form of a giant malevolent diety!
Song Qing’s eyes widened as he realized what this was the prelude for.
“This…this can’t be! The Planar Law of Fire!!?”