Fixedly staring at the black-robed figure, Bai Yunfei began to try to recover all of the soulforce he had used up.
“This has to be his last resort, how will this turn out…”
Just as Bai Yunfei was thinking to himself, an unbelievably strong amount of soulforce began to glow from the heart of the explosion. The golden light began to intensify. It washed over the flying rocks and started to spiral around the area, forming a golden tornado that spun.
Spinning faster and faster, the tornado continued to drag the wisps of fire and stone to its center. Soon it started to slow. Not even a minute later, the tornado had gone from a circumference of over a dozen meters to two or three meters. Now, the black-robed man could be seen standing in it.
Lifting his right hand in front of his body, the black-robed man gave it a shake to dissipate the golden light. As it dissipated, it transform into a golden ball that revolved around him.
Like before, the black-robed man could be seen standing straight and tall. However, the arm he lifted before, his right arm, had its sleeve burned off. On his skin underneath, an inch wide burn could be seen. The wound had been rather heavy, and even with the golden light around his arm, a single bright-red glow leaked from it.
His black robes remained, but the black hood that had covered his head was partially gone. His silver hair could be seen underneath along with a golden mask on his face.
Several strands of bloody stripes could be seen on the golden mask as if they were malevolent scars on a face. It gave it a rather demonic look. Even more demonic was the fact that behind the eyeholes the right eye was normal, but the other eye had a silver-colored pupil. What was more bizarre than that was the fact that it was a vertical pupil commonly seen in beasts!
Inspecting the wounds on his right arm, the man’s eyes couldn’t hide his shock and his incomparable fury. As a Soul Ancestor, he had been injured by a Soul Sprite of the previous generation!!
Suddenly bringing up his head with glinting eyes, he took a single step forward with his feet. Then, with a bright trail of golden light in the shape of a sharp blade, the man took off with an ear-whistling sound toward Bai Yunfei!
The man suddenly leaped over Bai Yunfei jumping several meters into the air as he headed toward him. The man whirled around in mid-air. Forming a knife hand with his left hand, the man began to concentrate a halo of golden light before ultimately sending a single slash of light at Bai Yunfei!
From the looks of things, the man looked as if he had the same idea as Bai Yunfei. ‘An eye for an eye’, but Bai Yunfei would die!
The moment when Bai Yunfei saw the man make a move, his eyes had narrowed in concentration. As he was preparing himself to dodge, his opponent managed to traverse several dozen meters to get to him. The next leap had been many times faster than his previous speeds!
Overwhelmed with shock, Bai Yunfei dodged with his life on the line. Using some of his restored soulforce for the Wave Treading Steps, he manage to stumble half a meter away.
A single second later, the earth began to shake. The giant boulder Bai Yunfei had been leaning against immediately split into two perfect halves!
When the black-robed man touched back on the ground, he brought his left arm down and his right arm back up to unleash yet another ‘blade’ of light!
Unable to dodge, Bai Yunfei clenched his teeth and brought his bracer up to protect himself from the blade.
Another clash could be heard along with a fiery spark as Bai Yunfei’s body was thrown back. While he remained unharmed, there was a single white slash on his bracer. Though the bracer was already restoring itself back to its original state.
A flash of surprise came across the man’s eyes, but he let out a sneer without stopping. He charged straight at Bai Yunfei.
Once again greeted with the golden ‘palm blade’, Bai Yunfei quickly retreated while bringing his right arm up to defend himself again.
Just as the left arm of the black-robed man came down, a gleam appeared in the man’s eyes! Suddenly, he diverted the angle of his palm so that the blade of light shot past Bai Yunfei’s bracer and straight into his chest!
Bai Yunfei’s body was like an artillery shell as he shot back with a resounding impact sound. Breaking through a meter thick boulder, Bai Yunfei continued for another ten meters before finally stopping by tumbling on the ground.
Bai Yunfei knelt on the ground with a dark expression as he belched out a mouthful of blood. There was despair in his eyes at first before he refocused himself. With a wave of his right arm, the Glacial Pricker appeared in it. He glared at the black-robed man in preparation to attack.
Seeing the heavily injured Bai Yunfei, the black-robed man let out a satisfied chuckle. The killing intent in his eyes grew even richer. His right arm had completely healed by now. Lifting up his leg, he prepared to move out to attack again.
The moment after he brought his leg up, his eyes suddenly dilated before he leaped back without hesitation.
Practically milliseconds after he had retreated, a crimson-red light cut the area where he had been standing. Even after being dodged, the crimson light changed directions to once more shoot straight at the black-robed man!
Gaining a chilly frost to his eyes, the black-robed man clenched his fist and raised it. The golden light around him began to condensate and form a meter long broadsword that slashed down at the red gleam.
“Clang!” The red gleam came to a sudden stop, revealing a crimson sword about a meter long!
The black-robed man’s right hand came flying up while his entire body was flung back. The crimson sword rotated several times in the air before ultimately being caught by a white figure.
His white robes accentuated his tall but relaxed posture; this newcomer looked no older than thirty years old. His face was steady, his eyebrows thick, and even the hair on his temples was rather sharp looking. Step by step, the man walked on the sky itself with a red light glowing underneath his feet. It was the eldest son of the family that had been watching Bai Yunfei from the teahouse, Jiang Fan!
Jiang Fan came to a stop on top of a ten meter tall boulder, creating a triangular shape between the black-robed man and Bai Yunfei. Holding onto the crimson-red sword in his hand, he stared suspiciously at the man with cold eyes for a moment before asking, “And who might this sire be? Is a grand Soul Ancestor really bullying a junior Soul Sprite from my Crafting School?”
Flabbergasted, the black-robe man stared at Bai Yunfei who was several dozens meters away with flickering eyes.
Bai Yunfei’s eyes twinkled as well with a pensive gleam to them. Having Jiang Fan obstruct the other man had given him some breathing room for a moment. Whatever the identity of this individual or why this man was helping him confused Bai Yunfei. This confusion remained until he heard himself being referred to as a ‘junior of the Crafting School’.
“He’s from the Crafting School! But why did he say I’m a junior there? Could it be because… of my personal soul item?” Bai Yunfei spared a glance at his Flameblade Bracer with a guess. Inwardly rejoicing to himself, Bai Yunfei stood back up with the Glacial Pricker clenched tightly in his hands. Standing still with rapt attention, Bai Yunfei began to recover his soulforce to recuperate his wounds.
“The Red Lotus Blood Sword, Crafting School, you’re Jiang Fan!” After a moment’s silence, the man harshly spoke.
Jiang Fan laughed, “So you’ve heard of me? What should I call you then? I can tell that you’re similar to my age based off of your voice. But with your strength… might I ask which sect or family you’re a part of?”
The man did not respond, prompting Jiang Fan to respond, “If you’re not willing to speak, then forget it. Allow me to ask, just what did my junior do to offend you to the point of being exterminated without mercy?”
The man’s eyes grew even colder as he snorted, “I wish to kill him, that’s all. Do I really need to give you my reasoning!?”
“Oh?” Jiang Fan’s eyebrows arched up. “From what you’re saying, do you mean to tell me that you don’t see my Crafting School as a threat?”
Unflinchingly, the man continued to speak with the same frosty tone, “Crafting School? Pah, how intimidating! Do you really think I’d be scared shitless by you! You and I are of the same strength; if I wished to kill him, do you think you could protect him and yourself at the same time?”
Jiang Fan’s smile receded away from his face to reveal a look of disdain. With a slight growl, he spoke, “Did you think I wouldn’t be able to? Then why are you talking so much? You’ve already lost plenty of soulforce fighting my junior earlier. So, instead of trying to find a chance to get past me, you’re just biding your time to recover your strength. Isn’t that right?”
“He’s figured it out!” The man thought to himself, but concentrating on his icy nerves, he replied, “Then I’ll kill him for you to see!!”
As soon as he finished speaking, a tremendous amount of force brought him flying toward Bai Yunfei!
However, Jiang Fan had prepared for this long ago. With a swing of his right arm, the long sword flew out. Simultaneously taking off, Jiang Fan charged toward the median point where Bai Yunfei and the black-robed man would meet.
Halfway to his destination, the man had tilted to the side to dodge the long sword that came up to block him. The sword rotated around before returning to Jiang Fan’s hand. The sword then came swinging down to strike the man down.
The man’s pupil’s vaguely contracted as he shook his right arm. A bright golden dagger appeared in his hand, allowing him to block the incoming sword.
Borrowing the impact force to whirl around, Jiang Fan moved in front of Bai Yunfei. Glancing at him, Jiang Fan commanded, “You leave first!”
He was afraid that Bai Yunfei would be caught up in the storm of the battle due to the determined intent of the enemy. It was hard for him to protect the two of them. Therefore, it would be easier to make it so he would only need to protect himself.
Bai Yunfei didn’t even need to be told to retreat since he was already doing so the moment Jiang Fan and the other man made their moves. When he heard Jiang Fan’s order, Bai Yunfei’s legs moved a fraction of a second faster and he quickly traversed a hundred meters.
The same time Jiang Fan had cried out, the other man’s legs gained a halo of golden light underneath it. Leaping off the ground to fly several meters into the air, the man looked ominously at the retreating figure of Bai Yunfei. The dagger in his right hand gleamed with a bright light before suddenly flying with a golden crescent arc at Bai Yunfei.
Bai Yunfei’s speed increased abruptly at that moment, resulting in the light missing his back. It struck a nearby pillar. With a shattering explosion, the stone pillar split in two.
Just as the man was about to release a second arc of light, his eyes suddenly widened in realization. He threw himself to his right. Just as he dodged, a crimson red light streaked past him and collided with the golden light.
By this point, Jiang Fan had already move ten meters into the air along with the man. His eyes coldly stared the man down while the crimson-red sword in his hand moved with a trail of after-images behind it. A ball of fire could be seen gathering in the air around him before dancing around the sword itself. It was as if it was being attracted by some sort of strange pull. As the fire gathered, it began to swirl around the area.
In a split second, the flames split off to materialize into seven lotus flowers around Jiang Fan. Rotating around his body, they continued to compress themselves.