“You… you know that I’m a soul cultivator?”
Tianming’s eyes grew wide as he stared at Bai Yunfei in astonishment.
Bai Yunfei made a zipping motion with his hand to signify that Ye Tianming was speaking far too loud. With a faint smile, Bai Yunfei said, “Haha, don’t be so nervous. I won’t tell anyone else; I’ll keep your secret.”
“If… if you know, then you must be a soul cultivator too!” Tianming immediately whispered after realizing that Bai Yunfei was a soul cultivator.
With a nod of his head, Bai Yunfei walked over to the nearby chair and sat down. “Yes. We are both soul cultivators, and we will cooperate with one another. If you don’t wish to reveal yourself, it’s only natural that I won’t reveal you. However, I have no intentions of telling them I am one either. So, how about you don’t tell them either, okay?”
“Aah? Oh… uh… okay…” Tianming looked as if he was out of it. Dazed, he finally responded, “I can’t sense your soulforce, so that means you’re stronger than me! Why is it that you don’t want to reveal yourself? As a soul cultivator, you’re still willing to mix with the civilians? Even more, the way you talked with them was completely unlike a soul cultivator…”
“Eh? What’s so strange about it? Haha, do I have to be so high and mighty to ‘be’ a soul cultivator? Didn’t you just say soul cultivators are people too? And that you never thought that soul cultivators were ever a step higher than any regular person? Coincidentally, I feel the same way.”
“Really?” Tianming’s face lit up in excitement, “Do you really think that way too, brother Bai?”
Ye Tianming let out a sigh as if he was pretending to be an old, mature person. “A lot of soul cultivators feel as if they are far more important than any regular civilian, and would hate to be seen with one. Even those who don’t particularly care as much try not to get too close to a civilian in their minds. Even those two soul cultivators in that tent are no exception. While they’re polite, they don’t talk unless necessary, and never mingle with us…”
“Who cares what they do?” Bai Yunfei laughed. “Aren’t they free to do what they are free to do? As long as you follow your mindset without any problems, then who cares what others might think. It’s not like you’re living for them.”
Tianming stared blankly at Bai Yunfei for a long while before his spirit finally returned to him, “I… I can live for myself? My parents always said that… to be born to the house of Ye is to serve the family for one’s entire life. For the family, one must swallow their pride and tolerate our grievances for the sake of the development of our family — even if it means to sacrifice one’s own life…”
“For the family huh…” Bai Yunfei’s eyebrows knit together in thought, “That is something I don’t understand, but even if it’s family, you shouldn’t have to swallow your pride to work for the family. Even if you come across some sort of trouble, you have to resolve it willingly and not be forced by another. Do as you yourself wants to do. Even if it’s hard or tiresome, do it so you have no regrets. Man has to be happy in their life, don’t you agree?”
“That… I… I don’t know…” Tianming shook his head. His eyes reflected his confusion with a blank stare.
“Oh, well. I don’t understand it much myself either.” Bai Yunfei smiled in embarrassment. “I was only just saying what popped up in my mind. In short, if you can, do what you want to the best of your ability. Be free and easy and live without regrets.”
“Do what I want to do?” Tianming remained clueless for a little longer before a look of realization overcame his face. With a wide grin, he replied, “Yes! That’s it! Do what I want! Hah, staying at home was suffocating me to death! Even after running away for two months, what danger was there? I had a blast playing around!”
“Haha, well, as long as you’re happy.” Bai Yunfei nodded his head. “Ah, Tianming, your house is in Gaoyi City, right? Then do you know what type of family the house of Liu is?”
“Eh? Are you talking about the Liuqi family? What? Are you familiar with the house of Liu?”
“No, it’s not like that. I have a friend that’s familiar with the house of Liu; they know that I should be traveling through Gaoyi City and so they gave me a letter. I was told to go find the house of Liu should I ever need help. I don’t know them, so I wanted to ask around.”
“Oh, I see now…” Tianming didn’t ask any more questions and instead began to think. “The house of Liu is one of the three ruling families in Gaoyi City. My house of Ye and the house of Zhao are similar to them in strength, but several of their senior members are disciples of the Wood School. They have a special connection with the Wood school because of those disciples. Still, it’s not as though they need that type of support to threaten people since they’re a very moderate family to begin with.”
“Oh, is that right?” Bai Yunfei gave a thoughtful nod before suddenly asking, “You’re part of the house of Ye? Does that mean your family is one of the three ruling families in the city?”
“Crap! I let it slip!” Tianming blanched when he realized he had revealed far too much. With an embarrassed wave of his hands, he responded, “Er… hehe, let’s keep this a secret from everyone, okay? I haven’t told anyone else, but if they found out, then there’s no way we would be able to talk normally again.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t tell. Well then, it’s getting late. I’ll be resting first. Let’s talk tomorrow. I haven’t rested for several days, so at last I can finally sleep in peace!” Bai Yunfei let out a yawn before laying his head on the pillow and closing his eyes.
Tianming didn’t know what else to say, but when he saw Bai Yunfei had fallen asleep, he decided not to say anything more. Laying down on his own bed while deep in thought, Tianming finally fell asleep several moments later.
Without even cultivating, Bai Yunfei woke up the next morning in a refreshed mood. Seeing how bright the sky was outside, Bai Yunfei noticed that no one else was up yet. Sitting crossed-legged on his bed, Bai Yunfei began to slowly inspect his injuries.
Several moments later when the day became even brighter, Bai Yunfei finally reopened his eyes with a satisfied smile. “They’re pretty much healed with no aftereffects. My soulforce has increased even more too. It looks like my strength increases explosively after experiencing danger! But… I hope that such situations don’t come often. I don’t like this way of increasing my strength.”
“Eh? Brother Bai, you’re up already? I was just about to wake you for breakfast.”
Upon walking out from the tent, Bai Yunfei came across Tianming, who had been in the middle of completing some labor. In his hand was a broken fan, and his face was filled with soot. His hair had even some leftover leaves and branches stuck in i t— clearly he had just been cooking the breakfast meals for today.
“When I woke up you were already in the middle of your cultivation, so I didn’t want to bother you. Your porridge is all heated up for you to eat. If you can wash yourself up in the brook, we can eat breakfast and then continue on our way.” Tianming pointed to the brook to the right of them for Bai Yunfei to wash up.
“Alright. I’ll go do that.” Bai Yunfei nodded, but seeing how grimy Tianming was, he couldn’t help but smile. “Hey, Tianming. Why does a young master like you like to do such odd jobs like these? You’re so dirty, why don’t you go wash up too.”
“It’s fun! I could never do this back at home… haha. Fine, I’ll go wash up.” Tianming shook his head with a chuckle, and followed Bai Yunfei to the brook.
After cleaning up, Bai Yunfei began to wring his hands to dry himself off. As soon as he was about to call for Tianming, a furious howl suddenly shocked Bai Yunfei, causing him to fall face-first back into the water.
“Pervert! Do you still deny it!? You’re still following the young miss!” The voice of a middle-aged woman could suddenly be heard from behind. Even the far away men were startled and began to look on over.
Bai Yunfei trembled as he turned around to see the two people right behind him. Quirking his lips in embarrassment, he replied, “Au… aunty, how coincidental. We meet again… but, I’ve explained before, I’m no pervert…”
The sudden newcomers had been the two women Jing Mingfeng had played around with back in Yanlin City. The ones who had later fought Bai Yunfei.
“Hmph! You’re still pretending! Once a pervert, always a pervert! If we meet again here, then that means you’re not going to give up on the young miss!?” Aunty Zhao unconsciously hid the young miss behind her as she stared vigilantly down at Bai Yunfei with a furious expression.
Unable to laugh or cry, Bai Yunfei helplessly replied, “I’ve said it before, aunty. This is really a coincidence. If I was following you, would I really let you see me here out in the open like an idiot? It wasn’t me before, I’ve told you someone disguised themselves as me. I’ve found him already though too…”
“Hmph, then where is he!? Call him out to prove it!” Aunty Zhao was unrelenting against Bai Yunfei and began to demand answers from him.
“Well… he and I already split ways…”
“What a load of cock-and-bull! These are all just lies!” The furious expression on her face grew even more angry before her soulforce began to surge from her body. Lifting her right foot off the ground, she then gave it a heavy stomp. As the elemental earth entered it, a wash-basin-sized stone flew half a meter into the air next to her foot. With a single kick, the aunty sent the stone flying at Bai Yunfei with a whistling sound.
Bai Yunfei’s eyebrows knit together in annoyance. With a snort, he stepped half a step and brought his right hand forward to punch it.
A bright-red glow could be seen. The stone that had shot at Bai Yunfei was pulverized into dust which scattered with the wind.
“Aunty, you are far too much of a bully. I’ve never done you any wrongs, yet this is the second time you’ve tried to start something. If you still wish to fight today, then I won’t be as polite as I was last time!” Bai Yunfei raised his right fist with an angry scowl.
“Aunty Zhao, don’t get angry. This mister isn’t following us. Boss Huang said that a traveler joined the group just yesterday night. It has to be him. If he really was a scoundrel, then would he really act like this…” A slender, clean hand grabbed the aunty’s wrist. At the same time, a gentle, warm voice could be heard.
“Young miss, do you really believe his nonsense!?” The aunty gave Bai Yunfei an indignant glare.
The young woman smiled and shook her head. “Aunty, I know you’re afraid of me being harmed, but you can’t be too emotional either. I’ve said before that we may have gotten the wrong person, but you’re still so stubborn. Look at that mister’s attitude and eyes. They’re completely different than the one we met before.”
“Miss, but I…” The aunty wanted to say more, but the young woman shook her head, causing the aunty to sigh and take in two deep breaths to calm herself. Turning to walk back to the woman’s side, the aunty continued to stare vigilantly at Bai Yunfei.
“Mister, my Aunty Zhao is a very rash person. If you were insulted by this, please forgive us.” The young woman moved forward. She smiled at Bai Yunfei and spoke with a gentle voice.
Like before, this young woman wore a white dress and her hair was like a waterfall on her shoulders. Two strands of her hair routed behind her head. They were tied with a silver ribbon that joined several thousand more strands. Almost as if just blowing on her skin could make it less fair, her lips were cherry-red, and her eyebrows were long and shapely. When she smiled, the two dimples on both sides of her face were clearly visible so that she looked rather cute and sweet-tempered.
“Oh, this young lady is quite sensible. I should be thanking you. This entire thing was a misunderstanding from the very beginning. I was framed…” Bai Yunfei’s eyes hovered over the young woman’s face for a moment before turning elsewhere. It was not that he did not want to look at her. Rather, it was the knife-sharp glare coming from behind her that made Bai Yunfei feel unwilling to look.
“Haha, I believe in mister. You are a strong one that doesn’t need to explain anything to us. Your expression is a healthy one, unlike the rogue that attacked us that night…” The woman laughed again. “Ah, may I know what to call mister?”
“Oh. I am Bai Yunfei. Bai as in white, and Yunfei as in the clouds that float freely in the sky… and you are?”
Hearing Bai Yunfei’s name clearly stunned the young woman for a moment. Looking up to meet his eyes, she seemed as if she was doubting him for a moment. However, after seeing that there was nothing unnatural in his words or stare, she looked away and turned her head down. Bai Yunfei didn’t know if it was his imagination or not, but he could swear that he could see just a tiny bit of a blush on her face.
When the aunt heard Bai Yunfei speak, her eyebrows rose into the air. For some reason, she a furious glare appeared on her face as if Bai Yunfei’s words had insulted her in some manner. Just as she was about to open her mouth to speak, the young woman cut in first.
“I am… Tang Xinyun.”