Having been beaten black and blue, Jing Mingfeng was startled to see Tang Xinyun. He did not expect to come across her party here as well.
“This is him, miss Tang! He’s the one that’s responsible for everything, not me!” Bai Yunfei glared at Jing Mingfeng as if giving him a stare that promised pain if the answer was not said in truth.
“Uhhh…” Jing Mingfeng remained deep in thought for a moment before smiling at Tang Xinyun with a smile that looked even uglier than his crying face. With slight vibrato, he said, “Haha, miss, we meet again. I was only joking around last time, I hope you won’t pay it too much attention…”
“It really is you!” Before he could even finish speaking, Tang Xinyun’s face had changed. His words, his eyes, his personality — even though Jing Mingfeng’s face was beaten to the point of being unrecognizable and his eyes were only slits from the swelling, she had immediately recognized who he was.
Jing Mingfeng had suppressed his soul force with some sort of technique so that the spread of his soulforce wouldn’t be remembered too clearly last time they met. However, when he stood next to Bai Yunfei, Tang Xinyun could see a large similarity between Jing Mingfeng and the one that assaulted her that night.
A furious surge of anger swelled within Tang Xinyun’s heart when she realized this fact. However, before she could even move, the aunty next to her immediately stepped into action.
“Bastard, it’s you!!” A furious aura began to radiate from the aunty’s body. It was not soulforce, but ‘fury’. With a roar, she flew between Bai Yunfei and Jing Mingfeng. She grabbed the latter. The woman threw him like a sack of potatoes, and then she chased after him before he could fall back down.
In the midst of his flight, Jing Mingfeng couldn’t help but let out a startled cry, “Holdup! Aunty, you’re here too!?”
“Aunty! I was only joking around with you that day. Don’t lower yourself to bickering with someone younger! I-” Before he could even finish speaking, the older woman had already grabbed at the collar of his shirt to slam him into the ground. Afterward, the sounds of someone being pummeled could be heard.
(Because of the graphic nature of the scene, 527 characters were omitted here…)
Bai Yunfei’s lips twitched at the sight, but he didn’t bother to speak out to stop her. Instead, he was feeling some joy at Jing Mingfeng’s pain. Why would he stop her?
Tang Xinyun knew that she would not seriously harm him despite the anger her aunty felt. Jing Mingfeng did not use his soulforce to defend himself, meaning that he accepted his physical punishment, and since Tang Xinyun was angry at Jing Mingfeng, she would not intervene either.
Tianming’s eyes sparkled with a strange light as if he found this violent exchange in front of him an interesting sight. He did not seem like he would interfere.
The merchant Huang? Why would he interfere?
So, after Jing Mingfeng was beaten by Bai Yunfei, he had to survive another ten minutes of the beating by the hands of Zhao Mancha…
The flames of the bonfire burned brightly that night as everyone hastened to prepare dinner. Bai Yunfei sat on a rock a hundred meters away. By his side sat a pig-headed man — wait — it was Jing Mingfeng.
Seeing how Jing Mingfeng was grimacing right next to him, Bai Yunfei couldn’t help but smile. In truth, Jing Mingfeng’s wounds were superficial and would only take several minutes to heal if he used his soulforce. The reason why he was still in such a state was because aunty Zhao had promised that should he use his soulforce within a day to heal his wounds, then she would beat him even more than the first time…
“Well, I can see that aunty Zhao’s anger has subsided. You can consider that one of our debts settled. Be happy!” Bai Yunfei slapped Jing Mingfeng on the shoulder with a smile.
“Don’t be happy about my pains. If not for me taking mind to keep the pace, the Aunty wouldn’t be like this at all!” Jing Mingfeng grumbled before the bruises on his face twitched and caused him to grimace again.
“Fine then, moving on.” Bai Yunfei shook his head without the intention of joking with him again. “I saw that you were untouched when we met. How did you escape without being hurt?”
The expression on Jing Mingfeng’s face stiffened (Not that it was noticeable on his pig-headed face). Thinking about it, he turned to look far away and slowly narrated, “When I was being chased by the Soul Ancestor, he looked as if he was trying to see if I had any other friends with me. After some time, he clearly lost his patience and began to reveal his killing intent. Just then, I was lucky to find a midnight mourning procession for a wealthy family with over a hundred people in attendance. I just had to blend in with the crowd, use my technique to change my face, and hide my soulforce. Then escaping was… simple. I could hear the explosions from the direction you ran off in. I wanted to check up on you, but the one chasing after me decided to run that way, so I decided not to go. I knew that if you escaped, there’d be no way you’d return to the city, so I left in this direction as well. I didn’t expect to run into you again, how coincidental…”
“It was that simple?” Bai Yunfei stared in doubt.
“Aye, it was that simple.” Jing Mingfeng blinked in response.
“Fine then, I’ll believe you for now.” Bai Yunfei had no desire to continue his questions as he moved onto the next topic. “Did you… really not do anything that night? Why were there so many people after your blood? Even two Soul Ancestors came.”
“I really don’t know either!” Jing Mingfeng shook his head. “I wasn’t lying. That night I was planning on using your face to sneak into the household to see if there was anything I could use. But who would have known that that household would have so many Soul Sprites and other guys in there! The two Soul Ancestors in the room were apparently discussing something, but I didn’t hear a single word of it. They must have thought I heard it all. That must have been why they were so adamant…”
Bai Yunfei’s eyebrows knit together in deep thought. If Jing Mingfeng was telling the complete truth, then this news wouldn’t be such juicy information. It was truly a coincidental chance upon someone else’s secret that made Jing Mingfeng a target to kill. Bai Yunfei was merely unfortunate enough to fall into the crossfire…
“Oh, what about you? How did you escape that night? When I looked at the scene later, a huge area of the stone forest was completely destroyed. That couldn’t have been your doing, right?” Jing Mingfeng asked while Bai Yunfei was deep in thought.
“What rubbish, of course it wasn’t me. When I was chased that day, I came across another Soul Ancestor that began to fight with the first. I took the chance to escape then…” Bai Yunfei stated.
“It was that simple?”
“Aye, it was that simple.”
Jing Mingfeng grew silent, he knew that it wouldn’t do to ask too many questions. Thinking for a moment, his right hand shook so that several pieces of jewelry appeared. Handing them over to Bai Yunfei, he said, “Well… I wanted to give these back.”
Surprised, Bai Yunfei’s lips twitched into a smile as he looked at the swollen face of Jing Mingfeng. “Oh? Are you that conscientious to return these to me?”
Jing Mingfeng’s lips twitched in annoyance and his eyes revealed some reluctance. There was hesitation for a moment before finally pushing the accessories into Bai Yunfei’s hand. “Giving me these things helped me escape in one piece, so I owe you yet again. Now that I’m fine, it’s only natural that I return them to you…”
Bai Yunfei smiled and gave a knowing look at him, but he took the accessories anyways.
The two said no more, and the area descended into a momentary silence.
Jing Mingfeng’s eyes stared up at the starry canvas that was the night sky with twinkling eyes. After a moment’s worth of pondering, he looked as if he had finally reached a decision with something.
Half a moment later, a flash of hatred appeared in his eyes before determination replaced it. Biting at his lips, he turned to look at Bai Yunfei.
“Bai Yunfei, I wish to make a deal with you!”