As Shao Ling led Bai Yunfei back to his village, another unforeseen event was currently happening in the middle of the valley….
Back in the original cave, the mournful sounds of a scorpion in despair could be heard throughout the passageway.
The entire cave was in a state of disarray far worse than when Bai Yunfei left it. Two giant fissures ran along the cave walls and the floors were filled with stalagmites that weaved in and out of one another in every way as if the scorpion was fighting a devastating battle.
A swing of the blade flung down onto the scorpion, eliciting another loud screech and a splurt of blood from the scorpion. As it lifeblood escaped its body, the light in all three of its eyes slowly leaked away as well. Even its giant pincers collapsed onto the ground without another sound.
Standing at the very front of the cave entrance was a young man in white. In his hand was a meter long blade that had a curve like a crescent moon three fingers in width. Because of his recent kill of the scorpion, there was a pleased look on his face.
Right on the other side of the scorpion was another fair-skinned man in white as well. He was considerably smaller than the first, but what struck him out as unique was the fact that he had disproportionately squinty eyes. The disharmony made for a rather comedic effect.
The latter let out a relieved sigh after a successful confirmation of the scorpion’s death. Striding towards the scorpion, he plunged his fist into the crack on the scorpion’s head and fumbled about for a brief moment before taking it back out. He shook his fist to clear it of the dripping blood to reveal a small chicken-sized crystal that glowed both orange and cyan in color–this was the scorpion’s soul crystal.
With the soul crystal in hand, the squinty-eyed man walked to his companion, “Brother, we’ve have good luck so far! Not only did we get a thousand-year-old wind mushroom, we’ve killed a Flying Scorpion and got a fifth-class soul crystal! We’ll get a good haul for this!”
The other man gave a nod of his head with a smile. Pulling at his weapon, there was a slight “kachink!” sound before the weapon split into two identical looking blades!
One of the blades was given to the squinty-eyed fellow while the youth looked at the soul crystal in his companion’s hand. “Yea, it’s been pretty good luck. If not for that kid’s ‘help’, we’ve never be able to get these two treasures so easily.”
“Hehe, if we’re going to be serious, that kid was something else! He’s a late-stage Soul Sprite like you, but he can fight a fifth-class soulbeast like it’s nothing! The amount of soul items he has….maybe he’s from the Crafting School?”
As soon as he stored away his blade, the youth shook his hand once more to retrieve the daggers Bai Yunfei threw during his battle with the scorpion. Inspecting them for just a brief moment, he shook his head, “Don’t assume that just because someone has plenty of soul items, they’re from the Crafting School. We’ve no less than ten soul items each, do you think we’re men from the Crafting School then too?”
“That’s not the same; ours are low grade ones. The ones that kid took out are higher quality than ours. Even the daggers he throws out are soul items! Even how his money is spent is far beyond how we do with ours….his soul items are on a whole ‘nother level! That bizarre golden rope, that amazing spear, and that powerful bracer….if we could just take that then we’d….”
He didn’t get a response however, as the youth only bothered to stash away the daggers in deep thought….
Roughly half an hour passed before Shao Ling took Bai Yunfei into a small depression in the mountain to reach a small village with what seemed to be ten households total. There were fields and livestock sheds scattered here and there, and the women and children could be seen scurrying around to work the fields or tend to the livestock. Not a single male could be seen, but Shao Ling had said that they were all hunting in the mountains and that they wouldn’t be back til the afternoon.
Heading straight into the residence to the left, Shao Ling spoke out straight away to the squatted figure feeding several bunnies inside. “Sis! We’ve a guest! Can you bring out some clean clothes for us to wear? It’s freezing!”
Startled, the figure leapt straight to her feet to reveal her appearance in full. She wore a long skirt that covered her entire body and two pigtails could be seen draped behind her head. Her face was oval-shaped and had a series of freckles that complimented her innocent-looking eyes that studied Bai Yunfei standing dubiously behind Shao Ling. Whether it was from this way or that, she looked nothing more than like a small little sister of the family that Bai Yunfei felt practically embarrassed to be stared at.
“Big brother Bai, this is my older sister, Xiao Fang.” He introduced Bai Yunfei to her before quipping on an additional line, “She’s also the prettiest girl in our village!’
“Shao Ling–what on earth happened to you? Why are you dripping wet? And…who’s this….” Throwing down the straws in her hand, the girl began to fret over and question Shao Ling.
Bai Yunfei could see the look of doubt she had for him–did he turn into some sort of untrustworthy person?
“I saved him! When brother Bai fell into the river, I saved him! Then he saved me and sent a tiger packing…”
“What do you mean sent a tiger packing? Who is he; what did he do?”
“Brother Bai is a….uhm. Brother Bai, what do you do again? And why were you in these mountains?” Shao Ling scratched his head. Throughout the entire way back home, he had been so caught up in how amazing Bai Yunfei was with his ‘martial arts’ that he completely forgot to ask the important questions.
“….” An angry knot formed on Xiao Fang’s head, “You don’t even know what type of person he is and you still brought him back home?!”
“Haha, please don’t worry, miss. I’m no bad guy–just your ordinary adventurer. I was just looking for some ingredients in the mountains when I was attacked by a wild beast when I wasn’t paying attention. Thank goodness for Shao Ling’s appearance, I would’ve fell down the waterfall if it weren’t for him.” Bai Yunfei gave the girl a friendly smile.
Adventurers were in the same vein as mercenaries. They were ones that earned the trust of the people to do their work for rewards. Whether they themselves were ordinary people or soul cultivators, this was a ‘profession’ that either could do.
Xiao Fang may just be a small village girl, but even she had heard of adventurers before from the elders. In any case, Bai Yunfei didn’t seem like he was lying, so her guard dropped ever so slightly. But still, she just had to press on, “Adventurer? You’re an adventurer and you still can’t swim?”
“Ah….that wa–was an…accident…” Bai Yunfei grinned awkwardly while silently vowing to himself that he’d learn to swim for sure as soon as possible.
“Okay okay! Let’s forget about it for now. Don’t be so suspicious of everyone sis! Brother Bai isn’t some sort of bad guy; let us change first! Brother Bai, come thi–hold on. How come your clothes are already dry?”
Bai Yunfei hadn’t the nerve to tell him that being stuck in wet clothes was so uncomfortable he used his elemental fire inside his body to dry up his clothes. “You know….the wind blew it dry.”
“….” Shao Ling looked down to his own still dripping wet clothes with a look of befuddlement.
Waving his hands, Bai Yunfei spoke, “Go and change your clothes, Shao Ling. I’ll wait for you outside.”
“Eh? Why not come insi–” Before he could finish, his sister dragged him inside one of the rooms.
Seeing how uneasy the girl was around him, Bai Yunfei just had to shake his head. “If I was a bad guy, would there even be a point to you being so uneasy?”