The ropes were at first spread out from one another, but the closer one got to the spire, the closer the ropes got to one another. Where the spire rose, all of the ropes were practically touching one another, meaning the participants would have to be clumped together as well.
Bai Yunfei was on top of one of the ropes to the right, but there were already thirteen soul cultivators in the middle of fighting one another.
None of these people were experts; the strongest one of them was only a late-stage Soul Personage. All of them were young in age, so presumably, they were joining in on this competition for the sake of winning a smile from whichever woman they were here with.
Soul cultivators were people too. They had both emotions and lives of their own, especially when in their prime. If they were with a female companion, they would, of course, try to show off their strength.
After several fights, two of the few people had been knocked into the water. As the Soul Apprentices realized that they were useless against the other soul cultivators, they started to break away from the fight so that three mid-stage Soul Personages and one late-stage Soul Personage could fight each other. The other four mid-stage Soul Personages on the other hand, continued to run up the ropes unimpeded by anyone else.
Several people in the audience let out surprised shouts at the appearance of Bai Yunfei. This in turn led to other people looking at the brave newcomer that was willing to still run up a rope.
“Hey, look! There’s a person that’s trying to run up still!”
“Ahhh? There’s already plenty of strong soul cultivators up there, and a youth like him is still going up? Hasn’t he realized that he has no chance?”
“But that kid isn’t half-bad from the looks of things. He might just be equally amazing.”
“Pft! Look at how old he is, twenty maybe? Look at how many Soul Personages are over there, I bet you that wet-eared kid doesn’t know where he stands.”
“Look! He’s already over with the others!”
While everyone down below was talking about him, Bai Yunfei was already progressing steadily up the rope. It wasn’t until he was halfway up that the people fighting started to notice him. Each one of the fighters thought themselves to be strong already, so they didn’t think Bai Yunfei to be anyone special. Many of them couldn’t even see how strong he was.
“Little brother, you can’t possibly win this lantern. Save yourself the trouble and go back down!” The outermost Soul Personage called out to Bai Yunfei as he moved to push Bai Yunfei over.
He had been ‘kind’ in his push, rather than being full of contempt like many others. Everyone was here for fun and for enjoyment, not for a fight to the death. There was no need to make a new enemy tonight.
Smiling in thanks, Bai Yunfei replied, “Haha, thank you for your concern, brother, but I too wish to win this lantern. Please go down first.”
Even as he spoke, Bai Yunfei’s right hand grabbed onto the other person’s outstretched hand. Bai Yunfei pulled the man away from his rope and down toward the shore below.
It wasn’t until the man crashed into the waters below that he realized what in the world happened.
This unforeseen development had led to surprise from the other soul cultivators. Stopping in what they were doing, each one of them stared at Bai Yunfei in shock.
Although Bai Yunfei said he wouldn’t use soulforce to take part in a competition meant for commoners, this was no anything but that now.
Only soul cultivators were left in this competition, so he naturally wouldn’t pretend the other participants were commoners. As Bai Yunfei made his way up, he looked at the seven remaining soul cultivators with a smile. “Gentlemen, remember that this is a cheerful competition. Please remember to be polite and don’t overdo it.”
His actions just then were enough for the other participants to see him as a threat. Cautiously, they all started to shift away from him.
There were two people on the right that were companions with one another, so when they heard what Bai Yunfei said, one of them laughed out loud. “Haha, little brother, you’re absolutely right! We are here to have fun, so the fact that we were able to meet this many soul cultivators here makes the trip worth it! Little brother, you’re a strong one; why don’t you and us exchange some notes!”
Then they nodded at one another before charging at Bai Yunfei. One person grabbed Bai Yunfei’s shoulder while the other one moved to sweep at his legs.
The teamwork between the two was quite excellent.
Still smiling, Bai Yunfei’s foot shifted a bit before moving to the side in a calm and collected manner. Managing to dodge the two strikes perfectly, Bai Yunfei’s right hand slapped against another rope to allow him to rebound back. As the person on the right was bringing his hand back, Bai Yunfei managed to grab hold of him.
Pulling before then pushing him away, Bai Yunfei made his soulforce envelop the man, forcing him to fly toward his companion and smash against one another.
His movements had been fast enough for the first man to not realize a thing. All he felt was a tightening sensation around his right arm before he was sent flying backward. Then, he was falling down to the water below with his companion.
Only an instant had passed before the two men had fallen from their ropes, causing the audience to stare at Bai Yunfei in complete shock.
No longer caring to be polite, Bai Yunfei let out a warning shout before he flew toward the remaining few people.
The next battle had been completely lackluster in suspense. Even though everyone grouped up against him in the end, all it took was a few short exchanges before they were all thrown into the water, and Bai Yunfei was being lenient.
The emotions of the audience had already reached a fervor by this point. When would they ever see such a glorious battle on any other day of their lives? Completely captivated by the sight in front of them, both sides of the audience were completely quiet as they watched.
While Bai Yunfei was climbing up the ropes from his side of the tower, two people were climbing up the other two sides of ropes attached to the tower.
As soon as the three people met, they all let out startled cries, “It’s you?!”
The other two had been Ye Zhiqiu and Fei Nian!!
Since this was only a small ‘competition,’ Bai Yunfei didn’t think it was worth it to spread his soulsense.
He also hadn’t paid attention to the other sides, so he didn’t realize that he’d meet these two here.
“Ye Zhiqiu, Fei Nian, so you two are here. How coincidental…”
“Yunfei, Fei Nian, you two came here too…?” Ye Zhiqiu spoke in embarrassment.
Fei Nian spoke up next, “Isn’t that what I should be saying? How did you guys get here?”
Looking off to the side of the shore where Fei Nian and Ye Zhiqiu came from, Bai Yunfei could see Sima Yue and Ling Yiyi both looking up from where they were. From there, Bai Yunfei realized what was going on.
The three of them were silent and slightly embarrassed.
The Prisma Lantern was right in front of the three of them with a bright luster. The surrounding audience could see the situation, so they started to cheer on the last three participants to put on a good show.
Participating in this competition meant that they all wanted to win the lantern.
With the three of them here, what should they do, fight?
“Well… what should we do, fight for it?” Bai Yunfei asked the other two with a smile.
“Ugh, what is the point? Ye Zhiqiu isn’t even a Soul Ancestor, and we’d still be no match against you even if we paired up…” Fei Nian threw up his hands in despair. “I didn’t think that Yunfei would join this competition too; are you going to give it to junior Tang? Have you two already gotten that far? How amazing; it took me three years to finally get this far with Xiao Yue! Ye Zhiqiu, you’re amazing too… though I heard that plenty of juniors are quite jealous of what’s going on between you and senior Ling, hehe…”
Fei Nian’s words left Bai Yunfei and Ye Zhiqiu somewhat embarrassed, causing Bai Yunfei to clear his throat. “Well… actually… Xinyun and I aren’t…”
“Okay okay, I get it.” Fei Nian nodded. “‘Aren’t my ass! I know better, so I won’t fight you for it. Fuck it, just take it. It’s just a silly lantern to me, but damn if they aren’t destructive to a woman…”
“…” Bai Yunfei was speechless. Fei Nian was only making the situation worse with what he was saying. Looking to Ye Zhiqiu, he said, “Zhiqiu, why don’t you take it back to Ling Yiyi then.”
Giving a cursory glance to Ling Yiyi at first, and then Tang Xinyun and Sima Yue, he shook his head. “Forget it. Yunfei, you take it. Since this is a competition, neither of us are stronger than you; that means you win by default.”
“I…” Bai Yunfei was just about to say something when all of a sudden, something came flying from behind Bai Yunfei, causing the three of them to look startled.
A light crackling sound was heard as a black metallic chain was thrown forward. In no time at all, it wrapped around the lantern before being pulled back!
Right in front of everyone’s startled eyes, the Prisma Lantern shot off like a shooting star toward the shore!