The wind screamed as it streamed past Bai Yunfei’s ears and slammed into his face, a rather painful sensation, as he flew through the air. Despite Xiao Binzi’s warning to protect himself with his soulforce, Bai Yunfei wasn’t fast enough to respond when they first started flying, and he felt the full effects of the wind resistance.
A reddish glow emanated in the air around them, protecting both Song Lin and Bai Yunfei. Xiao Binzi was using his soulforce to protect them both.
Bai Yunfei could feel his body grow lighter, but the sensation wasn’t all too pleasant at first. The force protecting him from the air felt reminiscent of elemental fire, much to Bai Yunfei’s shock. This wasn’t something that any equipment effect could reproduce. Xiao Binzi himself was using his soulforce to manipulate the elemental fire to do as he pleased for this protective shroud. At the level of training Bai Yunfei had right now, an act like this was practically impossible.
When he lifted his head up, all Bai Yunfei could see was the sky for hundreds of meters around. Beneath his feet, a myriad of things appeared and disappeared in a semi-continuous blur. He could just barely see some buildings flashing in and out of sight.
“Eh? Isn’t this…” Looking back behind him, Bai Yunfei stared off at the small speck that continued to disappear behind him. Unsure of himself, Bai Yunfei asked Song Lin, “Brother Song Lin, isn’t that…”
Song Lin nodded. “Yes, what we just passed was Redfire City.”
It really was Redfire City!!
Doing a double take, Bai Yunfei stared off in the direction behind them in pure amazement. How long had it been since they set off? Ten minutes? Not even that long.
Was that really Redfire City!? When they first traveled to Redfire City, nearly half the day went by before they arrived!!
Grinning, Song Lin replied, “The elder’s Zephyr Sword is the fastest soul armament capable of flight in our school. If not for the fact that the elder’s making sure to protect us, we’d be able to fly even faster.”
“Even faster…” Bai Yunfei mouthed as he looked down at the giant sword beneath him in envy. “How long will it take to return to Talus City with this sword? Dozens of days? Or barely even a dozen?”
“Brother Song, how strong does one have to be to make a soul armament capable of flight?” Bai Yunfei asked out of curiosity.
“Those? Well, a late-stage Soul Ancestor would be able to make a good one. They’re very complex to make. I could probably make a very rudimentary version myself. It wouldn’t be too fast, but my speed would definitely increase by two or three times over.”
“A late-stage Soul Ancestor…” He was crestfallen by that response. Who knows when he’d become a late-stage Soul Ancestor? That was a far ways away. It may as well be better for him to use the brick to fly in the meantime…
It was reaching dusk when the three set off from Mt. Crimson, and without Bai Yunfei’s knowledge, the sky began to grow darker and darker with the passage of time. Even the scenery beneath him wasn’t visibility. With Bai Yunfei’s current strength, using his soulsense would only register everything in flashes before it disappeared.
Every so often, Xiao Binzi would take out Jiang Nan’s jade slip to look at its status and to confirm the direction. He was silent throughout the entire trip, so after a while, even Bai Yunfei and Song Lin cut their conversation short. They stood on top of the sword in silence as well.
Like a shooting star flying through the night sky, the sword streaked over the horizon.
The morning sun was just starting to peek out from beyond the horizon when Song Lin warned Bai Yunfei that they had arrived in the Great Plains Province and that they were on their way to the neighboring Black Mountain Province to the east.
The distance from Mt. Crimson to the Black Mountain Province was roughly the same distance from Mt. Crimson to the Northern Cliff Province. It took Bai Yunfei a little over a month for him to reach Mt. Crimson from the edge of the province, but it took only a single night for Xiao Binzi’s soul armament to cover the same distance!
Going without food or water for an entire day wasn’t a problem for the three of them.
When it was afternoon, Xiao Binzi started to slow down, though his eyes continued to focus on the jade slip in his hand and the direction it pointed.
The edge of a city was just starting to form over the horizon. “First elder, that must be Curopia City.”
“Curopia City?” Xiao Binzi looked back down at the jade slip and then back at the city up ahead. “The Xiao and the Sun have lived in Curopia City for generations and hate each other. If Jiang Nan is in this direction… are the Xiao involved in this?”
“Perhaps the Xiao don’t know what’s going on. Why not pay a visit to their place and ask?” Song Lin suggested.
“Yes,” Xiao Binzi nodded after a moment’s thought. “We shall do so then.”
Picking up in speed, the sword shot off toward the city.
As soon as they reached the sky near the city, Xiao Binzi’s eyes narrowed just slightly as his soulforce started to prod into the city.
“That Tang girl is here as well!?”
“Eh? What? First elder, what Tang girl?” Bai Yunfei asked in surprise.
“Do you mean… Xinyun is here too!?”
Xiao Binzi nodded his head. “Yes, that same Tang girl.”
“Wasn’t Xinyun gone with the third elder? Did they have the… the same destination?”
“It wasn’t, but Cang Yu’s destination isn’t far from here. My guess is that she must’ve come across Jiang Nan’s call for help somehow and rushed on over…” Xiao Binzi conjectured. Looking off to a giant manor far in the city, he said, “To know for sure, we must find that Tang girl!”
Turning, the sword shot off toward the manor Xiao Binzi was talking about…
Curopia City was the Black Mountain Province’s largest, most central city. The two households, the Xiao and the Sun lived in the same area. They were not friends, but enemies. Already dozens of years had passed since the conflict started, and only a stalemate for power acted as a balance.
In the northeastern part of the city was the manor for the Xiao. In the central courtyards was an elderly man dressed in rich purple robes. Though stone-faced in expression, he stared up at the sky.
This man was the head of the Xiao, Xiao Rang.
“Father, what’s the matter?” A middle-aged man asked upon noticing his actions.
“We’ve a visitor!” Xiao Rang grimly replies, “a strong one at that. Judging from his aura, he’s a late-stage Soul Exalt at the very least, but he’s most likely…”
He didn’t even need to bother with saying Soul King for his son to be taken back.
“Is he an enemy? Did the Sun find some helpers from somewhere!?”
Xiao Rang shook his head, “I don’t feel any hostility, but it’s hard to say. Disaster can’t always be avoided, so let’s take our chances!”
Seconds after he finished speaking, a single green light came flying into sight and landed on the ground. As the light dispersed, a single elderly man and two young men walked out of it.
Casting a quick glance at the three, Xiao Rang’s eyes widened at the sight of Song Lin. “Are you…” He spoke hesitantly as he gave an even closer look.
Song Lin nodded his head to Xiao Rang with a smile. “Senior Xiao, I hope you’ve been well since our last encounter. I’m Song Lin from the Crafting School. We’ve met before several times.”
“Song Lin! The Crafting School!” Xiao Rang lit up with joy, “And here I thought I was mistaken. It really is you!”
“Haha, it’s great that senior Xiao still remembers me… I was worried how I’d verify my identity elsewise.” Song Lin smiled.
“I hadn’t thought that nephew Song Lin would come visit my household. Please, please come in, we can talk inside.” Xiao Rang was far stronger than Song Lin, but even he wouldn’t dare mistreat Song Lin. He hurried to bring the three into the receiving halls.
As soon as everyone was seated and the servants had been called to pour the tea, Xiao Rang started with, “Nephew Song Lin, these two are…”
When he looked at Xiao Binzi, Xiao Rang’s eyes were filled with respect. He knew that the one with the powerful aura was this elder. Even though he wasn’t able to fully see Xiao Binzi’s strength, what he saw was still enough to astound him and fill him with awe.
As for Bai Yunfei, Xiao Rang could see that he was only an early-stage Soul Ancestor, so Xiao Rang dismissed him as a new person to the school and a junior schoolmate to Song Lin.
“Senior Xiao, this is the first elder of our crafting School, and this is the new disciple of the previous headmaster Zi Jin, Bai Yunfei.”
“The first elder!!” Even though he knew that the elderly one surely had a high position in the school, he hadn’t been expecting the first elder.
Then he did a double take after the second introduction, “What did you say? This young one is… a new disciple of Zi Jin? Wouldn’t that make him…”
Song Lin nodded. “Correct. In accordance to hierarchy, he is my senior uncle and junior to Jiang Nan.”