In the northern room of the household of Xiao in Curopia City—
A silent Bai Yunfei could be seen standing in front of Tang Xinyun’s bed. His eyes wavered over her slightly pursed lips and the knit eyebrows on her face. The pain on her face was unbearable to Bai Yunfei. Each second spent looking at her was another stab to his heart.
Unwilling to reach his hand out to see how she was doing, Bai Yunfei instead looked to Cang Yu who was sitting to the side, “Third elder, how is… how is Xinyun? Has she woken up yet? When will she get better?”
Cang Yu herself looked unwell since the wounds she had suffered from the previous battle were by no means light. Not enough time had passed for her to fully heal, but for the sake of looking after Tang Xinyun, Cang Yu hadn’t left her bedside for the entire night.
A display like that was only a symbol of just how much she cared for Tang Xinyun.
Cang Yu sighed, “Well… Xinyun’s situation is even worse than we first thought. The elemental darkness in her body is extremely strange. Not only are we unable to force it out, the elemental darkness refuses to leave by itself either. It’s as if it has taken root in her body and wishes to continue eating away at her soulforce.”
She paused here to take a deep breath. “That black-robed man wasn’t from the Beast Taming School without a doubt. Jiang Nan and I were both hit by his elemental darkness, but since we were stronger, the worst of the effects were blocked by our soulforce before it could enter too deep into our bodies. With the first elder aiding us, he was able to drive off the rest of it. But Xinyun is weaker than the two of us, so she had no way of defending against it. We were fortunate enough that it was only her shoulder that was hit. If that wound had just been a few inches to the left, I’m afraid Xinyun would have lost her life…
“As of right now, there are two different energies fighting in her. One is the elemental darkness eating away at her soulforce, the other is Tang Xinyun’s soulforce. If all of it is eaten away, then Xinyun’s life would be in danger…
“The only way to recovery is to increase the rate of soulforce regeneration to fend off the elemental darkness, but Xinyun’s regeneration rate isn’t fast enough. It’s fortunate that I’ve given her the Violet Soul Bracelet. With that, her regeneration rate is fast enough to put her in a temporary stasis. Though, that doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way in the future…”
“Violet Soul Bracelet?” Bai Yunfei repeated. From what he just heard from Cang Yu, this bracelet was capable of increasing the rate of soulforce recovery!
Now was seriously not the time to be asking about that however. Tossing out the thought as quickly as it came into his mind, Bai Yunfei asked instead, “Then… when will Xinyun be able to wake up? What else do we have to do to eliminate the rest of the elemental darkness for a full recovery?”
Cang Yu shook her head. “In order to remove the elemental darkness, we’d have to make sure that Xinyun’s soulforce regeneration is a lot faster than the rate in which the elemental darkness is eating away at it. But… with Xinyun’s current strength, that’s not feasible. No outsider can help her with this either, so we don’t even know when she’ll wake up… in fact, we aren’t even sure if she’ll…”
She didn’t continue her sentence, but Bai Yunfei was fully aware of what she was getting at.
She wasn’t sure if Tang Xinyun would ever wake up.
“…” Bai Yunfei said nothing, but his eyes flickered as if he was thinking about something.
Cang Yu turned her head to face Xiao Binzi, “Senior, have you found something out?”
A grave nod came from Xiao Binzi, but no answer to Cang Yu’s question was said. He instead turned to Bai Yunfei to ask, “Yunfei, what happened when Xinyun was injured? Tell us what happened during that part of the battle.”
“Uhm…” Bai Yunfei nodded, “At that time…”
Line by line, Bai Yunfei retold his recollection of events from the battle. He told them how he had killed the mid-stage Soul Ancestor, how the late-stage Soul Ancestor came to ambush them, and how Tang Xinyun threw herself in front of him right in the middle of his utmost peril…
With each line said, Bai Yunfei’s voice grew heavier and heavier as if the regret and guilt he was filling started to drip into his words from his mind.
Both Cang Yu and Xiao Binzi were surprised to hear Bai Yunfei talk about the man’s ability to absorb soulforce, but their faces turned extremely sour when they heard about the killing move the late-stage Soul Ancestor tried to use on Bai Yunfei…
“Senior, couldn’t they be…” Cang Yu looked to Xiao Binzi to have him verify her suspicion.
Xiao Binzi nodded his head in response, “Indeed, those black-robed men are most likely men of the Soul Refining School!!”
“Soul Refining School?”
What Xiao Binzi said was enough to startle Jiang Nan, Song Lin, and even Bai Yunfei.
Bai Yunfei didn’t know much about the school, but he at the very least knew that they were an infamous and terrifying group.
“If that’s the case, then… it’s no wonder they were able to use elemental darkness in such a strange way…” Cang Yu half-muttered to herself. “The Soul Refining School!!” She nervously exclaimed, “If it’s them, then what Xinyun was hit with might be the ‘Soul Refining Palm’!”
Instead of replying this time, Xiao Binzi answered her with a nod.
“The Soul Refining School…”
“First elder, what is this ‘Soul Refining Palm’?” The fear in Bai Yunfei’s mind was even worse now, so he couldn’t help but ask for clarification.
“The Soul Refining Palm is a soul skill only the Soul Refining School knows. It would be better to say that it’s their signature skill. True to its name, the skill can refine the soul when used! The deceptive style of fighting where that man stole your soulforce is a soul skill only those from the Soul Refining School can learn…
“Only Soul Exalts are able to use the Soul Refining Palm to the best of its ability. That person was only a late-stage Soul Ancestor, so that is why Xinyun is still alive. But…
“To recover after being hit by the Soul Refining Palm makes the situation even worse than we thought…”
Hearing about the Soul Refining Palm from Xiao Binzi made Bai Yunfei even more worried. In his concern, Bai Yunfei couldn’t help but ask, “Then… first elder, can Xinyun be saved? What do we have to do to neutralize the Soul Refining Palm?”
Xiao Binzi shook his head as if the answer was fruitless. “The people from the Soul Refining School rarely venture out of their school, but even then, they are a secretive bunch that can’t be found easily. Those who are hit with the Soul Refining Palm rarely live to tell the tale… and that much is only in regards to their fighting style. The secrets of their school are things no outsider knows a lot about.”
“But… but Xinyun is…”
“All we can do right now is observe. Wait and see if Xinyun will get better. We’ll return to the Crafting School. Perhaps brother Zi Jin will know of a method. If anything, we can also ask the Northern Point to…”
“Ah! The Beast Taming School and the Sun!!” Bai Yunfei suddenly cut in, “The Soul Refining School and the Beast Taming School are with each other, they’re the ones the house of Sun asked to help them!! We should go to the Sun! Maybe we’ll find someone from there and force them to tell us!!”
His answer surprised the other people in the room. They had been completely focused on taking care of Bai Yunfei and Tang Xinyun so everything else was completely ignored. In their concentration, the root of their problems, the tiny and insignificant house of Sun, was completely overlooked.
“Yunfei is right, first elder. We should go to the Sun and see!”
“Very well then!” Xiao Binzi announced after a moment of thought.
Cang Yu was left behind to look after Tang Xinyun while Xiao Binzi brought the others with him out of the courtyard. Though Bai Yunfei wanted to go with them, Xiao Binzi was adamant that he stayed behind.
Just as Xiao Binzi and the others were about to leave the courtyard, the head of the Xiao could be seen rushing after them.
“Uncle Xiao,” Jiang Nan was surprised. “What’s going on?”
“Elder Xiao, Jiang Nan, Song Lin, and lord Bai…” Xiao Rang greeted them with a serious voice, but his next few words were met with extreme shock.
“Just last night, the house of Sun was completely destroyed!!”