The Northern Point of the Crafting School—
There was a single red brick floating alongside Bai Yunfei as he trekked up the slopes of the mountain. Any student who saw him would salute him, and he in turn would salute them.
In the Crafting School, the only ones who’d call him by name were those who knew him. Anyone else would simply refer to him by his title, and before long, Bai Yunfei found himself adapting to what it meant to be someone from the ‘previous generation.’
“Oh? Yunfei, where are you heading off to in such a hurry?” The voice of someone could be heard. Turning his head, Bai Yunfei saw the senior of Tang Xinyun, Ling Yiyi, walking toward him. Just like the last time he saw her, Ling Yiyi was wearing a fiery-red cheongsam. Her hair was bundled up behind her head in a way that accentuated her tall figure.
Pausing, Bai Yunfei said, “Sister, Ling, I came to—”
“Oh, I know, you came to find junior Tang, didn’t you?” Before Bai Yunfei could even finish speaking, Ling Yiyi was already chuckling. “If I can say something, Yunfei. If you keep coming to see her, it’s only going to take longer for her to fully recover…”
“Uh… that… I…” An embarrassed stutter came forth.
“Haha, just joking with you. Every time you come, junior Tang can hardly contain her excitement.” Covering her laughter with her hand, Ling Yiyi continued, “When I was leaving, she was already looking around for someone. You came a little late today, I see…”
“Ah?” Surprised by this, Bai Yunfei was just about to ask if it was true when he saw the teasing look in her eyes. Realizing that it was just a joke, he teased, “Judging by how you’re dressed, did you invite someone today as well? Come to think of it, I just passed by Zhiqiu a while back. He looked like he was waiting for someone. Are you late as well?”
“Ah! Really? I could’ve sworn we planned to meet at eig—” Thrown into a momentary fit of confusion, Ling Yiyi immediately grew angry when she realized what Bai Yunfei was doing. “Yunfei! You’re always making fun of me! Let’s see how you like it if I say something bad about you to junior Tang!”
“Haha, you should go find Zhiqiu or else he’ll wait himself into a nervous wreck. We can talk another time, sister Ling!” Bai Yunfei laughed as he walked past the red-faced Ling Yiyi and headed up the mountain.
When he arrived at the courtyard of Tang Xinyun, he could see her sitting on top of a boulder as she looked down at the scenery below.
“Xinyun, what brings you out here?” Bai Yunfei asked. Judging from her current state of sluggishness, Bai Yunfei couldn’t help but think, “Was she really waiting for me?”
“You’re here, Yunfei.” Not surprised by his arrival, Tang Xinyun turned to smile at him. Brushing aside the strands of hair on her face, she said, “I felt tired from training, so I decided to take a break and feel the breeze.”
“I see…” Knowing that she wasn’t waiting for him, Bai Yunfei felt the small sliver of hope in him die out. “How goes your healing? Is the corrosive energy trying to start another outbreak?”
“Not at all.” She shook her head with a smile. “It’s been going well. Even master is surprised by how quickly the corrosive energy is being purged. This morning, master looked it over and said that it should take only a few months before it’s finally gone at my current rate.”
“Really? That’s great!” Elated, Bai Yunfei took out one of the pendants he had upgraded yesterday, “Xinyun, wear this and…”
In the sunlight, the leaf-shaped pendant in Bai Yunfei’s hand seemed to sway somewhat. Tang Xinyun was taken aback for a second before her face grew red, “Yunfei… what do you mean by giving me this gift?”
The shyful appearance of the woman caused Bai Yunfei’s heart to skip a beat. “You misunderstand. I didn’t mean anything like that, Xinyun… this pendant will help you recover soulforce…”
“What?” She didn’t understand at first, but then her eyes lit up in realization, “Oh! Could this pendant also…?”
“Yes.” Bai Yunfei nodded. “I upgraded this last night. It’ll help you recover your soulforce 3% faster than before. It’s a little on the low side, but there should still be an effect. Xinyun, you should find your health getting better even faster than before with this.”
A flash of joy registered in her eyes. Taking the pendant, Tang Xinyun tilted her head to look up at Bai Yunfei, “Yunfei… thank you.”
Her eyes were as clear as the water from a pure spring. They were entrancing, and Bai Yunfei found himself practically immersed within them.
He could feel his face grow hot, and when he did, he let out a hurried reply, “There’s no need to thank me, Xinyun. Just hurry up and put it on…”
“Alright.” The smallest of smiles could be seen forming on her lips. Both hands clasped on one side of the pendant as she brought it around her neck. When it was attached, she pulled her hair out of the newly-formed circle. Then, with a reddening face, she slipped the pendant into the folds of her robes and out of sight.
“Ahem!” Bai Yunfei coughed twice in embarrassment before turning to look at the surrounding scenery…
“Oh, Yunfei. How is your essence fireseed coming along?”
Bai Yunfei turned back around. Tang Xinyun was by his side, looking at the clouds in the sky. Due to her close proximity, the delicate aroma of her scent wafted up to his nose, providing a calming sensation.
“Haha, don’t worry. There’s no problems so far. The Cataclysmic Seal is helping my essence fireseed recover, so I’m sure it won’t be too long before it fully recovers.”
He actually didn’t know how much longer it’d take for a full recovery. It went without saying that this couldn’t be said, unless he wanted to worry Tang Xinyun even more.
“Really? That’s good to hear…” A smile grew on her face. “Your recovery rate is really something. Your talent for training and crafting is something the ex-headmaster Zi Jin keeps praising. Even my master said that you’re likely to become the best student in the last few hundred years, Jiang Nan included! If you couldn’t recover from your wounds, the Crafting School would’ve lost an incredible person. You can continue training and crafting, that’s great…”
She really was happy for Bai Yunfei, but her own feelings of sorrow were still noticeable to him. Clearly, she was feeling unhappy about the fact that she was unable to make a complete recovery…
Though his heart was stabbed yet again, Bai Yunfei smiled. “Haha… yeah. My situation is a bit special. That’s how we found a way to help me recover, but don’t worry, Xinyun, I’ll definitely find a way to help you continue training in elemental fire!”
Tang Xinyun smiled, “Don’t worry, Yunfei, I feel fine… you can’t force something like this. My essence fireseed is gone, and trying to train in elemental fire is easier said than done… Master said that there were a few special ways to help me, but everything requires me being a Soul Ancestor. I’ve already accepted this.
“Maybe it’s fate… I’ll never be able to train in elemental fire or learn how to craft…”
She spoke of acceptance, but her voice sounded more and more dispirited with each word.
“It won’t be like that!” Bai Yunfei hurried to comfort her, “There’s no such thing as a predestined fate! Xinyun, don’t worry. I promise you. I’ll definitely find a way to reform your essence fireseed. I’ll definitely do it! I promise!!”
Tang Xinyun had given up already, but Bai Yunfei’s words were spoken with enough emotion that she couldn’t help but feel a tad bit more hopeful. “Yunfei,” she smiled, “you don’t have to worry about me. Focus on getting better, really, I’m fine… Master said that the headmaster’s daughter will be coming back from the Water School in a while. I’ve… I’ve thought about it already. When she comes back… I… I’ll be going with her to enter the Water School…”
For some reason, Bai Yunfei found himself at a loss. He took a deep breath to calm down, and then looked back at Tang Xinyun’s eyes. “Xinyun, I’ll get better as soon as I can. After that, I’ll find a way to help you reform your essence fireseed! Don’t give up! Even if you can’t recover it, another one can be formed! You can tr—eh? Hold on…”
He was motivating himself by talking to Tang Xinyun, but halfway through, a sudden idea struck him, causing him to stop there to think with a heavy expression.
Confused, Tang Xinyun asked, “Yunfei, what’s wrong?”
“Ah? Oh! It’s… it’s nothing. I just thought about something, that’s all.” Realizing where he was, Bai Yunfei shook his head with a start. “In short, Xinyun, you’re thinking about too many things. Focus on getting better first. The other matters can wait.”
“Yes. Yunfei, you too. Hurry up and get better…”
The two talked for some time before Bai Yunfei finally decided to head out. Waving goodbye, he started down the mountain to walk home.
When he got to the crossroads connecting the mountain points, he stopped. Turning his head to the Eastern Point, he looked up with a bright look of excitement.
“Can that be done? If it could… then I’ll be making an extremely large leap in strength!”