The one who had kidnapped Tang Xinyun was an early-stage Soul Exalt at the very least. Bai Yunfei wasn’t confident that he could guarantee a victory against such an infamous criminal from the Forest Pass Province since his own strength was still lacking.
Thought true that Bai Yunfei once defeated a late-stage Soul Exalt with his Cataclysmic Seal, the Cataclysmic Seal had been many times stronger during the battle outside of Curopia City.
His fireseed essence was gone. He could only rely on his upgraded equipment and an above-average soulforce to fight Soul Ancestors.
Against a Soul Exalt, these two factors simply weren’t enough.
The original plan was to wait a few days before giving the Blackwind Dagger back to Jing Mingfeng, but with the situation they way it was now, to do otherwise would be foolhardy. Giving him back the dagger wouldn’t amount to much either; what he really needed to do was increase his own strength. That meant… regaining the ability to control elemental fire!!
When he gave back the dagger to Jing Mingfeng, the other object he took out was the… fireseed spirit mushroom!!
“Yunfei, what are you planning!?” Jing Mingfeng repeated in alarm.
Staring at the fireseed spirit mushroom in his hand, the look in Bai Yunfei’s eyes darkened with hesitation for two seconds before determination replaced it, “I have to… reform my essence fireseed!!”
With no further hesitation, Bai Yunfei stuffed the mushroom into his mouth!!
“You’ve gone crazy, Yunfei! When has the fireseed spirit mushroom ever had a use like that!?” Taken aback by the ‘stupidity’ of Bai Yunfei’s actions, Jing Mingfeng moved to stop him, but it was too late.
With the fireseed spirit mushroom in his mouth, Bai Yunfei made quick work of it by swallowing it. It turns into a warm flame as it passed through his mouth, the mushroom dropped down into his stomach, but the overall temperature of his body had increased. A wisp of fire spiralled up from his stomach, and in no time, a scorching flame was running rampant through his body!
An intense jolt of pain ran through Bai Yunfei’s body, causing him to let out an involuntary gasp of pain. Even the Tempest Sword started to sway slightly before Bai Yunfei regained control of it.
His fists were clenched, and his teeth were grit together in pain. His eyebrows were wrinkled, and his eyes were extremely bloodshot from all the pain he was feeling.
The fireseed spirit mushroom was a sort of panacea for trying to form an essence fireseed, but in regards to how it could be used like this, one would have to remember back to Jade Willow City when Bai Yunfei first formed his essence fireseed.
While it remained true that he has managed to form one, it was only because Hong Yin was playing the part of conductor and You Qingfeng was constantly bringing out medicines that could help Bai Yunfei.
The medicines weren’t meant to bolster the fireseed spirit mushroom’s effects. In fact, they were there to decrease its harmful side effects! What other side effects could there possibly be besides the excruciating pain of being burned all throughout the body and even soul!?
Bai Yunfei knew what the medicines were for, but he had none on hand. Even if he did, there was no time to try and synthesize the best combination right now. What mattered most right now was speed! He needed that essence fireseed formed here and now!!
The first appearance of uncontrollable fire came from Bai Yunfei’s right fist first, then his right arm, then his left arm…
In a matter of seconds, his entire body was aflame. It was covered in a fire that didn’t seem to burn his hair or his clothes. Instead, it stuck strangely to his body, almost like it was trying to penetrate his skin except something seemed to be blocking it.
The sudden appearance of these flames startled Jing Mingfeng. He nearly fell off the Tempest Sword after taking a frightened step back. Somehow, he managed to create a small gap between Bai Yunfei and him. Not knowing what else to do, Jing Mingfeng surrounded himself in a bubble of elemental wind to stop the flames from touching him.
It was pointless to say anything more about what was going on in Bai Yunfei’s body. With his face contorted in pain, with his teeth clamped down so hard they were drawing blood from his lips, and with his bloodshot eyes, Bai Yunfei seemed as though he was nearing the brink of insanity.
“Who cares… about this pain? I went through this pain in the Crafting School, yet I failed.
“I’ll do it this time. I’ll succeed!”
His final thoughts were spat out in an odd mixture of encouragement and an oath to himself. The next words he yelled were shouted at the sky, “Fireseed essence!” he roared, “Form dammit! Form!!!!”
Fire began to burst from his body with such power that the surrounding elements in the world began to tremble. All of the elemental fire in the world began to gather and materialize into view before being sucked into a bubble around the Tempest Sword, keeping up with its flight.
From far away, spectators that looked up would be terrified to see a giant fireball streaking through the sky.
Within this spherical ball of fire stood an extremely sweaty Jing Mingfeng. He stood on the very end of the sword with his Blackwind Dagger held tight in his hands. Still within the safety of his bubble of elemental wind, he stared frightfully at Bai Yunfei. Somehow, the bubble protecting him was blocking the elemental fire from touching him. However, the target of the flames wasn’t him, so Jing Mingfeng wasn’t in any immediate danger.
What shocked Jing Mingfeng the most was the mystery of what was going on with Bai Yunfei’s body rather than the extremely hot ball of elemental fire around him…
From the very start, Bai Yunfei’s aura had been increasing nonstop. At the beginning, he was a late-stage Soul Warrior, but then the flames in his body propelled his strength through the levels of an early-stage Soul Sprite, to a mid-stage, and then a late-stage before petering slightly in speed. From there, he reached the level of an early-stage Soul Ancestor, but… his strength was still rising!!
“Is… is this how strong Ol’Bai really is? That’s crazy…” A hand rose up to swipe the sweat off his face in shock. “He was a mid-stage Soul Sprite the last time we met. What in the world did he pick up since then!? Compared to him, my treasures of war aren’t even worth a pebble…”
Jing Mingfeng couldn’t exactly see what was going on with Bai Yunfei. However, he could see a hazy silhouette that stood tall but loose while elemental fire surged into his body.
Jing Mingfeng could tell that Bai Yunfei’s aura was growing stronger with each wisp of elemental fire that traveled into his body.
Ten minutes passed in this fashion before Jing Mingfeng felt a tremble from within the flames. That tremble triggered the start of the flames doubling their speed into Bai Yunfei’s body. Within seconds, every wisp of elemental fire had disappeared from sight.
Without any elemental fire in sight, the air around the two men and the sword returned to it’s normal, tranquil state.
The only difference was with the outer appearance of Bai Yunfei. A red light, barely discernable to the naked eye, stuck to Bai Yunfei’s body like a shell. It moved with his body no matter which way he moved, and with each movement, the strength of his being could be felt…
A mid-stage Soul Ancestor!!
Like the air around him, Bai Yunfei was back to normal. The blood that had been visible in his eyes earlier was gone, and even though he suffered such tremendous pain earlier, Bai Yunfei felt at ease with himself.
His right hand came up. Looking at it, he gave a tentative clench of the fist, feeling the familiar surge of elemental fire in his body. As it slowly circulated around his body, a pleased look began to creep into Bai Yunfei’s eyes.
“At last, I’m finally a mid-stage Soul Ancestor… the amount of soulforce I had was already enough to become one a long time ago…”
Seeing nothing else out of the ordinary after a rough inspection, Bai Yunfei nodded his head in satisfaction. There was no need to continue thinking about this.
Looking forward, he thought, “Right now, I need to look for Xinyun!”
He closed his eyes in concentration. The red light that surrounded his body flickered once before pulsing out.
Not only was he using his soulforce to scan the area, he was also using the entirety of his strength.
Right behind him, Jing Mingfeng opened his mouth to say something now that everything was back to normal, but he chose against it. Closing his mouth, he stood silently where he was on the sword and tried not to disturb Bai Yunfei.
Back in Mo City, Xiao Bai had indicated that the person who had kidnapped Tang Xinyun changed direction from the east to the north. There weren’t any guarantees that the kidnapper wouldn’t change direction again or continue running in a straight line.
Bai Yunfei wasn’t trying to sense for the enemy. The only thing he could do to find Tang Xinyun was to find one thing…
The Yun’s Soul Ring!!
The ring that he painstakingly upgraded to +13. It wasn’t at a level where it was a soulbound armament, but his soul compatibility was at forty percent; this left him with a very rudimentary connection to the ring.
While there was a connection, Bai Yunfei had never tested it before ever since he had left the Crafting School, so he wasn’t quite sure how far apart he could be from the ring and still sense it.
To sense for something that wasn’t a soulbound armament, Bai Yunfei would need to be able to use his soulsense. Without his essence fireseed, Bai Yunfei hadn’t been capable of using his soulsense, that was one of the major reasons for eating the fireseed spirit mushroom.
While he concentrated on divining the connection and finding the ‘aura’ of the ring, the Tempest Sword continue to fly.
“Where is it! Where is it! Hurry up!!” For five whole minutes, Bai Yunfei was beside himself in panic as he tried to make the connection.
Several minutes later, Bai Yunfei’s eyes flew open in joy,