“He’s giving me this?” Surprised, Tang Xinyun took the ring from him, “This is…”
“There’s a few precious herbs in here.” Tang Ming explained, “Third brother said that there’s a lot of different ones. You should only use some of them for now. He also said there’s a scroll that’ll describe how to use them. If you can follow what it says, your training will see a huge improvement.”
Tang Xinyun already had a rough idea about what was in the space ring by the time Tang Ming was finished explaining things. She didn’t recognize some of the herbs, but… there were a few herbs that she was familiar with. One of them was even a dragonfruit like the one that had been sold at the auction just a few days ago…
One of the herbs was even the medicine Bai Yunfei had been back in the Crafting School when he had attempted to form a second essence fireseed.
While she didn’t know just how old or how potent they were, Tang Xinyun knew that they were still without a doubt precious beyond belief.
“Is… is third brother really giving me all of this?” She gestured at the ring in her hand in dumb shock.
“Yea, third brother said that even though it’s been several years since he last saw you, he still faces the responsibility of being a good older brother. When he found out that you joined the Crafting School, he made sure to prepare all these things to help you practice. He said that he hopes it’ll help you grow stronger and help you live your own life…” Tang Ming repeated the words Tang Wei once said to him about her.
“So… third brother knows about my situation…” Touched by the words and affection of her brother, Tang Xinyun clenched her fists tightly, remembering the memories of the past. Memories of when she used to cry and hide behind the not-so-much older Tang Wei while he made sure to punish those who bullied her…
She also remembered when he was taken away from her by a powerful outsider when she was six years old.
“From now on, your third brother won’t be around,” he said, “I won’t be able to protect you, so you have to learn to be strong and learn to be patient. Learn so that you can protect yourself. When you can do that or when you find someone who’ll protect your for the rest of your life, you won’t be bullied any more. Until that day comes, you have to stay determined. Don’t cry, don’t complain, and don’t hate. Just stay determined…”
“Third brother… it’s been over a dozen years now. Xinyun has grown. I’m stronger and also a part of the Crafting School. I’ve my master and my school, no one will bully me now.” Tang Xinyun silently spoke to the Tang Wei of her childhood.
Her eyes wandered slowly to a figure behind her, “I… I may have also found that someone…” She added.
“Sis? Sis? What’s wrong?”
Suddenly, the voice of her younger brother snapped Tang Xinyun out of her thoughts.
“Sis, you better not tell anyone else! Third brother said that he didn’t want anyone else to know. I don’t know why, but still…”
Putting the ring away, Tang Xinyun smiled at him, “I understand. I won’t tell anyone.”
“Okay! I’m going to go play now, sis, auntie, big brother Bai, sister Tingting, and aunty Zhao, bye bye!!”
Now that his ‘secret meeting’ with Tang Xinyun was over, Tang Ming could leave. It was a mystery to everyone why he was leaving. Bai Yunfei was even more confused when Tang Xinyun said that it was a secret when he asked, so no one else tried to press for details.
Tang Ming left the courtyard and another two people came walking in.
Those two were Jing Mingfeng and Zhao Xiluo.
“Hey, Mingfeng, Xiluo, where have you been these past few days? I haven’t seen you even once!” Bai Yunfei asked as soon as they drew close. The last time he had seen the two was when the auction house had officially ended. Even Kou Tingting didn’t know where the two had gone off. They did mention they were going to meet with Zhong Liyan for something fun.
“Hehe, nothing much, nothing much. Just some good ol’ fun.” Jing Mingfeng gave a dismissive wave of his hand. “Is Xinyun back to full strength? Anything weird with her essence fireseed?”
“Yes.” Tang Xinyun smiled, “I’m back to normal now.”
“That’s good, then.” Jing Mingfeng nodded happily.
Turning to Bai Yunfei next, Jing Mingfeng said, “Ol’Bai, make sure you protect Xinyun, alright? If something like this happens again, you deserve to be struck by lightning…”
“Screw off! Where do you get off saying stuff like that?” Bai Yunfei derisively snorted, “I definitely won’t let anything like this happen again.”
Though Bai Yunfei said it in response to Jing Mingfeng, his words were meant to be a guarantee for everyone to hear.
“Okay then! Now that you’ve promised, I hope to see you two in good condition next time.” Jing Mingfeng slapped Bai Yunfei on the shoulder as he said this.
“What do you mean next time…?” Puzzled by his response, Bai Yunfei asked, “Hold on, what do you mean? Are you going to leave?”
Like Bai Yunfei, Tang Xinyun was also surprised to hear what was being said.
“Yeah, I’ve decided to leave Mo City. I was only here for the auction, so now that I’ve gained a lot of primal stones, I’m going to find a nice place to lay low and focus on training…”
“Alright then….” Bai Yunfei nodded before asking the next question that popped into his mind, “When are you planning to leave?”
Jing Mingfeng smiled, “Right now.”
“Now!? Why so soon? And so sudden?”
“Haha, of course right now. We’re soul cultivators, we don’t need to dawdle and wait around for goodbyes like ordinary people. I hate sad goodbyes, so I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to leave if I stayed another few days.”
And that was that. Taking a few steps away, Jing Mingfeng clasped his hands together to say his goodbyes, “Everyone, I’ll spare the sad talk and just say that I hope we meet again somewhere in the world!!
“Xiao Feng, we’re going!!” He whirled around after finishing his goodbyes and called for his wind squaller, who came bounding after him.
“Woof woof…” It bayed twice as it trotted.
The wind squaller was still small, but the barking was already as loud and ferocious as any feral beast despite sounding like a dog.
For the sake of avoiding a very sad goodbye, Jing Mingfeng left as suddenly as he could. Since he did, Bai Yunfei was speechless for a good while while he tried to process what just happened. He sighed, a goodbye was to be expected at the very least, and ones as sudden as this one weren’t necessarily bad.
He knew there’d be a day that they’d meet again anyways.
Zhao Xiluo and Kou Tingting left a few days after that. The two of them had no reason to wait and left for the Crafting School. Tang Xinyun wanted to stay and keep her mother company for a few days more.
Since the auction was finally over, the many visitors in Mo City slowly trickled away. It was still as busy as any other day, but the high tension from before wasn’t there.
The city had reverted back to a state of tranquility.
Bai Yunfei was left to be nothing more than an idle guest of the Tang residence. For the most part, he stayed in the courtyard and concentrated on his training. Sometimes, he’d accompany Tang Xinyun out for a walk or he’d play with Tang Ming, but contact with the rest of the Tang wasn’t had. To reciprocate, the Tang didn’t bother him much either. Neither favor nor dislike was given to him since the Tang had plenty of matters to attend to as a huge power. They didn’t have the time to treat Bai Yunfei as anything but a guest if he had no business with them.
Bai Yinfei had been keeping track of how the Tang treated Tang Xinyun and her mother for a while. As of now, it didn’t seem as though life was as bad as Tang Xinyun had recalled; they were treating her and her mother better than before. Though some didn’t seem to care, there were a few others that were happier than before.
Chu Qingxue was a great example of the latter group. With her daughter by her side and no one to intervene or make trouble, the mother was living in an extremely happy mood. The family members that had once made trouble for her would purposely avoid her, afraid of some sort of retaliation…
When Bai Yunfei had first arrived, he had beaten Hua Binbai so badly that his wounds still hadn’t healed yet. Since the Tang had chose to side with the married-in family at that time rather than their own, how could they possibly get close to Bai Yunfei after thinking he was no one special?
Each day was nice and warm in any case. Seeing Tang Xinyun with such a content smile made Bai Yunfei feel calm. He was without worry or apprehension for the future. He could slowly enjoy his training, and his nerves, which used to be so taut and high-strung, could finally relax.
One afternoon half a month later—
While Zhao Mancha had taken Tang Xinyun out for groceries (Unless notified beforehand, everyone would normally prepare and eat their meals by themselves), Bai Yunfei was finishing his training in the middle of the courtyard. In his hand was his Fire-tipped Spear, basking in the warm sunlight.
Chu Qingxue was in the courtyard as well, though she stood next to the wisteria tree so that she could water it.
Seeing that she was done with her task, Bai Yunfei chose then to speak to her before she could retreat into her room, “Auntie Xue, I’ve something I’d like to talk to you about…”