The fact that he was accosted by three ‘bandits’ was not much of a bother to Bai Yunfei. People of that sort were common. In the soul cultivator world, they were an abundance.
Three late-stage Soul Sprites wasn’t a problem to begin with. To be even more accurate, even three Soul Ancestors wouldn’t have been a threat to Bai Yunfei.
Just two years ago, he was able to kill an early-stage Soul Exalt, and today… Bai Yunfei was sure he’d be able to kill a few more, even if he hadn’t tried yet.
Two years had done Bai Yunfei well. He was now a late-stage Soul Ancestor.
He advanced from a mid-stage Soul Ancestor to a late-stage, and the entire Crafting School was shocked at how fast he improved. By the end of two years, Bai Yunfei had surpassed Jiang Fan in strength, becoming the fastest growing student of the Crafting School in a hundred years. His feats, however, were limited to only the Crafting School, so no one outside of it knew about them.
After the events in Mo City, everyone in the world of soul cultivators knew that Zi Jin had an outstanding disciple. Him killing a Soul Exalt as a mid-stage Soul Ancestor attracted the eyes and ears of many people, making them all believe Bai Yunfei to be someone that’d skyrocket through the list of upcoming prodigies in the coming years.
Sadly, these hopeful spectators heard nothing more about Bai Yunfei after the events in Mo City, and after two years, no one even mentioned Bai Yunfei’s name.
Aside from the Upgrade Technique and the Cultivating Pendant helping him with his training, the biggest contributor to Bai Yunfei’s rise in strength was the heaven tier technique, the Dual Flame Arts.
It seemed as though this technique, which had been created by a predecessor of the Crafting School, was tailormade for Bai Yunfei. He had found it difficult to train with it at first, but after half a year of excruciating training, he had managed to make some leeway. Through this achievement, he was able to attain even higher levels of strength, and in a year, he was able to reach the late-stage Soul Ancestor realm.
Yes, about half a year ago—
No, about four months ago, Bai Yunfei left the Crafting School to head for Beast Suppression Pass, so it was more accurate to say it took him up to only last year to become as strong as he was now.
The Dual Flame Arts was unfortunately not enough to help Bai Yunfei breakthrough the bottleneck of a Soul Exalt.
If it was that easy to make the advancement, the term ‘bottleneck’ simply wouldn’t exist.
The unordinary act of becoming a Soul Exalt was something the average soul cultivator would need twenty to thirty years in order to succeed. If they were talented, perhaps a little over ten years would suffice.
Of course, those who were considered ‘geniuses’ were of a different nature entirely. There were a great deal of people of that category who were able to make a breakthrough in less than ten years.
The fact that Bai Yunfei’s progression halted at the late-stage Soul Ancestor level gave Zi Jin and the others a feeling of respite. His progression up to that point was a pleasant surprise, but him getting any stronger was a serious point of concern to them. Every realm of strength was the byproduct of both strength and experience. It required self-discipline and preparation in order to advance. To try and break through without either one would be akin to building a house without properly setting the foundation.
The majority of the past two years were spent trying to grow even stronger. Thus, his crafting skill had been neglected. That didn’t mean to say Bai Yunfei didn’t work on his crafting. Thanks to the Dual Flame Arts, his success while crafting went up by a substantial amount, and in that time, he was able to craft a plethora of soul armaments.
With his current strength, he was able to craft mid-earth tier soul armaments, but nothing higher.
However, the Crafting School had its regulations, and these regulations stated that all students of the school had to contribute a portion of their soul armaments based on the amount of materials they borrowed from the school stock. Bai Yunfei was no exception to this rule. Aside from the few soul armaments he used frequently, Bai Yunfei had to give away the newer ones he made, but that wasn’t too much of a loss.
He simply couldn’t use a good amount of the soul armaments, so losing them wasn’t a problem. Bai Yunfei kept the more powerful soul armaments, and he spent many days trying his best to study and upgrade them…
What Bai Yunfei had said to Zhang Yunpeng about him coming to the Soulbeast Forest was in fact true. He really was here as an order from his master, Zi Jin. Normally, students of the Crafting School were forbidden from going to the Soulbeast Forest unless they were a Soul Exalt, but Bai Yunfei was by no means normal. Zi Jin felt him to be more than ready to tackle on the forest, so he had Bai Yunfei head straight there in hopes that he could find a soulbeast to contract.
However, Bai Yunfei had been given a secondary order from his master.
Unless Bai Yunfei became a Soul Exalt, he was not to leave the Soulbeast Forest…
Neither of the two orders were contested by Bai Yunfei. On the contrary, the Soulbeast Forest had interested Bai Yunfei, and he was excited to visit it. Ever since Jiang Fang had come back a year ago with a six-tailed firefox, Bai Yunfei had been extremely envious of him. He longed to see the day where he’d find a soulbeast, so when the master commanded him to go, Bai Yunfei went without a word. He embarked on this dangerous trip.
On the topic of soulbeast partners, most of the elders back in the Crafting School actually had one, but they rarely came out. For example, Bai Yunfei once saw Huangfu Nan’s soulbeast partner, which was a rather inconspicuous winged tortoise.
On the other hand, Bai Yunfei had heard rumors that elder Cang Yu’s soulbeast had died twenty years ago…
Back in the inn where Zhang Yunpeng and the others were, Bai Yunfei was about to find a room to retire for the night when he coincidentally met up with the group again. Together, they talked with each other over a nice meal before finally resting for the night.
Later that night, Bai Yunfei was startled awake by the furious roar of a soulbeast. When he rushed out of his room, he realized that it was yet another soulbeast invasion.
This time, the ones who would take the brunt of this invasion would be Wang Kun and his group, who were still celebrating around a bonfire just outside the town.
The soulbeasts this time were two early-stage class five soulbeasts that could fly!!
Bai Yunfei hadn’t even gotten close to the outskirts of town when the battle started. The soul cultivators there were panicked at first, but they quickly fell into rhythm when faced with the soulbeasts. Despite not having any Soul Exalts, they still had plenty of ways to fight a monster that could fly. In time, rope darts and bursts of energy soared from the ground in an attempt to either ensnare or straight-up kill the soulbeasts.
On the other side, Wang Kun slammed his sword down, beheading the other soulbeast when it had dived at him.
Those who weren’t fighting, like Bai Yunfei, only watched the fight. There was no point in joining the fight, and once the battle was over, they’d return back to their rooms to rest.
Something like this wasn’t new to such people.
In just the span of a single day, two soulbeasts came to attack. Bai Yunfei had to admit, this place deserved to be called the Soulbeast Forest. What the empire called the soulbeasts from the mountains or forest were quite rare to come across, but that wasn’t true here.
There wasn’t a need to go hunting for any soulbeast, they’d come straight to the doorstep of the town instead.
A disparity existed between the soulbeasts here and the soulbeasts Bai Yunfei was familiar with. Soulbeasts such as the red magiboar, the quickshade bird, and even the riverchurning rat Hong Yin introduced to him back in Jadewillow City. The soulbeasts he had seen today didn’t seem to hold much sentience and were more primal in nature. Aside from the ones soul cultivators raised, soulbeasts wouldn’t have much sentience until they joined the sixth class.
Bai Yunfei stayed within the town for two nore days since Zhang Yunpeng’s friend still wasn’t here. For the most part, he studied the map of the forest to the best of his ability, but there was a problem. Since the map was more detailed, his mind hurt even more due to its complexity.
At the very least, he understood a decent portion of the more relevant places.
These two days were peculiar in one aspect; the soulbeasts never stopped coming. With the introduction of the first two attacks, there was a total of ten attacks over the course of three days. The very weakest soulbeast was only a class four one, and the strongest one had been a late-stage class five soulbeast which took the combined might of Wang Kun and another mercenary group to kill it before it could enter the town.
At first, Bai Yunfei thought these attacks were normal, but with each attack, Bai Yunfei noticed that the atmosphere in the town was starting to change. No longer were people feeling at ease like they had been three days ago.
Many of them now wore pensive looks on their faces.
Somehow, it seemed as though something unusual was slowly creeping up on them…