The ambient sound of footsteps whispered softly through the forests as a man-sized figure came out from the thickets. Then, seven figures came out into view. Side by side, they stopped right in front of a giant tree with the leader holding onto a gray scroll to inspect.
Of the seven, five of them were males and two of them were females.
Bai Yunfei and Zhang Yunpeng were leading the group.
“Boss Zhang, this should be the class two area, shouldn’t it?” Bai Yunfei asked after a brief estimation of the area.
Zhang Yunpeng looked around. “Should be,” he nodded, “we must’ve only just crossed from the class one zone. Getting to the class three zone should take some time then….”
Already half a month went by since Bai Yunfei and the others first entered the forest, but only to the class one area. But while the area was said to have plenty of class one soulbeasts, Bai Yunfei and his group came across a decent amount of class four soulbeasts.
This was without a doubt due to the influence of the soulbeast wave. Many of the soulbeasts had managed to flee back to the forest, but not all of them went back to their original hunting grounds. Some decided to make new homes in even the class one area.
In other words, differentiating areas by classes was no longer useable. It was a temporarily defunct classification for the time being.
Even the detailed notes and markings on Bai Yunfei’s map with warnings and information on certain spots of the forest was for the most part useless. At most, he could only use the map to take a look at the topography.
“With how we’re going right now, how long will it take for us to reach the class five area?” Bai Yunfei asked, brushing an insect off from his shoulder.
Zhang Yunpeng shrugged, “If this was before, it’d take two months for us to reach the class four area, and maybe a month or two after that to reach the class five area….but with how it is now, I can’t even make a rough estimate anymore. It’s unclear if we’ll come across any soulbeast that might try to bar our way either.”
“Well now….” Bai Yunfei nodded in understanding, “boss Zhang, forgive me for being blunt, but your group came here today to search for a purple-crowned snake. You also said before that you gained some information on its whereabouts, but now that the soulbeast wave has changed some things….do you perhaps have a better method of locating it?”
Zhang Yunpeng’s face darkened a bit at that. The fact that he was unable to locate the snake now wasn’t lost on him, it was just that he was reluctant to give up the search.
“Sigh….you’re right, brother Bai. Up to this point, I’ve been using just my eyes alone to look for the snake, but the forest is far too big and the soulbeasts far too many. To find a specific class of soulbeast is practically impossible….but, I can’t wait around for the next piece of information on its whereabouts. I have to try now, no matter if I fail or not!!”
On the second day after the soulbeast wave ended, Zhang Yunpeng had actually started to ask around the place, asking if any purple-crowned snake had appeared during the battle. It was in his hopes that one had actually appeared, but unfortunately for him, the only one he found was a class four one, which didn’t help him at all.
Perhaps a class five purple-crowned snake did appear, but the one responsible for killing it had already left the town….
In either case, Zhang Yunpeng decided with a heavy heart to try his luck in the Soulbeast Forest in hopes of finding one.
“Senior, please don’t feel discouraged. It’s not like there’s no hope; a purple-crowned snake might be rare, but there has to be plenty of them in the forest. We’ve only been searching for a few months, we’ll definitely be able to find one. It’s just maybe….we’d be able to find one as in the class two and three areas? Didn’t we come across one of the nests of a class five purple-crowned snake yesterday?” Ye Zi spoke up in comfort to Zhang Yunpeng while giving Bai Yunfei a small look, denoting that Bai Yunfei shouldn’t depress him anymore with words.
“Haha, Ye Zi has a point. Don’t feel so negative about things, boss Zhang. I’m sure we’ll be able to find one soon.” Bai Yunfei gave a small smile, thinking that he didn’t say anything wrong. But nonetheless, he followed Ye Zi’s warning and stayed silent after that to avoid making Zhang Yunpeng any more depressed.
“Ah, don’t worry about me, everyone. I won’t give up so easily.” Zhang Yunpeng managed to smile. “Thank you all for be so willing to enter the Soulbeast Forest with me during such a chaotic time. Succeed or not, I, Zhang Yunpeng, give you all my utmost thanks!”
“Hey now, what’s up with this talk? We’re brothers, not strangers!” Kun slapped Zhang Yunpeng on the shoulder, “We’re only in the class one area of the forest, if we keep it up, we’ll be able to find that snake in no time.”
Everyone else nodded in agreement, earning a flash of emotions to flicker across Zhang Yunpeng’s eyes. “You’re right, let’s get moving then!”
But before they could actually get moving again, Zhang Yunpeng and Long suddenly raised their hands to stop everyone in their tracks. Likewise, Bai Yunfei’s eyebrows narrowed together.
“A class five soulbeast,” Long explained to the others, “let me handle this.”
He took two steps forward with all three of his swords in his hands. Placing one of them in his mouth, he lifted his hands so that they rose in front of the blade in his mouth and held the swords vertically parallel to the ground.
“Roar!!” Before he could go any further than two steps, a roar from beyond the trees erupted outwards followed by a tremendous shadow leaping towards them–it was a mid-stage class five soulbeast, a stalking panther!
“Three Swords Style….Tiger Hunt!!”
Its speed was fast, but Long was even faster! Recklessly, the soulbeast was already three meters up into the air when Long’s person disappeared from view, only to reappear behind the leopard with his back arched and his arms by his side so that the swords pointed downwards.
Blood was dripping from the swords.
Blood splattered out from the panther’s mouth followed by a horrible roar. With a mighty crash, the panther fell to the ground just two meters away from the group. Elemental lightning was even seen flowing from the orifices of the panther as it spasmed and and twitched before death took hold of it.
“….”A silent thought of praise for Long was had from Bai Yunfei. Each time Long moved, he was like lightning in speed and could deliver victory with just a single move with style and power.
“Sigh, another mid-stage class five soulbeast….we’re only in the class two area. If any weaker team were to try to enter the forest now, it won’t be pretty for them.” Kun gave a sigh as he looked at the corpse of the panther.
There were actually plenty of soul cultivators within the forest right now. They wanted to take advantage of the situation to come in and kill some more soulbeasts, since more of them would be there. The bigger the risks, the better the rewards.
On the inverse, it also meant that there’d be plenty of soul cultivators who’d most likely lose their lives here in the class one and two areas.
And so the group continued onwards. From the class two area, they eventually made their way into the class three area. It took them about twenty days of traveling in order to get there, but there weren’t any soulbeasts on the way.
According to Zhang Yunpeng, this was what the class one area would normally feel like.
It was only after they reached the class four area that Bai Yunfei felt a very clear discrepancy. For the sake of avoiding trouble, Bai Yunfei and the group traveled carefully, but slowly. In what was originally the area for class four soulbeasts to roam, class five soulbeasts were no in abundance here. As a result, the group was in no rush to get to the class five area and spent another ten days or so looking for a purple-crowned snake here.
But even until the very last day, they came up empty-handed….
Then at last, when three months of travel was spent in the forest, Bai Yunfei and the group finally arrived in one of the more dangerous parts of the forest, the class five area.