The battles that took place in the Soulbeast Forest was by no means an irregularity to Bai Yunfei. With how long he’d been in the forest, he had already seen plenty of battles take place between soulbeasts. But he spent most of his time observing those before leaving when the outcome of the battle was essentially determined. He was disinclined to try and steal the soulgem of a soulbeast from another, though he knew that if any other soul cultivator were to hear this, they’d all curse him for his ‘mercy’ and stupidity.
There was another reason why he was so interested in watching soulbeasts fight. Aside from observing how soulbeasts fought, the more important factor was to look at the soulbeasts themselves. If there was one he found interest in, then Bai Yunfei would ‘lend’ a hand when it seemed like that soulbeast was on the verge of death.
This type of ‘first meeting’ would go a long ways away to establish a sense of friendship between soulbeast and soul cultivator, and that’d make forming a soul contract a lot easier.
This ‘trick’ was commonly employed by many soul cultivators to form soul contracts.
Bai Yunfei didn’t sense any sliver of danger from this battle, so he didn’t hesitate to run on over to observe it.
After several minutes, Bai Yunfei found himself a nice tree to hide in and watch the battle take place down below.
“This is a….late-stage class five?” What he saw disappointed Bai Yunfei somewhat. He had expected an intense battle between soulbeasts, but the ones fighting down below were basically mediocre ones and were quite weak for his standards.
Despite being known as the class six area, it didn’t necessarily mean only class six soulbeasts lived here. Class five soulbeasts were in abundance, but they generally stuck to a pack and lived in smaller denominations than their class six counterparts.
One of the soulbeasts was washed completely in green light; it was a late-stage class five greenwood wolf.
The other soulbeast was a bird the size of a crane with plumage the colors of the rainbow. It was a late-stage class five prisma oriole.
Greenwood wolves were generally considered to be wood-type soulbeasts with better than average talent while looking pretty similar to any generic wolf.
Prisma orioles were naturally gifted with the ability to train in multiple elements. The lowest amount they could learn was two, and at most they could learn….seven different elements! For this reason, these prisma orioles were highly treasured as a rare species, but on the inverse, prisma orioles were also one of the least gifted soulbeasts. They could at their very strongest become a late-stage class five soulbeast, and never in recorded history had there been a class six prisma oriole.
Because of that, no soul cultivator was willing to accept one as their soulbeast partner.
Since neither of the two soulbeasts caught Bai Yunfei’s interest, he was very disappointed and began to turn around to leave.
But then when a sudden soft chirp was heard, Bai Yunfei noticed something strange and turned back to watch the fight.
Observing the fight a little longer, Bai Yunfei was starting to understand something about it. “I see, so this is a battle to try and breakthrough….”
The greenwood wolf was a late-stage class five, and based on its power, it was on the verge of becoming a class six. If it won this battle, it’d be able to breakthrough.
This was extremely similar to the battle between the three-eyed bloodlion and the purple-crowned snake, if not identical. In the ruthless world of soulbeasts that weren’t class seven in strength, there needn’t be words nor feelings; it was a survival of the fittest where only the strongest would make it to the top. Soulbeasts would kill, or be killed, and their soulgems would serve as sustenance for the victor for them to become even stronger.
“That prisma oriole is much stronger than any other late-stage class five, but not so much that it’s probably at its peak level of strength. It also has an advantage in the skies even if it can’t beat the wolf, but why is it fighting so hard?”
No matter how much he observed the two soulbeasts, he couldn’t understand why the bird was acting as it was.
According to logic, the prisma oriole was no match for the greenwood wolf. Since the greenwold wolf didn’t have the ability to skywalk, the bird would be able to flee without trouble if it wanted to, and the wolf’s long ranged elemental strikes wouldn’t do any harm at all.
But rather than follow that logic, the prisma oriole was trying its utmost to grapple with the wolf in an attempt to engage it in a close-combat battle!
Unable to make heads or tails over the matter, Bai Yunfei continued to watch the battle from his hiding spot.
It seemed as if the oriole was protecting something.
If he looked behind the two soulbeasts, there was a large cliff wall with a cave about thirty meters above ground. No matter how much the oriole fought, it never left more than a hundred meters away from the cave.
“Is….is it hiding some sort of treasure?!”
The possibility of treasure caught Bai Yunfei’s attention. If there was treasure big enough to catch the attention of another soulbeast and warrant the safeguarding by another soulbeast to protect with all its life, why wouldn’t he be interested?
Whilst Bai Yunfei was in the middle of his conjecturing, the greenwood wolf suddenly let loose a roar and began to gather a concentrated sphere of elemental power in its mouth to fire!
It’s target wasn’t the prisma oriole, but the….cave it was protecting!
There was a shrill chirp of fury from the oriole as it disappeared in a flash of multicolored light to fly towards the cave!
The elemental sphere was fired, but rather than hitting the cave, it slammed into the prisma oriole!
Following the surge of elements from the blast, the prisma oriole dropped from the skies. It landed on the protruding part of the cliff where the cave was, creating a large crater in the ground.
Due to the power of the blast, the oriole wasn’t fast enough to take off into the skies before a dark-green light leapt onto the perch to strike!
With its talons being held onto by the wolf’s claws, the oriole bird could do nothing but cry out and struggle as best as it could.
Just seconds after the two started struggling, they fell off the perch and to the ground down below!
But no sooner did they fall did the wolf pry its jaws wide open and snap at the oriole’s throat!
An extremely loud but sorrowful cry was heard from the oriole then, filling the air with its verbal reluctance and attachment to life, but also a blood chilling sense of insanity!
It was too late for the oriole to move, as the fangs of the wolf was already just centimeters from its throat.
But it didn’t need to move!
Just before the fangs could make contact, when the wolf heard the cry of the oriole, it let out a yelp and disengaged from the bird to leap as far away as possible!
What came next from the bird was a mighty explosion whose force was felt all the way to where Bai Yunfei was even. The trees all around him shuddered with the force, and light the colors of the rainbow exploded forth from the oriole along with its blood splashing against the nearby trees.
In the end, the oriole decided to blow itself up!
Despite leaping away in time to save its life, the greenwood wolf was not without injury. Its entire left side was a mangled mess with parts of it being charcoaled black even.
Still, it was alive.
It howled angrily at the crater where the oriole once was and then turned to go back towards the cave.
Since it blew itself up, the prisma oriole’s soulgem was gone. That act in itself was another factor in the wolf’s anger, but the objects left in the cave was still enough to make up for the loss of that soulgem.
Perhaps there’d be something in the cave that’d allow it to become a class six soulbeast…..