Every single time Bai Yunfei had to fight against an opponent that was stronger than him, he’d make sure to unleash his strongest move in order to buy enough time to run away. With his powerful soul skills and equipment effects, any enemy he fought was basically forced to watch as Bai Yunfei successfully ran away from them.
Any other soul cultivator would’ve died in ways completely unknown to them if they fought against Xing Yuan, for example. Bai Yunfei on the other hand could not only land lasting injuries onto him, but escape with his life as well.
Even against late-stage class six soulbeasts were used as tests for his strength–and after he did that, he’d run away–no harm no foul.
But as the saying goes; walk along the river long enough and your shoes will get wet.
Unfortunately for Bai Yunfei, right now was that unlucky moment for him.
And it wasn’t a minor unfortunate event.
Reaching that cliff and approaching the thunderberry was the moment when Bai Yunfei realized that he was about to reach the biggest piece of trouble since he stepped foot in the Soulbeast Forest. Those soulbeasts who were on the verge of becoming class sevens like the thunderwing bat were far more than a match for him. He knew this, and thus why he tried to run away first, but things still went as expected anyways.
He got hurt. Quite seriously too.
The worse part was, even after paying such a heavy price, he wasn’t out of the woods just yet.
Over the course of the next half hour of Xiao Qi flying at the fastest speeds it could muster, countless distance had already been traveled.
No matter which way it turned to, it was never able to fully throw off the thunderwing bat of its trail. Every so often, Bai Yunfei would feel the bat’s aura weaken for just a second, but then it’d come back shortly after.
If not for the long head start they had and the occasional detours Xiao Qi took, the thunderwing bat would’ve caught up with them a long time ago.
Things couldn’t go on this way, though. Xiao Qi was already exhausted with how long it had been flying at the speeds it was at, and if it weren’t for Bai Yunfei holding onto its talons to send some soulforce to it, Xiao Qi would’ve collapsed some time ago.
There was no helping it. Bai Yunfei was using the Yun’s Soul Ring to recover soulforce, but most of that prioritized his own wounds.
He himself had used a laborious amount of soulforce already, so he needed to recover it all before it was too late for the both of them.
If it were just him, he could’ve dove into the Soulbeast Forest and used the Soul Concealment Art to conceal his soulforce. That way, hiding from the thunderwing bat would’ve been several degrees easier, but Xiao Qi and Xiao Lan weren’t capable of that.
The thunderwing bat’s soulsense was already locked onto their auras even from such a long distance away. All it needed to do was to head in their general direction and then make short work out of the two soulbeasts right afterwards.
On the other hand, Xiao Qi could’ve dropped Bai Yunfei so that it could go off into another direction to pull the bat after it, but Bai Yunfei wouldn’t have allowed that.
“Damn damn dammit!! What should I do?!” Anxiety flooded his face as his soulforce circulated around his body. His mind was in a panicked mess as he tried to think of the next step to take, “We f*cked up and got hurt, we shouldn’t have tried to run away so early….no, we shouldn’t have even got close to the thunderberry to begin with!
“But now’s not the time to think about that!” He shook his head in an attempt to clear his mind, “Now that things have gotten this way, should we give the thunderberry back?
“No, with how injured it is, there’s definitely no way it’ll forgive us now….
“But we can’t keep on running away either, we can’t shake it off! Should we stop and fight? But how? I wouldn’t be able to defeat a peak late-stage class six soulbeast even if I was fully healed!
“There’s just far too big of a difference between us that my equipment and soul skills can’t even make up. A Soul Ancestor isn’t an opponent for them at all, if only I was stronger….
“If we can’t run, then we’ll have to fight! And if we fight, we fight to win! And if we win, we have to get stronger! Stronger than what we were before, I have to become Soul Exalt!”
One by one, thoughts flickered past his head, but the final thought made Bai Yunfei feel agonized over the impossibility of the task.
“Hold on! Breaking the bottleneck to become a Soul Exalt might not be impossible….” His eyes flickered first to the blue-eyes wyrm. “No, I can’t be careless. This won’t guarantee me a success.
“In that case….” The gears in his head turned slowly before Bai Yunfei looked up at Xiao Qi.
The light in his eyes were flickering madly now. When another screech was heard behind him, the light in his eyes grew even brighter, as if he had decided upon something.
Without anymore hesitation, Bai Yunfei pointed to a nearby mountain peak a kilometer away, “Xiao Qi, stop down there!”
This sudden request caught Xiao Qi off guard, but it didn’t bother to question him. Tilting its wings, Xiao Qi deviated from its flight to fly down to the mountain.
Settling on the ground, Bai Yunfei set Xiao Lan down before putting away the Compliant Rope. The coloration in his face was looking better now, but he sat down anyways for a moment to regulate his breathing. Looking up, he looked back at Xiao Qi who was staring anxiously at him.
“Xiao Qi, are you willing to travel and fight alongside me from now on as my partner?”
Again, Xiao Qi didn’t understand what Bai Yunfei was getting at, but this question was all the more puzzling to it.
‘Travel with Bai Yunfei’.
This was already something it was already doing ever since it arrived in this world. It was more knowledgeable about this world now, and far more mature than when it was conceived, but it never thought to question this notion before.
To follow Bai Yunfei was as natural as it was to breath, so what need was there to think twice about it?
Traveling together, fighting together, and to being partners or whatnot….isn’t that what it was doing already?
The confusion that was taking place in Xiao Qi’s mind was also being transmitted to Bai Yunfei, allowing him to see what it was thinking about.
“Haha….” Bai Yunfei chuckled, seemingly laughing at his own superfluous question.
Then, the smile was replaced with a serious but grim expression.
“Then….form a soul contract with me, Xiao Qi!!”