In the later half of the class six area of the Soulbeast Forest.
The cries of a beast reverberated through the forest, but its cries were quickly cut short a moment later.
A man pulled his sword out from the throat of a recently killed leopard. From both the wound and the sword, blood dripped freely onto the ground.
The man plunged the sword again into the leopard’s head, excavating its soulgem into his hand.
“Man, I struck it rich today. Was going to leave, but then this late-stage class six soulbeast comes out of nowhere! What a convenient bounty!” He gloated to himself as he wiped the soulgem clean of blood before storing it away.
“Hehe, I really am just lucky. The others were killed by that late-stage class six delusion bear, but I had it in me to escape. Guess it’s true when they say fortune follows misfortune. With this late-stage class six soulgem, I won’t be going home empty-handed!”
This man is Bian Dangnan, a wandering cultivator that was actually in his fifties rather than in his thirties as his appearance might show. He was actually quite strong as a late-stage Soul Exalt and was a part of an adventuring team with two other late-stage Soul Exalts and three mid-stage Soul Exalts. Their group came into the forest to go hunting for soulbeasts, but a rampaging late-stage class six delusion bear had nearly decimated the team, leaving Bian Dangnan as the only survivor. In his rush to flee from the area, he came across a half-dead late-stage class six zombie leopard and ambushed it.
TL Note: This person’s name (卞当楠) is a homophone to 便当男 (Biandang Nan), meaning a ‘bento male’, or a male who is seemingly financially secure. Or in this case, convenient.
“Wonder what the leopard was so panicked about, though.” Bian Dangnan tilted his head quizzically.
A glow of white light off in the distance caught his eye. Realizing that something was flying overhead, he turned to look and see what it was.
“A chair?!” He was bewildered upon realizing what the flying object was, but then when he sensed the aura emanating from the chair, he smiled. “This….this is treasure! Time to get me another bountiful piece of treasure!!”
He leapt into the air, not willing to miss out on this opportunity. Orange light glowed underneath his feet with each leap he took, and in a matter of a few steps, he was high in the skies ready to grab hold of the throne.
He clapped his hands together with a grunt. Elemental earth started to gather in front of him, and when enough was gathered, it transformed into a wall of solid earth.
The throne collided with the wall, but rather than stopping like Bian Dangnan expected, the throne smashed straight through it!
Nearly watching the throne fly past him, Bian Dangnan hastened to grab onto it with his elemental earth now being used to strengthen his grip.
“Hngh!” He grunted, exerting all of the muscle and strength he had as a late-stage Soul Exalt to stop the Nephrite Throne from flying away.
But he was unsuccessful. The throne slipped away from his grasp and continued onwards to finally come crashing into the mountain to his left a few hundred meters away.
“Elemental darkness!!” Bian Dangnan was stunned, his eyes wide open in his disbelief. In the moment he tried to grab onto the throne, the elemental darkness still enveloping it had managed to soak into his body! It wasn’t a large amount enough to be fatal, but his arms went numb as soon as it made contact with the elemental darkness!
“Hmph!!” Expelling the elemental darkness with his soulforce, Bian Dangnan’s entire person lit up in a fiery glow of orange.
The purge took a while before he could finally move again. With one last push, he drove out the last vestiges of the elemental darkness from his body!
“Whew….that was scary! It was just a little strand of elemental darkness, but that was too much for me!” Bian Dangnan stretched his arms as he inspected his body all over. Upon seeing nothing was wrong, he immediately looked back to where the throne had gone.
“That’s definitely treasure!!” He shouted in joy, but before he could move, a terrifying aura from behind caused him to turn around in fear!
Right as he did, the large jaw of a bloody maw came forward to devour him!
All he heard was its roar before everything black for him. Pain wracked his entire body for a moment, and then, he felt nothing….
In one bite, the thunderfire wolf had clamped over the upper half of Bian Dangnan’s body. Shaking its head, the thunderfire wolf split the man’s body in two, allowing the bottom half to fall back down from the skies.
The silhouette of a person came to a stop right next to his dead carcass. Stooping over, the figure collected the dead man’s space ring and inspected its inner contents. “Pah! Just an overzealous weakling lusting after something as powerful as the Nephrite Throne….”
A vacant look that of a dead man was still on Bian Dangnan’s face. His eyes were glossy, though still holding the expression of bewilderment in them–he had been unlucky, by using his soulforce to counteract the elemental darkness, his awareness had been temporarily softened. So when the thunderfire wolf came up to devour him, he stood no chance at all….
”But he was useful in slowing down the Nephrite Throne, else it fly even farther away for another person to take.” Xing Yuan murmured. Avarice filling his eyes as he stared at the throne, he moved to get closer to it to pick it up.
“So this is one of the Ten Great Regalia, the Nephrite Throne….”
He couldn’t help but stare hungrily at it for a while. He knew that even as an elder of the Beast Taming School, he wouldn’t live past a month if he tried to take the throne for himself….
“Eh? It won’t fit in the space ring?!” When he tried to store away the item, Xing Yuan was alarmed to find out that it wouldn’t go in!
“There’s another source of energy here, some type of soulforce imprinting!” It took a while for Xing Yuan to realize just how this imprinting came to be.
“The Black Dragon King! He turned the Nephrite Throne into a soulbound armament!”
With the exception of those from the Crafting School, soulbound armaments are rare to find from any soul cultivator beneath the rank of a Soul King. But for Soul Kings and those even stronger, soulbound armaments were a relatively easy thing to make. Any Soul King could simply imprint their soulforce onto the soul armament and bind it to them.
“In that case, I’ll have to wait for the second elder to take care of it, or wait for them to kill the Black Dragon King. With his death, we should be able to take it, I should fir—”
A sudden source of soulforce caught his eye, interrupting his speech. Turning towards the east, Xing Yuan saw a flash of azure and violet come flying over to him!
“It’s…..” Xing Yuan realized who it was instantaneously, “it’s him!!”