The piece Bai Yunfei picked up then was the bottom half of the Nephrite Throne–specifically being the base of it–so it was bigger in size than the other fragments.
“They were all scattered so far away….I’ve already collected a lot of them, but I’m still not sure if that’s all of it or if there’s anymore anywhere else….” Bai Yunfei sighed, looking listlessly left and right.
A hundred meters away, there was a river flowing quite rapidly….
“You there! What are you holding in your hand?!”
Suddenly, a furious voice called forth, breaking Bai Yunfei out into goosebumps!
Whirling around, Bai Yunfei noticed then a person who had appeared out of nowhere. He wore plain clothing, but his bronze-colored eyes were extraordinarily piercing. There was no elemental energy being used to support his feet, and his soulforce was slightly different than what a soul cultivator would have–with it having a rather feral feel to it….
He’s a class seven soulbeast!
This man (or soulbeast), had the strength of an early-stage class seven. Unlike the Two Winged Kings, his strength was hidden well enough to escape Bai Yunfei’s detection, but not his observation.
Heart skipping a beat, Bai Yunfei tried to maintain a calm expression on his face. Most of his time had been spent trying to collect as many pieces as he can before he’d make his leave, but Bai Yunfei didn’t think that someone so strong would arrive so quickly.
To make matters worse, he was in a pretty bad state, though even if he was at his best, there’d be no way Bai Yunfei would want to fight against a Soul King levelled person….
“But he doesn’t seem to know about the Nephrite Throne, judging from his expression. Maybe I can bluff my way out of this….” Bai Yunfei figured.
Schooling his emotions, Bai Yunfei held up the stone in his hand, “Junior Bai Yunfei pays his respects to Senior. I am a student of the Crafting School, and I’ve been seeking special ores like this to use in my craft.”
His words were half-truths and half-lies, but he hoped that his identity would be enough to hoodwink the soulbeast.
“The Crafting School?” The man narrowed his eyes, giving Bai Yunfei a closer look. Eyes flicking here and there as he looked about, the man saw several things; Xing Yuan, Bian Dangnan, and the corpse of a leopard.
None of these three seemed odd to him, but then when he turned around to where two soulbeasts were hurrying over, his eyes widened as he saw the connection between them!
Him seeing a class six soulbeast was startling to say the least, but when he saw the thunderfire wolf, his surprised expression twisted in on itself in anger!
“Beast Taming School!!”
Furious at the seeming lies of Bai Yunfei, the soulbeast turned back to him with the intent to kill!
“Lies! You are scum from the Beast Taming School!!” He howled, purple light exploding from his body in great quantity. He raised his hand and pointed a finger at Bai Yunfei. In the next instant, a bolt of purple lightning came down from the skies to come down onto Bai Yunfei!
Bai Yunfei knew that the situation had suddenly grown dire before the man could even shout. Frightened out of his skin almost, Bai Yunfei knew he had to act before it was too late.
Summoning the Cataclysmic Seal, he forced in as much soulforce as he could into it to expand above his head for protection and an additional barrier to form around him. At the same time, his right hand flickered for a moment before he raised an item into the air.
“Senior, please stay your hand and look at this!!”
The item he held was barely the size of his palm, but it appeared to be a fragment of a soulbeast’s bone.
This iem had actually been in his space ring for a very long time. It was, in fact, the item given to him by Hong Yin back in the Azure Cloud Province, the Bloodhowl Mark!
Back then, Bai Yunfei then really understand what it was for when Hong Yin gave it to him. But he came to understand that it was precious; so he never forgot about it even when he entered the Soulbeast Forest.
Knowing now that this person in front of him was a soulbeast and ready to kill him, Bai Yunfei spared no hesitation to show the item to him.
As soon as the Bloodhowl Mark appeared, Bai Yunfei pressed his soulforce into it. The bone fragment started to shine a dark red light–red not like the color of fire, but the color of….blood!
Just faintly, the image of a blood-colored wolf’s head appeared above the bone fragment, showing it to be seemingly howling towards the skies, though no sound came out from him.
And yet, a power like none else exploded from it to travel hundreds of meters away!
“The Bloodhowl Mark!”
The soulbeast in front of Bai Yunfei realized what this symbol was straight away, his eyes widening even more.
His hand dropped back to his side, which canceled out the bolt of lightning nearly upon Bai Yunfei and returning the elemental lightning back to the world.
With the crisis averted, Bai Yunfei mentally wiped his sweat away, though he could still feel his entire back drenched with it. If he had been just a little bit later with the item, that bolt of lightning would’ve most likely struck him dead on the spot.
He sucked in a deep breath of air. Calming himself, Bai Yunfei spoke up as confidently as he could, “You are correct, senior, this is indeed the Bloodhowl Mark, it was given to me by brother Hong Yin a long time ago. I really am from the Crafting School, and this thunderfire wolf was previously under the command of the fifth elder of the Beast Taming School, Xing Yuan. His corpse is over there, if senior would like to see proof!”
Explaining as quickly as he could, Bai Yunfei tried to alleviate all the doubt away from the soulbeast’s mind as possible.
“Hong Yin?” The man repeated in surprise. A pensive look crossed over his face to replace the killing intent, and his eyes followed Bai Yunfei’s finger where Xing Yuan’s corpse was.
From farther away, Xiao Qi could only see a man attacking Bai Yunfei and chirped angrily in response. Spreading its wings wide, it was about to fly towards the enemy when the thunderfire wolf–much to Bai Yunfei’s surprise–moved in front of Xiao Qi as if to stop it.
“That was Xing Yuan?!” The man thought to himself. “I did hear that Xing Yuan’s main soulbeast puppet was a thunderfire wolf, so this young man’s response might not be a lie….”
Ruminating a little longer on the question, he turned back to face Bai Yunfei, a calm look back on his face. “I am the ruler of the thunder wolves, the Thunder Wolf King, do you swear by your words just now?!”
The thunder wolves was a group of soulbeasts that were relatively numerous in the soulbeast world. As a part of the wolves clan, the thunder wolves had also the thunderfire wolves as a small division of their group.
Eyes like fire now, the soulbeast stared unflinchingly at Bai Yunfei, as if peering into his soul to judge his next words. This was the last attempt for Bai Yunfei to speak the truth and nothing but the truth.
Bai Yunfei’s expression didn’t change. “This junior goes by the name Bai Yunfei. My master is Zi Jin of the Crafting School. It is an honor to meet you, Thunder Wolf King.”
The soulbeast’s eyes flickered once. Bai Yunfei’s eyes didn’t change at all.
The stand off continued briefly before the Thunder Wolf King finally made his decision by removing the pressure he had been exerting onto Bai Yunfei earlier.
“If there’s nothing senior would like from me,” Bai Yunfei spoke up in relief, “then this junior will be taking his leave.”
He wanted to leave this place as soon as possible, so saying goodbye now would expediate that process.
“You may leave,” The Thunder Wolf King began, “but the thunderfire wolf goes with me!”
He stepped towards the Thunderfire Wolf as he spoke. Drawing close to the thunderfire wolf, he reached a hand towards it when the thunderfire wolf bolted away from his touch! Growling in warning, the thunderfire wolf arched its back in a ready to fight position, as if unwilling to allow the other soulbeast to get close.
“Eh?” The soulbeast paused, unsure of why the thunderfire wolf would react so violently.
Then, his eyes began to radiate with fury once again to look at Bai Yunfei, “You….” he growled threateningly.
But all he could see on Bai Yunfei’s face was his surprise and confusion; neither of which were faked to his knowledge.
He furrowed his eyebrows, this situation was getting far more strange by the second. Bai Yunfei had the Bloodhowl Mark, so he couldn’t force an answer, and neither was he willing to force the thunderfire wolf away.
“Forget it.” he acquiesced. “Whatever secrets this youngster has, I’ll have to report first, especially since he has that mark….”
He eyed Bai Yunfei once more, but without another word, he left the area.
Watching as the Thunder Wolf King’s person disappeared off into the distance, Bai Yunfei shook his head. Calling out to Xiao Qi, he and the two soulbeasts quickly left the area.