In its natural position to the north of the Tianhun Empire, the Soulbeast Forest was immeasurably vast. Its most important ‘exit’ was Praestia Pass in the Northern Mist Province, and that was also the part of the forest where it was most concentrated. Going northwest through the forest would eventually see to the thinning out of the forest. By going east, one would begin to see less soulbeasts and more of what would expect from an ordinary forest before ultimately arriving at the endless strip of coastal regions to the continent.
To go further west out of the Soulbeast Forest was to step away from the ‘protection’ of Praestia Pass and come onto the naturally-occurring barrier that also separated the Soulbeast Forest and the Tianhun Empire.
The Skywards Mountains.
Expanding for countless distances, this mountain range was not only vast, but tall. Its peaks couldn’t even be seen through the clouds and had always stopped many strong soulbeasts from exiting the class six area.
The other neighboring provinces past the Northern Mist Province was separated by the Soulbeast Forest and a wide patch of grassland, though no soulbeast would go through there.
The Skywards Mountains was precipitous and nearly impossible to scale. Even Soul Exalts wouldn’t have the strength to climb their ways to the top with its altitude. Strong winds and violent bursts of elemental energy made it perilous to fly up there, let alone climb. A place of chaos was what it was, and legends had it that even Soul Kings were unable to withstand the chaotic elements there for long.
With the Skywards Mountains being the barrier between the class five and six areas, there was no other way to bypass the two areas besides going through the Northern Mist Province.
However. There was no such thing as the impossible in this world. Even in the tremendously long Skywards Mountains, there stood a single ‘gap’ that served as a passageway.
It’s name was the ‘Crack in the Sky’.
In the eyes of many, the Crack in the Sky was a beautiful piece of scenery that many people felt was more wondrous than Skywards Mountains. Some likened it to if someone had taken a sword to the mountain range to form a hundred-meter wide gap. As wide as a hundred meters was, compared to the entire mountain range itself, a hundred meters was truly a ‘crack’ in size….
So if one were to look up while walking in this gap, they’d see a line in the skies, hence it’s name.
There was a legend that said His Majesty Wu Tianhun himself formed this passage with a swing of his sword…..
Tianhun Calendar. Year 2013, the 15th day of the 10th month.
Tonight was an especially starry night with the bright moon shining overhead.
About a kilometer away from the Crack in the Sky, a fire flickered and danced in the night, illuminating the hill it sat upon, and the figure in which that sat next to it. Backed up by a large tree, this figure had his hand on a ring, as if looking for something. For a while, he did not move, but soon, a short sword with both edges of the blade having a saw-tooth pattern popped out from it. He gave the strange weapon a look before sighing in disappointment and putting it away back into the ring to look some more.
The occasional light from the campfire would sometimes be bright enough to illuminate the figure’s face, revealing it to be a young man no older than twenty-four years old. He wore gray robes that looked old, but not unkempt. His hair was unevenly long, as though not properly cut for some time, with the longest areas being able to reach his shoulders almost, even his bangs were nearly long enough to cover his eyes. Handsome could not be used to describe his face, but it was a mature and determined face. Added with the smile on it, this man looked like quite the free-spirited traveler.
This young man was none other than Bai Yunfei.
He had been traveling west ever since his ordeal with the Black Dragon King. Traveling for an entire year now, he had finally reached upon the entrance to the Crack in the Sky.
Originally planning to head through the passageway earlier that day to enter the class five area, Bai Yunfei decided to retire for the night and rest, to account for his situation.
Prior to him setting up shop for the night, Bai Yunfei had been ambushed right before.
The ones who ambushed him were two peak late-stage class six bone-eating treeflies.
This particular area he was in was considered the earlier half of the class six area, so it was reasonable to say that such soulbeasts shouldn’t appear here.
But they did.
Bai Yunfei would only understand why they might’ve appeared after the battle: it was because of the Crack in the Sky.
The Crack in the Sky was the only passageway through the Skywards Mountains. Praestia Pass was usually the place where most soul cultivators would go through in order to get to the Soulbeast Forest, but there were a few that’d enter through other means. The Crack in the Sky was a popular route for some if they wanted to go straight to the class six area without any detours.
As such, the bone-eating treeflies were most likely acting as ‘guardians’ and waited for prey to come to it.
These soulbeasts have an affinity for wood, but are also capable of flight. From the outside, they look like a regular housefly, just many times larger. But in reality, they were extremely terrifying with their razor-sharp mouthparts capable of stabbing into the brains of their prey and sucking it out. As capably strong as they are, bone-eating treeflies are also extremely dim. The rare few that became class sevens were still not able to ‘unlock’ their sentience and were nothing more than feral varmints.
Their normal ambush tactics didn’t work on Bai Yunfei, who had sensed them first and hid using his Soul Concealment Art. As someone who had been ambushed countless times, Bai Yunfei was no stranger to dealing with these situations. Going undetected, he was able to ‘counter-ambush’ them.
Without at all being careless, Bai Yunfei went straight into his Berserk Mode and fought with Xiao Qi to kill off one of the treeflies. The other one was exceedingly fast and quick on its feet despite its low intelligence, meaning it tried to flee when its partner was dead. But Xiao Qi and the thunderfire wolf gave chase.
Unable to maintain the Berserk Mode for an extended amount of time, Bai Yunfei decided to stay there and wait. Xiao Qi and the thunderfire wouldn’t need any additional help to take care of one bone-eating treefly.
And that was the reason why he was all by himself without Xiao Qi or the thunderfire wolf nearby.
Bai Yunfei hadn’t any idea just how long the two treeflies had been ‘standing guard’ near the Crack in the Sky, but he had to assume it was for a decently large amount of time, if the hundreds of bones laying about their nest was any indication.
Fortunately for Bai Yunfei, there was a plethora of soul armaments laying about the nest along with space rings of those who died here. A wealthy profit was had in the end, he had to admit.
The amount of space rings to skeletons was rather inconsistent, but with how messy the bones were laying about, Bai Yunfei just assumed that someone else had scavenged the area earlier. Clearly, someone did take the opportunity when the treeflies were away to make their scavenge.
Taking the possessions of the dead was by far not a humane action, but to have so much treasure in front of one’s eyes was tempting. And to not take any would be foolish. In order to make amends for what he did, Bai Yunfei dug a hole and buried some of the bones.
He set up a bonfire here to wait for Xiao Qi and the wolf to return after that. To pass the time, he went through all the space rings he found.
Most of them were very disappointing to look at, since not many of them had anything good. After a quick look, the best thing Bai Yunfei saw was a mid-earth tier soul armament.Equipment Grade: Mid Human
Bai Yunfei nodded his head in delight at the red bracelet in his hand, “Not too high of an accessory, but it’s not bad.”
Every once in a while when he saw something decent, Bai Yunfei would upgrade it without hesitation.
A while laterUpgrade Successful Equipment Grade: Mid Human
Eyes bright with joy with the effect, Bai Yunfei spoke, “Increases the strength of a fire based attacks! What a useful effect!”
It was only 10%, but that was just an additional effect. Still, it was a lot better than any of the other low-earth tier soul armaments he upgraded so far.
“Not bad at all. My luck is really going for me today with all these soul armaments!” Smirking, Bai Yunfei swapped the spirit-increasing bracelet on his right hand for the new one.
After looking through several more space rings, Bai Yunfei went still for a moment when he felt something in his mind.
He smiled afterwards as he realized what it was. It was a message from Xiao Qi, telling him through their soul contract that they had killed the treefly and were on their way back.
“Alright, better make some food for them then…” He laughed, taking out several fatty fishes from his ring. They were already gutted and cleaned, meaning they were all ready to be cooked. Skewering the fishes through with tree branches, he stuck the branches next to the fire and sprinkled some seasoning onto it before letting the fire do the rest of the work.
Halfway done with the cooking, Bai Yunfei suddenly heard a terrified shriek.
Leaping to his feat, Bai Yunfei turned to look at the Crack in the Sky.
Under the light of the moon, he could only see a flash of red as a terrified woman in pink came running from the entrance. Her feet were a blur of red as she ran as fast as she could. Her face was filled with terror as she continued to yell in fright.
Seconds after she came running out from the Crack in the Sky, another two blurs of orange and blue came shooting out after her. With his eyes, Bai Yunfei was able to take note of two rather large men with scary expressions on their faces. The man on the left held a large ringed sword, some blood clearly still dripping down from its edge.
The moment when the woman saw Bai Yunfei on top of the hill, her face lit up with hope before changing direction towards him!