Year 2014 of the Tianhun Calender. Twentieth day of the third month. Ventia City in the Northern Ridge Province.
The Northern Ridge Province is one of the provinces that bordered the northern edge of the Tianhun Empire. As one of the smallest provinces in the empire, it had three other provinces, including Praestia Pass and the Northern Mist Province neighboring it.
This specific province hadn’t many soul cultivators, and the warlord overseeing it was only an early-stage Soul King. Coincidentally, he was the only Soul King in the province.
Its most prosperous city was Ventia City. Rather than being at the center, like most major cities, this one sat at the edge of the province–and the empire by extension.
Right at this moment, it was high noon in the most luxurious two-story restaurant in Ventia City.
Despite its relatively low number of inhabitants in the province, Ventia City saw to a good deal of commoners, and the House of Fresh Viands enjoyed a healthy business in general.
But today, the second story to the restaurant seemed a little chilly.
It had a floor capacity of twenty tables, but only two of them had customers. And of those two tables, only three clients in total…..
Standing at the counter of that floor was the proprietor of the restaurant. From his position at the counter, he watched the window-facing clients nervously, but respectfully. Right besides him were several other waiters who were even more nervous than he was. Every so often, they snuck a glance at the clients and then away in fear.
The reason why it was so empty and so cold was because of that one customer. Everyone else in the restaurant had been scared off.
It wasn’t that the young man himself was scary! He was just eating his meal in peace. And neither was the bird next to him the problem….
It was other one to the opposite of the bird that was the problem. A terrifying ‘monster’ was sat there at the table, devouring a plate of roasted meat by the plate.
The proprietor knew that these monsters were called ‘soulbeasts’, and that they were not too far away from the ‘Soulbeast Forest’ where these things lived. The proprietor himself met with a good amount of soul cultivators, but never had he seen a soulbeast like this before.
And what a terrifying soulbeast it was!! If it roared, the entire restaurant would definitely see itself being shaken to its core. Its terrifying aura was practically suffocating.
It was exactly because it roared once before that all of the customers filed out of the restaurant–aside from the two beautiful young ladies sitting at another table, how bold they were!
The proprietor didn’t know if they were just unafraid, or if they didn’t even know about the situation they were in.
All he wanted was for the soul cultivator to hurry up and leave.
The sooner he left, the sooner the proprietor could thank the heavens and earth.
As of course, the soul cultivator eating here today was Bai Yunfei.
Nearly two years had gone by since his arrival in Praestia Pass in the first place. At last, he was back in the Tianhun Empire.
Ventia City was the first city he came across.
He felt like a hermit returning from a life of seclusion in the mountains. Now back among hist fellow humans, Bai Yunfei felt himself grow excited.
It had been nearly two full years since he had a ‘decent’ cooked meal. His first ‘coming-back’ feast definitely had to be carefully picked, so Bai Yunfei decided to head for the best shop in the city to eat like a king there.
But the problem that happened afterwards made Bai Yunfei feel a little helpless.
That problem had been the blue-eyes wyrm.
Xiao Lan had been smart enough to shrink itself to what looked like a baby Agumon (For those who haven’t seen Digimon, imagine a small T-rex), but that didn’t stop the commoners of the city from pointing and whispering to one another. Everywhere they went, they conversed with one another, and some were even scared of it.
But there hadn’t been any major problems….until they entered the restaurant.
Xiao Lan had been even more excited to see humanity–it had never seen it before compared to Bai Yunfei. Looking this way and that as they walked into the city, the wyrm was scared at first with so many humans looking at it.
With time, the wyrm realized that most of the humans were far weaker than it was, practically as weak as the class one or two soulbeasts back in the Soulbeast Forest. The strongest he felt was still on the same level as a class three or four, which was still not a threat to it. Knowing that, the wyrm loosened up, waving its tail happily as it walked and talked with Xiao Qi.
There had been a small ‘commotion’ when they arrived at the restaurant. A drunken Soul Personage had came across them and immediately decided then and there that he wanted Xiao Lan. In his drunken stupor, he cried out a ‘This soulbeast is mine!’ and moved to attack.
But what kind of soulbeast was Xiao Lan? Before it met Bai Yunfei, it had been the sovereign of its small area of Soulbeast Forest. A sovereign that killed both human and soulbeast without even flinching. It may have awakened its intelligence to human levels, but its terrible nature wasn’t gone. If not for Bai Yunfei to warn it not to hurt others, the wyrm would’ve swallowed the poor man whole.
So instead, it gave a terrible roar, and then….
The soul cultivator sobered up instantly. Scrambling back to its feet, he ran out from the restaurant along with everyone else there….
Feeling as though there was nothing he could do about the situation, Bai Yunfei sat down at a table. Ordering several dishes, he waited for them to arrive before digging in.
So all that was left on the second floor of the restaurant was Bai Yunfei and his soulbeasts who sat at one table, and two young ladies who sat at another.
The older of the two looked to be about twenty-five years old with silky-black hair, though the aura she gave off felt very mature. She wore a velvety light-green robe that didn’t entirely show her snowy-white skin. There was a small pink birthmark right above her left eyebrow, but it added to her beauty.
The younger one looked to be in her late teens at the very youngest. She wore a blue robe over her delicate figure, and her hair was sprawled over her shoulders. Her cheeks were slightly-red, perhaps due to the spicy food she was eating, but all in all, she looked quite pretty.
“Senior Yu Li, what is that soulbeast? It looks scary-and a class six too!”
The younger one spoke to the older. Her eyes were wide open to stare at the blue-eyes wyrm, but they were curious rather than fearful.
“It’s a late-stage class six.” The one named Yu Li replied, casting a glance over to Bai Yunfei’s direction. “Yuexia, don’t stare at it. That’s not a docile soulbeast, there’ll be trouble if you anger it.”
“Oh….” Nangong Yuexia replied meekly, “Is that the contracted soulbeast to that brother there? He looks like he’s only an early-stage Soul Ancestor, that’s weaker than me–why is a late-stage class six his contracted soulbeast then?”
She pointed a finger to Bai Yunfei, whose soulforce was currently suppressed to the levels of an early-stage Soul Ancestor.
“Is he only that? I wouldn’t think so….” Yu Li replied. She couldn’t tell if Bai Yunfei was hiding his strength or not, but someone who traveled with a late-stage class six soulbeast surely had more than meets the eye.
“Let’s get going, Yuexia. We’re heading for the Soulbeast Forest as soon as you finish eating. Let’s hope to find you a soulbeast to contract with soon.” Yu Li smiled.
“Yes!” Nangong Yuexia smiled back before digging back into her food with renewed gusto.