Chapter 6: Do You Desire Power?
Twenty to thirty armed men came rushing into the arena as soon as Zhang Yang gave the order and surrounded Bai Yunfei. But when they saw the bleeding brick in Bai Yunfei’s hand, no one dared to step up first to attack him.
“You’ve said that if I win, you’d let me leave.” Bai Yunfei gave a withering glare to Zhang Yang as he spoke.
“You! I–I’ll….” Zhang Yang spluttered, his entire face growing flush with red as he tried to restrain himself.
The entire audience had recovered from their shock by now. In their eyes, it wasn’t important who died. What was really important was if their death was exciting or not. Bai Yunfei’s ‘outstanding performance’ had been far more than enough to give them an immense feeling of satisfaction, so with this current situation in the arena, everyone began to point fingers and whisper to one another about Bai Yunfei and Zhang Yang.
“He has a point. He’s won already, so by rights, he should be granted leave, isn’t that right? Or is your Coliseum merely just a place where members of the house of Zhang can kill whomever they want to kill??” Lord Zheng suddenly spoke out. Pointing a finger at the nobles gathered around here, he spoke, “If so, what is the point of all these people coming here then??”
His voice wasn’t that loud, but it was enough to be heard through the silence of the audience. Even those that were whispering to one another were able to hear his voice. Expression showing their agreements surfaced on their faces as many of the people started to then look at Zhang Yang with disapproval.
Shades of blue and white alternated through Zhang Yang’s face for a moment before in the end, he ended up forcing a smile to his lips and cupped his hands towards lord Zheng. With an apologetic smile to the audience, he spoke, “Haha…second lord Zheng is quite correct. I lost composure of myself just now it seems, I’ll allow him to leave…”
His subordinates on the arena below was given an eye signal soon afterwards.
But then lord Zheng cut in again once more, “Friend, I am about to leave as well. Why don’t we leave together?” He spoke to Bai Yunfei.
Zhang Yang grew as red as a pig when he heard the other man speak again. He was deeply angered, but he didn’t dare show it.
It had been his plan to let Bai Yunfei go but then hatch a plot to have him killed in secret later. But lord Zheng had obviously seen through this plot and so he spoke up in a way to protect Bai Yunfei’s life.
Down below in the arena, Bai Yunfei was expressionless in the face, but his mind in perfect clarity. Knowing the situation, he said nothing more and walked towards the passageway where the armed guards just recently came out from. A short while later, he was up on the terrace and stood silently behind lord Zheng.
Bowing his head, Bai Yunfei didn’t try to look off into Zhang Yang’s direction even though he was only just several meters away. But the hand that was holding at the brick was clenched so tightly that the veins in his arms were bulging out against his skin. Bai Yunfei dared not to raise his head in case that he’d be unable to control himself and smash the brick into Zhang Yang’s head. He knew that if he were to try, not only would he not be able to even reach Zhang Yang, he’d lose his life right where he stood.
“Well then, lord Zhang, I’ll be taking my leave.” Lord Zheng spoke casually without once looking at Zhang Yang. As he walked away, Bai Yunfei followed him with uncle Wu’s corpse in tow. From behind Bai Yunfei, the one known as uncle Qin walked after the two with a thoughtful look at him….
In one of the more remote alleyways the northwest quadrant of Talus City, several people could be seen emerging from the Coliseum. After walking for some time, lord Zheng turned around to look at the still silent Bai Yunfei with a smile, “I am Zheng Kai of the house of Zheng in the capital. And you are….”
“Brother Yunfei. What….what do you plan to do now?”
Bai Yunfei was silent for some time as he looked to Zheng Kai, “I owe you for today. In the future, I’ll definitely return the favor many times over….”
“Haha, that’s not what I meant….I only just wanted to say a few words to help you, that’s all.” Noticing that Bai Yunfei had mistaken his words, Zheng Kai waved his hands, “What I meant was that you should try your best to appear in front of Zhang Yang again. Even though I was able to help you get out, I’ll be leaving very soon. As soon as I leave, he’ll definitely find an opportunity to seek trouble with you. In my opinion, you should leave this city.”
Bai Yunfei grew silent once again as he bowed his head to look at uncle Wu’s corpse.
“Thank you….” He spoke after a long period of silence.
Without paying attention to Zheng Kai anymore, Bai Yunfei left the alleyway with his head still bowed downwards.
“Today, you helped me. I, Bai Yunfei, will engrave this memory in my heart. When I become powerful, I’ll definitely repay the favor a hundredfold over!”
Zheng Kai couldn’t help but shake his head with a sigh as he watched Bai Yunfei leave.
Uncle Wu had once said that his family was located in one of the smaller streets to the south not too far away from where Bai Yunfei was currently at. Fortunately for him, none of the main streets were here, so not many would see the fact that he was covered from head to toe in blood or the fact that he was carrying a corpse. If he had been seen, someone would have most likely brought him to the residence of the lord mayor already.
After scaring away three or four random passerbys on the streets, he finally arrived at the location of uncle Wu’s house thanks to the trembling answer of the person Bai Yunfei asked. After handing uncle Wu’s corpse to the family there, he turned about and left the place without paying mind to the scared but begrieved people behind him.
Returning back to his own home, Bai Yunfei washed off all of the blood on him and swapped into his only other pair of clean clothing. Taking a look at the home he had lived in for eighteen years, Bai Yunfei left the place without hesitation….
Underneath the dim moonlight of the night, Bai Yunfei could be found kneeling in front of his mother and grandfather’s graves in one of the remote areas outside of Talus City. Just barely, he could be seen saying something in a low voice.
“And then I was helped by that Zheng Kai and left that place…”
“Mother…I understand now. If I don’t want to be humiliated. If I don’t want to be looked at like an ant. If I want to live freely. I have to have power….Power so great that no one would dare provoke me!”
“Mother. Grandfather said that I had to live life with a clear conscience….”
“Uncle Wu died to save me. I….I have to get revenge for him! I’ll definitely make that Zhang Yang pay the price for what he did! For uncle Wu, for his granddaughter, and for myself!
“I’ve obtained a strange power. If I just study it, I know that I’ll be able to use it to become stronger…”
Wiping away at his tears, Bai Yunfei stood up and prepared to leave when an elderly voice stopped him.
“Do you desire power?”
“Who’s there?!” The sudden voice had forced Bai Yunfei to leap up in shock. Swiftly turning around with the brick in hand, he turned to meet the mysterious person behind him.
“Oh? Your soulforce has already started to awaken? It’s still quite weak however….” There was a tint of surprise to his voice. “Haha, don’t be afraid, my little friend. I won’t hurt you.”
Thanks to the illumination of the moon, Bai Yunfei was able to see a kind-looking old man dressed in gray walk up to him. He had a friendly smile on his face as he spoke out in an equally kind voice.
“Who are you, and what do you want?” Bai Yunfei immediately asked the most two most important questions. Even though he felt no ill intentions coming from this man, Bai Yunfei made sure he was still holding onto the brick, though he relaxed just slightly.
“I’ve heard a good portion of what you said just now. I can see that your soulforce is starting to awaken, so I presume this is the special power you mentioned, correct?
“However, I can tell you it’s impossible to get revenge with this little iota of power. Your soulforce is barely enough to qualify as a soul cultivator. That young kid from the Zhang is a middle-stage Soul Personage, but even he is far out of your reach.”
“What I want to tell you is that…I can help you grow stronger. I can help you get revenge. Are you willing to accept my help?”
At first, the old man had thought that the young man in front of him would grow excited at those words and the prospects of growing stronger, but….
“Why should I believe you?”
“Er….” The old man was taken back for a moment before he spoke in resignation, “What reason is there to lying to you? Very well then. I’ll just make you believe me then….”
As soon as the old man finished speaking, Bai Yunfei immediately felt the entire area around them light up. A wave of heat immediately assaulted his face, and in the next second, a pyre of flames erupted in the area around the old man and him!!
But instead of these flames being on the ground, they were floating in midair!
Illuminated by the flames, the old man smiled just slightly as he pointed at a boulder the size of a water jar not too far away. There was a slight rumbling sound before the boulder suddenly levitated up from the ground and into the air. Following the slight flexing of his fingers, there was a crackling sound before the boulder then shattered into dozens of pieces and fell back to the ground….
The entire sight in front of him left Bai Yunfei in a dizzying amount of shock! By the time he regained his composure, he suddenly realized….that he was floating in midair!!
All of these things happening one after another had sent Bai Yunfei into a flux. His mouth gaped wide open as he looked to the still smiling old man on the ground.
It was only after seeing the astonished expression on Bai Yunfei’s face that the old man return a satisfied smile. With a wave of his hand, Bai Yunfei was slowly levitated back down to the ground and the flames around them started to shrink away. It didn’t disappear completely, but rather, it turned into a fireball the size of a washbasin and floated off to the side as if the old man intended to use it for lighting.
“How was it, young man, do you believe me now? I’ll say it again. I can help you grow strong. I can help you get revenge. Do you accept?”
Bai Yunfei’s head lowered itself to the ground as he fell deep into thought. Eyeing the old man for a brief moment, he finally asked, “Are there any conditions?”
“Er…” Once again, the old man was taken back. Slightly depressed, the man thought to himself, “This young man is quite different from those before….If it were anyone else, they’d leap in excitement to come across this chance. But he does the opposite….”
“Well….this old man saw that you’ve a fine physique and talent. So I wanted to tea–”
“I don’t believe it.” Bai Yunfei interrupted.
“Er….” Imaginary black lines fell across the old man’s face as he found himself at a loss for words.
But then, another smile crept up onto his face again.
“You are a special one, young man. Very well, I’ll be truthful to you. Aside from helping you gain revenge, I’ve another reason for teaching you something.”
“I am of the Fate School. One day, my Fate School will come across a huge disaster. I wish to help you now in the hopes that in the future, you’ll come help my school when you become an accomplished person.”
“What’s the Fate School?”
“Er….” Right now, the old man felt as if he was constantly walking into walls one after another in the dark.
“The Fate School is a school of soul cultivators. It isn’t one of the top ten schools on this continent, but it isn’t weak by any means either. Let me tell you something interesting, the lord of the Zhangs, Zhang Zhenshan, and his son Zhang Yang are students of the Glacial School in the eastern parts of the Azure Cloud province. The Glacial School might be a small school, but it isn’t something that you could possibly hope to fight against in your current situation. If you wish to take care of the Zhangs, you’d need to pay extra precaution in hiding your identity.”
As he thought about the old man’s words, Bai Yunfei grew silent to take in everything. “What are soul cultivators?”
“In this world, every living being in this world is made up of a body and a soul. Tempering the body is something anyone knows, but even they can only become ordinary martial artists in the end. There are some that can hone their souls and empower their soulforce. By using the soul to control the body, they can push their bodies to their limits. Some become able to use even the elements of the world and unleash a force unimaginable. These people who can train the soul are called soul cultivators.
Based on the power of the soulforce, soul cultivators are split into nine different stages: Soul Apprentice, Soul Personage, Soul Warrior, Soul Sprite, Soul Ancestor, Soul Exalt, Soul King, Soul Emperor, and Soul Saint. Each stage is then split into three differing substages: early-stage, middle-stage, and late-stage.
“Improving one’s soulforce is a difficult task. Even lord Zhang Zhenshan of the house of Zhang is only an early-stage Soul Sprite. The headmaster of the Glacial School is only a middle-stage Soul Ancestor as well.
“Your soulforce is only in the starting steps to awaken. As soon as you awaken your soulforce, you’ll be able to sense the existence of it within your body. That is the beginning stages of a Soul Apprentice.
“I can teach you how to train your soul and use your soulforce. Now…are you willing to accept?”