Chapter 123: Compliant Rope
“Equipment level: Middle rare.”
“Attack power: 326.”
“Upgrade requirement: 67 soulpoints.”
Bai Yunfei looked at the rope in his hands with some disappointment, “Ah… this is all that a Human-ranked middle-grade soul item amounts to?”
If Fang Hao knew what Bai Yunfei was thinking right now, he would have undoubtedly puked blood. This soul item was specifically picked for capturing the Quickshade Bird, and he had only managed to procure it with great difficulty. Now that Bai Yunfei knew the soul item was such a lowly item, he really…
“Eh, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.” Bai Yunfei could feel himself growing a little too greedy. With a jeer, he thought to himself, “Let me upgrade it first. The Glacial Pricker was only a low rare with pretty decent attributes. Who knows, maybe the rope will fare better than that.”
Roughly ten minutes later.
“Equipment level: Middle rare.”
“Upgrade level: +10.”
“Attack power: 326.”
‘Additional attack power: 151.”
“+10 Additional effect: By consuming additional soulforce, you may lengthen and shorten the rope and control it at will. The rope may be extended from a fifth of its original length to up to five times its original length. The longer it extends, the weaker it becomes. The shorter it becomes, the stronger it becomes.”
“Upgrade level: 67 soulpoints.”
Bai Yunfei was slightly stunned by the effects of the golden rope. “This ability… is a little strange, isn’t it?”
After thinking to himself for a moment, he helplessly shook his head, “Let’s give it a try. I wonder what it’ll do!”
Bai Yunfei carefully examined the rope to figure out which end was the front and which was the back. He noticed that one end of the rope was about ten centimeters of roughened fabric where a handle would normally be. On the other end was a small pointed tip. When Bai Yunfei felt it, it felt like it was shaped like a small dart tip.
Holding onto the handle, Bai Yunfei whipped it to the side. There was a swishing sound before another popping sound could be heard. The rope had slapped against the door to his tent about fifteen meters away.
“That’s a long distance!” Bai Yunfei was startled. He had only wanted to roll it out a little bit. He didn’t think that it would extend that far in such a short amount of time.
Thinking for a little bit, he channeled a some of his soulforce into the golden rope. The next moment, he felt as if the golden rope had integrated with his own body, like his arm had extended several meters.
When he used the Fire-tipped Spear, he felt the same sensation as this one. The only difference was that the Fire-tipped Spear gave him the feeling of ‘intimacy,’ almost like they were inseparable. This golden rope gave the feeling of ‘strangeness.’ It also felt like it was ‘doing as it pleased.’
Giving his right hand a little shake, a ‘rope wave’ came from the handle of the whip all the way to its end. With a ‘pop’ sound that rang through the air, the long rope seemed to slowly contort as if alive. He glanced to the stool to his left, and the rope seemed to have received an order as it flew toward the stool. Wrapping around one of its legs, the rope yanked it through the air with a whooshing sound before Bai Yunfei grabbed it with his left hand.
“Hey, this is pretty easy.” Bai Yunfei plopped the stool down with great interest in his eyes. This was the very first time he had used a rope type soul item; thus, he felt very curious about it.
“Let me try to lengthen and shorten it then…”
After “playing” for ten minutes or so, Bai Yunfei finally stopped with his happy experimenting.
When extended five times its normal length, the rope had been around seventy meters long. Bai Yunfei had felt as if there had been a snake ‘coiled’ around the tent. Bai Yunfei had come to the realization that the longer the rope, the thinner it became. The rope had been very fine at the very end. The rope itself felt softer at that time, but its ‘toughness’ was still the same.
Shrinking it down to the shortest he could, Bai Yunfei was left with a golden rod a little over two meters long. He could easily wave the rod, and feel as if it was a spear in his hand.
Since this golden rope could be lengthened and shortened at will, Bai Yunfei gave it some thought before finally naming the rope “Compliant Rope”…
Returning the Compliant Rope to his space ring, Bai Yunfei let out a yawn before laying on his bed.
“I’ll rest up and then upgrade the rest of my equipment later…”
On the second day, when everyone filed out of the inn prepared to leave, Tang Xinyun came down followed by Zhao Mancha. Slowly walking out of the doors, she wore yet another white-robe, and a faint smile lingered on her face as if nothing had changed. The only difference now was the fact that perched on her right shoulder was a small, white, sparrow-sized bird. After carefully observing, one would realize this bird was clearly the very same eagle-sized Quickshade Bird from yesterday.
“Miss Tang, is that…” Seeing the white bird, Bai Yunfei slowly realized who it was, but he did not fully voice his question. Jing Mingfeng and Tianming had both crowded forward to curiously stare at the bird.
“Yes, it’s the very same Quickshade Bird from yesterday, but it’s rather small right now. It’s the most convenient method to travel as of now.” Tang Xinyun nodded her head with a smile. When she tilted her head to look at the bird, she asked, “Xiao Bai, do you remember these two? They saved you yesterday, give them your thanks…”
“Xi-Xiao Bai…” Jing Mingfeng felt stunned. Giving Bai Yunfei a queer look, his face then began to twitch. Hooking Tianming by the arm, the two of them quickly moved to the side to chuckle in an evil manner.
Bai Yunfei couldn’t help but feel his lips twitch as well. When he heard the name “Xiao Bai,” for some reason, his very first thought was “Xiao Bai? Why does that sound like a name for a dog?”
“Chirrrp!!” As if sensing the meaning behind everyone’s laughter, the Quickshade Bird, “Xiao Bai,” let out a disgruntled chirp before beating its wings to take flight.
“What’s going on? What’s wrong with the name Xiao Bai?” Tang Xinyun found the reaction of everyone there to be strange, so she asked questions in confusion.
“No, it’s nothing. Xiao Bai is a good name. Very cute even…” Jing Mingfeng interjected from the side before turning to Bai Yunfei with an earnest look, “What about you, Gramps Bai?”
After uttering those last two words, he leaped into the air in order to dodge the kick Bai Yunfei had sent his way. Then laughing, he and Tianming ran ahead.
“That…” Tang Xinyun had heard the final remark, and couldn’t help but look at Bai Yunfei with an embarrassed expression.
“Haha, miss Tang, don’t worry about it. Boss Huang should be ready to set out now. We should go with them. We should be able to reach Guyi City by the end of today…” Bai Yunfei smiled. With a nod to Zhao Mancha, Bai Yunfei and the rest of the group set off once more.
By night time, the group reached their destination — Guyi City.
The group slowly disbanded while Huang Wan dealt with the negotiations. Bai Yunfei, Tang Xinyun, and the others wandered through the streets, strolling around. Huang Wan had said that they would be staying in the Prosperity Inn tonight. He also thanked Bai Yunfei and the others for their ‘protection.’ At the same time, he mentioned that all of the night time preparations had been made for them as well.
Everyone walked through the streets feeling relaxed. Tianming was the most excited as he looked left and right throughout the city. Every so often, he would nitpick at the merchandise to the side whenever he found fault, saying that the so-and-so store in Gaoyi City had better merchandise, or that this store didn’t have the same charm as the other, or would just say something for whatever reason…
When Jing Mingfeng accidentally brought up the matters of his family, Tianming puffed out his cheeks and said, after becoming disgruntled, “Don’t talk about it. That family bores me to death! The kids of my second and third uncle always bully me, and my older brother is always with father. He’s rarely at home, and whenever he and I fight, my mother always scolds me, saying that I shouldn’t be causing trouble with them. Pah! Who was the one that said they should pick a fight with me? I won’t take it lying down! And there’s nanny as well, she spends the entire day chattering and nagging away! It bores me to tears I tell you! I don’t even want to see her, I…”
Halfway through his speech, there was a sudden queer atmosphere that descended over the area. When he turned his head to look, he realized that Bai Yunfei and the others were all giving him a look as if there was some… discontent?
“Wha-what’s wrong?” Tianming realized that he must have said something wrong. He felt his neck draw in within itself as if questioning his words.
Bai Yunfei let out a light sigh as he prepared an earnest explanation, “Tianming, allow me to speak honestly. You shouldn’t talk about your family that way. Furthermore, you shouldn’t treat them that way either… whether it is your parents or grandparents, they are still people you should respect. The ‘loving care’ they provide you is something that you cannot ignore and cannot hate. If it were not for the fact that I know that your heart isn’t in your words, then I would have long since ceased any relationship I had with you. Out of everything in life, filial piety is the most important. A person that doesn’t understand that is not a friend of mine.”
“That’s… I…” Tianming’s face became blank as if he was growing anxious.
“You probably won’t understand it completely just yet, but I hope that you will come to realize it sooner rather than later…” Bai Yunfei gave him a small smile as if teaching a small child, “Do you know what it means to be a ‘family?’
“Wha?” Tianming shook his head blankly as if lost by Bai Yunfei’s question.
Bai Yunfei pointed in front of them, “That, that is what ‘family’ is.”
Just a hundred meters or so down the street on a corner, two rather frail figures could be seen sitting on the ground. There was a child that looked to be twelve or thirteen years old. His clothes were in a dilapidated state, and they revealed the nearly pearly-white arms he possessed. His hair was frazzled and ragged as if he had not showered in days. Yet, in his hand was half a steamed bun that he was using to carefully feed, piece by piece, a woman around the age of seventy.
The old woman was slumped against the wall. Her clothes were torn, but her white hair was not as frazzled as the child’s hair. Instead, it had neatly been combed by someone. She was less frail-looking than the small child, but her eyes had sunk into her face. They were clearly dim in comparison to the norm.
The steamed bun was quickly finished off by the woman, and the young child brought out a bowl. He started to let the woman drink from it.
At that moment, a single person came walking by and threw a single copper coin. The young child’s face lit up as he picked up the coin. Kneeling on the ground, the child kowtowed to the one who had given him the coin before running back to the woman. He started to say something out of excitement to her…
With flashing eyes, Bai Yunfei began to walk toward them.
“No matter where you go, there will always be people living like this… but even as hard as the times are, you must never leave each other. This… this is what it means to be family…”