Chapter 126: An Indescribable Attack
Bai Yunfei had originally started out as the one comforting Tang Xinyun, but, all of a sudden, her depression had spread to him. Such a reversal had caused Tang Xinyun to be surprised. For a short while, the scenery on the rooftop had descended into a temporary stillness.
“Mister Bai, your mother…” Tang Xinyun’s voice dispelled the silence that had befallen the two.
“My mother passed away when I was only nine years old. Later, my grandfather, the remaining person in my life who relied on me and I on them, passed away as well. With only myself to rely upon, I had to work in a meager rice shop and move rice bags for my food…” Bai Yunfei’s voice was silent for a while, but with time, it grew stronger and stronger. When he saw the confused expression on Tang Xinyun’s face, he gave a small smile, and continued on with his sentence, “Later on, I happened upon a meeting of fortune that helped me become who I am today.
“My mother had once said that she hoped that there would be a day where I would become like the clouds in the sky. Absolute freedom to move when I pleased and where I pleased.” Tilting his head to stare at the ink-stained night as if trying to see through the endless darkness to watch the clouds beyond, Bai Yunfei smiled. “Today I stand, not only with power, but with freedom. Having both of which what my mother wanted, I left the home I grew up in to wander the world. With that freedom, I found reason to my life while also accomplishing what my mother wanted for me…”
“Yes, I believe that you’ll be able to accomplish anything you set your mind to. You’re a strong person with honor. In the future, you’ll definitely be able to walk the continent as if anything under the sky is yours.” Tang Xinyun nodded her head with a smile.
“Yeah…” Bai Yunfei replied full of melancholy. His eyes widened with realization as if something had just hit him. Scratching his cheek in embarrassment, he said, “Er… I thought I was supposed to be consoling you. How did it become the other way?”
Tang Xinyun couldn’t help but let out a quick giggle. She smiled when she saw the embarrassment on Bai Yunfei’s face. Bai Yunfei was a character that was an unfathomable mystery to her, but she had felt that his actions were not a waste of energy at all.
The atmosphere on the rooftop seemed to have started to liven up by just a subtle amount.
“Miss Tang, you…”
Bai Yunfei had been thinking about the best time to ask Tang Xinyun just where she was planning to go next. When he was finally about to open his mouth to ask, a sudden coughing sound had broken the silence, startling him. Looking rather embarrassed, Bai Yunfei turned his head to look down at Zhao Mancha who had seemingly appeared from nowhere.
He said nothing out loud, but in his heart, Bai Yunfei couldn’t help but remark, “Aunty, couldn’t you have stayed there in the darkness just a little longer? Why do you have to be like the cold wind that has to interrupt the atmosphere here?”
At the same time that this woman had let out a cough to alert the two to her presence, Bai Yunfei could just barely hear two sighs of regret below his feet. It appeared that Jing Mingfeng and Tianming had both felt that aunty Zhao’s appearance was a very untimely one as well.
A wave of annoyance overcame Bai Yunfei, causing him to crease his forehead together…
“Young miss, it’s time to sleep. We have to wake up early tomorrow to get a move on.” The woman gave a look at Bai Yunfei for a slight moment before speaking to Tang Xinyun.
“Yes.” Tang Xinyun gave a noncommittal sound of agreement in response. Giving a slight nod of her head to Bai Yunfei, she rose up to prepare herself to follow aunty Zhao back to their room.
“Miss Tang, will you really not be traveling with us any more? We are heading in the same direction, it would be nice to have everyone travel together.” Bai Yunfei spoke to her after thinking of the right words to say.
“There’s no need. Tan Xinyun and I have matters to attend to. That would mean we have no time to travel slowly with you, mister Bai.” Tang Xinyun was not the one who replied. Instead Aunty Zhao was the one who rejected Bai Yunfei’s offer to travel together. Even now, she was very unwilling to allow the young miss of her family to travel with this group. She wished to separate from the group at the earliest convenience. Tang Xinyun had changed plenty in their time with Bai Yunfei and the others. While aunty Zhao couldn’t say that all these changes were bad, she still felt that the dangers and risks that came with traveling with them outweighed the good changes. For the sake of keeping Tang Xinyun safe, the older woman wanted to rush ahead to their destination with post haste.
Bai Yunfei watched as Tang Xinyun and Zhao Mancha disappear underneath the balcony without another word. Having nothing to say, he could only shake his head. He chose to stay on the roof just a little longer to observe the sky. He thought for a little longer before coming to some sort of conclusion. Finally stepping down from the roof, he walked back to his own room…
Shortly after eating breakfast the next morning, Zhao Mancha hailed a carriage from the city for her and Tang Xinyun. With a brief farewell to everyone, she and Tang Xinyun drove from Guyi City, headed to the north.
Bai Yunfei, Jing Mingfeng, and Tianming, on the other hand, spent the day strolling around the city, buying whatever tickled their fancy. For two days, they remained in Guyi City. On the morning of the third day, the three of them set out for Gaoyi City at last.
As for Xiao Hu and his grandmother, the two of them were now traveling with Huang Wan and the others back to Yanlin City.
From the very beginning of when they left Guyi City, Bai Yunfei and the other two felt very relaxed. They traveled and stopped as they pleased and took the time to explore every small city or village that they happened upon. As per usual, Tianming and Jing Mingfeng were as inseparable as shadows. The two of them had formed an extremely close friendship, and Bai Yunfei was startled to realize that Jing Mingfeng had even handed over the Disguise Technique over to Tianming.
At the same time, Jing Mingfeng had taught Tianming the art of stealing for a cause. In the very beginning, Tianming had tried his hand on Bai Yunfei, but each and every attempt ended with him being caught and roughed up a bit as a lesson. Facing only failures whenever he tried to test Bai Yunfei, Tianming had no other choice but to switch targets. Every single time they reached an area with a decent amount of people, Tianming stole from the hoodlums or the hedonistic children of so-and-so family. At the same time, the people who were living in destitution would always find their coin purses suddenly feeling heavier than before…
Jing Mingfeng and Tianming both relished this pattern of ‘stealing from the rich and helping the poor,’ causing Bai Yunfei to feel worried for the two. However, the two of them had not been too reckless in their behaviors. Jing Mingfeng himself knew when to judge the time to be proper or improper, so Bai Yunfei felt disinclined to stop them. From time to time, however, Bai Yunfei would scold Jing Mingfeng for corrupting Tianming — a high and mighty soul cultivator that stole money? It was truly an absurd thought.
Whenever Bai Yunfei inquired to Jing Mingfeng on why he was so committed to stealing like this, Jing Mingfeng would reply to him in embarrassment, “Honestly, being a noble thief is my side job.”
He had explained that when stealing, he would never hurt the person he stole from. When he stole something that was important to the owner and not important to him, Jing Mingfeng would return it so as to not let it weigh on his conscious; thus, he was a ‘noble thief’. Whatever his main job was, he never mentioned it to either of the two.
Three days later, Bai Yunfei was suddenly thrust upon a difficult decision — should he agree to Jing Mingfeng’s and Tianming’s idea of taking a shortcut through the forests?
In his mind, this course of action was rather unnecessary. There was no need to hurry to where they wanted to go, so traveling on the main paths would be fine. Jing Mingfeng and Tianming didn’t think the same. They had both heard from a nearby small village that the forests had plenty of never before seen soulbeasts, so their eyes were practically beaming at the prospects of finding one.
The fact that Tang Xinyun had managed to make a partner out of the Quickshade Bird had been a major influence on the two of them. Jing Mingfeng had especially vowed that he would find a strong soulbeast with the wind affinity and make it his soulbeast companion.
Jing Mingfeng and Tianming had managed to procure a map of the forest, and after studying the layout for a very long time, the group finally decided on taking the shortcut through the forest on the grounds that it would save them three days worth of travel. The fact that there may be a soulbeast for them and that it would shave off three days, Bai Yunfei had finally resigned himself to their proposal.
For two days and two nights, the group of three trekked through the forests. From start to end, they had not seen a single soulbeast — not even a single strand of hair from one. On the other hand, there were all sorts of regular wild animals. Jing Mingfeng and Tianming, who had both been excited at first, had become extremely disappointed by the results.
By the time they made it back to the main roads, their remaining travel time had been reduced by a decent amount. Bai Yunfei himself had let out a sigh of relief. He had been glad that they had not gotten lost as he was afraid they might have.
Another three days later in the afternoon, they finally happened upon a tea stop.
With the three of them seated at the same table, Bai Yunfei was happy to order a cup of tea to drink. They wound down and watched the other travelers walk by. Tianming mentioned that it wasn’t too far until they reached Gaoyi City. As long as they press on without any more hindrances, they should be able to reach his home in the city by night time.
Continuing on their way, the group reached a small mountain this time. Tianming suggested once more that they could take a shortcut over it to save some time. If they did take this shortcut, then it might be possible to get to the city before nightfall. This time, Bai Yunfei was more than willing to agree. Hiking a mountain to get to the other side shouldn’t be a cause for concern at all…
As soon as they scaled the mountain to the very top, the three males were able to see a city off in the distance. Although it wasn’t as grandiose as Yanlin City, it was still a city with a considerable amount of charm and grace. The first thing that had to be noted were the four giant buildings that stood at the corners of the city. According to Tianming, one of the four buildings was home to the lord of the city while the other three corners belonged to the house of Liu, Ye, and Zhao. The building to the southwest of the city was the house of Ye.
Upon seeing his home, Tianming seemed to look a little more excited than before. Letting out two loud whoops in excitement, he whirled around to shout to his two companions, “Brother Bai, brother Jing! Let’s hurry! Maybe we’ll make it back home before dinner!”
“Tianming, didn’t you sneak out of your home? Aren’t you afraid of being punished by your family?” Jing Mingfeng asked when he noted that Tianming was unafraid of the prospect of returning home.
“Not at all! It’s a small matter really. I’ve done this in the past too. Though, in comparison, this trip took a little longer than usual. I’ll just be scolded by my father a bit, but my mother and grandmother won’t let him hurt me. Hehe…” Tianming waved a hand in a carefree manner.
Having said that, he began to run down the mountain while also waving to Bai Yunfei and Jing Mingfeng.
As soon as Bai Yunfei was about to lift his foot to start walking, a sudden glint of surprise flashed through his eyes. Adding even more weight to his foot to run even faster, Bai Yunfei began to use the Wave Treading Steps to chase down Tianming with as much speed as he could muster. “Tianming! Get back!” He cried out a warning to him.
Just ten meters away, the thing that had alerted Bai Yunfei was a black rope-like object that had suddenly shot at Tianming from the forest to his left. Before Bai Yunfei could even reach Tianming, the black rope had already coiled around Tianming’s neck.
At first glance, the object looked rather similar to the Compliant Rope, but when given a second glance, one would realize that this was no rope. It was actually a ten meter long snake!
Tianming was weak. However, his reaction time was still beyond what the normal person was capable of or perhaps it was because of his faith in Bai Yunfei, but when he heard the two words, ‘get back,’ Tianming didn’t even look to the snake coming at him from the left. Instead, he pushed off with his foot to jump back. He barely able to escape danger because of this trust.
This black snake barely grazed his neck as it passed by, but with a twist of its body, the snake bent at a right angle to come flying back at him!