“What did you just say? They saved you? What do you mean by that?” Ye Tianwen gave Bai Yunfei and Jing Mingfeng a slight nod before rounding back to Tianming.
“Uh…” Tianming didn’t answer right away. Instead, he hesitantly looked at Bai Yunfei.
Bai Yunfei hesitated as well. Sparing a brief glance to the men behind Ye Tianwen, he asked, “Are these men… reliable?”
“Wha?” Ye Tianwen was confused momentarily before smiling when he understood what Bai Yunfei meant. “These are the elite soldiers of the house of Ye, you can rest assured that they are reliable.”
With that reassurance, Bai Yunfei gave the nod for Tianming to finally recount the events that had just transpired here.
“So what you’re saying is that those two killed not only Zhao Chuan, but the people from the Beast Taming School as well? And not a single one of them escaped!?”
Ye Quan was extremely skeptical at what Tianming had said, and thus, he questioned the other two.
“Hmph! If you’re going to ask for proof of our actions, I’m sorry to tell you that they’ve all been burned to ashes already! There’s no way to prove it, so take it as you will!” Jing Mingfeng looked seemingly insulted by the lack of belief by Ye Quan. He snorted in disatisfaction.
“Haha, brother Jing Mingfeng, please don’t be angry. My uncle wasn’t really casting doubt on your actions.” Ye Tianwen had been paying attention to the two ever since Tianming began his story. The very fact that they had been calm and at ease with themselves as the story was told without a twitch in their face was a testament of their strengths. At a closer look, their strengths were without a doubt stronger than Ye Quan and his own. With that, he smiled, “I’d like to thank you two for looking after my little brother. Come with us back to Gaoyi City, and we’ll make sure to receive you into our home like honored guests.”
“Yes! Let’s go back home first.” Tianming interjected, “If we weren’t bothered by those people, we would have been home a long time ago.”
“Oh, brother! What’s going on back home? Why is the house of Zhao suddenly trying to kidnap me? And the Beast Taming School, what are they doing here…” Tianming asked, all of a sudden, as everyone started to walk back to Gaoyi City.
“Ah! That’s a long story to tell, really.” Ye Tianwen sighed. “Last month, the second scion of the house of Zhao, Zhao Liang, suddenly came to our home and asked for Ye Yan’s hand in marriage…”
“What!?” Tianming flew into the air with exasperated anger, “Is that stupid fatty kidding!? Did all of the fish, chicken, pork, or whatever meat it was, addle his brain for him to think that he could marry our cousin? I know the frog dreams of eating the meat of a swan, but that’s all it ever amounts to — wishful thinking!”
“Yes, father thought the same way as well at the time and declined him outright.” Ye Tianwen continued. “But we didn’t imagine that Ye Yan would be accosted by Zhao Liang one day, nor that she would manage to hit him in her anger.”
“Hah! Serves that fatass right! A civilian wants to marry our cousin who’s already a Mid-stage Soul Personage? He deserved it!” Tianming hooted.
“Tianming, stop interrupting and let your brother finish what he has to say.” Bai Yunfei chastised him with a slap on the shoulder. “That fat ass is still the scion of the house of Zhao. No matter where he goes, he should have been accompanied by bodyguards wherever he went. Doesn’t that mean there was some sort of trap to begin with if he was injured by your cousin?”
“Oh? Brother Bai, you were able to tell that the house of Zhao had been planning this with just this little information?” Ye Tianwen was taken aback by Bai Yunfei’s analysis, but nonetheless, he nodded his head. “Correct, Zhao Liang had done that on purpose. With that incident, the house of Zhao came knocking on our doorsteps looking for trouble. Rumors began to spread so fast and far that the entire city caught wind of it, and by that point, our differences became conflicts that had to be resolved now rather than later.”
“Ha! The bickering of the younger generation was able to cause two houses to start fighting? It’s obviously just a flimsy excuse from the house of Zhao to start a war!” Jing Mingfeng snorted in derision.
“Yes, that’s exactly the case. Anyone could tell what the house of Zhao was trying to do. However, they continued to try and obstruct our businesses as well. Three out of four times they would cause a ruckus inside our stores, and one time they nearly made off with Ye Yan as well. If it were not for our uncle who injured Zhao Ye, they would have been able to kidnap Ye Yan.”
“Afterward, the master of the house of Zhao, Zhao Xing, arrived at our doorsteps with a group of strangers. He demanded that the house of Ye submit to the house of Zhao, or face destruction!”
“Wha!?” Tianming could hold it no longer as he howled in anger, “Is Zhao Xing as pig-headedly stupid as his son!? What right does the house of Zhao have to demand such a thing from us!?”
Ye Tianwen shook his head, “In the past, they would not have, but today… they have, they have finally aligned themselves with the Beast Taming School!”
“The house of Zhao has allied with the Beast Taming School!? How in the world did they get one of the ten schools to notice them?” Tianming was aghast at that realization.
“It wasn’t the house of Zhao who were currying favor with them, but the Beast Taming School had personally come to see them. For what reason, no one knows, but when the Beast Taming School came with their two promises, the house of Zhao didn’t hesitate to agree to serve them.”
“The first promise was that they would send the house of Zhao a fifth-tier soulbeast; the second promise was to help the Zhao annex the Ye!”
Seeing the stunned expression on Tianming’s face, Ye Tianwen continued to speak, “With a rapport like that, the house of Zhao surpassed the house of Liu to become the strongest house in Gaoyi city, so even the Liu could not stand up against them either. In the past. the Zhao and Ye had equal strengths, but with this paradigm shift due to the Beast Taming school, our house has lost the power we once had. They could suppress our entire house with just that fifth-tier soulbeast alone, let alone with the help of the Beast Taming School!”
“There was something fortunate however. Sometime during the transportation of the fifth-tier soulbeast, it escaped from the Beast Taming School. Even more surprising, it made a soul contract with another soul cultivator!” What Ye Tianwen didn’t take notice of was that when he mentioned this one piece of information, Bai Yunfei and the other two blanched. “Just this afternoon, the soul cultivator responsible for that even appeared in Gaoyi City! The Beast Taming School of course saw this and dispatched some people to ambush them, causing both parties to run out the city. A late-stage Soul Sprite was sent after them to capture them, and it’s fortunate that he was sent, or else he would have been sent to capture you instead. It’s terrifying to even thi…”
“Brother Tianwen, could that soulbeast be perhaps the fifth-tier quickshade bird? And were those two soul cultivators that were chased out of the city two females!?” Bai Yunfei’s face drained of color as he interrupted Ye Tianwen mid-speech with a hint of urgency.
“Hm? How did you know that?” Ye Tianwen asked in astonishment.
“Ol’ Bai…” Jing Mingfeng looked to Bai Yunfei grimly.
“Ah! That’s Miss Xinyun!” Tianming realized in shock.
“Tianming, what are you — wait, do you know those two soul cultivators!?” Ye Tianwen caught onto just why the three had the reaction they did on their face. He asked a question to confirm his doubts.
“Brother Tianwen, do you know just which direction they ran off to?” Bai Yunfei interrupted Tianming this time with even greater urgency.
“Oh, I believe it was that way…” Ye Tianwen pointed to his right with some doubts.
“Jing Mingfeng, let’s go!” Bai Yunfei did not hesitate to give the command for Jing Mingfeng to follow him. Without even waiting for the rest of the group, they blew past Ye Tianwen into the direction they pointed at. With their speed, it did not take long before the two figures disappeared from sight.
“Brother Bai, wait for me!” Tianming started to shout as he chased after them.
However, Ye Tianwen stopped him with a single hand and a solemn expression, “Tianming, what is going on here?”
“Miss Xinyun is in trouble, we have to go save her!” The boy was extremely frantic in his response. Grabbing at his older brother’s hand urgently, he cried, “Brother! Come with us! Uncle, you and brother have to go help Miss Xinyun!”
“Does this mean that the soul cultivator who stole that soulbeast away from the Beast Taming School is someone you know?” Ye Tianwen asked once more.
“Yes! She’s a friend! Brother, let’s go! We have to save her!’ Tianming struggled to pull his brother’s hand along, but the amount of resistance he felt surprised him.
“Brother? Don’t tell me…”
“Pah! How naive are you? It’s lucky that you’re the second scion to the house of Ye. We’re up against the Beast Taming School. Do you really think we can afford to make them our enemy? They only just need to move a finger and our entire home would be obliterated. Turned to dust! Do you want to consign our entire family to eternal damnation!?” Ye Quan cut him off with an icy rebuke.
“That… I…” Helpless, Tianming looked to his brother to plead one more time, “Brother…”
His brother only shook his head with a sigh, “I’m sorry, Tianming. Your uncle and I have our hands tied. The Beast Taming School is… not something we can fight against.”
He looked off in direction Bai Yunfei had disappeared in, “Your friend Bai Yunfei knew that and didn’t call you to go with him for that reason. Neither did he ask me for help… but if they’re willing to run off to help those two by themselves, I am sure they have some sort of plan. Be at ease, they should be fine.”
Tianming hesitated, but then a clear plan formulated in his head as he looked up once more at Ye Tianwen with determination. “I understand now, brother. You and second uncle can go back first. If the house of Ye won’t participate, then… I’ll go by myself!!”
With an abrupt roundabout, he flew off in the direction Bai Yunfei had headed.
His actions were a surprise for both Ye Quan and Ye Tianwen since they had never seen Tianming so serious and determined before. By the time they had been brought back to awareness, Tianming was already gone from sight. “Tianwen, do you think we should bring Tianming back? As he is…” Ye Quan trailed off.
At last, the expression on Ye Tianwen’s face shifted to reveal a look of gratification. Sighing, he shook his head. “We’ll just chase him, but under no circumstances should we fight them; if Tianming tries anything, we’ll bring him back.”
It had been two hours since they had learned about what had happened to Tang Xinyun and Zhao Mancha. For the entire duration of the travel, Bai Yunfei’s face had been grim and dark as they traveled through the forests and plains before finally coming across a three hundred meter tall mountain.
Without even a dip in speed, they charged into the mountains. A little farther and Bai Yunfei’s eyes lit up at the sight of something, “I’ve found them! They’re up ahead!!”
Meanwhile, a loud and clear chirping sound made its way to Bai Yunfei’s ears from up ahead. This chirp was clearly a very angry one and somewhat frantic…