Chapter 1022: The City Within the Forest

Mountains and hills passed by Bai Yunfei and the three soul cultivators as they flew. There’d also be a few forests and such, but with so many landmarks passing by Bai Yunfei wasn’t even sure just how far they had gone. He only knew that a considerable amount of time had passed and that the day was already close to being gone with the sun setting down the mountain. Would they be stopping anytime soon? Bai Yunfei didn’t know.

On the way, Wang Tong made sure to explain to him a bit about his ‘soul’ and ‘originseed’ being damaged. He also made sure to explain a few topics on the basics of a soul cultivator.

Soul cultivator.

Bai Yunfei knew now that these people weren’t ‘Immortals’ as the villagers thought they were. They were merely just ‘soul cultivators’, and Bai Yunfei was one too. He was just one that was comparatively weaker than these ones, one that could be classified as a ‘Soul Warrior’.

He could tell that Wang Tong and the others were very cautious about how they flew. They were constantly looking around themselves as if expecting to be attacked at any moment. To minimize their presence, the group also made sure to fly close to the ground. Bai Yunfei was sure that they were simply trying their best to avoid any of the ‘intruders’ they mentioned earlier.

Bai Yunfei hadn’t a sense of what ‘conflict’ was after living so peacefully in the village for three years. Sure, the village had its fair share of squabbles and sometimes even a rowdy scuffle or two, but never something like ‘murder’ appeared in Bai Yunfei’s everyday life.

But today, a group of evil-doers had popped into his village and harmed the people living there. The first battle he had with another person in the last three years and…his first time having to kill.

There was something that baffled him, however. He thought that he’d feel ‘sick’ after killing someone. But somehow, it didn’t seem like any worse than killing an unwanted pest… 

It made him feel panicked if anything. Surely there was something wrong with him if he felt that way?

But then he thought about how Wang Tong and his companions had killed over a dozen ‘intruders’. Their reaction didn’t seem to be saying much to Bai Yunfei. It didn’t even feel like they thought killing was anything strange, not even the kid. 

So Bai Yunfei decided to leave this matter up to debate for another time.

He was a soul cultivator like them. 

Bai Yunfei thought to himself, and then to the ‘magical power’ shown by the glove on his right hand. Now he knew that power was known as something as ‘soulforce’ and was the reason why his soul hurt so much and why the memories were coming out. He recalled the act of those memories coming out into his head, but he couldn’t seem to remember what those specific memories were.

“If those are my memories, then doesn’t it mean I just have to endure that pain if I want to be able to see the memories?”

It was a question Bai Yunfei wanted to know the answer to, but then he thought about just how painful it had been. How would he be able to recall any memories if the first thing he did was buckle under the pain and fall unconscious?

All the new things he was learning was making it hard for Bai Yunfei to think properly. Before he knew it, the sky had already lost the light of the daylight.

“We’re here!”

A voice broke Bai Yunfei out from his spellbound wonder. He looked ahead of where he stood and stared in confusion.

Up ahead was an extremely tall mountain point with two equally tall mountains to its left and right. An ocean of trees filled the flat lands between each point so that nothing else could be seen. And that was the problem. Where were the people? The buildings? How were they here then?

He noticed then that they were still in the air without seemingly any plans to head down. In front of him, Wang Tong had his arm stretched to allow a pulse of red light to flow out from it.

The undulations of red light melded with space and shimmered hypnotically like ripples across the surface of a body of water before taking the form of a door.

“Let’s head in.”

Wang Tong gestured to Bai Yunfei before disappearing through the ripples.

Seemingly pleased by the stunned look on Bai Yunfei’s face, Feiyun snickered, “Wait until you see where we live, big brother Tang, you’ll be even more surprised!”

Then he tugged Bai Yunfei with him through the door.

Bai Yunfei felt the world grow hazy around him for a moment before clearing back up.

And when he did…he was met with an entire city!

Bai Yunfei couldn’t see the mountains that used to stand on the left and right of this area anymore. Where once was a sea of trees was now filled with just as many buildings! A grand city had somehow appeared out of nowhere!

Of all the things that could possibly exist in this isolated forest, Bai Yunfei never imagined it’d be a city!

The shadows of the city’s inhabitants walked about to and fro, and Bai Yunfei could even hear the voices of several of them talk as they walked about. Clearly, this was a city that flourished with activity.

While Bai Yunfei was busy taking in the sights of everything taking place in the city, a light-green light was flying out from the walls towards them. The light took only a moment for it to make it to where Bai Yunfei and the other stood, revealing a long-haired male. 

“The three of you are finally back,” He breathed a sigh of relief, “The head was sure to send people out to find you if you hadn’t taken any longer…”

“Brother Jiadi,” Feiyun laughed, “didn’t we say we’d be back by today? Don’t you believe me? Is…is dad angry?”

Jiadi forced a smile. “You said you’d be in the surrounding area, but why do I have the feeling you went further than that? The head lady was worried to tears after your disappearance, I’m sure you’ll be in for a harsh punishment in a while.”

His eyes swiveled to look at Bai Yunfei next. His surprise was hardly noticeable then, but it grew more pronounced when he saw the two unconscious persons being held by Kai Wen behind Bai Yunfei.

“What kind of situation is this?” His voice dropped several tones, “Did…did you make contact with the intruders?!”

“It’s a long story,” Wang Tong exhaled. “We’ve important matters to report to the head, let’s head into the city first.”

Jiadi nodded and the group flew once more through the skies to head into the city rather than going in from the ground. Flying over the walls, their flight continued for some time before ultimately coming to a stop near a magnificent-looking building.

They landed onto solid ground without incident and strode through the gates where Wang Tong then turned to look at Bai Yunfei. “Brother Tang Long, we’ve some important matters to deal with, so please make yourself at home here. If nothing goes wrong, we’ll be able to get you a recall pill soon.”

“Thank you for your hard work, big brother Wang Tong.” Bai Yunfei replied gratefully.

The three left, leaving Bu Jiadi with Bai Yunfei. “Follow me, little brother,” He smiled, “I’ll bring you to one of our living quarters.”

“Please!” Bai Yunfei bowed.

“Haha, a guest you may be, but there’s no need to be this polite.”

Bu Jiadi didn’t take Bai Yunfei far before the living quarters were in sight. Allocating a guest room for Bai Yunfei, Bu Jiadi told him to not wander around the place for now before leaving him to rest in peace.

Bai Yunfei knew better than to ‘wander’ about in the place of another. He was an outsider and had no desire to do any of that, so he entered his room and sat on the bed to rest.

Several others were living in this place, though most of them were of ages younger than Bai Yunfei. He recalled walking past a few of them on his way here with Bu Jiadi, and how curious they looked when they arrived. Even now on his bed, Bai Yunfei could distinctly hear the whispers of a few of them on the outside, muttering words such as ‘stranger’, ‘new apprentice’, ‘civilian quarters’, and ‘connected’, though Bai Yunfei wasn’t quite sure what this meant.

——————————

Wang Tong, Kai Wen, and Feiyun stood at the center of a large hall with the still unconscious youth and old man they captured earlier in front of them. They weren’t alone in the hall, Wang Tong was currently retelling the story of what happened to them today.

Several chairs were lined up on both sides of the hall with men both young and old sitting on them. A single larger chair sat at the front of the hall with a golden-robed man seated on top of it. Judging from his appearance, the man was in his thirties. He held a stern expression on his dignified face as he listened to Wang Tong. The longer Wang Tong went on, the more serious his expression became.

“As we expected…” He exhaled slowly once Wang Tong finished. “Those men are after us…”

An elder in white seated at the first seat on the right was next to speak. “We can surmise they harbor ill-intent from their actions. And a large-scale searching effort like this one would only be capable by only the strongest of schools.”

“Indeed, they must be very powerful if they were able to find our hiding place.” The yellow-faced man to his side spoke up after him, “Not even a single outsider was able to find us in our two thousand years of hiding. I’m afraid they won’t stop with just finding us either this time. Judging their current location, it’s only a matter of time before they find this place…these people are not bearers of good will, I say we should prepare our defenses.”

“A timely defensive measure is always proper to have, no matter what the intent may be. However…” Another elder spoke next.

“We should still ascertain who these people might be before anything else. The actions of Wang Tong may have been rash, but fortunately, no damages were brought. They even brought back two enemies. We…may be able to learn plenty from them.”

“Second uncle is right, we should interrogate these people at once, clan head!”

Silence was had in the hall for a short two seconds as the man sitting at the top debated what to do. Then two faint-gray pills flew out from him towards Wang Tong. “Administer these to them.”

“Yes, clan head!”

Wang Tong replied at once. Handing one pill to Kai Wen, the two of them woke the two captives at once. Forcing their jaws open, Wang Tong and Kai Wen had the two swallow the pills against their will…

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