This was a first for Bai Yunfei. Negotiations with a soul armament of all things.
Things were starting to make sense though. This would explain why he wasn't able to see the stats of the Core Stone. Without Xiao Fang's approval of Bai Yunfei being the master, he wouldn't be able to use it.
The image of the stone shimmered upon hearing the question of Bai Yunfei. It said nothing for several seconds, as if thinking to itself.
"Hm…well to be my master, you'd need to agreeable to my eye…"
A mental sweatdrop fell from within Bai Yunfei's mind.
"Tianhun always said that to be a man is to be indomitable and without guilt. And to not lose one's way even after the death of thousands. A man can't kill whenever he wants, wherever he wants….like that black-robed guy. I knew at once I wouldn't like that guy. Him killing so many people nearly messed up my 'test'....but you're an agreeable one at the very least. You might not be a space-type soul cultivator like I hoped, but you've Sentinel…"
"What are you talking about, Xiao Fang. What test?" Bai Yunfei couldn't help but pick up on a few of the things the stone was muttering. "Are you saying that the fight for the Extreme King Pills was just a 'test' to see who'd become your master?"
"Exactly. That was my plan." Xiao Fang replied. "I drifted in nothingness for a very long time. Through a crack in that, I was able to reach the area where you first found me. I rested there for a very long time. But nobody came.
"Even if someone did come, there was no way they'd be able to notice me. I had no choice. I had to cause a stir. So I decided to use the Extreme King Pills to draw people's attention to me where I could then find and pick a master."
"That's…" This was shaping up to be a very strange series of events. Xiao Fang talking about using the Extreme King Pills in such a way so easily was especially surprising to Bai Yunfei. Everything was surprising, really. The fact that the Core Stone was a superpowered space-type soul armament and the fact that it was a Regalia. Just what other things could be hidden in there? And if the Extreme King Pills was just one of the things inside, what other goodies could be had?!
That last line of thought sparked curiosity in Bai Yunfei's mind. "Xiao Fang, could you tell me what kind of criteria there are for one to gain your approval?"
"Well…" Xiao Fang muttered, "You tell me first. What did you do to me? How can you deepen your synchronization with me without my knowledge or permission?"
"Synchronization?" Bai Yunfei asked, "What do you mean? I'm not aware of what you're talking about."
"You don't know?!" Xiao Fang exclaimed, "What kind of joke is this? I can feel a very faint connection between the two of us already. You've clearly done something to deepen the unity between us while I was asleep. That's why I was woken up in the first place. I would've needed a few dozen days before I recovered from the collapse of the pocket otherwise."
"Uh…are you talking about my 'upgrades'? And synchronization…is that the same as soul compatibility?"
"Yes. It can be said to be soul compatibility. But upgrade? What is that?"
"Upgrade is…a special method of mine that can refine and strengthen soul armaments."
"Refine you say? Are you a crafter?!"
"Yes. I am from the Crafting School."
"I see now. Refining can probably cause an effect like that….wait! That's not right! What joke are you playing at now! How can the Core Stone simply be refined, even an Emperor can't do something like that! How do you have that ability then?!"
"That's…well, I won't lie to you. I've a very special power that allows me to easily strengthen any soul armament."
"A special power? What mean you by that? What is this 'upgrade' of yours?"
"It's like this…" Bai Yunfei took the stone back into his hand. "Upgrade."
Equipment Grade: Mid Divine
Elemental Affinity: Space, Earth
Upgrade Level: +1
Soul Compatibility: 2%
Upgrade Requirement: 700 Soulpoints
"What are…eh? Eh?! Ho—hold on! What…what's all this?! What did you do, what did you do?!" Completely shocked, all Xiao Fang could do was stutter and demand from Bai Yunfei what had just happened.
"Take a look. This is the 'upgrade' I'm talking about. My luck's pretty good right now, I managed to succeed."
"Quit playing around!! What is this?! This is impossible!!" Xiao Fang repeated. "Just by saying a single word?! You didn't even move and I felt the unity between us grow even stronger. What kind of arcane art is this?!
Xiao Fang picked up on something.
"The space…the space inside the Core increased! What is this! Did you do this too?!"
"The space increased?" Repeated Bai Yunfei. The only information he got from the upgrade was just the increase in upgrade level and soul compatibility. When he thought about it though, it was probably the still-hidden result of being upgraded.
"So upgrading can increase the space of storage even…" He nodded to himself. "This is the power of upgrading. This is how I can make soul armaments stronger."
"This…this is…" Xiao Fang didn't know how to respond.
"This is unbelievable. It doesn't even make sense…have I drifted for so long in that abyss of nothingness that the entire world has changed? It can't be, can it? What year is this even?"
"Year? It's 2015 of the Tianhun calendar."
"2015?!" So I've been stuck in this place for a millennium?!"
"A millennium!?" Gasped Bai Yunfei. "In nothingness? What even is that? And how could you drift for an entire millennium like that?"
"It's the layer between each plane of existence. My last master had an intense battle with another, and I was dropped into a crack that led to that space of nothingness for an entire millennium as a result."
"This 'upgrade' of yours," Xiao Fang continued, "What is it exactly? Is it some sort of new art that the soul cultivators of today have invented?"
"It's definitely not something anyone has 'invented'. I've said it before, this is my 'superpower'. I'm the only person in this world with the ability. As for what it is…I'm not sure myself actually. I can just upgrade soul armaments with a thought if I want."
"With just a thought!? Isn't that totally insane?!"
Bai Yunfei shrugged. This wasn't a question with specifics he could answer.
"Then keep on upgrading the Core Stone and I'll see what exactly is going on." Xiao Fang spoke.
To this, Bai Yunfei didn't respond right away. "If I help you, will that mean you'll recognize me as your master?"