The black smoke monster is no monster. It’s Ma Hong Jun’s father. As Tang San got closer to the truth regarding the real situation with the burnt house possibly being an accident and suspecting the Village Head may have lied to them about Ma Hong Jun’s father being buried, and believing that maybe there really is no monster, Ma Hong Jun yells out that the black smoke monster is not a monster but his father.
How it’s possible a human can become a monster or whether Ma Hong Jun’s father was a Soul Master, Ma Hong Jun isn’t able to explain when questioned. Ma Hong Jun only saw his father become this way after he woke that night before the Village Head supposedly brought him out of the fire. The answers to their questions was with the Village Head. They are answers which Tang San and the others won’t learn until after they make the decision to head into the independent space looking for Ma Hong Jun’s father.
Inside the independent space, Dai Mu Bai lays out the plan of attack for them all. Tang San and Zhu Zhu Qing would approach from the side while Dai Mu Bai would approach from the front. It sees Zhu Zhu Qing butt heads with Dai Mu Bai once again. As well as simply not liking the idea of following his orders, Zhu Zhu Qing questions whether Dai Mu Bai’s plan should be followed since he’s already lost once to Ma Hong Jun’s father. It sees her asking Tang San for his opinion which he expresses they should just do as Dai Mu Bai suggests. Zhu Zhu Qing still worried that despite there being the three of them (as opposed to two attacking when Dai Mu Bai and Hu Lie Na fought Ma Hong Jun’s father the first time), she questions why they couldn’t just have Fei Lan De take on Ma Hong Jun’s father. It’s because this was a test set for them and that they should try to rely on their own strength first.
Argument settled, Ma Hong Jun’s father shortly appears before them. Dai Mu Bai doesn’t wait to attack the black smoke figure before him. Launching an electric blue fireball, an attack known as the White Tiger Intense Light Wave, it hits Ma Hong Jun’s father in the abdomen causing him to take a few steps back. Dai Mu Bai charging again, Ma Hong Jun’s father propels a fireball from its abdomen area which sees Dai Mu Bai dodging and trying a low kick. Dai Mu Bai misses as Ma Hong Jun’s father had avoided it by leaping high up into the air. Dai Mu Bai tries his White Tiger Intense Light Wave attack again which brings Ma Hong Jun’s father falling back to the ground for Dai Mu Bai to attack again with a series of kicks, strikes and another White Tiger Intense Light Wave attack before Zhu Zhu Qing comes in with her swiping claws—her Nether Spikes.
Tang San sends in his Blue Silver Plant to bind Ma Hong Jun’s father, allowing Zhu Zhu Qing to them go in with a kick which sees Ma Hong Jun’s father hit the ground. Tang San goes in to bind him again allowing Zhu Zhu Qing to launches from overhead and Dai Mu Bai to charge in to strike with White Tiger Vajra Transformation again. Just as Dai Mu Bai’s claws almost gets Ma Hong Jun’s father, realisation hits Tang San that not once did Ma Hong Jun’s father strike first. Ma Hong Jun’s father was always defending attacks. It was like this in their current fight and it was like this during the first encounter between Dai Mu Bai, Hu Lie Na and Ma Hong Jun’s father.
Realising this, Tang San brings out his Blue Silver Plant again to pull Ma Hong Jun’s father away from Dai Mu Bai’s attack. The action sees Dai Mu Bai question Tang San why he did what he did. Explaining to Dai Mu Bai his realisation by having him think back to his first encounter, Dai Mu Bai confirms Tang San’s belief: Ma Hong Jun’s father won’t harm them as long as they don’t attack.
Asking Tang San how he knew about this fact about Ma Hong Jun’s father not being the one who made or move first during his first encounter, Tang San reveals that this current encounter wasn’t his first with Ma Hong Jun’s father. When he and Xiao Wu followed Dai Mu Bai and Hu Lie Na into the independent space the day before (Episode 10), they met Ma Hong Jun’s father (seemingly before finding Dai Mu Bai unconscious). Tang San reveals that their encounter saw Ma Hong Jun’s father take them outside the village to Ma Hong Jun’s house with the suggestion that they didn’t engage in any kind of fight because he and Xiao Wu didn’t make move to attack.
With this information revealed, the significance of the chickens, the strange sight of lots of chickens but no droppings and clean floors is also revealed. Dai Mu Bai asking Tang San why he kept this encounter with Ma Hong Jun’s father from him, Tang San explains that it’s because they were being watched. Zhu Zhu Qing asking by who, Tang San answers by the chickens.
The reason the chickens had no droppings and why the village floors were so clean is because the chickens weren’t real chickens. They were Martial Souls of Soul Masters and they were spies. Using some theory he learnt from Yu Xiao Gang, Tang San explains the chickens as an example of a Mutant Soul. By combining a Tool Soul with a Beast Soul it can take its animal form to become a Mutant Soul.
The explanation sees Dai Mu Bai question about the one chicken which caught Ou Si Ke’s attention just before they left to search for Ma Hong Jun’s father in this independent space. The chicken Dai Mu Bai refers to is one which sat outside the kitchen porch where Ou Si Ke as well as Tang San would notice. Around the chicken were the droppings. Tang San’s response to Ou Si Ke’s note of finally seeing one with droppings was that it only made the chickens more suspicious with how it finally showed up with droppings after none had showed up with any up until that point.
What Tang San refers to be a loophole in trying to make these chickens appear like ordinary chickens was fixed only after he had raised his concerns about the chickens to Dai Mu Bai the night before (Episode 10). When Tang San voiced his concerns to Dai Mu Bai about it, he had deliberately voiced his concerns in front of some chickens. This deliberate act was Tang San’s test to prove his suspicion, a test which proved him correct.
Having ascertained that these chickens are Martial Souls, it sees Zhu Zhu Qing wonder how many Soul Masters were required to control the amount of these Martial Souls in the village. This question leads Dai Mu Bai to make the remark that maybe everyone in the village were Soul Masters.
Dai Mu Bai is right. Everyone was a Soul Master but they don’t acknowledge themselves as one because they can’t advance without Soul Rings. The reason why they can’t obtain Soul Rings isn’t revealed, but it’s a fact which the Village Head reveals when they converge with him at a house inside the independent space.
After being tricked out of his house, the Village Head left to the independent space to take Ma Hong Jun with him after learning from Ou Si Ke the whereabouts of the entrance to the independent space. It appears that before Ou Si Ke revealed this, the Village Head had no idea where this independent space and its entrance was or where Ma Hong Jun’s father was.
With the fight between Tang San, Dai Mu Bai and Zhu Zhu Qing and Ma Hong Jun’s father stopped, and Ma Hong Jun’s father leading them to a house in the independent space, they arrive sometime after the Village Head manages to get Ma Hong Jun to listen to him to walk through a flame barrier which only he can pass. In the house which the flame barrier barred entry until Ma Hong Jun broke it is Ma Hong Jun’s very rare Martial Soul, the Evil Phoenix. This Evil Phoenix is what’s behind the incident with the burnt house and what happened to Ma Hong Jun’s father. It’s all related to the Village Head’s grand plan to awaken his tribe’s Martial Soul, the Evil Phoenix, and bring rise to the tribe once again.
The Village Head finally revealing all, he tells of a process which involves a special medicine—a medicine which the Village Head was seen giving Ma Hong Jun last episode—that prompts a mutation in the Martial Soul which allows the Evil Phoenix to finally appear (presumably) in a form that is not those ordinary grey chicken with dotted feathers that are all around the village but the red coloured bird with the yellow head, back and tail feathers.
Ma Hong Jun’s father looked to have been the Village Head’s initial choice as he was revealed to have been taking the special medicine which was responsible for burning the house and turning him into the black smoke monster. However, learning that Ma Hong Jun had greater talent, the Village Head’s focus switched to Ma Hong Jun. The night the house burned, the Village Head had gone into their home to take Ma Hong Jun with him. Ma Hong Jun’s father not wanting the Village Head to take his son away, he tried to fight back. However, the special medicine had taken effect, it controlled him and his Martial Soul began to burn. The outcome is the figure with a fiery core and black smoke emanating from his whole body.
The Village Head admits the process to achieve this goal to be cruel but to him it’s worth it. For someone like Tang San who believes in having the choice to choose ones path, he disagrees. He tells the Village Head it’s not up to him to decide what’s worth it or not. Ou Si Ke, who entered as a hostage to the Village Head and was drugged, recovers to chime in with no one (but themselves) as having that right. He calls the situation as having gone too far, suggesting this had to be stopped. Dai Mu Bai agrees and look to put an end to it all.
The Village Head shows no desire to stop as he moves to call Ma Hong Jun to reach out and touch the Evil Phoenix to assimilate the Mutant Soul. With the medication which ensures Ma Hong Jun only listens to a voice that’s familiar (that’s the Village Head’s) and the Evil Phoenix (whose power he believes is supreme) he’s confident the Shi Lan Ke School Soul Masters are no match for Ma Hong Jun.
“This is the Evil Phoenix! The top Martial Soul! There’s a big gap between talented and ordinary Soul Masters!” he boasts when Ma Hong Jun comes out with two Soul Rings and throwing fiery attacks which sends Dai Mu Bai flying into a wall and singes Tang San’s Blue Silver Plant revealing its ineffectiveness against flames of the Evil Phoenix Martial Soul. However, with Dai Mu Bai’s White Tiger Intense Light Wave (an electric sphere), Zhu Zhu Qing’s speed and Nether Spike and Xiao Wu’s powerful kick they show the Village Head how premature his claim is.
As a way to free Ma Hong Jun by having him learn the truth about what the Village Head has done, Ma Hong Jun’s father is seen merging with his son’s body to try subdue him. A loud scream erupts from Ma Hong Jun as flames angrily billow from his body. As this is happening, the independent space start shaking and disintegrating at the edges before it completely disappears.
Ma Hong Jun collapses to the ground on his back as the fire around his body extinguishes. Unconscious, Ma Hong Jun’s father visits Ma Hong Jun in his dreams. Ma Hong Jun is told about the independent space he created as a way to pass everything he has so his son can break free and create his own future. He leaves Ma Hong Jun all his memories, his Martial Soul and his power and tells him that once he’s learnt the truth, he should wake up.
Ma Hong Jun does wake up soon enough. He wakes feeling the suffering his father went through because of the Village Head’s goals, anger that the Village Head killed his father and destroyed his home for the Evil Phoenix. Ma Hong Jun was furious and nothing and no one could stop him from releasing his flame attacks at the Village Head at first (who Tang San saved by pulling out of the way with his Blue Silver Plant) before Ma Hong Jun released a fireball at Tang San for trying to get him to calm down (which Tang San dodges) then releasing multiple fireballs at every person at every direction.
Tang San tries sending in a low lattice of vines to try bind Ma Hong Jun, but it fails to reach Ma Hong Jun let alone touch and bind him with his vines. His Martial Soul was again powerless against the flames. Dai Mu Bai moves to try throwing a couple of his White Tiger Intense Light Wave at Ma Hong Jun in an attempt to stop him, but it has no impact. Zhu Zhu Qing tries next with her Nether Spike but she, too, fails to get close as she’s sent flying into a hole in the wall by Ma Hong Jun’s swipe. Dai Mu Bai’s attempt to attack again with his claws sees him flying through it, too.
After the power and Martial Soul of Ma Hong Jun’s father had been transferred, Ma Hong Jun’s power had increased beyond the power of two Soul Rings. The Village Head frets that if this continues the village will be burned to ashes. Fortunately, help arrives in the form of Fei Lan De. He comes flying in after his sharp Eagle Owl sight (Fei Lan De’s Martial Soul is the Eagle Owl) failed to see his students in the village, causing him to worry enough to head into the village to check out the situation himself. Thrusting a flame-like attack, Ma Hong Jun is sent crashing to the floor.
The inherited power is just too much for Ma Hong Jun to control. Fei Lan De sees only two options: wake him up or kill him. Only if Ma Hong Jun wakes up will he avoid burning up his Martial Soul and dying like his father. However, Fei Lan De thinks it would be hard to do with Ma Hong Jun’s fury over the pain the Village Head inflicted on his father. Leave him be and Ma Hong Jun dies.
Unwilling to just let Ma Hong Jun burn to death, Tang San approaches him despite warnings from Fei Lan De as well as Dai that the Evil Phoenix’s flames will devour and burn Tang San to death. Slowly approaching, Tang San reaches Ma Hong Jun to plead him to wake up and consider the lives of the villagers he’ll destroy. Ma Hong Jun doesn’t care as he holds them responsible for killing his father, too.
Holding on and enduring the hot flames of the Evil Phoenix, Tang San doesn’t give up trying to convince Ma Hong Jun in seeing that it’s not right for Ma Hong Jun to decide their fate by letting his Martial Soul burn. Not only that, but to consider his own life and the hopes his father had for him when he passed on his Martial Soul to him. Tang San tells him his father didn’t burn his Martial Soul, pass it on to him to have him destroy those hopes.
Tang San tells Ma Hong Jun he must instead embrace the power his father left him. He must live, discover his potential and create his own world. Tang San tells Ma Hong Jun they all will be with him. They can be his brothers. Fei Lan De and Yu Xiao Gang can be his fathers.
Tang San makes another plea for Ma Hong Jun to restrain and put away his Martial Soul, a plea which Ma Hong Jun answers with a painful scream and one last flare up of flames. It causes Tang San to let out a scream himself before Ma Hong Jun’s flames extinguish. Tang San had managed to get through to Ma Hong Jun and saved him from burning to death.
All heading back to the village, Dai Mu Bai interrogates the Village Head about the composition and prescription of the medicine as well as how the Village Head obtained it. The Village Head isn’t able to provide information about the composition and prescription, but is able to supply that it was from a person called Bu Le (Song Qing). This Bu Le had approached the Village Head as well as people in other areas following his investigations into most descendants of Old Soul Masters. The Village Head was told by Bu Le he that he was helping fallen Soul Masters to revival and that if any Soul Masters successfully achieved the mutation of their Martial Soul they were invited to compete at Suo Tuo Soul Arena. If they were strong enough in these battles then Bu Le would go to the Soul Master. The Village Head tells them not necessarily is Bu Le found at the Suo Tuo Soul Arena. Nothing was asked in return for the medicine which causes concern for what exactly is Bu Le’s motive.
Making an appearance in the discussion and showing quite an interest in the drug, Hu Lie Na offers to pay whatever the asking price Ma Hong Jun requests. (Tang San had the Village Head surrender the drug to him, after which Tang San had then given it to Ma Hong Jun to decide what he wants to do with it.) Hu Lie Na puts on the table power, status or enrollment in Martial Soul Hall as offers with are also included. She claims of wanting to send it to Martial Soul Hall to disseminate it to learn about the special medicine, continue the research into it and see if the special medicine can really help revive fallen clans.
In response to Hu Lie Na’s offer, though, Ma Hong Jun wants nothing in exchange for the medicine as he was not going to sell it to Hu Lie Na or anyone else it seems. Having felt the pain his father felt because of the medicine, Ma Hong Jun did not wish the same pain on more people. His father wouldn’t have wanted it.
Ma Hong Jun joins Shi Lan Ke School for the time being. He appears to have plans to go to Suo Tuo City to possibly look for Bu Le. However, having not made up his mind, Tang San makes the request for Ma Hong Jun to stay at Shi Lan Ke School. Fei Lan De acknowledges Ma Hong Jun’s potential with him having a Mutant Soul as a strong starting point. Not only that, Ma Hong Jun looks to be a bit unique (at least he appears to be at this point) as he was born with Double Soul Rings. It therefore explains him coming out with two Soul Rings before he’s even hunted one Soul Beast. Recognising this, Ma Hong Jun is let into the school without going through the normal registration and admission process.
A new student looks to enter without going through the normal enrollment process after the Shi Lan Ke School students and staff return. This student is Ning Rong Rong (Ding Xiao Ying), the daughter of Ning Feng Zhi (Shen Xiao Hai), Head of one of the renowned Seven Clans, Qibao Amber Clan. She arrives into the village with her suitcase during Ou Si Ke’s attempt to recruit Ma Hong Jun as an actor in his plays.
Not only does Ou Si Ke think Ma Hong Jun’s life and Evil Phoenix flames make a great story and be a spectacle for the audience, but it’d be great practice for controlling his Martial Soul. There’s also the money aspect. They could split the profits and earn a bit to survive.
Ma Hong Jun doesn’t give Ou Si Ke his answer regarding the acting. Instead, he skips to asking Ou Si Ke about his Martial Soul. It sees Ou Si Ke hide revealing it. However, he does reveal that his Martial Soul belongs to the Support Branch. Hearing Ou Si Ke refer to Support Branch Martial Souls as being absolutely useless, Ning Rong Rong pops up before Ou Si Ke correcting him before asking Ou Si Ke to point her in the direction of the headmaster of Shi Lan Ke School.
Ou Si Ke offers to show her the way, but is momentarily interrupted when Ma Hong Jun loses control of his powers. Ning Rong Rong had gone to introduce herself to Ma Hong Jun after Ou Si Ke looked to help carry her suitcase for her. It was then, without clear provocation, Ma Hong Jun brought out his Martial Soul. Luckily Ma Hong Jun didn’t go full Evil Phoenix as, after fighting Dai Mu Bai (who had come out to try stop Ma Hong Jun), Ma Hong Jun was able to stop himself before Ning Rong Rong saw the full power of Ma Hong Jun’s Evil Phoenix.
Ning Rong Rong finally before Fei Lan De, her enrollment is initially turned down. She was told to return next year and go through the registration and admissions exam. However, hearing Ning Rong Rong say her father was willing to wipe the huge debt which Shi Lan Ke School owes, it sees Fei Lan De unable to walk away from such a good the deal and accept her.
Ning Rong Rong accepted, Fei Lan De decides he’d put in some effort into teaching her since her father is being sincere about having her at his school. Since both Ning Rong Rong and Ou Si Ke were both classified as the Support Branch, Ning Rong Rong is set on a task of 20 laps around the village to build stamina with Ou Si Ke. As someone who is from the Support Branch who is typically not skillful in fighting, it was important for them to avoid danger. A Support Branch Soul Master who doesn’t know how to escape is a bad Soul Master. Therefore, it was important to build stamina to allow one to do that.
Ning Rong Rong doesn’t end up completing the task, though. The moment she’s allowed to go on her way with Ou Si Ke, she takes off to Suo Tuo City to go shopping. Not knowing that Fei Lan De has sharp, very long distance sight (because his Martial Soul is the Eagle Owl), she’s found out. It sees Fei Lan De hold an impromptu meeting with everyone to firstly call Ning Rong Rong out on her truancy as well as lecture her about how her actions, her going against instructions and lying can have repercussions and consequences especially if this happened during a battle. Fei Lan De tells her that in such a situation Ou Si Ke could die because of her.
Secondly, Fei Lan De wanted to have her know that although she may be known as the greatest talent of her generation in the Qibao Amber Clan, but at Shi Lan Ke School, she isn’t all that exceptional. Fei Lan De has her see that everyone is stronger than her at this school.
Starting with Dai Mu Bai, Fei Lan De tells her he’s the youngest Soul Honour in the history of Shi Lan Ke.
Going to Tang San, he tells her that not even a year, Tang San had already matched the two Soul Rings she has. He tells her that Tang San’s Soul Power is so pure and condensed that he’s almost reaching the level of a Soul Honour. It sees Ning Rong Rong unable to believe the claim until Fei Lan De has Tang San show her.
Moving to Zhu Zhu Qing, Fei Lan De has Ning Rong Rong know that Zhu Zhu Qing’s Soul Power may be similar to Ning Rong Rong’s, but she has the most determined heart amongst them all. In order to achieve her goal (which is to become stronger so she can escape living a life that has been planned by others and change her fate), she is willing to follow all arrangements made by the school without hesitation as long as it makes her stronger. Giving Ning Rong Rong an idea just hold determined Zhu Zhu Qing is, Fei Lan De asks Zhu Zhu Qing if maiming her face and cutting off her hand is what it took to become stronger, could she do it. Zhu Zhu Qing answers that of that’s what it took then she can also accept it.
Lastly, Ma Hong Jun, Fei Lan De reminds her of the incident where he lost control in front of her before revealing that Ma Hong Jun has the extremely rare Evil Phoenix Martial Soul. It takes no introduction for Ning Rong Rong to recognise the rarity and how special the Martial Soul is as she later remarks that many clans would be looking for Ma Hong Jun if he really possesses the Evil Phoenix Martial Soul.
But before she makes this remark, Ning Rong Rong calls Fei Lan De a liar. Although Ning Rong Rong was present when she saw Ma Hong Jun release his Martial Soul, she didn’t see him reveal the whole form of his Martial Soul. What’s more, during that battle with Dai Mu Bai, Ma Hong Jun was defeated very quickly with him only able to send a couple fireballs before being sent flying to the ground by Dai Mu Bai’s kicks, after which Ma Hong Jun lost consciousness after Ma Hong Jun regained control of his power.
Seeing as Ning Rong Rong doesn’t believe him, Fei Lan De moves to have Ma Hong Jun show her. The call sees Tang San immediately hold Ma Hong Jun back from actually bringing out his Martial Soul. Ou Si Ke does the same, hugging Ma Hong Jun to hold him back before saying that they all can be witnesses to Ma Hong Jun’s Evil Phoenix. Dai Mu Bai’s expression showed worry, too. In fact Fei Lan De moved to shield himself with his arms when he told Ma Hong Jun to reveal his Evil Phoenix. Everyone was intimidated by the Evil Phoenix’s flames especially when Ma Hong Jun has yet to have full control of his Martial Soul. No one wanted Ma Hong Jun to release his Martial Soul.
With that, Ning Rong Rong is shown that she is but one great talent amongst a group of equally or even more talented and even stronger Soul Masters at Shi Lan Ke School. Only Xiao Wu is said to be not as strong as Ning Rong Rong with having only one Soul Ring. Ou Si Ke whose Martial Soul remains a secret. He admits himself that he’s not as strong as her.
In the category of Support Branch Martial Souls, the Ning Rong Rong’s Martial Soul, the Qibao Amber Pagoda, is one of the strongest. Showing Ou Si Ke her First and Second Soul Skills (which are both classified as Qibao Boosts) she illustrated the reason for this: her use of the First Soul Skill, Strength, gave Ou Si Ke a boost of strength which made heavy tables appear light as a feather. Calling her Second Soul Skill, Speed, enabled Ou Si Ke to run laps around the room at super speed. The first two Soul Skills are associated with the first and second levels of her Qibao Amber Pagoda. With the Qibao Amber Pagoda having seven levels, there were five more Soul Skills/Qibao Boosts she could offer any which happen to be on her team. As a Support Branch Soul Master with the Qibao Amber Pagoda, it makes Ning Rong Rong a powerful source of auxiliary Soul Skills for her team.
However, Fei Lan De has Ning Rong Rong know that a strong Martial Soul is second to a Soul Master’s Strength. Fei Lan De reveals that, other than Tang San, Ou Si Ke is the most gifted because Ou Si Ke was born with full Soul Power and is the first one in Support Branch’s history to be born with it. Because of this fact, Ou Si Ke actually ranks above Dai Mu Bai just on talent alone.
With even Ou Si Ke revealed to be even more exceptional than Ning Rong Rong, Fei Lan De tells Ning Rong Rong to pack her bags since she’s neither gifted or perseverant. It sees Ning Rong Rong unable to argue and stomp off. Fei Lan De’s call for Ning Rong Rong to pack her bags, although he is serious, it’s not his actual intention. The call is to have her understand that if she wants to continue at Shi Lan Ke School she must follow school rules. (It’s something which Fei Lan De has everyone know this before he dismisses them all.) As Fei Lan De reveals when Ou Si Ke asks him to forgive her and let her stay, Fei Lan De tells Ou Si Ke that it’s up to her what she decides. Fei Lan De’s view of Ning Rong Rong is not a bad one despite her arrogance. The fact that she had tried to free Ou Si Ke from blame for lying and told him Ou Si Ke did nothing wrong saved her sees Fei Lan De regard Ning Rong Rong as “not a bad person”.
Excited, Ou Si Ke relays the news about Fei Lan De letting her stay. Ning Rong Rong appears to not have even entertained the idea. She might be arrogant but not so rash that she’d leave right after being told she wasn’t the most talented or the strongest.
With Ou Si Ke before her, Ning Rong Rong’s curiosity about his Martial Soul and his full power sees her show him her Martial Soul first. (This is the scene we’ve already partly mentioned at the top of this episode’s recap.) She seems to have hoped that after showing it to him as well as demonstrate her Soul Skills using him as the recipient of her Qibao Boosts, maybe Ou Si Ke would be inclined to show her his. Ou Si Ke was very reluctant. As with anyone other than Dai Mu Bai or Fei Lan De, Ou Si Ke’s embarrassed about showing his Martial Soul, but after Ning Rong Rong throws a bit of a tantrum about Ou Si Ke looking down on her (Ou Si Ke actually also has a bit of a like-at-first-sight reaction to Ning Rong Rong causing him to submit more easily to her), he is convinced to show his Martial Soul to her but only if she promises not to laugh. She doesn’t laugh (as far as the shot shows anyway). It sees her eyes widen at the sight. What his Martial Soul is, we the viewers still don’t get to see it.
Meanwhile, over on the side of Dai Mu Bai, Tang San, Xiao Wu and Ma Hong Jun, they’ve headed to Suo Tuo City. Ma Hong Jun overhearing Dai Mu Bai tell Tang San and Xiao Wu about him having joined the competitions held at Soul Arena, Ma Hong Jun—with Tang San and Xiao Wu accompanying—had decided to take the opportunity to get Dai Mu Bai show him the way to look for Bu Le. The plan is to take part in the competition himself and hope his Evil Phoenix will catch the attention of Bu Le, giving Ma Hong Jun the opportunity to meet and person who indirectly caused his father’s death.
Meeting Bu Le, Ma Hong Jun doesn’t get to doing this episode, but it takes only two appearances before Ma Hong Jun’s intimidating Flame Soul catches the attention of Bu Le’s right-hand man, Tian Ya (Yang Di). Ma Hong Jun’s appearance gets reported back to Bu Le that a Mutant Soul with flames that covers the body has appeared. Describing that sometimes a bird’s shadow casts behind him, sees Bu Le flip through his book and conclude that it’s the Evil Phoenix. Despite such a rare Mutant Soul appearing before him, Bu Le decides not to show himself to Ma Hong Jun just yet. He wanted to wait to see what Ma Hong Jun can do and how strong he is before reporting this appearance to higher ups.
Ma Hong Jun continues showing up at the arena, not one bit aware of his actions as he goes in fighting not in any control of his powers. It sees him win his battles, but destroy the place and even hurt the competition judge each time he’s on the arena. He does so much damage that not even the prize money he wins covers everything he destroys and the injuries he causes.
What is meant to be kept a secret from Fei Lan De isn’t kept too well with Fei Lan De discovering Ma Hong Jun on the betting tickets. Up until being shown the ticket with a description clearly referencing Ma Hong Jun’s Martial Soul, Dai Mu Bai (who Fei Lan De directs his accusations at first) calmly denies going to Soul Arena to fight in the middle of the night with a very straight face.
This time it’s not Fei Lan De’s great long distance sight that caught the four. It’s Fei Lan De’s secret betting on Dai Mu Bai that’s had him discover Ma Hong Jun on the betting tickets. Contrary to Dai Mu Bai’s belief, Fei Lan De has long known about Dai Mu Bai going to Suo Tuo City to fight in the competition. Not only has Fei Lan De known for a while but he’s even been placing bets on Dai Mu Bai to (as Fei Lan De claims when Yu Xiao Gang catches him out) finance the school.
Ma Hong Jun admits going when the betting ticket is brought out and it’s description obviously about Ma Hong Jun was read out by Tang San. Tang San admits going as well. Dai Mu Bai continues to try denying it still to this point, claiming to know nothing about it. Fei Lan De doesn’t believe him of course. Without Dai Mu Bai Ma Hong Jun and Tang San wouldn’t be able to get to the Soul Arena on their own. It’s after this undeniable fact, Dai Mu Bai admits everything with yet another calm, straight face: “Since you know about it, I admit it.”
With Fei Lan De calling the matter a complicated one, Ma Hong Jun decides to kick himself out of the school so no one is implicated. It’s not the response Fei Lan De is asking from him. He doesn’t want Ma Hong Jun to leave; and uses the deal they had about Ma Hong Jun promising to pay him back after graduating to stop him. What Fei Lan De appears to want is for him, Tang San, Xiao Wu and Dai Mu Bai to stay away from matters they might not be able to handle on their own. So, to keep them from getting involved, he bars them all from going to Soul Arena.
Yu Xiao Gang sees these battles at Soul Arena as the best training a Soul Master can have to improve and strengthen, though. So he comes in suggesting they continue to battle in Soul Arena, However, they must inform him and Fei Lan De if Bu Le approaches them. The school will then be responsible for everything that happens next.
Dai Mu Bai is put on training Ma Hong Jun as a small punishment for bringing Ma Hong Jun and the others to Soul Arena. He is also their captain so it was only right Dai Mu Bai train Ma Hong Jun to control his powers.
Like in the arena, the moment Ma Hong Jun releases his Martial Soul he’s not consciously aware of what he’s doing. Dai Mu Bai starts with using a palm over Ma Hong Jun’s head to bring him to an aware state. However, with Ma Hong Jun told to try again to control his power and repeat the same crazy, unaware state, Dai Mu Bai is made to use force. He sends a powerful punch at Ma Hong Jun’s chest to send him flying across the yard to knock him into consciousness. Dai Mu Bai warns Ma Hong Jun that every time he fails to come out controlling his Martial Soul he will receive a painful punch to remind him to control his power better.
Ma Hong Jun makes a small improvement the next couple days with him completely conscious of what he’s doing for a short moment and is even able to execute an attack after Yu Xiao Gang has him relax, imagine a scale and balance his strength and Martial Soul. However, the control is short lived.
The pain and failure sees Ning Rong Rong run out to Ma Hong Jun to tell it like it is. Some things can’t be achieved just by being persistent she tells him. He’s tried so many times already and has so far failed. With a flawed Martial Soul, she doesn’t see Ma Hong Jun could ever control his powers.
It comes off as Ning Rong Rong criticising Ma Hong Jun for attempting something that’s difficult to achieve, but her meaning looks to have nothing to do that. She’s concerned that he could be going through all this pain for what could be no rewards. Her first question was focused asking Ma Hong Jun whether he’s numb to pain—specifically she asks rhetorically “don’t you feel pain?”—because if he did, why is he continuing to persist despite being punched by Dai Mu Bai as well as Tang San for every time he showed his crazy mode.
Right at the end, Ning Rong Rong is focused on Ma Hong Jun’s pain again, suggesting her concern yet again. “But you’re hurt,” she had said to Ma Hong Jun after he insisted on continuing. Ma Hong Jun explains that even though he might not get a result after all this trying, even if it meant that he can’t become a Soul Master (which is something he believes he can’t become), he at least should try to control his Martial Soul. Ning Rong Rong is then sent away by Dai Mu Bai, telling her that they were busy and that she should leave so they could continue.
Going back to her room angry she’d been misunderstood, one person who seems to see Ning Rong Rong’s intentions is Zhu Zhu Qing. She had been watching the whole scene between Ning Rong Rong, Ma Hong Jun and Dai Mu Bai and recognised her arrogant, insolent tone was behind Ning Rong Rong’s issue with people misunderstanding her. To try get Ning Rong Rong to see this, Zhu Zhu Qing reminds her that this was Shi Lan Ke School not the Qibao Amber Clan. At this school, she isn’t a princess. They are all equal in rank so she needed to learn to communicate with others better.
Ning Rong Rong doesn’t move to argue against Zhu Zhu Qing’s words. She seems to see Zhu Zhu Qing’s point of view on this. She instead changes the subject to focus on Zhu Zhu Qing and who she was watching when she was outside practicing her stealth skills which saw her see Ning Rong Rong being misunderstood. Was it Ma Hong Jun Zhu Zhu Qing was watching and was concerned about or Dai Mu Bai? Zhu Zhu Qing denies having anything to do with him—which him Zhu Zhu Qing is taking about she doesn’t clarify. However, the suggestion is Dai Mu Bai with Zhu Zhu Qing’s expression showing awkwardness upon the mention of his name.
Back to Ma Hong Jun and his progress. He finally manages to succeed in controlling his power during a battle at the Soul Arena and during a training session the morning following said battle. Ma Hong Jun reveals it’s because he’s held back and not fully released his power. Dai Mu Bai remarks that not using his full power and bring able to control this is not really controlling it.
Still, Ma Hong Jun have managed to achieve control of his Martial Soul to a certain point and have fought many nights. It has then wonder why Bu Le have yet to show himself before them. It sees Dai Mu Bai suggests maybe it’s because the opponents haven’t been strong enough to show Ma Hong Jun’s power. Saying this, Dai Mu Bai suggests Ma Hong Jun pick him as his next opponent at Soul Arena.
The face-off sees Ma Hong Jun controlling his Flame Soul well as Ma Hong Jun is fully conscious when he sends out his first attack. A thick beam of flames—Flame Boost—hurtle towards Dai Mu Bai. It’s dodged then blocked by Dai Mu Bai. Ma Hong Jun retracts his Flame Boost to launch at Dai Mu Bai who blocks Ma Hong Jun again.
The two are having a great battle which Bu Le is seen watching on at the front on the steps to leading to the battle arena. Bu Le’s been finally notified.
Dai Mu Bai uses his White Tiger Intense Light Wave electric sphere attack to send Ma Hong Jun somersaulting back a little as he blocks Dai Mu Bai’s attack. The electric sphere rebounds off dangerously as it head off towards the audience.
The veering electric sphere sees Tang San demonstrate another possible use of his Control Branch Martial Soul. Extending his Blue Silver Plant, he has it direct the electric sphere into the sky high above them where it explodes like firework. Xiao Wu’s amazement at seeing this interesting use of the Blue Silver Plant has Tang San explain that had the attack been a direct one, not necessarily will this use of his Blue Silver Plant be able to block the attack. He explains the ability to use it this way is through the leveraging of the attack’s energy which looks to have allowed him to deflect it away.
The battle between Ma Hong Jun and Dai Mu Bai ends with Ma Hong Jun appearing to go up to another level. His head flips just before his flames intensifies. Dai Mu Bai launching at Ma Hong Jun, he attempts to close range attack with his claws but is stopped as Ma Hong Jun takes hold of both Dai Mu Bai’s wrists. Flames billowing, Dai Mu Bai stands up against them for quite a long time before ultimately being blast back to his side of the arena.
Bu Le appears to be gripped by the battle before him as his eyes are wide. But when his line of sight is revealed, it’s not on the fight or Ma Hong Jun. It’s on Xiao Wu. It’s her he wants.
Bu Le’s interest in Xiao Wu is nothing more than for her looks and to get her to his room. With Tang San and Xiao Wu being strong fighters, though, Tian Ya (who was tasked to bring Xiao Wu in) doesn’t manage to get Xiao Wu alone when he and his men looks to have been outfought by the two. With the fight not shown, only Tian Ya calling out to Bu Le and saying how strong Tang San and his Blue Silver Plant is are heard when he returns to report to Bu Le. Behind him is Tang San and Xiao Wu. Tian Ya appears to have been made to show Tang San and Xiao Wu to Bu Le after his defeat.
Tang San’s attempt to have Bu Le hand over the medicine used on Ma Hong Jun, Ma Hong Jun’s father and the Nightfire Village sees Xiao Wu tricked into going over to a stack of books and inhale poison upon opening a hidden compartment under the books. Xiao Wu feels no different after being poisoned, but on her wrist the veins turns green. She’s given about half a month before the poison reaches her heart and she dies.
Tang San’s Blue Silver Plant already coiled around Bu Le, he tightens the vine. Demanding Bu Le for the antidote while his Blue Silver Plant continues to put on the squeeze, Bu Le denies having the antidote. Bu Le isn’t lying. The poison was made by people at headquarters he tells Tang San, and a minion like him wouldn’t have the antidote.
Tang San moving right up in Bu Le’s face, he has the sharp tip of his Blue Silver Plant pointed threateningly close to Bu Le’s eye. “You’re going to pay for it if anything happens to her,” Tang San tells him. Understanding Tang San’s meaning, Bu Le divulges the place he can go to get the cure for Xiao Wu.
In the days’ time at Star Town, a place located near Star Forest, he has arranged to meet with a person from headquarters—who is later revealed to be Ye Zhi Qiu (Wang Yi Fan)—who can provide Tang San the cure. All Tang San needs to do is take a cylindrical item containing the letter Bu Le was meant to take to Star Town and said person from headquarters will approach him.
Taking the letter, Tang San head back to Yu Xiao Gang and Fei Lan De to discuss his intention of going to Star Town to meet the person from headquarters. While Fei Lan De seem not to be against Tang San and Xiao Wu going there, Yu Xiao Gang’s a bit more worried. Star Town is extremely dangerous Yu Xiao Gang says. It’s a place full of outlaws who kill to prey on the weak. It’s a fact which Tang San pays no concern towards as all he’s focused on doing is saving Xiao Wu.
Yu Xiao Gang’s worries sees Fei Lan De suggests bringing the others and all go together. (Presumably, they couldn’t not go and leave Xiao Wu to die.) For Hu Lie Na’s smarts in tracking down people, Yu Xiao Gang thinks having Hu Lie Na joining them would be of help, too. Yu Xiao Gang seems to suggest her connection to Martial Soul Hall is of use, too. He seems to want Martial Soul Hall to know about this Bu Le matter.
However, with Hu Lie Na being an observer and not a student, not necessarily will she want to join them to Star Town to save Xiao Wu. It sees Yu Xiao Gang come up with the idea of going to Star Town under the guise of advancing Ou Si Ke to Triple Soul Rings at Star Forest.
It sees Hu Lie Na suspicious of the real reason for going to Star Town, because the reason for the trip and the apparent urgency that she sensed in the trip didn’t match. She notes that Ma Hong Jun was still battling at Soul Arena yet they were planning to set off the next day. But she ends up joining. Her guess that they’ve already met Bu Le, that possibly they know Bu Le will be at Star Forest looks to have made her go along.
As for Ou Si Ke, he shows reluctance in going when he and the others are informed of the trip to Star Forest. With Star Forest home to some of the strongest beasts in the world, Ou Si Ke appears afraid. Mentioning the two Beast Kings, he believes only a Grand Soul Land Master (a Soul Master with nine Soul Rings) can have a chance of going up against them.
Ou Si Ke’s mention of the two Beast Kings sees Ma Hong Jun wonder what the Beast King is and Yu Xiao Gang elaborating on the beasts being kings of the forest. The Titan Giant Ape is said to be one of them. The other one no one has ever seen; and so, Yu Xiao Gang wasn’t able to say what the other one is.
Curiously, Xiao Wu is able to supply that information in a very sure manner, saying that the other one is the Azure Bull Python. What’s more, she adds that they are friends when Yu Xiao Gang questions the rumours of there being two kings of the forest. How can the two beasts live in peace he had asked rhetorically. Xiao Wu tries to push her statement off to rumours she heard when Yu Xiao Gang asks how she knows, but the stutter suggests she knows this for a fact.
Ou Si Ke convinced by Fei Lan De’s threat to burn all his costumes and plays if he doesn’t go with them to the forest, he and the others make their way towards Star Forest with Yu Xiao Gang, Tang San and Xiao Wu making their way through Star Town separately.
They are met with a hazy town upon arriving. The place is filled with hunters welding blood stained weapons, injured people and people doing shady business like selling fake dead Soul Beasts. It sees Yu Xiao Gang reveal a contradiction about Martial Souls being inherited. Su Yun Tao had told Tang San Martial Souls can be inherited (Episode 1), but Yu Xiao Gang asserts that inheriting Martial Souls amongst things like the remains of Soul Beasts and the existence of ancient weapons are just lies.
True to what Yu Xiao Gang said about Star Town, a group apparently looking to pick on who they thought were the weak approach them. Fortunately, Yu Xiao Gang came prepared with a stage prop created by Ou Si Ke which generates the effect of having seven Soul Rings. The sight has the group of thugs turn to leave them alone.
With Yu Xiao Gang deceiving the thugs and having so many people see Yu Xiao Gang with seven Soul Rings (which could cause issues if someone strong insisted on challenging them), Tang San suggests Yu Xiao Gang stay at the inn while he and Xiao Wu wait for the person from headquarters.
As they wait, the amount of people Xiao Wu sees has her note the many people at Star Town looking to hunt Soul Beasts. Xiao Wu’s been shown to have a soft heart for Soul Beasts previously, sympathising with them so it’s not unusual for her to do so. However, as she talks about whether humans and Soul Beasts can talk peacefully and what would happen if a lot of people wanted to kill her, she suggests a closer connection to Soul Beasts than just having sympathy.
Adding to her ability to convince Spotted Cats to help her with obtaining her first Soul Ring (Episode 5), her revelation she grew up in the forest (Episode 4) and her possession of herbal medicine from Star Forest (Episode 7), she adds a curious request that should there be a day a million Soul Masters wants to kill her then Tang San must pretend he doesn’t know her and protect himself.
(The curiosity in the request as well as all of the other connections to Soul Beasts is the possibility that maybe Xiao Wu is one of those 100,000 year old Soul Beasts that have managed to become human form. This is the suggestion through Xiao Wu’s unique abilities, her words and her ability to obtain herbs she shouldn’t be able to obtain so easily. Whether she is or not, whether it’s just simply her sympathising with Soul Beasts is the mystery.)
Xiao Wu’s request is a request which Tang San won’t agree to. He tells her they’d have to walk over his dead body before anyone can harm her. Tang San’s response to stand by her no matter what sees Xiao Wu smile.
The wait for the person from headquarters is a disappointing one. No one had showed up during Tang San and Xiao Wu’s first day of waiting. The next day, Ye Zhi Qiu shows up. However, to get his help in cutting Xiao Wu, Tang San must complete a task involving the poisoning of a woman called Gu Du Yan (Ren Qing Na Mu). It’s a task which Tang San was willing despite Yu Xiao Gang spitting out that what he was effectively doing was killing a life (or several) to save a life.
Having used a bit of time to study the poison, Yu Xiao Gang believes the poison to be used on Du Gu Yan is more dangerous than the one Xiao Wu inhaled. He believes that if the small bottle of poison is released it will likely kill everyone else in the area, too. Tang San saw he had no other choice, though. As Ye Zhi Qiu had told Tang San, neither the Royal Family or Martial Soul Hall was able to help cure Xiao Wu. Only Ye Zhi Qiu could cure Xiao Wu.
Ye Zhi Qiu, a Soul Sect with Quadruple Soul Rings, looks to possess a poisonous type Martial Soul which is formless and has Soul Skills relating to a kind of poisoning as a way to disable or kill. What Ye Zhi Qiu’s Martial Soul is stumps both Yu Xiao Gang and Fei Lan De, though. He was seen killing some thugs using an attack which originated from between his fingers where green lines connected them. Upon clenching his hand into a fist, the legs of the thugs froze in place before they slowly collapsed to the floor and died. A green gas emitted from the thugs not long after their deaths. Ye Zhi Qiu showed no other change or transformation during the attack.
The poison which Xiao Wu has in her system looks to be Ye Zhi Qiu’s and Tang San was so desperate to save her he was willing to do what it took. It frightened Xiao Wu seeing Tang San fall to such a state. It’s fortunate that his willingness to kill one life to save another life didn’t turn out to be their only option.
After spending some time asking around, Fei Lan De had come across a sighting of a woman wearing a cherry blossom on her head (which is the description Ye Zhi Qiu had given Tang San to recognise and find Gu Du Yan). This believed-to-be Gu Du Yan is said to be heading through Star Forest that night and who Fei Lan De confidently believes they will catch up with even if they held off on their journey to Star Forest until the morning.
Fei Lan De hopes that instead of releasing the poison on Gu Du Yan and killing her, they could approach her and learn about Gu Du Yan and her history with Ye Zhi Qiu. He suspects that since Ye Zhi Qiu was targeting Gu Du Yan they must be related somehow. By learning how they are related, they could then hopefully use that to force Ye Zhi Qiu to give them the cure for Xiao Wu’s poison. “Know your enemy and yourself and you’ll never be defeated,” Fei Lan De tells Tang San.
As for finding Gu Du Yan, they hope will involve her being led to them through their plan to advance Ou Si Ke to Soul Honour. Yu Xiao Gang believes the blood of the Millennium Soul Beast will attract both Soul Beasts and poisonous Soul Beasts nearby. With Du Gu Yan said to be on the hunt for a poisonous Soul Beast (as Ye Zhi Qiu had told Tang San during their encounter), they hope Du Gu Yan would be led to follow in their footsteps as the Soul Beasts all converge on the smell of blood of the hunted Soul Beast for Ou Si Ke’s Soul Ring.
The only concern they have is the danger they will be in with the gathering Soul Beasts. (There could also be a concern with fighting the Grand Soul Land Master and Soul Saint accompanying Gu Du Yan if a fight arose.) However, they hope that once Ou Si Ke absorbs his Millennium Soul Ring, this will cut off the smell of blood and more Soul Beasts gathering. They also hope that Fei Lan De being a Soul Saint plus the students, plus Ou Si Ke advancing to Soul Honour, they can fend off the gathered Soul Beasts.
Plan set, they all head to Star Forest. As described by Ning Rong Rong, it’s a forest as big as a kingdom which she believes will take more than a few days to travel through. Having already travelled a few hundred miles, they were only at the outskirts of the forest.
They are told to maintain focus at all times after Ma Hong Jun finds himself dragged away by a Soul Beast called Araki. Fortunately, after being reminded to use his Martial Soul, he easily freed himself from its grips. He seemed to have forgotten that plant type Soul Beasts were defenseless against Flame Souls.
The suggestion to maintain focus sees Ning Rong Rong remark about how they could possibly maintain their focus when they’ve just run a few hundred miles. This sees Fei Lan De tell Ning Rong Rong that all she and the others need is Ou Si Ke. He has the power to heal and help everyone regain physical strength and spirit because of the Martial Soul he has. Making Ou Si Ke reveal his Martial Soul with encouragement and a compliment that Ou Si Ke’s Martial Soul is actually quite impressive from Ning Rong Rong, we finally see Ou Si Ke release his Martial Soul.
A Food Branch Soul Master is what Ou Si Ke is revealed to be. Ou Si Ke possesses a Martial Soul which is uncommon and skills which are even more uncommon. His First Soul Skill is the Full Recovery Big Sausage which recovers stamina and Soul Power instantly. Ou Si Ke’s Martial Soul and his Soul Skills are so uncommon and rare that it sees even Hu Lie Na interested in having Ou Si Ke join Martial Soul Hall. But she’s turned down both times Ou Si Ke is asked.
With everyone given one of Ou Si Ke’s Full Recovery Big Sausage, everyone is back on the hunt for Ou Si Ke’s Soul Beast—with the exception of Yu Xiao Gang. He had been alerted to the presence of Su Yun Tao nearby after he brought out Luo San Pao to help warn them of any approaching danger from the Human Faced Demon Spider.
Tang San recalling his encounters when the giant spider, it saw him wonder—rather confirm— whether the Human Faced Demon Spider would be around Star Forest since the one he encountered should have returned to its original habitat that is the Star Forest by now. The topic saw Xiao Wu mention that the Human Faced Demon Spider could track a scent no matter how far once it has one’s scent in its memory. With Tang San having had an encounter with one which saw Tang San blind it in one eye (Episode 1), Yu Xiao Gang had decided to be safe and bring out Luo San Pao to use its sensitive nose to sense any presence of these giant spiders, just in case theses spiders were out for revenge.
Luo San Pao reacted, but not to the Human Faced Demon Spider, but (as Yu Xiao Gang reveals privately to Fei Lan De) that Su Yun Tao was (some distance) behind them. Luo San Pao’s sense of smell looked to be quite incredible even if not as incredible as the Human Faced Demon Spider. Yu Xiao Gang having had Luo San Pao memorise Su Yun Tao’s scent during the time he saw the Martial Soul Officer with Hu Lie Na at Rose Inn (Episode 7), Luo San Pao locked onto Su Yun Tao’s scent almost the instant he was brought out.
Discovering this, Yu Xiao Gang sought to see Su Yun Tao. He thought that if Su Yun Tao was at Star Forest to protect Hu Lie Na then maybe Su Yun Tao could simply join them and help them with their mission. He also thought he could use this opportunity to ask him why Hu Lie Na came to Shi Lan Ke School.
What Yu Xiao Gang discovers in his trailing of Su Yun Tao is a situation between Su Yun Tao, a black smoke figure with a green core and the Azure Bull Python surfacing from a body of water in the forest. Tracking Su Yun Tao, Yu Xiao Gang witnesses a situation which sees Su Yun Tao poisoned by the black smoke figure right after it tells Su Yun Tao that they shouldn’t have met here and that soon Su Yun Tao’s teacher was going to go to hell just like Su Yun Tao was.
Instructing the reluctant Luo San Pao to continue following, Yu Xiao Gang is led to a meeting between the black smoke figure regarding its decision on helping the black smoke figure on defeating (what is suggested to be) their common enemy. The black smoke figure tries to convince the Azure Bull Python by mentioning how Soul Beasts in Star Forest have been decreasing sharply compared to 100 years ago. By agreeing to help, the dragon will prevent its own extinction.
The Azure Bull Python tells the black smoke figure it’s distrustful of humans and don’t get involved in conflicts between humans. The black smoke figure tells it that it doesn’t have to trust the black smoke monster. It just needs to believe in the bigger picture, the benefits and the results.
With the Azure Bull Python not straight out rejecting, the black smoke figure tells the Azure Bull Python it will be waiting at the agreed time before the black smoke figure disappears.
Meanwhile, the mission to advance Ou Si Ke to Soul Honour sees everyone attempt to bring down a Phoenix Tail Crest Serpent. Fei Lan De had spotted it flying above them and decided it to be the perfect Soul Beast for Ou Si Ke after Tang San confirmed its length and its age to be around six to eight meters long and 1,300 to 1,800 years old with his Purple Demon Eyes. The fast-flying serpent is first attacked by Fei Lan De and Zhu Zhu Qing, with each of them launching to try hand strikes. However, it does little to bring it down.
Zhu Zhu Qing’s attempt gets her a cloud of purple smoke which (as Xiao Wu informs) is harmless. It’s just to scare people off. But with Zhu Zhu Qing thinking the cloud of smoke could be harmful, her immediate response to get out of there sees her somersault away and onto the ground where she slides back into Dai Mu Bai’s hold, creating a bit of a moment between them.
Dai Mu Bai had gone to slow her slide with the support of his hand which was originally on her upper back. However, this arm unknowingly slid to Zhu Zhu Qing’s waist when Xiao Wu interrupted to tell them the information about the smoke being harmless. Before this, their faces were rather close with Zhu Zhu Qing gazing into Dai Mu Bai’s eyes which were waiting for her to confirm that she was alright.
Back to the task at hand, Tang San attempts to uses his Blue Silver Plant to coil around the Phoenix Tail Crest Serpent’s body, but it escapes. Ma Hong Jun had tried sending in flames, but it evades them as well. The serpent flies off towards Xiao Wu who leaps high up off a tree trunk to kick it back the other direction towards Dai Mu Bai who attempts to strike with his claws but misses. The Phoenix Tail Crest Serpent was too fast. The capture needed Ning Rong Rong. Giving Dai Mu Bai a Qibao Boost of Speed, Dai Mu Bai strikes the serpent to bring it crashing down and allowing Fei Lan De to get a good hold on it, ready for Ou Si Ke to make it his third Soul Ring.
As Ou Si Ke is about to kill it, Chao Tian Xiang (Huang Ying), a Soul Saint who Fei Lan De later suspects to work for the Royal Family of Tian Dou, suddenly appears to claim the serpent as hers despite having not done any work to capture it. Audaciously, she demands Fei Lan De hand the beast over as she believes herself to be stronger than Fei Lan De. She tells Fei Lan De to count himself lucky she didn’t attack him.
She soon finds out how overly confident she was about her strength as her move to attack Fei Lan De after not getting her way sees every attack of hers blocked without Fei Lan De moving from his position. It’s after her defeat she recognises Fei Lan De as being from the apparently quite well known Golden Iron Triangle clan and admits that she is (in fact) no match for him.
She tries to save some face by mentioning her husband Meng Shu (Yu Zi Kuan), a Grand Soul Land Master, is right behind her and soon to arrive. But not long after she says this, a roar echos through the air. Her husband was preoccupied with a beast himself—and quite a powerful one judging by the fact that Meng Shu is a Grand Soul Land Master—and won’t be showing up anytime soon.
Forced to leave and return to her husband, Chao Tian Xiang discovers this beast is the king of all beasts, the Titan Giant Ape, that’s not normally found on the outskirts of the forest. A Soul Master as strong as Meng Su advising Chao Tian Xiang (and Royal Family member Yan Yan who was with them to hunt for a poisonous beast for herself) to not engage in combat with it and avoid going even in the same direction as the Titan Giant Ape. It gives testimony to just how strong the Titan Giant Ape is. It’s strength is said to be unrivalled by humans according to Meng Shu.
So it was fortunate that the Titan Giant Ape was not attacking them. It had no interest in them despite it being aware of their presence. It was on the move towards something else—or rather someone else. This someone is Xiao Wu.
After Ou Si Ke successfully absorbs his third Soul Ring, gaining the third Soul Skill, Rocketing Kiwi (it’s a skill which gives Soul Masters the ability to fly for 15 minutes), Fei Lan De makes the decision to leave Star Forest and abort their main objective of locating Gu Du Yan for the time being. The fact that Chao Tian Xiang had to leave to be by the side of her Grand Soul Land Master husband, Meng Shu, it was obvious to Fei Lan De that a powerful beast was lurking in the forest and they must begin their journey out of the forest.
The decision to abort the main objective disappoints Tang San. However, understanding Fei Lan De’s concern that the mission has been endangered by this powerful beast, Tang San agrees to go with Fei Lan De’s Plan B of using his connections at Tian Dou City to try and find Du Gu Yan to avoid putting others’ lives at risk.
The group never makes it out of the forest as they soon come face to face with the Titan Giant Ape. Knowing they were no match for the king of the forest, Fei Lan De attempts to talk to Titan Giant Ape to avoid an attack from it. He expresses that they have no intention to offend by being in its territory and promises to leave and never enter Star Forest again if they’ve done this. The Titan Giant Ape continues approaching. Fei Lan De tries offering compensation of some sort, seemingly out of ideas. Again, the Titan Giant Ape doesn’t stop approaching.
Having no other choice, Fei Lan De moves to attack after telling everyone else to leave. No one leaves of course. They all attempt to land an attack, but are all flung away like rag dolls. Fei Lan De’s attempt to fly overhead to make his attack sees him slammed into a tree truck. Dai Mu Bai’s attempt sees him flung and crashing on the forest floor.
Zhu Zhu Qing, Ma Hong Jun and Tang San all try to attack simultaneously: Zhu Zhu Qing leaping into the air to try an attack, Ma Hong Jun firing fireballs in quick succession and Tang San going low to try sending in a lattice of vines to reach the Titan Giant Ape before flinging his Dragon’s Beard needles all fail. Zhu Zhu Qing is swiped away while Tang San and Ma Hong Jun are blasted away by the Titan Giant Ape’s powerful roar.
Xiao Wu is the only one still standing. Uncharacteristically, Xiao Wu makes no move to attack. She just watches in shock as Tang San’s flying body pass her by.
Everyone out of the way, the Titan Giant Ape head for Xiao Wu who again just looks up not moving as if stunned by the approach. Her lack of action sees Tang San pull her out of what he believes is harm’s way with his Blue Silver Plant. Pulling her by the wrist, he takes her away but it’s no use. The Titan Giant Ape might look heavy and cumbersome, but it easily catches up to appear right front of them again.
With Tang San standing guard, Xiao Wu reveals she and the Titan Giant Ape have a yet-to-be-revealed relationship with each other. She is seen shaking her head to the Titan Giant Ape, pleading it to not attack. The Titan Giant Ape appears to struggle to hold back as it beats his fists at its chest.
It’s not the Titan Giant Ape that initiates attacks again, but Tang San with his Blue Silver Plant. The attempt at an attack only hurts Tang San as the vine which catches and wraps around the Titan Giant Ape’s hands causes Tang San to be swung and flung hard against a tree trunk. Tang San loses consciousness at this point. He only stays conscious long enough to catch a blurry sight of the Titan Giant Ape dragging Xiao Wu away.
Tang San wakes sometime after with everyone surrounding him. The bad news about Xiao Wu having been taken away by the Titan Giant Ape is given by Hu Lie Na when Tang San asks. Everyone else was too afraid to tell him when Tang San asked where she was.
With the situation being too dangerous to attempt rescuing Xiao Wu, Fei Lan De makes the decision to continue out of the forest. His thoughts is to get the rest of them out of the forest so no more of his students get hurt. It upsets Ma Hong Jun as well as worry Ou Si Ke that Fei Lan De’s suggestion to come back for Xiao Wu alone could be too late. She could be dead by then.
Seemingly focusing on words about ensuring everyone is safe, Tang San agrees with Fei Lan De. It surprises Ma Hong Jun who seemed to think Tang San was really going to leave without an attempt to rescue Xiao Wu. When Tang San brings up wanting to retrieve his Dragon’s Beard, Ma Hong Jun is critical of Tang San for caring about such things during a time when Xiao Wu was in trouble.
What Ma Hong Jun doesn’t know is that retrieving the Dragon’s Beard and getting Ou Si Ke to help look for them was Tang San planning to secretly rescue Xiao Wu on his own. He wanted an opportunity to speak to Ou Si Ke privately so he could request a Rocketing Kiwis to allow him fly off to rescue Xiao Wu. Ou Si Ke questions Tang San over the decision, but Ou Si Ke ends up giving Tang San the Rocketing Kiwi.
Dropping fast through the trees, Tang San lands hard on the ground and poisoned by the little bottle of poison meant for Gu Du Yan. Somehow he had taken it from Fei Lan De (who was the last person who was seen with it) and kept in his clothes. The fall from the sky had the bottle drop onto the ground, break at the bottom and releasing the poison into Tang San’s hand that was beside it.
Tang San seemed concerned about it, but not for long as before him is the Human Faced Demon Spider. Having no time to engage in a battle which the Human Faced Demon Spider seems insisting on doing, Tang San shows no mercy towards it. Bringing out his Hao Tian Hammer, Tang San leaps high into the air before coming down on the spider with the hammer, knocking it out with one hit. Seeing as the Human Faced Demon Spider was not letting him through, he made the decision that the Human Faced Demon Spider was going to be his third Soul Ring.
He’s in perfect condition, too. Earlier in the trip, after Ou Si Ke absorbed his third Soul Ring, Fei Lan De had everyone test their Soul Power. Everyone’s Soul Power was only a third the way full, but Tang San, despite having only recently absorbed his second Soul Ring, he was at Full Soul Power and was ready to advance again. (Technically, Tang San still had a little to go before Full Soul Power, but he was able to reach it by using Xuan Tian Strike to reach it.)
Meanwhile, back where Fei Lan De and the others are, Ou Si Ke and Dai Mu Bai (who was also with Tang San and Ou Si Ke looking for the Dragon’s Beard) report back about Tang San’s actions. Everyone, but Hu Lie Na ends up going against leaving the forest in order to join Tang San in the rescue of Xiao Wu.
Ma Hong Jun was the first to refuse to leave because he couldn’t abandon Tang San, especially when Tang San was the one who had stuck by him back in Nightfire Village. Ou Si Ke was the second to join the fight. He doesn’t state a reason but his promise to have Tang San’s back might be a reason plus with his extremely useful Soul Skills would give a better fighting chance to Tang San and Ma Hong Jun.
Fei Lan De makes the decision to join Ou Si Ke and Ma Hong Jun next. He had instructed Dai Mu Bai to accompany Ning Rong Rong, Hu Lie Na and Zhu Zhu Qing out of the forest which Dai Mu Bai initially agrees to doing, but he ends up joining the rescue mission, too. His reason is that it was he who let the Titan Giant Ape out of his sights. With Dai Mu Bai putting up his hand, Zhu Zhu Qing also puts up her hand to join.
It leaves only Hu Lie Na and Ning Rong Rong heading out of the forest on their own. As Hu Lie Na tries to convince Ning Rong Rong she’s made the right decision to leave the forest and not join a fight which she seems reckless, though, Ning Rong Rong looks to be turning back herself.
That’s Douluo Continent Series Recap, Episodes 11 – 15! Make sure to come back for Douluo Continent Series Recap, Episodes 16 – 20!