Master Thousand-Faces!

Rumbling echoed out as two figures appeared just outside of the crater. One of them was the Song Clan patriarch, and the other was Li Qinghou’s Master, Patriarch Ironwood.

A moment later, they were next to Bai Xiaochun. The two patriarchs’ eyes met, and instantly, both could see that the other was vigilant and on guard!

Now that the Blood Stream Sect’s cultivation bases were unsealed, their energy surged. The blood clouds billowed out, and at the same time, the refined corpses and gargoyles trembled and then began to howl.

Bruiser hadn’t been fast enough to intervene and help Bai Xiaochun, and now he was glaring at Patriarch Droughtflame with hatred that erupted from his very bones!

The three blood masters were shaking. The blood rippers, the prime elders, the Inner and Outer Sect disciples, and also the patriarchs, were all so shocked that they could barely move!

At the same time, the cultivators of the Spirit Stream Sect were panting, and their eyes were glittering angrily as they stared at the Blood Stream Sect. Moments ago, the tension had been fading, but now, the proverbial swords were once again being drawn.

Everyone understood that based on the friction which existed, the fighting which had just seemed to be an impossibility could now break out at any moment!

Up in midair, Patriarch Droughtflame frowned slightly as he looked down at Bai Xiaochun. Inside, he was sighing regretfully that he had only wounded him, and not killed him. Despite such a surprising outcome, there wasn’t any need for him to keep fighting.

“He’s only unconscious,” he thought, “but that should suffice….” Eyes glittering, his murderous aura spiked as he looked over at the Spirit Stream Sect and said, “The seals have been lifted. Spirit Stream Sect, your despicable actions this day have ensured that you will be cleansed with blood! Children of the Blood Ancestor, join me in attacking the Luochen Mountains and eradicating the Spirit Stream Sect!!” With that, he threw his head back and laughed long and hard, his killing intent pulsing around him. Quite a few disciples of the Blood Stream Sect flew up into the air, eyes shining with murderous gleams as they prepared to start fighting.

The Spirit Stream Sect cultivators clenched their fists, and the sharp looks in their eyes grew more intense.

However, just when Patriarch Droughtflame was about to fly into motion, a cold snort echoed through the air.

“Since when did you become the one to give orders to the Blood Stream Sect?” The words were accompanied by intense pressure, and a sealing force that caused all of the Blood Stream Sect disciples who had been about to attack to suddenly shiver and stop in place. Patriarch Droughtflame’s expression flickered as he turned to look at the person who had just spoken, and was now striding toward him.

It was none other than the Blood Stream Sect’s arch-patriarch, the most powerful cultivator in the Blood Stream Sect!

Earlier, his cultivation base had been reduced by half, but now those effects were gone, and his energy was surging. It was like the might of the heavens as he walked forward, everything around him twisting and distorting.

“What’s the meaning of this, Master Godwind!?” Patriarch Droughtflame grated angrily, his expression turning grim.

“What’s the meaning?” replied the arch-patriarch. “I just ordered you to stay your hand. Why did you attack anyway? I refuse to believe that Bai Xiaochun is impersonating Nightcrypt. He is most definitely a blood master of the Blood Stream Sect, and even more importantly, the Blood Lord!” A cold light flickered in the eyes of the arch-patriarch, and as he spoke, his words rumbled like thunder.

The Spirit Stream Sect cultivators’ hearts were starting to pound, and as for the founding patriarch, a strange light could be seen in his eyes. The entire Spirit Stream Sect went completely silent as they watched events unfold.

Facing the intense pressure of the arch-patriarch, Patriarch Droughtflame began to edge backward. Then he turned to the other patriarchs and cried, “Of course I know he’s a blood master. But do you people really believe that a nobody like him should be able to suppress the cultivation bases of everyone in the sect?! He has to die! His death will not harm the Blood Stream Sect in any way! In fact, it would be a blessing! I just did what you people were hesitating to do yourselves! That’s all!”

Many people in the Blood Stream Sect began to wonder what they should think. As for the patriarchs, their expressions were grim, but it was impossible to tell what they were thinking.

As the arch-patriarch listened to Patriarch Droughtflame speak, a cold, grim smile spread out on his face. Then he said, “I can also suppress the cultivation bases of everyone in the sect. Don’t tell me you think I should be killed too? Also, I’m very curious to know why your cultivation base wasn’t suppressed just now!”

In response to his words, numerous Blood Stream Sect cultivators’ mouths dropped. Cries of shock could be heard as people thought back to the events which had just played out. Although they hadn’t noticed at the time, now that they thought about it, what had occurred was very clear.

The reactions were the same on the Spirit Stream Sect side, with the exception of the founding patriarch, whose eyes glittered faintly. He had noticed the clues earlier.

Patriarch Droughtflame’s expression flickered, and beads of sweat could be seen on his forehead. There was no way for him to answer the arch-patriarch’s question. His original plan had simply been to take the risk and try to kill Bai Xiaochun. If Bai Xiaochun died, there was no way the Blood Stream Sect and the Spirit Stream Sect would join forces. They would definitely start fighting.

“Dammit!” he thought. “This Bai Xiaochun is too lucky. I can’t believe he survived my attack!” Patriarch Droughtflame gritted his teeth as his body suddenly began to turn blurry, as he prepared to flee.

“Think you can leave just like that?” the arch-patriarch said, eyes flickering with killing intent. Without any hesitation, he waved his right finger at Patriarch Droughtflame.

At the same time, the other patriarchs of the Blood Stream Sect shot forward to surround Droughtflame, preventing him from fleeing. Clearly, they had already come to the conclusion that he might try to do such a thing.

Rumbling sounds echoed out as the arch-patriarch’s finger caused ripples of extermination to spread out. Patriarch Droughtflame, seeing that he couldn’t escape, threw his head back and bellowed. A quick incantation gesture caused flames to shoot out and battle against the ripples of extermination.

A deafening boom filled the air, and blood oozed out of the corners of Patriarch Droughtflame’s mouth. However, he used the force of the blast to fall backward. Even still, he was no match for an attack by the combined efforts of all of the Blood Stream Sect’s patriarchs.

Six patriarchs attacked at the same time, unleashing magical techniques, magical items, and divine abilities.

A huge blood sword materialized and slashed down, controlled by none other than Patriarch Limitless.

Heaven-shaking, earth-shattering rumbling sounds filled the air as the other patriarchs attacked one after another, unleashing power that seemed capable of destroying everything. A vicious, roaring dragon appeared, next to which was a patriarch had once been a lowly disciple of Lesser Marsh Peak. As he advanced, the fist strike he unleashed shattered the sky and turned into a massive tempest.

The deadliest attack came from the arch-patriarch. The wave of his hand summoned a huge banner, which unleashed a black wind. That wind became a black phoenix, the roar of which was enough to shake anyone down to the soul. The phoenix moved so quickly as it bore down on Patriarch Droughtflame that there was no way he could avoid it.

In that moment of crisis, Patriarch Droughtflame suddenly started laughing. Face twisting, he reached both hands out and then slapped them down onto his body. Instantly, his hair turned completely white!

Simultaneously, innumerable faces appeared all over his skin. There were the faces of men and women, young people and old people, and all of them seemed to be distorting as they screamed.

“Dao of a Thousand Faces; Merciless Infiltration!” Patriarch Droughtflame laughed loudly as the divine abilities and magical techniques of the other patriarchs slammed into him, causing him to explode!

The resulting boom sent bright colors flashing through the sky, and gave rise to a huge wind. At the same time, the exploding body of Patriarch Droughtflame transformed into countless faces which rushed out in all directions.

Patriarch Limitless’ eyes went wide, and he cried, “Master Thousand-Faces from the Profound Stream Sect!!”

The arch-patriarch and the other patriarchs were clearly shocked as they too realized who it was that could unleash a cloning magic like this!

They weren’t the only ones. The Spirit Stream Sect’s founding patriarch, as well as the other patriarchs, were obviously astonished. This was a secret magic used by one of the most mysterious patriarchs of the Profound Stream Sect!

The blast of countless faces was so powerful that not even the combined efforts of all of the patriarchs could contain them all. Although ninety percent were caught up by the web of destruction, a few escaped.

One of the faces was that of a young man. Borrowing the force of the initial blast, he shot out to a position 30,000-meters away. There, the face wriggled, transforming into a white-haired young man. Although his face was ashen from exertion, he didn’t hesitate for a moment to flee at top speed.

“Master Thousand-Faces!!” Killing intent raged in Patriarch Limitless’s eyes as he shot forward in a blur to pursue the white-haired young man. In the blink of an eye, both of them had disappeared over the horizon.

Everyone in the Blood Stream Sect was shaken, and many people gasped. Nobody could possibly have anticipated that events such as these would play out; one of their own patriarchs, Daoist Sage Droughtflame, had actually been replaced by Master Thousand-Faces from the Profound Stream Sect!

Obviously, the real Droughtflame had been secretly assassinated at some point in the past, and his flesh used by Master Thousand-Faces to replace him via a secret magic!

Everyone thought back to how Master Thousand-Faces had just attacked Bai Xiaochun, and realized that it was all to prevent the two sects from joining together.

If Bai Xiaochun had died, it would have led to mass destruction!

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Good… morning…?

Conversations erupted on the Blood Stream Sect side. One shocking event after another had played out on this day, leaving the entire sect completely shaken.

The Blood Devil had appeared, and one of the patriarchs turned out to be a spy. Such things could not simply be swept under the rug, and the whole sect was left feeling blank, and even humiliated.

The arch-patriarch had a bitter look on his face. Gritting his teeth, he looked over at the Spirit Stream Sect’s founding patriarch, and then at the unconscious Bai Xiaochun. Within moments, the two sects would either be fighting, or joining forces. The arch-patriarch was silent for a moment, but then his ears suddenly twitched, almost as if some other being were speaking directly to him. His expression flickered, and then became one of complete determination.

“The Profound Stream Sect tried to sow disharmony between our sects, with the goal of getting us to slaughter each other. Not only did they murder Fellow Daoist Droughtflame, they tried to kill one of our blood masters. We cannot tolerate such things! When the Blood Stream Sect goes to war, we don’t return home until blood has been spilled. Therefore, the best thing to do is go wipe out the Profound Stream Sect!!” As his words reached the hearts and minds of the Blood Stream Sect disciples, their confusion was quickly replaced with fury.

“I vow to wipe out the Profound Stream Sect!”

“Let’s get revenge for Patriarch Droughtflame!!” As their new goals came to be fixed in their hearts, their eyes shone, and they even swore oaths. The words of the arch-patriarch instantly caused their blood to boil, and their killing intent to seethe.

The blood clouds began to churn, and the blood seas grew even mightier as the Blood Stream Sect army began to fly off into the distance. The blood giants howled, and the blood-colored battleships sprang into motion. The ground rumbled as countless Outer Sect disciples flew into the air like locusts to become enormous spheres.

The Blood Stream Sect patriarchs spun and flew up into the blood clouds.

After a moment of silence, the Spirit Stream Sect’s founding patriarch looked around at the other members of the sect, and could see the determination in their eyes. With a glance at a certain location in the Luochen Mountains that no one had been paying attention to, he listened to a voice speaking in his head for a moment, after which he gritted his teeth.

“The Profound Stream Sect interfered with the affairs of our two clans, and even tried to kill our junior patriarch! For that, they must die!” With that, he waved his right hand. “Spirit Stream Sect, the time has come to wipe out the Profound Stream Sect!!”

Rumbling sounds filled heaven and earth. Killing intent surged, and the light of spell formations climbed into the sky. The giants began to speed off into the distance, and the white sun overhead caused the sky to shake!

Many people couldn’t help but take a moment to look over at Bai Xiaochun, the founding patriarch included. After gazing for a moment at him lying unconscious in the crater, they shot off to join the Blood Stream Sect on the continent that was the location of the Profound Stream Sect!

A war was about to be fought the likes of which had not been seen in the eastern Lower Reaches of the cultivation world for 10,000 years!

Apparently, a new sect was on the rise, like the dawn sun, shining with countless beams of glorious light, interspersed with blood and death!

The main forces left, but a small contingent from each sect remained in the Luochen Mountains, including Patriarch Ironwood and the Song Clan patriarch.

Of course, their reason for staying behind was Bai Xiaochun!

Bai Xiaochun was of vast importance to both sects, and neither would feel comfortable leaving him in the care of the other sect. As Master Thousand-Faces had made clear, Bai Xiaochun was also a major weakness for the two sects. As long as he lived, everything could proceed smoothly. But if he died, the connection between the two sects would be lost, and too many bad things could happen.

Naturally, Hou Xiaomei refused to leave Bai Xiaochun’s side. She had long since noticed Song Junwan, and her intuition immediately told her that something was going on between her and Bai Xiaochun.

Song Junwan also refused to leave. The sight of the unconscious Bai Xiaochun filled her with pain, as well as other indescribable emotions.

And thus, time passed. The Luochen Mountains became quiet once again. The Blood Stream Sect and the Spirit Stream Sect set up two camps right next to each other in the Luochen Mountains.

Directly in the middle of the two camps was an immortal’s cave, which was kept under tight guard. Even the two patriarchs watched over the area to make sure that no accidents occurred.

Inside the immortal’s cave, Bai Xiaochun lay unconscious. Every day, Hou Xiaomei and Song Junwan would appear to accompany him. As time went by, Hou Xiaomei became increasingly convinced that something was going on between Bai Xiaochun and Song Junwan. As for Song Junwan, she could obviously tell that Hou Xiaomei had a relationship of some kind with Bai Xiaochun.

Soon, the cultivators from both sects came to sense the killing spirit that existed between the two women. Eventually, they even came to hear the two of them arguing loudly over the unconscious Bai Xiaochun. When that happened, sympathy rose up in the hearts of all of the cultivators.

More time passed. A month later, Bai Xiaochun’s breathing had grown steady. Thanks to the inner workings of the Undying Live Forever Technique, he was slowly recovering. Coupled with the constant treatment of spirit medicines provided by the Blood Stream Sect and the Spirit Stream Sect, he was rapidly getting better.

One afternoon, his cultivation base suddenly spun, and his eyes fluttered open. When he realized that he was alive, excitement surged in his heart.

He thought back to everything that had occurred before he passed out, and his heart continued to pound with fear. If he hadn’t pulled out his turtle-wok at the last moment to defend himself, he would surely have been destroyed in body and soul.

“That Droughtflame is too vicious! Dammit, once I get strong enough, I’ll definitely have to get revenge!!” Gnashing his teeth inwardly, he was just about to sit up when he suddenly realized that something seemed wrong. Turning his head slowly to the side, he saw Hou Xiaomei standing close by, her hands on her hips, looking very much like a hot chili pepper as she glared at Song Junwan, who stood opposite her, casual and yet confident.

Perhaps because they were too focused on each other, they didn’t notice that Bai Xiaochun had opened his eyes.

At that point, Bai Xiaochun’s pupils constricted. Something about the scene seemed very odd, so he quickly closed his eyes and then opened them again a moment later. When he confirmed that he wasn’t hallucinating, his heart suddenly thumped, and he began to feel very nervous. That was when Hou Xiaomei began to speak.

“What are you doing here again, old aunt Song?” she said, glaring. “You’re getting pretty old, shouldn’t you be in a retirement home or something? Why don’t you hobble off and take a nap!? I can take care of big bro Xiaochun by myself!”

Song Junwan’s phoenix-like eyes widened into a glare. Looking more regal than ever, she decided to put Hou Xiaomei in her place. “Look girl, I know that you’re too young to understand the relationship between me and your uncle Xiaochun. Considering that you’re Nightcrypt’s niece, I probably ought to give you a good slap upside the face.”

Hou Xiaomei snorted. “You’re the niece! Your whole family are all nieces! Me and big bro Xiaochun are the perfect match! We’re childhood friends, and we liked each other from the moment we joined the sect. In fact, it was only with big bro Xiaochun’s help that I was able to get into the Outer Sect.”

This was not the first time the two of them had argued with each other. Such heated interchanges occurred on almost a daily basis. Even despite Song Junwan’s control over her own temper, she had almost killed Hou Xiaomei on multiple occasions.

However, considering the plans to join the two sects together, and Bai Xiaochun’s role in that, she managed to hold back.

Bai Xiaochun licked his lips, and then, considering how murderous the two women looked, quickly closed his eyes and pretended to be unconscious. However, he soon realized that something seemed even more wrong than before. Everything was too quiet.

The quiet got him even more nervous, and when he listened carefully, it caused his scalp to tingle; in addition to his own breathing, he could clearly hear two other people breathing, and very close to him at that!

Beads of sweat popped out on his forehead. Pretending as if he were just waking up, he slowly opened his eyes and looked around in confusion. The first thing he saw were two faces as beautiful as flowers.

One seemed mature, the other young and inexperienced. One was spectacularly elegant, the other was sweet and pure.

“Good morning….” he said nervously, blinking a few times.

Song Junwan suddenly smiled, and her gaze softened. Reaching out, she placed her hand onto his forehead to feel his temperature. Eyes as deep as pools of water, she softly said, “Don’t be scared. You were just pretending to be unconscious, that’s all. Now tell your big sis how many days you were faking.”

Bai Xiaochun swallowed hard and then said, “I….”

However, before he could finish speaking, Hou Xiaomei swatted Song Junwan’s hand aside and stepped forward to stand next to Bai Xiaochun. Glaring angrily at Song Junwan, she said, “What do you think you’re doing?!?! Big bro Xiaochun is very pure and innocent! How could he possibly have been pretending to be unconscious?!” Almost as soon as the words left her mouth, she looked suspiciously over at Bai Xiaochun, lowered her voice, and said, “Big bro Xiaochun, you’ve been corrupted! Pretending to be unconscious is wrong!”

More sweat popped out on his forehead. Being around these two women made it feel like needles were pricking into his back. “I….”

After rolling her eyes, Song Junwan coolly said, “Nightcrypt, I’d like to speak with you alone. You owe me an explanation.”

“Big bro Xiaochun, I also want to speak with you alone!” Hou Xiaomei said, not willing to be outdone by Song Junwan in any way.

Bai Xiaochun was struck speechless. The two women glared at each other angrily, then turned to him to see what decision he would make. Taking a deep breath, he put a very somber expression on his face.

“Very well!” he said, deepening his voice. Hou Xiaomei had never seen Bai Xiaochun speak in such a way, or seen such an expression on his face. She was shocked, and suddenly realized that this version of her big bro Xiaochun was even more attractive than the old version.

As for Song Junwan, her expression brightened; this was the Nightcrypt she remembered.

“Tell me what happened between the two sects after I fell unconscious. And where are we now? In the Luochen Mountains, or somewhere else?” Bai Xiaochun’s new tactic seemed to work. Continuing to try to look as serious as possible, he listened to the events which had played out after he fell unconscious.

The Blood Stream Sect would never have agreed to let him go back to Fragrant Cloud Peak, and the Spirit Stream Sect would never have agreed to let him return to Middle Peak.

Therefore, the two sects had arranged for a contingent of cultivators to stand guard over him in the Luochen Mountains. The Song Clan patriarch and Patriarch Ironwood had even stayed behind to stand as Dharma protectors. Bai Xiaochun was moved.

Then Song Junwan went on to explain what was happening on the front lines of the war. The Blood Stream Sect and the Spirit Stream Sect were currently attacking the Profound Stream Sect. The Profound Stream Sect was no match for such a huge army, and had suffered setback after setback. They had already lost about half of their territory.

Bai Xiaochun was shaken by how seriously the two sects took him. Even if he had wanted to go to the fighting, the patriarchs wouldn’t have agreed.

“I guess it’s my fault for being so outstanding…. Ai.” Fretting luxuriously, he decided that the best thing to do at the moment was refrain from requesting to be sent to the battlefield. That way, he could avoid giving them any pressure, and could also avoid a situation where they suddenly went crazy and… agreed to let him fight.

“Ah, whatever. I should probably give the patriarchs a good excuse to refuse to let me go to the battlefield. My… my stomach suddenly hurts…. I guess my wounds haven’t healed all the way yet. Well… I’ll just continue to recuperate for a bit longer.” Having reached this point in his train of thought, Bai Xiaochun decided that he was a very considerate person. Clutching his stomach, he continued to pretend to feel ill.

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