What Bird Is That…?

Bai Xiaochun’s open eyes flashed with scintillating light, illuminating the darkness of the immortal’s cave like flickering lightning.

Intense cultivation base power surged through his body, not only causing a reaction in the sky overhead, but also causing fluctuations to pulse through his qi passageways.

The energy flowed through him, making a complete cycle before fusing into his spiritual seas, vanishing into the sixth, crystallized sea. It was like a convergence of massive weight and power that propelled his cultivation base higher.

Rumbling sounds filled him that only he could hear, shaking his mind and heart. It was almost like the Tideflows he had experienced in the Fallen Sword Abyss. Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath, reveling in the feeling of intense power that vastly exceeded anything from before.

“Late Foundation Establishment!” Bai Xiaochun looked up and started laughing, excitement written across his face. As of this moment, all of his hard work in the Foundation Establishment stage had come to fruition.

“From now on, I, Bai Xiaochun, can easily crush anyone in early Foundation Establishment! If any early Foundation Establishment cultivator dares to provoke me, a slap from me will leave them screaming in pain!” Trembling in excitement, he rose to his feet, and as he did, cracking sounds rang out as a third heavenly demon appeared behind him!!

Outside in the sky, the clouds swirled rapidly, and thunder crackled. Within the vortex up above, a heavenly demon appeared, and then a second, and a finally, a third!

Three enormous heavenly demons were right out in the open for everyone to see, and it instantly caused the cultivators of the Spirit Stream Sect who were garrisoned in the area to cry out in shock.

“What’s that!?”

“Those… those look like Dharma Idols!!”

“Heavens! What technique is Sect Uncle Bai cultivating!?”

Similar cries could be heard coming from the Blood Stream Sect. Because of the techniques cultivated by Lesser Marsh Peak, the cultivators from the Blood Stream Sect already had speculations about what they were seeing.

“That’s a Lesser Marsh Peak body refinement technique!! That’s the Heavenly Demon Body!”

“Nightcrypt definitely deserves to be the Blood Lord. Now that he’s reached this level in his body refinement, he’ll definitely proceed to the blood fiend level!”

On the two mountain peaks, the Song Clan patriarch’s eyes shone brightly, and Patriarch Ironwood’s eyes glittered with mysterious light. Both of them were shaken by the heavenly demon incarnations they saw in the sky.

After a moment passed, the Song Clan patriarch said, “My boy Nightcrypt’s Heavenly Demon Body is already quite different from Lesser Marsh Peak’s….”

A thoughtful look appeared on Patriarch Ironwood’s face. The two of them exchanged a glance, but didn’t say anything else.

Inside the immortal’s cave, Bai Xiaochun’s excited laughter rang out as he felt his fleshly body power rising. He felt more blessed than ever.

“How could this be happening? The medicinal pills that stepfather and Patriarch Ironwood gave me shouldn’t have pushed my cultivation all the way to this point. Unless….

“Unless my injuries stimulated some latent power inside of me! Hahaha! That must be it!” Bai Xiaochun almost felt like dancing with joy. In his current state, he really felt incredibly powerful.

“Wait, hold on. I can’t be arrogant, and I definitely have to keep working hard. Now that I’m in late Foundation Establishment, I have to crystallize my seventh through ninth spiritual seas, and reach the great circle of Foundation Establishment. Then I can break through to the Gold Core stage!!!” As he thought about the Gold Core stage, he began to pant, and his eyes shone with bright light.

“I heard that if you can reach the Gold Core stage, you’ll get at least five hundred additional years of longevity…. Five hundred years…! If I succeed, that means I’ll be able to live for at least a thousand years!!” His hands clenched into fists, and his eyes shone as if with madness. The idea of being able to live for a thousand years filled him with so much excitement that he almost couldn’t control himself.

“I also have the second volume of the Undying Codex. I’ve finished the steps with the ancient mammoths and the berserk ghosts. Next is the Heavenly Demon Body. Once I make enough heavenly demons, I can proceed to the Asura Body. Once I’m finished with the Asura Body, I can take the second volume of the Undying Codex to the highest level, the Undying Heavenly King Body!!” Slapping his chest confidently, he laughed loudly and prepared to leave his immortal’s cave to perform some tests and see exactly how powerful he had become.

However, after having only taken a few steps toward the door, his face suddenly fell. Considering the level of his cultivation base, he was able to clearly detect that two beams of light were flying in his direction. They were none other than Song Junwan and Hou Xiaomei.

Obviously, they had sensed Bai Xiaochun’s cultivation base breakthrough, and realized that his session of secluded meditation was over.

As soon as he thought about the terrifying things that happened when those two women showed up together, his face went pale, and his heart began to tremble. He suddenly slapped his chest, causing his face to turn ashen. He swayed in place a bit, pretending to be weak as he trudged out of his immortal’s cave. Song Junwan and Hou Xiaomei approached, and they were clearly preparing to say some sarcastic things, but then they saw his weak demeanor, and their faces fell. Forgetting all about their desire to get into a row, they flew over.

“What’s wrong, big bro Xiaochun!?”

“Nightcrypt, what’s wrong? Weren’t things going well just now?” Looking very worried, both women reached out to support Bai Xiaochun by the elbow as they led him back into the immortal’s cave to lay down on the stone bed.

As they comforted him with soft, gentle words, he was reminded of how tender they had been in past times. Now that they weren’t fighting or arguing, he could breathe a sigh of relief.

He coughed a few times and then weakly said, “Perhaps toward the end my qi flow was interrupted. I just need some rest, and then I’ll be fine.”

As the two women waited on him, he lay back and closed his eyes to rest.

Hou Xiaomei and Song Junwan knew that Bai Xiaochun needed some peace and quiet, so they left silently. After they were gone, Bai Xiaochun opened his eyes and breathed a sigh of relief. Not much remained of the elation he had felt because of his cultivation base breakthrough, and now, his expression was twinged with anxiety.

“What do I do now…?” he thought, scowling at the seemingly unbearable situation…. After a bit of consideration, he decided that the best thing to do was to continue to pretend to feel unwell.

Time passed. Before long, half a month had gone by. He couldn’t continue to pretend to be weak that entire time, so he gradually started to pretend to look better. As time passed, Song Junwan caught on to the fact that he was pretending to feel unwell. As for Hou Xiaomei, she was a simple girl, but she wasn’t stupid. Even she started to suspect.

When Bai Xiaochun realized that, he was so scared he started shaking. This kind of life was a torture, and by now, he was considering trying to go join the war effort. However, the thought of the deadly dangers of the battlefield caused him to hesitate.

“Ah, whatever. I can hang on for a bit longer. Maybe I can think of some other way to deal with this….” Tugging on his hair in frustration, he continued to ponder the situation. Finally, his expression suddenly changed, and he looked very depressed.

Maintaining that look, he shuffled out of his immortal’s cave, whereupon Hou Xiaomei and Song Junwan arrived….

Gaze soft and voice gentle, Hou Xiaomei said, “Big bro Xiaochun, it’s not good to stay cooped up in your immortal’s cave. Let’s go for a walk together, okay?”

“Um….” he replied hesitatingly.

Smiling enigmatically, Song Junwan reached out to support Bai Xiaochun’s left arm. “Nightcrypt, to cultivators like us, that type of injury is really nothing. Come on, let’s go out into the Luochen Mountains for a bit. If you get your qi and blood moving, it will definitely speed your recovery.”

In turn, Hou Xiaomei glared and reached out to support his right arm.

Bai Xiaochun gaped in shock. He didn’t even get a chance to respond to either of them before they were leading him out of the immortal’s cave.

After only a few steps, his feet actually left the ground. He felt like a death row inmate being dragged to his own execution as the two women stared daggers at each other across him. Beads of sweat popped out on his forehead, and he almost felt like crying.

It was currently dawn, and a faint fog covered most of the Luochen Mountains. As the morning light grew stronger, the fog began to dissipate; it was a very beautiful scene. After being carried out of his immortal’s cave, quite a few cultivators from the two sects saw him, and looks of compassion appeared in their eyes as they hurried past the group of three.

Bai Xiaochun opened his mouth to speak, but then closed it just as quickly. It didn’t seem like a good time to talk. If he did, it would definitely lead to more headaches. Therefore, he gritted his teeth and decided that going for a bit of a walk wouldn’t be so bad.

Even as such thoughts passed through his head, a bird flew by overhead. It was bright red, and quite beautiful, and as it flew along, it let out a melodious cry.

Song Junwan saw the bird, and looked surprised. “Look, Nightcrypt! A bloodspirit heron! I never thought I would see one of the Blood Stream Sect’s bloodspirit herons here. I used to love to watching them flying around back on Middle Peak.”

Even as Bai Xiaochun looked up at the bird, Hou Xiaomei bristled with a killing aura and loudly said, “Bloodspirit heron? What are you talking about? That’s obviously an irispetal ibis from the Spirit Stream Sect!”

Song Junwan looked over angrily at Hou Xiaomei, who, unwilling to be outdone, stuck her chest out and glared back defiantly.

Bai Xiaochun was stuck between them, sweating profusely. Things were reaching a point where he almost couldn’t deal with the headache. That was when Song Junwan laughed charmingly, and looked at Bai Xiaochun with sparkling, mesmerizing eyes.

“Nightcrypt, what do you think? Is that bird a bloodspirit heron or an irispetal ibis?”

Not willing to be outdone, Hou Xiaomei grabbed Bai Xiaochun’s arm. Looking completely heartbroken, she softly asked, “Big bro Xiaochun, tell that old auntie that it’s an irispetal ibis.”

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Patriarchs, Send Me To The War!

Bai Xiaochun felt like his head was about to explode. Eyes widening, he looked up at the bird, feeling like he was about to go insane…. The truth was that this bird actually had two names. In the Blood Stream Sect, it was called a bloodspirit heron, but in the Spirit Stream Sect, it was known as an irispetal ibis.

However, he wasn’t sure which name to call it. That was especially true considering that killing intent was surging on both sides of him. He could almost feel the tears welling up in his eyes. How he hated that bird….

“Damn you, bird!” he thought. “Why? Why why why did you have to show up here!?!?” Trembling, he looked at Song Junwan on his left, and Hou Xiaomei on his right. Both of them were staring at him with looks of anticipation on their faces. He could well imagine that whoever he sided with, the other would be deeply and profoundly grieved.

Bai Xiaochun gritted his teeth and prepared to make up a new name. However, that was when Song Junwan suddenly said, “Nightcrypt, don’t you dare try to pull a fast one by making up a new name!”

“Big bro Xiaochun,” Hou Xiaomei chimed in, “you can’t say you don’t recognize it. I know you’ve seen those birds in the Spirit Stream Sect before!”

It was a rare occasion: Hou Xiaomei and Song Junwan were siding with each other as they stared at Bai Xiaochun, deep emotions flickering in their eyes….

“I… I….” Sweat dripped down Bai Xiaochun’s face. By this point, he was in a state of complete despair. Back when they’d brought him medicine, he’d managed to pull a fast one, but as of this moment, that didn’t seem possible.

“What do I do…?” he thought, his eyes glistening with tears. Based on how Song Junwan and Hou Xiaomei were pushing him, it was obvious that they didn’t care at all what the bird was called, they just wanted him to choose between the two of them.

Eyes bloodshot, he pointed up at the bird and howled, “Fine! I’ll tell you. That bird is a… it’s a….”

Suddenly, he bit down on his tongue, and then unleashed his cultivation base power, allowing it to run wild within him. As it burst into his qi passageways, a sweet taste filled his mouth, and then he spat out a mouthful of blood. Then his vision started going dark, and he began to lapse into unconsciousness.

In the last moment before he passed out, he sighed deeply.

Song Junwan and Hou Xiaomei were completely shocked. Not only did they see Bai Xiaochun coughing up blood, considering that they were holding him up by the arms, they could sense that his cultivation base was in chaos. Hou Xiaomei looked like she was about to cry as she carried Bai Xiaochun back into the immortal’s cave. As for Song Junwan, she pulled out a huge collection of spirit medicines, which she began to push into his mouth.

Some distance away on the two mountain peaks, the Song Clan patriarch and Patriarch Ironwood watched the scene play out, their eyes flickering with sympathy.

The Song Clan patriarch sighed and said, “Did the little brat really think getting involved with women could be so simple? I learned the truth of it years ago. With the flick of a sleeve, I detached myself from all impurities.”

In rare fashion, Patriarch Ironwood seemed to completely agree with him. Nodding, he said, “Love is tribulation. Years ago, I severed such tribulation. Actually, now that I think about it, I can’t even remember the faces of those old flames from years ago.”

The two old men exchanged a look. For the first time, they were in unison on something. Shaking their heads, they began to think back to their own pasts.

A few days later, Bai Xiaochun opened his eyes and hurried over to the copper mirror hanging on the wall in his immortal’s cave. When he looked into the mirror, he saw a gaunt, pale figure. As far as he was concerned, his world was now a world of darkness….

After a long moment, he sighed and prepared to go outside and get some fresh air. He needed to calm down and think of an idea of how to deal with the situation.

“It won’t work for things to keep going on in this way. Their games are going to drive me to an early grave….” Sighing, he pushed open the door of the immortal’s cave, and was just about to step outside, when he suddenly went completely stiff.

“You two….” Sweat broke out on his forehead as he realized that standing right outside the door of the immortal’s cave were Song Junwan and Hou Xiaomei. It was impossible to say when they had arrived, but there they stood, right next to each other, smiling at him.

“Nightcrypt, let’s go for a walk!” Song Junwan said, her eyes glittering charmingly.

“Big bro Xiaochun, I won’t make you name the birds this time.” Hou Xiaomei said, blushing a bit and seeming more pure and charming than ever.

And yet, the eyes of both women seemed to have inadvertently come to rest on his feet.

Bai Xiaochun felt all the hair on his body stand up on end. By now, he realized the truth. These two demonesses had become addicted to toying with him. Their games had reached the point where even which foot stepped out of his immortal’s cave first was a point of contention….

This was ridiculous. These two demonesses weren’t even human…. Trembling visibly, he didn’t dare to step outside.

“Um, so… fancy meeting you two here, huh? I’m… I’m feeling a bit tired, I think I’ll stay inside today….” Forcing a smile onto his face, he began to back up. However, in that instant, a killing aura sprang up from Song Junwan, and as for Hou Xiaomei, her eyes began to fill with tears as she looked piteously at him.

One seemed murderously angry, the other, wronged and maligned….

Bai Xiaochun was on the verge of going mad. He was in such pain that he suddenly unleashed all of the spiritual power that he had carefully built up inside of himself. The chaotic power swept through him, causing blood to spray out of his mouth. Yet again, his vision went dark, and he collapsed.

Before losing consciousness, he didn’t sigh, but tears filled his eyes.

Two days later in the middle of the night, Bai Xiaochun lay on the stone bed, and his eyes slowly opened. Then, he lay there staring up at the ceiling, tears flowing down his temples.

“Back when it was Hou Xiaomei by herself, it was so great. She believed anything I said. But now….

“Back when it was Song Junwan by herself, everything went my way. All I had to do was lose my temper a bit, and she would do anything I asked. But now….

“With both of them together, it’s simply terrifying….” As he thought back to how wonderful it had been to simply deal with them alone, more tears flowed.

“No. If things keep going on this way, I’m gonna end up dead!!

“They’re going to toy with me all the way to the grave, torment me to death! I’m already on the verge of going crazy. First was the medicine, then that bird. Next, they’re trying to decide which foot I walk with. Before you know it, they’re going to be watching to see which eye opens first, or which hand twitches….

“I can’t stay around here any longer. These two demonesses are too terrifying. I’ve already coughed up blood twice. If this keep up, I could lose my poor little life.” Trembling, face a mask of terror, he gritted his teeth!

“I need to join the war effort!!

“On the battlefield, there’s a chance I might get killed, but here, I’ll definitely go crazy sooner or later….” He suddenly felt more than ever like he truly wanted to join the war. In fact, his heart had already left the Luochen Mountains; he had no desire whatsoever to stay.

He rose to his feet, his expression that of unswerving determination. He seemed different than he had moments ago; his veins of steel were pulsing, and his eyes shone with intense light. He quickly packed his bags, then quietly opened the door of the immortal’s cave. Sending his divine sense out first, he looked around the area.

It was currently the middle of the night, and the moon was obscured by the clouds. Everything was pitch black, and silent except for the sounds of various night creatures and birds.

He looked around vigilantly to make sure that Song Junwan and Hou Xiaomei weren’t lying in wait. Then, he burst into motion, drawing upon all the speed he could muster, even using his wings. He became a beam of light that shot at top speed toward the two mountain peaks occupied by the Song Clan patriarch and Patriarch Ironwood.

Fearful of attracting the attention of Song Junwan and Hou Xiaomei, he moved as fast as he could without actually making any noise in the process. Soon, he reached the two mountains, where he stopped in place and took a deep breath. His eye shone with determination, and his expression was that of ultimate decisiveness. He suddenly seemed like a combination of both Bai Xiaochun and Nightcrypt, heroic, extraordinary, and at the same time, formidable and ruthless!

He seemed taller than before as he strode forward to the base of the twin peaks. Eyes shining with cold ferocity, he clasped hands and bowed.

“I am legacy echelon disciple Bai Xiaochun of the Spirit Stream Sect, and blood master Nightcrypt of the Blood Stream Sect. Greetings, Patriarchs!”

The Song Clan patriarch and Patriarch Ironwood slowly opened their eyes, and looked down in surprise at Bai Xiaochun.

A murderous aura sprang up around Bai Xiaochun as he said, “Stepfather, Patriarch, as the blood master of Middle Peak, and as a legacy echelon cultivator of the Spirit Stream Sect, I must perform meritorious services! I must go to the battlefield to face the enemy!”

The Song Clan patriarch and Patriarch Ironwood had strange expressions on their faces. After a moment, the Song Clan patriarch said, “I thought you hadn’t recovered yet?”

“Stepfather, a few injures are like nothing when compared to the greater good of both sects!” He smiled broadly, as if he didn’t care at all about his injuries. At the same time, the determination in his eyes grew more intense. “What cultivator can go through life without being injured? The important thing is the value of that injury. As for me, I was injured trying to project our sects!”

He looked very heroic as he stood there uttering such words. Anyone who might have been able to see him would have been shocked. He seemed boundlessly righteous, a manly man as strong as iron and completely unafraid of dying!

“The battlefield is a dangerous place, and death is a common thing there. Aren’t you afraid of that?” Patriarch Ironwood asked softly.

Bai Xiaochun laughed heartily. Smacking his chest casually, he said, “I’m a true man! Blood will be spilled on the battlefield, that’s true. But how could I simply stand by and watch my fellow sect members fighting in battle while I relax in comfort? That… is not Bai Xiaochun’s way of doing things, and it is definitely not Nightcrypt’s style!

“Patriarchs, there’s no need for further discussion. I… I definitely want to join the war effort!!” His sonorous words were spoken with decisiveness that could sever nails and chop iron.

“Very well,” the Song Clan patriarch said. “That’s exactly how a stepson of mine should act.” He and Patriarch Ironwood exchanged a glance, then nodded. “Tomorrow morning, you can take this teleportation medallion to the teleportation portal. It will take you to our garrison in the Profound Stream Sect region!” Laughing heartily, the Song Clan patriarch waved his hand, sending a command medallion flying toward Bai Xiaochun.

Bai Xiaochun grabbed the medallion and flashed a carefree smile.

“What’s the point in waiting until tomorrow? My heart burns with the desire to kill the enemy! I can’t sleep like that! I’ll head to the teleportation portal immediately, and wade directly into battle. The time has come to put my life on the line for the sects!” Flicking his sleeve, he transformed into a beam of light that shot directly toward the teleportation portal. Moments later, the light of teleportation shot up into the sky, illuminating the darkness of night. A single figure could be seen in the light, his hair whipping around him, radiating determination, righteousness, and at the same time, bloody murder….

The Song Clan patriarch and Patriarch Ironwood laughed and looked at each other. Seeing the smiles on each other’s faces, they realized at some point, they had come to admire each other a bit.

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