Getting To Work

The River-Defying Sect had taken control over the Middle Reaches!

All of the cultivator clans and smaller sects were completely shaken, as were the representatives of the three other major sects.

The entire structure of the Middle Reaches would change, and it also meant that one of the four major overlords had been replaced. That was even more meaningful considering that the River-Defying Sect had come from the Lower Reaches. To the sects subservient to the other three major sects, new doors had suddenly been opened.

At the same time, the River-Defying Sect was now busier than it had ever been before. Regardless of the level of their cultivation bases, the disciples of all four divisions were mobilized to aid in the construction of a new sect headquarters.

That new River-Defying Sect headquarters was being built on the former location of the Sky River Court itself!

The patriarchs of the four divisions had long since discussed and come to an agreement regarding how it would be laid out and what it would look like. Not only did their plan fulfil the requirements of each of the four divisions, it put the sect in the perfect position to both defend and attack. After all, this new headquarters would need to stand for thousands upon thousands of years, and would be a source of glory and honor for the entire sect!

The nucleus of the headquarters was to be an enormous mountain, half of which rested beneath the surface of the Heavenspan River, and the other half of which rose high into the heavens!

Although one might think that such a mountain would impede the flow of the Heavenspan River water, various magical means would be used to ensure that the river continued to flow just as before.

The mountain would stretch high into the clouds, so tall that it was impossible to see the summit.

As for the name of the mountain, it would be called Mount River Defiance! That mountain would be the nucleus of the sect, where all the important decisions would be made. The patriarchs would live there, and the reserve powers would be held there as well.

Mount River Defiance would form the center of the sect, with four majestic mountain ranges stretching out from it in four directions. Transported into the area by powerful magics, each one would stretch out for 500 kilometers, and would feature eight peaks that, despite being impressively tall, did not rival Mount River Defiance.

Those four mountain ranges would be assigned to the four divisions of the River-Defying Sect, the Spirit, Blood, Profound, and Pill Stream Divisions!

The main gate of the River-Defying Sect would face the Heavenspan River, and would be guarded by two enormous figures. On the left there would be a towering giant that thrummed with powerful blood qi, and yet appeared to be sleeping, which would be none other than the Blood Ancestor! On the right side would be the Dire Skybanyan, standing guard over the River-Defying Sect just like the giant.

The towering tree and the enormous giant would cause all other smaller sects in the Middle Reaches to cower in fear and terror.

The planned layout of the River-Defying Sect seemed simple, but the truth was that much thought had been put into it. For example, a grand spell formation would be erected to defend the sect, a spell formation that was ten times larger than the one the Spirit Stream Sect had created years ago in the Luochen Mountains.

This was the type of enormous sect that deserved to occupy the Middle Reaches, a sect that was clearly so powerful that none of the other forces in the region would dare to trifle with it.

The River-Defying Sect sent emissaries back to the Lower Reaches with new regulations for the four sects which had risen up in their absence. The old customs were reinstated; in the past, the four great sects of the Lower Reaches had sent tribute upriver every year. The same arrangement would continue into the future.

The River-Defying Sect also locked down the borders of the Lower Reaches, ensuring that the new sects would have time to fully establish themselves and not face any outside invaders.

While the shocking memory of the destruction of the Sky River Court was still fresh in the minds of all, this first Dharmic decree issued by the River-Defying Sect was something that no one was willing to defy, not even the other three major Middle Reaches sects. No one wanted to incur the ill will of the River-Defying Sect.

Although the River-Defying Sect was weaker than the other three major sects, they had received approval from the presiding sect upriver. As such, the other sects couldn’t very well offend them before they even had a chance to establish themselves.

Because of that, the River-Defying Sect’s territory was peaceful and calm, although the population was filled with both excitement and nervousness.

The River-Defying Sect had many important affairs to attend to. Whether it was the construction of their new headquarters, the pacification of the Lower Reaches, or the task of bringing their new territory under control, there were countless tasks that required careful attention.

The first matter to take care of was to assign a mountain range to each of the four divisions. Once each division had a mountain range, they could go about setting it up according to their own styles and requirements.

Because of Bai Xiaochun, the Spirit Stream Division took the east mountain range. There were few changes to their division. The same seven mountain peaks remained that had once been on the north and south banks of the river. The only difference was that the eighth mountain now belonged to the Core Formation cultivators.

The mountain range occupied by the Blood Stream Division was the one closest to the Blood Ancestor, which would ensure that the cultivators there were able to practice their techniques with the least interference possible. Another new rule was instituted; in order to become a blood master of one of their eight mountain peaks, a cultivator had to reach Core Formation first!

As for the Profound and Pill Stream Divisions, they had similar rules as before. The Profound Stream Division specialized in spell formations and clone cultivation, whereas the Pill Stream Division focused on the Dao of medicine. When all was said and done, the River-Defying Sect had a strong foundation in virtually all aspects; they truly met the requirements for a large sect!

The construction efforts all proceeded with great fanfare.

There was also much work to be done on what had once been the battlefield surrounding the Sky River Court. The corpses of many River-Defying sect cultivators who had died in battle needed to be cleared away.

Those cultivators were given proper burials, and their names were inscribed to be remembered for all time. They were brave heroes of the River-Defying Sect whose names would be sung in songs for generation to come.

There were many, many tasks to accomplish. Now that the fighting was done, one of the main matters at hand was to select a new sect leader. Thankfully, such matters were the responsibility of the patriarchs; Bai Xiaochun didn’t have to worry about them.

Days passed, and soon Bai Xiaochun realized that everyone around him was busy in some way or another. Whenever he walked around, the disciples of the River-Defying Sect would cast reverent gazes in his direction, and offer formal greetings. At first, it felt wonderful, but soon, the thrill began to fade.

“This is so boring,” he murmured. “I think I’ll go chat with Xiaomei.” It took a bit of searching, but he soon found her. She was with a team of fellow cultivators operating a spell formation giant to clear away rubble.

As soon as he saw her, he called out, “Xiaomei–”

“Don’t bother me now, big bro Xiaochun,” she called out, wiping the sweat from her brow. “I’m busy.” With that, she continued on with her work.

Bai Xiaochun stood there awkwardly for a moment before catching sight of Big Fatty Zhang.

“Eldest Brother–”

Big Fatty Zhang looked over with a serious expression, then said, “Can you save it for later, Xiaochun? I have a bunch of spirit enhancing to do….” With that, he went back to his work with Xu Meixiang and the other spirit enhancers.

Bai Xiaochun smiled, but inside he felt embarrassed and even crestfallen. Just when he was about to leave, he noticed Hou Yunfei flying in his direction.

“Big Bro Hou–”

“No time to chat, Xiaochun. Master sent me to work on the Magic Pavilion….” Hou Yunfei flew by without even stopping.

Smiling wryly, Bai Xiaochun looked around at the people bustling about, and then decided to head to the Blood Stream Division. As soon as he set foot on the mountains, he saw Song Junwan commanding a group of Middle Peak disciples as they constructed a new Middle Peak.

“Big Sis Song–”

“Go hang out somewhere else, Nightcrypt!” she barked, flicking her sleeve. Then she issued some more orders to the Middle Peak disciples.

Bai Xiaochun’s jaw dropped. Even as he was trying to decide how to respond, a quavering voice reached his ears from behind.

“Junior patriarch, do you mind just leaving? You’re making me nervous….”

Bai Xiaochun felt like he was about to go mad. Sighing, he turned and moped off.

Everyone he knew was ignoring him because of the various tasks they had been assigned. Even Bruiser had been given an assignment, and was overseeing some of the battle beasts.

Bai Xiaochun felt like he was the only idle person in the entire River-Defying Sect. The only people who qualified to give him orders were the Nascent Soul patriarchs, and they were all busy with important matters. In fact, it was even possible to occasionally catch wind of the sounds of arguing and discussion coming from Mount River Defiance.

“The elites usually do the most work, but apparently a person as incredible as me, a junior patriarch, actually ends up with nothing to do….” Completely incapable of thinking of any important tasks to attend to, he could only sigh.

“Ah whatever. I guess I should go concoct some medicine….” After finding his way to the bank of the Heavenspan River, he found a good location, sat down cross-legged, and began to think back to what he had learned from the true spirit about the River-Defying Pill.

“She gave me some good fortune, so I should definitely try to concoct that pill!” Gradually, he sank down into the calm that came with seeking enlightenment, and began to analyze the formula for the River-Defying Pill.

Time passed. Soon, night had fallen. Although the River-Defying Sect cultivators were all very busy, it was customary to rest at night, so soon, all heaven and earth grew quiet.

Most of the corpses on the battlefield had been cleared away, although a few remained here and there.

At the moment, the moon hung high in the sky, illuminating all of the lands down below. But then, a dark cloud appeared, which slowly spread out, casting darkness everywhere. Then, a white robed figure appeared out of thin air.

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Chapter 345: Unclean Thing….

Heaven and earth were nothing but a vast swath of darkness. As the white-robed figure appeared, a sinister coldness swept out. Because of the darkness which surrounded the figure, it was only just barely possible to identify her as a woman.

Her long hair flowed about her as she strolled across the battlefield through the darkness of night.

Wherever she went, everything around her grew so cold it seemed to hover on the verge of becoming ice. The plants and vegetation withered as though the white-robed woman was sucking away their life force. At the same time, her own life force rapidly grew stronger.

Before long, she was next to a pile of corpses belonging to former cultivators of the Sky River Court. Looking down at them, she chuckled, then sucked in a breath which caused the corpses to begin to wither up. In the briefest of moments, the corpses became nothing more than skeletons that looked like they had been dead for years.

The young woman didn’t stop there. She proceeded along through the battlefield, causing numerous corpses to transform into skeletons. As this occurred, her body grew increasingly distinct. In the end, she stretched her neck a bit, then floated over to another location where a large amount of Sky River Court cultivators’ corpses lay.

This location belonged to the Blood Stream Division, and these corpses had been set aside for them to use in their corpse refining. The entire area was sealed tight with spell formations, and yet, they posed no obstacle to the young woman. She floated right through them until she was right above the corpses. Then, a strange gleam could be seen in her eyes as she yet again breathed in deeply….

Instantly, the vast quantity of corpses began to wither. In the blink of an eye, the more than 10,000 corpses turned into nothing more than bones. Some of those bones even dissolved into ashes….

By this point, the young woman’s features were even clearer. After a moment passed, she burped lightly, then slowly looked up into the sky. The dark clouds began to fade away, and a shaft of moonlight fell down to reveal her face.

Shockingly, that young woman was Gongsun Wan’er!

“Well I’m not starving anymore, but what a pity that they were all dead. If only I could eat something living!” Covering her mouth, she chuckled, then turned and vanished into thin air.

With her departure, the dark clouds disappeared completely, allowing the moonlight to shine down onto a field of pale white bones….

No one detected Gongsun Wan’er that night, not even the Nascent Soul patriarchs….

Bai Xiaochun suddenly sneezed as a cold feeling swept over him. Emerging from his meditative trance, he looked around for a moment, then, after seeing nothing out of the ordinary, closed his eyes again.

The next morning at dawn, the disciples responsible for the corpses suddenly realized that the corpses were now nothing more than dried up bones. Their jaws dropped, and soon cries of alarm rose up into the air. The matter instantly caused a huge stir in the River-Defying Sect.

“What… what could have happened!?”

“Heavens, how could all the corpses here have dried up overnight…?”

“There’s not even any flesh or blood left at all. They look like they’ve been dead for ages. They definitely didn’t look like that yesterday!”

As the news spread, everyone was completely and utterly shaken. Even the patriarchs’ meeting regarding the sect rules was thrown into chaos.

Bai Xiaochun was eventually disturbed by the racket, and quickly went to see what was going on. As he hovered in the air, he heard the various discussions, and then looked over at the corpses on the battlefield.

“What happened?” he thought, shocked. The fact that all of the flesh and blood had vanished from the corpses left him with a very bad feeling.

It was in that exact moment that more than ten beams of light shot off of Mount River Defiance. It was the patriarchs of the four divisions, who had very serious expressions on their faces as they sped in the direction of the Blood Stream Division’s corpse refining district.

Behind them were a large number of Core Formation cultivators. Seeing what was happening, Bai Xiaochun quickly flew up to join them.

A large group of cultivators had already gathered in the area, and were discussing the situation. When they saw the patriarchs and the Core Formation experts, they quickly quieted down. However, curious expressions could be seen on their faces; they could tell that the events of the previous night were clearly no small matter.

Obviously, the fact that the corpses’ flesh and blood had been drained away meant that someone or something had done the deed. If that news spread, it could definitely cause problems.

The Nascent Soul patriarchs soon arrived at the corpse refining district and began to investigate. Before long, their expressions began to flicker.

That was especially true of the three most powerful of the patriarchs, the great circle Nascent Soul experts Frigidsect, Master Godwind, and Crimsonsoul. They could sense a lingering aura in the area that caused their expressions to turn very grim. After exchanging glances, Master Godwind of the Blood Stream Division said, “When the Dire Skybanyan was uprooted, it created rifts for earth qi to seep through. That’s what caused this event. There’s no need for anyone to panic. I’ll set up some spell formations to keep the earth qi sealed.”

Next, Frigidsect and Crimsonsoul also made similar statements. Considering their reputations in the sect, such words quickly eased the hearts of most of the disciples.

However, Bai Xiaochun wasn’t too far off from the Nascent Soul cultivators, and when he looked around, he instantly sensed the cold aura in the area. There were even streams of frigid qi which entered his body and caused his life force to grow sluggish.

He didn’t quite believe the patriarchs’ explanation, but hesitated for a moment and looked over at Frigidsect. Frigidsect gave him a meaningful look that indicated he should hold his tongue.

The matter was quickly swept under the rug. All four divisions entrusted key disciples to guide the flow of conversation in the sect. This, coupled with the fact that everyone was so busy, and that no living cultivators had been affected, ensured that discussion of the matter faded away quickly. Although a few people harbored some suspicions, no one attempted to dig for more information.

However, that very night, there was a secret meeting on Mount River Defiance between the patriarchs and the Core Formation cultivators. Bai Xiaochun was present.

Master Godwind of the Blood Stream Division looked over the gathered Core Formation cultivators, then slowly began to explain.

“The strangest thing is that none of us patriarchs detected anything unusual during last night’s odd events….

“Those corpses were completely drained of all flesh and blood, and although they didn’t contain any true life force, they would have contained other strange powers. Even more odd was that the corpses originally had a strong aura of death. However, my inspections earlier didn’t reveal even a trace of such an aura!

“The only aura remaining in the area was something extremely sinister, something akin to the power of the Nine Serenities underworld!

“I can only hope that we patriarchs’ conclusion in the matter is not mistaken…. From what we could tell, something visited the River-Defying Sect last a night, something that shouldn’t even exist in the world of the living, the powerful ghost of some dead entity!

“Only the ghosts of the dead thrive on auras of death. Furthermore, after reaching a certain level of power, such ghosts require life force from living beings!”

Considering that Master Godwind was a Nascent Soul Daoist master, everyone simply listened to his words and took them to heart.

The Core Formation cultivators were completely shocked. As for Bai Xiaochun, his face drained of blood.

“A ghost….” he thought, shivering, his hair standing on end.

It was Patriarch Crimsonsoul who spoke next, his voice hoarse, a strange light gleaming in his eyes. “There isn’t any need for anxiety. We’re giving you this information so that you can be on guard. The other patriarchs and I will set up an airtight spell formation! If that ghost appears again, we’ll make sure it is completely destroyed!”

As his gaze swept over the Core Formation cultivators, it lingered for a moment on Bai Xiaochun, who was currently trembling and scowling on the verge of tears.

It was with complete and utter terror that Bai Xiaochun left Mount River Defiance. His thoughts were in utter chaos, and he couldn’t stop thinking about how he had suddenly been dragged out of meditation the previous night. At that point, his skin began to crawl.

“Don’t tell me that some unclean thing was out looking for me last night!?!?” Having reached this point in his train of thought, Bai Xiaochun almost screamed. Not daring to return to the place he had been concocting pills the previous day, he decided to stay on Mount River Defiance. As far as he was concerned, staying close to the patriarchs would obviously be the safest thing to do.

Because he was the junior patriarch of the sect, he was able to lay claim to a small area of his own on Mount River Defiance, where he personally dug out a simple immortal’s cave. Then he thought about the unclean thing from the previous night, and again, his skin began to crawl. Gritting his teeth, he went to find some Profound Stream Division disciples to help him set up some defensive spell formations.

Most cultivators in the sect would be content with one spell formation, but Bai Xiaochun was terrified at the moment, so he tracked down dozens of top experts from the Profound Stream Division. With their help, he set up dozens of spell formations, most of them designed to ward off evil spirits.

The experts from the Profound Stream Sect had very odd expressions on their faces when they left. And yet, Bai Xiaochun still didn’t feel safe. Gritting his teeth, he spent a huge sum of merit points to purchase a vast quantity of paper talismans, most of them designed to ward off or suppress evil spirits. After plastering so many talismans onto himself that he looked like a boiled sticky-rice dumpling, he finally felt at ease.

“Hummmphh! That unclean thing won’t dare to cause trouble for me now. I’m close to the patriarchs, I have tons of spell formations set up, and all kinds of talismans ready. I refuse to believe that ghost would set foot in my direction!” Breathing a sigh of relief, he strolled out of the front door of his immortal’s cave.

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