To The Front Lines

The war had reached a fever pitch on the Heavencraft Continent. Of the Profound Stream Sect’s 29 temple headquarters, 28 had already been captured!

The last temple existed on what had once been the border of Pill Stream Sect territory. There it stood, tall and mighty, the final point of resistance.

It was located right in the middle of a sprawling mountain range that was even more majestic than the Luochen Mountains.

The mountain range was split in half, almost as if a giant as tall as the sky itself had cleaved it into two halves with the stroke of an axe. In the resulting gap, past generations of Profound Stream Sect patriarchs had paid an enormous price to erect a massive city!

That city was the final remaining temple headquarters of the Profound Stream Sect, and it was large enough to house millions of people. It was also protected by a vast number of spell formations. Virtually all of the surviving Profound Stream Sect cultivators were holed up in the city, which everyone knew would be the location of the final battle.

The army of the Blood Stream Sect and the Spirit Stream Sect had been pushing the fight toward the city for a month already. They had attacked with incredible force, but this was the Profound Stream Sect’s last stand. Even with the bedraggled remnants of the Pill Stream Sect attacking the city from the other side of the mountain range, it had not fallen. The Profound Stream Sect was holding out until the bitter end, hoping that the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect would lose patience and intervene!

After all, the longer things dragged out in the Lower Reaches, the longer the Sky River Court would have to prepare in the Middle Reaches!

Because of that, the patriarchs of the Spirit and Blood Stream Sects had initially intended to use a blitzkrieg strategy to end the war as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, their momentum had stalled just outside of this final enormous city.

Around the time that the two sides reached a deadlock, Bai Xiaochun completed his mission. The majority of the Profound Stream Sect stragglers had been rooted out. In the process, Bai Xiaochun and his two hundred followers had packed their bags of holding full of cultivation resources.

By this point, the entire group radiated the air of riches, and made a spectacular sight wherever they went. Eventually, they found themselves on a vast plain that was the final stretch before reaching the front line itself.

Even from this distance, they could detect the fluctuations of battle, and could hear the rumble of magic being unleashed.

The wind carried with it the reek of blood, and across the plain in front of them were strewn numerous corpses and patches of gore.

Bai Xiaochun stood at the edge of the plain, vigilantly studying the scene spread out in front of him. There were no subversive cultivator clans here, and in fact, there were even squads of Blood Stream Sect cultivators moving about here and there. However, Bai Xiaochun had developed a keen sense for danger, and could tell that by crossing this plain and heading to the front lines, there would definitely be danger.

The sense of danger weighed down on him heavily, especially when he saw the distortions in the air off in the distance, evidence of the fierce fighting that was going on. He couldn’t help but think of his past experiences with the Luochen Clan, in the Fallen Sword Abyss, and in the trial by fire for blood master.

Bai Xiaochun wasn’t the only one who was on guard. The other cultivators around him felt the same, especially Beihan Lie, Master God-Diviner, and Jia Lie. Those three had been to the front lines before, and knew that fighting with the Profound Stream Sect was a very dangerous affair. If one wasn’t careful, one could end up dead.

After all, this was a war in which whole sects faced the threat of extermination. In the fighting, no quarter was given, and one side or the other would end up dead.

At the moment, Bai Xiaochun had two choices. He could head back into the conquered territory, or proceed onward to the front line to fight with the Profound Stream Sect cultivators.

“What should we do now?” he asked aloud. As far as he was concerned, taking risks wasn’t the best thing to do. If he wasn’t careful, he could lose his poor little life. Clearing his throat, he continued, “If we go back….”

Before he could finish speaking, his heart skipped a beat as intense murderous auras sprang up from the cultivators around him. Clearly, they were itching to fight.

Bai Xiaochun blinked a few times as everyone turned to look at him with strange looks on their faces, as if they couldn’t believe what he had just said. “If we go back into the conquered territory….”

Beihan Lie frowned. Master God-Diviner and Jia Lie’s jaws dropped.

Bai Xiaochun’s heart skipped another beat, and regret began to rise up inside of him. However, he plastered a proud smile onto his face and stirred his cultivation base, causing his energy to soar. Looking more steel-veined than ever, he swished his sleeve dramatically and said, “If we go back into the conquered territory, how could we live with ourselves? We’re cultivators, right? What are we afraid of, dying? Let’s go to the front lines and fight the Profound Stream Sect to the death!”

Then he laughed bravely. The murderous auras of the surrounding cultivators erupted.

“Starting this day, we will fly our banner on the battlefield!” Laughing uproariously, he stepped out onto the plain.

Beihan Lie’s heart trembled. Taking a deep breath, he also began to laugh heartily as he followed Bai Xiaochun. Jia Lie and Master God-Diviner didn’t suspect anything at all. Based on their experiences, Blood Master Nightcrypt was a violent and ruthless individual.

The other cultivators of the two sects also began to laugh vigorously, and soon, the entire group was moving across the plain toward the front lines.

With everyone clustered around him, Bai Xiaochun looked completely extraordinary. However, inside, he was crying. He had no desire at all to go to the front-line battlefield. However, he felt as if he had no other choice. His hand was being forced. Thus, he led his team across the plain, gnashing his teeth the entire way.

They went along for a few days, and Bai Xiaochun’s nervousness mounted. It reached the point where even the slightest stirring of a branch or blade of grass would cause his heart to leap with fear. One afternoon, a group of a few dozen beams of light suddenly appeared off in the distance.

It was a group of Profound Stream Sect cultivators, and as soon as they noticed Bai Xiaochun, their expressions flickered. However, they didn’t retreat. Their faces filled with the desire to do battle. Roaring in rage and hatred, they closed it at top speed.

“People from the Spirit and Blood Stream Sects! Fight them to the death!!’

“Die!!” Among the dozens of cultivators were eight in the Foundation Establishment stage. The entire group was clearly dead set on fighting.

Bai Xiaochun was startled, but before he could even open his mouth to say anything, more than half of the cultivators surrounding him threw out glowing spheres. As soon as the spheres reached the Profound Stream Sect cultivators, they exploded.

The Profound Stream Sect cultivators all had different reactions. Some of them suddenly looked around blankly. Some of them howled madly at the tops of their lungs. Some of them clutched at their throats. Some of them were clearly hallucinating, and started lurching about.

As they were thrown into chaos, the cultivators surrounding Bai Xiaochun shot forward with flashing eyes and vicious grins. Booms rang out as the slaughter commenced.

The entire process lasted for the time it takes half an incense stick to burn. Bai Xiaochun watched as his zealous followers then tidied up the battlefield, sweeping up the bags of holding and distributing their contents to the rest of the team. Bai Xiaochun was suddenly struck with the sensation that the group he led was as fierce as a pack of wolves or tigers.

Bai Xiaochun took his share, and the declared, “Excellent. This is how we cultivators should be. This place is newly conquered territory! Let’s clean things up here and make a name for ourselves on the Heavencraft Continent!”

The surrounding cultivators’ expressions brightened, and within moments, they were speeding away off into the distance.

Half a month flew by, during which time Bai Xiaochun and his team encountered groups of Profound Stream Sect disciples on four or five occasions. Their numbers ranged from dozens to hundreds.

At first, they seemed ferocious, but after the glowing spheres were unleashed, their ranks scattered. Bai Xiaochun and his people met success in every encounter, and their killing auras grew stronger.

By now, Bai Xiaochun wasn’t nervous at all. He spent most of his time replenishing the glowing spheres. As they proceeded along, the fighting grew more intense. At one point, they encountered a group of nearly 300 Profound Stream Sect cultivators. Although the fighting was fierce, Bai Xiaochun’s side easily attained victory.

The glowing spheres were so effective that very few cultivators could escape their effects.

News spread until the Spirit and Blood Stream Sects as a whole had heard, and even the Profound Stream Sect forces knew of what was happening. However, because of the critical state of the war, they couldn’t pay it much attention.

Bai Xiaochun felt extremely relaxed. Currently, he was reclining comfortably on the huge blood sword, surrounded by shouting cultivators.

“The Middle Peak blood master has infinite magical powers! The Spirit Stream Heaven-Dao expert can shake the whole world!”

At one point, a beam of light appeared off in the distance. It was a young man who held a stack of paper talismans in his hand. He was coughing up blood, and his face was ashen. Clearly, he was in a bad situation. Every few seconds, he would toss one of the paper talismans out to block the people that were chasing him. Those paper talismans were the only reason he was able to keep some distance between him and his pursuers.

Hot on his tail was a group of about 200 enemy cultivators.

At the head of that large group was another young man with bristling killing intent. He was only in mid Foundation Establishment, but his murderous aura made him seem as strong as late Foundation Establishment.

As soon as Bai Xiaochun saw him, his eyes widened.

“Nine-Isles!”

Eyes flashing, he realized that the cultivator who was being chased was none other than Xu Xiaoshan!

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Take Them And Have Fun!

Xu Xiaoshan was so far away that he couldn’t quite make out who was in the group up ahead of him. However, he could see the enormous blood sword, and sensed the unique blood auras of Blood Stream Sect cultivators. Without any hesitation, he shot toward them.

When he made out Bai Xiaochun, he looked like he was about to weep with joy.

“Bai Xiaochun!!” he shouted.

At almost the same time, Nine-Isles also spotted Bai Xiaochun. At first his eyes widened, but then they shone with joy!

“I can’t believe Bai Xiaochun’s here!! I thought I would capture Xu Xiaoshan today, but who could have guessed that we would also run into Bai Xiaochun? He’s dead!” Nine-Isles laughed loudly as he led his group of roughly 200 cultivators forward. If they had encountered some of the elite forces of the Spirit and Blood Stream Sects, it might have been a different story. However, he could tell that Bai Xiaochun’s group was filled with cultivators of all different levels. Other than Beihan Lie, Master God-Diviner, and Jia Lie, the rest of them were obviously disciples of no note in their sects.

Nine-Isles was completely confident in being able to wipe such a group out. Laughing loudly, he continued to chase Xu Xiaoshan toward Bai Xiaochun.

Quite a few among Nine-Isles’ group of cultivators recognized Bai Xiaochun, and although they were shocked, their desire to kill him burned bright.

All of them knew that this was a war of sect extermination, and they were aware that one of the main reasons why the Spirit and Blood Stream Sects had struck an alliance was because of Bai Xiaochun!

Xu Xiaoshan also realized this, and it caused him to hesitate for a moment. However, he had no other options. If he didn’t join Bai Xiaochun, he would die. Indecision flickered in his eyes, and he cursed himself for getting into this situation. But then he realized that Bai Xiaochun’s expression was the same as always, and that the cultivators in his group didn’t seem scared at all. In fact, many of them were even looking at Nine-Isles and his cultivators with contempt and derision.

“Huh?” Xu Xiaoshan muttered, confused.

Bai Xiaochun clasped his hands behind his back. Looking very proud of himself, he said, “Fear not, Xiaoshan! The Blood Lord is here to save you!”

Clearing his throat, he looked at the cultivators surrounding him, then waved his hand outward. To Xu Xiaoshan’s shock, all the cultivators on Bai Xiaochun’s team began to produce glowing spheres.

“Attack!” Bai Xiaochun roared. The cultivators of the two sects roared in response, and began to throw the glowing spheres. In the blink of an eye, hundreds of them were flying through the air like shooting stars.

Nine-Isles’ jaw dropped, and the group behind him hesitated for a moment. Some in the group unleashed attacks to block the glowing sphere, but the spheres seemed to be impervious to magical techniques. They began to explode, sending vast quantities of smoke out to cover Nine-Isles and everyone around him.

The smoke instantly reduced the visibility in the area, but it didn’t stop the miserable shrieks and howls from echoing out.

“My stomach….”

“Heavens! I’ve become an immortal….”

“Stay away everyone! Get away from me! What is this place…?”

Xu Xiaoshan’s expression flickered, and he cried out, “Corpse Peak Plague Smoke!!”

Trembling visibly, he screamed and used all the power he could muster to fly away from the smoke, his face as white as a sheet of paper. He more than anyone was intimately familiar with that smoke, and his experiences had been especially memorable.

The scene which had played out because of that smoke was like a nightmare that would haunt him for the rest of his life. To see it showing up again here filled his heart with terror.

However, even as he fled from the smoke, the air began to clear. The 200 Profound Stream Sect disciples became visible, and it was a bizarre scene. Some of them were waving their arms, some seemed drunk, some looked as ashen as death, and some were surrounded by noxious odors.

Some were even hugging each other. As for Nine-Isles, he hovered there trembling, surrounded by a rippling shield of light that somehow protected him from the smoke. He almost couldn’t believe what he was seeing around him.

“What divine ability is this? Impossible! It’s impossible! How could there be a magic like this!?!?” Profound fear of Bai Xiaochun rose up in his heart. He suddenly thought back to the Fallen Sword Abyss, and it provoked a hoarse scream. Before Bai Xiaochun could even attack, he pulled out a jade pendant and pushed down to activate it.

Seven-colored light spread out, along with cracking sounds. Teleportation power surged, wrapping Nine-Isles up to teleport him away.

Bai Xiaochun’s pupils constricted. He was well aware that jade pendants which could teleport Foundation Establishment cultivators off of the battlefield were extremely valuable to any sect. Virtually priceless. He quickly opened his Heavenspan Dharma Eye, sending a golden beam of light shooting toward the departing Nine-Isles.

As soon as the golden beam of light slammed into Nine-Isles, he let out a bloodcurdling scream. Although he was still teleported away, the control power exerted by Bai Xiaochun’s Heavenspan Dharma Eye managed to grab onto his arm and rip it clean off of his shoulder.

Even as Nine-Isles was whisked away, Bai Xiaochun’s followers began to attack the cultivators who had remained behind.

Beihan Lie looked over at one of the Foundation Establishment cultivators who was clutching at his stomach, a noxious odor surrounding him. “I remember you! You were one of the people who ganged up on me on the front lines!”

Grinning viciously, he closed in for the kill.

Jia Lie and Master God-Diviner unleashed magical techniques with murderous intent.

It was the same with all the other cultivators, and furthermore, by cooperating, they ensured that their own group sustained virtually no injuries.

Bai Xiaochun’s team had become intimately familiar with combat and fighting. Before long, the miserable shrieks faded away, and the fighting was over.

The only thing Bai Xiaochun regretted was that Nine-Isles had escaped. As for Xu Xiaoshan, he was so completely shaken by what he had just seen that he forgot to breathe. Then he noticed that the cultivators of the two sects were all cooperating in the fighting. He even saw Beihan Lie and Master God-Diviner working together to fight an enemy.

“How is this even possible…?” he gasped, rubbing his eyes to clear them.

An hour later, the battlefield had been cleared of loot, and the group was on their way again. Xu Xiaoshan joined them, flying along next to Bai Xiaochun and offering numerous fawning words of praise.

“Blood Lord Nightcrypt? Junior Patriarch Bai Xiaochun? Sect Uncle Bai? Um, what do you think about giving me some of those glowing spheres everyone used back there…?”

Bai Xiaochun looked very pleased with himself. He felt quite a sense of accomplishment at how his team fought so hard and well together.

“It’s all a big meritorious service on my part….” he sighed to himself. Looking over at Xu Xiaoshan, he waved his sleeve and threw him a few glowing spheres.

“Take them and have fun!”

Xu Xiaoshan gingerly took the glowing spheres, heart pounding with anticipation. He couldn’t wait to run into some Profound Stream Sect cultivators to use them on. He would show those Profound Stream Sect cultivators how awesome the Plaguedevil’s poison smoke was!

Time flew by. Another two months passed. The war had been going on for half a year already, but the deadlock still hadn’t been broken. Furthermore, more and more small-scale battles were being fought throughout the Heavencraft Continent. Most of those battles were between groups that numbered in the dozens or hundreds.

Bai Xiaochun’s name spread far and wide during that time. Every single battle he fought ended in victory. Eventually, his glowing poison spheres were also becoming famous. Profound Stream Sect cultivators on all fronts of the battle knew of the terrifying name of the Plaguedevil.

Beihan Lie, Master God-Diviner, and Jia Lie also earned their own glory. As for Xu Xiaoshan, he joined the group a bit late, but also rose to fame. He fell in love with Bai Xiaochun’s glowing spheres, and used them more enthusiastically than anyone else, especially the ones that induced hallucinations….

As for the Profound Stream Sect’s patriarchs, and the other leaders holed up in their final headquarters, they also heard of the glowing spheres. However, all they could do was gnash their teeth; none of them dared to go out and fight.

Not even the Profound Stream Sect’s prime elders and legacy echelon cultivators could shake their fear of the Spirit and Blood Stream Sects. All of them were waiting for the final decisive battle to show their faces.

Everything was reaching a boiling point. Bai Xiaochun’s fame grew, and his group of followers grew more and more zealous as they wiped out the teams of Profound Stream Sect cultivators who still lurked about. Even the patriarchs of the Spirit Stream Sect and the Blood Stream Sect were shocked by how things were playing out.

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