Destination: Middle Reaches!!

The cultivators of the four divisions of the River-Defying Sect would never be able to forget the unbelievable event they were witnessing. It was now burned down into their minds, into their very souls, and would be there for all eternity!

As the hand settled onto the surface of the ground, the rest of the arm shot out from beneath the surface of the water!

The river surged with powerful waves that sent even the Profound Stream Division’s 210,000-meter Heavenspan Battleship rocking back and forth. As for the Pill Stream Division’s battleship, the patriarchs had to intervene to keep it stable.

The minds of all onlookers were left blank as they stared at the enormous arm sticking up out of the Heavenspan River.

Amidst the silence which prevailed, the two beams of light continued to shoot up into the sky. Intense rumbling sounds were accompanied by flashes of multi-colored light, as well as a powerful wind. Then, everyone could sense an indescribably powerful energy radiating out as the hand shoved down.

Something like an island appeared in the middle of the Heavenspan River, which was actually a head that slowly rose up from the surface of the water!

By now, even the 300,000-meter long Heavenspan Battleship was affected by the surging waves. All three of the huge battleships were being pushed away down the river, causing gasps to ring out among the onlookers.

Even Gongsun Wan’er’s eyes were wide, and an extremely rare expression of shock could be seen on her face.

Slowly, the head rose up, revealing two eyes that would leave anyone who saw them completely shaken to the core. Next, a nose became visible, and then the lips. Finally, a roar shot out from the mouth, a roar which could shake the heavens.

The sounds filling heaven and earth exceeded thunder. The Blood Ancestor’s hand continued to push down as, next, his neck was revealed!

Before anyone could even react, the Heavenspan River virtually exploded, sending 300-meter-tall waves rolling out as another hand stretched out from the water and planted itself onto the opposite bank.

The ground quaked as crevices opened up and portions of the land completely collapsed. Beneath the hand of the Blood Ancestor, the seemingly rock-hard earth became as soft as putty.

Now that both hands were firmly planted, everything was cast into shadow as an unforgettably enormous figure slowly rose to a standing position above the Heavenspan River.

The head, the neck, the shoulders, and the chest rose up to an unimaginable height. 300 meters. 3,000 meters. 30,000 meters. Soon, the portion of the Blood Ancestor which rose up above the river reached a height of tens upon tens of thousands of meters.

His broad shoulders were almost as wide as the Heavenspan River itself. Every scrap of muscle on his body radiated terrifying pressure, and his waist was so narrow that it almost formed a triangle with his shoulders….

Although everything beneath his waist was below the surface of the river, anyone who possessed the ability to do so would be able to see that the Blood Ancestor’s feet were already planted on the river bottom!

To cultivators, the Heavenspan River was profoundly deep, but to the Blood Ancestor, that was not the case!

Although it was the Blood Ancestor who was standing up, Bai Xiaochun was now the Blood Ancestor’s soul, and its entire body was under his control. As he looked out of the Blood Ancestor’s eyes, heaven and earth seemed much smaller. To him, the mountains were nothing more than playthings, and the mighty river below him was like a stream.

The mightiest of trees were like grass, and the cultivators were like tiny ants.

The feeling was difficult to describe. As he lifted his gaze, he felt as if he could reach up and pluck the heavenly bodies out of the sky. His heart swelled, and after a moment, he couldn’t help but throw his head back and let loose a long cry!

That cry shook the highest heavens, and filled the entire continent. Birds and beasts trembled in terror, and the waters of the Heavenspan River surged. The huge golden crocodile which lay beneath its surface looked up, and even it appeared to be shaken.

There were other enormous beasts who were similarly terrified, and left shaking.

“Blood Ancestor!” murmured founding patriarch Frigidsect. His scalp was tingling, and he was shaking visibly. Next to him, Li Zimo, Patriarch Ironwood, and the other patriarchs were similarly ashen-faced and incredulous.

“I can’t believe it actually moved….”

“Now that is how to make an impression. The Blood Stream Division is going to use the body of the Blood Ancestor to move upriver!!” Patriarch Crimsonsoul was struck speechless, and the other Nascent Soul Daoist masters from the Profound Stream Division were all completely taken aback.

It was even more the case with the Pill Stream Division. All eyes were focused on that towering figures which blotted out even the sun!

If even the patriarchs were reacting in such a way, there was little need to mention the Gold Core and Foundation Establishment experts. All cultivators from all four divisions were shaken and excited. Of course, most excited of all were the cultivators from the Blood Stream Division. All of them dropped to their knees to kowtow to the Blood Ancestor, calling out at the tops of their lungs.

“Greetings, Blood Ancestor!!”

“Greetings, Blood Ancestor!!” The words echoed out throughout the lands in shocking fashion!

Meanwhile, aboard the Spirit Stream Division’s Heavenspan Battleship, Gongsun Wan’er was looking at the Blood Ancestor with a strange expression on her face. She seemed confused, and was frowning; apparently, she was trying to recall something, but was having trouble doing so.

Then she saw the Blood Ancestor’s eyes, and she felt as if she were looking at Bai Xiaochun’s eyes. At that point, a mysterious light rose up in her own gaze.

There was another woman who had a very strange expression on her face, an expression of both reverence and fear, as well as a level of incredulity that surpassed virtually everyone else present.

That young woman was in the Pill Stream Division. She was so beautiful as to cause almost any male to lose control around her… Chen Manyao.

There was another shadowy figure that no one else detected, not even Bai Xiaochun. In the moment that he took full control of the Blood Ancestor, that figure appeared high up in the sky.

He wore a long black robe, and it was impossible to make out his facial features. However, he was clearly very old, and was permeated with an aura of death.

He was looking at the Blood Ancestor with mixed emotions, including reminiscence.

If Bai Xiaochun had been able to see him, he would have recognized him immediately. That old man was the same man he had run into in the nameless mountains, the person who had saved his life. The gravekeeper!!

After a moment, the gravekeeper sighed, and then vanished without a trace….

As the Blood Ancestor rose to his feet, massive amounts of Heavenspan River water flowed off of him, pouring down like rain toward the surface of the earth. The patriarchs gasped and immediately drove the water away from the cultivators of their various divisions. After all, that water was so powerful it could instantly melt many of the weaker cultivators upon contact.

Bai Xiaochun looked back down at the area around him. He was still not quite used to the new sensations he was feeling. However, after seeing that his disturbance of the Heavenspan River water hadn’t hurt anyone, he breathed a sigh of relief. As of this moment, he realized that his own body was actively benefiting from having seized control of the Blood Ancestor, and was slowly growing more powerful.

His Asura Body was improving!

“It’s too bad the Blood Ancestor is dead. I can control his body, but can’t unleash the true power he was capable of in life. Even the fleshly body power I can unleash is only a small portion of his true potential.” After taking some more time to analyze his connection to the Blood Ancestor, he had a better idea of the situation.

Even the small portion of power he controlled was enough that a single fist strike on his part was more than a Nascent Soul patriarch could withstand!

After a bit more contemplation, he sensed the thoughts and fluctuations of the other Blood Stream Division cultivators inside the Blood Ancestor. He could even sense the divine sense of arch-patriarch Master Godwind. With that, he stretched out the hand that had once been the headquarters of the Blood Stream Sect, and placed it back down onto the ground.

When he spoke, his voice caused all the lands to shake.

“Blood Stream Division, to me!”

The excited Blood Stream Division disciples excitedly flew forward toward the opening in the hand. After they were all safely inside of the Blood Ancestor, Bai Xiaochun lifted the hand back up, and then pointed up the river.

“Army of the River-Defying Sect, let us begin our march!!”

As his thunderous voice boomed, Bai Xiaochun sent one of the Blood Ancestor’s legs forward, and he began to walk up the river!

Spirit Stream Division founding patriarch Frigidsect took a deep breath and then waved his hand, sending the Spirit Stream Division into action. The 300,000-meter Heavenspan Battleship erupted with shocking power as it began to slice through the water after the Blood Ancestor.

The Profound Stream Division and the Pill Stream Division similarly sent their battleships into motion. Soon, they were all following along, traveling up the Heavenspan River toward the Middle Reaches!

The sun was beginning to set. A huge giant was in the lead, followed by three enormous battleships. As they proceeded up the river, the heavens shook and the lands quaked. It was a majestic sight!

All beasts who inhabited the Heavenspan River were completely incapable of hindering their path, and did nothing but flee from them.

End of Book 2

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Book 3: Rise of the River-Defying Sect!

(Click to show "spoiler" title)

Cultivation Base Breakthrough!


The Heavenspan Sea occupied the very center of the world. It was a vast, boundless body of golden water that not even Nascent Soul cultivators would dare to enter without some sort of magical device designed for sea travel.

Only people in the Deva Realm could possibly make an attempt at crossing the sea, and with difficulty at that.

In the east, west, south and north regions of the Heavenspan Sea, there were places where the sea water poured through openings that created four enormous rivers. Although those rivers didn’t reach the very borders of the world, they did come close.

Each of the four great rivers had a riversource sect at the base of the river, in the location where the sea and the river met. The sect which controlled the eastern river was the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect. After the river flowed for a certain distance, it split up into four smaller branches of the same river.

The locations where those four rivers branched off came to be known as the Middle Reaches of the cultivation world. Those locations were home to the Starry River Court, the Sky River Court, the Dao River Court, and the Polarity River Court!

Those four sects were deserving of the domineering reputation they maintained in the eastern Middle Reaches of the cultivation world. Any one of them was powerful enough to completely dominate the other smaller sects in the region, as well as the vast number of cultivator clans.

Although each river branch that formed the Lower Reaches was occupied by four powerful sects, even if those sects combined forces, they wouldn’t be a match for one of the larger sects that occupied the Middle Reaches. However, there was only one reason for that!

The patriarchs of the Lower Reaches sects were all Nascent Soul cultivators, whereas the patriarchs of the Middle Reaches sects were in the Deva Realm!

The Deva Realm was something completely different from the Nascent Soul stage. It was an almost unimaginable level of power, and the difference between it and Nascent Soul was even greater than the difference between Nascent Soul and Gold Core!

It was almost impossible to even fathom the disparity!

Because of the threat of such power, none of the sects in the Lower Reaches would ever dream of trying to topple a Middle Reaches sect, not unless some heaven-defying event occurred. Furthermore, the chances of one of the Nascent Soul cultivators from the Lower Reaches breaking through to become a deva were miniscule.

Even people who overflowed with latent talent would be hard-pressed to find an opportunity to do so. The reason for that was because in the Lower Reaches, the spiritual power of the Heavenspan River was different, the resources were different, and the techniques were different. An even bigger reason was that Deva Tribulation was virtually impossible to transcend without a Dharma protector!

However, the biggest reason was that the Middle Reaches sects would never let one of their subordinates in the Lower Reaches produce a deva! That would be a threat to their own positions!

However, none of that applied in this situation. An exceedingly rare opportunity had arisen with the Sky River Court.

For some unknown reason, the Sky River Court had done something to enrage the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect. As a result, two devas had been sent to execute the Sky River Court’s Deva Realm patriarch. In fact, they had even extracted part of his soul to create something that was rarely ever seen in the world, and very valuable: a deva soul.

In addition to that, more than seventy percent of the Sky River Court cultivators had been put to death, and that included portions of the reserve powers and precious treasures.

If they had wanted to, they could have simply exterminated the entire Sky River Court. Instead, they had issued an important ruling allowing it to stay in place!

By allowing the Sky River Court to survive, they had created the spark which led to the war among the four subordinate sects in the Lower Reaches.

By leaving the severely weakened Sky River Court in place, they provided an enticing goal for the Lower Reaches sects. Of course, the Sky River Court wouldn’t just sit around waiting to be supplanted. If they could survive the assault of the Lower Reaches sects, then according to the stipulations of the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, they would have a chance to continue to exist!

If they managed to raise another of their cultivators to the Deva Realm in the future, then they might be able to return to their previous level of glory.

It wasn’t that they weren’t aware that the four sects had ended up joining forces. They did know, and yet, didn’t dare to interfere. According to the rules set forth by the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, they weren’t allowed to meddle with the affairs of the Lower Reaches sects. They had no choice but to sit still and await the final punishment which had been arranged by the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect!

That punishment was none other than the invasion of the Lower Reaches sects!

The sect headquarters of the Sky River Court was built atop the Heavenspan River itself. It was ten times larger than any sect in the Lower Reaches; after all, it was almost impossible to see one side of the river from the other in this area.

Much further down the river from that location was where it split into four more branches, which was the Lower Reaches of the cultivation world.

On the first of those four branches, it was possible to see an enormous giant plodding along, half-submerged in the river water. Every step the giant took sent water surging and spraying about, and the countless vicious spirits and other vile creatures nearby fleeing for their lives.

Even the most powerful of entities which lived in the river would choose to hide in the face of the power they felt, and would simply allow the giant to pass by.

Occasionally, it was possible to see a rabbit flitting about on the shoulders of the giant.

Some distance behind the giant was a 300,000-meter-long Heavenspan Battleship, slicing through the water. Countless cultivators could be seen on the battleship, most of them seated cross-legged in meditation as they attempted to get themselves into peak readiness for the fighting to come. A somber and solemn aura surrounded the entire battleship.

Two more battleships could be seen further back in the river, one of them 210,000 meters long, the other 90,000 meters. They seemed just as solemn as the first battleship.

Bai Xiaochun had converged the consciousnesses of numerous powerful cultivators to take control of the Blood Ancestor. His eyes shone with bright light as he strode through the river water. He could sense the vastness of the world around him, and to him, the water bashing against him felt soft and gentle. He couldn’t help but feel a grand sense of wonderment.

“One day, I won’t need to use the body of the Blood Ancestor to get this exact same feeling!” With that, he took another step forward, moving thousands of meters in the process.

Based on the speed of the Blood Ancestor and the Heavenspan Battleships, it only took a few days for them to pass unobstructed through the river until they reached the spot where it connected to the larger river upstream!

Stretching out to the horizon was a massive river that only the patriarchs had ever seen during their formal visits to the Sky River Court every sixty-year-cycle. For the other cultivators, it was their first time ever seeing a river this big; it was ten times wider than the Heavenspan River they were used to.

“The Middle Reaches Heavenspan River!!”

“Is this the Heavenspan River? It’s so huge!!”

“Compared to this river, ours really is nothing more than a stream!” The cultivators of the three divisions on the Heavenspan Battleships could immediately sense that the spiritual energy of heaven and earth here was ten times stronger than that which existed in the Lower Reaches.

Many people took in deep breaths, whereupon cracking sounds could be heard coming from inside of them. They had never encountered spiritual energy this strong, and for many, it immediately allowed them to break through cultivation obstacles that had hindered them in the past.

“This… this is the Middle Reaches! My cultivation base….”

“The only way to take over the Sky River Court is to defeat them in battle. If I continue to cultivate here, I’ll definitely be able to reach the level of a Nascent Soul patriarch!!”

Even the patriarchs of the River-Defying Sect were panting in excitement. In fact, their feelings ran even deeper than the other cultivators, because they were finally closing in on their ultimate goal: becoming devas!

If they could put down roots in the Middle Reaches, the resources and spiritual power there would make the Deva Realm more than just a distant dream. Furthermore, no one from above would come to interfere as they reached the breakthrough point; after all, having a Deva Realm expert was one of the main requirements for Middle Reaches sects!

Bai Xiaochun could sense the excitement of the patriarchs. As he controlled the body of the Blood Ancestor, he took a deep breath, and everything in heaven and earth shook. A massive surge of the spiritual energy of heaven and earth raced toward him, as he became like a black hole. After the spiritual energy entered the body of the Blood Ancestor, he sent it out to the cultivators of the Blood Stream Division, and then took a bit for himself.

His ninth spiritual sea had previously been just on the verge of crystallizing. As of this moment, it only took that single breath to finish the process!

The instant it fully crystallized, Bai Xiaochun trembled as his cultivation base erupted with power vastly greater than before.

After nine spiritual seas fully crystallized, that was the great circle of Heaven-Dao Foundation Establishment!

“The Middle Reaches….” he thought, brimming with excitement. All of a sudden, he felt as if he were connected by destiny to the Middle Reaches; if not, why else would he have made a breakthrough the instant he entered…?

Despite being inside of the Blood Ancestor, he was still able to suck in spiritual energy without any wastage. It seemed boundless.

Eyes flickering, he sent the Blood Ancestor leaping forward. Massive rumbling could be heard as the Blood Ancestor flew through the air and then splashed down into the river that was the eastern Heavenspan!

RUMBLE!

Water splashed everywhere, and huge waves rolled out. It was in that moment that the three Heavenspan Battleships also burst out into the Middle Reaches!

Cultivation Base Breakthrough!

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