Someone’s Definitely Protecting Me

A huge crater was now visible in the jungle on the right bank of the river.

There, the broken and shattered body of a skybanyan treant could be seen. It was currently dead, but struggling out from inside was the arrogant young Chosen who had spoken with Bai Xiaochun moments ago.

There was no madness or arrogance on his face now, only terror. After a bit of hesitation, his reverence toward Bai Xiaochun caused him to simply sit down in place cross-legged and meditate.

Bai Xiaochun felt very pleased. It was only after emerging from the Blood Ancestor that he realized that his time inside the giant had been incredibly beneficial, especially to his Undying Live Forever Technique. Thanks to the absorption of power inside the giant, he had already reached the point of being able to materialize a second asura.

Of course, he knew that he would be one of the main targets on the battlefield, and had actually waited for someone to try to plot against him. Just when he was being picked on, that was when he chose to fight back with vicious force.

Considering that he had knocked the arrogant Chosen completely off the battlefield, and that the young man hadn’t made a peep afterward, Bai Xiaochun felt more at ease than ever.

“Let’s see who dares to pick on me now!” he said proudly.

The surrounding Sky River Court cultivators looked at him with terror in their eyes, and just as he had said, not a single one dared to approach him. Even the smaller skybanyan trees were trembling at the sight of his use of the Mountain Shaking Bash.

As for the cultivators, they were forced to stew in their irritation, and hope that the spell formation around him would crumble, leaving him out in the open. Only then would they be able to show him what it was like to fight without the protection of a spell formation!

“Dammit! I refuse to believe that he can keep that spell formation powered up for much longer!”

“Hmph! Once he’s out in the open, we can see what this guy’s real battle prowess is like!” Although they were cursing him in their hearts, the Sky River Court cultivators had no choice other than to flee from Bai Xiaochun.

“Hey,” he howled cockily, “don’t run! I’m ready to fight till the bitter end! Bring it on!” However, he simply watched them as they ran away, feeling more wonderful than ever.

Thanks to Bai Xiaochun, the River-Defying Sect cultivators were able to relax momentarily, and also solidify their defensive positions within the deadlock.

Before long, the River-Defying Sect Gold Core cultivators were able to increase their advantage. Hundreds of Gold Core experts had pooled their power to create a sword formation that had already injured numerous contemporaries among the Sky River Court.

Some of the Sky River Court Gold Core cultivators had already met their end in the fighting, and soon, the group as a whole began to retreat. Down below, people looked up to see the Sky River Court Gold Core cultivators being chased across the battlefield by the River-Defying Sect.

Finally, one of the River-Defying Sect’s prime elders indicated that the time had come to attack, and the four divisions charged forth excitedly over the river water.

Now that the River-Defying Sect was seizing the initiative on the river, the Sky River Court’s Nascent Soul expert who was half a step into the Deva Realm shoved back Master Godwind, Frigidsect, Crimsonsoul, and Sieve Pill. Waving his sleeve, he pointed toward the Dire Skybanyan and howled in a mixture of grief and anger, “Protect the sect headquarters! Activate the grand spell formation!”

As his words echoed out like thunder, a green field of light shot out from the enormous Dire Skybanyan and exerted a powerful gravitational force.

That force locked onto the cultivators of the Sky River Court and, in the blink of an eye, hauled them back toward the tree. That included the Gold Core cultivators and the Foundation Establishment experts.

With the spell formation activated, this part of the Heavenspan River was completely sealed tight. The River-Defying Sect would now be forced to expend significant effort to break through, which should have given Sky River Court some breathing room in the already dire situation they were in!

Unfortunately for them, the Dire Skybanyan’s spell formation wasn’t complete. Astonishingly, there were two enormous gaps in the shield, one on the right side and the other on the left!

Obviously, the reason they had waited until now to activate the formation was because it was so weak! The spell formation actually had openings.

“Abandon the Heavenspan River!” said Patriarch Frigidsect. “It’s time for the second offensive. Attack the Sky River Court headquarters through the jungle!” In accordance with the previously drafted battle plans, the most powerful division, the Blood Stream Division, teamed up with the weakest division, the Pill Stream Division, and headed to the left bank of the river, where they began to pour into the jungle.

The Spirit Stream Division and the Profound Stream Division joined forces to head into the jungle on the right bank.

This was the jungle offensive!

Because the jungle was so cramped and crowded, it wasn’t appropriate to use the spell formation giants or the Profound Stream puppets. In the jungle offensive, all of the disciples would rely on their own power to fight.

Countless cultivators were attacking from both flanks, fighting their way rapidly toward the Sky River Court’s headquarters. The Sky River Court forces had little time to rest. All of their cultivators, even the Gold Core experts, spread out to try to stop the advance of the River-Defying Sect.

Once again, fighting broke out between the Nascent Soul patriarchs!

Before the truly deadly fighting began, the River-Defying Sect patriarchs made arrangements for the Outer and Inner Sect disciples to retreat to the Heavenspan Battleships, where they would be safer.

Only Foundation Establishment cultivators and higher would participate in this battle. After all, without spell formations to protect them, any injuries the weaker disciples received would likely lead to deaths.

That was war!

To provide an incentive, the patriarchs had agreed that none of the spoils of war procured in the jungle offensive needed to be offered up to the sect, but could be kept by whoever won them!

However, infighting among fellow sect members was strictly prohibited. Everyone was excited, but at the same time, didn’t dare to violate the rules.

After Bai Xiaochun’s spell formation broke apart, he exchanged glances with his eight compatriots, then they all clasped hands and bowed to each other. None of them spoke as they shot at top speed into the jungle.

Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath. As he looked at the jungle, what he thought about most was his encounter with the Luochen Clan. The surroundings here looked very similar to those mountains back then.

“Considering I’m so important, there will definitely be someone looking out for me….” Even still, he took a deep breath, gritted his teeth, and slapped his bag of holding. Instantly, a big stack of paper talismans appeared. Next, smacking sounds rang out as he began to place them all over his body. Within moments, a hundred layers of glowing shields appeared. He limited the number of course; too many shields would be too eye-catching.

Having accomplished that, he sped into motion, drawing upon the explosive power of his fleshly body to speed into the jungle toward the Sky River Court’s headquarters, the Dire Skybanyan.

The jungle was very humid, and the occasional miserable scream echoed out here and there. Some of those screams came from the forces of the Sky River Court, others came from the River-Defying Sect. Bai Xiaochun was soon panting. After less time passed than it takes half an incense stick to burn, his expression flickered, and he suddenly dodged to the side. As he did, four Foundation Establishment cultivators appeared. Two of them unleashed palm strikes that slammed into the ground exactly where Bai Xiaochun had just been standing.

The other two attacks landed on Bai Xiaochun’s shields!

The shields emitted cracking sounds, but held fast. In fact, they even sent backlash attacks to the two Foundation Establishment cultivators, instantly destabilizing their qi and blood. As the two cultivators staggered backward, Bai Xiaochun howled and shot forward, smashing into one of the cultivator’s chest.

A boom could be heard, and the cultivator shrieked. Blood sprayed out of his mouth as his chest caved in, and he tumbled across the ground for several meters before coming to a stop, dead.

Even as the other three cultivators stared in shock, Bai Xiaochun’s hand flashed with black light as it shot out with lightning speed. A gravitational force erupted, and one of the fleeing Foundation Establishment cultivators suddenly found himself flying toward Bai Xiaochun. Before he could do anything, Bai Xiaochun’s hand had clamped onto his throat!

The Throat Crushing Grasp!

Rumbling sounds echoed out as Bai Xiaochun clenched his fingers together. The Foundation Establishment cultivator’s eyes bulged, and then he was dead!

When the other two cultivators saw what had just occurred, their eyes went wide, and they began to flee in terror. When they had seen him on his own, they had been itching to tangle with him, but never could they have imagined that, even without his spell formation incarnation, he would be completely terrifying!

Even as they turned to flee, Bai Xiaochun extended his right hand, and blood qi swirled into the shape of a 30-meter-long beam of blood-colored light, which then slashed out like the sharpest of blades.

The two fleeing cultivators shivered, then looked down in shock to find that they had been cut in half at the waist!

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The Scream Of The Phoenix

Almost exactly when Bai Xiaochun cut down the last of the four Foundation Establishment cultivators who had just ambushed him, a strange cry rose up from the distant Sky River Court.

“Hehehe. Hehehe….” Everyone who heard the bizarre, echoing laughter felt a cold chill spreading out across their body, almost as if they were being frozen.

As the laughter rang out, a beam of light rose up from within the Sky River Court, which came to a stop high in the air. Visible there was a cloth doll!

It was only about a meter tall, and dressed in a ragged garment full of holes. It only had a few tufts of hair on its head, and a bizarre smile on its face!

It seemed like something completely ordinary, the type of toy any child might have at hand. But as it hovered there, it emanated a terrifying aura, and let out cackling laughter.

Its eyes shone with red light, making it seem viciously bloodthirsty. Almost as soon as it appeared, it flickered, vanishing, to reappear in front of one of the River-Defying Sect cultivators. The cultivator’s eyes went wide, and then his head exploded, sending blood spraying out in all directions, accompanied by mad laughter.

Everyone who saw the scene play out gasped. As for Bai Xiaochun, his scalp was tingling so hard it felt like it might explode.

“Is that the Sky River Court’s reserve power precious treasure?” he thought. At the same time, Gongsun Wan’er was in another location in the jungle, looking up at the doll with scorn flickering in her eyes.

That was when, all of a sudden, another beam of light cut through the air, speeding rapidly toward the cloth doll. Within that beam of light was the Blood Stream Division’s reserve power, the scarecrow!

It also wore a bizarre smile, and held a patch of skin in its hand. As it flew along, it threw the patch of skin on as if it were a garment, and then sped toward the doll.

Shocking rumbling echoed out as the two bizarre beings slammed into each other and started fighting. The freakish laughter which rang out was bizarre to the extreme!

Many of the River-Defying Sect cultivators breathed sighs of relief. However, Bai Xiaochun, along with the Gold Core experts and some of the particularly quick-thinking Foundation Establishment cultivators, all had anxious looks on their faces!

“If that doll is the Sky River Court’s reserve power, then good. But what if it’s not the reserve power, but rather a lower-level precious treasure? If a mere low-level precious treasure requires the Blood Stream Division’s reserve power to handle, then what would their true reserve power look like?!” Based on what Bai Xiaochun could see, the doll didn’t really seem like a reserve power. If the Dire Skybanyan was considered a reserve power, then Bai Xiaochun couldn’t even imagine what other types of reserve powers the Sky River Court might have.

Even as shock gripped his heart, a piercing scream rang out through the air, and something else flew out from the Sky River Court headquarters. It was a shroud, complete with brownish blood stains and a terrifying, indescribable aura.

Clearly, this shroud was on the same level of power as the cloth doll!

As it screamed through the air, a stream of smoke suddenly rose up from below. Golden light poured out from the smoke, which formed into the shape of a middle-aged Daoist. The Daoist immediately strode forward to intercept the shroud!

That projection was the reserve power of the Profound Stream Division!

The lands were filled with the rumbling of combat, which caused Bai Xiaochun to start to pant. He was feeling anything but safe at the moment, so he quickly produced some more talismans. After collecting the four bags of holding from his enemies, he cautiously made his way forward across the battlefield.

Doing his best to avoid looking up at the fighting in the air above, he focused on his surroundings, trying to move as quickly as possible. At one point, his eyes suddenly flickered, and he performed an incantation gesture with his right hand. Waving his finger, he summoned a violet cauldron, which then smashed down toward the ground.

A huge crater opened up. Snorting coldly, Bai Xiaochun opened his third eye, and immediately saw something standing next to the cauldron that was only visible because of the power of the Heavenspan Dharma Eye.

Not pausing for even a moment, he burst forward, clenching his hand into a fist and unleashing a fist strike backed by the power of his Asura Body.

The figure up ahead seemed shocked, and fell back at top speed. However, the force of the blow still slammed into him, causing blood to spray out of his mouth. The figure solidified into a middle-aged man, who was looking at Bai Xiaochun with shock.

“You can see me!?!?” Even as the words left his mouth, he turned to flee. However, a pair of wings sprouted out behind Bai Xiaochun, and a single flap sent him rocketing forward, his right foot spinning through the air in a powerful, swiping kick.

The cultivator tried to defend himself, even pulling out a large collection of defensive magical items. However, a boom rang out as the magical items were easily destroyed by Bai Xiaochun’s kick. The kick then smashed into the cultivator, crushing the life out of him instantly.

Bai Xiaochun didn’t stop moving. Grabbing the enemy’s bag of holding, he proceeded onward, keeping his Dharma eye open. Any enemies who had concealed themselves in his path were completely incapable of escaping. Soon, Bai Xiaochun changed his trajectory, taking advantage of his sight to help out any fellow sect members who were in trouble.

He saw many corpses along the way. Some were Sky River Court cultivators, others belonged to members of the River-Defying Sect. Some of them were people he knew, which caused him to sink further into silence.

He was unsure of how to express the emotions he was feeling, but he was sure of one thing: his murderous aura was growing more intense by the moment….

“So, this is what cultivation brings…?” he murmured. He understood the truth of matters. He had come to that understanding long ago, based on what he had experienced with the Luochen Clan, in the Fallen Sword Abyss, and fighting outside the Profound Stream Sect city. However, whenever he came face to face with reality, it filled him with complex emotions.

Even as he sank further into silence, he suddenly heard a shrieking call off in the distance. It was a scream of anxiety and grief, and as soon as he heard it, his heart trembled painfully.

Although other people might not be sensitive to that cry, to Bai Xiaochun, it was like thunder crashing into his mind. He recognized that call!

“A phoenix?” Bai Xiaochun sped up, heading as fast as he could in the direction of the anxious cries. As he neared, he saw the very same phoenix that had consumed his Aphrodisiac Pill all those years ago. It seemed to be completely maddened; despite being injured and soaked with blood, it was doing everything it could to attack a black-robed young woman from the Sky River Court.

The young woman’s face was grim, and there was a long, ugly scar on it that marred her beauty. Her eyes gleamed with a murderous light, and she radiated a sensation of intense danger.

Held in her hand was the severed head of an old man, whose eyes were still filled with the disbelief that had struck him in the moments before death.

On the ground at the young woman’s feet was a headless body, clad in the robes of the Spirit Stream Division, blood pooling up around it.

As soon as Bai Xiaochun saw the head, his eyes went wide, and he began to tremble. “Elder Zhou!!”

The severed head belonged to none other than the Spirit Stream Division’s Elder Zhou from Fragrant Cloud Peak, who had taken over as peak lord from Li Qinghou!

Bai Xiaochun was shaking visibly, his lips trembling, his mind filled with countless scenes from the past….

He remembered back in the ovens when he and Big Fatty Zhang had pilfered the precious materials that had been meant for Elder Zhou….

He thought back to when this very phoenix had led Elder Zhou to the Medicine Concocting Pavilion to accuse him….

He thought back to Elder Zhou’s enraged howls as he shot off of Fragrant Cloud Peak to chase Bai Xiaochun, and how he had screamed miserably the entire time….

Back in the qualifying round before the north and south bank Chosen Battles, he had intended to come in last. However, it had been Elder Zhou’s provocation that caused him to flee and take first place….

The memories filled his mind, and then shattered in a burst of indescribable grief. That grief filled his heart, until it was ready to explode out like lightning from the heavens.

Glaring at the young woman, his hands slowly clenched into fists.

When the phoenix saw Bai Xiaochun, it shrieked in anguish and then began to fly toward him. That was when the young woman slowly raised her hand and pointed at the phoenix.

A black stream of light flew out, transforming into a huge mouth that shot toward the phoenix to consume it.

“Are you looking to die!?!?” Bai Xiaochun roared. He took a step forward, and his veins of steel began to pulse. Another step, and he was past the phoenix, where he unleashed a fist strike onto the enormous black mouth.

A boom echoed out as the black mouth collapsed, sending black mist pouring out in all directions. However, the mist didn’t dissipate. In the blink of an eye, it reformed into the shape of the young woman!

The version of her off in the distance was nothing more than an afterimage. Her true body was now right in front of Bai Xiaochun, sneering with disdain as she stabbed her index finger toward his forehead!

Because of how close she was, dodging the move wasn’t an option. And yet, Bai Xiaochun hadn’t even considered doing such a thing. His Undying Live Forever Technique erupted with power, and his Asura Body manifested behind him. Instead of retreating, he headbutted her!

The young woman’s face fell. Never could she have imagined that he would do something so vicious. Before she could react, his head slammed into her finger, causing a cracking sound to ring out. The young woman immediately sped backward, her finger mangled and her eyes shining with a very serious look.

“I don’t have time to waste tangling with you!” she said hoarsely, turning to leave.

“Yeah, well tangling with you is exactly what I feel like doing!” Although Bai Xiaochun’s forehead was injured, he didn’t seem to notice. His right hand flashed with an incantation gesture, and then he shoved his palm out. “Blood Annihilation World!”

Instantly, boundless blood qi erupted out from him, forming sealing marks which then took the shape of a whole world that blocked the young woman’s path of retreat.

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