As the fire consumed the marionette, its wailing battered Bai Xiaochun’s ears, causing his heart to fill with indescribable coldness.
Perhaps it was because he had been attuned to danger from a very young age. Or perhaps it was because of his dream of living forever. Either way, his ability to sense impending danger had improved throughout his years of cultivation, and had always surpassed cultivators in the same level as himself.
And right now, his intuition was telling him that something was very, very wrong in Murknine County!
Even as his heart sank, Gongsun Wan’er looked over and said in a hoarse voice, “There’s no ghost qi here. That marionette… is not a ghostly soul!”
Although she didn’t have Bai Xiaochun’s intuition, as Ghostmother, she was innately attuned to matters of ghosts and souls.
“More precisely, it isn’t a complete ghostly soul…. I can actually sense a soul linkage on it, and the source… is in that direction!” She pointed off into the distance, then looked over at Bai Xiaochun. Although she didn’t say anything more, her intention was clear.
They had two choices. One was to leave, and wait for other celestials from the two dynasties to come help, or perhaps even the archaean emperors. The other option… was to go investigate on their own, and try to resolve the issue!
The former was the safest of the two decisions. Unfortunately, neither Gongsun Wan’er nor Bai Xiaochun had the luxury of time.
Bai Xiaochun wasn’t sure whether Gongsun Wan’er would be willing to give up her place in the north, but he did know that if he didn’t resolve this situation, then he might as well forget about turning Mistysea Prefecture into a beacon of hope for the people of Heavenspan!
Frowning slightly, he blurred into motion in the direction Gongsun Wan’er had pointed out.
Gongsun Wan’er didn’t hesitate to follow. After winning the struggle over the true form of Ghostmother, she had lost the trust of the Vile-Emperor. Her entire purpose in coming to the north of the second immortal domain was to try to win back that trust. If she didn’t join Bai Xiaochun, she would be throwing away all of the progress she had already made.
Therefore, she made the same decision he did.
The more they flew along, the more unsightly their expressions became. Even after flying for some time, they never saw a single person. Everything was gray, with no plant life or mountains. Nothing.
They saw towns and villages, but most seemed devoid of life. A few times, mysterious voices floated out from within a location they passed.
Presumably, those places were similar to the first village they had encountered.
And thus, they proceeded along in silence and vigilance. Eventually, a city appeared up ahead!
It was none other than the capital of Murknine County!
“This is the source of the soul linkage,” Gongsun Wan’er said. “I just can’t tell exactly where it is.” Both of them sent their divine sense out to check out the location, and when they did, their faces fell!
What they saw was very different from the towns and villages they had seen up to this point. There were living cultivators in the city, except, they were trudging around the streets and alleys like the walking dead.
Even more odd was that many people in the city were constantly eating food as they ambled along.
Most shocking was that some people had apparently finished eating their food, and had begun to devour their own fingers and hands! It was as if they were starving!
When Bai Xiaochun and Gongsun Wan’er saw that, they accelerated until they were in midair above the city, where they could observe the situation with physical sight.
After a moment, Bai Xiaochun flew down and landed on one of the streets of the city. In front of him he saw a Core Formation cultivator, a woman who was slowly devouring her finger. Blood dripped down her arm, but she didn't seem to notice. She was apparently so starving that the only thing she cared about was eating.
Shaken, Bai Xiaochun reached out and put his right hand onto the woman’s head, then sent some divine sense inside her. He wanted to see for himself what had happened, and confirm his speculations about the matter.
As he searched the woman’s mind, his expression grew grimmer and grimmer.
Meanwhile, Gongsun Wan’er had landed on the ground too, and was similarly searching through the mind of another cultivator. When they were done, they exchanged a glance, then quickly recounted to each other everything they had learned.
“Still conscious and aware, just muddled?!”
“No signs of being controlled? They’re acting on instinct alone?!”
“Their life force is slowly being drained away!?”
Unfortunately, neither of them had any idea how to solve the problem.
Everything that was happening was truly strange!
At one point, Gongsun Wan’er reached out and grabbed a Nascent Soul cultivator, then bound his hands up. The man struggled for a bit, and when he realized he couldn’t reach his arms, began chewing on his lip until blood ran down his chin.
Both Gongsun Wan’er and Bai Xiaochun looked grimmer than ever. Gongsun Wan’er unbound the Nascent Soul cultivator, and Bai Xiaochun continued onward.
Gongsun Wan’er looked around, then followed Bai Xiaochun. Right now, the safest thing for the both of them was to stick together.
With each moment that passed, they felt more and more shaken by what they saw. They almost felt like they weren’t in the Eternal Immortal Domains anymore. Everyone around them was completely focused on eating, and some of them even had bloated bellies from it.
It was only those who had bloated bellies that seemed capable of coming to their senses to some degree. At one point, they caught sight of someone off in the distance with an exaggeratedly bloated belly. He was an old man who lay on the ground, so stuffed he couldn’t move. His eyes shone with terror and despair, indicating that he was at least somewhat lucid.
When he noticed Bai Xiaochun and Gongsun Wan’er, he shivered and managed to gather enough energy to call out to them.
“Celestial, save me….”
That old man was one of the two demigod’s Gongsun Wan’er had dispatched to investigate Murknine County!
When Gongsun Wan’er realized who the old man was, she hurried toward him, followed by Bai Xiaochun. However, before they could get very close, the man’s face twisted as if with pain, and he screamed at the top of his lungs. Then… his belly exploded!!
Blood and gore splattered out in all directions, along with a host of innumerable, colorful spiders that had human faces!
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes flickered. Suppressing the revolting feeling that swept through him, he performed an incantation gesture with his right hand and waved his finger through the air. The grim-faced Gongsun Wan’er also unleashed an attack.
When two celestials joined together to unleash an attack, it was like a destructive tempest. Winds screamed as the spiders began to collapse, unleashing unsettling screams as they did.
As the screams of the spiders echoed out, everyone else in the city shivered, then stopped eating and turned to look at Bai Xiaochun and Gongsun Wan’er. Pained expressions could be seen on their faces as they howled, their bellies bulging. Then, one by one, they began to explode!
A horde of countless spiders appeared, filling the city, pouring over everything as they raced madly toward Bai Xiaochun and Gongsun Wan’er!
The lands quaked due to the sheer numbers involved. Shocked, both Bai Xiaochun and Gongsun Wan'er flew up into the air and looked down at the city, which now looked as though it had been covered by a colorful, writhing blanket!
It was a ghastly and horrible sight!
All of the spiders emanated Foundation Establishment auras. Although individually they were completely insignificant to celestials… there were just too many of them!Previous Chapter Next Chapter