Although Bai Xiaochun had a certain level of control over the damaged fan, he had never surpassed the spirit automaton in that regard. Because of that, he was never able to see him. But now that he had passed the fiftieth level, and also risen to the Mid Celestial Realm, his senses were more acute.
Although he still couldn’t see the spirit automaton, he could sense him. All of a sudden, he looked over toward the fan rib where the spirit automaton was actually standing.
The boy noticed this, and stepped back in shock, then vanished.
Bai Xiaochun narrowed his eyes, and then gave a soft snort.
“That was definitely the spirit automaton spying on me. The thing must have mental problems or something. Otherwise why would he be so into peeping on people!?” Muttering to himself a bit, he looked away and focused his attention on the benefits he had achieved during this session of enlightenment.
“The Dao Essences of sovereign cultivators sure live up to their reputation. This is only a scrap of one, and yet I was able to use it to fuel the auguries of my Present Will. It even contains some of the meaning of life and death within it. This is my second powerful divine ability!
“The Sutra of Present Life and Death!” Taking a deep breath, he rose to his feet and waved his right hand, causing the air around him to distort and tear. It even seemed as if the surrounding void were rippling in his direction.
At the same time, an enormous stone gate appeared behind him, black in color and awe-inspiring in appearance. Countless carvings of vicious ghosts covered its surface, as well as a marionette that was clearly the very same strange entity Bai Xiaochun had seen in Murknine County.
There was also the head of a dead old man carved right in the middle of the gate. Considering the profound aura of death that this gate emanated, it obviously represented death!
This was none other than the Gate of Death!
The evil ghosts that festooned it were various terrifying ghostly creatures that Bai Xiaochun had encountered throughout his life. As for the face of the old man, he had been formed by the Dao Essence of Life and Death, and was the ultimate representation of death!
Next, Bai Xiaochun’s eyes glittered as he waved his right index finger in the direction of the fan ribs, and the spot where he was certain the spirit automaton had been spying on him.
Instantly, a second stone gate appeared in that very spot.
This gate was white, and was festooned with all sorts of plants and vegetation that Bai Xiaochun had seen in his life, which represented life force, vitality, and that which flourishes.
In the middle of the white gate was a carving of the face of a newborn child!
Anyone who looked at that face would suddenly hear the cry of a baby. This gate was… the Gate of Life!
Bai Xiaochun’s Sutra of Present Life and Death created two stone gates, one for death, and one for life. He would stand in front of the Gate of Death, and would force his opponents to approach him from the direction of the Gate of Life. Their approach to him signified their approach to death, in which they grew weaker with every step. Because it also contained the Dao of Time, it was even more powerful. Anyone who approached him from the Gate of Life would grow older and older, just like a sun descending into evening!
The power to arbitrarily push someone from life toward death was immense. Even Bai Xiaochun was shocked by it. And of utmost importance in it all was that Dao Essence of Life and Death which had once belonged to that sovereign of the past!
Bai Xiaochun took in a long breath, and probed at his cultivation base power. Then he stuck his chin up, resolving that, in the future, he wouldn’t hide his cultivation base from people ever again.
“When people realize I've achieved a breakthrough, they’ll probably guess that I came across some sort of good fortune. But who cares? I’ll just tell them I got a bunch of life force from a weird egg sac I ate!” After some thought, he decided that this was definitely the best strategy. At this point, he glanced out of the corner of his eye at the Gate of Life, thought for a moment, then made a beckoning gesture with his finger.
“Bring it on!” he said proudly.
The spirit automaton was standing next to the Gate of Life in the form of a boy, staring hatefully at Bai Xiaochun. Had he possessed the power, he would have killed Bai Xiaochun a thousand, no, a million times over already. Unfortunately, he was powerless to do anything.
“Complete and utter bullying!! he growled, trembling physically. This was definitely the most shameless person he had ever met in his entire life, and he had already sworn countless oaths to see him dead.
Although Bai Xiaochun couldn’t see the spirit automaton, he could sense him standing there. Therefore, he wouldn’t even think about challenging the levels. He would wait until the boy was asleep again. Exercising a thought, he vanished from the damaged fan.
After he was gone, the spirit automaton let out a howl of rage that echoed from one end of the fan to the other. He very much looked like a child throwing a tantrum as he then proceeded to fly around furiously, screaming about how he was going to destroy Bai Xiaochun.
Meanwhile, Bai Xiaochun materialized in his private chamber in Mistysea City. The first thing he did was look at the messages from the Grand Heavenmaster and Giant Ghost King detailing the things that had occurred while he was gone.
After scanning the jade slip, he frowned.
“Seven days ago, the Vile-Emperor reassigned Celestial Ghostmother to Vile-Emperor City? And Celestial Deadfall was dispatched to oversee the north!?” Bai Xiaochun’s eyes narrowed as he pondered the matter. For one thing, he would miss Gongsun Wan’er. For another thing, he didn’t know this Celestial Deadfall. Of course, since there were only twelve celestials in all of the Eternal Immortal Domains, he had obviously heard of him.
The Vile-Emperor Dynasty had seven celestials, and Bai Xiaochun had personally met five of them. Other than Gongsun Wan’er and Daoist Heavenspan, there were Celestial Virūpākṣa, Prince Ur-Demon, and Reverend Devourer.
According to the jade slip, with Gongsun Wan’er having departed, the spirit enhancement trade in the northern prefectures was temporarily suspended. The Grand Heavenmaster had responded cautiously to this development. Instead of going to try to handle it personally, he made contact with one of the demigods from the Vile-Emperor Dynasty and arranged for a message of good will to be sent to Celestial Deadfall, as well as some introductory gifts.
They were still waiting to hear back.
According to the Grand Heavenmaster’s analysis, it was possible that Gongsun Wan’er’s departure could actually be a good thing. Perhaps she could help to spread word of the spirit enhancement trade to the other immortal domains of the Vile-Emperor Dynasty, and increase the reputation of Mistysea Prefecture.
After finishing with the reports, Bai Xiaochun realized that there was no new information about Murknine County. Overall, the second immortal domain had been very peaceful and quiet. Apparently, the incident in Murknine County had been a coincidence.
But Bai Xiaochun still felt uneasy about it all. He knew that whatever entity had stretched its red-scaled hand out of the egg sac possessed power which could destroy the heavens and extinguish the earth, power that celestials couldn’t defend against.
Although absorbing some of the thing’s life force had obviously caused some problems for it, such problems could likely be resolved eventually. Muttering to himself, he rose to his feet with the intention of performing a quick inspection of Mistysea Prefecture.
However, that was when some divine sense from the Grand Heavenmaster shot over. Clearly, he was very anxious about something. Not wasting words, the Grand Heavenmaster said, “Exalted Celestial, I have important news!!
“Celestial Deadfall bears extreme animosity toward the people of Heavenspan! The demigod who helped me send him a message of good will was immediately imprisoned!
“And two hours ago, Celestial Deadfall issued orders that anyone from the Heavenspan Realm found in his territory was to be arrested! Most of the people who were arrested were employees of the stores we opened there!!
“Even worse is that, apparently, he is having them all sent further into the Vile-Emperor Dynasty to give as a tribute to the Vile-Prince, to aid in his research of the secrets of spirit enhancement!
“If my analysis is correct, there is more to the situation than that. We can probably expend a bit of wealth to resolve the situation, but you’ll definitely need to take the lead.”
Even as the Grand Heavenmaster’s words echoed in Bai Xiaochun’s ears via divine sense, the man was flying over to meet him in person. As for Bai Xiaochun, he looked in the direction of the north.
“Extortion?” After probing his own cultivation base, he sent some divine sense over to the incoming Grand Heavenmaster. “What’s his cultivation base?”
“Early Celestial Realm,” was the reply.
“You’re sure about that?”
“Absolutely. I've already prepared the necessary gifts to give him. Exalted Celestial, you--”
However, before he could say anything else, Bai Xiaochun’s eyes tightened into a glare.
“Gifts? Yeah right. This Celestial Deadfall is certainly full of himself, isn’t he?!” Energy surging, he flew off toward the north!Previous Chapter Next Chapter