As the voice echoed out into the world of the level, it seemed to supersede natural law itself. All of the dust and ruins that had been strewn about in the area suddenly seemed to pass through countless tens upon tens of thousands of years. In the blink of an eye, they turned into absolutely nothing.
The sky was no longer clear, but rather, murky and gray, and the lands vanished as though by means of the passage of innumerable years, leaving nothing but a gaping void.
Only the statue of the sovereign remained. Apparently, it wouldn’t change in the least no matter how much time passed, as though it were something completely eternal.
Shaken, Bai Xiaochun began to pant. Never could he have imagined that a spoken word could cause such profound changes. It was as if heaven and earth had been turned upside down, and a plethora of years had passed by in the briefest of moments.
Even more unimaginable was the idea of what would happen if a similar thing happened to a cultivator. It was a terrifying notion; even a powerful archaean would likely become nothing more than ash!
“A sovereign…? So this is what sovereigns are like….” Bai Xiaochun felt like a new world had been opened up to him. As for the spirit automaton, he trembled as he flopped down to kowtow, eyes shining with reverence. Deeper in his eyes… there was longing and sorrow.
As the voice of the sovereign continued to thrum in the area, the figure in the alcove took a step forward, and began to approach Bai Xiaochun.
As he did, black lightning filled the sky above, along with thunderous rumblings. From what Bai Xiaochun could tell, each lightning bolt seemed capable of destroying the tempest caused by the archaean fist strike moments ago!
And he was right! Any one of those lightning bolts would cause even an archaean to flinch in fear!
As of this moment, the image of that sovereign became the sole, most important entity in all existence!
And yet, there was more. As the sovereign approached, corpses began to rise up from within the depths of the world. There were so many that they were impossible to count, their flesh tattered and gory, their eyes filled with the despair and blankness that would arise in the last moment before death.
Although these corpses were clearly dead, their auras were those of celestials and archaeans….
Bai Xiaochun even spotted some enormous giants who, in their moments before death, had been struggling to rise from kneeling positions, but had failed.
Bai Xiaochun was deeply shaken, both by the lightning and by all of the corpses. It was at this point that the image of the sovereign, not having reached Bai Xiaochun, spoke, his voice echoing to fill the entire world.
“You have passed the ninety-ninth level. Now, there is only one level left!” His voice crashed like thunder, filling the world with immense pressure.
Bai Xiaochun stood there shivering, his flesh, blood, and bones creaking and grinding from the terrifying weight pushing down on him. He was like a rowboat in an angry sea, so weak and powerless that the sovereign could turn him to ash with a mere thought!
Before he could even attempt to compose himself, the sovereign spoke a second time.
“To pass the final level… you must acquire my approval. If you do, then you will become my successor disciple, and will be given my legacy treasure!” When he spoke the word approval, it was as if the power of natural law and the forces of time itself were at play. To Bai Xiaochun, it felt as if time were being stretched out, causing everything to slow down.
“This sovereign… is so powerful!” Bai Xiaochun’s eyes were wide with nervousness and incredulity. If he were facing an archaean, he might be able to compose himself, but this was a sovereign, and at the moment, he barely had the strength to keep standing.
His eyes were completely bloodshot, not from excitement, but because he was subconsciously rotating his cultivation base to resist the pressure.
Under such circumstances, most cultivators would not be able to pay attention to the words being spoken to them, but in this case, the shocking power of the sovereign’s voice forced its way into Bai Xiaochun’s mind.
“If you do not gain my approval… then you will be buried here!”
As the words were spoken, brightly colored light flashed in heaven and earth, and winds blew, carrying the howling of innumerable dead souls.
As all of this happened, the image of the sovereign continued to approach Bai Xiaochun, striding slowly through the air, causing everything in the area to shake violently, and black lightning to crash without cease.
“The corpses you see around you are from the time before the great war of the starry sky began. They belong to others who rose to the challenge, but failed! Not a single one of them earned my approval. With the wave of my finger, they died, and became the flesh, blood, and spiritual power that operates my legacy fan.” As the sovereign strode through the corpses, his features became clearer. He was middle-aged, incredibly handsome, with eyes that seemed to contain the starry sky itself. A single look from him seemed more than enough to cause all living souls to cower.
“Many years have passed since the war of the starry sky was fought. You are the first person to reach this point since then. And now, I must ask you a question…. Are you ready?!” By this point, the image of the sovereign was standing right in front of Bai Xiaochun. He looked like a mountain that could crush any starry sky, and left Bai Xiaochun feeling like nothing more than an insect.
The pressure and energy on display here was the type that could look disdainfully at anything in creation. With a mere thought, it could crush the life out of all creation! And that energy seemed to be waiting for Bai Xiaochun’s response… before swallowing him up!
As far as Bai Xiaochun was concerned… only an idiot would respond that he was ready. After all, in the face of this raging energy, the only outcome seemed to be certain death!
“I’m….” Even as he began to speak, a sensation of imminent crisis filled him, and he shook his head firmly. “I'm not ready….”
The sovereign’s eyes glittered, and the spirit automaton looked over at him, blinking. Then, a look of absolutely unprecedented joy filled the spirit automaton’s face.
“Oh right! He doesn’t know that this level….”
Intense rumbling sounds filled the area as teleportation power sprang up, grabbing Bai Xiaochun and removing him from the level.
Moments later, he was out of the hundredth level and back on the surface of the damaged fan, gasping for breath and wiping the sweat from his brow. He felt like a mortal, not even strong enough to grab a chicken, much less face the brutal energy he had just sensed.
“That was scary….” he thought. He had obviously been frightened, but it seemed that anyone who was forced to face the furious energy of that sovereign would make the same choice. “But if I don’t pass this level, then all the other levels will have been a big waste!”
He sat down cross-legged to wrestle with the matter for a bit. Finally, he gritted his teeth.
“The fan has been looking for an owner for years and years. Seems like the projection of that sovereign is probably getting pretty anxious about the matter…. Maybe he’ll take it easy on me….” Having reached this point in his train of thought, he took a deep breath and headed back into the level.
As soon as he entered, the image of the sovereign rose to his feet, energy raging as he stepped forward and said the exact same things he had said before.
Just as Bai Xiaochun was opening his mouth to respond, the sovereign extended his hand, causing the tempestuous, destructive energy to surge around Bai Xiaochun.
All of a sudden, Bai Xiaochun was certain that he was going to die. Shaking physically, he said, “Um, still not ready yet! I’ll come again later!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter