The source of the aura was Gongsun Wan’er’s immortal's cave!
Bai Xiaochun had originally expected to detect the aura of a breakthrough. After all, whenever he spent time in secluded meditation, he would occasionally send some divine sense out into Arch-Emperor City to check on things.
And for years now, Gongsun Wan’er had been hoping to break through to the mid Celestial Realm. That fact was no secret; it was known to Bai Xiaochun, the Grand Heavenmaster, and even others.
If Bai Xiaochun had not helped Gongsun Wan’er supplant Ghostmother, then given the resources she had built up, she shouldn’t have had any problem achieving such a breakthrough.
The entire time that Gongsun Wan’er had been in the Arch-Emperor Dynasty, she had been in seclusion. Although she had fully absorbed Ghostmother, that was only the first step. And despite the fact that Ghostmother’s consciousness was gone, there were still parts of her that remained.
As soon as Bai Xiaochun sensed the aura, he realized that in addition to the signs of an imminent breakthrough, there were also… fluctuations that indicated that something was struggling to awaken!
And Bai Xiaochun recognized those fluctuations; they belonged to Ghostmother!
Bai Xiaochun’s face fell. Now was not the time to worry about conjuring flame, so he flicked his sleeve to gather up all the souls, and then vanished. When he reappeared, he was actually inside Gongsun Wan’er’s immortal's cave.
There she sat, trembling, her eyes tightly closed. Mist swirled on her face, some of it black, some of it white. The black mist seemed to be in the process of consuming the white mist, and succeeding.
Clearly, that black color represented Ghostmother, and the white represented Gongsun Wan’er. At the moment, Bai Xiaochun was the only person in the Arch-Emperor Dynasty who realized what was happening, and also the only person who could save Gongsun Wan’er!
“Well that’s fine!” he thought. “I’ll take advantage of the situation to totally crush Ghostmother, and give Gongsun Wan’er complete control. That way, even if she needs to be resurrected by means of her Daoseed, she would still come back as herself!!” After being absorbed, Ghostmother’s mark still existed, and because she was still part of Gongsun Wan’er, Bai Xiaochun would not have been able to erase it even if he wanted to. It would have harmed Ghostmother, but would also have harmed Gongsun Wan’er as well, perhaps irreversibly.
Now, Ghostmother was taking advantage of this critical moment in Gongsun Wan’er’s breakthrough to try to defeat her. However, that also gave Bai Xiaochun a rare opportunity.
Snorting coldly, he reached out and touched her forehead, then sent some divine sense streaming into her sea of consciousness.
The waters there were both black and white, with the black side seething and churning as it attempted to overwhelm the white side.
Just barely visible within that black seawater was a face that resembled Gongsun Wan’er’s, but was more vicious, and burning with ghost qi! That was none other than Ghostmother’s consciousness!
There was no face visible within the white side, as though Gongsun Wan’er’s consciousness was already gone!
Bai Xiaochun’s divine sense appeared right within the black seawater, amidst thunderous rumblings.
“Bai Xiaochun!!” Ghostmother shouted from within the black water. At the same time, the water began to rise up, transforming into a huge giant!
Filled with rage, she reached out toward Bai Xiaochun, hoping to crush him and consume his divine sense.
This was not a case of Ghostmother ignoring the height of the heavens and the breadth of the earth. She had been in a state of slumber for a long time, and despite having consumed much of Gongsun Wan’er’s consciousness, had not pinned down her true soul. As such, Ghostmother had no idea that Bai Xiaochun had already become the Arch-Emperor.
“You’ve bitten off a bit more than you can chew!” Bai Xiaochun replied, eyeing Ghostmother coldly. Then he reached out, unleashing his Undying Emperor’s Fist. He didn’t resort to his Sovereign’s Fist, as that was unnecessary. Even still, it caused massive waves to roll out across the sea of consciousness.
“That… that….” Ghostmother’s face fell as she retreated. However, she moved too slowly, and the shadowy emperor joined Bai Xiaochun to strike her with heaven-shaking, earth-shattering force.
Deafening rumbling sounds could be heard. This was Ghostmother’s sea of consciousness, and she had the advantage, having just consumed Gongsun Wan’er, giving her the ability to unleash the power of the mid Celestial Realm.
Despite that, when facing cultivation base power like this… she was defeated instantly!!
Ghostmother screamed as the gigantic figure made of black water collapsed, and her consciousness shattered into thousands of evil ghosts that began to flee in all directions.
Bai Xiaochun ignored them; if he wanted to, he could track them down with minimal effort.
But the most important thing was to find Gongsun Wan’er’s true soul. He had been able to tell earlier that Ghostmother had consumed much of Gongsun Wan’er’s consciousness, but not her true soul. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have attacked him so recklessly.
With Ghostmother’s consciousness having been shattered, the sea below was not black, but nearly transparent. Without any hesitation, he shot down into it and sent his divine sense out to search for Gongsun Wan’er.
Occasionally he would encounter the evil ghosts that were fragments of Ghostmother’s consciousness, which he would destroy and feed back into the sea of consciousness.
It didn’t take long before his divine sense locked down onto something at the bottom of the sea: a huge sword!
Bai Xiaochun immediately recognized it. It was… the fallen sword from the Heavenspan Realm, which had once been a prized possession of Gu Tianjun!
It looked exactly the same as Bai Xiaochun remembered it, and he could even see gaps and cracks on its surface, within which was… the Fallen Sword Abyss!
He moved in a blur, appearing next to the sword. Right now, the sense he got from the sword was very different than back when he had been in the Qi Condensation stage, fighting with Song Que over heavenstring energy.
Pushing such thoughts aside, he approached one of the gaps and entered the Fallen Sword Abyss. Inside were thick mists, filled with howling cries that reminded him of the banesouls of the past.
Ignoring such cries, he followed the sensations he received through his divine sense until he reached a certain mist-filled valley. After entering the valley, he breathed a sigh of relief upon seeing a trembling little girl huddling in a far corner, clad in a long white garment!
That little girl was the true soul of Gongsun Wan’er!
Apparently, having lost much of her consciousness, she had also been bereft of most of her memories. She was also incredibly weak. When she sensed Bai Xiaochun, she looked up, fear in her eyes.
“Sweetie, are you… going to eat me…?”
Bai Xiaochun sighed, immediately taking pity on her. Shaking his head, he slowly approached, whereupon the girl wrapped her arms around his leg.
“There are a lot of ghosts out there, sweetie. It's really scary. Why don’t you hide here with me?”
Squatting down, he looked at her, his eyes soft as he said, “Don’t be afraid, Wan'er. Let me get you out of here, okay?”
She shivered, memories beginning to trickle back into her mind. For some unknown reason, she instinctively trusted this young man.
A moment passed, and she nodded. However, she gripped his hand tightly, and was clearly not willing to let go of it.
Holding her hand, he led her out of the Fallen Sword Abyss. As soon as they appeared back out in the sea of consciousness, the numerous evil ghosts suddenly went crazy, and began to fly toward her with mouths wide open.
But with Bai Xiaochun there, they had no hope of consuming her. As they neared, they screamed and shattered. Before long, he had destroyed all of them.
With each one that vanished, Gongsun Wan’er’s consciousness began to return to her. Soon, she closed her eyes. However, her hand continued to grip Bai Xiaochun’s hand tightly.
Bai Xiaochun was still worried. Sending his divine sense out, he reconfirmed that all of the traces of Ghostmother had been completely destroyed. Smiling, he sent his divine sense back into his body.
In Gongsun Wan’er’s chamber, he shivered as he awoke. Reaching out, he touched the top of Gongsun Wan’er’s head with his index finger and gently pushed down. Just as he was pulling it away, Gongsun Wan’er suddenly reached up and clasped his hand….
Her eyelashes fluttered, and she slowly opened her eyes. Smiling warmly, she spoke, a slight, teasing tone in her voice.
“Thank you, sweetie.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter