“What’s going on...?”
“Am I seeing things...? That blood-colored key is actually chasing Nightcrypt?!”
“This... this....” Although people were shocked, it didn’t take long before them to react, and they began to speed toward Bai Xiaochun to start fighting for the key.
Meanwhile, up in midair, Xuemei and Song Junwan saw what was happening. Song Junwan looked angry; she had seen what had happened with Bai Xiaochun earlier, and felt it was a true pity that he had passed up the first key. Now here he was flying along while the key chased him, refusing to grab it. Song Junwan was furious.
“Nightcrypt!” she yelled. “The key is right behind you! Take it immediately! Everybody else, protect Nightcrypt!”
Bai Xiaochun hesitated for a moment, but when he considered that if he wanted to become a grand elder eventually, he would need Song Junwan’s recommendation, and that she had just openly given him an order, he gritted his teeth, stopped in place and reached out to solemnly grab the key.
In that instant, the second blood-colored key suddenly erupted with dazzling light and shot into his hand. For some reason, Bai Xiaochun was certain that, as it did, he heard something like a cry of joy.
“Come help me!” he cried. There was no time to think. He immediately began to back up as Song Junwan’s other Dharma protectors arrived to intercept the enemy. A moment later, magical combat erupted all around him, causing resounding booming sounds to shake heaven and earth.
Not everyone was present; in fact, not even ten people were here. However, magical items were unleashed, and terrifying fluctuations spread out. It was in that moment, that someone shouted out in alarm.
“Wait a second, why is the blood-colored light so faint?!?!” The person to shout out was one of Xuemei’s Dharma protectors, and currently, his face was a mask of incredulity as he stared at Bai Xiaochun.
As his voice echoed out, everyone else looked over, and soon, all of their minds were reeling.
Bai Xiaochun had actually noticed what was happening before anyone else. As soon as his fingers closed around the blood-colored key, the light that had been bursting out of it began to flow into his mouth. Once inside of him, it surged through his body, causing his Undying Heavenly King to operate at full function.
The blood-colored light emanating out from the key immediately began to grow dim.... It almost looked to everyone else as if Bai Xiaochun were eating the key....
The effect was so pronounced that everyone could clearly sense the key growing weak....
“He... he’s actually drawing on the power of the key?!”
“That’s not just drawing on some of its power, he’s obviously eating it! Nightcrypt, stop that immediately!!”
“Heavens! I’ve never heard of anybody doing such a thing. If... if he completely eats it, will its teleportation powers still work?” People were so taken aback all they could do was stare in shock.
Even Song Junwan and Xuemei, who were still locked in combat in midair, were staring at the blood-colored light fading away. Within the space of a few breaths of time, the light was completely gone.
What was left in Bai Xiaochun’s hand... didn't look anything like a key anymore.... Even as everyone stared at Bai Xiaochun, his aura surged, and the power of the Undying Heavenly King exploded ferociously inside of him. He was about to try to explain, but when he opened his mouth, a burp echoed out loud and clear.
“I... burp... I didn’t... burp... do it on purpose... burp....” Bai Xiaochun was so scared he was about to cry. Clasping his hands over his mouth, he looked around at the incredulous stares being leveled at him, which rapidly began to fill with killing intent. More nervous than ever, he began to back up.
“He actually ate that key!!”
“The key’s gone! That’s one spot out of seven... gone! Kill Nightcrypt! This is his fault!!”
“Kill him! The first and second keys both showed up near him. If the third one does the same and he eats that too, we’ll lose another spot!!”
“What if he eats all the keys? If that happens... we’ll all be losers....” As their minds spun with the thought of what could happen, they howled and charged toward Bai Xiaochun. As for Song Junwan’s Dharma protectors, they hesitated for a moment, but then refrained from interfering. The scene which had just played out was simply too bizarre.
Another of Xuemei’s Dharma protectors was a bit further off in the distance. After watching the depressing scene play out, and then hearing everyone crying out, his own anger surged, and he shot after Bai Xiaochun.
By now, eight or nine people were chasing him, the weakest of them being in the late Foundation Establishment stage, with more than one being in the great circle. Most shocking of all was that several of them were clutching powerful magical treasures. Bai Xiaochun was trembling in fear, but thankfully, was fast enough to evade them as he fled for his life.
Before Song Junwan and Xuemei could even react, a whole group was after Bai Xiaochun. They were completely taken aback.
“You can eat those keys?” Song Junwan murmured. Xuemei was equally stunned.
Bai Xiaochun flew through the Blood Wasteland at top speed. Some among the pursuers were faster than the others, but all were slower than Bai Xiaochun, and before long, there was quite a distance between chaser and chased.
“Nightcrypt, you will die beyond the shadow of a doubt this day!”
“Dammit, I can’t believe you completely absorbed that key! Y-y-you....”
Various divine abilities and magical techniques were unleashed, leaving Bai Xiaochun so frightened he felt like his scalp would explode from terror. He felt completely wronged, and even more so, angered. He almost thought about turning around and fighting, but there were just too many opponents, all of them with higher cultivation bases than him, and many with powerful magical treasures. Although Xiao Qing wasn’t among their number, Bai Xiaochun had the feeling he might show up at any moment, and thus devoted himself fully to fleeing.
Before long, the third and fourth hours had passed, and the fifth hour was approaching....
In that very instant, the group of pursuers were shocked to find that the third dot of red light had appeared directly above Bai Xiaochun’s head. Even as he moved along, a blinding beam of blood-colored light shot up, which continued to float along with Bai Xiaochun as he flew along....
“What exactly is going on here!?!? Dammit! Why is this happening?!”
“I can’t believe the third key... appeared right above him!!”
“Nightcrypt, you will die this day!!”
Xuemei’s Dharma protectors were going mad. Were Jia Lie here, he would tearfully tell them that... this was nothing. Had they been by his side in the Endless World of Blood, they would have been driven to complete despair.
Bai Xiaochun was really starting to get pissed off. Looking around at everyone, he gritted his teeth, reached up, and grabbed the third blood-colored key.
Rumbling sounds could be heard as massive amounts of blood-colored light poured into his mouth. Yet again, Bai Xiaochun seemed to be gobbling it up....
“He... he ate another one!!”
“There are only seven keys, and he already ate two!”
“If he keeps this up, then he’ll end up eating all the keys. We have to kill him!” Everyone was starting to get anxious. Song Junwan’s Dharma protectors were starting to hesitate, unsure of whether they should help Nightcrypt, or try to kill him.
Up in midair, Xuemei’s eyes glittered with cold light, and she suddenly waved her right hand, causing the bracelet wrapped around her wrist to flash with blue light. Instantly, a blue beam shot out, and even as she was about to send it flying toward Bai Xiaochun, Song Junwan swished her sleeve, sending out a blast of power to block the way.
Xuemei glared at Song Junwan. “Song Junwan! Something weird is going on with him. I refuse to believe that you can’t see it!”
Song Junwan refused to respond, and simply launched another attack.
Xuemei grinned malevolently. Since she was being prevented from doing anything about Bai Xiaochun, she unleashed her full power upon Song Junwan. By this point, the two of them weren’t simply feeling each other out, they were fighting with everything they had, including their secret weapons.
At the same time, just as murderous auras were beginning to rise up, the mad absorption of the blood-colored light by Bai Xiaochun caused cracking sounds to ring out from inside of him. The Undying Heavenly King was operating at full speed with the nourishment that was being provided. Fleshly body power was rapidly building up, and clearly, Bai Xiaochun was rapidly reaching the point of breaking through from the level of six berserk ghosts to seven.
Although he was being chased with murderous intent, the fact that his fleshly body was powering up so rapidly elated Bai Xiaochun. He could sense his power rapidly growing, and his battle prowess increasing.
“If I could complete the second level of the Undying Heavenly King, and form the Heavenly Demon Body, then even if I run into one of those cultivators with the powerful magical treasures, I could still fight them!
“It’s too bad I can’t reveal my identity, otherwise I could definitely beat those old Foundation Establishment experts!
“Considering how things are at the moment, what should I do...?” Moments ago, he had sensed that Xuemei had been about to unleash something incredibly dangerous on him, and as a result, was only getting more nervous.
He looked over at Xuemei and Song Junwan briefly, then looked away. His head was starting to ache. Even as he tried to think of a way to resolve the situation, another sensation of imminent crisis filled him. This time, it didn’t come from Xuemei, it came from behind him. One of Xuemei’s Dharma protectors had been quietly closing in on him. It was none other than... Yang Hongwu!
His eyes flickered with cold, merciless light, and his hand clutched a burning stick of incense!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
For anybody that doesn't follow my Twitter, I announced a while back that there's an ISSTH comic. As of the posting of this chapter, it's up to issue 13. You can check it out here. It's all in Chinese, but anybody familiar with the story should be able to follow the action. If it ever starts being translated by anybody, I hope that person will get in touch with me so that I can help keep that translation in sync with my translation of the novel.