Now that the four divisions had made their departure, the city was mostly empty, occupied only by a small garrison of cultivators that had been left behind.
The forces of the Spirit Stream Division were the last to leave, mostly because of the vast number of people they had to transport. Furthermore, they weren’t in Spirit Stream Division territory anymore, so moving the ninth mountain peak involved a huge effort. In fact, it would take several teleportations to get it all the way back to the sect headquarters on the Eastwood Continent.
Of course, Bai Xiaochun didn’t have to get involved with the actual movement of the army, nor did the patriarchs have to waste energy on it. Zheng Yuandong was the sect leader, and it was in times like this that his authority was in full swing.
Some prime elders and even a patriarch stayed behind with the main force to escort them, but the founding patriarch took Bai Xiaochun and the other legacy echelon cultivators away ahead of them.
To use the teleportation powers of the ninth mountain peak required a significant wastage of power. However, as long as too many people weren’t on the mountain, the sect could pay the price. It didn't take long before the light of teleportation was rising up into the sky. Countless cultivators looked up into the sky with respectful adoration at Bai Xiaochun and the other legacy echelon cultivators.
Sighing, Bai Xiaochun looked down at the earth far below. He wished he could take Big Fatty Zhang with him, as well as Hou Yunfei and his other friends. Even Zhou Xinqi. However, he didn’t bother annoying the patriarchs with such a request. After all, with each additional person to be teleported, even more resources would have to be wasted.
“It’s not that I don’t want to help you out, brothers and sisters,” he murmured, waving at his friends down below. “I just can’t....” Even as Shangguan Tianyou looked on with gritted teeth, and Ghostfang gazed up somewhat blankly, Bai Xiaochun vanished.
Rumbling sounds echoed out, and Bai Xiaochun’s vision swam. The power of teleportation gripped his mind for a while, and when things became clear, he found himself in midair above Mount Daoseed in the middle of the Spirit Stream Division.
The discomfort that came from teleportation didn’t affect Gold Core cultivators, and as for Bai Xiaochun, he had a powerful fleshly body and a Heaven-Dao Foundation Establishment cultivation base. Although his face went a bit pale, and his cultivation base trembled unstably for a moment, after taking a few deep breaths, he felt fine. That caused the surrounding legacy echelon cultivators to look twice at him.
That was especially true of Li Qinghou, who seemed particularly pleased. It was on more than one occasion that, when in private with Xu Meixiang, he had brought up how proud he was of Bai Xiaochun.
“Come with me, Xiaochun!” said the founding patriarch, his expression serious as he strode forward. As for the other legacy echelon cultivators, they went back to the sect with the other patriarchs to begin making various important preparations. One of the reasons they had been teleported across continents to return was their status in the sect, but another reason was that they had an important task ahead of them.
They needed to create a fleet of ships, enormous vessels that could carry the divisions up the Heavenspan River. They would create a small fleet of Heavenspan Battleships!!
To make the trip to the Middle Reaches over land would be virtually impossible, and also incredibly dangerous. There were even some areas of the land that would be virtually impassable. The resources involved in making such a trip were difficult to imagine, and such wastage would put them in a bad position in the fighting to come. Therefore, after much discussion, the more than ten patriarchs of the River-Defying Sect reached their decision.
They would travel up the river!
Obviously, any ship that could go against the current in the Heavenspan River would be something completely beyond ordinary. The materials used to construct it would have to be meticulously selected. Obviously, neither the Pill Stream Division nor the Profound Stream Division was in a position to make such a vessel. Therefore, this vitally important task had come to rest on the shoulders of the Spirit Stream Division.
Although the Profound and Pill Stream Divisions had provided many of the materials necessary to make the ships, they still lacked material to make the keels!
The best thing to use for the keels would be the spine of some gigantic beast, and after much discussion, the Spirit Stream Division made a decision on what to use. What was now necessary was for the legacy echelon cultivators and the patriarchs to procure that beast spine, and then craft the battleships as quickly as possible. Then, they would have their Heavenspan Battleships, which would be able to carry the more than 1,000,000 cultivators of the four great sects!
Everyone immediately got to work without taking even a moment to rest. As for Bai Xiaochun, he followed the founding patriarch toward a restricted area behind Mount Daoseed.
“Xiaochun, your task is to do your best to concoct a River-Defying Pill. First, I’ll take you to where the true spirit rests in slumber. Perhaps that will be of some assistance to you in your concocting work.” Bai Xiaochun couldn’t help but be nervous at the founding patriarch’s serious tone. However, he was very curious about this most profound of the sect’s reserve powers. At the same time, his heart was filled with respect.
“True spirit....” he murmured to himself. He followed the founding patriarch into the restricted area, and after having taken only a few steps, everything around him started to turn blurry, almost as if it were an illusion. Bai Xiaochun’s heart skipped a beat, and he hurried along nervously behind the founding patriarch. For some reason, he had the feeling that they were now somewhere deep underground, even beneath the Heavenspan River itself!
Soon, things became clear, and Bai Xiaochun saw an enormous karst cave up ahead!
Four cave entrances could be seen leading into the cave, with Bai Xiaochun and the founding patriarch standing in one of them. Down below, golden water could be seen. The glow of spell formations lit the entire area, which Bai Xiaochun quickly realized were connected to both the mountain peaks of the south and north banks, but also to the Heavenspan River itself! Furthermore, the spell formations seemed to be siphoning water from the river!
It wasn’t an offensive spell formation, it was solely defensive.
Bai Xiaochun couldn’t help but gasp at the sight of it. After looking around, his gaze came to rest in the middle of the karst cave, where he saw a coffin.
The coffin had no lid, and from his current vantage point, he could see that inside of it rested the corpse of a baby girl.
Despite being a corpse, the girl seemed to contain signs of life, as well as a profoundly ancient air....
Bai Xiaochun’s mind instantly began to spin, as though something were sucking away at his consciousness. Suddenly, he felt as if he could see a supremely elegant woman walking toward him.
He felt like his soul and his body were suddenly beyond his own control. He forgot everything, even life and death. Even as he gazed blankly out at nothing, shivering, the founding patriarch whispered, “This is the true spirit of the Frigid School!”
Bai Xiaochun’s mind began to recover, and he took a few steps back. His face was ashen, and his body was covered with cold sweat. The fear which he had felt moments ago continued to grip his heart.
The founding patriarch reached out and placed his right hand on Bai Xiaochun’s shoulder.“Your cultivation base is too low, so you can’t look at her for too long. However, with my assistance, you should be able to last for about ten breaths of time. Hopefully that will be of some assistance in your concocting of the River-Defying Pill.”
With that, he sent boundless cultivation base power into Bai Xiaochun, causing him to shiver as he once again looked over at the corpse of the baby girl.
This time, his mind didn't feel so much like it was being sucked away. He looked at the corpse as closely as possible, trying to commit every detail to memory.
Soon, the ten breaths of time were almost up. After a brief moment of hesitation, Bai Xiaochun decided that simply looking with his naked eye wouldn’t provide much help to him in concocting the River-Defying Pill. Gritting his teeth, he opened his Heavenspan Dharma Eye.
The instant his third eye opened, what he saw was no longer the corpse of the baby girl. Instead, it was a supremely elegant woman lying there. Her eyes were closed, and she was completely unmoving. She was surrounded by writhing black mist that resembled countless maggots, which constantly attempted to chew their way into her body. Clearly, it was the spell formation and the water of the Heavenspan River that slowed their progress.
Inside of the woman’s chest was a cauldron that emanated deep blue light. Apparently, the black mist maggots were terrified of the cauldron, and the light which shone out of it; they avoided it at all costs.
Unfortunately, the glow of the cauldron was very faint, as though it only contained the slightest scrap of power left within it....
Then, to Bai Xiaochun great surprise, something happened that he almost suspected was an illusion. The woman’s eyes opened, revealing complete and utter blackness as she looked at Bai Xiaochun. “The River-Defying Pill draws life from the Heavenspan River water. Converge the energy of heaven and earth to stir the might of the frigid cauldron and suppress the power of the nine devils....”
Bai Xiaochun shivered and impulsively cried out, “She opened her eyes and said--”
Before he could finish speaking, the founding patriarch’s face turned ashen, and blood began to ooze out of his mouth. Even still, a look of delight filled his face and he looked over at Bai Xiaochun.
“You saw the true spirit open her eyes? She spoke?!”
Bai Xiaochun nodded incredulously. The founding patriarch excitedly clasped hands and bowed to the baby girl, then led Bai Xiaochun away, peppering him with questions the entire time.
Even after stepping back onto Mount Daoseed, his eyes still flashed with excitement.
“The fact that the true spirit opened her eyes indicates that she also believes you have the potential to concoct the River-Defying Pill. Come. I’ll take you to look at the one River-Defying Pill we have in the sect. After studying it, you can try to concoct your own!” He clasped Bai Xiaochun by the arm, and the two of them vanished. When they reappeared, they were outside an immortal's cave on the ninth mountain peak, a place heavily sealed by numerous spell formations. The founding patriarch immediately waved his hand, causing a box to fly out of the cave. When the box landed in front of Bai Xiaochun, the lid opened, revealing a violet medicinal pill.
It seemed completely ancient, as though it had been concocted countless years in the past. As soon as it appeared, strange colors flashed, and a huge wind kicked up. Bai Xiaochun could immediately sense an indescribable life force power within the pill.
“River-Defying Pill....”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translator: Deathblade. Chinese language consultant: ASI a.k.a. Beerblade. Editor: GNE. Memes: Logan. Meme archives: Tocsin. Transcendent Patrons: Daoist Elder N, BLE, ttre208. AWE Glossary. Xianxia-inspired T-shirts.
Roughly 24 hours from now I'm going to be live streaming a discussion with Brendan from Bedrock Games about wuxia, xianxia, and role-playing games. I'm not sure how long the discussion will go, but I do plan to do some Q&A at some point, so feel free to drop in and say hi!