Bai Xiaochun smacked his bag of holding in frustration. The little turtle had become quite the headache for him, but there was nothing he could do about the situation. Sighing, he watched Zhou Xinqi leaving, then slowly shook his head and turned to head in the direction of the Beast Conservatory on the north bank.
It was impossible to say where exactly Bruiser was. When Bai Xiaochun arrived on the north bank, the only thing that met him was a distant howl. Even Bruiser was ignoring him. Bai Xiaochun felt more depressed than ever.
“The child has grown up,” he said with a sigh, “and now he just ignores his father!” With that, he headed into the Beast Conservatory.
The Beast Conservatory was like a second home to Bai Xiaochun. As soon as he arrived, the battle beasts looked over and let out happy roars of greeting.
“Come on, be a good boy, Blackie. Don’t bully poor Daisy!”
“What are you doing, Mr. Blackbear? Fighting again? What did I tell you last time? Alright, you’re in time out for the next two hours!”
Bai Xiaochun greeted the battle beasts as he went along, and soon he had a whole group clustered around him as he headed toward the chasm where the Heavenhorn ink dragon lived. The patriarchs were already gathering at the edge of the chasm, as well as the legacy echelon cultivators. All of them had very serious expressions on their faces.
When Bai Xiaochun was reminded that his cultivation base was the weakest of the group, he waved the battle beasts away. Then he sidled up to the edge of the chasm and looked inside. Deep down, he was just able to make out a shadowy form that was the Heavenhorn ink dragon.
Soon, everyone had gathered, and the founding patriarch looked over the group and said, “Many years ago, I saw the skeleton of a deva-level beast inside the chasm. However, no amount of effort on my part was enough to bring it back with me. Now, we are on the verge of marching to war, and are in the middle of constructing the Heavenspan Battleships. The spine of that beast would be perfect to use as ship keels!
“We five patriarchs will do our best to retrieve the remains of the beast. As for the rest of you, feel free to join us, or to explore the depths of the chasm. Perhaps you can find some good fortune therein!
“The pocket realm inside the chasm is a land of treasures, and contains things from the ancient era. There are many places that even I haven't visited. There are places of destiny, and places of danger. Remember not to stray too far. If anything untoward happens, crush this jade slip of retreat to be returned to us immediately!” With that, he waved his sleeve, sending jade slips flying out to everyone present.
Bai Xiaochun took the jade slip and examined it. He could immediately sense the teleportation power of the ninth mountain peak on it, and felt a bit more at ease. After all, this pocket realm was part of the Spirit Stream Sect, and was covered by numerous sect spell formations. As such, it should be a relatively safe place.
After all the explanations were made, the founding patriarch looked down into the chasm, his eyes shining brightly.
“Heavenhorn, open the arcane pocket realm!”
The Heavenhorn ink dragon gave a thunderous roar in response, and then raised its head. Eyes shining with mysterious light, it shot downward into the chasm.
Intense rumbling sounds spread out through the ground. All of the battle beasts in the Beast Conservatory went silent, and the rest of the beasts throughout the north bank began to tremble. Bruiser had been in the middle of pacing in circles around a female battle beast that resembled a qilin, when suddenly, he shivered and looked up.
At the same time, an enormous vortex appeared at the very bottom of the chasm. A wild wind belched out from within it, causing everyone’s clothing to whip about wildly. Black mist erupted up, filling the area with a sensation of profound ancientness.
Even at their current distance from the vortex, it was obvious that another world existed on the other side. They could just barely see numerous lushly vegetated mountains, as well as an enormous dragon-like creature with leathery wings flying about in the air. As soon as the vortex appeared, the creature looked over and then began to fly in their direction.
However, the Heavenhorn ink dragon was even bigger than the winged dragon. It stuck its head out of the vortex, and then a crunching sound could be heard, along with an agonized shriek, as the winged dragon was gobbled up.
The ink dragon’s enormous frame slid through the vortex to appear within the arcane pocket realm, where it let out a roar that could shake heaven and earth. Instantly, the entire world went quiet....
The confidence shown by the Heavenhorn ink dragon showed that it was familiar with the arcane pocket realm. That made sense considering that it had originally come from that place!
Even as Bai Xiaochun gasped, the founding patriarch spoke once more.
“Heavenhorn will stand guard. The entrance will remain open for a month, after which time you must return!” With that, the founding patriarch and the other four patriarchs flickered into motion, turning into five beams of light that shot into the vortex and then disappeared over the horizon.
The legacy echelon cultivators were all proud people, and although they had a measure of respect for Bai Xiaochun, he was still only in the Foundation Establishment stage, while they were all in the Gold Core stage. After nodding curtly to Bai Xiaochun, they all shot toward the vortex.
“Xiaochun, don't go very far in,” Li Qinghou said. “If anything bad happens, crush that jade slip immediately!” With that, he offered a few more warnings. By this point, the other legacy echelon cultivators were getting impatient, so he flew down to meet them. They were planning to go to a place that would be too dangerous for Foundation Establishment cultivators, making it inappropriate to bring Bai Xiaochun along.
Besides, opportunities for good fortune like this were not easy to come by.
Bai Xiaochun watched Li Qinghou making his way off into the distance, and then stood at the edge of the chasm, looking down hesitantly as he tried to decide whether or not to go in.
“Come, come, child,” the Heavenhorn ink dragon said, smiling. “It’s quite safe in here. Just stay within 500 kilometers of the entrance, and I can protect you personally!”
Bai Xiaochun coughed dryly as he thought the matter over again. Finally, he decided that since this place was a pocket realm belonging to the sect, and he also had a teleportation jade slip, it couldn’t be too dangerous. He was also curious to see what the pocket realm looked like. Finally, he flew out into the air and then shot down toward the vortex. A moment later, he was in another world.
The first thing he noticed was the wild wind that screamed through the entire world. It was different from the wind on the outside, stronger, seemingly mad as it attempted to freeze everything it touched.
He took a deep breath and looked up at the sky, where an enormous vortex could be seen, beyond which was the Spirit Stream Sect. The Heavenhorn ink dragon was swirling through the air near the vortex. It looked down at him and smiled.
“Don’t worry. I know this place well. Other than a few terrifying entities that you shouldn’t provoke, everything else in here should be safe. Besides, those terrifying entities are all sleeping. Fear not! Here, take some of my aura to protect you as you go along!” Laughing, the Heavenhorn ink dragon spat out a stream of black mist, which coalesced into the form of a dragon scale that floated down toward Bai Xiaochun.
Elated, Bai Xiaochun grabbed the scale, and then clasped hands and bowed to the Heavenhorn ink dragon. “Many thanks, Senior!”
With that, he flew further into the world, reminding himself not to go further than 500 kilometers away from the entrance.
The cold wind buffeted him as he flew along. Down below, the lands were covered with green vegetation, as well as seemingly endless rolling mountains that seemed rife with secrets and mystery. As far as Bai Xiaochun was concerned, this place seemed like a completely wild and savage land.
The sky was dark. There were no clouds, and no sun, but it wasn’t completely black. After flying along for some time, Bai Xiaochun finally spotted the horizon, where the sun lurked and cast a bit of light out into the world.
Strange odors reached his nose, something like the aroma of animals and their droppings. Although it was faint, it immediately got him feeling a bit nervous.
There were no signs of human life, but the auras of countless wild beasts could be detected. After having traveled only about 50 kilometers away from the entrance, he could sense that there were eyes looking up at him from the jungle below, eyes belonging to vicious and terrifying creatures.
However, he had the Heavenhorn ink dragon scale, which cast fear into the hearts of such creatures. Even those who seemed comparable to the Gold Core stage weren’t willing to get near him.
At one point, he spotted a leopard-like beast which suddenly grew to 300 meters in length before gobbling down an ox-like creature that was several dozen meters long. It even swallowed the creature's’ bones! Then it shrank back down to its original size, looked coldly at Bai Xiaochun, and disappeared into the jungle.
“This place is so dangerous....” he thought, shivering. Looking over his shoulder, he spotted the vortex up in the sky behind him, and breathed a sigh of relief. Then he proceeded on for another 50 kilometers or so. Eventually, he sat down on a boulder at the top of a mountain, looking around at the majestic terrain rolling out in all directions.
“So boring,” he said, picking up a pebble. “This place isn't fun at all....” With that, he tossed the pebble down into the forest. A moment later, the vegetation rustled, and then several two-headed bird-like creatures appeared. They were about half as big as an average human, and let out deafening cries as they glared at Bai Xiaochun, who shivered in response. The birds soared around in the air for a bit before diving back down into the jungle.
“Forget this! I'm going back. None of these beasts are friendly at all.” Swallowing, he turned to head back in the direction of the Heavenhorn ink dragon.
However, in the same moment that he flew up into the air, an enraged roar echoed out from one of the distant mountain peaks.
It was only a single roar, but it caused the entire world to shake. Countless mountain peaks trembled, and numerous beasts cried out in anguish, not daring to even lift their heads.
Bai Xiaochun felt like his scalp was about to explode. His mind was reeling, and his ears twinged with pain as looked over at a familiar figure flying toward him from off in the distance.
“Aren’t you just a little tadpole? What’s so special about you? How dare you threaten me! Last time Lord Turtle awoke, I saw your dad! You’re a tadpole and so was he! Everyone in your whole family is a tadpole....”Previous Chapter Next Chapter