Book 3: Rise of the River-Defying Sect!
The Heavenspan Sea occupied the very center of the world. It was a vast, boundless body of golden water that not even Nascent Soul cultivators would dare to enter without some sort of magical device designed for sea travel.
Only people in the Deva Realm could possibly make an attempt at crossing the sea, and with difficulty at that.
In the east, west, south and north regions of the Heavenspan Sea, there were places where the sea water poured through openings that created four enormous rivers. Although those rivers didn’t reach the very borders of the world, they did come close.
Each of the four great rivers had a riversource sect at the base of the river, in the location where the sea and the river met. The sect which controlled the eastern river was the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect. After the river flowed for a certain distance, it split up into four smaller branches of the same river.
The locations where those four rivers branched off came to be known as the Middle Reaches of the cultivation world. Those locations were home to the Starry River Court, the Sky River Court, the Dao River Court, and the Polarity River Court!
Those four sects were deserving of the domineering reputation they maintained in the eastern Middle Reaches of the cultivation world. Any one of them was powerful enough to completely dominate the other smaller sects in the region, as well as the vast number of cultivator clans.
Although each river branch that formed the Lower Reaches was occupied by four powerful sects, even if those sects combined forces, they wouldn’t be a match for one of the larger sects that occupied the Middle Reaches. However, there was only one reason for that!
The patriarchs of the Lower Reaches sects were all Nascent Soul cultivators, whereas the patriarchs of the Middle Reaches sects were in the Deva Realm!
The Deva Realm was something completely different from the Nascent Soul stage. It was an almost unimaginable level of power, and the difference between it and Nascent Soul was even greater than the difference between Nascent Soul and Gold Core!
It was almost impossible to even fathom the disparity!
Because of the threat of such power, none of the sects in the Lower Reaches would ever dream of trying to topple a Middle Reaches sect, not unless some heaven-defying event occurred. Furthermore, the chances of one of the Nascent Soul cultivators from the Lower Reaches breaking through to become a deva were miniscule.
Even people who overflowed with latent talent would be hard-pressed to find an opportunity to do so. The reason for that was because in the Lower Reaches, the spiritual power of the Heavenspan River was different, the resources were different, and the techniques were different. An even bigger reason was that Deva Tribulation was virtually impossible to transcend without a Dharma protector!
However, the biggest reason was that the Middle Reaches sects would never let one of their subordinates in the Lower Reaches produce a deva! That would be a threat to their own positions!
However, none of that applied in this situation. An exceedingly rare opportunity had arisen with the Sky River Court.
For some unknown reason, the Sky River Court had done something to enrage the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect. As a result, two devas had been sent to execute judgement on the Sky River Court’s Deva Realm patriarch. Supposedly, they had even extracted part of his soul to create something that was rarely ever seen in the world, and very valuable: a deva soul.
In addition to that, more than seventy percent of the Sky River Court cultivators had been put to death, and that included portions of the reserve powers and precious treasures.
If they had wanted to, they could have simply exterminated the entire Sky River Court. Instead, they had issued an important ruling allowing it to stay in place!
By allowing the Sky River Court to survive, they had created the spark which led to the war among the four subordinate sects in the Lower Reaches.
By leaving the severely weakened Sky River Court in place, they provided an enticing goal for the Lower Reaches sects. Of course, the Sky River Court wouldn’t just sit around waiting to be supplanted. If they could survive the assault of the Lower Reaches sects, then according to the stipulations of the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, they would have a chance to continue to exist!
If they managed to raise another of their cultivators to the Deva Realm in the future, then they might be able to return to their previous level of glory.
It wasn’t that they weren’t aware that the four sects had ended up joining forces. They did know, and yet, didn’t dare to interfere. According to the rules set forth by the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, they weren’t allowed to meddle with the affairs of the Lower Reaches sects. They had no choice but to sit still and await the final punishment which had been arranged by the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect!
That punishment was none other than the invasion of the Lower Reaches sects!
The sect headquarters of the Sky River Court was built atop the Heavenspan River itself. It was ten times larger than any sect in the Lower Reaches; after all, it was almost impossible to see one side of the river from the other in this area.
Much further down the river from that location was where it split into four more branches, which was the Lower Reaches of the cultivation world.
On the first of those four branches, it was possible to see an enormous giant plodding along, half-submerged in the river water. Every step the giant took sent water surging and spraying about, and the countless vicious spirits and other vile creatures nearby fleeing for their lives.
Even the most powerful of entities which lived in the river would choose to hide in the face of the power they felt, and would simply allow the giant to pass by.
Occasionally, it was possible to see a rabbit flitting about on the shoulders of the giant.
Some distance behind the giant was a 300,000-meter-long Heavenspan Battleship, slicing through the water. Countless cultivators could be seen on the battleship, most of them seated cross-legged in meditation as they attempted to get themselves into peak readiness for the fighting to come. A somber and solemn aura surrounded the entire battleship.
Two more battleships could be seen further back in the river, one of them 210,000 meters long, the other 90,000 meters. They seemed just as solemn as the first battleship.
Bai Xiaochun had converged the consciousnesses of numerous powerful cultivators to take control of the Blood Ancestor. His eyes shone with bright light as he strode through the river water. He could sense the vastness of the world around him, and to him, the water bashing against him felt soft and gentle. He couldn’t help but feel a grand sense of wonderment.
“One day, I won't need to use the body of the Blood Ancestor to get this exact same feeling!” With that, he took another step forward, moving thousands of meters in the process.
Based on the speed of the Blood Ancestor and the Heavenspan Battleships, it only took a few days for them to pass unobstructed through the river until they reached the spot where it connected to the larger river upstream!
Stretching out to the horizon was a massive river that only the patriarchs had ever seen during their formal visits to the Sky River Court every sixty-year-cycle. For the other cultivators, it was their first time ever seeing a river this big; it was ten times wider than the Heavenspan River they were used to.
“The Middle Reaches Heavenspan River!!”
“Is this the Heavenspan River? It’s so huge!!”
“Compared to this river, ours really is nothing more than a stream!” The cultivators of the three divisions on the Heavenspan Battleships could immediately sense that the spiritual energy of heaven and earth here was ten times stronger than that which existed in the Lower Reaches.
Many people took in deep breaths, whereupon cracking sounds could be heard coming from inside of them. They had never encountered spiritual energy this strong, and for many, it immediately allowed them to break through cultivation obstacles that had hindered them in the past.
“This... this is the Middle Reaches! My cultivation base....”
“The only way to take over the Sky River Court is to defeat them in battle. If I continue to cultivate here, I’ll definitely be able to reach the level of a Nascent Soul patriarch!!”
Even the patriarchs of the River-Defying Sect were panting in excitement. In fact, their feelings ran even deeper than the other cultivators, because they were finally closing in on their ultimate goal: becoming devas!
If they could put down roots in the Middle Reaches, the resources and spiritual power there would make the Deva Realm more than just a distant dream. Furthermore, no one from above would come to interfere as they reached the breakthrough point; after all, having a Deva Realm expert was one of the main requirements for Middle Reaches sects!
Bai Xiaochun could sense the excitement of the patriarchs. As he controlled the body of the Blood Ancestor, he took a deep breath, and everything in heaven and earth shook. A massive surge of the spiritual energy of heaven and earth raced toward him, as he became like a black hole. After the spiritual energy entered the body of the Blood Ancestor, he sent it out to the cultivators of the Blood Stream Division, and then took a bit for himself.
His ninth spiritual sea had previously been just on the verge of crystallizing. As of this moment, it only took that single breath to finish the process!
The instant it fully crystallized, Bai Xiaochun trembled as his cultivation base erupted with power vastly greater than before.
After nine spiritual seas fully crystallized, that was the great circle of Heaven-Dao Foundation Establishment!
“The Middle Reaches....” he thought, brimming with excitement. All of a sudden, he felt as if he were connected by destiny to the Middle Reaches; if not, why else would he have made a breakthrough the instant he entered...?
Despite being inside of the Blood Ancestor, he was still able to suck in spiritual energy without any wastage. It seemed boundless.
Eyes flickering, he sent the Blood Ancestor leaping forward. Massive rumbling could be heard as the Blood Ancestor flew through the air and then splashed down into the river that was the eastern Heavenspan!
Water splashed everywhere, and huge waves rolled out. It was in that moment that the three Heavenspan Battleships also burst out into the Middle Reaches!Previous Chapter Next Chapter