Chapter 408: This Square!

The entire group was crying out in alarm. None of them could have guessed that they would actually have been selected by the Hall of Devil Slayers, and even as they trembled in terror, the hallmaster glared back and said, “Shut up, all of you!”

His thunderous voice instantly crushed the entire group into silence. Neither Bai Xiaochun nor any of the rest of them could reconcile the kindly-faced old man from before with this stern hallmaster and his sharp gaze.

“In the Hall of Devil Slayers, we subdue demons and exorcise devils. The Dao we pursue is that of slaughtering our enemies. Do the lot of you really wish to forsake such honor and glory? Listen up. I'm only going to use ten percent of my speed, so don’t fall behind. The last person to meet me in the grand square of the Hall of Devil Slayers’ main temple will immediately be sent out on a very ‘important’ mission! Of course, I'm the type of person who likes to offer rewards in addition to punishments. If any of you can beat me to the square, you won’t have to go on any missions for the next three years!” With a cold snort, he pushed forward with greater speed.

Everyone gasped. From the hallmaster’s tone of voice, whatever ‘important’ mission he had in mind would not be a good thing for any of them. Without any hesitation, all of them shot forward with all the speed they could muster.

Bai Xiaochun appeared to be on the verge of tears, and at the same time, was furious at having been screwed over. That, coupled with his terror regarding the Hall of Devil Slayers, caused him to speed after the hallmaster as quickly as possible, his mind filled with all the rumors he had heard recently.

Especially terrifying were the quavering words spoken by his fellow disciples moments ago.

“It probably wasn’t Chen Manyao’s fault. She has no reason to screw me over. Most likely, she just didn’t have enough backing to keep me safe. I’d bet everything that it was Li Yuansheng and his deva clan. He’s pulling out all the stops to try to get me killed!” Gritting his teeth, he looked around to measure how fast his fellow disciples were, after which his eyes flashed with determination, and he picked up speed.

As he accelerated, the wind screamed past his ears, and he left behind nothing more than afterimages. In the blink of an eye, he caught up with the leaders of the pack, barreling forward as if he were fleeing for his life.

Not only did he not wish to come in last, he couldn’t stop thinking about the possible reward if he could beat the hallmaster to the square. The idea of being exempt from missions for three years was like rocket fuel inside of him. His eyes were completely bloodshot as he gritted his teeth and kept his eyes fixed on the old Nascent Soul cultivator up ahead. Although the hallmaster was moving quickly, he obviously wasn’t going all out. In fact, he was strolling casually through the air, each step taking him thousands of meters along.

As far as the hallmaster was concerned, it would be quite impressive if any of the disciples could merely keep up with him at this pace. Furthermore, putting them in their place a bit also had its benefits. After all, life in the Hall of Devil Slayers was a bitter one, and he always tried to take the new recruits down a notch or two.

Sighing, he proceeded along up ahead when suddenly, he heard a whistling sound behind him, causing a look of surprise to play out on his face. Sending his divine sense back, he saw Bai Xiaochun flying along at an almost impossible speed, passing all of his comrades and actually closing in toward him. In fact, he was only moments away from catching up altogether.

“Eee?” the hallmaster muttered in surprise. In all the years he had selected new recruits for the Hall of Devil Slayers, never had he encountered anyone this fast. Having no other choice, he sped up a little bit, instantly pushing himself several hundred meters forward.

Bai Xiaochun was gasping for breath as he caught up, only to see the hallmaster suddenly accelerate and put a few hundred meters between the two of them. As the anxiety welled up inside of him, two wings appeared, which gave him another explosive burst of speed.

As the two of them raced along, it was clear to see that Bai Xiaochun was actually moving a bit faster than the hallmaster. With his wings, his fleshly body power, and his Heaven-Dao Gold Core, he was soon able to close the distance, until he was only a few dozen meters behind the hallmaster.

The hallmaster’s eyes widened, and pushed himself along a bit faster. By this point, he was virtually at his limit when using only ten percent of his power. Through all the years that he had been tasked with selecting new disciples, he had never encountered anyone who could force him to use more than ten percent. However, to his shock, he found that Bai Xiaochun was nothing like the other disciples.

In fact, the hallmaster also realized that if he only used ten percent of his cultivation base power, then at some point, Bai Xiaochun would actually pass him up.

By now, they could actually see the Hall of Devil Slayers up ahead, and that was when Bai Xiaochun actually pulled up alongside the hallmaster. His panting gasps were audible in all directions, and blue veins were bulging out of his forehead. From the look in his eye, his life was on the line.

As far as Bai Xiaochun was concerned, his life really was on the line. Up ahead was the Hall of Devil Slayers, a huge mountain surrounded by swirling clouds and covered with countless pavilions, temples and other buildings. Cultivators were hustling about everywhere, and most notable of all were the enormous characters carved upon the mountain itself!

Hall of Devil Slayers!

Each character that made up the name was fully 300 meters tall and as red as blood. Not only did they make a shocking sight, they emanated a terrifying, murderous aura.

Bai Xiaochun’s pupils constricted as he realized that he was definitely going to pass up the hallmaster, and then win three years of being exempt from going on missions.

“What does this little punk think he's doing?” the hallmaster thought, glaring over. “Trying to embarrass me?!”

He was a Nascent Soul Daoist master with a profoundly high cultivation base. Even though he was limiting himself to ten percent of his cultivation base power, it would still be quite a loss of face if someone in the younger generation actually surpassed him. Frowning, he looked at the Hall of Devil Slayers up ahead, and was just hesitating about what to do when....

Bai Xiaochun was only about 3,000 meters away from his final destination. Suddenly, he shot forward with even greater speed, drawing upon the Mountain Shaking Bash, which caused rumbling sounds to echo out as he passed the hallmaster. Within moments, he would be stepping down onto the square.

The hallmaster’s glare intensified, and inwardly, he was cursing. Taking a step forward, he finally resorted to a minor teleportation.

However, even as he did, Bai Xiaochun sent frigid qi roiling out, creating a 3,000-meter area of frozen ice around him. Suddenly, he also did something that resembled a minor teleportation, and in the following moment, was right at the temple standing over the square.

The hallmaster’s jaw dropped as widely as if he had just seen a ghost as he also finished his teleportation.

“I'm first!” Bai Xiaochun cried, simultaneously panting for breath. “Hahahahaha!!”

Looking around, he was absolutely convinced that he was the first person to reach this spot. It was in that moment that an ancient voice floated over to him from off in the distance.

“Not bad. You really did get there first. However, what are you doing way over there? The square I was talking about is right here.” Bai Xiaochun spun, his jaw dropping as he realized that the hallmaster was actually standing in another square some distance away, smiling broadly at him.

Bai Xiaochun looked around and confirmed that he was standing in the square outside the main temple, and that the hallmaster was in the square of one of the side temples. Instantly, Bai Xiaochun’s face turned grim, and dejection rose up in his heart.

“You....” he said, almost on the verge of tears. Despite the hallmaster’s shamelessness, there was nothing Bai Xiaochun could do about it, so he simply sighed sadly and then hurried over. Clasping hands and bowing deeply, he said, “Disciple Bai Xiaochun offers formal greetings, Hallmaster!”

The hallmaster smiled, once again looking kindly like he had before. However, inwardly he was snorting coldly, and had determined not to forget that Bai Xiaochun had actually gone so far as to surpass his own speed.

Now that the hallmaster had arrived, other members of the Hall of Devil Slayers began to hurry over. The first to arrive was a middle-aged cultivator with a goatee and a late Core Formation cultivation base. He clasped hands respectfully in greeting to the hallmaster, and also offered some fawning words that he apparently didn’t mind Bai Xiaochun hearing.

The hallmaster smiled and nodded in response, after which the middle-aged man stood off to the side, where he looked at Bai Xiaochun with a sparkling glint of interest.

Before long, the other new recruits arrived, the last one being a trembling quasi-Core cultivator. The hallmaster gave him a cold look and then looked away. However, the man with the goatee seemed to have marked the last-place disciple with his eyes.

“I am Feng Youde, hallmaster of the Hall of Devil Slayers. From now on, all of you are cultivators of the Hall of Devil Slayers, and must abide by all of our rules and customs. Master Cloud-Dao, I’ll leave them in your hands!” With that, the hallmaster flashed into motion, flying up toward the summit of the mountain, leaving all the new recruits standing around with blank expressions.

The man with the goatee, whom the hallmaster had called Master Cloud-Dao, flashed a cold smile at Bai Xiaochun and the others and then said, “There is no need for fear, ladies and gentlemen. I am your humble servant Master Cloud-Dao, the honor guard of the Hall of Devil Slayers. From now on, we’re all on the same team. However, your first task as new recruits is to go out alone on a mission, which I will assign to you right now.” For some reason, it seemed like something special glittered in his eyes when he looked at Bai Xiaochun.

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Translator: Deathblade. (Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest)

Editor: GNE. Memes: Logan. Meme archives: Tocsin. Chinese language consultant: ASI a.k.a. Beerblade. Transcendent Patrons: Daoist Elder N, BLE, ttre208. AWE Glossary. Xianxia-inspired T-shirts.