“Zhao Ke, you will go to the Nineshadows Continent to kill the devil cultivator Zhou Wu. Last month, he committed murder, and even went to the lengths of forging an evil magical weapon. He must be eliminated!
“Lu Peng, your mission is to kill Chen Fan from the Yunchen Clan. He has an early Core Formation cultivation base, but according to our latest information, he was gravely injured recently, so he shouldn’t put up much of a fight. Bring back his head! [1. The Chinese characters for this Chen Fan are different than the Chen Fan from ISSTH]
“Han Ping, your destination is the Holypatron Continent, where you will be escorting a representative of the Liumin Clan to bring their yearly tribute to the sect!”
As Master Cloud-Dao rattled off the missions, it was clear that some were more dangerous than others, but generally speaking, they were all roughly within the same level of difficulty. After all, this group had just joined the Hall of Devil Slayers, and Master Cloud-Dao wasn’t trying to intentionally make things hard for them. As for the merit point rewards for the missions, the smallest was 20,000, with the largest being multiple times higher than that.
As for the cultivator who had come in last in the race to the square, his mission actually didn’t seem very hard at all. All he had to do was deliver a message to a place called Grandforest Mountain.
Most of the cultivators seemed relieved after hearing their missions. As for Bai Xiaochun, he continued to wait nervously for Master Cloud-Dao to speak his name and explain his mission.
“Bai Xiaochun, you will travel to Whitegrove Cliff on the Eternalflux Continent to kill the notorious sex fiend Zuo Hengfeng, a cultivator in the late Foundation Establishment stage. Your reward upon success will be 30,000 merit points.” With that, he tossed a jade slip to Bai Xiaochun and went on to assign more missions. Soon, everyone had their missions, after which Master Cloud-Dao looked over the group and smiled. [2. I just wanted to point out that in Chinese, what I am translating as Eternalflux is the term for “perpetual motion.” In Chinese “perpetual motion” is “eternal motion,” and considering the importance of “eternity/eternal” in the title of the story, I wanted to keep that word. Up to now, I’ve kept the naming convention for the continents as a single word, and didn’t feel like Eternalmotion rolled off the tongue very well. Furthermore, the name of the continent isn’t really important. And thus, the Eternalflux Continent came to be….]
“Fellow Daoists, these first missions of yours shouldn’t be very difficult, and I truly hope they go smoothly. However, if any of you dare to disrespect the arrangements set forth by the Hall of Devil Slayers by not going on your assigned mission, you will face a punishment the likes of which you can't even imagine. Very well, you have two hours to prepare before leaving!” Master Cloud-Dao swished his sleeve and left. Meanwhile, other disciples from the Hall of Devil Slayers who had been waiting off to the side hurried over with uniforms and identity medallions for the new recruits.
Everyone exchanged unsettled glances and then, not being in the mood for chit-chat, rushed away to prepare as well as they could for their missions.
Bai Xiaochun did the same, hurrying back to his immortal's cave as quickly as possible. Along the way, he couldn’t stop thinking about how he didn't want to go out on the mission. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the River-Defying Sect, and he didn’t have any basis upon which to refuse to go.
“Kill the notorious sex fiend Zuo Hengfeng? Is he really in the late Foundation Establishment stage? If so, then the mission shouldn’t be very hard at all!” However, something seemed suspicious about the whole thing. Chen Manyao had attempted to arrange things, but he had still ended up in the Hall of Devil Slayers. Although he wasn’t sure how Li Yuansheng had pulled it off, he couldn’t shake the feeling that this first mission would somehow be very dangerous.
After arriving at his immortal's cave, he sat there nervously, waiting for everyone to return. Big Fatty Zhang came first, then Master God-Diviner, and finally, Chen Manyao, who immediately rushed to apologize and explain.
“Junior Patriarch, I really did my best. I made some inquiries after the fact and confirmed that it was Li Yuansheng who ruined my plans....”
Big Fatty Zhang and Master God-Diviner were very angry. Although they had ended up going to the halls they had wanted, for Bai Xiaochun to end up in the most dangerous place of all, the Hall of Devil Slayers, left them incensed.
Bai Xiaochun sighed. By this point, he wasn't worried about how he had ended up in the Hall of Devil Slayers, he was more concerned with exactly how dangerous this mission of his was going to be.
Scowling on the verge of tears, Bai Xiaochun said, “Look, we might as well drop that topic. Hurry up and look into this mission for me. What’s so dangerous about it? I have to leave within the hour.”
With that, he went on to explain everything he knew about the mission.
His Dao protectors nodded seriously, and instead of wasting time sitting around talking about the matter, they all hurried away to see if they could get any information.
However, there was very little time to work with. Bai Xiaochun quickly packed what he would take with him on the mission, and then watched the time ticking down on the jade slip. When there was only enough time left for an incense stick to burn, he walked out of his immortal's cave, looking quite crestfallen.
Big Fatty Zhang and Chen Manyao were still trying to find information for him. As for Master God-Diviner, he called upon the full power of his cultivation base to perform a divination.
“Don't worry, Junior Patriarch,” he said somberly. “My divinations are always very accurate. Although you will face some danger on this outing, as well as some misfortunes, in the end, a person of very high rank will come to your aid!” Actually, not even Master God-Diviner was sure whether he was actually offering a true prediction, or just comforting Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun let out a long sigh, and was about to say something when the mission jade slip began to emit intense light, urging him to leave the sect and begin his mission.
Bai Xiaochun gritted his teeth, and from the look in his eyes, he seemed ready to throw caution to the wind. With that, he rushed over the teleportation portal, where he was whisked away to the Eternalflux Continent.
The Eternalflux Continent was one of 97 continents within the territory of the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect. Although it wasn’t considered very remote, it was still some distance from the sect itself.
Although it was well within teleportation range of the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, the teleportation portal itself was on the edge of the continent, some distance away from Whitegrove Cliff itself.
It was currently summer, and the jungle was very hot and humid. Mountains zig-zagged across the landscape, and there were no signs of human habitation, not even in the area near the teleportation portal.
The portal was located in a mountainous valley, surrounded by restrictive spells and other defenses, making it impossible for anyone other than cultivators from the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect to use it.
After the glitter of the teleportation light faded away, Bai Xiaochun was revealed, long-faced and clearly not in a good mood.
“I sure hope this mission goes smoothly....” he murmured to himself. When he thought back to the mission into the Luochen Mountains, he couldn’t forget about how smoothly it had gone at first. Everything had seemed quite safe until the very end.
“I shouldn’t think about that. I’ll just do what I can and make sure I don’t lose my poor little life. If I can’t handle the mission, I’ll just abandon it.” Gritting his teeth, he double-checked his magical items, making sure he had his Renegade Dragon Horn ready, as well as his Ancient Devil Scale and the Landscape of Nine Provinces. With those three precious treasures at his side, he was a bit more confident.
“You just wait until I get back, Li Yuansheng. Things aren’t over between us yet!” Gritting his teeth, he sighed and thought back on the wonderful life he had led in Sky City, and how coming to the rainbow district had been like falling into the depths of the Yellow Springs.
Within the mission jade slip was a map. After confirming his current location, he began to fly along at a good pace in the direction of Whitegrove Cliff.
Down below, the terrain was covered with thick jungle, complete with enormous, towering trees. As he went along, he didn't see anybody within the jungle itself. The only thing on the ground was a thick blanket of leaves which had been decaying there for who knew how many years. In many areas, the leaves had rotted into nothing more than a sludge.
It was currently overcast, and although it wasn’t raining, the muffled sound of thunder could be heard.
The entire place seemed very desolate, and left Bai Xiaochun feeling very, very alone. He couldn’t help but sigh repeatedly.
“The best thing would be to find some of the local cultivators and see if I can get some news about Whitegrove Cliff and this Zuo Hengfeng.” After a moment, he changed out of his yellow robes and into a more nondescript outfit, after which he went about trying to find some locals.
However, he really did seem to be in an out-of-the-way location. After spending ten full days searching, he couldn't find a single cultivator in the jungle. The only thing he saw was the occasional wild beast.
One of them was a 300-meter-long anaconda, and once he even caught sight of a flock of birds with human heads and pulsing murderous auras. Almost in the same moment that he noticed the birds, a mouth suddenly open up in one of the trees, which then gobbled one of them up. The sight of that caused Bai Xiaochun’s scalp to grow numb, and he even climbed a bit higher into the air as he flew along.
“Something really seems off here. Don’t tell me that this Eternalflux Continent is completely uninhabited...?” The deeper he got into the jungle, the more beasts he saw down below. There were even some who were comparable in power to the Core Formation stage. At that point, Bai Xiaochun stopped in place.
“How could late Foundation Establishment cultivators live permanently in a place like this?!?!”
Even as he was pondering the issue, he saw a huge lizard leap up from the jungle and fly toward the clouds. As it sped higher and higher, it increased in size, and to Bai Xiaochun’s wide-eyed shock, transformed into a flood dragon!!
As it swirled about in the clouds emanating terrifying pressure, Bai Xiaochun gasped and backed up.
“I can’t do this mission! There’s no way. Is the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect trying to get me killed!?” Eyes bloodshot, he gritted his teeth, spun in place, and headed back in the direction of the teleportation portal.Previous Chapter Next Chapter