What the cultivator saw was Bai Xiaochun, looking very pleased with himself and even humming a little tune as he swam merrily through the majestic sea of lava....
The cultivator’s cry of astonishment caused quite a few other disciples in the area to look over and see what was happening. The sight that met their eyes was the cultivator with the medallion shaking physically, his expression flickering between numerous emotions, his eyes so wide it seemed they might pop out of his head. Then, he raised a trembling hand to point at the star that represented Bai Xiaochun. Voice quavering with disbelief, he shouted, “He’s... he’s swimming!!”
Even more people were now looking over, and yet few seemed to understand what the cultivator was talking about. One of the curious disciples even asked, “What do you mean swimming? Who?”
“Bai Xiaochun! That guy whose star just started rising. He... he's actually swimming in the sea of lava!!” This time, the cultivator’s shout was met with complete silence. His words seemed beyond comprehension, and in response, many people looked up at Bai Xiaochun’s star.
Some of them couldn’t resist the temptation, and pulled out their own special command medallions to check the scene out for themselves. When they finally saw for themselves that Bai Xiaochun really was swimming through the lava, they also began to cry out in shock.
“It's true! He’s... he’s really swimming!”
“Heavens! This is impossible! I've never seen anyone swim in the sea of lava before!”
“How could this be happening...? Is he a man or a beast?!?!”
Such cries led to even more people paying attention. The sudden turn of events left everyone completely shaken, and soon, more curious disciples began to pay the requisite price to use their command medallions to watch personally. When that happened, more excited reactions could be heard, and soon, the area outside the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Superstars trials devolved into a complete commotion.
“Who exactly is this Bai Xiaochun?!”
Amidst the exclamations of shock, many of the cultivators began sending messages to friends, and some of the generous ones even began to project the images from their command medallions for others to see. More people began to rush over to the area, causing the commotion to grow.
The same thing was happening back in the Hall of Devil Slayers in Sky Quarter. Master Cloud-Dao had already received word of what was happening. Having pulled out his own command medallion, it was with gaping jaw that he watched Bai Xiaochun swim along through the lava.
Word was spreading rapidly, but Bai Xiaochun had no way of knowing that he was the center of such attention. He was focusing on swimming forward, and also contemplating how wonderful it would feel to show off later in front of everyone.... Eventually, he climbed up onto the opposite bank. Jumping up and down a bit to get all the lava off him, he looked down at himself and then proudly threw on another set of clothing.
“It’s been a long time since I took a bath,” he said. “Feels great!” Of course, little did he know that large numbers of people in the sect were watching his every move....
That included all of the female disciples, many of whom were blushing, but none of whom looked away for even a moment....
Big Fatty Zhang was currently in the Hall of Spirit Enhancement when suddenly, cries of shock began to ring out. After asking curiously what was going on, he was shown an image which was none other than Bai Xiaochun leaping out of the lava....
“Xiaochun....” he said, his mouth gaping.
Back in the trial by fire, Bai Xiaochun looked back at the vast sea behind him, then stuck his chin up and flicked his sleeve.
“With the snap of a finger, I, Bai Xiaochun reduced this trial to ashes.” Sighing, he assumed the pose of a lonely hero, then began to stride away from the sea. As he did, his vision swam, and he left the red trial by fire. When he reappeared, he was in the next trial, the orange one!
Meanwhile, back outside, Bai Xiaochun's words and the expression on his face only added fuel to the fire that was the commotion among the onlookers. Many strange expressions could be seen, although no one gave voice to exactly what they were thinking.
“A dark horse! He’s definitely a dark horse!”
“How far do you think this Bai Xiaochun will get?”
As the discussions raged through the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, Bai Xiaochun was just appearing in the orange trial by fire. Almost immediately, deafening rumbling sounds filled his ears, and around him, the world trembled.
In almost the same moment that he appeared within the orange trial by fire, a mountain-like boulder suddenly began to drop down toward him, moving at incredible speed.
Letting out a shriek, he dashed backward, just in time to see the boulder smash into the ground where he had been standing, causing everything to tremble and shake, and even sending crevices snaking out in all directions. Heart pounding, Bai Xiaochun looked back up, and what he saw left him gasping.
The world was completely gray, including the sky and the land. However, that was not the shocking part. Unexpectedly, two enormous stone golems were also there in the world with him.
Both of them were tens of thousands of meters tall, and every move they made caused heaven-shaking, earth-shattering rumbling sounds to echo out. Their bodies were constructed of numerous rocks and boulders lumped together, making them look both like statues, and like puppets. Most terrifying of all was that they were fighting each other!
As they fought back and forth, they let out howls and roars that sounded like thunder. Numerous smaller rocks and stones fell off of them with each blow that landed, which would smash into the ground below, opening up huge craters. Even larger craters would open up when the two stone golems’ feet landed on the ground as they took steps.
In addition to the quaking of the ground, the fighting giants caused powerful gusts of wind to sweep out in all directions. They also unleashed divine abilities that unleashed stone dragons and stone spikes which wreaked havoc everywhere.
Bai Xiaochun’s expression flickered as an intense sensation of crisis swept through him. Anxiously dodging the various dangerous elements, he looked around and noticed that there were other cultivators in the area.
Those were the other disciples participating in this trial by fire, and all of them were scurrying about like ants as they avoided the falling stones, blasts of wind, and divine abilities, desperately attempting to get past the area in which the two stone golems fought.
Unfortunately, that was by no means an easy task.... They were caught in the crossfire, like fish who suffered when a castle's walls caught on fire and crumbled into the moat. The two gigantic fighting stone golems put the cultivators down below in extreme danger.
Based on what Bai Xiaochun could tell, those stone golems were beyond the level of the Nascent Soul stage, and were more like the Deva Realm boy who had come to take him from the River-Defying Sect. As he looked around in shock, he reviewed the information he had studied about the orange trial by fire.
The entire world around him was like a prison, with the two stone golems being prisoners who were forced to fight each other constantly as part of their punishment.
They were forbidden from directly killing any of the disciples of the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, but the side-effects of their combat could. Because of that fact, this particular trial by fire was much more difficult than the previous one.
“No wonder there are only a few tens of thousands of stars on the orange portion of the rainbow,” Bai Xiaochun thought, “as opposed to the innumerable amount on the red portion.... Furthermore, only a few thousand people are ever good enough to get past this trial by fire and onto the yellow level of the rainbow.” With that, he began to cautiously make his way forward, relying on his incredible speed to stay out of danger. Although he wasn't putting on a poor performance, the people on the outside who were watching him had to use up merit points for every second that they continued to observe.
Therefore, many people weren’t very pleased with what he was doing.
“What? He literally swam through the red trial by fire! Why is he going through the orange trial like that?”
“That’s what I was thinking. I’m not going to waste any more merit points watching this guy. Forget it!”
Even as people grumbled on the outside, Bai Xiaochun was picking up speed in the trial by fire. Suddenly, a blast of wind bore down on him, within which was half of a stone dragon.
Bai Xiaochun’s expression flickered, and when he realized that he didn't have time to dodge, his eyes flickered with cold light, and he suddenly spun his left leg out in a sweeping kick toward the dragon.
A boom filled the air as the stone dragon exploded, and the wind faded away. Gritting his teeth, Bai Xiaochun shot forward, getting closer and closer to the exit the entire way. However, at a certain point, he stopped in place and looked up at the two enormous stone golems, and as they fought back and forth, his eyes suddenly lit up.
Before, the two stone golems hadn’t stood out much to him, but now that he was closer, and had had a chance to look at them for a bit longer, all of a sudden, they seemed a bit familiar.
“If these two stone golems knelt down and stopped moving, then they would look exactly like... that statue I saw in the Ravine of Endless Mountains!!” Gasping, he realized that the more he looked at the giants, the more they looked like that statue. Before long, he was absolutely convinced that they were the same type of creature as the giant in the Ravine of Endless Mountains!
“If you want to cultivate the Living Mountain Incantation, you have to meld with the mountain, and understand everything about it. You have to gain enlightenment of its spirit, and forget yourself. You have to become a human mountain. When you wake up... you will have completed a circle. The divine ability will be complete, and you will have succeeded in becoming... a living mountain!” Panting, he looked up at the two fighting stone golems, and suddenly everything became clear. All his previous areas of confusion were destroyed instantly.
Eyes flashing with excitement, he murmured, “There is no better place than here... to seek enlightenment... of the Living Mountain Incantation!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter