“I had no choice in the matter,” she said bitterly, shaking her head.
The pain visible in her smile softened Bai Xiaochun’s heart a bit. Lowering his voice, he said, “Who exactly are you? Where are you from?”
After a long moment of silence, she took a deep breath and said, “I'm from the Heavenspan Sea, and that’s all I can say. Don’t ask any more about it....”
Shaken, Bai Xiaochun remained silent.
Outside, the sun was setting, and the sky was growing dark. It was quiet in the immortal's cave, with the only sound being their breathing.
Eventually, the immortal's cave grew dark, and finally, Bai Xiaochun decided to ask another question, a question which had been lurking in his heart for a long time, a question which he very much wanted to know the answer to.
“Back in the Luochen Mountains, the tears you shed, were they real, or just for show...?”
She didn’t directly answer his question. Instead, she extended her right hand, within which appeared a violet tongue of flame. As it burned, it released a shocking energy, something that surpassed the energy of the leaf Bai Xiaochun had received that contained the power of a deva. This made it seem like a deva was actually standing right there with them. Furthermore, within the burning violet flames was... a soul!!
Looking up at him, she spoke in a voice that was almost a murmur. “Do you think this deva soul is real, or just for show?”
To see Du Lingfei holding a deva soul shocked Bai Xiaochun to the core. He also had a deva soul, the wood-type soul that Patriarch Frigidsect had given him. He had been shocked when he was told how valuable deva souls were, but back then, their true value had been some abstract to him.
Now, on the verge of the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect sending numerous disciples on a soul-hunting expedition, he was more acutely aware than ever of how valuable deva souls were.
Anyone who wanted to achieve a Heaven-Dao Nascent Soul needed five deva souls, each one a different type. When it came to deva beast souls... any single deva soul could be traded for a set of five of them!
From that alone, it was easy to calculate how astronomically valuable any deva soul was!
Before Bai Xiaochun could even respond to her words, Du Lingfei sent the fire-type soul floating over to Bai Xiaochun. As it did, her body began to slowly fade away.
The entire time, her gaze was soft as she looked at Bai Xiaochun, and seemed to be filled with regret and sentiment.
“The Wildlands is a dangerous place. You... should make sure not to do anything risky. When you get back, trade that deva soul for a set of deva beast souls.... At that time, I’ll explain everything!” With that, she disappeared.
Bai Xiaochun simply stood there the entire time, declining to speak. After she faded away, he closed his eyes for a moment, then opened them and reached out to take the fire-type deva soul. Then he sat down cross-legged to think, although he wasn’t sure about what.
Time passed. Half a month flew by, and the day of the trial by fire grew closer. Eventually, Bai Xiaochun had no choice but to rouse himself and start preparing. He got very busy, both concocting pills, performing spirit enhancements, and doing everything else he could to get himself in peak condition.
On the day before the trial by fire was to begin, he emerged from his immortal's cave and went to the Hall of Devil Slayers to say goodbye to Big Fatty Zhang. Big Fatty Zhang had not yet awoken, but had recovered significantly. His aura was stable, and his cultivation base was growing stronger. Within two or three months, he would have successfully reached Core Formation.
He sat down in front of Big Fatty Zhang, feeling more than ever like he couldn’t bear to leave. “Eldest Brother... the next time we see each other will be in ten years. I really wish I didn’t have to leave.”
He spoke many more words from his heart, until the sun began to set. Worried that he might be disturbing Big Fatty Zhang’s Core Formation, he left the temple and went to see Feng Youde. Clasping hands deeply, he offered sincere thanks for the help Feng Youde had given him.
“Maintain a calm heart, that’s the best thing you can do,” Feng Youde said. “If you want to repay me, then come back as a Nascent Soul cultivator. As far as your Eldest Brother is concerned, I guarantee to watch over him.”
Clasping hands and bowing again, Bai Xiaochun again expressed his gratitude. Of course, Xu Baocai would not be going along, so he went to visit and leave some parting instructions. Finally, he gritted his teeth and went back to his immortal's cave, where he meditated through the night.
Nothing happened during the night, and the sun rose into a cloudless sky. The day had come in which the trial by fire was to begin.
The thunderous sound of booming drums filled the entire sect, prompting all of the cultivators to emerge excited and filled with anticipation.
Bai Xiaochun had packed his bags, and looked very sad as he walked out the door of his immortal's cave and stood there trembling.
Almost in the same instant, a huge rumbling sound rippled out from the direction of the sea down below. It almost sounded like the roaring of a giant, and it caused huge waves to roll across the surface of the sea as the enormous, ancient battleship thrummed with power.
As the ship powered up, the mysterious, ghost-like entities inside of it began to howl and scream, and eventually fled in terror. Apparently, the will of the battleship itself was awakening, causing its energy to rise to the point where even the rainbows that made up the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect were shaking.
Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath as he stared at the enormous battleship. It was fully 300,000 meters long, pitch black, and in very bad condition. It seemed ancient beyond belief, and there was something ferocious about it that made it seem like the type of ship no one would dare to even approach. The corpse of some enormous, rotting beast had been lashed to its prow, something so disfigured it was impossible to determine what it was. However, it was clearly humanoid, and had once been 30,000 meters tall.
The surface of the battleship was covered with countless spikes, all of which glowed with black light. It was easy to imagine powerful magical techniques being unleashed by means of those spikes, and how they would surely cause heaven and earth to tremble!
The ship had five decks, some parts of which were apparently locked down with magical seals.
Even as Bai Xiaochun was studying the battleship, it began to move, releasing explosive power that caused huge waves to roll out across the surface of the golden Heavenspan Sea.
Even as the battleship stirred into motion, an old man flew off of the deva rainbow. He was ancient, with flowing white hair that made him look like a transcendent being. In addition, he had a third eye on his forehead, giving him a very intimidating appearance.
“I am Chen Hetian, and I will lead you on the journey to the sect outpost, where the soul-hunting expedition will be held. The journey across the sea will be a long one, more than half a year. All of you... board the ship immediately and prepare for departure!” The three-eyed old man’s final words struck the hearts of the listeners like lightning.
Immediately, the top 1,000 Starry Sky Dao Polarity Superstars from all four of the rainbow districts began to fly at top speed toward the battleship.
As for Bai Xiaochun, he gritted his teeth and decided that he had no choice but to throw caution to the wind. Howling at the top of his lungs, he joined the crowd flying down toward the battleship.
Almost as soon as he took to flight, Bai Xiaochun could sense the intensely powerful spiritual energy from the Heavenspan Sea slamming into him like a hurricane.
It was a blast that was difficult to endure despite the fact that he was a Core Formation cultivator. Everyone who was flying toward the ship trembled unsteadily for a moment before accelerating toward the ship again.
Everyone was weighing each other up, trying to go along as fast as possible through the battering spiritual energy to prove that they were better.
One of the cultivators flying along was a young woman, who happened to take the lead by a wide margin, flying through the air like a ball of fire. She was Chen Yueshan, and even as she closed in on the battleship and seemed moments away from stepping onto it, a cold snort echoed out as Heretic appeared. With a single step forward, he seemingly teleported, surpassing Chen Yueshan to become the first person to step onto the ship!
When Heretic used what appeared to be a divine ability of teleportation, the other cultivators were shocked, and Chen Yueshan’s eyes flickered with a flash of light.
Even Bai Xiaochun sucked in a breath. By using his frigid shadows, he could perform minor teleportations, but what Heretic had done just now was completely different!
Some of the people near Bai Xiaochun knew what it was they had just seen, and cried out in astonishment.
“That was the Wind Dash!”
“Wind Dash?” Bai Xiaochun murmured, taken aback. Meanwhile, more cultivators were landing on the ship. Bai Xiaochun didn’t go very quickly, and arrived within the first hundred or so.
Almost immediately, the cultivators who landed on the ship edged away from each other. Clearly, the spirit of competition and rivalry was strong already, and one could only imagine how the situation would intensify when they got to the Wildlands.
As far as Bai Xiaochun was concerned, these people were all acting like fiends and monsters, so he quickly found an empty corner away from the crowd.
“What’s with all the fighting and killing?” he thought. “These people... can’t they be more simple and pure like me?” As he looked around, he eventually caught sight of Song Que, Master God-Diviner, and Chen Manyao, which put him in a slightly better mood. However, it wasn’t convenient to approach them at the moment.
Off in the distance, he also noticed Gongsun Wan’er, but when he thought about how strange she was, he ducked his head and avoided her gaze.Previous Chapter Next Chapter