It was clearly a moment of grave crisis, and yet Bai Xiaochun understood that if he revealed himself now, it wouldn’t do any good. Not only would he fail to save Mistress Red-Dust, but he would also most likely end up perishing.
However, it was very troubling to see Mistress Red-Dust continuously shoved backward by Gongsun Wan’er’s attacks. Mistress Red-Dust was clearly getting weaker and weaker, and was hovering on the brink of death.
As Bai Xiaochun struggled over what to do, Gongsun Wan’er continued to get closer to Mistress Red-Dust, and was just about to launch another attack when she suddenly stopped in place. Then, her eyes glittered as she shot backward.
Even as she did, the weakened and suppressed Mistress Red-Dust suddenly looked up. Her beautiful features were ashen, but her eyes glittered with something dark, sinister, and icy cold!
“You finally got close enough….” Mistress Red-Dust said. Then, her arms shot out to either side as two images appeared, one in each pupil! They were images that depicted, not a person, but a city!!
It was a city that was every bit a match for Giant Ghost City in terms of size and splendor. It was perfectly constructed, with four towering walls and, if one looked close enough, countless bustling residents.
“Red Dust….” Mistress Red-Dust said. As soon as the words left her lips, rumbling filled the sky, and a shocking energy erupted from her eyes.
At the same time, the air beneath Gongsun Wan’er’s feet suddenly began to transform. An illusory, hand-sized city appeared which was an exact copy of the cities within Mistress Red-Dust’s eyes. Out of the city shot numerous illusory iron chains, which instantly wrapped around Gongsun Wan’er….
Gongsun Wan’er’s face fell as she realized that she was locked in place and couldn't even struggle. Then, the city began to drop down to the ground, dragging her and the chains with it.
As she descended, she… began to shrink!!
From the look of it, she would soon become so small that she would actually fit inside the city, and then be eternally sealed inside of it! This magical technique was Mistress Red-Dust’s trump card!
However, what had been unleashed so far was only half of the trump card; there was still more to come before its true power would be fully manifest.
This trump card was vastly more terrifying than the magical blood from earlier, and also came at great cost to Mistress Red-Dust. She had to waste a significant amount of longevity to power it, plus, she was using it after having been significantly injured. Blood sprayed out of her mouth as she seemed to weaken further. She almost couldn’t breathe, and even staggered backward. Biting down on her tongue to try to remain conscious, her hands flashed with a double-handed incantation gesture as she prepared to complete the technique!
As for Bai Xiaochun, he lay there, transfixed by the sudden shift in the tide of battle.
In that moment, though, Gongsun Wan’er, who was continuing to shrink as she dropped toward the city, suddenly smiled.
“A giant ghost secret magic. Nice. Red Dust Violet Road…. Going all out, I see…. Well that’s good. Let’s see if you have enough life left in you to finish unleashing it!” Even as she spoke, she raised her hand into the air. As she did, her index finger turned pitch black, and she pointed it at Mistress Red-Dust. 
The lands quaked and the sky seethed as a huge black ring of light suddenly materialized around Mistress Red-Dust. Instantly, Mistress Red-Dust began to tremble, and life force began to pour out of her eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. It even came out of her pores, a white mist which began to surge toward the black ring!! She could hardly breathe properly, and her face was as pale as death. She quickly performed an incantation gesture, sending a blast of red light out against the black ring, weakening it but not destroying it.
Its gravitational force continued to tug at Mistress Red-Dust, no matter how she struggled or attacked it. Apparently, she couldn’t destroy it!
The fact was that she was too heavily injured, and had reached her limit. It had been a huge drain to begin to use her trump card, dropping her longevity to the point where she was like a candle flickering in the wind.
At this point, Mistress Red-Dust smiled bitterly. She knew that she had been careless, and had believed that, despite heading directly into a trap, the addition of over 10,000 soldiers from the Giant Ghost Legion would give her the advantage. Never could she have imagined that the deaths of those soldiers would actually give her opponent even more deadly power!
Before consuming all of the Giant Ghost Legion soldiers, Gongsun Wan’er had possessed a Nascent Soul cultivation base. Afterward, though, she rose to the deva level, making her strong enough to not only defeat Mistress Red-Dust, but prevent her from even fleeing!
Upon coming to this place, there was no way Mistress Red-Dust could have ever predicted that it would be where she died!
She had hoped to rely on her Red Dust Violet Road technique to at least seal her opponent, even if she herself died in the process. And yet, so far, she had only been able to use part of it.
The gravitational force exerted by the black ring of light was too strong, and was sucking away her life force without any signs of slowing down. In fact, her hair was already white, and her skin covered with wrinkles. Right now, she actually looked like an old woman.
Her life force, her soul, her cultivation base, everything about her was now being taken away. Her vision began to grow dim, and she began to gasp for breath. She couldn't bear to give in, and yet, had no options at her disposal; she had only been able to unleash half of her trump card.
“Am I really going to die like this…?” she murmured to herself. Her eyelids began to grow heavy, and she knew that it would only be moments before she couldn’t keep them open.
Gongsun Wan’er was continuing to shrink down, and yet, her bizarre chuckling still filled the air.
Other than that, silence filled the air. There were only a few dozen people still left alive, and all of them were sinking into despair. However, from Bai Xiaochun’s unsteady breathing, it was possible to tell how conflicted he was. As his eyes remained fixed on the image of Mistress Red-Dust turning old and decrepit, he made his decision. Whether it was for her, or for himself, he knew that he couldn’t just lay there faking death any longer.
Even if it ended up exposing his true identity, he had to do something. If he didn't, Mistress Red-Dust would die, and Gongsun Wan’er would be released, after which she would surely slaughter any remaining survivors.
“Dammit, dammit, DAMMIT!!” he thought, his eyes turning bloodshot. Suddenly, he leaped to his feet, shouting at the top of his lungs, blue veins bulging out on his face and neck as he shot toward the shrinking Gongsun Wan’er with all the speed he could muster.
His hand clenched into a fist, around which appeared a black vortex. He drew upon all of his fleshly body power and all of his life force, causing a figure to appear behind him, a figure wearing imperial robes and an imperial crown, a figure that seemed like a paragon entity in all heaven and earth!
A domineering aura erupted around him as he howled, accelerating madly until he was right on top of the black ring of light that had Mistress Red-Dust trapped. There… he unleashed his fist strike!!
This was none other than… the Undying Emperor’s Fist!!
It contained double his normal amount of fleshly body power, a mad level of strength that caused the entire area to tremble, and send the clouds above churning. Dirt and pebbles began to rise into the air off the ground as a huge vortex formed.
The shadowy emperor behind Bai Xiaochun, and the fist strike that was being unleashed, caused a domineering will to fill the area. As of this moment… there was now a third will present!
Gongsun Wan’er’s face fell as an enormous booming sound exploded out. The black ring of light surrounding Mistress Red-Dust had already been weakened, so when Bai Xiaochun unleashed a deva-level fist strike against it, it immediately crumbled into pieces and collapsed!!
All of the life force it had absorbed from Mistress Red-Dust was released. In the blink of an eye, much of it returned to her, with another large portion entering Bai Xiaochun. Because of that, Bai Xiaochun’s Undying Bones immediately broke through all the way to the third stratum of the Powered Bones!
Mistress Red-Dust’s hair returned to its previous black color, and the wrinkles vanished from her skin. She was beautiful again, and her eyes flickered with the excitement of having passed through a life-or-death struggle. Without any hesitation, she threw her arms out and performed incantation gestures, then pointed at the tiny city down on the ground.
1. A quick reminder that Mistress Red-Dust’s name comes from a line of poetry that literally reads “Violet Road Red Dust” and refers to the scenery along the road leading to the capital city of China. In this case, the order of the characters is reversed to read Red Dust Violet Road. Also, her given name Zimo uses those two characters for Violet Road.