Along with the raging blood qi, a blood-red beam of light appeared in the air over Heavenspan Island. It came from the east, causing all the lands to tremble and quake as it pierced through the air!
Within that blood-colored light was… an enormous blood spear!
It was fully 30,000 meters long, and as it closed in, it became clear that its target was not the island itself. Instead, it was the enormous world hand formed from the souls of the four rivers and the Heavenspan Sea!
It moved with shocking speed, and when it slammed into the world hand, it unleashed a deafening boom.
“Blood Ancestor!” the Celestial howled, his face twisted with rage. “You’re not dead!?!?”
Unfortunately for him, his shout could do nothing to prevent the blood spear from hitting the world hand. The spear began to crumble into pieces upon impact, and yet, it caused the hand to falter slightly on its path toward Bai Hao and Bai Xiaochun!
That slight pause was enough!
Bai Hao, who had been in the middle of smiling bitterly, suddenly caused his soul to burn with even more intensity, instantly completing the buildup of teleportation power!
Bai Hao’s flame form wrapped Bai Xiaochun up and then vanished from Heavenspan Island!
The unconscious Bai Xiaochun struggled to open his eyes, but all he could see was vaguely flickering flames. And yet… he was still able to detect a raging blood qi that was very similar to his own!
Back on Heavenspan Island, the Celestial howled with rage and madness, causing the world to shake, and icy coldness to spread out in all directions!
“Damn you, Blood Ancestor! You… you’re not dead!?!?” The Celestial was filled with so much rage it defied description. He had sacrificed his own flesh and blood, had paid the highest of prices, and yet, in the end… he yet again failed in the critical moment.
He failed every time, a fact that pushed him into pure insanity.
“Damn all of you! I hope you all die!! You won’t escape, Bai Xiaochun!!” As the Celestial howled, the world hand began to grow larger, and simultaneously speed in the direction of the Wildlands in pursuit of Bai Hao.
However, it was in that very moment that another surge of blood qi erupted from the sect headquarters of the River-Defying Sect! And this time, the levels of energy involved vastly surpassed the last eruption!
The entire world turned the color of blood, and the source was…
The eastern Heavenspan region!
The sect headquarters of the River-Defying Sect!
All of the disciples who were still in the sect were completely and utterly shaken. In fact, they began to flee, their expressions those of incredulity and shock. The focus of their gazes… was something towering up in the very middle of the River-Defying Sect, something that was viewed as a precious treasure of the sect itself… the fleshly body of the Blood Ancestor!
He was matchlessly tall, a giant who stood right next to the Dire Skybanyan, and had remained in place for countless years without moving of his own volition. For all intents and purposes, he was a corpse.
But right now, the Blood Ancestor was actually moving! Soil and dirt that had built up on his skin over the years began to crack and fall off in pieces, falling down to the earth far below.
His hand, once the home of the Blood Stream Sect, twitched, causing more dirt and soil to crumble down toward the ground.
Deep within the Blood Ancestor, his withered heart suddenly began to beat….
Thump thump! Thump thump!
The pounding of his heart echoed out as blood-colored light poured from it into his blood vessels. Streams of fresh blood then began to flow out into his body!
His blood vessels were… regenerating!
The process happened extremely quickly, with maddening speed. Soon, the beating of his heart became so loud that it was audible outside of his body!
The cultivators in the River-Defying Sect all gasped, and began to cry out in alarm.
“The Blood Ancestor… the Blood Ancestor… he….”
“Heavens, what’s going on here?!?!”
“He’s… he’s alive?!”
The Blood Stream Division was especially shocked. After all, this was their reserve precious treasure, something that had aided all of them in their cultivation over the years. They had imitated the Blood Ancestor, and used him to create all sorts of divine abilities. And now… he was coming back to life!!
In the past, the Blood Ancestor could move when the disciples of the Blood Stream Division pooled their power to control him. But now… no one was controlling him. Therefore, the sound of his heart beating cause waves of shock to rise up within all of the disciples who were present to observe.
Soon, the sound was as loud as thunder from the heavens. Even more shocking was the heaven-shaking, earth-shattering life force which began to burn inside of him!
Because of it, and because of the raging blood qi, all heaven and earth became stained as if with blood! The Blood Ancestor was coming back to life!
No longer did he radiate an aura of death. Instead, he thrummed with astonishing fleshly body power!
However… it was only a resurrection of his fleshly body. The Blood Ancestor was coming to life physically, but… he had no soul!
And yet… as the Blood Ancestor's fleshly body awoke, and his life force flourished, a monkey appeared on a mountain in the Spirit Stream Sect. This monkey had first appeared years ago when Bai Xiaochun concocted medicinal pills in the Spirit Stream Sect!
An unprecedentedly serious expression could be seen on his face right now, as well as a look of determination.
“It’s time for me to pay back what is owed…. I should be dead, so it's been a true blessing to be able to come back for these short years…. The gravekeeper wants me to restore your soul? That’s a fair trade!” The monkey laughed as his body withered up and then transformed into ash, revealing a soul!
It was not the monkey’s soul, but rather, the discarnate soul of some unknown entity. And it immediately began to fly toward the Blood Ancestor!
In another location in the River-Defying Sect was a rabbit. A wistful smile could be seen on his face as he closed his eyes and collapsed into ash, revealing another soul that also began to fly toward the Blood Ancestor!
It wasn’t just the monkey and the rabbit that did this. In another location in the lands of Heavenspan was a winged tiger, crouching in a mountainous valley. A tremor ran through it, after which it threw its head back and howled. As it did, it collapsed into ash, and a discarnate soul flew out!
The same thing happened with a certain flock of birds, a colony of ants, and a group of geese…. All of the bizarre entities that had come into existence thanks to Bai Xiaochun’s pill concocting efforts all transformed into ash….
As they did, the souls they had been carrying in their bodies flew up into the air and headed toward the River-Defying Sect!
Countless discarnate souls flew into the River-Defying Sect, and then entered the body of the Blood Ancestor. When the final one arrived, the Blood Ancestor shivered.
Then, a growling sound echoed out from his throat to fill the entire world!
“I held my breath yesterday, to awaken today…. Finally, I'm back!” In that moment, the Blood Ancestor… opened his eyes!
A shocking murderous aura erupted out like a tempest, a murderous aura filled… with tempestuous hatred!
“I've come back for you… Celestial!!!” All of the soil and dirt which had once existed on the Blood Ancestor was gone, revealing a god of battle who leaped into the air and began to fly in the direction of Heavenspan Island, seething with hatred and madness!
It was in that moment that, in the imperial palace of Arch-Emperor City, the Arch-Emperor stood looking in the direction of Spirit Advent City, which had fallen, and was burning to the ground. In fact, streams of soul cultivators were fleeing from there toward Arch-Emperor City.
All of a sudden, at tremor passed through the Arch-Emperor, as he sensed a type of blood qi which existed in legends.
“That’s… that’s….” The Arch-Emperor was so shocked he almost couldn’t speak.
Far below, in the third level of Arch-Emperor City, within the ruined, crumbling pagoda, the gravekeeper sat there cross-legged in meditation. Yet again, his eyes slowly opened to look at Bai Xiaochun and Bai Hao, who were materializing in front of him, wreathed in flames.
“The final phase of the plan… can now begin….”