“Your fusion already reached a certain critical point…. It doesn’t matter that your body has run out of life force, you still have a bit of the aura of the Live Forever Codex in you!” Although the gravekeeper’s eyes were cloudy, they still glittered with bright light as he looked into Bai Xiaochun. There, inside of Bai Xiaochun’s withered flesh and blood was… a scrap of the aura of the Live Forever Codex.
“That… is the seed! I will make that seed sprout, and turn it into the most towering of trees!” With that, the gravekeeper slowly rose to his feet. As he did, the cloudiness in his eyes vanished, and all of a sudden, he pulsed with a heaven-shaking, earth-shattering energy!
“Everything I do is for this world and the people who live in it. And also, for my true self… the first generation Arch-Emperor!
“Even more so, I do it for that which is eternal…. The only person I am letting down is you, Bai Xiaochun…. Therefore, allow me to bestow upon you the most beneficial of good fortunes, the type that can allow you to span the heavens!
“Once you leave this world, you’ll come to understand everything!”
The gravekeeper began to laugh, a laughter filled with both anticipation and shocking focus!
As his aura grew stronger, an unimaginably powerful life force erupted out of him, apparently a burst of energy like the final radiance from a setting sun. It was so intense that it seemed likely he would burst into flames at any moment.
As the gravekeeper’s aura skyrocketed, a massive wind kicked up in the ruins of the third level of the city. Buildings and structures began to crumble away into nothing.
Eventually, the third level of the city was in such a state of ruin that it seemed likely that it would collapse. At the same time, though, the entire precious treasure that was Arch-Emperor City began to tremble.
“I'm not strong enough anymore. And although I can’t completely control this precious treasure left behind by my true self, I can definitely extract the magical power stored inside of it!” With that, he waved his finger at Bai Xiaochun, who seemed completely bereft of any life.
Just as the final tiniest drop of Bai Xiaochun’s life force seemed about to wink out, the gravekeeper waved his finger, and Arch-Emperor City vibrated. At the same time, Bai Xiaochun suddenly spasmed bodily.
His heart had already gone still in death, but now, it twitched. And then, his bag of holding opened of its own volition, and the two skeletons he had acquired on Ghostmother’s battleship flew out into the open!
As the gold and crystal skeletons shone with scintillating light, the gravekeeper spoke in a voice that echoed like heavenly thunder,.
“Eternal Turtle regnant! You are the companion spirit of the Eternal Mother! Get out here immediately!”
The little turtle immediately flew out of Bai Xiaochun’s bag of holding, although whether or not it did so willingly was impossible to tell.
“Dammit, you old fogey. I knew something fishy was going on. That’s why I've been hiding recently. Who would have thought… that you would actually recognize me!?” The little turtle looked over at Bai Xiaochun, and an expression of guilt could be seen in his eyes.
Ignoring the little turtle’s words, the gravekeeper reached out with his right hand. In response, the little turtle shrieked and tried to dodge out of the way.
“Your fate is on the line here too, Eternal Turtle,” the gravekeeper said. “If you weren’t asleep just now, then why the hell didn't you show your face?!”
The little turtle seemed to be struggling about what to do, but a moment later, he sighed, as though resigning himself to his fate.
“Fine. Fine!” he shouted. "What do you want from me!?”
“Your blood!” the Gravekeeper replied, his eyes flashing with sharp light. The little turtle clenched his jaw, stuck his head as far as he could out of his shell, then twisted around and bit down hard on his own neck.
He bit down so hard that his head flew off to the side, and a geyser of blood erupted out from the gaping wound. His body immediately began to turn dark, until his head flew back and attached to his neck again. Within moments, there wasn’t even a trace of any sort of wound.
“There you go, you old bastard!” he said weakly. Then, he turned into a white beam of light, ignoring the gravekeeper as he shot back into Bai Xiaochun’s bag of holding. A moment later, his head popped back out. “You know what, you old bastard? Based on what I know of Bai Xiaochun, it’s not a common thing for him to hate somebody. But once he does, he hates them for all eternity….”
The gravekeeper looked coldly at the little turtle, then waved his right hand, causing the blood that had just spilled out to converge into a blood sphere. Next, he sent the blood sphere toward the two skeletons. As it merged into them, the golden and crystalline light shining out grew more intense.
At the same time, the auras of both the Undying Codex and the Live Forever Codex flared to life!
These two skeletons had a very extraordinary background. Back when Ghostmother originally came to the Heavenspan Realm, she ended up trapped in the Deadmire, and thus, made a deal with the gravekeeper.
The terms of that deal stipulated that, one day, the gravekeeper would help Ghostmother leave this world!
In return, Ghostmother agreed to keep these two skeletons on deck 2 of her ghost galleon. There, they could absorb the spiritual energy present in the ship, spiritual energy which came from beyond the heavens.
Because of that specific spiritual energy, the two skeletons grew much stronger than they had been originally. In some ways, they became refined! Another part of the deal between the gravekeeper and Ghostmother was that she would occasionally use her Celestial Realm cultivation base to personally advance the fusion of the two skeletons!
Many years passed during which, although no physical change could be detected, those two skeletons actually did merge together and became… a consummate high-level medicine!!
The reason for the gravekeeper’s complicated plan was that he had gained an inkling of what the Celestial would attempt to do. And the gravekeeper’s ability to understand matters relating to an Undying Live Forever Pill surpassed the Celestial’s.
Furthermore, he had selected two very specific skeletons to be used in this plan of his. Somehow, he had acquired the skeletons of two Arch-Emperors, and kept the matter hidden from the Celestial!
Unfortunately, the skeleton with the Live Forever Bones was lacking in the requisite energy, which was why he had asked for assistance from Ghostmother.
Now, as the gravekeeper watched the little turtle’s blood fuse with the skeletons, he performed a double-handed incantation gesture. Eyes shining brightly, he thrust his hands out and pushed them down onto the skeletons.
“Merge!!” he shouted. The little turtle’s blood ignited, fully fusing the two skeletons on an internal level. Impurities were expelled, and then, the skeletons began to transform into ash….
The only thing left behind was the raw life force power of the Undying Live Forever Technique!
It was visible in the form of golden and crystalline streams of smoke, which curled and twisted together. It almost looked like what happened when a pill was concocted! As the smoke intertwined, and the blood vanished… a medicinal pill appeared that existed halfway between illusory and corporeal!
It looked both golden and crystalline at the same time, and its aura was that of the undying, and that which can live forever!
This pill… was the very pill that the Celestial thirsted for. An Undying Live Forever Pill!
The Celestial had failed in his attempts to make it, but the gravekeeper, thanks to his astounding plotting and preparations, succeeded!
When the gravekeeper saw the pill form, he chuckled hoarsely. From the look in his ancient eyes, he was preparing to say goodbye to the world around him. Waving his hand, he sent the medicinal pill flying toward Bai Xiaochun!
Bai Xiaochun had no control over the matter whatsoever. The pill hit his forehead and merged into his body, causing massive rumbling sounds to explode out into his mind!
A tremor passed through him as life force similar to his own Undying Live Forever Technique began to course through him!
He had been as immobile as if he had been sealed moments ago. But now that freezing seal shattered, and his eyes snapped open. Gasping, he looked over at the gravekeeper.
“Why?!” he asked.
“You can hate me, Bai Xiaochun,” the gravekeeper replied. “But once you leave this world, you will understand everything…. To me, there is nothing more important than my mission!” With that, the gravekeeper reached out and placed his hand onto the top of Bai Xiaochun’s head.
His cultivation base erupted with power, and all of the remaining life force he had, all of his remaining latent energy, left his body! All of Arch-Emperor City trembled violently as everything that made up the gravekeeper… poured into Bai Xiaochun!
Not only was the gravekeeper giving up his life to heal Bai Xiaochun, he was also catalyzing the Live Forever seed that existed within him!