“The third immortal domain has seventeen demigod experts,” the Giant Ghost King said. “The locals call them preceptors.
“But before we make our move, we should make sure we have an escape route planned. I saw a map of the third immortal domain within the memories of that deva cultivator. Some distance to the northwest, about halfway across the prefecture, is a majestic sea!” With that, he pulled out a jade slip, branded it with some information via divine sense, and then tossed it over to Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun grabbed it out of the air and looked at it. Not only did it have a general map of the third immortal domain, it also had information about the demigods who oversaw the various prefectures. Although the information wasn’t extremely detailed, it was at least fairly comprehensive.
Almost immediately, Bai Xiaochun noticed the details that the Giant Ghost King had just mentioned.
Eyes flickering with killing intent, the Giant Ghost King said, “What if each of us go to a different prefecture, take out a demigod, and then meet back up?
“Master Dust-Origin of Crosspeak Prefecture is only in the early Demigod Realm. I’m a hundred percent certain that I can handle him. Next to Crosspeak Prefecture is Cloudsea Prefecture, ruled by a preceptor named Li Luohai. He’s in the mid Demigod Realm. Xiaochun, how about you handle him?”
Bai Xiaochun didn’t give a specific answer; the killing intent in his eyes said everything that needed to be said. The Giant Ghost King nodded and prepared to continue with some more information when Bai Xiaochun said, “Ghostmother runs this entire area, and she's definitely going to notice. We need to act fast. And we need to pick a good location to meet back up. If either of us are late, we don’t stick around waiting. We leave the third immortal domain and head directly toward the Saint-Emperor Dynasty!”
The fact that Bai Xiaochun had begun to participate in the planning caused the Giant Ghost King’s expression to brighten visibly. After all, he had always been impressed by how Bai Xiaochun handled everything in the Wildlands. Over the next few minutes, the two of them continued to discuss and refine the plan further. Finally, the Giant Ghost King took a deep breath and looked at Bai Xiaochun.
“Safety first!” he said. Then he turned and vanished.
With that, Bai Xiaochun looked around at the dilapidated temple in which he had spent the better part of a year. He looked at the snow and rain, and at the broken jug of alcohol.
Finally, he sent his divine sense out, covering the entire town. His eyes shone brightly now, as if the flame of his life force had finally been reignited!
“The time has come to leave…. My old pal Giant Ghost was right. I get it now…. Hope…. Hope for the people of Heavenspan. Hope for myself. Hope for Hao’er!”
He looked down at the scar on the back of his hand, and seemed completely different than he had been for the last several months. He was now like an unsheathed sword that would soon cast fear into seventeen prefectures.
“My Dao has always been to live forever. It has always been… to give all my friends and family that same chance…. To live forever!!
“No more doubts about the fighting and killing. If I want to live forever, then I have to face the difficulties and obstacles along the way. Without a sword in hand, how could I ever cut through the thorns and thistles that block my path!?
“I’m still afraid of dying. But being afraid… is useless. The only thing that does any good is to get stronger! I need to be the kind of person nobody can kill! That is the way to protect my great Dao!” He lifted his foot to take a step forward, and when it landed, the rain and the snow seemed to pause.
It was as if some undetectable fluctuations had suddenly rolled out in all directions!
“People back in the Heavenspan Realm always said that in the right circumstances, I could destroy all heaven and earth…. Well, here we are with one imperial dynasty that wants to enslave the people of Heavenspan, and another that wants to assimilate them. I guess the time has come to see if I can really destroy them both!” With that, he vanished, to reappear high above.
With his aura masked, not even someone at the peak of the Demigod Realm would be able to detect him. The only person who might notice something… would be a celestial.
By now, Bai Xiaochun had surpassed that peak level. Furthermore, to say that he was a quasi-celestial would actually not be completely correct. After all, even a quasi-celestial… would be no match for him!
Although he was not quite at the level to fight a true celestial, for all intents and purposes, his battle prowess… was that of a celestial!
“Get that blood tribute, and head to the Saint-Emperor Dynasty…. With the resources I’ll gain access to there, I can achieve my breakthrough and become a true celestial!” Having reached this point in his train of thought, he buried all of his despondency and depression. Then, he blurred into motion.
Cloudsea Prefecture was right next to Crosspeak Prefecture. Instead of the numerous mountain peaks which filled Crosspeak Prefecture, Cloudsea Prefecture was made of a vast plain. The spiritual energy of heaven and earth there surpassed most other prefectures, and made it one of the best places in the third immortal domain to practice cultivation.
Because of that, the preceptor here would obviously not be an ordinary early Demigod Realm expert. Only someone in the late Demigod Realm could possibly be trusted to watch over such an area.
There were also more devas in Cloudsea Prefecture than there were in the surrounding prefectures. There were nine counties and over a hundred cities and towns, all of which had vast tracts of medicinal plant fields surrounding them.
Preceptor Li Luohai’s official residence was located at the very center of Cloudsea Prefecture, in the bustling capital city. That was also where the largest medicinal plant farms were located!
Even Arch-Emperor City back in the Wildlands couldn’t match up to this capital city in size. Right now, in the shadows of dusk, the glimmering lamplight which filled the city made for a particularly lively scene.
People hurried about every which way, cultivators and mortals alike. Flight was restricted, and squads of patrolling soldiers could be seen in numerous locations throughout the city.
Bai Xiaochun soon appeared in the air off in the distance, where he could both see and hear the bustle of the city.
This was not his first time seeing a large city in the Eternal Lands, and yet, it was still a shocking sight.
“The Eternal Lands… really are huge.” Keeping his eyes on the path directly ahead of him, he continued on. In terms of the restrictive spells preventing flight, considering Bai Xiaochun’s Undying Hex and cultivation base, they were essentially useless against him. Within moments, he was in midair above the city, looking down at an area right in the middle of it!
A huge stone gate had been erected there that was guarded day and night by the local cultivators. Inside of that stone gate… was a spatial dimension created by Li Luohai that contained his personal immortal's cave.
Li Luohai spent most of his time in secluded meditation, and was rarely seen publicly. He would only emerge when the Vile-Emperor sent decrees specifically for celestials. After the people of Heavenspan were teleported into the Eternal Lands several months prior, he came out more often. Like many others, he was particularly interested in the blood of Heavenspan. Any cultivators with that blood in them who were captured in Cloudsea Prefecture would be sent directly to him.
After identifying the stone gate, Bai Xiaochun took a step forward, placing him directly in front of it. Three devas sat there cross-legged, keeping watch. Unless someone showed them a Dharmic decree from a celestial, they would not permit that person to enter.
However… they didn’t even realize Bai Xiaochun had appeared among them. It was as if he existed in a different dimension.
Ignoring them, he walked calmly into the stone gate. Not a single ripple or energy fluctuation resulted. It was with completely and utter silence that he appeared… inside of a sprawling immortal's cave!
It was actually only a fragment of a spatial dimension. In the middle of it was a medicinal plant farm roughly 30,000 meters across. All sorts of medicinal plants grew there, many of which Bai Xiaochun had never seen before. A hunchbacked old man stood in their midst, performing a double-handed incantation gesture as several hundred bodies floated through the air around him. It was impossible to tell whether those bodies were living or dead!
He seemed excited, almost laughing as he loudly said, “Upgrade my medicinal spiritualization into spirit-blood fertilization. If this works, then when I go to offer tribute at the imperial city, I’ll receive a handsome reward!”