Bai Xiaochun’s cultivation base surpassed the ordinary quasi-celestial level. That, combined with his powerful Daoist magics from the Live Forever Codex, ensured that his divine sense was actually very close to the level of a true Mahayana Realm celestial.
Although there was a slight gap, only a true celestial would be able to tell. When it came to anyone under the celestial level, Bai Xiaochun would appear to be an actual celestial.
In the third immortal domain, the capital city of Cloudsea Prefecture was often referred to as the Medicine Storehouse. And right now, the minds and souls of all cultivators in that city went blank, leaving them completely unaware of their surroundings.
From the moment that Bai Xiaochun’s divine sense spread out, to the moment that they regained consciousness, from their perspective, no time would have passed!
This was one of the dramatic, domineering and terrifying things that powerful experts in the Mahayana Realm were capable of doing.
The innumerable cultivators in the capital city all remained in place, completely unmoving. The only person who could act as normal was Bai Xiaochun!
As he walked away from the huge stone gate that was the entrance to the immortal's cave, he ignored the deva guards and used his divine sense to locate the auras of the more than 100 Heavenspan Realm cultivators in the city.
Sadly, all of them were strangers to him. But that didn’t stop him from vanishing and reappearing in the northern part of the capital city, where a prison was located.
The Heavenspan cultivators in the prison were also immobilized and rendered unconscious by Bai Xiaochun’s divine sense. However, they weren’t hurt. He considered sending them into the Greatsword of the North, but after some thought, waved his sleeve, and put them in his bag of holding.
Blue light glittered as the Greatsword of the North then appeared in his hand. After examining it closely, his eyes glittered.
From what he could sense, the laughing-crying ghost face has been subjugated by the world inside the greatsword, which would explain why his strike at Daoist Heavenspan had been so shocking.
Furthermore, he could tell that, now that he was in the Eternal Immortal Domains, the three-use-limitation that had been placed on the sword was now gone. Unfortunately, it had still not accepted him as its master. Therefore, he could only use it as a weapon, and could not access its divine abilities in order to send people inside.
On top of all that, the spirit automaton, the Frigid Matriarch, was not responding to his divine will.
“Do I not yet meet all the requirements…?” he thought. He knew that there were people living inside the world of the sword, those being the northern cultivators who hadn’t been mobilized in the war. In fact, considering that they were inside the world of the sword, they would have no idea of the events which had occurred on the outside, or that the Heavenspan Realm had been destroyed.
Still contemplating the matter, he vanished. When he reappeared, he was next to another Heavenspan cultivator, who he quickly put into his bag of holding. Then he went on to another, and another. After he had them all, his eyes flickered.
“I can’t let any of the medicinal plants here go to waste.” With that, he performed an incantation gesture with his right hand, and used the power of the Live Forever codex, as well as Frigid School energy, to summon nine frigid clones. Without the slightest hesitation, he then sent them out in nine different directions into the city.
Wherever they went, they took the medicinal plants they saw, regardless of whether they recognized them or not.
They were like ravenous locusts who, in a very short time, cleared out all of the medicinal plant farms in the entire capital city. And yet, even after doing that, Bai Xiaochun wasn’t finished.
“That Li Luohai mentioned something about tribute….” After a bit more searching, his frigid clones found exactly what he was looking for: a treasure storehouse deep beneath the surface of the capital city!
Other than Bai Xiaochun, few people would be able to open it. But with his Undying Hex, it was little challenge. Once inside, he took all of the medicinal plants and spirit stones that were stored inside.
There were also ten crystalline strongboxes that radiated such a powerful energy of heaven and earth that it was obvious they contained shocking, high-level medicinal ingredients!
One of them was an ingredient that Bai Xiaochun recognized.
“Nine hells apparition leaf!” His eyes immediately began to shine with passion. He had read about nine hells apparition leaves back in the Heavenspan Realm. They were a legendary medicinal plant that had long since gone extinct. Supposedly, only one leaf would sprout on the plant every five hundred years. These leaves were so beneficial to cultivators that they were considered heaven-defying.
Inside of the box, Bai Xiaochun could see more than thirty such leaves, provoking a loud gasp.
“That's 15,000 years’ worth of leaves!!” For the first time since arriving in the Eternal Lands, Bai Xiaochun’s eyes shone with delight. After all, the nine boxes all contained medicinal plants, and although he didn’t recognize any of the others, considering how valuable the nine hells apparition leaves were, he could only imagine what the other plants were.
As for the crystalline boxes, he got the sense that they had been crafted by refining countless spirit stones! Furthermore, the boxes were sealed with strips of paper that had the character emperor on them. Obviously, these medicinal plants were the tribute that Li Luohai had spoken of!
After collecting the boxes, Bai Xiaochun called his frigid clones back, then looked around at the city one last time, sighing.
“Too bad time is so limited. Otherwise, I would spend more time cleaning this place out.” Shaking his head, he was forced to hold back the skills that he had honed in the Wildlands. Turning into a blur of motion, he left the capital city.
He took his divine sense with him, removing the pressure which had been weighing down on the cultivators. They didn’t awaken immediately; it took about an hour. At that point, everyone simultaneously shivered, and then went about with whatever they had been doing before losing consciousness.
The cultivators within the city walls had it better off. To them, nothing much seemed different. However, the cultivators in the farms that surrounded the city were stunned to find that not a single plant or even root could be seen. Everything around them was nothing more than bare soil.
“Where… where am I?”
“This place seems familiar….” As the stunned cultivators muttered and looked around, they eventually noticed a city off in the distance….
When they recognized the city, and then looked back at the bare earth, they began to gasp in shock and cry out in alarm.
“Heavens, what’s going on?!?! This… this is crazy!! Did locusts sweep through or something?!?!”
“No way. Even if locusts came through, they wouldn’t wipe things as clean as this. I just blinked, and then… everything was gone!!” As the commotion built up, some of the more quick-witted among the farm workers came up with logical explanations.
“Calm down, everyone. The preceptor probably just came and harvested the plants….” However, such voices of reason were soon drowned out by angry shouts.
“Like hell! If the preceptor harvested the plants, he would only take the leaves…. Look, even the roots are gone!! I’ve been tending medicinal plants for my entire life, and I've never seen a field as empty as this! It couldn’t be cleaner if it was licked clean by dogs!! And look over here! Dammit… the medicinal soil levels here are lower!!”
“That’s nothing. Look at this, guys. When I blinked just now, the medicinal plant I was holding in my hand… vanished!!” Soon, the commotion spread to the city itself.
By that time, Bai Xiaochun had already left Cloudsea Prefecture, and was closing in on the rendezvous spot.
“I wish I’d had more time. What a pity I had to leave all those bricks behind. They weren’t exactly spirit stones, but they had a lot of spiritual energy in them. And what about the floor tiles? And the building foundations….” Shaking his head, he flew along until he saw a sea that was vastly more majestic than the former Heavenspan Sea!
Waves rolled and crashed on its surface, creating a sound like thunder from the highest heavens.
Compared to this sea, the Heavenspan Sea was more like a lake.
Far, far off in the distance, just off the shore, there was a huge mountain that seemed to hold command over the waters around it. Visible on the surface of that mountain were words!
This was the appointed rendezvous location with the Giant Ghost King. After sending his divine sense out and ensuring there was no danger, Bai Xiaochun flew up to the top of the mountain.
“The Giant Ghost King should be coming along any moment now.” Sitting down cross-legged, he sat there listening to the crash of the waves and looking off in the direction of Crosspeak Prefecture. After the time it takes an incense stick to burn, he breathed a sigh of relief as he caught sight of the Giant Ghost King heading toward him.