After confirming that the Giant Ghost King was unharmed, Bai Xiaochun rose to his feet and prepared to offer greetings. But before any greetings left his mouth, he unexpectedly vanished!
As for the Giant Ghost King, he was feeling very proud of how smoothly everything had gone, and was especially pleased with how he had killed the preceptor of Crosspeak Prefecture without anyone noticing. “Xiaochun, this is--”
Before he could finish speaking, Bai Xiaochun materialized right next to him and slashed out with his hand. The Giant Ghost King immediately shot forward with a burst of speed, performing a double-handed incantation gesture that summoned a black mouth of smoke that shot into the air behind him.
Even as rumbling sounds echoed out, the Giant Ghost King spun in place to find a child-sized little ghost behind him that had just been slashed into two pieces.
The green-skinned ghost let out a shriek of pain, and then the two halves of its body faded away into nothing.
At that point, an unsightly expression appeared on the Giant Ghost King’s face.
“Dammit! That Crosspeak Prefecture demigod secretly hit me with some ghost magic!”
“No.” Bai Xiaochun said, his expression somber. “Not the Crosspeak Prefecture demigod!” The Giant Ghost King followed his gaze to a point off in the distance, whereupon his expression flickered. Approaching rapidly was a massive tempest made of innumerable evil ghosts, a tempest that raged with wildly destructive power.
Atop the tempest of ghosts was a huge bone lizard that seemed to fill half the sky. It was vicious and cruel, and on top of its head was a crest that looked like a galleon!!
Two flags flew on the bone galleon, upon which vicious ghost faces could be seen. Their aura combined with the aura of the galleon and the lizard created a ghost qi that filled all heaven and earth!
Seven demigods stood on the deck of the bone galleon, all of whom looked with icy yet excited eyes at Bai Xiaochun and the Giant Ghost King!
However, what had captured Bai Xiaochun’s attention was not the demigods, but rather, someone else who stood on the deck. It was a beautiful young woman who seemed like a paragon entity within heaven and earth!
She had an attractive figure, fair skin, and delicate features. Her phoenix-like eyes sparkled with extraordinary brightness, making her seem like the awe-inspiring type of person that no one would ever dare to offend.
She wore an ornate orange court gown that made her look particularly dazzling. Her long, slender fingers and milky arms made her incredibly entrancing to anyone who could see her. As the bone lizard sped through the air, her orange gown fluttered in the wind, especially the wide, violet-embroidered sleeves.
Her gown was embroidered with something that looked like a black underworld city, featuring an enormous gate, out of which flowed an endless stream of howling evil ghosts.
“Ghostmother!!” the Giant Ghost King said with a gasp. Although he had never seen the true Ghostmother, he had seen Gongsun Wan’er, and considering how ghostly and sinister this young woman seemed, and the familiar aura, it only took him a moment to guess who she was.
She was none other than Ghostmother!
“Impossible! How could she have possibly detected our actions so quickly!?!? Did she just happen to be in the area?!” The Giant Ghost King was already starting to devolve into a panic. After all, his previous encounter with Gongsun Wan’er in the Wildlands had left a deep impression on him.
“It’s not a coincidence….” Bai Xiaochun said, his eyes shining with dangerous light as he stared at the incoming bone lizard.
“She figured out some time ago that we were hiding here.” After all, both he and the Giant Ghost King were strangers to the Eternal Lands, and although they had been very careful, it was no surprise that someone had been able to track them down.
“If she knew, then why weren’t the demigods in the local prefectures lying in wait for us to--” The Giant Ghost King was very intelligent, and a profound schemer. Therefore, before he even finished giving voice to his question, he came up with the answer, and it caused an unsightly expression to appear on his face.
“She knows more about the Heavenspan Realm than anyone else in the Vile-Emperor Dynasty,” Bai Xiaochun said. “It’s only natural for her to be a bit greedy because of that.”
It wasn’t difficult to guess at Ghostmother’s plan. She was confident in being able to handle Bai Xiaochun and the Giant Ghost King, and hoped to capture and consume them.
It caused Bai Xiaochun’s heart to sink, and nervousness to prickle at the back of his mind. But it was an unavoidable fight, and he had one advantage: he could pick the battlefield.
Eyes flashing, he backed up rapidly, joined by the Giant Ghost King. Both of them felt their battle spirit rising, and clearly, both were thinking the same thing. The battle would be best fought… not on the third immortal domain, but out on the Eternal Sea!
In addition, they would fight and flee at the same time. That would be the best way to prevent reinforcements from arriving, and would increase their chances of avoiding defeat.
Even as Bai Xiaochun and the Giant Ghost King fled, Ghostmother’s eyes flashed with bright light, and she waved her finger.
In response, the seven demigod experts flew off the deck of the bone galleon, becoming beams of bright light that shot forward with incredible speed. They were like sharp swords that could slice through any obstacles as they headed directly toward Bai Xiaochun and the Giant Ghost King!
“Bai Xiaochun….” Ghostmother said, her eyes radiating determination. Despite having taken Hou Xiaomei as an apprentice, and also having had dealings with Bai Xiaochun, as soon as she was assigned to oversee the third immortal domain last month, she had made her decision.
She was the only person from the Vile-Emperor Dynasty to have ever entered the Heavenspan Realm, and then come back out alive. Because of that, and the fact that she was in the early Celestial Realm, the Vile-Emperor valued her highly. In fact, that was why he had assigned her with the task of overseeing the manhunt for Heavenspan cultivators!
Although she had only arrived in the third immortal domain recently, that was because, for the previous better part of a year, she had been in the first and second immortal domains. Because of her familiarity with the aura of Heavenspan cultivators, she had developed a technique to hunt them down that only she could employ.
And the entire time, she had been trying to locate Bai Xiaochun!
Her experiences in the Heavenspan Realm, as well as her cooperation with the gravekeeper, ensured that she knew just about everything about Bai Xiaochun!
All of that led her to the conclusion that Bai Xiaochun… was a rarity among rarities!
In the end, not even the Vile-Emperor could possibly know as much about Bai Xiaochun as Ghostmother.
Therefore, whether it was the secrets of spirit enhancement that she had extracted from the blood of Heavenspan cultivators, or the authority conferred upon her by the Vile-Emperor, she had decided to focus the majority of her search efforts on locating Bai Xiaochun.
When she finally confirmed his general whereabouts several days ago, she had refrained from mobilizing the prefectural forces that she had suddenly taken over from Celestial Virūpākṣa. Instead, she headed in his direction with her own personal subordinates, in the hopes of capturing him secretly.
How could she have ever guessed that, in the few days it would take her to reach him, Bai Xiaochun would do something so daring!?
The death of a demigod was not some insignificant matter. As a celestial, Ghostmother could theoretically sweep the matter under the rug, but it wouldn’t be easy. But then there was the matter of the medicinal plant farms in Cloudsea Prefecture’s capital city. The dramatic theft of those resources was something that affected the prefecture as a whole. Therefore, the matter had instantly turned into a big headache.
Most important of all was the fact that…. the tribute to the Vile-Emperor had been stolen. Nothing like that had even happened before, and there was no way Ghostmother could hide the news. She knew that, as of this point, consuming Bai Xiaochun wasn’t an option. She had originally had the initiative, but had now lost it, and therefore, it filled her heart with extreme anger!