The sword descended, sundering the heavens and crushing the earth!
Blood sprayed out like a geyser, accompanied by an agonized shriek from Ghostmother. Fear filled her eyes, but even more so, astonishment at the sharpness of Bai Xiaochun’s Greatsword of the North.
“How dare you, Bai Xiaochun!!”
Dazzling blue light shone out in all directions as she tumbled backward, screaming, her expression distorted with rage, her hair disheveled… and her left arm severed!!
“I'm gonna kill you, Bai Xiaochun!!” It wasn’t the intense pain that pushed her toward madness, but rather… the words that Bai Xiaochun had just uttered!
The plan was playing out perfectly. Step A had been to get Ghostmother off of her bone galleon. Step B had been… to figure out a way to sever her left arm!
Not everything had gone exactly as planned, but close enough. Ghostmother’s celestial Daoist magic had been unexpected, and powerful. Unexpectedly, she had called upon all of the living beings in the Vile-Emperor Dynasty, controlling their minds in a way that Bai Xiaochun could never have planned for. At long last, he had come to realize how truly powerful the Celestial Realm was.
However, it was also in that moment that he remembered being in a similar situation once…. Years ago, in the bedchamber on the bone galleon, Ghostmother had used a similar Daoist magic to control, not Bai Xiaochun’s body, but his mind. She had attempted to play with his memories!
Back then, Ghostmother had been both incomplete and far from the Vile-Emperor Dynasty, and therefore, had only been able to exercise rudimentary control. But here, in her element, she had used the ultimate level of that celestial magic to actually control his body.
Both times… the same thing had happened. The scrap of Willpower inside of Bai Xiaochun had come to life and enabled him to move!
It was something that should not have skipped Ghostmother’s mind. But here in the Eternal Lands, with the full power of her celestial magic, she simply didn’t take the time to consider that Bai Xiaochun would be able to free himself from her grasp!
Much less could she have predicted that he would sever her left arm!!
Bai Xiaochun glanced coldly at the screaming, retreating Ghostmother, then reached out and grabbed her left arm. Not pausing for a moment, he sent some divine sense into it, hoping to stimulate the discarnate soul that existed inside of it.
A moment later, the arm collapsed into a blood mist that then resolved into a person….
It was… the very same little girl whom Ghostmother had consumed back in the Wildlands!
She opened her eyes and looked around blankly, seemingly confused…. But then she heard Bai Xiaochun speaking to her, his voice bolstered by his cultivation base so that it slammed into her like floodwaters.
Who is Gongsun Wan’er? Sounds so familiar. I think I used that name before…. She looked at Bai Xiaochun blankly, and then looked around again.
“You lost,” Bai Xiaochun said, “and were consumed by your true self. Now… I've called you back. I'm giving you another chance… to become the dominant soul. All you have to do is help me steal that battleship, and do what I tell you on the way to the Saint-Emperor Dynasty!!”
The girl shivered as memories began to slide into place in her mind. And yet, she just wasn’t able to fit them all together properly.
Bai Xiaochun could see how torn she seemed, as if she were in pain, and confused. Frowning, he reached out and put his hand on the top of her head. Then, he poured more divine sense into her, hitting the discarnate soul’s memories like a lightning bolt!
The rumbling in the girl's mind caused the fragments of her memory to converge rapidly. She shivered, and then began to pant as the blank look in her eye faded away. At the same time, a hair-raisingly terrifying and cold aura erupted out of her!
“Hi, sweetie….” she said, smiling. Gongsun Wan’er was back!
It all happened within a few short moments. Despite being stronger than a quasi-celestial, the sight of Gongsun Wan’er’s smile caused Bai Xiaochun’s hair to stand on end. It looked exactly like the smile he had seen so many times back in the Heavenspan Realm of the past.
As the girl hovered there directly in front of Bai Xiaochun, she slowly turned her head to look at Ghostmother, bereft of her left arm, gasping for breath and clearly in bad shape.
“And hello to you… Ghostmother!”
Gongsun Wan’er chuckled, a cold, piercing chuckle of utmost bizarreness. Although her aura was still weak, from the nature of her laughter it was very clear… that she really had returned!!
There wasn’t even a hint of confusion or blankness in her eyes. It took her only a moment to assess the situation and ascertain the basics of Bai Xiaochun’s plan. Back when she had agreed to merge back into Ghostmother, she had been filled with intense regret, but had had no choice in the matter. Therefore, it was without the slightest hesitation that she agreed to ally with Bai Xiaochun now!
Furthermore, she knew that even if Ghostmother were kidnapped, she was a celestial, and therefore, the Saint-Emperor wouldn’t kill her. If he did, then the Vile-Emperor would never let the matter rest!
Although there was friction between the two imperial dynasties, and they occasionally squabbled over territory, they were not interested in destroying each other. Most importantly, in either of the imperial dynasties, a celestial with a Daoseed could be resurrected by the Archaean Realm expert who they served!
Such a resurrection would come at a heavy cost, and there were limitations involved. But for all intents and purposes, archaeans could not die, and celestials could not be killed!
Therefore, the Vile-Emperor would definitely pay a hefty ransom to get a kidnapped celestial back from the Saint-Emperor. And therefore… the little girl knew that if she were the one to be taken hostage, then as part of Ghostmother, she would also be valued by the Vile-Emperor. Furthermore, the Vile-Emperor wouldn’t deign to interfere in matters between a soulclone and its true self.
Such thoughts ran through Gongsun Wan’er’s mind in a flash. Smiling radiantly, she burst into motion, heading directly toward the battleship. The Giant Ghost King followed, eyes shining brightly, moonflower in tow. The ghost face, still under the control of Bai Xiaochun, also came along.
This was all part of the plan that Bai Xiaochun had described. They were all to board the battleship together with Gongsun Wan’er, to forestall any unforeseen circumstances!
In response to all of this, Ghostmother was devolving into madness. Yet again, she felt weak like she had been in the past. Hatred burning in her heart, she realized she couldn’t keep this fight up, and as she fled, she called out to the other celestials for assistance.
Unfortunately for her, the Eternal Lands were huge, and not even celestials could simply show up within moments.
And there was no way Bai Xiaochun would give her the chance to flee. Without hesitation, he began to chase after her.
As he thought about the chase which had just played out, and the events of the past, he began to feel very irritated. “You old ghost biddy! You scared me half to death in the Deadmire, and bullied me to no end! And just now, you had to go and be all arrogant! Well let me tell you. I've changed a lot since the last time we met. Watch!”
Snorting coldly, he began to unleash attacks, until Ghostmother was coughing up blood and clearly in very bad shape.
None of her Daoist magics or divine abilities did any good against him. As of this moment, he was chasing her in much the same way that she had chased him.
The only thing she could do was use special soul magics to try to get away as fast as possible. Until… the bone lizard battleship suddenly began to speed in their direction, with Gongsun Wan’er at the helm, smiling. At that point, Ghostmother began to laugh in bitter despair. Her hopes were completely crushed.
Almost effortlessly, Gongsun Wan’er sent a sea of flames, a black beam of light, and three vicious ghost faces after Ghostmother! Within moments, she was defeated and captured!!
Gongsun Wan’er delightedly transformed into a black mist that poured into Ghostmother’s eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. With Bai Xiaochun assisting her, she quickly took control. Then, the bone lizard battleship blasted away at top speed over the Eternal Sea, toward the Saint-Emperor Dynasty….
“This is my blood tribute! With the flick of a sleeve, I, Bai Xiaochun, reduced a measly celestial to ashes!” Bai Xiaochun no longer felt even a little bit depressed. The mere thought of what he had just accomplished caused his spirits to soar.
He had kidnapped a celestial and an entire group of demigods!
From the moment the Saint-Emperor Dynasty had been founded until now, no one had ever provided tribute like that!
It was unprecedented!