Considering the speed the little turtle was capable of, and his current standing in the Saint-Emperor Dynasty, unless the Saint-Emperor personally had divine sense locked onto him, it would be impossible for anyone to keep track of him.
Nobody even noticed as he slipped into the heavenly pond and headed down toward the lotus roots!
There were quite a few of them in the pond. They formed the foundation of the huge flower, as well as the numerous leaves up above. Most were imbedded in the silt at the bottom of the pond, but many floated in various positions within the water.
The little turtle didn’t need to do any searching. It took almost no time at all for him to find a lotus root several meters long. Although it was hard to say exactly how he accomplished it, he easily dragged the root up and out of the water.
It was evening, and not many people were out and about. Therefore, no one caught sight of him as he whizzed back to Bai Xiaochun’s blessed land.
A whooshing sound could be heard as he appeared right in front of the cross-legged Bai Xiaochun, his eyes shining with anticipation.
“I did it! As you know, when Lord Turtle takes the field, he never loses!” A blur could be seen as the huge lotus root then appeared between the two of them.
Almost immediately, a fragrant aroma filled the air that lifted Bai Xiaochun’s spirits, as well as a strong spiritual energy that vastly surpassed anything from the heavenly dragonfish or the lotus seeds.
Excited, Bai Xiaochun quickly cleaned the root, then a crunch could be heard as he took a deep bite.
It was sweet and sticky, and altogether delicious. Almost immediately, Bai Xiaochun’s eyes lit up, and a warm current began to flow through him.
When the little turtle saw how excited Bai Xiaochun was, he cleared his throat and said, “Ah, whatever. Lord Turtle won't fight with you over this one.”
After all, he had secretly munched on some other roots while down in the water. Blurring into motion, he left the blessed land and headed back to the heavenly pond.
Bai Xiaochun was very happy to see the little turtle acting in this way, and quickly went about munching down more of the lotus root. Heat flowed through him as, in a relatively short time, he consumed the entire lotus root.
The spiritual energy from the lotus root was first like a stream, and then a huge river, and then an ocean, raging through his energy passageways.
Rumbling sounds echoed out that only he could hear, making it seem as though he were in a world of his own, a place filled with boundless spiritual energy!
At this point, his cultivation base began to batter against that invisible barrier!
“That one lotus root was better than all of the lotus seeds and heavenly dragonfish put together! This is incredible!” His face glowed a healthy red, and his eyes shone with the glow of anticipation.
He very much wanted to get out of the Demigod Realm and into the Celestial Realm. After all the progress he had made, he finally seemed to be just on the verge of doing that. Closing his eyes, he rotated his cultivation base and focused his divine sense, controlling the flow of spiritual energy to batter at the barrier over and over again.
Soon, he began to tremble physically as an illusory vortex sprang up around him.
It was a very difficult thing to break the barrier that separated the Demigod Realm from the Celestial Realm. Even with the power of the lotus root, he was only able to strike at it unsuccessfully about ten times.
Time passed, and when the tenth attempt failed, blood oozed out of his mouth, and his eyes snapped open to reveal an unyielding defiance.
“Not a good enough of a foundation…. Or is it unusually difficult because of the Undying Live Forever Technique…?” Closing his eyes, he thought back to how he had broken out of the Nascent Soul stage and the Deva Realm, and slowly came to an understanding of what was happening.
All of his previous breakthroughs had to do with the Undying Live Forever Technique. All of them had been like approaching a gate, which he then simply opened.
But now both codices of his Undying Live Forever Technique were complete. He had reached the end, with no more divine abilities to unlock for either. And upon reaching the end of a road, there would be no more gates to open, only a barrier!
“So what if there’s a barrier? I’ll just break it down!” He gritted his teeth, and a moment later, a gleam of determination appeared in his bloodshot eyes.
“I can’t just keep trying over and over again. Despite my powers of regeneration, I can sense that making endless repeated attacks on the barrier will be harmful!” He sent out some divine sense to make contact with the little turtle, and asked him to bring more lotus roots.
“I need to succeed in one shot. I need to build up a huge reserve of power, and then launch a single decisive attack on the barrier!” He considered trying to use his turtle-wok. After all, he hadn’t used it to enhance either the heavenly dragonfish or the lotus seeds. But he wasn’t in the Heavenspan Realm any longer. These were the Eternal Lands, and if people found out about his turtle-wok, it could cause major problems. Therefore, he had made a decision not to use it unless absolutely necessary.
Giving up on any thoughts of breaking the barrier, he waited for the little turtle to return. When the little turtle saw the blood oozing out of his mouth, he immediately got a sense of how important the lotus roots were to him. Not bothering to haggle over the split, he gave him another lotus root.
Half a month passed by in a flash, during which time Bai Xiaochun didn’t make any more attempts to break the barrier. He kept building up energy, and the little turtle kept delivering lotus roots. Sometimes he would bring seven or eight, sometimes dozens. Whenever Bai Xiaochun asked for more, he got more, until a wild vortex rose up around him. Clearly, his accumulation of spiritual power had reached an astonishing level.
He looked like he might explode at any moment, to the point where the little turtle’s scalp tingled with anxiety.
“Gotta be careful. Don't want to get fried if he blows up.” The little turtle then went on to place some magical sealing marks around Bai Xiaochun, creating some type of shield. Not only would it contain the force of any potential explosions, but it would also mask Bai Xiaochun’s aura from outsiders.
However, the little turtle was still feeling a bit nervous, especially when he realized that Bai Xiaochun’s body seemed to be growing unstable!
He was so frightened that he spent most of his time submerged in the heavenly pond munching on lotus roots. He would only occasionally head over and throw some extra roots at Bai Xiaochun.
The truth was that the little turtle had actually become somewhat addicted to the delicious roots, and couldn’t hold back from eating as many as he could.
Unfortunately, there was only one lotus flower in the heavenly pond. Although it had many roots, many leaves, and many seed pods, it was still just one plant.
If the little turtle had only eaten a few of the roots, it wouldn’t have mattered. And although Bai Xiaochun was consuming quite a few, when compared to the total amount, it wasn’t anything to mention. However… the little turtle was addicted, and in the half month that passed, he gave only a few more than a hundred roots to Bai Xiaochun, and yet ate several thousand.
Because of the decreasing supply of spiritual energy, the lotus leaves upon which Saint-Emperor City was built… slowly began to show signs of wilting. Some of the edges even began to turn yellow….
Most shocking was that the lotus flower which housed the imperial palace, which had already begun to tilt to the side thanks to the heavenly dragonfish incident, was now having its very foundation removed….
Gradually, it began to turn listless….