Bai Xiaochun scowled miserably as the Saint-Emperor walked off. By now, he could see that there was more to this damaged fan mission than met the eye.
That was especially true considering that the Saint-Emperor had essentially gone missing for half a month. Clearly, that had something to do with the fan. When you added in the grim look in the Saint-Emperor’s eyes, it caused Bai Xiaochun to feel very nervous.
Of course, the surrounding court officials were all delighting in Bai Xiaochun’s potential misfortune. By now, all of them were very clear about how well Bai Xiaochun could cause disasters. Whether it was the heavenly dragonfish, the lotus seed, or the lotus roots, all of them were convinced that if Bai Xiaochun stayed in Saint-Emperor City, it would definitely cause chaos.
As far as they were concerned, the Saint-Emperor was being very wise, intelligent, and courageous to send Bai Xiaochun away.
However, none of them allowed their true feelings to show on their faces. Some of them took the initiative to call out greetings to Bai Xiaochun, and even chat with him.
“Congratulations, King Heavenspan! You're a celestial now. Ha ha, how careless of me to have forgotten to congratulate you earlier! Please, I hope you take no offense!”
“Oh how the Saint-Emperor dotes on you, King Heavenspan! And how jealous I am that you get to search for good fortune in that treasure from beyond the heavens!”
“Best wishes, Heavenly King. I'm sure you’ll meet with instant success, and achieve great benefits!”
After clasping hands and offering such words, the cultivators would leave, chuckling sarcastically in their hearts.
Only Heavenly Marquis Liu seemed to think that the Saint-Emperor had made a bad decision, based on everything he knew about Bai Xiaochun. However, he also felt as though there was more to the story than he understood, and in the end, just sighed and left.
The truth was that the little turtle had come to be a source of much frustration. Although he had been in high spirits because of the incident with the lotus roots, considering he had no evidence to support his claims that Bai Xiaochun was at fault, he didn’t dare to say anything publicly.
After everyone left, Bai Xiaochun stood there miserably for a long moment, before finally shaking his head and heading back to his blessed land. There, he sat down and began to mull over the situation further.
“I'm a celestial, which makes me a lot stronger than before. But for some reason, the Saint-Emperor is in a really bad mood. Furthermore, that damaged fan is definitely going to be very dangerous.” The more he thought about it, the less at ease he felt about the Saint-Emperor’s orders. Furthermore, his final words had been spoken with extreme decisiveness, and also in very threatening fashion. Clearly, if Bai Xiaochun didn’t follow orders, he would be gravely punished.
“Maybe instead of being so cautious, I should go all out from the beginning?” After some more thought, he gritted his teeth and nodded. It wasn’t that he suddenly didn’t fear death. Rather, considering that he would be part of a large group of people, as long as he was careful and didn’t get greedy, his celestial cultivation base should be enough to protect him.
If he had been sent in alone, then he wouldn’t have agreed to go inside the fan no matter what.
“Well, since I'm going, I need to make sure I’m fully prepared.” His hair was already getting disheveled from all the worry. Not wanting to waste any time, he went out and began to spend all the resources he had built up during his time in Saint-Emperor City to start making the proper preparations. Talismans. Magical items. Medicinal pills. He bought all sorts of things.
Meanwhile, word was spreading both within Saint-Emperor City, and in the rest of the dynasty at large, that the Saint-Emperor was sending three celestials into the damaged fan.
There were many people who weren’t in the know that, upon finding out the names of the celestials who would be going to the damaged fan, reached out in the hopes of coming along. The Saint-Emperor didn’t stop that from happening. In fact, it wasn’t just the celestials who this happened to. Even demigod experts such as Preceptor Seadeep began to get groups of followers, all of whom would theoretically have a chance to benefit from going on the mission.
Word spread, and the fact that the mission was rumored to be very dangerous only made some people more interested than before. After all, many people in the cultivation world believed that rewards came only with risk. Therefore, a few days later, when the bells tolled in the imperial palace, Gu Tianjun, Sima Yunhua, as well as the six demigods, including Preceptor Seadeep, each arrived with teams to back them up, teams that had dozens of devas in them.
Everyone was gathered, except for Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun had just hurried out of his blessed land. Looking back over his shoulder at the place where he had lived for over a year, he sighed.
“I'm not sure when I’ll be back….” Slapping his bag of holding, he produced several suits of leather armor. If he had had more multi-colored flame, he would have performed more spirit enhancements. But right now, he couldn’t afford to even perform twentyfold enhancements on all of them.
As he walked along, he put on all of the armor, each piece of which was branded with a defensive magical symbol….
Still not happy, he checked around quickly to make sure no one was watching, and then took out his turtle-wok and hung it on his chest like a breastplate. Then he covered it with leather armor. From a distance, his normally thin frame now looked much the opposite. He almost looked like a big ball rolling along. In addition to all of that, he had a black helmet that glowed with the light of a defensive spell formation, as well as a second, larger wok that he strapped on his back.
Anyone from the River-Defying Sect would find this sight very familiar. But these were the Eternal Lands, and thus, everyone who saw him was stunned. The guards outside the imperial palace hardly recognized him.
And when he arrived in the palace square, Gu Tianjun, Sima Yunhua, Preceptor Seadeep, and all of the others who were already there waiting were all visibly stunned. Only when he trundled to a stop next to them did people finally get around to reacting.
“Uh… why is he wearing so much stuff…?”
“Heavens! This Bai Xiaochun has enough defensive magical items to protect a hundred-man army!!”
“Look at that helmet! It’s so hot today, isn’t he uncomfortable…?”
“Forget the helmet. Look at that wok! Unbelievable! Where did he even get it?”
If Gu Tianjun and the powerful experts like him were stunned, then there was little need to mention the deva cultivators. At the same time, many of them suddenly started wondering exactly how dangerous this mission was going to be. Was it really so terrifying that a mighty celestial would go to the extent of preparing in this fashion?
When Bai Xiaochun saw the reactions of the crowd, he cleared his throat proudly. After all, if he hadn’t dressed up like this so many times in the Heavenspan Realm, he would probably have long since lost his poor little life.
“Maybe I am a celestial now, but that doesn’t mean I can just forget about danger! Caution can keep you alive for thousands of years!” Sighing, he prepared to say something when, all of a sudden, a cold snort rang out that caused all hearts present to tremble, including Gu Tianjun and Sima Yunhua. Everyone reflexively clasped hands and bowed respectfully.
The Saint-Emperor strode out into the open and glanced around. When he saw Bai Xiaochun and his getup, even he was taken aback.
Trying to pretend he hadn’t noticed, he took a deep breath and waved his right hand through the air. Instantly, the power of an archaean cultivation base erupted out into heaven and earth. The sky went dim, and a holy light erupted, not from the sky, but up toward it!
It moved with incredible speed, as though it intended to split apart heaven and earth. At the same time, intense fluctuations rolled out in all directions.
In the blink of an eye, the light turned onto a passageway connecting them to the damaged fan up above!
“Well, get going, men!” the Saint-Emperor said. Gu Tianjun and Sima Yunhua took deep breaths and then headed into the tunnel!
The others present flew up after them. As for Bai Xiaochun, he took a deep breath before joining them, being the last to head into motion.
As the damaged fan got closer and closer, Bai Xiaochun looked down to see Saint-Emperor City growing smaller and smaller. Before long, it was too small to see clearly. At the same time, the enormous sovereign grew larger and larger, emanating pressure that even celestials couldn’t resist. Because of that pressure, it was obvious that no one present could ever leave the Eternal Immortal Domains, even if they wanted to.
Only archean experts could theoretically resist it, and perhaps use their cultivation base power to get people past it!
Intense rumbling sounds could be heard, and Bai Xiaochun felt his body vibrating. Then, he suddenly felt lighter, as though he had broken free from some force that had been tugging on him. At that point, he looked around and saw…
A black void!