Bai Xiaochun sucked in an excited, nervous breath.
The two forces struggled, but the power of the spirit enhancement was clearly at a higher level, and began to gain dominance.
However, the spirit automaton was by no means weak. It was like a tiger cub fighting a full-grown dog. In fact, it fought with such ferocity that the spirit enhancement's power began to weaken, and was gradually driven away.
Gritting his teeth anxiously, Bai Xiaochun pulled a twenty-one-colored flame out of his bag of holding. He only had two such tongues of flame left, and thus, it was with a great deal of pain that he tossed it into the turtle-wok.
Golden light flared, and rumbling sounds echoed out, along with land-shaking, mountain-rocking power. The power of the spirit enhancement once again rushed out to erase the branding mark inside the fan. Yet again, a battle erupted between the automaton and the spirit enhancement.
The automaton could clearly not hold out for long, but was putting up a good struggle. At the same time, the spirit enhancement had reached a critical juncture.
As of this moment, twenty percent of the the branding within the damaged fan had been wiped away. That in turn allowed the restrictions on divine sense to loosen a bit.
Bai Xiaochun knew that time was of the essence. On the one hand, people might come out of the fan at any moment, and on the other hand, the power of the twenty-one-colored flame was growing weak.
“Dammit, I've got to go for broke!!” Taking advantage of the loosening of the restriction on divine sense, he sent his divine sense out.
As the spirit automaton and the power of the enhancement struggled mightily, he shoved his divine sense into the empty section of the fan!
Normally speaking, this was a thing that he could never do. Not even one of the archaean emperors would have been able to accomplish such a task. The only type of person who possibly could have would be another sovereign.
But now, the impossible was happening thanks to the heaven-defying powers of Bai Xiaochun’s turtle-wok. Whichever sovereign it was who had created this fan could never have dreamed that their treasure could possibly be stolen in this manner….
Bai Xiaochun howled from the effort, blue veins bulging out on his neck and face. As he pushed out madly with his divine sense, his own branding mark slowly began to take shape.
The spirit automaton struggled, and the power of the spirit enhancement began to fade, but Bai Xiaochun took advantage of every moment….
Although things were almost over, the automaton wouldn’t give up, and continue to drive away the power of the spirit enhancement. However, Bai Xiaochun took advantage of his authority over twenty percent of the fan to fight back relentlessly. Eventually, the automaton was forced to give up.
The branding mark faded away, and the fan went calm. It was almost as if nothing had happened. As for Bai Xiaochun, he had been holding nothing back, and was currently drenched in sweat. Quickly putting away his turtle-wok, he sat there panting.
Although this type of fight was different than magical combat, it had been extremely draining. He felt hollowed out, and yet at the same time, was extremely pleased.
As of this moment, he could feel a very faint connection to the fan, something almost dreamlike in nature.
“I can’t believe I did it!! Hahaha! I branded my own divine sense mark onto this fan!! Virūpākṣa, you cheater, this fan is mine. How do you think you’ll get it now!?” He was so excited that he began laughing out loud, a fact that some returning cultivators noticed, and looked over in shock.
To them, he looked a bit insane.
“Did he go crazy because he’s been stuck in the seventh level for too long?!”
As they chuckled coldly, Bai Xiaochun was recovering from the effort of the struggle. As he sat there cross-legged, his eyes shining, he took a moment to analyze the situation. He was already aware that although he had authority over twenty percent of the fan, he didn’t actually control the fan as a whole.
Essentially, the part of the fan that he had authority over was equivalent to the first through twentieth levels!
At this point, even if Celestial Virūpākṣa made it to the twentieth level, whatever rewards he got wouldn't compare to what Bai Xiaochun had acquired. One would have an empty reward that could be taken away, and one would have a substantial reward that could directly contend with the fan’s spirit automaton.
“Same as the twentieth level, huh. That's good enough for me!” Bai Xiaochun was very excited; this obviously made him the clear frontrunner in the competition. With this advantage, he was much more confident in being able to become the new owner of the damaged fan.
The main thing he needed to do was make sure nobody realized what he had done.
“Alright, Celestial Virūpākṣa. Bai Xiaochun hates cheaters more than anything. Let’s see you try and cheat now!” Calling upon his mysterious connection to the fan, he was now able to see images of all the cultivators participating in the various challenges!
He was also able to sense what the rewards were for the various levels. Some of the most enticing were the rewards for the thirtieth level and beyond, which were on the same level as world treasures such as the Greatsword of the North. Even more eye-catching was the reward for the sixtieth level, which was on the archaean level!
There were also plenty of medicinal pills to be had. As for the reward for the hundredth level, it was a glowing ball of light that pulsed with a sovereign aura. It was none other than… than the legacy itself!
Convinced that he would become the owner of the fan, he realized that all of these rewards essentially belonged to him!
“It’s not just the later rewards that are mine. Everything in the early stages is mine too!” Just when he was about to check specifically on Celestial Virūpākṣa, he happened to notice a Vile-Emperor Dynasty demigod in the sixth level who was having trouble reaching the eighth step there.
Bai Xiaochun recognized him! Back when he had been confronting Celestial Virūpākṣa, it was this burly demigod who had ridiculed him, Li Donghao!
He was currently looking excitedly at the last step in front of him. He had attempted this level over thirty times already, and had failed each time. However, he had learned from each failure, and had progressed significantly each time.
As of now, he was absolutely confident in being able to succeed!
As for the reward, a feather, he had already been told about it by some of his friends. It had been identified as belonging to a now-extinct immortal roc. If it were fused into a magical item, it would provide astounding benefits to it.
“Only one more step. I can definitely do it!” Li Donghao excitedly lifted his foot up and prepared to step onto the ninth step….
Even as he did, Bai Xiaochun’s gaze fell upon him. When Bai Xiaochun saw the situation, he thought about how, if Li Donghao succeeded, it would mean the reward for that level, the feather, would be gone.
Before, that fact wouldn’t have meant much to him. But now that he was destined to become the owner of the fan, it meant that the treasures inside of it all belonged to him. Therefore, Li Donghao was essentially preparing to steal from him. Although Bai Xiaochun didn’t view himself as being the miserly type, he really didn’t like Li Donghao, and therefore, was not happy at all about the idea of him stealing.
“I guess this guy’s just too lucky. Ai. If only the level could be a bit more challenging so that he fails.”
Back in the sixth level… the air rippled around Li Donghao.