Some distance away from Saint-Emperor City, Bai Xiaochun hovered in midair, looking back over his shoulder. Considering the level of his cultivation base, it was easy for him to hear the sound of rejoicing behind him, although not perfectly clearly.
“Haven’t experienced this feeling for a long time!” He couldn’t help but clear his throat a bit. After all, he knew exactly what was going on, and it was somewhat embarrassing. Thankfully, he knew exactly how to deal with that embarrassment.
“It’s all my fault.” In his heart, he sighed deeply. After all, it had been a long time since he realized that no matter what he did in life, he couldn’t stop being outstanding.
“What other explanation could there be? How come whenever I stay anywhere for a bit of time, people always get so emotional?
“Mount Hood, the Spirit Stream Sect, the Blood Stream Sect, the River-Defying Sect, the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, the Wildlands…. And now, even the people in the Eternal Immortal Domains realize how outstanding I am.” Swishing his sleeve, he turned around and continued on his way.
“Ah, whatever. Now that I’m heading into the second immortal domain, I definitely have to keep a low profile.” As he moved along, he thought about the Saint-Emperor’s decree, and no matter what angle he considered it from, it left him feeling like he had been kicked out into the cold.
“I'm afraid that if I reveal my outstanding nature to the people of the second immortal domain, the Saint-Emperor will just find another way to oppress me.” It was easy to see what kind of situation he was getting into.
“The second immortal domain already has a celestial in charge of it. If I end up having any problems with this other celestial… the Saint-Emperor definitely won’t take my side.” Having reached this point in his train of thought, he realized more than ever that he had to keep a low profile.
“Being too outstanding isn’t a good thing. Well, I guess it’s like that old phrase. How does it go? Everyone is jealous of the tallest tree in the forest!” It caused him to think back to how everyone had targeted him in the damaged fan, and indignation grew stronger in his heart. However, he forced himself to calm down and proceed on his way.
Half a month sped by. Bai Xiaochun wasn’t in a rush, so he kept a moderate pace and enjoyed the scenery. With his celestial cultivation base, there weren’t very many things in the Eternal Immortal Domains that could cause problems for him.
Nor was he worried about people trying to kill him. The number of people who qualified to try to do that could be counted with a few fingers. Another seven days went by, and he was finally in the second immortal domain.
At this point, it was getting very hard to stop thinking about the damaged fan. That was especially true considering that, based on his analysis, the danger involved in trying to reach out to it was minimal.
Furthermore, if he ended up losing the fan because he had ignored it, it would be a huge travesty.
“I can’t wait any longer!” he thought. After making his decision, he waited three more days, then gritted his teeth and reached out to the fan via the strange connection between the two of them.
At first, he was fidgeting with nervousness, but after a moment passed, his expression flickered. He made a few more attempts, and then started to get flustered.
“How come there’s no reaction at all?! Don’t tell me the fan flew too far away? Or did one of those emperors steal it? Dammit! I worked myself to the bone to get that fan and keep it safe!” Unwilling to give up, he tried a few more times. And thus, what should originally have been a journey of about half a month turned into a full month, as every day, he would spend time reaching out to the damaged fan.
Thankfully, his efforts were not in vain. On the tenth day, he was delighted to discover that he felt something stirring between himself and the fan, although the fan was clearly in a very distant location.
“So, I'm not too late!” Enlivened, he used more divine sense and spent more time trying to get a reaction. As he did, the capital city of the second immortal domain grew closer and closer.
He saw endless numbers of towering mountains, and countless flowing rivers. There were innumerable wild beasts, sects, and cities. It was almost like a veil being lifted, revealing all of the details of the Eternal Immortal Domains.
Just as he had learned before, the second immortal domain was divided into northern and southern parts. The part closest to the Saint-Emperor Dynasty was the south.
The immortal domain as a whole contained sixteen prefectures, with the Saint-Emperor Dynasty controlling eleven of them. The other five, those in the north, were sparsely populated, and were as separate from the others as if they had been cleaved away from them with a sharp blade. Those five were either occupied by the Vile-Emperor Dynasty, or were disputed teritory.
Five prefectures in the north, and eleven in the south!
Every prefecture had different topography and terrain, but at the moment, Bai Xiaochun wasn’t interested in looking at the scenery anymore. Although he appeared to simply be hurrying on his way, virtually all of his attention was focused on the damaged fan. Eventually, after repeated attempts, it was when he was only about three days out from the capital city that he finally made direct contact with the slip of divine sense he had left on the fan!
The instant it happened, it felt like his mind was being struck by lightning. He stopped flying through the air and began panting as, all of a sudden, he experienced a vision.
He saw a starry sky that was completely dark, and stretched on without end.
The enormous damaged fan was slowly floating through that starry sky, going in some unknown direction on a never-ending journey!
“My precious fan….” he thought, his heart pounding at the sight of it. At this point, the vision began to ripple. Worried that the fan might float too far away, he quickly added more power to his divine sense in the hopes of stopping it from moving.
Unfortunately, he had overestimated his level of control. Originally, he had assumed that after the trial by fire ended, the twenty percent control he had acquired would be enough to earn the fan's approval.
But now, it was obvious that that was not the case. The fan was still without an owner, and Bai Xiaochun’s control over it was minimal. In fact, his level of authority had apparently slipped down to ten percent. And within a few months, he would lose even that.
“It's definitely the spirit automaton of the fan! It’s taking advantage of my absence to erase my branding mark!” More anxious than ever, he exerted more effort. As he did, the previously smoothly-floating fan suddenly began to vibrate and shine with flickering light.
Excitement flooded through him, and yet, before he could do anything else, a roar of rage filled his ears, its source being the spirit automaton of the damaged fan!
Clearly, the spirit automaton had awoken after their previous conflict, and was now doing its best to fight back again. Once it succeeded, the mere ten percent of the fan that Bai Xiaochun occupied would be taken away from him.
Although his branding mark was indeed being slowly erased, that didn’t take away his control of the fan!
“Dammit!” he growled angrily. Despite the huge distance involved, he used his divine sense to fight with the spirit automaton. Although he knew he couldn’t win such a fight, as long as his branding mark remained, he wouldn’t just give in!
As howls of rage filled his mind, he found a convenient place to sit cross-legged, whereupon an indeterminable amount of time passed. It was evening when he finally opened his eyes, his robes soaked with sweat.
His eyes were bloodshot and exhausted, and he was gasping for breath. But there in his hand was a glowing sphere of light that gradually shrank down into the form of a command medallion.
That command medallion was what he had gained after this round of conflict with the spirit automaton of the fan, after it had been forced back to sleep.
“This spirit automaton is definitely tough. No wonder I don’t qualify to be the owner of the fan yet!
“If it weren’t for that automaton, I definitely would have been able to bring the fan back. This time, all I got was this command medallion.” He wasn’t very pleased about it, which was compounded by the fact that he didn’t understand it. However, he did get the feeling that it was some sort of key….
A key that represented his level of power!
After a long moment passed, he sighed and prepared to put the command medallion away. However, it was at that point that his expression flickered, and he looked down at the command medallion.