Bai Xiaochun stood there proudly, hands clasped behind his back as he watched Celestial Deadfall fleeing off into the distance. Then he looked down at the lands below, and mused that he was now the number one figure in the north. In fact, all of the cultivators from the Vile-Emperor Dynasty were bowing their heads and clasping hands to him in formal fashion.
Bai Xiaochun might not be from the Vile-Emperor Dynasty himself, but in the Eternal Immortal Domains, respect was given to the powerful. It was something that happened on an instinctual level.
Bai Xiaochun didn’t need to say a single word; the local cultivators immediately released all of the people of Heavenspan who had been apprehended, whom he took with him back to Mistysea Prefecture. Meanwhile, news of the fight between him and Celestial Deadfall was spreading through the north. Before long, information began to filter back to the Grand Heavenmaster through his spies.
The Grand Heavenmaster could do little more than smile wryly at how Bai Xiaochun had handled things. However, after thinking the matter through, he realized that there could be some benefit to how he had done things. At the least, people would be impressed.
Although he hadn’t handled everything perfectly, there were certainly some unsavory characters who would be cowed by his display. Furthermore, as word spread, it would make Mistysea Prefecture a more desirable destination for the people of Heavenspan who lived in other parts of the lands.
The issue with Celestial Deadfall had been resolved, and nothing else had come of the situation with Murknine County. Bai Xiaochun was still suspicious about the latter, but neither the Vile-Emperor nor the Saint-Emperor had done anything further about it. In the end, Bai Xiaochun couldn’t help but suspect that the two of them had expected something like that to happen.
Unfortunately, he still had no clues or ideas to pursue. Perhaps Gongsun Wan’er might have learned more about it in recent days, but she wasn’t in the second immortal domain anymore. Bai Xiaochun could only bury his suspicions in his heart.
“I'm in the mid Celestial Realm. I wonder if I should challenge the fifty-first level now. Based on my calculations, the spirit automaton is probably asleep.” After a bit more consideration, he made his decision, and headed to the damaged fan to challenge new levels.
Time flew by. Another two months passed.
During that time, Bai Xiaochun would occasionally return to the second immortal domain between levels, but spent most of his time on the fan. In one big spurt of energy, he went from the fifty-first level to the fifty-eighth!
He was moving even faster than he had in the past, which made sense, considering that his battle prowess had improved significantly. Furthermore, he had long since grown used to the process of challenging the levels.
At the same time, he was being very cautious. Based on how much time had passed, he was fairly certain that the spirit automaton would be waking up soon. Therefore, after finishing the fifty-eighth level, he decided to take a short break.
As it turned out, his suspicions and calculations had been spot on. Only a few days after he left the fan, the spirit automaton woke up. When he found that Bai Xiaochun was nowhere to be seen, his anger flared, and yet, there was nothing he could do. Assuming that Bai Xiaochun had just gotten lucky, he waited around for quite some time before going back to sleep again.
And thus, something of a cycle began in which Bai Xiaochun would calculate when the spirit automaton would be awake, and would make sure to never be there during that time. And that was how he got from the fifty-ninth level… all the way to the sixty-seventh level.
“Hmmmphh! When Bai Xiaochun wants to challenge some levels, there’s no way some spirit automaton can stop him!” Twice in a row, the spirit automaton woke up to find that Bai Xiaochun wasn’t on the fan, and yet, had made significant progress. At that point, his eyes turned crimson, and he used some unknown but significantly costly method to force himself to stay awake for longer.
“I refuse to believe that I’ll miss the shameless Bai Xiaochun this time!” He sat there in torment, waiting, for an entire month. At that point, Bai Xiaochun finally returned to the fan.
“The spirit automaton should be asleep again,” he thought. Looking around briefly, he blurred into motion toward the sixty-ninth level. Before entering, he looked around one last time.
Inside, and before he even had a chance to see the level clearly, he suddenly felt a wave of killing intent that vastly surpassed anything from any of the previous levels. It was almost like a windstorm that sprang into being before Bai Xiaochun even fully materialized.
He gasped at the sudden sensation of deadly crisis. However, there was no time for thought or planning. Drawing on 120 percent of his cultivation base and fleshly body power, he moved backward in a 9-meter teleportation!
In that exact same moment, waves of pain ripped through him, as something like countless sharp blades slashed at him, reducing much of his skin to ribbons of bleeding flesh. And that was after he had completed the teleportation backward!
The spot he had just occupied collapsed into nothing. As for the so-called blades, they were actually numerous tree leaves, each of which radiated battle prowess equivalent to a celestial. There were thousands of them, whipping about like a cyclone.
Both shivering and howling at the same time, Bai Xiaochun continued to back up, convinced he had fallen into a trap. Obviously, this level was heaven-defyingly difficult.
“It’s you isn’t it, damned spirit automaton!?” He immediately tried to leave the level, but found that he couldn’t leave via teleportation. That seemed to confirm his suspicion.
Ignoring the pain which still coursed through him, he flew backward as his Undying Live Forever Technique healed him. Meanwhile, the thousands of leaves were now shooting in his direction.
And yet, things weren’t over. Suddenly, another cyclone of tree leaves appeared behind him, radiating infinite killing intent as they headed toward him. Further off in the distance… was a third, a fourth, a fifth… all the way to a ninth cyclone of leaves! He was now completely surrounded, and seemingly bereft of any hope.
The source of the leaf cyclones was an enormous tree even further off in the distance. It seemed high enough to prop up the heavens, and was immeasurably thick.
That tree was the only thing that existed in the sixty-ninth level, and would not ordinarily be this terrifying. But with the spirit automaton in control, the tree was withered almost to the point of death to fuel so many leaf cyclones.
It might be possible for Bai Xiaochun to fell the tree with a single fist strike, but right now, he was facing such a deadly attack that not even being in the great circle of the Celestial Realm would have been enough to stand up to it!
Only an archaean emperor would be powerful enough!
“Dammit! Is he trying to kill me?!” As he looked around anxiously, the spirit automaton stood atop the huge tree, fused with it on a mental level as he controlled it. By now, Bai Xiaochun’s level of control over the damaged fan had increased to the point where he would normally be able to see the spirit automaton. However, because of the way the spirit automaton was fused with the tree, he was not visible.
“Kill you? Exactly!” The spirit automaton stared angrily at Bai Xiaochun, absolutely sure that it didn’t matter that Bai Xiaochun had achieved a cultivation base breakthrough, or that he had gained some enlightenment of the Dao of Time. The spirit automaton had devolved into such a level of madness that he was willing to pay any price, even make the later levels easier, if only it meant he could push this celestial into a position of true hopelessness!
“I refuse to believe that you’ll pass this level. If you do, then fudge, I’ll definitely change my surname to match yours!” Chuckling coldly, he stood there with hands clasped behind his back, completely proud and confident.
Bai Xiaochun had no attention to spare to try to figure out where the spirit automaton was within the level. He could only look at the surrounding leaves, which came closer with each moment that passed.
The leaves were inherently terrifying, much less the fact that there were more than 100,000 of them, all of which contained the attack power of a celestial.
Suddenly, his eyes went red, and he shouted, “You’re forcing me to do this, spirit automaton!”
Howling, performed an incantation gesture, sending out a stream of black light, which became….
A big wok!
It was none other than his invincible… turtle-wok!!