When the old soul cultivator heard Bai Xiaochun call himself an army officer, his eyes went blank. Then, a moment later, his mind began to reel, and his face completely fell. He even forgot to breathe for a moment. Earlier, he had been confused as to why Bai Xiaochun would suddenly have a thousand men to back him up, and had assumed that he was from another of the powerful group of soul cultivators.
Fear of displeasing the organization led by Giant Ghost King might have been able to keep him alive. After all, Giant Ghost King was one of the four great kings of the Wildlands, and one of only five demigods. Therefore, few people would be willing to offend him.
But now that the old man realized that Bai Xiaochun was actually from the lands of Heavenspan, his eyes filled with despair. However, that only lasted for a moment, whereupon venomous hatred appeared. Before he could do anything else, though, Bai Xiaochun bopped him on the head.
"What are you so surprised about? And what is that look in your eye supposed to mean?!" Bai Xiaochun was clearly not very pleased with the man's reaction. As far as Bai Xiaochun was concerned, he was actually being very merciful; most other people in his situation would have just killed the old man right off the bat.
Instead, he was a very kind person. Instead of killing him, he planned to take him back to the Great Wall and trade him in for battle credit. But then the man dared to give him a dirty look.
The old man gritted his teeth and cursed inwardly at his lack of options. Unless he wanted to die on the spot, he would just have to endure the situation. After all, considering his background as someone from Giant Ghost City, it was likely that he wouldn't be killed after being handed over to Great Wall City.
Sighing, he gritted his teeth and bowed his head.
Bai Xiaochun bopped him on the head again and then complacently said, "Yes, yes, that's much better. Behave yourself, now!"
Feeling like a very grand figure, he was just about to flick his sleeve and withdraw his regiment back to the Great Wall, when all of a sudden, a chorus of piercing screams rang out from the mist inside the pit.
For some reason, those screams sounded familiar to Bai Xiaochun, as if they were coming out of the mouths of souls. Frightened, he backed up a few paces and then peered down into the pit.
The pit was so incredibly deep that, combined with the mist, it was impossible to see the bottom of it. In fact, not even divine sense could reach its end.
And yet, the screaming just now had clearly been coming from a large number of vengeful souls, perhaps even as many as 10,000 or more.
Even as Bai Xiaochun assessed the scene cautiously, grave expressions appeared on the faces of the cultivators of his regiment. Then, Zhao Long stepped forward and whispered, "Colonel, there's something strange going on here. It almost seems like there's some sort of natural restrictive magic in place. We should probably get going immediately."
Bai Xiaochun agreed that there was something very odd about this place. First the mountain had collapsed into a crater, and then the crater had turned into a pit. Plus, there was that deva beast soul. All of those things had happened in a very short period of time. Plus, neither the Great Wall nor any of the savage tribes had sent anyone to investigate the matter.
It was almost as if nobody had been able to detect what was happening.
Bai Xiaochun's expression was just as grave as everyone else's as he nodded in agreement. But then he looked down into the mists, which were apparently filled with large numbers of souls, and couldn't help but think about how much of a pity it would be to just leave.
"That's a bunch of battle credit down there...." he murmured to himself. Opening his third eye, he rotated his cultivation base, which sent a beam of violet light out. Almost immediately, the power of his Heavenspan Dharma Eye began to dispel the mists.
Seeing that this method was working, he added some cultivation base power, which caused the mists to melt away at an even more rapid pace.
Bai Xiaochun wasn't the only one who could see what was happening. The old soul cultivator and all of the men in his regiment could also see the mists vanishing.
Soon, the gaping pit was revealed. Although it was still impossible to see the bottom itself, it was possible to see innumerable souls floating around inside of it!
Even just at the entrance, there appeared to be more than 100,000 of them, with quite a few being at the Nascent Soul level. Considering how many there were, it was impossible to even guess how many the entire pit contained.
The number was essentially incalculable!
The scene was profoundly shocking to Bai Xiaochun, and caused the cultivators of his regiment to stare with wide eyes.
There were so many souls in sight now that, despite the fact that everyone in the regiment had Soul Convergence Pills, they could tell that if the souls all attacked them at once, they would definitely be killed. Furthermore, the rancor these souls emanated surpassed that of ordinary souls, and made it clear that if they attacked together, it would be a situation of enormous danger.
As for the old soul cultivator, he was staring into the pit of souls, feeling completely shaken and unwilling to even move a muscle. He knew what kind of terrifying power that group of vengeful souls represented, and that if their attention was attracted, he wouldn't have to worry about the cultivators who had just captured him; the souls would rip his flesh apart as they consumed him and then possessed his body.
If he got taken back to the Great Wall, he might be a prisoner of war, but at least he would be alive. But if those souls took to action, then he would definitely be fated to die.
As a soul cultivator of the Wildlands, he was far too familiar with souls to do anything other than fear them in this situation.
Thankfully, the souls seemed to be in a state of partial hibernation, and weren't interested in leaving the pit. As long as they weren't riled up, they would likely stay put and not attack.
Everyone was shocked, and Bai Xiaochun's scalp was tingling. However, as he looked at the vengeful souls, he saw something a bit different than everyone else. He saw a huge amount of battle credit!
"If I could capture those souls, I could turn them all in for battle credit.... Look at how many of them there are! Heavens! Maybe becoming a major general isn't just a pipe dream after all!" His lips were pursed tight in excitement, and yet he was still feeling a bit hesitant. After all, the sheer number of souls meant that even with Soul Convergence Pills, it was still a very dangerous situation.
"The best thing would be to lure them out a bit at a time, or maybe split them up into groups...."
Although he had his mask to protect himself, he still wasn't comfortable relying completely on that to stay safe. On the other hand, simply walking away would be a huge pity. After a bit of thought, he crept backward and quietly signaled for the rest of his regiment to do the same.
After they were a few hundred meters away from the edge of the pit, in a relatively safe location, Bai Xiaochun looked over with glittering eyes at the old soul cultivator he'd captured.
The old man had just been sighing in relief that they were moving away from the pit of souls when, all of a sudden, he realized that Bai Xiaochun was staring at him.
The old man's heart started to thump in his chest. He had the distinct premonition that whatever plans this Core Formation cultivator had for him, they definitely couldn't be good.
Before he could open his mouth to say something, Bai Xiaochun chuckled darkly, stepped forward, and patted the man on the shoulder.
"Listen, Fellow Daoist, why don't we forget about the matter of you trying to steal my deva beast soul? All you have to do is just do me a little favor. What do you say? It's nothing difficult. I'll simply give you a medicinal pill, then you walk into that big pit, and crush it. Remember, you can only crush it after you get into the pit. Alright? Simple!"
Then, it was with a very fervent and hopeful look in his eyes that he produced a Soul Convergence Pill and held it out.
The old man's mind spun, and he began to tremble as he looked at Bai Xiaochun. Seemingly on the verge of tears, he said, "Please let me off the hook, oh exalted one. I'm... I'm more than happy to become a prisoner of war. I have a lot of information about Giant Ghost City! I'm... I'm very valuable as a hostage!!"
"I know, I know. Come, come. Just be a good boy and take this medicinal pill." Clearing his throat, Bai Xiaochun forcibly opened the old man's hand and put the Soul Convergence Pill in his palm. "Alright, off with you now."
Starting to struggle, the old man loudly said, "I'm not going anywhere! You might as well just kill me! Forget it!"
Bai Xiaochun was clearly very displeased.
"If you refuse," he said angrily, "then I'll have my men rough you up a bit and then throw you inside! Look, you're gonna go into that pit where you want to or not!" Instantly, the surrounding cultivators of Bai Xiaochun's regiment began to stare at the old man with cold killing intent.
The old man was trembling in fear, and simultaneously bristling with rage. However, he could tell that he was out of options. If he didn't do as he was asked, then it was obvious that this fiendish killer would toss him headfirst into the pit of souls anyway.
Gritting his teeth helplessly, the old man closed his hand around the medicinal pill. Then, he threw caution to the wind as he began to creep forward to the edge of the pit.
In the same moment that he began to move forward, Bai Xiaochun and his regiment fell back until they were 3,000 meters away. There, they prepared to run away at top speed if necessary.
Only at that point did Bai Xiaochun finally turn to look back at the old man as he prepared to dive into the pit.