When Bai Xiaochun originally made the trip from World City to the Great Wall, he had been with Zhao Tianjiao and the others. Because of the incredible dangers they had faced, their small group hadn’t been capable of much speed on their journey.
But now he was traveling through the same area with an army at his command. Furthermore, they had spell formations to increase their speed. Therefore, it was less than a month later that the group of roughly 5,000 cultivators saw an enormous city rising up on the horizon.
It was a city that seemed to abound with murky darkness, and was none other than World City!
The cultivators of the five legions who were camped in World City were there as a backup in case Great Wall City fell. If that happened, they would provide the bulk of the force which would counter attack.
Because Bai Xiaochun was a major general, news of his arrival had been previously announced to the garrison in World City. As such, there were numerous cultivators lined up in formation roughly five kilometers outside the city, waiting to receive him.
Furthermore, the city magistrate, as well as the leaders of the other major organizations in the city, were all present. After all, a major general was the type of person that anyone would view with the utmost importance. Of course, the city magistrate had been directly appointed to his position by the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, but not even he would be willing to sow hostility with the legions due to an act of negligence.
The garrison in World City had four major generals, and they were all on their best behavior. Despite being the same rank as Bai Xiaochun, he was from the front lines, which meant that they didn’t quite measure up to him in terms of status. They had worked their way up through the ranks because of their administrative abilities, and were much more suited to the peaceful World City than the brutal front lines of battle.
At the moment, well over a thousand people were waiting for Bai Xiaochun, roughly half of whom were from the five legions, with the other half being made up of the forces of the city magistrate and other powerful organizations.
Most of them were whispering in hushed tones about the new major general, on his way to recruit troops.
“It’s definitely a bad thing for us that this guy is coming!”
“That’s right. Normally, they only send colonels here from Great Wall City. Plus, this guy was just promoted. He wouldn’t be here unless it was on some important mission.”
“Do you guys really believe that he’s here to levy troops?” The city magistrate was a middle-aged cultivator with a Nascent Soul cultivation base, who, contrary to expectations, was actually quite plump. Although he had a kind face, it was currently twisted with anxiety.
Although his cultivation base could be considered high, when it came to the five legions, that didn’t really matter. Besides, he had only achieved his breakthrough with a Nascent Soul Pill, and had reached his current position by greasing the wheels back at the sect.
He was also wondering why this major general had really come to World City. The fact that the four World City major generals all seemed similarly suspicious only served to further his reservations.
Even as everyone was discussing the matter, nine bright beams of light appeared off in the distance. As muffled rumbling filled the air, the congregated cultivators turned to look in the direction of the light, and soon, nine soldiers came into view.
All of them had expressionless faces and seethed with murderous auras. Despite being mere Core Formation cultivators, they were obviously the type of people one couldn’t afford to underestimate.
“The exalted major general will be arriving soon. Thank you for coming to receive him, ladies and gentlemen!” After making their introductions, a few of the group of nine went back the way they came to report in, while the rest inspected the area.
Very serious expressions could be seen on the faces of the city magistrate, the major generals, and the other city leadership officials.
Another two hours went by before intense rumbling sounds could be heard. Everyone in the waiting crowd looked up with sober expressions as rippling fluctuations filled the sky like waves.
Moments later, the vanguard of the 3rd Corps appeared, bristling with energy, looking like a sharp blade as they sliced through the clouds!
Everyone gasped at the impressive sight.
That was especially true of the four major generals, who all smiled bitterly when they realized that the subordinates under their control were clearly not a match for the cultivators from the 3rd Corps.
Just behind the vanguard were two regiments of a thousand men each, stretched out in wings to the left and right.
The two regiments with their pulsing murderous auras almost looked like a bow, taut and ready to unleash mighty arrows. Next came Bai Xiaochun, surrounded by his personal guard, and flanked by more troops. Almost immediately, Bai Xiaochun became the focus of all attention, what with his glittering golden suit of armor.
As the army approached, the gathered cultivators got even more nervous. In contrast, Bai Xiaochun was feeling very excited, and was continuously sighing in satisfaction.
“Back when I first came to this place, not a single person knew my name. Now, every single person with a title or power has come out to receive me.” As of this moment, Bai Xiaochun was fully convinced that all the hard work he had gone through to reach his current rank was definitely worth it.
As they drew close to the city magistrate and other cultivators, Bai Xiaochun barked out an order, and the army halted in place just in front of the city officials. Then, troops were sent out to scout the area, while the other cultivators under Bai Xiaochun’s command stared coldly at the people from World City.
Of course, that made everyone, city magistrate included, even more nervous than before.
Moments later, the four major generals took deep breaths and flew up into the air, where they clasped hands and bowed.
“Fellow Daoist Bai, we’ve been waiting for you!”
Bai Xiaochun laughed heartily, waving his hand at the vanguard soldiers, who parted to make way for the four major generals. They quickly approached and introduced themselves, and also offered some introductory gifts. Considering that they were all members of the five legions, and were being very courteous, Bai Xiaochun was very happy. Smiling, he began to chat amiably with them.
A moment later, the city magistrate and other important figures exchanged glances, then sighed and flew up into the air to offer greetings.
They also surreptitiously offered some gifts, which left Bai Xiaochun feeling even more pleased than before. Then, they clustered around him and began to escort him toward World City.
“Brother Bai, you are truly a consummate chosen. I almost can’t believe you’ve reached the rank of major general at such a young age! Your future prospects are limitless!”
“That’s right. I've long since heard about all of your impressive exploits back in the sect, Major General Bai.”
“You truly are a great hero, Major General. By the way, what important task has brought you here? If those of us here can be of any help at all, just say the word.” Talk like this spilled out of the mouths of the officials, officers, and other important people the entire way toward the city, causing Bai Xiaochun to burst with joy. However, he didn’t utter a peep about why he was here, which was what Bai Lin had advised him to do.
So far, everything had gone according to the plan laid forth by Bai Lin, including the cold demeanor of the soldiers, and the way that Bai Xiaochun refused to talk about his reason for coming. The goal was to make the important people from the city more and more anxious, and prompt them to lavish him with more gifts.
That was exactly what happened. Upon arriving at the city itself, he found that the road ahead had been cleared and barricaded to make the path clear for him. When he looked around at the expressions of respect and anticipation on the faces of the World City cultivators as they looked at him, he sighed even more deeply.
If he wanted to, he could have anyone killed instantly with a single order. Or, if he fancied a female cultivator, a word from him, and everything would be taken care of. Men would be sent to handle the matter, and she would be delivered to his room later that night.
At least, Bai Xiaochun was confident that he could do such things given his current rank.
A few days passed, during which time the powerful organizations in the city continued to send him gifts on a daily basis, until they were piled up like a little mountain. As of now, Bai Xiaochun fully understood why so many people would fight hard to be promoted to major general.
Of course, he didn’t forget about his plan to recruit troops. Zhao Long arranged everything. Men were sent out to look for the various members of the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Superstars who had come with Bai Xiaochun on the boat trip over from the sect. Whenever any of them were spotted, a record was made, and a report would be given to Bai Xiaochun. Then, the simple nod of his head would result in them being conscripted.
After searching through all the familiar names, though, he didn’t see any mention of Gongsun Wan’er or Master God-Diviner. Of course, when it came to Chen Manyao, Bai Xiaochun was fairly certain that she must have long since returned to her home in the Wildlands.
As for Gongsun Wan’er and Master God-Diviner, it was impossible to say where they were, and even using a transmission jade slip to try to reach them didn’t work.
“Gongsun Wan’er has always been very mysterious, so I might as well forget about her. But where did Master God-Diviner get off to?”
Seven days went by, during which Bai Xiaochun continued to collect gifts. It reached the point where he didn’t even bother to organize them, and would just casually toss them into his bag of holding.
One evening when he was contemplating whether or not to send some people to search specifically for Master God-Diviner, the plump city magistrate came for a visit.
“Brother Bai,” he said with a laugh, “today is your lucky day!”
“Huh?” Bai Xiaochun’s jaw dropped, as he was completely unsure of what the city magistrate was talking about.