The city magistrate still seemed to be in shock at the nature of the news he bore as he chattered, “Brother, the mere threat of your presence here has resulted in something marvelous. You see, a local official had become wrapped up in taking bribes, and was even embezzling military resources. However, he got so scared by you that he turned himself in, and ended up forfeiting all of his personal property in exchange for his life. I went over to inspect the confiscated materials personally, and was shocked to find that he was incredibly rich!
“Most spectacular of all was a ginseng root that was more than 9,000 years old! I doubt you’ve ever seen anything like it. The rootlets are as transparent as crystal, and the buds all look like spirit pearls. It’s virtually priceless, and in fact, is probably worth more than all of the man’s other assets combined.”
“More than 9,000 years old?!” Bai Xiaochun exclaimed, his eyes going wide with shock. “You’re right, I’ve never seen anything like that....”
If he used a ginseng root like that in a medicinal pill, the level of life force it could provide would defy description, and would be a huge help in his Undying Live Forever Technique.
“Don’t worry, Brother....” the city magistrate said with a knowing smile. Lowering his voice, he continued, “I already had the ginseng root secretly delivered to Zhao Long. After I leave in a moment, he’ll surely come to present it to you for your enjoyment.
“As for all of the other confiscated resources, I’ve put them all in order for you to take back to the Great Wall and handle as you see fit with the other generals.”
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes narrowed slightly as he looked at the city magistrate. All of a sudden, he felt as if a new world were opening up to him, and couldn’t shake the feeling that this city magistrate was a genius.
As of this moment, everything became clear, and Bai Xiaochun felt as if he understood life in a different way.
“So, this guy is also a bit dirty, and couldn't figure out why I was here. Worried that I had come to audit the military resources, he decided to take the initiative. Not only did he hand the ‘confiscated’ resources over to me, but he also arranged for a big gift to placate me. Flawless! On top of all that, he didn’t even directly give me the gift, that way he wouldn’t run into any trouble later because of it! So smart!” All of a sudden, he felt like he had learned a new move from this city magistrate, and was just about to say something to further the conversation when his expression flickered.
Inside of this bag of holding, his identity medallion was shining with bright light. Pulling it out and casting some divine sense into hit, he heard Bai Lin’s stern voice.
“Major General Bai Xiaochun, the Wildlands is mounting a huge offensive. Return to the Great Wall post haste!!”
Bai Xiaochun’s face fell, causing the city magistrate to hesitate for a moment. He was just about to ask about what was happening, when Bai Xiaochun suddenly called out in a thunderous voice, “Zhao Long!”
Zhao Long, who had been standing guard at the door, immediately rushed in and clasped hands in salute.
“Send down orders immediately. R&R is over. In half an incense stick’s worth of time, the 3rd Corps moves out and returns to the Great Wall!”
A tremor passed through Zhao Long, who quickly voiced his assent and then left to pass down the orders.
Feeling quite nervous, the city magistrate asked, “Brother Bai, this....”
Bai Xiaochun interrupted him with a hearty laugh. “Nothing important. The Wildlands are attacking, that's all. I need to take my leave now, Brother. If destiny will have it, I hope we meet again in the future.”
Then he clasped hands and paid the city magistrate no further heed as he turned to leave.
The city magistrate was delighted to hear that Bai Xiaochun was leaving, and respectfully escorted him along his way.
After enough time passed for half an incense stick to burn, the roughly 5,000 cultivators of the 3rd Corps were all assembled. Bai Xiaochun waved his hand, and the entire group flew up into the air above World City and prepared to make their way off to the Great Wall.
However, just when they passed over the city walls, two beams of light suddenly appeared off in the distance. Clearly, they were two cultivators engaged in a deadly chase.
Being chased was a cultivator with disheveled hair and numerous wounds all over his body. Clearly, he was running low on spiritual energy, and were it not for his dogged persistence, would have already begun to beg for mercy.
“Hey, Master God-Diviner, that soul belonged to me! How dare you steal it. Are you looking to die?!?! Nobody can save you now!” A young man was giving chase, his expression so cold that he almost seemed to be made of ice. His eyes radiated rage, and he didn’t hesitate to burn his spiritual power to chase after his quarry.
“Don’t be such a bully, Heretic! I saw that soul first! You’re the one who’s trying to steal it from me!” These two cultivators were none other than Master God-Diviner and Heretic. Even as he yelled, Master God-Diviner drew upon some more of his scant spiritual power to pull out a little flag, which he waved through the air to deliver a burst of speed. With a whooshing sound, he shot through the air toward World City, which was when he happened to catch sight of the more than 5,000 cultivators in the air.
Immediately, his eyes shone with delight. After all, this group of cultivators was exactly what had kept him going recently. The last few years had been very rough on him. At one point, a chance series of events led to his bag of holding being broken open. All of his belongings were lost or destroyed, including his magical items, his identity medallion, and his transmission jade slip. He had almost died during that incident. However, he didn't come out empty-handed; he ended up winning a little flag that could increase his speed, which was truly a powerful magical treasure.
In a desperate attempt to stay alive, he had used some of his last remaining spiritual power to perform a divination, which had told him that a major turning point in his life would come at World City. He had immediately begun to hurry in that direction, which was also when he had come across the unexpected news that Bai Xiaochun had become a major general.
The news left him profoundly shaken, but at the same time, filled him with joy. Eyes shining, he had determined to seek asylum with Bai Xiaochun.
However, along the way, he happened to come across a Nascent Soul-level soul, and had been just on the verge of nabbing it when Heretic came along. The two of them immediately began to struggle over the soul, and although it was impossible to say who had truly laid eyes on it first, somehow, Master God-Diviner ended up with it in his hands. Overjoyed, he had taken to flight, using his little flag to keep himself one step ahead of Heretic the entire time during their chase.
Now that he saw the 5,000 cultivators over World City, he immediately cried out at the top of his lungs, “Save me, Junior Patriarch!! Heretic is trying to kill me!!”
Heretic’s eyes began to shine brightly. Although he was shocked by the large group of cultivators, and was fairly certain that they were from the Great Wall, he had a strange, introverted personality, and thus, had not heard the news about Bai Xiaochun. The sight of the huge group of soldiers initially struck him with an uneasy feeling that caused him to pause for a moment, but then killing intent flickered in his eyes, and he decided that he couldn’t let Master God-Diviner reach his goal. Gritting his teeth, he performed an incantation gesture with his right hand. Instantly, his face flushed red as a huge, illusory hand formed right in front of him.
“Nobody can save you now!”
Intense rumbling sounds that tugged at the soul filled the air as the huge palm shot toward Master God-Diviner. This was one of Heretic’s trump cards, and it came at a significant wastage of spiritual power. As such, it wasn’t the type of thing he would use casually, and yet the importance of the current situation definitely warranted it.
Master God-Diviner’s face fell as his heart filled with an intense sensation of deadly crisis. His face also drained of blood as he realized that even his little flag wouldn’t give him enough speed to evade the illusory palm.
Moments before, Bai Xiaochun had looked over at what was happening, and immediately recognized Master God-Diviner. Then he heard Master God-Diviner’s shout, and saw the gigantic, illusory hand.
Bai Xiaochun’s pupils constricted. Having no time to ponder the situation, he stepped forward, whereupon everything around him slowed down. Next, he shot forward to stand between Master God-Diviner and the huge palm.
There, he raised his right hand to meet the incoming hand. A huge boom echoed out, and at the same time, Bai Xiaochun’s view of the world returned to normal. The power of the attack dissipated, leaving behind nothing more than rippling fluctuations.
Everything happened so quickly that none of Bai Xiaochun’s 5,000 soldiers realized what was going on. Not even Heretic or Master God-Diviner had eyes fast enough to process the situation. All Heretic saw was his enormous illusory hand suddenly collapse.
But then, as the energy faded away, he noticed a slender figure standing in front of Master God-Diviner, hand raised up into the air.
Heretic’s eyes widened, and he sucked in a breath as a look of utter incredulity swept across his face. He immediately recognized Bai Xiaochun, and realized that he must have drawn upon speed that bordered on teleportation to appear in front of the illusory palm, a trump card technique that he had subsequently destroyed.
Even more shocking was that after destroying that trump card, Bai Xiaochun didn't seem the least bit hurt or even fazed!!
Heretic’s heart leapt up into his throat, and even the Nascent Soul experts among the forces of the 3rd Corps were looking at Bai Xiaochun with very serious expressions. All of them were utterly flabbergasted at the incredible display of speed from moments ago.
With such astounding speed, it wouldn’t be impossible for Bai Xiaochun to make a sudden, killing move against a Nascent Soul expert!
Master God-Diviner felt like he had just been plucked out of the jaws of death, and was filled with excitement at the sight of Bai Xiaochun hovering there in front of him.
“Save me, Junior Patriarch, Heretic is trying to kill me!!”