Bai Xiaochun slowly looked up at Heretic and said, “What are you doing trying to kill one of my men?”
Considering how he was clad in a golden suit of armor, he looked very impressive to say the least.
Heretic’s pupils constricted as he stared at Bai Xiaochun. Inwardly, his heart was being battered by waves of shock, not only because of the 5,000 cultivators behind Bai Xiaochun, but also because of his incredible display of speed, and how he had so casually dispatched Heretic’s trump card.
He almost couldn’t believe what he was seeing. After all, Heretic occupied 2nd place among the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Superstars, while Bai Xiaochun was only in 10th place. For him to have transformed so much in a few short years was shocking to the core.
After a few breaths of time went by, Heretic gritted his teeth and said, “He stole that soul from me!”
“Rubbish!” Master God-Diviner shot back. “You’re trying to steal it from me! Junior Patriarch, I saw it first, and was even planning to give it to you as a gift, sir!” With that, he produced a soul from inside of his flag and then, suppressing the pain he felt in his heart, handed it over to Bai Xiaochun.
“You!” Heretic growled, eyes shining with cold light.
Bai Xiaochun already felt a headache coming on. Obviously, it would be impossible to determine who was stealing what from whom. Furthermore, he couldn’t help but sigh at the fact that the two of them were fighting over a Nascent Soul-level soul.
“Is it really worth it for you two to be fighting over a soul like that...?” Shaking his hand, Bai Xiaochun patted his bag of holding, causing 100 Nascent Soul-level souls to fly out....
Master God-Diviner and Heretic both shivered at the sight, and began to pant in mute shock.
“So... so many....”
Bai Xiaochun was quite pleased at their reaction. Smiling faintly, he continued to speak to them in an admonishing tone, “You’re both fellow disciples of the same sect! What's the point in all the fighting? It’s just a soul, right? Here, you two take these hundred souls and split them between the two of you.”
Master God-Diviner shrieked and lunged forward to start grabbing souls. He was so destitute that a single such soul could drive him crazy, much less the number floating out in the open right now. After grabbing half of the souls, he eyed the remainder of the group covetously, but didn't dare to touch them. Hurrying back over to Bai Xiaochun, he said, “I can’t believe I finally found you, Junior Patriarch,” he said with a bit of a wail. “You have no idea how bad things went for me when we were apart....”
From the look of things, he seemed determined to stick by Bai Xiaochun no matter what.
By this point, Bai Xiaochun’s 5,000 men were surrounding them.
“Alright, enough,” he said with a slight frown. “Back when you cast me aside, I never saw any expression like that on your face. Well, considering how incredibly magnanimous I am, I supposed I’ll let you become my follower.” With that, he turned to leave.
Deeply touched, Master God-Diviner immediately made to follow Bai Xiaochun. By this point, his admiration for Bai Xiaochun flowed like a mighty river. Back in Sky City, he had believed Bai Xiaochun’s rise to prominence to be something of a fluke. But here he was in the Wildlands, a major general, something that left Master God-Diviner shocked on the deepest level. In fact, he had already sworn an oath to himself to never abandon Bai Xiaochun for the rest of his life.
That was even more the case when he noticed Song Que among Bai Xiaochun’s men, which immediately got him even more on guard. Back in Sky City, Master God-Diviner had been the first to start following Bai Xiaochun again, and it had led to incredible benefits. Now, he was only the second to join him, which put Song Que in his sights as a major rival.
When Heretic realized that nobody was paying much attention to him, he began to shiver, and it was made worse by the sight of all the souls floating in the air. It was all a huge blow to his self-esteem. Clenching his hands into fists, he ignored the souls and faced Bai Xiaochun.
“Bai Xiaochun!!” he roared.
Instantly, Bai Xiaochun’s 5,000 men turned to look at him with cold glares. Heretic’s body went stiff, but he clenched his teeth and continued, “I want to enlist at the Great Wall!”
When Bai Xiaochun saw how Heretic’s eyes were shining with determination, he thought back to how Bai Lin had spoken with such solemnity to him all those years ago, when he had been about to leave through the side door of Great Wall City.
Back then, he had been just as devoted to the idea of shedding blood for the sect that it caused him to sigh at the thought.
“So,” he mused inwardly, “it seems this Heretic and I are similar. We both are willing to suffer personal loss in the pursuit of justice and righteousness.” Although his heart was currently softening, his gaze only continued to grow sharper.
Thinking back to how Bai Lin had looked on that day, he stuck his chin up, and clasped his hands behind his back. Armor glittering with golden light, and eyes sparkling brightly, he looked closely at Heretic.
“Do you really wish to join the Skin Flayers?” he asked, trying to sound exactly like Bai Lin had sounded back then. His voice was somber, but also seemed to carry a weight that made it impossible to disobey. Anyone who heard that voice would instantly feel shaken inwardly.
Heretic immediately responded in a loud voice, “I--”
However, before he could finish speaking, Bai Xiaochun's eyes began to shine even more brightly.
“Think your answer through clearly before you give it,” he interrupted, his tone cool, and yet his words echoing like thunder.
Panting a bit, Heretic gritted his teeth and replied, “I really wish to enlist!”
“You’re so much like me back then. Alright, whatever. As the major general of the 3rd Corps of the Skin Flayers, I have the authority to conscript anyone I want into service. Henceforth, you are one of my soldiers!!” With that, he flicked his sleeve. “You’ll serve for five years. Each year, your salary will be twice what you get in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect! As for other rewards, you can gain them via battle credit!
“Furthermore, I can promise you that if you earn enough battle credit to become a major general, then you can go conscript anyone else you like to become one of the Skin Flayers!” With that, he gave Heretic a profound look, and mused that he was almost the spitting image of himself back when he had been recruited.
“I must have looked exactly the same back then,” he thought. “So passionate. So enthusiastic. So unique. Such a consummate chosen.” Wrapped up in the enchanting memories, he cleared his throat and led the 3rd Corps off into the distance.
Along the way, the army pushed with even greater speed than they had on their way to World City. After all, Bai Lin had ordered him to get back as quickly as possible. Therefore, it only took a few days before Great Wall City became visible up ahead. Almost immediately, it was possible to see a shocking, blood-colored cloud on the other side of the wall, which had taken the shape of the face of a young woman.
She was very beautiful, but extremely solemn-looking, as if she viewed herself as being above all other living beings. She almost seemed a part of the heavens above, and emanated the shocking pressure of a deva.
This young woman occupied first place on the Great Wall Execution List. She was Mistress Red-Dust!
Fighting Mistress Red-Dust was none other than three-eyed Chen Hetian. Their battle caused numerous booms and rumbling sounds to echo out in all directions. Meanwhile, endless masses of savage giants could be seen on the ground below, as well as soul cultivators and necromancers!
Although the spell formation shield was there to protect the Great Wall, the rumble of battle could still be faintly detected from beyond the wall. Clearly, shocking fighting was underway.
As the protective shield rippled, the cultivators of the five legions grouped into spell formations and unleashed constant counter attacks. Beams of light erupted from war chariots and magical cannons, all of which caused widespread destruction.
The huge eye was also participating in the fighting. Whenever the Wildlands forces managed to group together and lead a huge charge, they were routed before they could reach the Great Wall.
Some distance away from the wall were three enormous vortexes, from within which poured countless masses of savage giants.
However, there were no vengeful souls!
Clearly, the Wildlands still had not devised a method of neutralizing the Soul Convergence Pills, and were instead relying on a huge army of savage giants.
As soon as Bai Xiaochun saw what was happening, he took a deep breath. As a major general, he could not shrink back in fear of the enemy, and therefore, he gritted his teeth and said, “3rd Corps, proceed immediately to the Great Wall!”
As Bai Xiaochun roared and led the 3rd Corps forward, Master God-Diviner and Heretic followed along in shock. Master God-Diviner’s eyes were as wide as saucers, and his knees were shaking. After seeing how dangerous this place was, he already regretted having sworn to follow Bai Xiaochun. However, he was also certain that Bai Xiaochun wouldn’t let him go even if he wanted to, and sighed bitterly.
As for Heretic, he was panting, and his eyes burned with passion, as though the prospect of being able to fight in battle already had his blood boiling.
It didn’t take long before Bai Xiaochun was taking his men through the side gate. Then they were inside Great Wall City and heading toward the wall itself.
A rare situation was playing out in this battle; the fact that the Wildlands had chosen not to use vengeful souls made the five legions’ Soul Convergence Pills relatively useless. Furthermore, exploding pill furnaces were only of limited use, and this battle was so huge that they weren’t effective on a large scale.
However, the huge enormous pill furnaces were still the foundation of Bai Xiaochun’s power in Great Wall City. Despite having grown very busy collecting souls earlier, he hadn’t stopped his work with his pill furnaces. Therefore, it was only natural that some of the sealed pill furnaces would appear in this battle.
Booms rang out, accompanied by miserable shrieks. Unfortunately, the fact that there were only a limited numbers of pill furnaces available ensured that they were quickly used up.
The Wildlands had prepared well for this offensive. Considering how many savage giants were pouring out of their three vortexes, it was obviously that many more than 100 tribes were involved.
There were definitely no less than 1,000,000 giants fighting, many of them unhesitatingly resorting to self-detonation in their attempts to break through the spell formation shield.