Almost in the same moment that the nine pillars of light appeared together, Chen Hetian and Mistress Red-Dust both pulled out transmission jade slips; clearly, both of them were receiving messages from other parties.
Their faces flickered with equally unreadable expressions, and they began to pant. Finally, they looked up into each other’s eyes and began to transmit a conversation.
It only took a few breaths worth of time for the two of them to reach an agreement, whereupon Chen Hetian waved his hand and called out to the forces below.
“Five legions, fall back!”
At the same time, Mistress Red-Dust’s eyes glittered as she looked at the Wildlands army and spoke in a cold voice.
“Holy People, fall back!”
Considering that both of them had been issued the same orders, there was no way for the fighting to continue. The battle was over. The Wildlands savages retreated, seemingly puzzled, and at the same time, shocked because of the nine pillars of light.
The Great Wall forces reacted similarly. Numerous speculations rose up in the hearts of the cultivators as they pondered what could possibly have caused the two devas to agree to stop the fighting! Whatever it was, there was a high likelihood that it had something to do with the nine pillars of light!
As Bai Lin and the other generals oversaw the retreat back to the wall, the Wildlands army disappeared into the darkness of the evening.
As for Chen Hetian, he suddenly faded away, vanishing for several hours. When he reappeared in the huge pagoda, it was late in the night. The first thing he did was summon Bai Lin and the other generals of the five legions to convene a meeting.
By that time, the cultivators of the five legions were all back in their various garrisons.
Bai Xiaochun was there with his 3rd Corps, looking at the nine pillars of light rising up into the sky off in the distance. Although it was night, and the beams were black, they still emanated a soft glow that made them clearly visible.
The uneasy feeling in Bai Xiaochun’s heart continued to rise.
“Just what exactly is happening...?” he thought nervously. “I'm not sure about the other pillars, but the first one came because I grabbed too many souls and instigated some kind of chain reaction.
“Could it be that someone else provoked the soul of that wicked ghost I saw? Or maybe something happened inside the necropolis?” The more Bai Xiaochun considered the situation, the more he was convinced that someone else had done something. After all, both the Great Wall and the Wildlands had sent a lot of people into the necropolis to investigate it.
“What if the soul of that evil ghost escaped? What if it’s after me!?!?” That thought caused him to start chewing on his lip in anxiety. Looking around fearfully, he thought back to how terrifying that evil ghost had been, and realized that he completely lacked any sense of security.
“What am I supposed to do...? Please tell me I’m wrong about this!” By now, he was scowling on the verge of tears, and couldn’t stop sighing inwardly.
Chen Hetian’s meeting with Bai Lin and the other generals only lasted for about two hours. Afterward, the generals flew out of the pagoda, eyes shining with excitement that they couldn’t keep hidden.
By the time Bai Lin got back to the Skin Flayers’ district, it was almost dawn. The first thing he did was issue orders to the major generals. “All major generals will come to my residence immediately for a meeting!”
Bai Xiaochun hesitated for a moment, but then took a deep breath and flew out toward the huge coffin-like residence that belonged to Bai Lin. Before long, he caught sight of the other major generals of the Skin Flayers, all of whom had somber but curious looks on their faces. After exchanging salutes with clasped hands, the group flew into Bai Lin’s residence.
Inside the grand hall, Bai Xiaochun and the other eight major generals stood before Bai Lin and saluted with clasped hands.
“Something big happened!” Bai Lin said, his eyes flashing like lightning. Everyone shivered inwardly.
As of this point, Bai Xiaochun’s heart was pounding, as he expected Bai Lin to go on to talk about how an evil ghost had escaped from the necropolis.
Before anyone could ask any questions, Bai Lin excitedly said, “A deva soul was located!”
With the exception of Bai Xiaochun, all of the major generals seemed stunned.
“A deva soul!!”
“I can’t believe a deva soul was located!!”
“I've been stationed at the Great Wall for years now, and have only heard stories of deva souls! I've never even seen one with my own eyes!!” Although all of the other major generals were already Nascent Soul experts, the astronomical value of a deva soul was still very enticing.
Bai Xiaochun finally relaxed a bit. He knew what deva souls were like, and obviously, the powerful evil ghost he had faced in the pit was not a deva soul. As long as that evil ghost didn't show up, Bai Xiaochun wouldn’t be too worried. Furthermore, considering how familiar he was with the Great Wall now, he was also acutely aware of how valuable deva souls were!
For one thing, a deva soul could be traded for a full set of five elements deva beast souls. Conversely, a set of five elements deva beast souls could also be traded for a deva soul, although it would be virtually impossible to find someone who would make that trade.
After all, deva souls were incredibly rare.
Almost anyone who actually possessed a deva soul would keep that fact a well-hidden secret, and attempt to collect the other four needed deva souls. If word spread about such a thing, the ramifications would be grave. To date, only the Celestial on Heavenspan Island had ever done such a thing.
It was even rumored that the Celestial did not wish for any other person to use deva souls to reach the Nascent Soul stage. Although it was just a rumor, if the Celestial really did wish to prevent such a thing from happening, it would be a simple thing to have someone walking down that path be put to an end.
All of the ambiguous stories left people feeling very unsure about what to believe.
In any case, Bai Xiaochun didn’t spend too much time worrying about it. What he cared most about was his poor little life. Upon looking around and seeing the expressions on the faces of the other major generals, he felt very proud of himself.
“It's just a deva soul, right? What’s the big deal? I have two in my bag of holding.” Of course, despite such thoughts, he put a similar expression of madness and anticipation on his face.
Bai Lin seemed to be very pleased at the reaction his words were getting. He had been equally shocked when Chen Hetian gave the news to the generals. However, the reason for his shock was not the value of the soul itself, but rather, some further information that had been provided by Chen Hetian.
At first, Bai Lin was hesitant to divulge that information to the major generals. But since it was likely that the other generals would tell their major generals, and that Bai Lin would need help to come out ahead in the coming competition and win the deva soul, he decided to proceed.
“A complete set of five deva souls can help a cultivator create a Heaven-Dao Nascent Soul, but that’s only one of the benefits of having such souls. Another is that they can give Nascent Soul cultivators a much better chance of success when stepping into the Deva Realm!
“Even a single deva soul can increase that possibility, and if you can get a full set, the chances are astronomically better!”
Although Bai Xiaochun wasn’t very impressed, some of the other major general’s eyes were popping out of their heads. From the way they gasped, they were clearly flabbergasted by this new information.
“They can increase your chances of stepping into the Deva Realm....”
“I can’t believe deva souls are so useful!!”
Bai Lin looked over the group silently, paying close attention to their reactions. Of the nine major generals excluding Bai Xiaochun, three didn't seem to be reacting at all. Two had slight changes of expression, and four were clearly shocked.
As for Bai Xiaochun, he had a cool expression on his face. From what Bai Lin could tell, the information he had just revealed was not of much concern to Bai Xiaochun, who was still thinking about reaching the Nascent Soul stage. Obviously, his reaction would be different from the other major generals, who were all already Nascent Soul cultivators.
Of course, the truth was that Bai Xiaochun’s coolness came from the fact that he already had two deva souls. As the old saying goes, a full man doesn’t understand the feelings of a hungry man.
Bai Xiaochun blinked a few times when he realized Bai Lin was looking at him. Then he looked thoughtfully at the other major generals, and finally clasped hands and bowed toward Bai Lin.
“General, this seems like a great opportunity. If you can get that deva soul, you’ll have a much better chance at becoming a deva!”
Bai Xiaochun’s words brought the excited major generals back to their senses. Obviously, getting a deva soul right now wouldn’t help them much, considering how far away from the Deva Realm they were. Even if they got one, news would definitely spread about it.
Obviously, the person closest to a cultivation base breakthrough was none other than General Bai Lin, who was standing right in front of them. When the excited major generals saw the way his eyes glittered coldly, and heard Bai Xiaochun’s words, they immediately realized that Bai Xiaochun was actually reminding them of the reality of the situation.
The truth was that they were out of sorts because of the shocking news of a deva soul, otherwise they wouldn’t have needed such a reminder. Considering the cold look in Bai Lin’s eyes, the major generals in question immediately felt gratitude for Bai Xiaochun.
Those four major generals looked over at Bai Xiaochun with profound looks. One of them even clasped hands and bowed to Bai Lin.
“General, where exactly is this deva soul?”