Bai Xiaochun stood there in the jungle, holding the bag of holding and looking down at the corpse of the young man. For some reason, he really felt as if it had been destiny which teleported him to this location, where this corpse had accompanied him for two months. He sighed.
“Allow me to give you a proper burial, my brother.” Bai Xiaochun could tell that he was recovering rapidly now. However, his spiritual power was still so depleted that he couldn’t even open his bag of holding.
Therefore, he used the Eternal Parasol to dig a pit, into which he lowered the corpse of the young man.
Patting the soil he had filled the grave back in with, he said, “Don’t worry, in a few more days I should have enough spiritual power built up to open your bag of holding. Then we can see what's inside, and maybe I’ll even learn your name. Then I can put up a proper grave marker for you.”
Then he walked back over to the tree he had spent the last two months under and sat down cross-legged to try out some breathing exercises.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t any spiritual power in this part of the Wildlands, so he was forced to rely only on the restorative powers of his own body, and the bits of spiritual energy which had built up in his flesh and blood over the years.
A few days passed. It was early evening, but because of the darkness that blanketed the jungle floor, it seemed like the middle of the night. As Bai Xiaochun sat there meditating, he slowly opened his eyes, and a brief flicker of light could be seen.
“Got some spiritual power back!” His heart was pounding with excitement. After all, he was in a strange land bereft of spiritual power, and that left him feeling very uneasy. Panting a bit, he slapped his bag of holding, which flashed with light as a bottle flew out.
It was a bottle of spirit alcohol!
He excitedly poured the spirit alcohol down his throat, whereupon it turned into warm currents that flowed through his qi passageways in a very pleasing fashion. He was like a dried, parched land that was finally receiving rain, and it caused prickling sensations to fill him.
“That’s the feeling!” he murmured, tears welling up in his eyes. Taking a deep breath, he rotated his cultivation base, not allowing a bit of the spiritual power from the spirit alcohol to go to waste.
A few hours later, Bai Xiaochun was laughing madly, his eyes glittering at the small fraction of spiritual power which he had built up, which was only about five percent of his total limit. Although it was only a small amount, it was enough to open his bag of holding numerous times.
Therefore, he opened the bag again to pull out a dozen or so bottles of spirit alcohol, consumed them all, and then sat quietly to perform breathing exercises. For the following three days, rumbling sounds filled him as spiritual power poured through his body.
On the afternoon of the third day, Bai Xiaochun opened his eyes, and tears flowed out.
“I’ve finally recovered completely!! Man, that was hard! Whether it’s in terms of body or cultivation base, I'm back to normal!! You just wait for Lord Bai to get his hands on you, Granny Red-Dust!!” Laughing loudly, he stood up and assessed his spiritual power levels. To his delight, he found that he was actually a bit stronger than before.
Thanks to the deadly battle he had fought, his position within the great circle of the Gold Core stage had advanced, both in terms of fleshly body power and cultivation base.
In fact, when it came to his fleshly body, he felt more than ever that he was on the verge of being able to break through the next shackle!
He couldn’t help but sigh, especially when he thought back to how closely he had brushed with death during his fight with Mistress Red-Dust.
Taking a deep breath, he looked around a bit, which was when his excitement began to wane, and he even started to feel a bit anxious.
“I don’t even have any idea where I am in the Wildlands. Wherever I am, it’s too dangerous here. I need to get back to the Great Wall.” Now that he thought about it, if any of the soul cultivators or savages found out that he was Bai Xiaochun, they would surely skin him alive.
The mere thought of what that would be like left him shivering. Finally, he looked over at the simple grave he had erected, and finally decided to open the bag of holding that had belonged to the young man.
It contained a variety of miscellaneous items, few of which were of any interest to Bai Xiaochun. After all, it was the bag of holding of a mere early Foundation Establishment cultivator.
However, what did interest Bai Xiaochun was the collection of bone slips. Much like jade slips, they could store information, and after skimming through the group in the bag of holding, Bai Xiaochun found three that were of particular interest.
The first bone slip contained a map of the immediate area. After studying it for a while, Bai Xiaochun still had no idea where he was. There was absolutely nothing on the map that indicated how far away the Great Wall was.
“Well that doesn’t help much....” he thought nervously. With that, he moved on to the second bone slip, after which his eyes glittered, and he looked over at the grave mound.
“Your name is Bai Hao?” he murmured. The second bone slip had some detailed information about the identity of the dead young man, including some dying words he had inscribed.
His name was Bai Hao, and was a bastard son from one of the local aristocratic necromancer clans. Apparently, he wasn’t very well liked in the clan, and had provoked the ire of the wrong people, who plotted against him. That was what led to him perishing when and how he did.
From what Bai Xiaochun could tell, the necromancer clan in question wasn’t considered to be spectacularly famous.
“Aristocratic necromancer clan....” After some more thought, he moved on to the third bone slip, which contained the most intriguing information so far. It was a detailed description of necromancers, with information he had wondered about back at the Great Wall.
Essentially, it was a basic primer to necromancy!
Even the first few sentences left Bai Xiaochun completely shaken.
“Necromancy is an amalgamation! Necromancers use the foundation of spirit enhancement, medicine concocting, and equipment forging as the basis of necromancy!”
Bai Xiaochun had long since noticed that there was something strange about the spirit enhanced treasures wielded by the Wildlanders, and had come to his own conclusions about why that was. Now, the information in this bone slip corroborated his previous speculations. After going on to read through the rest of the information, he was left stunned.
At that point, the Wildlands didn’t seem as profoundly mysterious as they had before. All of the various clues suddenly fit together to form a complete picture.
The lowest of the low in the Wildlands were the savage tribes. The giants had been the last to become civilized, and were treated mostly like servants. They actually worshipped the soul cultivators, and viewed them as protectors of sorts.
Soul cultivators occupied a much higher position than the savages, and were not very different from ordinary cultivators. The only difference was that they couldn’t practice cultivation with the spiritual power of the Heavenspan River, and instead had to rely on the soul vitality provided by the necromancers.
In the sprawling Wildlands, there were far more savages than soul cultivators, and yet, the soul cultivators couldn’t be described as few and far between. They had their clans and powerful organizations, and there were also many who were like rogue cultivators.
As for the necromancers, they were like the nobility of the Wildlands. Any necromancer of any sort occupied a very high position. Not only could they produce the soul vitality that soul cultivators needed to advance their cultivation, but they could also forge magical items and bless such items with spirit enhancements!
Because of that, necromancers were extremely important to the Wildlands as a whole.
Of course, necromancers had their own ranking system based on fire. The truth was that although Wildlands necromancers resembled the spirit enhancers from the lands of Heavenspan in some ways, they were actually very different.
In the lands of Heavenspan, spirit enhancers would search for fuel to make multi-colored flame. However, the necromancers didn’t need any fuel. Although they also experienced a similar issue of having a high failure rate, they didn’t need to rely on fuel; they worked directly with the flame itself.
Of course, such flames didn’t exist on their own. Necromancers used different types of souls and special methods to conjure them!
Anyone who could conjure one-colored flame was considered an initiate necromancer. Upon being able to conjure four-colored flame, one was promoted to the journeyman rank. Seven-colored flame was the standard to become a master necromancer.
Most necromancers in the Wildlands fell into those three ranks.
Ten-colored flame was the absolute peak for master necromancers, and not very many necromancers could reach such a level. After going beyond that level, necromancers would experience a period of transformation, after which, they were ranked according to the denominations of terrestrial, celestial, earthly, and heavenly!
Being able to conjure eleven-colored flame made one a terrestrial necromancer! In the Wildlands, any terrestrial necromancer was a person who could dominate the lands wherever he went.
The next level beyond that was the celestial necromancer, of which there were even fewer. In any of the necromancer clans, a celestial necromancer occupied the highest of positions, similar to that of a grand elder or the reserve powers. After all, the hallmark of celestial necromancers was the ability to conjure fifteen-colored flame!
Earthly necromancers were legendary, and in all of the Wildlands, there were only three. To become an earthly necromancer, one had to conjure eighteen-colored flame!
The highest level of all was that of the heavenly necromancer. From ancient times until now, not a single one had ever appeared, and they were considered only a theoretical rank. After all, to reach the heavenly rank, one had to conjure twenty-one colored flame!
1. Bai Hao’s surname is the same as Bai Xiaochun’s, which means “white”