“Necromancy and spirit enhancement are basically the same thing....” Bai Xiaochun murmured to himself as he looked at the information in the bone slip. From what he was reading, all of the various types of multicolored flame in the Wildlands were produced by necromancers, a fact which caused Bai Xiaochun’s heart to leap with excitement.
After generations of experimentation and research, the formulas for everything from one- to fourteen-colored flame had been well-established. In fact, there were multiple variations on how to conjure each of those types of flame.
Such formulas weren’t exactly secret within the Wildlands. Although not every necromancer had the skill to use all of the formulas, all of the aristocratic necromancer clans had the formulas in their records.
However, the formula for fifteen-colored flame was a tightly-kept secret that not even mid-level necromancer clans had access to. Only the large clans and other major powers had them.
As for sixteen-colored flame, that was a secret among secrets.
In any case, because of all these factors, when it came to spirit enhancement, the Wildlands existed on a far higher level than the lands of Heavenspan.
The information in the bone slip made it clear that simply possessing a certain level of flame didn’t guarantee success in using it to perform a spirit enhancement. The more colors in the flame, the higher the chances of failure. That was one area in which there was no difference between the Wildlands and Heavenspan cultivators. Also similar was how failure led to complete destruction of all the materials involved. From what Bai Xiaochun could tell, that was a sort of equalizer between the two sides.
However, what he had learned about how the necromancers could conjure their own flame was still very shocking.
“If I could learn the formulas for producing multi-colored flame....” Bai Xiaochun was aware that his biggest advantage was his turtle-wok. After all, just because someone could conjure fourteen-colored flame didn’t mean that they could successfully perform a fourteenfold spirit enhancement. But for Bai Xiaochun, it was the exact opposite!
As a result, he felt completely and utterly shaken.
The bone slip also had information about so-called soul vitality, which was really just soul medicine. Soul medicines were much like spirit stones in that the soul cultivator not only used them for cultivation, but as currency.
In terms of how to make soul medicine, it wasn’t very difficult. The initial process was the same as when conjuring multi-colored flame, except that in the end, the final result became soul medicine instead!
Soul medicines made from ten-colored flame or less were considered low-grade, and were further classified according to how many flames had been used to make them. For example, soul medicine made from one-colored flame was a level one low-grade soul medicine. If it was made from ten-colored flame, it was a level ten low-grade soul medicine.
Soul medicine made from eleven-colored flame was known as mid-grade, and was much more expensive. Furthermore, mid-grade soul medicine could only be conjured by terrestrial necromancers.
In terms of high-grade soul medicines, they were very rare, and could only be produced with fifteen-colored flame or higher. They were what was referred to as soul vitality.
There was also a type of soul medicine referred to as supreme-grade, but was mostly something of a legend that was conjured using twenty-one colored flame!!
Soul medicine and soul vitality were the main reasons that necromancers had risen to prominence in the Wildlands!
In terms of services they performed for others, they could conjure soul medicine for use in cultivation, and could use their necromancy to place spirit designs onto magical items, transforming them into spirit enhanced soul treasures.
In terms of their own powers, there was one thing that necromancers could do that no one else could, and that was use their necromancy to create soul slaves. By transforming large groups of vengeful souls into slaves, and then directing their movements and actions, they could use them as powerful weapons to kill the enemy. Furthermore, they could use their soul slaves as a basis with which to conjure soul medicine and make multi-colored flame....
After reading all of the information in the bone slip, Bai Xiaochun realized that necromancers truly were strong in all areas.
“Necromancers... can do just about everything!!” He couldn’t help but think back to everything that had happened when he was performing spirit enhancements back in the trial by fire. Then he thought about how all-encompassing the powers of the necromancers were. From what he could tell, necromancers weren’t just nobility in the Wildlands, they were like... the direct descendants of the land itself!
“I have to become a necromancer!!” Eyes burning with passion, he gripped the bone slip hard in his hand and reviewed the information therein. Then he searched through Bai Hao’s bag of holding again. However, there were no bone slips which had formulas for multicolored flame.
“I guess Bai Hao’s cultivation base wasn’t high enough to have formulas like that. Or perhaps his position in the clan was too low?” Looking over at the grave mound, he reached out and inscribed some words into the tree above it.
Here lies Bai Hao.
Then he clasped hands and bowed to the grave. After that, he turned and burst into motion. Although he was moved by what he had learned about necromancers, he knew that the most important thing for him to do at the moment was to get back to the distant Great Wall.
“I guess I have to rely on my appearance-changing trick again.” With that, he used his mask to change his appearance to that of Bai Hao.
“I’ll use Bai Hao’s identity temporarily.” With that, he picked up speed.
“There are some odd things about this mask, though....” he thought with a frown. After all, the mask itself came from the Wildlands, where there was some powerful group that could theoretically track him down by means of it.
“The fact that they could locate me with the mask before indicates that there is some branding mark on it that I can’t detect.” Although that powerful group had never shown much hostility toward him, Bai Xiaochun didn’t want to bet his life on their lack of interest. A moment later, his eyes glittered as he recalled the change which had occurred back in the trial by fire, when he performed an elevenfold spirit enhancement on the leaf. Not only had its appearance changed, but his own branding mark had been wiped away from it, forcing him to bond it again.
“That sounds like a good way to handle the situation!” Having made up his mind, he continued onward, using the map in the bone slip to navigate his way toward the edge of the jungle.
Not long after he had left, a mysterious gray mist began to build up in the area surrounding the grave mound.
Then, sounds could be heard like someone walking along a bed of brittle leaves.
Soon, a figure appeared, walking slowly through the mists to come to stand in front of Bai Hao’s grave.
It was an old man in a long gray robe, with an expressionless face. If Bai Xiaochun had been there, he would have recognized him immediately. He was... the gravekeeper!
The old man looked at the grave mound for a long moment, then turned to look in the direction Bai Xiaochun had taken before. A moment passed, and then the old man turned and walked away.
As Bai Xiaochun sped through the jungle toward its border, Zhou Yixing walked out of the cave on the mountain some distance away.
He looked much healthier than before, and his eyes shone brightly. Although he wasn’t completely back to normal, he was mostly recovered. However, when he thought back to the losses he had sustained in the labyrinth, depression gripped his heart, and he gritted his teeth in frustration.
“It’s all the fault of that Bai Xiaochun! The world will be a better place with him dead!” Snorting coldly, he looked around, and then began to reinforce the spell formations he had set up in the area.
Despite the two months that had passed, he still wasn’t fully recovered from the injuries he had suffered in the labyrinth. However, after being teleported to this place, he was lucky enough to encounter a few wandering Foundation Establishment soul cultivators.
After killing them, he used a secret magic to consume their flesh, blood, and cultivation bases, which helped him recover quite a bit. However, as a necromancer, he was well aware that this location was far beyond his own clan’s territory, and that he was a stranger here. Even he was in great danger here.
During the two months in which he had stayed in place, he had used spell formations to trap a few more soul cultivators, who provided nourishment for his recovery.
“If I’m not mistaken, this is the Jungle of Lost Souls, which would mean I'm very, very far away from home....” Frowning, Zhou Yixing looked around again, and then sighed.
“That means I’m in the territory of the giant ghost king, one of the four great kings of the Wildlands, a demigod with five devas under his command.... If I want to get home, I'm going to have to pass through Giant Ghost City at some point. That’s where the teleportation portal will be.” After some thought, he finished his work with the spell formations.
“There won’t be as many soul cultivators out in the open once I leave the region of the Jungle of Lost Souls. I’ll capture a few more and restore my cultivation base, then head to Giant Ghost City.” Having made his decision, he was just about to go back into the cave when his expression flickered as he noticed a figure speeding through the jungle some distance away.