The anger that burned in Bai Xiaochun’s heart was fueled by his compassion and sorrow for Bai Hao. Although he had just said he didn’t understand, the truth was that he understood exactly what was going on!
Combined with everything else he had already learned, the situation was crystal clear. Perhaps the clan chief had not always been aware that Bai Hao was extremely talented in flame conjuring. However, after Bai Hao gave him the formula for fifteen-colored flame, how could he not know?!
He knew that Bai Hao was a talented flame conjurer, and also knew that there had been no cheating done in the trials by fire. He knew all of these things beyond the shadow of a doubt!
As a mid Nascent Soul stage cultivator, and the clan chief, he could get information about anything he wanted in the Bai Clan as easily as turning over his hand. In fact, Bai Xiaochun couldn’t imagine that the man was unaware of how Bai Hao had been chased down and killed. Not only had he been aware of it, but he had turned a blind eye to what was happening!
He had denied everything about Bai Hao, and even shifted all of his accomplishments over to Bai Qi. Clearly, he wanted Bai Qi to soar high, regardless of the price to be paid, even if it was the death of Bai Hao. It couldn’t have been more obvious that the clan chief felt that Bai Hao was as valuable as a bug, or even less so.
As for this particular meeting, its purpose was to get Bai Hao to bow his head in acquiescence, and to impress upon him that this critical juncture was not the time to make a scene. Based on the killing intent that Bai Xiaochun could see in the man’s eyes, he clearly desired to see Bai Hao out of the picture for good.
That was the reason why he picked this location to have this conversation, to make it very clear to Bai Hao what it meant to submit....
Submit, and live. Refuse, and die!
His choice to have this discussion in the location where Bai Hao’s mother passed away revealed how truly malicious his intentions were. From the perspective of a bystander, Bai Xiaochun couldn't watch the scene play out without getting angry. Although it had been somewhat on a whim that he took Bai Hao as his apprentice, as of this moment, his heart was filled the same grief and bitterness that Bai Hao must have felt in life. As of this moment, he felt more serious than ever about being Bai Hao’s Master.
Although Bai Xiaochun was the type of person who feared death, he was a righteous and loyal person in his bones. When his friends faced a deadly crisis, it didn't matter if he was trembling and weeping with fear, he would always grit his teeth and go back to their aid. Now that Bai Hao had become his apprentice, he would not turn a blind eye to the wrongs his apprentice had endured!
This was the contradiction that existed within Bai Xiaochun; within his fear of death existed a brightly burning fire of passion!
The clan chief standing in front of him was completely cold and emotionless, and because of that, Bai Xiaochun couldn’t help that think that Bai Hao’s deep desire to please the man had been completely pointless!
“What did you just say!?” the clan chief replied, the coldness in his eyes growing more intense. He even unleashed some of the power of his cultivation base, causing wind to whip about the courtyard.
Bai Xiaochun glared angrily at the clan chief and slowly said, “For better or worse, I'm your flesh and blood. Tigers don’t eat their own cubs, but you....”
“How impudent!” the clan chief roared in a voice that echoed like thunder. The killing intent in his eyes blazed as he strode toward Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun stared back at him as he approached. If the man actually attacked him, it would affect his plan to get a deva soul. And yet, Bai Xiaochun couldn’t hold back from saying what he just had!
Just when it seemed like the situation would devolve into a disaster, the clan chief suddenly frowned. Stopping in place, he produced a jade slip from his bag of holding.
After scanning it with divine sense, his face lit with joy. Moments later, he gave Bai Xiaochun a disdainful glance, looking at him almost as if he were a corpse. Turning, he left, leaving a single sentence ringing in the courtyard behind him.
“You’re going to get yourself killed!”
Bai Xiaochun watched as the clan chief disappeared in a beam of light. Then he looked around at the courtyard, complex emotions playing in his heart and mind. Finally, he sighed.
“Bai Hao. Ah, Bai Hao. If your spirit is out there, I hope you were able to see all of that....” With that, he organized the tattered, crumbling clothes and rotting toys, then looked over at the well.
After sending some divine sense inside, he confirmed that there was no corpse inside, so he quietly left and headed back to the north district....
Beneath the Bai Clan were sprawling catacombs, which was where the clan chief now stood. His hands were clasped, and he was bent over in a bow in front of a huge door.
After a long moment passed, the grating voice of an old man echoed out from the door, each word seemingly capable of causing transformations in heaven and earth.
“Your request from earlier is granted!”
“Many thanks, Patriarch!” The clan chief did his best to suppress the excitement he felt in his heart, and even deepened his bow. He was well aware that this patriarch was referring to more than just opening the ancestral land.
He was also agreeing to give the deva soul to Bai Qi!
Of course, it was impossible to open the ancestral land only for Bai Qi. Anyone in the clan who was under the Nascent Soul stage would be allowed to enter. Considering how big the Bai Clan was, the patriarch had to give the auxiliary bloodlines an equal opportunity.
However, he naturally had ways to secretly ensure that only Bai Qi got the deva soul!
“You’re dismissed. The event will begin in one month.”
The clan chief took a deep breath, then respectfully took his leave.
Soon, word about the opening of the ancestral land began to spread through the Bai Clan. All of the clan members who met the requirements to enter were very excited.
That was especially true when people heard that a deva soul was in the ancestral land. All of the chosen from the auxiliary bloodlines began to grow very excited about the prospect of competing amongst each other.
The opening of the ancestral land was a big matter, and the trial by fire which would take place inside was something that left the entire Bai Clan shaken. It was with great fanfare that all the preparations went underway.
Madam Cai was extremely pleased, and couldn’t stop thinking about the wonderful prospects in store for Bai Qi.
Bai Qi was equally delighted. Of course, he kept his mouth shut about certain details that only he was privy to. As for all the other chosen from the auxiliary bloodlines, he couldn’t help but scoff inwardly at how eager they seemed to join in the competition.
“That deva soul belongs to me!”
Although Bai Xiaochun had been aware that the ancestral land would be opened, he hadn’t known any details. However, considering how monumental the event was, he soon learned more.
“Almost a month until it opens....” he thought, his eyes shining with anticipation. He was already fed up with the Bai Clan, but knew he had to suppress his frustration until the time came to truly vent it.
“I'm doing this for you, Bai Hao! I'm going to shock the entire clan when I get into that ancestral land!”
Although he felt confident that the ancestral land wouldn’t be extremely dangerous, he knew that if you stole food from a tiger’s mouth, you almost always ended up with an angry tiger chasing after you. When he made his move in the ancestral land, that would only be the beginning of a very dangerous situation.
Therefore, he needed to be completely prepared to stay safe.
“The Wildlands is a huge place. I’ll just have to wait and see how far the Bai Clan’s deva patriarch will chase me. Detonating my soulhoarding pagoda could change the equilibrium between the Bai Clan and the two other great clans in the area. Let’s see if the deva patriarch dares to keep chasing me when he realizes that!
“Of course, in addition to the patriarch, there will be other members of the Bai Clan to deal with, including Nascent Soul experts. I can’t be lax!” Although Bai Xiaochun was feeling nervous, he had already made up his mind. He would make his move, and then flee immediately!
“Besides, I refuse to believe that the Bai Clan doesn’t have any enemies....” Eyes flickering with cold light, he went back to his cultivation.
Days passed. Nobody paid much attention to him, and he didn’t leave his hut. His medicinal pills were running out rapidly, and yet, one day, he made major progress with his Undying Tendons.
It was a complete breakthrough!!
The instant he completed the third level of the Undying Live Forever Technique, rumbling sounds filled his body, and golden light spread out, piercing through his clothing to fill the area.
At the same time, he could clearly feel something like the weight of an entire mountain pressing down onto him, which was none other than the third shackle!
He desperately wanted to break through that shackle, to destroy the mountainous weight crushing down on him and be transformed into something greater than before.
However, he knew that he needed to wait until he formed a Nascent Soul before doing that. The power he would have access to at that time was the only way he would be able to break the shackle.