To open the Bai Clan ancestral land from the outside required major preparations over a long period of time. Furthermore, it necessitated a vast expenditure of resources.
Therefore, the entrance would only be left open for a short period of time, then closed again. Only after someone acquired the deva soul inside would they be able to use its power to open the ancestral land again, this time from the inside. Doing that wouldn’t negatively affect the deva soul in any way. Because of how the area could be sealed in this way, the so-called ancestral land also served as an arcane pocket realm that was perfect for preserving soul bodies.
As soon as the clan chief officially declared the ancestral land to be open, Bai Qi sped into motion toward the stone gate, surrounded by dozens of his relatives from the direct bloodline.
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes glittered, and he took a deep breath to suppress his excitement. As he well knew, he would only have one chance to pull off his plan.
“If it works, I’ll get a deva soul, and also get revenge for Bai Hao....” Gritting his teeth, he flew toward the opening in the stone gate.
Rumbling sounds echoed out as hundreds more clan members did the same thing. Then, the stone gate slowly closed.
As it did, the gate twisted and distorted, after which a shimmering screen appeared above it, which offered a view of the ancestral land itself!
Clearly visible was a towering mountain peak, the summit of which was surrounded by a majestic halo. Furthermore, it was possible to make out an altar at the summit, upon which was... the deva soul!
The halo was actually being manifested by the deva soul itself!
There were other areas on the mountain that had smaller halos of various size, each of which represented a place for the clan members to acquire good fortune.
There were magical items, soul bodies, techniques, and other resources. All of them were there for the taking by anyone who had the skill, power, and luck to do so.
Of course, the higher one went on the mountain, the more intense and colorful the halos became, indicating the higher quality of the good fortune available.
The screen above the stone gate was already quite the focus of attention among the clan members on the outside, and currently depicted numerous figures being teleported into the ancestral land.
Bai Xiaochun’s vision blurred, and intense rumbling sounds filled his ears. When the teleportation ended and everything went back to normal, he found himself standing on a jagged rock outcropping.
The sky above him was violent, and the lands which stretched out in all directions were pitch black. There was also a red sun, whose light made the entire world seem as hazy as dusk.
He could see the towering mountain and the halos on it. The enormous height of the thing was so shocking he felt like it was weighing down on his heart.
He had done a bit of research and asking around beforehand, so he knew that the ancestral land consisted of this enormous ancestral mountain. However, to see it with his own eyes was different.
“It seems incongruous with the heaven and earth on the outside, as if... the mountain came from somewhere else!” In fact, it was to Bai Xiaochun’s surprise that he realized this mountain seemed very similar to the Fallen Sword World. Supposedly, that sword had fallen from the beyond….
He studied the mountain quickly, his eyes eventually coming to rest on the halo at the summit, and the altar within it. When he opened his Heavenspan Dharma Eye to get a closer look at it, he could see that floating right there atop the altar... was the deva soul!!
It looked like a clump of sandy soil, indicating that it was an earth-type deva soul!
“What if I just went over there right now…?” Heart pounding with eagerness, he studied the situation for a bit longer, then discarded the idea. Although no one else would be able to tell, with his Heavenspan Dharma Eye, he could see that the altar was protected by a powerful restrictive spell.
There was a blood qi within that spell formation that ensured that only people with the blood of the Bai Clan would be able to pass through it. Furthermore, it was also obvious that one needed especially pure and strong clan blood.
“Once I make my move, time will become very limited. The best thing to do is to wait for someone else to break through the restrictive spell and get the deva soul. Then, I can just take it away from them!”
As Bai Xiaochun stood there sizing up the ancestral land, the rumble of teleportations could be heard in other areas as various Bai Clan cultivators entered the ancestral land. There were hundreds of them, and at the moment, most people were looking up at the countless halos on the mountain, their faces filled with anticipation.
Bai Xiaochun looked around thoughtfully as the teleportations proceeded, and eventually, the entrance closed. From that point on, it would require the power of the deva soul to get out. For the land to be opened again from the outside would require a lot of time and effort.
“Well that's good,” he thought. “Things are going pretty much as I’d expected. The entrance being closed... will actually be a big help to me!
“Based on what I learned earlier about the ancestral land, it's safe to assume that everyone else in the clan is observing what’s happening inside. They should be able to see everything through that stone gate.... Well, that's fine. I guess I’ll have a good audience when I make my move, so I might as well put on a good show!” Even as he made up his mind about how to proceed, he sensed something, and turned to find Bai Qi and a large group of direct bloodline cultivators looking over at him with killing intent in their eyes.
Although it made him a bit nervous, he was also at the point where he didn't care much about trying to keep up appearances. Seeing that Bai Qi was glaring at him, he frowned and glared back.
The cold malice flickering in Bai Qi’s eyes was impossible to hide, and he almost looked like he was about to fly over and attack. However, one of his relatives leaned over and whispered something to him, causing him to laugh coldly.
“That’s right. The most important thing is getting that deva soul. With it, I will control the exit from this place, and can prevent Bai Hao from getting away. He definitely won’t be escaping with his life!” Bai Qi knew that this entire event was being held for him, and therefore, he didn't want to concern himself with trivial matters before getting the deva soul. Taking a deep breath, he turned and headed toward the mountain, his relatives in tow.
The rest of the clan members did the same, either alone, or in groups of between three to five.
When Bai Qi looked away, Bai Xiaochun snorted coldly, musing about how he had never been bested in a staring contest for his entire life. “Lots of people have glared at me in my life, Bai Qi. You think I care if you join the club...?”
Proudly clasping his hands behind his back, he prepared to head toward the mountain when suddenly, the voice of a young woman could be heard behind him.
“Bai Hao.... This mountain is a mighty and dangerous place. Some areas are especially perilous. Although most members of the clan won’t find them too unsafe... for people in early Foundation Establishment, they could be deadly. Even I anticipate encountering some difficulties if I proceed alone. What do you say we team up?”
The person speaking was the fifth young lady, her voice soft and her gaze warm as she looked at Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun stopped in place and looked back at her. Not only had she helped him in a difficult situation when he first came to the clan, but he remembered how kindly she had looked at him during the ceremony the previous day. Clearly, she was interested in helping him out, and yet had vaguely worded her statement to save face, even making it seem as if she considered them both to be members of the same bloodline.
Bai Xiaochun hesitated for a moment. He was grateful for her good intentions, but at the same time, had his own plans, plans that wouldn’t be made any easier by having another person tagging along. Even as he pondered how to answer her, booming laughter could suddenly be heard, which belonged to none other than Bai Lei.
Striding forward, he looked Bai Xiaochun up and down with sincerity glowing in his eyes. “How nice of you to help out Junior Brother Hao, Fifth Junior Sister. Well, I guess I might as well join you. What do you say to a team of three, Bai Hao?”
The fifth young lady smiled charmingly and replied, “It would naturally be wonderful to have you along, Third Brother. But isn't your goal that deva soul?”
Bai Lei sighed. “Forget about that deva soul. That matter has already been settled behind closed doors. The rest of us are just here for show.”
The previous night, he had been very excited about going into the ancestral land. However, in the morning, he had received a message from one of his bloodline’s elders, telling him that the deva soul was to go to Bai Qi to help him reach the Nascent Soul stage. Bai Qi would subsequently begin performing spirit enhancements on his nascent soul to put him in the running to become the successor of the hell-emperor. In the end, he hadn’t quite been willing to accept that fact, but really had no choice but to do so, leaving him feeling more than a bit down.
In some ways, that was a better thing for him. After all, performing five spirit enhancements on one’s own nascent soul was very dangerous. Bai Qi was willing to take that risk, but Bai Lei wasn't, so in the end, he had simply given in.
Thankfully, the clan had also given him some special compensation to make things fair.
Considering that both Bai Lei and the fifth young lady were trying to persuade him, Bai Xiaochun couldn’t object. The fifth young lady obviously liked him and wanted to help him, although he couldn’t quite be sure of Bai Lei’s motivations. In fact, it seemed likely that he wanted to make friends because it would be useful in his own competition with Bai Qi.
“Ah whatever,” he thought. “I need to give Bai Qi some time to get that deva soul anyway. I might as well repay the fifth young lady for her kindness.” Smiling, he nodded in agreement.