The claws of Bai Xiaochun’s life essence spirit brimmed with mind-bogglingly deadly energy. Five curved, mountain-like claws with all-destructive power shot directly toward the enormous vortex!
When the two struck each other, a deafening boom filled the area. The sky went dim, and a huge blast of wind filled the area, a shockwave that rolled out in all directions.
However, the vortex was backed by the power of a deva, and although Bai Xiaochun’s Waterswamp Kingdom was powerful, considering the current level of his cultivation base, that power was limited. Moments after the initial collision, the claws vanished, and the Waterswamp Kingdom faded away.
The only thing that remained was an echoing, beastly cry. However, the attack had not been completely ineffective. Cracking sounds echoed out from the vortex, and five enormous rifts appeared within it. Those rifts grew wider and wider, casting the gravitational force into chaos. The vortex even started to wobble on the verge of collapsing.
Bai Xiaochun’s face was pale as he coughed up a mouthful of blood. His clones all seemed to be in a similar state, and quickly returned into his true self. Then, Bai Xiaochun glared up at the deva patriarch, and slowly pulled out his crystalline soulhoarding pagoda.
His eyes shone with madness, his aura was teetering unstably, and he was trembling physically. However, there was no time to sit around thinking about what to do. He quickly sent some divine sense into the soulhoarding pagoda; with a single thought, he could break the seal inside, and release the destructive power of the demigod soul.
“Don’t push me too far, old man!!” he said, his eyes shining with madness. He wasn’t completely sure whether the discarnate demigod soul could really kill the deva patriarch, but if it did, perhaps he would be able to get his hands on the final deva soul he needed.
Even as the thought entered his mind, he shook his head and dismissed it. He didn’t even know how to properly harvest the soul of a deva who had perished. Most likely, only a demigod cultivator could actually do something like that.
Besides, it was likely that he wouldn’t even be able to kill the Bai Clan patriarch. However, he was confident in being able to seriously injure him in a way that he couldn’t quickly recover from. And that would likely give him enough time to get out of Giant Ghost City territory!
The deva patriarch’s eyes narrowed as he looked at the soulhoarding pagoda Bai Xiaochun held, from which he couldn’t sense anything dangerous. Then he looked back up at Bai Xiaochun, and his eyes began to shine with a strange light.
“I really did underestimate you, kid. Well, that's fine. Wonderful, in fact. I'm not sure how you reached this amazing level, but I can sense from your blood that you really are from the Bai Clan. Truly spectacular.” Smiling faintly, he lifted his foot again and began to take a step. At the same time, Bai Xiaochun shouted loudly, preparing to break the seal in the soulhoarding pagoda.
However, in that very moment, a bellow filled the area that caused everything to shake. At the same time, a whistling sound could be heard, as though someone were approaching the area at top speed.
“Stay your hand, Brother Bai! I'm here with orders from King Giant Ghost himself. He’s issued a summons for Bai Hao!”
The Bai Clan patriarch's face fell, and his eyes flickered with indecision for the briefest of moments before he stepped down with his foot, instantly placing him in front of Bai Xiaochun, whom he reached out to grab.
However, Bai Xiaochun had been ready. The moment he saw the patriarch’s foot moving, he shot backward. However, instead of using his soulhoarding pagoda, he summoned his four clones to defend himself.
A boom filled the area, and his four clones coughed up blood before shooting back into his body. However, they had bought him the time he needed to once again use his Undying Hex.
Right before the deva patriarch’s hand reached him, he vanished. The deva patriarch’s eyes flashed with cold light as he turned to look in a different direction.
“Show your face!”
His words seemed to replace the will of the heavens, causing crushing pressure to appear that wrenched Bai Xiaochun out into the open, blood oozing out of the corners of his mouth. His hair was in complete disarray, and cracking sounds could be heard as the air around him shattered. Although it seemed as if heaven and earth were about to stamp him out of existence, his eyes flickered with an imperceptible gleam.
And that was because the instant he appeared in the open, a golden beam of light shot through the air toward him. Even as the deva patriarch took control over heaven and earth in the area, a whooshing sound could be heard, and a jade pendant appeared in front of Bai Xiaochun!!
The pendant emanated golden light, and was carved with the image of a two-horned giant ghost that was roaring to the sky. As soon as the jade pendant appeared, the cracking, shattering air around Bai Xiaochun stabilized.
The Bai Clan patriarch’s face turned very grim as the air rippled, and an old man appeared.
He wore a black robe, and his face was completely expressionless. However, his cultivation base fluctuations were no weaker than the Bai Clan patriarch’s. He seemed icy cold and completely sinister, and caused the air around him to ripple.
It was almost as if two streams of divine will had clashed, causing thunder to echo out and crackles of lightning to appear. Even the ground began to quake.
Bai Xiaochun looked at the jade pendant and then the old man, and his heart began to pound. When he had initially fled the Bai Clan, he had hoped that other clans or groups in the area would try to take advantage of the situation, and perhaps help him.
After a while, he had come to suspect it wouldn’t happen after all. But now that this black-robed old man was here, it was obvious that the giant ghost king had taken an interest!
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes narrowed, and his heart began to twinge with nervousness. He kept his hand clenched onto the soulhoarding pagoda, ready to detonate the demigod soul at a moment's notice.
The Bai Clan patriarch stared grimly at the black-robed man, and then spoke in a voice as cold as ice. “This is a private matter of the Bai Clan, Deathcrier! What’s the meaning of this!?”
“There are no private matters for subordinates of the heavenly kings,” Duke Deathcrier replied. Eyes flashing with cold light, he took a step forward, causing a powerful wind to spring up around him. “Are you going to disobey the decrees of his heavenly majesty, Bai Zishan?”
The deva patriarch looked back grimly at Duke Deathcrier, then waved his hand, causing the unconscious clan chief to vanish, then reappear next to him.
“Since his highness the king has summoned this rebel, then of course I won’t interfere.” Gritting his teeth inwardly, the deva patriarch clasped hands and bowed to the jade pendant, then looked back at the black-robed old man. “However, I will have to go visit his highness the king personally to get to the bottom of this matter!”
During the entire exchange between the two devas, the patriarch never once looked at Bai Xiaochun. Finally, he turned and vanished.
At that point, everything in the area went back to normal. The thunder faded away, the lightning vanished, and finally, Bai Xiaochun breathed a sigh of relief. Relaxing his grip on the soulhoarding pagoda, he looked over at Duke Deathcrier.
Duke Deathcrier looked in the direction in which the Bai Clan patriarch had left, then turned his lightning-like gaze onto Bai Xiaochun.
He was wizened and skinny, with a hawk-like nose that made him seem particularly sinister. Furthermore, his gaze was so sharp that it seemed to pierce all the way into Bai Xiaochun’s heart and mind.
“Come with me. From now on, your life is in my hands, and you work for his highness the king.” The man didn't say anything about the deva soul. Apparently, he didn't want to get too involved in the affairs of the Bai Clan.