Laughing loudly, the Bai Clan patriarch said, “You can be controlled with wood-type power, King Giant Ghost, and even more so during your decay period. How will you fight back now?!”
With that, he shot toward the giant ghost king, joined by the patriarchs from the Cai and Chen Clans.
The look on the giant ghost king’s face remained as calm as before. His energy and his cultivation base were being rapidly eaten away by the wood dimension, to the point where he was no longer in the Demigod Realm. He was now in the Deva Realm, and in fact, his power was diminishing so rapidly that it would soon be that of the Nascent Soul stage!
And yet, he seemed completely calm, with the same confident smile on his face, as if he were facing nothing more than a group of clowns. Of course, that only made the patriarchs and heavenly marquises even more nervous.
Intense rumbling sounds filled the air as the giant ghost king single-handedly took on three devas and six near-devas!
Even as the shocking scene played out up above, the armed forces of the three clans, as well as the soldiers of the six heavenly marquises’ armies, all began to pour into the city.
The chief of the Bai Clan led the clan elders in a murderous charge toward the moat, joined by many of the Cai Clan elders.
“The heavens are changing, Bai Hao! You won’t escape this tribulation!” The clan chief’s heart was bursting with anticipation; he had been waiting for this day for a long time, and in fact, couldn’t care less about the giant ghost king. His goal was to skin Bai Hao alive!
As chaos spread out down below, the patriarchs of the three clans, as well as the six heavenly marquises, were engaged in fierce combat with the giant ghost king. Unexpectedly, the fighting already seemed to be on the verge of ending. One boom after another rang out, and blood sprayed out of the giant ghost king’s mouth. His cultivation base was already down to the Nascent Soul level, and yet, the same self-confident smile could be seen on his face. In fact, it even seemed to contain a bit of ridicule, as though he were sneering at the fact that no one had seen through to the truth yet!
However, it was also obvious that the truth would be revealed soon. It was at that point that, all of a sudden, the giant ghost king’s body suddenly flickered, as though it were not corporeal. His hand turned blurry, and then the Bai Clan patriarch suddenly shouted, “Something’s wrong!! He's... he’s a clone!!! Dammit! He's a clone! This isn’t the giant ghost king’s true self! He’s an expendable clone!!!”
The other two patriarchs began to tremble as looks of complete disbelief spread out across their faces.
“Impossible! Because of the unique way divine will works among demigod experts, they can’t create clones more powerful than the Nascent Soul stage! Demigod Realm clones are an impossibility!!”
“How could he possibly have a clone like this!? And furthermore... how could we have never realized it over all these years!?!?”
The three deva patriarchs weren’t the only ones to be shocked. Duke Deathcrier and Duke Netherworld were also profoundly shaken, and both had expressions of utter disbelief on their faces.
The Bai Clan patriarch gritted his teeth bitterly as he looked at the giant ghost king. Finally, he understood why he had been so calm this entire time.... And now, he realized that everything was exactly as the giant ghost king had described: a game. “So... this is your secret weapon. This... is why you were so self-confident....”
It was a game that the giant ghost king had carefully set up, and was sure he would not lose....
The probing for information, the provocation, the compromises, the placations, pretending to be weak, none of them were real. All of it had been a huge game....
As everyone reeled in shock, the giant ghost king chuckled. By this point, his body had almost completely faded away. And yet, his laughter still contained a type of supreme and ultimate power that echoed out through heaven and earth.
“Now you understand, and yet, it's too late. This has all been nothing more than a game to me.... So what if you know about my decay period? And so what if you know about my weakness to wood-type power?
“My decay period didn’t just start right now. In fact, it’s almost over. In three months, I’ll be fully recovered.... And that... is when I’ll return, and we can all reminisce about old times.” The giant ghost king shook his head as he looked around scornfully. That look of disdain was like a big palm that slapped all of the rebels directly in the face.
“You only have three months. Let’s see if you can find my true self during that time.... That is phase two of my little game.” He threw his head back and laughed uproariously as he slowly faded out of existence.
The three deva patriarchs and six heavenly marquises were all having trouble breathing steadily, and couldn’t keep the terror out of their eyes. As of this point, they had no choice to believe what the giant ghost king had just told them. And they knew that they only had three months.
If they didn’t find the giant ghost king’s true self within three months... then they and their clans would be exterminated. They could flee, of course. The Wildlands was a big place. But with the giant ghost king at his peak, they would never be able to escape him!
“Find him!” shouted the Bai Clan patriarch. “Spare nothing! Pour all resources into the search. We must find where the giant ghost king’s true self is! He’s still in his decay period, so if we find him, we’ll live. If we don't find him, we’re all dead!!
“He said three months, but we can’t trust him. One month! We have to find him in one month!
“Somehow he managed to do the unexpected and create a clone. To control that clone, his true self would have to be somewhere nearby. I’d say there’s an eighty to ninety percent chance that he’s actually in Giant Ghost City!”
The Bai Clan patriarch's heart was already filled with despair. They had been beaten. They had prepared for years and built up power, and yet, had been completely routed. It was almost funny. How could any of them have ever imagined that the giant ghost king would somehow be able to create a demigod clone, which was supposed to be impossible…?
“How could he have a clone like that!?!?” Eyes bloodshot, the Chen Clan patriarch shouted out similar orders, and even started flying around to search personally.
The Cai Clan patriarch, as well as the six heavenly marquises, were all trembling in fear, but similarly began to carry out searches. They held nothing back, searching everywhere in Giant Ghost City to try to find the giant ghost king’s true self.
Duke Netherworld was in no mood to fight Duke Deathcrier any longer, and withdrew from the fight. As for Duke Deathcrier, he was not inclined to continue fighting either, and simply hovered there, laughing at the top of his lungs.
No one bothered to ask him where the giant ghost king’s true self was. Everyone knew that there was no way the giant ghost king would trust information that important to anyone. Time would be better spent searching rather than asking pointless questions.
And they were right. Duke Deathcrier hadn’t even been aware that the person he had been dealing with for so long... was only a clone!
As the three great clans and the forces of the six heavenly marquises began to search Giant Ghost City, Bai Xiaochun was sitting in his cell in Cellblock D in Devil Penitentiary, looking around in boredom at one of his fellow inmates, the old man with the red birthmark who had offended the giant ghost king years ago.
Sighing, he said, “Hey old man, I've been in here for a while now, and I’ve talked to you a whole bunch. Are you ever going to say anything back?”
Originally, he had felt like he and this old man could commiserate with each other as fellow sufferers. However, the man had never even looked at him, much less said anything.
Eventually, Bai Xiaochun had decided to just ignore him. However, today, the old man actually opened his eyes, and furthermore, his expression had flickered a few times. Curious, Bai Xiaochun asked him a few more questions, only to be ignored.
“Don't you know who I am, old man?” Bai Xiaochun yelled. “Listen up. I'm the number one dark inquisitor in Devil Penitentiary. It’s not going to do you any good to piss me off!”
However, the old man simply sat there, frowning and ignoring Bai Xiaochun.
Glaring at the humiliation, Bai Xiaochun gave a cold snort and was just about to say something else when the entrance to the cellblock opened, and the captain of Squad 9 rushed in, followed by several of the guards who Bai Xiaochun was particularly close to. Alarmed expressions could be seen on their faces as they rushed over.
“Something big is happening, Bai Hao!” the captain said urgently. “You have to come with us, right away! The three great clans are rebelling, and they’re being joined by six of the heavenly marquises! All of Giant Ghost City is in chaos.... The Bai Clan isn’t going to let you off the hook. You need to get out of here, and that’s just what we’re going to help you do!”
With that, the captain grabbed his arm to drag him away.
Although Bai Xiaochun had long since reckoned that the three great clans would make their move soon, he was still surprised that it was happening so suddenly.
But then the captain explained how the giant ghost king’s cultivation base had dropped because of his decay period.... Except, the giant ghost king everyone had seen was actually a clone, and the three great clans were now searching for his true self. All of this information struck Bai Xiaochun deeply with shock.
Now he finally understood why the giant ghost king hadn’t just wiped out the three great clans. It wasn’t that he didn't want to, it was that he was in his decay period, and couldn’t....
That decay period was also why the three great clans felt confident enough to launch their rebellion. However... in the end, they fell into the giant ghost king’s game.
“Damn you, King Giant Ghost! If you want to play games, fine, but why did you have to drag me into it!?” Depressed, and yet completely helpless about the situation, Bai Xiaochun knew that he was in a dangerous situation. The enraged Bai Clan would not just let him go, and therefore, he needed to escape as quickly as possible.
Having reached this point in his train of thought, he gratefully clasped the captain on the shoulder.
“Brothers,” he said, addressing the captain and the guards, “thank you for the immense kindness you’ve shown. I’ll never forget it. Now’s not the time for talking, though, I need to get out of here....” However, even as he was about to leave... he suddenly heard the voice of the little turtle in his ear!
“Hey, ya little punk, what are you so anxious to leave for? We have a chance to make some money here, are you in?”