The giant ghost king’s words rumbled like heavenly thunder, shaking everything in the world, and Bai Xiaochun along with it.
The pressure coming off of the giant ghost king had Bai Xiaochun trembling physically, as if he were a tiny rowboat in a thrashing ocean of angry waves. In fact, he had the premonition that if he made the slightest mistake, he would be destroyed in both body and soul!
The words the giant ghost king had uttered just now had Bai Xiaochun scared out of his mind. He didn’t need to think very hard to come up with multiple responses. Whether it was their agreement, or the desperate show he had put on, or the fact that he had saved the giant ghost king’s life, they all seemed like viable options.
However, Bai Xiaochun had the strong feeling that he couldn't use any of those as his answer!
The giant ghost king was aware of all of those things already, and the fact that he had asked the question he did was very, very telling. Trembling in fear, Bai Xiaochun contemplated the fact that the words he uttered next would very likely determine his ultimate fate!
He had not experienced many situations in life that were this nerve-wracking. That was especially true when he looked up at the giant ghost king’s cold, merciless eyes. Looking into those eyes only seemed to confirm his deepest fears.
“He’s holding a metal-type deva soul in his hand.... It seems obvious he’s trying to send a message with that.... And yet, he also seems like he wants to kill me.... I can’t trust the restrictive spell either!” Unsure of what to do, Bai Xiaochun felt like he finally understood that old saying, being in the king’s company is like living with a tiger. The giant ghost king he was facing right now was the real giant ghost king, and yet, for some reason, that only made Bai Xiaochun feel like walking up and slapping him across the side of the head again. Of course, as soon as the thought occurred to him, he shoved it away.
“So, feel like slapping me across the side of the head?” the giant ghost king asked placidly, his voice cutting like the winter wind. Suddenly, the pressure radiating off of him grew even more powerful, crushing down on everything in the area.
“He's still pissed off at me!” Bai Xiaochun thought. “If I don’t word things just right, I’m going to be in profound danger!” Although he was inwardly trembling in terror, his eyes were bloodshot with the realization that true men had to be flexible. In that instant, his eyes shone with... burning zeal.
“Your Highness!!” he said, sounding very excited. “Your Highness, I didn’t understand it before, but now I understand that Your Highness definitely deserves to be Your Highness. You are so intelligent and wise that within five days, you completely turned the world upside down. You truly ripped open the overcast grayness to reveal the sunny sky beyond! Every cloud has a silver lining, and you found that silver lining!” Bai Xiaochun’s eyes shone with unprecedented excitement, and in fact, it was even possible to see tears of joy glistening within them.
The giant ghost king was so surprised that a strange expression flickered across his face. However, moments later, he was just as solemn as before as he coolly said, “You’re so excited you're crying?”
“Your Highness,” Bai Xiaochun replied loudly, “you truly looked formidable and mighty just now. The wave of your finger wiped out all of those devas! I, Bai Hao, have never seen such an impressive display of heroism in my life! The mere thought of becoming the follower of a hero like you, sir, is an honor the likes of which couldn’t be repeated for many generations. That is why I am overwhelmed with joy!” Bai Xiaochun was apparently so excited he was trembling. An expression of utter zeal overtook his face, and his tears of joy were enough to cause anyone to stare in shock.
A strange expression could be seen on the giant ghost king’s face; never could he have imagined that this Bai Hao would be skilled at this sort of thing....
When Bai Xiaochun saw that look in the giant ghost king’s eyes, he finally breathed a sigh of relief. Now that he was sure this method would work, he knew that he had to go in for the kill. Putting an expression of utter reverence on his face, he clasped hands and bowed deeply for a long moment. Then he slowly got back up, looking very impassioned.
“Your Highness, you are wise, intelligent, and courageous, a person who is clever in ways that defy description, a hero who has come out victorious in hundreds of battles, an individual of outstanding talent and bearing, a man versatile and adept in all things, someone who surpasses all other living persons, and who has traveled the length and the breadth of the lands. I, Bai Hao, will follow you to the ends of the earth and beyond. Sir, I know in my heart that you would never do anything to harm such a charming and pitiable young child such as myself....” Bai Hao looked anxiously at the giant ghost king, having gone all in with everything he could think of. Actually, the crux of everything was his final sentence, in which he spoke the true feelings of his heart.
By this point, Bai Xiaochun almost seemed like he was begging and pleading, and had no idea whether or not he had made the right decision to go with this tactic.
A profound expression of contemplation could be seen on the giant ghost king’s face, but inwardly, he wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. Never before had he encountered a person like Bai Xiaochun, who dared to talk in such a way to a somber person like himself.
However, the more he listened, the more he liked what he heard, and suddenly, a bit of softness could be seen in his eyes.
The truth was that moments ago, there really had been a bit of killing intent in him. After all, if it weren’t for Bai Xiaochun, he would never have been in any real danger. However, the events of the past five days really had softened even his iron heart a bit, and left an impression that would never be removed.
Unfortunately, Bai Xiaochun was an anomaly that he could never have planned for. If he took him back to Giant Ghost City now, then based on everything which had happened, it was easy to imagine how powerful Bai Xiaochun would become later on. He would definitely be one of the most influential people in the city.
If he had planned for that all along, then it wouldn’t have been a big deal. But to suddenly be presented with this unexpected turn of events left a sour taste in his mouth.
Therefore, he let Bai Xiaochun make the final decision. If he tried to fall back on their previous agreement and demand compensation, then the giant ghost king would never give him the deva soul. Instead, he would seal him until the restrictive spell could be unraveled. Afterward, he would be released secretly somewhere outside of Giant Ghost City, all ties to the giant ghost king cut. After that point, his life would be in his own hands, and things would be back to the way they had been in the beginning!
If Bai Xiaochun mentioned how bitter the past few days had been, then the giant ghost king would give him the deva soul and send him on his way.... His life would be in his own hands, and there would be no connection between them anymore.
With either of those two options, the giant ghost king would not bring him back to Giant Ghost City to bask in glory.
If Bai Xiaochun acted stubbornly, and dared to slap him across the side of the head again, or demanded mercy based on supposed kindnesses from before, then the giant ghost king would disregard everything from before and kill him!
These were the three options he had expected Bai Xiaochun to pick from. However, contrary to all expectations, Bai Xiaochun had created something from nothing and made up a fourth option. And thus, a strange, helpless expression could be seen in the giant ghost king’s eyes. Inside, he was cursing a bit at everything that had happened with this slippery rogue. However, his killing intent and sinister plans evaporated. In fact, he couldn’t help but notice how badly injured Bai Xiaochun was, and even began to think about everything that had happened as they fled together.
There was also that scene of sincere bravery in the final, critical moment. Being the wily old fox that he was, the giant ghost king could tell that part had been no act. At this point, his ruthless heart truly began to soften.
Then he thought about the string of flattering words that had just been uttered, especially the last line, which pushed the giant ghost king into that spot between laughter and tears. At this point, his expression turned cold once again, and he waved his hand, sending the metal-type deva soul flying over to Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun had been very carefully observing the giant ghost king’s expression the entire time. As the moments had ticked by, he had grown more and more nervous, to the point where his feelings were perfectly described by the old saying his heart was beating like fifteen buckets in a well, eight going down while seven were coming up; he couldn’t calm down. That was when, to his shock, the deva soul flew toward him, and the giant ghost king turned and looked up into the sky as if he were about to leave.
Unsure of exactly what the giant ghost king was thinking, Bai Xiaochun grabbed the soul and then hesitated about what to do next. Was he supposed to offer his farewells at this point? Was the giant ghost king not going to mention anything that had happened early on?
Even as Bai Xiaochun stood there wondering what to do, the giant ghost king spoke in a cold voice.
“What are you standing around for? I'm going back to Giant Ghost City. Don’t tell me you’re planning to walk back by yourself?!”
A tremor ran through Bai Xiaochun, and his expression immediately brightened. As of this moment, he knew that he had passed all the tests, and that the giant ghost king planned to take him back with him....
Bai Xiaochun could only imagine the luxurious life he would be living soon, and immediately flew up into the air to follow....