After emerging from the grand hall, Bai Xiaochun looked over in the direction of the three great clans, and an expression of scorn could be seen on his face. Although there were no truly deep grudges between him and the clans, they had attempted to kill him over and over again.
Back when he had been a prison guard, it had been impossible to seek revenge, and even less so after he became a prisoner. But now things were different. He was Majordomo Bai of Giant Ghost City, acting on behalf of the king.
“Summon Heavenly Marquis Chen Hai!” he said with the swish of a sleeve. Instantly, the nearby city guards rushed off to carry out his orders.
Afterward, he stood there outside of the grand hall, looking up into the sky, his hands clasped behind his back as he waited for Chen Hai to arrive. As he was waiting, he pulled out a jade slip to send a message to Zhou Yixing.
“Have your people keep an eye on all of the three of the great clans for me!”
“Don’t worry, milord. I’ll take care of everything. By the way, the people in the Chen Clan are frightened out of their minds.”
After hearing the response, Bai Xiaochun gave a few more instructions, then closed his eyes and stood there waiting. Before long, a beam of light appeared off in the distance, within which could be seen a pudgy, middle-aged man.
He was one of the four heavenly marquises who had not participated in the rebellion. He was also the one who had given Bai Xiaochun a mansion, as well as a large number of other valuable gifts. As soon as Chen Hai saw Bai Xiaochun standing there outside of the royal palace, a serious expression appeared on his face. Clasping hands and bowing, he said, “What are your orders, Majordomo Bai?!”
“Heavenly Marquis Chen, gather your men. You’re taking a little trip with me!” Bai Xiaochun had served as a major general in the army, so when he spoke now, it was with a grand dignity that left Chen Hai feeling shaken. After looking from Bai Xiaochun to the royal palace and then back, he voiced his assent.
Without the slightest hesitation, he issued orders to the soul cultivators under his command, and before long, a force of 20,000 men had gathered. At that point, Bai Xiaochun and Chen Hai, followed by the small army, flew out of Giant Ghost City!
Everyone in the city was shaken by the sight, especially when they realized that the 20,000 soul cultivators were heading in the direction of one of the three great clans, the Cai Clan. As of that point, everyone knew what was going on… revenge!
The army of 20,000 soul cultivators radiated killing intent as they flew along. Bai Xiaochun was in the lead position, his hands clasped behind his back, an arrogant expression on his face. All of a sudden, he felt like he was back at the Great Wall, a mighty major general with subordinates who would jump to heed his every command.
Chen Hai was right there next to him. Sticking his thumbs up approvingly, he said, “Excellent work, Bai, old pal! You’re truly a dragon amongst men. Let me tell you, I've seen a lot of people throughout the years who really bungle things up when they suddenly rise to power. But not you, Bai, old pal. You’re doing splendidly. It just goes to show that you are a qilin chosen of Giant Ghost City!
“These 20,000 soul cultivators view you like an immovable mountain, as permanent as the sea. Strength of mind like yours is rare even among many imperial princes.” Chen Hai had a very serious expression on his face as he talked, and his fat jiggled up and down a bit. Although he was clearly being a bit flattering, his words seemed completely and utterly trustworthy.
Bai Xiaochun felt wonderful, and couldn’t help but muse that Chen Hai really was very observant. Smiling broadly, he thought back to the old saying: even if you have a beautiful sedan chair to sit in, you still need others to lift you up. Therefore, he offered a few ingratiating words of his own. Before long, the two of them were chatting amiably.
At the same time, Bai Xiaochun contemplated how he should go about this shakedown. Considering that the giant ghost king hadn’t issued formal orders, he couldn’t do it in a very forceful manner.
“Maybe I can't use force, but I can still get my revenge in full!” Looking down at his bag of holding, he thought about the little turtle, and suddenly came up with a new idea.
Before long, they could see the Cai Clan up ahead. As for his reason for selecting this particular clan, there was no special factor other than its close proximity to the city.
Of course, everyone in the Cai Clan was extremely nervous because of his arrival. They were all shaking visibly, and the clan chief’s face was ashen as he led a group of cultivators to the main gate to receive the visitors.
The young chosen member of the clan who had tried to kill Bai Xiaochun sometime back was there, as well as the silkpants who had tried to bully him with wealth. Both of them were trembling, their faces as ashen as death.
The pressure weighing down on the clan recently had been immense. Their patriarch was dead, and every member of the clan felt like they were hovering on the brink of death.
The news that Bai Hao was personally bringing a large group of soul cultivators with him for a visit caused alarm to fill the hearts of everyone in the clan. Most fearful of all was the clan chief and certain clan elders, and yet, they managed to remain calm.
After all… if the giant ghost king had planned to exterminate them, he wouldn’t have waited so long to do it….
As the Cai Clan waited there at the front gate, Bai Xiaochun, Chen Hai, and the 20,000 soul cultivators arrived like a black cloud, blotting out the sky. As they neared, Chen Hai called out in a loud voice, “Lock down the area. Without express orders from Majordomo Bai, no one is allowed in or out!”
The 20,000 soul cultivators immediately fanned out and surrounded the Cai Clan, locking it down completely. The cultivators of the Cai Clan were all shocked. As for the clan chief, his expression flickered, but he had no choice but to simply grit his teeth, hurry over to Bai Xiaochun, and clasp hands respectfully.
“Greetings, Majordomo Bai, Heavenly Marquis Chen.” Everyone else in the clan similarly clasped hands and offered greetings.
Bai Xiaochun ignored them, and instead turned and cast a displeased look in Chen Hai’s direction.
“Heavenly Marquis Chen, I didn't come here to exterminate the Cai Clan. Why did you have to go and scare the clan chief?”
“I understand, Majordomo Bai,” Chen Hai said seriously, “but your humble servant has his orders!”
Bai Xiaochun shook his head and walked over to the clan chief, looking a bit apologetic.
“Oh, don’t worry,” the clan chief said, “Heavenly Marquis Chen has his orders, we understand. Majordomo Bai, please just come in, and we can discuss what needs to be discussed.” There was no way the clan chief would miss the fact that Bai Xiaochun and Chen Hai were obviously working in coordination with each other. However, that realization did him relatively little good.
Bai Xiaochun didn’t immediately enter the Cai Clan. Instead, he cleared his throat loudly, prompting Chen Hai’s expression to grow grimmer.
“All Nascent Soul-level officers, step forward to guard Majordomo Bai!” Immediately, a dozen or so soul cultivators flew out from the group of 20,000 and clustered around Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun still didn't seem pleased, but he finally sighed and then gave a wry smile to the clan chief. “I really have no choice, you know. It's not that I don’t trust your Cai Clan. It’s just that his highness the king really values me highly.”
Feeling more bitter than ever about how things were going, the clan chief replied, “Yes yes yes, of course. Majordomo Bai is extremely important to Giant Ghost City. We definitely can't have any mishaps. I completely understand….”
“Very well, let’s go in and talk.” Bai Xiaochun swished his sleeve, reveling in the feeling of being so powerful and important. Of course, the first to actually enter the clan were the Nascent Soul cultivators acting as guards. From the way they carried themselves, if anyone in the Cai Clan did even the slightest suspicious thing, they would attack immediately for the safety of Bai Xiaochun.
The cultivators of the Cai Clan were left trembling in fear, especially that one particular chosen, who stood there with his head bowed, hoping that he wouldn’t be noticed.
The clan chief was feeling very irritated, but had no choice other than to join the clan elders in leading Bai Xiaochun into the city.
After entering the clan’s main hall, Bai Xiaochun sat down and smiled. “Clan Chief Cai, I'm not here on any official business today. I just heard that the Cai Clan has a thousand years of reserve savings built up, and would like to perform a bit of an inspection.”
“I understand, Majordomo Bai. Please wait a moment.” The clan chief plastered a smile onto his face, then turned to the side and gave some orders. Before long, another member of the clan came hurrying over, carrying a soul bottle surrounded by scintillating light.
It wasn’t very large, and actually resembled an ordinary flower vase. However, based on the light which surrounded it, it was clearly an extraordinary item. Furthermore, there was a single golden design on its surface, indicating that this soul bottle had received an elevenfold spirit enhancement!
After respectfully placing it down in front of Bai Xiaochun, the clan chief said, “Majordomo Bai, this soul bottle is a powerful magical treasure of the Cai Clan. Please, take a look and tell us what you think.”
Bai Xiaochun’s expression was the same as ever as he picked the bottle up and looked it over. He even examined it with some divine sense. Not only was the bottle itself incredible, but it also contained over 100,000,000 vengeful souls. It was clearly an impressive gift, and although Bai Xiaochun was moved, when he thought about how incredibly rich he knew the Cai Clan to be, and then realized they had only offered him 100,000,000 vengeful souls, he immediately got angry.
Face turning grim, and cultivation base surging, he clenched his right hand into a fist, causing cracking sounds to ring out as the soul bottle was suddenly crushed. As it did, the more than 100,000,000 vengeful souls exploded out. Thankfully, there were plenty of Nascent Soul experts around who were able to suppress the resulting horde of souls.
Glaring icily at the clan chief, he said, “Clan Chief Cai, I may not be a grandmaster of equipment forging, but considering how long I’ve practiced cultivation, do you really take me to be a fool? You truly think you can pull the wool over my eyes with a soul bottle like that?!”