Bai Xiaochun quickly put quite a distance between himself and Xu Shan, and soon disappeared into the mists.
Further back, Xu Shan stopped in place and stamped her foot onto the ground angrily. “I'm going to catch you eventually, Bai Hao. You're mine! Mine!!”
In response, Bai Xiaochun picked up speed. The fact that this princess from Spirit Advent City seemed dead set on fighting him was a big headache.
“How can I fight this wench when she has that jade pendant…?” The more he thought about it, the more annoying he found her to be. And yet, there was nothing he could do about the situation. Worried that she was still following him, he zigged and zagged a bit before heading in the direction of the Ghost King Orchid.
Some distance away from the valley containing the Ghost King Orchid, Gongsun Yi sat on a low-lying hilltop, doing breathing exercises. His goal was to keep himself in top condition for the coming fight, which he was burning to get into.
He was still completely and utterly confident that Bai Hao would show up soon.
Not too far away were the second prince and Chen Manyao, surrounded by a dozen or so chosen from the various noble clans. All of them had very unsightly expressions on their faces because of everything that had occurred in the Necromancer Kettle.
Nobody had even considered that something so unexpected could take place. First was the nascent divinity void restrictive spell, which caught everyone off guard, and then there was the fact that Bai Hao had turned out to be shockingly powerful. It was occasionally possible to catch sight of the group who had already given up, sitting in their location near the mouth of the enormous kettle.
Many in the group near the Ghost King Orchid had also thought of giving up, but simply couldn’t bring themselves to do it. Even though they knew Bai Xiaochun was incredibly strong, some of them still hoped that there was another chance left. After all… the second prince was in the great circle of the Nascent Soul stage, and they also had the matchless Junior Champion King Gongsun Yi on their side. Plus, there was the Grand Heavenmaster’s apprentice Chen Manyao. With those three, they still hoped that they could defeat Bai Hao.
Many thoughts passed through the minds of the waiting chosen as they calculated what there was to gain and lose by taking a stand. At the same time, they kept looking around vigilantly.
As for the second prince, his eyes flickered as he contemplated a train of thought quite different from most of the others. He was intrigued by Bai Hao; after all, it seemed obvious that the Giant Ghost King had actually cruelly abandoned Bai Hao in the Necromancer Kettle….
“Perhaps I can win this Bai Hao over to my side…. Although, considering the high level of his cultivation base, he must surely have aspirations of his own. If I want to win him over, I’ll need to give him a good reason to do so!” Off to the side sat Chen Manyao, her brow furrowed as she thought back to what she had seen of Bai Hao. There was definitely something about him that seemed familiar, although she still hadn’t been able to come up with any concrete clues to work with.
Even as everyone sat wrapped up in their thoughts, Gongsun Yi suddenly looked up. The second prince and Chen Manyao also turned their heads, and the hearts of everyone else lurched as they looked over in the same direction.
Off in the distance, the mists churned as a figure sped through them like a whizzing arrow. And that figure was heading in their direction.
His hair whipped about him, and his clothes flapped in the wind. His eyes shone with bright light, and he radiated a domineering and proud air.
“He’s here!!” Everyone was immediately shaken. The desire to do battle exploded in Gongsun Yi’s heart, but he suppressed it for the moment. Remaining there cross-legged, he closed his eyes and went back to meditating; his aura was currently not stable enough, and he wanted to be completely calm.
“The time to fight has not yet come….” he murmured. He wanted to wait until his battle spirit was like a raging torrent.
“Bai Hao, you will be the grindstone that makes me an even sharper blade than before!!”
The atmosphere of the group by the Ghost King Orchid immediately grew very stifled upon the appearance of Bai Xiaochun. The second prince’s eyes flickered, and he took a step forward, turning into a blur of afterimages as he shot toward Bai Xiaochun.
That immediately got the other chosen excited, many of whom flew to join the second prince.
Only Gongsun Yi and Chen Manyao didn’t move. Unlike Gongsun Yi, Chen Manyao’s eyes were shining brightly as she stared at Bai Xiaochun, imprinting his every move and action into her mind.
Also paying close attention was the group of a dozen or so who were near the mouth of the Necromancer Kettle. Although they had already admitted defeat, it was a begrudging action at best, and they were all eager to see how things would play out.
Everyone paid close attention as Bai Xiaochun and the second prince shot toward each other and then collided.
The second prince drew fully upon the power of the great circle of the Nascent Soul stage, performing a double-handed incantation gesture that summoned seven shadowy figures, each of them fully 300 meters tall.
Each shadowy figure wore imperial robes, had an imperial crown, and radiated an ancient air. The figures seemed to lock the entire area down, creating something like a domain in which the second prince radiated the aura of an emperor!
This was the first time he had summoned such an energy, which despite not being the power of a deva, was very close to it, and actually seemed to provoke a reaction from all heaven and earth.
Then, rumbling could be heard as a golden dragon appeared, which shot roaring through the air toward Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun’s expression flickered at the shocking sight of the second prince’s divine ability. It actually seemed very similar to his own Undying Emperor’s Fist, although the two were clearly different on a fundamental nature. The Undying Emperor’s Fist drew upon the power of his own body and then blessed it with explosive might. In contrast, the second prince’s technique was clearly drawing on outside power.
The fact that the second prince could command a qi flow that agitated the energy of heaven and earth left Bai Xiaochun feeling as if he were witnessing something that all of the people of the Arch-Emperor in the Wildlands would bow down and offer worship to.
However, what was most shocking of all was the fact that any one of the seven shadowy figures was filled with so much power that it caused Bai Xiaochun’s scalp to tingle.
Unexpectedly, the second prince could clearly use only this one divine ability to counter multiple fist strikes from Bai Xiaochun!
“What divine ability is this?!” he thought, shocked. As for everyone else who was watching, they started to get very excited.
“That’s Arch-Emperor magic! It’s the imperial clan’s secret magic!!”
“It’s been a long time since I've seen the imperial clan’s secret magic. The second prince definitely deserves his reputation. After the grand prince, he’s next in line to earn the imperial title!!”
The rumbling sounds of the fighting which filled the air soon drowned out the noise of the chattering crowd.
“He’s a lot stronger than Zhou Hong!” Bai Xiaochun thought, his pupils constricted. With that, he extended his right hand, within which appeared the sixteenfold spirit enhanced black spear.
An unsightly expression could be seen on the second prince’s face as he fell back. He was actually not having as easy of a time as he was making it look. To his astonishment, he found that his cultivation base was actually being suppressed, and was difficult to rotate. Were it not for the fact that he was in the great circle of the Nascent Soul stage and was using the imperial clan’s secret magic, he would already have been seriously wounded by the fighting. By this point, he couldn’t hold out any longer, and coughed up a mouthful of blood. Shock and terror could be seen in his eyes as he realized that Bai Xiaochun hadn't even used his trump card, that fist attack.
“This Bai Hao is too strong! Not even my imperial clan secret magic is strong enough to get him under control….” With that, he threw his hands into the air, causing yellow light to spill off of the seven shadowy figures. Immediately, the entire area shone as if with gold, and then, two golden dragons appeared, which shot roaring toward Bai Xiaochun.
The audience of chosen watched with sparkling eyes as the battle played out. From the look of things, these two opponents were actually evenly matched. Eventually, some of them even flew out to join the fighting. Before long, divine abilities and magical techniques were flying here and there, causing dazzling light to shine everywhere.
Even the people who had congregated near the exit were now hesitating. After exchanging glances, many of them flew out, defiantly choosing to change their mind and take advantage of the opportunity which had presented itself.
Bai Xiaochun noticed what was happening immediately, and his eyes flickered with cold light. Aware that the second prince was not by any means weak, and that his seven statues were incredibly strong, he suddenly put away his spear, ignored the incoming divine abilities, and punched his hand down toward the ground.
The land quaked, and then, Bai Xiaochun softly spoke a word that was protected by the power of his mask!
The entire area filled with water vapor, creating something like a huge swamp. However, the powers of Bai Xiaochun’s mask concealed that fact, and ensured that everyone saw nothing but Bai Xiaochun, and the brutal aura which radiated off of him.
That was when Bai Xiaochun quietly spoke another word.