After speaking those words, Bai Xiaochun looked up, and an energy erupted out in all directions, sending his hair whipping about. Although no one could see it, a watery swamp now filled the entire 500-kilometer area around them. Simultaneously, numerous spikes appeared, rising up and then curling around themselves as a gigantic beast claw appeared!
Heaven and earth seemed to teeter on the verge of complete collapse. The two golden dragons let out miserable shrieks as they slammed into the claw. To the claw, it was as if they were tiny bugs that were instantly crushed out of existence. Blood sprayed out of the mouth of the second prince as he was sent flying backward. As for the other chosen who had been charging into battle, their faces fell, and they also began to cough up blood. It was almost as if a mountain had slammed into them, sending them tumbling backward.
Further off in the distance, the dozen or so chosen who had previously given up, but had changed their minds and begun flying toward the fighting, now stopped in midair, looks of blank shock on their faces.
That was the only possible reaction. A moment before, Bai Xiaochun and the second prince had been evenly matched, but in the blink of an eye, the second prince was grievously injured, and everyone else was sent spinning off to the side. A single attack left everyone gasping in shock.
Those chosen who had begun to fly over from the mouth of the kettle were left hanging in midair, jaws agape, eyelids twitching, their hearts filled with intense regret. As of this moment, they could neither advance nor retreat. They exchanged dismayed glances, and then suddenly scattered. They did not head toward the Ghost King Orchid, nor toward the mouth of the Necromancer Kettle. In their fear, they hoped to go hide alone somewhere in the world around them. It was a large place, after all, and even if Bai Xiaochun searched high and low, he couldn't find all of them.
Bai Xiaochun ignored them. At the moment, his heart was pounding with excitement. This was his first time using his Waterswamp Kingdom after breaking through to the Nascent Soul stage. The entire claw of the beast beneath could fit through the 500-kilometer area it could now open up, which had been shocking to behold.
“So strong…. Not even my Undying Emperor’s Fist measures up….” Swallowing hard, he contemplated how that fact must have something to do with his Heaven-Dao Nascent Soul. Yet again, he sighed inwardly, convinced that everything he had done to reach the Heaven-Dao Nascent Soul stage had been worth it.
He also had the lingering feeling that the clawed hand he had just seen was actually not the complete hand…. He was fairly certain it had only been a portion of the whole.
“My life essence spirit….” he murmured, eyes glittering. Then he burst into motion, capturing all of the chosen who had just been injured by his Waterswamp Kingdom, sealing them, and tossing them into his bag of holding. As for the second prince, he tried to interject and say something, but Bai Xiaochun wasn’t in the mood, and quickly sealed and captured him.
Having accomplished these things, Bai Xiaochun looked at the only two people left in the area. One was Gongsun Yi, who sat there cross-legged, meditating. He hadn't opened his eyes the entire time, not even when Bai Xiaochun delivered the astonishing blow to all the chosen just now. There was an energy building up in Gongsun Yi; from the look of things, when he finally did open his eyes, he would be powered up to a level that he had never yet reached in his life up to this moment.
Bai Xiaochun looked at him briefly, and could tell that there was something odd going on. Then he turned to look at the second person who remained behind, who was… Chen Manyao.
Chen Manyao stood there, her brow furrowed as she looked back at him. Bai Xiaochun couldn’t tell whether or not she recognized him, and that realization made him very nervous. However, he didn’t let such feelings show on his face. Trying to look just as icy as ever, he coolly said, “You haven’t attacked me this entire time. Therefore, I won’t cause any problems for you. Why don’t you leave?”
His words were uttered with profound aloofness and pride, and after speaking them, he turned and headed toward Gongsun Yi. Of course, secretly, he kept his eye on Chen Manyao to gauge her reaction.
Gongsun Yi’s eyelids flickered. Apparently, he was taking advantage of the pressure weighing down from Bai Xiaochun to further temper his own desire to do battle.
When Bai Xiaochun was only about 300 meters away from Gongsun Yi, Chen Manyao’s eyes glittered, and she unexpectedly performed an incantation gesture with her right hand. Snowflakes sprang out around her, swirling together to form a mirror made of ice, which she pointed at Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun’s expression flickered, and he immediately shot backward. As he did, light from the mirror landed in the spot he had just occupied, causing cracking sounds to fill the air as it was turned into ice.
At the same time, frigid qi swirled about everywhere. To Bai Xiaochun’s shock, that frigid qi was stimulating the magic of his frigid domain, to the point where it seemed like it might leap out into the open beyond his control. Thankfully, a mere thought on his part sent his cultivation base rotating to suppress the frigid domain. Afterward, he turned to look at Chen Manyao, his heart filled with mixed emotions, but his eyes showing only anger.
“What do you think you’re doing?!” he said. Ignoring him, Chen Manyao performed an incantation gesture and pointed out, causing the freezing ice to become the opposite of what it had been moments ago. Now it was a sea of flames! Instantly, the flames bore down on Bai Xiaochun as if to consume him. From what he could tell, this was all a test to see if he had the power of a frigid domain!
These flames were designed to cause a cultivator to react on an instinctive level. Someone who had cultivated with frigid qi for long periods of time, but then unexpectedly encountered a fire-type power, would definitely reveal some weaknesses.
Beads of sweat popped out on Bai Xiaochun’s forehead; the purpose of this probing attack was obvious, and he knew that if things kept going on the way they were, then it was definitely possible that he might reveal something. There was no time to think about the matter at the moment, so he blurred into motion, appearing right in front of Chen Manyao.
“Are you looking to die?!” he said, a vicious expression on his face. The rumbling sounds echoed out as he unleashed a fist strike. However, instead of dodging or defending, a strange look appeared on her face, and she simply remained in place, looking Bai Xiaochun in the eye, apparently waiting for his fist to strike her.
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes went wide. If his strike landed on her, and she didn’t resist, then she would die, or at the very least, be seriously injured. Before he could even think about the situation, he aborted his fist strike. At that point, a faint smile could be seen in Chen Manyao’s eyes… and Bai Xiaochun realized that he had been fooled. Chen Manyao had taken a gamble by putting herself up as bait….
“Very crafty!” he thought, wanting to cry but finding no tears to do so. As the saying goes, it does no good to mend the pen after the sheep are lost. And yet, Bai Xiaochun continued with his attack. Although he didn’t strike with a fist, he did strike her with his palm, instantly sealing her. Before she could say anything, he grabbed her and threw her into his bag of holding, averting his eyes so he couldn’t see the expression on her face….
“What was that all about…?” he thought. By now, he was almost completely convinced that Chen Manyao had guessed who he was. However, he couldn't for the life of him think of how she had done it. After all, his disguise was perfect!
He was of a mind to ask directly, but at the moment, didn’t dare to face her, for fear of revealing more secrets.
Sighing and shaking his head, he looked over at the final person remaining, Gongsun Yi. As soon as he did, Gongsun Yi’s eyelids flickered even more dramatically than before.
“Well isn’t this amusing,” Bai Xiaochun thought. “He’s using the pressure emanating from me as a sort of grindstone to polish his battle spirit…. But what's the point?” Snorting coldly, and feeling very irritated that Chen Manyao probably had figured out his secret identity, he simply charged toward Gongsun Yi.
He still remembered how it was a huge sealing net thrown out by Gongsun Yi that had entrapped him early on, and ended up allowing countless chosen to hit him with divine abilities. Just thinking about that moment of crisis got Bai Xiaochun feeling irritated.
When he was roughly 30 meters away, Gongsun Yi’s eyes snapped open, revealing brightness like that of twin suns. At this point, his battle spirit was at its peak, and it was with explosive speed that he shot forward.
“Bai Hao!!” he roared, instantly summoning 100,000 magical symbols, which swirled around him, casting golden light everywhere, making it seem like he was surrounded by a golden hurricane.
Rumbling sounds filled the air, and blinding light spread out in all directions. In the face of the golden light, Bai Xiaochun seemed like a dandelion that could be crushed in an instant. The magical symbols quickly turned into razor-sharp blades that slashed toward him through the air.