Bai Hao’s plan was so ruthless that Bai Xiaochun was already hesitant to pull it off. However, if he ended up in the right circumstances, it might work. Right now, though, things were too unstable. “We’ll talk about that more later. Right now, the most important thing is for me to do a good job at being the inspections commissioner.”
Looking even more serious, Bai Hao said, “Master, we also need to start making some secret plans to make sure that we don’t get disposed of once our usefulness has passed!”
“Don’t worry,” Bai Xiaochun said. “Your Master has a lot of experience with that kind of thing.”
Then he laughed heartily. If he hadn’t said that, Bai Hao would have felt a lot better, but now, he had a very ill premonition. Whenever his Master felt this confident, bad things always happened. However, he still couldn’t come up with any way to remedy that situation other than to continue to offer advice to Bai Xiaochun.
And thus the night passed without anything strange happening. Bai Xiaochun continued to focus on activating the command medallion and chatting with Bai Hao.
At dawn, he went outside and confirmed that the restrictive spell was still in place, and that he couldn’t leave the Inspections Manor. The only way to do so would be to completely activate the command medallion!
He kept working, and before long, evening fell again, which was when he finally activated the medallion. It had taken twenty-six hours, which was longer than he had originally anticipated.
As soon as the medallion was activated, he sent some divine sense into it, whereupon a sound like heavenly thunder filled his mind. Then, his divine sense merged with the medallion, and… he saw a complete image of the Inspections Manor!
At that point, his eyes went wide, and his entire body thrummed with joy. Despite exerting all of the willpower possible, he couldn’t hold back from gasping and then releasing a shout of surprise.
What he could see in his mind’s eye was a miniature version of the entire Inspections Manor. And from this vantage point, it was possible to see that the entire place was filled with numerous coffins!
In fact, the manor seemed to be built on top of a huge collection of the things. There were fully 100,000 of them, densely packed together into roughly nine levels. Each one of those coffins emanated terrifying fluctuations. The deeper the levels got, the fewer coffins they had, and yet the more terrifying the fluctuations. Bai Xiaochun’s shock mounted as he studied the situation.
The ninth level only had a single coffin, but by means of the command medallion, Bai Xiaochun could tell that it had… the aura of a demigod!!
“Heavens….” Bai Xiaochun murmured, chest heaving as he realized that he must be holding, not just a command medallion, but rather, a magical device that could be used to control these 100,000 coffins!
He actually felt as if he could use a single thought to cause all 100,000 coffins to open up, and then do the same to the eyes of all the corpses that lay therein!
“So, that’s the true Inspections Manor….” Bai Xiaochun thought, stunned. After a long moment, he retracted his divine sense and looked down at the black command medallion. By now, he was convinced that what he held was not the master command medallion. There was no way the Grand Heavenmaster would simply hand over such heaven-shaking, earth-shattering power.
“This must be an auxiliary medallion…. the master medallion is surely in the hands of the Grand Heavenmaster. He is the one who can command the army beneath the Inspections Manor to do anything he wishes!
“However, that doesn’t really affect me. I'm on the Grand Heavenmaster’s team, after all. Even using a bit of this power is good enough!” After getting his breathing under control, he sent some divine sense into the command medallion and focused it on the subterranean coffin nearest him.
As soon as the thought rippled out, the limestone slab nearest the door of the building he was in shattered, and an ancient coffin shot up into the air. It was made of black iron, and as soon as it thudded down onto the ground, the lid was pushed open from within.
An aura of death and rot erupted out, along with… a burly man clad in black armor, wearing a black mask, and pulsing with a murderous aura!
Based on the intensity of the murderous aura, he had killed too many people to count! It immediately caused Bai Xiaochun’s expression to flicker with shock.
As the man slowly looked up, glowing red eyes could be seen behind the mask. He took a step forward toward Bai Xiaochun, the fluctuations of the great circle of the Nascent Soul stage rolling off of him. The black-armored corpse trooper walked up to Bai Xiaochun, then bowed his head and knelt on one knee.
“Greetings, exalted one!” he said in a rumbling voice that contained respect and veneration.
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes sparkled, and Bai Hao’s jaw dropped.
“So, this is the true power hidden within the Inspections Manor!”
Bai Xiaochun poured some more divine sense into the command medallion, and then called out to another of the coffins to awaken.
Before long, the entire Inspections Manor was rumbling as one coffin after another opened up, and more black-armored men flew out. Soon, there were fully a thousand!
The weakest among them were equivalent to the mid Nascent Soul stage, and a few were at the level of half-devas. The murderous aura they emitted affected the wind and clouds, and they were surrounded by the perpetual wailing of ghosts and wolves.
And that was just a small portion of the force hidden beneath the Inspections Manor. Bai Xiaochun wanted to call upon more, but knew that his command medallion was limited in usage, and could only be used to summon 1,000.
Furthermore, he could only call on the coffins in the top seven levels. The eighth level only had ten coffins, all of which had devlevel power. Of course, none of them contained souls; it was only fleshly body power.
“A thousand is good enough!” Bai Xiaochun was by no means disappointed. In fact, he was elated. After looking over the 1,000 black-armored corpse troopers, he threw his head back and laughed heartily. All of a sudden, he felt like he was back on the Great Wall, where the wave of a finger could send an army of thousands into battle.
“If I was in this position back when everyone was coming to cause trouble for me, I wouldn’t have had to do anything. I could have just waved my hand, and all of those chosen would have been crushed!” Bai Xiaochun was feeling very happy and very confident. Also, he was coming to the conclusion that this Grand Heavenmaster was much more reliable than the Giant Ghost King. After all, the rewards the Giant Ghost King gave him were all honorary, whereas the Grand Heavenmaster had given him command of an army.
There was another function to the command medallion other than being able to summon the army of 1,000 troops. It was also filled with reports about all of the aristocracy within the Wildlands, and especially Arch-Emperor City. It was as if hidden eyes were watching everyone at every moment, reporting back all of the events which occurred in their lives, and then storing it in this command medallion. Whoever possessed this command medallion would be privy to countless secrets.
Shocked, Bai Xiaochun immediately began to browse through some of the reports, and soon realized that the reason he had been attacked by the hundreds of chosen was that someone had been propagating false rumors. Those rumors had aroused such anger among the masses that eventually, the chosen decided to simply attack him directly.
In terms of the culprits, Zhou Hong was only one of many. Virtually all of the people Bai Xiaochun had captured in the Necromancer Kettle had played a part. However, there were clues pointing to the people who had truly instigated the matter… two of the imperial princes….
Bai Xiaochun’s anger was beginning to grow. Everything was now starting to become clear. And that was especially true regarding the young man with the feng shui compass who had accompanied Zhou Hong that day. A quick bit of investigating using the command medallion quickly identified him.
He was none other than a vassal of the grand prince!
“Complete and utter bullying!” Bai Xiaochun said through gritted teeth. With that, he pondered the mission the Grand Heavenmaster had given him, and then thought about how all of these aristocrats and nobles had sought to kill him, and his eyes began to shine with cold light.
When Bai Hao realized that his Master was getting angry, he asked what the problem was. Upon hearing the explanation, he quickly advised, “Master, just keep your cool for a bit. If your personal matters cause problems for the Grand Heavenmaster’s main plan, it could--”
“There’s no need to keep my cool,” Bai Xiaochun interrupted with the wave of a hand. “The two issues are one and the same. After all, the Grand Heavenmaster doesn’t know who is truly loyal to the Arch-Emperor, and he didn’t prohibit me from investigating anyone!” He was now in a position of power, backed by the Grand Heavenmaster, and sure that his poor little life would not be in danger. Considering what type of person he was, there was no way that he wouldn’t seek his revenge.
Of course, Bai Xiaochun also knew that, even with the Dharmic decree of the Grand Heavenmaster to back him, and the level of power he wielded, he still had to have evidence on his side if he wanted to act. That way, he wouldn’t stir up any unnecessary trouble.
Evidence like that might be difficult to gather for an ordinary person, but not for Bai Xiaochun. Back when he had been an inquisitor in Devil Penitentiary, he had acquired all sorts of secrets during the interrogations he performed.
“Let’s go,” Bai Xiaochun said proudly. “We’re paying a little visit to the prison!” With that, he and Bai Hao flew up into the air, followed by 1,000 burly men in black armor.
It was evening, but Arch-Emperor City in general was still quite alive, so when Bai Xiaochun appeared on the streets with his army of black-armored corpse-troopers, looking very grand and magnificent, he attracted instant attention. After all, the corpse-troopers radiated murderous auras filled with death, and were sinister to behold.
“Who are those people…? Look at that incredible murderous aura!!”
“Hey, isn’t that Bai Hao? How come all of those black-armored soul cultivators behind him seem so rife with death?!?!” Conversations rippled out in all directions.
Bai Xiaochun was very pleased at being the center of attention like this. With a thousand troops at his command, who would ever dare to provoke him?!