As soon as the words left his mouth, the shield of light distorted as… an enormous blood-colored heart appeared!
At first glance, it didn’t appear to be illusory at all. Furthermore, it was actually made of 1,000,000 actual human hearts! Those hearts represented 1,000,000 women who had died!
This was the most powerful function of the Li Clan’s spell formation. The instant the gigantic heart appeared, it collapsed, becoming an ink-like cloud of black smoke that spread out in all directions.
It began to corrode everything it touched, even some of the hired soul cultivators. Those who were too slow screamed and were transformed into globs of blood that spattered down on the ground.
Only the members of the Li Clan who cultivated the Heart Of A Woman were unaffected. In fact, expressions of madness could be seen on their faces as they opened their mouths and breathed in the gas, which instantly healed them. Then, they went back to fighting the Corpse Trooper Blood Battalion.
The sight of what was happening with the poison gas caused Bai Xiaochun’s scalp to tingle, and he started to back up. However, that was when Li Tiansheng’s father took advantage of the chaos to take a step forward, becoming something like a bolt of lightning that shot toward Bai Xiaochun.
“Your life is over, Bai Hao!!”
Bai Xiaochun’s pupils constricted as he looked at the incoming Heavenly Marquis Li. Up to this point, he hadn’t participated in any of the fighting, mostly because he wanted to be on guard for something just like this. Therefore, as soon as the heavenly marquis appeared, his cultivation base surged with power.
However, before he could make a move, a sinister voice suddenly rang out into the area.
“So, you’ve finally emerged from your heavenly marquis pagoda! I guess it was worth it for me to hold back until this moment!”
“Hei Ming!!” Heavenly Marquis Li snarled and tried to back up. However, he was too late. The instant he tried to reverse momentum, a huge hand descended from above with incredible speed, crushing through the Li Clan’s defensive spell formation and grabbing Heavenly Marquis Li!
Everyone in the Li Clan began to cry out in alarm, especially Li Tiansheng, who seemed so terrified that he lost all of his will to even move.
At the same time, eyes went wide among the crowd of onlookers, and many of them gasped.
As for Bai Xiaochun, he looked up to see that familiar, black-robed figure up above in the air.
Bai Xiaochun was not very happy about this development, especially considering that he was the inspections commissioner.
“Hey, you black-robed freak,” he shouted, “we're on the same team here, aren't we? It's not very nice to stick around hiding and then jump into things at the last minute! I worked hard to reel in this big fish, and now you’re trying to hook him yourself?! You’re trying to steal my thunder!!”
The black-robed man looked down at Bai Xiaochun for a moment before coolly responding, “He can easily self-detonate when inside the heavenly marquis pagoda. Besides, the Grand Heavenmaster told me to arrest him, and that’s exactly what I'm going to do. As far as stealing your thunder… well, allow me to bestow you with some good fortune.”
With that, he pointed his finger downward, causing a gale force wind to sweep through the Li Clan. Instantly, the previously damaged spell formation completely and utterly shattered!
Popping sounds rang out as numerous cultivators within the clan who had been powering it experienced a backlash, causing blood to spray out of their mouths. At the same time, the toxic gas in the area swirled together into 1,000 separate strands that shot toward one particular corpse trooper who was at the half-deva level. Upon reaching him, the strands of smoke poured into him, a baptism of sorts.
The corpse trooper immediately began to tremble as he absorbed the smoke, and although he appeared to be corroding, that only caused him to absorb the smoke more quickly, until it was rushing into him through his pores.
Then he threw his head back and howled as his cultivation base power skyrocketed. Shockingly… he was now no longer at the half-deva level. He had broken through! His power grew and grew until he was only a hair away from the Deva Realm. The toxic gas provided by the hearts of 1,000,000 women only provided a temporary boost, and didn’t make him a complete deva…
But he could still crush any other half-deva!!
Bai Xiaochun was stunned by what he was seeing. Although the upgrade to the corpse trooper was not permanent, only temporary, it was still a shocking thing.
“What kinds of monsters are these things…?” he thought. What was happening surpassed even what he could imagine, and in truth, the word ‘monster’ really wasn’t sufficient to describe the black-armored corpse troopers.
“There are a total of 100,000 corpse troopers…. In that case, does it really mean… that they could turn into 100,000 devas? Or even 100,000 demigods? How is that even possible…?” It almost seemed like it was some big joke. The power on display that the Wildlands was capable of completely exceeded all imagination.
However, by this point, he also realized that these black-armored corpse troopers must have some sort of big weakness! For example, a lack of resources to power them!
“This is the true reserve power of the imperial court….” Hei Ming said, sounding a bit regretful. “Unfortunately, they have some fatal flaws!” With that, he shook his head and vanished, taking Heavenly Marquis Li with him.
Heart pounding, Bai Xiaochun looked at his two corpse troopers who were now almost on the same level as devas. It didn’t take long before his eyes were shining with delight.
“Who would have ever thought I would end up controlling an army this powerful!?!?” Excited, he threw his head back and laughed uproariously. Then, he sent out a thought that recalled the newly-upgraded deva corpse trooper, who stood at his side like a Dao protector.
Feeling very pleased, and very proud of himself, he looked over at the Li Clan forces and waved his hand, sending his corpse troopers over to crush them. Meanwhile, Li Tiansheng was trembling as he realized what Bai Xiaochun was thinking.
“We’re willing to heed the imperial decree from the inspections commissioner!” he shouted urgently, clasping hands and bowing deeply in fear of displeasing Bai Xiaochun. “Please help us to inspect… all of our treasures….”
The rest of the Li Clan cultivators all looked as pale as death. Their spell formation had been broken, and their heavenly marquis arrested. None of them had any will left to fight. Therefore, it was after only a slight moment of hesitation that they bowed their heads in acknowledgement of Li Tiansheng’s words, and then clasped hands in Bai Xiaochun’s direction.
Bai Xiaochun’s jaw dropped at the sight of so many people all bowing to him. Then he looked over at Li Tiansheng, and was not very pleased. Li Tiansheng had reacted far too quickly to the sudden change. Furthermore, he even went as far as to copy Bai Xiaochun’s earlier words from before the fighting started. The fact that there was an audience to all of this had Bai Xiaochun feeling even more irritated than before.
Snorting, he ignored Li Tiansheng and the rest of the Li Clan cultivators, and immediately set to work with his shakedown. The Li Clan had a heavenly marquis, and profound reserve savings that obviously surpassed the resources of the three great clans from Giant Ghost City. After all, even though those three great clans had deva patriarchs, this was Arch-Emperor City, the seat of power in the Wildlands, and a place where the resources surpassed all other locations.
There were soulhoarding pagodas and countless portions of soul medicine, as well as magical items that formed the reserve power. The sight of it all was quite dazzling to Bai Xiaochun.
There was a 9-meter-long spirit bone which emanated pulses of spiritual energy that closely resembled the spiritjade statue from back in Giant Ghost City.
There were numerous magical items with thirteen or fourteenfold spirit enhancements. There was even a whole collection of Heavenspan River water. And even spirit stones….
It was a vast pile of treasure, almost a mountain. It was in the middle of the shakedown that Zhou Yixing finally arrived, and when he saw the growing pile of treasure, he was stunned. However, as soon as Bai Xiaochun gave the word, he quickly set to work organizing it and packing it away.
The vast amount of wealth that was building up was shocking, but it was what Bai Xiaochun found in the rear courtyard, protected in a restricted area, that caused him to rub his eyes in disbelief.
“Am I seeing things…?” There, right in the middle of the restricted area, protected by multi-layered restrictive spells…. was a flower with seven leaves on it!
“Rainbow Spirit Thistle!!” he murmured, shaken. Rainbow spirit thistle was a type of medicinal ingredient he had read about back in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect. It was the primary ingredient in a type of spirit medicine that could be used to break through from the Nascent Soul stage into the Deva Realm!
It could increase one’s chances of success by thirty percent!!
Although it would only help when aiming for the weakest tier of devas, it would still be helpful. After all, the patriarchs of the Spirit and Blood Stream Divisions back in the River-Defying Sect had gone into secluded meditation to make a breakthrough, but had not succeeded as far as Bai Xiaochun was ever aware. If either of them had possessed a rainbow spirit thistle, though, they would have had a much greater chance of succeeding!
It was a spirit plant that was very rare in the Heavenspan River region, and would lead to bloody conflicts if it appeared. Countless people would fight madly over them, and yet, here was one right in front of Bai Xiaochun.
The Wildlands was not a suitable place to grow spirit plants, and therefore, it was a complete shock to see one here!
Gasping, Bai Xiaochun looked around, and realized that there was something unusual about this rear courtyard.
Clearing his throat, he tried to seem very calm as he said, “What a wonderful flower. Men, come dig it up for me. And do not under any circumstances deliver it to my mansion. I’m going to get very angry at anyone who does that. Even though I very, very, very, very much like to grow flowers, as the inspections commissioner, I definitely could not embezzle things in that way!”