In the instant that Bai Xiaochun’s words left his mouth, the sea of lightning up above suddenly emitted intense rumbling sounds, and then began to rotate at high speed.
At the same time, it started shrinking down. Furthermore, something like a black hole appeared right in the middle of it!
The black hole almost resembled an eye, which was staring down at Bai Xiaochun there in Heavenmaster Hall.
At that point, the fluctuations emanating out went beyond that of the great circle of the Deva Realm!
Clearly, the lightning really was going to bring it on!!
Even the Grand Heavenmaster had a very serious look on his face as he sat there on his throne, frowning slightly.
As for Bai Xiaochun, he looked up at the shrinking lightning, and the black hole, and his heart began to pound with fear.
“Me and my big mouth…. Oh God, I… I didn’t do it on purpose. Please, don’t bring it on. Don’t bring anything on at all….”
He had no idea how previous earthly necromancers had successfully fought back against tribulation lightning like this. As of this moment, he realized that the first bolt was simple, and the second was the type that he could probably defend himself against if he held nothing back. However, the process would have left him very weakened, to the point where the third lightning bolt… would be impossible to fight back against. Even a deva would be struck chill in the heart by the sight of it.
“I screwed up… I really screwed up….” As of this moment, he realized that he really shouldn’t have gone and taunted God. It was really too dangerous…. All of a sudden, he thought back to that time in the Spirit Stream Sect when he had been flying along on a sword and been struck by lightning.
Everyone else in the hall was gasping, and had strange expressions on their faces. As far as they were concerned, Bai Xiaochun really did have a big mouth. Just when the tribulation was about to vanish, he actually invited it to strike again.
Many of the heavenly marquises were feeling quite pleased. However, Chen Haosong and the heavenly dukes were shaken, even more so than when Bai Xiaochun had initially conjured the eighteen-colored flame.
“How is this even possible!?!?”
“He says one thing… and the heavenly tribulation came back for him? What… what kind of heavenly tribulation is this? It’s like it’s playing games!?!!”
“This Bai Hao… has some other secrets. Incredible, unfathomable secrets! Something strange is going on….”
Even as the heavenly dukes pondered the matter, the sea of lightning up above shrank down into the black hole area. Then, to Bai Xiaochun's shock and terror… a violet-gold lightning bolt appeared!
It wasn’t as large as the other two lightning bolts, and looked ordinary in nature. And yet, as soon as the soul cultivators of Arch-Emperor City laid eyes on it, their minds began to spin.
The heavenly marquises all gasped, and even the heavenly dukes’ faces flickered!
“Demigod-level lightning tribulation!!” The Grand Heavenmaster was the one to speak the words. Then he shot to his feet, vanishing to reappear outside of Heavenmaster Hall.
In that same moment, the golden dragon which had fled off into the distance let out a roar as it became a golden beam of light that shot toward the Grand Heavenmaster. As it neared, it shrank down, transforming into a golden trident which the Grand Heavenmaster grabbed.
Even as those things happened, the violet-gold lightning bolt from up above began to shoot toward Heavenmaster Hall!
As it did, deafening rumbling sounds echoed out, and the air around the lightning bolt was destroyed!
The Grand Heavenmaster’s eyes narrowed. Hefting the golden trident, he blurred into motion, heading directly toward the lightning bolt!
A sonic boom rolled out in all directions. At the same time, the image of an enormous, illusory trident appeared behind the Grand Heavenmaster. Fully 30,000-meters tall, it seemed large enough to fill all creation as it slammed into the violet-gold lightning bolt.
Arch-Emperor City was shaken by intense rumbling sounds as the violet-gold lightning bolt began to shatter bit by bit. Before long, it was gone, and the Grand Heavenmaster remained there, not having been injured in the least bit!
However, as the lightning bolt dissipated, it created a massive tempest that blasted out in all directions.
At this point, the ten heavenly dukes, despite not wanting to help, realized that they had no choice. They all vanished, to reappear in various locations around Heavenmaster Hall. There, they performed double-handed incantation gestures, and then unleashed vicious attacks to neutralize the blast of wind!
As of this point, not a bit of lightning could be seen in the sky. Everything had gone back to normal….
Back in Heavenmaster Hall, Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath, and didn’t dare to again provoke God in any fashion. He simply watched as the Grand Heavenmaster and the ten heavenly dukes returned.
Bai Xiaochun rushed forward, clasped hands and bowed deeply. “Many thanks, Grand Heavenmaster. You are truly mighty and grand!”
At this point, he pondered whether or not he should go into a bit more flattery, but the Grand Heavenmaster waved his hand to stop him.
“Congratulations on reaching the earthly rank, Grandmaster Bai,” he said, a politeness in his tone that hadn’t been present before. “As of this point, the position of inspections commissioner doesn’t befit you anymore. It would be much better for you to go practice cultivation in one of the Arch-Emperor Dynasty’s five restricted areas, all of which would be ideal locations for you to seek further enlightenment.
“Grandmaster Bai, I think it would be wonderful for you to go the Underworld River Restricted Area. Don’t you agree?”
Bai Xiaochun was now an earthly necromancer, and although he would not be put to death because of what happened with Zhou Wudao, he would still have to provide some sort of compensation.
There was no death penalty for earthly necromancers, and it truly didn’t make sense for him to remain as the inspections commissioner. Sending him to the Underworld River Restricted Area would solve the problem of so many people being angry with him, and would also get him out of a major vortex of intrigue.
However, the Grand Heavenmaster was worried that Bai Xiaochun might not view this as an expression of goodwill. Leaving the aristocracy completely out of the loop, he transmitted a message directly to Bai Xiaochun.
“Bai Hao, I have a personal division of troops in the Underworld River Restricted Area, 3,000 men in total. I’ll give you command of them. Lay low for a bit until I call on you. After all the arrangements are made, you can return.”
Bai Xiaochun blinked a few times in displeasure. It didn’t seem right that he should be made to leave right after becoming an earthly necromancer and achieving new heights of glory.
However, what the Grand Heavenmaster said made sense. Furthermore, he had already used up his secret weapon. And as the ancient saying went, it is easy to dodge the spear in the open, but hard to avoid a stab in the dark. He couldn't constantly be on guard against every possible conspiracy.
Although leaving Arch-Emperor City would cause him to lose out on a bit of glory, it was definitely the best option.
Having reached this point in his train of thought, Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath, clasped hands and bowed to the Grand Heavenmaster.
“I will follow any arrangement you wish, Grand Heavenmaster!”
The Grand Heavenmaster smiled and then looked over at the heavenly dukes and marquises.
“What do you think?” he asked them.
As for Chen Haosong and the heavenly dukes, although they were sighing inwardly, none of them hesitated for even a moment to clasp hands and say, “We will follow any arrangement you wish, Grand Heavenmaster!”
Considering that the heavenly dukes had already agreed, there was no way the heavenly marquises could dare to voice any displeasure. Bowing their heads, they agreed.
As of this point, the conspiracy to have Bai Xiaochun killed had been completely defeated. As everyone left Heavenmaster Hall, Bai Xiaochun looked up into the sky and felt freer than ever.
Not only had he won a victory, he had done so in spectacularly beautiful fashion!
He had entered Heavenmaster Hall as the inspections commissioner, a person feared by countless individuals, and had left it as an earthly necromancer, someone that everyone in the Wildlands would support with wild enthusiasm!
“Hmmmphh! The Grand Heavenmaster called me a grandmaster…. Looks like we’re both fellow masters!” More pleased than ever, he began to walk away. However, it was at this point that he remembered something, and looked back to see Zhao Xionglin, still in Heavenmaster Hall, clearly trying to hide from him. Clearing his throat, Bai Xiaochun… decided to stay right where he was, blocking the doorway.
1. To forestall any questions in the comments section, I would like to point out that Bai Xiaochun uses a word that rarely comes up in Er Gen’s works. In addition to “God,” it could also be translated as “heavens” or “nature,” but specifically seems like a term referring to a person in Chinese, which is why I went with “God”. It’s intended to be a colloquial expression, and is not supposed to reflect the nature of the world/universe AWE takes place in
2. BXC was struck by lightning in the last couple lines of . goes on to describe the results.