Zhao Xionglin was feeling so frustrated it was a torment. And when he realized that Bai Xiaochun was blocking the way out, his heart swelled with curses, and his face began to turn a reddish-purple color. Obviously, neither staying nor leaving was a viable option….
Eventually, the Grand Heavenmaster got tired of the situation. Waving his sleeve, he sent Zhao Xionglin flying out of Heavenmaster Hall, and the imperial palace in general.
Bai Xiaochun grumbled to himself about that, and then strutted out the door. However, he had already decided that he wouldn’t let Zhao Xionglin off the hook so easily.
“And then there’s that guy Liu Yong. Just wait till I catch up with him!” Snorting, he hurried away.
When Zhao Xionglin appeared outside of the imperial palace, he was very moved that he had been spared at the last moment. Employing the greatest speed he could, he hurried toward his clan, stewing in more frustration than he had ever felt in his entire life. The thought of how he had loudly declared in front of all of the aristocracy that he would kowtow to Bai Hao if he conjured an eighteen-colored flame was like a slap in his face.
By the time Zhao Xionglin got back to his clan, word of Bai Xiaochun becoming an earthly necromancer was already beginning to spread through Arch-Emperor City.
In the briefest of moments, everyone was talking about it!
“We finally have a fourth earthly necromancer in the Wildlands!!”
“A fourth! Even back in the golden age, we only had five!”
“Bai Hao. Grandmaster Bai. Even back when he conjured that faint tongue of eighteen-colored flame, it was obvious that he would eventually reach the earthly rank!”
It wasn’t just Arch-Emperor City that was shaken. All of the Wildlands was in a huge stir as the news spread. That was especially true of the necromancers. Virtually all of the necromancer clans began to do everything in their power to try to reach out to the new earthly necromancer and establish relations.
News even reached the Heavenspan River region, and left many people stunned. The four great riversource sects all placed the name Bai Hao onto their Execution List!
The reward for his head was incredible. After all… he was now one of only four earthly necromancers in existence. To the four riversource sects, the fact that someone so young had reached such heights ensured that they all felt the need to see him dead!
Unfortunately, he was too far away for any of them to do anything about it other than sigh regretfully.
If people in the Heavenspan River region got wind of the news, there was no need to even mention Zhou Yixing’s clan. Although they were located far, far away from Arch-Emperor City, when they heard about the matter, and learned that Zhou Yixing was one of this Bai Hao’s followers, they were ecstatic. In fact, the clan chief issued immediate orders promoting Zhou Yixing to the position of crown prince!
The clan elders agreed with his decision, and it didn’t matter how disgruntled Zhou Yixing’s clan siblings were. In the world of necromancers, being the subordinate of an earthly necromancer was a very important thing.
Furthermore, with Bai Xiaochun’s help, Zhou Yixing’s necromancy had advanced by leaps and bounds; he was now just a hair away from the celestial rank himself.
Of course, the Proclamation of Universal Grace had not been rescinded. However, Zhou Yixing had enough power to ensure that there was no fighting or backlash from his relatives in the clan. After all… everyone in the Wildlands also knew that this Bai Hao was the one behind the Proclamation of Universal Grace.
Zhou Yixing didn’t just rise to prominence in his clan. Wherever he went in Arch-Emperor City, people would clasp hands in greeting, leaving him feeling very pleased. By now, he was absolutely, positively convinced that his original decision to side with Bai Xiaochun had been the best one!
If Zhou Yixing was reveling in glory, then there was no need to even mention Bai Xiaochun. Although he was supposed to be heading to the Underworld River Restricted Area, he delayed and delayed, giving him plenty of time to stroll through the city and appreciate the worshipful gazes people cast in his direction. Furthermore, he would constantly be swamped by visiting necromancers, who showered him with congratulatory gifts. All in all, Bai Xiaochun felt wonderful about how everything was going.
He also went back to visit the street where his spirit enhancement shop had been located, where he received loads of adoration and worship. Eventually, when he had gone to just about all of the important places in Arch-Emperor City, he thought back to Zhao Xionglin and Liu Yong.
Unfortunately, Liu Yong was very crafty…. Aware that Bai Xiaochun would try to get revenge, he had long since left Arch-Emperor City and enlisted in the army at the Great Wall. Although Bai Xiaochun was a bit surprised by that, he had to admit that it proved Liu Yong to be a very decisive person.
Zhao Xionglin was not as decisive. He merely went into secluded meditation, and assumed that Bai Xiaochun would forget about him. Unfortunately for him, he underestimated Bai Xiaochun’s tenacity. Bai Xiaochun took daily trips to the Zhao Clan, causing problems for everyone, much to the delight of the bastard children.
Considering his new status, he was the center of attention wherever he went. All sorts of rogue cultivators sought to become his followers. Most importantly, news of the altercation between him and the aristocracy right before his rise to the earthly rank began to spread. From that point on, whenever bad things happened in Arch-Emperor City, everyone pointed their fingers accusingly at the nobility and aristocracy!
Also, because he was the subject of wild devotion by all Wildlander necromancers, even heavenly dukes who had problems with Bai Xiaochun were forced to simply endure the situation.
At the moment, he was safer in his position than he ever had been. Therefore, Bai Xiaochun refused to give up on Zhao Xionglin. Unfortunately, the man was like a turtle with his head hidden in his shell; he remained in his heavenly marquis pagoda and wouldn’t come out no matter what Bai Xiaochun said.
Eventually, Bai Xiaochun started to get angry.
“Alright, you coward. Do you really think that Lord Bai will just let you hide away from him?” Bai Xiaochun glared up angrily at the heavenly marquis pagoda, grumbling about how ridiculous Zhao Xionglin was acting. He had clearly lost, and yet continued to act shamelessly.
“If you were a real man you would do like Liu Yong and go hide on the front lines of the war at the Great Wall! That would at least earn you some of my respect. But instead you hide in a wimpy heavenly marquis pagoda! Well, you just wait and see how I get you to come out!” Flicking his sleeve, he went on to visit the other heavenly marquis clans. Whenever he ran into one of the heavenly marquises, he would bluster and brag to the point of inducing nausea. Furthermore, he made a point to hint that as long as Zhao Xionglin didn’t come out and kowtow to him, he would stay in Arch-Emperor City. Gradually, the heavenly marquises began to get extremely frustrated and angry with Zhao Xionglin.
Eventually, after Bai Xiaochun had threatened virtually all of the heavenly marquises, Chen Haosong sighed and sent a message to Zhao Xionglin urging him to just give in. Zhao Xionglin wanted to cry, but no tears would come. Guts twisting with regret, he braced himself and went to find Bai Xiaochun, to whom he kowtowed in dramatic fashion.
Bai Xiaochun was very happy with what he saw. Afterward, he decided to let the other heavenly marquises off the hook. Swishing his sleeve, he took Zhou Yixing with him on his way out of the city. They didn’t go to the teleportation portal, but rather, used Arch-Emperor City’s heavenly airship, accompanied by a contingent of the Grand Heavenmaster’s personal guard, as they headed toward… the Underworld River Restricted Area.
A huge group of necromancers came out to escort Bai Xiaochun away. As for all of the heavenly marquises, they breathed sighs of relief, and hoped that after he left, he would never come back.
Zhao Xionglin had to hold back from breaking out drums and gongs to express his excitement.
There were many varied reactions within Arch-Emperor City. As Bai Xiaochun left, he thought back to everything that had occurred there, looked back at the city, and sighed.
“I shall miss all of you….”
When he came to Arch-Emperor City, he was a nobody from Giant Ghost City. Upon leaving, it would have been difficult for it to be in a grander fashion. He was now the opposite of a nobody, one of the most important people in all the Wildlands.
Many other people in the city were thinking the same thing, and it caused them to sigh.
“He's the kind of person who you might hate, but simply have no choice but to admire!” Chen Haosong said with a sigh.
“He’s the kind of person that only appears every so often in the Arch-Emperor Dynasty. Someone who causes waves wherever he goes, someone who reaches the highest pinnacles, someone who no one dares to trifle with!” All of the heavenly marquises were sighing deeply.
He had kidnapped the heavenly king of Giant Ghost City, and subdued a crowd of chosen in the Necromancer Kettle. He had dueled celestial necromancers, and shaken down the most powerful clans in his time as the inspections commissioner!
He threw all creation into chaos during the ancestral sacrifices, incited the rage of heavenly marquises, made enemies of the entire aristocracy with the Proclamation of Universal Grace, and had become an amazing earthly necromancer!
The stories of those things did not fade away because Bai Xiaochun left Arch-Emperor City. In fact, they continued to be told with even more fervor. As he departed, the Grand Heavenmaster looked at him go and murmured to himself, “I really want to know… why the Hell-Emperor picked him!?”
Standing next to him, Hei Ming murmured, “I have no idea!”