Back on the battlefield in the Wildlands, the Grand Heavenmaster and the other powerful experts stood there with very serious expressions on their faces. Bai Xiaochun’s mind was still reeling from the sight of that huge vine. However, the northern part of the Great Wall was too far away, so he hadn’t been able to see how the vine defeated the Celestial.
However, the Celestial’s enraged voice had echoed out to fill the Wildlands, and therefore, everyone back on the battlefield had gasped and looked over at the gravekeeper.
Bai Xiaochun had known before that the gravekeeper was powerful. But to see it with his own eyes was a different thing. Now, he truly knew that the gravekeeper’s battle prowess was at an unimaginable level!
“That girl joined forces with the Celestial… but in the end, they were both injured and forced to flee….” Suddenly, Bai Xiaochun swallowed hard. He wished he could run over and grab onto the gravekeeper’s leg. After all, his identity had been revealed to everyone.
After thinking about everything he had done in the Wildlands, his heart began to pound with anxiety. His actions as Bai Hao had caused countless people to hate him, and now that they knew he was the notorious fugitive Bai Xiaochun, there would be no shortage of people who wanted to kill him even more than before. In fact, if they lined up and took turns, it would probably take over a hundred years to get through them all….
“The only person who can save me is Great-Grandpa Gravekeeper…. I have to think of a way to get him to pay attention to me….” Muttering to himself, he took advantage of the fact that nobody was paying attention to him to start inching toward the gravekeeper.
Everyone else was still stunned from the shocking battle they had just witnessed. As for the gravekeeper, he sighed and declined to pursue the Celestial. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to; he simply couldn’t. If possible, he wished to avoid that level of conflict with the Celestial right now!
The truth was that he actually didn’t have very much time left….
He had been very reluctant to use that divine ability of his which inflicted eternal injuries onto the world itself. There were now five gaping wounds up in the sky.
And on the ground, there was a huge mountain, a river of blood, a golden cauldron… and a sun!
All of them were eternal objects. And of course, the gravekeeper knew that it was just as the Celestial had said; he couldn't use that divine ability again.
The five elements of metal, wood, water, fire, earth, which were closely connected to the five yin organs, were unique, but were also classified as a trump card even for the gravekeeper.
“What a pity that I only managed to hit that blood-hair,” he murmured to himself, “and didn’t manage to kill him completely….” He looked much older than he had earlier, and his aura was clearly fading away in a way that could not be replenished.
The Celestial had laid a trap for him, and he had turned that trap around into a deadly ambush!
But in the end, neither of them had completely succeeded in their aims.
The fact that the little girl had escaped wasn’t very important to him, and in fact, he had let her go. He knew exactly where she came from, and it was actually a safety precaution to refrain from killing her. Besides, he had another goal in mind, and knew that he could get her to unwittingly help him.
The main thing he cared about was the Celestial!
Even as the gravekeeper sighed and contemplated these things, the cold voice of a woman suddenly echoed out, breaking the silence.
“You think you can get away, Bai Xiaochun!?!?” It was none other than Mistress Red-Dust, who had finally awoken from her reverie. When she looked over and saw Bai Xiaochun slinking away from her, she thought back to their encounter back in the labyrinth, and immediately grew angry.
Her shout caused everyone else to come to their senses, and all of them turned to look over at Mistress Red-Dust and Bai Xiaochun. A strange expression could be seen on the Giant Ghost King’s face. A glimmer passed through the Grand Heavenmaster’s eyes, and he looked over at the gravekeeper. As for the War Champion King and the Nine Serenities King, they both wore frowns on their faces. The only person who was smiling was the Spirit Advent King, and it seemed like a genuine, jovial smile.
Chen Haosong and the other heavenly dukes had unsightly expressions on their faces. Back during the shocking battle which had just played out, they had not been able to spare any attention for Bai Xiaochun. But now that the fighting was over, they thought back to how he had been using the name Bai Hao, and how he had wreaked bloody havoc all through the Wildlands. That caused gleams of ill intent to appear in their eyes.
Terror gripped Bai Xiaochun’s heart, and his expression flickered. Rushing backward a few paces, he cried out loudly, “Everybody calm down! I can explain!”
The demigods didn’t move, nor did the heavenly dukes. However, the rage on Mistress Red-Dust’s face couldn’t have been more dramatic. When she thought back to what he had done to her in the labyrinth, and how he was now her fiancé, it made her so angry that she couldn’t hold back from racing directly toward him.
“You owe me an explanation, Bai Xiaochun!!” she screamed.
“Zimo, you… I saved your life! I’m your greatest benefactor!!” Anxiety mounting by the moment, he backed up even faster.
Turning to the Giant Ghost King, he shouted, “Father-in-law, save me!!”
His words caused even more strange expressions to appear on the faces of the demigods. The Giant Ghost King cleared his throat in embarrassment and pretended he hadn’t heard. However, Mistress Red-Dust’s rage increased.
“Shut up!!” she shot back, accelerating as she headed toward Bai Xiaochun. Wracked with nervousness, Bai Xiaochun turned and started running in the direction of the gravekeeper.
“Master, save me!!”
When he said the word Master, the Grand Heavenmaster gasped, and the Giant Ghost King’s jaw dropped. The expressions of the Nine Serenities King, War Champion King, and Spirit Advent King all flickered, and the hearts of Chen Haosong and the heavenly dukes began to pound.
Even Mistress Red-Dust was caught off-guard, and lurched to a stop. Eyes wide, she watched Bai Xiaochun hurry over to the gravekeeper and then offer him formal greetings the way an apprentice would to a Master.
The gravekeeper wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. He looked at Bai Xiaochun staring at him in melodramatic fashion, and couldn’t help but shake his head. Waving his sleeve, he declined to say anything, and simply vanished, taking Bai Xiaochun along with him.
The Grand Heavenmaster and everyone else stared at the spot the gravekeeper had just disappeared from, their hearts shaking with shock. The fact that Bai Xiaochun had used the word Master left them deeply and profoundly shocked.
Chen Haosong suddenly felt profoundly nervous, and dispelled any thoughts of causing problems for Bai Xiaochun in the future. Although the gravekeeper hadn’t admitted the truth with words, the fact that he had taken Bai Xiaochun away with him explained everything.
Of course, the Grand Heavenmaster had long since come to the realization that the gravekeeper had taken an interest in Bai Xiaochun. After a short moment of silence, he transmitted messages to the four heavenly kings. Out of respect for the Hell-Emperor, they all agreed to keep the matter of Bai Xiaochun’s identity a secret!
The only news which would be allowed to spread was that the little girl had been impersonating Bai Xiaochun. His true identity would not be revealed.
After making the agreement formal, everyone departed. The battle which had just been fought had been too sudden, and too important. Troops needed to be deployed. After all, the fact that the Great Wall had fallen… meant that big changes were coming.
The last to leave were the Giant Ghost King and Mistress Red-Dust. Mixed emotions could be seen on the Giant Ghost King’s face as he turned to his stunned daughter. He sighed.
“Mo'er, I didn’t think things through carefully enough. About the marriage agreement… let’s just cancel it, alright?”
Mistress Red-Dust stood there quietly, looking off into space. She didn’t say anything. Her mind was filled with an image of Bai Xiaochun pulling her to safety in a moment of deadly crisis. Instead of just fleeing on his own, he had taken it upon himself to protect her….
Eventually, everyone was gone, and silence filled the lands. However, the five wounds in the sky were still there, and the vast gulches which had been hewn in the lands during the course of the fighting remained. The evidence of the world-shaking battle was still there.
Back in the Underworld River Restricted Area, two figures stepped out of thin air onto the bank of the river. They were none other than the gravekeeper and Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun was feeling as nervous as ever. He knew that the matter of his identity had been declared a secret, and at the moment, he was clasping hands in formal and very polite fashion to the gravekeeper.
“Great-Grandpa Gravekeeper…. Um… it’s not that I wanted to trick everyone. You understand, right, sir? I, Bai Xiaochun, am a very kind-hearted person! I don’t like causing problems! I'm very well-behaved. I just want to get back to the River-Defying Sect. They're the ones who all want to kill me. I disguised myself to try to be able to get home safely. Proclamation of Universal Grace? Inspections commissioner? Shakedowns? I never meant to do any of those things. Ai. Sometimes in life, you just have to make some compromises!” As he spoke, he kept his eye on the gravekeeper to try to assess his attitude. However, the more he went along, the more he really felt like he had the short end of the stick. He had just been going with the flow, which ended up forcing him to do a lot of things he didn’t really want to do.
No expression could be seen on the gravekeeper’s face as he listened to Bai Xiaochun. Finally, he waved his hand, summoning a black command medallion that he tossed toward Bai Xiaochun.
“The Celestial used Heavenspan Sea water to create a barrier where the four sections of the Great Wall once stood. No one will be able to get through that barrier any time soon. I am unable to leave the Wildlands, so I can’t escort you home. If you really want to get back to the River-Defying Sect, you’ll need to go through the Deadmire. And the only way you’ll get through it safely is with this command medallion.”