The blood-hair was slowly transforming into ash, and Bai Xiaochun was completely wrapped up in his cultivation. As such, he didn’t even know how much time was passing. By the time he reached the seventh stratum of the Undying Bones, half a month had gone by.
There was simply too much life force within that lock of blood-hair, and as it poured into Bai Xiaochun, he continued to advance through the levels of the Undying Codex.
In fact, by the time he reached the peak of the Undying Bones, there would still be life force left over, which he could then use as fuel for his future Undying Blood!
Meanwhile, word was spreading through the lands about how the Celestial, along with an imposter Bai Xiaochun, had fought with the Hell-Emperor. The news spread like wildfire, and was the subject of discussion among soul cultivators, necromancers, and savage tribes alike.
It was a monumental event, and anyone who heard about it for the first time would gasp in response.
Although not everyone in the Wildlands and the Arch-Emperor Dynasty knew who the Celestial was, many did. He was widely understood to be the emperor ruling in the Heavenspan River region, someone similar in status to the Arch-Emperor Dynasty, with a cultivation base that surpassed the Demigod Realm.
He was the reason that, years ago, the Arch-Emperor Dynasty had relocated to the Wildlands. Despite how many years had passed since then, the two sides of the conflict had continued to fight.
The endless sieges of the Great Wall had created seas of blood, as well as constant enmity. Although the conflict hadn’t reached the point where no resolution was possible, it was nearly at that point.
The common people of the Arch-Emperor Dynasty yearned to fight their way back into the Heavenspan River region and reestablish the glory of their dynasty. And now… the emperor of that Heavenspan River region had joined forces with a ghost to fight the Hell-Emperor. It was truly a shocking matter.
Even more astonishing was how the ghostess who had impersonated Bai Xiaochun ended up being seriously injured, and fleeing. The Celestial was also hurt. It was a matter of great excitement to the Wildlanders, and caused their morale to soar.
The fact that the four sections of the Great Wall had collapsed caused countless people in the Wildlands to be filled with the urge to charge forth in battle! In fact, many suggestions and proposals were made to that effect.
But the Grand Heavenmaster was a wise person, and knew that a world war like that would be very costly. Besides, upon making his escape, the Celestial had placed temporary defensive measure in the place of the collapsed Great Wall.
Those defenses… could not be broken through!
However, that didn’t hold the Grand Heavenmaster back from taking advantage of the opportunity to begin preparing for war!
It would be a war in which even the common people fought. Furthermore, it gave the Grand Heavenmaster a further reason to continue the enforcement of the Proclamation of Universal Grace. That made him more popular than ever among the people. In a rare turn of events, the four heavenly kings supported him. The truth was that the coming war would be vastly important. And one of the main things on the minds of the Giant Ghost King and other demigods was that they knew very well who the current Hell-Emperor was… but weren’t sure about who the next one would be….
Because of the support offered by the four heavenly kings, the entire Wildlands was shaken, and everyone thirsted to do battle.
It was at around this time that a third bit of news began to make the rounds. It was hard to say where it started, but the nature of the news was even more shocking than the first two. Whether it was in Arch-Emperor City, the four kingly cities, or in the various clans and tribes, soon, everyone was talking about it.
The news pertained to Bai Xiaochun. Supposedly, he had another identity in the Wildlands, and although no one knew the exact details, they were sure that it was a position of incredible power and authority!
“If that ghostess who fought the exalted Hell-Emperor was impersonating Bai Xiaochun, then… where has the real Bai Xiaochun been hiding all these years?”
“Hey, that’s right! Bai Xiaochun must have been in hiding somewhere here in the Wildlands! But who exactly is he disguised as!?”
As this news spread, people began to speculate about the matter, and before long, people were saying that Bai Xiaochun… was actually the former inspections commissioner of Arch-Emperor City, the earthly necromancer Bai Hao!
It was a shocking concept that shook the whole Wildlands. Heavenly marquis clans, heavenly duke clans, and the countless other people who had formed grudges with Bai Xiaochun over the years, especially the direct bloodline successors and the chosen, almost couldn’t believe what they were hearing. However, they were also elated. As far as they were concerned, whether Bai Hao really was Bai Xiaochun or not, it gave them the perfect chance to kill him. Even being an earthy necromancer wouldn’t keep him safe!
“Hahaha!! I knew that Bai Xiaochun was up to no good. He impersonated Bai Hao! How evil-minded and devious!”
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re really Bai Hao, or Bai Xiaochun! I refuse to exist under the same sky as you! I’ll never forget the humiliation of that Aphrodisiac Pill!!”
“Kill Bai Hao!!” The direct bloodline successors were particularly riled up, and immediately began searching high and low for Bai Xiaochun.
The marquises such as Zhao Xionglin and Liu Yong were particularly excited, especially Zhao Xionglin. After he heard the news, he laughed so loud that it filled the entire Zhao Clan mansion.
As for the people who had developed close relationships with Bai Xiaochun over the years, they were simply stunned. That was especially true of many people in Giant Ghost City.
The Spirit Advent King’s daughter Xu Shan was completely flabbergasted.
As for Zhou Yixing, he had long since gone into hiding, his heart filled with bitterness. He took Song Que with him. When Song Que heard the speculation that Bai Xiaochun was Bai Hao, he felt completely and utterly thunderstruck!
However, many people noticed that neither the Grand Heavenmaster, nor the four heavenly kings, nor the ten heavenly dukes would say a single word about the matter of Bai Xiaochun.
Before long, the heavenly marquises mysteriously stopped talking about the matter, and they even restricted their clan members from discussing it. Zhao Xionglin appeared to be frightened by something, and unhesitatingly went into secluded meditation.
As these two wild situations regarding Bai Xiaochun’s identity appeared, a fourth bit of news spread, news that surpassed everything else and shook the Wildlands to the core!
In fact, it was something that struck every Wildlander deep in the soul!
“The Hell-Emperor picked Bai Hao… to be his successor!!”
“Bai Hao isn’t Bai Xiaochun. He’s the next Hell-Emperor!!”
This news was like an invisible slap to the face to countless individuals in the Wildlands who had longed to kill Bai Hao. They felt the world spinning around them as they realized that they would never again be able to give voice to any thoughts about killing Bai Hao.
“Heavens! He’s the next Hell-Emperor! This… this means that no one in the Wildlands will ever dare to offend him!”
“Dammit! Why does it have to be this way!? The Bai Clan from Giant Ghost City wanted to kill him, but in the critical moment, the Giant Ghost King protected him! The chosen of Arch-Emperor City wanted to kill him, but in the critical moment, the Grand Heavenmaster saved him!”
“Then he committed the grave offense of killing a heavenly marquis, and all of the aristocracy in the entire dynasty teamed up against him. But then, his status as an earthly necromancer saved him. Now… when his identity was brought into question, and everyone wanted to kill him… Fudge! I can’t believe he's going to be the next Hell-Emperor!!” Everyone who had grudges with Bai Xiaochun harbored similar thoughts upon hearing the news.
Whether it was Zhou Hong, Little Wolfgod, Zhao Xionglin, or others, they were struck mute with fear, and could do little more than wail inwardly in grief.
Furthermore, they couldn’t stop from wondering what would happen now that someone like him, someone who had caused trouble wherever he went, now had such a position of authority….
Bai Xiaochun had rocked the Wildlands and established a legend…. In fact, many people now viewed Bai Xiaochun as so fantastic… that he was like a god!!
Of course, Zhou Yixing was beyond delighted. Song Que breathed a sigh of relief, and was very glad that everyone had been wrong in their speculations. Clearly, it had been the right decision after all to follow Bai Hao. He was going to be the next Hell-Emperor!
“Hmph!" Song Que said arrogantly in his heart. "How could Bai Xiaochun possibly be Bai Hao? He doesn’t even qualify to polish his shoes!”