As soon as Bai Xiaochun saw Mistress Red-Dust, his heart began to pound, and he scowled.
Of all the people he feared in the Wildlands, Mistress Red-Dust was at the top of the list. Furthermore, thanks to the Giant Ghost King playing matchmaker between the two of them, things were even more complicated.
At first, he had found the whole thing to be a bit exciting. But after everything that happened with Gongsun Wan’er, and afterward, matters with Mistress Red-Dust came to be a big headache.
He wasn’t even sure how he should act around her. On the one hand, he felt like he should attack her. It wasn’t as if she were a match for him in combat. But on the other hand, he felt like he couldn’t bring himself to do such a thing….
“I'm trying to leave, and Zhou Zimo is actually blocking my path….” His initial reaction was to just flee.
In fact, as soon as that idea popped into his head, he found it impossible to get rid of.
“Que’er, this person isn’t up to any good. She’s probably here to try to capture you. Let’s skirt around her.” With that, he turned and headed off in a different direction.
Inside, Song Que was sneering in ridicule. After all, he knew about some of the things that had gone on between Mistress Red-Dust and Bai Xiaochun. However, he didn’t say anything, and even slowed down a bit. He didn’t want to get involved.
Mistress Red-Dust stood atop the mountain, looking coldly at Bai Xiaochun, complex emotions in her eyes. She wasn’t any more certain of how to view things between herself and Bai Xiaochun than he was. Everything that had gone on had her feeling very confused.
She also knew that she shouldn’t have come here. And yet, here she was. Then, she saw him looking at her with a scowl, and an indescribable fire began to burn inside of her. Moments later, she realized that he wasn’t even going to come talk with her. Instead, he turned and headed in a different direction. Her anger erupted.
“Bai Xiaochun!!” she screamed, her voice echoing like a clap of thunder. In response, Bai Xiaochun shivered and picked up speed. As for Song Que, he backed up.
Mistress Red-Dust became a beam of red light that shot off of the mountain toward Bai Xiaochun, indescribable rage filling her as she whistled through the air. Then she waved her right index finger in Bai Xiaochun’s direction, causing the sky to turn red as her will filled the area, locking everything down.
Bai Xiaochun frowned, but didn't slow down in the slightest. The air around him shattered as the power of a deva descended, and yet, it could do nothing to hinder him!
In the past, it would have required him to rely on some divine abilities to get away. But now, he was in the great circle of the Nascent Soul stage, and was fully capable of fighting someone in the early Deva Realm!
In fact, he could even fight someone in the mid Deva Realm if he used his most powerful divine abilities!
As soon as Bai Xiaochun blasted through the barrier of deva power, Mistress Red-Dust’s eyes shone with cold light, and she performed an incantation gesture, causing the power of her Red Dust Violet Road technique to appear.
It was a consummate divine ability, a giant ghost secret magic that she had previously used to seal Gongsun Wan’er. Instantly, a miniature version of Giant Ghost City appeared around Bai Xiaochun, stifling his aura and preparing to seal him.
Bai Xiaochun’s face fell. He knew that this magical technique was a trump card of Mistress Red-Dust’s, and that it required a significant wastage of longevity. It was a hexing magic that most ordinary devas would never have access to.
“Are you crazy or something, Zhou Zimo!?” he shouted angrily.
In response, Mistress Red-Dust picked up speed. As she closed in, her hand flashed with an incantation gesture, causing the sealing powers of Red Dust Violet Road to grow stronger.
Rumbling sounds could be heard as an immense gravitational force sprang up around him. The truth was that he had no desire at all to tangle with Mistress Red-Dust.
“Just what do you think you’re going to accomplish, Zhou Zimo?! Do you really think I'm scared of you or something?!” Even as the gravitational force gripped him, he spun in place, and began to grow larger! At the same time, countless rocks began to fly in his direction as he transformed into a stone golem.
It was none other than the Living Mountain Incantation!
He launched into motion, his fleshly body power bursting out. This was the great circle of the Undying Bones, which surpassed the Nascent Soul stage, and was similar to a deva. As soon as he attacked the Red Dust Violet Road illusion, it shattered, completely decimated by his fleshly body power.
“You owe me an explanation, Bai Xiaochun!” Zhou Zimo yelled. Not pausing for even a moment, she performed an incantation gesture and spat out a mouthful of blood, which transformed into ten blood-colored spears. Then, the ten spears became streaks of red light that swirled through the air at top speed toward Bai Xiaochun!
Seeing the dangerous situation caused Bai Xiaochun to sigh. He waved his hands out in front of him, causing the stones surrounding him to explode outward, and then speed to meet the ten blood-red spears. The instant they met, a boom echoed out, and the spears were sent spinning off to the side.
Bai Xiaochun was now in the open, and instead of fleeing, he blurred into motion, shooting directly toward Mistress Red-Dust, hand clenched in a fist!
“Can you just not flip out!?” he yelled as his fist strike landed.
A boom rang out as Mistress Red-Dust was shoved backward several paces. When she came to a stop, her expression looked more complex than ever. Bai Xiaochun’s progress was shocking; although she had not attacked with full force right now, it was obvious that Bai Xiaochun hadn’t either. The complexity of her emotions deepened as she apparently remembered something important.
Phoenix-like eyes radiating rage, she looked at him and coldly said, “I’m not flipping out! We’re engaged, remember!? My father arranged it. Maybe you can just up and leave, but what do I do then?! And what does my father do?! Look at you! I didn’t even say a single word to you, and you upped and ran? Are you even a man, Bai Xiaochun?!”
Bai Xiaochun’s headache grew more intense as he rushed to offer an explanation.
“Listen, Zimo. You’re a beautiful, outstanding girl. You can definitely find another Daoist partner better than me. And as for my old pal Giant Ghost, this was all just a misunderstanding! The old man will definitely understand…. Look, I wasn’t running away from you, I'm just in a hurry to get home…. Oh, and yeah, I'm definitely a man. I--”
Before he could say anything else, Mistress Red-Dust exploded again. “Bai Xiaochun!! Do you really not get it? Or are just pretending to be thick? Well?! Everybody in the Arch-Emperor Dynasty thinks that my Daoist partner is your apprentice, Bai Hao! And that means they think I'm an empress! Everybody’s watching me! What do you want me to do, marry your apprentice!?” Mistress Red-Dust was very angry, and therefore, her shouting echoed out very loudly in all directions.
Some distance away, Song Que had been watching the two of them fight. Although he had been aware that Bai Xiaochun was strong, to see it with his own eyes left him shaken.
And then he heard what Mistress Red-Dust just said, and a strange expression appeared on his face. He even started to get a bit excited.
“Bai Xiaochun, ah, Bai Xiaochun. You’ve had this coming for a long time!” With that, he simply stood there, watching the fireworks.
Meanwhile, Bai Xiaochun was standing there, feeling a bit taken aback. The truth was that he hadn’t put much thought into the matter that Mistress Red-Dust had just brought up. And everything she had just said made sense, leaving him feeling more than a bit awkward.
As soon as the words left his mouth, Mistress Red-Dust flicked her sleeve, gritted her teeth, and said, “You either stay here in the Wildlands and take my hand in marriage, or… you give me a damn good explanation!”
Feeling very much in the wrong, and very embarrassed, Bai Xiaochun promptly tried to calm her down.
“Zimo, just calm down. I swear that I’ll come back. Really…. Don’t worry. I’ll definitely return!” Worried that she might not believe him, he thumped himself loudly on the chest to emphasize his words.
However, both his wording and his gesture seemed a bit too exaggerated…. Mistress Red-Dust immediately realized that he was just putting on a show, and it caused the rage in her heart to slip out of control.
“Bai Xiaochun!” she said through gritted teeth. Then she burst into motion, unleashing all of the power she could muster to attack him. The will of a deva spread out into the area, causing Song Que to gasp and back up further.
Bai Xiaochun let out a yelp as he retreated. On any other occasion, he would fight back, but right now he actually felt very guilty, and simply couldn’t retaliate. All he could do was dodge left and right and throw out some more explanations.
“Zimo, you need to listen to me….”
“I’ll come back, really….”
“You have to trust me….”