The song and its lyrics caused Bai Xiaochun’s hair to stand on end. Song Que and Master God-Diviner were visibly shaken. That was when the enormous bone galleon appeared again, and this time, it was much closer to them!
It was only about 1,500 meters away, allowing them to see it very clearly. Even as they stared, reeling in shock, the singing ended, and the galleon vanished.
This time, Song Que didn’t offer any cold snorts. Even his face was a bit paler than usual. The group of three exchanged glances, and clearly, they were all convinced that something very strange was going on. The first time they had seen the boat, it had vanished roughly 3,000 meters away from them. The second time, it was only 1,500 meters away.
None of them dared to ponder… how close it would get the third time!
By now, it would take a full month to retrace their steps, and furthermore, they had no way to guarantee that something might not happen on the way back. According to the map of the Deadmire Bai Xiaochun had, it would only take them a total of about three months to cross.
That meant that they were very close to being at the halfway point.
Finally, Song Que gritted his teeth and said, “That ship showed up twice in a month. If we pick up some speed, we can probably make it out of here before it comes again!”
In response, Master God-Diviner nodded vigorously. Bai Xiaochun muttered to himself a bit, still convinced that the gravekeeper wasn’t out to harm him. Finally, he agreed, whereupon the three of them finally flew up into the air, becoming beams of light that shot off into the distance.
Another half a month went by, during which time the galleon never reappeared. However, Bai Xiaochun didn’t let his guard down at all. He looked around vigilantly as they sped along. Master God-Diviner wasn’t capable of the same speed as Bai Xiaochun and Song Que, so Bai Xiaochun had to pull him along.
One evening after the half-month of travel, they suddenly heard that bone-chilling song for a third time!
The singing was even more clear, and shockingly, the bone galleon appeared in front of them again, less than a thousand meters away!
It was now very clear. In fact, Bai Xiaochun could clearly see the three flags flying on the galleon, each of which was embroidered with a ghost face!
The one in the middle had green skin and long fangs, and appeared to be glaring ferociously straight at them.
Song Que and Master God-Diviner were both visibly shaken as the huge galleon was dragged closer and closer to their group. 900 meters. 600 meters….
As it neared, Bai Xiaochun could see the corpses more closely. Although their faces were completely expressionless, they emanated a deep-seated aura of resentment!
Some of the corpses were little more than bones, but some had rotting flesh attached to them, and even clothing. There were all different types of clothing present, some from modern times, some from ancient. Clearly some of these corpses had been soul cultivators, and some had been ordinary cultivators….
Furthermore, as for the pitch-black galleon itself, Bai Xiaochun could now see that it was riddled with holes, as though it had been involved in some dramatic battle.
After the initial shock, the group of three all began to back away from the galleon. However, that was when the song ended, and the galleon faded away.
This time, it vanished when it was only 300 meters away from them!!
Bai Xiaochun’s heart was pounding, and Song Que and Master God-Diviner were trembling. By this point, sensations of imminent crisis were alive in all of them.
“It’s only been half a month!” Song Que said. “And it got even closer. The next time, it will probably hit us!!”
“Dammit, what the hell kind of place is this?!?!” Master God-Diviner added. “I don’t want to be one of those corpses pulling that galleon!!”
Glaring, Song Que continued, “Didn’t you say that we would be safe with that command medallion of yours, Bai Xiaochun!?”
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes were bloodshot. Spinning, he yelled at Master God-Diviner and Song Que, “Stow it, you two. We’ve been going too slow. I’ll carry you. That way, we can definitely get out of here in half a month!”
Bai Xiaochun still trusted the gravekeeper, but considering the current circumstances, his fear was getting the better of him. Grabbing Song Que and Master God-Diviner, he unleashed speed comparable to a deva and shot through the air along their original path.
He flew without stopping for seven days!
And yet, it didn’t matter how incredibly fast Bai Xiaochun was moving. On evening of the seventh day, the group of three… yet again heard that bizarre song!
It was so loud and clear it almost seemed like the woman was singing it right into their ears. At the same time, the enormous bone galleon appeared, only 300 meters away in the fog.
This time, none of the group of three even had time to look at it. A massive gravitational force sprang out and grabbed ahold them. At the same time, the corpses pulling the galleon tugged it forward at incredible speed. To the shock of Bai Xiaochun, Song Que and Master God-Diviner, the corpses slammed right into them!
Bai Xiaochun screamed as his vision blurred. Then things became clear again, and he found himself standing on the deck of the galleon along with Song Que and Master God-Diviner!
The corpses down below pulled the galleon through the fog, with them standing right there on it!
As they stood there on the ghost galleon, something else was happening far away from the Deadmire. In the eastern Heavenspan River, in the Middle Reaches, the sound of bells filled the River-Defying Sect.
The sound was like a great weight pressing down onto the numerous cultivators in the sect. Everyone knew that the River-Defying Sect was in a very precarious position.
Up to this point, not a single one of the sect’s patriarchs had been able to break into the Deva Realm. Because of that fact, the other great sects in the Middle Reaches, the Starry River Court, the Dao River Court and the Polarity River Court, had become restless. Frictions had increased, and conflicts grew more intense, until some River-Defying Sect cultivators were even killed.
Back when the River-Defying Sect had first arrived in the Middle Reaches, they had disturbed the other three great sects’ profits. And then there was the matter of Bai Xiaochun causing problems in the legacy zone, which led to the River-Defying Sect taking away vast amounts of resources from the other sects. Worse was how the chosen from the other three sects all had turtle marks on their bodies that couldn’t be removed. Because of all this, the other three sects’ hatred of Bai Xiaochun and the River-Defying Sect eventually seeped down into their bones.
It was now nearing the time when the legacy zone would be opened again. Therefore, the other three great sects had secretly contacted the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect and received tacit approval… to begin a war of sect extermination!!
Bells were being rung in the River-Defying Sect because of information recently sent by spies, informing them of what was happening. In the past, the River-Defying Sect had sent emissaries to the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect to plead for leniency. After all, Bai Xiaochun had been a major general, and there were certain people in the sect who owed him favors. Those people had managed to care for the River-Defying Sect to some extent. Had they not, the other three Middle Reaches sects would have made a move earlier.
Unfortunately, Bai Xiaochun was nowhere to be found. Although stories about his exploits in the Wildlands had circulated, and people knew he was alive, it was as the ancient saying went, distant water won’t put out a fire close at hand.
And thus, the patriarchs all emerged from secluded meditation, activated the sect’s grand spell formation, and prepared to fight to the death!!
No one in the River-Defying Sect was confident in being able to hold their own…. After all, the other sects had three devas on their side. Although they had used the easiest and least powerful method to become Mortal-Dao devas… they were still devas!
“The sect’s survival will be decided during this war!”
“We’ll defend the sect to the death!!”
As the bells tolled, and the River-Defying Sect cultivators let out battle cries, a powerful roar erupted out from somewhere in the sect. A huge beast appeared, hundreds of meters long, completely violet in color, with black flames spreading out beneath his feet. He looked like a mix between a dragon and a qilin, and had soaring energy that even the patriarchs in the great circle of the Nascent Soul found exciting. Those fluctuations… were those of a beast king!
It was Bruiser!