Bai Xiaochun looked back at the dilapidated vanity, and all of a sudden… he saw a woman!
Her back was to him, making it impossible to see her face. She wore a red gown, and was combing her long, black hair. And she was singing a song….
Shockingly, the woman… only had one arm!!
Along with the woman came a coldness like the depths of winter. Worried that he might shriek with terror and interrupt the woman’s singing, Bai Xiaochun clamped his hands down over his mouth.
He couldn’t have been more terrified. He could immediately sense that his cultivation base wasn’t high enough to fight this woman; she made him feel like he was being crushed by a mountain from the heavens.
Tears welled up in his eyes and then began to drip down his cheeks as he wondered why he always ended up encountering such bizarre situations. He wanted to flee, but after looking around the room, he realized that there were no doors or exits.
“What do I do, what do I do!?” he wailed inwardly. Suddenly, the woman seemed to realize that she wasn’t alone, and stopped combing her hair. She also stopped singing.
Bai Xiaochun’s heart began to race.
“It’s not what you think, Senior!” he blurted. Then he began to gush incoherently. “I didn’t mean to interrupt you…. Hey, I’m an important person too. My apprentice is the Hell-Emperor. Do you know the gravekeeper? He sent me here….”
The pressure he felt from this woman actually surpassed that which he had felt from the Celestial.
Worried that he wasn't explaining things clearly enough, he went on to say, “I didn’t even want to come here! Don’t mind me. You… you sing really well! Very pleasing to the ear….”
It was at this point that the women turned her face, provoking a shrill scream from Bai Xiaochun!
Her face… had no nose, no eyes, no mouth, nothing!!
It was a complete blank!!
Bai Xiaochun felt like his head was about to explode. Shrieking, he stumbled backward and shoved his command medallion out in front of him. Black light spilled out, causing his vision to blur….
At the same time, he began to fade away, vanishing from within the private cabin!
Even as he reappeared in another location, countless hairs slashed through the air into the spot he had just occupied, causing popping sounds to ring out.
Each and every one of those hairs thrummed with power that surpassed the Deva Realm.
Clearly, if Bai Xiaochun had stayed behind and been hit, he would have been killed!
A moment later, the hairs wriggled and vanished. Meanwhile, the faceless woman at the vanity turned back to face the shattered mirror, and slowly began to comb her hair again… and sing.
When Bai Xiaochun appeared, he was on top of the sea of bones, only about two days away from the eastern delta region of the Heavenspan River.
As he materialized, a blank look could be seen in his eyes. However, that look slowly faded into clarity. Gasping, he looked around to find himself off of the galleon. Everything which had just occurred seemed almost like a hallucination or dream.
And yet, he knew it was no hallucination. Whether it was the ghost galleon or the faceless woman combing her hair, it had all been very, very real. At this point, he suddenly realized that he had been extremely lucky.
“So, Great-Grandpa Gravekeeper wasn’t lying after all!!” Looking down at the command medallion with lingering fear, he realized that it was the only reason he had escaped death.
“This Deadmire is really an evil place. And what was that ghostess all about!?!?” The mere thought of her caused terror to grip his heart. With that, he slapped his bag of holding to pull out Song Que and Master God-Diviner.
“This was all your fault!” he said. “If it weren’t for me going to save you two, I wouldn’t have been in any danger at all!!”
As soon as Song Que and Master God-Diviner were out in the open, they began to regain their senses.
Rubbing the bridge of his nose, Song Que said, “What happened? We’re out? How come I don't remember anything…?”
Master God-Diviner hesitated for a moment, then looked quizzically at Bai Xiaochun. “I remember being on the main deck, but after going in the door… I don’t remember anything at all.”
Bai Xiaochun sighed and then told them everything that happened below decks. As he did, their eyes widened, and they even gasped.
Not only was the story completely stunning, they could tell that he wasn’t lying.
“I was the first one to go in?” Song Que asked. Next to him, Master God-Diviner shivered as he heard about the green-skinned, long-fanged ghost face appearing on top of his own face.
Bai Xiaochun snorted and said, “If it weren’t for me, you two would still be on that galleon!”
He was just about to go on berating them for a bit when he remembered that they were still in the Deadmire.
“Look,” he said hurriedly, “we’ll talk about it more when we're out of this place. This place is just too evil!” With that, he sped off into the distance, followed by the terrified Song Que and Master God-Diviner.
Considering the speed they maintained, it didn’t take long before they were closing in on the border of the Deadmire. Soon, fewer and fewer bones could be seen, and eventually, Bai Xiaochun was sure that they only had about a day left to go!
“How far did we get when we were on that galleon?” Based on what he recalled, they had only been on the galleon for three or four hours, and yet, it had taken them almost all the way to their destination. Based on that, a quick calculation revealed that the galleon itself could likely traverse the entire Deadmire in only a day.
As Bai Xiaochun, Song Que and Master God-Diviner were preparing to leave the Deadmire, war broke out in the Middle Reaches of the eastern Heavenspan River!
It was a war in which the three other great sects joined forces against the River-Defying Sect, who was simply incapable of fighting back. It was a war of sect extermination!!
Rumbling booms filled the air in the regions surrounding the River-Defying Sect. A glittering spell formation shield protected the sect, which was powered by the Dire Skybanyan. Countless divine abilities and magical techniques battered the spell formation, which was already twisting and distorting on the verge of collapse!
Outside of the spell formation were two suns, one white and one black, as well as a scarecrow which flitted back and forth. All of that, combined with the power of almost all the disciples of the River-Defying Sect, ensured that fierce fighting went on everywhere!
However, it was very obvious who had the upper hand. There were more than 100,000 cultivators besieging the sect, who were organized into three armies that attacked from three directions. Each army had a terrifying aura backing it, an aura that seemed to surpass the will of the heavens.
Those auras belonged to powerful experts in the early Deva Realm. They were only Mortal-Dao devas, roughly comparable to Mistress Red-Dust, the type of people Bai Xiaochun would fight without even getting nervous. However, to the River-Defying Sect, they were like insurmountable mountains.