Silence reigned on the battlefield. The cultivators from the Hall of Steel Veins were all staring blankly at Bai Xiaochun, their hearts battered by waves of shock.
As for Bai Lin and Zhao Tianjiao, it looked like their eyes might pop out of their skulls at any moment.
Down below, the numerous cultivators of the River-Defying Sect were bubbling with excitement at how valiant Bai Xiaochun had been in defeating Chen Hetian, Li Xiandao and Bai Zhentian.
The three defeated devas’ expressions flickered. Not only were they in very bad shape after their fight, there were plenty of fellow sect cultivators who had witnessed the affair. It was a big loss of face, and a huge embarrassment. And yet, they were truly in fear of Bai Xiaochun’s strength.
At the same time, the three devas were relieved that the Hall of Steel Veins forces had arrived. If you ride a tiger, it's hard to get off, but now they had the perfect opportunity and excuse to retreat.
Bai Xiaochun hovered there, feeling very pleased at the exclamations he had heard from Zhao Tianjiao, Bai Lin, and everyone else. Looking over, he could see that the three devas wished to withdraw. After blinking a few times, he kept his exhaustion hidden and unleashed some cultivation base power.
“Chen Hetian and you other two. You really pushed things too far. I, Bai Xiaochun, have performed great services for the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect! I've shed blood for it!!
“I slaughtered countless enemies at the Great Wall, and yet, you tried to exterminate my sect. Nobody could stand for such a thing!
“You owe me some compensation! If you don’t kowtow immediately in apology, and swear an oath to stay out of the way of all River-Defying Sect disciples in the future, then this matter will not be over. Even if you escape, I’ll track you down and fight my way into your clans!” He emphasized his words with the flick of a sleeve. After all, he had justice on his side.
When Chen Hetian, Li Xiandao and Bai Zhentian heard his words, they very nearly coughed up more mouthfuls of blood. Bai Xiaochun’s words were biting to the extreme. Earlier, he had simply told them to either fight or screw off, but now that he had some friends to back him up, he was acting even more extravagantly. Not only was he demanding compensation, he was also forcing them to lose face publicly.
“Don’t go overboard, Bai Xiaochun!” Li Xiandao growled, his eyes completely bloodshot. After all, he had just worked very hard to extricate himself from this situation, and now that easy exit was being removed.
That was when Patriarch Steel Veins took a deep breath and blurred into motion. In the blink of an eye, he was next to Bai Xiaochun, although he kept a good distance from him.
Eyes flashing with incisive light, he looked at the other three devas and spoke in a sinister voice as cold as winter wind.
“Overboard? Chen Hetian. Bai Zhentian. Li Xiandao. Do you really think you can go and bully people from the Hall of Steel Veins any time you like?!?!
“My old pal Bai is exactly right. The Hall of Steel Veins slaughters enemies without count, and yet you sneak around trying to exterminate sects!? Who could possibly stand for such a thing!? Although Brother Bai hasn’t yet been made an elder by the demigod patriarch, considering that he was a major general, and is a member of the Hall of Steel Veins, then that puts him under my protection!
“So, let’s see who here today dares to do a thing to anyone from the Hall of Steel Veins!” As the deva patriarch spoke, the cultivators from the Hall of Steel Veins unleashed murderous auras that formed something of a spell formation, locking down any paths of escape for Chen Hetian, Li Xiandao and Bai Zhentian.
Bai Xiaochun’s spirits were lifted even more, and it was the same with the River-Defying Sect. In contrast, the three devas were grumbling bitterly, and their expressions were extremely unsightly.
All of a sudden, Bai Xiaochun realized that this was a great opportunity! If he made a move right now, then all of his allies would obviously support him.
However, just when he was about to break into motion, the sky suddenly filled with intense rumbling sounds that surpassed heavenly thunder. The sky went dim, and distorted. Spasms rolled out across the surface of the land. At the same time, a powerful blast of energy appeared, shoving Bai Xiaochun backward.
The same energy hit Chen Hetian, Li Xiandao and Bai Zhentian, sending them flying backward by several hundred meters. As for the murderous aura being emitted by the Hall of Steel Veins, it winked out instantly.
And yet, things weren’t over yet. Shocking pressure began to weigh down from above, pressure that caused the faces of the devas to fall. The Nascent Soul cultivators present began to tremble, and anyone under that level felt like they were being strangled!
Furthermore, the wills of the all the devas were completely driven away down to the tiniest scrap as an enormous figure of light appeared up above!
It appeared to be made of starlight, and was threatening without being angry. Large enough to prop up heaven and earth, it caused everyone who could see it to be shaken deeply.
It appeared to be a middle-aged man, who was looking down on everyone present, heavenly bodies gleaming in his eyes. The fluctuations rolling off of him vastly surpassed those of a deva. They were demigod fluctuations, and were not being restrained in even the least bit.
When all of the other four devas saw the figure of light, they clasped hands and bowed deeply.
“Greetings, Patriarch Starry Sky!”
They weren’t the only ones to react in such a way. The Nascent Soul cultivators from the Hall of Steel Veins trembled as they offered formal greetings. Then, everyone else who didn’t recognize the glowing figure, but heard the words of the other powerful experts, gasped and followed suit.
Bai Xiaochun’s breath caught in his throat, and he shivered inwardly. Obviously, this glowing figure of light was none other than… the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect’s most powerful expert, the demigod patriarch!
“The demigod is stepping in!” Although Bai Xiaochun was a bit nervous, he reminded himself that he had seen his fair share of demigods, and thus managed to suppress his anxiety. However, he put an expression of deep fear onto his face as he clasped hands in formal greeting.
It only took moments for everyone on the battlefield to be bowing in reverence to Patriarch Starry Sky, as if he were the most eminent figure in all heaven and earth.
No expression could be seen on his face as he looked over the crowd, ignoring Chen Hetian, Li Xiandao and Bai Zhentian. In fact, he even ignored the deva from the Hall of Steel Veins. Instead, he fixed his gaze on Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun had just suppressed his anxiety, only to have it flare up again. He immediately thought back to some ways that he had dealt with demigods back in the Wildlands, and yet quickly realized that this was a totally different situation. Even as his anxiety mounted, and he scrambled to come up with new ideas, the figure of light looked away from him.
Then, an ancient, profound voice rumbled out to fill the entire area.
“Let Bai Xiaochun be appointed as an elder in the Hall of Steel Veins. He shall be given an elder’s command medallion, an immortal's cave on the blue rainbow, and will select a date to make an official return to the sect! Henceforth, the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect has six devas!”
As his words echoed out with thunderous intensity, the cultivators from the Hall of Steel Veins became visibly excited. As for Chen Hetian, Li Xiandao and Bai Zhentian, their faces grew deathly pale, and they bowed their heads.
They knew that, with the approval of the demigod patriarch, there would be nothing they could do from preventing Bai Xiaochun and the River-Defying Sect from rising to prominence in the eastern Heavenspan River.
If the Hall of Steel Veins was excited, there was almost no need to mention the River-Defying Sect. They were so swept up in the moment that they began to cheer out loud. As for Bai Xiaochun, he breathed a sigh of relief, and wondered why he had been so scared before….
“Who cares about demigods! I absorbed one of the Celestial’s hairs! And I'm supposed to be scared of a demigod? My apprentice is the Hell-Emperor, and my father-in-law is a demigod!” And thus he continued to encourage himself, and muse excitedly about how perfectly he had fought back earlier.