After hearing this information, Bai Xiaochun looked over at Guru Spirit Immortal and the arrogant-looking young man standing next to him.
“Another person to watch out for is from the southern Dragon Totem Ghost Sea Sect. See that cultivator sitting on top of the black dragon soul? He’s Master Thousand-Ghost. His Daoist name comes from the fact that he was once an old ghost who had existed for a thousand years. By cultivating the Dao of ghosts, he achieved something completely heaven-defying, and became a deva. His battle prowess surpasses his cultivation level, and each of the one thousand strands of smoke that make up his hair contain a deadly Daoist magic!
“The Dragon Totem Ghost Sea Sect is skilled in shapeshifting arts. When they transform into vicious beasts, their battle prowess skyrockets. Furthermore, just like Master Thousand-Ghost, the disciples all cultivate the Dao of ghosts, giving them bizarre and unfathomable magical techniques.
“Although many people on that boat are rogue cultivators, the Dragon Totem Ghost Sea Sect definitely has one particular chosen who rises above everyone. His name is Sun Wu, the same ‘wu’ character from the word centipede. Look, he’s standing right there on the main deck! His skin is as green as an evil ghost’s! That’s him!”
Looking at the ship coming from the south, Bai Xiaochun could see Master Thousand-Ghost sitting there on top of the black dragon. He seemed partially illusory, and emanated a sinister coldness. As soon as Bai Xiaochun looked at him, he seemed to sense it, and looked over with eyes that pierced like a sharp sword. At the same time, his aura seemed to weigh down on everyone on the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect’s battleship.
“Want to stare at me? Fine. But why try to intimidate everyone else with me?” Bai Xiaochun was not convinced that this person was truly that impressive. Furthermore, Bai Xiaochun viewed himself as the type of person who could not be easily cowed. He instantly glared right back. When it came to high-level staring contests, Bai Xiaochun had never truly lost, and as such, was supremely confident.
Whether it was in the Spirit Stream Sect, the Blood Stream Sect, the River-Defying Sect, the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, or the Wildlands…. he was convinced that no one came even close to his skill in staring contests.
Perhaps some people might not believe that to be the case. But whenever he met people like that, he would simply use his gaze to remind them of how dangerous he truly was!
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes almost seemed to contain lightning. There was even rumbling thunder, although no one would be able to hear it except himself and the person whose gaze met his.
Because of that terrifying lightning, Bai Xiaochun suddenly seemed profoundly more intimidating than before. All of his energy was focused on his eyes, which became like two sharp blades slicing through the air, cutting down anything in their path, crushing any life that got in his way until they stabbed directly into the pupils of Master Thousand-Ghost.
“A staring contest it is!” he thought, heart swelling with confidence in his world-wide supremacy in this field.
Master Thousand-Ghost was completely taken aback. Despite the fact that he had existed for a thousand years as an old ghost, he was still shocked to the core. This was his first time seeing this deva from the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, and the two of them had no feud. And yet, he was glaring at him like some sort of fiendish monster. His fierce gaze, and the way he gritted his teeth, filled Master Thousand-Ghost with a profound sense of unease, something he was not used to in any sense of the word.
He held his gaze for a moment, then cleared his throat and looked away.
When Bai Xiaochun confirmed that Master Thousand-Ghost was no match for his stare, his heart swelled with pride. As he stood there on the deck of the battleship, he flicked his sleeve, stuck his chin up, and radiated the lonely air of an invincible hero.
“Of course he’s no match for me. Ai…. I wonder if I’ll ever run into someone on my level? I can only hope that, one day, someone will defeat me!” As he stood there sighing, none of the other cultivators realized that Bai Xiaochun and Master Thousand-Ghost had just engaged in an epic staring contest….
Except for Song Que. Song Que knew Bai Xiaochun very well, and had stolen a glance at him moments ago. When he realized what was going on, a strange expression had appeared on his face, and he had to hold back from facepalming.
“They’re both devas… and they’re still into staring contests…?” Song Que simply couldn’t understand the world Bai Xiaochun lived in.
Meanwhile, the Nascent Soul elder from the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect continued with his introductions.
“Last is the Nine Heavens Cloud Lightning Sect from the north.
“I once went on a mission to gather intelligence on this sect, so I happen to know that although they have a lot of territory, it's actually very sparsely populated. The climate there is horrible, not as bad as the Wildlands, but so intensely cold that the people from there have incredible physiques. The best in the world, actually!
“Their unique location makes them different from the rest of us in the east, west, and south. For all intents and purposes, all of the lands in the north are controlled by one sect. The Nine Heavens Cloud Lightning Sect. There are a good number of cultivator clans in the area, which is where the Nine Heavens Cloud Lightning Sect recruits their disciples from.
“The sect is organized by a delineation of heavens. Disciples start out in the first heaven, and rise through the ranks to the ninth heaven.” At this point, the Nascent Soul elder providing the explanations lowered his voice. “Look over at the Nine Heavens Cloud Lightning Sect’s battleship. See the burly fellow up at the front…? He might look like a single person, but he’s not! Look more closely, and you will see the evidence…. He’s really two people combined into one!” Shocked, Bai Xiaochun looked over at the Nine Heavens Cloud Lightning Sect with narrowed eyes. As he did…
He realized that the burly man on the deck of the battleship was indeed not a single person. He was in fact two people combined together in bizarre fashion.
One of them had an extremely burly left side. Whether it was his left hand, left leg, or the left side of his torso and head, all were very powerfully built. However, his right side was withered up and shrunken. Because of that, he looked very misshapen and odd.
The other person was exactly the same, except with the sides switched. His right side was powerfully built, and his left side was withered. When those two people stood together, they almost looked like a single person.
Furthermore, their facial features matched perfectly!
As Bai Xiaochun looked over, he realized that, shockingly, both people had mid Deva Realm cultivation bases.
“Together, they form the Nine Heavens Cloud Lightning Sect’s illustrious… Master Cloud Lightning!
“Supposedly, Master Cloud Lightning used to be a single person. However, because of cultivating a heaven-defying magic, he failed in his attempt to break through to the late Deva Realm. The resulting backlash split him into two halves, each one of which contains a separate consciousness!
“However… the twin Master Cloud Lightnings possess a secret magic that allows them to temporarily combine back into the true Master Cloud Lightning. When they do, his cultivation base rises… to the late Deva Realm!” As Bai Xiaochun listened to the introduction, his eyes grew wider and wider. The devas from the other two sects were both in the mid Deva Realm, which wasn’t very intimidating. However, when the twin Master Cloud Lightnings combined and rose to the late Deva Realm, that was something to pay close attention to.
After all, despite the fact that Bai Xiaochun could defeat someone in the mid Deva Realm, he wasn’t quite sure about the late Deva Realm.
“Now take a look at the three people standing behind Master Cloud Lightning. Those are all ninth heaven experts in the great circle of the Nascent Soul stage. They are Han Yuemei, Zhong Zhenshan and… Master Lightning Origin! Master Lightning Origin is the one and only elite apprentice of Master Cloud Lightning. See, he’s right there behind Master Cloud Lightning, the skinny one that's hunched over like a monkey….
“You have to be very careful around him. He’s far more powerful than Han Yuemei and Zhong Zhenshan. Very dangerous! Furthermore, he's the type to seek revenge over the smallest grievance, and has a reputation for being vicious and merciless. He’s not the type you want to mess with blithely!” By this point, everyone was getting much more familiar with the other three sects.
Bai Xiaochun took a bit longer to look over the Nine Heavens Cloud Lightning Sect. He had never forgotten what Patriarch Spirit Stream told him many years ago…. The Spirit Stream Sect had once been the Frigid School from the north. The Nine Heavens Cloud Lightning Sect formed only after destroying the Frigid School, and was their biggest arch-enemy!
Bai Xiaochun did not have a good impression of this sect at all. Lip curling, he murmured, “Their deva cultivated himself into two separate psychos…. Of the ninth heaven cultivators, the most dangerous, Master Lightning Origin, looks like a monkey…. What kind of a freak sect is this?!”
Around this time, the four battleships neared the docks. Then, rumbling sounds filled the air as they settled into place!
After the ships came to a full stop, the cultivators from the four river branches began to disembark, shivering apprehensively.
Even more than before, the various cultivators looked around to measure up their rivals from the other sects. Of course, the other three river branches also had Nascent Soul elders who were giving introductions to their compatriots.
Considering how many people were looking at him, Bai Xiaochun’s curiosity was piqued. Sending some divine sense out, he began to eavesdrop on what people were saying….