Nearly half of the desert area was shaken by the intense boom. Master Cloud Lightning let out a miserable shriek as his devilish god collapsed into pieces, and the black light which surrounded him was destroyed.
Blood spraying out of his mouth, he tumbled backward like a kite with its string cut. Even as he did, he touched his forehead, causing a stream of black light to fly out.
Shockingly, it transformed into a semi-translucent buckler, which he grabbed and threw out in front of him.
“Detonate!!” he shouted, and the buckler exploded, sending a blast of energy out to meet Bai Xiaochun’s heaven-destroying, earth-extinguishing fist strike. That brief opportunity was what Master Cloud Lightning needed to shoot away at top speed, coughing up blood the entire time.
Most of the energy passageways in his body were destroyed, and his vision swam. Mentally, he was completely shaken.
“How could he be so strong?!?! I'm in the mid Deva Realm, and he’s only in the early realm!!” Master Cloud Lightning felt like he was going crazy, and still couldn’t keep the blood from spraying out of his mouth.
For the first time, he regretted his earlier conceit, and realized that he should never have been so impulsive as to provoke the terrifying Bai Xiaochun, all because of a simple magical item.
Some of it stemmed from the fact that the buckler he had just destroyed was a treasure he had only just recently acquired, which was what had enabled him to maintain a state of near-complete invisibility. It was that shield that made him realize that this trial by fire… was full of hidden treasures!
After seeing the glowing red aperture on the sandworm, his greed had been awakened.
Meanwhile, the shockwaves caused by his exchange of blows with Bai Xiaochun caused many more sandworms hidden beneath the surface of the ground to be reduced to nothing more than ash.
Even the sandworm with the red aperture on its head, having been damaged by both Bai Xiaochun and Master Cloud Lightning, finally couldn’t hold out any longer, and was destroyed.
As it collapsed into pieces, a red glow shot out from inside of it, coalescing into the form of a flying shuttle. Astonishingly, the shuttle was covered with magical symbols that clearly did not originate in the Heavenspan Realm.
The symbols almost looked like tadpoles, wriggling in bizarre, lifelike fashion. As soon as the flying shuttle was out in the open, it swiveled as if to spin off into the distance. However, Bai Xiaochun had been watching it the entire time, and quickly reached out to grab it.
The shuttle struggled a bit, but to no avail. As soon as Bai Xiaochun had it, he sent some divine sense inside to study its structure. It was different from any other type of magical item he had ever seen before, and yet, he could still leave a branding mark on it, allowing him to control it.
As soon as the branding mark settled down inside, the flying shuttle became calm, and then, began to power up as if to unleash an attack!
“An assault treasure!” Master Cloud Lightning blurted, his eyes going wide, and his heart dripping with figurative blood. The only things he had acquired so far were utility treasures. The fact that this flying shuttle was an assault treasure meant that its value was beyond compare.
Now was not the time for jealousy, though. He was already seriously injured. And considering how terrifying Bai Xiaochun was, he decided to use a secret magic that drew upon his longevity in order to put some distance between the two of them.
Lightning and thunder crackled as Master Cloud Lightning became a lightning bolt that shot off toward the horizon, leaving a trail of frozen air behind because of the frigid qi that surrounded him.
The faster he moved, the less likely it would be that anyone would be able to attack him. As such, he managed to escape with his life.
Unfortunately, the drainage was significant, and potentially dangerous.
In the hopes of not wasting too much longevity, he looked over his shoulder and shouted, “This was a misunderstanding, Fellow Daoist Bai! Our sects have been friends for years, and therefore, I can offer an explanation for--”
“Explanation my ass!” Bai Xiaochun roared.
At the moment, he was really angry. He hadn’t done anything to provoke anyone. Master Cloud Lightning had been the one to attack him. It might have been one thing if he just tried to unload a bunch of sandworms on him. But then there was his overt sneering, and the fact that he had tried to steal that magical item.
Bai Xiaochun cared about his poor little life more than just about anything else, and therefore, it was something sacrosanct as far as he was concerned. The fact that Master Cloud Lightning had plotted against him in deadly fashion was something he couldn’t ignore.
Furthermore, he had been forced to use his Undying Emperor’s Fist, something he had hoped to avoid in the early stages of the trial by fire. His plan had been to conserve as much power as he could, but thanks to Master Cloud Lightning, he had done the opposite.
Because of how furious he was, there was no way he would just let his enemy escape. Cursing, he unleashed his top speed as he gave chase. Although he had already wasted significant fleshly body power, he was now in the Undying Blood level, not the Undying Bones.
Therefore, his regenerative capabilities were shocking, to say the least. As his qi and blood returned to normal, he used his Undying Hex to close in on Master Cloud Lightning with incredible speed.
Master Cloud Lightning was wailing inwardly, but had few options at his disposal. He could only steel himself, and draw further upon his longevity to try to escape.
And thus, the two of them sped through the desert in a deadly chase.
Before long, half a day had gone by, and evening was falling. Bai Xiaochun was amazed by how things were going.
“So the old guy is fast, I can accept that. But how can he keep it up for so long?” Bai Xiaochun had always thought himself to be fast, so it was nothing less than shocking to find that Master Cloud Lightning was actually outdoing him.
Bai Xiaochun had his Undying Hex, but that could only give him bursts of speed. It was the same with the Mountain Shaking Bash.
The only thing he had been left which he still hadn’t used was the Godkiller.
He only had a few drops of Undying Blood, and every time he used the Godkiller, he would lose one. As far as he was concerned, each of those drops of blood was as valuable as a deva soul.
And it was impossible to say whether or not Master Cloud Lightning’s soul would count as a complete deva soul.
Were anyone else chasing Master Cloud Lightning, that person would already have given up. But after some thought, Bai Xiaochun snorted and thought, “Maybe I can’t kill him, but I can scare him to death. I refuse to believe that he can flee like this for so long without wasting a bunch of energy.”
Having reached this point in his train of thought, he shouted, “Hey, you old punk. Better use a trump card now, or you’re dead!”
Then he used his Undying Hex and Mountain Shaking Bash to accelerate dramatically.
Master Cloud Lightning had built up a bit of distance between the two of them, but when he heard what Bai Xiaochun had just shouted, and saw that distance being eaten up, he bit down on his already mangled tongue, spitting out some blood to build up more speed.
However, as soon as he did that, Bai Xiaochun slowed down.
Realizing that he had been played, Master Cloud Lightning grumbled angrily, then gritted his teeth and continued onward.
However… how could Bai Xiaochun end things so casually? He suddenly let out a shout as if he were about to accelerate, which immediately pushed Master Cloud Lightning closer to the brink of madness.
However, he didn’t accelerate. Then, moments later, he did. Slowly but surely, Master Cloud Lightning was being driven insane. After all, whether Bai Xiaochun accelerated or not, every time he shouted, Master Cloud Lightning had no choice but to use his secret magic.
Before long, the man’s hair was white, and his face was covered with wrinkles.
“How could this Bai Xiaochun be so difficult to deal with?” he despaired. “If things keep going on like this, he’ll kill me without even having to catch up to me!!” Finally, he slapped his bag of holding and began throwing random things out left and right in the hopes of distracting Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun was delighted by this development, and felt prouder of himself than ever. After all, he was so awesome… that his enemies resorted to throwing random magical items out in the hopes of slowing him down.
“This is definitely the ultimate level of giving chase. Nothing tops this!” Sighing, he began to collect the random items. Finally, distance began to build up between the two of them, and Master Cloud Lightning sighed in relief.
And yet, despite the distance being built up, Bai Xiaochun was still chasing him, and therefore, he didn’t dare to stop using his secret magic….
“He's still not giving up! What’s the big deal? I just ambushed him, that’s all! And it didn’t even work! Devas do that kind of thing to each other all the time!” Master Cloud Lightning felt like he might collapse mentally at any moment. As of now… he deeply regretted provoking the heaven-damned Bai Xiaochun.
At the same time, he used a different secret magic to try to make contact with the other Master Cloud Lightning. Unfortunately, his other half was too far away to provide any help.