Three days passed in a flash. The distance between Master Cloud Lightning and Bai Xiaochun continued to grow. Eventually, they were nearing the border of the desert area.
Master Cloud Lightning’s mood continued to sink, and he cursed constantly in his heart. His hair was now so white, and his skin so full of wrinkles, that it seemed likely he had lost an entire sixty-year-cycle of longevity during the last three days alone.
The mere thought of all that longevity caused Master Cloud Lightning to slip further into madness.
“Three days! This guy has been chasing me for three whole days!” Master Cloud Lightning’s hair was disheveled, and his eyes completely bloodshot. The longer he fled, the worse off he was. And yet, Bai Xiaochun’s regenerative capabilities made it so that taking part in this protracted chase wasn’t difficult at all for him.
Master Cloud Lightning felt like weeping, and yet, had no choice but to continue running away.
Bai Xiaochun knew that he wouldn’t be able to catch up, but hoped to instill even more fear into Master Cloud Lightning’s heart, and also force him to waste as much energy as possible.
“It’s too bad Chen Hetian didn’t come along. This would be the perfect situation to vent on him a bit.” Sighing, he prepared to shoot forward with another burst of speed, when all of a sudden, his expression flickered. Just now, he had noticed a familiar figure within the range of his divine sense.
Other than Master Cloud Lightning and some corpses, he hadn’t seen anyone for several days, so he was immediately delighted.
As he got closer, and he confirmed the identity of this newcomer, his delight grew, and he even shifted directions to head in their direction.
Before long, five people came into view, speeding along near the border of the desert.
Among those five… was Du Lingfei!
Her four companions all wore the garb of special guards. Three of them flew in defensive positions, scanning everything in the area for signs of danger. As for the fourth, he was a young man who seemed ordinary in every aspect, and yet flew very close to Du Lingfei.
Although Bai Xiaochun still wasn’t quite sure how he felt about Du Lingfei, the fact that he had suddenly run into fellow cultivators after so many lonesome days ensured that he was still very happy.
Just when he was about to call out a greeting, Du Lingfei’s group noticed him. As for the young man who was in position next to Du Lingfei, he merely glanced over, and then looked away indifferently.
A smile broke out on Bai Xiaochun’s face. The truth was that he was getting tired of scaring Master Cloud Lightning. Reaching up with his right hand, he waved enthusiastically in greeting.
A look of surprise flitted across Du Lingfei’s face. Then, she seemed to suddenly recall something, and cast a surreptitious glance at the young man positioned next to her.
Bai Xiaochun noticed that, and looked at the young man in surprise. As soon as he looked at him closely, he didn’t like what he saw.
The young man was very good-looking, with sword-like eyebrows and eyes that shone as brightly as stars. Based on his energy fluctuations, his cultivation base was in the great circle of the Nascent Soul stage. And yet somehow, he seemed to be on somewhat intimate terms with Du Lingfei.
The fact that Du Lingfei’s first reaction was to glance at that young man caused a prickly sensation to rise up in Bai Xiaochun’s heart, which he suppressed with a cold snort. After all, this young man was in the Nascent Soul stage, while he himself was a deva. The young man might be good-looking, but he obviously couldn’t compare to him.
Suddenly feeling very confident, he flew over to Du Lingfei’s group.
“Hey, boo!” he called out in a loud voice. “You know, this desert is a really dangerous place. If you plan to cross it, you need to be very careful. Besides, I’ve been all over the place, and didn’t find an exit of any kind.”
The three special guards with Du Lingfei all clasped hands respectfully toward him upon his approach. After all, even as Heavenspan Island special guards, they still had to show respect to devas.
However, the young man who seemed to be so close to Du Lingfei didn’t react at all. He didn’t so much as look at Bai Xiaochun, much less clasp hands in formal greeting.
Bai Xiaochun hadn’t been too pleased with him to begin with, and was even less pleased by the treatment this young man was giving him now.
However, he was worried about possible misunderstandings, so he decided to probe for a bit of information. “Who's this, boo? Your brother? He seems familiar for some reason.”
Du Lingfei hesitated slightly. Glancing subconsciously at the young man, she looked back at Bai Xiaochun, shook her head, and said, “Just be on your way, Bai Xiaochun. You never know where the exit to this trial by fire might be. I hope that you can find it and win all the rewards.”
Bai Xiaochun was a bit taken aback by the strange tone of Du Lingfei’s voice. Just when he was about to inquire further, the young man spoke up.
“Let’s go,” he said, and then proceeded forward. Du Lingfei hesitated for a moment, then chose to follow along. She even reached out, touched the young man’s arm, and quietly offered some sort of explanation to him. The other three special guards fanned out into defensive positions as they began to move.
Bai Xiaochun’s anger from before had not yet died down, and now Du Lingfei was acting intimate with this young man right in front of him?
“I can’t believe this is happening right in front of my own eyes!” he thought. At this point, he gave up on any effort to hold back. Heart feeling even more prickly than before, he looked up in thought for a moment. Then his expression brightened, and he hurried after the group of five.
Pointing at the young man, he exclaimed, “Eee! Hey, I remember now! You're… you’re Little Fei from the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, aren’t you!?”
Du Lingfei’s expression flickered, and the young man’s brow furrowed as he looked over coldly at Bai Xiaochun.
“Get out of here, Xiaochun!” Du Lingfei said. “He's not the Little Fei you’re thinking about!”
“Huh? Wait, did I really mistake him for the wrong person?” Hurrying forward, he looked the young man up and down a bit more carefully. Then, he gave a wry smile and gestured for them to continue on their way.
“Sorry about that. I guess I really mistook you for someone else….”
In response, the young man remained as expressionless as ever as he said, “Well, if you really mistook--”
However, before he could say anything else, Bai Xiaochun lunged forward and smacked the young man directly across the side of the head.
It happened so quickly, and so unexpectedly, that neither Du Lingfei, the three special guards, nor the young man himself could even react.
Bai Xiaochun’s movement was smooth and skilled, as though he had a lot of practice doing this type of thing, which was true, considering how many times he had slapped a demigod. Even as the smacking sound rang out, everyone looked over at him at astonishment.
Du Lingfei gasped, and the young man, who had just been interrupted right in the middle of his sentence, stared at Bai Xiaochun in shock. Never could he have guessed that Bai Xiaochun would do something like that, nor that he would accomplish it with such utter smoothness.
For this young man, it was a unique set of circumstances. His reaction speed was slower than normal, and therefore, the slap hit him with perfect accuracy….
“Hahaha! Are you still going to pretend you’re not Little Fei? I’d recognize the feeling of slapping you in any circumstance! Little Fei, it’s me! Xiaochun! We're good friends, remember!?” Although Bai Xiaochun kept a delighted expression on his face, inside, he was shocked. Although his slap had landed just as expected, he could never have guessed… that it would hurt his hand so much.
“This guy is definitely not a Nascent Soul cultivator,” he thought. “What’s his head made of anyway!?”
By this point, the young man was beginning to pant, and was staring at Bai Xiaochun with icy coldness. There also seemed to be a shocking pressure rolling off of him that he couldn’t control.
Du Lingfei’s face had drained of blood. Grabbing the young man’s arm, she began to pull him away.
“What do you think you’re doing, Bai Xiaochun!?” she said. “Why are you being so rude? He said he’s not Little Fei! You're mistaking him for someone else! Get out of here!” She blinked at him meaningfully as she dragged the young man away.
Bai Xiaochun could tell that something was very off, and was already starting to come up with an idea of what exactly it was.
“Uh… I guess I really did confuse you with someone else. Aiya! My apologies! A real case of mistaken identity, I guess….” As he turned away, he glanced at the young man out of the corner of his eye, and suddenly, his heart trembled as he thought back to the stinging sensation he had felt when slapping him. That head seemed even harder than the Giant Ghost King’s….