“You….” The instant the voice echoed out into Gongsun Wan’er’s mind, she understood everything. Bitterness filling her heart, she replied to the voice in her mind. “So, you were gambling this entire time…. That’s not like us….”
“You’re right,” Ghostmother replied, “it's not like us. But… the gamble paid off!” Ghostmother couldn’t help but think back to the agreement she had made with the gravekeeper all those years ago, and how he was the one who had come up with this entire plan…. He was definitely a person worthy of deep respect.
“I wouldn’t expect anything less from the last remaining bit of will from that most ancient individual….” The truth was that from the moment she had arrived in this world, she had been gambling!
After losing her left arm, her cultivation base had dropped, making it difficult for her to control the bone galleon. Even worse… without the sealing power available in her left arm, she couldn’t activate the Devil-Conquering Mirror to draw upon her most powerful divine ability… her Three Ghost Flags!
Those three flags were one of the main reasons she had become Ghostmother to begin with. In the world beyond this world, she had paid a heavy price, and also called upon the help of a powerful expert, to capture three evil ghosts whose cultivation bases were analogous to the celestial level, and seal them into three conjoined flags.
When combined, those three flags constituted the most powerful magical item she possessed, especially the middle one with the laughing-crying ghost face. Before being sealed, that ghost had been only one step away from breaking out of the Celestial Realm. Although it never had reached the Archaean Realm, it could definitely be considered half-archaean!
All three of the evil ghosts’ cultivation bases had been reduced because of being sealed, but when the three flags were used together, they could push Ghostmother’s battle prowess to a level that was shocking even in the world beyond the heavens.
Unfortunately, the three evil ghosts were unstable and difficult to control, which was why she had asked an archaean to forge the Devil-Conquering Mirror. Normally speaking, that mirror was enough to keep the evil ghosts in check, although there was still some level of difficulty in controlling them fully. And that was why she had used a secret magic to brand herself with an eternal magical symbol, placed onto her left hand, which allowed her to summon and control the three evil ghosts.
After her left arm was lost, Ghostmother experienced a significant drop in her overall power. She couldn't control the sealing mark in the Devil-Conquering Mirror, and therefore… when the Celestial returned her left arm to her, she could only gamble on the outcome!
She had gambled that the ever-suspicious Celestial wouldn’t trust anyone fully, and would eventually make a move on Gongsun Wan’er. And of course, this was all based on information given to her by the gravekeeper, based on his personal analysis!
She had also gambled that her left arm, personified in Gongsun Wan’er, would have made other preparations. Therefore, the moment when the Celestial began to fight Gongsun Wan’er was the moment for Ghostmother to make her comeback!
In truth… it wasn’t quite correct to say that she had been unable to fight back against the Celestial’s world projection. Instead, she had allowed Gongsun Wan’er to begin to consume her in order to create all of the opportunities needed!
“You win…” Gongsun Wan’er replied in her mind. “Take me home….” Of course, that conversation happened in the brief time it takes to snap a finger.
There were no other options available to Gongsun Wan’er. She didn’t want to become a slave of the Celestial, and therefore, she simply closed her eyes and lapsed into silence.
The instant she closed her eyes, the black smoke around her took the shape of Ghostmother.
“You…!” the Celestial gasped, his face falling. He had gone all out to bolster the strength of his sealing mark, but in the moment before it completely locked down Gongsun Wan’er, Ghostmother appeared next to her.
“Ghost Trio, your time has come!!”
Intense rumbling sounds filled the air, the source being one of the three flags on the bone galleon, which exploded violently.
A roar of rage erupted out as a huge ghost face materialized, radiating shocking energy that surpassed the Demigod Realm and came close to the Celestial Realm!!
The ghost had three horns, dark violet skin, and was fiendish in appearance!
The instant the ghost face appeared, it shot toward the world projection sealing mark, causing the Celestial’s face to flicker. The Celestial prepared to intervene, but before he could….
A rumbling sound even more intense than the previous one erupted into the air. The second flag exploded, and a second ghost face flew out!
This ghost was green, with numerous eyes! Furthermore, when it opened its mouth, even more eyes were visible inside!
Its energy was just as close to the Celestial Realm as the other ghost’s, and in fact, was a bit more powerful! It was like a fiendish monster that, upon being unleashed, charged directly toward the world projection sealing mark!
The Celestial was clearly very anxious by this point, and was just preparing to take defensive action to block the two ghost faces when… a third appeared!
The third flag exploded, unleashing even more brutally powerful fluctuations, along with vicious, cackling laughter.
“You finally freed me, Ghostmother….” said a voice that shook all heaven and earth. It was like a combination of countless evil ghosts all roaring at the same time, causing everything in the area to tremble violently.
This ghost face was half black and half white. It was clearly laughing, but at the same time, seemed to be crying. Or perhaps it would be better to say that it was clearly crying, but seemed to be laughing at the same time.
It was bizarre to the extreme, to the point where anyone who looked at it would be so shaken they began to tremble physically!
The Nascent Soul cultivators on board felt their life force being sucked out of their eyes, ears, noses, and mouths, and no matter what they did to try to defend themselves, it was useless.
Bai Xiaochun gasped, and began to tremble in fear. He actually recognized this most powerful of the ghost faces. It was the very same face that had smiled ferociously at him from within the flag back when he first saw the bone galleon!
This ghost face was so shockingly powerful that… it seemed to be perfectly on par with the Celestial!!
Bai Xiaochun wasn’t the only one to be visibly taken aback. The Celestial was clearly struck with profound anxiety at the sight of these three ghost faces shooting toward his world projection sealing mark.
They were moving so quickly that it was obvious there was no way to stop them from reaching their target!
When they struck, the resulting boom was so loud it threatened to shatter the world. A huge depression appeared in the sealing mark, which clearly could not stand up to a celestial-level strike. Cracks spread out across its surface, and then it shattered….
Even more shocking to Bai Xiaochun was that, as the sealing mark shattered, the laughing-crying ghost face’s eyes lit up with a gleam of greed, and he began to consume the destroyed fragments.
With every piece that he swallowed, the excitement in his eyes grew more intense.
“Delicious…. Hahaha! It’s been a long time since I've enjoyed flavor like this…. This world seems full of tasty things. I want to eat them all!!”
“How dare you, you vile thing!!” the Celestial howled. He was just about to step forward to attack when the laughing-crying ghost face turned and looked at him, eyes shining with bizarre light.
“Ah, a quasi-celestial…. I think I’ll eat you too!” Laughing loudly, the ghost face abandoned the shattered remnants of the sealing mark and shot toward the Celestial. The other two ghost faces looked on, clearly terrified of the laughing-crying ghost face. However, after a moment, they joined in to attack the Celestial.
Everything was happening too quickly. Everyone on the bone galleon was having their life force sucked away from them, and as a result, were completely ashen-faced and in despair. The devas had it a bit better off, and in fact, Bai Xiaochun wasn’t losing any life force at all.
However, his eyes were completely bloodshot as he stood there glaring at Ghostmother! He looked like he was about to explode!
Now that the world projection sealing mark had been destroyed, and the three ghost faces were harrying the Celestial, Ghostmother once again turned into a huge mouth that turned to consume Gongsun Wan’er. And of course, Gongsun Wan’er was still occupying Hou Xiaomei’s body!
Hou Xiaomei shivered, and black smoke began to pour out of her eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. It rapidly transformed into the image of a young girl, who looked around bitterly at the world around her, and then glanced back at Hou Xiaomei.
“Don’t hurt her….” she murmured. Then she closed her eyes, and her soul body was swallowed up by Ghostmother.
At that point, another soul body emerged, which belonged to none other than Hou Xiaomei. It too began to float toward Ghostmother….
Bai Xiaochun felt like his heart was being torn apart. Blue veins bulged out on his neck and face, and his eyes turned more bloodshot than ever. Then, he shouted out in a voice that even attracted the notice of the Celestial and the three ghost faces!!
“Ghostmother!! If you want to consume Gongsun Wan’er, that’s your business. But if you hurt Hou Xiaomei, then I, Bai Xiaochun, swear an oath that, whether I have to go to the highest heavens or the deepest hells to do it, I will kill you!!!”