Back when Bai Xiaochun had first become part of the cultivation world, he had never even heard of demigods, let alone had it as a goal to become one. But now that he was in the mid Deva Realm, he was actually very close to that level.
Furthermore, back in Giant Ghost City in the Wildlands, he had acquired a drop of soul-blood from the Giant Ghost King, which had temporarily allowed him to experience what it was like to be a demigod!
Even more important was how the baby girl had told him that the lands in the north were the foundation of a magical item, and were filled with countless reserves of the spiritual energy of heaven and earth.
Although he couldn’t be sure if that good fortune would allow him to achieve a full cultivation base breakthrough, he did know that it would enable him to crush anyone in the Deva Realm!
Furthermore… he might even be able to fight a demigod!
Finally, he took a deep breath and transformed into a bright beam of light that shot over the horizon. A few days later, he found a suitable ice river in which to carve out an immortal's cave, where he sat down cross-legged.
Worried about repercussions from the Celestial, he didn't immediately call out to the baby girl, but instead, decided to wait.
After half a month went by without the Celestial returning, Bai Xiaochun finally started to feel confident. However, he still waited for another three months.
Finally, he couldn’t wait any longer. His eyes opened, and he took a deep breath as he pulled the coffin out of his bag of holding. Looking at it hesitantly, he said, “Everything that needs to be said between myself and the Frigid Matriarch… has been said. It won’t do her any good to try to pull a fast one on me!”
Gritting his teeth, he pulled out the ice leaf and placed it gently down onto the surface of the coffin.
The leaf instantly sank down into the coffin, and landed onto the baby girl’s forehead. Dazzling light flashed, and the leaf disappeared.
Even as Bai Xiaochun looked nervously at the coffin, an excited voice that he hadn’t heard in quite some time suddenly spoke into his mind.
“The aura of the north… frigid coldness… the aura of awakening….
“You've done well…. When I fully awaken, it will only last for a hundred breaths. I can’t do it now. Follow my directions to the entry node…. Once there, I can wake up fully, and the countdown of 100 breaths will begin. That will be the time to open the entrance to the magical item!”
Bai Xiaochun shivered with apprehension. He had put a lot of thought into this matter over the past months, but since he had made his decision, he rose to his feet and began to follow the baby girl’s directions. He left the immortal's cave, and then began to trek deep into the ice plains of the north.
Before long, he was led to a mighty ice river. After looking around the area briefly, he stomped his foot on the ground, which caused an enormous crevice to open up.
He looked down at the crevice, then flew inside. On occasion, he found barriers of ice blocking his way, which he would simply destroy. After the time it takes an incense stick to burn, he was far beneath the surface of the plain.
He was now in an enormous ice cave that was filled with strong frigid qi. Ice spikes jutted out everywhere, as well as smaller rivers of ice, making the entire place seem very dangerous.
As soon as he was in the cave, he realized that, far below on the ground was a huge lake that looked like a mirror!
The surface of the lake was covered with smooth ice that radiated a feeling of extreme age. Everything was silent as he floated down and landed on the lake, within which he could see his reflection. The entire place seemed profoundly mysterious.
“I'm here…. You know what the consequences will be if you’re lying to me, right? I'm not going to fight you for control of the magical item. As long as you don’t do anything to hurt me, we’ll be fine. But if you have any ill intentions, you’re dead! I'm sure you know which is the best choice for you to make!”
At this point, the baby girl’s excited voice sounded in his mind. “This is the place! Hurry up and take out the coffin!”
Bai Xiaochun didn’t hesitate to do just that. He took out the coffin and gently placed it down onto the surface of the mirror lake.
Almost immediately, the coffin began to shine with bright light, and powerful fluctuations began to roll off of it.
At this point, the baby girl’s voice again rang out into his mind.
“Thank you for your help, Bai Xiaochun. Don’t worry. You won’t regret this. And no, I'm not lying to you!
“I left this sole entrance node into the magical item years ago. This is the only location to get into the world that exists inside of it!
“I need 100 breaths of time to open the node. Once it’s open, we’ll both be sucked into the magical item!
“After we’re inside, I’ll need some time to fuse with the magical item and become its spirit automaton…. As for you, feel free to absorb the energy of heaven and earth that has built up inside over the innumerable years which have passed!
“Trust me. When the two of us come out again…you will not regret your decision!” The baby girl couldn’t suppress the excitement in her voice. As she finished speaking, the coffin began to shine with dazzling light, and at the same time, to melt!
As the coffin melted, Bai Xiaochun could see the baby girl growing larger! In the blink of an eye, she was a beautiful young woman! Then, she began to shine so brightly that it was impossible to see anything of her beyond her outline!
A powerful aura began to radiate out from her which didn’t rise up into the air, but rather, shot down toward the mirror lake.
The lake became water, which started rippling back and forth as the young woman sank down into it.
That caused the ripples to grow more intense, and sent rumbling sounds echoing out in all directions.
Bai Xiaochun’s heart raced as he looked on nervously. One breath of time after another ticked past as the ripples grew more intense, and the young woman sank into the resulting vortex.
The vortex spun slowly at first, but after 20 breaths of time, it was spinning quite rapidly. As the vortex connected with the power of the energy node, a tunnel was forming that led into the magical item!
At 40 breaths of time, the rumbling grew so intense that it was impossible to hear anything else. Many of the ice spikes and ice rivers couldn’t sustain the intense sound, and shattered.
However, Bai Xiaochun wasn’t paying attention to that. All of his attention was focused on the vortex.
50 breaths. 60 breaths. 70 breaths….
Bai Xiaochun’s heart was pounding as the vortex spun with utter madness. By this point, he was fairly certain that he could see something that resembled a cave-like tunnel inside of the vortex!
Beyond that tunnel was… another world!
“30 breaths of time left!” Bai Xiaochun couldn’t help but take a few steps closer. However, even as he did, a familiar voice suddenly echoed out.
It sounded like a screaming wind mixed with laughter and wailing. As soon as Bai Xiaochun heard the voice, his face fell, and he spun to see a shadowy figure blurring into the cave through the crevice above!
“You? Didn’t the Celestial capture you?!?!” Bai Xiaochun’s mind began to spin at the possibility that the Celestial might also be present.
“The Celestial!? He only got a soulclone!” This shadowy figure was none other than the laughing-crying ghost face!! The ghost face cackled as he looked down at the vortex, his eyes shining with greed.
Although Bai Xiaochun found the ghost face’s response to be shocking, at least it indicated that the Celestial wasn’t present. Unfortunately, he also knew that he wasn’t even close to being a match for this ghost face, and the fact that he had a greedy gleam in his eyes caused his heart to begin pounding.
“Dammit! How did the Celestial screw up like that? He only got a soulclone?!” Bai Xiaochun immediately began to edge backward.
“So,” the ghost face said loudly, “it turns out there’s a world treasure hidden beneath these ice plains. Hahaha!! The Celestial doesn’t realize it, but you can't fool me! It turns out that shadowing you was a good choice after all. Sacrificing a soulclone will definitely be worth it if I can sow destiny with a magical item like this. With it… this whole world can be mine!!” Eyes shining with unprecedented brightness, and radiated terrifying cultivation base fluctuations, he advanced!