In the depths of the northern Heavenspan River region was an ice plain that was currently collapsing in on itself. The affected area grew deeper and wider, until an enormous ice crater appeared.
It almost looked like a huge fist had punched down onto the ice, creating an eye-catching scar in the landscape.
The trembling of the land was detectable at great distances, ensuring that the Nine Heavens Cloud Lightning Sect noticed. Master Cloud Lightning and the other devas investigated it, and even the demigod patriarch came for a personal visit.
However, no amount of searching provided any clues as to what had caused the event. All evidence had been sucked away by that vortex.
“Troubling times….” the patriarch said with a sigh and a shake of his head. Normally speaking, he would have been more focused on digging and digging until he figured out what had occurred. But now he wasn’t in the mood for that.
He turned to look in the direction of Heavenspan Island, and then back in the direction of the Wildlands. Deep in his eyes, the glint of exhaustion could be seen.
The truth was that he was not very happy about the matter of the trial by fire, and the Celestial’s so-called search for an apprentice. In fact, that dissatisfaction was why he had so openly emphasized in front of Du Lingfei that the north was a powerful, autonomous entity.
Of course, even if he were more dissatisfied than he already was, he could never express it openly to the Celestial. However, he knew that he wasn’t the only dissatisfied one…. After the apocalyptic battle in the Wildlands, and the failure of the venture inside the bone galleon, the Celestial only had one choice left.
“It seems the war… will be starting soon,” the patriarch murmured. Sighing, he turned and left.
After the cultivators from the Nine Heavens Cloud Lightning Sect left, the area surrounding the crater was very quiet. Snow began to fall again. In the years to come, the falling snow would turn into hard-packed ice, which would slowly build up. Eventually, the crater would be filled in, and although it would always look odd, it would eventually be more a part of the landscape than the gaping wound it was now.
Far, far beneath the surface, in a place that demigods and likely not even the Celestial would notice, was the world treasure. Inside of that treasure existed a unique world.
It was a magical item whose form reflected the north as a whole, with an interior that was only about thirty percent as large as the northern Heavenspan River region itself.
Only the middle region of that interior world was icy like the north. In the east, there was a huge sea that was as clear as the rainwater which occasionally fell out of the sky.
There was no lightning or thunder with that rain, as though it fell out of nowhere for all eternity, constantly filling in a sea which never overflowed….
There was a sea in the west as well, but not a sea of water. It was a sea of raging fire that cast a crimson glow into the sky, a light which was visible from far in the distance. The way the sky burned in unison with the sea below would shock anyone to the core. In terms of size, the eastern sea of rainwater and the western sea of fire were about the same.
The seas to the east and west weren’t the only strange things about this world. In the south and north were the thunderclouds and the wind valleys!
In the south, the land itself was dry and parched, not because of fire, but because of the endless thunderclouds in the sky. The thunderclouds were so thick and numerous that they were almost black, and were filled with endless bolts of lightning. The lightning contained terrifying power that would decimate the ground wherever it landed. It was really a shocking sight, even from a distance.
As for the north, it was filled with numerous intersecting mountain ranges that looked almost like twisting, coiling dragons. The mountains created countless valleys which would fill with explosive wind, thus turning the north into a land of wind valleys.
The screaming wind in the north was loud enough to shake the soul of anyone who heard it, especially when considering the barren landscape. Apparently, any living thing that tried to stand up to that wind would be transformed into rubble.
In sharp contrast to those four other areas was the central region, which seemed much safer and calmer. At the moment, a person could be seen crossing the ice plain. Shivering with cold, he would move along, occasionally looking around to size up his surroundings. He looked very nervous. He was none other than… Bai Xiaochun!
“You tricked me, Frigid Matriarch!!” he growled, scowling on the verge of tears. He had been dragged into this world two days before. Despite being pulled in along with the ghost face, the two of them ended up in completely different areas.
His Godkiller technique had ended as soon as he entered, and he had recovered his senses. Furthermore, the ghost face’s sealing technique had been dispelled. The first thing he did was find a place to hide, after which he began to carefully explore the area. However, after two days, he was already beginning to understand what this world was like, and it left him with a very bad feeling.
“There’s no accumulation of spiritual energy here! You’re a liar, Frigid Matriarch!!” One of the main reasons he had worked so hard to help the Frigid Matriarch, and to fight the terrifying ghost face, was so that he could use the supposed spiritual energy of heaven and earth in here to further his cultivation.
But now that he was inside, he didn’t see even a scrap of energy! Worse, the ghost face was also somewhere inside, and encountering him would make things very difficult. Bai Xiaochun felt like he was already going mad with frustration.
The more he thought about the situation, the worse his mood got. Even stranger was that he couldn’t perform any teleportations. Eventually, he threw his head back and howled, “Don’t play dead, Frigid Matriarch. Get out and face me!”
In the two days since his arrival, he hadn’t heard the voice of the baby girl in his mind even once. She seemed to be completely ignoring him.
That added in anger to his depression. However, he didn’t dare to yell too loudly.
“I'm definitely going to tell the gravekeeper about this! And my apprentice! And you know what, I’m going to tell the Celestial too!” Eventually, he simply sighed and proceeded along his way through the ice plain.
The main thing he wanted to do was avoid the laughing-crying ghost face. Unfortunately, despite how large the ice plain was, he was actually lucky to have not encountered him in the first two days. On the third day, even as he proceeded along cautiously, a sensation of imminent crisis caused him to shiver, and then push forward with incredible speed.
Off in the distance was a dense patch of black smoke, which rapidly resolved into the image of an enormous ghost face, which was looking at Bai Xiaochun with a cold smirk. Apparently, it had noticed him much earlier.
“You caused me a big delay, you little punk. I think I’ll skin you alive and turn you into a kite! That'll make me feel a bit better!” With that, the smoke seethed as the ghost face shot toward Bai Xiaochun.
“Senior Ghost Face, you have to listen to me!” Bai Xiaochun shrieked in terror. “I'm a victim here too! That Frigid Matriarch is a total scoundrel! Look, why don’t we join forces!?” However, even as his words continued to echo out, the ghost face opened his mouth, revealing a gaping, smoking maw that appeared right above Bai Xiaochun’s head.
Bai Xiaochun’s scalp was tingling so hard it felt like it might explode. Not having any time to think, he unleashed the power of his cultivation base to fight back when, all of a sudden, he heard the Frigid Matriarch speaking in his ear.
“Don’t worry, I’ll get you out of there!” All of a sudden, he sensed a teleportation power wrapping around him. Right before the ghost face swallowed him up, rumbling sounds echoed out, along with dazzling light, and he vanished.
When he reappeared, he was 500 kilometers away. Just was he was about to breathe a sigh of relief, another burst of teleportation power rose up, and he began to fade away again.
In the moment before he vanished, the air ripped open, and the ghost face appeared. Seeing that Bai Xiaochun was about to escape, the ghost face howled, “Where do you think you’re going?!?!”
The ghost face pursued him madly, and yet, even relying on his own teleportations, he still couldn’t catch up.
“Killing that kid isn’t that important. I need to get control of this magical item first!” Realizing that he wouldn’t be able to catch up to Bai Xiaochun any time soon, the ghost face stopped chasing him, and instead flew up into the sky to try to figure out how to gain control of the magical item!