Bai Xiaochun lost track of how many times he was teleported, but he felt like all of his five yin organs and six yang organs were about to be ripped to shreds.
Eventually, he appeared in an ice cave somewhere on the ice plain. Even he wasn’t sure exactly where he was.
If it weren’t for his powerful fleshly body and the regenerative capabilities of his Undying Blood, he most likely would be dead. In fact, he was so dizzy it took him several breaths of time to recover.
However, despite the fact that he was still a bit angry, some hope had finally appeared.
Worried that the Frigid Matriarch might have heard his dialogue with the ghost face, he decided that it would be best to try to smooth things out. “I thought you had just used me and dumped me, Frigid Crone….”
At this point, the Frigid Matriarch’s voice echoed out into his mind yet again. “That old ghost caused some problems with the fusion process…. I'm afraid it's going to take quite a bit of time. I need four or five years at least….”
“Four or five years?” Bai Xiaochun replied, stunned. “Are you kidding me?”
All of a sudden, he got a very bad feeling about where things were going.
“This is no joke,” the Frigid Matriarch continued. “I can’t reopen the entrance before I finish the process. Therefore, you need to live here for the next few years!”
When Bai Xiaochun heard her explanation, he nearly exploded.
“So, you did screw me over after all!!” he shouted, forgetting about trying to be safe. “There’s no spiritual energy at all in this damn place! How am I supposed to practice cultivation? And what about that ghost? How am I supposed to survive for five years with him around? I want out of here. Now!”
“Technically speaking, there is no spiritual energy,” the Frigid Matriarch said coolly. “But in the east, there is a sea of rain. In the west is the flaming sky. In the south are the thunderclouds. And in the north are the wind valleys. Those areas formed through convergences of spiritual energy. Just go there, and you shouldn’t have any problem absorbing the energy!
“I can’t do anything about that old ghost right now, and I can’t expel him. However, as I gain further control of the magical item, I’ll be able to slowly suppress him and lower his cultivation base!
“Take advantage of the good fortune here, and your cultivation base should progress by leaps and bounds. Just hang in there for a few years, and before long, you’ll be strong enough to deal with him yourself!
“After I completely fuse with the magical item and become its spirit automaton, I’ll need to sleep for a bit of time before fully activating it. Don’t worry, before I sleep, I’ll make sure you can leave. After fully activating the treasure, the north will rise to prominence, and our agreement will be fulfilled!”
Unfortunately, this explanation only made Bai Xiaochun more frantic and nervous. Waving his hand urgently, he said, “Hold on, let me get this straight…. You mean I need to wait four or five years until you become the spirit automaton. Then, you’ll open the entrance and let me out. But afterward, you need to sleep for a bit more time to be able to fully activate the magical item?”
After hearing this, Bai Xiaochun felt even more than ever like he was about to go crazy. “Well how come you didn’t explain that beforehand? Why’d you wait until we were inside before telling me?!”
“How was I supposed to know that some old ghost would follow you and sneak inside?! Look, it is what it is. I need a few years to become the spirit automaton, and before then, nobody can leave. You’re on your own now, alright?” With a cold snort, the Frigid Matriarch retracted her consciousness, leaving Bai Xiaochun completely alone.
“Hey, hold on a second!!” he shouted. However, no amount of shouting and yelling got any response. In the end, he tugged at his hair in frustration and bitterness and said, “Liars! Everyone’s a liar! I guess I'm just too pure and simple.”
The idea of being stuck in this place for four or five years filled him with despair. Maybe if the old ghost wasn’t stuck inside along with him, it might have been endurable.
Forget four or five years! Keeping his poor little life safe for four or five months seemed difficult to do, let alone years.
After stewing in frustration for a bit, he realized that he really had no options at hand, and that he would have to just deal with the situation. Finally, he crept out of the ice cave to try to figure out exactly where he was.
Almost as soon as he was out in the open, he heard the crackle of thunder, and could see that, not too far off, endless thunderclouds filled the sky, along with… never-ending lightning.
“Lightning….” he murmured, his eyes flickering with hesitation. He suddenly thought back to the Nine Heavens Cloud Lightning Sect, and how the lightning bolts there had increased his cultivation base. However, he had also reached a point where the lightning bolts didn’t aid him, and he had been unable to consume them. At that point, he had nearly been fried to death.
He was torn over what to do, and was trying to decide what decision to make when, all of a sudden, he saw a strand of black smoke a few dozen meters behind him on the ice.
The instant that smoke appeared, it converged into a fist-sized ghost face, which looked over at him.
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes went wide, and he lurched into motion with a shriek of anguish.
“Found you at last!” the ghost face said, smiling cruelly. At the moment, more than 10,000 similar wisps of black smoke in other locations on the ice plain all formed into ghost faces that spoke the exact same words.
The more than 10,000 ghost faces rose up into the air and began to speed in the direction of the one that was closest to Bai Xiaochun. It took only a short moment for them to converge and transform into a towering ghost face.
“You’re always messing things up for me, you little punk!” the ghost face roared. “I'm not going to give up until I skin you alive!!” With that, it began to pursue Bai Xiaochun. Earlier, after abandoning the chase, he had made an attempt to wrest control of the magical item. Unfortunately, he found that the other divine soul which he had been competing against had been a bit faster, making his own efforts completely useless.
Furthermore, his cultivation base level didn’t qualify him to interrupt the process. The only option he could think of was to destroy the entire magical item, but that was something he could only have succeeded at when at his peak level of power.
In his frustration and anger, he decided that he would first kill Bai Xiaochun, and then come up with a way to solve the problem later. After using a secret magic to split into 10,000 parts, he had spread out in all directions… and finally found Bai Xiaochun.
“The first time, the Celestial showed up!” he said angrily. “The second time, I didn’t have the attention to spare to kill you! The third time, that damned spirit automaton teleported you away…. You’re pretty lucky, punk. But I refuse to believe that on this fourth time, you’ll escape into a bunch of lightning that even I'm fearful of!” Although the ghost face was coming to find that this Bai Xiaochun was relatively hard to kill, he still snorted coldly and shot after him as quickly as possible in the direction of the thunderclouds.
As he closed in, he spit out a burst of black smoke that transformed into a clawed hand that attempted to grab Bai Xiaochun!
Bai Xiaochun's heart was filled with a sensation of deadly crisis. Without any hesitation, he spit a beam of black light out of his mouth, which was the turtle wok. Pushing it out almost like a shield, he used it to defend against the clawed ghost hand.
A boom rang out, and Bai Xiaochun coughed up a mouthful of blood. The force of the blow sent him flying backward, flesh torn and bleeding, cultivation base unstable. However, the fearsome regenerative power of the Undying Blood immediately began to heal him.
In fact, he even borrowed the momentum to shoot forward, simultaneously using his Undying Hex.
“Another treasure?” the ghost face said, shocked by the sudden appearance of the turtle-wok. Then his face lit up with delight.
As for Bai Xiaochun, his eyes were now completely bloodshot. Even defending himself with the turtle-wok had resulted in significant injuries, which made sense considering the vast difference in battle prowess between himself and his opponent.
Given how closely he was being pursued, he realized that he only had one chance… the thundercloud region!
Although the lightning constantly smashed the ground to bits in terrifying fashion, and the horrors of Lightning Penitentiary were still fresh in mind, he had no other options.
“Time to go for broke!!” he roared. Even as the ghost face closed in, Bai Xiaochun… blurred into motion toward the thunderclouds!
The instant he entered the region, a lightning bolt locked onto him and shot down.