As soon as he entered the Wildlands, the reek of blood and gore assailed his nostrils. Looking around, he saw that the already barren and infertile terrain looked even more desolate. Everything seemed stained deep crimson, and was filled with a sensation of rot.
Although the clues of magical combat could not be seen literally everywhere, it was so pervasive that it was almost omnipresent. Severed limbs, broken bones, and other evidence bore testimony to the countless small-scale skirmishes that had taken place here and there.
The Wildlands had already been devoid of vegetation in most places, and now it was even more so. In fact, the desolate landscape was now covered with rifts and crevices, with many mountains having been completely destroyed.
He passed one area with a diameter of 500 kilometers, which was filled with a muddy slush that emanated an aura of death, and was filled with countless corpses from both sides of the conflict.
Carrion birds congregated among the corpses, picking away at gore and flesh, only to be frightened into the air by Bai Xiaochun’s passage.
Masses of them began to fill the sky, staring at Bai Xiaochun with gray, frightened eyes.
The sight of all the corpses caused Bai Xiaochun to shiver. He had seen too many such battlefields in his life. After all… he had fought in quite a few wars. Whether it was the war of the four sects in the Lower Reaches, the numerous fights in the Middle Reaches, or the fierce combat at the Great Wall, Bai Xiaochun was well-acquainted with the savagery of warfare.
But nothing he had ever seen could compare to this.
In the wars he had experienced, the battlefields were usually tended to after the fighting. But in this great war between the Wildlands and the Heavenspan region, no one was going around cleaning up after the fighting.
It was hard to say how long these particular corpses had been here. However, the state of decay they were in caused a gory, fetid aroma to fill heaven and earth….
After merely glancing around, Bai Xiaochun turned and continued to head toward Giant Ghost City.
After he left, the carrion birds calmed down, and eventually went back to their feasting….
Time flew by, although Bai Xiaochun wasn’t very conscious of exactly how much. All he knew was that there was no time to waste. Therefore, he used all the means and power at his disposal to speed toward his destination. Any other demigod would have had trouble matching such protracted speed. But Bai Xiaochun had mastered the Undying Blood, and thus had unimaginable powers of regeneration. Even after sustained periods of explosive speed, both his fleshly body and his cultivation base were still at their peak.
He moved so quickly that, from a distance, he was nothing more than a beam of light streaking through the air.
As he got deeper into the Wildlands, he passed one abandoned battlefield after another, causing him to tremble more and more.
The first 500-kilometer-wide battlefield was actually nothing compared to what he saw later. He saw some which were thousands of kilometers across…. There was one which was more than 5,000 kilometers from end to end. Bai Xiaochun wasn’t sure what to think about that. All he knew… was that he had never seen such a scene of bloody slaughter.
Craters and ravines covered the landscape. Areas which had once been jungles or forests were now burned to the ground, leaving behind little but cinders and ash.
The savage tribes which had dotted the area were no more. Furthermore, the oversized corpses of the giants were particularly conspicuous on the battlefields.
“Why…?” Bai Xiaochun murmured. The closer he got to Giant Ghost City, the more his anxiety and madness built.
Eventually, when he was actually within the territory that was controlled by Giant Ghost City, he saw… a glowing golden shield that pulsed with the aura of Heavenspan Seawater. Clearly, that shield was keeping the entire area locked down.
In the very middle of the area protected by the shield… in a location far away, but close enough for Bai Xiaochun to see… was a sight that brought back many memories. Giant Ghost City!
The golden shield was obviously created by a spell formation, and was designed to prevent anyone from interfering. The Heavenspan forces wanted Giant Ghost City trapped and isolated. As long as the Giant Ghost Legion managed to hold the line, they would be fine, but if they were defeated, then that golden shield would become like an enormous prison that no Wildlander would be able to escape. All of them would be exterminated.
That shield couldn’t have made it more obvious that the Celestial was intent on wiping out the heart and soul of the Wildlands.
The sight of it caused Bai Xiaochun’s eyes to become even more bloodshot. Just as he was about to use his Undying Hex to pierce through the shield, it shimmered, and three faces appeared on its surface.
They were all old men, one of whom had a golden horn protruding from his forehead. All three thrummed with deva fluctuations!
Two seemed to be in the late Deva Realm, but the third, the old man with the horn, was in the great circle, just like Chen Haosong.
When they saw Bai Xiaochun approaching from off in the distance, their pupils constricted. They could sense that he was in the great circle of the Deva Realm, and that he pulsed with the spiritual energy of heaven and earth.
Eyes flashing sharply, the old man with the horn coolly said, “He’s not a Wildlander heavenly duke…. But nobody from the four rivers is in the great circle….
“Halt! I am Arcane Guard Ouyang Chen from Heavenspan Island! I'm here on orders from the Celestial to maintain this life-severing spell formation. I don't care which sect you come from, deva, leave immediately, or you will be executed!”
These old men were actually not from any of the four riversource sects. They were from Heavenspan Island, and worked directly for the Celestial. They were a type of guard that outranked the special guards. They were arcane guards!
Arcane guards were recruited from throughout the Heavenspan region, and then propelled into the Deva Realm by means of a secret magic. No one knew exactly how many of them there were, not even the demigod patriarchs from the four rivers. They were yet another secret weapon that the Celestial used to maintain control.
There was even a rumor of a group that outranked the arcane guards. The divine guards!
All of the special and arcane guards from Heavenspan had been deployed, not only to root out and execute enemy resistance, but also to act as a sort of military police. In fact, their life-severing grand spell formation was part of their mission to carry out the final extermination of the enemy.
As far as these arcane guards were concerned, other than the demigods, no one from the four rivers qualified to deserve their respect. Devas from the four riversource sects were the type of people the arcane guards could berate at any time they wished.
Under any other circumstance, Bai Xiaochun would have provided a polite explanation. But right now, he was gripped by anxiety. He knew that the Giant Ghost King was at war with the River-Defying Sect and the other eastern sects. Therefore, there was no time to waste giving explanations to people who wanted to block his path. Therefore, instead of slowing down, he actually accelerated.
He was like a bolt loosed from a crossbow, shooting toward the golden shield at incredible speed.
“Suicidal recklessness!” said the old man with the horn, his eyes flickering with disdain. Despite the fact that Bai Xiaochun’s cultivation base rippled with the fluctuations of the great circle of the Deva Realm, the old man still snorted coldly. “Kill him!”
The other two arcane guards chuckled, and the enormous faces which represented them shrank down into two shadowy blurs that flew out from the spell formation and headed toward Bai Xiaochun. From the way they glowed with the same golden light as the spell formation, it was obvious that they had clearly been powered up by it!
The spell formation contained shocking power that, when focused onto a deva, could push his or her battle prowess very close to the level of the great circle.
Clearly, the power provided by the spell formation was the reason why the horned old man and his companions were so confident and arrogant.
“It doesn’t matter who tries to attack the life-severing grand spell formation,” shouted one of the incoming arcane guards, his voice echoing like thunder, “anyone who violates the orders of the Celestial will be killed!”
As the two devas closed in, they performed incantation gestures, summoning a huge golden scorpion that charged toward Bai Xiaochun, radiating killing intent.
“Get the hell out of my way!” Bai Xiaochun shouted, pushing forward with even greater speed. His voice became a shockwave that rumbled out with mountain-toppling, sedraining force.
The two arcane guards had no time to even get close to Bai Xiaochun. The power of his shout slammed into them, causing blood to spray from their mouths as massive force crushed into them. Their golden scorpion couldn't fight back, and to the shock of the two devas, completely exploded!
“He’s no deva….”
The two arcane guards’ expressions were those of complete shock, to the point where their eyes were about to explode.
Bai Xiaochun’s voice had been propelled by his cultivation base and battle prowess, and resulted in destructive force… that could decimate any other deva!
He was… the most powerful of all devas!