Bai Xiaochun’s scalp was tingling so hard it felt like it might explode. The person standing in front of him was capable of killing Foundation Establishment cultivators, and had already forged an unprecedented legend of heaven-defying ferocity. From what Bai Xiaochun knew, he should have been able to enter the world of the sword much earlier on. What could he possibly be doing so far down outside the sword?
As soon as Song Que’s eyes locked onto him, Bai Xiaochun felt a sensation of deadly crisis, and a brewing killing intent that seemed as if it might explode if Bai Xiaochun made even the slightest move.
Song Que was equally shocked. He had never imagined that a second person other than himself would reach this level. Considering the coldness, this place was clearly beyond the limit for the Qi Condensation stage, and even most other Chosen wouldn’t be able to reach it. However, Bai Xiaochun didn’t seem to have any trouble here at all.
As he stared at Bai Xiaochun, Song Que recalled the information that he had read about him in the jade slip given him by the sect.
The two of them looked at each other, remaining completely motionless. To Song Que, Bai Xiaochun was a mysterious and unfathomable individual. Although he didn’t seem to possess any killing intent, Song Que’s intuition told him that if he tried to attack… one of the two of them would most likely die. Furthermore, he wasn’t completely confident that he would be the one to make it out alive.
After a long moment, Song Que took the initiative to speak.
“60 meters below this point is an entrance.”
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes flickered, and despite the pounding of his heart, he slowly resumed his downward movement. Of course, he had no way of knowing it, but that caused Song Que’s heart to beat faster and faster, as he prepared himself to counterattack the moment Bai Xiaochun made a move.
When the two of them were only a few meters apart, Song Que suddenly shifted to the side as if to cover an area of the sword behind him, his eyes shining with a threatening light.
“Sneaky little punk,” Bai Xiaochun murmured to himself. “He’s definitely up to no good!” He continued downward until he reached the 60-meter mark that Song Que had referred to. Sure enough, there was an opening there. After a bit of inspection, Bai Xiaochun relaxed a bit and then stepped inside.
After he disappeared, Song Que breathed a sigh of relief. Considering what the sect’s introduction had explained about Bai Xiaochun, Song Que knew that he wasn’t someone to be taken lightly. Finally, a vicious gleam appeared in Song Que’s eyes. After reaching the sixth level of Qi Condensation, he had never needed to act so cautiously around anyone. He’d even gone to the length of telling Bai Xiaochun about the location of the entrance down below.
“This Bai Xiaochun might be extraordinary, but once my plan is carried out, I’ll kill him as easily as stepping on an ant!” Eyes burning with killing intent and fervor, he turned to study the surface of the sword.
“The report from Senior Limitless was accurate. Here’s the energy node!”
Bai Xiaochun felt like he was passing through a sheet of water. Moments later, he was inside the world of the sword. Everything around him was black and white.
The sky was white, and the land was black. Everything looked like an ink wash painting….
Mountains rose and fell, black river water swirled along, and up above he could see countless stars whose twinkling seemed like the blinking of eyes.
Most shocking of all was how the entire world was tilted. Bai Xiaochun almost felt like he was standing on the side of a hill.
It was a strange sensation that would take some time to get used to.
“Just what kind of sword is this? It has a whole world inside of it? It’s a lot smaller than the real world outside, but it’s still completely shocking.” As he looked around, he realized that he was completely alone. Based on his calculations, he wasn’t in the deepest parts of the sword world, but he was definitely much further in than most of the other disciples.
After a bit of thought, he proceeded downward, leaving the entrance behind. After enough time passed for half an incense stick to burn, he reached the crest of a small mountain, whereupon his expression flickered. His right hand shot out, shining with silver light as he snapped his two fingers in the air off to the side.
Ripples spread out as a black snake appeared next to him, only as wide as a finger. Before it could do anything, it flew into his hand, and he grabbed it behind the jaw.
The snake let out a piercing cry that instantly broke the silence, simultaneously wrapping around Bai Xiaochun’s forearm and squeezing down tightly.
Bai Xiaochun was shocked by the snake’s strength. Were it not for the fact that his fleshly body could already make contact with the first shackle, the snake would most likely have been able to break free.
He pressed down with both fingers, and a cracking sound rang out as the snake’s head was crushed. The snake went limp, and then simply dissolved into a strand of gray energy roughly as wide as a stick of incense, which instantly began to float away.
“So that’s earthstring energy, huh?” He quickly pulled out his Dao bottle to collect it. After shaking the bottle a bit, he watched the earthstring energy materialize into a gray drop of liquid.
“I’d need something like a thousand of these drops to fill the bottle….” Taken aback, he looked back in the direction he’d come from. If he needed to kill a thousand banebeasts in this area to fill the bottle, who knew how many it would be necessary to kill further back.
“I need to go more quickly. I have to form that earthstring capture crystal as soon as possible.” With that, he hurried onward at top speed, searching for banebeasts the entire way. Three days later, he had about thirty drops worth of gray fluid in his Dao bottle.
During those three days, he’d killed dozens of banebeasts just to get that small amount. He felt like he was moving at a snail’s pace.
“At this speed, it’s going to take more than two months to get that earthstring capture crystal.” He stood there with gritted teeth as he realized that the best thing to do was go even deeper. With that, he proceeded onward at top speed. After about two hours, he suddenly stopped in place as he caught sight of two corpses up ahead.
These were the first people Bai Xiaochun had seen inside the world of the sword. Clearly, they had proceeded at top speed to get here so quickly, or perhaps had some other means of reaching this point.
One of them wore the clothing of the Spirit Stream Sect, and was an Inner Sect disciple from the south bank. The other wore the uniform of the Pill Stream Sect. Apparently, the two of them had fought each other to the death here. The Pill Stream Sect disciple had a Dao bottle in his hand.
Even from a distance, Bai Xiaochun recognized the south bank disciple. It was Zhou Youdao from the Inner Sect on Violet Cauldron Peak. He was one of the group of five who had entered the last of the three entrances. He had been very enthusiastic about addressing Bai Xiaochun as Sect Uncle Bai, and on the underground journey outside the sword, had fought well against the disciples from the other sects. Bai Xiaochun would never have thought that he would end up dead.
A strange, indescribable feeling rose up in Bai Xiaochun’s heart. Only a few days ago, he had been laughing and joking with Zhou Youdao. The next time he saw him, they were eternally separated by death. It almost felt as if this entire world were permeated by ruination and mortality, creating a crushing pressure that instantly reminded Bai Xiaochun of the danger around him. The slightest misstep could leave him dead. It was even possible that people might use his corpse to set traps for other disciples as well.
Fury began to burn in Bai Xiaochun’s eyes, and his fists clenched into balls. Other than Feng Yan from years ago, this was the first fellow disciple Bai Xiaochun personally knew who had died, and it caused sorrow to grip his heart. He couldn’t forget how Zhou Youdao had talked about his dream of becoming a patriarch of the Spirit Stream Sect.
“Immortal cultivation is supposed to be about living a better life. It’s about achieving your dreams. Why? Why… does there have to be all this fighting and killing…? Is it worth it?” It only took a glance for him to realize that the two corpses were a trap. Despite that, he chose… to proceed forward.
As soon as he neared the corpses, rumbling sounds echoed out from the ground. Apparently, some medicinal pills had been hidden in the area which were now exploding, sending plumes of toxic gas up toward Bai Xiaochun.
At the same time, a flying sword shot like lightning toward him, a sword surrounded by an illusory scorpion, which emitted high-pitched shrieks!
At exactly the same moment, a frighteningly powerful explosion ripped through the air from the other side, the result of more detonated medicinal pills.
On one side was a flying sword, on the other was an explosion, and he was surrounded by a toxic spell formation. Anyone who casually stepped into a situation like this would be killed beyond the shadow of a doubt.
A cold snort echoed out through the toxic gas, and someone shouted, “Die!”
Bai Xiaochun settled his qi. His face was extremely grim as the volcanic rage that had been building up in his chest suddenly erupted.
“You’ll be the one to die!” he said, his voice booming like thunder, spreading out in all directions like a gale-force wind that could topple mountains and drain seas.
His hair whipped about, his eyes shone with killing intent. It was an awesome spectacle!
His thunderous voice swept out, filled with sorrow and fury. It became a powerful attack that instantly smashed into the toxic smoke.
In the blink of an eye, the smoke was blasted away, revealing the flying sword and the explosion, as well as the two shocked disciples who had unleashed them, a young man and a young woman from the Pill Stream Sect.
The scorpion surrounding the sword let out a bloodcurdling shriek as it was crushed out of existence as if by a gigantic hand. Cracking sounds rang out from the sword as it was drained of spiritual power, then sent spinning off to the side.
As for the explosions, even their terrifying force was redirected by Bai Xiaochun, sent to land in a completely different direction.
Suddenly, everything seemed to go blurry. Shocking energy radiated out from Bai Xiaochun, who seemed to grow taller as he spoke out in a powerful voice.
“Anyone who kills a disciple of the Spirit Stream Sect will be sentenced to death!”
His words echoed like thunder, and carried the threat of extermination!
They added additional force to the blast in the area, which was no longer like a strong wind. It contained Bai Xiaochun’s killing intent, and more than that, the power of the life essence spirit of his Waterswamp Kingdom!
That was power that could easily shatter mountains and dry up seas!
Suddenly, water vapor became visible in the area. The Waterswamp Kingdom… was coming!