Nine enormous vortexes swirled in the sky of the Fallen Sword World, slowly eating away at any hope which remained in the hearts of the disciples down below. In any Foundation Establishment Holy Land, earthstring energy was limited, and could only be used by so many cultivators to reach Foundation Establishment.
Furthermore, the number of cultivators who could succeed was not fixed. If someone reached eight Tideflows, they would absorb even more earthstring energy than usual, significantly reducing the overall amount in the world, and would force some people to end their own Tideflows prematurely.
Of course, someone reaching eight Tideflows wasn’t the most terrifying scenario…. The worst was if some prodigy came along among the Chosen who managed to reach nine Tideflows. Once someone reached the peak of Earthstring Foundation Establishment, they would most certainly slaughter the people from the other sects who had tried to interfere, and prevent them from succeeding. In fact, even people from that person’s own sect who had interfered might also be killed!
Such a thing had only ever occurred once, 800 years before with Master Limitless. A scene of madness had played out at that time, in which the Pill Stream Sect was completely wiped out, and only a few people from the Profound Stream Sect and the Spirit Stream Sect escaped with their lives. Even many people from the Blood Stream Sect were slaughtered by the enraged Master Limitless.
For the disciples from the four sects who hadn’t formed their earthstring capture crystals yet, they either had to resign themselves to their fates, or go on a killing rampage, resorting to any tactics possible to succeed. Sometimes that would even mean ambushing fellow disciples.
It was all for the chance to get the earthstring capture crystal and then reach Earthstring Foundation Establishment.
Time passed. The second wave, which consisted of Shangguan Tianyou, Xu Xiaoshan, Beihan Lie and Zhao Rou, had all completed their first three Tideflows. As for Ghostfang, he had already completed his fourth, and was moving on to his fifth.
Song Que and Nine-Isles were already halfway through their fifth.
Bai Xiaochun… was the fastest of them all. He was almost finished with his fifth Tideflow. Earthstring energy was rushing into the vortex, and a fifth spiritual sea was forming inside of him.
Four hours later, a tremor ran through him as the fifth whirlpool inside of him expanded. Tideflow power erupted, and his fifth spirit sea was completed in his dantian region. His fifth Tideflow was over!
“Now for the sixth!” he said, his eyes glimmering with intense focus. Having reached this point in the process, he had no desire to give up. He wanted to know what his limit was. He wanted to know how far he could go. He wanted to know… how many Tideflows he was capable of!
“The Violet Qi Cauldron Control Art was the basis of my first Tideflow. Violet Qi Cauldron Summoning was the second. As for my third and fourth, that came from the power of the dragon and mammoth!
“The fifth Tideflow should have been from the magic of sea-forming. However, because I broke through the first shackle of mortality, that turned into my fifth Tideflow. Therefore, it’s now time to continue on with sea-forming magic and start my sixth Tideflow!” Taking a deep breath, he again called upon the explosive power of the Dragon Mammoth Sea-Forming Scripture. Having already used the power of the dragon and the mammoth, it was now time to use the power of sea-forming!
The so-called sea-forming was actually a method of creating a spiritual sea, of forming a Dao foundation!
Almost immediately, a sixth vortex formed up in the sky, within which was a majestic, roiling sea.
Although the vortex was a spectacular sight, it was somewhat unstable, and didn’t absorb energy very quickly. Bai Xiaochun had the Waterswamp Kingdom, but didn’t want to use that yet. Since he could use the power of sea-forming, he didn’t want to waste his powerful secret magic.
When the other cultivators saw what was happening, they began to sigh with relief.
“Bai Xiaochun’s sixth Tideflow is unstable. From the look of it, he’s already reached his limit, and won’t be able to last much longer. That crumbling mountain in the fifth Tideflow must have been his only secret magic.”
“Six Tideflows is already pretty amazing. More than that would be spectacular!”
It was at this point that Fang Lin and Nine-Isles also breathed sighs of relief. They were completely on guard, and keeping close track of everyone else’s progress.
“Bai Xiaochun’s already reached the end, so there’s no need to worry about him anymore.” That was what both of them were thinking.
Ghostfang frowned. Considering that he knew Bai Xiaochun hadn’t used his secret magic yet, he could tell that something strange was going on. As for Song Que, he looked on, eyes glittering thoughtfully.
Time passed. Bai Xiaochun’s sixth Tideflow slowly sucked in earthstring energy, and although the vortex wasn’t stable, it didn’t collapse.
Gradually, there were a few other disciples who managed to form their earthstring capture crystals and begin their Tideflows. One of them was Hou Yunfei.
It was after the sixty-hour mark passed that Bai Xiaochun’s sixth Tideflow finished. Most people present assumed that he was finished….
In the little immortal’s cave he’d carved out beneath the lake, his eyes glittered as his sixth spiritual sea formed inside of him. Then, he took a deep breath and suddenly stretched both arms out in front of him.
“Secret magic… Waterswamp Kingdom!”
Water vapor filled the immortal’s cave, growing more and more dense until it began to seep out into the lake water itself. The lake began to seethe, and in the blink of an eye, expanded rapidly.
Within a few breaths of time, it grew so rapidly that it became less like a lake and more like a sea.
Up above in the sky, Bai Xiaochun’s sixth vortex had stopped moving. However, instead of vanishing, it seemed to be building up energy.
Then… a faint pressure began to weigh down in the Fallen Sword World, to the surprise and shock of everyone. Even Nine-Isles and the other top Chosen were all astonished….
Bai Xiaochun raised his hands up above him, then shoved them back down. Instantly, huge waves roiled out across the surface of the lake up above, along with intense rumbling sounds. The sixth vortex began to ripple and distort, then spin like mad. Gasps rang out in the Fallen Sword World as… a seventh vortex appeared!
However, that wasn’t the end of it! In the same instant that the seventh vortex appeared, the air above it began to twist and turn. Countless clouds seethed as an eighth vortex appeared!
The seventh and eighth vortexes appeared at the same time, accompanied by thunderous rumbling that struck shock into the hearts of all the cultivators present.
“Impossible!! He clearly used a secret magic for his fifth Tideflow!”
“Secret magic! That’s a secret magic! Heavens! What he used before wasn’t actually a secret magic!?!?”
“I can’t believe two vortexes appeared at the same time. Is that… is that the Spirit Stream Sect’s spectacular secret magic, the Waterswamp Kingdom? Or is it Ghosts Haunt the Night?!?!”
Soon, the cries of shock turned into bellows of rage.
“Eight Tideflows! He’s reached eight Tideflows! If he succeeds, a vast amount of earthstring energy will be sucked away!”
The entire sky shook as the seventh and eighth vortexes began to spin rapidly. The power of the Tideflow that erupted out to absorb earthstring energy was vastly stronger than anything before, greater by dozens of times over. It was like the power of an enormous black hole, reaching out into the entire world and tugging at all the earthstring energy in it.
The vortexes belonging to the other disciples began to twist and distort, and even slow down their own absorption.
It was at this point that Fang Lin opened his eyes, then spoke in a voice that rose up into the vortex above him and spread out to fill the entire area. “Pill Stream Sect disciples, heed my command: kill Bai Xiaochun. Stop him from completing his eighth Tideflow!! All who comply will receive special compensation from me upon returning to the sect. I’ll acquire Foundation Establishment Pills for all of you, and take care of you for your whole life!”
At the same time, Nine-Isles sat in his spell formation, his eyes flickering with killing intent. “Profound Stream Sect disciples, heed my command: exterminate Bai Xiaochun. Kill him, and his earthstring energy will disperse back into the world. That will benefit me, you, and everyone!”
Even as Nine-Isles’ words echoed out, Song Que opened his eyes. After a moment of thought, he said, “Blood Stream Sect, heed my command: kill Bai Xiaochun and put an end to his Tideflow!”
Hou Yunfei was starting to get nervous, but being in the middle of his own Foundation Establishment, could do nothing to help.
Shangguan Tianyou’s eyes flickered, and a cold smile appeared on his face. He had been shaken by the fact that Bai Xiaochun started his seventh and eighth Tideflows simultaneously, but now he wasn’t so nervous.
“You’re simply courting death,” he murmured. “You can’t blame us for that.” With that, he closed his eyes and proceeded with his own Tideflow.
Ghostfang’s eyes glittered. Although he felt no ill will toward Bai Xiaochun, at the moment, he couldn’t help him even if he wanted to.
Beihan Lie hesitated for a moment. By this point, he wasn’t sure how he felt about Bai Xiaochun. He hated him, and even wanted to kill him. But as more time passed, he had reached a point where he didn’t want Bai Xiaochun to die at the hands of anyone except himself.
“Despicable wretches!” he shouted. However, he was powerless to offer any assistance at the moment.
As the number one Chosen from the various sects issued their orders, the other disciples in the Fallen Sword World looked on with bloodshot eyes.
“Kill Bai Xiaochun. If he dies, then his earthstring energy will disperse, and we’ll have a chance to succeed!”
“That’s right. Song Que, Nine-Isles and even Fang Lin are people we can’t risk provoking. But according to the sect’s information, Bai Xiaochun isn’t the strongest here. We can definitely take him down!”
“I think each sect has different information about Bai Xiaochun…. But now’s not the time to worry about that. Kill him, and we’ll all have a chance to reach Foundation Establishment!”
“He doesn’t qualify to reach eight Tideflows!”
Eyes crimson, disciples sped from all directions toward Bai Xiaochun’s lake. The Spirit Stream Sect disciples were starting to get nervous, but considering that all of the disciples from the other three sects were joining forces, they were completely outnumbered.
They were able to stop some of them, but not all. Soon, disciples from all three sects were closing in on Bai Xiaochun.
It was at that point that Bai Xiaochun’s eyes snapped open.
“Wanna kill me?!”