Chapter 167: Nine Serenities Ghost Domain!
Bai Xiaochun's scalp tingled in fear, and his eyes went wide. A pale hand reached out, belonging to a young girl in a white dress. She wore a ferocious, enigmatic smile on her face.
Her face was half covered by her long black hair, making her look even more terrifying than she might have normally. An aura of death pulsed off of her, transforming into something that looked like vipers seeking to bore into Bai Xiaochun's eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and even his pores.
However, just when the hand was about to touch him, his nine spiritual seas erupted with a Heaven-Dao aura, and the aura of death collapsed. The hissing snakes were wiped away, and the girl's hand withered, revealing dead skin and sticky, dripping blood. It was terrifying to the extreme.
The girl let out a begrudging howl that echoed out into the air.
At the same time, the teleportation power surrounding Bai Xiaochun exploded out with full force, and he vanished from the Fallen Sword World.
After all of the disciples from the four sects were gone, the Fallen Sword World continued to collapse. But then, something else happened. Massive amounts of hazy gray mist billowed out and began to fill the world. It was rife with an aura of death, and smelled like rot. Even the four powerful teleportation formations crumbled into ruins because of the rotting aura.
In the blink of an eye, the entire world... became a domain of ghosts. Howls rose up from within the mists. Apparently, all of the banesouls which had existed in the world were now beginning to awaken.
Strangely, the huge sword stopped crumbling!
In the outside world, Ouyang Jie and the others saw the sword cease crumbling, and watched as black mist begin to pulse out of it. They exchanged dismayed glances. However, a moment later, they tried once again to enter the sword, and this time had no problem doing so.
As they entered, they could still sense a fading holy aura.
"Heavenstring energy!!! That's heavenstring energy!!" Even as their faces flickered with shock, the sinister voice of a young girl rose up from the mists below.... It sounded bizarre and cruel, and filled the entire world.
"The heavenstring energy hath been harvested by your disciples. Henceforth, this place shall be called... the Nine Serenities Ghost Domain. In the future, do not set foot in this place. Any who violate this prescript will have their entire sect exterminated!"
As soon as the voice rang out, Ouyang Jie and the others coughed up mouthfuls of blood. The voice crashed in their ears like thunder as they were forcefully ejected from the world.
"Banespirit!!" they cried in alarm. The pressure they felt was something that exceeded the Nascent Soul stage. Trembling, hearts battered by waves of shock, they retreated at full speed, simultaneously sending word back to their sects.
"The Fallen Sword World has been transformed into the Nine Serenities Ghost Domain. Furthermore... one of the banesouls awakened and became a banespirit!!"
"The heavenstring energy was taken away? Who? Which disciple of which sect got it? Does that mean... someone reached Heaven-Dao Foundation Establishment!?!?"
Even as they fled, the former Fallen Sword World, which was now the Nine Serenties Ghost Domain, filled up with mist. Standing in the mist was a girl in a white dress, holding a skinless, shrunken version of Lei Shan. At first she was looking up into the sky, but then she lowered her eyes to gaze at the tens of thousands of banesouls in the area. All of them... were prostrating themselves to her!
Not a single sound could be heard.
As for Lei Shan, his eyes were filled with incredible terror and pain.
Standing next to the girl in the white dress was a pretty young woman with expressionless eyes, a puppet. She was none other than... Gongsun Wan'er.
There was no poison upon her any more, nor any centipedes. The human-faced spider had transformed into mist and vanished. She was now completely clean and empty, inside and out....
"Aw, you don't want to stay and play with me, big bro...?" the girl said, her voice sinister and bizarre. "Well, that's fine. I'll be able to leave this place soon, then I can come find you. I'll show you how pretty this new dress of mine is." The girl chuckled and looked over at Gongsun Wan'er.
The fact that the Fallen Sword World had been transformed into the Nine Serenities Ghost Domain was a major event in the eastern Lower Reaches of the cultivation world. What had once been a Foundation Establishment Holy Land was now a domain of terror!
Furthermore, one of the banesouls had awakened and turned into a terrifying, sentient banespirit. Even the elders of the four sects were left jumpy at the thought of it.
However, there was nothing that could be done about the matter. Although the matter would influence the four sects to some degree, it wasn't a huge loss. Furthermore, it was a joint loss to all four sects. What was most astonishing of all was the information confirmed by the voice of the girl... the heavenstring energy had been taken.
That meant someone must have reached Heaven-Dao Foundation Establishment.
"Who was it.... Which sect and which disciple got the heavenstring energy!?"
"Dammit! If it was one of the other three sects, that means they'll have a Heaven-Dao Foundation Establishment disciple. We need to kill that person when they're weak. If they reach Core Formation, they'll be a force not easily stopped!"
"It was definitely our Blood Stream Sect. Hahaha! Now we have both Patriarch Limitless... and another top-level cultivator!"
The four elders immediately used transmission jade slips to get the information back to their sects as quickly as possible.
At the same time, they tried to make contact with the disciples who had been teleported out of the Fallen Sword World. Unfortunately, they soon found that the fluctuations caused by the teleportation made communication impossible.
Soon, the Blood Stream Sect, Profound Stream Sect, Spirit Stream Sect and Pill Stream Sect were sent a huge commotion. Even the patriarchs of the sect were shaken. Large numbers of Foundation Establishment Dharma protectors and elders were dispatched. Even prime elders were sent out. No effort was spared to track down the disciples who had been teleported out to random locations.
All they had to do was find one disciple, and they should be able to get information about what had occurred in the Fallen Sword World. Most importantly, everyone wanted to know... who got the heavenstring energy!
In the Spirit Stream Sect, the founding patriarch personally passed down orders which sent countless Inner Sect disciples and Foundation Establishment elders into action. Even Outer Sect disciple were called upon. They flew out from both the south bank and the north bank, spreading out with one mission: find the disciples who had been teleported out of the Fallen Sword Abyss.
As soon as a single one was located, they were to report back to the sect immediately.
The first person to be located was not one of the numerous disciples from the Spirit Stream Sect, but rather, one of the five remaining Pill Stream Sect disciples!
The Pill Stream Sect had sent 80 disciples into the Fallen Sword World, and more than ninety percent of them had been killed. Luckily for the Pill Stream Sect, one of the five disciples who made it out alive happened to be teleported to a location just outside of the Pill Stream Sect itself.
When the Pill Stream Sect elders and sect leader arrived, they found an extremely weak disciple, his energy almost completely drained. Fellow disciples immediately supported him, pouring their own spiritual power into him so that he could speak. Trembling, eyes flickering with fear, he weakly explained, "Dead. They're all dead. Eldest Brother Fang Lin was killed. Zhao Rou is also dead. All of them were exterminated by Bai Xiaochun from the Spirit Stream Sect!!
"Bai Xiaochun... completed nine Tideflows. He and Song Que fought over the heavenstring energy, and... he reached Heaven-Dao Foundation Establishment!!"
The disciples' words left the Pill Stream Sect cultivators, and even the elders and the sect leader, completely shaken. Gasps could be heard, and eyes went wide with disbelief.
"Heaven-Dao... Foundation Establishment!?"
"Bai Xiaochun? Spirit Stream Sect?!"
The sect leader's eyes flickered, and he grimly said, "Immediately send word to all of our spies in the Spirit Stream Sect. Tell them to find Bai Xiaochun and kill him. Spare no effort whatsoever!!"