Chapter 280: Patriarchs, Stop This War!
"What gives me the right? I'm the blood master of Middle Peak!"
Two sects were on the verge of war, and were literally moments away from fierce fighting. But then, Bai Xiaochun's voice rang out loud and clear for everyone to hear. His words were backed by a towering blood qi that erupted out in all directions, making his voice indescribably awe-inspiring!
He wasn't attempting to be sinister, but because he was wearing his Nightcrypt mask, he naturally reverted to the way he had been in the Blood Stream Sect. His voice was cold and ghastly, and a heaven-shaking, earth-shattering murderous aura raged around him, causing everything to go silent.
The implication behind the words he had just spoken was something no one could ever have predicted. Both sects were immediately shaken, their hearts battered by great waves of shock that threatened to overwhelm them.
From a distance, the Spirit Stream Sect and the Blood Stream Sect looked like two enormous clouds, one white and one red. Parts of those clouds were already starting to intersect, and yet... they now ceased moving. Everyone slowly looked over... at the spot between the two sects, the spot where numerous Spirit Stream Sect cultivators were rushing to provide defense, and numerous Blood Stream Sect cultivators were speeding with murderous intentions. Everyone was now looking at... Bai Xiaochun!
Jia Lie, who as one of the closest to Bai Xiaochun, felt as if his mind were being struck by lightning. Eyes widening, he began to tremble, and forgot to breathe. He was completely struck mute. Echoing in his mind were the words Bai Xiaochun had just spoken... and his eyes were now faced with... the blood master of Middle Peak, Nightcrypt!
"You're... Nightcrypt...?" he said, trembling. Ever since the trial by fire for blood master, Jia Lie's fear of Nightcrypt had fermented, and now, he was completely dumbstruck.
The blood qi and murderous aura swirling around Bai Xiaochun made it so that he didn't need to offer any proof. Jia Lie was immediately convinced... beyond the shadow of a doubt... that this was Middle Peak's Blood Master Nightcrypt!
He wasn't the only one to give voice to his shock. Not too far away from him was Master God-Diviner, who had just been bubbling with excitement at the thought of killing Bai Xiaochun and growing his reputation. However, as soon as Bai Xiaochun put that mask on, he turned into something that haunted Master God-Diviner's nightmares: Nightcrypt.
"Night... Nightcrypt!" he shrieked. "This is... impossible!!"
Those two weren't the only ones among the charging Blood Stream Sect disciples. Moments ago, vicious, murderous grins had covered their faces, but now they were gasping. Their eyes were as wide as if they had been struck across the face with a piece of wood.
"How... how is this even possible?!?!"
"Heavens! Nightcrypt the Plaguedevil... is Bai Xiaochun...?"
"I can't believe they're the same person!!"
Xu Xiaoshan was so surprised he almost bit off his tongue. Never before in his entire life had he witnessed anything this outrageous. It almost seemed more unbelievable than the hallucinations he'd experienced on Corpse Peak. In fact, he was nearly convinced that he was seeing things.
Then there was Song Que, who's killing intent had previously been raging. Now, everything was reversed. His mind almost couldn't keep up with what was happening, and he hovered there, mouth gaping, trembling, eyes blanker than they had ever been in his life.
It was a difficult thing for him to accept. As far as Song Que was concerned, Nightcrypt was an enemy, and Bai Xiaochun was an even more so an enemy. Unexpectedly, those two enemies were actually one and the same....
The battlefield instantly went silent. Even the patriarchs of the two sects forgot to fight, and simply looked down at Bai Xiaochun.
The Song Clan patriarch's expression was that of shock and other mixed emotions. Patriarch Limitless seemed surprised and suspicious. The Spirit Stream Sect's founding patriarch, as well as Patriarch Ironwood, seemed incapable of believing the preposterous scene which was playing out in front of their eyes.
The legacy echelon cultivators and the blood rippers were just as shocked as everyone else. As for the three blood masters who Bai Xiaochun had previously sworn an oath with, they felt like their minds were about to explode.
"Nightcrypt... is Bai Xiaochun?" murmured the blood master from Lesser Marsh Peak. He suddenly felt as if his world had been turned upside down.
The Blood Stream Sect cultivators weren't the only ones to be shaken. Once Bai Xiaochun put on the mask and turned into Nightcrypt, the Spirit Stream Sect cultivators felt as if lightning and thunder were bashing their minds. Gasps rose up within the Luochen Mountains, along with countless cries of surprise, alarm, disbelief, and incredulity!
Shangguan Tianyou had been laughing coldly as he waited in anticipation for Bai Xiaochun to be killed. But now, his eyes were on the verge of popping out of his skull. As he panted, his mind devolved into a complete blank.
Ghostfang, Gongsun Yun, Beihan Lie, and the other Chosen of the Spirit Stream Sect were all profoundly shaken. That was especially true of Zhou Xinqi, whose eyes couldn't have been wider. To her, it seemed as if the world of this moment was a completely preposterous place.
She suddenly remembered what Bai Xiaochun had said to Hou Xiaomei, that when Bai Xiaochun was around, Nightcrypt wouldn't dare to show his face.
"This... this...." Zhou Xinqi felt as if everything around her was devolving into chaos.
Some distance away, Hou Xiaomei was gaping in shock. She almost couldn't reconcile that the grand and lofty Bai Xiaochun that existed in her heart was also the most terrifying of all cultivators, Nightcrypt.
She wasn't the only one who had such a reaction. Hou Yunfei, Big Fatty Zhang, and Third Fatty Hei were all left completely speechless.
As for Li Qinghou... he suddenly felt as if he didn't even know Bai Xiaochun, and could do nothing more than stare in shock.
Even as everyone reeled, Bai Xiaochun looked at the hosts from the Blood Stream Sect, swished his sleeve, and then spoke in an infinitely cold and raspy voice, "How dare you fail to offer greetings to a blood master!"
Even as the words left his mouth, he drew upon his Undying Live Forever Technique, causing the energy of a blood master to ripple out. All cultivators from Middle Peak instantly felt an unstoppable pressure weighing down upon them!
It was a profound and dignified pressure that instantly changed the feeling of the battlefield for them.
Trembling, Jia Lie was the first to fall to his knees to kowtow. Then came Master God-Diviner. As the moments ticked by, the previously maddened disciples of Middle Peak began to drop to their knees. As the shocked Spirit Stream Sect cultivators looked on, even Song Que was forced by Bai Xiaochun's blood master pressure to drop down and kowtow.
"Greetings, Middle Peak Blood Master!"
More and more such cries rang out, until all of the Middle Peak cultivators were on their knees, trembling, even the ones further back within the army.
At a broad glance, it was possible to tell that the number of people who were prostrating themselves to Bai Xiaochun... made up a full twenty percent of the army. That was all of Middle Peak!
There was only one person that Bai Xiaochun didn't cause any pressure to weigh down upon. That person was about 30 meters away from him, trembling, eyes filled with disbelief, pain, and other mixed emotions.
She was the grand elder of Middle Peak, Song Junwan!
Her reaction was different from the reactions of the others. Mostly, she felt pain. After Nightcrypt had gone missing, she had barely been able to sleep. She had poured all the resources at her disposal into searching for him. She had even implored the Song Clan patriarch to help. Just when the war was about to be fought, she had sat alone atop the huge blood sword, thinking about Nightcrypt, and wondering where he was. From the moment he had gone missing, her heart had been filled with a bitter melancholy.
Never could she possibly have imagined that it would be on this very battlefield, under these circumstances, that she would once again lay eyes on him.
Everything was quiet as Song Junwan looked at Nightcrypt. After a long moment, she spoke, her voice laced with bitterness and pain. "Just... who are you? Are you Nightcrypt, or Bai Xiaochun? Who... who are you?!?!"
She was trembling, her eyes were bloodshot, and it was impossible to prevent the emotions she felt from ringing out in her words.
Bai Xiaochun didn't respond immediately. Even he wasn't completely sure how he felt about Song Junwan. However, when he saw the tears welling up in her eyes, he softly replied, "I'm... I'm both!"
Song Junwan's tears flowed down her cheeks... then dropped slowly down to the ground below.
"You're both...? So everything was a sham...." She felt like a fool. As she thought back to everything that had occurred between herself and Nightcrypt, her heart filled with stabs of pain. Weakness flooded through her, and she began to weep like a helpless child.
Bai Xiaochun gritted his teeth and looked up at the patriarchs of the two sects. Raising his voice, he said, "I am Bai Xiaochun, legacy echelon-designate of the Spirit Stream Sect. I'm also the blood master of Middle Peak, Nightcrypt. Patriarchs, stop this war. Fighting isn't the only way to solve the problems we face!
"Both sides need something that can be a basis for trust between the two sects. Well... can't I be the basis of that trust!?!?" His words spread across most of the battlefield, and the cultivators who heard them said nothing in response.
The Song Clan patriarch hovered in mid-air, hesitating. Although he couldn't quickly accept the fact that Nightcrypt was Bai Xiaochun, one thing was for certain: it didn't matter who Nightcrypt was, he was still the blood master of Middle Peak, and he cultivated Middle Peak's magics. However, despite how much the sect cared about Blood Master Nightcrypt, they wouldn't allow a blood master to interfere with matters that could affect the survival of the sect as a whole.
The Song Clan patriarch was just about to say something when Patriarch Droughtflame suddenly began to laugh coldly.
Eyes glittering, he cried out in a sinister voice, "Blood Master Nightcrypt has been captured by the Spirit Stream Sect. What a vile and shameless act, Spirit Stream Sect! How dare you attempt to use our own blood master against us! Today, I will eradicate you, destroy your legacies, and exterminate every member of your sect!! Men, bring the blood master back into the blood clouds!"
With that, he waved his sleeve. The fighting... was now about to break out again!