Chapter 242: Trial By Fire for Blood Master!
"The vixen makes another move!" A fragrant, silky aroma entered Bai Xiaochun's nose, causing a mysterious sensation to pulse through him. Anxious and more on guard than ever, he watched Song Junwan leave.
"This isn't gonna work," he thought, sighing. "One of these days, that vixen is going to go in for the kill. I might have incredible willpower, I might be an amazing fighter, I might have numerous, uncountable outstanding qualities, but this vixen is just too dangerous." After taking some time to calm down, he sighed again.
"Ah whatever. Once I get the relic of eternal indestructibility, I'll go back to the Spirit Stream Sect, and then things will be fine. Besides, I've been missing Xiaomei lately." Settling down cross-legged, he meditated until the following morning. Then, his eyes snapped open. His cultivation base was at its peak, and he was full of energy as he emerged from his immortal's cave. 1
"Everything comes down to this!" Chin stuck up, he proceeded along proudly. As he did, many cultivators saw him, and bowed their heads deferentially. This was his first time appearing in public with his bloodstreak battlerobe, which had been sent over a few days earlier from Lesser Marsh Peak.
Only bloodstreak elders could wear bloodstreak battlerobes, which had built-in magical devices that could defend against an attack from a Core Formation expert. Such robes could only be produced at significant cost.
Nightcrypt's handsome face combined with the bloodstreak battlerobe created quite an eye-catching scene. Many people looked over with awe and reverence on their faces.
Bai Xiaochun enjoyed being treated in such a way, and even slowed down a bit as he flew through the air toward the upper finger. Eventually, he landed in front of Blood Master Temple, where a large group of people had already gathered.
Song Junwan and Xuemei's groups were clearly separated, and the two women were staring at each other coldly. Xuemei had twenty cultivators backing her, all of whom were awe-inspiring late Foundation Establishment experts. Their expressions were placid, but they radiated intense, murderous auras.
Not every person in the group was considered Chosen, but they were all practiced killers who were famous even outside the sect. The reason why people like this would be Dharma protectors for Xuemei actually had a lot to do with the fact that her father was Patriarch Limitless.
Song Junwan also had a formidable group gathered behind her, including Song Que. Most were direct bloodline clan members of the Song Clan.
All of Middle Peak's bloodstreak elders were gathered, as were many other ordinary cultivators. Once the trial by fire began, they would all be waiting for the new blood master to come out.
Several blurry figures could be seen floating up above, and from the pressure that weighed down from them, it was obvious that they were patriarchs of the sect.
There were four of them, two of whom Bai Xiaochun had only seen once before, during the grand lich summoning ritual. The other two were more familiar; the Song Clan patriarch and Patriarch Limitless.
When Bai Xiaochun arrived, the Song Clan patriarch saw him and gave him a glare. Shivering, Bai Xiaochun ducked his head and hurried over to Song Junwan.
As he did, Song Que looked at him and chuckled coldly. "You can't do anything right, can you? You even managed to show up late for the trial by fire. If you're scared of dying, why don't you just stay home!"
Yawning, Bai Xiaochun looked over, making sure to drag his eyes slowly over Song Que's recently re-grown hair and eyebrows. "As naughty as ever, aren't we, Que'er?"
"YOU!" Song Que growled through gritted teeth. Glaring at Bai Xiaochun, he was about to say more when Song Junwan intervened with a cold snort.
"Enough!" she said. "Both of you shut your mouths. If you want to argue, I'll personally arrange for it to happen, after the trial by fire!"
Bai Xiaochun blinked a few times. Considering the somewhat oppressive atmosphere at the moment, he decided not to say anything else.
Up in midair, the Song Clan patriarch and Patriarch Limitless exchanged a bemused glance. Then, Patriarch Limitless looked over the crowd and said, "Let the trial by fire for the position of Middle Peak blood master... begin!"
Patriarch Limitless then performed an incantation gesture with his right hand and waved his finger toward Blood Master Temple.
Blood Master Temple began to rumble, and then a huge crevice opened up in the square outside the temple. Strong blood qi erupted out, along with intense, pulsing coldness and blinding blood-colored light. It almost looked like an enormous mouth ready to consume anything that came near.
However, closer inspection would reveal that the blood-colored light was anything but ordinary. It was possible to see other worlds inside of that light; apparently, if you stepped inside of it, you would be sucked into one of those blood-colored worlds.
The instant the crevice opened, one of Xuemei's Dharma protectors stepped forward, his cold eyes radiating killing intent. After looking over derisively at the people gathered behind Song Junwan, he stepped into the crevice and vanished.
One after another, all of Xuemei's Dharma protectors stepped forward and entered the crevice. Last to enter was Xuemei, who cast a cold glare at Song Junwan and her group before vanishing.
As the others were stepping into the crevice, Song Junwan lowered her voice and gave her Dharma protectors more information about the Endless World of Blood.
"The first stage of the blood master trial by fire is called the Endless World of Blood!
"Xuemei and I will not be able to pass through the first stage. It is only for you Dharma protectors....
"The body of the Blood Ancestor is a place that not just anyone can enter. The first stage tests the qualifications of the Dharma protectors that the two of us have selected. It will also determine exactly how many Dharma protectors will be able to proceed to the second stage!
"In order to enter the body of the Blood Ancestor, you have to become one with him. Although he is dead, there are still parts of him which contain life force. You must convince those living systems within the Blood Ancestor that you are one of them. Only then can you avoid being expelled.
"Within that crevice are numerous worlds, each one of which can only be entered by two people at a time. Xuemei's Dharma protectors have taken the initiative to select which worlds they will go into. As for you all, when you enter the crevice, you will automatically be dragged into one of those worlds with them!
"Once inside, you and the other Dharma protector will vie for the approval of the world. Those who succeed will be able to proceed to the second stage. Those who fail will be ejected. Not only must you be on guard against Xuemei's Dharma protectors, you must also watch out for the bloodbeasts within the world. They aren't intelligent, but they are completely and utterly bloodthirsty!
"I'll be waiting for you at the entrance to the second stage!" With that, she clasped hands and bowed to the assembled group. Song Que nodded back at her, his expression somber. Then he looked at Nightcrypt, snorted coldly, and strode over to the crevice. Moments later, he was gone, and the rest of the group began to enter.
After a brief moment of hesitation, Bai Xiaochun gritted his teeth and leapt into the crevice.
Almost instant, a beam of blood-colored light swept over him, and he felt a massive force tugging at him. He completely lost control of his own body as he was sucked into the light.
Although the light didn't necessarily seem impressive from the outside, once it wrapped around him, he felt as if he were floating in a huge sea. As he was sucked along, he moved toward the end of that sea, where he saw an enormous, blood-colored sphere.
There were other spheres visible, all of which had people floating toward them. As the people neared the spheres, they were swallowed up.
Bai Xiaochun was frightened, and looked away from the all the spheres. However, it was in that moment that something strange occurred. All of the blood spheres suddenly trembled, and then sent out even more blood-colored light, all of which shone onto Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun wasn't sure if he was mistaken or not, but it almost seemed as if the blood spheres all wanted to be able to select him in particular.
There were even some blood spheres which were empty, having not been selected by any of Xuemei's Dharma protectors, which were also quivering, as if with anticipation.
Bai Xiaochun felt his nervousness mounting, but before he could react, the first blood sphere to have reached out to him seemed to go mad. Before he could get close, it actually flew toward him, then slammed into him, seemingly delighted.
Bai Xiaochun's vision went black, and he was sucked into the body of the sphere. When things began to clear up, he found himself in a strange world.
The sky was the color of the blood, the ground was the color of blood, everything was the color of blood, even the mountains and the plants.
"So weird," he thought, looking around vigilantly. The more he considered what had occurred, the stranger it seemed. After some thought, he decided it must have had something to do with his Undying Live Forever Technique.
"Could it be that I'm like a god in this place, and that's why all the blood spheres seemed to go crazy?" His eyes turned up in thought, and he cleared his throat. Then he cast his senses about, and was sure that he could sense the presence of a powerful will, a will that seemed filled with desire, something that was calling out to him.
"One of Xuemei's Dharma protectors is also in this place. I need to be careful. All of them are in late Foundation Establishment." He looked around again, vigilance mounting as he flew up into the air.
The more he flew along, the stranger things seemed. It was almost like he didn't need to use any cultivation base power to fly. The wind simply carried him along....
He didn't even see any bloodbeasts, to the point where he started wondering if they even existed here.
1. By Xiaomei he's referring to Hou Xiaomei