Chapter 288: What Bird Is That...?
Bai Xiaochun's open eyes flashed with scintillating light, illuminating the darkness of the immortal's cave like flickering lightning.
Intense cultivation base power surged through his body, not only causing a reaction in the sky overhead, but also causing fluctuations to pulse through his qi passageways.
The energy flowed through him, making a complete cycle before fusing into his spiritual seas, vanishing into the sixth, crystallized sea. It was like a convergence of massive weight and power that propelled his cultivation base higher.
Rumbling sounds filled him that only he could hear, shaking his mind and heart. It was almost like the Tideflows he had experienced in the Fallen Sword Abyss. Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath, reveling in the feeling of intense power that vastly exceeded anything from before.
"Late Foundation Establishment!" Bai Xiaochun looked up and started laughing, excitement written across his face. As of this moment, all of his hard work in the Foundation Establishment stage had come to fruition.
"From now on, I, Bai Xiaochun, can easily crush anyone in early Foundation Establishment! If any early Foundation Establishment cultivator dares to provoke me, a slap from me will leave them screaming in pain!" Trembling in excitement, he rose to his feet, and as he did, cracking sounds rang out as a third heavenly demon appeared behind him!!
Outside in the sky, the clouds swirled rapidly, and thunder crackled. Within the vortex up above, a heavenly demon appeared, and then a second, and a finally, a third!
Three enormous heavenly demons were right out in the open for everyone to see, and it instantly caused the cultivators of the Spirit Stream Sect who were garrisoned in the area to cry out in shock.
"Those... those look like Dharma Idols!!"
"Heavens! What technique is Sect Uncle Bai cultivating!?"
Similar cries could be heard coming from the Blood Stream Sect. Because of the techniques cultivated by Lesser Marsh Peak, the cultivators from the Blood Stream Sect already had speculations about what they were seeing.
"That's a Lesser Marsh Peak body refinement technique!! That's the Heavenly Demon Body!"
"Nightcrypt definitely deserves to be the Blood Lord. Now that he's reached this level in his body refinement, he'll definitely proceed to the blood fiend level!"
On the two mountain peaks, the Song Clan patriarch's eyes shone brightly, and Patriarch Ironwood's eyes glittered with mysterious light. Both of them were shaken by the heavenly demon incarnations they saw in the sky.
After a moment passed, the Song Clan patriarch said, "My boy Nightcrypt's Heavenly Demon Body is already quite different from Lesser Marsh Peak's...."
A thoughtful look appeared on Patriarch Ironwood's face. The two of them exchanged a glance, but didn't say anything else.
Inside the immortal's cave, Bai Xiaochun's excited laughter rang out as he felt his fleshly body power rising. He felt more blessed than ever.
"How could this be happening? The medicinal pills that Father and Patriarch Ironwood gave me shouldn't have pushed my cultivation all the way to this point. Unless....
"Unless my injuries stimulated some latent power inside of me! Hahaha! That must be it!" Bai Xiaochun almost felt like dancing with joy. In his current state, he really felt incredibly powerful.
"Wait, hold on. I can't be arrogant, and I definitely have to keep working hard. Now that I'm in late Foundation Establishment, I have to crystallize my seventh through ninth spiritual seas, and reach the great circle of Foundation Establishment. Then I can break through to the Gold Core stage!!!" As he thought about the Gold Core stage, he began to pant, and his eyes shone with bright light.
"I heard that if you can reach the Gold Core stage, you'll get at least five hundred additional years of longevity.... Five hundred years...! If I succeed, that means I'll be able to live for at least a thousand years!!" His hands clenched into fists, and his eyes shone as if with madness. The idea of being able to live for a thousand years filled him with so much excitement that he almost couldn't control himself.
"I also have the second volume of the Undying Codex. I've finished the steps with the ancient mammoths and the berserk ghosts. Next is the Heavenly Demon Body. Once I make enough heavenly demons, I can proceed to the Asura Body. Once I'm finished with the Asura Body, I can take the second volume of the Undying Codex to the highest level, the Undying Heavenly King Body!!" Slapping his chest confidently, he laughed loudly and prepared to leave his immortal's cave to perform some tests and see exactly how powerful he had become.
However, after having only taken a few steps toward the door, his face suddenly fell. Considering the level of his cultivation base, he was able to clearly detect that two beams of light were flying in his direction. They were none other than Song Junwan and Hou Xiaomei.
Obviously, they had sensed Bai Xiaochun's cultivation base breakthrough, and realized that his session of secluded meditation was over.
As soon as he thought about the terrifying things that happened when those two women showed up together, his face went pale, and his heart began to tremble. He suddenly slapped his chest, causing his face to turn ashen. He swayed in place a bit, pretending to be weak as he trudged out of his immortal's cave. Song Junwan and Hou Xiaomei approached, and they were clearly preparing to say some sarcastic things, but then they saw his weak demeanor, and their faces fell. Forgetting all about their desire to get into a row, they flew over.
"What's wrong, big bro Xiaochun!?"
"Nightcrypt, what's wrong? Weren't things going well just now?" Looking very worried, both women reached out to support Bai Xiaochun by the elbow as they led him back into the immortal's cave to lay down on the stone bed.
As they comforted him with soft, gentle words, he was reminded of how tender they had been in past times. Now that they weren't fighting or arguing, he could breathe a sigh of relief.
He coughed a few times and then weakly said, "Perhaps toward the end my qi flow was interrupted. I just need some rest, and then I'll be fine."
As the two women waited on him, he lay back and closed his eyes to rest.
Hou Xiaomei and Song Junwan knew that Bai Xiaochun needed some peace and quiet, so they left silently. After they were gone, Bai Xiaochun opened his eyes and breathed a sigh of relief. Not much remained of the elation he had felt because of his cultivation base breakthrough, and now, his expression was twinged with anxiety.
"What do I do now...?" he thought, scowling at the seemingly unbearable situation.... After a bit of consideration, he decided that the best thing to do was to continue to pretend to feel unwell.
Time passed. Before long, half a month had gone by. He couldn't continue to pretend to be weak that entire time, so he gradually started to pretend to look better. As time passed, Song Junwan caught on to the fact that he was pretending to feel unwell. As for Hou Xiaomei, she was a simple girl, but she wasn't stupid. Even she started to suspect.
When Bai Xiaochun realized that, he was so scared he started shaking. This kind of life was a torture, and by now, he was considering trying to go join the war effort. However, the thought of the deadly dangers of the battlefield caused him to hesitate.
"Ah, whatever. I can hang on for a bit longer. Maybe I can think of some other way to deal with this...." Tugging on his hair in frustration, he continued to ponder the situation. Finally, his expression suddenly changed, and he looked very depressed.
Maintaining that look, he shuffled out of his immortal's cave, whereupon Hou Xiaomei and Song Junwan arrived....
Gaze soft and voice gentle, Hou Xiaomei said, "Big bro Xiaochun, it's not good to stay cooped up in your immortal's cave. Let's go for a walk together, okay?"
"Um...." he replied hesitatingly.
Smiling enigmatically, Song Junwan reached out to support Bai Xiaochun's left arm. "Nightcrypt, to cultivators like us, that type of injury is really nothing. Come on, let's go out into the Luochen Mountains for a bit. If you get your qi and blood moving, it will definitely speed your recovery."
In turn, Hou Xiaomei glared and reached out to support his right arm.
Bai Xiaochun gaped in shock. He didn't even get a chance to respond to either of them before they were leading him out of the immortal's cave.
After only a few steps, his feet actually left the ground. He felt like a death row inmate being dragged to his own execution as the two women stared daggers at each other across him. Beads of sweat popped out on his forehead, and he almost felt like crying.
It was currently dawn, and a faint fog covered most of the Luochen Mountains. As the morning light grew stronger, the fog began to dissipate; it was a very beautiful scene. After being carried out of his immortal's cave, quite a few cultivators from the two sects saw him, and looks of compassion appeared in their eyes as they hurried past the group of three.
Bai Xiaochun opened his mouth to speak, but then closed it just as quickly. It didn't seem like a good time to talk. If he did, it would definitely lead to more headaches. Therefore, he gritted his teeth and decided that going for a bit of a walk wouldn't be so bad.
Even as such thoughts passed through his head, a bird flew by overhead. It was bright red, and quite beautiful, and as it flew along, it let out a melodious cry.
Song Junwan saw the bird, and looked surprised. "Look, Nightcrypt! A bloodspirit heron! I never thought I would see one of the Blood Stream Sect's bloodspirit herons here. I used to love to watching them flying around back on Middle Peak."
Even as Bai Xiaochun looked up at the bird, Hou Xiaomei bristled with a killing aura and loudly said, "Bloodspirit heron? What are you talking about? That's obviously an irispetal ibis from the Spirit Stream Sect!"
Song Junwan looked over angrily at Hou Xiaomei, who, unwilling to be outdone, stuck her chest out and glared back defiantly.
Bai Xiaochun was stuck between them, sweating profusely. Things were reaching a point where he almost couldn't deal with the headache. That was when Song Junwan laughed charmingly, and looked at Bai Xiaochun with sparkling, mesmerizing eyes.
"Nightcrypt, what do you think? Is that bird a bloodspirit heron or an irispetal ibis?"
Not willing to be outdone, Hou Xiaomei grabbed Bai Xiaochun's arm. Looking completely heartbroken, she softly asked, "Big bro Xiaochun, tell that old auntie that it's an irispetal ibis."