Chapter 294: To The Front Lines
The war had reached a fever pitch on the Heavencraft Continent. Of the Profound Stream Sect's 29 temple headquarters, 28 had already been captured!
The last temple existed on what had once been the border of Pill Stream Sect territory. There it stood, tall and mighty, the final point of resistance.
It was located right in the middle of a sprawling mountain range that was even more majestic than the Luochen Mountains.
The mountain range was split in half, almost as if a giant as tall as the sky itself had cleaved it into two halves with the stroke of an axe. In the resulting gap, past generations of Profound Stream Sect patriarchs had paid an enormous price to erect a massive city!
That city was the final remaining temple headquarters of the Profound Stream Sect, and it was large enough to house millions of people. It was also protected by a vast number of spell formations. Virtually all of the surviving Profound Stream Sect cultivators were holed up in the city, which everyone knew would be the location of the final battle.
The army of the Blood Stream Sect and the Spirit Stream Sect had been pushing the fight toward the city for a month already. They had attacked with incredible force, but this was the Profound Stream Sect's last stand. Even with the bedraggled remnants of the Pill Stream Sect attacking the city from the other side of the mountain range, it had not fallen. The Profound Stream Sect was holding out until the bitter end, hoping that the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect would lose patience and intervene!
After all, the longer things dragged out in the Lower Reaches, the longer the Sky River Court would have to prepare in the Middle Reaches!
Because of that, the patriarchs of the Spirit and Blood Stream Sects had initially intended to use a blitzkrieg strategy to end the war as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, their momentum had stalled just outside of this final enormous city.
Around the time that the two sides reached a deadlock, Bai Xiaochun completed his mission. The majority of the Profound Stream Sect stragglers had been rooted out. In the process, Bai Xiaochun and his two hundred followers had packed their bags of holding full of cultivation resources.
By this point, the entire group radiated the air of riches, and made a spectacular sight wherever they went. Eventually, they found themselves on a vast plain that was the final stretch before reaching the front line itself.
Even from this distance, they could detect the fluctuations of battle, and could hear the rumble of magic being unleashed.
The wind carried with it the reek of blood, and across the plain in front of them were strewn numerous corpses and patches of gore.
Bai Xiaochun stood at the edge of the plain, vigilantly studying the scene spread out in front of him. There were no subversive cultivator clans here, and in fact, there were even squads of Blood Stream Sect cultivators moving about here and there. However, Bai Xiaochun had developed a keen sense for danger, and could tell that by crossing this plain and heading to the front lines, there would definitely be danger.
The sense of danger weighed down on him heavily, especially when he saw the distortions in the air off in the distance, evidence of the fierce fighting that was going on. He couldn't help but think of his past experiences with the Luochen Clan, in the Fallen Sword Abyss, and in the trial by fire for blood master.
Bai Xiaochun wasn't the only one who was on guard. The other cultivators around him felt the same, especially Beihan Lie, Master God-Diviner, and Jia Lie. Those three had been to the front lines before, and knew that fighting with the Profound Stream Sect was a very dangerous affair. If one wasn't careful, one could end up dead.
After all, this was a war in which whole sects faced the threat of extermination. In the fighting, no quarter was given, and one side or the other would end up dead.
At the moment, Bai Xiaochun had two choices. He could head back into the conquered territory, or proceed onward to the front line to fight with the Profound Stream Sect cultivators.
"What should we do now?" he asked aloud. As far as he was concerned, taking risks wasn't the best thing to do. If he wasn't careful, he could lose his poor little life. Clearing his throat, he continued, "If we go back...."
Before he could finish speaking, his heart skipped a beat as intense murderous auras sprang up from the cultivators around him. Clearly, they were itching to fight.
Bai Xiaochun blinked a few times as everyone turned to look at him with strange looks on their faces, as if they couldn't believe what he had just said. "If we go back into the conquered territory...."
Beihan Lie frowned. Master God-Diviner and Jia Lie's jaws dropped.
Bai Xiaochun's heart skipped another beat, and regret began to rise up inside of him. However, he plastered a proud smile onto his face and stirred his cultivation base, causing his energy to soar. Looking more steel-veined than ever, he swished his sleeve dramatically and said, "If we go back into the conquered territory, how could we live with ourselves? We're cultivators, right? What are we afraid of, dying? Let's go to the front lines and fight the Profound Stream Sect to the death!"
Then he laughed bravely. The murderous auras of the surrounding cultivators erupted.
"Starting this day, we will fly our banner on the battlefield!" Laughing uproariously, he stepped out onto the plain.
Beihan Lie's heart trembled. Taking a deep breath, he also began to laugh heartily as he followed Bai Xiaochun. Jia Lie and Master God-Diviner didn't suspect anything at all. Based on their experiences, Blood Master Nightcrypt was a violent and ruthless individual.
The other cultivators of the two sects also began to laugh vigorously, and soon, the entire group was moving across the plain toward the front lines.
With everyone clustered around him, Bai Xiaochun looked completely extraordinary. However, inside, he was crying. He had no desire at all to go to the front-line battlefield. Unfortunately, he felt as if he had no other choice. His hand was being forced. Thus, he led his team across the plain, gnashing his teeth the entire way.
They went along for a few days, and Bai Xiaochun's nervousness mounted. It reached the point where even the slightest stirring of a branch or blade of grass would cause his heart to leap with fear. One afternoon, a group of a few dozen beams of light suddenly appeared off in the distance.
It was a squad of Profound Stream Sect cultivators, and as soon as they noticed Bai Xiaochun, their expressions flickered. However, instead of retreating, their faces filled with the desire to do battle. Roaring in rage and hatred, they closed it at top speed.
"People from the Spirit and Blood Stream Sects! Fight them to the death!!'
"Die!!" Among the dozens of cultivators were eight in the Foundation Establishment stage. The entire group was clearly dead set on fighting.
Bai Xiaochun was startled, but before he could even open his mouth to say anything, more than half of the cultivators surrounding him threw out glowing spheres. Upon reaching the Profound Stream Sect cultivators, the spheres exploded.
The Profound Stream Sect cultivators all had different reactions. Some of them suddenly looked around blankly. Some of them howled madly at the tops of their lungs. Some of them clutched at their throats. Some of them were clearly hallucinating, and started lurching about.
As they were thrown into chaos, the cultivators surrounding Bai Xiaochun shot forward with flashing eyes and vicious grins. Booms rang out as the slaughter commenced.
The entire process lasted for the time it takes half an incense stick to burn. Bai Xiaochun watched as his zealous followers then tidied up the battlefield, sweeping up the bags of holding and distributing their contents to the rest of the team. Bai Xiaochun was suddenly struck with the sensation that the group he led was as fierce as a pack of wolves or tigers.
Bai Xiaochun took his share, and then declared, "Excellent. This is how we cultivators should be. This place is newly conquered territory! Let's clean things up here and make a name for ourselves on the Heavencraft Continent!"
The surrounding cultivators' expressions brightened, and within moments, they were speeding away off into the distance.
Half a month flew by, during which time Bai Xiaochun and his team encountered groups of Profound Stream Sect disciples on four or five occasions. Their numbers ranged from dozens to hundreds.
At first, they seemed ferocious, but after the glowing spheres were unleashed, their ranks scattered. Bai Xiaochun and his people met success in every encounter, and their killing auras grew stronger.
By now, Bai Xiaochun wasn't nervous at all. He spent most of his time replenishing the glowing spheres. As they proceeded along, the fighting grew more intense. At one point, they encountered a group of nearly 300 Profound Stream Sect cultivators. Although the fighting was fierce, Bai Xiaochun's side easily attained victory.
The glowing spheres were so effective that very few cultivators could escape their effects.
News spread until the Spirit and Blood Stream Sects as a whole had heard, and even the Profound Stream Sect forces knew of what was happening. However, because of the critical state of the war, they couldn't pay it much attention.
Bai Xiaochun felt extremely relaxed. Currently, he was reclining comfortably on the huge blood sword, surrounded by shouting cultivators.
"The Middle Peak blood master has infinite magical powers! The Spirit Stream Heaven-Dao expert can shake the whole world!"
At one point, a beam of light appeared off in the distance. It was a young man who held a stack of paper talismans in his hand. He was coughing up blood, and his face was ashen. Clearly, he was in a bad situation. Every few seconds, he would toss one of the paper talismans out to block the people that were chasing him. Those paper talismans were the only reason he was able to keep some distance between him and his pursuers.
Hot on his tail was a group of about 200 enemy cultivators.
At the head of that large group was another young man with bristling killing intent. He was only in mid Foundation Establishment, but his murderous aura made him seem as strong as late Foundation Establishment.
As soon as Bai Xiaochun saw him, his eyes widened. "Nine-Isles!"
Then his eyes flashed as he realized that the cultivator being chased was none other than Xu Xiaoshan!