Taking a deep, excited breath, he slowly moved the tongue of thirty-colored flame toward the mark on the back of his hand. As he did, Bai Hao’s soul began to emit unprecedentedly intense fluctuations.
“Hao’er….” he murmured. And with that, he took the thirty-colored flame that he had worked hard on for many, many years, and expended immense resources and effort to conjure, and placed it onto the mark!
The instant he did, dazzling light erupted out! Years ago, Bai Hao had sacrificed himself to conjure the twenty-two-colored flame that he needed to save Bai Xiaochun from a moment of crisis!
In return, Bai Xiaochun paid an enormous price to resurrect Bai Hao from within the mark that had once been all that remained of him!!
As the light shining off of the mark grew brighter, Bai Xiaochun’s nervousness mounted. He stared and stared at it, until finally, the mark rose up off of his hand to float in front of him, and then began to emit soul fluctuations.
The fluctuations grew more intense as the image of a soul began to take shape. Even as Bai Xiaochun looked on, it became Bai Hao!!
“Hao’er….” he breathed excitedly. Bai Hao’s eyelids fluttered, and he opened his eyes. Confused at first, his gaze eventually fell onto Bai Xiaochun, and a tremor passed through him.
A wide smile broke out on Bai Xiaochun’s face. He had been waiting for many years for this reunion, and the joy caused him to start laughing. Bai Hao’s memories were still a bit of a jumble, but when he saw his Master, everything seemed fine, and he grew calm. After all, throughout all the years, his Master had been his only family.
Now that they were back together, everything seemed calm and stable. Gradually, a smile also broke out on Bai Hao’s face. Dropping to his knees, he kowtowed three times.
“It’s been so long, Master….”
Laughter became warmth, and joy turned into familial love. Eventually, Bai Xiaochun and Bai Hao began to talk, and the words never seemed to end. As Bai Xiaochun bragged, Bai Hao gradually came to understand everything that had happened after he perished. He learned of how the Heavenspan Realm had been destroyed, and learned about the Eternal Immortal Domains. He heard of the glories his Master had achieved, and how a third mighty nation had risen up because of him.
“Oh, right. Your venerable Master is now an archaean! Have you heard of archaeans? There are only three in all of the Eternal Immortal Domains!
“And I’m not just an ordinary archaean. I could easily crush both the Vile-Emperor and the Saint-Emperor.”
Off to the side, Bai Hao blinked a few times. However, he knew Bai Xiaochun well, and understood what he liked. Eyes shining reverently, he said, “Master, you’ve always been unparalleled under heaven. It doesn’t matter where you go, you always cause a big scene. I can’t even come close to matching you in that regard. I guess I’ll have to do my best to improve.”
In response to Bai Hao’s sincere flattery, Bai Xiaochun laughed. Then he pointed at him and tried to act a bit more serious, although that was difficult.
“Hao’er, one of the things I’ve always liked about you is that you always tell the truth. Not bad. Not bad at all.”
Bai Hao chuckled. As long as his Master was happy, then he was happy. And the mere thought of everything his Master had gone through to resurrect him caused warm feelings to rise up in his heart.
At this point, Bai Xiaochun waved his hand, and was about to launch into some more bragging, when all of a sudden, the enormous tower on the mountain inside of the fan face, the one that housed the Dao Essence of Life and Death, suddenly trembled, and began to emit both black and white light.
Bai Xiaochun’s jaw immediately dropped, and off to the side, Bai Xiaochi cried, “The Dao Essence of Life and Death is being absorbed? Heavens! How… how is this possible?!”
Moments ago, the spirit automaton had been sneering at Bai Xiaochun’s bragging, but now, he flew directly toward the Daoist Tower of Life and Death. Bai Xiaochun also hurried over, followed by Bai Hao, both of them looking very serious.
Upon entering the face of the fan, Bai Xiaochun sent his divine sense into the tower, where he saw Song Que’s corpse floating in the air!
Two streams of mist that were formed from the Dao Essence of Life and Death had wrapped around him, and were slowly feeding into his body!!
“He… he… he actually got it to work?” Bai Xiaochi blurted. “No way! That doesn’t make sense….” Suddenly realizing he was speaking aloud, he gasped and looked over at Bai Xiaochun. Upon realizing that he was completely focused on Song Que, he breathed a sigh of relief.
The truth was that the chances of success were far, far lower than Bai Xiaochi had indicated years ago. After all, this tower had only been in the initial stages of research by the Worldly Daoist. However, now, his theories were proven true!
“Song Que….” Bai Xiaochun murmured. Although Song Que still had a profound aura of death, he looked different now, and was clearly turning around from the depths of nonexistence!
Without a doubt, Song Que was fusing with the Dao Essence of Life and Death, and if he succeeded, then it was highly likely he would come back to life. Furthermore, his cultivation base would probably be different, although it was impossible to say exactly how. Unfortunately, Bai Xiaochun had no way to determine the details. As for Bai Xiaochi, after he recovered from his initial shock, and realized what Bai Xiaochun was thinking, he quickly provided further input.
“Milord, this Fellow Daoist could very well fuse with the Dao Essence itself. Although he can’t get the approval of any world, and thus won’t be able to become a true sovereign, he will be as powerful as you can get without reaching that level. He will be in the quasi-Sovereign Realm!
“However, whether the fusion process goes quickly or slowly will depend on his own good fortune. After all, something like this has never happened before.” Bai Xiaochi looked over at Song Que, mixed emotions on his face. The Dao Essence of Life and Death was the Dao of the Worldly Daoist, Immortal Imperator. If Song Que succeeded in the fusion process, then in some ways, he would be the true successor of the core Daoist teachings and doctrines of the Worldly Daoist.
After hearing Bai Xiaochi’s explanation, and taking a moment to closely examine Song Que, Bai Xiaochun’s heart leapt with joy. It could be said that Bai Hao had saved Bai Xiaochun’s life, but Song Que had saved the lives of his Daoist partners and unborn children. It was a kindness that Bai Xiaochun would never be able to forget.
Eyes shining, he sighed, clasped hands, and bowed to Song Que. Then he turned and left.
In that very moment, the three imperial dynasties back in the Eternal Immortal Domains were in the process of hunting down the fallen chunks of stone, and either capturing the living things they found, or destroying them.
However, things were not going well. The stones were infected with a sovereign aura, and caused the areas where they landed to rot away. If they were found quickly, the effects could be combated to some extent. Unfortunately, some areas required that a celestial intervene.
A month passed, and although many of the stones had been tracked down, all of them were completely solid. Almost none seemed to contain flesh and blood clones of the sovereign above. In fact, so far, only one stone had appeared with a clone in it, and that was in the Saint-Emperor Dynasty.
In one location near the border of the Arch-Emperor Dynasty and the Vile-Emperor Dynasty, the Giant Ghost King was flying through the air. As a celestial, he had already taken care of seven fallen stones, all of which he had either crushed or collected. Right now, he was heading to an area where one of his demigod subordinates had discovered another fallen stone.
Thankfully, it was a remote wilderness area where no one lived. Therefore, the effects of the spreading rot were not very detrimental. Furthermore, the Giant Ghost King’s celestial cultivation base was capable of negating the effects of the rot. As he flew along, the location of the stone itself got closer and closer.
“After dealing with this stone, I’ll head back to the city,” he thought, sighing. “I’m afraid there are going to be a lot of ramifications to this event.”