Even as the Saint-Emperor spoke the words, Bai Xiaochun vanished and reappeared in front of him up in the sky. There, he waved his hand, causing an invisible barrier to spring up around them that would keep their words, and even their divine sense, masked and undetectable.
What the Saint-Emperor had said was what Bai Xiaochun had already suspect to be the case, and both of them were completely shaken by the thought. If it were true, then it was likely that the Mortal Renegade wouldn’t need even half of a sixty-year-cycle to break free from the sealing strip.
After all, the sealing power of the strips didn’t just come from their bloodlines, but also from the natural laws put in place by the Eternal Mother. For example, back when Bai Xiaochun had unmasked the imposter Vile-Emperor and exposed him to those natural laws, his clone form had instantly begun to wither away. In some ways, the natural laws of the Eternal Immortal Domains were one of their greatest protections.
But now, the fact that Xiaoxiao had not been approved of showed that something was definitely amiss.
Looking at Bai Xiaochun with clear unease, the Saint-Emperor said, “There’s definitely something wrong with the Eternal Mother!
“That’s the only explanation for why Xiaoxiao hasn’t received her approval, even after the tribulation was dispelled!
“Nothing like this has ever happened before. Last month, I attempted to call out to the Eternal Mother. In the past, it always worked, and I could definitely sense her. But now… I can’t sense her at all, no matter how many times I call out. It’s almost as if… the Eternal Mother’s final act was to slip into an eternal sleep!
“I would imagine it had something to do with the imposter Vile-Emperor, and the Enemy from Beyond. Perhaps it’s even part of the Enemy’s plan!”
Bai Xiaochun didn’t respond. He looked down at the crowd gathered below in the imperial palace, all of them looking up at him anxiously. Sighing, he realized that it would be impossible to keep this matter a secret for very long.
“We now have the external threat of the great sovereign, and the internal threat of the Eternal Mother falling into slumber. Arch-Emperor, I know we’ve had our differences in the past, but right now, we have to work together, without any reservations!
“If one of us can become a sovereign, then perhaps we’ll have a chance at surviving the impending catastrophe. Perhaps we can ensure that at least a part of the Eternal Immortal Domains survives….” Where Bai Xiaochun had been spending his time with his family and friends recently, the Saint-Emperor had simply been sitting around stewing in his anxiety, until it had reached a near-boiling point.
Of course, Bai Xiaochun also understood that he needed to work with the Saint-Emperor, and try to reach the Sovereign Realm. That was their only hope.
Unfortunately, becoming a sovereign was a very, very difficult thing to do. One needed the approval of an entire world, in an ever greater way than when one became an archaean. If archaeans were like adopted progeny of a world, then sovereigns… were like firstborn children!
It was a huge difference, and required a major sacrifice by the will of the world itself. The truth was that both Bai Xiaochun and the Saint-Emperor knew… that the Eternal Immortal Domains could not sustain the existence of a sovereign. In fact, the reason no other archaeans had appeared for so long was that the Eternal Mother was too weak, and did not have the will or the qi flow to support a third archaean.
That was one reason why both the imposter Vile-Emperor and the Saint-Emperor had been so shocked that Bai Xiaochun was an archaean.
Without Bai Xiaochun’s good fortune of acquiring the final scrap of qi flow from the Immortal World, then he would not currently be an archaean.
“I’ve called out to the Eternal Mother on numerous occasions recently, and every attempt failed. And today, she didn’t appear along with Xiaoxiao’s breakthrough. Something has definitely gone wrong!
“In order to become a sovereign, one has to have the approval of the Eternal Mother. Arch-Emperor, we have to find her. We have to wake her up! That is our only hope of becoming a sovereign!”
“Where is she?” Bai Xiaochun asked, something he had been wondering about for a while now. Unfortunately, the Arch-Emperor Dynasty didn’t have very profound reserve powers; the Heavenspan Realm had been destroyed, and the gravekeeper was dead. Because of all that, much of the legacy-related information that should have been passed down remained a mystery to him. For example, details about the Eternal Mother.
Matters were completely different with the Saint-Emperor Dynasty. The Saint-Emperor knew all of the details, and had personally experienced many things that gave him a very deep understanding of the matter.
Expression somber, he looked at Bai Xiaochun and said, “I don’t know her exact location. However, I do know that in terms of divine sense, only a sovereign could actually find her. According to the legends, there is an illusory river in the depths of the Eternal Flower, invisible, and impossible to find. The Eternal River….
“No one can enter that river except for a sovereign. With one exception… It is possible to enter the Eternal River, and be led to the Eternal Mother, by… the Eternal Turtle!
“The reason I was so interested in the Eternal Turtle was not only because of his auspicious nature, but because he is likely the only way to become a sovereign!” The Saint-Emperor was being completely sincere, and not holding anything back. There would be little point in that. Long ago, he might have, but in the face of imminent catastrophe, he would not.
Bai Xiaochun was shaken upon hearing of this matter. However, after thinking about it, it made sense, and it didn’t seem like the Saint-Emperor was making any of it up. If anyone could find the spirit of the Eternal Flower within the Eternal Immortal Domains, it made sense that it would be that flower’s companion spirit, the little turtle.
Without any further hesitation, Bai Xiaochun sent his divine sense out to fill Arch-Emperor City, and quickly found evidence of the little turtle. Moments later, the turtle appeared in his palm, right in the middle of munching down a certain type of fish.
“Hey, what are you doing?!” the turtle blurted. He had only just pulled out a heavenly dragonfish to eat, when a vortex sprang up and dragged him in, no matter how he struggled against it. Then, he found himself facing both Bai Xiaochun and the Saint-Emperor, something that had never happened before.
Quickly swallowing the heavenly dragonfish, he said, “That wasn’t a heavenly dragonfish! Uh… Bai Xiaochun made me do it!”
Despite the fact that the Saint-Emperor was profoundly anxious because of the matter of the Enemy from Beyond and the Eternal Mother, the sight of the heavenly dragonfish still caused his face to twitch.
The truth was that back when the little turtle had initially gone missing, something else had vanished… ninety percent of the heavenly dragonfish! The Saint-Emperor had assumed that the little turtle simply ate them all in one shot, but now he realized that he had apparently taken them away to raise on his own, and thus munch on whenever he wanted….
It took a lot of work to raise heavenly dragonfish, and the Saint-Emperor was fairly certain that the little turtle couldn’t do it on his own, especially not with so many fish. Therefore, he must have had help from Bai Xiaochun.
With that, he slowly looked over at Bai Xiaochun and gave him a long, steady look.
Feeling a bit embarrassed, Bai Xiaochun glared at the little turtle. He had known all along about the little turtle absconding with a large group of heavenly dragonfish, but had taken it to be a good thing. And he had actually called upon the help of the Giant Ghost King and other celestials to take care of them.
Looking very serious, he cleared his throat and said, “Alright, little turtle, I’m not going to ask you to explain the heavenly dragonfish right now. I’ll get straight to the point. Can you find the Eternal River, and can you take us to the Eternal Mother?”
The little turtle blinked a few times, already calming down a bit. Glancing at the Saint-Emperor, he tried to suppress his feelings of guilt at having been caught in the act, and nodded vigorously.
“The Eternal Mother? That flower, right? It won’t be easy, but Lord Turtle can do anything. No problem at all!”