That year, a young man and his two enormously fat friends blocked the path and extorted their fellow disciples….
That year, a young woman stomped up, looking like a hot chili pepper. As soon as she saw the young man, her heart started to pound….
Bai Xiaochun looked over at Hou Xiaomei, and she looked back at him. Both seemed to be transported back in time to that day.
Eventually, Bai Xiaochun headed to the north bank of the Spirit Stream Sect. At the Beast Conservatory, he saw the residence he and Bruiser had once occupied, and couldn’t help but think back to the moment Bruiser had been born.
“Bruiser….” he said softly. Bruiser trotted over and shrank down to the size he had been back then, and his charming appearance caused warmth to fill Bai Xiaochun’s heart.
“This is where Bruiser was born,” he explained. Bruiser’s eyes also seemed to flicker with emotion as he thought back to old times.
And thus, Bai Xiaochun visited all the familiar places he remembered in the Spirit Stream Sect. As he recounted his past experiences and activities, everyone seemed to sink with him into their memories.
Eventually, he left the Spirit Stream Sect and went to the Blood Stream Sect.
On Middle Peak, he looked over at Song Junwan. She smiled back at him, looking more beautiful than ever.
“You know, back when I came to the Blood Stream Sect, I used a mask to disguise myself as Nightcrypt. My plan wasn’t to snag a Daoist partner; I just needed to get into Junwan’s bedchamber to steal some treasure.” Chuckling, he rubbed his nose, and then pulled out the little turtle. Before the little turtle could complain, he held him out and said, “This thing! See? He was what I came to steal. Who would have thought… that I would end up stealing the heart of my future Daoist partner too?”
Bai Xiaochun suddenly felt quite pleased with himself. As for Song Junwan, the smile faded from her face, and her eyes widened into a glare.
At that point, Bai Xiaochun chuckled and looked over at Master God-Diviner.
“This is where I met you too, Master Snortsnort. I’ll never forget how shifty you looked back then. Who would have thought that you would end up as a genius of having children?” Of course, Bai Xiaochun had a much different status nowadays. His Daoist Partners might dare to talk back to him, and maybe even Big Fatty Zhang, but not Master God-Diviner.
He could only smile wryly. Inside, he sighed, musing that life really was a strange thing. After all, if he hadn’t met Bai Xiaochun all those years ago, he would not be in his current position.
After touring the Heavenspan region, Bai Xiaochun went to the Great Wall, and beyond it, to the Wildlands, which was even more well-created than the Heavenspan region. With the exception of its lack of vengeful souls, it was exactly as he remembered it.
The Wildlands was where he and Zhou Zimo had fought in the labyrinth, which had also been carefully recreated. Inside the labyrinth, Bai Xiaochun laughed.
There was no need to even ask whether or not this place had been constructed based on Zhou Zimo’s memories. After all, he and she were the only two that had reached the final level of the place.
Smiling, he looked over at her and said, “Zimo, this is where you very nearly killed me! Do you realize how close to death I came?”
Glaring back at him, she snorted. “It would have been a lot better if I did kill you!”
Bai Xiaochun smiled wryly and cleared his throat. Meanwhile, everyone else was laughing as though he had just cracked a joke.
“I’m serious!” he added. “I nearly died here! And all for a measly deva soul….”
Surprisingly, Zhou Zimo was blushing a bit. Back in those days, she had viewed deva souls as extremely precious, only to eventually reach a point where she could have as many as she wanted. And then she thought about how unlucky Bai Xiaochun had been to end up fighting her, and considered how things would have ended up if she did kill him…. Suddenly, she started laughing.
Bai Xiaochun left the labyrinth and headed to Giant Ghost City. There, the Giant Ghost King looked around wistfully, clearly reminiscing about past times. When he looked at the huge statue of himself, and at the royal palace, it was impossible to tell what he was thinking. He simply sighed.
“Giant Ghost, old pal,” Bai Xiaochun said loudly, “why didn’t you reconstruct Devil Penitentiary?”
“You call me father-in-law, you hear!?”
Laughing, Bai Xiaochun nodded vigorously. “Of course, father-in-law!”
“That’s better. Anyway, just forget about Devil Penitentiary. It’s not here.” The Giant Ghost King knew Bai Xiaochun very well, and had long since guessed that if the Heavenspan Realm were rebuilt, he would want to come here and boast about his past shenanigans. Therefore, to play things safe, he had intentionally left out Devil Penitentiary.
“I really miss Devil Penitentiary,” Bai Xiaochun said. “Hey everyone, did you know that the Giant Ghost King was locked in there once? He was in very bad shape. Then I came along, a dark inquisitor. I happened to notice an old man in one of the cells, which was when I….” Ignoring the grim look on the Giant Ghost King’s face, Bai Xiaochun went on to tell the story of how the two of them had met….
Eyes widened as Bai Xiaochun spoke of smacking the Giant Ghost King on the side of the head, of using him as a shield to break out of Devil Penitentiary, and of dragging him around the city and using him as a weapon to kill numerous enemies. Many a sympathetic look was cast in the Giant Ghost King’s direction….
“You know what? All these Giant Ghost King stories have jogged my memory. I seem to remember that there was also a certain pretty widow….”
All of a sudden, the Giant Ghost King started to get nervous, but Bai Xiaochun simply cast him a mischievous glance, and didn’t tell any more of that story.
At this point, the Grand Heavenmaster chuckled dryly, looked up at the sky to check the time of day, and then said, “Your Majesty, it’s starting to get late. Why don’t we head back now?”
“What’s the hurry, Grand Heavenmaster? I still haven’t gotten to your part of the story yet!” The Grand Heavenmaster was actually turning to leave, but there was no way Bai Xiaochun would let him. Grabbing him by the arm, he vanished, along with the rest of the group, to appear in the Heavenspan Realm’s version of Arch-Emperor City. Specifically, they were in Heavenmaster Hall in the imperial palace.
“See everyone? This is where the enigmatic Grand Heavenmaster of years past would order me around….” Eyebrows dancing up and down, he looked at the Grand Heavenmaster and then proceeded to tell all the pertinent stories.
Eventually, the Grand Heavenmaster’s eyes widened into a glare.
“You really have the cheek to pretend that you didn’t come up with that vicious plan to pass off a Foundation Establishment soul as a deva soul?! And by the way, the Proclamation of Universal Grace was your idea!”
Slowly but surely, everyone was coming to realize that wherever Bai Xiaochun went, he always caused a huge storm. And as far as his ability to cause disasters went, it was nothing short of legendary!
All of a sudden, the Grand Heavenmaster and everyone else present suddenly had the feeling that the impending catastrophe of the Mortal Renegade might not be a very big deal…. With Bai Xiaochun on their side, the situation was sure to be resolved eventually.
The sudden confidence improved their mood, and as Bai Xiaochun finished his tour of the new Heavenspan Realm, everyone joined in on telling stories about past times. Eventually, it began to grow dark, and they returned to Arch-Emperor City.
For the following few days, Bai Xiaochun refrained from any practice of cultivation. He spent all of his time with his family and friends, especially Song Junwan, Hou Xiaomei, Zhou Zimo and Gongsun Wan’er.
And most especially, Dabao, Xiaoxiao and Xiaobao.
He was a husband and a father now, and as such, wished that times like this would last for all eternity. But unfortunately, they had to come to an end.
He needed to go into seclusion, and however much he would miss them, he had no choice but to enter his private meditation chamber.
He had no idea if he would succeed or not, and no way to tell what the future would hold. He could only do everything in his power to achieve the breakthrough he sought!
“I have to break through and earn a chance at life. If I don’t… then going into seclusion will be my final act of farewell.” He stopped for a moment at the door of the chamber, looking over his shoulder at all his friends and family. And then, he slowly closed the door, cutting himself off completely from their sight….