This world technically did contain a bit of qi flow, in much the same way that the Immortal World had contained just a scrap, which Bai Xiaochun took away and used to reach the Archaean Realm. But now, none of that qi flow was available for Daoist Heavenspan.
As soon as Song Que awoke, he performed an incantation gesture, sending the mountain of Dao Essence rumbling through the river with crushing force toward Daoist Heavenspan.
Daoist Heavenspan had just been about to start another charge, only to find the mountain now barreling toward him. Furthermore, Song Que took control of the river, causing it to seemingly come to life.
Instantly, the flow of the river reversed, simultaneously shifting to encircle Daoist Heavenspan.
At the same time, the mountain of Dao Essence expanded, growing tremendously large and radiating the power of Essence as it descended.
“Dammit!!” Although the projected face of the Mortal Renegade could withstand the force, Daoist Heavenspan, who was already in bad shape, could only look on in despair, blood oozing out of his eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.
He struggled, but in vain. The mountain of Dao Essence continued to fall, causing deafening rumbling sounds to echo through the air. Trapped by the river, Daoist Heavenspan let loose a piercing cry of defiance. He still had many unfinished plans, and had not yet become a true sovereign. He even had a more far-reaching plot in the works, and therefore, simply could not believe that he would die in this moment.
Even worse… he wasn’t even fighting Bai Xiaochun. He might have been able to accept a loss in that scenario, but instead, he was fighting a nameless nobody, which was a humiliation worse than death.
Finally, he chuckled bitterly and lowered his head. He was now wreathed in such intense flames that his face wasn’t even visible, making him seem like nothing more than a conglomeration of fire.
“Bai Xiaochun!” he growled, his eyes flashing, almost as if his vision could pierce all the way down to the Eternal Immortal Domains, and into a certain private chamber in the imperial palace of Arch-Emperor City!
It was almost as if he could see Bai Xiaochun there, meditating!
Even as Bai Xiaochun’s name escaped his lips, he threw his arms wide, causing more shocking flames to erupt out from inside of him!!
Obviously, he had been holding just a little bit back earlier, and had only burned his flesh and blood and life force. However, he had not burned his soul or the Dao that he had acquired from the Mortal Renegade!
But now, he didn’t care. He burned soul and Dao alike, causing a raging sea of flames to spread out in all directions, accompanied by a howl of pain.
“Nirvanic Extermination Projection!!” As flames rippled off of him, they connected to the projection of the Mortal Renegade’s face, forming together into the projection of a body!
As of this moment, there was a full, bodily version of the Mortal Renegade right there!
Daoist Heavenspan was using a divine ability to burn himself into nothing, all in exchange for a trump card from within the Dao of nirvanic extermination!!
He had to pay an extremely heavy price, but in exchange, gained stupefying levels of power. As the mountain of Dao Essence arrived, he howled in a deafening voice that shook the starry sky, and caused the entire world to shake.
“Get the hell out of here!” As a projected incarnation of the Mortal Renegade, Daoist Heavenspan threw his arms out, sending out force that slammed into the mountain, causing cracks to spread out on its surface, and then destroying it!
Even as the fragments of the mountain continued to explode out in all directions, he clenched his fiery hand into a fist and unleashed a punch!
Indescribably powerful fluctuations spread out, causing the river to tremble, and sending innumerable water droplets flying out into the starry sky!!
As all creation shook, Daoist Heavenspan guided his projected incarnation to flee directly toward the true form of the Mortal Renegade!
His ultimate goal was simply to live. He had ignited his soul and Dao, and it would take a long, long time to recover from that. But in the end, he still wanted to continue living!
Inside of the fan was Bai Xiaochi, whose vital energy had been badly damaged. When he saw what was happening, he let out a miserable cry. As for Song Que, his eyes flashed with anger, and powerful fluctuations rolled off of him.
In response to the fluctuations, the sovereign’s arm suddenly blazed with shining light like that of a sun.
Immense power shot out, sweeping through the starry sky to the point where it bent under the force. And its target was none other than… Daoist Heavenspan!
The projection of the Mortal Renegade’s body immediately began to shake and twist, causing Daoist Heavenspan to go completely mad.
Daoist Heavenspan’s life was already teetering unstably, and yet, things weren’t over yet. After bashing him with the sovereign’s arm, Song Que looked over with bloodshot eyes and sent forth more powerful fluctuations.
Shockingly, he also began to burn himself!!
“I’m not dead yet, Heavenspan, you schmuck!” Fire blazed as he rose to his feet, using his life force, his Dao Essence, and everything else that made him up to summon an enormous, illusory giant around him!
It was a figure wearing a Daoist robe, who was immensely handsome, and had eyes like starlight. If Bai Xiaochun were here, he would recognize this person immediately. The form Song Que had summoned was none other than… the Worldly Daoist!!
Reaching out, he pulled all of the water droplets from the huge river back to him, causing them to form the flesh and blood of the huge giant. As of this moment, the Worldly Daoist looked completely lifelike!!
Next, he reached out with his other hand, causing the fragments of the mountain of Dao Essence to pull back together and hover to his right. Inside of the treasured fan, Bai Xiaochi looked on with excitement as he sent the fan flying over to the Worldly Daoist’s left side.
Despite the time it takes to describe all of these things, they happened in the time it takes a spark to fly off of a piece of flint. Even as Daoist Heavenspan made his break, Song Que unleashed this divine ability and stepped forward to block his path.
Song Que was almost like the living incarnation of the Worldly Daoist, causing the sky to tremble… as he shot toward Daoist Heavenspan.
“DIE!!” he howled, his eyes blazing with madness. After all, Bai Xiaochun wasn’t the only one to hate Daoist Heavenspan. Song Que was also from the Heavenspan Realm, and hated the man all the way down to his bones. As the incarnation of the Worldly Daoist closed in, he clenched his right hand into a fist and punched out toward Daoist Heavenspan.
It contained everything that made up Song Que, and caused the Worldly Daoist’s image to become a dazzling shooting star as he blazed through the starry sky.
Daoist Heavenspan’s face fell. If the sovereign’s arm hadn’t bent space in the area, he might have been able to make it to his destination. But now there was no time. In this moment of deadly crisis, he laughed bitterly, spun in place, and threw both hands out in an incantation gesture. Instantly, a black vortex appeared between the two hands of the Mortal Renegade’s incarnation. Without any hesitation, he shoved that vortex toward the incoming Worldly Daoist.
Rumbling sounds echoed out that surpassed anything in the battle up to this point, shaking the surrounding void until it shattered. It almost seemed like the entire starry sky would collapse. Down in the Eternal Immortal Domains, mountains toppled over, and the Eternal Sea spilled into the surrounding lands!
It was like a terrifying black hole had been created right between Song Que and Daoist Heavenspan, right between the projected incarnations of the Worldly Daoist and the Mortal Renegade.
Eventually, Daoist Heavenspan’s projection couldn’t last any longer, and the black flames collapsed. At the same time, the image of the Worldly Daoist around Song Que also fell to pieces.
Song Que tumbled back, blood spraying wildly out of his mouth. He had done everything he could, and was now like a candle in the wind, just on the verge of perishing. Thankfully, the Saint-Emperor was there, and despite the injuries he had sustained, managed to grab Song Que, and then fall back.
As for Daoist Heavenspan, as soon as the projection of the Mortal Renegade faded away, he appeared there in the starry sky, hair disheveled, face pale. Although no more flames were visible on his person, they were there inside of him, eating away at the last bits of life force he had left.
He suddenly felt very calm. He was no longer thinking about Song Que, the Saint-Emperor, or the countless living beings of the Eternal Immortal Domains. Nor was he thinking about Bai Xiaochun. Instead… he was looking at a certain location in the Eternal Immortal Domains.
Daddy, is it worth it…?
I’m your daughter!!
I beg you, daddy. I beg you….
He heard Du Lingfei’s words from years ago, back in the moment that he had attempted to force her and Bai Xiaochun to fuse together on Heavenspan Island.
“Was it?” he murmured to himself. “Was it worth it…?” All of a sudden, he felt a twinge of pain on the back of his hand, and looked down to see a drop of liquid there. It was a tear, and at the moment, he had no idea how it got there. But as soon as it had touched his searing flesh, it caused pain to wash through him. And then, as he looked, his hand faded away into ash. Then his arm. And the effects continued to spread….
“I wasn’t always like this, was I…?” he thought. He closed his eyes, bitter and confused. Gradually, his head turned to ash along with the rest of his body. As it did, his memories vanished, as did those final words that his daughter had spoken to him.