Volume 5 –
Book 4: A Different Kind Of Hostage!
Chapter 547: Sshhh….
“That was really a nice bow….” Bai Xiaochun thought, licking his lips. The more he pondered how amazing the bow was, the more excited he got, and at the same time, realized he had put on too good of an act earlier. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have ended up scaring his lucky star away.
“I probably shouldn’t call him Mr. Gorilla in the future. What a pity this labyrinth is so big. Most likely I won’t run into him again.” Sighing, he realized that he already missed Zhou Yixing.
A moment later, he looked back down at the fire soul arrow with its elevenfold spirit enhancement. The arrow only continued to leave him more shaken, especially with the way it seemed to flicker back and forth between illusory and corporeal. The longer he looked at it, the more he felt like it was tugging at his own soul.
“Is the arrow itself extraordinary, or… or is it the elevenfold spirit enhancement that’s made it so incredible?!” Taking a deep breath, he thought back to the Heavenhorn Sword back in the River-Defying Sect, with its tenfold spirit enhancement. How might that sword change if it had an elevenfold enhancement? Presumably, it would be even more incredible than before.
“What an awesome arrow,” he thought, quickly putting the arrow into his bag of holding. Patting his bag contentedly, he mused that he really had profited well by coming into the labyrinth.
“Hmmmmphh. I bet nobody in this labyrinth is richer than me, not even that deva. I’ve got stuff in my bag of holding that would shock even him!” Although he was quite proud of himself, he also couldn’t forget all of the ordeals from the past several days, and the bizarre things that had occurred. That left him feeling a bit stiff, and drove away any feelings of pride. He even had to remind himself that he mustn’t allow himself to grow lax in his caution.
“No amount of riches is worth more than my poor little life!” Shaking his head, he looked around cautiously before proceeding forward.
Meanwhile, in a tunnel not too far away from Bai Xiaochun, starlight swirled, and Zhou Yixing stepped out into the open, coughing up a mouthful of blood.
By this point, the star sigil on his forehead was visibly cracked, and looked like it might collapse at any moment. Zhou Yixing felt like weeping about it, although he currently had no tears to shed.
“It’s all your fault, Bai Xiaochun!!” he raged as he stood there trembling and ashen-faced. “You took my nine-colored flame and my fire soul arrow. Damn you, Bai Xiaochun!! If it wasn’t for you, I never would have even come here. Damn you and damn this labyrinth!!”
Zhou Yixing felt like he was hovering on the verge of going insane. As of this moment, he only had one teleportation left before his star sigil was destroyed for good.
Before entering the labyrinth, he couldn’t have possibly guessed that it would be so dangerous, and that he would have to rely on the power of his star sigil so many times. By now, he completely regretted his decision.
“I absolutely, positively must not run into any of those bizarre entities…. And I definitely have to avoid Bai Xiaochun…. I can’t believe my fire soul arrow didn’t kill him. He’s completely inhuman!” Sighing, he began to creep forward, mind focused on a single thing: finding the exit, leaving, and never coming back. As for Bai Xiaochun… he had already made a decision. After he got back home, he would ask his entire family to track him down and kill him.
As Zhou Yixing was resolving to avoid Bai Xiaochun at all costs, Bai Xiaochun was proceeding through the labyrinth, feeling dizzy from how all the walls looked exactly the same.
“Where is that exit…?” he thought anxiously. “This is crazy! I’m totally turned around. Alright, whatever. I’ll just count this intersection as my starting point!”
Taking a deep breath, he took out a jade slip and then continued with his previous custom of sticking to the right. This time, however, he tried to take measured, uniform steps. At the same time, he began to trace out his path in the jade slip. It took patience, but he stuck with it. Whenever he reached intersections, he would pick the right-hand side. Gradually, an outline of his route began to take shape in the jade slip.
A few more days went by. By this point, he had been in the labyrinth for nearly a month.
Thankfully, he had plenty of spirit alcohol, which helped him keep his cultivation base and battle prowess sufficiently powered. However, he would still run into occasional situations in which he needed to draw upon spirit energy, and after a few more months passed, he began to run low on spirit alcohol.
Bai Xiaochun’s anxiety continued to build, and he started to lose track of time. One day, he suddenly saw movement up ahead of him in the corridor.
“Who’s there?!” he said loudly, pulling out his Eternal Parasol.
However, whoever it was up ahead completely ignored him and kept moving. Heart pounding, Bai Xiaochun was about to start backing away when he suddenly saw clearly who it was up ahead of him, and his jaw dropped.
It was one of the cultivators from the Great Wall, someone he recognized. However, to his shock, he realized that the man’s eyes were completely blank, and his face was slack and expressionless….
His cultivation base seemed to have slipped back down into Foundation Establishment, and even more strange was the fact that he wasn’t really walking! His feet dragged on the ground, and although he wasn’t floating through the air, it almost seemed like he was being pushed along from behind.
The man didn’t seem to notice Bai Xiaochun, who stood there wondering exactly what was going on. He thought about taking the initiative to attack him, but then hesitated and decided not to inadvertently provoke him. Instead, he simply stepped to the side and watched him closely as he passed by.
The entire time, the man didn’t stop or even look at him. He just walked on by. That was when Bai Xiaochun’s gaze fell upon the man’s back, and suddenly, he felt all the hair on his body stand up on end.
“Wh-wh… wha… what is that?!” Backing up, his face drained of blood as he looked at what was sticking to the man’s back. It was… a life-size person made of paper!!
The paper person had arms, legs, and a head with a lifelike face! It was stuck to the cultivator’s back as if it had always been a part of him, and yet, Bai Xiaochun could tell that life force and cultivation base power was flowing constantly from the cultivator into the paper person.
The paper person’s eyes were closed, but Bai Xiaochun could clearly see that its expression, and also its facial features, were slowly coming to resemble the cultivator it was stuck to.
The bizarreness of the spectacle caused Bai Xiaochun to shiver in fear, and even place his hand over his mouth from the horror. Worried that he might attract the attention of the paper person, he simply watched the cultivator trundle off into the distance. Then he breathed a sigh of relief.
“What the hell is this place…?” he thought. Whether it was the red hats, the blood-soaked buns, or this paper person, everything gave him a feeling of terror.
Furthermore, the paper person seemed like something that couldn’t be fought against using the cultivation base, but rather, something that affected the soul directly.
After everything which had occurred so far, Bai Xiaochun was feeling very jumpy. Not daring to continue in the direction he had been heading, he picked a new path and continued to try to keep track of his progress. However, despite his vigilance, he soon realized that there were five people up ahead. Two were Great Wall cultivators, two were soul cultivators, and there was even a savage giant. Furthermore, all of them were trudging along just like the cultivator he had seen earlier.
Because they were walking away from him, and thus had their backs to him, he could see that there were paper people stuck to all of them….
Sucking in a quiet breath, he began to back up, and then picked another direction. However, to his shock, it wasn’t long before he ran into a group of ten cultivators, all of whom had paper people stuck to their backs….
“Dammit, what’s going on?” Bai Xiaochun anxiously picked a new path to follow, and after a bit of time passed and he didn’t see any paper people, he finally breathed a sigh of relief. The next day, as he was walking along, he suddenly stopped in place when he realized that someone was heading toward him at top speed from up ahead.
It was a soul cultivator, and as soon as the man caught sight of him, his expression turned grim. After sizing Bai Xiaochun up to get a sense of his power, he snorted coldly and continued to fly through the air at top speed…
Originally, Bai Xiaochun had been happy to find that the man’s expression wasn’t blank like all the other people he had seen recently, and was about to call out a greeting. However, when the man flew past him, Bai Xiaochun’s eyes went wide.
There on the soul cultivator’s back was a paper person! Clearly, the man had no idea the paper person was there. A moment later, the paper person’s eyes opened and it looked at Bai Xiaochun with an odd smile. Then it raised a finger to its lips and pursed its lips as if to say
Apparently, it was telling Bai Xiaochun that it was involved in a game of hide-and-seek, and that he shouldn’t say anything….
Bai Xiaochun was so scared that his face went completely ashen. Goosebumps broke out all over him, and he even began to sweat. Worried about some misunderstanding with the paper person, he nodded, and even slapped his chest to emphasize that he wouldn’t speak up….
The paper person seemed to understand, and nodded in satisfaction before closing its eyes again.
After the soul cultivator disappeared into the distance, Bai Xiaochun wiped the sweat from his brow.
“These paper people must be able to sneak up on you without you ever realizing it….” Nervous, he suddenly looked over his shoulder. Don’t forget the ‘star’ wordplay involved with Zhou Yixing