Volume 5 –
Book 4: A Different Kind Of Hostage!
Chapter 555: The Pinnacle!
Rumbling sounds echoed about within the workshop, causing the walls to shake to the point where they were beginning to break apart. However, the three stone daises remained in place. As for Bai Xiaochun, he grabbed one of the tree branches for stability. As he did, the ten golden designs on the surface of the tree began to converge together.
Bai Xiaochun was panting, and forced himself not to blink as he waited to see what transformation would occur with a twenty-onefold spirit enhancement.
This was an opportunity for him to get a glimpse of the power of spirit enhancement that he would never be able to see on the outside.
Currently, the intense rumbling sounds weren’t just affecting the area around the tree; the huge stone stele on the outside was also shaking.
The process lasted for about a dozen breaths’ of time, whereupon Bai Xiaochun’s eyes went wide as the ten golden designs began to turn violet.
In the end, they became a single violet design!
When the violet design was complete, the tree didn’t continue to grow larger. Instead, blinding violet light shone out, and a face suddenly became visible on its surface, as if it were turning into a living being.
There was something profoundly ancient about the face, and yet, when it opened its eyes, they shone like that of an infant as they looked around curiously.
The deva aura of the tree faded away, and was replaced with a pressure that was even more terrifying. Although the pressure remained mostly inside of the tree, Bai Xiaochun was still able to sense it, and could tell that if it were unleashed, it could do mind-boggling things.
Bai Xiaochun’s scalp was tingling so hard it felt like it might explode. Mind spinning, he cautiously checked to see if his branding mark was still on the tree.
When he saw that the mark was still there, unchanged by the twenty-onefold spirit enhancement, he sighed in relief.
“After the tenth enhancement, the leaf became a tree. After the twentieth, the tree became a spirit. A tree spirit? A plant spirit?”
Swallowing hard, and wiping the sweat from his brow, he looked at the tree and face, which still had a blank look it its eyes. Gritting his teeth, he said, “Whatever it is, my mark is still there. Considering the twenty-onefold enhancement is completely heaven-defying, I wonder what will happen after the thirtieth enhancement?” As Bai Xiaochun considered all these matters, his anticipation regarding a thirtyfold enhancement grew keener than ever.
Looking over at the stone pedestal, and the new flame, his eyes shone with madness as he began to perform more spirit enhancements.
With every spirit enhancement after the twentieth, heaven-shaking, earth-shattering rumbling sounds rocked the area. The workshop had long since been destroyed, and as for the tree, it was trembling violently. At the same time, the light in its eyes grew more profound, and it even began to show signs of intelligence.
It was almost as if it were growing profoundly older with each passing moment.
Outside, the stone stele was shaking, almost as if it were unable to withstand the spirit enhancements that Bai Xiaochun was performing!
And as for Bai Xiaochun’s glowing sphere, it was so bright that it had long since outshone Mistress Red-Dust’s, and was almost the only thing visible in the entire void!
By this point, Zhou Yixing was in complete despair, especially after he calculated how much time had passed.
“This Bai Xiaochun is completely inhuman! I hope I never meet him in person ever again!” What was happening was a huge blow to Zhou Yixing, and had him completely downhearted.
Bai Xiaochun’s spirit enhancement session was causing the stone stele to shake so violently that many of the trial-takers in the surrounding glowing spheres found their trials interrupted. Apparently, the stone stele didn’t have the power to sustain all of the trials by fire, and therefore, people soon began to regain consciousness.
At first, those who recovered looked around blankly, but soon cries of alarm began to ring out.
“What’s going on!?”
“Hey, what am I doing out here? I wasn’t finished with my trial by fire!”
“Heavens! Look at how badly the stone stele is shaking! What’s happening? And whose sphere is glowing so brightly?!?!”
The stone stele was still shaking, but hadn’t collapsed. Although more and more trial-takers were being ejected, Bai Xiaochun wasn’t showing any signs of stopping in his mad burst of spirit enhancement.
When the three violet designs appeared, the stone stele began to shake even harder, and had no choice but to eject hundreds more of the trial-takers. And yet, after a moment, even that wasn’t enough, and soon everyone other than Mistress Red-Dust and Bai Xiaochun was interrupted!
It didn’t matter how the other people were progressing in their trials by fire, they were all removed. Over a thousand people were now awake, and the buzz of conversation was louder than ever.
Of course, as all of the other trial-takers were interrupted, their glowing spheres went dark, until there were only two that glowed with blinding light. One belonged to Bai Xiaochun, and the other, to Mistress Red-Dust!
Bai Xiaochun’s glowing sphere was completely radiant, with Mistress Red-Dust’s being significantly less bright. And yet, hers was still bright enough to attract quite a bit of attention.
“It’s Bai Xiaochun!”
“Heavens! Which trial did Devil Bai go into? Not even a deva can compare to him!!”
Meanwhile, Bai Xiaochun’s hair was in complete disarray, and he was shouting in excitement.
With the fourth violet design, even more intelligence gleamed in the tree’s eyes, and it even looked down at Bai Xiaochun.
That was when a crack appeared on the stone stele outside, causing widespread astonishment among the onlookers.
And yet, things weren’t over yet! Bai Xiaochun madly yelled, “Twenty-five!”
He couldn’t even determine the color of the fire he had just thrown into the wok, but as soon as it entered, intense violet light streamed out, and a fifth violet design appeared on the tree.
At that point, the face on the tree let out a sigh that seemed to originate in the most ancient of times. The echoing sigh also seemed to be filled with the evidence of countless other living beings, lives that were constantly multiplying. At the same time, the tree itself was evolving in a direction that seemed almost completely outrageous to Bai Xiaochun!
Unfortunately, it was still missing something to be complete, and what it was missing was more spirit enhancements!
“A world…? Don’t tell me that after the thirtieth spirit enhancement, this tree will become its own world?!” Bai Xiaochun’s mind spun with unprecedented enlightenment, and his body trembled. However, he still reached out to get the new fire from the stone dais. Sadly, the dais was incapable of producing a twenty-sixth flame, and instead, crumbled into dust….
In addition, the other two daises and the tree also crumbled away!
Bai Xiaochun felt like his mind was being struck by countless bolts of lightning. This trial by fire had been of incredible benefit to him, and was definitely unprecedented good fortune!
Not only had his own spirit enhancement abilities improved, but it was likely that he now knew more about spirit enhancement than almost anyone else in the lands of Heavenspan! It would be easier to find a phoenix feather or a qilin horn than to find someone as knowledgeable as him!
What left him most shaken of all was that he now realized how much he had overlooked spirit enhancement. Spirit enhancement could turn what was useless into something miraculous. Essentially, it was the greatest source of good fortune in the entire world!!
Bai Xiaochun’s heart was pounding, and deep inside of him, he suddenly had a profound desire to focus on spirit enhancement, for much the same reason he had developed his desire to learn how to concoct medicine. Spirit enhancement could help him live forever!
“Live forever? It can even turn you into a world!!” From what he could tell, the path of spirit enhancement could possibly be a more direct route to his goal, and that was because of the turtle-wok!
“Just where exactly did my turtle-wok come from?!” The incredible spirit enhancement powers of the turtle-wok left Bai Xiaochun even more curious about its origins.
Even as he was shaken by all of these things, a voice echoed out that seemed to come from beyond the heavens.
“You have taken 1st place!” At the same time, a profound darkness spread out over the realm of the trials by fire, seemingly sealing it in place. As for Bai Xiaochun, before he could even react to anything, he found himself being sucked into a vortex.