Meanwhile, in the eighteenth level of the damaged fan….
A vast, scorching desert stretched out in all directions, covered by screaming winds that sent dust and grit scraping across jutting rock outcroppings.
Anyone who stood in that desert would be able to sense how barren and desolate it was. Barely visible within the never-ending sandstorm that filled it were numerous skeletons, apparently the remains of countless beings which had died here throughout the years.
It was actually impossible to tell whether the skeletons were indeed people who had been killed here, or whether they had simply been put here. In any case, as soon as Celestial Virūpākṣa entered this level, he felt a sensation of profound danger.
However, that didn’t slow him down at all. Instead, it made him feel even more grand and heroic.
“After snagging the position of Top Contender, I can get through each level before anyone else!
“It’s obviously destiny! It’s obviously good fortune belonging to me, Celestial Virūpākṣa. It’s obviously fated… that I will become the owner of this sovereign-level precious treasure!” As he stood there with his hands clasped behind his back, he looked like the picture of confidence.
And he was, in fact, completely confident that he would be the first to get through every level, including this, the eighteenth. Much of his confidence came from the fact that he was in the great circle of the Celestial Realm. The only other person in the entire damaged fan that could possibly be a cause for concern was Gu Tianjun.
Celestial Virūpākṣa wasn’t too worried about Bai Xiaochun. He had only recently become a celestial, and was little more than a clown. Celestial Virūpākṣa was fairly certain that, although he had been frustrating to deal with earlier, he could easily be killed if necessary.
“Although this eighteenth level will likely be more difficult than the previous levels, I won’t be stopped! I wonder what kind of powers I’ll receive after passing the twentieth level!” Smiling, he blurred into motion as he headed deeper into the sandstorm.
In almost the exact same instant, the countless grains of sand that made up the storm began to form together into an enormous head. Celestial-level cultivation base fluctuations erupted out, along with a powerful roar as the head then lunged toward Virūpākṣa as if to consume him.
Celestial Virūpākṣa’s eyes narrowed as, without pausing for a moment, he shot like an arrow toward the fearsome sand head.
The resulting boom caused the entire eighteenth level to shake violently.
As these things played out, something happened that Celestial Virūpākṣa didn’t notice. High above in the sky of the eighteenth level, two eyes were watching everything. Those eyes, of course, belonged to Bai Xiaochun.
No one had any idea what was happening, of course. And as for Bai Xiaochun, he didn’t rashly do anything in the eighteenth level. He first observed the situation.
Celestial Virūpākṣa was definitely a very powerful fighter. Booms rang out as he engaged the enormous head in combat, causing shockwaves to spread out in astonishing fashion. Soon, it became apparent that this head of sand with its celestial-level battle prowess was no match for Virūpākṣa.
“Observe how I bring you to ruin!” Bai Xiaochun murmured, snorting coldly. Although it felt wonderful to be in such a position of authority, he was actually shocked by Celestial Virūpākṣa’s battle prowess.
“This guy has actually surpassed me in terms of fleshly body!! Although his powers of regeneration don’t even come close to mine. And his divine abilities are way weaker…. Plus, there’s no way he can keep up this level of fighting for long!” Eyes flickering, he watched Celestial Virūpākṣa perform a double-handed incantation gesture to summon a massive tree, which he used to batter the head of sand.
One blow. Two blows. Three blows!!
Each blow caused the head to shriek in pain. As for Celestial Virūpākṣa, he advanced with each blow until he was actually inside of the head! Instead of resorting to any sort of magical technique, he was simply blasting the head in two!
The mere sight was enough to make Bai Xiaochun a bit uneasy. The destructive aura of that huge tree was so shocking that it caused the sky to go dim, and sent sand exploding out in all directions!
Finally, Virūpākṣa resorted to a divine ability that combined his fleshly body and cultivation base to unleash a devastatingly destructive blow.
The head of sand was destroyed, and the faint light of teleportation began to build up. Despite being shocked, Bai Xiaochun couldn't forget what he had said earlier about changing his name to match Virūpākṣa’s. Therefore, he didn’t hesitate to call upon his connection to the fan to change the difficulty of the eighteenth level.
In that moment, Celestial Virūpākṣa’s uproarious laughter was echoing out through the desert as he looked at the two halves of the defeated sand head he had just fought. Although the battle left him seriously drained in both cultivation base and fleshly body power, his heart was bursting with pride.
“Perhaps Gu Tianjun or Reverend Devourer could deal with this little eighteenth level, but most other celestials could not! It gives a good indication of how difficult the nineteenth and twentieth levels will be!
“Very well. The harder things get, the better the rewards will be. It just goes to show that I truly qualify to contend for this legacy!”
Chuckling, he looked around at the light of teleportation that was building up around him, and prepared to go back to the main square to do some breathing exercises.
“Once I become the owner of the fan, the first person I’ll kill is Bai Xiaochun. His powers of regeneration are too strong! If he lives, he’ll definitely cause problems in the future!”
He quickly checked Bai Xiaochun’s progress, and upon seeing that he had still not passed the seventh level, snorted in derision. He was absolutely convinced that this damaged fan was a land of good fortune for him, and would likely be his ticket to reaching the Archaean Realm.
Celestial Virūpākṣa’s heart swelled with pride and courage. However, it was in that very moment that, with no warning whatsoever, the light of teleportation that had been building up suddenly went out.
“Huh?” He looked down at himself, and then at the desert around him. “What’s going on…?”
Before he could do anything else, the enormous sandstorm sprang up again, with even more fury than before. Furthermore, two enormous heads formed, each of them with battle prowess surpassing the previous solitary head!
Howling, they charged toward Celestial Virūpākṣa!
Celestial Virūpākṣa was struck with the feeling that something odd was going on, but there was no time for thought or planning. As the two heads closed in, he took a deep breath and unleashed his divine abilities and magical techniques, jumping into combat!
The fury of their battle was so great that the world seemed to tremble on the verge of being destroyed. Celestial Virūpākṣa held almost nothing back. With the exception of Daoist magics relating to Willpower, he called on everything he could, even all of his trump cards. After two incense sticks’ worth of time passed, he destroyed both of the heads. He was spattered with blood and trembling from the effort, but he had come out on top.
“So, I underestimated this eighteenth level. And yet… who cares if I did?!” He threw his head back and laughed uproariously.
Bai Xiaochun was not happy at all to see Celestial Virūpākṣa laughing in such fashion. Eyes bloodshot, he murmured, “Such a savage! Come on, I want to see you in despair! Fine, I’ll push the difficulty as far as it will go!!”
The eighteenth level twisted and distorted, to the point where Celestial Virūpākṣa actually noticed what was happening. Expression flickering, he looked around, feeling very uneasy.
“Don’t tell me it’s still not over?” Even as he let out a gasp, the entire world around him filled with shocking rumbling noises.
The sandstorm yet again screamed into existence, filling the world and then transforming into… ten enormous heads!
If that were all there were to it, it might not be a big deal. But to Celestial Virūpākṣa’s profound astonishment, a 30,000-meter-tall hand also appeared, stretching up out of the ground. Then another, and another. As it turned out, several giants were crawling up from the depths of the earth!
There were a total of ten. The tops of their heads touched the sky as they surrounded Celestial Virūpākṣa, making him look like a helpless girl surrounded by a gang of ruthless thugs!
Their energy caused the entire world to vibrate and turn terrifyingly dark!
As for Celestial Virūpākṣa, he looked around trembling, and said, “……..”