Even the Saint-Emperor and the Vile-Emperor would be apprehensive to speak to Bai Xiaochun in such a way. Only the little turtle would possibly have the gall to do so.
Bai Xiaochun’s jaw dropped. Then, even as the little turtle’s voice continued to echo out, Bai Xiaochun took a step backward, and vanished.
A moment later, he appeared next to some ornamental rocks roughly 300 meters behind where he had been standing moments before. Reaching out in front of him, he made a grasping motion.
As he did, the air around him shattered, and a scream could be heard. The little turtle appeared, little more than a string of afterimages as he accelerated with shocking speed.
However, this was not the same Bai Xiaochun from the past. Snorting coldly, he took a step forward, which caused everything in the area to seemingly fold in on itself. It almost looked like water rippling. Then everything returned to normal. He had performed something like a sealing magic, except vastly more powerful, locking down the entire area!
No matter how the little turtle tried to accelerate, he only ended up slowing down. His eyes lit up with incredulity, and he struggled mightily, but was unable to escape the hand which then clamped down onto him!
Bai Xiaochun felt immeasurably proud of himself. After all the years which had passed, this was his first time he had successfully caught the little turtle before he could escape. Holding him up in front of his face, he said, “What did you just say, little turtle? I didn’t hear clearly.”
The little turtle was clearly stunned, but at the same time, was not one to accept defeat easily. Glaring, he prepared to let loose a string of insults. Before he could, Bai Xiaochun, who was far too familiar with him, shook him back and forth violently.
In response, the turtle shrieked, “Oh venerated master, owner of mine, Lord Bai… stop shaking me. Dammit! Since when did you get so strong?
“I was just joking around! How could I possibly put a turtle mark on your son, Lord Bai? I would never! My love for him knows no bounds! Hahaha! Come on, we haven’t seen each other for a long time, how could I not joke around a bit!?” His pleas fell on deaf ears, though, as Bai Xiaochun continued to shake him around.
“You were supposed to stay in the Saint-Emperor Dynasty! What did you run away for!? Thanks to you, my entire love letter collection is gone!” The mere thought of the love letters immediately caused Bai Xiaochun’s heart to sink.
At this point, the little turtle couldn’t help but be angry.
“You think I wanted to run away? Everything was going great in the Saint-Emperor Dynasty! But then you came and said that if I stuck around for a bit longer, you would proclaim me the God of Beasts!
“God of Beasts! That sounds way better than Saint-Turtle! You know how long I sat around waiting, hoping, wishing you would come? But you never did. So of course I had to come looking for you!” With each sentence, the little turtle spoke with greater resolve. And by the end, he was glaring directly at Bai Xiaochun, who glared right back at him. A tense moment passed, whereupon Bai Xiaochun started laughing. He was obviously aware that the turtle had been joking with him. And the turtle knew that he had also been joking. Even as the two of them laughed, Bai Xiaochun released his grip.
“Ah, whatever. Henceforth, you are the Arch-Emperor Dynasty’s God of Beasts!”
Even as the words left his mouth, a strange power was unleashed that not even Bai Xiaochun was aware of. As a result, the little turtle shivered, and then his eyes began to shine brightly. Apparently, an invisible natural law was at work, which was imbuing him with strange powers.
All of a sudden, the little turtle began to emit dazzling light!
“Woo-hooo!” the little turtle shouted, flying around in delight. Bai Xiaochun continued to chuckle. Although he didn't want to cause problems for the Saint-Emperor because of the little turtle, now that the little turtle had come back of his own accord, he wouldn’t betray him by giving him away.
However, he still needed consider matters as a whole.
“Make sure to keep a low profile! Keep your head down! It would be really annoying if the Saint-Emperor came back looking for you.” With that, he ignored the excited little turtle and headed back into the palace.
After checking on his children, and spending some time chatting with Song Junwan and Zhou Zimo, he contentedly went into seclusion to work on his cultivation.
After all, although his previous session had ended successfully, he had not yet completed all the work that needed to be done to perfect his Future Will.
First, he spent some time working out the various details that needed to be handled. Then, he went to work, calling upon the powers of the technique, which had already become somewhat instinctual to him. At this point, he began to formulate the divine ability that would be the manifestation of the third level of the Time Immemorial Codex.
“I have my Sutra of the Former and my Sutra of the Present. My third divine ability should be… a Sutra of the Future!” When it came to his Sutra of the Former and Sutra of the Present, the previous limits of his cultivation base meant that he had been unable to release their true and ultimate level of power.
But now that he had archaean battle prowess, he was confident that the other two sutras would be even more shocking than before. Furthermore, because of how infrequently he had used them, they definitely fell into the category of trump cards.
He had put a lot of thought into his Sutra of the Future, which made things go much more smoothly now that he was actually working on it. Sitting down cross-legged, he began to perform auguries, speeding them up with his sovereign aura. In some ways, it was actually like working on a medicine formula.
Half a year sped by in a blur. It had been a year since he had used up his Archaean Luminescence during his fight with the Vile-Emperor, which meant that he now had those fifteen shots back at his disposal.
Now that he had a safety net of sorts, it made it a lot easier to focus on his auguries.
A few more months passed. One evening as he sat there in his private chamber, he suddenly opened his eyes, within which was something that looked like a red flower, in the midst of blooming…. The flower was formed from numerous tiny magical symbols, which interlocked with each other to form the shape of a flower…. Upon closer inspection, it looked very much like the legendary pāramitā lily which grew in the land of the dead.
As the bright red pāramitā lily took shape, Bai Xiaochun’s aura began to transform significantly, growing emptier, as though it didn’t belong in the world.
Eventually, he bowed his head, and lifted his right hand. As he did, the red magical symbols which made up the pāramitā flower began to shine with dazzling light, which swirled onto his palm to create… a bright red pāramitā lily.
“This is the divine ability for the third level of my Time Immemorial Codex… the Sutra of Future Pāramitā!
“As for how strong it is….” He suddenly vanished, to appear within Gongsun Wan’er’s official residence. She was still in secluded meditation, working on recovering from her injuries, a type of cultivation that wasn’t harmful to interrupt.
If he wanted to, he could mask his presence from her, making it impossible for her to detect him. However, he did not. He let his aura spread out, and when she sensed him, her eyes opened, and she saw the red pāramitā lily in his hand.
Almost immediately, she felt herself being attracted to the flower, which clearly emanated a feeling of death. In fact, the longer she looked at it, the more she began to pant, as though the flower contained some mysterious force which she found impossible to resist.
Bai Xiaochun didn’t say anything in response. Waving his finger at her, he sent the pāramitā lily flying toward her with such speed that she couldn't dodge out of the way. As soon as it hit her, it sank into her body.
“This is a new divine ability of mine. Go ahead and attack me.” With that, he stood there silently, a faint smile on his face.
Gongsun Wan’er hesitated for a moment, then her eyes flickered as she performed an incantation gesture and waved her finger at him. Instantly, a stream of black smoke filled with evil ghosts shot toward Bai Xiaochun, which then slammed into his chest.
As he stood there unmoving, Gongsun Wan’er staggered backward, clutching at her own chest. Thankfully, she had only used eighty percent of her power in her attack. Looking at him incredulously, she said, “How could this be happening!?!?!?”
1. Pāramitā is something that came up in ISSTH, as well as in Er Gen's other novels. It literally means "the opposite shore" and refers to a state of perfection or completeness. For a basic introduction, start with the
2. The “pāramitā lily” mentioned here is similar to the “resurrection lily” from ISSTH. For those of you who read ISSTH, you will remember that although there was one specific resurrection lily that played an important role in the story, it was made clear that she was not the only such flower. Furthermore, the pāramitā lily in this chapter is described as being red, not multi-colored like the type in ISSTH. I'm considering using “pāramitā lily” instead of “resurrection lily” in the edited release of ISSTH, for continuity reasons and accuracy. I'm open to fan input on this point; if you have thoughts, feel free to leave them in the comments Previous Chapter Next Chapter