The days went by, and Bai Xiaochun settled in as a Dharma protector of Middle Peak. He now learned more of certain matters that had been unclear to him before. For example, the war between the Profound Stream Sect and the Pill Stream Sect had expanded from small-scale fighting into large-scale warfare.
As for the Blood Stream Sect, they were already making their own preparations for war, and a murderous aura was slowly building up in the entire sect.
“What’s with all this fighting and killing?” Bai thought. “Why don’t we all just get along and be happy? Wouldn’t it be better to just join forces and go to the Middle Reaches together?” Sighing, he continued with his cultivation, and the absorption of blood qi.
When he absorbed blood qi, it wouldn’t merely rise up from the ground, but would rush toward him from the entire area outside his immortal's cave.
Unfortunately, he didn’t have a top quality immortal's cave, but on the upside, he was in a relatively remote location where nobody else lived. Considering the overbearing way he was taking all the blood qi, nobody else would have been able to properly cultivate nearby.
There were plenty of things to keep him busy. In addition to practicing the blood sword, he worked on his Violet Qi Heavenspan Incantation, and observed as the Heavenspan River water was gradually absorbed by his first spiritual sea. And then there was his research into the Human Controlling Grand Magic and protomagnetic power. Finally, he was gaining even greater control over his Heavenspan Dharma Eye.
He felt himself getting stronger and stronger every day, and couldn’t help but get excited.
“I'm on the verge of reaching the first level of the Undying Heavenly King! Plus, this blood sword completely suits me! This place is my own Holy Land! I don’t ever want to leave!!” His cultivation was going along luxuriously. As he absorbed the massive quantities of blood qi, his progress in the first level of the Undying Heavenly King continued rapidly.
However, as he grew more and more powerful with the Undying Heavenly King, and built up more and more Undying Blood qi, the amount of blood qi he needed to absorb from his surroundings increased as well.
Before long, the blood qi in the area wasn't sufficient for his cultivation. Eventually, it reached the point where after excitedly absorbing all blood qi he could, there wasn’t enough left to work with. He was forced to wait until the following day for it to build up again.
“This won't work!” he thought. He spent about half a day absorbing the blood qi that had built up, but there simply wasn’t enough....
Bai Xiaochun looked around anxiously, then thought about the other areas with stronger blood qi. But then he remembered how vicious the Blood Stream Sect people were, and he started to get angry.
“All the best places are already occupied. Unfortunately, I can’t just go over and beat them up. I have to keep a low profile!” Bai Xiaochun sighed. Seeing how slow his cultivation was going now got him very nervous.
“Well, I don’t really have any options. Since I can’t cultivate in my own immortal's cave, I’ll just have to go outside.” Rubbing his forehead, he thought about it a bit more, then decided it was the right thing to do. After waiting until nightfall, he snuck out and picked an immortal's cave not too far away in the forest. After sitting down cross-legged some distance away from it, he closed his eyes and breathed in deeply.
The area twisted and distorted, and then blood qi rose up from the ground. He quickly absorbed it into his body, which of course felt wonderful. He quickly unleashed the Undying Heavenly King, and when the Undying Blood qi felt strong enough, he took in another deep breath. Blood qi poured into him, and every part of his body felt like it was rejoicing.
However, with Bai Xiaochun absorbing the blood qi, the levels in the area dropped noticeably. When it reached about thirty percent of its former level, the Foundation Establishment cultivators in the area noticed, and were both shocked and alarmed.
“What’s going on?”
“Why did so much blood qi vanish?!”
“Did the area suddenly get haunted or something?”
The seven or eight Foundation Establishment cultivators in the area all rushed out of their immortal's caves’ to investigate, bristling with murderous rage.
When Bai Xiaochun realized what was happening, he quickly ceased any work with the technique and surreptitiously made his exit. The Foundation Establishment cultivators searched the whole area, but couldn’t find anything amiss. Then they sensed the blood qi in the area slowly being restored, and they dispersed, suspicious as ever.
Off in the distance, Bai Xiaochun stood there looking irritated. The people in the Blood Stream Sect really were far too overbearing. He had barely been able to take two breaths before they had burst out of their immortal's caves to investigate.
“So,” he said, sighing, “it seems I can’t stay in place for very long. At the most, I can take two breaths before leaving!” But then, he suddenly remembered something, and looked around the area vigilantly. After making sure he didn't see any rabbit ears, he breathed a sigh of relief at the bitterness of the life he led. In the future, he would have to be sure to whisper very quietly, and also be very careful.
In any case, he made his decision.
As of this moment, he looked just like he had back in his spirit tail chicken-thieving days in the Spirit Stream Sect.
But then, he realized something didn't seem right. After some more thinking, he started to get mad. “No, no. I'm related to this giant. Therefore, this stuff belongs to me! They’re stealing my blood qi!
“Shameless! How dare they steal my blood qi! Well, I’ll just have to endure the humiliation. I refuse to butt heads with idiots!” Fuming, he made his way off into the distance to another area. After sensing the levels of blood qi in the area, he rotated his cultivation base and turned himself into something like a black hole.
Noiseless rumbling rose up that no one but Bai Xiaochun could hear. To him, it was like thunder in his brain. The black hole instantly caused all of the blood qi in the area to rush toward him. He quickly absorbed it, then hurried off.
Behind him, cries of alarm rose up....
And that was how he spent the entire night....
The Foundation Establishment cultivators on Middle Peak were all left frowning that night. Many of them had been practicing cultivation late into the night, but were then interrupted by a sudden lack of blood qi. Some of them were even hit by backlashes because of being interrupted at critical junctures. Enraged, they rushed out into the night to investigate, but by that time, Bai Xiaochun was long gone.
Most tragic of all was one particular Foundation Establishment cultivator of some fame, who other people had come to call Master God-Diviner. He had a rather luxurious immortal's cave which was surrounded by blood trees, and also occupied a relatively high position within the sect. That night, he was in the middle of performing a secret magic of augury, something that was dangerous to interrupt, and required a large intake of blood qi.
When he was interrupted, and the intake of blood qi ceased, he coughed up a mouthful of blood and instantly withered visibly. His mind was then struck with such intense pain that he screamed and fainted.
When the sun began to rise, Bai Xiaochun hurried back to this immortal's cave, filled with excitement. He had absorbed so much blood qi that not only was he able to resume cultivation, but he could do so even more quickly than before. Once he was back inside, he looked around proudly, and then stuck his chin up. Expression somber, he checked around to make sure the area was rabbit-free, then finally relaxed.
“Hahaha! My wits prevail again! I don’t need to go robbing anybody, nor cause any fights. I just take two breaths wherever I go, and nobody's the wiser.” Bai Xiaochun was very pleased. During the day, he worked with the Violet Qi Heavenspan Incantation, the Human Controlling Grand Magic, and protomagnetic power, and when night fell, he snuck out into the shadows, as stealthily as a cat.
This time, he picked a different route. Every place he stopped, he would breathe in deeply two times, then flee to another location, where he would do the same thing.
His speed wasn’t that of Heaven-Dao Foundation Establishment. Despite the powers of disguise provided by the mask, which masked the fluctuations of his cultivation base, he was doing everything else he could think of to avoid being identified as a fraud.
That night, astonished cries of rage rose up all over Middle Peak.
“Dammit! Where did all the blood qi go!?”
“What’s going on? This is the second night in a row!”
“Something’s wrong here!!”
The most miserable of all was Master God-Diviner.... He had remained a slight coma for the entire day. When he finally woke up the following night, he looked around, ashen-faced and with bloodshot eyes, his rage burning.
“Who’s plotting against me!?!?” A murderous aura erupted from within him, and his eyes burned with fury. “Whoever you are, plotter, you’re dead!”
Taking a deep breath, he suppressed the injuries from the previous night's backlash, then performed an incantation gesture. Instantly, his eyes shone with bright light.
“It's time to divine who exactly you are!” Master God-Diviner was the type of person who would seek revenge over the smallest grievance. He immediately performed auguries and divinations, causing vortexes to appear within his eyes. They spun faster and faster, sucking in a steady flow of blood qi from the area.
At that point, a blurry figure appeared in his eyes. Just when Master God-Diviner was about to try to force the figure into focus, the thieving Bai Xiaochun snuck into the area.
It only took him a moment to breathe in deeply two times, whereupon howls of rage rose up. A tremor ran through Master God-Diviner as the blood qi in the area suddenly vanished. The injury he had suppressed earlier flared out of control, and he coughed up another huge mouthful of blood before passing out.
On the evening of the third day, he finally forced his eyes opened. His body was weak, and blood was still oozing out of the corners of his mouth. He knew that he had been seriously injured, and couldn't perform any more auguries for at least a month.
Brimming with rage, he screamed, “I can’t believe someone’s really plotting against me. I'm gonna tear you to shreds!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translator: Deathblade. Chinese language consultant: ASI a.k.a. Beerblade. Editor: GNE. Memes: Logan. Meme archives: Tocsin. Transcendent Patrons: Daoist Elder N, BLE, ttre208