As Xuemei investigated Nightcrypt's background, a rumor began to spread through the Blood Stream Sect. Supposedly, after getting medicinal pills from Nightcrypt, the blood master of Corpse Peak had immediately gone into secluded meditation, and still hadn’t emerged. However, powerful ripples had begun to emanate from Corpse Peak’s Blood Master Temple.
Quite a few people noticed those fluctuations, especially the blood masters from Lesser Marsh Peak and Nameless Peak. All three of the current blood masters were relatively evenly matched, but now it seemed as if the Corpse Peak blood master was experiencing a breakthrough.
It wasn’t likely that he would reach Gold Core, but to Corpse Peak, a breakthrough in corpse refining techniques would lead to a rapid and significant increase in battle prowess.
Because of that, the blood masters of Lesser Marsh Peak and Nameless Peak started to get nervous. A few days later, the grand elder of Lesser Marsh Peak shot through the air in a beam of light to appear outside of Bai Xiaochun’s immortal's cave.
He was a tall and well-built man, with a mighty look and a powerful aura of qi and blood. As a body refinement cultivator, he almost seemed like a mountain standing there, emanating powerful pressure. Even his voice was deep and resounding as he said, “It’s me, Grand Elder Han Chundong of Lesser Marsh Peak. Junior Brother Nightcrypt, are you home?”
The blood trees outside Bai Xiaochun’s immortal's cave were trembling, but didn’t dare to flee. No matter how scared they were of outsiders, Nightcrypt was far more terrifying. All they could do was grit their teeth and remain in place, glaring at the Lesser Marsh Peak grand elder.
Bai Xiaochun was currently meditating in his immortal's cave. He had been a bit surprised when he sensed the grand elder’s arrival moments ago. However, he could already guess why he might be here. After a moment of silence, he waved his right hand, causing the cave door to open. Then he ordered the blood trees to clear a path.
The Lesser Marsh Peak grand elder strode into the courtyard outside Bai Xiaochun’s immortal's cave, even as Bai Xiaochun emerged. As soon as they saw each other, the grand elder laughed heartily and clasped hands in formal greeting.
“Junior Brother Nightcrypt, the moment you stepped off of the Blood Precipice back then, I knew that you were destined for extraordinary things. It's too bad you chose to go to Middle Peak. I would have loved for you to have come to Lesser Marsh Peak.”
Bai Xiaochun smiled, although considering that he was wearing the mask, it was a very sinister and cold smile. Clasping hands, he said, “Grand elder, your presence brings honor to my humble dwelling. Please, come in!”
Abandoning any other formalities, the grand elder followed as Bai Xiaochun led the way into the immortal's cave. Once inside, they sat down across from each other, and the grand elder said, “Junior Brother Nightcrypt, you have an extraordinary cultivation base, and shocking latent talent. You prepared long and hard, and then made an incredible rise to the top. Middle Peak is truly blessed to have you, Junior Brother Nightcrypt!”
Although Bai Xiaochun was very pleased to hear such words, he maintained a somber expression, and didn’t even respond to the grand elder's words.
“Even more amazing is that the patriarchs have taken a liking to you. There are virtually no limits to what you can accomplish in the future, Junior Brother Nightcrypt....” The grand elder sighed, and then went on to talk about the war between the Profound and Pill Stream Sects, as well as various other Blood Stream Sect matters, both big and small. He also used a variety of different methods to heap praise upon Bai Xiaochun.
From his facial expression, Bai Xiaochun didn't seem to be very impressed, but he was actually savoring the moment. He felt very proud to be the subject of such flattery. Occasionally he nodded, occasionally he shook his head, and occasionally he laughed heartily.
After about an hour passed, the grand elder apparently felt Bai Xiaochun had been sufficiently warmed up. He was just about to launch into the true reason for his visit, when he suddenly realized that Bai Xiaochun was looking at him with an encouraging gleam in his eyes. He hesitated for a moment, then launched into another round of praise.
“Junior Brother Nightcrypt, you are a man of striking appearance and talent, like a mighty dragon among men....
“In fact, you can count on one hand the number of people in the Blood Stream Sect who can compare to you in terms of reputation....” After enough time had passed for an incense stick to burn, the grand elder's mouth was starting to dry up. At this point, he figured it was probably time to move on to more important matters. However, a quick look at Bai Xiaochun confirmed that he seemed to be completely immersed in the sensation of being praised.
The grand elder hesitated for a moment. However, he had come here to ask for help, and therefore, he gritted his teeth and wracked his brain to come up with new methods of offering praise. Another hour passed, and the grand elder finally ran out of words. However, Bai Xiaochun seemed more caught up in the moment than ever.
“Eee? Why did you stop talking?” He looked over curiously at the grand elder.
Lesser Marsh Peak’s grand elder was taken aback, but he gritted his teeth and forced out a few more sentences. In the end, he sighed at the realization that Nightcrypt was profoundly enigmatic, and definitely could never be viewed as an ordinary cultivator. Finally, he clasped hands and bowed.
“Junior Brother Nightcrypt, you are truly brilliant and stupendous. I deeply admire you. Truly. Since that’s the case, I won’t beat around the bush anymore. The reason I've come here today is because I'm simply incapable of allowing injustice in the world. Junior Brother Nightcrypt, your Dao of medicine is shocking. However, despite the fact that you concocted medicine for Corpse Peak, the conscienceless Corpse Peak cultivators not only refused to be thankful, they actually chose to hate you!”
When Bai Xiaochun thought back to the things that had happened in the past, his expression turned grim, and he let out a cold harrumph.
“The grand elder and blood master of Corpse Peak are the worst of them all,” the grand elder continued, eyes smoldering with righteous indignation. “You actually went to concoct medicine for them personally, but they repaid you by venting their anger on you. Completely preposterous! However, you can rest at ease about the matter, Junior Brother Nightcrypt. The blood master of Lesser Marsh Peak has already petitioned to the sect to publically clear your name!”
Bai Xiaochun shook his head and sighed. “I offer you profound thanks, grand elder. And the same goes to the blood master. However, the matter has ended. Besides, I actually learned quite a bit from that event.”
“Junior Brother Nightcrypt, there’s no need to be so polite. You reached Inverse Blood Ancestral Awakening, and are exceptionally talented in body refinement. You have a berserk ghost defense! You’re like family to us on Lesser Marsh Peak!” The grand elder laughed loudly. “Corpse Peak doesn’t know the difference between good and bad, so we might as well just ignore them. However, considering that we’re basically family, how about this: Junior Brother Nightcrypt, why don’t you concoct some spirit medicine for Lesser Marsh Peak? I guarantee that even if you destroy the mountain, the blood master and I won’t even frown in response!” The grand elder even slapped his chest to emphasize his honesty.
“Um....” Bai Xiaochun said, feeling a bit hesitant.
“Don’t worry, Junior Brother Nightcrypt, I know the protocol.” He pulled a bag of holding out from his robe and placed it down in front of Bai Xiaochun.
After picking it up and looking inside, Bai Xiaochun found a large quantity of medicinal plants and a sizeable collection of spirit stones. Feeling very pleased, he was about to agree, when suddenly his expression flickered. The grand elder of Lesser Marsh Peak also frowned, and the two of them looked out of the immortal's cave.
“Junior Brother Nightcrypt, are you home? It’s me, Grand Elder Geng Qiankun of Nameless Peak.” The grand elder of Nameless Peak, the dwarf, was right outside. His expression was the same as ever, but inwardly he was very nervous. For quite some time, both he and the blood master of Nameless Peak had wavered back and forth about Bai Xiaochun’s pill concocting.
However, after hearing that the grand elder of Lesser Marsh Peak had shown upon on Middle Peak, they knew that they couldn’t just sit around and do nothing. That was especially true of the Nameless Peak blood master. Therefore, he sent the grand elder hurrying over, worried the whole time about whether or not he could convince Nightcrypt to concoct medicine for Nameless Peak.
Bai Xiaochun blinked a few times, then rose to his feet and went out to receive the grand elder from Nameless Peak and lead him inside.
As soon as the grand elder from Nameless Peak entered, he saw Han Chundong. When their eyes met, they blazed with a competitive flare.
“Junior Brother Nightcrypt,” the dwarf said, “I'm not the kind of person to waste words. If you concoct a special tier-4 spirit medicine for Nameless Peak, then we will double whatever Lesser Marsh Peak has offered you. Our only condition is that you concoct medicine for us first!” The dwarf spoke in a very domineering fashion. However, before Bai Xiaochun could respond, Han Chundong snorted and shot to his feet, radiating a murderous aura.
“Junior Brother Nightcrypt, that bag of holding only contains the initial deposit! If you concoct medicine for us first, then we’ll give you full access to our secret body refinement techniques. You can even cultivate the secret magic of Lesser Marsh Peak!” The grand elder from Lesser Marsh Peak gritted his teeth. He wasn’t sure how much free time Bai Xiaochun had, but he knew that it often took many days for him to concoct medicine. Considering that war was looming, he was desperate to get this medicine concocted.
Because of that, he would do everything he could to make sure the blood master from his mountain peak was first in line.
Bai Xiaochun was moved. The truth was that he did want to do some research into Lesser Marsh Peak’s body refinement techniques. After all, they seemed connected to the Undying Codex.
Off to the side, the dwarf seemed shocked by the other grand elder’s words. However, as soon as he saw the expression on Bai Xiaochun’s face, he gritted his teeth and said, “Junior Brother Nightcrypt, Nameless Peak has prepared a gargoyle just for you! We can teach you Nameless Peak’s gargoyle refining magics!” In response to his words, Han Chundong glared at him angrily.
Bai Xiaochun was quivering in eagerness. The gargoyle magics of Nameless Peak were top secret, and cultivators from outside of that mountain peak had to spend a huge amount of merit points to study them.
Their incredible value was difficult to put into words.
Han Chundong looked at Bai Xiaochun and said, “Junior Brother Nightcrypt, the best rule to follow is first come first served. Lesser Marsh Peak was the first to come here to request medicine concocting, so please take that into careful consideration!”
The dwarf looked over and said, “Junior Brother Nightcrypt, Nameless Peak is willing to double their offer!”
Bai Xiaochun rubbed his forehead, then looked back and forth between the two. Chuckling, he said, “It’s true. First come first served is the most fair. I’ll start at Lesser Marsh Peak. I hope that grand elder and blood master from Nameless Peak won’t take offense. Also, there’s no need to offer double. I understand that both of you are here to represent your respective blood masters. How about this: I’ll promise that no matter who I concoct medicine for, I’ll get it done before the war starts. For both of you! I guarantee it!”
The two grand elders were visibly moved. The truth was that neither of them wanted to get into a bidding war. Seeing how smoothly Bai Xiaochun had handled the situation, the felt even better about him than before. Nodding, they proceeded to chat a bit longer before clasping hands and leaving.
After seeing them off, Bai Xiaochun returned to his immortal's cave and sat down cross-legged. After a moment of thought, he chuckled to himself.
“I have the emerald zombie from Corpse Peak, and I've gotten the grand elder from Middle Peak to fall for me. If I get a gargoyle from Nameless Peak and cultivate body refinement on Lesser Marsh Peak, then I’ll be more important in the Blood Stream Sect than ever. I’ll be similar to a bloodstreak elder. By the time Song Junwan becomes blood master, I’ll be far more likely to snag the spot of grand elder for myself!”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