The life force was so incredible that grass and plants sprouted up beneath Bai Xiaochun’s feet. It spread out rapidly, until everything within 300 meters was a world of lush vegetation, complete with blooming flowers.
The power of the life force only continued to explode out, but before too much time could pass, the founding patriarch waved his sleeve, sealing the River-Defying Pill back into the little wooden box. As soon as the lid of the box closed, the life force vanished.
The plants and vegetation in the area rapidly withered up, and within the space of a few breaths of time, they had vanished, almost as if they had never existed to begin with.
Bai Xiaochun looked around with wide eyes.
He had never seen any medicinal pill like this one. The power of the life force he had just felt was almost unbelievable, and was also terrifying to the extreme.
“The River-Defying Pill can’t be brought out into the open for too long. Every moment that this box is opened, some of the medicinal strength fades away....” The founding patriarch obviously didn't want to waste even the slightest bit of the pill that wasn’t necessary, and as he looked over at Bai Xiaochun, a look of pain could be seen in his eyes.
“This medicinal pill is a Ten Breaths River-Defying Pill. According to the legends, if the pill is created perfectly, the result will be an Eternal River-Defying Pill, which would permanently awaken the true spirit.
“Xiaochun, whatever you need to concoct the River-Defying Pill, just say it. The sect will support you in any way possible!”
Bai Xiaochun didn't say anything at first. He thought back to the moment he had looked at the true spirit, and also the terrifying power of the medicinal pill from moments ago. He didn’t feel confident at all in being able to succeed, and had to force himself to nod in agreement. Then, he made his way off slowly.
After returning to his immortal's cave on Mount Daoseed, he sat down cross-legged to think. On the one hand, the River-Defying Pill was very important to the sect, and on the other hand, the mere sight of the terrifying power of the pill was very enticing.
“How do you make a pill with such terrifying life force power? Furthermore, I didn't get the sense that there were any plants and vegetation in that pill. Apparently, it really doesn’t use plant ingredients.” He had attempted to concoct the River-Defying Pill in the past, and knew that it involved absorbing Heavenspan River water and then using one's own body as the pill furnace.
“But if there are no plant ingredients, only Heavenspan River water, how can you produce such intense life force power?” Frowning, he sat there and continued to ponder the situation.
The next day, he looked very tired. However, he took out the formula for the River-Defying Pill to study it a bit further, as well as the Frigid School Medicine Manual. After some time, he gritted his teeth and put them away, then produced the Holy Pill Wall Fragment he'd acquired in the Profound Stream Sect city.
“I really don’t think my current skill in the Dao of medicine is high enough to concoct a River-Defying Pill....” he thought, sighing. With that, he peered at the Holy Pill Wall Fragment, doing the best he could to try to gain further enlightenment of the Dao of medicine which was contained inside. Soon, his gaze began to empty as he sank into his pursuit of enlightenment.
Time passed. Before long, half a month had gone by. During that time, Bai Xiaochun remained in seclusion, seeking enlightenment. As for the legacy echelon cultivators and the patriarch, they were busy working on the Heavenspan Battleships. Slowly but surely, the cultivators from the army were returning to their headquarters. Patriarch Ironwood came back, and so did Hou Xiaomei.
The Spirit Stream Division once again began to bustle with activity. Everyone was involved in the preparations for the campaign to the Middle Reaches, and the Sky River Court.
One day, a tremor ran through Bai Xiaochun, and the blankness in his eyes faded away. Now, they were glowing brightly. He immediately opened the Frigid School Medicine Manual, and sure enough, it looked different than before.
There were many areas he couldn’t understand before, places that looked like a blur. But now, he understood the deeper meaning. His eyes began to shine even brighter. A few days later, he put the Frigid School Medicine Manual away, and then closed his eyes for a long moment. After some time passed, his eyes opened again.
“I need Heavenspan River water!” he murmured. With that, he pulled out a jade slip to send a message to the sect leadership.
The patriarchs had appeared to be completely engrossed in working on the Heavenspan Battleships, but they had been secretly looking over at Bai Xiaochun the entire time. As soon as they heard that he needed Heavenspan River water, Patriarch Ironwood personally went to deliver a bucketful to him.
Bai Xiaochun looked at the Heavenspan River water with rising anticipation. Waving his right finger, he caused a drop to fly up in front of him, whereupon he opened his mouth and sucked it in. Instantly, the Heavenspan River water entered him, and caused intense rumbling sounds to echo out throughout his body.
“Use my body as the pill furnace, merge life force into the Heavenspan River water, cause the life force to flourish, transform it into a spirit medicine!” Eyes closed, he continued to manipulate the Heavenspan River water inside of his body, attempting to fuse it with his own life force.
The following day, rumbling sounds filled the immortal's cave. Bai Xiaochun’s hair was in complete disarray, and his immortal's cave was filled with a completely noxious odor. However, he wasn’t ready to give up yet. Taking out another drop of Heavenspan River water, he decided to try again.
Before long, another half a month had gone by. During that time, rumbling sounds echoed out constantly from Bai Xiaochun’s immortal's cave, along with a noxious stench that soon filled all of Mount Daoseed. However, no one complained. The founding patriarch had long since personally spread word that Bai Xiaochun was working on a very important medicinal pill for the sect!
“Not enough life force. Just not enough!!” After spending half a month without any sleep or rest, Bai Xiaochun was looking a bit gaunt. His hair was completely disheveled, and his eyes were bright red. He looked like he was going crazy. He had used more than half of the bucket of Heavenspan River water, and had failed every time time.
The main reason for that was that he lacked enough life force. After some calculations, he realized that his own life force wasn’t enough to fill 1/100,000th of the required amount of life force to finish a single River-Defying Pill.
“I think that even if the other cultivators in the sect sacrificed life force to help, it would take 100,000 Foundation Establishment cultivators to make even a Ten Breaths River-Defying Pill....
“Either 100,000 Foundation Establishment cultivators or 10,000 Gold Core cultivators. Maybe 1,000 patriarchs. How is this pill even possible to concoct...?” He shook his head. Although it was theoretically possible to make such a pill, it just didn’t seem realistic. The Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect probably couldn’t succeed, let alone the Spirit Stream Division of the River-Defying Sect.
“Maybe I’ve been going about it the wrong way....” he thought, frowning. However, no amount of thought provided any additional ideas. Finally, he had no choice but to find the founding patriarch and declare sadly that he was giving up.
Although the founding patriarch sighed inwardly in disappointment, he felt bad at how exhausted Bai Xiaochun looked. He also knew that the River-Defying Pill was something that could not be concocted casually; after all, one generation after another in the Spirit Stream Sect had failed to produce one.
“It doesn’t matter,” he said consolingly. “You can’t force success in this matter, Xiaochun. In three days, myself and the other patriarchs will take the legacy echelon cultivators into the chasm on the north bank. Why don’t you come along? Within the chasm is an arcane pocket realm that we discovered in the past. Years ago, I saw the skeleton of a deva beast there, although I was unable to take it away at the time.
“There are many places inside that no one has ever explored. Although there are certain to be some dangers, there will also be opportunities to seize destiny. Who knows, perhaps you might be able to come across some good fortune before the war begins.”
Bai Xiaochun nodded tiredly. It was quite a blow to him to have failed, so it was with great disappointment that he trudged back to his immortal's cave. There, he sat down to meditate and ponder everything he had done with the River-Defying Pill.
Hou Xiaomei was back, but she could tell that it wasn't a good time to disturb Bai Xiaochun, so she stayed away. Big Fatty Zhang and his other friends did the same. Three days went by quickly, and Bai Xiaochun slowly recovered. Soon, his cultivation base was back at the peak, and his disappointment at failing to concoct the River-Defying Pill had temporarily vanished.
That was when the jade slip in his bag of holding began to vibrate, and he opened his eyes. When he took out the jade slip, the words of the founding patriarch echoed into his ear, summoning him to the meeting place in the Beast Conservatory.
“I did my best,” he murmured, “and can’t concoct the River-Defying Pill at the moment.” Taking a deep breath, he looked around at the sect he knew so well, then shot forward in a beam of light toward the north bank.
Along the way, the Spirit Stream Division cultivators who spotted him had very respectful looks on their faces as they bowed in greeting. Such reception brightened Bai Xiaochun’s mood, and he subconsciously clasped his hands behind his back and assumed the posture of someone of the Senior generation. Smiling, he nodded back at those who greeted him.
He was especially happy to see so many of the exuberant and youthful female disciples blushing when they looked at him out of the corners of their eyes. Soon, his mood was fully restored. Clearing his throat, he stopped trying to look like someone from the Senior generation and tried to seem a bit more dashing and energetic. Smiling broadly, he flew through the air in dramatic fashion, reveling in the excited cries which echoed out behind him.
“Hahaha! It turns out that I really am quite the dashing fellow! Ai. I guess it's just my fault. I’m simply too attractive.” Feeling more wonderful than ever, he continued to fly along until he happened to spot Zhou Xinqi. When their eyes met, Bai Xiaochun smiled, and she frowned and made to pass him by.
Bai Xiaochun narrowed his eyes. From what he could tell, there had been some misunderstandings between himself and Zhou Xinqi, so it was with great solemnity that he suddenly said, “Sect Niece Xinqi, please wait a moment.”
Zhou Xinqi stopped and looked over at him calmly.
“Do you have orders for me, Junior Patriarch?”
Clasping his hands behind his back, he tried to look as melancholy as possible as he stuck his chin up into the air. “There’s something I’ve been wanted to tell you for quite some time now, but I never found the right opportunity. Today, I’m going to boldly tell you the truth. And that is... that I'm the little turtle!”
With that, he pondered what to say after Zhou Xinqi expressed her shock.
“Oh, I know,” Zhou Xinqi said, her expression the same as ever. With that, she flew off in a beam of light.
“Huh?” Bai Xiaochun said, jaw dropping as he looked at Zhou Xinqi making her way off into the distance. Her reaction had been completely and utterly calm, which was not at all what he had been expecting.
Before he could react, raucous laughter exploded out from his bag of holding.
“You're the little turtle? Hahaha! Ohhhhhh, I get it. Well, since you love Lord Turtle so much, I won’t insult you as much in the future.”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. AWE Glossary. Xianxia-inspired T-shirts.
Hey everyone, quick reminder that in a bit less than twelve hours from the release of this chapter, I'll be having a live chat with Brendan from Bedrock Games about wuxia, xianxia, and role-playing games. Please feel free to drop in and ask a question or two.