When he saw the reactions of Frigidsect, Master Godwind, and Patriarch Crimsonsoul, the red-haired old man chuckled disdainfully, then flicked his sleeve and walked out.
Rumbling could be heard outside of the grand hall as the cultivators of the three sects boarded their magical flight devices and then shot off into the distance, leaving behind nothing more than billowing winds and swirling dust.
“Dammit!” Crimsonsoul said through gritted teeth.
Master Godwind frowned. “I guess this is our fault for not understanding the rules of the Middle Reaches cultivation world….”
Frigidsect smiled wryly and said, “With the plentiful resources here in the Middle Reaches, it’s not as difficult for cultivators to reach Core Formation within a sixty-year-cycle. In the Lower Reaches, such an accomplishment is very, very difficult....”
At that point, he suddenly seemed to remember something, and looked over at Bai Xiaochun.
Moments later, Master Godwind and Crimsonsoul were also looking at him.
Bai Xiaochun felt a bit unnerved to be stared at by these three, and couldn’t help but subconsciously take a few steps back.
“Um... Patriarchs, I--”
“Xiaochun, the reason we were just bullied and humiliated right now is because our sect is too weak!”
“That's right, Xiaochun. Now that I think about it, there’s only one person in the entire River-Defying Sect who reached Core Formation within a sixty-year-cycle....” [1. If you recall, Li Qinghou was the only person in the sect recently who had a chance to reach Core Formation in TWO sixty-year-cycles, not one. This fact was mentioned in multiple chapters, including chapters 72, 97, and 175. If "the hope for the generation" was for him to do that, then obviously he didn't reach Core Formation in one sixty-year-cycle.]
“Nightcrypt, my boy, as the junior patriarch, surely you understand how important this matter is to the future development of the sect!”
Although the words spoken by the three patriarchs were all different, as were the expressions on their faces, the gleams in their eyes were exactly the same.
“I....” Bai Xiaochun suddenly felt as if his throat were bone dry. Moments ago, he had been standing there listening quietly, feeling much the same anger as the patriarchs. But then the three old fogeys suddenly turned to stare at him, and even worse, when they began to talk, their words caused his heart to tremble.
Inwardly, he was crying out in grief, especially when he thought about the fact that he really was the only Core Formation cultivator in the sect who had reached that stage within a sixty-year-cycle. When it came to legacy zones, sects would usually send seven or eight people, but in this case, he would be going in alone.
The mere idea struck Bai Xiaochun with fear, and it was even worse considering that he had just aggressively heaped bad fortune onto the disciples from the Starry River Court, and had also brazenly threatened the Polarity River Court and the Dao River Court.
At this point, his expression suddenly turned somber. A bitter look appeared in his eyes as he continued, “Listen, Patriarchs, the truth is that I actually lied about my age before. Um yeah....
“Now that I'm the junior patriarch, I can’t continue to hide the truth. Back when I was found on that mountain, I wasn’t a teenager, I was actually forty!
“I just looked young, and decided to perpetuate the lie. I was wrong, I know. I should have told you the truth, and not caused such confusion for the sect during important times!”
Bai Xiaochun’s voice was filled with regret, and he truly sounded as if he were divulging a long-harbored secret. As he spoke, his hands slowly clenched into fists.
“Patriarchs, I truly feel terrible. Every time I think about my true age, and how I've hidden it for so long, I feel worse and worse. Alright, well I guess it's time to go into secluded meditation now....” Even as he spoke, he turned and hurried toward the door.
Crimsonsoul was frowning, and Master Godwind looked quite anxious. Just as they were about to speak, Frigidsect smiled wryly and said, “Xiaochun, you’re going, whether you want to or not.”
However, Bai Xiaochun didn’t stop heading toward the door.
“Nobody wants our sect to seem weak, right?” Frigidsect continued. “If we can’t produce a single Core Formation cultivator who succeeded within one sixty-year-cycle, it will only mean further humiliation at the hands of the three other sects. I'm afraid if that happens, we won’t have a very strong foundation in the Middle Reaches.”
When Bai Xiaochun heard that, he slowed down a bit, his heart twisting with indecision.
Frigidsect seemed to be getting a bit worked up as he went on, “But that’s okay. You’re the most important of all, Xiaochun. The sect is your home, and we’re your family. We won’t force you to do anything you don't want to do. Even if we get bullied and humiliated, we’ll protect you, and all the other disciples too!”
Bai Xiaochun was at the door, looking out at the world outside, indecision gripping his heart and refusing to let go.
“This time,” Frigidsect said, “the River-Defying Sect will just have to concede defeat. Master Godwind, Crimsonsoul, there’s no need to send me secret messages with divine sense. I’ve already made my decision!” Frigidsect suddenly seemed older, his voice laced with bleakness and exhaustion.
Bai Xiaochun stood there looking up sadly into the sky.
“What?” Frigidsect said loudly. “What's that you say via projected message, Master Godwind? No. Although we know going in that we will lose, and only want to do it to keep from losing face, we can’t send Bai Xiaochun in alone! Yes, I know. Bai Xiaochun once said in his heart that he lives for the sect. Yes, I know we treat him well. I know all that. But you might as well give up trying to persuade me!
“Crimsonsoul, stop projecting messages. My mind has been made up. It doesn’t matter that Xiaochun has precious treasures to defend himself with, as well as a Heaven-Dao Gold Core. It doesn’t matter that he has cultivated an incredibly powerful fleshly body, and that it would be virtually impossible for anyone under Nascent Soul to kill him. Nor does it matter that, by the Dharmic decree of the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, killing is forbidden in the legacy seal competition. Bai Xiaochun is our junior patriarch! Even if the place offers no dangers whatsoever, we definitely can’t take any risks at all!”
Bai Xiaochun gritted his teeth and turned to face the three patriarchs, looking almost like he was about to cry. “Fine. I’ll go, alright? Enough with the persuading....”
The instant the words left Bai Xiaochun’s mouth, Frigidsect rose to his feet, walked over to him, and clasped him enthusiastically on the shoulder.
“Good kid! Alright, the matter’s set!
“This jade slip will tell you everything you need to know about the legacy zone. Study it carefully....
“Make whatever preparations you need to. In a month, the three of us will personally escort you to the legacy zone!” With that, he turned and sped away.
Master Godwind and Crimsonsoul gave approving glances to Bai Xiaochun, but fearing that he might suddenly change his mind, they quickly teleported away....
Bai Xiaochun looked around with wide eyes at the empty hall. He reached his hands out as if he wanted to grab onto something, but the only thing he had to grab onto was his hair.
“Those crafty foxes!” he wailed. “Schemers, all of them! There’s no way they didn't know about the rules. Obviously, they knew from the beginning, and were just trying to con me. I... I ....” Scowling, Bai Xiaochun suddenly felt as if he was very, very naïve. After walking dejectedly out of the hall, he looked up into the sky, and it somehow seemed very, very dark.
He moped all the way back to his immortal's cave, where he sat down cross-legged in grief. Then he thought about how he would have to single-handedly go up against people from all three of the other sects, and he suddenly felt quite lonely.
“Wait, it won’t be just me. I can take Bruiser with me! He reached Core Formation in less than a sixty-year-cycle! The two of us against all those people....
“How will we handle it? They’re definitely going to bully us! What do I do...?” Hanging his head dispiritedly, he took out the jade slip and started to go over the information about the legacy zone.
According to the detailed description in the jade slip, there were a total of 100 legacy seals inside. Last time, the Sky River Court sent 13 qualified disciples into the legacy zone, who managed to acquire 30 seals. Unfortunately, none of them managed to acquire enlightenment of any of the legacy techniques.
In the end, the Sky River Court got thirty percent of the resources, whereas the Starry River Court, who came in last place, only got ten percent.
The rules for how to distribute the resources were set down by the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, and couldn’t be changed.
Bai Xiaochun sighed again. For the following several days, he continued to mull over the matter until he made his final decision.
“Fudge! I already said I'd go, right? Fine. Fine. Fine! I’ll go!!” After he thought about how many other people he would be competing against, he decided to go buy a huge amount of paper talismans.
He didn’t purchase them with merit points, but rather, got them on credit. Next, he went to the Treasure Pavilion, where he did the same thing to acquire a large collection of magical items.
Finally, he purchased some armor and more leather clothing. Realizing that the only thing he lacked was a big black wok, he searched the sect up and down until he found an extraordinarily sturdy iron wok that was more than suitable.
Next, he gritted his teeth and requested some multi-colored fuel from the patriarchs, which he used to perform fivefold spirit enhancements on all of his items, including the big black wok.
Despite how many items he had purchased, he still didn't feel safe. Next, he went to the Profound Stream Division to request some spell formations, then to the Blood Stream Division to request spirit blood, and finally to the Pill Stream Division to request spirit medicines.
By the time he was finished with all these activities, half a month had passed. For the next half month, he focused on cultivation, and ended up inching closer toward a breakthrough.
As for his work with his Undying Tendons, the big toe on his left foot was finished. Whenever he called upon it, shocking fleshly body power would surge through him, originating from the toe.
Unfortunately, using that power would also cause his shoe to explode.
Because of that, Bai Xiaochun also prepared a large number of shoes for his left foot.
Eventually, the long-awaited day came. At dawn, Bai Xiaochun walked out of his immortal’s cave, wearing numerous layers of leather clothing, and a black wok strapped to his back. He had paper talismans plastered all over him, and overall, looked very sad.
Then he headed toward the summit of Mount River Defiance, followed by the curious Bruiser, who was wearing a suit of armor and plenty of paper talismans, and yet radiated an air of complete ferocity.
Chapter 360: Fine. Fine. Fine! I’ll go!
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.Previous Chapter Next Chapter