Chapter 381: Out Of Options
Master God-Diviner gritted his teeth in hesitation for a moment before continuing, “Junior Patriarch.... Junior Patriarch, I'm leaving too. If we all stick around here, we’ll never solve the problem of being hungry. Look, why don’t you--”
At the sudden realization that everyone was apparently planning to go their own way, Bai Xiaochun shot to his feet.
“Don’t go, guys! You’re my Dao protectors! I brought you here with me! What am I supposed to do if you all leave...?” What was especially terrifying was the realization that the spirit stones the sect had given him were almost all gone. The fact that everyone was leaving at that point was what hurt the most.
“I brought you here with me! You’re supposed to take care of me....” Despite his protestations, Song Que simply snorted coldly, then turned and left. His plan was to go on some missions to earn the resources he needed to take care of himself.
“Que’er....” Bai Xiaochun called after him. However, Song Que didn’t even look over his shoulder. As for Master God-Diviner, he was getting ready to leave too, but Bai Xiaochun reached out and grabbed his arm.
“Master God-Diviner,” he said piteously, “I won’t call you Master Snortsnort anymore, okay? Don’t go....”
“Junior Patriarch, I don’t have any other choice. Before coming here, none of us had any idea that merely staying alive in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect would be so difficult. I think I’ll go start performing some divinations to get some food to eat....” Although his words were chosen well, inside, he was furious, and at the same time, couldn’t stop thinking about how much he missed the River-Defying Sect. Shaking himself out of Bai Xiaochun’s grip, he left the spirit abode and was gone in a flash.
“I can’t believe you people!” Bai Xiaochun said angrily. As far as he was concerned, Song Que and Master God-Diviner were being completely unreasonable. If they had gone out on their own earlier, it might have been tolerable, but instead, they waited until he ran out of spirit stones to abandon him.
Even as Bai Xiaochun stood there fuming, Chen Manyao sighed and stood up. Looking over at Bai Xiaochun, she said, “This is my fault for not getting complete information. Junior Patriarch, I'm going to go look for some friends of mine. If destiny will have it, we’ll meet again in the rainbow district.”
Without giving Bai Xiaochun a chance to respond, she flew out of the spirit abode.
Chen Manyao’s sudden departure pushed Bai Xiaochun toward the brink of madness. After all, she had come to him to ask to join the party, and now here she was just throwing him to the wayside. Thankfully, he could console himself with the fact that Xu Baocai and Big Fatty Zhang were staying behind.
“Hmph! Fine, if they want to go, let them go. At least Eldest Brother and Little Treasure have some loyalty!” Looking over at them, he slapped his chest and said, “Look you two, don't worry, I’ll--”
However, that was when Xu Baocai rose awkwardly to his feet. “Junior Patriarch, I--”
“Hey what are you doing? Sit back down!” Heart pounding, Bai Xiaochun was just getting ready to physically block Xu Baocai’s path, when he noticed the look of determination in his eyes, as well as the tears.
“Junior Patriarch,” he pled, “let me go, please. I... I don't want to die of starvation! Look at me! I'm the weakest of all of us, and I'm already skin and bones! If things keep going like this, I’m going to be the first one to die!
“Show me mercy, I beg of you! Let me go!
“Please, Junior Patriarch....” He even started tugging at Bai Xiaochun’s sleeve.
The anger faded from Bai Xiaochun’s face, and he sighed. “Alright, everyone has the right to pick their own path. Leave if you want!”
“Many thanks, Junior Patriarch!!” Eyes filled with gratitude, Xu Baocai fled the spirit abode.
As soon as he was outside, he caught sight of Master God-Diviner off in the distance. The two of them exchanged a glance, then joined together and headed off into the city, chuckling.
Looking quite proud of himself, Master God-Diviner produced a chunk of spirit meat from his bag of holding and started munching on it as he said, “Song Que has pretty high ambitions and isn’t very flexible. I bet he really did think that he was in a bad position. We’re different though. Finally, we're free from the clutches of evil!”
Xu Baocai hesitated for a moment, then produced a similar chunk of spirit meat. After taking a bite, he said, “Are you sure this is a good idea though? After all, we’re still technically Dao protectors.”
Clearly, the two of them had quite a collection of resources built up. After all, for the past several days, all of the food they’d been eating had been provided by Bai Xiaochun.
Master God-Diviner hesitated for a moment. After a bit of thought, he said, “There’s nothing we can do about that. If we had stayed back there, we would still have gone hungry eventually anyway, what with the junior patriarch’s way of handling things. Don’t worry, let’s take care of ourselves first, and then we can meet back up with him when we get to the rainbow district.”
After a bit more chatting regarding their plans, the two of them headed off into the city to find their own place to stay.
As of this point, the only people left in the spirit abode were Bai Xiaochun and Big Fatty Zhang. Big Fatty Zhang looked at Bai Xiaochun standing there in anger, then sighed and closed his eyes to meditate.
Despite Bai Xiaochun’s rage, there was nothing he could do about the situation. At least he had Big Fatty Zhang there to accompany him. However, the next day, not even Big Fatty Zhang could take it any longer. When evening fell, he walked over to Bai Xiaochun and said, “Ninth Fatty....”
Bai Xiaochun instantly started to get nervous. “Eldest Brother, are you--”
“Ninth Fatty, it’s not that your Eldest Brother doesn’t care about you. If things keep going like this, I’m gonna die. I’ll go out to perform some spirit enhancements. Don’t worry, Ninth Fatty, after I get some money built up, I’ll come back and take care of you!” Big Fatty Zhang had clearly made his mind up, and Bai Xiaochun didn't say anything to try to change his mind.
Big Fatty Zhang clapped Bai Xiaochun on the shoulder, then took a deep breath, his eyes gleaming as if he had accepted a holy mission. With that, he walked out of the spirit abode....
Bai Xiaochun was the only person left. As the sun slowly sank down over the horizon, he stood outside the door looking more lonesome than ever. Finally, he let out a long sigh.
“Gone. They've all gone....” Crestfallen, he walked back into the spirit abode and sat down, his hunger growing.
“What am I supposed to do? I'm so hungry!” Considering that night was falling, he finally went out and used some of his dwindling spirit stone savings to buy some more spirit food. Then he looked around at all the red-robed disciples hurrying here and there on various missions.
Although some of the missions were dangerous, considering that Bai Xiaochun’s cultivation base was in the Gold Core level, they wouldn’t pose any threat to him. However, the rewards for accomplishing such missions were small.
Based on his calculations, doing missions to survive would require him to do them almost all day every day. That was mostly because the high level of his cultivation base meant that the drain on his body was even more noticeable.
And of course, the missions with bigger rewards were the ones that were more dangerous.
Despite putting some thought to it, he couldn’t come up with any good ideas. Sighing, he went back to his spirit abode. Back inside, the little turtle finally woke up and stuck his head out of Bai Xiaochun’s bag of holding. He looked at Bai Xiaochun suspiciously, clearly wondering why he had been asleep so long. However, Bai Xiaochun wasn’t in any mood to pay attention to him. Seeing how he was being ignored, the turtle’s suspicions faded, and he disappeared back into the bag of holding.
A few more days passed. Bai Xiaochun went out into the city a few times to try to get inspiration for what to do. He completely suppressed his cultivation base, ensuring that no fluctuations whatsoever emerged from him, which also reduced the drain on his body.
However, no matter how many ideas he came up with, he found that there were already people in the city using those methods to earn merit points. Trying to compete with them would be pointless. He even tried to find some unique missions at the Missions Office suited to his style, but there were simply too many disciples there looking for missions.
By this point, he knew exactly why all of the people he had seen in the city were always thin and in a hurry, and also had such strange cultivation bases. The pressure weighing down on them on a daily basis created something like an instinct. Because of the interference of the spiritual power, it was impossible to see who was powerful and who was weak.
“Don’t tell me that a majestic Gold Core cultivator like me is actually going to starve to death!!” he lamented. He was getting to the point that he was so hungry he couldn’t take it. His bag of holding was now completely devoid of spirit stones, and he was almost out of food. Soon, he would have nothing left to eat other than spirit plants.
Of course, he had plenty of those, because he was always equipped with numerous ingredients with which to concoct medicine. However, even if he sold them all, the merit points they would earn would vanish just as quickly as his spirit stones.
“I can’t keep going on like this, or I'm going to die! This Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect is just too wicked! I can’t believe they treat their disciples so harshly! I'm a Gold Core expert! I'm an important political hostage! Don’t they even care that I’m starving to death!?!?” Depressed, he even considered resorting to theft. However, the punishment for theft in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect was so severe that he quickly abandoned such thoughts.
“Alright, I’m out of options. I guess I’m going to have to use my best skill to solve this problem. I'm... I'm going to concoct medicine!”
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