Chapter 386: Why Aren’t You Kowtowing!?
“You.... I....” Master God-Diviner stared at Bai Xiaochun, his mind reeling, almost unable to believe how events were unfolding. However, he could believe it, no matter how much he didn’t want to.
He was currently teetering on the verge of passing out, and all he could think about were the grand aspirations he had harbored upon leaving Bai Xiaochun’s spirit abode all those months ago, and also Bai Xiaochun’s voice calling out to him as he left.
Back then, he had been absolutely certain that he had made the right decision. Now, though, it felt like the world was playing a cruel joke on him....
That was especially the case when Bai Xiaochun said, “you have it way worse than me.” That caused tears to instantly well up in Master God-Diviner’s eyes.
There Bai Xiaochun was, glittering with the light of magical treasures, his face glowing with a healthy sheen, riding a huge crocodile. He didn’t seem to have things bad at all, and it caused Master God-Diviner’s heart to fill with an intense sensation of injustice.
The past few months had been very difficult. Few people believed the divinations he performed, and he had even gotten into some disputes with customers. At first, he hadn’t worried about that, but as more and more people got angry with him, he had been forced to flee in terror from the east district. Eventually, he ended up in the north district, where he managed to get back on his feet to some extent. Unfortunately, his income was scanty, and he ended every day feeling hungry. Even worse, he had to pay a merit point protection fee to one of the local gangs to be allowed to have a spot to perform divinations.
As he thought about all these things, Master God-Diviner smiled bitterly. Realizing that he had to accept reality, he sighed and said, “You really think you have it bad? I think you’ve actually gained some weight since I saw you last.”
Bai Xiaochun hopped off of the crocodile, which he then sucked into his spirit beast bag. As he stood there with his orange robe and glittering magical treasures, Master God-Diviner couldn’t help but gasp inwardly. He well knew that to become an orange-robed disciple, one had to pay 100,000 merit points. Plus, a crocodile mount like the one Bai Xiaochun had would cost about the same. After all, Master God-Diviner had even enviously passed through the Spirit Beast Pavilion before.
“Oh, I have it bad alright,” Bai Xiaochun said sadly, “let me tell you. Ai. It’s been two meals now since I've had any Precious Jade spirit rice, and a whole day since I ran out of Hundred Flowers spirit alcohol. Plus, I haven’t bathed in spirit water for nearly half a day. Look, I even smell a bit sweaty! I can’t believe I've gotten so poor!” Everything he had just said was true. After all, his life in the east district had been one of luxury and excess. Now that he was in the north district, everything was different, and he couldn’t help but feel irritated about that.
Master God-Diviner’s eyes glazed over. The mere words ‘Precious Jade spirit rice’ left his heart trembling. Spirit rice like that was something he had only heard about, and had never even been able to smell, let alone taste. It was incredibly expensive, and it had once been his dream to try some. And yet here Bai Xiaochun was saying that he had gone two meals without eating any....
And then there was ‘Hundred Flowers spirit alcohol.’ That sent Master God-Diviner even further in the direction of madness. That was the most expensive types of alcohol available in the city, and among his current circle of friends, being able to even drink a mouthful would have made him the subject of envy and jealousy. And yet here Bai Xiaochun was saying that he hadn’t had any for a day! That implied that he normally drank it on a daily basis....
And when bathing in spirit water was mentioned, tears began to stream down Master God-Diviner’s face. A mere glance at Bai Xiaochun’s skin confirmed that it was glossy and imbued with spiritual energy. That wasn’t from his cultivation base; it was caused by the special properties of the spirit water in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect. Such water left the body with a layer of natural protection that was mysterious and profound, to say the least.
However, such protection was definitely a luxury; if one went for five days or more without bathing in spirit water, it would naturally fade away.
Master God-Diviner stared at Bai Xiaochun, eyes glistening miserably. “Junior Patriarch....”
“Ah, whatever,” Bai Xiaochun said, waving his hand in grandly dismissive fashion. “I brought you here with me, didn’t I? Therefore, I'm responsible for you. You might have mercilessly dumped me early on, but I'm a magnanimous person. From now on, you stick with me, alright?” Master God-Diviner immediately began to tremble. The truth was that he would have stuck with Bai Xiaochun even if Bai Xiaochun tried to drive him away. He had already resolved to swear an oath to follow Bai Xiaochun even if it meant following him into death!
“Many thanks, Junior Patriarch!!” From the excited way he put his banner and table away, it was clear that he felt no attachment to his vendor spot. Hurrying to follow Bai Xiaochun, he said, “So, Junior Patriarch, where are we going?”
Bai Xiaochun hesitated for a moment, but then decided to simply tell the truth. “Let’s go to the Spirit Beas--”
However, before he could finish speaking, three beams of light sped toward them. Apparently, these three people had noticed Master God-Diviner getting ready to leave, and were now attempting to intercept him.
Three cultivators landed in front of Master God-Diviner, one of them a middle-aged man with a cultivation base in the great circle of Foundation Establishment. “Leaving early because you got a new customer, Master God-Diviner?” he said. “Very well, at least pay your daily fee before leaving!”
The man’s eyes flashed like lightning, and although he wasn’t exactly fat, neither was he skinny, and he wore an orange robe just like Bai Xiaochun’s. Obviously, he lived a fairly comfortable life here in Sky City.
Glancing at Bai Xiaochun, he looked back at Master God-Diviner, a false smile stretching out across his face.
Master God-Diviner’s face fell. These three were by no means strangers to him; they came from the group that controlled this area. They and a few dozen other cultivators that made up the gang forced all of the vendor stalls in the area to pay a protection fee for the right to do business.
Master God-Diviner was clearly embarrassed, and didn’t want Bai Xiaochun to see him in such a situation. Lowering his voice, he said, “I didn’t do any business today. How about tomorrow I--”
One of the red-robed disciples among the three interrupted Master God-Diviner and said, “We don’t care if you did business or not. The fee is 10 merit points a day! That's what we agreed to, so pay up!”
Master God-Diviner’s expression flickered with distress. He knew that Bai Xiaochun, with his Gold Core cultivation base, wouldn’t even bother to spare these three a glance. But Master God-Diviner still didn’t want to lose face in front of Bai Xiaochun. After all, he had been the one to part ways, and if he needed Bai Xiaochun’s help in this situation, it would be far too embarrassing.
Gritting his teeth, forced a smile onto his face and prepared to pull out his identity medallion.
But then, the man in the orange robe said, “Now that you have such a high-class customer, Master God-Diviner, I'm afraid the 10 merit point fee won't be enough. We need you to pay for next month in advance!”
Rage immediately began to flicker in Master God-Diviner’s eyes. “You people--”
“Now now, hold that temper of yours! If you don't have enough, I’m sure this new customer of yours wouldn’t mind giving you an advance on your services.” The orange-robed cultivator looked at Bai Xiaochun with a false smile, his eyes lingering on his numerous glowing magical treasures. Despite his greed, though, he didn't dare to push things too far. He could tell that Bai Xiaochun most likely had an impressive background. However, trying to get a few hundred merit points out of him wouldn’t be too excessive.
“Junior Patriarch....” Master God-Diviner said hesitantly. However, Bai Xiaochun waved his hand to cut him off. Eyes shining brightly, he looked over at the orange-robed cultivator.
“Well, isn’t this interesting. I can't believe I never thought of this myself.” The look in Bai Xiaochun’s eyes left the orange-robed disciple feeling very unsettled, and the two red-robed disciples suddenly had very serious expressions on their faces.
“You dare to try to take my money with a Foundation Establishment cultivation base?” Bai Xiaochun said. “I'm afraid things don't work like that.” With that, he threw his head back and began to laugh loudly. The three cultivators instantly realized something was wrong, and were just getting ready to attack Bai Xiaochun when he suddenly waved his hand, causing a gale-force wind to spring up.
Rumblings sounds filled the air, and blood sprayed out of the mouths of the three cultivators as they were sent tumbling backward thirty meters.
Before the three of them could stop hurtling through the air, Bai Xiaochun made a grasping motion, turning the wind into bonds that wrapped around them and pulled them toward him.
“I have the feeling you people are in need of a good leader. What do you think? Join me, and we can rule everything under heaven!” Bai Xiaochun was being very sincere, and in his mind, the grandiose words he had just spoken should definitely cause the three men to drop to their knees and kowtow.
The three of them were trembling, and appeared to be on the verge of weeping.
Even Master God-Diviner was a bit taken aback.
“Don't worry. With me around, nothing bad will happen to you. Come, come. Lead the way to your headquarters so I can meet all the other Fellow Daoists in your group.” As of this point, he had completely abandoned his plan to sell his crocodile mount. These three cultivators had unwittingly opened a door that Bai Xiaochun had never imagined even existed....
All of a sudden, he could almost see all the merit points that were waiting for him....
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