Chapter 387: Fantasy Pills
In Sky City, the east district had the reputation of being luxurious and extravagant. The north district was more out-of-the-way, and not as well off. Most of the cultivators there were just ordinary people without impressive backgrounds.
The Azure Dragon Society had started out relatively unknown in the north district. Considering the impressive name they had picked for their organization, one could well imagine the heroic aspirations of its founders.
But ideals don’t always measure up to reality. In the hundred years since its founding, they had never grown beyond the small sphere of influence they had started out with on the very edge of the north district.
Luckily, the headquarters of the Azure Dragon Society happened to be an immortal's cave, and not a spirit abode. It even had a courtyard with a fountain. Unfortunately, the courtyard was overrun with weeds, and the fountain had long since dried up, but the place was good enough for a small organization like the Azure Dragon Society.
The Azure Dragon Society only had about thirty members, and made their living from protection fees and selling spirit medicines that the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect neither prohibited nor endorsed. Although they couldn’t count as being rich, they at least had it better off than average cultivators.
Over their hundred-year-history, eight of their number had already become yellow-robed disciples. The most successful of all was one of the original founders, who was now in the early Gold Core stage and lived in the rainbow district. For old times’ sake, and to keep the organization going, he occasionally came back to offer some support and assistance. However, it wasn’t a simple thing to return to Sky City, so such visits were somewhat of a rarity.
Therefore, the moment Bai Xiaochun walked through the door of the Azure Dragon Society with his Gold Core cultivation base, he was their new leader.
After Bai Xiaochun and Master God-Diviner entered the immortal's cave, booms and bangs began to ring out. Then everything went silent. Moments later, people began to call out greetings.
Bai Xiaochun sat down proudly in the seat of honor, Master God-Diviner standing next to him with a somber expression on his face. Everyone else in the room was bruised and battered as they kowtowed, expressions of fear filling their eyes.
With the exception of Bai Xiaochun, everyone present was in the Foundation Establishment stage. The orange-robed disciples, including the one Bai Xiaochun had met earlier, both had bitter expressions on their faces.
Smacking the arm of the chair, Bai Xiaochun raised his voice and said, “We’re all brothers here! Don’t worry. Now that I'm in charge, we’re going to take over Sky City!”
The thirty members of the Azure Dragon Society exchanged awkward glances, but none of them dared to say a word. To Bai Xiaochun’s pleasure, they simply bowed their heads. With that, he toured the immortal's cave, picking the largest room for himself, where he sat down to practice some cultivation. As time progressed, he was coming to find that he was getting used to the strong spiritual power and energy drainage in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, and because of that, his cultivation speed only continued to increase. For example, his Undying Tendons were making rapid progress.
As for Master God-Diviner, he didn’t have any feelings toward the Azure Dragon Society, either negative or positive. However, he already felt like he was somewhat in a leadership position, so while Bai Xiaochun was in secluded meditation, he took it upon himself to audit the Azure Dragon Society’s account books. He also collected and organized all of the loose merit points.
The Azure Dragon Society cultivators weren’t happy about that, but didn’t dare to say anything. Nor was there anything they could do about it. Bai Xiaochun was a Gold Core cultivator, and was like an enormous mountain that they could do nothing to contend with. All they could do was accept the situation. In fact, some of them hoped that having a Gold Core cultivator as their boss might put them on the path to a new and better lifestyle.
However, such hopes and dreams gradually faded as time passed. Half a month went by, during which Bai Xiaochun never came out of his room and never did anything. However, considering the income of the Azure Dragon Society, all they had to do was be a bit frugal, and the addition of two new members didn't cause much trouble.
Unfortunately, Bai Xiaochun did have a very big appetite, and also demanded the best quality food. He even required plenty of spirit water to bathe in every day. Because of that, anger began to fester in the hearts of the Azure Dragon Society.
After an entire month went by, even Master God-Diviner was reaching the limits of his patience. Since he was in charge of accounts now, he could see with his own eyes that the Azure Dragon Society’s merit points were rapidly dwindling.
Eventually, Master God-Diviner led all of the cultivators to Bai Xiaochun, who was currently in the middle of eating a spirit chicken. Weeping, they began to explain their woes.
“Boss, please spare us. Our meager profits aren’t enough to fill your appetite, sir....”
“This isn’t going to work long-term, Boss! With expenses like these, the Azure Dragon Society is going to have to sell our immortal's cave within a few days at most!”
Even Master God-Diviner chimed in to voice his frustration.
Bai Xiaochun immediately felt bad. He had lived so extravagantly in the east district that his current lifestyle seemed like a big step down. However, to others, he seemed to be living in the lap of luxury.
Even worse, he had made significant progress in his cultivation of his Undying Tendons, which caused his energy to be drained at a much higher rate than before. He had tried using some Ultra Fasting Aid Pills, but that could only help on a superficial level.
The truth was that he hadn’t even realized that he was eating more food than usual. Considering how small the Azure Dragon Society was, he had already emptied their storerooms.
The orange-robed cultivator that Bai Xiaochun had met in the very beginning looked tearfully at him and said, “Please, Boss, let us off the hook! We've already cut back on food this past month. We increased protection fees and the prices we charge for our Fantasy Pills, but even with that, we’re not making enough money to get enough food to eat....”
Bai Xiaochun cleared his throat in embarrassment. During his month of secluded meditation, he had completely forgotten about the grand words he had spoken about leading them to take over new territory when he first took over the Azure Dragon Society.
“Wait,” he said, “what are these Fantasy Pills you just mentioned?”
“Huh? Oh. Well, Fantasy Pills are a type of spirit medicine that have gotten popular in the past few years. They don't really do much of anything other than induce hallucinations. Of course, the cultivators who consume them can alter the hallucinations to a certain degree, and thus experience any type of fantasy they wish..... The possibilities are endless....” Bai Xiaochun immediately demanded to see one of the pills, so the orange-robed cultivator pulled a small wooden box out of his bag of holding and handed it over.
Bai Xiaochun accepted the box and opened it. Placed inside was a fingernail-sized black medicinal pill that emanated no medicinal aroma whatsoever. Curious, Bai Xiaochun picked it up to examine it more closely.
Master God-Diviner leaned over to have a look too. He had heard of the pills, of course, but this was his first time seeing one.
Intrigued, Bai Xiaochun used his fingernail to start scraping the black coating off of the pill to see what was inside. The sight of an entire Fantasy Pill being so casually destroyed caused pain to rise up in the hearts of the rest of the Azure Dragon Society.
As Bai Xiaochun scratched the coating off, his expression changed from one of curiosity into surprise. Then his eyes widened. After piercing through the black coating, a wisp of gray smoke began to swirl out from inside.
Upon seeing the smoke, Bai Xiaochun gasped, and Master God-Diviner cried out, “Junior Patriarch, is that your hallucination smoke?!?!”
The Azure Dragon Society cultivators’ jaws dropped, although they really had no idea what Master God-Diviner was talking about.
A grim expression appeared on Bai Xiaochun’s face as he reached out and grabbed the strand of gray smoke. After examining it closely, he was absolutely certain that this so-called Fantasy Pill was concocted from the very same hallucination smoke that he had accidentally created when concocting pills back in the Blood Stream Sect!
During the great war of the four sects, he had altered the formula using the powers of gravity and repulsion, and then used it to create weapons for his compatriots to use.
How could he ever have imagined that he would actually find that same medicine so far away in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect? Clearly, someone had acquired one of his hallucination spheres and then altered the formula, reducing the hallucinatory effects and also changing it so that whoever took the pill could control the hallucination to some extent and become lost in a wonderful world of their own making.
Considering that Bai Xiaochun was an expert in the Dao of medicine, it only took a moment for him to understand everything that had happened.
However, the changes to the medicinal pill were crude at best, and Bai Xiaochun could tell that they could lead to dangerous side-effects. In the end, though, the fact that this pill had been created using his own hallucination smoke left Bai Xiaochun feeling very angry.
“To take without asking is robbery!” he said through gritted teeth. Eyes flashing with anger, he looked at the Azure Dragon Society. “Where did this Fantasy Pill come from?”
The Azure Dragon Society’s two orange-robed cultivators could tell that something was off. The expressions on the faces of Bai Xiaochun and Master God-Diviner were very telling, and they could only guess that some unimaginable turn of events had occurred. However, they didn’t dare to keep any secrets.
“From the Celestial Sky Society!”
“Yeah, the Celestial Sky Society is the biggest organization in Sky City. They have connections to all the businesses in the city, and they also control the city’s underworld. They're the ones who distribute the Fantasy Pills. We smaller organizations just resell them for a small profit....”
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