Bai Xiaochun was truly moved at how well the sect was treating him. That was especially true considering that the hallmaster of the Hall of Devil Slayers had personally led more than 10,000 people and ten extraordinary battleships to his rescue.
The hallmaster even remembered his name! Although it was true that the more than 10,000 cultivators who had come along were all looking at him with surprise and even suspicion, it didn’t stop him from crying out, “Disciple Bai Xiaochun is safe and sound!”
A smile broke out on Feng Youde’s face as he amiably said, “You’re not injured at all?”
Even as the words left his mouth, he looked Bai Xiaochun up and down to see if he was hurt. He even produced some medicinal pills, which he handed over.
“Take those after we get back, just in case you have any internal injuries that aren’t obvious at the moment. The Hall of Devil Slayers can’t have disciples like you shed either blood or tears!” Eyes shining with approval, he clasped Bai Xiaochun’s shoulder.
“Bai Xiaochun, as a Core Formation cultivator, you held out for a long time against that Nascent Soul Daoist master. You’ve performed a great service for the Hall of Devil Slayers!” With that, he laughed heartily, causing the surrounding 10,000 or more cultivators to exchange awkward glances. Although none of them were sure exactly what services Bai Xiaochun had performed, they already had their suspicions regarding what was going on. Feng Youde truly did seem to be treating Bai Xiaochun far better than he should.
There were even some disciples who had been in the Hall of Devil Slayers for quite some time, and were very familiar with Feng Youde. When they saw him acting in this way, their eyes went wide with surprise. Never before had they seen him treating a disciple in this way. Everyone knew that despite his kindly face, he was very narrow-minded and petty, and if he got even slightly annoyed at someone, he would treat them with the coldest of cold shoulders.
In fact, many disciples in the Hall of Devil Slayers secretly called Feng Youde “Hellgod Feng”.
However, at this moment, Hellgod Feng was treating Bai Xiaochun as gently as a spring breeze, a sight which left all of the onlookers completely shocked. Then all of them thought back to how Hellgod Feng had urgently summoned everyone, and even deployed the ten Devil-Slaying Battleships, all to save Bai Xiaochun.
“Who is this Bai Xiaochun? What kind of background does he have?!”
“What’s Bai Xiaochun’s connection to the hallmaster?”
As speculations ran through the minds of everyone present, Master Cloud-Dao was there in the crowd, trembling from head to toe. Fear and sorrow gripped his heart, and hatred for Li Yuansheng and his plots against Bai Xiaochun festered in his bones.
“Damn you, Li Yuansheng! Are you trying to get me killed or something?!?!”
Bai Xiaochun was a bit surprised to hear Feng Youde say that he had performed a great service for the sect. Apparently, he must have done something without realizing it. Therefore, he stuck his chest out and tried to be the picture of someone who didn’t fear death.
“These wounds are nothing,” he said in a loud voice. “Besides, all I did was kill twenty or so Gold Core cultivators and then about a hundred Foundation Establishment experts. After that, I had a bit of a tussle with that Nascent Soul eccentric, that’s all. I, Bai Xiaochun, have sworn to defend the Hall of Devil Slayers with my own life, to sacrifice everything for it if necessary. It’s nothing more than duty! Compared to that, what are some trifling merit points!?”
It was with great effort that the surrounding cultivators held back from laughing out loud, and many strange expressions could be seen. Even Feng Youde had to clear his throat. His words from moments ago had been uttered with the intention of safeguarding Bai Xiaochun, and creating a good excuse to give him a large amount of merit points upon returning to the sect.
Therefore, Bai Xiaochun’s exaggerated statement left Feng Youde feeling a bit awkward. Seeing that Bai Xiaochun was preparing to continue with his speech, he quickly interrupted, “Very well, let’s get back to the sect!”
With that, he waved his sleeve, sending everyone back toward the teleportation portal in beams of scintillating light.
They returned to Sky Quarter Rainbow with much pomp and grandeur, and the completely unexpected trip out of the sect caused Bai Xiaochun’s name to immediately become the talk of the Hall of Devil Slayers. Furthermore, the way Feng Youde treated him caused everyone to look at him with expressions of deep reverence and respect.
Everyone watched with shining eyes as Bai Xiaochun joined Feng Youde and Master Cloud-Dao in entering the main temple in the Hall of Devil Slayers. In fact, Bai Xiaochun led the way, under the approving gaze of the kindly-faced Feng Youde.
As for Master Cloud-Dao, he almost never saw any version of Feng Youde who resembled this, and it left him completely shaken and even terrified. He was well aware that he was the one at fault for provoking this near disaster.
Smiling more sincerely than ever, Feng Youde looked at Bai Xiaochun and said, “Xiaochun, you really did an excellent job today, and performed a great meritorious service for the sect. Therefore, I will take the responsibility for making the following decision: henceforth, you are completely exempt from mission duty in the Hall of Devil Slayers! From now on, you can simply focus on your cultivation!”
Bai Xiaochun had been silent the entire way back, reveling in how moved he was. For Feng Youde to say what he had just said left him even more shaken than ever.
“Hallmaster,” he said excitedly, “you’re treating me far too well.”
Off to the side, Master Cloud-Dao watched Feng Youde and Bai Xiaochun chatting, and couldn’t help but murmur bitterly to himself, “Too well? More like impossibly well....”
Feng Youde laughed loudly, and then spoke in a very kind voice, “I'm just doing what should be done. From now on, the Hall of Devil Slayers is your home! You won’t face any danger here, and can simply relax and focus on cultivation. Work hard, and you should be able to reach the Nascent Soul stage very soon!”
Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath. For some reason, he felt well and truly blessed. However, the blessings had come very suddenly, and no matter how he thought about the matter, he couldn’t determine what meritorious service he had actually performed.
“If you ever hit any snags in your cultivation, you just come looking for me and I’ll help you out. As far as merit points go, considering the meritorious service you’ve performed, you can have access to any cultivation resources you need from the Hall of Devil Slayers!”
“Hallmaster--” Bai Xiaochun said, shivering a bit.
“Hahaha! There’s no need to look at me with that child-like expression, Xiaochun. The Hall of Devil Slayers is your home, and as the head of the household, it's my job to treat you well. In fact, I've already taken the liberty of acquiring some medicinal pills perfect for Core Formation cultivators. Here, take them, and don’t forget, the best way you can repay the kindness you’ve been shown is to break through to the Nascent Soul stage as quickly as possible.” Smile widening, he handed a bag of holding to Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun shivered again. Accepting the bag of holding, he clasped hands and bowed, then said, “Hallmaster--”
However, Feng Youde interrupted again and offered some more words of encouragement before finally dismissing Bai Xiaochun.
After Bai Xiaochun left, the smile vanished from Feng Youde’s face, and he spun grimly to look at Master Cloud-Dao.
“How could you have done this, Master Cloud-Dao?!”
Master Cloud-Dao immediately flopped to the ground to kowtow, his face ashen. “Hallmaster, please forgive me....”
“It's a good thing Bai Xiaochun wasn’t hurt, otherwise you would have put me in a horrendous position!” Snorting coldly, Feng Youde waved his sleeve, causing a powerful wind to wrap around Master Cloud-Dao and throw him violently out of the hall, blood spraying out of his mouth.
“If it weren’t for your years of faithful service,” Feng Youde continued, “I would definitely have you skinned alive! From now on, if the slightest bad thing happens to Bai Xiaochun in the Hall of Devil Slayers, I’ll come looking for you to settle accounts!”
As Master Cloud-Dao staggered to a stop outside, he clasped hands, bowed, and said, “Don’t worry, Hallmaster, I’ll accomplish this task or die trying!”
A moment passed, and no more word came out from the temple. Master Cloud-Dao wiped the blood off of his mouth, and then turned to look in a certain direction, his eyes burning with venom, venom directed, not toward Bai Xiaochun, but toward Li Yuansheng!
“Li Yuansheng!!” he said through gritted teeth. With that, he flew into motion, leaving the Hall of Devil Slayers and heading toward the immortal's cave Li Yuansheng occupied when outside of his clan.
Upon arriving, he banged his fist on the main door so hard that the entire immortal's cave shook. Li Yuansheng had been in the middle of meditating, but now his eyes snapped open, and he rushed out to find Master Cloud-Dao simmering in anger just outside.
“Brother Cloud-Dao, you--”
Before he could finish speaking Master Cloud-Dao performed an incantation gesture, causing a rift to break open in midair and rush toward Li Yuansheng. “I thought you were worth making friends with, Li Yuansheng! How could you do something so sinister!?!?”
Li Yuansheng’s jaw dropped, and he leaped backward to avoid Master Cloud-Dao’s divine ability.
“Sinister?” he said angrily. “How was I sinister?”
“You asked me to get rid of Bai Xiaochun, but it was all a setup to get me killed! Do you know who Bai Xiaochun is? Well, do you, Li Yuansheng? What did I ever do to offend you!?!?” Before Li Yuansheng could even react, Master Cloud-Dao dashed forward and launched a palm strike that struck Li Yuansheng directly in the chest.
Li Yuansheng staggered backward, blood oozing out of the corners of his mouth, eyes blazing with shock. “That’s impossible! He’s nothing but a hostage from a Middle Reaches sect! He’s only--”
“That guy is anything but ordinary. When Hallmaster Feng heard that he was in trouble, you should have seen the look on his face. He summoned 10,000 disciples and ten Devil-Slaying Battleships to go rescue him!”
When Li Yuansheng heard this, his eyes went wide, and an exclamation of shock escaped his lips.
“How is that possible...?”
“How should I know?” Master Cloud-Dao raged. “You should have seen how badly Eccentric Earthvile was hurt!”
By this point, his hatred toward Li Yuansheng was bone-deep. However, he knew that Li Yuansheng came from a deva clan, so after venting some anger, he simply swished his sleeve and left.Previous Chapter Next Chapter