Elder Zhou’s voice filled the entirety of Fragrant Cloud Peak, echoing out in all directions. Strange expressions could be seen on the faces of countless disciples as they heard his words. After all, the events of that day had shaken everyone….
The other elders on Fragrant Cloud Peak were also shocked by the ghastly events. The male phoenix was one of Elder Zhou’s beloved pets, and therefore, no one was willing to even get near it. If the maddened beast were to accidentally be harmed, Elder Zhou would certainly be incensed.
Most importantly… Elder Zhou was the only person on Fragrant Cloud Peak who enjoyed raising fine birds, and considering it was his personal affair, no one was willing to interfere.
As for the spirit tail chickens… Li Qinghou was away, and his apprentice Zhou Xinqi had little power to do anything. Besides, the male phoenix was especially powerful, leaving Zhou Xinqi with no other option than to observe from afar, her face flushed, not daring to even step forward.
When Elder Zhou saw what was happening, he couldn’t stop shaking. His heart twinged as he watched the clamoring phoenix, and when he looked around at the rest of the dispirited and listless birds, he wished to cry, and yet could find no tears.
Considering Elder Zhou’s skill in the Dao of medicine, he could tell at a glance that someone had given the phoenix some sort of medicine.
“I’ll definitely find out who was responsible for this!!”
Meanwhile, Bai Xiaochun was in his workstation in the Medicine Concocting Pavilion. Although he was mostly cut off from the sounds outside, Elder Zhou’s enraged roar reached his ears, and his heart trembled. Then an outraged expression appeared on his face as he contemplated how he was truly being unfairly accused….
He could only hope that it would be impossible to connect the matter to him, and that Elder Zhou wouldn’t come after him…. Scowling, he began to recall the exact steps he had gone through to create the aphrodisiac pill, and began to contemplate how to make it even more effective.
After several days of study and contemplation, he went out a few times to purchase medicinal plants, and even spent some merit points to acquire a few other rare ingredients. Finally, he returned to the Medicine Concocting Pavilion to attempt to concoct the pill.
Soon, explosions began to ring out. In some ways, it was true that Bai Xiaochun had already created his own medicine formula back in the trial by fire to become a journeyman apothecary. However, that was more a situation of enlightenment and adjustments to an existing formula.
It was different from the current situation, in which was truly inventing something new. The levels of difficulty couldn’t even be compared. In fact, based on Bai Xiaochun’s skill in the Dao of medicine at the time of his promotion to journeyman apothecary, he would never have been able to do something like this. But now, after a year of experience and further research into the Dao of medicine, he was more than ready to make such an attempt.
Although he wasn’t fully proficient, he had already begun to walk a path that other journeyman apothecaries couldn’t even imagine. It was a path that only master apothecaries could attempt to understand.
Time passed. Half a month later, Bai Xiaochun was still in the Medicine Concocting Pavilion, immersed in his attempt to create a medicine formula. After numerous attempts, he was beginning to shape his ideas into one concise concept.
Even as he excitedly began to concoct another batch, Elder Zhou stood atop Fragrant Cloud Peak, a pained expression on his face as he fed a medicinal pill to a weak, listless phoenix.
“Relax and recover,” he said. “All those things you did weren’t in accord with your true desires. None of it was your fault. Just wait until you’ve recovered, and I’ll take you to find the person who fed that pill to you. I don’t care who it is, I will see to it that he pays the price!!” A brutal gleam appeared in Elder Zhou’s eyes. During the past half month, he had conducted a thorough investigation of Fragrant Cloud Peak, and had even made inquiries in the other mountain peaks of the south bank.
Unfortunately, he hadn’t turned up a single clue. The only option he had next was to wait until the phoenix recovered, and then take it to search for the culprit.
During the course of his investigation, he had come to find that Fragrant Cloud Peak… had become a place that winged birds avoided like the plague….
Because of the tragic events which had occurred half a month before, it was as if the air above the mountain had been filled with a shocking aroma. Any bird who smelled it wouldn’t dare to draw near. Even the spirit tail chickens spent their days trembling and scared out of their minds. The disciples who cared for the chickens could only scowl miserably, not daring to give voice to their anger.
As the matter festered, a whole series of rumors began to spread….
“Do you remember what happened with the birds a few weeks ago? I heard that the bird in question ate some of Elder Zhou’s medicine. That’s why it changed so suddenly…. The only thing I don’t understand is that Elder Zhou is still pretty young. Why would he be concocting medicine like that…?”
“Shhh… keep your voice down! Do you know why Elder Zhou likes to raise birds…? There’s a very tragic secret involved. The truth is that for his entire life, Elder Zhou has never had a Daoist partner! Ahem… you know what I mean, right?”
“Heavens! How deranged! Could it be that because that bird couldn’t take any more of Elder Zhou’s torment, it finally went mad?!?!”
The more the rumors spread, the more exaggerated they became. Eventually, all of the disciples on Fragrant Cloud Peak were spreading them. When each person passed the news along, they couldn’t help but add details from their own imagination, until countless versions of the story could be heard.
When Elder Zhou caught wind of it, he got so mad he very nearly coughed up a mouthful of blood. He was of a mind to put an end to the rumors, but no matter how he tried to explain things to people, they would just look at him oddly. Although they quickly put respectful expressions on their faces, his explanations did no good, and the rumors continued to fly….
Another half month passed. One day, Elder Zhou appeared, bristling with a murderous aura, his expression unprecedentedly ferocious. The wave of his hand sent the recovered male phoenix flying out. Surprisingly, it was just as large as it had been before, and was actually a bit stronger. Clearly, it had actually profited from its previous disaster….
When Elder Zhou saw that, he felt a bit better. However, the anger in his heart still needed an outlet. He had seen the fear in the eyes of countless disciples in the sect over the last month; even members of his own generation cleared their throats in his presence, and wore odd expressions on their faces. And then there were the rumors, which left him seething in fury. At long last, he was able to bring his phoenix out into the open.
“Find me the person who gave you that medicine!!” he said through gritted teeth.
The phoenix let out a piercing cry as it flew up into the air. Elder Zhou followed along, his murderous aura growing more and more intense. Quite a few disciples on Fragrant Cloud Peak were paying attention to the goings-on, and some of them even began to follow from a distance.
Soon, it was obvious that the male phoenix was flying toward Bai Xiaochun’s residence. When it arrived, it began to fly in circles up above. Then it turned and glanced at Elder Zhou, looking very maligned as it let out whimpering calls. Apparently, it was telling Elder Zhou that this was the place where it had consumed the medicinal pill.
When the disciples who had followed along saw what was happening, their eyes went wide. But then they realized who the residence belonged to, and they blinked oddly.
“That looks like… Sect Uncle Bai’s residence.”
“Yeah, it’s definitely Sect Uncle Bai’s….”
“Hmm. If the matter were blamed on anyone else, I might not believe it. But considering we’re talking about Sect Uncle Bai… it actually makes sense!”
Elder Zhou hovered there in midair, trembling, eyes crimson. Gnashing his teeth, he growled, “Bai Xiaochun!!”
Now that he had found the culprit of the disaster, he scanned the area with divine sense. Having found that the residence was empty, he waved his right hand, producing a jade slip that, based on his authority in the sect, could track Bai Xiaochun down wherever he was.
Soon, he found that Bai Xiaochun was in the Medicine Concocting Pavilion.
Normally, Elder Zhou was a calm person, but right now his face twisted with ferocious anger as he led his phoenix toward the Medicine Concocting Pavilion. The surrounding disciples of Fragrant Cloud Peak were starting to get excited. They began to send messages to their friends, and soon word was spreading throughout the mountain.
“Hurry up! The culprit who drove that bird crazy has been found out!”
“Sect Uncle Bai did it!!”
Countless disciples, even some from the Inner Sect, all heard the news. Trembling with excitement, they hurried out to see what they could see.
The feelings of torment they had experienced because of Bai Xiaochun now turned into anticipation. In fact, the more torment they had experienced, the more excited they were now. Chen Zi’ang rushed out, looking thrilled. Zhao Yiduo raced out at about the same time. The two of them exchanged pleased glances, and then raced in Bai Xiaochun’s direction as quickly as possible.
Among the crowd was one particularly burly man, whose cheeks were wet with tears. It was none other than than the self-proclaimed Lord Wolf, Liu Ergou. Throwing his head back, he roared, “Judgement comes!”
Even as all of Fragrant Cloud Peak was thrown into a commotion, Bai Xiaochun was there in the Medicine Concocting Pavilion, looking excitedly at the pill furnace in front of him. It was trembling, and a strong medicinal aroma wafted out from it as several white medicinal pills appeared.
These pills currently had no names, and were not meant to be consumed by humans. In fact, if you pushed down on them too hard, they would collapse into dust. They had only one use… to make male animals incredibly attractive to whoever consumed the pill.
Bai Xiaochun had filled them with several powerful stimulants, and had even gone to the trouble of procuring some spirit creature ingredients from the north bank. The cost was high, but he had succeeded.
The pills were not weak by any means. Although Bai Xiaochun wasn’t sure exactly how powerful they were, he could well guess, and was sure that they weren’t inferior at all. Actually, to ensure that they were as powerful as possible, he had even performed spirit enhancements on all of the ingredients before using them.
Face bright with anticipation, he looked down at the white medicinal pills, trying to imagine the results of using the pills in concert with the aphrodisiac pills. He couldn’t hold back from laughing.
“This will be the Pheromone Pill. That sounds good. And the red one from before will be the Aphrodisiac Pill!” After a bit more thought, he performed threefold spirit enhancements on all of them.
In the briefest of moments, the medicinal pills completely changed. No longer were they low-grade, but instead, superior-grade!!
As for their medicinal efficacy… Bai Xiaochun’s eyes shone at the mere thought of it.
“Hmph! Now it doesn’t matter what kind of beast I face, from now on, when I say jump, they’ll jump!” Coughing dryly, he put the medicinal pills away. Feeling very proud of himself, he was just about to go outside and take a walk when…
He heard an enraged roar echoing down from the sky.