Bai Xiaochun sat cross-legged in front of his pill furnace, simmering with anger.
“These snakes are totally evil!” he said with a cold harrumph. “Not cute at all!
“Now that I’ve mastered tier-3 spirit medicine, you think I can’t teach you a lesson, you stupid little snakes?!
“You like spitting venom and hissing all the time, right? Hmph! Well I’m gonna concoct a medicinal pill to make you all shut your mouths!” Bursting with confidence, he flicked his sleeve and began to contemplate what medicine formula to use.
“If I want to shut these snakes up, I need a really tough medicinal pill, something that will really keep their mouths stuck shut….” Chuckling darkly, he began to select the ingredients he would use.
Time passed. Seven days later, Bai Xiaochun had already descended into bedevilled madness. One after another, he had removed the medicinal plants from his bag of holding and examined them carefully to make his selections. In the end, he selected a total of thirty-seven medicinal plants.
After brewing them together in a special way, they would make an extremely sticky substance, but that wasn’t enough for Bai Xiaochun. After drawing upon the principles of mutual augmentation and suppression, he began to make adjustments to make the medicinal pill even stickier.
A month later, his hair was completely disheveled. Thick black smoke roiled out of the pill furnace, within which could be seen a heavy buildup of medicinal dregs. This was his tenth failure of the month. Outside, the hissing of the snakes was as loud as ever. Frowning, his desire to teach them a lesson grew stronger than ever.
“Maybe I’m thinking about it the wrong way. I’ve been trying to use an outside force to make the mixture more sticky. Although I used some of the techniques of mutual augmentation and suppression, perhaps studying how these snakes tick could give me some inspiration to improve the medicinal efficacy!” After a bit more thought, he walked out of the stone hut and began pacing along the border of the spell formation. When he found the perfect opportunity, his hand shot out like lightning toward a five-eyed adder. Before the target snake could react, it had been grabbed and pulled into the spell formation.
Almost as soon as Bai Xiaochun’s hand pulled back into the spell formation, countless blasts of venom hit the shield’s surface, followed by innumerable snakes.
However, Bai Xiaochun was immersed in the Dao of medicine, and completely disregarded them. Hand clamped tightly onto the five-eyed adder, he turned and walked back to the stone hut. Soon afterward, the hair-raising sound of mad cackling echoed out from inside.
The five-eyed adder was as strong as the third level of Qi Condensation, but in Bai Xiaochun’s hands, that was weaker than a spirit tail chicken. The snake’s body was soon peeled open, allowing Bai Xiaochun to examine everything about it in minute detail, even its bones and blood.
After thoughtful contemplation, he adjusted the combination of medicinal plants and began to concoct.
The next day, the pill furnace trembled, and black smoke poured out. Bai Xiaochun was left coughing, but less forcefully than before. After racking his brains for a bit, he went out to get another snake to study. Soon, he had another flash of inspiration.
Three days later, more black smoke poured out of the pill furnace. Maddened, Bai Xiaochun let out a roar and went out to do more research, his eyes completely bloodshot.
Another month passed, and by this point, Bai Xiaochun had already forgotten why he had come to be so focused on creating this medicine formula. All he did was work on his creation, occasionally launching a hand out through the spell formation shield to grab another snake. He got especially good at that part.
During the month that had passed, he’d caught and studied dozens of snakes. The snakes outside eyed him as coldly, as if he were a mortal enemy. The sound of their hissing, and the flow of their venom, never ceased. The snakes in the eighth level of Qi Condensation continued to occasionally attack the spell formation, looking for a weakness, hoping to consume Bai Xiaochun.
“Nope. That’s not it. Not good enough!” By now, two months had passed since he began working on a medicinal pill to shut the mouths of the venomous snakes. He had failed over a hundred times, without even one success.
Creating medicine formulas was not an easy thing, something he was now acutely aware of. However, he didn’t give up. In fact, he descended deeper into the madness of his experimentation. Another two months passed, and he had experienced hundreds of failures, but managed to succeed once. When that happened, his looked discontentedly at the black spirit medicine he held in his hand.
“How come there’s only one pill…
“There are so many snakes here! If I only get one to shut its mouth, that won’t help at all….” Eyes bloodshot, he tugged angrily at his hair and stared at the pill.
“I need a way to spread the effects. The best pill would be one that, once consumed by a snake, caused it to emit some sort of aura that infected all the other snakes…. Hmm… Infection? Right! Infection! I need to create a medicine formula that starts an epidemic!!” Eyes shining brightly, breath coming in ragged pants, Bai Xiaochun was now convinced that he was aimed in the right direction.
Soon after, he suddenly started laughing. Considering the madness of the laughter, anyone who might have been able to see Bai Xiaochun at that moment would have gasped and sworn an oath to never disturb him in the middle of medicine concocting.
As of this moment, Bai Xiaochun emanated a vile aura.
With new inspiration, he once again descended into medicine concocting. He mixed and matched the medicines, he adjusted the augmentation and suppression, he made small changes here and there. He grabbed snakes with increasing frequency. On a few dangerous occasions, he almost seemed soulless, as though he didn’t even notice or care what was happening around him. He was completely and utterly focused on creating a new medicine formula.
Time passed. One month. Two months. Three months. Four months….
Before long, it had been six months since Bai Xiaochun started his work on creating a medicine formula. During that half year, he had failed too many times to count. He was in a complete mess, clothes rumpled, hair disheveled, face smudged with ash. And yet, his crimson eyes glowed with excitement as he stared at the pill furnace.
“It’s gonna work. Hahaha! I’m going to do it this time!” As he howled in excitement, the pill furnace began to tremble. He had poured his heart and soul into this medicinal pill, and now that it was on the verge of finally appearing in the world, Bai Xiaochun’s excitement only grew.
“Li the Snake! Li the Swindler! When you tossed Lord Bai into this place, did you really think he couldn’t handle some measly snakes? You just wait until this treasured pill is finished being concocted, then I’ll teach your stupid little snakes a lesson. Humph! Who knows, after this, I might even be able to lead these snakes to conquer the world!” In the middle of his bragging and maniacal laughter, Bai Xiaochun’s expression suddenly flickered, and then he stared out of the stone hut.
Instantly, his jaw dropped.
He wasn’t sure exactly when, but a visitor had arrived, and was now standing there at his door. It wasn’t very tall, had two white paws, and two long ears sticking straight up. It even had a fluffy little tail which twitched back and forth as it stood there.
It had red eyes, and a cute little mouth with two teeth sticking out the front. Currently, it was standing there staring at Bai Xiaochun.
Time suddenly seemed to slow to a crawl. Bai Xiaochun’s widened.
“What are you doing here!?” he shouted. When Fragrant Cloud Peak had been thrown into chaos, Bai Xiaochun had searched high and low, but had been unable to find this very… talking rabbit!
As soon as Bai Xiaochun started yelling, the rabbit suddenly imitated his appearance and then yelled, “What are you doing here!?”
Eyes wide, the rabbit turned and fled at top speed, simultaneously letting loose a stream of words.
“Heavens! What’s that?!
“Did you see that? That rabbit can talk!
“Keep this on the down low, but yesterday I saw Elder Zhou go into a room with those phoenixes of his. Afterward, I heard some really strange noises….
“Elder Brother Hou Yunfei, you’re so naughty! What are you doing…? Uh… what’s that? Why are those monkeys twitching like that?!
“Junior Sister Meixiang, I, Li Qinghou, am not fickle in love. After I break through to the Gold Core stage, I’ll definitely take you as my Daoist partner!
“Hahaha! This medicinal pill is incredible. I, Bai Xiaochun, am clearly super awesome. This rabbit can actually talk!
“Li the Snake! Li the Swindler! When you tossed Lord Bai into this place, did you really think he couldn’t handle some measly snakes? You just wait until this treasured pill is finished being concocted, then I’ll teach your stupid little snakes a lesson. Humph! Who knows, after this, I might even be able to lead these snakes to conquer the world! Hahahahahaha!”
Even as the words echoed out, the rabbit sped out of the stone hut. When Bai Xiaochun heard the final passage, his face completely fell, and then he let out a howl of fury.
He tried to catch the rabbit, but it was too fast. Bai Xiaochun burst out of the stone hut, but his shouting caused the countless snakes in the cave to hiss and spray venom. As for the rabbit, it was unimaginably dextrous, and evaded all the snakes with ease. When they tried to bite down onto it, all they bit was air, and the rabbit… vanished, leaving behind nothing but a puff of smoke.
Off in the distance, it was possible to hear it reciting all of the passages it knew, which echoed back and forth in the subterranean cavern.
Bai Xiaochun tottered on the verge of collapse. He wanted to chase after it, but clearly, he was no match for it in terms of dexterity. He could only stare off in the direction it had fled, looking like he was about to cry. When he thought of that rabbit’s proclivities, and how loud its voice was, he began to sweat profusely. If the rabbit escaped to spread word, and Li Qinghou caught wind of it, Bai Xiaochun could only imagine the catastrophe that would result.
“Dammit!” he thought, grinding his teeth. “What kind of a rabbit is that?!?!” However, the truth was that nobody knew the answer. After all, he was the one who had created the thing.
The feeling that he had screwed himself over caused Bai Xiaochun’s madness to grow. Clearing his throat anxiously, he howled, “Peak Lord Li is brilliant and mighty! He’s invincible wherever he goes! He’s my most beloved relative!
“Uncle Li, I, Bai Xiaochun, will definitely work hard in the future, and promise that I’ll never disappoint you!”
“I, Bai Xiaochun, am inherently naughty and mischievous, and should definitely have been sent here for punishment. I spend all my days in contemplation. Many, many thanks to you, exalted peak lord….” On the verge of tears, he continued to let loose words non stop, hoping that the rabbit might hear some of them and remember them.
Not long after, a rumbling sound could be heard coming from the pill furnace in the stone hut, and a medicinal aroma spread out. Looking miserable, Bai Xiaochun cursed the rabbit inwardly, and then sighed and turned around. Upon opening the pill furnace, he saw a black and white pill that glowed with a strange light.