“The hard part about damaging the Fragrant Cloud Peak symbol would be finding a way to do it without you noticing,” the monkey said grimly. “Using the right method, even a Qi Condensation disciple could do it, given enough time. The south bank has been infiltrated!”
Frigidsect’s eyes shone with a cold light. He well knew that damaging the spell formation could be done easily, but that repairing it was the opposite. It was like a flower vase. Even a child could smash it, but only a professional, a grandmaster, would be able to put it back together!
“Infiltrated….” Frigidsect thought for a moment, then reached out toward Mount Daoseed and made a grasping motion. A moment later, a jade slip flew toward him and came to rest in his hand. Within were well-kept records of everything that had occurred in the sect during the past thirty years. That included all of the information about Bai Xiaochun, complete with accounts detailing the lightning, the acid rain, and the pill concocting incident in 10,000 Snakes Valley.
After examining it, a strange expression appeared on his face. From the look of things, Bai Xiaochun seemed like a walking disaster…. However, it only took a moment for Frigidsect’s eyes to glitter.
“This kid’s pill concocting… it’s vile….”
“The Dao of medicine has myriad paths,” the monkey murmured in response, “a different version for everyone. Perhaps this Bai Xiaochun can…. Fine. Give him the pill formula for the River-Defying Pill, as well as the Frigid School Medicine Manual. Perhaps he actually has a chance to concoct… the River-Defying Pill….”
Frigidsect’s eyes widened. The River-Defying Pill hadn’t been successfully concocted by anyone in the Spirit Stream Sect during the past 10,000 years. The Spirit Stream Sect had even sought aid from the Pill Stream Sect, and paid handsomely, but to no avail.
The River-Defying Pill was nothing more than a legend at this point. If it weren’t for the fact that the Spirit Stream Sect still happened to possess a single River-Defying Pill, Frigidsect might not even believe it was possible to concoct it. It was a medicine that had only one function… to awaken the true spirit! Awaken the true spirit for ten breaths of time!
As for the Frigid School Medicine Manual, it was one of the three great foundation legacies of the Frigid School Spirit Society, which contained a great Dao of medicine that supposedly came from an outside world.
After a moment of silence, Frigidsect nodded. “His pill concocting methods are vile, and the River-Defying Pill is a vile medicinal pill. Perhaps… he has a shot at concocting it! Master, what about your cultivation base…?”
“It won’t be recovered easily. I need time. Now that I’m back, I have to continue to endure for a few more years. I want to personally see… the destruction of the Nine Heavens Cloudthunder Sect!” The monkey’s eyes flickered with animosity. Many years ago, he had watched his entire sect wiped out, with him being the only survivor. After passing through numerous areas forbidden to spirits, he barely managed to make it to the eastern river delta.
“Apprentice, I am not the only one to have returned. Other old-timers might also be back. I’m not sure why, but I have the feeling… that a new age might be upon us.”
The monkey sighed, and Frigidsect stood there silently. Although they were both ancient, their spirits burned hot, and they were completely focused.
Time passed. A month later, Bai Xiaochun had just finished a cultivation session in the cave. He wanted to go out, but knew that he couldn’t. Sighing, he continued to do breathing exercises.
Suddenly, he opened his eyes, and before he could take another breath, realized that a jade slip and a bamboo scroll were laying there in front of him.
They looked extremely ancient, as though they had existed for countless years. They almost seemed to radiate a primeval air.
“Eee?” After looking a bit closer, he picked up the jade slip and poured some spiritual power into it. After a moment, his eyes went wide.
“River-Defying Pill? It doesn’t need any plants or vegetation, only water from the Heavenspan River? What.. what kind of medicinal pill is this? It looks pretty incredible. Who ever thought that you could concoct medicinal pills from Heavenspan River water?” After examining the concoction method a bit further, he gasped.
“How vile! You actually have to use your body as a pill furnace….” Next, he looked over at the bamboo scroll, and his eyes went even wider.
“Frigid School Medicine Manual?
Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath and opened the bamboo scroll. None of it made any sense to him. Only the first line of text was clear, and yet, even that little bit was enough to drive Bai Xiaochun mad. “Immortality begins with the Frigid School; Eternal life ends the cycle of reincarnation!
“Don’t tell me… don’t tell me that this medicine manual can be used to concoct a Live-Forever Never-Die Pill!? AHHHHHHHH!” He couldn’t hold back the shriek that echoed out of his mouth. His eyes were as bloodshot as if he had just obtained the most precious of treasures.
“Elder Brother Sect Leader must have noticed how hard I’ve been working at my cultivation, and decided to give me a reward. You’re so awesome, Elder Brother Sect Leader. This River-Defying Pill is a mere trifle. Once I’m a bit stronger, I’ll concoct a thousand of them for you.” Looking very excited, he continued to study the Frigid School Medicine Manual. Although he couldn’t see any of the other information inside, he was already obsessed with it.
After studying it for a while, he realized that the bamboo which had been used to make the scroll emanated an ancient aura which had to be over 10,000 years old.
He wasn’t even sure how bamboo could survive for so long. On top of that, it contained a sweet aroma that caused his cultivation base to rotate rapidly after inhaling it.
Bai Xiaochun only continued to get more excited, and was even more certain that this was a very precious item. In fact, he even started to wonder if his diligent cultivation really had attracted the attention of the sect leader, or whether it was the spirit of his Master, bestowing gifts upon him from the underworld.
“That’s not very likely….” he thought. Gritting his teeth, he stopped thinking about it. After all, the treasure was in his hands now, so it belonged to him.
What he didn’t notice was that behind him, deeper in the cave, was a monkey, standing there looking at him with reverence in its eyes.
“Just how did he do it…?” thought the monkey. “Did some mysterious entity really guide his hands to bring me back…?”
After some time passed, the monkey turned and merged into the stone wall of the cave. There, he sank down through the mountain… until he was deep beneath the bank of the river.
He found himself in an enormous subterranean cavern. Down below flowed the golden waters of the Heavenspan River, and an enormous spell formation filled the entire cavern. This spell formation was the nucleus of the entire Spirit Stream Sect.
It wasn’t an offensive spell formation, it was solely… defensive.
In the middle of the golden river water was a coffin.
It had no cover, and visible inside of it… was the corpse of a baby girl.
Despite being a corpse, the girl seemed to contain signs of life, as well as a profoundly ancient air….
Two months flashed by.
Although Bai Xiaochun was frustrated that he couldn’t understand any of the Frigid School Medicine Manual, he refused to give up, and was sure that once his medicine concocting skill improved, he would understand.
Now that his punishment was over, he emerged from the cave in high spirits. His cultivation base had even advanced a bit. Soon, he received notice that he would be sent to the north bank to observe a host of beasts and improve his Waterswamp Kingdom.
“The north bank….” Shocked, he looked north and thought about the Chosen battles, and how he had been named the archenemy of the north bank. After a moment of hesitation, he murmured, “Ah, it’s been so long, everybody probably forgot about that already.”
Although he didn’t seem very confident in that analysis, there was nothing he could do about the matter. After thinking about it a bit longer, his eyes began to shine with anticipation. After all, his bag of holding still contained that Beastbirth Seed, and the thought of being able to finally have his own beast made the idea of going to the north bank more tolerable.
After returning to Fragrant Cloud Peak, he went to his destroyed immortal’s cave to pack his bags. Three days later, he stood there on Mount Daoseed, surrounded by the elders, peak lords, Inner Sect disciples, and quite a group of Outer Sect disciples, all of whom were there to see him off.
They had all come of their own volition. Only by personally witnessing Bai Xiaochun go to the north bank could they finally rest at ease.
Bai Xiaochun was moved to see that so many people had come to see them off. As he stood there next to the sect leader, he waved his hand in farewell.
“Ladies and gentlemen, fellow disciples, I’m going to the north bank, and I shall miss all of you! I shall miss the south bank, and I shall miss all of the plants and vegetation.”
Strange looks appeared on the faces of those present. After all, this was a somber farewell. Even the sect leader and the peak lords were present. Although most of the disciples were still angry with Bai Xiaochun, they still tried to look as though they didn’t want him to go.
The only people who truly felt bad were Big Fatty Zhang, Hou Xiaomei, and Hou Yunfei, along with a few other people he was truly close to. However, the south and north banks were both part of the Spirit Stream Sect, so the feelings weren’t overwhelming.
Elder Zhou walked out from the crowd and looked warmly at Bai Xiaochun. “Junior Brother Bai, you have spectacular talent, and are just beginning to make headway with the Waterswamp Kingdom. Don’t try to convince us you aren’t set on pulling off a miracle, and succeed in cultivating it. The north bank has better resources than we do here on the south bank. Continuing your cultivation there will be much better for you in the long run. In fact, you’ll have an even greater chance of reaching Foundation Establishment there. When that happens, your longevity will increase.”
Bai Xiaochun shivered, and his eyes shone with delight at the idea of reaching Foundation Establishment and increasing his longevity.
Soon, others began to call out.
“It’s time to leave. Turn, and walk over to the north bank. We cultivators are always moving forward, never going backward. There’s no need to look behind. Simply strive onward!”
“That’s right, Sect Uncle Bai. It’s time to leave. With dreams as big as yours, the north bank really is the only place where you can spread your wings and soar!”
“Sect Uncle Bai, there’s no need for you to miss us here, and once you get to the north bank, there’s no need to come back. Your path is always in front of you!” Upon hearing such words, Bai Xiaochun felt even more moved.
Taking a breath, he clasped hands and bowed deeply to everyone. The sect leader looked on with an odd expression until Bai Xiaochun turned, and the two of them headed toward the north bank….
After he was gone, the warm expression on Elder Zhou’s face turned into one of excitement, and it was the same with the surrounding disciples. Many people were so happy they started crying.
“The heavens do have eyes! Bai Xiaochun is finally gone!!”
“Hahahahahaha! The sect leader has bestowed favor upon us! The peak lords are wise and magnanimous! The Dao of the heavens truly is just! Spring has finally arrived for the south bank!!”
“Is this real? Is Bai Xiaochun finally gone!? Do I dare to believe that it’s true?” Everyone began to cheer, and some people even took out drums and cymbals and began banging and clashing them loudly.
On the north side of Mount Daoseed, Bai Xiaochun trailed behind the sect leader as they walked along. When he heard the racket behind him, he cleared his throat, and a strange expression appeared on his face. Something about the whole situation seemed familiar. He sighed.
“Can you hear that, Elder Brother Sect Leader? The south bank misses me so much that my departure has sent them wild with grief.”
Zheng Yuandong’s jaw dropped, and he looked up quietly into the sky….