The Spirit Stream Sect consisted of eight mountain peaks. Other than Mount Daoseed in the middle, there were three mountain peaks on the south bank and four on the north bank. Those four were Sunset Peak, Archway Peak, Irispetal Peak, and Ghostfang Peak.
The number of disciples on the north bank vastly exceeded that on the south bank. Any one of the north bank mountain peaks’ Outer Sects would have tens of thousands of disciples. As for their Inner Sects, they usually had over a thousand.
Overall, the north bank was about twice as powerful as the south bank. It was for that reason that the north bank had long since come to be the leading force in the sect.
Of course, the foundation of north bank’s power came in the form of the battle beasts that all disciples there raised. The vast numbers of beasts there ensured that animal calls rose up into the air constantly.
The north bank seemed more savage and barbaric, its disciples more fierce than their southern counterparts. Flying creatures could be seen in the air all the time, and it was even possible to occasionally catch sight of the special beasts assigned to protect the mountain peaks themselves. They were shocking to behold.
As Sect Leader Zheng Yuandong escorted Bai Xiaochun to the north bank, the disciples there quickly took notice. Quite a few even realized that this was the archenemy of the north bank who had risen up in the Chosen battles.
The four peak lords of the north bank emerged to offer greetings to the sect leader, leading him to the grand hall on Ghostfang Peak to discuss certain matters. Bai Xiaochun was left outside the hall. Of course, word of his arrival spread rapidly. After enough time passed for half an incense stick to burn, virtually everyone in both the Outer and Inner sects on the north bank all knew what was happening.
“Did you hear? That villain Bai Xiaochun has come to the north bank!!”
“Bai Xiaochun? He’s the archenemy of the north bank! I can’t believe he dared to come here. Hahaha! This is actually a good thing. A wonderful thing!!”
“I heard the reason he’s being transferred here is that he caused a huge disaster with the snakes in 10,000 Snakes Valley. Supposedly he has some mystical ability to drive everyone crazy no matter where he goes. I’m not sure if it’s true or not, though.”
“Even if he really does have an ability like that, it won’t do any good. He’s on the north bank now. If he thinks he’s a dragon, we’ll show him that he’s nothing but a worm. If he thinks he’s a tiger, we’ll show him that he’s a mere housecat. He inflicted unprecedented humiliation on the north bank in the Chosen battles, but the heavens have eyes! The sect leader must have brought him here so that Bai Xiaochun can finally learn the consequences of provoking the north bank!”
As word spread, all the disciples from the four mountain peaks of the north bank began to cheer in excitement. Clenching their fists tightly, they gazed menacingly toward the summit of Ghostfang Peak.
They were already preparing to make life a living hell for Bai Xiaochun.
That was especially true of the disciples who had actually fought in the Chosen battles. The Gongsun siblings, Xu Song, and others were all extremely excited. They had been in secluded meditation ever since returning, and had all experienced significant progress in their cultivation.
Bai Xiaochun stood outside of the grand hall on Ghostfang Peak, looking up at the beasts flying about in the air. One of them was a seven-colored phoenix, shocking in appearance, which caused all other birds to prostrate in worship when it neared. It soared in a wide circle around the north bank a few times before flying over to Irispetal Peak, where it vanished.
Bai Xiaochun continued to look around curiously. Currently, there were four Ghostfang Peak disciples in the area, all eyeing him coldly.
Their hostility and anger was palpable; clearly, they did not want Bai Xiaochun there.
Bai Xiaochun yawned and rubbed his eyes. Considering how long the Ghostfang Peak disciples had been staring at him, he finally decided to break the ice. After all, this was going to be his home in the future. Clearing his throat, he said, “Er, if you keep staring at me like that, Sect Nephews, I’m going to get embarrassed.”
The only response to his words on the part of the Ghostfang Peak disciples was that their glares grew even sharper, like flying swords whooshing toward Bai Xiaochun’s heart.
Bai Xiaochun felt a bit awkward, but he knew that he was their senior, so he laughed and said, “Uh… we’re all fellow disciples. Don’t be like that! Come, come, I’ll tell you a funny story. One time-“
Before he could finish speaking, though, their gazes turned even more frightening.
He had already tried his best to start out on the right foot, but all they did was keep glaring at him. He was starting to wonder if he’d done something wrong.
As time passed, and all the disciples on Ghostfang Peak heard that the archenemy of the north bank, Bai Xiaochun, had arrived, more and more people began to fly over in his direction. As they did, hatred seemed to pile upon hatred, and they began to yell angrily.
“Bai Xiaochun, how dare you come to the north bank! We’re gonna show you what happens to people who dare to offend us!”
“Dammit! A single look at him and I can’t help but think of the tragic fate of Elder Brother Beihan Lie!”
“Take him down!”
As the angered shouting grew louder, Bai Xiaochun edged backward nervously. In his mind, they were acting a bit excessively; he was nothing impressive. Even as he backed away, a cold snort suddenly echoed out from within the hall.
“What’s with the racket? Bai Xiaochun, come in.”
The disciples immediately suppressed their anger, but their glares remained as icy as ever. Bai Xiaochun’s hair was standing on end, and yet, he didn’t feel that it was proper to allow himself to be cowed so easily. Glaring fiercely back at the crowd, he put on a proud posture as he strode into the hall.
Sect Leader Zheng Yuandong occupied the seat of honor, with the four peak lords sitting on either side of him. They had strange expressions on their faces, and as for Zheng Yuandong, he was sighing inwardly. He almost couldn’t believe… that Bai Xiaochun had caused such a scene after just having arrived.
“Bai Xiaochun, I’ve discussed matters with the four peak lords of the north bank. We’ve arranged for you to serve as the honor guard of the Beast Conservatory. In addition to caring for the beasts, you can observe them as part of your cultivation of the Waterswamp Kingdom. Hopefully, you can create your life essence spirit quickly.
“The Beast Conservatory is not part of any of the mountain peaks; it’s on the other side of the mountains, with the Ancient Beast Chasm. You must not be naughty and mischievous there! You have to work diligently at cultivation, and treasure this opportunity!” Giving Bai Xiaochun a meaningful look, he turned his attention to the four peak lords.
“My Junior Brother is a bit naughty and mischievous. If he does anything offensive, Fellow Daoists, please punish him as you see fit.”
The four peak lords smiled, and then exchanged some more pleasantries with the sect leader. Finally, Zheng Yuandong departed the north bank and returned to Mount Daoseed. Bai Xiaochun was left behind in the grand hall with the four peak lords.
After studying him for a moment, the old woman from Irispetal Peak spoke in a harsh tone of voice.
“Bai Xiaochun, the north bank is different from the south bank. We have rules here, and if you break them, you’ll be severely punished! If the incident of 10,000 Snakes Valley happened here on the north bank, we’d string you up above the Heavenspan River on the cliffs of Mount Daoseed, for ten years. And that would be considered a light punishment.” With that, she tossed a jade pendant over to him, which contained all the information about the sect rules.
Feeling a bit nervous, Bai Xiaochun merely nodded his head and tried to look as charming as possible.
The four peak lords exchanged glances, then paid Bai Xiaochun no further heed. An Inner Sect disciple from Ghostfang Peak was assigned to escort him to the Beast Conservatory, whereupon everyone dispersed.
The Inner Sect disciple who led him along was a long-faced young man with pockmarked cheeks. He had a very terrifying appearance, and glared coldly at Bai Xiaochun the entire way, not speaking even a single word.
Blinking at the way the young man treated him, Bai Xiaochun followed as they walked through the north bank. Quite a few people stared at him along the way, and none of them seemed friendly. Even some of the Outer Sect disciples looked at him with open hostility.
To them, he was clearly an outsider. Because of that, and because of what the old woman had said in the grand hall, Bai Xiaochun was feeling very apprehensive. He already missed his days on the south bank. After enough time passed for half an incense stick to burn, the long-faced disciple hurried him to a valley behind the mountain peaks of the north bank.
It was a large area covered by a spell formation. Lush vegetation abounded, and the occasional cries of various beasts could be heard. Even more shocking was the chasm in the middle of the jungled area, which emanated terrifying fluctuations that distorted everything around it.
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes went wide at the sight of it all. Then he turned to look at a building not too far off in the distance, which was the honor guard station. It had a stone stele erected in front of it, beneath which stood a gaunt Inner Sect disciple, clearly waiting there to meet them.
The long-faced young man hadn’t said a single word to Bai Xiaochun the entire time. After approaching the gaunt disciple, he briefly explained what Bai Xiaochun was doing there. The gaunt disciple looked frostily at Bai Xiaochun, then pulled out a jade slip and handed it over to him.
“I’m Sun Wen,” he said. “This jade slip has details about all of the nine hundred and eighty-one beasts that live here. Each and every one is a precious treasure of the north bank. If any of them go missing, you will take responsibility.” With that, Sun Wen left with the long-faced young man.
Bai Xiaochun coughed dryly at the hostile interaction, but didn’t take it to heart. He looked around the honor guard station and found that it didn’t even compare to his destroyed immortal’s cave back on Fragrant Cloud Peak. However, it was better than the quarters of an Outer Sect disciple, so he couldn’t complain.
“That old lady said that the north bank pays a lot of attention to sect rules. Could it be that the rules here are different than the south bank’s? Wow. I need to take a good look at them. I definitely don’t want to break any on accident.”