This scene brought Chen Fei and the others great satisfaction. As they looked at Bai Xiaochun, they felt that justice was being served. He had it coming. As for the outer sect disciples, hatred could be seen on their faces. They had never felt this kind of emotion towards any handyman before.
“I don’t want to go…” Bai Xiaochun wailed as he collapsed onto the floor. His voice, filled with boundless grievance, was reverberating outwards. It was so strong that anyone who heard him would shed tears.
At the same time, after seeing Li Qinghou, Zhang Fatso One and Black Fatso Three hurriedly lowered their heads, preparing to escape while Li Qinghou was not paying attention.
“Ninth Brother, it’s not that Big Brother doesn’t want to save you, but now that one of Scented Cloud Mountain’s five ancestors has appeared, other than suffering in the outer sect, there really isn’t much you can do anymore.” Zhang Fatso One released multiple sighs of despair. However, while lowering his head in preparation for escape, he suddenly heard Li Qinghou’s voice from behind him.
“You two, you’re coming as well.” Almost at the same time as when Zhang Fatso One heard those words, an immense force suddenly dragged the two of them towards the mountain. They didn’t even have time to grab onto a tree.
“I don’t want to go up that mountain! I’d rather starve to death in the Burning Stoves Kitchen than become an outer sect disciple!” Zhang Fatso One desperately protested. His wails were so much more intense than Bai Xiaochun’s that the latter forgot to continue screaming.
Black Fatso Three did not make a sound, but his face was filled with unhappiness. Pouting his lips, he looked at the bottom of the mountain with strong dismay.
“Shut up!” Li Qinghou’s expression darkened as he listened to Zhang Fatso One’s wailing.
At that moment, Bai Xiaochun immediately straightened his posture, his face solemn as he stood to the side, his stance dignified. His handyman’s demeanor disappeared without a trace; it was as if he had changed into a completely different person.
Zhang Fatso One was momentarily nonplussed before he straightened his posture as well. Under that facade however, his heart was still flooded with an ocean of grievance. He didn’t know why he was screaming like that, but he immediately scolded himself for it.
“Zhang Dahai, you will go to Purple Cauldron Mountain. From today onwards, you are an outer sect disciple of Purple Cauldron Mountain.”
“Chen Qingrou, you’re going to Green Peak Mountain.”
“Bai Xiaochun, you’re staying at Scented Cloud Mountain, and you’re going to become an outer sect disciple. Come!” Li Qinghou glanced at Bai Xiaochun and felt his head throb. All he did was shut himself in for closed-door cultivation, and the moment he came out, he was greeted with the Burning Stoves Kitchen incident. It even reached the ears of the sect elders, who treated it as nothing more than rare entertainment. Punishment never even crossed their minds.
Thinking that it would be bad if this continued, Li Qinghou personally came to resolve the issue.
After he finished talking, he flourished his sleeves and walked towards the higher peaks of Scented Cloud Mountain, paying no more attention to Chen Fei and the others behind him.
Bai Xiaochun was making a bitter face as he sighed, bidding farewell to Zhang Fatso One and Black Fatso Three. Then, he suddenly remembered something and looked at Black Fatso Three with an odd expression. He uncertainly asked him a question.
“Third Brother’s name is… Chen Qingrou? Heh, nice name. It makes you sound like a peerless beauty.”
Black Fatso Three, feeling depressed, turned and walked away with a grunt. He was headed towards the bottom of the mountain.
“What’s up with him?” Bai Xiaochun asked as he turned to Zhang Fatso One.
Shooting Bai Xiaochun a strange look, Zhang Fatso One patted his shoulder and spoke in a heavy tone.
“Ninth Brother, I’ve never told you this before but… Black Fatso Three isn’t your Brother…… in truth, she's your Sister.” Zhang Fatso One said, giving a dry cough before hurrying away.
Bai Xiaochun just stood there dazed and thunderstruck. He felt as if nothing made sense in this world anymore.
“S-sister?” Bai Xiaochun said breathing deeply for a long while. When he was looking at Black Fatso Three’s figure, he heard Li Qinghou’s ice-cold voice.
“You’ve been talking for too long! Still not coming?!”
Bai Xiaochun hastened his pace as he followed Li Qinghou, his face bitter once more. Every three steps he took, he would look back at the Burning Stoves Kitchen and sigh.
As for Li Qinghou’s identity, Bai Xiaochun had found out long ago that in the sect’s four peaks and three mountains, Li Qinghou was one of the five ancestors in charge of Scented Cloud Mountain. He held a very high position in the sect.
The Scented Cloud Mountain may not seem big, but inside, there are four seasons, with chirping birds and fragrant flowers. It was like a land of immortals, and was incomparably larger than what its outer appearance suggested.
The exit of the road of trials was actually just a small part of the mountain. Looking at the entirety of the mountain, it was not even close to the peak, and could be considered part of the foot.
Along with the Scented Cloud Mountain’s weather and climate, there was the soothing scent of medicinal herbs that warmed the body. Bai Xiaochun felt great as he hurriedly inhaled deeply, his cultivation which had stagnated at the third level of Qi-Condensation for several months,improved with each breath he took.
Li Qinghou, who was walking in front of Bai Xiaochun, did not turn back, but joy could be seen in his gaze. He was pleased with the progress Bai Xiaochun had made in a year.
“You’d better stop causing trouble after becoming an outer sect disciple. I’m going back into closed-door cultivation. You need to put in effort as though you are rowing a boat against the current. Otherwise, your cultivation will deteriorate.” Li Qinghou said lightly.
Bai Xiaochun did not dare to refute his words, so he nodded his head like a good boy.
“For the cultivation of outer sect disciples, sect resources are just one part. They also need hard work and fortuitous encounters. So, there are many tasks for people to complete in the sect. Later, you should go take a look, and select some of them to temper yourself.” Li Qinghou explained.
At this point, Bai Xiaochun suddenly felt his heart move, and recalled the time when he was looking through the sect rules. For outer sect disciples, a task was to be completed once every set period of time. Failure to do so resulted in the position of outer sect disciple being revoked.
Bai Xiaochun was pleasantly surprised. However, immediately after he thought of it, Li Qinghou managed to guess what was on his mind.
“Stop thinking about the sect laws. Others may only have their identity as outer sect disciples revoked and turned back into handymen, but if I ever find you slacking off, I’ll kick you out of the sect and send you back to your village. Maybe if I remember you in a hundred years, I’ll go burn some incense sticks for you.”
The thought terrified him. It’s one thing to be ignorant about the cultivation world and be uninvolved, but for someone like him who had already begun walking the road of immortality, it would crush his hopes and dream of living a long life if he was sent back to the village. So, he hurriedly pat his chest and swore that he would complete the missions without fail.
Not long after, a loft could be seen within the clouds at the center of Scented Cloud Mountain. It wasn’t big but it was elegant. Through the window, a youth could be seen reading quietly.
Sensing a person’s presence, the youth raised his head. It was a charming face. Seeing Li Qinghou, he stood up and left the loft to salute him.
“Disciple greets ancestor.”
“This is Bai Xiaochun. Make the arrangements for him to become an outer sect disciple.” Li Qinghou said, glancing at Bai Xiaochun. His body flashed and turned into a rainbow, shooting towards the peak of the mountain.
With Li Qinghou’s departure, Bai Xiaochun let out the breath he had been holding. He felt a lot more relaxed and the sky seemed bluer.
The youth sized up Bai Xiaochun, then suddenly laughed.
“You’re the Bai Xiaochun who blocked the road of trials of my Scented Cloud Mountain and sold the positions in the past few months?”
“You praise me too much. A trivial thing like this isn’t worth mentioning.” Bai Xiaochun let out an embarrassed laugh.
After hearing his words, the youth laughed even louder. His eyes shone with interest at this newcomer. Dropping the subject, the youth led Bai Xiaochun around the mountain, introducing some buildings to him along the way.
“My Scented Cloud Mountain has a high position in the sect, because compared to the cultivation of Green Peak Mountain and the techniques of Purple Cauldron Mountain, what my Scented Cloud Mountain is good at is refining medicine.”
“Even in the entire Skybridge River and the four big sects, my Scented Cloud Mountain has an illustrious reputation. Especially the head elder, he is even more renowned, being one of the only two medicine masters in the Donglin Continent.”
“As a result, becoming an outer sect disciple of my Scented Cloud Mountain is the same as becoming a Spirit Child, so you need to learn knowledge of plants and how to refine medicine.” The youth explained in detail as Bai Xiaochun followed him. He led him to receive his outer sect disciple uniform as well as a storage pouch.
The space in the bag was small, but it fascinated Bai Xiaochun nonetheless. After trying it out a few times, he kept it as if it was treasure.
What made him happiest was that the sect gave him twenty spirit stones after he became an outer sect disciple. Just a few more stones and he could buy the herbs he needed.
Dusk came. After the youth’s introduction, Bai Xiaochun understood Scented Cloud Mountain better. Later, the youth brought him to a place called Ten Thousand Medicine Refining Pavillion.
Here, he took out a jade tablet.
“This jade tablet contains information on ten thousand types of herbs. You need to memorize them all before you can exchange it for the second part.
“Brother Bai, the road to immortality is long, spirit medicine is indispensable to you on this journey, and if you can become a Medicine Master, you’ll experience a meteoric rise.”
“Spirit Child, Medicine Apprentice, Medicine Master…Brother Bai, how far you go depends on your fate.” The youth said with a kind smile. Upon nightfall, they sent Bai Xiaochun to the courtyard the sect arranged for him.
“Junior Brother Bai, tommorow I’m leaving the mountain. I won’t be able to accompany you to the Scriptures Pavillion, so remember to wake up early tomorrow, and get the later parts of the Purple Cauldron Qi Manipulation Technique. Or, you could also choose to practice another technique. Every new outer sect disciple gets one technique for free. If you want more, you will have to pay for them.
“If there’s anything you don’t understand in the future, you can come look for me at anytime. My name is Hou Yunfei. I also have to thank you for looking after my little sister a while back.” Hou Yunfei smiled, cupped his fists, and swiftly left.
“Hou Yunfei? Hmm.” Bai Xiaochun raised his head after he returned the gesture, and gazed at his figure leaving the place. After thinking about it, he suddenly remembered a girl’s figure.
“Hou Xiaomei!” He blinked, feeling like he inadvertently did something good.
Eventually, he took a deep breath, turning to look at the courtyard, his eyes showed hints of life, his silhouette was tall and upright under the moonlight.
“Oh well, being an outer sect disciple doesn’t seem that bad!” Bai Xiaochun threw out his sleeves, and walked into the courtyard.