Bai Xiaochun was already famous for kidnapping Ghostmother, as well as for his status as the Arch-Ancestor of the Heavenspan Realm. But now… he was even more famous, thanks to the heavenly dragonfish.
It was almost overnight that the name of Duke Heavenspan Bai Xiaochun rocked all of Saint-Emperor City.
“Did you hear? Duke Heavenspan caught over 3,000 heavenly dragonfish, but in the end, His Majesty the Saint-Emperor didn’t punish him at all!”
“Not only did he not punish him, the venerable Saint-Emperor actually sealed up the entire heavenly pond!”
“He actually forced the Saint-Emperor to seal the heavenly pond…? This Bai Xiaochun is totally unfathomable! I bet if you gave him another half a month, he would catch so many heavenly dragonfish they'd go extinct!” All sorts of talk spread within the city, and once again, Bai Xiaochun felt what it was like to be the center of attention. The number of eyes that locked onto him when he went out was now many times greater than before.
Wherever he went, people would point at him and whisper to each other….
“Seems I really am just too outstanding. Not even the cultivators in the Eternal Immortal Domains can restrain their emotions when looking at me.” He cleared his throat as he reveled in the sensation. To him, it didn't feel strange at all. After all, he had experienced situations like this many times before.
However, even as he was sighing in contentment, the Wildlander Heavenly Marquis Liu decided to take this opportunity to pen a long speech to deliver to the Saint-Emperor, in which he thoroughly excoriated Bai Xiaochun!
The next time court was in session, Heavenly Marquis Liu walked out in front of all of the court officials, and clasped hands formally to the Saint-Emperor. Then he delivered his speech, barely stopping to take a breath as he spoke.
“I, your servant, will explain the means by which Bai Xiaochun stole the heavenly dragonfish!
“Based on your servant’s extensive analysis, as well as my understanding of Bai Xiaochun, plus a significant expenditure on my part to purchase an actual heavenly dragonfish to study, I finally understand what happened!
“Your Majesty, Bai Xiaochun definitely used some type of medicinal pill!
“I don't know much about the medicine concocting techniques of the Heavenspan Realm, but I do know that they are different from those in the Saint-Emperor Dynasty. Therefore, I am convinced that he used some special medicine to wreak calamity on the venerated heavenly dragonfish, and steal them away!
“The heavenly dragonfish are innocent victims, and also national treasures. They are unfamiliar with the wickedness that lurks in the human heart. Thus, they were cruelly slaughtered, in the most egregious and unprecedented miscarriage of justice to have ever been perpetrated since the founding of the dynasty! Men and gods alike are angered, and thus, I wish to demand redress for the grievances of the heavenly dragonfish. Your Majesty, I implore you to throw Bai Xiaochun into the heavenly pond and let the fishes eat him!”
Bai Xiaochun gasped in response to his words. Court was held once a month, and this was his first time attending. He had been nervous at first, worried that someone would bring up the heavenly dragonfish. As the court session went on, it seemed like no one planned to. The Saint-Emperor was as warm as ever, and had seemingly calmed down.
But then, in completely unexpected fashion, Heavenly Marquis Liu had suddenly jumped out with his accusations. It was really infuriating.
“Alright, Old Liu,” he murmured inwardly. “I see how it is. Back when I was handing out heavenly dragonfish, I gave some extra to you, for the sake of the Heavenspan Realm. And now you want to feed me to the fishes? Oh, you just wait and see what I’ve got coming for you!” Chuckling coldly in his heart, he began to come up with a plan for how to teach Heavenly Marquis Liu a lesson. Back in the Wildlands, he'd ended up running away to the Great Wall, but now, he had nowhere to escape to!
Many strange expressions could be seen on the faces of the officials in the square. They looked at Heavenly Marquis Liu, and then at Bai Xiaochun, and nobody spoke. Quite a few people were frowning coldly at Heavenly Marquis Liu.
It wasn't that people had suddenly switched to siding with Bai Xiaochun. Normally speaking, they would have loved to hit him when he was down. However, they had all accepted gifts of heavenly dragonfish from him. Although they regretted doing that, what was done was done. Even the Saint-Emperor didn’t want to bring the matter up again, and was a bit frustrated that this Liu fellow was so foolish as to bring the matter up in court.
A frown appeared on the Saint-Emperor’s face. After all, Bai Xiaochun was the ringleader of the heavenly dragonfish disaster, but almost all of the other important people in the aristocracy had joined in….
It was a big headache no matter what way he looked at it. Furthermore, in the past, he would never have even thought to eat a heavenly dragonfish. As they were national treasures, he only gave them out as gifts. But now….
As far as what Heavenly Marquis Liu had just pointed out, it was nothing the Saint-Emperor didn’t already know. After the main event played out, he did a deeper investigation of the heavenly pond, and found evidence pointing to that very conclusion. However, by that point, it didn't matter. Besides, Bai Xiaochun had been very careful, and only the most trace and vague evidence had been left behind.
If the Saint-Emperor had truly wanted to pursue the matter, he could have. But after considering everything, he decided not to. He did have a bottom line, though. If he unsealed the pond later, and Bai Xiaochun went back to fishing, then he would be courting death.
Stifling his annoyance, the Saint-Emperor coolly said, “Do you have any evidence, my dear subject?”
“Just do an investigation, Your Majesty!” Heavenly Marquis Liu replied excitedly. “You’ll definitely find evidence!”
“Very well. You're dismissed. I’ll arrange for an investigation.” With that, the Saint-Emperor rose to his feet, indicating that court was adjourned. As the crowds dispersed, many a cold glance was cast in Heavenly Marquis Liu’s direction.
Heavenly Marquis Liu could sense that something was off, and suddenly shivered as he realized the implications of what the Saint-Emperor had said.
“You people just don’t get it!” he cried in his heart. “You’re gonna regret this. Bai Xiaochun… is a natural-born disaster!!”
Heavenly Marquis Liu was filled with grief and indignation, whereas Bai Xiaochun was actually furious. Snorting coldly, he cast a burning glare at Heavenly Marquis Liu, more determined than ever to teach him a lesson.
It was currently late autumn. After leaving court and heading back toward his blessed land, Bai Xiaochun continued to ponder how to deal with Heavenly Marquis Liu, and at the same time, considered what to do about the frozen surface of the heavenly pond. Eventually, he sighed.
“Well, considering that the heavenly dragonfish were starting to lose effectiveness anyway, I guess it's fine if I don’t fish for them.” Shaking his head, he continued on his way to his blessed land. However, at one point along the way, he happened to look over at the thick layer of ice on top of the heavenly pond, and could just barely make out what appeared to be a heavenly dragonfish banging its head against the ice as if to break it. Unfortunately, the magical technique which had been used to seal the pond was far too powerful, making the ice impossible to break.
However, what Bai Xiaochun was seeing caused sweat to break out on his forehead.
“I knew I forgot something!” he thought, his eyes widening and his heart starting to race. He had just now realized that there was something he had overlooked….
“The fish… were already addicted to Fantasy Pills. Back when I was fishing for half a month, I would still occasionally toss some Fantasy Pills into the water to curb their craving.
“But now that the pond is sealed, the fish have absolutely no Fantasy Pills! They’ve basically gone off the pills cold turkey….” More sweat began to drip down his face.
“Well, it’s not like the fish will actually go crazy, right?” Heart pounding, he considered going to warn the Saint-Emperor. However, that seemed like it would just be asking for trouble.
“Well… he probably won't blame me for this, right? He’s the one who sealed the heavenly pond….” Muttering to himself in this fashion, he hurried back to his blessed land.
For the following few days, he stewed in anxiety. Even the slightest rustling leaf would startle him. For some reason, he was convinced that the heavenly dragonfish were going to go completely crazy at any moment.
“I should think of a way to get more Fantasy Pills to them!” Even as he sighed and pondered the issue… all of Saint-Emperor City trembled!
Everything shook, from the lotus leaves to the buildings on them. Even the imperial palace and the lotus flower trembled. Instantly, cultivators everywhere rushed out into the open to see what was going on.
“What just happened?!”
“Is the enemy attacking!?”
The court officials were all shaken. Chen Su and the other celestials sent their divine sense out to see what was happening. Divine sense also poured out from the imperial palace to sweep all heaven and earth.
“They’re… they're going crazy!! They’re eating the lotus leaves!!!”
Because the fish couldn’t get through the layer of ice, they had begun to chew at the lotus leaves, the very base of the city!
When Bai Xiaochun realized what was happening, his jaw dropped, and he nearly began to weep!