As he was returning back to Scented Cloud Mountain, sadness welled up inside Bai Xiaochun’s heart. As for the odd pills left inside his storage bag, he didn’t dare to continue experimenting with them.
“Why is it so hard to have an ambitious goal… I can’t be blamed for this, it was Uncle Li who made me research this…” Bai Xiaochun lamented as he jogged on the way back. After returning to his immortal cave, he just sat there, staring blankly into the distance.
During the past half a year, every time he stumbled upon some hard problem in refining medicine, he would ask Li Qinghou about it. Listening to Bai Xiaochun’s questions surprised Li Qinghou greatly. Such meticulous study in the Dao of Medicine, in his opinion, was far beyond that of the average Medicine Master.
Recalling Bai Xiaochun’s results on the stone steles for herbs, Li Qinghou’s expectations regarding Bai Xiaochun’s Dao of Medicine grew. Everyone had a different understandings regarding the Dao of Medicine, and the fact that Bai Xiaochun had such determination made Li Qinghou very pleased.
He never gave Bai Xiaochun the answer straight away, but instead encouraged him to persevere, for only that way can one establish their own Dao of Medicine. If one always followed the paved road, they would never become a Medicine Master capable of uncovering the secrets of the Dao of Medicine. The origins of pill recipes, after all, were the result from the previous generations’ experiments!
“No, I have a goal, a dream. Uncle Li is right! Only what I discover it myself could a pill recipe truly belong to me. No matter how difficult it is, I will forge onwards!” After some time, Bai Xiaochun clenched his teeth. Although he didn’t intend to test the odd pills, his passion for the Dao of Medicine burned fiercer than ever.
“I must become a great medicine master!” Taking a deep breath, Bai Xiaochun resolutely walked into the Medicine Refining Room, once again immersing himself in refinement as though under a spell, forgetting everything else.
Time passed as several months passed by in the blink of an eye. Bai Xiaochun gradually got used to Grade 3 spirit medicine by resolving problems after problem, until finally, Grade 3 spirit medicine weren’t that much of a problem to him.
However, a bigger problem gradually cropped up.
Bai Xiaochun helplessly discovered that while he obtained a deeper understanding of Grade 3 medicine pills, improving the success rate wasn’t so easy. Usually, for every ten refinements, he would succeed in five. From the former, one was an odd pill that even he himself couldn’t understand, and the four remaining were poisonous pills with nearly a hundred percent impurities.
Bai Xiaochun was going crazy. He even tried spirit refinement, only to discover that even after spirit refinement, poisonous pills only produced bad results while the only Low Tier ones reached only up to the High Tier.
Between his relentless and meticulousness for medicine refinement, he didn’t notice that he was becoming obsessed with it; if something was unsatisfactory, he couldn’t rest in peace.
“Impurities, what can I do to get rid of impurities!” Bai Xiaochun glared at the large amount of poison pills in front of him with bloodshot eyes, racking his brain. He thought of asking Li Qinghou, only to remember his encouragement for perseverance. So, gritting his teeth, he continued as he immersed himself anew.
Time passed day by day, and many people thought that Bai Xiaochun had finally quieted down. There weren’t any tremors or explosions, nor any troublesome animals all around the mountain. Many of them weren’t quite used to such peacefulness.
But that didn’t last long… one night a month later, Bai Xiaochun, with his hair flowing down his face, was adjusting the flames of the furnace while constantly tossing in herbs with bloodshot eyes.
“Success, it’s going to succeed. This time I have solved all of the problems, I even used my creativity to add in a Thunder God Cane, Thunder Attracting Flower, Dead Wood Spring and Yin Yang Grass. I came up with a unique method to remove the impurities, so this is sure to succeed… This is my, Bai Xiaochun’s, very own… Thunder Cleansing!” Just as he was getting excited, the furnace before him shook, and a medicinal aroma rose up. The moon shone brightly in the dark sky, high above Scented Cloud Mountain, unobstructed by the clouds.
But in an instant, a thick layer of clouds appeared, and a streak of lightning flashed down, charging straight at Scented Cloud Mountain and crashing onto Bai Xiaochun’s immortal cave with a rumble. The entire place shook, while other bolts of lightning found their way inside and landed on the furnace.
The entirety of the immortal cave was filled with lightning, and Bai Xioahcun, in his mad laughter, quickly evaded them. When the lightning faded, he excitedly ran to the furnace and looked down.
What he saw was no medicine in the furnace, just black soot with black smoke rising from it.
“Too much Thunder Attracting Flower!” Bai Xiaochun, with hair flowing down his face, seemed like a scholar gone mad. Gloomily scratching his head, he pulled out more herbs and continued experimenting.
Meanwhile, many of the Scented Cloud Mountain disciples noticed the lightning, all of them staring with their eyes wide-open as they realised it had landed on Bai Xiaochun’s immortal cave.
“This Bai Xiaochun… Could it be that even the Heavens can’t stand him any longer?”
“That must be it, the Heavens are just and shot lightning down to exterminate him…”
These thoughts filled the crowd’s minds. While some were entertained by the thought of Bai Xiaochun’s demise, the few elders of Scented Cloud Mountain that had also noticed the lightning were left surprised.
“Even if it was Ancestor Li refining medicine, he would never attract lightning. In the legends, only concoctions over the seventh grade would make lightning flash out. What is that Bai Xiaochun doing?”
In the afternoon three days later, Bai Xiaochun’s laughter echoed inside his immortal cave. Staring at the furnace, his hands were forming hand seals in a blur. As Qi spread out, the Earth Fire raged. Roaring out, Bai Xiaochun slammed both his hands on the floor before the furnace.
The furnace shook, and many clouds whirled above Scented Cloud Mountain’s peak. A flash of lightning shot down, aiming straight at Bai Xiaochun’s immortal cave.
This time, countless disciples all saw the lightning, shocking them all. As the sound of thunder reverberated in their ears, Bai Xiaochun’s immortal cave shook briefly.
Inside the immortal cave, Bai Xiaochun excitedly went to the furnace. But when he looked down, there weren’t any pills in the furnace. Only their remains with a black smoke rising from them. Taking in a little of it, Bai Xiaochun’s eyes grew hazy and his head became dizzy. As he backed away a couple of steps, foam started coming out of his mouth.
“Thunder God Canes… Too many…” Bai Xiaochun mumbled before collapsing on the floor. Waking up a mere three hours later, he quickly went to wash his face and consume some pills, only to raise his head shortly after, ready to continue refining once more.
In the following days, the amount of lightning increased and increased, growing more and more concentrated. The disciples of Scented Cloud Mountain would always see a flash of lightning drop down, hitting Bai Xiaochun’s immortal cave. Slowly, everyone stared at it with open mouths and wide eyes, while even the elders worried after paying more attention.
They suspected that… If this went on, it was only a matter of time before Bai Xiaochun got killed by the lightning.
But the Bai Xiaochun who was so afraid of death, in his crazed medicine refining demon mode, forgot about death, submerging himself in the medicinal arts, endlessly changing the recipe and adjusting the components; he was trying to let the Thunder Cleansing be of practical use.
“God Dammit, Thunder Cleansing!”
Lightning flashed again.
The protective formation array in Bai Xiaochun’s immortal cave stopped working, and his sharp voice always found its way out of the place, reaching the ears of everyone. After some gossip, everyone knew that all the lightning before was due to Bai Xiaochun’s new method he invented for cleansing the impurities of medicine.
Even many elders were interested, paying attention to him. This time, though the thunder boomed and the lightning cracked, no one, as rare as it was, stopped him.
Even Li Qinghou was pleased by Bai Xiaochun’s demonstration of creativity, occasionally paying attention.
Yet a good view doesn’t last long. After over a hundred groupings of components, the ideal one never came out. So Bai Xiaochun started adding in other components, and, unsure which medicine was responsible, on a sunset a few days later, instead of the usual single flash of lightning, ten lightning streaks came bursting down as Bai Xiaochun roared out.
Surprisingly, among all these flashes of lightning, only one was headed towards Bai Xiaochun, with the rest flying and spreading to other areas of Scented Cloud Mountain.
The cracks of lightning filled the sky.
A huge amount of the lightning hit, and many people screamed in agony. In just a moment, Scented Cloud Mountain shook again, affecting even Zhou Xinqi’s immortal cave, which got hit as well. Thanks to the protection of the formation array, there wasn’t too much of a problem. With a vicious glare, Zhou Xinqi stared at Bai Xiaochun’s immortal cave, swallowing down her hate.
Li Qinghou and the elders of Scented Cloud Mountain also went out to calm the disciples down. After all, Bai Xiaochun’s determination for the medicinal arts pleased them.
The thing was… Bai Xiaochun had become a madman. An hour later, a rainy cloud covered the sky, and this time, near a hundred streaks of lightning all rained down at Bai Xiaochun.
As the noise in the sky spread out, many disciples turned towards it, aghast as they hastily made their way back to their own immortal caves, scared to go out. Even Li Qinghou and the elders were shocked, staring blankly.
Seeing the hundred streaks of lightning drop down, the many areas of Scented Cloud Mountain trembled. Maybe because of the proximity of Zhou Xinqi’s home to Bai Xiaochun’s immortal cave, six or seven flashes of lightning hit her own immortal cave, shaking it violently and pushing down on the array formation.
It didn’t end at that though;, taking only half of the time for an incense stick to burn, countless people went up in an uproar of fear and shock as the layers of clouds got even bigger and thicker, shooting out hundreds of lightning streaks down from the sky.
They were aiming straight at Scented Cloud Mountain; immortal caves shook and many areas instantly exploded, and Bai Xiaochun’s own immortal cave barely held out from collapsing.
But… Zhou Xinqi’s immortal cave pulled in fifty streaks of lightning! In succession, they hit her home, and as if the sky was stealing from her, they peeled open the immortal cave, making it collapse.
Pale, Zhou Xinqi rushed out, staring blankly at the now flat space where her immortal cave once stood. She screamed angrily.
There were even some outer sect disciples whose immortal cave met the same fate, burst opened by lightning. As they ran out, their angry shouts were shaking the sky, they were just about to throw everything aside and go to Bai Xiaochun for revenge, when suddenly, the clouds in the sky rolled again, increasing in thickness, constraining and enveloping the land. Zhou Xinqi’s heart jumped and her face changed. The other people who wanted to trouble Bai XIoachun all took in a deep breath, trembling.
Even the ancestors of Purple Cauldron Mountain and Green Peak Mountain noticed this, and after seeing the clouds, their eyes widened. Even the sect head Zheng Yuandong, after staring out, felt his scalp go numb.
In the clouds, over a thousand lightning streaks burst out!
“This… This is going to destroy Scented Cloud Mountain!”
“God, what is he doing, how did he do it? This… This many streaks of lightning!!”
“Enemy attack! It’s an enemy attack!” Outside Scented Cloud Mountain, countless people screamed out.
On the mountain, there were trembling disciples, inner and outer sect included. At that moment, all of them had a strong feeling that their lives were on the line.
“Thunder Cleansing!” Bai Xiaochun had completely forgotten about everything long ago, paying absolutely no heed to the things happening around him. His eyes were crimson, and as he stared at the furnace in front of him, he screamed, raising his hands and slamming them on the ground.
Edited by: Crimsonguard, Arch, Mantoulnv
Crimsonguard here, I’ve been with this project for quite a bit now and it has certainly been a fascinating journey. Unfortunately, staying dedicated to this project has become more and more of a chore as my enthusiasm disappeared, and with it - my motivation. As such, I’ll be taking a break from this project. Thanks for all the readers’ support thus far!