Nightfall. The moon hung brightly in the world outside, but within the cave, it was entirely pitch black. From his surroundings, Bai Xiaochun heard countless hissing sounds, causing him to feel goosebumps all over his body. This motivated him to quickly retreat to the interior of the stone house.
The stone house was extremely small. Other than the Earth Fire formation array on the ground alongside a pill furnace placed on top of it, there wasn’t anything else.
Bai Xiaochun sighed as he activated the Earth Fire formation array. Seeing the light produced by the flames, he felt relieved. His personality was always that of going with the flow, hence, even though the current situation was terrifying, he had no choice but to adapt to it. He opened the storage pouch that Li Qinghou had given him and his eyes instantly widened.
Within the storage pouch was a huge amount of medicinal grass, some of them even required a great amount of contribution points before they could be exchanged from the sect! There were even a few stalks of medicinal grass which Bai Xiaochun had only heard of in the five chapters of the Plants and Herbs scriptures; the sect didn’t even provide these types of medicinal grass!
As for the other types of medicinal grass, their quantity was simply staggering! If he used them sparingly, it would not only be enough for Bai Xiaochun to refine Rank 3 spirit medicines, but also enough to refine Rank 4 spirit medicines!
Bai Xiaochun immediately felt a surge of excitement; he heated the pill furnace and begun to refine medicine. It was only through this could he distract himself from his terrifying surroundings. He still had some experiments which were incomplete, hence he decided to complete them this time around and attempt to lower the impurities in the Rank 3 toxic pill to below 90%.
Time quickly passed, and in the blink of an eye, it was already three months since Li Qinghou had brought him in the snake cavern. With disheveled hair, Bai Xiaochun sat in the stone house lost in his own world. He incessantly refined pills, causing the cave to be filled with plumes and fumes composed of mist and smoke. This poisonous smoke which could form acid rain in the outside world, surprisingly, became the favourite food of the venomous snakes in the snake cave. Every single snake competed for the smoke in order to devour it as eye-piercing hissing noises resounded in the process.
However, Bai Xiaochun paid no heed to this; he was already occupied with refining medicine at this moment, and he was at the most critical point. He had already lowered the impurities within the toxic pill to approximately ninety-one or ninety-two percent, and with just a little more, he would finally succeed!.
With bloodshot eyes, Bai Xiaochun incessantly refined spirit medicine, and in the blink of an eye, another three months had passed.
He had already stayed for half a year within this snake cavern, and within this half year, other than refining pills, the only other part of his routine was cultivation. Every day, he would cultivated the Water Nation Technique, radiating a domineering pressure whilst doing so. However, it was a pity that his Spirit of Life still hadn’t materialised.
As for the surrounding snakes, it was as if Bai Xiaochun had gotten somewhat used to them. Occasionally, he would walk out of the stone house in deep thought as he paced around the boundaries of the formation array. On these occasions, the surrounding venomous snakes would always reveal ruthless dark gazes which followed Bai Xiaochun’s every step; the moment he took a single step out of the formation array, they would instantly charge towards him.
Li Qinghou had also secretly visited numerous times. Only after confirming that Bai Xiaochun had no issues did he eventually stop worrying about Bai Xiaochun.
Throughout the South Bank outside, with the disappearance of the Bai Xiaochun for the past half year, tranquil days had finally returned; there weren’t any more lightning, poisonous mist nor acid rain; the disciples cherished these long lost days of tranquility.
From time to time, people would still think of Bai Xiaochun, however, after many disciples heard of his accommodation into the Ten Thousand Snakes Valley by Li Qinghou, they could only lament on his fate. Even amongst the disciples, if anyone wanted to break the sect’s rules, they would always remember Bai Xiaochun’s deeds, creating a new saying that spread like wildfire.
“As a proper human, don’t be like Bai Xiaochun!”
“You shouldn’t do this, even if Bai Xiaochun were to do it, he would still be punished, you should reconsider.”
Another half a year had passed, and it had already been a whole year since Bai Xiaochun’s disappearance, and even the Sect Head, Zheng Yuandong, lamented.
“Bai Xiaochun... Sending him to the Ten Thousand Snakes Valley was absolutely the right decision; only snakes exist there, and he won’t be able to affect other people.”
However, be it Zheng Yuandong, Li Qinghou, or any disciple of the three mountains, they had obviously underestimated Bai Xiaochun!
On this day, within the stone house, Bai Xiaochun had refined another batch of medicine; only this time, there wasn’t any black smoke, and the pill that formed in the pill furnace was finally no longer a toxic pill, but rather a low-grade pill with an impurity content of 89.9 percent!
Even though it was the lowest of the lowest grade pill, it was still a completely different existence from a toxic pill.
Bai Xiaochun felt excitement surge through his body as he lifted his head and laughed loudly at the sky. He immediately heated a few more furnaces, and afterwards, he had finally confirmed that his expertise regarding Rank 3 spirit medicine refinement had finally reached the standard of… succeeding ten times out of ten!
Bai Xiaochun already had a solid foundation and experience regarding refining Rank 3 spirit medicine, and even those he hadn’t yet refined were just out of reach. The only thing needed now was resolving some simple problems and he could bring those other medicines to an equally perfect ten out of ten success rate.
Bai Xiaochun was emotional as he charged out of the stone house; the echoes of his laughter still resounded in the air. He even held a sense of pride; as of this day, he had paid an exorbitant price and an even greater amount of time.
He even managed to get thrown into this place, but in the instant Bai Xiaochun succeeded, he felt that everything was worth it.
Bai Xiaochun sucked in a deep breath and waved his little sleeve as he glanced arrogantly at the group of snakes.
“The only thing left to do now is cultivate. The ninth level of Qi Condensation and the Impenetrable Golden Skin!” Bai Xiaochun happily turned around and walked back inside the stone house and took out the newly refined pills.
He took out his turtle-shell pot and spirit refined every single one of the pills he had refined, and after which, he immediately swallowed them.
Bai Xiaochun’s cultivation increased daily; he was originally at the peak of the eighth level of Qi Condensation, only a hair’s breadth away from making a breakthrough. A month later, while Bai Xiaochun sat cross-legged, an enormous battle elephant appeared within his consciousness, causing the entirety of his cultivation to burst forth like a hundred streams converging into an ocean. Within his body, his spiritual power erupted, as if it had vaguely transformed into a huge ocean.
Looking closely, this huge ocean was in the shape of a dragon; as if a dragon had appeared inside of his body, swimming throughout all of his meridians, causing his flesh and bones to give off crackling noises. It was at this moment that a silhouette of a huge elephant abruptly appeared behind his back.
The huge elephant had long hair covering its entire body; it lifted its front legs as if it was roaring at the sky. Suddenly, it stomped its foot down, and although the ground remained unscathed, an unseen ripple of force mercilessly spread outwards, causing the surrounding snakes to all jump in fright. Even the seven to eight Divine Blood Snakes in the distance lifted their heads and gave out sharp glares as their scales stood erect.
The Dragon Elephant Ocean Transformation Scripture; after Bai Xiaochun had materialised the huge elephant, he naturally broke through the first level of the scripture during the surge of his spiritual power. His cultivation level had also increased from the eighth level of Qi Condensation to the ninth level of Qi Condensation!
Likewise, his physical strength increased; circulating the blood in his body, he felt as though his body had expanded. His flesh and muscles rippled wildly, and within every inch of his muscles, a shocking amount of strength was being contained.
It was as if it had merged together with his Unending Longevity Technique, causing Bai Xiaochun’s silver skin to undulate brightly. Under each of his technique’s complementary effect, it was as if Bai Xiaochun’s body had mutated. His physical strength had actually touched a bottleneck; a bottleneck which was seemingly impossible for an ordinary human body to breakthrough!
A loud explosion echoed through his consciousness, similar to the synchronised chime of ten thousand bells; it was as if water was incessantly being forced into a bottle which was already full, causing the bottle to tremble as lines and cracks began to form.
Bai Xiaochun’s entire body shook violently as he abruptly opened his eyes. In the instant he opened his eyes, his gaze had a sharp radiance that could make anyone’s heart jump in shock.
As of this moment, if any Qi Condensation disciple were to witness Bai Xiaochun, other than a few special people, they would definitely revel in shock; although the pressure was not that of a Foundation Establishment cultivator, it still made people tremble and gave them a sense of submission deep within their hearts.
It was as if they were facing the suppression of a higher life form!
“Humans have shackles, be it in cultivation or the physical body. There will always be unbreakable shackles during one’s life… This was the prologue to the Dragon Elephant Ocean Transformation Scripture, no wonder… So this is the shackle!”
“Dragon Elephant Ocean Transformation Scripture… The strength of the elephant corresponds to the body, allowing the cultivator to reach the peak in physical strength; the strength of the dragon corresponds to the spirit, allowing the cultivator to reach the peak of the Qi Condensation realm. This is the purpose of the first level and second level, to let one reach the the peaks, while not touching one’s shackles. After which, when a person cultivates to the third level, the merging of the dragon and elephant would cause the technique to rise once more, enabling one to reach the realm of touching one’s shackles. After which, one could then rely on the veins of the heaven and earth, or the power of the Foundation Establishment pill to break through in one swoop, forming a Qi Ocean, eventually becoming a true Foundation Establishment cultivator!” Bai Xiaochun muttered.
“Hence, this Dragon Elephant Ocean Transformation Scripture cannot be cultivated by any average person. It is only for those who cultivate both the body and the qi, and only after reaching the eighth level of Qi Condensation, could they then perfectly cultivate the Dragon Elephant Ocean Transformation Scripture.”
“Even though the Unending Longevity Technique is only an incomplete scroll with only the Impenetrable skin, the mysterious elder who saved me that year once said that after I reached the Impenetrable Golden Skin, I would be able to touch the first shackle, and whether or not I could break through was dependent on my luck.”
“I believe that what I had just perceived... is the supposed… shackle!” Bai Xiaochun’s eyes had a radiant glint as the pitch black stone house was lit up in that instant.
“The first patriarch created this Dragon Elephant Ocean Transformation Scripture, and only once cultivated to the end could one then merge both Dragon and Elephant in order to touch one’s shackles. However, it’s only a touch, and that’s the furthest it will go.”
“And the first chapter of the Unending Longevity Technique, the Impenetrable Skin, would allow one to touch the shackles, but this isn’t the apex. The apex is to be able to make a breakthrough, and it’s only when one breaks through the shackle could one cultivate the second chapter of the Unending Longevity Technique, the Undying King Kong!”
“Currently, I have only cultivated to the first level of the Dragon Elephant Ocean Transformation Scripture as well as the peak of the Impenetrable Silver Skin. However, with the complementary effects of both skills, it allowed me to touch the shackle in advance!”
“If this is the case, then if either one of these skills were to make a breakthrough, I would be able to… surpass the first level of the shackles!” Bai Xiaochun was overwhelmed with emotions, and when he pondered a second time, he found a question that rekindled his excitement.
“If my guess is correct, once I breakthrough to the Impenetrable Golden Skin and the third level of the Dragon Elephant Ocean Transformation Scripture, my physical body... just to what extent would it grow to?”
Bai Xiaochun didn’t have an answer, but he greatly anticipated the day it would could. At this moment, he sucked in a deep breath and pulled out the pill medicine he refined. After swallowing it to increase his Qi, he immediately began cultivating the Unending Longevity Technique.
Silver light illuminated, and within his body, vague golden strands began to appear. Although it was extremely faint, it represented that Bai Xiaochun’s Unending Longevity Technique had the potential to reach the realm of the Impenetrable Golden Skin!
After the time the time it took for an incense stick to burn, Bai Xiaochun ended his cultivation and left the stone house surging with excitement. Looking over the surrounding cave, he subconsciously assumed an air of an expert, and with a flick of his sleeve, he arrogantly said, “I am already at the ninth level of the Qi Condensation. Once I have broken through the first shackle, out of all the cultivators at the eighth level of Qi Condensation under this heaven, who can be my opponent?”
Bai Xiaochun lamented and let out a sigh. All of a sudden, the surrounding venomous snakes were all roused with the appearance of Bai Xiaochun; a number of them even let out hisses and spat out their venom towards him.
Especially for the seven or eight Divine Blood Snakes at the eighth level of Qi Condensation in the distance; they immediately sprang up, and with a whistle through the air, collided onto the formation array’s light barrier which had just materialised right in front the Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun jumped in shocked and gazed angrily at these surrounding snakes who had interrupted his sigh; gazing at the cold eyes of each snake and the continuous stream of venom flying through the air, Bai Xiaochun was enraged.
“Do you really think that I, your Grandfather Bai, has no means against you?! Don’t force me, you guys…” Bai Xiaochun did not even manage to finish his sentence, when another volley of snakes sprang at him once again; the sounds of them colliding against the barrier echoed before Bai Xiaochun.
“Alright... This is what you’ve forced me to do!” Bai Xiaochun bellowed in rage as he turned and walked straight back into the stone house.
2nd guaranteed chapter of the week. Apologies for messing up and marking it as 3rd.
Edited by: Arch, Mantoulnv, Cannibaloid