Chapter 385: Running Into Master God-Diviner
After arriving in the north district, Bai Xiaochun rented another spirit abode. He also spent some merit points to get some food, and then sat down and focused on cultivation for a few days until the commotion in the city died down.
Now that he was at the very source of the Heavenspan River, he could continuously work on his Frigid School Will-Evolving Incantation, as long as he had enough food to make up for the energy drainage.
The energy of heaven and earth in the area was majestic beyond description, and ensured that his cultivation was advancing by leaps and bounds. Although he hadn’t quite broken past the Frigid Acolyte level, he was definitely far beyond his previous point.
By now, he could emit shocking pulses of frigid qi out of his palm to form something like a projection of a person. That projection was one of the key signs of the Frigid Acolyte level, a frigid shadow.
He also persisted in the cultivation of his Undying Muscles, making sure to spend time working on it every day. By now, he had completely finished his work on his second toe, and had moved on to his third toe.
“The patriarchs were right,” he thought with a sigh. “My cultivation is moving a lot faster here in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect.”
Time marched on.
Three months later, the waves caused by the Ultra Fasting Aid Pill incident had mostly died down. Virtually everyone in Sky City had heard that the whole thing was a scam, and as such, were very leery of any type of fasting aids.
Because of that, it was impossible to sell Ultra Fasting Aid Pills, and even if someone created a new type, no one would trust that it was real, and even fewer people would dare to consume one.
The Celestial Sky Society had achieved their goal with minimal effort. In fact, they had even made a bit of profit in the process. Not only had the Ultra Fasting Aid Pill been done away with once and for all, all of the blame had been placed onto the head of the now-missing Apothecary Bai.
Of course, the Celestial Sky Society also apologized to everyone who had been injured because of the pills, and used various means to provide compensation. In the end, there were almost no negative ramifications for them.
The only thing they regretted was that they hadn’t managed to incite the populace to rise up and put Bai Xiaochun to death. However, as far as they were concerned, he was nothing more than a talented apothecary, not someone worth worrying about.
It was a war that had been fought without unleashing a single magical technique, and Bai Xiaochun… had been thoroughly defeated!
That fact left Bai Xiaochun profoundly irritated. Had he lost in magical combat, he wouldn’t have cared. But to have been defeated this way left him filled with fury, almost to the point of madness. Never before had he been humiliated in such a fashion, and he had even considering relying on the power of his cultivation base to go stomp the Celestial Sky Society. But then he realized that considering how large of an organization they were, even with his Gold Core cultivation base… they probably wouldn’t be that easy to deal with.
“Relying on one’s cultivation base isn’t a true display of skill,” he said to himself through gritted teeth. “Wherever Bai Xiaochun falls down, that’s where he rises back up! I can scheme too, can’t I!?” With that, he took a sip of Hundred Flowers spirit alcohol, and then ate a mouthful of Precious Jade spirit rice. Those two particular brands of spirit food were relatively expensive, and had been his favorite back in the east district. Thankfully, after arriving at the north district, he still had some left over that he’d bought earlier.
Unfortunately, over the past three months, he had been forced to watch as his food supply dwindled and the merit points in his identity medallion were slowly eaten away. He hardly had any left now.
“I guess I was just living too extravagantly before….” he thought. He was even starting to regret having spent those 100,000 merit points to become an orange-robed disciple, and also realized that it had been a bit impulsive to buy his crocodile mount.
“What am I supposed to do?” he thought, scowling on the verge of tears. “I can’t sell Ultra Fasting Aid Pills anymore. Don’t tell me that I’m going to have to go back to living frugally and survive by consuming my own Ultra Fasting Aid Pills…?” With that, he ate another mouthful of spirit rice, his anger toward the Celestial Sky Society continuing to grow.
Half a month later, he was on the verge of completely running out of spirit food, and he had almost no merit points left. Sadly, he had yet to come up with an idea of how to earn more merit points. Finally, when he was sure that the Ultra Fasting Aid Pill commotion had died down, he sighed, took a bath in spirit water, and then worked up a quick disguise so that people wouldn’t recognize his face. Then he left his spirit abode.
“I guess I have no choice but to sell my crocodile mount, plus all of those magical items I bought. Probably that jewelry too.” Although he was loathe to do such a thing, he didn’t really have any other choice. After jumping onto his crocodile’s back, he thought about how grand he must look with his orange robe. Unfortunately, his bag of holding was virtually completely empty….
Thankfully, crocodiles were one of the most common types of mounts in Sky City, so nobody connected the current Bai Xiaochun to the Apothecary Bai of the east district.
As he proceeded along through the north district, quite a few people looked at him with envy and respect. There were even some orange-robed disciples who looked at him that way. After all, only people with lots of money or power could afford battle beast mounts. That, coupled with the glitter of the magical treasures with which he festooned himself, all made him look very impressive.
However, such gazes only made Bai Xiaochun feel worse.
“After today,” he thought dejectedly, “nobody is going to look at me like that anymore.” Sighing, he decided to parade around the city for a bit longer.
It was with great wistfulness that he toured the north district all the way until evening was about to fall. At that point, he gritted his teeth and decided to head to the Spirit Beast Pavilion. Along the way, he passed a certain alley where he happened to notice a familiar cultivator standing there.
He was holding a banner in his hand upon which were written three characters.
He was clearly much thinner than he had been when he had parted ways with Bai Xiaochun. His face was waxen and sunken in, his eyes listless. He seemed to be in very bad shape.
Few people paid any attention to him as they walked past, and even when he called out to try to drum up business, people simply ignored him. Considering the bleak expression on his face, and his blank stare, it almost looked like his soul had left him.
Bai Xiaochun was shocked at his appearance, and immediately felt bad for him. Patting his crocodile mount, he headed over in Master God-Diviner’s direction.
Even before he got near, the crocodile’s enormous frame cast a huge shadow over Master God-Diviner, who shivered and looked up. The sight that met his eyes was a ferocious 90-meter-long crocodile looming over him.
It had armor-like scales that glittered in the evening light, and the breath that escaped its nostrils as it breathed was enough to leave one’s mind spinning. Atop the crocodile was Bai Xiaochun, clad in the garments of an orange-robed disciple, looking very grand, surrounded as he was by the glittering light of magical treasures.
Master God-Diviner was instantly shaken, and his eyes began to shine with unprecedentedly bright light. His experiences during the past few months had left him with a keen understanding regarding people like this. They were like Chosen in Sky City, people with tens of thousands of merit points at their disposal, many of whom were very close to becoming yellow-robed disciples.
They were the truly powerful figures in the city, people whom Master God-Diviner had come to envy and look up to during the past months. As of this moment, his excitement was building at the prospect of getting a client like this. Eyes sparkling, he straightened out his robe and then clasped hands and bowed.
“Brother, please wait a moment! I am your humble servant Master God-Diviner, and if possible, would like to speak a word with you!”
Bai Xiaochun blinked a few times, then remembered that he was in disguise. Therefore, he pretended to think about the matter for a moment before finally voicing his assent.
Master God-Diviner was so excited that he was trembling. The truth was that he hadn’t even prepared any words to say in a situation like this. The mere fact that someone had agreed to listen to him left his eyes brimming with tears of excitement. Mustering his courage, he told himself, “Master God-Diviner, ahhh, Master God-Diviner. You definitely have to please this fellow. Look at how impressive he is! If you make him happy, the merit points will surely come flowing in. Furthermore, you might even be able to convince him to take you on as a permanent diviner!!”
With that, he put a serious expression on his face and then performed a double-handed incantation gesture, then peered at Bai Xiaochun as if to look into his future. Soon, powerful fluctuations began to roll off of him, making him look quite imposing.
However, a moment later, his eyes widened, and he began to tremble.
“No. No, it can’t be. This can’t be right. Why are my divinations showing me him? Hold on, let me start over….” By this point he was breathing heavily, and a look of complete incredulity could be seen on his face. He quickly performed another double-handed incantation gesture, after which his eyes grew even wider. He almost looked like he had seen a ghost.
A strange expression could be seen on Bai Xiaochun’s face as he looked down at Master God-Diviner from his position on the crocodile. Obviously, Master God-Diviner had deduced his true identity, which was no surprise considering that he did have some skill with divination.
After all, he had divined information about Bai Xiaochun back in the Blood Stream Sect days, and had always been fairly accurate….
“How did you get yourself in such a bad situation, Master Snortsnort?” Bai Xiaochun said. “I mean, I thought I had it bad, but obviously, you have it way worse than me.”
“Bai Xiaochun!!” Master God-Diviner felt like he had just been struck by lightning. Trembling, he staggered backward. When he had performed the divination just now, what he had seen had been almost impossible to believe. Now that he recognized Bai Xiaochun’s voice, he was left reeling in shock.
Bai Xiaochun felt quite pleased to see Master God-Diviner reacting in such a way. However, he cleared his throat and said, “Keep your voice down….”
Translator: Deathblade. Chinese language consultant: ASI a.k.a. Beerblade. Editor: GNE. Memes: Logan. Tocsin. Transcendent Patrons: Daoist Elder N, BLE, ttre208. . .