Bai Xiaochun was having a hard time keeping up with what Bai Lin was saying, or at least, having trouble understanding what the point was. However, there was nothing else he could do but stand there and listen.
"The five legions all have a general and ten major generals," Bai Lin continued. "Each major general has ten colonels beneath them, and so on, down to the lieutenants and the captains!
"As for me, I am the current general of the Skin Flayers." Bai Lin looked back at Bai Xiaochun, and his gaze grew even sharper than before. "I'm not the type of man to mince words. I like to say things directly, and I always mean what I say. I have a strange personality. Some people say that I'm temperamental, and others say that I'm bloodthirsty.
"Some say that I will definitely become a deva someday, and others speak of my incredible natural-born talents. People call me brilliant, and say that I have a profound understanding of strategy and tactics. There are all sorts of such talk.
"I don't like it. I'm not interested in hearing those things, and in fact, there is only one thing that I like to hear people talking about. Do you know what that is?"
Considering how Bai Lin seemed to be blathering on so much, Bai Xiaochun had to admit that he really was quite weird. It almost seemed as if he were just randomly saying whatever came to mind. For example, what he had started talking about earlier seemed to have nothing to do with what he was talking about now.
Therefore, Bai Xiaochun simply stood there blinking for a moment until Bai Lin frowned.
"I asked you a question. Do you know what I like to hear people talking about?" From the look in his eye, he expected Bai Xiaochun to answer the question.
"Um... no?" Bai Xiaochun said, musing that this Bai Lin really was an odd fellow.
Bai Lin's eyes flickered with cold light as he said, "You know, I don't like it when people do things half-heartedly!"
Bai Xiaochun was cursing inwardly, and yet, Bai Lin's cultivation base was far higher than his own, so there was little choice. Therefore, he plastered a look on his face to make it seem like he was thinking very deeply. Then, after a long moment passed, he slapped his thigh. Eyes shining, he said, "I know! Senior, in the future, you want people to look back and remember that there was once a cultivator named Bai Lin, a man who led armies across all creation, and who protected the Great Wall for his entire life!" Bai Xiaochun was of the opinion that his flattery was flawless, and was actually starting to feel proud of himself, when he noticed that Bai Lin's expression had turned grim.
"Wrong!" Bai Lin said, flicking his sleeve, his eyes beginning to shine brightly. "I like people to talk about how Bai Lin has a wonderful grandfather. That is because my father's father ranks second only to the demigod patriarch in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect. He is... a deva grand elder!
"And what does that mean? That means that nobody in the entire Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect would ever dare to provoke me! Furthermore, I'm free to provoke anyone I wish! And beyond that, it means that I can dominate anyone and everyone in Great Wall City! It also means that the Skin Flayers have a profoundly shocking backer to rely on. From the day that I became the general of the Skin Flayers, I've had access to anything I wanted. If I lack a single thing, I simply make a request of the sect!
"In summary, the point of what I'm saying is that when you join up with the Skin Flayers, other than Deva Realm Senior Chen, there is no greater force to be reckoned with in this city than me!" With that, he leveled a cool gaze onto Bai Xiaochun. "Understand?!"
"Uh... yeah...." Bai Xiaochun said, staring in surprise at Bai Lin. Finally, he understood what the general had come here to do, which was simply to show off his family background.... Of course, there wasn't much difference between that and the way that Bai Xiaochun often showed off....
As for the Senior Chen that he had referred to, Bai Xiaochun was aware that he meant Chen Yueshan's father, the three-eyed Chen Hetian.
Bai Lin nodded approvingly. As for the two Nascent Soul experts flanking him, they had no expressions on their faces whatsoever, as if they had long since grown used to Bai Lin's personality and speeches.
Sounding very serious, Bai Lin continued, "Well, now that you understand what I like to hear people talking about, you also understand that as long as you work for me, you can have anything you need. And you also understand what I want from you! I want your service!!" By this point, Bai Lin's eyes were beginning to shine with passion.
"I want you to work hard for our legion, to kill savages, to defeat vengeful souls, and to help us win more campaigns!
"That is why I conscripted you into the Skin Flayers. I want you to work hard at concocting medicine. Make medicines that can help us in our fight on the Great Wall. As long as you do that, you can have anything you want here in Great Wall City. In fact, I can even make things happen for you in the sect itself.
"For example, would you like the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect to open more slots for River-Defying Sect cultivators to come join the sect?
"Would you like your hostage status to be removed?
"Even if I can't personally make it happen, my grandfather can. The only requirement is your military service!
"Therefore, Bai Xiaochun, I want you to concoct that same medicinal pill you used before. I want lots of them. The more the better. And if possible, I want them to be even more powerful than before!"
Generally speaking, silkpants weren't anything to fear. Naturally skilled silkpants were, though. And even more fearful were ambitious silkpants. They were the most terrifying of all....
Bai Xiaochun was actually a bit impressed by Bai Lin. However, considering they were both surnamed Bai, it was a bit annoying that Bai Lin had someone so powerful to rely on, whereas Bai Xiaochun himself didn't.
Of course, Bai Lin's request was something Bai Xiaochun had assumed was coming. Furthermore, considering the things that tended to happen when he concocted medicine, he also figured it was probably good to at least mention that possibility at the outset.
If he didn't, and something bad happened, then the next time he saw Bai Lin, the man would surely be furious.
This wasn't the River-Defying Sect, where he could do just about anything he wanted. Nor was it the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect headquarters, with Du Lingfei there to make sure he was safe.
He was now at the front lines of a war. He had seen how much fighting and killing went on beyond the Great Wall, and could sense the murderous aura that filled the entire city. He could well imagine how, if he caused some disaster, he would have a hard time protecting his poor little life, and would likely be left with no other choice than to flee the city.
Therefore, he took a deep breath and gave Bai Lin a very serious look.
"General, I can definitely concoct a lot of Soul Convergence Pills for you. That's no problem at all. However, I invented that pill, and am familiar with the instabilities that can crop up during the concocting process. To be honest, not even I can truly explain why those things happen."
Feeling a bit nervous, but not wanting to hide the truth, he continued, "If you want more powerful Soul Convergence Pills, then I need to do more research and experimentation. I'm not saying that I can't do that, but I do have to point out that from the time I was very young until now, I always cause huge commotions whenever I concoct medicine...."
"That doesn't matter," Bai Lin said, waving his hand dismissively. "What could possibly go wrong when concocting medicine?"
"I'm serious, General," Bai Xiaochun continued cautiously. "Back in the Spirit Stream Sect, one of my pill concocting sessions caused acid rain to fall all over the whole sect. A lot of people had their clothes melted right off.... Another time, a whole bunch of animals mutated. You can't even imagine how terrifying that was.
"Another time, I provoked lightning from heaven that destroyed my entire immortal's cave.... Later on, all the snakes in 10,000 Snakes Valley rebelled and invaded the sect because of me." The two Nascent Soul experts behind Bai Lin already looked a bit fearful.
As for Bai Lin, he hesitated for a moment, then waved his hand dismissively again. "Those are just minor problems. Things like that won't hurt anybody!"
Looking a bit embarrassed, Bai Xiaochun said, "I'm not finished yet....
"Um... later on in the Blood Stream Sect, my pill furnaces kept exploding... and one time I made this smoke that caused everyone on the mountain to come down with near-deadly diarrhea.... And that's not even mentioning my Fantasy Pill, which gives people all sorts of crazy hallucinations. Oh, right. There was one time that I almost blew up an entire holy mountain...."
The two Nascent Soul experts with Bai Lin were actually major generals in the army, but even they were trembling in fear. The vivid descriptions provided by Bai Xiaochun sounded like nothing less than disasters, no matter how they analyzed them....
The worst thing of all was that they could tell that Bai Xiaochun wasn't lying.... He really was telling them of the consequences of his own medicine concocting.
Bai Lin's eyelids twitched a bit, and he hesitated for even longer this time. But finally, he waved his hand even more forcefully than before.
"It doesn't matter. You just take responsibility for getting those medicinal pills to the army. Whatever you need to do it, just ask. As for any problems which crop up during the concocting process, I'll take responsibility!"
At long last, Bai Xiaochun was able to breathe a sigh of relief. From what he could tell, now that he had offered an honest warning, if anything bad happened later, it wouldn't matter.
"Although," he murmured to himself, "everyone who has said similar things in the past always ended up regretting it...." Whenever he thought back to everything that had occurred with medicine concocting in his life up to this point, he always sighed. At this point, he realized that considering Bai Lin had said he could have anything he needed, he decided not to hold back out of politeness.
"Okay. I need a hundred of your best, most expensive pill furnaces! Each one must have been used to successfully concoct thirty batches of medicinal pills, should have high-quality medicinal aromas, and must all look identical. Otherwise, I would have to spend time getting used to each one, which would be a waste of time..." After the briefest of moments, he added, "...and therefore, a waste of my military service!"