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"The explosion is of secondary value," Bai Lin thought, his eyes shining more brightly by the moment. "The most important aspect is the medicinal effect, which increases the potency by severalfold...." Finally, he laughed loudly for a moment before turning and heading back toward the Armory.

Bai Xiaochun was currently feeling very out of sorts as he stood there, nervously watching the remaining five pill furnaces. Quite a few cultivators had come to investigate the huge noise from earlier, and were now staring in shock at the wreckage in the area.

Although Bai Xiaochun's residence hadn't been completely destroyed, it had been severely damaged. Of the four guards, one had been flung to parts unknown, and the remaining three were now looking at Bai Xiaochun with expressions of dread on their faces.

As for the grandmasters, they were all consuming medicinal pills and glaring angrily at Bai Xiaochun.

"You really can't blame me," he said nervously. "I warned you all ahead of time....

"Listen to me, everyone. Either back up, or take out some defensive magical items. After all... you people came here of your own volition. I didn't ask you over.

"When I used to concoct medicine back in the day, no one would even get close. Back on Middle Peak in the Blood Stream Sect, the minute I started concocting medicine, everyone fled the whole mountain." It would probably have been better if Bai Xiaochun hadn't said anything at all. As soon as the words left his mouth, the people who had just recently been injured flared into a rage.

"You destroyed the Armory! You hurt your fellow disciples! Let's see how you explain this to the general, Bai Xiaochun!"

"When other people cause pill furnaces to explode, they lose the pill, nothing more. But you were obviously trying to cause problems!"

Everyone was glaring at him with gritted teeth, especially the grandmasters, who now hated Bai Xiaochun more than ever. After all, they had merely come to see what was happening, and could never have guessed that their lives would have been at risk because of exploding pill furnaces. Even more terrifying was how they had felt their souls being tugged at.

Bai Xiaochun really felt a headache coming on, and that was only compounded when he thought about how angry Bai Lin had been. Obviously, Bai Lin had ignored all of the warnings that Bai Xiaochun had given.

As he considered that point, his frown deepened, and his sighs grew longer. Even as he was trying to come up with some good ideas about how to explain himself, a beam of light rumbled through the air in his direction.

It was none other than General Bai Lin!

He was moving with such incredible speed that he appeared above the Armory only a moment later, where he dropped down in front of Bai Xiaochun.

Looking very somber, and eyes shining with an odd gleam, he looked at Bai Xiaochun and said, "Do you know what you've done, Bai Xiaochun?"

Bai Xiaochun had no idea what had occurred outside of the Great Wall, and as a result, his heart was pounding with fear and anger. Therefore, he decided to just throw caution to the wind.

"General," he said loudly, "I told you about what can happen when I concoct medicine. You said that I should focus on my work, and that you would take responsibility for everything else. You said the results of my work would have nothing to do with me. You said--"

Before he could finish speaking, Bai Lin stepped forward and grabbed his arm. Not only was he incredibly quick, but his cultivation base was far beyond Bai Xiaochun's. Therefore, it was impossible for Bai Xiaochun to evade him. As soon as Bai Xiaochun felt himself being grabbed by Bai Lin, a tremor ran through him, and he prepared to call upon his frigid qi to defend himself. However, it was at that point that he realized Bai Lin had a very strange expression on his face.

His eyes were shining with unprecedented brightness, and he could hardly keep his breathing under control. He was almost looking at Bai Xiaochun the way one might look at a rare gem.

"How could the results have nothing to do with you? More like the opposite! Hahaha! Bai, my boy, you definitely didn't disappoint. Keep up the good work! Concoct away to your heart's content. Who cares about a few exploded pill furnaces, right?!

"Do things exactly how you want to. The more explosions that occur, the better. In fact, if you can make them even more explosive, that would be great. The more terrifying the better. And don't worry, I'll take care of any dangerous situations!" With that, he threw his head back and laughed heartily.

Not only was Bai Xiaochun shocked by Bai Lin's words, but so were all the other spectators, who had all assumed that Bai Lin would descend in a deadly rage. Never could they have imagined that things would turn out opposite of the way they had anticipated.

"What's... what's going on...?" The recently injured grandmasters almost couldn't believe what they were seeing. It surpassed their imaginations to the point that it didn't even seem real.

Even as everyone stared in shock, Bai Lin thought back to what had just occurred outside the Great Wall, and his excitement continued to build. As far as he was concerned, each and every exploding pill furnace was a deadly weapon that could be unleashed upon the souls and savages!

Furthermore, they could be used to accumulate incredible battle credit!

Throughout the years, the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect had come up with many ideas to deal with the Wildlanders. They had tried all sorts of soul-exterminating techniques, but none of them would ever be very effective for long. Usually, the Wildlanders would come up with a way to neutralize whatever effect was being used against them.

Therefore, Bai Lin wasn't expecting Bai Xiaochun's new method to be effective for very long. However, even just being able to dominate the sea of souls temporarily would be a good thing. Furthermore, the Underworld River had recently been tampered with, which was a major event. Even the Deva Chen was enraged by that development.

"Bai, my boy," Bai Lin said seriously, "I only have one requirement, and that is to work faster. Can you pick up the speed of your concocting work?!?!"

Bai Xiaochun was a bit taken aback. This was his first time hearing Bai Lin address him as 'my boy,' and it sounded somewhat intimate. It took him a moment to realize that Bai Lin wasn't actually reprimanding him, but rather, encouraging him to make more exploding pill furnaces.

"I can't believe someone wants me to detonate pill furnaces intentionally. I guess Bai Lin must have found some use for them...." Unable to hold back his curiosity, he simply asked Bai Lin directly.

Bai Lin didn't conceal the truth. He explained what had just occurred outside the Great Wall, after which Bai Xiaochun's face lit up with excitement.

Lifting his head proudly, he said, "Well, that's what I thought would happen. Did you really think my research was just about how to improve the Soul Converge Pills? Obviously, I was aiming for something more useful, and apparently, I succeeded.

"When Bai Xiaochun concocts medicine, he always ponders how to do it in the most timely and advantageous fashion. You know, I actually intended for the pill furnaces to explode. Furthermore, the medicinal pills in the furnaces were only ninety percent complete. The final blast of energy was what catalyzed the last bit of the process, releasing the perfect amount of medicinal strength at exactly the moment of detonation!" With that, he flicked his sleeve and stuck his chin up.

Everyone else in the area exchanged awkward glances; if they hadn't heard his nervous explanations from moments before, they might actually have believed him.... Bai Lin cleared his throat, but didn't interrupt Bai Xiaochun's boasting. Apparently, he even approved of it.

That in and of itself left everyone even more shaken. None of them had ever seen Bai Lin treat someone with such courtesy. It made it very obvious how highly he valued Bai Xiaochun.

Waving his sleeve proudly, Bai Xiaochun said, "Don't worry, Brother Bai, it will take three days at the most for me to get another batch of exploding furnaces ready. No problem at all." 

Bai Lin laughed heartily, then set a specific date to come get the furnaces, after which he turned to leave.

Before vanishing, he cast an ominous glare at the grandmasters in the area, causing them to duck their heads and scatter. They were all feeling very down about the whole thing, but there was nothing they could do but grit their teeth and endure.

As for the three young guards, they were thoroughly rebuked by their major general for what had happened. Later, their friends told them what had occurred outside of the Great Wall, leaving them completely awestruck.  [1]

As for the young guard who had been blasted off to parts unknown, he eventually was found, weak-kneed and nearly torn to shreds. The terror he felt toward Bai Xiaochun couldn't have been more intense.

And thus, the ordeal ended. As for the other five pill furnaces, Bai Xiaochun opened them up later that night to find that, even though the furnaces hadn't detonated, the medicinal pills inside of them were nothing more than slag.

He pondered the matter for a while, then got some rest. The following morning at dawn, he emerged from his residence, sat down in front of the pill furnaces and took a deep breath. Then he shouted, "Everybody, stay back. Don't say I didn't warn you. Bai Xiaochun is starting to concoct medicine!" 

His voice echoed out like thunder to fill the entire Armory.

The other grandmasters hurried out of their residences and scurried off into the distance, their hearts burning with fury. As for the four young guards, they began to tremble, and despite not wanting to stay behind, had no choice in the matter. They could only brace themselves, rotate their cultivation bases, and remain fully vigilant.

Apparently, Bai Xiaochun's warning was effective. Feeling very pleased, he flicked his sleeve to begin concocting. This time, he decided to work on twenty batches!

[1] I don't think I mentioned before that, as the name makes clear in Chinese, major generals command 10,000 men

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