"I think I'm heading in the right direction. I just overlooked a few of the problems that cropped up because of the ingredient interactions. I should be able to do a few tests and work things out. In any case, as long as the furnaces continue to explode, the general will be happy." Bai Xiaochun sighed, convinced that life in Great Wall City was actually wonderful.
At the very least, he could concoct medicine in any way he wished, without fear of any punishments. He even got rewarded for detonating pill furnaces, which had never happened before.
Looking at the furnaces which had survived the first concocting session, Bai Xiaochun calmed himself and put a somber expression on his face. This time, he intended to vary the ingredient levels in each pill furnace, that way he would be able to quickly identity which medicine formula was the most effective.
Having reached the conclusion that this was definitely the best idea, he got to work. Drawing upon the incredible speed of his fleshly body, he began to produce medicinal plants and toss them into the furnaces. He would occasionally adjust the earthflame, ensuring that all of the various batches were being concocted slightly differently.
Of course, he couldn't forget how Bai Lin had requested more power. Therefore, he added extra atmosphere flower to some of the furnaces, and yet, was careful not to go overboard. After all, he was concocting these pills in his own residence, and if he somehow lost control of one of the batches, causing the furnace to explode ahead of schedule, he could end up hurting himself.
It was with caution and reserve that he continued to walk back and forth between the twenty different pill furnaces, making adjustments and occasionally adding more medicinal plants until all twenty of the furnaces were glowing bright red, and were emanating powerful medicinal aromas.
As he descended into complete and utter focus regarding this concocting session, the four young guards were off to the side, trembling with fear and anxiety. Then, after a few hours had passed, they noticed that Bai Xiaochun was putting lids onto all of the pill furnaces and sealing them. Instantly, the four guards' minds began to reel.
"This is bad! Grandmaster Bai is sealing the pill furnaces again!"
"Heavens! The last set of furnaces exploded because they were sealed, and the energy couldn't escape. After enough energy built up, the furnaces couldn't take it any longer, and exploded...."
"What do we do now?!" The four of them exchanged glances, then gritted their teeth and pulled out defensive magical items, simultaneously backing as far away from the pill furnaces as they could.
Bai Xiaochun's eyes were glued to the pill furnaces, and as he adjusted the earthflame, rumbling sounds began to rise up. "This time, one of these furnaces is definitely going to explode. It's hard to say which one it will be, but as long as just one of them blows, that will be enough!"
Of course, his mind was filled with the various ingredient ratios for all twenty furnaces. That, coupled with his manipulation of the earthflame and other concocting methods, would hopefully lead him in the direction of the ultimate medicine formula.
Soon, sixteen hours had gone by. All twenty pill furnaces were bright red, and were emanating terrifying fluctuations, as well as intense heat. The four young guards were shaking visibly, and their hair was standing on end.
"Last time it took only eight hours. But now... now...."
"It's already been sixteen hours so far!!"
Suddenly, four of the pill furnaces began to emit cracking sounds, and appeared to be in the process of breaking open!
Bai Xiaochun's eyes went wide, and he shouted, "They're gonna blow!!"
Simultaneously, he backed up, performing a double-handed incantation gesture as he threw a handful of paper talismans out in front of him, and even used a few magical items to put up some shields.
The faces of the four young guards completely fell, and yet, even as they hesitated about what to do, cracks spread out across the surfaces of seven more pill furnaces. Even the ground beneath those furnaces was starting to sink down and distort; clearly these furnaces were about to detonate!
"Last time only two detonated, and we almost had our souls wrenched out of our bodies. This time eleven are gonna blow!!" Without any hesitation, everyone began to flee from the courtyard.
As for Bai Xiaochun, he was so shocked that his eyes were on the verge of popping out of his head.
"Eleven of them this time!?" Even as a feeling of unease rose up in his heart, and he backed up, two more pill furnaces emitted cracking sounds! Two more furnaces were about to explode!
"Thirteen?!" Bai Xiaochun said with a gasp. Suddenly, he had a very bad feeling in the pit of his stomach. Even as he backed up more, shocking auras spread out from the thirteen pill furnaces, and more cracks appeared on their surfaces. By this point, it was actually possible to see with the naked eye that the energy buildup in the furnaces had reached the point where they would detonate at any moment.
However, that was when a peal of maniacal laughter suddenly rang out, and Bai Lin miraculously appeared, looking down elatedly at the thirteen pill furnaces, as if they were the most valuable of precious treasures. With that, he swished his sleeve, and the thirteen scalding hot pill furnaces flew up into the air like miniature suns. Then, Bai Lin called upon the full power of his cultivation base to shoot up toward the top of the Great Wall.
Immediately, the cultivators of the five legions saw Bai Lin and the thirteen brightly glowing pill furnaces, and thought back to the incredible scene which had played out only days before.
At that point, Bai Lin let out a powerful roar as he flung all thirteen of the pill furnaces out onto the battlefield.
The war recently had been playing out differently than usual, and the fighting had been going on this entire time. In the first stage of the conflict, the Wildlanders probed and harassed the Great Wall. Then they tampered with the Underworld River. And now, they were even drawing upon entire tribes of savages.
Although there weren't a huge number of tribes involved at the moment, there were a lot more present than usual. Furthermore, the savage tribes were currently in the middle of a major assault in which more than 10,000 savages joined together in a charge. In addition, they were surrounded by massive hordes of souls from the Underworld River.
Within that vast sea of souls were certain unique souls who were different and more powerful than the others, and it was with madness and ferocity that they hurtled toward the Great Wall and the shield.
The magical cannons on top of the Great Wall itself were being fired constantly, cutting through swath after swath of the enemy. It was in this moment that Bai Xiaochun's thirteen pill furnaces were hurled out.
Each one of the thirteen furnaces was only about three meters tall. Compared to the battlefield as a whole, they were very tiny. However, the intense red color with which they shone, coupled with the wild aura which spread out from them, instantly caught the attention of both the five legions and the savages.
As the pill furnaces flew through the air, many of the savages' faces fell. Those were ones who, although they had not seen the three pill furnaces a few days before, had heard the stories of the soul-exterminating magical items that the Great Wall forces were now using.
Because the exploding furnaces were a new development, the Wildlands forces had not yet devised a way to deal with them. All they could do was watch as the pill furnaces sailed through the air, then landed onto the ground with deafening booms.
The ground trembled as flames rushed out in all directions, along with blasts of energy that rolled along like tsunamis.
Even more shocking was the soul-shredding power contained within the blasts. That was the medicinal effect of the Soul Convergence Pills, which spread out to fill a 30,000-meter area. Within that area, all vengeful souls screamed in terror, but were unable to flee. Within the blink of an eye, the energy swept over them, completely destroying them!
It was a force that could not be defended against, and moved with incredible speed. From a distance, it almost looked like a pair of hands wiping away everything within that 30,000-meter area!
Moments later, those areas were completely empty....
The members of the savage tribes were flabbergasted. At the same time, at a location some distance away from the Great Wall itself was an area protected by spell formations and filled with ragged tents. In the middle of that area was a black altar floating in the air, upon which an old man sat cross-legged. Currently, his eyes were shining with disbelief and fury.
The source of that fury was an image he was looking at, projected onto a screen of water. Clearly visible was that empty, 30,000-meter area right outside the Great Wall!