This group of six all had extraordinary cultivation bases. After saluting Bai Xiaochun, they offered their names and stated the levels of their cultivation bases. Four were in early Core Formation, one was in the mid stage, and one was in the late stage, the latter being one of the young women.
Her name was Liu Li. She was pretty, with phoenix-like eyes set in a young face. Despite her youthful appearance, she was buxom in a way that her armor couldn't hide. In fact, her armor had been crafted in a way that made her look good-looking, and even heroic.
Bai Xiaochun was the lieutenant of the squad, with Zhao Long and Liu Li being the next strongest, and his immediate subordinates. Already, their group was strong enough to shake almost the entire Middle Reaches cultivation world.
Furthermore, from what Bai Xiaochun could tell, this group of ten were all friends with each other. Presumably, they had met in some other part of the army, and got along quite well. Most likely, they also had the ability to form and operate a spell formation. With their combined power, it would probably be possible for them to tangle with someone in the Nascent Soul stage, and if not defeat them, at least cause them quite a headache in battle!
As Bai Xiaochun sized them up, they were doing the same to him. The truth was just as Bai Xiaochun had suspected; they had long since been a small team. Zhao Long's suggestion, plus the fact that they had personally witnessed the pill furnaces exploding on the other side of the wall, convinced them that becoming followers of this mysterious apothecary would be a good thing for them.
Unfortunately, now that they were actually laying eyes on him for the first time, they were a bit let down. Not only did he seem quite young, but there was something that made him seem somehow untrustworthy.
Bai Xiaochun gave a few words of explanation about his requirements and then, considering that it was already evening, gave them the rest of the day off. From this day forth, they would live in his courtyard, and would be responsible for carrying out all of his commands.
During the night, the fighting still went on outside of the Great Wall. However, because of the spell formation shield, Great Wall City itself was very quiet.
Bai Xiaochun sat quietly in his residence, looking at this lieutenant's command medallion. After a moment, he sent some divine sense into it, and once again felt the connection between himself and the huge eye on top of the pagoda.
At the same time, he branded the medallion with his life sense, causing it to flicker with violet light. Moments later, he was able to see his accumulated battle credit.
"43,753?" he murmured.
"Lieutenants are pretty impressive. But if I could become a captain, it would probably be even more impressive. Then I could command a hundred cultivators." Filled with anticipation at the thought, he decided to check the requirements to get a promotion to captain.
"1,000,000?" His jaw dropped.
"That's way too much...." he thought, frowning. Then, he read further into the matter, and his frown deepened.
"There are different rewards for exterminating vengeful souls than there are for killing savages. And you get even more battle credit for taking out soul cultivators and necromancers." At this point, his eyes began to shine.
"Well, no need to get antsy. I can get battle credit by just making exploding pill furnaces, right? Doing that is a piece of cake. It all comes down to Soul Convergence Pills!
"If I could concoct a truly powerful Soul Convergence Pill, then I could rake in a whole bunch of battle credit with almost no effort!" Having reached this point in his train of thought, Bai Xiaochun felt more excited than ever.
Of course, battle credit was good for more than just getting promotions. Therefore, he decided to check what items were available for purchase.
All you had to do was go to the tower and meet the requirements of the eye, and then whatever you wanted was yours.
After a moment of silence, he murmured. "I really don't have enough battle credit at the moment."
With that, he decided to check his cultivation base.
"I'm not too far from being at the great circle of the Gold Core stage. Sadly, the spiritual energy here is too weak. It won't be very easy to speed up my cultivation that way.... If I got enough military credit, though, I could easily get my hands on some cultivation resources." After some thought, he sent some divine sense out to confirm that no one was in the area watching him. Then he produced a handful of paper talismans which he set up around his residence.
Then he guiltily opened up his bag of holding and pulled out some earthspirit tubers!
The earthspirit tubers were completely golden, and were covered with countless ringed lines which could be used to determine their age. Each tuber had more than a hundred of them.
"They're all more than a hundred years old...." he thought, licking his lips. The truth was that, although he did need these tubers to concoct Soul Convergence Pills, he didn't need very many.
The reason he had requested a thousand of them, as well as certain other precious medicinal plants, was that he planned to secretly keep a few for himself, and use them to increase the power of his qi and blood, and also strengthen his life force.
After all, life force was key to cultivating his Undying Live Forever Technique.
"With these earthspirit tubers, my Undying Tendons should advance by leaps and bounds!" Even a single hundred-year-old earthspirit tuber would fetch an astronomical price if sold publicly. In fact, in auctions, they would usually be classified as precious materials of heaven and earth.
In Great Wall City, only someone like Bai Lin would be able to acquire so many at the drop of a hat. Bai Xiaochun could only imagine how he'd done it. A huge price must have been paid to get the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect to part with a thousand of them.
With such thoughts on his mind, he looked around again to make sure that no one was spying on him. Then he took one of the earthspirit tubers and performed a spirit enhancement using his turtle-wok. After all, he had also requested fuel for numerous different types of multi-colored flame. Almost immediately, the earthspirit tuber was even more extraordinary than it had been before.
Unfortunately, he only had enough fuel to enhance a few more. When he finally gave up, he picked up one of the spirit enhanced earthspirit tubers and took a bite.
He suddenly felt like he was right back in the Ovens, causing his heart to swell.
"I wonder how Eldest Brother is doing back on Sky Quarter Rainbow?" he thought. Suddenly he recalled everyone he knew back in the River-Defying Sect, such as Li Qinghou, Hou Xiaomei, and Song Junwan. All sorts of memories floated up in his mind.
At the same time, he felt his life force surging hotter and hotter until it was like a fire. He immediately began to work with his Undying Live Forever Technique, causing the Undying Tendons in his left leg to become like a black hole, sucking in all of the heat.
The night passed quickly, during which time Bai Xiaochun consumed the entire hundred-year-old earthspirit tuber. Anyone else who did something like that would find their life force surging with incredible vitality.
But Bai Xiaochun was different. His Undying Live Forever Technique almost seemed like a bottomless pit. Thankfully, the Undying Tendons on his left leg were almost complete, and he was even beginning to develop his right leg.
Soon, he could sense that his fleshly body power was increasing with incredible intensity.
When the light of day spread out, he began to concoct medicine again. This time, he didn't fall behind at all, but instead, increased to fifty batches. Thanks to the constant testing, he was making some progress toward a more powerful Soul Convergence Pill, and yet, was not pleased with the results. So far, nothing seemed to have reached the ultimate level that he knew was possible. However, he wasn't in a hurry, and was convinced that his tests would soon lead to a complete success.
Besides, with every day that passed, pill furnaces continued to detonate.
As far as Bai Lin was concerned, everything was going great. In fact, at one point when Bai Xiaochun was worried that he would run out of pill furnaces, Bai Lin had a whole new batch delivered....
General Bai had long since fallen in love with the exploding furnaces. To him, they weren't tools for concocting medicine, they were weapons to harvest vengeful souls!
As time went by, Bai Xiaochun continued to work on his cultivation. Eventually, he found that he had gone through so many earthspirit tubers that he only had a few dozen left.
That night, his entire right leg seemed to burn with incredible heat, and to pulse with incredible power. Rumbling sounds echoed out, causing everything in the area to shake.
"It worked!" he thought excitedly. As of this moment, he could sense a terrifying fleshly body power radiating from both of his legs!
In combination with the Undying Hex, he was confident that not even a Nascent Soul cultivator could catch up with him now, at least not without using a minor teleportation! Bursting into motion, he sped to a location 3,000 meters away in his courtyard, and by the time he had come to a rest and was standing there, the sound of his movement still hadn't reached his ears!
"Faster than the speed of sound!" Elated, Bai Xiaochun threw his head back and laughed uproariously.