Bai Xiaochun was sitting cross-legged inside Great Wall City, feeling very uneasy, although he wasn't sure why. Suddenly, his eyes snapped open, and he looked around with a strange expression on his face. However, after a moment passed, nothing happened, so he went back to cultivation.
Eventually, when the sun was setting, he finally let out a long breath and then emerged from his residence.
Clearing his throat, he said, "Bring the furnaces over!"
Instantly, Liu Li, Zhao Long, and the rest of his squad all sprang into action and began setting up fifty pill furnaces in a circle around him.
By now, they had grown used to Bai Xiaochun's ways, and how famous he had become now that he was on the Wildlands' Execution List.
At the same time, he had treated them well, bestowing medicinal pills and magical items upon them frequently. After all, despite not having a huge accumulation of battle credit, he did get more and more on a daily basis, and was not the stingy type. He wanted everyone around him to be just as happy as he was.
Therefore, Zhao Long and the others didn't mind being ordered around. After setting up the pill furnaces, they took their places to stand guard.
After things were set up, Bai Xiaochun nodded in satisfaction. Waving his hand, he opened all of the pill furnaces, and then sent large quantities of medicinal plants flying out. As was his usual custom, he made unique adjustments to all fifty of the medicine formulas.
The pill furnaces began to heat up, whereupon Bai Xiaochun began to walk amongst them, occasionally adding ingredients to a furnace here, or adjusting the heat to a furnace there. After about two hours had passed, all the proper adjustments had been made, and he began to seal the furnaces.
As Bai Xiaochun sealed pill furnaces, Zhao Long and the others exchanged glances, and then began to whisper among themselves.
"I wonder how many will explode this time?"
"I bet it will be twenty or less!"
"Yesterday, seventeen blew up, so I bet that it will be more than twenty today!"
This was how things usually went....
After sealing all of the furnaces, Bai Xiaochun brushed off his hands and walked back into his residence, paying the furnaces no more heed.
Another eight hours passed, after which one of the pill furnaces began to emit cracking sounds. As usual, Bai Lin showed up, whereupon Bai Xiaochun ended his session of cultivation and walked out to meet him.
"Thank you for your hard work, Grandmaster Bai," Bai Lin said with a smile. He viewed Bai Xiaochun more favorably with each day that passed.
"It's no trouble at all," Bai Xiaochun replied grandly, looking very much like an important hero. "I do everything for the Great Wall! However, I have to say, Old Bai, I'm almost out of pill furnaces, and am running very low on medicinal plants, especially earthspirit tubers. Next time, bring a few more than usual."
"No problem. I'll handle it right away!" Bai Lin continued to watch the furnaces with sparkling eyes until more cracking sounds began to ring out. With every pill furnace that began to show signs of exploding, Bai Lin would get more excited. Furthermore, in order to ensure that they would all explode at the same time, he would often draw upon the power of his cultivation base to suppress the more unstable ones.
Eventually, when twenty-seven pill furnaces were on the verge of exploding, and the others clearly weren't, Bai Lin laughed heartily, flicked his sleeve, and shot toward the Great Wall with the furnaces.
As usual, Bai Xiaochun flew along behind him to see what would happen on the battlefield. After all, such direct observations of the exploding furnaces helped a lot when it came to adjusting his medicine formulas.
Bai Lin knew that Bai Xiaochun liked to watch the explosions personally, so he flew slow enough that he could follow along. When they both reached the Great Wall, Bai Lin flung the twenty-seven furnaces out in twenty-seven different directions.
When the cultivators of the five legions saw what was happening, they began to cheer in support. In contrast, the savages down on the battlefield gritted their teeth and began to back up. As for the vengeful souls, once the pill furnaces appeared, they became almost impossible for the necromancers to control, and instinctively began to scatter.
The mere sight of what was happening before the pill furnaces detonated left Bai Xiaochun feeling quite wonderful. However....
Even as the savages and souls began to flee, a dozen or so sphere-shaped beasts suddenly flew out onto the battlefield.
They moved with incredible speed, and at the same time, expanded rapidly, becoming a dozen 30-meter-tall spheroids that shot toward the incoming pill furnaces.
As they closed in, the spheroid beasts opened their mouths wide. Next, intense sucking sounds could be heard as the pill furnaces were suddenly wrenched in their direction.
The unexpected development occurred so quickly that before anyone on the Great Wall had a chance to react, the spheroid beasts had gobbled up all of the pill furnaces!
Moments later, muffled thuds could be heard from inside them. The creatures bulged, and their eyes went wide, but after a moment, nothing else happened, and they actually just closed their eyes again.
Then, they slowly deflated, returning to their original size. Finally, they opened their mouths and burped out wisps of black smoke, which slowly faded away in the wind.
The entire battlefield went silent. The cultivators on the wall looked on with wide eyes, and Bai Lin stood there trembling, the killing intent in his eyes rising rapidly.
The dozen spheroid beasts were all surrounded by rippling distortions that indicated that they were under the protection of powerful guardians. If Bai Lin personally went out to try to deal with him, he would be in great danger, and the rest of the forces on the wall would be forced to decide whether or not to come out to aid him.
"Dammit!" Bai Lin growled, the killing intent in his eyes growing stronger. By this point, he had come to understand that the Wildlanders' goal in this entire campaign was to get deva patriarch Chen Hetian to come out of the city. If that happened, a trap would likely be sprung in an attempt to kill him.
"I never could have guessed that they would come up with a way to deal with the pill furnaces in less than half a year. Those weird beasts have obviously been mutated recently...." Even as Bai Lin sighed darkly, the savages outside the wall began to cackle madly. As for the vengeful souls, their murderous auras grew even more intense, and they once again began to charge across the battlefield.
This time, the charge was made with more intense violence than before. Booms instantly rang out, along with miserable screams.
The cultivators of the five legions could do little more than steel themselves and once again fight to defend the Great Wall.
As of this moment, few people were paying any attention at all to Bai Xiaochun; everyone knew that his exploding pill furnaces had been rendered useless.
To see the pill furnaces that he had so painstakingly prepared for detonation be consumed just like that first left Bai Xiaochun staring in mute shock. It was almost as if his mind had been smashed with a sledgehammer.
"How could this be happening? What kind of beasts are those?!?!?!" He felt as if his heart were in physical pain.
"No more battle credit? No more medicinal plants? No more pill furnaces? And on top of it all, I wasted a whole bunch of time and energy on concocting medicine!!" Bai Xiaochun let out a bellow of anger, his eyes completely bloodshot.
At the moment, he felt like someone had just ruined his life. Without battle credit income like he had before, his dreams of being promoted to captain would be completely dashed.
When he thought of that, his anger grew even hotter.
Furthermore, having his pill furnaces destroyed right in front of all the other cultivators was like a slap to the face, and was a severe blow to his self-esteem. As he stood there glaring at the spheroid beasts, he felt like he had just fallen out of the sky and slammed into the earth.
"You just wait. How dare you consume Bai Xiaochun's pill furnaces! I'm gonna make you regret it!"
Rage burning, he spun and shot back to the Armory. As for Bai Lin, he saw Bai Xiaochun's reaction and sighed. Bai Lin knew that it wouldn't be long before all of the savage tribes in the Wildlands would have those same spheroid beasts, which had obviously been specifically designed to deal with Bai Xiaochun's pill furnaces!
Before long, Bai Xiaochun was back in the Armory and walking into his courtyard residence. "How dare you consume my pill furnaces! How dare you destroy my medicinal pills! Challenging me, huh?! Trifling little beasts. With the snap of a finger, I, Bai Xiaochun will reduce all of you to ashes!
"Zhao Long. Liu Li. All of you stand guard, and don't let anyone inside. I'm going into secluded meditation!!" Waving his arm, he dragged eight pill furnaces with him into his personal residence, slamming the door shut behind him with a bang. Zhao Long and the others gasped, unsure of what had happened. None of them had ever seen Bai Xiaochun like this.
"What's going on?" As they exchanged awkward glances, uneasy feelings rose up in their hearts.