After leaving Cellblock D, Bai Xiaochun ran into some soul cultivators from Squad 9, and took some time to chat with them. Later, he ended up back in his quarters.
“It'll still be a while before Squad 9 is back on patrol duty. I should take advantage of the time to perform spirit enhancements on everything I can.” Bai Xiaochun could actually visualize the amazing sight of himself, adorned head to toe with items that had fourteenfold spirit enhancements. He would shine like a magical treasure!
He even laughed proudly for a bit before setting up some spell formations and taking other precautions to ensure his privacy. Next he used the vast numbers of vengeful souls in his soulhoarding pagoda to produce more tongues of fourteen-colored flame. Finally, he pulled out his turtle-wok and set to work performing some spirit enhancements.
The first thing he enhanced was the Eternal Parasol. Upon receiving its fourteenth spirit enhancement, it changed appearance again. The ghost face on the surface of the parasol now had an enigmatic expression that seemed to be laughing and crying at the same time. Furthermore, on the ghost face’s forehead was a long mark that contained, not a third eye, but another ghost face. The mere sight of it left Bai Xiaochun completely shaken.
“The next step will be a fifteenfold spirit enhancement. That will create a magical item at the deva level.” Bai Xiaochun’s eyes shone brightly, and he licked his lips. He knew that once an item received a fifteenfold spirit enhancement, it would emanate a devlike aura. Items like that were rare even in the Wildlands.
After all, despite how much multi-colored flame existed in the Wildlands, the chances of success when performing spirit enhancements were the same. Because of that, it was more common to see lower-level items, but not higher-level items.
If Bai Xiaochun actually did completely equip himself with fourteenfold enhanced items, it wouldn’t be something completely unheard of in the Wildlands. However, it would still be very shocking.
After enhancing the Eternal Parasol, he looked around to confirm that he hadn’t attracted any unwanted attention, then removed his mask and enhanced it before putting it back on. After that, he started working on his other magical items. He enhanced Zhou Yixing’s bow, as well as the powerful arrows he had collected. He also enhanced his flying swords, and some of the other important magical items he had.
At some point, he thought back to how the silkpants from the great clans had been wearing treasured clothing. Not willing to be outdone, he went to the outrageous length of performing fourteenfold spirit enhancements on some of the clothing in his bag of holding....
That was a level of luxury that, if word spread about it, would cause people to go crazy. Eventually, Bai Xiaochun found that he had run out of things to perform spirit enhancements on. He was now at the point that people would definitely go mad if they could see everything he had performed enhancements on. He was now completely equipped with fourteenfold enhanced items.... At this point, he could definitely be described as being armed to the teeth.
“If I ran into that Bai Clan deva patriarch now, I could probably kill him if I really wanted to!” Laughed heartily, he examined his souls, and found that he had only gone through a bit more than half of his supply.
“Although I can’t increase my cultivation base right now, my battle prowess is much higher than before. If I could only conjure fifteen-colored flame, and be equipped with fifteenfold spirit enhanced items... then any deva who ran into me would be flabbergasted! Yeah, that would be the best. Shock them to death! Then I wouldn’t have to fight. Hahahahaha....” Although he was extremely pleased, he also knew that flaunting one’s wealth was a good way to get into trouble. His mask could keep his general power level a secret, but he still took the time to cover up the golden designs on all of his items.
With that, he sat down cross-legged and used Bai Hao’s research notes to start contemplating the formula for fifteen-colored flame.
Soon, seven days passed, during which time he was completely focused on fifteen-colored flame.
To any necromancer clan, being able to conjure fifteen-colored flame was extremely important. Although Bai Hao’s notes contained information about fifteen-colored flame, that information wasn’t complete. Fifteen-colored flame was extremely difficult, so much so that during his seven days of research and contemplation, Bai Xiaochun was left stunned.
If one were to use numbers to describe the difference in difficulty between fourteen-colored flame and fifteen-colored flame, the former would have a difficulty level of ten, and the latter, one hundred!
Considering that fifteen-colored flame was ten times as difficult, that meant that the two types of flame were as vastly separated as heaven and earth. In fact, fifteen-colored flame was like an obstacle to virtually all terrestrial necromancers in the Wildlands.
Success with it would make someone a celestial necromancer, of which there were only a few dozen in all of the Wildlands. From that alone it could be seen how difficult fifteen-colored flame was to conjure.
Unfortunately, there was nothing Bai Xiaochun could do about that other than to focus on his research and augury. Eventually, he reached the point of being confident enough to perform some initial tests. But after another three days passed, he ended up tugging at his hair in frustration. He had now spent ten days of research and augury on fifteen-colored flame, and was left with nothing to show for it but a frown.
It was at that point that he heard the captain of Squad 9 talking outside, and he seemed to be bursting with joy.
“Get out here, Bai Hao. Something big is going down!”
Frowning, Bai Xiaochun walked outside to find the captain standing there looking very happy.
“What’s going on, Captain?” Bai Xiaochun said, stifling a yawn. “Is there a new prisoner or something?”
“Exactly, it's a new prisoner. However, he’s not being sent to Cellblock D. Furthermore, the person requesting your presence regarding this new prisoner is the warden himself!” With that, he grabbed Bai Xiaochun and began to drag him away.
“The warden?” Bai Xiaochun’s jaw dropped as he thought back to Li Xu, who he had met outside the moat back when he had first arrived. “Could it be that since the giant ghost king isn't paying much attention to me, the Cai Clan or the Bai Clan is trying to cause trouble?” he thought. However, considering how happy the captain seemed, that didn’t seem likely.
Stopping in place, he asked, “Captain, what exactly is going on?”
“Something great! Something wonderful!” The captain laughed heartily, but could also see that Bai Xiaochun was feeling a bit nervous. Pulling him back into motion, he started into a detailed explanation.
Soon, everything became clear to Bai Xiaochun....
According to the captain, a new prisoner had arrived recently in Cellblock A. Apparently, this prisoner was very, very important, and getting him to talk was such a vital matter that the warden himself had taken an interest in the matter.
This new prisoner was very tight-lipped, so much so that not even the dark inquisitors from the four cellblocks had been able to get him to utter a single word. Because he was a Nascent Soul cultivator, performing a soulsearch on him wouldn’t be very effective, and would likely end up killing him. Therefore, this new prisoner had become a thorn in the side of Devil Penitentiary as a whole.
The warden was under a lot pressure because of the situation, and had flown into a rage a few times because of it. Unfortunately, despite using all the methods at their disposal, the four dark inquisitors had come up with nothing.
Having hit a dead end, the deputy warden of Cellblock D, Sun Peng, had pointed out that Bai Hao was very skilled at performing interrogations. He even explained how he had forced all the long-time prisoners in Cellblock D to give up their information.
Normally, a matter this important wouldn’t end up being revealed to Bai Xiaochun. However, Li Xu was out of options, and when Sun Peng mentioned Bai Hao, he remembered that he was somewhat important. Being desperate, he decided that he might as well give this Bai Hao a shot.
“Bai, my boy, this is a good opportunity!” the captain said excitedly. “If you can get this prisoner to talk, you’ll become the number one dark inquisitor in Devil Penitentiary!” The captain had complete confidence in Bai Xiaochun, and was sure that nobody in the world could remain tight-lipped in his presence.
“Although being the number one dark inquisitor doesn’t come with a formal appointment, according to the rules of Devil Penitentiary, as long as all four cellblocks agree on the matter, then it will be official. The number one dark inquisitor has a standing just beneath the warden, and is just as powerful as the deputy wardens!
“If you succeed, you’ll achieve a meteoric rise! In fact, you would be able to get access to the wealth of the long-time prisoners in the other three cellblocks. When that happens, just don’t forget about your old squad in Cellblock D!” Talking excitedly the whole way, the captain dragged Bai Xiaochun toward Cellblock A.
Now that Bai Xiaochun understood everything, he breathed a sigh of relief. As long as the Bai and Cai Clans hadn’t come for him, he had nothing to be afraid of. In fact, considering it was merely a matter of an interrogation, he wasn’t worried at all.
“Ah, this is nothing. Don’t worry, Captain, there are no secrets that I can’t uncover.” Sticking his chin up proudly, he hurried along with the captain toward Cellblock A.
Cellblock A looked very similar to Cellblock D. However, it was much larger, and also much more sinister. It was filled with a cold, frightening aura, and the guards’ quarters were filled with powerful soul fluctuations. Clearly, practicing cultivation here would be very beneficial.
In the square in the middle of Cellblock A, there was a huge skull containing a middle-aged man in tattered clothing. There was someone else in the cage, holding the man up by the neck, and yet, the prisoner still had a look of disdain in his eyes. For some reason, he looked familiar to Bai Xiaochun.
Quite a group of people had gathered outside the cage. There was Sun Peng from Cellblock D, who was flanked by three sinister-looking old men, who were none other than the deputy wardens from the other cellblocks.
There were four other cultivators as well, some of them old, some of them young. However, without exception, they all had cold, sinister auras. It almost seemed like walking into their midst would be like walking into a pit of vipers!
Bai Xiaochun only recognized one among that group of four, him being the dark inquisitor of Cellblock D. Based on that, it seemed obvious that the other three were the number one inquisitors from the other cellblocks, the dark inquisitors.
In addition to them, a large group of Cellblock A guards were present.
In addition to everyone mentioned so far, there was the person holding the prisoner by the neck. He was none other than... Warden Li Xu!
When Li Xu sensed new arrivals, he loosened his grip on the prisoner and turned to look at Bai Xiaochun.
The look in his eye was as vicious as a wolf’s and as sharp as a blade!