“Huh?” Bai Xiaochun said, a bit taken aback. “Two plans?”
In the short time he had been together with Bai Hao, he had already come to see that he was extremely talented, so much so that he qualified to shake all of the Wildlands.
Without Bai Hao, Bai Xiaochun would have faced nearly insurmountable difficulties when it came to flame conjuring.
However, it wasn’t just Bai Hao’s skill in flame conjuring that was impressive. Although Bai Xiaochun definitely had something to do with the success of the shop, much of it had to do with how Bai Hao handled everyday business. Overall, Bai Xiaochun was very pleased by the arrangement.
However, he had noticed a weakness in his apprentice. Bai Hao always thought of things in a very limited way. He simply didn’t match up to Bai Xiaochun, who thought grand thoughts and carried out dashing plans….
Looking very serious, Bai Hao lowered his voice and said, “Master, these two plans of mine are currently in the early stages of planning. If you want more details, I’ll need to put a bit more thought into them and work everything out. Or I can come up with some other ideas.”
Bai Xiaochun waved his hand dismissively and said, “No, that’s fine, tell me your ideas.”
Then he looked at his apprentice with eager anticipation.
Looking thoughtful, Bai Hao continued. “Master, Sun Yifan from Nine Serenities City and Sima Tao from Spirit Advent City are both celestial necromancers. One of them is a high counselor to a king, and the other comes from an aristocratic necromancer clan. On the surface, it seems like they’re cooperating, but the truth is… as grandmaster necromancers, they're both very arrogant. There’s no way that they truly get along.”
The truth was that Bai Hao really had put a lot of thought into the situation, and was not just shooting his mouth; he was providing a fairly accurate analysis.
“Because of that, it doesn’t really matter who is behind the scenes organizing all this. All we have to do is make it so that these two grandmasters stop following orders, which should be possible as long as they aren’t acting directly on behalf of their respective kings. You see, both of them view their reputation as being all important. Although they are currently holding back, the two of them definitely are interested in outdoing the other…. We just need to throw some fuel on the fire, and the two of them will start squabbling with each other!” Bai Hao’s eyes glittered, and his tone grew more sinister.
“Master, all you have to do is make that happen, then suck it up a bit and get on the good side of one of them by acknowledging him as superior. Not only would that improve your own reputation, you also could use it as an attack on the other. In terms of all the complicated things that need to happen behind the scenes, I can handle that. By following this plan, it will only take a short period of time to achieve the first measure of success.” With that, Bai Hao stopped talking and looked over at Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun blinked a few times as he considered the matter. Pretending to bow his head to one of the two newcomers was something he could accept. However, even as he pondered Bai Hao’s words, his own thoughts brought him back to a situation which had occurred when he first got to the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect.
Bai Hao could tell that his Master suddenly seemed a bit distracted. Feeling a bit hesitant, he continued with his second plan.
“There’s another plan I came up with,” he explained. “This one is a bit more direct, and also a bit more high profile. It will probably lead to more situations that have to be dealt with. You could participate in a competition with Sun Yifan and Sima Tao regarding necromancy and spirit enhancement, and then crush them. It could lead to other problems. However, if we managed to get them to challenge you, Master, then as the accused party, you could strike back with impunity.”
Afterward, Bai Xiaochun remained silent and thoughtful for a bit. Then his eyes glittered, and he suddenly looked very excited.
“Hahaha! Well done, apprentice. Those two plans are excellent. However, I actually have a better way to deal with the situation!”
Bai Hao’s eyes widened. “Master….”
His heart began to pound when he thought about how Bai Xiaochun had handled matters in the past. For some reason, he was already getting a bad feeling about the situation.
“Fear not, my apprentice, Master has a lot of experience handling situations like this. Just watch and learn!” With that, Bai Xiaochun rose to his feet, looking very excited and confident. To him, the sky already looked bluer than it had before.
The truth was that if Bai Xiaochun hadn’t mentioned having experience, then Bai Hao would actually have felt a lot better. But now, he got a very sinking feeling about what was to come. At that point, Bai Xiaochun produced a transmission jade slip from his bag of holding.
“Hmmmphh! I don’t care if this is business warfare, do you really think I'm afraid of you? Back in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, Lord Bai was unparalleled under heaven. When it comes to fighting wars without landing blows, nobody can beat me!” Feeling quite proud, he quickly sent a message to Zhou Yixing back in Giant Ghost City.
The task he had in mind for him was something that Zhou Yixing would easily be able to handle. Furthermore, considering that Zhou Yixing still had the restrictive spell in him, his life and death could be controlled by a single thought from Bai Xiaochun.
He hadn’t contacted Zhou Yixing since coming to Arch-Emperor City, the reason being the death of Li Feng. Obviously, Bai Xiaochun had heard of the incident which had occurred during the battle with the savage tribe.
He had immediately begun to suspect the significance of the event, and had eventually come to realize what it meant about Zhou Yixing.
It had put Bai Xiaochun on guard, and he had decided to leave Zhou Yixing to his own designs for a short time before deciding what to do with him.
Zhou Yixing was currently in a mansion he owned in Giant Ghost City, looking very gloomy. Things had gone well for him after Bai Xiaochun’s departure, and everyone had treated him respectfully. But as time went on, relations with the powerful groups in the city had cooled, and were not like they had been in the past.
Not all of them were distancing themselves, and Zhou Yixing still had his ways to assert his power.
However, he was feeling very conflicted about being left behind in Giant Ghost City. He wanted to be with Bai Xiaochun in Arch-Emperor City, and yet, Bai Xiaochun had apparently gotten too busy to think about him.
“Could it be that I really made the wrong choice…?” That was a question he asked himself more and more often nowadays. However, there was nothing he could do but stick to his guns and wait to see what happened. If enough time passed and Bai Xiaochun didn't contact him, then he could always take the initiative to send a message.
Even as he sat pondering these issues, the transmission jade slip in his bag of holding suddenly vibrated. After pulling it out anxiously, a stream of divine sense entered his mind, and he heard Bai Xiaochun’s voice.
“Zhou Yixing, come to Arch-Emperor City!”
Heart bursting with excitement, he didn’t delay for even a moment. After making all the necessary arrangements, he headed toward the teleportation portal.
Before long, he was in Arch-Emperor City. It was his first time in the place, and he was immediately awed by its grandeur. It took a long moment for him to calm down and then find the inn that Bai Xiaochun had instructed him to stay at.
That evening, Bai Xiaochun slipped into the inn unnoticed and found Zhou Yixing.
“Milord!” Zhou Yixing said, shooting to his feet, clasping hands, and bowing deeply. Although he was very excited, he kept it out of his voice and facial expression. Instead, he put a serious expression onto his face that said he would climb mountains of daggers and swim through seas of flames if Bai Xiaochun asked him to.
Bai Xiaochun handed a bag of holding to Zhou Yixing and then lowered his voice and said, “Take these vengeful souls and other resources. Go to the shops run by Sima Tao and Sun Yifan and buy as many of the high-grade soul medicines they have that are marked with their seals!”
Zhou Yixing immediately bowed his head in agreement, a very serious expression on his face. Although he had just arrived in Arch-Emperor City, he had been receiving some reports about Bai Xiaochun’s activities, and was generally aware of the situation. As such, he immediately understood what Bai Xiaochun was talking about.
“Don’t worry, milord,” he said with decisiveness that could sever nails and chop iron. “I’ll handle it all immediately!”
A smile appeared on Bai Xiaochun’s face. He offered a few more words of encouragement, and then gave the formula for thirteen-colored flame to Zhou Yixing, along with some advice on how to use it. Bai Xiaochun had done similar things back in Giant Ghost City, the result being that Zhou Yixing was already a terrestrial necromancer skilled with twelve-colored flame.
Combined with the special advice Bai Xiaochun had given, this formula was essentially the most precious of treasures to Zhou Yixing, whose heart swelled with gratitude.
Although the advice from Bai Xiaochun couldn’t match up to personal experience, it would at least make things easier. More important was that it indicated to Zhou Yixing how Bai Xiaochun felt about him.
Furthermore, Bai Xiaochun also promised him that as soon as he mastered thirteen-colored flame, he would give him the formula for fourteen-colored flame, along with some personal advice. At that point, Zhou Yixing felt more certain than ever that he had made the right decision.