After making the arrangements with Zhou Yixing, Bai Xiaochun stopped worrying about the two new shops. Instead, he hurried back to his own shop, exhilarated and in very high spirits.
“After this, those two old fogies won’t be underestimating me! The more experience you have in life, the sharper you get…. Take me for example. After everything that happened between me and that Whatchamacallit Society back in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, how could I not think of using this method?! Hmmmphh! It’s simple, but effective. I’ll just do the same thing!”
Bai Xiaochun had never forgotten what the malevolent Celestial Sky Society did with his Ultra Fasting Aid Pill. The way they took that special pill which he had used to replace spirit food, and completely ruined it, had caused him to slip into a deep depression.
“Since these two necromancers have come looking to cause problems for me, then they can’t blame me for being vicious and merciless in return!” With that, he settled down cross-legged to meditate. As he did, the light spilling in through the door cast him in stark shadow… making him look completely ambitious and ruthless.
The next day, Zhou Yixing went to work with the vengeful souls Bai Xiaochun had given him. Of course, he didn't do it himself. He hired people to go to the shops operated by Sima Tao and Sun Yifan, disguised as ordinary patrons, to purchase plenty of high-grade soul medicine.
High-grade soul medicine was expensive stuff, but Bai Xiaochun was clearly determined to come out on top. For the following several days, Zhou Yixing did the same thing, using different agents every time. Eventually, half a month went by, and he had quite a large collection of high-grade soul medicine.
Each and every portion was marked with the seal of either Sima Tao or Sun Yifan. Just having those marks on the soul medicine made it more expensive than before.
There were also some portions of mid-grade soul medicine that were marked with the grandmasters’ seals. Zhou Yixing bought all of them. A few more days went by, and finally, he ran out of the vengeful souls that Bai Xiaochun had given him.
At that point, he made contact with Bai Xiaochun. Late in the night, they met again in the same inn. Without even a moment of hesitation, Bai Xiaochun gave Zhou Yixing enough vengeful souls to buy an entire second collection of soul medicine, and then took the first collection away.
The next day, Zhou Yixing went to work again.
Meanwhile, Bai Xiaochun was back in his shop, hustling about as he prepared to get to work. Off to the side, Bai Hao watched, and soon had a fairly good idea of what exactly the plan was.
“Obviously, Master is buying up the competition’s soul medicine, and then tampering with it. Afterward, he’ll secretly distribute it, and when people start having problems, they’ll blame Sima Tao and Sun Yifan.
“It's a simple plan, and matchlessly vicious. However, that soul medicine was well-made, and won't be easy to tamper with. If people pick up on any of the clues, we could be shooting ourselves in the foot.” After a bit of hesitation, Bai Hao voiced his concerns to Bai Xiaochun.
“Don't worry, my apprentice. Master knows what to do. This will work perfectly!” Sticking his chin up proudly, he went into the back room and pulled out all of the soul medicine Zhou Yixing had purchased. After examining it closely, he had to admit that these two necromancers deserved their reputation. The medicine all abounded with soul power.
“Well, I don't have any other options. You were the ones who provoked me.” Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath, and a strange glint appeared in his eyes. He had reached a critical stage in the operation; he knew that if he tampered with the medicine and people realized it, then it would be exactly as Bai Hao had reasoned. However, Bai Xiaochun was confident, and it all went back to what had occurred back when he first arrived in the Wildlands and worked with soul medicine.
Back then, he had tried to treat soul medicine like medicinal pills, and combine Wildlands necromancy and the apothecary techniques from the Heavenspan River region to create a shocking type of soul pill.
However, despite wracking his brains and performing all sorts of tests, he realized that his idea was nothing more than wishful thinking. It was fundamentally impossible to combine the two different branches of study. However, he hadn’t come off completely empty-handed. He had discovered a way to insert toxic elements into soul medicine in a way that was completely undetectable. After all, because the two branches of study were completely different, it would be impossible for anybody unfamiliar with the apothecary arts to detect the foreign substance.
The only person who might notice would be someone who was both a grandmaster necromancer and a grandmaster apothecary. In the wildlands, necromancers were numerous, but apothecaries were essentially nonexistent!
The reason for that was that the plants and vegetation in the Wildlands were not suitable for use in medicines. It was for a similar reason that spirit enhanced magical devices were much more rare in the Heavenspan River region.
“I never thought that my previous failure would actually turn out to be a powerful tool.” Eyes flickering thoughtfully, he further pondered the idea of imbuing the soul medicine with toxic gas, and at the same time, doing so in a way that would not be lethal. After all, Bai Xiaochun was not the type who would rise to success by trampling upon mountains of innocent corpses.
“Aphrodisiac Pill? No, that pill is too cruel. Fantasy Pill…? No, that won’t work either. It got too famous. If the same effects show up here, people might think of my true identity. Besides, if the situation blew up, it would be difficult to get under control.”
After deliberating for a bit more time, his eyes began to shine.
“That green smoke from the Blood Stream Sect that gave people diarrhea would be perfect! Besides, if the situation blows up, there would be plenty of ways to get it back under control!” Pursing his lips to suppress his laughter, he thought back to the green smoke which had resulted when he tried to concoct the Misty Spirit Incense on Middle Peak in the Blood Stream Sect.
“Misty Spirit Incense, a tier-4 spirit medicine…. I could concoct something like that with my eyes closed.” He immediately began to rifle through his bag of holding. Although he didn’t have very many types of plants and vegetation, as a grandmaster apothecary, he had plenty of ways to alter medicine formulas. As a result, it wouldn't be difficult for him to get the result he wanted. After a bit more thought, he used the powers of his mask to shield himself from the outside, then pulled out a pill furnace and set it down in front of him.
“It's been a long time since I did any pill concocting.” After taking a moment to settle his qi and clear his mind, he set to work concocting some pills, and then began to take the green toxic gas that resulted and imbue it into the soul medicine.
The night passed uneventfully, and when he walked out of the room the following morning at dawn, Bai Hao could see that, despite his exhaustion, he was very excited. In fact, he was even laughing loudly.
“You want to fight me, Zhou Hong!? There’s nothing that Lord Bai hasn't experienced in life!” Thankfully, he had plenty of restrictive spells set up, ensuring that his voice didn’t go outside of the shop.
Worried about the situation, Bai Hao hurried over and was about to say something when Bai Xiaochun held out a portion of soul medicine.
“Here, my apprentice,” he said proudly. “Use every trick you know to study this portion of soul medicine and see if there’s anything wrong with it.”
A serious look appeared in Bai Hao’s eyes as he looked at the high-grade soul medicine. However, after studying it for a long moment, he couldn't see anything out of the ordinary. He even performed an incantation gesture and waved his finger, studying the soul medicine in every way he could think of. In the end, he had to admit that it looked like nothing more than an ordinary portion of soul medicine.
Lookup quizzically at Bai Xiaochun, he said, “Master, did you really tamper with this soul medicine? Or did you take out the wrong one?”
Bai Hao was both a ghost cultivator who existed as a soul body, and also a genius when it came to flame conjuring. If he couldn’t identify something unusual about the soul medicine, then it would be hard to find someone else in the Wildlands who could.
At first, Bai Xiaochun was worried that he had pulled out the wrong soul medicine, but after looking it over, he laughed heartily and said, “That's the right one! Within one month, those two shops’ names will be ruined!”
When he thought back to his own miserable defeat at the hands of the Celestial Sky Society way back when, he knew that he was pulling a vicious and dirty trick. However, his opponents had really forced him into a corner….
“When I make a move, I frighten even myself!” Rushing out of the shop, he contacted Zhou Yixing to set up another meeting. After handing over all of the tampered soul medicine, he gave some warnings and instructions that Zhou Yixing accepted without question. Afterward, Bai Xiaochun left in a wonderful mood.
Zhou Yixing was definitely a skilled follower. He had only been in Arch-Emperor City for a short time, but had plenty of men and resources at his disposal back in Giant Ghost City. Therefore, it was relatively easy for him to make certain connections in his new home. Almost immediately, he began to arrange for dealers to distribute the soul medicine.
This soul medicine was high-grade, and had the marks of grandmasters on them. Furthermore, no amount of inspection would reveal any flaw in them. Considering that they were being offered at a discounted price, it made them easy to sell. In fact, were it not for the fact that Bai Xiaochun had expressly forbidden it, it would have been possible to sell the entire batch of soul medicine in one go.
It only took about a day to get the high-grade soul medicine distributed within Arch-Emperor City. Not too long after that, the second batch that Zhou Yixing had purchased was finished, and also began to filter out into the city. More and more soul cultivators were getting their hands on it….
Of course, Zhou Yixing made sure that most of it went to soul cultivators from Borough 89 and the surrounding boroughs.
Before long, a third batch was being sold, then a fourth and a fifth…. during the half month that passed, more and more cultivators acquired such medicine. And then, gradually, very strange things began to happen….
1. Bai Xiaochun created the method to insert toxic elements into soul medicine back in
2. The incident with concocting the Misty Spirit Incense was in