After Bai Xiaochun went inside with Sun Yifan and Sima Tao, the crowd began to disperse, discussing the events as they did. Everyone was very excited, many of them using transmission jade slips to send the soul-shaking news to friends and family.
It was easy to imagine how short of a time it would take for the name Bai Hao to be the talk of Arch-Emperor City.
Furthermore, the smooth way he had worked things out in the end led to expressions of admiration high and low. However, it also caused a strange glint to appear in the eye of Chen Manyao, who up to this point had been vacillating about his identity.
“Wait a second…. From what I remember, that’s exactly how Bai Xiaochun usually does things! He's very smooth, and loves to resolve hostilities…. Back when the Blood Stream Sect and the Spirit Stream Sect were about to go to war, and everyone was sure it was going to happen, Bai Xiaochun smoothed things out….” She continued to contemplate the matter as she left with the crowd, and was soon almost home. However, before she arrived, she suddenly stopped in place, her eyes shining.
“And then there was what happened with that soul medicine. It would make perfect sense if it were him…. After all, back in the Blood Stream Sect, people called him Plaguedevil…. However, the biggest clue is that what he did is exactly what the Celestial Sky Society did to him back in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect!!”
Chen Manyao stood there, shaken as she thought back to how he had acted in the Necromancer Kettle when she tried to probe him for information. When combined with the Celestial Sky Society clue, everything made perfect sense. She smiled.
Of course, Chen Manyao was a beautiful girl, so her smile was like the blossoming of a hundred flowers. Many passersby noticed, and their eyes sparkled.
“He’s… definitely Bai Xiaochun!!” she thought. For some reason, joy suddenly welled up in her heart, and she turned to look back toward Borough 89, and Bai Xiaochun’s shop. Another moment passed, and she left.
Bai Xiaochun had no way of knowing that his smooth behavior and unique tactics had revealed his identity. If he did, he would have been scared witless, and would have been marveling at how terrifying women were. That sort of careful attention to detail was something that men were almost powerless to defend against….
He was currently in his shop having a light conversation with Sun Yifan and Sima Tao. All three of them felt wonderful as they exchanged stories about their experiences with flame conjuring, and certain tricks they had come up with. In addition, the owners and clerks in the other shops and stores on the street were finally sighing with relief.
The next day, Sun Yifan and Sima Tao clasped hands respectfully to Bai Xiaochun. Very pleased with what they had learned recently, they cheerfully bid him adieu, and then headed back to Nine Serenities City and Spirit Advent City. They also invited him to come visit as soon as he could, whereupon they both would attempt to pay the debt they owed him because of the wager.
Bai Xiaochun agreed, and then Sun Yifan and Sima Tao left for the teleportation portal.
Bai Xiaochun sighed as he escorted them out the door and watched them leave. Their night-long discussion had been of benefit to Sun Yifan and Sima Tao, but had also been of great help to Bai Xiaochun. Bai Hao had been by his side the whole time as well. Overall, they had all received significant enlightenment regarding flame conjuring techniques.
Bai Hao was more impressed than ever with how his Master conducted himself, and was also convinced that he himself wasn’t capable of such things. If he had been the apprentice to a Master like this back when he was in the Bai Clan, then his situation would surely have been much better, and his prospects for the future would have greatly improved.
Sighing emotionally, Master and apprentice went back into the shop. Seven days passed in a flash. During that time, they discussed many things, and delved deep into their research. Bai Xiaochun pondered seventeen-colored flame, and Bai Hao continued to perfect his formula for eighteen-colored flame.
Of course, business was booming, leaving Bai Xiaochun feeling very pleased. By now, this little shop of his truly did feel like home.
Every time this Master and apprentice team clashed with any outsiders, the struggles they went through led to them becoming more famous in the city.
Not much time had passed, but they had experienced a lot together. Whenever Bai Xiaochun thought about all of the twists and turns, he sighed. And yet, he was coming to find out that, apparently, he wasn’t fated to be able to live a calm and peaceful life. Whenever he felt most pleased and content, that was when the unexpected always occurred….
In fact, before he could even enjoy more than ten days of peace and quiet, things got annoying again. And that was because of… Chen Manyao.
Three days before, she had come to his shop for the first time. He had been sprawled out on the counter, seemingly asleep, but actually wrapped up in thinking about seventeen-colored flame. He had suddenly experienced a strange feeling, and had looked up to find Chen Manyao looking at him. His first reaction was stunned shock.
She had given him an enigmatic smile, and instead of challenging him regarding his identity, had merely asked to have a spirit enhancement performed….
Scowling, he had considered refusing, but could tell that she wasn’t going to give up easily. Therefore, he braced himself and did the spirit enhancement. However, to his anxiety, she came back the next day….
Now, for the third day in a row, she was back. As soon as they opened for business, she glided into the shop, lighting it up with her incredible beauty.
As soon as he saw her, he said, “Big Sis Chen… what are you doing back so soon?”
Almost immediately, he felt like slapping himself for addressing her in that way.
“Oh, you’re calling me Big Sis now, huh? Alright. What’s wrong, Little Bro Bai…. Not happy to see me?” She looked very charming as she stood there in front of him, and he could smell the sweet fragrance of her perfume. However, he was in no mood to admire her looks, and merely smiled wryly.
At this point, it seemed highly likely that she knew who he was, and was simply not saying anything. And yet, he didn’t dare to bring up the subject, and therefore could only continue to play dumb.
Although most other people might be fooled by his act, Chen Manyao had observed his work up close in the past, and therefore, saw through him in an instant. Of course, she found it all very amusing.
She rather enjoyed not saying anything and watching him squirm in front of her. She was in no hurry. If Bai Xiaochun wanted to avoid her, then she was more than happy to just stick around the shop and help Bai Hao receive customers.
Of course, Chen Manyao was quite famous in Arch-Emperor City. Not only was she an apprentice of the Grand Heavenmaster, she was also spectacularly good-looking. Because of that, she had countless suitors in the city. And yet, here she was in Bai Xiaochun’s shop….
If she had only come once, it probably wouldn’t have caused any stir. But to see her here acting the way the wife of the shop owner would, taking care of new customers, was something that struck shock into the hearts of all of the soul cultivators who noticed. In fact, they were all struck by how this Bai Hao was even more incredible and manly than any of them had realized.
News spread rapidly, much to Bai Xiaochun’s alarm. It was also the same with Bai Hao. Everything had been going fine for the Master and apprentice team until this woman suddenly showed up. Not only was she beautiful, but Bai Hao could tell from the way she looked at his Master that there was something between them….
“Don’t tell me she's Master’s wife!?” he thought, his anxiety mounting. However, he didn’t dare to try to get confirmation. Although he made some vague inquiries, Bai Xiaochun was in no mood to discuss the matter.
And yet, the frustrations were only beginning….
On the eighth day after Chen Manyao made her first appearance, another woman visited the shop.
She was just as beautiful as Chen Manyao, with a spectacular figure, and unique violet gloves. Although she appeared to be petite and delicate, there was something explosively violent about her….
This termagant was none other than that Spirit Advent City’s Princess Xu Shan!
Xu Shan was obsessed with Bai Hao. After her father the Spirit Advent King had taken her away from Giant Ghost City, she had immediately brought up to him the possibility of arranging a marriage…. The Spirit Advent King was stunned, and the whole thing caused his anger toward the Giant Ghost King to grow even more. In order to correct his daughter’s thinking, he had kept her activities restricted the entire time since.
But Xu Shan was persistent, leaving the Spirit Advent King completely helpless. Eventually, she managed to escape confinement. Her original intention had been to travel to Giant Ghost City to find Bai Hao, only to hear along the way about all the things that were happening in Arch-Emperor City. Exhilarated, she had immediately come over….
Xu Shan was good-looking in a different way than Chen Manyao, and had a unique, violent personality. As soon as she stepped into the shop, she looked over at Bai Xiaochun and yelled, “I love you, Bai Hao!”
Tears nearly sprang out of Bai Xiaochun’s eyes, and as for Bai Hao, he immediately began trembling, especially because of how his Master had ruined his name so badly….
As for Chen Manyao, she simply frowned.