Xu Shan’s bluntness made Bai Xiaochun feel like his head might explode. Here he was, a major general from the Great Wall, the majordomo of Giant Ghost City, a famous celebrity in the Wildlands, kidnapper of a hundred chosen, fighter of devas, slapper of demigod kings… and yet completely flummoxed when it came to such matters of love.
He really had no idea how he was going to get through this day, and was fairly certain that conflict was going to explode between Xu Shan and Chen Manyao….
Although it was difficult, he managed to provide enough distractions to last until evening, when he closed the shop. After Xu Shan and Chen Manyao left, he stood there staring at the ceiling, his face a mask of grief and indignation.
“But I'm Love Saint Bai Xiaochun….” he moaned, thinking back to the title he had given himself. Unfortunately, at the moment, he had no idea what to do.
Beating his chest in lamentation, he continued, “How could this be happening? Years ago it was Song Junwan and Hou Xiaomei who almost drove me to my grave…. Now here I am in the Wildlands, and despite how careful I've been, my outstanding nature continues to attract young women. I’m… I'm even using my apprentice Bai Hao’s face, which isn’t nearly as attractive as my own. Why…? Why does everyone fall in love with me…? Dear heavens, why do you have to treat me this way?” He truly felt as though his supplications to the heavens were falling on completely deaf ears.
Off to the side, Bai Hao looked on with wide eyes. Looking somewhat depressed and helpless, he rubbed his face with his hand, and pondered whether he should offer a response to his Master. In the end, he decided that considering how strange his Master was acting, it would probably be better to hold back.
“Could it be that I really am just too outstanding?” Bai Xiaochun mused aloud. “I look different, and it's a different time and place. I've cast the past aside! I can only rely on my mettle and my soul to strive forward. I guess that's what causes countless young women to go crazy for me….
“Don’t tell me that I, Bai Xiaochun, have really reached such a supreme, ultimate level…. What should I do? It's not my fault I’m so outstanding!” As he stood there shaking his head, Bai Hao finally reached the point where he couldn't just stand idly by any longer.
“Master,” he said, “Are you… are you really blaming yourself? Or are you just showing off!?!?”
Bai Xiaochun spun in place and cast a glare at his apprentice.
“Apprentice, can’t you see that Master is truly wrapped up in bitterness? Ai. You just don’t understand. Did you know that I even had to deal with annoying things like this back in the mortal world? All of the girls in my village liked me. There was Kitty, and Lassie, and even Blackie! They chased me constantly, and I had to reject them over and over again….” As Bai Xiaochun thought back to the past, his face filled with more bitterness.
Bai Hao stood off to the side, a bit stunned. For some reason, it sounded to him like Kitty was a cat's name and Lassie was a dog's name. However, he couldn't for the life of him figure out what family would name a daughter something like Blackie.
Completely unaware of what Bai Hao was thinking, Bai Xiaochun continued, “Originally, I thought that pursuing the path of immortality would free me from the curse of girls being attracted to me. But you know what happened? Almost immediately, Hou Xiaomei fell for me, and then my boo. I eventually went into hiding in the Blood Stream Sect. Who would have thought that that’s where Song Junwan would fall for me…?
“What was I supposed to do? I didn’t want any of it, and in the end, just left it all behind. But never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that after I got back to the River-Defying Sect, tens of thousands of female disciples would give me love letters….
“Why, my apprentice? Why did the heavens make me so outstanding!? What’s the reason for it all?!?!” When Bai Xiaochun had first begun talking, he really had seemed upset about the situation. But the longer he talked, the more it seemed like he was savoring sweet memories.
Bai Hao smiled wryly. He didn’t actually believe much of what his Master was saying. And yet, little did he know that his Master had been waiting for that exact facial expression to appear. As soon as the disbelief touched his face, Bai Xiaochun smacked his bag of holding, and a loud rustling sound filled the air….
Thousands upon thousands of colorful love letters poured out, forming a small mountain right there on the floor. Many of them were even folded into the shape of hearts.
“See!” Bai Xiaochun said, masking the pride in his voice with bitterness.
Bai Hao was so startled that his jaw dropped and his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth. Mind spinning, he stared in disbelief at all of the love letters.
His vanity sated by the wonderful expression on his apprentice’s face, Bai Xiaochun carefully collected the love letters back up and contemplated how it would be possible to use them again in the future. He also mused about how important it was for his apprentice to view him with awe, and to realize how truly amazing he was.
Ignoring Bai Hao, he stood there disconsolately for a moment before moping into the back room. Despite spending much time in thought, he couldn’t come up with any ideas about what to do, so eventually, he sighed and went back to thinking about seventeen-colored flame.
However, this was not an issue that would go away by ignoring it. The next day, Xu Shan and Chen Manyao were back. Xu Shan was the more candid of the two, and simply walked in and sat down next to Bai Xiaochun. If he moved, she moved with him. She seemed to be announcing to everyone that he belonged to her. Occasionally, she would also cast threatening glances at Chen Manyao.
An unsightly expression could be seen on Chen Manyao’s face, and occasionally she made some biting comments. Of course, Xu Shan wasn’t a match for her in words, so she would simply curse back and then leap up to start fighting. Each time, Bai Xiaochun would struggle to pull her back, trembling in fear the whole time.
Bai Hao was also feeling quite apprehensive. However, he was supposed to be a ‘stiff’ soul slave, and therefore, didn't dare to interfere in matters between the two women.
“So,” he thought, “it seems this Xu Shan is also Master’s wife….” With that, he focused fully on maintaining the expressionless face of a soul slave.
Bai Xiaochun was in no mood to pay much attention to Bai Hao, and felt his hair turning gray from the effort of trying to keep the peace. After all, he had put his heart and soul into this shop, and if these women started fighting inside, it would cause a lot of damage! Perhaps he could keep things calm over the course of a few days, but if things kept going like this…. Half a month later, Bai Xiaochun felt like he was going insane, and the tension between Xu Shan and Chen Manyao was more intense than ever.
One day, the conflict finally erupted.
“What did you just say, Chen Manyao, you slut!?”
“Other people might worry about you because of your status, Xu Shan, but as far as I'm concerned, you’re nothing but a stupid girl who doesn’t know how to do anything except fight!” As they faced off angrily on the verge of blows, the soul cultivators in the shop dropped back to watch the scene. Even some of the passersby outside noticed, and craned their necks to see what was happening. Apparently, people had grown used to exciting things happening at Bai Xiaochun’s shop.
Bai Xiaochun was in the back room, working on seventeen-colored flame. When he heard the row outside, he shivered in fear, and almost started crying. But then, he hurried out and placed himself between Xu Shan and Chen Manyao, where he tried to calm the situation down. However, nothing he said worked, and it seemed like the two women were just about to start fighting. Bai Xiaochun had been holding things in for half a month already, so at this point, he finally lost control.
“Enough!!” he shouted, his voice echoing like thunder. The customers and other onlookers were in high spirits as they wondered what scene would play out now.
Stunned by the volume of Bai Xiaochun’s voice, Xu Shan and Chen Manyao both turned to look at him.
Taking a deep breath, he turned to Xu Shan first and said, “Xu Shan, tell me right now what it is you like about me….”
Originally, she had been fuming, but as soon as she heard his words, a flush touched her face, and she looked down shyly.
“But there are so many people watching….” she said softly.
Head pounding, he grabbed Xu Shan by the shoulder, looked her sternly in the eye, and said, “Tell me. What do you like about me? I’ll definitely change it….”
When the onlookers heard that, they couldn’t hold back from chuckling aloud.
As for Xu Shan, her eyes went wide, and suddenly, Bai Xiaochun felt like maybe this wasn’t how he should treat a girl who had fallen in love with him. But then, Xu Shan suddenly smiled.
“This is what I like about you!”
Bai Xiaochun’s jaw dropped….
Even as she spoke, she lifted her hand, causing him to lose his grip on her shoulder. Then she grabbed him, leaned forward and whispered into his ear, “From now on, you’re mine.”
Then she stepped back and cleared her throat. Bai Xiaochun truly wanted to weep. Xu Shan had thoroughly defeated him, and as he turned to Chen Manyao and saw the enigmatic smile on her face, he suddenly felt even more alarmed than before.
Sighing, he said, “If you want to fight… just do it outside….” When it came to matters of love like this, he was truly helpless. Turning dismally to return to the back room, he decided that he wouldn't come back out no matter how fierce the fighting got.