Now that he had enough Spirit Stones, Bai Xiaochun left the whole Little Turtle matter behind, his heart full of holes. He buried himself inside the Medicine Refinement Pavilion, immersing himself in refining medicine until he gradually recovered.
With the passage of time, the Grade Two spirit medicines in Bai Xiaochun's hands reached the pinnacle, and his success rate in refining them reached shocking heights. And so, he began his attempts at refining Grade Three spirit medicines.
As he refined Grade Three spirit medicine, rumbles were often heard from his room in the Medicine Refinement Pavilion. The pill furnace, for whatever reason, even exploded once, flying off and landing in a corner with a clank.
But that was nothing. Once, the pill furnace produced a very thick smoke, and it was no ordinary smoke. Even the placed formation arrays couldn't block it as it engulfed half of the entire Medicine Refinement Pavilion, forcing many refiners out, coughing with curses flying from their mouths.
Being who he was, Bai Xiaochun too ran outside and the culprit remained unknown.
Feeling wronged deep in his heart, Bai Xiaochun had hesitated briefly before carefully continuing the refinement of the Grade Three spirit medicines. As time passed, his expression became odd. He found himself always refining some weird medicines. The signs appeared in his earliest refinement attempts when he produced that black pill which attracted all those ants, and there was also that Aphrodisiac Pill as well…
The weird elixirs scared even himself.
"Could it be because of my unwillingness to abide by the established medicine recipes? Perhaps stubbornly changing the recipes to follow my own judgement is the cause? Or is it because of my extraordinary talent, making even the Heavens jealous of me and thus throwing countless obstacles down my path?" Bai Xiaochun stared at the tens of colorful pills before him, frowning.
Some of these pills maintained their spherical shape, some looked like cubes, and some had no defined shape, like mud carelessly kneaded together. A single look was enough to know they weren't ordinary spirit medicines. But even so, they all emitted a Medicinal Aroma...
But even with a hundred guts, Bai Xiaochun would never have the courage to try consuming them himself. Who the hell knew what effects they would produce?
"What I pursue is the absolute perfection in the Dao of Medicine, flawless like the white clouds in the sky, detached from the world. The hardships infesting this path don't scare me, my determination will push me forward. That's what makes me who I am, the one and only Bai Xiaochun." Taking a deep breath, determination surfaced on his face. As if a martyr, Bai Xiaochun stashed away the pills and continued his refinements.
Soon, half a year was swallowed up by his refinements. At this point, barely anyone refined in the Medicine Refinement Pavilion anymore, it was simply too dangerous. In Bai Xiaochun's room, the pill furnace blew up once again and a huge crack appeared. Bai Xiaochun was sullenly offering to compensate with Spirit Stones, but even so, he was politely asked to leave.
Just as he started thinking about using his identity as the Sect Head's Junior Brother, he received a message from Zhang Fatso One through a transmission jade slip, asking for his whereabouts.
With Zhang Fatso One coming, Bai Xiaochun decided to drop the issue with the Medicine Refinement Pavilion and took the path path to the Scented Cloud Mountain, feeling wronged.
"The pursuit of absolute perfection in the Dao of Medicine is obviously filled with hurdles! I, Bai Xiaochun, am like a cloud in the sky and will therefore never yield!" Straightening his back and lifting up his chin, Bai Xaiochun felt that something was wrong. It was midday, and the sect was usually the liveliest at such times. Scented Cloud Mountain was a lot more quiet today. Taking a closer look, he could hardly see a disciple above the sixth level of Qi Condensation present, most of them were either at the sixth or lower.
Bai Xiaochun was flabbergasted as he walked back to his own courtyard, only to see a tall and slim youth pacing back and forth in front of it, seemingly very excited.
This man was Zhang Fatso One after losing weight.
"Big brother." Bai Xiaochun hurriedly shouted out.
"Ninth Junior Brother!" Zhang Fatso One immediately turned around and laughed with a smile. He didn't care about Bai Xiaochun's status in the sect, in his eyes, Bai Xiaochun was still his Junior Brother.
Bai Xiaochun invited him inside his courtyard, and the two of them talked a bit about how they've been recently before Bai Xiaochun asked a question, curious.
"Senior Brother, you don't visit me very often, what brings you here today? Just tell me if you need me, Bai Xiacohun, to do something for you." For Bai Xiaochun, Zhang Fatso One was really like a big brother. Every time he recalled the many scenes from the Burning Stoves Kitchen filled Bai Xiaochun with warmth.
As Zhang Fatso One cleared his throat, Bai Xiaochun could clearly see the pride and excitement in his eyes. Taking a look at Bai Xiaochun, he patted his stomach and a smack suddenly sounded out instead of the slap produced when he still had his fat belly.
"Ninth Junior Brother, let me tell you a great secret!"
Upon hearing the word secret, Bai Xiaochun's eyes opened wide and his ears perked up. He felt that these words were a bit familiar.
"From today onwards, I, Zhang Fatso One, will be receiving great respect in the Spirit River Sect. Oh, the amount of disciples who'd seek to curry favors with me, perhaps even the Foundation Establishment elders will be polite to me." Zhang Fatso One proudly announced.
"Ah? How come? Are you the Little Turtle too?" Bai Xiaochun was stunned.
"What Little Turtle? Junior brother, you know that my master is the head of Purple Cauldron Mountain, Xu Meixiang, right?" Zhang Fatso One was in high spirits as he looked at Bai Xiaochun and spoke in a low voice.
Bai Xiaochun nodded. He knew about it, and also understood why Zhang Fatso One had lost his fat. It was because of his master's dislike for fatties, to the point where some weird ideas sprung in her mind.
"You know what my master's best known for? Spirit refinement! And guess what I have been learning from my master? Spirit refinement!"
"Haha, turns out I, Zhang Fatso One, have been blessed by the Heavens with a talent for spirit refinement. Even my master showers me with praise! Just today, she told me that with my talent, it shouldn't take me too many years before I become the first great master of spirit refinement from the Spirit River Sect!" Standing up, Zhang Fatso One excitedly raised his head to the sky, his voice booming as he stood as if atop of the world.
"Spirit refinement?" Bai Xiaochun blinked, and after his posture and boasts, he put on a face filled with respect.
Seeing Bai Xiaochun's display, Zhang Fatso One became even merrier as he patted him on his shoulder.
"Ninth Junior Brother, I can already see it. When people come to me to refine their things, I'll only accept the requests I like, anything that displeases me can bug off! And for the ones I agree on, it'll be expensive. But for you though, and Fatso Three, and anyone from the Burning Stoves Kitchen - I won't take a single Spirit Stone from any of you! We're brothers! Just prepare your materials and I'll refine it for you!" Zhang Fatso One was having his moment. He had been quite troubled after going up the Purple Cauldron Mountain, but after the discovery of his spirit refinement talent, he had become wild with joy and his first thought was to go and share it with Bai Xiaochun.
"Nice, Big Bro!" Bai Xiaochun also exposed a gleeful expression and cheered.
"Come, come, take out an item for me, anything at all, and I'll refine it right before your eyes. Give me a weapon now, and I guarantee you'll qualify for the war in a few months, I guarantee you'll rank in the top ten of the South Bank and go represent it against the North Bank in the Heaven's Chosen War!" Zhang Fatso One happily shouted.
"Uh…" Bai Xiaochun blinked as he stared at the excited Zhang Fatso One. Seeing how excited he was, he took out an ordinary flying sword of the Spirit River Sect from his storage pouch. He had quite a few of these swords and expectantly handed one to Zhang Fatso One.
Taking the flying sword from him, Zhang Fatso One took a deep breath as he patted his own storage pouch, sending tens of ores out, hovering next to the sword in midair.
With his yes closed, Zhang Fatso One's cultivation exploded after a moment. It wasn't as strong as Bai Xiaochun's, and it seemed to be just at the peak of the sixth level of Qi Condensation. With his hair whipping about, Zhang Fatso One raised his left hand and a strong silver glow suddenly appeared.
As the light grew brighter, gusts of wind were formed, causing the Qi in the air to roil as faint streaks of glowing Qi shockingly gathered from the surroundings. They charged straight at the ores, passing through them again and again, before finally nesting themselves in Zhang Fatso One's left hand. In the process, the ores quickly disappeared, half of them vanishing in less than a blink of an eye.
Bai Xiaochun's eyes glowed with amazement, it was the first time seeing someone else refine. It was very different from his spirit refinement with the Turtle-shelled Pot. It was as if the refiner himself communed with the skies and the earth, drawing upon the majestic and violent forces of nature and channeling them through the ores, transforming them into a gentler energy.
It wasn't long before Zhang Fatso One's body started shaking. After half an incense stick's worth of time, he took a deep breath and abruptly opened his eyes. He swept the now glaring silver light in his left hand along the blade's body.
The nothingness around them seemed to shake for a bit, the silver light instantly flew out of his hand and transformed into countless streaks of energy that drilled into the blade, turning it silver in the blink of an eye.
It was quite a sight. Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath, genuinely impressed.
A while later, Zhang Fatso One handed the silver blade to Bai Xiaochun, out of breath.
"Here, this sword has been Opened. Infuse it with your own Qi and silver patterns will form!" Zhang Fatso One wiped the sweat of his brow and confidently announced.
Bai Xiaochun took the sword from him, excited. He released some Qi from his body and directed it into the blade. But just as they were fusing, a cracking sound could be heard. The silver light on the blade dimmed and disappeared. Simultaneously, many cracks formed on the blade, as if it was unable to withstand the violent energy that came from heaven and earth, and quickly turned to scrap.
"Ah?" Bai Xiaochun paused as Zhang Fatso One stood blanked out. They threw each other a shocked look.
Clearing his throat, Bai Xiaochun was just about to point out that his sword's quality was too low, when Zhang Fatso pulled the sword from his hands. His eyes bulging and his breathing shallow, he inspected it carefully. After a moment, he heavily stomped with his foot.
"It was my mistake just now, I didn't control the fusing energies well enough, resulting in the energy gathered from between the heaven and earth to be too violent. Ninth brother, give me another flying sword, I'll do another spirit refinement!" Zhang Fatso One stared at Bai Xiaochun, determined, his eyes bloodshot.
Bai Xiaochun couldn't bear it, so he took out another flying sword out. Zhang Fatso One took a deep breath and a serious look appeared on his face. After a moment, the sword was filled with a silver glow, and he handed it back to Bai Xiaochun.
"How about… you try it yourself, big brother?" Bai Xiaochun hesitantly asked.
"First iron rule of refinement. Any item being spiritually refined, unless it is a possession of the refiner himself, are definitely not allowed to be tested spiritually by someone else. This is an iron rule, brother. Breaking it even once is sure to bring misfortune." Zhang Fatso One said seriously.
Seeing his determination, Bai Xiaochun quickly took the sword. He really wanted to succeed, for another failure was sure to injure Zhang Fatso One's pride greatly.
Pondering for a bit, Bai Xiaochun suddenly opened his mouth to speak.
"Um… Big bro, can you wait for me here? I'm gonna try this in my room, perhaps I was too nervous just now."
3rd guaranteed chapter of the week.
Translated by: Marcus
TLCed by: Nat
Edited by: Crimsonguard, Arch
Translated by XianXiaWorld