Bai Xiaochun’s heart was filled with terror as he ran down the mountain with lightning speed. He even ran outside the sect and wandered around the market for quite some time.
“What am I going to do?” Bai Xiaochun frowned. He felt wronged from the bottom of his heart. It was clearly the phoenix who had come and snatched the medicine pill that day, but no matter how hard he tried to explain it, Elder Zhou did not relent…
“But, I seem to be… the first?” While Bai Xiaochun was worrying, he suddenly remembered something and went blank for a moment.
“Ah, I initially did not want to compete with those juniors based on my status as the Sect Head’s Junior Brother.” Bai Xiaochun let out a dry cough but he still felt some pride in his heart. However, as he continued his train of thought, he realised that he was now required to participate in the Heaven’s Chosen War against the North Bank and immediately turned gloomy.
Bai Xiaochun wandered around the market until late at night, mulling over the fact that he would eventually have to go back. Finally, he took out a transmission jade slip and sent a message to Xu Baocai.
Bai Xiaochun asked Xu Baocai go to his courtyard and take a look around to check whether Elder Zhou was waiting there.
After a long time, he received a reply over the transmission jade slip from Xu Baocai, telling him that it was already safe to return, but he only felt slightly reassured. He cautiously made his way to the gate and quickly went up the Scented Cloud Mountain. In the distance distance, he saw Xu Baocai’s lone silhouette outside his courtyard. Only after cautiously observing his surroundings for a long time did he finally approach Xu Baocai.
When Xu Baocai saw Bai Xiaochun, his eyes immediately lit up with excitement, but just when he was about to open his mouth, he was pulled into the courtyard by Bai Xiaochun.
“Senior Uncle Bai, relax. Elder Zhou had already been summoned by the Sect Head…” Xu Baocai quickly spoke as he looked at Bai Xiaochun with worship in his eyes.
“When he was in the Burning Stoves Kitchen, he had always kept a low profile and had even come up with selling the positions qualifying one to become an outer sect disciple. After he entered the sect, he had gotten first in the small competition and became somewhat of a sensation. But the most shocking thing was the matter with the Fallen Chen Clan. He had actually returned alive, obtaining the status of an Honourable Disciple and obtaining the renowned position of the Sect Head’s Junior Brother. And now, he had placed first in the qualification battle. This Bai Xiaochun… will definitely become admired to no end, and he will certainly be looked upon with awe like a mountain’s peak in the future!”
Xu Baocai had personally witnessed the whole process of Bai Xiaochun surpassing everyone and becoming first. It had left him shocked for the most part of the day. He revered Bai Xiaochun as someone exceptional, especially after the recent events. He immediately cupped his fist to Bai Xiaochun and bowed deeply to show his respect.
“Congratulations Senior Uncle Bai for becoming the first person qualified to fight as a representative of the South Bank!”
Bai Xiaochun inspected the whole courtyard before he heaved a deep sigh of relief. He raised his head and looked in the direction of the mountain where Elder Zhou’s cavern was. He vowed to himself that once he had reached the Foundation Establishment level, he would definitely go stew that phoenix bird that framed him and eat it!
After hearing Xu Baocai’s words, Bai Xiaochun turned his head and looked at him as he cleared his throat.
“My esteemed self is unconcerned with fame and fortune. A person who is like the clouds in the skies wouldn’t have competed with those juniors over that empty title, alas, Elder Zhou’s untimely appearance forced my hand today.” Bai Xiaochun spoke solemnly, like a senior filled with regret.
If Bai Xiaochun had said something like this before, even if Xu Baocai wouldn’t have dared to reveal anything on his expression, he would have still surely looked down on Bai Xiaochun in his heart. Now however, in his eyes, Bai Xiaochun was a Heaven’s Chosen among the Heaven’s Chosen, so he hastily opened his mouth to speak.
“Senior Uncle Bai has always kept a low profile, but for a Heaven’s Chosen like Senior Uncle Bai, even if you were to keep a low profile, you would still emit a blinding radiance that will capture everyone’s attention with just a casual flick of your hand.”
Listening to these kindsof words made Bai Xiaochun elated, but he was still maintaining his composure on the surface. However, he still felt eager for Xu Baocai to continue speaking so he gazed at him with appreciation and encouragement.
Xu Baocai sensed Bai Xiaochun’s encouragement and excitedly continued speaking.
“With Senior Uncle Bai representing our South Bank in the upcoming Heaven’s Chosen War against the North Bank, we can definitely sweep the stigma off of the South Bank accumulated over the past years and shock the entire North Bank!”
“How very arrogant of the vicious five great Heaven’s Chosen from the North Bank to be rumoured as the strongest below the Foundation Establishment. Soon the time when they realise that the real Heaven’s Chosen is on the South Bank’s Scented Cloud Mountain will come!” Xu Baocai praised enthusiastically.
“Five great Heaven’s Chosen?” Bai Xiaochun’s expression remained casual on the surface, but inside, his heart skipped a beat.
“That is right. There are five great Heaven’s Chosen on that North Bank. One of them is Bei Hanlie from the Setting Sun Mountain, cold and arrogant. Cultivating the Setting Sun Technique, one of the Spirit River Sect’s ten greatest secret techniques. He also has a rare Nocturnal Beast that is extremely ferocious and has extraordinary strength. The Nocturnal Beast had once torn a living person apart while they were still alive. He is a human, yet a beast and has even exterminated ninth level Qi Condensation powerhouses before! He is a person recognised as the outer sect’s number one on the Setting Sun Mountain!”
“Torn a living person apart while they were still alive?” Bai Xiaochun’s eyes widened.
“This is nothing. One of the others, the Sky Mountain’s Xu Song was born with the Heaven Communicating Body. When he entered the gate that year, the Sky Mountain’s Ancestor paid a huge price to take Xu Song as his disciple. As for his control over monstrous beasts, he has already reached a terrifying level near perfection. There is a rumour that he can control five beasts at the same time, and once, when a rogue Qi Condensation cultivator angered him, the rogue was hunted by Xu Song for three months. In the end, he had his five beasts consume the cultivator over three days, leaving only the bones behind!”
“Leaving only the bones behind?!” Bai Xiaochun’s heart trembled.
“There are people who are even more savage than he is, the third and fourth Heaven’s Chosen of the North Bank. The two of them are siblings, and the duo are from Iridaceae Mountain. The younger sister’s name is Gongsun Wan-Er and is incredibly beautiful. She is an expert in birds of prey and had once dueled with Zhou Xinqi... but who won and who lost remain unknown!
(ED note: Iridaceae is a family of plants, taking it’s name from the Irises, which in turn originates from the greek word for rainbow https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iridaceae )
The older brother’s name is Gongsun Yun and is an expert in the Dao of insects and parasites. He likes to wear black robes and uses his own body to rear spiritual insects. Rumour has it that the insides of his body is filled with the eggs of the insects. He is extremely strange. His opponents would frequently have parasites crawling all over their bodies in the end. They make their way into the human body and devour the flesh, causing them so much pain that they would wish they were dead. If their response is even slightly delayed, they would be cleanly devoured by those parasites without even the bones remaining!”
“Without even the bones remaining?!” Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath after imagining the scene in his mind, his hairs standing on end.
“The last person… is said to be the most mysterious among the five great Heaven’s Chosen. That person has no name and was brought back twenty years ago by the Ghost Tooth Mountain’s Ancestor. His background is a mystery and he took the name Gui Ya. He comes from the Ghost Tooth Mountain and is an expert in the Dao of ghost techniques. He has cultivated the technique that is rumoured to be the most difficult among the Spirit River Sect’s ten greatest secret techniques and is also known as the Water Nation… the Night Ghost Technique! Rumour has it that he has already reached the level of the Hundred Ghost. There are even people who consider him as the strongest Heaven’s Chosen in the North Bank…” Xu Baocai told Bai Xiaochun all that he knew and as Bai Xiaochun listened his heart danced wildly.
He realised that every single one of these Heaven’s Chosen from the North Bank seemed to be so much more vicious than those in the South Bank. Even though the North Bank is mainly concerned with taming beasts and it was inevitable for them to reek of blood, this disparity shouldn’t have been so excessive.
“Over the years, the South Bank has been suppressed by the North Bank and lost the Heaven’s Chosen Wars. I even heard that out of the those in the top ten, nine were from the North Bank the previous time. That humiliation, we…” Xu Baocai was currently worked up as he spoke, but he suddenly realised that there was something wrong with Bai Xiaochun’s complexion and became startled as he looked at him.
“Senior Uncle Bai, what’s wrong?”
Bai Xiaochun quickly raised his small chin and spoke in a righteous and awe-inspiring tone.
“As a member of the South Bank, hearing such things regarding the South Bank makes me furious from the bottom of my heart!”
“Senior Uncle Bai need not be furious. This time, we have Senior Uncle Bai stepping forth, we will definitely let that North Bank know the strength of the South Bank!” Xu Baocai clenched his fist tightly and spoke enthusiastically.
“The North Bank is nothing. When I, Bai Xiaochun, wave my hand, they will scatter into ashes and disperse into smoke.” Bai Xiaochun was already unable to get off from his high horse, so he forged on, raising his chin and spoke loftily as he flourished his small sleeve.
Xu Baocai was enthralled and spoke a while longer before finally taking his leave, filled with awe.
It was now very late at night and only Bai Xiaochun was left in the courtyard. As he recalled the five people that Xu Baocai had previously described, the mountain breeze blew, running a chill down his spine.
“What kind of people are there at the North Bank? They raise beasts, bugs and even ghosts… It sounds like they are very fearsome…” Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath and he returned to his cabin. Xu Baocai’s introduction to the North Bank was still floating in his mind.
“That Elder Zhou must have done it on purpose!” Bai Xiaochun was convinced that something was amiss and reached that conclusion.
“The thing that I hate the most in this life of mine is fighting and killing formidable opponents!” Bai Xiaochun had made up his mind that regardless of what he said, he would not participate in the Heaven’s Chosen War.
On the next day however, early in the morning and before Bai Xiaochun could figure out how to weasel out of the Heaven’s Chosen War, a jade decree was sent from the Scented Cloud Mountain. The jade decree turned into a black light and flew into Bai Xiaochun’s cabin, and then suddenly, Li Qinghou’s voice sounded out.
“Bai Xiaochun, ranked first in the South Bank’s qualification battle. You are to participate in the outer sect’s Heaven’s Chosen War between the South and North Bank together with the other nine qualified disciples! Failure will result in you being thrown into the Ten Thousand Snakes Valley!”
“Again with this tactic…” Bai Xiaochun had a sullen look on his face as he heard Li Qinghou’s voice come from the decree. He felt tricked by Elder Zhou...
After Li Qinghou’s voice dissipated, with a flash of light, the jade slip disappeared, and a bracelet, which landed in front of Bai Xiaochun, suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
Bai Xiaochun was stunned as he picked up the bracelet, inspecting it closely. He directed his spiritual Qi inside the bracelet only for it to immediately turn into a black-coloured liquid. It enveloped Bai Xiaochun’s right hand, and in a flash, it spread until it covered his whole body.
At the same time, the technique used to control the item left behind by Li Qinghou entered Bai Xiaochun’s ears. Furthermore, it explained that the bracelet could withstand the full power of a single attack from an early stage Foundation Establishment Cultivator!
Bai Xiaochun was startled. He was now no longer the country bumpkin who had just entered the sect. He clearly understood the value of a protective treasure such as this. It was even more precious than the Divine Crane Shield that the Sect Head had given him. Bai Xiaochun couldn’t help but raise his head and stare at the peak of the Scented Cloud Mountain.
Even though Li Qinghou did not explain the item in great detail, Bai Xiaochun could feel a warmth deep inside from this bracelet. He recalled the small competition at the outset and recalled Li Qinghou’s expectations.
Remaining silent for a long while, Bai Xiaochun suddenly clenched his teeth as determination surfaced in his eyes.
“This Heaven’s Chosen War, I will participate in it!”
Translated by: Nat
Translated by XianXiaWorld