Chapter 27 - This...This is Bamboo?
Each of those bamboo shoots were incredibly heavy. Having to carry ten of them on his shoulders while walking uphill, even Bai Xiaochun would run out of breath. He began to pity himself even more.
“I’m here to cultivate immortality so I can live forever. Why do I need to fight and kill?”
“Also, my bamboos could obviously have grown taller. But right now, I have to bring them out to exchange for contribution points…” the more Bai Xiaochun thought about it, the more wronged he felt. While sighing continuously, he carried the Spirit Winter Bamboos up the mountain.
At this moment, in the loft where Scented Cloud Mountain’s outer sect disciples turned in their missions, many people had gathered. They brought the herbs they had planted, and handed them over to complete the mission in exchange for contribution points.
There were elders of Scented Cloud Mountain here, responsible for awarding contribution points according to their quality.
“Not bad. This Mist Flower already has four petals. Medium Grade.”
“The colour of this wood-patterned Ginseng is too dark. The energy infused in the soil was too excessive causing it to be imbalanced. Fail.” On top of a big rock outside of the loft, a ruddy faced, white-haired old man sat with his legs crossed. There were countless disciples queueing up in front of him. One by one, they took out the spirit grasses they had grown. After the old man’s inspection, a young disciple beside him would record the contribution points awarded.
A flock of five-coloured Phoenixes were elegantly flying in circles mid-air. Each of them was around a zhang long, and from time to time, they would emit melodiuos cries.
These phoenixes were the elder’s personal spirit pets. Whenever the day for turning in plants arrived, they would follow the elder here. When the outer sect disciples spotted them from afar, their gazes would fill with envy.
This elder had reached Foundation Establishment. Although his achievements in the field of sprit medicine were inferior to Li Qinghou’s, he was still quite extraordinary and very famous within the sect. Especially for his obsession with the path of medicine. Even Li Qinghou sighed at his own incompetence when comparing their determination. Li Qinghou had once said that if a third Medicine Master appears in the Donglin Continent, it would be Elder Zhou.
“Chen Zi’ang greets Elder Zhou.” Soon, a young man reached the front of the queue. Although this young man was average looking, he stood upright. Arriving in front of Elder Zhou, he cupped his hands and bowed respectfully.
The youth’s words reverbrated outwards. As soon as the surrounding outer sect disciples heard his name, they immediately looked at him with curious gazes.
“So he’s Brother Chen Zi’ang! I heard that he has extraordinary talent in growing spirit grass.”
“I have also heard that ever since Chen Zi’ang joined the sect, he has never completed a spirit herb growing mission with anything less than high grade.
While everyone was discussing in hushed tones, Chen Zi’ang appeared calm, but there was a trace of pride in his eyes.
Elder Zhou looked at Chen Zi’ang with approval. He had been paying close attention to this disciple who showed talent in the field of growing spirit grasses.
“Zi’ang, what have you planted this time?” Elder Zhou gently spoke.
“Reporting to Elder Zhou, this time I grew Spirit Winter Bamboo!” With a wave of his right hand, ten Spirit Winter Bamboos, each as big as an arm, suddenly appeared next to his body. Each and every one of them was over half a zhang long. They were emerald-coloured, and gave off a faint green glow under the light of the sun.
“Disciple first immersed these bamboos in a spirit spring, before planting them in soil made from ground spirit stones and nurturing them with my Qi for at least three hours each day. In addition to this, disicple would arrange the veins of their leaves. With the Nine Green Mysterious Law disciple learnt, in addition to help from other spirit grasses, these bamboos were finally grown!”
“Very good. These bamboos are half a zhang long and emit a green light. They exceed the normal high grade and can be considered superior high grade. I hope you keep working hard in the future. If you can grow bamboos longer than a zhang, then they would be superb grade spirit plants.” Stroking his beard, Elder Zhou had even more approval towards Chen Zi’ang.
As soon as the surrounding disciples heard the three words: superior high grade, they immediiately broke into loud clamor, as they looked at the Spirit Winter Bamboos on the ground, their eyes filled with envy.
Chen Zi’ang’s face revealed a smile, the pride in his eyes was even greater. He bowed and cupped his hands. When he was about to receive the contribution points from the young disciple beside Elder Zhou, he suddenly heard a cold humph.
“Elder Zhou, Disciple Zhao Yiduo also grew some Spirit Winter Bamboos!” With a humph, a young man who had an elongated face and narrow eyes came forward in big strides. When he gazed at Chen Zi’ang, his eyes showed disdain.
As soon as he appeared, the surrounding outer sect disciples immediately grew energetic, one-by-one they looked at him.
“It’s Brother Zhao Yiduo. It’s said that Brother Zhao’s achievements in growing spirit plants are similar to those of Chen Zi’ang”
“This will be a sight to see. Those two have always treated each other as rivals. Both of them have been fighting for the title of the best disciple in herb-growing.”
Chen Zi’ang’s face suddenly turned gloomy as he coldly stared at Zhao Yiduo. When their gazes met, strong hostility could be seen in the other’s eyes.
“Zhao Yiduo, just take out your Spirit Winter Bamboos.” Even Elder Zhou’s interest was piqued. Towards Zhao Yiduo in front of him, he showed the same approval. He knew that these two younths have often been competing against each other in plant-growing. He was glad to see them do so, because through this benign competition, both of them could improve greatly.
Zhao Yiduo faced Elder Zhou, cupped his hands, then patted his storage pouch. Ten stalks of Spirit Winter Bamboo immediately appeared. Each of these bamboos, were a zhang long. The bodies of the bamboos were as thick as a thigh. The emerald-green colour of the bamboos was unexpectedly slightly transparent. There was even some spirit aura diffusing out from them. With single glance, one could tell these bamboos were absolutely extraordinary. Compared to Chen Zi’ang’s bamboos, they were obviously better.
The surrounding people couldn’t help but go into an uproar once they saw the bamboos. They had only heard of these one zhang long Spirit Winter Bamboos. They had never actually seen one.
“One zhang long Spirit Winter Bamboos... how long did you raise them for?!”
“These Spirit Winter Bamboos have reached the state of emitting spirit aura. The plant-growing ability of Senior Brother Zhao is already the best in my Scented Cloud Mountain.”
Zhao Yiduo glanced at the expressions of the audience before making a provocative smile at Chen Zi’ang.
At that moment, Chen Zi’ang’s expression darkened.
Elder Zhou’s eyes shined with praise. Looking at those bamboos, he nodded his head slightly.
“Very good, very good. Although there were many disciples turning in Spirit Winter Bamboos today, yours are the best. These one zhang long Spirit Winter Bamboos have exceeded the high grade, and can be classified as superb grade. Zhao Yiduo, you have done great. I hope you continue working hard!”
“Junior brother Chen, you still need to work harder.” Zhao Yiduo cupped his hands towards Elder Zhou before he turned around and looked at Chen Zi’ang provocatively.
Chen Zi’ang’s expression turned even worse, then he gave a cold humph.
“Senior Brother Zhao, it is too early to gloat. What does it count for when you had someone helping you? Next time, I’ll definitely grow a one and a half zhang long Spirit Winter Bamboo for you to see.
Zhao Yiduo laughed out loud after hearing him.
“Junior Brother Chen is also not afraid of the wind ripping his tongue out. Spirit Winter Bamboos are hard to grow, they require huge amounts of Qi. For us Qi Condensation disciples, growing them to one zhang is already our limit. One and a half zhang? That’s something only a Foundation Establishment elder can grow. As for two zhang? Ha ha, I’ve been in the sect for so long, but I have yet to see a two zhang Spirit Winter Bamboo…”
Before Zhao Yiduo finished speaking, on the little path behind the crowd, tremors suddenly arrived. It was as if something huge was approaching. All the nearby outer sect disciples turned their heads in surprise, before exclaiming loudly.
Even the confrontation between Zhao Yiduo and Chen Zi’ang was interrupted because of this. Both of them wrinkled their brows and directed their gazes in that direction.
Soon, the both of them could see huge bamboo stalks, almost as wide as a grown human body, appear in their sights. These bamboo stalks had a dark green colour. If one looked at them carefully, one could see spots of purple. Under the light of the sun, they even emitted magnificent colourful rays of light.
Even more surprising were the strong waves of spirit aura being emitted by the bamboo stalks that were covering the horizon. Many people exclaimed in surprise when they saw it.
“Wh-What are those!”
“They look like some kind of wood, but they also look like bamboos!”
Unable to recognize them, Chen Zi’ang and Zhao Yiduo also wrinkled their brows. But they could tell that those things were far from ordinary. On the side, Elder Zhou suddenly widened his eyes, staring straight at those bamboo stalks, his breathing ragged.
Under everyone’s attention, those bamboo stalks extended further and further behind, until they were fully revealed. These bamboo stalks were an impressive five zhang long. Underneath the bamboos, a small and skinny youngster was gasping for breath, while carrying the bamboos and walking forward.
He looked just like an ant carrying a steamed bun.
With every step he took, a tremor spread. As he walked forward, all of the outer sect disciples in front of him moved out of his way. Every single one of them was shocked speechless by this youngster’s strength.
This youngster was of course Bai Xiaochun. On the way here, while Bai Xiaochun was thinking about how fierce the competition would be, and how terrifying the Ten Thousand Snakes Valley was, he felt like crying but had no tears. Climbing up the mountain roads, he had a hard time reaching his destination this time. Without paying attention to the surrounding people, he walked in front of Elder Zhou. With a few rumbling sounds, those bamboo stalks were dropped on the ground. He then sat on top of them, and wiped his sweat while breathing deeply
“These bamboos couldn’t be put in storage pouches. Carrying them was so exhausting that I felt like I was going to die. Elder, I am here to turn in my mission.” speaking to this point, Bai Xiaochun suddenly realized something was wrong. After inspecting his surroundings, he discovered that all the people around him were staring directly at those bamboos, while breathing heavily.
“Bamboos… These are bamboos?”
“In all my life, I have never seen a bamboo this big! This is clearly a tree!”
Chen Zi’ang and Zhao Yiduo’s eyes were filled with both shock and bewilderment. Although they faintly recognized them, they just couldn’t believe their own eyes. They suddenly approached the bamboos, squatted down, and carefully inspected them. Zhao Yiduo was shaking and even wanted to snap a section of it to check its interior.
But before he managed to do so, Elder Zhou approached with a buzzing sound. WIth a wave of his sleeve, both of them were blown away. Elder Zhou stared at the bamboo stalks with unmoving eyes.
“These… These are really Spirit Winter Bamboos!!!”
After a while, Elder Zhou took a deep breath. When his words echoed throughout the surroundings, the outer sect disciples were all stunned. What followed next was an uproar filled with disbelief.
“Spirit Winter Bamboos! These large trees are actually… Spirit Winter Bamboos!!!”
“How is this possible? How can Spirit Winter Bamboos be this big!? Heavens, these bamboos are five zhang long!”
“Five zhang long and a human body’s in thickness, this...this is bamboo? ”
Wild clamor exploded in the surroundings. With each passing moment, the exclamations were getting louder and louder, even more so when the outer sect disciples compared them with Chen Zi’ang’s and Zhao Yiduo’s bamboos.