Chapter 28 - Pressure is Motivation
Zhao Yiduo and Cheng Zi’ang, who were blown away, disregarded the pain coursing through their bodies as they rushed back and prostrated themselves to closely inspect the bamboos. These actions, coupled with the surrounding people’s exclamations, had stunned Bai Xiaochun speechless.
Particularly Elder Zhou, who looked at the stalks one by one. His expression was filled with excitement, disbelief and joy.
This chaotic scene had shocked Bai Xiaochun and made him think that everyone here was crazy. Weren’t these just a few stalks of bamboo? Originally, he had planned to grow them until they were at least ten zhang tall.
“Elder…” Bai Xiaochun retreated a few steps as he hesitantly called out.
“Great! This is great!” Elder Zhou let out a booming laugh as he caressed those Spirit Winter Bamboos, not leaving a single place untouched. He was completely oblivious to Bai Xiaochun’s words.
“This kind of Spirit Winter Bamboo is extremely rare. Only when it grows to five zhang long will its entire body become dark green. This kind of Spirit Winter Bamboo is not just a mere herb, but also the main ingredient for refining the Spirit Bamboo Sword. It can even be used as a catalyst for some unique techniques!”
“All of you, come smell it. Can you smell the aroma of meat and bones? This aroma is unique to this bamboo when its length exceeds five zhang.” Elder Zhou was extremely excited as he spoke, even taking a deep whiff.
Chen Zi’ang and Zhou Yiduo’s expressions were serious as they also breathed in the Spirit Winter Bamboo’s aroma. The surrounding disciples also moved closer to take a sniff.
Bai Xiaochun coughed dryly. He had already noticed that particular scent while carrying the bamboo stalks on the way here. It was clearly… the smell of chicken bones. After all, in the spirit fields where the Spirit Winter Bamboos were planted, there were hundreds of thousands of Spirit Tailed Chicken bones buried… and he had stripped the meat off of every single one of those bones.
“Elder…” Bai Xiaochun, thinking that all these people have gone insane, called out again.
Just then, Elder Zhou’s body suddenly jerked violently. His vision focused on a certain area on one of the bamboo stalks. His face turned ugly and fury burned in his eyes.
“God dammit, what happened here? Why is there a bite mark? These Spirit Winter Bamboos are incomparably bitter and cannot be eaten raw. Which bastard dared to take a bite and mar the quality of this stalk?!” Elder Zhou lamented. The bite mark was like a worm’s hole that had suddenly been found on a piece of a flawless jade. He raised his head fiercely and looked at Bai Xiaochun.
“It wasn’t me!” Bai Xiaochun was so frightened that he hurriedly took a few steps back. He recalled the time when he had been so hungry, that without even bothering to check what he was putting in his mouth, he had taken a bite out of this bamboo stalk. He never imagined that the place where people turn in their missions would be so terrifying. He couldn’t bite off a piece of bamboo that he had grown himself? These people were all crazy!
When the surrounding people heard Elder Zhou’s words, they all turned their attention to that stalk. Lo and behold, at the end of that stalk of the Spirit Winter Bamboo, they could see a mark left behind by someone’s teeth.
Elder Zhou fixed his gaze on the scar on the bamboo for a long while before he gave a long sigh. After all, he was a Foundation Establishment cultivator. Even if he was obsessed with the path of medicine, he still possessed a significant amount of mental fortitude. It was just that the bamboo Bai Xiaochun had brought over, a variation of the bamboo which he had never seen before, was simply too startling, making him lose composure.
He shot a fervent look towards Bai Xiaochun and flourished his long sleeves.
“This bamboo, the peak of excellent grade ... No, top grade! This is the epitome of top grade! The reward will be ten thousand contribution points!” The moment he said this, all the surrounding people took a deep breath. One had to know that an ordinary planting mission was only worth about ten to a maximum of a hundred contribution points. But today, it was ten thousand!
The young disciple who stood by the side was also stunned. In these countless years, spirit plants that had been granted the title of top grade were incredibly rare.
At least, this was the first time in the last couple of centuries.
Bai Xiaochun became very excited as he rushed towards the young disciple at the side. He took out his identity plate and hurried the disciple to give the contribution points. The young disciple hesitated for a moment. However, when he noticed that Elder Zhou had started to inspect those bamboo stalks again, he gritted his teeth and awarded Bai Xiaochun ten thousand contribution points.
The moment he received his contribution points, Bai Xiaochun hurried to leave. He decided that he would never come back to this place again. All the people here were just too crazy.
He did not get far before Elder Zhou’s voice resounded behind him.
“What’s your name?”
“Bai Xiaochun, I’m called Bai Xiaochun. My uncle is Li Qinghou!” Bai Xiaochun hurriedly said. Before he came, he had never imagined that his bamboo would startle people to this extent, so at this moment, he was feeling rather anxious and pulled out Li Qinghou’s name to act as a tiger’s skin.
“Hm. Through great effort, the Spirit River Sect has become a large sect that is ten thousand years old with myriads of disciples. Everyone has their own secrets, their own creations, and this old man is not yet willing to sacrifice his face to demand an explanation about your methods. But in the future, if you obtain more of these bamboos, this old man will take them all and award you with a satisfactory amount of contribution points!” Elder Zhou seemed a little unhappy. He waved his hand, no longer paying attention to Bai Xiaochun, and continued to inspect those bamboos. He even went as far as ending the submissions for the day early.
As Bai Xiaochun held his identity plate, his eyes showed excitement. He left the Mission Exchange Pavilion and rushed straight towards the Spirit Medicine Hall of the Scented Cloud Mountain. This so-called Spirit Medicine Hall was the place where the disciples of Scented Cloud Mountain could exchange their spirit medicines.
If he possessed any spirit medicine, he could also come here to sell it to the sect in exchange for contribution points.
Bai Xiaochun sprinted over. Inside the Spirit Medicine Hall, he started to look around and made his choice. By the time he finally left, he had bought a bottle of medicine pills suitable for the fifth level of Qi Condensation. However, the medicine pills weren’t cheap. Bai Xiaochun had originally thought that the ten thousand contribution points he had acquired was already a lot, but contrary to his belief, the spirit medicines sold here were even more expensive.
“Green God Underlying Spirit Pill.” Bai Xiaochun looked at the bottle of pills in his hand. There were a total of three pills, and just these three pills had already cost him over four thousand contribution points.
But at the same time, these pills were not ordinary Qi Condensation disciples’ pills. Their effects were exceptional. Not only was their medicinal effect greater than ordinary medicine, they also had the effect of purifying Qi.
Bai Xiaochun figured that his breakthrough to the fifth level of Qi Condensation was not assured, so this time, he planned to boost himself all the way to the peak of the fifth level of Qi Condensation through consuming these pills.
As for the sixth level of Qi Condensation, he had thought about using this method to avoid participating in the competition. Though if he did, he could imagine that Li Qinghou would just change methods and continue to punish him.
As for his remaining contribution points, Bai Xiaochun did not let any of them go to waste. He used all of them to exchange for a single-use charm. Only after he stuck that thing to his body did he feel somewhat safer.
If not for the fact that he did not have enough contribution points, he would have entered the treasure pavilion and exchanged them for some weapons used in Qi Condensation. However, he could only give up on this idea. After returning to his courtyard, Bai Xiaochun sat cross-legged in the wooden cabin. He took out the medicine pills and stared at them with an imposing gaze.
“There are less than three months left, I am going to enter closed-door cultivation!” Clenching his teeth, he inspected his surroundings. With a gesture of his right hand, the turtle-shell pot immediately appeared. He pulled out some of the Spirit Tailed Chicken tails, and with a wave of his hand, a three-coloured flame appeared.
One tail was insufficient to meet the demands of the pot. Only after ten tails were ignited did the third line on the pot light up. At one go, Bai xiaochun refined all three medicine pills thrice.
After that, he picked up one Green God Underlying Spirit Pill, now marked with three silver lines, and swallowed it in a single gulp.
The moment the medicine pill entered his body, it immediately dissolved. Rumbling waves of imposing Qi surged within his body. Bai Xiaochun quickly assumed the posture and breathing method of the Purple Qi Cauldron Manipulation Technique. With utmost concentration, he relentlessly guided the Qi to circulate in his body.
After a couple of days, Bai Xiaochun’s wooden cabin shook with a boom as dust and soil flew into the air. It was as if an earthquake had spread from within the room. Soon, Bai Xiaochun’s laughter echoed out from within the wooden cabin.
“Fifth level of Qi Condensation!” Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath, his eyes shone brightly. Previously, he had eaten many Spirit Tailed Chickens and he was already at the peak of the fourth stage of Qi Condensation. Adding in the medicine pill he had just swallowed, he smoothly broke through to the fifth level of Qi Condensation.
Although filth once again appeared on his body, this time, the amount was clearly less than the last time. After washing himself, Bai Xiaochun did not immediately swallow the next pill, but stabilised his cultivation instead. He waited for another five days before he decided to swallow the second Green God Underlying Spirit Pill. This time, an abundant amount of Qi accumulated inside his body, expanded his Qi channels, rapidly circulated through his body, and caused his cultivation to take another great leap forwards.
After stabilising his cultivation again for a couple of days, he swallowed the third Green God Underlying Spirit Dan. Afterwards, his cultivation shot straight up to the peak level of the fifth level of Qi Condensation.
By this point, his every gesture, from raising his hand to moving his feet, seemed to suggest that he had become a completely different person. Not to mention his skin that had become even whiter, he even radiated a unique atmosphere.
This caused Bai Xiaochun to be overjoyed. He completely understood that if it was any other disciple that was at the peak of fourth level Qi Condensation, who had swallowed those three medicine pills, they would at most break through to the fifth level of Qi Condensation. It was impossible for them to reach the peak of the fifth level of Qi Condensation, just a hair’s breadth away from the sixth level, like he had done.
The key point here was the turtle-shell pot’s refining ability.
The effectiveness of this item had become increasingly obvious as Bai Xiaochun continued to cultivate, making him question the origins of this turtle-shell pot quite often.
Although it looked like the back of a turtle, he had come to the conclusion that it was not really a turtleshell.
As for refining, he had already investigated this issue thoroughly. There was an area designated for refinement located at Purple Cauldron Mountain. By paying a certain amount of contribution points, one could get a sect elder there to help them with refining(可以在那里让宗门的长老帮助炼灵). It was also rumoured that the ancestor of Purple Cauldron Mountain was an Alchemy Master.
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes lit up as he ran his hand along the patterns on the back of the turtle-shell pot. A split second later, he shook his head. Since he was unable to understand the pot, then he might as well forget about its origins. With a wave of his right hand, a green jade tablet as well as his wooden sword appeared in front of his eyes.
Bai Xiaochun gazed at the two unique treasures he had acquired so far. Then, he gnashed his teeth, took out some more spirit tails, and prepared to refine the two treasures to the third level of spirit refinement.
“I wonder how much the sword and the jade tablet will change after I refine them for the third time.”
Bai Xiaochun waved his right hand, and after three patterns on the turtleshell pot lit up, he threw the jade tablet inside. Immediately after the silver light began glowing brightly, rumbles akin to the sound of rolling thunder could be heard. Fortunately, no one noticed it since the sound did not travel too far.
When the silver light dissipated, there was a stunning third silver line added to the green jade tablet in front of Bai Xiaochun. The glowing silver patterns flashed before slowly fading, but Bai Xiaochun could clearly feel that the jade tablet’s power was vastly different compared to before. They were as far apart as heaven and earth..
There was even a faint trace of purple light, amidst the green colour, embedded in the interior of the jade tablet. The shape of the jade tablet had also changed slightly. It was no longer elliptical but had instead flattened to become circular.
Bai Xiaochun picked up the jade tablet and infused it with his Qi. With a sudden buzz, his surroundings were immediately enveloped by an astounding sphere of green light which was more than three inches thick.