Chapter 108: Big Fatty Zhang, Loyal Friend
Even Li Qinghou gasped in response to what was happening. Having no time to actually dispel the lightning, he quickly performed an incantation gesture and waved his finger toward the sky. In response, a resplendent, multi-colored shield sprang into existence above Fragrant Cloud Peak.
At the same time, the more than one thousand lightning bolts began to descend from the clouds. Their target was Fragrant Cloud Peak, but the shield blocked their progress. Massive rumbling sounds echoed out, and ripples spread out across the shield as it began to neutralize the lightning bolts.
After thirty breaths of time, the final lightning bolt was neutralized, and the multi-colored shield faded away. The disciples of Fragrant Cloud Peak were left trembling, the intense feeling of danger still lingering in their hearts. After a moment, they turned with bloodshot eyes to look in the direction of Bai Xiaochun's cave.
"Bai Xiaochun!!" countless disciples howled. It was hard to say who made the first move, but soon, a huge mob was rushing toward his immortal's cave. Elders joined the crowd, and even Li Qinghou flew in the same direction in a bright beam of light.
Within his crumbling immortal's cave, Bai Xiaochun was staring anxiously at the pill furnace, surprised that no lightning had come. Distracted, he suddenly realized that a deafening rumble could be heard outside, a sound which far exceeded the thunder from earlier.
Face draining of blood, he leaped to his feet, which was when he realized that the immortal's cave was on the verge of collapsing. Without another moment of hesitation, he ran outside. Moments later, the rumbling caused by countless running people pushed the immortal's cave past the point where it could hold together, and it collapsed.
Bai Xiaochun gaped mutely as the dust billowed out in all directions. That was when he realized that he was surrounded by a sea of furious Fragrant Cloud Peak disciples.
Before he could begin his explanation, Zhou Xinqi's shrill cry pierced through the crowd. "Bai Xiaochun, you owe me an immortal's cave!!"
"Take Bai Xiaochun down!!"
"Dammit! You destroyed my immortal's cave!!"
"This is over the top! You weren't really concocting medicine, were you? First were the exploding pill furnaces, then all those weird animals, and finally this lightning. Y-y-you...." The crowd was completely enraged after having been tormented for two years in a row by Bai Xiaochun....
Bai Xiaochun felt more wronged than ever, considering that he really had been concocting pills. But then he noticed that Zhou Xinqi's immortal's cave had been reduced to rubble, and suddenly felt an apologetic twinge in his heart.
Hou Xiaomei and Hou Yunfei were there in the crowd, but even they looked a bit helpless. Hou Xiaomei looked over at Bai Xiaochun, gritted her teeth, and was just about to start defending him to the crowd when Hou Yunfei fearfully clamped his hand over her mouth. It was a delicate moment, given how incensed the crowd was....
The disciples of Fragrant Cloud Peak had all determined that letting Bai Xiaochun continue to concoct pills was unacceptable. As long as he was working at pill concocting, none of them would feel safe. When they thought about what had just occurred with the lightning, their shouts of fury grew even more intense.
Even as the crowd teetered on the version of losing control, the elders arrived, along with Li Qinghou. The disciples instantly quieted down, looking over woefully at Li Qinghou, clearly imploring him to take action.
Li Qinghou felt a huge headache coming on as he glared at Bai Xiaochun. Inciting lightning wasn't something that was incredibly difficult to do. Lightning was a yang element, so the only thing one had to do was provoke the proper transformations in plants and vegetation to create a yang aura, and thus attract lightning. However, even Li Qinghou was shocked by the sheer amount of lightning that had descended. Furthermore, Li Qinghou was also fairly certain that the exaggerated nature of the event had something to do with Fragrant Cloud Peak itself, which fundamentally possessed a yin aura.
Of course, the ordinary disciples wouldn't know that, and thus wouldn't know that Bai Xiaochun had only been one instigating factor.
Bai Xiaochun truly felt sorry for everyone, but also felt that he was getting the short end of the stick. Lacking any other options, he simply look anxiously at Li Qinghou.
With a slight shake of his head, Li Qinghou said, "Bai Xiaochun, from here on out, you're not allowed to concoct medicine on Fragrant Cloud Peak. Leave the mountain to do any concocting!"
The disciples started to get excited at Li Qinghou's brilliance.
"Yeah! Leave the mountain to do your concocting. Stay away from Fragrant Cloud Peak!"
"Go concoct medicine anywhere except near us!!"
"That's right! If you keep concocting medicine the way you have been, you're going to destroy Fragrant Cloud Peak! There's nothing strange about being asked to leave!!"
Before Bai Xiaochun could even begin to explain, Li Qinghou waved his sleeve. "The matter's been decided. Alright, everyone, take your leave."
Having finished speaking, Li Qinghou glared harshly at Bai Xiaochun, who immediately bit his tongue. He almost looked like he was going to cry. He truly felt horrible for disappointing Li Qinghou so badly.
The disciples in the crowd gave their final glares to Bai Xiaochun and then gradually dispersed. After everyone was gone, Li Qinghou stood there with Bai Xiaochun and let out a long sigh.
"Okay, explain your Lightning Detox Grand Magic to me."
Bai Xiaochun looked up. Eyes glittering, he smiled broadly, and began to explain all of the details of his grand magic. Upon finishing, he stood there looking at Li Qinghou in anticipation.
Li Qinghou thought for a moment, and then nodded his head.
"The Dao of medicine is boundless, and no one could ever dare to say that it has a limit. Anything can happen during the journey upon that long path. The method you attempted has been tried and tested by others in the past, and they all failed. Lightning is powerful, and very difficult to control. Although some degree of success is possible, you can only go so far.
"You should wait until your cultivation base is a bit higher before trying again. At the very least, Foundation Establishment. Right now, any more attempts would be useless." Seeing how obsessed Bai Xiaochun was with the Dao of medicine, he did his best to explain things gently. After finishing, he patted Bai Xiaochun encouragingly on the shoulder, then turned to leave.
Bai Xiaochun sighed and sat down blankly. He really felt bad for causing so many immortal's caves to be destroyed. After thinking about what Li Qinghou had told him, he decided that, for the moment, he would stop working on the Lightning Detox Grand Magic.
"I need to take my research in a different direction," he thought. "I need to find another way to cleanse the impurities, something that doesn't use lightning, and that doesn't affect other people. But how do I do that?" After some more thought, he looked toward Violet Cauldron Peak, and his eyes began to shine.
Night hadn't fallen yet, so Bai Xiaochun straightened up a bit, then looked back at his destroyed immortal's cave, his eyes shining with determination.
"For the Dao of medicine, and for my eternal life pill!" With that, he walked down Fragrant Cloud Peak and headed toward Violet Cauldron Peak.
Bai Xiaochun was already very familiar with Violet Cauldron Peak. Back in the day, he and Big Fatty Zhang had covered nearly half the mountain in their search for spirit tail chickens. Later on, when he became so entranced with being called Sect Uncle, he had come to stroll around the mountain on numerous occasions.
Setting foot on Violet Cauldron Peak, he suddenly felt very calm. The disciples here weren't as irritable as those on Fragrant Cloud Peak, and in fact, many of them called out to him in greeting. Bai Xiaochun quickly began to sigh happily.
All smiles, he walked along the familiar path toward Big Fatty Zhang's residence. Big Fatty Zhang still hadn't reached the Inner Sect yet, so he still lived in the same place as before. It was evening by the time Bai Xiaochun reached the front gate.
When Big Fatty Zhang saw that it was Bai Xiaochun, he immediately broke into a wide smile. Once they were both inside his courtyard, Big Fatty Zhang proudly showed off his amazing spirit enhancement abilities, and explained that he was now renowned as a miraculous spirit enhancer here on Violet Cauldron Peak.
Bai Xiaochun immediately offered words of congratulations, which of course made Big Fatty Zhang even happier than before. Finally, Bai Xiaochun cleared his throat.
"Eldest Brother, there's something I wanted to discuss with you."
"Say the word!" Big Fatty Zhang said, waving his hand in grandiose fashion.
"Could you help me find a place to stay on Violet Cauldron Peak? I want to do some medicine concocting here." With that, he looked pleadingly at Big Fatty Zhang.
"Concoct medicine? You're already an Inner Sect disciple! Your immortal's cave should have a medicine concocting workstation. Oh, by the way, I was in secluded meditation for a while. I heard Fragrant Cloud Peak had an incident with some lighting. What happened exactly?" Having been out of the public eye for most of the year so far, Big Fatty Zhang wasn't too familiar with events beyond the borders of Violet Cauldron Peak. After all, Fragrant Cloud Peak was a different mountain altogether, so naturally he wouldn't know as much.
Bai Xiaochun frowned bleakly. "Um... I was a bit careless in my pill concocting and attracted some lightning. My immortal's cave was actually destroyed."
"Huh?" Big Fatty Zhang said, his eyes going wide.
"Listen, Eldest Brother, you don't have to worry," Bai Xiaochun said, slapping his chest proudly. "I hereby swear that if I concoct medicine on Violet Cauldron Peak, I won't attract any lightning. Seriously, I'm the kind of person who keeps my word. Besides, I can concoct tier-3 spirit medicine now. I'll give you a whole bottle when I'm finished!"
When Big Fatty Zhang heard Bai Xiaochun talk about tier-3 spirit medicine, his heart began to thump. Tier-3 spirit medicines were available in the local market, but their prices were astronomical. Considering what Bai Xiaochun was offering him, there was no way he would refuse. Coupled with his pledge, Big Fatty Zhang only had to think for a moment before laughing heartily.
"No problem at all. I don't have anywhere to concoct pills here, but I'm friends with the Elder Brother who manages the immortal's caves. If we grease the wheels a bit, he can secretly get you into an Inner Sect disciple's cave. Of course, it can't be a long-term thing."
"Not long-term!" Bai Xiaochun said, eyes shining with excitement. "Not long at all. Half a year at the most!"
Big Fatty Zhang nodded. Leaving Bai Xiaochun behind, he went away for the time it takes an incense stick to burn, then returned proudly with a command medallion.
"Done," he announced. "It's not a very good immortal's cave, but it has a medicine concocting workstation. It's pretty close, I'll walk you over."
Bai Xiaochun let out a cheer, then flattered Big Fatty Zhang a bit more. Bursting with happiness, Big Fatty Zhang led Bai Xiaochun off to the immortal's cave.
It was relatively simple and crude for an immortal's cave, and very small, nothing like his cave back on Fragrant Cloud Peak. However, it had a medicine concocting workstation, which was enough for Bai Xiaochun.
Sitting there looking very satisfied, he took a deep breath and said, "Eldest Brother truly is a loyal friend!"
Moved, he reiterated to himself that he must not attempt any experiments with the Lightning Detox Grand Magic. Nor could he test strange pills on animals. As far as exploding pill furnaces, he was sure he could avoid that. Considering all that, he was convinced that no problems would arise because of his medicine concocting.
"It's time to research more ways to cleanse impurities!" Calming himself, he produced a handful of spirit plants, which he began to analyze in detail. Slowly, he immersed himself in the Dao of medicine.