Chapter 122: I Accept This Challenge!
The north bank disciples viewed challenging Bai Xiaochun as a sort of heroic accomplishment. It was causing such a stir that word even spread to the south bank. The disciples there exchanged glances of sympathy. Of course, that sympathy was not for Bai Xiaochun; it was for the disciples of the north bank.
"They really don't know him at all...."
"Just wait. It won't be long before they realize how terrifying Bai Xiaochun is."
Time passed. On the tenth day, the number of Inner Sect disciples who had challenged Bai Xiaochun had reached about 2,300 in total. That number increased every day.
It reached the point that any Inner Sect disciple who didn't go to challenge Bai Xiaochun was considered to have lost face. Not going to the trial platform to send out a paper crane was considered to be contemptible.
Once that became the norm... even more people challenged him.
"Hahaha! On this day, I, Xu Dabao, put up 10 merit points to challenge Bai Xiaochun!"
"Humph! I, Zhou Yuncong, challenged the archenemy of the north bank three days ago. Too bad that numskull didn't dare to fight!"
On the thirteenth day, the number of disciples who had challenged Bai Xiaochun passed the 3,000 mark. The north bank was completely and utterly in a frenzy. No matter where you went, the only thing people talked about were the challenges to Bai Xiaochun.
For such a massive storm to have been caused by a single person was unheard-of. New challenges flew out every day, and tens of thousands of Outer Sect disciples were gathered around the trial platform, there to watch the proud Inner Sect disciples in their glory. Every paper crane that flew off was accompanied by cheers, regardless of how many merit points had been put up as the stakes.
Beihan Lie had never imagined that his actions would give birth to such pandemonium. He was now far more famous than before, especially considering that he had come back from an injury to his current height.
On the seventeenth day, the number of disciples who had challenged Bai Xiaochun broke past 4,000. The storm which had overtaken the north bank was filling the entire sect.
By this point, what was happening was no longer a simple challenge to fight. It was a symbol. The number of merit points offered up didn't matter. Some people offered less than ten. However, the event was so exciting that everybody had to participate.
"Bai Xiaochun is scared! He doesn't dare to fight with the north bank!"
"Hahaha! Even if he were stronger than he is, he would still have to kneel before the combined might of the north bank!"
"The spirit of the north bank can never be surpassed!!"
The four peak lords of the north bank were tongue-tied, and Sect Leader Zheng Yuandong looked on with wide eyes. Even the prime elders took notice. After all, this sort of thing had never occurred before.
The north bank disciples were so excited about the matter that virtually every day after the challenges were issued, people would rush over to the Beast Conservatory to look at the paper cranes flying to join the pile. Loud cheering would always accompany the scene.
By the twentieth day, eighty to ninety percent of the Inner Sect disciples had issued challenges to fight. It was only then that the pandemonium began to die down. That morning, a burly Outer Sect disciple appeared near the trial platform, seemingly bursting with eagerness. In his mind, considering the fact that over four thousand people had already challenged Bai Xiaochun ahead of him, even if Bai Xiaochun did choose to fight someone, he surely wouldn't pick people who had offered low amounts of merit points. After all, Bai Xiaochun had taken first place in the Chosen battles.
To be able to challenge someone like that, even if he was avoiding the fighting, left the burly disciple bursting with joy. Later on, he could brag that he had challenged Bai Xiaochun, but that Bai Xiaochun had run from the fight.
More excited than ever, the burly disciple unleashed the power of the fourth level of Qi Condensation and leaped up onto the trial platform, the first person of the day to issue a challenge, and also the first Outer Sect to ever do so. After landing on the trial, he threw his head back and laughed uproariously.
"I, Liu Dabiao, put up 200 merit points to challenge the archenemy of the north bank, Bai Xiaochun!" Laughing at the top of his lungs, Liu Dabiao clasped his hands behind his back and stared off in the direction of the Beast Conservatory. "Bai Xiaochun, once you receive Lord Tiger's challenge, will you, an Inner Sect disciple, dare to fight me?" 1
This man's actions stunned everyone present. The first reaction was that this Liu Dabiao was clearly a fool. No matter how detestable Bai Xiaochun was, he had taken first place in the Chosen battles. He was not the type of person that could be challenged by an Outer Sect disciple. But then people realized that Liu Dabiao was obviously using this chance to try to earn a name for himself, and their eyes began to shine brightly.
For an Outer Sect disciple to challenge an Inner Sect disciple, who then fled from the match, was an amazing situation that got everyone's blood burning.
Liu Dabiao had clearly issued his challenge to fight because he wished to join the grand occasion of opposing the archenemy of the north bank.
Even as Liu Dabiao stood there proudly on the trial platform, Bai Xiaochun was just getting up from a session of meditation in the honor guard station of the Beast Conservatory. Sighing, he pushed open the door.
Over the past twenty days, he had gotten a headache every time he opened the door. However, he had no other choice. If too many paper cranes built up, the desire to fight would grow too strong, and he wouldn't be able to handle it. Therefore, the first thing he did every morning was open the door.
Every time he did so, he would see hundreds of paper cranes, and hear countless voices issuing challenges. Yesterday, he had even taken the time to count them all, and found that there were over four thousand. By now, they were piled up everywhere.
This time when he opened the door, he was surprised to find only a few dozen new paper cranes. But then, only a moment later, a huge cloud of over a thousand cranes, bursting with a desire to do battle that could topple mountains and drain seas, flew toward him from off in the distance. Bai Xiaochun's mind and heart were instantly engulfed by a powerful urge to fight.
As the more than one thousand paper cranes descended, overwhelming him with the desire to do battle, he was literally buried by the cranes.
A moment later, his head popped into view, and he crawled out from within the pile of cranes. A shocked expression could be seen on his face as he looked around. He was so surprised that he could barely move.
He reached out and grabbed the first crane he saw, to hear an emotionless voice speaking in his ear.
"Inner Sect disciple Bai Xiaochun: Outer Sect disciple Liu Dabiao of the north bank, fourth level of Qi Condensation, has put up 200 merit points to challenge you to a fight."
Bai Xiaochun stared at the paper crane, shocked. When he heard that the challenger was in the fourth level of Qi Condensation, his eyes flashed with anger.
"What a bunch of bullies, these north bank people. I've been trying hard to keep a low profile, but it's simply impossible. Sheesh! If Beihan Lie doesn't want to admit he lost, and feels like emerging after ten years in secluded meditation, well that's understandable. The Inner Sect disciples want to challenge me? I can endure. But now Outer Sect disciples are challenging me? Enough! Enough! I can accept a challenge! Liu Dabiao? Fourth level of Qi Condensation? He's the one!" Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath and sighed inwardly. It was too bad that the beasts in the Beast Conservatory couldn't be taken out easily unless they were bonded. Plus, he didn't know the Heavenspan Shamanic Control Incantation. Otherwise, he would take the hundreds of beasts here out with him and crush the fighting arena!
Filled with regret, he stuck his chin up and looked at the paper crane.
"I accept this challenge!"
Meanwhile, back on the trial platform, Liu Dabiao stood there with his hands clasped behind his back, basking in the feeling of being the center of attention. It was almost overwhelming on an emotional level.
"Bai Xiaochun, Lord Tiger will wait for you for ten breaths of time. You noob! You numskull! Do you dare to accept Lord Tiger's challenge, or not?! Bai Xiaochun, get the hell out here right now!"
As he got more and more excited, his voice continued to get louder and louder, causing the crowd to cheer even more.
Liu Dabiao's was getting really worked up, and had never even stopped to consider that Bai Xiaochun might actually accept his challenge. From his perspective, the fact that Bai Xiaochun had been avoiding the fights for the past twenty days meant that even if he did start to accept some, he would definitely pick the Inner Sect disciples. He would never be so shameless as to fight with someone from the Outer Sect. After all... he had taken first place in the Chosen battles!
Liu Dabiao was feeling more proud of himself than ever, and was congratulating himself on picking the perfect situation to make a name for himself. He could even imagine what it would be like in a few days. Everyone in the Outer Sect would know who he was, and his newfound fame might even cause some of the Junior Sisters he liked to take an interest in him.
"Bai Xiaochun, you have three breaths of time left!" he roared. "Hurry up! Do you dare to fight with Lord Tiger!?" Laughing with extreme contentment, he prepared to remove himself from the platform.
Suddenly, a screen of light rose up in front of him, making it impossible for him to leave. The surrounding disciples stared in shock.
Next, a completely emotionless voice rang out to fill the trial platform.
"Inner Sect disciple Bai Xiaochun has accepted the challenge issued by Outer Sect disciple Liu Dabiao. Let the fighting begin!"
The glittering light of teleportation could be seen as Bai Xiaochun slowly materialized on the trial platform, thanks to the powers of the paper crane. There he was in front of tens of thousands of north bank disciples, all of whom stared in complete shock.
A deathly silence filled the air. Among the crowd of tens of thousands were both Outer Sect disciples and Inner Sect disciples, and yet all of them were struck as mute as wooden chickens as they stared at Bai Xiaochun.
None of them could ever have possibly imagined that Bai Xiaochun... would actually accept a challenge. Although it was within the realm of possibility, it was still completely unbelievable that... he would accept a challenge from an Outer Sect disciple in the fourth level of Qi Condensation....
Such shamelessness defied the imaginations of everyone present, and left their minds completely blank.
"You're Liu Dabiao?" Bai Xiaochun asked, clasping his hands behind his back and looking very serious.
Liu Dabiao's knees began to wobble, and tears started rolling down his cheeks. He looked like he was on the verge of fainting. His eyes were blank, and for a moment, he wondered if he were dreaming. He had simply wanted to take advantage of the situation to make a name for himself. How could he ever have guessed that Bai Xiaochun would actually accept his challenge!?!?
"I... I...." He was shaking so hard that he couldn't hardly speak straight.
Before he could even say anything, Bai Xiaochun said, "Why don't you concede? When I attack, I frighten even myself."
The words hit Liu Dabiao's ears like crashing thunder. Visualizing all of the stories he had heard about Bai Xiaochun, especially the tragedy of Beihan Lie, his knees went stiff. Terrified, he almost began to weep.
As the words left his mouth, he vanished, and Bai Xiaochun stood there proudly on the trial platform, watching as 200 merit points were added to his command medallion.
"Life can be so lonely..." he said, flicking his sleeve and sighing. The spectators began to howl in rage, so loudly that it echoed out from the north bank to be heard by the disciples on the south bank.
1. The character 'biao' in Liu Dabiao's name means 'tiger