Chapter 131: For the Contributions!
Bai Xiaochun clasped his hands behind his back as he stood there in the courtyard watching the intoxicated bear trundling off into the distance. It looked back three times, seemingly reluctant to leave. Bai Xiaochun sighed, musing about the goodness of his deeds.
During the following half month, he continued to go out into the Beast Conservatory and return with specially selected beasts. The Beastbirth Flower would swallow them up, and when they emerged, they looked drunk with pleasure, and would make their way off into the distance on unsteady legs.
Bai Xiaochun kept his selection very limited, choosing only from two hundred of the most special beasts.
He wanted the flower to give birth to the ultimate battle beast, and therefore, he selected either the strongest or the largest of the beasts in the jungle.
Eventually, all of the beasts which had offered contributions began to gather outside of the spell formation. Whenever Bai Xiaochun appeared, they would howl at the tops of their lungs, as if to ask for another chance.
"Absolutely not," Bai Xiaochun replied firmly. "One contribution is enough. I don't want to harm you!" Eventually, Bai Xiaochun brought the huge pangolin over to contribute, and that was when he realized he'd run out of good beasts to chose from.
Furthermore, he was well aware that the blooming period of the Beastbirth Flower didn't last for very long. Eventually, it would give birth to whatever was inside, no matter what it was. That was when he started to get nervous.
"This won't do. These beasts aren't enough to create the ultimate battle beast." Having reached this point in his train of thoughts, Bai Xiaochun left the Beast Conservatory to take a walk through the north bank. After observing all of the animals, he had come to be quite familiar with the disciples' battle beasts. He even knew which ones had the greatest potential for future growth, and which ones were the strongest.
"I remember one female Outer Sect disciple who had a peacock. It had great potential. That peacock should do nicely, shouldn't it?" He quickly hurried over to the residence of that very female disciple.
After waiting outside for a while, the young woman approached. She was quite well-known in the Outer Sect, and was very beautiful. As soon as she neared, Bai Xiaochun put a warm smile onto his face, and tactfully offered some merit points if she would allow her peacock to make an important contribution. Although he didn't mention the Beastbirth Flower itself, he did explain other matters in detail.
Worried that she would reject the offer, he decided to add in one more bit of explanation.
"Don't worry. The contribution itself won't hurt the beast. You know, afterward, all of the beasts who've done it have looked drunk with pleasure. They all want a second round, as a matter of fact, but I was worried it would harm their vital energy, so I refused."
The female disciple's expression slowly went blank. Although she wasn't exactly sure what he meant by "contribution," after hearing his further explanation, her eyes went wide with fear.
"You... you pervert!" she huffed. A bit tongue-tied, she stamped her foot and walked off.
Bai Xiaochun's jaw dropped, and he felt a bit wronged.
"I just wanted to borrow your peacock! If you don't agree, that's fine, but there's no need to start cursing me. Bai Xiaochun is no pervert!" Feeling a bit down, he went to the next person on his list. During the following days, he visited over a hundred disciples, and yet, not a single one agreed. In fact, many of them looked at him with very odd expressions.
Bai Xiaochun sighed and decided that since everyone was refusing, he might as well forget the idea. Having no other option, he would have to settle for second best and try out some of the other beasts in the Beast Conservatory.
However, just when he was about to give up, something like a wind blew through the sect. Numerous disciples looked over at Bai Xiaochun with strange expressions on their faces, and began to whisper amongst themselves.
"Did you hear? Bai Xiaochun has a very unique hobby...."
"For the past few days, he's been going around asking to borrow battle beasts from people. He talks about some sort of contribution, and if you don't know what that means, well, come here, I'll explain it!"
"Oh, so that's what it means! Heavens! I can't believe that Bai Xiaochun uses the beasts for.... Heavens! Is it really true?"
The rumors began to fly completely spontaneously. Apparently, after the north bank disciples realized they couldn't do anything about Bai Xiaochun, their malice toward him had gradually transformed into intrigue. As such, it only took a few days for everyone to have caught wind of the rumors.
"Do you know why Bai Xiaochun came to the north bank? It's the beasts! He has a special sort of love for them!"
"Now I get it! No wonder he made that Aphrodisiac Pill. It all makes sense now. He needed it for himself to begin with...."
"Chosen always have their eccentric hobbies. I'm just curious as to whether he prefers female beasts or male beasts?"
"Heavens! I can't believe you're wondering about something like that! Shh... keep your voice down. Look, I think I know the answer to your question...."
When Bai Xiaochun heard the rumors, he was dumbstruck. The most extreme thing to happen was one evening at dusk when he happened to catch sight of a female disciple with a blue-eyed black cat. A bit curious, he looked over, whereupon the female disciple screamed at the top of her lungs and ran off at top speed.
Bai Xiaochun almost couldn't believe it all, and felt very wronged. He tried to explain things to people, and although they seemed to understand, the rumors only raged hotter.
"What a bunch of bullies!" he fumed. "It wasn't easy for me, Bai Xiaochun, to come to the north bank, completely impoverished. I minded my own business and tried not to offend anyone. I walked around with my tail between my legs, and yet, you people push things this far!? Slanderers!"
Eyes bloodshot, he gnashed his teeth.
"You're going overboard, people! If all you're going to do is slander me, then I'll go get the beasts myself!" Even as he burned with rage, he suddenly felt a wind blowing against his back. Looking over his shoulder, he didn't see anyone, but did notice a tree off to the side which was swaying back and forth.
Next, a black blur sped toward him, openings its mouth to bite at his belly... the ferocious jaws instantly began to snap shut with terrifying power.
Thankfully, Bai Xiaochun was in the tenth level of Qi Condensation. Furthermore, after awakening from his deep enlightenment, his senses had become heightened. As such, he recognized what was happening and quickly fell back.
Even as he did, a mouthful of razor-sharp teeth smashed onto the air a little more than a meter in front of him. The power of the bite was such that even the sound of it was shocking. It seemed to be filled with hatred.
The black blur was none other than the Nightstalker Beast, the huge black dog. It was currently nighttime, which mean that it was much faster than it was during the day. Seeing that its second attempt to ambush Bai Xiaochun had failed, the dog quickly turned to flee.
"You again!!" Bai Xiaochun said, scalp numb, sweat dripping down his neck. He felt chills running up his spine; if he had been even a bit slower to react, then the dog would surely have bitten him.
When he thought of what might have resulted, he shivered. He couldn't bet his life on his Undying Live Forever Technique....
"Damned black dog! It almost put an end to an entire Prestige clan!!" He glared in fury as the dog ran off into the distance.
"Intolerable bullying!" he raged. "If the north bank disciples want to bully me, that's one matter, but now a big dog is trying to do the same thing?! Last time I felt sorry for you, but this time, you're not getting off the hook!" With that, wings sprouted from his back, and he flickered into motion.
One man, one dog, they raced through the north bank at incredible speed.
The dog was also very fast, and was very familiar with the area. Bai Xiaochun chased after it for almost an hour, until the sky was completely dark. He never was able to catch up, and yet his fury was not abated. The fact that he had been ambushed, and then completely left in the dust by the perpetrator, made him more angry than ever.
As of this moment, the big black dog occupied the number two slot on Bai Xiaochun's list of hatreds. The number three spot was held by Elder Zhou's phoenix, and the number one spot... belonged to the abnormally stealthy talking rabbit. Nothing could ever take that first place spot away from the rabbit.
"I'll chase you to the ends of the earth if I have to!" Silver light flickered around him as the Undying Live Forever Technique was unleashed to its maximum effect, and his wings fluttered with protomagnetic power. In that moment, his speed instantly doubled.
He transformed into a series of afterimages that quickly closed in toward the dog. In that moment, the dog silently attempted to duck into a cave, but before it could, Bai Xiaochun was there, reaching out toward it.
As the hand neared, the black dog's eyes turned crimson, and it madly turned its head. Unexpectedly, it was completely disregarding its own safety to lunge toward Bai Xiaochun's belly and take out a bite.
The dog had failed in its ambush before, so there was no need to even wonder if it could succeed when Bai Xiaochun was enraged and chasing after it. Before the dog's jaws could even bite down, a gurgling sound could be heard as Bai Xiaochun's hand clamped down onto its throat.
His hand was like an iron vice that completely prevented the black dog from escaping.
"Hmph! Now we're going to see how awesome you are!" Gritting his teeth, he headed back to the Beast Conservatory, and soon arrived at the honor guard station. After thinking for a moment about how to punish the dog, he suddenly looked over at the Beastbirth Flower.
His heart twitched, and he chuckled darkly. With that, he tossed the dog toward the Beastbirth Flower, which swallowed it up in an instant.
Two hours later, the flower opened, and the big black dog crawled out. Although its eyes shone with hatred and madness, there was something else in them as well. Before another moment could pass, it lunged at Bai Xiaochun, who grabbed it and threw it back into the flower.
Another two hours passed, and the dog appeared again, just as maddened as before. Bai Xiaochun threw it back into the flower.
After four times, the dog emerged, legs wobbly. It flopped onto the ground, panting.
"Scared now?" Bai Xiaochun said, snorting coldly. "Provoke me again, and I'll-"
Before he could even finish, the black dog looked up at him and tried its best to reach out and bite him. Enraged, Bai Xiaochun grabbed the dog and threw it back into the Beastbirth Flower for another go. After five more times, it made a total of nine.
After nine times, the dog was gaunt and listless. Seeing that, Bai Xiaochun picked it up, and it let out a miserable howl. Bai Xiaochun felt bad.
"Now do you understand what you have to be afraid of? Just don't provoke me any more. I had no choice but to do what I did in the Chosen battles." With this admonishment, he tossed the big black dog out of the honor guard station. The dog used what little energy it had left to flee off into the distance. When it got far enough, though, it turned to look back, and seemed like it was savoring sweet memories....