Chapter 189: Hair Transformation
"Years from now, I can proudly tell my descendants that Bai Xiaochun walked a long, winding path. He raised beasts in the Spirit Stream Sect, and concocted medicine in the Blood Stream Sect!" Bai Xiaochun really felt proud of himself. Considering how hard he was working, if he didn't become a grandmaster apothecary and concoct a Live-Forever Never-Die pill, it would be really unfair.
"However, I need to be careful. This isn't the Spirit Stream Sect. These people are brutal. If I provoke them because of my medicine concocting, they probably won't just throw rocks, they'll attack with magical items." That thought got him so nervous that he began to hesitate.
After more thought, he gritted his teeth, and his eye shone with determination.
"If I want to become the greatest apothecary in the world, if I want to live forever and exist for all eternity, then how could I let this trifling Blood Stream Sect stop me? I'm definitely gonna concoct some pills!
"Bring it on! When the Dao of medicine is involved, Bai Xiaochun isn't afraid of anyone!" Although his expression seemed cold and sinister, he was really gritting his teeth and throwing caution to the wind.
He didn't want to be stuck in the corpse cave staring at a corpse for any longer than he had to. He had no interest in such things. Therefore, he would use his abilities with spirit medicine to reduce the time it took to accomplish the mission. Then he could leave Corpse Peak once and for all.
After studying the mission jade slip for a while, he began to chuckle darkly. "All I have to do is get the corpse to grow white hair, right? Simple! I just need to concoct a medicinal incense that grows hair!"
In the Blood Stream Sect, any corpse that grew white hair was a pallid zombie. That was common knowledge. Never before had there been an ordinary zombie with white hair.
Bai Xiaochun rubbed his chin thoughtfully as he looked at the blood-colored water in the cistern, and the corpse. Then he sat down cross-legged and began to mentally review all of the medicine formulas he knew.
It was essentially impossible to use medicinal pills to solve the problem with the corpse. He had to concoct medicinal incense. Upon burning it, a smoke would appear which would merge into the corpse and transform it.
A few days later, his eyes were already completely bloodshot. He was pacing back and forth in the corpse cave, coming up with one idea after another. Some ideas he immediately discarded, others he spent time analyzing in detail.
He even asked Nightcrypt about the types of medicinal ingredients they had in the Blood Stream Sect, and was surprised to find that many of them weren't known in the Spirit Stream Sect. Using some of Nightcrypt's few merit points, he went and purchased some ingredients, especially the ones that were unique to the Blood Stream Sect. He was pleasantly surprised to find that prices for ingredients were much lower here.
Apparently, the Blood Stream Sect did that to encourage disciples to work on medicine concocting, although it did little good. To Blood Stream Sect disciples, medicine concocting would only take away time from all the fighting they did, and would waste a lot of resources. Why do so much work when they could simply go out and rob other people?
Seven days passed. After doing plenty of research to understand how to use Blood Stream Sect medicinal plants together with Spirit Stream Sect medicinal plants, he finally came up with his unique medicinal formula.
It had only one function: grow white hair!
His idea was simple. It didn't matter whether the corpse was fundamentally strong or weak; his mission was simply to get it to grow white hair. Although he wasn't sure how strong the corpse would be afterward, that didn't really matter to him.
He did two more days of mental work to ensure that the medicine formula was perfect. Then, just after evening fell, he opened his eyes and excitedly produced a pill furnace. Taking out two earthflame crystals, he started working on a batch of tier-3 medicinal incense.
Two months went by. Other people who were working on corpses were already seeing transformations begin. However, Bai Xiaochun's corpse hadn't made any progress at all. Of course, he didn't care about that; he was completely engrossed in his medicine concocting.
In the Blood Stream Sect, people didn't generally spend a lot of time interacting with each other. During the more than two months that he'd been in the corpse cave, not a single person had come in to speak with him, which was fine as far as he was concerned. He had failed numerous times to produce a single batch of tier-3 medicinal incense, and every time he did, he would analyze everything carefully and then start over.
Occasionally, rumbling sounds would echo out, but considering Bai Xiaochun's current skill in the Dao of medicine, he was very comfortable with tier-3 spirit medicines. Although he failed, there were no catastrophic side-effects that would cause chaos in the area.
Three more days passed. Bai Xiaochun excitedly slapped the pill furnace, and rumbling sounds echoed out as it opened to reveal a palm-sized chunk of black incense. After pulling it out, he held it in his hand and looked at it suspiciously.
The black incense didn't emit any medicinal aroma, and seemed ordinary in nature. Bai Xiaochun scratched his head. After all the adjustments he'd made to the formula, this was the final result, but he wasn't sure exactly what kind of medicinal incense it was.
"It should work. I put plenty of corpsefriend flower in, as well as some rottenroot grass. I used all kinds of medicinal plants that are good for upgrading corpses." He looked at the incense, then glanced at the corpse in the blood cistern. If he were in the Spirit Stream Sect, he wouldn't dare to test it out, but considering he was just working with a corpse, he wasn't too worried about anything happening.
"It will definitely work!" Taking a deep breath, he pushed his hands together and then unleashed some spiritual power, creating an invisible fire which lit the incense. As the smoke rose up, he waved his hand, sending the incense over to the corpse. It immediately fused into it, causing smoke to roil out and fill the entire cistern. When he saw all the smoke, Bai Xiaochun sprinted out of the corpse cave, and out of the entire corpse refinery in general.
He didn't dare to remain behind and accidentally breathe in some of the incense, which could have led to a bigger disaster.
He spent the rest of the day strolling through the sect, until he was sure enough time had passed. Under the cover of night, he snuck back to the corpse cave. Only after confirming that there was no more smoke present did he edge forward toward the cistern.
The first thing he saw was that the smoke was indeed all gone. The red color of the water had faded a bit, and red hair could be seen on the corpse's head. It was really a frightening sight, and made the corpse look even more murderous than before.
"Red hair?" Eyes wide, he stepped a bit closer to the corpse. Suddenly, he felt like he wasn't alone in the room. At the same time, the corpse's eyes snapped open, and they were as red as blood. There was no life in those eyes; they were ice cold, almost as if death itself were looking at him. Radiating an intensely cold aura, the corpse began to rise to its feet.
Scalp tingling in shock, Bai Xiaochun backed up and pulled out the jade slip that could be used to control the corpse. After pushing his finger down onto it, the zombie slowly went still.
After making sure that it really wasn't moving, he edged closer again to look at the red hair. Scowling, he said, "Xu Xiaoshan talked about zombies with white hair and black hair. He didn't say anything about red hair. Does red hair count?"
Feeling a bit of a headache coming on, he gritted his teeth.
"Ah, it doesn't matter. There's obviously a problem with my medicine formula. A few changes will definitely get this zombie's hair to turn white!" Sitting down cross-legged, he began to think about the problem in detail. A few days later, he looked tired, but slapped his thigh in excitement.
"It must be a problem with the water in the cistern. The water changed color because the zombie absorbed the redness!" The more he thought about it, the more it made sense. Without any further hesitation, he began concocting.
He changed the formula this time, adding in quite a few different medicinal plants. This time, he didn't just create medicinal incense, but a medicinal pill as well. A few days later, it was with great excitement and anticipation that he threw a medicinal pill into the blood cistern.
As soon as the medicinal pill entered the cistern, it sank down into the water. Moments later, the water began to bubble and churn, and huge bubbles popped up everywhere. As it did, Bai Xiaochun tossed out the piece of incense, which landed onto the red-haired zombie.
This time, he didn't leave, although he did back up a bit. Smoke filled the cistern, and gurgling sounds began to emanate from within. Then an inhuman howl echoed out, something that sounded almost like it came out of the mouth of an evil ghost or vile fiend.
A few hours later, the smoke began to clear, and Bai Xiaochun peered over to try to see into the cistern.
"Change to white hair! Come on, change! Change!"
Even as he murmured, the smoke cleared, and he hurried over to the edge of the cistern. As soon as he laid eyes on the zombie, a blank look appeared in his eyes.
The zombie in the cistern no longer had red hair, but violet. Its murderous aura was even stronger, and much of the water in the cistern had been drained. Moments later, more blood-colored water rushed in to fill the cistern back up.
Most shocking of all was that the violet hair was fully three inches long, much longer than the red hair had been. Furthermore, the zombie's fingers now sported long, sharp claws....
"What is this thing?" Bai Xiaochun murmured, eyes wide. The zombie certainly looked a lot more impressive, so he asked imposter Nightcrypt about it. However, imposter Nightcrypt had never heard of any zombie like this either.
He hesitated for a bit, and even though about going to ask Xu Xiaoshan to come take a look. But then he thought about the strange pills that had often emerged when he concocted medicine, and his expression flickered.
"Could it be something to do with the incense?" He thought for a moment about all of the bizarre animals he'd let loose in the Spirit Stream Sect, and shivered.
"I can definitely turn its hair white!" Taking a deep breath, he gritted his teeth and began concocting.
Bai Xiaochun continued to produce one type of incense after another. The zombie's hair went from violet to pink, then from pink to orange. At one point it even turned blue. But never white. Furthermore, the hair grew longer and longer with each transformation. By the time it turned blue, it was a third of a meter long....
Simultaneously, the zombie's murderous aura grew stronger and stronger, and its claws became even sharper. Two dangerous-looking fangs appeared in its mouth, and its skin changed color along with its hair. The water in the cistern was drained over and over again, whereupon it would naturally refill.
Half a year went by, and Bai Xiaochun stood at the edge of the cistern. He had stared at the zombie so many times that he was starting to go crazy.
"I refuse to believe that I'll fail!"