Chapter 130: The Blooming of the Beastbirth Flower
Even Bai Xiaochun wasn't sure exactly what his life essence spirit looked like. He could also tell that his cultivation base was insufficient at the moment. 600 meters wasn't enough to accommodate the entirety of the life essence spirit.
He didn't mind, though. The fact that his life essence spirit appeared at all indicated that his years of cultivating the Waterswamp Kingdom had not been wasted. Furthermore, he was now filled with anticipation about what exactly the life essence spirit would be like in the end.
Hearing the hubbub of voices around him, Bai Xiaochun cleared his throat, feeling very pleased with himself.
"Ai. What a headache! No matter where I go, people are always cheering. I actually prefer to keep a low profile. Ah well. I guess I can just forget about how much the north bank disciples bullied me in the past." Just as he was about to rise to his feet, a wave of vertigo swept over him, and intense pangs of hunger stabbed through him. At that point he realized that he was so weak he couldn't even stand.
He immediately pulled out a medicinal pill. After consuming it, he felt a bit better, and managed to rise to his feet.
The north bank disciples looked on with mixed emotions. Despite being so weak, Bai Xiaochun didn't forget to make himself look like a melancholy hero. His ashen complexion added to the effect as he slowly made his way off.
After he was some distance off, the north bank disciples began to sigh. It was hard for them to decide how they felt about Bai Xiaochun. At first he had been their archenemy, and then he had fought them on the trial platform, one disciple after another, for an entire month. After that, he had surpassed Ghostfang in deep enlightenment, and then showed off a heaven-shaking, earth-shattering Waterswamp Kingdom.
All of them had to admit that Bai Xiaochun was truly a Chosen. Furthermore, he was different from the other Chosen. He was the kind of person who always looked like he deserved a beating, which was something that had nothing to do with his strength. It was something innate about him.
Ever since he had arrived on the north bank, things never let up. One development after another occurred, all revolving around him. It left the crowd sighing in their hearts.
The Inner Sect disciples were even more moved than the others. From the fact that Bai Xiaochun took twice as long to enter deep enlightenment, it was clear to them that his understanding of enlightenment couldn't compare to Ghostfang's.
In fact, he might not even measure up to some of the other Chosen in that regard. However, he spent seventy maddened days in observation, something that clearly displayed his level of focus, and how much preparation and hard work he could put into enlightenment.
Beihan Lie had nothing to say as he watched Bai Xiaochun disappearing off into the distance. He turned and went back to his immortal's cave, where he went into secluded meditation, determined to break through to the tenth level of Qi Condensation, and after that, prepare for Foundation Establishment.
"I need to improve in terms of focus and hard work," he thought. "Bai Xiaochun, one of these days, I'm definitely going to surpass you!"
The Gongsun siblings, Xu Song, and the other Inner Sect Chosen all took deep breaths as they contemplated how much more powerful Bai Xiaochun was. Even still, they were not willing to be constantly battered by such pressure. Filled with determination, they made similar decisions as Beihan Lie.
"Inadequacies can be remedied by diligence. If Bai Xiaochun can do something like that, then so can I!" That was what each and every one of them was thinking.
Soon, the crowds had dispersed. Ghostfang watched Bai Xiaochun leave, still wondering what Bai Xiaochun had seen after the beast's clawed hand.
Hearing an explanation would do no good. He needed to see with his own eyes. That would be the only way to achieve a breakthrough with his Ghosts Haunt the Night.
"What if I entered his memories? Then I could see what I wished to see." After some deep thought about the matter, he shook his head. "I can't be completely confident in succeeding, not right now. But after I reach Foundation Establishment...." His eyes began to shine with a profound light.
"Now that I think about, the appointed time Master talked about is approaching. The three Foundation Establishment Holy Lands controlled by the great sects of the eastern Lower Reaches of the Heavenspan River will be opened. One of them is the Fallen Sword Abyss.... Once inside, when the Tideflow of the earthstring Foundation Establishment begins, my secret magic should enable me to achieve an eight Tideflows Foundation Establishment. At that time, things will be much simpler." Nodding his head, Ghostfang turned and headed off.
Bai Xiaochun strutted like a hero all the way back to the Beast Conservatory. Once inside, he looked around and found himself alone, whereupon he slumped down and trudged back into the honor guard station, where he immediately fell asleep.
He slept for three days straight before finally waking up. Even then, he was only partially recovered. A half month passed before he returned to his previous peak. When that happened, he was delighted to discover that his cultivation base had made some progress. He was now at the very limit of the ninth level of Qi Condensation, and would only need about half a month of meditation, as well as some medicinal pills, to break into the tenth level.
In addition to that, he found that his ability to control spiritual power had changed. He was now more flexible in his control, and could manipulate it without the slightest lag in speed.
What left him even more ecstatic was that his qi passageways were thicker than before. Plus, his Undying Silver Skin had even more golden light in it than it had months before.
"I've made progress in every aspect!" he thought, excited. First he took a trip around the jungle to visit all the beasts he hadn't seen during the past months. Then he went to the garden in the back courtyard, where the six-meter-tall plant which had sprouted up out of the Beastbirth Seed now sported an enormous flower bud at the top.
The Beastbirth Seed had been growing for quite some time, and within spirit soil with a threefold spirit enhancement at that. Bai Xiaochun had also taken time to sprinkle some special spirit fertilizer onto the soil every once in awhile to help it grow.
Because of the spell formation he'd put in place, nobody had ever noticed its existence.
After looking at it closely, he was delighted to discover that the flower bud was almost completely mature.
"I bet it will only be a month or so before it's ready!" Laughing heartily, he sat down in place to begin some breathing exercises and cultivation, simultaneously watching over the Beastbirth Flower bud.
Ten days flew by. Bai Xiaochun's imminent breakthrough, and the Beastbirth Flower, had him all smiles. During the time that passed, the Beastbirth Flower's stalk didn't grow any taller, but the flower bud grew larger and larger, until it was almost two meters tall.
It was so heavy that the entire thing began to bend over. The multiple layers making up the flower bud were so numerous that it was only possible to imagine what it would look like when it opened up.
There was also a fragrant aroma which spread out from it.
Bai Xiaochun was very excited. He sat there meditating for three more days. Around evening, cracking sounds could be heard, and black filth oozed from his pores. At the same time, the spiritual power inside of him surged like thousands of galloping horses.
The power grew more intense, eventually coalescing into something like a huge raging river that resembled a roaring dragon.
Bai Xiaochun shook visibly as the image of a dragon and a mammoth appeared behind him. His eyes snapped open, and they flashed like lightning. Shocking, thunderous rumbling filled him, sounds that only he could hear.
"Second level of the Dragon Mammoth Sea-Forming Scripture!
"Tenth level of Qi Condensation!"
He took a deep breath as he probed the spiritual power inside of him, which was more than double the amount of the ninth level of Qi Condensation. Rising to his feet, he performed an incantation gesture, summoning a violet cauldron.
Excited, he waved his finger, causing another violet cauldron to appear next to the first one. After that, he summoned another. Three cauldrons were now circling around him. Bai Xiaochun threw his head back and laughed uproariously. Flashing into motion, he waved the Golden Crow Sword, causing a raging nine-meter-wide inferno of fire to spring up around him.
There was also a fiery golden crow, a creature birthed from flame, which caused incredible pressure to spread out.
Bai Xiaochun's smile grew wider. Waving his hand, he retracted all of the magic, and then took a deep breath. By this point, he truly felt himself to be a heroic master.
"Foundation Establishment.... It's so close. Once I get to the great circle of the tenth level of Qi Condensation, I'll be able to give it a shot!" As soon as Bai Xiaochun thought about the additional longevity he would gain upon reaching Foundation Establishment, he got more excited.
After cleaning himself up, he used half a day to get used to the changes in his cultivation base, and his increased amount of spiritual power. With that work done, he returned to the rear courtyard, where he sat down cross-legged in front of the Beastbirth Flower.
"My cultivation base has broken through. Now I'm just waiting for this flower.
"Hahaha! My dreams are truly about to become a reality!
"My life essence spirit might be illusory, and born from a secret magic, but this Beastbirth Flower is different. This will be a true battle beast belonging to me!
"I'm going to raise... a battle beast that has the best parts of all of the other battle beasts. When that happens, my purpose in coming to the north bank will have been accomplished!" Bai Xiaochun had been waiting for a long time for this day, and now all he could do was wait and stand guard.
More than ten days went by in a flash. Bai Xiaochun's eyes gradually widened as the stalk of the plant gradually vanished, to be replaced by nothing more than a gigantic Beastbirth Flower. Although he had known from his research that this would happen, it was still a shocking thing to see with his own eyes.
The flower and the stalk had begun the merging process seven days before, but already, it was over 18 meters tall, like a gigantic steamed bun....
Bai Xiaochun swallowed hard and backed up a few paces to stand guard. Three days later, a fragrant aroma spread out from the enormous, 27-meter-tall "bun" sitting there in front of him.
At the very top of the "bun," a small, mouth-like opening could be seen, which was where the fragrant aroma came from.
"When the spirit aroma grows strong, the Beastbirth Flower will bloom, and the beast will be born. That's what the information said!" Bai Xiaochun began to walk slowly around the Beastbirth Flower, his eyes shining. After some more thought, he left, then came back followed by a flying tiger.
The flying tiger looked around curiously as it entered the rear courtyard, but then a tremor suddenly ran through it, and its eyes began to shine as brightly as if it had seen a female of its own species. With a powerful roar, it suddenly launched itself toward the Beastbirth Flower.
As it closed in, the Beastbirth Flower opened its mouth-like aperture and, in the blink of an eye, swallowed up the flying tiger.
The scene playing out caused Bai Xiaochun's eyes to widen. Hurrying forward, he realized that although he couldn't actually see the flying tiger, he could tell that it was moving inside of the flower. When he was sure about that, he calmed down a bit and moved off to the side to wait.
After about two hours passed, the flower slowly opened up, and the flying tiger crawled out. It was trembling, and almost seemed drunk with pleasure. Although it seemed to want more, Bai Xiaochun grabbed it and took it back out into the Beast Conservatory.
When he returned, he was followed by a huge bear. Moments later, the bear saw the flower, roared, and lunged forward....