Chapter 359: Bullying Others With Force!
Hissed expressions of shock and surprise could be heard outside the grand hall. As for the disciples of the River-Defying Sect, they were looking at Bai Xiaochun as if he were some sort of god.
That was especially true of the disciples from the Blood Stream Division, many of whom literally shed tears as they thought back to situations they had encountered in the past.
The disciples from the Spirit Stream Division felt similarly sympathetic. As for the Profound Stream Division, many of them had faced Bai Xiaochun and his team on the battlefield, and had been similarly tormented....
Then there was the Pill Stream Division disciples, whose eyes shone with bright light. They had heard many stories of Bai Xiaochun's pill concocting, which by this point were virtually legends. To see such things occurring with their own eyes filled their hearts with passion.
Off to the side, the disciples of the Polarity River Court and the Dao River Court looked profoundly alarmed. Not only were they crying out in shock, they were rushing backward at top speed, doing anything they could to avoid contact with the black strands of smoke.
"W-what's... what's going on!?!?"
"Heavens! What kind of pill is that!? It's absolutely terrifying!!"
"I can't believe a medicinal pill like that exists in the world! Look, even the Core Formation cultivator can't hold out any longer! That medicinal pill is horrifying!!"
The disciples of the two sects looked over at Bai Xiaochun with expressions of unprecedented fear, especially the female disciples. The more they thought about the ramifications of what they were seeing, the more frightening it was! Regardless of the levels of their cultivation bases, all of them felt profound terror of Bai Xiaochun rising up inside of them.
Bai Xiaochun coughed dryly and then shrugged his shoulders at the cultivators of the Polarity River Court and Dao River Court.
"You see?" he said, sounding very wronged. "They forced my hand. Like I said, when I get angry, I frighten even myself. But they didn't listen, did they? They insisted on bullying me!" Suddenly, he cocked his head to the side, as if he'd just remembered something. Looking at the Core Formation cultivators from the other two sects, he said, "Oh right, you two were about to say something, weren't you?"
The cultivators of both sects were trembling, and the Foundation Establishment disciples edged backward again, trying to put some distance between themselves and the Core Formation elders. As for those elders, their hearts were starting to pound. Glancing over at the tragic scene playing out, the quickly offered explanations.
"Oh no, I wasn't going to say much. Just that you really live up to your reputation, Fellow Daoist Bai. You're like a dragon among men!"
"Yeah, exactly! Your sect is definitely going to be very popular in the Middle Reaches!"
Bai Xiaochun laughed heartily in response. Looking very pleased with himself, he was just about to boast a little bit more when suddenly, a cold snort echoed out thunderously from inside the grand hall. Everything trembled as a figure sped out of the hall, an old man with a full head of fiery red hair, and eyes that sparkled like lightning.
Instantly, the maddened disciples shivered, and then began to vomit. After a moment passed, their pale faces once again filled with color. They were clearly weakened, and when they looked over at Bai Xiaochun, their gazes were filled with both confusion and terror.
That was especially true of Chen Yunshan, who was glaring murderously at Bai Xiaochun. In his heart, he had already vowed to kill Bai Xiaochun in the future, to settle the score for the humiliation he had just experienced.
After rescuing the maddened disciples, the red-haired old man turned his gaze upon Bai Xiaochun. Of course, considering that the man was vastly above Bai Xiaochun in both terms of cultivation base and status, it wasn't appropriate to meet his gaze. Therefore, Bai Xiaochun simply looked down innocently and kicked at a nearby pebble.
The red-haired old man gave a cold harrumph, then stalked grim-faced back into the grand hall.
Bai Xiaochun immediately looked back up and glared in the old man's direction. Then he glanced around at the other disciples around him, and tried to decide whether or not to enter the hall himself.
That was when Frigidsect's voice echoed out. "Xiaochun, stop causing trouble outside. Come in."
Sticking his chest out proudly, Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath and walked somberly toward the entrance to the hall. The disciples of the three sects looked at him with mixed emotions in their eyes. Furthermore, none of them were in any mood to harass the River-Defying Sect any more.
Upon entering the grand hall, Bai Xiaochun heard the voice of the red-haired old man he'd just seen.
"The River-Defying Sect is not the Sky River Court. It doesn't make any sense at all for the River-Defying Sect to get the Sky River Court's shares for no reason!"
Bai Xiaochun scanned the hall, and saw Frigidsect, Master Godwind, and Patriarch Crimsonsoul sitting in the position of honor, grim expressions on their faces. Seated in two rows in front of them, on the left and right, were eight other cultivators.
Without a single exception, all of those cultivators had Nascent Soul cultivation bases, and profound ones at that. Terrifying fluctuations spread out from them in all directions.
"That's right," one of them said. "Resources are limited, and we all have sects to sustain. Obviously, the strong get stronger and the weak get weaker. You can't blame anyone but yourselves for that."
Although the Nascent Soul cultivators of the three sects noticed Bai Xiaochun enter the hall, none of them paid him much attention, with the exception of the red-haired old man, whose eyes glittered with brutal ferocity.
Bai Xiaochun pretended not to notice, striding somberly over to stand next to Frigidsect.
Frigidsect gritted his teeth. Voice rigid with anger, he said, "The River-Defying Sect took over the Sky River Court, and that includes the Sky River Court's shares!"
"Brother Frigidsect," said another of the Nascent Soul cultivators, "these are simply the rules governing the Middle Reaches cultivation world. It's not like we're specifically targeting the River-Defying Sect."
As Bai Xiaochun listened to the Nascent Soul cultivators' discussion, he gradually came to understand why the three other sects had come to visit.
There was an arcane pocket realm in the Middle Reaches that opened once every sixty-year-cycle, within which were copious amounts of spirit plants. Some were the type that only appeared once every ten thousand years, others were virtually extinct in the outside world. Furthermore, there were a few that were critical ingredients to concocting Deva Pills, which could give Nascent Soul cultivators a much better chance to advance to the mortal-tier Deva Realm. The value of such pills to virtually any sect couldn't be put into words.
Every time the spirit plants in the arcane pocket realm were harvested, the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect would take roughly half of the crop, and divide the rest among the four great sects.
The entrance to that arcane pocket realm was located in a sealed legacy zone, an area that had been constructed ages ago by the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect itself. By sealing the entrance to the pocket realm within a legacy zone, it not only kept the spirit plants safe, is also provided a chance for disciples of the four sects to earn magical techniques and divine abilities from the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect. That was also a way for the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect to scout for possible new disciples.
The Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect had long since established rules governing how to split up the harvest from the pocket realm. Before the opening of the realm, the four sects would send disciples into the legacy zone to acquire legacy seals. Only one hundred such seals were available, and the number acquired by the disciples would determine how many resources their sect got when the shares were divided.
It was now only a few dozen years before the arcane pocket realm was to be opened again. Last time, the Sky River Court had taken second place in terms of shares, earning thirty percent of the resources, all of which still remained in the treasure storehouses, untouched. Those resources were extremely important to the Nascent Soul patriarchs of the River-Defying Sect, who could make use of them in their attempts to reach the Deva Realm.
But now, the three sects had come to redistribute the shares from the previous harvest, and wanted the River-Defying Sect to hand over the resources, and even make up for any that were missing!
The red-haired old man from the Starry River Court looked at Frigidsect and then spoke in a harsh tone. "Those resources belonged to the Sky River Court, not the River-Defying Sect. If you want resources like that, you're going to have to work for them yourself!"
Bai Xiaochun frowned as his train of thought was interrupted, and his attention was drawn to the Nascent Soul cultivators from the three sects. Based on what he understood, the Dao River Court was the strongest of the sects, and had taken first place last time. To them, this wasn't a very big issue, and as such, they weren't saying much in the discussion.
The Polarity River Court had come in third, and also had little to say. From what Bai Xiaochun could tell, the Starry River Court had come in last, and had the greatest motivation to push the issue.
They weren't willing to back down, and it was primarily them who were trying to intimidate the River-Defying Sect. In fact, it was entirely likely that they had made offers of compensation to the other two sects to make this meeting happen.
Essentially, they wanted to take advantage of the River-Defying Sect's weakness to steal their resources!
Frigidsect and the other patriarchs were doing their best to suppress their fury. Just when the red-haired old man was about to say something more, a white-robed old man from the Dao River Court, who had been dozing the entire time, suddenly opened his eyes and said, "Enough. The matter is settled. We've already been in contact with the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, who have come up with a method to resolve the issue. Although the legacy zone is usually only opened once every sixty-year-cycle, this time, we are being allowed to open it outside of the normal schedule! We'll send our disciples in to take the trial by fire, and use the results to determine how the shares are redistributed. What do you think, Fellow Daoist Frigidsect?"
Frigidsect maintained his silence for a moment, then took a deep breath. He well knew that he wasn't in a position to disagree. If he did, it could have serious negative ramifications in the future. Furthermore, considering the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect had already given their stamp of approval, the River-Defying Sect had no qualifications to disagree.
"Deva Realm...." he thought. "If only the River-Defying Sect had someone in the Deva Realm, then things wouldn't play out like this!" Finally, he gritted his teeth and nodded.
Smiling, the white-robed old man rose to his feet. "Excellent. In that case, I won't disturb you any further. See you in a month at the arcane pocket realm!" With that, he walked out of the hall. The Nascent Soul Daoist masters from the Polarity River Court had icy smiles on their faces as they also left.
Last was the red-haired old man from the Starry River Court. Just before walking out of the hall, he looked back at Frigidsect and said, "Oh, one more thing. I forgot to mention the requirement to enter the legacy zone. The only people who qualify are Core Formation cultivators who reached the stage within one sixty-year-cycle."
In response, the faces of Frigidsect and the other patriarchs turned even more grim.