Chapter 79: Xiaochun, We Believe You
Bai Xiaochun's eyes went wide as his mind filled with the thought of 3,000 spirit stones.... He looked over at Hou Xiaomei, eyes shining, and suddenly felt the desire to run over, hug her, give her three thousand thumbs up and tell her... "Great job!"
When the rest of the disciples on the auction floor heard that huge price coming out of Hou Xiaomei's mouth, the commotion instantly ceased, and jaws dropped. They looked over to find Hou Xiaomei standing there, hands on her hips, chest heaving, looking very fair and delicate. She was pretty, but had a proud look on her face, and looked like a blazing hot pepper.
Sticking her chin out, she looked over at Zhou Xinqi with a look that said, I'm from the Hou Clan, and I'm not scared of anyone! Plus, I'm rich!
The overall effect wasn't off-putting, but rather, made her seem quite cute.
Quite a few people broke out into smiles at the sight, whereas others were even more shocked than before.
"3,100 spirit stones!" Zhou Xinqi said coolly, her expression growing a bit colder.
"The little turtle is very important to me!" Hou Xiaomei said. "I don't care how expensive it is, any pill made by him must belong to me. Hmph! 4,000 spirit stones! I'm from the Hou Clan, and I have plenty of money to go around!" She especially emphasized the last sentence. Next to her, Hou Yunfei bowed his head in nervous embarrassment. He wasn't sure why his little sister worshipped the little turtle with such frenzied devotion....
Zhou Xinqi's fans couldn't watch this go on, and many of them began to cry out that only a loser would spend so much money on a tier-2 spirit medicine.
Hou Xiaomei wasn't too happy to hear such things. Sticking her chest out and planting her hands on her hips, she barked, "I've got a lot of spirit stones, so you can just bite me!"
As Bai Xiaochun watched the events unfold, he couldn't help but muse that he had made the right decision to pull Hou Xiaomei off the crooked path and onto the way of righteousness.
Zhou Xinqi frowned. Unfortunately, she didn't have that many spirit stones, and so finally, she had no choice but to give up.
Hou Xiaomei was delighted that Zhou Xinqi didn't make any more bids. The truth was that she didn't have as many spirit stones as she had implied. She had only said so in front of so many people in the hopes that it would force her clan's patriarch to accommodate her.
In the end, Hou Xiaomei was very pleased to have won the threefold spirit enhanced medicinal pill.
Bai Xiaochun was also very pleased. Looking admiringly at Hou Xiaomei, he cleared his throat. In his opinion, considering how much she admired him, it would be improper not to tell her about his true identity.
Having reached this conclusion, and seeing that the first day of the auction was coming to an end, he decided that now was the time to go out and proclaim his identity to the public.
Meanwhile, backstage, various patriarchs from the cultivator clans were gathered, having been tasked with standing guard over the auction. One of them was a middle-aged man, who was currently coughing dryly as he looked around wryly at his fellow patriarchs.
"Well... my granddaughter sure is stubborn. I'm afraid she's made a bit of a fool of herself in front of all of you." With that, he bitterly produced a large sum of spirit stones which he put off to the side.
"What an innocent girl!" The other patriarchs all laughed good-naturedly.
The first day of the auction was over, and although there were more days to come, Bai Xiaochun had already sold his medicinal pills, so he didn't plan to return. He walked over to the entrance of the auction and stood there watching everyone filing out of the auction house.
Virtually all of them were excitedly discussing the matter of the Violet Qi Spirit Ascension Pill.
Eventually, Bai Xiaochun caught sight of Zhou Xinqi. He wanted to go encourage her not to feel disheartened, but as soon as he took a step forward to head in her direction, she looked over and saw him coming. Without another word, she transformed into a beam of light that shot off into the distance.
Bai Xiaochun stopped in place, feeling a bit depressed. But then he heard a voice coming from behind him.
"Big bro Xiaochun!" It was Hou Xiaomei, who came bouncing over happily through the crowd, followed by Hou Yunfei, who was also smiling.
Bai Xiaochun looked away from Zhou Xinqi and gave Hou Xiaomei a smile of praise. Looking very much like a member of the senior generation, he patted her on the head.
"Hey there, chaste little sister. I have to say, you did a great job. The way you won that final item in the auction was very domineering!"
Hou Xiaomei's face turned bright red. Seeming to recall something all of a sudden, she pulled out the Violet Qi Spirit Ascension Pill.
"Big bro Xiaochun, look! This medicinal pill was concocted by the little turtle. Would you like it? Here, take it. Didn't you say before that you also adore the little turtle? I bought this pill just for you!" Anyone who saw the expression on her face would be moved. Holding out the pill to Bai Xiaochun, she looked at him with keen anticipation, as if he were the only thing that existed in the world.
When Hou Yunfei saw this, his gaze softened, and he smiled, but didn't say anything.
Bai Xiaochun's jaw dropped. Never could he have imagined that Hou Xiaomei's goal in winning the medicinal pill was to give it to him. It was very moving. Seeing that they were surrounded by quite a few people, he took a deep breath and put a solemn expression on his face.
Eyes filling with determination, he clasped his hands behind his back like a powerful hero, a posture he had long since become very familiar with adopting.
"Xiaomei," he said, "I need to reveal a very big secret!"
Hou Xiaomei looked shocked, as did Hou Yunfei.
"What secret?" Hou Xiaomei asked curiously.
Bai Xiaochun cleared his throat loudly, stuck out his chin, and swished his sleeve.
"I, Bai Xiaochun, am he who shocks ghosts and gods, the preeminently famous, mysterious and unfathomable... the great and mighty... Lord Turtle!!" He then threw his head back and laughed uproariously. The words he had just uttered had been kept locked inside of him for far too long, and it felt wonderful to speak them out in the open, especially considering he was speaking them to the person who adored him the most, Hou Xiaomei, and in front of such a large audience of onlookers.
Most importantly, it wasn't proper to allow the person who worshipped him the most fervently to be kept in the dark, especially when her idol was standing directly in front of her! Bai Xiaochun stared up at the clouds above, looking very lonely. However, his ears twitched a bit as he waited to hear the shocked reactions of Hou Xiaomei and the rest of the crowd.
He was already formulating the words he would use in response to the impending commotion.
However, after a very long moment passed, not a sound could be heard. Everything was completely silent. Surprised, Bai Xiaochun couldn't help but look back from the clouds toward Hou Xiaomei and Hou Yunfei.
Hou Xiaomei stood there with wide eyes, and Hou Yunfei was similarly shocked. As they stared mutely at Bai Xiaochun, the surrounding disciples looked on with strange expressions on their faces.
"The little turtle is indifferent to worldly affairs," someone said, "like a cloud floating in the sky. Now Sect Uncle Bai is calling himself the little turtle? Yeah right.... Come on, let's go."
An unsightly expression could be seen on Bai Xiaochun's face, and he took a deep breath in preparation to make an explanation.
"Xiaochun, are you alright?" Hou Yunfei asked. Worried, he patted Bai Xiaochun on the head.
"I really am the little turtle!" Bai Xiaochun said anxiously.
"Oh?" Hou Yunfei replied, a strange expression on his face. He quickly nodded. "Sure, sure. You're the little turtle...."
At this point, Hou Xiaomei gazed at Big bro Xiaochun and softly said, "Big bro Xiaochun, you told me before that the little turtle is like a cloud in the sky, someone who doesn't care at all about worldly matters.... Actually, in my heart, you're just as important as he is. You don't need to pretend to be him...."
"But I really am the-"
Before he could finish speaking, Hou Yunfei looked at him somberly and clasped his arm. "Xiaochun, we believe you!"
Bai Xiaochun's eyes went wide. "I really-"
Before he could finish, Hou Yunfei's expression turned more serious. "Xiaochun. We really believe you!"
"I-" Bai Xiaochun's eyes began to glaze over as a feeling of disheartenment filled him. No matter how he tried to explain the situation, it wouldn't do any good. Things were going completely different than he'd imagined. Dejected, he turned slowly and trudged away, somehow returning to the sect.
Back in his courtyard, he stared blankly up into the sky, an expression of grief on his face.
"But I really am Lord Turtle...." he murmured, feeling very maligned. He had long dreamed about proclaiming his identity publicly, but now that dream was in tatters.
After a while, he came to the conclusion that the problem lay in the fact that he had worked so hard over the years to inflate the image of the little turtle in the minds of the people.... To them, the little turtle was a completely proud and extraordinary individual.
More precisely, thanks to the tireless efforts of Hou Xiaomei, the little turtle had already been turned into something of a deity....
After a while, Bai Xiaochun begrudgingly went to find Xu Baocai to explain the truth. Afterward, Xu Baocai stared at him blankly for a moment... and then nodded repeatedly and said that he believed him.
Bai Xiaochun scowled miserably all the way back to his courtyard, where he once again stood there feeling empty.
A few days later, Sun Chen came to visit. Bai Xiaochun immediately perked up. Suddenly, he had hope, hope that Sun Chen would remember who it was that had delivered the medicinal pill up to be auctioned off.
However, before he could even say anything, Sun Chen handed over the spirit stones, then clasped hands and bowed deeply. Expression solemn, he said, "Brother Bai, I'm not sure which honored Chosen concocted that pill. The Sun Clan patriarch was quite shocked by the matter. We know that the only way to contact that Chosen is via you, Brother Bai. Otherwise, you wouldn't have been the one to deliver his medicinal pill.
"Brother Bai, could you please pass word to him that the Sun Clan hopes to have a longstanding friendship with him? If he needs any help selling medicinal pills in the future, we will use all our power to help him!
"Another thing, Brother Bai. Could you please pass word to the Chosen that I understand he doesn't seek fame and fortune, and purposely avoids big commotions? He is like a cloud in the sky, seeking perfection in the Dao of medicine. A person like him will surely reach incredible heights in the future. Therefore, our Sun Clan would be happy to handle all matters relating to the outside world for him." Sun Chen clasped hands and bowed deeply once again. When he looked up, he noticed that Bai Xiaochun's expression was completely blank. When that expression didn't change, Sun Chen once again clasped hands, bowed, and then took his leave.
Inwardly, he sighed as he thought about how high Bai Xiaochun's position was in the Spirit Stream Sect, and how the mysterious, unfathomable figure that no one else knew, actually had dealings with him.
From the very beginning, he had never even considered that Bai Xiaochun might actually be the little turtle. Their personalities were too different. After all, it wasn't just Spirit Stream Sect disciples who knew about the little turtle. The cultivator clans on the outside were also aware of him. All of them had performed their own investigations, and had come to similar conclusions as Zhou Xinqi.
By the time Bai Xiaochun regained his composure, the moon hung high in the sky. Sighing deeply, he leapt up onto the bamboo fence that surrounded his courtyard. Clasping his hands behind his back, he looked up at the starry sky, his long black hair swaying in the wind and his robes rustling.
"I never imagined that deep within me was the desire to shun worldly matters. I am like a cloud which floats in the sky. Ai. I shouldn't have kept things hidden so well. Sometimes, being superior really is truly lonely." As he stood there in the moonlight, he flicked his sleeve, and truly looked like a lonely hero.