Chapter 6 - His Spiritual Energy Has Affected his Brain
At the bottom of the third mountain peak, Bai Xiaochun’s terrified wails had an almost musical quality to them, as each consecutive cry echoed around the mountain range, attracting questioning looks from numerous other handymen. You could clearly see Bai Xiaochun’s plump round figure, with a big black pot strapped to his back and swathed under seven to eight layers of leather jackets, sprinting down the mountain with all his might.
In fact, if you looked from a distance, you probably couldn’t see Bai Xiaochun’s figure but you could definitely spot the large black pot scrambling across the ground like a beetle.
The seven or so knives that dangled from Bai Xiaochun’s waist knocked against each other as he ran, making noisy ding dang sounds.
“Murder, help! I don’t want to die…” Bai Xiaochun yelled loudly as he ran faster and faster. Behind him, Xu Baocai’s expression was livid. His eyes shone with a strong killing intent, his heart filled with anxiety and fury.
The entire way as he chased after Bai Xiaochun, the commotion attracted many surrounding handymen. Xu Baocai was worried that it would attract the attention of the Deacon. He started to get somewhat desperate.
“Stop screaming, damn you. Can’t you be less noisy? Why the hell are you screaming, shut up!” Xu Baocai roared angrily as he ground his teeth. With a sharp gesture, instantly the wooden sword by his side flared with light. His speed became fractionally faster as he flew forwards, straight towards Bai Xiaochun.
With a loud Peng! his wooden sword knocked against the black pot on Bai Xiaochun’s back. While an echoing Gongg resounded, Bai Xiaochun had suffered no harm as he continued to run for his life.
Xu Baocai grit his teeth violently. The black pot that was strapped onto Bai Xiaochun’s back blocked more than half of his body, leaving him with no place to strike. Unwilling to give up, he set off in hot pursuit once more.
The two people, one in front and one behind, scurried back and forth endlessly in the Handymen District.
“This guy’s carrying a pot but he still runs so fast!” Xu Baocai gasped for breath as he watched Bai Xiaochun’s shadow disappear in the distance, feeling more and more dissatisfied. He was a level two cultivator, but even though he had exhausted all his strength like a baby sucking milk, he still could not catch up with Bai Xiaochun who was sprinting away like a rabbit whose tail had been stepped on.
In the blink of an eye, Bai Xiaochun saw the side path leading to the Burning Stoves Kitchen. His eyes filled with emotion. He felt like he had seen his home, as he almost began to cry hot tears.
“Brother, help me! There’s a murderer!” Bai Xiaochun yelled loudly. He ran into the Burning Stove Kitchen, leaving a trail of smoke behind him. When Zhang Fatso One and the other fatties heard the wretched high-pitched cry, they were startled. Immediately, they walked outside.
“Brother, save me. Xu Baocai wants to kill me, I almost lost my life back there.” Bai Xiaochun hastily hid before Zhang Fatso One’s body.
“Xu Baocai?” When Zhang Fatso One heard him, his eyes flashed. He looked around but was unable to see even a shadow. Opening his mouth to speak, he finally noticed Xu Baocai’s figure in the far distance, huffing and puffing as he ran towards them.
Bai Xiaochun had also noticed Xu Baocai’s figure and felt somewhat suspicious.
“Eh, why is he running so slowly?”
Zhang Fatso One glanced down at Bai Xiaochun before he looked back up to see the heavily gasping Xu Baocai who had just arrived. The meat on his face trembled.
Xu Baocai had chased him here with much difficulty. The moment he neared the Burning Stoves Kitchen, he could hear Bai Xiaochun’s suspicious words. As those words entered his ear, he only felt a furious rage trapped in his chest. As though his whole person exploded, he roared loudly. Waving his right hand, the wooden sword beside him shot out with a Whooosh, embedding itself directly into a large tree.
Baaang! The tree shook, as a large hole where the sword had passed through, appeared.
“Bai Xiaochun, I will never forgive you!” Xu Baocai’s eyes were bloodshot as he stared at Bai Xiaochun with a death glare. He then glanced at Zhang Fatso One’s hulking figure before he turned around and hatefully stomped away.
Bai Xiaochun’s heart thumped wildly. He peeked at the hole in the tree and then at the hysterical Xu Baocai. He swallowed hard as a sense of unease rose in his heart.
As Zhang Fatso One gazed at Xu Baocai’s retreating figure, a fierce look flashed briefly across his face. He turned around and patted Bai Xiaochun’s shoulder.
“Ninth Brother, have no fear. This Xu Baocai might have a little bit of background but if he dares to show up again, we Brothers will beat him till his legs are broken!” At this point, Zhang Fatso One’s tone changed.
“Nonetheless, Ninth Brother, if you can avoid going out for these few days, then it’s best that you stay in your room. I can see that you’ve already lost weight. This Brother will fix that. It just so happens that in a few days’ time, Elder Zhou is celebrating another ten years of age!”
(TL: The word used here for ten years is 大寿. It’s a special birthday celebrated when one reaches 70, 80 etc. years of age)
Bai Xiaochun nodded absentmindedly, his gaze all the while fixed on the tree Xu Baocai had run through with his sword.
Even when he returned to the Burning Stoves Kitchen with his Brothers, Bai Xiaochun sat in his room deep in thought. The more he pondered, the less secure he felt. His opponent’s wooden sword had managed to pierce a hole in a tree. If it had been his body, he would have died a tortured death without leaving even an intact corpse.
“This won’t do, unless I plan to spend my whole life in this Burning Stoves Kitchen. Otherwise, once I step outside and he catches me, what am I going to do then…” The image of Xu Baocai’s scathing and poisonous parting glare just wouldn’t leave Bai Xioachun’s mind.
“I came here to seek immortality. I can’t die now…” The perturbation that came with a lack of safety had caused blood vessels to pop up in Bai Xiaochun’s eyes. A good long while later, he grit his teeth violently.
“Fuck, I give up! No matter what, I’m still scared!” Bai Xiaochun saw red. His personality could be described as ‘scared of death’, but a better way to put it was ‘severe paranoia’. This experience he had suffered today had greatly motivated him. The stubbornness in his personality flared up.
“I want to cultivate! I want to become strong!!” Bai Xiaochun breathed heavily as he made his decision. Immediately, he took the bamboo scroll containing Purple Qi Cauldron Manipulation Technique. He inspected the second diagram and began to train with bloodshot eyes.
Although he was scared of death, he possessed a streak of viciousness. Or else he would not have persisted in lighting the incense stick so many times even though he had been terrified of being struck by lightning.
Now, he had brought out this vicious streak. He followed the posture on the second diagram and held on with all his might. Usually he could only hold the pose for around ten breaths, but today he had persisted to fifteen.
Although his body ached all over and perspiration continuously dripped from his brow, the determination in Bai Xiaochun’s eyes had still not faded. In fact he had even managed to persist till twenty breaths and then thirty breaths. The flow of Qi in his body had rapidly doubled in size. Black dots clouded his vision as he suddenly exhaled after holding his breath for a long while. But he only allowed himself to relax for a brief moment before he began to cultivate again.
He trained in silence throughout the night. Two days passed, then three days, four days… For five consecutive days, apart from attending to his bodily needs, Bai Xiaochun had not exited his room at all. This kind of dry training was difficult to endure for an amateur cultivator but the thought of giving up had not even crossed his mind.
Zhang Fatso One and the other fatties were shocked by Bai Xiaochun’s cultivation. It must be said that the Purple Qi Cauldron Manipulation Technique was definitely not easy. In theory, learning it was simple but when the postures of each level were held for a prolonged period of time, it would result in indescribable pain. To persist in this technique required huge amounts of willpower. The ordinary handymen in the Sect had all only trained for a couple of days before giving up.
But they had watched Bai Xiaochun train for half a month. When the fatties came over to observe him, the Bai Xiaochun they saw was vastly different from the impression they had of him from several months ago.
His clothes were creased and his hair was messy. His eyes popped with blood vessels. His whole person looked extremely fatigued but he was still diligent in his training. No matter how much pain he suffered, he still refused to stop.
Even his body had clearly slimmed down several rounds. The spiritual authority that radiated from his inner body had greatly increased as it moved endlessly towards the completion of the first level of cultivation.
It was as though he had taken all the treasures of heaven and earth stored in his fat and through drastic measures, trained until their essence had assimilated and become part of his body. As a result, his body had become much sturdier than that of an ordinary person.
“Ninth Brother, take a break. Every day, every night, you’ve been training for more than a month now.” Zhang Fatso One and the other fatties hurriedly tried to persuade him. But when Bai Xiaochun lifted his head, they only saw the determination shining in his eyes. That kind of stubbornness caused their hearts to be greatly moved.
As time continued to pass, in the blink of an eye Bai Xiaochun had already cultivated for an entire month. During this month, his fervour had greatly shocked the other fatties. To put it in Zhang Fatso One’s words, Bai Xiaochun wasn’t so much cultivating as he was gambling with his life!
After this bout of intense training, the time that Bai Xiaochun could hold the second posture for, had also surpassed one hundred breaths and reached one hundred and fifty! The spiritual Qi that flowed within him was no longer a narrow stream. It had evidently become much wider.
As another month passed, Zhang Fatso One and the fatties were all greatly alarmed. They were terrified that one day, Bai Xiaochun would train himself to death. When they had finally made up their minds to destroy Xu Baocai, a loud rumble was heard from Bai Xiaochun’s room.
As the rumble echoed, a spiritual pressure, characteristic of the second level of Qi-condensation, had immediately erupted from Bai Xiaochun’s location. It spread outwards in a circle with a radius of thirty meters, instantly alerting the fatties. They lifted their heads to stare in that direction, as their expressions changed one by one.
“Little Brother has finally broken through!”
“The second level of Qi-condensation! Although our Burning Stoves Kitchen occasionally has added suppers, but to reach the second level of Qi condensation in less than half a year, that’s very seldom seen!”
“Back when I reached the second level of Qi condensation, I used an entire year’s worth of time…” Just as Zhang Fatso One and the other fatsos began to lament, the door to Bai Xiaochun’s room opened with a creak. His face full of exhaustion, his clothes in tatters but his eyes shining with vigour, Bai Xiaochun stepped out.
Just as the fatties wanted to greet him, they saw Bai Xiaochun’s body waver before he nimbly leapt onto the fence surrounding the kitchen yard. Clasping his hands behind his back, he stood there. His head was lifted high as he proudly surveyed his surroudings with a deep expression, looking like a expert seeking solitude.
“What is he doing standing there? He looks strange…”
“Little Brother, has he...entered the flames and become a demon?” Zhang Fatso One and the other fatties looked at each other.
[TL: 走火入魔, walking into flames and becoming a demon refers to a kind of insanity born from obsessive training. Also known as Kundalini psychosis.)
Just as they were beginning to become suspicious of Bai Xiaochun’s appearance, they heard Bai Xiaochun deliberately speak in an archaic fashion, as he stood on the fence.
“Xu Baocai, born in the Handymen District of the Spirit River sect. His peerless pride and illustrious glory, no one beneath this heaven shall deny. His cultivation has reached a shocking second level of Qi-condensation. But I am also of the second level! This battle between him and me is an even match. Our names may spread to all corners of the Earth and stir the Sects. But it is unavoidable that this battle be smeared with blood and scattered with broken bones...Nay! This battle is of utmost importance. I must continue my cultivation!”
When he finished speaking, Bai Xiaochun contemplatively gazed into the distance. With a swirl of his short sleeves, he once again returned into his room, closing the door with a Peng! One by one, the fatties swallowed their saliva. They looked at each other, unsure of what to do for a long while. Finally, Black Fatso Three ventured.
“Could it be that we have fed Little Brother something wrong?”
“It’s over! It’s over, Little Brother’s spiritual energy has affected his brain; he has cultivated to insanity...We must not provoke him!” Yellow Fatso Two’s entire body shuddered as he spoke with certainty.
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