Chapter 44 - It’s Dawn Already
Chapter 44 - It’s Dawn Already
Bai Xiaochun had finally finished inspecting the last type of herb and had solved the final and hardest question, paying no heed to the cheers around him. He was utterly immersed, having lost himself in inspecting the medicinal recipe and the herbs from the very moment he picked up the jade piece.
Other than the thunderous rumbles, none of the surrounding disruptions had managed to break his concentration. He paid no attention to those who finished their refinement either, ignoring everyone around him.
His focus had attracted the attention of the surrounding people, Xu Baocai included. All of them looked at him oddly, sensing a different air about him, as if his perception of time was different compared to everyone else.
“This Bai Xiaochun is way too slow. He has just been staring while the others have already finished - I think that concludes the test?”
“Hmm? I don’t recall hearing there’s a time limit for the exam takers…” Everyone blinked, searching for the one who had spoken that last sentence amidst the crowd’s discussions. It was Elder Xu.
And he was right. The promotional examinations did not have a time limit. And so, he stood there, observing Bai Xiaochun.
Han Jianye felt no pressure as he smiled coldly, his eyes darting from one test taker to the next. He had seen Bai Xiaochun as a strong opponent, but currently, he found it difficult to think that Bai Xiaochun could surpass him.
Du Lingfei frowned, she found Bai Xiaochun extremely irritating no matter how she looked at him.
Bai Xiaochun worked fast, his eyes shining, leaving the whole world in the background, the only thing left was him and the furnace in front of him. The shifting stalks of herbs in his hands turned into either liquid or powder, all of them falling into the furnace. He pointed at the furnace with a finger from his right hand, and it lit up.
An hour passed by and a thick aroma of medicinal fragrance spread from the furnace. Bai Xiaochun grabbed with his right hand as a four inch Black Incense stick appeared. Bai Xiaochun frowned as he stared at the incense stick in his hand.
At this moment, the surrounding people focused their attention on him, Elder Xu included, his eyes with a hint of anticipation. But just when everyone was expecting him to start the second batch, they realized that the incense stick in his hand was under Bai Xiaochun’s inspection.
“What the hell is he doing?”
“Why would he continue to inspect a successful incense stick? He should be on the second batch after that!” everyone was shocked.
Bai Xiaochun, at this moment, stared at the incense stick in his hand with great dissatisfaction. It was successful, yes, but in his estimation, it should have been seven inches.
“What went wrong?” Bai Xiaochun mumbled as he tried to figure it out. Three hours passed.
Just when everyone had just about enough, Bai Xiaochun’s eyes brightened. He took out the herbs and started refining again, attracting the attention of the crowd once more.
An hour later, an even stronger fragrance spread from the furnace as a five inch Black Incense stick came out.
Du Lingfei, Chen Zi’ang and Zhao Yiduo were surprised. Han Jianye’s eyes flashed, but kept his appearance calm as he panicked inside.
They weren’t surprised because Bai Xiaochun succeeded twice - they were surprised because it was two successful refinements in a row!
Suddenly, the third batch shook as an even thicker fragrance spread out. In the furnace, a six inch incense stick appeared.
“Three in a row, how is this… How is this possible?”
“How is he doing it... this Bai Xiaochun? Was it possible that he has refined the Black Incense stick before?” The crowd was shocked - it was just unbelievable.
Du Lingfei was breathing hard, staring at Bai Xiaochun with a death glare, waves of rage churning inside her. The others simply stood there, stunned.
“Three in a row… He must be very familiar with the Black Incense sticks and lucky as well… There is no doubt, the next one will not succeed.” Han Jianye clenched his fist tightly, his eyes bloodshot.
Just as everyone was waiting for Bai Xiaochun to get on with the fourth batch, he started staring at the six inch incense stick in his hand, his brows furrowed. He placed his hand under his chin and started thinking.
And five more hours passed.
If he had taken five hours to think at the first attempt, no one would have stayed to wait for him. But Bai Xiaochun was now a man who had three successful attempts in a row. If the fourth one were to succeed as well, he’d be a man surpassing the others, one at the same level as Han Jianye. The curiosity burning within the crowd made them stay.
“Bai Xiaochun is way too slow. It’s just Grade One medicine, does he really need to think that long?!”
Du Lingfei and Han Jianye in particular stared at Bai Xiaochun with more alertness than the others, and were very reluctant to leave.
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes suddenly lit up once more, beginning the fourth batch under everyone’s stares.
An hour later, the resounding roar from the furnace was not one of failure, but one caused by the billowing aroma. In the blink of an eye, a fragrance even thicker and stronger than the preceding ones spread around the arena as a seven-inch-long Black Incense stick appeared.
The fourth batch was yet another success.
The crowd burst into an uproar.
“Four in a row!”
“Such an event… How could it be? How many times can Bai Xiaochun succeed in a row?!”
“Twice is a passing grade, but four times… I remember Zhou Xinqi at the promotional exam last time, her record was seven!”
Du Lingfei was displeased. She knew that Bai Xiaochun was better than her, but to see such a great difference exhibited right in front of her… She did not like it.
As for Han Jianye, he was already gnashing his teeth and clenching his fist even more, his entire body trembling. He could barely believe the scene right in front of him.
“Four times, that has to be the limit. No way can he keep that up!”
As the anticipation and excitement was at its peak, the crowd soon realized that Bai Xiaochun was staring at the incense stick and thinking again.
“This fellow, he’s inspecting it again!” The crowd could only feel helpless as they continued to watch Bai Xiaochun. There was no way they’d leave now. They could only wish that Bai Xiaochun would stop scrutinising for so long.
Time flew by and eight more hours had passed. Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath, his eyes showed exhaustion. The spectators were unaware, but he knew perfectly well that he had almost failed the fourth refinement.
As for the discussions the people were having around him, he chose to continue ignoring them. When it came to refining, his determination was inconceivable. Regardless of what people said about him, he couldn’t have easily succeeded without a firm view of his success.
After a while, he finally began the fifth batch, to the relief of the spectators straining their eyes to observe him.
Soon after, an explosion echoed out as a thick aroma billowed out, waking the crowd up.
It was a success once again.
Han Jianye just stood there, speechless. He felt deep bitterness, but no words could come out from his mouth.
Without having everyone wait this time, Bai Xiaochun flourished his sleeve and proceeded to refine the sixth batch.
Not long after, another explosion echoed out and an even denser aroma wafted out, signaling that the sixth batch was a success.
His eyes shining, his hands continuously in motion, Bai Xiaochun picked up another set of herbs and started refining the seventh batch. An unusual burnt smell was released, shocking Bai Xiaochun. It was subtle, and only he was able to smell it.
He pinched with his right hand’s fingers, lowering the temperature to correct it. The seventh batch - success!
The incense stick that was produced, however, was only three inches long, and was full of impurities, almost falling into the low quality category. Even so, it was still a success!
At this moment, everyone was wide awake and breathing heavily. Xu Baocai, especially, was even more shocked, his eyes full of disbelief.
“Seven in a row! Heavens… This Bai Xiaochun... he succeeded seven times in a row!”
“The same as Zhou Xinqi! According to a legend, one guy from the Jade King Mountain succeeded eight times in a row, but he was already the best of the best, the absolute top of his generation!”
“As for nine times… Is that even possible? None have managed!”
The crowd was in an uproar. Bai Xiaochun, on the other hand, thought silently, his eyes fixed on the furnace. He had already forgotten about the examination, all that was in his mind was the batch in front of him. He had almost failed, and after careful and lengthy thinking, he took out the herbs and inspected them once again, finally locating the reason.
“It’s these spirit roots, this Black Spirit Fruit… All the basic black components have a slight difference in the roots.” Bai Xiaochun stared at the Black Spirit Fruit in his hand, thoroughly analyzing the fruit as he tried to create possible solutions.
Time passed by bit by bit, the people around him were fascinated with his absorbed thought and research, while smiling bitterly. They were excited, but Bai Xiaochun’s thought process were too long for them.
Unwilling to just leave after all that, the disciples crossed their legs and sat down, waiting for Bai Xiaochun. Some, who were at their limits, even took a nap on some nearby boulders.
Elder Xu had an odd expression on his face. He coughed dryly and took a seat on the ground as well, his legs crossed.
Du Lingfei and Han Jianye refused to leave as well. Naturally, they were also tired, but they were forced to sit along with the others.
It was quiet. Some snores could be heard coming from the surrounding spectators. As for those who weren’t snoring, they were still staring at Bai Xiaochun. Xu Baocai was one of them.
Several hours later, some of the nappers woke up to see Bai Xiaochun still thinking.
“He’s still inspecting it?”
“It’s dawn already…”
At long last, ten hours later, Bai Xiaochun’s bloodshot eyes opened as he lifted his head.
4/4 guaranteed chapter of the week.
To our continuously growing reader base, expect another chapter soon! And perhaps even more in the weekend. Again, thank you so much for the support!
Translated by: Marcus
TLCed by: Nat Nat
Edited by: Arch, Crimsonguard