Refining the World(祭炼山河)

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  • Chapter 72: Little Martial Uncle

    Qin Yu was in a mist-shrouded paradise—where the old man Pill Cauldron lived—yet was still oblivious of his identity. He was absolutely certain that—in the Ancient Immortal Valley—his status was extremely high. How could it be ordinary when he was capable of facing against a Demonic Faction's Sacred Lord?

    This kind of person was actually asking to take him as his Master—as he discovered him—when he should be trialed or punished instead?  No matter how he saw it, it was definitely strange. His mind blank, without an ounce of seriousness. Qin Yu tried several times, but his heart couldn’t calm down, still continuing its erratic beating. He drank fine and exquisite wine —yet tasteless— while his eyes swept his surroundings.

    Daoist Pill Cauldron’s previous unrestrained and unruly character—when he was up against the Demon Lord — has vanished, as if his backbone was pulled out, stretching on a soft couch. His eye landed on Qin Yu, "Kid, don’t say I didn’t warn you. The Great Elements Sword Formation beneath you is completely activated, and if you leave this place carelessly, 'hiccup', the result should be clear to you..."   

    Qin Yu lowered his head and forced himself to drink, no longer looking at the beautiful misty landscape. What about the basic trust among men? This is just too much, pretending to this extent. Qin Yu was unable to see any iota of it! If he were to take advantage of his drunken state and flee, would it be any different from committing suicide? Truly too much!

    Daoist Pill Cauldron smiled pleased, then he patted Qin Yu, "Don't be down on the dumps kid, you're still alive, a marvelous feat in and of itself. Hurry up and pay respects to your Master, and the previous matter will be wiped clean. Or not, and I will hand you over. Oh, the Ancient Immortal Valley is upright to be sure, but it doesn’t lack people with strange and dark hobbies. Let's take the crazy old man from the Scarlet Furnace for example. He likes to throw people in it and crank up the heat. Of course, we can’t have you die, just baking you for eight-nine days, burning away the fat from your flesh, organs, and marrow, to the point of making you jump in ‘joy’ from the pain. That kind of pain you will definitely not like, so you better be quick with your decision!"

    Qin Yu's mouth twitched. ‘What a feeble attempt at threatening people, so flimsy. It only lowers the admiration I had for you!’

    Daoist Pill Cauldron grinned, "Don't admire this old man. If you admire me too much, I will keep you here and leave an imbecile; completely different from the current you."

    Qin Yu's eyes went wide.

    Pill Cauldron laughed loudly, "Scared? Just so you know, I cultivate a mind-reading art. No matter what schemes you cook up, there is nothing you can hide from me!"

    Qin Yu recollected himself, "If senior really has a mind-reading art, when the Demon Lord wanted to grab me, there was no need for the sacred tree to come to my rescue."

    Pill Cauldron choked on wine, and after a coughing fit and a red face, he said, "Why are children thinking so much? Don’t you know it’s rude to point out an old man's mistakes?"

    Qin Yu puts down the wine cup and saluted, "Qin Yu will first thank senior for the kindness of saving my life. But I will like to ask senior, why would you want junior as a disciple? Junior is ungrateful—with many vicious and hidden dangers in this world—I am superficial and afraid that one day I will meet my end."

    Pill Cauldron shot him a glance, "Just where does it shows you don't know? You think that this old man will just let you meet your doom?"

    "If senior wanted, junior would have died long ago countless of times. "

    Pill Cauldron cursed while laughing, "You little brat, isn't it because you’re sure of your backing?" He creased his brows, sinking in contemplation, "Actually, this old man is also not sure why he wants to take you as a disciple. Just that—from the moment I laid my eyes on you—this thought occurred to me and can’t shake it." 

    "Through the Inferring Art—in the Southern Nation and Northern Dynasty—I haven't found a second person as fitting as the first. We are fated to be master and disciple."

    Qin Yu hesitated, "These words are a bit mysterious, it's as if..."

    "As if it's a street fortune teller's trick, right?" Daoist Pill Cauldron grins, "You have good eyes to actually tell that this old man came from a family of fortune tellers. Not bad at all. Alright, everything that should be said was said, now make your decision."

    Qin Yu bent his leg and kneeled, disregarding any loss of dignity, 'What's the harm in kneeling for your life?' Despite the one receiving it was someone so respected, he felt no admiration when looking at him. Perhaps this kneeling was another opportunity! 

    At this moment, Pill Cauldron let out a strange shout, his eyes rolled as if he was struck by lightning. 

    He brushed his sleeve and pulled Qin Yu closer, eyeing him from top to bottom, "Kid, just who are you? Why are you making my identity jade react?" 

    Identity jade?

    Qin Yu's mind stirred, hardly believing. After some thinking, he took out a storage bag and from it, a jade slip. Pill Cauldron seized it before he could even speak, and searched it. Using a technique, the jade slip let out blue light and took the shape of a pill cauldron. 

    Pill Cauldron's face was blank.

    Qin Yu blinked repeatedly, and a thought occurred to him. This jade slip was something he took from the Pill Disposal Facility’s underground area in Sacred Mountain Sect; from the remains of Cang Mang. 

    Did it have a connection with the Ancient Immortal Valley?

    "Heavens! Mother earth! Unfair, why is it so unfair!" Pill Cauldron suddenly burst out, as if he had epilepsy, "So many years have I searched, and when I kid finally caught my eye, when I was about to bestow my legacy, someone was faster! If someone else were to have done this, then I would have made sure they wouldn have no way to live. Just why did it have to be him, the departed Master I never got to meet!"

    "Ah, why is my life so miserable?" These words ended with a drawn-out high tone, just like at the opera.

    Qin Yu's face paled. At Pill Cauldron’s display of extreme fury and bitterness, he was afraid he would go berserk and take his poor little life.

    Several figures with fierce auras arrived, looking everywhere for the enemy.

    Pill Cauldron was raving mad and rained curses, "Why have you all come? I am hiding, who would dare come kill me? Get lost, beat it, just get the hell out, all of you!"

    The experts were frozen stiff. They spotted a silent Qin Yu, then shrank and truly beat it, disappearing inside the roaming mist. 

    Qin Yu: ...

    Cursing at people appeased his anger a bit, but his face was still ashen, releasing a hint of aura, but it was taken back soon after. He returned the jade slip to Qin Yu, his mouth finding it painfully difficult to squeeze a smile, "Little junior brother, elder brother’s manners were lacking the first time."

    Qin Yu was choking on his words, giving him a supercilious look. He was somewhat prepared, but how come he felt that this was even more preposterous. 

    Pill Cauldron coughed and took out another jade slip, "Little martial brother, there’s no need for doubt. Many years ago, this identity jade was, *cough*, senior's final teaching before his passing. It holds an inheritance, that helped me reach today's position. Little junior brother and I, are all Master's disciples. It's only natural for us brothers to match each other!"

    Qin Yu cupped his hands in haste, "Junior doesn't dare!"

    Pill Cauldron waved his hand, "What not daring?! You are my little martial brother, and this will never change, starting now! Alright, rest here while I’ll handle things. Tomorrow, we will hold the ceremony for your new title. After which you will become Ancient Immortal Valley's Little Martial Uncle."

    Pill Cauldron flew out of the garden and—sure enough—his lazy and relaxed manner disappeared in a single step, replaced by an extremely dignified air. 

    Qin Yu was slack-jawed, only to give a strained laughter in the end, 'Just what is going on exactly?!'

    The second day.

    The Ancient Immortal Valley's central area was under a state of emergency, with all of Zhao clan's young generation along with official disciples from the center of the valley were under order to gather in the Pill Palace's Grand Square. This area spread more than ten li, made entirely of white jade, emphasizing the greatness of the Ancient Immortal Valley. It was used only in matters of great importance.

    Something major must have happened today!

    Yesterday, Demonic Faction's Sacred Lord attacked the Ancient Immortal Valley, only to be repelled by Patriarch. Such an arrogant display definitely won't end so easily.

    "The Demonic Faction is too arrogant. Do they think that the Ancient Immortal Valley is a common sect they can attack whenever? This isn't over, not by a long shot!"

    "Right, this time we shall make the Demonic Faction understand, that the Ancient Immortal Valley isn't to be offended!"

    "Today's display must be because of the Patriarch's fury, and he will definitely give us an inspiring speech! "

    "Hahahaha! This granny's saber is so thirsty I can hardly control it!"

    Many spirited disciples glanced at a certain saber holding, laughing maniacally, thick, short and ugly female. But quickly looked elsewhere, trying to keep as far away as they can. 

    Very soon, the Grand Square gathering was underway.

    The Pill Palace's main gate opened and the eight Grand Elders walked out in a line, each face tense and ashen. The Grand Square went silent, with many disciples and juniors shivering inside. ‘The Grand Elders are indeed furious! Good, good, good, you villains from Demonic Faction will no longer have any more peaceful days!’

    Thoughts stirred and auras were released, as everyone was boiling with murderous intent, when the atmosphere in the Grand Square suddenly became stern.

    The clouds suddenly moved!

    The Ancient Immortal Valley's grand formation sensed the disciples' burning spirits and began to silently activate, gathering the spiritual energy of heaven and earth accompanied by thunderous booms. 

    The eight Elders frowned at this, and the one in the lead, the Azure Sky Furnace’s Head, shouted coldly, "Settle down, do you want to send us, old men, to our graves?"

    Everyone was stunned by the shock.

    T-t-this...

    Something was not right.

    The head of the Disciplinary Furnace, Fan Jianhai coughed, "Senior brother Xu, Patriarch is still here, so how about you let me announce it?" 

    Xu Aoleng snorted and lowered his head.

    Fan Jianhai took a deep breath, and spoke gravely, "Here is the Patriarch’s order!"

    The entire Grand Square kneeled. 

    "Yesterday, we were attacked by Demonic Faction, but we made an unexpected gain from it. Patriarch and his long-separated junior brother are reunited, becoming the Ancient Immortal Valley's Little Martial Uncle, with the same seniority as the Patriarch. The Ancient Immortal Valley won't forgive any who offend him!"

    Eyes went wide while jaws fell.

    Patriarch's junior brother? Little Martial Uncle?

    Just where did this come from?!

    Minds began churning and soon recalled why the eight Grand Elders had such gloomy expressions. Just how difficult must have been for a head of a department to reach this point? Just shy from the peak and only below the Patriarch. Who wouldn't be depressed when a Little Martial Uncle inexplicably appeared over their heads? 

    Not to mention that this Little Martial Uncle was unknown to all of them. ‘If he's a teenager, still wet behind the ears, then the joke will be complete! At this, the one-two hundred years old cultivators from the center of the valley also began to show unpleasant expressions.

    Everyone left as quick as they came, immediately disbanding once the announcement was made. The eight Grand Elders returned just as glum to their departments. From start to finish, Qin Yu never showed his face. He won this through strong pleading—along with the added help of the eight Grand Elders' opposition in this matter—thus, forcing Pill Cauldron to agree. Nonetheless, the title Little Martial Uncle—within the hour—spread around the entire Ancient Immortal Valley!

  • Chapter 73: Hidden Treasure Pavilion

    He casually became a Little Martial Uncle of one of the greatest sects from Southern Nation and Northern Dynasty, the Ancient Immortal Valley. It gave him enough seniority to scare everyone,  to look down on martial nephews and other disciples. This was one ridiculous story. But after a night of sleep, and after repeated blinking, he still sighed, since this wasn’t a dream. 

    "Little Martial Uncle." A lovely voice sounded from outside the door, "Did your distinguished self woke up?" 

    Qin Yu opened the door and glanced at six charming female cultivators. They were divided on each side, holding inner garments, outer garments, footwear, ornaments, face towel, and so on. Their heads lowered as they made a curtsy, "Disciples pays respect to Little Martial Uncle."

    "You are…?"

    "Disciples are following the order of attending Little Martial Uncle's bath." The Female cultivator on the left blushed red, "The water is warm and ready. Please follow us."

    Qin Yu was scared out of his wits, 'Just what is this old geezer doing!?' He waved his hand, "No need, no need. I can bathe myself. Withdraw!"

    The female cultivator felt awkward, "This..."

    "I will handle it, there is no need for you to worry."

    The female cultivator's face showed delight, "Many thanks to Little Martial Uncle! Disciple Cai Yue along with Ming Xia and the rest will be attending to all your needs. Please ask if you have any requests."

    Qin Yu frowned, not saying anything. He needed to find Pill Cauldron to handle this matter, then dismissed them once they left the items. He came out  later—after finishing his bath and changing into new clothes —meeting the shining eyes of Cai Yue, Ming Xia and the rest.

    Qin Yu wasn’t handsome at all, but after being tempered by the Demon Body’s evolution, his muscles were more defined. And with the Little Blue Lamp boosting his confidence, each gesture became more imposing. This effect was —of course—closely related to the Ancient Immortal Valley clothes. The black robe with silver linings, handcrafted and with impressive decorations, was a perfect match to Qin Yu's aura, further emphasizing it. It was true what they say, clothes made the man. 

    Furthermore, the white jade crest on his head, the dragon waistband—topped with the roc engraved boots—were magnificent and worthy of respect. With this set of clothes, even standing still they could resist two-three attacks from a Golden Core cultivator. While the dragon waistband could even defend against a Nascent Soul’s strike.

    "Where is senior brother?"

    Cai Yue respectfully replied, "Reporting to Little Martial Uncle. Patriarch is already waiting for a long time, please follow disciple." They stepped out of the residence, walked through a long and winding corridor, and entered a magnificent and elegant garden, the roaming mist making it more secluded.

    Pill Cauldron sat in the leader's seat in the Main Hall, drinking fragrant tea with a tranquil expression. Hearing footsteps, he laughed faintly, "Little junior brother, did you have a good sleep last night?" 

    Qin Yu cupped his hands, "Greetings senior brother, I rested well. Furthermore, I also want to express my thanks for all the treasures you granted me."

    After a few words, Cai Yue retreated with a bow.

    Pill Cauldron immediately shed his appearance, relaxing and leaning backward, "Little junior brother, that girl still has her Yin Essence. Don’t tell me you have a problem? Don't be afraid, go ahead and tell your senior brother and I will make you a batch of pills, to renew your vigor and hold nightly... 'cough, cough'. It is no bother!"

    Seeing the old fellow winking, Qin Yu's eyes twitched faintly. He took a deep breath, "My body is very healthy, need not trouble senior brother. Cai Yue, Ming Xia, and the others are all core disciples. It would be better to let them leave and cultivate diligently."

    Pill Cauldron was struck with grief, an attitude that said ‘Admit it, junior brother, I won't laugh at you. But what are you trying to say by having that wretched expression?'

    Seeing Qin Yu's dark look, he coughed, then, "Fine, fine, since your body is alright, let's proceed. Cai Yue and the rest are attending you out of their own volition. You can also stop worrying about seniority. Our cultivation is all about doing things with a clear conscience, disregarding complicated matters." And winked, "They say that if you find a flower you can pick and wait, then you will miss the chance to pick it(1). Junior brother, don't fail to measure up to this period of great happiness!"

    Qin Yu resigned himself and cupped his hands, "I will sincerely follow senior brother's teachings."

    Pill Cauldron, with a 'child instructing' face, stood up and walked outside, "Come, I will take you to the Hidden Treasure Pavilion, where you can choose an item. Consider it a gift for our meeting."

    Qin Yu's eyes shone. 

    Ancient Immortal Valley's Hidden Treasure Pavilion definitely wasn’t ordinary.

    Pill Cauldron brushed his sleeve as they left the Main Hall. He only heard the wind’s whistling. When his vision recovered, he was standing before a crude wooden house.

    The stairs were repaired and intact, but under the harsh wind and rain, there were changes along the many years. Pill Cauldron stood with hands behind his back, speaking in earnest, "Qin Yu, even if you are my junior brother, there will only be one choice. Who knows when you’ll enter next time? So you have two hours to see as many items as you can before making your choice. Imprint your Divine Sense on your choice and come out."

    Qin Yu's heart felt slightly warm. This indescribably convenient encounter with senior brother was incredibly beneficial to him. But even so, he was still not completely convinced. The world's ways were many and deeply hidden. A married loving couple could separate in one night, so he must express extreme caution above all else. 

    With a respectful bow, Qin Yu walked towards the wooden house. The stairs creaked, yet what was heard weren't sharp and annoying noises, but ones that soothed the heart. He was not at all worried about Pill Cauldron’s intentions. There was no need to waste so much effort with his cultivation.

    The door was unlocked. When Qin Yu reached to open it, he was sucked in. His vision brightened and he was already standing inside the wooden house. The door behind him closed without locking, but for him, it represented an incomprehensible power.

    If an unauthorized person touched the door, he would never again come out.

    The interior of the wooden house wasn’t beautiful, holding a restricting formation. Several wooden supports were strewn everywhere. The spiritual energy was wrapped around each item—bubbling—while the items themselves were restrained on the wooden supports, with each of them having a jade slip next to it.  

    Qin Yu looked at the first item in front of him, an ax-shaped treasure. He took the jade slip next to it and inspected it, confirming that it contained brief information regarding it.

    "Heaven Breaking Axe (Imitation). Although far inferior to the original, its attacks are still incredible. It is suitable for open and combatant disciples. Warning: This treasure requires a powerful body."  

    Yet the most impressive thing was the image engraved at the end of this information. The dark-faced man hacked with the Heaven Breaking Axe and the river was torn asunder!

    Astonishing power.

    This imitation of the Heaven Breaking Axe was considered top quality among the Golden Core ranked treasures—based on its might—. Qin Yu sighed inside when he gazed around the long wooden supports, and on the bubbling spiritual energy. The Ancient Immortal Valley was so rich it leaked gold! 

    He put the jade slip back and looked further, seeing organized items on the wooden supports. He saw only weapons—several containing impressive power—yet Qin Yu only glanced at them. His was strong enough already, and if he didn't provoke a Nascent Soul, he could move unhindered throughout Southern Nation and Northern Dynasty; making these weapons mere decorations.

    He arrives—with quickened steps—at the second support, one that held many defensive treasures. They were—of course—of very good quality, but Pill Cauldron had already given him some means of protection. Regardless of whether there were or weren’t any outstanding ones, Qin Yu only glanced at some of them then moved onwards.

    The following treasures were all strange and wondrous items, filling his eyes with an impressive sight and melodious sounds. Just because they weren't heard, didn't mean they didn't exist. This was proof of the Ancient Immortal Valley's wealth.

    Eight Treasure Horn Lamp. By inserting a trace of your soul and igniting the life fire—then consecrating it—the user had a faint chance of survival. For a cultivator, he wouldn’t be truly dead until his soul perished. He could seek a puppet body to reside in, while the worst cases could turn into soul cultivators and continue living. Who wouldn't want to have many life-saving treasures? But this treasure was a very precious one.

    Scarlet Refining Nine Layered Pagoda. Each layer had the soul of a beast sealed inside. If a cultivator could refine the first layer—by filling it with his energy—he could then summon the first beast soul. If he refined the second layer, he could summon the second layer's beast soul. And once the ninth layer was refined, he could summon all nine beasts to fight alongside him. It was the same for Foundation Establishment cultivators and so was for Golden Core cultivators! Once refined, the beast souls were fairly good when done by a Foundation Establishment. But if it was done by Golden Core cultivator, the beasts would turn formidable. If he could summon all nine beast souls at his side, the outcome would be uncertain when he would encounter an early Nascent Soul.

    Buddhist Light Pagoda was an item refined in secret by a Buddhist sect. It allows one to reach tranquility when cultivating and not receive outside interferences, greatly increasing cultivation speed. But the most important fact was that it could be used constantly, and once the connection was formed, it then enters one's body and protected the user from demons! 

    Scarlet Fire Pearl, a treasure made in the heart of a thousand li volcano. 

    Thousand Unbreakable Seed, after binding with it an agreement is formed, living and dying together. 

    Withered Nine Serene Lotus, able to greatly increase one’s soul power...

    Wooden house's treasures were items the Ancient Immortal Valley gathered along countless years. Each item was of top quality and incredibly precious. The fact that Pill Cauldron let him choose one, was already extremely generous! 

    But what to pick?

    Qin Yu looked left then right, feeling awkward.

    Outside, Pill Cauldron was fuming with rage, yet the sixteen-seventeen old young girl before him was uncaring, as her cold tone never wavered.

    "Pill Cauldron, even if you are the Sect Leader of the Ancient Immortal Valley, it doesn’t give you the right to bestow items from the treasury on a whim. You have the highest power, you also know it is wrong, but you still do it. How can the disciples accept this? "

    Pill Cauldron gnashed his teeth, “You found me while I was actually here. Just who’s not accepting here?"

    The young girl shot him a look, "With your status and cultivation, it is extremely muddleheaded to suppress the valley’s different opinions."

    Pill Cauldron disdained, "I am so muddleheaded I don't even care! "

    The young girl said, " I will make this matter known at the next Great Gathering."

    " Who would believe you without any proof?"

    "I already took a recording."

    Pill Cauldron's face froze and abruptly changed his approach, "Xiao Ling, can’t you see how I only have one junior brother? As a grand Sect Leader of this valley, if I don’t give a decent gift, I will lose all respect. Just this time, I guarantee you it’s just this once. Can you be more lenient? "

    The young girl looked at him from a different angle, extended her arm and opened her palm. Pill Cauldron's face was dejected, kneading his nose, "Fine, I’ll give you spirit stones." 

    Then she left, leaving —with each step—countless specks of light in her wake. 

    There was a complicated look in the depths of Pill Cauldron's eyes. He shook his head and it vanished. Then he looked on at the wooden house's door, curious of Qin Yu’s choice.

    Qin Yu stopped right then and there. He lowered his head—bewildered—and looked at the fluttering mushroom-shaped item on the wooden support.

    T-this...

    Qin Yu's eyes went wide and sniffed the mushroom’s scent, and as he carefully touched the patterns on the wooden support, his eyes brightened. A light flashed and the jade slip with The Art of Medicine appeared. He skimmed through it and soon found what he needed.

     

    (1)    These are verses from o poem from Tang Dynasty.

  • Chapter 74:  Soul Fungus and the eighth furnace

    Some ancient spirit trees had the rare opportunity to grow a soul. The soul didn't perish even if the tree died, as it was still lingering inside the wood. After hundreds of years, a Soul Fungus grew from it, then the wood withered in seven days. If luck would have it and the Soul Fungus passes a hundred years, it would become a natural treasure. When consumed—thanks to the wooden soul inside—the user's soul wouldn't dissipate or perish. And if its age surpassed the thousand years mark, it became a worldly treasure. Refining it, then ingesting it—according to its illustrious reputation since antiquity—it could become a Twin Soul!

    Rumor had it that there was a ferocious beast in ancient times known as Ji. It had a ruthless temper, slaughtering millions, and forced humanity to send their strongest to suppress it. This battle lasted a day and a night, shaking the heavens and collapsing the earth. This ferocious beast Ji's power was so tyrannical it exceeded imagination, as seventy-two of humanity's experts had to perish to use their blood essence and trigger a secret technique to behead the beast.

    Ji's might come from this Twin Soul. After the battle, the world boiled when the information regarding the Twin Soul was revealed for the first time! 

    Twin Soul was considered as another soul, nearly identical to the original. It could automatically absorb spiritual energy of heaven and earth, endlessly transforming it at nurturing the main soul. A true soul cultivating accelerator. Yet this is not by far its only effect. Twin Soul could be overlayed with the original soul, empowering the cultivator's soul to be twice as strong. In matters of life and death, it could even take the main soul's place of being destroyed, avoiding total annihilation. For example, at a Nascent Soul's Heavenly Tribulation. When the Soul Annihilation Thunder struck, with the Twin Soul, even if he were to be powerless to resist it, he could survive at a hair's breadth. 

    Furthermore, this was the only known information, as even now there was an uncertainty of all of its amazing abilities. Since after the ferocious beast Ji, there were hardly any records regarding the Twin Soul in the ancient texts. The passing of this information and even the users of this treasure were few and far in between!

    There was a mention of the Soul Fungus in the Art of Medicine, which was also connected to the information regarding the Twin Soul. When he was cultivating below the Radiant Scarlet Tree, Qin Yu did some extensive reading, for this particular situation.

    Soul Patterns, Soul Fungus, and Twin Soul. If it were any other person, even if he knew of the Twin Soul, he would still have to give up on it. But Qin Yu was different, he had the Little Blue Lamp to speed up spiritual plant growth. Soul Fungus was a spiritual plant after all, and the Little Blue Lamp has never let him down.

    He took a jade hoe from his storage bag. He carefully removed the Soul Fungus from the wooden support and placed it in a jade bottle that he prepared earlier.

    Qin Yu left after sticking a sealing talisman to preserve its vitality. Although it was written in The Art of Medicine that the Soul Fungus could survive for a day after it was taken from the wood, he didn't want to take chances. Yet a few steps later, something occurred to him. It was still quite early before the night descended, and even if he was worried, he could only wait patiently. 

    It seems my heart is still soft, to panic at such a crucial moment!

    Qin Yu arrived at the wooden house entrance while holding the jade bottle and took a deep breath. He pushed it and his eyes sank into darkness, only to be soon replaced with the outside view.

    Pill Cauldron's eyes brighten while laughing, "Junior brother, let me see. What treasure did you bring? I told you earlier to choose carefully. If you were hasty and chose one of the first items, your heart will be filled will regret!"

    Old geezer winked, but when his eyes landed, his look immediately turned strange, "W-what is this thing? Why haven't I seen it before?" 

    Qin Yu cupped his hands, "Senior brother, this item is the one I took from the last wooden support. If I’m not wrong, it should be the rumored Soul Fungus." He swept the area out of the corner of his eyes while speaking.

    Pill Cauldron was slack-jawed, then muttered, "Yes, yes, regarding the time, this should be the period in which the Soul Fungus should appear." He suddenly face-palmed, "Why did you take it out? It's useless!"

    Qin Yu smiled, "Soul Fungus is incredibly mystical, something that I found out by chance, but I haven't lost my reasoning when I saw it today. Senior brother, since you wanted me to go inside the wooden house and choose a treasure, the Soul Fungus shouldn't be against the rules. I hope senior brother will approve of it."

    Pill Cauldron repeatedly waved his hand, "How can that be! I wanted to give you a powerful treasure, not this completely useless thing! Quickly return and choose another."

    The young lady's figure suddenly appeared, calmly stating, "Pill Cauldron, learn when to quit."

    Qin Yu lifted an eyebrow. Someone actually dared to be so informal with senior brother while inside the Ancient Immortal Valley.

    Pill Cauldron coughed, "Xiao Ling, you also know that this foolish kid took out a completely useless Soul Fungus. Just let him go and take another pick. An hour, no, a half an hour, and I promise I will no longer come to bother you."

    The young lady shook her head, "No."

    Pill Cauldron gnashed his teeth, "Thirty percent more spirit stones!"

    "No."

    "Fifty percent!"

    "No."

    "Double!" Pill Cauldron's face twitched, "Xiao Ling, he is the only junior brother I have. If it were to be known I gave this Soul Fungus as a first meeting gift, I won’t have any face left!" 

    The young lady was indifferent, "Even ten times I still won't agree. The rules were already broken when he entered the wooden house and there won’t be a second time." After a pause, her eyes swept over, "Furthermore, the Soul Fungus—in a sense—is more precious than all of the treasures inside the wooden house. This choice showed his insight."

    Pill Cauldron's old face collapsed in defeat, becoming increasingly long.

    Qin Yu was curious. Although he didn't spend a long time with his convenient senior brother, he knew he has a good, solemn expression when facing other people. In front of this girl, he put no pretense and he was apparently even more relaxed. His mind stewed and cupped his hands, "Senior brother, what this young miss said is correct. Soul Fungus is my choice and I am satisfied with it. " 

    So far, the young lady stared fixedly at Qin Yu, but her indifferent and dead expression was the same as if she looked at a rock or tree. 

    Pill Cauldron wanted to continue when the young lady intervened, "He can’t enter the wooden house again, but if you want compensation, there is still an ownerless treasure outside. If he can refine it, then the benefit it will bring will have no bounds."

    Pill Cauldron's face was unsightly, "The Eight Furnace?"

    "Correct." The young lady took out a circular token, "Take this token if you agree and it will make this an exception for him, giving him the opportunity to refine The Eight Furnace." 

    Qin Yu said, "Senior brother, there’s no need to say anything else."

    Pill Cauldron sighed, "Just don't regret it later!" He took the command token and—with a wide wave of his sleeve—both of them vanished. 

    The young lady saw them leaving and frowned at some point, "The Soul Fungus?"

    Then she scattered into specks of light.

    ...

    "Junior brother, why didn't you let me do the talking?" Pill Cauldron showed helplessness, "You wasted such a good opportunity."

    Qin Yu smiled, "Finding the Soul Fungus—and even obtaining it—is already hard to come by chance. How can it be a waste? Let it go senior brother."

    Pill Cauldron snorted, "And what if I don’t? even I can’t do anything about it at this point. Forget it, follow me." He then mutters, "The chance might be pitifully small, but we still have the command token. Might as well try it."

    Two figures appeared in a towering pavilion. In the air, there was fiery energy lingering with medicinal fragrance. This scene wasn't unfamiliar to Qin Yu, as it was a step in creating pills. The guards immediately saluted, "Greetings Patriarch." Their eyes landed on Qin Yu and after a moment of faked ignorance, said, "Greetings Little Martial Uncle."

    Pill Cauldron was uncaring, having a lofty air about him.

    Zhao Yan quickly came, giving a greeting to the two of them. Regardless of his opinion, he should have at least keep appearances, "Patriarch and Little Martial Uncle, come. What instructions you might have?" 

    Pill Cauldron realized, 'not good'. He was too depressed just now and forgot about this opportunist Zhao Yan. After a thought, he placed the command token in Qin Yu's hand, "I suddenly remembered there is something in need of my attention. I will let Zhao Yan handle the rest so I shall leave early." 

    He said he would leave and he left, gone like the wind.

    Qin Yu looked at the command token in his hand, sensing Zhao Yan gloomy and dark look. It was pretty clear why this convenient senior brother ran away faster than a rabbit. He shook his head inwardly, then, "Never mind, I have no intention of refining The Eight Furnace. Have someone guide me out."

    Zhao Yan straightened his body with an indifferent expression, "Little Martial Uncle exaggerates. Patriarch bringing you here means he has high hopes for you, and The Eight Furnace has been without an owner for many years. How would I dare prevent this? Please follow me Little Martial Uncle!" 

    He turned and with his body so did his face turn into a sneer.

    ‘Who is the Patriarch to not know the gravity of things? It’s definitely because this lowly person used his status to force this situation and make the Patriarch give his consent. The fact that Patriarch made an excuse to leave is the best proof. You still want to fake interest only to gain everything? How ridiculous!’ 

    Everyone knew that Zhao Yan—for nearly a hundred years of bitter attempts—has tried to advance but never succeded. Perhaps his sincerity has reached the heavens, finally revealing the opportunity to advance. Close to half of The Eight Furnace has been refined so far. He hid this information intending to shock the others. And when he completed it, he would be known to everyone.

    It just so happened that Qin Yu came right now to refine The Eight Furnace. ‘I will give you this chance! Based on The Eight Furnace's power and the fact that it already recognized an owner, Qin Yu will absolutely suffer a backlash once he starts refining it. A mere Foundation Establishment cultivation will then have to take at least seven layers of skin off!’ (1)

    Zhao Yan was already impatient of this so-called Little Martial Uncle, to say nothing of the impertinence he now had of trying to control The Eight Furnace. He was destroying the upstanding foundation of the Ancient Immortal Valley. Who would miss on the chance to humiliate him and bring him down to earth? 

    They swiftly moved along the way.

    The arrival of Little Martial Uncle and his intention of seizing control of The Eight Furnace swiftly spread inside The Eight Furnace through the mouths of a few guards and disciples; and even faster outside.

    Many eyes stared with ridicule and contempt at Qin Yu. ‘The Eight Furnace is a great treasure that not even Master/Clan Uncle—with his late Golden Core cultivation—could refine it in a hundred years. And in this hundred of years, dozens of outstanding and talented people have tried it but still failed in the end.’ 

    How laughable was for a Foundation Establishment cultivator to have such ambitions!

    Zhao Yan already took into account the Eight Furnace disciples' attempts when he started his refining. His cold smile grew and could no longer be restrained. He waited for the moment when Little Martial Uncle made a fool of himself.

    Zhao Yan stopped and spoke coldly, "Little Martial Uncle, we've arrived."

    A thousand zhang mountain laid in front of him.  Barren, completely red and releasing searing heat, as waves after waves of heat constantly raged in the air. It was obvious how terrifying the temperature was without even approaching it. There was a zhang round sealed stone gate at the base of the mountain. The temperature here was even more astonishing, warping the air. 

    "The Eight Furnace is called The Ninth Area, residing underground in magma. Little Martial Uncle can walk through the gate and will see it." Zhao Yan's mouth grew into a grin, "I will wait here for Little Martial Uncle return."

    Qin Yu was very clear on the hostility exhibited by Zhao Yan and The Eight Furnace disciples, giving him a feeling helplessness. The matter went out of control ever since he became the Ancient Immortal Valley's Little Martial Uncle. He saw this scarlet mountain and went towards it.

    The Ancient Immortal Valley has—for many years—never found a new Head for The Eight Furnace. He was aware that even with his shallow knowledge and even with the Little Blue Lamp in the mix, he could barely qualify as an Alchemist. So how could he subdue this important treasure? 

    Since it started might as well just finish it!

     

     

    (1)    Means he will definitely suffer

  • edited July 2019

    Chapter 75: A black and filthy view on life

    Pushing the stone gate open, a heatwave struck him. He squinted his eyes and walked inside the scarlet mountain, under everyone’s mocking gazes. The temperature was even more terrifying, attested by the stone walls shining a fiery red from the boiling heat. Without protection, his body would have been burnt to a crisp. 

    The tunnel went underground, but it soon reached an end. A round well was before him, in a cave dozens of zhang big. The well was unfathomably deep and released a scarlet radiance. He could sense the horrifying temperature inside even from his location. 

    This conspicuous well was precisely a test.

    ‘If you are not bold enough to even jump, then forget about ever refining The Eighth Furnace.’

    Qin Yu hesitated, then left.

    He wasn’t afraid of this deep well, but he didn't want to waste time. His focus was mainly on the Soul Fungus in his storage bag.

    "Little Martial Uncle, why are you leaving?" Zhao Yan's calm voice was heard inside the room, "Just jump and you will see The Eight Furnace. If your distinguished self leaves now, the disciples will mock you."

    Qin Yu's step paused a bit, eyes cold, "What staying or leaving? I have my own propriety."

    Zhao Yan laughed coldly, "Little Martial Uncle has a revered status and I don’t dare stop you. But this matter was by the order of the Patriarch. Zhao Yan does not dare disobey and I request for Little Martial Uncle to go in."

    Qin Yu was silent for a while, then suddenly smiled, "Fine, in that case I'll just try it."

    He walked back to the well and jumped!

    Outside, Zhao Yan's face darkened but laughed coldly soon after. ‘There’s not an ounce of shrewdness in him.’ He dared to have intentions towards The Eight Furnace when he’s pushed so easily, simply naive.

    A Zhao clan disciple said in a low voice, "He still has a lofty status, Clan Uncle, and he is also Patriarch's Junior brother. It will be hard to explain if something happens."

    Zhao Yan waved his hand, "Don't mind it. Since Patriarch left him here, it shows he wants to discipline him. Even if something happens it won't matter. I will save him when he has suffered enough. This time he’ll be thoroughly humiliated and make him never return in our Eighth Furnace division!"

    The Zhao clan disciple buttered him up, "Clan Uncle is brilliant!"

    The heatwave hit him squarely in the face, making him a lot calmer than when he was outside, as he narrowed his eyes. Not only was he unaffected—thanks to his mighty Demon Body—but it had an even greater resistance towards extreme environments. The heat here might reach a high level, but for Qin Yu, it was only slightly hot. And with a bit of his energy, the faint sweat on his brow vanished. 

    He looked around—after landing with a bang—taking in the surroundings. A black stone made from cooled lava was under his feet. This stone showed clear signs of being refined with one’s power, with even a formation set up, so that this lava lake didn't show any signs of erupting. 

    Apart from this big stone, there was no sight of the Ninth Area's sealed Eight Furnace no matter where he looked. 

    Qin Yu frowned slightly, his eyes carefully scouting the surroundings and quickly found something in the huge lava lake. The lava was always flowing, but several hundred zhang from here there was a strangely calm area. Furthermore, the lava there was much dimmer than the one around it as if a breath sucked out most of the heat! 

    Suddenly, like a colossus’ awakening, terrifying waves of lava rolled toward the big stone, wanting to swallow it whole.

    An enormous furnace burst out of the lava, flames twisting around it and releasing a glaring light, stabbing the eyes, obscuring his vision.

    This was indeed The Eighth Furnace, no doubt about it. The change in the huge lava lake triggered its appearance!

    Qin Yu instantly understood. The Eighth Furnace and the black sword were identical—they both had consciousness—and showed itself when it sensed his arrival. No wonder Zhao Yan thought he would be humiliated when he tried refining The Eighth Furnace. Who was willing to let go of such an important treasure? With just a look, even he was unwilling to give it up.

    The lava surged violently—flooding the black stone —and was close to touch Qin Yu, its intense heat quickly increasing the temperature!

    Qin Yu was ever calm as his body was overflowing with sweat and soaked his robes. The Eighth Furnace realized it couldn’t scare him and calmed itself, but didn’t withdraw its power and just floated in mid-air.

    No matter how he looked at it, its manner was so coy! As if to say, 'Come, come, come!'

    Qin Yu's expression was peculiar. A pill furnace was actually showing emotions. The world was indeed vast and wide, filled with so many oddities. It’s just that, he has no way of subduing it. With this furnace, his path in Alchemy would improve greatly! In response to Qin Yu's thoughts, an indignant shaking sound came from his storage bag, and the Mythical Fire Cauldron came out on its own.

    Straight to The Eighth Furnace!

    Qin Yu was alarmed, but the next scene made his eyes almost fly out of their sockets, incredulous, and making his jaw drop. 

    The enormous, incomparably arrogant, unbridled, and coy Eighth Furnace 'looked' at the Mythical Fire Cauldron. It immediately began to shake violently—just like epilepsy—and suddenly threw itself at the incoming Mythical Fire Cauldron, wanting to stick together.

    A fireball flew and exploded on The Eighth Furnace with a bang.

    The Mythical Fire Cauldron attacked again and again, but The Eighth Furnace was like an addict. Not only was it not angry and didn’t retaliate, but felt excited instead. Why was it that that sound was very close to one from a beast in heat, unable to hide the excitement in its heart!

    Qin Yu blinked, feeling that his world was way too enigmatic and impossible to unravel. Could the pill cauldrons be also split between males and females? How else then could The Eight Furnace’s actions be explained? Mutual gender attraction? A strong and cold shiver ran through him. He felt as if his view of life was too dark, too filthy! 

    Then the Mythical Fire Cauldron turned its body coyly and looked down on Qin Yu, with an 'Open your eyes and gaze upon greatness!' manner. The Eighth Furnace shrunk to half the size of Mythical Fire Cauldron, fawning and flattering, doing its best to win its favor. It squirted an occasional flame at Qin Yu, making the lava boil as if to say 'You're dead, kid. You dared to offend my goddess!'. 

    It was totally unexpected for the Mythical Fire Cauldron to not show its appreciation at this. It slapped The Eighth Furnace flying, only to turn right back for more in a blink, showing its masochistic tendencies, along with its happiness.

    Qin Yu's eyes shone, as a smile crept stealthily on his face. This made the love-struck Eighth Furnace shiver from sudden coldness, feeling that something was wrong. 

    Outside the mountain, Zhao Yan had an ashen face. He sensed The Eight Furnace's changes, but he couldn’t sense its intense mood swings. Abominable, just what did Qin Yu do to entice The Eight Furnace? Thank god he made some progress in refining it, or Qin Yu might have easily seized The Eight Furnace. 

    While his mind was somewhat appeased, Zhao Yan's face became more and more contorted. Even with the pride he had from giving his all over this hundred years, it was incomparable with the shame that struck him when another person did the same in a single day. From his core, he felt increasingly displeased of Qin Yu. 

    ‘Hmph! Go on, refine! You will soon know The Eight Furnace has an owner already. Its power will give you a particularly enjoyable feeling!’

    The mountain shook lightly and then the ground quaked.

    Zhao Yan's face changed greatly. His eyes only held disbelief, as they bugged-out. He constantly roared in his mind, 'Such a good Qin Yu, you began refining and clearly attracted The Eight Furnace's approval, making such a ruckus. Damn it! Just where did you get the luck to refine The Eight Furnace on the first try?'

    The Zhao clan disciple babbled, "C-Clan Uncle, w-what's going on?"

    Zhao Yan was ashen, "Relax, he can't overturn the heavens!"

    The shaking of the mountain grew and along with it, the temperature of the scarlet mountain rocks, slowly releasing a red aura.

    The Zhao clan disciple swallowed, "Clan Uncle, the mountain is releasing light."

    Zhao Yan fumed with rage as he spat, "He can't overturn..."

    Great seals appeared on the mountain and then fused with it, becoming a part of it. 

    The Zhao clan disciple's face was void of life, "Clan Uncle, the mountain seals appeared."

    Zhao Yan roared, "He cannot overturn..."

    He puked blood and was evaporated then and there, from the ground’s searing heat.

    Zhao Yan's face paled—thunderstruck—intertwined with an ashen complexion.  His eyes were soon bloodshot, akin to a ferocious beast eager to devour its enemy!    

    His connection with The Eight Furnace snapped...

    It wasn’t severed and it was actually The Eight Furnace who removed it on its own!

    ‘No way, this is absolutely impossible! It's Qin Yu, it must be Qin Yu. He had to have used an insidious method to cheat The Eight Furnace, to lure him into cutting their connection. Then how else would The Eighth Furnace voluntarily betray him, when he was already acknowledged as its owner?’ 

    This has never happened in Ancient Immortal Valley’s entire history!

    Because of Qin Yu!

    Zhao Yan’s breath was rough, his aura out of control. The incredible cultivation— that of an 8th layer of Golden Core—turned into a terrifying pressure on the disciples, each going whichever in panic. 

    Zhao Yan launch crumbled the earth, fully intent on entering the mountain and expose Qin Yu for what he was. He wanted to let The Eight Furnace know who was the real master here. 

    Zhao Yan flight caused thunder to be heard, his charged with all his might, messing his hair and tearing his robe. He became battered, bloodied and very wretched. He was stupefied. His grief and rage were like a hundred thousand zhang volcano, impossible to quench even when all of the world's water was used. The Eighth Furnace, his Eighth Furnace, the one he toiled in guarding for a hundred years, had completely abandoned him moments from finishing the refinement! 

    Several figures appeared with a loud sound. 

    The Third Furnace's Head Zhao Xin, The Fourth Furnace's Head Zhao Yu, The Fifth Furnace's Head Zhao Xuezhi, The Sixth Furnace's Head Zhao Wu, and The Seventh Furnace's Head Zhao Ming. There were five furnaces in the Ancient Immortal Valley whose leaders belonged to the Zhao clan and all of them gathered here. Shock struck them at the sight of Zhao Yan standing dazed and bleeding. They were all furnace heads, so how can they not know what this means? All the effort Zhao Yan put in this hundred years was completely ruined today.

    Zhao Xuezhi looked at his miserable elder brother and said in a high voice, "Eldest brother, what happened exactly? Why did The Eight Furnace sever its connection with you?" 

    Zhao Yan muttered lowly, "Qin Yu, it's Qin Yu..." His eyes quickly became bloodshot, filled with resentment and brutality, "He is using an evil method to deceive The Eighth Furnace!"

    Zhao Xuezhi seethed with anger, "Be at ease elder brother, I will surely bring you justice!"

    Zhao Xin frowned, and spoke heavily, "The matter isn't yet clear and it involves Little Martial Uncle. Speak with caution."

    Zhao Yan roared, "I already finished the initial refining of The Eighth Furnace. Another month and the entire refining would have been completed. Tell me, Zhao Xin, since the connection between The Eight Furnace and me severed, isn't it because Qin Yu used an evil method?"

    The five furnace head's faces changed at the same time.

    Completing the initial refining meant that The Eight Furnace approved of Zhao Yan. This approval—regarding The Eight Great Furnaces' top treasure—broke only when its master was dead, with no exceptions whatsoever. 

    Then Qin Yu has truly used an evil method?
  • Chapter 76: The Eighth Furnace Head

    The Eight Furnaces of the Ancient Immortal Valley were all Zhao clan's ancestral treasures. The first and second furnaces—the strongest—were already taken by outsiders, while the Zhao clan younger generation had nothing to retort since their skills were unequal. But there was no way they would permit it when someone, through an evil method and a devious plan, seized a treasure furnace!

    "Zhao Yan, we will investigate this matter thoroughly and give you an explanation!"

    "Zhao clan disciples complies with Elder's teachings, but don't blame us for being ruthless when someone is having an evil plot!"

    "The Eighth Furnace's matter must be cleared!"

    Zhao Xuezhi's expression was frosty, "Elder brother, quell your anger. With younger sister and elder brothers here, we won't let you suffer from the schemes of such a vile person! So what if he has a revered status? I will never give up even if I have to make a scene before the Patriarch!"

    Zhao Xin was gloomy. He wanted to speak, but the mountain quieted down and the fiery light dissipated.

    The stone gate at the base of the mountain opened quietly and Qin Yu stepped out.

    Zhao Yan roared, "Give me back The Eighth Furnace!"

    His 8th layer of Golden Core cultivation erupted as if Mt Tai was pressuring him.

    A dazzling light burst out—containing countless sealing patterns—and Zhao Yan felt he collided with a great mountain. It threw him backward while spraying blood and broke his ribs with a crack. 

    Zhao Xuezhi cried out, "Elder brother!" She waved his sleeve and caught Zhao Yan. She shook in anger at his miserable appearance, "Qin Yu, you actually used such a vicious move against my elder brother. I will kill you!"

    Zhao Xin stopped her, "Calm down, we need to be certain first!"

    Zhao Xuezhi shrieked, " How can I calm down when my elder brother is badly hurt? Move aside, Zhao Xin!"

    Zhao Yu, Zhao Wu, and Zhao Ming's faces were also unpleasant.

    Qin Yu's thoughts spun and guessed what was going on. He then spoke on a colder tone, "Are you saying that when Zhao Yan strikes, I should quietly wait for death?" 

    Zhao Yu and the three of them hesitated.

    Zhao Xuezhi's eyes were resentful, "My elder brother lost himself in rage. You could have defended, but why did you have to go so far as to use such a vicious move? Stop being quibble, Qin Yu!"

    Qin Yu's remained impassive, "I have no way of controlling it. The Eighth Furnace is protecting its owner. Zhao Yan's wounds are all from his attack’s backlash. Are you trying to use this to make him attack me harder?"

    Zhao Xuezhi sneered, "You just refined The Eighth Furnace and it’s already connected to you to the point of voluntarily defending you? We are all heads of the great furnaces, so how can we believe you?"

    Qin Yu lifted his hand and a flame appeared in his palm, turning into a palm-sized image of a furnace and making others' hearts throb when sensing its aura.  

    Zhao Xin's expression changed, The Eight Furnace auras were all the same. He was certain, that this was The Eighth Furnace's spirit! He was The Third Furnace Head, wielding its power for more than a hundred years, so he had no choice but to accept this. Not too far, Qin Yu was as calm as ever.

    With the appearance of The Eighth Furnace's spirit, it cleared all doubts regarding his words. But Zhao Xuezhi's sight turned sharper and colder! 

    "Not even two hours passed and The Eighth Furnace was astonishingly refined, and even the furnace's spirit is so close to you. Qin Yu, how could you have possibly accomplished it if not through an evil technique?"

    Qin Yu threw her a glance, "How I've done it, it's my business. Now step aside."

    Zhao Xuezhi gnashed her teeth, "Leave The Eighth Furnace behind, or you won't take one step!"

    Qin Yu's eyes grew colder, "If I'm not wrong, I am now The Eighth Furnace's Head, and this is The Eighth Furnace's area. You dare threaten me?"

    Zhao Xuezhi sneered and pointed at the sky.

    Far away, at The Fifth Furnace area, a blaze rose to the heavens, taking the shape of a snake. It rushed over, spiraling around The Eighth Furnace. 

    There was yelling when they gazed in those terrifying eyes.

    "We are all furnace owners. Its power isn't unique to you!" Zhao Xuezhi turned around and shrieked, "My Zhao clan younger generation was already deceived, what are you waiting for?"

    Zhao Yu, Zhao Wu, and Zhao Ming exchanged a look and acted together.

    The Fourth Furnace, The Sixth Furnace, and The Seventh areas all had flames bursting, taking the form of a wolf, a panther, and a tiger, roaring at the sky. 

    With four great furnaces erupting, the temperature spiked. In the Ancient Immortal Valley, many cultivators watched with bulging eyes. 

    Qin Yu narrowed his eyes. Without any prompt from him, The Eighth Furnace’s spirit was provoked and let out a shaking cry akin to a ferocious beast!

    The sky above The Eighth Furnace area turned into a sea of fire. Waves of fire surged as an alligator head with a mouthful of fangs came out roaring. Even when faced against the other four—being in his own domain—his overbearing aura was not the least bit inferior to them!

    "Stay your hand!"

    Among all the shouting, three figures came over like lightning.

    Xu Ao's face was very dark, " Are you trying to rebel?"

    He took a deep breath, then saluted, "Greetings Little Martial Uncle."

    Fan Jianhai sighed, eyes flashing with helplessness.

    Daoist Wang face-palmed, thinking 'Xu Ao, have you come to pacify or to incite?'

    Zhao Xuezhi and the others had ugly expressions.

    Zhao Yu was indifferent, "Senior brother Xu, are you reprimanding while disregarding reason? "

    Daoist Wang hastily said, "Old Xu is the senior and your words, Zhao Yu, holds no meaning. After all, Qin Yu is Patriarch’s junior brother. Did you have fun making a ruckus?” His status wasn't the same. He had a strange connection with the Ancient Immortal Valley, so his words were casual.

    Zhao Yu's face changed and just snorted.

    Zhao Xuezhi looked on with hate, wanting to speak, but Daoist Wang rained critics, "Zhao Xuezhi, you have such a fierce temper at your age, why haven't you matured at all? Zhao Xin, your rash actions here have been witnessed by many cultivators, turning into such a joke! "

    Zhao Xin frowned, then cupped his hands, "Senior brother Xu, you're just in time." And he immediately began to roughly explain the situation. 

    Xu Ao and Fan Jianhai were a bit startled inside, looking at Qin Yu with respec. If it was as Zhao Xuezhi said, then it was a problem.

    "Hmph! Senior brother Xu is very honorable, following the rules. Then I will let senior brother to resolve this matter and bring justice to my elder brother!" Zhao Xuezhi sneered.

    Xu Ao frowned, but his old face promptly recovered, "Be at ease junior sister. It’s an important matter each time a great furnace chooses an owner. I will personally investigate it." He turned and bowed, "Little Martial Uncle, this matter—with regards to Zhao Yan—it affects his life and even his future. Please give me an explanation."

    The words were sincere—neither humble or overbearing—making the Zhao clan disciples' faces ease up a bit.

    Qin Yu spoke, "I had no intention of refining The Eighth Furnace. I even wanted to withdraw midway, but Zhao Yan used senior brother's order as an excuse to prevent me from backing down. It can be assumed that he wanted to make me suffer from the huge lava lake's endless might."

    The resentful face of Zhao Yan stiffened.

    Everyone sighed simultaneously.

    So he brought it all on himself!

    "Weren’t you curious why I could subdue The Eight Furnace? Even I am still amazed by it. See for yourselves." Qin Yu waved his sleeve and the Mythical Fire Cauldron flew out, enveloped by flames. The fire alligator's tailed wagged inside the sea of flames, and disregarded the other four fire spirits, rushing at the Mythical Fire Cauldron.

    With a bang—and the astonishment of everyone—the fire alligator was sent flying. But this thing’s overbearing and ruthless mood made a complete reversal. Not only was it not angry, but turned around and it came over, tail wagging. This behavior made everyone think of two words—in heat!

    The experts of the Zhao clan gazed on stupefied.

    The serious and firm Xu Ao and Zhao Xin looked as if they've seen a ghost.

    The self-proclaimed wise and knowledgeable Daoist Wang was unaware when he pulled some of his beard off.

    W-was this... flirting?!

    The Eight Great Furnaces were seen as the Zhao clan's legacy. They were always revered and many Zhao clan disciples vowed to themselves to one day bring them all back. Their admiration crumbled at this. How could the Ancestor's treasure have such a revolting behavior?

    Qin Yu took back the Mythical Fire Cauldron and the fire alligator roared rather violently.

    No one doubted, that this thing, because of a wom-, no, a female cauldron, rebelled!

    It held no respect whatsoever for Qin Yu.

    Qin Yu spoke in a dull voice, "Roar at me again and you won’t see it ever again."

    The fire alligator obeyed, immediately lowering its head while shaking his head and tail, acting cute.

    Zhao Yan stared unwaveringly at this scene, reminded of all the labor he put in this hundred years in refining it, as well as the endless admiration.

    He spurted blood, falling unconscious.

    Zhao Xuezhi was on him in seconds, "Elder brother!"

    Qin Yu was calm, "This is the reason. I can do it again to show it clearer."

    Everyone’s mouths twitched. They looked as if a fly entered their mouths while vigorously—and repeatedly—waving their hands. Seeing this heartbreaking scene once was enough!  

    Xu Ao breathed deeply and cupped his hands, "Many thanks to Senior Uncle." And after turning around, "Fellow junior brothers and sisters, are there any more objections?"

    Daoist Wang mumbled, "Even with proof in front of us he talks too much..."

    Zhao Xin gave him a fierce glare, "Senior brother Xu, we understood perfectly." He hesitated slightly, then cupped his hands, "Little Martial Uncle, we have made a great offense and I ask you to be lenient."

    Zhao Xuezhi snorted and flew away while carrying the unconscious Zhao Yan.

    Zhao Yu, Zhao Wu, and Zhao Ming were close behind her.

    Daoist Want blurted, "It’s finally over." And looked at Qin Yu in discontent, "The matter could have been handled with more finesse, so why on earth were you acting so flamboyant? Youngsters should restrain themselves a bit. No good comes of being in the limelight!"

    Qin Yu cupped his hands, "Many thanks for Senior Wang's teaching."

    Daoist Wang dodged, "Don't be so polite. You are that old freak Pill Cauldron's junior brother, I should be the one to pay my respects, to avoid being chased around by him! Hmph, dignified on the outside while despicable, wretched and stingy on the inside. I don't know such a person! If you want, you can call me older brother Wang. There’s no need for formalities between us."

    Zhao Xin roared incensed, "Don't speak nonsense, who are you to slander Patriarch's status?" He gazed at Xu Ao and Fan Jianhai. When their eyes met, each of them sensed the other's helplessness.

    The contradictions between Zhao clansmen and clan outsiders were suppressed by the Patriarch. Thanks to the careful manner in which they handled matters, the past years have been a lot more peaceful. But today, Qin Yu snatched The Eighth Furnace and would definitely break the balance. The storm has finally come to the Ancient Immortal Valley!

    Xu Ao cupped his hands, "Little Martial Uncle, we take our leave."

    Qin Yu spoke, "I will be troubling you regarding today's matter."

    Xu Ao straightened and said, "To be honest, I'm not particularly fond of Little Martial Uncle, so would you kindly settle your own matters and not drag us into them?"

    He then flew away.

    Fan Jianhai laughed in embarrassment, following right behind him.

    Very soon, they left The Eighth Furnace area.

    Fan Jianhai frowned, "Senior brother Xu, you showed your dissatisfaction with Little Martial Uncle in public. You think that he acted like that to purposely involve us?"

    "I'm not at all sure. But what Little Martial Uncle did today already affected the balance of the valley. Everything I said was all in the hope of reducing this crisis as much as possible."

    Fan Jianhai pondered and then smiled, "Senior brother Xu is thoughtful."
  • Chapter 77: Cycle of Inheritance

    Ignoring the Zhao clan disciples’ consideration, and paired with the disapproval of the outsider disciples’ leaders—Xu Ao and Fan Jianhai—the result was obvious: Qin Yu’s peaceful days were numbered. Yet showed no interest—without care—or maybe the events shocked him so much that his face froze.

    Whether because of his confidence or shrewdness, Daoist Wang saw him in a better light. Yet his admiration was soon replaced by sadness, and sighed, "No wonder you weren’t keen on taking me as your Master. It seems the old Master held an even bigger influence. Although I am very confident in my Alchemy, I have to admit that Pill Cauldron's old Master was much more skilled than me."

    Qin Yu cupped his hands, "Junior happened upon the inheritance and did not receive any guidance from the old Master. Senior Wang is very good when it comes to teaching me true Alchemy skills. "

    Daoist Wang's eyes shone, while his face lit up. He suddenly clapped his hands, "I definitely can’t compare with that old geezer Pill Cauldron's old Master, but I am not afraid of him when it comes to anything but cultivation!" Followed by a soft mutter, "After so much hard work, I finally found someone worthy. Yet he was snatched before I could reach him. If I don’t do anything, then all my reputation will be ruined!"

    Qin Yu frowned, "Senior Wang?"

    Daoist Wang coughed and flipped his hand—smoothly and inconspicuously—letting go of a jade slip. He then followed with a panic face, "Where has all of my life's work on Alchemy gone to? That is something I prepared for my future disciple! That jade slip is equal to my careful teaching. This precious item must not be lost! Goodbye, I need to find my jade slip right away!"

    Daoist Wang flew straight away.

    Qin Yu was flabbergasted. ‘That works!?’

    He rubbed his stiff face, supposing he should at least pick the jade slip and search it.

    Once done, Qin Yu was hyperventilating, face full of gratitude.

    The records inside the jade slip were very precise, summing up to a lifetime of experiences. When he finished understanding all of the jade slip contents, his Alchemy would experience incredible progress. In today's cultivation world, it was very important to catch the attention of a Master. This was not something you could learn just by yourself. Daoist Wang obviously couldn’t take him as a disciple, yet still gave him all of his life knowledge. Just how heavy was this favor? 

    Receiving the jade slip, Qin Yu fixed his clothes and made a solemn bow towards his direction.

    Night descended and a foot-wide blue sea inside the storage bag enveloped the Soul Fungus.

    It never disappointed him. With the assimilation of the blue sea's energy, the Soul Fungus's previous withered appearance was now brimming with life.

    Qin Yu smiled.

    He found an appropriate place for the Soul Fungus—in a new storage bag—alongside the Radiant Scarlet Tree's reproductive root. Although he couldn't plant it in the ground, the Little Blue Lamp protected it, so that he could grow it when he left the Ancient Immortal Valley.

    Pill Cauldron was very good towards him, but the Little Blue Lamp was a secret no other person could ever know.

    ...

    Being granted the furnace's spirit approval—even if Zhao Yan was a Great Elders—it gave Qin Yu complete control over the entire Eighth Furnace Area. The majority of Zhao clan disciples followed in Zhao Yan's footsteps and also left. The rest of clan outsiders were at a loss of what to do. Qin Yu simply sent them away and entered once again in the bowels of the mountain.

    As he went towards the lava lake—because of The Eighth Furnace's approval—he had no fear of the scorching heat. Qin Yu explored the jade slip Daoist Wang lost with his Divine Sense and immediately felt as if he was surrounded by a sea of stars, permeated by his entire consciousness.

    He put all his focus on studying, ignoring trifle matters.

    Qin Yu finally opened his eyes after ten days. He was exhausted from straining his mind. But the light in his eyes grew endlessly. 

    ‘Senior Wang is indeed an expert Alchemist. This jade slip made up for my lack of knowledge and experience. It expanded my horizon, broadened my future path in Alchemy. In these ten days, retaining these records allowed me to further my understandings in wider areas, helping me master it, but I still need to tread the path of Alchemy carefully.’

    After crushing the jade slip to dust, he thought of what Daoist Wang said before leaving. He realized they weren’t just empty words, holding a deeper meaning. If Qin Yu couldn’t understand even this, then how would he be worthy of Daoist Wang's entire life’s work. 

    Shutting his eyes, Qin Yu calmed his breathing and restored his mental state. A full day later, he opened his eyes and gazed upon The Eighth Furnace with incomparable bright eyes. 

    The Eight Great Furnaces were passed down in the Ancient Immortal Valley and weren't limited to being used as powerful refining furnaces. The most precious thing was The Eighth Furnace's inheritance. After refining, through the mixing of one’s soul thread with Eighth Furnace one would have the chance of receiving the life experiences of its previous owners.

    This was The Eight Great Furnaces' greatest fortune! 

    But starting the Cycle of Inheritance would be a great burden on The Eight Great Furnaces, not to mention—with how sharp furnace spirit was—it wasn’t going to give in so easily. But the Nine Earth Furnace—The Eighth Furnace's name—this lecherous thing who had a brain a tad bigger than a bug, was infatuated with the Mythical Fire Cauldron, to the point of idiocy. Qin Yu’s scheme was to threaten him with this and the Nine Earth Furnace knelt on the spot. It shouted and yelled to not look down on it, that it would start the Cycle of Inheritance and! It also had to do with its energy reserves accumulated from being without an owner for a hundred years.  

    Qin Yu took a deep breath, then spoke gravely, "Nine Earth, begin."

    The Nine Earth Furnace absorbed the Earthen Fire and suddenly split the lava apart, all the while rumbling as it went through incredible changes. The furnace’s patterns shown with a blinding light and submerged Qin Yu.

    This light posed no harm and instead felt warm to the touch, like being bathed in a hot spring. As his consciousness slowly relaxed and fell asleep, Qin Yu sank into an endless dream.

    He was dreaming of being a pill furnace child. He took care to start the fire, picked ingredients, prepared the furnace room and even assisted at pill refining. Later on, he became the master of the furnace. He took one step at a time until he finally became an expert Alchemist. 

    Another time, he was a guard at a medicine garden, taking care of the germinated spiritual plants than growing them. By chance, he walked the path of Alchemy and then discovering that this was his true calling, and started refining pills.

    This time he was a young wood chopper, that—through sheer coincidence—found a worn-out tome made out of beast hide. In ten years, he was walking the path of Alchemy, and in a hundred years his name spread far and wide, then passed away at the age at nine hundred years. 

    Through the Cycle of Inheritance, a thread of one’s souls was sent into the reincarnation cycle, merging with the previous generations’ life experiences for an extended period of time. This was reincarnation and also a dream, but even more so, an unimaginable stroke of luck. 

    Qin Yu walked through many lives in his dreams, from weak to strong, from humble to honored, in the seniors’ path of Alchemy, their life road. This back and forth journey elevated his consciousness, nurturing it, transforming it. 

    Seals appeared all over the mountain—bursting into thousands of lights—and turning the sky crimson. The Ancient Immortal Valley's formation activated by itself, confining this boundless might, or everything in a thousand li radius would be affected.

    Even so, this unusual phenomenon still remained continued, drawing many complicated gazes from the Ancient Immortal Valley. Admiration, envy, reverence, confusion, dejection and many other intertwined. 

    But none of them felt regret and resentment, except one!

    Zhao Yan was leaning on a soft chair—hauled by several disciples—with his eyes fixed on The Eighth Furnace Area. He wasn’t a furnace master, but since he accomplished the initial refining of The Eighth Furnace, he was aware of this event’s significance. The Eighth Furnace began the Cycle of Inheritance. It was all… for Qin Yu.

    His heart was beating like a wild horse, while his head throbbed from pain. Zhao Yan's entire mind was taken over by one thought only: ‘It should have been me! Qin Yu snatched everything from me. He became The Eighth Furnace's master and received the Cycle of Inheritance.’ The scorching heat in his chest spread to his throat and chocked him. Zhao Yan's chest showed fierce movements, gasping for breath. 

    "Clan Uncle, what happened?" A panicked Zhao clan disciple cried, "Don't scare me!"

    ‘Pff’, Zhao Yan threw his head back and blood spurted like a fountain, then collapsed as his final breath left him.

    Zhao clan's  cultivator—at the 8th layer of Golden Core—had his heart struck by rage and died!

    Following a brief period of eerie silence, all Zhao clan disciples shrieked in panic, "Clan Uncle is dead! Clan Uncle is dead!"

    On this day, the entire Ancient Immortal Valley dissolved into chaos. 

    Zhao Yan's death was the final straw, making the Zhao clan disciples' resentment reach new heights. Zhao Xuezhi bawled her eyes out, all the while insisting that Qin Yu was the behind it. The Zhao clan disciples were enraged and flocked towards The Eighth Furnace Area! As Pill Cauldron was in seclusion, Xu Ao and Fan Jianhai were forced to act and suppress the Zhao clan disciples. But this tore the last shred of reconciliation the two side had for the other.  

    The conflict between the Zhao clan disciples and outsider disciples was inevitable. Many fights broke out over a number of days. There were no casualties but a Zhao clan disciple and two outsider disciples' cultivation had been crippled, adding fuel to the fire. 

    A violent wave swept the Ancient Immortal Valley!

    ...

    Xu Ao and Fan Jianhai were silent. They never imagined that the situation would degenerate to such degree in such a brief period. This headache only caused them further anguish, knowing that a certain someone was relaxing—hidden away—and to top it all of he was even receiving the Cycle of Inheritance, something they greatly admired.

    Fan Jianhai sighed, "Little Martial Uncle hid from the world, and we are breaking our legs running all over. Just why!?"

    Xu Ao shook his head, "Not showing himself is his best move. The Zhao clan's rage overflows the heavens and—once they catch a glimpse of him—there will be hell to pay. After waiting for a while, when their resentment subsides, we will think of a way to settle this."

    "I know that, but I'm still not comfortable with it. Even if he is the Little Martial Uncle, it doesn't mean he can use us as scapegoats."

    Xu Ao muttered for a while, then, "This was all an accident, since no one expected for Zhao Yan’s mind to be so feeble."

    Fan Jianhai forced a smile, "I can actually empathize with Zhao Yan. He was on the verge of finishing refining, then gaze upon the Cycle of Inheritance. Anyone would find this unbearable."

    Xu Ao kneaded his forehead, "You don’t need to say it. Send the order immediately to restrain the outsider disciples. Don't let them fight with the Zhao clan disciples, and maybe everything will be settled when Patriarch comes out."

    , "Senior brother Xu,” said Fan Jianhai after a moment of silence, “Why do you think Patriarch secluded himself?"

    Xu Ao's expression was grave while speaking gravely, "Junior brother Fan, it’s not something we need to concern about!"

    Fan Jianhai frowned, then shook his head helplessly, "Alright, I’ll go make arrangements."

    He left in a hurry.

    Xu Ao was alone and couldn’t bear it anymore and leaned on his chair, as many expressions flashed on his face. If even Fan Jianhai sensed it, how couldn’t he? What Patriarch was trying to convey him—through his seclusion—was to take him down a peg, to dampen Xu Ao’s lofty ambitions?’ 

    Xu Ao pondered and pondered, then made a resolution. 

    He once received Patriarch's kindness, and although he had some hope for rising higher, he would be willing to step down if the Patriarch was against it.

    The most important was to settle the valley.

  • edited July 2019
    That concludes my journey with Refining the World. I hope you enjoyed it because I sure did. 
    I am sad to let it go but, as matters stand, all of my motivation left me. :(
    The only solace is that it will be followed through to the end.
    On the upside, I have learned greatly along the way, which will do great, to me and you, in the future.

    On another note, I will soon be starting my next project. So look forward to it ;)

  • That concludes my journey with Refining the World. I hope you enjoyed it because I sure did. 
    I am sad to let it go but, as matters stand, all of my motivation left me. :(
    The only solace is that it will be followed through to the end.
    On the upside, I have learned greatly along the way, which will do great, to me and you, in the future.

    On another note, I will soon be starting my next project. So look forward to it ;)

    Hey! I really liked your translation. Do you Have an editor? If not, I'd really like to help out. 

    Let me know if you're interested. I'll share my qualifications if you want. :)
  • SkyJJ said:
    That concludes my journey with Refining the World. I hope you enjoyed it because I sure did. 
    I am sad to let it go but, as matters stand, all of my motivation left me. :(
    The only solace is that it will be followed through to the end.
    On the upside, I have learned greatly along the way, which will do great, to me and you, in the future.

    On another note, I will soon be starting my next project. So look forward to it ;)

    Hey! I really liked your translation. Do you Have an editor? If not, I'd really like to help out. 

    Let me know if you're interested. I'll share my qualifications if you want. :)
    Sorry for the late reply.
    Thank you for you kind intentions but now I am focusing on Master of Untold Daos.
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