Chapter 18 Auctioning Rare Treasures
The sunlight was bright without the slightest hint of a cloud in the sky. The lobby of the inn was cold and cheerless, with only solo individuals using it for breakfast. Most of the traveling merchants had already left before the sun had risen. They had to travel slow with their caravans, and they would have to sell their wares to the villages along their way. They could at most travel twenty miles in a day. If they didn’t leave early, then they might end up having to stay outdoors on the countryside when night fell. Even if they stuck near the large roads, it was still very dangerous as there were always reports of Magical Beasts attacking people.
Yao Chen was currently eating breakfast in the lobby and looking around. He didn’t see anyone from the Violet Fiend Gang or the embroidered-clothed youth.
After breakfast, the owner sent him ten days worth of rations as well as a rough map covering a five thousand mile radius of his current location. “There are several specially marked places which are the territories of powerful Magical Beasts. Take care and good luck.”
The owner was extremely happy, as yesterday he had found that the three Energy Support Pills were actually from the Yao clan, and even around here they were at least two hundred silvers each. And if he found a larger city over a hundred miles from here, then he could sell them for eight hundred silvers each. No matter how many pills flowed out of the Yao clan, it would never meet the demand. Even the first tier Energy Recovery Pill was hard to find. This time he had profited extremely greatly.
But when he carefully looked, Yao Chen’s forehead didn’t have the brand of the Yao clan, so he assumed he was a disciple from some rich and powerful clan.
Yao Chen was in dire need of such a map so he accepted it. Cupping his hands in thanks, he started on his way.
Looking at the map, he found that other than the dangerous spots from the Magical Beasts, there were also marks for the various cities and villages around this place. It even had the marks of inns within particularly desolate areas. It was obvious this map was drawn by a travelling merchant and was worth at least dozens of silvers.
Yao Chen walked quickly while also using a physical Dou Technique, which could also be considered a type of training. There were quite a few people on the road, most of them on horses or caravans. Yao Chen passed them one by one. This physical Dou Technique he was using had been passed through his family and was known as the Sky Catching Art. There were twelve levels to it, and once it reached the tenth level, Dou Qi could be used to form the Sky Catching Wings, an extremely particular Flying Dou Technique. But Yao Chen had only cultivated it to the ninth level.
By now Yao Chen was already aware that the outside world was completely different from within the Yao clan. They were like two completely different worlds. Within the Yao clan, the most important thing would always be alchemy. He could even temporarily pause his training cultivation and wait till his alchemy level reached a high enough level. His other areas would naturally catch up later.
But the outside world was completely focused on strength. True destructive power – that was the most important. If a person wanted to survive alone and have respect, only power was the answer. Without strength, nothing else could be relied on. Alchemists were the same; if ordinary alchemists were to be found by others, there was only one conclusion: they would be secretly captured into a prison and forced to spend their lives refining pills.
Yao Chen knew the most important thing was for him to train was this physical Dou Technique. If the Sky Catching Art could be cultivated to the tenth level and he could use the Sky Catching Wings, then he would be much faster when fleeing enemies.
That Feng Xian from yesterday had only become an eight star Dou Shi yet already had a flying technique. In comparison, his ninth level Sky Catching Art was lacking.
Suddenly a huge net fell from the sky. A dozen black figures surrounded Yao Chen and attacked.
Filled with shock, he used the Sky Catching Art, causing his body to flicker and avoid the huge net. But that was just their first ploy; a second huge net came down as two of the black figures attacked him. The rope on the net had thorns sewn into it which were clearly poisonous. This formation was very famous; it was the Poison Net Formation which could even capture and kill a Da Dou Shi if he were careless.
Yao Chen’s body once more flickered and the he dodged the second net. But a third net opened up, and it seemed that there was no way to avoid it. A harsh light flashed in Yao Chen’s eyes, and his ninth level Sky Catching Art was pushed to its max. His speed exploded and carried with it a mournful wind sound.
The situation turned in the blink of an eye. Two blood spurts flew through the air; the arms of the two people holding that third net exploded from Dou Qi, and all that remained was a mangled flesh that appeared as if a huge boulder had crushed it.
“Tighten the formation! Make sure to exterminate him!”
Over a dozen people formed a formation, their Dou Qi surging into one. It condensed into a huge wolf that attacked Yao Chen.
Yao Chen ignored it and continued to use the Sky Catching Art. His figure became one with the wind as he charged at the formation.
Dou Qi exploded. Even if they tightened the formation, was it possible for it to block the wind? In an instant, those dozen people were all smashed into the ground. But Yao Chen didn’t kill them, instead only knocking them unconscious. If it was just one or two, then he might be able to bear it, but over ten? Yao Chen’s heart still didn’t have the resolve to do so. Killing one person vs killing ten people was completely different.
But this didn’t mean he would allow people to boss him around. This group of people were from the Violet Fiend Gang. He had been targeted by them simply for revealing a couple medicinal pills. These people were obviously evil; who knew how many people had been harmed by them.
Crack! Consecutive cracking sounds rang out as Yao Chen snapped off the limbs of everyone. He then used his Dou Qi to mess up their Dantians and forcibly crush them.
The dozen Violet Fiend Gang’s people were all awakened by the pain and let out miserable screams.
“You, what are you doing?!”
“Just the same as you.”
“I’m looting.” He took everything they had, but in the end that wasn’t much. There were just a couple medicinal pills, but the five Energy Support Pills weren’t with them and they didn’t have much gold.
“Where’s your boss?”
At this moment Yao Chen realized that the person bossing them around yesterday was not with them.
“Pah, you crippled my Dou Qi, so even if I die I won’t…”
Crack. He directly crushed his shoulder blade. None of these people would live; although he didn’t personally deliver the final blow, in this wilderness, having your four limbs crushed and your Dou Qi crippled could only result in your death.
“I’m not even that interested,” indifferently said Yao Chen. He did his best to make himself cruel. He wanted revenge! He wanted to complete his father’s last wish! The weak and frail Yao Chen of the past was definitely unable to accomplish them!
Throwing the group away from the road, Yao Chen firmed his determination and continued forward.
The lives of the ten people continued to weigh on his mind, but Yao Chen told himself that next time he would definitely…
Personally end it! He would kill them all without having to use such a roundabout method!
Three days later…
Peak Martial City.
This was a huge city that took up fifty miles worth of space. Countless families lived here and every major power within ten thousand miles had their base in the city. Even the Yao clan had a branch here. Of course, the branch families located on the outside were the most lacking. Their ancestors had started the branches after being washed out disciples of the clan. If Yao Chen were to start a branch and eventually have a talented descendant who was recommended within the Yao clan, then he would be able to carry the title of a branch family of the Yao clan. But such a branch family was not permitted to return back to the clan grounds.
The branch family in Peak Martial City was also like that. They had been ousted from the clan long ago, and after the hard work of their descendants they had managed to return to the ‘gate’ of the Yao clan, gaining the clan’s protection and being permitted to send a talented disciple over to cultivate in the clan every five years.
The Hundred Herb Gathering was Great Martial City’s main marketplace for medicinal ingredients. Herb gatherers from a thousand miles away would choose to go there to sell what they collected.
Most of the sellers were in street stalls and only sold lower tier medicinal ingredients at or below the third tier. Most of their buyers were alchemist apprentices. During the initial stages of learning alchemy, the best teacher was experience.
Since there was even a branch of the Yao clan within the city, there were definitely a greater number of alchemists here than other places, and so the markets were quite plentiful.
Currently Yao Chen was in at the Hundred Herb Gathering buying medicinal ingredients. It had been over a month since his last medicinal bath, so he definitely had to buy the ingredients soon. However he was shocked when he went to buy them.
Over a thousand silver coins were tossed out by him without getting even a tenth of the necessary ingredients.
There were also a couple higher tier main ingredients that weren’t even sold there and could only be found at auctions.
Unless the seller didn’t know the value of it, ingredients above the third tier wouldn’t be taken out to be sold here. Instead they would be placed at an auction. This was also due to the fact that there were many alchemists within the city and there was even a Yao clan branch family. Within the alchemist guild were also several alchemists that the various powers were nurturing. Every family was in need of medicinal ingredients. Without the auction, huge conflicts would erupt throughout the city every day.
“Skywater Cloudstone, Violet Sand Essence, these can only be found within the three big auctions. The smaller auctions rarely can take them out.” One of the sellers there gave some advice to Yao Chen. “However these medicinal ingredients are all bought out as soon as possible, and unless you are under the protection of a family… hehe, I won’t explain that. Little guy, figure it out yourself.”
Yao Chen smiled slightly. After buying a couple ordinary medicinal ingredients, he left the Hundred Herb Gathering.
The three big auctions in the city were the One Heaven Pavilion’s auction, the Nine Faith Auction, and the Precious Treasure Auction. Each of these auctions had their own backings that were extremely powerful, especially the One Heaven Pavilion. It had a mysterious supporter that was suspected to be one of the eight ancient clans. It was the number one auction in Peak Martial City.
Yao Chen didn’t choose the One Heaven Pavilion, and he also didn’t choose the Nine Faith Auction that was extremely closely related to the Yao clan’s branch family here. Instead he went the Precious Treasure Auction, a power that was native to the city.
He didn’t go there immediately. First he bought an extremely common black cloak and covered his face. When he went there and was about to enter, a greeter from the auction house came up to him. “Excuse me, are you here to buy or to sell?”
Yao Chen lowered his pitch when he spoke so that he sounded like a middle-aged man. This wasn’t very difficult to do, as with just a little control over his Dou Qi he could even sound like a woman if he wanted. Even experts could be fooled with this little trick.
“Please come over here.”
The greeter led Yao Chen towards a certain path. Obviously there were many people like Yao Chen who concealed their face to sell things, and so the auction house naturally had their own procedures and guarantees.
Inside were six armored guards that were releasing a powerful aura. They were clearly all at least Da Dou Shis. They all stood to the side deferentially, not moving the slightest or even glancing at Yao Chen.
“Go in. No matter what you have, anything can be appraised here. But if you wish to renege on this and insult the auction house, there is a one hundred gold coin appraisal fee.”
“No matter.” Yao Chen indifferently spit out these two words before pushing open the door and entering. Although he wasn’t experienced, it was easy to put on an act.
A large lounge was behind the door. The walls were completely covered in books. Some were paper books, some were made from silk, and most precious of all were the ones written on beast hide.
“Take it out.”
Yao Chen was sizing up his surroundings when an aged voice came from the center of the room. There was a large iron dragon with a white-haired, watery-eyed old man sitting on it. Beside the iron dragon were five guards with suppressed auras. They were wearing leather armor, but that armor released the fluctuation of a Dou formation. It was obvious this leather armor would not be inferior in terms of defense compared to the heaviest steel plates. In facts, it was incomparably superior.
Yao Chen didn’t make a sound. He had long since prepared a couple medicinal pills and now handed them over. One of the guards blocked him and took the pills before handing them to the elder.
Obviously the iron dragon wasn’t to imprison the old man, but to protect him. There were mechanisms on the floor near it. If the situation turned sour, the mechanisms would trigger and would quickly allow the iron dragon to escape along with the old man.
The old man carelessly took the pills. He was chewing on some words when suddenly his eyes lit up. “These are… Scarlet Flame Pills! And high grade! Definitely good stuff! Huh, this is the Life Recovery Pill that can quickly recover Dou Qi and has a strong effect on staunching blood as well as protecting the inner organs. Third tier high grade…”
One pill after another was appraised by the old man until he reached the final pill. Only then did he raise his head and take a closer look at Yao Chen. “You really want to sell these pills today?”
“Yes,” Yao Chen nodded.
“We could discuss it some more. Today the auction is mostly for ordinary merchants. If we suddenly sell them we might end up with people joining hands to suppress the price.”
Yao Chen remained silent, using his gaze to indicate he needed more information.
“If you wish, we can buy these pills internally and make sure the price is fair. If the auction price is higher, we will make up the difference. If the auction price is lower, then we will just accept the loss…. To be honest, these pills are all high quality and rarely seen on the market. Anytime one of these pills appears, it causes a huge fight for it. To this lowly one, it can be considered a great opportunity.”
Yao Chen was startled; to him they were just a few medicinal pills, but to others it was something that needed to be handled in such a detailed and careful manner.
“It’s fine as long as the price is fine.” Yao Chen nodded since he was fine with either way. All he needed was enough money to buy medicinal ingredients. Whether he sold the pills to the auction house internally or decided to force the auction, it wasn’t that different. But if he wanted money fast, the best way was still to just sell it to the auction house first.
His fast and straightforward agreement caught the old man off guard. He had prepared many more arguments to convince him, but now those words were no longer required. He was practically drunk with delight and was in a daydream.
Yao Chen’s light cough was to indicate he wanted to discuss the price.
“Right, well such precious prices are beyond market value. Normally they would be exchanged with other precious things. Does guest want money or treasures in exchange?”
Yao Chen thought about it. Directly getting the medicinal ingredients would be better so he could retake the medicinal bath. That would be a huge help to his cultivation. Walking to the side, he wrote down a list of medicinal ingredients. Using his middle-aged man voice, he said, “I want as many of these medicinal ingredients as possible.”
The old man received the list and a strange feeling arose in him. These ingredients… only some were rare, and the majority could not be considered overly precious. As long as you had the proper channels, you could get as many of them as you wanted. Of course without those channels it was not an easy thing to get them. However, an alchemist capable of refining third tier medicinal pills for auction… how could he not have such channels? Unless…
The old man suddenly jumped and an idea came to him. “No problem.”
He thought about it some more before saying, “I’d like to invest guest to rest for a moment. Keep the pills on your for now. Little Min, take this respected guest to the VIP room.”
Yao Chen nodded and took back his medicinal pills. He then followed a beautiful white-robed maiden away.
When Yao Chen left, the old man immediately jumped up. Pressing a couple buttons on the side, he walked out of the iron dragon.
The guards were all started and rushed to his side to protect him.
“Old Feng, you…?”
“What are you afraid of? Quick, cancel the rest of my appraisals and get the headhere. Then go prepare the ingredients on this list. Take out half of what we have in storage.”
“The family head?”
“Yes!” One of the guards rushed out. The other guards became even more cautious.
This was his own territory, but he was still worried. Obviously the large auction was a grave danger in and of itself. Even here in his own base he wasn’t considered safe.
In just a short time, the Feng family head, a scholarly middle-aged man, rushed over to the lounge.
“Uncle Feng, what happened?”
“There’s a person who might be the solution to our current crisis.”
“An alchemist in Peak Martial City who doesn’t have his own channels, and a powerful one.”
His eyes lit up. “Are you sure Uncle Feng?”
“We definitely have to fight for this opportunity. He just now took out a couple medicinal pills that could cause a huge commotion. If we can form a good relation with him, then we can definitely stabilize our military in that time and we’ll be able to… cough…” Uncle Feng stopped halfway, his face flushing and beginning to involuntarily cough.
Master Feng hastily went to support him. “Uncle Feng!”
“Don’t worry about me. I won’t die. As long as we can stabilize in this short time and the family’s disciples get into position, it’ll be our time to move the chess pieces.”
Master Feng swept his gaze over the guards and tightly clenched his hands. “Right, as long as we weather this storm… those opportunistic bastards who want to take a piece out of us will definitely not gain anything!”
“To win him over requires the house master’s authority to use our reserves. If he brings out pills like he brought today a couple more times, we’ll be able to recuperate.”
“I’ll immediately go make the preparations. Those reserves were meant for a time like this anyways.” No matter what kind of person this alchemist was, as long he could help them survive it would be fine. Using a bit of resources was fine.
Currently Yao Chen was sitting quietly within the VIP room. Tea fragrance filled the room as the white-robed maiden who had brought him here was had elegantly steeped some. Every single one of her movements was perfectly practiced.
Yao Chen took a deep breath. He was actually still nervous inside as he didn’t know why he had been invited to this VIP room. No matter how precious a couple third tier medicinal pills were, they wouldn’t cause such a fuss.
But at this time and in this situation, he could only follow along what they wanted. There was always a way out if he needed one.
He might as well appreciate the performance of the maiden’s skill with tea. Her skill wasn’t just about the taste of the tea; every single one of her perfect movements while making the tea formed a graceful play, letting her beauty seep into the tea so that it could truly be savored.
Yao Chen didn’t exactly understand such beauty, but his mother had once told him a couple things and now his heart did move slightly as he watched. It actually had some things in common with alchemy. A bold thought suddenly jumped into his head… perhaps it was possible even heaven and earth into a pill.
Someone knocked on the door to the VIP room and entered.
One of the guards he had seen back then was now respectfully saluting him. “Respected guest, the medicinal ingredients you requested have already been properly prepared.”
“Excellent.” Yao Chen stood up and did his best to veil himself in the air of the elders he had seen in the Yao clan.
The guard brought Yao Chen to the auction house’s storeroom. There was a very strict security there, the guards here possessing a powerful aura that caused people’s hearts to jump.
But in Yao Chen’s eyes that was lax. In the Yao clan’s storehouse, all the guards were at least Dou Lings. Moreover there was at least one Dou Wang commander. Moreover this was just for ingredients that a declining branch family like Yao Chen could come in contact to. The core storehouse’s guards were all on the same power level as the elders.
At this moment, family head Feng walked out from inside the storeroom.
“Haha, I am called Feng Xiangtie. I wonder what is the family name of this respected guest?”
“Chen,” he indifferently replied.
“Oh, brother Chen, please come this way. Is brother Chen an alchemist?”
“…” Behind the cover of his black cloak, Yao Chen’s face turned stiff. How did he find out he was an alchemist?
“Haha, when I saw brother Chen buy so many medicinal ingredients and the flame attribute Dou Qi from your body, I guessed. It should be the first time brother Chen has come to Peak Martial City right? How long are you planning on staying?”
“Maybe a couple days, maybe a month. I’m not sure.”
Feng Xiangtie’s gaze flashed; if he wasn’t sure, then there was room for discussion. He directly said, “Actually this lowly self is currently looking for an alchemist to cooperate with. If brother Chen wishes to, I could purchase all of the pills brother Chen refines at a high price.”
Yao Chen started; so he was actually after medicinal pills. He had long since heard that medicinal pills were in great demand outside the Yao clan and that alchemists had a high status. But in the Yao clan, almost everyone knew alchemy and alchemists below the fifth tier didn’t have any status.
“Alright,” agreed Yao Chen. “But I’ll only sell medicinal pills below the fourth tier.”
“That’s no problem. Actually, the more ordinary the pill is the better. For example, healing medicinal pills, if brought to an auction… hehe, in any case, whatever pill brother Chen refines will be bought by me for a high price. If there was a fourth tier medicinal pill, this lowly self would use top grade medicinal ingredients to exchange for it.”
Feng Xiangtie took out a list and handed it to Yao Chen.
Finally translating this novel again. Gonna finish it up in one go, two chapters a day, fourteen chapters a week! If you started from this chapter, I recommend you go back and reread the old chapters since half of them had missing sections that I added in (they were missing from the raws).
Chapter 19 Refining Medicine
Feng Xiangtie’s list had dozens of medicinal ingredients as well as how much they had in storage.
Yao Chen’s gaze flashed; he saw that there were quite a few medicinal ingredients that were considered rare and precious even within the Yao clan. “This is…”
“These medicinal ingredients were collected over many years. This time I plan on using any number of them to exchange for medicinal pills. But as for whether I can use them all, it will be up to brother Chen.”
Yao Chen blinked; Stardust Wood, Brilliant Thunder Water… these medicinal ingredients were hard to find even within the Yao clan. He hadn’t expected they would exist at this auction house. He made some quick calculations; if he had these medicinal ingredients as well as the Devouring Devil Grass and Spirit Merging Water, he would be able to refine a Spirit Foundation Pill. This pill would let him consolidate his foundation and let him reach the nine star Dou Shi realm in a short time.
He was in constant danger, and strength was the only guarantee of his survival; Yao Chen had understood this reasoning from that first day he was expelled from the Yao clan. Without the protection of the Yao clan and since he was being chased in secret, he could no longer continue as he had and train normally. He had to use the fastest method. But in the worst case scenario, doing so could cause that potential burning out sequelae from two years to burst out again…
Stardust Wood and Brilliant Thunder Water were both medicinal ingredients that he would have to be extremely lucky to ever find on his own. Yao Chen was very clear on his current situation. By himself, it was practically impossible for him to have another opportunity to obtain these medicinal ingredients.
Carefully examining the list, he saw that below were clear details about what kind of medicinal pills could be used for what ingredients. The Stardust Wood and Brilliant Thunder Water could be exchanged for five fourth tier medicinal pills, and as for quantity, that would depend on what kind of fourth tier medicinal pill.
That meant the Feng family definitely had enough Stardust Grass and Brilliant Thunder Water established. And that was precisely what Yao Chen was in need of; the Spirit Foundation Pill required a large amount of them, and he also had to include the fact that the pill had a high failure rate. It was best to prepare two portions.
After leaving the Precious Treasure Auction, Yao Chen found an inn to stay in. He requested a detached room with a separate courtyard to stay in. Peak Martial City was extremely prosperous, so such rooms were common.
Although Yao Chen put most of his time on alchemy, he had a rough understanding of Dou Formations. Before his branch had declined, they had had some Dou Formations. Yao Chen had learned most of them, and at this time he laid down a Dou Formation that would prevent people from spying on him.
Entering his room, Yao Chen tightly secured the windows and set up another Dou Formation. Only then did he take off his cloak and relax. The room was extremely large and definitely had enough space for him to refine medicine.
Taking out his cauldron, he immediately started to prepare the pills for the medicinal bath. An hour later, his cauldron let out a banging sound and Yao Chen received three scarlet medicinal pills. Grinding them into powder, he poured them into the bath he had prepared. This time he used ten times as much as before, meaning the pain would be a hundred times worse.
But sitting inside the bath, Yao Chen was able to forcibly endure it. He was already a three star Dou Shi, and the stored potential in his body had been released. Naturally his ability to resist pain had also increased.
“Maybe next time I can increase the portion again.”
Yao Chen frowned, feeling that even ten times the amount was still lacking. But all the medicinal ingredients he had bought had been used, so even if he wanted to use more, he had to first go back to the auction house…
After enduring the torture of the medicinal bath, Yao Chen recovered his Dou Qi and started to refine. This time Yao Chen was just refining the simple first tier Blood Enriching Pill, but it wasn’t the same formula as the rest of the world. His Blood Enriching Pill had some special transformations.
The most particular of which was that the success rate when refining was so high it was frightening.
The next day.
Yao Chen once more veiled himself in his black cloak and returned to the Precious Treasure Auction.
On its gate was already a large advertisement saying they had third tier high grade Scarlet Flame Pills and Life Recovery Pills that would be auctioned three days later.
The Scarlet Flame Pill could increase fire attribute Dou Qi. This wasn’t just useful for battle, but also for alchemists. Consuming a Scarlet Flame Pill was another way to increase your refining success rate. It would let you increase your control over your fire attribute Dou Qi.
Their advertisement had already attracted many people. Although the Scarlet Flame Pill was just a third tier medicinal pil, the process of refining the pill was extremely complicated, and the slightest distraction could cause it to fail. To alchemists below the firth tier, refining it had too high of a failure rate, maybe not even one in ten. It was better for them to refine other pills. This led to the Scarlet Flame Pill being extremely rare in the market, especially in the alchemist-filled Peak Martial City.
“Wow, I didn’t expect the Feng family to actually be able to take out the Scarlet Flame Pill at such a time. Although it’s just a third tier pill, it’s very useful.”
“Haha, the other two large auctions joined hands to suppress them. The Feng family naturally had to take out their assets.”
“Right. Whether they can suppress them or not, I’m definitely going to the auction. Hehe, this situation is actually quite favorable for us.”
Yao Chen heard all kinds of discussion from the side and was somewhat startled. So the Precious Treasure Auction which was backed by the Feng family was actually in the middle of a crisis. But even if what they were saying was true, that could actually be beneficial to him. If the Feng family needed assistance at the moment then they wouldn’t stab him in the back.
Walking into the auction house, he displayed the token Feng Xiangtie had given him and was immediately respectfully welcomed in. The minute he walked in he saw Feng Xiangtie smiling and welcoming him.
“We are honored you’re back brother Chen. What do you need? As long as it’s not too great, this lowly self will accomplish whatever brother Chen wants.”
Feng Tiangxie took a very low attitude. He was very clear as to how critical this time was to his Feng family. Based on yesterday, this brother Chen had probably only arrived at Peak Martial City very recently and hadn’t known about the Feng family’s situation. But now that he had been here a night, he had probably already learned of it. If he decided to make some additional unfair conditions, he would have no choice but to accept it. Old Feng had allowed him to use his authority as the family head to open the clan stores. Anyone could be allowed to take out as much as they wanted. The precondition of course was that he was a powerful alchemist. However, old Feng had never misjudged someone.
Under his disguise, Yao Chen let out an embarrassed smile. He really was here to profit from their misfortunate. Of course he would also be fair and take out enough shocking medicinal pills. In any case, if he didn’t take them out then the Feng family might end up offended and destroying him.
Yao Chen was using his old voice to speak, but before he could say anything, his gaze twitched and he saw a youth walk in. “Father! I’ve gotten hold of a Fire Qilin horn, and although it wasn’t of a pure bloodline, it’s definitely enough… ah, there’s a guest. My apologies.”
This youth wearing white robes was precisely the person who had mistaken Yao Chen for a beggar, the embroidered-clothed youngster who had shared a meal with him.
“How disrespectful. Feng Xian, hurry up and bow to your uncle Chen.”
Yao Chen’s jaw dropped to the floor. It really was a small world. This youngster was actually the young master of the Precious Treasure Auction.
Ugh, mom said that I have to repay favors properly… considering that meal he had been treated to, he really felt that it would not be proper for him to take a lion’s bite of their profits.
“Cough, no need for that much courtesy. Prepare a refining room for me that’s a bit more secluded. Get the medicinal ingredients on this list and I’ll repay it with refined pills.”
Yao Chen’s actions were borrowing the chicken for its eggs and then selling the eggs for money.
But to the outside world where alchemists were so revered, such a situation was inevitable and as it should be.
“Of course, there’s no problem.”
Feng Xiangtie was delighted and immediately sent out orders to prepare his requests. He hadn’t expected for him to refine pills at his auction house. This was a true collaboration that was much greater than what they had originally agreed on.
Yao Chen was bitterly smiling behind his cover. He had only changed his plans because of Feng Xian. Of course, it wasn’t just because of seeing Feng Xian. If he didn’t expose a bit of strength in front of others, he couldn’t truly gain their respect. In the end, his veil of mystery wasn’t true power, as not everybody was a fool.
If he could help the Feng family weather this storm, it would also count as repaying Feng Xian’s favor… thinking of that meal, his stomach growled. Although he had Fasting Pills, he hadn’t eaten such a normal meal in over a mouth and even his tongue had begun to feel strange.
Feng Xian looked at Yao Chen curiously. Although he was young, when it came to the affairs of people, he had trained and messed around outside often so he was definitely superior to Yao Chen. Right now he could feel Yao Chen was looking at him with a friendly gaze.
Was this black-cloaked man really a powerful alchemist? Feng Xian didn’t really believe it.
Feng Xian suddenly put on the likeness of a youth who didn’t understand anything and said, “Uncle Chen, can I watch you while you refine?”
Yao Chen really couldn’t hold back a smile any longer. Being called uncle gave him the shivers.
“Feng Xian! You can’t watch alchemists while they refine!” Feng Xiangtie frowned, but he still looked at Yao Chen with a hopeful gaze. The wily fox could see through Yao Chen’s attitude and knew that he had become much friendlier after Feng Xian had appeared.
“Can you identify medicinal ingredients?” asked Yao Chen.
“I’ve read a medicinal canon that came from the Yao clan.”
Yao Chen nodded and started walking out. That medicinal canon was only called that in the outside world. In the Yao clan, it was the most basic summary within the clan school. But understanding those basics was enough for him to be a helper.
The Feng family was celebrating, never having dreamt they would meet such an amiable alchemist. Any alchemist above the third tier was extremely helpful to a clan’s development. Most alchemists had a temper and were hard to get close it. This was also strange though; an extremely friendly alchemists was about to be drowned by people asking for medicine. When did he have time to train?
Yao Chen arrived at the alchemist room they prepared for him and paused, startled. The cauldron they had prepared in the center of the room was a whole level better than the one he had. To the side were some shelves that had all kinds of medicinal ingredients arranged on them.
“This is the clan’s second uncle’s refining room. But unfortunately… something happened to that clan uncle and he can no longer refine.” Feng Xiangtie had a heavy expression as he presented it.
Yao Chen nodded, not knowing how he should reply to that. He might as well just stay silent. Heating up the cauldron, he immediately started refining.
Feng Xiangtie was shocked, not expecting him to start refining even in front of him. Most alchemists all had their own requirements and didn’t trust people that much. Seeing them refine in person was an extremely rare event.
Feng Xiangtie and Feng Xian exchanged a glance before Feng Xiangtie tacitly retreated from the alchemy room.
Outside, old Feng quickly walked over. “What happened?”
“He actually didn’t make us leave before just directly starting refining….” Feng Xiangtie said strangely.
Old Feng frowned. “Only truly strong alchemists would act act so carelessly… that’s because to them, refining pills of such level can be done casually.”
“So you’re saying…”
“Maybe we really did meet a true expert this time.”
“Then should we invite him to stay as a guest of the family…?”
“This kind of expert can’t be handled like others. Rejoice in your luck that he’s helping you. But as for inviting him as a guest, even if you handed over the position of the clan head he might consider that a kind of insult.”
At this time Yao Chen was giving orders to Feng Xian, continuously telling him medicinal ingredients and how much he needed, letting him handle the preparations.
Feng Xian was very fast, but he still had to hurry up. The cauldron’s flame was already ignited at this time, and Yao Chen was just about to begin refining. Ingredient after ingredient was thrown into the cauldron. Although the cauldron was unfamiliar to him, this was an old medicinal cauldron that had been used for over thirty years. After having been used for so long, a trace of a medicinal nature had already been born from the cauldron and could be used to aid in refining. If the cauldron continued to be used in such a manner for over a hundred years, that trace of medicinal nature might very well form a spiritual nature.
At this time, with the medicinal nature of the cauldron, the ingredients were quickly and perfectly refined together, forming a pill embryo.
The pill embryo then split, one becoming two, two becoming four, four becoming eight. In the end there were thirty-six scarlet medicinal pills. This was the Scarlet Flame Pill that Yao Chen was most familiar with.
To the side, Feng Xian’s eyes widened blankly. He had finished a cauldron of medicinal ingredients in such a short time?
Yao Chen nodded slightly. After becoming a Dou Shi, the Scarlet Flame Pill was no longer difficult for him to refine. He straightaway started refining the third tier Life Recovery Pill that could recover Dou Qi, heal wounds, and for a short period increase your senses. In a battle of equal strength, the person with the quicker reactions would have a slight advantage which could suppress their opponent.
The Rebirth Pill was something Yao Chen frequently used to practice his alchemy. His movements were very skilled; this kind of pill wasn’t as rare as the Scarlet Flame Pill, but its requirements were extremely frightening. In the outside world, if one didn’t carry a couple Rebirth Pills, then they would have to be much more careful when fighting. It was difficult to release one hundred percent of your power if you were always scared of getting wounded and having no way to heal.
Yao Chen continuously fed medicinal ingredients into the cauldron as he refined. Dregs appeared, and he didn’t waste them. The Life Recovery Pill was a third tier pill, and the impurities refined from it also had their own use. He used his ‘dual pills, one furnace’ technique, throwing in several other ingredients to fuse with the second pill, forming a second tier Blood Recovery Pill. This pill could provoke the body’s potential, causing a boost to blood formation and staunch wounds. This was also a healing medicinal pill in great demand.
These two pills were quickly finished and taken out of the cauldron. There were twelve Life Recovery Pills and one hundred and eight of the secondary Blood Recovery Pills. Yao Chen let out a breath of air, feeling this was a bit unexpected. After becoming a three star Dou Shi, his Spiritual Perception had become several times stronger from before, and his ability to control medicinal ingredients had become ten times greater. The amount of pills he could make from one furnace had also multiplied. Taking a deep breath, he once continued ordering Feng Xian to prepare medicinal ingredients and continued refining the Life Recovery Pill along with the Blood Recovery Pill. These two medicinal pills could be sold in bulk. Without at least tens of them it might be difficult to take out in an auction. After all, they were commonly seen, so without quantity it would be difficult to attract the buyers’ interest.
Originally Yao Chen hadn’t planned to put so much effort in and was planning on just refining a large quantity of the Blood Enriching Pill to exchange with them. But after seeing Feng Xian, he decided to do his best to help.
In just a short time, another dozen Rebirth Pills came out with a hundred Blood Recovery Pills…
Feng Xian’s mouth was trembling… this kind of speed and success rate was too frightening. Just where had this alchemist come from? Third tier medicinal pills were taken out like candy. The Blood Recovery Pill was taken out in the hundreds, and now there were over thirty-seven Rebirth Pills and thirty-six Scarlet Flame Pills. If they were brought to auction, the entire Peak Martial City would be shaken.
The most frightening thing was that Yao Chen didn’t have the slightest intention of stopping.
“Ah… there’s not enough medicinal ingredients. I’ll go get some more.”
Feng Xian blinked and quickly rushed out and back, his heart jumping wilding. Only fifth tier alchemists were capable of having a one hundred percent success rate with third tier medicinal pills.
A fifth tier alchemist! The number of them within a thousand miles of Peak Martial City could be counted on one’s hand, and now one of them was at their Feng family! And was even helping them refine a huge amount of third medicinal pills! It was completely unbelievable!
Outside, Feng Xiangtie and old Feng’s gazes were also hot. At their family’s most critical moment, a fifth tier alchemist had actually appeared to help them. The heavens must have opened and their ancestors blessed them. “Quick, quick, go to the clan storehouse and get more medicinal ingredients!”
Yao Chen continued to refine till even the medicinal room didn’t have enough ingredients. Such an efficiency in refining… their Precious Treasure Auction might not just be able to survive this crisis… they might completely turn things around!
Chapter 20 Grievous News
Yao Chen was slightly tired as he returned to the room he had rented. It had been a long time since he had refined for such an extended time. He had unintentionally refined too many pills due to how easy it had felt.
After resting a night, the next morning he was still a bit tired from using his Spiritual Perception yesterday. But that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. As it slowly recovered, his Spiritual Perception would gradually become even more exquisite.
But this kind of state wasn’t suited to training Dou Qi or alchemy. The path of training was something that required both stress and relaxation.
He decided not to sell the Blood Enriching Pills to the Feng family’s Precious Treasure Auction. It was best for him to take advantage of this resting time and exchange the over two hundred pills for something he could use.
At the Hundred Herb Gathering, other than medicinal pills, there were also many miscellaneous goods. By paying ten Qi Support Pills as tax, anyone could set up a stand and sell things here.
Yao Chen was no longer wearing his black cloak at this time, but instead went in his original likeness. After paying the tax, he received a blank banner and found a spot. He then set up a medicinal stand and very simply put ten Blood Enriching Pills out. On his banner he wrote ‘bulk Blood Enriching Pills – only exchanging for medicinal ingredients’. He then sat down and gently used his Dou Qi to invigorate his spirit.
“Only exchanging for medicinal ingredients? How about Sky Rainbow Herb?”
In just a short time people had come up to ask him. Although the Blood Enriching Pill was just a first tier medicinal pill, it was needed in large quantities. In terms of effect, the Blood Recovery Pill might be better, but it was usually used as a life-saving measure. For small wounds it was better to use the Blood Enriching Pill.
“Ok, six for one.”
The Sky Rainbow Herb could be considered a pretty good medicinal ingredient. It was used when refining the Violet Flame Pill, so it was just what Yao Chen needed.
“Sixty of them for ten Blood Enriching Pills.”
After the first person traded with him, others also came to exchange. Yao Chen didn’t care what they brought; he simply set up a proportion and exchanged.
The two hundred pills were quickly all exchanged and Yao Chen was gratified with what he had obtained. He had made quite a big profit. These ingredients were at least ten times what he had used to refine the Blood Enriching Pills.
But when he left he didn’t notice that in the shadows of the Hundred Herb Gathering were a pair of bloodshot eyes that were tightly tracking him.
“Boss, it’s him.”
“It’s just a kid. Are you sure?”
“Boss, I’m sure it’s him. No matter what, I wouldn’t deceive boss. Our brothers that went to rob him were all…”
“Ok. No need to explain it further. Follow him and find where he lives. Once that’s clear, we’ll make a plan. Remember, you can’t rush anything big like this.”
The bloodshot eyes were fierce as he quickly followed behind Yao Chen.
Yao Chen returned to his residence. Now he had truly realized just how easy it was for an alchemist to make money in the outside world. Rare medicinal ingredients might be hard to obtain, but ordinary ones could be obtained in any quantities he wished. In the Yao clan, these ingredients all required one to gather them in the deep mountains or to exchange with merit points or medicinal pills. In comparison, these medicinal ingredients that could be exchanged with just two hundred Blood Enriching Pills made Yao Chen feel as if he had made a huge profit. Although they were low tier medicinal ingredients, but they were required in large quantities for high level medicinal pills.
Just as he was considering whether he should use these medicinal ingredients to refine more Blood Enriching Pills, he suddenly heard the sound of someone falling from his courtyard.
“Who is it?!”
Yao Chen charged out and saw a silhouette lying in the corner. Beside him was a familiar face.
That person was the clan school’s elder Yao Lan. At this time he looked at Yao Chen and laughed slightly, “You Dou Formation wasn’t bad, but your awareness is lacking. You didn’t even know someone was following you this whole time?”
Yao Chen’s face turned red. After gaining such a huge amount of medicinal ingredients he had become too excited and forget to check behind him. “Elder, I… how did you get here?”
“I was just passing by. I didn’t expect I’d get to see you…”
Yao Lan’s gaze seemed to flicker.
Yao Chen suddenly felt a burst of fear.
“Elder, my mom… is she ok?”
Yao Lan sighed and shook his head.
Yao Chen felt as if he had been thrown into ice water, his whole body trembling.
“No, no, my mom, no… not possible… she was just tired… how could she not be saved…”
The Yao clan famous for their medicines. Who knew just how many sacred medicines they had? Even someone who had stopped breathing could be saved.
Two years ago when his father had died, it had only been because the clan head and the elders weren’t within the clan. But there was no reason they couldn’t save his mother this time!
“It’s hard to explain it. Yao Chen, return back to the clan. Luo Shan returned and he told them that the Tiger Flame Grass was given to you by him and fixed the misunderstanding. Go back. As long as you stay in seclusion for one year, then…”
Yao Chen angrily started howling at Yao Lan.
“Two years ago, no one saved my father. Two years later, still no one saved my mother. Why would I ever want to go back to such a Yao clan?!”
“Going back is for you.”
Yao Lan sighed, “Cultivate within the clan for three years, and when you come out again I can recommend you to the alchemist guild…”
“Elder, I can’t go back.”
Yao Chen shuddered. His mother was no longer within this world; why would he go back to such a Yao clan? Seclusion? And then continue refining medicine for the clan?
Yes, the Violet Flame Pill did have a chance of breaking through…
Yao Chen quickly took out an alchemy scroll from his storage ring and recorded the pill formula for the Violet Flame Pill. “Elder, take it. I will absolutely not go back to the Yao clan.”
This Violet Flame Pill formula was in order to repay elder Yao Lan for what he had done for him. From now on, he would no longer have any relation with the Yao clan! He would become stronger, stronger, so strong that he could even look down on the Yao clan!
At that time he would fulfil his parents’ wishes and carve their names onto the Clan Monument!
“Sigh, I didn’t come here for the Violet Flame Pill.”
“But I thought I could only use this pill in exchange for peace?” Only now did Yao Chen feel as if he had truly grown up a bit.
“Yao Chen, your mom, that was an accident. By the time we found out it was too late…”
“Just consider it as me exchanging it for ten years of peace.”
Yao Lan’s face shook slightly, and he thought of something to say, but hesitated.
“Elder, I know who this person is. I think I still have some personal matters to take care of. Please forgive me for not accompanying you.”
Yao Chen picked up the person lying on the ground and started dragging him outside, his heart numb.
Hate and apathy caused Yao Chen’s body to tremble. His father shouldn’t have died two years ago. He would have been fine as long as they had been given a couple rare medicinal ingredients. But no one was willing to save him.
This time his mother had only been attacked by her blood and qi. Her body had been weakened from going out and working so much for him. But her condition wasn’t as severe as his father’s had been. Just a couple fifth tier medicinal pills could have cured her. But still no one helped her. Yao Chen was very clear that Yao Lan’s excuse of them finding her too late was a lie. There was only one reason: Yao Wangui! No one dared to offend him.
At this time, any fantasies about the Yao clan that Yao Chen had had were shattered. He had only one though – become strong. Only by becoming truly strong could he disregard everyone and not have to go through such cruel torment.
Yao Chen took a deep breath and walked to an isolated area with no other people. Crack. Yao Chen directly cut off that person’s arm.
That person awoke due to the pain and screamed miserably.
Yao Chen’s eyes were cold as ice. “Who sent you?”
The bloodshot eyes glared angrily at Yao Chen in a manner that suggested he wouldn’t yield even when facing death.
Yao Chen only smiled. Reaching out his hand with the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame, a crackling sound-
His other arm was crushed! It wasn’t broken or cut off, but the very bones were crushed to powder. A three star Dou Shi paired with an alchemist’s techniques could grind someone up just like a medicinal ingredient.
“AH! You devil!... AHH!”
Yao Chen once more extended his hand, cutting off his feeling to his arm and stopping the pain.
“Tell me. Just one sentence. Who sent you?”
He hesitated, but looking at Yao Chen’s hand, he finally said, “The Violet Fiend Gang…”
“The north part of the city, Bitter Flower Yard.”
Crack! Yao Chen cut off his life. To be benevolent to enemies was to be cruel to oneself. He had to become stronger, so he couldn’t be softhearted ever again.
Bitter Flower Yard.
This was the property of Peak Martial City’s second largest noble family, the Mu family. It produced a kind of second tier medicinal ingredient called the Bitter Flower. It was a special local product of the city and many lower tier medicinal pills required large amounts of its essence.
At this time there was a gathering there. The Violet Fiend Gang, the Peak Flame Gang, the Zhenkai Group… all the leaders of the powerful gangs within a thousand miles were here with their right hands for a secret meeting. The Mu family’s ancestor, Mu Shaosen, was sitting at the head. At the center of their group was a long table with all kinds of food, drinks, and even the meats of some rare beasts. The Zhenkai Group’s head was half-man half-Magical Beast, and the subordinates he brought all preferred to eat bloody food.
Half-beast Zhenkai coldly laughed and picked up a powerful beast’s heart, swallowing it in one gulp. “When old Mu Shaosen makes a make then I have to move quickly. My subordinates all thirst for blood and if we continue waiting like this I’m afraid I won’t be able to stop them from going on a rampage.”
Mu Shaosen coldly said, “Those blockheads under you are asking for death then, not that I care. Without my Mu family, as long as you guys gave away even a hint of your existence then you’d only have one fate. Control your wild beasts. As for food, I’ve already sent people to prepare it.”
He clapped his hands and over a hundred ragged beggars were led from the side. Obviously they were food for half-beast Zhenkai group.
“Haha, I’m just joking. Don’t take it so seriously. Bring out some more human meat. Human flesh is the best tasting food to us Magical Beasts.”
“Give it a rest. Old Mu, Zhenkai isn’t wrong. Once the Feng family’s disciples that are outside return, our chance will have slipped away,” said the boss of the Violet Fiend Gang, Zi Wuxin.
Mu Shaosen coldly smiled. “No matter how long they wait it would be useless. We’re also waiting at the same time. You don’t need to rush it; Quan-zi will be coming from a large sacred hall.”
“What… could you mean… the Hall of Souls…?” said one of the gang leaders in shock. They all knew that the eldest son of the Mu family had an outstanding talent. When he was only three he had been picked to join one of the eight ancient powers, the Hall of Souls. Although he was only one of their most outer disciples, that was still an extremely frightening prestige within Peak Martial City. There was nobody who would dare provoke the mysterious and inestimable Hall of Souls.
“Hmph! Do you think someone like you can say the name of that sacred hall?!”
“Forgive me, I misspoke!” That gang leader gave himself a slap on his face without the slightest hesitation. The sound was very clear and it was obvious he had used his maximum strength for it. He didn’t have any of the imposing manner of the leader of one of the ten largest gangs within Grand Martial City.
“Don’t do it again,” warned Mu Shaosen. “This time it’s not just Quan-zi coming back. Our goal isn’t to just break the Feng family; we must completely destroy them! When that time comes, it’ll be up to you few to plunder the surroundings. However there is one item that you absolutely must send back should you find it. This was the order of the Hall of Souls.”
Everyone’s breath hitched. They finally understood why the Mu family would undertake such large movements that completely broke their relations with the Feng family. So it was actually due to the Hall of Souls’ meddling.
It seemed that in the future, Peak Martial City would only have the Mu family and the Yao family as powers. The Yao clan’s power wasn’t inferior to the Hall of Souls, but in terms of secretiveness, the Hall of Souls gave people an even more frightening feeling.
At this time, Yao Chen appeared on the large road outside the courtyard they were meeting in, his body filled with killing intent. His aura was circulating and condensed a semi-true Dou Qi armor. Although it wasn’t completely formed, the crystalline armor protected his vital points. This was something that only the Dou Qi of a Da Dou Shi could accomplish!
The special property of the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique was to erupt with three times the power. When paired with the Violet Flame Pill, Yao Chen’s strength had risen a whole class and he now possessed the power of a Da Dou Shi.
A strand of Dou Qi formed a dragon-shaped light that broke down the gate of the Bitter Flower Yard.
The death of Yao Qing caused Yao Chen to be filled with icy cold anger. He wanted to let people know that there was no one who could provoke him without paying a bitter price! Perhaps if he had understood this logic before, so many things wouldn’t have happened in the Yao clan.
That was why the Violet Fiend Gang would be the first offering!
However, Yao Chen didn’t know that within the Bitter Flower Yard wasn’t just the Violet Fiend Gang. Amongst them was also the ancestor of the Mu family who was known to be a Dou Ling!
Volume 3 (Chapters 21-30): Fortuitous Encounter
Chapter 21: Alone
Yao Chen charged into the Bitter Flower Yard. He took a deep breath. This battle could be considered his first true battle! This would not be him fighting against others trying to kill him; this would be him taking the initiative!
This battle was definitely extremely important to him. He knew very clearly that if he never fought then he would only ever be able to flee. In this world, the only path to survival was to become strong.
Dozens of figures charged over, completely cutting off Yao Chen’s retreat path.
Over ten Dou Shis swarmed over him.
Yao Chen smiled. Unless a Dou Ling came, the only result was…
Flames shot forward. Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique, Dou Flame Fist!
A green, purple, and blue flame formed in front of him and shot towards those Dou Shis, causing their body’s to spontaneously combust. Their Dou Qi was directly ignited in front of the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique. It was as if Yao Chen was treating them like precious ingredients and he was refining them. Heaven and earth was the great cauldron he was using to refine living people.
In just one move, those Dou Shis had all their Dou Qi burnt away and the smell of cooked meat came from their bodies. In an instant, ten black corpses fell to the ground. They didn’t even have the power to scream.
“What a vicious technique.”
The head guard came out. Although it was just a group of one star Dou Shis, to burn ten Dou Shis to crisp with just one effortless fist was something that was difficult for even his nine star Da Dou Shi self.
“Bring out the Violet Fiend Gang. I don’t care about you guys.”
Yao Chen’s only weakness was a lack of experience. But he wasn’t stupid. It was obvious to him that these weren’t the Violet Fiend Gang’s people.
Who knew why, but this sentence of his caused the head guard’s expression to change. He sent out some hand signals and even more Dou Shis came from all around, completely cutting off any path Yao Chen could take.
“Friend, who are you? What do you know?”
The Violet Fiend Gang had secretly entered the city along with a dozen other gangs through a secret path of the Mu family’s. Even in the Mu family this was secret, so much so that even the current family head didn’t know about it.
Yao Chen was a bit stumped and helplessly laughed. He had only wanted to use the Violet Fiend Gang as an offering. Yao Chen might be rather naive, but it was obvious to him that he had ended up entering some kind of hidden conspiracy.
“I’ve only come for the Violet Fiend Gang. What you guys want to do has nothing to do with me.”
“Is that so? Capture him alive.”
With a wave of the leader’s hand, over a hundred Dou Shis attacked at the same time. All kinds of different Dou Qi shot towards Yao Chen.
Yao Chen’s expression changed. Spreading his hands, he began to spin around. Dou Technique, Eight Point Flame Resistance!
BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM…
Over a hundred rays of Dou Qi wildly attacked Yao Chen.
However when the dust settled, Yao Chen was as steady as a large mountain and only his outer clothes had become a bit torn. Dou Flame completely protected him; whenever those Dou Qis had come near his body, they were directly refined!
At this time, the aura that exploded of Yao Chen’s body was that of a nine star Da Dou Shi!
Taking five pills, he could combine them with his Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique to explode out with a strength that completely outclassed his own.
This strength wasn’t really his body’s. It was from using the Violet Flame Pills’ energy as a foundation and then using the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique to swallow heaven and earth’s energy.
Yao Chen’s true strength was only that of a three star Dou Shi! However the power he could explode with was already incredibly close to a Dou Ling expert.
“This is my last warning. I’m only looking for the Violet Fiend Gang. I don’t care who you guys are, but anyone who blocks me again will…”
Yao Chen took a deep breath, and a domineering expression appeared on his face. He coldly said, “Die!”
Yao Chen clenched his fists, feeling his current energy. A nine star Da Dou Shi’s strength was his limit. At this moment he thirsted for an even greater strength. Only by battling could he truly learn to control this power for his own, and only then could he control an even greater force. Battle could make him advance. Just like refining a pill; through tempering himself hundreds of times, he could increase his strength.
The head guard had already probed Yao Chen’s strength to be just that of a nine star Da Dou Shi. This time he sent an order out before personally going out.
“Spearpoint Art, kill!”
The head guard exploded out with rays of golden light. It was actually a gold attribute Dou Qi. Combined with the Spearpoint Dou Technique, his whole body emitted a destructive killing intent. It was as if his entire body had become a killing spear as he charged towards Yao Chen.
At the same time, there were also twenty Dou Shis that also possessed gold attribute Dou Qi that joined him. This was something they had drilled many times and was a Dou Formation they had often used to contend against Dou Lings.
Yao Chen took a deep breath, feeling their dense killing intent. But at this time he had no retreat path and nowhere to dodge, so he could only take it head on. His Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique began to operate extremely quickly. The five Violet Flame Pills’ energy, under the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique’s pull, began to draw in heaven and earth’s spiritual energy, combining into the strength of a nine star Da Dou Shi. A Dou Qi armor that alternated between green, purple, and blue appeared over his body with hidden Dou Flames within it. These Dou Flames were his true strength. Only by condensing these Dou Flames could he who was in the Dou Shi realm control a nine star Da Dou Shi’s strength.
When both sides collided, fists met palms, and dozens of moves were exchanged in an instant.
Yao Chen was forced into a disadvantage. Despite being hit several times, the Dou Armor with the burning Dou Flames inside only shook a couple times to completely refine away all the gold attribute Dou Qi.
“You are an alchemist?!”
The head guard was shocked. From his experience he had managed to realize that Yao Chen’s fighting techniques weren’t normal battle skills, but that of a powerful alchemist refining... he was treating them as the medicinal ingredients to be refined to death. This was something he had never seen before! In his moment of distractedness, Yao Chen took advantage and punched at his stomach. With a cracking sound, the gold attribute Dou Armor around his body twisted and tore; with just one punch of Yao Chen’s Dou Flame, it completely melted and split open.
The other twenty Dou Shis all shouted and joined hands. They managed to merge their powers into one, sending an attack that was not inferior to that of a nine star Da Dou Shi towards the back of Yao Chen’s head.
Their combined attack had completely locked the space, making it so Yao Chen was unable to escape. Yao Chen snorted and turned, using his shoulder to block their combined attack.
His Dou Flame sprung into action. The attacking Dou Qis were all treated like energy coming from medicinal ingredients when refining. One strand was transformed, one was suppressed, and many were refined, so that in just the blink of an eye, a golden-colored ball of Dou Qi had appeared beside his head. A dominating killing intent circulated within it.
Yao Chen paused slightly. Even he felt this was a surprise. He had actually forcefully refined the energy within enemy attacks into energy he could control. It was just like refining pills…
Waving his hand, this golden ball of Dou Qi shot towards one of the Dou Shi. Bloody light shot out silently as that Dou Shi looked down in surprise to see a huge hole in his stomach. He collapsed to the ground, not able to believe he had died just like that.
But that golden Dou Qi ball had yet to disappear. Turning, it started to shoot towards another Dou Shi.
With a quiet pierce, another Dou Shi’s stomach was punched open by the golden ball of Dou Qi. It then went on to find another Dou Shi.
This result was something even Yao Chen had never imagined. But he didn’t pause. He had seen time and time again that many things could happen when refining. Quickly taking advantage of it, a thread of his Dou Qi joined into the golden ball, making it into his own weapon. He controlled the Dou Qi ball to attack all his various enemies.
It was a complete massacre. In the blink of an eye, over twenty Dou Shi fell into a pool of blood. Without exception, all their stomachs were punched through by the Dou Qi ball. With the destruction of their inner organs, all their lives were extinguished.
The head guard who had just managed to resolve the Dou Flame let out a miserable scream. Those twenty Dou Shis were all people he had expended years of sweat and blood to raise before then spending endless effort training their special formation. Together with him, they were enough to contend with even a Dou Ling expert, but now they had died here without ever experiencing a true battle.
“You! You’re definitely going to die!”
The head guard angrily roared, but he didn’t go charging at Yao Chen. Instead he let out a long whistle.
Within the courtyard…
Hearing this whistle, the Mu family’s ancestor Mu Shaosen frowned. “Everyone, please wait here a moment. I’ll be right back.”
Saying this, Mu Shaosen jumped up, his body covered in a green light. The surrounding gang leaders were all startled; this aura…
“Most likely he’s already half a step into the Dou Wang realm. No wonder the Mu family dares to fight against the Feng family…”
Strength was an absolute guarantee for your ambitions. How much strength you had was also how high your ambitions could be. It was very clear that Mu Shaosen had already touched the Dou Wang barrier, and that was why he dared to force the Feng family into battle. It was no longer just some small conflicts but a relentless war that would not end until one side was destroyed.
But some of the gang leaders were not pleased with this. Their goal in coming this time was to profit from the chaos, but if the Mu family ancestor became a Dou Wang, could their scattered forces manage to continue surviving around Peak Martial City? In front of the powerful, could the weak sleep soundly?
Meanwhile, outisde… Yao Chen’s heart suddenly turned cold. A powerful and unstoppable energy suddenly attacked him from afar.
Dou Ling! And it was a nine star Dou Ling who was at the peak of his class and close to Dou Wang!
Yao Chen turned without hesitation to retreat.
“You can’t escape!”
The head guard Mu En charged over, wanting to block Yao Chen. But with a wave of Yao Chen’s hand, the gold attribute Dou Qi ball turned and went straight for Mu En.
Mu En’s expression changed and he didn’t dare be careless. Dou Qi moved onto his fist as he used his Spearpoint Dou Technique to face off against it.
BOOM… Just as Mu En was destroying the Dou Qi ball, Yao Chen used the trace of Dou Qi he had sent into it to form a Dou Flame. The Dou Qi ball immediately became like an exploding cauldron, and all its power erupted as thousands of golden rays detonated out.
Taking advantage of the piercing lights, Yao Chen used his Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique to send heaven and earth’s spiritual qi to his feet. Like an arrow shooting from a bow, he shot out and in just a couple blinks was miles away.
Mu Shaosen had already arrived at the Bitter Flower Yard’s gate at this time. He coldly glanced at the head guard Mu En and snorted. Reaching out his hand, he pointed it at Yao Chen’s disappearing back and made a snatching motion…
BOOM! A huge green hand suddenly appeared and grabbed at Yao Chen who was several miles away.
However just at this moment, heaven and earth’s qi became chaotic. The green hand that had just appeared immediately dimmed and was no longer able to form.
Mu Shaosen’s expression changed, and he turned to look at Mu En. His cold expression eased and he put down his hand. “Speak.”
Mu En was extremely respectful and kneeled down. “This strange youngster said that he was looking for the Violet Fiend Gang… he seemed to be a nine star Da Dou Shi and is very likely an alchemist…”
He quickly reported the battle the events of the battle.
Mu Shaosen coldly laughed. “You’ve all been tricked. That isn’t a Da Dou Shi, but a nine star Dou Ling.”
Just now the hand he had summoned had clearly met a force on the same level as it. It appeared another variable had entered into his plans. But first things first, he had to go ask the Violet Fiend Gang just who they had provoked.
Returning to his courtyard, Yao Chen let out a deep breath. Turning around, he bowed deeply. “Thank you elder for saving me.”
Yao Lan’s figure appeared out of nothingness. “You… you really are a genius. Let alone Yao Feng, even Yao Wangui is far from your equal… At the very least, in terms of control over the Dou Flame and understanding of alchemy, there has been no one stronger than you within the most recent generations of disciples.”
Yao Lan’s expression was extremely complicated. Yao Chen’s fighting techniques were extremely rarely seen; he actually treated his enemies as medicinal ingredients to be refined. This might not exactly be the proper way of fighting, but for Yao Chen who hadn’t learned many fighting Dou Techniques to think of such a method meant he truly was a genius rarely seen in the Yao clan.
If only he had managed to save Yao Chen’s mother… however, in this world there were no ifs. The past was already set in stone.
“Elder praises me too much.” Yao Chen was a bit sluggish. The Violet Flame Pill’s energy was quickly fading, and his strength fell back to the Dou Shi class.
“I’m going to warn you that strength isn’t everything. Great changes are about to occur within Peak Martial City, and you should leave as quickly as possible.” Yao Lan sighed and shook his head.
Yao Chen was startled, but he shook his head in refusal. “I need strength.”
Strength wasn’t everything? Maybe that was true for others, but at this moment, strength was everything to Yao Chen! The only problem he had was that his strength wasn’t great enough!
He had to become stronger, and so he couldn’t avoid battle.
Yao Lan opened his mouth and wanted to persuade him, but what could he say to Yao Chen?
It was true that outside the Yao clan you couldn’t survive without power. Especially in the Central Plains where experts were as common as clouds, just how many problems would an expelled disciple of the Yao clan have to face?
In the end he could only acquiesce. Placing a Storage Ring on the ground, Yao Lan’s figure flashed and he disappeared.
Yao Chen opened his mouth. Looking at the Storage Ring, his icy heart warmed a bit. Although it was negligible, it was at least a bit comforting. It wasn’t all heartless people in the Yao clan.
Taking the Storage Ring, he found a couple medicinal pills, the majority of which were third tier. There were also a couple weapons. The best thing inside was a medicinal cauldron that emitted a faint spiritual light.
Other than that, there was a Xuan class Dou Technique, Revolving Dou Flame Fist, which could perfectly support the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique. Obviously Yao Lan had thought of what suited Yao Chen.
Yao Chen warmed slightly and taking out the Revolving Dou Flame Fist, he silently memorized it. With the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique as a foundation, he easily understood all the descriptions recorded within it.
Chapter 22 The Feng Family’s Crisis
Yao Chen didn’t continue to try searching for the Violet Fiend Gang. The passing of his mother had had a profound impact on the deepest recesses of his heart. He knew he didn’t have the time to grieve right now. Since he needed to get stronger, he couldn’t waste even a moment.
The next day he continued to go to the Feng family’s Precious Treasure Auction to refine medicine.
Producing third tier medicinal pills was already effortless for Yao Chen. He gradually started to aim for fourth tier medicinal pills.
Peak Flame Pill, a medicinal pill that was even higher level than the Violet Flame Pill. It was capable of letting a person’s flame attribute Dou Qi become several times stronger. One Peak Flame Pill had the same effect as five Violet Flame Pills combined with his Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique.
“This is… false boundary pill! Flame attribute Dou Shis can use it… no, even Da Dou Shis should be able to use it as long as they take more than one….” The Feng family’s head Feng Xiangtie’s eyes almost shot out of his head and his mouth trembled slightly. These types of medicinal pills might just be of the fourth tier, but not even some fifth tier alchemists would be able to master them. The way he looked at Yao Chen became even more respectful.
False boundary pills were a general term that could let people temporarily jump classes. It allowed someone to use a strength that was not within their current level.
“Master Chen, these medicinal pills…” Feng Xiangtie gulped, feeling his throat was dry. “Are you planning on auctioning them?”
In just a day, Feng Xiangtie’s addressing of Yao Chen had turned from brother Chen to Master Chen. “Take them to be auctioned. Other than that, in terms of medicinal ingredients…”
“I’ll immediately prepare them to Master Chen’s satisfaction.”
Yao Chen nodded and once more focused on his cauldron. Continuously refining the Peak Flame Pill required quite a bit of effort from him. What would allow him to become stronger in just a short time was using medicinal pills!
Feng Xian was extremely busy at the side as he prepared the medicinal ingredients. He almost pulled a muscle just from helping. But he didn’t feel the slightest bit irritated with that. Whenever he looked at Yao Chen, it was with worship in his eyes. He had met quite a few alchemists, but it was his first time meeting one like Yao Chen who had such a high efficiency, success rate, and who didn’t tire.
Yao Chen refined till he was exhausted, failing three times but succeeding eight times. In the end he had refined eight Peak Flame Pills and over a hundred various third tier medicinal pills.
By the time he left, it was already late into the night.
“Grandmaster, why don’t you rest here?”
Feng Xiangtie collected his courage and asked him.
Yao Chen shook his head. “No need.”
Feng Xian continued, “Then let me send you home.”
Yao Chen thought about it and acquiesced. The city had a curfew and there were patrols around the city. Someone like him who was covered tightly in a black cloak would draw much suspicion, so having a disciple from the Feng family accompany him could save him some trouble.
Feng Xian was a bit excited. After handing over the medicinal ingredients they had offered to him, he fervently walked with him. “Tomorrow is the auction, and with grandmaster’s refined medicinal pills my Feng family won’t just be able to survive our current trouble, we’ll be able to rise to the next level.”
The Feng family originated and had developed within Peak Martial City. It had been a local power before the city had even been built. Ever since the start, the Feng family had always maintained the number three spot within the city. Becoming the number one powerful household was their long-cherished ambition.
After the auction this time, they might really be able to expand and defeat the Mu family, becoming the second top power. Each step forward was a huge boost to morale.
Yao Chen only indifferently nodded, but a suspicion suddenly arose within him. He asked out of nowhere, “Do you know the Bitter Flower Yard?”
Feng Xian blinked. “It’s the Mu family’s industry. Grandmaster… have you gone there?”
The second top power within Grand Martial City, the Mu family….
“If the Mu family were to fight an all out war with your Feng family, does your Feng family have the ability to reply?”
Feng Xian was startled, but laughed, “That’s not possible. Although my Feng family is third, when it comes to battle strength it isn’t weaker than the Mu family. My father is a seven star Dou Ling, and there’s a great-uncle in seclusion who is a nine star Dou Ling. The Mu family has three Dou Lings, but only their ancestor is at nine stars. The others are just at the initial stages. In a battle of the peak battle powers, my Feng family should win a battle at the moment.”
Strength decided everything, and the battle between the top members would decide the whole thing. In terms of their top combat potential, the Mu family wasn’t a match for the Feng family. Even if they could suppress them in other ways, they would dare start a war with them.
If the Bitter Flower Yard belonged to the Mu family and the Violet Fiend Gang had been within it, it seemed obvious that the Mu family had some secret battle power hidden away. He asked, “If the surrounding gangs joined the Mu family, what would happen?”
“It wouldn’t change a thing. I don’t know about other places, but within five hundred miles of the city, there is not a single Dou Ling amongst any gang. The strongest is just a nine star Da Dou Shi.” Feng Xian continued to laugh. The Feng family might not be that good at running a business, but when it came to combat power, it was definitely not weaker than anyone else within the city.
Yao Chen nodded. Seeing Feng Xian’s confident smile, he wondered if he might have been over thinking. It was possible the Mu family’s schemes within the Bitter Flower Yard weren’t planned against the Feng family.
At this time, a patrolman quickly rushed up from the side to question the two of them.
“How come I don’t recognize you?”
The patrolmen were set up by the three great powers of the city, the Yao family, the Mu family, and the Feng family. They all had people in the system, maintaining the balance.
During normal times, patrolmen of any of the three powers would all get out of the way when seeing the young master of the Feng family. But this man’s attitude now was extremely rude. He had directly rushed over and acted rudely towards him. Hearing Feng Xian’s question, a couple of his squadmates coldly laughed, “Only a ghost would recognize you. Get lost.”
The entire squadron planted their grounds in front of them, and the people behind them used the cover of the night to take out some hidden weapons and attack Yao Chen and Feng Xiang.
“You asked for it.” Feng Xian angrily roared and with a wave of his hand, wind and thunder exploded from his sleeves. His Dou Qi appeared like smoky mist, turning into another layer over his clothes. Those concealed weapons were all blocked by his Dou Qi cloth.
A fiery light erupted from Yao Chen’s body. He directly used his Dou Flame to snatch the weapons and he ended up melting them into a liquid that dripped with poison.
Yao Chen waved his hand and the liquid iron once more formed into a weapon, shooting towards the patrolmen.
“No good, they’re experts!” cried the patrolmen.
But at this time Feng Xian had already charged over with his Dou Qi cloth defending him. Ignoring the various attacks, the wind lightning surging in his hands knocked them down one after another.
“What brazen dogs! Speak, who is your superior?”
Feng Xian had yet to realize the true crucial point and actually wanted to investigate who was responsible. He thought it was just a problem in the patrolmen system.
Yao Chen’s eyes flashed. He had greatly changed recently and was now able to sense danger and schemes better. It was obvious to him that the Feng family was about to have huge changes to it. That previous thought of his was not unfounded.
“Feng Xian, the patrolmen have been corrupted. Your Feng family’s patrolmen are probably either dead or have defected. You need to go back quickly and tell your household to prepare to fight…”
Since the Feng family’s top members were comparable to the Mu family’s, they should be able to handle it as long as it wasn’t a sudden sneak attack.
But even as he spoke, the distant Feng family’s Precious Treasure Auction house blew into a blaze of eerie green fire. Within the blaze, countless hidden figures were moving.
Feng Xian’s expression changed and he didn’t reply immediately. The Dou Qi cloth around him began to whistle, and faint mist surged out form his robes, obviously from his state of mind. He had guessed something and respectfully kneeled to Yao Chen, “Please Master Chen, help my Feng family survive this calamity!”
Yao Chen supported him up. Looking up at the flames from the auction house, a bit of fear crept into his heart. “Let’s first go your Feng family’s head residence.”
The Precious Treasure Auction house was a business house for the Feng family within the city and not their true core. That was located outside the city, the Feng family manor. The Feng family controlled an area of dozens of miles within the manor.
Feng Xian nodded and brought Yao Chen outside the city. When they arrived at the gate leading into the area controlled by the Feng family, they saw that there were corpses everywhere of the disciples guarding the gate and blood flowed in rivers. It was obvious that a massacre had just occurred here.
“Impossible!” Feng Xian’s gaze sunk. The Feng family had a great Dou Formation at this eastern gate, and once activated, even a nine star Dou Ling wouldn’t be able to break in without spending some time.
There was no one at the eastern gate at this time, but that wasn’t good news. All it meant that the enemy was handling this manner with as much precision as possible and that they hadn’t wasted the slightest bit of their forces to defend this gate. They were planning on striking the family’s head residence with all their power!
Feng Xian rushed over to the hub of the formation and saw that it had been destroyed from the inside, not the outside!
Feng Xian’s expression became even more unsightly. He charged in without a word, using his fastest speed to get to the head residence.
Yao Chen followed behind him. After going a dozen miles forward they could already see the Feng family’s main manor. It was a huge building with tall walls and specially trained warriors defending it tightly. Everything appeared very quiet under the moonlight.
Feng Xian sighed in relief. It seemed that nothing was wrong up ahead…
However just as he was about to continue forward, Yao Chen’s expression changed and he quickly pulled him back. “We’re too late.”
“There’s a hidden formation up ahead. Look closely at the sky.”
Yao Chen shook his head and pointed to the sky. There were black clouds continuously surging above the Feng family’s main manor. But of course it wasn’t really black clouds, but smoke from fire.
“No, I have to go save them…”
“It’d be useless. They have a Dou Wang.”
Yao Chen sent his Spiritual Perception over and found that in amongst those ‘black clouds’ was a powerful, unstoppable aura!
Unless someone had cultivated a special Flying Dou Technique, only a Dou Wang could transform Dou Qi into wings and let one escape the binding’s of the earth to soar in the sky.
“Impossible, there’s no Dou Wang in Peak Martial City.” It wasn’t that he didn’t believe him, but that he simply couldn’t believe it. If there truly was a true Dou Wang that was opposing their Feng family…
Although Peak Martial City was a popular alchemy center, it was still just a small city and wouldn’t be able to attract the interest of experts at the Dou Wang stage.
“Master Chen, I beg you, please save my Feng family!”
Yao Chen smiled bitterly. He was just a Dou Shi, and using the Violet Flame Pill or the Peak Flame Pill could at most let him reach the limit of a Da Dou Shi. If he met a Dou Ling he might be able to go all out and exchange some blows, but fighting a Dou Wang was a death sentence.
“Master Chen, my Feng family will pay whatever price…”
“Sorry, but it’s not that I don’t want to help you. The truth is…”
Yao Chen took a deep breath. Looking at Feng Xian, he took off the black cloak he had covered himself with.
Feng Xian’s mouth dropped. Looking at Yao Chen’s youthful face, his mouth trembled and only startled cries came from his mouth.
“I am no Master Chen. I was just protecting my identity.”
“No, no way, Master Chen… you, how…”
“If the opponent was a Dou Ling then I might have been able to do something.” Yao Chen shook his head. Interrupting Feng Xian’s shock, he said, “Let’s go. We first have to survive in order to take revenge.”
“No, I have to get back. I was born with the Feng family and will die with them!”
Yao Chen frowned. He was about to persuade him when a powerful divine sense came from the sky. That Dou Wang had noticed something was happening over here.
Yao Chen’s expression changed and he didn’t hesitate. Consuming a Peak Flame Pill and holding on to Feng Xian with one hand, he started rushing madly into the distance.
“If you want to die I won’t stop you, but don’t bring me down with you.”
“Then let me go.”
“No.” Yao Chen tightly held onto him, and with a roar he shot forward like an arrow from a bow.
That Dou Wang suddenly appeared in the sky. The entire sky became filled with green light. A bolt of aura shot directly at Yao Chen.
It was impossible to dodge. A green seed of the Dou Wang’s aura wriggled its way into his body, locking it in place.
Yao Chen spit out a mouthful of black blood. Just a distant aura had already injured him gravely. This was the destructive power of a Dou Wang.
However he quickly consumed a couple healing medicinal pills and forcefully suppressed that green seed. Dragging Feng Xian with him, Yao Chen shot forward, appearing a dozen miles away in the blink of an eye. However that feeling of being locked by the seed still didn’t fade and it felt as if that powerful Dou Wang’s gaze was always locked onto his back.
Only once he rushed another dozen miles away and entered a thick forest did that feeling fade away.
When he stopped, Feng Xian knelt on the ground and let out mournful cries.
Yao Chen sighed and advised him, “Don’t cry.”
“I’m… not crying. It’s just…ugh.” Having been dragged along at such a great speed, he had been shaken and jostled, making a mess of his insides.
“This place still isn’t safe… cough…” Yao Chen was about to speak when a vile pain exploded from his chest. Tearing off his clothes, he saw a green bud had appeared upon his chest. It was the growth of the green seed the Dou Wang had shot into his body.
He could sense the green bud was constantly absorbing his Dou Qi. Once it grew bigger, it would tear apart his body.
Feng Xian looked at it and his expression changed completely. “This is Wood Seed Art of the Mu family; it’s a Di class technique! Does that mean that Dou Wang is from the Mu family?”
Even Yao Chen’s face was turning a bit green. He tried to remove the bud several times but he was unable to expel it from his body. Even his Dou Flame was unable to burn it. He could only suppress the green seed and prevent it from exploding out.
Feng Xian looked at Yao Chen, still somewhat unable to belief that ‘Master Chen’ was actually someone even younger than him. What was even more shocking was that even in the face of a Dou Wang’s technique, Yao Chen was actually still able to survive. The Mu family’s Wood Seed Art was extremely terrifying. That green seed would explode out suddenly. Using the person’s body as nourishment, in just a short time that person would transform into a tree.
However Yao Chen used his Dou Qi to firmly suppress the seed’s force, not letting it absorb his Dou Qi to grow.
After a short period of shock, all that remained in Feng Xian’s heart was disappointment. It was obvious that such a young ‘Master Chen’ was unable to save the Feng family from such a critical danger.
Their opponent had a Dou Wang expert. This time they were completely exterminating the Feng family in one blow.
Feng Xian’s mood changed several times before he finally made a decision. Turning around, he began to walk back to the Feng family’s manor.
Yao Chen admonished, “Where are you going?”
“The Feng family’s disciples are born together and die together. I can’t just live freely here like this.”
Yao Chen’s eyes flashed and he went to block his path.”
“Who will get revenge for the Feng family if you die?”
A complicated expression arose on Feng Xian’s face.
“As long as you survive there will be hope. You might be the last seed of the Feng family.”
“No, I must go back.”
Feng Xian shook his head abruptly. The Feng family still had many talented disciples outside training who had yet to return. The matter of revenge would have to be passed on to them. His temper was too candid and he definitely didn’t have the tolerance to live a disgraced life.
Yao Chen opened his mouth to speak when suddenly he vomited more blood.
When Feng Xian looked at Yao Chen, he couldn’t continue moving forward. Despite the fact that Yao Chen had suppressed the Wood Seed Art, was a Dou Wang’s attack so easily resisted? He had stopped the special power of the green seed, however the Dou Qi within it was also a killing blow. It hadn’t erupted immediately, instead pausing up till this moment when it charged out and attacked his inner organs.
“If you want to go die then I won’t stop you. But you should know that taking revenge late is better than never. If you go there and deliver yourself to your death, the person who will be happiest is your enemy.”
Wiping the blood of his mouth, he turned and began to walk deeper into the forest. There was still danger; with a Dou Wang on their enemy’s side, the Feng family would not be able to hold out for long. Once the manor was destroyed, they would go clean up the surroundings. Unless they managed to flee at least a thousand miles away, nowhere was safe.
Not only was the Mu family’s power now too great, but even the lesser powers in the vicinity would all try to curry favor with them by striking down their enemies.
Feng Xian hesitated for a moment before grinding his teeth and following behind Yao Chen. “You were implicated by my Feng family. I can’t let you leave while you’re heavily injured.”
Yao Chen smiled slightly and didn’t say anything in response. He took out two medicinal pills. Taking one for himself, he handed the other to Feng Xian. “This is a Qi Concealing Pill. It will temporarily hide your body’s aura.”
This was a pill used for escaping assassination. It could conceal against spiritual probing and scouting techniques. Back when Yao Chen had been fleeing in the Shennong Mountain Range, he had always wanted to refine some of them. When he had arrived in Peak Martial City he had managed to refine five of them with the Feng family’s help.
The Feng family’s manor had already turned into a sea of flames at this time.
Each one of their rooms, even their guest rooms, had all been the scene of a massacre. The Mu family’s disciples were currently in the process of sweeping up the battle spoils, taking out all kinds of valuable items from within the flames.
“Haha, this manor has operated for hundreds of years. It really is a bit sad for it to be destroyed like this.”
“What’s sad about it? Even if it was gifted to you, would you dare use it? Who knows what kinds of secrets are hidden here. There are also quite a few Feng family disciples that have managed to escape.”
“What? How is that possible? The Feng family’s disciples that are outside training have already had experts sent to assassinate them by the ancestor. Not even one should be able to escape.”
“Right, that dumb young master Feng Xian seemed to have not been caught.”
“Hmph, Feng Xian happened to find an alchemist out of nowhere and managed to escape from the ancestor’s plan. But that alchemist was struck with the ancestor’s Wood Seed Art so his death is a certainty. As for Feng Xian, his talent is just average and he has many shortcomings mentally. Capturing him is a simple matter.”
“The ancestor has returned.”
As the disciples of the Mu family were chattering, a green light flashed over the sky which was the Mu family ancestor flying over. With a wave of his hand, several heads fell the ground. Those heads were actually the talented disciples the Feng family had sent out to train!
Seeing those heads, everyone knew that the Feng family had been completely exterminated. Even those talented disciples that were out training had been killed. There was no chance of them rising ever again.
The various gangs that were also cleaning up the battlefield were terrified of that display. The Mu family was absolutely ruthless and extremely meticulous. They had definitely been planning this for a long time.
The most terrifying thing was of course that the Mu family ancestor had actually advanced to Dou Wang a long time ago, but had always suppressed his power to that of a nine star Dou Ling, completely tricking the other two major powers of the city. They had all been fooled into thinking his strength had reached its limit…
Such a patient and decisive scheme was even more chilling than simply using power to suppress.
Chapter 23 Lost Deep within the Mountains
Half a month later.
Deep within the mountains, Yao Chen and Feng Xian had completely shaken off any pursuers. But at the same time they had become completely lost.
Feng Xian was looking at Yao Chen in a daze. He had finally recognized Yao Chen; wasn’t he that beggar he had treated to a meal that day?
But at this time he also bitterly laughed inside. It appeared his small act of kindness had truly sowed a great karma for him. Otherwise how could a skilled alchemist like Yao Chen choose to help the Feng family in their time of crisis?
However… in the end, the Feng family had implicated him.
Suddenly Yao Chen stopped. Another mouthful of black blood was spit from his mouth and his expression froze slightly. Sitting down, he had to consume several medicinal pills before once more suppressing the green seed in his chest.
“You… are you ok?” Feng Xian nervously asked. That Dou Wang’s killing blow had repeatedly flared up over this half a month, and the times their pursuers had almost caught them before were also because of the aura it was emitting from Yao Chen’s body.
“I’m fine.” Yao Chen smiled indifferently. The wood attribute energy wasn’t necessarily completely a bad thing for him. Although it wreaked havoc in his body, with the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique constantly refining the green seed it also let him absorb a great deal of the wood element’s life energy for his own, making his body more powerful.
Originally Yao Chen had burnt through his potential. Only through two years of nourishment and the medicinal bath had he recovered. But he was still a bit away from a complete recovery. He would need to continue the medicinal bath for years before reaching the state he should have been at.
Now with the seed in his body, it let this process shorten. The life energy refined from it was hundreds of times more effective than the medicinal bath.
The only drawback was that there was a very real possibility he would at some point be unable to block the seed’s destructive power, and at that time he would die for sure.
But without breaking something down, you couldn’t rebuild something better. Yao Chen no longer continued to place much thought onto this danger. Without paying a price, how could he get revenge?
At this time he was sitting lotus style against a large tree, his hands lightly touching the ground. A great deal of green mist was slowly spit out from every single one of his pores. This was the nature qi from the green seed. The surroundings plants were all affected and began to wildly grow. This was the wood element’s rapid growth ability, but this kind of growth wasn’t a good thing, but a completely destructive one!
In just a moment that wildly growing vegetation used up all its vitality and withered away.
A red light appeared over Yao Chen’s face. This was the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique’s Dou Flame. He suppressed the destructive energy trying to destroy his body while refining the seed’s nature qi, slowly expelling that destructive energy out of his body while keeping the vigorous life energy.
This energy had come from a Dou Wang expert, so it was extremely vast to Yao Chen. At the same time, the green seed’s wood element secrets were also gradually revealed to Yao Chen under the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique’s refining. This was a kind of essence energy that was the core of the Mu family’s techniques.
Another mouthful of black blood was spit of his mouth, but this time he smiled as it also contained a couple green strands in it. That was a sign that the seed had begun to be refined apart. If he continued like this then it should be completely refined into life energy in just a few more days. Perhaps in just a short time he would be able to break out of the Dou Shi realm and become a true Da Dou Shi, no longer requiring the Violet Flame Pill or the Peak flame Pill to forcefully increase his power.
Yao Chen stood up and looked at the worried Feng Xian, smiling. “Let’s go.”
Feng Xian nodded respectfully.
“I’m younger than you, so there’s no need to be so courteous.” Yao Chen patted Feng Xian’s shoulders. “We’re both people who have been sunk down from the heavens. In the future we can call each other brother.”
“I….” Feng Xian opened his mouth, not expecting Yao Chen to say something like this. Truthfully his goal had always been very pure – he wanted to wait around as protection for Yao Chen until his wounds were healed and then return to Peak Martial City…
“You want to return to Peak Martial City, I know. However I want to tell you a story, a story about a declining branch family of the Yao clan. A story about how a Yao clan disciple was expelled out of the clan…”
An hour later, Feng Xian had finished listening to Yao Chen’s tale. His mouth was wide open and he was in a daze. “You’re from the Yao clan…”
“Yes, my name is Yao Chen and I am the disciple in the story, the one expelled from the clan. I have a deep hatred and great enmity towards the punishment hall’s chief, Yao Wangui. Yao Wangui’s father is one of the most powerful and influential elders within the clan.”
Feng Xian gulped. Such an enmity was something that could never be repaid.
“However I won’t give up. As long as I’m alive, there’s hope. There will come a day when I will definitely accomplish something that seems absolutely impossible now. Feng Xian, brother Xian, I hope you can become part of my strength, and I will become part of your strength. It’s just a Dou Wang- this enmity can easily be repaid in less than ten years.”
Just a Dou Wang?!
Hearing this, Feng Xian suddenly laughed, “What do you mean just a Dou Wang??? You… are nothing more than a Da Dou Shi!”
For a poor person without many resources to advance just from Da Dou Shi to Dou Ling was already like trying to cross a huge chasm, let alone Dou Wang!
But Yao Chen actually smiled slightly. “I’m just a Dou Shi. Right now I’m only around four or five star.”
Feng Xian looked at Yao Chen with complete disbelief. Yao Chen was just a five star Dou Shi?!
To be able to survive a Dou Wang’s attack required at least a Dou Ling’s strength! That meant that even with a powerful medicinal pill that could temporarily let your break through classes, you required at least a Da Dou Shi’s strength! Only then could you survive in the face of a Dou Wang’s attack.
“You… how can you be a Dou Shi?”
“I’m an alchemist, so believe me.”
Yao Chen took a deep breath. A person fleeing for his own life only had to care about himself. But now that he was dragging Feng Xian along with him, a fool who actually wanted to die, the difficulty in fleeing would increase a hundredfold now. He was extremely solemn, his mood becoming more reserved. When people became destitute they would change, and only through change could they progress.
Feng Xian looked at Yao Chen, his heart still filled with doubt. But now he had pushed it down. He might as well take each step one at a time. And it wasn’t as if he actually WANTED to die, it was just that so much had happened and all he could think about was living and dying with his family. He was unwilling to greedily stay alive while the rest of his family went through this tribulation. Part of it was also that the opponent had a Dou Wang expert so he had also lost any hope of revenge. If there really was a chance of revenge, how could he possibly treat his life as nothing?
“What do you want to do now?”
Feng Xian subconsciously asked Yao Chen.
Yao Chen didn’t have any set plans, however seeing his bewildered expression, Yao Chen knew he had to take charge. After thinking for just a moment he said, “Right now we’re lost in the mountains. If we continue in the direction of the rising sun then we’ll eventually get out. We can also collect some medicinal ingredients to refine into pills along the way.
Time did not wait. Like a shooting star, another month passed.
With a goal in his mind, a person could achieve things even he could not imagine. On their journey, Yao Chen and Feng Xian collected many medicinal ingredients, as well as encountering quite a few Magical Beasts that were guarding them. They ended up in several battles over the medicinal ingredients, and in quite a few them, life and death had been balanced upon a needle. But they both managed to staunchly survive. Those continuous battles also increased the speed at which Yao Chen refined the green seed.
Feng Xian also advanced during these battles at a surprising pace. The extermination of his family had actually opened his talent and after each battle, along with Yao Chen’s medicinal pills, he advanced at a shocking pace.
But in comparison, Yao Chen’s advancements were absolutely crazy. With the energy drawn from the green seed, the life energy in his body became more and more abundant and his strength rose accordingly, letting him reach the peak of a nine star Dou Shi.
Actually, Yao Chen’s physical body, meridians, and Dantian had all already reached the level of peak Da Dou Shi with the effect of countless medicinal baths. Now that he was supplying his body with the energy it needed, it not only completely healed the burnt away potential from two years ago, it even let him advance continuously.
“I’m about to breakthrough to Da Dou Shi.”
Yao Chen suddenly stopped.
Feng Xian’s face tightened. There were many variables when breaking through a major class. Some people could succeed in one go without a hitch, but the majority would run into all sorts of troubles.
“I’ll help protect you.”
Feng Xian took a deep breath and firmed his resolve.
Yao Chen closed his eyes for a moment. His face scrunched and then he opened his eyes again. “Uh… there’s no need.”
“I’ve already succeeding in breaking through. Right now I have the strength of a one star Da Dou Shi.”
Feng Xian stumbled and almost fell. “What?!”
“Did you not hear me?”
“I heard you, but how is that possible?!” How could someone advance from nine star Dou Shi to Da Dou Shi with just a slight jolt?
No matter how smoothly it went, how could it be that easy?!
“It wasn’t like it was that hard.”
Yao Chem smiled indifferently. He had taken the Violet Flame Pill to gain the Da Dou Shi’s class so many times that it was no longer a strange realm for him. Now that he had enough energy, it was natural for him to advance like that. It was as natural to him as when a baby is born and starts to breath.
It wasn’t hard?! That was crazy in Feng Xian’s mind.
Yao Chen thought about it and turned, walking towards a different direction.”
“Wait, where are we going?”
“Now we can go get that Monkey Germ Seven Star Wood.”
“There’s a Seven Star Snake there… Can you beat it now?” Feng Xian felt as if he was falling behind on what was going on. Could it be that just after advancing to Da Dou Shi he had the confidence to beat a Magical Beast that he wasn’t even a match for before?
“Can’t beat it; the Seven Star Snake is a peak Dou Ling Magical Beast.”
“Go wait somewhere safe. If I can’t beat it, don’t worry. As long as I can run then it’s fine.”
Yao Chen laughed. Oftentimes strength wasn’t just a contest of head on force, but was a mix of all kinds of factors. Sometimes it wasn’t required to fight an opponent head on. As long as you could cope with their attacks, you could reach your target, and using the least amount of energy obtain the greatest profit.
After he advanced, the two of them became able to harvest an ever wider range of medicinal ingredients, many amongst them rare and high grade ones.
Yao Chen didn’t hold any of them back, and as soon as he got them he would refine the medicinal ingredients into pills. The pill formulas he used were all from his branch family. After all, his branch had an ancestor whose name had been carved onto the Clan Monument. Although they had declined, all kinds of pill formulas had been passed on. At this kind of time, Yao Chen didn’t even care about his success rate. If he failed the refinement then he gained a rich experience. If he succeeded then he would have a life saving trump card during battle.
Perhaps he was infected with Yao Chen’s spirit, but with the assistance of the medicinal pills and the constant fights with Magical Beasts, Feng Xian had continuously advanced, reaching the nine star Dou Shi realm in just two months.
“I seemed to have grabbed onto something.”
After a battle, the two of them were walking out of a Magical Beast’s territory with a couple more medicinal ingredients. Feng Xian spit out some blood, his body showing signs of also advancing to Da Dou Shi.
If you didn’t quickly advance while fighting constantly then the only result would be your death.
“Why do I feel like we keep going deeper into the mountains? A month ago we could still see signs of humans, but now there’s fewer and fewer signs of trails.” Feng Xian wiped the blood of his mouth. Taking a couple healing medicinal pills from Yao Chen, he once more expressed his opinion that they were lost. “Did we go the wrong way?”
“I don’t know, but even so, we should keep going forward.”
Yao Chen smiled bitterly, however they hadn’t run into any troubles in any case. Over these two months he had become a three star Da Dou Shi, and most importantly, after constantly refining medicine on his own, his alchemy art slowly transformed to become one that only he understood. It could be said his alchemy technique had already distanced itself from the Yao clan’s foundation to become one that was entirely his unique to himself. Of course it was still in its fledgling state, but each powerful alchemist had their own kind of alchemy that suited only themselves.
As for Feng Xian, he might appear to be lacking in comparison, but if placed in the rest of the world, to be able to reach the point of being about to advance to Da Dou Shi in just two months was a speed that would make him a genius amongst geniuses.
At this time, over half a year had passed since the tragedy of the Feng family, while Yao Chen had left the Yao clan for almost a year. Deep within the mountains, the two of them mutually supported each other, building a true brotherly camaraderie.
In order to help Feng Xian advance to Da Dou Shi, Yao Chen used his full effort. The medicinal pills the clan school’s elder had given to him were plentiful and not stingy in the slightest. It allowed him to save much time and effort, and he prepared medicinal baths for Feng Xian many times.
Feng Xian’s innate talent was actually only acceptable and not top class. However with Yao Chen’s help, his innate gifts changed; his meridians, his Dou Qi, and all his potential slowly became stronger under the effect of the medicinal baths.
Feng Xian could also sense that his innate talent changing. A couple of his family’s techniques that he couldn’t understand before were all mastered by him now skillfully and easily. He was very clear on the fact that this was all only because of Yao Chen’s help. In fact, he began to listen and obey everything that Yao Chen’s said on default.
Another month passed and their clothes had become rags due to the continuous battles, making them look like savages. Eventually they had to use tree bark and leaves to make new clothes.
“Do you feel that recently the Magical Beasts we face have become stronger and stronger? And we seem to be running into more and more beasts that have already gained intelligence?” Yao Chen frowned and felt that something was wrong.
“I dunno… I’m a bit hungry.” Feng Xian had nothing to say. In terms of experience in the wild, he had even less experience than Yao Chen.
“It’s about time for us to find somewhere to stay the night.” Yao Chen looked up at the sky and nodded. “Let’s find a place and then eat.”
There were many dangers during the night deep in the forest. Many terrifying Magical Beasts would prowl during the night, and fighting at nighttime wasn’t suitable for humans.
After searching for a short time they found a cave on the side of a cliff. It was very quiet, and beside the cave was a cold pool.
Yao Chen laughed, “We can start the medicinal bath again.”
It wasn’t easy to take the medicinal bath deep within the mountain forests. First of all they had to find a water source, which wasn’t common. Furthermore the medicinal baths required a great deal of time to prepare them, especially a couple medicinal waters which required to stew for several days before being used.
With a cave, they could stay for several days.
Feng Xian nodded, also agreeing that it would be good to rest for a while.
After eating, the two of them set up alarm mechanisms all around the cave before starting to prepare the medicinal bath.
Yao Chen started to refine the medicinal pills required for the bath while Feng Xian divided the new medicinal ingredients they had gathered and prepared them in order for the bath. Due to a lack of tools used for collecting and storing medicinal ingredients, the pills had to be refined as quickly as possible or the ingredients’ medicinal nature would quickly fade. If that happened, the quality of the medicinal pills refined from them would sharply fall and a precious treasure would become trash.
Yao Chen quickly refinished refining the pills required for the medicinal bath and switched to refining other pills. He didn’t have exact portions of medicinal ingredients to use, but he also wasn’t following the pills formulas he was used to exactly. He used his bold imagination to perform all kinds of tests, completely surpassing what he had learned before. Through these experiments of his, his alchemy gradually transformed…
Everytime he started refining, Yao Chen’s alchemy skill would quickly rise. Even in the Yao clan there couldn’t possibly this many medicinal ingredients for you to experiment with. If someone in the clan wanted to get enough medicinal ingredients for experiments like he was doing, they probably had to become at least a fifth tier alchemist before they would let them do so.
As for Yao Chen’s current level, he hovered between refining third tier and fourth tier medicinal pills. But in terms of the standard, he was most likely only between a second and third tier alchemist. It was only with the help of the various alchemy secrets passed down in his family that he managed to refine pills that were higher tier than his level. In fact, refining medicine above his level was already a normal state for him.
A whole day passed as he experimented with alchemy. Feng Xian wasn’t idle during this time. He continuously used a warm flame to heat two stoves of medicinal water, continuously adding the medicinal bath’s powders to them and occasionally adding in more water. The medicinal bath this time required a full day and night of simmering the medicinal liquid. Only then could you enter with the corresponding medicinal pills.
Yao Chen now finished up with the last medicinal ingredient and a burst of black smoke rose into the air. That precious medicinal ingredient hadn’t managed to be refined into a pill, but he had created a green colored poison pill. Scraping off a trace and examining the nature of it, he found it had an extremely dense cold poison. Within fifteen minutes it could kill someone from shivers.
Yao Chen sighed. Originally he had wanted to refine a pill to resolve accidental flare-ups. He hadn’t expected to end up forming a cold poison ball.
“Have you finished refining? Shouldn’t we start the medicinal bath?” Feng Xian was looking forward to the medicinal bath, as every time he could clearly feel his innate talent changing and his body becoming stronger. Although his Dou Qi’s class didn’t advance, his body had already entered into a higher level.
Yao Chen stretched as he was tired, but that kind of exhausted state was actually perfect for this medicinal bath. Nodding his head, he took out two pills that complemented the medicinal bath. “Let’s start.”
The two of them began to circulate their Dou Qi. Sitting within the roiling medicine bath, their Dou Qi blocked the high temperature of the water, but the medicinal energy continuously flowed into their Dou Qi. Then the energy followed their Dou Qi to enter their meridians, Dantians, and throughout their body.
With the invasion of the medicinal energy came an intense pain from the deepest part of their bones. It was as if each inch of their bones was being crushed.
Yao Chen and Feng Xian had already experienced such a medicinal bath before, so they didn’t even let out a sound at this point.
But, this was just the beginning!
Following the intense pain deep within their bones came a terrifying pain of having their very soul torn apart! It was as never-ending blows continuously struck them to their core. This was such a profound pain that it simply could not be ignored and could not be withstood. All you could hope to do was endure, endure, and endure some more. If you were unable to entire, then you would blow up; and not just your body would explode, but even your mind would disintegrate!
“AHHH… hmph, this pain is nothing! Like a light drizzle!”
“Surrender? How could I surrender at such a weak level!”
Feng Xian was angrily shouting, doing his best to resist. But while he was putting in his full effort, he inadvertently glanced at Yao Chen and almost really did explode…
Yao Chen was just calmly sitting in the water, his Dou Qi swirling in an extremely organized way and consciously absorbing the medicinal energy from the bath.
“You… it doesn’t hurt?”
Yao Chen blinked and coolly responded.
“Then why aren’t you screaming?” Feng Xian grabbed his head painfully.
“Why do I have to scream?”
“Cause it hurts!”
“Ah, I’m already used to it.”
“Used to it… what crap! It’s so painful I want to die!!!”
No matter how many times he experienced it, Feng Xian could not understand how Yao Chen could be so indifferent to the pain. A pain that could practically kill him was as normal and nothing to Yao Chen as an evening meal. He even doubted whether Yao Chen was even human. Could it be that he was Magical Beast in human form?
The medicinal fragrance spread throughout the forest with the wind, becoming fainter the further it travelled. However, just below this breeze was a pangolin-armored small demon crawling forward. Its huge nose was pointed to the air, sniffing constantly, and the extremely faint medicinal fragrance could not escape from his nose. With just a couple sniffs it detected several precious medicinal ingredients within the smell.
“Medicinal ingredients that were refined together into a medicinal pill… an alchemist! I must tell master!”
The pangolin-armored demon was strong and began to dig into the ground. Using its innate strength, it disappeared into the ground in an instant.
Fifty miles from there was a huge mountain. At its foot were countless medicinal fields with all kinds of medicinal ingredients planted into it. Spiritual energy was extremely dense, and a strange kind of energy restricted it to the fields, not letting the slightest amount of it escape. It was obvious an expert had set up some kind of Dou Formation that could bind spiritual energy, allowing the medicinal ingredients to be nourished by the energy.
A bit higher up the mountain were humans doing manual labor, constructing a huge palace. By carefully looking you would be able to tell that these humans were all cultivators that were Da Dou Shi! And now they were enslaved, doing the work of ordinary people. And despite that there was no one who seemed to be overseeing them at the moment, not one of these experts tried to escape.
A fishy wind suddenly blew over and a distinct Dou Qi flowed over. A huge demonic bear appeared, and roared at them. It seemed as if it was about to charge at those builders when suddenly the sound a whip stopped him. A pretty little girl suddenly appeared on the huge bear’s head and she chided, “Stupid bear, these people are ours. If you dare mess around, tonight’s dinner will be bear claws! If you mess around too much then it will bear guts! Get lost!”
The huge bear shook his head and retreated a couple steps.
The little girl fell to the ground and waved her hand towards one of the human Da Dou Shis. “Don’t be afraid, I’ll protect you guys. Right, as long as you build me a huge palace I will definitely make sure to reward you guys and send you back to some human city. This has already been agreed upon.”
The humans squeezed out an unhappy smile. Why did they have to capture experts like them to build such a palace? It would have been better to gather some ordinary people who were used to building things. That would also increase the speed. But considering that the last time someone said something they were crushed flat by the huge bear, they could all only smile back and not allow the slightest resentment to appear on their face.
“Excellent! Oh? Little Armor is back. You guys continue.”
The little demon girl jumped up and clawed at the sky. When she touched the Dou Formation’s net, a Yin-Yang symbol appeared and spun. The pangolin-armored demon appeared wriggling out of it.
“Where are the medicinal ingredients?” She spread her hands at the demon, wanting something.
The pangolin shook his head and was slapped by the little demon girl. “If you haven’t got the medicine then why have you returned!?”
It was a bit brutal, but everyone knew that Demon Valley’s little demon master had been in a bad mood recently. For some reason she had actually went out to capture a couple human experts to build a house. A house! They were demons, and demons had to live in a demonic cave to get demonic energy! What house?!
Moreover she always took human shape recently and always spoke the human race’s language which was unlike her. But no one dared contradict her at this time.
“An alchemist! I found an alchemist!” The pangolin demon quickly reported with the human tongue.
As expected the little demon girl immediately became joyful and waved her hand. “Quick bring me over to capture… no, invite him over.”
Chapter 24 Demon Valley
Yao Chen had never expected to once more meet the little demon girl in such a manner.
“Haha, this is fate. From now on you are one of my people.”
The little demon girl was startled for a moment before shouting a declaration for everyone to hear. It was as if after such a loud declaration Yao Chen would really become one of her people.
Yao Chen was currently still soaking in the bath with a painful expression. Beside him was also the screaming Feng Xian…
“Hey, why are you cooking yourselves?”
Only after she made her declaration did she curiously ask Yao Chen what he was doing.
“Medicinal bath.” Yao Chen was in pain, as this was the most critical moment of the medicinal bath, which also was the most painful time. Even for him it was excruciatingly painful and it was difficult to speak even a single word.
Beside him, the huge bear reached a claw into the water.
“No, you can’t eat them. They aren’t cooking themselves. Stupid dumb bear, hurry up and go. If you don’t listen I’ll be cooking you.”
The huge bear felt wronged and retreated. Thinking about it, he felt something was wrong. Wasn’t the punishment for acting against a human just one claw? Why was the punishment different with them? The stupid bear couldn’t figure it out. Furthermore the way she had gone to ‘invite’ them had been clearly different from the way she had ‘invited’ those human experts before. Her treatment towards these humans was obviously much better.
“Why are you here?”
Yao Chen took a deep breath. At this time his willpower truly was tested. Feng Xian had already screamed his throat hoarse and couldn’t make a sound anymore. That was lucky, or who knew what the demon girl would do to him.
“Why can’t I be here? Hey, now you’re one of my people so you have to listen to me. First of all you can’t ask me questions; only I can ask you them. Hey, why are you here?”
“My name is Yao Chen, not ‘hey’,” Yao Chen retorted.
All the demons all looked at him like he was a dead man. It was over for him. That man hadn’t treasured this opportunity and actually contradicted the young master.
However… the demon girl blinked and lightheartedly laughed. “Ok, Yao Chen, how did you get here?”
The huge bear’s jaw almost dislocated! Why kind of day was today?! Was the young master’s mind still ok? It couldn’t be that she had been affected by some enchantment from these humans right?
Yao Chen smiled bitterly. “Can we talk tomorrow?”
This rude kid! The demons all bristled and advanced on Yao Chen and Feng Xian. Demonic Qi filled the air; this human was far too brazen! He actually wanted the young master to wait? He obviously didn’t appreciate the kindness she was doing for him! If he repeatedly contradicted her then that was one thing, but he was actually haggling with her?! Asking for death! No, begging for death!
“What are you guys doing? I didn’t tell you to move, so back up!” The demon girl suddenly turned and shouted at those demons that were emitting Demonic Qi. When she ordered them she was extremely tyrannical, but when she then turned back to Yao Chen she smiled seductively. “Unless you help me refine medicine then I’ll kill you now.”
The huge bear covered his ears. Their master had definitely gone crazy. To laugh with a human… since the old master was in seclusion, he would have to discuss this with the Sacred Daughter.
Yao Chen bitterly smiled and nodded. In such a dilemma he could only lower his head.
“You’re nodding as in I have your promise?” She excitedly jumped.
Yao Chen could only once more nod. He had to refine for her. It was said that the demon race had so many medicinal ingredients they didn’t even have anywhere to put them. It would be convenient for his alchemy tests, but… once he entered a demon cave, would he able to get out? But in any case, the first thing was staying alive.
Feng Xian turned his head. The most painful moment had just passed, and now he could just barely resist the medicinal energy. Looking at her she said, “Huh? Human? Or demon?”
She blinked. “Is he your friend?”
“Oh, then whatever.”
The demons all couldn’t bear to look anymore. Heavens, her air as their master, her morals, they had all disappeared! This human was definitely a monster!
A day passed. After they finished the medicinal bath, Yao Chen and Feng Xian arrived at the Demon Valley’s mountain under the watchful eye of the huge bear.
“I’m thinking of building a huge alchemy palace here. After studying the ways you humans store medicinal ingredients we’ll also build a huge storehouse. What do you think?”
Yao Chen blinked; it really would be excellent. Many medicinal ingredients all had expiration dates or would lose efficiency over time. The demon race that always stayed deep within the mountain fields had many more opportunities to get these rare medicinal ingredients, and due to improper storage they would often lose their medicinal effect over time.
“When do I start refining? And let me just say right now that I can at most refine fourth tier pills, so don’t get your hopes high. And if I end up wasting a lot of medicinal ingredients while refining don’t blame me. And also…”
“What’s the rush?”
“Didn’t you ask me here to refine medicine?”
“Fine, I’ll bring you over the refining cave.”
Her joyful mood immediately fell.
Yao Chen smiled and reached out his hand, giving her a couple medicinal pills. “These were refined just for you.”
“Just for me? What kind of medicinal pill is this? What does it do?”
“It can let you use more strength while you are in human form… call it the Transformation Pill.”
She blinked and smiled. “You like my human form?”
Beside him, Feng Xian’s eyes practically popped from his head. Yao Chen was too mysterious! He could even chat with the Demon Valley’s seductive young master! And it even seemed the young master enjoyed messing with Yao Chen.
Arriving at the refining cave, they saw that there were already two alchemists inside who were refining pills. Seeing Yao Chen enter, they both looked at him disdainfully. “Princess, have you sent another helper? Does he have a foundation in refining medicine? If he’s not useful then I won’t take responsibility to teach him.”
“That’s right, this old man didn’t come here to teach disciples. Speaking of which, where is the Diseased Flame Cold Insect Thread I asked for? And the Gold Immortal Insect?”
Amongst the two alchemist, one appeared to be in his forties, while the other had long hair and a childish face, seemingly filled with an immortal aura. As he spoke, all kinds of precious medicinal ingredients were continuously thrown from his hand into the refining cauldron, and a five-colored flame ignited below the cauldron. All kinds of exquisite refining techniques were used by him expertly, and a mixture of the refinements had appeared.
Yao Chen’s gaze brightened slightly. His technique was truly marvelous, but in terms of the finer details it was a bit rough. It was obviously a heretic path that he had come up with by teaching himself alchemy.
As for the middle-aged man, each one of his movements seemed similar to the Yao clan’s system. It could be seen that his foundation had been secretly stolen from watching the Yao clan’s nurturing, but his understanding of the secrets and smaller points had many gaps. But as a Dou Wang, these small gaps were made up for with pure power and he was extremely experienced.
“He’s a newly come alchemist. You two don’t mess around with him, he’s one of my people.”
The demon girl put her hands on her hips, making it clear that Yao Chen was under her authority.
Yao Chen smiled bitterly and greeted them courteously, “Greetings two seniors.”
“Hey, you’re one of mine so there’s no need to be courteous to them.” The princess was a bit irritated at that.
Suddenly a bell-like laughed came from the side, “Hahaha, little sis, what do you mean, ‘your person’? Isn’t this an exile of the Yao clan?”
“Big sis? You recognize him? What do you want?! The Yao clan is blind, and now he’s come to us.”
The demon girl was startled for a moment but she quickly placed herself in front of Yao Chen as protection. She turned and whispered to him, “Be careful of this big demon lady. She’s an expert at bewitching people, so you must be careful.”
Yao Chen laughed and looked up. It was the Sacred Daughter he had seen before the Yao clan’s Great Competition.
There truly was a bewitching aura coming from her body. But Yao Chen’s will had long since gained a resistance to such things from the great pain from the medicinal baths. This small enchantment wasn’t even as effective on him as just the little demon girl’s natural trickiness.
The Sacred Daughter was a bit surprised at that. Her bewitching power actually didn’t have the slightest effect on Yao Chen. Such a thing would normally only occur with powerful Dou Wangs, and not even every Dou Wang was capable of that. Only those who had tempered their minds to perfection were capable of being unaffected.
The demon girl noticed the Sacred Daughter had released her bewitchment and was about to get indignant, but then she saw that Yao Chen was smiling indifferently and her anger turned to laughter. She gave Yao Chen a special spot and gave him a refining cauldron. “Ok, fine. Yao Chen, this will be your cauldron. It’s not that good but use it for now. When I have an opportunity in the future I’ll find you the best alchemy cauldron in this world.”
Yao Chen nodded and was about to turn to call Feng Xian to prepare the ingredients when he saw Feng Xian’s gaze was unable to escape from the Sacred Daughter. It was obvious he had been bewitched.
The Sacred Duaghter smiled and blinked towards Feng Xian. This was at least a consolation prize.
However Yao Chen frowned and flicked Feng Xian’s forehead. “Wake up!”
“… Ah… just now… how close, demon girl… I…”
Luckily Feng Xian had also experienced the medicinal bath several times so he quickly awoke. Shooting a glance at the Sacred Daughter, he no longer dared to look again. Otherwise, would he be affected again?
The Sacred Daughter looked blankly and then hatefully glared at Yao Chen. Reaching out her hand, she grabbed the little demon girl. “Little sis, I have something important to discuss with you. As for your person, haha, just leave him here refining for now.”
“What do you need to talk about? Yao Chen, you stay here. I’ll come back in a bit to… uh, just to find you.” She had obviously been about to say ‘find you to play’.
Yao Chen quickly entered his refining state. Completely ignoring the two Dou Wang alchemist seniors, he entered his own refining rhythm.
“Wait, young man, those two medicinal ingredients have conflicting properties and can’t be refine together. You’re wasting them!”
That middle-aged alchemist suddenly shouted and reached his hand out towards Yao Chen. A flash of ferociousness appeared in his eyes.
Yao Chen’s heart shook but at this time he had already entered a mysterious and marvelous refining state, and everything around him was within the domain of his Spiritual Perception. Perhaps even the slightest mite of dust could be sensed by him. With a cold snort he took two steps to dodge his attack and continued to throw in more medicinal ingredients into his cauldron.
With his attack failing, the middle-aged alchemist became even fiercer. But he was truly surprised that a youngster like Yao Chen was able to enter such a marvelous refining state. He didn’t continue attacking, as he had had an excuse for the first one, but it would be too excessive to continue.
The other alchemist with the immortal aura smiled slightly. His gaze was locked onto every single one of Yao Chen’s movements as if studying.
Feng Xian was carefully guarded against the middle-aged alchemist, his face a bit ashen. His nerves had already been stretched tight when they were brought to the Demon Valley, and if it weren’t for how well the little demon girl treated Yao Chen, he wouldn’t have entered the demon race’s territory even if he were beat to death. There were countless stories of people that had entered the demon race to be never seen by people again…
When he finished refining, he took out twenty-four fourth tier healing medicinal pills pills that couldn’t be considered perfect but were still quite good.
“Little friend, these pills seem a bit strange. They look to be fourth tier. Are they healing pills?” That old alchemist walked over with a smile.
“Yes.” Yao Chen nodded it. These pills had been named the fourth tier Wound Healing Blood Suppressing Balls by him. It was a new pill formula he had come up deep in the forests.
“I’ve forgotten to introduce myself. This old man is surnamed Qu, Qu Dongsheng, a free cultivator. Is this little friend an expert from the Yao clan? But why have you come to the demon race’s territory?”
“Oh, so it’s old Qu.” Yao Chen wasn’t good at talking with others, so after just a single sentence he didn’t say any more.
But at this time Feng Xian gasped and awoke from his nervous state. Going over, his eyes twinkled. “You are the legendary Medicine Demon Dongsheng, senior Qu Dongsheng?”
Qu Dongsheng looked at Feng Xian in surprise and laughed. “I hadn’t expected that having stayed in secret within the demon race for over thirty years that my name is still known.”
“Senior might have completely disappeared thirty years ago, but the pills you left behind before that are still in circulation, and whenever they appear it causes a commotion.”
“Haha, is that so?”
Qu Dongsheng laughed and patted Feng Xian. “These are a couple Soul Improving Pills that are suitable for your current cultivation.”
“Senior has gifted me I don’t dare not accept. Many thanks senior.” Feng Xian received a pill bottle and repeatedly said his thanks.
These few words had pulled them much closer. Seeing this, that other middle-aged alchemist’s expression immediately brightened several times and he let out a mischievous laugh before going to his side and minding his own business. The two of them naturally hadn’t come to Demon Valley as guests, but for their own reasons.
“Don’t bother with him. He’s called Hu Chen, and he comes from the holy grounds. Because of a couple things he ended up in Demon Valley.”
“What holy grounds?” Yao Chen was startled.
“Oh, I forgot that little friend is from the Yao clan. Perhaps you don’t even know anything about the holy grounds. This holy land might not be that special to someone with deep learning from the Yao clan, but for alchemists like me, it is a sacred place that all alchemists wish to go to. It is not inferior to the experts of the Yao clan. And in the holy grounds, as long as you have the talent, you can study whatever you want.”
A faint envy appeared on Qu Dongsheng’s face. “Unfortunately when I was young I didn’t know of the holy land’s existence, otherwise… haha, past events don’t need to be brought up. Right, little friend, you showed me a couple techniques just now that I have some confusion about. Could it be that by doing this you can improve it a bit…”
Qu Dongsheng quickly began discussing refining techniques with Yao Chen. He had truly noticed a few things that Yao Chen could improve on, and following a couple sentences, Yao Chen ended up learning quite a few little tricks from Qu Dongsheng. Just from those small tips and tricks, Yao Chen’s alchemy techniques improved by quite a bit. It might sound simple to explain such simple things, but if not explained, you might spend your entire lifetime without figuring them out. The Yao clan naturally had better tricks, but those were all advanced alchemy arts whereas everything Yao Chen had learned in the clan school was just the fundamentals.
After a burst of discussion with Qu Dongsheng, Yao Chen began to feel that the outside world’s alchemy arts weren’t that inferior to the Yao clan’s. In some manners it might have even exceeded the Yao clan.
“These techniques of mine are just minor arts. If young friend wants to learn more, haha, you might have to go ask brother Hu Chen for advice.”
Hu Chen who was refining to the side had obviously been listening to the side. He coldly snorted, “The holy grounds might be a relaxed organization, but not everyone can enter the Pill Tower to study. Only unless the alchemist association jointly recommended you could you enter the Pill Tower.”
He was obviously mocking Qu Dongsheng. That lie he spouted about not knowing about the Pill Tower’s existence when he was younger was obviously untrue; he had simply not possessed the qualifications.
Holy grounds… Pill Tower? Such a place didn’t seem to sound bad to Yao Chen. If he wanted to fulfill his parent’s final wishes, he must improve his alchemy and cause the entire Yao clan to shake. If he just relied on his own experiments to study, it would not be possible to achieve such a level. A sacred cultivation land that could compete with the Yao clan was perhaps his only chance.
“Senior Hu Chen, how can one obtain the alchemist organization’s joint recommendation?” Yao Chen asked directly.
Hu Chen’s movements turned sluggish for a moment. Just now he had made a move against Yao Chen, so he hadn’t expected such a question from him. “What, you want to enter the Pill Tower to study alchemy?”
“Yes, and I also beg senior for some pointers.”
“Why would I have to tell you anything?”
Yao Chen laughed, “Please tell me whatever senior wishes.”
It was definitely no accident for Hu Chen to suddenly make a move against him. At their level, each move of theirs was calculated. After all, this was Demon Valley.
“Oh? Smart kid.” Hu Chen placed his hands atop his furnace and indifferently shot a glance at Qu Dongsheng. Coldly laughing, he said, “Yuan Transforming to Life Pill, have you heard of it?”
Yao Chen was startled. “Naturally I’ve heard of it.”
Yuan Transforming to Life Pill, a seventh tier medicinal pill. Only the Yao clan possessed the pill formula for it, and it allowed one to extend the lifespan by a hundred years using the Yuan power of heaven and earth. A person could take this pill twice in their lifetime, so no matter who it was or what realm they had reached, they could live for another two hundred years by relying on it.
“The reason the two of us are here is for the Yuan Transforming to Life Pill. We have an incomplete formula, and some of the descriptions are imperfect. Even after thirty years we haven’t been able to refine it. Perhaps the problem is with the fundamental technique. If you wish we could exchange refining techniques. Of course, we will set up a poison oath not to spread these techniques to others. How does that sound? After this I can lead you into the Pill Tower’s Pill Gathering, and through proving yourself at the Pill Gathering, you can enter the Pill Tower to study.”
Yao Chen frowned. The basics and foundations of the Yao clan were completely unique. Even if people in the outside world tried to imitate them, they wouldn’t even be able to gain one percent of the true techniques. Although he had been expelled, deep down he was still a disciple of the Yao clan. Despite the people he hated and wanted revenge against in the clan, there were also people like elder Yao Lan who he deeply respected.
He definitely could not do things that were unworthy of the Yao clan.
“Haha, kid, did you think that old man was giving you advice because he was a good person? He was just probing your Yao clan’s fundamental techniques is all. How did you think he got the reputation of Medicine Demon? It was because just by discussing a couple sentences with someone he could squeeze out pill formulas from them like a demon!”
“Hey, that’s bullshit! Don’t listen to him little friend, listening to him will make you lose.”
“What do you mean lose? I, Hu Chen, might not be some good Samaritan, but I am completely straightforward. The reason I wanted to injure you just now was to make you consume a couple truth-intoxication serums, and once you were under their effect I could make you tell me whatever I wanted. Hehe, but your willpower and soul are too stronger so that plan will never succeed. Do you think my Pill Tower’s techniques are something that can be easily exchanged?” coldly said Hu Chen.
Qu Dongsheng also coldly laughed, “The innocent are innocent. Don’t doubt yourself young friend.” After saying that he turned and went back to refining, seemingly ignoring the others.
Feng Xian opened his mouth, but didn’t know what to say. He only blankly started at Yao Chen. At this time he simply followed Yao Chen.
Yao Chen sighed, but shook his head. “The Yao clan’s alchemy techniques absolutely can’t be transmitted out. However if your goal is just the Yuan Transforming to Life Pill, I might be able to help you research it together.”
Research it together? An ominous light flashed in Hu Chen’s eyes and he laughed. “Looks like the Yao clan’s kids aren’t just not stupid, but also extremely crafty. We’ll definitely have to discuss this later.”
He once more focused his full attention of the furnace of pills he was refining. He had his own goals for staying with the demon race, but he naturally also had to help refine suitable medicinal pills for them in order to get their limitless support.
Yuan is often translated as Origin, kept as Yuan, or I also believe in Desolate Era it was translated as Mana. It can be considered another type of natural energy such as spiritual qi.
Check out this link for the first mention of the Pill Tower in BTTH: https://www.wuxiaworld.com/novel/battle-through-the-heavens/btth-chapter-785
And there are several chapters starting here that give us more information about the past relationship with Yao Lao and the Pill Tower: https://www.wuxiaworld.com/novel/battle-through-the-heavens/btth-chapter-1446
Chapter 25 Holy Pill City
Two days later.
The little princess had yet to appear again, but the Sacred Daughter had come once to tell Yao Chen the many rules of his staying in Demon Valley. She gave him a bit of skin from a Greater Demon which was a sign he could walk throughout Demon Valley, and treating him as an alchemist guest, all kinds medicinal ingredients were provided to him in an endless supply. It reached the point where almost any medicinal ingredients he requested was brought over to him almost immediately.
But the prerequisite for all this was that Yao Chen refine enough medicinal pills for the demon race.
This wasn’t very difficult for Yao Chen at all. In the mountains he hadn’t just been focused on fleeing, but also on researching alchemy techniques. When it came to body tempering medicinal pills, they might only have the effect of boosting the bones and developing muscles for humans, but to the demon race they had a marvelous effect. After removing a couple furnaces of the pills for the medicinal bath and sending them over, Yao Chen’s status quickly rose.
But his relation with Qu Dongsheng and Hu Chen didn’t improve. Their goals were obviously to obtain the Yao clan’s foundational secret refining techniques. Calling them ‘foundational’ might make them seem ordinary, but this foundation essentially contained everything within it. Even obscure mysteries of the soul which were general within the Yao clan were still a complete secret that could not be transmitted. As long Yao Chen had a conscious, he would never sell out the clan for glory.
As for Feng Xian, he was called over by the Sacred Daughter every day, and he would only return late at night with a completely captivated expression.
“She seduces me but I can still just barely resist… brother Chen, let me do the medicinal bath again!”
Feng Xian trembled as he said this. He had to force himself to endure pain that pushed himself to the very limit of life and death in order to become stronger. Feng Xian knew that the demon race’s Sacred Daughter was just using him to practice her bewitching art. As a man, how could he let himself fall for a demon girl’s charm! Although he was young and virile, he was still an upright man.
Yao Chen smiled and nodded. It actually was pretty much time to undergo the medicinal bath again. The medicinal bath the two of them were taking had to be done at correct times; when they were in the mountains they could only barely maintain that timing, but in Demon Valley they weren’t lacking anything so they naturally could push it to the limit and undergo the treatment more often.
The medicinal bath’s pills had long since been prepared by them. Setting up the bath in the bathhouse, he poured in the crushed medicinal powder.
The demon clan lived the same way as beasts, so unless they could transform into human shape they all bathed in the pools behind the mountain. This ‘bathhouse’ cave had been made for the special purpose of any and all alchemist guests.
Yao Chen and Feng Xian hadn’t even been in there for long before Hu Chen walked over like a dark expression. He was mumbling and grumbling, and it was obvious he had just come from a failed refinement.
“Oh? Medicinal bath?” Hu Chen raised his head and saw the two of them soaking. Sniffing the medicinal aroma, a disdainful expression appeared on his face.
Hu Chen went over to spring and washed his face of the ashes from his failed refinement. He continued mockingly, “You don’t even know that a medicinal bath will leave behind toxins in the body that is practically impossible to remove. At your age, it truly can quickly increase your strength, however you’ll never manage to reach your peak potential.”
Yao Chen only indifferently smiled and ignored him, but Feng Xian who was experiencing intense pain became even more irritated and shouted, “That’s crap! This is Yao Chen’s recipe, so how could there be toxins!?
“No matter how excellent the recipe is, it will always leave behind toxins. This is something unavoidable. Even if you take detoxification pills afterwards, you won’t be able to expel the poison that has entered deep into your bones. If you only take it once or twice then it’s whatever, but if you take it too much, then you might be able to obtain a body of steel, but your realm will never progress again.”
Hu Chen walked over and smiled coldly at Feng Xian.
Yao Chen looked at Hu Chen and suddenly a thought popped into his head. “Senior Hu doesn’t need to be angry. What you said is generally true. But my medicinal bath recipe is a secret technique without any hidden toxins. Haha, with senior’s strength you can naturally tell whether it’s good or bad.”
Yao Chen took out one of the pills for the medicinal bath and threw it into Hu Chen’s hand.
“This is… huh, a fourth tier medicinal pill!”
After examining it for just a moment his expression changed slightly. “This pill…”
Yao Chen introduced it. “Marrow Washing Bone Carving Pill. It has many uses: when crushed into powder it can be used in the medicinal bath to improve the power of the body. When taken directly, it can strengthen the soul. It has zero hidden toxins.”
Hu Chen could not believe it, but this fourth tier pill truly did appear to have no hidden toxins to his senses! The holy ground and also had medicinal bath pills, but only those at least at the fifth tier could have no hidden toxin sequelae.
“It’s just a small secret recipe.”
“Yes… haha, kid, do you want to exchange it with me?”
“Exchange? I’m just talking. I’m very interested in senior Hu’s pill collecting art.”
“This… this is acceptable.”
A pill collecting art for a fourth tier medicinal bath pill formula with no hidden toxin sequelae was an excellent deal.
Hu Chen coldly smiled, “You won’t regret it?”
Yao Chen bitterly laughed, “Whatever I lack is what I will exchange for. What is there to regret?”
He truly did have no other method. Yao Chen only had the fundamentals he had learned in the Yao clan’s clan school. As for higher level techniques, he had seen quite a few but he didn’t completely understand them. In order to walk further along the path of alchemy. he had to study others’ refining arts in hopes of comprehending them.
Hu Chen’s pill receiving technique was very unique and was a completely different style than that of the Yao clan’s. One was used only when collecting the pill, the other was used when actually refining.
“Exchanging techniques is alright, but we must swear an oath not to transmit it to a third person. Whether it be a disciple or a wife, a brother or an elder.” Hu Chen was extremely firm on this point.
Yao Chen’s gaze brightened. “I also have an improved pill formula here. I wonder whether it can be exchanged for some tips from senior Hu? Senior Hu’s refining efficiency is very admirable.”
“Hmph… that will depend on what you take out.”
Hu Chen smiled coldly again, appearing extremely fierce… however, he only looked fierce. As the discussion flowed, Hu Chen quickly began to immerse him into the mysteries of new pill formulas. After talking with him some more, Yao Chen realized that while he appeared crafty, that was just his outer appearance. In his bones he was actually someone extremely dedicated to alchemy.
In comparison, Qu Dongsheng was someone who acted very amiable and did small kindnesses for people, but inside he was extremely shrewd. Each of his moves caused aftermaths that no one would ever expect. Over just a short time he had managed to steal quite a few refining techniques from Yao Chen just by watching.
But the Yao clan’s foundation was very particular and detailed. It was one that contained all of heaven’s creations. Each technique used a meticulous fusion of Dou Qi with it, and if you could learn it just by watching, then the outside world’s alchemists would have long since stolen it away hundreds and thousands of years ago. Currently all the world had were failed imitations that looked right but were actually wrong.
Although Hu Chen’s attitude was poor, he truly did exchange in equal trades.
And once something like this started, it was basically impossible to stop!
Time passed quickly. Three years later…
Yao Chen had once more grown taller and he had even started to grow a beard. But in comparison, Feng Xian’s transformation was even more shocking. Over these three years he had been constantly used as a practice target for the demon clan’s Sacred Daughter’s bewitching art. Feng Xian had already seen through her female charms, and transformed from the elegant and graceful son of a noble to become a true thick-skinned rough-voiced man.
The little princess had only come to see them three times in these three years. Every time she appeared extremely cheerless. It seemed she was cultivating some kind of technique that required her to stay in seclusion for long times.
It had already been half a year since the last time she had appeared.
“Brother Chen, senior Hu wanted me to tell you to come over. It seems the pill formula you gave him didn’t work and his cauldron exploded.”
Feng Xian ran into Yao Chen’s bedroom and called to the soundly sleeping Yao Chen.
“Ugh, he must have once more fallen into one of his bad habits and misunderstood something. Let me take a closer look at the alchemy technique I showed him… oh, I’m about to start meditating so call me for dinner.”
Yao Chen only opened his eyes and indifferently spoke for a moment before once more closing his eyes, entering a meditative state.
Although the little prince had only appeared three times, the building she had ordered those humans to build had continued to be built and had been finished a month ago under the efforts of those Da Dou Shis. A huge alchemy palace had been built on the waist of the mountain, and Yao Chen, Hu Chen, and Qu Dongsheng had all moved out of the mountain cave into the palace. Their living standards had immediately improved, the most important part being that now each person had a better guarantee of their secrets compared to living in the demonic cave.
Yao Chen automatically awoke from his meditative state for dinner. As soon as he left his room he ran into an anxious Hu Chen whose face was covered in ashes. “Old pal Yao, why are you meditating in the middle of the day? I have stuff I need to discuss with you.”
Over these three years Yao Chen had used pill formulas to exchange for Hu Chen’s many techniques. This benefited both of them, and their relationship also became much closer.
However what Hu Chen had wanted to gain from the start was the Yao clan’s core foundational refining arts. These foundational arts were definitely extremely high level and at the same time it was his only hope of refining the Yuan Transforming to Life Pill.
“Hmph, didn’t you want to enter the holy ground to study refining arts? There’s now an opportunity for you if you want to grasp it.”
“What opportunity?” Yao Chen’s eyes brightened. Over these three years with the exchanges with Hu Chen, his advancements were extremely great, and both Qu Dongsheng and Hu Chen both called him an absolute monster. Yao Chen had already exceeded the boundary of a fifth tier alchemist to refine sixth tier medicinal pills! And this was before Hu Chen even taught him the refining arts of the holy ground. If he could personally enter the holy ground and study, Yao Chen had full belief that his alchemy could immediately soar.
“Holy Pill City’s Pill Battle Competition. As long as you show yourself off during the competition you will be able to obtain the recommendation.”
A flicker appeared on Hu Chen’s face that didn’t escape Yao Chen’s attention. This Pill Battle Competition was definitely not as effortless as he described, and there might even be some personal grievances involved.
“How can I participate in it?”
“Well you can play the role of my disciple. You’ve exchanged for many of my techniques, so saying it like that shouldn’t raise too many questions.” Hu Chen’s voice was a bit unusual for him. Yao Chen was already a fifth tier alchemist, a fifth tier alchemist who wasn’t even eighteen years old! He was a genius amongst millions, and in terms of strength he wasn’t that far off from a sixth tier alchemist. And as for his potential, it was absolutely endless.
“That’s not a problem.”
Yao Chen didn’t really care about that. As long as he had the opportunity to enter the Pill Tower, anything was fine as long it didn’t involve selling out the Yao clan…
“Excellent hehe. Then that’s how we’ll put it. One month later I’ll bring you over. That old guy Qu Dongsheng will most likely be able to refine the Yuan Transforming to Life Pill within a couple days. We’ll be free once we finish that pill.”
Hu Chen laughed and patted Yao Chen on the shoulders. “He really is a devil. Just by watching you refine, that old man stole almost all your tricks. But don’t worry, that old man definitely won’t dare transmit them outside. The Yao clan’s thorns are something no one in the Central Plains would dare provoke.”
Yao Chen smiled bitterly. Over these years he had gained a much greater understanding of just how devilish Qu Dongsheng was. Qu Dongsheng who was almost eighty truly was a genius with extremely strong Spiritual Strength. Yao Chen even suspected his spirit had even reached the Heavenly State! He didn’t even use his eyes to look, but instead used his spirit to capture every single movement. However the most core things were things that could not be stolen. In reality, the core techniques required the Yao clan’s bloodline in order to be used. It was a heavenly gift that only those in the Yao clan could possess. That was why even though Yao Chen knew his techniques were being stolen, he didn’t care. And Qu Dongsheng was a smart man and had also often showed Yao Chen a couple things. Although he hadn’t exchanged as much as Hu Chen, the result wasn’t that different.
One month later…
Qu Dongsheng and Hu Chen worked together and finally refined twelve Yuan Transforming to Life Pills. They had used thirty-one years just to refine those twelve seventh tier pills.
When the pill formed, strange things occurred in heaven and earth, shaking Demon Valley. Although no Pill Thunder formed, Qu Dongsheng and Hu Chen both shouted out in joy.
Qu Dongsheng even began to cry. “Now I can finally return.”
The demon race’s Sacred Daughter arrived immediately. She was followed by twelve absolutely beautiful woman. They were all humans, and the weakest was still a Da Dou Shi.
“Old Qu, according to the agreement from thirty years ago, here are twelve concubines.”
“Excellent, and the things I wanted…”
“We already prepared them for you thirty years ago.” The Sacred Daughter respectfully offered a storage ring. Turning to Hu Chen she said, “Senior Hu, you joined us ten years ago and we have profited greatly. Other than the agreed upon terms, there are three beautiful concubines available. Is senior Hu interested?”
“Ah, women are too troublesome. And it’s not like I’m old demon Qu who wants to start a huge family…” Hu Chen’s face was filled with contradiction. He clearly wanted them, yet didn’t want them at the same time. Who didn’t want beautiful women? Moreover these were woman breed in Demon Valley, nourished properly even as a fetus. Their offspring were very likely to be powerful talents. This was the best way to quickly form a large family.
But Hu Chen wasn’t without a family, and was also considered half a disciple of the holy ground. Even if he accepted these women he wouldn’t know where to place them, so he could only decline regretfully.
The Sacred Daughter laughed and placed another Storage Ring in Hu Chen’s hand. “Since it’s like that, our agreement from that year is now completed. My Demon Valley will take eight pills, while the rest can be divided by you two seniors.”
“I’ll only take one pill, but another pill I feel should be given to Yao Chen,” said Hu Chen.
Qu Dongsheng’s expression was complicated, but after hesitating for a moment he also nodded, approving Hu Chen’s statement.
Yao Chen was startled, as this Yuan Transforming to Life Pill wasn’t very useful to the seventeen-year-old him. This was a pill for extending the lifespan, while what he needed was to increase his strength.
But in front of Hu Chen’s gaze he didn’t refuse.
“Ok, you three guests can leave whenever you want.”
As she said this she gave a deliberate glance at Yao Chen, suggesting she wanted to talk to him in private. When she left, Yao Chen found in excuse to leave as well. Walking out of the palace, he walked up to her and waved his hand.
“Sacred Daughter, is there anything you have to say to me?”
She blinked and said, “Yao Chen, now you have a chance to return to the Yao clan. Are you interested?”
“Ha, doesn’t Sacred Daughter know about what happened between me and the Yao clan? If I return then I might not just be forced into the bottom ranks, but my death might not be far off either.”
“With the name of the Demon Saint behind you, who would dare provoke you?”
“What is the precondition?”
“Try not to get close to the princess again. She cultivates a chilling-sky ice-earth freezing-soul Dou Qi technique. Before mastering it she can’t fall in love. Yao Chen, although she hasn’t fallen in love with you, if it continues like this then perhaps…”
Yao Chen coldly laughed, “Perhaps it’s also because I’m just a poor kid… don’t worry, I don’t have such an interest in the princess. We’re just friends.”
When he said this he felt that this was the truth, but… when he said it out loud his heart felt inexplicably emptier, as if something he thirsted for had been stripped away.
Perhaps it was just a misconception. He was just reluctant to leave Demon Valley.
“Are you just friends? Well that makes sense. Over these three years you’ve only seen each other a couple times. She… is in a critical moment of her cultivation.”
The Sacred Daughter nodded and took out a Storage Ring for Yao Chen. “These are a couple medicinal ingredients that can count as payment for these three years.”
“I can’t accept it. I’ve gained very much over these three years in Demon Valley, and in addition…” Yao Chen’s face reddened. Although he had refined many medicinal pills for Demon Valley, the amount of medicinal ingredients he had ruined was even greater. There was no way around it since he was still testing things around. The two of them basically counteracted each other, as the amount of medicinal pills he had refined could be exchanged for exactly how many medicinal ingredients he had ruined.
“Haha, then consider it Demon Valley’s investment in you.”
The Sacred Daughter placed the Storage Ring firmly in Yao Chen’s hand. She turned and was silent for a moment, seeming to want to say something more. However in the end she shook her head and floated away.
Just an hour later, Yao Chen was prepared to leave with Feng Xian, following Hu Chen. The difference between how they were leaving and how they arrived was that they were using a Transportation Dou Formation, and there was actually a set of them that saved them several days’ worth of travel. They quickly left the deep mountains and arrived at a flourishing human city.
“This is Azure Spirit City. We’ll take a Spatial Boat to the Pill Tower. Oh, and now I can tell you the truth about the Pill Battle Competition. Doing well there will allow you to attend the Pill Gathering, and then… well actually, I’m the same as you and am an exile of the Pill Tower. Back in the day I made a huge mistake and was ousted from my family for ten years…”
At this time Hu Chen began to tell him everything.
Originally it was actually Hu Chen’s mother who was a disciple of the Pill Tower. He was born into a high status and was also outstandingly talented. If no accident had occurred, he would have very likely taken his mother’s position in the Pill Tower, spending his whole life in service to it.
However just one accident caused him to make a huge mistake, even implicating his mother into losing her position. His mother was diminished while he was banished.
“But now those ten years of exile are over, and as long as I can make up for my mistake from ten years ago… I might not just be able to return to the Pill Tower, my mother might even be reinstated.”
Hu Chen stared closely at Yao Chen. “Your talent in alchemy is extremely great, and as long as you get a top ten position in the Pill Battle Competition you’ll have the qualifications to attend Pill City’s Pill Gathering a year later. Whether or not you decide to attend the Pill Gathering, I will have demonstrated my value… cough, so that’s how it is.”
So the actual reason Hu Chen had made the pretext Yao Chen was his disciple was because as long Yao Chen performed excellently at the Pill Battle Competition, Hu Chen would be able show his value to the Pill Tower. As for Yao Chen, he would also be able to enter the Pill Tower to study alchemy due to this.
Yao Chen merely nodded, as this thirst to get rid of his banishment was something he understood very well. The only difference was that Hu Chen didn’t have any life and death enmity with anyone in the Pill tower, while Yao Chen had enmity with the highest level of the core of the clan, the punishment hall. Although it wasn’t necessarily an enmity that would cause a sea of blood to flow, it was not one that could be resolved without the other side’s death. In the end, even if he wanted to return, he couldn’t.
“Excellent.” Hu Chen sighed and became silent. After being with Yao Chen for three years, he had become very familiar with him. He was someone who would definitely do what he promised.
Yao Chen and Feng Xian were currently taking in how majestic Azure Spirit City was. It was bustling with noise and people. Sellers shouted their wares, and in the distance was a medicinal ingredient martketplace…
All of this was a novel experience for the two of them.
But a faint grief appeared in Feng Xian’s eyes when he looked at the auction house. Although life with the demon race hadn’t been bad over these three years, the blood enmity of the Feng family was something he hadn’t forgotten about even for a moment.
Yao Chen patted Feng Xian on the shoulder. He nodded to him, as he had also not forgotten.
Feng Xian smiled joylessly. “Don’t worry brother Chen. I know that it’s still not the right time. The opponent is a Dou Wang.”
“Trust in me, in another two years, killing a couple Dou Wangs will be simple as refining a pill.”
Feng Xian viciously nodded at that. “But brother Chen, I’ve thought about it, and this enmity is something I must personally repay.”
Hu Chen wasn’t interested in their enmities. His goal was very clear-cut, and he didn’t feel as if he and Yao Chen had a deep friendship. They were simply using each other. This was something that he, Yao Chen, and Feng Xian were all very clear on.
Hu Chen guided them to a huge square with a restless crowd. But there was a very strict orderliness. There was a massive army guarding a huge stone platform, and atop that stone platform was a deep black hole that was slowly revolving, emitting a mysterious aura.
“This is a Spatial Wormhole. Using it is the fastest way to get to Sacred Pill City.”
Compared to Dou Formations, Spatial Wormholes could along you to jump even further distances, and they were both steadier and safer.
This was general knowledge that Yao Chen had already seen in books but had never actually met with. The Yao clan actually had their own Spatial Wormholes, but they were never opened and he was never allowed contact with them. In fact, he wasn’t even clear on where exactly they were. All he knew was that they existed within the Shennong Mountain Range.
Waiting in line, they finally arrived in front of the Spatial Wormhole. Hu Chen took out a small boat from his robes and rubbed it a few times. This was Spatial Boat that could be used to sail through the Spatial Wormhole.
The originally small Spatial Boat grew larger in an instant, become several meters long and wide. A faint silver spatial energy shimmered and danced inside it.
Hu Chen confirmed his identity with the experts guarding the Spatial Wormhole. He used medicinal pills to pay for using the Spatial Wormhole and then told Yao Chen and Feng Xian to get in with a pleased expression.
The inside of the boat was extremely rich and majestic, and anything that they could possibly need could be found inside.
“How is this boat of mine?”
Hu Chen laughed in a very pleased manner to Yao Chen. This Spatial Boat had been extremely difficult to forge. It was a third grade Spatial Boat, and to most commoners it was a lavish consumption of money.
But Yao Chen only indifferently nodded. “It’s a bit small.”
“Excuse me?! Small? This is a third grade Spatial Boat!” Hu Chen immediately exclaimed coldly. “If you can bring out a bigger one, I’ll give you a secret art! A true secret art!”
“Um… then ok. Don’t go back on your word.”
Yao Chen smiled. His family had just happened to own such a boat. According to his mother, it was something his great-grandfather had left behind. Although such a boat was extremely precious and rare, it could only be used inside a Spatial Wormhole. Outside, it was completely useless, especially in the isolated Yao clan. When he had been extremely little he had even used it as a play thing. When Yao Chen had fled from the clan he had naturally brought along everything, including that boat.
Yao Chen took out a small boat from his Storage Ring. Throwing it into the air… BANG BANG BANG… spiritual light exploded and the small boat quickly drew in the spatial strength around it and swelled!
In just a couple blinks, a huge boat over a hundred meters long appeared in the wormhole.
Hu Chen rubbed his eyes. He silently put away his thirty meter boat and jumped in with Feng Xian into the huge boat Yao Chen had taken out.
The people waiting around the Spatial Wormhole were also all discussing animatedly about it. A seventh grade or higher Spatial Boat! Could he be the young master of one of those supreme powers?
“Kid… you actually have a seventh grade or higher Spatial Boat!”
Such a size had to be at least the seventh grade!
Spatial Boats of the seventh grade and above were things ordinary people would never be able to use. Only those supreme powers could have access to such a thing.
Hu Chen’s gaze when he looked at Yao Chen now held an additional trace of envy. Yao Chen was truly unfathomable to be able to take out a seventh grade Spatial Boat. Moreover, he didn’t even care about revealing it to everyone. Was it really possible he didn’t have a powerful support behind him?
An exile from the Yao clan? Perhaps he was like him, someone who still possessed a supporter behind him despite being exiled.
Under the pull of the spatial strength, the huge boat was slowly drawn into the pitch-black wormhole.
Yao Chen only felt his vision darken and his body flash. He felt himself become weightless, but the feeling of losing himself quickly faded. A pitch-black mysterious spatial channel appeared before him.
This spatial channel’s end could not be seen and was completely pitch-black. Only the spatial walls right beside them emitted an indistinct silver spatial energy. It was this spatial energy that that had pierced through a path in this boundless darkness. Looking around, everything was completely silent. Other than the spatial fluctuations from the center, everything was silent. Not even the slightest air was present. The only thing present was a deathly silence.
At the beginning this kind of deathly silence was actually somewhat of a new experience, but that novelty quickly faded. Following the passing of the practically endless darkness, an extremely solemn aura completely enveloped people’s hearts. Even the desire to converse was suppressed by this complete silence.
It was boring, tasteless, and moreover within the wormhole they could not muster the energy to break out of their mood. Even the desire to discuss alchemy was suppressed. Even time seemed to have been stretched, affecting their mental states.
They passed through the journey completely silently. All three of them were silently guarding their hearts. Other than consuming some food pills, they occasionally trained their Dou Qi. An indistinct silver circle appeared in the distance ahead of them. Strand after strand of spatial energy began to become excited, and like a tide it charged over. Under this energy, the speed of the Spatial Boat gradually decreased.
But despite slowing down, the Spatial Boat’s speed was still extremely fast. In just a short time that circle of silver light began to grow and dazzle their eyes. The silver spatial energy was just like a curtain of stairs, slowly drawing the Spatial Boat towards it.
The majestic Pill City was right behind that silver light curtain!
At this moment, Yao Chen still didn’t know that his legend would start from here!
Chapter 26 Test
Holy Pill City’s grandeur caused Yao Chen to feel a completely stifled feeling!
He had never before seen this many alchemists and never before seen such a huge boundless city! Humanity’s greatest civilization and culture was definitely amassed here.
“Here? Haha, this is just the outer city. The true grandeur is in the inner city. The Pill Tower is in the inner city!”
Hu Chen was filled with pride that he could no longer hide. He had been born here, been raised here. The holy ground was his family. Although this family might have wronged him in the past, he had no hatred towards it. This place had his family, his friends, and the marks he had left within it.
Yao Chen took a deep breath. The concentration of spiritual qi in the air was comparable to the Yao clan, and the fragrance of medicinal aroma filled the air and refreshed the mind.
Under Hu Chen’s guidance, Yao Chen and Feng Xian arrived at an ancient and simple stone tower. This was one of the Pill Tower’s branch towers. Inside were many alchemists busily working. Although they were all talking quietly, the sum of it still pounded in the ears.
This branch tower had once been under the control of Hu Chen’s mother. The current alchemist in charge was his mother’s elder apprentice, in other words, Hu Chen’s eldest apprentice-bother.
Huchen held an insignia as he brought Yao Chen and Feng Xian straight inside the tower without the slightest obstruction. The inside of the tower was extremely spacious. Inside were many alchemists all wearing robes signifying their level and status. Each person was filled with drive and self-confidence. In the corners were occasionally small groups of alchemists quietly discussing what they had learned of alchemy.
“Let’s go. My eldest apprentice-brother should already know I’ve returned and is waiting for me. Right, we’ll let him give you the ranking test to get your alchemy badge. With your level, the fifth tier might be a bit difficult, but a fourth tier ranking shouldn’t be a problem.”
Huchen began to explain all sorts of things along the way, bringing them along a specific path.
The other paths were all lit while this was the only one emitting a mysterious gloom. This was actually a kind of warning not to enter unless they were like Hu Chen and had the insignia to enter. Otherwise who knew what kind unspeakable calamity would fall on any offenders.
At the end of the path was a large hall. There were several different stone doors along its walls, representing different tests.
At this time there were already a group of people standing there.
Huchen quickly walked over and familiarly greeted an old man in his sixties, his eyes becoming watery.
“Junior apprentice-brother, you’ve returned. Unfortunately you didn’t come back earlier; master is in seclusion. It’s a good thing.” The old man patted Hu Chen’s shoulders and smiled.
“Is it a breakthrough attempt?” Huchen’s eyes were filled with shock. In reality their family’s banishment against him had already ended several years ago. But he had been trapped within Demon Valley and also had no way to make up for his offense from that year, so he had purposely never returned to Holy Pill City. Now he had the power to regain his past glory. If his mother could advance, then no one would be able to stop him.
“Right. If master can breakthrough then our branch will truly enter a golden age. Haha, let’s not talk about that now. Who are these two?” The old man’s gaze flashed and fell on Yao Chen and Feng Xian. A powerful fluctuation spread out.
Yao Chen’s heart shook. Although afraid, he still stared back. Feng Xian was a bit weaker, taking two steps back before holding his gaze.
“Oh, not bad.”
The old man stroked his beard, a bit surprised at Yao Chen and Feng Xian’s reaction. Unless their willpower and soul were extremely tough, that gaze of his would make anyone kneel immediately. He had originally thought these two were apprentices his junior apprentice-brother had brought back, but now it seemed that that wasn’t true.
Yao Chen respectfully acted as a junior generation. “Junior is Yao Chen. Greetings senior.”
“Haha, quite a good sprout. What, are you planning on entering the Pill Tower to study?”
The old man had already seen countless talents like Yao Chen who had come knocking on this door. Thus he had showed off his power, letting him know the prestige of the Pill Tower. This was a good thing for him, as this place was completely different from the rest of the world. Since they weren’t disciples of his apprentice-brother, then naturally he would have to treat them according to the rules.
“Senior apprentice-brother, please help. This Yao Chen can count as my disciple.”
The old man angrily said, “If he is then he is, if he isn’t then he isn’t. What is this ‘count as’.”
“Senior apprentice-brother, can we talk?”
Hu Chen laughed and pulled the old man to the side. The two quietly discussed something, and the old man’s body slumped and he shot a glance at Yao Chen before they once more began whispering. Eventually it seemed they came to an agreement and walked back over.
“This old man is called Jian Chengzhang. You can call me uncle-master Jian. Go to that room and test your ranking.”
The old man pointed towards one of four large doors. Yao Chen looked and saw that door had the word ‘Huang’ written over it. The other three respectively said Tian, Di, and Xuan.
Testing below the sixth tier was done in the Huang testing room. These details had already been explained to him by Hu Chen. Yao Chen nodded and was about to walk over.
But just at that moment, another couple of people walked over.
“Ohoho, is this apprentice-brother Dan Huchen? Haha, what? You’ve returned? And even brought back a disciple?”
The leader of this group was a middle-aged man in green robes with a fan in his hand. He indifferently smiled and snapped the fan at Yao Chen with dense ridicule.
Hu Chen coldly laughed, and his eyes were spitting out real flames!
However Yao Chen couldn’t be bothered to deal with this and continued to enter the Huang tier room. The enmity he himself had was enough for him. Hu Chen was just collaborating with him, so his enmities naturally didn’t need to be dealt with by him.
“Dan Huchen, aren’t you being a bit too petty? Back then I never expected that you were so stupid. You can’t blame me, I just said something as a joke and you took it as the truth. If you have time you should probably spend more time training your head than your muscles.”
The green-robed middle-aged man waved his hand and pointed towards Yao Chen who had entered the door. “Ha, the disciple you took went to the Huang gate. How laughable! Come, you guys go test too.”
Two youths walked over to Jian Chengzhang and respectfully cupped their fists to him before walking to the testing procedure.
“What rank are you testing for?”
“Tier six lower grade.”
Both of them spoke out at the same time with great confidence.
For them to challenge the ranking for sixth tier alchemist at their age truly was deserving of praise.
Jian Chengzhang was startled slightly, but still nodded and pointed to the Xuan door. “Enter.”
As soon as he finished speaking a sudden gust of wind came from the path Hu Chen had came from. A shadowy figure quickly flew over. That shadow had the fluctuation of a Heavenly Flame and a powerful aura. The scorching heat waves coming from that shadow even blocked her face. All that could be seen of that indistinct shadow was that it was a woman.
Jian Chengzhang quickly bowed to that shadow.
“I forgot something in the Huang room just now. I’ll get it myself, so handle your own matters.”
The shadow charged into the Huang room.
Jian Chengzhang bitterly laughed. This aunt-master was not that old, yet was already a seventh tier alchemist. She was one of the disciples of his master’s ancestors who was always in seclusion. She always acted as she pleased, and even in the Pill Tower she did whatever she wanted, let alone in a place like this branch tower. Here there was no one who could stop her. They could only nod in assent.
Bai Wei coldly laughed, “Haha, Dan Huchen, looks like your apprentice is screwed. Who is the holy ground doesn’t know just how strict master-aunt Han is? The slightest mistake is unacceptable for her.”
Hu Chen’s expression fluctuated. He hadn’t expected for such a thing to occur. Aunt-master Han wasn’t someone he knew, but from Jian Chengzhang’s face he could tell that the situation wasn’t good.
It really was the case that bad luck always drew more bad luck. Just running into this scoundrel Bai Wei was already unlucky enough, but now this eccentric aunt-master Han had also popped up.
Bai Wei smiled as he looked at Hu Chen’s expression, becoming more and more pleased.
Hu Chen might be extremely angry, and his fists had turned white from being clenched, but it was definitely not allowed to fight within the Pill Tower’s branch towers.
In just a short time, the Xuan door opened. The two green-robed disciples Bai Wei had brought with him both walked out with confidence.
“Tier six lower grade, pass.”
Both of them spoke out at the same time, replacing their alchemist badge on their robes.
This badge might not appear remarkable to the eye, but it represented the acknowledge of the the Pill Tower, and within all the mainland, this kind of acknowledgement provided a great kind of power. It meant you had authority and many benefits.
It went without saying that the confident and proud way they were acting was due to Bai Wei’s orders.
Hu Chen’s expression became even uglier. He had no doubt they were mocking him right in the face.
He was pushed to his breaking point, but unfortunately he had nowhere to place this anger. He could only accept this disgrace head on.
Just at this moment, the Huang door opened up and Yao Chen hurried out with a bitter expression.
“Haha, looks like we don’t even need to ask the result.” Bai Wei laughed, his fan pointing at Yao Chen.
“Hmph, my people have yet to reach the point where they can be lectured by you.”
Huchen only felt a rush of blood and qi to his head, and he sent a claw right at Bai We’s face. His Dou qi surged and the room suddenly became as scorching hot as the middle of a burning stove. He had taken out his true Dou Flame!
Bai Wei’s expression darkened. “Do you think you are still a match for me? Looks like the lesson I gave you back then still wasn’t enough!”
BOOM! The force of their collision forced both sides to take two steps back.
Hu Chen’s face was extremely unsightly, but Bai Wei’s look was also flabbergasted. In his mind, since Dan Hu Chen had been expelled from the Pill Tower, no matter what, his cultivation should have fallen behind him. But in their exchange just now he was shocked to realize Hu Chen’s Dou Flame was actually a level higher than his Dou Flame!
“Green Scale Ashen Flame…”
Hu Chen’s eyes were icy cold. The Demon Saint had wanted him to refine medicine, so of course he had offered a couple benefits. One of those was the Green Scale Ashen Flame, a Dou Flame that the Demon Saint had personally found for him. Although it couldn’t possibly be as overbearing as a Heavenly Flame, but when it came to other Dou Flames, it could enter the top ten in terms of power.
But despite possessing such a flame, he was still only an equal match for Bai Wei. It was obvious he was not the only one who had had a fortunate encounter. Bai Wei’s growth was also shocking to him. He wanted to get back at him for what he had done to him in the past, but it appeared that such a thing would not be so easy.
At this time Jian Chengzhang coughed clearly. “This place is the Pill Tower’s! It is not a place for you two to deal with past enmities! Hmph, since you just arrived and were tired from travel it was acceptable that you didn’t go through the proper authentication processes. But there will be no more exceptions for you tomorrow.”
This was obviously opening the backdoor, but that was also what should be done. Even Bai Wei only snorted and didn’t say anything. In any case, who cared if he passed the Huang door’s tests? In fact, to require two attempts to pass was something extremely laughable.
Yao Chen hesitated and said, “But she…”
“Cough, don’t say anything. I’ll handle everything.” Hu Chen waved his hand to cut off Yao Chen.
In terms of strength, he still believed that Yao Chen could get a good ranking during the Pill Battle Competition, allowing him to participate in the Pill Gathering a year later. Within Demon Valley, Yao Chen had done things that were a complete defiance of the heavens. In a competition of pills, he could definitely pull off a miracle.
However, if the most strict techniques were used to test Yao Chen’s alchemy status… then perhaps the fifth tier was a bit difficult. According to what he guessed, Yao Chen’s body had once been through something terrible. The child had then used various techniques like the medicinal bath, sealing his Dou acupuncture points, etc. in order to suppress that thing. That was why despite clearly having an even greater strength, he was unable to display it during normal times.
If you measured Yao Chen’s tier by using his success rate when refining, Hu Chen sometimes felt that Yao Chen might already be at the seventh tier’s level! Of course, this kind of feeling was something even he didn’t believe.
“Haha, Dan Huchen, could it be? You are planning on letting this get participate in the Pill Battle Competition? Hahaha, what a joke! Let’s not discuss the other descendants of the ancestor; even my apprentices would completely suppress this kid.”
Bai Wei was very arrogant, and furthermore he had a great understanding of what Dan Huchen had to do in the future. Other than through the Pill Battle Competition, it would be wishful thinking for him to stand out in the holy ground.
Just at this moment another rumbling sound rang out and the Huang door was pushed open and a black shadow shot towards Yao Chen.
“Aunt-master, please stop!”
Jian Chengzhang was shocked. What had happened inside? Had this kid somehow offended his aunt-master?
“Get out of my way! Hmph, kid, why’d you run so fast? I feel like we can do the sixth tier middle grade test, come!”
Yao Chen bitterly smiled. “Senior, I only wanted the fifth tier high grade badge. The sixth tier isn’t that important to me.”
What? It wasn’t important to him?
When the sacred tower’s people heard Yao Chen’s words, an indescribable fury filled their hearts. Even Hu Chen was glowering at Yao Chen.
“Haha, kid, it’s over! However, you’ve got guts! I like it! Hey, whoever you are, is this guy your apprentice? I’m borrowing him!” The indistinct shadow laughed and suddenly her clothes wrapped around Yao Chen, bringing him away in an instant.
Jian Chengzhang was in a daze. “Junior apprentice-brother… this, I guess… this is a good thing?”
Hu Chen was also struck dumb.
Only Feng Xian’s mouth was trembling. He wanted to shout but was unable to. Yao Chen, someone he saw as his main backbone and pillar, had been taken away by someone just like that! However, he said it was a good thing? Did he have to chase after him? Although he knew that he was actually unable to do a thing… Feng Xian clenched his fist tightly.
The person whose face was the most ugly at this time would definitely have to be Bai Wei. Sixth tier middle grade? Aunt-master said that this could should go test the sixth tier middle grade!
Just now he had actually insulted Yao Chen by saying he had no skills… now it was like he was slapped in the face in front of everyone!
Holy Pill City, inner region…
Yao Chen looked all around. He was already within the Pill tower, and energy was rushing throughout. This place’s spiritual qi was not inferior to the treasured Fengshui ancestral lands of the Yao clan.
“Kid, quickly show me that technique you used during the test.” That shadow shot questions at Yao Chen, seeming unable to wait for the response.
“Senior…” Yao Chen bitterly laughed. That technique was one he had exchanged for with Hu Chen. But some of the finer details had been changed to make it more suited to himself.
“I know there’s no free lunch. Oh, how about I use this to exchange for it?”
A Dou Technique suddenly appeared in the shadow’s hand. “Xuan class Pill Fire Technique. It should be of great help to you. Your Dou Flame should still be at the Huang class right?”
Yao Chen blinked. “It might be possible, but senior, actually…”
The black shadow impatiently tore off her black robe. Yao Chen’s vision brightened and an absolutely beautiful woman appeared before his eyes.
“Don’t call me senior. At most I’m ten years older than you. Right, call me big sis. I’ll take care of you in the future. You want to enter the Pill Tower to study alchemy right? That’s a bit difficult, but if you don’t mind, big sis can teach you just the same. Hmph, those old antiques want me to go give them advice but I don’t feel like it. Oh, that technique…”
“I’ll immediately demonstrate it.” Yao Chen bitterly smiled. He had originally wanted to say this technique was of little value. Since she was Hu Chen’s senior aunt-master, she naturally could obtain it from Hu Chen.
“I actually understand this technique, but when you use it, it doesn’t seem the same. It seems as if… well in any case, first show it to me and then we’ll talk.”
The beautiful woman threw the Xuan Class Pill Fire Technique to Yao Chen and then took out an ancient medicinal cauldron for Yao Chen to demonstrate on.
Yao Chen nodded and got serious. It was obvious this beautiful woman was one of those alchemy fanatics. Nothing other than alchemy interested her.
Yao Chen took a deep breath. His Dou Flame soared from his hand into the cauldron. He felt some kind of special energy be excited by the Dou Flame, and it actually matched his Dou Flame so that the cauldron would become even more suitable for refining. This kind of feeling was as if his Dou Flame had jumped several levels up. The alchemy level was the most important thing when refining, but a couple other items could also increase your abilities. To an alchemist, those things could not be lacking.
This was the first time Yao Chen had used an excellent cauldron and felt longing towards it. At the initial stages it might not have a huge impact. No matter how good the medicinal cauldron was, it depended on the alchemist. But now that he had grown up more, the current him had reached the level where he needed a high level cauldron to display his true skills.
The technique he displayed was very simple, but after Yao Chen added a couple of his unique understandings to it, it was no longer the same. This wasn’t the Yao clan’s technique, and it wasn’t the Pill Tower’s technique. The two had been combined, not one and not the other. It could only be described as a technique being solely to Yao Chen.
“I think I understand it now. Unfortunately, this technique is something I can’t use. How irritating. Oh right, you still don’t know who I am. My name is Han Shanshan. What’s yours?”
“Yao? A branch member of the Yao clan?” Han Shanshan was a bit surprised.
Yao Chen became silent. There were some things he did not want to talk about.
“Ok, if you don’t want to talk about it then I’ll just assume it’s true. Do you have any more techniques you can show for me?”
“I have them…”
“Hey! Don’t be greedy. I’ll only offer Xuan class Dou Techniques!”
“No, I was going to ask whether my friend could be brought over as well. He’s called Feng Xian, and although he’s not an alchemist, he’s an excellent helper.”
“A friend? Feng Xian? Fine, I’ll go see him in the evening. Right now, give me a show.”
Han Shanshan was fully deserving of being called an alchemy fanatic. She would disregard anything if it was for alchemy. As for the Pill Tower’s rules… they could get lost!
Yao Chen was reunited with Feng Xian and Dan Huchen in the evening.
“So senior Huchen was actually from the Dan family?”
The Pill Tower had five great clans: Dan, Cao, Ye, Qiu, and Bai. The Dan family was the most low-key, but every field of the Pill Tower had Dan family members at a couple key positions. In just half a day, Yao Chen ended up learning many things about the Dan family from the alchemy fanatic Han Shanshan. Others might not have had such an open mouth, but someone like Han Shanshan who didn’t care about anything other than alchemy told him everything, and he learned that the Dan family was truly not simple.
Dan Huchen bitterly smiled. “This ‘Dan’ surname means nothing. My branch has long since been isolated from the true Dan clan.”
The situation was a bit chaotic. Dan Huchen had never thought that Yao Chen would end up drawing the eye of aunt-master Han. Now he didn’t know whether his plan could continue. After all, he didn’t have any more techniques Yao Chen was interested in.
“When does the Pill Battle Competition begin?” Yao Chen laughed and asked.
“You still want to participate? It’s in half a month. Here is your badge; with aunt-master Han’s acknowledgment, no one will bother you.”
Dan Huchen immediately took out a fifth tier middle grade alchemist’s badge and put it on Yao Chen’s chest, afraid Yao Chen would back out of their deal.
“Haha, how could I possibly give up a chance to look over other people’s alchemy?”
Yao Chen’s eyes brightened. In just one afternoon he had exchanged much with Han Shanshan. A small portion of that had been him demonstrating a couple small techniques in refining. The majority of it had been Han Shanshan discussing the very essence of alchemy. Not only did she talk about how to handle refining or various medicinal natures, but she actually treated alchemy as a kind of cultivation, as one of the Daos of the heavens that could be put into practice and explored.
This had opened up a huge door for Yao Chen, letting him see a landscape he had never before seen. So alchemy was actually like this!
Seclusion training wasn’t the only part of alchemy. Going out to exchange with others and to compete allowed you to evolve your spirituality and find an even more expansive path.
Dan=Pill. Ye=Leaf. The other three don’t have any meanings relating to pills. Ye, Cao, Qiu, and Bai are all surnames. Qiu=mound, Cao=class/grade/generation, Bai=white (amongst a plethora of other things).
Chapter 27 Pill Lightning Tribulation
The day of the Pill Battle Competition.
Within Holy Pill City, it was a huge important event. Although it wasn’t expressly stated, it determined how many quotas a family would be given in the Pill Tower’s Pill Gathering the next year.
The Pill Battle Competition this time drew over a thousand participating alchemists. Most of them were merely disciples of third-rate families, fighting to get the right to participate in the Pill Gathering.
As for the existences as powerful as the five great clans, they naturally didn’t have to go through this process to get their quotas.
The various families who participated weren’t the true opponents. The strongest disciples they sent out were at most fifth tier lower grade alchemists. The true competitors came from within the Pill Tower. They didn’t have a family or clan, but they were exceptionally powerful alchemists.
“Bai Wei has personally gone into battle mode. Hmph, he’s a seventh tier high grade alchemist, and he’s also taught two sixth tier low grade disciples. His position within the Pill tower is become more and more stable.”
Dan Huchen coldly said these words with hatred and resentment. Originally, Bai Wei was just an ant far beneath him. But then because of some events he had made a false charge against this tiny insect, making a huge blunder that could not be made up for and ended up being expelled from the holy ground for ten years.
“Not Just Bai Wei. Even Liao Heng is said to have already gained the strength of an an eighth tier low grade alchemist. Others include Zhao Youxin, Bao Lutu, Hong Jinhong…” Jian Chengzhang reported to the side. “Trying to get into the top ten might be a bit hard this time.”
“Haha, that won’t be a problem. The Pill Tower is only sending seven people who are sixth tier high grade to the Pill Battle Competition. With Yao Chen’s talent, entering the top ten won’t be a problem. I believe in Yao Chen’s strength.” Dan Huchen’s gaze flashed. Yao Chen’s alchemist level might not actually reach the sixth tier, but he could sense a kind of marvelous energy on his body. Back when they were in Demon Valley, Yao Chen had already refined sixth tier medicinal pills multiple times, and once he even incited true Pill Lightning, alarming all of Demon Valley!
According to what they knew, only high grade seventh tier medicinal pills could draw Pill Lightning. If it was just middle grade it would only cause a strange variation in heaven and earth. Winds and clouds would surge, and the sound of thunder could be heard, however no lightning would descend. However, Yao Chen’s sixth tier medicinal pill could already draw down the wrath of Pill Lightning!
A top tier pill amongst top tier!
However at that final step of the refinement, due to Yao Chen’s youth and inexperience with handling Pill Lightning, the Pill Lightning had destroyed the medicinal pill. In the end, the demon clan’s Sacred Daughter took action and managed to save a fried and charred black pill that was essentially destroyed.
Jian Chengzhang indifferently looked at Yao Chen. Although aunt-master Han had had a strange reaction to him, he still had trouble believing such a youth had the strength of a sixth tier alchemist. No matter how he saw it, at best he might be able to force himself to the fifth tier.
Yao Chen rubbed his nose. He didn’t have much confidence in himself, but he was eager for the Pill Battle Competition.
Later in the day...
Inner region of Pill City, a secret room within the Pill Tower. Han Shanshan was currently kneeling in front of a white-haired old man.
“Shanshan, that child can’t live within the Pill Tower.”
“Why not? Master, he has many secrets on his body. I feel like I can learn a lot of alchemy from him. Remember that Wind Setting Pill that I just couldn’t refine perfectly last time? I found a way to do it from him.”
“That child is an exile of the Yao clan.”
“What does that matter? I don’t care whether he is an exile or a genius. As long as he has use to me then it’s fine.”
“Unless you marry him, no way.”
“Marry! Master!” Han Shanshan’s face turned red. “It’s not that it’s not acceptable, but he’s younger than me!”
“Cough, what I mean is he must become a member of your family.”
“... Oh, never mind then. I dislike men who go live with their wives.” Han Shanshan really did have to think about it, but in the end she still shook her head. Her thinking was that if she married Yao Chen she might be able to become one of the Yao clan and learn their refining techniques. However if Yao Chen were to become a member of her family, then that would just be a wild dream. That was the reason she declined.
“Then get him to leave Pill Tower.”
“Hmph, he’s a trifling fifth tier alchemist. Shanshan, you’re still young.” The old man shook his head, his eyes filled with worry. In his opinion Han Shanshan had already acted far too good to Yao Chen, and most likely Yao Chen had used some sort of trick to coerce her. Han Shanshan was actually his great-granddaughter that he had left in the outside world. Therefore he was very concerned with her and made some inquiries, shocked to find that Demon Valley’s princess seemed to also have been charmed by him!
“Master, don’t get random ideas. I feel that with his talent he can enter Pill Tower to study.”
“Throwing a tantrum won’t change that!”
The old man felt a headache with this disciple of his. She was always someone who did whatever she wanted, and he was worried about whether she would ever become married. So whenever she ended up acting out he would use the threat of having her married off. Normally it was extremely effective, but today…
She actually thought about it!!! That was too much! This Yao Chen!
“Then how can I change your mind? Aiya, master, just tell me your terms. Other than having him join my family.”
Han Shanshan continued to throw her tantrum. This move of hers was common for even her. She crawled up and hugged the old man’s legs.
“Let… let go! What kind of behavior is this?!”
“Master, master, promise me! I already agreed to let him enter the Pill Tower to study! If you don’t allow it then I’ll just go secretly teach him everything, including secret arts!”
“You dare?! Fine, then I have my condition!”
“What condition? It can’t be too hard!”
“Fine fine, please tell me wise master.”
Han Shanshan laughed and jumped off of the old man. In truth she already knew about her birth and that the old man was her great-grandfather. She had secretly used a blood testing pill to determine this.
“Didn’t you say he was attending the Pill Battle Competition this time? If he can get first place then you can do as you please.”
“Master, don’t go back on what you say.”
“Hmph, I won’t. You’re not allowed to come back here to nag master after.”
“Ok, no problem.”
Just at this time, a peal of thunder rang out from the distance.
The old man’s gaze focused on it. “Oh? Pill Lightning has descended again. Who refined a high grade seventh tier medicinal pill?”
Han Shanshan also looked over at the lightning. Even for her, refining a high grade seventh tier medicinal pill would require many preparations before succeeding. Every seventh tier pill that could draw Pill Lightning was alluring and intoxicating to her.
“I’m going over to look.”
“Oh… huh? Wait, this Pill Lightning, it’s a bit… it’s strange!”
“This, this isn’t just Pill Lightning. There’s something else in it! Top tier medicinal pill?”
Shock filled Han Shanshan. To be able to refine a top grade seventh tier medicinal pill in the Pill Battle Competition…
“Doesn’t this mean that child Yao Chen has no hope of getting first place?”
To be able to refine a seventh tier medicinal pill, that person would undoubtedly be first place during the Pill Battle Competition!
No matter what, Yao Chen would not be able to surpass it.
“Haha, that’s good then. Send that kid away… oh fine, I’ll give you some face. It’s fine as long as he doesn’t enter the inner region.”
The old man was unable to bear Han Shanshan’s pitiful expression and shook his head. This girl had grown up and had her own thinking now. She was no longer always the little girl who always followed whatever he said. This wasn’t a bad thing, but it wasn’t necessarily a good thing. It was not something that could be explained in just a few words.
Han Shanshan only now understood that her master had been cheating her from the start, playing on her arrogance and pride. First place in that battle was simple and easy for her, but to others it wasn’t so simple.
“Master, if you act like this next time, I won’t listen to you in the future anymore.”
“Hmph, as if you ever listened to me before.” The old man angrily rolled his eyes. When he thought back, this disciple of his had never come to find him for anything other than alchemy. It was always him coming to find her. Thinking of that, the old man’s opinion of Yao Chen rose. This should be the first time Han Shanshan had come to find him for anything not related to alchemy, and it was actually for a man!
“I’m going to look who refined this top grade pill.”
Han Shanshan had just left the Pill Tower when she saw a crowd of people rushing over in a flurry. “Aunt-master Han….”
“Don’t you remember aunt-master? You told me to watch the Pill Battle Competition. It’s already over now…”
“Uh, technically it’s not over in that sense.”
Suddenly the old man came out and glared at that disciple.
That disciple was obviously scared. Just aunt-master Han was too high to reach, let alone the much greater master-ancestor!
“Yes! There was someone who refined a sixth tier medicinal pill that had surpassed top grade. But due to his preparations not being sufficient, the Pill Lightning shook the entire square. Luckily no one was harmed…”
The old man stared at him and laughed, “Surpassed top grade? You’re sure?”
“Haha, even top tier is hard to see. As for higher than top tier… there was some other flavor to the Pill Lightning. So that was why.”
The old man grabbed Han Shanshan with his hand. Turning his body, the two disappeared instantly.
At the same time, the Pill Battle location was in complete chaos. All the medicinal pills that had been being refined were all burnt to ashes by the Pill Lightning. The situation looked very miserable as ashes blew everywhere.
Hundreds of alchemists were glaring hatefully on one person. It was this person who had refined a sixth tier medicinal pill that had surpassed top grade, inciting the Pill Lightning. Originally Pill Lightning shouldn’t be this frightening, as there were Dou Formations protecting them, but the Pill Lightning that had appeared this time was extremely strange. First there were three strikes, then a while later there were another three strikes. Then it changed rhythm and consecutively struck tree times, finally tearing a hole through the defensive Dou Formation. It passed through and caused complete devastation over the area.
The most hateful thing was that the sixth tier pill he had refined actually hadn’t been destroyed, but everyone else’s medicinal pills took its place and received the Pill Tribulation one after another!
These people had all bitterly worked for half a day, the result of which only benefited one person.
Bai Wei was amongst them. He was grinding his teeth furiously, wanting to immediately tear that person into pieces and feed him to the dogs.
There were quite a few other people who were thinking the same thing.
Even Dan Huchen and Jian Chengzhang were looking at each other in dismay.
A medicinal pill that had surpassed top grade… although it was only at the sixth tier, due to its transcendent grade it also gained its own spirituality.
Now when Jian Chengzhang looked at Yao Chen there was no way for him to keep the indifferent expression he had had before. “Apprentice-brother… this child, just where did he come from?”
Dan Huchen shook his head, unable to figure out what was going on. This child’s potential was so great. He was a genius! How could he be an exile of the Yao clan? Were the Yao clan’s people all blind? He thought that with Yao Chen’s secret ability it would be not bad for him to refine a top grade sixth tier medicinal pill. If it was top grade then he would have entered the top ten. And returning to the main topic, even if he couldn’t enter the top ten, having brought home such a genius as his ‘disciple’, Dan Huchen would definitely be able to get many benefits within the Pill Tower.
But when the Pill Lightning had descended, the tribulation had been catastrophic. The entire Pill Battle stage had been destroyed, and even Yao Chen didn’t know how many people he had just offended…
Yao Chen was someone he had brought over, so no matter what, he had to go take on the consequences.
“Cough, Yao Chen, go send that pill up to test its level.”
Dan Huchen ground his teeth and under everyone’s resentful gazes, he indicated to Yao Chen to continue following the normal sequence of the Pill Battle which was to send the completed pill for appraisal.
“Wait a minute, that kid’s wild ambition schemed and destroyed the Pill Battle stage. How can we let him send it up just like this?”
Seeing Dan Huchen stand up, Bai Wei also couldn’t hold back. Jumping up he pointed at Yao Chen.
His words struck a chord in many people’s hearts. Although they knew that the fault didn’t necessarily lie with Yao Chen, this responsibility for this kind of calamity had to put on someone!
If Yao Chen’s medicinal pill had also been destroyed they would naturally resign themselves to their bad luck. But instead it was only Yao Chen’s pill that was not destroyed by the Pill Lightning Heavenly Tribulation, something that they were unable to endure.
Yao Chen stood atop the stage and didn’t know what to do or say. This kind of situation where he was glowered at by hundreds of alchemists made him feel a great deal of pressure not inferior to being attacked by Spiritual Strength.
Suddenly a black shadow descended from the sky. It was Han Shanshan and the old man.
Han Shanshan looked at Yao Chen with a pleasantly surprised expression. Turning back to Bai Wei, she shouted, “Who said he did this on purpose because of his wild ambition? Hmph! The way I see it, it’s you who can’t accept this! If you have the ability then you can also refine a transcendent grade medicinal pill for us right now! You dare bark crazily at one of mine!”
Just what kind of person was Han Shanshan? Perhaps there were some people from smaller families who didn’t know. But as for the origin of the old man… all of Holy Pill City knew him! He ranked amongst the top in the Pill Tower, and just a single sentence from him could shake the entire Pill Tower’s core members! Although he hadn’t really appeared in the past ten years, as long as he was still alive, his prestige was overpowering, capable of causing even heaven and earth to roar for him.
And Han Shanshan was brought over by this old man, so naturally no one dared say anything.
Yao Chen was in a daze. Raising his head to look at Han Shanshan, a strange energy drew his gaze. Shooting a glance that direction, he met the old man’s pupils head on.
A rumble came from inside Yao Chen’s mind. It was as if he was falling from thousands of meters in the air to the depths of the ocean. In an instant, his soul was scattered and crushed. This was a kind of indescribable terror. But at the moment when the last piece was about to be crushed, the deepest part of Yao Chen’s soul released a strand of energy that firmly protected this last piece!
A trace of amazement appeared in the old man’s eyes. With his Spiritual Strength, any secrets on a youth like him would all be seen through. However at the very last moment Yao Chen had protected his mind. Although the rest of his mind hadn’t been able to withstand a single blow, now no matter how much Spiritual Energy he used to invade, he was completely unable to break through this final protection.
No wonder this child had managed to refine a transcendent grade medicinal pill. In terms of Spiritual Strength he was probably already at the seventh tier high grade… no, perhaps it was even higher. But that seemed too ridiculous to even think.
Was he born from the heavens? Or was he really able to reach this level from cultivating?
His surname was Yao?
It would be more appropriate if his surname was Monster… but the surname Yao also did make sense.
Just as this thought ran through his mind, Huan Shanshan noticed he was probing Yao Chen’s soul and cutely snorted. “Master! You want to break your promise?”
Their agreement had been that if this child could obtain the first place in the Pill Battle then he could enter the Pill Tower to study alchemy.
“Fine, I know. I’m just testing him.”
The old man was actually wondering at this point whether or not it would be a good idea to actually marry Han Shanshan off to this child. His Spiritual Strength was incredible, and if he were to teach and nurture him…
“Master! Can you add him into the books so he can enter the Pill Tower?”
Han Shanshan was itching to get on with it. Yao Chen had many secrets on him related to alchemy. Just by watching him refine would spark an inspirational blaze within her. That kind of feeling was just like a Dou Flame was burning within the depths of her body!
What had shocked her the most was that Yao Chen had refined a transcendent grade medicinal pill!
She was actually a bit unwilling to accept that he had done so. Up till now she had never succeeded in refining a pill of transcendent quality! Even when it came to second or third tier medicinal pills, her highest quality was still just top grade. As for something that had transcended top grade, being able to refine one would give any alchemist great glory!
Yao Chen’s heart suddenly shook and escaped from the whirlpool of the old man’s mind. That collision of souls had actually benefited him greatly. It was just like his mind was being tempered. When that old man’s soul had invaded his mind, a strand of spiritual energy that was of the utmost highest purity had been formed. Now when he looked back around him, it was as if everything had changed.
“Oh?” The old man’s gaze flashed, sensing Yao Chen’s change. He was actually somewhat unable to believe that this child actually ended up growing while in danger, and at such a frightening speed!
“You, come with me.” The old man personally walked up to Yao Chen.
Yao Chen opened his mouth to decline when he saw Han Shanshan doing her utmost to indicate that he should agree. He respectfully bowed. “I dare not disobey.”
The old man nodded and wrapped his hand around Yao Chen, bringing him and Han Shanshan away from the crowd.
As for the others, any chatter had been suppressed. Were people of such high status something little people like them could discuss?
“Cough, today’s Pill Battle will be temporarily paused. Tomorrow at the same time, all the alchemists whose pills were destroyed by the Pill Lightning can continue.”
The supervisor of the Pill Battle stood up now and declared the result. In all the history of Pill City, there had never occurred this situation where Pill Lightning had occurred during the Pill Battle.
Dan Huchen’s expression had become exceedingly odd. That old man was his mother’s master, making him his master-ancestor…
The person he had brought back, Yao Chen, had been brought away by master-ancestor!
“Is this good or bad? Senior apprentice-brother?”
Jian Chengzhang was also just foolishly blinking. To catch the gaze of Han Shanshan wasn’t common. After all, she was an alchemy fanatic and rarely did anyone draw her attention. However for master-ancestor to bring this child away, most likely all of Holy Pill City would be shaken!
“I… I don’t know. He was brought here by you, so be prepared. Perhaps master-ancestor will come to inquire questions of you. You absolutely cannot try to trick that old man. Any such words are completely useless in his eyes.”
Dan Huchen gulped and nodded.
Yao Chen’s position in the Pill Battle Competition was still left unsettled. As a result of not returning the next day, the transcendent grade pill he had refined wasn’t sent up for appraisal. According to the rules, he automatically lost the qualification to participate in the Pill Gathering.
However, Dan Huchen’s position immediately stabilized at a high level. He was summoned by master-ancestor and appointed a new position in the Pill Tower. And since there was the pretext that Yao Chen was his disciple, Yao Chen should naturally count as a good sprout he had brought back from outside…
Once more they were in the old man’s secret secluded room…
“Master, I can’t accept him as an apprentice. How about you take him?” Han Shanshan vigorously shook her hand, refusing the old man’s proposal.
“What, you dare disobey your master?”
“No, but having an apprentice is too troublesome. Doesn’t master think I’m troublesome? He’ll disturb me when I’m refining. I just want to see him refining pills and discuss some things with him. I don’t want to have to teach.”
The old man was struck speechless. She only wanted the benefits without any of the responsibility. This disciple of his…
“Master, how about you make him my junior apprentice-brother?”
“Master has already declared to the world that you are my final disciple. You want master to break his vow?”
“Well in any case, I won’t take him.”
“I don’t care. You’re the one who wanted him here, so you’re in charge.”
The old man was a bit enraged. With a wave of his sleeve, a wild gale blew Han Shanshan out of his room.
Han Shanshan stuck out her tongue. “What are you getting angry for? If you won’t take another disciple, then don’t. Making me take responsibility… then I’ll just treat him as a medicine boy. How much he can learn will depend on himself.”
One mother later…
A refining room.
“Yao Chen! How many times have I told you not to use my Black Divinity Cauldron to refine medicine!”
“Oh, just borrowing it once won’t do anything.”
“Who said it won’t do anything?! After you use it I clearly feel that while it is my medicinal cauldron, a barrier forms between it and me!”
Yao Chen rubbed his nose.
“Aha! You’re rubbing your nose; you’re telling lies! You definitely did something! Quickly explain yourself and big sis won’t blame you.”
“Cough, I didn’t do anything.” Yao Chen clasped his hands behind his back. The last time he had believed these words of hers, he hadn’t been able to sleep for a whole night from nightmares. Women, especially beautiful women, definitely shouldn’t be provoked.
Han Shanshan truly became enraged. So just words weren’t enough! It appeared a tiger who didn’t show its might would be treated by others as a weak cat. She angrily charged at Yao Chen. “Go die!”
After a messy battle, in the end it was actually Yao Chen who had won…
Yao Chen couldn’t handle being oppressed by such a beautiful woman. He shouted out, “I made a new discovery,” and just like that Han Shanshan dropped her attacks as if nothing had happened and began an animated discussion on alchemy with him.
But Yao Chen’s gaze was a bit slanted… in that short battle, Han Shanshan’s clothes had opened up slightly and revealed some of her pale flushed skin.
Chapter 28 Heavenly Flame
Time slipped away. At this time, Yao Chen had stayed in Holy Pill City for three years.
In the outer region of Holy Pill City in an auction house…
“Look, it’s Yao Chen!”
“The alchemist big brother of Feng Xian who trained him? How young!”
“Right it’s him! Originally that Feng Xian’s talent was just average, but with his medicinal pills and skills he nurtured Feng Xian into a peerless talent. But what’s most frightening is that no matter who or how you examine Feng Xian, it’s impossible to tell that his body’s potential has been raised by medicinal pills.”
“How is that possible? Medicinal pills do benefit cultivation, but talent is another matter! You can’t confuse one with the other.”
“Haha, are you new to Pill City? This Yao Chen has a medicinal bath technique that can actually raise one’s talent! It might not be a miracle, but with it, you have a sixty percent chance of advancing past your level!”
“Just look at Feng Xian. Back when he was a seven star Da Dou Shi he was able to fight on par with a Dou Ling. Three months ago as soon as he stepped into the Dou Ling class he killed a Dou Wang expert. This is something you can’t NOT believe!”
“I heard that that Dou Wang and Feng Xian had an enmity that could only be resolved by extermination of the whole family. But didn’t the Pill Tower’s people go help him?”
“I heard that the demon clan’s princess was there. The information that came back was that Feng Xian went up to kill him on his own. He, a two star Dou Ling, used three consecutive Xuan class techniques to kill a Dou Wang.”
“Haha, Feng Xian isn’t that ridiculous. I heard that that Dou Wang had relied entirely on medicinal pills to forcefully raise himself to a superficial level. His true level was unworthy of his class. He might be able to scare country hicks, but in Holy Pill City he would be demoted to just a slave.”
“Oh… Feng Xian has come! Look!”
Yao Chen was currently focused completely on the new medicinal formulas in front of him. Seeing Feng Xian coming over, he laughed, “You’ve finally come? Do you see anything you want?”
Feng Xian shook his head. Three months ago he had resolved his enmity, and the current him was extremely relaxed. However Feng Xian knew that if it weren’t for Yao Chen, in his lifetime he wouldn’t even dare to show his face again, let alone speak of revenge.
“Brother Chen, I heard some news just now. I can’t speak of it here though.” Feng Xian quietly whispered to Yao Chen.
Yao Chen nodded. The things he had wanted from the auction this time were already in his grasp now so there was no need to continue looking. He left with Feng Xian, but Feng Xian continued to stay silent all the way into the inner region.
Only then did Yao Chen realize that something big had happened.
They arrived at the inner region where people were much more sparse and they didn’t need to fear being overheard. Feng Xian quietly transmitted to Yao Chen, “Brother Chen, three months ago while I was travelling back here, I coincidentally ran into a strong bandit group raiding a village.”
“I remember that. You even brought back a powerful bandit. So what? Did something happen?”
Yao Chen remembered this. After Feng Xian had gotten his revenge, he had brought back a captive who he said was a bandit. This was something Yao Chen hadn’t really cared about.
“I’ve learned quite a few things from the mouth of that bandit. He said they came from the death zone within Fallen Spirit Ice Source.”
“Impossible. Even a Dou Wang can’t live in that death zone.”
“However, if there was a Heavenly Flame…” Feng Xian’s transmission became many times quieter.
Yao Chen’s expression abruptly changed. Heavenly Flame!
Heavenly Flame were, extremely special existences within heaven and earth’s vastness. Perhaps a meteorite descended from the heavens and contained a flame sprout. Perhaps it was a flame that had been burning for thousands of years in the deepest part of a volcano… these Heavenly Flames were overbearing and tyrannical. By using one to refine medicine, it could increase the medicinal pill’s medicinal energy, increase the success rate, and increase the quality. But being able to control a Heavenly Flame required fate and luck. Countless alchemists had spent their entire lives looking for a Heavenly Flame without obtaining their wish. Even if they found one, they might be unable to contain the overbearing tyrannical Heavenly Flame within their bodies to make it a part of themselves.
But just like moths to a flame, as soon as news of a Heavenly Flame appeared, it would attract countless alchemists. Even though it might cause self-destruction, everyone still wanted to try for that one in a thousand chance. Alchemists longed for Heavenly Flames from the very bottom of their hearts, so much so that they almost worshipped and adored them.
Feng Xian continued, “That bandit said that that Heavenly Flame’s body was completely white and emitted an icy chill. Every three months, they offer a stranger to it as sacrifice, obtaining the Heavenly Flame’s protection. It counteracts the death zone’s icy chilliness and gives birth to a blessed land.”
“Snow white and icy chilliness… could it be eleventh of the Heavenly Flames Rankings, Bone Chilling Flame?”
Yao Chen had yet to formally join the Pill Tower in these three years, but with the discussions he had had with Han Shanshan, he had basically already learned everything that could be learned from the Pill Tower. He could even say that he had surpassed his teacher. Although he had yet to take the alchemist test again and still wore the fifth tier alchemist badge, but if he were to use all his strength, then he would reach the seventh tier high grade level.
He had endured countless troubles and trials over these three years. Many of them had been dangerous, while some had been fortunate. Just one such example would be enough to describe them: Baiwei who was an enemy of Dan Huchen was a seventh tier high grade alchemist, and his status had allowed him to collect countless experts. They were an extremely large group within Holy Pill City, however one year ago, due to provoking Yao Chen, they were completely exterminated by him and would never exist again.
Similar matters both small and large had occurred several times in the past year, and Yao Chen had always suppressed them head on. Although he was borrowing the support of Han Shanshan behind him, every time he made a move, it was always just Yao Chen alone.
Currently there were now countless experts who had aligned themselves with Yao Chen and Feng Xian in Holy Pill City, and they had formed a large group. Even the five great clans couldn’t ignore their organization. To Yao Chen, uniting people was never a complicated matter. He had a medicinal bath that allowed someone to change their innate talent. Just this one thing was enough to attract experts to do work for him. No matter how powerful you were, who didn’t have a couple descendants who were only of average talent? Who wouldn’t want their descendants to be more talented?
With such a power at his disposal, Yao Chen’s status was no longer the same as three years ago. But the current him was very clear on one thing: to accomplish his father and mother’s final wishes, just this power was far from enough!
Not long ago, news had come from the Yao clan that Yao Wangui had become even more deep-rooted within the clan. Once Yao Chen had been expelled, Yao Feng had naturally been the winner of the Medicine Competition. A great amount of the Yao clan’s resources were spent on him, and Yao Feng was already a seventh tier alchemist, and this was the Yao clan’s seventh tier! In terms of difficulty, it was vaguely even another level higher than the Pill Tower’s seventh tier requirements.
He had to become stronger!
Originally his current goal in coming out today had been to find a good medicinal cauldron.
But now that he had heard news of a Heavenly Flame, he naturally couldn’t let that opportunity go.
“Many thanks brother Feng.” Only now did Yao Chen realize why Feng Xian would bring a bandit a thousand miles back to Pill City. Perhaps he had worked tirelessly to confirm this news over the past two months. Most likely he was even prepared to leave and only waiting for him to give the go-ahead. Just where could you find such a brother?
“Thank me again and see what happens.” Feng Xian glared at him angrily.
“Haha, we’ll leave tomorrow… but this matter is too big, so it’ll just be us.” Yao Chen might have a great deal of power at his disposal, but the matter of a Heavenly Flame was extremely great, and the less people that knew of it, the better. To say the truth, the only person he could trust was Feng Xian.
“I understand. I’m already prepared.”
The two of them laughed. They could say a thousand words to each other with just a glance.
The next day, Yao Chen packed up everything he had saved over these three years. Just as he was leaving with Feng Xian, Han Shanshan stopped them.
“Where are you going Yao Chen?”
Han Shanshan could somehow sense a strange feeling. Having been in contact with Yao Chen for three years, it would be a lie to say she hadn’t developed some feelings to him. This was the first time she had met someone whose talent in alchemy surpassed her’s, and it was a man. In truth, such a thing was even rarer than finding a three-legged frog. If she hadn’t run her mouth in front of her master and declared she absolutely wouldn’t marry him… then perhaps she would have long since forced herself upon him.
Yao Chen felt a bit of a headache. Yao Chen sincerely considered her like a big sister. In terms of matters between a man and a woman, he did feel a bit of it indistinctly, but he was actually a bit afraid of such a notion. He was all too familiar with her, especially her tendency to explode over small matters. That was a part of her that couldn’t be changed. Yao Chen felt that he absolutely couldn’t be interested in her. A well-behaved woman was naturally best. One who didn’t listen couldn’t be twisted into reason no matter what. A pretty woman like that would be best to keep as a friend.
“Sister Han, we’re going to gather medicine,” quickly explained Feng Xian. He knew Yao Chen tended to treat women properly and would be a bit powerless to trick Han Shanshan.
“Why would I trick you?”
“Fine, go.” Han Shanshan nodded. Glancing at Yao Chen one more time, she returned back to the refining room.
Fallen Spirit Ice Source…
This was a region of snow. No one knew just how Fallen Spirit Ice Source had formed; all they knew was that at its center was a chilling icy hell of a death zone where no life could survive, not even a Dou Wang. Perhaps even a Dou Huang wouldn’t be able to stay in the death zone for a long time.
All of Fallen Spirit Ice Source was completely empty without a single person. Only snowflakes interrupted the quiet white landscape.
Yao Chen and Feng Xian’s arrival broke this place’s tranquility.
Feng Xian had a map with the safest route towards the death zone.
Although there was no life, Fallen Spirit Ice Source had natural ice cave pitfalls everywhere, and if you fell down into one, your death would be imminent. The icy chilliness at the bottom of Fallen Spirit Ice Source would freeze any life in an instant.
“It should be this way.”
Feng Xian was now exhaling white breaths. The hot air that met the cold immediately became frozen into sparkling ice crystals.
The map was true and they managed to progress deeper. As they travelled further, it also became colder. Yao Chen could already sense an extremely powerful energy coming from not far ahead. This kind of energy was vaguely probing his own spirit.
According to the legends, when Heavenly Flames had formed a spirit would have a unique consciousness. They could even sometimes cultivate Dou Qi like humans. The Bone Chilling Flame had reached the eleventh place on the Heavenly Flame rankings, which was no small accomplishment. For it to gain a consciousness was not strange.
The Bone Chilling Flame this time had already caused people to worship it and to offer sacrifices to it, so it obviously had already gained consciousness.
They ended up spending more time than they had anticipated to travel through Fallen Spirit Ice Source. Even in the evening when the sun was setting they yet to achieve their goal of reaching the safe house that was marked on the map. That place was a canyon with geothermal heating that could just barely resist the cold. But of course even with that heating, without a Dou Ling’s strength it would be impossible to survive.
Not wanting to travel during the night, the two of them found a mountain that blocked the wind. Feng Xian used his Dou Qi to dig an ice cave for them, and they ignited some fuel that they had prepared that didn’t release smoke. The blazing fire brought with with it a trace of warmth. In the middle of this chilling landscape, this little bit of warmth didn’t bring with it any security, but it was still better than nothing. At least the light of the fire was comforting to watch.
The true thing that let the two of them resist the cold was a Blazing Fire Pill Yao Chen had refined. It continuously gave birth to heat that protected their organs from being invaded by the cold qi.
Even though they had this Blazing Fire Pill that was continuously heating up their bodies, halfway through the night the two of them had entered a meditative state and had to use more and more Dou Qi to resist the profound cold.
Yao Chen in particular was extremely cold…
Within his mind flashed countless scenes. His father, his mother, elder Yao Lan, Yao Wangui, Yao Feng, the little princess, the Sacred Daughter, Demon Valley, Peak Martial City…
This was an odd feeling. He was in a meditative state where all was calm. Other than his Dou Qi, his mind should be empty. However in the midst of the cold, these scenes involuntarily surfaced. Some scenes were even those that Yao Chen had already forgotten about.
Suddenly his mind buzzed and he opened his eyes. Han Shanshan flicked him on the forehead.
“What are you doing!” Yao Chen was startled and moved his head away.
“Hmph, I’m saving your life!” Han Shanshan took her hand away embarrassedly. Her expression was currently both proud and displeased.
Yao Chen recovered from his shock and jumped up. “Why are you here?”
“Haha, you’re asking me? I still haven’t asked you just what are you doing ‘gathering medicine’ in Fallen Spirit Ice Source!”
Yao Chen had nothing he was prepared to say.
“You want to trick me? Go back and train for a couple more years.” Han Shanshan saw right through Yao Chen’s expression. “Speak, why did you come here?”
Yao Chen looked at Han Shanshan. She was also an alchemist, and so it went without saying she would be enticed by the Heavenly Flame. However… who he was today would have been impossible without Han Shanshan. Without her, it would have been impossible for him to gain the strength of a seventh tier alchemist in just three years.
Yao Chen sighed and quietly said, “Heavenly Flame.”
Han Shanshan was shocked. In her countless theories she had never guessed it was for a Heavenly Flame.
“Right, and that’s why I only brought Feng Xian.” Yao Chen smiled bitterly. He hesitated inside. If Han Shanshan were to fight over the Heavenly Flame with him, just what should he do?
In terms of strength, if he and Feng Xian joined hands they would definitely crush Han Shanshan.
However, in terms of feelings….
It was a difficult to explain in just a few words.
“I’ll help you.” Han Shanshan’s eyes blazed.
“I said I’ll help you.”
“But... you’re an alchemist.”
“Not interested.” Han Shanshan was just putting on airs. It was true that it was impossible for her to not want it, but when she looked at Yao Chen’s crystal clear eyes she just had an urge to help him. There was no reason or justification, it was just a feeling.
Yao Chen was dazed for a long time. “Just now…”
“You were bedeviled. You actually let your mind run wild in meditation; it caused your Dou Qi to almost explode your body. Look at Feng Xian. His meditation is true meditation.” Han Shanshan pointed at Feng Xian. In his meditative state he still hadn’t woken up despite the two of them talking for this long. His aura was completely stable and resisting the cold.
“Haha.” Yao Chen foolishly laughed when he looked back at Han Shanshan. He suddenly felt despite her violent nature she was actually worthy of being loved…
“My mind wasn’t running wild. I fear it’s the Heavenly Flame… Bone Chilling Flame.”
“The eleventh ranked Bone Chilling Flame? Looks like it has already gained a spirit. Have you even thought about how you were going to subdue it?”
“Even if it’s a one a in thousand shot, I still have to try.”
“Alchemists who think like you all die. The Bone Chilling Flame’s special characteristic is its two sides; it can be extremely cold or extremely hot. According to the records, only when the sun and moon intersect will an extreme Yin extreme cold land appear. The Fallen Spirit Ice Source truly is a place of extreme cold, and since no life can exist in the death zone it is a land of extreme Yin… but when it comes to the sun and moon’s intersection, that’s a bit unclear. Perhaps that is the critical moment to subdue the Bone Chilling Flame.”
In terms of experience, Han Shanshan might be an alchemy fanatic, but she was still ten times more experienced than Yao Chen. Having grown up from a small age within the Pill Tower, who knew just how many precious secret pill tomes she had read. Those contained secrets that absolutely could not be transmitted out. This kind of experience and inheritance might not benefit attacking and killing others, but it was true kind of strength that could not be neglected.
Yao Chen was from the Yao Clan, but he still hadn’t had the chance to access the Yao clan’s true repository. All he had learned was the foundation and a couple techniques from his branch bloodline. The true inheritances and secrets could only be found in the clan’s concealed repository and required an elder’s permission in order to peruse.
At this time, Yao Chen could only blankly listen to Han Shanshan quietly tell him all sorts of secret knowledge and calculate his odds of subduing the Bone Chilling Flame.
“It’s not very high. But if you can find these ingredients, you can raise it to a thirty percent chance of success. Yao Chen, are you really going forward with this gamble?
Yao Chen smiled. “Thirty percent is already very high. My original odds were just ten percent.”
Han Shanshan was filled with worry, but she was already familiar with his character. He was stubborn down to his bones. Once he set his mind on something, no one should even try to talk him out of it.
Chapter 29 Spirit
With the sudden addition of Han Shanshan, Feng Xian felt much safer. In all of Pill City, who didn’t know Han Shanshan’s interest in Yao Chen? Furthermore, the two of them were absolute alchemy fanatics and so there was no opportunity or time for them to go out with large groups to play around. That was why he wasn’t worried about Han Shanshan having any thoughts on the Bone Chilling Flame.
In his opinion, Han Shanshan was a strange woman who couldn’t be judged by common sense. She was also someone who only someone who was as equally strange like Yao Chen could tame.
Not only did it feel safer, but it actually was much safer with her. She had innumerable medicinal pills. As they approached the death zone, she took out three seventh tier pills that emitted a powerful energy fluctuation. “These are Soul Protection Pills. As soon as you feel like you are unable to continue, don’t hesitate to take one. It can save your life.”
When they received the pills, just by touching them they felt an energy surge into their body. The outside world’s chilling cold became several times weaker and no longer pierced their hearts as before.
When they arrived in front of the death zone, they saw it was a completely black region of ice. The ice itself was pitch-black, and even the wind was completely still. The very air had been frozen so that it didn’t even move the slightest. There was merely an endless darkness stretching on forever. This kind of feeling was similar to being in a Spatial Wormhole.
Although there was the fear of the unknown and the stories of people who had been there before, the three of them continued forward, stepping onto the black ice with their Dou Qi protecting their bodies.
When their feet touched the black ice, a sizzling sound came from it. The sound was similar to stepping on icy snow, but when it rang in Yao Chen and Han Shanshan’s ears, it sounded just like a blood-curdling shriek, as if they weren’t stepping on ice, but the endlessly tormented souls.
“Be careful. It might not be a physical attack, but a spiritual one.” Han Shanshan warned them.
Yao Chen nodded. As for Feng Xian, he quickly consumed a couple fifth tier spirit protection pills.
As they entered deeper, even the sky became pitch-black. A despairing feeling stabbed into their hearts and souls.
However, Yao Chen and Han Shanshan had a profound understanding of the spirit and when they discussed alchemy, they also occasionally had a competition of spirits. They had practiced all kinds of spiritual attacking skills. This was also a way to make your spirit stronger.
“It feels a bit like the Hun clan’s techniques, yet it also doesn’t. It seems even stronger.”
Suddenly a piercing cold breeze blew over their skin, and all three of them froze right where they were, their expression extremely unsightly. A ten meter large black-violet ice spider was blocking their path. On its back were nine spider eyes that blazed with an icy-cold pure white ice flame.
Bone Chilling Flame!
But this was just a split body, not the main body.
“Isn’t this a living creature?! But it’s true than in the historical records there did exist an extinct species of Bloodbath Nine-eyed Devil Spiders.”
Han Shanshan quickly analyzed the fierce beast’s origin. “This isn’t ice. Inside is a real corpse… perhaps the Bone Chilling Flame has been continuously controlling its soul.”
“It’s already controlled by it.”
Yao Chen’s gaze roamed over it. The Bone Chilling Flame was a kind of spiritual flame, possessing all kind of unexplained secrets towards the spirit. Considering how those people had offered sacrifices to it, it was obvious that what the Bone Chilling Flame consumed wasn’t people’s bodies, but their spirits.
The Nine-eyed Devil Spider’s attack had come extremely suddenly. One instant it was just standing there, the next it had charged right in front of Yao Chen. When the Bone Chilling Flame within its nine devil eyes got close to Yao Chen, they suddenly blazed up and shot directly into his eyes.
Han Shanshan cried out and pushed Yao Chen aside, also using a strand of her spirit to attack the ice spider.
The Bone Chilling Flame failed to achieve its target, disappearing into nothing, while the ice spirit was struck down under the force of Han Shanshan’s spiritual attack. It struggled, the black-violet ice on its body shattering and revealing its true body. That scarlet spider body released a dying devil’s shriek….
Without the restriction of the ice layer, the Nine-eyed Devil Spider’s speed quickly increased and charged at Han Shanshan.
Han Shanshan actually let out a breath of air. It was actually a dead corpse, and although when it had been alive it was extremely powerful, at this time it was only moving instinctually. It was merely using brute force and speed. Although it was frightening, for someone with a powerful spirit like her, as long as she could grasp its rhythm then it wasn’t too difficult to deal with.
With a flick of her hand, she took out her Black Spirit Cauldron from her storage ring. A violet-blue Dou Flame shot up, vigorously spurting out of the cauldron and enveloping the spider. In the next instant it actually reversed back inside, carrying the Devil Spider’s corpse back into the cauldron to be refined.
Han Shanshan sighed. Her easy movements looked simple and relaxed, but the danger had been extremely great. If one step had been too late it wouldn’t have been her suppressing the Devil Spider, but her being killed by the Devil Spider’s poisonous bite.
Yao Chen was covered in cold sweat. If it had been him, who knew just how long it would take for him to defeat the Devil Spider. At this time he quickly went up and grabbed Han Shanshan’s arm and closely examined her. “Are you ok?”
“You can let go; I’m fine. You’re one of my people so of course I have to protect you. Let’s go.”
“Who’s one of your people…” Yao Chen reddened. Feng Xian turned his head, acting as if he had heard nothing.
After the wind blew over they continued forward. But now the three of them were even more careful, especially Yao Chen. Just before a nightmare devil had plagued him during meditation, and then the Bone Chilling Flame’s split body had attempted to invade his body. Perhaps it wasn’t just him who wanted to subdue the Bone Chilling Flame, but the Bone Chilling Flame was also interested in Yao Chen’s soul. Once a Heavenly Flame gained a spirit and a consciousness, they each had their own technique to cultivate. This Bone Chilling Flame was at the extremes of Yin and chilliness and used souls as its energy. The stronger the soul, the stronger it would benefit it.
Continuing forward, they encountered more of those ice corpses’ attacks several more times. They were all from ancient times, powerful devil beasts that were already extinct now. Just a single one would shake all of the mainland if it were alive, throwing the human world into purgatory. But these dead ice corpses didn’t have their innate skills, and could only use their physical body in the simplest physical attacks. Although they posed a great deal of trouble for the three of them, in the end they were all refined by Han Shanshan’s Black Spirit Cauldron. By doing so she also gained quite a few precious bones for her use.
The three of them continuously consumed Soldier Grain Pills. On one hand they had to replenish their energy to fight against the cold, while on the other they had to quickly recover their Dou Qi when they fought. The Bone Chilling Flame had already been intelligent for so long that it might be fighting them in a battle of attrition.
Feng Xian was very nervous. He was only in charge of looking at the map and deciding which way to go, as both Han Shanshan and Yao Chen were both weak on that point. Before this Han Shanshan had never left Holy Pill City, and Yao Chen was intoxicated with alchemy. In these three years he had rarely ever gone out. Only Feng Xian would go out for some training experience every now and then. When it came to knowledge of the landscape, Han Shanshan was someone who only knew the theory without being able to put it into practice, while Yao Chen was a complete amateur. That was why only Feng Xian was in charge of choosing which direction to go. This kind of pressure he was under was obvious. And whenever they ran into those ice corpses he would always feel guilty.
“Those bandits’ sacrificial altar for the Heavenly Flame is just in front. According to what they said, it’s like spring all year round and living there provides some kind of addictive feeling. I wasn’t able to get to the bottom of this from just questioning them. One minute he was talking, the next it was like he had swallowed poison, immediately dying.”
An odd expression appeared on Feng Xian’s face when he said this. He remembered just how strange the situation had been back then.
“The Bone Chilling Flame has its own original spiritual methods. Controlling the people offering it sacrifices isn’t that strange.” Han Shanshan nodded, but she frowned even more. Perhaps the Bone Chilling Flame this time had already surpassed her expectations for it. To be able to control people’s minds, it’s intelligence must already be extremely great, probably to the point that its thinking was not inferior to a human’s.
What Han Shanshan could think of, Yao Chen naturally could as well. But even if what was in front of them was certain death, he would still walk in with his head held high to get that slight chance of success. He could get stronger, or he could die. There was no third option.
Han Shanshan looked at Yao Chen’s face and her mouth opened slightly, but she didn’t try to persuade him. But her gaze became even more resolute. A couple tender feelings quietly arose. Over the past three years she had never showed Yao Chen a gentle and soft side. Normally she was tough and a bit violent, as well as extremely stubborn.
Did there need to be a reason for liking a person?
Did you need an opportunity when you notice you like someone?
Han Shanshan didn’t know. Everything was hazy to her, but right now she only wanted to help this man do what he wanted to do without hesitation or holding back.
In front of them was another ice corpse blocking their path. But right behind this ice corpse was a plain of green, and it was even possible to hear the gurgling of running water and the chirping of birds.
Yao Chen drew the ice corpse’s attention while Han Shanshan attacked. She suppressed that ancient beast by drawing it into her cauldron and using her Dou Flame to refine it.
The refined bones that remained were left in a corner of the cauldron, releasing a faint divine might. These bones had all been extremely powerful demonic entities while alive. In terms of strength they had probably all reached the level of a Dou Zun, just one level away from Dou Sheng.
Just these bones of the ancient creatures were already a huge gain. Just a random one of them could excite all of the Central Plains, and if more were brought out then perhaps even the Demon Saint and other Dou Shengs would personally come for them.
Stepping over the last piece of the black ice, they entered that green plain within the death zone. A warmth filled their hearts, expelling the cold ice that had been accumulating within their body.
However, the three of their hearts also became completely empty, unable to move at all.
“Crap! Take the Soul Protection Pills!” Yao Chen’s expression abruptly changed, sensing an extremely powerful oppression on his spirit. He swallowed the seventh tier Soul Protection Pill without any hesitation!
He felt his soul violently shake. It was as if an enormous mountain was crushing his body, and for the moment he was unable to move in the slightest.
Han Shanshan and Feng Xian both swallowed the pill down immediately like Yao Chen. Then they were also oppressed by some energy, unable to move.
The Bone Chilling Flame suddenly appeared within the sky, and in an instant all the green retreated. The bird chirps, the rushing of water, they all disappeared. All of it had merely been a mirage within their heads, a hallucination. In reality, the three of them were now in an absolutely freezing ice hole.
The rumored blessed land oasis had never existed. What those bandits had seen were due to their spirits being eroded and being forced into a land of fantasy.
Yao Chen’s eyes were like torches as he looked up at the Bone Chilling Flame in the sky. It was a pretty pure white, and even his soul was being attracted to it. It was both beautiful and dangerous.
“If you want my spirit, then just come try.”
Taking a breath, Yao Chen’s body suddenly began to move. It wasn’t his body that was moving in actuality, but instead by using his spirit’s energy to wrap around his body he was able to control his body into moving.
All kinds of ingredients were taken out by him and placed over the ground. Strange bones with formations carved into them automatically linked up, forming a killing Dou Formation, facing off against the Bone Chilling Flame’s spiritual pressure from the sky.
Han Shanshan saw what Yao Chen was doing and also tried using her spiritual energy to make her body move, but just as her spiritual energy started to move it was suppressed and crushed by the Bone Chilling Flame’s spirit.
Was Yao Chen’s spirit actually so powerful?
The last of the Dou Formation formed, and the Bone Chilling Flame emitted an icy cold calmness, completely confident in being able to swallow Yao Chen’s soul. It didn’t believe that these decorations of his would be able to have any effect on it.
Yao Chen had a stiff smile. He glanced to the side at Feng Xian and Han Shanshan. Suddenly he used his spiritual energy to raise his two fists and then smash one fist down viciously upon his own head.
After an intense burst of pain, everything turned dark. By using this fist,Yao Chen’s spirit suddenly left the confines of his body. He entered the Dou Formation, making it rise to another level and allowing him to completely escape the Bone Chilling Flame’s pressure.
This wasn’t a true soul, but something that was similar to it. It was a state that was extremely difficult to form. It was a technique that allowed one’s spiritual energy to be wielded to its peak.
He was no longer using his eyes to look up at the world, but instead was using spiritual eyes. He could now see that there were countless strange threads tightly wrapped around his body. That was the Bone Chilling Flame’s spiritual oppression that was now visible to his spirit eyes. Before he was merely unable to see them.
Yao Chen gently plucked at them, and his spiritual energy easily pulled off those threads. His spiritual body then charged towards the Bone Chilling Flame in the sky.
A large sword appeared in his spirit hand which faintly glimmered. This was the Soul Protection Pill’s medicinal energy that had transformed under Yao Chen’s urging. Its powerful energy had gathered into the sword and it now possessed an extremely terrifying destructive power. Wherever it passed, the Bone Chilling Flame’s binding soul strands were all cut apart.
This was a confrontation of soul power. The Bone Chilling Flame instantly metamorphosed into a huge ancient beast, blocking Yao Chen’s attack.
Yao Chen felt a huge force swell up. This huge ancient beast had a dragon’s form, but was not a true dragon. It had three pairs of wings and emitted an endless pressure. This was perhaps the strongest lifeform the Bone Chilling Flame had ever met, so it naturally took its form.
Yao Chen ground his teeth and charged forward. At this time there was no longer any room for hesitation or any chance of retreat. If it wasn’t victory, then it was death.
A huge boom rang through the sky. White light shot everywhere as shapeless Spiritual Strength collided, actually forming an extremely magnificent aurora. However when it lit up the black ice region, it seemed more like a rebellion of the underworld.
Feng Xian was shaken strongly by this and directly fainted. If he exploded with his full power, his strength would be worthy of being a Dou Wang, but in terms of spirit, he was just like a child who was learning to walk – completely powerless.
Han Shanshan could still be of some use at this time. After Yao Chen had cut apart the Bone Chilling Flame’s soul strands with his spirit blade, the Bone Chilling Flame’s restrictive power on her had lessened greatly. But even so she could only watch as she didn’t have any means to become involved with their battle.
Unwilling. No matter what, she felt unwilling. Yao Chen… when had he become so powerful? His spiritual energy was powerful, so extremely powerful…
Yao Chen was the person with the greatest understanding of himself. That day when his father had died, his potential had exploded out. His body had received an extremely great injury. Although he had the medicinal bath to recover his potential and latent talent, but compared to those powerful geniuses who had been gifted from the start, the difference was still very great. His only strong point was his Spiritual Strength. When his potential had exploded and harmed his body, it wasn’t without benefits. His spirit had gained endless potential while he had been wounded.
Moreover this potential had also changed when his innate talent had been recovered, becoming even stronger. This was a miraculous process that couldn’t be described with just words. Even Yao Chen himself would never be able to replicate these results a second time.
It could only be said that all things were related through karma. A single turning point, a single coincidence, could result in endless changes.
Chapter 30 Eight Years
At this time, what he was facing off against was a berserk Bone Chilling Flame. Yao Chen with his powerful spirit was precisely the best alchemist to subdue it.
This was a competition of spirits, a battle that was dangerous and fluctuated rapidly. Yao Chen’s spirit body was destroyed by the Bone Chilling Flame many times, but each time a soul seed would absorb back all the surrounding spiritual particles and his body would once more form. As for the Bone Chilling Flame, its spiritual energy also seemed to be limitless. No matter how or how many times Yao Chen attacked it, it could also reappear from nothingness, each time becoming more and more violent.
Gradually Yao Chen started to feel a strain. His soul seed was an external representation of his firm willpower. The strain he was feeling immediately caused the soul seed to become on the verge of collapse, while the Bone Chilling Flame became even more violent as if it could also sense Yao Chen’s strength fading. Sensing victory, it prepared to swallow Yao Chen. That would obviously allow the Bone Chilling Flame to become even stronger than it was before. That was a transformation it looked forward to…
Right at this time, Han Shanshan’s mind started buzzing.
BOOM! The scene before her changed. She saw a region of extreme Yin and extreme cold. Where the sun and moon intersected, a snow white light grew in her vision. There were countless powerful beast corpses there, and even some ancient human-shaped skeletons. Amongst them was even a dragon corpse. All these powerful existences had now become corpses that were part of a huge bone altar…
From this altar came a fluctuation of extreme Yin and extreme cold. All kinds of mysterious essences of heaven and earth had been summoned there.
From the bone altar suddenly shot out a white light which soared into the sky, bringing with it the rolling of thunder. The dark sky immediately change. Blinding white lights lit up the sky. Web-like blue lightning densely all throughout.
The white light slowly faded, revealing a flame… no, a flame sprout. It was a small ball only the size of a thumb and seemed so frail that a light breeze could extinguish it.
However all the countless powerful corpses in the bone altar had had all their essences drawn out into that flame sprout. The flame sprout began to grow stronger and larger.
Finally all the bones had turned to dust. Even the ancient dragon corpse which didn’t fear fire in the least was swallowed completely clean by that white flame sprout, leaving not a single piece of bone untouched.
Bone Chilling Flame? No! This wasn’t the true Bone Chilling Flame. At some point a blazing hot flame had descended from the sky. The sky flame was also completely white. Within it were countless lamentations and cries as if it had imprisoned countless souls. This was a spiritual ghost flame that was born from the consumption of countless experts’ souls. It had the potential to also become a Heavenly Flame. However just at this moment the pseudo Bone Chilling Flame charged over to that spiritual ghost flame in the sky to consume it!
A confrontation between flames was based on their heat. These two extreme powers would consume each other, forming a fusion…
Time passed. Perhaps it was just a short moment or perhaps a hundred years passed. The two flames both disappeared, in the end leaving behind an extremely hot and extremely cold Heavenly Flame.
This was the true Bone Chilling Flame.
Burning everything around it in order to grow stronger. Boundless burning that could swallow and refine all kinds of energy. In the end, a bit of consciousness was born from the flame.
It continued to become stronger over time. Once it gained a consciousness, it would be able to become infinitely strong if given enough time. It was supposed to be like that....
However another Heavenly Flame had appeared in the sky. As for what Heavenly Flame it was, that couldn’t be seen. But that Heavenly Flame was able to burn and influence time and space. The world’s rules were nothing in front of it. Space warped and twisted, water flowed upwards, light became shadow, shadow became light.
An existence as powerful as the Bone Chilling Flame was immediately swallowed by this Heavenly Flame…
Darkness spread everywhere. Endless suppression, extraction, freezing, burning, it was as if it had been trapped in purgatory for tens of thousands of years.
A light flashed and countless flames awoke. They were all in a field where a battle had exterminated everything. There was no life, and not even a speck of dust could exist in that space. There was a jade annulus emitting a terrifying pressure. That pressure was exactly the same as the one given off by the Heavenly Flame that had swallowed it at the beginning.
The Bone Chilling Flame was one countless other flames there that were equally powerful as it. Once it had awakened, it immediately fled from that place.
Han Shanshan’s nose was bleeding. Looking up at the Bone Chilling Flame, she realized those images were the origin of this Bone Chilling Flame.
The sacrificial altar that had been formed of countless expert’s bones, the spiritual ghost flame that had descended from the sky… it had most definitely not been formed naturally. And as for that powerful Heavenly Flame that had appeared and swallowed the Bone Chilling Flame, it was even stranger for it to have appeared! This was all too coincidental.
Could it be that in this world, Heavenly Flames took the initiative to rear other Heavenly Flames and then swallowed them as food?
A bright light came from the sky. Yao Chen’s spirit body had already entered a weak position. As for the powerful beast the Bone Chilling Flame had transformed into, its ice-cold eyes turned to Han Shanshan for the first time.
“You can synchronize with my soul and sense my everything. You, I should first eat you.”
Only Han Shanshan could hear this voice, the voice of the Bone Chilling Flame. But it wasn’t truly a voice, and it wasn’t truly words that were being spoken. It was a kind of mental messaging, a connection through nothingness. Simply by having their spirits touch they could exchange thoughts.
Han Shanshan instinctively used the same kind of method to reply. Her spirit formed a strange connection with the Bone Chilling Flame.
“Only by consuming others can I grow stronger. I want to become it.”
Han Shanshan saw a powerful Heavenly Flame in the Bone Chilling Flame’s mind. It swallowed countless other Heavenly Flames. Amongst those countless Heavenly Flames were those that were even stronger than the Bone Chilling Flame.
That word might normally be reserved for humans, but it could not be better suited based on what she saw in the Bone Chilling Flame’s mind. Every kind of Heavenly Flame had its own unique properties and their own way to get stronger. Imitating others would only cause a strong one to become weak.
“If I eat you I might get stronger. To be able to connect with me, your soul definitely has something special.”
The beast-form Bone Chilling Flame charged at Han Shanshan.
Yao Chen’s spirit body angrily blocked it, but his strength was far from enough. This Bone Chilling Flame wasn’t one that had only gained consciousness a while ago, but a powerful existence that had survived for countless years. This kind of strength was almost without equal.
His spirit body was once more torn apart and crushed. Only his tenacious soul seed survived, once more collecting his spirit back.
He could only watch during that moment as the Bone Chilling Flame swallowed Han Shanshan in one gulp.
Yao Chen’s spirit body was still up in the sky, however his physical body actually began to move now. Opening his eyes, spiritual energy surged out from his body.
Space shook and trembled. Yao Chen’s spiritual energy exploded out and actually reached the level of a Dou Zun’s strength! A Dou Zun level spirit was the very peak of Yao Chen’s potential.
BOOM! His spirit shook and Yao Chen tore at an empty space. A hidden flame immediately appeared before him. This was the true body of the Bone Chilling Flame. That beast was just an outer apparition. Han Shanshan was currently naked and being refined within the hidden flame’s body.
Yao Chen spat out a mouthful of blood and once more reached out his hand and clawed at it. The Bone Chilling Flame let out a mournful shriek and actually released Han Shanshan. It fled up into the air, burning intensely. Countless suppressed souls within the flame appeared now, seeming to be rebelling.
“You’ve eaten too much and don’t have the power to digest them. Don’t you know if you eat too much you’ll burst?”
Yao Chen’s head shook and several bloody wounds appeared over his head. Blood gushed out of those openings. His body was completely unable to endure this kind of Dou Zun level spiritual attacks. His body was collapsing and dissipating, but before that happened, he was just like a true Dou Zun.
This was an extremely strange state. From his blood came an energy that supported him. The blood of a Dou Di… the Yao clan’s ancestor was a Dou Di, and only those with a Dou Di’s bloodline could continue to have it inherited down forever without it weakening. This kind of bloodline inheritance was both mysterious and frightening. It was extremely rare for anyone to find the key to activating it.
Yao Chen had also yet to find the key to activating the hidden energy within his Dou Di bloodline, but now he had just directly blown through that barrier, using the most violent way that allowed him to tap into that energy.
But the price would be the sacrifice of his body. It was collapsing and disintegrating. In this world there was no power that was free. Everything had its price.
Han Shanshan hadn’t lost consciousness and was covering her body. She looked at Yao Chen in shock. To be able to destroy space, that was the power of a Dou Zun! Men should be powerful like that.
Yao Chen could feel himself dissipating. The kind of power you gained would be equivalent to the price you had to pay. As an alchemist he was well aware of this.
At this time, in terms of quantity his Spiritual Strength was perhaps not equal to the Bone Chilling Flame, but every time they collided the power the Bone Chilling Flame could display was far, far weaker than him.
Yao Chen once more reached out his hand. His spirit body followed his orders to charge at the Bone Chilling Flame’s true body.
A ripple tore through space. Yao Chen’s spirit body charged right into the Bone Chilling Flame’s core, assimilating it and grinding down on its mind. This was a battle that was difficult to describe. Even time slowed down. Just the blink of an eye felt like hundreds of years had passed to his spiritual body’s senses. It was just like how one day in heaven was ten thousand years on earth.
In the end his spirit body assimilated the Bone Chilling Flame. The Bone Chilling Flame’s mind had been whittled away and destroyed.
Yao Chen bitterly smiled. Unfortunately at this time his body had been completely devastated. He glanced at Han Shanshan. Her naked body was without a single fault and beautiful to the extreme. The most moving part of her had to be her eyes. Up until now, in their three years of contact, he had never felt her to be beautiful.
“I’m giving it to you.”
The tamed Bone Chilling Flame descended into Han Shanshan’s body.
Han Shanshan’s spirit’s fluctuations were originally already similar to the Bone Chilling Flame’s. When the Heavenly Flame entered her body, there was not even the slightest resistance. Or perhaps it was due to the karma of being swallowed by the Bone Chilling Flame, but it immediately became hers. She was the Heavenly Flame and the Heavenly Flame was her.
It was both natural and without a flaw.
Yao Chen laughed. Karma truly was strange. He had put in all his effort, yet it only benefitted someone else. But since that person was Han Shanshan he didn’t actually mind. However… father, mother, I’m sorry… your son was unable to accomplish your wishes.
A burst of medicinal fragrance came from Yao Chen’s body. At the same time, his body truly began to dissipate, turning into specks of fairy light. These specks of light lit up the black ice region.
“Yao Chen… what’s happening to you?”
Han Shanshan was frightened. No longer bothering to cover her naked body, she rushed forward, wanting to hold Yao Chen.
However Yao Chen had already lost his substance. Han Shanshan grabbed empty space, her body going right through Yao Chen’s.
“I’m about to leave. Look after Feng Xian for me and my other brothers. Oh, and also apologize to Xuan Yi. I won’t be able to pay her back the pills I owe her.”
“No, it shouldn’t be like this! Why did the Heavenly Flame become mine? If you take the Heavenly Flame then it’ll be fine.”
“That might have been possible, but you have a body that can perfectly accept the Heavenly Flame. But I already don’t have the energy to force the Heavenly Flame into surrender. If I missed this chance, the flame might escape. This is simply your karma.”
Yao Chen laughed calmly. Reaching out his hand, he stroked Han Shanshan’s face, but he wasn’t actually able to touch her.
Tears blurred her vision. Looking up at the sky full of fairy lights holding Yao Chen, she knew he was right. Subduing a Heavenly Flame and making it your own was extremely dangerous. How could it be easy to force a Heavenly Flame to become a part of your own life and spirit? She was an exception because she was perfectly suited to it.
“No! I won’t let you disappear, I…”
Suddenly a spark ignited in her mind. She now shared the Bone Chilling Flame’s memories since her spirit was perfectly suited to the Bone Chilling Flame. Their souls were so perfectly aligned that the Bone Chilling Flame had actually felt that consuming her spirit would be even more beneficial to it than consuming an extremely powerful soul like Yao Chen’s.
The spark exploded, she seemed to hear a huge bell tolling. Suddenly a strange form appeared in her mind. This was an absolute taboo; she had managed to join up with an existence that could not possibly exist – a Dou Di!
A Dou Di that had already disappeared from this world, a Dou Di that could not possibly exist!
However, a taboo was a taboo… it would have an absolutely terrifying price!
Han Shanshan’s face paled. But decisiveness filled her eyes.
“I still have a way! If you truly are a disciple of the Yao clan and have the special bloodline transmitted down from a Dou Di, if your power is from a mysterious Dou Di bloodline… I have a way!”
The Bone Chilling Flame which had just become a part of her spirit now erupted out of her body and sucked in those fairy lights in the sky. Those fairy lights were the pieces of Yao Chen’s disintegrating body.
“Great Bloodline Formation, Heavenly Flame Sacrificed to God, from beyond this world, the great Dou Di who transcends time and space, your descendant offers sacrifice…”
BOOM BOOM BOOM!!!! Han Shanshan used the Heavenly Flame to form a huge Dou Formation, forming a strange river that seemed to reach past time and space.
This was from the memories of the Bone Chilling Flame. Who knew just how long this Bone Chilling Flame had existed. It remembered countless secrets of this world.
A distant sigh came from beyond time in reaction to her secret technique. Within the long river came a burst of spray.
Nothing could exist outside Karma. If you want power then you must pay the price. If you want to gain something you must be ready to give something up.
In an instant her body began to tremble. In order to reconstruct Yao Chen she had to sacrifice her own life to become part of the long river. Why did Dou Dis disappear from this world? Having opened this river that transcended time and space, she had a sudden realization…
“Will you remember me?
“No, you won’t. That’s the price.
“That’s ok, because as long as you are fine, I’m happy.
“Unfortunately I can’t leave the Bone Chilling Flame to you. That is also part of the price of the sacrifice. But a part of the Bone Chilling Flame will remain and it will have my brand on it…
“That’s why maybe if you are able to become a Dou Di we will once more meet again…
Her voice turned to muttering which faded away into the sky…
Yao Chen suddenly opened his eyes. “I… did I succeed?”
Standing up atop the black ice, he looked around. It was completely silent and empty. Raising his hand, a Dou Flame ignited. But it didn’t have the slightest trace of the Bone Chilling Flame. He had failed!
Just at this moment Yao Chen felt an inexplicable pain in his heart. It was as if something was missing. Yao Chen subconsciously looked around, wanting to find something.
An unconscious body was lying not far from him.
Yao Chen ran over to the unconscious Feng Xian. He sent a strand of Dou Qi into his body, activating the Dou Qi within his body.
“Cough… brother Chen? What happened to us? Did you succeed?”
Yao Chen shook his head bitterly. “It was impossible to succeed. This Bone Chilling Flame has existed for countless years already…”
In his memories, all he remembered was that he and Feng Xian had ran into the Bone Chilling Flame and it had transformed into a huge beast. The result of the ensuing battle was that he wasn’t a match for it, but the Dou Di bloodline within him had saved his life. Although he didn’t know how it had happened, the Bone Chilling Flame ended up giving up any thoughts on consuming his spirit and retreated.
Was it the Dou Di ancestor who had protected him?
However, arriving here in his thinking, a nameless pain filled his heart. It seemed as if he was forgetting something extremely important.
What was it?
No, now wasn’t the time for that. Feng Xian’s condition was almost critical and he had to bring him back as quickly as possible. The matter of the Bone Chilling Flame could wait for now. But Feng Xian couldn’t continue to stay in this death zone of extreme cold.
Carrying Feng Xian on his back, Yao Chen quickly left the death zone.
He didn’t hear the soft sigh from a spirit deep within the depths of the death zone…
Han Shanshan appeared in the sky. Her spirit body was transparent and covered with countless mysterious seals. Strands of terrifying Dou Qi came from those seals. That kind of power which had transcended time and space was omnipresent, existing in the past, the present, and the future.
She watched as Yao Chen left. As part of the price, Feng Xian and Yao Chen’s memories of her coming here had been completely erased.
Chains suddenly appeared out of nothingness and tightly wrapped around her empty spirit body. The long river once more appeared, and in instant dragged her within before disappearing…
Just as Han Shanshan disappeared, a white flame column suddenly roared into the sky. The might that was specific only to the Heavenly Flames exploded out of the death zone, in an instead spreading tens of thousands of miles.
All creatures within that perimeter, whether it Magical Beasts or humans, all cowered in front of that might. The closest animals to Fallen Spirit Ice Source were actually directly frightened to death.
Ten thousand miles away was a huge mountain with mist swirling around it. A middle-aged man upon it suddenly opened his eyes. In front of him was a medicinal cauldron emitting a dense medicinal energy. A medicinal pill that was emitting a terrifying energy fluctuation was being slowly condensed within a Dou Flame…
“Heavenly Flame! The aura of a Heavenly Flame appearing in this world! But why would this aura explode here?” The middle-aged man frowned and quickly made some calculations. With the Heavenly Flame’s aura exploding out so far, the entire Central Plains will be alerted. Who knows just how many alchemists will come to fight over it. But this place is I, Qing Hua’s, territory. No one had better even think of competing with me!
“Get over here! Get some people to seal the Spatial Wormholes!”
Qing Hua shouted out and at the same time his spirit sent out a dispatch, summoning several experts. As a seventh tier alchemist, every Dou Wang, Dou Huang, and even Dou Zong within thousands of miles would listen to him.
Several days later, the center of the death zone in Fallen Spirit Ice Source was covered in layers of experts.
At this time Yao Chen had brought Feng Xian to a mountain village with only a couple families within it. In total there were less than a hundred people in the village, and all of them made their living through hunting and collecting herbs.
Such a cold village naturally wouldn’t be paid attention by others. Experts went back and forth, forming a large net, yet not one paid any attention to this place.
Feng Xian quickly recovered, and his realm had even advanced. It was if he had experienced death, and many things that weren’t clear to him were now obvious to him. He had completely understood his own path and was no longer lost.
“Brother Chen? It seems like the situation isn’t good. Now that the Bone Chilling Flame has erupted, news will pass everywhere and even Dou Zongs will come to fight for it.”
Yao Chen nodded helplessly. It seemed he really didn’t have any affinity with the Bone Chilling Flame. At this time he should quickly flee. Calamity had struck this place. It was obvious that not long from now there would be a complete bloodbath here as the Bone Chilling Flame slaughtered those who wanted to subdue it. He was just a Dou Ling, and no matter how he looked at it, he simply had no chance. He would just become a pile of ashes.
However inside he had a longing that made it impossible to listen to the voice of reason and leave safely now.
Riches could be gained amidst danger. Staying here might be dangerous, but as long as there was a chance, even a one in ten thousand chance, he still had to stay. If he left then he really would be left with nothing.
“We should stay here for a bit longer. We’ve already experienced the power of the Bone Chilling Flame. It isn’t even close to a newly born Heavenly Flame, but is instead a flame that has existed for countless years. Even Dou Zong alchemists aren’t guaranteed to succeed.”
Yao Chen took a deep breath and decided to take this one a thousand shot.
Feng Xian didn’t say anything and merely nodded. No matter what Yao Chen decided, he would forever be his unconditional support.
Volume 4: Number One Alchemist
Chapter 31 Ten Years
Under the lure of a Heavenly Flame, countless battles were fought in Fallen Spirit Ice Source. Despite the many layers of obstructions, there were still over a hundred powerful alchemists that had heard word of the Heavenly Flame and come. Each one was surrounded by terrifyingly powerful experts. Dou Wangs were absolutely nothing. Dou Huang’s were barely worth looking at. Only peak Dou Huangs and Dou Zongs had the ability to speak here.
Each day, several intense battles would erupt in Fallen Spirit Ice Source. Some people joined hands, while some betrayed their allies.
A month passed…
No one had expected that after the Bone Chilling Flame’s aura had exploded out tens of thousands of miles that its trace would actually completely disappeared!
Over this month, countless experts, including thousands of Dou Lings and over a hundred Dou Wangs, had looked over every inch of Fallen Spirit Ice Source. Even dozens of Dou Huangs and twelve Dou Zongs had joined hands to search without finding anything.
This day was their final attempt. Thirty-two Dou Zongs, a hundred Dou Huangs, and over a hundred seventh tier alchemists with powerful souls all temporarily paused their battles, joining hands to form a heaven-encompassing Dou Formation net. Their power completely enveloped Fallen Spirit Ice Source. Even a small insect hundreds of meters underground could not hide from this formation.
Yao Chen and Feng Xian were also caught and forced to provide Dou Qi to this formation. Of course, Yao Chen had been intentionally caught. If he wasn’t close then how could he grab his one in a thousand chance?
The great formation unfurled. The energy from Dou Huangs, Dou Zongs, and seventh tier alchemists exploded out. Their spiritual energy looked over every inch, carefully checking each place without overlooking anything.
They started in the morning and continued all the way late into the night. The experts in control of the formation still had no intention of giving up. However they still couldn’t find the Bone Chilling Flame; in fact, they hadn’t even found the slightest trace the Bone Chilling Flame ever being there.
It was if that explosion a month ago had been just an illusion.
Early the next morning, those experts in charge of the formation erupted into an intense argument. Shortly after, the formation broke down and a huge battle broke out in the air above Fallen Spirit Ice Source. Over a hundred Dou Zongs’ killing attacks caused space to be destroyed. Dou Wang were simply cannon fodder, falling one after another. Only Dou Huangs could just barely survive.
This huge battle lasted a full day and night before ending. Thirty Dou Zongs had died during its course. Although the Dou Huangs hadn’t been directly involved, just from being implicated by wide-ranged attacks, twenty-six of them died. As for Dou Wangs, no one bothered counting just how many had fallen. Amongst the seventh tier alchemists, five were killed…
As for the amount of people injured, that wasn’t even worth counting.
And this was the result of not even finding the Heavenly Flame. The pent up frustration of the Dou Zongs had erupted after not finding it for a month. Only the heavens knew just what kind of cruel death battle would have occurred if they had truly found the Bone Chilling Flame.
Yao Chen and Feng Xian had been extremely lucky. They had been placed at a part of the formation that was on the very edge, so they hadn’t run into many aftershocks from the battle. The trusted people of the experts in charge of the formation had naturally been placed into the center of the formation so that they could fight the moment they found the Heavenly Flame’s tracks.
After that battle, almost half of the alchemists left in disappointment. But there were still people who were completely determined and stayed nearby Fallen Spirit Ice Source. Moreover they also extended the perimeter of their search.
However, a year passed…
They were still unable to find anything. Even more alchemists left with the experts they had brought along.
And yet there were still alchemists who didn’t give up. They continued to search in Fallen Spirit Ice Source. Opportunities and chances were given to those who didn’t give up.
Another year passed…
There were no longer that many alchemists who continued searching. Even if they wanted to stay, the experts protecting them didn’t. Having been in a cold lifeless place like this with no resources, those experts had basically not advanced their training at all in the past two years.
The third year…
Almost all the seventh tier alchemists had left by now. Only one of them remained remained: Qing Hua!
He was originally the strongest seventh tier alchemist within this area and from the start he had blocked other alchemists from entering Fallen Spirit Ice Spring. During that battle two years ago, his biggest loss was that his two most trusted Dou Zongs had been severely injured. Although they hadn’t died, they had no choice but to back out of this place. Despite that, Qing Hua didn’t have any intention of giving up. The Bone Chilling Flame was a very special Heavenly Flame. Even having gained consciousness, it wouldn’t leave a place of extreme Yin and extreme cold. The reason they couldn’t find it was definitely for some reason no one had guessed yet. It was still definitely in some corner of this icy land!
The leaving of those other seventh tier alchemists was absolutely perfect for him. Now there was not another soul in this area that could contend with him.
The Bone Chilling Flame would definitely be his in the end!
Other than Qing Hua, there were also a great number of third to fifth tier alchemists lingering around. Most of them had been ordered there by other seventh tier alchemists to report back to them. Of course, some were also like Yao Chen and planned on making a profit.
After that huge bloodbath, Fallen Spirit Ice Source became comparatively tranquil. Although the battles weren’t settled, another chaotic battle like last time didn’t occur.
Yao Chen and Feng Xian continued to survive within a crack in the ice. After two years of struggling, Yao Chen had reached the three star Dou Wang realm, becoming one of the more powerful fifth tier alchemists. As for Feng Xian, he had also advanced to the Dou Wang class.
The two of them were now already quite influential in Fallen Spirit Ice Source. Everyone knew that while Yao Chen might just be a fifth tier alchemist, he had many amazing secrets arts and could refine sixth tier medicinal pills. He could even jump two levels and refine a seventh tier medicinal pill. Although his success rate wasn’t high, he had truly succeeded before.
There were once three fifth tier alchemists who invited a Dou Zong to take action against the two of them. No one knew what had happened between them, but the result was that that Dou Zong swore an oath to never step half a foot into Fallen Spirit Ice Source again and immediately left. As for Yao Chen and Feng Xian, they continued on as if nothing had happened.
As for those three fifth tier alchemists, in one night they were all killed, their heads mounted atop an ice cliff. Although there wasn’t necessarily any proof, everyone knew it was definitely Yao Chen and Feng Xian’s revenge.
Within Fallen Spirit Ice Source, all morality was gone. Only power allowed one to live on. If you weren’t able to inspire fear, then countless people would plot against you, wanting to devour you during the night.
Despite the time passing, new alchemists continued to come to Fallen Spirit Ice Source. But by the fourth year, fewer and fewer experts continued to remain. It had been four years without anyone even catching a glimpse of the Bone Chilling Flame. There was even a rumor that the Bone Chilling Flame had already been taken by someone back when it had erupted out.
However, there were still more people unwilling to accept that. Even into the fifth year there were still alchemists coming to Fallen Spirit Ice Source. The lure of a Heavenly Flame was simply too great to alchemists.
In the end though, every person who came with high hopes left tired and covered in wounds.
The sixth year…
Fallen Spirit Ice Source had become completely tranquil. No new alchemists came this year. Within the alchemist world there was a rumor going around that the true Bone Chilling Flame had long since been secretly taken away by someone.
Yao Chen and Feng Xian had yet to give up though. Only they were certain that the Bone Chilling Flame was definitely hiding somewhere. Only the two of them had ever come into contact with the Bone Chilling Flame. There was no way someone could silently take it away without anyone noticing. It was absolutely impossible for even a nine star Dou Zun.
Yao Chen passed his days by cultivating like a madman. In order to capture it he prepared all kinds of medicinal pills that could be used to increase his sensitivity and resistance to the Bone Chilling Flame.
It could be said that Yao Chen’s preparations were completely perfect. However whenever he thought back to the Bone Chilling Flame that had transformed into a huge ancient beast, Yao Chen couldn’t help feeling fear. He couldn’t figure out just how he had forced the Bone Chilling Flame to retreat last time. It seemed that it was related to his ancient Dou Di bloodline… most likely it was the aura of the trace of Dou Di inheritance within him that had startled it back.
However the Dou Di bloodline was extremely mysterious and strange. Everyone knew that by tapping into that bloodline’s power it was possible to erupt with a terrifying strength. However even a divine genius could only tap into that power now and then. No one was able to find a set method for using it, and even if you were able to tap into it once, you wouldn’t be able to use the same method to tap into it a second time.
Yao Chen didn’t dare feel guaranteed that the next time he met the Bone Chilling Flame he would be so lucky.
The only person who also didn’t give up was the seventh tier alchemist Qing Hua.
The thirst for a Heavenly Flame was just like a poison that had completely corroded Qing Hua. He had lost far too much in an effort to gain one. Of his two good Dou Zong friends, one had both hands crippled to the point that even a sacred medicine would find it difficult to cure them, while the other would have to recuperate in seclusion for at least ten years before regaining his original strength.
Over these six years, Qing Hua had never set even half a step out of Fallen Spirit Ice Source. Due to the constant erosion of the wind and snow, his formerly handsome face had become a bit frightening to look at, and no spiritual air could be seen around him anymore. Instead there was just a profoundly fierce aura.
By the seventh year, there were only two alchemists continuing to bitterly endure.
Yao Chen and Qing Hua.
Qing Hua had attacked Yao Chen many times. With his Dou Zong strength, he had pushed Yao Chen and Feng Xian into desperation each time.
But each time it would cause Yao Chen and Feng Xian to break through. There were always able to grasp the slightest opening to escape from his grasp.
Fallen Spirit Ice Source shook as the ice layer received a huge impact. Thousands of ice swords appeared in the sky and quickly stabbed towards Yao Chen.
Yao Chen’s mouth was actually covered in frozen blood. This time Qing Hua had gone completely mad. He was using his full power, even taking a medicinal pill that increased his Dou Qi!
A five star Dou Zong actually used a medicinal pill to handle a Dou Wang!
However Yao Chen relied on his advantage, which was that his Spiritual Strength had already reached past the level of a Dou Wang. In fact it had already surpassed the realm of a Dou Zong! No matter how fierce Qing Hua’s attacks were, he was always able to grasp the weakest point to escape from them.
And as long as he was able to escape, his body which was pushed to the breaking point could be rebuilt. Having taken countless medicinal baths, Yao Chen and Feng Xian’s bodies were just like blazing iron within a furnace, and Qing Hua’s violent attacks were just like the blows of a hammer, tempering them into polished steel.
Qing Hua darkly and silently watched Yao Chen escape once more. He had already used up all his energy yet had still failed. He could only accept that Yao Chen and Feng Xian truly were destined not to die by his hands.
Another year passed. This was already the eighth year since the Bone Chilling Flame had erupted out.
Within a canyon in the black ice death zone, a large fire was burning intensely, forcing back the cold air. Yao Chen, Feng Xian, and even Qing Hua were taciturnly eating roasted meat in front of the fire.
After fighting and fleeing so many times, Yao Chen and Feng Xian had already reached the peak of the Dou Wang class. If the two of them joined forces they were actually able to fight on even ground with the five star Dou Zong. Of course, this was under the condition that Qing Hua didn’t explode out with his full force. But even if he did, Yao Chen and Feng Xian would still be able to escape.
Since fighting had lost any meaning, he could only cooperate with them. Fallen Spirit Ice source had returned to its deathly silence. If a person was alone in that deathly silence he would be driven mad, especially since this was the core of the black ice death zone.
“Yao Chen, are you really still persevering?”
Qing Hua suddenly spoke out. He had already taken enough of this. After not battling for this long, he had also seemed to have awoken.
Moreover, that Dou Zong whose hands had been crippled had ended up in some unforeseen circumstances so he had to rush over to refine some healing medicines for him. Although he wouldn’t be able to restore his hands to their original state, however preserving his Dou Zong strength was doable.
As for this Bone Chilling Flame, he could only give up. Perhaps the rumors really were true and the day it had erupted it had already been taken by someone. As for them, they had merely ended up wasting eight years.
Yao Chen nodded. “I trust my gut. The Bone Chilling Flame is definitely still here.”
Qing Hua shook his head. He actually threw out a couple medicinal ingredients that were treasures used to suppress the Bone Chilling Flame. “Since it’s like that, I’ll give these to you in trade for a Yin-Yang Mysterious Dragon Pill. How’s that?”
The Yin-Yang Mysterious Dragon Pill was something Yao Chen had come up with while in Fallen Spirit Ice Source. It was a seventh tier medicinal pill, and was the one seventh tier pill he had succeeded in refining while at the fifth tier. It had many marvelous uses, most importantly that when the body received serious damage, the medicinal energy that was stored within the body could appear and allow one to recover and advance.
Qing Hua had asked for this for his crippled friend.
Yao Chen smiled and took out a Yin-Yang Mysterious Dragon Pill, throwing it into Qing Hua’s hand. He had already reached the sixth tier alchemist realm, and his success when refining the Yin-Yang Mysterious Dragon Pill was already thirty percent, so he naturally wasn’t stingy. Also, the reason why he and Feng Xian were able to reach the peak of the Dou Wang class in such a few short years was also partly due to Qing Hua.
As for his fights against him, they could understand why he did so. They were alchemists, and with the lure of a Heavenly Flame, it was completely reasonable for you to become completely crazy.
“I’m leaving. Do your best.” Qing Hua took the pill and flew into the air, quickly flying away.
Feng Xian watched Qing Hua’s back become smaller and smaller. He was somewhat moved by this. Even the most resolute person had left now. Did he and Yao Chen really have a chance at finding the Bone Chilling Flame?
“Ah, the Bone Chilling Flame!”
Just at this moment, Feng Xian heard Yao Chen’s startled cry.
“Brother Chen, don’t joke with me. I’m not a kid…uh…”
Feng Xian shook his head, thinking Yao Chen was playing a joke on him. However as soon as he turned his head, he saw a snow white spiritual flame suspended right in front of Yao Chen. Icy chilliness and blazing heat came from it, an extremely strange fluctuation.
Eight years! It had been eight years! Countless experts and countless alchemists had come, almost turning over all of Fallen Spirit Ice Source without anyone finding the Bone Chilling Flame. They hadn’t even found the slightest trace of it.
Feng Xian had an urge to roar crazily!
Yao Chen’s gaze roamed over it, his heart suddenly becoming tranquil. Within his eyes, all that remained was that snow-white Bone Chilling Flame. According to what he remembered, the Bone Chilling Flame from eight years ago had had countless years of experience and had accumulated an extremely great energy. But this Bone Chilling Flame gave off a weak feeling as if it was newly born.
Perhaps this was a misperception since he had only been a Dou Ling back then…
Whereas now he was a peak Dou Wang!
Yao Chen reached out his hand with his Dou Qi circulating. All kinds of ingredients that could suppress Heavenly Flames were taken out into a large Dou Formation by him, and a mysterious energy immediately locked onto the Bone Chilling Flame. A tiny bit of resistance was present, but under his power, the Bone Chilling Flame’s resistance quickly collapsed. It weakened and became smaller, in the end leaving behind only the core, a small flame seed which landed into his hand.
Looking at the pure flame seed, Yao Chen’s mind was shaken. He remembered again how terrifying it had been the first time he met it. If his spirit had been even a bit weaker then he would have been consumed by it.
But now he was about to place the Bone Chilling Flame’s flame seed into his body, making it become a part of his own power.
“Brother Chen?” Feng Xian’s face was pale. He was excited and nervous. They had stayed eight years in this terrible land. They had met danger and attacks countless times…
In the end, the Bone Chilling Flame’s flame seed still ended up landing within their hands.
Yao Chen heard Feng Xian’s cry and his heart shook. Eight years of his work would be paid off here in one move. Using his Dou Qi to wrap around the flame seed, he swallowed it right into his stomach!
The entire Fallen Spirit Ice Source’s sky once more became enveloped by the Bone Chilling Flame’s aura!
Chapter 14 of the BTTH manga shows Yao Chen capturing the Bone Chilling Flame. However it's pretty much completely different from this story.
Qing Hua's appearance in BTTH:
Information about the Yin-Yang Mysterious Dragon Pill in BTTH:
Chapter 32 Falling Star Pavilion
“Xuan Yi? Why do you look like that? Did someone bully you?”
“Get off, haven’t you seen cauldron explosion before? If I also had a Heavenly Flame then a trifling sixth tier pill would be nothing, hmph.”
Xuan Yi – one of Holy Pill City’s three great jewels, an extremely good friend of Han Shanshan. Her treatment towards Yao Chen had always been a bit warm. She seemed to both like him as well as want to compete with him. Many of Xuan Yi’s movements and habits were similar to Han Shanshan’s due to their friendship.
Yao Chen laughed and shook his head. Looking at her crafty manner, a burst of pain filled his heart. Nine years ago, Han Shanshan had left Holy Pill City and never returned.
No one knew where Han Shanshan had gone, and there was also no one who knew why she had suddenly left without saying again. All he knew was that in the past nine years, no news whatsoever of Han Shanshan had surfaced.
When he had come back from the death zone with the Bone Chilling Flame and having advanced to Dou Huang as well as his seventh tier alchemist strength, Yao Chen had refined a perfect eighth tier medicinal pill during the Pill Gathering, defeating countless geniuses. Xuan Kong Zi, Hou Guaicai, and every other genius who was practically considered a god within the Pill Tower were all completely crushed beneath him, letting him obtain the first place at the Pill Gathering and making him famous within all the Central Plains.
The owner of the Bone Chilling Flame, the victor of eight years in the Ice Source… all kinds of glorious titles were given to him.
However, he was unable to feel even the slightest bit of excitement.
“Hey, Yao Chen, what you thinking about? Did you not hear me?”
“Ah, what did you say?”
“You! Hmph, I won’t bother with you…”
Xuan Yi angrily stamped her foot. But she continued, “The little demon girl has once more come to find you. She’s waiting for you at the entrance hall.
Yao Chen nodded to Xuan Yi and started to leave for the entrance hall.
The little demon girl was actually the demon race’s little princess, Hu Jiujiu.
Xuan Yi angrily glared at him as he left. “That damn vixen exploiting this kid. Shameless!”
The way she cursed was both unruly and cute. She was obviously completely infuriated for her to forget herself and rain curses on Yao Chen.
Feng Xian had just happened to be walking by. Hearing her curses, he coughed loudly. “Xuan Yi, Yao Chen dislikes girls who talk without thinking. No matter how beautiful such a woman was, it would be useless.”
“Really? Wait, who wants him to like them? Hmph, Feng Xian, do you need a spanking? Even you dare bully me!”
“Do you need my help?” Feng Xian blinked at her. Other than Han Shanshan, perhaps the only other woman in Holy Pill City who was a good match for Yao Chen was Xuan Yi. Yao Chen didn’t take such matters seriously, but as his little brother, he definitely had to help his big bro out.
“Who would want your help… doesn’t Yao Chen like the little demon girl?”
Xuan Yi clearly wanted more information.
Feng Xian laughed. “Are you talking about Jiujiu? She’s helped me and brother Chen out a lot, saving us from even death. She is a good friend, but when it comes to relationship between a man and a woman… well, if others are too slow, it might be possible for their relationship to progress to that point.”
“He dares! Cough… I mean, he dares marry the demon race’s princess? He wouldn’t be able to even enter the eyes of the Demon Saint. All he has is the Bone Chilling Flame…”
Although that was how she spoke, her heart had started to jump a bit faster. She was very clear on the demon race’s attitude towards alchemists, especially one with a Heavenly Flame. If you added on that such a person had just won the Pill Gathering and was now famous within the Central Plains, then let alone a princess, even two or three of them could be taken in just as concubines for such an alchemist with a limitless future.
Feng Xian laughed again and stopped teasing her. The seed had been planted now. The rest would be up to fate. The only thing was that ever since Han Shanshan had disappeared, Yao Chen seemed to have become a different person. Other than when he was refining medicine, the rest of his time was spent staring blankly as if he had lost part of his soul. Feng Xian was a bit worried about this.
Feng Xian walked over to the entrance hall and saw the demon race’s little princess sipping tea.
“Yao Chen.” Hu Jiujiu immediately leapt off her chair and rushed over to Yao Chen.
Yao Chen forced a smile and braced her from falling. “Try to act more like a princess. This isn’t Demon Valley. Please try to follow the human race’s etiquettes.”
“Tch, boring.” Hu Jiujiu rolled her eyes. “Then where’s that Xuan Yi who’s always staring at me?”
“She stares at you? Uh… haha, who asked you to so bewitching.”
“Well I am a demon.” Hu Jiujiu nodded very pleased. But she quickly once more glared at Yao Chen suspiciously. “Why do you seem to be defending her? Are you afraid I’ll do something to her?”
“Last time you came here, three days after you left she got a dozen pimples on her face. Although she didn’t suspect you, but… don’t make trouble, ok? Just treat it as helping me out.”
“Haha, so you so knew about it. Fine, I’ll give you face. I won’t make any more stupid human troubles with her. This time I came to find you for something important. Do you still have the Yuan Transforming to Life Pill from last time?”
At this time, Hu Jiujiu’s smile had vanished and she was completely serious.
“Yes I do. What happened?” Yao Chen was surprised and nodded. Although it was a seventh tier pill, this kind of medicinal pill that extended the lifespan was not any use to him.
“Excellent. Can you trade it with me? Sell it to me for some medicinal ingredients or whatever else you need. Anything within Demon Valley.”
Yao Chen smiled and took out the Yuan Transforming to Life Pill. “Take it then. This thing is useless to me.”
It was actually completely possible for him to refine the pill himself. Back then when Dan Huchen was refining it, he had had detailed discussions with him about it. As long as he had the medicinal ingredients, Yao Chen who was now a seventh tier alchemist had a fifty percent chance of succeeding a refinement.
Hu Jiujiu immediately became happy. Taking the medicinal pill, she glanced around and saw that no one was around, and she quickly leaned over and gave Yao Chen a peck on the cheek. She bashfully said, “I have to hurry back now. Also, you are forbidden from getting too close to Xuan Yi! You are one of my people and always will be!”
She quickly turned to leave, but not before adding, “Don’t think you can escape me! Even if ten years passes, even if you reach your unlimited potential with the Small Pill Tower, you will always be one of mine!”
These words might be a bit overbearing, but as soon as she said it her face turned completely red. This was her way of bluntly declaring her feelings for him. She quickly stamped down her foot, disappearing.
Yao Chen smiled bitterly as he watched her pretty figure disappear out the door. A lingering scent still remained on his face. He felt a bit helpless to this. Ever since returning from Fallen Spirit Ice Source, the little demon girl would come to Holy Pill City every month to see him. And it would be false to say he didn’t have any feelings towards Jiujiu. To real men, the more beautiful women, the better. Towards Xuan Yi he also had a similar affection. However in his heart, whenever it came to the matters between a man and woman, he always felt completely empty. It wasn’t just because Han Shanshan had disappeared. It felt as if the most important thing in his heart had been forgotten, making it impossible for him to take action on any feelings.
That was why whether it was Holy Pill City’s absolute jewel Xuan Yi or Demon Valley’s beautiful Jiujiu, he was always unable to admit his own feelings. Since he couldn’t let go of his inner heart, why would he go and harm their hearts?
Suddenly an aged laugh came from behind him. “Yao Chen, outstanding men naturally want love. Haha, I’ve decided, how about I help you ask for the Fox Saint’s hand?”
Yao Chen looked back and quickly bowed. This was Han Shanshan’s master. Although he hadn’t truly taught Yao Chen alchemy, but when he had discussed alchemy with Han Shanshan and they had run into problems and questions they couldn’t answer, Han Shanshan would also be able to explain it the next day. Obviously this wasn’t because she had figured it out but because she had gone to this master of hers, in other words this old white-haired ancestor.
But ever since Han Shanshan had left, this old man who had been filled with vigor had entered a slump. Nine years ago he would refine a cauldron of pills every day. The lowest would be fifth tier and the highest would reach the seventh tier. Every few months he would even try a couple times at eighth tier medicinal pills.
But ever since Han Shanshan’s trace had completely disappeared, he would only refine a couple times a month, and they were always fifth tier pills that were refined carelessly and indifferently, his heart not on the alchemy.
“Ah, I guess it’s ok now. Here are my alchemy techniques. If you find Shanshan then take my place to give it to her. Of course you can also look at them yourself. From the start I never thought of you as an outsider. And a child like you who is still respectful of his elders and calls me master-ancestor is encouraging, so I can’t let that be for nothing.”
“Master-ancestor…” Yao Chen’s heart shook. He sensed what the old man was implying.
“No need to say anything. My time is coming. I will reach two hundred years in this world this year. A hundred and twelve years ago I was injured by a Dou Sheng. I used five different Life Seizing Pills to extend my vitality, and being able to live to here is already a miracle. However I really am a bit unwilling to die just like this. I have another way to continue surviving, but I don’t have your terrifying spiritual talent. Only by transforming out of a cocoon would that method work…”
The old man shook his head. Looking deeply at Yao Chen, he suddenly said, “Yao Chen, you have outstanding power within you. I hope you can use it well. If you continue to hide within Holy Pill City, then no matter how loud your name is sung, you will still be nothing more than a little child… take my place to find Shanshan.”
Yao Chen’s heart violently jumped. That’s right, why had he always just been foolishly staying here? Why hadn’t he gone out to find Han Shanshan?
“Have you come to your senses? Haha, you help me find her and I’ll help you propose.”
“Master-ancestor, please don’t hold this junior to the matter of a proposal.”
Marriage could not just be randomly brought up. In any case, he also had feelings to the little demon girl, however right now he couldn’t muster any energy towards the matter of a man and woman.
“Fine, fine. I’ve lived my life to its full. Although I didn’t reach Dou Sheng, I am at the peak of Dou Zun. A high grade ninth tier alchemist really would have his reputation harmed by bringing up this matter of marriage for others. However, a child like you is actually so lucky. That girl Xuan Yi is actually extremely good.”
Yao Chen rolled his eyes and didn’t reply. But he understood inside that the old man was drawing the conversation towards a light-hearted topic because he didn’t want the mood to become depressed after saying his lifespan was reaching its end. Men must live their lives carefree, walk their paths with joy, and act in the manner of a true hero.
“You still haven’t taken it!” The old man once more shook the alchemy writings in his hand.
“Yes…” Yao Chen quickly bowed and respectfully took it.
“Haha, good, good. Since you’ve taken them then you can also count as my disciple. Han Shanshan is also your apprentice-sister of the same generation. You two can handle your own affairs. And for a manly man to have one or two concubines as well is something I don’t mind either.”
The old man patted Yao Chen’s shoulders and disappeared as silently and quickly as he had arrived.
Yao Chen knew inside that the old man tacitly agreed to any relationship between him and Han Shanshan. He also knew that this was most likely the last time he would see the old man. Just now he had handed him everything that needed to be handled in the future and also pointed him in a direction to go to from now.
After leaving Holy Pill City he would establish his own power, and then… he would find Han Shanshan.
This was also a way to prove himself to the Yao clan. Yao Wangui and Yao Feng were becoming more and more powerful within the clan. He had to build a power that was enough to crush the two of them before he could accomplish his mother and father’s last wishes and get their names carved into the Clan Monument.
In an instant, Yao Chen felt as if the clouds had been dispelled and he could see the sun again. His heart which had always had an obscured shadow over it now was free. He had a goal to move towards.
Returning to his residence, Yao Chen told Feng Xian to call over all the powerful experts that were close to them. These experts all had their own fame within Holy Pill City. They might not be geniuses, but with Yao Chen’s medicinal pills they had all shed their mediocrity and transformed to have an impressive potential.
These were all those people who had a special camaraderie with Yao Chen.
Including Feng Xian, they had thirty-two people. That was the currently power that Yao Chen was able to control. Each of them was at least a three star Dou Wang, and furthermore none of them were over thirty years old. As for Yao Chen himself, with the support of the Bone Chilling Flame and adding on that he could enter the Small Pill Tower to cultivate, he had advanced extremely quickly. In just a short year he had become a seven star Dou Huang. As for his true battle capabilities, back when he was just at the peak of Dou Wang he could withstand the Dou Zong Qing Hua if he joined hands with Feng Xian. Now with his techniques and advantages, he could fight on equal grounds with a Dou Zong for a time, and even if he met an extremely powerful peak Dou Zong he would still be able to retreat, and it wouldn’t even be a miserable retreat.
If this kind of power was placed within the Central Plains, then yes it was perhaps a bit too weak. But although it couldn’t compare to those supreme powers, sweeping over those smaller powers would definitely not be a problem. If placed in the outers regions then it would be even more terrifying.
Yao Chen got right to the point. “I’m about to leave Holy Pill City.”
“Boss, did I mishear?”
Feng Xian’s eyes lit up and he coughed loudly to get the attention of their comrades. “If there’s anyone who wants to come with us, then meet us at the Spatial Wormhole tomorrow morning. I’ll tell you straightforwardly that Yao Chen and I are planning to build an organization and we need manpower.”
Feng Xian had already completely consolidated his power at the peak of Dou Wang. He had even taken half a step into the Dou Huang class. Within this group, his prestige was only second to Yao Chen.
Some people had hesitation in their eyes, while some were pleasantly surprised.
Yao Chen waved his hand. “Everyone should return to think about it. You don’t have to force yourselves to come with us. Staying within Holy Pill City is also fine. However, perhaps it will be many years before we ever return to Holy Pill City again.”
Their group discussed it for a bit longer before each person returned home with different thoughts running through their heads.
Feng Xian sighed, “Brother Chen, isn’t this a bit too rushed?”
If he had been given enough time, Feng Xian was sure he would have been able to get everyone to follow Yao Chen. From the groups’ various expression, there were perhaps half of whom didn’t want to leave.
Yao Chen shook his head. “This time we aren’t leaving to get experience. Those who aren’t determined don’t need to force themselves.”
Feng Xian nodded. He would always follow Yao Chen’s decisions unconditionally. At most he would just bring up a couple issues he thought he might have forgotten about.
At this time he once more added, “Brother Chen, since we’re leaving so soon, how about we come up for a name for the organization right now. A name is…”
Yao Chen laughed and put his hand on Feng Xian’s shoulder. “You can pick it. You understand me the best. All I know about is alchemy, so I can only delegate these small details to you.”
Feng Xian immediately laughed. “Ok, I’ll handle everything. But still, what kind of name do you think is best?”
Yao Chen thought about it and said, “Then we’ll call it… the Falling Star Pavilion.”
The Bone Chilling Flame had been obtained from the Fallen Spirit Ice Source. There was a popular saying that the stars in the skies were actually gods, and whenever a star fell to the earth it was a god landing amongst men.
Feng Xian silently nodded. He actually understood that what had fallen from Yao Chen’s heart wasn’t a star, it wasn’t a spirit, but it was a person.
The next day’s early morning, Yao Chen took out his Spatial Boat in front of the wormhole. Thirty-two Dou Wangs followed him. Not one person had failed to show up.
“You guys…” Yao Chen felt like he was in a daze. Originally he thought that only half of them would come.
Feng Xian was also a bit surprised. “Su Qu, your son is just one year old. You should stay.”
A dark-faced man laughed. “I’ve already thought about it, and leaving the son with the wife is fine. Moreover the current me is all because of brother Yao. I don’t want to stay a Dou Wang for the rest of my life.”
Su Ou’s eyes flashed when he said that.
They all understood him and laughed. Perhaps what Su Qu had thought about the most wasn’t his own advancement, but actually his son. Everyone knew that Yao Chen had many techniques. Nurturing and training a foundation from three years old would truly allow you to raise a genius that was a complete defiance of the heavens.
Feng Xian coughed and smiled. “Everyone here are all good brothers. Today our Falling Star Pavilion has officially formed. Big bro Yao Chen will be everyone’s pavilion chief.”
Everyone all agreed together, their eyes shining. Now that their organization had a real name it naturally didn’t feel the same. What had been relaxed and unconsolidated became stricter and closer, bringing with it a sense of belonging and safety.
And by doing it like this they were now even closer to Yao Chen than ever. Everyone was clear that as long as they were with Yao Chen, even a pig could become an expert.
Time flowed by. Ten years passed. It felt like just the blink of an eye. The time that had passed would never return. They experienced much… betrayals, expeditions, establishments, and also a constant search…
The Falling Star Pavilion had already grown to become a colossal existence. Not only did it exist in the Central Plains; feelers had been sent out towards all the various lands, and even the most remote desolated placed still had the eyes of the Falling Star Pavilion on them. Some powers directly attached themselves to them.
Perhaps it was simply fate, but information came over that a natural formation had formed within the Sky Star Mountain Range. A meteorite’s star strength had formed a space that only appeared like a sea of trees. Whether you used the naked eye or spiritual energy to probe it, you wouldn’t be able to see the hidden world inside.
“Considering the name of the Fallen Star Pavilion and this meteorite is a ‘fallen star’, brother Chen, what do you think about the Sky Star Mountain Range…?”
Feng Xian had already become a three star Dou Zong after these ten years. His cultivation speed was completely monstrous. And this was despite him having to waste a great deal of time on the everyday matters of the Fallen Star Pavilion. He was only able to advance so quickly because the number of medicinal pills Yao Chen had used on him had reached an astronomical number over these years.
Although Yao Chen was the pavilion chief, it was just a title. Over the past ten years he had always been roaming outside. He would only get in contact with the Fallen Star Pavilion once or twice a month. After throwing out a couple more medicinal pills he would then disappear again.
It was Feng Xian who was the one who truly ran the Fallen Star Pavilion. In order to support Yao Chen as best he could, he always expanded the power of the pavilion to wherever Yao Chen was roaming.
This kind of expansion was obviously a bit overbearing and could easily lead to a collapse. Who knew just how many people they had offended over the past ten years? Even the ancient Hall of Souls had been provoked by them.
Of course, the more people they offended, the more people they ended up meeting. Feng Xian’s methods became more and more cunning. They didn’t only make enemies of people during this time. With Yao Chen’s new title of being the ‘mainland’s number one alchemist’, the Fallen Star Pavilion ended up growing to the point that even the Hall of Souls wouldn’t provoke them lightly. It wasn’t that they were weaker, but that they would have to use their full force. The Hall of Souls didn’t want to prematurely break the equilibrium over the current Central Plains.
Yao Chen laughed and took out a Yin-Yang Mysterious Dragon Pill and gave it to Feng Xian. “Take this pill. I just refined it and it’s not the same as before. Circulate your Dou Qi as fast as you can and quickly refine the medicinal energy. See if there if a strange energy that comes out from it.”
Feng Xian closely examined this Yin-Yang Mysterious Dragon Pill. Two golden dragons were swimming along it and a faint dragon roar shook the spirit. “Brother Chen, are you using me to test your medicine again?”
Although that was what he said, Feng Xian didn’t have any hesitation. Circulating his Dou Qi, he swallowed the medicinal pill in one gulp.
BOOM BOOM BOOM! A three star Dou Zong’s entire Dou Qi was in motion now. Feng Xian’s body released a powerful gale and even the air around his body had become a bit thin. Formless wind blades could vaguely be seen. If seemed as if even space had been set ablaze.
Half a day later…
Feng Xian shook his head blankly. “Brother Chen, is there something wrong with the pill? I didn’t sense the slightest thing…”
Yao Chen scratched his forehead. “It was originally just a chance. There’s no guarantee of inheriting it. Oh, sorry for troubling you again Feng Xian.”
“Tch.” Feng Xian didn’t ask more questions. He couldn’t help feeling that just randomly eating a seventh tier medicinal pill like that was a bit luxurious. The Fallen Star Pavilion may lack everything, but it only didn’t lack medicinal pills. Yao Chen’s success rate when refining was absolutely shocking. Especially when it came to high tier medicinal pills, his success rate was at least fifty percent. That meant with every two attempts he would succeed at least once! If any other alchemist heard that, they would be filled with so much jealousy that they could die.
Yao Chen still wasn’t done and took out another sixth tier medicinal pill for Feng Xian to consume. “This time suppress your Dou Qi to the absolute limit. If you could cause your Dou Qi to disappear from your body it would be best.”
Feng Xian nodded his head taciturnly and swallowed it…
Six hours later, Feng Xian stared at Yao Chen with complete shock. “Brother Chen… I just… advanced?”
“Yup. It should be temporary, but if you can maintain it for long enough then it would be a true advancement. Four star Dou Zong – congratulations.”
Feng Xian had an urge to knock his head against a wall. Each advancement in the Dou Zong realm would require at least a year of bitter cultivation. But now he just randomly ate a couple of Yao Chen’s medicinal ingredients and advanced another Dou Zong class star… if he had known about this before, would he have even bothered bitterly training so much?
However he quickly shook his head and smiled, “Brother Chen, if you keep this up I won’t have any motivation to train.”
Yao Chen laughed, “I only do this for you. I believe in you.”
Feng Xian was a bit moved. He understood what Yao Chen was saying. When it came to talent, compared to the top talents in this world, Feng Xian could only be considered average. If he couldn’t advance further then he wouldn’t have any advantage over them. Those medicinal pills were not just casually taken out. Yao Chen had put in much of his sweat and tears for them, doing detailed adjustments to the refinement to make it suited to his constitution and Dou Qi nature. Only through those countless minor adjustments did he become stronger and stronger. His advancement was such that he wasn’t the slightest bit inferior to those top geniuses.
“Let’s go to Sky Star Mountain Range.” Yao Chen’s eyes flashed. He had never done that much as the chief of the Falling Star Pavilion, although he had caused quite a bit of trouble for the pavilion. The matter of offending the Hall of Souls was mostly because of him. The trouble though had been completely thrown to Feng Xian to handle. All he cared about was roaming throughout the heavens, searching for the things and person he was looking for.
Now he felt it was time to contribute some things for everyone. In particular he wanted to make a safe headquarters for everyone since he had antagonized so many enemies.
Every single one of the ancient great powers had a secret land to themselves. If they encountered some kind of great calamity, all they had to do was hide their clan within that secret land. There they could wait till the calamity passed and they had recovered before once ore appearing when the opportunity came.
As for the Fallen Star Pavilion, it was also time for it to have such a home.
Yao Chen's victory at the Pill Gathering is mentioned in Chapter 203 of the BTTH manga. Also, just as a side note, I had originally translated it as Pill Competition but changed it when I saw that the BTTH translators translated it as the Pill Gathering. The Pill Gathering's Chinese is 丹会. The translators of BTTH was correct, as 会 only refers to a grouping. However in these cases I usually translate it to Competition instead of Gathering (the Medicine Competition was also 会) to give it more context/connotation.
Xuan Yi is one of the three great heads of the Pill Tower in BTTH. Her feelings for Yao Chen are mentioned several times, but most of all in this chapter:
Chapter 33 Dou Di Realm
Sky Star Mountain Range.
Within a sea of trees was a special space that had been hidden deeply. This was a natural grand formation that had formed from a meteorite’s star strength having a complicated and tangled interaction with Sky Star Mountain Range’s magnetic field. This interaction twisted off a huge empty space.
That space was completely stable and seemed similar to living on the mainland. Moreover it had coalesced the spiritual energy of Sky Star Mountain Range so it could even be considered a holy land for cultivation.
Due to how natural the formation was, even a Dou Zun expert flying over wouldn’t be able to detect the hidden world within. This made it a perfect place for protection.
Even if a powerful expert noticed it, with the protection of the natural formation, no person without the power of a Dou Sheng would be able to enter that space forcefully.
Yao Chen had already reached the peak of the Dou Zong class after the past ten years. But with his techniques and resources, he could probably fight on par with a five or six star Dou Zun. Now that he had found this natural formation and set up several other arrangements, he called back all the Falling Star Pavilion’s brothers which had endured many trials over the past ten years over to this location. Nine people were missing from the original thirty-two members.
Over the last ten years, of those thirty-two people, some died from battle, while others for various reasons betrayed the Falling Star Pavilion.
Now the remaining twenty-three people were the true core of the pavilion and all worked as one.
“Without setting up a transportation formation, it is impossible to directly bring people into Sky Star Mountain Range anymore. Even when it comes to your various disciples, you must be cautious about telling them about this place. In the worst case scenario, this place will be the final refuge. Calling it a holy land would not be overboard.”
Feng Xian was giving a speech to everyone, announcing Yao Chen’s intentions. Truthfully, Yao Chen would never bother with these things.
Although Yao Chen didn’t really manage them, but everyone was extremely clear that no matter how big the Falling Star Pavilion grew, its true core would always be Yao Chen.
Without Yao Chen’s steady supply of high grade medicinal pills, without the alchemists drawn over by his fame, the Falling Star Pavilion would only be considered a third-rate power.
It was only because of the mainland’s number one alchemist who also possessed the Bone Chilling Flame, Yao Chen, that the Falling Star Pavilion could continuously grow stronger unstoppably over the past ten years.
After setting up a couple minor arrangements, although the space was still empty, many of those brothers immediately began to feel a sense of home from it. After ten years of battle, they finally had a place to rest their feet.
After another year, the Falling Star Pavilion had become even more energetic within the Central Plains. Their influence and power spread throughout. Those clans, families, and powers that adhered to the Falling Star Pavilion gradually became masters of their respective cities and powerful existences.
There was almost a miraculous feeling to it. Although their strength hadn’t necessarily increased, but now that they had a place to call home, the amount of power the members could display had clearly risen.
The Wind Lightning Pavilion, Yellow Spring Pavilion, Ten Thousand Sword Pavilion, and the other various ancient powers whose inheritance stretched back hundreds of years all gradually felt a huge pressure from the Fallen Star Pavilion’s growth. In particular, the Wind Lightning Pavilion’s sphere of influence overlapped with the Fallen Star Pavilion in many different complicated ways and areas. They had many conflicts, and Yao Chen even personally went to the Wind Lightning Pavilion once.
Yao Chen’s feelings were also no longer the same. He could no longer return to the Yao clan, so the Sky Star Mountain Range’s Fallen Star Pavilion headquarters was his new home with his new family.
This year he actually didn’t go out at all, instead staying in Sky Star Mountain Range and watching as the empty space gradually became livelier and many new Dou Formations were constructed.
But a new piece of news quickly shook the Central Plains – The Light-Shadow Realm was about to open.
This Light-Shadow Realm was an ancient inheritance. It would appear between every five hundred to every thousand years before once more returning to the void and disappearing.
It was reported that it was a Dou Di space constructed from a peerless Dou Di who had comprehended an ultimate force of both Light and Darkness. After that Dou Di disappeared, this Dou Di Space actually gained its own spirituality and was able to draw energy from the void for itself. Then through some sort of spatial-void law it would appear back in the world.
Every time the Light-Shadow Realm opened there would be countless experts drawn toward it. The remnants of a Dou Di were endless. Just by obtaining a single item it would bring endless benefits. You might not be able to become unrivaled in this world, but becoming a powerful expert that gained the title of a king or overlord would not be difficult.
“Brother Chen, we can’t give up this opportunity.”
Feng Xian had pulled Yao Chen out of his semi-seclusion and told about the past of the Light-Shadow Realm. “Last time the Light-Shadow Realm appeared was eight hundred and ten years ago. Some people saw two divine cauldrons, one pitch black and one radiating light. They’re the root energy of the Light-Shadow Realm. This time there will be many alchemists entering and looking for their chance.”
To an alchemist, possessing a Heavenly Flame was a kind of ultimate dream, while having a divine medicinal cauldron was something that they would cherish more than anything else. A divine cauldron did not need a Heavenly Flame to use.
Yao Chen was no exception to this rule. Although his refining success rate was already extremely high, if he had a true divine cauldron his success rate might reach the point that it would be a defiance of the heavens. Especially that black cauldron – it should be a perfect match for his Bone Chilling Flame.
Therefore how could he possibly give up on this opportunity?
The most important thing was that the Light-Shadow Realm had its own special rules. Only those weaker than Dou Zun could enter, so Yao Chen’s peak Dou Zong strength was already the greatest power that could be tolerated by the space. According to the rumors, only a peak Dou Zong would be able to obtain the true inheritance of the Light-Shadow Space.
Half a month later…
Yao Chen and Feng Xian arrived at Qinshan Town. There was no longer a night and day at this place. The sky was in a perpetual state of dusk. It was as if they were on the horizon; light and dark were fighting, forming a strange equilibrium.
Qinshan Town was originally just a small ordinary town. The strongest person there was just a Da Dou Shi. Ever since the news that the Light-Shadow Space was about to open in the Qinshan mountain range, the peace there had been broken by the arrival of countless experts.
Ice River Valley, Blazing Flame Valley, Wind Lightning Pavilion, Yellow Spring Pavilion, Ten Thousand Sword Pavilion… they all had Dou Zun experts come over.
When Yao Chen and Feng Xian arrived, there were already people there to receive them. Those three were an old man, a middle-aged man, and a young man, all who looked alike and seemed to be directly related.
“Brother Chen, this is Qin He, the master of Qinshan. He’s also an outer member of our Falling Star Pavilion.”
“This subordinate greets pavilion chief.”
Qin He immediately knelt and prostrated himself before the two of them.
“Stand up when you speak.” Yao Chen nodded. In order to find Han Shanshan, the Falling Star Pavilion had expanded out to many outer powers. They didn’t even ignore the tiny and remote villages like Qinshan Town. There also wouldn’t be any other strong powers who would contest with the Falling Star Pavilion over such small places.
“This subordinate doesn’t dare.” In Qin He’s eyes, the Falling Star Pavilion was on a god-like level. As for the pavilion chief Yao Chen, he was like a divinity. Right now all of Qinshan Town was completely chaotic as all kinds of powers fought. The only way for him to keep himself safe in this chaos was to stick tightly to the Falling Star Pavilion’s feet.
“He said get up, so get up!”
Feng Xian waved his sleeve and raised Qin He up. “Have the residences been prepared?”
“I prepared a place for the pavilion chief, but it was taken by the people of the Ten Thousand Sword Pavilion.”
Qin He was completely helpless to this. He had actually made those preparations carefully and long ago, never expecting that the better this accommodations were, the easier it would be for others to notice them.
“Ten Thousand Sword Pavilion? Let’s go take a look.” Yao Chen indifferently laughed.
“Yes, this was pavilion chief.” Qin He quickly went to show them the way.
The Ten Thousand Sword Pavilion was an ancient and well-known power within the Central Plains, but the Falling Star Pavilion was not afraid of facing any power.
Qin He knew that the Light-Shadow Realm would quickly close again. Qinshan Town would then eventually return to its original state. What he cared about was his position and whether he could still remain unrivalled in his small town. There were other families in the town that had borrowed this chance to get access to the other great powers. His old opponents all had used secret techniques to increase their strength to the Da Dou Shi class. Right now he could only rely on the Falling Star Pavilion’s strength in order to deter those old opponents.
They met many experts along their path. Dou Wangs were everywhere, while Dou Lings were the absolute weakest. There were also some experts with strange styles who were obviously from strong powers outside the Central Plains.
But they didn’t end up seeing any Dou Zun level experts. It was reported that once the Light-Shadow Realm opened, a spiritual pressure would be emitted in a hundred mile radius. Those below Dou Zun would be unaffected, but those who weren’t would be completely suppressed by it as if a huge mountain was crushing them.
The three of them arrived at a house. All kinds of powerful beast carvings were along the courtyard walls. Elegant willows had been planted along the walls, a beautiful and secluded scene that caused a person’s mind to relax.
Qin He pointed to the gate. Outside the gate were four black-robed men with long swords on their backs. On their clothes were the mark of the Ten Thousand Sword Pavilion.
“You’ve come back again!? We’ve already said that after we’ve finished with it we’ll return it and you’ll be recompensed properly.”
One of the Ten Thousand Sword Pavilion’s disciples saw Qin He and couldn’t hold back from coldly shouting at him. He then turned to Yao Chen and Feng Xian. “Two sirs, the Ten Thousand Sword Pavilion is resting here and isn’t taking any guests at the moment.”
Yao Chen indifferently smiled. “I’m also not taking any guests, so if you guests could please leave?”
Feng Xian didn’t even say anything before sending out a palm. His Dou Qi formed a gale that blew those four back, slamming them into the gate. “Is the Ten Thousand Sword Pavilion’s Sword Son present?”
He and and Feng Xian directly strolled into the yard. They saw a miserable scene. A dozen Ten Thousand Sword Pavilion disciples were in the yard, most of them with missing limbs. They were tidying up a pile of corpses with mournful expression. When they saw Yao Chen and Feng Xian barge in, those disciples all acted as if they were facing a powerful enemy, but they were unable to make a sound.
It was obvious they had just encountered a catastrophe that had injuried them greatly.
A rush of wind came from inside and an expert in his thirties with a long sword on his back walked out. “Feng Xian, you dare intrude on the Ten Thousand Sword Pavilion’s territory!”
“Sword Son, I’m afraid it’s you who have taken up our Falling Star Pavilion’s territory,” coldly said Feng Xian unafraid.
“You! If you want to fight then just come at us! There’s no need for your lies.”
Yao Chen frowned and suddenly said, “Wait, you’ve all been infected by the Yin Nine Poison Insect’s poisonous eggs. If you once more use your Dou Qi, the results would be absolutely horrifying.”
“You… You do you know about the Yin Nine Poison Insect!?”
Those disciples’ expressions all changed. They had actually just fought with a Yin Nine Poison Insect and that was why they were in such a miserable condition. However they had also made quite a profit from it.
But a poison egg?
Everyone knew that the Yin Nine Poison Insect’s larva were incorporeal. They’d normally attach themselves to the bodies of experts and after maturing they would devour their host’s brain. The most insidious part of it was that after that, they wouldn’t immediately eat the rest of them, but use the body to commit countless terrible actions. Killing their father, killing their brothers, taking advantage of their masters, exterminating ancestors… to a sect or clan, it posed countless troubles, even posing a possibility of complete extinction.
“That’s impossible. We all applied the Dragon Spirit Salt on our bodies, so how could the larva infect us?”
Yao Chen only smiled and indifferently explained, “If it was a Dou Zun level Yin Nine Poison Insect and possesses just a trace of the Dragonizing Qi, the Dragon Spirit Salt is completely useless against it. I don’t care whether you believe me or not.”
Feng Xian said, “Sword Son, this is our Falling Star Pavilion’s chief, grandmaster Yao Chen.”
The Sword Son’s expression immediately changed. “The mainland’s number one alchemist? Ah, we’ve been disrespectful… I wonder whether grandmaster Yao Chen has a way to resolve the poisonous eggs?”
“Medicinal pills are useless against the poison eggs with the Dragonizing Qi. However if you want to resolve it, you can go to a cold pool valley and soak deep within in. If you take these medicinal pills first, it will resolve itself in three days.”
Yao Chen threw over a bottle of medicinal pills.
The Sword Son thought over this. It was obvious to him that Yao Chen most likely had other methods to expel the poisonous eggs. The only valley with such a cold pool was over ten thousand miles. This was obviously Yao Chen’s way of forcing them to leave Qinshan Town. However he also rejoiced since if Yao Chen hadn’t noticed this, the consequences would have been too terrible to even imagine.
“Hmph, you’re quite ruthless. We’ll leave immediately.” In the end the Sword Son took those medicinal pills.
In just a quarter of an hour they had cleaned up those corpses and all the Ten Thousand Sword Pavilion’s people left, not wanting to waste even a moment.
Feng Xian blinked at him. “Brother Chen? Can it really only be resolved with a cold pool valley?”
“It was a bit of a lie. Those medicinal pills are actually enough to expel the poison eggs,” laughed Yao Chen.
“Haha, that’s also good. The Sword Son is also a peak Dou Zong and would have been a powerful opponent.”
Yao Chen nodded. The other disciples of the Ten Thousand Sword Pavilion might be overlookable, but that Sword Son had had a terrifying energy within him. Even without those poison egg expelling pills, in the end he still would have been able to use his own power to resolve those poison eggs. If they could remove this kind of opponent so they wouldn’t have to face him head on, then that would only be a good thing. Of course, if he hadn’t left, Yao Chen would definitely still not be afraid of him. Yao Chen had complete confidence in defeating anyone below the Dou Zun class.
The next day, Qin He guided the two of them to the entrance of the Light-Shadow Realm. Over a hundred experts had already gathered there. There was no longer a single Dou Ling level combatant there. The weakest members were still at least a one star Dou Wang.
“Haha, Feng Xian, you’ve also come?”
At this time a group of three walked over.
These three had monstrous appearances. They definitely could be called ugly, but their skin was as snow white as a lady’s. Their eyes emitted a strange spiritual ripple that possessed a bewitching power to steal the soul.
It was obvious those three had trained in an evil demonic qi.
Feng Xian’s face tightened. “The Three Scorpion Devil Ghosts. So you three actually dared come.”
“Haha, last time we lost to you because our cultivation technique reached a critical moment and we were unable to display our true strength. This time, hehe…”
The Three Scorpion Devil Ghosts all seemed to want to attack, but when their gaze swept Yao Chen they were startled. With their seven star Dou Zong strength and their special probing techniques they were still actually unable to see through Yao Chen.
At this time a person suddenly saw Yao Chen from a group of Dou Zongs and he actually flew over, calling, “Brother Yao! Even you’ve come haha! Everyone, I’ll introduce you. This is Yao Chen, the mainland’s number one alchemist. Even the Small Pill Tower couldn’t hold him.”
That group of Dou Zongs immediately became noisy. No matter who it was, they all cupped their hands to Yao Chen. Whether it was the veiled aura over Yao Chen’s body or his title as the number one alchemist, either was enough for him to be viewed respectfully by everyone.
The Three Scorpion Devil Ghosts quietly retreated, glad that they hadn’t attacked just now. Otherwise if Yao Chen had given a single order, the three of them would have immediately been collapsed upon by that group of Dou Zongs.
To those experts, if it meant doing a favor for the mainland’s number one alchemist, suppressing three Dou Zongs was nothing.
Yao Chen indifferently laughed and also cupped his hands to them. He was already used to this kind of status. The title of number one alchemist was actually just an empty, meaningless title. There were definitely stronger alchemists than him, however those people rarely revealed himself. Even if they did refine a rare medicine, they were mostly kept to themselves. Only he would have his various refined medicinal pills sent out through various channels. The Falling Star Pavilion would often use them for allies or for an auction.
Moreover, while Yao Chen didn’t necessarily bother with every expert who came to him asking for medicine, when he was in a good mood he would spent a great deal of time refining for some of them. Gradually his reputation grew and he was given the title of number one.
“This time I’d like to ask one thing of everyone. If you find anything related to alchemist masters, whether it is techniques, medicinal cauldrons, or medicinal formulas, I, Yao Chen, would like to exchange for it.”
“Haha, it’s not like we’re alchemists. If we did find such things we can only exchange them.”
But not everyone stated their position so clearly. Those few were people were already good friends with other alchemists, maybe even followers.
However Yao Chen didn’t force it. Chances had to be fought over be yourself. If you entrusted it to others, you would naturally fall to a weaker position.
Suddenly a cackling laugh rang out. “Yao Chen, I hadn’t thought it’d be possible for you to also become a Dou Zong. As expected, possessing a Heavenly Flame will bring many benefits. What? Are you still searching for you sister Han?”
Yao Chen’s expression changed slightly. His gaze was sharp as he glared at this person. “Mu Gu!”
A black-robed and malicious middle-aged man walked over.
Feng Xian’s gaze flashed. “A person who cheats his master.”
“Tut tut, I’ve already said that Han Shanshan’s disappearance had nothing to do with me. No matter how you put it, she is my master, right junior disciple Yao Chen?”
“I don’t have an apprentice-brother like you,” coldly said Yao Chen. “Sister Han also never once recognized you as her disciple.”
“Well, think whatever you want. In any case, your Falling Star Pavilion should stop bothering me. Right now I’m already a seventh tier alchemist and a Dou Zong. Do you think I want a woman as a master? Please.”
As he spoke, those Dou Zongs who hadn’t replied to Yao Chen had already walked over to stand behind Mu Gu. Obviously they had obtained many benefits from Mu Gu.
But that was also reasonable. A seventh tier alchemist could easily summon a dozen Dou Huangs with just a single word. If he wanted to, inviting seven or eight Dou Zongs was also a simple matter. Alchemists never fought on their own unless they were stupid.
Behind Yao Chen was also a group of Dou Zongs. Both sides emitted a powerful aura that clashed against each other. Ever from the start Yao Chen had been suspicious that Han Shanshan’s disappearance had had to do with Mu Gu.
Before Yao Chen had arrived at Sacred Pill City, Mu Gu had been a disciple with absolutely shocking talent. He had paid his respects to Han Shanshan as a master, but before of some of his conduct and using human corpses to be refined into medicine, he had irked Han Shanshan and been forced out from Sacred Pill City.
This was also one of the reasons Han Shanshan had vowed to never take an apprentice and had also had a bit of effect on Yao Chen’s entrance into the Pill Tower to cultivate.
In this world, the person who hated Han Shanshan the most would definitely be Mu Gu.
Just be training on his own he had managed to become a Dou Zong and a seventh tier alchemist. If he had stayed in Sacred Pill City and managed to cultivate in the Small Pill Tower, just what kind of level would he have reached? Perhaps Mu Gu’s hatred of Han Shanshan had seeped deep into his bones.
However despite the Falling Star Pavilion investigating him for over ten years, they had found clear proof that Mu Gu had had nothing to do with Han Shanshan’s disappearance. In the moments before Han Shanshan had disappeared, Mu Gu had been the guest of a Dou Huang and hadn’t left that residence for three months.
In the midst of this strained atmosphere, an immense ringing suddenly came from the Light-Shadow Realm, and a gate with light and shadow interweaving appeared in front of everyone.
The Dou Di’s realm had finally opened.
You may recall in BTTH that the translator called these special spaces 'Ancient Manors/Mansions'. I checked the raws and found that the term the author used was 'immortal cave'. That term is not mentioned in this novel however (it's only called a Dou Di realm or space). However the Mansion/Manor in BTTH is actually the Ancient Immortal Cave. The translator for BTTH may have chosen to change it to mansion/manor since immortal caves aren't a big thing in BTTH and so readers might have been confused. However, as seen in other novels in this genre, immortal caves are simply places where a cultivator lives/trains and does not necessarily have to be a 'cave'.
You may recall that Mu Gu in BTTH. Here is his first scene:
The Three Scorpion Devil Ghosts are killed by Yao Chen in BTTH here: