Legend of Yao Lao 药老传奇 (COMPLETED)

edited September 2018 in Translations
Legend of Yao Lao occurs before the events that in Battle Through the Heavens, telling us the story of Yao Lao, Xian Yan's mysterious teacher. It's by the same author, Heavenly Silk Work 天蚕土豆, and is published by 金城出版社, Gold Wall Press, China. The full title is Battle Through the Heaven's Prequel - Legend of Yao Lao (斗破苍穹前传之药老传奇). But I just refer to it as Legend of Yao Lao. 


Author's synopsis: This is the Dou Qi world, where the strong are respected and the weak are despised. The Yao clan is one of the eight ancient clans with a Dou Di's blood in their veins, and it is a holy land for alchemists. Follow Yao Chen, Xiao Yan's teacher, as he goes from his low position in the Yao clan to standing at the summit of the Dou Qi continent. 

This is a spoiler synopsis by the author. Don't read if you don't want spoilers!

Located on the edge of the Dou Qi continent was the Yao clan descended from an ancient Dou Di. Not only was this place isolated from the Central Plains, it was also a breeding ground for poisonous insects and vicious beasts. But with the Yao clan's incredible strength and their exquisite alchemy, it became a holy land that was worshiped by alchemists. Born in a weak branch family, orphaned by his father at a young age, treated with indifference by the clan, and banished from the clan for false charges when he tried to display his talent. He experienced all kinds of trials and adventures, in the end gaining the title of the Central Plain's mainland number one alchemist. But because of his apprentice's betrayal, not even his bones remained...

How did Yao Chen, a youngster in a weak branch of the Yao clan, manage to reverse his fate to become the mainland's number one alchemist?
What kind of encounters did he have after being banished from the Yao clan?
From a lowly trash to the top of the mainland, just how many secrets are still hidden in Saint Yao's story?



Volume 1 (Chapters 1-10): First Signs of Budding Talent

Chapter 1: The Yao Clan

Within the Central Plains lay the Shennong Mountain Range.

At dusk, a fiery glow lit up the clouds. This mountain range spanned many miles, and a bustling city was built on top of a certain tall mountain. The peak of the mountain had been flattened out by people and a huge metropolis which exuded an energetic air had been built atop of it.

This was the Yao clan’s ancestral land where most people share the same surname – Yao. There were only some exceptions to this, such as disciples, close relationships, or some distant relatives.

No matter their origin, to be able to live on the Yao clan’s ancestral lands meant that you had an indisputable relationship with the Yao clan. However some would only be considered a branch member.

The Yao clan: one of the eight ancient clans. Their clan name meant medicine, and they could be considered the best expert alchemists under the heavens. No matter where you went in the clan, if a clan member wasn’t an alchemist then that person at least knew a thing or two about alchemy and appraising pills.

At the utmost peak of the mountain lay an extremely large, mostly empty space. At the very center of it was a towering stone monument. The monument was both simple and huge, exuding an air of cohesive majesty. This is a symbol of how consolidated the members of the Yao clan were – the Clan Monument.

This monument was considered extremely important to the Yao clan. Only the most famous clan members could have their names, along with their parents’ names, engraved onto the Clan Monument. This was the absolute highest honor for them. There was even a saying amongst clan members: ‘to leave your name on the Clan Monument, your death would not have been in vain’.

Looking at the Clan Monument, the four sides of it pointed to separate parts of the clan: the ancestral hall, the elders’ hall, the clan school, and the clan treasury.

Just below the mountain peak was the inner ring where the members of the main bloodline resided. Immediately below were the houses of the clan members who had the great prestige and power to live there. From this area came many sporadic bursts of concentrated medicinal fragrance.

Below the foot of the mountain was where the ordinary members of the clan lived. The buildings there were not so eye-attracting; they looked just like any other town’s buildings and roads.

On one street, a group of children around seven years old were playing an alchemy game. Although it appeared to be a game, all of them were reciting the words of actual pill formulas; none of them were made up.

While the kids were playing excitedly, a group of tall men walked over from afar. As they walked towards the sounds of the laughter, the setting sun caused their shadows to grow longer and longer.

“Ah, you’re still playing outside! Come home to eat dinner!”

The children became even happier and threw themselves towards the group of men.

“Dad came back!”

“Dad, yesterday I learned about pill refining in the clan school….”

When the children saw their dads coming towards them, their young voices became even more rowdy.

The dads laughingly picked up their individual children onto their shoulders.

Amongst the children was a five-year-old boy who appeared extremely calm, but his hand was tightly clasping his father’s hand. The warmth from his father’s hand gave him a sense of simple happiness.

“What happened Chen-er? Were you naughty again and caused your mom to be angry?”

The child lowered his head, “Mom’s angry, she said she wouldn’t acknowledge me anymore… dad, you’ll coax mom, right?”

“Haha, of course. Let’s go; us father and son duo together can definitely make sure that your mom will make us some good food.”

Yao Huo laughingly picked his child, placing him on his shoulder.

“Yao Huo, your kid was being naughty again?”

A sturdy man came walking over with a rather fat child on his shoulder who was also around five years old.

“Dad, Yao Chen used aunt’s favourite flower vase as a pill furnace,” the fat child reported loudly.

“…Cough, Chen-er, it wasn’t that celadon flower vase was it?” Yao Huo asked with a cough, his eyebrows twitching.

Yao Chen lowered his head, his hands roving across his father’s head in an agitated manner, “Mom really won’t acknowledge me again? She really will never make me chicken legs for dinner again?”

“So it really was true… then it’s all over for you. Old Huo wasn’t that the first gift you ever gave to your wife? Yao Chen, just wait to be punished,” laughed the muscular man carrying the fatty.

“Hmph, screw off Luo Bing! Don’t try frightening my child; Chen-er isn’t scared. With me as your father, I will definitely make sure your mom makes you chicken legs for you to eat.”

The fatty loudly asked, “Dad, what are chicken legs?”

“Bad tasting stuff. Go home and eat some meat buns.”

“Yeah, meat buns are definitely the most delicious.” The fatty nodded his head as if he had understood something.

Yao Huo gave Luo Bing a despising look, “Old Luo, you better go look for a different kid. This one’s so young but you’re already willing to let him do whatever?”

Luo Bing glared back at him, “Hmph, you understand nothing. Whatever, let’s go home.”

Yao Huo laughingly said, “We’re leaving now!”

Yao Huo and Luo Bing were clearly this group’s leaders. As soon as they told everyone they were leaving, everyone laughingly picked up their children and started walking home.

The two were actually neighbours, so they started walking home along the same route.

The fatty’s name was Luo Shu, and he was constantly chattering along the road either about Yao Chen’s current misfortune or saying bad things about his older brother Luo Shan.

But every time the fatty would talk about Yao Chen’s situation, he would secretly glance towards him. It was pretty clear that he was trying to get Yao Chen’s attention.

However, Yao Chen did not take to heart anything that he said. His father’s shoulder was very wide and he felt extremely comfortable. If only his mom wasn’t angry at him; then he’d feel even better.

When the father son duo finally arrived home, Yao Chen jumped off from his dad’s shoulder and announced “Mom, dad’s home now.”

A beautiful figure came out of the house with a pleasantly surprised opened-mouth look. However when she saw a worried Yao Chen looking to see what was inside the kitchen, her lips curved slightly upwards in a smile. She quickly changed her expression and put on a fake angry look. “Hmph, you are finally willing to come home huh.”

Yao Huo winked towards Yao Chen, “Haha, I’m kind of hungry, are there chicken legs for dinner? The chicken legs cooked by my dear pretty wife Yao Qing are the most delicious in this whole world. Isn’t that right Chen-er?”

“Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, mom’s chicken legs are the most delicious!” Yao Chen immediately nodded his head.

“One old swindler, one young swindler. Hmph, just who is your dear pretty wife.”

“Of course it’s you….” Yao Huo innocently blinked his eyes as his hands affectionately held Yao Qing who was still faking anger.

“Dad, I’m hungry.” Yao Chen couldn’t bear to watch any more of this; his stomach agreed with him by emitting a rumbling noise.

“Forget it, let’s eat.” Yao Qing laughed, her anger changing to smiles as she turned around and brought the father-son duo in to the kitchen. The dinner table was filled with plates covered with bowls. As soon as the bowls were lifted, a strong wonderful smell rushed out and assailed their noses.

“Oh, mom is the best!” Yao Chen seemed was so happy he felt like he could fly.

“Say that mom is the most beautiful. Women all like to hear this kind of talk,” Yao Huo laughingly told his son.

“Mom is the mostmostmostmostmost beautiful!” Yao Chen learned very quickly.

“You aren’t afraid to teach your son bad things?”

“If we don’t teach him some bad things now, in the future how will he trick a beautiful lady to come home?”

“My Yao Qing’s son actually needs to use tricks? Who do you think he is? You?”

“Haha, that’s true… wait a second, why do these words seem a bit off?”

“At the beginning, I also fell for your tricks.”

“Mom, how did dad trick you?” Yao Chen blinked his eyes, taking the opportunity to insert some words into this conversation. He was still very young and had been very worried that his mom would stop acknowledging him.

“You really want to know?”

“Uh-huh!”

“Wait for when you’re older and then I’ll tell you.”

“I’m already grown up! I’ve ever started to practice the Flame Foundation Skill.”

Yao Chen wasn’t satisfied with just saying it out loud, he jumped from his chair and in front of his mom and dad he began demonstrating his cultivation technique. However his imitation of the correct form was very off, and his appearance caused his parents to let out a burst of laughter.

Right after eating dinner, Yao Qing ‘forgave’ Yao Chen for his mischievous use of the flower vase as a medicinal cauldron. Together they took a stroll towards to the top of the mountain. The light breeze was pleasing as it blew through the late evening air, and Yao Chen started to play and amuse himself along the mountain path. The family was very happy together.

Arriving at the mountain top, they saw Clan Monument in the center of the public square. There were already quite a few people around it.

Yao Huo laughingly said, “Come, today I’ll bring you to a special place. Originally that was where your dad was with your mom and….”

“Yao Huo!” Yao Qing stamped her foot and on her beautiful, pure face appeared two red dots.

“Hehe, let’s go. Watching the sunset there gives you a kind of special feeling, and if we get there too late it will be taken up by other people.”

Continuing along the roads, they passed the Clan Monument and arrived at a huge bell tower. They climbed the stars and arrived at the roof where bursts of wind blew by. The fiery light of the setting sun was slowly descending beyond the distant mountain peaks.

The wind’s breeze, the light of the setting sun, the laughter of his mother and father…

Yao Chen’s small hand pointed to the distant square. “Dad, we can see the Clan Monument from here! Wow, it’s so small from here.”

“Haha, Yao Chen, do you know what the Clan Monument is? Do you know why it’s so important?”

“No.” Yao Chen shook his head. The young him still didn’t know just why the Clan Monument was the most important symbol in the Yao clan.

Yao Huo laughed heartily. He patted Yao Chen’s head with his rough and large hand and slowly said, “This Clan Monument has records of our Yao clan’s most heroic clan members. It is the greatest honor of our Yao clan. Countless ancestors have spent their entire lives trying to get their names carved onto it.”

“Yao Chen, your great-grandfather once achieved that honor and had his name carved onto it. That was the most glorious moment for our entire branch family.”

When speaking of this past glory, Yao Huo’s expression turned to one of great reverence, hope, and yet also powerlessness.

Yao Chen was unable to see through his father’s expressions, and after blinking he said in his tender voice, “Great-grandfather was amazing.”

“Yes, he was amazing. But his own descendants could only be unworthy of the old man’s name.”

Yao Huo smiled faintly. Looking at the ancient and huge stone monument, his words now contained some regret, “Ever since your great-grandfather’s time, our branch family could no longer produce people with such achievements. Over these few years, our branch has sunk more and more. The glory your great-grandfather left for us has already faded.”

Yao Qing’s eyes flashed. She had already known what her husband wanted to bring up when he suggested coming out today. Yao Chen was now five years old, which in the Yao clan was the time to start building his foundation. Yao Huo was telling this to Yao Chen because he was worried he was too young and wouldn’t be able to handle how much bitter work was required to train.

But hearing that faint regret in his voice, she couldn’t help but to sigh. Holding her husband’s large hand, she said, “You’ve already tried your best.”

Who knew just how much Yao Chen understood, but he could sense his parents’ powerless regret, so he reached out his tiny little hand to grab Yao Huo’s other hand. His bright eyes stared at the distant, large stone tablet.

“Dad, I will get you and mom’s names onto it.”

The five-year-old Yao Chen’s tender, childish voice was serious. If doing so would make his dad and mom happy, then he would work his hardest for it.

Yao Huo shook when he heard this. To carve their names on the Clan Monument was incredibly difficult. Countless talented individuals had failed. But his still nodded encouragingly to the little Yao Chen. “Then dad will wait for the day. My son Chen-er will definitely be amazing.”

Yao Chen nodded his head fervently, his young heart filled with determination.

Time flew by, and eight years passed in the blink of an eye.

That determination had filled him in the bell tower was something Yao Chen had never forgotten about in those past eight years.

When he was six he had joined the clan school. He trained practically crazily, in part because whenever he advanced he could the pride in his father’s eyes and his mother’s joyful smile.

In a training room of the clan school, a green-robed youth was practicing a physical drill.

His movements were like an arrow, straight and without pause.

Suddenly his movements stumbled and his Dou Qi showed signs of running out so he had no choice but to stop.

The youth exhaled a long breath of turbid air.

“Brother Chen, let’s go home. I’m hungry.”

A fat figure rushed infrom outside.

The green-robed youth was the thirteen-year-old Yao Chen, and the fatty was Luo Shu. Over these eight years, Yao Chen had grown taller and brighter. As for Luo Shu, he got taller, but in some ways he was the still the same fatty who liked to chatter.

Yao Chen smiled and nodded. “Okay, let’s go.”

“Hehe, when we left this morning, aunt Qing said we’d eat a feast for dinner!”

Luo Shu licked his lips. Whenever he thought of food he wouldn’t be able to hold back his appetite and had to continuously swallow his saliva.

Yao Chen couldn’t get his mood up though. Whenever they had such a feast it was because his father had to go out.

When he was young he hadn’t known this, but now that he was thirteen he had learned that this ‘going out’ was actually completing the clan’s missions.

His father and uncle Luo Bing were both Iron Guards of the clan.

The Yao clan’s Iron Guards normally didn’t leave the clan. But when they did, the missions they were assigned to would definitely be extremely dangerous.

Easy missions didn’t require the Iron Guards to handle them. Just the surrounding sects and schools who had adhered themselves to the Yao clan would be able to handle them. Only when those people no longer had any methods available to them would the Yao clan send out Iron Guards. It was obvious the danger level would not be low.

Luo Shu went to Yao Chen’s house to eat as he often did. Ever since the day he had tried a chicken leg, Luo Shu never went to eat at his own house. His mother had passed on early, while his father never wanted to remarry. There were no other women within his family, so every meal every day was just steamed meat buns. Although it didn’t lack meat, it was always boiled and pickled. If he hadn’t ever eaten any other food then that would have been fine for him, but after eating that chicken leg, Luo Shuo couldn’t go back to eating the same bland meal every day.

Yao Chen’s family naturally welcomed Luo Shu; food was not worth much in the clan. In addition, with Fatty Luo coming over to eat, Yao Chen’s portion also unconsciously went up.

After eating, Yao Huo patted Luo Shu on the shoulders and said, “Luo Shu, go home a bit early today.”

Luo Shou also knew that his father was going onto a mission. After wiping his mouth and saying goodbye, he quickly disappeared.

After Luo Shu left, Yao Huo and Yao Chen laughed. “Chen-er, let’s talk outside.”

Yao Chen nodded and went outside. When he did, Yao Huo laughed again and jumped onto the roof.

With a light shout, Yao Chen ran up along the wall.

“Dad?”

Every now and then his father would have to leave the clan for a mission, but he had never done as he had today and brought Yao Chen up for a talk on the roof.

“Haha, do you think it’s weird? This time father might have to go out for a long time. But hopefully I’ll still be back before the ninth day of the tenth month.”

That day… it was his mother’s birthday. Yao Chen nodded and smiled. His father would always prepare all kinds of different ways to celebrate that day. It was one of the most festive times in their family along with Yao Chen’s birthday and the new year.

“But if I don’t make it back by then, help dad give this to your mom.”

From his robes he handed him a jade hairpin. “But you can’t give it to her early. Only give it to her if I don’t make it back. Women like romantic things.”

Yao Chen rolled his eyes… his mom and dad were a bit TOO romantic. In any case, he wasn’t able to learn it.

Yao Huo then told Yao Chen a couple other techniques to pick up girls, but he suddenly paused when he looked into Yao Chen’s eyes. “What level has your Flame Foundation Dou Qi reached? Show me.”

“Yes.” Yao Chen’s eyes brightened and he extended his hand towards his father.

Yao Huo clasped his hands. A boom rang out and a powerful aura exploded from his body. It quickly condensed into a fierce tiger that attacked Yao Chen.

“Flame Foundation.”

Yao Chen wildly shouted, and Dou Qi billowed off his body, its light forming a stiff defence. Light condensed on his hands and slammed towards his father’s chest.

“Six star Dou Zhe, not bad.”

Yao Huo left and suddenly stopped, the exploding aura coming off from it disappearing into nothing.

But Yao Chen didn’t have as much control. He hastily attempted to pull back his power, and due to focusing too hard on that, he ended up falling from the roof. Getting up, he fumed, “Dad, stop messing around! Didn’t you say you’d spar with me?”

“Do we have to cross hands to spar? Mannerism is also a kind of fight. How to use your manner to intimidate enemies, how to figure out your opponents’ intentions - these things are something you can’t learn from just training.”

Yao Chen gaped, seeming to understand something but also feeling it was very vague.

“Something like this is very difficult and you don’t have to figure it out fight now. Once this mission is complete I’ll go to the clan and resign from being an Iron Guard.” Yao Huo laughed and patted Yao Chen’s shoulder.

Yao Chen went mad with joy at that. The intent behind his father’s words were to guide his heart.

Within the Yao clan were three ways to study: one, enter the clan school. From six to eighteen, anyone could join the school. The clan school offered education for everyone and anyone, whether it was a genius or a bumpkin; two, stay at home and have the elders of the family be in charge of teaching them. The result of such training was naturally better than the clan school’s very broad teachings with many students. Moreover, many secret arts were only circulated within each family. The ones the clan school could teach were all very common; third, become an apprentice of a clan elder. The clan’s experts would occasionally select young disciples to become their apprentice, but only the absolute best had such an opportunity.

Yao Chen was currently cultivating within the clan school bitterly. His progress was already pretty good; at thirteen he was already a six star Dou Zhe. Moreover, he had never taken radical medicinal pills to promote his Dou Qi. Each month he only took a single Musk Essence Foundation Strengthening Pill. With his talent, even just continuing with the clan school to cultivate wasn’t bad. But he would gradually fall behind the other talented disciples of the clan.

“Dad…”

“Don’t worry, I’ve finally managed to get enough money. Now that you are a six star Dou Zhe, you can finally begin to practice a true cultivation technique. The clan school’s few great techniques aren’t bad. With your progress these two years, you should go choose the best technique.” The Yao clan placed great importance and respect to refining medicine, thus disciples within the clan all had to use the Flame Foundation Skill as their first cultivation step. Only when the flame attribute Dou Qi within their body reached a sufficient level could they choose a foundation building cultivation technique. From the Flame Foundation to a true foundation building cultivation technique was an extremely important step.

“But dad, the best techniques requires too much…” Yao Chen had already prepared himself to choose a technique that didn’t require too many additional medicines.

“Haha, don’t worry about it. Your father will pave the way for you; Chen-er, as long as you work hard, your father won’t say anything… Ok, go find your mom and talk a bit. And don’t forget about the jade hairpin; don’t let her find out about it.”

“Yes!” Yao Chen was full of enthusiasm as he nodded. Looking up at his father’s large stature, his heart was filled with warmth.

The night passed…

Early in the morning, before the sun had even risen, Yao Chen heard his parents get out of bed. He quietly got out of bed and went to the window. Borrowing the starlight, he saw uncle Shu was already waiting next door. “Old Huo, hurry up. Old men with women are the most troublesome.

“Screw off! And be quiet; don’t wake them. And hey, who’s an old man?”

“Ok ok, let’s go!”

Under the starlight, the two figures disappeared into the distance. A frustrated feeling of loss filled Yao Chen.

At this moment, his mother walked in and saw Yao Chen. She laughed, “Chen-er, let’s go eat breakfast.”

“Ok mom. Dad said he’s going to resign as an Iron Guard.”

“Haha, mom already knows. Don’t worry, even if he’s not an Iron Guard, he can still become a clan soldier.”

Yao Chen blinked; the clan soldiers had an obvious disparity in terms of salary and treatment in comparison to Iron Guards. Their family’s condition was something Yao Chen was very clear about, and the best foundation building techniques required a great deal of resources in order to cultivate. Yao Chen wanted desperately to be stronger, but he also didn’t want to place such a heavy burden on his family.

“What? Chen-er has learned how to think about his family?” Yao Qing warmly smiled and rubbed Yao Chen’s hand. “Don’t worry about it too much. Eat.”

“Yes mom.”


BornToBe's thoughts:

Hope you guys like this novel. Yao Lao, known as Yao Chen here, is my favorite character in BTTH. In his name Yao Chen, Yao=Medicine while Chen=Dust. In his BTTH name Yao Lao, the Lao means old. However it is not 'Old Yao' (which would have been Lao Yao, not Yao Lao). 

Yao Lao's first appearance in BTTH: https://www.wuxiaworld.com/novel/battle-through-the-heavens/btth-chapter-8

Yao Lao crapping on everything Xian Yan once knew (sixth tier alchemist Gu He is trash?!?!): https://www.wuxiaworld.com/novel/battle-through-the-heavens/btth-chapter-9

The Clan Monument is translated as 'clan tablet' in BTTH. The Yao clan arc in BTTH is roughly from chapters 1560 to 1577. https://www.wuxiaworld.com/novel/battle-through-the-heavens/btth-chapter-1560


Footnotes:

Shennong is a god of medicine in Chinese mythology. 

Yao=Medicine. The other eight ancient clans are as follows: Gu=Ancient, Hun=Soul, Shi=Rock, Ling=Spirit, Lei=Thunder, Yan=Flame. The only one that is perhaps difficult to translate is Xiao. It roughly means mournful and bleak, but it is also a common surname. 

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  • edited September 2018

    Chapter 2: Calamity and Fortune are Fickle

    There was only one path towards the clan school at the top of the mountain. All the other paths had layers of restrictions; without orders from above, it was the death penalty to enter from other routes.

    During the walk up the path, Yao Chen was smoothly moving his swift Dou Qi throughout his whole body. Without a Qi Method, the only way to do this was to use the Flame Foundation Skill to continuously manoeuvre the Dou Qi. At the moment, Yao Chen had a feeling that he was on the verge of advancing to the seven star Dou Zhe class.

    This kind of feeling felt fantastic, but even with kind of feeling, to actually advance was not such a simple matter. The Flame Foundation Skill was an outstanding technique that allowed the Yao clan disciples to stand above outsiders. It allowed Yao clan disciples to be more sensitive when refining pills and increased their Spiritual Perception, giving them many advantages when refining pills. While it had many benefits, its weak point was also very noticeable. If you were to use the Flame Foundation Skill to practice Dou Qi, every single advancement would require a high price in precious materials.

    It was only natural that such a huge consumption would be worth it; at the time of advancement, one would absorb the precious materials energy, and as a result, the spirit’s perception, the body’s fire-wood attribute, as well as the Dou Qi’s control and toughness would all receive a qualitative lift.

    Within the Yao clan, around 70% of the clan members specialized in refining pills. Just randomly grabbing a group of Iron Guards would give you a number of tier two or tier three alchemists. Other than the fact that most of the clan members had fire-wood attributes, the effect of practicing the Flame Foundation Skill since childhood also had contributions to the large number of alchemists.

    Amongst his schoolmates at the school, Yao Chen would not be considered the most outstanding, however with a bit of a struggle he could manage to squeeze into the top ten. But just a couple of bad performances might cause him to fall down in rank.

    Every grade at the clan school had almost one hundred disciples. It had a total of five grades, so there were nearly five hundred disciples. Yao Chen’s ranking was not considered remarkable, but it was high enough that the elders would not easily abandon their hopes for him.

    Although the disciples were mostly from families that were either in poor conditions or had comparatively low talent, the clan school was run by elders who would not dare to slack off. The elders conscientiously followed the rules to teach every single disciple.

    Today’s lesson was a method on refining pills. In comparison, everyone was already very familiar and bored with the Flame Foundation Skill, so they become much more excited when they saw it was the elder for refining.

    Yao Chen’s eyes were brightly lit with attention; he was not completely unfamiliar with the process of refining pills. His father could refine pills, and his family had a medicinal cauldron that his father attached great importance to. Every time Yao Chen saw that medicinal cauldron, his heart would have an itching to try it. His father told him that this was his innate talent due to the Yao clan’s nature in his blood and veins. He even laughed, boasting that Yao Chen had an innate talent as an alchemist. Currently he was still very young; when he became older he would need skills and work to make a living. If he studied pill refining methods he could become an instructor at the clan school in the future.

    The lesson on pill refining lasted for the entire session. A whole new world was opening before Yao Chen’s eyes: all kinds of materials, their effects on flames, how they caused different kinds of reactions and had different kinds of mergers, and how they could have all kinds of uses and take form as medicinal pills.

    The person in charge of teaching the lesson on the basics of pill refining was the head elder of the school, Yao Lan. Alchemy was the school’s most important topic. Yao Lan already had ten years of experience when it came to teaching juniors the basics and would be unashamed to be called the clan’s number one teacher. There was a common opinion that even the clan’s sixth or even seventh tier alchemists were still inferior to him when it came to teaching the basics.

    If a person was extremely powerful, it would only mean that that person was extremely gifted; however if you managed to teach and raise an extremely powerful person that would be another matter. This was also the reason why Yao Huo did not just teach Yao Chen himself and instead waited for the clan school’s arrangements.

    In the end he was right to do so; Yao Chen had an extremely large interest in alchemy, and under elder Yao Lan’s teachings his mind started to become full of unlimited thoughts… Blood Clotting Pill, Blood Replenishment Pill….

    “Ok, today’s alchemy lessons will stop here; don’t bite off more than you can chew. Once everyone returns home today, those of you who are able to can attempt to refine a Blood Clotting Pill. Bring it with you tomorrow; I will check your pills and give you some pointers.”

    Elder Yao Lan kindly smiled. This year’s group of disciples had some pretty good saplings within it. Although in terms of Dou Qi they might not be able to compare to the talents within the main bloodline who had access to abundant resources, if they were to take the path of alchemy then their innate gifts would not be much inferior. This path could lead them to a bright future. In reality, as a clan school elder, Yao Lan belonged to the lowest level of elders in the clan. However whenever he looked at these outstanding saplings, he felt that his sacrifice to be a clan school teacher was extremely worth it.

    Even if they never called him their master, he would always be the clan school’s elder, and in the case that any of these disciples eventually obtained a high position in the clan in command of many strong practitioners, he would still think of that as giving his life meaning.

    “Elder, why can the Cold Attribute Grass and the Seven Flames Grass combine together? Looking from their medical properties, shouldn’t they cancel each other out?” Yao Chen raised his hand and asked a question out of nowhere.

    “Haha, Yao Chen, Yao Huo’s son, right? To raise this question means that you were really listening to me and remembered what I said. Having a good memory as a foundation is a must for any successful alchemist. While the Cold Attribute Grass and Seven Flames Grass’s properties mutually clash, our Yao clan has a special method to let them form an alternative merger… that’s as far as I’ll say about this. Tomorrow I will precisely describe the situation. After everyone goes home you should carefully think about this problem. Tomorrow I will question you about it.”

    Nodding his head, Yao Lan was very satisfied. Originally he had actually been planning on bringing up this question before Yao Chen asked it. Now that he had a student who would actually ask it, it was even more true that with the right conditions, success will come naturally. After all, where water flows, a canal will naturally form.

    As expected, there were several disciples who were innately talented who were originally staying quiet, but now they were blazing with a competitive spirit. With this competitiveness it was only naturally that their progress would be faster. Actually, Yao Chen was paying no attention to this competitiveness; his whole mind was completely focused on this completely new world of alchemy. He was completely unfocused on the following lesson on Dou Qi as he suffered, waiting to go home. When evening finally arrived and class ended, he quickly dashed home.

    “Brother Chen, where are you going? We already said that we were going to go see what the demon clan’s little princess looks like….”

    The little fat kid Luo Shu stretched out his hands and attempted to stop Yao Chen; that morning they had heard the news that the Demon Saint of the demon clan was bringing the demon clan’s little princess to pay a visit to the Yao clan. The rumor was that they came for some medicine. The strength of the Demon Saint was extremely tyrannical, but Yao Shu wasn’t interested in that. He was much more interested in the demon clan’s little princess. Had she shed her demonic nature or was her appearance more like a demonic beast? But at the moment, Yao Chen’s heart was completely focused on alchemy and so he had long since forgotten about some little princess from the demon clan.

    After he arrived home and greeted his mother, he immediately ran into the alchemy room in his house. After all, Yao Huo was a fourth tier alchemist, and although this rank would not be considered high in the clan, it was in no way weak. The alchemy room was always filled with many medical ingredients that were sufficient to refine most medicinal pills of the third tier and below.

    Previously he had not understood anything about alchemy and he only learnt to recognize some medical ingredients from following around his father. Now with elder Yao Lan’s teachings, Yao Chen was very impatient to start using his own hands to refine medical pills.

    However he still did not forget to do his daily exercises. He first did his normal practice inside the alchemy room, completing three revolutions of his Dou Qi before igniting the medical cauldron. Returning to his original thoughts, he grabbed a bunch of different medicinal ingredients. Yao Chen’s goal was to refine a Blood Clotting Pill which was the assignment given by elder Yao Lan. The first tier Blood Clotting Pill was one of the most common healing medicinal pills; other than major arteries being severed and causing extreme blood flow, all other bleeding situations could be effectively and quickly resolved with this Blood Clotting Pill.

    The Blood Clotting Pill was a very basic medical pill. The refining process was not complicated; the main thing to note was that the flame for refining required Dou Qi to control it, and using a 6 star Dou Zhe’s strength was a bit difficult. Yao Chen exhausted all of his energy before managing to refine just one pill.

    A whole furnace of medical ingredients had resulted in just one pill, and the pill’s colour had black traces. It was very noticeable that the pill’s toxicity was much too high. He didn’t even need elder Yao Lan’s appraisal to know that this pill was a failure. Yao Chen blankly tried to carefully think back on the more obvious mistakes he had just made. Subsequently he sat back down cross-legged and meditated, slowly recuperating his missing Dou Qi.

    An hour’s meditation later, his Dou Qi had finally recovered enough. Without a moment’s hesitation, Yao Chen threw in another batch of medical ingredients into the cauldron, revolving his Dou Qi to start refining. The ingredients for a first tier pill were not valuable in the Yao clan so Yao Chen was able to refine to his heart’s content. This time the refinement was clearly more skilled, however there were still some clear errors and deviations. The medicinal cauldron emitted a banging noise, opening and releasing three Blood Clotting Pills. In the midst of the pills’ red color were some faint strands of black which were clearly some toxic elements, but compared to the first time, the improvement was very great. Yao Chen’s eyes were also bright as he operated his body’s last remaining Dou Qi to very carefully move the medical pills from the cauldron into a porcelain bottle.

    Yao Chen still wasn’t satisfied with just that. Once again, he sat down cross-legged and meditated to recover his Dou Qi. The process of refining pills was way too fascinating to him. Feeling the medicinal pill under the control of his Dou Qi as it slowly took shape inside the medicinal cauldron was a truly fantastic feeling.

    However just when he was about to start his third refinement, his mother’s voice came from outside.

    “Yao Chen, time for dinner.”

    “Ok.”

    “Where’s Luo Shu?”

    “Ah, he went to go see the demon clan’s little princess.”

    Only now did Yao Chen remember his agreement with Fatty Luo.

    Yao Qing let out a laugh; so young but he still knew to go see beautiful women, the kids have really grown up. “How come you didn’t go?”

    “I forgot.” Yao Chen scratched his head as he simple-mindedly replied.

    This really gave Yao Qing a feeling of not knowing whether to be worried or happy. Thirteen years old was exactly when boys first awaken their love for girls; how could he actually manage to forget this kind of thing?

    However, temporarily not needing to deal with girls could have him more energy for training, which was also a correct road.

    “Mom, I’m done eating. I’m going to go practice… training.”

    Yao Chen finished eating with lightning speed, completely cleaning his plate. Just the time it took to speak a few sentences meant that he had less time for refining. Standing up, he disappeared like a wisp of smoke into the alchemy room.

    This time Yao Qing really did get nervous. Didn’t it seem like his emotional IQ was extremely low? Apparently Yao Huo would have to talk to him less about training and more about what men should talk about.

    To briefly describe it, the whole reason why she had married him was all because of his clever tongue, and he should really pass on this strong point to his son. If they didn’t prepare early then maybe in the future they wouldn’t have a proper daughter-in-law. In the Yao clan, all the good girls were taken very early; if you were late you could only settle for some uglier ones.

    After seven refinements, Yao Chen had already lost interest in the Blood Clotting Pill. He had produced two batches of completely perfect Blood Clotting Pills, meaning it was no longer challenging to him. But the Energy Recovering Pill….

    Suddenly Yao Chen thought of a medicinal formula that he had seen in his father’s records of medicinal formulas. It could recover Dou Qi in a short period of time! Recover Dou Qi…. Currently the main thing restraining his alchemy’s efficiency was that he only had the Dou Qi of a six star Dou Zhe. If he could rapidly recover his Dou Qi, he would have even more time to practice his refining. Therefore his number one priority should be the Energy Recovering Pill!

    He promptly jumped into action. He first meditated and adjusted himself. The Energy Recovering Pill’s formula was run through his mind one more time.

    Yao Chen had an exceptional memory. His ability to remember everything that passed by his eyes was one of the most basic abilities of any alchemist. For some people this was an acquired talent that occurred when one’s spiritual cultivation increased their Spiritual Perception; their ability to remember things would naturally increase. However some people just innately had this ability.

    As expected, his first batch of Energy Recovery Pills was a failure. Furthermore, it was a complete and total failure; he was unable to even condense the pill into a solid form. The ruined medicinal ingredients were thrown into a pile of medicinal waste.

    Yao Chen felt dumbfounded looking at that pile of medicinal waste. He couldn’t understand what went wrong; it felt like every step he took, he made an error.

    Other people, when faced with such a complete failure, would let the problem go for a period of time before trying again. However, Yao Chen was not this kind of person. Instead, he was filled with persistence. As soon as his Dou Qi recovered he ran to the side and got more medical ingredients for the Energy Recovery Pill.

    Puff….

    Compared to a pill explosion occurring during condensing, there was no condensing of the pill at all. Bursts of black smoke were being emitted from the top of the medicinal cauldron…. Even the medicinal dregs were gone this time, only leaving an acrid, disgusting smell.

    “Cough, cough….”

    Yao Chen loudly coughed. He immediately activated the room’s ventilation mechanism, causing black smoke to drift outside. His failure this time did not dissuade Yao Chen, but instead increased his thirst for success.

    So it was this step that he did wrong, or to be more precise he had done it correctly but the degree to which he did it was insufficient.

    Currently, Yao Chen was unaware of this, but while a normal Energy Recovering Pill was only a first tier medicinal pill, the formula in his father’s recordings had been improved and had entered the second tier. There was no way that the present him who had only just learned some introductory fundamentals to alchemy was capable of refining this pill. In addition, among the many steps to refine this pill were some that Yao Huo had not gone into extreme detail about how to perform them in his notebook. Basically it was impossible for Yao Chen to succeed.

    After refining till midnight, his body’s Dou Qi would no longer recover and he felt that he could no longer catch his breath. Only at this time did Yao Chen finally let go of his obsession with refining pills. He had already overdrafted his spirit and his perception towards the medicinal ingredients was already starting to feel vague and fuzzy.

    With great difficulty, Yao Chen, who had greatly wasted many medicinal ingredients, had to helplessly stop and go shower. After which he ate one of the Body Refining Pills that his father frequently prepared for him. He lay down in bed, and as soon as his head touched the pillow he entered a very deep sleep.

    However even in that deep sleep Yao Chen’s fingers were still faintly moving. A slight trace of Dou Qi came out of his body, and his movements made it clear that even in his dreams he was refining pills.

    The second morning, Yao Chen didn’t bring his completed Blood Clotting Pills. In his opinion, his refinement of the Energy Recovery Pill had been such a complete failure that it was no longer about how many impurities were left in it. Instead he did not even manage to form the pill even once.

    Yao Lan was paying great attention to Yao Chen. Considering he had brought up the question of why the Cold Attribute Grass and Seven Flames Grass were able to merge, he should be very talented, maybe even the most talented within his class.

    However he became a bit disappointed when he saw that Yao Chen did not bring a Blood Clotting Pill. Yao Chen’s father Yao Huo was also one of the clan school’s graduates and Yao Lan still faintly remembered that his talent as an alchemist was very outstanding. However, it was a pity that his talent in Dou Qi training was insufficient and he did not manage to obtain any of the clan’s precious resources. Without those resources he was overlooked and neglected. Although it was slightly unfortunate, the Yao clan had many rarely seen talents, and to overlook one was not a big harm to them; later on even more talents would appear.

    Even if Yao Huo had been neglected, his family should still have an alchemy room, so Yao Chen should still be able to refine a Blood Clotting Pill.

    “A perfect pill. How many triesdid it take you?”

    At the moment, Yao Lan had begun appraising everyone’s pill. The first person was Yao Tong, who was the most talented in the class in terms of Dou Qi and was a seven star Dou Zhe. In fact, he had even selected a foundation building technique to train with. “Elder, it took 3 times,” Yao Tong respectfully replied.

    “Not bad.” Yao Lan lightly nodded his head. He did not have any more praises moved on.

    “30% toxicity is just passable. You should tighten your control, and at the time you should pay more attention to the temperature to reduce impurities.”

    Basically all of the students had refined a batch of medicinal pills, and even the worst one still brought a dark and swarthy failure of a pill. “Yao Chen, what about you?”

    Elder Yao Lan finally ended up in front of Yao Chen. Although Yao Chen had not taken out any pill, but the caring Yao Lan couldn’t help but to ask him. Yao Chen lowered his head and replied, “I failed.”

    To Yao Chen, the Blood Clotting Pill and the Energy Recovery Pill were the same rank, so rather than reporting success, if he reported his failure the elder might be able to give him a method to fix his failure.

    “Where is the failure of the pill then? I’ll help you figure out the reason.” Yao Lan laughed, encouragingly saying, “Failure is not to be feared. You should only be scared of losing confidence.”

    Yao Chen lowered his head even more, “Elder, I couldn’t make the pill take shape.”

    “….” Yao Lan immediately become dumbfounded. This… how could this be possible? The pill didn’t take shape? In his mind, Yao Chen talent in alchemy should be at least decent from his understanding. At the very least he shouldn’t be much worse than Yao Huo in his youth.

    “Cough, not to worry, don’t lose faith, there will come a time when success comes naturally.” Yao Lan lightly coughed as he encouraged. He switched topics to starting today’s lesson on alchemy.

    They were still on the introductory basics such as various medicinal ingredients’ properties, how those ingredients react with another, remembering what occurs when basic ingredients merge, controlling the medicinal cauldron’s temperature, using Dou Qi to control the materials inside the cauldron, how the pill takes form….

    Although the clan school’s elder on alchemy, Yao Lan, was only a fifth tier alchemist, if one were to discuss the ability to teach the fundamentals to children then there would be hardly anyone in the entire Yao clan who were his equal. He had the ability to take the countless combinations that could appear from all of nature’s blessings and explain it in a simple and clear way so that the children could easily absorb it.

    At the beginning Yao Chen was still feeling shameful about yesterday’s failure, but as he listened to the lesson he started to feel enlightened. So there was actually such a method… so there was actually a way to decrease the expenditure of Dou Qi… and there were Dou Techniques to increase your control…. The difficulty of refining would definitely decrease by not just a little bit if someone had these techniques, and in addition, the success rate of the refinement would also increase by a lot.

    In the afternoon when the clan school had just ended, Yao Chen was yet again burning with anxiousness. He immediately dashed back home, itching to continue his alchemy.

    This time the little fat kid Luo Shu didn’t even have time to completely spread out his arms or say anything before Yao Chen dashed off, slipping past him like the wind….

    How did it turn out like this? How could the agreement to go see the little princess be so bluntly forgotten about? In reality, the princess ended up being extremely beautiful, and he had even managed to exchange words with her. He had also told her that today he would bring his friend to see her again…. Now this meant he had to break his promise….

    But then again, just meeting up with princess on his own could also be pretty good, hehehe….

    Yao Chen rushed home. His mother wasn’t home but she left a note saying that she had left to go pick some herbs. Dinner had already been prepared during breakfast; it only needed to be put into a pot and heated.

    This didn’t cause Yao Chen any problems. He ate a couple mouthfuls  before running into the alchemy room. He prepared his father’s cauldron and once again started to work on refining the Energy Recovery Pill. Using the new techniques really did make a huge difference. The cauldron’s temperature shot up very quickly, but the drain on his Dou Qi was decreased by a lot. The medicinal ingredients were merging very smoothly inside.

    With everything going smoothly, Yao Chen had a kind of intuition that this time his pill might actually be perfect, and under the perception of his spirit he could also tell that the pill was really smoothly advancing in a perfect manner.

    He had refined like this all the way to the last step when the medicinal cauldron suddenly started to emit a blood-colored glow. The blood-red glow seeped into the interior and immediately started to contaminate the flame’s temperature. The glow appeared to act like Dou Qi and entered into the merging medical ingredients. BOOM…!

    A huge booming noise! A cauldron explosion! CRACK! Yao Chen’s face turned completely white as the enormous force of the cauldron explosion slammed onto him, sending him flying into the wall. “Cough, cough, cough….”

    After violently coughing a couple of times, Yao Chen felt that his body internal organs were unwell, so he swallowed a couple of yesterday’s Blood Clotting Pills. The pill turned into a refreshing medical strength which seeped into his internal organs. Only then did he start to feel better. Yao Chen promptly ran back to the medicinal cauldron. This was one of his dad’s most beloved possessions; right now he could only hope that the previous cauldron explosion didn’t damage it.

    However with just a glance, Yao Chen’s previously pale face turned ashen. The medicinal cauldron had many shockingly deep cracks in it.

    It’s over....

    This time he really was asking to be beat.

    If one were to ask Luo Shu what he had most admired about Yao Chen, it was the fact that he had never had to have been hit by his father….

    That was because Luo Shu was the kind of disobedient child that if you didn’t hit him at least once within three days, he would start being mischievous, climbing up the roof and ripping off tiles.

    Looking at the extremely deep cracks in the medicinal cauldron, Yao Chen could only numbly repeat “it’s over, it’s over.”

    However, for some unknown reason, other than feeling worried about being punished by his parents, a kind of ominous feeling starting rising in his heart…. A rumbling noise suddenly came from outside!

    Right at this moment, a burst of booming noises came from the plaza. Even with the alchemy room’s sound-proofing, there was no way to stop the very clear noise.

    Yao Chen’s heart violently jumped, his ominous feeling becoming even stronger. He fixed himself up a bit and then very quickly climbed out of the mess and ran towards the sound.

    As soon as he left the house he heard a bunch of noisy, hoarse shouting. Running to the plaza, he saw a bunch of people grouped around each other.

    “Yao Chen came out.”

    “Yao Chen….”

    Everyone who saw Yao Chen suddenly became quiet. The group of people unconsciously split open to form a path.

    Rumble….

    Little Yao Chen’s heart turned cold. His body was quiet as he weakly and slowly walked over. The ominous feeling gave him an image of the reality that he wanted to see the least.

    His father: gentle, funny, the one who often caused his whole family to start laughing, that father who frequently raised him onto his shoulder, that father….

    At the moment, his father’s face was completely pale, and his whole body was covered in blood as he lay on the ground with his eyes tightly shut. Luo Bing and all of his father’s other brothers all had grief-stricken faces as they either walked or sat to the side where they held their heads and pulled their hair.

    “Chen-er… we encountered….”

    Luo Bing bit his lips. He couldn’t form any words at the moment. As an Iron Guard, he had to accomplish many of the clan’s missions. He had to be prepared to sacrifice his life. And he had been prepared for such a thing long ago. But in the wake of such a cruel calamity, it really caused everyone to not know what to do, especially when they looked at Yao Chen’s young and immature face.

    “Looking at the wounds, it’s clearly the work of the Hall of Souls….”

    “Hush, this kind of thing can’t be casually said.”

    “Sigh, what a pity. With Yao Huo’s talent he should have become an alchemist, but he insisted on being an Iron Guard. This time he really got it.”

    “Looking at the wounds, even if he manages to survive with his life, in the future he’ll end up being a cripple….”

    “Shut up! What are you guys saying!” Yao Huo’s brothers immediately jumped, angrily stamping on the ground as they glared at that group of people.

    “Don’t be angry at us; it’s not like we have any bad intentions. That’s right, where is your mother Yao Chen?”

    “Right, right, right, where is Yao Qing?” This group of gossipers were all neighbours who lived nearby. Promptly realizing that their words were out of place, they stepped back a couple steps and swiftly changed the topic.

    Yao Chen’s whole body trembled. His father’s body was lying on the ground. The sight of his blood…. It filled him with terror.

    “Cough….”

    Suddenly, Yao Huo’s body shuddered, and his tightly closed eyes opened.

    “Old Luo….”

    “Old Huo, I’m here, right here.”

    “This familiar smell... did we arrive home?”

    “Uh-huh, we’re home...”

    “Hehe, Chen-er?

    “DAD!” Hearing his dad call him, Yao Chen’s tears finally fell, dripping all the way to the ground.

    “Are you scared? A real man’s tears… cannot fall easily.”

    “But, the blood… there’s a lot of blood….”

    Yao Chen promptly collected himself. His hand grabbed onto his dad, and only then did he notice that his father’s pupils seemed to have no reaction. “Dad, your eyes-”

    “It’s just temporary blindness, not a big deal.”

    Yao Huo’s cheek trembled slightly. To his side, Luo Bing could no longer control the pain in his heart. Two streams of tears rolled down his face. He knew that considering the extent of Yao Huo’s injuries, to even be able to survive would be considered a miracle. Right now, every word that he said must bring him such an intense pain that he should only be able to speak short, intermittent sentences, and that would be with great difficulty. But every word that he said to Yao Chen was forced out in an extremely clear and coherent manner.

    “Yao Huo, you should go rest….”

    “I’m fine.” Yao Huo laughed it off as he held Yao Chen’s cheek. Yao Chen felt his father’s hand gently stroke his cheek and tried very hard to hold back his tears.

    “Dad… you’re going to get better, right?”

    “Hehe….”

    “Yao Qing’s returned!”

    Suddenly, a shout came out from outside the ring of people. The group opened up another path. Yao Chen lifted his head and saw his mom was still wearing her plain clothes and the herb basket as she ran over as fast as she could.

    “Huo-ge!”

    “Hehe, letting you see my sorry appearance at the moment is really making me lose face as a man.”

    “You should stop talking. Who did this?!”

    Yao Qing lifted her head and looked at Luo Bing.

    “It was a surprise raid. The enemy used three kinds of techniques which came from the Hun clan, the demon clan, and the Gu clan. We don’t know who it was.”

    Luo Bing had already bit through his lip. The thing he hated the most was that they didn’t even have a target to take revenge on. The lucky thing was that they had all managed to return. But looking at his good brother laying on the ground in pain, he would have rather have had it been him who was injured.

    “It’s ok, let it go. I don’t want to lie on this ground the whole time, cough….”

    Yao Huo put on a smiling face. He grabbed Yao Qing and faintly shook his head. There was no point in making things hard on his brothers when they had no way to fix any part of this situation.

    Taking a deep breath, Yao Qing nodded her head. Seeing this, Luo Bing carefully picked up Yao Huo and with great care he gently carried him into his bedroom.

    Yao Huo laughed lightly, “It’s not like I’m a porcelain doll… don’t be worried, after a few days I’ll be a strong, muscular man again. It’s fine, you should go home now.”

    Seeing Yao Huo’s smiling expression, Luo Bing squeezed out a smile that didn’t make his face look much better than when he was crying. He and the rest of the people all left. As soon as they left, two streams of tears rolled down Yao Qing’s face. “I’ll go ask an elder to come treat your injuries.”

    “Already… saw him…or…” Yao Huo lightly shook his head, “Or I wouldn’t be here talking with you.”

    Yao Qing reached out her hand and grabbed his wrist to try and find out what was wrong with him. In just a few short moments, she let out a breath of air. It was his internal organs that were the most seriously injured. “I’ll go refine some healing medicine for you. Yao Chen can help and give me a hand.”

    “Mom…” Yao Chen just foolishly stood by the door. When he heard that his mom wanted to refine medicine, he immediately became embarrassed and at a complete loss. His family only had one medicinal cauldron, and it was the one he had just caused a cauldron explosion in. It was now basically just a garbage pot.

    “Go.”

    “Mom, I didn’t do it on purpose…. I accidentally broke dad’s cauldron while refining. I didn’t do it on purpose, I really didn’t do it on purpose.” Yao Chen reported through clenched teeth.

    Yao Qing processed what she had just heard. The medicinal cauldron was broken? The thought of it flashed across her mind. Her cheeks started to turn red, her throat felt like something was blocking it, her body was trembling slightly, and black spots started to appear in her eyesight.

    “What… what did you say?”

    Yao Chen lowered his head. He had never thought for a second that he would ever feel this kind of regret. “Just now a cauldron explosion occurred while I was refining… and the cauldron cracked.”

    “You-” Yao Qing’s slap landed on Yao Chen’s face. However the one that was hurt the most was her. Looking at the handprint left on his face, Yao Qing was in a daze as she didn’t even know why she had extended her arm. However….

    Looking at Yao Huo who had always been strong and protected her, and yet was now feebly lying in bed, her heart became a complete mess. It was actually her who was the most embarrassed and didn’t know what to do. Just before when everyone was around, she had put on a fake expression so that everyone wouldn’t see how weak she felt. On the bed, Yao Huo started coughing again, “Qing-mei , it’s just a medicinal cauldron. The child is innocent, I’m ok.”

    “But that’s your favourite….”

    Yao Qing tried to grab for justification, but her heart knew that regardless she should not have raised her hand against her child. Although she didn’t know how he had managed to crack a third grade medicinal cauldron, she was very clear about the fact that her child would not be the kind of person to naughtily just play and break things. In fact, in the past she had been worried about Yao Chen concentrating too much on training and not having enough interest in romance. If refining caused the cauldron explosion, then it could only be said that the medicinal cauldron had reached the end of its lifespan.

    “Qing-er, I… ugh-!”

    Yao Huo was laughing at how his wife and child were so at a loss, but just when he was about to console them, a strange force violently burst from his chest and entered his body. A hidden force that had been suspended caused his originally stabilizing injury to completely break out. Blood violently shot out onto the bed.

    “Huo-ge! What happened to you?”

    “I… Dual Yin Life Chasing Palm…” Yao Huo squeezed out these words from his clenched teeth. By this point he could no longer control it and passed out.


    BornToBe's thoughts:

    Funnily enough, here in this novel Yao Chen has no interest in romance. Yet in BTTH he implies his first recipe was an aphrodisiac: https://www.wuxiaworld.com/novel/battle-through-the-heavens/btth-chapter-130

    At the beginning the author was probably using Yao Lao as more of a comedic character in BTTH. By the two or three hundredth chapter he had become a serious character though. 

  • edited September 2018

    Chapter 3: Begging for Medicine

    Dual Yin Life Chasing Palm! Hearing this, Yao Qing’s expression immediately changed. At the time when it hit you there would be no effect, and if it was discovered early enough it could be easily expelled with some effort. But if it was not detected, then its poisonous Yin Dou Qi seed would bury deep into your body. After a short time passed, it would suddenly break out; attempting to cure it at that time would already be too late!

    Yao Qing was terrified, but she forcefully calmed herself. As quickly as she could, she opened a box that was hidden beside the bed. Inside were all kinds of medicinal pills and precious medicinal ingredients. These were all things that Yao Huo had previously slowly saved up. Originally they were supposed to be used for Yao Chen, but at this time she couldn’t take that into consideration. Yao Qing suppressed her panic and quickly picked out the pills and herbs that had healing effects. Placing them into the correct sequence, she fed them into Yao Huo’s mouth one by one. Since he couldn’t swallow them, she placed her mouth on his and after chewing them she managed to have him swallow them.

    The medicines took effect in just a short time and Yao Huo woke up. However this time, no matter how he opened his mouth, he was unable to form a single word. Only his eyes were slowly looking around. He was only barely conscious and blood suddenly flowed out from his mouth…. At this time, he didn’t even have the strength to cough up the blood, and he could only let it fill up his mouth and nose before letting it drip out.

    “Quick, lay your dad down on his side so that he can spit out the blood.”

    Yao Qing’s fingernails dug deeply into her palms, and traces of blood started to flow out. “I’ll go beg the clan elders to save you. You stay home and no matter what, protect your father. Don’t let him… because of his own blood… in any case, be careful.”

    No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get the words out. Tears were already rolling in her eyes, but she didn’t want to start crying again in front of her son. She told herself that she had to be strong; the more terrible the situation was, the less she could afford to collapse.

    Yao Chen energetically nodded his head. The Dual Yin Life Chasing Palm’s foundation was to seek and kill lives, so any ordinary pill had no ability to cure it. Only sacred healing medicinal pills at the sixth tier and above had a chance to treat it, but sixth tier pills marked a dividing line within the Yao clan. Pills at the fifth tier and below could be found in any number of quantities in the Yao clan, but each pill at or above the sixth tier were considered a treasure. Only the clan head and some core elders had the authority to use them.

    The sunlight seemed to pierce her eyes, causing Yao Qing’s mind to feel a little faint. From morning till now she had only eaten some bread and she had also experienced some chilling winds while she had been on the mountain picking herbs. She had been planning on coming home to take a hot bath.

    Shaking her head, Yao Qing forced herself to stay focused. The clan had given him a horse for work ince Yao Huo had been an Iron Guard for more than ten years. In addition, he was a fourth tier alchemist and was extremely talented with a bright future ahead of him. Yao Qing started rushing towards the clan head’s estate; the clan head would definitely not just watch as he died without being helped. If he really didn’t agree to take out the medicinal pills, once word spread it would make the hearts of all the regular clansmen go cold.

    However….

    Fate was always fickle. There were always unexpected occurrences.

    “The clan head isn’t here, go home.”

    “Not here? If the clan head isn’t here then where is he?” Yao Qing knelt in front of the clan head’s estate. Her face was a mix of fear and anxiousness as she begged for help.

    The worst situation was actually this one, where even the man himself could not be found.

    “Hmph, do you think that the clan head’s location is something that someone like you can ask for?”

    The gatekeeper of the estate became angry, thinking that Yao Qing didn’t believe him.

    Right at this time, elder Yao Lan was walking close by. Seeing the situation, he quickly walked over and asked, “What’s the matter?”

    “Ah, elder Yao Lan, it’s not that I don’t want to help her, but the situation really is… ai, the clan head really isn’t here.” The gatekeeper became noticeably more respectful. The location of the clan head was something he absolutely couldn’t divulge.

    “It’s ok, I understand. You can go now and I’ll take over here…. It’s Yao Qing right? Why are you looking for the clan head?” Yao Lan recognized Yao Qing as Yao Huo’s wife.

    “Elder Yao Lan…” Yao Qing hurriedly told him about Yao Huo’s condition, telling him everything, including the Dual Yin Life Chasing Palm.

    “Right now, he’s in imminent peril. Other than a sixth tier medicinal pill….”

    “Truthfully, the clan head isn’t here. And it’s not just him; most of the other elders are also not here….”

    Yao Lan’s face became extremely ugly. It was precisely at this critical moment that the clan head and core elders had gone out to accompany the demon clan.

    When she was young she had also been taught the basics of alchemy by elder Yao Lan. She was very clear that based on his character, there was no way that he would just tell her wild lies.

    Yao Lan made some calculations in his head; even if he sent a messenger eagle requesting the clan head for help, it would at the very least require two days. However the Dual Yin Life Chasing palm would take a person’s life in at most six hours from its flare-up. “Bring me to go see Yao Huo. I’ll see if I can help extend his life.”

    After all, Yao Huo was one of the disciples he was most proud of. Yao Lan wouldn’t be so callous as to not care for him.

    Once he arrived at their house, he saw Yao Huo lying on the bed. His appearance made it so that he could be perceived as already dead. Blood was still flowing out from his mouth, but the originally red blood had become an extremely sinister black.

    “Quickly, help him sit up.” Yao Lan rapidly took out all the healing medicine that he had on him, with quite a few being very precious fifth tier medicinal pills. He really was not being stingy at all.

    The problem was that this could only prolong the time it took for the Dual Yin Life Chasing Palm to completely erupt.

    Although Yao Lan was also an elder, as a clan school elder, there was a very large distance separating him from those core elders. No matter how generous he was, a sixth tier medicinal pill was something that he simply had no means of taking out.

    “It’s no good. These pills will only allow him to survive for one day, and his ability to absorb more medicine has already reached his limit. No matter how many additional fifth tier pills he’s fed, they would all be useless. But maybe using some extremely extraordinary medicinal herbs would also extend his lifespan a bit. “

    Yao Lan carefully felt Yao Huo’s pulse. After a short moment he stated his diagnosis, and wrote a list of medicines that could extend Yao Huo’s life. However his eyebrows were tightly knit. No matter how he tried, he couldn’t say that although these medicinal herbs could extend Yao Huo’s life, they were all precious to the extreme and their value was frightening.

    To describe it one word: difficult. To describe it in three words: extremely, extremely difficult.

    “I’ll go beg for medicine….”

    “I’ll be staying here. You guys should go together.” Yao Lan said while giving a glance at Yao Chen.

    Yao Qing nodded. Picking up Yao Chen, she once again speedily rushed out.

    Yao Chen was held next to her mother’s chest. Listening to the wind flying by, the tearstains on his face had dried. No matter how hard he wanted to cry, nothing came out of his eyes.

    He wanted to ask his mom: dad’s going to be alright, right?

    But he truly didn’t dare to open his mouth, and he didn’t dare to make any sound. His mother had never had such a pale face. His heart was extremely terrified that if he made any sound his mom would also suddenly end up like dad and collapse.

    Yao Qing’s rushing brought her to the Zuo family. The Zuo family had many hundreds of years of history in the Yao clan as an influential alchemy family. The Zuo family also had a couple of disciples who had become Iron Guards, and while they weren’t extremely close to Yao Huo, they could still be called brothers-in-arms.

    Due to this, the Zuo family didn’t treat her like a regular clansman and invited her in. Although they didn’t give her any of the herbs that she needed, they gave her quite a few sacred healing herbs. But Yao Huo’s currently condition meant that they would have basically no use.

    Yao Qing had no choice but to take her leave and think of some other method. Even when the Zuo family gently sent the out the two of them, Yao Chen didn’t say a word. He only tightly clenched his mouth as he watched everything.

    After leaving the Zuo family, they went to the Li family. The situation was basically the same as the Zuo family. Although they expressed their sympathy, they also did not take out any herbs that could extend Yao Huo’s life.

    “Miss Yao, I’d advise you not to waste your time. Just go directly to the clan treasury. The items on your list are not things that we would have. Only… well, you already know what kind of people would be able to obtain and store these kinds of medicines.”

    The Li family’s housekeeper glanced at the pitiful Yao Chen, causing him to truly feel a bit of compassion. When he escorted them out the estate to give them the herbs he also quietly gave the mother-son duo some advice before turning around and going back.

    Yao Qing’s eyes flickered. She bit her lips in thought. Although these kinds of medicinal herbs were extremely valuable, the powerful Yao clan would definitely be able to bring them out without problem. Inside the clan treasury were definitely quite a few in stock. However, the clan treasury’s precious high tier medicinal treasures could not be touched without either the clan head’s or an inner elder’s permission.

    “Let’s go to the main bloodline.”

    The main bloodline’s position in the Yao clan could only be described as unfathomably deep and immeasurable. Other than for the purpose of going to the clan treasury, it was only the main bloodline’s families that could possibly have the extremely high tier herbs. When it came to the branch families, even if they managed to obtain such a high tier object, they would have to immediately hand it over to the clan treasury in exchange for either merit points or for powerful Dou techniques that could raise their family’s power.

    And even if they had managed to keep such an object, it would be considered a precious family heirloom and stored away deeply. There was no way they would easily take it out. Sympathy returns sympathy, but when a person injured himself and wanted to beg for other people’s aid, how many people would have such a noble thought? Although there was elder Yao Lan, from the very beginning and till the day he died he would only be ranked in the least powerful group of elders, one of the clan school’s elders.

    The gateway to the main bloodline’s domain was three hundred meters tall. The people inside were all famous within the clan and whose estates would be very difficult to enter. In comparison, the branch bloodlines, no matter what level of prestige they held, no matter what kind of power they had, had all had their family heads come out to talk with Yao Qing and Yao Chen upon hearing them begging for Yao Huo’s life. Even if they weren’t of help, they at the very least gave her face as a member of the same clan.

    But the aloof and remote main bloodline would rarely ever let the regular members of the clan enter into their eyes.

    “Begging for medicine? What is this? The family head isn’t here, can’t find him.” This main bloodline’s family doorkeeper was even more domineering and haughty than the clan head’s doorkeeper.

    Of course, Yao Qing already knew that she would receive this kind of abuse. At this time she had no other method than to bitterly plead for help, “I’m begging you, I know third brother is home, I just want to see him for a moment.”

    “This… fine, I’ll go help you ask.”

    The doorkeeper started to feel a bit doubtful when he heard the words ‘third brother’ come out from Yao Qing’s mouth. He was really worried that Yao Qing had some kind of relationship with the third young master.

    Yao Chen saw everything. Even his young and immature mind knew that this was father’s last hope. His tiny little fist was tightly clenched.

    Just a few moments passed before the gatekeeper angrily ran out with his fist raised. “Hurry up and go! The third young master said he doesn’t know you and even gave me a scolding! Go!”

    The gatekeeper angrily slammed the door behind Yao Qing, and even then he wasn’t satisfied. Going to the side door he also slammed that door shut as well.

    What the gatekeeper didn’t see was Yao Qing biting her lip as she went to the second main bloodline’s house….

    “Not here.”

    The second house… although they were very polite, and the gatekeeper even invited the mother and son duo to come in and offered tea, but once he heard they had come begging for medicine he started to stall and back out, “Hehe, the family doesn’t have anyone present who can see you. I’m only a housekeeper, ai, I can’t help you as much as I wish to… I’ll send you out.”

    At this time, Yao Qing’s heart was already in a panic, and she directly knelt down. She was unable to say anything, but she used her tears to beg for aid. From when she was a child to now, she had only ever knelt down for her father and mother and for the clan offerings.

    “Don’t be like this; I can’t stand to watch it.”

    The gatekeeper sighed, however he still remained unmoved. Yet again he let out an “I can’t help you as much I wish to,” and politely kicked the mother and son out the door.

    The cold wind covered the leaves on the trees as it blew by. It truly was true… the hypocrisy of the world was something nothing else could surpass.

    Yao Qing gloomily forced out a laugh, “Let’s go back Chen-er.”

    Yao Chen pursed his lips, “Mom….”

    Yao Chen’s voice grated, sounding like rocks knocking into each other. “The medicines….”

    “First let’s go back and think of a method. Maybe the clan head and the elders will return before sunrise.” Yao Qing suppressed her sorrow as she spoke to her son.

    “Ok.”

    Yao Chen was already as worried as he could possibly be. But at this moment there was nothing he could do. Perhaps there was nothing anyone could do.

    Yao Chen lowered his head, looking at his extremely small fist. If only he had more strength, more power, then who would dare to lock their doors and refuse to see them?!

    Turning around and looking at the main bloodline’s mansions, the sky had already turned gloomy and those luxurious mansions had already lit their oil lamps. Standing in the sky’s background, the mansions gave off a glorious and powerful feeling.

    Yao Chen tightly clenched his fist. Within him was growing desire: after he grew up, he must definitely stand out amongst his peers and become extremely strong. Strong to the point where there would be no one who would neglect and ignore him, letting his father and mother feel pride for him.

    Returning home, they saw elder Yao Lan was refining medicine. Uncle Luo Bing, and a group of his father’s other brothers were also present.

    “You didn’t manage to obtain any of the herbs? Ai….”

    Yao Lan finished his refining, and five pills flew out of the medicinal cauldron, landing into a porcelain bottle in his hand. Turning around, he told Yao Qing, “These five medicinal pills… they can let him survive until sunrise. Right now you don’t need to give him one, but in two hours and every two hours from then give him one pill…. I’ve already sent a messenger hawk. If our luck is good it’s possible that the clan head and them will… sigh, I’m leaving now.”

    Yao Lan shook his head. He had already done everything that he could, and he really did not want to stay here to watch until the end.

    “Many thanks to elder Yao Lan for giving us this medicine. Yao Qing will forever engrave this moment into her heart… Chen-er, hurry up and kneel!” Yao Qing knelt down. After her experiences from begging for medicine, looking at elder Yao Lan who had done his absolute most to help gave her a feeling that could not be described in words.

    Luo Bing and the others also made a banging noise as they knelt down grandly. They all truly felt distress; they felt as if it was themselves who were wounded. But they really had no more methods to help. The sullen feeling in their hearts, how could it be described with just words? After all, real men couldn’t just kneel down for just anything.

    “That’s enough, what are you guys doing?! Get up! What? The words I speak have no use? You guys… ai, Yao Huo was also one of my students, how could I not help him? After all, it’s not like I could get infected.”

    Elder Yao Lan supported Yao Qing to help her up. Even until his very last words he was shaking his head as he helplessly left.

    Luo Bing and the others got up. Looking at Yao Qing and Yao Chen, they were all silent. Just before, they had also gone out begging for medicine using their considerable networks as Iron Guards. They managed to get quite a few medicines, however these medicines all had their limits, and when used on the Dual Yin Life Chasing Palm’s poisonous Yin Dou Qi, they all had extremely minute effects. Only through Yao Lan’s refining did they obtain five pills that could extend his life.

    “Everyone, please go home… all your intentions, Yao Qing will definitely remember them until I die.” Yao Qing sighed, squeezing out the ugliest smile of her life as she let out a small laugh.

    “Sister-in-law….”

    Luo Bing shook his head, “Let’s go.”

    Everyone knew that with Yao Huo’s condition nothing more could be done; although their hearts had the will, they didn’t have the means to do anything. It was better to leave him to spend his remaining time with his family.

    After sending everyone off, Yao Qing’s pale expression finally showed signs of cracking apart. She was long past her limit. She lay down on the bed, using her slim hands to tightly hold onto Yao Huo’s arm, eyes flickering. To be separated by life and death was the greatest pain she had felt in her entire life. If they didn’t have Chen-er, then she might really follow her Huo-ge.

    “Mom, don’t die!”

    Suddenly, Yao Chen’s young panic-filled voice jolted Yao Qing. Hearing this, Yao Qing’s held-back tears finally burst out.

    “Mom won’t die, mom’s fine, it’s just… I’m tired.” Yao Qing made an effort to get up. Her body and her heart were already completely exhausted, but looking at the very small Yao Chen, she had no choice but to be strong.

    “Mom!” Yao Chen dashed up and his small hands clutched his mom’s clothes.

    The room became silently calm after that. Outside the room came short bursts of bird cries. Yao Chen’s ears could also hear his father’s quiet breathing. It was only because of this very quiet sound that he didn’t completely collapse apart. For the first time, Yao Chen really understood what it meant for someone to be the pillar of the family.

    “Cough….”

    Suddenly a burst of coughing noises sounded out.

    “DAD!”

    Yao Chen abruptly raised his head.

    Yao Qing’s throat was stuck with emotion and she was unable to even form half a word. However she did take out the pills that Elder Yao Lan had refined, and gently placed one in Yao Huo’s mouth.

    After Yao Huo swallowed it, he said “Life Extending Pill?”

    “Yes…” Yao Qing’s vision became blurry once again. Hearing her husband’s voice, large tears started warmly falling once again.

    “Chen-er? Is your mom crying again? I can’t see clearly….”

    “Mom….”

    “I’m not crying. You already promised me that in my entire life you would never make me cry, so clearly I’m not crying.”

    “It’s ok, I’m fine. Chen-er, did you practice your technique today?”

    “I….”

    “Go. Don’t come back in until you finish a full ten revolutions.” Yao Qing rubbed the Yao Chen’s head. She knew her husband had words he wanted to say to her alone.

    Yao Chen didn’t really understand, but he still nodded his head as he did what they told him to do and walked towards the house courtyard.

    Yao Chen looked up to the sky from the center of the courtyard. Looking at the stars, the moon, and feeling the cold wind, his body shuddered as his heart suddenly started to ache. His originally drained eyes which he thought did not have any more tears left once again started to flow.

    Erasing his last teardrops, Yao Chen told himself that today he would let out all the tears of his entire lifetime. From today onwards, it would be unfair to his mother to cry anymore.

    Forcing himself to settle down and focus, his body’s Dou Qi rapidly moving. His Dou Qi revolved cycle after cycle throughout his body.

    Only when half the cycles were finished did he hear the sound of the door closing and footsteps coming over.

    Turning his head, he saw his mom supporting his dad as they walked out from inside.

    Yao Qing beckoned with her hand, “Chen-er, come here.”

    “Dad, mom.”

    Yao Huo held out his hand, gently put his arm around Yao Chen’s shoulder, he said, “Accompany your father to the Clan Monument to take a look. Our whole family together.”

    “Ok.”

    Yao Qing turned around. Carrying Yao Huo on her back, they took one step after another towards the mountain top.

    Yao Chen followed behind them, hearing his dad laughing, “When we got married it was me who carried you through the door. Now it’s actually you carrying me as you send me off.”

    “You’re not allowed to speak. No talking.” Yao Qing trembled. Even at this kind of time he was still in a talkative mood.

    Yao Chen followed behind them with his head down. Every day he would take this road to the clan school. He never thought that a time would come when every step on the road would feel so heavy.

    Suddenly the footsteps stopped. Yao Chen lifted his head and realized they had already reached the Clan Monument.

    At this moment it was late into the night. The public square was already completely empty. Of course, anyone who came and saw them would immediately understand what was happening and wouldn’t show themselves.

    Yao Huo’s two eyes suddenly began to glow with a fiery light, and his whole being became clear and awake.

    Nevertheless, Yao Qing’s face quickly changed. She knew that this was final light before the setting sun….

    Yao Huo took out a pill and swallowed it in one gulp. He appeared just like an emperor as he took his final breaths. He gently got off of Yao Qing. With his heavily injured broken body, who knew just where he managed to obtain that kind of strength. He walked one step at a time towards the Clan Monument. Reaching out his hand, touching the cold surface, he softly read it.

    “Chen-er!” Yao Huo suddenly turned around, his eyes flickering. He forcefully suppressed the injuries in his eyes, letting him see a bit clearer.

    “Dad.”

    “Do you know what this is?”

    “I know….”

    “What is it?” Yao Huo persisted in asking Yao Chen what its name was.

    “It’s the Clan Monument.”

    “Louder!”

    “IT’S THE CLAN MONUMENT!”

    “Good, very good…. Chen-er, having you and your mother’s warmth has actually already made me satisfied with my life. The only thing is, my sole regret is that I didn’t have the chance to carve my own name onto this surface. If a person is a hero while he is living, then when he dies he will become a ghost that people will remember. Chen-er, your father’s hope will have to be passed into your hands. In those days, your great-grandfather, at this very spot, also had to give this hope to my father, who didn’t have the chance to achieve it….”

    Yao Huo’s voice was becoming quieter and quieter. Suddenly, his legs trembled and he tumbled to the ground. Sitting there, back to the Clan Monument, the fire in eyes rapidly faded as the poisonous Yin Dou Qi surged up to replace it.

    “Dad!”

    Yao Chen threw himself onto him, holding his father. His young heart suddenly understood his father’s last moments had arrived.

    “I’m tired; just let me rest for a bit.”

    Yao Huo’s coarse hands lightly felt Yao Chen’s face as his two eyes firmly closed.

    Suddenly, it seemed like he had thought of something. His mouth was opened slightly. Yao Chen quickly put his ear closer.

    He managed to catch his father’s soft voice, “Chen-er, today, your mom didn’t mean to hit you. In the future, you’ll have to listen to what she says and take of her....” His voice continued to fade as he spoke.

    Yao Chen nodded his head like his life depended on it. “I will, I will….”

    The morning light spilled into the sky.

    The sun had come out.

    His father no longer moved, and Yao Chen couldn’t hear any sounds of his breathing.

    A lump of blood was pushing out in his throat from his heart….

    Yao Chen’s eyes only saw black, and his body’s Qi wildly rebelled....

    Crack.

    The originally bottlenecked energy suddenly started to crazily surge. Seven star, eight star, nine star….

    Yao Qing’s face abruptly changed, “Chen-er, NO!”

    She rushed forward, pressing one palm onto his body. A sealing Dou Qi rushed into Yao Chen’s body. In this kind of scenario, she didn’t even have time to grieve. Yao Chen’s current wild breakthrough was definitely not a good thing.

    It was like demonic energy breaking into the body; for the moment the breakthrough would bring you to a higher level, but it would cost you your future potential.

    Blessings never come in pairs, but disaster, it never comes alone.

    Time would always be the best medicine. 

  • Thanks for picking up, will keep up with your releases.
  • Thank you for the picking this novel. I hope you won't abandon the translate.
    Good luck!
  • Sorry for the delay, I had to translate ahead a couple chapters to figure out some terms. Two chapters coming tomorrow. 
  • edited September 2018

    Chapter 4: Tiger Flame Grass

    Time was always the best way to heal wounds.

    No matter what how much chaos occurred, how many bumps on the road of life, how much darkness… time would always heal it. However it would leave behind an ugly scar to remind you of what happened. But eventually when you looked back at that scar, it would no longer hurt as much as it did.

    Two years passed….

    A slim, tall youth was sitting at the top of the bell tower. The distant light from the sun fell on the Clan Monument in the middle of the public square. A faint longing could be seen within the youth’s eyes.

    “Brother Chen, as expected you are here again.”

    Looking at where the voice came from, there was a slightly fat youth was gasping for breath. He jumped onto the bell tower and rushed towards the other youth, laughing, “Right, about the Tiger Flame Grass you asked me to help you find, my big brother coincidentally picked a bunch of them while he was out training.”

    The youth’s eyes brightened, “Really? I can use Azure Flame Pills to exchange for them.”

    The fat youth repeatedly shook his head, saying, “Return what, my brother already said brother Chen has a use for it. Otherwise if he kept it then it would just go into storage, and it’s not like it’s a very precious herb. It could only be used to exchange for merit points within the clan. Speaking of which though... brother Chen, you’ve collected so many good medicinal ingredients this year, is can’t be that you’re thinking of participating in the Medicine Competition right?”

    The slender youth was precisely Yao Chen. Hearing what the fat youth said, he laughed, once again turning around and gazing deeply at the Clan Monument. His father had brought him there on the eve of his death. The meaning behind that was something that the now fifteen-year-old Yao Chen understood. He nodded his head, saying, “This is a good opportunity. If I can prove myself in the Medicine Competition, it’s possible that… hehe, Luo Shu, let’s go.”

    This so-called Medicine Competition was one of the most important events within the Yao clan. It was held pnce every five years, and any member of the Yao clan under twenty-four years old could attend.

    During the Medicine Competition, the younger generation would fiercely compete with another in their alchemy skills. The final winner would take the fame of being the number one alchemist in their generation. To the Yao clan disciples, this would practically be the most supreme honor they could ever obtain.

    The slightly fat youth was Luo Shu who Yao Chen had grown up with from a young age. For some reason, Luo Shu liked to follow Yao Chen. Whatever Yao Chen wanted to do, he would do. If Yao Chen wanted to go east, there was no way Luo Shu would go west. Even his brother and father couldn’t convince him otherwise.

    Luo Shu’s eyes glimmered slightly as he also looked towards the stone monument in the distance, his eyes revealing an admiring and passionate look.

    In the Yao clan, any person, no matter if their surname was Yao or not, would treat the opportunity to carve their own name into the Clan monument as the ultimate highest honour.

    However… Luo Shu rubbed his belly, saying, “Brother Chen, no matter how great the Clan Monument is, it’s not like it can fill our stomachs. Let’s go home and eat; I’ve been hungry for a while now.”

    Luo Shu’s stomach matched his words as it started letting out grumbling noises.

    Yao Chen laughed, nodding his head. He replied, “Let’s go back home.”

    Luo Shu happily nodded. While walking home, he kept discussing what kind of dishes they were having for dinner, “Aunt Qing made simmer-fried fish today, as well as simmered rabbit meat. And there’s so much of it. Don’t eat it all; leave a bit for me to have as a midnight snack with some bamboo wine. Tch, it would really be perfect, ah, don’t be too unrestrained….”

    “What restrained? As I see it you’re just going to get fat again.” Yao Chen shook his head, laughing.

    Normally Luo Shu would not have any disputes with Yao Chen, however his weight and body was an exception. As soon as he heard the word ‘fat’, he would immediately start arguing, “Brother Chen, you just don’t understand, this is just my baby fat. Back in the day, my brother was even fatter than me, and now he’s a handsome and tall man.”

    “I’m just too lazy to scold you.” Yao Chen shook his head.

    As the two of them had arrived at a small lane that would bring them home, Yao Chen saw his mother standing outside the door, looking all around.

    Speeding up his footsteps, Yao Chen said, “Mom, I’m home.”

    “Aunt Qing, can we start eating now?”

    Luo Shu’s mouth was already filling with saliva. Going to Yao Chen’s house to freeload for food was already one of his regular habits.

    Yao Qing lightly laughed, “Have you washed your hands?”

    “We washed them earlier, right brother Chen?”

    Seeing Yao Chen nodding, only then did Yao Qing say, “Good, let’s eat then.”

    Yao Chen and Luo Shu were in their teenage years right when their bodies’ were growing. They quickly completely cleared the table of all the food, like wind sweeping away clouds.

    Looking at this empty table, Luo Shu held his stomach. Suddenly he remembered he originally wanted to leave a bit of simmered rabbit meat for a midnight snack.

    “Aunt Qing…” Luo Shu anxiously turned around and looked at Yao Qing.

    “Don’t worry; I left aside quite a bit inside the pot.”

    “Ya! Yao Chen, let’s go to my house and play.”

    Luo Shu jumped up, pulling Yao Chen outside.

    “Yao Chen, don’t forget that tonight we’re going to examine your Dou Qi’s progress.” Yao Qing was laughing, but a trace of seriousness appeared on her face, and her voice was slightly stern.

    When his father died, his once gentle mother had to become much more stern and strict. Especially when it came to treating Yao Chen’s injury to his cultivation base; two years ago, Yao Chen broke through to a new level, in just one night becoming a nine star Dou Zhe. But the repercussions threw his meridians into a mess for the whole past two years, so much so that even his innate talent and foundation suffered harm.

    “Ok mom, I’ll come home quickly.” Yao Chen nodded, following Luo Shu and entering through their courtyard door.

    Since it was dinnertime, naturally Luo Shu’s family were also eating. However in comparison the amount of food on their table was simple and pitiful. Other than some buns, the table was lacking even the most basic dishes. If you wanted to eat meat? Go out to the mountains and hunt for game by yourself. And even if you catch something, you have to eat it by yourself; no sharing. This could also be considered training. Looking at the Luo family’s traditions, if Luo Shu didn’t go freeload at Yao Chen’s house for food, then in his entire lifetime he would probably never eat good meat.

    “You’ve returned home? Already eaten? Come, this can help you digest better if you take it after eating.”

    The one speaking was Luo Bing. When he looked at Yao Chen his eyes would have faint traces of remorse and guilt. He took out a porcelain bottle and put it in Yao Chen’s hand.

    “Thank you uncle Luo.” Yao Chen nodded. Not standing on courtesy, he opened the bottle. A strong and unique fragrance spread out of the bottle; inside was one thumb-sized medicinal pill. Yao Chen took it out and swallowed it in one gulp. The pill turned into liquid as it permeated into this heart. Medicinal strength started entering into his meridians.

    This was the Musk Essence Foundation Strengthening Pill, which was not just any pill. It had the effect of strengthening your Dantian’s rotation and raising the quality of the Dou Qi. Most Yao clan disciples would have the opportunity to take one out of the clan treasury once every month.

    After the events from two years ago, Luo Bing resigned from the Iron Guards and was presently a guard caption amongst the Clan Protectors. With his previous identity as an Iron Guard along with his current prestige as a guard captain, he had the privilege of taking out five Musk Essence Foundation Strengthening Pills each month.

    Supplying Yao Chen with the pills that he needed to consume was the only way he could think of to help. The clan supplied its many branch disciples with various pills for training. However after Yao Chen’s father died, his portion of pills became less and less. If it weren’t for his father’s brothers in the Iron Guards, the Yao Chen who had experienced his Dou Qi violently rise up and thus had his future injured might as well forget about training for the rest of his life.

    It was only precisely because he had this help that he could recover in these two years.

    Yao Chen closed his eyes and regulated his breathing. In a short while, he felt the medicinal energy enter into his meridians. Opening his eyes, he saw Luo Bing looking at him with a smile, who laughingly said, “Not bad, it only took the time for one incense stick to burn for you to absorb all the medicinal strength. Compared to this no-potential Luo Shu, the difference is huge.”

    The slightly chubby Luo Shu laughed mischievously, saying “Anyways, in the future I’ll have brother Chen to cover for me, so might as well just give him my portion as well….”

    “What is this blind nonsense!? Although the Musk Essence Foundation Strengthening Pill is good, just taking two every month is already the limit. You think medicinal pills can just be randomly eaten?” Luo Bing glared at Luo Shu. To be completely correct, it wasn’t that you couldn’t consume it; it’s just that every medicine has its toxins and side effects, and medicinal pills were not an exception to this. If you didn’t have some kind of medicinal pill that could counter the toxins, then eating that many pills might let you rapidly increase in strength, but in the future it would cause you more harm than good.

    The main bloodline’s disciples and those branch families with great power would of course have the pills to counter the toxins, but when it came to helping these ordinary branch family disciples, it was already not bad for them to give an extra Musk Essence Foundation Strengthening Pill every now and then, let alone the much more precious pills that cure its toxins.

    Yao Chen laughed, politely turning towards Luo Bing, “Thank you uncle Luo.”

    Luo Bing nodded, patting Yao Chen’s shoulder. It looked as if he wanted to say more, but although his lips faintly moved, he couldn’t bear it. Instead he said, “It’s fine, I still have things to do so I’m going to leave now. You guys amuse yourselves.”

    Once Luo Bing left, Luo Shu immediately went up to his brother Luo Shan, “Heehee, big brother, where’s the Tiger Flame Grass?

    Yao Chen also looked hopefully towards Luo Shan. Ever since two years ago, Yao Chen had made many preparations for the upcoming Medicine Competition….

    Actually, most of these preparations were all made by his father. It’s just that before his father had the opportunity to tell him about it, he already had left his side.

    Of course, within the Yao clan, such preparations were not considered cheating. There were countless numbers of talented disciples within the Yao clan, and in order to stand out one had to have power. Just relying on the orindary herbs that the clan provided, you would only be able to refine ordinary pills. Even if one was the most godliest talented genius to be found under the heavens, you still wouldn’t be able to obtain victory without preparing in advance. Only by carefully preparing all kinds of rarer ingredients could you refine an extraordinary medicinal pill, show off your talent, and take first place.

    In addition, Yao Chen’s family was just a branch family. With his father’s death, even if the clan’s assistance in his daily life actually surprisingly didn’t drop, it was incomparably difficult for him to gather the necessary medicinal ingredients as preparations for the Medicine Competition. Even though his father’s old brothers did everything in their means to help, after these two years Yao Chen was still missing quite a few rare ingredients.

    Of the missing ingredients, the Tiger Flame Grass was the most difficult one to obtain. Even the clan treasury was very short on it and it couldn’t even be exchanged for with merit points. Inquiring around, the news was that a clan elder apparently needed large quantities of it to refine a certain medicinal pill. Therefore, all of the clan’s stores were all taken by him.

    Luo Shan was Luo Shu’s older brother, and he possessed a very steady personality. This year he was just twenty years old. Within the Yao clan, this age was already sufficient to assume personal responsibility. After all, if a father is a lion then the son cannot be a dog, and Luo Shan followed after his father’s manner. At twenty years old he was already a nine star Dou Shi; at any moment he might reach the border of a Da Dou Shi. And not only was he strong, but he was also a calm-headed decision maker. Amongst his generation of clan disciples he would be considered a well known figure. All the missions the clan sent him to accomplish were all completed in a satisfactory and effortless manner by him. The other day he had already been selected to become a clan guard amongst the Clan Protectors, and with his training potential, in five years he would become a clan guard captain like his father. It wouldn’t even be a problem for him to have the opportunity to be promoted to become an even higher Iron Guard.

    At the moment, Luo Shan looked at Yao Chen and laughed, “It seems your breath has some fluctuations. Now that two years have passed… it should be time for you to breakthrough to Dou Shi right?”

    Yao Chen nodded his head. For a fifteen-year-old to breakthrough to Dou Shi, if speaking truthfully, would not be considered remarkable within the Yao clan. However, two years ago his foundation had suffered harm. The majority of his training wasn’t put on training Dou Qi, but on his Spiritual Perception.

    In alchemy, the most important thing wasn’t the medicinal ingredients, nor was it the flame’s power, but instead it was having perfect control over the flame. In order to have this kind of control, one couldn’t rely on experience. If it was an everyday pill, then you could get the experience from refining it hundreds or even a thousand times, giving you a kind of instinct. But for higher tier medicinal pills, it was rare for you to be able to gather all the medicinal ingredients even after spending a whole year, so where would you be able to get the experience to refine it? When it came to this, the only thing you could rely on was your Spiritual Perception.

    Since childhood, Yao Chen’s Spiritual Perception was different from a regular person’s. Therefore his father Yao Huo had also planned a strict training regime for his Spiritual Perception.

    In order to train his Spiritual Perception, Yao Chen unwittingly fell behind in Dou Qi by a lot, however no matter how much he lagged in his Dou Qi training, he was still at least above average amongst the branch disciples. The only thing was that when compared to the main bloodline’s talents, the difference was like heaven and earth.

    “Increase your strength. After all, Yao Feng and Yao Tong are the same age as you and are already three star Dou Shis.” Luo Shan nodded his head, taking out a semi jade box from his chest. This was a half stone half jade box that had the ability to maintain medicinal strength’s efficiency.

    Luo Shu stuck out his tongue, “Big brother, Yao Feng is part of the main bloodline; who knows how many Musk Essence Foundation Strengthening Pills he eats every month? How can you compare him to Yao Chen who only gets to eat two a month? If you were going to say this, then why don’t you go compare yourself to Yao Wangui? Rumor has it Yao Wangui has already become a two star Da Dou Shi, right?

    Luo Shan shook his head, gently hitting Yao Shu in the head. Not speaking any more words, he opened the semi-jade box. Inside were at least ten portions of strange red grass that were emitting a faint fiery strength. Upon seeing it one would feel a vague impression of a tiger figure jumping and moving.

    Looking at the tiger figure, Yao Chen’s eyes lit up. Receiving the semi jade box, “This… this is top grade Tiger Flame Grass?”

    High grade Tiger Flame Grass would have the tiger’s figure, but the tiger would be a dead one with no movement. Looking at the appearance of the tiger pouncing and moving, this was definitely a top grade ingredient.

    Luo Shan nodded, “This time’s luck was pretty good. I managed to find quite a bit of top grade. Most of them were given over to the clan treasury, but I specially left some for you to encourage you at the Medicine Competition.”

    “Brother Shan, thank you.”

    Yao Chen felt extremely grateful; with the top grade Tiger Flame Grass he was even more confident for the upcoming Medicine Competition. He really didn’t know just what he could give him in return. The Azure Flame Pill… it was the only medicinal pill he could take out, but when comparing it to the top grade Tiger Flame Grass, their values were so incomparable that it would make no difference whether he gave him it or not.

    “What thanks, your strength is something that other people are not clear about and even I am not entirely clear on it. I’ll just treat this as an investment. Once you become a fifth tier alchemist, you can just randomly refine some fifth tier medicinal pills for me and it would be worth it.

    Luo Shu started laughing, “What fifth tier, brother Chen will definitely become a seventh tier alchemist.”

    Hearing this, Luo Shan also started laughing, “Not bad, setting your goals a bit higher is pretty good. I guess I was looking down on you.”

    Yao Chen smiled, “Well then if I wanted to set my goals a bit higher, why not become a ninth tier alchemist?”

    Luo Shu and Luo Shan could no longer laugh at that. Within the entire Yao clan, the only person who was a ninth tier alchemist was the clan head.

    “This… would that be a bit too distant?” Only now did Yao Chen shamelessly rub his noise.

    “Just a little too distant!” The steady as a mountain Luo Shan also laughingly scolded him.

    “This really is like… like not knowing how high the heavens are and how deep the earth is.” Luo Shu exclaimed.

    Yao Chen only smiled. If he became intimidated by how high the heavens were and how deep the earth was, then how could he carve his name into the Clan Monument? Just how many names had ever been carved on the monument whose names were those that were born in branch bloodlines?

    In the past ten thousand years, over a thousand names had been carved onto it but there were barely an insignificant ten names that were born in branch bloodlines.

    The branch disciples, in order to carve their name into the Clan monument, not only had to be outstanding, they also had to invest more things… after all, the Clan Monument, in the entire Yao clan, was the most supreme honor.

    Having obtained the Tiger Flame Grass, the pressure on Yao Chen to obtain the necessary ingredients for his alchemy lightened up a great deal. The other rare ingredients that Yao Chen needed were already located by him; he just needed to refine enough medicinal pills to exchange for them.

    The three of them amused themselves for a while. Luo Shu rubbed his belly; although he wasn’t hungry, his mouth was lacking any flavors and he wanted to eat something. “Brother Chen, let’s go. The time for the midnight snack has arrived. Big Brother, do you want to come?”

    Luo Shan shook his head, smiling, “Although I want to, I still have to complete my night patrol assignment. You guys go.”

    “Let’s go.”

    The two families were neighbours, and the path between them followed along the water, with the road not even being one hundred meters long.

    Yao Chen grabbed the Tiger Flame Grass. While walking, he opened up the semi-jade box the check the Tiger Flame Grass’s condition. This kind of top tier Tiger Flame Grass was extremely finicky. After picking it, you had to drip some sweet dew onto it every now and then in order to maintain its top grade medicinal strength.

    Looking at the herb, Yao Chen noticed the Tiger Flame Grass’ swaying figure had some anomalies to it. Knowing it was time to drip the sweet dew, he turned to Luo Shu and said, “One second, it looks like it’s the time to give it a drop of sweet dew. You go on ahead. I’ll go to the side and handle the sweet dew.

    When it came to non Yao clan members, if they wanted to get some sweet dew they had to climb a mountain just as the sun was rising in order to obtain the dew. But for clan members, it was merely an issue of a medicinal pill.

    The Sweet Dew Pill, a first tier medicinal pill. Yao Chen had long ago prepared it and brought it with him, so at this time he took a pill out from his robes and turned towards the aqueduct.

    The aquifer was fed from the mountain springs, and using Dou waves at the core, it linked up to the Yao clan. It was already purified, and every family and every household was allowed to draw from this aquifer for their daily needs.

    Using the bottle he used to store medicine, Yao Chen drew some water. Taking a Sweet Dew Pill, he pinched off and crushed a small part of it into powder, sprinkling it into the bottle, letting the medicinal strength dissolve. After a short while, the bottle’s solution had become sweet dew.

    Once again, Yao Chen opened up the jade box, and extremely carefully using Dou Qi he placed a drop of sweet dew onto each of the Tiger Flame Grasses.

    Right when he finished with the last Tiger Flame Grass, a bunch of voices came from a side road. Looking up, he saw a group of young men were walking over from the roads’ intersection. Yao Chen’s expression changed slightly; this group was in the same grade as him in the clan school, but the problem was that their relationship was not very friendly.

    “Oh, Yao Chen?”

    “Huh? Tiger Flame Grass! Top grade Tiger Flame Grass!”

    The group was stunned seeing the top grade Tiger Flame Grass in Yao Chen’s hand, and some even rubbed their eyes into to try see clearer. Just what kind of person was Yao Chen? Within the clan school he was known as being a poor ghost; just where did he manage to get Tiger Flame Grass?

    Unless he had exchanged for it from the clan treasury with merit points, but….

    “That’s not right, I remember that the clan treasury’s Tiger Flame Grass was all taken by an elder in order to refine medicine and that there isn’t any more left to exchange for.”

    “Oh, Yao Chen, just where did you manage to get this Tiger Flame Grass?”

    “It can’t be... stolen right? Yao Chen, you’ve got some pretty big guts; to think you would steal medicinal ingredients from an elder!”

    Young people were meddlesome by nature, and when they were bored, if they ran into any small fries they would definitely heckle him. At the moment, staring at the Tiger Flame Grass in Yao Chen’s hand, none of them could maintain their silence and all began to heckle him loudly.

    The distant Luo Shu who had been waiting for Yao Chen heard them talking and immediately became angry. He bounced over, saying, “Bullcrap, your farts are really revolting! This was just obtained by my big brother from outside. You don’t have any proof yet you still make these accusations! If I informed the clan, you would definitely be punished.”

    “Damned fatty, what are you saying?”

    “Go punish yourself! Get him!”

    Full of youthful vigor, yet trying to speak logic? Moving your fist first and talking after, that was logic! Whoever’s fist was stronger, logic would naturally stand by their side.

    The group of people swarmed around them, their Dou Qi flashing. It wasn’t a free-for-all but a combined assault, forcefully isolating Yao Chen and Luo Shu, and then attacking.

    These youngsters’ Dou Qis were merely at the level of eight or nine star Dou Zhes, but strength was found in numbers. Using the clan school’s instructions, they used combination techniques and immediately overwhelmed Yao Chen and Luo Shu, knocking them onto the ground.

    Yao Chen angrily bellowed, and a powerful force surged out from his body. Two years ago, the sudden injury to his foundation had actually had a silver lining. These two years he had put a seal on his body, causing his body to store an extremely huge force.

    “Go die!”

    Luo Shu protected his head as he roared. Unexpectedly, he managed to grab one his attackers, and his huge mouth opened and bit down.

    “WAah AHHH… he bites people!”

    Yao Chen’s facial muscles twisted as he let out another angry bellow. Right as he was about to recklessly strike back….

    “Just what are you guys doing!”

    A scolding voice transmitted over from the side.

    “Aunt Qing, save us!”

    The just recently still bold and incomparably fierce fatty immediately loosened his mouth and shouted out loudly.

    Coming to the scene was Yao Qing who had heard the shouts coming from outside.

    When the group of youngsters saw that an adult had appeared they all scattered along the road, and in just a moment there was not a trace of them.

    Yao Qing quickly walked over. After giving Luo Shu a quick examination, she walked over to Yao Chen, asking, “Are you alright?”

    “Yeah, I just hurt my fist.” Yao Chen nodded.

    Yao Qing still wasn’t assured. She grabbed Yao Chen’s wrist and examined his pulse. Only when she found no anomalies in his Dou Qi did she relax. “Before completing the last step, you absolutely must not take action. No matter how difficult, you still can’t personally fight.”

    Yao Chen nodded, promising, “Ok, I know.”

    Luo Shu was a still a bit muddle-headed, however turning his head and looking at Yao Chen, he said, “Brother Chen, it’s not fair! My face is all swollen now but you are completely fine?”

    “The swelling is just your regular face’s fat.”

    “But I also have all these bruises!” Luo Shu felt the back of his head. No matter how he thought about it, he still felt something was fishy.

    BornToBe's thoughts:

    Based on the cultivation speed we see in the Yao clan, it would be surprising if the level Xiao Xun-er revealed in BTTH at the beginning was her real level. In chapter 100 of BTTH she states she is a 16 year old six star Dou Zhe. That would not match her status as someone with the most pure Dou Di blood in the Gu clan. Yet later she has to use a Secret Technique to raise her power to the Da Dou Shi class and Yao Lao states her power is as it usually appeared (as in the Dou Zhe class). She then suffers from a weakness the next day due to using that technique. So on one hand we have Yao Chen who at 13 was a 6 star Dou Zhe on the verge of advancing to seven star and who was a nine star Dou Zhe at 15 yet that is not remarkable at all to the clan and he is merely a branch member who trains hard. On the other hand there is Xun-er who appears to be a six star Dou Zhe at sixteen years old and was a one star Dou Zhe around half a year before that. She is the one with the most pure Dou Di bloodline in the Gu clan and is in the main bloodline, the daughter of the clan head.

    https://www.wuxiaworld.com/novel/battle-through-the-heavens/btth-chapter-100
    https://www.wuxiaworld.com/novel/battle-through-the-heavens/btth-chapter-90

     

    The Medicine Competition is not the same term used as the Medicinal Ceremony in the BTTH Yao clan arc: https://www.wuxiaworld.com/novel/battle-through-the-heavens/btth-chapter-1565

    药典, 典=Ceremony.

    药会, 会=Gathering. However since it is a competition I changed it to Medicine Competition. Don't forget that Medicine is also the same word as the Yao in Yao clan.  

    Footnotes:

    ‘Musk’ is something that can be used as medicine in China.

  • Thanks^
  • edited September 2018

    Chapter 5: Clan School’s Great Competition

    After having a tumble with his schoolmates, Luo Shu’s blood was pumping. While eating meat he drank a couple glasses of wine and started babbling nonsense. One moment he said he was determined to lose weight, and then next he started talking about the demon race’s little princess. “I’m friends with her, really, you guys don’t believe me, but you know, the real reason I’m not losing weight is because I’m afraid once I lose it, she won’t recognize me, guhh….”

    Luo Shu kept going until he was completely drunk and collapsed. Even till the very end he didn’t notice that Yao Chen hadn’t drunk even one cup of wine.

    Yao Chen simply smiled. When fatty Luo got drunk he would start rambling, and when he would do so Yao Chen would just remain silent. The fatty also had his own problems. It was simply in his nature to be lazy. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to change, it was just that some traits were simply part of your nature and couldn’t be forgotten. If you wanted to explain it harshly, you could say that you couldn’t teach a dog to not eat crap. If you wanted to say it nicely, then old habits are hard to change.

    Moving the passed out Luo Shu, Yao Chen went to his family’s alchemy room in the backyard.

    At this moment, his mother Yao Qing was already waiting for him there. She appeared to be in a daze as she looked into the alchemy room. Collecting up her hair, she clasped it into a celadon hairpin.

    “Mom, Luo Shu’s drunk and collapsed.”

    “Haha.” Yao Qing nodded. A trace of gentleness flashed across her eyes, but it quickly turned uncompromising. “Let’s begin.”

    “Yes mom.”

    Yao Chen nodded. Closing the door and talking a deep breath, he walked over.

    Yao Qing stood to the side next to the medicinal ingredients. As if she had done it many times, she used her Dou Qi to lightly press against a certain mechanism. The alchemy room’s ground suddenly split apart, revealing a large opening. This was the family’s seclusion training room.

    With Yao Qing in front and Yao Chen following behind her, the mother and son walked through the opening, walked down a flight of stairs, and arrived at the training room. The room was already arranged with an exquisite medicinal cauldron on one side, and on the other side was a storage rack full of medicinal ingredients, despite the storage rack upstairs being basically empty.

    On the eastern wall of the alchemy room was a small door, and passing through it was another rather small isolated training room. Inside was a stone table, bed, and bench. On one side were also foods that could be stored for a long time. And then another side had a well that drew spring water from the ground.

    In the center of this room was an iron basin filled with water. The basin was heated by geothermal energy, which was unceasingly boiling the water and creating traces of violet steam that overflowed out before once again falling and returning to the earth.

    Yao Chen swallowed a mouthful of saliva as his body unconsciously shivered a couple times. This iron basin was filled with a water called Xian Dew. After heating it for seven days, if you added some special medicinal powders then it would create a marrow cleansing bone carving medicinal soup bath. Soaking it in would give many benefits to your body’s physique, Dou Qi, and Spiritual Perception.

    However, soaking in it would also cause an extremely difficult to endure prickling and itching sensation. Furthermore you wouldn’t be able to scratch that itch; the more you scratched the more it would itch, and if you did scratch somewhere, then a blister would form under your skin and wouldn’t go away for a long time.

    At this time, his mom was pouring in two types of medicinal powders into the water which quickly caused the water surface to grumble as the water started to bubble and boil over, emitting a violet steam. This was the result of mixing the Xian Dew with some special medicinal powders.

    “Enter. This time you have to endure for four hours.”

    “Yes.” Yao Chen forcefully nodded. Last time had had persevered for three hours and had almost not been able to resist using his hand to scratch his body. However the benefits of the soaks were huge. Although these two years his strength had been sealed at the boundary of a nine star Dou Zhe, his physical body had actually reached the point where it was already capable of withstanding the Dou Qi of even a Da Dou Shi, which was largely the result of continuously enduring medicinal baths.

    Yao Chen took a deep breath. Biting his lip, he jumped into the basin. He immediately felt his countless pores opening up within the hot water and the medicinal energy started to unceasingly enter his body through them. First it entered the capillaries near his skin, then his veins and arteries. Through the veins and arteries it entered into his various organs, deeply permeating into his body, and finally entering his bone marrow.

    This was a very comfortable feeling; however this kind of comfortable feeling had barely even appeared for a couple breaths’ time before a wave of heat gushed out from the bottom of the basin, and a faint itching feeling appeared on his waist. This faint itching feeling started to spread, covering his whole body, and furthermore it became more and more itchier over time.

    However Yao Chen’s expression didn’t change it all. This level of itchiness was something he had long since become accustomed to. The real thing to be afraid of was what would come later.

    After a short period of time, his bone marrow burst out a wave of Dou Qi, which meant the medicinal strength had completed penetrated throughout his body and Dou Qi. In just a split second he suddenly felt his four limbs and all his bones simultaneously release a strange itchiness, an itchiness that simply could not be described in words. It spread throughout his body, an itchiness which practically was so painful it would make you not want to live, as if an infinite malicious ants and insects were trampling and licking every inch of your skin, a maliciousness which penetrated deep into his body….

    “Ugh….”

    Yao Chen’s five senses were all distorted. He resisted with great difficult to scream. The itchiness was unlike pain; screaming wouldn’t help, and in fact it would be the opposite as screaming would make it even itchier.

    That night from two years ago, as a result of his grief and sadness, a powerful thirst for strength caused a kind of demonic energy to break out in Yao Chen’s body, causing him to jump from a six star Dou Zhe to a nine star Dou Zhe. That breakthrough even caused half of his future potential to be burnt away. If his mother had not promptly sealed his Dou Qi and instead let him advance to the even higher Dou Shi class, he would have been stuck in the Dou Shi class for the rest of his life.

    Overdrafting one’s potential meant that a price had to be paid. The medicinal bath, other than training his body, was more importantly replenishing the burned out potential from two years ago.

    The night passed without words. The second morning, Yao Chen woke up the sleeptalking Luo Shu. The unprecedented four hours within the medicinal bath’s suffering had exceeded his expectations on how much mental and physical energy it had required.

    “Wake up, today’s the day the clan school is selecting the best people for the Medicine Competition.”

    On the face of it, the Medicine Competition was something any member of the Yao clan under the age of twenty-four could attend, but the reality was that in order to avoid mixing the bad people with the good, and in order to save the elder’s trouble, before the Medicine Competition would be a couple of selections in order to find the best disciples to stand on top the stage during the Medicine Competition.

    If Yao Chen wanted to stand out in the Medicine Competition, not only did he need to make his preparations for the main event, but he also to jump over a couple of obstructions. The first obstruction would be the clan school’s selection!

    Of course, the main bloodline’s disciples had special privileges. Since many people paid attention to them, their levels of strength were generally very well known, so they didn’t need to go obtain the qualifications for the Medicine Competition.

    However branch disciples were not the same; not only were they very numerous, but the weak were intermingled with the strong. When it came time for the Medicine Competition, the clan school would first test all the branch disciples to see if they had the qualifications to participate in the Medicine Competition.

    Yao Chen and Luo Shu hurriedly rushed over to the clan school’s training yard. It was already filled with the school’s disciples, and not only was it just their grade, but the people above and below their grade were also qualified to participate in this round of selection.

    Yao Chen’s position in the clan school within his own grade was always towards the back since it was the kind of thing that he simply didn’t pay attention to.

    Luo Shu was very nervous. But of course, he wasn’t nervous for himself. Although attending the Medicine Competition was an honor, he had no intention of participating. As a Yao clan disciple he knew a thing or two about alchemy and was capable of refining pills such as the Blood Clotting Pill or the Energy Recovery Pill, but his main focus was all spent on Dou Qi training. His thinking was very simple; once he trained to the Dou Shi class and became a clan guard amongst the clan protectors, he could stick to his big brother Luo Shan and randomly eat and drink. That would be enough for him. And if he was ever bored he could go find Yao Chen for some medicinal pills and exchange them outside the clan for cool stuff. The popularity of medicinal pills from the Yao clan was something that everyone knew about.

    Right now he was very worried for Yao Chen. The clan school’s selections were extremely strict; although he knew Yao Chen had made many preparations, his strength was still just at the nine star Dou Zhe level. Amongst the clan school disciples, the well known ones were all one or two star Dou Shis.

    Dou Shi and Dou Zhe. The difference between the two was incomparable. One was up in the sky while one was still stuck on the ground.

    To an alchemist, Spiritual Perception was admittedly an important part of it, but your Dou Qi’s strength was also an extremely significant factor. It was the cultivation base’s strength that determined the quality of the flame, the flame’s strength, and it even had an impact on the speed and success rate of refining. Consequently, many high tier medicinal pills required a fire type Dou Qi that had reached a certain level or there would simply be no way of refining it.

    Within the Yao clan, 99% of practitioners had fire type Dou Qi. Two years ago, Yao Chen hadn’t heeded his father’s advice to pick one of the best cultivation techniques and instead he picked the ‘Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique’. This was one of the Yao clan’s three major public cultivation techniques, and it was the worst of them. Within the clan school, no one would pick this cultivation technique to practice. Most disciples would pick the Coagulating Fire Technique or the Blazing Origin Technique, of which the Blazing Origin Technique was the most used. The clan school strongest people, Yao Tong, Li Yanxin, and Zuo Hongle, all practiced either the Blazing Origin Technique or the Coagulating Fire Technique.

    Whether it was the Coagulating Flame Technique or the Blazing Origin Technique, they were both alchemy fire techniques that were easy to practice to a dominating level. However the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique was different in that each step while training was exceptionally difficult, to the point where every clan disciple who tried practicing this technique ended up stuck in a bottleneck that made it difficult to advance even an inch more. There was once an elder that proposed removing the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique from the three major public cultivation techniques, but he eventually dropped it. At the beginning when he kept asking around, he found that a thousand years ago, an extremely famous strong ancestor who was listed in the clan history had explicitly indicated that this technique should eternally be a public cultivation technique for the Yao clan. It was not allowed to change.

    However, although this technique was difficult to train in, it also had its good points. The Blazing Origin Technique and the Congealing Flame Technique would consume many training resources every day. But the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique did not have so many requirements. If you had resources, it was good; if you didn’t, it didn’t really matter.

    In addition, legend was that if the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique was trained to its later stagers, its strength would be much stronger than the Blazing Origin Technique and the Coagulating Flame Technique. Of course, this was just the legends. No one would really go believe some nonsense folklore. And after all, it was only a foundation building Huang class cultivation technique. As long as you were steady enough, any cultivation technique was the same. Picking the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique was simply equivalent to increasing the time required for building your foundation by several times.

    Cultivation was at its very core a fight against the heavens, a struggle against the earth, and a battle against time. So even if the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique’s later stages were even stronger, no one would really pick it.

    The unfortunate point was that Yao Chen was helplessly forced into picking the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique. The Blazing Origin Technique was also one of the clan’s major public cultivation techniques; however it required a large amount of resources to advance cultivation bases. Without his father, Yao Chen could only choose to cultivate the slower Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique.

    Luo Shu was also very clear that although Yao Chen was very hard-working at training and used all his effort, due to cultivating the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique, his strength in controlling the flame would be weaker compared to even just the high ranking first years like Yao Ji and Yao Yin, let alone Yao Tong, Li Yanxin, and Zuo Hongle who came from three influential large families.

    Fatty Luo couldn’t help but to recall the events of two years ago….

    If brother Yao Chen hadn’t undergone that indescribable event that destroyed his own body to advance and suddenly burnt through half of his potential, then the Yao Tong, Li Yanxin, and Zuo Hongle from the three large families would all have had to line up behind Yao Chen.

    Suddenly a couple sharp voices came from the side. A glance revealed yesterday’s group that had slandered Yao Chen.

    “Oh, so you finally showed your face. I actually thought you wouldn’t dare to come trash.”

    “Ha, sounds about right, complete garbage, these two words are exactly what he measures up to.”

    “Not bad, not bad. Yesterday I beat him, yet he unexpectedly didn’t even retaliate, and it was even just in front of his house. Later, it was even his mom that saved him, hahaha….”

    Luo Shu’s face turned green. He couldn’t help but to immediately rush over there. But Yao Chen was nevertheless smiling slightly. Holding back Luo Shu’s arm, he said, “No need to lower oneself to a maggot’s level. To be bit by a bug, later it’ll be fine to just step on it to kill it. It’s not worth it to go and bite back at the bug.”

    “Haha, well said, maggots!”

    Luo Shu finally cooled down at this moment. Changing his savage expression to a fresh one, he turned around, planning on no longer paying any attention to this group of dregs.

    Currently it was the clan school’s selection time. It was also the time for the Great Competition that would occur at the school every three months. To fight with schoolmates before the Great Competition, or even being the first to initiate an argument, would cause you to be put in detention. And since the Great Competition was combined with the selection this time, naturally their confrontation would fizzle out and have no way of occurring. Luo Shu endured. Even if he didn’t have to endure for himself, when he thought about it he still had to take into consideration Yao Chen. Although he didn’t think Yao Chen had any tricks left in reserve, but if this time he could at least get a good result at the Great Competition in the clan school it would still be pretty good. After all, the clan school’s resources were distributed based on the Great Competition’s rankings.

    “Tch, coward. An incompetent good-for-nothing.

    The harsh words were continuously coming through, but Yao Chen merely turned a deaf ear.

    This time he had to obtain a top eight placing in the Great Competition in order to participate in the Medicine Competition.

    There were only eight spots, but within the clan school’s ranking, Yao Chen’s strength placed him at above forty plus. Within the clan school this would be nothing remarkable, causing him to miss out on all kinds of opportunities. In the clan school, if you wanted to improve then just relying on effort wasn’t enough. Medicinal pills had to be paired with it. The clan school arranged for many special opportunities, and only some of the top ranked or some people with some special backgrounds in the clan could have these opportunities.

    Within the clan school, disciples would not be over seventeen years old. This time amongst the students within the three grades that were allowed to participate, the number of people who could refine second tier pills numbered around one hundred. However, the number of people that could refine third tier pills would not be greater than ten.

    Obtaining the qualification to attend the Medicine Competition was an extremely important opportunity. If Yao Chen wanted to obtain a spot then the only chance for him was if he could only refine a tier three medicinal pill, which would require all of his effort….

    So this time he absolutely had to exhaust all his strength in order to have a chance.

    Previously Yao Chen’s best result was the second tier pill Azure Flame Pill. It would increase the strength of one’s fire attribute cultivation technique in a short period of time. However the Azure Flame Pill was only considered a lower level second tier pill. If it was placed outside the Yao clan, it would be something that most people would fight over, but within the clan’s school it would only be considered too inferior to show in public.

    Yao Chen didn’t have Luo Shu’s nervousness. His eyes were looking forward, and he quickly found the clan school’s numerous elders standing in a line. The elders were solemn and their robes were completely new. Obviously they attached a very great importance to this time’s clan school’s Great Competition.

    The Medicine Competition was an extremely high honor within the Yao clan; any selection that had to do with it could actually be considered as being a part of the Medicine Competition. In the Yao clan, nobody would treat anything to do with the Medicine Competition with laziness, not even the senior elders.

    “The clan school’s Great Competition is about to start. Students of the clan school, take your places.”

    Everyone loudly consented and each person went to their respective places. Workers had already set up the supplied medicinal ingredients and cauldrons. Now they were just waiting for the elder’s announcement before starting.

    “The Great Competition has now begun!”

    Every disciple took their place according to their ranking. Yao Chen also found his place. A standard grade medicinal cauldron as well as some rather basic medicinal ingredients were placed to the side.

    For the clan school’s Great Competition, it was not allowed to use your own cauldron. This would also test the disciples’ foundations. If you weren’t a true genius, using an unfamiliar medicinal cauldron would cause your success rate while refining to decrease; for those more difficult to refine pills at or above the second tier, the regular disciples would naturally not be able to lightly attempt it, while truly strong people would naturally not have to take the cauldron into consideration.

    As far as the medicinal ingredients required for refining, the clan school prepared many of the more common medicinal ingredients which would be sufficient to refine most pills at the fourth tier or below. For this Grand Competition, it was more formal than past ones, but the same protocols were followed. Therefore, Yao Chen had already long since familiarized himself to this kind of situation. Taking a couple deep breaths and adjusting his breathing, he entered a kind of state where he forgot about himself and the situation. His Spiritual Perception swept over the medicinal ingredients on the side before carefully selecting some.

    On the stage were the numerous elders who were looking towards the ten disciples at the front. These ten people had attained the best results from last time’s Great Competition from out of the many clan disciples. No matter if one was talking about their abilities as alchemists or the strength of their Dou Qi, within the clan school they could be considered above their level for the rest of their lives. Oftentimes they would receive special attention from the elders, and they had also had the experience of participating in some of the inner clan’s missions, causing each person to have some unique benefits.

    “In this time’s Medicine Competition, anyone of these ten people might be able to get one of those eight spots.”

    “Haha, the top three names don’t even need to be discussed. It will definitely be Yao Tong, Li Yanxin, Zuo Hongle. Their strength has long since surpassed regular people. Even if they had to compare to the main bloodline, they’d still be able to put up a fight.”

    “Indeed, but from the fourth to the tenth disciple, although they are ranked accordingly, their strength does not differ by much. Which two will end up being kicked out this time is still difficult to say.”

    The numerous elders were eyeing the movements of these top ten people while commentating their opinions.

    Boom!

    At this moment, a loud rumbling noise came out. A clump of black smoke was exploding out from one of the last rows.

    “Yao Xiao, disqualified.”

    After the elders confirmed the identity, they immediately passed judgement, sentencing the disciple who had caused the cauldron explosion to remove himself from the arrangement in order to avoid influencing the rest of the disciples’ refinements.

    Everyone knew that the purpose of the Grand Competition this time was to pick out the people for the Medicine Competition. The disciples that were ranked towards the back didn’t have the slightest intention on getting one of those spots. Instead, they simply wanted to use this opportunity in order to test their limits. If they happened to succeed they might become well known, and if they did fail then there was no loss. Consequently the first dropout came from their midst, and after only a short amount of time too… following the first dropout, one after another a continuous stream of failed concoctions came out. If those lower ranked disciples really were able to succeed with an unfamiliar cauldron, it really would be ridiculously lucky for them.

    The continuous stream of dropouts unavoidably reached Luo Shu’s position. Originally his skill in alchemy was just average. With just one tremble of his hand, a failure in controlling the flame caused a burst of black smoke to come out of his medicinal cauldron. The medicinal cauldron immediately extinguished its fire; although he was a bit better and didn’t cause a cauldron explosion, the medicinal ingredients had already combined into a clump that could no longer be refined into a pill. His refinement this time would have to count as a failure.

    Luo Shu was indifferent. Originally his focus was not on alchemy, and in this scenario where he didn’t even use his own medicinal cauldron, he did not have much control. He left the refining region, arriving at the waiting region. Luo Shu turned his head looking for Yao Chen.

    If he didn’t see him he wouldn’t have noticed anything in particular happening, but when his gaze purposely tried to find him, the scene caused Luo Shu to jump in shock. Heavens! What was Yao Chen doing?

    A strange black smoke ring was unceasingly coming out from Yao Chen’s medicinal cauldron. It appeared that he was forcefully suppressing an already failed refinement, forcing on the refinement of the medicinal pill.

    “Impossible right….” Luo Shu couldn’t believe it.

    In terms of alchemy, Yao Chen was a hundred times better than him. From his viewpoint it was impossible for Yao Chen to cause this kind of black smoke while refining!

    “Haha, it’s a bunch of garbage rubbish sealed inside his furnace. It’s even started to emit black smoke yet he still doesn’t let it go; does he think he can still forcefully refine a pill?”

    “Even if he does make a pill, it would be a garbage pill.”

    “He’s obviously trash. Don’t you think he should realize reality and give up?”

    “Hahaha.”

    At this time, the group from yesterday once again gathered beside Luo Shu, coldly ridiculing and trying to irritate him. It was evident that they had already failed at refining. This was very natural considering that with their temperaments they could only continue to pad the bottom of the clan school’s ranking. Truly talented disciples would not have the time to waste on fighting with words, as they already didn’t have enough time just to study.

    Luo Shu suppressed with great difficultly the rage that was building in his heart. Not lifting his hand to fight, he retorted, “Peh, you dregs, if you have the skills then duel me!”

    “Duel? You’re still a moron! Haha.”

    “The friends of trash are also trash. Nowadays, there are still people asking for duels?”

    Luo Shu ground his teeth. Looking towards Yao Chen he once again forcefully compelled himself to ignore these maggots.

    This look once again caused him to be surprised. How could the black smoke have stopped?

    Logically, if a refining failure caused black smoke, then there was no way to recover from it. Forcefully suppressing it to form a pill would still only result in a useless garbage pill. It would practically be equal to coal with just the shape of the pill.

    But at this moment, Yao Chen’s medicinal cauldron was only emitting a streak of rising white vapor.

    “Oh? This fellow….”

    “He’s just putting on an act is all. Watch it until the end; most likely at the end he’ll completely burn his garbage pill to ashes. Everyone’s watching, so he might be able to fake it now, but at the end he won’t be able to hide his failure.”

    “Haha, every Great Competition will have a couple of these idiots.”

    “What can you hope that good-for-nothing will be able to refine?”

    “Why stop at good-for-nothing? He burnt up all his potential yet he’s just a nine star Dou Zhe. I really just don’t know just what kind of words can be used to describe him. Can ‘garbage’ even be used in this way?”

    “If he couldn’t even manage to refine some coal, haha, I’m afraid that his result might even be worse than just garbage.”

    This group of people’s ear-piercing ridicule was clearly directed towards Yao Chen and fatty Luo. These people didn’t have intention of making progress. In the clan school they just let each day lazily pass by and provoking their classmates was the only entertainment they had. Of course it all depended on if that person was a soft persimmon. Since they all knew that two years ago Yao Chen had burnt through his potential, they could be completely unrestrained against him.

    As for Luo Shu… he was also ranked at around the one hundred ranking which would be the dregs of the clan school. Adding on his natural fat disposition, he would often meet ridicule for his physique and have to suffer these people’s bullying.

    Time slowly passed. After two hours, a clear sound come out from the region people were still refining in. The first medicinal pill was finally completed.

    “It’s Yao Tong.”

    The ranking’s first place, a youngster wearing a black robe, was facing his medicinal cauldron and collected his pill in a quick motion. As his Dou Qi rushed out, his furnace released a white gas, forming an auspicious cloud over his cauldron. The youngster had starry eyes and sharp brows. He was extremely handsome and tall, and most rare of all was that even when he accomplished his refining, his eyes continued to stay steady and didn’t have the slightest trace of arrogance.

    “As expected. Yao Tong truly is the number one disciple of the clan school. His Pill Qi formed a cloud that condensed without scattering. This is definitely an above average third tier pill.”

    “Haha, it’s not just Yao Tong. Li Yanxin and Zuo Hongle are also about to collect their pills.”

    Just as they said this, another two crisp sounds rang out at practically the same time. At the front, Zuo Hongle and Li Yanxin used their pill collecting arts.

    These were the clan school’s top three disciples. Such a speed was worthy of being the top three, plus the three of their medicinal cauldrons were all emitting a faint auspicious Pill Qi. They were obviously high quality third tier pills.

    The top three spots were absolutely indisputable.

    Yao Tong’s number one spot was something that no one could shake. Li Yanxin and Zuo Hongle would normally alternate the second place. As for the fourth place disciple and beyond, the difference between them and the top three was not a small one.

    Time slowly passed by. Some people succeeded and some people failed. Now there were less than two hours left.

    Only now did the elders start to look at the other disciples who hadn’t finished their refinements. However they were frowning.

    Although the clan school’s aim was to educate all the disciples of the clan, they only taught the most basics of the basics. Later, the excellent disciples would be apprenticed to other masters. But human nature dictated that people wanted to have relationships with the strong  but looked down on the weak. If your ranking was weaker than the top twenty and you didn’t have any special background, then it would be difficult to have any elders pay you much attention. Although they wouldn’t hate you, they wouldn’t pay you as much mind.

    “Actually they’re not that bad. However they might run out of time.”

    Elder Yao Lan shook his head. The disciples were still persevering weren’t bad, but it was impossible for them have a limitless time to refine for the Great Competition. Right now there was only one hour left. And as for those people who still hadn’t finished, they were still only halfway complete, some even just one third of the way complete. Even if you gave them twice the amount of time they still wouldn’t be able to finish.

    Unless their skill managed to advance to a new level as time drew near. However such a thing would be a crazy man’s dream. 

    BornToBe's thoughts:

    Footnotes: Xian Dew is only mentioned here twice in the entire novel and the Xian means basically nothing. But if one extra dot is added to it then it becomes ‘xi’ (冼 vs 洗), meaning to wash or bath. I don't think its a spelling error, but I also can't find any meaning to the word T.T

  • edited September 2018
    Just a couple things:
    The ranks of Dou Qi (as in cultivation stages) are:

    Dou Zhi=Dou Disciple (aka Duan Qi=Stage of Energy)
    Dou Zhe=Dou Practitioner
    Dou Shi=Dou Master
    Da Dou Shi=Dou Grandmaster
    Dou Ling=Dou Spirit
    Dou Wang=Dou King
    Dou Huang=Dou Emperor
    Dou Zong=Dou Ancestor
    Dou Zun=Dou Venerate
    Dou Sheng=Dou Saint
    Dou Di=Dou God

    They are all split into 9 stars.
    Ban Sheng is a stage between Dou Zun and Dou Sheng. The Ban just means half, meaning Half-Saint. Ban Shengs don't have stars, but they have 'nine changes'/'nine transformations'. These are nine compressions of their Dou Qi as they reach their max limit. 

    Qi methods and Dou Techniques are classified from weakest to strongest:

    Huang=Yellow
    Xuan=Black
    Di=Ground
    Tian=Heaven

    And split into Low Level, Middle Level, and High Level.

    The term used for Qi method is not the same as the one used for cultivation technique in this novel.

    In keeping with BTTH, I will keep the term as Heavenly Flame, however the term Essence Flame is much more correct as a translation. I'm not sure if maybe they found a reason to change it to Heavenly Flame. Generally I try to cross-reference any terms to keep them consistent, however some terms haven't come up yet.
  • edited September 2018

    Chapter 6: Shocking Performance

    The clan school’s top three, of which the second place and third place were Li Yanxin and Zuo Hongle respectively, were currently discussing the refining events that had just passed a moment ago. Within the clan school’s Great Competitions, second place was alternatively held by these two, and although they were rivals, they were also friends. The first place Yao Tong could not be shaken even by lightning, and was not discussing with them or mentioned by them.

    “It’s unfortunate. Back then if my Spiritual Perception had not been deceived by the flame’s strength for a split second, my Silver White Pill’s quality would have definitely been top grade.”

    “You? Top grade third tier pill? Haha, don’t joke around. Of course when it comes to me, if I had not made a tiny error just now, I would definitely have refined a top grade third tier pill. But that flame controlling technique you told me about last time is really not bad. But I just learned some new things….”

    The two of them were talking about what they had learned about flame controlling techniques when Zuo Hongle inadvertently turned his head a bit and suddenly became distracted. “What? That fellow… something’s strange!”

    “What’s strange?” Li Yanxin turned his head and also became shocked. “What is that?”

    Within the refining region, one person was using both his hands to continuously form some strange hand seals, drawing in some subtle Dou Qi to superimpose in front of him. At first, this kind of superimposition of Dou Qi didn’t have any use, but following more and more hand seals, this superimposition started to cause people to feel a formidable aura.

    “Major Superimposition Technique?”

    Amongst the clan elders were also some who lightly gasped.

    “Not right. It does have some similarity to the Major Superimposition Technique, but its core appears to be some other Dou Technique.”

    Elder Yao Lan was moved, as the one who was using hand seals to superimpose Dou Qi was not some random person, but Yao Chen!

    Two years ago, Yao Chen’s potential had been burned through overdrawing it. When Yao Lan heard about it, he simply sighed. In his mind, Yao Chen was a pretty good seedling, but now with his potential burned, it was simply a waste.

    But looking at Yao Chen’s hand seals appearing one after another, he once again aroused his interest.

    “This isn’t the Major Superimposition Technique; it’s the Inner Energy Explosion Technique. It’s his branch family’s original Dou Technique. It’s unfortunate that this kind of Dou Technique is extremely complicated, and almost nobody is capable of genuinely practicing it to a high level.”

    Contrary to what one might expect, Yao Lan actually recognized this Dou Technique from the hand seals. The one who passed this technique down was Yao Chen’s great-grandfather from over a hundred years ago. He was a person who managed to get his name carved onto the Clan Monument and was a famous godly figure who had created his own branch. Unfortunately, over the years, for various reasons Yao Chen’s branch started to weaken generation over generation. It truly was a waste for such a gifted branch to decline.

    Yao Huo ended up like that, and Yao Chen…would probably also end up like that.

    However, by using this Dou Technique’s set of Inner Energy Explosion’s hand seals, it appeared that Yao Chen was actually still pretty good. Although his potential had been burned, the talent of his mind didn’t follow with it. But even so, the more one thought about it, the more it would make people regretful. If that event hadn’t occurred, then just how perfect would this disciple have been…?

    Outside, Luo Shu also jumped, raising his eyebrows and gasping. At last he could finally retaliate, “You dregs, now you see, this is the Inner Energy Explosion technique. Even if you had a hundred years, you wouldn’t be able to master this Xuan class Dou Technique, dregs!”

    “Peh, what are you proud of? Keep acting!”

    This group of rascal disciples’ leader Shi Bo put on a disgusted expression.

    However, observing Yao Chen’s current performance, they all turned silent.

    “What a pity. Even if his Dou Qi miraculously rose, unless he could reach the level of a Da Dou Shi’s Dou Qi to refine more quickly, he doesn’t have enough time left to finish.”

    “Indeed, right now only a quarter of an hour is left. Elder Yao Lan, isn’t it almost time to prepare for the evaluations?” A couple of the elders looked towards Yao Lan. Yao Lan was the chief elder at the clan school, so naturally everything would follow his instructions. And if there was a problem, it would naturally also be his responsibility.

    Yao Lan gently smoothed his white beard. Muttering to himself, he finally nodded his head, “Fine, but don’t disturb the disciples who still haven’t finished refining just in case they can finish.”

    The clan elders all nodded approvingly. When they walked to the refining area, the entire scene became quiet. Everyone present knew the time to evaluate the results had arrived.

    Following the elders’ entrance, a couple of disciples who hadn’t finished refining became disturbed and their Dou Qi flared, immediately causing a cauldron explosion or failed refinement. Black smoke started surging upwards in all kinds of different manners. It really was the case of putting in all one’s effort only to fail at the end.

    But at this moment, the clan school’s elders all essentially ignored these people, directly walking to the stage for evaluating pills. All the disciples who had successfully refined a pill placed their pill into a bottle and wrote their name on it before remaining on the stage to wait for their result. To the side were also five Iron Guards whose eyes were constantly roving around, preventing people from stealing or exchanging contents.

    But this was mostly needless, as in the Yao clan, even the most garbage people didn’t have to worry about whether they would have enough food, water, and shelter. The clan even had some arrangements for finding a wife; of course they wouldn’t dare to say it would be a beautiful, delicate woman, but it would still be a guaranteed safeguard. The Yao clan was one of the eight ancient clans; no matter how lacking the disciples were, they still had the blood of an emperor flowing through their veins. Even if this generation was useless, the next generation might be extremely talented. But cheating in the clan was an extremely grave offense. It was absolutely a crime that couldn’t go unpunished. Even if it was the main bloodline, they would not be able to escape punishment. If it was a repeat offender then they would be expelled out from the Yao clan; from this one could tell just how extremely severe the consequences were.

    If one were to describe it with one sentence, then the Yao clan disciples would dare to do anything except cheating.

    Outside the refining area, Luo Shu was worriedly sweating. Hurry and finish! The elders had already entered the arena; although no one directly said anything, but even idiots could tell that the disciples who still hadn’t finished refining at this time would count as failures in the eyes of the elders. There was only an extremely slim chance. If you could complete the pill before the elders finished appraising the numerous medicinal pills, then you might still have a shot.

    Yet Yao Chen was still controlling the flame at a speed that was not very fast. His entire attention was on the pill furnace’s interior; the outside world’s happenings were things that he didn’t notice at all.

    On the top of the appraising platform, the elders were already beginning their evaluations. The first pill to be evaluated was from Yao Tong.

    “Respected elders, this pill’s name is the Moon Suppressing Wind Pill.” Yao Tong advanced extremely steadily towards the various elders, and bowed, giving the proper etiquette. He respectfully introduced the pill before getting up and walking to the side, no longer saying anything.

    All the elders were satisfied, nodding their heads. Yao Tong also slightly nodded his head. It was difficult to find someone with more talent that him. He was a branch bloodline disciple, and only within the inner clan could he profoundly develop and have good prospects. If one was like Yao Huo, whose temperament was too indulgent and didn’t make the main bloodline pleased, they wouldn’t care about your talent or ability….

    Yao Lan shook his head, no longer thinking about those events. That person had already died, so thinking too much about it did no good. He put his focus on Yao Tong’s Moon Suppressing Wind Pill.

    Yao Lan opened the bottle, and a fragrant odor come out and assaulted his nose, shaking his spirit. “Oh, not bad.”

    Taking out the pill and using Dou Qi to wrap it and move it to his palm, a thread of Spiritual Perception entered the pill and carefully evaluated its inner contents, efficiency, and its quality.

    After only using the time it took for half an incense stick to burn, Yao Lan’s perception return to him. Placing the pill back in to bottle, he turned to face Yao Tong, indifferently saying, “This pill’s pill formula isn’t from the clan’s collection. It’s a new pill formula?”

    “Yes. Half a year ago this disciple obtained it while outside the clan to gain experience. However at the time it was almost destroyed; only recently did I restore it to its complete condition.”

    “Very good, to dare to try a new pill formula at the Great Competition, not bad! Yao Tong, third tier Moon Suppressing Wind Pill. Can be used to reduce the effects of attacks caused by wind affinity Dou Qi, and even more importantly is that it can even be taken by Dou Zhes, as its toxicity level is basically negligible. Even its quality is also high grade. Excellent.”

    Yao Lan let out a faint smile; for a strict judge like him to repeatedly praise the pill was an extremely high compliment.

    Yao Tong still simply stood to the side, not moving even a bit, his face not showing any kind of happiness. Heavily, he slowly replied, “Thank you for the praise elder.”

    Yao Lan once again nodded, moving on to the second pill.

    Li Yanxin stepped forward. This pill in that bottle had been refined by him. At this moment he bowed courteously and said, “Respected elders, this pill’s name is the Stone Skin Pill.”

    “Oh, the third tier Stone Skill Pill, interesting.”

    Yao Lan lightly nodded, once more performing his assessment, after which he gave out his evaluation. “Third tier Stone Skin Pill. The pill formula comes from the clan treasury. After taking it, for fifteen minutes the whole body’s skin will obtain a stone nature, giving it a shocking strength. Pairing it with a ground type Dou Qi would increase its efficiency even more and the pill quality is high grade.”

    The slender Zuo Hongle jumped forward, laughingly saying, “Elders, it should be my turn now right? My pill is the Armor Piercing Pill. This time my result is definitely stronger than Li Yanxin.”

    “Stand to one side. If you continue to laugh and joke around, we’ll deduct marks.”

    Zuo Hongle stuck out his tongue at Li Yanxin, but nevertheless he didn’t speak another word.

    While one side was continuously evaluating medicinal pills, Yao Chen was entering the crucial phase of his Inner Energy Explosion Art. His hands unceasingly made seals in order to add to the superposition of Dou Qi in front of him. At this time, the Dou Qi ended up merging with Yao Chen’s body, mysteriously bringing Yao Chen to the Dou Shi class. However this kind of state was only a fake Dou Shi. Booming rang out as blazing flames unceasingly entered into the medicinal cauldron.

    Currently, no matter how Yao Chen burst out, the elders didn’t pay him any attention. There was very little time left now; in their eyes even if Yao Chen by means of a Dou Technique managed to break out and obtain a Dou Shi’s strength, it was already too late. It was absolutely impossible for him to complete a medicinal pill in the remaining allotted time.

    However, no one noticed that Yao Chen’s furnace was actually exploding out an exceptionally intense temperature. The flame’s strength had already far surpassed the realm of a Dou Shi. This kind of frightening temperature was something only a Da Dou Shi was capable of achieving!

    Other than his Dou Technique, Yao Chen also had his Spiritual Perception. It was currently playing an extremely large role in his refinement. In reality, although his Dou Qi was weak, Yao Chen’s Spiritual Perception was already at the level of a Da Dou Shi… so much so that it had actually long surpassed the level of a Da Dou Shi.

    At this moment, the pill furnace’s various medicinal ingredients all quickly merged together. As for the impurities, under his Spiritual Perception’s keen examinations, they were all speedily distinguished and under the sensitive control of his Dou Qi, they were all expelled from the congealing medicinal pill. The impurities fell to the bottom of the furnace, but these impurities still had a quite a bit of medicinal strength left in them, and at the moment Yao Chen didn’t let them go to waste. Urging the bursting superimposed Dou Qi, he once more squeezed these impurities, once again using the furnace’s fire to purify them.

    Crackling noises came out, as strands of medicinal strength were extracted and injected back into the congealing medicinal pill.

    Time was slowly trickling away. Other than Yao Chen, the entire refining area had no other disciples. They had all already given up. Although if they had continued they might have been capable of completing their medicinal pill, but the Great Competition would have already finished. If they stayed behind they would only cause people to ridicule them. Under this kind of situation, would there still be anyone else who wished to insist on continuing?

    So naturally Yao Chen who was still persevering would become more eye-attracting.

    “Oh? He’s still continuing?” Yao Lan was still performing evaluations when he saw him out of the corner of his eye. His heart faintly trembled, and he took a more attentive glance. What he saw really made him want to let out a bitter laugh; he recognized the pill that Yao Chen was trying to refine as the second tier Azure Flame Pill!

    He shook his head, quickly turning his head back. Something like the Azure Flame Pill was incapable of coming up onto this stage. It was something that didn’t even require a second glance.

    At this time, there were still five people who still needed to be evaluated. Although none of them were the equal of Yao Tong, Li Yanxin, or Zuo Hongle, they were still not bad high level second tier pills. Comparing to the Azure Flame Pill, although they were the same category as second tier pills, but just in terms of the pill’s efficiency and popularity they were far above.

    One pill after another passed through the evaluations, and some elders even occasionally nodded their head in satisfaction. This time’s clan school’s disciples truly had quite a few talents. Although they weren’t all super talented geniuses, they could still stand on top of this stage. If put in the inner clan they would be somewhat inferior, but if they went outside the clan then they would be targets that everyone would have to look up to! This too was one of the Yao clan’s hidden strengths.

    The time was nearly out and Yao Lan had even picked up the last pill bottle. Using his Dou Qi to wrap up the pill, he delicately examined it and in just a short moment he opened his mouth and commented, “Lower second tier Amplification Pill, quality - ordinary. Once used, one’s Dou Qi will have some minor growth.”

    In terms of pill quality, it would start at ordinary grade, then middle grade, then high grade, and finally top grade. The last grade, top grade, completely lacked any defect. However top grade was something that could be found, but not sought. Whenever a top grade medicinal pill was born, the alchemist would usually keep it for his own personal collection.

    That last pill was also the last one to be submitted. To even be able to complete the pill refinement when rushed was already not bad for that disciple, so of course the quality was merely at the ordinary grade.

    Now, Yao Lan put down that last pill, declaring. “This time’s Great Competition….”

    Just when he was about to declare that the Great Competition was finished, suddenly a loud booming noise blasted out!

    An extremely dense white smoke flew out of the refining area!

    Yao Lan’s words cut off. He looked at Yao Chen’s position, and all he could see was the white smoke blocking his vision. From within he could faintly feel the undulations from the Dou Qi. From this feeling, it was probably due to completing the pill.

    “Pill energy rushing towards the heavens, this is….”

    “Impossible, right?”

    “This… he’s about to complete the pill?”

    “The time! Has it already run out?”

    Unexpectedly, when one of the elders turned his head to look towards the hourglass, he saw that the final pieces of sand were currently falling and there were only a couple breaths worth of time left.

    However, just at this moment a rumbling noise came out. The pill energy that was rushing towards the heavens returned back and fell back down into the furnace, revolving around a golden yellow medicinal pill that rushed out, landing in a pill bottle in Yao Chen’s hand.

    “The pill energy returned to the cauldron; it appears to be top tier.” Yao Lan voice seemed to be a bit strange now. He hadn’t thought that Yao Chen would be able to even finish his pill, let alone finish refining what appeared to be a top grade pill. Although it might not definitely be top grade, but this kind of accomplishment, in contrast to the events from two years ago, caused Yao Lan to feel a difficult to understand feeling.

    The other elders also stopped speaking. Seeing that Yao Chen had collected the medicinal pill, they walked over.

    Yao Chen was already completely drained. It weren’t for his extremely strong spirit, he would probably have already collapsed. “Respected elders, this pill’s name is the Violet Flame Pill.”

    Yao Lan personally received the pill bottle, saying “Someone come support him to the side to rest.”

    Luo Shu quickly rushed over from the side, not forgetting to also glare at Shi Bo.

    Holding onto Yao Chen, fatty Luo was incessantly winking at him, but he didn’t dare say anything in front of the school elders. But his eyes were full of a worshipful enthusiasm, almost to the point where he couldn’t hold it in.

    Yao Chen also smiled, but nevertheless he was still somewhat anxious as he looked at Yao Lan.

    Yao Lan opened the pill bottle. A faint white air overflowed from the pill bottle, and spreading with the wind it scattered all around, immediately filling the whole place with the pill’s fragrance.

    “Good pill!”

    A couple of the elders couldn’t help but to open their mouths and praise it.

    Yao Lan finished his appraisal in just a short moment, placing the violet pill back into the bottle. His eyes seemed to be a little unsteady now. It took him quite a while before he opened his mouth to say, “Excellent. Superb! This Violet Flame Pill was born from the Azure Flame Pill, and as far as its effectiveness, well, Yao Chen, why don’t you explain it.”

    Just this short sentence caused a huge commotion. With elder Yao Lan’s strict nature, no one expected he would actually evaluate it so highly!

    Even Yao Tong only received a good evaluation. With his current praise, wouldn’t that mean that the pill that Yao Chen refined would be superior to Yao Tong’s!

    This, was it even possible?

    Everyone’s eyes all landed on Yao Chen.

    In this moment, Yao Chen said “Yes elder. This pill is similar to the Azure Flame Pill. It can increase flame attribute techniques’ strength, but it is different in that the Azure Flame Pill can only increase strength by ten percent, but this pill can increase strength by fifty percent or greater.”

    Fifty percent! And even greater!

    Everyone’s gaze seemed to not be able to believe it, “Letting flame attribute techniques increase their strength by fifty percent or greater, wouldn’t this kind of effect only be achievable by a fourth tier pill?”

    This kind of medicinal pill that could directly increase one’s fighting strength was not the same category as body strengthening or healing pills. This category of pill was to be used during battles; if one side’s strength suddenly explosively increased by ten or twenty percent, it would definitely decide a life or death battle. Then what about a fifty percent increase?

    “Is there a sequelae after?”

    At this time, a couple of people opened their mouths to question it, as it really was simply too hard to accept as true! Some fellow whose name they hadn’t even known had actually refined a pill that they didn’t even dare to think about that apparently could increase one’s Dou Qi’s strength by fifty percent?

    Yao Lan waved his hand, saying, “This pill has never appeared before. It can currently be classified as a third tier pill, as for the other things, there still needs to more assessment before we can give the final evaluation.” Elder Yao Lan’s voice seemed somewhat lowered as he declared this.

    The crowd bursted into noise. Elder Yao Lan actually couldn’t immediately give the pill an evaluation?!

    Just what kind of concept was this?

    Yao Chen’s brilliant performance amazed the crowd!

    “Ok, let’s stop at this point. This time’s Great Competition is formally over, and as for the rankings, they will be announced in the evening on the bulletin board of the clan school.”

    After Yao Lan finished his announcement, he once again gave a profound glance towards Yao Chen as he brought all the elders to leave.

    Once the elders left, all the clan school disciples all looked towards Yao Chen with both jealousy and envy. Even elder Yao Lan couldn’t identify the medicinal pill’s level with a quick exam. No matter what the final result was, Yao Chen’s reputation within the clan school would definitely soar.

  • Thank you. But what about Ban Sheng (Half Saint) stage? This stage stand before Dou Sheng and after Dou Zun.It also split into 9 stars. To become a Ban Sheng, martial practioners will have to compress their Dou Qi 9 times. But if they have a absurdly good foundation, they will skip it.
  • I'm not really knowledgeable on the Ban Sheng stage, sorry ^.^
  • edited September 2018

    Chapter 7: Obtaining the Qualifications

    Evening arrived.

    The sunset gave off a blood-red glow. Outside the clan school’s entrance, hundreds of Yao clan members had already assembled.

    Other than just the clan school’s disciples, there were also other people from the branch and main bloodlines. The clan school’s Great Competition was not just for selecting members for the Medicine Competition, but it was also a chance for people to discover some talents.

    A few disciples might not be good enough to attain the qualifications to attend the Medicine Competition, but as long as they had remarkable performances they could obtain all kinds of different opportunities. The Yao clan had all kinds of commerce and management positions outside the clan that required many talented people. Entering into one these was also very good, and although your training speed couldn’t compare to the speed you would obtain inside the clan, but Yao clan disciples had an extremely high status outside the clan, which could be considered another kind of glory.

    At the moment, everyone was waiting for the clan school’s rankings.

    The top eight in the rankings would not only have the qualifications to attend the Medicine Competition, but in addition this list was more for finding a suitable partner amongst the branch and main bloodlines. The top thirty names were all targets that people would proactively try to attract.

    At this time, Yao Chen and Luo Shu had also arrived at the front of the clan school. Looking at the huge crowd that was bustling with activity, there simply was no path forward- not even a drop of water could have managed to squeeze through. Within the crowd were scouts from the branch and main bloodlines who had come earlier to attract some talents.

    “There really are a lot of people….” Luo Shu had barely spoken before the crowd parted, giving them a path forward....

    Luo Shu narrowed his eyes and his legs felt weak. Turning to look at Yao Chen he seemed as if he wanted to ask just what was happening.

    The list was just a formality. In reality, most of the people with great power and status were all capable of finding out the names before the list was posted.

    Looking at the current circumstances, it seemed that the top eight names had already been selected, and Yao Chen was definitely amongst them…. Although he wouldn’t dare to claim he was definitely first, but being in the top three was a very distinct possibility; if he wasn’t in the top three, then how could this crowd just so easily part to make a path for them?

    Yao Chen took a deep breath; he had long since calculated that with the Violet Flame Pill which had shown signs of being a top quality pill there was an eighty percent chance of entering the top eight and obtaining the qualifications to attend the Medicine Competition. However his heart was still jumping and it was difficult for him to stay calm now that the moment was before him.

    When it came to his exact rank, he didn’t consider it to be important. The only thing he cared about was attaining the qualifications for the Medicine Competition. To be frank, his Dou Qi was still at the nine star Dou Zhe level, and although he had a Dou Technique that could explode out with a Dou Shi’s Dou Qi, this kind of Dou Qi had an extremely large weakness in that during battle with an enemy, it could be said that using it was basically asking for defeat and death. Of course when it came to refining medicine this kind of strength increase could be extremely useful. However, in the Yao clan, there were uncountable advantages, and it was unknown just how many fantastic alchemy techniques had far exceeded this kind of simple explosion Dou Technique.

    Fortunately it was not like Yao Chen didn’t have follow up plans. After this time’s Great Competition, there was still more than a month’s time before the real Medicine Competition.

    Although it was slightly pressing, but as long as he could persevere, then it was sufficient for the hidden potential that was inside of him to be drawn out.

    Finally the clan school’s main door opened. All the clan school’s elders filed out, with the clan school elder Yao Lan at the very front.

    In one hand elder Yao Lan was holding a ferule, while his other hand was holding a scroll.

    This time the clan school’s Great Competition had a grand announcement ceremony. Not every Great Competition would have such a treatment; it would only happen once every five years for the Medicine Competition.

    This time the top eight names would all be written into the clan school’s history, and although this wasn’t as large a glory as the Clan Monument, it was still leaving your name in the clan school, which was a great honor.

    Elder Yao Lan lightly swept his eyes over this crowd of people. Not only were the clan school disciples present, but also their families, as well as groups of people from the branch families, extended families, and main bloodline families.

    These disciples would eventually become the Yao clan’s core strength!

    All this bustle and excitement was precisely due to the Yao clan’s proof of strength in these young generation disciples that were still growing up.

    “This time’s Great Competition had many talents. 51 disciples managed to complete their pills. Comparing to last time’s Great Competition, an additional 17 disciples managed to succeed. This kind of progress gives pride to the Yao clan’s name.” Although this kind of speech was very standard, under this kind of situation it managed to raise the anticipation level and pride of the participants even more. Suddenly the first star signifying the start of the night glimmered.

    “It is now time to reveal the rankings!“

    Following, the scroll in Yao Lan’s hand made an explosive noise before unrolling and suspending itself in midair.

    “Rank number 30, Yao He!”

    “Rank number 29, Yao Kou!”

    The names were revealed starting from last place.

    Even just these last two places were still met by a burst of cheering. This time’s Great Competition had over 300 people attending it, and to be able to enter into the top 30 was quite the accomplishment.

    However, currently people were still able to maintain their self-control. Only by getting into the top eight could they attend the Medicine Competition, which was the real point of getting on the list.

    “Rank number 9, Yao Yun….”

    “What?!” From within the crowd came a cry of alarm!

    In front of the entrance, a lanky disciple’s face turned pale and full of disbelief. Yao Chen also turned his head to give him a glance. Yao Yun was one of the well known members in the clan school. Normally he would be regarded highly within the clan school. Although he couldn’t necessary weigh up to the clan school’s top three, Yao Tong, Li Yanxin, and Zuo Hongle, and even if you didn’t consider Dou Qi and only compared alchemy skills, within the clan school there was no one else who would want to compare themselves to him.

    However, at the moment he ended up ranking in the ninth position and didn’t even manage to get into the top eight.

    “Hehe, what have I said? Evil has its own retribution. People with low morals will at key moments have bad luck.” Zuo Hongle who was always ranked as either second or third within the clan didn’t give him even the slightest face as he laughed and ridiculed. His words spread everything and his low laughter pierced the atmosphere. In reality, Yao Yun was excessively arrogant and considered everyone to be beneath him. It was unknown just how many people he had offended.

    The reason why Yao Yun considered everyone to be beneath him was because he was a lackey of the main bloodline’s Yao Feng. Whenever Yao Feng had an issue it was usually Yao Yun who served as the lead figure in dealing with it.

    “Rank number 8, Yao Dong….”

    Elder Yao Lan’s imposing voice was still continuing to announce the rankings.

    When the eighth rank’s name announced, a rumbling noise immediately followed. The crowd become much more excited as many of them started to crowd around Yao Dong, giving him congratulations, attempting to attract him to their family, and also attempting to convince him to marry their daughter, taking out a long dowry list.

    The top eight had the qualifications to attend the Medicine Competition, making them famous amongst thousands. At the same time it would demonstrate your talent and your abilities, and more and more families and branches would favor you and think of ways to draw you to their households.

    Although everyone was the same clan, but from ancient times to present, the Yao clan had always been large, and ordinary people had difficulty getting the clan’s interest. The many branches were uncountable, and each branch had their own estates and business. Even the main bloodline also had over ten families, each with their own strengths and resources.

    “Rank number 7… Rank number 6….”

    Each name was called out from elder Yao Lan’s mouth, and the energy within the crowd became more and more enthusiastic, such that the people whose names were currently being called all had their faces turn an exceptional red color. To be able to get the qualifications for the Medicine Competition meant that you were extremely talented with great potential. Although the Yao clan was extremely large and powerful, but the number of people needing to be fed was also large. Even if the clan had even more resources, they still couldn’t distribute it evenly. If you wanted to obtain a larger share of resources then both your talent and qualifications had to meet extremely rigid targets. If you didn’t meet those targets then you could only rely on exchanging merit points. Not even talking about Dou Zhes, even if you were a Dou Shi just how many merit points do you think you could obtain?

    As a result, to obtain the qualifications to attend the Medicine Competition was equal to opening a wide road full of brilliant future prospects. Amongst the clan school disciples, most of them were all striving to obtain this.

    “Rank number four….”

    Elder Yao Lan voice suddenly paused at this moment, his gaze stopping to look at Li Yanxin.

    Li Yanxin’s face changed, and his throat trembled.

    “-Li Yanxin.”

    This name ended up being announced by Yao Lan.

    Everyone was no longer as excited as they were before. Instead they became shocked and startled.

    Among the hundreds of disciples, from the moment Li Yanxin entered the clan school he had never dropped out of the top three rankings during the Great Competition. However it was this most important Great Competition this time that he unexpectedly ranked as fourth.

    Li Yanxin’s gaze fell towards Yao Chen.

    “Looks like the rumor is true, Yao Chen really did enter the top three.”

    “I actually thought it was wrong….”

    “It’s not possible; I know who Yao Chen is. His Dou Qi shouldn’t have entered the Dou Shi class! How could it be him?”

    “Impossible! It’s absolutely impossible! Just what do you think that explosion Dou Technique is? If you use that kind of Dou Technique to refine medicine, eight or nine out of ten pills would end up highly toxic and end up a garbage pill. At the time, elder Yao Lan didn’t announce his medicinal pill’s quality; obviously it was due to this reason. The reason they still haven’t announced his name is definitely because he was washed out….”

    “Now that you mention it, in the refining records of the clan school, Yao Chen ended up causing quite a few cauldron explosions right?”

    There were some people who admired him, but there were also people who were simply jealous. Although the rumor had been passed around, there were still people who didn’t accept it. These cynical remarks were not cold, but also not indifferent. Most of them were from people who said Yao Chen’s potential was completely burnt out.

    “Rank number 3….”

    Hearing Elder Yao Lan’s voice, the crowd immediately became completely silent.

    “Zuo Hongle!”

    The crowd immediately burst into noise!

    The third name actually ended up being Zuo Hongle! Then just what was the second name? Yao Chen?

    In any case, first place was never shaken, not even by lightning. It was certain to be Yao Tong.

    However… saying Yao Chen was second place… the number of people who didn’t believe it grew even greater!

    “Saying that Yao Chen is second, hehe… it really is absurd. I can’t even bear such a joke. Just wait for the truth to come out.”

    “No, the way I see it is that Yao Chen was hiding his strength before now, waiting to reveal it at such a critical time.”

    “Haha, to say such words means that you don’t actually know his circumstance. His family only has him and his mother, so how could he possibly be hiding his strength?”

    That clansman who had been in support of Yao Chen immediately fell silent. Everyone knew that while the benefits received from the clan were great, but the struggles within the clan were also very miserable. Even when it comes to the Musk Essence Foundation Strengthening Pill, only one was given out every three months to him. Even according to the Yao clan standards, just taking one a month would barely be enough to keep up in training. Without a male pillar in the family and without displaying your strength to the clan you wouldn’t be able to obtain any special resources or opportunities. Therefore hiding your strength was shortening your future potential. What could be more foolish than that?

    “Hey, everyone be quiet. They’re about to announce second place.”

    Elder Yao Lan had paused briefly. Waving his ferule, the noisy crowd calmed back down. Lightly sighing, he waited for the crowd to become completely silent before slowly open his mouth, “Rank number two….”

    Yet again he paused for a moment, and this his gaze fell on Yao Chen.

    The whole crowd noticed Yao Lan’s gaze was looking at Yao Chen, and immediately various expressions appeared on their faces. Was it actually true that this unremarkable little fellow had caused this upset?

    “Yao Tong!”

    Elder Yao Lan loudly announced the rank.

    Silence!

    To the side, Yao Tong who had previously been maintaining a calm expression ended up with an extremely complex expression on his face when he heard his name called out as second place. Second place!

    Ever since Yao Tong had entered the clan school he had always been a crane amongst a flock of chicken. The first place position had always been taken by him. The saying about the clan school’s top three was totally made up by other people of their own initiative, and Yao Tong had never bothered to correct them. Li Yanxin and Zuo Hongle were simply never put in his eyesight. Previously when they had done a couple private challenges, the result to Yao Tong was always two words- not worthy. The difference between him and them was definitely not merely one level.

    He had never expected that this time, the most important clan school’s Great Competition’s first place would not fall to him.

    Just who was first!?

    Yao Tong was askance for a couple moments, before recovering to his normal tranquil self. Shooting a glance at Yao Chen, he wondered, was it actually him?

    Was that actually possible?

    The only possibility was a Violet Flame Pill whose quality was assessed as top grade. Other than this, no one else could compare to his third tier Moon Suppressing Wind Pill. And even if it was a top grade pill, so what? Yao Chen simply had no way of competing with him. Not only had he been the constant first place of the clan school ever since he had entered, the Moon Suppressing Wind Pill he had refined had come from an ancient ruined formula. That was no small matter. Using a repaired ancient formula was something that was a level higher than just a top grade pill.

    The other clansmen in the crowd also evidently knew this argument. The Moon Suppressing Wind Pill was definitely the most amazing pill in this time’s Great Competition. No other pills were able to compare to it, not even Yao Chen’s Violet Flame Pill. Although it was nice to think that the pill was top grade, but it wasn’t necessarily definite. Just because it had shown signs of being top grade didn’t necessarily mean that it was. Its quality was still unknown, and just how was the pill’s toxicity? A disciple who was always ranked below the forties who didn’t seem to improve ever lacked the persuasiveness to convince the crowd.

    However, if it wasn’t him, then who else could first place go to? All the evaluated pills had already been ranked except for Yao Chen. Other than his unexpected pill, there was no one else that could compete with the Moon Suppressing Wind Pill.

    Yao Chen’s heart was also jumping. He himself knew best that the Violet Flame Pill’s effect. Even if it was a top grade pill, it would still have quite a gap compared to the Moon Suppressing Wind Pill. Furthermore, the Violet Flame Pill also had a quite a few drawbacks… Yao Chen had had confidence in entering the top eight, but looking at the current situation, even up to the second rank his name had still not been called.

    Had he failed?

    Or was he actually… first?

    First… this, was it actually possible?

    Just as Yao Chen was worrying about whether he had failed or succeeded, he heard elder Yao Lan’s voice once again ring out. The ferule in hand waved once more, appearing completely solemn, as he slowly announced: “Rank number 1….”

    Everyone was completely silent. The many clan members present all held their breath. This was the first time in many years that the first place of the clan school’s Great Competition wasn’t Yao Tong!

    Was it the newly emerged, apparently talented Yao Chen?

    The people sent from the branch families and households were all looking at Yao Chen. If it was him… their sharp gazes as the shot towards their fellow competitors. Yao Chen’s background was extremely poor, just suitable for them to attempt to attract with a partner.

    “Yao Chen!” Elder Yao Lan’s voice was like a raging flood as it loudly rose out.

    Just as he spoke, the previously silent crowd suddenly seemed like a boiling cauldron of voices.

    “It really was him!?”

    “This is too ridiculous!”

    “Yao Tong’s expression is pretty ugly now.”

    “Haha, after this time’s Great Competition, Yao Tong will definitely make some moves.”

    “The one that’s more likely to get mad is Yao Yun.”

    Yao Yun had ranked number 9 during this time’s Great Competition. In the past, with Yao Yun’s ability he had steadily stayed within the top eight. It could even be said that originally he had been guaranteed one of the spots to attend the Medicine Competition. But due to Yao Chen suddenly emerging as a force to be reckoned with, he had been squeezed out of the top eight and had no way of attending the Medicine Competition.

    This kind of enmity couldn’t be said to be a life and death hatred, but it was also one that couldn’t be easily resolved. After all, the Medicine Competition’s meaning was too deep, too serious, and too heavy for the clan school disciples.

    However, training in and of itself involved constant struggle, struggle against the heavens, against oneself, and against others. If you were to dispute this then you would end up on a dead end, spending your last years as a nameless nobody.

    As for Yao Chen, all the countless commentary around him was completely blocked out by him. He simply felt his mind empty of all but one thought… he was rank one!

    Although he said that he didn’t care about his rank as long as he was within the top eight and could attend the Medicine Competition, but actually obtaining first place still caused his heart to pound faster and a wondrous sensation started to fill up his chest.

    However, in moments like this , there would always be someone who would come out of nowhere to spoil it. Luo Shu was even more excited than Yao Chen, and he grabbed Yao Chen’s shoulders and incessantly shook him back in forth as his mouth constantly repeated, “Brother Chen… You’re rank one, you’re rank one, rank number one!

    “Brother Shu.” Yao Chen helplessly shook his head.

    “Brother Chen? What’s the matter?”

    “Can you let go; right now I’m still very dazed.”

    Although he had already rested for a couple hours, but he had basically gone all out in order to use his Energy Explosion Technique; the explosive hand seal Dou Technique caused Yao Chen to be in a kind of muddleheaded condition.

    “Xi… hehe, I forgot.” Luo Shu scratched his head, mischievously laughing. He simply was just too happy.

    At this moment, elder Yao Lan coughed lightly. But by using his Dou Qi to amplify his voice, the sound was like thunder, causing everyone present to hear it. “Yao Chen, Yao Tong, Zuo Hongle…….. these top eight people have obtained the clan school’s qualifications to attend the Medicine Competition. Hopefully with great effort in training, you can rise to another level during the Medicine Competition.”

    They were encouraging words, but Yao Chen didn’t hear even a bit of it. His head was completely thinking about how he was first place at the Great Competition and how he had the qualifications to attend the Medicine Competition.

    There was still one month’s time before the Medicine Competition. Advancing to Dou Shi within this month was a challenge that Yao Chen must complete. If he wasn’t a Dou Shi, even if he attended the Medicine Competition, then no matter what kind of talent he had in alchemy he would not be anything more than background.

    At this time, a voice coldly sounded out, “Elder, the Violet Flame Pill is pretty good, but when compared to the Moon Suppressing Wind Pill there is still quite a disparity. Yao Chen ended up ranking above Yao Tong, but we don’t know for what reason. If you don’t announce the reason then I’m afraid it will be hard to convince everyone.”

  • edited July 2017
    Thanks! \(^▽^)/
  • edited September 2018

    Chapter 8: Retreat

    The person who yelled those words was Yao Yun whose complexion was icy cold as his eyes glared arrows at Yao Chen.

    To publicly question the clan elders could be considered to be extremely disrespectful, but he was currently ninth place, an extremely painful situation that was just one name away from obtaining the qualifications for the Medicine Competition. If anyone else was in such a situation they would also find it very difficult to keep their calm, let alone Yao Yun who had never been a magnanimous person. Currently he regarded Yao Chen as his mortal enemy.

    Although it was disrespectful, the elder Yao Lan’s expression didn’t have any change, and he only indifferently replied, “This time’s Great Competition rankings were completed by elder Yao Wanhuo. If anyone doesn’t accept the rankings, they can go take it up with elder Yao Wanhuo.”

    Elder Yao Wanhuo. Immediately everyone became subdued.

    Yao Wanhuo was the First Elder within the Yao clan, and he was known as being extremely strict and impartial. If the rankings were set by elder Yao Wanhuo then there would be no one who would dare to challenge it.

    Yao Yun evidently was still not satisfied, but he also didn’t dare to speak again. To challenge the clan school elders might only be a small matter, but with elder Yao Wanhuo involved now, he didn’t dare commit an offense against such a figure.

    The crowd gradually scattered. Yao Chen respectfully turned down any invitations. Right now there was nothing more important to him than returning home.

    No words were spoken on the road home. The normally chatty Luo Shu was seldom as completely silent as he was now. Yao Chen’s heart was surging, and the closer he got, the faster his footsteps.

    Under the trees of the alleyway’s entrance, a beautiful figure, simple and elegant, was currently turning her head as she looked all around.

    “Mom.”

    Yao Chen’s eyes lit up. Not knowing why, his nose started to trickle and his eyes felt wet. Before obtaining first place at the Great Competition Yao Chen had felt that any rank was fine as long as he could get the qualifications for the Medicine Competition. However, now looking at his mother’s hopeful expression, he felt that there were many words that he wanted to say to her.

    Yao Chen rushed over to his mom, opening his mouth and wanting to say something. But suddenly the many words he wanted to say disappeared, and he only said, “I’m back.”

    “Let’s go home.”

    Yao Qing smiled, her eyes seemed to contain such tenderness that they could forgive all living things.

    “Aunt Qing, brother Chen got first place, aunt Qing, you didn’t see, the peoples’ faces at the time, haha, two words: wonderfully marvellous. Aunt Qing… what are we eating tonight?” Finally Luo Shu erupted with words.

    “What, brother Chen, it was first place, ah, how can you be so calm? At least let’s have an extra snack, right.”

    Passing through the familiar lane, they arrived at the front of their home which currently had many decorations on it. Luo Shu’s father and older brother were busy adding to them when they saw them arrive. Stopping their work, they walked over.

    “Yao Chen, not bad, obtaining first place in the clan school’s Great Competition. It’s just like during those days… haha, in any case, you haven’t lowered your father’s reputation.”

    Luo Bing earnestly patted Yao Chen’s shoulder a couple times; his eyes seemed to flicker, which should be due to recalling memories of Yao Chen’s father’s past. However, his eyes shifted slightly again, landing on the fat Luo Shu, causing Luo Bing’s faint smile to turn into a bitter laugh. Thinking back to the past when he and Yao Huo were a well regarded pair in the clan school, and then seeing Luo Shu, ah… Luo Shu, why couldn’t he work a bit harder?

    Luo Shu withdrew a bit as he seemed to understand his father’s expression. Nobody understood one’s son better than his father, and in the same way no one understood one’s father better than his son. If he still didn’t change the subject at this time then he would be asking for a scolding. He promptly called out, “Aunt Qing, isn’t it true that it would only be appropriate to have a banquet today to properly celebrate brother Chen’s first place?”

    Luo Bing shook his head. This son simply couldn’t be saved. Fortunately there was still the older Luo Shan who had some good potential. “Just stop it. Using these little tricks is fine. If only you could use a bit of these smarts on training….”

    Although they said it was to celebrate, in reality it was a just a simple family dinner except with a couple more dishes and wine. The two families sat at the table, laughing and talking, all encouraging Yao Chen.

    These words were mostly trivial repetitions, but Yao Chen didn’t find them irritating; each one of them was remembered in his heart. Of course no matter how many words they spoke, there was no way they would bring up the events from two years ago.

    Although they lifted the alcohol restriction, but in reality Yao Chen only drank three cups before he distanced himself from the wine.

    There was still one month left before the Medicine Competition. It was possible to describe that as a long time, but at the same time you could say that it was a short time. The time he had was running out. If he wanted to show off at the Medicine Competition, then Yao Chen couldn’t waste any time on things not involving training.

    After drinking and eating to their hearts’ content, Luo Bing brought his two sons to say goodbye and left. Yao Qing quickly cleaned up the table. Turning her head to look at Yao Chen, she gently said, “Chen-er, although first place is good, but… remember your father’s teachings; if an arrow is shot, it must stand out. You mustn’t become complacent.”

    “Chen-er understands. Mother, I’m going to go train right now.”

    “Ok, wait a minute.” Yao Qing nodded her head, holding back Yao Chen who was about to go to the training room. Muttering to herself, she said, “One month’s time… if you only use the regular amount of medicine, it might not be enough to let you advance to Dou Shi. And if you don’t become a Dou Shi, no matter how great of an alchemist you are, it will be almost impossible for you to stand out in the Medicine Competition.”

    “Mother?”

    Yao Chen narrowed his eyes. Time was tight, but if he was extremely ruthless to himself then there was still a chance for him to promote from Dou Zhe to Dou Shi in this one month’s time.

    “From today onwards, increase the amount of medicine in the bath by 10%.” Yao Qing bit her lip as she heartlessly spoke.

    If he increased the amount of medicine by 10%, then the pain during the bath would increase by 100%.

    Yao Chen laughed, energetically nodding his head. Actually, he didn’t need his mother’s suggestion; he had already been planning on increasing the amount of medicine.

    Activating the mechanism, he arrived at the training room. The bath basin was already boiling from the geothermal energy. The water this time wasn’t Xian Dew, instead it was some other kind of medicinal water. Yao Chen picked up the medicinal ingredients from the side. Carefully measuring out the amount, he threw them into the water. The water immediately started to ripple and boil as threads of purple smoke started to rise. It gave off a pungent smell as it rapidly filled the entire room.

    All Yao Chen had to do was take a smell of the medicine’s odor in order for his body to unconsciously tremble in a kind of instinctual response.

    This kind of medicinal water was different from the marrow cleansing bone carving bath. The marrow cleansing bone carving mixture would only make you feel itchy in your mind. But the current kind of medicinal water would actually cause pain. Even if someone habitually bathed in the water and was psychologically accustomed to it, the body would instinctively form an extremely large resistance towards it.

    Yao Chen took a deep breath; taking off his clothes, he took out a light green medicinal pill and put it in his mouth. It tasted extremely bitter as the taste spread through his whole body, a bitterness that could cause a dead person to come back to life. But Yao Chen was already used to it as he continued chewing. Although the pill could be taken with just a swallow, but this kind of pill required you to bite it open and chew it into pieces in order to fully maximize the pill’s efficiency.

    To refine this kind of medicine required extremely expensive medicinal ingredients. To Yao Chen’s family, it was an extremely large cost, so instead most of these medicinal ingredients were all picked by his mother. Even if it was so bitter as to cause death, Yao Chen would still consider it to taste sweet.

    Several minutes later the medicinal pill had completely dissolved in his mouth, and only then did Yao Chen jump into the medicinal bath.

    He heard a kind of blank booming noise, and the medicinal bath seemed to come alive. The lazy waves rushed towards Yao Chen and dug into his body. Yao Chen immediately swallowed the chewed-up pill, causing it to immediately turn into medicinal strength that rushed throughout his body. It acted as a magnet as it pulled the medicinal bath’s medicinal energy in.

    “Waaa ahhh aaahhhhh….”

    This kind of pain from the medicinal bath wasn’t something that could be endured over and over. Furthermore, even if Yao Chen might have been able to endure it before, compared to previous times he had even added in 10% more medicinal ingredients in addition to using a different bath water. So now Yao Chen could no longer resist it and let out a miserable scream.

    Pain, this was a pain that couldn’t even be compared to being stabbed through the heart by ten thousand arrows.

    The worst part about the situation wasn’t that the pain was hard to endure, but more importantly, even with all the pain, Yao Chen still had to remain cool and calm-minded. The piercing pain continued to wrack his body as medicinal energy started to unravel. It joined his Dou Qi, traveling throughout his whole body, the five major organs, the four limbs, the brain, the Dantian… even now it still wasn’t considered over. He still had to circulate his Dou Qi in order to match it with the medicinal strength in order to strengthen his body.

    An unknown amount of time passed by when suddenly a booming noise rang out. A spiritual flame appeared in front of his body. Yao Chen had already grown accustomed to the pain and was no longer screaming. At the moment, his Dou Qi was pouring into the spiritual flame. Within the flame were threads of medicinal energy that were undergoing the spiritual flame’s catalysis and being refined into something similar to Dou Qi, a similar but different kind of bizarre energy. Channelling into Yao Chen’s body, it didn’t enter his Dantian, but instead penetrated deeply throughout his muscles and bones, and afterwards it descended into a hibernation-like silence.

    At this time, Yao Chen was trying to control the huge energy that had entered into his muscles and bones, however all his urging seemed to be like rock thrown into the ocean, with no visible effect. Contrary to what one might expect, the energy ended up causing Yao Chen even more pain. His eyesight started to turn black as he his consciousness started to fade under the pain. Yao Chen promptly gave up on trying to control the energy, collecting himself and guarding himself from losing consciousness. He focused on continuing to absorb the medicinal energy. If he were to actually lose consciousness, then this time’s medicinal bath would basically be wasted. With his family’s current situation, it was not forgivable to have any kind of waste.

    The medicinal bath’s deep color gradually started to lighten until it eventually became the same color as clear water. Yao Chen stretched and took a couple deep breaths. Only now did the pain finally fade away. But a sea of oily sweat started to seep out of his pores, causing Yao Chen to feel extremely thirsty.

    To the side were five huge jugs of water. Yao Chen took one and ended up chugging the whole thing down to the last drop. When the water entered his body, it actually caused even more sweat to come out, and so he grabbed another jug and drank it all in one chug as well. However, even after this one, even more sweat came out again, so he grabbed the third, the fourth, and only after the fifth one did the sweat stop. However, sweating this much also was actually extremely tiring for the body, so he entered a state of complete exhaustion. Yao Chen’s vision was turning black, so he quickly got out of the basin, put on his clothes and lay down on the training room’s stone bed. After doing three revolutions with his Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique, his Dou Qi quietly entered every part of his meridians as he faintly felt the border between nine star Dou Zhe and Dou Shi.

    Although there was only a hair breadth’s difference to advance to the Dou Shi class, it was precisely this small line that was extremely difficult to push past. Not only was that original boundary there, but two years ago his mother had put a seal on his strength which was also difficult to break through. At this time, Yao Chen’s Dou Qi was revolving throughout his body. It formed the shape of a cyclone, but this cyclone seemed extremely unstable as it intermittently appeared and dissipated. It was as if it was illusionary; its shape could not be maintained.

    An unknown amount of time passed, and Yao Chen could no longer continue enduring. He finally felt his head turn extremely sluggish and he completely lost consciousness. Although he was unconscious, Yao Chen’s body instinctually continued to revolve his Dou Qi using the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique, passing it through his body bit by bit. During that process, the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique seemed to undergo some small changes. Although it didn’t seem to increase his strength, but when it come to delicately controlling strength, the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame’s fire type Dou Qi ended up pairing with his Spiritual Perception, increasing his control.

    The night quietly passed.

    Early in the morning, fresh new air entered the stone training room from air vents, bringing a faint morning dew flavor. Yao Chen’s eyes fluttered and he slowly awoke. Opening his eyes, his only sensation was of hunger similar to a beast’s, and from his stomach come a loud growling noise. Although his body felt weak due to hunger, his mind felt completely full.

    He got out of bed, used a bucket of water as a shower, changed his clothes, and walked out of the training room.

    Arriving at the couryard, he saw his mother had already left earlier and the table was prepared with rich foods.

    Yao Chen rushed to the table, and like a wolf he ravenously devoured the food till the table was completely empty. Only then did he realize there was a note on the table.

    Without even reading it, Yao Chen knew that his mother had gone to the mountains behind the clan to pick medicinal herbs. If Yao Chen relied solely on what the clan provided for his training then it would be far from enough.  And over these two years they had decreased the amount of medicinal ingredients given to Yao Chen by over half. Most of the medicinal ingredients they now had were all handpicked by his mother, and it was because of this that no matter how painful the medicinal bath was, Yao Chen continued to endure it.

    Every time his mother would go pick herbs, she would stay out for several days. Yao Chen felt a twinge of worry, but he quickly put that aside. A man couldn’t be indecisive; since he was already aware of how much his mother had bitterly worked, only by training as if his life depended on it could he repay her even the tiniest bit.

    Just as Yao Chen was thinking about his training for the next couple days, the fatty yelled from outside. “Brother Chen, aunt Qing, I’m here.”

    Luo Shu’s face turned green upon seeing the current situation which did not look good. Puckering his lips, he said, “Brother… brother Chen, did aunt Qing go out?”

    Yao Chen laughingly nodded, saying, “During this period of time, I’m afraid you’ll have control yourself a bit better.”

    Luo Shu entire face turned from green to an ashen color as he blankly nodded his head.

    “I got it… I guess I’ll go home and eat some buns?”

    “Haha, this is the dried meat my mother left for you. As long as you aren’t greedy it should be enough for you to eat.”

    “It’s still aunt Qing who treats me best, hehe. Brother Chen, I’m going home.” Luo Shu grabbed the jar of dried meat, and extremely happily rushed back home. If he was late even a bit then he might not even have buns to eat at home.

    Yao Chen shook his head. Putting his heart back in order, he closed the door before preparing to once again return to the training room. Not even the slightest amount of time could be wasted right now. Not only did he have to advance to Dou Shi within this month, he also had to stabilize himself at that level. There couldn’t be even slightest error when refining pills, and other than his Spiritual Perception, being able to maintain a steady level of Dou Qi was an absolute must.

    Although the medicinal bath could be considered a shortcut, at the same time it was a double-edged sword. If he currently didn’t have the medicinal bath’s medicinal energy to help him, then the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame’s training would be infuriatingly slow. Circling the Dou Qi would only be used to strengthen the foundation, and not the slightest amount of it would be used on attacking the next level.

    Ten cycles later, Yao Chen took a deep breath and laughed somewhat bitterly. Although having a stable foundation was a good thing, but at the same time it increased the pressure and difficulty of breaking through to the next level. Actually, advancing levels was ‘a first break then build’ kind of situation, in which the old Dou Qi was broken down and molded to make new Dou Qi. If your foundation was extremely sturdy, then to break down the old foundation would require a much greater amount of energy and strength. Naturally the benefits of having a good foundation before the breakthrough were also extremely good. It was a kind of equal exchange. If you wanted to obtain more strength, then you had to put in twice the amount of effort.

    This kind of hardship was long ago expected by Yao Chen and he was not worried. These two years of using the medicinal bath had caused his body to store a frightening amount of energy. And in reality, not even Yao Chen was aware of just how strong that energy was; he only had a vague perception. In order to break through the barrier to Dou Shi, all he needed was to guide just a bit of the energy inside him out, which would allow him to break down his Dantian’s current Dou Qi along with the seal that his mother left from two years, and remold it into the Dou Shi’s cyclone.

    He had already made this kind of attempt many times, and not once had he succeeded. However, now he absolutely had to succeed within this month.

    If he was hungry he would eat a Soldier Grain Pill; if he was thirsty he would drink spring water. Anything else that his body required, such as expelling waste, were all resolved with the Clearing Miasma Pill. For an entire half a month, Yao Chen continued to stay within the medicinal bath without the slightest feeling of being unable to endure. An alchemist’s most important trait was actually not the Spiritual Perception, but having the patience to endure. If you couldn’t endure loneliness and dullness, then as an alchemist, no matter how talented you were, even till the end of your days your accomplishments would be extremely limited.

    During this half a month, his mother had returned only once to make more of the medicinal bath’s powder, and she left without even saying one word to Yao Chen who was stuck deep in secluded training.

     

    Footnote:

    In BTTH, Dou Zhes have a Dou Qi cyclone while Dou Shis have a kind of liquid storage of Dou Qi, an inconsistency with the statement here that he was trying to form a Dou Shi’s cyclone.

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  • edited September 2018

    Chapter 9: The Opening Curtains of the Medicine Competition

    The entire Yao clan was busy making preparations for the Medicine Competition.

    It was a magnificent ceremony during which other major powers with good relations to the Yao clan or that were led by the Yao clan would be invited to attend. Many of the world’s outstanding figures would emerge from this crop of elite disciples from the Yao clan.

    The Yao clan’s Medicine Competition was not just a special occasion for the Yao clan, but it was also the best opportunity for others to obtain rare and high ranking medicinal pills.

    Normally only a fixed amount of the Yao Clan’s high tier medicinal pills would be sold out of the clan. Only during the Medicine Competition would this restriction be lifted, allowing the needs of all the powerful people outside the clan to be met.

    Even half a month before the competition, all kinds of transactions had already started within the clan. Every powerful group brought out all kinds of rare materials, and using various techniques they put out banners over the streets that listed what kind of medicinal pills they desired as well as what they had to offer.

    The pills that were being requested were extremely rare. But right now within the Yao clan, any pill could be bought under the prerequisite that you had something that could move the Yao clan’s members.

    The powers that were qualified to enter the Yao clan to do business were definitely extremely distinguished. If they were to bring out an item from the Yao clan to the rest of the world, although they might not be able to say it was invaluable and one of a kind, but it was a definite fact that it was a rare and hard to obtain item.

    All kinds of pills could be exchanged for in the Yao clan at this time. Not just high ranking pills; even third tier pills or lower, as long as they were in sufficient quantities, would also be of great demand.

    One reason why the Yao clan would open its door and behave this way was in order to strengthen its relationships with the other powers. But even more importantly it allowed them to obtain all kinds of rare and precious medicinal ingredients.

    Although the Yao clan was strong, its forces were still limited. Only by borrowing the strength of the world’s other powerful factions could they gather all the different rare and precious materials that they needed.

    Yao Lan was strolling through the streets as he browsed the banners for medicinal ingredients he was interested in. Since this was the Yao clan, any materials that dared to be taken out as a trade were naturally rare. And while the clan treasury had most such things in stock, they required merit points in order to obtain them.

    “Elder Yao Lan!” Suddenly a voice came from behind him.

    Yao Lan paused and turned around, “Oh, senior brother Liao, what do you need?”

    “Can we have a talk over here?”

    The person who had come up to talk to him was Liao Yuntu, the patriarch of one of the clans that had adhered itself to the Yao clan. Currently he had an eager inviting expression.

    “Haha, ok.” Yao Lan nodded. This kind of situation was something he had already met several times today.

    Normally Yao Lan would politely decline these private conversations. If you wanted to do business with him, then you had to follow the rules. However the Liao family had offered tributes and often paid many bribes to the Yao clan. Logically, Yao Lan could not refuse to give him just this little face.

    As expected, once they arrived to a secluded area with no people around, Liao Yuntu said, “I know that the esteemed elder Yao Lan is extremely busy. Even asking you to come here is overboard, speaking straightforwardly, so please forgive me.”

    “Senior brother Liao, your words are very many, but I still don’t know what your Liao family requires. If it’s not something too big I can still help you a bit.”

    Yao Lan was under the impression that the Liao family wanted to purchase a large quantity of low grade medicinal pills that were more common, such as those that could nourish or heal the body. Although such pills were not rare outside the clan, but when it came to quality, alchemists outside the Yao clan could not compare. Due to how high the quality of the Yao clan’s pills were, even low tier medicinal pills could be sold for great profit if in bulk quantities.

    However most people in the Yao clan would disdain to refine such things. Only the young disciples in the clan school would refine a large quantity of them. Such pills were kept by the clan school and put into storage, never to be used. Yao Lan was the one in charge of them and so he was already used to be people coming to him to buy those pills.

    In order for the clan school’s disciples to improve, they naturally had to practice refining a large quantity of lower tier medicinal pills. Rather than just leaving those pills in storage, it was better to sell them if it could improve the clan’s relationships.

    “Cough… rumor has it that a so-called Violet Flame Pill appeared in this time’s Great Competition. I wonder just how exactly this Violet Flame Pill compares to the Azure Flame Pill?” asked Liao Yuntu, his words causing Yao Lan’s expression to change slightly.

    “Elder brother Liao, you are interested in this Violet Flame Pill? It’s just an ordinary third tier medicinal pill, and in addition it can’t be refined in bulk quantities.”

    “Haha, be that as it may, but I’ve heard that elder Yao Wanhuo had great praise for this pill, saying that it could help flame attribute Dou Qi cultivators to break through bottlenecks. I don’t want for it for my personal benefit; I just want to help my disappointing son. He has already been stuck as a nine star Dou Shi for ten years… this might be his only chance.”

    Yao Lan pursed his lips. Although the Yao clan would engage in business with the outer world, they refused all parties who wanted to privately come into contact with the clan’s elite disciples. This was to maintain the core clan’s purity. They couldn’t let their disciples be subject to semi-understood foreign thoughts that could ruin their foundations.

    In this kind of situation where the clan tended to disapprove, the Liao family who wanted to meet the alchemist behind the Violet Flame Pill, Yao Chen, had no choice but to go through the clan school.

    Coming into private contact wasn’t necessarily forbidden. The Liao family had relations to the Yao clan after all, and they could count as secondary clan members. However, at most the clan might turn a blind eye; they wouldn’t endeavor to allow such contact. If there was a problem, then the Liao family could end up becoming enemies with the Yao clan, and that would be entirely not worth it for them.

    The reason Yao Chen could suppress the semi-destroyed ancient formula that Yao Tong had restored was because the Violet Flame Pill had the effect of breaking through bottlenecks. Although it wasn’t a certainty, it was still a chance. So despite the rare origin of the Moon Suppressing Wind Pill, it was still inferior to the Violet Flame Pill.

    Even if it was more extraordinary, it was still just a medicinal pill used for combat. But the Violet Flame Pill had both uses, with its ability to increase fighting strength as well as an unknown chance to advance levels. Although the Yao clan had all kinds of medicinal pills that could help break through classes, to refine those medicinal pills required a high price, and only a couple pills were released out of the clan every few years. After all, just the demands of the clan members themselves could not be met with the yearly production rate of such pills.

    Not only was refining such pills difficult with low success rates, but the most important factor was that refining medicinal pills that could break through classes required a large amount of rare medicinal ingredients.

    In comparison, the Violet Flame Pill only offered a slight chance to advance. But even just a chance was invaluable.

    With just a discreet inquiry, anyone could find that the Violet Flame Pill was unexpectedly exclusive to Yao Chen and that there was no other person who was capable of refining it.

    If you wanted to obtain the Violet Flame Pill, then you had get into contact with Yao Chen as soon as possible. With the Liao family’s currently strength, hoping to obtain a Violet Flame Pill in a short period of time would become extremely difficult if news of Yao Chen continued to spread, and it would solely depend on whether Yao Chen was willing to refine it.

    The Yao clan was a collective whole, but at the same time each person was their own individual. The clan wouldn’t force any clan member to sacrifice anything they had. A clan that forced their clan members to sacrifice things they didn’t want to was definitely not a clan that could survive a thousand years.

    “That’s also fine; I will give you a referral for this opportunity. However, what you need to prepare in exchange should also be obvious.”

    “Don’t worry elder Yao Lan. I will definitely not disappoint you.” Liao Yuntu joyously kept repeating his thanks as he left.

    Yao Lan was no longer in the mood to resume wandering the streets after that.

    During this whole period, Yao Chen had not gone to the clan school, and Luo Shu had said that he was in seclusion.

    He was a bit disappointed in how Yao Chen had gone into seclusion. After obtaining the qualifications to attend the Medicine Competition along with his Violet Flame Pill, Yao Chen had already entered the eyes of the higher level Yao clan members. In the future he would be able obtain quite a few special resources, so he should first finish up his foundation from the Triple Flame Agglomerating Flower Technique as fast as possible and then obtain a higher quality cultivation technique from the clan.

    If Yao Chen was smart, then at this time he should be making a lot of movements and connections in order to get more benefits for the future. However, for whatever reason, Yao Chen ended up going into seclusion, causing people to believe he was acting arrogant.

    No matter how Yao Lan wondered about this, he would never guess that Yao Chen’s goal wasn’t about his future prospects, but on obtaining the Medicine Competition’s first place, shouting out his family name, and carving his name into the Clan Monument.

     

    The qualifications for the Medicine Competition had some people celebrating while others were humiliated. Due to Yao Chen appearing on the list, Yao Yun had been squeezed out of the quota. This kind of enmity was something that Yao Yun couldn’t forget in the slightest, and his head was full of poisonous thoughts.

    “Senior brother Feng, it’s my incompetence.” At this time, Yao Yun’s head was lowered as he stood before a lofty, handsome youngster. The youngster’s face was like white jade, and his slender eyes seemed to have a slight smile to them.

    This white faced youngster was the Yao Clan’s younger generation’s most well known figure, Yao Feng, who had advanced to Dou Shi when he had been only sixteen.

    “No matter. Originally I expected you to be able to enter the top eight, but I didn’t expect that some other kid would appear. Whatever his name is, he can still be considered as a new force to be reckoned with. I don’t blame you.”

    Yao Yun still didn’t dare to raise his head, only saying, “Brother Feng, are you planning on inviting him over?”

    “Haha, naturally since he has harmed you by taking away your qualifications to attend the Medicine Competition I will take care of him; what is this talk of inviting him? He’s just a broken low ranking disciple who managed to get lucky once. As long as you handle your affairs properly, your future prospects will also not be small.”

    Yao Yun nodded his head, and with a grateful expression he first added on some ingratiating words before taking his leave.

    As soon as Yao Yun left, Yao Feng’s long and narrow eyes faintly glimmered as a trace of coldness appeared. Pursing his lips, he suddenly said, “Yao Chen? His great-grandfather managed to get himself onto the Clan Monument, leaving his name…. Somewhat interesting.”

    Time seemed to shuttle, as the half a month’s time blinked past.

    However, what caused everyone to be surprised was that the person who everyone was paying great attention to, Yao Chen, unexpectedly stayed in seclusion over this whole half a month’s time, and in the end no one ever saw him again for this whole month’s time.

    Today was the Medicine Competition’s formal start day. The whole Yao clan was celebrating like a New Year celebration. In the same plaza as the Clan Monument, ten tall stages had already been erected. The center stage was for the clan elders, and the other nine were for all the powerful figures that had come to watch.

    In front of the Clan Monument were over a hundred medicinal cauldrons, and beside each cauldron was a stone table with a Storage Ring in which all kinds of medicinal ingredients for refining had been prepared. The clan’s inner warriors were surrounding and watching over everything, separating people into different layers and groups.

    On the other side was a Dou Formation that blocked out noise. Within the space covered by the formation, none of the noise of the crowd entered. That was the battlefield for the contestants of the Medicine Competition. There were already over ten disciples sitting there quietly meditating. Occasionally another disciple would enter through the Dou Formation.

    At this time, a tall, handsome and white-faced disciple walked over.

    “Yao Feng’s arrived!”

    The crowd immediately began to talk about Yao Feng.

    “Yao Feng became a three star Dou Shi a long time ago. He truly is worthy of being from the main bloodline. The branch family disciples of the same generation are simply unable to compete with him.”

    “Haha, I think that Yao Tong has some hope.”

    “Yao Tong is also a three star Dou Shi, however when it comes to Dou Techniques, the difference is too great. In terms of talent, Yao Feng is still on top of Yao Tong.”

    “I didn’t say he would win,  I said he had some hope.”

    “You think Yao Tong could win? Unless Yao Feng messes up, that’s absolutely impossible.”

    “Yao Feng’s unique point is how steady he is. Others might make mistakes, but that’s impossible for him.”

    The main bloodline’s Yao Feng was clearly the crowd favorite for this time’s Medicine Competition. Almost half the people qualified to participate in the Medicine Competition were from the main bloodline, but they all still treated him reverently.

    Yao Yun was also amongst them. He looked over the people present and saw that Yao Chen had yet to arrive. Having lost the qualification to attend the Medicine Competition, Yao Yun’s hatred of Yao Chen had sunk into his bones. Originally he had been planning on making some trouble for Yao Chen over the past few days but he hadn’t managed to find him.

    “Which one’s Yao Chen?” Yao Feng turned to look at him.

    “He’s not here yet.”

    “Oh? Haha, interesting. He hasn’t appeared in over a month. He doesn’t even know to thank his teachers for their kindness. Perhaps in the elders’ eyes he has already become a completely arrogant person.”

    Yao Feng indifferently laughed. A weak nine star Dou Zhe had actually stayed in seclusion for a whole month, not even sending a message to head elder Yao Lan. Yao Chen had been taught by the clan school which was ran by Yao Lan, and Yao Lan had also been the one to announce that he had obtained first place. Whether or not Yao Lan had actually taught Yao Chen alchemy or not, to not even thank elder Yao Lan was a terrible offense. If a teacher was like a father then it would be fine; but Yao Lan was the head elder of the clan school. No matter what, even an exceedingly arrogant person wouldn’t treat him like that.

    “He still hasn’t appeared at such time. Maybe he’s gotten stage fright.”

    The Medicine Competition was one of the Yao clan’s most important ceremonies. In the past there had been quite a few disciples who had managed to get the qualifications to attend, only to get stage fright at the last moment and not show up.

    The majority of those people had merely obtained their qualification through luck and weren’t strong enough.

    Now it appeared that Yao Chen was also one of those people. He was still just an insignificant nine star Dou Zhe. Perhaps if he was placed outside the clan then he could count as having some talent, but it would not stand out at all in the Yao clan. He was the only one amongst the disciples who had gained the qualifications to attend the Medicine Competition who had yet to reach the Dou Shi class.

    “Haha, if it was then I probably also wouldn’t show up.”

    “He should learn his place.”

    The disciples who followed along with Yao Feng all ridiculed Yao Chen. They could all tell that this time Yao Feng was planning on making some trouble for him.

    As for why he was, did he need a reason?

    As a member of the main bloodline and with his talent, Yao Feng could be considered the top genius of his generation. He had received all kinds of special treatment since he was born, and there had never been anyone who could threaten his position. Even Yao Tong who was a bit interesting always kept a low profile around him. He actually considered this to be a bit boring. So when Yao Chen appeared out of nowhere and actually had elder Yao Wanhuo come out to name him as the number one rank of the clan school, it had ended up piquing his interest.

    Yao Feng laughed. What was more fun than crushing new upshots? There was not a single person who could compete with him in his entire generation of the Yao clan. His only competitors were from outside the clan. In this world, it was not only the Yao clan that had existed since ancient times. Eight ancient emperors had left behind the eight ancient clans, split into Yao Xiao Hun Yan, Gu Ling Lei Shi. But in reality the only ones he considered worthy of being his opponents were the Hun clans Hun Shengtian and the Yan clan’s Yan Jin. There might be others within the other clans, but their names had yet to be revealed.

    He was only looking to make trouble for Yao Chen because he was bored. At the same time he could increase the morale of his followers and refine his methods.

    To the side was the clan school elder Yao Lan. He was extremely solemn, and beside him was Liao Yuntu who was bitterly smiling. He had gone to Yao Chen’s house every day for half a month, only to find him in seclusion each time.

    No expression could be seen on Yao Lan’s face, but inside he was quite dissatisfied with Yao Chen. Where was the winner of the Great Competition? In the Medicine Competition, a nine star Dou Zhe was absolutely insignificant. Furthermore, the medicinal ingredients that were supplied during the clan school’s Great Competition were all very ordinary. Thus the medicinal pills that could be refined from them were also ordinary. Perhaps only a tenth of Yao Tong’s true strength had been revealed during it.

    The Medicine Competition was different than the clan school’s Great Competition. Admittedly, the Medicine Competition also had a large number of medicinal ingredients prepared, but at the same time it allowed the usage of rare pre-prepared medicinal ingredients.

    Currently, the amount of resources the clan would give Yao Chen and thus his future prospects were based on him coming in first in the clan school’s Great Competition. He had also gained this opportunity to exhibit his talent for everyone to see at the Medicine Competition. With this and relying on his Violet Flame Pill, he would have many more prospects in the clan. The Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique or even any other cultivation technique could be directly dropped and exchanged for another cultivation technique. If he were to fiercely do his best to catch up, it wasn’t impossible for him to become one of the clan’s core experts in the future.

    In reality, the clan’s disciples’ futures were all obtained in this way, and this was the best method to get a good future.

    Even if it was someone with Yao Tong’s talent, they were still not an exception. You had to attract the attention of the clan’s core and thus obtain the clan’s inner resources. It would be equivalent to having your path in training be completely straight and unimpeded.

    And it was by shocking everyone with his amazing success in the clan school’s Great Competition that Yao Chen managed to get this kind of opportunity. He managed to obtain first place based on elder Yao Wanhuo’s judgement, and his Violet Flame Pill had the ability to help flame attribute Dou Shis to advance. Whether or not he decided to give the pill formula to the clan or keep it for himself, the resources he could obtain in the future would come from all over and would definitely not be lacking.

    And it was because of this that in elder Yao Lan’s opinion, Yao Chen’s decision to go into seclusion and not promote the Violet Flame Pill’s special effects made it seem like he had become so arrogant that everyone else was beneath him. Acting in that manner would not benefit him.

    “This Yao Chen, he couldn’t have gotten stage fright could he? The clan school’s Great Competition’s number one place… did it give him too much pressure?” After waiting half a day without seeing Yao Chen, Liao Yuntu could no longer endure and impatiently opened his mouth. He was in desperate need of the Violet Flame Pill. After the clan school’s Great Competition, Yao Chen had immediately disappeared. This was a little strange, and there must be a reason. However no matter how he thought, the only explanation he could come up with was the pressure was too great. As for secluding himself to attack Dou Shi, no one would ever think that was his goal. In just an extremely brief months’ time, attempting to use the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique to break through to a new class was basically just a madman’s dream.

    Yao Lan indifferently looked at Liao Yuntu, saying, “Whether he comes or not, it’s up to him to make the decisions in his life.”

    After saying these words, Yao Lan started to move towards the nearby stage for the elders as it was almost time to start the Medicine Competition. Liao Yuntu sighed, letting out a bitter laugh. If he were to speak honestly, continuously standing outside Yao Chen’s house but still being denied entry caused a dissatisfied feeling to arise in his heart, but no matter dissatisfied he was, Yao Chen was still a Yao clan disciple. No matter what kind of temperament Yao Chen had, whether it was good or but, he could only laugh while suffering a loss. Especially in his present situation where he was coming to ask him for something. However he had not expected that the extremely fair and honest Yao Lan was actually also somewhat dissatisfied with Yao Chen.

    Actually, during these past few days, the negative pieces of news about Yao Chen in the clan were too numerous to count.

    As for talk about his aptitude, contemptible words about Yao Chen whirled through families like the wind. Even Liao Yuntu had heard some of it; however he had simply thought that these rumors were fabricated due to jealousy before being passed around by certain people. But now it appeared the rumors were not without reason.

    However, this kind of talk had nothing to do with him. His purpose was merely to get a hold of the Violet Flame Pill, and as for what kind of person Yao Chen was, he didn’t really care.

    Moreover, the worse Yao Chen’s current stature in the clan was, the more likely he would be to obtain a Violet Flame Pill. This truly was a good thing for him, but he was afraid that the current number of people with this same kind of thinking was also not small.

    The only people who were worried for Yao Chen were the three people from the Luo family, as well as his mother.

    Currently Luo Bing was with his small squadron of clan soldiers to maintain order. The elder son Luo Shan was also following behind him.

    Although it was called maintaining order, but in reality it was simply standing in their arranged position in order to put on some general decorum. Luo Bing was looking all around. His assigned position just happened to be the contestant’s competing area’s entrance, and even until now he had yet to see Yao Chen.

    Looking towards the elder’s stage, First Elder Yao Wanhuo had already stood up and was conversing with clan head Yao Dan. The various seniors of the main bloodline and family heads of the branch bloodlines were all waiting.

    Looking at this, it should be almost time to officially declare the Medicine Competition’s start.

    “Luo Shu, that kid, did he or did he not go find Yao Chen?” Luo Bing’s eyebrows tensed. Luo Shan to his side was also a bit worried; if the Medicine Competition was officially started and Yao Chen had still not hurried over then he would automatically be disqualified. When they started, the entire refining stage would all compete at once. “Dad, let me go find him.”

    Luo Shan knew his little brother the best, and if you ever asked that kid Luo Shan to do something then you always had to be a bit worried about whether he could actually be relied on or not.

    “Good idea… wait! They’ve arrived!”

    As the captain of the small squadron, Luo Bing could send Luo Shan on a mission. However, just at this moment he saw two figures rushing over. Of these two figures, one was slightly fat, and with a glance you could tell it was Luo Shu.

     

    Footnotes:

    Hun Shengtian’s Sheng Tian=Ascend Heaven. Hun Shengtian appears as an eight star Dou Sheng in BTTH fighting for the Hun clan here: https://www.wuxiaworld.com/novel/battle-through-the-heavens/btth-chapter-1626 and here https://www.wuxiaworld.com/novel/battle-through-the-heavens/btth-chapter-1626

    Yan Jin’s Jin=Ember. In BTTH, Yan Jin is the clan head of the Yan clan as seen here: https://www.wuxiaworld.com/novel/battle-through-the-heavens/btth-chapter-1589

    Yao Feng’s Feng=Peak. Yao Feng does not appear in BTTH. Perhaps he died to the Hun clan?

  • Thanks for the chapter!
  • edited September 2018

    Chapter 10: Start of the Medicine Competition

    The person who was quickly rushing over with Luo Shu was precisely Yao Chen.

    However, looking at Yao Chen, he appeared extremely depressed and his face had a pale sickly color.

    “Yao Chen finally arrived, haha.” All around, people recognized him and shouted out

    After all, he was the clan school’s Great Competition’s number one place, and along with his Violet Flame Pill he ended up garnering quite a bit of attention.

    But with just a brief look they didn’t recognize Yao Chen when he had such a face, causing them to be a bit flabbergasted.

    “Huh? This is Yao Chen?”

    “The clan school’s Great Competition number one place has this kind of appearance?”

    “This extremely sick look, is it possible… that during this month, he was recovering from an injury?”

    “That’s possible. Using a nine star Dou Zhe’s strength to obtain victory at the clan school’s Great Competition, there was definitely some kind of trick there….”

    “Back then I thought he was overdrafting his strength, but looking at it now, it doesn’t appear to have been that simple.”

    “It that’s true… if it was me, I wouldn’t even come out today. I’d save some of the mystery, as that would still be somewhat beneficial for my future growth.”

    “Right, if he’s going to show up like this, coming to the Medicine Competition is just making a disgrace of himself.”

    All kinds of voices rang out, with some deliberately ridiculing him in loud voices, causing the people around them to laugh. Even people who wouldn’t normally have laughed couldn’t help but give voice to it once they saw Yao Chen’s miserable appearance. To actually come to the Medicine Competition in this state was truly a disgrace.

    But Yao Chen simply blocked his ears and didn’t listen to these stupid remarks. Yes he wasn’t in his top state, but he was confident in himself for the Medicine Competition. He was at least seventy to eighty percent confident in his chances.

    Luo Shu’s face would twitch occasionally; what the other people were saying was hard to listen to, and even Luo Shu also felt that brother Chen had taken this too lightly. Although going into seclusion was fine, but how did you seclude yourself and end up in this manner? Although he wanted to say a couple of encouraging words, he just didn’t know how to find any words for this situation.

    In the end, all he said was, “Brother Chen, good luck. I support you.” Although support him he did, but he didn’t have any hopeful thoughts.

    Yao Chen laughed and he walked through all the ridicule to ender the competitor’s area. By this time there were already over a hundred Yao clan disciples who were making their preparations.

    Although the clan school only had eight spots, but the various families and branches wouldn’t all necessary send their disciples to the clan school. The things that the clan school taught were all the basics amongst basics. Other than for stabilizing a foundation, it was difficult to find other benefits. The families that had the ability to would all use their own teaching methods or find a master for their disciples. With one student per teacher, the effect was obviously better than the clan school’s broad teachings.

    So not only did the clan school have eight spots, but the various families and branches also had their own spots. The Yao clan was absolutely huge, and despite how selective the proceedings were, there were still over a hundred people left in the end. This displayed just how formidable the Yao clan was. The younger generation who were able to participate in the Medicine Competition at the very least had the strength of the Dou Shi class… of course, this was excluding Yao Chen. But when it came to true power, Yao Chen had a technique that let him obtain the power of a Dou Shi, so he could also be classified as a Dou Shi in this case.

    As one of the major clans that had been continued on from ancient times, the Yao clan had to raise qualified successors. In order for it to continue growing in the future, it had to build a strong foundation for the next generation. Only by being powerful in the past, present, and future, would the clan be able to truly intimidate its enemies.

    Yao Chen walked to a corner and was just about to sit down when a laugh suddenly rang out. “Yao Chen, with your current state, it seems like you’re going to faint?”

    Yao Chen laughed, “It’s possible.”

    Zuo Hongle narrowed his eyes. Happening to arrive right at Yao Chen’s ear, he whispered, “Yao Feng plans on making you an example, killing the chicken in front of the monkey. Did you not know this?”

    “With you talking to me like this, are you not afraid he’ll switch targets from me to you?”

    Zuo Hongle rubbed his noise, “What if I just said I was helping him scout you out?”

    “Haha, you really are expecting too much of me. I wouldn’t want to disappoint him.”

    “Not a bad idea, but no matter what happens, I’m appreciative of you and wish you good luck.”

    “You’re no better or worse.”

    “Hmph. However, what I’m interested in is what pill you plan on refining. The Violet Flame Pill is not bad, but for the Medicine Competition, a third tier pill is truly not good enough to even look at.”

    In reality, Zuo Hongle was very curious towards Yao Chen. Allowing him to win by a surprise move could definitely not be allowed again. However, he didn’t know why, but Yao Chen’s pale and sickly expression gave him a kind of feeling that he had once again set up some kind of secret. Zuo Hongle always had confidence in his intuition, as most of the time whenever he had this kind of feeling it turned out true.

    “When the time comes, you’ll know.”

    The confidence on Yao Chen’s face made Zuo Hongle even more curious. But no matter how he looked at him, Yao Chen’s current state made it seem that he would be nothing more than padding for the bottom rankings.

    Clan head Yao Dan was already standing at the elders’ stage at this time, and after saying a couple of traditional sentences, he introduced First Elder Yao Wanhuo who took charge from then.

    Yao Wanhuo’s gaze brightly swept over every single one of the competing Yao clan disciples. With a majestic and dignified voice, he announced, “The ones here are my Yao clan’s future. I hope you all do your best… in addition, there is a bit more good news. This time’s Medicine Competition’s first place will have the chance to pay respects to and become a direct disciple under the guidance of the clan head. They will also have the opportunity to enter into the clan treasury and select a Di class Dou Technique.”

    Rumbling acclamations rang out from all around!

    Every Medicine Competition would have rewards for the first place. In the past, these were divine weapons and a Xuan class technique chosen the clan treasury. Comparing the two, this time’s rewards made people go a little crazy.

    A Di class Dou Technique was one thing, but it was the chance to train under clan head Yao Dan that truly made the disciples go crazy!

    Clan head Yao Dan, whether it was the strength of his Dou Qi or his skill in alchemy, was the undisputed strongest within the clan. He had previously had a single apprentice before, which had been First Elder Yao Wanhuo.

    Rumor had it that when Yao Wanhuo had become the clan head’s apprentice, he was barely above average in talent. However, under Yao Dan’s tutelage, he had completely surpassed all his fellow disciples in just a year. All the other talented geniuses were suppressed by him. Even to this day, Yao Wanhuo had become continued growing stronger, becoming the second strongest Dou Sheng within the clan other than clan head Yao Dan.

    If you were able to become clan head Yao Dan’s disciple, it was true you might not necessarily end up like a second Yao Wanhuo, but with such a high starting point, your position in the future would most certainly be at least a core elder in the clan. Core elders were completely different entities when compared to the likes of Yao Lan who were in charge of the clan school or outer elders who were in charge of business outside the clan. Such a position was extremely exalted.

    But in reality, these were just minor things; the real thing that caused people to become crazy was Yao Dan’s ability to change something rotten into something magical. Becoming his disciple would mean it was possible for you to become a famous Dou Sheng!

    All the disciples’ eyes were erupting with an intense fighting spirit. But the usually calm Yao Tong’s faint smile faded and he stared towards the direction of Yao Feng.

    Yao Feng sensed the gaze and simply continued smiling. Having the will to fight was not bad, but was there any meaning to it?

    Strength was strength.

    The Di class Dou Technique and becoming the clan head’s disciple, these were already in his pocket. In truth, this news was something Yao Feng had long ago heard about.

    Not only was his older brother the chief of the inner clan’s punishment hall, but his father’s position was second only to elder Yao Wanhuo. Having the authority to be able to find out about the vast majority of the Yao clan’s inner and outer affairs required true power. Any secrets happening within the clan had difficulty bypassing Yao Feng’s house.

    Yao Feng actually thought that the clan head was using the Medicine Competition to pick an apprentice because he had taken a fancy to his talent. After all, in the Yao clan’s younger generation, who could be picked other than him? Yao Tong was not his match, let alone Yao Chen who was basically nothing.

    As for the various families and branches, they all had their own well-known talents, but most of them were only capable of matching up to half the skills of Yao Tong. If they wanted to fight with him, all he could say was that they were naive and should give up.

    A bit of redness appeared on Yao Chen’s extremely pale face when he heard this. This information was extremely exciting to him. His father had once told him that the person in the clan with the greatest reputation for fairness was First Elder Yao Wanhuo, and the person who had brought him up was the clan head. In his father’s eyes, clan head Yao Dan was essentially a legendary character.

    Yao Chen had been influenced by this thought since childhood, so to have the opportunity to become the clan head’s apprentice, even if it was just in title….

    No, not even the clan head’s apprentice; even if it was becoming Yao Wanhuo’s titular disciple it would still be an extremely amazing matter for him. If his father knew about this then he would also be extremely gratified.

    “All of you should reveal your talent to demonstrate your strength to the clansmen. Now, everyone take your places. This place is now considered your playing field!” Following the First Elder’s decree, rumbling sounds burst out, and flames starting rising towards the horizon, exploding like fireworks. Although it was daytime, the blazing flames’ radiance were still distinctly visible. This was the official signal to the start of the Medicine Competition!

    In the competitor’s area, over a hundred Yao clan disciples all respectfully stood up, and followed the clan guard’s directions, they walked towards the refining area.

    Yao Chen expression was also solemn and respectful. Truthfully he considered everything within the clan to be sacred.

    The opening battle was just an initial selection to decide the final eight who would fight in the deciding battle. This time your competitors would be over a hundred of your fellow geniuses, some of whom were potentially even more talented than you! Anyone might manage to force their way into the top eight. They would become the core of the clan’s younger generation and obtain the true support of the clan in growing. The others would also obtain various resources and benefits, but the difference between their treatments would be like the difference between heaven and earth.

    Yao Chen found his position in torner. He placed the Storage Ring on the table as well as a signboard with his name on it.

    As soon as he had set those up, a loud rumbling came from the sky. A curtain of light slowly spread out in every direction before fading from sight. This was the activation of the Dou Formation isolating the refining area.

    At the same time it was also the signal for the true start of the Medicine Competition.

    Everyone immediately started to take action.

    Yao Chen also started at the first moment. He grabbed the Storage Ring and inserted a strand of his Dou Qi. In a few seconds, his spirit entered and he could sense the various medicinal ingredients arranged inside.

    The majority of those medicinal ingredients were extremely ordinary, but there also a couple of rare ingredients. However their quantity was extremely small, and so they couldn’t be used as main ingredients. They could only be used to neutralize or raise the other ingredients’ properties.

    Yao Chen took a deep breath. If he were to only rely on the ingredients arranged in the Storage Ring, then he could only refine some extremely common high tier medicinal pills. If they were placed outside the Yao clan then maybe there would be thousands of people who wanted to steal it, but this was the Yao clan’s Medicine Competition. Wanting to rely on just a regular high tier medicinal pill to beat the over one hundred cream-of-the-crop disciples of the Yao clan was just simply delusional.

    Yao Chen lifted his head and looked around. He saw many people had already ignited their medicinal cauldron with a glowing flame. The reason they were so quick was because they had already taken out all kinds of rare medicinal ingredients they had prepared long ago. Evidently they were going to put their all for this competition.

    Yao Chen knit his eyebrows, as he saw people were using their meticulously prepared, excellent medicinal ingredients for this time’s decisive battle…. But then, what else would they use?

    Ordinary branch families were not the same as the main bloodline; if branch members were to expend many years they might only be able to collect enough rare medicinal ingredients for just one attempt at an extraordinary pill. Only the clan’s rich and powerful families could afford more.

    Yao Chen didn’t even have the necessary rare medicinal ingredients to attempt an extraordinary medicinal pill more even just once, so at this time the only things he could use were the medicinal ingredients provided by the clan.

    The Luo family’s father and sons were all staring. When Luo Bing looked at his own son who couldn’t make anything of himself, he felt a bit helpless. “What’s the matter with Yao Chen? Did you see aunt Qing?”

    Whether or not he could pass through and enter the top eight was not important. What was important for his future was displaying his skill. With his talent, strength, and with the afterglow of the Medicine Competition, was there still a need to worry about the clan not supporting him if he properly displayed himself?

    As long as a disciple obtained the favor and support of the clan, then as long as they weren’t completely lacking in talent, their future prospects would be without limits. In Luo Shu’s opinion, that was what Yao Chen should be focused on. As for taking victory at the Medicine Competition and leaving his name of the Clan Monument, this type of thinking should be let go.

    Luo Shu scratched the top of his head, “I don’t know. When I arrived I didn’t see aunt Qing, and brother Chen had just come out of seclusion in that condition… is it possible that he over trained?”

    Luo Bing shook his head, his eyes flickering. Apparently he knew where Yao Qing was, but he didn’t say anything in front of his two sons.

    Boom!

    Suddenly, the formation that was sealing the entire refining area let out a strange sound. This sound couldn’t pass into the refining area, but outside the formation were still bursts of noises like thunder.

    “Heavenly Flame! Nine Eerie Wind Flame!”

    The guests from the various powers were all completely shocked.

    The Yan Clan’s elder Yan Xiao focused his gaze. He asked the subordinate following him, “Who is that?”

    The Yan Clan was also in expert in flames, and within the clan were three great Heavenly Flames. Thus they paid special attention to the Yao clan who also specialized in flame techniques. Within the Yao clan were two Heavenly Flames: the Nine Eerie Wind Flame and the Earth Tortoise Spirit Flame. Since they were comparable in strength, the two ended up in quite a few conflicts over Heavenly Flames.

    “Elder, that person is Yao Feng. This year he is seventeen years old. Born into the main bloodline, he is the younger brother of the chief of the punishment hall Yao Wangui.”

    “Oh? Yao Wangui’s little brother? Seventeen years old, yet he has already obtained the Nine Eerie Wind Flame…. No, that’s not right, he has not completely obtained it and is only using a medicinal pill to borrow the Heavenly Flame’s power. He is unable to completely subdue the Nine Eerie Wind Flame with his current strength and is only borrowing the pill’s effect.”

    The Yan Clan had a history of playing with fire, so they were extremely familiar with the Heavenly Flames. In just a short couple blinks of an eye he managed to figure out Yao Feng’s ins and outs. But although he was just borrowing the flame’s power, the source was still a Heavenly Flame. If used to kill enemies then he might not be able to control the flame, but using it to refine pills was just right. It was precisely because the borrowed flame power was much weaker than the true Heavenly Flame that Yao Feng could still manage to use his Dou Shi level Dou Qi to control it.

    Yan Xiao wasn’t concerned with who won or who competed in the Medicine Competition. As long as could obtain some good pills from the Yao clan, who cared about the Yao clan’s inner workings. However, seeing the Yao clan’s ability to allow a younger generation seventeen-year-old disciple to directly borrow the Heavenly Flame’s strength…. Yan Xiao’s gaze became even more focused on Yao Feng.

    Yao Feng’s two hands emitted a rumbling wind sound, and two streaks of Nine Eerie Wind Flame shot out from his hands, entering into the medicinal cauldron. He had no intention of holding back for the final battle. These blazing flames seemed to come to life as they revolved around inside the medicinal cauldron. A strange and bizarre wind sound accompanied it, and while the sound was not loud, it entered into everyone’s ears and caused a restless uneasiness to fill their hearts.

    Yao Chen had just started to activate his Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique to start the medicinal cauldron’s fire when his ears received the Nine Eerie Wind Sound. His heart began to heat up indescribably, and he almost lost control of the medicinal cauldron’s flame.

    “Nine Eerie Wind Flame!” The clan had two Heavenly Flames under their control; this was a public secret. However, although the Heavenly Flames were within the clan, not anyone was capable of subduing them. The Heavenly Flames had their own dignity and character. The Nine Eerie Wind Flame was born in extreme Yin terrains within endless abysses, and after taking form, its Yin wind was the most violent of all. An unknown number of years of absorbing souls and swallowing the extreme Yin had to occur for it to be born, and it had long since formed a Heavenly Flame consciousness, making it even harder to subdue.

    However, there was actually someone using the Nine Eerie Wind Flame at this time’s Medicine Competition!

    It quickly caused the originally confident and ambitious disciples’ resolutions to waver. With the unexpected Nine Eerie Wind Flame, just what could they use to fight back?

    Heavenly Flames, at least to alchemists, were a type of legend, and alchemists that had Heavenly Flames were all people of outstanding talent in the alchemy world. Each alchemist with a Heavenly Flame was a legend amongst the people.

    Yao Chen’s heart was also shaking. As the sound continued to enter his ears, his heart couldn’t help but become moody. The sound caused him to feel depressed and hopeless.

    No matter how many preparations he made, they were useless when facing the Heavenly Flame. It was without a match, so just what could he use to fight back? Let alone his goal….

    Suddenly, Yao Chen’s heart seemed to become alert! Give up?

    Just now he had unexpectedly wanted to give up on the Medicine Competition!

    The Nine Eerie Wind Flame had truly shocked him. The Medicine Competition was Yao Chen’s number one target, as it was his only chance to have his named carved onto the Clan Monument. He would rather die than give up on the Medicine Competition!

    A bead-sized drop of sweat rolled down Yao Chen’s face. Close call! Just now he had nearly succumbed to the Nine Eerie Wind Flame’s ability. The Nine Eerie Wind Flame’s fire would release Yin wind; this wind released a sound that would attack and try to seize the will and spirit of the people. After hearing the wind sound, people would feel discouraged, nauseated, and distracting thoughts of abandoning oneself to despair would form. Collecting his mental state, Yao Chen’s Spiritual Strength abruptly spread out. It didn’t go resist the Nine Eerie Wind Flame’s wind sound, but instead it resolutely firmed his own self-conviction; win, win, have to win, MUST WIN!

    BOOM!

    A Samadhi flame blazed into being within Yao Chen’s medicinal cauldron. Yao Chen took a deep breath. Taking the Storage Ring from the table, he inserted his Dou Qi, and from within he took out a couple types of medicinal ingredients. Using his Dou Qi to wrap them, he cautiously cast them into the medicinal cauldron. His Spiritual Perception and Dou Qi combined together in order to be able to sense any changes at any time in the medicinal ingredients’ merger within the Samadhi flame.

    The Golden Mica Essence, the Bone Forming Rock, the Revolving Shore Insect… all the various medicinal ingredients and all their various changes, under the strength of the Samadhi flame and the Dou Qi’s urging, gradually began to merge. Yao Chen’s entire being was focused on the merger, and at this moment he seemed like a deity. Above the medicinal cauldron were streams of Spiritual Strength and Dou Qi that were controlling everything.

    On top the elder’s stage, First Elder Yao Wanhuo’s gaze was patrolling over all the contestants. These disciples were his clan’s future seedlings. Looking at Yao Feng using the Nine Eerie Wind Flame, a faint smile appeared on his face. Although it was borrowing the flame, but to be able to gain the Nine Eerie Wind Flame’s spirit’s approval meant that in the future there was still hope that he could genuinely obtain the Nine Eerie Wind Flame for his refining.

    Pausing slightly, Yao Wanhuo’s gaze fell on Yao Tong. Although this child was from a branch family, his father was still extremely powerful in the clan and he had completed many meritorious acts from leading his family’s army. Other people might not be aware, but Yao Wanhuo was extremely clear on Yao Tong’s hidden strength. However, at the moment it seemed that Yao Tong’s mental state was suffering under the Nine Eerie Wind Flame’s force.

    Actually, it wasn’t just Yao Tong, but every disciple in the refining area who was being affected. The people closest to Yao Feng received the greatest impact; however everyone present were elites of the elites, and in a short moment they managed to collect themselves and once again focus on refining. Merely, comparing to their initial enthusiasm, their spirits’ were inevitably impacted which was something that was very likely to affect their pill quality.

    Apparently, this time the main bloodline would once again obtain first place, unless….

    Suddenly, Yao Wanhuo’s gaze consolidated onto Yao Chen. He became a bit confused. “Strange.”

    A slim, middle-aged man who was just walking over beside him heard Yao Wanhuo speak. He laughed, “First Elder, is there something wrong?”

    Yao Wanhuo turned around, faintly smiling, “So it’s elder Wuhuang. It’s not that there’s something wrong, it’s just that I feel like that that disciple is a bit strange.”

    Saying this, Yao Wanhuo pointed his finger towards Yao Chen.

    This middle-aged man’s eyes and brows were long and narrow, and his nose was crooked like a hawk’s, making his face appear particularly malicious. His position in the clan was second only to Yao Wanhuo; his first son was the chief of the punishment hall Yao Wangui, while the one currently using the Heavenly Flame in the refining area was his second son, Yao Feng.

    Yao Wuhuang turned to look at Yao Chen. A faint sneer appeared on his mouth. “So it’s the winner of the clan school’s Great Competition. Does elder really believe that he has entered into the state of forgetting the world and only focusing on the pill?”

    Yao Chen had defeated the famous Yao Tong in the Great Competition and taken first place at the clan school. Something like that wasn’t considered that large of a matter within the Yao clan, but it also wasn’t something small, so Yao Wuhuang had naturally heard of it. But he only considered it a meaningless piece of news. In his opinion, all it meant was that Yao Tong had been too overconfident and Yao Chen had been too lucky. After all, his ancestors had once been extremely capable people.

    “Right, but this kind of pill refining state is something we only managed to enter after a great deal of training. But this child is just a one star Dou Shi; how is it possible for him?”

    “A one star Dou Shi? Not possible. He cultivates the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique; with his current speed, how could he possibly have advanced to the Dou Shi class at this time?”

    Even a genius wouldn’t be able to cultivate to the Dou Shi class by twenty with the Triple Flower Agglomerating Technique unless he had the resources of the main bloodline. No matter how talented, at best they would be nine star Dou Zhes. This kind of cultivation method focused so greatly on the foundation that in order to advance from Dou Zhe to Dou Shi required far too much Dou Qi. After all, every technique had its benefits and drawbacks.

    First Elder Yao Wanhuo laughed, “That’s why I said it was strange.”

    His gaze once more focused on Yao Chen and it truly did hold a slight interest.

    Yao Wuhuang’s expression fluctuated slightly, and this time when he looked at Yao Chen he carefully observed it.

    In a short time, he started to frown… someone who had broken through the common limitations of the Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique had appeared.

  • Thanks for the hard work!! 
  • edited August 2017
    Thank you! 
    Yup, you are caught up the old translator and... it's cool!
    About Heavenly Flame: you may check it on BTTH wikia - http://battle-through-the-heavens.wikia.com/wiki/Essence_Flame
    The world is the same and terms are the same as well (Not only Heavenly Flames).
    Hmm, Battlegod Weapon? Old translator wrote about exquisite Xuan Weapon.
    Good luck!
  • edited September 2018

    Volume 2 (Chapters 11-20): Expelled from the Clan

    Chapter 1: The Decisive Battle’s Qualifications

    Yao Wuhuang was someone who was filled with viciousness. His face was always extremely dark and malicious; in his words, that was the kind of dignity an elder should possess, but to the rest of the clansmen, the Second Elder was always in a deeply dark mood and there was never anyone who saw him smile. When he was married, when his sons were born, when he rose to become the Second Elder of the clan, he had never let others see his joy. His face was like a statue, perpetually maintaining one expression.

    People wondered if perhaps even his two sons had never seen him smile.

    A sudden rumbling started to come from Yao Feng’s position. His medicinal cauldron started shaking incessantly. The Nine Eerie Wind Flame tightly bound the medicinal cauldron to keep it steady. The medicinal pill Yao Feng was currently refining was too high tiered, and adding onto the Nine Eerie Wind Flame’s destructive strength, the steel essence medicinal cauldron was already unable to support it. Cracks started to form all over it. However Yao Feng’s expression didn’t change at all, and he took out a fist-sized lump of black metal  from the Storage Ring on his hand. When this lump appeared, a crisp sound rang out into the air that sounded like metal striking stone.

    “Black Jade Essence Metal Stone!”

    Outside, the Yan clan’s elder Yan Xiao’s face trembled slightly. This Black Iron Essence Metal Stone was something that could be used to refine a precious seventh tier pill! Unexpectedly they actually gave it to a youth who was refining what appeared to be a third tier medicinal pill, or at most it would not be greater than a fifth tier medicinal pill.

    The Yao clan truly was rich and imposing… no other entity under the heavens was even comparable to their ability to trade medicinal pills, meaning they basically had a monopoly. Adding to that their position as one of the eight ancient clans, there was no one capable of collecting financial resources greater than the Yao Clan.

    “Is it possible that what he’s refining is the fourth tier medicinal pill, Black Jade Forming Life Pill? That formula was destroyed; just when did elder Wuhuang manage to repair the whole thing? And he didn’t even tell me.”

    From the elder’s stage, the First Elder was faintly smiling as he looked at Yao Feng throw in the lump of Black Jade Essence Metal Stone without the slightest hesitation into the medicinal cauldron. Yao Wanhuo turned questioningly towards the Second Elder.

    “First Elder, don’t be suspicious. This destroyed formula wasn’t something that I repaired, but it was my two sons who fixed it. I only gave them a couple of minor pointers.”

    Yao Wanhuo was shocked at that. “Yao Feng and Yao Wangui repaired the Black Jade Forming Life Pill together!? Who was the main person responsible?”

    “Of course it was Wangui, however Feng-er also had a couple pretty good suggestions, and he did make crucial contributions.” Yao Wuhuang’s words were hinting that Yao Feng deserved to be groomed. In fact, both his sons were actually worthy of nurturing.

    Yao Wanhuo still simply muttered to himself, and in the end he only said, “Since Feng-er has this kind of talent, I’m afraid that this time’s Medicine Competition will have no one else who can compete with him.”

    “Hearing First Elder say these words, I really am relieved. My Yao Wuhuang’s son, as long as no one decides to cheat him, will naturally obtain the Medicine Competition’s number one place as easily as stretching out a hand.”

    Following after Yao Wanhuang’s words, a sudden burst of red light exploded out from the refining area. Of course it was Yao Feng. His two hands pressed down onto the cauldron as he attempted to finish and receive the medicinal pill. Red light was spilling out from the cauldron, and it was the sign of the pill forming.

    Following his attempt to complete the pill, a loud booming noise sounded out. The Nine Eerie Wind Flame winked out of existence, and just when the pill was about to be finished, the whole medicinal cauldron loudly broke apart. Nine spots of red light floated like living spirits in midair, but they quickly disappeared when Yao Feng collected them into his pill bottle.

    Now that Yao Feng had completed his goal, the Nine Eerie Wind Flame was also put away, and all the other disciples could finally relax and once again focus completely on their refinements.

    The second person to complete their pill was impressively Yao Tong. It seemed as if the Nine Eerie Wind Flame hadn’t had a very large influence on him, and he completed his pill just a quarter hour after Yao Feng. When completing it, a huge rumbling noise sounded, and similarly his cauldron also shattered apart and five strange lights were released which were collected into his pill bottle.

    After Yao Tong, more and more people started to finish their pill. All kinds of different pill collecting arts were used, and all over the refining area bursts of radiant lights exploded, looking like lights celebrating a holiday. At this time the alchemists who had still not managed to complete their pill were at an extreme disadvantage. Those explosions of light caused them a great deal of distraction, and it wasn’t only the sound but actually the visual influence was even more distracting. The explosions that occurred during the completion of the pills would influence the other alchemists’ attention, and their Spiritual Perception towards the medicinal cauldron would naturally suffer. Under normal circumstances they could perhaps calm back down and properly deal with it. However some were nervous, some were careless, and any one of them might fail.

    Boom…. Once the first disciple failed and caused a cauldron explosion, more and more disciples began to fail as well.

    If it wasn’t a cauldron explosion then it was just a batch of garbage bills. The group of people all looked at Yao Feng who had already long since finished as if he owed them something. If he hadn’t used the Nine Eerie Wind Flame and affected their mindset, with their strength even if they couldn’t enter the top eight, they still wouldn’t fao;to be able to refine their pills.

    They had passed through many trials and suffered untold hardships in order to obtain the qualifications to attend the Medicine Competition, but in the end they bitterly ended up failing their refinement. This was like being thrown down from high in the clouds to an all time low.

    Time passed by quickly. In the refining area were only a few people that were persevering.

    “It’s already late. If you still haven’t finished your pill then just consider it an automatic failure. Why waste our time,” Yao Wuhuang coldly said. Towards the Medicine Competition, Yao Wuhuang didn’t really care too much. Just how could the main bloodline’s families understand just how difficult one Musk Essence Foundation Strengthening Pill was to obtain in the poor branch families as they tried to change their destiny of being poverty-stricken?

    Yao Wanhuo didn’t say anything though, and his face also didn’t have any expression. The disciples who hadn’t finished could stay for as long as they wanted in his opinion, and there was no need to belittle them. They were all elites; merely they hadn’t reached the same level. As his gaze roved around, he saw the neglected Yao Chen, and his eyebrows couldn’t help but to wrinkle.

    This time’s Yao Chen seemed as if he was separated from the rest of the world. Yao Wanhuo’s Spiritual Strength swept forth. He used some kind of strange method that penetrated the medicinal cauldron, allowing him to sense that all kinds of medicinal ingredients were currently undergoing an extremely slow and extremely rhythmic merger. As for the impurities, bit by bit they were being eliminated out of the merger, but instead of being tossed out of the cauldron, they once again underwent a transformation as they unceasing gathered together to form a second merger.

    One furnace, dual pills!

    This was a sign of an alchemist’s talent: to have one furnace produce two medicinal pills, with the two pills having different medicinal properties and different effects. Even if someone was shockingly talented in their Spiritual Perception, they would still not be able to do this. This relied purely on diligent training and hard work. Only then would someone be a true talent and be able to do this.

    Merely, Yao Wanhuo was still doubtful, as these medicinal ingredients were all provided by the clan and were used only for refining ordinary pills. Unexpectedly, there was not even a single rare medicinal ingredient amongst them.

    In addition, looking at Yao Chen’s current state it was obvious that he did not have any intention of using any of his prepared medicinal ingredients.

    On a different stage, there was no talking. Sitting on the stage were all women like lovely flowers swaying in the breeze. Some of them looked extremely bewitching, and some of them seemed fresh and pure. Any kind of beauty could be found on this stage. However no male present would dare to even stare at them; at most they might only take a couple pleasing sneaking glances. A faint demonic air condensed around them.

    Demon clan!

    Moreover, they were not from an ordinary demon clan, but a clan that had been passed on from the almighty Demon Saint.

    Sometimes a rare and strange ingredient was required for refining medicine that simply could not be harvested by the human race. To collect it required certain demon clan members with demonic human bodies to raise and collect them. So this specific demon clan ended up with quite a good relation with the Yao clan and even the rest of the eight ancient clans.

    Of course, the extremely powerful strength of the Demon Saint was the real reason which ensured their relationship stayed good.

    So they of course sent out a diplomatic team to attend the Yao clan’s Medicine Competition.

    There was a maiden wearing a veil over her face amongst them. Her body was lithe and graceful, her skin white as snow, her beautiful eyes were like the moon’s reflection, and they could reflect a person’s image.

    “Granny, I’m so bored. When can we return? The Yao clan is not fun at all.”

    The maiden’s gaze pierced through the veil. Her lips issued an order whose sound could cause a male to become enchanted, as each word seemed to bring with it a bewitching force. Even the women sitting beside her were like moths flying into the flame, unable to refrain themselves from paying attention to her, and in their hearts arose a desire of wanting to help her complete anything her heart desired.

    “Cough, Sacred Daughter… Old Xiu is getting old, so can you please not use your bewitching eye technique?”

    The maiden’s mouth pouted as she obviously didn’t accept this, rolling her eyes she disapprovingly said, “After today’s ceremony, Old Xiu must deliver this Sacred Daughter back to the Sacred Land, ok?”

    “Can’t, it’s rare just to come out….”

    “Then I’ll follow Old Xiu and stay in the Yao clan for a couple of days, but after the Medicine Competition we have to be able to play on the way back.”

    “Ugh… fine, we’ll just have to go with that.”

    The Sacred Daughter narrowed her eyes. She appeared to be bored to death as her eyes swept over the refining area. Although the human race’s alchemists sounded interesting, but actually being in front of them watching was boring and was of absolutely no interest.

    Thinking about it, the Sacred Daughter narrowed her eyes as she once again looked at Yao Chen. With her gloomy mind, it was especially this fellow whose movements who seemed to be working extremely attentively that she wanted to mess up. It seemed as if his entire spirit was completely focused.

    On the other side, the disciples who had already finished refining their medicinal pills had once again returned to the competitor’s area with tranquil and indifferent expressions. They formed their own rings of friends as they chatted.

    Yao Feng took the lead amongst the main bloodline’s social group, however beside the main bloodline’s group would always unavoidably be the branch bloodlines who were trying to suck up. Yao Yun was beside him, but his gaze would occasionally shoot towards the refining area’s Yao Chen.

    “What? Not satisfied?” Yao Feng noticed Yao Yun’s glances, and he indifferently brought up this subject just to pass time.

    Yao Yun lowered his head, “It’s not that. It’s just that thinking about how I lost to this kid, it really was shameful.”

    “Haha, to have a sense of shame is also brave and not bad. However, this Yao Chen’s luck is really amazing; even after all this time he unexpectedly still hasn’t caused a cauldron explosion.”

    The clan school could also be counted as a social group. Lin Yanxin, Zuo Hongle and the others had all assembled together. Even Yao Tong who rarely was so well-disposed had trickled over to stand beside them. But it was very clear he maintained a sure distance from the other people. Going at it alone had always been one of Yao Tong’s characteristics.

    Zuo Hongle had the habit of always chattering, so now that he had finished refining and relaxed he led everyone to chatter nonstop, from time to time saying things like, “Yao Feng is really impressive, but as a main bloodline member, he actually had the kind of money to directly use a Black Jade Essence Metal Stone, ugh.”

    Li Yanxin shook his head, “Illness comes from the mouth, and a loose tongue causes trouble; you should just shut up. Even if someone gave you the Black Jade Essence Metal Stone, do you have the ability to use it?”

    Zuo Hongle turned sluggish for a moment, laughing and saying, “You’re right, the Black Jade Essence Metal Stone is a seventh grade material; even if you gave it to me I wouldn’t know how to use it.”

    After saying this, the air within their group became a bit colder.

    Although any Yao clan disciple could enter the clan school, but any families with actual power would personally train their family’s most talented while only the less talented disciples would be sent to the clan school.

    The clan school’s top eight sounded like they were extremely strong, but actually their foundation could be considered much weaker. “Sigh, I don’t know if Yao Chen will be able to get lucky again this time.”

    Zuo Hongle was after all Zuo Hongle. Despite the cold air in his group, he couldn’t help but to once again bring up a new topic to talk about.

    Yao Chen. Everyone’s gaze turned over to the refining area where Yao Chen was still busy refining in front of his medicinal cauldron. But he seemed to take an extremely long time just to put in a small portion of medicinal ingredients into the cauldron, and furthermore all these medicinal ingredients were all very ordinary everyday ones. His cauldron’s flame was not low, but neither was it high, and there was not even the slightest sign of the pill forming.

    There would always be signs when a strange pill was about to form. When such pills were successfully refined, they already possesseda kind of consciousness. Although this consciousness was very vague, but when it was taken out of the cauldron it would instinctively try to fly away. It was due to this that there needed to be pill collecting arts.

    “It appears to be extremely ordinary.”

    Zuo Hongle was the one who opened his mouth. Truthfully he was actually a bit disappointed. Originally he had believed that he might have another rival for him to compete against in the clan school, but looking at what was happening, it appeared to be a letdown. At the clan school’s Great Competition he probably had already used up all his potential. And anyone who used an explosive technique to reach a Dou Shi level strength was probably incapable of recovering in just an extremely short one month’s time.

    “During the clan school’s Great Competition he had to take a Violet Flame Pill in order to momentary burst out with a Da Dou Shi’s strength. Now it appears he should be suffering from the sequelae. Looking at his flame, it appears to still be at the level of a nine star Dou Zhe and hasn’t increased at all.

    Zuo Hongle enthusiastically discussed his analysis, and the other clan disciples also nodded their head in agreement. By now everyone had learned that the Violet Flame Pill had the effect of breaking through bottlenecks. Wouldn’t it be a defiance of the heavens if such an amazing pill didn’t have a harsh aftereffect?

    “Haha, looks like Yao Chen really isn’t capable of competing with us. Who do you guys think will be able to get into the top eight’s decisive battle? Of course, excluding Yao Feng….”

    “Our brother Tong should definitely be one of them.”

    “Yeah. I also know that amongst the main bloodline there’s also a Yao Cheng….”

    “I think that….”

    Suddenly in the refining area a loud boom was accompanied by an intense shaking. Even with the formation separating them, everyone could still feel the ground’s intense vibrations.

    A burst of concentrated white smoke rapidly filled the whole refining area.

    “Not good, someone caused a huge cauldron explosion.”

    “There’s no problem. Ignoring the fact that everyone looks tranquil, but actually every disciple has a clan expert standing by to protect them, so nothing bad can happen.”

    “Now that I think about it, it should be time for the conclusion.”

    Refining originally required there be a peaceful and calm environment, but now that there was a huge cauldron explosion that shocked them, any disciples who still hadn’t finished had probably completely failed.

    “First Elder, shouldn’t we remove the formation?” On the elder’s stage, a subordinate was bowing towards Yao Wanhuo. Yao Wuhuang indifferently replied, “Since it’s already over, just take it down.”

    “Yes.”

    “Wait, there’s still someone refining.” Suddenly, the First Elder waved his sleeve, stopping him.

    “Huh?” Yao Wuhuang startled. Sending his perception past the dense white gas, he felt a strange fluctuation that was being born within the white smoke.

    BOOM….

    Another loud boom rang out; however these loud noises seemed to stand out different from other noises, bringing with them a beautiful charm, as if following one of the world’s hidden laws.

    “Now it’s finished.”

    Yao Wanhuo brightly laughed, quite pleased with that disciple. He indicated to undo the formation. When the formation slowly faded, the refining area’s rolling thick smoke rapidly dispersed, and a couple faint hazy figures could be seen within. Only thanks to the clan’s experts taking action to suppress the huge exploding cauldron’s destruction did they manage to save all the refining area’s disciples. A couple disciples were sitting on the ground, their faces frightened and confused.

    Yao Chen was also sitting on the ground, but the difference was that Yao Chen’s expression seemed both happy and sad, and in his hand he was tightly holding onto a jade pill bottle. Clearly in the extremely dangerous moment just now he had managed to finish refining and successfully collected the pill.

    However no one managed to clearly see just what pill he refined. As it turned out, at the most critical time there was someone who had made an error while refining and caused a huge explosion. Not only did the thick smoke from the explosion block the people’s sight, even the elder’s spirits received an impact, so they were unable to see clearly.

    “Yao Chen, this is your refined medicinal pill?”

    At this time there was naturally a clan guard who wanted to bring the pill over the elder’s stage in order for the elders to evaluate just who managed to enter the top eight.

    Only now did Yao Chen come back to his senses. Taking a deep breath he turned to the clan guard and responded, “Yes, sorry for the inconvenience.”

    “No need to be so polite.” The clan guard smiling lightly, taking the jade bottle and placing Yao Chen’s name card on top of it. He took the pill bottle over to the elder’s stage under the eyes of everyone.

    Currently all the most consummate alchemists of the Yao clan, including the clan head, were all present for the evaluation. And since the pills were refined at the scene, the evaluation was completely impartial.

    In order to maintain the main bloodline’s power, it was unavoidable that there were be some preferential bias towards the main bloodline. But at the same time, there must be at least some impartiality; the Yao clan had been passed down since ancient times, and its branches and leaves were many. Just the branch families with Yao as their surname would number over one hundred, and if including the other various branch bloodlines and families then their number simply could not be counted. And there was even more clans and families that had all kinds of relationships, in-laws, etc. who had ended up adhering to the Yao clan. Only all of this combined was the real Yao clan, and if they didn’t want chaos to ensue then there couldn’t be any obvious bias.

    The Medicine Competition was like this, and of course the Clan Monument also had this impartiality.

    Of course, the main bloodline still had their advantages even with this ‘impartiality’. Just looking at Yao Feng who could take out the Black Jade Essence Metal Stone which was a seventh grade medicinal ingredient, how could a branch family have this kind of ability? So of course it was unfair, but it was still something that everybody could accept by tacit approval.

    But when it came to evaluating the pills there was an absolute guarantee of fairness. From the clan head to the clan school elders, each had their own say in the judgement, and it was only like this that the Medicine Competition ended up becoming a sacred competition within the hearts of everyone in the Yao clan!

    Since even the clan head was taking part in it, the evaluation of the pills proceeded extremely fast. After all, all of these pills were fourth tier and below; no matter how talented the disciples were, they were still part of the younger generation.

    At this time, except for the elder’s stage, the whole plaza was completely silent. This was a sacred moment. On the elder’s stage were the clan head, clan elders, and some senior members of the clan who were discussing and exchanging their opinions. It was already near the end of the evaluation, and the final names were about to be selected.

    Yao Chen was calmly waiting. Time had never listened to other people’s sufferings.

    Suddenly, the elders all stopped, and clan head Yao Dan faced the crowd, calmly rising into the air with no fluctuations.

    Yao Chen’s heart tensed; it was finally time for the results.

    Truthfully, Yao Chen didn’t have any confidence. He had already used up all his effort and done his best, but his opponents were extremely formidable, and there was no need to doubt their strength. Especially Yao Feng’s Nine Eerie Wind Flame; it had nearly caused him to give up, and although he had recovered from it, the influence had still been there.

    “Brother Chen, how’s the situation? Just now with the huge cauldron explosion I was almost scared to death!” Luo Shu’s household walked over from the side.

    “I’m fine.” Yao Chen shook his head; the huge cauldron explosion hadn’t had a large impact on him.

    “Haha, brother Chen, don’t be nervous. Later I’ll treat you to eat out.” Hearing Yao Chen say he was fine, Luo Shu finally relaxed. He thought that Yao Chen’s pill would probably just be ordinary and would be very lacking compared to the winner. Therefore he slapped his chest and tried to cheer him up.

    Yao Chen laughed. His heart was touched, but he still didn’t say anything.

    At this time, First Elder Yao Wanhuo had already stood up, saying, “The Medicine Competition’s preliminaries for the decisive battle have ended. Now we will declare the list for the decisive battle.”

    “First place, Yao Feng, fourth tier alchemist.”

    “Second place, Yao Tong, fourth tier alchemist.”

    “Third place, Ceng Lou, third tier alchemist.”

    Their official alchemist title was given after their name. Compared to the outer alchemist guild’s title it was not the same, but rather it was additionally a symbol of that person’s honor and strength within the Yao clan. Not just anyone could obtain this kind of title. And it was also very obvious that compared to the outside world’s third tier alchemists, the clan members conferred with the title of third tier alchemists were stronger, and not just by a small margin.

    “Eighth place, Yao Chen….”

    Yao Wanhuo read to here when his eyes paused on Yao Chen, before continuing, “The top eight names are now set, and in the evening their names will be publicly published. As for the top eight, three days later you must gather again to compete. You must finish your preparations by then.” After saying this, Yao Wanhuo rolled up the scroll in his hand and turned back to sit in his seat. At this point all his tasks had been completed and the following tasks to be completed were managed by some senior elders. The clan’s senior elders were all rare treasures, and the clan couldn’t just let them do nothing. In addition, it was also time for them to get a disciple to pass on their heritage. Being able to pick from the talented disciples who didn’t make it to the top eight was extremely excellent for them.

    Off the stage, the audience was rumbling. The news about the Violet Flame Pill was actually not very big news, and many clan members didn’t know about it. Now they were all wondering just who this eighth place Yao Chen was and what his origins were. They had never even heard of a hint of him; just what family secretly cultivated such a trump card?

    Yao Feng faintly smiled. He looked towards Yao Yun. “Looks like it’s getting more interesting.”

    Yao Yun’s expression was deathly pale, the veins on his hands bulged out, and his hatred could not be hidden.

    On the other spectrum, when the fatty Luo Shu heard Yao Chen’s name, his legs almost slipped out from under him and he nearly fell. He had no way of believing his own ears. What? Yao Chen entered the top eight?

    “This, this couldn’t be an error right? Or did I hear wrong, brother Chen? It’s not that I’m trying to insult you, but looking at your previous state it didn’t seem like one with the strength to pass. Actually it even had me a little afraid for you.”

    “Afraid, my ass.” Yao Chen shook his head; however being afraid was something that nothing could be done about. Up to the final point where he had finally finished refining, just how much trouble had he went through? Other than just the normal difficulty, there was also a huge cauldron explosion that let out huge tremors and a powerful force. Although the clan’s expert that was in charge of protecting them appeared, that kind of situation was like having someone sharply scream and howl at you while you were having a good dream.

    However, although it had been a bit difficult, he had still managed to finish. In addition, he had also entered into the the top eight. Just at this moment, Luo Shu suddenly clapped his hands, and in a bewildered voice he said, “Wait a second, something’s not right! How come they didn’t call out your alchemist tier title after your name?

    Yao Chen frowned. He also didn’t understand. The first seven names were all given at the very least a tier two alchemist title. And such a title wasn’t useless; every month they could enter the clan treasury to withdraw quite a few training resources and they could even buy third grade medicinal ingredients for refining on credit.

    But for some reason he didn’t receive a title. Was it possible that his final pill had had some kind of problem? If there wasn’t a problem then, why would they neglect to give him the title of a second tier alchemist? But then how had he have gotten into the final eight? No matter how he thought about it he couldn’t figure it out.

    However Yao Chen was someone with a very controlled temperament, and in a short time he stopped thinking about this issue, instead telling Luo Shu, “Let’s go.”

    “Where to?” Luo Shu replied, muddle-headed.

    “Obviously to go eat. You just agreed to treat just now.”

    “You just got eighth place; how can it be me treating you!”

    “When men make agreements, they must stick to them. You treat.”

    “Tch,, I’m the fat one, and I get fat by eating my own words, so I’m still a man. You treat.”

  • edited September 2018

    Chapter 12: Clan Rankings

    In the end it was Luo Shu who treated, but Yao Chen also ceded a step, and they switched to just having soup at a vendor near their homes.

    “Where’s aunt Qing? It’ll be unfair if we don’t tell her.” Luo Shu was extremely excited and cheerful, and he even started to add a couple obscenities into his chattering to give vent to the intense emotions in him. When he was angry he’d obscenely swear about people, and when he was happy he would spit out a couple forceful obscenities; this was simply the fatty.

    Yao Chen shook head. He was also slightly nervous, as contrary to the normal, his mother had been out for an unusually long amount of time.

    “Brother Yao Chen, hello hello, I am Liao Yuntu. Ah, brother Yao you entered the top eight, how can you celebrate just here? Over there is the Fragrant Yao House, and my humble self has arranged for a banquet. I don’t know if brother Yao Chen would be me the honor of coming?” Long Chen had just managed to refine a medicinal pill that satisfied all the various Yao clan elders and enter into the top eight for the final battle. It appeared that the Violet Flame Pill he had refined back then was not just refined out of luck.

    Due to this, Liao Yuntu had gone to invite Yao Chen at the very first moment possible in order to get the Violet Flame Pill.

    “This…” Yao Chen didn’t have the slightest experience when it came to invitations like these. For a moment he didn’t know what to say. But when Luo Shu heard him mention the Fragrant Yao House, his eyes almost started to emit hearts and he quickly interrupted, “Brother Chen, if there’s food, it’d be a waste not to eat it. Cough, you said that you’re treating?”

    “I’ll treat. Order whatever pleases you.”

    Liao Yuntu smiled. He could only use his own personal power for this matter. After all, it was for his own useless son, so he couldn’t use his clan’s resources too much or his position in the clan might become unstable. But looking at the circumstances, he felt that these two young ducklings were not that difficult to deal with.

    Yao Chen felt truly strange in his heart, as this was the first time in his life he had been invited to eat by someone. Adding on fatty Luo Shu’s incitement, he ended up nodding his agreement.

    Entering the Fragrant Yao House, they were led by Liao Yuntu into a private room. Luo Shu’s saliva was already overflowing; the table was already arranged with many cold meats and fresh fruit. The little fatty simply didn’t understand what was called being courteous, and directly starting eating the food in huge bites. That bowl of soup from the vendor near their homes simply didn’t fill his stomach.

    “Brother Yao, whatever you want to eat, just order it.” Liao Yuntu smiled brightly. Yao Chen’s fame from the Medicine Competition meant that his future in the Yao clan would be extremely high; simply getting near him could burn your hand. If he wanted to invite him for medicinal pills at that time then it was guaranteed the price would be much greater and it wouldn’t be this easy to do. While the Liao family would be able to afford such a price, he himself could not.

    Yao Chen hadn’t even touched his chopsticks. Instead he looked at Liao Yuntu, and with a humble smile he said, “Senior Liao, whatever you want to ask, please don’t hesitate.”

    The smile on Liao Yuntu’s face receded slightly, “Don’t call me senior; although I might not be qualified, if you don’t think it’s too much, just calling me big brother is alright. As for business, I will not stand on ceremony. Although this may color your opinion of me, I do not have any nice way of saying this. I don’t know if brother Yao’s Violet Flame Pill is something he has some in stock. This older brother is genuinely anxiously looking for it.”

    Yao Chen was startled; the Violet Flame Pill?

    Looking at Yao Chen’s dazed expression, Liao Yuntu shook his head and laughed, saying “Brother Yao, I’m afraid you might not know this, after all you did isolate yourself from the clan for a whole month. The Violet Flame Pill you refined in the clan school’s Great Competition has already been determined to be able to let people jump across classes and temporarily gain a stronger strength. Letting people experience the strength of a higher class in advance has an extremely large help in breaking through bottlenecks. This big brother has a son who isn’t able to make anything of himself, and has already been trapped in the Dou Shi class for many years… brother Chen, I’m begging you to please help this older brother’s beloved son!”

    Since when did Yao Chen ever receive this kind of begging demand? So for a moment he didn’t know what to do and became flushed with redness. He simply didn’t know what kind of way to respond.

    Liao Yuntu was obviously an old swindler, and with just a glance he knew exactly how he could bait him. Although his heart was full of joy from getting this meeting, he still put on such an incredibly worried expression on his face, “I assume brother Yao knows that although there are plenty of pills that can help break through levels, they are all extremely hard to obtain. The Violet Flame Pill’s effect might be a bit worse, but at least it means there is some hope… no matter how high little brother’s asking price is, then even if I had to beggar myself it still wouldn’t matter.”

    The way he addressed Yao Chen turned from ‘brother’ to ‘little brother’. Although there was just a one word difference, hearing it would give a different kind of feeling, as it imperceptibly pulled their relationship closer.

    “It’s not that I’m keeping it for myself, it’s just that I don’t have any stored….” Although the Violet Flame Pill’s required medicinal ingredients were all ordinary, previously he had had to use seven full days to refine one before the Great Competition due to his strength being lower. He had refined a second one during the Great Competition, but it was only through using the first pill to increase his Dou Qi and using the explosive Dou Technique that he managed to refine it in a short period of time. And that Violet Flame Pill had already been given to the clan, so he really didn’t have any more pills on him.

    “This….” Liao Yuntu’s face trembled, and he started to quickly think of ways to get Yao Chen to refine some more.

    However, before he opened his mouth, Yao Chen ponderingly said, “If senior Liao isn’t extremely busy, tomorrow I can refine a second batch. However I want Ice Cold Grass and Seven Woven Flower Buds. In addition to these two medicinal ingredients, if you could use a top grade Tiger Bonetail to exchange for the Violet Flame Pill then that would be best.”

    Top grade Tiger Bonetail. Tiger Bonetail might not be an extremely rare medicinal ingredient, but its top grade form was still hard to obtain. However as long as you were willing to pay a high price it was not something that you had to be worried about not obtaining. As for the Ice Cold Grass and the Seven Woven Flower Buds, their price was quite high, but they weren’t considered rare and precious medicinal ingredients. As long as you had money you could effortlessly obtain it.

    In Liao Yuntu’s opinion, these kinds of conditions were not difficult. This kind of reverse made him feel a bit strange, but turning his head to look at fatty Luo who was struggling to gorge himself on the various delicacies on the table, he started to laugh in his heart. Thinking it over, he realized these two were just two children who hadn’t seen the world… this additional refinement would actually be quite cheap for him.

    “Do you need anything else? There’s no need to hold back; you don’t need to be courteous to this older brother.”

    “Nothing else. Top grade Tiger Bonetail is enough.”

    The simple and unsophisticated Yao Chen shook his head. To the current him, refining this Violet Flame Pill wasn’t such a huge deal anymore and in addition… the Violet Flame Pill’s necessary medicinal ingredients were actually quite cheap. Other than the work in refining, just one top grade Tiger Bonetail was an equal cost for ten batches of Violet Flame Pill’s medicinal ingredients.

    In Yao Chen’s eyes, he managed to obtain a small advantage. But Liao Yuntu was well aware that he was the one who had obtained an extremely large advantage, to the point where he was somewhat uneasy about it. Now when he looked at Yao Chen, the amount of sincerity in his gaze had increased by quite a lot.

    As for Luo Shu, he was completely engrossed with eating. As a food-eater, once he started eating he would stop paying attention to other people’s chatting, so their conversation was like wind past his ears.

     

    In the evening, the large plaza in front of the Clan Monument was already completely full. A crowd of people had arrived at the established time for the clan announcement.

    Not only would this announcement include the top eight, it would also include the other top thirty. These thirty people would also go on to receive important positions within the clan. Although the resources would mostly go to the top eight, but other than the various medicinal pills and ingredients for training, cultivation techniques were also just as important. All the top thirty would have three opportunities to enter the clan treasury to obtain a cultivation technique.

    In front of the Clan Monument was a wooden wall that was painted red, and on top of the wooden wall a Dou Formation that was currently on standby. Three well known elders walked up in front of the Clan Monument, their hands holding three scrolls. These scrolls linked up to the formation.

    “The time has arrived… release the rankings!”

    A rumbling sound like cannons rang out as the three elders simultaneously lifted the scrolls in their hand, and majestic Dou Qi connected them to their formation.

    Light flowed out of the red wall. Golden words appeared on a black background.

    “Rank 30, Bi Jianye, refined a third tier Lotus Sutra Pill….”

    The rankings were displayed by those golden words, and after each person’s rank and name was also the pill they had refined.

    This was just another way the Medicine Competition maintained its absolute fairness.

    Nor far from the monument was the seventeen-year-old Bi Ye. He began to cry tears of joy and in a short while a whole crowd of clansmen gathered around him, giving him all kinds of veneration and trying to pull him in. This was simply the kind of thing that happened when you became famous.

    Boom… the golden words continued to flash, and name after name started to appear.

    Yao Yun’s expression was extremely dark at this time. Now that Yao Chen had obtained one of the top eight positions, the person he hated the most would have to be reserved for him. In Yao Yun’s thinking, Yao Chen had taken his qualifications, so Yao Chen’s current position should have originally been his. In the end, he didn’t even think it over in the slightest. Even if he was given the qualifications for the Medicine Competition, just how could he manage to enter the final eight with his level of strength?

    “Rank 11, Zuo Hongle….”

    Another disciple form the clan school’s social circle entered the list, but Zuo Hongle still wasn’t happy. Turning towards Li Yanxin, he raged, “Ah, to think I’d be ranked behind you.”

    Li Yanxin smiled slightly. “It’s also possible that I didn’t get ranked.”

    “Don’t speak nonsense. This time it’ll count as your victory, but I’ll beat you for sure next time.”

    Zuo Hongle unwillingly slapped his leg; during the clan school’s Great Competition a month ago, it had been him who had obtained the advantage between the two of them, but this time it was Li Yanxin who ended up stronger than him by just a bit.

    As expected, the next name to appear on the list was Li Yanxin.

    Yao Yun who became even more infuriated when he saw his fellow clan school disciples appear on the rankings. He originally thought that it would be him on the rankings, but now, let alone entering onto the rankings, he didn’t even have the qualification to participate!

    The hatred in his heart continued to grow, but Yao Yun continued watching, wanting to see just what Yao Chen relied on in order to enter into the top eight. In addition, Yao Chen didn’t obtain a title for his alchemy skills, which could be used to question his standing in the rankings. As long as he could bring up this problem with the public crowd, and then agitate the clansmen into making a ruckus about it… Yao Chen wouldn’t even be able to think about participating in the ultimate, final battle of the Medicine Competition.

    Although this didn’t bring any benefits to him, sometimes just seeing someone you hated suffer was also a kind of joy. The wonderful flavor of vengeance was something that caused people to never be able to free themselves.

    Finally the rankings arrived at the top eight.

    Rank 8, Yao Chen. Refined a fourth tier Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Pill as the main pill, and a secondary fourth tier Demon Bug Curse Suppression Pill ….

    When the fourth tier Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Pill appeared on the red wall, nobody had any kind of reaction. The Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Pill was a fourth tier pill that could increase flame attributes’ Dou Qi’s strength for a time, and could also decrease the effect of an enemy’s flame attribute Dou Techniques. Of course such an increase in strength had a limit, and once a person was past the three star Da Dou Shi class, the defensive increase would be almost negligible.

    Although it wasn’t that bad of a pill, it wasn’t something that could cause a person to be shocked or delighted. Within the Yao clan were too many pills to count that had similar effects and might even have higher efficiencies.

    However when the next few words appeared, a secondary fourth tier Demon Bug Curse Suppression Pill, shouts and cries immediately started to ring out.

    “What, a Demon Bug Curse Suppression Pill? How could it be fourth tier!? Isn’t that a sixth tier medicinal pill?”

    “Secondary pill? Why is the Demon Bug Curse Suppression Pill the secondary pill?”

    Only the word ‘unimaginable’ could describe the shock that the Yao clan members received.

    Not everyone was necessarily an alchemist in the Yao clan. But every single clan member had a great knowledge of all the various famous pills. The Demon Bug Curse Suppression Pill could resist the Demon Bug; whether it was in terms of subduing it or expelling the poison, there was a significant effect.

    Amongst the demon clans, the Demon Bugs were undoubtedly the most difficult to deal with. Previously, every pill that had an effect on the Demon Bug was at least a fifth tier medicinal pill. But now they unexpectedly said that this Demon Bug Curse Suppression Pill was a fourth tier medicinal pill….

    It wasn’t that they doubted the Yao clan elders’ impartial judgement, but it really did break people’s previous knowledge and assumptions, and the person who broke this knowledge into pieces was a younger alchemist without even a tier title… Yao Chen.

    “The clan elders found three different Demon Bugs… the effect was very prominent, with two dying and one submitting….”

    The following words about testing the medicine shocked people into an even more dull state. They didn’t want to believe it, but with the Medicine Competition’s complete impartiality, there was no need for doubt.

    Such a test result stupefied everyone; they wanted to doubt it, but the Medicine Competition was absolutely impartial.

    A bit further away, the female members of the Demon Saint’s clan were indifferently looking over. The Sacred Daughter who was being protected in the center their group was staring over.  With her vision, even if they were separated by over sixty meters she would still be able to clearly read the golden words announcing the rankings.

    “Fourth tier Demon Bug Curse Suppressing Pill? Wasn’t this originally a sixth tier medicinal pill? Did they simplify it? The effect is quite remarkable. Haha, this Yao Chen is actually a bit interesting. Granny, how about we go look for him?”

    “Cough, exalted Sacred Daughter, this is the Yao clan, not Demon Saint Valley.”

    The Sacred Daughter charmingly exhaled a breath of air, and her black veil lifted up, revealing a pair of fragrant red lips that caused all the world’s color to disappear.

    “He could have refined any pill. Just why did he have to refine something targeting our Demon clan...”

    “Exalted Sacred Daughter!”

    “Ok, I know. If we want to take care of him then we have to wait till he’s out of the Yao clan’s territory.”

    “Cough, exalted Sacred Daughter, please pay attention to your words.” The granny helplessly shook her head. Although this Sacred Daughter had been given her title by her master, but… if she was this stubborn and mischievous, maybe even he would also start to get a headache. Otherwise why would he have sequestered her to Demon Saint Valley? The amount of trouble the Sacred Daughter caused in Demon Saint Valley was something that every demon was aware of.

    “That’s right, this Yao Chen, what does he look like?”

    The granny remained silent for a good time before leaning in and whispering in reply, “He’s the one who the exalted Sacred Daughter said was extremely boring to watch.”

    Hope for the best; humans, a good heart, etc., nothing could help your fate.

    Passing late into the night, the Yao clan gradually become calm again….

    However things were not calm in the Second Elder’s home.

    “Big brother, father still hasn’t returned home?” Standing outside was Yao Feng. Whenever he was in front of his older brother Yao Wangui, he would always act respectfully, more like a disciple than a little brother.

    Yao Wangui nodded. He was someone who appeared extremely plain, with nothing distinguishable on his body. Even when he was standing right there it would be easy for you to miss him if you weren’t looking closely. Compared to Yao Feng who was someone who displayed his talent for all to see, the two were completely different types of geniuses.

    Completely ordinary; that was the kind of first impression that Yao Wangui gave off. Ordinary stature and ordinary appearance. Even his acquaintances and friends might have to think about it for a bit before they managed to recollect his appearance.

    “However, father has passed some news from over there. This person called Yao Chen might end up being your greatest competition.”

    “Yao Chen?” Yao Feng was extremely startled. “Big brother, you think that a bottom disciple like him is worth me paying attention to?”

    “You didn’t go see the rankings?”

    “What’s the point in me going? I’m already first place.”

    “Yao Chen ranked number eight. His furnace had dual pills, the main pill being the fourth tier Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Pill corresponding with his Triple Flower Agglomerating Flame Technique. His secondary pill was a Demon Bug Curse Suppressing Pill. Hearing this news, you still think that he isn’t worth your attention?”

    Yao Feng’s expression changed, “Demon Bug Curse Suppressing Pill? Isn’t this a sixth tier pill?”

    “You’re a smart person, so is there a need for me to explain further?” Yao Wangui coldly looked at his younger brother.

    Yao Feng’s face whitened. “Don’t tell me… he simplified the Demon Bug Curse Suppressing Pill, and managed to refine two pills in one furnace… then that means, his Spiritual Perception….”

    “It’s stronger than yours.”

    “But….”

    “The only thing you are better than him in is your Dou Qi class. If you don’t manage to seize first place at this time’s Medicine Competition, father will probably add another little brother into the family inheritance.”

    “Big brother, I….”

    “I’ll go out again and scout him to find out whether it’s simply that his luck is good, or whether he actually has such ability.”

    Yao Wangui’s eyes turned faintly suspicious… Yao Chen, was he really just a nine star Dou Zhe?

    Not taking into account whether he was actually a talent or not, obstructing his family’s path would only have one conclusion.

    The next day’s early morning.

    Liao Yuntu came to call, and who knows how he had calculated it, but somehow Yao Chen had just finished his morning training when Liao Yuntu coincidentally rang the courtyard bell, so the timing ended up being perfect.

    “Haha, Ice Cold Grass, Seven Woven Flower Buds, and three top grade Tiger Bonetails. Little friend, please accept these things. As for refining the pill, it can wait….”

    Liao Yuntu was just about to say that he could find an opportunity after the Medicine Competition had ended before finding the time to refine a Violet Flame Pill.

    But Yao Chen smiled and said, “I can start the refinement right now.”

    “Wha-, what?” Liao Yuntu opened and closed his mouth a couple times. Starting the refinement now? Didn’t he need to prepare for the final battle of the Medicine Competition?

    There were only three days until the final battle. Yao Chen needed to relieve some of the excess fire attribute Dou Qi in his body over these three days. This was also a kind of training. Even if he didn’t refine medicine, he still had to find some other method to release this Dou Qi.

    In addition, the pure and simple Yao Chen believed in handing over the purchase at the same time as the payment. Now that he had obtained the three top grade Tiger Bonetails, the faster he refined the medicinal pill, the faster he could fulfill his part of the bargain.

    Of course, Liao Yuntu also felt that the sooner it was refined the better. Yao Chen’s fame was becoming greater and greater. First it was the Violet Flame Pill, then it was dual pills in one furnace, and one of them was even a simplified sixth tier medicinal pill, a fourth tier Demon Bug Curse Suppressing Pill. Obviously once he became famous more and more people would start to come looking for him.

    Currently there was no one present because the Yao clan put up a restriction on meeting him. The people selected for the Medicine Competition’s final battle were protected from being disturbed during this time.

    As for Liao Yuntu who could get close to Yao Chen, the main reason was that he acted quickly. As long as he didn’t cause Yao Chen to dislike him, then the Yao clan’s secret guards that were protecting him would naturally not meddle in other people’s business.

    Although, Yao Chen’s decision to immediately refine the pill still caused him to feel uneasy. “Uh, you don’t need to do this. Don’t let this have an effect on your display at the final battle of the Medicine Competition.”

    “Oh, you don’t need to worry about this. Actually, refining medicine is a kind of training for me.” Yao Chen smiled. It was truthfully a kind of training that he had to do anyways.

    As for providing medicinal ingredients, naturally it Liao Yuntu who provided them. He took out a Storage Ring filled with various kinds of medicinal ingredients, saying, “This Storage Ring contains all kinds of medicinal ingredients. Just treat it as a very small reward. Please receive them well little brother Yao Chen.”

    Yao Chen simply accepted it. Focusing his consciousness into the ring, he became startled. This Storage Ring contained an extremely large space, enough for ten rooms.  

  • Thanks for the chapters! 
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