Translated and Checked By – DemonKiller
Edited and Proofread By – SmartyMouth
[Also a special thanks to Anonpuffs from the Wuxia World Forums on helping me translate a paragraph that made me bang my head against the wall.]
Chapter 0053 – Improved Spiritual Roots
The old woman recovered after a while, shook her head while staring at Ning Cheng and said, “I really do have the Jade Pieces that contain the basics of Alchemy, but I will not give it to you. It is not that I am reluctant to part with them, it is for your own good. Although you dress like an old person, I think that you are not older than 20 years, right? Being less than 20 Years old and also being able to advance to the Qi Gathering 8th Level, although it is not considered as being a genius, but in this Ping Continent, it is not something that is easily achieved.”
“With your speed of advancement, you can even leave the Ping Continent in the future, that coupled with your own effort and some luck, you might be even be able to advance to the Profound Core Realm. But if your heart is too greedy, and try to delve into the research of Pills, then I am afraid, that in this life, you might not even advance to the True Condensation Realm. Alchemy, it is something that you do not want to learn nor can you learn, just listen to my words.”
Ning Cheng thought about the Mysterious Yellow Bead, and said somewhat with an unwilling heart, “Senior, I am sure that it would not delay my cultivation.”
The old woman smiled slightly and replied, “Any cultivator who wishes to refine pills will have this confidence. In the end the Daos of Alchemy and Crafting are just minor Daos, and they are also for the sake of enhancing one’s cultivation. If not for the sake of advancing to a higher level, there would be no one willing to refine pills. But everyone has been misled by these minor Daos; if the end result is for the sake of cultivation, why not put all your energy into your cultivation itself? If one day you can gaze down on anything whether great or small, will there be a Pill Master who would dare to refuse to refine pills for you, or a Craftsman unwilling to forge weapons for you?”
When Ning Cheng heard this, his heart suddenly felt hot. This was the first time he heard someone talk about the Daos of Alchemy, even the refining of Artefacts has its own Dao called the Dao of Crafting. But although he was discouraged by her, he actually felt that this old woman did not speak wrong, if one day he could gaze down on everything big or small, will there be a Pill Master who would dare to refuse to make pills for him, or a craftsman unwilling to forge weapons for him?
However, without the Pills, how would he be able to gaze down on things big or small? His fiery mood that had just flared up, immediately cooled down again.
This old woman seemed to know about the thoughts that were going through the mind of Ning Cheng, and once again said with an unhurried tone, “In this world people who refine pills are truly not the strongest people, there are naturally many things stronger than them in the world. If one day, you are able to find these inherently magical items, which are countless times even more powerful than any pills, then what would you have to even worry about. If you only rely on artificial pills refined by people for your cultivation, you will not be able to eliminate it toxic dependence, and will forever be a second rate character. Alchemy is just an auxiliary means to cultivation, it is actually not the end goal.”
“What senior means is, as long as a person just cultivates, there is no need to refine Pills?” Ning Cheng asked in a puzzled way.
The old woman shook her head and once again said, “No, it is just that you are not suitable to cultivate Alchemy. With only your cultivation level, even if you had an intelligence that went against the will of the heavens, so what of it? The prerequisite to cultivate Alchemy is that it not only requires a lot of Spiritual Grasses at hand, but secondly you must also have a Pill Flame in addition to an excellent luck. If you do not have either of them, then even if you really want to advance to the True Condensation Realm through Alchemy, it would be really difficult, you simply chose the wrong path. If you want to refine pills, then you can always come to me when you feel that you can no longer advance in your cultivation by yourself. However, I believe that at that time, you will already be in no mood to refine pills by yourself.”
Ning Cheng sighed, he knew that the old woman did not speak anything wrong. He only relied on the Mysterious Yellow Bead, the Mysterious Yellow Bead cannot just create millions of Spiritual Grasses out of thin air. Evidently, even if he wanted to practice Alchemy, this old woman would not let him.
“You can come back in ten days to collect the 7 Pleiades Ice Needle; I will definitely refine it for you.” The old woman said as she saw Ning Cheng lowering his head to ponder, she did not care what Ning Cheng was thinking about, and directly gave him the order to leave.
“Yes, this junior will take his leave.” After Ning Cheng came out of the old woman’s cottage, he put aside the matters regarding to Alchemy in his heart.
No matter how it was, even if he started studying Alchemy from this moment, he would not be able to immediately refine a Qi Gathering Pill. If he wanted to advance to the True Condensation Realm, he must try to think of other ways. It’s true that there are many cultivators in the True Condensation Realm, but it is not necessary that every one of them was a Pill Master.
Ning Cheng did not go to the Ming Pu Plaza to test out his Spiritual Roots, he wanted to wait till he had gotten his hands on the 7 Pleiades Ice Needle. Moreover, after what the old woman had said, Ning Cheng did not even have half confidence in trying to conceal his cultivation level using his Concealing Technique.
He simply decided to rest for the time being, and try to cultivate the new Concealment Technique that he had just obtained.
Ten days flashed by, in these ten days, Ning Cheng not only perfected the Concealment Technique that he had obtained from the old woman, but had even learnt the new Concealment Technique in its entirety.
On the tenth day, Ning Cheng impatiently rushed to the stone cottage of the old woman. But he discovered that the door of the cottage was actually locked, Ning Cheng was a bit surprised in his heart, this senior who looked like an old woman, did she deceive him to obtain his materials? Wasn’t this definitely possible?
“Did you come to ask something from Aunt Gong Sun?” A hesitant voice came from the doorway of the opposite cottage, Ning Cheng turned around and saw a thin lipped boy who had a very ugly appearance.
“Yes, I am looking for Aunt Gong Sun, did Aunt Gong Sun go somewhere?” Ning Cheng quickly replied. While simultaneously feeling that this Aunt Gong Sun’s name sounded really familiar, when he was on Earth, he had once heard the same name, but he also knew, that this certainly was not the same person.
When this extremely ugly teenager heard the words of Ning Cheng, he immediately grinned, and quickly entered his house and took out a small wooden box while handing it to Ning Cheng saying, “Just before leaving, Aunt Gong Sun gave this to me, she said that everything that you want is in here, do what you want with it.”
Ning Cheng received the wooden box with gratitude, but in his heart he did not understand. He had only asked Aunt Gong Sun to create the 7 Pleiades Ice Needle, what did this thing have to do with it?
Although he was dying to see the 7 Pleiades Ice Needle, Ning Cheng strongly held back his excitement, and first brought the wooden box back to his place of residence.
After returning to his residence, Ning Cheng first arranged a Concealing Array Formation, and then cautiously opened the wooden box.
The small wooden box also had a smaller crystal box within it, there was a small pile of things next to the crystal box. Ning Cheng did not pay any attention to this pile of things besides the crystal box, and directly took out the crystal box to open it with his hands.
An extremely thin, almost invisible to the naked eye, needle was resting inside the crystal box, and was even flickering, almost as if it would vanish at any time.
“Good needle.” Ning Cheng called out in marvel, he immediately understood, that this needle absolutely surpassed the 7 Pleiades Ice Needle that he had anticipated.
When Ning Cheng grasped the fine thin needle with his hands, a feeling of wanting to connect to it and refine it surged forward towards his heart. Ning Cheng did not hesitate, immediately closing his eyes, he started to refine the needle in his hands.
After one day, Ning Cheng was once again surprised as he opened his eyes, the fine needle in his hand had disappeared. The thin needle had already cleanly stuck to the inside sleeve of his garment, and was even completely linked with the thoughts of his mind.
At this moment Ning Cheng did not believe that the old woman was not a Crafting Master, the rank of this fine needle was even higher than his Flying Sword, this was simply on the level of a best quality Artefact.
A person who can refine a best quality Artefact, how can they not be a crafting master?
Ning Cheng was very happy in his heart, he even forgot the pile of other things in the wooden box, and was constantly practicing the 7 Pleiades Ice Needle Technique with the fine needle in his hand.
Until he discovered that his stomach was empty, he found that one day had already passed by. Ning Cheng was very surprised in his heart with the fine needle. Once he faced his enemy, and using the 36 Thick Ice Sword Technique along with the 7 Pleiades Ice Needle Technique in unison, even if it was cultivator at the True Condensation Realm, in the situation in him being sneak attacked, he estimated that it would be very difficult for his opponent to evade it.
Today, he finally had gained some actual abilities to help him protect himself. Ning Cheng felt even more grateful towards the old woman, and even towards Ge Chang, Ning Cheng thought that he should have paid him more than the 10 Qi Gathering Stones that he had given him. Even if he had paid him the 2 Spirit Stones that he originally asked, he felt that it would still be much less for what he had obtained.
Ning Cheng picked up the 7 Pleiades Ice Needle, and was ready to go out to eat, when he remembered that there were some other items in the wooden box. He hastily picked up that pile of things, shaking it a bit, he found it to be something extremely thin.
Ning Cheng recognised it in just a glance, it was refined from the hide of the One Honed Flood Dragon. He also understood what was the matter, it should be the case that the old woman thought that the hide of the Flood Dragon was a bit too much for her, so she helped him refine an armour out of the hide.
Ning Cheng took off his cloths, and put on the refined internal armour, feeling an indescribable feeling spreading throughout his body. He felt very grateful towards the old woman in his heart.
He did not throw away the wooden box, in his opinion, it was equal to owing the old woman a favour. Originally, if it were other people, they would definitely not have given him the armour, but this person gave it to him just like that. In the meantime, Ning Cheng felt, that when the old woman told him to not learn Alchemy at that moment, he thought that it was definitely not without reason.
The Ming Pu Plaza was located just outside the Clear Heart Academy, it belonged to the common area jointly owned by the Clear Heart Academy and the Ming Yi Country. It was not only a huge plaza, but also the only place in the entire Ming Yi Country where one could test their Spiritual Roots freely. If it was just a normal day, the people who came to the Ming Pu Plaza to test their Spiritual Roots would have required a lot of gold coins to do so, but during these several days they did not charge even a single gold coin. All the people could freely take the test, because in just a few more moments the Clear Heart Academy would officially start its recruitment of disciples.
Although in the past several days the people coming to the Ming Pu Plaza have been increasing, but today it was completely packed with people. Almost all of them were cultivators, and it looked like most of the people from the Nan Yuan City had come here. Because today was the day when the Clear Heart Academy would finally start the recruitment process of the disciples, as long as one’s Spiritual Roots met the minimum conditions, they would pass the test, and would then be able to enter the Clear Heart Academy to take the secondary test.
Ning Cheng followed the large number of people into the Ming Pu Plaza to take the Spiritual Roots Test, today he took off the big hat that he had been using to hide his face these several days. However, he deliberately dressed down, to look like an old person, he even had a bit beard which showed the vicissitudes of life on him.
Because today was the day when the Clear Heart Academy would select their disciples, therefore the people who had come to test out their Spiritual Roots were actually not many. As most people had already tested out their Spiritual Roots before.
Ning Cheng was already experienced in how to use the Spiritual Roots Testing Artefact, so before he arrived in front of the Spiritual Root Testing Artefact, he said to the person responsible for taking the test, “I would like to take the test for my Spiritual Roots.”
“Place your hand on the recess, and let a little bit of your Qi to flow into it.” The person responsible for taking the test whispered.
Ning Cheng did not speak a lot, directly putting his hand on the recess, he let a bit of his Qi to flow into the Artefact. Four yellow lines in the crystal pillar rose, the four fine lines were rising very slowly, but they actually did not stop. When Ning Cheng saw that these four fine light beams rising to about three or four feet, he abruptly pulled back his hand.
The person who was responsible for testing the Spiritual Roots did not care about the small act of Ning Cheng, and directly threw a wooden plaque towards him saying, “Four Hybrid Support Spiritual Roots, you are eligible to enter.”
“Thank You, can you tell me what are my four Spiritual Roots?” Ning Cheng asked as his heart started to pound, as he hurriedly grabbed the wooden plaque and asked while thanking him. Only he was very clear in his mind, he obviously had a three-line Hybrid Support Spiritual Root when he started out, but after about six months of time, it had unexpectedly turned into a four-line Hybrid Support Spiritual Root.
The person responsible for the testing swept a disdainful glance at Ning Cheng and said, “You are already eligible for selection, you do not need to ask these things. I am only responsible to check if you have the qualifications to go in, though you are just barely able to enter the front door of the Academy with yours.”
The implication was that, your Spiritual Root is so rubbish, that you even have the gall to ask what your Spiritual Roots were?