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Chapter 0599: The Insidious Heavenly Emperor
“Senior Apprentice Brother, if you separate a part of your Spiritual Consciousness, I can then integrate it into my Water Cloud Flower. That way, you can have complete control over my flame.” Hearing Heavenly Emperor Levelled Heart announce the start of the competition, Cen Yan immediately headed towards Ning Cheng and whispered.
At this point, Jinming Qianbo and Le Wu’s disciple reached the edge of the Eternal Heaven Artefact-crafting Pool. Seeing that, Ning Cheng immediately stopped Cen Yan from bringing out her flames and spoke, “Junior Apprentice Sister Yan, we would not need to do that.”
He then cupped his fists towards Heavenly Emperor Levelled Heart and spoken up once again, “Respected Heavenly Emperor, my Junior Apprentice Sister only has a water-attributed flame; as such, her artefact-crafting qualifications are quite ordinary. Therefore, even if she participates in the competition, she would lose without a doubt. And I became a disciple of Baichi Artefact-crafting Store only recently. My master has not even started teaching me. Therefore, we already know that we would be facing a complete defeat in this competition. We just ask for a place to live and that no one drives my Junior Apprentice Sister and me out of Eternal Heaven Starry Sky City.”
“My Junior Apprentice Sister and I just want to ask permission to head back home after the competition and move our things away. We hope that Heavenly Emperor Levelled Heart would send someone to supervise. I know that with our cultivation, Heavenly Emperor would feel at ease with our request. As for the matter relating to our Baichi Artefact-crafting Store, we simply had no idea about it; but now that everyone here enlightened us about it, we have no alternative but to move out to avoid suspicion.”
Some of the shrewd cultivators immediately understood the intent behind Ning Cheng’s words and secretly admired this cultivator in their hearts for employing such means. Since this cultivator already realised that their team had no chance of winning this competition, he took that initiative to remind Chuan Xinlou not to forget about the matter with the store. It also held an undertone to tell Chuan Xinlou not to let Jinming Qianbo come looking for them for trouble after the competition. Although one could say that it was similar to playing a sympathy card, it was more of a recount of one’s wretchedness; nevertheless, it still would evoke some sincere sympathy within people.
Chuan Xinlou, as if not able to understand what Ning Cheng meant, waved his hand, and said, “You don’t have to worry about it. Since I said it, you can rest assured. Whether you win or lose, I will take care of it. After the competition, someone will take you to your new store.”
As for Ning Cheng speaking about avoiding suspicion, he only felt it as something funny. Not to mention him, even the rest of the cultivators also thought it as strange. Did this Celestial Scryer Cultivator want to avoid suspicion about the Good Fortune fragment? One had to know that even if one just touched the Good Fortune fragment, everyone would still be able to sense the aura from him or her. Not to mention that if these fellows were exposed to the Good Fortune fragment, even if Ning Cheng openly proclaimed that he had obtained the Good Fortune fragment, no one here would ever believe it.
Moreover, everyone could make out that Ning Cheng did not want to compete at this time. Furthermore, from the words exchanged, they knew that he even had to borrow Junior Apprentice Sister Yan’s Water Cloud Flower before walking into the Artefact-crafting Pool.
In any case, Ning Cheng had already speculated a few guesses; maybe Zhongli Baichi’s Artefact-crafting Store truly did contain a fragment of the Good Fortune Treasure at some point, but it definitely did not have it now. Either Zhongli Baichi had taken the Good Fortune Treasure fragment away, or it never existed in the first place. As for Jinming Qianbo, he most likely suspected that Zhongli Baichi used this as a diversion to mislead them.
“Disciple Sikou Bing greets the seniors here, hope the seniors here can watch over me.” The first to enter the Artefact-crafting Pool was Jinming Qianbo’s disciple, the red-faced cultivator.
“Le Wu School’s disciple Xi Yuzi asks for guidance.” The second to enter was Le Wu’s disciple, the fellow with a tiger’s back.
Ning Cheng finally entered last under reluctance. Cupping his hands at the audience, he then spoke, “I’m Cheng Nianqiong, representing the Baichi Artefact-crafting Store.”
For the audience, Ning Cheng was just here to buy some soy sauce. He did not even want to take part in this competition. However, Chuan Xinlou did not want people to gossip and forced him to go up. No one expected Ning Cheng to win, and everyone simply shifted their concentration to Sikou Bing and Xi Yuzi.
Chuan Xinlou then took out fifteen artefact-crafting raw materials and placed them in the centre of the Artefact-crafting Poll before speaking, “For fairness, we will be using my artefact-crafting raw materials, the ones that I just brought out. Each of you can choose five each. Whatever weapon you want to craft, you can each decide for yourself. As for the flame, you can use your own. But no one will stop you if you want to use the flames within the artefact-crafting pool. The decision is up to you.”
No one raised any objection. This competition anyway was secondary, a show of face at best. The main thing was the result of the match, i.e., who gets to obtain Zhongli Baichi’s Artefact-crafting Store first.
Sikou Bing was the first to rush up and choose his five raw materials, followed by Xi Yuzi. They both knew that the quality of the raw materials directly determined the quality of the final weapon.
After Sikou Bing and Xi Yuzi selected their materials, Ning Cheng took the last of the five raw materials. These fifteen raw materials were all starry sky Grade 5 and Grade 6 raw materials, showing that Chuan Xinlou did not have any thoughts about the competition. He just wanted to conclude this matter as quickly as possible and then head to the Baichi Artefact-crafting Store.
With the three contestants picking their materials, someone activated the shielding restrictions around the Eternal Heaven Artefact-crafting Pool. At this moment, whether the cultivators in the audience or the cultivators in the artefact-crafting pool, none of them could use their Spiritual Consciousness to penetrate this shielding restriction.
Sikou Bing brought out a black-coloured flame with a light golden colour around its edges. Ning Cheng did not need to use his Spiritual Consciousness to explore this flame and could feel that it was many times stronger than the Water Cloud Flame in his hand.
From Sikou Bing’s action, Ning Cheng also understood that Sikou Bing wanted to refine a high-grade Dao Artefact. With the materials from Chuan Xinlou, Sikou Bing wanted to craft a high-grade Dao Artefact, this showed that this person’s Artefact-crafting skills definitely surpassed his own.
Xi Yuzi brought out a lavender-coloured flame that looked slightly weaker compared to Sikou Bing’s fire. However, looking at his methods, he most likely wanted to craft a middle-grade Dao Artefact.
Ning Cheng felt a little confused. Le Wu had shown such strong confidence, so logically his disciple could craft something better than a middle-grade Dao Artefact to win this competition. What was he doing?
Ning Cheng retracted his gaze and started melting the raw materials in his hands. With his attainments in artefact crafting, he could quickly refine a top-class middle-grade Dao Artefact. However, Ning Cheng did not intend to do such a thing. After knowing the secrets of Baichi Artefact Crafting Store, he actually looked forward to seeing himself lose.
With the three contestants bringing out their flames and begin the artefact-crafting process, all powerhouses within the audience immediately concentrated their gazes at them. They could quickly make out that Sikou Bing wanted to craft a high-grade Dao Artefact, Xi Yuzi wanted to refine a middle-grade Dao Artefact, while Cheng Nianqiong from Baichi Artefact-crafting Store wanted to refine a low-grade Dao Artefact. If everything continued like this, then Sikou Bing would end up as the final winner.
The first raw material that Ning Cheng melted was the only starry sky Grade 6 raw material that he had chosen. He had to pick a starry sky Grade 6 raw material. If he had not used it, someone would have thought that he had done this on purpose. However, the moment his flame began to melt the raw materials, Ning Cheng immediately sensed something wrong.
Thinking that these raw materials came from Chuan Xinlou, Ning Cheng immediately sealed off most of his Sea of Consciousness, just after that, he felt a seal within this raw material. Ning Cheng did not try to understand this seal but felt sure that it was something left by Chuan Xinlou.
Since Chuan Xinlou left such a seal in here that looked more like a Spiritual Consciousness Imprint, then its only purpose was to spy on some of the secrets of the three contestants artefact-crafting process. Either that, or he wanted to use some underhanded means.
Moreover, the reason why Ning Cheng sealed off most of his starry sky Sea of Consciousness was that he did not want others to know that his Sea of Consciousness was a starry sky Sea of Consciousness.
Although Chuan Xinlou had considerable strength, with the Spiritual Consciousness Imprint on the raw materials, it showed that he also did not want to make a big splash. However, the contestants would find it impossible to detect this hidden imprint. Ning Cheng guessed that since Chuan Xinlou left this Spiritual Consciousness Imprint in these raw materials, he did not expect a Celestial Scryer Cultivator to find it.
Ning Cheng anyway did not want to win, but now he felt even more reluctant to continue. Moreover, because he sealed off most of his Sea of Consciousness, he did not have to pretend when he melted the raw materials, as it truly was very strenuous to do such a thing under such circumstances.
While Sikou Bing and Xi Yuzi had already melted their raw materials and started to form their weapons, Ning Cheng had still not finished melting even half of the raw materials. The two people apparently did not put Ning Cheng in their eyes and continuously condensed one array formation after another before imprinting them on the weapon.
Sikou Bing wanted to refine a high-grade Dao Artefact, called the Fire Celestial Knife. At this moment, he had already condensed the elementary form of the knife. If no accidents happened, he could quickly finish this high-grade Dao Artefact without any problems.
Xi Yuzi wanted to refine a Crystal Tower that belonged to the category of defensive-type weapons. Although this weapon was a middle-grade Dao Artefact, it was harder to craft compared to the Fire Celestial Knife. At this moment, he had already condensed the embryonic form of the tower and was inscribing array formations over it.
At this moment, Ning Cheng felt a slight fluctuation in the area around him, following which the knife prototype in Sikou Bing’s hand trembled. Ning Cheng was also inside this artefact-crafting pool, so he felt this very clearly. From this, he understood that Xi Yuzi was secretly trying to sabotage Sikou Bing’s work. It was no wonder that Le Wu felt sure that Xi Yuzi could win. Looks like this fellow could actually use his Spiritual Consciousness to mess with Sikou Bing.
Sikou Bing gave a cold snort and glared at Xi Yuzi, stretching out his domain in full. At this moment, the tower prototype in Xi Yuzi’s hand also trembled just like Sikou Bing’s prototype.
Ning Cheng thought that these two fellows should be secretly trying to sabotage each other; perhaps, the two of them might not even manage to complete the crafting successfully. This thought about the two fellows failing in finishing their artefacts had just emerged, when Ning Cheng suddenly had another idea. Would it not mean that he would end up winning?
Thinking of this, Ning Cheng felt shocked.
“Katcha……” The knife in Sikou Bing’s hands suddenly cracked before collapsing, and the artefact-crafting raw materials he used in the process turned into scraps.
Xi Yuzi also did not have it any better. The moment the raw materials in Sikou Bing’s hands turned to waste, Xi Yuzi’s tower also collapsed.
With all the materials turned into scraps, how could they refine any weapons? Sikou Bing and Xi Yuzi glared at each other, apparently angry at each other’s interference that ultimately led to the destruction of the weapon in each of their hands.
The cultivators outside the artefact-crafting pool burst into an uproar, no one expected Sikou Bing and Xi Yuzi would lose simultaneously and in such a manner. However, looking at the time the two of them spent over the artefact-crafting process, they understood that these two fellows had most likely tried to mess with each other, which resulted in such a result.
Ning Cheng also felt it secretly funny; however, he suddenly sensed that something was not right. It was too much of a coincidence that these two fellows lost at the same time. Since his raw materials contained Chuan Xinlou’s Spiritual Consciousness Imprint, then the raw materials in Sikou Bing and Xi Yuzi’s hand would also include the same. He could sense the Spiritual Consciousness Imprint with the help of the starry sky Sea of Consciousness, but Sikou Bing and Xi Yuzi most likely could not.
Thinking of this, Ning Cheng immediately broke into cold sweats. From the looks of it, this Artefact-crafting Competition was completely under Chuan Xinlou’s control. That is to say, Chuan Xinlou already calculated that Sikou Bing and Xi Yuzi would try to sabotage each other’s work during the artefact-crafting process. That fellow then used this opportunity to destroy Sikou Bing and Xi Yuzi’s unfinished artefacts. It was an imperceptible action, and no one managed to observe it.
Everyone thought that Sikou Bing and Xi Yuzi failed due to the two sabotaging each other’s work. Even the two involved parties also felt the same. However, only Ning Cheng knew that it was most likely the result of Chuan Xinlou’s Spiritual Consciousness Imprints.
If it were the result of Chuan Xinlou’s interference, then Chuan Xinlou would definitely force out Sikou Bing and Xi Yuzi from the artefact-crafting pool, with the excuse of not letting such a matter affect the remaining competitor.
Sure enough, Ning Cheng had just thought of it, when someone immediately brought out Sikou Bing and Xi Yuzi from the artefact-crafting pool before activating the shielding restriction around it once again.
Ning Cheng gave out a deep sigh. No wonder this fellow was the premier powerhouse within the Grand Culmination Starry Skies. This Heavenly Emperor Levelled Heart had quite the insidious and cunning mind. Most likely, this fellow has long since calculated that Ning Cheng’s side would win the competition. If he truly won the match, Ning Cheng decided to immediately hand over the Artefact-crafting Store to this Heavenly emperor Levelled Heart. Otherwise, would he not end up dead?
 Tiger’s back = someone with broad and sturdy shoulders and back
 Hear to buy soy sauce = an unimportant person just to make up the numbers.
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