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Translated By – DemonKiller
Checked and Edited By – Livewidsmile
Proofread By – DemonKiller
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Chapter 0955: The Oddball Examinee
“Congratulations on gaining new Junior Apprentices, Brother Ning.” Jian Sanshan knew how to spot an opportunity and quickly congratulated Ning Cheng with cupped fists.
Ning Cheng also turned to Jian Sanshan and returned the gesture. “I would also like to thank Brother Jian for helping me out. If it wasn’t for Brother Jian, I’m afraid it wouldn’t have gone so smoothly.”
Ning Cheng wasn’t lying. Without Jian Sanshan’s help, he might not have managed to exterminate the Bei Clan this easily or even escape.
Jian Sanshan laughed, “Brother Ning, to say that would be out of place. Truth be told, I didn’t do anything at all. Even after returning with them, I just waited here for you to return while sipping tea. Besides, I wanted to speak to you about a different matter, but it’s not urgent; we can sit and talk about it later when you’re free.”
Seeing that Ning Cheng and Jian Sanshan had something to talk about, Xin Xiu quickly spoke up. “Brother Ning, this Senior Apprentice Sister seems injured. Why don’t you let us take care of her?”
Ning Cheng immediately thought about his intention to trade with the Great Spirit Pill Sect in a few days. It wouldn’t bode well if he went there with Yan Ji on his back. Not only would it give others an excuse to ask for higher prices, but it would also make things complicated if something unexpected happened.
Thinking of this, Ning Cheng gently took Yan Ji from his back and said, “Then, thank you, Junior Apprentice Sister Xin Xiu. She’s my Junior Apprentice Sister Yan Ji; she got attacked by someone and is now seriously injured.”
“Big Brother Ning can rest assured. I will definitely take care of Senior Apprentice Sister Yan.” Xin Xiu quickly came up and carefully wrapped her hands around the still-unconscious Yan Ji and spoke up with a solemn tone.
At the same time, she couldn’t help but secretly praise Ning Cheng’s carefulness in her heart. She didn’t see even a speck of dust on Yan Ji’s body. It meant that Big Brother Ning often used the Dust Removal Technique and the Water Cleansing Technique to clean Yan Ji regularly.
After Xin Xiu left the room with Yan Ji and Wu Qihong, Jian Sanshan then poured a cup of spirit tea for Ning Cheng. “Heaven Essence Sacred City’s City Lord Le Jiesheng has invited various powerhouses for a banquet at the City Lord’s mansion. He has also extended the invitation to all the alchemists who came to Heaven Essence Sacred City to participate in the Alchemy Discourse. Would Brother Ning be interested in attending it?”
Ning Cheng shook his head and said bluntly, “Not interested.”
Jian Sanshan had spent only a little time with Ning Cheng. However, he understood a few things about Ning Cheng’s temperament. So hearing the blunt refusal, he had to explain it to Ning Cheng. “Le Jiesheng is a Dao Essence powerhouse and also the head of the Le Clan. Before every Alchemy Discourse, he invites many powerhouses and alchemists to a banquet. Moreover, he’s also extremely generous and even gives out precious gifts like dao fruits for others to partake in.”
“For this reason, many alchemists would specifically seek him out to ask for his help, and he would also try his best to help them. Even if he couldn’t help them, he would try to assist them in every possible manner. But that’s just public knowledge. More importantly, the banquet serves as a platform for people to befriend alchemists, especially pill deities and above. At the same time, the banquet also serves as a means for alchemists to form relations with other powerful experts. As such, pretty much everyone, alchemists and other experts included, consider the banquet as an important event.”
Jian Sanshan’s words spoke volumes that there was no telling how many people couldn’t attend Le Jiesheng’s banquet even if they wanted to. Even for alchemists, who knew when they would have to call in others for help? After all, knowing more powerful experts would always serve as an extra ace card when seeking help from others.
When Ning Cheng heard Jian Sanshan’s words, he did indeed feel a bit moved. He might not be interested in Le Jiesheng’s banquet, but he still needed help with Yan Ji’s situation. The majority of people attending Le Jiesheng’s banquet would be either influential experts or accomplished alchemists. One person’s knowledge might fall short, but the combined knowledge of so many experts might actually help him find a solution. Someone might even know the correct diagnosis and cure for Yan Ji’s condition.
“Brother Jian, I have decided to go to City Lord Le’s banquet with you.” Ning Cheng made up his mind and immediately replied.
Jian Sanshan smiled, “It’s quite simple to attend City Lord Le’s banquet. You just need to go to the Pill Union and apply for a Dao Sculpting Pill Deity’s identity token.”
After saying that, Jian Sanshan looked at Ning Cheng with an eager gaze. He guessed that Ning Cheng most likely was a Dao Sculpting Pill Deity. It’s just that he had never seen Ning Cheng refine pills or use his refined pills, so he wasn’t entirely confident in his guess.
Ning Cheng immediately stood up. “Brother Jian, let’s go get a Dao Sculpting Pill Deity’s identity token.”
He wanted to participate in Heaven Essence Sacred City’s Alchemy Discourse and also Le Jiesheng’s banquet. Thus, having a Dao Sculpting Pill Deity’s identity token would definitely be helpful.
Seeing that Ning Cheng was willing to apply for a Dao Sculpting Pill Deity’s identity token, Jian Sanshan felt overjoyed. It meant that Ning Cheng definitely was a Dao Sculpting Pill Deity, or at least had the confidence to be one.
There was a reason why Heaven Essence Sacred City could become the premier city in the Grand Essence Domain. Mainly because, apart from the local forces, the headquarters of Pill Union, Weapon Association, Talisman Alliance, and the Array Dao Alliance were all located in the Heaven Essence Sacred City.
The Pill Union’s headquarters was in the shape of a colossal pill furnace, with white pill mist perpetually swirling at the top. It looked like a permanently lit pill furnace from a distance and served as the Pill Union’s symbol. If it weren’t for the fact that the Pill Union didn’t allow people to gather around its headquarters to cultivate, the area would have been packed with cultivators. All because of the decadent aura of pills around it.
As soon as Jian Sanshan arrived at the Pill Union’s entrance, the guards immediately recognised him and bowed to greet him before stepping to the side. It showed that Jian Sanshan had an extraordinarily high status in this place.
Although there weren’t many Dao Transformation Pill Deities in the Pill Union, that didn’t mean it didn’t have any. However, Jian Sanshan wasn’t like the other Dao Transformation Pill Deities. He was the only person who could refine the Harmonious Heaven Pill. This fact alone was enough to make many sects and forces respect Jian Sanshan immensely. Even within the Pill Union, Jian Sanshan enjoyed a high status because of it.
“May I ask what help this junior could provide to the seniors?” Jian Sanshan and Ning Cheng had just walked into the Pill Union when a pretty female cultivator walked over and bowed in salute.
Ning Cheng took the initiative and said, “I want to take the Dao Sculpting Pill Deity’s exam. May I ask what formalities I have to complete?”
Hearing that Ning Cheng wanted to apply for the Dao Sculpting Pill Deity certification, the female cultivator froze. A moment later, she spoke up in an even more respectful tone, “Two seniors, please follow me.”
Jian Sanshan always felt that Ning Cheng wasn’t an ordinary Dao Sculpting Pill Deity. So when he heard Ning Cheng’s words, he quickly spoke up. “Brother Ning, you need to refine a batch of Dao Sculpting Spirit Pills to apply for the Dao Sculpting Pill Deity’s identity token.”
Ning Cheng smiled, “Doesn’t matter. I just want to use the least amount of effort to do the most.”
In fact, Ning Cheng never really put a Dao Sculpting Pill Deity’s identity token to heart. If it wasn’t for Yan Ji’s condition, he wouldn’t even bother to enter the Pill Union.
The Pill Union’s recognition had no effect on whether he could refine pills or how good he was at alchemy. Refining suitable pills were all that mattered to him; as for brand or recognition, he didn’t care about it at all.
As for why he decided on the Dao Sculpting Pill Deity’s identity token, Ning Cheng did it because he had heard one of the rules regarding the Pill Deity exams. That is, the pills refined by the examinee during the examination would go to the Pill Union. Plus, the cultivators taking the exam also had to purchase the ingredients from the Pill Union using spirit crystals. One simply couldn’t use the spirit grasses in their possession. Fortunately, the ingredients for Dao Sculpting Spirit Pills were much cheaper than those required for Dao Transformation Spirit Pills. In other words, he chose the lowest required qualification to minimise the cost.
Therefore, even though Ning Cheng could refine Dao Transformation Spirit Pills, he still decided on a Dao Sculpting Pill Deity’s identity token.
During the small talk, the three of them eventually arrived in front of a large door.
Seeing the female cultivator come to a stop in front of the door, they didn’t wait for the female cultivator to speak. Jian Sanshan took the initiative and said, “Brother Ning, the hall past this door is the Pill Union’s examination hall. Since I’m not taking the test, I’ll wait for you outside.”
The female cultivator spoke up, feeling grateful, “Many thanks, Senior Jian.”
She wasn’t sure if Jian Sanshan would follow her in only to not participate in an examination. If that happened, as a small cultivator leading the way, she couldn’t or rather didn’t have the power to persuade such a person.
Ning Cheng smiled. “Then, I’ll trouble Brother Jian to wait for me here. I don’t think it would take too much time. Two hours at most.”
The female cultivator leading the way stole a glance at Ning Cheng and couldn’t help but mutter in her heart. This Holy Emperor taking the exam sure has a big mouth. Usually, the Dao Sculpting examination took at least a day. Plus, cultivators who took part in these examinations would make ample preparations. Not only would they meditate for a few hours before refining pills, but they would also take their time to carefully choose the best materials. That’s because, once they failed the test, they would have to wait a hundred years before they could apply for another re-test.
Jian Sanshan hurriedly spoke up, “Brother Ning doesn’t need to worry about me. Two hours is a bit of a rush. Just take your time; I’m not in a hurry.”
A cold snort resounded, “What a big mouth. Do you think you can finish the examination in two hours? I guess similar people do tend to make friends with other similar people.”
The one who spoke was a man in a red cultivator’s robe. He was also following a female cultivator who led the way for him. Obviously, this fellow had also come to take a test.
Jian Sanshan’s voice transmission arrived in Ning Cheng’s ear. “Brother Ning, this person is Suo Ye. He comes from the Immortal Corpse Sect. He must have recognised me and is deliberately looking for a fight as I’m not on good terms with his sect. You don’t need to bother with such trash.”
Ning Cheng gave a slight nod and turned to this red-robed cultivator. “Since when was it your business if I refined pills in a few hours or not? Are you a chicken butt? Want to learn how a chicken lays eggs?”
Jian Sanshan couldn’t help but snigger internally. Ning Cheng truly knew how to run his mouth. Even so, he deliberately asked. “Brother Ning Cheng, why would one be interested in learning how a chicken lay eggs if they were a chicken butt?”
Ning Cheng laughed, “Don’t you know. When a chicken lays eggs, they hum for no reason. Didn’t we hear someone humming just now?”
The red-robed male cultivator gave a cold snort, seemingly knowing that he couldn’t put up a retort against Ning Cheng’s words. He quickly turned around and entered the examination hall first. If they were outside, he wouldn’t mind giving Ning Cheng a lesson. But at the Pill Union, even if he gained a thousand times more courage, he would never dare to make a move.
Ning Cheng smiled at Jian Sanshan before turning around and also entering the examination hall.
Initially, Ning Cheng believed that there wouldn’t be too many cultivators taking the Dao Sculpting Pill Deity’s qualification exam. However, when he entered the hall, he realised that he had made a colossal mistake. More than twenty cultivators in the main hall were waiting to take the Dao Sculpting Pill Deity exam.
Ning Cheng looked at the female cultivator leading the way beside him and asked with some surprise. “With so many people taking the test, even if I consider half a day for each one, wouldn’t my turn come after ten days?”
The female cultivator hurriedly replied, “That’s not correct, senior. At most, senior’s turn would come by tomorrow. But looking at the situation, I’m afraid that it would be tough for senior to take the examination today.”
Ning Cheng frowned when he heard those words. In all honestly, if his turn came tomorrow, it wouldn’t affect his participation in the City Lord’s banquet. However, he just didn’t want to wait here for a full day. He anyways guessed the reason so many people came to take the test today. Most likely, they all also wanted to attend the banquet with the Dao Sculpting Pill Deity’s identity token.
The red-robed cultivator who had come before Ning Cheng sneered. “Heh, there are still people who think that they can finish the examination in two hours. Ptooee!”
Hearing the red-robed cultivator’s sneering words, people in the hall started to ask questions. Soon, numerous gazes fell on Ning Cheng, and even though no one came forward to say anything, the sneer on their faces made it abundantly clear.
Ning Cheng ignored them and spoke to the female cultivator beside him. “Take me to the place for Dao Raising Pill Deity’s assessment. Looks like someone in the Pill Union is a bit too small-minded; just to assess a rank, the alchemist has to shell out their own spirit crystals.”
“Ah…..” The female cultivator thought she heard it wrong. After hearing that he would have to wait for a day for the Dao Sculpting Pill’s qualification exam, this person decided to switch to take the Dao Raising Pill Deity’s assessment. This person was the oddest examinee she had ever seen.
She quickly reacted and carefully spoke up, “Senior, please follow me.” Even if she thought that Ning Cheng was an oddball, she didn’t dare to express it. After all, the Pill Union didn’t restrict people from choosing what exam at the pill deity level they wanted to take.
After saying that, she seemed to have recalled Ning Cheng’s last words about the Pill Union having a small mind. She tried to explain it to Ning Cheng, “Actually, you might not need to pay spirit crystals to the Pill Union for the pill deity examinations. However, the prerequisite for that to happen is to pass the assessment with a certain success rate. If one achieves that, not only would they not have to pay for the ingredients with spirit crystals, but the Pill Union would also return 50% of the pills refined. Of course, if one fails the test, not only would one have to pay the spirit crystals, one would be fined double the spirit crystals for the ingredients.”
 The English equivalent would be ‘birds of a feather flock together.’ But I’d rather keep it close to the original.
 It could be a mistranslation here, but this is what we came up with after consulting with other translators. The exact lines are “你是鸡屁股吃多了吗？喜欢学鸡下蛋？” which literally translated to “Did you eat too many chicken butts? And now wants to learn about/imitate chicken laying eggs?”. If you have a better version, please do share, and we will update it with credit.