Translated By – DemonKiller
Checked and Edited By – Livewidsmile
Proofread By – DemonKiller
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Chapter 0956: A Dao Transformation Pill Sage-level exam?
The Pill Union’s female cultivator brought Ning Cheng to a large blue gate before stopping. She then bowed to Ning Cheng and spoke with a respectful tone, “Senior, going through this gate will take you to the Dao Raising Pill Deity’s assessment area.”
Ning Cheng, however, didn’t enter the blue gate. Instead, he looked at the female cultivator with a smile and said, “I’ve changed my mind again. Take me to the Dao Transformation Pill Sage’s assessment area.”
“Ah…..” When Ning Cheng had changed his mind the first time, this female cultivator had only thought that Ning Cheng might be an oddball. But now that Ning Cheng said he wanted to take the Dao Transformation Pill Sage’s assessment area, she no longer considered Ning Cheng an oddball. Instead, she believed that Ning Cheng was looking for death.
It was only after a while that she stammered and asked, “Senior, you said….. You said you want to take the Dao Transformation Pill Sage’s assessment?”
It was no wonder that she felt surprised and shocked at Ning Cheng’s words. One had to know that the Grand Essence Realm only had a handful of Dao Transformation Pill Deities. As for Dao Transformation Pill Sages in the Grand Essence Realm, one could count them on the palm of one’s hand. Although there was only a word of difference between a Dao Transformation Pill Deity and a Dao Transformation Pill Sage, the difference in abilities of the two were as wide as the distance between heaven and earth.
Who was a Pill Sage? Only someone who could refine a dao pill could take on the title ‘Pill Sage’. As such, a Dao Sculpting Pill Sage was much more sought after and more valuable than a Dao Transformation Pill Deity. What’s more, Ning Cheng wanted to take the Dao Transformation Pill Sage’s assessment. Did he have something wrong with his head?
One generally refines dao pills from dao fruits or spirit grasses similar to the dao fruits. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that only herbs containing the laws of heaven and earth can be used to produce dao pills. Because of this, pills not refined from dao fruits but containing the laws of heaven and earth were also classified on the same level as those refined from dao fruits. In any case, everyone knew that dao pills were much more effective than dao fruits.
Moreover, refining a dao pill with spirit grasses that contained the laws of heaven and earth was ten times harder than refining dao pills with dao fruits. Those who could make a dao pill without using dao fruits were at least Dao Essence Pill Sages, with minimum cultivation at second-step Dao Confirming Realm.
How many dao fruits existed in the world? And how precious were they? Who could afford the luxury of practising with countless dao fruits to learn how to refine dao pills? Since there was already a scarcity of dao fruits, spirit grasses with laws of heaven and earth were even rarer. As a result, only a few pill sages could emerge from the masses. And they were the only ones who could refine dao pills.
Ning Cheng’s desire to take the Dao Transformation Pill Sage’s assessment wasn’t a casual remark. The fact that he could refine Dao Transformation Spirit Pills meant that he had the strength to refine Dao Transformation Dao Pills.
The reason why his talent in alchemy was this high wasn’t due to his intelligence. Instead, it was primarily because he cultivated the Mysterious Yellow Formless. A cultivation method that constantly improved on itself. More importantly, it had even brought his original mixed spiritual roots into a balance. In other words, he had no primary spiritual root leaning towards a particular attribute. All of his eight spiritual roots had become equally outstanding.
This balance in spiritual roots made learning alchemy, artefact-crafting and other things much more straightforward than others. But it also resulted in needing tens, if not hundreds or thousands, of times more cultivation resources than others.
There was an even more important reason. That is, Ning Cheng’s cultivation method was origin-related. The Mysterious Yellow Bead contained the five elemental origins and the Mysterious Yellow Origin. The origins that opened up heaven and earth.
The first step of alchemy was to extract the essence of various spiritual objects and then coalesce them together. While the next step was to extricate the essence of origins from the spiritual objects and aggregate them together. Taking it a step further, one could extract the essence of sources of the spiritual object and the laws of heaven and earth contained in it and coalesce them together.
Ning Cheng cultivated the Mysterious Yellow Formless and studied Alchemy almost as soon as he began cultivation. As such, his understanding of Alchemy was much better than that of ordinary alchemists.
What’s more, to him, there was no difference between dao fruits and ordinary spirit grasses. In any case, he could use common spirit grasses to refine a Dao Transformation Spirit Pill. It also meant that he could theoretically use dao fruits to refine a Dao Transformation Dao Pill.
And it all came down to the Mysterious Yellow Formless, which simply didn’t focus on the form, whether it was a blade of grass or fruit from a tree. He also understood the surface of the Law-breaking Spirit Technique, which he derived from the laws within a dao fruit. Therefore, even if his application wasn’t as strong as the laws of heaven and earth, he believed that he could exert some control over the refinement process.
But the primary thing was that once the refinement succeeded, he could obtain 50% of the dao pills produced. Taking a step back, even if he failed, he could always use the Empyrean Consciousness Transmutation Pill as collateral, right? On the surface, the Empyrean Consciousness Transmutation Pill wasn’t as precious as a dao pill. However, people can still purchase or exchange dao pills from others. As for the Empyrean Consciousness Transmutation Pills, he was the only one who could produce it.
“What, is there a problem? Are there other restrictions to take pill sage-level examinations?” Seeing the female cultivator hesitating to speak, Ning Cheng took the initiative to ask.
Only then did the female cultivator leading the way respond and quickly speak up. “Senior. The Dao Transformation Pill Sage’s assessment isn’t something that anyone can take. Before the assessment, one must pledge many spirit crystals or treasures equivalent to the dao fruits you wish to use for the refinement. If you fail, not only would these things not return to you, the Pill Union would also impose severe penalties on you.”
Feeling that she spoke out of line, the female cultivator hurriedly tried to explain. “I didn’t mean to belittle senior because, because…..”
The female cultivator felt afraid that Ning Cheng would become angry, and her tone turned even warier.
Ning Cheng showed a faint smile. “I know, if everyone wanted to take the Pill Sage’s assessment, wouldn’t the Pill Union have to come up with countless dao fruits? Just feel free to lead the way, and you don’t need to worry about anything else.”
When she saw that Ning Cheng still wanted to take the Pill Sage’s assessment even after she had said those words, she had no choice but to respond. “Then, please follow me, Senior…..”
In fact, if Ning Cheng really passed the assessment, her status as the one leading the way would soar through the roof. However, she knew very well that he wouldn’t pass the exam despite what Ning Cheng thought of his abilities. Ning Cheng didn’t look very old and wasn’t even a certified Dao Sculpting Pill Deity. As such, for him to attempt the Dao Transformation Pill Sage’s assessment was nothing short of a joke.
The distance between the Dao Raising Pill Deity’s assessment area and the Dao Transformation Pill Sage’s was only a few hundred meters. But walking these few hundred meters felt as difficult as millions of miles for this female cultivator leading the way.
It was with great difficulty and internal struggle that she brought Ning Cheng to a pale golden door. “Senior, stepping through this pale golden door will lead you to the Dao Transformation Pill Sage’s assessment area.”
Ning Cheng looked around and then at the door before him and understood the pale golden colour’s meaning. A couple of hundred meters away was another golden gate, but much brighter. It must be the Dao Essence Pill Sage’s assessment area. However, there were no doors beyond that bright golden one. In other words, in the Heaven Essence Sacred City’s Pill Union, one could only take up to Dao Essence Pill Sage’s assessment.
“It’s been hard on you.” Ning Cheng nodded.
“This junior will wait for senior.” Some fine sweat seeped out of the female cultivator’s forehead, clearly not from heat but from nervousness. She had never brought anyone for a Pill Sage’s assessment, let alone a Dao Transformation Pill Sage’s one.
“Good.” Ning Cheng responded and stepped into the pale golden gate.
A powerful spiritual consciousness pressure came down. Only then did Ning Cheng understand that it wasn’t a simple matter to enter the Dao Transformation Pill Sage’s assessment area. No wonder this female cultivator didn’t dare come up. This level of spiritual consciousness pressure wasn’t something that even an ordinary Holy Emperor could resist, let alone someone who hadn’t even reached the Eternal Realm.
Fortunately, Ning Cheng wasn’t an ordinary Dao Sculpting Holy Emperor. In fact, his most powerful possession wasn’t the purity of his spirit essence but rather his spiritual consciousness.
His spiritual consciousness emerged and easily repelled the powerful spiritual consciousness pressure. But even without it, this pressure would have had no effect on Ning Cheng. A moment later, he stepped through the gate and arrived in a hall.
The pale golden gate disappeared behind him without a trace. It felt as if he had appeared in the room out of nowhere. Looking around, he found no way into this hall, nor did he find any exits.
“Huh. Just shaped your Dao, yet your spiritual consciousness is already this powerful.” A short, fat old man stared at Ning Cheng and muttered in some confusion.
Ning Cheng stepped forward and cupped his fists, and said, “Rogue Cultivator Ning Cheng, here to take the Dao Transformation Pill Sage’s assessment.”
He vaguely felt that this short, fat old man’s cultivation was at least that of a Dao Essence powerhouse.
The short, fat old man wasn’t impressed and spoke up in a bland tone. “As long as you have something equivalent to pledge. As long as you can take out the equivalent pledge, I wouldn’t care even if you came to take the examination every hundred years.”
As soon as Ning Cheng heard those words, he understood that the other party had no optimism about him passing the assessment. All this short, fat old man cared about was whether Ning Cheng could take out the collateral for taking the examination.
“May I ask senior what things can be accepted as collateral?” Ning Cheng politely asked once again.
The short, fat old man stood up, walked to Ning Cheng’s side and walked around Ning Cheng in circles. He was only as tall as Ning Cheng’s chest, so his actions looked quite comical.
After circling Ning Cheng a dozen times, the short, fat old man shook his head and spoke. “Looking at you, I reckon you don’t have anything good on you. The materials needed for the Dao Transformation Pill Sage’s assessment is a dao fruit of the same level. But even if I consider giving you the worst kind of Dao Transformation Dao Fruit, I’m afraid you can’t afford it either. How about this, you give me your ring, and I’ll see if you can refine a Dao Transformation Dao Pill from your materials.”
Ning Cheng showed a faint smile. Want to see my ring? Don’t even dream about it. Instead, he directly took out a jade bottle and placed it in the old man’s hand. “With this thing, I should be able to refine a few dozen Dao Transformation Dao Pills, don’t you think?”
The short, fat old man’s face sank. Just a small jade bottle. Even if it contained something precious, it wouldn’t be enough to even refine a furnace of dao pills.
“Young man. You can refine as many dao pills as you like here, as long as you can come up with something as collateral. If you can’t come up with something and try to play games with this sage, don’t blame me for having a bad fate.”
Ning Cheng simply didn’t care about the old man’s threat. Instead, he calmly spoke up, “Senior, why don’t you take a look inside first before committing to anything?”
The truth was that Ning Cheng had no idea about the worth of that dragon’s eye sized pill marrow. The only reason he said ‘dozens of furnaces’ was because he was afraid that this short, fat old man would try to fool him.
The old man snorted coldly and opened the jade bottle. But the next moment, his eyes widened in shock. “That, is that pill marrow?”
Pill marrows were priceless treasures. Moreover, it only formed in the top pill furnaces and only after several million batches of pill refinements over several thousand years. It wasn’t just a coagulation of the essences of spiritual objects, but rather the essence of those essences refined over countless years. One could even consider it as the essence of a top alchemist’s dao.
This dragon’s eye sized lump was far more valuable than a dao fruit. No wonder this Dao Sculpting kid dared to say such a thing.
“How did you get such a large ball of pill marrow?” The old man could no longer remain calm.
Ning Cheng’s expressions changed a bit as he said, “Senior, I came here for the Dao Transformation Pill Sage’s assessment, not to be questioned.”
He had obtained a fist-sized clump of pill marrow, but he had only taken out a small part of it.
“Yes, yes. You can take the examination; you can take it.” The old man rubbed his hands excitedly. He had actually obtained a lump of pill marrow today.
Ning Cheng asked without panic. “I know that I can take the exam. I want to know, if I failed in refining, how many dozens of furnaces of dao pills do I get for that lump of pill marrow?”
“Dozens of furnaces? No way, no?” The old man hurriedly waved his hand. “The Dao Transformation Pill Sage’s assessment only requires three furnaces. I will give you the materials to refine those three furnaces, no more…… The success rate of a pill sage must be at least 60% in total, but you must successfully refine two out of those three batches. If you fail, come back again a hundred years later.”
Ning Cheng initially thought that he would only get to refine one or a maximum of two furnaces. He never expected the old man to actually give him three chances, which made his heart overjoyed. Ning Cheng then realised that it was not that this pill marrow was only worth three furnaces but that the Pill Sage’s assessment required a success rate of at least 60%. It meant that three furnaces were the maximum attempts given for one Dao Transformation Pill Sage’s exam.
Ning Cheng didn’t raise any objections. “In that case, let’s go with three furnaces. Please bring out the materials, Senior. For the first furnace, I will refine the Violet Heaven Pill.”
He could take back this pill marrow as long as he obtained the Dao Transformation Pill Sage qualification. He was only mortgaging it, not giving it away as compensation.
“Ah….” This time, the old man froze up in shock. A Violet Heaven Pill was a Dao Transformation Dao Pill that Dao Transformation Holy Emperors could use. But the primary dao fruit, the Violet Heaven Dao Fruit, wasn’t cheap. He truly felt heartbroken just at the thought of taking out the Violet Heaven Dao Fruit for Ning Cheng, knowing full well that Ning Cheng couldn’t refine it.