Translated By – DemonKiller
Checked and Edited By – Livewidsmile
Proofread By – DemonKiller
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Chapter 0978: The Opening of the Alchemy Discourse
“Brother Ning, I will immediately send a message back to the sect and ask the elders to bring the ingredients to Heaven Essence Sacred City.” Having obtained Ning Cheng’s support, Percy couldn’t help but feel elated and quickly said his goodbyes.
Ning Cheng thought that he would have to make a trip to the Void Star Sect. But now, Percy said they would bring the ingredients to Heaven Essence Sacred City. It indicated that they, or at least Percy, trusted him enough to not run away.
To be honest, he didn’t want to go to these mysterious sects. Plus, after learning about the possible whereabouts of the Exquisite Star Golden Hidden Leaf, he immediately wanted to head to the Grand Essence Ruins.
But more importantly, although he did agree to help with the refinement, he had to first think about a possible escape route. He knew that Percy was a trustworthy character, but unfortunately, Percy was only an early-stage Dao Sculpting Holy Emperor. It meant that, even if he happened to be the young master of the Void Star Sect, he wouldn’t have much authority in such crucial matters. One had to know that if he stayed in Heaven Essence Sacred City, he at least had Sheng Houtian to help him.
After sending Percy away, Ning Cheng looked at the worried Yan Ji and said, “Junior Apprentice Sister Ji, you don’t have to worry about it. I won’t put myself in danger. Since others can come out of the Burial Shadow Blue Sands, so can I.”
Yan Ji nodded but didn’t continue to advise Ning Cheng. She had already decided to stay with Ning Cheng, no matter what happened. Even if she had to die, she’d rather die at Ning Cheng’s side.
Time passed by, neither fast nor slow. But in what seemed like a blink of an eye, ten days passed by. Everyone busied themselves in their daily routine, and Ning Cheng also didn’t come out of his suite during these ten days.
Inside his suite, Ning Cheng carefully took out and transplanted all the spirit grasses and dao fruit trees into the Mysterious Yellow Bead. At the same time, he used every scrap of spare time to refine as many dao pills as possible.
In any case, no one except Ning Cheng knew how many spirit herbs he had obtained from the Illusionary Fruit Garden. Moreover, he had to prepare for the upcoming Alchemy Discourse and make sure that he had no problems refining the Renewing Heavenly Ripple Bone Pill.
With such ingredients at his disposal, Ning Cheng had already refined a significant chunk into all kinds of dao pills. But more importantly, to have deeper control over the laws within the dao fruits, Ning Cheng deliberately refined dao pills that needed several different kinds of dao fruits. He even experimented with dao pills needing dao fruits and law-infused spirit grasses.
As Ning Cheng refined furnace after furnace of dao pills, he became fully immersed in trying to fuse the laws contained in the various dao fruits with his perception of the Dao of Alchemy.
After realising that the Alchemy Discourse was about to start, Ning Cheng put away his pill furnace and opened the restrictions to walk out of his room. He decided to bring Yan Ji, Xin Xiu and Wu Qihong to the Alchemy Discourse.
Although Xin Xiu and Wu Qihong weren’t qualified to participate in an event like the Alchemy Discourse, as alchemists, they would definitely gain many benefits in attending such events. Since both Xin Xiu and Wu Qihong suffered because of him, Ning Cheng couldn’t help but feel a bit guilty and wanted to help them reach a higher level in alchemy. As for Yan Ji, she couldn’t cultivate because of her damaged foundation. But she still had a sharp mind with exceptional senses, which meant she could also learn about spirit herbs while following Ning Cheng.
“Big Brother Ning, there is someone called Cen Ruxuan who asked to see you. She said that she came from the Profound Aquatic Palace.” Xin Xiu hurriedly came over and spoke up after noticing that Ning Cheng had finally come out of his room.
Profound Aquatic Palace’s Cen Ruxuan? Ning Cheng’s spiritual consciousness quickly swept out of the suite and immediately saw the woman who had questioned him about the Heavenly Bodhisattva Pill at the City Lord’s mansion. To be honest, Ning Cheng wasn’t too keen about meeting this woman. After all, Percy had also guessed that he was the one who had refined the Amethyst Heaven Pill, but he knew that he shouldn’t speak about it in the City Lord’s mansion.
It was one thing to know about it, but it was a completely separate thing to try and confirm it in front of everyone. This woman had no qualms about asking him about the Heavenly Bodhisattva Pill in public and obviously held no regard for him at all, which irked him.
With Cen Ruxuan were two other women; the one on the left was one Ning Cheng knew, Zhongmeng Yuxiu. This woman had eyes upon her forehead, and he had even chided her once before. The other one on the right of Cen Ruxuan had a veil covering her face. Just looking at her figure, even Ning Cheng had to agree that this woman was three points more beautiful than the True Hope Tribe’s Lan Bing.
“Invite them in.” This time, Ning Cheng didn’t take the initiative to open the restriction and just asked Xin Xiu to bring them inside.
If not because Cen Ruxuan was already a Dao Essence expert and came from the Profound Aquatic Palace, Ning Cheng wouldn’t even be bothered to see them. Let alone meet them.
“Profound Aquatic Palace’s Cen Ruxuan greets Pill Sage Ning.” Cen Ruxuan already understood that she had acted a bit too presumptuous at the City Lord’s mansion. So, she chose not to act as a Dao Essence powerhouse when meeting Ning Cheng this time.
However, she still addressed Ning Cheng as a Pill Sage when she spoke.
“Senior Cen, please have a seat.” Ning Cheng gestured to the three to sit down. He poured out a few cups of spiritual tea in the same motion.
Whether he liked to meet them or not, they were still guests at his place. As such, he still had to show some superficial politeness.
“I don’t dare accept you addressing me as a ‘senior’. If Pill Sage Ning really wants to look up to me, then just address me as Senior Apprentice Sister Ruxuan.” As Cen Ruxuan spoke, her eyes swept towards Yan Ji sitting bestie Ning Cheng.
Yan Ji looked weak, but her beauty clearly surpassed Zhongmeng Yuxiu. Even Yue Shu barely could compare to her. If it weren’t for her leaving to bring Yue Shu to Heaven Essence Sacred City, she would have come to visit Ning Cheng ten days ago. Now, it seemed that Ning Cheng already had a dao companion.
Ning Cheng showed a faint smile. “There’s quite a considerable difference in cultivation between us to be addressing each other as junior and senior apprentices. It’s only appropriate that I address you as ‘senior.”
Cen Ruxuan sighed; she clearly understood what Ning Cheng meant. I’m not worthy of associating with someone like you, so it’s better for everyone to stick to their own paths than try to create unnecessary bridges between them. She understood that it must have been her words at the City Lord’s mansion that caused her to not make much of a good impression on Ning Cheng.
Zhongmeng Yuxiu knew a bit about Ning Cheng’s temperament, so she wasn’t too surprised. The woman with a veil covering her face sitting next to Cen Ruxuan, on the other hand, felt quite surprised. She even took a closer look at Ning Cheng. She naturally knew that Ning Cheng was a rogue cultivator. Yet, a rogue cultivator actually refused the goodwill of one of the ten major sects. After all, even an idiot could tell that her Profound Aquatic Palace wanted to ally with him. Such occurrences rarely happened in the Grand Essence Domain.
Aunt Xuan’s actions couldn’t be more explicit; that is, my Profound Aquatic Palace wants to befriend you. To be honest, she felt somewhat reluctant in her heart when Aunt Xuan brought her to Heaven Essence Sacred City to meet an alchemist. However, she didn’t reveal this to her Profound Aquatic Palace.
But now, Ning Cheng’s behaviour caused her to feel some slight displeasure. What kind of a place was her Profound Aquatic Palace? It was full of beautiful women and one of the ten great forces of the Grand Essence Domain. What kind of strength did Ning Cheng, a rogue alchemist, have to refuse such kindness?
Cen Ruoxuan sighed in her heart, but she spoke up with a faint smile on the surface. “I would like to seek two Harmony Bodhisattva Pills from Pill Sage Ning. Pill Sage Ning, please name a price……”
After saying those words, she immediately felt that her words lacked warmth and immediately added. “My Profound Aquatic Palace has a Profound Aquatic Ice Pond, which is especially suitable for women of water attribute to cultivate. Cultivating in it for a day is more effective than cultivating outside for a month. Even a non-water-attributed woman would get ten times better effect from cultivating in it. In addition to that, the Profound Aquatic Ice Pond also has the effect of cleaning one’s spiritual roots. Even if Pill Sage Ning doesn’t want anything else, you can still take your dao companion to the Profound Aquatic Ice Pond to cultivate.”
One of these additions was to show a continued gesture of goodwill towards Ning Cheng, and the other was an indirect inquiry as to whether Ning Cheng had a dao companion.
When Ning Cheng heard that this Profound Aquatic Ice Pond was suitable for a woman with water attributes to cultivate, he immediately thought of Luofei. Luofei had a water-attributed spiritual root as her primary spiritual root. Wouldn’t it be better for Luofei if she could cultivate in the Profound Aquatic Ice Pond?
He had several bottles of Harmony Bodhisattva Pills, which he refined during these ten days. He had enough spirit crystals for now and wasn’t short on spirit herbs either.
Thinking of this, Ning Cheng directly took out a jade bottle containing two Harmony Bodhisattva Pills and sent it to Cen Ruoxuan. “Senior Apprentice Sister Ruxuan, the bottle contains two Harmony Bodhisattva Pills. As for spirit crystals, I don’t want any. However, I might have to borrow your Profound Aquatic Palace’s Profound Aquatic Ice Pond for a while in the future.”
Cen Ruxuan once again sighed in her heart. This Ning Cheng really knew how to play around with people’s words. Earlier, he still addressed her as ‘Senior Cen’, saying it was only proper for him to call her ‘senior’. It clearly meant that Ning Cheng didn’t want to have any dealings with the Profound Aquatic Palace. But now, after hearing about the Profound Aquatic Ice Pond, he immediately changed the form of address to ‘Senior Apprentice Sister Ruxuan’.
However, she also felt secretly amazed at Ning Cheng’s ability to produce a precious spirit pill like the Harmony Bodhisattva Pill after only a few words. He didn’t even put up a counter-offer at all and proved that she hadn’t found the wrong person.
Zhongmeng Yuxiu’s expressions remained calm. She had been roaming out in the outside world for a long time and felt Ning Cheng’s reaction to being quite normal. However, a hint of contempt flashed across the eyes of the woman with the veil covering her face. How could a person who changed decisions at the drop of a hat be worthy of her favour? She wanted a dao partner, who not only was a powerhouse with a steadfast temperament but also had an unyielding mind. Not this kind of fickle person who would change for a mere ice pond.
Ning Cheng naturally didn’t know what this woman thought of him and his actions. In fact, he honestly had no idea why Cen Ruxuan brought these two women with her.
He only knew and cared about bringing Luofei to the Profound Aquatic Palace to cultivate, which meant that he had to pull some strings with Cen Ruxuan. Even if he knew that the other party despised his actions, it wouldn’t matter to him. It was only a deal, something he paid for, not asked for. One could even say that it was just paying in advance for a service he would cash in later. He naturally wouldn’t care about what others thought of it.
Cen Caixuan opened the jade bottle and found two Harmony Bodhisattva Pills inside. Moreover, both were top-quality spirit pills. She hurriedly stood up and thanked Ning Cheng. “Many thanks to Pill Sage Ning for the Harmony Bodhisattva Pills. If there is anything that I, Cen Caixuan, can help with, Pill Sage Ning can directly come to me.”
She didn’t mention the matter of marriage with Ning Cheng again. Ning Cheng obviously didn’t intend to draw a relationship with the Profound Aquatic Palace. Forcing the issue of marriage any further would only be asking for trouble.
The Alchemy Discourse took place at the headquarters of the Pill Union, right in the middle of the Heaven Essence Sacred City. By the time Ning Cheng brought Yan Ji, Xin Xiu and Wu Qihong to the Pill Union, thousands had already gathered above the Alchemy Discussion public square.
The Pill Union’s Alchemy Discussion public square wasn’t an open-air public square but a public square within the Pill Union’s headquarters. This public square had inscriptions and alchemic dao rhythm imprints from the various alchemy powerhouses from the past to the present. As such, almost everyone who had anything to do with alchemy would eventually come here to have a look at it. Even if they couldn’t listen to the alchemy discourse, they could still perceive many things from these alchemic dao rhythms.
The public square was in the shape of a folding fan. Those with lower alchemic attainments usually stayed at the back, while the front was the alchemy demonstration stage. It was also where the most accomplished alchemists discussed and compared their understanding of alchemy.
Alchemists taking the stage to discuss the dao of alchemy wasn’t the only thing they did. They would also have to face criticisms and even defend their dao if necessary if other alchemy masters found any inconsistencies in their dao. It gave rise to fierce competition among the alchemists. Only those who successfully defend their alchemic dao and win over others would gain qualifications to represent the Grand Essence Realm in alchemic discussions with other realms. They also would gain the qualifications to compete for a spot to go to the Grand Change Realm.
A Dao Sculpting Pill Deity could only bring one person apart from themselves to the Alchemy Discourse. But since Ning Cheng had decided to bring along three people with him, he had to take out the Dao Transformation Pill Deity’s token.
“Brother Ning, I’ve been waiting for you for a while.” Jian Sanshan’s voice arrived. He had gone looking for Ning Cheng several times but found that he had still not emerged from secluded cultivation. Since he couldn’t meet Ning Cheng, he simply decided to wait outside the Alchemy Discussion public square.
With Jian Sanshan, a Dao Transformation Pill Deity, Ning Cheng no longer had to take out his Dao Transformation Pill Deity’s token. Since he was accompanied by Jian Sanshan, he took his trio towards the Dao Transformation Pill Deity’s seating section on the Alchemy Discussion public square.
“Pill Deity Ning…..” Ning Cheng had just sat down when Cen Caixuan, sitting with two women not far in the Alchemy Listening Seats, took the initiative to greet Ning Cheng.
The seats in the Alchemy Discussion public square were divided into two sections. One for the participating alchemists and one for the guests who came specifically to listen to the discussions. Cen Caixuan, as someone from one of the ten great forces, was qualified to sit near the front of the Alchemy Listening section.
“Ning Cheng, I’m here too.” As soon as Percy arrived, he greeted Ning Cheng from afar and sat down a few seats away from Cen Caixuan.
Ning Cheng had just greeted him when he saw several people with powerful auras walk in from the other end of the Alchemy Discussion Public Square. Sheng Houtian walked a step behind another person. This person was a beardless man dressed in a pitch-black pill sage robe. Ning Cheng’s heart shook the moment he saw this man. He could sense a dao rhythm aura that seemed to blend into the surrounding space. An aura that seemed like a natural alchemic aura, yet also seemed nothing to do with alchemy.
So strong! Ning Cheng sucked in a deep breath. He guessed that this person should be the Union Master of the Pill Union, Sichen Qiutian.