Translated By – DemonKiller
Checked and Edited By – Livewidsmile
Proofread By – DemonKiller
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Chapter 0980: Epiphany due to pill theory
“I now declare the official start of the Alchemy Discourse.” Holy Emperor Qing Yi finally declared and walked down the stage.
Ning Cheng had never seen how people discussed alchemy, but he chose not to ask Jian Sanshan about it. He wanted to wait and see how others conducted their discussions and then follow.
Just as Holy Emperor Qing Yi walked off, a short square-faced man flew up and landed on top of the stage. The man gave an alchemist’s salute and spoke up in a loud voice. “Heavenly Medicine Sect’s Dao Raising Pill Sage Bei Hanyuan humbly greets all seniors and patriarchs, and everyone interested in the Dao of Alchemy.”
“This grand event is a day that every alchemist like me eagerly awaits. Senior Qiutian’s inspiring words about his alchemic dao have given me a deep and profound dao insight. It makes me feel obliged to speak out what I have on my mind. I, Bei Hanyuan, am here to offer my humble opinion, all in the hope to hear your valued thoughts. I ask the seniors here for guidance if you find any mistakes in my alchemic theory.”
Jian Sanshan’s voice transmission immediately arrived. “Brother Ning, although Bei Hanyuan is a Dao Raising Pill Sage, do not take him lightly. He is the best pill sage from the Heavenly Medicine Sect. He even represented the Grand Essence Realm once in the Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition.”
Ning Cheng only nodded. He had seen Bei Hanyuan once before, during the Illusionary Fruit Orchard’s opening. Although they never met, this fellow had entered the third level based on the orchard’s final results. Seeing Bei Hanyuan about to start, Ning Cheng sent Jian Sanshan a voice transmission. “Brother Jian, will you be going up too?”
Jian Sanshan showed an awkward expression. “I usually go up to discuss my view when there are fewer people. That way, the seniors here would be more open to giving me pointers that would help improve my alchemic dao. But if there are a lot of alchemists queueing up to share their theories, I wouldn’t go and join in the fun. In any case, those who seriously want to compete for the spots are at least Dao Sculpting Pill Sages. I’m just a pill deity; it wouldn’t even be much of a competition if I decided to join.”
“How does the Alchemy Discourse select the top five people?” Ning Cheng followed up with another question.
Jian Sanshan carefully explained. “As long as one has a minimum qualification of Dao Sculpting Pill Deity, one can go on the stage to discuss alchemy and compete with others. As for the Alchemy Discourse itself, it has three rounds. The first round is for discussing one’s alchemic theories and dao for a total of thirty points. This round is scored personally by the Pill Union’s Union Master. He gives a score based on the alchemist’s understanding of their alchemic dao. The top twenty alchemists from the first round then enter the second round based on their first round’s score. The second and third round is all about refuting your opponent’s alchemic dao and using your alchemic dao to refine a better pill than your opponent, respectively. But only those with higher scores can refute those with lower scores.”
“Moreover, you only get one chance to select an alchemist to refute and then refute that alchemist’s dao using your alchemic dao. In case of a successful refutation, the loser’s score from the first round would be added to the winner’s score, and the loser’s score would be reduced to zero. Because of this, when choosing to refute someone’s alchemic dao and to avoid losing, everyone would try to pick the weakest member first.”
“Once the twenty go through the refuting round, they immediately proceed to the third round, which is a straight contest of refining pills. Here, the competition is to see who could refine the best pill. You will have to use your own materials for refining the pills, and the pills refined would also belong to you. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons why the Alchemy Discourse is always placed after the opening of the Illusionary Fruit Orchard. It’s all for the sake of gathering materials for this round. This round has a total of seventy points, awarded based on the difficulty and the quality of the pills refined.”
“What if one doesn’t make it to the top twenty in the Alchemy Discourse but has a high understanding of alchemy?”
“If one really has a high understanding of alchemy but couldn’t make it to the top twenty, they can still put up a challenge. However, it can only be done once the top five are decided. But the challenge requires the challenger to put up three Dao Transformation Dao Fruits. As long as you can beat one of those five, you can take their spot to represent the Grand Essence Realm in the Five Great Realm’s Alchemy Competition. However, regardless of whether you win or lose, the dao fruits you put up for the challenge wouldn’t be returned. As such, people never choose this option, or at least, I haven’t heard of anyone using this option.”
As Jian Sanshan explained, he felt afraid that Ning Cheng wouldn’t understand what he said and added one more thing. “In fact, even if someone wants to challenge one of the top five, they would still have to start with refuting the other party’s alchemic dao.”
Ning Cheng nodded. Anyone would feel reluctant to take out three Dao Transformation Dao Fruits and use them for a challenge. Besides, the top five wouldn’t be nobodies. So even if the challenger won, he would offend a major power.
Therefore, if he wanted to represent the Grand Essence Realm in the Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition, he might as well start participating from the first round.
By the time Ning Cheng learned how Alchemy Discourse worked, Bei Hanyuan had already immersed himself in his alchemic dao. “….. Therefore, I think the pill is ‘unity’, and ‘unity’ is also ‘one’. The person who knows ‘one’ would know everything. There’s not a thing they wouldn’t know for those who know ‘one’. But if one does not know ‘one’, there’s not a thing they could know…… Pill Sage Qiutian has said that the Dao of Alchemy is also the Dao of Heavens, the Dao of Man, and the Dao of Eternal Life…… Dao comes from nothingness and gives birth to unity. From unity comes yin and yang, and yin and yang distil into three forms. The three forms form all living things……”
Ning Cheng initially didn’t pay much attention to the alchemic discussion. But when he heard Bei Hanyuan say, ‘Those who know one, there’s not a thing they wouldn’t know. But if one does not know one, there’s not a thing they could know…… Dao comes from nothingness and gives birth to unity. From unity comes yin and yang, and yin and yang distil into three forms. The three forms form all living things……’, his heart actually resonated with it.
Didn’t this have something in common with his Returning-to-one Dao? He didn’t think much about Bei Hanyuan’s alchemic dao, but he felt pretty strongly about his statement about unity. Dao came from nothingness and gave birth to Unity. Unity, in turn, produced yin and yang, while yin and yang condensed into three forms, and these three forms gave rise to all things….
Everything begins with one, and everything returns to one.
At this moment, he suddenly found himself in an epiphany about his Returning-to-one Dao.
Sichen Qiutian’s gaze suddenly shifted and landed on Ning Cheng. A hint of astonishment flashed across his eyes. He had already noticed Ning Cheng a long time ago, mainly because of the information he had received. After all, Ning Cheng was the alchemist who had most likely opened the thirteenth gate of the Illusionary Fruit Orchard. He naturally couldn’t overlook such a talented alchemist.
But in all honesty, the fact that Ning Cheng had fallen into an epiphany because of Bei Hanyuan’s alchemic theory still made him a little disappointed in his heart. Although Bei Hanyuan’s alchemic approach drew on his Dao of Alchemy, it was full of errors, making it impossible to transform it into a system of its own. In other words, it was a dao of minor pills.
It also meant that Ning Cheng’s future achievements would remain limited as he had an epiphany in the dao of minor pills.
Sichen Qiutian sighed and was about to move his gaze away from Ning Cheng when he suddenly sensed something wrong. An instant later, his gaze towards Ning Cheng filled up with both surprise and shock. He could feel that Ning Cheng’s epiphany wasn’t about the Dao of Alchemy but his own dao.
Instead of sensing the Dao of Alchemy during someone else’s discussion on the Dao of Alchemy, Ning Cheng had an epiphany of his own dao. Was it because of the sentiments imbued in the alchemist’s alchemic theory, or was it because of his own heaven-defying belief? Regardless, it just went beyond common sense.
The one who felt Ning Cheng’s epiphany the most was Jian Sanshan, who sat right next to him. Ning Cheng had fallen into an epiphany, and his aura continued to rise, which obviously was related to a gradual deepening of Ning Cheng’s dao intent. Seeing and feeling this gradual change thoroughly shocked Jian Sanshan to the core, mainly because of Ning Cheng’s ability to fall into an epiphany even under such circumstances.
Unfortunately, Jian Sanshan wasn’t Sichen Qiutian, so he could only sense that Ning Cheng had fallen into an epiphany. He had no idea that Ning Cheng didn’t gain an epiphany regarding Bei Hanyuan’s alchemic dao, but his own Returning-to-one Dao. One could say that Ning Cheng’s epiphany had nothing to do with Bei Hanyuan. If there was a relationship, it would be that Bei Hanyuan’s words had just given Ning Cheng a reminder.
Bei Hanyuan’s alchemy theory didn’t last for long before ending. But Sichen Qiutian gave Bei Hanyuan 21 points for some unknown reasons, which was a pretty high score in the eyes of everyone here.
Having received 21 points, Bei Hanyuan’s face was all smiles as he came down from the stage.
Jian Sanshan soon felt something was wrong. It stood to reason that once Bei Hanyuan came down and the second alchemist came up to put forth his alchemic theory, Ning Cheng should have already woken up. But not only did Ning Cheng not wake up, but his momentum also continued to climb.
One by one, alchemists continued to step onto the stage to discuss their theories. Even when Jing Han, Dou Jiangshi, Lei Shamu and other Dao Transformation Pill Sages came up to discuss their views, Ning Cheng still did not wake up.
As he saw the first round of Alchemy Discourse about to end, Jian Sanshan started to grow anxious for Ning Cheng. It didn’t matter if he went up or not; Ning Cheng was a Dao Transformation Pill Sage and had an absolute chance of reaching the top five. If he missed this opportunity, Ning Cheng would find it almost impossible to get to the top five.
As fewer and fewer pill sages came up the stage to discuss their views, Jian Sanshan understood that it was too late now. Ning Cheng had fallen into an epiphany; he couldn’t just wake him up, could he? Some cultivators never have the opportunity to experience an epiphany even once in their lives. Once you disturb a person’s epiphany, it would definitely result in a life and death feud.
After all, no matter how important it was to participate in the Alchemy Discourse, it wasn’t as crucial as an epiphany.
Not to mention Jian Sanshan, even Sheng Houtian, Cen Ruxuan and Percy, who were familiar with Ning Cheng, all looked over at Ning Cheng’s side in confusion. They also wondered why Ning Cheng didn’t go up to discuss his theory.
Even some of the alchemists who guessed that Ning Cheng had entered the thirteenth gate of the Illusionary Fruit Orchard kept a close eye on Ning Cheng. But after seeing Ning Cheng showing no intention to go up the stage, they all started to have doubts about whether Ning Cheng was the one or not.
After the first round ended, the second round of refuting alchemic theories began. Yet, Ning Cheng still didn’t wake up from his epiphany. At this point, Jian Sanshan could only sigh and stop dwelling on this matter. Instead, he concentrated on listening to the alchemic dao refutations and sensing the alchemic dao rhythms of the many alchemy experts on the stage.
This time, Jing Han was the first to take the stage, and as soon as he did, he said directly, “The Dao of Alchemy has nothing to do with one. One can be a dao fruit or a spiritual object, but not a pill. The one I want to refute is the Heavenly Medicine Sect’s Dao Raising Pill Sage Bei Hanyuan…..”
Only then did it dawn on others that Bei Hanyuan had scored a little too high in the first round. Even if Jing Han didn’t refute him, others were ready to refute his alchemic theory. After all, who didn’t want his 21 points?
Bei Hanyuan also felt a bit helpless in this regard, and his joy at scoring high marks in the first round vanished without a trace. He knew full well that he couldn’t compare to Jing Han when it came to the Dao of Alchemy or alchemic theories. But even though he knew that he would lose, he had no choice but to go up the stage and at least try to defend his approach.
When Ning Cheng finally woke up, the first thing he saw was Holy Emperor Qing Yi on the stage, who spoke with a broad smile on her face. “…. After looking at the results from the three rounds of the Alchemy Discourse, the top five finalists are, Immortal Corpse Sect’s Dao Transformation Pill Sage Dou Jiangshi, Great Spirit Pill Sect’s Dao Transformation Pill Sage Jing Han, City Master Mansion’s Dao Transformation Pill Sage Le Xichen, Flaming Feather Spirit Mountain’s Dao Transformation Pill Sage Yan Kuaifu, and Lost Moon Valley’s Dao Raising Pill Sage Mei Xiuwan……”
Did it end already? Ning Cheng looked at Holy Emperor Qing Yi on the stage with shock and daze. Ning Cheng had received plenty of benefits from this epiphany. He believed that he would soon advance to the middle stage of the Dao Sculpting Realm based on what he reaped from the epiphany. This type of understanding of one’s dao wasn’t something that could be explained in words. Rather, one could only understand it or not.
“Brother Ning, you actually had an epiphany for ten days and ten nights.” Jian Sanshan’s regretful voice arrived in his ears. Apparently, he thought that Ning Cheng’s enlightenment had taken too long.
Ning Cheng suddenly asked, feeling puzzled, “Brother Jian, wasn’t there still a Dao Transformation Pill Sage by the name of Lei Shamu?”
“Pill Sage Lei Shamu lost during the refutation round to Lost Moon Valley’s Dao Raising Pill Sage Mei Xiuyuan.” Jian Sanshan replied.
 There is a significant bit of wordplay going on here, both in Chinese and English: Pill (丹 – Dan) has a similar pronunciation as Single/Sole/Only (单 – Dan), and, it by definition, means One (一 – Yi).