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Chapter 0981: I want to challenge
A Dao Transformation Pill Sage lost to a Dao Raising Pill Sage? Ning Cheng immediately thought of Dou Jiangshi. This fellow had pretended to be a pig to eat the tiger. He already was a Dao Transformation Pill Sage. But instead of getting the qualification, he used the qualification token of a Dao Sculpting Pill Sage to participate in the Illusionary Fruit Orchard.
Ning Cheng then thought of himself. Didn’t he use a similar tactic? He obviously had the Dao Transformation Pill Sage’s qualification token. Yet, Ning Cheng still used a Dao Sculpting Pill Sage’s qualification token to participate in the Illusionary Fruit Orchard. The only difference between them was that he had passed and obtained his Dao Transformation Pill Sage’s qualification token before attending the Illusionary Fruit Orchard.
Then, in the Illusionary Fruit Orchard, that spirit soul ended up failing to take over him before moving to Dou Jiangshi. Could one consider it as retribution?
“If there is no one who wishes to challenge those on the stage, then these five will be representing our Grand Essence Realm in the Five Grand Realm’s Alchemy Competition. We hope that the clans and sects also show the same willingness to support these five alchemists…..” Despite knowing that no one would challenge those on the stage, Holy Emperor Qing Yi still had to mention it for the sake of everyone.
Only then did Ning Cheng come to his senses. If he didn’t issue a challenge now, he would have no chance at all to represent the Grand Essence Realm in the Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition. Therefore, not waiting for Holy Emperor Qing Yi to continue, Ning Cheng quickly stood up and said, “Wait, I want to issue a challenge.”
Holy Emperor Qing Yi’s words came to an abrupt end. Holy Emperor Qing Yi and even the crowd seated in the public square also turned their gazes towards Ning Cheng.
“Still a guy who likes to create a scene……” The woman with a veil covering her face and sitting beside Cen Ruxuan shook her head and muttered to herself.
Even Shi Yisheng and Ying Yongxuan, who knew Ning Cheng, shook their heads speechlessly. They knew that Ning Cheng loved to put up a show from the time at the Grand Essence Ruins’ Item Exchange. From the looks of it, he still hadn’t changed from back then.
“Who is that man?”
“You shouldn’t ask who he is, but rather who does he think he is, to dare issue a challenge at this juncture? He’s just someone looking for death.”
Some cultivators who didn’t know Ning Cheng immediately started asking questions and quickly devolved into curses. In the Grand Essence Realm, alchemists enjoyed a relatively high status, especially the top five alchemists representing the Grand Essence Realm in the Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition. Ning Cheng, on the other hand, was an unknown. It would be strange if he didn’t get cursed at for daring to issue a challenge to these five people.
Challenging the five best alchemists? Was this someone unknown could even speak of, let alone do? Were three Dao Transformation Dao Fruits something that anyone could take out? What’s more, saying such a thing in front of many powerhouses, and even the most powerful Dao Essence Pill Sage in the Grand Essence Realm, Sichen Qiutian. Talking nonsense in a place like this was definitely a death sentence.
In fact, even being a Dao Sculpting Holy Emperor wouldn’t be enough to stop others from slapping him to death in this place.
“I can only say that you’re all ignorant and uneducated. How could you not know about the famous Alchemist Ning? Do you know who opened the thirteenth gate of the Illusionary Fruit Orchard? It was him. Do you know who calls Lord Sheng his brother? It’s also him.”
“No way, he’s that Ning Cheng? The guy who offended the Dragon Emperor, along with Tong Mengzi and City Lord Le?”
“Who else if not him?”
Some faint whispers made rounds among the crowd about a person who even dared to kill Man Huishan’s son and who didn’t give face to Le Jiesheng. It almost felt natural for such a person to issue a challenge at the end of the Alchemist Discourse. After all, such a person clearly wasn’t afraid of heaven and earth. In fact, it would feel quite abnormal for such a person to follow the standard means to reach the top five.
“You mean you want to challenge one of them?” Holy Emperor Qing Yi looked at Ning Cheng in astonishment. She then remembered that Ning Cheng had obtained many dao fruits from the Illusionary Fruit Orchard. He most likely got some Dao Transformation Dao Fruits inside, which was why he dared to issue a challenge. However, Dao Transformation Dao Fruits were genuinely precious. In fact, she didn’t know anyone who would willingly ‘waste’ them in such a manner. Even if Ning Cheng entered the Illusionary Fruit Orchard’s thirteenth gate, he probably wouldn’t have obtained many Dao Transformation Dao Fruits, right?
In fact, Holy Emperor Qing Yi hadn’t guessed wrong. Ning Cheng had indeed obtained many dao fruits from the Illusionary Fruit Orchard. However, the Dao Transformation Dao Fruits wouldn’t add up to more than ten.
“That’s right, I do want to challenge one of them.” Ning Cheng quickly repeated his words.
Holy Emperor Qing Yi could only say, “Do you know that challenging them would require three Dao Transformation Dao Fruits? And no matter if you win or lose, those three Dao Transformation Dao Fruits wouldn’t be returned to you. Moreover, of these three dao fruits, two would go to the person you want to challenge.”
She knew that Ning Cheng and Sheng Houtian had a good relationship, which was why she took the initiative to remind Ning Cheng.
Ning Cheng simply smiled and walked onto the stage. He then took out three jade boxes and handed them to Holy Emperor Qing Yi. “I just happen to have three Grand Amplification Spirit Fruits, and I think it’s only appropriate for me to take them out now.”
The crowd immediately drew in a cold breath, not expecting Ning Cheng to really take out three Dao Transformation Dao Fruits.
Grand Amplification Spirit Fruits were indeed Dao Transformation Dao Fruits. They could help Dao Transformation Holy Emperors further refine their law-related spirit techniques. For a Dao Transformation Holy Emperor to reach the Dao Essence Realm, the second step of Dao Confirmation’s three stages, a crucial step was to have a deeper insight into their law-related spirit techniques. A Grand Amplification Spirit Fruit that improved one’s foundation gave one a higher chance to reach the Dao Essence Realm. Although it wasn’t as precious as the Violet Heaven Dao Fruit, it was still far more precious than an ordinary Dao Raising Dao Fruit.
Even Holy Emperor Qing Yi herself didn’t have enough capital to purchase one of these dao fruits, let alone spend it like this. She carefully opened the jade boxes that Ning Cheng handed her and almost couldn’t believe her eyes. After taking her time to confirm it, she nodded and spoke up with a cautious tone. “Yes, the jade boxes do contain a total of three Great Amplification Spirit Fruits.”
After saying that, she immediately put several more restrictions on the jade boxes and quickly put them away before continuing. “Alchemist Ning, you should already know that even if you want to challenge, you can only challenge the one with the highest score. If the alchemist with the highest score does not accept your challenge, you can freely choose from the rest. Of course, the remaining four must accept the challenge, no matter who you pick.”
Ning Cheng nodded, “Naturally, that’s not a problem.”
“In that case, you should prepare for the challenge. If the alchemist with the highest score refuses, they must state why. As for the challenge itself, the format will be up to the alchemist you challenge.”
All eyes immediately turned towards Dou Jiangshi, thinking that Ning Cheng was ignorant and fearless. If it happened at the start of the discourse, even if Ning Cheng declared that he wanted to challenge Dou Jiangshi, it would have only created a minor ripple. At best, people would have thought that it would be a slightly entertaining fight, and none would have used the gaze they had right now.
But now, everyone had already experienced Dou Jiangshi’s fearsome insight into his Dao of Alchemy. Even Jing Han, the most promising Dao Transformation Pill Sage of the Grand Essence Realm, was no match for him, let alone an unknown like Ning Cheng.
Let’s not talk about whether Ning Cheng had really opened the thirteenth door of the Illusionary Fruit Orchard and take a step back. Even if Ning Cheng did open the thirteenth door, he had definitely not reached the fourth level of the Illusionary Fruit Orchard. As long as he didn’t enter the fourth level, it meant that Ning Cheng’s Dao of Alchemy wasn’t on the same level as Dou Jiangshi.
Besides, who could be sure that the person who opened the thirteenth door would be someone with a deep understanding of the Dao of Alchemy? Perhaps there were other factors as well?
Dou Jiangshi stood up and walked towards the stage. Ning Cheng had no choice but to challenge him first. But even if he wasn’t willing to answer the challenge, he had to get to the stage first.
Everyone on the public square thought that Dou Jiangshi would feel infuriated. After all, being challenged by a Dao Sculpting Pill Deity like Ning Cheng would be a very humiliating thing.
But to everyone’s surprise, Dou Jiangshi clasped his fists towards the audience after getting to the stage and then looked at Ning Cheng. “I will have to refuse your challenge, my reason being that I’m not your opponent.”
After saying this, Dou Jiangshi didn’t care about what others thought as he slowly walked down from the stage and sat down on the seats assigned for the top five. No one could see any expression on his zombie-like face, let alone embarrassment or awkwardness.
The public square turned silent. But after Dou Jiangshi sat down, the silence quickly turned into a cacophony of chatter. The best alchemist in the Alchemy Discourse, Dou Jiangshi, the super dark horse from the Immortal Corpse Sect, had refused the challenge from a Dao Sculpting Pill Deity?
If Dou Jiangshi had stated that he despised or disdained to compete against Ning Cheng, it wouldn’t have mattered much. But Dou Jiangshi had publicly stated that his reason for refusal was ‘not being Ning Cheng’s opponent’. It just felt too weird.
Ning Cheng looked at Dou Jiangshi and simply smiled but didn’t say anything. At this moment, he now felt almost entirely confident that Dou Jiangshi was the unlucky one taken over by that spirit soul. Otherwise, no one would refuse this challenge, at least not with such a reason.
If Dou Jiangshi was the victim of that spirit soul, he naturally would be aware of his alchemy methods. As such, he knew that he couldn’t compete against him without giving himself away. But more importantly, Dou Jiangshi didn’t hesitate to admit defeat. It showed that he did want to go to the Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition as a representative of the Grand Essence Realm. Meaning he definitely had a compelling reason for doing this.
When Dou Jiangshi conceded defeat, only then did the many people in the public square look at Ning Cheng in a new light. Although some still believed that Dou Jiangshi only conceded defeat to not take unnecessary risks. After all, Dou Jiangshi had already proven his qualification to represent the Grand Essence Realm in the Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition. There wasn’t any need for him to compete against Ning Cheng.
However, most believed that Dou Jiangshi might have felt that he wasn’t a match for Ning Cheng. It also meant, or at least indicated, that Ning Cheng was an extremely powerful alchemist.
Since Dou Jiangshi wasn’t willing to compete with Ning Cheng, Ning Cheng had to look for one among the remaining four.
Ning Cheng’s gaze slowly swept over the remaining four. Apart from the Dao Raising Pill Sage from Lost Moon Valley, Mei Xiuyuan, who looked at Ning Cheng with great suspicion, the other three remain indifferent.
Jing Han didn’t know how good Ning Cheng’s Dao of Alchemy was, but he did have quite a big grudge against Ning Cheng. If it wasn’t for preparing for the upcoming Alchemy Competition, he would have already thought of a way to finish off Ning Cheng. But if Ning Cheng challenged him right now, he would definitely slap Ning Cheng’s face. He was practically dying for Ning Cheng to come up and challenge him.
Unfortunately, Ning Cheng’s gaze didn’t linger on Jing Han for too long. If it wasn’t for the Five-Elements Heavenly Fruits, Ning Cheng would have already challenged Jing Han. After all, the Five-elements Heavenly Fruit he exchanged from Jing Han did have some problems. Just as Jing Han didn’t want to let him go, Ning Cheng also felt equally determined to not let him go. Unfortunately, he couldn’t take action against him, at least not with many experts following him around. The only way to deal with him was to let him represent the Grand Essence Realm in the Alchemy Competition and take him out once they left the Grand Essence Realm. Therefore, he couldn’t let Jing Han get out of the top five.
Ning Cheng had no idea that the Flaming Feather Spirit Mountain had a Dao Transformation Pill Sage. After all, this fellow didn’t come to the Illusionary Fruit Orchard.
However, Ning Cheng also knew Peng Shan and Peng Ruimei from the Flaming Feather Spirit Mountain. So, for the sake of those two fellows, he decided to not challenge Yan Kuaifu. As for Mei Xiuyuan from the Lost Moon Valley, she was the ideal opponent and the only Dao Raising Pill Sage among the five.
However, Ning Cheng’s gaze still moved away from her. Only if he had no other choice would he pick her. After all, choosing a woman to fight and even the weakest one here would be quite a bit of embarrassment. Fortunately, he still had City Lord Mansion’s Le Xichen among the line-up.
The Le Clan controlled the City Lord’s Mansion in the Heaven Essence Sacred City and managed the Illusionary Fruit Orchard. It meant that it had quite an extraordinary heritage, which could be seen from having a Dao Transformation Pill Sage. After all, these people used dao fruits to make wine; it wouldn’t be unusual for them to cultivate a Dao Transformation Pill Sage with their resources.
 This is contrary to what Jian Sanshan mentioned to Ning Cheng. Either the author deliberately made it like this to imply that Jian Sanshan didn’t know all the rules, or he forgot about it.