Xia Ning Chang obviously didn’t want to continue exploring this topic so she quickly changed the subject by asking, “Aunt Xiang, isn’t it a bit inappropriate for Medicine King’s Valley to have sent out so many people this time?”
As she asked, she glanced back over her shoulder.
Behind the four women was Old Man Meng. He wore a grim expression and sighed. When he thought about how they would soon see Yang Kai, that bastard boy soon, his heart ached for his treasured apprentice.
As these thoughts raced through his head, Meng Wu Ya let out another long sigh, but thinking about how he was helpless to stop things now that they had gone this far, all he could do was try his best to squeeze out a smile uglier than if he had simply broken down in tears.
Behind Treasurer Meng, there was another group of people, all of them dressed in white, numbering at least thirty! These people didn’t possess great strength, even their leader Qin Ze was just a trivial Immortal Ascension Boundary Second Stage master, the weakest of them only having Peak Separation and Reunion cultivations. If such a group of people were plunged into a fight with a true master, they might not even have the strength to run away.
However, these people were all Alchemists from Medicine King’s Valley! Even if they didn’t possess great strength, they were still highly respected existences; no one would dare take the initiative to offend them.
Alchemists were also divided into grades corresponding to the grades of Precious Treasures, i.e. Common Grade, Earth Grade, Heaven Grade, Mysterious Grade…. Each of these grades further divided into low, mid, and high rank.
A flower symbol representing the Alchemist’s grade was generally displayed on their chest.
The number of petals of this flower represented the Alchemist’s grade, while its colour, gold, silver, or white, corresponded to high, mid, and low rank. Through the embroidering on their chest, one could see at a glance what level an Alchemist was.
These Alchemists from Medicine King’s Valley each proudly displayed the floral emblems on their chests. All of them had least two petals while more than half had three-petals. On top of all that, Qin Ze even had four petals!
Four petals, this meant he was a Mysterious Grade Alchemist!
Throughout the entire Great Han Dynasty the number of Alchemists qualified to wear the four-petal emblem numbered only a few dozen, one quarter of which belonged to Medicine King’s Valley.
Those whose embroidered flowers had three petals were Heaven Grade Alchemist who could confidently refine Heaven Grade pills while those with two petals were Earth Grade Alchemists.
“Master Aunt, what instructions do you have?” Qin Ze saw Xia Ning Chang glance back and quickly approached her, respectfully asking if she had some request of him.
Xia Ning Chang hastily replied in a somewhat flustered voice, “Senior Brother Qin, don’t call me that, I am still younger than you.”
However, Qin Ze’s expression remained extremely serious as he shook his head, “That will not do, Master Aunt. Since Master Uncle Xiao announced to Medicine King’s Valley that you are his peer, then no matter the difference in our ages, you are my, Qin Ze’s Master Aunt!”
Xia Ning Chang couldn’t help smiling bitterly, not knowing what to say.
She had heard that Yang Kai was going to participate in the Inheritance War and had immediately said she wanted to go to the Central Capital alone with Meng Wu Ya to help, but Xiao Fu Sheng had suddenly made a declaration, summoning thirty Medicine King’s Valley disciples to accompany them.
Xia Ning Chang had resided on Hidden Cloud Peak for so long but only Hidden Cloud Peak’s people knew about her expertise in Alchemy.
Alchemists by nature were an arrogant group of people, so Qin Ze and the other disciples of Medicine King’s Valley looked down on Xia Ning Chang. As a result, Xiao Fu Sheng’s decision had stirred up many feelings of jealousy.
During the Grandmaster’s announcement, he had proclaimed that Xia Ning Chang’s achievements in Alchemy were equal to his own, even somewhat beyond, and that in time she would certainly reach a height even he could not reach.
Qin Ze naturally did not believe this. After all, in this world, who could compare with Grandmaster Xiao?
Extremely confident in his abilities after promoting to Mysterious Grade Alchemist a few days ago, Qin Ze boldly challenged Xia Ning Chang to a contest.
The result was a crushing defeat! After this incident, Qin Ze sincerely admired Xia Ning Chang and no longer dared to be disrespectful to her.
Alchemists were like this, they had their own unyielding pride. If you wanted them to respect you, then you had to conquer them in the Alchemic Way. In this way, Alchemists were a relatively straightforward group.
Usually, disciples of Medicine King’s Valley were unable to even see Xiao Fu Sheng, much less learn Alchemy from him, but now another Alchemist Grandmaster comparable to Xiao Fu Sheng had appeared, and she was so young. Naturally they would be respectful towards her.
In the beginning, these thirty people had been a hundred kinds of unwilling, but after her contest with Qin Ze their attitudes did a complete turn-around as all of them couldn’t be more eager to follow Xia Ning Chang in order to learn the Alchemic Way from her.
However, Xia Ning Chang clearly knew that although Xiao Fu Sheng said he had convened these thirty Alchemists to follow her in order to study the Alchemic Way, he was in fact doing so to help Yang Kai.
“It’s nothing, we were just chatting.” Aunt Xiang waved her hand.
Qin Ze nodded without complaint and immediately retreated back, leading the other thirty Alchemists with him.
“If I recall correctly, Medicine King’s Valley has never participated in the Inheritance War before. I’m afraid my actions this time will lead to criticism.” Xia Ning Chang said worriedly.
In response, Aunt Xiang smiled and said softly, “Don’t worry, what Medicine King’s Valley chooses to do, no one is qualified to comment. But it seems Grandmaster Xiao really cares about Yang Kai, if not, how could he have issued such an order? Mobilizing thirty talented Alchemists and even instructing your Aunt Lan and myself to accompany you because he was afraid of what might happen to Yang Kai.”
Xia Ning Chang nodded silently.
How could Xiao Fu Sheng not care about Yang Kai? Yang Kai had made both her and Lu Si bring him two sets of Alchemic Spirit Arrays which he had painstakingly studied in this period of time. For Grandmaster Xiao, these two sets of Spirit Arrays were more valuable than any other treasure in this world. Given their source, how could Grandmaster Xiao not concern himself with Yang Kai’s safety?
Who cares if Medicine King’s Valley had remained neutral for thousands of years, what did it matter if Medicine King’s Valley didn’t involve itself in worldly matters, in front of these two Spirit Arrays, everything else was unimportant!
This order had even nearly caused Grandmaster Xiao and the Valley Lord to quarrel.
Thinking about Grandmaster Xiao acting willfully and hiding shortcomings, Xia Ning Chang couldn’t help but smile.
After a while, the sky grew dark and everyone stopped to rest at the edge of a river.
Gazing off in the direction of War City, Xia Ning Chang’s heart pounded, [Tomorrow, I’ll be able to see Junior Brother again. When we meet, how should I greet him? What should I say first?
For a time, Xia Ning Chang fell into such contemplation.
Yang Kai Mansion, inside his room.
As the incense burner puffed, and a light fragrance filled the room, Yang Kai’s True Yang Secret Art seemed to be circulating at a snail’s pace, as if his True Qi was being pressured by a mountain, barely able to advance forward. At the same time, Yang Kai’s mind was completely absorbed in exploring the mysteries of the True Alchemic Way; as he gradually became aware of the hidden profundities of the world, his state of mind was unconsciously tempered.
As his understanding of the True Alchemic Way grew, Yang Kai began to realize just how precious the knowledge it contained was. Every now and then, his expression would change, sometimes displaying shock, sometimes excitement, sometimes confusion.
After an unknown amount of time, absorbed in the True Alchemic Way, Yang Kai had gradually become unaware of the outside world’s situations, his entire being focusing on absorbing and understanding this profound knowledge.
The experiences of various Alchemy Grandmasters were also slowly being digested in his mind.
A brand new picture seemed to be slowly unfold in his mind; by peering into the True Alchemic Way, Yang Kai gradually discovered that his understanding of the Martial Dao was also enhanced.
Facing this kind of temptation, Yang Kai could barely control his impulse to delve into the Alchemic Way in order to experience first hand the knowledge he had gleaned, to see what new horizons would open up before him when he successfully refined his first pill.
During this time, remembering what Xiao Fu Sheng had once said to him, Yang Kai did his best to suppress this desire.
Before one reaches the Immortal Ascension Boundary, they must not practice Alchemy! Now, he had even more reason to break through to the Immortal Ascension Boundary as soon as possible. After reaching the Immortal Ascension Boundary, once he found some spare time, he would try his hand at Alchemy.
The improvement of a cultivator’s strength not only depended on their accumulation of True Qi, physical training and their own understanding of the Martial Dao were the keys to successfully breaking through; therefore, when cultivators encountered bottlenecks, they wouldn’t choose to enter retreat but instead would go out into the world, hoping to encounter some special opportunities which would improve their own comprehension, allowing them to push past their bottleneck.
Yang Kai faintly felt that exploring the mysteries of the True Alchemic Way would not only increase his Spiritual Energy, but would also greatly improve his understanding of his own strength.
Immersed in this situation, Yang Kai was unaware of how long it was before he gradually woke up.
Opening his eyes, his True Yang Secret Art was still circulating slowly, but he could feel it was obviously faster than its initial speed. The True Qi in his body had apparently adapted to the current pressure and as time passed it would only get faster and faster. .
Moreover, his current True Element Boundary Eighth Stage cultivation seemed to have consolidated considerably.
Letting out a gentle breath, Yang Kai felt a little happy.
Standing up, he put the incense burner back into the Black Book space and then used a strand of pure True Qi to created a swirling vortex at his fingertip to absorb all lingering fragrance in his room.
The incense released from the burner was far too overbearing. With the exception of himself, who had the assistance of the Unyielding Golden Skeleton, Yang Kai estimated that anyone under the Immortal Ascension Boundary would be unable to resist its effects.
If one of the maids in the house were to walk in and accidently sniffed this scent, the result would likely be their immediate death.
Finished with the clean up, Yang Kai walked towards the door and stepped out.
Having been in retreat for a few days now, the people who Chen Xue Shu had mentioned should have already arrived. As the mansion’s master, naturally he should show up to welcome these old friends.
As he made his way through the winding corridors, halfway to the main hall, Yang Kai suddenly saw Lan Chu Die and Luo Xiao Man talking.
Seeing these two girls sitting together and chatting happily was an eye-catching sight. Both of them shared a common feature, their towering peaks which hid deep valleys that seemed to suck in other’s vision.
The two of them obviously had a number of common topics to discuss…
“Senior Sister Lan, Luo girl!” Yang Kai called out to them casually.
Lan Chu Die immediately glanced over towards him and smiled somewhat happily while Luo Xiao Man nearly jumped out of her seat, her face going pale white as her eyes darted back and forth.
“Are you really so scared of me?” Yang Kai smiled and stared at Luo Xiao Man with interest. The latter’s eyes flashed as she searched for a place to hide, but there was no such place nearby, eventually only able to turn to Lan Chu Die and silently pray for help.
“Junior Brother, don’t bully her.” Lan Chu Die glanced over at Yang Kai before suddenly wearing a strange expression, taking out a handkerchief and gently wiping his face, smiling as she said, “Your face is a bit messy. Junior Brother, you should have a good wash, if you appear before people looking like this it will be bad for your reputation.”
Seeing her act so intimately, Yang Kai’s mouth twitched slightly before wearing a meaningful grin, “Senior Sister Lan is too thoughtful, I will pay more attention from now on.”