Chapter 709, Playing Casually
The trip to the City Lord’s Mansion to negotiate with Di Yao about the Thousand Year Demon Flower had been temporarily set aside, in any case, Yang Kai wasn’t in that much of a hurry.
Yang Kai agreed to Old Man Du’s request because Old Man Du had been very good to him. Back in Grand Boulder City, if it wasn’t for Old Man Du’s conscientious care, Yang Kai wouldn’t have been able to settle in so easily and ultimately it was because of Old Man Du that Cang Yan had found him.
On top of that, Yang Kai was indeed tempted by the potential profits.
He had now collected a lot of the required herbs for refining the Saint Pill the Demon God Citadel needed, even the extremely rare Earth Fire Core from a few days ago, but there were still a few precious materials he had yet to obtain.
These old friends of Old Man Du may not necessarily have what Yang Kai needed, but they may have a way of acquiring them, so establishing a good relationship with them was by no means a misdemeanour.
As long as the remaining herbs could be collected and he continued promoting his Alchemy skills, Yang Kai could return to the Snow Mountain Range and bring the Ancient Demon Clan out.
In this unfamiliar realm, he urgently needed to have his own strength and support.
In the northwest corner of Floating Clouds City, a large crowd of people had gathered around a three hundred meter open square were roughly a few hundred tables had been set up.
These tables had been prepared for the Alchemist who would soon be participating in the competition.
Outside the square, countless cultivators and Alchemist were quietly waiting while a number of white-haired old men were busy making final preparations.
Yang Kai’s mental state was calm, without much tension, while on the other hand, Mi Na, after seeing such a magnificent scene, was constantly chattering, like a village girl who had never seen the world suddenly entering the magnificent city. Everything here was fresh and amazing to her.
“Brother Yang!” Someone suddenly called out from the side.
Yang Kai looked over and realized that Di Yao was also here and behind him were two powerful Transcendents wearing black armour.
It seemed like after the incident a few days ago, the City Lord’s Mansion had specially prepared these two bodyguards for him, the care they showed towards this youth was indeed unordinary.
“You came too?” Yang Kai smiled. This was a pleasant coincidence, if Yang Kai had just gone directly to the City Lord’s Mansion, he might have missed Di Yao as the latter had actually come here.
“I came to watch the fun,” Di Yao smiled, “Did you also come to enjoy the excitement?”
“I came to enter the competition,” Yang Kai said lightly.
“Seriously?” Di Yao was obviously taken aback, “If you attend, what’s the point in even holding a competition?”
Amongst the younger generation of Alchemists, those who had reached Spirit Grade were already considered extremely good seedlings and they were quite scarce in number, forget about there being freaks like Yang Kai who had already reached the Spirit Grade Top-Rank.
Him participating under these circumstances was really not much more than bullying the weak.
“I’m just playing casually,” Yang Kai smiled.
Di Yao’s gaze flashed and a mischievous grin formed on his face, “If you’re going to participate… I want to as well.”
“Yang Kai, who is this?” Mi Na blinked as she stared at Di Yao.
“This is the person who competed with me for the Earth Fire Core a few days ago, Di Yao,” Yang Kai introduced, next pointing to Du Wan and Mi Na, “These two are Old Man Du, Du Wan, manager of Grand Boulder City’s Alchemist Guild branch and Mi Na, a Spirit Grade Low-Rank Alchemist.”
Di Yao fixed his expression and respectfully cupped his fists, “So it is Grand Boulder City Alchemist Guild’s manager, Junior Di greets Old Man Du!”
“Do you know me?” Du Wan smiled lightly.
“My Master has told me of you. Master said that you are one of the few Alchemists in the world that is likely to become a Saint Grade Mid-Rank Alchemist!”
“Your respected Master…” Du Wan expression changed.
“Sorry, my Master does not allow me to freely expose his name,” Di Yao explained.
Du Wan couldn’t help feeling slightly disappointed but he quickly composed himself and nodded, “It’s fine since your Master has said so much, he must be my Du Wan’s Senior. In that case, please convey to him that this Du Wan will definitely live up to his expectations and in his lifetime absolutely arrive at the Saint Grade Mid-Rank! “
“Junior will definitely convey Old Man Du’s sentiment to my Master,” Di Yao nodded politely.
“My respects to the young,” Du Wan sighed, “I had thought little friend Yang was the absolute best amongst the younger generation of this world’s Alchemists, but upon seeing little friend Di, I now realize that this old master’s eyes are still too inexperienced, little friend Di is in no way inferior to little friend Yang.”
“Old Man Du, how do you know that his Alchemy technique is comparable to Yang Kai’s?” Mi Na asked curiously.
“Hoho, Alchemists are not the same as ordinary cultivators, when you become as old as I, you naturally will be able to see through such things,” Du Wan smiled.
Mi Na glanced over at Di Yao and found that the latter actually wore an indifferent expression as if accepting Old Man Du’s evaluation was only natural. Mi Na snorted with dissatisfaction at this and immediately said, “It seems you’re quite the arrogant one.”
“Huh, I am?” Di Yao was dumbfounded.
Mi Na nodded and said, “I want to see if your Alchemy technique is really on par with Yang Kai’s. Old Man Du, let him sign up, who knows, maybe he’s just an embroidered pillow, pleasant to look at but ultimately useless.”
“Mi Na, don’t be rude!” Old Man Du quickly reproved.
“Good, since Brother Yang is participating, of course, I have to participate,” Di Yao cut in happily, “Senior Du, how about I enter under the name of your Alchemist Guild branch?”
Hearing this, Du Wan couldn’t help smiling bitterly and shaking his head, “It seems my old friends will be suffering some massive haemorrhaging today.”
Originally, with just Yang Kai participating, first place was already his, and now that Di Yao was also joining in the fun, clearly no one else stood any chance of winning.
[I hope they aren’t hit too hard,] Old Man Du secretly thought.
(Silavin: Well, you already pulled Yang Kai in… just go for it XD)
Now that Di Yao was joining in, Yang Kai could only keep him company while trying not to stir up too much trouble.
Du Wan went over to the high platform at the head of the square and completed the registration process, soon returning with two numbered plates for Yang Kai and Di Yao.
These two youths were different from all the other Alchemists present, both of them wearing casually expression without the slightest tension or excitement. It seemed that they really were just here to play casually.
While they were waiting, a group of people, a number of old folks at their head followed by some young Alchemists.
Yang Kai suddenly understood that these should be the old friends Old Man Du mentioned.
When this group arrived in front of them, each of them smiled and exchanged greetings with each other, the scene was quite harmonious.
These old guys had been friends for many years so naturally, their friendship was quite deep. On the other hand, the younger generation Alchemists were all glaring at each other with some faint hostility, making for a somewhat awkward atmosphere.
The older generation members also detected this but made no attempt to stop it, on the contrary, they instead were constantly stimulating these young people with their words as if they feared the world would not be chaotic enough.
As a result, the calmness of Yang Kai and Di Yao caught their attention. All of Old Man Du’s old friends tried to inquire about these two youths’ details but Old Man Du would always just laugh them off and change the subject.
Suddenly, a gong sounded and wind instruments sang out, causing the extremely lively scene to quickly calm down.
Atop the high stage, a majestic voice soon called out, “Greetings everyone, this one is Floating Clouds City’s Alchemist Guild branch’s manager, Liu Fu. To all of the Alchemists visiting from afar, this Liu extends his warmest welcomes. No matter what everyone’s purpose for visiting Floating Clouds City is, so many friends from so far away gathering together is a rare occurrence so my Alchemist Guild has taken this opportunity to host this Alchemy competition. I hope all of you will put forward all your skills today so we may decide the number one Alchemist among the younger generation.”
After saying a few words of greeting, Liu Fu quickly went over the contest’s rules as well as the final reward.
The announcement of a Saint Grade pill furnace being awarded to first place instantly turned the eyes of countless Alchemists red.
Mi Na was also incredibly excited, her expression burning with passion as if she would not relent until that Saint Grade pill furnace was hers.
After speaking for a while and rallying everyone’s spirits, Liu Fu paused and swept his eyes over the crowd, smiling as he announced, “Now, let the contest begin! Please find your position according to the number plate you received!”
As soon as he shouted so, hundreds of people poured into the square. All of these people were Alchemist from the younger generations, having a maximum age of no more than forty. All of these Alchemists had at least reached the Mysterious Grade while only around ten percent were Spirit Grade Alchemists.
Yang Kai and Di Yao exchanged a glance before they too slowly walked towards the square.
The two of them were the last to sign up, so their location was naturally at the back corner and it was quite clear their tables had just been added.
If it weren’t for Old Man Du pulling strings, the two of them would definitely not be eligible to participate.
However, this also lined up well with Yang Kai’s intentions, he could take this opportunity to discuss cooperating with Di Yao.
On the tables in front of them, there was a Universe Bag, Yang Kai picks it up and examined it with his Divine Sense, quickly discovering it contained a large number of herbs as well as a pill furnace.
The pill furnace was Mysterious Grade Mid-Rank and the grades of the herbs were also not high, only a few reaching Spirit Grade. With these imposed limitations, most of the Alchemists here would be able to easily display their skills while making it easier for the judges’ final review and comparison.
The Alchemy competition was divided into several events, the first one being the refinement of medicinal liquid. The higher the amount of medicinal liquid one could condense within a specified time, and the purer that medicinal liquid was, the higher their score would be.
It could be said that everyone’s starting point was exactly the same so the end result would be up to each individual’s own skill.
Liu Fu gave the word, and the contest officially began.
Yang Kai took out all the herbs in the Universe Bag, picked up a few of them, and rested them atop the palms of his hands before refining them with his True Qi, a relaxed expression upon his face the whole time.
Sweeping his eyes over to Di Yao, Yang Kai found the former had done the same.
An outstanding Alchemist would be able to refine several herbs into a medicinal liquid at once.
Mi Na, who was located in the centre of the square, also displayed an impressive speed.
Although she had no confidence in competing with Yang Kai, compared to all the other Alchemists gathered here, she was undoubtedly excellent.
Flames of True Qi danced and herbs were quickly condensed into medicinal liquid and their impurities removed, these movements were all smooth and orderly.
“Brother Di!” Yang Kai called out as his hands continued moving, “About the cooperation you mentioned before.”
“Have you considered my offer?” Di Yao called back, his speed also not dropping in the slightest.
“We can cooperate, but I want to know if your goal is not the medicinal liquid of the Thousand Year Demon Flower, why are you participating at all?”
“I’m afraid I can’t say right now. All I can tell you is that condensing the medicinal liquid has great benefits for you and me alike. Naturally, the medicinal liquid I condense can all be turned over to you, your several Martial Uncles and Martial aunt need it, right?”
“Good,” Yang Kai nodded, his brow furrowing slightly in the next instant, “If it is convenient, can you tell me what these benefits are?”
“It’s not that it is inconvenient, it’s simply that I don’t know,” Di Yao smiled and shook his head, “My Master only told me so much, I am simply complying with his instructions.”