Chapter 567 The Old B*stard Peeping at the Secret!
When Zhong Qingsong saw Lin Xueqing, he stood up with a smile and said enthusiastically to her, "Qing'er, come here and let me introduce some famous cultivators to you. This is Zheng Yuan, the leader of the Yin Yang Sect based in Mount Wuhua, and this is his beloved disciple, Lu Fengping."
Lin Xueqing and her master rarely traveled, except for the last tea art competition, so generally speaking, she barely interacted with outsiders. That was why she had developed a lonely, rebellious, proud and arrogant temperament. Even though she rarely went out of the secular world, she still knew a little about Zheng Yuan. She glanced at him and suddenly asked, "You are Zheng Yuan?"
Hearing how impolite Lin Xueqing's words were, Zhong Qingsong's face changed, and he shouted, "Insolent brat, how did you talk like this?"
Zheng Yuan smiled, stroking his white beard, and said, "It doesn't matter, young people are always like this!" He then withdrew a jade ring from his pocket and handed it to her with a smile. "I came in a hurry and didn't bring any decent gifts for you. I'm your master's best friend, so this little gift is not worthy of mentioning. Haha, it is still suitable for a little girl like you to wear for fun though!"
Lin Xueqing saw that the jade ring was emerald green and flawless, obviously a rare treasure. She felt strange in her heart, and she didn't accept the ring. Instead, she said directly, "Zheng Zhenren, I have heard that you don't have a good reputation."
Hearing her words, Zheng Yuan and Zhong Qingsong's faces transformed at the same time. Zhong Qingsong shouted angrily, "Qing'er, how dare you! Zheng Zhenren is my savior. How can you speak to him like this!"
Zheng Yuan's face drained of color, and then a look of resentment flashed in his eyes, but soon his face became filled with kindness and generosity once again. He stroked his beard and said with a serene smile: "It doesn't matter. It's normal for some people in this world to misunderstand me."
Ding Nan, who was next to him, also seized the opportunity and said with an obsequious smile, "Most of the rumors are not credible. It's human nature to be jealous of those with great talent."
Zhong Qingsong also hurriedly said, "That's right. Zheng Zhenren is a man of great skill, so other people will naturally tend towards jealousy over him."
When Lin Xueqing heard this, she couldn't help but think of some rumors that were circulating about Li Yundong, and she inwardly agreed with them, so she didn't say anything. Still, she didn't take the jade ring and just said, "Forget it. Let's forget this. It's true that not all the rumors in the world are credible. However, I can't take this jade ring. There's a common saying which says there are no gains without pains. If I take your things, and then you have some requests for me, I might not be able to fulfill them. As the saying goes, gifts blind the eyes."
Lin Xueqing really had a sharp tongue, and her words made Zheng Yuan's face turn from green to red. Zhong Qingsong was so angry that he pulled her to his side and scolded her in a low voice, "Qing'er, what's with you today? Get up on the wrong side of the bed? Huh? Is this how I taught you how to deal with others?"
Zheng Yuan suppressed his anger. He smiled and waved his hand, saying, "Brother Zhong, you don't have to be so harsh with her. Your disciple is frank and direct. Well, I like that kind of attitude! What your disciple said is right. I'm not here for no reason, I want to ask for your help!"
Zhong Qingsong glared at Lin Xueqing, as if he was going to settle things with her later, then turned his head and said to Zheng Yuan with a smile, "Zheng Zhenren, if you need anything, just tell me. I will do what I can!"
Zheng Yuan smiled and said, "I have always heard that you are a master of alchemy and that your skills are second only to Wan Zhenyuan, the master of the Gezao Sect. You also control the production channels of a large number of medicinal materials. My beloved disciple has just finished the Zhuji phase recently and has consumed all of the elixirs of life we had in store, so I want to ask you to supplement them this time."
Hearing this, a look of embarrassment immediately appeared on Zhong Qingsong's face. He hesitated for a moment, causing Zheng Yuan to ask, "What's wrong? Brother Zhong, is there a problem? If there is, feel free to tell me. I will definitely not trouble you."
Zhong Qingsong quickly smiled and said, "To tell you the truth, Zheng Zhenren, recently, all the medicinal materials I had were sold out, and now there is no stock at all, so no medicinal pills have been refined. However, I still have a bottle of Shenxiao Powder left. I don't know whether you'll want it."
Zheng Yuan's expression was one of shock. "All of them have been sold? Brother Zhong, are you kidding me? As far as I know, all the medicinal materials sales near Mount Huang are under your control, but you have no stock at all? Which pharmaceutical factory has such high demands that it has swallowed up all your stock in one fell swoop?"
Zhong Qingsong shook his head and said, "Zheng Zhenren, I really have no stock. As for who bought everything, I can't say! But please, believe me, if I had anything, I would present it to you with both hands!"
Zheng Yuan was greatly disappointed and shocked.
Zhong Qingsong's heart was filled with guilt. He said tentatively, "Zheng Zhenren, would you like to take my Shenxiao Powder in case of emergency? In a while, I'll definitely bring the refined pills with me for a visit to Mount Wuyue."
Zheng Yuan thought to himself, "Hum, what's the use of a body-strengthening pill like Shenxiao Powder? Zhong Qingsong must be hiding something from me!"
Sensing Zhong Qingsong's determination and reluctance to say anything, Zheng Yuan decided to do his best to be a good person to the end. He waved his hand, smiled generously, and said, "Forget it, you keep it. I'll come back another day."
Zhong Qingsong said to him with a face written with shame, "I'm really sorry to have made you come here in vain."
Zheng Yuan chuckled and was about to speak when he heard a clear voice from a woman coming from outside Pine Valley Cottage. "Master Zhong, is Master Wan here?"
The four people in the room were stunned. When they looked outside, they saw a beautiful woman in a white dress standing there. She was elegant and ethereal like a fairy. It was none other than Zi Yuan!
"What is she doing here?" This thought flashed through all of their minds at the same time.
Lin Xueqing had held a grudge against Zi Yuan before. She glanced at Zi Yuan, frowned deeply, then walked up and asked loudly, "What are you doing here?"
In the face of Lin Xueqing's rude question, Zi Yuan glanced around quickly, as if she were looking for Su Chan and the others. She said with reserved politeness, "Lin Zhenren, I want to ask you something."
Lin Xueqing's eyebrows drew together and she asked, "What is it?"
"Did Li Yundong come to Mount Huangshan with you?"
Lin Xueqing opened her mouth and blurted out, "Yes, what about it?"
Standing to one side, Zhong Qingsong frowned suddenly and glared at Lin Xueqing, but Lin Xueqing acted as if she couldn't see him.
Zi Yuan asked again, "Where is Li Yundong now? Is he with Master Wan? Did anyone else come to find him?"
Lin Xueqing began saying directly, "No, they..."
Zhong Qingsong abruptly interrupted, "They're not here. Master Wan lives in Mount Gezao. How could he be in Mount Huangshan? I think you must have made a mistake."
Lin Xueqing was stunned but soon understood that her master didn't want to reveal Wan Zhenyuan's whereabouts. She quickly became nervous and said, "That's right, they're not here!"
Seeing the master and apprentice answer so vaguely and evasively, Zi Yuan was suspicious and could tell that they were hiding something, so she glanced at Zheng Yuan and Ding Nan again.
She saw that although Zheng Yuan was looking at her with a smile, his eyes were shining with alertness, and his hand moved to touch his cuff involuntarily as if he would take the initiative to fight back as soon as she launched an attack.
Zi Yuan was shocked. She quickly turned around and addressed Ding Nan, "Ding Nan, I haven't seen you for a few days. I hadn't expected you to have reached the Zhuji phase already. Congratulations!"
Ding Nan looked at her strangely and said in a cold voice, "Thank you!"
Zi Yuan asked again, "So, have you seen Li Yundong?"
Hearing Li Yundong's name, Ding Nan's heart trembled slightly. She shook her head and said firmly, "No."
Seeing that Ding Nan didn't look like she was lying, Zi Yuan suddenly felt a lot of doubts start to swirl in her heart. She asked once more, "Have you seen Su Chan and Zhou Qin?"
As soon as Ding Nan heard Zhou Qin's name, she immediately sneered, gritting her teeth, and said, "Zhou Qin? No. If you see her, you must tell me where she is. I need a little private time with her!"
Zi Yuan frowned slightly and thought to herself: "This is bizarre. Where have they gone? Lin Xueqing clearly told Li Yundong to go to Pine Valley Cottage to find Wan Zhenyuan!"
Seeing that Zi Yuan was keeping silent, Zhong Qingsong said, "Zi Yuan Zhenren, if there's nothing else, please forgive me for not entertaining you."
Realizing that he had asked her to leave, Zi Yuan had no choice but to say, "Please tell me where they are when you see Li Yundong or Su Chan."
Zhong Qingsong smiled slightly and replied, "Okay!"
Zi Yuan gave him a small bow, looked around, and soon turned into a blue light and reluctantly flew away.
Zheng Yuan saw both Zhong Qingsong and Lin Xueqing heave a sigh of relief at the same time upon seeing Zi Yuan leave. He suddenly felt suspicious, but he acted with his accustomed shrewdness, not showing any unusual expression on his face. He said goodbye to Zhong Qingsong with a smile and then took Ding Nan down the mountain.
As they descended the mountain, Ding Nan was unwilling to give up and said to Zheng Yuan, "Master, did we run for nothing all this way? We've really returning empty-handed?"
Zheng Yuan lowered his head and considered the situation. He raised his hand and motioned for Ding Nan not to speak.
Standing on the mountain road, Zheng Yuan bowed his head and pondered for a while. Suddenly, he raised his head and looked up at the sky. Although it was relative, it was dotted with clouds, especially in the direction of Tiandu Peak which was densely surrounded by colorful clouds. These rosy clouds looked like lingering steam in the shape of a dragon or a tiger, forming a colorful sight on the top of Tiandu Peak.
Zheng Yuan was inspired as if he had thought of something. His eyes lighting up, he slapped his thigh and exclaimed loudly, "I've got it!"
Ding Nan was stunned by Zheng Yuan's shout and hurriedly asked, "Master, what is it?"
Zheng Yuan laughed and pointed in the direction of Tiandu Peak. He extolled proudly, "Brother Zhong, I've treated you with sincerity, but you've fooled me like this! Do you think you're hiding it from me and I can't figure it out?"
Ding Nan's curiosity was aroused by Zheng Yuan's words and she asked, "Master, what's going on?"
He pointed at Tiandu Peak with a broad smile and said, "My dear disciple, look! Since ancient times, if alchemists wanted to refine the elixir of life, they had to find a magnificent peak with a superior geomantic omen. No matter where he refined the elixir, there had to be an unusual scene! Back then, when Zhang Daoling, the founder of the Zhengyi School, refined elixirs on Mount Longhu, the sky was full of colorful clouds, and the clouds were in the shape of fighting dragons and tigers! Look, is this scene in front of you not very similar to that of Zhang Tianshī when he refined elixirs?"
Ding Nan glanced over and nodded her head. However, as she had been cultivating for a few days and had reached the Zhuji phase, she was no longer a green hand who knew nothing about cultivation like before. She said curiously, "But when cultivators refine pills and build the Zhuji phase, there is also this kind of phenomenon."
Zheng Yuan clapped his hands and said, "You're right! But think about what Zhong Qingsong, Lin Xueqing, and Zi Yuan said before! People like Zhong Qingsong usually hoard a lot of medicinal materials all for themselves so that it's convenient for them to refine medicinal pills. But why was it suddenly swept away? Humph, someone must be trying to refine a peerless elixir of life that requires a huge amount of medicinal materials, so all of his stock was wiped out!"
Zheng Yuan's eyes flashed with a sharp, penetrating look, and he continued, "Besides, Lin Xueqing and Zhong Qingsong's words were vague before. Obviously, they were hiding something. They must have met Li Yundong and Wan Zhenyuan, but they said they hadn't! This means that they are hiding the whereabouts of these two people! But why would they cover for them? What can't be told to others?"
A crafty smile spread over Zheng Yuan's face. He pointed at Tiandu Peak and said with certainty, "These two people must be refining the peerless elixir of life there! If my guess is correct, it must be the Diyuan Jindan!"
Ding Nan was shocked. "The Diyuan Jindan?"
Zheng Yuan burst out laughing. "Yes, it must be this elixir!"
Ding Nan's eyes glittered with a strong sense of greed. She thought about how after Zhou Qin took the Renyuan Jindan, she had become so strong that she did not dare to look directly at her anymore. "If I could take a Diyuan Jindan, what would happen?"
Ding Nan said urgingly, "Master, shall we..."
Zheng Yuan didn't wait for her to finish words, he snorted and laughed. "Of course, we are going to steal it! How could we let such a peerless elixir of life slip away from before our very eyes?"
Ding Nan was overjoyed, but she quickly frowned and said, "But, just the two of us..."
Zheng Yuan sneered and said arrogantly, "Don't worry. When I spread this news, all the cultivators in the world will swarm here. At that time... Tiandu Peak will be far from quiet!"
"Then we'll benefit from stirring up trouble?" Ding Nan's eyes lit up as she said this.
Zheng Yuan and Ding Nan looked each other over and laughed together sinisterly.