“The Gathering Qi Elixir has been formed?”
Lu Fan’s eyes lit up .
“Sister Ning, let’s head downstairs,” Lu Fan called out .
“Here . ”
Ning Zhao was curious too . Ni Yu had upgraded by two wisps of Spirit Qi upon eating the semifinished product . Now that the end product had appeared… what would happen?
To the martial arts practitioners of the Great Zhou Dynasty, there didn’t exist any elixir that could bring their cultivation to the next level . To them, the appearance of an elixir was a considerable shock .
With Sister Ning pushing the wheelchair, the two of them headed down the tower of White Jade City .
“Young Master, the elixir has been formed!”
Ni Yu was flushed with excitement .
Jing Yue had shock written all over his face as well . Unexpectedly, a single pot… could create the legendary elixir .
“Not bad,” Lu Fan said with a smile .
After he had praised Ni Yu, he directed his gaze toward the black pot .
A dense mist enveloped the pills, giving off an extraordinary fragrance . Every elixir pill gleamed with a pearly luster, as though it was coated in a hard layer of sugar .
Lu Fan summoned the pills with a wave of his hand .
One by one, the Gathering Qi Elixir flew from the pot and formed a circle in the air, like a string of prayer beads .
“There are 12 pills in total . A single pot can produce 12 pills . That’s not bad at all,” Lu Fan exclaimed .
With a flick of his finger, one of the pills drifted into his palm .
The introduction provided in the Gathering Qi Elixir Refining Manual surfaced in Lu Fan’s mind .
“Elixirs can be categorized into nine levels, and elixirs of all levels have elixir marks on them . Top-grade elixir pills can bear nine elixir marks, but the Gathering Qi Elixir is a first-level elixir . The best Gathering Qi Elixir can only gather three elixir marks,” Lu Fan recited slowly .
“This Gathering Qi Elixir that you’ve created does not have a single elixir mark . It can only be considered a low-grade elixir . You still need to work harder . ”
Lu Fan looked at Ni Yu .
Ni Yu composed herself, profusely nodding as she pursed her lips .
“Get Yi Yue to come,” Lu Fan ordered .
At a leisurely pace, Yi Yue approached from afar . Her face, which had a foxy charm to it, looked a little haggard, but amidst the haggardness, excitement peeked through .
“Young Master . ”
Yi Yue bowed in respect .
“I once said that I’d impart the true immortal methods to you if you manage to refine the sense of Qi . ”
“Since I’ve said that, I won’t go back on my word,” Lu Fan said casually, leaning back on his wheelchair languidly .
As soon as Yi Yue had heard those words, her delicate figure shook, and she began to tremble with excitement .
Lu Fan waved his hand, drawing the second Gathering Qi Elixir pill to his hand . Subsequently, with a flick of his finger…
The Gathering Qi Elixir floated toward Yi Yue, enveloped in a wisp of Spirit Qi .
Yi Yue raised her head . She seemed enlightened as if she had just undergone baptism . Scripture after scripture came to her mind .
The scripture was not particularly profound . Like Ning Zhao, she had gotten access to Ksitigarbha Sutra .
Gingerly, she put away the two elixir pills and promptly prostrated herself on the bare floor with red and teary eyes .
“Thank you so much, Young Master . ”
Lu Fan nodded .
“Ni Yu, you were the one who refined the elixir pills . Keep two of them for my father . I’ll leave you to distribute the rest as you please…”
“Sister Ning, stay behind to practice your cultivation too . This way, you’ll break through the Internal Organs Realm soon,” Lu Fan said .
Upon finishing his words, he steered his wheelchair with his mind and went up to the second level of White Jade City .
Holding onto the nine remaining Gathering Qi Elixir pills, Ni Yu’s pretty face was flushed .
“The Gathering Qi Elixir pills can help speed up the process of gathering Spirit Qi and absorbing it into one’s body . It is thus of significant use to cultivators of the Qi Core Realm . ”
Picking two of the pills and passing them to Ning Zhao, Ni Yu said, “Two pills for you, Sister Ning . ”
Following that, she turned to look into the distance . Catching sight of Nie Changqing who was floating on the surface of the lake, she waved at him .
She gave another two pills to Nie Changqing . Nie Shuang had told her about Nie Changqing before . She knew that Nie Changqing needed to improve his abilities to head south, where the Daoists were, to rescue Nie Shuang’s mother .
“Little Ni, what about me?”
Carrying the rosewood sword box on his back, Jing Yue felt an acute sense of anguish as he watched the pills get distributed one by one .
There were only four pills left, and they were almost gone .
“Here, let’s split the remaining four pills between the two of us . ”
“Initially, I was going to split them evenly between us, two for you and two for me…”
“But you laughed the loudest when I farted just now, so I shall deduct one from you . You only have one left, so be sure to cherish it,” Ni Yu said earnestly .
Following that, she pinched one pill and handed it to Jing Yue solemnly .
Jing Yue was bewildered .
Dressed in his armor, Lu Changkong arrived on Beiluo Lake Island .
Ni Yu joyfully handed two elixir pills to him . Lu Changkong was slightly stunned by this . When he finally understood that those were pills that could aid in refining Spirit Qi, he looked at Ni Yu with a bizarre expression on his face . This lass… knew how to refine elixir?
He put the elixir pills away .
Subsequently, he went up to the second level of the White Jade City pavilion .
On the veranda, Lu Fan leaned against the railing . Looking at the waves crashing on the shore, Lu Fan was in deep thought .
Upon hearing Lu Changkong’s footsteps, Lu Fan recovered from his trance .
“Father,” Lu Fan greeted .
Lu Changkong had a loving smile on his face . Seeing his son clad in white and displaying unparalleled grace, he was a little dazed .
Lu Fan seemed to know what Lu Changkong was going to ask .
With a casual wave of his hand, the Spirit Pressure Chessboard was prepared, with two boxes of black and white chess pieces on each side of the board .
“Father, shall we play a game of chess?”
Lu Fan chuckled .
Lu Changkong did not reject his invitation . The two took turns to set their chess pieces on the board . With the gentle breeze blowing on their faces, father and son played against each other in a game of chess .
The setting sun gradually moved toward the west, leaving a long and narrow afterglow on the surface of Beiluo Lake .
Several moments later…
“Father cannot beat you . I’ll stop here . ”
Lu Changkong surrendered, abandoning his chess pieces and putting his hands up . Afterward, the expression on his face grew serious .
“Fan’er, if the capital of Great Zhou were to fall one day, and there were to be a change in dynasties, the White Jade City of Beiluo… what should we do about it?”
Lu Fan was not particularly surprised when he heard this question . Rolling his sleeves up, he began to keep the chess pieces on the chessboard .
“Father, you don’t have to be too bothered by this issue . ”
“So what if it’s Great Zhou? So what if there’s a new dynasty?”
“As long as they don’t attack my White Jade City, I don’t mind . But if they do…”
“Naturally, we’ll have to… destroy them,” Lu Fan said indifferently .
Lu Changkong was stunned .
Was this the strength and confidence of a powerful cultivator?
With a wry smile, Lu Changkong left Beiluo Lake Island .
On the veranda, Lu Fan fiddled with the chess pieces . Looking at Lu Changkong, who had left the island on a boat, he raised his bronze cup to his lips and took a sip of wine .
His bangs swayed ceaselessly in the wind .
In Yuanchi City…
Atop the city wall, Mo Beike stood firmly with his hands behind his back . Beside him, Tantai Xuan and Mo Ju stood .
They had been standing on top of the city wall for the entire day .
Mo Beike had not struck for a long time . Tantai Xuan knew that Mo Beike was waiting for news .
Before Yuanchi City, the army led by Jiang Li was blocking the entrance .
Jiang Li was the soul of the Great Zhou military . Having inherited the position from the Militarists, he was akin to a Magic Ocean-calming Needle . As long as he was around, the elite soldiers of the Great Zhou military would be able to unleash the energy of the highest capacity .
Even though Tantai Xuan’s military strength was far superior, he did not dare to attack recklessly .
“Leader . ”
Tantai Xuan looked toward Mo Beike, knitting his brows slightly .
In fact, Tantai Xuan did not fancy the Mohists either . While the Mohists were not aristocrats, they were much more fearful than regular aristocrats .
Tantai Xuan came from an aristocratic family himself . He knew very well that working with great aristocrats was no different from asking a tiger for its hide—it was a doomed endeavor .
“It seems like they have failed,” Mo Beike said hoarsely .
In the distance, one of the elite soldiers under Jiang Li’s lead approached the gate tower of Yuanchi City at breakneck speed .
Very soon, a sentry ascended the gate tower, carrying with him a box that reeked of blood .
“The enemy’s emissary has sent a wooden box over . ”
“They specified that the box is to be opened by a Mohist leader,” the sentry relayed, genuflecting as he held the box before him .
No distinct expression could be seen on Mo Beike’s wrinkled face . With both of his hands behind his back, he came before the sentry .
He lifted the lid of the wooden box .
Mo Beike’s facial expression remained unchanged . Quickly, he covered the wooden box once more .
Tantai Xuan’s gaze deepened . What was in the wooden box?
What exactly did Jiang Li send that made Mo Beike so secretive about it?
Mo Ju and Tantai Xuan were both very curious .
Mo Ju took the wooden box from the sentry and lifted the lid of the box…
The pungent stench of blood emanated from the box .
Upon seeing the contents of the box clearly, his face went pale, and his hands began to tremble .
He loosened his grip on the wooden lid of the box, causing the lid to fall to the ground .
Mo Shougui’s head, which appeared forbidding yet indignant, rolled out of the box .
In the capital, at Zijin Palace…
The place was brightly lit .
Yuwen Xiu sat on his dragon throne . As he looked at the memorials sent from the frontlines, excitement crept onto his face .
“General Jiang Li is no doubt the soul of our Great Zhou military . ”
In the intelligence, it was reported that Tantai Xuan’s North County Army had chosen to immobilize its troops and had even shown signs of retreating following Jiang Li’s lead of the Great Zhou’s elite soldiers .
This caused Yuwen Xiu, who had been receiving nothing but bad news, to heave a rare sigh of relief .
Indeed, the advisor had a way after all .
Yuwen Xiu could not help but feel a little restless as the body of ministers whispered among themselves with their eyes on him .
In the capital…
In the Book Pavilion…
A long candle flame flickered uncertainly .
A rocking chair produced creaking sounds as an old man clad in long, thick robes rocked back and forth on it .
Moonlight spilt from the sky, shining on the old man’s bony face .
“Master, there is good news from the frontlines . The North County Army has immobilized its troops,” Mo Tianyu reported, cupping one of his hands in the other before his chest in a submissive gesture .
Kong Nanfei, who was in the midst of refining his cultivation techniques, opened his eyes slowly . The master in the rocking chair opened his eyes drowsily .
A hoarse voice filled the entire pavilion .
“Immobilized its troops?”
“Jiang Li must know his weaknesses for sure . How could he give Mo Beike any loopholes to exploit…”
“Our plan to exploit Jiang Li’s weaknesses has failed . Mo Beike might have to take an alternative route now . This step counts as the start of the real storm . These methods will be much scarier than swords and spears . I hope His Majesty won’t be swayed by this,” the master said in a faint voice .
Mo Tianyu was a little stunned by this . He thought carefully about the master’s words, as well as other possible methods Mo Beike could use .
“Tianyu, stay outside the Book Pavilion and stop anyone from entering . After this, I won’t be seeing anyone… especially His Majesty . ”
The master’s voice sounded just as Mo Tianyu was still deep in thought .
“You’re not seeing anyone?”
“If Lu Ping’an comes, Master… will you see him or not?” Mo Tianyu asked .
The atmosphere suddenly became a little awkward .
From where he was in the rocking chair, the master stared blankly at Mo Tianyu, just as one looks at an idiot, causing Mo Tianyu’s heart to go numb from within .
Crestfallen, Mo Tianyu left .
He left the Book Pavilion .
Looking at the aged master who was basking in the cold moonlight, Kong Nanfei could not help but be a little curious .
“Master, what will Mo Beike’s defense be? What is it that can make you shun the emperor?”
Under the moonlight…
The master stared at the silver moon, which hung high in the sky, in a dazed manner .
Subsequently, he grinned, bringing his wrinkled face to life .
“A lie, if repeated often enough, will be accepted as the truth . Rumours are the scariest . ”
In the dead of night…
A white and holy-looking pigeon spread its wings and flew from Yuanchi City to the capital of Great Zhou .
In the late night, a rumour was spread throughout the entire capital of Great Zhou .
“The former emperor of Great Zhou, Yuwen Tuo, fell into a trap and died at the hands of Jiang Li . ”
Just like that, the messenger pigeon’s flapping wings started an intangible storm in the capital .