[Acquire the Lotus of Three Wonders.]
A voice inside Ling Xian's head commanded him. It was Liao Cang Qiong's voice.
Ling Xian nodded. Even though he did not know what exactly the Lotus of Three Wonders could be used for, but since his Master had commanded him, he must think of a way to get his hands on it.
"I am willing to give it a try," he looked at Lin Qing Yi and asked, "Shall we go now?"
"Why not," Lin Qing Yi stepped forward softly until she was shoulder-to-shoulder with Ling Xian. "Mayor Ye's daughter is on the verge of death. I have interacted with her a few times over the years and we are, in some ways, acquaintances. If there is a solution, I ask you grandmaster, to please save her."
"For the sake of the Lotus of Three Wonders, I will definitely try my best. But don't place too much hope on me," Ling Xian was careful not to make any empty promises.
"Grandmaster you are way too humble. To give you some context, when my grandfather returned this morning from the palace, he told me that Miss Ye was poisoned by a two-headed serpent. The serpent was ranked as a Ninth Realm monster and no alchemist in Qing could produce an antidotal Dan high ranked enough to treat the poison. Based on my research and knowledge, if we can produce an antidotal Dan that is rank seven or above, we would be able to save her," Lin Qing Yi was very confident regarding Ling Xian's skills. In her mind, if he was able to produce an eighth-ranked spiritual Dan, it will be a piece of cake for him to create an antidotal one of the same rank.
"Again, I will try my best," Ling Xian felt a bit ashamed after realizing how much this beautiful woman was admiring and trusting him. He knew his own abilities well. The only Dan he knew how to make was the Energy-Freezing Dan and he haven't even got the slightest idea of what the recipe was for any kind of antidotal Dan.
On the other hand, he was not too worried that he would end up completely overwhelmed before the mayor. He possessed the Flame of Purity -- an apparatus that burns away all that's poisonous and impure. If he could control and use it properly, he would have the ability to not only cure poison from a Ninth Realm monster, he could also cure poison from a First Realm monster.
"Now that I think about it, I still do not know grandmaster's name. How come I never knew that there was a fourth alchemist in the City of Qing? Not to mention the fact that you are an alchemist with such exceptional skills," Lin Qing Yi was very curious about him.
"Names are only informal titles. On top of that, I am not from the City of Qing. I am simply a visitor," Ling Xian answered.
There was a reason why he wore a bamboo hat with a veil - he did not want anyone to recognize him. The fact that he was a Ninth Realm Alchemist was not a big deal and could only bring him benefits. However, he was merely 14 years old, and just two days ago, he was still known as a handicap. If the story of his sudden rise in skills got out, the world would be caught off guard.
The only explanation he would be able to give was that he unexpectedly received a rare immortal instrument. At least that's how the plot went in all the novellas in the Taoism community.
In reality, this plot was pretty much how the story went for Ling Xian. He preferred to keep his profile low because he was certain that when people found out, numerous powerful cultivators would capture him, steal his treasures and kill him without a trace.
"Since grandmaster you do not want to share, Qing Yi will not force you," Lin Qing Yi was a little disappointed.
"It's getting late. Let's hurry and get on our way," Ling Xian changed the subject.
Lin Qing Yi silently commanded an enchantment. Immediately, the sound of a horse galloping appeared from far away.
A flash of lightning struck. In the blink of an eye, a gigantic, majestic white horse showed up before them.
The white horse was standing tall. On its body, not a single discolored spot could be found. On each of its hoof, there was a handful of red hair, blooming like a flower. This was the Ninth Realm, the fastest medium-sized monster - the Stallion of Flare.
Behind the white stallion, a delicate and elegant carriage stood. On its exterior, there were dainty carvings of dragons.
"Okay Cotton, time to work hard," Lin Qing Yi walked forward and patted its head.
A loud sneer broke through the air. Cotton seemed to be really enjoying her touch. It shut its eyes in adoration and attachment.
"Miss Lin really is incredible. You have a well-trained Stallion of Flare. Others would for sure be jealous," Ling Xian was a bit surprised. This type of stallion is incredibly difficult to train but the best to ride. They are unimaginably fast but also have a very bad temper.
"I got this horse purely by coincidence. A while ago, I was brewing a Dan and did not want to use a regular flame, so I travelled to a faraway forest in hope to find a fire element monster. I discovered the newly born Cotton that time so I brought him home," Lin Qing Yi faintly smiled, "Grandmaster, please get on the carriage."
Ling Xian nodded. He lifted the silk curtain of the carriage cart and climbed in.
The carriage itself was not very big. Inside were two long seats made out of soft tiger skin. Waves of feminine fragrance hit his nostrils.
Ling Xian sat down on the left bench. He then closed his eyes and began to absorb the Heaven and Earth spirits to heal his internal injuries.
Lin Qing Yi sat on the right seat. She waved her hand and the Stallion of Flare cried loudly. In the speed of lightning, it dashed towards the direction of the mayor's palace.
The pleasant fragrance was circulating and the moon hung peacefully. The two who were sitting in close proximity could feel each other's warm breath.
At first, Lin Qing Yi kept her composure, she was a gentle and quiet lady after all. However, as time passed on, she found it difficult to keep her emotions under control.
She knew very well of her own charisma. In her normal life, she had enough secret admirers to form two lines that would go from the East side of the city all the way to the West. Even highly trained elders would lose self-control and peek at her a few times.
[To be in such close distance in an enclosed place, how could the man before her be calmly summoning spirits and ignoring her existence?] She was a little bit annoyed and disappointed.
[From the voice, he sounded like a young man. But the way he used the techniques tells me that he is for sure very old. This man… what kind of person is he?] Lin Qing Yi curiously looked at Ling Xian, resisting the strong urge to lift the veil he was wearing.
"It seems like you are very interested in me."
He spoke in a serene tone without any hint of anger or contempt. She jumped in surprise anyways.
Ling Xian slowly opened his eyes and stared at Lin Qing Yi's exquisite face.
She blushed slightly and paused to think for a while. In the end, she admitted, "You're right, Qing Yi is a little curious about grandmaster you."
"What's so interesting about an old man," Ling Xian muttered.
Lin Qing Yi's eyes darkened as she forced a smile. [Was he really an old man?]
The Stallion of Flare made a long and loud noise and stopped abruptly before the palace gate.
Two male stone lions were placed on each side of the heavy door. Alongside them stood two armored guards, who were eyeing the horse and carriage intently.
Ling Xian quickly stepped off the carriage and Lin Qing Yi followed. She brushed the mane of the white horse gently and whispered, "Cotton, stay here and don't go anywhere."
She then gingerly walked toward the palace guards.
"I am Lin Qing Yi. This is the grandmaster I invited. I'm sure the mayor informed you about us."
The two guards of course recognized her. Both of them had an expression of adoration on their faces. They said respectfully, "Yes, Master Lin, please come this way."
Ling Xian was a bit confused.
[It seemed like she was highly respected. Could it be that she had more to her identity than just a daughter of the Lin Clan?]
After the two of them entered the main gate, a petite maid immediately welcomed them. She bowed and led the way.
The thin path they walked on was paved with expensive marbles. Ling Xian checked out the fancy palace infrastructure with much interest. There was a beautifully blooming flowerbed, a marvelously made rockery and a handful of tall towers and pavilions. It was a breathtaking scenery, dignified and fabulous.
Before long, the three of them arrived before the central hall and the servant quietly left. Lin Qing Yi was just about to knock when she heard a deep and sorrowful cry.
"Masters, my daughter's conditions… are there really no cures?"
A middle-aged man sat in the center of the hall. His oversized robe was pure black. His sharp and skinny face showed a hint of sadness. His sword like brows were squished together and his tiger-like eyes were piercing. He was not angry, but his presence was fearsome.
This was the mayor of the City of Qing, Ye Xiao Tian, who was also a cultivator at the core-building stage of his training.
In front of him sat more than ten alchemists, some were young men, and some were grey-haired elders. When they heard what he had said, they remained silent. They had long lost the arrogance they carried when they arrived here. No words came to their minds and none of them responded to the mayor.
They have tried various methods and created various antidotes. However, none of them were able to even delay the effects of the poison, let alone cure her. If it weren't for the mayor's strong spells that has kept his daughter's conditions under control, the rumored to be shy and lovely girl would have passed on long ago.
Mayor Ye Xiao Tian grunted in grief and resignation. Staring at all the renowned cultivators, he said, "Every one of you master here have enjoyed much fame for your ability to remarkably practice alchemy. Yet none of you can find a way to suppress the poison from a Ninth Realm monster?"
What he said was not exactly welcoming. Though it sounded like question, it was more like a statement that described a fact.
Many people's faces fell. Just like Ye Xiao Tian had said, they were alchemists who enjoyed much acclaim and monetary rewards in their everyday lives. To be suddenly criticized so harshly was a very rare occasion. Despite their discomfort, they had no way of denying the fact that they really had no solutions to counter the poison.
Moreover, the one sitting before them was a strong cultivator who was already in the core-building stage of his journey. It was an emotional time for him. If he was angered by anyone and decide to use his strength, none of these alchemists were a match to his skills.
All these people here came for the Lotus of Three Wonders anyways. Or else there would be no point in risking their lives.
After a long silence, a young man around 25 to 26 stood up and said, "Mayor Ye, what your daughter is suffering from is not poison from an ordinary two-headed serpent. Rather, she was bitten from a double headed king serpent. This kind of poison is stronger than venom from a Seven-Realm monster. To cure it, we need a Sixth Realm antidotal Dan or a seventh-ranked Dan from the Seventh Realm."
"A Sixth Realm antidotal Dan or a seventh-ranked Dan from the Seventh Realm. You might as well tell me to prepare a coffin right now!" Ye Xiao Tian snickered coldly. He was well-aware that both of those solutions were as unrealistic as asking him to climb the sky.
"I will ask one more time. Who has a way? Whoever cures my daughter, I will grant you my entire family's fortune."
After this statement was made, everyone seemed to be on fire. Their breathing hastened as they pictured themselves owning the mayor's entire family fortune.
All of them really wanted the reward, but none of them had a way.
Just as Ye Xiao Tian was losing hope, the door screeched. The central hall's door was pushed open by someone from the outside. A ray of moonlight shone through, lighting up a candle of hope.
"I have a way."
A soothing voice suddenly invaded everyone's ears and broke the silence that filled the room before. Ling Xian marched inside calmly. His tranquil yet confident tone caught everyone's full attention.
The room fell into a strange silence.