The central hall was lifeless.
Lin Qing Yi's face was full of astonishment. Her chest rose and fell rapidly, unable to hide her fast beating heart.
[A Fifth Realm Alchemist?]
Under normal circumstances, an alchemist's spiritual mana was an important criterion used to determine their abilities. Having the spiritual mana of a Fifth Realm did not guarantee one to be a Fifth Realm Alchemist because to be an alchemist, one must possess all alchemy knowledge. However, if you were titled to be a Fifth Realm Alchemist, then you for sure had the spiritual mana of the Fifth Realm.
What Ling Xian was really doing, was taking Liao Cang Qiong's spiritual mana and releasing it as his own. Doing so allowed him to trick everyone here.
This was a misunderstanding Ling Xian intentionally created. At least now, nobody could disrespect him or try to steal his Burning Flame of Purity.
Ling Xian looked around him before locking his eyes on Ye Xiao Tian. He said softly, "Mayor Ye, now that nobody questions me anymore, can I go save your daughter?"
"Yes, yes of course. Grandmaster, please come this way." Ye Tian Xian nodded his head for so long that his face turned red. If he had trusted his guts and didn't question him just now, maybe he would've left a good impression in Ling Xian's mind. However, because he expressed his suspicious, he was praising the lord for the fact that Ling Xian did not hold any grudges against him.
Ye Xiao Tian understood very well that he missed an amazing opportunity to befriend this grandmaster. Alchemists were already highly regarded in the community and Fifth Realm Alchemist were treated like mythical creatures. He was kicking himself hard for unsuccessfully befriending this alchemist. What a pity.
[This is what reality is.]
Ling Xian sighed with Ye Xiao Tian. His emotions were complex as well. In the Taoism community, it really was survival of the fittest. Only when you expose your powerfulness and let everyone know of your actual strength, do people respect you. Look at Mayor He for example. Despite his position in the core-building stage of his cultivation journey, he had to bow and be careful around someone who he thought had a Fifth Realm spiritual mana.
Following Ye Xiao Tian, they walked out of the central hall and entered a palace garden that obviously belonged to his daughter.
"Grandmaster, this is my youngest daughter Ye You Lan," Ye Xiao Tian said, as he gestured for the two servants to leave. He looked at the young woman lying on the bed with her eyes tightly shut, and his face filled with sorrow and pain.
Ling Xian also leaned forward and looked at the woman whose face was as a white as a sheet of paper. He whispered, "Mayor Ye, I remember you said that in addition to the Lotus of Three Wonders, you will also grant your entire family belongings?"
"Yes, as long as you can cure my daughter, I will keep my words," Ye Xiao Tian sternly announced.
"I don't need your entire family belonging, I just want an allowance of entrance to the hidden territory in the City of Qing. Is that okay with you?" Ling Xian smiled.
[An uncharted allowance of entrance to the hidden territory?]
Ye Xiao Tian froze but couldn't help feeling relieved. This allowance of entrance was normally granted by him and the other three clan leaders. Though it was rare to allow uncharted entrances to the hidden territory, compared to his entire family belongings, it was nothing.
"Grandmaster, that is not an issue. As long as my daughter can regain her health, I will personally hand you the Lotus of Three Wonders and the right to enter the hidden territory," Ye Xiao Tian said quietly.
Ling Xian nodded. It was clear that the Lotus of Three Wonders and the right to enter the hidden territory did not add up to be enough compensation for saving the mayor's daughter's life. This was intentional, as Ling Xian was a lot more interested in Ye Xiao Tian owing him a favor. After all, he was in the City of Qing and it was difficult to predict when he might need a powerful figure's help. In regards to the right to enter the hidden territory, it would be a useful tool for him to speedily train and improve himself if he had the right to enter.
Ling Xian looked at the lady lying in her bed. Her features were delicate, her skin soft and white like snow. Her breathing was shallow and between her brows, a vapor of black fog was twirling. It was obvious that the poison has extended to her entire body and her life was slipping away.
Ling Xian pondered for a minute and decided to wrap the Burning Flame of Purity with Liao Cang Qiong's spiritual mana. Then, he pushed the flame into her body and burned away the poison. Though this method was dangerous, it would uproot all the poison and deeply cleanse her body. He was worried however, that the flame would damage her body. For this reason, he decided to push Liao Cang Qiong's spirits into her body alongside the flame, to calm it and force it to behave.
The flame pranced around on top of Ling Xian's fingertips. He then wrapped spiritual mana around the flame and pressed it between Ye You Lan's brows.
The initial step went smoothly. The Burning Flame of Purity, as if discovering a huge reward, hungrily entered her body. Under Ling Xian's control, it swam through her organs and then explored her limbs.
Ye You Lan moaned as a bit of color returned to her cheeks. Surges of visible black fog rose out of her body and entered Ling Xian's.
Ling Xian's forehead was sweating at this point. He concentrated hard, controlling the flame and detoxing Ye You Lan. It was not a difficult procedure. However, because of his lack of training, he found it challenging.
Nobody was kidding when they said that the Burning Flame of Purity was the nemesis of all poison.
"F… Father, who is he…?"
After much of the poison had been drawn out by the flame, Ye You Lan was feeling a lot better, and had awakened.
"You Lan, this grandmaster is here to heal you." Ye Xiao Tian was getting emotional, his tiger-like eyes swelled up a little.
Hearing this, Ye You Lan checked out the man in the black robe before her. She found his veil strange, but forced a grin anyways. "Thank you, grandmaster, for detoxicating me."
"Don't talk, endure the pain." Ling Xian was so focused he didn't even lift his head as she thanked him. The temperature of the flame kept on raising, heating up the entire room.
Ye You Lan screamed in pain. She felt like she was drowning in lava. Her elegant face was flushed red and her white skin was showing signs of cracks.
Just when she thought she could not endure it any more, Ling Xian drew the fire back along with the last bit of poison. Everything dissipated in air.
"Phew… It is done."
Exhaling deeply, Ling Xian wiped the sweat off his forehead. He made a fist with one hand and cupped it with the other one. "Mayor Ye, Miss Ye, I have done what I have been asked. The poison in her body is completely gone. She will return to normal if she rests well for a few days."
"Thank you. I won't say more than that. If grandmaster has anything in the future that I can help with, please don't hesitate to ask." Ye Xiao Tian genuinely thanked Ling Xian. He excitedly looked at his daughter and said, "What are you waiting for, bow to the grandmaster."
Ye You Lan nodded and pushed herself to get off of the bed. She sincerely bowed. "You Lan is truly thankful for you lending your helping hand."
"There's no need to be so formal." Ling Xian waved his hand and a gush of wind cradled Ye You Lan and helped her stand straight.
Ye You Lan studied Ling Xian curiously. [Ever since she fell ill yesterday, more than ten alchemists have been by her bedside but to no avail. How could the person standing before her so easily cure her? Who was he exactly?]
"Grandmaster, this is the Lotus of Three Wonders. As well, this is the token that will grant you access to the hidden territory. Please accept them." Ye Xiao Tian waved his hand in the air. A lotus with three pedals appeared in thin air. Each pedal had a distinct color, red, blue, and white. Beside it was a crystal token.
[Lotus of Three Wonders, mild effects, 100 years old. It is the highest grade out of the Eighth Realm medicine. Consuming the red pedal can increase qi level and heighten cultivation, the white pedal strengthens spiritual mana, and the blue pedal cures and heals. It is considered to be a national treasure. If planted beside a soulful lake on a spiritual mountain, it can be processed into the Third Realm spiritual medicine, Lotus of Three Souls.]
The Essence of Herbalism worked its wonders again and passed important information to Ling Xian. Ling Xian realized why his Master commanded him to acquire this object. It had three different uses and the chance to make a Third Realm spiritual medicine - it was a great treasure.
Putting the Lotus of Three Wonders and the entrance token into his pouch, Ling Xian felt more than satisfied. "We have finished our businesses here, I will depart now."
"Grandmaster, it is rather late. How do you feel about staying here in my palace for the night?" Ye Xiao Tian urged for him to stay. In the City of Qing, it was rare enough for a Seventh Realm alchemist to pass by. When a Fifth Realm Alchemist is right in front of him, how could he let him go so easily?
Even though he could no longer get any more benefits from Ling Xian, befriending a Fifth Realm Alchemist still gave him plenty of bragging rights.
"That is okay. I have other businesses to attend to. I will stop bothering you now." Ling Xian turned down his invitation. He was very happy with the way he faked his identity today, and he did not want to risk exposing himself by staying here any longer. After all, he used Liao Cang Qiong' spiritual mana to trick everyone into thinking he was a Fifth Realm Alchemist. In reality, he merely had a qi level of four.
"If that is the case, then I will not pressure you. If anything comes up in the future, you can find me here. As the mayor, I have somewhat of a say here in the City of Qing." Ye Xiao Tian chuckled. In his mind, he was calculating. The fact that Ling Xian asked for an entrance token means he will be in the city a lot. He will for sure need help some time in the future. When that time comes, he will set his daughter, Ye You Lan up with him. There was no rush.
Ling Xian nodded with a smile on his face and walked out of Ye You Lan's bedroom.
"Grandmaster, I am returning to the Lin Pavilion also, let me and Cotton give you a ride." Lin Qing Yi walked by him leisurely, graceful and delicate.
"There is no need. Miss Lin please return to the pavilion." Ling Xian laughed softly, rejecting her invitation for a casual walk under the moonlight. Instead, he marched on towards the Ling Clan.
His back didn't seem lonely, but it did not seem liberated either.
Behind him, Lin Qing Yi watched him until he disappeared. Her emotions mixed and complex.
When he reached a spot he knew Lin Qing Yi could no longer see, Ling Xian entered the Painting of the Nine Immortals.
"How was it, borrowing my spiritual mana to trick everyone? Did it feel nice?" Liao Cang Qiong said in a tone that made fun of him.
Ling Xian rubbed his nose in embarrassment. "Master, they were acting way out of line. Just because they were scared of losing their face, they prevented me from trying to save someone. It was too immoral."
Liao Cang Qiong stroke his beard and beamed. "I do not blame you for what you did. This is what the community of Taoism is like. If someone hits you, you must hit back harder. If you cannot fight them, you find me to fight them for you. Don't be afraid, my apprentice should not be taken advantage of."
"Master you have always been brave," Ling Xian complimented.
Liao Cang Qiong laughed. "Here, give me the Lotus of Three Wonders. You sure had fun today using my spiritual mana despite the fact that you know I do not have a lot of spiritual energy these days. Thankfully you acquired the Lotus of Three Wonders in return, or else we would've lost more than we have gained."
Ling Xian took out the Lotus of Three Wonders from his pouch and questioned, "Master, there are many mountains here that can heal spirits, but there aren't any lakes that help contain souls. Without a soulful lake, we cannot plant this lotus."
"The mission of finding a soulful lake is on you." Liao Cang Qiong dusted his sleeve and suddenly, the root of the lotus planted deeply into the soil of the spiritual mountain. All three of its petals began to shine and sparkle even brighter.
"Me?" Ling Xian asked in disbelief. He wasn't even exactly sure what a soulful lake was. All he knew was that if it's as powerful and as rare as spiritual mountains, then it for sure is magnificent as well. How could he, a trainee with a qi level of four, find a lake so glorious.
Liao Cang Qiong grinned and nodded his head. Then he proposed something Ling Xian could not object to.
"How do you feel about waking the second Immortal?"