Published at 31st of December 2020 11:46:52 AM
In the arena, Xiao Ya was pacing back and forth, her brows locked in deep thought .
Many alchemists started turning in their pills, qualifying for the next round . But regarding the first place, she was still uncertain what to do .
It was a spot that could only be taken by either Grandmaster Song or Vicious Pill King .
While Vicious Pill King’s 4th-grade pill was held in her hand, Grandmaster Song’s pill turned into a waste after cutting it in two . How could she possibly judge this?
Despite not being so erudite, the fading pill was a 5th grade pill . But why did it drop grades? What was up with that?
Without getting to the bottom of it, she couldn’t make a call
If she put Grandmaster Song in first place, she wouldn’t know how to explain if the need arose . Putting Vicious Pill King first would earn the scorn of the top ten alchemists .
As if saying this lady was too green and unable to see the pill’s secret . What vexed her most was Vicious Pill King also looked at her the same .
She was thoroughly stuck .
This was her first time in all her years of judging that she encountered such a problem .
She could only turn to Liu Yizhen, pleading for guidance . She found him the most amiable among the top ten grandmasters .
As for Zhuo Fan and Vicious Pill King – one smug, the other an iceberg – it was best to ignore them . Meanwhile, she avoided asking Aunt Tao or Yan Fu as they might play favorites .
“Grandmaster Liu, could you please explain to me what is so great about Grandmaster Song’s pill?”
Liu Yizhen bowed to Zhuo Fan first .
It was a gesture of respect to seniors among alchemists . Liu Yizhen was among the ten best alchemists in the empire . Yet, he has never bowed, even to Vicious Pill King .
He was convinced Zhuo Fan’s refining skill was a cut above everyone here . He was on another level .
This bow made everyone drop their jaws . Even the amateur alchemists . They knew Zhuo Fan was amazing, but not this much . Until Liu Yizhen, a grandmaster bowed to him as a junior .
Zhuo Fan raised an eyebrow, not expecting the old guy to disregard his own reputation and nodded .
This nod had another meaning .
Among alchemists, secret skills were passed down through the generations, never divulged . If someone guessed some points about a pill, they could not speak without the owner’s explicit accord . It would be a gross form of disrespect .
Cutting all ties at best, or fighting to the death at worst .
Liu Yizhen bowed in respect and Zhuo Fan nodded his assent .
Liu Yizhen smiled, “Young miss, Grandmaster Song’s skill is beyond amazing . Did you know that Grandmaster Song’s secret refining skill is the legendary long lost skill, Sacred Dragon Evocation?”
What? Ancient secret skill?
The people froze in shock!
Even Long Jiu’s group, as well as Huangpu Qingyun’s, they all went slack jawed .
The ancient refining skill had been lost for so long they became legends . It was inconceivable how such a legendary skill would appear in the hands of a youth .
The people started to get excited, watching with shining eyes .
Xiao Ya looked at Zhuo Fan incredulously . She found him too young at first . But now, he could compete with Vicious Pill King, and make everyone speechless .
But it went far beyond that . He used an ancient secret refining skill, one long lost in legends .
That was why the proud Vicious Pill King conceded . Who could contest with an alchemist that used an ancient secret refining skill?
“But Grandmaster Liu, why did Grandmaster Song’s pill turn to waste like this?” Xiaoya bit her lip and rushed to ask for an answer .
Shaking his head, Liu Yizhen showed great veneration, “This is exactly what made Grandmaster Song’s pill so miraculous . It wasn’t fading, but used by all of us instead . ”
His words sent ripples of shock through the audience .
Liu Yizhen continued, “A normal pill, regardless of grade, could only use 50% of its ingredients’ effect . But the ancient secret skill Sacred Dragon Call was said to make use of everything they had . Everything was refined . Once eaten, it would immediately dissolve . ”
“That golden mist coming from the pill was its true essence . If someone swallowed it, it was the same as a 5th-grade pill . But it was instead dispersed to the surrounding, and everyone else benefited from it . Now, it has been used up, it is no different than left over material . This is why I immediately felt deep regret when I said you could split the pill . ”
“I see . I now understand why I felt so energized after breathing in the pill’s aroma!”
They all agreed and looked at Zhuo Fan with admiration .
“Grandmaster Liu, why did the grade drop?” Xiao Ya asked her most pressing question . This had to do with judging who was in first place .
Liu Yizhen’s face froze and shook his head awkwardly, “Hhha, I’m not sure either . I have only read some records regarding this ancient secret refining skill . The only one who knows its secrets is only Grandmaster Song . ”
In a blink, eyes whipped to Zhuo Fan . Xiao Ya was no different .
Zhuo Fan raised his eyebrows and grinned evilly, “Want to know? He-he-he, but I won’t tell you unless you beg for it!”
Xiao Ya glared with hatred at him . She may have been disrespectful, but not enough to condone such constant mockery .
But that’s how petty Zhuo Fan was . He looked askance, clearly meaning to evoke others to know his thoughts . [On your knees and beg for it, or yours truly won’t say a word . ]
[I already displayed my skill and earned my right as the first place . Now you want me to share my secrets with the whole crowd?]
His attitude allowed others to understand the reason . So, even if they were in the Drifting Flowers Edifice, they lifted their fists .
“Beg, beg, beg…”
The crowd roared with mighty force, shaking the entire Drifting Flowers Arena .
Huangpu Qingyun’s mood darkened . He didn’t think Zhuo Fan had such skill to turn this around and grasp everyone’s hearts .
This was the way of a ruler!
“This man must not be allowed to live!” Huangpu Qingyun glared with hatred . His followers nodded .
Liu Yizhen didn’t think much of the scene and only shook his head . [Grandmaster Song is such a prankster, hhha…]
With the hall shouting beg, Xiao Ya was on the verge of tears . While Zhuo Fan just leaned on the cauldron impassive .
It seemed he’d only give up after she kneeled .
Helpless, Xiao Ya’s tears flowed, and her slender legs began to buckle .
But an angry roar came from the terrace, “Song Yu, stop playing around!”
Zhuo Fan was startled and looked at the angry Chu Qingcheng . With a helpless smile, he relented in her favor and shook his hand at Xiao Ya, “Whatever, it was only a joke . You take me for such a heartless man?”
Xiao Ya didn’t dare say it, however, she gave a look of thanks towards Chu Qingcheng .
“As to why yours truly used this secret skill, you have Vicious Pill King to thank for that . He was so careless in spilling some green python scale mixture after all!”
Now that Xiao Ya was off the hook, Zhuo Fan started explaining . But the first thing he did was drag Vicious Pill King into this . The crowd had become calmed, listening enraptured to Grandmaster Song’s lecture of his skill .
“Grandmaster Song is still blaming me for my inadvertent mistake?” Vicious Pill King squinted .
Shaking his hand, Zhuo Fan shook his head, “Why, I would never! I am only thanking you . Sacred Dragon Evocation has the dragon word in it and had to have an ingredient related to dragons . The Yang Pill had no such ingredient . Meanwhile, a snake was, for all intents and purposes, can be considered a small dragon . Your mistake granted me the liberty to use this secret art!”
“But the snake is yin, while the Yang Pill only had yang ingredients . And Grandmaster Song’s Yang Dragon Pill is also yang . I did not sense any yin inside . ” Vicious Pill King’s eyelid twitched, clenching his fists .
Snickering, Zhuo Fan mocked, “You think the likes of you can unravel the mysteries of an ancient secret skill? Yin and yang restrain each other, but can also interchange . To evoke the yang out of this yin, green python scale extract, I had to rely on yours truly’s essence to wash it down with additional incentive . ”
Holding his belly, Zhuo Fan laughed out, “Pee is water, and water is yin . But a virgin is pure yang . Yours truly used his pure yang pee to change yin into yang, to turn a snake into a dragon . Not only has the ingredients been refined completely, but there was also the extreme yang dragon power . This allowed the 2nd grade pill to rise to the 5th grade . A pity that once the pill is split, the pills effect starts to leak along with the dragon power, lowering its grade and potency . ”
Now everyone understood and looked at Zhuo Fan with a greater admiration for his secret refining skill .
Vicious Pill King was no different, clapping his hands with force, fully admitting defeat in his heart, “Grandmaster Song is unparalleled in his refining skill . I concede this round to you without remorse . However, Grandmaster Song, you’re at a disadvantage . The next round is mine . ”
Vicious Pill King’s eyes flickered with killing intent . Zhuo Fan grinned .
The two locked eyes and even a blind man could see they were at odds . Tao Danniang was moved . It caught her by surprise, the fact that Zhuo Fan could make Vicious Pill King admit his loss .
His future was boundless .
Then she started worrying . Vicious Pill King’s last words pointed at Zhuo Fan’s weaker cultivation .
Even with Zhuo Fan’s unparalleled refining skill, he could not beat Vicious Pill King .
Helpless, Tao Danniang was thinking on how to settle this and not let such a great youth fall here .
It was only now that Xiao Ya spoke after having made her decision, “In this round, 39 passed and 11 forfeited . The first place stays with Grandmaster Song . The second place is Vicious Pill King’s…”
Her words traveled far and the crowd began to wonder why so many people withdrew?
They had no way to know that many felt inferior after they witnessed Zhuo’s refining skill, their confidence was in shambles . If an alchemist had no confidence, how could they refine?