Chapter 20: A Prodigious Talent
Chen Xiang watched as the herbal powders mixed and were about to congeal into a dan.
A horrid sound spread through the air and a rapid Qi wave burst out from the alchemic furnace. Cheng Xiang quickly retreated and glared at the fallen lid with a stunned face and sweat dripping down his back.
“That damn furnace exploded!”
“Are you okay?” Su Meiyao asked with a slight disregard as she combed her hair.
“I’m all right,” replied Chen Xiang, trying to catch his breath. When he had somewhat calmed down, he inspected his alchemic furnace to check for any damages. Surprisingly, it was fine.
Su Meiyao’s lips spread into a slight smile as said encouragingly, “Then continue. It’s common for such a thing to happen.”
Seeing Su Meiyao’s fascinating and charming smile, the sense of failure in Chen Xiang's mind was swept away. Having calmed down, he took a few moments of rest and then brought out more herbs.
One, two, and three hours passed, and once again Chen Xiang arrived at the last step only to fail. Fortunately, the furnace had not exploded like the last time.
Chen Xiang sighed and said, “This is too difficult to refine. There are only one set of herbs remaining which means that I only have one more chance left to succeed.”
Looking at the sweat on Chen Xiang’s furrowed face, Su Meiyao came up to him. With a damp towel, she wiped it off and said, “Little one, this sister here, during her time of refining the Baptizing marrow Dan exploded several alchemic furnaces. You are doing well at the rate you’re going. According to my estimation, for you to be successful, it would probably take you at least another twenty more tries.”
Staring into Su Meiyao’s bewitching eyes, Chen Xiang became flustered. The allure of her beauty made his heart throb, and at that moment, his mind could not help but think of her naked image burned in his mind.
“What?! Twenty times? That won’t do. I do not have that much money to spend,“ Cheng Xiang said. He shook his head, trying to stay focused and clear those disturbing images floating in his mind.
As if reading Chen Xiang’s mind, Su Meiyao played cutely and shook her bosom a little. “Little guy, you going off into wild flights of fantasy has nothing to do with me, but if your thoughts wander towards senior sister, you will probably be out of luck.”
A sudden thought of an elegant and beautiful Bai Youyou, filled with a bloodthirsty and cruel Qi, one wrought of slaughter, came to Chen Xiang’s mind, and he laughed. He felt silly and did not dare to take another glance at the giggling soft bosom of Su Meiyao again.
A proud smile bloomed on Su Meiyao's face.
After that, Cheng Xiang took more than an hour of rest. In the meantime, he listened to Su Meiyao’s narration of her experience in refining the Baptizing Marrow Dan. When Cheng Xiang had fully rested, he once again attempted to refine it, only, this time, it was twice as quick. After about an hour and a half, he was at the last stage of solidifying the dan.
Su Meiyao’s eyes glittered as she watched. In her opinion, it would have been impossible for Chen Xiang to refine the Baptizing Marrow Dan so quickly, but it was successful. Thus, Su Meiyao could not help but feel admiration towards the boy’s alchemic talent.
At that moment, she could see an amazing and diverse future for Chen Xiang, more than she had ever expected to live herself.
“Senior sister, our Divine Veins were not passed on to the wrong person! This man has not disappointed us,” Su Meiyao transmitted to Bai Youyou inside of the ring using her divine sense.
“This is merely better than the most.” Bai Youyou said in a cold voice, but Su Meiyao could sense a trace of a rare smile.
A moment later, Chen Xiang opened his eyes. Filled with excitement, he propped the lid of the furnace open. After seeing what’s inside, he looked towards Su Meiyao in excitement. “Sister Meiyao, I did it! I refined the Baptizing Marrow Dan!”
Bai Youyou came out from inside the ring. At that moment, like Su Meiyao, her eyes gleamed with surprise and joy. They had pinned all of their hopes on Chen Xiang, and after seeing his level of inherent talent, they couldn’t help but be happy.
Ordinarily, three Baptizing Marrow Dans could be refined at the same time. Chen Xiang was able only able to refine two dans, but it had taken him only a day to successfully refine them!
Such a thing can only be done by someone of great talent. Chen Xiang’s actions showed he not only had the ability, but an unusual perception that could detect the subtle changes during the dan congealing process.
After a few tries, with such a perception, Chen Xiang was able to become attuned with what was necessary to succeed.
Su Meiyao ruffled Chen Xiang’s hair, her alluring eyes locked onto him as she smiled and said, “Good brat, you did not disappoint me!”
Hearing Su Meiyao, Bai Youyou nodded in agreement. The cold look in her eyes had softened considerably.
Watching the two stunning beauties praising him, and with such closeness, Chen Xiang’s heart was filled with pride. But although he was successful this time, it did not mean that he would succeed every time.
Not allowing his pride to dampen his resolution, he went to refine a few more dans before he left the underground private room.
Just as he left, a girl wearing a purple skirt, sitting in the small hall, came into his view.
She had a noble air about her and looked absolutely stunning. For a moment, Chen Xiang’s mind went blank as he asked in a confused voice, “Xianxian, why are you here?”
Xue Xianxian looked at Chen Xiang and said, “What? Can't I come to find you? Well, you are an adult. So you should be the one to look after me, right? Why am I the one who is always coming for you? Hmph! After all, this will just make me a joke in front of others.”
Chen Xiang scratched his head in embarrassment. He had honestly wanted to go to find Xue Xianxian, but he first wanted to practice his alchemy. He sauntered to Xue Xianxian and brushed his hand against her face. The girl’s face turned bright red as she blushed.
“Xue Xianxian, I’m truly sorry. I have been busy with my alchemy. Please, take this as my apology.” Chen Xiang took out a small box containing two black dans. There were the same Baptizing Marrow Dan dans he had just refined!
Xue Xianxian opened the box and said with a soft shout, “Baptizing Marrow Dan! Did Xiao Xiang brother refine it?”
Chen Xiang smiled and said, “I only managed to refine them due to luck. I do not have any more raw materials now, and was just preparing to buy more, but the Spirit Dan Hall now belongs to the Yao family. If I were to buy from them, I would have to pay several times that of the market price… Xianxian can you help me buy some of these herbs?”
Xue Xianxian bent her head in serious thought. Her demeanor and her face became stern as she said in a serious voice, “Certainty, but Xiao Xiang brother, you can refine Baptizing Marrow Dan at this age. This is simply too astonishing!”
Xue Xianxian then brought her voice level to a whisper and continued, “Xiao Xiang brother, you can later enter those martial arts sects and can most likely reach the pinnacle of martial arts.”
Chen Xiang nodded and said, “I plan to, but presently I do not have enough strength. Xianxian, did some sect come to recruit you?”
The girl sighed and answered, “It is not a sect, but a person. She has received our Xue family’s grace, and she fancies me and wants me to be her apprentice. She seems to be a member of some martial arts sect, but she did not specifically mention about its identity.”
“I will follow her, and soon.......” Xue Xianxian stopped herself in dismay.
“It does not matter. It is the goal of every martial artist, and sooner or later, I will go as well,” said Chen Xiang as he took out a ten thousand spirit coin bill and gave it to Xue Xianxian.
Taking the bill from Chen Xiang, Xue Xianxian said, “Baptizing Marrow Dan is of no use to me now so I will help you sell it in exchange for the herbs you need Xiao Xiang brother. Wait for me; I will be back quickly."
After Xue Xianxian left, Chen Xiang hurriedly took a bath. Just as he finished, Xue Xianxian returned with a mature and charming white-robed lady with her.
If Chen Xiang had previously not encountered Bai Youyou and Su Meiyao, he would have been easily smitten by the lady.
This middle-aged beauty coming with Xue Xianxian had an oval face that was clear of any makeup. Her skin was pale and tender, and unexpectedly, she was in no way inferior to Xue Xianxian! With a smile on her face, she looked at Chen Xiang with her phoenix-like eyes, and her graceful figure exuded an imposing manner. Along with the power coursing in those eyes of hers, she could easily have been mistaken as an aloof goddess with an armageddon might.