Chapter 191: Prelude to the Moon Demon Forest
A few days later, the Heavenly Fragrance Villa had called for the qualified trial competitors to assemble together on a nearby mountain platform that was near the camp.
Hundreds of cultivators had now gathered on the mountain platform.
Among them were Lu Qingyun and Qian Jingjing who had walked together up the mountain platform.
Lu Qingyun felt a little weird that there were so many cultivators that seemed to be looking in his way and they were suddenly muttering.
“It is him…”
“It seems that he has already got her into his hands…”
“He has actually used such an underhand mean to get her…”
“Do you think that he is trying to obtain the Heavens Spirit Sword of the Spirit Sword Manor?”
“Are you sure? I’ve heard that they were in the same party previously while they were taking the trials in New Empyrean City…”
“They are a couple now?”
“I heard that previously there is a Leng Qiuyue…”
Lu Qingyun thought that they were just discussing about the events that would soon be taking place and he had never thought that they would actually be discussing about him.
Among the cultivators presented, Lu Qingyun had also recognized many of the familiar faces that were at New Empyrean City previously like Gongsun Ya and Yu Tianjian.
Before long, a large group of protégés numbering nearly a hundred from the Heavenly Fragrance Villa had arrived.
Lu Qingyun had recognized Zhao Riyue and Zhao Xingye in the group and also Fragrance Herald Celestial Feng Xiaoxiao who was leading them.
Feng Xiaoxiao was still as alluring as ever and her golden eyes had quickly swept through the soul seas of the cultivators in the platform. She was a practitioner of the Listening Heart Intricate and with this quick scan with her divine sense, she had quickly gauged the emotional state of the cultivators that were presented.
There was no sighting of Shen Yufeng or Tang Xuefeng though. It seemed that they were not in this camp.
Lu Qingyun looked a little disappointed. If Shen Yufeng was here, at least there was a chance that Lie Xingyuan and Leng Qiuyue may be here as well.
Feng Xiaoxiao smiled as she looked at the large assembly of cultivators that numbered some five hundred cultivators before she said coolly, “Good, you have all come. Those who have come are indeed courageous. As your reward, you shall all be given the Divine Profound Pill.”
Immediately all the cultivators in the assembly were looking at one another excitingly. After all, most of them were here for the Divine Profound Pill at their own personal risk. There were even many that had perished even before they had reached the Moon Demon Forest.
One by one, the cultivators were given the Divine Profound Pill and many of them were afraid that Feng Xiaoxiao may change her mind so they quickly swallowed their pills hastily.
But for Lu Qingyun, he had pretended to take it but he had secretly kept it. He knew that at this point, the Divine Profound Pill was of no use to him as his inner cultivation sea was already pure enough and that he would get his breakthrough anytime now.
As for Qian Jingjing, she had eagerly swallowed the Divine Profound Pill. She was already a peaked fourth realm cultivator. She knew that this Divine Profound Pill would be able to cleanse and strengthen her inner cultivation sea. With some luck, she may be able to breakthrough to the fifth realm golden celestial level sooner than she had expected.
Qian Jingjing whispered to Lu Qingyun, “Brother Qingyun, we are so compatible. Don’t you think so?”
Lu Qingyun: ???
What did this Divine Profound Pill have to do with them being compatible?
Qian Jingjing was actually thinking that because they were both at the peaked fourth realm level, therefore they both had a chance to become a golden celestial in the future after taking the Divine Profound Pill and that was why they were being so compatible.
But Lu Qingyun did not know her heart and he was baffled.
At this point he had not fully realized the graveness of what Qian Jingjing had done to be with him. She had not only disobeyed the wishes of her protégé grandmaster but she had also quietly left the Spirit Sword Manor. This was enough to brand her as a traitor to her own celestial clan.
Therefore she had only Lu Qingyun as her support from now on.
After all the Divine Profound Pills had been duly given, Feng Xiaoxiao smiled to all the cultivators. “Tomorrow at the first break of dawn, we will set off into the Moon Demon Forest. You have until today to see your farewells.”
With that, she had dismissed the cultivators.
Qian Jingjing immediately said to Lu Qingyun, “Brother Qingyun, shall we take a look around the camp first? I have heard that today there is a pill competition between some of the cultivators.”
“Pills competition?” Lu Qingyun’s interest was immediately aroused. “This does sound interesting. Let’s go and have a look.”
Soon they had returned to the camp and there were hundreds of cultivators that had already gathered around a group of elderly cultivators.
These elderly cultivators all had a large cauldron in front of them and they were debating nonstop, much to the amusement of the other onlookers.
Qian Jingjing frowned lightly, “I really don’t understand why these old men are dabbling in alchemy rather than cultivation. If they are willing to spend more time on their own cultivation, they wouldn’t be this old.”
But Lu Qingyun laughed softly as he walked eagerly to the debating old men and mingled with the onlookers.
It did not take him long enough to know that these eight old men were all competing with one another to concoct an instant rejuvenation pill known as the Golden Rejuvenation Pill. This Golden Rejuvenation Pill was extremely difficult to concoct but was extremely useful to raise the martial strength of the cultivator and it could be used for healing at the same time.
These eight old men were all arguing with one another and it seemed that they were competing to which one among them would be able to concoct the most number of Golden Rejuvenation Pills.
“The Golden Rejuvenation Pill has only a 10% chance of success. Your batch of pills may yield nothing at all.”
“Arrogant old fellow, you are the one that will yield nothing!”
“I will have at least one pill or two, haha…”
“We are all fourth rank alchemist here. Today, whoever has the most successful batch will walk away with the crown of being the best alchemist in this Moon Demon Forest meet.”
“Hehehe, the pride of my celestial clan also rest in this battle today…”
With a sniff, Lu Qingyun could tell that all eight old alchemists had used their own unique concoctions to improve their own chances for the Golden Rejuvenation Pill.
The first old man to the left was laughing and he was shouting loudly to the rest now, “Your cauldrons are too slow, too slow! My Golden Rejuvenation Pills are now ready. Behold…”
Lu Qingyun suddenly said, “Old senior, I’m afraid that your cauldron will yield nothing. Although your cauldron fire is intense but the Wolfberry Spirit Roots that you are using is a little impure. I am afraid that you may have wasted your own efforts. If you can lower the intensity of your fire, there may still be a slim chance of saving one pill.”
The first old man to the left was furious, “Young man! How dare you mouth such rubbish! You must be in cahoots with them! I am going to open my cauldron just to prove you and these old fellows wrong!” But he was also quite startled that this young man knew that he was using the Wolfberry Spirit Roots.
All the onlookers were now laughing at Lu Qingyun and even Qian Jingjing was tugging his sleeves.
“What does he know?”
“Alchemy is totally different from cultivation. This requires decades of profound studies and there are a million spiritual herbs in the Nine Celestial Fraternity…”
“I say that he is just trying to show off in front of the beautiful maiden that is with him…”
“Isn’t he that good-for-nothing cultivator Lu Qingyun?”
“I’ve heard that he is actually quite good, according to the group that is with him…”
“You already said that it is his group. You should know his reputation by now. He is capable of bribing everyone around him to say good things about him…”
“There is no smoke without fire. He is a good-for-nothing cultivator for a reason. No one will frame him for that…”
The first old man to the left had opened his cauldron now and was quite disappointed that his pills were all charcoal black and there was not even a Golden Rejuvenation Pill that was in sight.
He could only lament miserably, “My luck this time isn’t good enough. Usually I will have some success…”
The other seven old men were all laughing jovially at him.
The nearest old man that was next to him laughed before saying, “Now it is my turn…”
This time Lu Qingyun said, “Old Senior, you have used to Icy Silk Worm in your cauldron to neutralize the intense heat from your cauldron? Although this method is ingenious but the Icy Silk Worm that you are using is too potent. Therefore you should allow your cauldron to continue to heat up further…”
“How did he know that I have used an Icy Silk Worm inside?” the second old man was thinking. But because he had already declared that he was going to open his cauldron and he could not back off. Therefore he opened his cauldron and was dismayed to see a pile of black charcoal pills.
“My turn next.” The third old man said with a hesitation as he looked at Lu Qingyun.
Lu Qingyun said, “Old Senior, you have used a Thousand Year White Peony and the Wildfire Honey as additional reagents. You should have one successful Golden Rejuvenation Pill. As a matter of fact, this will be a high grade Golden Rejuvenation Pill. However the Thousand Year White Peony is too rare and too expensive. It will be hard to replicate this success.”
The third old man was startled as he thought, “How did he know?”
He did not know that Lu Qingyun had already sniffed all the spirit herbs that were being used. Whether the cauldrons yielded any successful Golden Rejuvenation Pill, this was also known to Lu Qingyun.
Lu Qingyun continued, “I will suggest that you let your cauldron burn to a blue flame for an hour. You may be able to obtain another Golden Rejuvenation Pill. However that Golden Rejuvenation Pill won’t be a high grade one as the Wildfire Honey that you have used isn’t a good substitute. If it is the Blazing Bones Honey then the effect will be doubly effective.”
But unlike the first two old men, the third old man muttered. “Yes, yes. I will do as you have said.”
It was because this third old man had already gone through the same process a few times in the past and he was confident that he would be able to produce one high grade Golden Rejuvenation Pill. Therefore he was not in a hurry to open his cauldron and was more eager to test whether what Lu Qingyun had said was the truth.
Lu Qingyun pointed to the cauldron of the fourth old man, fifth old man and to the eighth old man and one by one, he pointed out the secret reagents that they had used with the Golden Figs Spirit Root, the only known spirit herb that could produce the Golden Rejuvenation Pill.
But this time, the other old men were all nodding and they were all following the advice that he had given. One by one, their cauldrons yielded at least a Golden Rejuvenation Pill!
Now these eight old men were known as the Eight Alchemist Kings of the Heavenly Fragrance Divine Realm and even though they were seen arguing with one another but they had actually known one another for a long time. They were in fact, having their usual friendly competition and had used this meet to have a chance to compete with one another.
So when the first two old men had their secret recipes exposed by Lu Qingyun, the other six old men were actually quite astonished.
By now the third old man had opened his cauldron and he had taken out two Golden Rejuvenation Pills. One of the Golden Rejuvenation Pills was a high grade Golden Rejuvenation Pill and it was exactly what Lu Qingyun had said.
“It really works!” The third old man shouted with great delight and he was roaring with laughter. “I guess I am the winner in this meet today! Even though some of you have two Golden Rejuvenation Pills but I have one high grade Golden Rejuvenation Pill.”
The other seven old men were all laughing jovially, “Indeed, indeed.”
The first two old men had hurriedly said to Lu Qingyun, “Please pardon our rudeness earlier. May we know your name and the name of your honorable master?”
Lu Qingyun said, “Junior name is Lu Qingyun. As for my master, he has forbid me from revealing his name. Therefore I really cannot reveal his name.”
The third old man hastily asked, “He must be a high ranking alchemist. May we know his alchemist rank and yours?”
Lu Qingyun replied softly, “My master is a fifth rank alchemist.”
When the eight old men had heard that his master was a fifth rank alchemist, they were greatly astonished. Although they were fourth rank alchemists but it was difficult for them to advance to the fifth rank alchemist level. In the fraternity of the alchemists, sixth rank alchemist level was the highest level.
Anyone that could reach the fourth rank alchemist level already had a lofty status as a high level alchemist and they would be respected everywhere.
Lu Qingyun added, “As for my alchemist ranking, it is not worth mentioning. My focus is now on my cultivation instead.”
He was actually a peaked fourth rank alchemist and he was now almost a fifth rank alchemist now. He did not want to tell anyone that he was concocting a secret sixth rank alchemist pill and if he was successful, he would be a sixth rank alchemist.
However, even if he was a sixth rank alchemist, he did not want to let anyone knows about it as he was just fulfilling his old master’s last wishes.
He had only three aspirations in this life.
One, to concoct a sixth rank pill.
Two, to be with Qin Keqin.
Three, to get rid of the Devil Goddess.
Qian Jingjing and many of the onlookers were all stunned as they looked at Lu Qingyun when they saw that even the eight old alchemist kings were all so respectful toward him.
“Is he really the good-for-nothing cultivator Lu Qingyun?”
“Maybe his cultivation really cannot make it but he is certainly good with his knowledge of alchemy…”
For quite some time, Qian Jingjing was looking with idiocy at Lu Qingyun while he was talking with the eight old men…