Chapter 361: A Tiny Favor
As soon as the voice filled the air, Zhou Dekun put his pill furnace away. The three approaching figures never saw it clearly, nor the medicinal pills.
The approach of these three people caused the four Grand Elders’ faces to fall.
One of them was a middle-aged man wearing a long white robe, with face like white jade. Though he was middle-aged, he stood tall and straight. His features were handsome and beyond ordinary, and a slight, amiable smile could be seen on his face. However, the more you looked at the smile the colder it seemed.
This man had no totemic Qi on him, but rather, a faint medicinal aroma.
The words he had spoken just now were still echoing around as he stepped foot into the square to stand between Zhou Dekun and Meng Hao.
He radiated loftiness, and his white robes were embroidered with glittering pill cauldrons. A condescending expression could now be seen on his face.
“Is this how the Southern Domain’s Dao of alchemy works? What a great letdown! I’m afraid I, Yan, will have to return to the Eastern Lands disappointed.” The man shook his head. He hadn’t actually seen Zhou Dekun and Meng Hao concocting pills; he had merely smelled the lingering medicinal aroma in the air, and seen Zhou Dekun putting away the pill furnace. All of that left him disappointed.
Zhou Dekun’s face was unsightly as he looked over the three new arrivals. In addition to the middle-aged man was an old man wearing an inky green robe, with eyes that flashed like lightning. His expression was cold and haughty. The emanations of his Cultivation base revealed him to be of the great circle of the late Nascent Soul stage.
Even the four Grand Elders of the Frigid Snow Clan couldn’t compare to such a Cultivation base.
However, there was a Qi on the man that was very different from the other Cultivators. It was thick, and did not emanate out, but was clearly visible, like a signal beacon in the dead of night.
On the back of the old man’s hand was a totem tattoo. As for any other tattoos, they were concealed by his voluminous robes, and were impossible to see.
The final person among the three was a young man. He didn’t seem to be very old, and yet, there was an ancientness to him. He strode forward, occasionally glancing around, a reminiscent look on his face, even the touch of a sigh. His body emanated a fusion of the fluctuations of a normal Cultivator, as well as totemic Qi.
There were many Cultivators like this young man in the Black Lands, who combined normal cultivation techniques with totem cultivation. There was nothing particularly extraordinary about that; however, there seemed to be something special about him, although it was difficult to say what.
When the Frigid Snow Clan Grand Elders caught sight of the young man, their faces flickered, especially that of First Elder. An anxious, doubtful expression could be seen, along with disbelief.
Meng Hao looked the three over and then glanced away.
The middle-aged man from the Eastern Lands shook his head in disappointment and was about to leave when suddenly he stopped in mid-stride and said, “Eee?” Suddenly, a brilliant glow appeared in his eyes, a shocked expression covered his face. “That’s… that’s….” He started panting as he lifted his right hand into the air with a grasping motion. Immediately, strands of Qi began to drift into his hand and then congeal. Moments later, an illusory mass of Qi appeared above his palm.
The mass of Qi was green in color, and looked like a medicinal pill. However, it was merely illusory, the work of this man’s magical technique.
When Meng Hao saw this, his eyes narrowed, and a faint glow flickered therein.
“Illusory Qi Distillation!” he thought, looking at the man. To be able to distill Qi into an illusory medicinal pill was an ability that not even all Violet Furnace Lords could employ.
It was a technique a level above the one used by Meng Hao just now to condense the liquid into a pill.
Meng Hao’s eyes flickered. “This guy’s Dao of alchemy is incredible.”
Zhou Dekun’s eyes went wide and radiated astonishment. However, he quickly concealed it. His bearing was still one of arrogance, but deep in his heart, great waves of astonishment crashed about.
“That was no gimmick,” thought Zhou Dekun, taking an unconscious step back. “That was real Illusory Qi Distillation. Dammit, this is the Black Lands. How could an alchemist like this suddenly appear. He’s… he’s at least at the same level as a Violet Furnace Lord, maybe even halfway to being a Grandmaster!” His heart pounded as he tried to figure out a way to get away. It was at this time when the man from the Eastern Lands suddenly looked up.
“This pill….” The man named Yan took a deep breath, and his eyes began to shine with an intense light. “So, such a pill does exist under Heaven. Furthermore, it appears to have been created somewhat frivolously. It seems to me that whoever concocted this pill did not do so in the spirit of an alchemy duel. It seems almost an afterthought, and yet, the result embodies the natural spirit of Heaven and Earth!
“This pill is designed for the mere Foundation Establishment stage. However, it contains a great Dao of alchemy. Even more shocking is that this glittering, translucent pill does not seep any medicinal aroma! Were it not for the special Sect technique I just used, it would have been impossible to distill the illusory pill.
“Even more inconceivable is that the medicinal strength of this pill is above eighty percent. It seems that this isn’t anything extraordinary for whoever concocted this pill, and yet, the pill was clearly concocted casually. However… to casually concoct a medicinal pill with eighty percent medicinal strength is… it’s….” Yan’s face was filled with excitement as he allowed the illusory pill to dissipate. When it was gone, he let out a long sigh.
“Now that is a medicinal pill! Truly an amazing pill of Heaven and Earth! Whoever concocted that pill is a true Grandmaster! The medicinal aroma it emits seems exceptional, but in fact, to compare it to that other vulgar medicinal pill is pure blasphemy! Pills like that are dog crap! Who would even compare the two!?” The man gave Meng Hao a level look, then turned to Zhou Dekun. Obviously he took the green pill to have been concocted by Zhou Dekun.
This was surely because before coming to this place, he had heard inhabitants of the Black Lands speaking of Grandmaster Zhou.
Meng Hao gaped, then shook his head with a wry smile.
It wasn’t just him who was gaping. The surrounding Cultivators stared wide-eyed. As for the four Grand Elders, they were completely shaken.
They didn’t understand very much about the Dao of alchemy, but the medicinal pill the in the man’s hand just now looked very much like the pill Meng Hao had just concocted.
Furthermore, the man’s words regarding a medicinal pill that was vulgar dog crap seemed to have been referring to the medicinal pill concocted by Zhou Dekun.
“Something seems off. Could it be that Grandmaster Zhou concocted two medicinal pills?”
“Well, in any case, Grandmaster Zhou is of noble character, and stands at the pinnacle of the Dao of alchemy. Nothing could possibly go wrong.”
As strange expressions flitted across the faces of the audience, Yan turned to face Zhou Dekun, his expression serious, as well as embarrassed. He clasped hands and bowed deeply.
“I spoke disrespectfully just now, Grandmaster Zhou, I hope you don’t take offense. I’m just obsessed with the Dao of alchemy and can’t bear to allow anyone to profane the Dao of alchemy. I was too impulsive now and allowed the trivial to overshadow my view. My eyes were covered by a single leaf, so to speak. Grandmaster Zhou, the East Pill Division commands my utmost admiration, and you truly deserve to be called the number one alchemist in the Black Lands. That single medicinal pill is enough to prove your skill in the Dao of alchemy. It has absolutely reached the pinnacle of perfection.” With that, he let out a long sigh, then once again clasped hands and bowed deeply, thoroughly convinced of his analysis.
Zhou Dekun wasn’t sure what to do. He subconsciously cleared his throat as his mind reeled. This sudden turn of events was difficult for him to accept, and he was feeling a bit weak at the knees. He suddenly looked over at Meng Hao.
Seeing the enigmatic smile on Meng Hao’s face made him feel even more apprehensive.
However, as the saying goes, when you ride a tiger, it’s hard to get off. That is exactly the situation Zhou Dekun found himself in. He obviously could not declare the man’s words to be untrue. Therefore, he cleared his throat and nodded, not daring to say a word.
After bowing once more, the man named Yan turned to look back at the young man with the ancient air. “Fellow Daoist Hanxue, there’s no need for any more analysis. To be able to lay eyes on a true Grandmaster of the Dao of alchemy like Grandmaster Zhou is enough. From the medicinal pill just now, I was able to confirm that Grandmaster Zhou’s Dao of alchemy is incomparable. Of this I am certain.”
The young man smiled. “Grandmaster Yan, there’s no need to underestimate yourself in such a fashion. Although I don’t understand much about the great path that is the Dao of alchemy, I do know that victories can only be determined by means of fighting. Furthermore, I haven’t been back to this place for many years, and would love to reminisce a bit. Grandmaster Yan, why not engage in an alchemy duel with this Grandmaster Zhou?” He made no attempt to conceal the ancientness which emanated out of him. As he spoke, he looked around slowly, and by the time he finished, his gaze had come to rest in the direction of the four Grand Elders, whereupon he said, “Well, you’ve grown up.”
The words caused the faces of everyone in the square to flicker. The appearance of these three people had been far too sudden, especially considering that the old man was clearly a Western Desert Cultivator. Holy Snow City had long since adjusted their invisible protective spell formation so that totem Cultivators could not enter.
And yet, these three people had approached with the greatest ease, in front of the eyes of the hundreds of Cultivators present.
That, in addition to the words of the man named Yan, caused strange expressions to appear on everyone’s faces. These three people suddenly seemed to be veiled in even more mystery.
And then came the words of the young man. The Frigid Snow Clan Elders suddenly looked very serious, especially First Elder. The instant the young man had appeared, his expression had been strange, even anxious. His eyes shone with disbelief.
As for the other three Elders, they looked suspiciously at the young man. This was because they were able to sense some of the Qi of their Clan on him.
“You….” said First Elder, panting.
Meanwhile, the man named Yan shook his head. Obviously he didn’t agree with the young man’s suggestion. Ignoring the shock on the faces of the surrounding Cultivators regarding the young man, he once again clasped hands and bowed deeply to Zhou Dekun.
“Grandmaster Zhou, I believe that there is no reason for us to compete in alchemy. However, I do have a tiny favor to ask.” He clasped hands and bowed reverently. “Would you please produce that pill you just concocted and allow me to bask in its glory? What do you say?!”
Zhou Dekun’s heart was pounding. He kept a smile plastered on his face, but inside, he was on the verge of tears. “Uh… which pill are you talking about?”
Meng Hao coughed lightly, but didn’t say anything.
This chapter was sponsored by Krystian Szydlak, Lim Derek, David Lawson, and Nonny Mouse