When it came to such a young third-grade alchemist, even the Gold Noble Family would value them to a certain extent. Qin Yu was soon promoted to a sixth-grade disciple and received a series of special updates from the service interface saying he would be changed to a better dwelling and have better maids working for him.
The managers of the Alchemy Chamber called him in for a meeting. Their demeanor was warm and kind and they assigned Qin Yu his own alchemy room, stating that he had the status and qualifications now to manage his own furnace. Even the self-proclaimed romantic manager could only squeeze out a smile as he spoke to Qin Yu.
After all, with Qin Yu’s age and the potential he revealed so far, breaking through to being a fourth-grade alchemist wouldn’t be any problem at all. If he were lucky and managed to advance even further…then at that time, he would truly be someone of great influence within the Gold Noble Family.
No one dared to underestimate him!
Qin Yu was only interested in the method of breaking into Nascent Soul; he simply didn’t care about the good intentions sent his way by the Gold Noble Family. He calmly dealt with it all.
Finally, the invited guests from outside the Blue Cloud World arrived.
On this day, Qin Yu changed his robes, putting on a new set that was embroidered with black and red edges. It lent him a calm and dignified aura, and he pushed open the courtyard doors and walked out.
Although he had no idea who today’s guest was, the chances of them knowing each other was enormous. In order to prevent annoying situations, Qin Yu chose the simplest duty of all – a perimeter guard.
In Ning Yuan’s family, where they almost regarded him as one of their own already, arranging such a small request was easily done. As for why Qin Yu didn’t want to show off his face and expose his talent, the elders of Ning Yuan’s family thought it through before sighing in exclaim. This Qin Ning wanted to hide his skills and bide his time by remaining silent.
He was already a third-grade alchemist. To be allowed to participate in such an important event was enough to prove his status. But right now, he still couldn’t be counted as a genuine Ning Family member. If he were to continue showing off, then he might cross the line. Qin Ning possessed strength and potential, but above that he even possessed the wisdom to know when to retreat. This was extremely rare.
Ning Yuan smiled happily, even more satisfied with Qin Yu.
“Junior-apprentice brother Qin Ning.” She intentionally waited for him at the intersection, smiling and waving.
Qin Yu cupped his hands together, “Greetings, senior-apprentice sister.”
Ning Yuan rolled her eyes. She said in a hushed voice, “No one’s around right now, so would it kill you to call me by a nicer name?”
Compared to a young girl, a young woman was far more daring and bold. After obtaining the approval of her family, she was much less scrupulous in her actions.
These words were almost the same as flirting.
Qin Yu sighed inwardly. He did feel some level of guilt towards Ning Yuan, but in the face of the Nascent Soul great dao, he wouldn’t hesitate at all. Just as he was thinking about how to extricate himself from this situation, there was the sudden sound of thunder in the distance.
“Immortal Eclipse Valley’s Eclipse Lenqing brings disciple Zheng Zhongxiu to visit the Blue Cloud World!”
“Demonic path’s Heavenstar Demon brings Saint Son Deepblue to visit the Blue Cloud World!”
“Sea region Moon Praying Shrine’s Xue Zheng brings Prince Deepwhite to visit the Blue Cloud World!”
Three voices sounded out one after another, sweeping through the horizon like a tide.
Qin Yu’s eyes flashed. He never thought that all three arriving factions today would be old acquaintances. He cupped his hands together and said, “Please excuse me, senior-apprentice sister, I must go.”
He soared into the skies.
Ning Yuan had a dignified expression as she didn’t stop him. Worry rose up in her eyes. Immortal Eclipse Valley and the demonic path were both fine; they both existed in the mainland. But, the sea region was more than a hundred thousand miles away from the Blue Cloud World. If all three sides came to the Blue Cloud World today, it could be seen how dire the situation was.
Within the Blue Cloud World, the Gold Noble Family was already prepared. Large numbers of cultivators rose into the skies, welcoming the people from the three factions.
“Fellow daoist Eclipse Lenqing, it's been so many years but you remain as elegant as ever!”
“Heavenstar Demon, your cultivation is even more formidable than in the past. We should have a spar sometime soon!”
“Commander Xue Zheng, this is your first time coming to my Blue Cloud World. You must stay for a few more days so our Ning Family can show you what great hosts we are!”
The Ning Family powerhouses were all courteous and kind. After all, they were wrong for trying to forcefully open up the space. Luckily they had decided to marry off that wicked girl, so this fiasco would soon reach a resolution.
Heavenstar Demon said, “I am here on the order of the Saint Lord to help Saint Son Deepblue request marriage to the Seventh Miss. I ask that the Ning Family agree to this.”
Xue Zheng was expressionless. “My race’s Majesty and Lord Priest have both tasked me with bringing the Seventh Miss back to our sea races.”
As soon as they spoke, the two sides stood in stark opposition to each other.
Black energy flashed in Heavenstar Demon’s eyes before he forcefully suppressed it. The sea region was terrifyingly strong. Even if they couldn’t come up onto the mainland as they pleased, it was best not to provoke them.
“Humph!” Eclipse Lenqing’s complexion sank. Although he couldn’t help but acknowledge that Immortal Eclipse Valley was the weakest of the three factions, he still wouldn’t be completely ignored by them. “My Immortal Eclipse Valley must also obtain the Seventh Miss, no matter what!”
Heavenstar Demon sneered. “The one I brought here is a saint son of my demonic path, someone who has obtained the approval of the Lord Demon Monarch. In the future he will inherit the great legacy of my demonic path. Just who have you brought here that is capable of fighting the saint son?”
Deepblue lowered his head as the great figures argued all around him. Although he appeared respectful and obedient, he didn’t conceal the tyrannical aura exuding from his body.
Golden Core perfection, half-step Nascent Soul! With such a powerful aura, he was in no way weaker than an ordinary early Nascent Soul. After his disastrous defeat in the sea region, Saint Son Deepblue hadn’t given up or fallen because of it. In fact, that setback only made him that much more formidable.
Eclipse Lenqing fumed, “Zeng Zhongxiu is the sole disciple of my Immortal Eclipse Valley’s master and is the one who wields the Eighth Furnace. His alchemy talent is astonishing. He has a peak third-grade strength right now and could step onto the fourth-grade boundary at any moment. His prospects are limitless, so how does he not compare to your demonic path’s saint son?”
Zeng Zhongxiu had a light expression. He studied all year long and had a calm temperament. Combined with the leather bag he kept at his side, his brilliance was no less than Deepblue’s.
The complexions of the Gold Noble Family changed. They were truly worthy of being the Immortal Eclipse Valley known for being number one amongst the alchemy dao. This disciple was so young and yet nearly touched upon the fourth-grade realm.
In comparison, the Qin Ning that recently appeared was clearly far inferior.
Heavenstar Demon seemed to have thought of this earlier. A sly smile lifted up his face. He suddenly said, “I heard that an alchemy talent has recently risen up within the Ning Family. How about we have a brief competition between them so that I can broaden my horizons? After all, a competition in alchemy doesn’t depend on one’s cultivation. Everyone will be able to see whether your Immortal Eclipse Valley is emptily bragging or not.”
Eclipse Lenqing coldly humphed, “When it comes to alchemy, my Immortal Eclipse Valley is number one, and I dare say this even in the Blue Cloud World.” He glanced over, “Heavenstar Demon, I know what sort of sinister thoughts you have, but the alchemy honor of my Immortal Eclipse Valley cannot be sullied. Zeng Zhongxiu, compete with this Ning Family talent and prove your strength to everyone as a way of expressing just how sincere you are in marrying the Seventh Miss.”
Zeng Zongxiu’s eyes flashed with a trace of helplessness. In truth, he didn’t really want to accept this mysterious Seventh Miss that no one had seen before. But, his teacher had told him that even if he didn’t succeed, he had to blow up this marriage event so that the demonic path didn’t win. He took a deep breath and cupped his hands together, “Yes, martial uncle.”
The complexions of everyone from the Gold Noble Family darkened. Originally, they wanted to sit peacefully on the sidelines and watch as the three sides fought it out, so how had they been dragged into the fray? And, the key problem here was that they couldn’t refuse, otherwise that would be the same as admitting that their Gold Noble Family’s younger generation couldn’t compare to those from Immortal Eclipse Valley.
After a brief hesitation, a Nascent Soul powerhouse from the Gold Noble Family turned and said, “Find Qin Ning and bring him here.”
The clan juniors quickly rushed away.
“Everyone, let us go to the reception hall first. This alchemy competition will take some time to prepare.”
Heavenstar Demon faintly smiled, “I’ll be waiting!”
Eclipse Lenqing had no reaction. He certainly knew that he had fallen for Heavenstar Demon’s tricks. Whether Zeng Zhongxiu won the alchemy competition against the Ning Family’s talented new junior or not, it would just make it more difficult for him to marry the Seventh Miss. But, if Zeng Zhongxiu’s performance was dazzling enough, that was also a chance for him to display his prowess. He knew that this apprentice nephew of his had recently made a breakthrough in his alchemy skills.
Immortal Eclipse Valley was the weakest of the three sides. It was not possible to directly compete, but taking alternate routes might open up an opportunity. Otherwise, with Eclipse Lenqing being a Nascent Soul powerhouse for better or worse, how could he knowingly fall for such an obvious trap?
Xue Zheng had a tranquil look, as if he didn’t care about the battle between Immortal Eclipse Valley and the demonic path. By his side was a pale Prince Hai Deepwhite, the same one that Qin Yu had met once when he first captured Princess Lushy. His robes and hair were still white as before, but he lacked the heroic vigor of the past; it seemed as if he had suffered a great blow recently.
When Qin Yu learned of the alchemy competition that Immortal Eclipse Valley proposed, he was startled for a moment before he bitterly smiled. Indeed, people could never predict the path that would open up to them. He had acted ahead of time to avoid the arriving guests, but he never imagined that such an incident would occur. It was certainly impossible for him to join the alchemy competition, otherwise his identity would be exposed. He was a formidable cultivator capable of fighting a Nascent Soul powerhouse and he had sneaked his way into the Gold Noble Family. If he said he wasn’t up to something bad, would anyone believe him?
As this thought appeared, Qin Yu coughed out loud and grabbed his belly. “Senior-apprentice brother, my stomach hurts too much; I must excuse myself first!” He turned and ran away. Before the Ning Family cultivator messenger could regain his composure, Qin Yu had already vanished from sight.
Not only was the messenger stunned, but those around him were also left in a daze. This…could this be the legendary ‘using a stomach illness to escape’ method? But, was this really the right thing to do at such a critical time? If he ran away at such a moment, what would happen to the honor of the Gold Noble Family?
After a brief moment of shock, the messenger cultivator shook his head and stomped his feet. “That bastard! What the hell are you all doing? Hurry up and find him! Bring him directly to the reception hall!”
He turned and rushed away. He needed to immediately inform the higher ups of the clan about this.
At this time, there were two high-grade pill furnaces and several sets of materials placed in the reception hall. A light medicinal fragrance hung in the air. Several Ning Family Nascent Souls were entertaining their visiting guests.
“Everyone, please try this. This is some old tea produced in my family, and there are only a few pounds produced every 30 years. The flavor is quite nice.” Ning Wanqian smiled at everyone around him. Since he was greeting everyone here in place of the Patriarch, he certainly had to do his best.
Just as his voice fell, a disciple arrived by his side and bowed before hurriedly whispering some words. Ning Wanqian’s face stiffened and fury poured out from his eyes. But in the end, he was one of the more controlled people of his generation. He took a deep breath and composed himself, but one could still sense a slight change with him.
What nonsense. How could he remain natural?
The solemn Gold Noble Family, the clan with the most majestic bloodline in the world, actually had a subordinate cultivator who not only ran away from a fight, but even used the shameless stomach ache excuse to do so. If that bastard Qin Ning didn’t immediately arrive, then Elder Ning Wanqian would definitely make him understand what it meant to wish for death!
Around the hall, the other Ning Family Elders began to slowly learn of this. Although they all maintained their calm demeanors, the atmosphere began to stiffen a little.
Heavenstar Demon’s eyes flashed. He said, “Where is that new alchemy talent of your clan? How come he hasn’t appeared yet?”
The smiles of the Ning Family Elders became a bit more forced.
Ning Wanqian pulled over a disciple. After asking some questions, he smiled and said, “Unfortunately, it just so happens that my clan’s disciple has suddenly gone into seclusion. It appears he has gained some recent alchemy insights. We will have to postpone today’s alchemy competition to a later time.”
It wasn’t that he hadn’t thought about switching to get someone else to compete against Zeng Zhongxiu instead, but if these three factions said they didn’t have spies in their clan, he would be the first to not believe them. Moreover, their clan had already detected some saboteurs in their midst, but hadn’t yet truly grasped their identities, so they were currently letting them be and pretending they didn’t see anything. Perhaps they knew about Qin Ning and perhaps they didn’t, but if they took the risk and were seen through, they couldn’t afford the loss of face that would follow.
Heavenstar Demon smiled. “Is that so? It seems there are some people that can act freely for a bit longer!”
Eclipse Lenqing coldly shouted, “Heavenstar Demon, you can stop with the shady remarks. How can the reputation of my Immortal Eclipse Valley be ruined be the likes of you? If you dare spout such nonsense again then I won’t spare you!”
Heavenstar Demon laughed. “How ridiculous! Just who is it that has been so frightened by my demonic path that they haven’t dared step out of their valley for years! Eclipse Lenqing, if you are so indignant about this matter, then once this event ends you can I can both fight it out!”
Eclipse Lenqing’s complexion darkened. “Good, then I’ll be waiting for you!”
The Ning Family took this chance to end today’s meeting. They ordered the disciples to lead the guests to their various accommodations. After the cultivators from the three factions left, the Ning Family cultivators all paled and left in a huff!
The Gold Noble Family was marrying off a daughter and the three sides were competing for her. They should have been sitting on a high platform and chatting as the three sides struggled, but they were actually the first ones pulled into a difficult situation, leaving their Elders enraged. Finally, they had been forced to lie to withdraw. To the incomparably proud Gold Noble Family, this was a tremendous shame on their name.
But Qin Yu was also left in a helpless position. Ah, he simply couldn’t tell others about his difficulties and how he couldn’t expose his identity here. So, when facing questions, he could only remain silent.
Ning Yuan had a worried expression. “Qin Ning, the alchemy competition today was not the critical issue. It would have been best if you won, but losing wouldn’t be anything against you. As long as you displayed your strength as a third-grade alchemist, the clan would not punish you. But, no matter what you did, you should not have chosen to avoid the battle. The lords of the clan value their honor above all. What you did was the same as a slap against their face. They will surely punish you.”
Qin Ning bitterly smiled. He knew that the key point was how much the Ning Family valued their honor. In this mysterious clan, everyone was arrogant to their bones. Avoiding this battle was the greatest possible taboo he could have done, but he had no other choice.
Seeing his silence, Ning Yuan’s eyes dimmed. But, she didn’t give up. “Qin Ning, is there some problem that you can’t say out loud? If you tell me, I can help you try and find a way.”
Suddenly, the courtyard doors were pushed open and several black-clothed Ning Family cultivators rushed in, gloomy expressions on their faces. “Qin Ning, follow us!”
Qin Yu had already expected this. He nodded towards Ning Yuan and left.
Ning Yuan blanched. Those were people from the Disciplinary Hall. Qin Ning had committed a great mistake this time, and if he went he would surely suffer a loss. She clenched her teeth and returned home. But just as she mentioned this matter, she was interrupted by the elder.
“Ning Yuan, do not interfere in this matter. Even my honor was damaged by him! And to think I valued him so much! To avoid the battle is a disgrace upon my clan’s prestige. What he did was ruin his own future. Now, the clan will not give Qin Ning a single chance to rise again. You should stay as far away from him as possible in the future and leave him to his own devices!” He left with a cold cough.
Ning Yuan was filled with bitter distress. Qin Ning, you were always so smart and determined, how could you make such a wrong decision? Even I have no way of saving you now.Previous Chapter Next Chapter