Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Yunshang’s eyes gleamed brilliantly. Although her face looked unusually tired, there was an excitement that could not be concealed from it. Her hands immediately flashed and several seals formed on her fingertips, before transforming into streams of true flame that flew into the tomahawk. The weapon, which was a little violent, suddenly produced a pulling force, devouring all the scattering gold dust.
For a moment, the surface of the bright red tomahawk flickered with golden specks as it emanated a steady, heavy aura, giving those around it a feeling as if a mountain was pressing down on them.
With the cries, two beams of light flew from her fingertips into the tomahawk, and its scalding heat and the heaviness vanished immediately. Then, it began shrinking rapidly, and turned into a mini axe in the end, falling into her palm.
After carefully inspecting the mini axe in her palm, Yunshang walked joyously toward the few men and handed it with both hands to the white-bearded old man in the middle as she said respectfully, “Master Xu, please have a look!”
Xu Han’s gaze lightly swept over the tomahawk as he smiled and said, “It’s not necessary. This Sun Smashing Axe has reached the level of the first tier of the superior weapon. Yunshang, you’ve passed the assessment.”
Pa! Pa! Pa!
The other few men all clapped their hands and looked smilingly at Yunshang, their faces full of praise.
Yunshang was elated, and her excitement was too great to contain. “Thank you, Master Xu, and all of you Masters!”
Xu Han shook his head and said, “This has nothing to do with us…it’s all your own effort. I’m just curious, how did you melt carmot into red copper? You had failed at this step in the previous assessments.”
The other men fell silent, all looking at her, puzzled.
Yunxiao’s youthful face suddenly flashed through Yunshang’s mind, and so did his elegant, leisured voice:
“Because even though red copper’s attribute is metal, it is actually inclined more toward the fire element. So, it has a great melting ability for carmot. As a result, many alchemists prefer carmot when upgrading red copper weapons. But, if it contains the sky crystal sand, it’s a different story.”
“Because the attribute of sky crystal sand is water, it neutralizes red copper’s fire attribute. So, the more you add, the worse red copper’s ability to melt carmot gets.”
“The solution is quite simple. Treat sky crystal sand as an impurity and use the refinement essence to remove it.”
“I see!” Xu Han was enlightened. “I can’t believe it was so simple. Your ability to discover this secret is proof of your superior intelligence. The state of Tianshui now has one more true alchemist. Tomorrow I’ll send someone to inform His majesty. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled and throw another feast for his subjects to celebrate for you.”
Yunshang flushed slightly, but as her cheeks were already covered in sweat from the excessive consumption of her soul power and Primordial Qi, that made her look even more attractive. “Master Xu, please inform His Majesty that I don’t need a feast, because I don’t like too much publicity.”
Yan Lei, who was standing behind Xu Han, laughed and said, “This is a great achievement, so how could we not have a feast? Yunshang, you are the most gifted person among the younger generation of the state of Tianshui. In just three years, you’ve made His Majesty give you two feasts. For hundreds of years, Lord Yang Di was the only person I can remember who had that honor.”
In the state of Tianshui, whenever someone was promoted to a first-tier alchemist or stepped into the Three Powers realm and became a Great Martial Master, the king would host a feast at the palace, inviting all the dignitaries to celebrate.
A feast like this had been held three years ago when Yunshang had broken through the Three Powers realm and become a Great Martial Master.
At Yan Lei’s words, Yunshang said hurriedly, “You’re flattering me, Master Yan. I’m just a lesser alchemist. How can I ever compare with Lord Yang Di?”
Stroking his beard, Xu Han chuckled and said, “You don’t have to be so modest. Lord Yang Di is talented, but he also benefited a lot from being a disciple of Lord Gu Feiyang, who was a ninth-tier alchemist. That’s his luck! If you are lucky in the future, your achievements might not be lesser than Lord Yang Di. You just lack a good teacher.”
When Yunshang tried to argue, he interrupted her with a slight wave of his hand and said, “Today, the Alchemists’ Association needs to celebrate as well. We have two more first-tier alchemists this year alone. Both you and Jia Rong are the rising stars of our branch in the state of Tianshui!”
Another alchemist, Su Yuanqiao, suddenly snorted coldly and said, “President Xu, I agree with you that Yunshang is a rising star. As for Jia Rong…If I’m not mistaken, he’s deeply poisoned now!”
Everyone was shocked and looked confused. Xu Han’s face flickered as he asked, “What do you mean by that, Yuanqiao?”
A strange glint flashed in Yunshang’s eyes. “Master Xu, I’ll take my leave now.” She was very clever. As soon as she saw Su Yuanqiao’s unusual expression, she knew it must be about some classified information, so she took the initiative to avoid it.
Xu Han shook his head and said, “Now that you’ve passed the assessment, you are officially a first-tier alchemist. That also means you are one of the association’s core members. You have the right to know everything about the association, so there’s no need to avoid it.”
Su Yuanqiao glanced at the crowd as he laughed coldly and said, “I’ve found out that Jia Rong cheated in his last assessment. He used the prohibited material—Hell Wind stone!”
Everyone’s face fell as they glanced at each other. They were all alchemists, so they naturally knew what the Hell Wind stone was. Yan Lei said with a serious expression, “Su Yuanqiao, be careful with your words! I know you don’t like Jia Rong, and you’ve been making things difficult for him since he was an apprentice. But, you can’t simply accuse him for nothing!”
“I accuse him for nothing?” Su Yuanqiao sneered. “I fear that the toxin has already gone deep into his marrow by now! I’ve sent someone to find out the materials he had bought after he was promoted. They are all antidotes. Moreover, he was secretly looking to purchase detoxing pills with high prices everywhere. You all should know what detoxing pills are, right? The legendary fourth-grade alchemy pill that can neutralize all toxins, which is so rare that you can’t even purchase one with money! Hehe! Five days ago, he began crazily purchasing various poisonous materials, and since he returned in a hurry, he has been in deep seclusion. I bet he must have been at his wit’s end, trying to fight fire with fire. Sadly, the toxicity of Hell Wind stone can’t be relieved so easily, not even with detoxing pills. I reckon he must be completely crippled by now!”
Xu Han’s face gradually grew unsightly. Su Yuanqiao took out a sheet of paper and handed it to the crowd. “Here’s the list of what he had done after he was promoted to a first-tier alchemist. You all can have a look.” After a brief glance at the list, everyone had a worried look in their eyes.
In the end, the list was passed to Yunshang. She was slightly shocked, for even the meals Jia Rong took each day were clearly recorded on it. It was obvious that Su Yuanqiao had planned this long ago. Now that he had made the move, he must have had every confidence. Jia Rong was probably not going to escape his doom this time!
“If you still have doubts, we can summon Jia Rong here, and you will know that I’m right just by looking at him. Since he came back five days ago, he has been staying in the tower!” When he saw most of the people believing in what he said, Su Yuanqiao could not help feeling complacent.
“Hmph! How do you know he’s not cultivating in seclusion?” Anger flashed in Yan Lei’s eyes. He and Su Yuanqiao had never liked each other.
“Since Jia Rong was promoted to an alchemist, he had given up his martial arts training and focused on alchemy,” Su Yuanqiao sneered. “An alchemist’s cultivation is mainly to nourish the soul power. Only through continuous refinement can one enhance soul power. He is only a first-tier alchemist, so five days are more than enough for him to refine anything. Yan Lei, why are you so protective of him? Are you involved in his use of the Hell Wind stone?”
“Nonsense!” Yan Lei flew into a rage.
“Stop arguing!” Xu Han said in a deep voice. “Jiang Cheng, bring Jia Rong here. Whatever he is doing, he must come at once!”
Xu Han was the president of Tianshui’s Alchemists Association, and also one of the only two third-tier Grandmaster Alchemists in Tianshui. He was in a position of great reverence, not inferior to even the emperor. The other third-tier alchemist was the Chief Alchemist of the imperial palace, Zhang Qingfan. Their strength was almost on a par!
The title of the alchemist was not only a symbol of strength, but also a noble status, the pride of all alchemists! As the president of the Alchemists Association, Xu Han would never allow fraud to happen!
The look on everyone’s face was grave, as if they all realized that a small storm was coming!
Soon, Jia Rong followed Jiang Cheng to the fourth floor of the Alchemist Tower, the venue that held the qualification assessment. After greeting Xu Han, he nodded to the others. An indiscernible trace of smile emerged on the corners of his mouth when he glanced at Su Yuanqiao. Finally, his eyes rested on Yunshang as he praised, “Jiang Cheng just told me that Lord Yunshang has been promoted to a first-tier alchemist. You’re indeed talented! Among the five commanders of the State Guardians, your overall strength is considered the strongest!”
Yunshang nodded and said, “You’re flattering me, Lord Jia! The other four commanders’ strength is far beyond mine. I just had better luck.”
Jia Rong smiled and made no further comment. Instead, he said loudly, “President Xu, I was refining in seclusion. May I know the reason behind the hasty summons? Could it be that we are celebrating Yunshang’s promotion?”
There was a flicker of doubt in Su Yuanqiao’s eyes. By his inference, Jia Rong’s complexion could not have looked this good. He snorted coldly and said, “You’re really good at faking, Jia Rong! Even now you can pretend as if you are fine!”
Xu Han took out the list and threw it over as he stared at Jia Rong and said, “Yuanqiao suspects that you used the Hell Wind stone during the last assessment. This is the result of his investigation into you over the past few days. I need an explanation from you right now!”
With a cold snort, Jia Rong took the list and glanced at it. A flame of anger immediately rose from the bottom of his heart. ‘This old bastard! I can’t believe he actually sent someone to follow me!’ At the same time, he had a panicking fear. ‘Luckily, Young Master Yun has cured me of the toxin and even taught me a soul cultivation technique. Otherwise, I would have lost my reputation today and been doomed to ruin!’
At this moment, his gratitude toward Yunxiao poured forth like a fountain.
“Su Yuanqiao, you old codger! You should be the one who should give me an explanation!” He threw the list down on the floor and said furiously, “Lord President, if I ever used the Hell Wind stone, you all can easily detect it. But if I didn’t, I need an explanation from this old codger Su!”
Xu Han nodded and said, “I will. Now, put out your hands and completely restrain your divine sense. We will conduct a thorough examination of your physical condition.”
Su Yuanqiao grinned hideously and said, “You need an answer from me? Let’s see how you are going to face your death when we find out your problem!”
Jia Rong smiled suddenly as he lifted his head proudly and said, “I, Jia Rong, have nothing to hide. You can examine all you want. Come on!” He rolled up his sleeves and held out a pair of fair hands.
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