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Chapter 3 – Changed Destiny

Refining the Mountains and Rivers
     Qin Yu’s expression froze for an instant, but this surprise disappeared in the next moment. He put on a frightened look and said, “Xu Jian, what are you doing? Don’t mess with me, I am not afraid of you!”

    Perhaps it was because he was too worked up, but he violently coughed, his face turning deathly pale as if he was in agonizing pain.

    A middle-aged man stepped forwards. He wore blue robes and exuded an imposing appearance. His eyes swept around and he frowned. The residence of an outer court disciple was small and narrow, and it was particularly cramped when several people squeezed themselves in. Still, the injuries of this disciple before him were extremely suspicious at the moment.

    As Xu Jian observed the area, he snapped, “Last night, Senior-apprentice Brothers Han Dong and Wei Wei were murdered, and now the entire sect has been sealed off while a search is underway for the killer. High Master Li is going to question you and you need to reply truthfully. If there is a single lie in your words then your life will be in danger!”

    Xu Jian turned around and his ferocious appearance suddenly turned servile, as if he were wanting to flatter.

    Li Mu simply didn’t put the flattery of these outer court disciples in his eyes. He directly aside, “I ask you, where were you last night? And where do your wounds come from?”

    Qin Yu’s face filled with panic, seeming as if he were completely shocked and overwhelmed. His voice trembled as he said, “I was in my room last night. Because my old illness broke out, I missed today’s work. I ask High Master to show mercy!”

    Li Mu frowned. He didn’t doubt the terror and panic in this disciple’s voice. He asked, “Does anyone remember this person’s old illness?”

    Xu Jian wanted to see Qin Yu suffer, but at this time he didn’t dare to speak any lies. He respectfully said, “Reporting to High Master, half a year ago Qin Yu was punished due to the medicine garden accident, and he has indeed not fully healed yet.”

    Li Mu glanced at Qin Yu’s horrified expression and inwardly shook his head. This disciple was only at the first level of Energy Refining and also looked like a sickly ghost on the verge of death, and even his disposition seemed like that of a timid little mouse. How could someone like him possibly be related to the murder? But since he was here, he had to investigate!

    He waved his hand, “Search the room!”

    Xu Jian and the others began to immediately overturn the entire room, leaving everything in a chaotic mess.

    Of course, they didn’t find anything.

    Li Mu simply turned around. “We’re leaving.”

    Xu Jian respectfully bowed. He cast back a cold glare before he left, seemingly unwilling to leave like this.

    Qin Yu lowered his head, hiding his expression from line of sight. In reality, his heart was shaking at this moment. The deaths of Han Dong and Wei Wei had actually been noticed so quickly! Luckily, he had taken precautions last night and hid away the lamp and other things, otherwise he had no idea how he would die if those things were discovered!

    “Qin Yu! Qin Yu! I saw Xu Jian leave just now, did he bully you again? I will settle this score with him later!” A tall and strong youth walked in, his body solid and large like an iron tower made of flesh. The ground seemed to shake with each step he took. Although he was scowling, he had a babyish face that was tender and naïve; he didn’t appear fierce at all.

    His name was Lang Tu, but because of his appearance, Qin Yu had jokingly nicknamed him Potato.

    Qin Yu waved his hand. “Let them be. Quick, help me up.”

    Lang Tu was surprised. He quickly helped support Qin Yu. “Is something wrong with you?”

    Qin Yu forced a smile. When he saw Xu Jian and the others pass through his door, he had put on an act until they left. But although he had somehow succeeded, he could still feel his heart shivering. Now, his hands and feet were still a bit numb. He grabbed onto Potato and sat up on the bed, wiping off the beads of sweat on his forehead.

    “Qin Yu, what happened?” Lang Tu anxiously asked.

    Qin Yu briefly explained what had happened. As Lang Tu heard this, his face filled with horror. He never imagined that the situation was so dangerous just now. But then he spoke words that nearly angered Qin Yu to death.

    “It’s a good thing you have a weak body. It's already difficult for you to kill a chicken so it’s impossible for you to be the murderer. If it weren’t for your condition things would really be troublesome!”

    Qin Yu glared at him. “If you don’t have to say something then don’t say it. It’s like your brain has holes! Hurry up and get me something to eat, I’m starving to death here!”

    Lang Tu laughed. “You’re just in luck. I stewed a pheasant last night and still have half a pot of meat remaining. I’ll bring it to you.” As he walked to the door, he rubbed his head and said, “Oh, that’s right. I finished your assignments for today so you don’t need to worry about being punished later.”

    As Qin Yu watched Lang Tu leave, his heart warmed. He had a deep understanding into just how incredible Potato’s appetite was. Let alone one pheasant, he could clear out ten of them in a single meal if he wanted. When he said he had half a pot of meat left, the truth was that he had left it for him especially.

    When he ate the last of the soup and put down the bowl, a warm feeling rose up from his stomach, making him feel much better.

    Lang Tu had already left. This boy had poor talent for cultivation, but he was actually born with an overbearing mortal body. He had chosen to walk the road to sainthood with his mortal body, and practiced with stone blocks every day. His diligence and hard work even put Qin Yu to shame. And of course, before he left, he also helped put up a pair of new doors for his room.

    After Qin Yu cleaned up, he rose and started to move. Then, he lay back down on his bed to take a nap. The sky began to dim and the room darkened. Qin Yu lay on his bed motionless, his breaths long and gentle, as if he had already entered into a deep sleep.

    The moon climbed into the skies and the cold night deepened. Soon, midnight arrived.

    Shua –

    Qin Yu’s eyes opened. They were clear and bright without the least bit of fatigue in them. He rose up, pretending to listen to his surroundings. Then, he sat back down on his bed. After he didn’t notice anything strange, he rose back up and carefully went to open the hidden drawer in the wall.

    A trace of deep blue light flowed out. Qin Yu was shocked. It was only when he found that this light covered an area a foot in radius did he let out a breath of relief.

    He didn’t know just what this thumb-sized lamp was. But just from it being normal in the daytime and giving off blue light at night, he could tell that it was something extraordinary!

    He sat back down on his bed. After some thought, he took out a knife and made a small cut on his finger, allowing blood to flow out. For better or worse, he was still a disciple of an immortal cultivating sect and had a basic knowledge of what to do in these situations. For instance, what he was doing now was the roughest and most basic method of using a drop of blood to have the treasure recognize him as its master.

    He stared helplessly on as the drop of blood fell on the lamp and then rolled off. Qin Yu was disappointed for a moment but then he relaxed. This treasure was something he had risked his life on to obtain, so how could it recognize him as its master so easily? He fiddled with it some more, even using some of his incredibly weak first level Energy Refining magic power. But in the end, he couldn’t work out how to use this lamp.

    Qin Yu thought for a moment and then put the lamp to the side. He opened up the separately wrapped pills. He didn’t forget that he was currently burdened with a grave illness. If he didn’t hurry up and cure himself and something were to happen again like last night, he didn’t think he would have another stroke of good luck to live through it.

    The pills on Wei Wei’s body were from four jade bottles. There was a terrifying number of them. Qin Yu spent a great deal of effort picking through them until he managed to identify one kind. It was a minor spirit pill, a pill used to speed up cultivation that the sect passed down to outstanding disciples who displayed a considerable level of talent.

    The reason he recognized it was because he had once seen a fellow sect disciple show one off. As for the other three kinds, he could only put them to the side first. He didn’t dare to recklessly use them without ascertaining what their effects were.

    As he picked up a minor spirit pill that was emitting a rich medicinal fragrance, Qin Yu sighed with emotion. Wei Wei was truly worth being called the disciple most beloved by the Sect Master. Even if it were just these pills alone, there was unlikely to be a single disciple anywhere on the Eastern Mountain Sect that could compare with him.

    But now, these pills were his!

    He took a deep breath filled with anticipation. Then, Qin Yu swallowed a pill and quickly closed his eyes. This was his first time swallowing a cultivation pill. Without any previous experience in taking them, he could only continue cautiously.

    As the minor spirit pill fell into his stomach, warmth began to fill his body and circulate through him, as if he were soaking in a comfortable bath. During the process, the warm medicinal efficiency blended together with his flesh and blood, transforming into pure spiritual strength that flowed into his dantian.

    Qin Yu fell in love with this sort of feeling. He never imagined that cultivating could actually be so satisfying. He closed his eyes and stimulated the movement of medicinal efficacy in his body. He could feel the spiritual strength within his body swiftly growing. This sort of clear sensation left him drunk on his own rising power.

    He didn’t know how much time passed, but the heat within his body began to slowly fade away. Qin Yu’s eyes opened. Without any hesitation, he swallowed another minor spirit pill.

    He closed his eyes and cultivated, digesting it again.

    Unconsciously, the night passed. When the morning light began to rise in the east, Qin Yu’s breath suddenly changed. A faint breeze blew into the room, lifting up the lower hem of his clothes.

    Energy Refining, second level!

    Qin Yu’s eyes opened and his face filled with joyous surprise. He never thought his lost cultivation would be recovered overnight. He leapt up onto his feet. He didn’t feel exhausted from not having slept the entire night, but felt refreshed both mentally and physically instead!

    He could feel the magic power from the second level of Energy Refining flowing through his body as well as the unprecedented comfort in his chest. Qin Yu suppressed his happy laughter. Not only had his cultivation recovered but his old illness had been cured. This was simply two joyous events arriving together.

    This also made Qin Yu realize how important pills were to a cultivator. Before this, he had spent seven years to reach the second level of Energy Refining. When compared to the speed of last night, the difference was mind-boggling! If he could have endless pills at his disposal, then no matter how inferior his talent was, he could still possess a cultivation speed that left others bewildered. In the future he might even become a supreme elder of the immortal path that ruled his own domain.

    But just as these thoughts appeared, Qin Yu quickly tamped them back down. A look of self-ridicule appeared on his face. Refining pills was not an easy process. Not to mention the rare and precious materials that were required, just the horrific failure rate during the refinement process was enough to leave one shaking in fear.

    To eat pills as if one were eating rice in order to increase one’s cultivation; that was an impossible prospect. Let alone their small Eastern Mountain Sect, not even Immortal Eclipse Valley, the legendary sect ranked number one within 100,000 miles of the Southern Empire that was also known for their alchemy skills, could achieve this.

    “You’re daydreaming even at dawn. Hurry and wake up.” Qin Yu mumbled to himself. He calmed down and began to think once more.

    Although he had somehow muddled through the events of yesterday, he would still need to be more cautious in the upcoming days. He would also need to slow down in taking pills to increase his cultivation. Otherwise, it would be extremely questionable if his cultivation was to rapidly increase, and he didn’t want some tragedy to occur due to greedy haste.

    He picked up the thumb-sized lamp. The blue light it emitted had disappeared along with the morning light. This was absolutely an amazing treasure, and it was likely that the meteoric rise of Wei Wei was related to it.

    He subconsciously tightened his grip on the lamp, his eyes brightening. Pills were good, but in his mind, this lamp was the most important. Just as he was about to put away the remaining minor spirit pills and hide them with the lamp in the hidden drawer, his eyebrows pressed together and surprise colored his face.

    Of the minor spirit pills spread out on his bed, a dozen some on the corner appeared to be emitting a faint lustrous brilliance. Although it was weak, there was no way that Qin Yu would misread it. As he put them side by side and contrasted them with the other ordinary ones, the difference was even more conspicuous.

    All of the minor spirit pills were the same. Last night when Qin Yu had poured them out, he had taken a good look over all of them. He picked up one of the lustrous minor spirit pills and smelled it. As the medical fragrance wafted into his nose, he was left shocked!

    These pills were absolutely extraordinary.

    But what was going on here? These pills seemed to have automatically upgraded overnight! A strange heat began to spin around in Qin Yu’s heart, as if some possible theory was within his reach. But as he was thinking about it, he still couldn’t touch upon what the reason was.

    What was it?

    Just what was it?

    Suddenly, Qin Yu’s gaze fell upon the lamp in his hand and a bolt of lightning pierced through the fog on his mind.

    The thumb-sized lamp!

    Yes, this was it!

    Qin Yu’s memories were incredibly clear at this moment. He remembered last night. He had put the lamp to the side when he swallowed a pill and started to cultivate. The dozen some pills that had changed were all placed near the lamp. Or to be more precise, they were placed within the foot wide radius of blue light that the thumb-sized lamp emitted.

    Qin Yu’s heart raced and his mouth turned dry. He bit the tip of his tongue and forcefully maintained his calm.

    This was only speculation. First, he had to stabilize himself and wait until after tonight to discover the truth. But at the bottom of his heart, Qin Yu had an intuition that his suspicions were correct, and the rise of Wei Wei was the best evidence for this!

    For the rest of the day, Qin Yu was left in a stunned daze. With recuperating as an excuse, he didn’t go anywhere. Lang Tu dropped by, and after making a little fuss and ensuring that Qin Yu was in good condition, he agreed to help him finish his daily work and then left in a hurry.

    Lang Tu’s diligence was day after day, without a single break.

    The night returned.

    Qin Yu sat in the dark. The thumb-sized lamp was placed on a table. It emitted a blue light, making everything within a foot resemble the deep sea. Ten each of the four different pills were placed on the table, five of them within the blue light and five of them outside.

    For the entire night, Qin Yu didn’t rest at all.

    As the sun rose, he pushed the door open. He stood in his little courtyard, staring at the blazing sun, a dazed look in his eyes. In a dark corner of the room, of the 40 pills on the table, all 20 of the ones that were bathed in the blue light had been upgraded.

    He stayed like this for a long, long time.

    Qin Yu let out a long breath. Then, the dazed look on his features was swept away. His black pupils were like an ancient well, deep and dark as they reflected the sun. His gaze began to fiercely burn with an unprecedented confidence.

    Today, his destiny had changed!