Chapter 151: An Abnormal Presence
Zi Shang appeared instantly. His slit pupils were trained on the brick, and his tail continuously shook side to side. Even hugging Ye Jiuge flew far from his mind.
“What’s this treasure?” This was the first time Ye Jiuge had seen Zi Shang so agitated.
“This is a Transformation Pearl. It was lost after the Great Demonic Tribe War. Who could have thought that it would end up here?” Zi Shang felt that his luck was off the charts. Now, he could fully transform into a humanoid form.
“If the Transformation Pearl is so precious, how did it become a brick for supporting shelves?” Ye Jiuge was in disbelief.
“Who knows?” Zi Shang did not care. He swiped his palm across the brick and extracted an azure pearl that emitted a faint fragrance.
Lured by the fragrance, Ye Jiuge unconsciously swallowed. She could tell that the Pearl was something useful, something greatly beneficial to her.
“Don’t even dream of it. It’s mine.” Anything else, Zi Shang would not mind giving to her. But this Transformation Pearl was a no-no.
“I’m just looking.” Ye Jiuge would never dream of snatching it from Zi Shang’s mouth.
“From now on, I am going into Enclosed Cultivation. Take care of yourself, and don’t get into trouble!” Zi Shang swallowed the Transformation Pearl and returned to Ye Jiuge’s Imprint.
“When will you be back?” Ye Jiuge asked hurriedly, but there was no response from Zi Shang. It seemed like he had already gone into a deep sleep.
Ye Jiuge cursed silently: D*mn! It’s always like this. Elder Sister prays that your transformation ends in a flop.
Afterward, she had dinner, settled some errands, and went back to her room to start looking through the yellow leather booklet Wan Ziyang had given her. She found detailed introductions about every participant at the Alchemy Convention, including their local addresses in the Medicine Refinery Building.
This time, including Ye Shanshan and herself, six Level-two Alchemists were participating. Besides Gong Hongyu from Baimu City, the other names were foreign.
She carelessly glossed over the booklet, then sat crossed-legged on the bed and began to cultivate the All-encompassing Scripture.
Ever since she had obtained the White Bone Flame, her cultivation speed had become very fast. Even when she was not cultivating intentionally, her Spiritual Power still spiraled slowly. However, her Cognitive abilities were still the best. In the past, her Cognitive could only cover the space of one room. Now, it could reach beyond that.
She slowly released her Cognitive into the next room and received a clear image of a peacefully sleeping Ye Ruyi. She was about to continue practicing her Cognitive reach when, suddenly, something bloody swept past her building and flew toward the east. It jerked her Cognitive back in place.
Ye Jiuge’s eyes snapped open. The cold and bloody presence just now was very odd. It did not feel like Su Junqing. Could it be Liu Yunfei?
Ye Jiuge jumped out of the window, chasing alongside the row of buildings on the eastern side. Sadly, even after going around thoroughly, the abnormal presence could no longer be found.
Besides the Crown Prince, Su Junqing, Ye Shanshan, and Gong Hongyu, she remembered that a few other important people were staying here. Ye Jiuge took out the yellow leather booklet again to investigate. She found that, besides herself, the rest of the Level-two Alchemists were all staying in the eastern buildings. Was this a coincidence or an accident? The more Ye Jiuge thought about it, the more uneasy she felt.
She returned to her room and had trouble sleeping. Before dawn, she got up to find Lady Chang.
“Lady Chang, did anything happen in the eastern buildings?” Ye Jiuge asked.
“No. The night guards reported that everything was fine. Did Eldest Miss find something?” Lady Chang asked hurriedly.
If Ye Jiuge had found something they hadn’t, this would mean that the guards were lax in their duty.
“No, I’m merely asking.” Ye Jiuge shook her head. She could not help but glance to the east.
It looked tranquil. Besides the coming and going of the slaves and servants, there was not an Alchemist in sight. Everyone was absorbed in preparing for the next day’s tournament. Thinking about the upcoming tournament, Ye Jiuge could only lay her doubts to rest and place her full concentration on preparing for the Pill Production Tournament.
The next day, the Pill Production Tournament officially started. All contestants had to await entry in the Medicine Refinery Hall’s parlor. Ye Jiuge pulled Ye Ruyi along and stood in one corner, carefully observing the Level-two Alchemists participating in this tournament.
Gong Hongyu wore a long red skirt and stood in the middle of the parlor, arrogant and cocky. She looked at the others with a demeaning glint in her eyes as if saying, ‘you losers are only here to boost the numbers.’
Ye Shanshan had on a long white skirt and stood beside Gong Hongyu like a delicate lotus flower. She appeared quite low-key.
A youth wearing a black and red robe with a head full of small braids stood in a corner to the left. His eyes roamed around, highly alert and watchful.
In the right corner, there was a high-cheeked middle-aged lady whose facial features looked rather mean. She seemed aloof.
A tall, well-built, black-faced, and rough-looking man stood at the door. His eyes were bright with intelligence, and his short hair stood on end. While he looked like a thug, he was definitely a level-two Alchemist.
Just as Ye Jiuge was observing the rest, they were also doing the same. Observing and trying to gauge the gaps between each other. Before, Ye Jiuge had been a notorious loser, so these Alchemists did not give her too much thought. Instead, they focused more on Gong Hongyu and Ye Shanshan.
“Eldest Sister, why hasn’t the tournament started?” Ye Ruyi was growing a little tired of standing.
“Soon, just bear with it for a little longer.”
Just as Ye Jiuge finished speaking, 20 youths wearing green robes with bamboo motifs entered the parlor. These were the Medicine Refinery City’s apprentices, who oversaw various tasks to ensure that the Pill Production Tournament ran smoothly.
One of the apprentices held a large green box in his hands, and announced clearly: “Honored guests, please come over here to draw lots. The number on the lot denotes the Pill Production Room that you will be using later.”
Ye Jiuge drew number 36, while Ye Ruyi drew number 48.
After the drawing of lots came to an end, the apprentices lined up in two rows and called out in unison: “Paying respects to Great Master Dongfang.”
Thump, thump, thump!
In walked a skinny-looking elder with messy hair and wearing a grey robe. He was the host of this tournament—the Level-five Alchemist of the Lei Kingdom’s imperial family, Dongfang Yao.
The elderly Imperial Uncle tied his white hair back with a simple cloth strip, and a few strands fell loose against his forehead.
His sleeves were uneven lengths—one long, one short. It was easy to see that he did not care for propriety norms. He’d stayed in the Alchemist City his entire life and was a well-known Alchemy Freak. He was a judge at the Pill Production Tournament every year and was an impartial person whom everyone trusted.
Dongfang Yao was a man of few words. He stepped up and immediately rang the bell signaling the start of the tournament and for participants to enter.
Ye Jiuge’s Pill Production Room was located in the center-right corner. The furnishings were simple and functional. On the left was a Level-two Pill Production Furnace; and on the right, some equipment for handling herbs had been placed.
None of the Pill Production Rooms had roofs, which allowed the judge to monitor the tournament from above with ease.
Dongfang Yao’s voice resounded all around the hall: “Today’s test topic is the Heart Nourishment Pill.”
Hearing this test topic, Ye Jiuge was taken aback.