Aunty Hong was startled. From Qin Yu’s moderate expression, it seemed that he had never considered exchanging for the god blood to begin with; the only reason he mentioned it was to test her. And it was clear that her reply was to his satisfaction. As for his bow, it was to thank her for before and also to express his apologies for testing her.
Looking at her expression that revealed she had already realized what he was doing, Qin Yu smiled and said, “The world is dangerous and human relations are full of peril. I had no choice but to be a bit careful. I hope Aunty Hong isn’t offended by my actions.” He began to trust this woman a little. At the very least, up until now her actions were quite considerate towards him.
Aunty Hong shook her head. “I understand. After all, there isn’t too deep a friendship between us. However, the miss cares a great deal for you and I hope you know this.”
Qin Yu didn’t think too much about it. He nodded.
Aunty Hong smiled. “The nirvana lotus seed will be sent today and that finishes my business here…mm, to be more exact, there’s one other thing. May I ask, Mister Qin, are you a hundred years old yet?”
Cultivating led to a longer life, and with the effects of cultivation, the appearance of cultivators often aged slowly. In addition to some treasures that helped the appearance, it was difficult to determine a cultivator’s age from looks alone.
Qin Yu was puzzled. “I am not a hundred years old yet.”
Aunty Hong was overjoyed. “I was thinking about something, and it might be an opportunity for you.” In truth, this entire matter could be summed up in a few words: In the Southshine Nation, there was a Youth Alchemy Competition held every 30 years, with the winner receiving rewards. Of course, the condition for participating was that one’s age didn’t surpass 100 years.
“Mister Qin, with your alchemy skills there is an extremely high chance of winning. Without mentioning the rewards, this is also an excellent opportunity to earn fame and make a name for yourself.” Aunty Hong said with a supportive attitude.
Qin Yu actually had no intention of participating. There was no need for him to show off or anything, especially since he only had a Nascent Soul cultivation. If he wasn’t careful he could easily lose his small life. It was better to spend his time and effort on cultivating. As for rewards…with the little blue lamp in hand, Qin Yu believed that given enough time, he had the potential to be filthy, disgustingly rich. As long as he stayed alive, there would be plenty of bread and milk to come.
Aunty Hong had a regretful expression. “If that’s the case, consider it over. It’s just that I heard this time the prize is the incomplete spirit of some ancient treasure furnace. If one could refine it, it could allow one’s own pill furnace to be greatly strengthened…”
Qin Yu’s thoughts stirred. Because at this moment, he suddenly felt the Fleeting Flame Furnace within his storage ring move a little. His complexion didn’t change as he casually asked, “What sort of treasure furnace is it?”
Aunty Hong didn’t think much about it. “I heard it was salvaged from the deep sea, and there are phantoms of heavenly bodies flowing around it. This sort of performance is quite remarkable…oh, that’s right, it was said that when this furnace appeared, yin and yang switched and the sun and moon reversed.”
Within his storage ring, the Fleeting Flame Furnace began to ring and shake. An urgent desire was transmitted directly to Qin Yu, as if it were roaring out, “I want, I want, I want!”
This was the first time that the Fleeting Flame Furnace had revealed such a fierce fluctuation in its mood. Qin Yu hesitated for a moment and then asked in his heart: is it really that important to you?
After obtaining a positive affirmation, he fell silent for a moment. He took a deep breath and made a decision.
To an alchemist, a pill furnace was their best and most important partner. The Fleeting Flame Furnace had given Qin Yu an enormous amount of help. It had followed him ever since he stepped onto the path of alchemy. Now that it put forth a request, Qin Yu couldn’t find it in him to refuse.
“Aunty Hong, this time…I will participate in the competition.”
Aunty Hong’s eyes widened. Even when she left, she was still perplexed. Qin Yu didn’t seem like the type who would change his mind easily. How come he had said he wouldn’t go and then in the next moment said that he would? Well, it didn’t really matter. Extraordinary individuals often had strange mindsets. In the end, him going would be beneficial to the inn, so it would be best if he went.
The nirvana lotus seed was delivered to Qin Yu that very same day, as well as the rule set related to the Southshine Nation’s Youth Alchemy Competition. He glanced through the rules and most of them were similar to what he expected. However, there was something that surprised Qin Yu. Contestants needed to pass through the wilderness on their own and arrive at the venue of the competition. This was actually somewhat unexpected.
Qin Yu thought about this deeply and sighed. He roughly guessed the meaning behind this rule. It seemed that the organizers of the competition wanted to use this method to weed out and eliminate competitors so that their approximate levels wouldn’t be too different. After all, even though alchemy was considered a profession, it actually had an extremely high requirement for the cultivator. If one’s cultivation was too poor, it was simply impossible for them to become a skilled alchemist.
Qin Yu rubbed his nose. Although his expression was calm, he was a bit perturbed. His Nascent Soul cultivation wasn’t considered too weak, but it wasn’t anything at all in the Land of Divinity and Demons. If he couldn’t even pass this hurdle, then let alone winning the competition, it would be good enough if he wasn’t mocked to death.
He definitely could not allow this sort of situation to occur. Luckily, there was still three months until the great competition began. He had enough time to increase his strength.
Qin Yu told Aunty Hong that he wanted to go into seclusion for a period of time so that he could wholeheartedly prepare for the competition. Right now, it seemed his status within the inn wasn’t low at all. Aunty Hong asked him to wait a moment. Then, after some words, she personally led Qin Yu to a transmission array within the inn.
The transmission was fast; it seemed wherever they went wasn’t too far at all. Aunty Hong brought Qin Yu to a massive white structural complex.
“What place is this?”
Aunty Hong revealed a look of envy. “This is a Dao Arena located in the Southshine Nation. It is a place that specializes in cultivation. Cultivating for one day here is the same as ten days outside. Mister Qin will soon learn the specifics.” As she spoke, three Dao Arena cultivators in voluminous white robes had already approached to welcome them. Aunty Hong spoke briefly with them and then swiped her card to complete the payment.
Although he didn’t know how many spirit stones were spent, he could tell from Aunty Hong’s somewhat pained expression that it was not a small amount. “Alright, I’ve already paid for three months of expenses in the Dao Arena. Mister Qin, please rest assured and cultivate. If you have anything you need, you may contact me at any time. Oh, that’s right, the Dao Arena keeps the information of all visitors secret, and will automatically destroy any related records after you leave. There has never been a case where any information has been revealed. So, Mister Qin, please cultivate without worries.”
Qin Yu nodded. Aunty Hong didn’t stay for long. After a brief explanation, she left.
A Dao Arena cultivator said, “Dear guest, please follow me.”
They stepped onto an elevator leading straight down. After a sign appeared marking the 20th level underground, the Dao Arena cultivator brought Qin Yu before a white door.
“This is the exclusive cultivation area for guests. Without the permission of the guest, no one is able to come here. I wish you a happy cultivation.” As the person spoke, he passed a white card to Qin Yu, cupped his hands, and left.
Qin Yu had seen the Dao Arena cultivator use this white card as they were riding the elevator down here. He studied the white door in front of him and then brushed the card against a nearby black crystal on the side. The door opened with it.
As Qin Yu stepped in, his complexion changed to reveal a look of shock. The inside wasn’t different from the outside in appearance, but the density of spiritual strength in the air rose ten times over. Just by taking a breath of this rich spiritual strength, it seemed as if one’s magic powers became that much more powerful. Of course, that was only a type of mental illusion, but it was enough to indicate just what a wonderful training environment this was!
No wonder Aunty Hong had said that cultivating here for one day was the equivalent of ten days outside.
It was just…
Qin Yu fell deep into contemplation for a long time before bitterly smiling. Cultivating this far in his life, the reality was that he had never relied on the richness of heaven and earth spiritual strength! To other people, this good cultivation environment was simply an unimaginable good stroke of good fortune. But to Qin Yu, it was completely wasted.
But this was clearly the inn’s good intentions towards him. Moreover, it was impossible for him to inform the inn that his talent was so poor and rotten that it was actually scary, and that this kind of good place wasn’t for him and that they should hurry up and get a refund! He shook his head, suppressing his helplessness. He looked around. The door looked small, but the space within was quite large. There were also many strange gadgets and things that Qin Yu was completely clueless about.
As if sensing his confusion, a light flashed in front of him, and then an almost lifelike image of a young woman appeared. She looked to be 17-18 years of age and her expression was light. “Welcome, guest, to the Dao Arena. I am your guide here. If you are already aware of how to use all the equipment, please press 1. If not, please press 2.”
In front of Qin Yu, a numerical keyboard appeared. There wasn’t much to say – he directly pressed 2.
The guide nodded. “Dear guest, how do you do? In view of this being your first visit to the Dao Arena, I will give you a detailed introduction to the facilities available on the 20th level, as well as how to use them. Dear guest, please follow me.”
An hour later, the guide vanished. Qin Yu had learned the names of all the equipment here as well as their functions. He sighed inwardly. The cultivators in the Land of Divinity and Demons really did know how to play. Before, he thought that the only benefit of this place was the spiritual strength that was ten times richer, but he was completely mistaken.
For instance, there was a place covered in pitch black stones in front of him. This was called the Gravity Chamber. It could adjust the attraction of gravity, increasing the weight on him. It served the purpose of tempering magic power and enhancing the intensity of one’s mortal body. In terms of increasing one’s cultivation speed, it also played a considerable role.
And next to that, there were countless floating translucent white balls. This was called the Divine Sense Kingdom. As its name stated, it was used to help a cultivator increase the control and flexibility of their divine sense, as well as enhance the force of their divine sense.
Moreover, there was also the Battle Room. It could create an equal opponent completely in accordance to a cultivator’s aura. It was the same as fighting oneself. Only by battling with oneself could one understand one’s own flaws.
There were also numerous other tools and gadgets. But, the one Qin Yu was interested in the most was a common-looking silvery-white barrel-shaped object in front of him. It was half a meter in diameter and three meters tall. It appeared soft on the surface, even giving off a delicate feeling. Its name was relatively long. It was called the Full Range Precision Strength Assessment Evaluator.
In simpler terms, it could estimate the approximate cultivation rank of the person who used it. Qin Yu’s eyes brightened. Although the levels of cultivation within the Land of Divinity and Demons hadn’t changed, the specific divisions in strength were actually quite different. When coupled with his venture into the wilderness where he had seized the king-level monster beast promoting spiritual spring, he wasn’t sure of what his true cultivation level was.
This was a good time to test what level he was at within the Land of Divinity and Demons.
He stood in front of the barrel, took a deep breath, and then punched out.
The metal column buzzed, but it didn’t move at all. Silver light glowed on its surface, condensing into a line of words:
Combat Strength: 296 horses. The strength of a little leader. Can become a local tyrant in a godforsaken land where even birds don’t poop.