Best Novels > Refining the Mountains and Rivers

Chapter 322 – First Place, In Parentheses

Refining the Mountains and Rivers
     “Stop chewing!!” Qin Yu roared out loud. He gripped the pill furnace with his fingers, but no matter how much he twisted and no matter how much his fingers scraped against the surface, the pill furnace’s mouth had no intention of opening.

    Finally, the chewing sound stopped. Qin Yu’s complexion paled. He couldn’t believe he had been played so perfectly by a pill furnace. Killing intent began to rise in his eyes. As he was contemplating whether to tear it into eight pieces or rip it into ten, the mouth of the furnace opened and an Overwhelming Pill flew out.

    Qin Yu looked at the open furnace mouth that seemed to be laughing at him and his lips twitched. This bastard…but he really didn’t have time to argue with it, because the one day time limit was almost over.

    He rapidly grabbed a jade bottle and placed the Overwhelming Pill within. Qin Yu rushed out of the door and shouted, “The inn…uh, the refinement has been completed!” In his haste and excitement he had nearly shouted out his real name. Luckily, his reactions were fast enough and he just mumbled out the rest.

    Among the empty rows of cabins, the sound was especially loud and startling. A group of shocked Southshine Nation officials were frightened and they leapt up in their boots.

    One of them was clearly not of low status. He frowned and glanced at the official beside him.

    That person hurriedly said, “Lord Hulun, there is still a minute before the time limit expires.”

    Hulun frowned. He wondered just where this strange person had come from, that they would actually finish at such a late time and then shout out as if they were looking to stimulate themselves.

    But the rules were rules. He could only come to a stop and impatiently wave his hand.

    Someone rushed over to Qin Yu. “Give me the pill!”

    To take this long to finish, this person’s strength must be disappointing. In addition, he had managed to displease his superior, so this official’s attitude naturally wasn’t pleasant at all.

    Qin Yu also had a trace of embarrassment in his expression. He inwardly scolded the damned pill furnace 10,000 times in his heart and hurriedly handed over the jade bottle.

    After opening it and taking a look, the official was clearly stunned. He saw the jade bottle was almost empty, with only a single pill within. From its dim appearance and the weak luster around it, it was clearly a medium-grade pill.

    “You…you refined one pill?”

    Qin Yu lightly coughed. He nodded.

    Luckily, the competition didn’t state a minimum. One pill was enough to pass this round.

    The official sucked in a deep breath. “What about the remaining materials? Give them to me.” At this time, he didn’t want to waste a single extra word on this person.

    Qin Yu remained silent.

    The official’s breath caught in his throat and his eyes widened. “Are you telling me that you used up all ten sets of materials?”

    Even with Qin Yu’s strong willpower and mindset, he still couldn’t help but feel a bit ashamed. He could only innocently nod his head on purpose, as if asking, ‘what do you mean?’

    This expression almost caused the official to spit out a mouthful of blood!

    This was ten sets of materials! Even for an experienced alchemist, when one added in the time it took to set up and rest, it was impossible for one to continuously operate a furnace ten times in a single day.

    Thus, within the rules used to calculate the final rankings, the amount of remaining materials was also an extremely important factor.

    Of course, the officials wouldn’t acknowledge that this was simply a way to openly and honestly amass wealth. This was because the materials received here would be kept for the duration of the competition as proof for the contest organizers in case they needed it.

    And the reason they had everyone purchase ten sets of materials was so that they could earn more spirit stones through the recycling process…but what was this? Ten sets of materials had all been used to refine a single fourth-grade pill, and it barely managed to reach a middle-grade quality…

    This official professed that he had seen and experienced a great deal, but he had never seen someone whose alchemy skills were so rotten. He really couldn’t figure out just how this person had managed to come this far.

    The official flicked his sleeves and left in a huff, not even bothering to say another word to Qin Yu. In his heart, he had already sentenced Qin Yu to the death penalty.

    This brat, he would definitely be arranged first…the first from the bottom!

    It was unknown what this person said when he walked back, but the crowd of Southshine Nation officials all developed strange expressions and seemed a bit more impatient. For some reason, it made one think of people that were looking at the mentally handicapped with pity.

    Hulun also couldn’t help but glance at the boy. As he discovered that Qin Yu looked a bit familiar and then remembered where he saw him from, a look of disgust flashed across his face, then he coldly coughed and left.

    This was the vulgar grandstander that played to the crowd!

    The official that collected the pill from Qin Yu sneered inwardly. Even his superior couldn’t stand him and left. This boy’s first place was already decided!

    So on the next day when Qin Yu opened his handphone and looked at the announcement posted on the official app, he searched through the long list of names and finally found his own in a dim and dark corner.

    The inn – Ning Qin – No. 9527 – Points: 0 – Ranked first (From the bottom)

    Qin Yu’s lips twitched. He swore that the fellow who compiled the list must have some deep-seated grudge with him, otherwise why would he publicly mock him?

    Moreover, there were those emphasized parentheses. What the hell was that!?

    Qin Yu clenched his teeth and chose to remain anonymous. After he confirmed his status, all that remained on the end of the list was the No. 9527.

    Fortunately, a good number of people seemed to have made the same decision as Qin Yu did. At the bottom end of the list, all that was left were serial numbers.

    Everyone cared about their face…

    Qin Yu coughed and comforted himself. He didn’t fear losing face. He just didn’t want to ruin the wonderful and positive image of Ning Qin that everyone had in their minds.

    Mm, it was definitely because of that!

    Scrolling up, there were over 4000 people that passed the first round. The list was extremely long.

    And what was most eye-catching was the top of the list, with just 30 people. Because their names were posted in dazzling colors and they were at the top, this made them even more noticeable.

    The first ranked was Zhao Jiutian.

    Black Beibei was second.

    Third was White Fengfeng.

    Behind them followed a pack of strong and skilled young prides of heaven.

    Qin Yu frowned. What use were the points after their names?

    He took out the jade slip of information that the inn had prepared for him about the competition. As he read through it with his divine sense, a look of burning annoyance lit up his face.

    That damned pill furnace!

    The competition was split into four stages. Starting from the second stage when one began refining pills, participating alchemists will be ranked according to their performance. And, the top 30 alchemists would each obtain points as a reward.

    For instance, the first place Zhao Jiutian obtained 10 points. The second place Black Beibei obtained 8 points and White Fengfeng obtained 6. Following that, points were reduced more and more. A single point could be exchanged for 10,000 spirit stones from the Southshine Nation officials, but almost no one did this, because saving these points was even more useful.

    For example, they could be exchanged for special flames that increased the quality of pills. Or, they could be exchanged for materials that were lacking in the refining process. They could even be exchanged for more time to refine pills.

    Was this fair to other participating alchemists? Of course it wasn’t. But, those people had relied on their own strength to obtain points to begin with. Those points were there for the taking and no one could blame anyone else if they weren’t able to seize them for themselves.

    Qin Yu sneered inwardly. When it came to alchemy, what truly mattered was one’s own strength. Any outside help or the like were just minor tricks.

    Hum hum! Even if he had to compare, would this young master’s little blue lamp be any weaker than those point benefits?

    He definitely, definitely would not acknowledge that his heart was seething with envy. No way, absolutely no way!

    The competition continued.

    The official announced the rules for the third stage. “Following this, you will all have three days. Within these three days, you must refine 10 different types of fourth-grade pills. After refining a fourth-grade pill, it will be appraised and each person will receive 1 to 3 points in the competition app on their handphones. These points can be added to the points from the previous stage and can be exchanged at the medicinal material storehouse for materials you will need to refine pills in the fourth stage.”

    After a pause, he warmly smiled. “I would like to solemnly remind everyone that there is a limited amount of materials in the storehouse. Once a certain material runs out, there will be no more exchanges for it. Thus, for everyone to obtain sufficient materials to fight in the fourth stage, please wholeheartedly refine pills.”

    Qin Yu felt deep admiration for the person who designed the competition rules. The points they awarded could be used like this? It was truly simple and frugal to the extreme. But at the same time, these rules pushed everyone into a desperate situation where none of them could take anything lightly.

    As a simple analogy, in the fourth stage, Qin Yu was prepared to refine a fifth-grade Skydust Pill. In the third stage, he would need to do everything in his power to obtain the materials required for the Skydust Pill. Otherwise, if certain ingredients ran out, even if he had 99% of the other materials gathered, all of his efforts would still be wasted and he would undoubtedly lose the final round.

    It was yesterday’s cabin, yesterday’s flavor.

    But just before things began, there was a small interlude.

    Cleansing Temple’s Zhao Jiutian arrived with several people around him. His head was held high and his expression was full of confidence.

    Coincidentally, the group from the Great Desolate Lake also arrived at this moment. Both sides met face-to-face.

    They were old opponents to begin with. In addition to the mystic beast fodder medicine incident, they were now like water and fire. Without a word spoken, their eyes directly clashed.

    If looks could really kill, then there would likely be rivers of blood by now.

    Zhao Jiutian’s lips curved up in a smile, tinted with the supreme pride of a victor. “Black Beibei, Miss White, I apologize for taking first place in yesterday’s match.”

    Behind him, the group of cultivators from Cleansing Temple all laughed, ridicule in their eyes.

    So what if they were the Great Desolate Lake? Weren’t they just stubbornly suppressed by their senior-apprentice brother Jiutian?

    White Fengfeng was expressionless. She lightly glanced around. In front of others, this bratty girl could at least put on the act of being as arrogant as a phoenix, a noble and sacrosanct character. Just her eyes alone revealed a cold indifference, and this indifference could be understood as disregard.

    Zhao Jiutian’s smile didn’t falter. “Miss White seems to think otherwise. Then, how about we make a bet on the competition’s final result?” Before those from the Great Desolate Lake could refuse, he continued to say, “If you let me win and I somehow manage to obtain first place through luck, then Miss White must be a guest at my Cleansing Temple for half a year and must give me the chance to pursue her. How about it?”

    “Insolence!”

    “You don’t have the qualifications to tarnish our miss!”

    “Surname Zhao, our business is not yet over! Dream on!”

    The cultivators from the Great Desolate Lake all shouted out together.

    Black Beibei coldly chuckled and the surrounding people immediately fell silent. “Zhao Jiutian, with your qualifications, you can stop thinking about my cousin.”

    Zhao Jiutian’s expression sank and his voice became sharp. “Hoho, if Miss White doesn’t dare to agree then just take it as me never having said anything.”

    White Fengfeng suddenly said, “And what if you don’t take first place?”

    Zhao Jiutian unhesitatingly said, “Then I am willing to accept responsibility and punishment for the mystic beast fodder medicine incident, and I will allow Miss White to handle me however she pleases!”

    Black Beibei was panicked, “Fengfeng, don’t fall for his provoca–”

    White Fengfeng lifted a hand, interrupting him. “Good. I accept your bet.”

    Zhao Jiutian laughed out loud. “Miss White is truly straightforward. Very well, then I ask all fellow daoists here to stand witness!” He smiled with self-confidence. “Perhaps Miss White can prepare a little early and move your items into my Cleansing Temple. I guarantee Miss White that you will receive the warmest of welcomes.”

    A trace of pity appeared in White Fengfeng’s eyes. “Perhaps you should worry more about yourself.”

    She turned, leading the people from the Great Desolate Lake away.