Translator: Silavin & PewPewLaserGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain
Inside Du Wan’s room, excluding Yang Kai, there were currently five Saint Grade Low-Rank Alchemists, this was an incredibly luxurious lineup.
Throughout all of Tong Xuan Realm, the number of Saint Grade Low-Rank Alchemists was probably no higher than twenty, each of them a world famous figure, yet in this place there were actually five.
Saint Grade Mid-Rank Alchemists were even rarer, numbering three to five at most.
As for Saint Grade Top-Rank Alchemists, there was essentially only the hidden dragon who showed his tail but never his face: The Old Man of Heaven’s Keep, Great Grandmaster Li Rui alone.
As Du Wan carefully introduced Yang Kai, the other four Alchemy Grandmasters also looked at Yang Kai with gratified expressions.
Yang Kai’s outstanding performance back in Floating Clouds City’s Alchemy contest had left a deep impression on them. Each of these old masters believed that in time, this young boy’s achievements would eclipse their own and usher in a new golden age for Alchemy.
Mi Na had left and returned with a tray of spirit fruits and fresh tea, offering them to these guests before drawing back once more.
She was not yet qualified to sit amongst these Grandmasters. Not just her, even her master Ye Xiong didn’t have the qualifications to participate in this conversation.
Du Wan inviting Yang Kai to sit among this group showed just how much value he placed on the young man.
These several Alchemy Grandmasters were all old friends so they didn’t maintain much decorum between them, freely speaking to one another while not minding Yang Kai’s presence in the slightest.
Yang Kai didn’t make a sound, only listening intently from the side, not showing the slightest impatience or boredom, instead quite interested in a number of the topics these five were discussing.
After talking for quite some time, Du Wan suddenly smiled and said, “Each of you live several tens of thousands of kilometers away yet you’ve all come here today to my Grand Boulder City. You probably didn’t do this just to chat about old times, yes?”
As soon as this was said, the four other Alchemy Grandmasters nodded seriously.
The old woman Kong Ruo Yu was the first to speak up, “There is truly something we wished to discuss with you. Chang Bao, you explain, you were the one who found it in the first place.”
Du Wan turned his attention to Lightning Flash City’s Alchemist Guild Manger.
Chang Bao expression also became solemn as he searched around in his Universe Bag for a moment before bringing out an incomplete animal skin. This skin was quite ancient and released a mysterious aura. Handing it to Du Wan, he simply said, “See for yourself.”
Du Wan accepted the animal skin and spread it out. After staring for a moment, he couldn’t help becoming absorbed in it.
The more he examined it, the more excited Du Wan’s expression became, as if he had just obtained some precious treasure.
Only after a moment did Chang Bao begin to explain, “This Spirit Array was something one of my disciples obtained and handed over to me. I have spent over a year studying it but was unable to decipher its mysteries, so I brought it to Brother He Feng…”
He Feng smiled bitterly and continued, “I was also helpless though, so the two of us sought out Brother Hong and Senior Sister Kong…”
“Even all together we couldn’t decipher it, but we knew that Brother Du was on the verge of becoming a Saint Grade Mid-Rank Alchemist, thus we all decided to come to Grand Boulder City to let you try,” Kong Ruo Yu followed up.
“En,” Du Wan nodded lightly, indicating that he understood, but after carefully studying the animal skin for quite some time, he slowly shook my head, “I’m afraid I must disappoint all of your expectations. This Spirit Array is very complex and complicated. It doesn’t look like the Spirit Arrays we currently use and appears to be more ancient; on top of that, it’s incomplete, this Du is also helpless to explain it.”
Listening to him, the other four did not show much of a disappointed look.
They had come here simply to try their luck and hadn’t really expected Du Wan to be able to easily unlock the secrets of this Spirit Array.
Du Wan mysteriously grinned at that moment though, “Although this old man can’t decipher it, there is someone in this world who can certainly explain this Spirit Array’s mysteries.”
“Who?” Asked the four in unison.
“The Old Man of Heaven’s Keep!”
Chang Bao couldn’t help rolling his eyes, “Grandmaster’s whereabouts are unknown. He is the hidden dragon who shows his tail but never his face, how do you propose we even begin to search for him? When I first began studying Alchemy, Grandmaster was already world famous. Even now that I am a Saint Grade Low-Rank Alchemist, I have never actually seen his true appearance, a fact I still deeply regret.”
Of the five Alchemy Grandmasters present, it was likely that only Du Wan had the honour of meeting The Old Man of Heaven’s Keep.
However, Du Wan didn’t say anything; after all, he had long passed the age where he needed to show off.
Intentionally or unintentionally glancing over towards Yang Kai, Du Wan said, “Perhaps in addition to The Old Man of Heaven’s Keep, there is someone else who can decipher this…”
“Du Wan, enough with the suspense, if you have an idea just say it!” He Feng urged him impatiently.
“Heh heh…” Du Wan chuckled.
Yang Kai did not miss Du Wan’s glance and understood that the latter was still convinced that there was a powerful Alchemy Grandmaster behind him, one who was likely on par with The Old Man of Heaven’s Keep; it was because of this that Du Wan had gave him a subtle look.
Helpless, Yang Kai sighed and said, “Old Man Du, can you let me take a look?”
Du Wan smiled happily and quickly handed the animal skin over.
Chang Bao suddenly became nervous, “Yang boy, treat that skin carefully. If you break it, I’ll drag you back to Lightning Flash City to compensate for it.”
“Don’t worry,” Du Wan chuckled calmly.
Of the five Alchemy Grandmasters here, only Du Wan paid close attention to Yang Kai, the others instead continuing with their discussion about the Spirit Array portrayed on the animal skin.
Each of them had spent a significant amount of time studying this mysterious Spirit Array and naturally had their own insights and opinions about it. Now that they were gathered together, they thought that by combining what they knew they might find a way to explain the Spirit Array diagram and complete it.
Yang Kai looked at the Spirit Array diagram and after some time his brow wrinkled slightly.
The Spirit Array portrayed on the animal skin was truly quite complex and actually seemed to be a compound array comprised of a number of simpler ones, causing it to become somewhat bloated.
After the Spirit Array diagrams were broken up and separated though, Yang Kai realized that their individual components resembled those recorded in the True Alchemic Way with only minor differences.
Alchemy was constantly evolving and the Spirit Arrays used to perform it were independently researched and developed by many different Alchemy Grandmasters all over the world. It was common for Spirit Arrays to change and develop over time, sometimes completely transforming from one age to the next.
With Yang Kai’s current vision, it was quite easy for him to spot the flaws and drawbacks in this Spirit Array diagram.
However, compared to the Spirit Arrays currently in use, the wealth contained in this Spirit Array diagram was massive, and once it was cracked it could bring about great development to the field of Alchemy.
Du Wan obviously expected him to speak up, and Yang Kai had no reason to refuse.
Comprehending the nature of this broken Spirit Array, Yang Kai began comparing it to the ones he inherited from the True Alchemic Way while extrapolating the missing segments.
After a long time, Yang Kai had completed a rough patch of the Spirit Array.
The other Alchemy Grandmasters were currently silent, apparently having reached a dead end in their attempts.
Du Wan, who had always been paying attention to the changes in Yang Kai’s expression, was still quite upbeat, but the other four were somewhat dejected because even with all of them together they failed to complete the Spirit Array, causing them all no small frustration.
“Did you understand it?” Du Wan asked suddenly.
Yang Kai nodded lightly, “En.”
The other four Grandmasters suddenly looked up in surprise and Hong Fang called out, “You’ve deciphered it?”
He Feng shouted, “Young man, you mustn’t speak irresponsibly, even us old fogies were helpless to understand this thing, how could you have cracked it so simply?”
“Whether he is boasting shamelessly or not, we’ll soon see,” Du Wan grinned.
Yang Kai also maintained his composure, taking out a few good pieces of jade from the Black Book space before holding them in his palm one at a time and using his Divine Sense to inscribe some markings onto them.
A few moments later, he handed the jades to Du Wan and explained, “After dismantling it, this Spirit Array can be broken down into these individual arrays, but as to what each one of them is used for, you’ll have to verify by actually using them for Alchemy. I hope this will be helpful to several Grandmasters.”
Du Wan’s nodded solemnly before accepting the jade pieces, keeping one for himself before distributing the remaining pieces to the other four.
Seeing this old and young pair both wearing such serious expressions, the other Grandmasters no longer commented and instead focused on the diagrams inscribed in the jade pieces.
After a while, the expressions of everyone changed and became somewhat complicated.
The pieces of jade rotated amongst the five Grandmasters as they examined the Spirit Array diagrams in each of them as they muttered, “It really was solved?”
When the several scattered Spirit Array diagrams in the jade pieces were put together, they indeed formed the large array portrayed on the animal skin. Not only that, the array was actually complete and even had some ingenious enhancements.
A problem that had baffled several Saint Grade Alchemists for over a year being solved so simply was somewhat difficult for all of them to accept.
“Young man, how do you understand this? These should all be long-lost ancient Spirit Array diagrams, you shouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn these at your age,” He Feng asked Yang Kai.
Yang Kai hesitated for a moment before saying, “I’ll be honest with you, I obtained guidance from Old Man Li and even studied under him for a time.”
“Old Man Li? The Old Man of Heaven’s Keep?” Kong Ruo Yu exclaimed.
“You’ve met Grandmaster Li?”
“Where did you see him? What does he look like?”
At the mention of Old Man Li, these aloof and powerful Grandmasters transformed into eager young children, each of them calling out excitedly.
Yang Kai shot a glance over at Du Wan, the latter quickly coughing and muttering, “Actually… I too met him.”
“Du Wan, don’t try to shamelessly boast!” He Feng obviously didn’t believe him, grinning at him teasingly.
“It’s true,” Du Wan persisted, “It was back in Floating Clouds City. Old Man Li was there but he didn’t reveal his identity.”
“Do several Grandmasters remember that other young Alchemist at the Alchemy competition conference, the one who competed with me until the end?” Yang Kai asked.
“Naturally we remember!” Hong Fang nodded, “If I recall correctly, he was being escorted around by several masters from the City Lord’s Mansion… What does that have to do with Old Man Li though?”
“He is Old Man Li’s Legacy Disciple!”
“What? Legacy Disciple?”
“No wonder… no wonder that at such a young age he had such attainments in Alchemy, this old man had always been wondering which powerful master cultivated such a genius.”
“That little boy’s luck is truly enviable; actually receiving the favour of Old Man Li, his future prospects will certainly be limitless.”
The few of them couldn’t help feeling envious of Di Yao’s luck.
“After those events, I studied under Old Man Li for a time. En, these Spirit Array diagrams were learned from Old Man Li, that’s why I was able to comprehend them,” Yang Kai explained.
“So that’s it…” He Feng stroked his chin, seemingly believing what Yang Kai had said. Even Du Wan was nodding lightly, no trace of doubt apparent on his face.
However, when the four of them thought that they had actually been so close to Old Man Li yet didn’t even get to greet him, they all suddenly felt annoyed and jealous of Du Wan’s good fortune.