Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain
Back at the palace in the mountain range, with some blood still leaking from his arm, Ha Li Kai together with Lin Mu Feng and the middle-aged woman stood around quietly outside a certain room, their faces filled with anxiety.
Yang Kai stood not far from them, indifferent and motionless.
No one was able to tell what he was thinking.
A moment later, a dozen people suddenly emerged from the room. There were men and women, old and young, but without exception, all their chests were emblazoned with a symbol signifying their identity as Alchemists.
This symbol was a pill furnace mark and was a common identifier throughout the entire Star Field.
Alchemist grades were differentiated by how many legs their furnace symbol possessed.
Each of these Alchemists had eight-legged pill furnace badges on their chests! This signified that they were all at least Saint King Grade Alchemists.
There were even two of the oldest present who had nine-legged pill furnaces, indicating that they were Origin Grade Alchemists!
Origin Grade Alchemists had an extremely high status in Heng Luo Star Field. Even taking into consideration the entire Star Field, there weren’t many Origin Grade Alchemists. As for Origin King Grade Alchemists, there was only a handful, each one belonging to one of the most powerful forces.
Even a giant force like Heng Luo Chamber of Commerce only had one Origin King Grade Alchemist who resided in the Home Star!
These dozen or so people who just left the palace room were the most senior and most skilled Alchemist on Rainfall Star.
Ha Li Ka and Lin Mu Feng had hastily invited these people to diagnose Xue Yue’s condition to see if they could find a way to save her.
Ordinarily, these Alchemists were scattered across Rainfall Star, each of them possessing their own territory where they cultivated herbs and refined pills to be sold outside by the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce in return provided them with protection and certain resources. Their relationship with the Chamber of Commerce was closer to a partnership rather than employment, so even Ha Li Ka and Lin Mu Feng had to treat them with courtesy and respect.
Under normal circumstances, they wouldn’t dare to disturb these Alchemists, but for the safety of Xue Yue Third Young Master’s woman, Ha Li Ka and Mu Feng had no choice but to invite them to come.
When these dozen or so people came out, Ha Li Ka and the other executives rushed up to greet them with Lin Mu Feng cupping his fists and asking, “Respected Masters, what kind of injury is Lady Xue’er afflicted with? Do you have a way to treat her condition?”
The dozen Alchemists all looked around at each other, seemingly a bit hesitant to speak.
Seeing their expressions, Ha Li Ka and Lin Mu Feng’s couldn’t help but sink, in their hearts realizing things weren’t good.
“What is the situation?” Ha Li Ka hurriedly asked.
Everyone turned their eyes to one of the nine footed furnace Alchemists, an old man with a snow-white beard, who eventually sighed and replied, “Two Sirs, this Old Master will be blunt. We have performed an extensive examination of Lady Xue’er but cannot explain why she suddenly slipped into a coma. All we can tell is that she was invaded by potent cold energy and all her bodily functions have been frozen. She has no consciousness and cannot respond to any outside stimulus.”
Ha Li Ka listened quietly.
The old man continued, “Can you not at least tell us what happened to this Lady Xue’er? Without knowing the circumstances of her condition, we cannot prescribe a pill to treat her.”
“En, you need to at least tell us how she was injured,” The other Origin Grade Alchemist echoed, “That way, we can determine what kind of pill she requires to recover.”
Ha Li Ka suddenly felt embarrassed.
The mere existence of the Profound Yin Sunflower Water was a big deal and anyone who learned of it would surely covet it. Once news of it leaked out, it was likely that some great master would come to try to seize it, so before they figure out a method to collect it, Ha Li Ka didn’t dare expose the truth.
However, keeping it secret also greatly hamper the ability of these Alchemists to treat Lady Xue’er. Unable to decide immediately, Ha Li Ka glanced over towards Lin Mu Feng to solicit his opinion.
Lin Mu Feng shook his head helplessly.
Ha Li Ka wore a grim expression and said, “Respected Masters, it is not that we wish to hide the situation from you, but this matter is beyond our ability to manage so we do not dare discuss it at will.”
Hearing him say this, the dozen or so Alchemists realized that this was something they could not ask about and did not insist. The old man who spoke first frowning for a moment before saying, “If so, please forgive us for being unable to help.”
“Respected Masters, can’t you try again?” Ha Li Ka asked anxiously, “You are the best Alchemists on Rainfall Star, if none of you can help Lady Xue’er…”
Lady Xue’er’s wellbeing had nothing to do with him; what Ha Li Ka was worried about was if something were to happen to her whether it would provoke Young Master Xue Yue’s rage. That was something he could not bear.
The dozen or so Alchemists shook their heads, indicating they were truly helpless.
Ha Li Ka, Lin Mu Feng, and the other executives also wore grim expressions as they glanced around at each other.
After a short silence, one of the Saint King Grade Alchemists said, “Sir Ha Li Ka, saying we are the best Alchemists on Rainfall Star is granting us an undeserved honour; everyone here knows there is another person whose Alchemy proficiency eclipses our own. If you are able to invite him to examine Lady Xue’er, he may be able to find a solution.”
After hearing what he said, the old man who spoke before couldn’t help raising his eyebrows, seemingly knowing who this Saint King Grade Alchemist was referring to and nodding, “Yes, if it is him, he may be able to help.”
The other Alchemists all nodded in agreement, freely admitting that this mysterious master was the top Alchemist on Rainfall Star.
Alchemists were a proud group, and none of them would freely admit that another Alchemist of the same grade was better than themselves. They would always feel like they were the best Alchemist among their peers and that the others were fools, the pills they refined no better than garbage!
So to allow these dozen Alchemists to all agree unhesitantly that this Grandmaster was superior, there was only one explanation, that Alchemist ranked higher than them, an Origin King-level Alchemist!
Ha Li Ka’s expression brightened for a moment, but soon, a bitter look covered his face as he muttered wryly, “Wanting to invite him… is difficult, far too difficult, even when I went to meet with him in the past, I was often swept out unceremoniously!”
Lin Mu Feng cringed as well and added, “The last time I went to visit that Grandmaster was five years ago, but because I had disturbed his concentration, he chased after me for half a month. In the end, his anger calmed down and he returned home. Haa, I don’t want to experience that ever again.”
When he brought up this dark past, most of the people nearby couldn’t help revealing a look of remembrance.
“Who do you speak of?” Yang Kai asked.
When these people were speaking just now, he had kept silent, even when Ha Li Ka and Lin Mu Feng had concealed the truth of the matter and these dozen or so Alchemists were speaking with reverence about this mysterious Grandmaster. It wasn’t until now that Yang Kai took the initiative to speak.
The dozen or so Alchemists cast a faint glance toward shim but didn’t answer.
In their opinion, Yang Kai was just a Saint Realm brat who didn’t have the qualifications to speak here, so they didn’t bother responding to his question.
On the other hand, Ha Li Ka hesitated a moment before saying, “A highly skilled Alchemist who lives on Rainfall Star, but doesn’t belong to any force.”
“He doesn’t belong to the Heng Luo Chamber of Commerce?” Yang Kai was surprised.
Ha Li Ka shook his head.
Since he was living on Rainfall Star, but not under the jurisdiction of Heng Luo Chamber of Commerce, there is only one explanation, Heng Luo Chamber of Commerce didn’t dare to easily offend him.
“However, the Chamber of Commerce has an agreement with him, we provide him with herbs for Alchemy as well as a three thousand kilometre territory, and in exchange, the pills he refines all belong to our Chamber of Commerce.”
“He provides them for free?” Yang Kai frowned, wondering what this Alchemy Grandmaster was thinking. Since his Alchemy skills were so profound, there was definitely no need for him to provide Heng Luo Chamber of Commerce with pills for free.
He could simply open up his own school and gather disciples broadly to gain wealth and supply his needs.
“In a sense. Although we don’t know what that Grandmaster’s objective is, we still do everything we can to meet his requirements… However, the number of pills he refines is truly shocking. Every three months, we will send someone to him to deliver various spirit grasses and spirit medicines while at the same time retrieving the pills he had refined. Each time this happens we receive at least two hundred bottles, and one time there were as many as five hundred bottles!”
Five hundred bottles!
With ten pills per standard jade bottle, that was five thousand pills, all refined within a three-month span. Such a number made every Alchemist present shiver with shocked and embarrassment.
They were all Alchemist contract to Heng Luo Chamber of Commerce for a large price, but even if they performed Alchemy for three months without rest, none of them would possible refine such a staggering number of pills, even reaching a third that number was impossible unless they were refining low-grade pills.
“Where does he live?” Yang Kai asked again.
“Does little brother want to look for him?” Ha Li Ka immediately understood Yang Kai’s intentions.
“Is there another choice?” Yang Kai glanced over at him.
Ha Li Ka let out a sigh and nodded, “Good, I’ll take you there!”
Despite being extremely unwilling to in his heart, Ha Li Ka could only brace himself and lead the way.
Yang Kai nodded back, rushed into the nearby room, gently carried out the unconscious Xue Yue, then followed after Ha Li Ka as he flew off.
Staring at their disappearing back, Lin Mu Feng let out a sigh, “I hope Old Ha won’t be chased down by that old man for half a month …”
The middle-aged woman also wore a look of worry, feeling the situation was becoming trickier.
Along the way, Ha Li Ka briefly explained the Alchemy Grandmaster’s story and temperament. Yang Kai learned that the man was called Zong Ao and he seemed to have arrived on Rainfall Star nearly a hundred years ago, not leaving even once since then.
He had reached various agreements with Heng Luo Chamber of Commerce and held a much higher status than the previous Alchemists Yang Kai had just met.
“He asked us for three thousand kilometres of territory and he built his home inside that mountain valley. In that mountain valley, he divided the land up into various Medicine Gardens and planted many rare herbs. What he hates the most is being disturbed while he is performing Alchemy, so ordinarily, no one will approach his territory. Even when the people of our Chamber of Commerce deliver herbs to him, they all must strictly follow his instructions and only arrive at the designated time…”
Ha Li Ka was afraid that Yang Kai was too young and impulsive, not knowing the immensity of Heaven and Earth, and would accidentally offend Zong Ao, so he took great care to explain about Zong Ao on the road, focusing on this old man’s illustrious status and bad temper.
The more Yang Kai listened though, the stranger his expression became.
He felt like he had already been to Zong Ao’s home!
Half a day later, Ha Li Ka suddenly pointed towards the front and said, “Do you see that great mountain valley? That is where Grandmaster Zong Ao lives.”
Yang Kai looked forward and couldn’t help letting out a wry laugh. The mountain valley in his view was clearly the place where he had spent several days studying the strange Medicine Garden Spirit Arrays.