On the appraisal stage, the grandmasters all had defeated looks. Their expressions were absent and their mentalities had come under great attack! So many of them working together actually hadn’t been able to discover how powerful this Demon Puppet Pill was. If it was because they had made a mistake because of their arrogance, then that would have been acceptable. But in truth, they had employed all of their skills for this appraisal. Some grandmasters even started to doubt their own professional abilities.
After Yun Yilan’s voice fell, there was a moment of awkward silence. Then, the grandmaster who spoke before looked up, the eye behind his monocle lax and gloomy. “Reporting to Exalted One, we take back the words we said before. This Demon Puppet Pill is the true first place winner of the competition.” He turned to Qin Yu and bitterly said, “Fellow daoist Ning Qin, it was this old man and the others who had eyes but couldn’t see. If there was any insult, I ask fellow daoist to excuse us.”
The truth trumped all. As the countless cultivators saw the grandmasters lower their arrogant heads, they all exclaimed inwardly. But in this exclaim, there was also a bit of sympathy. Thus, a complex emotion shined in their eyes in the silence.
Qin Yu’s thoughts turned. He cupped his hands together and said, “Grandmaster, there is no need to speak so seriously. I simply knew a special refinement method, and the strength of this Demon Puppet Pill also surpassed my expectations.”
His eyes were sincere, causing the grandmasters to ease up a little. After all, if they really couldn’t appraise something because of some lost refining technique, then that made things forgivable within the current circumstances. But no matter what the truth was, Qin Yu had given them a way out. The grandmasters felt gratitude towards him, but also a bit of awkwardness. Some of them had solemnly vowed to teach Qin Yu just how vast the world was, but who knew that in the next moment they would need Qin Yu to break them free from their predicament.
In the eyes of the grandmasters, it was due to Qin Yu’s magnanimity and mercifulness that he gave them a way out. But in truth, Qin Yu was just taking advantage of this fact to give an explanation for why the Demon Puppet Pill was so strong. As Yun Yilan heard this, he believed more and more that the reason why the Demon Puppet Pill was so strong was the treasure furnace.
Zhao Jiutian’s eyes popped open, unwillingness and disbelief etched clearly on his face. He looked on helplessly as his name was forcefully squeezed down to second place.
At the highest point of the jade peak, new characters began to appear in sparkling rainbow hues: The Inn, Qin Yu, No. 9527, first place!
Refining the Child and Mother Yinyang Pill had already caused heavy injuries to Zhao Jiutian. Now with the sudden fluctuation in his mood, he spat out a mouthful of blood and toppled backwards.
Numerous twists and turns occurred within the Southshine Nation’s Youth Alchemy Competition, finally ending in Zhao Jiutian spouting out blood like a beautiful flower. That multicolored name atop the jade peak spread throughout the entire Southshine Nation, sent to every corner through the countless screens watching the live stream.
The name Ning Qin became the hottest topic on the network once more. The main account for his fans began to rise dramatically once more as countless female cultivators shouted out their messages of love and reverence, saying that as long as he wanted, they could consummate their marriage tonight and they would deliver him a child by next year.
“Hahaha! That bastard Zhao Jiutian, he actually spat out blood because of how mad he was! What a narrow-minded idiot! I heard that when anger rushes to your head, you can burst several vessels. Hah, how pitiful.” White Fengfeng had both hands on her waist, a happy expression on her face. It was impossible to find any hint of sympathy in her expression.
Black Beibei rolled his eyes. “Cousin, Zhao Jiutian being injured like this is the best excuse for him. Cleansing Temple definitely won’t let us take him away.”
White Fengfeng paused. “Are you saying that this bastard Zhao Jiutian is putting on an act?”
Black Beibei curled his lips. “That’s not necessarily true, but there’s a high chance that his injuries are overly exaggerated. By tomorrow morning, he might become bedridden, struggling to survive.”
White Fengfeng stomped her feet in anger. Those scum from Cleansing Temple really didn’t care about face at all.
Ming Siyuan coughed. “That’s enough. You’re lucky this time. If it weren’t for little friend Ning Qin’s sudden appearance, I really have no idea how things would have ended for you.”
Black Beibei suppressed a laugh. Revered Ming was prepared to not care about face just now. To speak such words at this moment was quite embarrassing.
“Humph!” Ming Siyuan coughed and Black Beibei quickly lowered his head, as if saying he didn’t know anything at all.
White Fengfeng clenched her teeth. “If Cleansing Temple wants to be so shameless, I won’t let them get away with this!” They had been forceful and aggressive the entire time, but now that they were knocked onto the ground, they wanted to calmly ignore this matter? Dream on!
Ming Siyuan warned White Fengfeng. Then, he composed himself and hesitated for a moment before asking, “Young master, this little friend Ning Qin, how do you feel about him?”
White Fengfeng was confused. “I feel very thankful towards him. He helped me avoid being humiliated by Cleansing Temple.”
Black Beibei nearly stumbled to the ground. Cousin, can your reaction be any slower? Revered Ming wasn’t asking about that at all!
Cough cough. Black Beibei asked, “Cousin, don’t you think this Mister Ning Qin is very familiar?”
White Fengfeng was stunned. “I don’t know him…mm, that’s not right. He’s tall, well-proportioned, and in good shape.” She bashfully smiled.
Black Beibei was left speechless. Everything was normal so why did she devolve into some crazed nymphomaniac in the blink of an eye? “Cousin, do you think that Mister Ning Qin, he might be that Senior Baoyu?”
White Fengfeng coldly sneered. “Are you blind? My Big Brother Baoyu is handsome and elegant, graceful and as free as the wind. He doesn’t look like Ning Qin at all; how can they be the same person?”
He almost spat out a mouthful of blood. Cousin, oh cousin, did you not know there was such a thing in this world called face-changing masks? Didn’t you know there are cultivation methods in this world that could change your external appearance?
This Senior Baoyu was likely to be the reincarnation of some peerless Calamity Immortal realm powerhouse. For him to use such small tricks was as easy as flipping his hand!
Ming Siyuan’s expression was calm, but there was a fair bit more stiffness between his eyes than before. He thought that after he returned to the Great Desolate Lake Headquarters, he needed to remind that husband and wife couple who spoiled their daughter too much that they needed to invest more effort in teaching their child! If White Fengfeng wasn’t the Great Desolate Lake’s young master, then based on her current performance, she was someone who would appear in a television series for two episodes before dying!
Black Beibei tried his best to explain the situation to her. He even took out a face-changing mask and put on a great performance of changing his own looks. White Fengfeng’s eyes suddenly brightened.
“Right, right! I was also curious. If that Ning Qin’s face was so ugly, how come he would have such a magnificent body? Now that I think about it, he must be my Big Brother Baoyu! Yes, that’s it, he is definitely Big Brother Baoyu, my Big Brother Baoyu!”
White Fengfeng turned and rushed out. Dark lines crept down Ming Siyuan’s forehead and he quickly stopped her. “Young master, I told you already that you cannot reveal anything concerning fellow daoist Baoyu. If you go over there without any thought at all, you will likely draw unnecessary trouble.”
White Fengfeng curled her lips. “But I was only thinking of him.”
“Young master, this is only our guess right now; it’s not something that we can verify for the time being. However, since Ning Qin has helped our Great Desolate Lake, we can use that as a reason to express our gratitude to him later. Just wait patiently.”
Looking at White Fengfeng nod unwillingly, Ming Siyuan’s thoughts turned. Although the young master was immature and she didn’t understand the dangers of the world, her current actions meant that she had a favorable impression towards this fellow daoist Baoyu. If she really could touch the heart of fellow daoist Baoyu and the two of them ended up together, that would be an incredible stroke of good fortune to the Great Desolate Lake.
Of course, this was all based on the premise that his guess was correct and this fellow daoist Baoyu was the reincarnation of a Deva. Otherwise, he would simply express his thanks and there would be no need to mention anything else. As the solemn young master of the Great Desolate Lake, she was someone who would rule over the Great Desolate Lake in the future and become a woman who played a pivotal role in the Southshine Nation. It wasn’t just anyone who had the qualifications to approach her.
As Ming Siyuan was deep in thought and White Fengfeng was grumbling to herself, the oblivious Qin Yu was accepting a one-on-one meeting with the Exalted Yun Yilan. As the Exalted of the Southshine Nation, Yun Yilan had a lofty status; even the nation’s ruler had to nod to him. He was someone who existed atop the highest clouds. To individually be summoned for this kind of meeting, it naturally attracted countless envious eyes. Everyone knew that this meant Ning Qin had already entered the eyes of Exalted Yun. His future was sure to be dazzling.
“Ning Qin greets Revered Yun!” Qin Yu bowed, his voice respectful.
Yun Yilan smiled and waved his hand. “There is no need to be so courteous. Sit.”
Qin Yu expressed his gratitude and took a seat. His waist was stiff and his eyes were kept low. He perfectly displayed the deep awe and reverence that a young cultivator would have at this moment.
This performance completely conformed to his current status. Revered Yun felt as if he had seen through Qin Yu right now and his smile became more gentle. After asking about Qin Yu’s teachers and what he had experienced as a youth, they made some more small talk before entering the main topic.
“Ning Qin, you should be aware that since this is a competition held by my Southshine Nation, all pill furnaces are provided by the officials and they need to be returned after the competition ends.”
Qin Yu cupped his hands together. “This junior understands.” With a flick of his sleeves, the cracked and rusted pill furnace appeared in front of him. “Please accept this pill furnace, Revered Yun.”
Yun Yilan’s eyes fell on Qin Yu and he didn’t detect any reluctant or unwillingness at all. Appreciation lit up his eyes. He lifted a hand to grab the pill furnace. But at this time, the pill furnace erupted with a powerful aura. In the blink of an eye it manifested into a giant wild bull that came crashing down on Yun Yilan.
Frowning, Yun Yilan changed his grasping motion into a slapping motion. The void shook and it seemed as if a pool of water imprisoned the pill furnace. No matter how it struggled, it wasn’t able to free itself. Moreover, the room was quiet as all of its erupting strength was completely counterbalanced.
Qin Yu rose up and bowed, “Revered Yun…”
Yun Yilan interrupted him. “I know this has nothing to do with you. It is this pill furnace that doesn’t want to leave.” His gaze was calm but there was a faint trace of excitement in his heart. He thought for a moment and said, “It's fine. Since this furnace seems to have some fate with you, you can take care of it for the time being.”
The imprisoning strength scattered and the shaken pill furnace was sent back to Qin Yu’s side. Ninth Province also seemed to understand Yun Yilan’s strength, and didn’t make another move after indicating its position.
Qin Yu hesitated. “This…”
While he didn’t know what sort of treasure Ninth Province was, he knew it was undoubtedly precious and formidable. Even calling it a treasure furnace wouldn’t be an exaggeration. To an alchemist, such a treasure was incomparably precious. Qin Yu had thought about taking it for himself, but he also knew that the Southshine Nation officials would never agree to give him Ninth Province. This was why when Yun Yilan spoke up just now, Qin Yu had taken it out without any hesitation.
Yun Yilan shook his hand. “It’s fine. I also need you to wait here for several more days.” Before Qin Yu could say anything, he explained himself. “During this great competition, countless elites have poured out from the youth. The royal family has sent a special envoy that will arrive soon. At that time, the special envoy will personally present rewards.”
For some reason Qin Yu’s heart suddenly throbbed. Although this feeling disappeared as soon as it came, he still felt nervous. After some hesitation, he cupped his hands together and said, “Revered Yun, I have an important matter to attend to. Is it possible to leave in advance and have the inn send a cultivator to accept the reward for me?”
Yun Yilan shook his head. “A large portion of the reason this special envoy is coming is to personally see the young elites from the competition. Other minor matters can be put to the side for now. This won’t take too long.”
Even though his tone was warm and gentle, Qin Yu remained vigilant. As a courtesy, he sat for a moment longer before rising up and bidding his farewells.
Yun Yilan watched Qin Yu leave. His eyes flashed. This junior was very alert, but unfortunately in his current situation, there was no choice for him!