NETS - Chapter 141 – Gift of Appreciation
Lu Ping looked at the other three. One was a handsome and dashing gentleman, dressed as a teenage scholar.
Whereas the second one made Lu Ping furrow his brows. He recognized him—the arrogant young alchemist who came to Lu Ping and asked for all his spirit herbs after he returned from Fei Ling Island.
A couple of years had passed since then, and the young alchemist seemed to have matured a lot.
Lu Ping recalled that the young alchemist was from Zhen Ling Sect’s Pavilion of Alchemy, so it wasn’t hard to infer that one of the four remaining Enlightened Masters, other than his own teacher, was a Master Alchemist.
At this time, the arrogant young man obviously recognized Lu Ping as well. His expression changed, and then, as if recalling something, he looked at Enlightened Master Liu Xuan-Ling sitting in the center and gritted his teeth before his face returned to normal.
The third disciple was also similar in age to Lu Ping, maybe even a little younger. However, the disciple’s face and eyes were weathered; he had obviously experienced the vicissitudes of life.
Lu Ping even felt a murderous aura emanating from him. He was like a sheathed blade; so cold and awe-inspiring that regular cultivators wouldn’t dare to approach him easily.
The fourth disciple left in the square was Lu Ping.
By now, every cultivator present suddenly noticed that these four disciples had a common feature, that was, they were all young teenagers!
In terms of age, Lu Ping was probably the oldest amongst the four.
Understanding soon dawned on them. No wonder two Late Enlightened Masters had appeared to accept new disciples, and even Enlightened Master Xuan-Jing, a Master Alchemist from Pavilion of Alchemy, and Enlightened Master Xuan-Huai, the Vice Chair of Pavilion of Puppetry, had participated this time.
It seemed like they were here for these four young talents!
The cultivators watching the ceremony burst into discussion. They were obviously looking forward to the appreciation gifts the four would offer to their teachers.
The middle-aged scholar, who happened to feel almost rested, shouted to continue the ceremony, "Enlightened Master Xuan-Huai's disciple, Ji Zi-Xuan, present your gift to your teacher!"
The dashing cultivator smiled at Lu Ping and the other two, then he moved to the front of Enlightened Master Xuan-Huai and bowed, saying, "I have heard that Teacher has been collecting the rest of Fei Ling Sect’s puppet-making techniques that were lost during its elimination many years ago. This disciple was fortunate enough to exchange a jade scroll from a senior martial brother who returned from Fei Ling Island, and would like to present it to Teacher."
Enlightened Master Xuan-Huai was pleased to hear this and said, "Oh, bring it to me!”
Surprisingly, there was actually some eagerness in his expression.
Ji Zi-Xuan respectfully handed over a gray-black-colored jade scroll. Enlightened Master Xuan-Huai quickly took it in his hand, and without a pause, used his divine revelation on the jade scroll.
A moment passed, Enlightened Master Xuan-Huai stroked his beard and laughed happily, "Good, good! It’s one of the puppet inheritance jade scrolls that I needed. With this jade scroll, I can save myself three years of research and development work!"
Hearing his laughter, the cultivators all gave a unanimous cheer while clapping their hands enthusiastically.
Ji Zi-Xuan bowed slightly and moved to the side of Enlightened Master Xuan-Huai’s chair.
Then, the middle-aged scholar once again called, "Tao Zi-Fang, disciple under Enlightened Master Xuan-Jing, present your gift to your teacher!"
Tao Zi-Fang, the arrogant young man and now a proud talent, gave Lu Ping a provocative look. Then, after saluting Enlightened Master Xuan-Jing with his head held high, he reached out and swiped his hand around his waist, producing a cream-colored jade bottle.
Lu Ping looked carefully at Tao Zi-Fang's waist. There was no interspatial pouch, only a black jade belt, which should be an interspatial belt.
Then, he heard Tao Zi-Fang say, "Teacher, this is a bottle of Blood Condensation Pellets that I successfully concocted a few days ago. I concocted three cauldrons, the first and second cauldrons produced three pellets, and the third cauldron produced four pellets. In total, this is a full bottle of ten Blood Condensation Pellets. With that, I have officially become an Alchemist."
This time, without Enlightened Master Xuan-Jing having to say anything, the crowd of cultivators around the square collectively gasped in amazement.
The difficulty of concocting Blood Condensation Pellets was comparable to that of Late Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets.
For Tao Zi-Fang to become an Alchemist at such a young age, it was obvious that he would be valued as a talented alchemist by the sect. In other words, he would have a bright future ahead of him.
Lu Ping, on the other hand, was feeling a little helpless after comparing himself with Tao Zi-Fang.
Look at that, that’s what a talented alchemist was capable of.
Tao Zi-Fang’s first cauldron of Blood Condensation Pellets actually had a thirty-percent success rate and successfully produced three pellets.
On the other hand, Lu Ping remembered only concocting two Blood Condensation Pellets in his first cauldron, which he actually considered a miracle back then.
This was due to his previous experiences. No matter what new medicinal pellets Lu Ping concocted, he would never succeed on the first try, and the cauldron of spirit herbs would definitely go to waste!
Enlightened Master Xuan-Jing was smiling from ear to ear. He laughed and said, "You still have a long way to go, you need to improve the pellet concoction’s success rate."
Although there were no obvious words of praise, anyone with a discerning eye could see from Enlightened Master Xuan-Jing's expression that he was incredibly satisfied.
Tao Zi-Fang also answered politely, but with a smug look on his face. After that, he glanced in the direction of Lu Ping, Ji Zi-Xuan, and the expressionless, cold disciple.
Ji Zi-Xuan was still smiling as usual, while Lu Ping was oblivious to the subtle taunt. Only the expressionless disciple gave a slight, cold snort.
At that moment, the middle-aged scholar's voice called again, "Enlightened Master Xuan-Yin's disciple, Yin Zi-Chu, present your gift of appreciation to your teacher!"
Yin Zi-Chu, who was the cold young man, stepped forward and saluted his teacher.
Enlightened Master Xuan-Yin opened his eyes which had been closed the entire time. He looked at Yin Zi-Chu, and asked, "Completed?"
Yin Zi-Chu nodded and took out an interspatial pouch from his pocket and waved it over the ground in front of him. Immediately, the smell of blood filled the air.
The crowd of cultivators was in an uproar. Tao Zi-Fang frowned in disgust, while Ji Zi-Xuan only wrinkled his nose, seemingly a bit sensitive to the smell, though his expression remained calm. Lu Ping remained unmoved, as if he was used to the smell.
The smell of blood came from three monster carcasses on the ground.
Lu Ping could see at a glance that these three monsters were killed by flying swords in a swift and clean manner over a short period of time. Immediately, Lu Ping changed his opinion of the cold disciple, and now looked at him with a vague tinge of admiration.
Several cultivators had recognized the monsters. "White Silver Shark, Flowing Flower Snake, Feather Hunt Eagle!"
"These three monsters were all in the Late Blood Condensation Realm. This White Silver Shark had even reached the Eighth Layer! The Feather Hunt Eagle, in particular, is known for its fast speed and how difficult it is to catch!"
Some exclaimed in shock. "But this Junior Brother Yin Zi-Chu is only in the Sixth Layer Blood Condensation Realm!"
The knowledgeable ones added, "Looking at the condition of the bodies, all three monsters were killed within ten moves!"
"When did the gap between Mid Blood and Late Blood Condensation Realms become so easy to cross!"
The crowd was clamoring, and every time someone said something, the masses would cheer in awe!
By the time all the cultivators were fully informed of the three monsters on the ground, they were already applauding loudly in astonishment!
But Lu Ping was able to see more than the rest, and that was—Yin Zi-Chu had killed these three monsters within seven moves, not ten.
Enlightened Master Xuan-Yin still had an expressionless face, and only nodded with a short comment, "Fair enough!"
Yin Zi-Chu sidled up and stored away the monster carcasses. Then he stood beside Enlightened Master Xuan-Yin, leaving only a pool of blood on the ground, which was casually cleaned up by the middle-aged scholar after a wave of his hand.
At this point, Lu Ping was the only one left on the square who hadn't yet offered his gift, and the cultivators were looking at him while murmuring.
At this point, everyone had already noticed the competitive spark between the three disciples when they offered their gifts.
Even some seated Enlightened Masters had their interest piqued, and they were waiting to see what gift this last disciple, one who was accepted by Enlightened Master Liu Xuan-Ling, would end up offering.
After all, Enlightened Master Liu Xuan-Ling was one of the "Seven Sages" of Zhen Ling Sect, so Lu Ping must have something remarkable for her to break the customs and accept him as her disciple.
The middle-aged scholar coughed unnaturally; he was obviously also influenced by the atmosphere at the scene.
But when he noticed his teacher, Enlightened Master Xuan-Miao, looking at him, he hurriedly said, "Lu Ping, Enlightened Master Liu Xuan-Ling’s disciple, present your gift of appreciation to your teacher!"
This time, Lu Ping wasn’t anxious and walked up to the Enlightened Master with great dignity.
After saluting, he took out a Crystal Jade Bottle and said, "I was lucky enough to acquire a pellet recipe some days ago and concocted this bottle of Beauty Everlasting Pellets for Teacher. I wish Teacher an eternal youth!"
It was dead quiet as the cultivators on the floor looked confused.
After a while, some cultivators whispered to each other and asked, "What kind of medicinal pellets are Beauty Everlasting Pellets, how come I've never heard of them before?"
"Me neither, but the name sounds like it should be related to one’s appearance, right?"
"Then they’re similar to Beauty Lasting Pellets, Beauty Retaining Pellets and so on, right?"
"A Beauty Lasting Pellet can preserve one’s appearance for ten years, while Beauty Retaining Pellet can only preserve it for five years. They’re equivalent to Mid and Early Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets.
"Being in the same category, these pellets shouldn’t be bad in that sense. After all, Enlightened Master Liu Xuan-Ling is a female, so it's a good idea to throw in the towel."
"But whether it’s Beauty Lasting Pellets or Beauty Retaining Pellets, overconsumption will only develop a medicinal resistance and the pellets will lose their effectiveness eventually. When the time comes, not only will they not preserve one’s face, the beautifying effect won’t work as well."
The cultivators still cheered and applauded, but they were obviously not as enthusiastic as the previous three disciples. Their reaction was more or less one of disappointment.
However, after the cheering, the cultivators were quick to notice that Enlightened Master Liu Xuan-Ling hadn’t said any words of encouragement yet. Could it be that she was dissatisfied and felt disgraced?
The crowd looked at Lu Ping with pity, only to find a second later that Enlightened Master Liu Xuan-Ling was holding the Crystal Jade Bottle in her hands with a happy face. From time to time, she opened the bottle to smell the fragrance of medicinal pellets inside.
The three seated female Enlightened Masters were also looking eagerly at the Crystal Jade Bottle in her hands.
In addition, the other Enlightened Masters were gazing at Lu Ping with amazement.
Tao Zi-Fang was glaring at Lu Ping with an indignant look on his face—he obviously knew something that the cultivators didn’t.
The cultivators watching the ceremony were stunned, and they couldn’t help wondering if there was something wrong?
"He's using a Crystal Jade Bottle!" A cultivator finally made a new discovery.
"Could they be Core Forging Realm medicinal pellets?"
"A Master Alchemist this young? You can't be serious, right?"
The cultivators were in an uproar once again, and this time, the atmosphere had intensified. The middle-aged scholar was at a loss trying to keep the crowd in check.
Enlightened Master Xuan-Miao saw that the situation was getting out of hand and he loudly cleared his throat. The cultivators felt as if a thunderbolt had rang out in their ears, and they immediately shut their mouths.
Enlightened Master Xuan-Miao stood up and said slowly, "These are Beauty Everlasting Pellets. A pellet can keep one’s appearance unchanged for 30 years. The ingredients include several 1000-year spirit herbs and several dozen 500-year spirit herbs. It is a specialty pellet ranked between Blood Condensation Realm and Core Forging Realm medicinal pellets. The alchemists who can concoct pellets within this range are known as Quasi-Masters!"
When the cultivators heard his succinct explanation, a silence fell upon the square again.
It was only after a long time had passed that a voice said abruptly, "A Fifth Layer Blood Condensation Quasi-Master Alchemist, and only in his twenties!"
As this was a full bottle of ten Beauty Everlasting Pellets, it meant that one could maintain an unchanged appearance for 300 years!
But just how long was a typical Core Forging Enlightened Master's lifespan? The answer was somewhere between 500 to 800 years.
Tao Zi-Fang's facial muscles twitched, and he cursed in his heart, He really is an alchemist, this guy must be deliberately taunting me. There’s no mistake, this is his revenge!
The crowd was still silent, there was no applause and no cheering, but just countless gazes of admiration directed at Lu Ping.
From their faces, Lu Ping could read only one word—Genius!
Currently translated up to Chapter 160.