Why not go ad free? Go Premium now.
Announcements
A- A A+

NETS - Chapter 146 – Made Difficult

Lu Ping was speechless listening to Xuan Ling Sect’s propaganda. As someone who had taken part in the battle, Lu Ping was naturally clear about what really happened.

Xuan Ling Sect, Xi Ling Island, and the Ocean Overturning Gang were the human forces present in the battle. But even they only had less than 80 cultivators who escaped from the siege, not to mention all those who escaped the siege but died later on in the chase. This alone showed how terribly the humans were defeated in that battle.

Moreover, Han Wei-Yun and the Xuan Ling Sect disciples formed a Dao army formation and abandoned the rest of the North Ocean cultivators that followed them there. Just this incident would be more than enough to make him lose his reputation in the North Ocean.

However, Xuan Ling Sect’s propaganda was clearly a preemptive move. After all, even though Han Wei-Yun’s decision was terrible, he did lead his sect’s disciples out of the siege and avoided total annihilation.

But Lu Ping also smelled a conspiracy from this.

This was because after the battle, Xi Ling Island’s Ai Bo-Tao, who was also one of North Ocean 18 Warriors, didn’t come forward to clarify the facts.

Instead, when Xuan Ling Sect promoted Han Wei-Yun’s meritorious deeds, the sect also complimented Ai Bo-Tao as well, which increased Ai Bo-Tao’s fame.

As for the few rogue cultivators who followed Ai Bo-Tao’s footsteps, even if they didn’t die in the battle, they would naturally keep their mouths shut. After all, be it Xuan Ling Sect or Xi Ling Island’s Ai Clan, both were behemoths that rogue cultivators couldn’t afford to mess with. So, Lu Ping wasn’t surprised that these rogue cultivators weren’t making any noise.

After bidding farewell to Second Senior Martial Sister, Li Xuan-Ru, Lu Ping came to the Pavilion of Alchemy in Zhen Ling Sect under her suggestion.

The Pavilion of Alchemy was located on a mountain peak called Dan Ding Mountain on the east side of Tian Ling Mountain. This mountain peak was directly connected to the spirit vein by Zhen Ling Sect’s predecessors, and the lava fire from the depths of the earth was drawn up to be used for alchemy.

Of course, the lava fire was only used by the ordinary alchemists. As to whether Zhen Ling Sect had any heaven-and-earth spirit fires for alchemy, Lu Ping wouldn’t know.

As soon as Lu Ping arrived at Dan Ding Mountain’s Pavilion of Alchemy, he saw a man walking hurriedly in front of him. Just as Lu Ping was about to inquire about the location of the Alchemy Assessment Enlightened Master, the man suddenly recognized Lu Ping.

“It’s you?”

Lu Ping was also stunned to see that the man was none other but the young and arrogant cultivator, Tao Zi-Fang, who was also the disciple of Enlightened Master Xuan-Jing who had a dispute with Lu Ping’s teacher, Enlightened Master Liu. 

“Ho, so it’s Senior Brother Tao!” Lu Ping replied with a fake smile.

Lu Ping never had a good feeling about Tao Zi-Fang and they were obviously not on good terms with each other, so Lu Ping's reply reflected that.

"What are you doing here?" Tao Zi-Fang directly questioned Lu Ping.

Lu Ping smiled. From Tao Zi-Fang’s tone of voice, he could sense something, he said slowly, “To find the Alchemy Assessment Enlightened Master, obviously. Senior Brother Tao also knows that I can already concoct the Beauty Everlasting Pellet, so it is only normal that I obtain a proper qualification as an Alchemist in the sect. What’s the matter? Do I need Senior Brother Tao's permission to come to the Pavilion of Alchemy?"

Tao Zi-Fang was obviously irritated by Lu Ping's words, but he couldn’t block the entrance and stop Lu Ping from entering, so he grunted and walked away.

Lu Ping shrugged indifferently and walked directly to the Pavilion of Alchemy.

Lu Ping was now also someone backed by a teacher, so Tao Zi-Fang didn’t dare to cross the line. 

This couldn’t help but bring Lu Ping’s memory back to the time when Tao Zi-Fang dared to stomp his feet, point his fingers, and curse at Lu Ping when he refused Tao Zi-Fang’s request for the spirit herbs.

Even though they were still at odds, Tao Zi-Fang no longer dareed to be as arrogant as before.

What Lu Ping didn't know was that just after Lu Ping stepped into the Pavilion of Alchemy, Tao Zi-Fang had come back. After taking a look at the entrance, he entered through the side door and went straight to the back of the Pavilion.

This was Lu Ping’s first time here. Only after asking several cultivators did he find out that the Alchemy Assessment Enlightened Master was in the back hall of the Pavilion of Alchemy.

"Are you the new disciple that Senior Sister Liu accepted, the one who can already concoct Beauty Everlasting Pellets?" The Alchemy Assessment Enlightened Master was obviously very interested in Lu Ping.

"That is me!" Lu Ping wasn’t feeling comfortable under the scalding gaze of the Alchemy Assessment Enlightened Master.

"Why do you only want to obtain the Alchemist qualification? With your capability, if you become a full-time alchemist in the sect, the sect will train you, and all kinds of spirit herbs will be supplied to you on a priority basis." The Alchemy Assessment Enlightened Master was obviously a person who loved talent.

There were two kinds of alchemists in Zhen Ling Sect, full-time alchemists who were parked directly under the Pavilion of Alchemy, and freelance alchemists who only had their names recorded in the Pavilion of Alchemy.

There were many benefits to becoming a full-time alchemist at Zhen Ling Sect, and Li Xuan-Ru once suggested Lu Ping to join the Pavilion of Alchemy, but he declined.

However, Li Xuan-Ru still suggested for Lu Ping to obtain his Alchemist status in the school.

This way, although Lu Ping couldn’t enjoy the preferential supply of spirit herbs from the sect, the sect would still give preferential treatment to alchemists who were registered in the Pavilion in order to attract these freelance alchemists.

After listening to Lu Ping's explanation, the Alchemy Assessment Enlightened Master nodded reluctantly, "Okay, but to qualify as an Alchemist, you will have to pass the sect’s test. The sect’s test for alchemists is: In addition to Blood Condensation Pellets, you will also be given the recipe for any one of the Mid and Late Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets. You need to achieve a success rate of at least 50-percent for each medicinal pellet to qualify as an Alchemist. The sect will only prepare two cauldrons of spirit herbs for each medicinal pellet. You only need to successfully concoct one cauldron of spirit herbs to pass."

Lu Ping had already heard these rules from Li Xuan-Ru before he arrived.

Moreover, not only would the sect take back the successfully concocted medicinal pellets when he passed the test, Lu Ping would also have to compensate for the loss of spirit herbs at the original price if he failed the test. These rules really made Lu Ping speechless.

The Alchemy Assessment Enlightened Master explained these rules to Lu Ping as per the standard protocol and said, "Well then, let’s choose what two kinds of medicinal pellets you will be tested on today!"

He clapped his hands and an alchemy boy came in from outside the hall, the boy was holding a tray in his hands with two cylindrical mystic instruments on it.

These two mystic instruments were specially made to obstruct divine sense, so the contents inside were hidden from cultivators. Inside each of these two cylindrical mystic instruments were ten bamboo sticks.

The alchemy boy gave Lu Ping a strange look when he entered, but Lu Ping didn’t take it to heart. He casually picked a bamboo stick from each of the cylindrical mystic instruments, before handing the bamboo sticks to the Alchemy Assessment Enlightened Master.

The Enlightened Master took a look at them and glanced over at the alchemy boy with a thoughtful gaze. Then, he said to Lu Ping, "It seems that you’ve run out of luck!"

Lu Ping reached out, looked at the bamboo sticks, and also felt a little helpless. The two medicinal pellets were Thousand Mystery Pellet and Crimson Blood Pellet.

These two medicinal pellets were top-grade, and the most difficult medicinal pellets to concoct in the Mid and Late Blood Condensation Realm. 

Lu Ping, however, had got both of them, which showed how bad his luck was today.

In particular, the Crimson Blood Pellet was extremely difficult to concoct. This medicinal pellet was a variant of the Blood Spirit Pellet which Lu Ping had concocted numerous times in the monster race sea.

However, the Crimson Blood Pellet was a fire-element Blood Spirit Pellet, the very element that conflicted with his water-element arcane energy.

Lu Ping only practiced alchemy to satisfy his own cultivation needs, so he had never concocted a single Crimson Blood Pellet or anything similar before.

But this was the test, so Lu Ping had no choice but to follow the rules. He followed the alchemy boy to the underground alchemy rooms in the Pavilion of Alchemy.

The real location of the Pavilion of Alchemy was actually in the belly of Dan Ding Mountain.

Here, the Pavilion of Alchemy had opened 36 alchemy rooms of different sizes. These alchemy rooms were divided into four levels, A, B, C, and D; with each level forming a concentric circle around the earth fire and spirit vein.

The outermost layer had 18 Grade D alchemy rooms, each with a low-grade alchemy cauldron and the weakest fire supply from the earth lava fire.

The next layer in, towards the center, had 9 Grade C alchemy rooms, each with a mid-grade cauldron and a stronger fire supply from the earth lava fire.

This was followed by six Grade B alchemy rooms, each with a high-grade cauldron and an even stronger fire supply.

Finally, in the center were three Grade A alchemy rooms, which each had a top-grade cauldron and the most stable and strongest fire supply.

Grade C alchemy rooms were open to Alchemists. Lu Ping, who was taking the test, was qualified to use the Grade C rooms.

Lu Ping followed the alchemy boy to the registry, where a Late Blood Condensation Realm cultivator was in charge of the Grade C alchemy rooms.

When the alchemy boy went forward to explain the situation, the cultivator gave Lu Ping a sidelong glance and sneered, "The Grade C alchemy rooms are already full, you will have to wait!"

Lu Ping noticed the cultivator’s obvious teasing tone and asked, "So when will the Grade C alchemy rooms be available?"

The cultivator said impatiently, "How would I know? These Alchemists are all bossy. They always overstay their time and do as they like. When I go to hurry them out of the rooms, they even dare to scold me. So wait for them. The earliest available room will be a month later."

The cultivator was obviously making senseless excuses. Alchemists could only concoct Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets, and the longest time taken for any Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets was only five days at most.

When Alchemists concocted medicinal pellets, they would always need to rest between each cauldron of medicinal pellets to restore their arcane energy and divine sense. This rest time could range from one to two days, so it was naturally absurd to say that the Alchemists would continuously concoct medicinal pellets for a month.

Lu Ping was deeply annoyed in his heart, but he remained calm and asked, "Then may I use any of the Grade B alchemy rooms?"

"Hahaha!" 

As if hearing a joke, the cultivator sneered, "Grade B alchemy rooms? They are alchemy rooms used to concoct Core Forging Realm medicinal pellets only. You? You are surely not qualified to use them!"

The cultivator stretched his voice to the point of obvious sarcasm.

The cultivator saw Lu Ping’s expressionless face, and thought Lu Ping was trying to restrain his anger. The cultivator rolled his eyes, "But there are still empty rooms left in the Grade D alchemy rooms. Perhaps, you’d like to choose one?"

Although the cultivator seemed to be asking a question, he was actually mocking Lu Ping in the hope that Lu Ping would be riled up.

But to his surprise, Lu Ping smiled and said, "Yes!"

The cultivator was stunned by Lu Ping's casual reply, as if he hadn't heard it, and froze for a moment.

Lu Ping didn't have time to pay attention to the clown in front of him and said, "Lead the way!"

The cultivator took a while to react to the situation and his face blushed red in embarrassment while the veins on his forehead were throbbing. Just as he was about to say something unpleasant, he suddenly calmed down. 

Then, he said with a grim smile, "Junior Brother, it seems like you are confident in yourself. However, the Pavilion of Alchemy has a rule that cultivators can only use the cauldron in the alchemy room to pass the test. This is to avoid cheating. So, Junior Brother, if you have a cauldron of your own, do remember that you can’t use them."

"Understood!"

Lu Ping gave the cultivator a cold look, and the cultivator immediately felt a chill seeping down his spine. His heart panicked for some reason, but he continued, "Since Junior Brother is aware of that rule, the alchemy boy will bring Junior Brother to Alchemy Room D-9!"

Just a few moments after Lu Ping walked away with the alchemy boy, the cultivator suddenly let out a long breath. He calmed his mind, and turned to look at the person who came out of an alchemy room behind him, and said, "Is Junior Brother satisfied?"

The other person smiled faintly, "Thank you for your help, this is a bottle of Snow Wave Pellets, they are just perfect for Senior Brother Li's current cultivation level. In the future, if you have any need for medicinal pellets, just bring your spirit herbs to me, and I will definitely ask my teacher to concoct them first!"

The cultivator was greatly pleased and quickly thanked the other person!

RD's Notes:

Weekly Chapters (4/5)
Editor: Immortal BloodRogue

RD: It's my fault, I... forgot to post em chapters...

------

Consider support our Patreon if you'd like to read advanced chapters. Also, it is our only source of income to help us to get through this pandemic.

Currently translated up to Chapter 160.
https://www.patreon.com/rising_dawn
Written by SleepingAutumn. Translated by RD. Edited by Milkbiscuit, Immortal BloodRogue.