Volume 2, Chapter 15 – The Letter sent by the Golden Sword, the Rainbow Stonefield Water State
When he read that the moon viewing event would be held on Jade Ornaments Island, Zhang Yan’s complexion suddenly turned subtle.
This Jade Ornaments Island was one of the Six Rivers Four Islands. And he had just basically pushed them into a hole. But they actually turned their head and instead invited him to their island. If he savored this carefully, there should be some other deep intentions within.
To his knowledge, the Six Rivers Four Islands had expelled their entire clansman that had committed the crimes in the first month before the Azure Ocean Sect pursued the matter. He didn’t know as to how much of a price they had to pay to preserve their life. As for the Feng Family, although they still refuted and refused to give in, but in fact, their attitude had long been more temperate, and sooner or later, they would also bow their heads.
As he flipped over the letter paper, he found that the letter had a lot of strange points. The characters and words were gracefully written, they were seemingly carved out from the hands of a female cultivator. Moreover, even though the letter was inviting him to the meeting, however, there was no invitation card for him. Did they wish him to attend the meeting but didn’t want him to go?
He shook his head and threw this letter casually.
In his view, to go or not was not important. There were other things that were more important to do, so he might as well use and save the time to promote his own cultivation base. But before he dealt with it, he still had to solve some small problems first.
To practice the second step of refining the Impure Yin spiritual qi described in the Taiyi Golden Manual, he had to release all of his Pure Yang spiritual qi for each attempt while at the same time directing the heavy Evil Qi from the abyss. Such a method was extremely troublesome and inefficient. He was pondering, could there be other ways to preserve this Evil Qi?
Having contemplated for a long time, a brilliant light flashed through Zhang Yan’s eyes. Zhou Chongju had given him his alchemy methods. Wasn’t there a method in the ‘Inner Opening Arts’ to contain different kinds of qi and contain it in his orifices throughout his body? Wouldn’t it the same as having a natural qi container?
One must know that being able to isolate qi inside and outside the orifices was equal to being able to contain each kind of virulent and poisonous drugs, much less about this intangible-heavy Evil Qi. What was more convenient than having these containers on his body? With this thought, he quickly took out a volume of alchemy book and carefully read it again.
In accordance with the above explanation, these qi openings separately corresponded to the five elements of one’s five senses. Ones could open up at least five openings, and the “Inner Opening Art’s” key practice was entirely laid within the late period of the pills concocting process. The method itself was extremely easy, and he could practice it without the slightest difficulty.
Immediately, he sat down on the jade platform and carried out the method according to the circulation method contained in the book. In less than half a day, his one breath could open up 3 qi openings continuously. Just when he was about to practice again, he found that he was unable to achieve it. This made him realize that it was according to his cultivation base’s limitation, which meant that he had just reached his limit.
This type of heavy Evil Qi was impure, and after it was extracted out by the pure qi, along with the Golden Fire Blazing Inferno, it slowly sank underground.
At the moment, Zhang Yan released his pure qi as he turned toward the fire crater, and instantly extracted the heavy Evil Qi that was about to sink; he was able to extract half of it. He then inhaled a small strand of qi with his nose while gently circulating it with his qi. He then carefully directed the qi into his qi openings until it entered the orifices. The heavy Evil Qi then steadily sunk down and finally stayed motionless.
Upon seeing that this method was effective, he was becoming more certain as he swallowed all the heavy Evil Qi without hesitation and slowly drew all of it with a moderate speed.
Two hours later, one qi opening was filled with heavy Evil Qi. Zhang Yan carefully scrutinized his body from top to bottom. After confirming that there were neither strangeness nor discomfort in his body, he suddenly felt relaxed as he then decided to fill up another qi opening again. If there was no problem, he planned to fill the third qi opening.
A night had been spent collecting and containing this heavy Evil Qi. As bursts of fine lights in the horizon began to shine, he had completely filled the three qi openings in his body.
In fact, in accordance to the impure qi needed in the previous heavy Evil Qi’s refinery, the amount of heavy Evil Qi he stored in his qi openings was sufficient for him to breakthrough to the Second Stage. But he had faintly felt that this heavy Evil Qi seemed to have other uses. And in order to be safe, he would rather store a lot and be more prepared.
Having spent the night in labor, his face was still full of spirit as pure qi whirled around his face with not the slightest bit of tiredness drawn on his complexion. At this moment, he heard that someone was shouting outside, “Is Martial Uncle Zhang inside? Is Martial Uncle Zhang inside?”
The voice was quite familiar, Zhang Yan then raised his body and went out. He then saw that the one who was shouting outside his Immortal Cave was the child servant from the Alchemy Pavilion, with a humble and fully focused expression.
Upon seeing Zhang Yan come out, the child servant busily sent respectful greetings as he then stepped forward while pulling his sleeve, “Martial Uncle, Master Ancestor summons you to quickly come!”
What had happened?
Zhang Yan’s expressions became more focused as he then nodded his head and made some preparations. He then followed the child servant on the flying boat and flew straight to the Alchemy Pavilion at lightning speed. In less than an hour, they arrived at the sky above the landmass, but the child servant didn’t pause and instead rapidly drove the flying boat directly to the entrance. After circling through several mountains, at the next moment, they finally saw a fishing boat that was mooring in the middle of the river.
After he floated down from the flying ship, Zhang Yan walked toward the fishing boat and was surprised that Zhou Chongju was sitting in the room. His face was cloudy as if it had lost all of its liquid. A slight coldness couldn’t help but cross his heart as he then asked, “Senior Brother, what happened?”
“You came?” Zhou Chongju then pointed to the chair beside him and hinted at Zhang Yan to sit down. But he then stood before he solemnly spoke, “A few days ago, there was a messenger from the Rainbow Stonefield Water State. Six months later, the State’s sovereign—Ji Jiushang—would have a birthday celebration, so they want to organize Alchemists assembly and competition. Therefore, I was asked to send several Pill Concocting Masters. They are also willing to renounce a Shellfish Field to show their sincerity. Since this matter could settle many disputes, the Sect Master also naturally gave his consent.”
The Rainbow Stonefield Water State was actually a clan of Demon cultivators. However, they have tremendous power. The Azure Ocean Sect have waged a war with the Three Anchor Lakes’ Demons for more than 10 years, but this Three Anchor Lakes was nominally only their vassal state.
Zhang Yan calmly listened, he knew that there were also other matters that would follow.
Zhou Chongju’s fist then heavily pounded the table as he continued to speak, “Last month I was asked to concoct some pills for Elder Jiang and temporarily gave the Pavilion’s management to Vice Master Dou, of which, without notifying me, he sent a messenger and put your name in it unexpectedly. The Water State’s envoy has already returned. I was already a step late when I found this matter today.”
Zhang Yan’s expression was still calm as if this matter seemingly had nothing to do with him. He then asked, “And how did Vice Master Dou explain himself?”
Zhou Chongju’s eyes were full of anger as he grunted and said, “Dou Ming stated that it was due to the negligence of the Deacon beneath him, while he also has killed the man. He is willing to be released from his duty and retire, and no longer serve as the Pavilion’s Vice Master again.”
Zhang Yan then let out ridiculing words, “Presumably he has already arranged his escape route, leaving no chance for Senior Brother to take him on.”
As to why Dou Ming evaded from this matter, it was extremely simple. Zhang Yan was indeed from the Alchemy Division and also Zhou Chongju’s disciple. Since someone had taken the blame, apprehending and interrogating him would perhaps not be good. At most, he would only be reprimanded a few words, as it was quite impossible to be severely beaten. Henceforth, he wouldn’t be questioned by anyone.
“There must be someone pulling the strings behind him!” Zhou Chongju furiously spoke, “I suspect that its Feng Shang, this looks like his doings.”
What he was actually afraid of was that if it was really Feng Shang that pulled the strings, of whom, could make all the seemingly loopholes in the plan actually traps. In this way, if he had someone to replace Zhang Yan, this approach could also not be completely executed, because Feng Shang was perhaps waiting for him to do so.
Since Zhang Yan had a true disciple status in the Azure Ocean Sect, these people were temporarily unable to do anything to him. But Zhou Chongju was worried that once Zhang Yan went out, it would be completely different since there would be plenty of opportunities to hit him.
Zhou Chongju turned his head and looked at Zhang Yan as he spoke in a solemn tone, “Junior Brother, this matter has been a foregone conclusion, what do you plan to do about it? If you are unwilling to go, I’ll go out and stake everything on this thick-skinned old face to guarantee your safety!” The muscles on his cheeks faintly throbbed, and seemed to think of something that is extremely hard for him.
Zhang Yan lowered his head and thought deeply for a moment. As when raised his head, a trace of a smile then emerged from his mouth, “Senior Brother, I will go.”
“Oh?” Zhou Chongju was surprised and stared at him, “Have you thought clearly?”
Zhang Yan said, “I’m not necessarily safe in the Sect. Other attempts would also emerge endlessly and it would be very hard to detect. Although I’m not afraid, however, a little delay in cultivation is unavoidable. The journey to this Water State is also within the line of sight of the ancient families and other prestigious houses. Perhaps it precisely became my opportunity since I could exactly be like the fish that dives in the broad ocean, or a bird that freely flies in the vast sky.”
Zhou Chongju thought for a moment before he slowly nodded and said, “What you said is also true.”
He paused and continued, “But you still need to be careful, according to my inference, should they want to attack you, they have at most two ways right now. First, they would secretly strike at you with an underhanded method, and the second one is making you stumble in this journey to the Water Country. I think that the latter is particularly possible. If you folded there, not only would the Sect not investigate it, but instead, they could say that the other party intended to instigate conflict between the two factions.”
Zhang Yan nodded to express his understanding. Although he was a true disciple, but if he had accidents in the Water State, the Azure Ocean Sect would absolutely never make war easily with the Water Country just because of himself. They would try every means to quell this matter. Perhaps in the future, if their relations went to worst with the Rainbow Stonefield Water State, they might use his death incident as a pretext and excuse to start a war, but the purpose for this war absolutely was not to avenge him.
Zhou Chongju sneered and spoke, “I have examined the names’ register. The people who will go to the Rainbow Stonefield Water State, excluding you, are also Dou Ming’s trusted subordinates. This move is not without reasons, because this means that you are unlikely to concoct any pills. Originally, this also wouldn’t amount much to be calculated, but it’s also very clear, that if they were to give up, you as my disciple would be singled out. Then, if someone were to add fuel to the fire in the Rainbow Stonefield Water State, rumors would then be disseminated while they would also incite slandering from the dark. The worst thing that could happen is that the relations with the Rainbow Stonefield Water State would go down to the abyss. And by that time, you’d the first one that would have to bear the brunt.”
Having spoken to this point, he glanced at Zhang Yan, sighed and then said, “There are 10 days left before you leave. I don’t know how many things I could teach you in these 10 days. But we have no choice but to keep trying everything even in this desperate situation.”
Zhang Yan recalled about the true disciples’ event to enjoy the full moon, could it be there was a relationship between these two matters?
Then, he remembered something else. Luo Xiao had also shown him a little about pills concocting. It was very obvious that Demon cultivators also didn’t lack concocted pills, wasn’t it? So why would they come to the Azure Ocean Sect to borrow some Pill Concocting Masters?
When he asked about this matter to Zhou Chong, he replied, “You don’t know about it yet. Although Demon cultivators are also able to refine some concocted pills, but they only possess shallow alchemy techniques. They could refine some ordinary and basic-grade concocted pills. However, to refine superior-grade concocted pills, only human cultivators are able to do that. The reason is because the ‘Three Opening Arts’ could only be practiced by humans. Even if those Demons cultivators changed their appearance and shape, they are still unable to practice it. Therefore, to obtain superior-grade concocted pills, they would have to rely on us—human cultivators—to concoct it. The sovereign of the Rainbow Stonefield Water State—Ji Jiushang—always craved to achieve extraordinary things, and this act is not strange either.”
Zhou Chongju seemed to think about something when he finished explain, and then spoke, “I’ve passed onto you the ‘Inner Opening Arts’. This must not be spread out by any means. If those Demon cultivators knew about this method, everything will be turned upside down.”
“Senior Brother, you can be at ease, I still have discretion within me.” Then Zhang Yan’s eyes flashed as he then continued, “But I think, we shouldn’t let Vice Master Dou easily escape from this.”
Zhou Chongju only let out an “Oh” voice as he looked at Zhang Yan and said, “Junior Brother, do you have some plan in mind?”
Zhang Yan smiled and said, “Before we depart and go to our destination, it would be a pity if Vice Master Dou’s alchemy’s technique becomes wasted. Thus, he would report to the Sect Master, that he is willing to become my assistant and go along with me.”