The Geared Immortal Book 1 2chapter 31
Volume 1 Chapter 31 Alchemy Contest Part 2
On a large platform inside the arena, there are 48 tables and 49 people busily doing something. Shin Jiao is just a variable on Qin Lou's table. Each person in that stage has a bead of sweat on their foreheads as the heat steadily increases in that place. After a while, the aroma of refined herbs started to rise up and permeated the air. Those who have a good nose can judge from the smell of how pure the refinement of each medicine.
On one corner Shin Jiao is watching Qin Lou as she refines a level 3 medicinal plant, the black Ganoderma. This medicinal plant is truly mysterious as its effect are always random. When eaten raw it can double either one's strength, agility or stamina for 30 seconds. But when it is turned into a pill, these three attributes would be doubled for one minute, which would be a great life saver when someone is in a pinch.
As Shin Jiao watched Qin Lou he became truly amazed at her alchemy skill and looking at the medicinal plant being refined slowly, where dregs are slowly being pushed out, he was truly enlightened.
"She is really skilled at almost everything. It was either her misfortune that her cultivation became stagnant or a blessing in disguise." Shin Jiao thought to himself.
Shin Jiao and Qin Lou are actually planning to make a new pill which they would call 'regrowth pill'. It is like the regrowth serum that Shin Jiao made while traveling with Cherry Lao. Although the only difference is the concocting style as serums are made through filtration and evaporation to get the concentrated extract of a medicinal plant. With the proper control on temperature, this would always result in about 90-100% pureness. So, Shin Jiao is unwilling to show this kind of process in front of a lot of people. He knows what kind of trouble it would cost, so he just went with the flow and follow the norms of this world.
Their goal right now is for Qin Lou to refine the Ganoderma to at least 90% pureness. Which is not that easy as Qin Lou can't use her gold core. She trying to totally control her spiritual fire efficiently as she is already now sweating profusely. Right now the refinement of the medicinal plant is at around 75% and her Qi reserves are already running low. Qin Lou is now feeling a little weak as her knees are starting to wobble, but she held on and never gave up. Shin Jiao promised to show her a new pill that would rival any other healing pills out there, so she is really expecting that such a miracle pill to appear and for her to concoct it is an honor.
"Just a little bit more, hang in there…" Shin Jiao said trying to encourage her to hold on.
Around the stage, people can see that every contestant are almost at their limits. Some had already given up as they have already exhausted their Qi. Because they are unable to properly control their spiritual Qi they wasted a lot of energy and fainted. The only ones left on the stage are only around ten contestants which are still busy refining and not minding other people.
"Yes! I did it!" suddenly someone shouted, which had an effect on some of the contestant as they were startled a little. Even Qin Lou was startled which is evident to the fluctuation of her spiritual flame.
"That was too low… you piece of shit! You made me fail my refinement, I'll kill you!" a young man suddenly shouted as he madly dashed towards that cultivator who shouted a while ago.
"You're blaming me? It was your incompetence that made you fail not me!" the man shouted as he stepped back.
The other man raised his fist and targeted the man's face, he wanted to divert his frustration towards that guy who was successful in refining his medicinal herb. But before his fist could arrive an elder caught it and he was flung out of the stage, while the elder coldly snort.
"No!!! This can't be!" suddenly Shin Jiao heard a familiar voice shouting in frustration.
"I can't accept this! This is too difficult…" this voice belongs to Xian Jian Feng, who is now complaining about the rules of the contest.
His refinement was at around 79% when his Qi reserved was depleted, all this happened even though he already took a bottle of Qi replenishing pill. Due to his lack of control in spiritual Qi, he lost his chance to advance a rank in his school.
"Tsk, tsk. The young master of the Feng family is truly weak. I think he spends too much time playing with women that his inner Qi is too weak and impure." An elder said upon seeing Xian Jian Feng.
Then Xian Jian Feng suddenly looks at Qin Lou who is still refining. He suddenly had an evil smile on his lips, and he carefully took a small seed from his sleeve. Looking at her unmoving figure his annoyance suddenly rose and he unhesitatingly flicked the seed towards the pill furnace. If this seed hits the pill furnace will fall and the refining would fail, and this is his main goal.
As the tiny seed flew towards the burning hot pill furnace, Xian Jian Feng's evil smile became too evident as he seems to forget masking his feelings. He is unwilling to accept that Qin Lou would be admitted as an inner-disciple of the school if this happens all his plan would be for naught. He won't be able to get his hands on her secret techniques and martial arts, along with some artifacts of course. But now seeing that the seed has traveled faster like a bullet, he almost laughed loudly.
When the seed was inches away from hitting the red hot pill furnace a shocking thing happened, it actually disappears. No one could see what happened so Xian Jian Feng gained the courage to attack once again. This time he used a part of his cultivation essence, which may turn the pill furnace to pieces if it hits.
Xian Jian Feng's eyes didn't bother blinking as he watched the seed approaches inches away from the furnace, and there he clearly saw that a thin layer actually appear in just a blink of an eye and then disappear again.
Unknown to everyone Shin Jiao stealthily put a formation disk under the table which would only activate upon detecting an approaching force no more than 1/4 of a kilogram. He already expected that someone would deal an underhanded blow, and he already experienced the shamelessness and lawlessness of this world. If he could not protect himself and those people around him, then what has he learned his skills and strength for?
But Shin Jiao was dumbfounded as he saw what is happening. Judging from the flickering of lights from the defensive array it seems that not only one but many are trying to attack Qin Lou's pill furnace. Then before everyone could react, Qin Lou suddenly stopped her transmitting Qi and her spiritual flame slowly diminished.
"What? Did she failed?"
"I guess even for her refining up to 85% is too much."
"Well, I guess we expected too much from the trash. Haha!"
"Shut up! You're saying she's a trash how about you? Trash!"
People started to argue on what had happened, but oblivious to those that are on the stage an old man from the judges, slowly stood up with trembling hands. His gaze is glued to the pill furnace that's on Qin Lou's table as he slowly walks towards the stage. But suddenly someone shouted which awaken everybody from their stupor.
"Why is there a formation in your table! You're a cheater!" a youth shouted pointing at Qin Lou with anger filled eyes.
"Yeah, it seems that there is something protecting your pill furnace." Another one chimed in.
The elders in the front had a frowning face, as they are actually aware of what happened but these two brainless students seem to be unable to think clearly as their minds are clouded with jealousy and anger. This means there are many in this stage are aiming to take Qin Lou down. This made the elders a little bit angry, they themselves can feel that Qin Lou refinement was successful but they seem to not smell the aroma which usually comes out after or even during refinement.
As the people began to murmur and became restless, Qin Lou, on the other hand, had her eyes closed. She can smell the heavenly aroma of the refined Ganoderma, and the strong spiritual Qi all over coming from the furnace which slowly revolves around her body. She can feel her meridian being strengthened though she could not absorb these in her gold core, her body seems to be nourished by them making her feel the strength and power slowly courses through her whole body. The calm and warm feeling almost made her m.o.a.n in pleasure, luckily she is still a little aware that there are people around her.
Shin Jiao looks at Qin Lou with complicated eyes as he was truly amazed at her ability to use her inner spiritual fire without exerting her gold core to the max. Cherry Lao also did this before but she is using her newly formed gold core to refine the herbs that Shin Jiao used to concoct the serum. Still, Qin Lou's talent is truly terrifying, making Shin Jiao admire her more in his heart.
The judges saw that Qin Lou is not replying at the people berating her for cheating, so one of them stood up.
"This student… I am one of the 3rd tier alchemists in the Floating Lotus School. My name is Hau Lu. I wanted to ask, why is there a formation array in your table? Do you know that it is already a known rule that using a formation array in concocting pills is forbidden in this contest?" a man wearing a blue and white robe which is the uniform of Floating Lotus school teachers stood up.
"That's right. Her result should not be accepted! She is cheating!" someone from the crowd shouted which made others nod their heads in agreement.
"Yeah, kick her out of here. She had always joined the alchemist contest but would always fail with exploding furnace. This is impossible that she made it this time."
There are some in the crowd which shouted scornfully at Qin Lou, but most of the crowd just silently watch the show on how she would defend herself. She had already shown her martial prowess and many are angered that she seems to have recovered from being trash which could threaten their school rankings, especially those who came from the top 5 schools.
"Are you just going to feign ignorance? Speak student!" the teacher named Hau Lu shouted.
Seeing this some teachers actually sneered at his shameless behavior, they are already aware that Hau Lu is under someone with an impressive background. The young prodigy of Floating Lotus Alchemy School, Xing Meng. The sole disciple of the chief alchemist of the school, Master Kong.
Qin Lou suddenly opened her eyes and noticed that everyone seemed to be looking at her. She actually didn't notice the commotion as she is far too focused on absorbing the rich heavenly spiritual Qi from the purified Ganoderma. Before she could react, a handsome young man walks around the table and stood in the front. Qin Lou realized that it was Shin Jiao.
Shin Jiao is aware that Qin Lou is still absorbing the thick and rich spiritual Qi which did not escape as they are trapped within the formation array he set up.
"Please, my master is still regaining her spiritual Qi. Could you wait for a while?" Shin Jiao saluted with helplessness displayed on his face.
Seeing that a mere mortal is trying to talk to them, almost all those who held grievances with Qin Lou became furious. Since they can't hurt her, they would teach her mortal servant a lesson instead.
"Get out of here! No mere mortal should talk when cultivators are discussing something." A middle-aged man shouted as he threw a small pebble towards Shin Jiao.
Although this action is just a normal thing for cultivators as they would not be hurt by this tiny thing, to mortals it is the difference as it would cause them to suffer a great injury or even death. But everyone didn't pay this to mind as Shin Jiao is just an insignificant mortal man.
But out of their expectation, a thin leaf suddenly flew out from Qin Lou's palm that she casually threw which sliced the pebble into two and changing its trajectory. The middle-aged man became furious seeing that Qin Lou protected her servant. Shin Jiao didn't say anything more and just walks aside nodding his head toward Qin Lou sho nodded back. They seem to understand each other as they just silently watched the show.
But before everyone could make more commotion a loud voice echoed throughout the arena.
"Enough! Do you think that we judges are just air that doesn't exist when you think we don't? Are you people trying to challenge our authority?" it was the old man who had a trembling hand after his spiritual sense saw what's inside Qin Lou's pill furnace.
"Shut up! Teacher Lu, if you spout another none sense from your mouth. I will personally kick you out of the school, let see if Master Kong could protect you." The old man said in anger.
Everyone kept their silence, no one knows who the old man is but Hau Lu, clearly knows. If Master Kong, the chief alchemist, is well respected in the Floating Lotus Alchemy School, this old man is an eccentric elder which none in the school knows. They are only warned not to cross his path or else no one can protect them from his wrath.
Seeing that none dare to defy him, the old man slowly went down and walks in front of Qin Lou's table. Then he slowly stretched forth his hand and open the lid of the furnace. His eyes suddenly went wide in disbelief, as he can now smell the heavenly aura and aroma of the refined Ganoderma inside the furnace. He also discovered that he had entered a formation but he didn't mind it as he knew it is a spiritual essence trap formation. An array that would not let spiritual essence escape from a certain point.
The old man suddenly closed his eyes as he feels the rich and thick spiritual Qi permeated within his old body making him feel a little stronger.
"Haha! I will accept you as my disciple." He suddenly blurted out after opening his eyes, as he never has thought that he could find a good seed in this simple competition.
This old man actually didn't want to come here but something tells him that he would find something good. So he waited and waited and got bored, then all of a sudden he saw something that made him truly dumbfounded. Someone with a truly terrifying control of spiritual Qi, a truly good seed that he had been looking for to pass down his knowledge and legacy. Now that he found Qin Lou, he would fight anyone who would harm or even take her away from him.
In his mind, the old man is already thinking of hiding Qin Lou and training her until she became ready to go out and face the world and become the greatest alchemist for thousands of year to come. And of course, his name would follow as the master of the greatest alchemist. This made him smile foolishly as he imagines his name being spread out all over the land. But suddenly someone woke him from his reverie.
"I disagree! Master you can't shamelessly take her as your disciple. I found her first!" a loud voice echoed.
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