Translated by: Ea
Edited by: Butter and Zryuu
Zhongli Shen got up and looked at the ashes scattered about on the ground. He went to Yan Tianhen and looked at him, “You are of the Xuanyin constitution? And the pill fire within your body is Yin fire as well?”
Yan Tianhen nodded. “That’s what Dage said.”
Yan Tianhen looked at Zhongli Shen in confusion.
Zhongli Shen continued, “In this world, in fact, it’s really difficult to find pure Yang or pure Yin pill fires, pill furnaces, or medicinal pills. Most of them either lean towards Yang or Yin, just like the pill furnace you use.”
Yan Tianhen looked at the debris on the ground.
“Though this is a Yang furnace, in reality, it only has some Yang attributes,” Zhongli Shen narrowed his eyes as he explained, “and yet you have a pure Yin constitution. When crafting pills, it’s very easy for you to blow up the furnace due to Yin and Yang becoming unbalanced.”
Contrary to what one might expect, Yan Tianhen understood a little. He couldn’t help but wrinkle his small face, “But Alchemist Zhongli, can’t the Flaming Cloud Furnace that my Dage crafted for me before already be considered pure Yang?”
“He.” Zhongli Shen smiled without sincerity. “So he can even craft a Flaming Cloud Furnace, it seems that your elder brother is quite capable.”
“That’s for sure, my Dage is very incredible. He knows everything.” Yan Tianhen wasn’t ambiguous at all when it came to praising Lin Xuanzhi.
Zhongli Shen rolled his eyes at him, thinking that this kid had already been sold but was still helping the seller count the proceeds. He continued to explain, “Although the Flaming Cloud Stone is of fire and Yang attributes, it’s not necessarily pure Yang anymore after being refined into a pill furnace. Flaming Cloud Stone — its name implies that it also has some gold and earth attributes in it. When so many attributes are mixed together, it will no longer be pure Yang.”
Yan Tianhen immediately felt somewhat disappointed. “Then it seems that there’s no furnace in the world that suits me.”
Zhongli Shen assured him, “There will definitely be one, you can rest assured.”
Yan Tianhen’s eyes lit up. “How do I find it?”
Zhongli Shen narrowed his eyes as he studied Yan Tianhen’s small ugly face. “If you’re willing to stay here and become my disciple, then I will naturally spare no effort to help you find a pure Yang pill furnace.”
Yan Tianhen paused blankly, and his small face dimmed. “Then I might as well forget it.”
Zhongli Shen felt a little upset. “Do you know how many people outside are crying and begging to become my disciple, yet I ignored them all? Why in the world do you want to give up such a good opportunity?”
Yan Tianhen looked at Zhongli Shen sincerely and responded, “Thank you, Alchemist Zhongli, for your kindness, but my Dage has other plans. For the time being, I won’t come to Sky Peak Sect.”
Zhongli Shen thought of Lin Xuanzhi, who had refused his offer in place of Yan Tianhen multiple times, and felt quite puzzled. “I’d like to ask your elder brother why he wants you to let go of this readily-available opportunity to easily reach a peak in one’s cultivation. Don’t tell me he really regards you as his servant?”
“My Dage wouldn’t do that.” Yan Tianhen shook his head. “My Dage has his own reasons and concerns for doing so; I’m unable to guess them.”
“Merely ‘unable to guess’?” Zhongli Shen swept Yan Tianhen a glance. “You don’t have your own principles or thoughts and allow him to freely make decisions for you, just like that?”
Yan Tianhen smiled. “There’s nothing wrong with him making decisions for me. Many of my decisions are wrong. Dage is knowledgeable and experienced, and his decisions are always the best for me. Besides, I feel relaxed since I don’t need to use my brain.”
What could you have against it?
Zhongli Shen felt that Yan Tianhen had already been thoroughly brainwashed by Lin Xuanzhi. He felt as though this person couldn’t be taught, just like how rotten wood couldn’t be carved.
“If you become my disciple, not only will you be able to receive a large amount of money from the sect each month, but I’ll also think of you and give you the good things I have here.” Zhongli Shen changed his approach and began to speak good-naturedly, patiently guiding Yan Tianhen. “Moreover, with your talent and my means, in a few years, you’ll become a famous alchemist whose name will resound across the Five Continents. By that time, you’ll have money pouring in from all sides and a reputation capable of shaking the world. No one will dare to bully you then.”
Zhongli Shen made the candidly laid out all the benefits, showing how sincere he was in wanting Yan Tianhen to stay behind as his apprentice.
Yan Tianhen hesitated for a while.
Zhongli Shen went on, “Don’t tell me you want to follow your elder brother and stick to him all your life? He has already become famous now. All the major sects have sent him invitations, and all the major families are secretly trying to rope him into their families. Are you aware of all this?”
Yan Tianhen stared blankly. He was with Lin Xuanzhi every day, but not all the time. These invitations and enticing offers were as unheard of as the news of Shen Rubing soon marrying Lin Xuanzhi.
“Looks like you really don’t know.” Zhongli Shen also thought it was laughable. “What Lin Xuanzhi thinks isn’t important. Here, what’s important are your thoughts. You yourself — listen to me closely, do you want to study alchemy under me?”
How could Yan Tianhen not want to?
Of course he wanted to, very much so. He couldn’t wait to grow up, to become stronger, to become a powerful person who could stand shoulder to shoulder with Lin Xuanzhi. This feeling had never been as urgent as it was now.
Yet Lin Xuanzhi didn’t agree.
He could more or less guess what Lin Xuanzhi was concerned about, but if Yan Tianhen let himself decide, he wouldn’t worry too much over the things that Lin Xuanzhi cared about.
Lin Xuanzhi didn’t agree.
No matter how little he cared, it was still no use.
Yan Tianhen bit his lower lip and hung his head in silence. He looked like he was having an internal struggle.
Zhongli Shen could be said to be an old soul who had lived for a hundred years. He roughly understood Yan Tianhen’s thoughts from a single glance and couldn’t help laughing, “It seems that your elder brother doesn’t quite understand your thoughts, or he doesn’t seem to care about what you think.”
Yan Tianhen suddenly looked up, as if he had been stabbed in a sore spot. He stared at Zhongli Shen, “He cares.”
Zhongli Shen looked at this little thing brandishing its claws and spoke without a care in the world, “Since he cares, you can tell him that you want to come to Sky Peak Sect and become my disciple. You can see what he thinks.”
Yan Tianhen hesitated.
With his head down, he thought long and hard about the matter. Many people’s faces appeared in his mind, as well as those words that kept stabbing at his heart. Finally, his thoughts settled on Lin Xuanzhi’s indifferent and estranged smile.
“If I study under you, how long will it take me to learn to refine celestial-level pills?” Yan Tianhen suddenly looked up and asked Zhongli Shen.
Zhongli Shen paused. He didn’t expect this question.
“A celestial-level pill? It depends on talent, but it’s only a matter of time with your abilities. At most, it will take thirty or fifty years.”
Zhongli Shen indifferently added, “However, if you want a celestial-level pill capable of restoring one’s Dantian Sea, I happen to have one here.”
Suddenly, Yan Tianhen’s eyes were wide open, forming perfectly round circles. “You have a celestial-level pill? Really?”
“Why would I lie to you? Moreover, the Lin family’s Fifth Elder also knows about the celestial-level pill in my hand. Back when Lin Xuanzhi’s cultivation was wasted, Lin family’s Fifth Elder even came over personally to ask for the medicinal pill. Unfortunately, the Lin family couldn’t give me what I wanted, so I didn’t give it to him.”
Yan Tianhen fixed Zhongli Shen with a firm stare, his heart surging with emotions. His breathing quickened. He clenched his fist tightly and asked, “What do you want?”
Zhongli Shen curled his lips and laughed. “It doesn’t matter what I wanted before, but now, I want you.”
Yan Tianhen was extremely fearful that he would take back his words, so he immediately said, “Will you promise to give that celestial-level pill to my Dage if I become your apprentice?!”
Zhongli Shen immediately felt upset and rolled his eyes at Yan Tianhen. “What nonsense promise? I’m already at this level of status, so anything I say will naturally count, or else I’ll be dropping my own reputation. Kid, quickly go back to your elder brother and make it clear to him. Don’t waste time here.”
Yan Tianhen nodded, itching to tell Lin Xuanzhi about the good news.
It was merely staying here to become Zhongli Shen’s apprentice. Wouldn’t it be a huge profit if he could get a celestial-level pill in exchange for doing so?
“Wait.” Zhongli Shen called out. “Don’t tell your elder brother that I have the medicinal pill here. Just say that you want to come. If he’s still resolute in refusing, then tell him about the medicinal pill.”
“Okay!” Yan Tianhen agreed verbally and ran down the mountain in elation, disappearing like a wisp of smoke.
Zhongli Shen stood on a high platform, his sleeves billowing in the breeze, fluttering about like immortals. He gazed out for a moment, then suddenly waved his sleeves and swiftly flew down the mountain.
Yan Tianhen skipped into Lin Xuanzhi’s room like a lively sparrow, carrying this gratifying news with him.
Lin Xuanzhi was sitting on a chair with two demonic delight fruits in his hand, teasing Ah Bai and Hu Po in boredom.
Two tiger cubs jumped up again and again to catch the demonic delight fruits but were repeatedly stymied with a flick of Lin Xuanzhi’s wrist, their paws capturing only empty air.
Ah Bai was so anxious that he scratched at his cheeks, trying all kinds of methods like acting cute by wagging his tail or rolling about on the ground asking to be pet in order to get the fruits. Hu Po, however, stood on the side with a dark expression on his small face while watching his older brother make all kinds of actions that brought shame to all tigers. He even covered his face with his forepaws from time to time, indicating that he was simply too ashamed to keep watching.
“Dage!” Yan Tianhen ran in.
Lin Xuanzhi lifted his eyebrows and loosened his grip, causing two demonic delight fruits to fall down.
Ah Bai leaped up with his mouth wide open and directly grabbed the two demonic delight fruits with his mouth. He eagerly ran to the side, opened his mouth, and gave Hu Po the slightly larger demonic delight fruit.
Hu Po slowly walked over to where Ah Bai was and stretched out his tongue, licking Ah Bai’s neck. It was very intimate.
“Ah Hen is back.” Lin Xuanzhi’s face involuntarily smiled as he held Yan Tianhen, who had thrown himself into his arms.
Yan Tianhen lied in Lin Xuanzhi’s embrace with an excited expression that couldn’t be concealed.
Lin Xuanzhi reached out and scraped his nose. “What’s the rush, running back like this? You’re sweating.”
Yan Tianhen’s eyes were very bright, like the most resplendent star in the night sky. He was still gasping for breath but managed to say, “Dage, I want to become Zhongli Shen’s apprentice. I want to join Sky Peak Sect.”
The smile on Lin Xuanzhi’s face suddenly froze. He never could have imagined that Yan Tianhen would run back so anxiously to tell him that he was leaving him after only going to Sky Peak Sect and studying under Zhongli Shen just once.
When he saw that Lin Xuanzhi’s expression didn’t look good, Yan Tianhen’s heart gave a quick thump, and he also restrained the obvious excitement in his tone.
“What did he say to you?” Lin Xuanzhi suddenly asked.
Yan Tianhen thought about it and whispered, “He talked to me about a lot of benefits, and I think what he said is reasonable.”
Lin Xuanzhi gazed at Yan Tianhen, who was within arms’ reach. “Indeed, he can provide you with a lot of benefits.”
Yan Tianhen felt elated.
“But these benefits are useless to you and me.” Lin Xuanzhi let go of Yan Tianhen as he got up and walked towards the table. He spoke in a tone that forbade any questions, “A refusal is a refusal. I didn’t allow it back then, and I still don’t allow it now. No matter how many benefits he gives you, I still won’t allow it.”
Yan Tianhen felt as though a basin of cold water had been poured on his head. He followed behind Lin Xuanzhi and urgently asked, “Dage, why? Even if his benefits are useless to you, they’re useful to me! I can become a strong alchemist, I won’t be so muddleheaded, unable to do anything well!”
“Who said that you’re muddleheaded and can’t do anything well?” Lin Xuanzhi stopped and turned his head, his dark eyes staring at Yan Tianhen. “Did I say that to you?”
Yan Tianhen was shocked by Lin Xuanzhi’s indescribable and strange expression. He gritted his teeth and whispered, “No.”