Mo Qingcheng despondently returned to her room, filled with reluctance and unwillingness. Yet she was powerless to go against Luo He, and so with nothing else to do, she turned her attentions back onto pill concoction.
The alchemy cauldron floated in the air with scorching flames heating up the base of it, yet the temperature was perfectly contained, with no hints of leakage.
Concocting pills was different from forging weapons. The intensity of the flames need not be that ridiculously high, but rather, it was control of the flame that was important. There mustn’t be the slightest margin of error when it came to flame control. For forging of divine weapons, for higher ranked weapons, the materials used would naturally be of a higher quality and hence, harder to smelt, which in turn required flames of insane temperatures.
And the most important step in forging divine weapons was naturally the engraving of the Divine Inscription.
As for pill concoction, the most important attributes were a keen intuition and sensitive perception.
It appeared simple, yet was extremely tough to accomplish . A huge part of concocting pills came from one’s innate talent. For some, they were innately birthed with a sharper intuition and perception than the rest, for example; Mo Qingcheng’s Seven Apertures Mystical Heart.
For every pill concocted, one would need a massive amount of ingredients. Not only that, even when the quantity measured per component used was extremely accurate, there was no guarantee that the concocted pill would be perfect. There were too many variances; flame temperature, flame control, accuracy of medicinal component, accuracy of quantity, and the so on. In some extreme cases, a life-saving pill may even turn out to be poison if there was a minor error in the concoction process.
Mo Qingcheng’s perception was currently focused on the cauldron floating in the air. She had failed many times before this when it came to concocting this particular pill.
Currently, she was already a fourth-ranked alchemist. This meant that she would be able to concoct fourth-ranked medicinal pills despite the fact that she would only succeed one-fifth of the time. However, she had already failed a total of twenty-seven times when it came to concocting the third-rank pill she was currently attempting.
Because the pill she was currently attempting to concoct was a taboo among alchemists—Limit-break Pellet.
As per what its name suggested, a Limit-break Pellet was concocted for the user to break through their limits to the next level by ingesting it.
On the pathway of cultivation, a single footprint a single step. This was a process that couldn’t be rushed, a law dictated by the Heavens. Medicinal pills and pellets could be used to boost one’s physique, improve one’s constitution, clearing one’s arterial pathway in order to boost one’s speed. Concoction was a cycle unto itself. Truly powerful pills could even allow one to rise again after suffering grievous injuries, even with half-a-breath of life left.
But the Limit-break Pellet defied this law of nature, it was a shortcut that broke the balance. Hence, it was termed as a taboo of alchemy. This pellet could only be concocted using the heart’s blood of alchemists that were born with a special constitution. If the concoction succeeded, the alchemist would suffer overwhelming damage to their vital qi. Not only that, the success rate of these kinds of pellets was extremely low and hence, even though the effect of this pellet was heaven-defying, there weren’t many people who attempt to concoct it. And if it weren’t for the fact that Mo Qingcheng had prepared several bottle of qi-replenishing pills in advance, she wouldn’t have been able to persist till now.
As she immersed her perception into the cauldron, her face lighted up in delight. The herbs within the cauldron were slowly transforming into the shape of a perfectly round pellet.
“I will definitely succeed this time.” Her beautiful eyes flashed with a hint of determination. Instantly, she sliced open her wrist while pushing against her heart with her right palm, causing her heart’s blood to flow out into the cauldron, each drop filled with an overwhelming quantity of spiritual energy. Her face immediately turned a few shades paler after that, as she visibly sagged from the exertion.
Droplets of spiritual, energy-infused blood dripped into the cauldron, Mo Qingcheng grabbed hold of a handful of pills and swallowed them immediately to sustain herself, locking her jaw in a rictus of stubbornness.
She would definitely succeed this time around. Definitely.
She understood quite clearly how strong Zhan Chen was. Although she had confidence in Qin Wentian, she understood how great the distance was between him and Zhan Chen. Since he had already put in so much effort, how could she stand aside, doing nothing to aid him? This pill she was attempting to concoct at the expense of her own vital qi, was all for his sake.
Zhan Chen, Qin Wentian and Ouyang Kuangsheng all turned their gazes onto the man clad in black, their eyes flashing with glints of sharpness.
The cultivation of this person wasn’t that strong, it was only at the eighth level of Yuanfu. But in spite of this, the devil-might he exuded gave off a terrifying sense of danger.
“Who the hell are you?” Zhan Chen coldly asked.
Devil Arts were rarely seen in Grand Xia, and since devil-oriented techniques and arts were classified as forbidden, their potential power was definitely fearsome.
Despite this advantage, not many dared to cultivate in the Devil Arts.
The Devil Arts were considered too tyrannical, and practitioners of the devil path couldn’t even let down their guard for a single instant, as the devilish power obtained would counter-devour the practitioner instead. Devil Arts were exceedingly tough to cultivate, and had a high rate for failure. Practitioners had a much higher probability to enter into a state of qi deviation, which in turn allowed the power of the devil path to counter-devour one’s consciousness. For the less serious cases, the practitioner would lose their mind and turn into killing machines; for more serious cases, the bodies of the practitioners would explode due to the devilish energy running amok. It was a miserable way to die.
And even if one succeeded in mastering the Devil Arts, they had to undergo hellish torment in every single instant of their existence. The heavens were fair; if one wanted to obtain the tyranny of the devil’s powers, they would first have to endure hell to get it.
Hence, cultivators would never willingly choose to cultivate the Devil Arts if they didn’t also have the required strength of will, or great resolution in their hearts. Even if the Devil Arts were offered to them for free, and the temptation of the power it offered wrapped its tendrils around them, they would still hesitate.
There was an ancient saying in Grand Xia: once one steps onto the path of devils, they will have no regrets.
This meant that for Devil-Cultivators, once they set foot upon the path of devils, they could never turn back. That one step would determine their destiny, they had no regrets because they could no longer regret. Either they lived on and became a devil or they died a miserable death.
For Devil-Cultivators, the path for them to obtain strength required them to endure pain that was tens of hundreds times more torturous compared to ordinary cultivators. Not only that, this pain was something they had to bear with their entire lives.
As a compensation, the strength of Devil-Cultivators would thus surpass ordinary cultivators by several folds.
So even though Zhan Chen was at the peak of the ninth level, he still had traces of trepidation in his gaze when he stared at the black-robed man.
For Devil-Cultivators who cultivate the forbidden arts, no one would dare belittle their combat prowess.
And now that this person appeared in Ginkou, there was no need to doubt that he too, was here to contend for the rankings in the Heavenly Fate Rankings. It seemed that the ranking battle at the end of the year would prove extremely troublesome indeed.
The voice of the black-robed figure was extremely hoarse, there was no way to differentiate whether it was a male or female. The figure then turned his eyes onto Zhan Chen, and the cold light flickering within invoked a heart-stopping fear when it met the eyes of others.
“Since Devil-Cultivators are so rare, why not use this chance to test out their fabled strength?”
Golden rays of light radiated from Zhan Chen’s body, as a terrifying sharpness gleamed in his eyes. Although his opponent was a Devil-Cultivator, he himself was at the ninth level of Yuanfu. Not only that, he had already achieved a modicum of mastery in the Gold Element Art—his physique was now akin to the toughness of metal, so why would he fear battle? He might as well take this opportunity to see the granted strength of those cultivators who tread on the path of devils.
As the sound of his voice faded, Zhan Chen stepped up and advanced towards the black-robed figure.
The devil-might of the black-robed figure pulsed out as that their hooded eyes gleamed with a terrifying coldness. An incomparable frigidness gushed out and bore down on Zhan Chen, the strength of that aura causing Zhan Chen’s countenance to falter.
The Devil Arts were at the extreme end of the word ‘tyranny’, emphasizing on toughness, and pure power. Yet currently the devil arts of this black-robed figure contained an exceedingly chilling aura within. Which form of devil art was that?”
Zhan Chen cleaved down with his sword as the sword light tore apart space with boundless sharpness.
The hands of the black-robed figure wavered, then a tyrannical devil imprint was blasted out in response, disintegrating the might of Zhan Chen’s sword slash.
Zhan Chen gestured with his sword fingers and an instant later, the howling keen of swords filled the air. Resplendent golden streaks of light illuminated the area as an ancient golden sword manifested. As he flicked his fingers forwards, nine beams of sword light containing earth-shattering might shot out towards the black-robed figure.
He wanted to test the strength of the Devil-Cultivator.
The black-robed man waved his palms as an inky darkness blotted out the skies. A gigantic Heavenly Devilish Palm imprint manifested from devil might, and the power it contained trembled throughout the entire space, easily eradicating the nine beams of sword light.
The black-robed figure flew towards Zhan Chen. How tyrannical were the devil arts? How could a practitioner of the devil path remain passive and do nothing but soak up attacks? It was time for the black-robed figure to take the initiative.
Although the figure appeared skinny and frail, the power of the attacks he unleashed brought to mind a Devil King bursting out of hell into the mortal world.
He ruthlessly slammed out with another palm as a surge of destructive energy gushed towards Zhan Chen. That destructive energy was laced with the cold Yin of the abyss, the anathema of life, as it enveloped Zhan Chen.
“Devil-based innate techniques are truly as terrifying as the rumors say,” Ouyang Kuangsheng involuntarily praised. One could well imagine the strength of the black-robed figure, seeing that his cultivation base was at the eighth-level and he was still able to fight against Zhan Chen to such an extent.
Qin Wentian nodded in agreement but suspicions couldn’t help but to bloom in his heart. “The timing of this person’s appearance seems aimed towards helping us against Zhan Chen. Do you recognize him?”
Ouyang Kuangsheng shook his head, “I’m not acquainted with any Devil-Cultivators. How about you?”
Qin Wentian thought long and hard about it before he shook his head. He didn’t know any cultivators that tread the path of devils, either.
Zhan Chen’s eyes had completely turned golden as the aura he exuded grew increasingly formidable. Qin Wentian and Ouyang Kuangsheng saw a layer of golden armor taking shape as it covered the entirety of Zhan Chen’s body. He folded his hands in gestures of incantations, as golden light cascaded downwards from cracks that appeared from the dome of Heavens, shrouding him in a golden radiance. Within moments, a golden storm of swords floated around him, exuding an air of menace that seemed intent on lacerating the Heavens and Earth.
Each and every sword contained the will of his Mandates within.
Qin Wentian stared in amazement, was this the power of the Gold-Element Art?
A towering black-colored devil cloud formed as the surroundings were totally devoid of light. The spectators that had gathered all watched from afar with terror in their hearts.
Who was this person exactly, to have cultivated the forbidden arts? The strength he wielded was unfathomably powerful.
A fearsome spear worthy of a devil king appeared in his hands, as the terrifying devilish cloud drifted down and coated the long spear. The tyranny of the devil-might caused even the surrounding space to vibrate. Simultaneously, an armor of a devil king appeared on the body of the black-robed figure, shining with a devilish luster.
“Chaotic Art of the Heavenly Devil.” In that moment, a voice drifted over. A maiden clad in snow-white robes stood in the air above them, radiating an aura akin to a snow lotus.
Her eyes were currently locked onto the black-robed figure as a thunderstruck expression could be seen on her face. “Where did you learn this from?”
The black-robed figure glanced at the maiden, as the figure’s eyes widened in surprise. This person actually recognized this art?
What he practiced was truly the Chaotic Art of the Heavenly Devil, one of the nine ultimate Arts of Ancient Grand Xia. Through a series of fortunate events, he had ended up cultivating this art. Not only that, he was already at the small-success stage.
“Yun Mengyi.” Qin Wentian’s glance shifted onto her. She was familiar with this art? In that case, who exactly was she?
“Let’s finish him first.” Yun Mengyi turned her gaze onto Zhan Chen as a terrifying coldness gushed out from her. As she grabbed forwards, a glacial intent enveloped Zhan Chen from within, freezing his body solid.
The black-robed figure directly responded, turning to face Zhan Chen as he stabbed out with his long spear. The terrifying devil-might created fissures in the air as it pierced right towards Zhan Cheng. If this strike were to hit, anyone below the level of Heavenly Dipper would definitely be unable to retreat wholly undamaged.
Yue Mengyi moved like the wind, she was so swift, akin to a bolt of lightning.
For her, whose Mandate of Wind had also reached the Perfection Boundary, there was almost no one in Yuanfu that could compete against her in terms of speed.
An impending sense of doom assailed Zhan Chen. His eyes gleamed as his body erupted forth with an abundance of intense golden light. The countless amounts of golden swords around him started to vibrate as their glow consolidated into a resplendent light screen.
“BANG!” The tyrannical devil spear pierced out alongside with Yun Mengyi’s fist shadows. A deafening sound thundered as the golden swords were destroyed one by one. Zhan Chen groaned, his body was flung through the air, yet the killing intent in his eyes had never faded. He didn’t expect to meet such powerful foes when he decided to pursue Qin Wentian today. Their combat prowess was extraordinarily impressive.
The spectators from afar could only exclaim in wonder. Among them, for those who recognised Zhan Chen, their heartbeats couldn’t help but to quicken at the level of power he exhibited.
This was a battle between people whose combat prowess had reached the peak level of Yuanfu. It was evident that this skirmish set the precedent for the bloody tempest that was to come—this year’s battle for a position on the Heavenly Fate Rankings!
The black-robed figure’s gender is unknown as of now, the raws alternate between he and she, I will stick with he for now.