"Ye Chen, do you have any idea how long I've lived?" Master Apothecary Xuanyi laughed.Ye Chen stopped for a moment. Master Apothecary Xuanyi's face was healthily pink. At a glance, Ye Chen could not tell Master Apothecary Xuanyi's real age.
"I've already lived for more than one hundred and seventy years. Those of my generation may be able to extend their lives using medicinal pills but they haven't reached a certain level. Two hundred years is my limit and it's inevitable for me to extend any longer. Hence, I have twenty years or so left and it'll be gone in a flash," Master Apothecary Xuanyi said, smiling.
For an old man who had lived for more than one hundred and seventy years, twenty-something years were indeed short. However, to Ye Chen, it was a very long time. He wondered how did Master Apothecary Xuanyi know his life expectancy?
"Is it not possible for anyone to live over two hundred years old?" Ye Chen asked curiously.
"No, it's possible for strong combatants above the Venerable Rank. By that I mean the Earthly Venerable Rank, Heavenly Venerable Rank, Mystique Venerable Rank, G.o.dly Venerable Rank, and Peerless Power. But only if they had cultivated some unique cultivation system or consumed some superb soul pill. Meanwhile, ordinary people will need to break through Peerless Power before they can extend their life to more than two hundred years. However, I'm not particularly talented and I'm obsessed with alchemy. In terms of cultivation, it's been nearly a hundred years since I've found it difficult to advance to the next level. It would be impossible for me to reach that level with the days I have left." Master Apothecary Xuanyi laughed. The topic of death was not much of a taboo for him. "I've seen countless extraordinary geniuses all my life and even they can't break through that limit. I must say, longevity is largely dependent on one's fate and fortune. There's nothing that man can do to alter its course. I may not be able to help you much in terms of cultivation but when it comes to alchemy, I'm confident that there are no more than ten teachers in the entire Great Eastern Continent who can do better than I do. If you're willing to have me as your teacher, I guarantee that I'll pa.s.s on everything that I know to you."
Ye Chen felt very emotional hearing Master Apothecary Xuanyi's words. The latter had lived quite an ordinary life. The only thing Master Apothecary Xuanyi had pursued besides alchemy was an apprentice who could carry on his legacy and bring further success to his tutelage. Master Apothecary Xuanyi yearned for nothing else and he had a lesser desire than even monks.
"Master, please accept my respects." Ye Chen bent down and bowed.
Master Apothecary Xuanyi helped Ye Chen up with both hands and seemed extremely happy. He chuckled and said, "The two happiest things that I've done my entire life are accepting two apprentices. One was Li Xu. Although Li Xu has limited talent and he couldn't bring the Xuanyi tutelage to greater heights, he's an honest man and very respectful to those more senior than him. He's the one person whom I can be most agreeable with. The other person is you. You have brought back hope and belief in me in these twenty remaining years of my life."
Ye Chen smiled a little. Master Li's behavior was indeed so. It seemed that Master Apothecary Xuanyi had a.n.a.lyzed Master Li thoroughly. Based on Master Apothecary Xuanyi's temperament, although he prefered Li Xu, he never openly favored him in front of his many disciples.
After lunch, the group of apprentices got together again and listened to Master Apothecary Xuanyi's lecture. The day pa.s.sed quickly.
The group of registered apprentices had no idea that Ye Chen was already an official disciple of Master Apothecary Xuanyi as it was not announced.
The sky was getting dark. Ye Chen followed the path between the island's woods and walked toward Li Xu's side courtyard.
Ye Chen scanned his surroundings with his Astral Body and found that some people were gathering on the path up ahead of him. It was Xuan Yu and the others.
A cold sneer etched on the corner of Ye Chen's mouth. Those were ignorant people. Since they did not know better, Ye Chen did not mind teaching them a lesson.
"Remember, don't leave a wound!" Xuan Yu muttered under his breath. "If the Master saw the wound, he would know that it was done by us."
"We know. It's not the first or second time we've done this!" Cheng Xian grinned and said. It had already become their expertise to beat people up without leaving any scars except internal injuries. Those apprentices brought in by Li Xu previously had been treated this way.
Xuan Yu and the other men walked toward Ye Chen and when they saw him, they laughed. "Junior Brother Ye Chen, are you heading back?"
"Yes," Ye Chen responded coldly.
"Come and have a drink with your brothers." Xuan Yu put his arm around Ye Chen's shoulders and walked into the woods next to him.
"No, it's fine." Ye Chen pretended to wince.
"Oh, don't worry about it. We're all your brothers. Look around you, so many of your brothers are waiting for you." Xuan Yu laughed. He looked even more accomplished after seeing Ye Chen's cowardly look.
When Ye Chen bowed his head down, a cold light flashed across his eyes. His Astral Body flickered. On the other side in the courtyard, Little Tanuki seemed to have sensed something and rushed toward Ye Chen's side.
Nearly twenty people had surrounded Ye Chen and they took him into a remote part of the woods.
Xuan Yu, Cheng Xian, and the others looked at each other and scorned.
Most of the twenty over people were either Seventh or Eighth Level. How much could Ye Chen possibly trouble them?
The moment Ye Chen saw these people surrounding him, he knew immediately what they were going to do. Little Tanuki was already standing on the branch of a big tree next to him. Its eyes glowed with a strange light.
Cheng Xian scoffed and punched Ye Chen's abdomen without any warning while Xuan Yu firmly held Ye Chen from the side.
Ye Chen stood still and did not move. There was a m.u.f.fled sound as Cheng Xian's punch landed on him.
"Ah!" Xuan Yu screamed in agony.
"Why did you hit me? I'm Xuan Yu!" Xuan Yu shouted.
"Who are you lying to? Brothers, hit him hard, remember not to leave a scar!" Cheng Xian sneered coldly. From his viewpoint, after "Ye Chen" had taken a punch, he felt so much pain that he curled his body up like a shrimp. Funny how he lied that he was Xuan Yu. Who would believe him?
Everyone had surrounded "Ye Chen" and gave him a good beating while the real Ye Chen had long since retreated to one side and started watching the show unfold.
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"We got it wrong. This one's Xuan Yu. Ye Chen is over there!"
That night, Xuan Yu, Cheng Xian, and the others raised a water basin each above their heads and kneeled outside Master Apothecary Xuanyi's residence. Everyone's palms were swollen after being hit by a ferrule. When Master Apothecary Xuanyi was using the ferrule, none of them dared to use Celestial Chi to resist hence they gritted their teeth hard due to the burning pain.
Ye Chen withdrew his Astral Body and thought about how good his life was in this side courtyard.
They will head out for fishing tomorrow. If Ye Chen missed the departure time, he would not be able to join Master Apothecary Xuanyi and the others. After cultivating his Soul-ama.s.sing pill, Ye Chen sat down to cultivate and entered a state of trance.
Early in the morning, Li Xu, Lei Yi, and the rest appeared at the entrance of Master Apothecary Xuanyi's mansion. They were surprised when they saw Xuan Yu, Cheng Xian, and the others kneeling on the ground. They did not know what had happened.
Xuan Yu, Cheng Xian, and the others had bruises all over their bodies. A few of them even had darkened orbits and they looked like they had just fought. They were kneeling on the ground with a large basin of water over their heads. Li Xu swept through the group of people and did not see Ye Chen. He let out a sigh of relief.
Xuan Yu and the others looked up and saw Li Xu and Lei Yi. Immediately, their faces became downcast like defeated roosters. They were extremely ashamed of themselves.
Master Apothecary Xuanyi came out of his residence.
"Master, what's the matter with them?" Lei Yi, Hao Feng, and Yan Cheng asked.
Master Apothecary Xuanyi coldly scoffed in response. His anger with them had not subsided yet. He said, "Could you believe that these people gathered for a brawl? What a humiliation for the entire tutelage!"
A brawl? That did not make sense. A strange expression appeared on Lei Yi's face. He thought, 'Xuan Yu and Cheng Xian are my confidants. The other registered apprentices also obeyed me completely. Even if there's some kind of conflict between them, they'll seek me to resolve it. Why did they even fight?'
"Master, could there be a misunderstanding among all this?" Lei Yi asked cautiously.
"A misunderstanding? I've witnessed everything myself, there can't be any doubts!" Master Apothecary Xuanyi replied, seemingly angered.
Lei Yi and the rest saw Master Apothecary Xuanyi's angry look and did not dare to add to the statement. They gave Xuan Yu and Cheng Xian a stare.
Li Xu smiled faintly. These people usually behaved badly, especially Xuan Yu. He was introduced to the tutelage by Li Xu himself but in the end, he turned his back on him and defected to Lei Yi's side. Furthermore, Xuan Yu often went against him, so Li Xu hated him to the core. However, Li Xu too, found it difficult to believe that these people would fight among themselves. Could this somehow be related to Ye Chen?
After a while, Ye Chen entered the courtyard with Little Wingsy and Little Tanuki.
"Master, Senior Brother Li," Ye Chen greeted Master Apothecary Xuanyi and Li Xu, ignoring Lei Yi and the others.
Seeing Ye Chen being sn.o.bbish, Lei Yi, Hao Feng, and Yan Cheng were enraged. Xuan Yu, Cheng Xian, and other registered apprentices kneeling on the ground stared at Ye Chen with eyes that were seemingly about to spit out flames. All the misery they had experienced now was caused by Ye Chen! If only their eyes could kill, Ye Chen would have died a thousand times.
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