Chapter 68: Alchemy Compet.i.tion 4
The day of the compet.i.tion arrived faster than I expected, not that they changed the time, but because I was immersed in trying out the new Cauldron to staggering satisfying results.
The old cauldron I had worked perfectly for poison pills, but the Meteorite Steel cauldron was amazing in creating regular pills. Not even the Poison G.o.d ventured this venue, because, he was powerful and rich enough that he didn't need to make his own Qi pills, not that he needed them, but there are some Spiritual Qi pills that can be useful to even the poison G.o.d. Mainly for trade with his peers. He would use them to exchange for favors, heal a mortally wounded cultivator, and such, as for him, he only needed Poison Pills to both cultivate and recuperate.
Fen Zei came to my house's doors and called me. Once I was out, I noticed that he brought a few slaves who carried a palanquin, "Get on, we'll be late." Fen Zei said.
I shook my head, slavery is not something I ever condone, it's a disgusting act of removing one's freedom for personal use, what makes a human being believe themselves have more value than another being? Is it skin color, gender? Perhaps race, no. Nothing should make a man exploit another person's future and life. We're all born free, and none should be chained up to become a slave. Even if one is a criminal, they're aught to be trialed and judged by law or be punished for their crimes instead of forced to slavery.
Though this mindset of mine is highly impacted by my Earth origins, it doesn't mean it's wrong.
"I won't use another man's shoulders as a mount." I said.
"But they're slaves, it's their job to carry people around." Fen Zei frowned.
"I don't care, I'm better off walking," I said and moved towards the imperial palace.
"We'll get in trouble." Fen Zei grumbled under his breath and dismissed the slaves. They all looked worried at first, definitely thinking that they did something wrong. But Fen Zei just said, "You can leave, thank lord Shen Bao, he permitted you the day off." Fen Zei said.
Immediately the salves kowtowed to me, thanking me then scurried away, I'm not gonna lie, somehow this irked me even more. They bowed and kowtowed for just a single day off. s.h.i.+t.
My mood clearly disturbed, Zen Fei coughed and said, "We'll need to hurry a bit, lest we arrive last."
"So? What if we're last?"
"We'll lose face, especially since we don't have a palanquin, they'll think you a dest.i.tute, sir Shen Bao" Fen Zei said.
"Let them think whatever they want, brother Zen Fei, it's not how a person looks, but it's how they act. Actions speak louder than words." I said.
Fen Zei, stopped for a moment, had his hand under his chin as he thought about what I just said, he even repeated it, "Actions speak louder than words. Such wisdom, brother Shen Bao, I see you in a newer light." Zen Fei nodded and continued repeating the idiom.
I shook my head and followed after Zen Fei.
After an hour, I finally understood why the need for the palanquins. It seems that this is not a small event, as many sects had sent in their representatives to this alchemy event and most of them had their own carriages, slaves carried palanquins, some even had ferocious red tigers leading a well-decorated carriage.
Disciples of young ages, between sixteen and thirty years of age, were all over the place, and they were being led by other high-level cultivators that acted as their dharma protectors.
Me and Fen Zei were the only ones on foot, and would easily be mistaken for commoners if it was not for Zen Fei's robes, which belonged to an imperial sect. once we arrived at the venue where the event will start, I took a deep breath and soaked in the sight.
The event was held right in front of the imperial palace, which was majestically grand. It had hundreds of windows and several decorated doors. The color of gold and red were prominent, indicating joy and prosperity and they were in abundance.
As for the venue, there were a hundred tables set up in the venue, and a stadium-like setup of chairs for the people sit on and watch the Alchemy compet.i.tion.
But, the number of partic.i.p.ants was far greater than the number of tables set up for the Alchemists.
One of the guards came toward me and Zen Fei, he had a disgruntled look on his face the moment he laid eyes on me, and just as he was about to speak, and I could definitely feel the hate coming from his expressions, he thankfully took notice of the person next to me, Zen Fei,
"Ah, sir Zen Fei, if you're here to watch, you can go over there with the rest of the masters," the guard said pointing at the stadium chairs.
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"Oh, I will, but I'm here to escort my good brother Shen Bao, he's here to partic.i.p.ate."
His speed was already extraordinary by my standards, something I doubted anyone would be able to replicate if not for the help of some powerful treasure, but I didn't want to voice out my thoughts.
"Also, Little sister Yan Song, take good care of my brother," I said to the fidgeting girl next to Shen Bao.
"Huh, you know Eldest Sister?" Shen Bao questioned.
"Yes, I knew her before you, also I'm impressed, your cultivation speed is faster than expected. Also, please keep my ident.i.ty a secret," I said as I winked at the girl.
"But, wouldn't it be unfair if you great master join this alchemy compet.i.tion?" Yan Song said.
I shook my head, "No, I just started alchemy a few months ago, I'm still as novice as everyone else."
Meng Hao had a disgruntled look on his face, though his aloof and lonesome demeanor was befitting of his nature, seeing slight jealousy was cute. I was too old for this girl and wasn't interested in romance, also, this would most definitely be pedophilia, I'm better off with a hundred-year-old granny that still looks like a young girl than an actual sixteen-year-old girl so Meng Hao has nothing to fear from me, still, it's fun to tease him a bit though.
I chatted a bit with Yan Song and then spoke to Meng Hao, "You seem to be injured." I said.
"Ah, yes. A problem, nothing I can't fix." Meng Hao said but I noticed that his eye darted fast towards the audience and back.
"No, it's a huge problem," I said as I grabbed his wrist." I closed my eyes and felt the connection within his body was being disrupted.
"You've been poisoned…" I spoke and immediately felt my own heart grow chillingly cold. Not because I was afraid, but because I was angry. Someone had dared harm one of the few friends I had. And that someone was going to pay.
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