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Behind the Spirit Hall was a s.p.a.cious room, matted with thick, soft fur rug. The walls of that room had many exquisite carvings of caterpillar fungus. Standing in the middle of the room was an incense burner, from where fragranced smoke of precious gra.s.s diffused. The room was warm, with gems sparkling from the ceiling.
Zha Lin wore a gold-plated robe of the alchemist, which had three spirit herbs embroidered on the shoulder. This was the insignia of a Third Rank of Profound Level alchemist.
As one of the persons in charge of the Spirit Hall, Zha Lin worked daily there to manage the operations of the Hall. At this moment, he was wearing an arrogant face, lying on his side on a tiger skin and fur covered chair. He looked at the two First Sky of Spirit Realm warriors in front of him with an impatient face.
These two Spirit Realm warriors wanted him to refine pellets for them. However, they didn’t pay enough to satisfy him. Zha Lin felt a little bit irritated.
Zha Lin had just entered the Spirit Realm, but he had mainly depended on the aid of medicines. His realm wasn’t high, and his power couldn’t be compared to the two in front of him now. Anyway, as he was an alchemist, he had the confidence that the others had to satisfy him.
"Go home. Without three pieces of the Silver Star Gra.s.s, I won’t help you." Zha Lin waved his hand and couldn't help but grunt. "Wait until you two can collect the Silver Star Gra.s.s. If I have free time, I will consider refining the Fierce Golden Pellet for you guys. But now, please go."
The two First Sky of Spirit Realm warriors stood opposite him, shook their heads in distress and sighed. They were about to leave.
At this moment, a guard of the Spirit Hall stormed in, didn’t bow to him but walk directly to Zha Lin while breathing heavily, "Teacher, look at this."
Zha Lin arched his brows, snorted, then scolded the guard, "Don't you have any manners?"
While complaining, he took the token and flipped it over to watch. His face changed immediately as he shot up from his seat while shouting, "Where did you get this token?"
"A young man brought it here," answered the guard with fear.
Zha Lin jumped off his chair, taking the guard out of the room and going to the lounge of the Spirit Hall.
"The brother over there," the guard pointed at Shi Yan from afar.
A smile filled Zha Lin’s face all of a sudden, his face servile. He came to Shi Yan and greeted him. First, he solemnly handed back the token to Shi Yan and asked, "May I help you?"
Shi Yan was amazed, then nodded to him. "I want to find the owner of this token."
Zha Lin’s eyes brightened as he asked with caution. "How do you relate to Elder Li? Why do you have his token?"
"I don't know him. He owed me something, so I want to find him and ask him for a favor," answered Shi Yan.
Zha Lin wore a fearful complexion, screaming in surprise. "You say, Elder Li owed you a favor?"
Shi Yan nodded the second time.
Zha Lin wore a disbelieving face, his expression interesting. He hesitated for a while and then said, "When Elder Li came back last time, he announced that he would not refine medicines for anyone for a while. Also, he asked us not to disturb him. Currently, we don’t dare to contact him directly, otherwise…"
"What should I do?"
"You shall take that token and directly visit the Flying Cloud Summit. You can talk with his disciples there to see if he wants to meet you or not."
"Where’s the Flying Cloud Summit?"
The Dead Soul Mountain range had almost one thousand mountains, scattering in a large area. The distance between the two mountains could take up to ten days traveling. If he didn't know the exact location, searching with his luck only, he would have to spend so much time.
"Hold on. I’ll see if I can take you to the Flying Cloud Summit myself." Zha Lin contemplated, then took out a sound crystal. He held it next to his lips, then muttered. It seemed the man was asking whether he needed to guard the Spirit Hall or not.
There were so many alchemists and warriors, their customers, walking back and forth. Many of them knew Zha Lin. As they saw Zha Lin’s servile face when talking to Shi Yan, they secretly paid attention to them and tried to guess Shi Yan’s ident.i.ty.
"Who is that man? Why does Zha Lin have to treat him with good care? It’s weird. Zha Lin is one of the experienced masters of the Spirit Hall. He’s a n.o.ble man in the Spirit Potion Valley. He has never been obsequious to big men from the Pure Land, the Radiant G.o.d Cult, and the Devil Valley, right?"
"I don’t know. I’ve never met that young man before. From his clothing, I can say he’s not an alchemist."
"I have no clue. I’ve been begging Zha Lin many times for a Spirit Comfort Pellet, yet he has never agreed to help me. I'm a Spirit Realm expert, and that little guy has just the Sky Realm cultivation base. Zha Lin took wrong medicine today, didn’t he?"
"Ghost knows that."
People in the surroundings discussed with low tones. They were eyeing Shi Yan, guessing his real status with awe.
After talking to the sound crystal for a while, Zha Lin sighed and shook his head with disappointment. "I’m sorry. I can’t leave the workplace currently. If you aren’t hurried, can you wait for half of a month later? Then I can take you to the Flying Cloud Summit personally. Is it okay?"
Shi Yan shook his head.
Zha Lin forced a smile while musing, "I will let my favorite disciple take you there. She knows the location of the Flying Cloud Summit, too."
Having heard that, Zha Lin was joyful. He made a call through the sound crystal. "Cherry, come here quickly!"
Not long after that, a girl with a calm expression and wearing a long blue dress walked towards them from a shop not far from there. Her deep blue eyes sparkled as she felt displeased, "Teacher, why did you call me here? I was negotiating the price of the Multi-colored Devil Mask flower. I had almost gotten it."
This girl had long maroon hair cascading over her shoulder. She stood upright, and her eyes were like precious jade, sparkling with a shining blue light.
As she appeared, many alchemists and warriors in the Spirit Hall had their eyes brightened up, with their line of sight gluing on her.
On her left ample bosom were embroidered five pieces of spirit herbs. This meant she was a Fifth Rank of Profound Level alchemist. Besides, she was a Second Sky of Sky Realm warrior.
"Cherry, take this little brother to the Flying Cloud Summit." Zha Lin a.s.signed her with a low tone.
"The Flying Cloud Summit?" Cherry’s blue eyes brightened. She looked at Shi Yan with astonishment, then nodded. "I got it."
"Yeah. Seems our little brother has just visited the Dead Soul Mountain range for the first time. We shouldn’t delay his business. Along the way, you should introduce the Spirit Potion Valley and the Precious Tool Valley to him too," advised Zha Lin.
Cherry smiled and then nodded. She looked as natural and generous as an elegant orchid flower.
"Sorry for bothering you," Shi Yan bent, smiling brightly.
"No need to be too polite." Cherry nodded. Her blue eyes showed that she was interested in him. She eyed him for a while and then asked, "Do you want to go now?"
"Okay. We shall depart now. The Flying Cloud Summit’s in the East of the Dead Soul Mountain. It should take around four days from the Spirit Potion Valley." Cherry thought for a while and then added, "At night, you have to be more careful. Dead souls in the Dead Soul Mountain range will go out and night to hunt. Don’t let them nib your soul."
The moon shone brightly in the late night.
Under the clear moonlight, Cherry was gliding in the sky with a pair of dreamy blue wings on her back. She was as agile as a fairy in the pellucid night.
Shi Yan flew behind her, looking at her blue wings with surprise.
Cherry beamed a faint smile as if she had recognized his look. She turned around and talked to him, "This Indigo Soaring Wing’s a Profound level secret tool. I had asked a blacksmith in the Precious Tool Valley to forge it for me. The Indigo Soaring Wing can enhance my flying speed, and it also can attack. Watch this."
Hazy, cold blue light shot out like steel needles from the indigo wings, leaving toe-sized holes drilled on the rock cliff.
"Good tool," Shi Yan complimented, "Pretty and exquisite."
Cherry smiled lightly, "This Indigo Soaring Wing is not considered a dangerous treasure yet. The blacksmiths of the Precious Tool Valley can fabricate many unimaginable weapons that you can’t even count the number of. Some of those treasures even have intelligence. Those are pretty awesome."
Shi Yan nodded.
"Hey, why do you want to go to the Flying Cloud Summit?" Cherry wore a curious face. "As far as I know, precursor Li in the Flying Cloud Summit is one of the five grand Elders of our Spirit Hall. He rarely comes to the Spirit Potion Valley. He stays and refines medicines in the Flying Cloud Summit. He doesn’t have many disciples. He’s a bit arrogant, though. We haven’t met him for years… such a mysterious alchemist."
"Elder of the Spirit Hall…" Shi Yan was astounded, "The Spirit Hall is also a force of warriors?"
"Not exactly," Cherry shook her head. "The Spirit Hall was established by five Sacred level alchemists. It’s to manage the Spirit Potion Valley and facilitate the business with warriors from the outside and the valley’s alchemists. Normally, the five Grand Elders will not partic.i.p.ate in the daily operation of the Spirit Hall. In some special occasions, they will show up and stay in the Spirit Hall for several days to do the talks on the medicine refining principles to alchemists in the Spirit Potion Valley. The Spirit Hall has never restrained the alchemists or cared what the warriors’ purposes are. It’s just a place for people to do business, providing the chance for them to discuss and negotiate. It won’t control the detailed content of their business or collect any taxes and fees."
"So, the Spirit Hall is a good place." Shi Yan smiled. "Are you a guard of the Spirit Hall too?"
"Yes," Cherry nodded, "We are the guards of the Spirit Hall. We help our teacher to manage the work in the Spirit Hall. Although we can’t earn any Qi jades from it, there’s something that benefits us. That’s why we are willing to take this responsibility."
"People who are in charge of the Spirit Hall can ask the Five Grand Elders regarding a difficulty they meet in refining medicines. And, the guards like us can listen to their discussions when the elders visit the Spirit Hall. Of course, it only happens when the two Elders visit at the same time and they have the mood to discuss with each other about the attainment in refining medicines."
Cherry was pa.s.sionate when she talked about it. But then, she seemed to be distressed. "What a pity that I’ve been a guard for five years, but I have never met such good chances. The Five Grand Elders, who are the Sacred level alchemists, rarely visit the Spirit Potion Valley. Even if they come, they just greet us and go. We didn’t have any chances to talk with them."
Buzz Buzz Buzz!
While Cherry was talking, Shi Yan heard a strange humming in his head.
Shi Yan was dumbstruck, with a surprised countenance.
The Five Devils had been dormant for really long time, but now, they seemed to be awake all of a sudden.