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Chapter 406: It’s Time to Show Real Skills!
The young disciple asked nervously, “Master, what should we do next?”
“What else can we do? Of course, we’ll play it cool!” Empty Void Daoist replied impatiently, glancing at the many experts outside, including 20 innate masters and even a grandmaster. Feeling overwhelmed by their sheer strength, he felt dizzy and disoriented.
In the face of such a formidable force, how could he escape? The young disciple, even more anxious, suggested, “Master, can’t we tell the Emperor that Night Fragrance is behind all of this? He impersonated you and conspired against the Emperor!”
“It won’t work!” Empty Void Daoist sighed bitterly. “Even without this matter, the Emperor would still force us to refine elixirs. So, we should think about how to escape.”
In the following days, Empty Void Daoist tried every possible means to escape but ultimately failed. Every time he showed himself, so-called grandmasters in the area would spot him, forcing him to retreat to the mansion. Each day was a grueling trial, like a countdown to death.
On the other side, Night Fragrance arrived with all the gold, silver, and jewels. “This unscrupulous Taoist is really good at making money. In just over half a year in Great Yan, he has already earned nearly 20 million taels of silver in gold, pearls, and heavenly rewards! When I saw it, I was shocked, of course… …”
Night Fragrance glanced at Lin Beifan and said, “Compared to you, he’s still lacking in experience!”
Lin Beifan looked around the room filled with gold, silver, and jewels, very satisfied. Initially, he cast a long line to catch a big fish, and now it had succeeded, making his wallet bulge. “Night Fragrance, you’ve worked hard all the way! According to our agreement, you can choose three things you like from these treasures! After you make your selection, please send the rest to my mansion!”
“This young master won’t be polite!” Night Fragrance immediately chose three precious items with great delight. Then, he lazily reclined in his chair and said, “After doing so much work for you, I finally see some extra money. But why go through so much trouble? Why not just deal with that crafty demon directly?”
Lin Beifan smiled mysteriously, “He still has his uses!”
Afterward, Lin Beifan and the Empresses continued their exploration of Southern Jiang, enjoying the scenery along the way.
Unbeknownst to them, seven days had passed.
At this point, Lin Beifan and the others had reached the southernmost part of Southern Jiang, with less than a hundred li separating them from Great Yan. After spending one more day here, they could turn back and head to Northern Jiang.
That night, Lin Beifan shared a room with Night Fragrance and asked for his help to switch places with him. Lin Beifan quietly slipped away and swiftly flew to the capital of Great Yan. This very night was also the promised time for Empty Void Daoist to concoct the elixir.
In the capital of Great Yan, a curfew was in effect, and soldiers guarded every important passage. The Emperor of Great Yan, accompanied by officials, came to the residence of the Imperial Teacher with great pomp.
“Imperial Teacher, the hour has arrived! Are you ready? Can you refine the Elixir of Immortality?” The Emperor of Great Yan asked with concern.
Empty Void Daoist, in a dignified manner, replied, “Immeasurable Longevity! Your Majesty, this humble one is prepared. However, the Elixir of Immortality is a divine elixir that challenges the heavens and earth. Whether it can be successfully refined, this humble one cannot guarantee, but I will do my utmost.”
The Emperor of Great Yan nodded understandingly, “Imperial Teacher, we understand! Throughout history, there has indeed been no precedent for successful elixir-making. Imperial Teacher, please give it a try, and if it does not succeed, I will not hold you accountable.”
Empty Void Daoist secretly breathed a sigh of relief. It’s good that he won’t be held accountable!
He had now abandoned the idea of running away and was determined to follow through with the request to refine the Elixir of Immortality.
He knew he would definitely need some post-production, but to protect his own life, he had to play along.
He wanted to employ a stratagem of feigning distress.
What does that mean?
It means that during the alchemical process, he would exhaust himself, appear fatigued, and act drained, ultimately coughing up some blood at the end—basically, he would put on a show of working extremely hard and giving it his all.
This way, if the elixir of immortality couldn’t be produced, it wouldn’t be a matter of incompetence but rather a matter of capability. If I’m working this hard, you can’t blame me, right?
Of course, the elixir wouldn’t actually grant immortality, but it would have to possess some other effects, such as prolonging life, enhancing beauty, nurturing the liver, or healing illnesses, to present to the Emperor. This way, he could smoothly deceive everyone.
A glimmer of hope.
After successfully deceiving everyone this time, he would consider making his escape.
“Your Majesty, and esteemed ministers, please come in!”
Led by the unscrupulous Taoist, everyone entered the Imperial Teacher’s residence and arrived in the courtyard. At this moment, there was a massive alchemical furnace in the courtyard, and his young disciple was adding firewood below, causing the flames to roar.
The alchemical furnace glowed red hot, and waves of heat washed over them.
Next to the furnace, there were piles of various rare herbs, lingzhi mushrooms, and many other unnamed medicinal ingredients, all looking incomprehensible.
The unscrupulous Taoist stood in front of the alchemical furnace, gazed at the moon in the sky, and said with a serious expression, “Your Majesty, and esteemed lords, it is now an auspicious time. This humble Taoist will begin alchemy! During this process, I cannot be distracted to entertain you all. Please understand!”
Emperor Great Yan was somewhat excited and said, “Imperial Teacher, what nonsense are you talking about? If you can create an elixir of immortality for us, we will be overjoyed. How could we blame you? Imperial Teacher, just focus on the alchemy!”
“Imperial Teacher, you can proceed with making the divine elixir, don’t worry about us!”
“Compared to the grand alchemical undertaking, our matters are insignificant!”
“Imperial Teacher, please!”
“Thank you, Your Majesty, and esteemed lords, for your understanding. Then I shall begin!” Empty Void Daoist bowed again, took a deep breath, and walked further toward the alchemical furnace, his expression more serious than ever.
Everyone knew that the Imperial Teacher was about to start producing the elixir of immortality, so they held their breath and watched seriously.
“Wind, come!” Empty Void Daoist shouted.
His whole body trembled as he emitted a surge of energy, and a strong wind blew, stirring up the fire inside the furnace, making it burn even hotter.
“Fire, come!” Empty Void Daoist shouted again.
Then, he conjured fire with his hands and sent it into the furnace, making the flames even fiercer.
“Water, come!” Empty Void Daoist shouted once more.
His hands actually condensed into water droplets, forming a ball of water that he threw into the furnace. Instead of extinguishing the fire, the water fed the flames, making them burn even more vigorously. The flames surged into the sky, creating a spectacular scene. Those around couldn’t help but be entranced, deeply impressed.
“The Imperial Teacher’s alchemy skills have reached the realm of producing divine elixirs! Every time we witness it, we are deeply impressed!”
“Your Majesty, the Imperial Teacher is truly a divine being; only a divine being can create divine elixirs!”
“What you say is absolutely true, Sir!”
Next, Empty Void Daoist threw the various herbs placed beside him into the alchemical furnace in a specific order.
Under the blazing fire, these herbs unexpectedly melted together, producing a unique fragrance that gradually filled the entire room, making people unable to resist feeling invigorated.
“Such a delightful fragrance, is this the scent of the elixir?”
“Only true divine elixirs could have such a fragrance!”
“Just one whiff and it makes you feel refreshed and otherworldly!”
Everyone praised once again.
Next, surprisingly, Empty Void Daoist rushed to the red-hot alchemical furnace, chanting something under his breath, his hands gathering thick true energy. Then, he lifted the alchemical furnace with force, swinging it.
After the furnace fell, he effortlessly caught it and swung it again. This continued in a repetitive manner, like a performance.
However, this scene appeared incredibly profound and mysterious to the onlookers, as if it concealed some kind of secret. Once again, they couldn’t help but nod in admiration.
At this moment, the unscrupulous Taoist’s face turned red, and then he spat out a mouthful of blood onto the alchemical furnace. Emperor Great Yan was shocked, “Imperial Teacher, what is happening? Why did you suddenly cough up blood?”
“Your Majesty, this is a normal procedure!” the unscrupulous Taoist’s young disciple respectfully explained, “The elixir of immortality is an immortal medicine that should not exist in the mortal world. Successfully refining it is extremely difficult! That’s why my master is using his own essence blood as a catalyst to increase the chances of success.”
“I see, the Imperial Teacher has sacrificed too much!” Emperor Great Yan said with concern, “After this is accomplished, I will definitely reward him!”
Next, the unscrupulous Taoist continued to spit out several mouthfuls of blood in succession, staining the alchemical furnace. This scene left the onlookers shaking their heads in sympathy.
This blood-spitting is just like having diarrhea!
The Imperial Teacher has sacrificed too much for refining the elixir of immortality. After it’s accomplished, we must treat him well!
The unscrupulous Taoist secretly observed everyone’s reactions and couldn’t help but smile inwardly.
Are you feeling sorry for me? It’s good that you are!
Look at how much effort I’ve put into alchemy, even spitting out so much blood. If it doesn’t succeed in the end, don’t blame me!
I’m quite clever to come up with such a good excuse!
Seeing that it’s already getting late, I’ll continue the performance for half an hour more and then call it a day! With this in mind, the unscrupulous Taoist put even more effort into his “performance.”
So, he once again spat out a mouthful of blood onto the alchemical furnace. At this moment, a thick dark cloud floated down from the sky.
Lin Beifan waited within the cloud, watching the unscrupulous Taoist’s enthusiastic performance with a sly smile. “It’s time to add some seasoning to this!”
Under Lin Beifan’s manipulation, a strong wind blew, whipping up sand and stones, causing the heavens and earth to change color.
Everyone was shocked.
“Why did such a strong wind suddenly blow?”
“Such a strong wind!”
“This seems like an abnormal storm.”
“What’s going on?”
Emperor Great Yan looked worried, “This is a critical moment for refining the elixir of immortality. If a sudden storm disrupts it, what will we do? Will it affect the Imperial Teacher’s alchemy?”
No one could give a definite answer. While the unscrupulous Taoist continued to perform enthusiastically, Lin Beifan secretly whispered, “Clouds, come!”
The dark clouds in the sky gathered even faster. What was initially a small cloud quickly condensed into a massive one, covering the entire capital, giving the impression that a devastating storm was imminent. Everyone was once again astonished.
“Is it going to rain?”
“Why is the weather changing so unpredictably?”
“This is strange!”
Emperor Great Yan was deeply concerned, “This is a crucial moment for refining the elixir of immortality, and this sudden wind and rain, how will we cope? Could it affect the Imperial Teacher’s alchemy?”
Everyone could not determine what was happening. Meanwhile, Lin Beifan, stationed in the sky, rubbed his hands with excitement and said, “It’s time to demonstrate some real skills!”