Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
In Alchemy City, a woman stood quietly at the top of an extremely tall ancient hall. She gazed into the distance, in the direction of the place where the Alchemy Conference was. When she saw Xue Ye offer up his Life Spirit to the ritual implement, her body trembled, and a flash of emotion shot through her eyes. However, she composed herself again almost immediately. Afterward, she walked out and stepped through the air in the direction of the City Lord Office.
Over at the Alchemy Conference, everyone was moved by Xue Ye, and all eyes were on him, even more so than on people like You Tu and Gongsun Ye. Who was the woman who he had claimed to like? Who was the woman Luo Fan had called ‘sister-in-law’? Could it be that Xue Ye had come here to craft ritual implements for the woman he loved? Xue Ye and Luo Fan had said that they were aiming for first place in the Alchemy Conference. The winner would be able to marry the daughter of the City Lord Office, You Xi.
Just as everyone was busy pondering this question, a pretty figure walked out from within the City Lord Office. Walking forward, she came to the top of the staircase, standing near City Lord You and the rest. When the woman appeared, countless gazes fell upon her. She was dressed in loose, long robes that hung off her body in a way that made it hard to see her figure, but one could tell that she was tall and slim. She had an air of elegance about her, and there was a cold aloofness to her beautiful features, creating a sense of distance between her and other people that they did not dare to cross. This was a lady whose looks were not inferior to those of Su Hongxiu, though she did not have the natural charisma that Su Hongxiu had; only pure beauty.
This lady was You Xi, the daughter of the City Lord Office.
Her gaze landed on Xue Ye. Xue Ye glanced up at her and chuckled. “You’re here.”
“Why are you doing this?” You Xi asked Xue Ye. Her tone was cool, making it hard to guess what she was feeling.
“Go back,” You Chi ordered calmly, turning to his daughter. However, You Xi ignored his words as though she had not heard anything. This made many people speechless. You Xi was probably the only person in all of Alchemy City who would dare ignore the City Lord You Chi in this way. No one else would have dared to do the same.
“I’d like to give myself a shot at this.” Xue Ye grinned at You Xi.
No wonder The crowd thought to themselves, surprised at this new development. So, it turned out that Xue Ye and Luo Fan had already known You Xi from before. Xue Ye had come to participate in the Alchemy Conference despite not actually knowing how to craft ritual implements because he had fallen in love with You Xi, the daughter of the City Lord Office. That was the reason he had come here with the goal of winning first place, even at the expense of his own life.
“I don’t have any feelings for you, get out now,” You Xi said coldly to Xue Ye.
“Oh,” Xue Ye smiled, “that’s alright. It’s enough for me that I like you. Besides, I’m not going to leave.” As he spoke, his Life Spirit, the ancient book, continued flying rapidly into the ritual implement. The golden book ritual implement grew brighter still, and everyone else finally understood what he had been doing by crafting those ritual implements from the previous rounds. He had been preparing for this very moment.
In this final round, he was turning that long brick into pages in order to make a book out of them. His Life Spirit carved matrices and integrated itself into the ritual implement, resonating with it before being crafted into one. It was the process of offering up one’s Life Spirit to the ritual implement.
“Older Brother.” Ye Futian stood there, staring fixedly at the scene happening before him. His older brother used to be so irreverent, but now he was suddenly throwing even his life away in order to craft a ritual implement. This sudden change was too much for Ye Futian. Was this all just to marry You Xi? Ye Futian wondered what his older brother had been through these few years, and what exactly he had gone through with You Xi.
Hua Jieyu stood up as well and held Ye Futian’s hand tightly. She was equally shaken by the sudden shocking change in Xue Ye. The scene happening before Hua Jieyu’s eyes made her think about her own past with Ye Futian.
“She also likes Older Brother Xue Ye.” Hua Jieyu glanced over at You Xi. You Xi seemed aloof and emotionless, but Hua Jieyu could instinctively sense that You Xi was struggling internally, suppressing her own emotional turmoil in order to remain calm.
Bright red blood trickled out continuously, staining Xue Ye’s top red. It was shocking to see. Xue Ye’s breathing grew increasingly weak, as if he were a lamp about to go out. His Life Spirit was being refined, his very soul being integrated into the ritual implement. However, Xue Ye continued, urging his Spiritual Energy on. He was intent on completing the ritual implement. Since he had already come so far, he was going to finish the task no matter what. He was prepared to pay any price for it.
Frightening energy was burning, and everyone felt the energy around Xue Ye suddenly increase wildly. Despite the state he was in, the amount of energy around him was only increasing, and getting stronger as well.
“He’s burning his own Spiritual Energy and releasing it at full capacity. What a crazy fellow,” Yan Jun commented, looking at Xue Ye. It did take courage to go this far with one’s Spiritual Energy. However, he was doing it all just for a woman. Even if that woman was outstanding, with beauty that was absolutely stunning, was it really worth going this far?
You Xi’s slim fingers quivered slightly, and it seemed like her cold gaze was on the verge of melting as well. A hint of redness appeared in her eyes.
“That’s enough,” You Xi ordered, her fists clenched.
“You still care.” Xue Ye smiled, looking at her.
“You idiot,” You Xi spat coldly.
“You liar.” Xue Ye was still smiling. At that, tears finally fell from You Xi’s eyes. Gleaming tears rolled down her cheeks smoothly, leaving tear after tear on her beautiful face. The sight of You Xi’s tears moved everyone.
So, there actually had been something going on between these two. There was no way You Xi would shed tears for some random person. It was evident that the two had known each other from way back. Words like “idiot” and “liar” made it seem as though they were scolding each other, but it also felt like a sort of affection. The winner of the Alchemy Conference would receive the right to marry You Xi, but it seemed like You Xi had already been in a relationship with someone else before the Conference.
If the person who won first place wasn’t Xue Ye, then what was the winner supposed to do? It was for that reason that Gongsun Ye, Chi Lian, and the rest who had not completed their ritual implement yet, were wearing such ugly expressions. They were not the only ones. Even You Chi, the City Lord, was frowning as well. This sort of affair was sure to put the City Lord Office in a difficult position and damage its reputation.
However, the Alchemy Conference, which was held once every decade, was a tradition upheld by the You family for generations. If they were to host the Alchemy Conference, they would make sure that it was the talk of the entire Barren State. As such, You Chi would have to pick the best woman for the competition. It didn’t matter whether or not he could bear to offer up his own daughter. In any case, this also concerned the future of the City Lord Office. The winner of the Alchemy Conference would always be a person with exceeding talent in crafting ritual implements. They would make the best husband for a woman from the City Lord Office. However, his daughter You Xi had an especially fiery temperament. She had gone all out to resist this arranged marriage and created this huge mess today.
Just then, a surge of incredibly savage energy was released. Over at Gongsun Ye’s side, his Dharma body was rapidly inscribing matrices that were even more powerful onto the scroll. It didn’t matter to him whether Xue Ye was offering up his Life Spirit to the ritual implement. For a beginner in the art of crafting ritual implements to go all out and win first place in the Alchemy Conference was madness. Even if Xue Ye paid with his life, it would be all in vain.
Gongsun Ye was infuriated this very moment. He had believed firmly that he would be the winner of the Alchemy Conference without any hiccup occurring in his plans. He was going to enter the City Lord Office, marry the City Lord’s daughter You Xi, and inherit the City Lord Office and everything it owned in future. Everything that had happened thus far made him feel extremely humiliated.
Is he recrafting his ritual implement? everyone wondered, their eyes flashing at the sight of Gongsun Ye’s actions. Gongsun Ye had yet to complete his ritual implement yet despite being close to it, which was why he could afford to recraft it. Now, it seemed like Gongsun Ye had been spurred to create an even more powerful ritual implement.
Many people could secretly relate to how Gongsun Ye felt. Gongsun Ye was an immensely talented armorer from a great family of armorers. He was well-known in the world of armorers. He was comparable to Di Gang in terms of how much sway his voice held, and if he were to be ranked first in the Alchemy Rank, then he would be You Xi’s future husband as well. Now that there were hints of him potentially becoming a cuckold, he naturally could not stand it.
You Tu glanced over at Gongsun Ye, wondering if it was possible for the ritual implement he was crafting to be any stronger still. If that was so, then there wasn’t much hope left for You Tu anymore.
You Chi was hoping that You Tu would win first place, so that the winner of the Alchemy Conference wouldn’t have to marry You Xi. If that was the case, then it would be easier for You Chi to take control of the situation. However, it didn’t seem like there was much hope left for You Tu to win.
With a grunt, You Tu completed his ritual implement. It was a cauldron lifted up by nine dragons, which glinted with a frightening glow. Powerful energy wafted from within the cauldron before the Nine Dragon Cauldron sank towards the ground and landed before him.
Chi Lian had also completed his dueling sword, along with a growing number of people who were also wrapping up their work. However, Xue Ye and Gongsun Ye were still continuing, until they were the last two people left still working on their ritual implements.
Xue Ye’s breathing was growing weaker still, and his Spiritual Energy seemed to have run out as well. The ritual implement floated before him, the golden pages shining with a brilliant dazzle. However, Xue Ye’s face was deathly pale, barely a hint of blood in his cheeks. His Life Spirit had been completely integrated into the ritual implement. Finally, he spat out a mouthful of blood, and his body fell backward as he became unable to support himself. As he fell, he managed to say, “I’m counting on you now.”
After speaking, Xue Ye lost consciousness. Zhuge Mingyue stared unflinchingly in his direction, while Ye Futian and Hua Jieyu held each other’s hand tightly until sweat formed in between their palms. You Xi’s face was filled with tears, and she shivered slightly.
“You are the real unlucky star here. It’s my misfortune to have an older brother like you,” Luo Fan murmured. Afterward, his Spiritual Energy seemed to burn as well, urging the flames to burn at their strongest in order to complete the task Xue Ye had not managed to finish. He was going to complete the ritual implement.
The golden pages danced in the air, with each page carrying the heart and soul of the two people. Finally, the pages joined together to form the book from beginning to end, and streaks of light that were even more dazzling were released from the completion of the book. Luo Fan smiled, before plopping down onto the floor and looking at Xue Ye.
“Older Brother,” Luo Fan said to Xue Ye, “you could say I’ve put my life on the line for you. When you get married, remember to help introduce to me a woman that’s as good looking as my sister-in-law, alright?”
Many people were speechless at Luo Fan’s words. These irreverent people really were optimistic about everything.
Right then, an even stronger flash of light was released. In front of them, Gongsun Ye had also finished crafting his ritual implement. Within the Alchemy Pillars, a hundred armorers had all finished crafting their ritual implements. Now, a hundred ritual implements had appeared within the area, each ritual implement being a noble-level ritual implement of the highest quality.
Whatever happened next would determine their rankings in the Alchemy Rank. However, the only question on everyone’s mind was: who would be the winner of the Alchemy Conference?