Chapter 357 – Bold Gambles
Li Qingshan stared at her gentle face that differed dramatically from Han Qiongzhi’s and was left speechless for a moment. He felt rather proud of himself inside, yet also rather awkward. In the past, he could tease her a little over this, but it was not so easy now.
He thought to himself, Li Qingshan, oh Li Qingshan. Qiongzhi has just entered seclusion, so you can’t do anything that’ll let her down. As a result, he said a few things that could make Ru Xin give up on him.
“Don’t tell me you thought I was talking about you?!” The mischievous smile that Li Qingshan found familiar appeared on Ru Xin’s face.
“Of course not! Never!” Li Qingshan pried her hands away passive-aggressively. He eased up inside, yet he also felt slightly disappointed for some reason. He was unable to tell when she was telling the truth. Was it a joke earlier, or was she probing him?
Or, perhaps she really did have someone she liked, which was why she had never accepted confessions from any man in all these years. Was that man in the Mist province? Immediately, he imagined a savage man covered in tattoos and a blue piece of cloth, holding a child on the top of a mountain and gazing northward at the distant mother of his child…
He shuddered. Why did it seem rather familiar and rather comfortable to him too?
As he imagined that, Ru Xin had already moved away softly, closing the door and laying out the formation scroll, making all preparations for them to “commit adultery”. She moved around as lightly as a white ghost.
Looking at her graceful, gentle figure, she did not seem like she had given birth before at all. Li Qingshan nodded to that thought.
Ru Xin said, “Oi, what’s wrong with you? Did you end up shooting your brains out too last night? Give me the Blue Butterfly flowers!”
Li Qingshan felt like he had been struck by lightning. He was tongue-tied. Is this something you should say? Is this something you should say?
Ru Xin said in complete contempt, “It’s just some old business between a man and a woman, isn’t it? I know much more about it than you, little boy.”
Li Qingshan could not help but take a step back. He had heard how the female barbarians of the Mist province were extremely liberal in this aspect. He began to imagine a group of men covered in tattoos with white cloth on their heads standing on the top of a mountain, gazing northward.
As if she could read his mind, Ru Xin blushed slightly. She scolded, “What’re you thinking about? I’m a doctor!”
Li Qingshan made fun of her. “It’s not like I’ve said anything.”
Ru Xin’s expression stiffened. It was true. His thoughts had nothing to do with her. She directly took out the Crystal Resin cauldron. “Let’s stop messing around. I’ll show you the results of my research last night.”
Li Qingshan took out a Blue Butterfly flower, but Ru Xin raised three slender fingers instead. “Three.”
Li Qingshan expressed his doubts. “Are you confident about success?”
Ten hours later, the alchemy cauldron let out a muffled bang. The refinement process had ended in failure.
Faced with Li Qingshan’s contemptible gaze, Ru Xin tidied the hair on the side of her head, unperturbed. “Accident.”
“Do you want to continue?” Li Qingshn asked. The success rate had already fallen to twenty percent now.
Ru Xin became motivated too. “Of course! Let’s go with… one.”
Li Qingshan took out three Blue Butterfly flowers and handed them to her again. “Since you’re confident, let’s continue!”
The light in Ru Xin’s eyes flickered. “Aren’t you afraid I’ll destroy them again?”
“Just keep going. It’s not like it’s just my loss,” Li Qingshan said. He did not doubt the person he chose, nor was there any need to doubt her. There was probably no better choice than her within the entire academy.
“Then let’s go with five!” Ru Xin propped herself up and brought her left foot forward, now half-kneeling on the cushion. She rolled up her right sleeve, revealing her beautiful forearm and pressing it against the Crystal Resin cauldron. Like a female dealer in a casino, she pressed down on the dice cup boldly and called out, “Finalise your bets!”
Li Qingshan muttered female barbarian inside before handing five Blue Butterfly flowers to her. Afterwards, he stared fixedly at the Crystal Resin cauldron like a gambler who had just placed down a large bet, but he ran out of interest very soon. Instead, he began looking at Ru Xin. After he stared at her for a while, she shot a vicious glance at him.
He shifted his gaze and became bored again, so he just started meditating.
A night passed, and the sky lit up. The cauldron opened and crystalline light poured out.
Ru Xin took out five True Spirit pills and smiled. “Success!”
Li Qingshan also smiled in relief. “Do you want to continue?”
Ru Xin said, “Let’s continue!”
This time, they went with seven.
Alchemy did not become easier when batches were smaller. It was like cooking in the kitchen. If the portion was too small, then it would be extremely difficult to control the heat and taste, and it would waste a lot of time and energy too.
Of course, more was not necessarily better either. Dishes made from a communal pot would never taste better than those made in a small pot. It was fine if dishes tasted bad, but if pills “tasted bad” that would mean a drastic reduction in their effects, preventing them from achieving their intended effects.
The degree of control, the skill of the alchemist, and even the quality of the cauldron were all relevant. With Ru Xin’s ability, refining twelve True Spirit pills each time was perfect.
Under Li Qingshan’s liberal support, she reached this very soon, but it also meant a loss of a hundred thousand spiritual stones with each failure.
Every time they opened the cauldron, it was like a bold gamble.
Throughout this process, Li Qingshan personally witnessed another side of Ru Xin, which was her gambling nature of advancing forward bravely.
And, she just happened to win her gambles. The success rate was elevated to over ninety percent very soon, exceeding Li Qingshan’s greatest expectations. It even surpassed Ru Xin’s own expectations.
A few days had passed now, and she had made several cauldrons of pills consecutively. Ru Xin had already become rather tired, but neither of them said they wanted to stop.
Under the intense pressure, Ru Xin was like a gambler who had suddenly begun to win after losing everything before becoming completely hopeless. She was in a state of excitement, completing unleashing her potential. Even her luck seemed to improve.
Li Qingshan had experienced this wondrous state in his past life. It was like Michael Jordan’s surekill dunk on the basketball court. Right now, every single cauldron of pills Ru Xin refined was a surekill. If she stopped right now, she would probably never be able to attain the same success rate again.
Time flew by and snow covered the path leading up to the alchemy room completely.
All the disciples of the school of Medicine could not help but sigh and shake their heads as they walked past the alchemy room. In the past, he would only remain inside for an afternoon, but now, it had already been half a month. Since when had their first senior sister spent so much time with a man before?
Discussions filled the entire academy. This Li Qingshan had just sent the second senior sister of the school of Legalism off to secluded cultivation, and now, he had locked himself up in the first senior sister of the school of Medicine’s alchemy room. Who knew what he was doing. What, was he supposed to be refining pills? You might believe it, but I don’t. What kind of pill took so long to refine, such that they could not even rest?
Some of them said that Ru Xin was taking advantage of this opportunity to steal Li Qingshan. This was what most of the female cultivators said. Li Qingshan had made quite a name for himself recently, so he did have some charm among the female cultivators.
Others said Li Qingshan knew a special technique that could bewitch the soul, or how else was he supposed to bewitch two famous beauties of the academy? After all, these two women had never gotten involved with matters of love in the past. They had turned down countless admirers before. They needed to drag Li Qingshan out before it was too late and bring him to justice.
It went without saying that this was the rumor among the male cultivators, which came with many jealous, envious gazes and grinding teeth whenever it was mentioned.
Li Qingshan and Ru Xin had never considered this either, but right now, every successful cauldron was equivalent to a profit of hundreds of thousand spiritual stones, so why would they still care about anything else? It was not like they were doing anything wrong anyway, so they could gossip for all they wanted!
On this day, two military disciples quietly discussed among themselves in the Main Martial Arts stadium, “They still haven’t emerged. It has already been twenty-three days.” “I pity senior sister Han. He really isn’t worth it. Li Qingshan is a bastard.” Among their sorrow and fury was indescribable envy too.
Before they had even finished speaking, a black figure arrived right before them. The Black Dragon whistled through the air and lifted them up, sending them flying and landing heavily far away on the edge of the stadium.
Han Tieyi pulled back the metal spear behind him and said coldly, “Haven’t I told you? Do not whisper to each other during training! Both of you, swim fifty laps around the island!”
The two disciples groaned inside. Swimming fifty laps around the island would almost cost them their lives. They knew that their first senior brother had been in a bad mood recently, so they would never object. They clasped their fists. “Yes, sir!”
Han Tieyi’s face was icy. After a while of thought, he suddenly strode away from the stadium.
“Tieyi, where are you going?” Han Anjun looked down from a platform and frowned slightly.
“I’m going to go find Li Qingshan.” Han Tieyi clasped his fist and lowered his head. Han Qiongzhi had told him to keep an eye out on Li Qingshan before she entered secluded cultivation. He had not thought too much about it originally, but he was forced to act now.
The military disciples who were currently training all slowed down slightly. They looked over. Li Qingshan was probably in trouble this time.
“Do you think he’s that kind of person? Do you think Ru Xin is that kind of person?” Han Anjun asked.
“I don’t,” Han Tieyi replied. He knew their personalities extremely well, and even if they wanted to commit some acts of adultery, there was no reason for them to do it so openly. Instead, he was unable to put up with other people discussing Han Qiongzhi. They made her sound like she was an idiot, even though she was not particularly clever sometimes.
“Fall back,” said Han Anjun.
“Yes, sir!” All Han Tieyi could do was return to the stadium and viciously drill the military disciples.
“Li Qingshan, get out here!”
On Benevolence island outside the alchemy room, Chu Tian was like an enraged bull as he bellowed out. Seeing how there was no response from inside, he went up to push on the door.
Immediately, a group of medical disciples surged over and stopped him. “Entry is forbidden to the alchemy rooms. Do not trespass.” “Senior sister Ru Xin is currently refining pills, so please return, fellow Chu!”
“There’s no need for you to stop me.” Chu Tian advanced boldly. Five-coloured true qi rose up from his body as he forced his way through them, slamming the door of the alchemy room with a palm strike.
The medical disciples were not actually trying to stop him either. They were extremely curious about just what Ru Xin and Li Qingshan were doing, but they were afraid of seeing something horrible too.
The door let out a flash, and he actually failed to smash through it. Now, it was not just Chu Tian. Everyone’s doubts erupted. Did they really have to cast down a formation when refining pills in the academy?
Right now, Ru Xin had her eyes closed as she focused on refining pills in the alchemy room. She furrowed her brows slightly.
Li Qingshan cursed inside. Without saying anything at all, he immediately stood up and made his way out.
They had just reached a critical juncture. If they were careless, they would end up destroying twelve True Spirit pills, and that would not be all. If someone managed to barge in here and sensed they were refining True Spirit pills or saw Ru Xin’s Crystal Resin cauldron, it would be even worse.
Unable to force open the door, Chu Tian became even more furious. Five-coloured true qi gathered in his hand as he struck out viciously.
The door suddenly swung open, and a water spout whistled out, slamming into Chu Tian heavily and directly sending him flying.
PS: Just noticed that I’ve gained another Alliance Head. I sure have noticed late. It’s not like I don’t understand that the world changes quickly. In celebration of Alliance Head “Alias Space”, I bow in utmost gratitude.