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The Nine Li Magus Maiden's mortality made it so that she lacked any form of life preservation. With so many riffraff in the crowd, it was naturally unsafe for her to walk through.
At that moment, behind the Nine Li Magus Maiden, Aged Blackrock pressed down on the air, forming an invisible wave that spread out. Anyone who came into contact with the wave was pushed back by a tremendous force. They retreated back further and further.
"What's the matter?"
The crowd was infuriated. They were people of standing, so the sudden push made them unhappy. However, they did not dare protest because it was done by Aged Blackrock.
The wave went deep into the desolate lands, forming a path a hundred feet wide that was clear of any obstruction.
The Nine Li Magus Maiden stepped into the passage and said to the crowd, "I'm sorry. I’ve suffered from a frail body since I was very young. I can only inconvenience everyone to make way. Sorry to anyone I’ve offended."
The Nine Li Magus Maiden's voice was gentle, like a whistling wind in spring. It made the furious mob calm down.
"Who is this woman?"
They could tell that she enjoyed an extremely high status from the way Aged Blackrock treated her. She was definitely an important figure in the Nine Li Magus Empire.
But what really vexed them was that the path that was opened up by pushing them away was not only walked by the Nine Li Magus Maiden, but Yi Yun as well.
Yi Yun followed the Nine Li Magus Maiden and walked almost alongside her.
Everyone there was a true alchemist. Yi Yun was only a junior. What gave him the right to enjoy such preferential treatment?
People were unconvinced that Yi Yun deserved it, especially those from the Pillheart Sect. They were even more frustrated. Their Pillheart Sect had always been treated as esteemed guests no matter where they went. Yet here they were, reduced to being small players and belittled.
"Curmudgeon Solitary, you have always claimed that your Pillheart Sect is the number one alchemy sect in the Heavenly South Great World. But aren't you still being pushed aside to make way for a junior and a mortal? It doesn't seem that impressive to me!" said a white-dressed middle-aged man standing beside Pillheart Patriarch with a smile.
This white-dressed man was none other than Ouming Yin. Like Pillheart Patriarch, he too was an alchemist sage. Although he was generationally lower in standing than the Pillheart Patriarch, he thought highly of himself. He never showed much respect to the Pillheart Patriarch. This caused quite a rift between them.
"Isn't it the same with you? You claim to be the number one genius in the world of alchemy but in the eyes of the Nine Li Magus Empire, you are nothing but shit," said Pillheart Patriarch coldly.
That put an end to the verbal war with Ouming Yin, so instead the Pillheart Patriarch followed Yi Yun and the Nine Li Magus Maiden into the depths of the desolate plains.
He held back his anger for he wanted to fully comprehend the Herb Nurturing Array, smacking the Nine Li Magus Empire's figurative face in the process. At the same time, he wanted to settle scores with Yi Yun. The Pillheart Sect's Elders would not have died in vain.
Behind Pillheart Patriarch, many alchemists followed him into the desolate lands.
They walked rather slowly and, after an hour, they arrived in the middle of the Herb Nurturing Array.
"This is the array's core."
Although the alchemists that were present could not fully comprehend the Herb Nurturing Array, it was not difficult for them to identify its core.
At that moment, they saw Yi Yun begin to probe the area. He would stop in front of every array pattern for a moment to ponder over it.
When Pillheart Patriarch saw Yi Yun's actions, his expression sank.
"This little bastard obtained the divine alchemist's heritage out of sheer luck. Does he really think that he's some figure of importance? There he is, deliberately acting mysterious and putting on a show."
The Pillheart Patriarch knew that the Herb Nurturing Array was no trifling matter. If one's cultivation level was lacking, it would be impossible to probe it. It was the same even if one knew the theory behind a tiny portion of the array patterns. Furthermore, how could the heritage left behind by the divine alchemist be so easy to fully understand?
"Blackrock!" Pillheart Patriarch spoke again. Although he was a lot younger than Aged Blackrock, he did not think himself as Aged Blackrock's junior. He called to him directly. "The Nine Li Magus Empire has not mentioned what rewards it will offer if the pill inside this massive array is completed."
When Pillheart Patriarch said that, everyone looked over. Instantly, the din subsided. Everyone looked at Aged Blackrock, for all of them were concerned about the question.
Aged Blackrock looked indifferently at Pillheart Patriarch and said, "Everyone has different needs. When the time comes, my Nine Li Magus Empire will naturally fulfill the needs of person who succeeds as a form of remuneration. By asking me this now, are you doubting that my Nine Li Magus Empire can afford it?"
"Hehe." Pillheart Patriarch sneered. "How could that be? After all, we will be spending a century or two here. Isn't it better to decide on the remuneration before we invest so much? Don't you think so?"
"No." Aged Blackrock disregarded him completely. "You seem to be mistaken on one point. My Nine Li Magus Empire has never invited your Pillheart Sect to study this array. It was one of your Elders named Seven Kills that kept pleading before I permitted all of you to follow. Why do you now speak as though your spending of a century or two here is sacrificing your time for the Nine Li Magus Empire? If you are unwilling to do so, just leave. If you want some remuneration, show at least some ability to complete this array before we negotiate any further."
Aged Blackrock's response left Pillheart Patriarch at a loss for words. He had a twisted expression on his face. There was nothing wrong in what was said. Indeed, his Pillheart Sect had tagged along voluntarily.
If this were any other time, the Pillheart Patriarch would have lost decorum. But now, he kept his calm.
Pillheart Patriarch said with a heavy expression, "You are thinking too lowly of the tens of millions of years of heritage my Pillheart Sect has. Although you are powerful, you do not know a thing about alchemy. Please do not draw wild conclusions or it will only end up incurring insult on yourself."
"If the Pillheart Sect can complete this pill, I do not want anything from you. All I would ask is for the Nine Li Magus Empire to not interfere with the matter between the Pillheart Sect and Yi Yun!"
As the Pillheart Patriarch said that, he suddenly looked at Yi Yun with a cold glint in his eye.
Yi Yun stopped and turned to look at Pillheart Patriarch. He locked eyes with the old freak that had lived for tens of millions of years. The old freak had set his sights on him again after reeling off on his spiel.
"That can't be done." Aged Blackrock simply and directly rejected it.
"You…" Pillheart Patriarch burned with rage. He yearned to massacre the Nine Li Magus Empire but his strength was greatly lacking.
"If you cannot accept that, just leave. My Nine Li Magus Empire would not stop you."
Aged Blackrock sneered inwardly. He did not care if the Pillheart Sect stayed. In the history of the Nine Li Magus Empire, they had invited alchemist sages to complete the array but all of them failed. What could a mere Pillheart Sect accomplish?
Aged Blackrock didn't even put any hopes in Yi Yun. After all, it was too difficult to mend the array left behind by Senior Divine Alchemist. Its nurturing could produce something that could defy fate itself.
Just as the atmosphere turned tense, Yi Yun suddenly spoke out. "Senior Blackrock, thank you for speaking up for me. The Nine Li Magus Empire has already rendered a lot of help in my feud with the Pillheart Sect. I do not wish to trouble you any further."
Yi Yun smiled and looked back at Pillheart Patriarch. He knew that the Pillheart Sect would definitely not let the matter rest since he was still carrying the divine alchemist's heritage.
Besides, the Pillheart Sect had something Yi Yun needed. He needed the plantation methods for the Unwithering Grass so that he could make Longevity Extending Pills!
In fact, it was not only for Old Snake but for Yi Yun himself.
This plantation method involved the Pillheart Sect's most valued divine item. It could also be considered the core foundations of the Pillheart Sect!
Yi Yun said, "Your wish that the Nine Li Magus Empire would not intervene in our feud isn't anything at all. You want to obtain the divine alchemist's heritage from me and I happen to want something from you…"
"What do you want?" Pillheart Patriarch frowned. Yi Yun's indifferent expression made him extremely uncomfortable.
"Purple Numinous Herbal Soil!"
The Pillheart Patriarch's expression changed drastically when he heard Yi Yun's words.
The Pillheart Sect's possession of the Purple Numinous Herbal Soil was one of its core secrets. How did Yi Yun know?
Yi Yun continued, "You wish to obtain the divine alchemist's heritage without paying the price? Since you are that confident in your Pillheart Sect's alchemical heritage, we can give it a try. If you can complete this array, I will personally request that the Nine Li Magus Empire not intervene in our feud. But if I succeed in doing it, I want fifty kilograms of Purple Numinous Herbal Soil from the Pillheart Sect!"
Back when Yi Yun killed Su Boyang and company, he had used Poison Demon to devour and search their souls. He knew how the Unwithering Grass was planted. Unfortunately, it wasn't a problem with the technique but a result of the Pillheart Sect's special herbal soil—Purple Numinous Herbal Soil.
Through the use of Purple Numinous Herbal Soil, Unwithering Grass could be constantly grown.
Purple Numinous Herbal Soil was extraordinary. It was also recorded in the divine alchemist's manuals but even the divine alchemist had only received a tiny pot of the soil. Purple Numinous Herbal Soil was soil that had been stained with the blood of phoenixes and dragons, formed after absorbing the Heaven Earth essence for hundreds of millions of years.
Just like the Heretical God Fire Seed existed in this world, the soil also had its soil spirit that was even rarer.
If he obtained the Purple Numinous Herbal Soil, he could rear all sorts of spiritual herbs for double the results and half the effort!