Translator: Silavin & Raikov
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
Both Li Jiao and Mi Qi’s hearts jumped. Even though they were reluctant to accept ending things as a tie, they could still barely accept it since they weren’t losing anything anyway, but now that Yang Kai had taken the initiative to propose determining the winner by quality, they couldn’t help feeling some tightness in their chests.
[Could it be that… he really had the confidence to win? Otherwise, why would he propose such a thing?]
As soon as that thought came up, both of them instantly began to panic and Mi Qi quickly said, “Let’s just call it a tie. There’s no need to judge the quality.”
Yang Kai grunted, “Since it’s a bet, then we naturally have to determine who the winner is. Why? What is Sect Master Mi scared of?”
Mi Qi answered nervously, “What? This King, scared? What nonsense, Palace Master Yang.”
Li Jiao’s forehead also couldn’t help becoming a bit damp with sweat as that bad feeling in his heart became more apparent.
“Let me trouble Brother Ji to check once more!” Yang Kai turned towards Ji Ying.
“A trivial matter.” Ji Ying nodded.
At this point, winning or losing in this duel with Yang Kai didn’t matter that much to him anymore. He could tell at a glance that Yang Kai was able to perceive the true essence of the Alchemic Dao, so in the future, he may even be able to stand side by side with his Honoured Master. Therefore, Ji Ying didn’t think it would be shameful even if he were to lose here.
This Alchemy competition had also been quite rewarding for him, so Ji Ying felt that after returning and entering retreat for a time, he would definitely be able to make a breakthrough in his pursuit of the Alchemic Dao. When that time came, he may even be able to improve his skills to be no less than his Senior Brothers and Senior Sister.
At once, he focused his heart on examining the pills. He was holding both his and Yang Kai’s Emperor Yuan Pills on each hand, inspecting their colour, size, purity, and emitted aura. He even scraped off a layer of powder from each of the pills and tasted it.
The hall was silent as everyone looked on nervously, especially Mi Qi and Li Jiao. This bet related to fifty years of earnings for both of their respective Sects, so they were both eyeing Ji Ying intently like leeches on their prey, observing his expressions, fearing that he would say something that would mean bad news for them.
Yang Kai was the only calm and collected one, even walking back to his seat to pick up his cup of tea.
After a long time, Ji Ying finally exhaled. It seemed from the look on his face that he had come to a conclusion.
“Grand… Grandmaster Ji, what are the results?” Mi Qi asked nervously as even his voice slightly cracked.
Li Jiao was also watching Ji Ying intently, not even realizing that he had sweat running down his cheek.
“This Ji… is lacking. Brother Yang’s aptitude in the Alchemic Dao is superior, this Ji admires his skill greatly!” Ji Ying did not respond to them, but instead turned to Yang Kai and cupped his fists in respect.
“This Yang is unworthy of Brother Ji’s praise. This Yang was only able to win this time due to luck. I will still have to trouble Brother Ji to give me pointers in the future,” Yang Kai smiled and cupped his fists in return.
Ji Ying waved his hand with a bitter smile.
While the two of them talked, Li Jiao and Mi Qi stood there like fools, faces turning blue as the blood in their veins seemed to freeze solid.
Even though Ji Ying did not explicitly declare the winner, the meaning of his words were clear enough.
“Grand… Grandmaster Ji, are you sure? Are the Spirit Pills that he refined truly of higher quality?” Mi Qi asked in a trembling voice.
Li Jiao also hurried to add, “Why don’t you look at it again?”
Ji Ying’s expression turned to anger this time as he spat in a cold voice, “Are the two of you questioning this Ji’s character and competence?”
His character and skill had never been questioned by the two of them before, so Ji Ying also did not want to fuss over the matter with them out of the years of friendship they had together, but for them to repeatedly question his judgement angered Ji Ying very much.
Once was enough, but what did they mean by questioning him twice? Was his word really worth so little?
Seeing that Ji Ying was truly angered this time, both Mi Qi and Li Jiao’s hearts jumped as they belatedly realized how rude they had been.
Mi Qi wiped the cold sweat off his forehead, “No, no, no, Grandmaster Ji has misunderstood. Neither Brother Li nor I mean anything of the sort, please believe us, Grandmaster Ji.”
They could offend whoever else they wanted, but they could not afford to offend Ji Ying.
Ji Ying grunted, “Let me tell you. A real Alchemist will never make jokes with the pills they refine. If this Ji says he lost, then this Ji lost! There is no need for me to slander my own name to put Brother Yang on a pedestal.” After a pause, he extended both hands towards them, “If the two of you do not trust this Ji, then try the medicinal efficacies of these two Spirit Pills yourselves. Since the two of you are both Third-Order Emperor Realm Masters, then it should be easy for you to tell which is the stronger by taking them and refining them.”
Li Jiao and Mi Qi both exchanged glances and saw the intent in each other’s eyes as this was indeed a good idea.
This was an important matter, so they couldn’t help but be overcautious. However, if they were to do this, then they would completely offend Ji Ying because once they took those Spirit Pills to refine, it would mean they really did not believe in Ji Ying’s words.
These two choices troubled Li Jiao and Mi Qi greatly.
Yang Kai on the other hand was cheerful and fanned the flames, “I think it’s best if the two of you try them for yourselves, that way you can uphold Brother Ji’s name as well!”
Ji Ying stood there with a cold face, hands still outstretched.
Gritting his teeth, Li Jiao stepped forward and said with shame, “My apologies.”
He picked out a single Emperor Yuan Pill from each of Ji Ying’s hands at random.
Seeing this, Mi Qi also took two Emperor Yuan Pills.
Once they finished, Ji Ying declared bluntly, “Since the two of you do not trust this Ji, then this Ji’s cooperation with you two will end here. There is no need for you to come to Medicine Pill Valley to ask this Ji to refine Spirit Pills in the future either.”
Upon hearing this, Li Jiao and Mi Qi were both shaken. Pale-faced, they spoke in unison, “Grandmaster Ji…”
“It’s needless to say more!” Ji Ying coldly snorted, not even bothering to say another word to them.
Li Jiao and Mi Qi both heaved heavy sighs. Looking at the two Spirit Pills in their hands, they suddenly felt as if these small Spirit Pills weighed tens of thousands of kilograms.
Since things had come to this though, the two of them could only grit their teeth and refine these Emperor Yuan Pills.
Since they have already offended Ji Ying, they couldn’t lose those five billion Source Crystals either, could they? Once they refined the two Emperor Yuan Pills and proved that the one that Ji Ying refined was better than Yang Kai’s, then they would still gain something in the end.
Even though Emperor Alchemists were rare, there were still a few in the Northern Territory that did not belong to Medicine Pill Valley.
Circulating their Emperor Qi and refining the Emperor Yuan Pills, they managed to completely refine its medical efficacies in just a short moment. Then, the two of them took the second Emperor Yuan Pill and continued refining.
A short while later, both Li Jiao and Mi Qi opened their eyes. Grief-stricken as if they were mourning the death of their parents, both their faces looked extremely terrible.
After refining both pills themselves, they clearly felt that the first Emperor Yuan Pill they took had lower medicinal efficacy than the one they took after. And, the first one that they took was the Spirit Pill that Ji Ying refined.
The difference between the two was not too big, but the former Spirit Pill was still just a slight bit inferior.
Ji Ying commented at this point, “This Ji lost to Brother Yang in the process of condensing medicinal liquid, as the medicinal liquid that this Ji condensed was not as pure as Brother Yang’s. That is why the pills became slightly inferior. Since the two of you have personally refined them and verified this fact, you should have come to a conclusion, right? Or is this Ji still speaking carelessly and favouring Brother Yang?”
Mi Qi had a bitter face, “We never meant to imply such a thing.”
Of course, they could speak contrary to facts and say that the Spirit Pill that Ji Ying refined was better, but that would be an obvious and completely shameless lie, and with the three Monster Kings staring at them with unkind eyes, it was obvious they wouldn’t just let such an insult pass. What’s more, there was still that terrifyingly strong woman called Qing’er. If they really were to do such a shameless thing, then the situation was not destined to end well for them.
“Since the results are out, then the two of you… Please accept your loss willingly,” Yang Kai walked over step after step with his hands behind his back.
Both Mi Qi and Li Jiao’s faces were twitching as they felt as if their hearts had been stabbed and were now leaking blood.
“Grandmaster Ji…” Mi Qi shot a pleading look at Ji Ying, hoping that he would step out to speak in favour of them.
But Ji Ying just went back to his own seat, not paying them any mind. He was clearly annoyed by them.
Seeing this reaction, both Mi Qi and Li Jiao’s hearts cooled like damp ashes. They were in an unfavourable situation right now, and they definitely wouldn’t be able to win in a fight, nor could they escape. If they were to really start a battle here, then the two of them would definitely be forced to remain here forever.
Why did they think of coming to High Heaven Palace with Ji Ying in the first place? Now they had dug their own graves. Truly, entering a tiger’s den was easier than leaving. Both of their guts were churning with regret.
“Well then, you two are both well-known characters in the Northern Territory, so you couldn’t possibly be thinking of reneging on your debts, could you?” Yang Kai’s face turned fierce as he glared at the two of them.
“En?” The three Monster Kings made threatening noises in unison, Monster Qi spilling out, seemingly as if they would take the two of them down the instant Yang Kai gave the order.
“How could we?” Li Jiao wiped the cold sweat off his forehead. While suffering slightly, he could only smile, “If we are willing to bet, then we are definitely willing to concede. Brother Mi and I will definitely not renege on our debts.”
“That’s right, that’s right. We won’t do that.” Mi Qi also nodded repeatedly.
How many years has it been since they had humbled themselves like this? Not even in front of Ji Ying had they ever been this meek. Now though, the two of them had finally re-experienced what it was like to be inferior, and the vexing feeling in their heart could not be washed away even with the waters of three rivers and five lakes.
“Since you aren’t going to renege, then hurry and pay up!” Yang Kai stretched a hand out to them like a predatory creditor.
Mi Qi said with a bitter face, “Palace Master Yang, how can five billion High-Rank Source Crystals be taken out so easily?”
“That’s right, the number is too great,” Li Jiao also said awkwardly.
“Two and a half billion then. If you can’t take out five billion, then you should be able to take out two and a half billion, can’t you?” Yang Kai eyed the two from the corner of his eye.
Mi Qi and Li Jiao’s heads shook like rattles.
Yang Kai glared, “How many years have your Sects been established in the Northern Territory? How could you be so poor? Aren’t you afraid of people laughing if word got out that you couldn’t even take out a measly two and a half billion Source Crystals?”
Li Jiao answered, “Palace Master Yang does not understand. Our Sects may earn a lot each year, but our expenses are equally large. Not much balance remains after each year.”
“That’s right.” Mi Qi nodded, “Palace Master Yang also obtained the foundation and wealth accumulated by Seeking Passion Sect over the millennia of its existence, so he could know how many Source Crystals there were. Our Sects and Seeking Passion Sect were not that far apart in terms of overall strength and assets.”
“So, does that mean the two of you can’t pay up?” Yang Kai’s face suddenly turned cold.
“For now… we can’t.” Mi Qi and Li Jiao were both feeling very guilty.
“How dare you!” Yang Kai bellowed, “What gave you the guts to make such a large bet with me if you didn’t have the capital to do so? Did the two of you come just to make a pastime out of this Palace Master? Hear my order, Monster Kings, kill them!”
“Yes!” Upon hearing this, all three Monster Kings shot out immediately.
Li Jiao and Mi Qi were both horrified, thinking that Yang Kai may have planned to wipe out both of them long ago so he could rob the foundations of their Full Sky Sect and Fire Dragon Palace. If the two of them were to die here, then their Sects would be without leaders. There will be no way they could resist the terrifying might of High heaven Palace then. They would probably be razed to the ground immediately.