The Drifting Flowers Arena was more than a hundred meters tall, spanning a few kilometers, the largest building in Drifting Flowers City. This was where the Hundred Pill Meeting was being held.
It was divided into three layers in a circular shape.
The first layer was where the competitors met. It was the stage where thousands of cauldrons spread across the entire floor.
The second layer was for the second and third rate clans who came to spectate.
The third layer was for the glorious clans of Tianyu Empire. This layer hosted terraces, which acted as stands for the honorable guests of the Seven Noble Houses.
Chu Qingcheng and her two overseers stood in the host terrace, furthest from the arena.
The Bodhi Root was placed on the pedestal, the prize of today’s competition. The winner would have the glory of stepping forward and snatching Drifting Flowers Edifice’s greatest treasure.
None wanted to admit it, but they were clear it would be none other than Vicious Pill King.
“Is everything ready? Did that old dog notice?” Chu Qingcheng’s eyes flashed.
Peony Overseer nodded, “I tasked the ones I trust the most with this. That stage contains a Dragon Prison Array. Not even the old dog can escape it once he enters!”
“What of Huangpu Qingyun?” Chu Qingcheng looked to the eastern stand with worry.
“The eastern stand also has a barrier placed. They won’t get the chance to intervene when the time comes. So, we will finally settle the score with that old dog!”
“Then I can rest easy.”
Chu Qingcheng sighed, “Senior sisters, this old dog isn’t to be trifled with. Even if we three attack together, we may kill him, but we will also shortly after succumb to his poison. I don’t mind dying, just that senior sisters will end up accompanying me… “
“Qingcheng, you don’t need to say it!” Iris Overseer patted her hand, “We have promised Grandmother to help you without fail. As Drifting Flowers Edifice is about to die, then let it die with a bang. We will tell the world that women are not easy targets.”
Chu Qingcheng was moved and squeezed their hands. The three shared deep feelings for each other.
“Why haven’t the other overseers arrived yet?” Chu Qingcheng found it unusual.
The other two were also puzzled.
Suddenly, a wizened voice followed by familiar figures appeared before them, “Ha-ha-ha, Edifice Lord Chu, are you looking for them perhaps?”
The three’s eyes were wide in shock.
Behind Vicious Pill King stood eight ladies in different colors, and veils on their faces. They were none other than 8 of the Drifting Flowers Edifice’s 15 edifices’ overseers.
The eight avoided looking at the three, lowering their heads in shame.
She knew they were under Yan Song’s poison, but never thought they would stand in the open by that old dog’s side. This was a naked betrayal! Peony Overseer was livid and couldn’t even find words to speak.
Chu Qingcheng rested her hands on the Peony Overseer to soothe her anger, her tone was flat towards the 8 women, “I feel your pain and I don’t blame you. I just hope you will take care of yourselves, leaving this dreaded place as far behind as possible.”
The eight were sobbing but did not show their appreciation for her words because of Vicious Pill King’s threat.
“Humph, what a soft Edifice Lord. However, I wonder if you’ll show the same softness to them!” Vicious Pill King snickered and clapped three times.
Five figures flashed and the trio paled.
They were the rest of the overseers.
Of all the overseers, everyone sided with Pill King Hall, except for Peony and Iris Overseers.
They each had their reasons, but this was without a doubt the true power of Drifting Flowers Edifice coming out in full force.
Chu Qingcheng shivered and could no longer keep calm. She was unaware Vicious Pill King was so thorough in stripping them of their power. They had no way to even fight back.
“Overseer Chun Yu, you are the oldest among us. How is it that even you…” Peony Overseer glared at one of the five people.
The person was calm, however, “Drifting Flowers Edifice’s power waned and I could only look elsewhere for safety. I urge you to find your own and not do something you should not.”
At her odd words, Chu Qingcheng looked doubtful at Peony Overseer.
Peony Overseer bit her lip, filled with regret and anguish, “Forgive me, Qingcheng. I have trusted that matter to her! I thought she was still trustworthy, but…”
Chu Qingcheng trembled and her body swayed. Despair swallowed her eyes.
She knew what Peony Overseer was referring to, the array to counter Vicious Pill King when he got the Bodhi Root. The one tasked with it turned out to be a traitor. It was clear the Vicious Pill King was privy to all their plans.
Their last chance to end this old dog had failed…
“He-he-he, I already told you. Drifting Flowers Edifice is under my complete control. All your efforts are useless. Why not spare yourselves the ordeal?”
Vicious Pill King cackled and waved his hand. Clattering resounded as sparkling spirit stones landed at their feet. They were the ones to be used for the Dragon Prison Array.
“By the way, I also managed to undo the barrier on the eastern stand. We can’t have the second young master watch the Hundred Pill Meeting from behind a barrier, now can we? You’ve been most rude to Regent Estate, ha-ha-ha…”
Vicious Pill King descended the stairs laughing, with the traitorous overseers having little choice but to follow with their heads down.
This made all onlookers watch slack jawed.
Why were 13 overseers following the Vicious Pill King? Any man with a brain would know that the Drifting Flowers Edifice had now lost most of their power.
“Ha-ha-ha, Edifice Lord Chu, see how I take your precious treasure through legitimate means.” Vicious Pill King laughed at the bottom of the stairs.
Chu Qingcheng’s eyes felt like they were in a fog. She clenched her fists so hard that scarlet blood flowed.
Peony Overseer was overcome by guilt as tears flowed unimpeded, “Qingcheng, hit me. It’s all my fault for ruining everything.”
“Peony Overseer, how could you be so dazed to let others know of our plan…”
Chu Qingcheng stood there frozen. It felt like the sky collapsed, her heart in pieces. Iris Overseer sent a reproaching glare to Peony Overseer and sighed.
What would be the point in pointing fingers when the matter was done? Vicious Pill King achieved victory in the most anticlimactic way possible. All that was left was for them to wait for him to strut and claim his prize.
“Old dog Yan Song, don’t think it’s that easy to take our treasure.”
A shout echoed and Yan Song looked over only to snicker, “I wonder who it was, but then I saw it was only you, old hag!”
It was Drifting Flowers Edifice’s best alchemist, Aunt Tao.
Aunt Tao flashed beside Chu Qingcheng and said, “Girl, don’t cry, we haven’t lost yet!”
“Humph, empty words! When I last saw you two decades ago, you were but a 6th-grade alchemist, while I am a 7th. After all this time, you would still come up short of my skill even if you can refine a 7th-grade pill!”
“Humph, that remains to be seen. Time can change anything! Don’t think you’ll get anywhere near the Bodhi Root with me around!”
Vicious Pill King mocked, “Old hag, show me if all those years were of any help!”
Vicious Pill King flicked his sleeve and left with his entourage.
Chu Qingcheng looked at Aunt Tao with hope, “Aunt Tao, can you truly win?”
Aunt Tao let out a downcast sigh, her previous vigor sapped, “Silly girl, I was only pretending. The Vicious Pill King is indeed the best alchemist in Tianyu!”
“You’re saying we’re hopeless then…” Chu Qingcheng’s eyes were now dead, with the last burning kindling of hope put out.
Aunt Tao felt pained as she spoke, “That may not be the case. Regardless of how strong an alchemist is, failing in refining speaks louder. If an alchemist is distracted in mid refining, then the pill would most likely end up in failure. Not even Vicious Pill King with decades of refining experience could escape such predicament!”
“You’re saying there’s still hope?” Chu Qingcheng’s eyes sparkled, as well as the other two overseers’.
Aunt Tao’s heart could not bear their pure eyes, but forced a nod. Though she knew Vicious Pill King’s decades of experience forged him a steady mind. How could he make such a rudimentary mistake?
In the case she failed ten times at refining, Vicious Pill King may never fail even once.
Sighing, Aunt Tao dragged her body down the stairs, “I will go prepare. Don’t be discouraged, we still have a chance!”
All this senior could do was give these young ladies words of comfort, even if she herself did not believe in them. Her words had the desired effect and Chu Qingcheng looked livelier. The trio watched Aunt Tao with hope.
Yet, this last hope of theirs was an old woman walking to certain death while also having one foot in the grave…