Fury Towards The Burning Heaven Chapter 16
Elder Liu's cause of death was quickly revealed. What left Jiang Yi feeling less guilty was that Elder Liu was already suffering from an incurable disease. Over the past few years, he had three previous experiences where he had fallen ill but managed to avoid death. However, the non-stop study into the elixir over the past few days and nights had resulted in his early demise…
Towards Elder Liu, Jiang Yi had no feelings at all. However, even though he did not directly murder the man, he had spent the past few days feeling uneasy and guilty. He had even gone to Elder Liu's grave in the middle of the night and kowtowed several times as well as poured two cups of yellow wine in front of the grave.
On top of that, because of Elder Liu's death, Jiang Yi had completely no more opportunities to refine elixirs, as the alchemy lab had been completely sealed off. With the only alchemist in the family clan having passed away, elixirs could now only be purchased from outside. The elixirs stored in the alchemy lab naturally had to be sealed up for long-term storage, with all elixirs rationed and dispatched in controlled portions.
Elder Liu had been dead for three days. For all of the three days, Jiang Yi hid at home and cultivated his power in his backyard while letting Jiang Xiaonu keep watch in the front courtyard.
He had a sense of concern deep in his heart. Now that he no longer worked at the alchemy lab, the family clan would very likely arrange odd jobs for him to work on; and Chief Rong would very likely come to his house and retrieve the command token for the Western Hills herb plantation.
Time! If only I had more time, whatever problems I have would not be problems anymore!
Sitting cross-legged in the backyard, Jiang Yi silently clenched his teeth. Over the past few days, he had removed many runic characters on his seal. His refining speed was also progressively increasing. It had now reached seven or eight times his original speed.
Even though this speed was much slower compared to that of the outstanding members of the family clan, the amount he could originally refine in a month was equivalent to the amount others could produce in a day.
This meant his essence force refining speed was an entire thirty times slower than that of the outstanding members of the Jiang Clan. He steadfastly believed that, so long as he continuously removed more runic patterns from his seal, his refining speed would sooner or later catch up with the average clan members. Eventually he would… far surpass them.
He could only refine a maximum of ten strands of black essence force each time. However, now that he owned the ability to increase his refining speed vastly, so long as his refining speed could be increased to the same level as that of the outstanding family clan members, it was not impossible for his fighting ability to catch up with theirs in a short period of time.
The truth was that he had also thought of revealing the fact that he was in the process of breaking his seal as well as the nameless cultivation technique to the family.
He hoped to gain the respect of the clan and solve all his problems in one fell swoop. However, he had realized that no one in the Jiang Clan had ever liked him. When he took into account, the incident with Elder Liu, Jiang Yi was afraid that the Jiang Clan would take their anger out on him.
As such, he decided to keep the fact that his power was improving by leaps and bounds as a secret, and only reveal it when he could no longer conceal it anymore.
"Jiang Yi, come out here now!" a deep, loud voice rung from the front courtyard, rousing Jiang Yi from his thoughts.
Upon hearing the voice, he thought to himself that trouble had finally caught up to him. Chief Rong had come. Curling his body into a ball, he quickly hid in the pile of weeds in the backyard. He dared not breathe or release any air.
Vaguely, he heard Jiang Xiaonu explaining things in a low volume, as well as Chief Rong's rage-filled shouts of stern rebuke.
After a short period of time, Jiang Xiaonu ran into the backyard. "Young Master, Chief Rong has left. However, he said that he wants you to find him tomorrow morning and account for the medicinal herbs at the Western Hills."
Jiang Yi's face darkened. Rolling his pupils about for several rounds, he sighed deeply for a short moment, gritted his teeth, and said, "Xiaonu, you stay at home obediently. I'll be heading out for a while first."
He walked into the house to retrieve the black robes he bought the previous time. Putting the robes on, he hastily dashed out of the courtyard of his house.
He had only left his house and walked for several tens of feet when he froze and suddenly turned his head around to look behind his back. Seeing the flash of a figure dart around a corner at a long distance away, he immediately gave a cold laugh.
"Jiang Ruhu has indeed sent people to tail behind me!" Jiang Yi murmured
Concentrating his essence force in his two legs, he raced towards the western gate with all his strength. At the same time, he strained his ears to listen for it. Sure enough, the person behind him had started chasing after him with quick footsteps.
Jiang Yi ran like a madman for some time, before changing his direction and turning his body to abruptly enter a small alleyway to the side. He hid inside the alleyway. He waited for the person behind him to race past him like a strong gale, before hastily turning around and running crazily towards the southern courtyard of the Jiang Residence.
Walking out from the south gate of the Jiang Residence, after confirming that no one was tailing him, he put on his cloak and ran non-stop all the way to the city plaza in the middle of the city. After an hour, he arrived at a large elixir store on the eastern side of the plaza.
He swaggered boldly into the store. Retrieving the one and only piece of purple gold leaf on his person, he slammed his hand on the counter-top and ordered loudly, "Storekeeper, bring me ten Spirit Pills!"
"Right away, sir. Servants, fetch me ten Spirit Pills."
The store owner was a chubby middle-aged man. Upon seeing the purple gold, his face immediately lit up with a wide smile and a charming expression.
As he smiled, he reached his hand out and tried to grab the gold leaf on the counter-top. "Hehe… my dear customer, a Spirit Pill costs ten taels of silver. The total cost of your order is a tael of purple gold."
"Hmph!" Jiang Yi snorted coldly and refused to release his grip.
The plump shopkeeper's facial expression changed. He gave a forced, awkward laugh. "Looks like my dear customer is indeed a regular. How about… ninety taels of silver?"
It was with this offer that Jiang Yi finally nodded silently. His heart ached as he gritted his teeth and released his grip, looking on helplessly as he saw the purple gold he got his hands on just a few days ago enter another person's wallet.
However, he committed his act without any other options. Without high-quality elixirs and depending solely on his cultivation speed, he could never practice and reach the second stage of the Cast Tripod Realm within a short amount of time.
Should he ever dare to head up the Western Hills, he would have no other future than crawling back home. He arranged to face Jiang Ruhu ten days later at the Western Gate with the predetermined intention of borrowing the power of high-quality elixirs coupled with the black essence force to speedily increase his power…
After buying the Spirit Pills, he kept the remaining ten taels of silver in his pocket and hastily left. However, he walked directly towards the Pearl Gathering Pavilion, which was situated at the south side of the city plaza.
The person who greeted him was Housekeeper Liu, who he had met before. Housekeeper Liu courteously brought Jiang Yi into an elegant booth.
After instructing his maidservant to serve some aromatic tea, he gave a small smile. "Young Master, are you ready to sell more elixirs during this visit? Do you perhaps have some high-quality products?"
Jiang Yi laughed bitterly. He did actually have ten Spirit Pills on his person, but he'd just purchased them. Thankfully for him, his entire face was shrouded within his cloak and as such, Housekeeper Liu could not see his expression.
He stood up and cupped his hands. "Housekeeper Liu, I would like to meet your young mistress. I have something to ask of her!"
Housekeeper Liu's face betrayed a mixture of embarrassment and awkwardness.
"My deepest apologies, Young Master!" he said, shaking his head. "Young Mistress left for the Martial Arts Hall on the day before yesterday. If you have an urgent matter to discuss, perhaps… I can speak with the chief supervisor?"
"The Martial Arts Hall?"
Jiang Yi was startled and swore under his breath at his wretched luck. He was slightly bewildered. Did some major event happen in Skyplume City? Why were all these gentlemen and ladies of big families heading to the Martial Arts Hall to cultivate?
In truth, he did not have any particularly important reason for wanting to meet Ji Tingyu. That day, he felt that Ji Tingyu regarded him with some importance.
As such, he risked coming here, in the hopes of seeing if he could possibly find her and loan ten taels of purple gold so that he could return to the Fengyue Brothel and redeem his command token. From his point of view, being the young mistress of the Ji Family, and with the Pearl Gathering Pavilion being so successful, ten taels of gold would certainly be worth peanuts to her.
However, he did not expect her to be absent.
"No need. It's fine; I'll come back again."
Jiang Yi stood up awkwardly. With the owner not available, how could the servants dare to take charge on their own and loan him the money?
Should they seek counsel from the chief supervisor, and should he refuse to loan the money, would Jiang Yi not be embarrassed to death?
Embarrassed, Jiang Yi walked out of the Pearl Gathering Pavilion and blankly stood at the City Plaza. As he observed the unending flow of heavy traffic, his heart felt endlessly distressed.
With the Spirit Pills, he was actually not fearful of Jiang Ruhu and his cronies. The problem was in that situation that with the sealing-up of the alchemy lab, and without any more useless elixirs, how could he rapidly make lots of money?
He swept his eyes across the city plaza and was suddenly attracted by a huge, imposing grand hall to the north of the plaza. What caught his eye was that the grand hall was surrounded by throngs of people. This atmosphere was very noisy and exciting, which made him somewhat curious.
The Martial Arts Hall!
Jiang Yi knew a bit about this imposing grand hall. In fact, there was truly not a single person in the entire Stellarsky Continent who did not know of the Martial Arts Hall.
This was because a simple and unadorned black grand hall could be found in every city center would have. Additionally, the existence of the Martial Arts Hall in history had been extremely long.
It seemed as though Martial Arts Halls had existed ever since the start of the era of mankind.
The Martial Arts Hall was not an organized faction. It had no power concentrated in it; neither did it ever get involved in continent-wide conflicts.
Strictly speaking, it was the largest business establishment in all of Stellarsky! However, its target customers were highly skilled martial artists and children from rich and powerful families.
If one wished to enter the Martial Arts Hall without a level of power in the Purple Mansion Realm, he or she had to pay an entrance fee of a tael of purple gold.
Jiang Yi had heard about this place when he was very young. This Martial Arts Hall was practically a paradise for cultivation.
There was a massive spiritual concentration inside, allowing one's cultivation practice to increase and speed up by two times. There were also all sorts of good supplements that could facilitate cultivation, allowing the power of any martial artist to improve by leaps and bounds instantly.
However, for someone like him who faced difficulty in even getting food to eat, it was way beyond his means even enter the Martial Arts Hall. As such, he had never deliberately gone to find out more about it.
Seeing the exterior of the Martial Arts Hall surrounded by people, and thinking about how Jiang Henshui and Ji Tingyu had both entered the Hall to cultivate their power, Jiang Yi felt a surge of curiosity.
As such, he hastened his steps and walked towards the exterior of the Martial Arts Hall.
The main doors of the Martial Arts Hall were sealed shut. The side door was indeed open, but there were two guards clad in black armor protecting the entrance.
Jiang Yi's gaze followed the crowd and eventually fixed itself on a notice placed outside the Martial Arts Hall.
After scanning through the notice, Jiang Yi very quickly lost his interest. The Martial Arts Hall was calling for applicants for martial arts sparring partners. Frankly, the remuneration was very attractive: a bronze-token-grade sparring partner would earn a tael of silver a day, one with a silver token would earn ten taels of silver a day, and one with a gold token could even earn up to a tael of purple gold a day.
As a martial arts sparring partner, one naturally had to accompany others in their practice of martial arts and help the other party increase their actual combat experience.
In other words, other people could beat you up as they fancied. You could always launch a counter-attack, but you were not allowed to injure the other party: this was the responsibility of actively taking beatings.
Jiang Yi's power was not great. Even if he wanted to apply to be beaten up by others, he would probably be a bronze-token-grade sparring partner at best. To someone like him with the enormous debt of ten taels of purple silver, the rate of one tael of silver a day was not attractive nor useful and, naturally, he was too lazy to bother going in to waste his time.
After listening to the chatter and discussions from the throngs of people nearby, Jiang Yi did indeed have one doubt in his heart resolved, though. It was said that a few months later, a famous martial arts training college would be making a journey to Skyplume City to recruit new students.
As such, the best and brightest upper-class children in the city had all entered the Martial Arts Hall and gone into seclusion to train, in the hopes of acquiring a high ranking during the recruitment competition and enrolling themselves in the college.
With so many strong upper-class children entering the Martial Arts Hall for cultivation training, there was naturally a shortage of sparring partners…
"I'll go back home to practice cultivation!"
Jiang Yi did not even have a shred of interest in the distinguished college as it was a place far beyond his reach. As for the gossip about the upper-class children, he was not interested in that either.
Instead, he turned his body and was about to walk in the direction of the Jiang Residence Central Courtyard.
However, just as he was turning around to leave, his attention was attracted by the conversation between two young martial artists.
"A tael of purple gold a day! One tael of purple gold can allow me to book a courtesan at the Fengyue Brothel and have fun with her for ten entire days and nights! Sadly, my skills are not good enough, otherwise I would definitely go in and pass off as a good token-grade sparring partner and have some fun."
"Alright, that's enough. Although both sparring parties have their essence force sealed off from use during sparring practice, that group of young masters and young mistresses… which one of them does not have a power level at the fifth or sixth stage of the Cast Tripod Realm, or even higher?
"Even if they don't use any essence force, they can easily beat you to a pulp just by relying on their reaction speed and martial arts techniques alone. Yesterday, my cousin, whose power level is at the third stage of the Cast Tripod Realm, went to be a sparring partner for a day, but in the end, he left the place crawling.
"At this moment he is still healing his injuries at home! Those young masters and young mistresses are too ruthless in their combat actions! This money is not easy to earn at all…"
Sparring with your essence force sealed off?
With that thought, Jiang Yi realized something: if both parties could not use any essence force, and only relied on their reaction speed and martial arts skills… perhaps he could rely on his black essence force to improve his sight and allow his reaction speed to increase by several times.
Perhaps he could even get in, pass off as a gold-token-grade sparring partner and earn some money
Without essence force, even if the reaction speeds of that group of young masters and young mistresses were fast, how fast could their speed possibly be? In comparing martial arts abilities, what was there to be afraid of?
One tael of purple gold a day? I'll risk it and go for broke!
The more Jiang Yi thought about it, the more tempted he felt. Even if he could not make it, he was only going there to receive a beating from others.
Sighing deeply, he gritted his teeth and walked in the direction of the side door of the Martial Arts Hall. Cupping his hands in greeting to the two guards clad in black armor, he said, "I am here to register as a sparring partner!"