Dao: Journey to the Top of the Universe
Chapter 23: Conflicts
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Dao: Journey to the Top of the Universe
Author :Shi Tang Bao Zi 食堂包子
© Wuxiaworld

Chapter 23: Conflicts

Translator: Flying Lines
This day, Shiao Chen slowly opened his eyes and faint luminescence flashed across his face. He seemed to be more composed with a sense of detachment in his eyes.

"Marginal benefits of medicinal pills decline as the level increases. I'm now at the 10th level of Qi Refining, which seems to be the cap for the pill benefits to play. It's of little use taking more. And next, I need to get prepared for Foundation Establishment." A sense of excitement arose on Shiao Chen's face. Who would ever imagine that the boy without spiritual root could reach the 10th level of Qi Refining in about just half a year!

"Foundation Establishment Pill." The thought followed.

About nearly half a day, Shiao Chen left the herbal garden again and headed to Elixir Valley. Though he was a master in alchemy, he could not make a pill out of nothing. What was more, to his disappointment, there happened to be no Foundation Establishment Pills in the storage bags he plundered. Thus, he was out for a Foundation Establishment Pill or at least he needed to know its efficacy composition. Elixir Valley was a vital place in Luoyun Valley, for it was the only place for pill production. Though Alchemy Taoist was just at the late-stage of Foundation Establishment, he was respected and befriended by others, including the Chief Master who was at the middle-stage of Gold Core. Alchemy Taoist was not keen on taking disciples and until now had only five disciples including Shiao Chen, a nominal one. However, lay disciples recruited to take care of herbs and manage gardens amounted to about a hundred.

Now, Alchemy Taoist was trying to break through to the next stage, Gold Core, which inevitably greatly improved the status of Elixir Valley.

Wang Erma was supervising about a hundred of his subordinates who were busy drying harvested herbs stored in the warehouse. Occasionally, rebukes from Wang Erma were heard, which made him awe-inspiring.

"Be quick! Move, move, move! Get the remaining herbs out and dry them in appropriate places."

"Be careful. These are materials for Spirits-recovering Pills. You certainly can't afford the reimbursement once damaged."

"Are you blind? Those are Cryptostylis, which are different from these. And if exposed to the sun, they will lose their medicinal value. Get these back as soon as you can."

After issuing orders for a while, Wang Erma found his mouth went dry. He turned around, sat beside the stone table, poured himself a cup of water, and drank it. Seeing his subordinates busy executing his orders, he got a little bit complacent. If it were not for his wisdom to attach himself to Senior Brother Duan, there was no way for him to get the position as a leader.

Shiao Chen walked slowly into Elixir Valley. As a nominal disciple of Alchemy Taoist, he was allowed to get in and out of the valley at any time. Seeing the busy scene in front of him, a faint smile arose on his face. He was once one of them.

Identifying an acquaintance passing by, Shiao Chen smiled and said, "How come our supervisor drying herbs himself. I remember you've said that you need to remain dignified as a leader. So how come the transformation occurs suddenly."

Wang Bin was happy and a little surprised to see Shiao Chen. Having heard Shiao Chen's words, he was a little embarrassed. He managed a smile and said, "It is you, Brother Shiao Chen. I haven't seen you for more than half a year. Things have changed for long. I'm no longer the leader. The Elder puts Senior Brother Duan in charge before his closed-door training. And Brother Duan didn’t think I did well."

Though Wang Bin pretended that it was no big deal, Shiao Chen still could see something from his eyes.

"Is it because of me?" Shiao Chen asked with a deep voice and sullen face.

"Em…, Brother Duan once spoke ill of you and I couldn't help retorting him with a few words. He was irritated and replaced me with a sycophant." Speaking of this, he got a little bit indignant.

His words put Shiao Chen in an even worse mood. However, before he could say anything, there came a sharp reprimand.

"Wang Bin, do not talk to irrelevant people when you are doing your job. Or I may assume you're not interested in taking your job any more. All right, if you mean it, pack your things up, get your ass out of here and be a lay disciple. Despite difficulties, there are plenty of disciples fighting their way for a place in our Elixir Valley."

Speaking in an arrogant tone, Wang Erma apparently recognized Shiao Chen. He knew that Shiao Chen was a nominal disciple of Alchemy Taoist and was much more superior to him. However, as the saying goes, one who wants to beat a dog needs to know who its master is. He was sure that Shiao Chen wouldn’t be at odds with Senior Brother Duan. Shiao Chen, in his mind, was just a boy happened to have good fortune and was easy to be dealt with.

Hearing the reprimand, Wang Bin's face got pale. If he was driven out of the valley, his life ahead would be doomed.

Shiao Chen's face became sullen. He suddenly turned around and said lightly, "Irrelevant people? Open your damned snobbish eyes and take a good look. I'm the nominal disciple of the master and who the hell do you think you are. How dare you bark in front of me."

Though without releasing his power, as Shiao Chen was now an overmatch at the 10th level of Qi Refining, invisible tension was posed. Wang Erma nearly knelt down with his heart missing a beat.

"Aha, I wonder it is who that dare to stir up troubles in our Elixir Valley, and it turns out to be you, Brother Shiao. Though your cultivation stage remains the same at the first level of Qi Refining after half a year, your temper gets worse." A voice with scorn came to Shiao Chen's ears. He turned around and found Duan Huaming and Ji Yuewu were coming near from the inner yard.

Shiao Chen took a glimpse of Duan Huaming, who reached the 8th level of Qi Refining in just a bit time over half a year. Not bad talent. However, they were still a world apart compared to what Shiao Chen got.

Then he glanced at Ji Yuewu, amazement flashing by his eyes. The 7th level of Qi Refining! He himself only managed to reach the 10th level with the help of the gold seal and endless pills. However, she was able to do this solely based on her talent without external support. She certainly got an excellent spiritual root! Shiao Chen was startled but remained poker-faced. And then he greeted smilingly, "Sister Ji, I haven't seen you for a while. How have you been?"

Glancing at Shiao Chen, Ji Yuewu was surprised to find that he was composed, neither cringing nor arrogant. Though not talented at all, he seemed to be a mystery, shrewd and scheming. His once rash act of walking right into her suddenly occurred to her. A faint blush came into her cheeks, but she controlled the emotion quickly and answered insipidly, "I'm fine. Thanks for your concern."

Duan Huaming was irritated by Shiao Chen's disregard and gnashed his teeth in anger after seeing the blush flashing across Ji Yuewu's face. In the past six months, Ji Yuewu's progress astonished the whole Sect. The Chief Master met her in person and named her as a core disciple. Besides, she had an extremely pretty face, and then was naturally recognized by four branches as the "Top One Beauty in Luoyun Valley". She also enjoyed a reputation as a fairy on earth. Duan Huaming had been trying to get her attention but failed all the time. Now a burst of resentment came out of his heart for Ji Yuewu acted like a little girl in front of Shiao Chen.

"Wang Erma, what's the matter? How can you ever irritate Brother Shiao Chen?"
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