The Elder nodded and motioned at his two disciples standing to the side to bring over a cauldron.
Jing Yi curiously watched the procedure. The cauldron was about a meter in diameter with three sturdy legs, two beautifully carved handles at the side and a lid that had been engraved. Unfortunately, Jing Yi couldn’t see what they depicted from his place in the audience. He could only admire it from afar. He turned to Shao Hai and tugged at his sleeve.
Shao Hai turned to him and smiled brightly, happy that his future bright was giving him an opportunity to shine. “What is it, Xiao Yi?”
On the stage that had been set up for the guests, Qiu Ling’s expression darkened. He had already come here and shown himself but his beloved was still paying attention to another man. How could this be? Wasn’t he handsome enough? But that was impossible! Even if he wouldn’t have been in his peak state today, he would still have been much more good-looking than that brat!
Jing Yi had no idea that somebody’s mood took a turn for the worse because of his small gesture. He motioned at the cauldron and then looked back up at Shao Hai. “That thing, what is it used for?” Whether it was in the village or in the capital city, he had never seen anything like this. Although … It did look a bit like those incense burners that he had seen in one of the temples that he had visited with his mother sometimes.
Shao Hai straightened up and his expression brightened at the question. He knew this! Thankfully, he had asked their senior martial brothers a lot over the last few years. “That is one of the cauldrons the alchemists use. They’re putting some herbs in and by using their spiritual energy, a pill will come out that has magical abilities like healing wounds or making somebody stronger!”
Jing Yi’s eyes went wide and he couldn’t help but make a sound of surprise. There was actually something like this? He had never heard of alchemists before! That had to be something very magical if they were able to make pills like that. Where they also some type of cultivators? He already wanted to ask but just then, Xiao Dong pulled Shao Hai aside and took his place.
“Don’t listen to him. Sure, alchemists also use this type of cauldron but that Elder naturally isn’t going to refine any pills. This is an event for practitioners. They’re all learning sword arts, not pill refinement. The cauldron will probably be used to draw lots. That way, they’ll pair up the disciples that will be fighting against each other in the first round of the Gathering.”
Jing Yi nodded. Right. That made sense. They somehow had to determine who would fight whom.
Just then, the white-robed Elder waved at another disciple that handed him a tray with different-colored spheres lying in the depressions on top of it. The Elder nodded but turned to Grandmaster Zhangsun and bowed. “Grandmaster, this one didn’t know you would bring your disciple here. Is he going to participate in the fights too?” He could only hope so. They had chosen their best disciples for the fights but the other sects would have done the same. Winning the Gathering or at least achieving a high place would directly affect their sect’s standing. Naturally, they’d rather not take any risks and send out the best disciple they had. And with the Grandmaster teaching this person, there was no doubt that he would be the one to hold that title.
Zhangsun Xun Yi nodded without a word. He had wanted Qiu Ling to participate anyway and his disciple had asked him to allow it so naturally, he wouldn’t waste any time.
The Elder turned to Qiu Ling next and smiled. Looking at him again, he felt that he could already see the Gathering’s first place in their Yun Zou Sect’s grasp. “May I trouble you to give me a drop of your blood then?”
Qiu Ling raised his brows. A drop of his blood? Why that? Well, it shouldn’t be a problem, right? He jumped down from the stage and went over. He was even so accommodating to extend his hand and let his blood drop on the strange sphere the Elder was holding up before even being asked.
His blood dropped onto the sphere. The surface sizzled and it went up in flames.
Qiu Ling and the Elder both looked at the burning sphere, dumbstruck, then looked at each other.
Qiu Ling blinked his eyes. What had just happened? Why was the sphere burning? Was that normal? Ah, he felt that this Elder could have warned him beforehand! He hadn’t expected this. What if he would have made a strange expression and alienated his beloved? This guy wouldn’t have been able to make it up to him! Not that he would ever not be handsome …
Just when Qiu Ling wanted to speak up, an Elder from one of the other sects leaped to his feet, hardly able to contain his glee. This was just what they needed to make sure the Yun Zou Sect wouldn’t win the Gathering of Practitioners and take over their place in the ranking of the first-tier sects. They couldn’t blame anybody but themselves for trying to bite off more than they could chew.
He pointed at Qiu Ling with a trembling finger, his eyes widening in mock surprise as if he had been shocked deeply. “Demon!”
The dragon king’s brows twitched. Had somebody just called him a demon? Excuse him, but please repeat that so that he could pinpoint exactly who had been so daring. He wouldn’t want to rip the wrong person apart!