OMF V2C26 Gathering Information

„Grand Elder!“ Qiu Ling barged into the Grand Elder’s palace just like he had done it with his own master’s.
The old man flinched and the tender herb in his hands ripped into two parts. The old man closed his eyes and repressed a sigh.
„Nian, who came in just now?“, he asked his head disciple who stood next to him.
Nian Hong Fang turned around and frowned when he saw the young man standing there. „I don’t know, Master. I have never seen him before.“ There weren’t many people who would dare to barge into the Grand Elder’s palace like that. And this man … he certainly would have remembered him if he had seen him at least once.
The Grand Elder turned around just in time to come face to face with a list of ingredients.
„Grand Elder, help me find out what those things are!“
The Grand Elder widened his eyes and took the list from him. „This is … the list of ingredients for the Amethyst Lightning Pill?“
„I don’t know. It has something to do with remodeling spirit veins or something like that.“ Qiu Ling definitely didn’t mind admitting to the fact that he knew nothing about these things.
The Grand Elder finally looked up and froze. That was … Grandmaster Zhangsun’s disciple? „This … What do you need this for?“
„Of course, it’s for my beloved!“
„Oh. So he accepted?“
„No, not yet.“
The Grand Elder blinked. „Ah, so it is supposed to be a present for the upcoming betrothal.“
Now it was Qiu Ling’s turn to blink. „No, it’s not.“
The two looked at each other. Neither understanding what the other was talking about.
Nian Hong Fang coughed. Hearing the word ‚betrothal‘ and adding it to the fact that he didn’t know the man in front of him he could figure out who he was. „Senior martial brother Qiu, I’m afraid we didn’t have the pleasure of meeting until now. I’m the Grand Elder’s head disciple, Nian Hong Fang.“
„Oh. Qiu Ling.“
„Might I ask Senior martial brother Qiu why you would gift something like an Amethyst Lightning Pill to someone who hasn’t agreed to marry you yet?“
Of course, Qiu Ling didn’t mind answering that question. „Because I love him.“
The Grand Elder and his Head disciple exchanged a glance but both of them didn’t know what to say. This explanation was quite simple but that made it even more unbelievable. Which cultivator or practitioner would sacrifice something this valuable just because of some fleeting feelings?
Sure, he couldn’t use the Amethyst Lightning Pill himself since he wasn’t a cultivator anyway but he had brought a list of ingredients over. Didn’t that mean he hadn’t chanced upon the pill somewhere but was instead planning to assemble the necessary ingredients and then finding a high-level alchemist to refine the pill?
Doing something like that was total folly! Even if one disregarded the danger he would have to brave to gather the materials, there was still the price he would have to pay for getting a high-leveled alchemist to do him a favor. After all, there weren’t many of them around and refining such a pill wasn’t easy even for them. Owing a favor to a high-leveled alchemist was nearly as bad as owing one to a demon.
Could he really love that junior martial brother so much that he was willing to accept all that?
Qiu Ling knew nothing of the complex thoughts that the Grand Elder and his disciple had. He just pointed at the list again. „Grand Elder, can you help me? I want to gather those things but I don’t have any idea where to find them or how they even look.“
The Grand Elder pushed away all other thoughts and waved Qiu Ling with him. „Sure, sure. But I’ll have to warn you right now: It won’t be easy to gather these materials. In fact, you might very well lose your life in this attempt.“
Qiu Ling just smiled. „Don’t worry about that.“ It might have been true for a human but if he actually died in the mortal realm, then he wasn’t fit to be the king of the dragon race.
The Grand Elder nodded and led him into the library. He took a thick book out of one of the shelves and carried it over to a table. „The herbs you need are all listed inside. Let’s see …“ He started sifting through the pages and stopped whenever he found one of the herbs from the list.
Qiu Ling stood next to him with a jade slip in his hand. He wouldn’t risk forgetting any important detail if it pertained to his beloved’s future. Thus, he recorded everything down.
Finally, the Grand Elder closed the book and turned around to Qiu Ling.
„Huh? Is that everything? Aren’t still some herbs missing?“
The Grand Elder shook his head. „No, those are all the herbs needed. The other materials aren’t herbs. You might want to ask Elder Geng about them.“
„Elder Geng?“ Qiu Ling frowned. He had never heard of that person.
„He is responsible for the spiritual beasts in our sect. Those ingredients are tied to them. Maybe you’re lucky and he even has some of them at his peak. But you shouldn’t set your expectations too high. Those ingredients are just as rare as the herbs you want to find.“ He observed Qiu Ling’s expression but didn’t find any change.
The Grand Elder was impressed by his calm demeanor. He didn’t know that Qiu Ling just had no idea of how rare these ingredients really were. But even if he knew, he probably wouldn’t care. Those things that were rare for the mortals meant nothing to the dragons. Helping his beloved was worth way more to Qiu Ling.
„Thank you, Grand Elder. Then I’ll be on my way.“ Qiu Ling hurried out of the palace.
The Grand Elder and his head disciple were both stunned. Had the Grandmaster’s disciple just come by only to ask about some herbs and then ran out like the wind?
The Grand Elder sighed and shook his head. „Ah, even a talented genius can become a fool for love. Promise me you’ll never be like that, Hong Fang.“
„Of course not, Master. Love really is only for fools.“ He couldn’t help looking in a certain direction, though. Maybe everyone was a fool once in a while.
Meanwhile, Qiu Ling had already hurried toward the beast taming peak. He grabbed a disciple that was walking by instead of barging right in. „You. Take me to your Elder. He’s supposed to be called Elder Gang or something like that.“
The disciple tried to slap his hands away but found that Qiu Ling’s grip was too tight. „You! What do you think you’re doing?!“ The disciple was a cultivator and thus, he hadn’t been at the gathering of the practitioners like many others. He had heard that the Grandmaster had taken in a disciple but he naturally couldn’t recognize Qiu Ling.
„I’m here to ask your Elder some questions. So where is he?“
„Damn, let go of me!“
Qiu Ling frowned but really let go of the disciple. It seems he doesn’t know anything. I’ll need somebody else. He looked around and indeed spotted another disciple not far from him. He hurried over and grabbed the guy by the shoulders. „Heh! Where is your —“
The disciple whirled around, grabbed his wrist with one hand and his shoulder with the other and tried to throw him over his shoulder. Qiu Ling blinked. He felt some force pulling at his body but, of course, a grown-up dragon wouldn’t just be thrown through the air by a human. He just stood there and tilted his head.
Is this some kind of test? You try to throw me, then I try to throw you and when I win you’ll show me the way? He copied the grip of the disciple and threw him over his shoulder. „Did I pass?“
He turned around to look at the disciple and was met with an incredulous gaze. „How … How did you do that?“ The guy sat up, rubbed the back of his head and winced. It seemed he’d have to go over to the medicine mountain later and ask Nian Hong Fang for help again. That seemed to become a habit.
„Did I do it wrong? Should we have a go again?“ Qiu Ling lifted his hands but the disciple waved his concerns away.
„No, no need. Actually, I’m sorry. I thought one of my Junior martial brothers wanted to tease me again. It was supposed to be payback.“
„Oh. You should try paying them back a bit harder in the future.“
The disciple nodded while those Junior martial brothers surrounding them were staring slack-jawed. They had been thrown around quite a few times by that brawny Senior martial brother of theirs but now this guy dared to say he should use even more force?! And he hadn’t even budged when he was met with that fearsome throw.
Qiu Ling ignored them and fished out his list again. „I’m here to see some Elder Gang. Where is he?“
„Oh, you mean Elder Geng. That’s my Master. He should be at the stables behind his palace.“ The brawny disciple motioned for Qiu Ling to follow him.
His master looked slightly surprised when he saw him bringing Qiu Ling along. The important Elders had all been at the gathering of practitioners so he recognized him at first glance. „Isn’t this the Grandmaster’s disciple, Qiu Ling? What brings you here?“
Qiu Ling lifted the list with a bright smile. „Please, help me find these ingredients.“
The Elder took one look at the list and lifted his brows. „The Amethyst Lightning Pill? Why would you need the ingredients for that? You’re a practitioner, aren’t you?“
„Mn. It’s for my beloved.“ Qiu Ling smiled even brighter. „So, please hurry up. I need to be fast or he’ll miss me too much.“
The Elder and his disciple were taken aback. When had anyone dared to speak to Elder Geng like that? „Uh … What kind of help would you like? It’s not like we have these materials lying around here.“
„Then tell me where I can find them. I’ll go collect them on my own.“
The Elder lifted his brows. „You do know that it will be dangerous to collect these ingredients?“
„Yes, the Grand Elder already told me.“ Qiu Ling still smiled as if it was nothing much, shutting every other advice the Elder might have given him up.
„Alright. We have a book here that contains the spiritual beasts from which you can gain these materials.“ He motioned for Qiu Ling to follow him and — just like the Grand Elder — brought him into the library. He didn’t do Qiu Ling the favor of searching for the spiritual beasts, though, and just handed him the book.
Qiu Ling didn’t mind. „Thanks, Elder. I’ll be on my way then!“ Thus, he turned on his heel and hurried out of the palace. He didn’t pause to look through the book and instead just put it into his spatial ring. There would be enough time for that later. Now, he’d go and gather the herbs first. Mn, where was the first one supposed to be? Some place called Yuanzi Huo? Well, he’d see what that was about.

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