“You vulgar peasant! Bastard!”
Luo Bin struggled to crawl to an upright position from the floor, his baleful eyes practically emitting toxic hatred. He spat, “You wait. The high officials department will never forget! The legendary potions department will never forgive you! You just wait!”
As Luo Bin turned around to leave, the spectating group of refiners slowly trickled off as well.
“Ah Yu! You’re in big trouble!” Chu Yao said. “We’re new here in God City, how could you make someone like Luo Bin your enemy? His father is the head of the government officials, he’s in full control of the various imperial courts. Now that we’ve offended him, how are you planning on staying here in God City any longer?”
Lin Mu Yu looked a little guilty, rubbing his nose. “Look, I just can’t stand his overbearing, arrogant attitude. Much less his inappropriate way of looking at you!”
Chu Yao, upon hearing the last phrase, felt her heart flutter. It felt as if there was a little deer running amok in her mind. She couldn’t help but bite back a giggle, her laughter as gentle and melodious as a springtime pond. “Okay, okay, I know this is for my sake. But really, you should return to the Temple, don’t stay here anymore. At least the people in the Temple can protect you, go on...”
“Chu Yao jie, are you really fine?” Lin Mu Yu asked. He was worried that Luo Bin would take advantage of his absence to get to Chu Yao.
Chu Yao laughed and shook her head. “Relax, I’m only a weak little girl. Besides, I’m also the legendary potions department’s silver needle refinery master. Someone whose name’s already on the register, they won’t even think about messing with me. Then again, the last time the imperial guard commander Feng Ji Xing and older brother came to see me, the deacon met with them, so I think Luo Bin will at least be respectful to me on behalf of Feng Ji Xing.
“Oh, that’s good! You should hurry and take some of those Peak of Dreams. Find somewhere safe to sleep for three days, you will definitely have a lot of improvement. I’m also going back to train now!”
“Okay, go ahead.”
Gazing at Lin Mu Yu’s youthful and sculpted back, this youth that has ascended along with training, his entire being surrounded by confidence and a charismatic aura… it was no surprise that someone like youthful Chu Yao would be moved, and much less taking into consideration their history together, feelings were inevitably bound to develop.
Chu Yao gently sighed, and silently turned matters over in her mind. And yet, what came to the forefront of her thoughts was the relationship of Tang Xiao Xi and Lin Mu Yu. Tang Xiao Xi entering the Temple to protect Lin Mu Yu was already common knowledge. Everyone knew that the Temple Deacon Lei Hong and the Azure Water Duke Tang Lan were best friends. Some people even speculated that Lei Hong was the subordinate of the Azure Water Duke, and so if there were something between Tang Xiao Xi and Lin Mu Yu, Lei Hong would naturally protect Lin Mu Yu.
Ah, never mind. Chu Yao decided to continue working.
Lin Mu Yu hurriedly returned to the Temple, and for once, instead of holing himself up in the secret chamber, he went to the Temple’s Main Hall. He was stopped by two guards holding up military blades. “Trainer, what business do you have here?”
“I’m here to visit Grandpa Lei Hong.”
“I will announce your presence first.”
Not long after, Lei Hong appeared, strolling leisurely out of the hall with sleep-leaden eyes. He chuckled. “What’s up, boy?”
“I want to train by way of deep-sleeping for three days. I hope Grandpa Lei Hong can send guards to protect my secret chamber… I’m afraid that there’ll be enemies coming to seek revenge otherwise.”
“Oh?” Lei Hong screwed up his eyes. “Didn’t you just take the focus powder? The focus powder’s medicinal properties I’m aware of. How can you even think about sleep?”
“Don’t worry about me, I can fall asleep no problem!” Looked like Qu Chu hadn’t mentioned the Peak of Dreams to Lei Hong yet. Not a problem.
Lei Hong nodded. “Alright then, let me ask Deacon Ge Yang guard you while you train. Relax, no one in the Temple will wish to do you harm.”
“Thank you Grandpa Lei Hong!”
As soon as he returned to the secret chamber, he relaxed, taking out one bottle of Peak of Dreams. He opened the lid and gave it a few furtive whiffs. The smell of rainbow lotus… with traces of sweetness. He threw his head back and swallowed the contents of the vial. Within moments, he felt his head growing leaden and a sudden lethargy overcoming him. The Peak of Dreams was indeed a miraculous drug with miraculous medicinal properties! It was even stronger than the focus powder to be able to force sleep upon him.
It felt like forever. It was not a peaceful sleep. In his unconscious state, he felt like he was experiencing surge after surge of catastrophic calamity. His body ached with a burning pain, and it felt like his bones were being subsumed by flames. The heat enveloping his body, every inch of his skin, every nook and cranny of his insides… and then, a flash of golden light shooting across his gaze. Lin Mu Yu saw several five-clawed dragons with golden scales dancing wildly in mid-air. One of the bearded heads turned, pegging him with a pair of ice cold pupils, as if it were the ruler of a great land.
He jerked awake from the dream. It was early morning, and the trumpet signifying breakfast time came through from outside the door.
Lin Mu Yu clenched his fist and took a deep breath, feeling his inner power swirling within him. Even without a measurement apparatus, he knew that his inner power had improved a great deal. He waved his fist and felt his true energy denser than before. The corner of his lips curled up into a smile, emitting a faintly pulsating strength. It immediately turned into a light purple raging flame. This is true dragon fire!
This kind of firepower was a massive destructive force. It shouldn’t be used whenever he felt like it. Lin Mu Yu suspected that this true dragon fire had so great an extinguishing power that he could easily defeat his opponents of the same level, maybe even kill them!
When he stepped outside the doors of the secret chamber, Ge Yang was in the process of doing his morning breath routine. This was Ge Yang’s way of training, inhaling and exhaling the clear morning air. This only came by once a day, Ge Yang would never miss it.
Ge Yang opened one eyes and peeked at Lin Mu Yu. He chuckled. “Lin Zhi, your aura’s gotten stronger! I’m not going to accompany you anymore, go have some breakfast before the morning meeting!”
“Thank you Your Honor Ge Yang for the protection!” Lin Mu Yu cupped his fist to his hand and bowed down respectfully in gratitude.
Ge Yang laughed gently, but did not respond. The fact of the matter was that this boy’s training was completely unconventional and uncommon, but that fact that he could maintain humble, cautious, and completely unarrogant made him special among youthful refiners. It was not uncommon to have many youthful refiners who banked on their high background and abused their powers for their own benefit. Zhao Jin and Ou Yang Qiu possessed dubious morality and were far too wild. Lin Mu Yu began as a mere training instructor, and seemed to possess a mindframe that triumphed over theirs.
All rivers run into the same sea, after all. Different means may achieve the same purpose, but whoever has a generous and large heart inevitably end up refining to a higher level.
“Your Honor Lin Zhi!” An obeisance of servants called out to him from afar, merrily greeting him. “Deacon Lei Hong is inviting you to go to the Holy Hall!”
“Oh, all right!”
Lin Mu Yu forwent breakfast and hurried instead to the Holy Hall. From a distance, Lei Hong sat on the Deacon’s throne, greeting with the boy with a smile. “Lin Zhi, you’re here. Go, take a look on the measuring apparatus to see how much you’ve improved?”
He leapt into the middle of the resplendently transparent disk, emitting a low shout to unleash his true energy. The energy poured into the device below him, and a spirit stone beside it began shaking at an alarming speed, jittering and emitting column after column of spiritual light beams. There were five long beams and seven short ones.
“Level 57 Battle Saint, not bad, not bad.” Lei Hong stroked his beard, looking extremely pleased with him. “Good. You may go now. The morning training is about to begin soon. Has your body recovered?”
“Completely recovered. Thank you Grandpa Lei Hong!”
After he finished eating, he came just in time for the morning attendance check. He hurried towards the refinery training hall. A group of trainers greeted him with cheerful expressions. “Your Honor Lin Zhi has come! Wonderful!”
After having reconstructed blood vessels using the refined remnants of dragonbone, Lin Mu Yu had a different aura to him. There was a deadliness about him even if his countenance was friendly. The group of instructors felt a swell of respect for him.
“Lin Zhi, you’re free from quarantine now?” A younger copper-star refining master joked.
Lin Mu Yu knew him, but didn’t know his real name. Everyone called him Little Beansprout. His energy was not bad, but it felt like there was something off today. His face was splashed with greenish bruises, his nose was crooked… as if the bridge of his nose had been broken by someone. Lin Mu Yu’s eyebrows knitted together before he knew it. “Little Beansprout, what happened to your nose?”
“Ah, nothing…” Little Beansprout turned his face away.
Qin Zi Ling, who had been standing to one side, frowned. “Lin Zhi, Little Beansprout was sparring with silver-star instructor Deng Zi Lin yesterday. This was because of Deng Zi Lin! No sign of mercy, that guy.”
Little Beansprout winced and clenched his teeth. “Zi Ling! Shut up!”
Just at this moment, a robust silver-star instructor sauntered over clad in a metal armor, wearing a lofty smirk on his face. Speak of the devil. It was Deng Zi Ling. After a cursory glance around the room, he said, “Deacon Your Honor, I would like to spar with Little Beansprout today. He’s my best sandbag.”
The deacon on duty for that day was unsympathetic. “As you wish.”
Little Beansprout began shuddering. He lowered his head.
This was the fate of trainers within the Temple. Debasing life.
Because most of the trainer were common people, they would do anything for a handful of golden yin coins, even going so far as staking their lives and taking a beating. Lin Mu Yu's background came from a good family-- the young master of the Dragon Heat Conglomerate-- but he had an irrational soft spot for people like Little Beansprout. As Confucius said in the Three Character Classic, people were virtuous at birth. For Lin Mu Yu, this was almost an instinct.
With a wave of his arm, Lin Mu Yu chuckled. “Your Honor Deng Zi Lin is a silver-star instructor… it would rather be a waste of his talent sparring with a copper-star trainer, would it not? How about if today, I train with you?”
Deng Zi Lin glared at Lin Mu Yu. “Lin Zhi, you’re going out of the way to help someone out? Ha, don’t think just because the High Deacon is on your side, you can do whatever you like!”
Lin Mu Yu raised an eyebrow. “What, scared?”
“Why would I be?!”
His furious expression hardened and he looked at the deacon on duty. “Who’s scared of who? Deacon, please arrange for me and Lin Zhi to spar.”
Zeng Fang Xin nodded his head. “As you wish.”
After a few minutes inside the training chamber, Deng Zi Lin peeled off his armor, revealing a robust body rippling with sculpted muscles. With a shout, he summoned his fierce tiger spirit energy. “Come at me Lin Zhi! Let this master see if you’re truly powerful!”
Without waiting for a response, he flew over as fast as lightning to aim a punch at Lin Mu Yu’s chest.
Lin Mu Yu stood passively, without even recalling his fighting spirit. He raised an arm brazenly to block the attack-- using only Refining Skin + Tempering Bone’s bare bodily strength to defend himself!
Having been hit directly, Lin Mu Yu remained as still as a statue. And yet, Deng Zi Lin was the one forcefully thrown several steps backwards. Deng Zi Lin’s face was drained of color… he knew that Lin Mu Yu was strong, but… not this strong. He could actually defend himself against his attack without even calling his special fighting spirit!
Deng Zi Lin’s pride, as well as his authority, went down the drain after this one attack. He could only internally cry out in pain.
TL: Ever since we took over chapters from UnchainedTranslations, because of a moment of foolish inspiration, we’ve been using “qi” instead of “energy”. For consistency because there are several types of qi/energy (force energy, true energy, basic energy) from now on we’re going to call it “energy” instead of “qi”. We’ll go back to the older chapters to change qi -> energy one of these days :p
Translated by: korezmi
Edited by: patrick_the_father_of_dragons