Chapter 25: Counterattack
The clan had reacted so quickly this time, and it was such a huge reaction too. There surely must have been someone adding fuel to the fire from the side.
Outside of the Sealing Dragon Abyss, other than those from the Eastern Tang Kingdom, the only Broad Creed Mountain martial practitioners they had come into contact with were those from Overlooking Abyss City, as well as those from the Spirit Wind Canyon.
Between Xu Chuan and Wen Ningzhi, the latter was obviously more suspicious.
Over the past few days, Yan Zhaoge had also sent Ah Hu to do a check on Wen Ningzhi. The relationship between him and the former elder of the Assignment Hall, Elder Cui, was naturally revealed.
Yan Xu glanced at Yan Zhaoge indifferently, “Wen Ningzhi reported it to me, and I reported it to the clan in turn. As the Principal Elder of the land of the Eastern Tang, as well as the superior of the Acting Elder of the Spirit Wind Canyon, with this kind of thing happening in the territory of the Eastern Tang Kingdom, I naturally reported it to the clan; do you have a problem with that?”
Yan Zhaoge laughed, “Oh, the problem’s not big; it’s just that I suspect Wen Ningzhi of having betrayed the clan, and colluded with some outside enemies.”
“Therefore, for this time’s incident, I couldn’t help but relate it to him; perhaps him telling on me to the clan might not only have merely been because of the clan’s internal problems.”
“After all, Elder Yan Xu, as you also know, in the Sealing Dragon Abyss, I just beat up the disciple of some particular clan and left him half-dead.”
Yan Xu’s gaze abruptly turned cold, as he glared at Yan Zhaoge, “Yan Zhaoge, watch what you’re saying!”
Yan Zhaoge said calmly, “I have been watching it. That’s why I only used the word suspect; it’s just suspicion.”
The Disciplinary Elder looked first at Yan Zhaoge, then at Yan Xu.
Sighing, he first said to Sikong Qing, “Junior apprentice-niece, you may take your leave.”
Sikong Qing looked silently at Yan Zhaoge, before leaving as asked.
The Disciplinary Elder waited for her to leave before asking, “Junior apprentice-nephew, what do you mean, exactly?”
Yan Zhaoge took out an object. As his held out his palm, the gazes of the other people in the Great Hall looked towards it. What they saw was a pale yellow crystal with veins painting its exterior, their shape somewhat resembling white clouds.
Upon seeing the crystal, the eyebrows of the Acting Elder of Overlooking Abyss City, Xu Chuan, twitched involuntarily as he exclaimed, “Cloud-Veined Crystal!’
Yan Xu took a look at it, then asked, “Cloud-Veined Crystal; what have you taken this thing out for?”
Yan Zhaoge laughed, but did not speak. He took out a stalk of spirit grass, saying to Xu Chuan by the side, “I’ll be bothering Elder Xu to boil this Enchanting Spirit Grass into medicinal fluid.”
Elder Xu’s gaze flickered. The spirit grass before him was known as the Enchanting Spirit Grass. After being burned to ashes, it had the ability to guide the medicinal properties characteristic of other precious medicines along to their intended destination; when boiled till it turned into a fluid, while it was not poisonous, it was also not beneficial to the body, not serving any purpose whatsoever. What Yan Zhaoge was suggesting now would be a total waste of some perfectly good material.
Still, he did not disagree, immediately doing as Yan Zhaoge had said.
Yan Xu stared coldly at Yan Zhaoge. The Disciplinary Elder and the King of the Eastern Tang Kingdom did not speak; both only choosing to watch on silently by the sidelines.
The medicinal fluid was ready in a flash. Yan Zhaoge smiled lightly as he held out the Cloud-Veined Crystal, beginning to infuse it with his aura qi.
The Disciplinary Elder frowned, “Junior apprentice-nephew Yan, the Cloud-Veined Crystal cannot be directly infused with a martial practitioner’s aura qi; otherwise, it will shatter and explode!”
Yan Zhaoge laughed, “Be at ease, Elder. This I know; it’s also the reason why other than being used to keep the mind active and the spirit calm, the Cloud-Veined Crystal is sometimes also used as a weapon. Still, even when it shatters and explodes, its power is still very limited.”
“But at this point in time, the Cloud-Veined Crystal within my hand, cannot explode.”
As he said this, Yan Zhaoge dipped the lower half of the Cloud-Veined Crystal in the medicinal fluid of the Enchanting Spirit Grass, its upper half still grasped firmly within his palm.
And his aura qi, was still flowing into it in a steady, uninterrupted stream.
Contrary to their expectations, the Cloud-Veined Crystal did not shatter apart, remaining stable throughout.
Xu Chuan stared closely at Yan Zhaoge’s palm. He did not believe that the latter had done so much simply to prove this kind of insignificant phenomenon.
The next moment, his eyes abruptly widened.
The King of the Eastern Tang Kingdom, originally reclining on the back of his chair, sat back up straight again.
The Disciplinary Elder and Yan Xu, observing Yan Zhaoge’s, gaze, were also momentarily stunned.
Right in front of their eyes, the Cloud-Veined Crystal in Yan Zhaoge’s hand, its exterior covered in cloudlike veins, suddenly became softer, a milky-white substance flowing out from within, interacting with the medicinal fluid of the Enchanting Spirit Grass as it eventually came to form a new mixture, that looked as though there was a layer of milk floating on its surface.
The resulting fragrance instantly overwhelmed the pungent smell of medicine as it spread to pervade the entire Great Hall.
Everyone who was present here possessed a great wealth of knowledge; even a single whiff would let them roughly understand what that milky-white substance was.
That was not a drink; nor was it a medicine. Rather, it was a precious treasure known as Jade Essence.
The uses of this expensive treasure were many; whether it was added in during the forging of artifacts or the refining of medicine, the success rate would be greatly increased, at the same time improving the quality of the final product, and reducing the original amount of materials required.
In the Eight Extremities World, the amount of Jade Essence produced was extremely limited. It was only produced in a few places within the Wind Domain as well as the Mountain Domain, but with the demand for it so shockingly great, it was almost never satisfied each year; sometimes, none would be available for sale regardless of price.
Whether it was Broad Creed Mountain or the Eastern Tang Kingdom, they had to spend a large amount of resources or money each year, just to purchase some of this Jade Essence.
Even so, it was still difficult to really get ahold of the amount of Jade Essence they desired. They had to plan and use it sparingly, not daring to be too open with it.
But looking at Yan Zhaoge’s performance now, within this tiny little Cloud-Veined Crystal was actually a bit of Jade Essence, and the method of extraction was extremely simple as well.
Whether it was the Cloud-Veined Crystal or the Enchanting Spirit Grass, their prices were much lower when compared to that of Jade Essence, and their production rate was much higher as well.
How much Jade Essence did this entail?
There was more than enough of it for them to use; even putting it up for sale would definitely not be a problem!
The three Martial Grandmasters all could not sit still. They all rose from their seats, instantly going in front of Yan Zhaoge, extending their fingers to touch a little of that whitish substance.
Very quickly, they all confirmed beyond the shadow of a doubt-this was indeed that very Jade Essence.
This having happened right before their very eyes, it could not have been produced through Yan Zhaoge’s trickery or sleight of hand. This was truly Jade Essence birthed from the stalk of Enchanting Spirit Grass’s interaction with the Cloud-Veined Crystal.
The Disciplinary Elder took in a deep breath, then, suppressing his agitated feelings, exclaimed, “Junior apprentice-nephew Yan, you have performed a huge merit!”
“It’s definitely no worse than your Internal Crystal Furnace having achieved its current state; in fact, it might even be better!”
Elder Xu’s cold face had also turned much more peaceful than before; but immediately after, his expression changed.
In the next instant, Yan Zhaoge’s slow, leisurely voice drifted into his ears, “Elder overpraises me, it was only through an accidental discovery that I now know this hidden secret.”
“Still, according to my knowledge, the Spirit Wind Canyon produced a large quantity of Cloud-Veined Crystal this year, and the bulk of it seems to have been sold to the Fire Domain where the Sacred Sun Clan is located.”
Yan Xu’s expression turned dark, “This is the first time I’ve come to know of such a method. I’ve never heard of it before; it seems to have never been spread within the Eight Extremities World previously.”
“Since we have come to know of this, we will naturally have to restrict the outflow of Cloud-Veined Crystals in the future. However, about Wen Ningzhi’s previous selling of the crystals; while it is regrettable, the ignorant are not guilty. We should not blame him as a result.”
“O–” Yan Zhaoge dragged out a long cry.
“How can Elder Yan be so sure that he was, really, only ignorant?”
Yan Xu opened his mouth, wanting to say something, but stopped as he discovered that within the depths of Yan Zhaoge’s slightly playful gaze obviously resided a hint of sharp coldness.
“Was it just that he failed to be aware of the matter, or that he deliberately hid the information rather than reporting it back to our clan, instead making some hidden dealings in the dark and colluding with the Sacred Sun Clan?”
Yan Zhaoge exercised his neck a little, revealing a mouth full of white teeth as he smiled, “This I can’t say for sure, but since Disciplinary Elder has come to Eastern Tang, and Uncle as well as you, Elder Yan, all just happen to be here today as well, meh, why not just check it out a little.”