Chapter 29: Assassination
“You finally remembered to come see me?”
Night Demon hurried to the Agarwood Pavilion upon receiving word of Su Chen’s arrival. She stared at Su Chen with wide eyes for quite some time before recognizing him.
She no longer wore the black veil on her face and didn’t try to sneak up on him anymore.
Her face was delicate, attractive, and slightly pale. She had large eyes, a sharp chin, a slightly tilted nose, and an oval face. However, in this time period, her facial structure was not actually admired much. Her face was one that was considered quite old-fashioned, but it was very much according to Su Chen’s tastes.
Ironically, when Night Demon took down her veil, Su Chen had disguised himself.
Su Chen sat in his own chair, calmly enjoying Night Demon’s beautiful appearance when angered. “Why do you have to say it like that? If you put it that way, it makes it sound like I owe you a lot of money.”
“Do you think you don’t owe us a lot of money? Don’t forget about all the materials that we supplied you with this past year,” Night Demon harrumphed, hands on her hips.
“I shouldn’t be in debt for that; those materials were my reward,” Su Chen replied.
“But you agreed before to rapidly increase your skill as an alchemist. But from the medicine you sent us previously, your rate of improvement isn’t actually that fast,” Night Demon bluntly replied.
“Whatever. You’re better off trying to deceive someone else. In the past year, I have already concocted medicine that can cure light injuries and a Tenacity Medicine. Is that really slow?”
After a period of effort, Su Chen was finally able to control the Tenacity Medicine. Passing this test indicated that he was now an official alchemist; he just hadn’t taken the official assessment yet.
This speed was genuinely pretty fast.
Night Demon harrumphed. “It’s much slower than your previous speed of improvement.”
That was also true. Su Chen had begun to practice concocting the Tenacity Medicine almost half a year ago, and he had only recently broken through that barrier. Su Chen had improved the fastest early on and his speed recently had decreased.
If it had been someone else, it may have been normal for it to have taken half a year to concoct the Tenacity Medicine. However, the Immortal Temple had confirmed that Su Chen truly did possess a natural talent towards alchemy, so they considered half a year to be slow by those standards.
This implied that, in the past half year, his attention had been focused elsewhere, resulting in a decreased speed of improvement.
Their guess was in fact correct. Because Su Chen had been focused on studying Kaihuang’s Heaven most of the time, he was forced to halve the amount of time he spent studying alchemy.
The Immortal Temple had very keenly perceived this point, so they sent Night Demon to encourage him to speed up.
Medicines and their ingredients were split into multiple tiers: common, uncommon, rare, legendary, and divine. Alchemists were ranked corresponding to the ingredients they could use: Novice, Qualified, Distinguished, Master, and Legendary. Alchemists in the same tier also had different levels of skill.
The Spirit-Sobering Medicine was a rare-tier medicine, so under normal circumstances, only a Master Alchemist could concoct it. If an alchemist specifically focused on concocting that medicine alone, a highly skilled Qualified Alchemist might be able to concoct it.
The Corpse Spirit Flower was a legendary ingredient. Using a legendary ingredient to concoct a rare medicine was somewhat wasteful. Thus, it was understandable why Master Feng had been so against the idea.
Su Chen used a year to become an official alchemist. His speed was not slow, but he was still at least one tier and a half away from becoming a highly skilled Qualified Alchemist.
This tier and a half couldn’t be bridged within two years. It would require a lot of studying to improve himself. It was impossible to do without sufficient time, which explains the Immortal Temple’s urgency.
Su Chen sipped his tea and then calmly said, “I ran into an issue lately, which has interfered with my studies for a bit. That’s the main reason I’m here. After we take care of this issue, I should have more time to study alchemy.”
Night Demon harrumphed. “I knew this would happen, but Su Chen, don’t try this nonsense again. These are separate matters. No matter how anxious we are, we won’t do something for you for free.”
“Hm? When did you become smart?” Su Chen pretended to be shocked.
“Of course!” Night Demon proudly jutted out her chin. However, her next sentence exposed herself. “Sir Sang knew that if you came to find me, it wouldn’t be with anything good. More than likely, you would have some issue that you needed our help resolving. Thankfully, he informed me of this beforehand.”
Su Chen was speechless.
Perhaps because she knew she had said too much, Night Demon stuck out her tongue cutely. Then, she asked, “Hey, so what do you need our help with? If it’s not a big issue, I can help you.”
Su Chen felt much more relaxed when Night Demon sounded genuinely interested. He laughed, “It’s not a big deal. There’s just a few unassuming brats bothering me.”
“How powerful are they?”
“They’re the same as me, in the lower layers of Qi Drawing.”
“You can’t deal with them on your own?”
“There are lots of them. A few days ago, they even ganged up on my friend six-on-one. Thankfully, my friend was able to escape, killing two and gravely injuring one in the process. I’m guessing that because of this setback, they will send even more powerful individuals to help out. I don’t want to fall victim to this scheme of theirs. If possible, I would prefer to strengthen their experience of failure so that I can teach them a few more lessons.”
“I can find two Qi Drawing cultivators at high layers to help you out.”
“That’s not enough.” Su Chen shook his head. “I need at least three high-layer Qi Drawing cultivators and two Blood Boiling cultivators.”
Night Demon was stunned. “Aren’t you overestimating them a bit?”
“They are members of Bloodline Nobility Clans and they are the elites of the Hidden Dragon Institute. Regular Qi Drawing cultivators are no match for them, unless the Immortal Temple believes that their elites are stronger than those of the Hidden Dragon Institute. Otherwise, it’d be best to suppress them by rank.”
Night Demon couldn’t say anything.
The Hidden Dragon Institute had gathered the entire country’s best cultivators. Of all the Qi Drawing Realm cultivators, the strongest definitely attended the Hidden Dragon Institute. Even the first-year students couldn’t be underestimated.
Night Demon gently whispered a few sentences into her communication bracelet, then reported, “Ten times their base value. Everything on the targets’ bodies belong to the people who attacked them.”
The price this time was much higher than the previous job regarding the Shadow Mountain Troops, but it was still reasonable.
Su Chen nodded his head. “That’s fine, but I want them captured alive.”
Night Demon whispered a few more sentences, then replied, “Fifteen times the base value.”
Capturing people was much harder than killing them, which was why the price had increased.
Su Chen nodded his head. “Of course.”
As long as he achieved his goal, money was of no importance.
After concluding their negotiations, Su Chen and Night Demon chatted for quite some time. Finally, Night Demon was preparing to say goodbye.
Su Chen asked, “Right, where do you live?”
“In the outskirts of the southern region.”
“It happens to be in the same direction I’m going in. Let’s go together.”
“Okay,” Night Demon replied with a smile.
After leaving the Agarwood Pavilion, the two of them headed towards the outskirts of the city, laughing as the walked.
After leaving the city, the two of them walked for awhile before reaching a fork in the road. Su Chen said, “Alright, we’ll be separating from here on out. I’ll see you later.”
“See you later.”
After saying goodbye, Su Chen left Night Demon and began heading towards the Hidden Dragon Institute. He hadn’t been walking for long, however, when the shrill screech of metal on metal suddenly reached his ears.
The sound was very quiet. If Su Chen hadn’t been blind for three years and possessed a frighteningly sensitive hearing, he might not have heard it.
The noise seemed to be coming from the direction that Night Demon was headed.
“Not good!” Su Chen’s expression changed. He ran like the wind back in the direction he had come from, using the Snaking Mist Steps to its absolute limit.
By the time he got there, a black-clothed person with a veil over their face had already sent Night Demon flying with a palm strike.
Night Demon was tossed into the air as she spit out a mouthful of blood. The black-clothed person flew into the air, their short sword stabbing towards Night Demon. This strike was both fast and vicious.
A few leaves shot towards the black-clothed person, whistling through the air. Su Chen had used the Flying Flower Hands to timely block that attack.
The black-clothed person was forced to divert their blade, stabbing out three times to pierce all three leaves. Their attacks were extremely accurate.
A moment later, an enlarged Erupting Firebird soared forth.
Su Chen used the fully strengthened Erupting Firebird in order to protect Night Demon.
The strengthened Erupting Firebird was about to swallow up the black-clothed person, when in that instant the black-clothed person’s figure suddenly flashed. The attacker dissolved into a strange light, as if they had disappeared within the moonlight. Their entire body had seemingly become ethereal.
The enlarged Erupting Firebird flew right through the black-clothed person’s body and then disappeared.
Su Chen was stunned by this turn of events. In any case, his interference had saved Night Demon from danger. As soon as she landed on the ground, she retreated to Su Chen’s side.
The two of them teamed up to face the black-clothed person.
The black-clothed person knew that they had missed their opportunity. While Su Chen stood side by side with Night Demon, the attacker stared deeply into Su Chen’s eyes.
Under the moonlight, their gaze was clearly one of rage.
The black-clothed person’s figure flashed and disappeared. Their speed was incredibly quick, not at all below Su Chen’s.
After scaring the black-clothed person away, Su Chen let out a sigh of relief.
He turned around and glanced at Night Demon as he asked, “What was that all about?”
Night Demon was still unsettled. “I don’t know. Not long after we separated, that person suddenly appeared to attack me.”
“You don’t know?” Upon hearing this, Su Chen laughed.
Night Demon couldn’t understand why Su Chen was laughing. “Why are you laughing?”
Su Chen replied, “As an assassin, you were the target of an assassination attempt…… Makes for quite an interesting development.”
Night Demon’s face darkened.