After Yan Tianhen went back, he went straight to the business street.
Myriad Dao Academy was equivalent to a city with rows of streets and the living areas, learning areas, and business areas being clearly separated. Everything one wanted to buy outside could be bought here.
Disciples could rent shops to do business, but the biggest shop was naturally run by the academy.
The name of the shop was Spiritual Herbs Pavilion. With a wave of his hand, Yan Tianhen bought all the most common spiritual seeds from level 4 to level 6. He had already seen all the spiritual herbs under level 4 in Lin Xuanzhi’s spiritual herb garden, so that collection was very complete.
The spiritual plants from Level 4 to Level 6 could be bought in the Spiritual Herbs Pavilion. If the level was higher, it would be extremely hard to find. If you wanted to buy one, you needed to join and register in the Alchemist Alliance before you could have the opportunity to buy spiritual plants, or go to a large shop for special trading sales.
However, this was the ordinary way. Yan Tianhen didn’t join the Alchemist Alliance, but he was still able to get those spiritual plants.
If he wanted something, someone would naturally help him find it, but in Myriad Dao Academy, there were very few people he could use, so he had to rely on asking others to find it. Not many seeds of each kind were bought. After buying more than 500 seeds, Yan Tianhen eagerly went to find Huarong Sword Immortal. Lin Xuanzhi was probably in a good mood and had more leisure as he and Yan Tianhen planted these spiritual plants into the soil together.
Yan Tianhen bought the seeds and consumed almost all his contribution points, so he could only find a way to make more money. After much thought, he felt that it was more reliable to do his old line of business — selling pills.
But if you wanted to sell pills, you’d have to rent a shop first and hire someone to help you keep accounts and sell them. The whole process was quite troublesome. Yan Tianhen temporarily postponed it for the time being.
Yan Tianhen had been staying on Penglai Island these days, but he and Lin Xuanzhi didn’t talk much. Lin Xuanzhi would practice his sword meditation and cultivate his understanding of the sword Dao, while Yan Tianhen would refine pills, identify herbs, and cultivate.
Although they were far away from each other and did not have many interactions, there was always an indescribable sense of closeness in Yan Tianhen’s heart. It emerged from the bottom of his heart from time to time.
He had never seen Lin Xuanzhi treat others like this, so he thought that even if this was a request entrusted by Master, he still might be a special person in Lin Xuanzhi’s heart. He was both grateful and fearful of this.
Three days later, it was time to go back to class. Yan Tianhen left Penglai Island and went to attend the classes in the academy.
As soon as he stepped through the classroom doors, he was watched by countless pairs of eyes.
Yan Tianhen, “…”
It seemed Huarong Sword Immortal was very popular.
Shortly after Yan Tianhen left, someone came to visit. This newcomer was Wan Miantang, the Dean of the East Courtyard.
Ever since Wan Miantang broke through the evil spirit array with Lin Xuanzhi, he had been running to Penglai Island every two to three days. He didn’t like practicing the sword or playing the zither.
He only liked playing chess and drinking tea.
Every time Wan Miantang came, he would pester Lin Xuanzhi to play chess.
Wan Miantang raised the corner of his mouth and sealed off his last escape route with his own hands. “When those disciples play chess with me, they’re afraid of treading on thin ice. They acted like if they won against me, I would eat them; only you would dare win against me one game after another.”
Lin Xuanzhi closed his hand. “You didn’t come here just to play chess with me, did you?”
Wan Miantang said with a smile, “Of course not. Wouldn’t it be a great insult to you if I only regarded you as a person who spends my leisure time? I have something to ask for.”
Lin Xuanzhi said, “If it’s the same matter as before, my answer is still unchanged.”
Wan Miantang replied, “Don’t be like this. It’s just an Earth Ranked evil spirit array. With your strength and mine, we’ll be able to successfully break the array.”
Lin Xuanzhi looked at Wan Miantang and said, “If you had this confidence, you wouldn’t have come to me. To survive an Earth Ranked Tier A evil spirit array, your cultivation must at least be at Earth Realm’s Grandmaster Stage. There is no one in the whole Myriad Dao Academy in that realm.”
Wan Miantang said, “If we don’t break the Earth Ranked Tier A evil spirit array, the Heaven Ranked evil spirit arrays are even less likely to open. We don’t even have a chance to peer into a corner of heaven, don’t you feel particularly regretful about that?”
Lin Xuanzhi said, “Compared to not having this kind of regret, I’d rather live a few more years instead.”
Wan Miantang was obviously disappointed. “I didn’t expect that even Huarong Sword Immortal was so afraid of death.”
Lin Xuanzhi calmly said, “Those who are not afraid of death are all dead now.”
Wan Miantang, “…”
Lin Xuanzhi frowned slightly. “Why are you so determined to keep on challenging the evil spirit arrays? If you want to court death, there are many other ways.”
“You know I’m not trying to court death.” Wan Miantang said, “Otherwise I would go in alone.”
Lin Xuanzhi shook his head. “I won’t go without full assurance.”
Wan Miantang once again scorned. “I didn’t expect that you were so afraid of death.”
Lin Xuanzhi nodded. “Yeah.”
Wan Miantang, “…”
It seemed that he couldn’t convince Lin Xuanzhi today either. In that case, he would come back tomorrow to talk about it.
Wan Miantang no longer mentioned the evil spirit array, but continued to talk as if he were a gossiper, “Before, in the evil spirit array, I felt that your relationship with the boy of the Yan family was unusual. But now it seems that your relationship really is suspicious.”
Lin Xuanzhi replied, “I am an old friend of his elders. Of course, we would have a good relationship.”
Wan Miantang smiled and said casually, “The speculation about the relationship between Yan Tianhen and you on the island these days can be said to be strange. There are all kinds of rumors, but most of them think that it is Prince Ye who intends to pull you into the secular world and that he has no good intentions for you.”
Lin Xuanzhi answered, “It seems that the schoolwork pressure of the East Courtyard is too small, and the cultivation training is too relaxed, so they have so much time to gossip.”
Wan Miantang nodded. “I think so, too. However, as the Dean, I still have to consider my own students. If you care about him, don’t talk to him. If he’s involved too much with you, he will be a target of public criticism sooner or later.”
Lin Xuanzhi was silent for a moment, then said, “If I see him again in the future, I won’t let others know.”
Wan Miantang, “…”
Wan Miantang had an impulse to hold his forehead. “Don’t you think you are too nice to him?”
Lin Xuanzhi asked, “This is considered nice?”
He could still treat him better but now was not the time.
Wan Miantang was a little speechless.
Lin Xuanzhi looked at Wan Miantang. “It doesn’t matter how the disciples in the sect talk about me; but if they bully him, I don’t want that. If I don’t know it, it’s all right. But once I find out, I won’t let go so easily.”
Wan Miantang couldn’t help but be surprised. This probably isn’t just because of a request from an old acquaintance.
Wan Miantang laughed. “How old are you? You’re going to dispute against children?”
Lin Xuanzhi slowly picked the chess pieces and put them in the basket. He said leisurely, “The age difference might not necessarily be that big. Maybe some of your disciples are older than me. If I do something to them, I can’t be regarded as bullying those younger than me.”
Wan Miantang stared at Lin Xuanzhi’s youthful face. “What’s your age?”
Lin Xuanzhi thought about it and said, “I’ve forgotten it myself.”
Wan Miantang, “…”
Wan Miantang couldn’t help but ask, “Are you really not going to join me in the Earth Ranked Tier A evil spirit array? Maybe there will be an unexpected harvest.”
Lin Xuanzhi placed the last black chess piece into the chess basket and said, “I don’t want to die, so I won’t go.”
Wan Miantang, “…okay.”
After one month, the deadline for the homework arrived.
Except for Yan Tianhen and Tong Zishu, none of the junior disciples of the whole East Courtyard finished their homework assigned by the teacher. Many of the students were dejected and depressed and even the atmosphere of the classroom was very dull.
Mr. Li checked their homework before class. He didn’t make much of an evaluation. He just recorded the completion progress of each disciple and hung it on the back wall of the classroom. During class, Mr. Li said, “In this class, we will refine pills. Now, take out your furnaces. As an alchemist, pill furnaces are equivalent to a sword cultivator’s sword, which should be carried with you at all times.”
The students took out their furnace one after another.
Only Tong Zishu said shyly, “Sir, I don’t have my own pill furnace.”
As soon as the words came out, several pairs of eyes landed on him. Even Yan Tianhen couldn’t help but look at him.
Tong Zishu got second place in the alchemy examination. He had a high level of alchemy ability, but the levels of his refined pills were not very high.
He also had his own understanding of alchemy. No matter what the four gentlemen assigned, he could finish his homework very quickly and excellently and he always gave his classmates different teaching.
Many disciples were very impressed by him.
Yan Tianhen, however, didn’t have much contact with him. After all, he ran to Lin Xuanzhi whenever he had time these days. In name, he was looking after his spiritual herbs, but in fact, he hoped to spend more time with Lin Xuanzhi.
When Tong Zishu finished, Mr. Li was slightly stunned and asked, “How? What kind of pill furnace did you use to refine pills before?”
Tong Zishu replied, “The furnace I use is rented from the academy. It costs one contribution point every day. But a few days ago, I bought a lot of spiritual plants and a storage bag. I wasn’t careful and spent the rest of my contribution points.”
At this point, Tong Zishu’s ears were a little red and he looked ashamed. “I’m sorry, I’m so poor. I even worked in the pill shop to get the travel expenses to come here, so I couldn’t afford a pill furnace all this time.”
The students were in an uproar.
As they all knew, alchemists and craftsmen burnt through money the fastest. If a family wanted to raise an alchemist, they would need plenty of money. Pill furnaces and spiritual plants alone would consume hundreds of spirit stones or even more.
So the vast majority of alchemists, even if they were not rich, were definitely not poor, especially the disciples from Myriad Dao Academy.
Needless to say, one-tenth of the disciples in the West and South Courtyards, which were full of alchemists of high status, was Divine Clan disciples, and the remaining half were aristocratic disciples. Even in the East Courtyard where alchemists weren’t very popular, most of them still came from well-off backgrounds.
Unexpectedly, it was rare to find such a poor disciple these days.
One disciple couldn’t help saying, “You are so poor. It’s not easy for your family to support you in the path of alchemy.”
Tong Zishu replied, “I’m an orphan. I’ve never been cared for by my family since I was a child, and no one has stopped me from practicing alchemy. Moreover, I don’t have a family to feed, so I can spend all my money on purchasing spiritual plants.”
The disciples were flabbergasted.
Another one asked, “How did you learn to refine pills?”
Tong Zishu said, “Once in a while, I went to the mountains to collect herbs. I met an old cultivator. He said that I had a spiritual root, so he handed me a secret book of alchemy. Since then, I began to explore by myself and slowly learned how to make pills.”
The disciples were shocked, and their eyes were full of admiration when they looked at Tong Zishu.
They all practiced alchemy with specially invited masters, and they had the full support of their families. They’d never seen anyone who was self-taught under such difficult conditions before.