The Gate Of Good Fortune

This young man dressed in elegant attire, and no matter how you looked at him, he didn’t seem like a powerful individual. However, Ning Cheng understood this young man wa

This young man dressed in elegant attire, and no matter how you looked at him, he didn’t seem like a powerful individual. However, Ning Cheng understood this young man was an absolute monster; at the very least, this fellow was stronger than anyone he had ever seen.

The elegantly dressed youth stood on the altar and performed an alchemist’s salute to everyone seated on the Alchemy Square. Then, with a warm smile, he spoke, “I thank the top alchemists from the Five Grand Realms for coming here to participate in this Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition. I am Mu Zuoxiao, the head of Grand Change Realm’s Pill Union and the initiator of this Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition……” 

Mu Zuoxiao’s words triggered waves of cheers. Youthful and handsome, with a high cultivation level and a premier alchemy genius. What’s more, he was also the head of the Pill Union, whose prestige exceeded even that of the three major Dao Courts of the Grand Change Realm, making him a shining star in the entire Grand Change Realm without a doubt.

Such a show was almost guaranteed whenever Mu Zuoxiao appeared in public and would invariantly stir up numerous cheers. Perhaps it wasn’t just blind idol worship; Mu Zuoxiao’s achievements were enough to convince anyone of his fame. Thus, these cheers represented recognition, as well as the collective pursuit and aspiration of the crowd.

With a smile on his face, Mu Zuoxiao continued in a calm tone, “For this Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition, we are fortunate to have invited the Alchemist Representative Zhong Baigong of Treasured Stone Dao Court, Alchemist Representative Pu Lao of Cloud Light Dao Court, Chen Yingxin, the Premier Pill Sage of Clear Jade Dao Court, Li Mo, the Premier Pill Sage of the Great Mysterious Dao Court, and Master Zuo Zhaze, the Left Guardian of Brimming Universe Dao Sect. On top of that, we also have the heads of various Pill Unions from the five grand realms and numerous city lords from the various dao courts.”

Following Mu Zuoxiao’s words, figures landed on the judge’s seats. Sichen Qiutian, sitting beside Ning Cheng, also stood up and took his place among the judge’s seats. As the head of a Grand Realm’s Pill Union, Sichen Qiutian had the qualifications to occupy one of those seats.

Ning Cheng felt secretly astonished at the ongoing proceedings. He knew about the strength of people like Lu Dongze, Kong Lianbo, and even the middle-aged Confucian-like scholar Liu Fangzhen. In his view, they were all powerhouses.

However, these powerful people were not even qualified to report their names through Mu Zuoxiao’s mouth. It was in addition to the strength of the five Great Dao Courts and the Three Great Dao Sects that went beyond the word ‘powerful’. In other words, anyone whose name could be stated by Mu Zuoxiao in such a public event most likely possessed immense power.

Ning Cheng quickly realised that he had not guessed wrong; there were at least seven or eight people among the crowd sitting at the judging table. Ning Cheng could sense that they were no weaker than Mysterious Ferry Ancient Clan’s Li Feng. What’s more, Ning Cheng understood much more clearly that these powerhouses sitting at the judges’ table of the Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition weren’t the strongest in the entire Grand Change Realm. Even though they weren’t ranked among the top, apart from being representatives of their respective factions, they could sit here because they were a bit more outstanding regarding their Alchemy level.

The Grand Change Realm was worthy of having the most complete worldly laws. Even an idiot could tell that the Grand Change Realm far surpassed the strength of the entire Grand Essence Realm.

“Since the start of the Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition many years ago, it has gone through many variations. Although in these years, the Grand Change Realm has also produced some talented alchemists, to be honest, I have yet to find an alchemist who can truly surpass me. This is my sorrow and also the sorrow of the Grand Change Realm.”

As Mu Zuoxiao said this, it influenced the crowd, and the cheers in the square quieted down.

Ning Cheng whispered to Xixi, sitting at his side, “Xixi, what’s going on?”

Xixi quickly explained, “Senior Mu is the Premier Alchemical Sage of the Grand Change Realm, and his alchemical depth has already reached the pinnacle of this grand realm. Yet, even someone as accomplished as Senior Mu is said to have been defeated by someone else. Since that incident, Senior Mu has vowed not to leave the Grand Change Realm until he finds an alchemist capable of competing against that person. It’s also precisely because of that that Senior Mu set up the Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition.”

“As a result, the Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition has been held many times. However, there has never been a single alchemist who could gain the recognition of Senior Mu, let alone be taken out to compete in alchemy against that person. Every native of the Grand Change Realm knows of this, but since Brother Ning is not from here, it’s normal for you not to know about it.”

Ning Cheng couldn’t help but feel secretly shocked. Lu Dongze and Kong Lianbo’s alchemical abilities were already among the top, and they were certainly Grandmaster Alchemists among Dao Fusion Pill Sages. Therefore, Mu Zuoxiao’s alchemical abilities should far exceed those of Lu Dongze and Kong Lianbo. If Mu Zuoxiao’s alchemical skills fell short compared to that person’s, how formidable must that person’s alchemical skills be?

Mu Zuoxiao continued with a sombre tone, “Originally, for this Alchemy Competition, we intended to determine the winner solely through alchemical skills. However, after hearing about the alchemical bout between Lu Dongze, the Union Head of Grand Origination Realm’s Pill Union, and Alchemist Ning Cheng from the Grand Essence Realm, I had a different idea. This time, we will decide the winner through three rounds. The first round will be a round of identification. However, to prevent exceptional alchemists like Ning Cheng from being unable to recognise the materials, we won’t use names for identification this time. Instead, we will decide the winner based on the intrinsic properties deduced by the alchemists.”

At this point, Mu Zuoxiao paused, glanced at the alchemists about to participate in the competition, and then continued, “But with a slight twist; this time, we won’t directly identify the divine herbs, but rather, we will identify the divine herbs or dao fruits through their seeds. Those who fail to correctly identify the seeds in the first rounds, even with exceptional alchemical skills, will be directly eliminated.”

Upon hearing Mu Zuoxiao’s words, the participating alchemists began discussing this new rule with confusion. Some of the participating alchemists had exceptional skills, but due to limited exposure, if they got eliminated because they couldn’t identify the intrinsic properties of an obscure divine herb seed, would such a selection process be considered fair?

Ning Cheng also needed some clarification about this selection process. If he hadn’t obtained the Compendium of Celestial Flora earlier, his exposure would likely have been the lowest among the participants. However, Ning Cheng never believed that his alchemical skills were the lowest; his lack of exposure was due to his relatively short time spent practising alchemy and his lack of opportunity when it came to coming in contact with top-tier alchemical texts, like the Compendium of Celestial Flora.

Mu Zuoxiao didn’t change his course due to the discussions among the people. He calmly and unhurriedly continued, “Alchemy is also one of the Great Daos of heaven and earth. Many of you also know the second of the ten Great Divine Abilities of the vast universe, right? The second-ranked divine ability among the ten Great Divine Abilities is the Grand Fate Divine Ability, or what we can also call ‘luck’ in layman’s terms. If an alchemist lacks sufficient luck, even if their innate alchemical talent is strong, their achievements will remain limited.”

‘Fate’ or ‘destiny’, or even ‘luck’, as some people might call it, is something we cultivators cannot grasp. Yet, a few have transcended fate and taken control of their luck. If such people can gain control over another’s fate, what then? My master once told me that when you meet someone who can control the other person’s destiny, go as far as possible to escape them. And in a world without those who control fate, the mysterious heavens will be the ones that will govern the destiny of alchemists like us. If you don’t even have the fortune to come into contact with a top-tier alchemical text or opportunity, how can you talk about reaching the peak of alchemy?

Initially, Ning Cheng didn’t think much of it, feeling that Mu Zuoxiao’s topic was unfair to many people. However, after hearing the rest of Mu Zuoxiao’s words, a shiver ran down his spine. Even if he possessed the Mysterious Yellow Bead and became powerful, what use would it be? If he encountered someone who could control the Grand Fate Divine Ability, he probably wouldn’t even be worth a speck of dust.

Mu Zuoxiao’s words suddenly felt correct. Even if he didn’t encounter someone who could control fate, his fate wasn’t within his control. Rather, it was the mysterious heavens that were in control of it.

From the start of his cultivation journey till now, no matter how much he struggled, he was still just a minor chess piece. Perhaps he had encountered some opportunities, like the Mysterious Yellow Bead, and nearly perfecting it through sheer luck. But all of this was just his ‘luck’. Once his ‘luck’ dried up, what would become of him? Even if his luck remained as is, what would he be able to do if he encountered someone who could control fate and squeeze his luck dry?

Ning Cheng’s thoughts wandered away from the Alchemy Competition. Hearing for the first time that the second-ranked divine ability was the Grand Fate Divine Ability had completely thrown his heart off balance.

“The Grand Fate Divine Ability might be powerful, but it’s not the foremost divine ability in the universe. Besides, those who can control fate also had to walk the same path as we did, step by step. Your destiny is not determined by what you want to do but by how you prepare to do it. Alchemist Ning, with your extraordinary talent, why concern yourself with mere fate? When you’re prepared to act, your destiny is already in your hands.”

A gentle and soothing voice resonated in Ning Cheng’s ears, and he felt it had enlightened him. Yes, he was suffering because he had the Mysterious Yellow Bead. But those who didn’t have the Mysterious Yellow Bead, didn’t they not all do whatever they wanted? Eventually, someday, he, too, could control his fate.

Ning Cheng’s mind settled, and he finally recalled the person who had helped him with his Dao Heart just a few moments earlier. He subconsciously turned around to look and immediately saw Nian Yan with a smile on her face.

Nian Yan sat a few rows behind him, nodding and smiling at him.

Ning Cheng gratefully nodded back to Nian Yan. He didn’t understand how Nian Yan had recognised him, but he could not guard against her.

No longer worried about encountering someone with the Grand Fate Divine Ability, Ning Cheng again concentrated on listening to Mu Zuoxiao’s words. Though Mu Zuoxiao didn’t say much, in Ning Cheng’s perception, he still seemed as vast and unfathomable as the boundless ea.

“Now, the Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition officially begins. Will all participating alchemists please come to the stage? The Deputy Union Head of Grand Change Realm’s Pill Union, Kong Lianbo, will present the questions and preside over the following rounds.” Mu Zuoxiao finished speaking, and with a flash of his figure, he appeared seated in the middle of the judge’s seats behind the giant altar.

Ning Cheng stood up and walked to the giant altar, where the other alchemists from the Grand Essence and other realms participated in the competition.

After sitting in the designated area for the alchemists from the Grand Essence Realm on the giant altar, Ning Cheng finally realised that there were more than three hundred participants in the first round of the Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition. The Grand Essence Realm had only secured six spots, and he won one of them during his alchemical battle with Lu Dongze. The alchemists from the Grand Essence Realm were the true underdogs here.

In fact, on the giant altar, only five people were sitting in the area designated for alchemists from the Grand Essence Realm. Even compared to grand realms like the Grand Pinnacle Realm, the Grand Essence Realm had the least representation.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, everyone was accustomed to this; the number of participants from the Grand Essence Realm was always the lowest in each competition.

After everyone had taken their seats, Kong Lianbo slowly approached the giant altar. After paying respects to the rest of the judges with an alchemist’s salute, he spoke loudly, “In this competition, the top ten will receive the title of Five Grand Realms’ Alchemical Saint and will be qualified to open a residence within the Sacred Cloud Mountain…….”

Ning Cheng didn’t know the benefits of being titled a Five Grand Realms’ Alchemical Saint or what it meant to open a residence in the Sacred Cloud Mountain, but the other alchemists did. Having the title of a Five Grand Realms’ Alchemical Saint meant they could walk unhindered in the Grand Change Realm. Except for a few powerful experts, no one would dare point fingers at them. For example, if Ning Cheng possessed the qualification of a Five Grand Realms’ Alchemical Saint before, then even if Liu Fangzhen had ten thousand times more courage, he wouldn’t dare command Ning Cheng to do anything.

As for the Sacred Cloud Mountain, it was the number one sacred place for alchemists, just like the Cross-Dao Pond in Treasured Stone Dao Court. Opening a residence in Sacred Cloud Mountain was the dream of every cultivator in the Grand Change Realm and wasn’t restricted to just alchemists.

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