In the Grand Horse Realm, the 34th World Realm of the Endless Prosperity Domain, there was an idyllic valley filled with lush vegetation, freshwater springs, and astral essence-rich environment. There was a waterfall that cascaded downwards from a hundred meters high, and it released faint vapor that sparkled with a mystical light.
This water settled, flowing downwards onto a set of rocky formations that resembled steps, each floor having a flood of clear, fresh water that led further below.
At the base of this waterfall was a spring that accumulated this water, sprinkling with an aquamarine beauty that seemed as if it was designed by Immortals. Beneath this spring ’s waters were several shadows, swimming about freely.
A series of footsteps echoed out, followed by a figure arriving at the edge of the spring. It belonged to a human woman of medium height, petite build, eyes like green gems, and a fair complexion accompanied by neck-length brunette hair. She wasn ’t outstanding in terms of her looks, but she wasn ’t an individual that would be ignored in a crowd. Especially since she had a uniquely refined and dignified aura, her every step careful and steady.
”Miss Yifei, ” she called out. Her voice was official, stately. Clearly, she was trained to speak in a manner that everyone could understand her every word.
The spring waters bubbled slightly as the shadows beneath it grew larger and larger, clearly about to break through the surface.
An exquisite figure broke free, a slender, supple, and curvaceous body drenched in water revealed itself. Xue Yifei ’s signature black hair was wet, and her hair flipped back to splash the air with its excess. With a swift movement of her hands, she removed the water from her face and observed the woman at the edge of the spring.
Those hazel eyes of hers with navy-blue flecks were astonishing to behold, even causing the stately and serious young woman to grow absentminded. Furthermore, Xue Yifei was completely naked. Without a strand of clothes on her, those perky, shapely, bouncy breasts of hers were free to be observed and admired.
Her curves were not accentuated by any tightly hugging clothing, but after seeing her without any, it would provoke thoughts that it was a true pity that clothes hid such perfection.
A soft gulp resounded.
Xue Yifei brushed her hair back again, ensuring no excess water remained. Her eyes directed at the young woman, a faint frown on her face. She didn ’t have any awkwardness being observed in the nude by another woman. As a princess, she was helped into her dress and bathed by female attendants most of her life.
She walked out of the spring, each step leaving a trail of glistening water, and she grabbed her clothes. ”What is it, Ma Ru? ” She questioned, using fire energies within her body to begin drying herself. The mist wrapped around her, shielding her body from sight.
Ma Ru snapped out of her daze. She had to clear her throat a little, continuing: ”I ’ve brought over the materials you asked for, Miss Yifei. ” She brought out a spatial ring on a silver platter, and let it float slowly to Xue Yifei. ”If you need anything else, please don ’t be afraid to ask. ”
”Need anything? ” Xue Yifei ’s tone was mocking. She slowly left the mist, fully clothed in a form-fitting, black-colored cheongsam with long sleeves. It had a five-clawed dragon embroidered on it in violet, and oddly, a pair of black shorts that touched her knees.
Even with her clothes on, Ma Ru couldn ’t help but be shocked at how beautiful Xue Yifei was.
”Your people brought me here six months ago, told me that I ’m just to stay and wait, providing me with these sub-par resources to cultivate, and you tell me if I need anything? I need to go home. I need to see my husband. Can I get that? ” Xue Yifei asked, her eyes staring at Ma Ru. Despite being Wei Wuyin ’s concubine, she referred to him as husband.
Without warning, she was sucked into some strange world, and then brought here. While she was told that her starfield was destroyed by some Star-Devourer, she still didn ’t believe it fully. But after learning that every beast was taken, and that every human, elf, and demon was taken by another force to prevent their destruction by this Star-Devourer, she started to believe it.
She met Zuhei, the dragons, the beastmen Ascendants. Even Zen, the former Grand Imperial Sage of the Extreme Imperial Mountain, was present. They were all in this World Realm, kept here until someone returned for them. This was the explanation, at least.
She knew that someone was definitely Wei Wuyin, especially after she was given special privileges. For example, this spring was an extremely rare and precious Astral Star Spring. Just swimming within it could refine the body, had miraculous healing and purification properties, and had water energies that exceeded Mortal Limits.
Just drinking it caused her cultivation foundation to grow by a bit each time. Just being here for six months, her Astral Core had grown by a few dozen millimeters. The others weren ’t given such extraordinary treatment, clearly singling her out. Even still, the resources she was given wasn ’t remotely close to what Wei Wuyin provided her with.
Many of their alchemical products were low-quality or high-quality, but Wei Wuyin never allowed anything but peak-quality to touch her lips. While low-quality still was a 100% effectiveness with no impurities, there was the concept of diminishing impact.
For example, if an Astral Sea Pill taken ten times would then be 50% less effective, then even if one took a ten low-quality Astral Sea Pill and then a ten peak-quality Astral Sea Pills, those peak-quality products would still be 50% less effective, for the secondary and tertiary effects. The concept of diminishing impact made the quality of repeatable products important.
Ma Ru sighed, shaking her head. ”I can ’t, Miss Yifei. ” Her job was to aid Xue Yifei, ensuring no discomfort in her stay, but she couldn ’t do anything else. She didn ’t even know why Xue Yifei was being kept here, besides knowing she came from the recently destroyed Everlore Starfield.
Xue Yifei clenched her teeth, but later released the tension with a sigh. There was nothing she could do. It ’s not like she didn ’t try to escape, but there were a dozen female guards hidden in the surroundings. They were all Realmlords, with the leader being a Timelord. She couldn ’t fight against that.
Xue Yifei took the spatial ring, inspected it, and frowned. ”Where ’s the Astral Ocean Pills? Why are these High-Blood Refinement Elixirs low-quality? Some of them barely reach that. What is this? ”
The Astral Ocean Pill was an high-tier, eighth-grade pill that was exceedingly precious in strengthening one ’s Astral Core, expanding one ’s World Sea, and refining the meridians to better handle the circulation of powerful, copious amounts of astral force. As for the High-Blood Refinement Elixirs, they were suitable for refining one ’s physical energies. It was crucial for beastmen or beasts, but it was also a high-tier, eighth-grade elixir.
Shortly after entering the Valkyrie, she was given five peak-quality Astral Ocean Pills to refine and five High-Blood Refinement Elixirs. She had never leapt so fast in strength or increased in cultivation foundation before.
Ma Ru pouted her lips slightly, ”We ran out. Those Astral Ocean Pills are hot commodities, bought and sent out almost immediately upon being concocted. You refined our last reserves a little too quickly, we need more time. ”
Xue Yifei ’s frown deepened. She understood the value of the Astral Ocean Pill, but it couldn ’t have run out? She had only refined three in six months. ”Aren ’t you guys the Golden Life Pavilion? Some great merchant force? ”
When Ma Ru heard this, she felt both ashamed and angered. °You ’re refining products so recklessly, yet you ask this?! Do you think these things can be produced with a snap of our fingers?! It takes months just for one. You aren ’t our only responsibility!° But she remained calm despite her thoughts, patiently answering: ”Our Alchemic Emperors are among the best, but we have other contracts to fulfill. Moreover, these pills might take a few days to refine, but they take months, sometimes years, to concoct. ”
Xue Yifei ’s frown deepened. They had never fallen short before. ”Can ’t you just buy more? ”
”… ” Ma Ru was fiercely taken aback. What type of spoiled life did this Xue Yifei live? Of course, Xue Yifei wasn ’t at fault. She was always given resources by Wei Wuyin, and she had plenty to refine as she wished for five years. There was never a day she wasn ’t leaping in strength or cultivation. She lacked neither quality, quantity, or variety.
Prior to that, she wasn ’t really given much resources or regarded with any importance. She was only protected thanks to Yuan Longshi ’s reputation and ruthlessness, not nurtured and cultivated by her family ’s resources. Her lopsided view was based on the fact that this starfield boasted millions of Alchemic Emperors and dozens of Mortal Sovereign Alchemists, and compared them to Wei Wuyin ’s standard.
Ma Ru remained patient, ”The cost of an Astral Ocean Pill is affordable, but you ’ve asked for peak-quality. They ’re quite difficult to procure from other sources. When available, they ’re swiftly bought out. So we ’ll be delayed in obtaining them. ”
Xue Yifei found this interesting and slightly contradictory, ”Then why did you give me low-quality High-Blood Refinement Elixirs? ”
”We won ’t be able to obtain peak-quality ones for quite a while, because there ’s no Alchemic Emperor in our branch that is familiar with concocting them. This was the best we could do in short notice. I apologize, ” Ma Ru sincerely said. The High-Blood Refinement Elixirs were meant for beasts and beastmen, yet that wasn ’t needed in the Aeternal Sky Starfield.
With the advancements of technology, voidships and other modes of transportation allowed for an easier, cheaper, more reliable alternative. Beast mounts were mostly obsolete, only being useful for certain low-level cultivators who can ’t afford it or specialized beasts meant for battle. The Liu Clan, one of the Eight Noble Clans, ruled that niche market, selling beasts to those cultivators.
Xue Yifei sighed. The other materials were just things she could casually refine, their quality not mattering much, but not nearly as important or quick-resulted as alchemical products.
She missed Wei Wuyin.
They only briefly met in the Four Extreme Continent, but they were separated once again. Just like the time the Void Gate of the Bloodforge Continent was destroyed. Still, she knew that having her own life goal was important, and she didn ’t want to exist as the foil of another, like she was with Yuan Longshi. Yet that didn ’t mean she wanted to be separated from a man that she accepted in her heart.
”Can I visit the others? ” Xue Yifei asked Ma Ru.
”Of course. Follow me, ” Ma Ru nodded, a faint smile on her face. It was much easier to do this than explain the concept of alchemic scarcity alongside supply and demand to someone.
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