# 92. The Jianzheng's Gift
"These are the main points I wanted to tell everyone in this lecture." Xu Qi'an was well versed in the art of ending chapters in a cliff-hanger, so he paused upon saying this much, and smiled as he turned to face the eager eyes of the white-cloaked arcanists.
He glanced outside the door from the corner of his eyes, to see Wei Yuan staring at him. He also saw a beautiful woman beside him who was also staring at him.
*Who is she? She's so beautiful...* Xu Qi'an coughed and said, “In everything, we can find minute particles, and these particles constitute the myriad things that come before our eyes. There are also connections and laws between these substances. Using the simplest example, An elixir requires dozens of medicinal materials to be used to refine, but these medicinal materials surely differ in efficacy from the elixir.
"Why is this so? It is because the properties of the minute particles in these medicinal materials are similar, so they can react and fuse. The situation is similar for refining metals from ores."
Xu Qi'an tried his best to express his knowledge in simple terms and didn't use chemical terminology like "atom", Which would only increase the difficulty for alchemists to understand him.
All the arcanists present were excited, as they were all aware of the value of this knowledge.
Not just them, The eldest princess and Wei Yuan were also both highly talented knowledgeable people. So, they were more interested when the knowledge was profound and obscure. They also realized that Xu Qi'an was elaborating on a very high-end art in the field of alchemy.
The crown princess and the eunuch continued standing like this, listening patiently.
Xu Qi'an continued, “In that incomplete alchemy manual, There was also a formula for the similar properties of these minute particles. I call this formula: The periodic table of elements.”
Instantly, the sound of rapid breathing echoed throughout the hall, and the white-robed Arcanists clenched their fists in excitement.
"I know, I know!" Song Qing suddenly realized something, so he stood up excitedly and stared at Xu Qi'an as if he was looking for validation.
"The reason why my biological experiments failed is that they didn't have similar properties. Yes, Yes, How can cats and trees have any similar properties? They are completely different."
*…Your understanding is somewhat right!* Xu Qi'an smilingly said, "Senior Brother Song is indeed a genius in alchemy, and he has outstanding comprehension."
This was the truth.
Song Qing frowned, "Although I can understand your reasoning, How can we verify if living creatures have similar characteristics? What is the correct direction forward for the alchemy of living organisms?"
*Great Question! I was waiting for this moment to correct your thoughts.*
Xu Qi'an stood with his hands behind his back, standing straight like a pine tree, as a Great Scholar who founded his sect, and said leisurely, "The future direction for the alchemy of living organisms is in the cells."
"Cell!?" Song Qing was stunned, as it was an unfamiliar word he had never heard before in his life.
*Yes, Cells. But before doing that, you have to make microscopes or something. I don't know much about it at all. Anyway, This is none of my business... If you succeed, It will be because of my teaching you. If you don't, It's going to be because you are stupid.*
Xu Qi'an took out a booklet from his breast pocket, "This is the second blue book I give to the Sitianjian. It contains the formulas for the periodic table of elements and my notes on them. The correct direction for the alchemy of living organisms sought after by Senior Brother Song Qing is also inside."
Song Qing rushed over impatiently and grabbed it, and flipped through it hungrily.
The first sentence was: Cells are the beginning of life.
"Ha, ha ha, ha ha ha..."
Upon looking at it, Song Qing held the booklet tightly and looked up to the sky before laughing.
*What is written in this booklet... I really want to know it, I really really want to know, I really really really want to know...* More than forty white-cloaked arcanists looked at the booklet in Song Qing's eyes hungrily, feeling as if a cat was scratching their hearts.
Song Qing restrained his smile, and said calmly, " Xu Ningyan just said that the domain of living beings is too profound, and your realm hasn't reached that level yet. After your senior brother understands it thoroughly, He'll naturally teach it to you all on behalf of the teacher."
This "teacher" didn't refer to Xu Qi'an, but the Jianzheng.
Everyone noticed that Song Qing was clenching the booklet tightly, which caused his knuckles to turn white.
He was far more excited than what he had shown outside.
Chemistry includes many fields, for example, electrochemistry, nuclear chemistry, and quantum chemistry...
Xu Qi'an himself only knew a little about them, so he didn't plan to continue talking, as he didn't want to eat up his food ticket for the rest of his life in a go. They weren't Fuxiang, so they weren't worthy of his wholehearted support.
Equivalent Exchanges should be continued for the long term, after all.
The white-cloaked Arcanists got up and moved in unison before bowing to Xu Qi'an. "Thank you, Master Xu, for instructing us."
The eldest princess witness the events inside from outside the door, donning a dazed expression.
This was probably the first time since the establishment of the Sitianjian that an arcanist of the Sitianjian behaved as a disciple would to a martial artist.[^1]
Based on this alone, Xu Qi'an was able to leave a small mark in the history books.
Song Qing let out a breath, and patted Chu Caiwei with his arm, "Junior Sister, the eldest princess is looking for you."
Song Qing had already noticed the arrival of Wei Yuan and co., since he had the highest cultivation level among those present.
But, even if they had come, Song Qing wouldn't disrupt the rhythm of the class just due to the princess's noble background or Wei Yuan's authority.
It was because the nobility and beauty of the princess, along with the authority of Wei Yuan were all mundane things.
Upon hearing this, Chu Caiwei turned her head in surprise, and she saw the enormously talented eldest princess.
Xu Qi'an stepped forward quickly, clasped his fists, and said, "Duke Wei!"
Wei Yuan smiled and motioned to the woman in the gorgeous dress beside him, "This is the eldest princess."
After observing her from a close distance, Xu Qi'an was astonished by the eldest princess's appearance. Then, he clasped his fists and said, "Thanks to the princess for your recommendation."
Li Yuchun had told him that he had entered the Nightwatchers due to the eldest princess's recommendation.
Xu Qi'an didn't need to mention the matter, but mentioning it would give the eldest princess the impression that he was a person who didn't forget his benefactors and that he was a grateful person.
The eldest Princess smiled and nodded, and a sound came out in her charming voice, "Alchemy Manual?"
"When I was a child, I met an expert who taught me a secret Alchemy Manual." Xu Qi'an replied. Next, if the eldest princess or Wei Yuan asked to read it, he would say that he lost it accidentally, but the content had already been recorded in his head.
Then, he could use the same knowledge to get something from Sitianjian's arcanists and continue to use it to get something for free from the eldest princess and Wei Yuan later.
Unexpectedly, The eldest princess just smiled and stopped asking any more questions.
*Cijiu was correct, This woman has something in her. At the very least, she's a smart woman... She's also beautiful... and she has a good figure...* Xu Qi'an didn't need to look sideways near her.
*There was a woman once with perfumed steps, gracefully walking to the eastern room; her slender brow parted like kingfisher wings, her eyes an brilliant glow danced… a silken voice that echoed above the clouds, its melody spreading all around.[^2] This heroic and picturesque beauty is just what, I, Xu Qi'an, deserve as a partner.*
After the previous lecture, Wei Yuan admired this bronze gong even more, and he said, "You can come with me to meet the Jianzheng."
*Meet the Jianzheng... The Jianzheng, who's a peak arcanist...* Xu Qi'an started to breathe heavily.
The top floor of the Star Observatory was an octagonal terrace with a wide platform, paved with thick bluestone.
Xu Qi'an followed Wei Yuan to the Octagonal Terrace, where he saw the Jianzheng in white sitting at the table with his back towards them.
He had hair white like frost and clothes whiter than snow. The old man's back looked quite ordinary at the first glance, but looking closely, one would find that he was like the horizon, observable, but never reachable.
"You’ve come." An old voice sounded.
He didn't know if he was feeling an illusion, but Xu Qi'an had a feeling that "He is talking to me."
"I have come."
Wei Yuan, with frosty temples, walked to the edge of the octagonal terrace, where he stood shoulder to shoulder-with the Jianzheng.
As he wasn't a rookie in the officialdom, he was quite surprised upon seeing this scene.
Wei Yuan grandiosely stood shoulder to shoulder with the Jianzheng.
"It's been a long time since I played Go. Master Jianzheng, would you play a game with me?"
The Jianzheng didn't speak, but he waved his hand.
A Go board and two boxes of go pieces materialized from thin air.
Wei Yuan laughed and threw off the hem of his azure robe before sitting opposite the Jianzheng.
"Master Jianzheng, have you been watching the world these days?" Wei Yuan took the opportunity to open up a topic.
"I'm old and dim-sighted. I can't see so clearly." Jianzheng said, also placing a piece on the board.
The two didn't speak for a long time, concentrating on playing Go.
"The Earth Sect has fallen into devilishness." Wei Yuan said.
"All phenomena reverse at the extremes. Is it so simple to become an immortal with meritorious virtue?" Jianzheng said.
"This Wei has received news of Wanyao Kingdom remnants lurking in the capital."
"They're just some small characters."
Hearing this, Wei Yuan nodded reassuringly.
After some time, Wei Yuan casually said, "If I remember correctly, the Human Sect moved to the Imperial Capital 19 years ago. Before that, Even if his Majesty begged for the way of immortality, the three sects of heaven, earth, and human ignored him."
The Jianzheng went silent.
"Just recently, the remnants of the Wanyao Kingdom have taken action near the capital. The day when His Majesty worships his ancestors is also nearing. It's in three days from now. It'll be good for Master Jianzheng to take a good look at the capital."
"The banditry in Yunzhou has become more and more serious. But his majesty has no intention of suppressing the bandits, which is making the people anxious."
"Does the supervisor have any guesses on the alchemist behind the Silver Tax case?"
The two moved faster and faster, even faster, until they moved without leaving time in thinking, doing so until black and white pieces filled up the entire board.
Jianzheng waved his hand to make the go board disappear and raised his old, line-filled face to take a look at Wei Yuan.
"Back when you practiced Martial Arts, I predicted back then that the Great Feng would produce a Second Rank, but you abolished your cultivation."
"Not interested." Wei Yuan shook his head.
"Why don't you follow Confucianism?"
"I can't get along with the scholars in Cloud Deer Academy, Not interested."
"Twenty-five years ago, I had asked if you would be my disciple."
"Wei doesn't have any intention of being an arcanist."
The Jianzheng went silent for a moment, and said, "Excellent. My Little Friend taught my students for me, and so I should also give you a gift in return."
[^1]: Xu Qi'an: Gaining respect for martial artists, one plagiarized article at a time.
[^2]: 晋博玄《有女篇》 from Jin Boxuan’s “There was once a woman”. Translated by me, Yan because neither of us could find an existing English translation.