Chapter 212: Nature Talent Appears!
The young woman, whose name was Chen Ling, seemed nervous when she heard what Bai Yunlai said. With an anxious, earnest expression, she examined the jade slip. Perhaps her latent talent was average. After looking at it for the space of about ten breaths, she reached out her hand, which began to glow with a purple light…
Bai Yunlai’s eyes began to glow.
“Not bad, Junior Sister Chen! Okay, take out a medicinal plant seed.”
Chen Ling quickly opened her bag of holding and took out a seed. She placed it on her open palm, then, her face very serious, began to catalyze it. The violet Qi in her hand grew denser, until it seemed it couldn’t grow any stronger. The seed began to wriggle, and then three leaves sprouted out of it.
Many of the surrounding onlookers noticed this, and then looked at Chen Ling. Her face grew red, and she was clearly excited. She looked at Bai Yunlai expectantly.
“To produce three leaves on your first try shows that you have pretty good latent talent. Junior Sister Chen Ling, according to my calculations, you have a ten percent chance of becoming a master alchemist in the future.” He sighed emotionally, looking a bit jealous. It seemed that someone who could produce three leaves was uncommon among the hundred thousand apprentice alchemists. Bai Yunlai quickly recorded the results of her catalyzing.
The voice of the man lecturing about alchemy techniques drifted over. He sounded calm and solemn. “You will join District Two Valley Thirteen.” His face was austere as he looked at her.
In a low voice, Bai Yunlai offered an explanation: “The hundred thousand apprentice alchemists of the Eastern Pill Division are separated into Districts One to Four. Generally speaking, only those with outstanding latent talent can enter District Two. Junior Sister Chen, go on over there to Master Uncle Zhou. Good fortune is with you today!” Looking excited and nervous, Chen Ling immediately ran over.
“Junior Brother Fang, it’s your turn now,” said Bai Yunlai with a sigh. He looked at Meng Hao.
Meng Hao stood there thoughtfully for a moment. The technique described in the jade slip was simple, but obviously, the implementation of it was fantastic. Essentially, it could catalyze the medicinal age of medicinal plants, and as such, could be viewed as a force of nature.
“It seems only simple medicinal plants can be catalyzed using this technique,” thought Meng Hao. “Basically, you use spiritual energy to nourish the medicinal plant. Even still, this technique is extraordinary. I wonder how the Violet Fate Sect prevents it from being stolen….” He silently retrieved a medicinal plant seed from his bag of holding and placed it on his palm. He looked at it for a moment, then used the technique described in the jade slip to begin catalyzing it.
He had two Core Seas, the first one of which contained five Perfect Dao Pillars. Before arriving at the Violet Fate Sect, he had used the Sublime Spirit Scripture to once again form the second one.
At the moment, the only Cultivation base visible to outsiders was the aura of his second Core Sea. Its power caused the purple glow to appear on his hand. It was immediately apparent that the glow was thicker and brighter than that created by Chen Ling.
Immediately, the seed in Meng Hao’s hand began to wriggle. Then it sprouted one leaf, two leaves, three leaves… in the blink of an eye it had already sprouted seven leaves!
The purple glow in Meng Hao’s hand grew blinding, filling the air. Instantly, all the surrounding apprentice alchemists looked over, shocked. All eyes were on Meng Hao.
The blinding rays of light were unthinkable, unbelievable. The man lecturing about alchemy techniques looked over wide-eyed, staring openly at Meng Hao. Next to him, Chen Ling stared in shock.
As for Bai Yunlai, his jaw dropped, and he rubbed his eyes vigorously before staring in complete shock.
Everything was quiet as all onlookers stared at the violet glow and the medicinal seed plant in Meng Hao’s hand. Then, Meng Hao continued to use the technique. He fell into a strange state, as if he himself had turned into nature, and this seed had become a part of him.
It was a marvelous feeling, and as Meng Hao immersed himself in it, the seed suddenly sprouted an eighth leaf, then a ninth…. A cracking sound pealed out as the seed continued to grow. The emerald green leaf sprouts grew larger, wrapping up and around Meng Hao’s right arm.
The white-haired, wrinkled old man who had been dozing behind Bai Yunlai opened his eyes. They glowed with an ancient light as he looked at Meng Hao. At the same time, they filled with excitement.
Meng Hao hadn’t just caused new leaves to sprout, he had grown an entire plant. Meng Hao’s mind reeled as the cracking sounds from moments ago pulled him out of the bizarre state he had just been in. His eyes flickered, and he frowned. He hadn’t intended to show off such talent, and actually, he had been completely immersed in the strange state just now, which had somehow led his actions.
He hesitated for a moment, his face pale. His Cultivation base was dried up, and following the reduction in his spiritual power, the medicinal plant also began to slowly wither up. Soon it died, and then fell off of Meng Hao’s arm.
Panting, Meng Hao stepped back a few paces, eyes shining with confusion.
Everything was deathly silent. It seemed like Bai Yunlai couldn’t understand what was going on. He had been in the Violet Fate Sect for years, and had never seen someone perform such an astonishing feat the first time they practiced catalyzing. He looked at Meng Hao as if he weren’t even human.
All of the surrounding apprentice alchemists were completely shocked. What they had just witnessed exceeded their imaginations. The middle-aged man panted as he looked at Meng Hao, his eyes shining with passion.
“Umm….” said Meng Hao, hesitating for a moment. He was a little bit scared, unsure of what he should say. At this moment, the old man behind Bai Yunlai stood up and walked forward to stand next to Meng Hao. He reached a hand out to grab Meng Hao’s wrist. His spiritual power burst out, flowing through Meng Hao’s body, examining him.
The power was incapable of completely examining Meng Hao. Despite having some suspicions, he could only see Meng Hao’s second Core Sea, which contained the power of the sixth level of Qi Condensation.
He wasn’t able to see the true color of the Core Sea either, as it had been completely transformed by the frightening power of the meat jelly. As far the man could see, everything was normal.
Eventually, he released his grip. He picked up the withered medicinal plant and looked at it carefully for a moment. Then he returned his gaze to Meng Hao. His eyes were now filled with the glow of praise.
“First rate latent talent! You will join District One Valley One!” A wide smile covered the old man’s face as he clasped Meng Hao’s shoulder. Then he flew up into the sky, taking the withered medicinal plant with him.
As he flew off, the entire valley broke out into a huge commotion.
“First rate latent talent!! No wonder his catalyzing is so astonishing!”
“With latent talent like that, he’s destined to become a master alchemist, which we haven’t seen for years….”
“Wow, I’ve heard of people having first rate latent talent, but I’ve never heard of someone as inhuman as this! He catalyzed full plant growth!”
As the air filled with conversations, Bai Yunlai approached Meng Hao, eye shining with excitement. “Junior Brother Fang,” he said, “make sure to watch out for yourself from now on. You have first rate latent talent!”
“Could there have been a mistake?” asked Meng Hao, still hesitating.
“There’s no way! Elder Wang tested you personally. How could he possibly make a mistake? It seems he took that medicinal plant to go show other Elders. Haha! Junior Brother Fang, you’re going to be famous! Come come, I’ll take you to District One Valley One. It’s like a celestial paradise. I look in every time I pass it, but I’ve never been able to go in.” He pulled Meng Hao along with him, leaving behind the hubbub and shining eyes. Even after they were gone, the commotion continued to echo out.
Time passed. Soon half a month had gone by. Meng Hao was now much more familiar with the East Pill Division of the Violet Fate Sect. Division One Valley One wasn’t very large, but was occupied by few people, clearly much less than other valleys.
The scenery was enchanting. The mountains were lush, and a small mountain stream flowed down from up above. Fish swam within its depths, which Meng Hao could see from his house, located just north of the stream. It was a small house with a courtyard outside.
Within the courtyard was a small garden where he could grow medicinal plants. Currently, Meng Hao sat cross-legged in the courtyard, holding a scroll of bamboo slips. The scroll was filled with handwriting and pictures, all describing various medicinal plants.
Meng Hao sat all morning and into noon reading the scroll. Finally, he looked up. He smelled the medicinal aroma that filled the air and listened to the gurgling of the stream. A light mist filled the area, causing the valley to truly seem celestial. Maybe that was somewhat of an exaggeration, but there was no denying that this was an ideal place for Cultivation.
This was basically the number one valley for apprentice alchemists in the entire Sect. Meng Hao had found out that including him, less than fifty people in the entire Sect had the requisite latent talent to live in here. Everyone had their own living quarters where they could study, grow plants and practice pill concocting.
It was a quiet location, and Meng Hao felt very at home. He was especially happy to read books that weren’t jade slips but actual scrolls. It reminded him of his life as a scholar back in Yunjie County.
“One hundred thousand medicinal plants, all different and organized into different categories. Not only do I need to memorize them, I also need to remember their habits and characteristics, how to plant and harvest them, and how to store them. I need to remember which medicinal plants cannot be mixed together, where and how to grow them, and also the proper ratios when using them.
“Furthermore, it’s not just the whole plant itself. The leaves, stems and sap of various plants are all different. Splicing plants together can lead to countless variations. They talk about one hundred thousand medicinal plants, but actually, when you combine everything together, it’s more like a million.” Meng Hao rubbed the bridge of his nose. For the past half month, he had been studying information about medicinal plants every day.
As an apprentice alchemist of the Violet Fate Sect, he must remember all such information. Of course, there was simply so much information, it was essentially impossible to magically brand it all onto the mind. The only method was rote memorization.
The more he memorized, the more prepared he would be. Forewarned is forearmed, so to speak; there was no trickery about it. Besides, Meng Hao didn’t find it annoying. He was a born scholar, after all, and this type of environment suited him quite well.
There was no killing, no danger and treachery, no dealing with the wind and rain of the outside world. Meng Hao attempted not to think about the past, and instead fully immersed himself in the role of Fang Mu. He was in the Violet Fate Sect now, and he intended to take advantage of the peace and quiet. As he examined all the information available to apprentice alchemists, his mind began to swirl with many images. Now he knew that this sort of knowledge, was nature talent.