ISSTH – Book 3 – Chapter 219

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Chapter 219: Not Fair!

As everyone seethed with excitement, Meng Hao stood up. As he did, everything gradually grew quiet. All eyes were focused on him alone. Some filled with complicated expressions, some were purely envious, others were shocked or jealous.

A variety of expressions were directed toward Meng Hao, who appeared to be extremely worn out. He turned toward Wang Fanming and the others, clasped hands and bowed. Then, he left his workstation and found a place to sit cross-legged and meditate.

Wang Fanming took a deep breath. He glanced at Meng Hao for a moment, and then his gaze swept out across the crowd. “In twenty hours, the second round of the master alchemist promotion examination will begin. It is also the final round. Of the ten finalists, only one will become a master alchemist. The second round will consist of a test of the power of your catalyzing technique. You have twenty hours in which you may rest, but are not permitted to leave.”

Chu Yuyan had been watching Meng Hao the entire time. The shock had still not left her eyes. Even though looking at him still annoyed her, she had no choice but to admit that Fang Mu was someone she had to look up to in terms of qualifications.

“Skill with plants and vegetation is only part of being an alchemist,” she said, still unconvinced. “Let’s see if this guy really is qualified to perform alchemy. That includes catalysis, as well as control of the spiritual energy of the Cultivation base. Those are not things to be taken lightly. Let’s see if his skill in that regard is equally astounding.” The more she looked at Meng Hao, the more annoyed she got.

Not a single of the thirty thousand apprentice alchemists chose to leave. They continued to converse in low tones. Seventy percent of the conversations were about Meng Hao. The other thirty were about the other nine finalists who had passed the first round of the examination, and thus revealed their talent, like awls sticking out from a bag.

These other nine were all very nervous. They sat cross-legged, using each and every moment to rotate their Cultivation bases. They wanted to be in peak condition to face the second and final examination.

Meng Hao’s participation in the first round had crushed them down with a weight that made it hard to breathe. That having been said, there was no difference between first place and tenth. All would have a chance to pass the second round of the examination.

The second round was actually the focal point.

As far as they were concerned, there was still a chance to surpass Meng Hao. He might know more about plants and vegetation than them, but to catalyze medicinal plants required use of the Cultivation base, as well as significant practice. It demanded careful control of spiritual power; too much, and the medicinal plant would grow until it burst. Too little, however, and it would not grow healthily. It was difficult to find the perfect balance.

The nine other finalists breathed deeply as they sat in meditation. Images appeared in their minds from their years of experience catalyzing plants. Gradually, they began to fill with confidence.

Meng Hao sat there with eyes closed. Actually, he hadn’t wasted very much energy from his Cultivation base. The main reason he was tired was not because of his body, but because of the effort in wresting away the legacy of the Resurrection Lily, as well as the rotating of the Demonic Core. His head felt like it was swollen. As he rested, his mind slowly began to simmer down.

Soon, the twenty hours had passed. Wang Fanming’s voice suddenly rang out across the square. As he spoke, he moved his arm to rest on the pill furnace next to him.

“The time has come for the second round of this trial by fire. Would the ten final participants please approach!” As he spoke, the sound of furnace bells rang out, shaking the entire square. The eyes of the thirty thousand spectators focused intently on the proceedings.

The square was the same as before, but the thirty thousand workstations had been replaced by ten stone pillars, each one roughly nine meters tall. As they rose into the air, they glowed with an eye-catching light.

With the exception of Meng Hao, all of the final participants leaped up into the air, alighting nimbly onto the stone pillars, excited expressions on their faces.

All eyes were on them; after all, these were people who had distinguished themselves amidst thirty thousand peers. Considering their talent, they quickly covered up their excitement, replacing it with looks of determination.

Meng Hao opened his eyes, and they shone with a bright light. The swelling pain in his head was gone. The nature talent of plants and vegetation was now completely amalgamated, and was a complete part of him.

“I WILL become a master alchemist,” he thought, his eyes shining with decisiveness. He stood up and strode forward. In a flash, he appeared on the final stone pillar. Instantly, everything grew completely quiet. Countless gazes came to be fixed upon him. Everyone would witness the promotion today and see… who would be promoted to master alchemist!

Whoever became master alchemist would instantly rise above one hundred thousand others!

In terms of status, position, renumeration from the Sect, and reputation, this person would no longer be in the same level as the apprentice alchemists. The difference between apprentice alchemists and master alchemists was like the difference between Heaven and Earth. After all, in the entire Violet Fate Sect, there were only about one thousand master alchemists. Later, if one could reach the realm of the Furnace Lord, then he could shake the entire Southern Domain. Any Furnace Lord occupied a lofty position in the Dao of alchemy; be it in the Violet Fate Sect or the outside world, they would receive utmost respect and veneration.

Within the whole of the Violet Fate Sect, there were currently only around a hundred Furnace Lords.

Eight of that group were Violet Furnace Lords. They existed just beneath the three Grandmaster alchemists as the pinnacle representatives of the Dao of alchemy! All of the other great Sects and Clans thirsted to have any one of this group join them. They commanded extreme respect from one and all.

Everyone was watching as Meng Hao stepped onto the pillar. Wang Fanming and the others exchanged glances. One of the old men lifted his arm to push down onto the surface of the pill furnace. It began to emit a droning sound, and then opened up. Ten beams of light shot out and then came to rest, floating in mid-air.

The globes of light were blurry and indistinct, making it impossible to see what was inside.

“Ten different types of medicinal plant seeds, all of different categories. Candidates, make your selection. Whoever catalyzes theirs to the most mature degree, will be a master alchemist!”

With the exception of Meng Hao, the eyes of everyone on the stone pillars began to glitter brightly. They looked up at the ten indistinct medicinal plant seeds. It was completely impossible to tell what they were, causing the nine other participants to hesitate slightly. Then, one of them set his eyes in resolve. He lifted his hand and made a grasping motion, causing one of the glowing globes to shoot into his hand. It transformed into a blue-colored seed.

The other eight participants looked over. “That’s a Bluewater flower seed….” This flower could be used to concoct a variety of medicinal pills useful for the Foundation Establishment stage. It was relatively difficult to catalyze.

Without hesitation, the other participants reached up to lay claim to the various glowing globes of light. One by one, the globes descended into their hands. They looked around to examine which seeds the others had acquired. Some would be easier to catalyze, others more difficult. It would all depend on luck, considering that the differences between them all was not great.

After everyone made their choice, Meng Hao calmly lifted up his hand to retrieve the last glowing globe. The light transformed into a gray-colored seed.

When the surrounding tens of thousands of apprentice alchemists saw the seed in Meng Hao’s hand, they were sent into an uproar. “That’s Flying Ash leaf….”

“Of all the ten types of medicinal plants, Flying Ash leaf is least complex. That Fang Mu got really lucky….”

“You can’t really say that. It’s not necessarily easy to get the leaf to turn into ash.”

As the sound of the discussions rose up, unsightly expressions appeared on the faces of the nine other participants. No one said anything, though. After all, Meng Hao was the last person to take a seed, so he obviously had no choice in the matter. They couldn’t accuse him of cheating.

The old man standing next to Wang Fanming also started when he saw the Flying Ash leaf seed. He exchanged a look with the other old men, but no one said anything. Suddenly, he spoke out in a cool voice which rose up above the hubbub that filled the square: “Begin!”

There was instant silence. Meng Hao and the other nine people on the stone pillars all focused on the seeds in their hands. They circulated spiritual power, then, using the East Pill Division technique, began to nourish the seeds with it. The medicinal plant catalyzing had begun.

After the space of ten breaths, popping sounds began to ring out from the hands of all the participants, including Meng Hao’s. Sprouts appeared, swaying gently back and forth and slowly beginning to grow taller.

Meng Hao concentrated fully, slowly pouring out power from his Cultivation base. He didn’t squander a drop. This convergence technique was what he had learned in the Blood Immortal Legacy tournament 1. During the past months in the Violet Fate Sect, he had practiced the technique daily, especially when working with Li Tao. He channeled spiritual energy into the seed. Soon a gray-colored medicinal plant appeared in his hand, roughly two inches tall, with seven green leaves.

As it grew, gray veins began to appear within the leaves. “When the leaves turn completely gray, it means that the plant is fully mature. Eventually, the leaves will turn into ash. That ash is the true essence of the plant which is used as a medicinal ingredient.” Information regarding this particular medicinal plant appeared in his head, as well as ten hybrid variations.

The plant began to grow taller. It was now three inches tall, and the leaves were about half gray. Now it had twelve leaves in total, which was actually the maximum number of leaves that a Flying Ash plant could have.

As for the other nine participants, none of them had grown their plant past sixty percent; obviously theirs were not as mature as Meng Hao’s.

Their faces were dark and obviously filled with intense discontent. Even many of the surrounding tens of thousands of apprentice alchemists sighed. According to their understanding, it was obvious that Meng Hao’s medicinal plant was superior.

“This test really isn’t fair…. If that Fang Mu had gotten any other medicinal plant besides Flying Ash leaf, then it wouldn’t have been so easy….”

“It’s not necessarily unfair. The Flying Ash leaf might just be particularly suited to Fang Mu’s spiritual energy. If someone else got it, they might not necessarily find it so easy. Growing that particular plant isn’t simple. In fact, to cause the leaves to transform into ash takes more spiritual energy than most other medicinal plants.”

Voices began to echo out. The Flying Ash plant in Meng Hao’s hand made a popping sound. It seemed to be burning. A gray flame covered it, and then gray ash began to spread out.

When this happened, the surrounding nine participants faces tightened. Their eyes were red as they frustratedly looked at Wang Fanming and the others. Nervously, they began to speak.

“Seniors, this isn’t fair!!”

“The Flying Ash leaf that Fang Mu got is way simpler than my medicinal plant. If I’d gotten Flying Ash leaf, I could have done the same thing!”

“We worked hard for so many years for a chance at promotion. Don’t tell me that we lose, not because of skill, but because of luck!? Elders, it really isn’t fair!”

“Please, re-start the second round and give everyone the same medicinal plant. If we lose then, we will be sincerely convinced!”

—–

This chapter was sponsored by Robert Kunzi

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  1. Meng Hao learned to focus his power in chapter 123

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84 thoughts on “ISSTH – Book 3 – Chapter 219” - NO SPOILERS

      1. Well obviously it will make no difference in this case, but I do agree that the test is unfair. I mean it’s a test between the most skilled among tens of thousands of applicants, with only one spot and a difference of heaven and earth between the winner and the losers. Given the stakes, it would only make sense to give everyone the same plant, it’s not as if it’s hard to manage.

        That being said, considering that they only started complaining after they didn’t pick what they considered the easy flower and lost, they are being whiny. If you have no problem with a luck based test until you realise that you’re not the luckiest of the bunch, well you’ve really lost all right to complain at that point.

  1. Ummm…. he picked last, right? So all of those losers could have chosen it…

    That said… why did they use different plants? And if it was compatibility… then make them all use 2-3 plants instead…

    Thanks for the chapter XD

    1. Because luck is also part of one’s strenght (I don’t remember which novel i read this), being born with a powerful body, having talent with something, this is all luck, so it isn’t unreasonable to test it.

      “All the luck is there for the taking” hahahaha
      -Meng Hao

      Although i don’t agree with this point, these words came to me after i read what you said (still can’t remember where i read them)

  2. Thanks for the chapter!!!

    @Deathblade,

    “Actually, he hadn’t wasted very much energy from THIS Cultivation base”

    “this” -> “his”

    also, it could just be my misunderstanding… but

    “Ten different types of medicinal plant seeds, all of different categories. Candidates, select one each.”

    The “Candidates, select one each.” is kind of misleading since it suggested each candidate take one seed from each of the 10 ball of lights, so that they would have 10 seeds (not 1)

    I think it should be something like “Candidates, select one”, or “Candidates, each of you select one”

  3. Yeah, seems like it would be more fair and a better indicator of skill to give each contestant a similar set of ~10 seeds and see who can be the first to perfectly catalyze all of them.

    (Not that it would help these sore losers beat Meng Hao, lol)

  4. Well… no doubt they are sore losers… However, it’s understandable to feel that the test was unfair… I mean, they studied for half of their life, put in incredible amount of efforts, all to lose out on some bad luck. And given how far they got, all of them should have qualification to be master alchemist, so I would be surprised if they didn’t complain.

    Of course, not that it matters since Meng Hao doesn’t need to rely on luck to win this!

    1. I am pretty sure it wasn’t bad luck, they just suck compared to Meng Hao. He only practiced for a year and still was faster than them, even if his plant was the easiest none of them would have managed to do this after one year. They probably wouldn’t have gotten the leaves to turn into ashes even if they had an hour longer than Meng Hao.
      They are just angry because they don’t get to be the MC of an awesome series like ISSTH.

    2. That’s not exactly true, in a sense no matter what Meng Hao will win by ‘luck’ seeing as that good luck charm already gave Meng Hao all the luck he will need to pass this test, though tbh even without the nature talent Meng Hao would still be at least a match for these people. He studied enough for the first test and after the Blood Legacy he has enough control over his cultivation base, the plant would just grow slower but he would probably still be able to reach a similar result.

      1. I thought Lily didnt effect Meng Hao’s catalization ability. It only affected nature talent of plants and vegetation. It is stated that, that was the 1st stage and 2nd stage ‘catalization’ is entirely something else.

      1. The test is only once every ten years and most or all of the 9 men were older men. Having to wait another decade likely weighs on their minds greatly. Especially if they aren’t cultivating and spending most of their time on alchemy.

  5. Thanks for the chapter. I feel bad for the others lol. That skill is not really Meng Hao’s lol. He just completely stole that Resurrection Lily’s ability lol.

    Also, he’s at a higher cultivation level and already participated in the Blood Immortal’s trials… so he obviously would have extreme control at that stuff.

    Though as they say… one’s destiny is partially decided by luck. So he actually has earned those skills of his.

    But it’s unfair that he can commit all of that information to memory just because of his cultivation lol.

    Also, I feel even worse for Chu Yuyan. She doesn’t even realize why she’s being so mean or wishes so badly on Meng Hao. That’s probably at least messing with her morality on some level, and that’s not her own fault. Though her woman’s intuition is hella good lol. Maybe she is better for Meng Hao than she and he might think. She can tell who he is even when he looks completely different… doesn’t that sound just like true love. :p (Poor Meng Hao…)

    Grandmaster Pill Demon has already completely noticed Meng Hao… I wonder if after they kick Meng Hao out of the sect… that the grandmaster will still completely respect him… that would be extremely interesting… I feel like the scholarly types value ability and hard work and love of the pursuit of enlightenment more than past grievances… but I guess I’m not sure.

    This plot is still so fun though. It took a while, but it got more interesting again even with the short chapters.

    Also, I wonder how alchemy will affect the story from now on… I wonder if the ninth generation of demon sealers… the special technique that he will make himself… will be influenced by his alchemy prowess. That would be really cool.

    Meng Hao is definitely one of my favorite main protagonists. It’s so rare to have smart/intelligent main protagonists that want to be wise…

    1. I can’t really see Meng Hao getting kicked out of the Violet Fate Sect.
      Sure, he has lied about his identity and has some troubles with the younger generation, but many before him did it, and many more will do it. This is far from being enough to kick him out. The benefits of having him in the sect are far greater than expelling him (Sublime Spirit Scripture, incredible talent in alchemy) and his feelings/respect for the sect are true, he really does not wish to harm Violet Fate.
      The only way i can see him leaving is by his own volition.

    2. Feels like the whole point of writing about how 2 grand masters were allowed to leave the sect was to give Meng a honorable way out. Since he likes the alchemy division of the sect, he probably want to leave on good terms and only anger the martial division of the sect. Once he becomes a grand master or at least gets close to that level, he can go back to the Song clan.

      Regardless of how it all transpires, those chapters when his cover gets blown will be fun 🙂

      1. Indeed, i can only imagine what will happen 😀 haha
        I think that the place where he’ll achieve Core Formation is in the Song Clan, since that place is cut off from the Heavens and he can practice Cultivation there, instead of having to rely solely on medicinal pills, but that will take a long, long time.

        1. Thing is before he is discovered, he also needs to get the cultivation method for the perfect core. I am not sure the alchemy division teaches it. Maybe Chu Yuyan will share it with him in some yin and yang action 🙂

          After that Song Clan should be a comfy place for him.

        2. That’s interesting. I agree with what Voydom said however. It feels like he will leave even if he does respect the sect because he cares about freedom more. He needs power to be truly free. Too many people are motivated against him. If he is revealed, it doesn’t matter if he wants to stay. He can’t. Every other sect would probably declare war on that great sect if that were the case. If every practitioner of one of the great sects got such a large power-up, then the balance between the major great sects would be broken and it would likely be too dangerous to keep him around. I’m sure that all of the sects are spying on each other in secret even if they only manage to figure out some secrets about each other. I just can’t see Meng Hao being revealed in a way that isn’t extremely huge and with a very large amount of fan-fare or notoriety.

          But I like your point that he will probably achieve core formation in the Song Clan. That seems pretty reasonable.

          Meng Hao does indeed respect the sect, and they are probably the sect that is closest to his heart, but yeah… I feel like he can’t stay or else the sect would be immediately attacked and destroyed or else the other major sects would be sort of screwed if the entire learned how to practice the sublime spirit sculpture.

          Lastly, I’m still curious about Chu Yuyan’s feelings towards him… are they going to be fixed… or not at all…?

          Also… wait? Did Grandmaster Pill Demon just realize that Meng Hao has a perfect foundation or am I misinterpreting things?

    3. I wouldn’t feel bad for the others, after all it doesn’t matter where you get an ability from, once you have an ability it’s all yours. It’s not Meng Haos fault they didn’t have a lucky encounter like he did. Plus they all had at least ten times the time to prepare and learn for the exam.

      Chu Yuyan doesn’t really deserve your sympathy either considering how her hate for Meng Hao is actually completely unfounded, he never did anything to harm her, yet she hates him enough to make her hate him even after he changes everything about himself.

      I doubt he is going to get kicked out, not after Pill Demon has taken notice of him, I’m pretty sure he is just going to leave after reaching grandmaster level and being nominated as Pill Demons successor.

    4. Getting kicked out..? Are you joking..?

      It’s been established that he can just join whatever Sect he wishes, and they’ll welcome him with open arms thanks to the Sublime Thing + His talent. Imagine if they knew that he had a perfect foundation ontop of that.

      Keep in mind, that the perfect foundation pill formula is nearly useless to them, as they can’t defend against the heavenly tribulation, so as far as perfect foundations go.. No one’s going to be getting it other than him.

  6. Run, Meng Hao, Run! Grandmaster Pill demon has discovered that the Burning Flying Leaf Ash leaks no spiritual power. He has discovered your perfect foundation. Time to use patriarch relience’s gift to get out of there.

    1. That’s likely thanks to his spiritual power control technique, not because of his perfect foundation. He probably only used his second core sea to grow the plant anyway. Using perfect foundation to grow the plant while being watched by 30000 something ppl would be risky.

    2. I understood it as Meng Hao perfectly using his spiritual power on the plant so there is not even a little bit of overflow of power, just using the exact amount needed to make the plant grow and turn to ashes.

      Lol someone else made the same point at the same time as I did.

  7. “…and here we observe sore losers in their natural habitat. Kids don’t copy them”

    btw, is it wan fanming or wang fanming. And if it is wang, then does it mean that he just has a similar surname as the wang clan since he said he was an outsider or maybe he is hiding?

    thanks :]

    1. There were a few typos of “Wan” but it is indeed “Wang.” And yeah, same character. However, that is also the most common Chinese surname, so not necessarily an indication of connection to the Wang Clan.

  8. >The old man standing next to Wang Fanming also started when he saw the Flying Ash leaf seed.

    I think you mean startled

    >“The Flying Ash leaf that Fang Mu got is way more simple than my medicinal plant.

    “Much simpler” instead of “way more simple” sound better

    1. Thanks, I changed to “simpler.” “Started,” however, is the correct word. There’s even an explanation about it in the wuxiaworld FAQ…

      1. cool. Also

        >Without hesitation, the rest of the nine reached up to lay claim to the various glowing globes of

        >After everyone made their choice, Meng Hao calmly lifted up his hand to retrieve the last glowing globe.

        I think it should be eight in the first line. Since there are only 10 people. The way it’s currently implies 11 people.

  9. Bunch of whiners! Do I need to call the wahmbulance??
    Fang Mu would wreck you all even if he had the most complicated plant in the world to catalyze!
    Honestly though, I thought this competition would be them making a pill, not growing a plant. Alchemy is weird.

    I have a question regarding Meng Hao’s “planti-ness” as of this point. I realize he benefits from the nature talent of the Resurrection Lily, but does he also gain the other benefits of poison resistance and super strength while it is sealed? That’d be nice.

  10. There is the distance between Master alchemist and Apprentice alchemist as the same distance as the heavens from the earth. The distance between Master Alchemist and Furnace Lord is the same as the distance between the heavens and the earth. The distance between Furnace Lord and Violet Furnace Lord is the same as the distance between the Heavens and the Earth. The Distance between Violet Furnace Lord and Grand Master is the same as the distance between the Heavens and the earth.
    Oh and all this took quite some time to describe but it all actually happened with the time it takes for a spark to fly off flint.
    Oh and that’s not fair, that’s cheating, please spare my life, i’ll kill you, i’ll crush you, you don’t know the distance between the heavens and the earth, SONIC AND TAILS!, don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.

    Gotta love the sayings.

  11. Thanks for the chapter, Deathblade, Madam Deathblade, John Rogers, Lingson, MeeBoo, Yascob and Robert Kunzi ! Dear WuxiaWorld, many thanks to the Author, Translator(s), (Editors), (Donors) for the awesome chapter! With lots of love, Jack ❤

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