Chapter 222: Signs of Rocking the Violet Fate Sect
Meng Hao’s face tightened. All of a sudden, his features looked exactly the same as they used to. He was his old self, skin a bit dark, cultured and refined, with the air of a scholar. Within the scholar’s air existed a touch of something demonic, and a hint of callousness.
Meng Hao frowned, neither lifting his head up nor paying any attention to Chu Yuyan’s voice, which drifted in from outside the Immortal’s Cave.
“Fang Mu!” she said again, her delicate brow furrowed. She had come with the specific purpose of thoroughly examining Fang Mu to find out why he irritated her so much.
However, the door to the Immortal’s Cave was sealed shut. No sound emerged to indicate Fang Mu was inside. Looking far from pleased, Chu Yuyan gave a cold harrumph. Before coming she had asked around and determined that Fang Mu hadn’t left his Immortal’s Cave for days. Along the way, she had also encountered Lin Rui, who said she had just come from Meng Hao’s after delivering a pill furnace.
“You close the door, don’t come out, and won’t even talk?” she said coldly, her eyes narrowing. “Don’t tell me there’s something you don’t want me to know about, is there Fang Mu?”
Within the Immortal’s Cave, Meng Hao frowned, continuing to ignore Chu Yuyan. He slapped his bag of holding to produce the blood-colored mask. He looked at it for a moment, then entered it with Spiritual Sense.
Within the world of the mask, he could see that the meat jelly seemed to have lost its shape-changing ability. It was no longer a parrot, but a simple rectangular slab of a meat jelly. It seemed completely lifeless, and a death aura even rose up from it.
It was extremely hard to the touch. After examining it for a moment, Meng Hao extracted his Spiritual Sense and sat there thoughtfully.
“According to the meat jelly, because it lent me some of its transformation ability, it now has to shed. It said one month….” He felt somewhat relieved. He could most likely last for a month, as long as he didn’t let anyone see him, and didn’t venture outside.
“Having Chu Yuyan outside is really annoying, though,” he thought, looking up at the large door of the Immortal’s Cave.
“Fang Mu, get out here right now!”
Meng Hao’s expression was the same as ever. He simply closed his eyes.
After enough time passed for an incense stick to burn, Chu Yuyan’s eyes began to burn with rage. Something seemed off, and yet she couldn’t think of any reason why Fang Mu would do this.
“Not going to say anything, huh?” she said. “Fine. If I have to, I’ll go get a door-opening medallion and then use it to open this door. I’m going to ask one last time. Fang Mu, are you home?” She slowly began to walk away.
“I’m not home,” he said coldly, an irritated look on his face.
Hearing this, Chu Yuyan stared back in shock. She had never imagined she would get such a response. She then took a deep breath. Taking one last hateful glance at the door, she turned and transformed into a beam of light that shot off into the distance.
Having dismissed Chu Yuyan, Meng Hao pulled out the lifeless, shedding meat jelly and placed it down in front of him. He looked at it for a long moment, then sighed and closed his eyes to meditate.
After leaving Meng Hao, Lin Rui returned to the Pill Pavilion, where she made a record of the medicinal pills Meng Hao had handed over. She wrote the character “Fang” onto the pill bottle, then placed it in a pile with the bottles she had collected from other master alchemists.
After that, she paid the matter no more heed. She left the Pill Pavilion. The Pills she had collected would be organized and then delivered to the Violet Qi Division’s Honor Guard to be distributed amongst Outer Sect disciples who were in the Qi Condensation stage.
Of course, before being delivered, they would be thoroughly inspected by someone from the Violet Qi Division to ensure that all the medicinal pills were safe.
Time passed by slowly. Soon half a month was gone. Meng Hao was no longer so wasteful in his pill concocting, and actually saved quite a bit of material. No longer did his pill furnace explode, and he managed to concoct increasingly greater numbers of Qi Condensation Pills.
It was about this time that the Qi Condensation pills were taken from the Pill Pavilion and delivered to the Violet Qi division for their bi-weekly Pill Distribution.
Su Zhonglun did not have a very high Cultivation base. He was in the mid Foundation Establishment stage. Originally, he had not been a member of the Violet Qi Division, but rather an apprentice alchemist in the East Pill Division. However, in the end, he was unable to become a master alchemist. Furthermore, his Clan occupied a relatively low position within the Violet Fate Sect. Therefore, he finally decided to switch from the East Pill Division to the Violet Qi Division, and focus his Cultivation on magical techniques.
Because he had once been an apprentice alchemist, he had eventually been assigned to inspect the pills sent over for distribution. Only pills approved by him would be distributed to Outer Sect disciples.
He had been doing this for quite a long time. Furthermore, considering the pills he tested were merely Qi Condensation Pills, all Su Zhonglun needed to do was pick one up, and he would instantly be able to tell whether it was genuine, or a fake. In addition, he could very easily tell the medicinal strength of the pill.
On this particular day, the East Pill Division had just delivered a batch of pills. He sat, sipping some fragrant tea with one hand, and unsealing pill bottles with the other. One after another, he would open the bottles then place in front of his nose and sniff. It was a very leisurely task.
Behind him was a young servant who was responsible for keeping records and straightening things up.
“These Qi Condensation Pills are all pretty much the same,” said Su Zhonglun with a sigh. “There’s virtually no difference between them all. Well, they are master alchemists after all….” He picked up another bottle and unsealed the wax. Before inhaling the aroma, he drank a mouthful of tea. Then he slowly placed the bottle beneath his nose and breathed in.
As soon as he did, he suddenly stared in shock. He lowered his head and sniffed again. His eyes narrowed as he turned the bottle over and dumped the pills out into his hand. There were five of them, all Qi Condensation Pills. After examining them closely and smelling them again, a look of shock appeared on his face.
“These….” He suddenly stood up, overturning his cup of tea. He didn’t even notice that, however. His attention was completely focused on the medicinal pills.
Behind him, the young servant looked on, dumbstruck. He had never seen Su Zhonglun act like this. This was especially true of what had just happened to the tea. Tea was one of Su Zhonglun’s greatest loves, and if he himself knocked over a cup, would be punished. However, just now, Su Zhonglun didn’t seem to even notice the spilled tea.
“The medicinal strength… how could it be of this level? Who concocted this pill?” Taking a deep breath, he picked up the bottle and looked at the character “Fang” inscribed on the side.
“Fang…. There are a thousand master alchemists, and I can think of three or four surnamed Fang. Which one is it?” As he muttered to himself, he carefully placed the five Qi Condensation pills back into the pill bottle. His eyes were shining.
“I can tell that these Qi Condensation Pills have a medicinal strength far beyond ordinary,” he said, panting. “Too bad they’re only Qi Condensation Pills. If they were medicinal pills appropriate for Foundation Establishment….” His eyes glittered as he shot toward the Inner Sect.
Naturally, there was no way for Meng Hao to know how much of a stir his handful of Qi Condensation Pills had caused. At the moment, he sat in his Immortal’s Cave, frowning as he looked down at the meat jelly.
The meat jelly’s body was now completely dry and lifeless, which made Meng Hao a bit nervous. If it was still like this after the month had passed, then all the gains he had made in the Violet Fate Sect up to now would be completely for naught.
The days passed, and Meng Hao’s anxiety grew deeper. Several people had come looking for him in recent days, including Lin Rui and Li Tao. Chu Yuyan had come twice. Meng Hao had utilized various methods to stall them, but he couldn’t keep it up for too much longer.
Thankfully, about twenty days in, cracks could be seen on the surface of the meat jelly. Every day, more appeared. Faint signs of life soon became apparent. Meng Hao finally started to feel a bit relieved.
After a few more days passed, there was only one more day until the month-long period was up. The meat jelly was now almost completely covered with cracks, and life force seemed to throb within it. Meng Hao could tell that the meat jelly was still inside, struggling to break out.
Meng Hao sat there quietly, waiting for the moment when the meat jelly would burst out from within the dried husk.
The night passed silently. The next day at dawn, dense cracks completely covered the surface of the meat jelly. Splintering sounds filled the air, and it seemed as if the re-born meat jelly would burst out at any moment.
Meng Hao couldn’t do anything to help, he could only watch. It was at this moment that Bai Yunlai’s excited voice could suddenly be heard from outside the Immortal’s Cave.
“Fang Mu, quick, open the door! I have some good news. Really good news!”
“Sir,” replied Meng Hao immediately, “I’m in the middle of concocting some pills. I can’t really come out. Brother Bai, please wait just a moment. Once this batch is finished, I’ll come out.”
“Aiya! What pills are you concocting?” replied Bai Yunlai, his voice urgent. “Hurry up and finish. I managed to get some business for you from an Inner Sect disciple. He needs some medicinal pills, and I recommended you. If you concoct the pills for him, word will get around, and then more Inner Sect disciples will come to you looking for business.” Bai Yunlai and Meng Hao had developed a very good relationship during the better part of the last year. Now that Meng Hao was a master alchemist, Bai Yunlai had been attempting over and over again to get some Inner Sect disciples to accept a recommendation for him to concoct pills. However, it had been difficult to get anyone to agree. As soon as he had, he’d rushed over to find Meng Hao.
Meng Hao laughed bitterly. Before, he would have jumped eagerly at such an opportunity. This was a very important step in his growth as a master alchemist within the Sect. Having just been promoted, he had to struggle to distinguish himself from the other thousand master alchemists. In the entire past three months, not a single person had come to him looking for pill concocting.
If he didn’t take advantage of the first opportunity, then there would never be a second….
Meng Hao was just about to open his mouth, when suddenly, his expression flickered. He looked at the meat jelly for the space of a few breaths. Outside, Bai Yunlai suddenly heard a thunderous boom from inside the Immortal’s Cave.
It filled the entire valley, causing the mountains to tremble. Anyone inside the valley would have been able to hear it, and it attracted quite a bit of attention. Bai Yunlai stared in shock. His ears rang, and it took a long moment for him to regain his composure.
He took a deep breath, and stepped back a pace, his heart trembling in fear. He had no idea what pill Meng Hao was concocting to have produced such an uproar. However, not much time passed before the door of the Immortal’s Cave opened. Fang Mu appeared from within, smiling.
“In my haste, I exploded the pill furnace,” he said. “But, that doesn’t matter. I have more. Brother Bai, let’s go!”